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Trevor Lane, Host of Lakers Nation

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2024 4:38 pm

Trevor Lane, Host of Lakers Nation

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 30, 2024 4:38 pm

Host of Lakers Nation joins Zach Gelb

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Price and coverage match limited by state law. Odyssey app. Alrighty, we know the Lakers are now out of the postseason after Jamal Murray said goodbye to them last night with that great game winning shot. Denver advances on to round two. The defending champions will go up against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now it's all about the future of LeBron James.

It's all about the future Los Angeles Lakers. So we'll chat it up right now with the host of Lakers Nation and that is Trevor Lane. Always kind enough to join us on the Zach Gelb show on the Infinity Sports Network. Trevor, appreciate the time as always. Thanks so much for doing this today and how you been?

Zach, thank you so much for having me. A bit better. Would have been nice if the Lakers had extended this series at least, but we've got a busy offseason ahead and that LeBron question, oh boy, that's going to be a big one hanging over the Lakers this summer. In the moment last night when they lose the game, did you feel like that was the final game that LeBron James has played in a Lakers uniform?

No, I didn't. I think he stays. I think he likes it in LA. I think he trusts the organization. I think he's going to put pressure on them to make changes, that's for sure, especially when they've got future draft picks to trade.

But I did get the sense that it was done. We didn't even get the comments that we got last year from LeBron where it sounded like he was seriously considering retiring that offseason. I think he is going to play at least a couple more years and I don't think we've seen the last of him in purple and gold at this point. What's the plan?

Because I agree with you. I think LeBron is going to be back next season. You hear the Trae Young speculation, we've all seen the Shams piece, that they're open to the idea of drafting Bronny James. How do they improve this team significantly to get them back to competing for a championship next year?

Well, there's really two paths they can go down. They do have those three first round picks. I believe LeBron will expect them to use those picks that they have available in trade to try to improve this team.

But you can either go big star hunting, right? You go after a Trae Young, somebody like that, or you go the other round. This is throughout the Lakers deception with last season where they start adding on complimentary pieces, guys who maybe fit a little bit better than the ones they had this year. They hope for better help, maybe a change at the head coach spot.

I'm sure we'll talk about that as well. But when we're looking at these two paths, the Lakers can go down historically. They've gone after the stars. I don't know that that's going to be the best path for them, but if Trae Young is available, I'm sure they will be involved in those discussions.

But that's essentially what they're going to have sitting in front of them. Do you want to build completely around LeBron and AD or do you want to go after that third star? Even though we saw it really not work out when they went and got Russell Westbrook, maybe they believe a Trae Young or somebody like that could work this time.

Talking to Trevor Lane right now, I want to follow up on something that you said. You don't think next year will be LeBron's final season. He'll come back. He'll play a few more years.

I led the show today and this is just my opinion. I think he comes back, they draft Bronny and then he plays one more year. He'll be 40 years old come December. Why do you feel that LeBron still has a few more years and is going to be willing to want to play a few more years at the NBA? Well, you look at what he's doing out there on the floor.

I think the Bronny piece is part of it. He's talked a lot about wanting to play with Bronny and that's such an admirable goal to share the floor with his son. That would obviously be very special, but you look at what he's doing on the floor right now. Is he the LeBron of five years ago? No, he's not the LeBron of 10 years ago. Certainly there's moments where he looks his age. There's also a lot of moments where he doesn't though and I think right now you can still say he's one of the top players in the NBA. He's not the guy anymore that's just going to automatically guarantee a finals berth just by him being on the team, but he is still one of the best players out there. Probably better than what, 90% of the NBA, maybe more right now at age 39. So I think he can definitely keep going.

It's a matter of the mental side of it. Can he gear himself up to battle through injuries, to train his body, all of that? That's more of the question for LeBron physically. He can do it, but it seems like he still has the passion for the game.

He enjoys being out there and he enjoys the challenge. So I think he's got at least a year, maybe two left in him. And that's kind of the buzz that's going around right now that we're probably looking at one or two more years from LeBron.

He is playing with team USA this summer too. So that wear and tear is going to really start adding up, but I don't think we've seen the last of him this season. Let me get to the Darvin Ham part of it, Trevor Lane, because from afar, people will say Darvin Ham not expected to come back, according to Shams Sharani up.

Here's LeBron again, killing another coach. How do you evaluate the early tenure so far of Darvin Ham and where are you at with the head coach of the Lakers? You know, I think that Darvin, I think he's a good guy.

