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Lakers ’LeBron James and Anthony Davis talk about Netflix's" Squid Game "after their preseason loss to Warriors

James told Davis that he didn't like the end of the show and discussed why? (Author: Gardener)

The NBA regular season is just around the corner, but LeBron James and Anthony Davis proved Tuesday that they have more than just basketball on their minds. The masterful duo of the Los Angeles Lakers played after their 111-99 loss in the preseason against the Golden State Warriors in the Netflix hit series "Squid Game". James rose from his seat during the Lakers' media availability as Davis approached from the left, and the two began an impromptu conversation about the South Korean series before Davis picked up the microphone. As a four-time NBA champion, James knows all about the ending - and he didn't approve of that in "Squid Game". The conversation between James and Davis is further proof that "Squid Game" is becoming more of a cultural touchstone than TV series. On Tuesday, Netflix announced that the show had reached "111 million fans" since it was released in September, making it the biggest launch in the history of the streaming service. Netflix's previous record belonged to the historical drama "Bridgerton", which was streamed in 63 million households in the first four weeks. The NBA regular season begins October 19, and the Lakers will face the Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. at the Staples Center. ET. After James failed to make the NBA finals last year and won Russell Westbrook alongside other star stars in the off-season, James hopes to lead the Lakers to a better ending he saw with Squid Game.

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LeBron, Westbrook and Davis make their debut in the Lakers' recent preseason loss

The Lakers' new Big 3 struggled to gain a foothold on their Tuesday debut. Is it growing pains or more? (Author: Gardener)

Anthony Davis (# 3), LeBron James (now wears # 6) and Russell Westbrook (back to # 0) played their first minutes of play on Tuesday night's preseason outing against the Golden State Warriors and while the Trifecta was only for briefly shared the space, the world got its first glimpse of the core hoping to bring the Lakers out of the west. James finished the race with 17 points, six boards, four assists and three steals. He also added six turnovers. Meanwhile, he went to work in the post, counting 20 points and six rebounds. As for Westbrook, despite spinning the ball five times, he got his usual double-double and scored 10 points to add to 10 boards and six assists. While increasing pain could be expected from a team trying to put new pieces together to create a championship puzzle, few could have predicted that LA would open their list of exhibition games with five straight defeats after their 111-99 loss to Golden State. Still, it's just preseason, and these games mean nothing more than repetition and experience - except through the eyes of Skip Bayless. "LeBron is coming out looking completely off balance," Bayless said of the game on Wednesday's "Undisputed" episode. Many look at each other and ask, 'Who is going to do what?' There was no such thing as a well-oiled machine. It immediately looked like LeBron had grabbed Russell's sales bug. In the second quarter he had six ball losses eight minutes before the end. I thought he was going to hunt for records. ”But Bayless didn't limit his criticism to James. “Russ has a record sales pace in the preseason. His first stint was six, then he comes back on Sunday and has nine, and last night he had five more. "When you're on a team that thinks they can fight for a title, you can't try many of those passes," Sharpe said of Westbrook. "He's played a lot longer the way we've seen him play right now. It doesn't naturally fit, and every time something doesn't fit, it takes a lot longer to fit." “They may have to go into the New Year after Christmas [before they find out]. You have to figure out how to combine this talent, these egos, and lots of recordings. Sharpe and Bayless' words don't come as a surprise. The Lakers know they have an acute learning curve, James admitted. "It will be a minute before we become the team we know we will be," said James afterwards. "We will have moments when we are not quite right. I think nothing is worth it when it's not worth working for. "James emphasized that it is his responsibility to stay cool under pressure. If I don't get frustrated, I think everyone else will. But I understand too that things take time. "" Of course it's the first game, "Westbrook said." But there are some good things we can take away from it. "We saw some great things in action with me, Bron and Russ" "Davis said. The Lakers hope these opportunities materialize when LA begins its regular season against Golden State next Tuesday. For more updated NBA news, click here to sign up for notifications on the FOX Sports app!"

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Lakers' new star trio could be unstoppable ... or flammable

How well LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis Gel are likely to determine the Lakers' championship chances in 2021-22. (Author: Gardener)

