The Lakers’ journey through this season is starting to resemble Odysseus’ trip home from Troy.
Just four games after returning from a hamstring tear, point guard Jordan Farmar has suffered another hamstring tear, this one is expected to keep him sidelined for a month, the Lakers have announced.
Farmar came back from his last injury as quickly as he could because the Lakers were already without Steve Nash and Steve Blake due to injuries. Is Farmar’s new injury related to the old one, as often can happen with hamstrings? The Lakers spun it this way, officially.
Although the hamstring tear is in the same leg, this tear is in a different location than the tear that Farmar suffered on December 1, which kept him out three-and-a-half weeks.
However I think this comment from Farmar after the Lakers ugly loss to the Bucks New Year’s Eve speaks volumes.
The Lakers are now basically screwed at the point guard spot. Nash, Blake and now Farmar are out, and last time that happened the Lakers leaned heavily on Xavier Henry to play the point, but he is out now with a bone bruise to his right knee. Kobe Bryant remains out with his knee fracture, he certainly can be a ball handler when healthy.
That leaves the Lakers with shooting guard Jodie Meeks and D-League call up Kendall Marshall to play the point. If you think Marshall is a great option, remember that Mike D’Antoni said he played Henry in front of Marshall because Henry was the better point guard. And Henry is not a point guard.
The Lakers seriously have to consider the option of making a run deep into the lottery at this point. Kobe and the organization may balk at that idea, it is not how the Lakers operate, but this year with this draft it seems the smartest way to build for the future. The Lakers wanted to see if they could salvage this season when everyone got healthy, but as they fall back in a deep Western conference the odds of that become less and less likely. They have to consider the ugly step of tanking.
Rudy Gay expressed displeasure with how the Kings were handling trade rumors. Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac retorted that Gay had his phone number.
Apparently, Gay found it.
Sean Cunningham of ABC 10:
Following those comments, Gay told ABC10 on Thursday afternoon that he had since spoken with Divac.
“I have talked to Vlade,” Gay said from his Nike Skills Academy at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. “I can’t say since Monday stuff has changed, but I just feel like we have a little bit of time to start changing things.”
Gay, who will be entering his 11th NBA season, has insisted he hasn’t demanded a trade and should he remain a member of the Kings by the time training camp opens in October, he says he’ll report and be ready to go.
“At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” said Gay. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”
Even if he hasn’t demanded a trade, it sure sounds like Gay would welcome one. I doubt the Kings would mind moving on, either.
But it takes another team to trade for Gay, and so far, one hasn’t emerged.
In the meantime, tensions appear to be eased. Open communication usually helps.
Jimmy Butler said of the Derrick Rose trade, “It had to be one of us.”
Butler also says not blame him for the Bulls losing Rose — or Joakim Noah, who’s also headed to the Knicks.
Jimmy Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
“That has nothing to do with me, I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “People are gonna think what they’re gonna think. I don’t let it bother me. I know where I stand, I know who I am. It’s one more thing for people to talk about. I don’t pay too much attention to it.”
I can believe Butler didn’t directly urge Chicago to trade Rose, but Butler’s presence matters.
Rose and Butler clearly didn’t ideally mesh on the court, and there might have been off-court issues, too. If it weren’t for Butler, the Bulls might have kept Rose.
Noah is a little different, because it seems he, more than the team, was ready for a breakup. Still, that might have also had to do with Butler.
Butler is trying to grow into a leader, a natural progression for someone who became his team’s best player. But that was awkward with the Bulls’ previous leaders — Rose and Noah — still in the locker room. There’s no simple solution, though moving on without Rose and Noah will clear that cloud.
So — without other information — it’s too much to “blame” Butler for Rose’s and Noah’s departures. But Rose and Noah moving from Chicago to New York can still be ascribed to Butler.
It might not have been something asked for directly. It’s just the reality of the situation.
Dwyane Wade is back in sweet home, Chicago.
Wade met with the media for the first time and talked about the pairing of himself and Rajon Rondo with the Bulls’ existing star in Jimmy Butler — Wade used the term “three alphas” more than once. But he also was clear about whose team this was going to be on the court.
“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes.”
Wade added that he would not be a Bull if Jimmy Butler had not personally called him and asked him to come.
Wade took that cue from Shaquille O’Neal when he joined Wade’s Heat team — which eventually led to the Heat’s first title in 2006. The Bulls would love for that kind of result here, although it’s much tougher to see this Chicago roster having anywhere near that kind of impact.
With the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland, you knew there was going to be a LeBron James influence.
It apparently kept Justin Bieber away from Donald Trump and Co.
Justin Bieber got a $5 million offer to perform at a Republican event during the GOP Convention, but turned it down after his manager considered quitting and LeBron James urged him to reject it … sources tell TMZ.
That’s a lot of money for a single gig. This either speaks to the power of LeBron’s words — or the embellishment of Bieber’s value.