Looks Like Done Deal; Irving to LA

By T.J. Simers

So now we know, Kyrie Irving will be playing for the Lakers this season.

Only way it doesn’t happen is if GM Rob Pelinka goes stupid. OK, so maybe there is a chance, but by most accounts the Nets will not hang onto Irving if they honor Kevin Durant’s request to be traded.

Irving was probably out of reach a few days ago, but now without Durant, the agonizing headache that is Irving will more than likely belong to another team.

Why would any team take on such a headache?

Well, a desperate team, one that is expected to win a championship every season and which has no hope to do so this coming season as presently structured, has no choice but to welcome such trouble.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the Lakers’ have had a Hail Mary answered, getting Irvine and maybe getting rid of Russell Westbrook at the same time. That almost makes Pelinka a genius, and maybe the only way it can happen with Pelinka doing nothing.

Windhorst and others say the market for Irving is almost nonexistent, which means only the Lakers can screw it up. Irving supposedly is telling folks he will be playing in L.A.

Holy Jerry West, how far have the Lakers slipped that good luck now is the way they improve. Or is it bad luck?

It means the Lakers will have to take on the loser that is Irving, the selfish guy who sabotaged Brooklyn’s great plan for dominance, and I’ll bet you can’t wait to buy a Lakers’ jersey for your kid with his name on the back.

As much as Laker fans disdain Westbrook, if he goes to Brooklyn, they probably won’t care much what they get in return. But they’ll consider Irving a knight in shining armor.

Of course they will, because they don’t know what they are talking about. Some of them are now calling for the Lakers to trade Anthony Davis for Durant because they think the world revolves around L.A.

Maybe it does, but that would be the Los Angeles Clippers.

Laker Garbage

By T.J. Simers

Radio and TV guy, Fred Roggin, urged me to write more. I tell you that so you know who to blame.

I wasn’t going to write today, but I’m trying to read the L.A. Times every day, and while it only takes a couple of seconds, I’m now irritated.

The Times is feeding its readers gobblygook, namby-pamby junk as if they are Laker cheerleaders or on the payroll.

The headline atop Dan Woike’s Times’ story read: “Lakers are without picks but not hope.”

Kind of wants to make you throw up in your mouth.

Woike writes about David Nwaba, a G League tryout, and what does that have to do with Thursday’s NBA Draft?

“It was there that the Lakers spotted David Nwaba, an undrafted player who attended three colleges,” writes Woike. “They swung a deal to get him added to their developmental team, and before they knew it, he was on the court with the NBA team.”

And now the Woike punchline: “That he didn’t find continued success with the Lakers doesn’t matter.”

OK, so Plaschke is probably Woike’s mentor, but where is the Times’ editor who says this is crap: That he didn’t find continued success with the Lakers DOESN’T MATTER.

Success is all that matters if you are talking about the Lakers.

Woike’s story continues inside the newspaper under the headline: “Lakers can attract undrafted players.”

Who cares? The Times is trying to convince Lakers’ fans and readers the team is just fine without draft picks. Why write such blather?”

But Woike does, the following paragraph reading: “Fortunately,” and where is there anything fortunate in not having draft picks?

“Fortunately, the Lakers front office…” Where is there anything fortunate about the Lakers’ front office these days?

“Fortunately, the Lakers front office — from general manager Rob Pelinka to consultant Kurt Rambis to scouting department folks such as Joey and Jesse Buss to personnel director Nick Mazzella — has a track record of finding role players from nontraditional routes.”

There’s that throw up in your mouth feeling. Obviously, Woike is trying to butter up the front office. Things sure have changed at the Times.

Right now the Lakers’ front office is an assemblage of basketball idiots; if they were any good they would have put together a roster of role players to get the Lakers in the playoffs last season,

I used to work with Woike at the Orange County Register. Nice guy, who has gone to seed apparently in his eagerness to please Laker supporters.

Woike writes the Lakers roster issues will make them an attractive landing spot for players who go undrafted. Pelinka getting the chance to tell agents: “Give me your tired, your poor, your gawd-awful players and that should excite the paying customers.”

Who needs Kyrie Irving when you can have the best bums available?

Woike cites the addition of Austin Reaves as the reason to believe in the Lakers’ brain trust, but then just as quickly points out Joey Buss had Reaves penciled in to play in the G League all season.

“The combination of potential playing time, a proven developmental track record, access to tremendous star power and as good of a G League living situation in El Segundo as any in the league should push the Lakers to the front of the line for anyone who doesn’t get picked,” writes Woike.

How come Woike’s fingers didn’t just stop typing when he realized how ridiculous that sounds? Since when has the Times’ sports section become a house organ for the Lakers?

We were told last year the Lakers were going to win the title with James, Davis and Westbrook; they didn’t make the playoffs. I don’t have a problem with that. It happens.

But don’t try to sell the public garbage like it’s just the start of happy days are here again.

Or, as Woike concludes his story: “They’re not the only ones looking for players like that, but at least the Lakers can feel comfortable…”

I have to stop myself right there. Do we really want the Lakers feeling comfortable right now?

“…comfortable with their chances of finding an impact player. After all, they’ve done it before.”

Holy Smush Parker.

PS. Word comes the Lakers have acquired the No. 35 pick; I guess they didn’t buy Woike’s nonsense either.

Oh No, Jeanie is Unhappy

By T.J. Simers

I’m still flying high after just seeing Top Gun Maverick, which makes it very hard to write about such a downer as the Lakers.

Last month, calling it an “exclusive,” LA Times’ sob story columnist, Bill Plaschke, told everyone, “Jeanie Buss isn’t happy.”

Oh no, I can’t believe it, how did Plaschke land such an exclusive. You mean to tell me the owner of the let-everyone-down Lakers isn’t happy.

Hey, I wrote with regularity 10 years ago that Jeanie was unhappy, bemoaning the fact Phil wouldn’t give her a ring. I never called it an exclusive because she cried to everybody.

Plaschke, meanwhile, goes on to write three graphs later: “Jeanie Buss isn’t happy.”

Did he think we all skipped his first paragraph? Is he already running out of things to write finding a need to repeat himself? Is it just some kind of trite journalism trick?

I got an exclusive for you: If the owner of the Lakers isn’t unhappy after the 2022 pratfall by her team, then what will it take?

Let’s move ahead a month. The Lakers still stink, the NBA Draft is the big event now. And it pretty much won’t include the Lakers who need help.

But we know this, Kyrie Irving may or may not be coming to the Lakers. I guess that’s a lot like another Plaschke proclamation, writing the hiring of Darvin Ham as head coach is “nuts,” but “maybe, also, perfect.”

If I was a regular reader of the Times, I would be unhappy. Which is it, Mr. Opinion Maker? I could get my next-door neighbor to offer such wishy-washy analysis.

As for Kyrie, Plaschke gives us under the headline, “Adding guard a super dumb idea,” a reminder of how he would run the Lakers if allowed: “Trade LeBron.”

There are twitter reports Kyrie has already talked to LeBron about getting back together again, as well as reports Mitch Kupchak’s Hornets want to get involved in a three-way trade.

Rumors upon rumors.

And I haven’t even mentioned Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers are a mess and there are reports out there that Phil Jackson, the guy who floundered as an administrator with the Knicks, likes Westbrook. Some reports have gone a step further to say Phil would like Westbrook to remain with the Lakers.

And now Phil, who is the expert at making Jeanie unhappy, is reportedly advising her.

Good thing she still has Plaschke to lean on.