Monday, June 16, 2014

2 comments The NBA Lottery Results Make Bill Plaschke a Sad Little Man

The NBA lottery results are in and the Los Angeles Lakers did not get the #1 overall draft pick, which was apparently completely expected in the mind of Bill Plaschke. Bill is frustrated, sad, insolent, indolent, lactose intolerant and regretful over the season the Lakers had that wasn't even rewarded with a top-3 draft pick. Those assholes in Cleveland got the #1 overall pick and they totally didn't deserve it like the Lakers deserved the #1 overall pick...or at least a top-3 pick. See, it's better for the NBA if the Lakers are good and that's why Bill is so angry and has become a sad little man. What's good for the Lakers is good for the NBA! If the Lakers win, the NBA wins. Can't the NBA see this? It's good for the NBA that one (multiple officials if you ask me) rigged Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals in favor of the Lakers. It's good for the NBA when superstars come to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers (but not the Clippers of course). It's so...well, this is just unbearable for Bill and he writes about his feelings on the subject in an article featuring his signature one sentence paragraphs.

The best and most appropriate reaction to the Lakers' luck Tuesday came from the Jerry Buss and Chick Hearn dolls sitting on James Worthy's desk.

Next paragraph!

Shaking, shaking, shaking their heads.

Whew, that was an exhausting sentence to write! Next paragraph!


For their final act of the 2013-14 season, the Lakers tanked the lottery. More than a month after their final game, the Lakers managed one more loss.

The Lakers dropped one spot from #6 to #7. Let's keep it in perspective. The reason the Lakers were in the lottery is they have several injured, fairly expensive players who are in the mid-30's. The Lakers acquired a guy like Nash and combined with him Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in the hopes it would lead to a championship. The Lakers team stayed pretty injured this year and I don't feel bad for them. Of course Lakers fans aren't used to a bad season, so the whining from sportswriters about the situation begins.

The team with the sixth-worst record in the NBA will somehow draft seventh

Not "somehow," but the Cavaliers moved into the lottery which meant other teams like the Lakers got pushed back in the lottery. There's no "somehow" involved. The Lakers falling back one pick (and let's be honest, it's not like the #6 spot is just a much, much better spot to be in) had a clear cause for why it occurred.

after those pingpong balls paddled the Lakers all over Times Square during a lottery drawing that felt like a contrived episode of "Survivor."

I'm not sure Bill understands how "Survivor" works. When I watched the show 12 years ago competitors voted each other off the island. Other NBA teams didn't vote for the Lakers to move back one pick, though if NBA teams could vote for other NBA teams to move back the Lakers would probably be a prime candidate to move back as far as possible. The Lakers would potentially be voted to move back into the second round.

The final three teams were represented by a tall NBA legend from Philadelphia, a young woman from Milwaukee in a treacherously short dress,

Okay perv, her dress wasn't that short. I'm won't post a picture here but Mallory Edens' picture was all over the Internet the day after the lottery. Her dress wasn't that short and I'm happy to see Bill Plaschke has Gregg Easterbrook Disease and takes time to check out 18 year old girls and comment on their attire. Not at all slightly creepy.

and a nerdy dude from Cleveland with a 1.7% chance of winning. Of course, the nerdy dude won.

(Bill Plaschke) "Nerds are taking over the world! This has to end! What a bunch of losers."

(Bill then goes to the local YMCA swimming pool to check out the high school girls in their bathing suits)

For the third time in four years, the Cavaliers will have the top pick, their general manager, David Griffin, clapping in glee while Julius Erving rolled his eyes in disgust and Mallory Edens — a Bucks co-owner's daughter and the newest Internet sensation — simply blushed.

Because a team that lost 26 games in a row or the team that just gave a huge contract extension to Larry Sanders, those are the teams that really deserve the #1 overall pick. Few teams who have a serious shot at the #1 overall pick "deserve" that pick. They have all probably made a few bad moves to get them where they are.

The Cavaliers didn't deserve it.

The Lakers didn't deserve the #1 overall pick simply because they had one bad season. If the #1 overall pick went to the team that "deserved" it because they ran their team well it would (a) ruin the point of the NBA draft lottery or (b) go to the Spurs/Thunder/Pacers/Heat/Grizzlies. I don't know about Bill but I'm not sure I'd like to see Joel Embiid added to the roster of the Heat or Spurs. I know it would be fun to see Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Durant play together, but that sort of ruins the point of the NBA draft lottery.

