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AK27 is discussing. Toggle Comments
Magic will be a much more vocally involved presence if he were to assume Jim’s position. That’s an Everest sized ‘if’, by the way. Watching and hearing his interview on ESPN today gave me a wholly different take on his words. Stephen A. Smith, that bastion of pure journalism, pre-framed the question with a long monologue about how he, Steohen A, believed Magic should be running things. That an advisor role was not enough, that, to be most effective, and so on and so on in that ‘Stephen A’ style. Then he asked Magic would he be happy and content simply being an advisor and Magic said his bit about calling the shots. If, I say again, if such a role were to be available.
So, due diligence and of course very publicly done, by Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. He’s applying a mild full court press that I think will pull up just short of forcing Jeannie to choose. I think he wants back in on the Lakers big time. Dodgers aren’t his sport, Sparks just won it all, he’s ventured the notion his businesses kind of run themselves to some degree. He needs a new goal to chase and making the Lakers relevant will indeed become his full time job. Which may alienate people who don’t like his Twitter presence. Whatever. It’s Twitter, why are you of the opinion something usefull will be gleaned?
Jim has done himself zero favors. From casting himself as the spendthrift Buss during the lockout and forcing out staff who were tight with Phil he alienated a winning culture from minute one. Like any sport franchise it’s had a decent share of bad luck, some self-generated, and thanks largely to draft picks panning out at least decently they seem to be at least pointed in the right direction if not really going in the right direction. Some would say ‘Jim’s done enough. Got us out of a terrible cap situation, weathered the CP3 fiasco, ran the team during a time of NBA salary structure upheaval and the franchise is still well-regarded around the planet.’ I do not think Jim feels that way, though.
What I wonder is how publicly Jim makes this. This could be nothing more than Jeannie flexing her muscles in the same way Jim does by blind-siding her with basketball moves she learns about on TV. A little “How does it feel, bro?” because there has been no formal offer that I am aware of. Nothing is set in stone. Except, of course, that statue of Magic Johnson leading the break, leading the team, leading the way. Harder to do from a chair in an office, assuredly. But I think Jim tops out at this kind of GM. Back-to-back historically terrible seasons would have been enough for me. Back-to-back general free agent snubbery, that’s a clear sign for an organization like the Lakers. This has now become about what’s best for the business and not what is best for the family.
So we’ll see what, finally, falls out of the mystery tree: Magic the Advisor to Jeannie? Magic the Usurper of Jim’s Chair? Magic the President and GM Ravager (another potential muscle flex, ‘see what you could have had Phil?’)…who knows. Some of it may rest on how the team plays down the stretch. I don’t think Jeannie is too very interested in hanging onto another lottery protected pick at this point, no matter whose name is attached to it (at #3 it is very unlikely to be Ball unless he gets hurt and maybe not even then), can’t say I blame her. I’d rather see us climb a few wins closer to a playoff spot than a lottery ball. But that’s just me.
keen observer, MongoSlade, mclyne32 (Director), and 4 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Best first half all year.
tate793 is discussing. Toggle Comments
Weak second half effort, really only showed up for the first quarter.
This is a good thing. There has been electricity missing from our pitches to free agents over the last few years, that can be gleaned simply from reading comments by the free agents we have pitched or their desire to avoid another boring hourish with Jim and Mitch. Some free agents get pitched and talk about how they ended up spending more time with a GM because of their basketball IQ. We are told, no need to block out that hour, go ahead and take that art class.
I do not think Magic can turn the ship around quickly, rather the he will at least begin to do damage against the perception that this team is run by a clown in a baseball cap who choose not to tell his sister/boss what he’s choosing to do. That, I believe, is the true issue at the heart of all this. Jeannie hears it’s Phil’s job to turn down only to wake up to the nightmare known as Mike D’Antoni. Jim and Mitch set up many coaching interviews only to cancel them all when Jim was awed by Mike Brown’s copious, secret, notebook of defense. Byron gets fired and they go with Luke and all Jeannie can do is say, “Well, I had no idea but I’m glad we’re going in a positive direction.’
To be sure, Jeannie Buss has made a gaffe or two, the bill boards urging a one-foot-out-the-door Dwight Howard figuring most prominently. But since then she has learned to mainly keep her head down save for her annual interview with Kevin Ding. But when the Lakers gave Magic the cold-shoulder when Jim didn’t like him arm-chair quarterbacking (annoying? for the weak-minded and those lacking backbone, yes) they did themselves no favors.
