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  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:09 PM on July 6, 2020 Permalink |  

    “We move through stormy weather, we know that our days are few, we dream and we struggle together, but love will carry us through.” -Trey Anastasio, from the song Drift While You’re Sleeping off the album he composed for his dear friend who died of cancer entitled Ghosts of the Forest. I’ve had this on a lot lately. Sad album, really, but then these are some sad times.

    In a time where so many of us can’t be bothered to do a simple thing like wear a mask in public, when more of us will die…needlessly…as a result of that choice and the length of this pandemic will only increase. It will not disappear without the work. A jump shot doesn’t appear overnight, it’s honed, an album isn’t written in a day, life doesn’t improve with the rising of the Sun. Not without the work it doesn’t.

    So if you believe in the words of the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, the Qur’an or if you’re an OG Sun worshiper it really doesn’t matter to me. I have no use for any of those words or conveyances of human experience. If they bring you comfort, joy and purpose than I tip my cap to you for I have ventured down all of those paths to some degree or another and found them all both too similar and, more importantly, not for me.

    I do believe in humanity, that the good in each of us can be coaxed to shine brighter than the bad. That philosophy has never been more put to the test than during this crisis. After 9/11 we came together, after Pearl Harbor we came together, it can be done. It doesn’t take an outside force, power or majesty of any kind: it only takes you. We need you, all of you, we don’t move forward by leaving people behind.

    There is a tradition of military service in my family that skipped my father and I. My grandfathers served in the US Navy & Coastguard during WWII, we can trace our family roots back to when we crossed over from Europe prior to the Revolution. I have a direct ancestor who fought for the North (Oney F. Sweet, someone in the family published his Civil War diaries called the What The Private Saw. If you’re still into books of non-fiction and curious about what life was like during the 1800s it’s a really interesting read, he ended up in Long Beach, CA in a house a couple of blocks from where I ended up starting a theatre company. Yup, life is weird like that). That military tradition has always made me want to bring people along rather than leave them behind, that strength is important but restraint is what brings peace to the land, that rules are there to save your life.

    I’m not leaving any of you behind if I can help it. Help me to do that by checking in once in great awhile. Disagreements are a part of what we are, no getting around it. frankly, i wouldn’t ever want to. Debate is the spice of life and I dig me some flavors. Feels empty round here without mud and tate, can’t help but feel like they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. So while the NBA prepares to enter into The Bubble and largely cut themselves off from the rest of humanity I urge you not to do the same. Pop on by and say ‘hi’. Hippy rant over.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:59 PM on July 2, 2020 Permalink |  

    NBA discussing second ‘bubble’ for non-playoff teams in Chicago 

    Wow. A second Bubble in Chicago for the 8 non-invitees? Those markets must be-a-clamoring for games to make up losses, ensure pay checks, get work in. Interesting stuff…


    • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:00 PM on July 2, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I love this idea. Not only will the teams make their 70-game TV contracts and the players get paid, but it will also give the rest of the players a platform to support Black Lives Matter.

      There should be some prize to incentivize the teams not to turn this into the Tank Bowl. Make it a tournament. Maybe extra ping pong balls for the winner.

      This could give life to my idea of splitting the second half of the season into an ‘A’ and ‘B’ leagues.

      Even more important, while nobody has considered deploying bubbles for the regular season, the NBA and NHL have an issue the NFL and MLB don’t have, which is their sports are played indoors.

      Should the pandemic still be raging late into fall, the NBA could be looking for ways to play games and the bubble might be its best option. Let’s see how the players adjust to bubble conditions. Making the bubbles big enough and breaking the season into halves could be a possible solution to play a new normal for regular season basketball. Or baseball in a safe warm weather bubble.

      Hell, the dystopian future for America could have cities in bubbles. Europe is trying to create its own bubble and Australia has already done it.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:25 AM on June 24, 2020 Permalink  

    Pretty Fluid Situation 

    Trevor Ariza was the first player to decline to play in the re-started NBA. Choosing instead to spend time with his 12 year-old son during his custody window. Avery Bradley was next choosing to stay with his family outside the NBA “Bubble” mainly because a member of his family was high-risk and whether he didn’t want to increase the risk of exposure or the unlikelihood of him clearing the medical requirements the choice was the same: Keeping family at the forefront.

