Lakers fans are ready to break up the team.
It’s not like they won two previous championships and 57 games this past season. (Oh, wait…) They had a very bad playoffs, they looked fatigued and disinterested, they ran basic sets of the triangle offense and not the depth of it needed to counter what the Mavericks did (something Luke Walton mentioned at his exit interview). They were not athletic enough.
So, clearly, take the longest, most skilled front line in the NBA and break it up, because it will never win again.
No, it doesn’t make much sense. Kobe Bryant doesn’t think so either and said so at his exit interview (as reported by NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog).
“This is nonsense,” he said. “I remember [the Lakers] had a pretty good era in the ’80s and they didn’t win three [titles] in a row. They didn’t break that team up….
“If you’re asking me do I believe we can come back and do it again,” he said, “I absolutely believe that we can come back and do it again.”
Kobe was very Kobe during his exit meeting with the press. Confident they could do it again, with this core. Saying that this season was a year wasted in his life.
But he is right. Tall and good beats small and good, and the Lakers are still tall and good. They didn’t play like it in the playoffs, they played like a team mentally and physically worn out. They need more athleticism around the core. They need some shooters. If they switch systems they need a new point guard.
But this is about tweaks, not overhauls. Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is a guy you only give up for a few players in this league, and even then you better think about those changes. Kobe gets it.
Derek Fisher is already stumping for his second head-coaching job.
Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.
All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.
Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.
Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:
This is one of my favorite salary-cap quirks, explained in further detail here.
These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.
There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)
Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.
Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?
New Orleans? Probably.
New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe.
One more maybe: Las Vegas.
Scott Kusher of The Advocate:
The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild.
I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.
The 76ers hired Bryan Colangelo, and Sam Hinkie bounced.
Now, much of Hinkie’s front-office is also heading out the door.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
that regime — including deposed GM Sam Hinkie’s handpicked analytics crew — will be mostly gone by the end of August, league sources say.
If Colangelo hires his own analytics staff and integrates numbers into his decision-making, this is no big deal.
If Colangelo leaves those positions vacant, Philadelphia will be working from behind.
I’m betting on the former. He isn’t Hinkie, but Colangelo has discussed the importance of analytics. Let Colangelo hire his own staff, and everything might even flow more smoothly.
Mike Krzyzewski hates fun (even more than he admits).
So, the coach wasn’t thrilled after Team USA’s exhibition win over China, which included DeMar DeRozan nearly 360-degree dunking on someone.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
I want to see Team USA make highlight plays. Dunk from the free-throw line. Shoot from halfcourt. Throw behind-the-back passes. Show up weaker competition.
So, it’s hard for me to get behind Coach K’s criticism.
But I also want to see the Americans win gold medals in the Olympics, and I’ll blame Krzyzewski if they’re not adequately focused.
Fair? Not one bit.
Doesn’t change what I want, though.