At any rate, Magic gives the Lakers a mega-watt presence that has been lacking in our free agent pitches. While that may not swing the needle to ‘definitely sign’ I think it does move the needle in terms of ‘well, at least they’re trying to do the right thing by the players that made them legendary’.
1) Lazy passes. D’Angelo Russell is public enemy number one. Complicating the issue is that he often gets on teammates for not catching his terrible passes. Not the kind of leadership I think we’d all like to see. But Russell is not the only one guilty of this, given that he generally has the ball in his hands, all the Lakers have thrown plenty of lazy, terrible passes this year. Make the sound, fundamental passes, boys. They’re right there for all of us to see.
2) Lou Williams as PG. Yes, Lou can make plays for others. Yes, Lou can pass and dribble pretty well. No, absolutely no is Lou Williams a PG. Nor should he be shoe-horned into that role considering we have a healthy Huertas and Calderon gathering dust. Lou often dribbles right into a trap (often on the sideline when he slowly dribbles directly into a double-team). He, along with others, too often leave their feet to make a pass when another dribble or two creates the proper angle. Again, Hoops 101 kind of stuff.
3) Mozgov tipping the ball instead of %@#$ing grabbing it with both hands. I cannot count the number of anti-assists Mozgov has given to the opposition but he’s generally good for one every other game. It’s inane because he often has his off-arm free. He simply chooses not to use it. Brandon Ingram is a fantastic example of solid, fundamental rebounding. Timofey should take some notes and learn to go up with two hands.
4) Turnovers in general. This team just gets real over-confident? Lackadaisical? Whatever adjective you’d like to choose, feel free. Regardless, it’s been an issue all season, especially in close (winnable) games. I know we’re trying to get to 300 passes/game, but can’t they also be good, or just decent, passes? That would be totally rad.
5) Brandon Ingram not getting foul calls. This is actually kind of a positive in that it signals that Ingram is attacking despite his slump. The kid is taking it to the hole, getting hammered, and not getting any calls at all anymore. His shooting has certainly gone south for the winter, and one hopes it returns in the spring, and soon; but when he drives to the rim and gets hit he deserves to go to the line just like any other player in the Association.
Love Zubac making the most of it. Loved the team’s general bounce-back game. Everything looked crisper, dare I say practiced? Mozgov will, likely, continue to start through the season. He and Deng are both decent draft day moving pieces. It’ll be interesting to see who finishes strong, who sputters, who establishes a mean. I hope they pass a team or two in some defensive categories.
LeBron James knows when something isn’t right with his team. The first-place Cavs are mired in a midseason slump, so he’s calling on salary-strapped Cleveland to make a move no matter the cost.
Man I remember when the blog was in an uproar last year when we had the “worst loss ever” game against Utah. The coaches were to be FIRED ON THE SPOT!!! The right players WEREN’T STARTING!!!! Our philosophy WAS ALL WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Well, the coach has changed. The philosophy is new. Only thing left over from that garbage era…are the players…hmmmmmm…
I’m with Trollman on this one: get what you can while the getting is good. One thing that is always true ion the NBA: if you can get proven talent for youthful talent that hasn’t been realized you do it.
keen observer, AK27, mclyne32 (Director), and 4 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Ingram has put together a nice string of games and if he keeps this 15 pts, 7 boards and other beneficial stats for the rest of the season, even builds on it…. He might work his way back into that RotY convo.
A lot of guys banged up just means that there is a lot of space to fill. It’s odd that, since we guaranteed Robinson’s deal we’ve barely played and it seems to have taken him out of rhythm. Playing a lot fewer minutes but some of that is Zubac’s ascension, which has also been nice to watch.
Better energy across the board, great to watch.
Solid win, hope D’Angelo is OK.
mud is discussing. Toggle Comments
Last musing of the pregame portion of the evening. Russell is not shooting well from three, lately, and I think it’s mainly because the shots are not coming from the offense. They’re coming off a dribble or when he gets a shred of separation from a screen, but it’s not an open, natural shot. He needs to get back to that inside-out game he had with JR and maybe get back into the post if he has a size advantage. But these quick ‘gotta shoot’ shots are not going to get him back in a groove.