This is foreign territory for me as a Lakers’ fan. I cannot recall the last Laker to participate in the “Rising Stars Challenge” even when it was the Rookie/Sophomore game. Last year Jordan Clarkson did not breakout until after the all-star game and, of course, Julius Randle was lost in the 1st game of the season. Randle isn’t here this year — I’m not going to vent about this, but the format of Team USA vs. Team World probably kept several American born players out of this game who are deserving, Randle included — but Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell are.
The Lakers “backcourt of the future” will team up with the likes of Karl Anthony-Towns, Marcus Smart, Zach Lavine, Jahlil Okafor, and several others to play against some a World team featuring Kristaps Porzingis, Andrew Wiggins, Mario Henzoja, and others. The game promises to offer tons of highlights, a bunch of sloppy play, and about as much intensity as a Saturday pickup game with a bunch of dudes bumping Drake while warming up.
In other words, this game is worth your time, but in a “I’m going to have this on as background noise while I do something else” sort of way. Yeah, I’ll ooh and ahh when a nice dunk happens (and with LaVine in this game, we’ll get a couple of those) and hopefully we get a duel between some of these guys, but you really can’t take much from this game. It’s basically guys trying to get on SportsCenter’s Top 10 while the coaches try to coax them into trying harder.
Still, though, it will be nice to see a couple of young Lakers’ in this game. Clarkson and Russell are both more than worthy and they will finally get some burn in a game where they aren’t running the Princeton Offense. Seeing them with Towns, Booker (who I really like), and the rest of these kids should be fun.
Maybe this game is worth paying close attention to after all…
Where you can watch: 6:00pm start time on TNT.
david h says
darius: think it was Jordan Farmar on the sophomore squad in 2008 and was also on the rookie squad while Andrew Bynum was on the sophomore squad that same year back in good old 2007.
Yeah, Booker is legit. Going to be a very good 2 in the league.
World team is gonna win.
How much better or worse if LA took Per instead with 2nd pick?
Randle and he would be good front line.
Interesting article about what makes Draymond Green and Kawhi Leonard so good and a little on how basketball is changing. The center position seems like it’s going to change a lot until the second coming of Shaq.
“The most valuable player in today’s NBA isn’t a guard or a forward or a center. It’s all of the above. The new prototype is someone who plays not one position but every position.
That’s a huge problem for most teams, though, because players like that basically don’t exist. They are so few and far between that you could count them on your fingers and then type out a text message.
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is one of these unicorns. So is Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. Both have become first-time All-Stars this season and indispensable pieces on the NBA’s two best teams after a series of basketball forces collided with their unusual genetic advantage: their wingspans.”
Ki, do you ever have anything positive to say?
Clarkson 25, DAR 22, good job representin’
Agree Fern, our kids did well !
Porzingis killed it
Craig W. says
What if we passed on both Okafor and Russell and took Porzingis. My guess is that these blogs would have simply exploded with venom – they almost did anyway, but…
Monday morning quarterbacking and selective memory are very satisfying, but they don’t make things better going forward. IMO, we did fine picking Russell and will have a pretty effective backcourt going forward.
Based upon how well russell and clarkson did against mega talent, it demonstrates how scott’s ancient system has held them back. I blame scott for randle not getting in. Even the all star commentators acknowledged the derogatory remarks scott has commented on all three of those guys. Yes i am a scott hater. But i am in good company. Only person staying silent is magic johnson, who rode dma out of town. He’s got his boy in now, how did that work out
Renato Afonso says
Really karen? Are you still defending MDA? The fact that Scott is a terrible coach doesn’t mean that those who came before him were good to begin with…
Ha ha, yeah. How do you justify what magic was allowed to do along with laker commentators regarding d’antoni. My whole point is scott is no better and possibly worse and it is silent with all those old guys who support scott.
If you think that the FO is making major organizational decisions based on what Magic Johnson says or does, then that is a far worse indictment of the Jim Buss FO than a thousand negative fan posts. If you are still mad about D’Antoni being gone, then focus your snark and contempt where it belongs: on the guys who didn’t want to pick up the team option on MDA’s deal–Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak.
259 pm is me.
Clay Bertrand says
I personally didn’t interpret Karen’s comment to be staunchly defending MDA or longing for his coaching tenure so much as she was calling out MAGIC for refusing to criticize “his boy” Byron at all when he constantly LATE TWEETED lame comments about D’Antoni and piled on unfairly at the end when he wasn’t retained.
She has a point. I have mentioned it and there was a recent article about the fact that all these LAKER legends have nary a partially negative comment to say about Byron Scott. I can see them not just RIPPING him constantly but to be COMPLETELY silent about obvious shortcomings undermines the credibility of James Worthy, Dave Miller, AC Green etc. The only time there is ANY objectivity on TWCSN broadcasts is when they have a random media guy in there like Kamenetzky or someone and they seem to have stayed away from doing that very much.
Worthy has literally EATEN his own tongue and won’t say anything. How can they have a “special assistant” coach doing pregame/postgame anyway!!?!?!!?!?!?!
Its hilarious that when Don Maclean called BS out and said essentially that NO ONE in NBA circles has publicly come out to say that Byron is doing a good job, ALL OF A SUDDEN, out of nowhere comes this tweet from A.C. Green saying that Byron is INDEED doing a good job and supporting him. Yeahhhh…Too little too late A.C…………………
What, they couldn’t track down someone with LESS bias than AC Green??? Was Byron’s own MOTHER unavailable??!?!?!?!!?!?
Hey hey you were able to verbalize what i didn’t have the skills to do. That is right on!
I am also fine with Russell, but pointing out how fans would have reacted to the Lakers taking Porzingis is nothing more than an internet talking point, especially in your case, since one of the most repetitive themes of your posts is that we fans don’t really know what we are talking about and should be far less critical of decision-makers, etc.
So, yes–there would have been some yowling on the Lakers blogosphere if the Lakers had drafted Porzingis. But the job the FO signed on for is to make the right decisions, not the popular ones. And if Porzingis becomes a big star, it will be worth remembering that the FO did not pick him.
– Ko, if the Lakers drafted Porzingis instead of DAR, the narrative would be the same with Scott & the ownership, only the name of the rookie he was dogging would be different. Because this season is Kobe this, and Kobe that.
– Meanwhile, the Knicks would have selected a point guard, maybe DAR? Made the post season, and saved Fisher’s job.
Great points Sid, agree totally.
Karen has a long history of defending MDA and saying harsh stuff about Scott. As to the old Showtime guys sticking by their friend on TWC, my advice to people bothered by that is to learn where the mute button on their TV remote is. I am sure they are biased, but they neither coach the team nor run it.
Ko, if the Lakers drafted Porzingis instead of DAR, the narrative would be the same with Scott & the ownership, only the name of the rookie he was dogging would be different. Because this season is Kobe this, and Kobe that.
Perhaps. But that doesn’t really matter all that much; what matters is who turns out to be the superior player. Also, if the Lakers had taken Porzingis, Philadelphia would probably have taken Russell.
Clay Bertrand says
rr, I got you. I didn’t know of her previous history on the MDA part. I was mainly agreeing that Magic has been silent on Byron but shot his mouth off on all previous bad coaching performances.
I actually am glad the article was written (about former Lakers not talking bad about BS) because it explains basically that these guys are human and they aren’t gonna criticize their friend. Also, clearly TWCSN is not going to soil their own product that they have 17 more years of having to market. I frankly watch on delay and FF the studio portions unless I see they are commenting on the rookies then I will listen to what they have to say. The rest isn’t always credible….