A Day In The Life

Dave Murphy —  June 1, 2013

I’m on the phone with an old buddy from Los Angeles and he says, “dude, you should move back here.” I answer in the most predictable of ways. “Yeah, I know. That would be awesome.” An earth-shattering statement? Hardly. Will it lead anywhere? No, it’s just a handful of words during the course of a conversation in the course of a day or a week. The words go hand-in-hand with other statements or conversations that take place in everyday life. Looks like there might be rain tomorrow. I’m going to the store for a few things. The traffic out there is brutal.

In the high-stakes game of professional sports contracts, casual conversations are given heightened importance. It’s the same in the high-stakes game of business or war and peace. Words are how we communicate and they are used, shaped and shifted to suit the occasion. The NBA free agency period doesn’t start until July 1st but the appetite for news and commentary needs to be fed. Or at least we think it does. Isn’t this why I’m typing these words? I’ll proof them and insert hyperlinks and load them into an online queue. The links of course are the blood-filled arteries that attract the hits. We want some, we want more.

The folks in Houston are wading into the discussion. It spiders out to other places which naturally includes the mega-media market where Dwight Howard currently resides. The prize free agent reportedly had a conversation with his buddy James Harden. These things do happen – people send a text, pick up a call, have a communication in some shape or form. It’s rarely on record of course so it’s posited and relayed in the most common of ways – sources close to the process told… and then we get to the heart of the matter which is usually speculation but that’s how the beast is fed, right? One guy says, “dude, you should come play here.” And the other guy says, Yeah, I know. That would be awesome.”

The Dwight saga hasn’t yet begun to approach critical mass in Los Angeles. It may yet or it may not. The Lakers center has only been here for one season and the whole crazy affair was snake-bitten from the start, ending with a first-round exit as the face of the franchise watched from the sideline on crutches. If you’re looking for a full-scale media meltdown, wait a year until Kobe’s contract expires. Bring your sharpened sticks and marshmallows – the flames will be seen around the world.

The NBA finals are still nearly a week away. The draft happens in a month. And then free agency. The need to feed the beast never expires though, it is relentless and will not be sated. Sometimes the news is of a sobering nature. Sometimes it’s a thoughtful debate about a cornerstone athlete. More often it’s simply a random catch-and-shoot. Somewhere an NBA player touches a tiny icon on his screen and smiles. “I read the news today, oh boy.”

 

Dave Murphy

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45 responses to A Day In The Life

  1. Moments like these I’m really glad we have Kupchak in our employ, he’s not one to panic or resort to begging. Kupchak knows how to play the game and if Dwight signs, great… if not, Kupchak’s will work through that as well. I’m not worried as a Lakers fan, the future’s going to be rough for a while any which way you cut it.

  2. Rusty Shackleford June 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I wonder what Utah’s interest would be in Pau Gasol?

  3. West needs a rest!!!

  4. Am I the only one who doesn’t view Indy as a well coached team? David West is off his game. He’s not contributing anything yet the coach won’t go to the next player in line. Besides Stevenson, no one appears to play like they can be eliminated if they lose this game. Letting LeBrawn hang around is a mortal sin. He will pull this game out if allowed to remain close.

    Utah, who already has two young bigs and one who is relatively young, does not have interest in our older big. They semi-have one in Al Jefferson. He is a free agent.

  5. James has as many FGA as Wade and Bosh combined. Obviously the problem is his selfishness and his need to play HeroBall.

  6. @rr The exact same thought crossed my mind while watching James jack up shots. If that were Kobe the announcers would be killing him. Also, Roy Hibbert is playing like the best big man in the NBA right now. He’s surprisingly polished as an offensive player.

  7. Reggie Miller as TNT goes to commercial: “Roy Hibbert showing why the Great Wall is erect.”

    I have no idea what that means, but I’m fairly sure that’s it’s inappropriate for a family show. Here’s to hoping Mark Jackson hires Reggie as an assistant coach to save us from another awful broadcaster.

  8. Bad mistake by West.

  9. LeBrawn (or LeFlop) is the new golden boy of the NBA. There hasn’t been one since Jordan (Kobe’s nature and Colorado made sure he wasn’t the poster child). Instead of being a ball hog, he will be looked at as carrying his team, which he actually is. This is why people don’t like Chris Bosh, if is isn’t scoring, he isn’t contributing. D. West is sick out there and he is contributing far more than Rupaul (I mean Bosh).