    Mongo said it pretty aptly a week or so ago. Something along the lines of the optics of the NBA Bubble being problematic. Stuffing a bunch of mainly African American athletes into a small, confined and controlled area (no matter the number of stars the hospitality rates) in order to entertain the country, make money for a primarily white-owned league and how that frames up against the current nation-wide push back against racial injustice,

    Now we’re seeing a different side to the reality in which we live. The idea that, in order for an athlete to be able to perform, be compensated for his time and effort, and compete they may have to make a choice like few other professions can even conceive of: willfully separate yourself from your life in order to play a game. Family, friends, businesses, hobbies. All of it, any of it.

    I honestly am pretty proud of both Ariza and Bradley. The pressure to sublimate yourself to this process must be tremendous, both on an internal and personal level as well as a professional level. You’re choosing one family over another. I could never even attempt to put a number on the number of times I’ve heard the phase “the NBA family” in my lifetime. But the idea of the NBA taking precedence over somebodies true family has been thrust into the spotlight now.

    There is no answer to this question except for the one that each and every player comes up with. Just these two examples reveal, or at least I hope it would reveal, the true complexity of this decision. We don’t know the challenges that the people we see every day are going through. This is true of all life, you pass by somebody and they are just a face moving on by. But all of ’em have a life, challenges, choices.

    Yeah, yeah the Lakers just freed up a roster spot, Dwight might still sit this out, plenty of players out there could, as well. The reason ought not to matter. Because of the nature of what the NBA Bubble is. It’s certainly a form of voluntary, paid, incarceration. What that actually means really has yet to be determined as the players have yet to enter the Bubble. But the concept is so epic it not only warrants capitalization but will likely define how professional sports function for the foreseeable future.

    Crazy times in so very many different ways. I’m not talking about politics, although it is certainly a factor (the Sports Illustrated article magicman linked to the blog down yonder is worth a read) but the raw humanity of it all. For me, having basketball back used to feel important, like something that would improve my life in some small way. Now? Now…

    Now I don’t know. I really don’t. The layers of the onion, once peeled,can never be put back and the tears the peeling generates are as real as anything else in this life. I have no doubt the NBA will return and I am now quite certain that it will be without some of it’s brethren. I think I’ll still enjoy watching it but I’m not 100% certain. It’s not about who is getting what minutes for this reason or that or who will get signed to replace who and why (and I don’t aim to minimize those discussion or debates, just venting/emoting a bit here) but rather about the sacrifice the player who is absent is making in the name of family. Or for a cause. Or for whatever reason that is important to that human being.

    Be well and stay safe, Lakerholics.

    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 1:34 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      South Carolina and Florida are seeing steady 5,000 cases a day.

      This whole thing is so precarious…it’s a high wire act over a black holes while blind folded.

      I think most of us, have found, we’re not missing it as much as we would. That’s a new world too. People realizing they don’t need artificial stimulation to get through the day.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 1:38 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hey Seannieboy! Always love your thoughts and insights! Hope your are doing well. Wife and I are trying to be smart and stay safe until the Pros find a treatment or vaccine. : )

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 6:24 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Ditto, friend. Feel free to get my email from Tom. Let me know how you’re doing ok?

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 1:45 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        At least it’s mandated now to wear a mask in FLA.

      • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:27 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “This whole thing is so precarious…it’s a high wire act over a black holes while blind folded.”

        While being chased by a tiger…

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:42 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There’s too much money at stake for the both the league and the players. If they cancel the season, the networks cancel the TV contracts, the NBA uses Force Majeure to void the CBA, and both sides lose millions of dollars. They will make adjustments, expand the bubble, and throw money at Disney World employees to make the plan work. We’re going to see basketball so get ready to binge with games all day to finish the regular season.

        • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

          Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 4:14 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Honestly I am in a strictly “we’ll see” holding pattern on a lot of outside the house things these days. Since there’s not a lot of enforcement behind ‘wear your mask’ advice and since the Federal government is likely going to declare the state of emergency over if the signals the White House is sending out are true that will severely hamper the medical profession in terms of being able to even keep up with known cases. They just pulled funding for testing so now we’re going to back a world where anyone can have it, anywhere and that’s just not a smart way to combat a virus.

          The Bubble will only be as strong as it’s weakest link. There are already more players showing up as positive before going in and that’s not accounting for staff or family. If a significant percentage of players test positive inside the Bubble this will change very, very quickly. Like the title says man: Pretty Fluid Situation.

          Put it another way, I don’t think it matters how much flexibility the league gives to teams to plug roster holes. It will take a very small number of positive cases to shut it all down. The owners can scream and holler all they want but it won’t change the situation or the reality that there a grip ton of mitigating factors involved.

