Pacific Notes: Lakers, Cousins, Kings, Suns

After losing their first two games without LeBron James in the lineup, the Lakers picked up a win over Sacramento in Sunday. The victory is the latest signal that the club’s young core is capable of greater things, even without veteran leaders like LeBron and Rajon Rondo available, Kyle Kuzma said after the game, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.

“We are not just one player,” Kuzma said. “We just got to eliminate little mistakes and we could have won all three games [without them]. For us, it is just continue to keep getting better and better and when those guys get back, hit the ground running.”

Meanwhile, while James continues to recover from the groin injury currently keeping him on the shelf, he appeared on the latest episode of ESPN’s ‘More Than An Athlete’ and made some interesting comments about his spot in NBA history. Addressing the 2016 NBA Finals, which saw his Cavaliers knock off the 73-9 Warriors, LeBron said that he felt that win “made me the greatest player of all-time” (video link).

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • With his debut for the Warriors getting closer, DeMarcus Cousins spoke to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated about what he called “the longest year of my life.”
  • The Kings have been perhaps the most surprising team in the NBA this season, unexpectedly vying for a playoff spot in a competitive Western Conference. As Matt John of Basketball Insiders details, Sacramento is enjoying success in 2018/19 despite making several roster moves that seemed questionable at the time.
  • In terms of length and athleticism, the Suns see some similarities between their current roster and their ‘Seven Seconds or Less’ teams from the mid-2000s, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “Just a lot of athleticism,” new Sun Kelly Oubre said. “When we’re at our best, we get stops and we get out in transition and we score. The ball is moving around. Everybody is touching it. Everybody is moving. That’s when we’re at our best. It’s just a lot of length out there. A lot of athletes and guys who can guard multiple positions. It’s kind of difficult for teams to turn downhill.”
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35 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Lakers, Cousins, Kings, Suns

  1. dimitrios in la

    Gosh, I’m a big LeBron fan but his comments about his being “the greatest” are really really lame.

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    • ChiSoxCity

      MJ did all his talking on the court. I can’t recall him ever making comments like this during an interview. LeBron does this ON HIS OWN TV SHOW. Beyond lame.

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      • sorayablue

        Did you not hear Jordan’s HOF speech? I don’t remember if he directly said it, but he certainly implied it. I’m an MJ fan, but his speech was hard to listen to with all its arrogance.

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        • ChiSoxCity

          First off, he’s not playing anymore. Second, It was his HOF speech, and he is the GOAT, AND he’s a billionaire with the most successful brand in the history of marketing. I think he’s entitled to be a little arrogant at this point.

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    • Richard Hangslow

      Claiming you’re the greatest when you’re 3-6 in the finals is laughable. Not to mention he’s one Ray Allan jump shot and a Draymond Green suspension away from being 1-8. In reality he should be grateful it’s only that bad.

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      • x%sure

        Stick with the facts… James is 3-6, sorry if that’s not bad enough for you… Ray Allen makes shots and Draymond deserved his suspension… @Hangslow using “in reality” to compensate for dreaming out loud.

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      • LordBanana

        Confused how one shot won four games, or one single game suspension lost four games

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    • Adam37

      You guys are crazy for knocking Lebron on his finals record – his team was the underdog on all of the losses except the Dallas one — and he won against the team being anointed as the greatest team of all time. Go ahead and hate though, I’d rather just appreciate the greatness

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      • It’s amazing how close that game 7 was.

        I think it was tied or a one-point game with 2 and 1/2 minutes left of that game 7.

        Cleveland pulled it out or else the Warriors would have been sitting on four in a row right now…. with perhaps more to come.

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        • Adam37

          Never know though – if they had won KD probably doesn’t join them

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          • Probably right…, BUT what about Harrison Barnes?

            He wanted his money and did not take the Draymond or Klay 16 mil discount contract.

            He wound up going to Dallas for 23 Mill which opened the way for KD.

            Win or lose, Barnes left and opened up that slot.

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            • Adam37

              Right but KD wasn’t gonna leave to join the winner – he came to bring them back to championship level

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      • chiefivey

        he was an underdog because he always played in the weaker conference lol. its easy to look great against far less superior teams. i think his finals record is indicative of how hard it would have been had he played in the west. then its a completely different conversation from GOAT to top 10 player of all time

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        • Adam37

          That’s pretty ignorant…and I’m not saying he’s the greatest of all time. But his numbers put him in the top 5 easily regardless of conference… the win against the warriors was truly special. Even if you wanna whine about draymond being suspended they still had the full team for a game 7 at home and he pulled it off

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          • ChiSoxCity

            The NBA is a joke today. It’s pick-up basketball with no contact allowed. If you play 10 years, and you can hit a 3-pointer, you’ll break scoring records. Long story short, LeBron would struggle even more in Jordan’s era, Magic’s era, Kareem, Olajuwan, etc. LeBron is top 15, maybe top 10 at best. He’a not a top 5 player, regardless of what his hype machine says.

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            • ChiSoxCity

              p.s. Scotty Pippen would score 40 on LeBron, and hold him to 33% field goal percentage on a regular basis in Scotty’s prime.

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              • ChiSoxCity

                p.p.s. Dennis Rodman would have LeBron sitting on the bench by the 3rd quarter of every playoff game against that Bulls team.

