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  3. frankzappa

    Grand Slam tournaments

    Album about the Grand Slam tournaments; which are are the four most important annual tennis events. They offer the most ranking points, prize money, public and media attention, the greatest strength and size of field, and greater number of "best of" sets for men. The Grand Slam itinerary consists of the Australian Open in mid January, the French Open around late May through early June, Wimbledon in June-July, and the US Open in August-September.
  4. Album about the PGA TOUR; which is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America. It organizes most of the events on the flagship annual series of tournaments also known as the PGA Tour, as well as PGA Tour Champions (for golfers age 50 and older) and the Web.com Tour (for professional players who have not yet qualified to play in the PGA Tour), as well as PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, and PGA Tour China.
  5. Album about the Toronto Maple Leafs, which are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  6. Album about the Los Angeles Lakers, which are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division
  7. Album about the Los Angeles Dodgers, which are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division.
  8. Album about the Manchester United, which is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football.
  9. Album about the NFL Football Team : Los Angeles Chargers. Football Players, Supporters, Football Matches, Scores, Stats.
  10. frankzappa

    Volleyball for Women

    Album about the Volleyball played by the Women. Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings
  11. frankzappa

    Olympic Fencing Games

    Album about Fencing in the Olympic Games. Scores, teams, history of the Olympics, awards for the athletes, primacies of the athletes, fans support, politics.
  12. frankzappa

    Various Photos of Sports Fans

    Album with Various Photos of Sports Fans and Supporter. Clubs, supporter groups, fan behavior during the sports matches.
  13. frankzappa

    Mike Tyson

    Album by Mike Tyson, the youngest boxer to win the world title. He was also a boxer who seemed unbeatable, but who had problems with criminal justice.
  14. Ever seen those pants that turn into shorts when you unzip them at the knee? Sounds good on paper, but somehow it just does not translate. Seems whenever a company tries to make a product into more than one thing it just ends up being not great at either. While not exactly the same idea, Jack Grace is trying a similar stunt with their golf shoes, but unlike the zip-away pants, this novel concept has legs. Here is the gig: make a solid golf shoe that can be easily modified for tons of unique looks. Any golfer who is over the age of 30 has owned at least one pair of saddle shoes. Even to this day, they probably remain the most popular style of golf shoe which is odd because exactly no one wears a saddle shoe off of the golf course. Regardless of why people like saddle shoes, the fact remains they are everywhere on the links which is likely why Jack Grace chose that style as a baseline. I say baseline because it is exactly the saddle which makes Jack Grace golf shoes unlike anything I have seen. Scanning the Jack Grace website, you will find three basic colored shoes: black, white and grey. While those colors may be limited, the saddle options are plentiful and varied and are the reason why Jack Grace golf shoes are so interesting. Utilizing base colors for the shoe allows the user to add virtually any color saddle. Additionally, there are dozens of patterns to choose from. The net result is that with just a few base models, Jack Grace is able to sell hundreds of versions of their shoe (probably more, but the math is above my head). What is it? The number of basic shoe styles to the power of the number of saddles?? Please, someone help me here. Moreover, because each saddle can easily be taken on and off, you can use the same shoe with all of the saddles. For those watching their dollars, you basically get another pair of shoes for the price of a saddle which is around $40. My experience with Jack Grace Innovator Golf Shoes: As a blogger, I like to test the fashion limits. To that end, I ordered a pair of black shoes with a red saddle, a fairly bold choice and one every NC State fan is sure to love (for the record, I am NOT an NC State fan). Not stopping with red, I added a flamingo and Kapalua pattern. While they would be over the top for everyday use, they are no less than awesome for special outings. In my case I took them to Costa Rica for a round at the Four Seasons. Ease of use: With any new gadget, there is concern that the idea does not work as well as advertised. Fortunately, I found changing out the saddles to be crazy easy. All you have to do is find the spot to grip the saddle, they gently tear away. Slipping the new saddle on is just as easy. Simply line up the saddle near the sole, then fold it over letting the Velcro and magnet do the work. Once the saddle is in place, the shoe looks like it was all stitched together as one piece. While I have only worn the shoes a few rounds, I have had zero issues with movement or any problem for that matter. The laces work just like any other shoe and you are free to tighten them as much as you like. Comfort and sizing: One thing to note about Jack Grace golf shoes is that they are fairly narrow. Not crazy narrow, but certainly not wide. I ordered size 11 1/2 which is my normal size. They were plenty long enough but I had to go to a thinner sock for better comfort. I am not sure if ordering a 1/2 size bigger would have helped (I suspect not). Basically, I would just say that this shoe is best for those who do not have wide feet. Outside of the width, I found the Jack Grace shoes to be quite comfortable and very appropriate for walking. The sole features a nubbed pattern that is just fine for grip. Quality: The one thing that really struck me out of the gate is the quality of the leather and shoe. At $170 a pair I think it’s a fair request but as we all know that does not have to be the case. Just looking at the Innovator, one can easily tell that this shoe is well made. All of the stitching is top notch, the interior is well designed and the overall shoe is quite light. Finally, I found the midsole to have a decent amount of cushion and just felt like a quality golf shoe. Bottom line: I get tons of inquiries to see if I would write about new and innovative products and most of them are pure junk. While the Jack Grace Innovator may fall under the quirky new idea, it does not fall under the junk category. On the contrary, Jack Grace is making a solid golf shoe that just so happens to also be a fashion design unicorn. Having reviewed hundreds of golf products, I can’t really compare them to anything else. I really, really dig the swappable saddle idea, but more importantly, the quality of the saddle designs is super cool. Whether you like a solid color, your alma mater pattern of just something funky, Jack Grace has a look for you. My only hesitation in recommending them is if you prefer a wider shoe, since they only offer one width and it is narrower than many brands. threeguysgolfblog.com
