Byerie Irving? Do you want Kyrie back?

What are your thoughts on Kyrie?

  • I want him back on max deal no matter what

    Votes: 63 21.6%
  • I want him back on max deal ONLY if AD is also coming

    Votes: 85 29.1%
  • I’m done with him and don’t want him back under any circumstances

    Votes: 92 31.5%
  • Not sure - I want to see how the playoffs go first

    Votes: 52 17.8%

  • Total voters
    292

benhogan

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So you know his market based on some conjecture in a publication with a slant during a period where free agency isn't really even open? Got it.

You have no facts and your positions lack data and often directly contradict what the stats say. That is not to say that your statements that the C's were dysfunctional and that "the pieces didn't fit" are incorrect - you are right on both fronts But if Boston were to follow your recipe of ridding itself of the poison that is Kyrie Irving, they will likely struggle to be a .500 team. And you know for a fact how badly it will turn out if Boston acquires another elite player to pair with Irving, thereby making the team much harder to defend?

What is the next Powerball drawing? And how do you manage all of your wealth that you acquired by seeing the future?
So no Kyrie equates to a Boston Celtic team that struggles to play .500?

That's as factless and dataless as any Big John post. Ainge, Stevens, Zarren & Wyc have contingency plans if Kyrie takes his talents elsewhere.
 

southshoresoxfan

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24/6/7 50/40/87 plus 6.6 when he was on the floor, second team all NBA.

I’d love more of that “poison” thank you very much.

I often wonder if some of the posters actually A) watch basketball and B) understand a single thing about the sport.
 

the moops

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24/6/7 50/40/87 plus 6.6 when he was on the floor, second team all NBA.

I’d love more of that “poison” thank you very much.

I often wonder if some of the posters actually A) watch basketball and B) understand a single thing about the sport.
I agree. Disappointing that they lost in the 2nd round, but you can't just blow a team up because they failed in the playoffs
 

bowiac

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Especially when that failure was against what really may be a truly dominant team. Certainly a dominant regular season team.
 

lovegtm

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Especially when that failure was against what really may be a truly dominant team. Certainly a dominant regular season team.
My main qualm is that we’ve seen Kyrie be transcendent offensively against some of the best teams in history, and he just wasn’t there in this series. The main takeaway to me from the Bulpett article is that other front offices seem to be taking that into account as well, and downgrading him a bit as a result.

However, I mostly agree. Now that the dust has settled, and we’re seeing how good the Bucks are, I want Kyrie back.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
Nov 17, 2010
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24/6/7 50/40/87 plus 6.6 when he was on the floor, second team all NBA.

I’d love more of that “poison” thank you very much.

I often wonder if some of the posters actually A) watch basketball and B) understand a single thing about the sport.
Man, I've been saying it from the beginning. He may be ornery, but the goal should never be to lose a top 25 player for nothing.

I'm lazy, so forgive me. If KD really wants to play with Kyrie, is it possible to open up enough cap to get him here? Since theres been no discussion around it, I'd assume not. But not sure what Al opting put gets us for cap space.
 

Jimbodandy

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My main qualm is that we’ve seen Kyrie be transcendent offensively against some of the best teams in history, and he just wasn’t there in this series. The main takeaway to me from the Bulpett article is that other front offices seem to be taking that into account as well, and downgrading him a bit as a result.

However, I mostly agree. Now that the dust has settled, and we’re seeing how good the Bucks are, I want Kyrie back.
The Bucks defense was a surprise to a lot of us. It's real, and it's spectacular. They have given up, in order: 86, 99, 103, 104, 112, 102, 116, 101, 91, 100, and 103. The two games over 104 had quite a bit of garbage time. Bucks opponents are shooting .399 from the field and .321 from 3pt. They were only #11 in the regular season but have clearly dialed it up in the playoffs. They didn't just take away Kyrie--they took away everyone. The adjustments made after game one of our series did the trick.

I doubt that any GMs are really overreacting to four bad games by Kyrie, especially Ainge.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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Man, I've been saying it from the beginning. He may be ornery, but the goal should never be to lose a top 25 player for nothing.

