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LeBron James - (NBA photo)

 

 

Kyle Kuzma - (NBA photo)

 

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SPORTS NOTES - THE LAKERS SHRINKING BALLS

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

Throwing a group of very talented young players under the bus by offering them in a trade with the New Orleans Pelican for the services of forward/center Anthony Davis may result in being a cancer to team cohesion. With 25 games remaining in the regular season the question is can they make the playoffs OR will they be only the 2nd team in LeBron James' 15 year career NOT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS? Is the James BLOOM OFF THE LAKERS ROSE? - THIS DAY IN THE NBA

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

LAKERS SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA DISEASE RETURNS

As the saying goes BALLS TO THE WALL which means give it your all OR in basketball speak…. leave it all out there on the floor. In December the Los Angeles Lakers winning chemistry seemed to be coming together. The media pinned LeBron James to the wall wanting to know when the team would produce and be good enough to qualify for the playoffs. James' succinct reply regarding the jelling of a team was… IT TAKES TIME.

The team then went into what appears to be a self destruct mode when Brandon Ingram remarked that they needed to find themselves and alluded to be strong without LeBron James.

James suffered an injury and the team reverted into losing games and seemed uninspired. Being in his 15th season James is showing the wear and tear on his body. As a result the team's record started to slide from being a playoff contender to dropping out of the picture.

During that time the shit hit the fan when super star Anthony Davis stated that he didn't want to play for the New Orleans Pelicans. Teams scurried trying to find ways to sign the future Hall of Fame forward/center. The Lakers went overboard and offered almost the entire team including their budding young stars, Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

Those youngsters were to be the future of the franchise but Lakers management led by VP Magic Johnson were willing to throw the future UNDER THE BUS. The result was the youngster's confidence was shattered. The most positive attitude was to swallow hard and say it's a business.

Ingram was showing signs of having an attitude. He displayed that early in the season when he went after James the Houston Rockets James Harden and Chris Paul. The NBA suspended him for six games. When he returned he was productive.

Kyle Kuzma was the most productive on the team being second to James in team statistics. Lonzo Ball was injured again and doesn't seem to have the physical strength to endure an entire 82 game season without injury.

They became expendables and it raises the question if they are capable to satisfy James' high standards to be his teammates. Can they adjust to being complementary to his game which is to be the centerpiece of the offense as in… it goes thorough him. As usual James leads his team in point per game, assists and rebounds. He is physically the strongest player in the league.

The teams attempt to attract Davis by making almost their entire team available was a confidence destroyer. The questions are how much influence did James have in making the players offered as bait? Does James feel that the players have talent BUT are not compatible with the way he wants to play? Is the love affair with James being the leader of players that don't want to be led but prefer to play their individual game which they could feel excels without James. These are not facts, just conjecture.

After the trade deadline passed Johnson traveled to meet the team to settle the issue and assure them that they are wanted as Lakers players. The question is it too little too late?

Whatever happened to LaVar Ball the big mouthed father of the NBA's overall draft pick then 19-year-old Lonzo Ball. The elder Ball had a whole lot to say about everything and the media picked up on it. Lonzo was supposed to be the saving grace of the Lakers declining and losing seasons under the dismal leadership of Jeanie Buss.

LaVar has been muffled this season but when the Lakers offered his son to the Pelicans he spoke out stating that he wanted his son to play for the Phoenix Suns if Lonzo was to be traded.

That also raises the question does James want to be involved in the Ball's CIRCUS of controversy?

In December Kevin Durant who is believed to be looking to join another team said that a star player would not want to be a second fiddle to James that in doing so it would take away from their game.

The next controversial move was the All-star game when James was accused of recruiting for the Lakers by selecting Davis and Durant from the players list.

Was this stealth like move to create mental chemistry to persuade either or both of these players to join him and sign with the Lakers when they become free agents.

Presently the Lakers are 28-29 and unlikely to reach the 45-37 record we forecast when the team seemed to be cohesive in December. Since the wheels have come of the Lakers cart the team would have to compile a 17-8 record during the remaining 25 regular season games. That appears to be unlikely given the trade turmoil that erupted and team confidence having be tampered with.

James is returning from injury and ready to take charge. Since he came into the league 15 seasons ago the teams he was on failed to make the playoffs only once. The table is set and the world is waiting to see if LeBron can once again earn the title of being KING James or will it result in him being recognized as KING BLAME?


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

February 20, 1972 Larry Brown of the Denver Rockets set ABA records for assists in a game (23), half (18) and quarter (10) during a 146-123 win over the Pittsburgh Condors at Denver.

February 20, 1996 Utah’s John Stockton became the all-time leader in steals with 2,311, passing previous leader Maurice Cheeks in a 112-98 win over Boston.

February 20, 1997 Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon became the 15th player in NBA history to score 23,000 career points in a 107-97 win over Toronto.

February 20, 2001 Mark Jackson of the Toronto Raptors recorded 12 assists to move past Isiah Thomas and into fourth place on the NBA’s all-time assists list. Jackson notched his 9,062nd career assist in Toronto’s 113-102 win over Golden State.


 

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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