  15. Living In Durham NC, I have the benefit of only being 80 minutes from the heart of the sandhills and Pinehurst Resort. While I do not play the Pinehurst Resort course very often I do get to play a decent amount of golf in the area. What I love about the area is that even though it is only 90 miles away from my home, it always feels like a different world. What makes the Pinehurst area so unique is the earth itself and the fact that it is dominated by sand which provides golf course architects with a perfect medium to sculp their designs. While Pinehurst Resort is most famous for No. 2 because it has hosted numerous US Opens, there are in fact 8 other courses attached to the name. Perhaps due to the attention No. 2 gets, the other courses get looked over, but I can tell you there are many people who, if forced to pick, would choose #8 to play on a regular basis. The last course to be added to the Resort is No. 9 which used to be called Pinehurst National when we reviewed it 4 years ago and we absolutely loved it. However after these three Pinehurst courses the quality falls off in my opinion (at least when you factor in the greens fee). That is why I think Pinehurst decided to redesign No. 4, because now they can boast one more course that is on a level of quality that approaches that of No. 2. To put this all in context, 18 months ago I spent 5 days in Bandon Dunes. After that visit I realized the value of having multiple courses on one piece of property. Walking up #18 at Pinehurst and seeing golfers on the large putting green and on the veranda, I realized that is exactly what makes Pinehurst special as well. Since I am a local, I miss out on the “resort vibe” but for those who travel for a golf getaway, Pinehurst offers a world class experience beyond just the golf. With that said, the fall-off in quality from No. 2 ,No. 8 and No. 9 to the other adjoining course was, in my opinion, a knock on the resort. I say this because over the past 20 years I have played every one of the Pinehurst Resort courses and outside of the three above mentioned courses, I never thought they were that special. Moreover, not all of them share the primary clubhouse. My hunch is the Pinehurst shared my view and in 2016ish, they started to make a number of major changes. First they increased the size of the putting green, then they added a short course. If this sounds like Bandon Dunes, you would be correct. Regardless of the inspiration, the changes have been a huge hit with guest who can never get enough golf. The last change literally happened 3 days before our visit (or at least opened). What used to be a standard sandhill course has been transformed by Gil Hanse into a version of No. 2. Dominated by waste areas and natural topography, Pinehurst No. 4 feels nothing like it used to. Frankly, it does not look or feel like many courses in the area. For me, the biggest surprise was how wide open the course is. Specifically, there is a huge lake on the front side that can be seen by about 5 holes. Typically, Pinehurst course are defined by lush fairways sidelined by pine trees. Walking the first 8 holes, I kept thinking about how many holes I could view and how far I could see. Again, you just don’t see bowls in Pinehurst having what seems like a mile long view across the golf course. This open feel absolutely dominates the first 13 holes with only the last 4 or so set up in a more traditional manner. While perhaps not traditional in the look, Pinehurst No. 4 falls back in line with the traditions of No. 2 in that that it is incredibly walkable and caddies are highly recommended. In fact, the course was cart path only despite the sunny conditions. I not sure if this will be maintained or not but regardless, I was very happy we walked and took a caddie. I understand there are lots of people who prefer to ride, but on this course you just will miss out on a rare experience if you do not treat yourself to strolling down the fairway where you can take in sights and sounds. As you would expect the redesign was likely done in part to justify a fairly pricey greens fee. To that end, the course conditions were in top shape. Fairways were tight, bunkers were fluffy and the greens ran true. While not super-fast, the greens offer lots of challenges. Unfortunately, our caddie was only making his third loop, so we were all learning the course together. However, I fully expect the value of a caddie will be realize once they get enough time to “learn the course. Beyond the conditions, which were tremendous, the course has a number of nice details, my favorite being the wooden flag sticks with burnt orange lettering. I am not sure what the inspiration is behind the color, but it is unique and gives the course a special vibe. Playing golf while trying to take mental notes for a review is not as easy as it may seem. Unlike some of my friends, I struggle to remember specific holes or pin positions. For me, it is more about how I felt about the course and my desire to play it again. It was on number 14 or 15 before I really started to try to make a decision on how I felt. As it turns out, that is the part of the course where more traditional tree lined fairways began. To that point, I have thoroughly enjoyed my round but I was honesty a bit shocked by how different it was from when I had played it last. Perhaps this is why the last 3 holes felt so welcoming to me. This was especially the case on #18 where the fairway marches up to the main clubhouse. At 150 yards out is where the Pinehurst vibe is in full effect. Ahead of you is the clubhouse, beside you are glimpses of the famed No. 2 and over the ridge is the short course. This is a golf resort! After shaking hands on the 18th green we walked passed the enormous putting green, stopped by for a picture with the statues of golf legends and up to the veranda. For the record, I am not a fan of monstrous club houses but Pinehurst does it well and frankly the number of players demands it. For those who have never been to NC or Pinehurst, there is something very special about this part of the country. Next to the golf, it provides the opportunity sit amongst blue skies, white clouds, soft breezes and tall trees while sharing stories on the porch. It is also within a reasonable drive from RDU’s international airport. All this makes this a must golf destination. Like Bandon Dunes, golfers can come to Pinehurst Resort and never leave. Everything you need is right there including world class golf. threeguysgolfblog.com
  16. We have all heard the phrase, “it’s not the club, it’s the golfer”. While there is certainly a lot of merit in this philosophy, there is clearly an argument to be made that a better set of golf clubs can make you a better golfer. I think this is particularly true for the mid handicapper who is not blessed with a repeatable swing. Personally, I have tested a dozen different irons during real course conditions but it was not until I got fitted for my current set of clubs that I came to fully understand how critical it is to get fitted before you purchase a set of irons. With that said, I still believe there is merit to reading reviews of clubs to at least narrow down the selection process. What is true for me, may not be exactly true for you, but it can at least give you a sense of whether a given club should be considered. As I mentioned, I have reviewed a lot of irons, but never Wilson irons. In fact, I have never even hit a Wilson iron. Worse, I once wrote “take Wilson Staff who despite a long prestigious history, now only has street cred with castaways.” (with a picture of a Wilson ball next to Tom Hanks). Well it looks like they are turning back time with the Wilson Staff C300 Forged Irons. For my review of the Wilson Staff C300 irons I decided to take a slightly different approach. Since I had recently been fitted for my Taylormade M4, I was not really interested in putting a new set into play. However, my regular playing partner was in desperate need of a new set of iron since his current set was an aging Taylormade RAC My thought was this would be a perfect opportunity to see what happens when you put a new set of irons in the hands of someone who has always played using outdated equipment. My testers name is Roderick, but in order to protect his identity, I will refer to him as Rod. Here he is with the big stick at Congressional (yes, we need to upgrade that driver). Rod does not carry a handicap but he typically shoots in the mid 80’s (83-86 is his sweet spot). Rod is a big guy who hits the ball with distance. For reference, his 150 club has been an 8 iron. For my on-site testing we started at Finley Golf course where we have been playing every Thursday this summer. Again, Rod had been shooting mid to low 80’s this season at that course. What I am now going to tell you should not be construed as repeatable or data-driven testing, but with as many rounds as I play with Rod, I do take it with some merit. 