I'm lazy, so forgive me. If KD really wants to play with Kyrie, is it possible to open up enough cap to get him here? Since theres been no discussion around it, I'd assume not. But not sure what Al opting put gets us for cap space.
$0 if Kyrie stays.

It would need to be an opt-in and trade like what happened with Chris Paul.
 

nighthob

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My main qualm is that we’ve seen Kyrie be transcendent offensively against some of the best teams in history, and he just wasn’t there in this series. The main takeaway to me from the Bulpett article is that other front offices seem to be taking that into account as well, and downgrading him a bit as a result.
I mean I'm sure that a lot of people are talking shit during the silly season. But at the end of the day most teams will take him over the rest of the cruft they have on their roster. Even Brooklyn with Russell, as they'd turn around and deal DAR for more help for Irving.

Man, I've been saying it from the beginning. He may be ornery, but the goal should never be to lose a top 25 player for nothing.

I'm lazy, so forgive me. If KD really wants to play with Kyrie, is it possible to open up enough cap to get him here? Since theres been no discussion around it, I'd assume not. But not sure what Al opting put gets us for cap space.
If Irving wanted to stay here, and talked Durant into teaming up here, it's doable with something like a Hayward/#14 for Durant deal. I suspect that both guys want New York, though. I'm not in the "Good riddance" camp, I'm in the "He's leaving, so what's next?" camp.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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If Irving wanted to stay here, and talked Durant into teaming up here, it's doable with something like a Hayward/#14 for Durant deal. I suspect that both guys want New York, though. I'm not in the "Good riddance" camp, I'm in the "He's leaving, so what's next?" camp.
Would kind of be hilarious if GH was traded for KD and then GH won a championship with GSW.
 

nighthob

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If Milwaukee doesn’t win the title, I’m hoping that a Durantless Warriors squad does. And I would root like the dickens for the Warriors to win (assuming they weren’t playing Boston in the finals) with Hayward and without Durant.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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So no Kyrie equates to a Boston Celtic team that struggles to play .500?

That's as factless and dataless as any Big John post. Ainge, Stevens, Zarren & Wyc have contingency plans if Kyrie takes his talents elsewhere.
First of all, I didn't state it as a fact - I said it was likely. That said, if he bails, the cap is such that there is only so many things the team can do. They will be down their top offensive player with little beyond hope that Tatum and Brown make leaps in order to replace his production. There is data to support my view whether it be the cap constraints ex-Irving or the offensive production that would be lost were he to walk. Note that the "poison" Irving was, by any metric, significantly better than any of his teammates including Tatum and Brown at scoring. In short, that is a huge leap and while its possible they can replace most of his scoring, its not likely.

Edit: Also, regarding facts and data, I want to emphasize that we are talking about my view of what is *likely* to happen. I am not saying what will happen. Aside from the definitive scoring and floor spacing the Celtics lose/need to replace somehow (and that stuff doesnt typically come cheap in the NBA) in the event Irving walks, there is no way to employ "facts" to support the future. But you know this and took your shot anyway.
 
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Big John

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Meh. Let Kyrie walk and get someone like Beverley who plays a little defense and you don't need to compensate for so much lost scoring.
 
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lovegtm

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First of all, I didn't state it as a fact - I said it was likely. That said, if he bails, the cap is such that there is only so many things the team can do. They will be down their top offensive player with little beyond hope that Tatum and Brown make leaps in order to replace his production. There is data to support my view whether it be the cap constraints ex-Irving or the offensive production that would be lost were he to walk. Note that the "poison" Irving was, by any metric, significantly better than any of his teammates including Tatum and Brown at scoring. In short, that is a huge leap and while its possible they can replace most of his scoring, its not likely.

Edit: Also, regarding facts and data, I want to emphasize that we are talking about my view of what is *likely* to happen. I am not saying what will happen. Aside from the definitive scoring and floor spacing the Celtics lose/need to replace somehow (and that stuff doesnt typically come cheap in the NBA) in the event Irving walks, there is no way to employ "facts" to support the future. But you know this and took your shot anyway.
I think he’s referring to the fact that the team sans Kyrie made it within a game of the Finals. The Easy was a LOT weaker then, but that’s hardly a .500 team. Some sort of progression from both Tatum and Brown is likely, even if they’re not All-Stars. Hayward will also have a summer under his belt, and was looking healthier towards the end of the year.

