The Ball is in our Court

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Well, it happened. With the number two pick in the NBA draft, The Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball. I knew it was going to happen, yet the dread still waved over me. Right now I should be celebrating. My beloved Lakers took a kid who has put up some crazy numbers, and has drawn comparisons to Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd. I should be over the moon, but I am not. Why am I pouting? Because of our new official ties to his father: LaVar Ball.

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First, let me be clear and establish that Lonzo has been the polar opposite of his father in public. He seems a bit reserved, shy, and respectful. This is a case of the son paying for the father’s sins. Now, you may think that I am being unfair to Lonzo. After all, don’t we all have relatives who say crazy things? I know my family has staged multiple interventions for a certain family member regarding her social media postings. However, Lonzo has confirmed that his dad speaks for him and he loves it. That is my problem. If LaVar was just some crazy parent who Lonzo denounced, then no one would give him that much attention. Instead, Lonzo has fed the beast and turned him into this media crazed, power hungry, sexist creature. Remind you of anyone else in our news right now?

Once he was drafted, LaVar immediately put on a Big Baller Brand hat in all Lakers colors. It actually made me feel nauseous. My first thought, was that I hope the Lakers have a patent on those exact colors and can sue LaVar for using it. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed the hat. After he was drafted these were the trending topics on Twitter:

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Can you think of another draft pick whose father was discussed this much? I sure can’t. They have 3 trending topics on Twitter! Shaq’s own son is a superstar in the making, but you barely hear Shaq discuss it. He has very much taken a back seat on his son’s success. Instead, LaVar has become the ultimate leech taking full advantage of the Lakers and their brand. I have never been so concerned for the Lakers brand in my life. This guy is already diluting it with his gross Big Baller Brand.

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What makes me even angrier, is knowing that this is not the end, but rather the beginning. LaVar is obviously going to pitch his family to all the networks for their very own reality show. Can’t you imagine their show following the Kardashians? I would like to remind all our fans, that the last Laker to appear on a reality show ended up overdosing in a whore house. Draw your own conclusions.

Magic and company obviously know who they are getting with Lonzo and his father. Lordy I hope they are able to control them, because now they belong to us.

Now that Lonzo has joined the Lakers, it means he will be under extreme scrutiny from me and the rest of the fans. Unlike most draft picks though, he has now put a bullseye on his back. He created his own shoe line before he was even drafted and had the audacity to charge $500 for them. Lonzo hasn’t done anything yet.

As I was getting ready to hit the publish button, I got a B/R alert that LaVar Ball just ran his mouth again and promised that the Lakers will make the playoffs this year. His dad has done a lot of shit talking, now Lonzo better deliver. If he can’t, then he will be feeling more heat than the residents of Arizona. Just because we drafted him, doesn’t mean he will be a Laker for life, just go ask D’Angelo Russell. This is the first time I have looked at one of our draft picks with actual animosity, so he better prove me wrong. Therefore, I would like to conclude with a message to Lonzo: “Welcome to LA.”

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Post Draft Day Analysis

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwy2mjgzntk1mtrlzwvhy2m2zgywndawm2y3yza2yjey-e1435290349615Yesterday was a pretty historic day for Lakers fans. We got to draft our number 2 pick, and Mitch Kupchak managed to shock everyone by selecting D’Angelo Russell. I am hearing a lot of complaints from my fans, but I am very happy with this decision.

If you take a look at my draft day prediction blog, you will actually see that I wanted the Lakers to consider Russell:

“Before we all jump on the Okafor bandwagon, I would like the Lakers to take a good look at D’Angelo Russell: a combo guard from Ohio State. Personally, I would love for the Lakers to acquire a young guard for Kobe to mentor and take over the team. I think it would be a great transition for Kobe to use his last months with the Lakers prepping his predecessor. Theoretically, Kobe could do this with Okafor, but Okafor is a big with a completely different game. Plus, Kobe tends to clash with our centers. ***Cough Cough*** “Shaq” ***Cough Cough*** “Howard.” Sensing a theme yet?

I think Russell could be a great addition, and the Lakers are in dire need of a quality point guard. Despite his faults, I believe the Lakers will end up with Okafor, but Russell is my dark horse pick.”

Therefore, my LakHer fans should not be too surprised by this decision. I did say that I thought we would pick Okafor, but to keep an eye out for Russell. I actually believe that Russell will be a better fit for the Lakers in the long run. Many analysts are actually predicting that Russell will be the best player in the draft. ESPN’s Statistical Plus/Minus (SPM) numbers

Additionally, a lot of people are complaining that we passed on a great center, and this franchise is known for great centers. I would like to counter that argument. There are 3 Lakers players statues outside of Staples Center: Kareem, Magic, and Jerry. Only one of those players is a center, and the other two are guards. The Lakers are known for having great players. Period. Magic defined Showtime, not Kareem. Between Kobe and Shaq, only one of them stuck around. The Lakers picking a point guard and not a center just shows that they are paying attention to what is happening in the league. Golden State just won the championship behind dynamic guards. Every great team in this era needs a great guard.

Also, Mitch made the point that he wasn’t convinced that Okafor would be a franchise player. I mentioned his deficiencies in my previous draft blog, so I can agree with his point. I am not convinced that Okafor will be great. Drafts are always gambles, so we can definitely revisit this topic at a later date.

