Magic Johnson faced a ton of criticism during his time as the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Many bizarre decisions were made that ultimately put the team in a worse position than they started in. Perhaps his biggest and best move was signing LeBron James although that probably would have happened regardless of Magic's role with the team. One of his most criticized moves was drafting Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in 2017.
During today's episode of First Take, Johnson was speaking about the New Orleans Pelicans with Stephen A. Smith and was fairly passionate about the team's chances. In fact, Johnson thinks the team will be extremely fun to watch which, of course, drew the attention of Smith. Stephen A. ended up pressing Magic about his opinion, accusing him of only feeling that way because Lonzo is on the team and he wants to defend the man he picked.
Per First Take:
Smith: “You sure that’s not emotion there because you drafted Lonzo Ball? You drafted Lonzo Ball, Magic Johnson.”
Johnson: “Yes, I did. And I’m standing right here too. I’m standing right here, I’m not moving. I did that. Watch out now, don’t forget, we might be in this suits, but something can go down now.”
Both men pretended to square up and it was a pretty hilarious sight especially when you consider how they're just joking. Regardless, it's clear the Ball fiasco still haunts Magic and his tumultuous tenure as a Lakers executive.
Nike LeBron 17 Appears In Vibrant Lakers Colorway: Photos
This is exactly what Lakers fans were hoping for.
Earlier today, Nike officially unveiled the highly-anticipated Nike LeBron 17 and fans are excited to finally get their hands on the shoe. The official release date for the first colorway is Friday, September 27th and sneakerheads around the world are looking forward to new colorways. Thankfully, Nike hooked fans up with a sneak peek at a brand new Lakers-inspired colorway which will surely have every ballplayer in Los Angeles flocking to their local Foot Locker.
As you can see from the images below, the Knitposite upper is mostly black although there is purple and gold interspersed all the way throughout. There is a white Nike swoosh on the side all while a purple Max Air unit makes its way onto the back heel. The shoe has all the details you would come to expect from a LeBron sneaker and will certainly prove to be another great addition to any collection.
There is no official release date for this colorway just yet so stay tuned for any updates as we will be sure to bring them to you. Let us know in the comments what you think about this colorway.
Kobe Bryant Answers Whether Lakers Will Be Good Next Season: Watch
Bryant seems to have some hope.
Kobe Bryant won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers so if anybody is qualified enough to speak about how good the team is, it's probably him. Bryant is one of the best competitors the game has ever seen and it's why he was able to win all of those championships, including three in a row.
While Bryant made the Lakers a powerhouse, the team has been severely lacking over the past few years and haven't made the playoffs in almost a decade. This season, the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on their side as well as a whole bunch of role players who could make all the difference come crunch time. During a sit down with USA Today Sports, Bryant was asked about the team and whether or not they have what it takes to be great.
As you can see from the clip, Kobe thinks the Lakers are good but it's all contingent on whether or not they can stay healthy. Last season, the Lakers were well on their way to the playoffs until a plethora of injuries took them out of contention.
If you're a Lakers fan, there is certainly reason to be hopeful especially with the almighty Warriors looking depleted.
Lakers Fans Beg For Carmelo Anthony Following DeMarcus Cousins Update
The Lakers now have the Disabled Player Exception
When DeMarcus Cousins went down with an ACL injury, Los Angeles Lakers fans were incredibly disappointed as it meant they would be without one of their most dynamic players this season. The Lakers had signed him to a short-term contract that really wasn't worth all that much but regardless, his loss was a big one. Once the Lakers knew the extent of his injury, they applied for the Disabled Player Exception which would help them a lot when it comes to the salary cap.
The DPE is described as something that "allows a team which is over the cap to replace a disabled player who will be out for the remainder of that season. [...] If this exception is granted, the team can acquire one player free agent signing, trade or waiver claim, to replace the disabled player." According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league approved the Lakers request which means they have until March 10th of 2020 to find a replacement.
As you can imagine, Lakers fans were happy about the news and immediately began calling for the signing of Carmelo Anthony. Melo is good friends with LeBron James and some feel as though the team needs to give him a chance. If the team knows for sure that Cousins will be out for the year, Melo would certainly be a good choice.
Do you think the Lakers should take Melo or is time for the Knicks legend to officially retire?
Kobe Bryant Explains How Hornets GM Disrespected Him After Lakers Trade
Kobe says it was triggering experience.
Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to ever step on a basketball court and for close to 20 years, he played with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s almost unfathomable to think Kobe could have played with any other team although many forget he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant’s tenure with the team was short-lived as he was immediately traded to the Lakers on the day he was drafted.
During a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast, Bryant spoke about what it was like being traded and how he was disrespected by the GM of the Hornets, Bob Bass. Bass came across pretty salty over trading Bryant and had some interesting words for him while delivering the news he was going to Los Angeles.
We couldn’t have used you anyway,” Bass told Kobe. As you can imagine, Bryant was pretty shocked by the comments and they ended up motivating him. “I was triggered. I was ready to go to the gym.”
In the end, Kobe got the last laugh as he went on to win five NBA championships while the Hornets have been irrelevant for decades. Despite being owned by Michael Jordan, the Hornets have yet to find success and are headed into yet another rebuild. Having said all that, we’re sure Bryant is happy with how things turned out.