You’re entitled to your opinion, which is an informed one, but the burden of proof is definitely on the sub-500 prognosticators, and not the other way around.

(Despite all this, I strongly want Kyrie back now, and to pair him with AD preferably).
 

kazuneko

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If Irving wanted to stay here, and talked Durant into teaming up here, it's doable with something like a Hayward/#14 for Durant deal. I suspect that both guys want New York, though. I'm not in the "Good riddance" camp, I'm in the "He's leaving, so what's next?" camp.
Actually if it's really true that Durant wants to leave GS it would be best for him -and Kyrie - if he used the threat of bolting to NY to force a trade to Boston. The Knicks current talent got them a last place finish -adding Kyrie and Durant still doesn't make them much of a championship contender. If he wants to join Kyrie somewhere and actually win a championship in 2020 Boston makes far, far more sense...
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I think he’s referring to the fact that the team sans Kyrie made it within a game of the Finals. The Easy was a LOT weaker then, but that’s hardly a .500 team. Some sort of progression from both Tatum and Brown is likely, even if they’re not All-Stars. Hayward will also have a summer under his belt, and was looking healthier towards the end of the year.

You’re entitled to your opinion, which is an informed one, but the burden of proof is definitely on the sub-500 prognosticators, and not the other way around.

(Despite all this, I strongly want Kyrie back now, and to pair him with AD preferably).
Fair enough and to be clear, nowhere did I state the team would be sub-.500.

If you assume Irving is worth ~ four wins - and I would argue that the compound effect would be worth more perhaps because without Irving the team loses a floor spacer which makes it harder for other player to get clean looks - that puts next year's team at 45-37 assuming no injuries and a linear progression for Brown, Tatum and Hayward. That isn't .500 but nobody can deny that fewer than 49 wins is a good direction for this club unless they have an agenda (no Kyrie). So it doesn't appear that I am moving the goalposts, I actually think the club will be worse than that if only because the East is improving around them so some of their easier wins will no longer be so (e.g. Atlanta played much better down the stretch as their young players found their legs).

Finally, I don't understand how to apply burden of proof when guessing about future events. The proof will be the future and I was very careful to use language suggesting what I think might happen. Others have been more definitive about what will happen.
 

benhogan

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I think he’s referring to the fact that the team sans Kyrie made it within a game of the Finals. The Easy was a LOT weaker then, but that’s hardly a .500 team. Some sort of progression from both Tatum and Brown is likely, even if they’re not All-Stars. Hayward will also have a summer under his belt, and was looking healthier towards the end of the year.

You’re entitled to your opinion, which is an informed one, but the burden of proof is definitely on the sub-500 prognosticators, and not the other way around.

(Despite all this, I strongly want Kyrie back now, and to pair him with AD preferably).
Agree with all of this, especially wanting Kyrie to return alongside AD. But Kyrie has earned the right to make the call on where he wants to play for the next 4 seasons. C'est la vie. Wait and hope.

If Kyrie walks, Danny & Co have definitely prepared and planned for that permutation all season long, they won't be unprepared nor static. They have 20 different levers they can pull, being excluded from signing expensive FA's isn't going to preclude them from being good next season. Danny & Co are the best in the business and will be left with plenty of young talent on the roster, tons of draft assets, a healing max player and a great coach.

The premature hand wringing about losing Kyrie is silly (not from You). And it's not just the Celtics will struggle to play .500 that I find reactionary, its the conjecture about them going full rebuild and reloading on draft assets and expirings post-Kyrexit that's absurd.
 
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JCizzle

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Actually if it's really true that Durant wants to leave GS it would be best for him -and Kyrie - if he used the threat of bolting to NY to force a trade to Boston. The Knicks current talent got them a last place finish -adding Kyrie and Durant still doesn't make them much of a championship contender. If he wants to join Kyrie somewhere and actually win a championship in 2020 Boston makes far, far more sense...
KD has his rings though. If he leaves, I think it's to shut up the critics and go to a team that's his own. While he's the better player than Kyrie, I think the perception would still be that the Celtics are "Kyrie's team". If they tag-up in NY at the same time, I think they'll anoint it as KD's team. Ultimately it's just perception, but I think that matters to him.
 

