• During the Magic 50th birthday celebration, NBATV went on the Magic marathon, which Darius watched:
One thing that has struck me while watching all of his classic performances on NBA TV over the past several days is how quickly he advanced the ball on almost every single possession. He covered so much ground because of his size, but he also was always unselfish enough to pass the ball ahead much more than what PG’s do today. On many possessions, he would take one dribble and then just pass ahead – to Cooper, to Scott, to Norm Nixon, to Worthy, to whoever was open or had a step on his man. Nowadays, primary ball handlers or offensivie iniators feel the need to monopolize the ball and trust *their* decision to make the play rather than give the ball up to an advancing teammate. Magic was just the opposite in that any player that was in a better position then him to make a play with the ball was the guy that he sought out. Sure, Magic would walk the ball up or call out a half court set or run the break in a traditional way where he was the primary play maker. But so many times he would make a baseball pass to an open teammate streaking up the sideline or he would throw a chest pass ahead to someone who only had a few inches of separation in order to create an easy bucket. Just an amazing player when it came to understanding who was in a position to hurt the opponent
• Back to our earlier discussion about the Lakers salaries, and Gary’s calculations that Buss really is only paying out about $100 million. The master of all things NBA/Lakers financial, Larry Coon, had a comment:
I don’t think it’s kosher to subtract the salary of the first round pick from a total that never included that salary to begin with.
Likewise, the escrow reimbursement mitigated 2008-09 expenses, so shouldn’t be applied to 2009-10.
That said, in addition to the windfall from the 2008-09 escrow, the owners are pretty certain to get all the 2009-10 escrow money — which means the payroll (but not the tax) will actually be 9% cheaper.
So with a payroll of $91,341,066 (the similar amount that was listed above is incorrect), the net payroll cost is $83,120,370. Add the tax of $21,421,066 and you get $104,541,436. Subtract the “found” $4.5M for the draft pick trades, and the end result is $100,041,436. Close enough to $100M to deem it “mission accomplished” for Kupchak — especially since the true payroll costs (and therefore the true tax costs) are inexact, and rely on end-of-year reconciliations like adjusting for bonuses that were earned or not earned.
• By the way, really interesting numbers here from CBS Sports. The Lakers take in nearly $2 million per home game. They also have the lowest number of people who don’t show up to use their tickets. These numbers also show what Rambis is up against in Minny.
• Great stuff from the Brothers K linking to an old Jim Murray article about Chick Hearn, a fantastic trip down memory lane.
• If you haven’t done it already, check out Kids in Seats. A fantastic program and their twitter fundraiser is still going on.
• Man am I happy to see Don Draper back on my television.
• This photo touch-up cracked me up.
• The Lakers want you to have a shot of tequila.
• Finally, I’m late to this (I think Eric Pincus found it first), but if you have not seen this video, it is more than worth the 9+ minutes. Amazingly slick and well done, a great trip through Lakers history.