Lakers Won’t Hire Replacement for Magic


Shortly after Johnson’s surprise announcement, Buss huddled with advisers including Pelinka. Kobe Bryant’s former agent joined the Lakers’ front office with Johnson in 2017 when Buss installed two executives with no prior experience in their jobs, but great emotional appeal to Buss herself.

That’s the same type of sentimental thinking that convinced Buss to keep her brother, Jim, and GM Mitch Kupchak in charge several years into the Lakers’ decline — a grace period that Jeanie Buss says she now regrets.

I’m sad to see what’s happening with the Lakers. Unfortunately, it seems Jeanie Buss is making bad decision after bad decision. Some in the media say that it’s because she’s being given bad advice, but I personally feel that robs Jeanie of her responsibility.

Laker fans need to regrettably buckle up for what I feel will be a disappointing offseason.


Jimmy Butler at It Again

Romana Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reporting for ESPN:

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big Three hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and beyond normal player-coach discourse.

I hate to say it, but Jimmy Butler may be the next Dwight Howard: a talented player whose very presence causes the implosion of otherwise good teams. Yes, Butler has a lot more skill than Dwight ever had, but it’s a very similar attitude. A “my way or the highway” type of personality that doesn’t work well with others.

In the NBA, that’s all good and fine when you’re winning or when you’ve established a winning reputation, but Jimmy has neither. Right now, he’s nothing more than a child with just a smidge better than average talent who starts drama everywhere he goes.

Somehow I still like him, even with all the problems he caused in Minnesota. Jimmy strikes me as one of those guys that would be a lot more fun to be around if their definition of masculinity were adjusted. I hope someone who truly cares about him can help with that.


Big Baller Brand to Launch League for HS Prospects as Alternative to College

From the Big Baller Brand Twitter account:

BREAKING: LaVar Ball Launches League That Will Pay Top HS Prospects Up to $10K Per Month & Serve As An Alternative to College

Let me get this out of the way: I don’t like LaVar Ball. However, this feels like great news. The Ball family’s utter disregard for the status quo might be beneficial for basketball players and other athletes.

This league would make sure players are paid to play instead of being exploited by the NCAA. It would radically reduce the one-and-done mentality—where players only play one season in college—and instead give them the financial security to grow and mature before entering the NBA.

Kudos to the Ball family for trying to effect change in a sports industry that needs it significantly.


Jahlil Okafor Hoping for Resolution of His Future With Philadelphia 76ers


In short, the Sixers and Okafor remain in limbo.’s Adrian Wojnarowski caught up with Okafor and Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo to gauge their thoughts on the state of affairs. He reports that Colangelo has dropped his asking price for Okafor from two first-round picks to a first-round pick and a solid player to a second-round pick. Still, the Sixers haven’t been able to work out a trade for Okafor, which is frustrating the big man:

“This is my third year in the NBA, and I know it’s a business. I don’t know if it’s fair or not, but in talking to other people in the NBA, talking to retired players, one thing I’ve heard them say is that what’s going on with me isn’t right and they’ve never seen anything like this before.

“I know it’s business, but in my eyes, I don’t know if it’s good business.”

This is a disappointing situation. I find myself agreeing with Jahlil here, yes it’s a business, but this devalues the player which will therefore affect the offers you get for him. Maybe it’s because I’ve been paying closer attention to this stuff, but I feel like we’ve recently seen executives that are unprofessional.1 I think the Sixers mismanagement of this situation will be harmful for their organization in the long term.

  1. The cases of Eric Bledsoe and Carmelo Anthony are ones that come to my mind. Both are examples of executives not only being unprofessional, but very stupid. Both situations led to mediocre trades—where had they kept their trap shut—they could’ve received better offers. 

LaVar Ball Fires Back at Patrick Beverley After Los Angeles Lakers’ Season Opener


Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball had a quiet statistical start to his NBA career last night, finishing with three points (on 1-for-6 shooting), nine rebounds, four assists, a steal, a block and two turnovers in a 108-92 home loss to the LA Clippers. A good portion of Ball’s struggles could be attributed to the job Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley, a noted defensive stalwart, did in guarding him.

The sports media went crazy saying that Lonzo wasn’t worth the hype after his first game in the league. One game. If that’s not ridiculous, I don’t know what is. What’s funny is the very next night Lonzo had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a win against the Suns.

But let’s be real here. This isn’t about Lonzo Ball. This is about LaVar Ball. LaVar is a moron who cowardly talks trash on behalf of his son. Many players are now gunning for Lonzo because of the idiotic comments of his father. Why would a father do this to his son? Why would he write checks that Lonzo shouldn’t be expected to cash?

Yes, LaVar Ball undoubtedly created a lot of hype around his son and they got what they wanted—being picked by the Lakers—but now it’s time to shut up and let the kid play. He’s a great player and is only going to get better. Let the numbers speak for themselves, and if anyone’s going to talk trash, let it be Lonzo.