Toe Nash

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I know he's a top 25 player and I know you need them to win championships and I know that it sucks and is a bad idea to lose those kinds of players for no compensation. I also know that he was a solid help this year, on this team, whatever the chemistry issues were.

But I can't get past his defensive effort and choices in the second half of game 4 when the series was still within reach. It was so pathetic. I don't want that guy on my team and I don't care if this is emotional (to some extent, it's not -- it's the damn playoffs and I want a guy who competes for every minute of it).

I also don't think he's so good that you live with that kind of thing. Maybe if he were a clear top 5 player you do. But I doubt many will argue that.

If he decides he wants to stay and the C's get AD or whoever and he doesn't pull that crap again, he can win me back, and I trust DA to make the decision with way more knowledge than I have, but that's how I feel right now and i don't think I'm alone.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I know he's a top 25 player and I know you need them to win championships and I know that it sucks and is a bad idea to lose those kinds of players for no compensation. I also know that he was a solid help this year, on this team, whatever the chemistry issues were.

But I can't get past his defensive effort and choices in the second half of game 4 when the series was still within reach. It was so pathetic. I don't want that guy on my team and I don't care if this is emotional (to some extent, it's not -- it's the damn playoffs and I want a guy who competes for every minute of it).

I also don't think he's so good that you live with that kind of thing. Maybe if he were a clear top 5 player you do. But I doubt many will argue that.

If he decides he wants to stay and the C's get AD or whoever and he doesn't pull that crap again, he can win me back, and I trust DA to make the decision with way more knowledge than I have, but that's how I feel right now and i don't think I'm alone.
So you wouldn’t want Lillard on your team after his G3 performance either? How about any of the Spurs who quit playing in the final 20 seconds of their elimination game? C’mon now at least admit this is a game thread-like emotional take. We had zero answers for Milwaukee by the second half of that game which led to the writing being on the wall and anyone not wearing green recognized the series was over. It isn’t surprising that the entire team packed it in and ended their long and seemingly miserable season and not only Kyrie.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’m still annoyed by Kyrie but I’ve settled on wanting to see him teamed up with AD. We are now in the Age of the Freak and it’s going to take a lot of talent to take him down.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The premature hand wringing about losing Kyrie is silly (not from You). And it's not just the Celtics will struggle to play .500 that I find reactionary, its the conjecture about them going full rebuild and reloading on draft assets and expirings post-Kyrexit that's absurd.
Nobody said the team is or should go full rebuild. Nobody is "wringing their hands". We are having a discussion about the potential loss of a valuable NBA player and what its ramifications might be. You can disagree but your tone is just as if not more reactionary than other posts in this thread.

Also, I find it interesting that you are characterizing the Cs front office and coach so positively after being critical of them over the past season. That was entirely fair imho but now your response is now effectively "have faith"?

For the record, I do think that the Cs have a plan if Irving leaves but short of a lot of roster turnover to free up cap, they are fairly constrained. Replacing Irving's skillset isn't going to be cheap or easy.
 

Captaincoop

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If Irving is gone, the C's need Hayward to get back to some semblance of who he was in the past, and they need Tatum to make the leap to an alpha scorer.

In addition to hitting a home run with a draft pick or two and bringing in a veteran PG who can defend and hit open shots.

That's how they replace Kyrie. None of that is impossible, it's just not as easy as rolling out a Kyrie-Davis duo.
 

Big John

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The Kyrie AD duo is no panacea, especially if Ainge overpays for AD. Jrue Holiday is a pretty good player, and if AD/Jrue couldn't get past the first round, I have zero confidence that a team led by Kyrie will get much further. And if it doesn't, AD is gone to LA LA land after a year.

There has been a ton of research on effective team building in business environments, and having one or two, brilliant but self absorbed team members who dominate the decision-making process isn't the way to achieve the best outcomes.
 

slamminsammya

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The Kyrie AD duo is no panacea, especially if Ainge overpays for AD. Jrue Holiday is a pretty good player, and if AD/Jrue couldn't get past the first round, I have zero confidence that a team led by Kyrie will get much further. And if it doesn't, AD is gone to LA LA land after a year.

