The NBA is officially underway! The Lakers, while enjoying all camp has to offer — canoeing, archery, arts and crafts, orienteering, and trying to make out with the counselors at the girls camp across the lake — are also very clearly enjoying the first days of the Luke Walton era. Like, a lot. Which isn’t to say they didn’t enjoy last season’s circus in the same way… except it kinda is.
Hopefully it lasts a while, but for the time being the players who were here last season, particularly the young ‘uns, and particularly D’Angelo Russell, have clearly taken a shine to the new regime.
We break down all the big stories from the early days of training camp, including (but not limited to)…
Evidence a genuine culture has the chance to take root this year.
How feeling empowered by his coaching staff could help Russell on the floor.
Why Kobe needed to retire for Walton’s approach to work.
The Jim Buss Timeline: Mitch Kupchak says he’s really not aware of it. Land O’Lakers Factcheckers rate that a full four Paul Pierce Wheelchairs on the lie scale. Still, while it seems reasonable to believe the Lakers won’t make the Western Conference Finals (don’t shoot the messenger), what happens to Jim Buss if the Lakers show legitimate improvement, over the course of the year? Any shot he stays? And if Jim goes, does Mitch go, too?
From there, we talk Luke Walton, who was introduced earlier this week following Golden State’s Game 7 loss in the Finals. What were the standout moments in his first press conference as the coach of the Lakers?
All that and … well, mostly just that. But isn’t that enough?
It’s been a while, but we’re back! The Lakers’ season is mercifully over and a (thus far) very fun playoffs are NBA underway. For the time being, ain’t much to talk about in Laker Land, but that won’t stop us from talking. The show can be heard by clicking on the module and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the highlights:
Our top story: Rajon Rondo’s disastrous stint in Dallas has now culminated in a “back injury” that’s all but officially ended his time as a Maverick. This fiasco comes on the heels of a steady decline in health, production and reputation. But in the eyes of some Lakers fans, that just makes the point guard a cost-effective free agent and inevitable redemption story ripe for the plucking. We explain why this is a terrible idea.
We take a stroll through the biggest NBA headlines. Does the Clippers’ Game 2 collapse reflect a doomed playoff run, even if they manage to take out the Spurs? Pat Rileythrows shade at LeBron. Scott Brooks is out in OKC.
Our Person of Interest: Tim Tebow is back, baby! What’s in store for the polarizing quarterback should he stick with the Eagles, and why does such a seemingly nice guy divide people so much in the first place?
AAK!!! What movie are we most looking forward to seeing the sequel? Can Gregg Popovich’s compliment to BK possibly be topped? What is each K Bros’ go-to lunch of choice?
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?
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.