Losing Time: The Fall and Fall of LeBron, Westbrook and the Lakers – Sports5

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“The Lakers brand as you know it is dead here, today. We will not cover our ass anymore, we will not compromise anymore. From now on, we play to win! In every game!”
(John C. Riley as Jerry Bass, Winning Time, Episode 2)

* Some of the events in the series have been dramatized but the Lakers really were that bad *

Episode 1

Michael B. Jordan as LeBron James
John David Washington as Anthony Davis
Jay-Z as Rich Paul
Damian Lillard in the role himself

The gates to the large mansion were opened. Accompanied by two security guards, Damien Lillard forced his way onto the red carpet toward the elevator. “The boss will meet you now,” one of the men in the black suits whispered to him.
Upstairs, two bottles of ’47 vintage wine awaited him, three rolls and sashimi trays, Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
“What needs to be done to bring you to us,” LeBron asked.
“I’m not leaving Portland,” Lillard replied, “I’m fine there.”
“Well, really. Chonsi Billups will ask you to make a defense, you haven’t done that since elementary. Your owner does not know what’s going on in the team. Your general manager, from my sources, is going to get into some really stinking story right away. You want Finish like what the old woman does to you in Spice Jam 2? “
“Okay, okay,” Damien lowered his voice. “That nothing will come out of this for Vogue. Chris Haynes already knows everything anyway but I swore he would not publish until the situation is really bad.”
LeBron nodded. Davis, too. At FaceTime, Rich Paul also gave the go-ahead.
“Is that right I played terribly in Tokyo? So this is the story: I have abdominal muscle problems. At some point this season I’m going to have surgery. So far I’ve done a show and shown that everything’s fine, but at some point it’s going to explode, “Players are better known than us. You do not want such a thing in your team, certainly not to give up assets. They will kill me and you together. For you I say – do not do it.”
LeBron looked to the right. The security guard understood the hint. “Thank you for your sincerity, Mr. Lillard,” Paul said in a feisty manner. “Good luck with whatever is left of your team,” Davis added, while Lillard stood up, bowed, pointing to his wrist. “You do not have much time left, Baron. You will make the right decisions.”
The elevator closed. “Time to move on to Program A,” Davis asked?
“Yes,” LeBron said.
“So what am I informing Drusen of?” Paul asked.
“Drusen? We have no money to sign him as a free agent, he could be after the record, and Pop will donate a kidney to Donald Trump before he gives it to me at Sign & Trade. Get me Russ on line 2.”
James smiled at Davis who raised his only eyebrow.
“One less opponent in the playoffs.”

Lillard and LeBron. “It’s not you, it’s me” (Getty)

episode 2
Hannah Woodding as Ginny Bass
Robert Downey Jr. as Rob Plinka
Steve Carl as Frank Vogel

“How many teams does it take for this thing to work?”
The clock has long since forgotten midnight. Rob Plinka lit his third cigar in the last four hours. From the wall, a picture of Kobe Bryant smiled at him. “So far we’ve arranged for Indiana to get a first-round pick from us, Brooklyn to give the Wizards Dinwidi, San Antonio to get Chandler Hutchison from Washington …”
“And we’re giving up on who?” Frank Vogel asked.
“Coz, Coldwell Pop and Montreux,” Plinka replied.
“Monterz is not a big loss. Empty statistics, personality not something,” Vogel replied, “but with Coz and Pop I’m a little worried. We won’t have Caroso money left, certainly if we go all-in on Horton Tucker. So we lose three “Defensive players are very good. In fact, most of our defensive identity.”
“Listen, finding veterans who do defense and score threes will not be a problem,” Plinka replied. “Besides, there are a lot of players going around in the league and have already moved here. People will agree to come at a bargain price to take a ring as well.
“Isn’t that a little too dangerous?” Ginny Bass asked. “I know we’re the Lakers and we’re flowing with our stars, but LeBron is no longer a kid, and Anthony Davis is made of porcelain.”
“We replaced the medical staff,” Plinka said, “now it’s up to the professional staff.”
“I understand the hint,” Vogel replied sarcastically, “but just so you know that if Davis and LeBron are injured, I have nothing. Not someone who will defend, not someone who will attack wisely.”
“Do not worry, this is how it is with LeBron’s teams,” said Plinka, “starting the most messy season there and slowly getting better. For March and April with a healthy staff and a rotation of 8-10 players who know the job. “
“I know it’s not an easy situation for you, Frank,” Ginny said, “but we trust you. You know how to get a broom and a food processor to do the defense as well. On offense you have Westbrook, look what staff he has succeeded with in Washington and Oklahoma City.”
Vogel looked at Plinka and Bass, and seemed to reconcile with the evil of the decree. “Only one important thing – we will be coordinated from the first moment of training camp, including the players. On the one hand we can not say that Westbrook should be allowed to be himself and on the other hand we should say that he will have to adapt to us. These things do not work together. Man is a machine but makes good numbers “They do not bring championships, and can only play at one pace and in one style – Westbrook style. I tell you in advance, it can be problematic. There is a chance, even if not high, that it will not work.”
Bass took another sip from the glass of wine. “No such thing will work, Franklin,” she said. “Bring in stars, win championships. That’s life here. We’re the Lakers.”

