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  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:28 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says Black Protesters ‘Want to Live,’ ‘To Breathe’ 

    Abdul-Jabbar noted that while there are some who are taking advantage of the protests to loot and destroy businesses, the situation is similar to when sports fans destroy property in championship celebrations:

    “Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

    “So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether protesters are standing three or six feet apart or whether a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive. Or whether being black means sheltering at home for the rest of their lives because the racism virus infecting the country is more deadly than COVID-19.”

    “What you should see when you see black protesters in the age of Trump and coronavirus is people pushed to the edge, not because they want bars and nail salons open, but because they want to live. To breathe,”

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:33 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Kareem’s comments are accurate and eloquently spoken descriptions of exactly what’s going on. Maybe the best statement I’ve heard about the truth of what’s happening.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 10:22 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:23 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I join them every morning for my 10 mile ride on my Lifecycle in the garage. :-)

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 10:25 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve found swimming and biking give you a whole body workout as opposed to machines and weights. Just me.

        • Buba

          Buba 6:43 PM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          You are definitely right about biking, mm. I fell in love with biking when I used to live in Holland. Bikes are hugely popular and treasured there. I didn’t even think about owning a car back then. I like swimming, but never had the opportunity to be around water in a while. So, yeah I prefer them than machines weights.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 10:11 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

    I hope all of us are staying home outside of work.

    I’m thinking of my Cali Lakerholics, buba in ATL and others dealing with the vitriol and riots in the streets. Stay safe.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:22 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great point, Sean. Much as I agree with the people on the streets protesting, crowds of people packed together shouting and screaming is exactly how to create new viral breakouts of Covid-19 aside from the obvious danger of getting injured in the violence. Please stay safe and healthy, everybody.

    • Buba

      Buba 6:51 PM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, mm. My family and I are pretty much staying out of trouble. Outside of work, we are always staying home. Just that we all can’t wait for the games to start. Stay safe and keep the posts coming.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:10 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

    Why Doesn’t America Love Us [Too] !!!!???? 

     
  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 9:53 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:25 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s great to see NBA players participating and helping to organize these protests. Hopefully, their presence can help keep the protests under control and prevent any violence.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 9:50 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

    This 👇👇🏻👇🏼👇🏽👇🏾👇🏿 

     
  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 9:45 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:08 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s great to see NBA players actively involving themselves in the movement to protest police brutality and racial inequality in our country. Jaylen Brown leading protestors in Atlanta.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:31 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |
    Tags: , Adam Silver, Los Angeles Clippers, , Milwaukee Bucks   

    The Future of the NBA Is Now On the Line. Just What is Adam Silver Going to Do? 


    Barring a devastating reignition of the coronavirus pandemic, the good news is the NBA is going to resume the season. The bad news, however, is nobody knows what the resumption of the season is going to look like.

    Fortunately, it looks like we’re not going to have to wait much longer to find out exactly how, where, and when the league will resume the season as the Board of Governors will approve plans to proceed this coming Thursday. The league surveyed teams’ general managers whether to finish the regular season with more games, conduct a play-in tournament, or go straight into the playoffs and whether to seed the playoffs or stick with conferences.

    While nobody knows for sure what Adam Silver will recommend, Twitter is flooded with rumors as to what his plan will include. Using that info and common sense, here’s my take on what Silver’s plan might look like:


    What do we know?

    1. The teams are ready to approve the plan commissioner Adam Silver recommends. The owners understand this a challenging time for the league and completely trust Silver to make right decisions.
    2. The season is scheduled to resume on Friday, July 31st, which gives the league time both to prepare to play as well as time to finish the playoffs and offseason in time to start next season on Christmas Day.
    3. Disney World in Orlando appears to be the likely venue for all games to be played to create a controlled bubble where players, coaches, key personnel, and their families can be safely isolated and protected.

    What can we surmise?

    1. There’s a good chance there will be some form of play-in tournament, most likely involving the two teams holding the eighth playoff slot in each conference and the six teams who are within six games of them.
    2. There’s a good chance playoff teams will be seeded 1–16 based on record regardless of conference since five of the six team within six games of a playoff spot are in the West and only one in the East.

    What remains unknown?

    1. Whether there will be additional regular season games to meet the 70-game minimum on team local television contracts since most teams had only played 63 to 66 games before the season was suspended.
    2. Whether playoff rules will be changed so teams can carry two-way players in addition to the 15 players on the roster and whether teams can designate more than the 13 players to be active for games.

