Do you ever wonder what people are doing with the millions the Lakers blew on them?

6 Jul

Few basketball organizations have blown as much money over a handful of players as much as the Lakers and the Nets.  Here are some of the most painful cases.

Steve Nash:  This is what Steve Nash is doing with the $45 mils he got from the Lakers for playing less than half a season out of the three that he was supposed to. Of course, he cost the Lakers much more than just the $45 mils and the ground-swell of fan anger.  He also cost them four draft picks.  Thanks Steve.  Hope you choke on it.

SteveNash

Brian Grant: The Lakers blew about $45 million on him in the Shaq trade.  He was able to only play less than a year.  The Lakers released him and gave him $30 mils to go away.  Sadly, he’s not very healthy these days.

089444.SP.1105.lakers13.ls----Lakers Brian Grant and Spurs Tim Duncan during the game at Staples Center on November 5,2004.

089444.SP.1105.lakers13.ls—-Lakers Brian Grant and Spurs Tim Duncan during the game at Staples Center on November 5,2004.

Ron Artest / Peta Pet Fleece… I mean Mega Whirled Cheese: Another one of those sad cases who played half-decently for half a season of a hefty multi-year contract, then changed his name to Meta World Peace, lost his game, and was amnestied (which means they gave him the rest of the contracted amount, about $8 million, and told to just go away).  Since then, with the money they gave him,, he bought himself another brand new name.  That’s right.  He did what he does best, which is changing his name.  Any guesses what name he bought himself?  Meta World Peace’s new name.  In case you don’t want to click the link, here is the answer: he changed his name to Panda’s Friend.  Now that’s an un-bearable name for a guy who no longer got game.

MWP

The Lakers signed Ron Artest because they hadn’t been able to keep Trevor Ariza happy and let him walk.  By the way, while Ron Artest is out of NBA Trevor Ariza is still going strong.  He just helped his team, Houston, reach the Western Conference finals.

Speaking of lost causes, have you thought about Andrew Bynum lately?  He has long been gone from the Lakers but he’s still costing them.  You don’t believe me?  Read this:  Philadelphia working to get money back from the Lakers for misleading them.

Bynum

Honorable Mention: Kobe Bryant: He missed the 2012-2013 play-offs with an Achilles tendon injury.  He came back a year later but after only playing six games he had another season ending injury.  While recovering, he signed a two-year contract extension for $48.5 million.  He came back again for the 2014-2015 season but only played 27 games before suffering another season ending injury.  Now, Bryant is a special case.  His injuries are really the result of his overcommitment, not lack of effort.  However, some say by hogging so much of the salary cap he has selfishly hurt the Lakers chances of signing other big name players, and the fact that the last two seasons he hasn’t been able to help the team while charging the largest salary of any current NBA player he partially fits this group of players.

kobe

Join us again soon and maybe I’ll tell you what it would cost a family of four to attend one Lakers game.  Because it’s a lot of fun to pay for the salaries of players who don’t play in the game you just attended.  Seven dollar hot dog, anyone?

Lakers as NBA’s Salary Dumpster

5 Jul

Soon after I published this article, right on cue, the Lakers made another one of their knuckle-headed amateurish head-scratcher moves and reaffirmed their role as a salary dumpster.  This is what I had written in that article:

The team has poorly managed its assets.  It gave up four draft picks to Phoenix for the rights of an overpaid Steve Nash at the end of his career who commanded $15 million a year for three years, and played only a handful of games.  The team paid nearly $45 million for two years to a Kobe who has played another handful of games. The team paid $14 million to a laughable Jeremy Lin who had a handful of good games in New York before coming down to Earth to be the player he really is: someone who should be playing in Turkey, not in U.S..  Before those players, they were overpaying Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, and Brian Grant and many others.  Speaking of Brian Grant, remember him? He was the bum the Lakers got in the Shaq trade.  Pat Riley dumped Grant on the Lakers and saddled them with a $45 million, 3 year contract.  After one year of miserable non-performance, the Lakers ate the remaining $30 millions and released the bum who lasted 3 more days in NBA before retiring to enjoy his unearned $45 million.