We will gather some superstars and let them run.  What can go wrong?  (Getty)

We will gather some superstars and let them run. What can go wrong? (Getty)

chapter 3

“Who would have believed, huh?”.
Frank Vogel sat in the back row of the bus. The players were still buried within themselves in the locker room, following a loss to the Portland reserve team. Damien Lillard, a citizen, looked at LeBron and Davis, recalling that meeting in the summer, and refrained from capturing the laughter. CJ Alby and Greg Brown just defeated the duo that was on the roof of the world a year and a half earlier, in October 2020.
Vogel whispered into his cell phone, hoping none of the players would come in and hear by mistake: “Who would have believed that even without Westbrook we are not a good team. “But we insisted on 35-year-old players, or ‘threes and defense’ players doing either threes or defense. It was supposed to be both.”
“Franklin,” Bass said, “you have full backing. Do what’s good for the team, even if it means leaving Westbrook on the bench or locking him in the bathroom. We have to start winning already.”
“First of all, my name is not Franklin, stop calling me that,” Vogel said, “and secondly, another deadline. Sure sure we have nothing to do? How can we not get rid of him?”
“No team wants this contract, certainly without giving up on the last draft pick we have left until 2047, on parts, a LeBron wine cellar and my cactus collection.”
“So how do we sell it to LeBron? You can not tell him ‘this is what you cooked, you’ll get it done’. I mean, it’s possible but I’m not sure he’ll get it right.”
“Tell him,” Bass said, “what I told Kobe Bryant.”
“And what did you say to Kobe?”

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chapter 4
Anthony McKay as Kobe Bryant
Tom Beet as Phil Jackson

After two hours of flipping over in his bed, Rob Plinka managed to fall asleep. Only one man could help him at that moment, an old friend who had been with him for so many years. But it has not been available for about two and a half years. So he went for the only alternative he had, and sank into a dream.
“Kobe, what are you doing?” The former agent asked.
“You must get up every morning as a new and better version of yourself,” the legend replied. “Mamba is mental, remember?”.
“Talk to me, Tekel’s,” Plinka replied.
“Sell positive messages to the media that Russ is finally starting to play the way you want, losing less, and soon Davis will be back and LeBron at a super-high level,” Bryant replied. “Give the fans hope, something to wish for. Look how I retired – three years of teams embarrassing the brand, and at the end a 60-point farewell game and that’s what they remember. As long as you’re in the play-offs, you’re a game or two away from the playoffs “Meet LeBron and Davis. New Orleans does not have Zion, San Antonio is going to rebuild and give up experienced players. There’s really no one to risk you with this play-in, right?”

By candlelight, in the private conference room of her home, Ginny summoned an old friend for a chat.
“Elephant, what are we doing?”
“Listen, as the Lakers and constellations close to my heart, I have to tell you that I’m keeping a close eye on team dynamics. When the best player starts talking about his future in other teams, it’s pretty much letting go of all the other guys. Their body language conveys defeat. “The situation seems worrying to me. Westbrook may have celebrated the Lakers’ championships as a child, but this team is closer to disintegration than the championship.”
“Do you think it will get any worse? What, the crowd will whistle contempt for Westbrook? It’s a crowd of celebs and concerts. What can these fans do already?”
“Ginny, this audience that only once despised Magic Johnson as well. No one is immune.”