I think he's a likable guy. I don't think he's the right coach for this team. I think moving on from him makes a lot of sense. And here's look, there's a lot of stuff that has come out about certain moments where the players felt like they had to win the game in spite of their coach, where they had to come up with X's and O's plans and schemes and things like that. We could talk about rotation. We could talk about substitution patterns, all kinds of different things, playing favorites with guys, his coach before all kinds of stuff that's out there. But the bottom line to me with Darvin Ham is he came in with the idea that he was going to be the coach that everybody was going to want to run through a brick wall for, that the players were just going to want to give everything they had for him every single night. And it doesn't seem like that is indeed the case at this point with this Lakers team.

So if that isn't there, because we knew coming in, maybe he'd be a little bit weak on the X's and O's and everything, but if he's not getting the buy-in from the players, that's it. It's game over. They have to move on from him. And I think that's what we're going to see. He has two years left on his contract, but I think the Lakers are going to be one of the teams on the coaching search this summer. And I think we're going to hear on that probably in the next few days, maybe within a week here that they are making that decision to move on from Darvin Ham as they kind of take a look back. I don't think they have a choice given what's going on this season. So just because you fire the coach doesn't mean he's the biggest problem. Like I look at the roster construction. I just don't think this team is capable of winning a title with the way the roster is constructed. So where does Ham fall for you in when you kind of lay out and kind of order up the blame game here?

Sure, yeah. I think he's part of it in that one of the things this team was supposed to be able to build on was continuity and bringing back the same lineups and rotations from last season. And then he largely went away from those. Not all his fault because injuries have been a factor, but I think he certainly deserves a large piece of that blame pie. But again, it's not everything. They've dealt with injuries. They had a rough schedule this season. On top of that, you talk about the roster construction. Did your lack of a true backup big to Anthony Davis come back to haunt you?

Yes, I think it definitely did in this series against the Denver Nuggets. You're back court having two guys who are offense first players and not having a defensive back court mate for either Austin Reeves or Deandra Russell. That's a challenge. Not having enough two-way players in general, having a lot of guys that are all offense, all defense, and not much in between. The roster construction is an issue. They've had a lot of problems.

We talked about the draft pick from last year too, that not panning out yet with Jalen Huchipino. It's been a lot of things that have come together to create what's been a disappointing season for a Lakers team that had very high aspirations coming in. If LeBron does leave, if he says, I'm going to opt out, I'm going to leave the Lakers, who are some teams that you maybe monitor here, Trevor Lane? Well, definitely keeping an eye on the Philadelphia 76ers. They are ready-made.

They're set. They've got all the cap room. They've been hoarding that cap space forever. Come play with Joel Embiid. Come play with Tyrese Maxey. That's the easy landing spot because they can give him the money. He can walk right in, be the third guy.

They can add pieces. Daryl Morey is known for being very creative and off you go. I think Philly would be a really interesting landing spot for him. I know a lot of people have thrown around Golden State. They were sniffing around LeBron at the trade deadline, seeing if the Lakers maybe would be willing to try to make that move. LeBron told them, no, the Lakers just referred Golden State to LeBron said, talk to LeBron, see if he's even interested in that. And LeBron said, no, we're not interested in that.

I don't want to do that, but maybe his mind changes. I'm sure Golden State will revisit that conversation this summer too. So those are the two teams that I really be keeping an eye on because the other teams that have cap space, I don't really see as viable options. He can't step in and win. Philly has cap space. He could step in right there and win. And then Golden State could put together an interesting trade and LeBron and Steph playing together. That would that would certainly be a sight to see. I know you think LeBron is going to be back with the Lakers and I agree with you, but at 100 percent, like where do you put that number on the confidence that he'll be back with the Lakers next year?

I'd say 90 percent and 90 percent. He'll be back. I don't think from everything we've heard, we've heard even the stuff that's been coming out from Rich Paul today, his agent, it's sounding pretty certain that he's going to be back. It's more a matter of what will the contract look like. And from everything we've heard from the Lakers side, too, they're going to give him whatever he wants. What LeBron says, I want a two year deal. Here you go. A three year deal. There it is. You want to you want max money. You want a player option. You want us to draft Bronny.

No problem. Sounds like the Lakers are willing to do whatever it takes to bring him back. I understand their their mindset there. So I think he is indeed back.

And again, I'd put it at 90 percent. I think he's back in L.A. I don't think he wants to switch teams again, especially when he's spoken so much about family, how important family is to him and spending time with them.