Despite 26 From Wiggins, Wolves Fall To Spurs In Opener

Kyle Ratke on the Minnesota Timberwolves Blog:

The Wolves kept it close and it looked like they were turning a corner in the fourth quarter, but they fell to the Spurs in Wednesday’s season opener in San Antonio.

This was a tough first game. Not only did the Wolves start their season being away from home—they were in an arena where most teams lose. The Spurs are an excellent team even without Kawhi and Tony Parker on the floor. LaMarcus Aldridge apparently showed up to play scoring 25 points.

Wiggins, Towns, Teague and Crawford definitely did their part. I’d like to see more points from Jimmy Butler, and I’m sure that’ll happen. But it’s the first game of the season. There’s a lot of games left, and plenty of time for the Wolves to iron out some of these kinks.


Gordon Hayward Injury Casts Pall Over Opening Night

Steve Aschburner on

Five Cavaliers players scattered like roaches bugging out over a light bulb. Several Boston players stood still, crouched low or leaned in, incredulous at what they were seeing. In that instant, the guys over on the Cleveland bench – with the nearest and clearest view of Gordon Hayward’s hideously twisted left leg and ankle – recoiled, turning away in unison as if choreographed.

It looked like the sort of Fred Sanford routine NBA players break out on All-Star Saturday, wincing and staggering in playful reaction to some dazzling dunk. Only this wasn’t theatrics, this was horrific. And their reactions were emotional, and real.

Five minutes into Gordon Hayward’s debut for the Celtics, and he suffered an injury that could possibly be season-ending. Injuries happen in sports, but it’s not everyday you see something like this. I’ve never suffered an injury on this scale, but I’m sure the first thing you think about is whether you’ll be able to ever play again. Thankfully the injury seems to have been a clean break, and he’ll recover just fine.

My heart goes out to Gordon Hayward, and I hope for a speedy recovery.


U.S. Men's Team Out of World Cup

Jeff Carlisle on ESPN FC:

Bruce Arena called it “disappointing.” Michael Bradley referred to it as “a perfect storm.” Omar Gonzalez said: “It’s the worst day of my career.”

No doubt, everyone associated with the U.S. national team is hurting in their own way, but Gonzalez’s comment seemed to crystallize the pain that was a byproduct of the 2-1 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago — a result that, when combined with scores from elsewhere, resulted in the U.S. being eliminated from World Cup qualifying for the first time since the 1986 cycle.

It’s a result that is difficult to process on many levels. But let’s be clear: It’s the most embarrassing defeat in U.S. soccer history and one that will be impossible for this group of players and coaches to live down.

The U.S. Men’s Soccer team is officially out of the World Cup. Now, I’m not going to pretend to know how this whole qualifying stuff works, but every four years this team manages to qualify just to make no impact whatsoever. But they at least qualify.

Interestingly the article calls this particular team “the most talented team in U.S. history,” which ironically serves as an indictment of U.S. Men’s Soccer. The U.S is in the CONCACAF region which is “a massively forgiving region from which to qualify,” and yet here we are. The worst part is it all points to a lack of effort. Qualifying for the World Cup was on the line, and the team couldn’t be bothered to put in work. Even worse, one of the Trinidad and Tobago goals came from a U.S player.

I have an idea: disband the Men’s Team, rename the Women’s Team to just U.S Soccer, and send them. That’s an actual talented team that can handle the big leagues.


Kuzma Showing Lakers Have Another Rookie to Watch

Ohm Youngmisuk:

The 6-foot-9 forward has looked like a potential steal in the draft for the Lakers, who picked him 27th overall with the first-rounder they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets in the D’Angelo Russell-Brook Lopez deal.

While Ball garnered all the attention and won MVP honors at Las Vegas Summer League, Kuzma was a major surprise, as he averaged 21.9 points. 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals and shot 48 percent from 3-point range.

Since Summer League, Kuzma keeps putting up great numbers. At this point, I’m honestly more excited about Kyle Kuzma than I am about Lonzo. That’s not a dig on Lonzo, it’s more about me loving to root for underdogs like this. Here’s a kid that not many had heard about, and now he’s the most talked about player on the Lakers roster. This could be his fifteen seconds of fame, or could be the start of a great career much like another Laker legend who wasn’t picked in the top 5.


Traded Stars CP3, Melo, George Make Debuts

Tim MacMahon and Royce Young writing for ESPN:

A fresh era officially started for three of the NBA’s stars on Tuesday night at Tulsa’s BOK Center, as Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Chris Paul made their preseason debuts for their new teams following offseason trades.

Those three were the headliners in the Houston Rockets‘ 104-97 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Rockets were dropping threes like they were going out of style. They’re going to be a difficult matchup for a lot of teams.1 One thing was for sure, Chris Paul and James Harden looked a lot more acquainted with each other than Paul George and Melo did. It’s obvious the Thunder need more time to build chemistry.

  1. Although it sometimes feels like everyone shoots from the three in the NBA nowadays.