Thoughts from the Counter

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Sports Counter patrons already know of my ongoing issues with Lavar Ball.


Allow me to first repeat a few thoughts. Although I may not have agreed with his methods, his branding and marketing of his sons was smart.  Lonzo went second overall to the Lakers. Which I believe had more to do with Lavars’ branding than Lonzo playing.  Also, I do not feel I, or anyone,  should comment on how a man raises his own kids.


Now, with that said allow me to say this, Lavar Ball has fully crossed over what we call in economics and business “Diminishing Returns”.  Lonzo going second overall, LiAngelo starting his first year at UCLA and LaMelo setup to attend UCLA should have been the moment Lavar ball dropped out of the spotlight.  He had done his job.  The “Big Baller Brand” was established and there was a high possibility that 2, if not all 3, of his sons, would attend college and play in the NBA.


However, Lavar could not help himself.  While he may be a good “father” he did himself and his sons a disservice. He stopped thinking about their future and instead added his own aspersions for fame.


Theses aspirations had him being interviewed after Lakers game.  Making demands to help make his sons look better. Which in turn allows him to talk more.  When his demands were not meet to his satisfaction he took drastic decisions.  Decisions that have both LiAngelo and LaMelo no longer enrolled in a school getting an education. Lonzo and the Lakers having an unnecessary drama in their locker room.  Every decision Lavar has made since Lonzo going second has brought back “Diminishing Returns”.


If Lavar was the father that I took him for, he would have removed himself and allowed his sons to grow in the environment that he created.  But due to his selfish needs for his own fame and achievement Lonzo will likely be the only Ball to play in the NBA, and for how long, will depend on how long they can handle Lonzo slow start and mostly Lavar.  I have said at The Sports Counter often that LaMelo is the most talented.  However, there are tons of talented basketball players in the world, and many do not come with the baggage called “Lavar Ball”.

Hear the guys speak about the Lavar Ball Situation

So Phil Jackson is out of NY, and the “Dumpster Fire” known as the NY Knicks ended up getting somewhat better.  So as we mentioned on Episode 28 of The Sports Counter, they are no longer a Dumpster Fire, but more of a small pile of burning trash.

So now what for Phil? Allow me to provide some advice for the “Zen Master” that I think will provide him with some direction … Stay Away From Basketball!

As I have often said at The Sports Counter, Phil Jackson, too many, is thought as the best coach the NBA has ever seen. But, in my humble (yet often right ) opinion, Phil Jackson always did what was expected with the amount of talent he had.  As I have said at The Sports Counter, during his tenure Phil had arguably the top 20 players in NBA history on his rosters.  Resulting in 10 coaching championships and many more accolades that have him praised as on the of the smartest minds in the NBA.

It is for this continued praise that we have seen Phil stay around the NBA. I argue that after his first run with the Lakers ended he never loved the NBA or basketball anymore. Yet, was around for the continued praise and to chase ultimate NBA coaching glory.

3 years of bad work ethic and poor decision making is helping to leave the NY Knicks in complete disarray. All while Phil walks away knowing that in the end history will still think of him as the “Zen Master”.  Phil your arrogance and unwillingness to adapt to the new NBA instead of riding on your past success is why the NBA is done with you and hopes that you also feel done with us.

The issue with older legends not knowing when it is time to ride off into the sunset is that they stick around and continue to try and be superior to everyone whom they view as their inferiors only to actually be a pain and blemish.

Great minded people always adjust and find ways to continue success in a constantly changing world.  Phil Jackson found success with one offense and never adapted to change it.  Forcing his coaches and everyone around him to adopt it, regardless of not having success with it.  It’s not the triangle or his logic that got Phil 10 rings, it was having Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, and Shaq.  So it is the attitude of this sports analyst that Phil Jackson should be not looked upon as being the NBA greatest mind, but more as the NBA top lottery winner and this latest failure in NY and demonstration of poor work ethic is proof for that attitude.

So the series between the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics has come to an end, and it was everything that we thought it would be.

We saw great performances by great players.  More importantly, we saw the 2010 #1 pick grow up and prove that he is a true “NBA Star”. Unfortunately, he also proved that he is only a “Star” and not yet the “Superstar” many believe him to be.

Now before my co-host and many John Wall fans begin to send hateful responses. Allow me to provide some insight as to why this game 7 will make you face the hurtful truth.