    Who wins and who loses?

    1. The winners would be the six teams — Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, Suns, and Wizards — who get a shot at making the playoffs and the Lakers, who will be in a separate bracket from the Bucks and Clippers.
    2. The Losers would be the Grizzlies and Magic, who instead of making the playoffs would now have to participate in an 8-team play-in tournament and the Bucks and Clippers who will be in the same bracket.
     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 9:52 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wouldn’t want to be any of these sports commish. Weight of the world in your right hand and the liability and consequence in the left.

      Hell of a mindfuck.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:55 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There’s a huge contrast between the NBA and the NFL and MLB commissioners. The fact that the owners have pretty much agreed in advance to approve whatever plan Silver comes up with says a lot about their confidence in the judgment of their commissioner. NBA is in good hands with Adam Silver. The NFL and MLB could learn a lot about watching how Silver manages issues in the NBA. Hell, the President of the United States could learn a lot by watching Adam Silver.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:59 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      America is at a crossroads where citizens have to decide what kind of leadership and society they want. Our only hope for grace, civility, and peace to eventually win out over anger, hatred, and despair is for these tragedies to inspire and lead to a new normal for our country and our way of life. Protesting is great but voting is where you make a difference.

      Despite the hate and destruction and visions of a future where the police are more soldiers than protectors, I’ve been buoyed by scenes of protestors trying to protect businesses from being looted, shield reporters from being attacked, and stop hooligans from escalating the violence. I pray these protests will lead to positive change and not more devisiveness.

      Pro basketball is a true microcosm of our society and is facing challenges with the coronavirus pandemic, the inevitable financial collapse accompanying it, and now the racial turmoil that’s been unleashed by the death of George Floyd and other minority victims. It’s great to see NBA players taking a stand unlike NFL players not supporting Kap.

      It’s hard to think about basketball right now but for many of us, the game has been our escape from the harsh realities of day-to-day problems life throws at us. I hope and pray things will cool down and the league will still hold its planned Thursday vote to approve Adam Silver’s plan to resume playing. There’s time to make a point and time to step back.

      It appears that Silver is going to take advantage of the opportunity before him to make major changes in the playoff scheme in hopes of making the rest of the season something that gives fans reason to be excited and optimistic about the future of the league. Everything is going change going forward with old normals leading to new normals.

      The NBA, especially under Silver’s leadership, has always been a model for how players and owners can work together to make their sport better. Let’s hope society can emulate the NBA and find solutions to problems. While we all as fans have our own points of view, I think more than anything, we just want to get back to basketball again.

  • Magicman (Editor)

    Magicman (Editor) 8:32 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink |  

    It was starting to get lighter outside and then it went quiet…Nero keeps playing the same fiddle solo. Sigh.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:26 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nero fiddling while the pandemic rages, the economy collapses, and we turn into a police state.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 11:39 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I share your hopes in the late Fall, Tom.

        London on fire now.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:56 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It’s time to do something about racism everywhere, especially in America. No matter how you cut it, the stain of slavery still continues in this country in many ways. Not enough is done to offer equal opportunity and there just is not the generational wealth that buoys up African-American families

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:19 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink |  

    Half GMs Vote Straight Into Playoffs; Majority Support 1-16 Seeds W/O Conferences 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:04 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink |  

    Anthony Davis’ improving jumper will be key to Lakers’ small-ball success 

    JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard have performed admirably in their roles as traditional centers for the Lakers, but in recent seasons, the playoffs have minimized players of their archetype. Despite Davis’ preference to play power forward as often as possible, the Lakers will likely devote their most important postseason minutes with him at the five.

    While Davis missed the potential game winner against Brooklyn, he had become a more reliable 3-point shooter, making 40.5 percent from 3 since January 1. That’s a crucial development in maximizing floor spacing alongside James. And A.D.’s prodigious talents allow Frank Vogel to put him in a variety of situations that accentuate the better attributes of those around him.

    Defenses often choose to play drop coverages against James in pick-and-rolls as they fear his mid-range, pull-up jumper less than other aspects of his game. Davis’ ability to pick and pop provides a viable counter since the defensive big is too far away to recover. He has scored 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting on pick-and-pops since the beginning of 2020, with most of his attempts coming from beyond the 3-point arc.