Picking a point guard should also give Lakers fans great hope for the future. It has been reported that the Lakers wanted a point guard because Mitch is confident that we will score one of the free agent big men this summer (Marc Gasol, Aldridge, Love). There have been a lot of rumors flying that these players are looking at the Lakers with renewed interest, so stay tuned. I think we have put ourselves in a great position to lure one of them in with the starting line up of Russell and Randle.

Lastly, I know that there was a lot of speculation that the Lakers will trade Russell, but I am not buying it. I think Russell is here to stay, but that our 27th pick is a goner. We used that pick to draft Larry Nance Jr. but I do not think Kobe wants this guy around. Three years ago Larry stupidly tweeted this: “Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time. #rapist”

Everyone has his or her own opinions about that case, and I will certainly not be diving into it. That case happened over a decade ago. Needless to say though, I do not think Kobe and his ego are going to want this guy on the team. He did delete this tweet minutes after he was drafted, but I really do not think it matters. It will be a distraction, and will cause a feud before these two even meet.

Mitch has said from the beginning that he would trade at least one of these rookies, so I think Larry shouldn’t be making any plans to move it L.A. yet.

One final note about Russel, here is what he said after he was drafted, “I want [Kobe] to take me under his wing and gain every piece of knowledge I can possibly gain. That franchise isn’t used to losing, and I’m a winning player.” Thank you Russell for proving my point and proving that you are here to win and learn. I can tell I like you already.

Knick’s Pick

I am not going to cover the other teams picks, since I find them to be irrelevant to the Lakers, but my Uncle Rick and cousin Aidan are Knicks fans and were very distraught yesterday by the selection, so I will discuss that one for them.

I am not sure about this pick. Kristaps Porzingis is a huge gamble. He is not NBA ready, but he has a lot of potential. Unfortunately for Phil Jackson this pick will either be praised for being the diamond in the rough, or he will be slaughtered for squelching the Knicks opportunity to rebuild in the draft.

The biggest problem for Phil, is that he selected this player because he fits the mold for the triangle offense. While the Lakers are evolving their game plan to stay relevant in this league, Phil is sticking with the triangle offense, no matter how many games the Knicks lose.

Analysts are pretty split on whether this was a good decision or not. Personally, I do not know how this will play out, but if I were Phil, I would not be gambling right now. He has lost favor with the Knicks fans, as it was obvious when the fans booed this decision, and now Carmelo Anthony is complaining about it. I know that Dolan gave him a huge contract, but he has been known in the past to fire employees. Phil should be careful. Knicks fans had high expectations for Phil to come in and turn this franchise around, but Phil only has bad deals and records to show for his time in New York.

Draft Day: Predictions for the Number 2 Pick

Byron Scott Representing the Lakers at the Lottery

Byron Scott Representing the Lakers at the Lottery

Yesterday Lakers fans were rewarded with a rare win when the Lakers procured the #2 pick in the lottery. Less than an hour after the victory, I was already being bombarded with questions. My fans want to know who they will draft. Have no fear LakHer fans, I am here! Christy and Teri, this blog is for you as promised.

I will fully admit, that I am not a big college basketball fan. It is simply not my cup of tea. However, I did watch the championship game, and I have done my research on the top picks, so here is my assessment:

All indications seem to point to the Lakers picking Jahlil Okafor. He is the center from Duke, and there are certainly some great reasons to pick him. Offensively he is a great and polished center. My biggest problem with him is his deficient defensive ability. He lacks shot blocking skills and appears to need a lot of work defending the paint. Also, he cannot shoot his free throws, and as Lakers fans we are all familiar with having centers who can’t hit their free throws. ***Cough Cough*** “Hack a Shaq” ***Cough Cough*** “Hack a Howard.” Do you catch my drift?

Do not get me wrong, I am not opposed to us drafting Okafor. I think he is very promising. If we keep Julius Randle and Okafor, then we can have “Twin Towers” again, and I really miss having two bigs. Additionally, the Lakers have been known to utilize Kareem’s coaching skills to polish players. I think a Coach K student would be very receptive to taking advice from one of the greatest centers of all time. Dwight and Bynum proved to be poor students, but I think Okafor would be Kareem’s sponge. Therefore, I have faith that under Kareem’s guidance, Okafor can improve his defensive game.

Before we all jump on the Okafor bandwagon, I would like the Lakers to take a good look at D’Angelo Russell: a combo guard from Ohio State. Personally, I would love for the Lakers to acquire a young guard for Kobe to mentor and take over the team. I think it would be a great transition for Kobe to use his last months with the Lakers prepping his predecessor. Theoretically, Kobe could do this with Okafor, but Okafor is a big with a completely different game. Plus, Kobe tends to clash with our centers. ***Cough Cough*** “Shaq” ***Cough Cough*** “Howard.” Sensing a theme yet?

I think Russell could be a great addition, and the Lakers are in dire need of a quality point guard. Despite his faults, I believe the Lakers will end up with Okafor, but Russell is my dark horse pick.

P.S. Stay tuned this summer for my full analysis covering free agency. I will discuss the players the Lakers should target, and the approach they should use.

Kobe reacting to the Lakers winning the #2 pick