There should be a rule against giving another No. 1 overall pick to a team that spent last year's No. 1 overall pick on somebody who averaged two baskets per game. Does even Anthony Bennett remember Anthony Bennett?

Bennett had injuries last year and he was coming off one year of college. I think it's a bit early to give up on him.

The Lakers deserved better. They at least deserved to pick where they had finished. 

The Lakers don't deserve anything. In fact, if we are going to start talking about what teams "deserve" then the Celtics and Lakers don't even deserve a top-10 draft pick. The Celtics traded away their best players in an effort not to tank necessarily, but knew it would result in them just not being very good, while the Lakers had one bad season because they built the team around a 35-year old shooting guard coming off a major foot injury (and gave him a $48.5 million extension) and a 39-year old point guard who has had bad back issues (though he was injured this year due to leg issues) for going on almost a decade now. If there is karma in the world, then the Lakers would have gotten pushed back out of the lottery, as would the Celtics. So don't tell me what the Lakers "deserve" after struggling for one season.

They should have been rewarded for their injuries, their incompetence, their dysfunction, and the fact that they somehow talked Mike D'Antoni into leaving town.

I don't know if this is sarcasm or not. It's hard to tell. But no, the Lakers should not have been rewarded for all of these things.

Heck, if the league was smart, it would have helped the Lakers move into the top three. Considering a new rumored NBA scheme surfaces about every month, why couldn't one have popped up now?

Again, I don't know if this is sarcasm or not. This does seem like the type of inane crap that Bill Plaschke would write in an effort to make it seem like the Lakers are more important than other NBA teams or the NBA needs the Lakers to be successful in order to thrive.

Couldn't they have drugged up a couple of pingpong balls? Maybe shuffled a few cards on the way to the podium? 

Maybe the NBA did drug up a couple of ping-pong balls or shuffle the cards to give the #1 overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. I guess Bill didn't think about that, because why else would a team other than the Lakers be favored by the NBA?

The league was happy to block a trade that kept Chris Paul from the Lakers — couldn't it have finally paid for David Stern's misstep and evened things up?

While I agree David Stern was an asshole, and well, his typical self by blocking this trade, the NBA doesn't have to "even things up" by giving the Lakers the #1 overall pick or a top-3 pick. That's not how it works. If the whining is this bad after one year where the Lakers don't make the playoffs, I can't imagine how bad it would be if the Lakers didn't make the playoffs for 2-3 years in a row.

The NBA needs the Lakers now like it needed the Knicks back then.

No, it doesn't. The NBA needs to let the lottery play out however the ping-pong balls fly and not worry about whether a franchise like the Knicks, Lakers or Celtics are successful in a given season or not. The Lakers are not the center of the universe and they weren't wronged because they got the #7 pick and not the #6 pick. I know the Lakers "earned" the #6 pick by being terrible this season and Bill believes they should rightfully be given this pick, but sometimes the ping-pong balls don't fall a team's way. I know it's rare that something doesn't fall the Lakers way, but it does happen. Somehow I think the team will survive and still excel in the near future.

The NBA needs the Lakers' glamour and drama. The NBA needs Kobe Bryant, in his final run, to be relevant again.

Bill needs to write paragraphs that are longer than two sentences.

Saddled with the turmoils of dueling owners and an aging superstar, the Lakers desperately need a reason to believe in themselves next season.

Oh no! After failing to make the playoffs for the fifth time since the 1957-1958 season (think about that) the Lakers don't believe in themselves anymore! What a tragedy of epic proportions! Why wouldn't the NBA give the Lakers a reason to believe when they are so down on their luck of late? Sadder events have never transpired before.

One of the first three draft picks would have made that happen. The seventh pick does not.

This is pure bullshit. Kobe Bryant was drafted 13th overall, Nash was drafted 15th overall, and there are other instances of teams finding great players outside of the first three draft picks. It's not the NBA's job to make the Lakers believe in themselves, but if the Lakers do a good job of scouting they can possibly find a great player with the #7 pick.

Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Dante Exum are guys who could have immediately made the sort of impact that would make the Lakers fun again. 