          In terms of “throwing a bunch of money at Disney” that’s a lot of coin. Easy to type on a blog, harder to sign off onthe dotted line. It’s not my money so I choose not theorize on how the owners will choose to spend it. But let’s say a few major stars choose not come into the Bubble? Say another few test positive while inside and suddenly who’s really watching anymore? Playoff match ups of J.R. Rider coming out of retirement to face off against newly rehabbed Boogie Cousins isn’t going to drive ratings up. It might be about as bad as replacement players in MLB a couple decades ago.

          I think they will certainly try to make this work, regardless of who goes in. How it ends…different question altogether. Might see Frank Vogel suit up against Miami Heat Assistant coach #4, lol. Speaking of coaches, I don’t think we ever got a conclusive statement on who’s allowed in? So many “ifs” out there…

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:26 PM on June 24, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Only three players have opted out so far, Jamie. Long as the players want to play and get paid, the league is going to stick to their plan to resume the season. We will likely see players test positive, maybe several on a team, but looking back at the earlier situations where teams had positive tests, we had very few cases of groups of players on same team testing positive. Team and peer pressure to stay in the bubble, socially distance, and wear masks is going to be important. It could be the difference in winning a championship. I would be shocked if we do not have basketball.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 10:57 AM on June 20, 2020 Permalink  

    Moving Foward Together 

    Happy Juneteenth y’all.

    Though it’s not a festive date it’s one that should be remembered annually and given the same due as any of the boozy holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo) and ought to hold the solemnity imbued in religious holidays (Easter, Christmas) but instead, not surprisingly, has been pretty much buried by mainstream America until this year. Whether it was the Watchmen series on HBO or the events of the last few weeks that made you aware (or if you’re one of the few white Americans like myself that had the benefit of an extremely liberal AP History professor in high school) that hipped you to this, the last legal day of slavery in America than all I can say is “welcome.”

    As we try to move forward as a country it feels like there are always anchors attached to Uncle Sam’s legs, iron chains dragging him down and back to a comfortable way of behaving, mainly for white people. Minorities, particularly the African-American community has borne the weight of our comfort for decades and it’s well past time for that to stop. Some folks of the Caucasian persuasion have a difficult time both acknowledging racism in general (often by stating such vanilla flavored things like “I don’t see color, I just see people” which I am in all honesty guilty of as much as anyone) or, more problematic, that they don’t understand how they benefit from white privilege.

    You’ll hear it come back at you something like this: “I get stopped by cops, too!” “They already get Affirmative Action!” “We can’t just change our society!”. Except that we can. While there will always be the knuckle-dragging white minority among us it is on the rest of us white folks to buck up and drag them right along with us. We have to stop not seeing color and start seeing racism. Marginalization of this issue has brought us to where we are today. Our fellow human beings who are possessed of a different amount of Melanin in their bodies need us to help them. They cannot do it alone, we need to get off the sidelines.

    So, if you’re like me (white, wanting to see some basketball, a generally friendly kinda dude) than you have a choice today. Stay home and hope that everyone else does the lion’s share of work for you and you get to continue on in your own little bubble of privilege, or you can get out there an help. You don’t have to be anti-cop, you don’t have to be liberal or even moderate, you have to want to help and you have to understand that you are as much a part of this problem as a police officer who uses a choke-hold to extinguish the life if a human being for no good reason but their own hate and insecurities. Maybe not to the same degree as that cop, but certainly not absolved of being a part of what holds society back. Today is the day.

    In V is for Vendetta the slogan is “Remember, remember the fifth of November” and that will come. Your vote this Fall will be a key contribution to trying to improve this situation. But we can show solidarity in the days, weeks and months that stretch between now and then. I’ve recently started doing musical sets from my garage where I’ve raised some money for the NAACP. I’ll be doing the same today for my local BLM chaoter. I’d rather be out protesting but with a wife who is high-risk for COVID-19 and a 2 and a half year old I need to also consider the safety of my own family. So I’m searching for my own way to contribute. It’s a struggle of it’s own, but it pales in comparison to the struggle of our brother’s and sister’s of color. That’s the point. This won’t be easy.

