Wherever the Lakers travel around the nation (and around the globe), there are always some Lakers fans in the crowd. Even in rivalry cities like Boston. Or Utah.
And those fans are as frustrated with the Lakers 1-4 start as the people in Los Angeles. And some handle their anger just about as well — a Lakers fan in Salt Lake City Wednesday night sprayed a Jazz fan with pepper spray outside the Energy Solutions Arena, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
This pillar of humanity in a Lakers jersey was talking crap about the Jazz and the game inside the arena and even challenged the Jazz fans to a fight. So, they got tossed from the arena. These guys hung around outside the arena so they could continue the fight, the paper reports.
The Lakers’ fans spotted the Jazz fans standing on the corner of 100 South and 400 West and started trash talking again.
At that point, one of the Lakers’ fans pulled out pepper spray fogger and let loose with it, police said.
Idiot. (And while Lakers fans can be annoying, let’s not pretend all Lakers fans are idiots like this guy.)
If you travel to see your team in a hostile arena, you have to expect some people to talk smack. If your team sucks right now and gets is butt kicked, you need to accept it (within reason). Let’s put it this way: If you get kicked out of an arena you’ve got a problem, if you hang around outside the building to keep the fight going so you can pepper spray people who root for another basketball team, you should seek help. No, seriously, seek help. This isn’t normal.
Come on Lakers fans, try to handle a rough patch with a little class. It’s not too much to ask.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.