The Lakers Reality Show

OnWisc

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cheech13

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Rob Pelinka claims that after Kobe Bryant saw the Dark Knight, Kobe was so impressed with Heath Ledger that he wanted to meet him, so Pelinka set up a dinner for the two of them.
That had to be one very interesting dinner. Probably not a lot of conversation going on.
 

benhogan

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To say this piece portrays Magic as having a poor management style is, I believe, almost putting an unrealistically positive spin on how he appears.
IDK, we got a 3-horse race here for management malpractice.

although Rob Lowe is raising the dead back to life, so he has that going for him...
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its a fun/amusing read and I suspect that its accurate from a big picture perspective. However this smells like a classic hatchet job by some disgruntled ex staffers.

There is clearly some organizational dysfunction within the Lakers franchise but Boston fans, of all people, should know better than to buy this account hook, line and sinker. This sort of reporting is a staple of any season which ended in turmoil - but most of it tends to be agenda driven.

Given the abysmal performance of the Lakers prior to the arrival of Magic and Pelinka, it surprising that they only had ~40% staff turnover.
 

moondog80

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So will people be wearing Joker masks to Laker road games next year?
 

PedroKsBambino

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To say this piece portrays Magic as having a poor management style is, I believe, almost putting an unrealistically positive spin on how he appears.
Agreed, though I thought he still looked slightly better than Pelinka, amazingly.
 

reggiecleveland

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Its a fun/amusing read and I suspect that its accurate from a big picture perspective. However this smells like a classic hatchet job by some disgruntled ex staffers.

There is clearly some organizational dysfunction within the Lakers franchise but Boston fans, of all people, should know better than to buy this account hook, line and sinker. This sort of reporting is a staple of any season which ended in turmoil - but most of it tends to be agenda driven.

Given the abysmal performance of the Lakers prior to the arrival of Magic and Pelinka, it surprising that they only had ~40% staff turnover.
I agree. Magic came on board in 2017. The team has been a mess for a while.

The departure of Kupchak and West are the real killers. Jenny allowed the diminished shadow of Kobe to run things, and then handed the keys to an agent. Pelinka comes off as worse, ling to the team, covering his tracks. It seems (and I hope as a Laker hater) Ms. Buss is the problem.

Interesting fact.

Jerry Buss died in February 2013. In the six seasons since, during which Jeanie Buss has principally been in charge of the organization, the Lakers, with 329 losses, are tied with the New York Knicks for the most in the NBA.
 

Jimbodandy

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Wonderful Lakersfreude.

Don't forget that Jason Kidd is an assistant coach next year and somehow Pelinka has a dotted line to both Rambis and Phil. It's likely to get worse before it gets better.
 

cheech13

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Its a fun/amusing read and I suspect that its accurate from a big picture perspective. However this smells like a classic hatchet job by some disgruntled ex staffers.

There is clearly some organizational dysfunction within the Lakers franchise but Boston fans, of all people, should know better than to buy this account hook, line and sinker. This sort of reporting is a staple of any season which ended in turmoil - but most of it tends to be agenda driven.

Given the abysmal performance of the Lakers prior to the arrival of Magic and Pelinka, it surprising that they only had ~40% staff turnover.
This is accurate. As much fun as it is to revel in the Lakers dysfunction there is nothing here that strikes as being particularly out of the ordinary and a lot of the stuff that reads bad would be spun as a positive if the team was actually winning.

Rich Paul was pulling the same stunts in both Miami and Cleveland in terms of riding on the plane and pushing to get his guys in to prominent positions. Star players get perks. It sounds bad to hear hear about him existing his influence to get guys fired or traded, but was he wrong? Walton was the wrong coach for the team and most of the non-Lebron players stunk.

As for the front office turnover, they were a bad team and criticized harshly in years past for being run like a boutique family business instead of a billion dollar sports organization. Modernizing that front office should have been the first task for any new management. Just seems like Magic and Pelinka were bad at it, and that's on ownership for not hiring the right people for the jobs.
 

moondog80

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Can Pelinka survive this? Or does he sheepishly say "I got confused and was thinking of something else" and this just goes away?
 

ifmanis5

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ESPN has been hyping and rolling out their Lakers 2.0 segments all through their shows. I think they planned to do this before this morning's news as the overall tone is backtracking and defense. ESPN can't get enough of Lakers content even when it doesn't fit their prescribed narratives.
 