    Whether the NBA comes back or not kind of doesn’t matter, right? We’re learning that society is going to need to get better at something it’s been generally terrible at since the dawn of time: compromise, finding common ground, and growing up together with the safety and well-being of us all in mind and not just the few or the individual. A grand society, as they say. It won’t happen soon, probably won’t happen in some of our lifetimes. But it sure as shit will never happen if we don’t get up off of our asses and try. If the NBA players feel they can better contribute in a way that doesn’t involve a hardwood court or a basketball, that is their right. Their agent and NBPU reps will illuminate them to the risks and they will make a personal choice whether or not to play.

    You may disagree with me on all of that. That’s fine, it’s your right as a human being to have an opinion and that’s mine. If you find it annoying, inspiring or naive I welcome your comments below. I take no umbrage with disagreement. We cannot legislate hate away, I am fully cognizant of that fact. But we can legislate better ways of policing our citizenry, we can force our government to label white supremacy groups as terrorists, we can elect people who understand that just because there is a movement called Black Lives Matter it does not detract or subvert your own life. It’s simply revealing the reality that a disproportionate level of violence is generally directed at one community in America and beyond. We can do more.

    So celebrate Juneteenth peacefully, wear your masks if you take to the streets and cherish your loved ones, your family and your friends. Let’s try and all grow up a little bit together. You’re all wonderful people and this post is not meant as an indictment but rather as a call to action. I got love in my heart for all of you. If we end up solving this I honestly feel like we can solve anything as a society and as the human race. Sesame Street sums it up perfectly, if a bit glibly:

    Go America.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:23 AM on June 20, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am aware that yesterday was the official Juneteenth holiday, btw. But it took me a little longer to get this put together in a way that I wanted it to come off, so it’s a belated well wishing.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:23 AM on June 21, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Outstanding post, Jamie. Well said and spot on. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort.

      I agree completely that Juneteenth should be a national holiday. One of the silver linings to all the racial injustice plaguing our country and the world today is the increased awareness people seem to be taking to heart. I just hope we see the promise sprouting up everywhere transform itself into sustainable impactful change. We’ll never eliminate racism, just like we will never eliminate viral pandemics, but we can control it and prevent it from becoming embedded in our laws and institutions and poisoning young people’s hearts and souls.

      The comments made by Dr. Karida Brown, whom the Lakers hired as the team’s director of racial equity and action, about the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist really resonated with me. That is the kind of move that makes me proud to be a Lakers fan and show the kind of progressive corporate leadership we need to see more of from American companies. It’s a distinction that speaks to why and how systemic racism has been allowed to grow and flourish in our society. It’s the implicit racism that too many people in this country tolerate so that we end up with a racist president and a vice president who, while meeting with black religious leaders, actually refuses to state Black Lives Matter.

      In the grand scheme of life, you are absolutely correct that whether or not we see basketball again is meaningless compared to the great promise of reform we see happening everywhere in this country and around the world. It’s important that we don’t lose perspective about that. I truly believe great things are afoot for our country. We are seeing huge majorities – three fourths of all Americans – for the first time I can remember agreeing on a wide range of important things, like Black Lives Matter, people should wear masks, people should be able to vote by mail, we need better and less expensive health care, we need to take better care of our planet. While I want to see the Lakers win their 17th NBA championship, I would trade that in an instant for any of the hopeful things on that list. It’s great to see most of America finally waking up and demanding change.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:04 PM on June 14, 2020 Permalink  

    5 Things Repost: Why black NBA players should not refuse to play in Orlando 

    I replied to an LT post earlier but it feels relevant to the mood so here it is re-posted.

    The sentiment I’m agreeing with is that this is an important decision for players in regards to them sitting out. The rest, I feel, is obvious.

    I agree with the sentiment but disagree that it would somehow take away or fully distract from what is going on.

    First off, it’s just the NBA and it’s going to be concluding it’s season, not starting it. Television, movies, and other forms of entertainment never went dark. The other major sports will start up and have full seasons. You’re one tiny piece in a giant mosaic of entertainment and not playing won’t change much of anything.

    Second, not all the players have the resources that the Dwight’s and Kyrie’s have. There are more players that will never even sniff a max contract than have signed one by a huge margin. Additionally on this point any player can choose not to play but it sounds like the Dwight’s and the Kyrie’s don’t want to go it alone but want the cover (excuse?) of the whole NBPA to justify their choice. That’s selfish and cowardly.

    Third, I refer back to something i said yesterday. With no “home court” or fans is it not a viable option to at least discuss with the league and the owners the idea of having a presence of BLM? Could there not be guests on the air like Cornell West or family members of those affected by police over-reach? Perhaps these topics were broached and quashed but I haven’t heard about it yet and feel like it’s a direction worth pursuing.

