What’s wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers?
Even this Lakers fan can’t blame the nixing of that infamous Chris Paul trade back in 2011 anymore (I still got it in there again though, didn’t I?), but I’ve got issues.
If you thought the last couple of years free agency were bad-were the Lakers lost both big-men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol and failed to attain either superstar LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony-then until yesterdays first July day in free agency you hadn’t seen anything yet.
After all the months and days of speculation that started last season, most of the big deals in free agency-in a league that is the business when it comes to this second season in Summer-were wrapped up in the first 24 hours with the majority of big-names sticking with the teams they opted out of in a days trade (or lack of) that speaks volumes for squad solidarity and loyalty if not for the modern-day legacy of history’s legendary Los Angeles Lakers.
With one of the biggest names in basketball all-time on the last season or two of his All-Star career, Kobe Bryant had to get his recruiting on for the future without him. Sitting next to fellow legend James Worthy and the Laker brass of Mitch Kupchak and Jeanie Buss who he’ll join in purple and gold royalty want his sneakers meet the hook and his jersey meets the rafters. After passing up on elite Duke big-man Jahil Okafor with the second pick in this years draft the Lakers selected small-ball changing of the guard D’Angelo Russell (to form a new big-three of the future with sophomore studs Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle (at least that’s one would-be prolific big-man)), the Lakers where confident they could pick up one…hell even two in free agency, as well as some other big players and positions. The only problem looked to be where everyone would fit in in this new contention ready roster. But what a difference a day makes. It was all good a week ago and all that. After winning the lottery it seems like the Lake Show have now run out of luck.
First there was Pau’s big brother Marc Gasol (originally a Laker draft pick back in the day that was shipped to Memphis in a package for Pau) refusing to sign. Then after whispers of the Chicago Bulls ‘Most Improved Player’ Jimmy Butler wanting to serve a year in Lakerland, he ended up re-upping in the Windy City. Just like amazingly and somewhat unbelievably Kevin Love in Cleveland for a multi-million and year deal after years of the Lakers courting the Beach Boy kid. What a difference a pool-side conversation with the King and a open first-person article to The Players Tribune makes. Love and Butler join other big-names who have signed epic extensions with their franchises, including, Damian Lillard, Goran Dragic, Draymond Green, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Lenoard and Paul Millsap and Brook of the Lopez twins (another Portland big Robin is still on the table). So you can cross all those guys off the list too.
Then to make matters worse yesterday we learnt from the L.A. Times that LaMarcus Aldridge wrote the Lakers off his after reportedly not “gelling” with Kobe and being unimpressed following his meeting with the Lakers. A team that had first dibs for the many franchises forming presentations for the leaving Portland Trail Blazers star. Now you can stop that ‘L.A. to L.A.’ hash-tag trend twitters. It’s for the birds. The only L.A. King in STAPLES looks to be hockey players as this move is put on ice. We wonder what Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine is going to do with that jersey now. It’s not so sugar sweet now, this love has taken it’s toll and got old. To make matters worse the Los Angeles Times have also reported the Los Angeles CLippers’ DeAndre Jordan was left “unimpressed” with his cross-locker meeting with the Lakers, even though Kobe called him up on the phone personally. Have the Lakers not learnt how to put a Power Point together after failing to entice Carmelo Anthony from New York of all places last year? With a highlights package narrated by Tobey Maguire of all Hollywood stars you could choose from. ‘Jerry Maguire’ would have been better. Are the Lakers getting as dated as the old ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy? There’s been two reboots since then. But no Lakers one.
Do they need a lesson in how to treat a player? Have they not learned from losing Pau? A guy that they dangled as trade bait for years even after all the championships he brought in with his own big arrival. Without the power of Pau the Lakers would have been like they are now for all those victorious years in the post-Shaq age (oh, yeah remember how they treated arguably the greatest big-men of all time too back in the day?). Still they only realized this when it was too late and Gasol signed with the Bulls last year for less money (maybe he had a quiet word with Jimmy). Now because of how the Lakers treated Pau, younger brother Marc will never sign with the Lakers. They call that karma.! Were we not just talking about loyalty? The Lakers need to learn what makes each player tick, not just the lashing tongue of their Mamba man. Sure “friends come and go but banners hang forever”! But what happens when there’s no one to look at those banners? Aldridge didn’t like the Lakers lack of basketball focus on their pitch to him as the Hollywood team where talking too much about outside opportunities for LaMarcus. Do they not know this player is a no-nonsense, all-ball sort of guy? Kind of like Tim Duncan. The guy he’ll end up joining and replacing for his own legendary legacy in San Antonio. He’s 30. Not Dwight Howard. Now there’s more chance of him joining the other number 12 in Houston.
Now the Lakers must turn their attention to promising, young Detroit Piston Greg Monroe, but after a meeting that was a non-report will this guy even consider a team were he was their fifth choice for just one position?
