Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who is running the Lakers?

Through the years we have watched the Lakers win NBA Championship led by different Hall of Fame players from Kareem to Kobe Bryant.  One common denominator in each of the championships was the late owner Dr. Jerry Buss.  He turned the Lakers into the New York Yankees of basketball. 

Since the Great Dr. Jerry Buss passed, we have seen some very questionable moves by the Laker organization.  The first move would be putting all their balls in one hoop by bringing in Dwight Howard with no long term deal and not trading him at the trade deadline when all of America knew he was not signing back with the Lakers.  Second questionable move was signing a 38 year old point guard with health issues when you know the NBA is full of top notch point guards that will run circles around Nash.  Next, you sign a coach that has not proven anything but he can create a team that can average over 100 points which would be good if they didn't give up 100+ point a game.  Finally you sign a 35 year old shooting guard at 48.5 million dollar who is coming off an Achilles injury without seeing if he will ever be healthy again.

So I analyzed the Lakers today and ask myself this question, "How is Mitch Kupchak going to turn this one around".   The Lakers have a plan to clear the cap for summer of 2014 in the chance of getting multiple free agents to bring them back into a championship contender.  Part of this plan was totally blown when they signed Kobe Bryant.  There was no negotiation done when signing him, they just gave him the money.  Kobe is just like anyone else in the world, he is not turning nothing down but his collars.    So 48.5 million dollars for the next two years is already taken of the cap, leaving room to pay only one more max player.  While researching the list of available free agents players for 2014 that are considered max deal players, these are my top 5.

Lebron James:  He is not coming to LA to help Kobe Bryant win a 6th ring.  Lebron is legacy chasing.  It probably already pisses him off that D-Wade keeps getting one more than him, but no one thinks Wade is an all-time great.

Dwayne Wade:  He is the mayor of Miami.  He is not leaving Miami ever!  Plus you don't need D-Wade if you already have Kobe.  Both are playing on their last leg, literally.

Chris Bosh: He could probably help the Lakers but they would need the old Toronto, dread wearing Bosh who averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds a game.  But why leave Miami when you winning championships and getting undeserved max money.

Dirk Nowitzski:  He is not going anywhere.  He enjoys being Mark Cuban #1 prostitute.  Loyal to a fault.  I call it the Kevin Garnett Minnesota syndrome.   

Carmelo Anthony:  The most likely out of the bunch to leave and come to LA.  NY sucks and will continue to suck as long as they are paying Stoudemire.

There were rumors at the beginning of the season that Lebron wanted to play with Carmelo in the future.  If this rumor were to be true,  the Lakers had the money to pay both of them and put the correct pieces around them in order to contend.  By signing Kobe Bryant who looks like he will never be himself again, eliminated all chances of that happening in LA.  It just doesn't make since to give him that amount of money without knowing he will be 100% healthy.

So the sell for Mitch will be, getting an all-star to want to come in and play with Kobe not knowing if he will even last the next two years.  So good luck Laker fans, which I am one of them, there is no Paul Gasol to steal from any franchises.   But we do have one thing working for us, THE BEST BENCH IN THE NBA BABY!  Only because we have the worst starting five in the NBA.

Best Current Laker

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Young and Restless: The Dwight Howard Saga

Does this story sound familiar.  Dwight Howard is in his last year of his contract and has the option to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or test the free agent market in the summer.  If this seems like deja vu, probably because he was in the same situation with the Orlando Magic last year at this time when he made the bonehead decision of the year by opting back into his contract with Orlando, and postponing his chance to hit the free agent market last summer.

This year the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves trying to keep Dwight.  The Lakers have had one of their worst seasons in franchise history.  It has been a combination of bad coaching and a lack of effort contributing to the team's lack of success.   Dwight Howard doesn't seem to be able to mesh with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in this Mike D'Antoni offense. 

Mitch Kupchak, GM for the Lakers, has a dilemma on his hands.  Wait for the end of the year and hope Dwight Howard signs a max deal allowing you to have a young player to build your franchise around after Kobe Bryant leaves, or trade him to guarantee that you do not lose him for nothing.


It is time for Mitch Kupchak to play a little game called chicken.  We learned this as a little kid, when two objects come together on a head on collision and one object moves at the last minute.  Well, Mitch Kupchak needs to enter the Laker locker room and tell Mr. Howard that I have a max deal in my hand that guarantees that you get paid about 30 million more than you can receive from any other team and you either need to sign it, or you will be tipping the jump ball in another city tomorrow.  If he decides not to sign it, in the words of Nino Brown, "You cancel him, and buy another one".  It is not like the Lakers are winning with him now. 