InstaFace

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Johnson also said he believed the New Orleans Pelicans operated in bad faith during negotiations for Davis. "We knew that basically at the end of the day, what happened, happened," he said.
Thanks for clearing that up, Erv.
 

InstaFace

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This is accurate. As much fun as it is to revel in the Lakers dysfunction there is nothing here that strikes as being particularly out of the ordinary and a lot of the stuff that reads bad would be spun as a positive if the team was actually winning.

Rich Paul was pulling the same stunts in both Miami and Cleveland in terms of riding on the plane and pushing to get his guys in to prominent positions. Star players get perks. It sounds bad to hear hear about him existing his influence to get guys fired or traded, but was he wrong? Walton was the wrong coach for the team and most of the non-Lebron players stunk.
The article specifically contested the bolded, saying that nobody in those organizations recalls any such thing. No doubt he was doing the latter - that's his job, after all - but it seems like the Lakers were unique in the degree to which they let the fox into the hen house.

As for Walton, I'm not sure how you can draw that conclusion. Who would have been the right coach for the team? Red Auerbach would have quit in disgust, citing a litany of stupid management decisions and interference that had prevented him from doing his job. Maybe Walton felt he didn't have a credible threat to make in terms of "leave me alone or I'm quitting", so he might as well take more coaching reps this year. In any case, it clearly didn't hurt the market for his services, as a young exciting up-and-coming team signed him one day after he departed the Lakers' employ.

I don't think micromanagement or a culture that discourages voicing contrary opinions are things that would be spun as a positive if the team were winning. I mean, doesn't the nature of Magic's resignation - if it can be called that - kind of shift the whole burden of proof? How can we regard someone as the barest level of "professional" when they do that? How can we give them the benefit of the doubt that "it'd be all good if they were winning"?

Lebron's ability to gather organizational power to himself and his advisors has been consistent at every place he's been, whether winning (MIA, CLE v2.0) or losing (CLE v1.0, here). I think a certain amount of meddling of Rich Paul is to be expected, and if he's trying to get the coach fired, then it's on the organization to back up their coach publicly and privately, and keep any doubts they have strictly among themselves. It's on them to give Walton the confidence that he can tell Paul to pound sand on certain things (I'm sure Adam Silver's reaction to Paul during his Maverick Carter lunch was probably idle statements of "oh, that's interesting"). Lebron arrived in Miami to play for a coach who was similarly unproven as Walton, and Pat Riley by all reports backed Spoelstra up, and it all worked out. The fact that there was constant micromanagement of Walton is not an indictment of his skills as a coach.
 

Kliq

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Lebron arrived in Miami to play for a coach who was similarly unproven as Walton, and Pat Riley by all reports backed Spoelstra up, and it all worked out. The fact that there was constant micromanagement of Walton is not an indictment of his skills as a coach.
This is an overlooked aspect of LeBron's success in Miami. In that first season there were a lot of reports that LeBron, Wade (and presumably Bosh) wanted Spoelstra out; but Riley and Arison backed up Spoelstra and made it clear that they were in control of the franchise, not James. I think a big reason LeBron had the most success in Miami was that he had a coach that he couldn't bully, and he was met with a strong owner and power front-office executive, who had a firm grip on the franchise, something that LeBron hasn't had in either Cleveland or LA. Not surprising, LeBron also played his best, most complete basketball of his career and also had very little off-court drama outside of that first season.

I thought Magic and Co. did a really crappy job last year when LaVar was running his mouth about Walton and never really backing him up. If they were not going to back up Walton when he was confronted by LaVar, it was pretty clear they weren't going to be very supportive of Walton as the coach.
 

johnmd20

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Two great posts back to back.

It always comes down to ownership. The problem is not Lebron, Magic, or Paul.

And you can't fire the owner.
That stat about the Lakers' record since Jeanie Buss took over is amazing. They are as bad as the Knicks. THE KNICKS.
 

soxhop411

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Two great posts back to back.

