October 2020 Basketball Wiretap

Rob Pelinka: Lakers Title Deserves 'Gold Star' Instead Of Asterisk

Oct 24, 2020 10:48 PM

Rob Pelinka reflected upon his experience in the bubble, saying that the Los Angeles Lakers title deserves a "gold star" instead an asterisk.

"It’s easy to think about ‘oh, we didn’t get to have a parade, or we didn’t get to do this yet.’ But to be able to have won a championship inside a bubble, and to be with the guys and the staff for 100 days in a row, also provided some extraordinary moments that probably future champions will never be able to experience because it was such a unique setting.

"So I try to spend a lot of time thinking about the parts of this championship that make it unique," said Pelinka in his appearance on The Woj Pod (h/t to Silver Screen & Roll).

The Lakers delayed their public celebration as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19.

Pelinka said that the title wouldn't come with an asterisk considering the challenges of the bubble. 

“I think some have (asked) ‘will this championship have an asterisk on it?’ I like to say ‘no, I think it’s got a gold star.’ Just because you had to do so much more to get to the end, and I think it was just a testament to our team (and) the players and our staff coming together in that environment.”

Harrison Faigan/Silver Screen & Roll

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Lakers Open As +375 Title Favorites For 2021 Season

Oct 12, 2020 1:30 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers opened as +375 title favorites for the 2021 NBA season at William Hill U.S. sportsbooks.

The Clippers at +400, the Bucks at +550, and the Warriors at +800 round out the top four favorites.

The Heat are listed at 15-1 to win next season's title.

The Lakers were favored in all 21 playoff games this season. There was also more bets and more money wagered on the Lakers to win the title this season than on any other team.  

David Purdum/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Jimmy Butler On Heat Season: 'This Is Where I Belong'

Oct 12, 2020 1:24 AM

Jimmy Butler said he wouldn't give back his experience in the bubble despite the Miami Heat's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

"This is where I belong. This is what makes me smile. This is what makes me happy. ... I wouldn't give that back for the world. We really, really, really love being around one another and competing with one another. I wouldn't trade that for the world. If I had to spend three months around some people, these people, they're the ones that I want to do it with," said Butler following the Heat's 106-93 loss to the Lakers.

Butler averaged 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6 assists in 20 postseason games.

Erik Spoelstra agreed with Butler's sentiment, adding that the bubble experience created a bond within the Heat roster.

"This locker room, regardless of whatever happens in the future, we're going to remember this year, this season, this experience and that locker room brotherhood for the rest of our lives.

"You're in this business to be able to be around people like this. And I can go on and on. But the guys that competed and played in this series, we had several guys that were not even close to being 100%. Probably shouldn't have been playing, but that's how this group was. They wanted to do it for each other. And I just, I'm really bummed that we couldn't find a way to get over the hump and finish the season with a win," said Spoelstra.

Both Butler and Spoelstra looked towards the future, with Butler adding that the team will improve from this playoff experience.

"We're going to learn from this. We're going to get better. We're going to come back. We're going to come back. We'll be back. That's what we're all saying in that locker room. We got guys that want to do it. We got guys that already want to get back in the gym and get to working at this thing. That's what we do here," added Butler.


Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Lakers Win 2020 Title, LeBron James Named Finals MVP

Oct 11, 2020 11:07 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 to win the 2020 NBA Finals.

LeBron James was named Finals MVP, becoming the first player to win the award with three different franchises.

"I put myself, my body and my mind in position to be available to my teammates," James said. "I've never missed a playoff game in my career and the best thing you can do for your teammates is be available. And for me to be available to my teammates and put in the work, I just hope I make my guys proud and that's all that matters to me. I make my guys proud, make the fanbase proud, my family back home, I can't wait to get back home to them. Akron, Ohio we did it again. and that's what it's all about."

The Lakers didn't reach the playoffs in 2019, but their bold trade for Anthony Davis last offseason propelled them to the best record in in the Western Conference and this title.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Goran Dragic Active For Game 6, Has Been Told Injury Cannot Get Worse By Playing

Oct 11, 2020 6:53 PM

Goran Dragic is listed as active for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia on his left foot in Game 1.

Dragic has been told that the injury cannot get any worse by playing, according to sources. 

Dragic is averaging 19.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the playoffs. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Goran Dragic, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Alex Caruso To Start Over Dwight Howard In Game 6

Oct 11, 2020 4:32 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers will start Alex Caruso in place of Dwight Howard for Game 6 of the NBA Finals, reported Shams Charania of Stadium.