There has been a ton of research on effective team building in business environments, and having one or two, brilliant but self absorbed team members who dominate the decision-making process isn't the way to achieve the best outcomes.
Explain please the relevance of business team building research about self absorbed people to a league dominated in the past by the likes of: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James.
 

Captaincoop

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The Kyrie AD duo is no panacea, especially if Ainge overpays for AD. Jrue Holiday is a pretty good player, and if AD/Jrue couldn't get past the first round, I have zero confidence that a team led by Kyrie will get much further. And if it doesn't, AD is gone to LA LA land after a year.

There has been a ton of research on effective team building in business environments, and having one or two, brilliant but self absorbed team members who dominate the decision-making process isn't the way to achieve the best outcomes.
The sport of basketball (on the court) is not a business environment. I don't find that research relevant at all.

If Kyrie and Lebron can win a title, then there is no problem with brilliant but self-absorbed teammates.
 

Big John

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No, Kyrie/Lebron is apples and oranges. LeBron had the ball when those two were playing together. With AD, Kyrie will dominate the ball, and Kyrie does not make his teammates better.
 

Big John

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Explain please the relevance of business team building research about self absorbed people to a league dominated in the past by the likes of: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James.
MJ made all defensive first team nine times, as did Kobe. LeBron made it five times. You should be embarrassed to equate Kyrie's impact to the impact of those players, either individually or in a team context.
 

DrewDawg

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Big John

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You keep saying this and it's been shown to be false. For instance, here's this season: https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/i/irvinky01/on-off/2019

At some point will folks in charge here ask this poster to support this with evidence? Or do we have to watch him post the same things over and over?
Oh please. There are plenty of analyses. See for example: https://heavy.com/sports/2019/02/celtics-kyrie-irving-record-injury-stats/ There are also analyses refuting these analyses. Choose whichever set of numbers you prefer. I prefer wins and losses -- particularly playoff wins and losses--as my statistic of choice.
 

benhogan

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Nobody said the team is or should go full rebuild. Nobody is "wringing their hands". We are having a discussion about the potential loss of a valuable NBA player and what its ramifications might be. You can disagree but your tone is just as if not more reactionary than other posts in this thread.

Also, I find it interesting that you are characterizing the Cs front office and coach so positively after being critical of them over the past season. That was entirely fair imho but now your response is now effectively "have faith"?

For the record, I do think that the Cs have a plan if Irving leaves but short of a lot of roster turnover to free up cap, they are fairly constrained. Replacing Irving's skillset isn't going to be cheap or easy.
None of my posts are shots at you, please don't take them personally. I agree with 95% of your stuff. You post a lot (as do I) so it may appear that the 5% I disagree with comes off harsh. Apologies!
I've always thought our back and fourth were small disagreements on the edges (same applies to HRB). Both you guys know a ton of hoops and add a lot to the Port Cellar. So thank you!

Let's get back to the topic.
You're right, I was very critical of Brad & Co this past season for 2 reasons:
1. I liked Horford/Baynes at the 4/5 since the preseason, I don't need to rehash all the glorious reasons:) why that works since by the end of the season Brad did as much.
2. The incessant need for Brad to play small. Once again I don't need to go into it ad nauseam, like I did all season. I'll just add, watching the Bucks in the playoffs play BIG lineups and dominate the defensive paint may give Brad pause next season.

I've waxed poetic about Brad Stevens for years, one tough season due to many reasons (free agents, an injured max player, chemistry, young emerging stars, mercurial star etc) is not going to change my opinion that he is a great coach. So I definitely have faith in Brad, Danny, Zarren, Wyc and the rest.

Once again don't take this as a shot,
but when we posted Plan B's (Kyrexit/no AD) on May 11 we had opposing views. This is what you posted (#119) on another thread "2019 Offseason:..." :

Plan B should really be a full rebuild. Pretty much everyone on the roster should be made available (note not given away but that should include Tatum and Brown as well as Smart). I don't want this but if the C's are going scrappy again, they should reload on draft assets and expirings.
To me a 40-45 win season, an eighth seed and a quick out does nothing for this franchise. But hey, people won't have to endure the agony of watching Kyrie Irving anymore so...



