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I’m out here on the water trying to enjoy the birthday of this great nation like any American, but the ESPN app’s continued updates pull me back to the mainland, and the realization of something I’ve suspected for years: the Lakers want Jack Nicholson to die.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Jack is a super fan! He’s been there every night, even during the “holy shit can we please bench Kobe fucking” era,” but still, they want the man dead.
I’m not sure what he did; maybe he slipped his salami somewhere inappropriate (Mrs. Bryant was looking for revenge, maybe she made like the Waitress from It’s Always Sunny and fucked a Frank Reynolds doppelgänger for ultimate humiliation), or his courtside antics cost the lakers so much in fines and biased officiating that they just had to move on. Shit, maybe the Buss family finally saw “the shining” and just are sick of having that creep around. But it’s clear now — they want him dead.
First, signing Timofey Mozgov to a 4-year, $65 million deal rivals only trading Shaq in Lakers front office stupidity. A good friend of mine who’s a lifelong Laker equated it to “finding out Magic had AIDS.”
New coach Luke Walton, formerly the top assistant to Steve Kerr in Golden State, was brought in to run a fast-paced, motion style offense similar to the team that blew a 3-1 NBA Finals lead. The Lakers would seemingly emphasize “small ball,” perhaps playing Julius Randle at center, surrounding him with shooters and spacing with 5 actual ball handlers on the floor (Clarkson, Russell, Deng, Ingram, Randle).
A 7 foot Eastern European with concrete shoes running a 7.7 40 or so (estimate) doesn’t really fit that mold. Mozgov, coming off of his worst season as a pro in which Mo Williams played more Finals minutes, will now likely become the highest paid end of the bench player in the history of professional sports (I’m not kidding), as I cannot see any scenario in which the Lakers can hope to develop their young core and play the style Luke Walton wants to with Mozgov on the floor.
Now, signing Mozgov was bad, but hey, the Lakers have mountains of cap room now that Bryant’s salary totaling the GDP of a small African nation (or, in today’s NBA, a Kent Bazemore deal) off the books, they’ll go after some other big fish, right? Apparently not. Without making an offer to younger and indisputably better players like Chandler Parsons, Harrison Barnes (yes, I know the Finals were a mess) Al Horford, Nick Batum, and the list goes on, the Lakers snatched up Luol Deng.
Deng, though a great player in 2009, found an extremely soft free agent market, with some “experts” expecting he would need to take a 1-year deal. The Lakers decided 4 years, $72 million was appropriate. I guess you could say he just got four one-year deals?
Anyway, with endless cash, the supposed allure of LA and the loss of the man that castrated Dwight Howard (Kobe), the Lakers had claimed the 2016 and 2017 summers as the “reloading period.” Well, 2016 was a “you have to be trolling us”-invoking disaster; a dumpster conflagration making the Chicago fire look like a candle.
Jack, what the fuck did you do?.
Image via YouTube