    Davis’ improving spot-up shooting broadens the Lakers’ options in their off-ball screening game as well. Here, A.D. attempts to set a wide pin-down screen for Danny Green, but Joe Harris positions his body in between them. This is called a “top lock,” which is used to prevent shooters from using off-ball screens, but it’s vulnerable to back cuts. That forces Jordan to hang back in the paint to protect against a layup opportunity for Green. The Lakers know that, so they use that against Brooklyn.

    Davis is a significantly better shooter when his feet are set or with his momentum going toward the rim, and James’ presence allows him to take more of those shots instead of creating for himself. How well A.D. performs on these attempts will go a long way toward determining the effectiveness of the small-ball lineups that the Lakers will need to lean on heavily in the playoffs.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:18 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We keep hearing how JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard have given the Lakers an ‘old school’ center tandem that’s allowed the Lakers to zig while the rest of the league was zagging and there is an element of truth to that statement but as Pete Zayas points out, what really elevated the Lakers’ rise to the top of the NBA in the weeks before the coronavirus caused games to be suspended was the increased small ball minutes played by the Los Angeles Lakers and the 40% 3-point shooting from Anthony Davis.

      The addition of Markieff Morris allowed the Lakers to play far more small ball than earlier in the season. In fact, in the two big wins over the Bucks and Clippers on March 6th and 8th, McGee and Howard combined did not even play half the game. While Neither Davis nor Morris had good 3-point shooting stats for those two games, the fact that the Lakers played over 24 minutes of small ball is a big part of why LeBron and AD were both able to get to the rim much easier than in previous matchups against the Bucks and Clippers.

      Pete Zayas is spot on with his comments about how AD’s long range shooting and playing small are going to be critical needs if the Lakers hope to win their 17th championship once games resume the end of July. It’s also why re-signing DeMarcus Cousins is going to be a top offseason priority for the purple and gold. While McGee and Howard have done a great job, their simple presence on the floor clogs up the middle for LeBron and AD, which is why finding a stretch five to unleash our two superstars is going to be an offseason priority for Rob Pelinka. A healthy Boogie could be the perfect answer for the next year’s Lakers.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:52 AM on May 30, 2020 Permalink |  

    I’m tired of some white people more upset by those protesting racism than racism itself 

    Here’s the interview on CNN by LZ I was talking about in my comment:

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 9:56 AM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s obvious we have two pandemics going on right now. One brand new one called coronavirus and one called racism that’s been with us for centuries and is even more pernicious and deadly. It’s easy to understand the anger and rage but part of the problem right now is those who are trying to weaponize that fury to undermine and discredit the reason and integrity of the protests for selfish and ulterior motives.

      I couldn’t read the damn article because of the LA Times paywall but I just heard LZ being interviewed on CNN where he talked about how so many people only condemn violence when people rebel after an atrocity like George Floyd’s death after ignoring the violence that minorities endure every day in their lives. This must transform into a call for change and the creation of a new and better normal for America.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:16 AM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Just posted the interview of LZ by CNN that I was talking about above. Give it a listen. Not condoning rioting but LZ makes great points. Non-racist vs. Anti-racist. Peace vs. Quiet

    • John M.

      John M. 12:02 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Civil War ended slavery but obviously not racism. The South lost the war but won the peace with the Jim Crow laws. 160 years later, and it rages on. It’s hard for me to see a way out.

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:24 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You’re right that racism is strongly embedded in our society, John. Progress has only been begrudgingly made after 400 years and it’s likely to take a long time to make real progress. It’s doubtful racism will ever go away for good although it can be reduced.

        The only times we seem to make progress is after major societal tragedies like we are seeing right now. All we can do is hope and pray the events going on right now will propel a new normal. Just can’t allow this opportunity to fade away to nothing.

        Sometimes it takes great injustice to finally wake enough people and create the impetus to see changes in the policies we support and the people for whom we vote. We’re ripe for change. Time for new leaders who believe in inclusiveness.

        • John M.

          John M. 3:00 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We seemed to make great strides when a man of color was elected president. The next step was to elect a woman; we all know how that worked out. There are enough people who want equality, there are just too many who don’t, and they are the ones who created the backlash we have now.