82, 77, 75. Those were the first three scores Rod posted with the new Wilson Staff C300. Included in those score were back to back career low rounds. Distance wise, Rod is hitting his PW 145 yards and his 6 iron 185 yards. I have even seen him muscle his 9 iron nearly 170 yard. My rough math has the Wilson Staff C300’s giving Rod and additional 15 yards over his older clubs. From a shape perspective, these clubs launch the ball high and are absolutely workable. Rod’s stock shot is a high draw but with the Wilson C300 that was doubly so. With today’s irons being jacked up, you can argue the number on the club does not matter, but if you can drop an 8 iron 165 from way up high, it is going to help the GIR stats. So, the first learning is that new clubs can make a huge difference in distance. With that said, I am sure there are any number of clubs that would have added distance versus the Taylormade RAC, but the lesson is that unless you check out a new set you will never know. Secondly, despite the fact that Rod’s scores have fluctuated back into the low to mid 80’s, two career low rounds should not be discounted. Mid handicappers know that our scores vary because the reality is “we are not that good”. Sometimes however, the golf gods shine upon us and our game is better than most. I contend that on those days, having a better set of clubs can really help. Moreover, added forgiveness will always be a blessing since we struggle to make consistent contact with the ball. Wilson Staff C300 Technology: Ok fans, this is the part where my head starts to spin explaining why clubs go farther and have more forgiveness so bear with me. The new Wilson Staff C300 utilize Power Hole Technology. It seems like this is similar to a lot of new golf clubs that fill part of the irons with some type of lighter material to improve ball speed and forgiveness. In the case of the C300, you will note the 5 spots on the sole of the club and 2 on the toe. This is where the magic happens and the area where I am going to NOT pretend to know how it works. What I can tell you is that these clubs are hot. While I did not play a full round with these clubs I did hit them a number of times and saw distances very similar to my Taylormade M4 which I believe are just about the longest irons on the market (at least for my swing speed). Wilson Staff C300 Looks: Now this is where I can confidently speak to these irons. I know it is dumb but golfers want to have a pleasing top line to their golf clubs. For most golfers a thin top line implies that the clubs are being used by “players” independent of the actual ability of the person to be a “player”. Unfortunately, in order to build a forgiving iron, it is typical for the club to have a fatter profile. Why this metric of a thin profile is important begs a number of questions, but in my experience, golfers will not buy a club that does not suit their eye regardless of how it performs. Fortunately, the Wilson C300 are great looking from any angle. The top line is quite thin with all of the technology hidden below eyesight. With that said, the technology looks pretty bad ass with just the right about of texture, contour and fill. Why demo a Wilson Staff For starters it might lead to you shooting a personal best like our man Rod. Beyond that, golfers are creatures of habit. We get locked into a brand very early in our career and tend to rarely branch out. Often those reason are based on TV commercials or other brand driven factors. As a reviewer of golf things, I am always looking for the outlier. The brands that people are not taking about. Ironically, one of the oldest brands in the golf business is in that category. To that point, Wilson has long been the object of ridicule. I mean, who among us has not tossed a found Wilson golf ball back into the woods? The fact is Wilson golf has not been taken seriously for a bunch of years. Personally, I think this is because they are positioned as a sporting goods company rather than a golf company (much like Nike was). I think this may be changing with the release of their new golf clubs and specifically the C300 irons which are getting a lot of good reviews. So the next time you are getting fit for irons (and if you are buying clubs without being fit, shame on you), make sure you put the C300 in the mix. threeguysgolfblog.com
  17. As someone who gets a lot of free gear it is easy for me to say that you need to have this or that because I am not footing the bill. However, there are a handful of golf related accessories that cost less than a dozen golf balls (and last significantly longer, especially if you tend to land in a water hazard!). All of which I would argue are well worth considering. Among such items I would include, ball markers, headcovers and towels. One thing you will find on nearly every golf bag is a towel. Even the laziest of golfers will find the need to clean their clubs during most rounds of golf, not to mention the use a golf towel gets during the rainy season. Fact is, golfers rely on a golf towel as much as any piece of equipment they own. So my question is why do golfers settle for average when exceptional only costs $30? Personally, I have had the same golf towel for 5 year and I am not likely to change because I don’t think you can get much better than Club Glove. With that said, there are a couple of other brands out there that are utilizing a very similar material as Club Glove but with far better design options. Therefore, if you want the performance of a Club Glove Towel but a wider selections of prints, then I would highly recommend Uther Supply (pronounced Other). Uther Supply has been making high quality golf towels since 2016 and offers about 30 different patterns in both Tour and Cart sizes. For those of you not familiar with those terms, the Tour Towel is much larger (20 x 40 inches) and is meant to be draped over or tied to your bag. Caddies would typically carry this up to the green. In my case, I push it through the towel loop on my bag. Cart towels are smaller and typically have a carabineer that clips to you bag. Both are completely appropriate so it is simply a matter of preference. Waffle Pattern is key: One of the key differences between a regular shower towel and a quality golf towel is the material and texture. Shower towels are meant to dry off human skin, golf towels are meant to clean golf clubs. Why then would you expect both towels to be the same? Exactly. Uther Supply towels utilize a waffle pattern for their golf towels which I have found to be far superior compared to your typical shower towel. Unlike a cotton towel, Uther Supply golf towels are made from microfiber that is more absorbent and durable than cotton. Additionally, it is far superior when it comes to getting out dirt and grime from the grooves of your golf club. Again, we are not talking about a lot of money. A cheap golf towel probably cost $15 while the Uther Supply is less than $30. Given that you will use it regularly and should be able to keep it for years, I just don’t see a reason to cheap out. Especially once you check out all of the cool patterns. Uther Supply Golf Towel Pattern Selection: Uther Supply has about 30 different patterns to choose from as well as an option to customize your own towel. Among the styles, they have some of the best patriotic towels I have seen. Foremost is the Lady Liberty. What I love about this pattern is that the stripes on the flag are not solid white. Instead, the flag has a vintage look with two huge Lady Liberty images. Absolutely fantastic is how I would describe this towel. Draped over your bag, this is a statement piece. In addition to Lady Liberty, flag enthusiasts can go with a more standard USA Patriot design that features plenty of red, white and blue. Not to be left out, Canadians can find a similar Maple Leaf design. Rounding out Uther Supply design options, you can find flowers, birds, fish and camo to don your next golf towel. Custom Designs: While I did not sample the custom Uther Supply Towels, I have seen a number of them on Uther’s Instagram feed. My bet is that Uther is using a sublimation process to place any image you like onto the towel. This is an easy and fantastic way to customize a towel because the image will be nearly photographic in quality. Bottom Line: If you are still carrying a boring towel you got from Golf Galaxy it is time to trade up. While there are lots of expensive golf accessories, towels are not one of them and the price difference between average and awesome is not very much. Don’t you owe it to yourself and your golf clubs to have awesome? Check out Uther Supply. threeguysgolfblog.com
