Why is ESPN NBA writer Kevin Arnovitz one of our favorite people? Because there aren’t too many on the planet with whom you can split a 70-ish minute podcast between conversations about Lonzo Ball, his potential, and his singularity of style and skill set… and the 35th anniversary of the landmark film, “Tootsie.”
But that’s what we did earlier this week. It started by breaking down Arnovitz’s insightful feature on Lonzo in the newest issue of ESPN The Magazine. He relays what scouts say about Ball, how he might shift the paradigm when it comes to defining what “star” players do, and what kind of roster the Lakers need to build around him. And those Jason Kidd comps? Arnovitz has a more intriguing suggestion.
From there, we break down the comedy classic, “Tootsie.” Few movies are as well written (a screenplay by the legendary Larry Gelbart), acted (great performances from Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Teri Garr, and more), or have the sort of staying power and currency of Sidney Pollack’s gem. If you haven’t seen it recently, it’s worth a view before you listen.
Kobe Bryant is on the shelf for the rest of the year and his availability and effectiveness for next season are in question… again. After steadfastly projecting what I refer to as “faux competitiveness,” the Lakers front office is staring down another season without a postseason and and a summer of critical importance… again. And these crossroads feature a coach who’s yet to reveal himself as right choice moving forward… again.
The show can be heard by clicking on the module and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the talking points:
Kobe Bryant underwent successful surgery for a torn rotator cuff, meaning he’s done for the season. This being his third consecutive season ending injury, it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll call it an early retirement. But if Kobe does return, what can be realistically expected from the superstar guard next season? And either way, how should the Lakers move forward as an organization?
We take a look at the latest headlines. With Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker injured, is Jeremy Lin suddenly a more valuable trade commodity? J.R. Smith is partying less in Cleveland than in New York. The Warriors reveals Chinese New Years jerseys that are either very classy, totally insulting, or both. The lineups for the All-Star Game’s three-point shooting and dunk contest are pretty damn awesome.
If Lance Armstrong could do it all over again, he’d do it exactly the same. And by “it,” he means “take PED.” What should we make of this rather candid admission?
It’s time for a Super Bowl-themed AAK!!! Who is the ideal halftime performer? Would we rather watch the game at the 50 yard line in person or on a 60-inch screen at a party? Do the K Bros root “Bud” or “Bud Light” in the Bud Bowl?
Um… Happy Thanksgiving? (Unless you’re rooting for the Lakers to keep their lottery pick, in which case, Happy Thanksgiving!)
The show can be heard by clicking on the module, and below is a list of talking points. Among the highlights.
Fourteen games into the season, it’s grown clear Kobe Bryant is beyond exhausted upon averaging nearly 36 minutes per game at age 36 on the heels of two significant injuries. Byron Scott’s solution? Keep those minutes as is, but limit Kobe’s practice time. On several counts, this is a terrible approach that also perhaps speaks to the coach’s troubling mentality.
We continue with new segments, this one called “Person of Interest.” We take a look at the new-but-old allegations of Bill Cosby and sexual assault, and the way social media now completely dictates what collectively grabs our attention as a society.
It’s time for AAK!!! The theme? Thanksgiving! Will the Lakers finish with more wins than guests at the Kamenetzky dinner table on Thursday? Do the K Bros partake in Black Friday? Which of us is the bigger eater and the bigger drinker during the holiday? How much do Kobe Bryant’s teammates get to eat while celebrating with The Mamba?
Finally, a new segment called “Mitch Kupchak explains something.”
That, and Phil Jackson took a pretty plum gig with the Knicks. (Do I really need to add a link-to-the-news, here? If PJ-to-NY is information you haven’t yet heard, I suspect you’re here on accident.) And fair to say, the average Lakers fan reacted with a combination of anger, fear, and… no, anger and fear pretty much covers it. No surprise, it was the major topic of conversation for the newest show, which can be heard by clicking the module above (or the link below). A list of the major talking points…
Just when the world (if not necessarily his teammates) got used to seeing Kobe Bryant on the court again, the image became merely a memory. The future Hall of Famer is sidelined again, this time with a fractured kneecap suffered in Memphis against the Grizzlies. The estimated time of recovery is at least six weeks, adding even more uncertainty to Kobe’s final years in purple and gold. In the meantime, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Lakers will have to make due with a shorthanded roster.
On the plus side, the K Bros are healthy, which means the podcast is at full strength, and that’s really the most important thing at the end of the day. The show can heard by clicking on the module, and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the talking points:
Kobe’s latest injury creates a multitude of talking points. To begin, how will his absence affect a largely overachieving, if completely decimated, roster?
Shifting towards Kobe himself, what do we make of his second significant injury since April? Is this a preview of what lies ahead, health-wise, for the superstar guard until he calls it a career? Will he be able to stay on the court, much less play at the level Kobe demands?
If Lakers fans don’t love Nick Young, there’s something the hell wrong with them. We explain why Swaggy P is perfect for this particular team.
Kendall Marshall becomes the latest reclamation project for the Lakers.
Time for some #AAK! We discuss the fury over Justine Sacco’s unquestionably tasteless Tweet, and how it reflects the weird and often treacherous world of social media. What is the greatest onscreen death in movie history? What would be the ultimate basketball matchup? What is the appropriate role of politics in sports?
With the season underway, we discuss the .500-ish Lakers and what has been learned about this team after a handful of games. Listen to us while you can before BK breaks up the band for his impending high profile showbiz gig! Among your high points…
As we recorded, the Lakers were still 2-2 before Tuesday’s loss in Dallas. We convey our general impressions. Have there been any surprises?
There have been grumblings from fans and even players about Mike D’Antoni’s rotation. In particular, Jordan Hill’s inconsistent playing time is a sticking point. Are these complaints valid? What are the complicating factors?
Steve Nash, to put it kindly, has looked neither good nor healthy in his second season as a Laker. Is there reason to maintain hope for a turnaround? Are fans being overly harsh towards him?
Time for some AAK!!! Which NBA player (current or former) would each of us choose to hang out with for a day? What is the worst legitimately popular TV show currently on air? What are our thoughts on the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin-Miami Dolphins mess? What’s the worst injury — and backhanded compliment — either of us has suffered?
Andy and Brian Kamenetzky are writers and radio hosts in Los Angeles, and have covered local and national sports for over a decade with the Los Angeles Times and ESPN. This is their ninth season covering the Lakers and the NBA.