Guess what.  The Lakers just helped make it possible for Indiana Pacers to rebuild their team by agreeing to take Hibbert off their hands and shift Hibbert’s $15.5 million a year salary into their own cap space. Hibbert has been horrible since the 2013-2014 season.  He completely disappeared in the play-offs a year and half ago and never recovered.  As a result, the team nose-dived.  It realized it needed to change direction.  It has been no secret that Indiana no longer wanted or needed Hibbert but could not find a way to unload his huge salary.  So, after losing out on all the big name free agents, the Lakers did what they have always done: accept other teams trash.  Check out Indiana’s sports sites for their reaction to the trade.  They’re celebrating the dumping of the Lakers.

No wonder they are in the mess they are!

By the way, this is what Steve Nash is doing with the $45 mils he got from the Lakers for playing less than half a season. Of course, he cost the Lakers more than just the $45 mils and a lot of anger.  He also cost them 4 draft picks.  Thanks Steve.  Hope you choke on it.

[Edit: it’s actually worse than a 15.5 million dump.  With a kicker thing it’s actually over $17 million.  Imagine: the Lakers have now exhausted just about all of their salary cap with the exception of $5 million and there isn’t a player on this team outside of an injury-riddle Kobe that you could consider a legitimate star.  The Lakers have managed to spend nearly as much as San Antonio Spurs for a bunch of scrubs and rookies.  Meanwhile, San Antonio has loaded the team so badly with talent, they could play the Lakers 82 games next season and win all of them.  The Knicks used to be known as the most inept big spenders in the League.  It’s safe to say the Lakers now outright own that title.]

Let’s revisit Jeanie Buss’ comments from 7 months ago and see how it has played out since:

4 Jul

By the way, for those you folks who still don’t believe the Lakers are dead and its owners/front office are clueless, read this blog from 7 months ago.

http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2014/12/12/buss-siblings-open-up-about-bryant-lakers-mistakes-teams-future/#comment-737032

Just in case my reply to that blog disappears, I’m quoting it here, intact, from 7 months ago:

Quote: [“Jeanie: With the Steve Nash situation, I think we did everything in good faith. We sacrificed to get him by giving up draft picks. We made sure he was one of the top-15-paid players at his position, and we hired a coach that specifically suited his style of play. So from our point of view, we did everything right. You go in with good intentions, and it didn’t work out.”

]

My response: ”

Don’t mean to insult you, Jeanie, but that statement makes you sound like a complete idiot. Who’s even talking about your “good faith” and “good intentions”? What the heck does that even mean in this case? If I decide to operate on a person even though I’m not a doctor chances are that person is going to die. Nobody is going to ask me about my good intentions. They’re going to question my competence to have operated. You could have the best intentions in the world but not the competence to run a basketball team and that’s what’s going on now. You folks ran Jerry West out of town and look how the teams he joined after the Lakers have and are thriving: Grizzlies and now Warriors. You children of Buss are clueless and Kupchak is a yes-man. Look at this team with its bloated salary and its amazingly bad and unwatchable teamwork. This team is doomed with you running it. Your best bet is to bring back West or someone like him, hand everything and I mean everything over to him to fix up before he retires from the business, and make sure you don’t go anywhere near the front office because both of you are completely inadequate and incompetent. Frankly, you did better when you were a Playboy centerfold. You have had every chance to prove you’re more than a pretty talking head, and have failed miserably. As for Jim, I can’t even say about him the one good thing I said about you. Jim, retire and go away. You’re extremely unimpressive and underwhelming. Don’t wait 3 years to prove that. Step down now. NOW. It’s in your best interest because the more you hang around the more worthless the Lakers will be. Under your watch the Clippers have gone way past the Lakers and become more valuable.”

The Lakers Are Dead: An Obituary

4 Jul

It is with great sorrow that we hereby announce the passing of our once great basketball team, the Lakers.  The Lakers as an organization had been gravely ill for years.  In fact, twice in the past  11 years they had a near-brush with death but miraculously managed to pull through.  Sadly, not this time.  On Saturday, July 4th, 2015 at 9 AM PST, the Lakers passed away alone and broke.  The disheveled, unrecognizable body was discovered on the sands of Santa Monica Beach in a pool of vomit and shame.