    Bad end of the quarter. Indy better get it up to 20 to make sure that Miami doesn’t come back.

  10. So want Indy to win. They wear Lakers colors so I can pretend its the old days. Pre Jimmy.

  11. I’m torn really..I want Indiana to win, but I don’t think that they can beat the Spurs. I love Lebron’s reaction there. He just could not comprehend the fact that he had been called for an offensive foul. I bet you could count the number of offensive fouls by Lebron on 2 hands.

  12. Miami may not beat the Spurs, either.

  13. The Spurs don’t have Hibbert in the middle. Duncan is more Bosh-like but much better.

  14. And the Pacers don’t have Parker, Ginobili, Popovich and a bench.

    Miami will get past Indiana on Monday. I think the Finals will depend on what they get out of Wade and Bosh. I will still pick them, but I don’t think that it is a lock like I did when the playoffs started. The rest will help San Antonio, IMO.

  15. If Indy doesn’t take Hibbert out on the last play in Game 1 this series would have ended tonight. Wow!!!

    rr

    Good points but Miami and San Antonio should be an excellent match-up. I can see 6 or 7 either way. Indy would lose in 5.

  16. Wade and Bosh were 4/19 from the floor tonight. James took 21 shots, making 10.

  17. If Miami makes it to the finals, they have the same chance as Indiana. With a hobbled wade and nonexistent bosh, it would be like Lebron vs Spurs in 2007.

  18. It’s a no-win situation for Lakers/Kobe fans. If Miami wins, then Lebron will have ‘carried’ his team to victory despite a hobbled D-Wade and the superlatives will flow. If San Antonio wins, then they will be deemed the Lakers equal (this century) and Tim Duncan will be proclaimed the best player of his generation. Even though he’s playing alongside 2 surefire HOF players in Parker and Ginobili.

    As for the match-ups. The Heat have perimeter defenders that can slow down Parker and Ginobili. Tim Duncan will not over-power the Heat all by himself. The Spurs won’t have any answer for Lebron just like every other team in the league.

    The Pacers can match up with the Spurs fairly well, but they don’t have the star power that you need and they have never been on the Finals stage. I can’t see them beating a battle tested Spurs team with Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan getting a ton of calls from the refs.

  19. I’m with the consensus that Miami will probably close the deal at home. Still, I’d love to see Indy pull off the upset. They’ve had a fantastic season. Spurs/Miami would be a war of attrition. I’d take Spurs in 7.

  20. Wade implied James is trying to do too much.

    “We’ve got guys individually who want to play better,” Wade said. “But we’ve got to try to help each other out in this locker room and not leave it up to the individual to self-will it.”

  21. Gotta love low LeBron is ‘carrying’ the team as opposed to ‘hogging’ the ball. So much for him making teammates better, eh? Can’t make better teammates out of those that just can’t perform.

  22. Playoffs: Glad to see a few more have joined the anti-Spur bandwagon. I am telling you – we will be miserable if they win.
    LeBronze: He will always be favored and KB will not be. Nowhere is the KB hate more prevalent than in LA itself.
    Darius: “Lakers’ fans please stop thinking Chris Paul will sign for the mini-MLE w/ the Lakers. It’s beyond silly.” Nice! Yes – this is what I refer to as Laker Manifest Destiny. We have always been great, we will always be great, nothing can stop us, no matter what we do and what decisions we make. It doesn’t matter whether DH signs or not – it will all work out.
    Pau: I still do not understand the focus on Pau. I think the course is as clear as it is on DH. You keep him. The time for wholesale change will be post 14 (and no – that time period is no panacea either).
    Dave Murphy: “wait a year until Kobe’s contract expires” – We obviously need to wait to see what the recovery looks like, however we do need to get ahead of this. Let’s not wait until there is a media circus, rather let’s start some preliminary discussions with Kobes to see his thoughts etc.. This would require more than a bi-annual discussion with Kobe.
    Kareem: Yes he should talk to DH. However before that happens, someone needs to talk to Kareem. I would bet against either Mitch or Jim having KAJ in their phones on speed dial.

  23. Getting back to the Lakers, I’d love to see us try to buy a few early 2nd-rounders (if available) to try to find some niche role players this year. I like Tony Snell quite a bit – although he’ll be out of our range – but I see him having a similar trajectory as Kawhi Leonard, if he lands in the right situation. People are overrating him as some sort of T-Mac lite or Paul George, but as a role-playing SF, I think he’d be a great catch. Reggie Bullock could be a great backup scoring 2-guard, using off-ball movement and screens and acting as a sniper, while having the physical tools to succeed defensively. He might be available in the 2nd round.

