So about five minutes after we finished recording today, the news broke about the newest kerfuffle between Jim and Jeanie Buss, meaning we didn’t cover it in this show. Fortunately, there’s plenty of reason to believe this won’t be the only opportunity. (And if it is, all the better for the Lakers.)
So what was on the agenda? Glad you asked!
Lou Williams is gone, meaning Jordan Clarkson has an opportunity to be more the guy he was as a rookie. Earlier this week, Luke Walton broke down where he thinks Clarkson’s game is going, and how he can get there. We opine.
The Lakers are looking for leadership, specifically in the fourth quarter. Who’s gonna deliver? Well, it probably has to be D’Angelo Russell, given the construction of the roster. So is he up for it? What will it take to make Russell the leader L.A. is searching for? We opine.
Kevin Durant is down, and likely out for the regular season. What does that mean for the Western Conference playoff race? We (wait for it…) opine. Plus, Cleveland has added some talent, and the Knicks are back to relying on “proven shot-maker” Sasha Vujacic.
Finally, we look back at the career of Bill Paxton, who died unexpectedly last week at 61.
It’s been a while, but we’re back in front of the podcast microphones! The NBA draft is a few weeks away, prospects are visiting El Segundo, and the 2014-2015 season is four-seven games away from crowning a champion. (Spoiler alert! It won’t be the Lakers.)
The show can be heard by clicking on the module, and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the high points:
OUR TOP STORY: The Lakers own the second overall pick, which provides them a lot of options. They can select a big. They can select a guard. They can select a Porzingas. They can trade the pick. What’s the best route moving foward?
HEADLINES: Lot o’ coaching hires and fires of late. What to make of Scott Skiles, Alvin Gentry and Fred Hoiberg joining, respectively, Orlando, New Orleans and Chicago, along with the Bulls’ dismissal of Tom Thibodeau? And should the Lakers make a play for the newly unemployed Thibs?
OUR ALMOST TOP STORY: For the first time in eons, Kevin Love addressed the media since injuring his shoulder. Amid constant speculation about an impending departure from Cleveland, the power forward maintained his company line of remaining a Cavalier next season. Is he relaying sincere thoughts, or proactively putting an exit strategy in motion?
PERSON OF INTEREST: Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, is the cover story of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, and will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at next month’s ESPY’s. Both developments, along with Jenner’s very public transgender story, have raised awareness of transgender issues, but the ensuing discussion is inevitably complex, and for many, inevitably confusing.
OUR ALMOST, ALMOST TOP STORY: The NBA Finals are two days away from commencing! The Golden State Warriors are rightly the heavy favorite, but the Cavs have LeBron, which makes all bets feel off. Could LBJ actually lead an upset for the ages?
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?
It’s a busy hour-plus, starting with a less-than-stellar evaluation of the Lakers’ front office, including hoops execs, ownership, and head coach. Do the Lakers deserve the scorn of ESPN’s Forecast rankings? From there, it’s a look around the league, a check on two of the NFL’s more notorious names, big TV news, and AAK!
Among the talking points…
LeBron James isn’t just one of the NBA’s great leaders… he’s among the best in the world, according to Fortune.
Durant and Westbrook. One out for the year, one putting up MVP numbers. What does this mean for OKC, and maybe the Lakers?
Our “Person of Interest” is dubiously shared this show by Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald, two NFL players mired in domestic violence
AAK! Final four themed. “Final Four” cinematic badasses. “Final Four” actors. (And even with all my honorable mentions, AK managed to forget Bill Murray on that list, for which he’ll never forgive himself.) “Final Four” condiments. “Final Four” non-family member ‘Simpsons’ characters.
Recommended listening includes three Marc Maron podcasts, and a Sam Simon/Barack Obama interview. And here’s a link to our ESPN podcast with actor Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “Desperado,” “Heat”), in which we cover his incredible career, prison boxing, general badassery, and so much more.
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.
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.