But the death was not unexpected.  On the days leading up to Saturday Lakers looked increasingly ragged, sickly, hung-over and quite often doped up.  Alarmed by its delusional and irrational state, the fans and friends tried to help bring the realization that the organization was on a path to self-destruction but the Lakers would have none of it.  Convinced of its own eternal greatness, the Lakers repeated its delusions of past grandeur, of how it was going to reclaim its lost empire and prove its critics wrong.  A short while ago the fans had suspected that the Lakers were not of sound mind when they had talked about reviving the 1980s Showtime era and amateurishly given up a bundle of future assets to bring in a washed-up, old, broken-down and severely overpriced Steve Nash with the laughable thoughts of the 40 year old warrior doing the same thing that the 19 year old Magic Johnson had done.  Still, feeling sorry for the poor sap, the fans had indulged the Lakers.  However, the situation severely spiraled out of control when Steve Nash couldn’t even get on his horse and the other old, washed-up, broken-down warrior, Kobe Bryant, kept falling off of his horse.  At that point, everyone knew that the Lakers were doomed and now a danger to themselves.   On July 4th, every Lakers fan’s worst nightmare came to fruition and the once-proud team died a horrible death.

Our condolences to the entire Lakers fan base.

Also see:  https://hawksterreport.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/lakers-obituary-a-postmortem/

Lakers Obituary: A Postmortem

4 Jul

Everyone knows the Lakers died on July 4th.  Its long, proud history and its 16 NBA championship trophies could not save it from its doom.  The team has not been a “destination” for a long time, but has now taken more downward step.  It has become an “anti-destination”.  Not only were the Lakers unable to land a single superstar free agent, they couldn’t a second tier big name like Greg Monroe and Robin Lopez.  Even the Knicks are signing more of them than the Lakers.  It’s time to admit the bitter truth: The Lakers are dead and it’s time to bury them.

But what really went wrong?  An analysis of everything that went wrong can be turned into a book.  It would make a must-read for any owner-wannabe as far as what NOT to do.

The list of “what went wrong” is long and disgraceful.  The number one reason for the Lakers demise is one word: Arrogance.

Arrogance: The team assumed everyone wanted to play for them and nobody else.  They considered themselves an unconditional, permanent “destination” regardless of how poorly they managed the team, how depleted the team was, how overpaid everyone was, and whether the ownership or front office knew anything about basketball. The Lakers wouldn’t have to do anything.  They would have to just show the statue of Magic Johnson and the 16 championship trophies and everyone would want to just beg to join the team.  You could say arrogance was the mother of all the other wrong steps.

Mismanagement: The team has poorly managed its assets.  It gave up four draft picks to Phoenix for the rights of an overpaid Steve Nash at the end of his career who commanded $15 million a year for three years, and played only a handful of games.  The team paid nearly $45 million for two years to a Kobe who has played another handful of games. The team paid $14 million to a laughable Jeremy Lin who had a handful of good games in New York before coming down to Earth to be the player he really is: someone who should be playing in Turkey, not in U.S..  Before those players, they were overpaying Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, and Brian Grant and many others.  Speaking of Brian Grant, remember him? He was the bum the Lakers got in the Shaq trade.  Pat Riley dumped Grant on the Lakers and saddled them with a $45 million, 3 year contract.  After one year of miserable non-performance, the Lakers ate the remaining $30 millions and released the bum who lasted 3 more days in NBA before retiring to enjoy his unearned $45 million.  I’m sure Nash is keeping his company now.  Enjoy your unearned millions, bums!

Poor drafting: Over the years the team largely relied on free agents and trades to get quality players.  It stopped using the draft as a main contributor to their roster.  Other teams have invested much more in a system the scouts, targets, selects and develops quality players and have reaped the benefits.  The Lakers simply do not know how to do it any longer.

