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LeBron James - (NBA photo)

 

 

Kyle Kuzma - (NBA photo)

 

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Craig Sager known for his colorful and distinctive suits during his more than 40-year career passed away at the age of 65 after battling acute myeloid leukemia since he was first diagnosed in 2014 - (pvsbond photo)

 

 

SPORTS NOTES - LAKERS NEW FACES are EMERGING & WINNING AGAIN!

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

Naysayers have been demeaning the Los Angels Lakers chemistry this season. They expect more with the addition of superstar LeBron James. James expressed patience to the provbing media by pointing out that it takes time for players to come together as a team and get to know each. James is proving to be more than a leader given the team's recent winning performance supports his wisdom and being a prophet - THIS DAY IN THE NBA

 

Thursday, December 06, 2018

LAKERS ON A ROLL

With LeBron James moving t the Lakes this season the question that keeps arising is how will he impact the team, can they return to winning ways. When questioned by the media why the team hasn't shown instant winning chemistry given his arrival, the three time NBA champ pointed out that winning chemistry TAKES TIME.

There is no question that since Jeannie Buss took over the reigns as boss of the franchise the team has fallen apart and have adopted losing ways. Following her father's death when Buss took charge the Lakers responded with a 126 win - 284 LOSS record over five seasons from 2013/14 to last season 2017/18 topped off with ZERO PLAYOFF APPEARANCES.

Ironically the former Miss Pacific Palisades claims she took over 30 years to prepare for the job. The results raises the question is it BACK TO SCHOOL TIME?

After a troublesome start a quarter a way through this season the team apparently has made James statement ring true, that it takes time for a team to jell and they are experiencing winning ways again. That raised the questions does the team have enough to win the title, does he need superstar help? .

The Hollyweird boys failed in their efforts to sign Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The obvious reasons why such a trade would not come to fruition was keenly described by another sought out super star Kevin Durant.

"If you're a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn't really make sense," Durant told Bleacher Report. "Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it's how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don't need another guy."

Durant's observations were spot on. The Lakers have first hand experience that there is only one ball that needs to be controlled by a key player. The Lakers VP and former super star player Magic Johnson was involved in this scenario when he was demanding control of the team and wanted to take the point guard spot from Norm Nixon. The two had won two NBA title together but Johnson wanted full control. The result was Nixon was traded to the then San Diego Clippers.

The situation rose again between guard Kobe Bryant wanted to have the team's plays run through him and not Shaquille O'Neal and that he be the centerpiece of the offense. The result was O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat.

The two had won three titles together as Lakers teammates but that failed to please Bryant. It later came out that Bryant was displeased with O'Neal lazy attitude regarding coming to training camp in shape at the beginning of the season.

In an interview between the former Lakers champions O'Neal's admitted tat he felt he could play himself into shape during the season. Apparently that was the rift that was sequestered in the background of their relationship. That video interview is currently available on You Tube.

The concern that James needs a Robin to compliment his Bat Man image is unwarranted. This season James is bettering his career averages of 27.2 ppg. Having played 24 games this season as a Laker he is averaging 28.4.

The Lakers management is cognizant of James' age who will celebrate his 34th birthday on the December 30th. This is where James' numbers are down from a career stat of playing 38 minutes a game to a now 34.

From the outset of the season James was badgered by the media why the team was losing. James' reply was, it takes time for teammates to know one another. He pointed out that every player has certain natural movements and spots on the floor where they like the ball.

Much of the poor interpretation of the Lakers performance can be attributed to supposed journalists that have zero to close to zero playing experience and don't understand how the game is played.

The unknowing probing journalists being a factor and was also pointed out as being a factor of a superstar player not wanting to play for the Lakers and be James teammate.

"So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people," Durant said. "He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I'm like, we're playing basketball here, and it's not even about basketball at certain points.

You have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball," he added.

Durant also pointed out that a super star player will have to give up a major portion of his game skills to compliment James.

"Kevin Love, he had to totally change his game to fit, to be a shooter. Which, I think, he deserves way more credit for switching his game."

James experiences with management trying to find another superstar to play the role of Robin to compliment James did succeed with him being the centerpiece of two Miami Heat titles with Dwyane Wade and another with Love in Cleveland.

