The big question facing the Lakers as the season winds down (other than those related to lottery odds) centers around the young core, and determining where the Lakers need to go from here. How good are these guys, exactly? How do they compare with other young cores around the league? The answer goes a long way to determining just how far the Lakers need to go, given all the teams they need to jump to reach the top — or even the semi-top — of the Western Conference.
It was a theme running through a few big picture NBA features this week, whether talking about the best of the worst teams in the Association, or how re-do’s of the last two Drafts might look.
All that, plus big headlines (KD returning, Cleveland bickering) and a Hallmark Christmas Quiz.
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?
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.”
A few weeks ago, it was silly season. Now, it’s slow season, but that doesn’t mean “no” season! (As in no-thing to talk about… I’ll show myself out.) As training camp creeps a little closer by the day, there is definitely some ground to cover.
The show can be heard by clicking on the module, and below is a list of talking points. Among the highlights…
The Lakers have an official schedule, but given how the team isn’t realistically in contention, the specifics feel inherently less exciting. For example, are fans (much less the participants themselves) still geeked to see Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard finally square off more than one year after their separation? Generally speaking, the stakes aren’t pressing, and stakes are what make schedule intriguing.
Having said that, the Lakers play 28 nationally-televised games this season despite strong odds of missing the playoffs. Safe to say, Kobe remains one helluva draw.
What does it do for Byron Scott’s legacy with the Lakers if he ends up a rousing success as a coach?
How does the Lakers’ apparent non-pursuit of Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe feel with the players reportedly set to accept respective qualifying offers from Phoenix and Detroit?
It’s time for AAK!!! What doubles tournament sport would the K Bros fare best at? Is it possible to barbeque a Hot Pocket? How long should one wait before dating again after the death of a treasured pet lizard?
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.