The Los Angeles Lakers may be one of the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida at the conclusion of the NBA’s bubble restart. But that doesn’t mean the Purple and Gold won’t have many a challenge to overcome first—including coping with the absence of one of the few reliable ball handlers on the roster, in Rajon Rondo.
That is, assuming the resumption of professional basketball doesn’t have to be called off midstream, on account of the coronavirus’ growing presence on the league’s makeshift campus inside Mickey Mouse’s Magic Kingdom.
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin consider how the NBA’s answer to the “BioDome” is holding up under the early stresses of team’s arriving, quarantining, testing and, eventually practicing. Is there already cause for concern about its efficacy and resilience in keeping the best basketball players on the planet COVID-free?
Our co-hosts then turn their attention to the social justice developments concerning the Association. They preview the roles that the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers might play in “THE ALLIANCE: Los Angeles,” a partnership between all 11 of LA’s pro sports teams to help address justice and equity through participation in and access to sports. They also consider why LeBron James, Anthony Davis and other stars have declined to replace their last names with pre-approved phrases on the backs of their jerseys, and why others have taken up the NBA on its offer.
Next, Eric and Josh examine the impact of Rajon Rondo’s latest injury on the Lakers’ guard corps, which was already light on creators before the shutdown and was further thinned by Avery Bradley’s decision to sit out the NBA’s reboot. Our co-hosts conclude by considering the Clippers’ chances of winning their first-ever championship inside the bubble, with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and a previously banged-up roster now close to 100 percent healthy.
00:00 – Life in the NBA Bubble
17:54 – Basketball and Social Justice
35:04 – Lakers Lose Rajon Rondo
47:13 – Clippers Close to a Championship?