Tonight was the night that if John Wall wanted to show his dominance it would have been in this game. Aside from being the highest draft pick on the floor. We can all admit that he was also the most skilled player on the floor.  He could have shown that he was the “Superstar” many believe him to be by making this game his. Leaving his imprint as many superstars have done before in games of this magnitude.

Whether we are talking LeBron James when he took a young Cavs team to the finals in 2007, D-Wade scoring 42 in a must win finals game against Dallas in 2006, or even last year when Klay Thompson scored 42 points against OKC to force a game 7 and eventually take the series.  Win or Lose, games such as this you walk away saying, the superstar was the best player on the court, even if something kept them from winning (bench play, lack of talent, bad coaching, etc.) However, this game showed that Wall was not the best player on the floor in a game that his team needed him to be, nor did he appear willing or able to step up to the challenge.

Watching this game from start to finish, you could not help and feel that the real hope for this Wizards team to win would come from the effort of Bradley Beal, not John Wall.  Wall who finished with a solid 18 pts and 11 assists, was tied with Markieff Morris as the 3 leading scorer.  Behind Otto Porter with 20 and team high scorer Beal with 38.  Yes, Wall the true PG lead in assist, but in this game, the Wizards needed their best player to be both a distributor and more importantly a scorer. But, at times I would see Wall being more of a bystander, looking for others to deliver.  

With less than 5 mins to go in the 4th, Wall picked up his dribble at the top of the key and waited for Beal to free up for the ball.  A few plays later, he had a baseline drive, and instead of taking the shot, he committed a turnover trying to force a pass all while going 0 for 9 in a clutch period of the game.  A period of the game where the Wizards needed him to become the aggressive team leader that was required for them to pull this out.

His counter on the Celtics however, showed how a PG “superstar” was to perform in “Must-Win” game.  Isaiah Thomas led his team with 29 points and 12 assists, in front of a solid performance by Kelly Olynyk who finished with 26 points of his own.  While I do not hold Thomas to be a superstar, tonight, he was indeed the best player on the floor and made an argument why he should be thought of as one of the leagues “Superstars”.

So another season for the Wizards has come to an end, and I admit the team has a bright future.  However, while I do think that we saw Wall progress this season, the critics of him are once again proven correct. He has the talent, but not yet ready to be mentioned with the greats of the game, those lights have once again proven to be too bright for the former #1 pick.

More than once this year on The Sports Counter I and my co-host debated the importance of Draymond Green.  As publicly known, this season Draymond has gotten into a few yelling matches with newly acquired teammate Kevin Durant.  While I can go on a rant about my problem with KD and his decision to come to this team, I will leave that horse dead, as it has been beaten by every sports journalist on every media platform available. However, the current situation facing the defending western conference champions does provide proof in a statement I have made numerous times, the GS warriors should not be considered a Big 4, but a “Big 3 with an important 4th”.


My problem is not how we in the media or fans view the makeup of this team. But, how Draymond takes our view and adds inflation to his importance to the team.  Before our email begins to explode with hate mail allow me to say that I think Draymond Green is an amazing talent, have thought so since his days at Michigan state, and think that that importance of his role with Golden State is one that cannot be undermined.  Now do I think that he can be replaced and the team continues to be as good, yes, I 100% agree with such statement.


With KD going down against the wizards on the 28th of February, the Warriors have struggled the last few weeks.  It’s not that the warriors are losing some games, it is that throughout the games it would appear that they have lost their way. Which says a lot for a team whom we all thought were great before KD and would have been even better with him.  The problem is that this team gave up so much of their strongest assets, their bench, leaving them in my opinion with a season that could very likely end with them losing to the consistent well-balanced Spurs or another painful loss in the finals to the Cavs, only this year, in a shorter series.

So what is my issue with Green and all the naive fans that are already disagreeing with me, simple, if Green value was as high as he and so many of you place it, why then the struggle?  Why the change in narrative from another finals repeat to a possible western conference exit in the championship game?  The answer, KD became the best player on that team and made Klay & Steph the best second and third options in the NBA and left Green to exactly what he should be a known for, an amazing hustle player, whom can give you a spark of offense at times but in the end, can be replaced with another hustle player.

Care to prove this argument wrong? Ask yourself, if the team decides to stay together, and you have to pay everyone, someone will have to go.  Just not enough money to go around.  So who are you ok with parting ways with?  Don’t worry, I already know your decision, the important 4th, not one of the big 3.