As GM of the Lakers, I'm calling New Jersey, Houston, or even Miami.  Yeah, I said Miami.  Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh would make both teams better.  Dwight would give Miami the inside defensive presence they need, and Bosh would compliment Gasol a lot better than Dwight since they can both play inside and outside the paint.  As the Laker GM, you have to get something.  I don't care if you trade him to Houston for Omar Asik, some young players, and a bag of Tropical Skittles, at least you are not left looking like a man after a wet dream with nothing to show for it but sticky memories.


So Dwight, the decision is yours, make a whole lot of money with a franchise that you know will always be dedicated to winning or go back to the days of Orlando where you are the man, but can't get anyone to come play with you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Odd Man Out!


The last two years the Los Angeles Lakers have exit the playoffs due to being over matched by younger and better talent.  This past summer Laker GM ,Mitch Kupchak, decided to make a power move by acquiring Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Antwan Jamison. 

When the Lakers picked up Steve Nash, I was the first person jumping around and bragging to my non-Laker fans.  After watching a few pre0season games, I noticed that average point guards were giving Steve Nash problems.  One thing is clear to me, Steve Nash is not going to work!  I think Steve Nash is one of the best point guards to play the game, but you signed a 38 year old player to a 3 year deal.  The Lakers problem for years have been stopping their opponent's point guard.  This year will  not be any different.  We all know that Steve Nash's kryptonite is playing defense.  When the Lakers picked him up, I figured Nash would put so much pressure on the opposing point guard that he wouldn't have to play as much defense.  After watching these preseason games, one thing is clear, Steve Nash will be the next victim of the KOBE EFFECT!  (Prior Blog Title)  He is not even shooting the ball!    Steve Nash is used to being the best player on his team and is most effective when he has the ball the majority of the time.  In the past, Nash has created offense for himself as well as set his teammates up for easy shots.  Since Nash is now the 4th best player on his team, he is not handling the ball as much..  Without Nash controlling the offense and being aggressive, it just give the opponents point guard more energy to go at him on offense. 

Let's look at the point guards the Lakers will have to go up against in order to make a run for the Finals.  The top three point guards in the Western Conference are Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker.  All three player will eat a 38 year old Steve Nash for lunch.  Please don't think Kobe Bryant is going to switch and guard those guys either. 

In conclusion, I will GUARANTEE you by the middle of the season, Steve Nash will either have his normal back problems or will be very frustrated with the lack of contribution he is giving the team.  Please feel free to call me out if I'm wrong.  But I'm confident I'm not.

B.Mac (concerned Laker fan)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top 10 Things Chiefs Fans Say....

10. Remember when Montana beat Elway in Mile High.
 9.  Cassel sucks!
 8.  At least we will beat the Raiders this year.
 7.  Why the hell did we get rid of Brandon Carr?
 6.  I wish we still had Jared Allen.
 5.  Pioli, if you want to be New England, start by getting Brady.
 4.  Fuck Peyton Manning, I hope he gets hurt.
 3.  How many points are you going to give me?
 2.  I'm going back to the car to drink after the 3rd quarter is over.
 1.  I think I'm going to start going back to church.

Monday, August 13, 2012

NBA Repair Kit

In America, we have three popular professional sports which are football, basketball and baseball.  The most popular of the three with out a doubt is football.  Does anyone know why?  Because in football, every team has an equal opportunity to win a championship each year.  You can't really buy a championship like in the other two sports.

In the NBA, they have a set salary cap and after you reach that particular figure, you are charged a luxury tax.  Luxury tax is being taxed one dollar for every dollar you are over the salary cap.  For example, if the Miami Heat are 5 million dollars over the salary cap, the NBA charges them a luxury tax of 5 million.  Now, under the new CBA, teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million they go above the salary cap/tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.).  Teams that have been paying luxury tax for at least four out of the past five seasons have a tax that is $1 more at each increment than the increments mentioned above ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.).  After understanding the salary cap and luxury tax, you can come to the understanding that owners with the most money have no problem going over the salary cap in order to win.

In the last 30 years, the same nine teams have won championships in the NBA.  That is the biggest difference from NFL and NBA.  Most markets feel like their team has some type of chance to win in the NFL.  Last week, Dwight Howard signed with the Los Angeles Lakers making them a favorite again to win the championship next year.  There is only about 4 teams in the league that have a realistic chance of winning championship next year.  (LA, MIA, OKC and BOS)

To increase the level of competition in the NBA, I believe there should be a hard salary cap that NO TEAM can go over.  By making each team have the same salary cap, you put all cities on the same playing field.  This would put an end to the SUPER TEAMS we have seen develop in the last 5 years due to teams not being able to pay these stars and put a supporting cast around them.  This cap would make teams like Golden State, Sacramento and Charlotte relevant, because the stars would spread out more in order to receive a max deal.  You would still have role players taking less money to play with stars, but you wouldn't have stars taking less money to play with other stars.