    Buying 2nd-round draft picks – while potentially wasting the Buss family’s money, as we did with Johnson-Odom last year – would be a good investment in trying to snag a couple young role players. More likely to fail than not, but as a team we don’t have many options right now.

  24. From the link:

    _________________________________________

    So what do you think of D’Antoni?

    “I love him,” he said. “He’s a great person.”

    Is he a great coach?

    “He’s a great person and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be together,” said Howard, which some will undoubtedly interpret as goodbye.

    What was never explicitly said, but also seemed to hang heavy in the air was the uncertainty in the Lakers’ front office, with Jim and Jeanie Buss.

    “I want to see what each opportunity offers,” Howard said. “I want to see how people plan on winning.”

    “So will I be seeing you next season?” I concluded.

    “I’m always a phone call or tweet away,” he said, while whistling and moving on.

  25. I’m down to 25%
    Remember rr – I gave you a direct task. Either DH better be here or they both better be gone. If one of those does not happen – then you are fired as GM ! : )

  26. I actually said awhile back that I would fire D’Antoni if it would keep Howard here. Also, as per Ramona Shelburne, both Brooklyn and the Clippers are after Brian Shaw. Could just be a plant by Shaw’s agent, though. If Howard walks and the Clippers hire Shaw, you will need a couple of stiff drinks, and I may join you.

    One thing is for sure: if Howard leaves, he will immediately pass James, Wade, Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins as the Laker Fanbase’s Most Hated Opponent.

  27. I remember when Kobe was playing alongside Smush, Kwame and Luke…and the media’s narrative was that Kobe didn’t make his teammates better. In hindsight, those scrubs had career years playing with Kobe.

    Lebron is on a “super team”, the ONLY superteam in the league…..and the narrative on him is that he needs help and he can’t do it all on his own. Granted, Wade is hurt, but happened to making your teammates better and finding them easy shots? The double standards that the media has is a joke.

  28. I have a comment stuck in mod, but, remember: it’s Simers.

  29. A note to our FO of rr & Robert,
    I´d like to join you fellows for that stiff drink if it comes to it.
    (reminds me of the folks on Mad Men, those boys can certainly hold their booze!)

    As regards DH, it´s like deja vú, ain´t it?
    Yes, I know it´s his prerogative..

  30. What this series is showing is that Wade, for all his supporters, is nowhere near the player Kobe is/was. Speaking purely of their heights, I guess an argument could be made, just as arguments could be made that T-Mac was better than Kobe when comparing primes.

    Minus the forays to the rim and explosiveness, Wade isn’t half as threatening as Kobe. Call me bitter, but without those insane number of free throws, Dirk would have two championships, Shaq would only have three, and Wade would never be in the conversation with Kobe.

    Anyway, I hope Hibbert wins. I don’t want LeBron to win 7 and get all the media lapping things up. And I don’t want a final where i seriously can’t root for anyone…

  31. “and Wade would never be in the conversation with Kobe.”
    ——

    Wade should never be in the same conversation with Kobe. At their peaks Kobe was a better defender, had better post game, better footwork, and not nearly as reliant on driving to the rim.

    Wade could also take some fashion lessons from Kobe. Some of Wade’s outfits must make Russell Westbrook do a double take.

  32. LT Mitchell: it goes back to the scorers first vs efficient argument. Being extremely efficient usually gets players a pass. An aggressive scorer will take the blunt of the blame because he sometimes shoots teams in and out of games. With that said Miami’s players outside of LeBron haven’t played well and he’s been feeding them every game. So that narrative is accurate.

    In my opinion, Wade has lost confidence this playoffs. With his knee injury he’s not committing on explosive plays like he should. The mental hurdle Pau needed to overcome his issues Wade needs to mentally commit to being the old Wade. Makes you appreciate Kobe in 2010. Got his knee drained twice and still put on vintage performances.

