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Podcast! Phil Jackson is gone… so what now?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Jordan Farmar, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni, Mitch Kupchak, Phil Jackson | 5 comments

It’s not necessarily that a ton of things have happened in the land o’ Lakers since we last recorded the Land O’Lakers podcast, just that the thing that did go down was a doozie.

Jordan Hill missed the team picture.

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…

  • Before the main course, some passed apps in the form of headlines. Deadspin takes over the Hawks’ Twitter feed, more examples of people not understanding how social media works, new Commish Adam Silver says jersey ads are coming sooner rather than later.
  • With Phil gone, what happens now? Can Jim Buss perform well enough to shift the narrative on him? Can the narrative even be shifted?
  • What about Kobe Bryant? How will he handle what could be a tough 2014-15 season, and who knows what after that? How much do his complaints really matter?
  • We play “Should the Lakers Keep This Guy Next Season?” Let’s spin the wheel with Jordan Farmar.
  • It’s time for some AAK!!! Better starring duo for a buddy cop movie: The K bros or the Sklar Bros? Is the world actually a sphere? Who wins between Andy and Brian in a fist fight?

Click above to play, or just download the show hereHope 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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Why firing Mike D’Antoni right now is a terrible idea

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Mike D'Antoni, Mitch Kupchak, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Uncategorized | 12 comments

With one game remaining before 2013 ends, the Lakers are currently riding a five-game losing streak, the two most recent losses coming against the Jazz and Sixers, who both became nine-win teams as a result. The Lakers have also lost seven of their last ten games, perhaps a sign this once plucky squad is crashing down to Earth. And the Lakers are nothing if not a franchise with a demanding fan base, meaning such developments aren’t received like water on a duck’s back. Particularly when the Lakers are coached by Mike D’Antoni, who’s been exceptionally unpopular since the moment he had the nerve not to be Phil Jackson he was hired. Thus, after Sunday’s loss to Philly, our Twitter timeline was flooded with cries to fire “Pringles” ASAP.

Such a reaction is completely predictable.

It would also be a terrible idea.

Whenever possible, teams look to avoid firing coaches midseason. It creates the appearance of instability, of a franchise spinning out of control. When that midseason firing comes directly on the heels of another midseason firing, and paired with the death of quite possibly the greatest owner in professional sports history, it’s an even worse look. This scenario should be avoided unless a high-end roster is being blatantly mismanaged or a bubbling sense of urgency leaves the front office with no outs.

For the time being, it’s exceptionally difficult to argue the Lakers have reached this point on either count.

To begin, what exactly has D’Antoni done to merit being fired right now? Really, truly, what? With all hands on deck, the Lakers are a fringe playoff team in a loaded Western Conference, and that’s being optimistic. Beyond Kobe Bryant and (on his best days) Pau Gasol, the roster at FULL STRENGTH is composed entirely of players best suited as players off the bench. Some might only play 10-15 minutes a night on a good team. Others might not even make a good team. On the Lakers, they’re being asked to start or make major contributions as reserves. Even more so now, since half the roster apparently shares the same disease as Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Unbreakable.”

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Podcast!!! Kobe Bryant’s injury, Nick Young’s swag, onscreen movie deaths, Sacco-Gate, politics in sports

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Dwyane Wade, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni, Nick Young, Podcast |

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:

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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Podcast: The Lakers preseason, Kobe's rehab, Pau's money, Miley's next gig, food aversions

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Audio, Mike D'Antoni, Mitch Kupchak, Opinion, Pau Gasol, Podcast, Steve Nash |

That faint sound you just heard? A grown man in China sobbing upon hearing Kobe Bryant was walking within a 25-mile radius.

The show can be heard by clicking on the module above, and a rundown of talking points follows below…

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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Steve Nash's ankle is a storm cloud disrupting preseason happiness

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Mike D'Antoni, Opinion, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash |

All things considered, the preseason for the Lakers to this point has been relatively encouraging. Among your more positive signs:

  • Pau Gasol looks comfortable and productive. In 22 minutes against the Kings Thursday in Vegas, Pau posted 13/5/5, on 6-of-9 from the floor. This backing up a smooth 14/8/2 against Denver a couple nights earlier. While the Lakers are smartly managing his workload, it looks like Gasol is far, far better off physically now than he was a year ago.
  • The Gasol/Chris Kaman combination has worked better than I figured it would. Defensive vulnerabilities aside,  at the very least it looks like a viable option for Mike D'Antoni, one potentially producing some very entertaining and efficient offensive sequences. One way to protect yourself in transition? Take good (and even better, make) good shots.
  • Shawne Williams hasn't exactly lit the world on fire, but looks like he'll add another useful option for D'Antoni as he shakes his Boggle box of lineup combinations.
  • Kobe is at 100 percent on the Alter-G treadmill (that's good!), and even while sidelined has managed to find ways to dominate. In an eyewear obsessed NBA culture, the frames Bryant wore the other day at practice basically said this to his peers.

Still, given what we all know has to go well for the Lakers to surprise people and compete at a reasonably high level in the Western Conference this season — and by that, I mean basically everything — Thursday wasn't exactly a banner day. Steve Nash played only nine minutes thanks to an ankle that has been squishy since last month. After the game, Nash generally downplayed the significance of the injury, but at least in print (I didn't hear the audio) his comments don't exactly inspire. Quotes like “I feel fairly confident it shouldn't be a huge issue” contain enough hedging to landscape a nice two-bedroom craftsman.

Meanwhile, D'Antoni was West Virginia blunt, admitting to the media after that Nash could very well miss time over the course of the year. It is in these moments you're reminded we're talking about the oldest player in the NBA. The Lakers do have some options at guard, and even without Nash can put together multiple backcourt combinations. With diligent maintenance and a little bit of luck, maybe Nash can be steered through the season successfully, and all of this is moot.

But at a time where everyone rightly wants to be as optimistic as possible and dream big, Nash's early bruises (along with Farmar's problems, and Wes Johnson's as well) harshes L.A.'s collective mellow and reminds that L.A.'s margins are, in cheap furniture terms, thinner than an oak veneer laid over particle board.

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