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PODCAST!!! Rajon Rondo, LeBron v. Riles, Late Night TV, Tebow, and Pop loves BK

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in Jeanie Buss, Jeremy Lin, Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kevin Ollie, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, Mitch Kupchak, Podcast, San Antonio Spurs | 1 comment

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 Riley throws shade at LeBron. Scott Brooks is out in OKC.
  • Our Not Sports Story: We examine the state of late night TV with David Letterman and Jon Stewart on the verge of exiting, and industry folks criticizing the medium’s new Fallon-ized direction.
  • 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?
  • Recommended Listening: Radiolab’s fascinating and highly entertaining look at the modern day relevance of the novel Don Quixote.

 

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PODCAST!!! The Donald Sterling fiasco, and Mike D’Antoni’s future

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Donald Sterling, Jim Buss, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Mike D'Antoni, Pau Gasol, Podcast |

It’s no exaggeration that since audio of Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments to his mistress was leaked to first to TMZ and then Deadspin, all hell has broken loose. Sterling was hardly a stranger to racial controversies, but being able to connect his (alleged) voice to his (not alleged) world view has raised awareness and dander to a brand new level. Safe to say, this is a mess, and everyone is waiting on pins and needles for the league to take decisive action.

Oh, in the meantime, reports surfaced Friday the Lakers apparently might keep Mike D’Antoni around next season. And said reports have barely made a ripple. As the old saying goes, timing is everything.

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

  • Many believe Sterling’s comments don’t just come across as racist, but “plantation” racist. We don’t disagree, although it’s worth adding “paranoid,” “disturbing” and “just plain weird” to the list of adjectives. Then again, racist attitudes often are.
  • I wrote about the shared blame that comes with Donald Sterling flourishing this long. The NBA deserves the biggest share of responsibility, but frankly, many parties have dropped the ball.
  • As Brian noted, the time for players and fans to boycott isn’t necessarily now.
  • Never let it be said the K Bros aren’t fair in their coverage. We do offer Sterling some respect on one count.
  • This incident is the latest example of how, generally speaking, a mistress is just a bad idea. And are you among the many, many, many listeners who’ve gotten down — if you know what I mean – to a K Bros podcast?
  • What will the punishment for Sterling be, and when/how will it be doled out?
  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mark Heisler reports the Lakers have decided to keep Mike D’Antoni next season? If true, what would be the rationale?
  • Speaking of boycotts, Laker fans will threaten one if D’Antoni remains the coach? If that really happened, would it matter?
  • Pau Gasol said on his website that a return to the Lakers could be possible, but some changes would be needed for that to be the case. We have no idea what he’s referring to.

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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The “Donald Sterling Choice” for fans and players doesn’t come Tuesday

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Opinion | 4 comments

It wasn’t created overnight.

The Donald Sterling Problem was allowed to fester for years, the hope being his most embarrassing qualities as an owner would be limited to crap teams, a habitual inability to pay fired coaches and general managers, and other basketball-related shortcomings, or failing that, buried in the seemingly endless discrimination-related depositions of one form or another. Once his team became not only relevant, but among the most important in the NBA, the hope was Sterling wouldn’t be talked about at all.

Still, as ESPN’s J.A. Adande notes, we all knew who the guy waswhether you’re talking about the league office, his fellow owners, players, media, or fans. That Sterling held antiquated, offensive views on blacks and Latinos apparently time-warped straight from the Civil War era wasn’t exactly a secret. It was tolerated because the NBA wasn’t sure how to make the guy go away, because fans routinely learn to compartmentalize (in this case cheering for the team while abhorring the owner), because players understand there are only so many of these jobs or simply pay zero attention, and because media wasn’t sure how long or how consistently to press the issues.*

It took decades to get here, so explain to me why the Donald Sterling Problem must be unwound by Tuesday? And more importantly, why it must be done first by fans and players?

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We Are All Donald Sterling’s Mess

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

By now, everybody reading this is likely up to speed with the controversy involving Donald Sterling, his mistress and leaked audio of the Clippers’ owner expressing horribly racist thoughts, so I’ll forgo a rehash. (For those in need of a timeline chronicling Sterling’s controversial history, ESPN The Magazine has you covered.)  Sterling spewing paranoid bigotry may be little more than expectations met, but it nonetheless stirs a range of thoughts for me.

