Wednesday night the L.A. Lakers squared off against the Golden State Warriors. It was one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. The Warriors have won two of the last three NBA championships. They also have that star power – Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. The Lakers are well … the Lakers. They are one of the most-storied franchises in the league. When they are playing well or when they are relevant it its good for the NBA.
Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball is the most-talked about rookie due to the hype, his skill set and his mercurial father Lazar Ball of “Big Baller Brand”. The kid has his own sneakers; even rap impresario Jay-Z copped a pair of the ZO2s. I thought the Lakers were going to get smashed, but it did not happen that way. The Lakers took the fight to the Warriors and the game with tied with less then 10 seconds left in overtime. On the last play Brandon Ingram missed a layup that could have sealed the deal, and the Lakers later succumbed in overtime.
Big Baller’s Lavar Ball has his own insights. He felt Lakers coach Luke Walton should have let the team play instead of calling time out at the end:
When Julius got that ball at the end he should have [thrown] it forward. Lonzo had a wide open layup or a three pointer. That’s game! …. Lonzo was running the lane. Game over. That’s the best time to score, with less than nine seconds left and your coach don’t call time out … Don’t call time out. That means you’re scared … Do the Big Baller move! Don’t call no time out.
Actually Lavar has a point. There is an interesting basketball debate as to whether to call time out at the end of games or let your players decide right then and there. By Walton calling time out to set up a play, he also gave the Warriors time to set up on defense. At the nine second mark the Warriors were out of position defensively and it was likely the best time to the ball into the hands of Lonzo who could have driven and tried to score or find the open man. That would have been the higher percentage play.
By calling time out Walton might have been stunting for the ‘gram and trying to look like a coach, while lessening his team’s chance to win. The bigger picture is that the Lakers played well and have something to build upon. Brandon Ingram had a break out game with 32 points and Lonzo had a double-double … if only the Lakers could build upon this momentum.
Here's the play LaVar Ball highlighted as the "crucial point" in the Lakers missing an opportunity to knock off the Warriors: not kicking the ball ahead off KD's late miss + calling timeout. pic.twitter.com/7zBiKoZ3DT
— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) November 30, 2017
On Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?