I would guess Bill Plaschke knows very little about these players, but Exum and Embiid may not make the immediate impact that Plaschke is wanting to see. Players that will be available potentially at the #7 spot like Marcus Smart, Gary Harris, Noah Vonleh, or Julius Randle could have an immediate impact on the Lakers team equal to what Embiid or Exum could provide. In terms of long-term impact Plaschke has a point, but he's talking in the short-term.

None of them is expected to be around at No. 7, which is a location currently occupied on draft boards by guys like Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Marcus Smart, none of whom will immediately make a well-coiffed courtside head spin.

Clearly Bill Plaschke has never seen Aaron Gordon play. In fact, I would say of all the players in this NBA Draft Aaron Gordon is the most likely to make a person's head spin with his athleticism and some of the dunks he can pull off. I guess I have to remember Bill is coming from a place of ignorance and is simply mindlessly bitching because the Lakers didn't get their way.

Heck, the Lakers could have even traded one of the top three picks to Minnesota for Kevin Love, assuming the Timberwolves realize they need to get something for him now before he walks next summer. 

Oh, so Bill doesn't really want to draft a player who makes an immediate impact, but he wants the Lakers to shortcut the rebuilding effort and use other NBA teams as their farm system as they have done in the past? It's not about drafting and developing good players, but about using draft picks to trade for players who have already developed into good NBA players.

But there's no way anybody like Kevin Love is traded for something like a seventh pick.

Well, not in the position the Lakers are in. If the Lakers had any type of assets on their roster they could package with the #7 pick then a deal could possibly get done, but the reason the Lakers don't have assets to trade on their roster is the same reason they struggled this year and the same reason they don't "deserve" a top-3 draft pick. They are in win-now mode and sometimes that can backfire when injuries occur. A team that went for it all by paying 2-3 players large salaries doesn't necessarily "deserve" a top-3 draft pick because the plan didn't work for one season.

If they were convinced they could acquire a cornerstone player, they would have probably searched for a young and potentially cornerstone coach who could grow with the new star.

See what you have done, NBA! Now you have messed up the Lakers coaching search by not rigging the lottery in the Lakers favor. They were totally going to search for a young head coach rather than a head coach with previous coaching experience, you know, like they have never really done over the last 20 years.

But now, one wonders if they won't just grab a calm veteran like George Karl to steer them through the final years of Bryant before pushing reset again to accommodate whoever will lead them into the next era.

That would be terrible if the Lakers had to hire a coach with a 59.9% career winning percentage. However would the Lakers recover from making such a disastrous hire? Where's Mike Brown when you need him?

Granted, the Lakers had only a 6.3% chance of winning the lottery, and a 31% chance of dropping into the seventh spot, so Tuesday's fall — precipitated by Cleveland's leap — wasn't that unexpected.

But the fall was totally unfair and just proof the NBA rigs the lottery in favor of teams like the Cavaliers when they should be rigging the lottery in favor of unloved NBA teams like the Celtics or Lakers.

But, still, one could dream, and the Lakers sent their last No. 1 overall pick, Worthy, to New York with bobbleheads of past Lakers greats — Buss and Chick— in pursuit of that dream.

It was over 30 years ago that the Lakers had the #1 overall pick. Granted, this has more to do with the Lakers winning eight NBA Titles and missed the playoffs only three times since 1982, but it was a dream of Bill Plaschke's that the Lakers could struggle for one year and then be granted a top-3 pick to immediately revitalize the team. Alas, life is just not fair and the Lakers only have the #7 pick.

Big Game James was big-time crushed, beginning with the pre-lottery interviews, when ESPN's Heather Cox pointedly asked Worthy — and only Worthy — how it felt to watch his team stink all season.

"It was difficult … we had a plethora of injuries … we could never catch up," said Worthy.

What a struggle! I'm sure the plethora of injuries caused Worthy to cry into his over-sized goggles and wonder why life just couldn't be more fair and those teams that deserve a top-3 pick aren't granted one?

They finished sixth. They will pick seventh. The chase continues.

The 2014-2015 season is obviously over before it even began. Sadness accrues. Bill Plaschke may not be able to carry on, though I'm sure he'll have plenty of energy to write 15-20 columns during the next NBA season bashing the Lakers. 


JBsptfn said...

I don't want to hear it from Laker supporters. Boston had a long drought after getting more than their fair share of luck for decades. Now it's the Lakers' turn to suck for a while.

Bengoodfella said...

JB, but the Lakers deserved a high pick because they are the Lakers and have had bad luck for one season!