Heisler: Following the bouncing heads – Lakers now officially out of scapegoats

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Laker apocalypse now….So much for being a family-style organization, even if no one will lament Jim Buss’s departure and GM Mitch Kupchak was clearly in the crosshairs.Popular as these moves are among Laker fans, the biggest shakeup in Laker history leaves Magic Johnson in charge amid reports that Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant’s former agent, will replace Kupchak.Johnson and Pelinka have one thing in common: Kupchak was in there bidding but backed off when the Kings asked for Brandon Ingram, whom the Lakers value above all their young players.It’s not clear that Mitch got a chance to make a lower bid with the Kings failing to exhaust all options.Sacramento GM Vlade Divac said that New Orleans dropped its offer from two No. 1 picks to one after failing to get any indication from Cousins, an upcoming free agent, that he will stay. The Kings accepted, anyway.Bumbling Kings owner Vivek Ranadive surely made this call while hiding behind Vlade as his front man.In typical Vivek style, he doesn’t see mere stardom in Hield. ESPN’s Baxter Holmes quoted an unnamed source saying, “Vivek thinks Buddy has Steph Curry potential.”I’m not sure Hield’s mother thinks he’s that good with her Buddy averaging a modest 8.6 points, less than half the 17.5 Steph scored his first season.For sheer grandiosity, the NBA has no one like the pint-sized Ranadive. Even if he decided he’d had enough of the tempestuous Boogie, as anyone would have, that left just one thing to do: Whatever it took to get the best possible package for their most precious asset.These are typically offered, not at the mid-season trade deadline … and certainly not three days before it which the Kings could have used to seek better options … but at the draft in June.Johnson was surely aware of the Lakers’ trade talks or involved in them. Whatever his participation, he would have been as disappointed as any of them when Boogie landed elsewhere.Coincidentally or not, within hours of reports that Cousins was New Orleans-bound, the move that shook Lakerdom was under way.I’d guess it went down this way.A) Jeanie was thinking this was what she wanted to do all along, noting Tuesday on the team’s cable channel, “It was probably so hard for me to make that I probably waited too long. For that, I apologize to Lakers fans.”B) Realizing she needed professional advice, she brought in Johnson.C) Magic came in agreeing with Jeanie’s assessment. “It really wasn’t about the last couple of weeks,” he said. “It’s been about the years.”D) They planned to make the decision after the season but E) moved it up to now, crushed at seeing a star in whom they had invested so much hope in — Kupchak talked to the Kings for at least two years — go to another West team for pocket change.Or, if you prefer the house version, Jeanie explained it this way: “Once the decision became clear in my mind, there was no reason to wait.”Actually there was a reason, the trade deadline a mere 48 hours off.If Kupchak was on the hook for the costly signings of Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, he’ll also be due the credit if Ingram and/or D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. become stars.Mitch isn’t the first Laker who was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the team’s historic downdraft. Mike D’Antoni, all but DOA here, is the leading candidate for coach of the year in Houston, running the style he taught Golden State Coach Steve Kerr who taught it to Laker Coach Luke Walton.The current Laker cast cries out for one thing: Experience.The purge left Ryan West, a Kupchak lieutenant, in place. Whether that means Johnson will ask Ryan’s father, Jerry, to consult remains to be seen … but Jerry is the one with the experience they need, even in so limited a role, not to mention the aura and Laker pedigree.“I can’t turn it around tomorrow,” said Johnson, “or I really would be magic, right?”Don’t let your expectations run wild. There’s a long way to go and they’re now officially out of scapegoats.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published weekly by the Southern California News Group.center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNeither has worked a day in his life in an NBA basketball operation, apart from Magic’s involvement since he assumed his new role Feb. 2.It’s hard to sell this as a measured response when you fire your GM two days before the trade deadline, along with John Black, the p.r. director for 27 years, presumably because he was close to Kupchak as, indeed, he should have been.Golden State’s Bob Myers — reportedly the Lakers’ No. 1 choice — is from the same Santa Monica-based office as Pelinka and has shown that agents can become GMs although it helps if they have experienced help like Warrior consultant Jerry West.With Johnson and Pelinka, the Lakers get a double learning curve.Insiders see the bizarre timing as an internal Laker response to not landing Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, the NBA’s most talented center — and, in keeping with this saga, its leading wacko — who went, instead, to New Orleans for rookie Buddy Hield, upcoming free agent Tyreke Evans, journeyman Langston Galloway and a No. 1 pick … essentially spare parts.last_img read more

State offering grants to small businesses affected by outbreak

first_imgDES MOINES — State officials are setting aside $4 million for a “Small Business Relief Program.” It will provide grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses affected by closures related to the COVID-19 outbreak.Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says businesses with between two and 25 employees prior to March 17th are eligible to apply, starting Tuesday.“This is not intended to keep people at the same operating level for like 90 days,” Durham says. “It really is that 30 day (period) until we know what assessment’s coming from Washington and when that is going to be there.”Governor Kim Reynolds has extended some tax deadlines for small businesses. For example, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can delay paying first-quarter unemployment taxes to the state until July 1st. The governor says these steps may provide small business owners with some extra cash flow.“I fully understand that this doesn’t make up for having your businesses closed for a period of time or your customers staying home,” Reynolds says, “but it is our hope that we can help businesses weather this storm and, as governor, I want you to know I’m committed to helping them do just that.”Small businesses that qualify may have deadlines moved for paying state sales taxes. The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest loans of up to $2 million to affected businesses.last_img read more

West Ham and Palace to battle it out for Bayern Munich striker

first_img‘Marko Arnautovic will leave West Ham if he gets the chance’, Dean Ashton tells talkSPORTInjury-prone striker Andy Carroll is finally fit to play his first game of the season this weekend, however.Carroll, who has been dogged with injury throughout his career, comes back from an ankle knock. His contract expires in the summer.West Ham’s other main striker Javier Hernandez is in bad form and has been linked with a move away from the club. 3 Wagner is on the periphery of Bayern’s set-up Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ LIVING THE DREAM And according to The Sun, the German is up for grabs as he is frustrated at his lack of first team action with Bayern – who he joined from Hoffenheim in January.However, Palace are also interested in the 30-year-old as they have found scoring goals difficult to come by this season.Wagner is tired of playing second fiddle to Robert Lewandowski and could do well in the Premier League due to his 6ft 4in frame.Pellegrini has been very reliant on Marko Arnautovic to lead the line and recruiting a new frontman could be a smart move especially if the Austrian ends up leaving the London Stadium. Palace have found scoring goals difficult to come by this season The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 3 targets West Ham and Crystal Palace are set to do battle for Bayern Munich outcast Sandro Wagner.Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini is keen on a £6million deal for the striker early in the January transfer window in an attempt to bolster his strike force. Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland REVEALED Meanwhile, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson is in desperate need of a striker as Christian Benteke is recovering from knee surgery.Palace have scored just four goals in their last seven Premier League games and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.Wagner has scored in one of only two matches he has started for the Bundesliga champions this season. LATEST Latest Transfer News Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Arnautovic is West Ham’s main man but is not short of admirers elsewhere 3 IN DEMAND Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father moving on targets RANKED last_img read more