If the NBA doesn't incorporate a hard salary cap soon, they can just get rid of fifty percent of the teams and create 14 SUPER TEAMS.  I feel like a Republican right now, getting rid of jobs.  MESSAGE!

In conclusion, if the NBA wants to keep doing what they are doing, I will be fine.  You ask me why?  I roll with the boys in PURPLE AND GOLD.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Michael Jordan: The Gift and the Curse!

The game of basketball has been around for years.  We have seen multiple teams win championships over the years using different ways of getting there.

In the '80s, we had three teams in that decade that won multiple championships which included the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons.  All of these teams had something in common.  They were complete teams that played together in order to accomplish one goal. 

The Lakers had a starting lineup that included:
Magic Johnson
Byron Scott
Michael Cooper
James Worthy
Kareem Adul-Jabbar

The Celtics had a starting lineup that included:
Dennis Johnson
Danny Ainge
Larry Bird
Kevin McHale
Robert Parrish

The Pistons had a starting lineup that included:
Isaiah Thomas
Joe Dumas
Mark Aguirre
Bill Laimbeer
James Edwards

All the above championship teams had players who came together and played team basketball.  These teams had productive bench play and no one was trying to outshine their teammates.

Then came the birth of Michael Jordan.  A player who took over the NBA by himself, taking on all teams.  He led the league in scoring almost every year.  If you grew up in the '80s and '90s, you wanted to "Be like Mike".  Michael Jordan, not purposely, taught little kids to be selfish and go after your individual stats to succeed in basketball.  After many years of losing to the Celtics and Pistons, Michael realized that it took a team effort to become a championship team.  He finally figured it out, and partnered with Scottie Pippen and other great role player to win six NBA championships.

While becoming a champion, Michael Jordan birthed children like Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady.  These and other player came into the league with the belief that they had to win championships by solely leading their teams, by putting up the majority of shots like Michael did in order to become great.  Kobe Bryant quickly learned, due to veteran leadership around him, that it takes a team to win championships.

The offspring of Michael Jordan has finally grown up to become great players.  They are finally teaching the up and coming player that team basketball is the way to go.  Just take a look at the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, who were dynamic underclassmen that came together to achieve one goal and that was a National Championship.  The Kentucky Wildcats all compromised there individual success in order to gain team success.

The NBA is finally getting back to great team basketball.  The Dallas Mavericks won last year with great team effort.  They even had bench players like Jason Terry and J.J. Barea who really made the difference during the 2011 NBA Finals.  This year you have the San Antonio Spurs currently on a 20 game winning streak playing the best team ball I have ever seen.  If you want to see basketball the way Dr. James Naismith designed it, watch the San Antonio.

We can all thank Michael Jordan, because he showed us how life was when you have all the individual honors and no championship and how life is when you make your teammates better and win multiple championships.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Who is the Villain?

Growing up in Kansas City, my father always liked taking our family to the movies during the summer.  He loved to watch a good action movie.  I could remember him arguing with his friends for weeks about different scenes in the original Terminator movie.  In all of these movies, there was a good guy to root and a villain to go against.

Over the years, there have been several villains in movies.  Superman had Lex Luthor, Batman had the Joker and Luke Skywalker had Darth Vader.  Anyone who knows me can tell you who is my
all-time villain.  That would be Wesley Snipes' character Nino Brown in the best movie ever, New Jack City. 

I thought about this topic while listening to an ESPN sports radio show discussing something similar this past weekend.  Just like in every action movie, there is a villain that the audience is supposed to go against or strangely root for.

In baseball, you could consider Barry Bonds a villain.  He broke the home run record and is known as one of the best baseball players ever with an asterisk since he took performance enhancement drugs without knowing.  Side note, if my head size went from a 7 to an 8 after age 24, I would check with a doctor about that.  He was always a complete jerk to the media.

Basketball has their fair share of villains.  Dennis Rodman is the first one that comes to mind.  He was an original Bad Boy for the Detroit Piston championship teams.  Dennis and his teammates believed it was their duty to beat the crap out of Michael and Scottie any chance they could.   

Football has a couple villains as well.  One of the most recent inductees to the villain fraternity would be Greg Williams, GODFATHER of the BOUNTY.  He turned a mediocre New Orleans Saints team to a championship defense just by giving the team an incentive (BOUNTY) to do what they were already going to do. 

Villains in the sports world can be players, coaches or even owners.  Let me know who are some people you think are the villains of their sport and what they did to give themselves the VILLAIN title.