Monday Morning Coffee

July 1, 2019

The madness has begun! NBA free agency is in full effect, and the Lakers are right at the center of it. At this point though, it’s looking like Kawhi Leonard or bust for the Lake Show. This is one dude that nobody knows anything about. I might actually be convinced he’s leaving Toronto, but Chris Broussard said he’s probably leaving Toronto which really means he’s re-signing there. The Lakers have to hope that if Kawhi decides to go elsewhere, there are still enough solid role players out there to be had. These free agent meetings are such a waste of time though. These dudes all know where they are going. Then again, if I were an NBA free agent I’d probably meet with all 30 teams to get 30 different free dinners.

Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka deserve credit for getting the Lakers to this point in the last few weeks. However, Buss finally spoke to the media last week, and her statement couldn’t have been any more disingenuous. She said the team is “in a really good place”, is “on the right path” and that “the goal has always been to get back to the playoffs.” Weird, because I always thought the goal was to win championships. The Lakers may be on the right path, but we won’t really know until free agency plays out. However, don’t give me some statement ignoring Magic pulling out the rug from under us, or without mentioning the disastrous coaching search. She could have at least told us “We know we have work to do, we know it’s been a difficult last few months, but I’m confident I can get the Lakers back to where we belong.” There has to be an element of self-awareness and there still seems to be none.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson had to announce to the world that Kawhi wanted to meet with him to take another shot at Pelinka. The man’s ego knows no bounds. It also feels like Magic is putting in more effort now with the Lakers than he did as President of Basketball Operations. Speaking of Pelinka, he really pulled a magic act by clearing additional cap space to create a max slot. He must have promised the Wizards a dinner with Michael Jackson.

Kevin Durant is a great player, and he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, but this dude is crazy. He’s the best player, already an all-time great, and playing on one of the best teams in the history of the NBA. Instead, he’s decided to leave them to play in New York, with a guy who’s fairly moody in Kyrie Irving. He’s doing this all because some teenager on Twitter thinks he’s a front runner. It shocks me that anybody could be that thin skinned. At a certain point you just have to tune out the noise and not care what people think. I admire the Nets aggressiveness in turning around their franchise, but I’m not so sure about the wisdom of replacing one all-star point guard who hasn’t reached his peak with another that has more mileage, and investing most of their cap in a guy who is coming off a torn achilles. Then there’s the Knicks. Only the New York Knicks would trade one of the best young players in basketball into cap space, and sign no star free agents. Hilarious.

To baseball where the Dodgers are still enjoying the best record in baseball, even after a tough weekend in Colorado. However, these ballparks really need to do something about security. Fans have been running onto the field nonstop just to give Cody Bellinger a hug. Imagine what would happen if Andrew Friedman were on the field. Fans would be running onto the field to kick him in the balls since he can’t put a good bullpen together. I love the fact the Dodger starters are going deeper into games, which lightens the load on the bullpen, but I sure hope Friedman’s computer allows Dave Roberts do that in the playoffs. Only a month left to find a quality arm or two for the pen.

Mike Trout is depriving us during the All-Star break. The man refuses to participate in the Home Run Derby. Look, he can do what he wants, but it’s reasons like this that people claim he isn’t marketable, or as easily identifiable to baseball fans, as great as he is. I’m sure participating in the derby once won’t kill him, especially now that his financial future is secure for nearly the next two decades. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani has already hit 10 home runs in just 44 games this season. That’s nice but they really need him to get back on a mound a pitch. Too bad that won’t happen until next year, which means another year of the Angels and their fans saying “maybe next year we’ll have good pitching.”

Finally, the Bachelorette is back tonight on ABC. You’ve gotta love the look on everyone’s face when Hannah gave Luke P a rose. That guy has to be a producer pick at this point right? Luke claimed he was “staying in his lane”. If that’s what he calls “staying in his lane” then he must be driving drunk. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was the first male Bachelorette. Someone should throw that dude’s passport in the river so he can’t go on to the next country. Tyler C seems like a pretty good bet to be the next Bachelor right now. There are some pretty good dudes on the show, but we’d never know since we get about two hours of Luke drama every week. We’ll see where it goes from here.

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