Monthly Archives: July 2013


Jim Buss


July 7th, 2013

Are you really surprised?  Everyone told you it was coming.  Just like when your high school friends kept telling you that your girlfriend was going to breakup with you if you didn’t start treating her better.  Well, the breakup finally happened.  Dwight Howard left the Lakers for the Houston Rockets.  That’s right Laker fans.  You were $30 million richer, but your girlfriend just left you for Steve Urkel.

Say what you will about how much of a pussy you think Dwight Howard is for wanting no accountability, but this isn’t ok, and Jim Buss blew it.  He blew it the moment that he chose Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson.  What an absolutely embarrassing choice, that snowballed and culminated in this embarrassing moment.

Last summer, Mitch Kupchak assembled an incredible roster, with very few resources to work with. Kupchak somehow traded a Volvo for a Ferrari.  Then his boss proceeded to take shit all over his Ferrari, to that point you couldn’t even recognize what it was.  This could have been a championship team if it had a championship coach.  Instead, Buss hired a complete misfit in D’Antoni, who managed to alienate nearly every player on the team, run his franchise player into the ground, and push a critical cornerstone of the franchise away.  This was a spectacular collapse.  Kupchak acquired Superman, yet Buss acquired kryptonite shortly thereafter.

Now what?  The Lakers roster is older than the Bible, and even if Kobe gets healthy, it will be a struggle just to make the playoffs.  LA only has its $3 million mini mid-level exception to spend, along with a veterans minimum of around $1 million on this years remaining free agents.  However, every impact player is gone because the Lakers were waiting for Dwight to make up his mind.

Of course, the Lakers plan is to re-tool the team next summer when Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and other elite players will be free agents, and LA will have over $50 million to spend.  Still, the Lakers recruiting pitch next summer won’t be nearly as good without a young piece like Dwight Howard.  The Dallas Mavericks have been trying to play the free agency game for the last two summers, and have struck out more than Josh Hamilton.  Meanwhile, their franchise player Dirk Nowitski is wasting the final years of his career.  In other words, trying to build a championship team exclusively through free agency isn’t always the most effective strategy.

The biggest indictment in this situation isn’t on Dwight, and him being a mental midget.  It’s on Jim Buss.  When a player can leave an extra $30 million on the table to go play in a dump like Houston, you know you screwed up.  Sure, David Stern has globalized the NBA to a point where playing in such a dump still allows a superstar to build their brand in places like China and Europe, but who leaves LA?  If the Lakers road back to glory is through free agency next summer, then Jim Buss’ and his lack of leadership is a bigger problem than we thought.

Clipps get Dudley and Redick

jj_redick-pic dudley


July 3rd, 2013

The Clippers continued their busy off-season on Tuesday, acquiring guards J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in a 3 team trade.  In exchange for Redick and Dudley, the Clippers sent forward Caron Butler and guard Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns, while the Milwaukee Bucks received two 2nd round picks from LA and Phoenix.  Surprisingly, many Clipper fans think their team got worse, but they are more mistaken than Chris Broussard and his multiple sources.

Since the end of the season, Eric Bledose’s name has been thrown around in trade rumors more than a hooker in Vegas.  Bledsoe has great athleticism, and is only 23 years old, but is extremely unproven.  He averaged 8 points and 3 assists in 20 minutes of playing time this year, but when Chris Paul went down with an injury, he failed to prove he can be a reliable starter.  In other words, Bledsoe’s value is more inflated than the stock price of Facebook.

In return, the Clippers acquired two potential starters who are very good shooters in Redick and Dudley.  Redick is a career 39% three point shooter, who averaged 14 pts and 3 assists with the Magic and Bucks last season.  Dudley may play some small forward for the Clippers, he’s 6 years younger than Caron Butler, and a reliable 40% shooter from 3 point land.

The Clippers had some discussions with Orlando for Aaron Afflalo, and Toronto about Demar DeRozan.  However, in typical Clipper front office fashion, they leaked to every media outlet possible all the big names they were chasing, even though it probably was never realistic to acquire those players.  It isn’t very often you will be able to trade a backup point guard and an aging small forward for a player who can score 20 points a game.  The Clippers were trying to make everyone think they could swap a Volvo for a Porsche, which caused much of this disappointment.  Coincidentally, this blabbing probably led to collapse of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade to the Clippers as well.

Remember, the Clippers still have their full mid-level exception of $5 million to spend on another free agent, and they could also bring back small forward Matt Barnes to add depth.  LA has also been talking to free agent power forward Carl Landry, who was an effective bench player for the Warriors last season.

Although the Clippers are doing a good job of adding quality role players and depth around Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, their success will largely depend on how much Blake Griffin’s post game  improves, as well as their half court execution.  Still, good organizations that are proven winners usually don’t blab about all the big names they are chasing to give them credibility.  That’s something the inexperienced and unproven Clipper organization is still learning.



