Like most of America, the NBA is on edge—and not just about the presidential election. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers both have roster business to attend to, but no date has yet been set for the start of free agency. Meanwhile, the next season hangs in the balance, with the league and the National Basketball Players Association at an impasse over when to start hooping again after a season extended by the coronavirus shutdown.
And that’s all before considering all the other thorny issues the owners and players will have to work out in terms of the actual logistics of running a reasonable basketball campaign—from how and where teams will play to what protocols they will have to follow to avoid infectious spread, to whether there will be any bubbling this time around.
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin go micro and macro on the state of the Association. Our co-hosts begin by looking at how the balance of power in LA basketball could hinge on…Rajon Rondo? Yes, the oft-maligned former Boston Celtics star has not only restored his reputation among Lakers Nation, thanks to a stellar showing in the Purple and Gold’s run to Title No. 17. He’s also, apparently, earned some admirers among the Clippers, who could use a savvy, veteran point guard to grease the skids between Kawhi Leonard and Paul George while bringing vocal leadership and accountability to an otherwise quiet locker room. Along those same lines, Eric and Josh consider whether the Clips could make a play to bring Chris Paul back into the fold to fill that same aforementioned void.
Our co-hosts then turn their attention to the state of play in the NBA, where the owners want to start by Christmas and the players would prefer to push until January. Is there a compromise to be struck up, with non-bubble teams returning to action first? Or is the league bound to resume in December, given all that’s at stake financially and with labor relations?
Finally, Eric and Josh close out the show by discussing the efficacy and wisdom (or lack thereof?) of the NBA instituting play-in tournaments for the final two postseason seeds in each conference.
00:00 – Rondo’s Future in LA
13:15 – CP3 Back to the Clippers?
30:47 – When Will NBA Return?
41:44 – Play-In Tournament Coming?