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Tag: Luol Deng

Darius Soriano: “Onus Is on Lakers’ Player Development Folks” to Maximize Potential

Darius Soriano has high hopes for Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram (pictured), who figures to see his role increase as Luke Walton focuses on his team’s young core (Zach Frailey/Flickr).

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The Los Angeles Lakers have a new president of basketball operations and general manager, as first-year head coach Luke Walton leads a youthful squad headlined by lottery picks from the past three drafts, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. At this critical juncture for the team, Forum Blue & Gold Editor-in-Chief Darius Soriano stops by to break down the biggest storylines for LA’s present and future.

2:44-3:43: Sadly, the biggest Lakers-related news this season happened off the court with last week’s management shakeup:

“The writing was sort of on the wall once Magic [Johnson] was hired as an adviser to Jeanie Buss…The timing of it, though, was awkward and just the way it was handled, I thought, was rough for everyone involved…I’m sort of intrigued by the [Rob] Pelinka aspect, and I think the Magic Johnson thing – I don’t want to say ‘cautiously optimistic.’ I’m more along the lines of ‘I’m just sort of hanging back and waiting to see how things go.’ Magic’s very well respected in the business world, and obviously he was an amazing player. We’ll see how all of that translates that to a final decision-maker on the basketball side [for the Lakers].”

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NBA Reacts to Muslim Ban; Loren’s Jeopardy Run

Luol Deng, a proud former refugee from South Sudan, was one of many from the NBA community to speak against President Trump’s recent Muslim ban. (@LuolDeng9/Twitter)

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Last Friday’s executive order from the Trump administration has drawn criticism from the NBA community, as well as from various corners of the country and world. The panel will discuss the NBA’s reaction, why they believe it was justified and what more can be done by the everyday person. That conversation is preceded by Aaron’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, also on Friday. His primary takeaway? The Holocaust’s strongest, most enduring lesson: Silence in the face of discrimination of any group is unacceptable and must never take place in order to avoid repeating the costly mistakes of the past. But first, in a much lighter discussion, Loren takes us through his thrilling Jeopardy appearance, in which he won two games and took home more than $37,000. Stick to sports? Not this time. The stakes were too high.

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

Josh Baumgard: Miami Heat “Not the Contenders They Thought They’d Be”

Chris Bosh celebrates the Heat's 2012 title with reporter Josh Baumgard on his right (Getty Images/Andrew Bernstein).

Chris Bosh celebrates the Heat’s 2012 title with reporter Josh Baumgard on his right (Getty Images/Andrew Bernstein).

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While Josh Baumgard of Slice Miami doesn’t believe the Heat are the contenders they expected to be, he does shed light on their many strengths and what’s currently holding them back. Also on the docket, the impending free agency of enigmatic big man Hassan Whiteside, as well as Justise Winslow’s rookie campaign, Chris Bosh’s value and many other fascinating Heat topics. Here are some of the highlights:

3:27-4:08: “He (Hassan Whiteside) could be gone in two weeks. That’s what’s crazy. Here is a guy who’s reminiscent of a very poor man’s David Robinson or Alonzo Mourning in that he could be a two-way force (and) he’s a shot-blocking machine. He’s a rim-protecting giant, super-athletic…when he’s not out there, it’s open season on the rim. Defensively, I know he’s got some things to learn…(he should) not necessarily go for the block all the time, but he has all the makings of a top-5, top-10 defensive player. Offensively is where he has a lot of work to do.”

7:03-7:37: “The biggest thing (defensively) is…it’s amazing because he’s only 19 but it’s Justise Winslow, just putting the clamps on the perimeter. He’s been a defensive menace from Day 1. The second game of the season, they threw him on LeBron (James), and LeBron torched him, I think he put up 30, but Winslow still played great defense. He made him take tough shots, and LeBron was just hitting them because he’s an all-time great. But Winslow has been a huge surprise early on. I don’t think anyone expected him to be this good early, this soon as far as on the defensive end.”

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