Monday Morning Coffee

Leave MDA


July 1st, 2013

The Dwight Howard sweepstakes has “officially begun”.  However, does anybody really think that Dwight does not already know where he’s going?  This dude has had almost a full year to think about where he wants to go, and knows exactly what each team is offering.  Do you really expect me to believe that one of these teams is going to “convince” him of where he’s going?  If you do, than you are more naive than teenage girl.  According to Hoopsworld writer Alex Kennedy, the Rockets are now “cocky” because they are so confident they will land Howard.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have shown their pathetic desperation to keep Dwight by posting billboards all over town.  This is the kind of crap they would do in Cleveland or Orlando, but should not be doing in LA.  What’s next?  A song coming out this week pleading him to stay?  This lame piece of work was put together in Orlando:

There have been some rumors circulating that the Lakers may be prepared to fire Mike D’Antoni since they have yet to allow him to hire any more assistant coaches, and since Kurt Rambis’ name came up as a potential addition to the staff.  It’s an interesting theory, but if the Lakers were serious about keeping Dwight, they would have already fired D’Antoni, and assured him that Phil Jackson would be coaching the team.  In 2004, the Lakers had traded Shaq prior to trying to convince Kobe to re-sign with the team.  Even then, Kobe was on the verge of leaving the Lakers, before eventually coming back.  The Lakers recruiting plan is worse than the European debt plan.

Chris Paul’s free agency will be rather uneventful, which is great news for the Clippers.  In typical Chris Broussard fashion, he is reporting that Lebron James’ sources have informed him that sources close to Paul saw them at a club with Drake last night, and he received a call in the morning, saying that he will be re-signing with the Clippers.

Broussard Sources


The NBA draft is a joke.  How are teams that are starving for talent supposed to improve themselves when they are forced to select completely underdeveloped players?  Nobody is tall anymore, but instead, certain players “have great length”.  Nobody is a great player, but instead, some players “have great upside”.  On Thursday night, all I heard was 3 hours of Jay Bilas talking about wingspans.    It’s no wonder teams like Sacramento, Charlotte, and Detroit have been picking in the lottery for years yet are still in the league’s basement.

Very quietly, the Dodgers and Angels are starting to make moves.   The boys in blue are a little bit healthier, and they’ve now won 8 of the last 10 games, moving just 4 games back of first place Arizona in the NL West.  Yasiel Puig has been hotter than a whore house on nickel night, and added 4 more hits yesterday.  He finished his first full month in the majors with 44 hits, which is 2nd only to the legendary Joe DiMaggio.  Just think how good the Dodgers could be if Matt Kemp could pull his shit together?  This isn’t the most well put together ball club, but at least they are back in the playoff race.

As for the Halos, they’ve won 6 straight, and are 7.5 games back in the wild card race.  Although the team still has a big climb ahead of them, their pitching hasn’t looked like dog crap for the first time all year.  The bad news is that Peter Bourjos is going back on the disabled list because of a fracture below his right wrist, and Josh Hamilton is still fairly useless.

The Kings and Ducks had a very anti-climactic NHL draft, but things should get interesting this week.  LA is moving closer to a deal with defenseman Rob Scuderi, who is a vital part of their stellar defensive core, but Scuderi will have to take a discount to fit under the cap.  The Ducks locked up veteran defenseman Ben Lovejoy earlier in the week, but need to figure out what’s going to happen with Teemu Selanne.  Selanne’s annual retirement dilemma has made him the Brett Favre of the NHL.

The Aaron Hernandez murder trial has once again, made me question the long term health risks to playing professional football.  Can taking all those hits make you dumb enough to kill somebody when you are a multi-millionaire with a fiancee and an 8 month old daughter?  It seems clear the answer is yes.  Nevertheless, the Patriots did a commendable job of releasing Aaron Hernandez before even letting the justice system take its course.

Has anybody tried the “Monkey Style” Burger at In-N-Out?  I’ve always been a fan of the secret menu at In-N-Out, but only recently did I discover this item on that menu.  I’ve gotta admit, I was skeptical at first, but Animal Style fries in your burger make it that much better.  I was afraid I’d die of a heart attack from all the cholesterol, but it was definitely amazing.

I recently decided to see if all this hype about AMC’s Mad Men was justified.  I’m only through the first 4 seasons, but I have to admit, it’s a bit of a let down.  Since I’m already this far, I’m committed to watching the last two seasons, but the show is just too slow, and the characters aren’t interesting enough.  I completely understand the appeal of the 60’s, especially to the Baby Boomers, however, the show just repeats the same themes of adultery, sexism, and alcoholism in Don Draper’s life.  With no other interesting characters, these themes get a bit old after 4 seasons.   The show is also only focused on the white privileged wall street folks in that era as well, which leaves the show without enough depth.