How LeBron James Fits Within the Lakers Cosmos

Lakers fans are unsurprisingly split on their feelings regarding the team’s decision to sign the best player in the NBA. Here’s why every Lakers fan should be excited

I was born in 1984. The same year that Magic Johnson lost his first meeting with Larry Bird and the hated Boston Celtics, teaching a whole new generation of Lakers fans to hate the color green and Lucky Charms cereal. As a Lakers fan, I grew up watching a team with no stars. The year was 1993, two years after saying good-bye to Magic Johnson who retired in 1991, and the Lakers would draft Nick Van Exel with the 37th selection in the NBA draft. The team would later select Eddie Jones in the 1994 draft, complete a trade for Cedric Ceballos, and make the playoffs with one of the younger cores in the league at the time. It would take one more season before the Lakers signed superstar center Shaquille O’Neal to pair with the young but talented roster already in place, and trade for another young talent from the 1996 draft class in Kobe Bryant.

As a Lakers fan, I would go on to enjoy three straight NBA championships, and be reminded that this is what the Lakers did. They would draft well, they would make all of the right moves (GM Jerry West also traded away a few assets to clear up cap space and ensure O’Neal could be signed), and they won championships. Going back to the days of Magic Johnson, the trades for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the addition of James Worthy proved this was evident. Going back even further to the days of Jerry West, the trade for Wilt Chamberlain proved this was evident. Fans of other teams often mock Lakers fans for bringing up their team’s history, but when your history continues to repeat itself, it’s hard not to keep bringing it up to the uneducated masses.

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Did #RefWatchParty Actually Work?

We all had our expectations of how this experiment was going to shake out, but did anyone correctly predict the result?

We all thought it was a joke. Even I had my reservations about it when I heard the news.

But the NBA did the unthinkable. Following heavy criticism after the first two games of this year’s Finals, the league responded by having @OfficialNBARefs, the Twitter handle representing professional basketball’s referees, live tweeting during Game 3 last night. With the internet, who is always both crazy and angry about everything.

It sounded like a terrible idea from the word “go”. The first two games were so bad that, forget the internet, hoop heads everywhere would have ripped the refs a new one in-person. Upon hearing of the news, my mind jumped to some of the terrible calls from the previous games, and how the referees’ Twitter would handle rabid, spiteful fans demanding explanations for some of the worst officiating we have ever seen (or at least in recent memory). How could the referees Twitter attempting to explain away a call that pissed off the entire internet help anything?

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The Biggest Problem Facing the NBA Right Now

The Warriors are in the Finals again, looking to win their third championship in four straight tries. That’s a problem, but the reason may not be what you think.

Many people right now are complaining that the NBA Finals is always the Golden State Warriors vs. LeBron. It’s been this way for four seasons in a row. LeBron himself has reached eight straight Finals appearances. The easy answer is to keep teams like the Golden State Warriors from forming; however, if you’ve paid any attention to the NBA in the last decade, the Dubs are not the first instance of a Super Team.

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Who Is The G.O.A.T.?

G.O.A.T. is a label being thrown around quite a bit these days. I think we all need to stop and think about what it means.

LeBron James’ greatness is on full display as we speak, and we are currently awaiting the start of the NBA Conference Finals. If LeBron makes another trip to the NBA Finals, that would be eight straight trips, something that hasn’t been accomplished in over 50 years! And, don’t look now folks, but he currently sits fifth on the all-time scorers list (31,038), and only 1,254 points behind many hoop heads’ all-time great Michael Jordan (and LeBron still hasn’t even retired, taken ownership of a team, and returned to play for them yet. Yikes!). He is showing no signs of slowing down, possibly playing the best ball of his career in his 15th season, and with an average of at or around 2,000 points per, it’s safe to say next season he will surpass the immortal MJ on this list, and begin nipping at the heels of Kobe Bryant, who sits third.

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Fixing the NBA Playoffs

No, not the Tim Donaghy way… What do all three players in this “Finals” image have in common? All were able to compete for the NBA Championship this season. They also shared a 0% chance of winning it.

The first round of the NBA playoffs completed this past weekend. We had some surprises along the way, with sixth seeded New Orleans sweeping the number three seed in Portland, as well as seventh seeded Milwaukee nearly upsetting Boston. Cleveland and Indiana also went to a crucial Game 7, and these three series have been a joy to watch.

It reminds me of other great first round moments, like in 1994, when the eighth seed Denver Nuggets upset the Seattle Supersonics, becoming the first team to do so in NBA Playoff history. Or how about 2007, when the eighth seed Golden State Warriors stunned the 67-15 Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first eighth seed to do so in a seven game series? Boston vs. Chicago in 2009 was also great, setting records for most games requiring overtime (4) and periods played (7). We could even go back to 1989, as Michael Jordan hung in the air longer than his defender Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers, to hit the game and series clinching buzzer beater. All great and unforgettable moments.

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The James Harden Rule

Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller forced the NBA to change their rules. Should James Harden receive the NBA MVP this season, Commissioner Dan thinks it’s time to make another revision.

Last season, Russell Westbrook won the NBA MVP Award because he averaged a triple-double. As of this writing, he is 16 rebounds away from averaging a second triple-double, and becoming the only player to ever do so twice in their career; however, something tells me that even if he somehow is able to do this (edit: He did), James Harden is still going to be league MVP. Which boggles the mind the more you think about it. Scoring aside (Harden is leading the league, upping his average by 1.5 PPG), his assists (8.7 compared to a league leading 11.2) and rebounds (5.4 compared to 8.1) are all way down this season. Meanwhile, Westbrook’s numbers have only dipped slightly, and should he record the necessary 16 rebounds to complete the triple-double, does the argument for Harden as MVP truly exist? Continue reading “The James Harden Rule”

Commissioner Dan’s Picks for 2017-18 Season Awards

Who will walk away with end of season hardware? You’ll have to wait until the end of June for the NBA to tell you. So, lets all just settle for my end of season awards instead

Hello and welcome to the First Annual Commissioner Dan End of Season Awards! And I’m doing it now, because unlike when the NBA presents them, people actually care around this time of the season (please fix this NBA!).

So, let’s get this show on the road. The first award goes to:

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