Tough for him to do that if he is across the country playing for another team. Assuming the ham gets put on the chopping block with Darvin Ham, who's your short list of candidates, Trevor Lane, to be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers? You know, it's tough. There's not a lot of names out there just yet. That list will start to populate as we get further along down this path. But Mike Boonholzer is probably the most accomplished name out there, which is interesting because Darvin Ham is is from that coaching tree. So Boonholzer could be an interesting one. J.J. Redick's name has popped up. Lebron's podcast co-host. Could he potentially be an option? I know Rajan Rondo's name's been floating around a little bit. There's a few different assistant coaches. I don't know if the Lakers will want to go with the first time head coach again. All we know is that if the Lakers do decide to move on from Darvin Ham, they are willing to spend in order to get somebody who is a difference maker. But there isn't a name that jumps out immediately to me, though, that says that's clearly the guy that it's not like Eric Spolster is out there on the market. But Mike Boonholzer is an early name I'd keep an eye on.

Terry Stotts is another one as well that popped up. But I do wonder, are they waiting to see if they can right a wrong and see if the Clippers move on from Ty Lue? The Lakers probably should have just hired Ty Lue four years ago or so when they didn't want to give him a four year deal instead, limiting him to three years. If the Clippers don't get out of the first round and they decide to move on from Ty Lue, I would be surprised if the Lakers weren't picking up that phone too. And you know, LeBron would love to see that happen. I was still surprised they weren't willing to go to the years that Ty Lue wanted all those years ago. But hey, the Reddit thing, he's a candidate for the Hornets job.

He's a finalist now. So maybe that could be in play. But Rondo, what's the intel on that that you got? You know, it's just a name that I've heard around with some buzz. I think most likely what would happen is he would get more, get brought in more as like an assistant coach, something like that.

Somebody that could learn the ropes. But you know, you look at, at the 2020 title team and you listen to anything the guys were saying for back then, essentially the offense, Frank Vogel's great defensive coach, right? And the Lakers just said, you handle the defense, the offense. It was Rondo. It was LeBron. It was Anthony Davis.

They ran that Lakers offense. Rajan Rondo known around the NBA as one of the brightest basketball minds we've ever seen. He's going to be a coach at some point. I think it would make more sense to bring him in as, as an assistant coaching option. But I was hearing this earlier in the year that maybe he was somebody that they would consider taking a look at.

We'll see if it actually winds up, winds up happening again. I think it would be more wise to bring him in as maybe an assistant first and let him grow into that coaching role. But the guy knows basketball in a way that a lot of people do not. And I think if he wants to get involved and he's got everything all set up for himself, he's going to be on a, on a short list of, of guys to look at. Last thing I'll ask you to Trevor Lane, the host of Lakers nation always does a great job jumping on board with us.

It is a Zach Gelb show on the infinity sports network. Let's say that was LeBron's last game with the Lakers. What is the LeBron legacy in LA?

Well, obviously the title in 2020 setting the scoring record that sets, that certainly sets the legacy. And we can't forget the Lakers would a very tough spot before LeBron came. They were trying to rebuild rebuilding is not familiar terror, familiar territory for them. They're praying that Brandon Ingram becomes a one egg guy or Lonzo ball or D'Angelo Russell. Right. That was, that was the team back then it was those young kids and they weren't making a whole lot of headway. LeBron comes in, puts, puts the Lakers into a whole new era and then brings them while it is just a lot of people say just one championship.

Right. But obviously put the Lakers back on the map during his, his tenure there. Did it go as well as we would have hoped? I know a lot of people were hoping for multiple championships between him and Anthony Davis coming into town, but still getting the one title, putting the Lakers back into relevancy after they were stuck in the dark ages for a bit there, you got to give them a lot of credit for that. So it didn't go as well as certainly as we would have hoped, but it, I certainly don't think it could be considered a failure either when he got that championship and he meant what he's meant to this franchise. So that's it.

I still think LeBron's jersey is going to be hanging in the Raptors when he does decide to, to call it quits. He is Trevor Lane. Trevor, appreciate the time as always.

Good deal. Thank you. Hey, thank you so much for having me, Zach. Hey everyone, Boomer Esiason here, the NFL draft is behind us and your favorite team is now gearing up for week number one. The free Odyssey app puts you right in the middle of the pro football conversation with the biggest sports radio stations from across the country. The local voices who know your team the best, giving you their unfiltered takes on the current state of your squad. It's always football season right here on the free Odyssey app.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 18:44:06 / 2024-04-30 18:51:28 / 7

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