We’re back, and SB Nation’s Silver Screen & Roll writer and editor-in-chief Harrison Faigen is with us tot discuss the present state of the Los Angeles Lakers as uncertainty swirls around a potential NBA return this season.
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6:36-7:03: “The only way to change this [mental health stigma] and have people be more comfortable talking about it is to have more people talk about it openly and have it not be that big of a deal. And so I want it to not be a big deal when I talk about being afraid to go outside or being afraid to go back to work. These are things we all feel on some level or another.”
12:59-14:18: “Nobody was seriously thinking that LeBron [James] was washed [up], but there were more doubts about him going into this season than there probably ever have been…He’s mostly been a really important part of the Lakers defense, he’s been basically their sole competent ball handler on offense, and for him to be doing that at 35 with the workload that he needs to take on and not really load-managing…I think it’s probably as good of a 35-year-old season as anyone’s ever had.”
19:30-20:57: “I’ll put my hand up and fully admit that I was skeptical when the Lakers brought him back like I think almost everyone was. It was kinda like [Dion] Waiters, where you could look on paper at the fit and be like, ‘Yeah, they do need another big man. They need a guy who can take some center minutes.’ … At the same time, we’ve been saying Dwight could be that guy for his last eight seasons in the league basically, and he just has never wanted to do those things or showed prolonged commitment to doing those things…Bottom line: I think he knew this was his last shot. If this didn’t work out, you may not have seen a team sign Dwight Howard the next time around.”
30:59-31:08: “For someone who covers the Lakers, it’s the best season that I’ve ever covered. It has also been easily the most exhausting.”
41:16-42:41: “The thing that I kept coming back to in the days after he passed was the last time that I saw him in person. … I remember we were walking around Disneyland, and I saw this really tall guy and I was like, “Wait a second. Is that Kobe?” He was just walking around with his kids. … He had the second-youngest on his shoulders, and he was bouncing her around, and he just looked really happy and just wandering around with his kids through Frontierland. It was cool to see him like that, and it was cool just to think back on that memory and how close he was with his daughters. It made it more sad in retrospect as well, but it’s the one that I kept coming back to because it really emphasized, I think, who he became as he aged, and he really had committed to being a family man and being a #girldad and that was where his passion had went.”