  18. For the past three years I have pretty much used a laser rangefinder exclusively as my method of measuring distances. Currently, I use the Bushnell Pro X2 and absolutely love it. With that said, I have utilized watches, bands and other digital solutions intermittently so I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what is currently available in that space. One such device I have been reviewing recently is the Bushnell Phantom. When evaluating this type of device, there are just a few critical features that need to be considered. Namely, accuracy, usability and battery life. Suffice it to say, I kind of take accuracy for granted as they all use GPS locating to deliver front, middle and back distances. When those numbers are off it is usually because the course has not been updated. To that end, the Bushnell Phantom comes with about 40,000 courses so chances are you are never going to have an issue. Moreover, I am convinced most golfers would be better off only knowing the distance to the center of the green (advice I stand by even if I don’t follow). Where the Bushnell Phantom shines above other like models is the ease of use. Notably, the screen is huge, making is super easy to read even for those with sight issues. There are also just 6 buttons making it simple to navigate even if you never open the instructions (which I assure you I never did). Starting a round is as simple as hitting the power button then letting it find you course. From there the Bushnell Phantom will auto advance through the holes. You can also cycle back and forth if you like using the side buttons. In addition to front, middle and back, the Bushnell Phantom provides distances to up to four hazards. While this feature works fine, I did not use it too much as I think this type of device is aimed more at the minimalist rather than the target shooter. The feature I did use, and that is not available on a laser range finder is the shot distance. Hitting the bottom button on the side (the side with only two buttons), will mark your ball so that you can measure your shots. Personally, I find this to be very helpful as it gives you real feedback on how far (or not far) you hit the ball. Battery Life and durability: While I have played two rounds with one charge, one thing you are going to have to get used to with this type of device is charging. For me, I am horrible at remembering to bring in the GPS, charging it and then putting it back in my bag. If anyone has come up with a good solution I am all ears. In terms of durability for a product like this, I am usually just guessing because I am never really able to put a device thought the paces without risking breakage. In this case, I ended up dropping the Bushnell Phantom at least 10 times and once into a creek (more on that later). In each instance, there were zero issues. The one big thing: Magnets. If it were not for the magnets, the Bushnell Phantom would be like nearly any other GPS device. However, Bushnell decided to mount the GPS with a very strong magnet that can attach to anything metal, including the belt clip. On paper I love this idea. The first round I used the Bushnell Phantom I attached it to my right hip. Off I went and was thrilled at how easy it was to pull off of my hip, read the distance and replace. However, by the 12th hole, I had knocked off the GPS 3 times. Once I rubbed against my push cart, once I knocked it off while hitting out of the trees and once I just found it laying next to me. During future rounds I experimented with moving it to my left hip and to my back. Perhaps is just me being clumsy, but it was rare that I could go a full 18 holes without knocking it off it base. Again, the magnet is very strong, I just never realized how many times an object hits me with enough force to pull it free. For example, it was jarred loose by a branch and fell into a creek. My fear was that it is only a matter of time before I lose the GPS device. Therefore, I moved the device to my golf bag and have not had any problem since. While this is a fine solution, I really liked having it on my hip. On the other hand: I love the fact that you can stick the GPS on the metal part of a golf cart. While not as cool as the built-in version some fancy clubs have, it’s a good substitute. Using this method, you never have to worry about looking for yardage as you can just glance at it as you exit your golf cart. Again, the only tricky part is remembering to take it off when you finish your round. Bottom Line At $99, the Bushnell Phantom is a great choice for golfers who are looking for an affordable GPS device. Having reviewed a dozen Bushnell devices, I can say that you will not lack in quality or durability. My once word of advice is to get comfortable with where you place the device as it can be jarred loose from your hip (especially if you end up walking into the woods to find your ball). threeguysgolfblog.com
  19. For the past few years I have been playing the TaylorMade RSi2 irons. I really liked the clubs and felt that I was having some of my best seasons playing with them. Then in February 2018 I was convinced to get a real fitting. Holy shit, that was the biggest game changing 45 minutes in my golf career. If you have never been to a real fitting (not a Golf Galaxy Golf fitting), then you need to drop everything and schedule one. Let me say this again, DO NOT buy clubs without getting fit. For my fitting, I went to Prestonwood Country Club in Cary NC to see Tom Reem. Tom was referred to me by my blogging partner Matt who had used him a few month before. Tom is a real deal club fitter with a partly cloudy disposition, backed up with about 40 years of experience. He is in the no fucking around zone. Remember, this is February and cold as balls, but fortunately we were hitting out of a covered bay. Tom first took readings from my 7 iron. I was hitting the ball well that day and the 7 iron was falling 135 yards out on a consistent basis. Ok, pipe down, I told you it was February and it was cold. Anyhow, once we had a baseline, we moved to the TaylorMade M4 which was high on my list of prospects. Boom, out of the gate I was hitting it 143 yards. Tom them tweaked the shaft length a bit to gain a few yards but the dispersion was worse. I was ready to sign on the dotted line, but wanted to take full advantage of my time with him, so I asked him to bring out the new Callaway clubs, a Mizuno and Titleist AP2 (God I want to play those clubs). After numerous well struck balls with each of those irons there was still never a contest as to what the best clubs were for me. Simply put, the TaylorMade M4 was by far longer and more forgiving than any of the other clubs I hit. Fast forward to May 2018 and the temperature is in the high 80’s and my game is in the low 80’s. I am literally having to rethink my entire iron game. 143 yards, yea, I can step on a 9 iron. That my friend, was never an option with my RSi2’s or any other club I have ever hit. I am now hitting a 5 iron 185 yards when it used to be my 160 club. And that 7 iron that went 143 yards in February is now traveling 160 yards. So my message for this blog post is twofold. 