Some of you may have varying opinions on Stephen A. Smith, but I would advise you to consider the following before passing judgment on the value of a rumor sourced from him. If you ever watch SAS work a room full of All-Stars, it’s just about the most fascinating thing you’ll ever see. He’s one of the very few individuals I’ve ever seen have All-Stars drop what they are doing to go reach out and approach him. This was in public, I can only imagine what happens behind close doors. The long and short of it is that Smith may not be your cup of tea, but he’s not some blogger sitting somewhere making up rumors. That’s my job. KIDDING. (I only make up terrible nicknames.)
So this report from him via ESPN on the Lakers being interested in finding the answer to their troubles in The Answer? It’s probably got legs at one end of the vine or the other.
Allen Iverson, who sources indicated the Lakers had some interest in as long as he was willing to go to the NBA Developmental League for a few weeks first, is not the answer. Hes simply not a point guard. The Lakers are also said to be interested in former Toronto Raptors point guard Rafer Alston, who helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009. But who knows if that will materialize into anything?
via Showtime is only a memory for Los Angeles Lakers against New York Knicks – ESPN Los Angeles.
“Hey, your offense suffers because it lacks players who can produce off the ball, your big men have been inconsistent, and your best player feels its in his best interest to take 28-plus shots a night, then receives no criticism on drowning the offense because he manages to score 30-plus. I know! Allen Iverson will solve all these problems!” (Note: You can’t really blame Kobe for taking shots when his options are Troy Murphy and Jason Kapono while Andrew Bynum continues his slide back into the cuckoo nest, but it paints a more complete picture of the Lakers’ offensive troubles.)
Allen Iverson will not solve all these problems. Now, it’s clear that this was just a fleeting consideration, a flyer, a “why not?” approach. But it does show how desperate the Lakers are for someone to orchestrate the offense and create opportunities. I mean, Rafer Alston, guys?
Someone might want to tell management and the coaching staff that it isn’t 2008. The times are not a-changing. They have done changed.
Kobe and Iverson on the same team. We’re going to need to clone possessions in a hurry.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.
Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):
This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.
Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.