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 3:29 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The problem wasn’t electing a woman. It was electing the right woman. Hillary Clinton just had too much baggage and ran a poor campaign. A big part of the problem was also the systemic racism we’re seeing tear us apart right now. Hillary was just too weak a candidate to overcome her baggage and the state things were in. Bad luck and timing.

            Don’t get me wrong, John. I loved Barack Obama but ironically, when you look at the impact of electing him, you could easily argue that it had a negative impact on racism in this country. It unleashed the racists. The Republicans basically did everything they could do to block his agendas and the end result is the entrenched partisanship that has led to Donald Trump and the governmental paralysis we’re enduring today.

            The best we can hope for is that the dramatic pendulum swings we saw that elected Obama and then Trump will make another dramatic change in direction that will elevate the Democratic party and destroy the Republican party. There’s certainly some basis for believing that is more and more looking like the likely outcome from the coronavirus, economic, and racist pandemics now sweeping across our country. We are headed for an entirely new normal. Let’s hope and pray that on net the changes will be positive. That’s what I’m praying for.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:32 PM on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The last thing I will say about any protestors who are participating in protests today is they better damn sure cast their vote on November 4th. That’s when the protest will really count.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:04 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink |  

    NBA likely to finish regular season, then play in tournament, then conference playoffs 

    “We are lining up behind [Silver] on this,” one owner told ESPN on Friday. “The posturing will end. Nothing is going to be perfect for everyone.”

    The NBA has yet to endorse a restart plan, and only one of the four ideas presented on Friday’s board of governors call — bringing back all 30 teams — is no longer believed to be a legitimate consideration, sources said.

    The 22-team plan would include teams that are currently within six games of the final playoff spots in each conference, sources said. New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio would land in Orlando under those guidelines, with Washington joining as the only team within six games of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:28 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So 22 teams would mean 16 who have best records plus 5 teams in West and just 1 team in the East who are within 6 games of playoffs. This is going to be too screwy, Adam. Too weird! Puts a big asterisk on championship.

      So how this would the play-in tournament work for final playoff spots since there would be more teams in West than the Easta? Don’t see how you keep traditional conferences in this scenario? You have 13 West teams and just 9 East teams. That seems to mean you have to end up seeding teams.

      Right now, that would mean #1 Bucks and #4 Clippers in same bracket and #2 Lakers and #3 Raptors in same bracket. That’s a benefit for the Lakers only having to beat one of the Bucks or Clippers.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 11:56 AM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Raps would play Denver as well. That’s a really interesting matchup. I might favour the Raps yet Denver has a similar squad. Would need a deeper dive.

        Bucks won’t sweep Clippers. Won’t bomb them by 30 each win, they will beat them. Having Giannis, Brook plus a potential Marvin Williams, forces Doc to leave one of Lou, Bev or Reggie Jackson off the floor. That’s a Bucks advantage.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:01 PM on May 31, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Frankly, I find myself divided over the 1-16 seeding, Sean. I would love it if it were permanent. Doing it for just this season seems like it would undermine the integrity of the championship even if it might favor the Lakers. Don’t see how if they have 5 West teams and 1 East team added to the playoffs they can NOT seed the playoffs.

          On the other hand, the future of the NBA is going to be dramatically different and this season will always have an asterisk. I do like the mix of great matchups that seeding gives us and maybe everybody will love it so much that they do it going forward regardless of the travel issues. It could make the NBA playoffs even better.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:32 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually like Chris Burkhardt’s proposal:

      I propose the NBA hold two unique playoff brackets when they do return – One for top 16 teams, one for the bottom 14.

      The teams seeded 1-16 will battle it out in a normal, best-of-seven playoff format, with the winner to be crowned NBA Champions as usual.

      However, the unique twist is in the teams seeded 17-30. The bottom 14 teams, rather than pack it up and go on vacation, will battle it out in a tournament of their own – A tournament to decide draft order.

  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:56 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink |  

    NBA Wants to Expand Playoffs in ‘Elaborate Game to Get Zion’ Into Bubble 

     
  • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:42 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink |  

    Adam Silver Said NBA Is Targeting July 31 as Return Date Amid COVID-19 

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:43 PM on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Silver picking last possible date league could resume play, have a complete set of 7-game series plus short offseason for free agency and draft, and then start 2020-21 season on Christmas. That means two months and we might have NBA basketball. I can’t wait.

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