    Fourth, I still feel, strongly, that playing offers every player the largest platform from which to put the issues they care about front and center. Writing names on sneakers, screaming the names of people after big plays, talking about in post game interviews is just a different form of keeping your foot on the gas pedal. Part of turning America around is showing that it can be done on the clock. Our society is based on people showing up to work; the pandemic has changed that, not racial injustice and to conflate the 2 is both wrong and potentially dangerous.

    Fifth, this won’t just effect the sport now. This will do damage into the years beyond. Whether anyone likes it or not the NBA, and all professional sports, is about money. It’s number one on the list of things that drive the sport. It’s why owners buy teams, it’s why the players got locked out a few seasons ago, it’s why forcing the league to use the FM clause in the current CBA (thus destroying it) will echo on into the future and possibly deny vets like Dwight the chance to ever suit up again. For Dwight who has a pile of money and will certainly get a job based on basketball somewhere it’s not such a big deal, for the guys who hang on in the league and depend on those tiny deals they eke out it’s nothing short of career suicide.

    Yeah, 5 Things. I know. It was intentional. Bottom line, my opinion has zero affect on any of this. It’s just how I feel and I am fully cognizant of that fact. it may sound like I want to force the players to play but nothing could be further from the truth and in fact I sympathize with their plight. They are certainly spokes-folk and leaders within their respective and global communities. That’s a heavy burden and one not to be simply shrugged off. But I also feel like the players aren’t grasping the full ramifications of their choice to walk away at this juncture with the re-opening basically on track…except for the players. The optics are terrible and won’t help their cause in any way.

    It’s a big choice and it sounds like the league has provided the individual players the option not to play. There’s no way that plays out in the media as “Hero NBA players walk away from the sport to Tweet about racism!!!” It will be framed as “Millionaires quit to stay at home and play on their phones” and that will end up being the true tragedy in all of this. Good intentions are great, but acting smartly is better.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 7:41 AM on June 7, 2020 Permalink  

    It's Happening! 

    I for one cannot wait for basketball to resume. While there are still some details to iron out the NBA is leading the way in the post COVID-19 world of sport. Unlike baseball (which appears to be self-sabotaging themselves in a way not seen since the 90’s) who can’t agree on their version of the BRI (although in this case the ‘B’ stands for baseball) or the NHL (still hashing out the specific parameters of return) or the mighty NFL (simply hasn’t started yet and still many questions to be answered) the NBA and the NBPU have come to a basic understanding that sport can help in these times.

    As the pandemic has drug on and in the face of, shall we say, a mixed approach in each state to dealing with it the NBA has wisely chosen a specific site (Orlando) in which to conclude the 2019-2020 NBA season. As our understanding of how the virus works has grown the parameters of returning to sport has pretty much worked itself out and, additionally, the idea that risk can be eliminated has slowly been cast aside. Without a vaccine, and maybe even with one, there will be no eradicating the virus. No return to normalcy.

    Having sport, even in the mutated fan-less environment we’ll soon get to experience, will be good for the human soul. I think I’ve watched every ‘Lakers Compacto’ offered on Spectrum Sport Net (it’s a whole game compressed into a 48ish minute format), Timeless Lakers and checked the news daily for blog posts (which I’ve been reading but laying low in the weeds so thanks LT and magicman for keeping the flow flowing) or news on the resumption if play. In short, I’m jonesing for it.

    So it will be nice to see the Lakers and the rest of the NBA conclude the majority of it’s season and compete for the Larry O’Brien trophy. It will be cool to see LBJ face off against the rest of the league trying to win that trophy once again. The rest will be good for nagging injuries, bad for continuity and flow. It’ll probably be a little rough to start. It’ll get better. It’s already getting better. If the Lakers win it all, it’ll be the best we can hope for in these dreary times. Well, that and a vaccine and some societal progress.

    Stay safe and be well Lakerholics!

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:27 PM on June 7, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Jamie, I agree 100% that the NBA has done the best job of any of the professional sports in establishing consensus and a realistic plan on how to resume the games. The NBA has the best commissioner and players association leadership. A model for how professional sports should be done. Owners and players almost always in sync, unlike MLB and NFL.

      I’m so looking forward to games again that I don’t care if there aren’t any fans or if they pipe in crowd noises or whatever. I just want to see the Lakers play again. I’m even fine with the model the league and players agreed upon. I would like to see the league allow the teams to import their courts to maintain at least some version of home court advantage. Seeing the Lakers playing on their purple and gold court and shooting at their home court hoops for their supposed ‘home’ games would be sweet.