1) I really do believe that the TaylorMade M4 is way longer than previous models (except the M2 which I also hit exactly the same yardage) and 2) you are a moron if you buy clubs without getting fitted. My fitting cost $80 at a legit high end country club. For that I got a mini 45 minute lesson and clubs that are optimized for my swing. My session was so fulfilling that I am honestly pissed at myself for going so many years without a proper fitting. Sure, blogs like this are great to get ideas about what clubs might be best for your game, but until you hit balls with a Trackman you have no idea how they will really react to your specific swing. Why dick around changing your swing to match your club? Clearly it makes more sense to match your clubs to your swing. How many guys do you know who hit the ball too high or too low? Guess what, that can be fixed with a proper fitter. Shafts, don’t get me started. I defy anyone to really understand how they effect a golf swing. I call bullshit if you tell me you know what mid-kick means or if it is good for your swing. I have been playing TaylorMade irons for the better part of 20 years. In fact my first iron review was for the TaylorMade 2.0 which I still contend is an excellent club. In fact it was probably too good for TaylorMade as that model had sales legs far longer than they expected. From there, I played Rocketbladze, RSi2’s and now the M4. Prior to this latest purchase, I wanted to get the M2’s which are short release irons. However, they stopped taking orders for the custom version like 9 months after they released them, grrr. With that said, I absolutely love the M4. They are more forgiving than the M1 or M3 and just as long or even longer. For the record I hit using the M1 and the M3. As a 9 handicap, I have fairly good accuracy, but until I am getting paid to play golf, I just don’t see any reason to play a performance club (or god forbid a blade). Do I move the ball? Sometimes, but I am fine with a straight ball. The reality is that the M4 allows you to work the ball more than enough. Again, if you are a 2 handicap, go ahead and get the M3, but north of a 6 handicap, I don’t see the advantage of giving up forgiveness for workability. So back to my two main points. First, the TaylorMade M4 is long. Good lord, I am 1 or 2 clubs different compared to the Rsi2. I don’t care if they are jacked up. Hitting a 6 iron is way better than hitting a hybrid. I won’t bore you with the technical twist face technology, cause it’s all hocus pocus to me anyhow. What does not lie is Trackman which put me 12 yards longer in 42 degree weather. In 87 degrees, it’s like 18 yards longer. Secondly, and more importantly, stop buying clubs because you like the way they look or you read they are the best in 2018. Go get your ass down to a real country club or fitting center. I promise you will not only get better clubs, but you will learn a ton. For example, you will learn that given your swing speed you can lose or gain yards based solely on your launch angle. To illustrate this, I hit my driver 220 yards. Tom then showed me the data. Swing speed, 96 mph, laugh angle 12 degrees. He then showed me a graph which told me that if I could launch at 18 degrees, the ball would go 240 yards. NOTE: I am writing this is two months later and the above data are not exact but very directional (my memory is not what it used to be). The point is, I may not be able to swing faster but I can increase my launch angle either through fitting or changing my swing a bit. The reality is, half of golf is physics. You know, Bryson DeChambeau witchcraft. While Bryson is clearly a nut job, along with anyone who plumb bobs, golf remains a game of numbers. Understanding how these numbers fit together and how they affect distance and accuracy can be a good start to improving your game. Go out there and get fitted for Pete’s sake and make sure you put the TaylorMade M4 into the mix. threeguysgolfblog.com
  20. I’ve wrung my hands about these Lakers a lot lately. Luke Walton did not have his best year as a coach and showed flaws over the course of his 3 seasons in Los Angeles, but I’m sad to see him let go since I believe he is still a good coach (the Kings also seem to believe this). Jeanie Buss, meanwhile, must look outward for ideas on how to move her organization forward rather than relying on an inner circle that likely helped get her here in the first place, but that seems less and less likely since current GM Rob Pelinka will reportedly run the search for a new head coach before there is any movement on solidifying a front office that just lost its top decision maker. There’s a lot that smells of hubris and not a lot that smells like accountability wafting through the air right now. Whatever I think, though, matters not a bit as the Lakers are full steam ahead. Heading into and through the weekend it was reported that not only will Rob Pelinka lead the search for a new coach, but there are (at least) two candidates targeted in former Cavs head man Tyronn Lue and current lead assistant coach for the 76ers Monty Williams: Adrian Wojnarowski. Sixers assistant Monty Williams joins Ty Lue as the central candidates in the Lakers search, league sources tell ESPN. Process is expected to center on them. Lue, of course, has been rumored to be the next Lakers coach since Magic Johnson dressed down Luke Walton when they met just 7 games into the regular season. Lue’s name has lingered all season, to the point that he called Walton in the last month just to tell him the Lakers had not (yet) reached out to him about the job and to reassure him if they did he would tell them “call me back when the job is open”. Well, the job is open now and Lue will be interviewed this week. Lue has the pedigree these Lakers have long loved: championship experience as a coach and is a former Laker as a player. The fact that he possesses a pre-established and strong relationship with LeBron James also matters a great deal. I’d call him the early favorite, but maybe that’s not correct… Because, while Williams has no such associations to the Lakers brand, he has a strong reputation in league circles and had a successful stint in New Orleans as the top guy, leading them to the playoffs twice in 5 seasons with two totally different rosters. Beyond his background as a head coach with legitimate bonafides as a leader of men, Williams has experience with superstars, too. When in New Orleans, Williams coached Chris Paul and then, after Paul was traded to the Clippers, Anthony Davis. Davis, of course, is a top Lakers trade target this summer. Paul, meanwhile, is one of the best friends of LeBron James and will likely get pinged for even more information as this proceeds forward. It should also be noted that Williams was an assistant coach for Team USA under Coach K, so he’s had access to and been a coach for nearly every great player in the league — including LeBron and, free agent (wish list member) Kevin Durant when they were teammates on the 2016 gold medal winning team. How likely or unlikely it would be for Williams to leverage some of those relationships is an open question, but do not put it past the Lakers to put major stock into it when speaking with him — which will happen, seemingly, asap. Adrian Wojnarowski : Lakers management plans to travel East to meet with Sixers assistant Monty Williams between Games 2 and 3 of playoff series with Brooklyn, league sources tell ESPN. Williams has emerged as a top candidate for Lakers coaching job. The Lakers will also speak with Juwan Howard, current assistant coach with the Heat. While Howard has never run a team of his own, he’s been on Erik Spoelstra’s bench since he retired as a player in 2013. Which means he checks some boxes