Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  August 30, 2013

*Over at ESPN LA, Dave McMenamin has a hefty and informative Pacific Division preview with takes from anonymous scouts and front office reps. He has the Clippers winning the division which, honestly, is exactly who I would pick as well. That said, he also has the Lakers winning 44 games this season. Go read why.

*If you think 44 games is high, you’re likely not one of the 31.85% of Lakers’ fans who believe the team will win the championship this year.

*Nick Young goes back to his old neighborhood and donates supplies in his 3rd anual back to school event. I love stories like this.

*Whose throwback jersey should you buy for every NBA team? This post has your answers.

*Both Kobe and Pau are rehabbing surgeries this summer, but both seem to be going about it a bit differently. Here’s word of Pau, steadily progressing, starting to run (albeit on grass) as part of that progression. And here’s Kobe diving feet first off a 40 foot high platform into a swimming pool. To be fair, this probably isn’t part of Kobe’s rehab regimen.

*Speaking of Kobe, if you’re into such things, here’s a new color-way of his signature Kobe 8 sneaker dubbed the “pit viper”.

*One last Kobe note: check out this fantastic teaser for the latest video from Meir21 called “The Last Chapter”. Let’s just say this got me excited.

*Congrats to friends of FB&G Andy and Brian Kamnetzky for winning the Best Sports Blog of LA award from LA Weekly. Well deserved.

*On a personal note, you may not have noticed, but I’ve not been writing as much lately as I’d like. Some of that is because there’s not a lot to say about the team in this dead zone of summer where nearly every roster move has been made and we just wait for training camp. The main reason, however, is that my wife and I just had our second child and this recent development has taken its rightful place as my number one priority. In any event, I’ll be back on these pages soon rambling more than you’d probably like me to.

Darius Soriano

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  1. Congrats Darius! My wife and I just had our first child about a month ago. Needless to say that it has been an incredible experience. It doesn’t leave me much time to do some things that I like to do…like sleep, but it’s been great!


  2. Congrat on child. As a old guy with one 8 year old I can’t imagine a second. If its a boy please don’t name it Dwight or Howard!


  3. Darius: congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your second child.

    another laker fan for sure..

    Go lakers


  4. Congratulations to you and yours Darius!
    As always, thanks for taking the time to keep FB&G going strong.
    as david h has mentioned, we´ve got another Lakers fan for sure!


  5. Congrats to you and your wife, Darius (and your first little one). I know it’s a cliche, but enjoy as much as you can while you are living the experience. Before you know it, they are grown and heading off to college. All the things that seem important usually really aren’t.


  6. Congratulations, Darius…. Hopefully you won’t frighten your little one by screaming at the televised image of Paul Pierce the way I once did…. and please remember: that thing on your shoulder filled with diapers and bottles is not a purse, it’s a man bag!


  7. Way to go Darius!

    Oh and I had my 3rd daughter 2 years ago… all I can say is what a blast having 3 daughters is!


  8. Hey Darius, congrats to you and your wife on the child. Hope your lady is recovering well and that the young ones are growing strong.


  9. Congratulations, Darius. Congrats to all the parents. Parenthood is the most painful and joyous venture in life!

    I just watched young Kobe in the Slam Dunk Contest. Pitted against his adversary Ray Allen and none other than a 24 year old Darvin Ham. So funny to watch the gangling adolescent steal the award from the veterans. Kobe was caught on camera cheering when a Dallas player missed a dunk that might have knocked him out of the finals. The announcers derided him for his actions. No mention was made of Joe Barry Carroll’s smirk and head shake when Kobe missed a dunk. The crowd was clearly behind Kobe, as he had just scored 31 points in the rookie game but was denied the MVP in that game. Chants of “Kobe, Kobe filled the arena to the chagrin of the other contestants.

    Swaggy (Nick Young) had nothing on Kobe as he strutted around the floor before a dunk. His winning dunk was a while in the air, between the leg dunk and upon landing he did the Hulk (wrestler) flex of his skinny but ripped arms.

    I miss Kobe, already!

    Who will be the next Laker great?


  10. Congrats to you and your wife, Darius! Hope you two have figured out a shift rotation so that both of you can get some sleep and have some good child care lined up when you need it. We understand if you can’t tend to FB&G every day; just delegate the tasks. There are plenty of good capable folks here who can sub for you. Can you post photos of your lil’ bundle of joy on Twitter from time to time?


  11. C. Hearn, Who will be the next Laker great, you ask?

    The plan in 2014 is to land free agents. But what is not to be scoffed at is our ability to land players via “imbalanced” deals. Mitch has continually mentioned that cap space doesn’t equate to signing alone but being able to accommodate deals that take in more salary than giving out.

    This long summer/fall has really got me to thinking that the Lakers while looking very different from last year, next year’s team could look even more different. We have holdover pieces like Jordan Hill, Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash, Nick Young and Robert Sacre… but none of these 5 scream superstar or the next Laker great that you refer to.

    Depending on what happens to Kobe and Pau and Nash, the team might look to go in 3 possible directions:
    1. Land the Big Fish. Lebron, Carmelo or both. This is the not-so-secret. But this scenario is not-so-plausible either. Best bet is we land Carmelo.

    2. Find a capable wingman that will share the team’s load w/ the team’s superstars. Examples of these would-be and possible FAs are: Rudy Gay (ETO), Danny Granger, Luol Deng, Shawn Marion. Basically, we get a 2nd-tier star that would accentuate and compliment the skills of Kobe and Pau. Youth will be a huge plus, and this guy has to be willing to learn and play “under” Kobe. I would shoe in Rudy Gay in this situation. He skills would just benefit greatly beside Kobe and Pau.

    3. Overpay for Restricted Free Agents. And this is a crapshoot. Basically, you pay the guy above his market value and take a risk on him becoming the next big thing. Best case scenario is DeMarcus Cousins. Following that would be Eric Bledsoe, Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Avery Bradley and Derrick Favors. You could either have the next best thing, or be stuck with an onerous contract.

    4. Absorb a semi-star on a bad contract and hope he pans out for us. New Orleans had just signed Tyreke Evans this off-season and traded for Jrue Holiday. Their previous restricted FA whose offer they chose to match, Eric Gordon, is playing with some uncertainty on his role. He’s getting paid big time so New Orleans must have some motivation to move him for other pieces that would fit the team better.

    Take your pick.


  12. Congratulations Darius. I personally am not quite at that stage of my life yet but I sure wonder how you guys manage with all that responsibility. That being said, I’m certain you make a very good father. All the best.


  13. congrats on your 2nd child. our no2 is due December, so I’ll know what that feels like soon.


  14. Congratulations Darius. Good luck with the young ones. Kids are like the Lakers, work, fun and frustrating.


  15. interesting post Warren,
    & good wishes on being a father of 3, no easy task i´m sure


  16. Big time congratulations Darius. It sounds like your priorities are in order too. Enjoy the new addition!


  17. Purple,

    Thanks. I manage them like I manage my Lakers payroll 😉 They’re aged 8, 5 and 2.


  18. Warren

    All salient points! I still see a question mark on the jersey of the net Lakers superstar. If somehow the Lakers land James (as Aaron has stated) that question mark will dissolve post haste.


  19. the other Stephen September 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Congrats on the little one, Darius!