      One thing to watch is the rules for replacing players who might test positive. I think it makes sense for the league to expand the roster to include two-way players as well as maybe expanding the total roster to 17 players with 15 active players. There will almost surely be guys who test positive, maybe even multiple players on teams considering they’re close contact. We might see some strange lineups by the time we get to the Finals. Lakers going to need to wrap LeBron and AD in double thick bubble tape.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:14 AM on May 23, 2020 Permalink  

    Patrick Ewing tests positive for COVID-19 

    Wishing Patrick, and everyone suffering from this, as speedy a recovery as possible. Sad news…

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 1:17 PM on May 16, 2020 Permalink  

    The Benefits of Time Away 

    Since the NBA hit the PAUSE button on the season back in March there has been a general bemoaning, myself included, that the Lakers were derailed in one of the best overall season’s we’d seen from the team since the halcyon days of Kobe Bean Bryant. LeBron was masterful, often on both ends. Anthony Davis was as advertised, maybe even a little better on defense than I expected. Dwight Howard had re-discovered his joy for the game and flourished in a secondary role. The role players were starting to vibe with what the team was trying to do, always the biggest hurdle for an NBA team.

    But humanity has always done one thing consistently other than shoot itself in the collective foot and that is to find the silver lining in the disaster. No crying over spilled milk, as the saying goes. So, with that in mind, let’s look at 5 ways (just to stick with my theme for what it’s worth) the could actually benefit from some extended rest.

    1) Overall health. This seems to me the most obvious. LeBron had been resting the groin every few games, AD was banged up all season with nagging injuries, Avery Bradley had suffered some minor injuries and Danny Green had been through a long, grueling playoff series the summer before and several over the course of his career. The NBA athlete is a finely tuned machine and getting a chance mid-season to change the tires, oil and do some overall maintenance isn’t exactly the worst thing should the season resume in some fashion. Less impactful if the season gets cancelled, admittedly, but not without worth. The con to this is the same benefit is applied to every team not solely to the Lakers.

    2) Finding serenity. Let’s not mince words on this one: this season has been bat-shit crazy from minute one. Like magicman eluded to in his post the other day there have been three world-shattering events crammed into this Laker season. While it’s true the entire league felt the impact of the Chinese kerfuffle the Lakers were one of a handful of teams in country and LeBron, and to slightly lesser degree, AD are both spokesmen for the players and the League. To be honest, being a Laker magnifies everything. Add on minor things like Kyle Kuzma getting a big payday cancelled and that was a rough way to start a season. Next up was Kobe and Gigi’s tragic passing. Again, while the entire NBA felt that shock wave, it hit first and hardest in Los Angeles. Again, the Lakers were masterful in handling that on and off the court. But the one thing no team could avoid was COVID-19. No matter how you feel the American and subsequently planetary response to that has been it’s hard to imagine a way the NBA could have avoided at least pausing the season and causing disruption. How they move forward from this will determine how well the Lakers have a chance to handle it and raise a banner.

    3) Assessing the team’s on court play. Again, a benefit extended to every team. But Frank Vogel and his staff have proven adept at adding mid-season wrinkles to what was a simplistic offense to start, getting guys on the same page defensively and adapting to what the opposition throws at them as an adjustment. I like our coaching staff getting some time to look at how this was all working and possibly adding some interesting takes on what worked throughout the year.

    4) Reminding us of what’s important in life. In some ways all the hardship the Lakers and the NBA had endured in point #2 might have best prepared them as a sporting enterprise to deal with this. Their season had already started, they’re the sport with the most skin on skin contact outside of maybe soccer and how they finish their season will inform MLB and the NFL how to proceed with their own seasons, respectively. The NBA was expecting a financial hit and preparing for such a scenario because of the Tweetcident. The NBA had already had a game cancelled on account of the Bryant tragedy. While these thing pale in comparison to the havoc COVID-19 has wreaked on the season they did get some wee practice run in. Here’s hoping they can find a harmonious way of compensating the athletes, ensuring the franchises stay stable and keeping the health of the league in a place where it can re-grow from this tumultuous season.

