Monday Morning Coffee

June 17, 2019

Congratulations to Rob Pelinka and the Lakers. No matter what happens from here, he managed to keep Anthony Davis from the Celtics, get rid of Lavar Ball, and save his job in one trade. That’s a serious accomplishment as far as Jock Talk LA is concerned. In all seriousness though, the Lakers gave up a truck load in this trade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad thing. That will be determined by whether or not the Lakers can sign a max free agent in the next couple of weeks. Nobody even knows if the Lakers have that amount of money left, but I have a hard time believing Pelinka would make this trade without having that opportunity. He can’t be that foolish can he? This is a results-driven business, and Pelinka and even Jeanie Buss delivered this weekend. However, it doesn’t excuse the embarrassment they’ve put on display publicly the last 6 months. Still, depending on how Pelinka can construct the roster from here, it’s possible nobody will even remember that.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA Championship. Has anybody actually informed Kawhi Leonard that they won the title? In typical Kawhi fashion, you couldn’t tell if he just finished a Monday morning practice or if he won a championship. The Raptors played much better than I thought, but as I said, the only thing that could derail the Warriors is injury, and that’s exactly what happened. However, history will not remember the fact the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries. History doesn’t remember that the ’89 Lakers suffered injuries to end their bid for a three-peat, or that the ’91 Lakers had injuries when they lost to the Bulls, or that the ’16 Cavs had injuries against the Warriors. Klay is the toughest dude in the NBA. He shoots two free throws with a torn ACL, while Paul Pierce needed a wheel chair to go to the bathroom. I feel terrible for KD, who’s career may never be the same after this. His injury simply sucks for the entire NBA. Meanwhile, Kawhi’s phone was blowing up after the Finals. Here’s a look:

Then there’s the Clippers. In the span of 6 days, the Clippers went from being poised to get a big-time free agent or two, to looking more likely to strikeout in free agency. Kevin Durant tore his Achilles, Kawhi Leonard won an NBA title, and the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis. That torpedoes the Clips chances of landing a big star or two. So what’s plan B? Is there a plan B? You need 2-3 stars to win in this league. Right now the Clippers still need 1, and hopefully someone’s told Steve Ballmer that Billy Crystal doesn’t count. Things can change very quickly in this league as we just learned, but suddenly, it’s looking much bleaker for the Clippers.

To baseball, where the Dodgers did alright against the Cubs this weekend. However, we had to be reminded that Kenley Jansen isn’t quite as dominant as he once was, after blowing a save on Saturday night. They also could really use Corey Seager’s bat, which won’t be in the lineup for quite some time after he strained his hamstring earlier in the week. Seager had just started to get it going too after a slow start. I like how there was debate early in the season of whether the Dodgers should play Kike Hernandez or Chris Taylor everyday at second base. It turns out the answer was neither since neither could hit water if they fell out of a boat right now. That’s turning into an additional problem to fix along with the dumpster fire that is their middle relief.

The Angels managed to get a couple of wins against the Dodgers, but couldn’t get back to .500 after their weekend series against the Rays. I’m amazed the Angels cut ties with Cody Allen, but still have yet to cut ties with Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. Not that Cody Allen didn’t need to be DFA’d, but his performance hasn’t been nearly as awful as Harvey and Cahill. I also like how the only thing people could talk about during the Dodgers v Angels series last week was how disingenuous the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” name is. One thing is for sure. They will always be known as the Angels, and will never have enough pitching!

In the NHL, the LA Kings made another bonehead move. They bought out aging defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Instead of paying Phaneuf an inflated salary for two more years, they stretched that out for another four years, which includes a $4 million cap hit in two years. One would hope that on a team with Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, you would be trying to compete for Stanley Cups, and would need that salary cap space. It would have been be far more sensible to keep Phaneuf on the bench, or sitting in the stands in street clothes for two years instead of four because of this. In addition to that, everyone would get the benefit of seeing Phaneuf’s attractive actress wife, Elisha Cuthbert in the stands all the time. This tells me that Rob Blake understands nothing about the salary cap, or attractive women.

OJ Simpson joined Twitter last week, which was pretty epic. Amazing that this man managed to start the account on the 25th anniversary of his wife’s murder. I’ve been on Twitter for 8 years and I have over 100 followers. Meanwhile, OJ has been on for 10 minutes, and he has 10,000 followers. That’s a killer ratio.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and is back again tonight. ABC is not very good at this whole spoiler thing. Luke P doesn’t get a rose at the end of the show, yet he’s shown in the previews for the next episode. I guess this is how the network decided they were going to top last season’s fence jump. Does the P in Luke P stand for “psychopath”? How did we manage to get an entire 2 hour episode dedicated to this dude? Meanwhile, Hannah asking the really hard-hitting questions like whether the guy likes mac-n-cheese or spaghetti. I like how Luke P’s date overshadowed how drunk Hannah was on her one-on-one with Mike in Scotland. She probably needed to be drunk for the date with Luke P though to make it more tolerable. Here’s to another week of hoping this show gets better.

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