of his own: he has championship experience as a player and Finals experience as a coach (albeit as an assistant). He also has experience playing with and coaching LeBron James, which we know matters. Oh, and he also has experience with the man who will be interviewing him: he was college teammates with Rob Pelinka (who was the 6th man on those Fab 5 teams) at the University of Michigan. The Lakers are well positioned here. These are good candidates who all bring a certain pedigree and strengths to a job. If we were talking about them as potential hires after the Lakers had sorted out what their front office was going to look like or if the team had just, generally, issued a statement or gotten in front of the media to answer some questions and provide some clarity on the direction of the organization, I might buy into them more than I currently am. Instead, though, I just want to wring my hands more. I am a firm believer in process over results. I believe this because, when the former is strong, the latter will catch up eventually. As it stands now, though, the Lakers are preaching process but clearly chasing results. That, my friends, is how, in the long term, you end up not being able to sustain success. The Lakers have a golden opportunity to set themselves up for the long term this summer. They can do that by using Magic’s departure as a trigger to ask the right questions on why they are where they are, reevaluate their front office, execute a detailed and exhaustive search for a front office leader, and then let that person reshape things as they see fit. Instead, they’re relying on the status quo that’s already in place to make decisions which can shape the structure and direction of the organization for years to come. So, even if they get this “right”, I’ll wonder if the bigger picture will prove that they were ultimately wrong. We’ll just wait and see. forumblueandgold.com
  21. Earlier today we told you that it was time for Jeanie Buss to start to look outside her inner circle in an attempt to gather information on how to move the Lakers forward in the wake of Magic Johnson’s resignation. Then, well, the Lakers and Luke Walton decided to “mutually part ways”. So, this seems like a perfect chance for Jeanie to, you know, take the deliberate and patient approach to finding a new President (or, even, Vice President — like the title Jim Buss held) of Basketball Operations, then let that person determine how they might (or might not want to) work with Rob Pelinka in order to conduct the search to hire a replacement for Walton. Yeah, seems like that’s not going to happen per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Ramona Shelburne : Pelinka will run the Lakers coaching search. As @wojespn reported Ty Lue is one of the leading candidates. The expectation is they will talk to others, too, though. I’m going to say this as clearly as possible. I believe this is a mistake. Whatever you think of Rob Pelinka (and I certainly have my thoughts that I’ll share at a later time), the Lakers, have had a structure of a VP of Basketball Ops with a General Manager beneath him since Jim Buss was elevated to the VP post in 2005. Assuming they keep that structure in place moving forward, the first search the Lakers should be executing is one to replace Magic, not one to replace Luke. After all, the Lakers themselves, in a press release, said they planned to “work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization” after Magic resigned. Moving to hire a coach before a full front office is in place to have input on the process and the outcome is the exact opposite of measured and methodical. If this is how the Lakers plan to operate moving forward — saying one thing and then doing the other — they’ll be putting it right out in front that their words cannot be taken at face value. That is not how you foster respect or a positive reputation in a league where operating in good faith is a necessity to relationship building. And while it’s impossible to know if we’re at that point yet, even the appearance of moving in that direction is a hole the Lakers do not want to try to dig themselves out of. So, if I were giving advice, I’d say to pull back a little bit. Moving quickly and acting rashly hasn’t exactly worked out well for this franchise recently. forumblueandgold.com
  22. Those wondering if Magic Johnson’s sudden and surprising resignation would offer Luke Walton a reprieve so he could remain on as Lakers head coach have gotten their answer. To quote myself, nah. The Lakers and Luke Walton have mutually agreed to part ways the team announced via a press release on Friday afternoon. So, Luke is gone. I have mixed emotions. I understand why this happened, of course. Over his three seasons Walton has a record of 98-148. And while his teams showed marked improvement in his first two seasons on the job, his third offered just a two win gain in that most critical column. After the addition of LeBron James more was expected and regardless of the circumstances which dictate the path you must walk, Walton could not navigate it with enough strategic excellence to find the light at the end of the tunnel. That, really, is Walton’s biggest failure as Lakers head coach. As a player, Walton was both smart as a whip and in possession of a great feel for how to operate within the schemes his coaches deployed. As a rookie he found himself as someone playing key minutes in the NBA Finals because he could be the grease which helped the square peg of a Shaq/Kobe/Mailman/Glove quartet fit into a Triangle. Over the course of his career, Walton was called on frequently to play that same role; to operate as the example for his mates on how to play the right way. As a coach, it’s not that Walton was not smart, it’s that his instincts seemed to betray him too often. That great feel he had as a player, seemed to lead him astray a bit too often the man now in charge. Be it his frequent searches for the right lineup combinations, his penchant for sticking with particular players or groups for too long, or his trust in veterans who did not always deserve the rope they received, Luke both showed his age and inexperience while also following old tropes of coaching that one might expect from an old and grizzled sideline stalker. From an X’s and O’s standpoint, Walton never did find something that he could stick with and lean on. Weave actions, DHO sets, “Floppy”, and “Loop” his first year turned into Zipper cut initiations and Delay sets his second which turned into UCLA and HORNS sets in year three. As a player, Luke came up in Tex Winter and Phil Jackson’s Triangle and as a coach was schooled under Steve Kerr’s beautiful game of ball and player movement, but little of either influence was much present in his own scheme. Instead, he tweaked plays and actions from year to year, never building a foundational scheme that the holdover players could latch onto and grow into as they developed. Contrast this to, say, what Brett Brown has done in Philadelphia or Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn — both of whom came with systems that were drilled day after day even as the roster turned over due to The Process or because they were stripped of draft picks and needed to build in unconventional ways. Luke needed to provide more stability than he did, and that’s on him. Luke was not all flaws, however. And his firing does not and should not serve as some sort of concealer for all that he had to endure and work through as coach. Because even I recount what was wrong with Walton in his 3 years, it’s silly to ignore how the actions of the front office contributed to and in some ways exacerbated those issues. From year to year to year, Walton’s teams always had too many of two types of players: young guys who knew little/not enough about how to play NBA basketball and veterans whose contracts were expiring and did not always show the needed buy-in or who were so stuck in their