With NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago well in the rear view, the city of Los Angeles has resumed its place as the center of the basketball universe. The Lakers took down the Boston Celtics, the Clippers got back on track against the Memphis Grizzlies and each of Staples Center’s NBA tenants now has a Morris twin on its roster. But all of that was overshadowed on Monday by a “Celebration of Life” for Kobe and Gianna Bryant that brought basketball royalty and celebrities—in addition to thousands of Lakers fans and mourners alike—to downtown LA.
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin recap the Mamba memorial from inside and at home. Eric offers his thoughts on the pageantry from the stands at Staples Center, where he and his wife Dorothy grieved with thousands of Angelenos. Eric and Josh reflect on fond remembrances from Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Diana Taurasi, Sabrina Ionescu, Geno Auriemma and Rob Pelinka, and marvel at Vanessa Bryant’s ability to eulogize her late husband and daughter in front of the world.
Then, Eric and Josh turn their attention back to the business of basketball. Eric breaks down the mechanics of the Lakers waiving DeMarcus Cousins and signing Markieff Morris while dispelling myths about who would and wouldn’t be playoff eligible. Our co-hosts take a closer look at Keef’s likely role in the Lakers’ crowded frontcourt rotation, and how the veteran forward could impact the Purple and Gold for the better.
Eric and Josh then consider the Clippers’ current rotation, with Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson now firmly in the fold. Are Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and company now poised to take over the Western Conference? Or could they find a formidable foe in the first round of the postseason, with Chris Paul’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks lurking in the lower half of the bracket?
Our co-hosts close out the hour by highlighting the latest basketball breakthroughs in the Pincus household, and look ahead to the LA girls’ city championship between Hamilton High and Pacific Palisades High.
00:00 – Kobe and Gigi’s Memorial
14:11 – Boogie Out, Keef In
27:21 – Morris Better?
46:48 – Healthy Clippers, Pincus Ballers