From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: The legend, the tradition of the Lakers is not in question. In the past 14 years the Lakers have seven trips to the finals and five titles, and since the Buss family took over it is up to 10 titles. In the past 30 years they have simply been the best run, most successful franchise in the NBA — they had both the spending power to overpower the competition but they used it wisely. But times, they are a changin’.The newest Collective Bargaining Agreement was much more what middle and smaller market teams wanted — they tax on high spending teams is much more stiff, plus when you are over the tax apron your hands become much more tied on moves you can make. Many of those smaller teams have gotten smart with the use of analytics and they have become more formidable. The advance of social media, and NBA games that stream on your phone anywhere, are altering the marketing rules for players.
From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a new era of basketball dominated by advanced statistics and a restrictive collective bargaining agreement, and an opposing coach told Ric Bucher that free agents no longer view the franchise on the “cutting edge” regarding marketing, physical therapy and analytics in a recent profile of the organization for The Hollywood Reporter:”A longtime opposing assistant coach adds that free agents feel the Lakers’ track record is impressive but the team is not on the cutting edge when it comes to marketing, physical therapy or analytics. The sense is that institutional arrogance has caused a slow but evident decay. “It hurts to hear that,” says Jeanie, without contesting it.”
From Ryan Ward, Lakers Nation: With the Los Angeles Lakers heading into a season filled with uncertainty, the rumors have started to circulate about the team potentially throwing in the towel in order to land a high draft pick. Andrew Wiggins of the Kansas Jayhawks is on every team’s radar at this point in time with many comparing the Canadian product to LeBron James in terms of being ready to be an NBA superstar right out of the gate. Although the upcoming season may be rough to say the least for the storied franchise, GM Mitch Kupchak insists the team has no intention to tank with the team focused on bringing in superstars like LeBron and or Carmelo Anthony in free agency next summer. Kupchak said the following on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Thursday morning: “We have a lot of financial recourses a year from now. […] I’m very comfortable with our flexibility.”
From Matt More, CBS Sports: In a wide-ranging interview with Hollywood Reporter, Lakers owner Jim Buss says thatDwight Howard was “never really a Laker.”Jim insists he’s just following his father’s blueprint, but the Howard situation suggests he missed a page. Instead of Jim spending time with Howard, the team launched a widely derided media campaign that implored “Stay” on billboards. After Howard bolted, Jim turned on his former star, saying he wasn’t surprised or dismayed. “He was never really a Laker,” says Jim. “He was just passing through.” Those close to Howard say the Lakers could have persuaded him to stay. Even Jeanie believes that if her father had not been sick, he would have sealed the deal like so many before it. “It’s disappointing that Dwight isn’t here,” she says. “I feel like we failed him.”