Loss of Leadership: Ever since Jerry West was driven out of town in early 2000s despite having a hand in putting together two of the three Lakers dynasties, the Lakers began going downhill because they never replaced Jerry West’s talent and leadership.  Their deep pockets and their luck saved them once when they landed Pau Gasol and won the trophy twice more, but their long decline had started prior to that.  The Lakers never rebuilt the team, never restocked young talent, never accumulated assets and never prepared for the future.  They spent like drunk sailors, squandering both their money and their draft picks.  They spent it on what amounts to instant gratification with no future value.

Lack of Vision: Can anyone tell what the Lakers vision of future is?  Has the management every laid it out convincingly for you?  Do they even have one? Was their vision that they would exhaust all their draft picks and go into mid-2010s with an aging Bryant coming to the end of his career, and then magically out of the thin air they would build a team with no assets? What were they thinking when they hired Mike Brown?  What was going to be the direction of the team?  What were they thinking when they hired Mike D’Antoni?  What kind of a team were they going to build?  And why did they stop whatever that thinking was, dumped both coaches and changed directions?  What was their thinking when they hired Byron Scott?  Did any one of these coaches bring in any new ideas?  If not, if these people only had old ideas, what were the Lakers thinking in hiring people with old ideas who had never won a championship?   In my previous columns I have been covering this gross lack of vision for years but nobody illustrated that lack of vision better than LaMarcus Aldrige.  In early July LaMarcus Aldrige wisely and amazingly embarrassed the Lakers when he went into their meeting, and came out like he was the NBA exec and they were amateurs.  He had gone in expecting a technical and vision oriented meeting and the Lakers had treated him like a stupid little kid, trying to entice him with what amounts to candy and ice cream.  They had bragged about their beaches, their wild parties, Hollywood, sponsorship opportunities, and… their past.  Aldrige was unimpressed and criticized their lack of basketball details.  The Lakers insisted on a second meeting to impress him with their basketball savvy, and Aldrige was even less impressed the second time because he realized the team had no vision, no assets, no players and no chance.  Why would he take a pay-cut from the Portland offer who have a better and more stable team to play for a lifeless and go-nowhere team?  In short, he exposed the fraud that the Lakers front office is.

Lack of Ideas: While other teams were taking the next step in professional sports, experimenting with new ideas, with new coaches with bold approaches to the game, with incorporating scientific methods to the game such as they do in Houston and their analytics as well as Phoenix and their training staff who is famous for prolonging careers and improving physical quality of players… The Lakers still rely on old methods, and even then not in a good way.

Poor Business Skills: In addition to its horrible management, the front office has run the organization with all the business savvy of a baboon in diapers.  One would imagine  a business that stays in a family ought to do better than most, that children who grow up in the basketball world learn things better because they’re immersed in it, that by not having outside parties involved they can make better decisions.  Not so with the Lakers.  Jim Buss has now proven to be the worst owner in sports history.  You can’t impress big name free agents when the team is run by a dysfunctional family of spoiled know-nothings with little accomplishment to show for all their years.  The daughter has been dating Phil Jackson who happens to have kids older than her, who coached the team twice while dating her, who was offered the job of being the coach a third time and then rejected, and who has gone on to run a rival team.  It doesn’t help that this daughter hurt her own business creds by having once posed nude for Playboy.  The team has gone on to sign a hefty contract with Time Warner which has created its own issues as now they want to have a say in the affairs and they are unhappy with the horrible product they’re stuck with. The Lakers took the money and the money corrupted them further as they took it as a sign of accomplishment.

Too much Kobe: By giving Kobe the keys to the ranch they hitched their wagons to everything that was good and bad about Kobe.  Sure, Kobe helped give them championships before, but what have you done for me lately?  By never controlling Kobe they risked alienating other players and it came back to haunt them time after time.  By their inability to rein in Kobe they ran Shaq (who had his own problems) out of town, they ran Phil Jackson out of town one of the times he left (the last time it was because of Jim Buss), they ran the immature and fragile Dwight Howard out of town, and beyond getting lucky with Pao Gasol they were never again able to sign a major free agent who could play.  Big names, including Kobe’s own friend, ‘Melo, learned to stay clear.  Furthermore, Kobe has been very greedy.  At a time when Wade takes far less than what he’s worth in order to bring in other big players, and Duncan has been playing for the Spurs for practically nothing, Kobe insisted on sucking up every dollar he could out of the Lakers and along with it he helped suck life out of them.

