Great Scott! Even if it was coming that still happened fast.
This week the Lakers slammed down the pink slip on the desk of their former purple and gold, 80’s Showtime dunk finisher. Ending Byron Scott’s two year tenure as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers which this year culminated in the franchises worst losing season in history on L.A. legend Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour from the NBA.
Byron played his final years in Lakerland during Kobe’s first in 1996, mentoring him off the bench like the spark-plug he was behind the legacy making likes of Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel in the Forum backcourt. 20 years later as Kobe took his final sneaker steps out of STAPLES, Scott ended up taking a walk too.
It all comes around…it’s almost fitting.
Byron was and is a great coach however. From losing streaks to some troubles with the young, future stats like Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr (you only have to look at his Instagram history) it just wasn’t working. But Scott still did good here and will do so somewhere else too. He was fighting a losing battle in what ended up being a farewell road trip for Kobe. You just don’t walk away from losing records like this…or maybe you do. After all Earvin Johnson once coached the Lakers and even he couldn’t make Magic happen. Just ask Byron…he was there playing for him.
Yet as General Manager and former 80’s teammate Mitch Kupchack looks for a new coach to run the Lakers. Owner Jeanie Buss had no idea Coach Scott was given his walking papers…do we hear rumblings of a certain Zen Master that might Phil…excuse me “fill” the position?
Even though rumors have had it that Phil Jackson has had it in New York. Don’t expect the General Manager to come downstairs and across country just yet. Then again if the Knicks latest experiment doesn’t work out there could be another 80’s Lakers favorite with experience in the triangle in the form of Kurt Rambis.
Still it looks like former Knick coach and Kobe Laker teammate, (also just fired), Derek Fisher is interested in the vacancy. And this was the purple and gold legend the fans of Lakerland wanted last time before Phil tempted him into the Knicks new Big Apple core. Fish despite the fire still has the makings of a great coach who could save L.A.
Still the team that over the post Phil era has gone through coaches like sideline reporters have gone through mikes (from Brown to D’Antoni) are interested in everyone from David Blatt to probably both Van Gundy’s. They’d even love to lure Kevin Ollie or Coach Cap out of college, but remember what happened with K?
Still they should really take a look at their own alumni as this year Golden State Warriors leader Steve Kerr may have just won Coach Of The Year leading his Dubs to a 73 game record that beat his one as a player with Jordan’s Bulls, but it was assistant and former Laker passing great Luke Walton who started this run in the interim of Kerr’s injury. Leaving many thinking that this guy has what it takes to lead Golden State or his own band of Warriors. Could the Grateful Dead’s biggest fans son fit the Bill?
Then again there’s one more Laker that’s just retired that may be looking for a new job…
Only in Hollywood.
Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
“I wasn’t supposed to be here”.
Shaun Livingston wasn’t even supposed to be still playing.
But boy did he.
He almost lost his leg.
But man he didn’t.
When Shaun Livingston entered the league as the fourth pick and a wide eyed kid with youthful exuberance above the rim in Hollywood. Him and the youngest Roc L.A. Familia (remember the classic SLAM cover?) crew of Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Darius Miles, Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling even took some of the bright lights of downtown L.A. from Shaq and Kobe of all dynamic duos from the basements of STAPLES. Arguably the most exciting Clippers team this side of Buffalo…yeah I said it Blake, Jordan and CP3…you too Kawhi and PG-13. It was an Iverson age of cornrows and tattoos. It was the generations hood to the storied Lake Show’s Hollywood history.
But then with a death of a dynasty a bunch of young Roc’s with the rock ended up all over the place too like State Property. The future of these young guns looked bleak like Memphis. Miles went to LeBron’s Land before the King. Elton ended up setting up his Brand in Philly. Whilst Odom went cross-court and stadium with the Lakers after a brief stint of talent in Miami when he was traded back to the bright lights and Kardashian city for Shaq.
But what happened to Shaun Livingston was so much worse.
With Charlotte as a Bobcat Shaun suffered a gruesome injury so bad it almost made Gordon Hayward’s opening night one look like a sprain…almost. Lets not front for the funny that injury was so bad and his comeback story so good too ’till this playing day.