Chapter 5

John Boiga as Russell Westbrook

“I’ll probably have to do everything myself here.”
And what will you get out of it, Rich Paul asked during filming for The Shop’s new season.
“Listen, I do not believe in this team. Count the minutes until we find someone who will take Westbrook and the draft pick from my presidential campaign at the end of the decade.”
“So why not tank up, rest and save yourself for next season.”
“What will tanking help? We don’t have a draft pick. And no player here will really stay for next season maybe except Austin so there is no one to invest in.”
“So what do you offer”
“To play, to score a lot, to pass Carl Malone, to reach 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists.”
“And what will you get out of it?”
“A few moments as a souvenir for the resume.”
“And what about Jordan’s legacy?”
“Remember Michael was in Washington as a player and a member of the management team, selected Kwame Brown first in the draft two places ahead of Pau Gasol and then humiliated Brown in training until he had no more confidence, dumping young Rip Hamilton to bring in Jerry Stackhouse and signing Ch. “Earl Oakley who was already 39, and in the end stayed two years out of the playoffs?”
“So who said I was not fulfilling Jordan’s legacy.”

“I’ll probably have to do everything myself here.”
“And what will you get out of this, Russ?” Frank Vogel asked.
“Listen, I do not believe Davis and LeBron are out again. The best players we have are also a collection of refugees from other teams. Avery Bradley was cut from Golden State before the season, Wesley Johnson was cut from Chicago.”
– “It’s Stanley.”
– “Let me talk. In short, listen, even in Oklahoma City I had more staff than I have left now. Malik Monk? For a guard who only makes an attack you only have me. Carmelo? “.
“And it does not bother you that we play bad and lose? That fans threaten your family and whistle at you?”
– “Why would that bother me? I have $ 47 million guaranteed in the bank for next season, I have beautiful kids at home, I play on a team I’m a fan of, and best of all – or worse, depending on how you look at it – I have a better chance than you of being here five Minutes after the season ends. “

King of Highs and Lows (Getty)

King of Highs and Lows (Getty)

Episode 6

“How do you sum up a season like this?”
The Lakers’ creative team meeting lasted longer than planned this time. At 23:47 the long-awaited breakthrough came.
“Suppose the unbelievable happens and we fly to the lottery in a few more weeks,” the social media expert asked. “How do we sum up in one gif a season that everyone will want to forget?”.
“We have to go for a character that everyone likes. Soon he too can take an Oscar, so in general. Let’s use a gif from Will Smith’s Men in Black.”


While Nikola Jokic has closed another impressive MVP campaign on the backs of Dwight Howard and Carmelo – Ginny Bass and Rob Plinka have found a room in the Bull Arena and have already started planning for next season. “Two first-round picks with Westbrook, we can find something, right?”.
“Yes Ginny, but I’m probably not going to be here in those drafts where we will not have an election. I mean, * also * in them. If that does not bother you.”
“We have to somehow resolve this issue, find a better staff around LeBron. It’s impossible to go through another season like this, Rob. Will New Orleans take back Anthony Davis? I saw clips of Zion drowning in training. He’s the future, but he does not want to stay at Pelicans and here “He will have a fresh start. What can happen if we bring in a super-athletic inside player from New Orleans with an injury problem?”
The door opened. A gloomy face peeked inside. “Luckily I no longer have to do anything here. I just wanted to say goodbye. My departure letter in your email. Will be scheduled at the end of March, by the way.”
“Thank you for everything, especially for 2020. You will always remain a part of our family and heritage. We really love you, Franklin”
“My name is not a bull-“
“we know”.

“Answer for a moment, this number is familiar to me”
“Yes Kobi”
“Cleveland Manager. Second”
Bass’s face changed and Plinka noticed an expression of astonishment. “He asks what we want to get LeBron back.”


Now it’s official: New season – coming soon!

Casting for Season 3 (Getty)

Casting for Season 3 (Getty)

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