It always comes down to ownership. The problem is not Lebron, Magic, or Paul.

And you can't fire the owner.

Technically you can fire the owner. You just need to be such a racist that it tarnishes the NBA’s image.

As what happened to sterling and the clippers.
 

TheoShmeo

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Two great posts back to back.

It always comes down to ownership. The problem is not Lebron, Magic, or Paul.

And you can't fire the owner.
Yep. The only problem with that otherwise delicious slice of schadenfreude is that LeBron generally escapes the splatter in the causal sense.

That he can’t possibly avoid some of the fall out helps.
 

Nick Kaufman

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In that same season, Caldwell-Pope was allowed to practice and play with the team while serving a 25-day jail sentence for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a DUI charge -- a decision that, multiple team staffers said, caused unrest in the franchise. Caldwell-Pope was allowed to leave the Seal Beach Police Department Detention Center to attend practice and Lakers games in California as part of a work-release program, but he wasn't allowed to travel outside the state, resulting in him missing one game in Cleveland, one in Minneapolis and two in Houston. In all, Caldwell-Pope missed four games while serving his jail sentence but played in nine, starting each one.

"Anybody [else] would have put him on personal leave or suspended him," one coaching staff member said.

"I had a major problem with that," a Lakers front-office executive said.
I am halfway through reading this and this is a bit of side-tangent, but I don't understand why a player has to be punished twice. This is big in US corporate culture and it seems unfair to me that an an employee gets punished twice, both by law and his company for the same transgression. Seems to me that for every legal misstep you take, you also have to suffer a financial penalty, sometimes the penalty being a financial death. I also have doubts about corporations acting as the judge, jury and executioner in the cause of preserving social norms and mores.

I am not sure this is the best system in the world.
 

Cellar-Door

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I am halfway through reading this and this is a bit of side-tangent, but I don't understand why a player has to be punished twice. This is big in US corporate culture and it seems unfair to me that an an employee gets punished twice, both by law and his company for the same transgression. Seems to me that for every legal misstep you take, you also have to suffer a financial penalty, sometimes the penalty being a financial death. I also have doubts about corporations acting as the judge, jury and executioner in the cause of preserving social norms and mores.

I am not sure this is the best system in the world.
In situations where you are the product, part of your contract with your employer is that you are a representative of the employer. In such public facing roles, committing a crime damages the reputation of the company. Punishment is perfectly justified in an attempt to restore lost reputation and consumer confidence. Especially in a situation like the NBA where you have bargained for that punishment ahead of time.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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That article was like laker hater porn. I loved every sentence of it.
Yep. Put me on Team EIUni20 and give me all the worst Laker stories. Even the untrue ones. “According to NEARLY TWO DOZEN former and current Laker staffers....”

I love the idea that instead of the Boston Hatchet Job, where Lucky feeds innuendo to some Globe water-carrier and it is over in a week, a full platoon of Laker staffers lined up to meet with ESPN so as to trash everyone involved.
 

DrewDawg

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Magic denies the latest report.

“I’ve never sat in an HR person’s office in 35 years,” Johnson said. “Two years with the Lakers, no HR appearance. Do you think Jeannie Buss would allow me to abuse the employees?

“It never happened. I’m a person who brings everybody together, uplifts the employees. I’ve never abused an employee. I never will. That’s not what I’m all about.”
 

PedroKsBambino

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Yes, actually, I do believe Jeanie Buss would allow Magic to abuse an employee. Look at what she was ok with Kobe doing!
 

DrewDawg

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Rob Pelinka claims that after Kobe Bryant saw the Dark Knight, Kobe was so impressed with Heath Ledger that he wanted to meet him, so Pelinka set up a dinner for the two of them.
I can't get enough of this.

https://www.cbssports.com/g00/nba/news/did-lakers-gm-rob-pelinka-make-up-a-story-about-kobe-bryant-heath-ledger-and-the-dark-knight/?i10c.ua=1&i10c.encReferrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8=&i10c.dv=7

The only problem, as many fans skeptical of Pelinka have noted via social media? Ledger died in January of 2008 -- sixth months before "The Dark Knight" was released.
I just love this implosion.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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Bernie, how about the. Kobe 48.5 million 2 year deal for dessert?
Hook. It. To. My. Veins.

