Bron Watching a Sinking Ship from the Sidelines

Updated: November 5, 2021
Bron Russ

It must have been a sobering sight, sitting in street clothes sidelines beside himself watching a 19-point lead dissolve against SGA and the G-league Thunder in the House that Kobe Built. King James joined the Lakers’ injury reserve list yesterday with an abdominal strain and is expected to be out between 1 to 2 weeks. The hope was that with their Top 75 all-time point-guard and All-NBA power forward they’d be able to weather the storm and at the very least keep the sinking ship above water. After maybe the most embarrassing L taken this season by any franchise last week in Oklahoma City, allowing the youngest team in the league a comeback from 26 down in the 3rd quarter, it was assumed that the Lakers would be prepared to take care of business at home at Staples.

The OKC Thunder are transparently tanking this year as the front office has opened shop as the place for teams to launder their dirty contracts in exchange for late 1st draft picks. Ariza, Kemba, and Horford didn’t play a single game in the blue and orange and instead were exchanged for future capital. Outside of their own draft picks, they made zero effort to sign win-now vets this offseason despite having a tremendous amount of cap space. Josh Giddey has been given the keys to the Cadillac at 19 years old as the young partner in the backcourt next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They don’t have a player on salary making over 10 million dollars with semi-washed Derrick Favors at 9.7 as their highest-paid player who they got acquired in a salary dump by the Jazz in order to retain Mike Conley.

Russel Westbrook literally makes more than their entire rotation combined and yet even with the monster Anthony Davis next to him, a man who has often been referred to as unstoppable, they couldn’t close out a team with the average age of 23 at home. It wasn’t as if they came out flat and it was a trap-game loss due to not showing up or partying too hard the night before. No, they had already given the Thunder their only victory this year and came in certain they would not give them their second. Well, not due to lack of effort but instead, piss-pour execution, SGA, Lu Dort, and Ty Jerome closed out Hoodie Melo, the Brow, Brick Brodie, and Hillbilly Kobe.

After SGA hit a literal logo dagger shot from center court to put OKC up 5 the game looked all but over. But Melo has been cooking from three and the young Thunder defenders appeared to be the only people in all of basketball who hadn’t heard about it as they continued to go under screens and let him fire. After the swish and then a Lakers’ defensive stop it looked like LA might find a way outside of this catastrophe. One would assume with how hot hoodie Melo has been that Vogel would call his number…but nobody seems to be able to tame the Pitbull down the stretch of games whether it was next to Durant, Harden, or Beal, in crunch time Westbrook is going to win or lose the game on his own accord. With a drive to the basket, he simply lost the ball and flung it up in the air and out a bounce. If we counted unforced turnovers as 2, the man would be averaging a quadruple-double this season.

After the timeout as we came back from commercial break, the mental midget of Carmelo Anthony is getting into a heated argument that he started with a 22-year-old while they’re down 2 and about to start the foul game. If it wasn’t in LA and he wasn’t a future first ballot hall of famer, it would’ve 100 percent called a Tech as he bumped two players and continued to shout at them and the officials even after SGA pushed his boys back out of confrontation. Upon the inbound, two of the worst off-ball defenders in all of basketball Russ and Carmello allowed SGA to toss the ball to Lu Dort who trotted down the red carpet to an uncontested dunk without a single yellow jersey within 12 feet of the basket.

The fact that both Melo and Westbrook were left on the floor when they needed the quick foul and defensive stop shows something deeper than the loss or the poor performance. Coach Vogel is not capable of taming these two Egos. In the Bubble Championships, they had a cohesive rotation filled with players who had bought into a system and a hierarchy that went 1. Bron, 2. AD, and 3. everyone else. Well, if Russ is closing games for the Lakers come the postseason, I can promise you at least one late-game L where he’s taking a blind prayer from 23 feet despite having two All-NBA players right beside him.

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