Posts Tagged ‘#Lakers’

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The reeling Lakers have lost four of five and are now an extreme long shot to make the NBA playoffs. Is it time to do the once unthinkable and sit LeBron James?

ESPN analyst Jay Williams thinks so. The former college star and NBA player said Monday morning on the network’s “Get Up!” program that the Lakers should “shut down” LeBron James for the final 19 games.

“Magic Johnson needs to shut LeBron James down,” Williams said. “He needs to take it away from LeBron, because LeBron’s pride will want him to play. LeBron is the ultimate competitor, and he will want to compete for an eight [playoff] spot. But if you’re thinking about long-term return on investment for LeBron James, who is 34 years old, you have to be able to compartmentalize that if you’re Magic Johnson, and say, ‘OK, LeBron, sit down, I don’t need you to get injured … sit down, get healthy.'”

The NBA would certainly frown on that, given the league’s recent directive to the Pelicans that they must play disgruntled star Anthony Davis rather than sit him. But might the Lakers take a similar stance with James, and play him extremely limited minutes the rest of the way? Williams said sitting James would allow the team to show off its younger players and boost their trade value. And as far as coach Luke Walton … well, Williams, like many others, expects he’s on the way out.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.

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LeBron James declaring himself the greatest NBA player of all time has sparked a pretty fierce public debate.

Perhaps that was all part of his plan?

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked Thursday what he thought of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s recent remarks about being the GOAT and made an interesting analogy while wondering aloud why James would make those comments with more basketball ahead of him.

“His career’s not over,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “I’d just like to — why he’s saying that, I don’t know. Maybe he thinks that that sells. Maybe he’s taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don’t know.”

James made the statement on his new show, “More Than An Athlete,” which airs on ESPN+ and is produced in partnership with his media company, UNINTERRUPTED. So, while LeBron is getting some pretty harsh blowback for his boast, he’s still drumming up awareness for his own business venture

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