"This means more Anthony Davis at center," said Charania.

Charania added that the move could see LeBron James guarding Jimmy Butler more frequently.

Shams Charania/Stadium

Tags: Alex Caruso, Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Game 5 Records Highest Audience Of Finals With 5.7 Million Viewers

Oct 10, 2020 9:48 PM

Game 5 of the NBA Finals recorded a 2.0 Nielson rating, featuring a total of 5.7 million viewers.

The 5.7 million viewers represents the highest viewership of the NBA Finals thus far. 

Adam Silver is reportedly surprised by the low ratings of the NBA Finals, with Game 1 recording 5.31 million viewers. 

Game 5 was also the first game of the season broadcast on China's CCTV

Matt Webb Mitovich/TV Line

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Last Two Minute Report Upholds Late Fouls On Jimmy Butler

Oct 10, 2020 6:23 PM

The NBA's Last Two Minute report upheld two foul calls on Jimmy Butler in the final minute of Game 5 that drew complaints from Frank Vogel.

"I felt two bad calls at the end put Butler to the line, you know, and that's unfortunate in a game of this magnitude. Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality, should be a play-on. And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hands on the ball -- that should be a play-on. They were given four free throws and made it an uphill battle for us. Very disappointed in that aspect of the game," said Vogel after Game 5.

Both fouls were correctly called, according to the L2M. Morris' foul on Butler came with 46.7 seconds remaining, with Davis' foul coming with 16.8 seconds in the game.

The report explained that Davis "jumps from point A to point B and initiates body contact with Butler during his driving shot attempt."

The Heat did get the benefit of two calls, according to the L2M. Butler should have been called for a foul on LeBron James with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter. That possession ended up with a lay-in from James.

Andre Iguodala should also have been called for a defensive three-second violation with 28 seconds left in the game. Davis ended that possession with a lay-up that put the Lakers up 108-107.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Anthony Davis Probable, Goran Dragic Doubtful For Game 6

Oct 10, 2020 5:48 PM

Anthony Davis is listed as probable for Game 6 of the NBA Finals with a right heel contusion.

Davis reaggravated the injury in Game 5, but said he would play in Game 6.

Goran Dragic remains doubtful due to a plantar tear of his left foot. 

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Goran Dragic, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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LeBron James On Danny Green Miss: 'You Live With That'

Oct 10, 2020 12:35 PM

LeBron James said he had no regrets in passing to Danny Green with under 10 seconds left in the Los Angeles Lakers' 111-108 game 5 loss to the Miami Heat.

Green, who missed the potential game-winning three with 7.1 seconds left, had no defender within 8 feet of him according to Second Spectrum data.

"I mean, if you just look at the play, I was able to draw two defenders below the free throw line and find one of our shooters at the top of the key for a wide-open 3 to win a championship. I trusted him, we trusted him, and it just didn't go.

"You live with that. You live with that. It's one of the best shots that we could have got. ... Danny had a hell of a look. It just didn't go down. I know he wishes he can have it again," said James after the game.

James finished the game with 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Frank Vogel, who said James "made the right play" on the pass, focused on two foul calls on Jimmy Butler that went against the Lakers late in the game.

"I felt two bad calls at the end put Butler to the line, you know, and that's unfortunate in a game of this magnitude. Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality, should be a play-on. And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hands on the ball -- that should be a play-on. They were given four free throws and made it an uphill battle for us. Very disappointed in that aspect of the game."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Danny Green, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Anthony Davis Says He'll 'Be Fine On Sunday' For Game 6

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Jimmy Butler After Game 5 Win: 'I Left It All Out On The Floor'

Malika Andrews/ESPN

LeBron James Says 'You've Got To Do It As A Laker' To Gain Respect From Lakers' Fans

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Bam Adebayo Upgraded To Questionable For Game 4

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic Ruled Out For Game 3

ESPN

Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic Listed As Doubtful For Game 3

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Game 2 Tops Friday Night Viewership With 1.6 Rating

Bruce Haring/Deadline

Jimmy Butler After Game 2 Loss: Heat Are 'Never Giving Up'

Malika Andrews/ESPN

LeBron James, Anthony Davis Partnership Compared To Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Bam Adebayo Says He Expects To Play In Game 3

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo Doubtful For Game 2

RealGM Staff Report

Goran Dragic Suffers Plantar Tear Of Left Foot, X-Rays On Bam Adebayo Shoulder Return Negative

Malika Andrews/ESPN