But no comeback story in this league is greater than Livingston’s, living for his career.
He almost lost his leg. Instead doctors saved it and then through the hardest of work and the most powerful perseverance Shaun saved his career…and then made it even better. And he could even still catch a few above the rim.
Number 34 ended up back in California with the Golden State Warriors via a comeback in the B.K. with the Brooklyn Nets. Out in The City of Oak Town he ended up winning three championships and going to two more finals before calling it a career yesterday and feeling “sad, fortunate and grateful” in his retirement. He was microwave more than just a super sub alongside legendary Sixth Man Finals MVP Andre Igudola (also gone this off-season with some guy name Kevin). He was an integral player to the dynasty influence that showed the Dubs were more than just the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson or Draymond and Durant. His jersey belongs up there in the new state of the art arena in San Francisco across the Golden Gate although his legend and legacy will always tram remain in the Golden State of Oakland.
Now that’s what I call a true Warrior King.
Don’t call it a comeback unless it’s like this.
Charles Barkley’s Round Bronze Of Rebound
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that skinny!”
Trust Chuck to have the best soundbite of the night.
But after all it was his day.
Yesterday the Philadelphia 76ers unveiled a statue of Sir Charles Barkley outside their Camden practice facility. Joining the bronze likes of his legendary teammates at the time Dr. J, Julius Erving and the late great Moses Malone for one of the most storied teams in NBA history from The Answer to The Process.
“There is not a lot I can say this is just a humbling experience but it really means a great deal because I think people know what the 76ers mean to the NBA,” Barkley said of the honour to those in attendance.
Your move Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns.
But after running a power statue on Chuck to join the Legends Walk of Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Mo Cheeks et al at the Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey there are still spots left for the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as Bark also remarked that he believes the new Sixers with Tobias Harris and this Summer’s free agent Al Horford will win the NBA Championship next year.
Isn’t he a TNT analyst?
You can forgive him it was an emotional day.
But stranger things have happened this Summer, Philly didn’t run out of bronze for the Round Mound of Rebound and one of the greatest players, especially Power Forwards the game has ever seen is finally getting his due in-between joking around with Shaq, Kenny Smith and E.J.
“You come here as a 21-year-old kid and now 40 years later – it has been pretty amazing – and it all started here so I just want to thank the 76ers Organization and the city of Philadelphia,” the great added. As Philadelphia Sixers head coach Brett Brown agreed, “We are privileged to have you a part of our past. You are referenced often.”
We all have our favourite stories about one of Basketball’s beloved, Top 50 players of all-time who averaged 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals during his time in Pennsylvania. And here’s mine…I don’t even think he was playing with Philly at the times but who cares? I tell this to people often-even non Bball fans-when they need some inspiration and I reach to my grab bag of top three stories that make me smile when I’m down. The other is an exchange between Wilt Chamberlain and playground legend Earl Manigault that Don Cheadle and Kevin Garnett as the Stilt recaptured at the Rucker for the G.O.A.T. movie (look it up), and the third being the time U2’s Bono made that “everytime I clap my hands someone dies” gaff.
Anyway if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin…
Back in the golden era 90’s day there was a Nike commercial in a barbershop featuring then Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell boasting about one of them dunking on Barkley (I think it was Spree…see how good I am at telling this story Philadelphia?). I don’t even think I saw a Basketball in the whole commercial…let alone so much of a sneaker. But anyway the next time Chuck came up against those two in Oakland be hit like 50 odd points or something completely dominating the duo and game. With C-Webb and Sprewell down and out, draped in towels on the bench, Barkley after being a silent assassin all game and saying nothing in reply, backpedaled back downcourt after his last shot, finally looked at the distraught two and said…
“Put that in a f###### commercial!”
I hope the Dubs athletic trainer had some Aloe Vera.
I like this Charles Barkley quote too from back in the ’92 Dream Team Olympics heyday were he defined the fun that what his life and career by saying, “we’re here for a good time. Not for a long time!”
Well now in bronze he’s going to be here forever.
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