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  2. raisethejollyroger
    raisethejollyroger

    It’s blasphemy and for him to have to continue to anoint himself just shows he really doesn’t believe it himself. The league gift wrapped that series for Cleveland with Draymonds suspension period. The league today is soft and Lebrun doesn’t have the mental fortitude to have lasted through the hand checks the bad boys the Bird Celtics etc. The finals record does say it all and had MJ not retired twice he probable wins 2 or three more titles. Lebron should just be thankful he’s playing in this era because in reality he’s not even as good as Magic or Kobe.

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    • Adam37

      Ridiculous on the Kobe love, man… Kobe’s great but it’s pretty clear LeBron is better. No expert would say Kobe.

      And again the league didn’t gift wrap the finals for him, the full Warriors team was available and played in a game 7 at home and lost an epic game. The Draymond suspension was game 5.

      LeBron is definitely physical enough to play in the 80’s – and I don’t know how you can prove mental toughness better than by having HUGE expectations since you’ve been a minor and exceeding them. The social media age takes an incredible mental toughness that the players in the 80’s would have all had a difficult time with too so hate all you want man –

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      • Gary333

        Losing their rim protector in Andrew Bogut in game 5 of that 2016 series was highly underrated. Cleveland ate up the paint without Bogut there.

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    • Adam37

      Oh and I LOVE MJ, but the retirement what if is not a good argument for him…he either retired cause of a secret gambling suspension or if not then he got almost 2 seasons off from wear and tear that helped him to the finish line.

      Can’t give him credit for the missing years – and his TEAM was the favorite in all but the first finals against the Lakers and he didn’t put the team together so hard to credit him for that or for having an all time great coach

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    • LordBanana

      The third best player on the Warriors missed one game and that’s why Cleveland won the series? One of the dumbest arguments ever

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    • kenleyfornia2

      GSW had 2 games after the Draymond suspension to close it out. If you cant win a finals up 3-1 you dont deserve it period

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  3. suburbanwarren

    LeBron James is the greatest NBA player of all times! But, He needs to keep quiet because it is a team sports! Without Scottie Pippins and others Michael Jordan would have never pass Detroit. Bill Russell won 11 championships. Humility is a quality lacking by today’s greats! Kevin Durant, K. Irving, and others! LeBron is the only player I have ever seen who go to the final with less talented players. 2014-15 K.Irving K.love missing in NBA final LeBron will his team to 6. 2007 carried his team to final. But could not pass the Spurs! 2016 unbelievable comeback on the warriors 73-9! With. 4 all stars and the cav’s with 3. 2017 warriors had 5 all stars and the cavaliers had 3. 2018 cavaliers down to 2 all stars and the warriors still have 5. LeBron the only player who can turn around a team in one year! He needs Hank Aaron counsel he let his bat do his talking, likewise let your basketball do your talking! Be in the final come June 2019!

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    • bush1

      It’s Pippen not Pippins. If you really think that’s his name you may have not paid enough attention, or be old enough to truly understand what Jordan was. It’s easy to say the Lebron is the greatest now because he’s playing, and Jordan’s prime was 25 years ago, but please don’t underestimate Jordan if you don’t know the whole story. The Pistons weren’t even relevant for most of the Bulls titles, just the first one. Obviously Pippen was great, but Jordan would have willed his teams to titles in any generation. It’s hard to explain his refusal to lose, but it was very real.

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  4. x%sure

    I think James is technically wrong but it’s close enough to believe internally… I hate the debate actually because it forces criticisms where none would normally be necessary.

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  5. Sorry but Larry Bird is the GOAT with Magic, MJ & LBJ just about there too!

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  6. Guest617

    lebron’s high school education shines bright – clearly he’s not a student of the game or he’d heard of some guy with 11 rings / Bill Russell

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    • ChiSoxCity

      Rings don’t even matter. All you need are your eyes to see who is the best at anything.

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  7. ChiSoxCity

    Before any of you millennials and delusional Celtics fans (Bird? Really?) get carried away with your own words, look up 50 greatest plays by Michael Jordan on you tube. Watch it and reflect.

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    • ChiSoxCity

      p.s. LeBron would not handle playing under the “Jordan Rules” adopted by the Detroit Pistons. MJ regularly scored 40 while being abused physically in every game. Jordan relied on his superior athleticism and will power. LeBron is too soft and relies exclusively on his size, like Shaq did.

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  8. suburbanwarren

    Thanks for correction on my spelling! Bill Russell won 11 Championships! Michael Jordan won six championships! LeBron won 3 and counting! Base on championships Bill ,Michael, and LeBron! When Michael Jordan retired the first time the Bulls made it to the finals with out Michael but lost ! The heat never made it pass the second round in the playoffs. The Cavaliers are now lottery team. Lakers won only 35 games last year! Jordan and Russell had Hall of Fame coaches! LeBron rookie coaches! I know it’s hard to except but LeBron is the best. I am now 70 years old and I like Michael!

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    • bush1

      The Bulls didn’t make it to the finals the first time Jordan retired. They lost in the 2nd round in the East. Sure, they were better than the Cavs are now, but the Cavs were always set up like crap because of Lebron holding them hostage with his 1 year contracts, and decided to rebuild because of that. So it’s not really fair to compare the 2 situations. Lebron is great and obviously Jordan was great it is truly impossible to compare their legacy’s as the all the greatest. At least get the facts straight and don’t twist them to make make your argument stronger.

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  9. Shut your trap Lebron. Everyone knows Magic is the greatest basketball player of all time.

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