Since I see a Plan B team, built around JT/JB/MS/AH/GH/AB/TL/FreeAgents/draft picks winning 48-50 games next season (w/ 2021 as the GFIN time), we're disagreeing about 6-7 regular season wins. Not a huge deal. I just think this years team was so dysfunctional that some subtraction will be beneficial to the players left (for the record, IMO a Kyrie/AD team wins 58-60 games, so subtracting Kyrie doesn't make them better).

Most importantly, I believe Brad is going to take a firmer stance next season: demand guys play defense, move the ball on offense or ride the pine. This was probably the first time in Brad's career he had to admit he did a poor coaching job. I can't imagine that's sitting well with him.

*also you can always PM me if you feel I've taken a shot at you. I have no problem editing my posts :)
 
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DrewDawg

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You definitely don't have to watch the posts.
I don't. But they generated exasperated responses...

And that aside, just because we have the option to ignore posts, doesn't mean the forum shouldn't demand a little research be done.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Kyrie AD duo is no panacea, especially if Ainge overpays for AD. Jrue Holiday is a pretty good player, and if AD/Jrue couldn't get past the first round, I have zero confidence that a team led by Kyrie will get much further. And if it doesn't, AD is gone to LA LA land after a year.

There has been a ton of research on effective team building in business environments, and having one or two, brilliant but self absorbed team members who dominate the decision-making process isn't the way to achieve the best outcomes.
No, Kyrie/Lebron is apples and oranges. LeBron had the ball when those two were playing together. With AD, Kyrie will dominate the ball, and Kyrie does not make his teammates better.
MJ made all defensive first team nine times, as did Kobe. LeBron made it five times. You should be embarrassed to equate Kyrie's impact to the impact of those players, either individually or in a team context.
I personally don't have a dog in this fight but I did want to point out that these three posts put together in a row is something I'd guess I would find on NYYFans.com, not SOSH.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't. But they generated exasperated responses...

And that aside, just because we have the option to ignore posts, doesn't mean the forum shouldn't demand a little research be done.
I hear you. I tried numerous times and gave up. Signal to noise ratio in this subforum is better than any other on the site, imo, so it doesn't seem to be contagious. The contributions here are a joy to me, so having to pink one dude isn't worrisome.
 

Big John

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Look, I don't mean to offend people but someone has to step up to say that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.,
 

jon abbey

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Big John has been thread banned from this one, pretty sure we all know his perspective on this topic.
 

Toe Nash

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So you wouldn’t want Lillard on your team after his G3 performance either? How about any of the Spurs who quit playing in the final 20 seconds of their elimination game? C’mon now at least admit this is a game thread-like emotional take. We had zero answers for Milwaukee by the second half of that game which led to the writing being on the wall and anyone not wearing green recognized the series was over. It isn’t surprising that the entire team packed it in and ended their long and seemingly miserable season and not only Kyrie.
I did say it was emotional. I posted analysis upthread where the game was still within reach and to my eyes plenty of other players were still competing. I think my post was pretty reasonable but YMMV.
 

ifmanis5

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Some momentum building for the Nets?
https://www.sny.tv/nets/news/sources-mutual-interest-between-kyrie-irving-and-the-brooklyn-nets-as-nba-free-agency-looms/307452282?tcid=tw_article_307452282

Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston. Irving's camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.

SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D'Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.
Not sure how Russell and Irving would share the ball.
 

DrewDawg

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Dec 16, 2010
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Yeah, but Lebron liked an IG pic of Kyrie photoshopped into a Lakers jersey, so you know, it's over.
 

lovegtm

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The Nets want to signal commitment to re-signing Russell so that they can lower his RFA offers, and then would probably shop him once the initial no-trade following signing him wears off. You never want to lose an asset for nothing.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
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Wait a minute I thought Kyrie was going to LAL: https://celticswire.usatoday.com/2019/05/11/kyrie-irving-has-had-discussions-about-playing-for-the-lakers/.

After all he and LBJ were spotted together at an upscale nightclub.