LeBron James Nods To Nipsey Hussle With Crenshaw Lakers Jersey
Lakers gotta wear these Crenshaw jerseys for a game next season.
Los Angeles Lakers fans are calling for the team to pay homage to the late Nipsey Hussle in the 2019-20 season with special edition Crenshaw jerseys, and you already know that Lakers players support the cause.
On Tuesday, LeBron James posted a photo on instagram as a nod to Nipsey, showcasing his blue No. 23 Crenshaw jersey along with a caption that reads:
As seen in the photo embedded below, the Crenshaw jersey mirrors the blue Lakers throwbacks worn by the likes of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in the 1960s.
Former NBA star Caron Butler previously suggested that the Lakers don the blue Crenshaw throwbacks while the Clippers wear a similarly styled red jersey when the two teams meet in the regular season. Dwyane Wade co-signed that move, tweeting, "The culture needs this." However, the Lakers have not announced any uniform changes for the upcoming season.
LeBron, Anthony Davis and co. will face off against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Clippers when the NBA season kicks off on October 22. For those scoring at home, that's just over four weeks away.
Kobe Bryant Relives His Youth With Hilarious Vintage Dance Watch
Kobe doesn’t hate dance after all.
Kobe Bryant has been showing off his approach to youth basketball coaching lately and it’s had the internet up in arms. For instance, Bryant posted a peculiar Instagram caption in which he chastized a little girl for choosing to attend a dance recital instead of a basketball game. The NBA legend has since clarified his comments, saying he just wanted to show people what it means to be dedicated to your craft and your various different passions.
Bryant drove this point home even further today when he posted an old dance video from when he was 12. As Kobe explains, he used to dance too and that when he was young, he liked to try new things. In the end, though, he ultimately shifted his focus to basketball where he became one of the best to ever do it.
“When I was 12, I skipped basketball for two weeks so I could dance in a school show,” Bryant wrote. “I’m all about diversifying while young, then locking in on your passion.”
Kobe’s advice is extremely useful, especially if you’re a young athlete who has multiple hobbies. As he said, it’s cool to explore all of those hobbies but if you want to be great at one of them, you’re going to have to give it all of your attention.
Dwight Howard Reveals How Thanos Made Him Want A Purple Rolls Royce
Howard is a big fan of the Avengers.
Dwight Howard is a pretty interesting character as far as NBA players go. The last year has been filled with rumors about Howard and his extra-curricular activities which have gotten the internet all riled up. Howard’s NBA career has hit a bit of a snag over the past couple of years but this season, he will be playing with the Los Angeles Lakers and hopes to become the player he once was. The Lakers have a chance to win it all this year and Howard could be a big piece to the puzzle should he perform up to snuff.
During a recent episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Howard took the host on a tour of his mansion and even showed off his purple Rolls Royce. Interestingly enough, Howard bought the car because he was inspired by Thanos. It’s a hilarious admission although you have to admire his courageousness for claiming that to be the case.
“I got this purple car because of Thanos,” Howard said. “He’s from Avengers and he’s my favorite character. He was able to understand that in order for him to complete his mission, he had to get rid of his emotions, and that’s the hardest thing that we all face.”
So there you have it, Marvel’s biggest villain made Howard want to buy a purple car. Perhaps Thanos’ ruthlessness will also help Howard out on the basketball court this season. If that’s the case, Lakers fans have a lot to be excited about.
Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Reportedly Close To Signing With Puma
Kuz is expected to join the Puma family.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma will reportedly be joining Puma's ever-growing NBA roster ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Kuzma, who has been repping for Nike, specifically Team Kobe, is currently a free agent in the sneaker world, although it is expected that an official announcement with Puma is on the horizon. The New York Times' Marc Stein reports that the two sides are "closing in" on a deal.
As mentioned, Kuzma has been rocking Nikes since entering the league in 2017 and he was recently featured as part of Undefeated's Nike Kobe 4 Protro collection, which honored other "Team Kobe" guys such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker and DeMar DeRozan.
If Kuz does indeed sign with Puma, he'll join a stable of young stars that includes this year's third overall draft pick RJ Barrett, as well as Kevin Knox, DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Michael Porter Jr. Puma also has a number of vets on their roster, including DeMarcus Cousins, Terry Rozier and Danny Green.
Kobe Bryant Eases Up On Dwight Howard, Offers Praise Instead: Watch
Kobe seems to be on Dwight's side again.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players to ever step on a basketball court and over the course of his careers, he has made quite a few enemies. Sometimes, he has even been able to create enemies out of his teammates. One of the best examples of this, other than Shaq, is Dwight Howard. The two were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers during the earlier part of the decade and needless to say, it didn't really end well. Howard's Lakers tenure was short-lived and since then, he has bounced around the league.
This season, Howard is rejoining the Lakers on a short-term contract and is determined to prove all of his haters wrong. Bryant is among those who are actually rooting for Howard and let his feelings be known on a recent episode of The Talk. As Bryant explained, Howard is a different player this time around and can prove to be effective.
“I think he’s ready. He’s ready for this next time around, do whatever is necessary to help the team be successful,” Kobe said. “And I think he’ll do it."
There will be a lot of eyes on the Lakers this season especially with LeBron James and Anthony Davis acting as the two superstars on the team. With Howard on the roster as a role player, there are reasons to be hopeful this team can be successful in the long run.