His comments are embarrassing as a Jew who can’t wrap his head around a fellow member of a long-discriminated group so determined to pay that discrimination forward. They’re depressing as the father of a racially mixed child who couldn’t help but imagine his daughter involved with a man who twists and perverts her sense of self. They’re disturbing because beyond the racism displayed, Sterling comes across as a genuinely sick man.

But they’re also a reminder that as a member of the media, the Los Angeles media no less, I haven’t done anything of consequence to address this long-festering problem with Sterling. That’s not to say I’ve ignored Sterling’s well-established history. I’ve certainly noted his sad and racist history on radio, podcasts or in articles. But it would be disingenuous to claim I’ve treated the matter with sincere urgency, despite knowing for eons Sterling’s mindset makes him a wildly inappropriate owner of an NBA team.

I can also find company with most other members of the media, and damn near everyone connected to the NBA in any capacity.

Again, I’m not saying the media has been silent about Sterling’s reputation, because that’s not true. And there has always been talk about the embarrassment he’s caused fellow owners. But Sterling’s time in the NBA has produced more punchlines about cheapness and losses than consistently outward ire over character. There’s been more focus on his pattern of discriminating against players commanding high salaries than nameless, faceless minorities. Generally speaking, Sterling has been in the crosshairs because of incompetence rather than intolerance. It’s telling that as the team has grown more successful over the last few years, criticism of Sterling, whose character remains the same with 50 wins or 30 wins, has died down considerably.

The media hasn’t done its part to hold him accountable. Sponsors haven’t held him accountable. The public, to whatever degree they’ve paid attention, hasn’t held him accountable.

And David Stern, along with 29 other owners, the people most empowered to address the situation, truly haven’t held him accountable.

(As for player culpability, there are now people framing Clippers past and especially present as a guilty party who signed on knowing Sterling’s history, and therefore made a monetary deal with the devil. Maybe that’s true, but it’s also because the league put them in the position of having to make an unfair choice. Most people have worked at some point in their life for a boss with character issues of some kind, and reacted by remaining an employee. I know I have. And while we rarely think of millionaire athletes as employees, that is in fact what they are. As such, I put the least amount of blood on their hands. That’s also why I’m generally uncomfortable with pressure towards Clipper players to boycott a game. While their refusal to take the court would be an undeniably powerful statement, capitalizing on their profile feels too convenient, and indicative of the buck passing that’s allowed this situation to linger. The league needs to take the lead, not the players.)

After decades upon decades of disgrace, there is now a movement to remove Sterling from the NBA. Sponsors have begun pulling out, and this type of economic pressure may ultimately provide the leverage needed to make this feasible. (Money always talks. Just ask the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP.) But it’s important to remember that Sterling’s eventual dismissal may have only happened because a mistress decided to burn him with a vengeful and possibly illegal recording. Had Sterling remained faithful to his wife, or just avoided taking the bait, it would be business (and I emphasize the word “business”) as usual.

It’s a reality worth considering as we watch this mess play out.

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Podcast: Lakers predictions, NBA 2013-14 season preview, GM survey, and Nick Young’s Swaggy P-ness

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Dwight Howard, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Mike D'Antoni, Mitch Kupchak, Pau Gasol, Podcast, Royce White, Steve Blake, Steve Nash | 7 comments

The preseason, she is officially in the books, meaning the regular season is now just around the corner. What lies ahead for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and the league as a whole? We offer oodles and oodles of prognostications, plus our usual helping of nonsense. The highlights:

  • We take a look at the latest NBA headlines. Will recent LO’L podcast guest Royce White get another chance after getting cut by the Sixers? Yao Ming makes a difference in the effort to end shark fin soup. Carmelo Anthony has a heart-to-heart with J.R. Smith about drugs. And the annual GM survey results were released. How much love did the Lakers collectively get from the front office types?
  • We take a deep look at the season ahead. Among our Lakers predictions is a biggie: Will they make playoffs? Which teams will come out of the Eastern and Western Conferences? Who will be the surprise winners come award season next April? All that, and…
  • …even more questions! How will Dwight Howard perform in Houston? Will Steve Nash or Andrew Bynum play more games this season? What should the Lakers use as the slogan for the free T-shirts given out at Staples Center? And much, much, MUCH more!
  • I accidentally invent a NSFW nickname for Nick Young.
  • Time for some #AAK! Who would we switch faces with if possible, ala “Face/Off?” What would be our career choice if not sports journalism? Given the choice between rescuing either our parents, our spouse or a busload of children from impending death, who would each of us save?
  • And finally, Sasha Vujacic has officially launched his own wine, along with the most unintentionally funny wine website ever.

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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