We can relate to that Cousins trade now! But still not for all our chips. We may not have any hands left to deal or cards to play!
Don’t even think about LeBron James decision either. Oh well, there’s always Kevin Durant next year…but come on!
At least Washington Wizard Paul Pierce has returned home to Los Angeles. But that too is for the Clippers. You didn’t think the Cali’ born, Boston basketball raised Celtic legend would really come to the Lakers did you? Now the Clippers look to continue to clean out their STAPLES neighbors locker rooms like they have for years, as they are attempting to lure young, versatile big-wing Wesley Johnson. He could follow the Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry likes of young talent the Lakers have wasted and lost as they tried to focus on bigger ones and not the bigger picture. The Lakers look to even lose Lin as the Linsanity of what has been Jeremy’s up and down career looks to return to the New York minute of worldwide wonder and superstar success he had with the Knicks. And we thought Madison Square Garden was where the rotten apple was at. The Lakers now don’t have much of a ticket for right now after the lottery. Their future may be bright, but as of right now it’s all bet on the bruised and beaten body of Bean and the wild card of Nick Young…if they can still deal for Mr. Iggy.
At least they kept Robert Sacre for all the Canadians out there.
Still, it’s sure looking cold in California right now too!
Ottawa BlackJacks select Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach
The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Ottawa BlackJacks basketball team.
The start-up Ottawa basketball professional club named former five-time Canadian University champion Osvaldo Jeanty as the franchise first-ever head coach. General Manager Dave Smart made the announcement on Friday morning following a brief search that always included Jeanty’s name at the top of the list.
“Obviously, Osvaldo and I have had a long history together since he was probably 15 or 14, playing club basketball on the Ottawa Guardsmen to his time at Carleton (as player) and then he was my assistant coach at Carleton”, discussed Smart during the press conference.
“Os and I have worked together from a coach, assistant coach perspective, so I know what he’s about in terms of what his exceptions are, and we’re very much inline in terms of what our expectations are, and he knows how I operate and is comfortable working with me. So I think it’s an obvious fit, it’s and easy fit and we are really excited to start working together and put a team on the floor”, further elaborated the former Carleton Ravens on his selection process.
“It’s the first time he’s called me Osvaldo so many times since I was 15, I’m not really used to it.” a smiling Jeanty opened-up about his longtime head coach and mentor during his introductory speech.
Jeanty + Smart winning combination since the late 1990’s
The duo go back to late 1990’s with Jeanty playing for Smart at the Midget and Ontario Basketball U-19 Provincial teams. Under Smart’s guidance, Jeanty flourished as player helping turn the Carleton Ravens’ basketball program into the powerhouse that it is today.
The Ravens’ won five (2002-2007) straight U Sports men’s basketball championships during their time together as a coach-player combo — with Jeanty earning the Final 8 Jack Donohue championship MVP trophy twice, during his freshman and junior campaigns. A proven winner at all levels, Jeanty turned an outstanding collegiate career into a six year pro career, earning a championship with the Giants Nördlingen of Germany’s ProA league.
Inducted into Carleton Ravens Hall of Fame in 2015 — Jeanty earned an additional two titles as a coaching duo during their three-year (2016-19) stretch.
Both Jeanty and Smart were featured on the cover of the first-ever Canadian Basketball Magazine on March of 2005.
“I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Dave to Mike (Morreale) to the league for giving me this opportunity, also just for the Ottawa community. I’ve been here since I was six-years old and I appreciate what the community has given to me and the opportunity to be able give back to the community that has been so good to me is something that I’m very thankful for. So thank you and I look forward to really bringing a good product out there for the city, for the team and really representing the league the right way.”
As for the type of style and brand of the basketball the BlackJacks expect to play — Jeanty offered a glimpse of the same championship formula that has led to many successful moments between the now general manager and head coach tandem.
“He’s put into my head since I was 15, in terms of the keys to winning championships and I tend to follow the same of idea. You defend, you rebound, you don’t turnover the ball over — but at the same time you have 24 seconds on the shot clock so you want to play as fast a possible while not turning over the basketball.”
The attention now turns to rounding out the remaining coaching staff positions and the complex process of putting together a championship calibre team — that will undoubtedly have it’s sights on establishing an early grip on the proudly Canadian made Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship trophy.
With the addition of Jeanty to the head coaching ranks the CEBL now features two former Carleton Ravens’ players turned bench bosses. Niagara River Lions head coach Victor Raso also won two national championships as a member of the Ravens.
Coincidentally, Jeanty’s head coaching debut will be against Raso as the Ottawa BlackJacks will kick-off the inaugural 2020 season on the road on May 7th against the Niagara River Lions. The BlackJacks home opener is scheduled for May 14th against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.
A Rose For Kuz?
The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.
Now that’s legendary.
As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.
Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.
And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?
Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.
The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.
Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.
So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”
Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?
“This time”…yeah right!
Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.
And then there’s Kuz.
If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?
Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.
30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.
Keep the player. Trade the barber.
Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.
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