ways and did not necessarily fit into Walton’s ideal style of play. This year’s roster construction issues have been discussed endlessly, but the front office gave a coach who wants his team to pass + cut and use read and react principles players like Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and Michael Beasley. This is not ideal. Those guys hold the ball and like to “go to work”. Moving the ball on quickly, cutting, filling, and replacing into vacated areas isn’t their natural way. The lack of consistent shooting from year to year did not help either. As the NBA evolved, the Lakers pursuit of players remained rooted in a different era. This too often provided Walton a makeshift roster of too many ill-fitting pieces that could not properly space the floor as shooters but also did not possess the instincts or inclination to generate spacing via improvised motion or natural flow. In laying out all the flaws of Walton and those who built his teams, though, we should not ignore that Luke remained steadier for and more connected to his players than one could expect considering the chaos which surrounded him. In Wednesday’s exit interviews, both young player and veteran alike spoke highly of him as a communicator and someone who fostered belief and confidence in them. Even when players were clearly not happy with their roles, I can’t recall a single complaint of them not being communicated to or being uninformed about how and where they fit in. And if players wanted to vent about any of it, he gave them an outlet to do so, then reconfirmed his commitment to them. That level of communication allowed him to effectively generate buy-in defensively where, year to year, when his teams were healthy, they showed they could perform to a level that exceeded the sum of its parts. In his 2nd season he took a group of mostly young players to a defense that was in the top half of the league after living in the bottom 5 for years before his tenure. This season the Lakers were in the top 10 defensively through the middle of January before injuries fully ravaged them. That’s coaching too, ya’ll. Ultimately, though, none of that matters now. Walton is out. And while we can still talk about his flaws or how those of the front office impacted him or even whether he was the right coach to connect with and optimize LeBron James, those are talking points which no longer carry relevance for the Lakers. They’ll need a new coach to navigate those waters. I wish Walton well, though. I think he’ll find his way to success. With a different organization, a different roster, in a different city. forumblueandgold.com
  23. With the regular season past its sunset, organizations around the league are making decisions on what their tomorrows will look like. The Kings have fired their head coach. As have the Cavs. The Grizzlies took things one step further, not just canning their coach, but demoting their GM and moving another top level front office person into an advisory role. While these organizations are taking action, however, the Lakers have had action taken against them. Magic Johnson’s resignation was a kick to the stomach regardless of how good (or not) he was at his job. Relaying his decision to the media before his boss and flashing his signature smile while cracking jokes at the expense of the organization he just left high and dry was an act that, even if not in malice, could easily be construed that way. An exit strategy was needed, but ignored in favor one more grab at the spotlight. Magic Johnson was the pilot of the plane, but hit his ejector seat while letting all the passengers on board fend for themselves. This brings us to Jeanie Buss. She is the matriarch of a billion dollar brand whose ability to connect with people on a personal level has long translated to the Lakers being run like a family business. Those connections create lasting bonds which can matter more than dollars banked, but in the cutthroat world of professional sports even those familial bonds must sometimes be severed if the goal is to do more than just bask in the glow of past accomplishments. In a way, you’d think Jeanie knows this best. She famously got her brother Jim out of the paint (or, more accurately, his role as VP of Basketball Operations) with more authority than any Karl Malone elbow ever could. It might have taken some time, but she did it. She then squashed a power struggle that looked to dethrone her from her position as organizational Governor, creating a consensus with her siblings while working within the constraints of the family Trust her father designed to keep the Lakers in the Buss name. But, in a way, Jeanie did not learn. Because after axing one brother, she quickly turned to another to run her franchise. No, Magic is not from the Buss bloodline, but he is from the same Forum Blue and Gold family and came of age in the Lakers organization at the same time that Jeanie did, both under the guidance of Dr. Jerry Buss. And, just as Jim did, Magic went down a path where he overreached and misdiagnosed how his particular set of skills would translate to success. Jim had his data points and player evaluation formulas, Magic had his charisma and charm. Neither was enough. The Lakers remain where they’ve been since Kobe Bryant ruptured achilles tendon over a half-decade ago. Lottery bound and seeking out stability and more than a nominal upward trajectory. Yes, jumping from 17 wins to 37 in 4 seasons is progress. It’s just not nearly enough when viewed against a backdrop of power struggles, dysfunction, and the type of poor communication which neuters the execution of any forward thinking vision this franchise thought they were fostering. Where this leaves Jeanie is anyone’s guess. Her inner circle is small and does not (seemingly) include many, if any, people who are not part of the family. In a way, I get it. Trust is hard earned and easily lost. It can also be easily misplaced when perspective is limited to so few choices in the first place. Will Jeanie find the right counsel? Does she have the wherewithal to look beyond those who inhabit the comforting walls of STAPLES and the team’s plush new offices and practice facility to glean insight and broader perspective? This is her challenge, now. Because even if the final answer leads her back to familiar faces, bringing new ones into the fold for information gathering is sorely needed at this point. Maybe there aren’t many options now that the league has had so much turnover in leadership among the ownership class. But, I’d recommend calling Adam Silver to start. Maybe reach out to Mickey Arison or Peter Holt or Herb Simon or Gail Miller or, hell, even Steve Ballmer. Pick brains. Get outside opinions. Use what’s said to inform, even if it won’t be the final verdict. By all accounts, Jeanie is respected in league circles and has carried on the tradition of her father to look out for the interests of the NBA with the understanding that the rising tide raises all boats. But respect, like anything else, can be undone. And we’re approaching a pivotal time when the decisions which come out of this low point will impact whether these notions remain intact. Now is not the time to insulate and circle the wagons. Not when it’s been shown that those who have lived in those trusted circles have the ability to turn against that trust just as easily as some outsider might. I like Jeanie Buss. I think she’s smart and caring. That she’s worked harder than she’s been given credit for and calls of nepotism are not entirely fair. That said, when times get the hardest, you will be judged not on your circumstances, but on the steps taken to overcome them. Jeanie has some overcoming to do. And if she leans on the same voices that got her to this point in the first place, she’ll rightfully shoulder the blame and carry the burden of truly not learning from the clear mistakes that have been made. forumblueandgold.com