Toxicity: Add all of the above, and the town has become toxic to any big name player who wants a ring and recognition.  They all know what they are stepping into if they sign with the Lakers.  Out of all the big names in the last three years, not a single one has come close to signing with the Lakers on his own and not through a trade.

The Lakers were once a destination and deservedly so as they were champions and pioneering in their ways.  In the ‘80s they revived the NBA and introduced many of what is today practiced.  They invented the concept of “showtime”, an incredibly exciting, innovative and entertaining brand of basketball.  They brought celebrities and put them in the front row.  They made the players feel like they owned the whole town.  That’s how they became a destination. Now they are the complete opposite.  Now even Phoenix and Sacramento are doing better.  All the big names are gravitating to a few teams while excluding the Lakers first and foremost.  Even the Knicks with all their problems have been able to sign or retain more big names than the Lakers.  In their current state, the only players willing to play for the Lakers are those not in high demand, those rejected by other teams, or those who need a big paycheck with not much responsibility.  When the Lakers give up Dwight Howard to Houston and end up taking Houston’s rejects (like the overpaid Jeremy Lin) then the only type of destination they can consider themselves to be is “dumping grounds”.

You look at how San Antonio has been a force for twenty years and counting you realize by comparison how badly the Lakers have run their affairs to be where they are today.  San Antonio has consistently picked great talent and been able to retain them, has been able to make incredible deals (like stealing Leonard by trading who for him?), has been able to keep megastars like Duncan and Parker do it at a fraction of the cost, to have the same coaching staff firmly in charge, and continued to win over other teams when wooing big name free agents.  When the time comes for free agents they invariably takes San Antonios of the NBA over LAs.  At a smaller payroll that team is packed with far more talent than three Lakers teams combined.

The fact of the matter is that at some point the team should have gone through the painful but necessary rebuilding process.  It should have built up assets and dumped salary in the process.  It should have blown up the team, gotten rid of all the big salaries (yes, that would have meant either Kobe takes a big pay-cut or he’d have to leave too) and started to develop some players without the baggage of old guys on their last legs trying to win another one with nothing left.  Those two things are completely incompatible, because the Lakers never fully committed to a rebuilding process and did a half-assed job of it.

Jim Buss has claimed he will step down in two years if he can’t get the Lakers to play-offs.  Mind you, not a championship, but just the play-offs!  Really?  So he wants years of honeymoon to simply take the team to play-offs which was always a given for even the previous Lakers teams, even the mediocre ones?  After missing the play-offs only a couple of times in decades, anyone in charge of the team who misses the play-offs even once should be out of a job.  Furthermore, seeing the horrendous downward spiral you don’t to wait.  You can see the team is going in the wrong direction fast, is overpaying players, is toxic to big name free agents, hasn’t accumulated big assets and is in complete disarray.  Any good businessman would see the problem and would immediately move for a profound course-correction.  The Lakers have not done that.  The team languished in the hands of a bad set of owners, a bad front office, an egomaniacal Kobe and little by little lost its luster and its way.  The old, proud and once powerful version of the Lakers died on July 4th, 2015, and a new version of the Lakers was born.  The new version is a copy of the old version of the Clippers and destined to permanent mediocrity.

Lakers fans, welcome to the dark ages of your team.  If there is ever going to be a revival of the team, it won’t come any time soon.  If there is going to be one, it is going to be a long, painful, long, disgraceful, long, miserable ride.

30 Aug

Ever since I saw the movie “Titanic” I have wondered about the same thing that many people have wondered about: Why didn’t Rose share the raft with Jack? Is that because if she had then Jack would be alive today and there would have been no point making the movie? There seemed to be plenty of space on the raft but Rose didn’t even offer the poor, suffering Jack a little spot on the raft. She just sat there and watched him freeze to death. The movie cameras were not there when it all happened, so the only version we’re given is from Rose’s point of view. Rose tells us how Jack spent his last hours telling her how much he loved her, how he offered his own life so that she’d be all comfy and safe on the raft, how he wanted her to go on living and marrying some other jerk while he was perfectly happy to freeze his ass in the middle of a frigid Atlantic and die. He said “you go on to live to be 100, honey, because my heart will go on.” Is this what really happened?

