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PODCAST! LA’s front office rank, D’Antoni and/or Meeks returning (?) , Kobe and Trayvon Martin, facts about 1960

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in ESPN, Jeanie Buss, Jim Buss, Jodie Meeks, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers history, Mike D'Antoni, Opinion |

The good news? The Lakers entered Friday’s action with only seven games remaining before the season mercifully comes to an end. The bad news? It’s not six.

The show can be heard by clicking on the module and below is a list of talking points. Among the high points.

  • We take a look at the latest headlines. Phil Jackson says CAA ties won’t influence him as Knicks Prez. Dick Bavetta has set a seriously amaze-balls new record! Will Jabari stay in school? Are the Lakers really the NBA’s 16th best front office?
  • Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding says the Lakers might not show Mike D’Antoni the door this offseason. Don’t kill the messengers, by the way. We’re just the guys discussing the potential reasons why.
  • We play another episode of “Should The Lakers Bring Back This Guy,” with Jodie Meeks as the latest contestant.
  • As of this recording, the Lakers have exactly 50 losses, which ties the second-highest total in franchise history, set in 1960 when the team was still housed in Minneapolis! To illustrate just how long it’s been since the Lakers sat on 50 losses, I quiz Brian on his knowledge of 1960, and offer some fun facts about 1960! (FYI: The all-time mark for losses is 52 during the 1975 season, which means an “All About 1975!” segment is waiting in the wings.)
  • We discuss Kobe Bryant’s comments in the New Yorker regarding black causes and Trayvon Martin, along with the way stories like these are covered in the world of 24/7 news and social media.

Click above to play, or just download the show here. Hope you enjoy it. To subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, click here. You can also find us on TuneIn.com by heading here.

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Chick Hearn calls the iconic Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O'Neal lob

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Lakers Audio, Lakers history, Lakers Video | 5 comments

In honor of Shaquille O'Neal Jersey Retirement Day, we bring you the following…

It's a moment seared into the gray matter of every Lakers fan. The lob from Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O'Neal in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals, capping off a huge comeback against Mike Dunleavy's Portland Trailblazers, putting a stranglehold on the game, and fueling L.A.'s first trip to the Finals since the end of Showtime. It is probably the most iconic Shaq/Kobe highlight of their time together. (Not a stretch, given that it's among the most iconic NBA highlights of the last 25 years, really. Which explains this.)

Generally speaking, clips of the play come with Bob Costas on the call for NBC. No disrespect to Costas, but his isn't the voice Lakers fans want to hear when re-living that day. Fortunately, Chick Hearn was there, too, calling the game on the radio, and not surprisingly, he owned the moment. (To follow along, go to the six minute mark of the video below.)

“That's all you do. Run the whole 24 and then take your shot… They'll probably foul you before that… Kobe's down the middle, he's in deep, he throws to Shaq, slam dunk! The Lakers lead by six! The Los Angeles Lakers, with 40 seconds left. Portland can put champagne away and get out the bottled water, because that's all they're going to drink on their way home. They're down 85-79. A perfect pass to Shaq from Kobe…”

There's more, including a great comeback from Chick when Stu Lantz points out O'Neal fouled Steve Smith driving to the hoop moments later, and it's all awesome.

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Dr. Buss was a man with vision

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Jerry Buss, Lakers history | 1 comment

Among the more fun places to kill time on the Internet is The Vault at SI.com.

Dr. Buss had a clear -- and accurate -- vision of the future.

Dr. Buss had a clear — and accurate — vision of the future.

Last week, on Grantland.com I came across a great feature from July of 1981, profiling the free agency of a certain hard-nosed former North Carolina forward named Mitch Kupchak who had signed an offer sheet from the Los Angeles Lakers worth “between $700,000 and $850,000 per year over an estimated seven-year period.”

At the time, NBA free agency was built around the right of first refusal. The Washington Bullets did just that, paving Kupchak's road to purple and gold, one he's still on.

The article (click here to read the whole thing) is interesting on a few levels, starting as a window into Kupchak-the-player and the world of NBA free agency 30 years ago. But for Lakers fans, the best parts detail the vision of Dr. Buss, his views on economics, and the way the league ought to be run.

Here, he talks about the economics behind giving Magic Johnson a then-unheard of 25 year, $25 million contract, one viewed by many at the time as absurd, but quickly proved a stroke of genius when it was clear Johnson would soon be grossly underpaid.

“Kupchak's numbers are just a fraction of the figures that Buss threw at Johnson, who had approached Buss early last season and asked if anything could be done to ensure his being a Laker forever. The result was a contract that surpasses the one previously considered the richest in sports, Dave Winfield's 10-year, $22 million deal with the Yankees.

To pay Johnson, alcohol withdrawal
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a 6'9″ guard, his cool million a year, Buss purchased for $5 million the trust deed to what is presumably a piece of real estate in an unspecified location (“To tell where would only lead to someone desecrating it to get some attention. There are a lot of crazy people out there,” Buss says). The interest from the 20% mortgage comes to a million dollars a year for Buss—or Magic.

Last week Buss tried to justify Johnson's contract while relaxing at Pickfair, beneath a portrait of Mary Pickford, who seemed to beam approvingly. Pickford and her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., were the original owners of the isolated Beverly Hills mansion Buss purchased in 1980 for $5.4 million. “What we tried to do was find what would be a fair salary for a free agent in 1984,” he said. “We figured that would be $700,000, but inflation until then will be a minimum of six to seven percent. Over the 12 years of the basketball portion of the contract, then, that figure would double to $1.4 million a year, so we just averaged it off to a million a year.

“Past that, you have to look at Magic's front-office capabilities. Right now a good coach or general manager, withMagic's P.R. value, averages $200,000 a year. That doubles during his playing career, and in another 15 years, with inflation, that same coach would be making $800,000.”

Buss believes that in 25 years the average secretary will be making $60,000 a year, but adds, “It won't mean anything. You'll also be paying $5 for a gallon of gas and $35,000 for a car. That's if inflation goes the way I say it will. I'm gambling, but if it does, then I've got the edge.”

Smart guy, eh?

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