  24. With Magic Johnson stunning the basketball world by stepping down as President of Basketball Operations Tuesday night, it was easy to speculate that more changes would be on their way. You simply do not have a shakeup in the leadership of your organization in that way without more fallout occurring. Well, it didn’t take long. Head Athletic Trainer Marco Nuñez has been let go, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin : the Lakers fired athletic trainer Marco Nuñez on Weds, sources told ESPN. Nuñez joined LAL as an asst trainer in 08-09 & ascended to the head position in ‘16, succeeding Gary Vitti. LAL players had missed 212 games due to injury in ‘18-19, 9th most in the NBA, per Spotrac As Dave notes, Nuñez had been with the organization for a decade, first as assistant trainer before being elevated to the head job after Gary Vitti retired in 2016. Nuñez oversaw a particularly difficult period of player health, not only this season, but last year as well. In 2017-18, Lonzo Ball appeared in only 52 games due ankle and knee issues while an assortment of ailments limited Brandon Ingram to 59 appearances. Of course, injuries happen. And it’s not the trainer’s job to make sure players don’t get hurt. Sometimes, it’s just bad luck. That said, injury prevention measures and techniques are certainly a part of the job description. As are taking the best approaches to accelerate healing in order to get players back on the court as quickly as possible. Under the Lakers, the results have been hit or miss more than anyone would like. A couple of recurring themes related to the injuries over the past two season has been either outright misdiagnosis or a certain lack of transparency about recovery timelines related to injured Lakers. Be it Lonzo’s knee injury last season, Moe Wagner’s bone bruise during summer league, LeBron’s groin injury this year, or Lonzo’s ankle injury this season, there has been a trend of players not coming back on the prescribed timeline or having the original diagnosis turn into something more serious. To me, these speak to larger issues than players simply getting injured in the first place. Again, players get hurt. But calling LeBron “day-to-day” after his groin injury only to have him miss nearly 2 months (and 17 games) is bad. Saying Lonzo will miss 4-6 weeks with a grade 3 ankle sprain only to have bone bruises “develop” — Lonzo said in his Wednesday exit interview that the medical staff, in the original MRI’s “didn’t see them” — and end up missing the rest of the season after being injured in mid-January is bad. This situation coming only a season removed from a “bone bruise” in his knee ending up a 4 month layoff and becoming a need to have a meniscus surgery in the off-season is bad. Moe Wagner dealing with a similar bone bruise issue that kept him out all of training camp and preseason came after it being called a “contusion” a full 12 weeks earlier. Again, I’m no doctor. I’m sure you’ll find medical professionals who will tell us that bone bruises develop where they previously weren’t and can be hard to see on MRI’s in the first place. I’m also sure you’ll find some who say strained groins are tricky and can be aggravated in ways which delay the healing process. And since I’m not an expert, I’d defer to them. However, frustrations build when things like this happen and whether it’s fair or not, when you miss as many games to injury as the Lakers have the past few years, blame will be assigned. It’s clear the Lakers are not happy with their own injury situation and this is the tack they’ve taken. Tania Ganguli : the Lakers considered firing Nunez after last season and this move fits with the emphasis they have placed on injuries. As an organization, they've decided to peg injuries as the main problem this year. They've certainly had a lot of injuries, but other factors share blame. In the end, as alluded to by Tania, the Lakers medical staff should not be scapegoated. But, based on the evidence we have at our disposal, it’s a seemingly reasonable conclusion to make that upgrades are at least possible. And, with all the change the team is going to undergo this summer, you can add finding that upgrade to the list. forumblueandgold.com
  25. On November 18, 1981 Magic Johnson walked into the locker room, basically called an impromptu press conference, and asked to be traded. Growing ever more disgruntled with then coach Paul Westhead, Magic basically said “him or me” and shocked the basketball world just a little over a year removed from winning the NBA championship as a rookie, earning Finals MVP in the process. Nearly 30 years later, on April 9, 2019 Magic Johnson walked into media availability before the Lakers final regular season game of a disappointing season, called an impromptu press conference, and told the assembled reporters he was resigning his position as Lakers President of Basketball Operations. Growing ever more disgruntled with his work as the organization’s chief basketball decision maker and worried about his long term relationship with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, Magic is out. Magic Johnson, man. I guess you never lose the ability to pass when no one sees it coming. Magic told the press that he’d not yet informed Jeanie Buss of his decision, because he “couldn’t be face-to-face to tell her”, that he was happier before he took this job, and wants to go back to being an ambassador for the Lakers and the league like he was before he took the job. Where this leaves the Lakers is….well…in an interesting spot. I’d call it rough, but honestly, the Lakers are in a position where some of the perception of how low they are as a franchise is because of Magic and his GM Rob Pelinka. An underachieving season that saw them miss the playoffs after signing LeBron James just 9 months ago falls on everyone’s doorstep, but a poor roster construction and an early season undermining of head coach Luke Walton were major parts of a failure that Magic and the front office own all to themselves. Combine that with a report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Magic and head coach Luke Walton have not spoken in weeks and we were starting to tilt in a direction where the perception of Magic as a leader was taking the type of hits that are hard to recover from. And while I’m not in Magic’s shoes, I’d imagine the last thing he wants is a tarnished image of someone who participated in the failures of the organization he clearly loves and has been associated with his entire professional life. Where the Lakers go from here is anyone’s guess. Does this change Luke Walton’s job status? Presumably fired at some point after the end of the season just as recently as, oh, an hour ago, will Walton catch a reprieve? And what of Rob Pelinka? Will he be elevated to Magic’s position? Relieved of his duties? Pelinka’s reputation has taken its own hits this year as reports of him telling players they would not be waived or traded, only to waive and trade them have surfaced in recent days. Will Jeanie, who did not see this coming, look outside the “Lakers family” for a replacement to Magic? It seems we have more questions than answers at this point and this was on top of the questions we already had about the direction this team would take — be it in their pursuit of free agents or overall roster construction in general. What I will say, though, is that as dysfunctional as everything looks (and, really, is), this franchise remains well positioned to move forward. With LeBron James under contract for 3 seasons (including a player option year), a max salary cap slot this summer, a lottery pick in the upcoming draft, and several young players who still have great upside, many franchises would love to have the Lakers “problems”. How they leverage all these things, of course, remains to be seen. What we do know, though, is that it will not be Magic who makes the decisions. forumblueandgold.com
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