Also, don’t sleep on Team Rambis. Their ascendancy is good for another level of organizational chaos. Can you imagine if Mrs. M. L. Carr had Wyk’s ear and was whispering stupid shit like “Fire Stevens and hire John Carroll back!”
 

nighthob

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The only problem, as many fans skeptical of Pelinka have noted via social media? Ledger died in January of 2008 -- sixth months before "The Dark Knight" was released
I just love this implosion.
Are you denying Dinner of the Living Dead? I mean that would be the best movie since Hobo With A Shotgun 3!
 

benhogan

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Hook. It. To. My. Veins.

Also, don’t sleep on Team Rambis. Their ascendancy is good for another level of organizational chaos. Can you imagine if Mrs. M. L. Carr had Wyk’s ear and was whispering stupid shit like “Fire Stevens and hire John Carroll back!”
Amen, team Rambis is waiting in the weeds.

Can we get a comment from Phil Jackson and Kobe?... come on ESPN get more reporters on this story, hours and hours of talk shows to fill up.

Personally, I will not be satisfied until we get Jeanie Buss on Dr. Phil's couch, while he intervenes on behalf of all the Buss children (the real victims here).
:popcorn:
 

InstaFace

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The main quote, which is a Kobe paraphrase by SAS:

Kobe Bryant was livid at his name even being mentioned. His attitude is, “I’m here coaching my girls. I ain’t got nothing to do with any of that nonsense. Rob Pelinka has got his own relationship with Jeanie Buss. Of course, he’s a guy that I value and that I trust. He represented me for years. I love the guy, but I’ve got nothing to do with the Lakers. Y’all tell them people to keep my damn names out of their mouth.”
 

Spelunker

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Kobe's right. He is at, worst directly responsible for only 4-5 years of the decade of decline.
For me, the only downside to any of this is that it reminds me that even after they seemed to be on the verge of contract hell the Yankees never quite bottomed out.
 

benhogan

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For me, the only downside to any of this is that it reminds me that even after they seemed to be on the verge of contract hell the Yankees never quite bottomed out.
Never fear at some point Hal will think he knows more than Cashman and push him out. Trust funders running amok with the Lakers/Knicks, just a matter of time for the MFY.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Today in 2007, LeBron reached his first NBA Finals at age 22.

These were his teammates:

- Drew Gooden
- Boobie Gibson
- Sasha Pavlovic
- Ilgauskas
- Varejao
- Damon Jones
- Donyell Marshall
- Eric Snow
- Larry Hughes
- Shannon Brown
- Ira Newble
- Scot Pollard
 

nighthob

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Today in 2007, LeBron reached his first NBA Finals at age 22.

These were his teammates:

- Drew Gooden
- Boobie Gibson
- Sasha Pavlovic
- Ilgauskas
- Varejao
- Damon Jones
- Donyell Marshall
- Eric Snow
- Larry Hughes
- Shannon Brown
- Ira Newble
- Scot Pollard
That is the definition of a hall of fame performance right there. Just dragging Danny Ferry's Motley Crüe of Wild Jokers to an NBA Final put him in the GOAT conversation.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That is the definition of a hall of fame performance right there. Just dragging Danny Ferry's Motley Crüe of Wild Jokers to an NBA Final put him in the GOAT conversation.
I had him on top a few years ago......I'm fully expecting another Act out of him before it's all over. Those who expect LeBron to fade quietly into mediocrity are going to be greatly disappointed.
 

reggiecleveland

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Today in 2007, LeBron reached his first NBA Finals at age 22.

These were his teammates:

- Drew Gooden
- Boobie Gibson
- Sasha Pavlovic
- Ilgauskas
- Varejao
- Damon Jones
- Donyell Marshall
- Eric Snow
- Larry Hughes
- Shannon Brown
- Ira Newble
- Scot Pollard
Doing that at age 22 is maybe his greatest accomplishment. LArry wasn't even in the league at 22. Magic had two titles at age 22, but Lebron has not once had peak Kareem as a team mate.