  33. That Simers link was thoroughly enjoyable.Thanks RR.

  34. Purple: You can join our FO. We only have one rule. You can’t have the same last name as anyone who already works there.
    Wade: Total Punk, and I have to root for him again this year. And no – not in conversation with Kobe, but Duncan is – hence : )
    Clippers: Yes – Shaw and Scott are both on their short list. Why wouldn’t they be? First – they are highly qualified; Second we know the Clips love adding former Lakers to their team photo.
    DH This link is a nice summary of the mess. Also includes the taxes as Ken has mentioned. Can we appeal to the governor to give DH some sort of a break to stay?
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2013/06/01/will-howard-leave-lakers-how-could-this-happen/

  35. I’m trying my best not to read too much into Dwight’s comments during his back n forth with Simers. The interview, if that’s what one wishes to call it, basically comes across as 2 individuals engaging in friendly conversation IMO.

    With that being said, his remarks regarding D’Antoni just adds on to the previous report that during his exit interview with Mitch, he voiced his frustrations with the coach. A report that I happen to believe; no matter how much Mitch tried to deny it. Add on the Houston angle (with The Beard as their top recruiter), which is definitely cause for concern, and I might just have to take this Simers article a lil more seriously.

    I’m hoping he signs on long term, but if not, hopefully Robert, Double R and Purple have an extra seat at that table for me.

  36. Excellent link Robert. Steinberg’s last paragraph resonates strongly.

  37. TRA

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    Who do the Lakers have at the ownership, management or player level with enough rapport and credibility with Howard to argue that he is better off with the Lakers? We shall see. Players at the superstar level look for championship rings, and respect, and supportive coaches and fans. Houston offers all that. What do the Lakers counter with?

  38. As great as defensive number wise Wade is especially for his 6 2 frame,Kobe is/has always been on another planet.
    Sorry Wade lovers.

  39. `Can we appeal to the governor to give DH some sort of a break to stay?´
    _____
    Heck Robert, you´re our FO´s head honcho, I´m sure you can get a sit-down with the gov. to hash things out! Promise him a few one-on-one interviews with some of his favorite Laker Girls, that oughta do it :D
    It´s reassuring as well to have Tra on board!

  40. Been finding some good stuff lately. The fact that the links coincidently support my positions, well – I have made quite a few claims – but I have never claimed to be neutral on these topics.
    http://www.nbaarena.com/en/news/3425/potential-replacements-for-mike-dantoni
    Tra/Purple/rr: Our happy hour is growing. Let’s hope it is indeed happy and not unhappy. There is still hope.

  41. That article was just recycled information from this blog, among others. D’Antoni hasn’t proved any negatives last year – except to those who wanted him to fail from the beginning. The only new wrinkle was the inclusion of Doc Rivers as a possible coaching replacement. The interesting thing is I remember when Doc was on the hot seat as being a former player who didn’t have the chops to succeed as a coach – well I guess he has proved those doubters wrong.

  42. There’s probably an equal chance of MDA being replaced next season and Craig Sager adopting sensible charcoal suits.

  43. D’Antoni hasn’t proved any negatives last year – except to those who wanted him to fail from the beginning.

    While I disagree with the level of vehemence of the MDA Death Squad, since I think the roster/injuries were the bigger issues, there were and are several legitimate criticisms of D’Antoni, which I and others, as well as analysts, have documented, with specific statistical back-up. Like I said before, you are operating on emotion with this “defend the FO no matter what” thing you are doing.

    But leaving that aside, the fact that Howard does not appear to like D’Antoni is in and of itself a huge negative. The NBA is a talent league, first and foremost, and you need to have a coach who connects with your best players. You can ask Paul Westhead, Pat Riley, and Magic Johnson about it if you don’t believe me. And no, D12 is not Earvin, but he is the best option the Lakers have to be a franchise fulcrum.

  44. I think any objective watcher of the lakers last year would seriously question the decision (or MDA’s lack of making one) to allow kobe to play that many minutes. The guy had already injured himself twice in that game before the achilles snapped. And of course, the achilles could go any time, but when you see a player get worn down before your eyes, something is going to give.

    If MDA could not do it, someone higher up needed to take a stand. If the lakers could not win a regular season game with kobe playing 36-40 minutes a game, what’s the point of the playoffs?

    Those same people might wonder how a coach could diss a veteran like Pau in the beginning of the season and then really rely on him at the end.

    Someone else might wonder how Earl Clark could start off so well and flounder so badly by the end – especially since the lakers “never developed” any players under PJ. Makes you wonder where the development was this season.

    Aside from the injuries, (a fair rebuttal – but only to a point), the only excuse the MDA fans have is that the Spurs used the same broom for the grizz. And if the spurs can somehow win the title, the MDA apologists earned another slice of the pity pie.