You know it’s been a rough season when you look around and realize, “holy crap, things are actually ok right now.” Yet Wednesday afternoon, as Sabreena Merchant and I were getting ready to record this week’s “I Love Basketball,” that was exactly what we said to each other. What a time to be alive.
We started with whether this might be the Lakers’ one zillionth turning point this season now that Anthony Davis is back, Stanley Johnson is signed longer-term and it seems some of the noise surrounding Frank Vogel’s job security has at least temporarily subsided.
It was a welcome respite after the last week or so has been filled with nonstop leaks about who is responsible for what trade, and how confident certain members of the Lakers are that they can either turn it around internally or find the right deal to return to legitimate title aspirations. I wondered whether that news cycle was the kind of airing of grievances that can put all cards on a table and start to move forward from there.
Typing it out makes it sound way dumber than I already thought it was, but hey this is where we’re at now.
We then had an interesting conversation about whether the fact that Russell Westbrook has struggled the way he has for his hometown Lakers has been a factor in trying to figure things out. Neither Sabreena or I know him nearly well enough to say any of this remotely definitively, but it seems to make sense that struggling for the team you grew up rooting for in a city you love would seem to suck worse than not meeting expectations halfway across the country.
We finished with our thoughts on the Lakers retaining Johnson and rebuffing the Houston Rockets’ efforts to try to squeeze a first-round pick out of L.A. in order to swap Westbrook and John Wall.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.