    5) Remembering what you love. Family, friends, places you find familiar and comfort in and the beauty of the game. Having the Jordan/Bulls docu-series, The Last Dance, has been a nice way of seeing how all of the components of a championship team need to be forged. Well, the Lakers have gone through some heat on and off the court. Heat that has, hopefully, tempered our steel finer than any other team out there. They’ve also had a great time re-connecting with their personal circles in a way they often don’t get to. Hopefully that allows them to be at peace with some time away should the NBA finish the season in remote locations. One thing this has re-taught me is how fragile and wonderful each of we humans can be. But also how petty and insipid. We need to keep fighting for the wonder and beauty.

    So here’s hoping that, not only does the NBA season resume but that some lessons can be learned when we come out on the other side. That we can actually grow from a tragedy rather than let the failings of a small few define us. That we can speak our truth without pettiness. But, honestly, all of that is likely a fanciful lark and I should content myself with the resumption of life in a somewhat normal way. But, in my opinion, if we come out of this unchanged then that will be the true tragedy of it all.

    Go Lakers.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:34 PM on May 16, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The best ‘5 Things’ yet, Jamie. Very eloquently spoken and even well edited. Despite everything, there’s a lot we as a country, as Californians, and as Lakers fans have to be grateful for and I think you did a wonderful job listing five of the biggest reasons for us to be optimistic. I’m with you all the way on all five of the reasons you listed why the Lakers could benefit from this extended rest.

      Sometimes it takes tragedy to remind ourselves of all the good fortune in our lives and to see and appreciate the silver linings rather than focusing on the darkness and disappointment that always looms and threatens. I like seeing this version of Jamie Sweet. The hell with gloom and doom. I will die believing in karma and that good will prevail. The season will resume and the Lakers will win their 17th NBA championship.

    • Buba

      Buba 11:26 PM on May 16, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wow, what a wonderfully written “5 points” Jamie. Well said. You got my 5 stars rating on this hands down. Well done.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:47 AM on April 14, 2020 Permalink  

    @LT – I don’t see the old Press It tool, anyone else having that issue? I know we’re closing in on the new site and all so no bother if it’s gone for the time being. I was looking to post an article about Masai Uriji wherein he gushes about Adam Silver’s foresight and leadership prior to the closure of the league on COVID-19.

    If a corporate entity like the NBA can see it coming and understands the writing on the wall but the government of the ‘greatest’ nation on the planet is still acting like this is just a temporary thing you’re in trouble. Big trouble, and not the kind you can call Kurt Russell to come and fix.

    Also, the Chinese Basketball Association pushed it’s re-opening back until July. At the earliest. They’re at least 2 months ahead of us in their timeline so all that tells me is we won’t be seeing major sports in the US of A happening for the rest of the year. New York Times is saying large concerts and public gatherings should be put off until the Fall, at the earliest.

    Buckle up folks. This ride is just getting started.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:38 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I completely forgot about Press It, Jamie. I used to use that all the time and then switched to posting Tweets because of them having images. I will check to see how it works with the new site. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 1:47 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Quiz time: I have not met one of these, who ya think?

        David Sedaris-Author
        Kevin Love
        Mike Love-Beach Boys
        Joan Jett
        Dave Winfield

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:36 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Mike Love

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:44 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            DJ. run into a few famous people by accident over the years.
            Which one of these did I not run into in person?

            George Lucas
            Linda Ronstadt
            Willie Shoemaker
            Bill Walton
            Huey Lewis
            Gail Goodrich
            Susan Sarandon

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 3:41 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink


            • LakerTom (Publisher) 4:04 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              Nope. Met her and her boyfriend at Thorneycroft’s Tonsorium, now defunct but once famous barber shop in Mill Valley run by Tommy Thorneycroft, a best friend bass player friend of mine who cut the boyfriend’s hair. And mine for over thirty years. RIP Tommy.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 7:16 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              So cool. SS?

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:46 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              Nope, ran into her in a women’s designer shop in London. She shared a single large dressing room with my wife and a friend. Very beautiful and cordial. Been one of my favorites ever since. There were many unisex restrooms in London then and I remember wishing there were unisexs dressing rooms.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 7:22 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Nope, K Love. Met his Uncle Mike at a BB concert. : )

            • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:47 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              Joan Jett. Not your type of music.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 8:03 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              Cool on SS. No, I have not met K Love. Even have a pic with me and Joan! I think you will think this is kinda cool that among hundreds, I have seem The McGuire Sisters (Yep all 3)., Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, ELO, Three Dog Night (all 3) together early), Dianna Ross, Temptations, Megan Trainor, Taylor Swift, Eagles (very early) and the list goes on. Basically every type, but I guess pure Rap. Can I count my son seeing JZ, Lol!