Regardless of the poor media reports that the Lakers are in dire need of another superstar on the team to win an NBA title is unwarranted. They have all of the tools they need in their toolbox to develop into a title winning team. As James pointed out it take time the quality of the players on the roster is enough is all they need what is lacking is maturation and getting to know each other.

The maturation process began with the brawl with the Houston Rockets the second game of the season. The team lost 124 to 115 and a 0-2 record to start the season.

That resulted in NBA suspensions for two Lakers players Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul from the Rockets. That incident did more to bring the team together than simply playing a number of games together. That experience brought the team mentally together (opinion). The suspensions gave bench players to play and develop their game with James.

As usual James leads the team in points per game, rebound and assists. The bottom line is the game plan goes through James. Since that time the Lakers NEW chemistry has developed resulting is a respectable 14-7 record giving them an overall 14-9 record placing them as 5th best in the Western Conference.

Second year player Kyle Kuzma is second to James in scoring with a 16.8 ppg average. Ingram is third best with a 15.2 ppg. in 20 games. His four game suspension gave him time to mature and think things through resulting in his maturation process.

As a NBA statistician pointed out that it takes three key players for a team to be successful in winning titles. The point is that they must fit.

As Hall of Fame coach John Wooden whose teams won 10 NCAA titles including seven in a row that he never chose the best players for his teams. His perspective was the players that he chose must be good teammates and fit together.

That is exactly the point that the Lakers are currently experiencing the FIT TOGETHER PROCESS.

Last season the Lakers chose Lonzo Ball as their top draft pick. Ball had a mixed results season. He also had an injury that had him missed a major portion of the campaign. The good news if that time off gave Ball time to look, learn and heal. He needed to learn the pro mentality, mature, gain man strength and improve his shooting. He appears to be improving in all departments and James will be a cornerstone in his development.

The addition of Rondo is a key factor to be an influence and insight for Ball to the pro game. The addition of center of JaVale McGee is a key compliment for a coach to have for a top eight playing rotation. Both players have been members of title winning teams, Rondo with Boston and McGhee with the Warriors. Their experience is valuable in the maturation of the Lakers top three young players, Kuzma, Ingram and Ball.

Veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and second year player Josh Hart round out the Lakers top eight rotation players. The bottom line is they have al they need what is lacking is team experience.

The recent signing of veteran Tyson Chandler is key in strengthening the Lakers bench ad takes their depth to a dependable 9 deep in overall 20 minutes a game players that can execute well together. Given injuries happen this is a major signing that gives the Lakers powers that be, more credibility in decision making in contrast to the is takes they've made under Jeanie Buss' control.

We believe that the Lakers will finish the season with a 45-37 record and make it to the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers have all the tools they need to win but as James said, "IT TAKES Time.''


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

December 6, 1966 Rick Barry of the San Francisco Warriors made an NBA-record 14 free throws in one quarter as the Warriors beat the Knicks 126-116 at New York.

December 6, 1984 Milwaukee retired uniform #16 in honor of center Bob Lanier, who had retired after the 1984 NBA Playoffs. December 6, 1986 The Seattle SuperSonics posted a 136-80 win over the Rockets at The Summit in Houston. The 56-point margin made it the most one-sided road win in NBA history. The most one-sided road win in NBA Playoff history was the Lakers’ 126-70 win at Golden State in Game 3 of the 1973 Western Conference Finals on April 21.

December 6, 1997 The Houston Rockets defeat the Dallas Mavericks 108-106 in the first regular season game to be played in Mexico City at the Palacio de los Deportes.

December 6, 2000 Antawn Jamison of the Golden State Warriors and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers each scored 51 points in the Warriors’ 125-122 overtime victory. It was the first time in nearly 38 years and only the third time in NBA history that opposing players each scored at least 50 points in an NBA game. The feat last occurred on December 14, 1962, when Wilt Chamberlain scored 63 points for the Philadelphia Warriors and Elgin Baylor tallied 50 points for the Los Angeles Lakers. For Jamison, it was also the second straight game in which he scored 51 points, having hit that number December 3 in a loss to Seattle.


 

THE NBA's GREATEST of ALL TIME
1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

 

NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy


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