Even though we all know about Rose’s act of selfishness, it has been a taboo to talk about it. For some reason everyone must be afraid of Rose and how she would react if anyone questioned her version of the story.

Recently I came across a copy of Rose’s private diaries that nobody has seen before. I was shocked to learn what really happened is not what Rose tells us in the movie. I guess she was too embarrassed to tell the truth. So she just kept it in her diary and hoped nobody would ever find out. Well, my sources have found the diary and today I reveal what really happened. If the movie was factual and had been made according to the diary, this is what you would have seen on the screen.

Rose: “What’s that sound?”

Jack: “That’s my teeth chattering. This water is freezing. Burrrr.”

Rose: “Well, stop making that sound. It’s soooo annoying.”

Jack: “OK. I’m sorry.”

Rose: “So, how much do you really love me?”

Jack: “A lot. Rose, I’m really cold.”

Rose: “Well, put something on.”

Jack: “I can’t. I’m floating in the middle of the ocean. There is nothing around here except for that nude pictures of you I painted, and your fiancé’s toupee. I can’t wear either one. I am cold and need to get out of water. “

Rose: “Don’t be such a baby. “

Jack: “Can you scoot over so I can get on the raft with you? I don’t really want to die like this.”

Rose: “I don’t think so. I just warmed up this spot and don’t want to scoot over to a cold spot. It’s just too inconvenient.”

Jack: “I can’t feel my feet. I think I’m getting hypothermia”.

Rose: “Sleep it off.”

Jack: “What? I can’t sleep when my teeth are chattering and my limbs are freezing off. I read somewhere if you stay too long in freezing water you may die. I really think I should get on that raft with you so we can warm each other.”

Rose: “Nah… I’ll pass.”

Jack: “Please?”

Rose: “Don’t be so selfish.”

Jack: “It’s hard to be selfish when you’re freezing to death. I say you let me on that raft so we can all go home and get some warm soup or something. Then we’ll plan our wedding and have lots of children and live happily ever after.”

Rose: “You are such a drama queen. Man up.”

Jack: “OK, I try to man up.”

Rose: “Don’t try. Do.”

Jack: “I don’t think it’s working. Now I can’t feel my manhood.”

Rose: “Stop touching yourself! God!”

Jack: “I am not! I can’t even feel my fingers.”

Rose: “I’m beginning to think this was all a big mistake. I should have stuck with my fiancé. He had a real boat instead of this stupid raft you got me. And, may I add, why doesn’t this raft have a heater? Why can’t you get a real job so you could afford a decent raft with a real heater? Jenny’s husband has a raft with its own seat warmer, two cup holders and a DVD player.”

Jack: “I’m sorry. I’ll try to be a better man if you just let me on that raft.”

Rose: “If you really loved me you’d swim back to the ship and grab that large diamond for me. And while you are at it, get me a roast beef sandwich. I’m getting kind of hungry.”

Jack: “But the ship has sunk already. It’s now 7 miles below us at the bottom of the ocean.”

Rose: “You are nothing but excuses. If you really loved me nothing would stop you. Not according to Justin Bieber songs anyway.”

Jack: “OK then. I’m going to swim to the bottom of the ocean to fetch you a sandwich. If I don’t come back just remember that my heart will go on.”

Rose: “Don’t be late. Don’t get the wrong diamond now. There are a lot of cubic zirconias down there. Make sure it’s a submarine sandwich. Don’t get the sandwich soggy. Don’t forget to put some mayo on it because I don’t like my sandwiches dry. Don’t stop and talk to other women. OK? Jack??? Jack??? Are you back yet??? What is taking that boy so long? Hey, is that Celine Dion I hear?”

Bad Poetry Collection

24 Jul

Tears of a duck: http://ronhawkster.hubpages.com/hub/Tears-Of-A-Duck-Bad-poetry-gone-wrong

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