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 8:04 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink

              PS-And sweet sweet Linda Ronstadt, didn’t get to meet her though!

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:22 PM on April 13, 2020 Permalink  

    Man, feeling some big time sadness for Karl Anthony-Towns and his family. His Mom passed away due to COVID-19 complications. Funny thing about disease, don’t care whether you’re rich or poor, religious or atheist, color of your skin or what your job is. It just does it’s thing, replicating itself quickly and efficiently. I’d like to say we’ll hear fewer of these stories going forward, doesn’t feel like we’re there, yet…

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 3:24 PM on April 13, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As Dusty sang “Wishin, hoping, and praying” that the Med community comes up with a treatment asap!

    • Buba

      Buba 6:40 PM on April 13, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Very sad indeed. Very tough loss.

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 9:21 AM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wow, first time I heard the news. That is so very sad, poor kid. There are still some who does not take this Covid-19 seriously. This is one is a really bad one, folks. Please keep yourself and family safe.

      The ending is nowhere close. The university I work at are gearing up to move everything online in anticipation that colleges will remain close till the end of the year.

      • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 11:57 AM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        My college, too. Summer classes have all been moved online or outright cancelled.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 11:58 AM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If that’s true, Seely, we’re in a Depression we might never recover from.

        Schools, like FSU, USC, Bama will survive…the other 75-80% of Di 1, 2,3, schools will see their athletic departments dissolve. They won’t survive.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 12:16 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It means sports like Gymnastics, Track and Field and other non-profit programs will be unable to sustain the scholarships. Which means less scholarships and as a result no funding.

          There’s an 80% estimate D-I II III Will face this. That also means Schools will have to leave the NCAA as a voluntary institution.

          Would devastate the Education system.

          And who’s supposed to clean it up? Likely the most ineffectual and scavenger of human misery: Betsy Devos.

        • Seely_Iggy (Director)

          Seely_Iggy (Director) 7:46 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It is very worrying indeed, Seanie. Currently, both my husband and I are able to work full-time. Like you said, established public universities will be fine for the most part and faculty members have made the adjustments to remote teaching. But if this becomes prolonged, other co-workers that are non-faculty may face the effects of staff shrinkage. I’m especially sad for my graduating students who will face a very bleak job market. I didn’t think about the athletic department but now that you’ve mentioned in, that and a lot of other programs that provide for a well-rounded education will be very much affected.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 7:49 PM on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            You’re right about the bad timing for kids graduating right now. We’re going to be in the greatest recession ever with a completely changing priority on how we work. Everybody will need to polish their remote capabilities, starting with interviewing and communication skills. It’s going to be a new world out there.

            • Seely_Iggy (Director)

              Seely_Iggy (Director) 12:24 PM on April 15, 2020 Permalink

              It is indeed a new world and for educators like me, we’re also their mentors and counsellors helping them through this tough times. We’ve lived through other tough times before and overcome them. So this too, shall pass. But I agree with you, a lot of people will need to learn new skills.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:20 PM on April 9, 2020 Permalink  

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:19 PM on April 9, 2020 Permalink  

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 3:18 PM on April 9, 2020 Permalink  

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:00 AM on April 3, 2020 Permalink  

    R.I.P. Bill Withers.

  • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

    Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:21 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink  

    I remember this vividly… Still hope Pau retires a Laker.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:29 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Of course his best game was arguably one of the most important games in all of Laker history.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:39 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      And of course his perfect game from the floor as a Laker.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 12:44 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This game 7 win over Denver ended up being Kobe’s last playoff series win for his career. Pau left that summer as a free agent after he was traded and returned to the Lakers. Jim was in charge, Mitch by his side. Tate and mud were still on the site. Seems like a lifetime ago…

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 12:44 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice stuff on Pau JS!

    • Seely_Iggy (Director)

      Seely_Iggy (Director) 6:14 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I was so so so sad when Pau left. He was one of my favorite players. Kobe and Pau – vino.

    • therealhtj

      therealhtj 6:36 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Pau was nice for 3 years, but whatever happened, by 2011 his heart wasn’t in it for the Lakers. Wish they could’ve gotten something for him, but his salary was too steep for how he was playing at that point.

      • Buba

        Buba 9:23 PM on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think that has to do with too many coaching changes. He took a sharp down turn when D’antonio took over. At some point during that time, he was coming off the bench for a certain stretch of games which took a toll on his confidence.

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