LOS ANGELES - In just a few plays, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have shown how they can become the most dominant trio in the NBA. In just a few pieces, James, Davis and Westbrook also showed how they can become the NBA's most dysfunctional trio. Their first game together coincided with the Lakers' 111-99 loss to the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center on Tuesday. NBA championship teams never look the same in October as they did in June. Their opponents never do, considering Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are well rested. "We are patient with the process and understand that we are going to have frustrating moments," said James. “We'll have moments when we're not quite there and take a step back. Still, it only takes one game to show that James, Davis and Westbrook have many strengths and weaknesses. Davis (20 points), James (17 points, four assists) and Westbrook (10 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) offered a lot of scoring punch, partly fueled by their offensive brilliance, partly fueled by their defensive execution. "It's about being patient with the process and understanding that we are going to have frustrating moments." LeBron James with @LakersReporter about being patient with the #Lakers building chemistry and understanding with a largely new roster. pic.twitter.com/uYrkZVz3ir Westbrook met James at Fastbreaks. Westbrook set up Davis for simple baskets. And Westbrook himself demonstrated the ability to both attack in transition and to pass that opportunity on to a more open teammate. With these qualities, the Lakers trio played a major role in the team's 15-6 run to open the first 4:06 of the third quarter. "We saw some great things in action with me, Bron and Russ," said Davis. James (six turnovers) and Westbrook (five) offered many wrong decisions, partly fueled by their frenetic game, partly fueled by their collective unfamiliarity. Westbrook and James also lost the ball after driving in. Westbrook didn't score until the middle of the second quarter. After the two-digit run of the Lakers at the start of the second half, the Warriors broke out with all three stars on the ground 21: 3. "There will be ups, downs and adversities in the season," said Westbrook. That's all that matters. "James, Davis and Westbrook could become the engine of the Lakers Championship for the second time in three seasons. Anthony Davis tells @LakersReporter what he liked about the #Lakers Big Three in today's pre-season match at Staples. pic.twitter.com/81giKoqNa2 How long does it take the Lakers stars to figure out how to properly power their engine? "I honestly have no answer," Westbrook said. We'll just play like any other team and we will We don't have to find out on October 18 or 19, whenever the first game is. ”The Lakers have another preseason game in Sacramento on Thursday (10pm ET, NBA TV) before the actual season opener kicks off next week. The Lakers then play against a Warriors team that has Curry's long-range shooting skills and Green's defensive intensity - even in those tough early games, it could go a long way to imagine the Lakers make a 1: 4 start as in the 2012-13 season. The Lakers will then have winning games against rebuilding teams, including San Antonio (October 26), Oklahoma City (October 27), and a three-game home stand against Cleveland (October 29) and Houston (October 31, October 11). November). 2). A. on track to mirror the 2012-13 team - that tried to incorporate new stars (Dwight Howard, Steve Nash) with familiar ones (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol) - that finished 0-8 in the preseason . "Nobody has an answer to that ... we'll play and find out. We have one goal in mind and that is to win a championship." Russell Westbrook when the #Lakers stars start "clicking". pic.twitter.com/UUBOsZ6zr3 "It could take the whole year before we really give our best," said Lakers coach Frank Vogel before the game. “Ideally, we're best when we go to the playoffs. But we have the mindset that we go straight to the point and come out really strong and things click the best we can. ”The Lakers got to the point after the game started, but that led to a bit of overzealousness. The first piece ended with Carmelo Anthony getting a 3-hand with only one second left on the shot clock, which earned him a detour to the free throw line. After making these fouls, the next two games ended with a miss by Anthony. After a Davis block, Westbrook and James made sales on successive properties. But almost two minutes later, thanks to the Lakers defense and Westbrook playmaking, James scored six points in 30 seconds. The Lakers continue to strive to ensure that the trio's time on the court has more homers than mistakes. They also admitted that what they showed in the act will actually reflect what happens in the regular season. To ride the Lakers roller coaster, experiencing the frustrating mistakes can become the cost of entry in exchange for the exhilarating highs. "It is reasonable to assume that there will be some bumpy nights at the beginning of the season," said Vogel. However, the Lakers' circumstances two seasons ago contrast sharply with their present. Undoubtedly, the Lakers have faced a lot of adversity this season. They stopped a season during a global pandemic and resumed the season three months later in a campus bubble to win the NBA title. Then the Lakers had to figure out how James and Davis would integrate with a new coach and eight new role-players. But the Lakers soon found that James and Davis complemented each other perfectly. The Lakers need to figure out how James and Westbrook share ball handling duties, how fast they play, and how often they look to Davis, other teammates, or themselves. Aside from ironing out the chemistry with their three main stars, the Lakers already have a few dents in their championship armor. "As a leader, my only job is to keep myself out of frustration," said James. But I understand that things also take time. As long as I keep the main thing first and calm down on whatever is going on with our ball club, we'll be fine. ”As in the past two seasons, the Lakers plan to rely heavily on James and Davis for theirs Emphasize strengths and cover up their mistakes. As much as the Lakers wanted to speed up the chemistry with Westbrook, they threw James and Davis away from him, too. That way, James can still score and score in isolation, and Davis can still receive praise from Veteran Guard Rajon Rondo (whom the Lakers blamed for her voice in practice, movie sessions, and coaching meetings). “That will be the case for all of our newsmen; not just Russ, ”Vogel said of James and Davis. You will bear the burden in this regard, but we need everyone to get started right away. ”All of this underscores the mystery that all quickly assembled start teams face. "In general, it takes a lot of time," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “The good thing is, when you have people who want to be together, they'll commit to each other. You will find out. Hence, the Lakers are unlikely to repeat the 2012-13 nightmare where Bryant, Howard, Gasol and Nash all had different differences of opinion about how to bring their talents together. These Lakers have spoken about close bonds during an informal Las Vegas camp, movie sessions, and group text. But it could be a chore to take inspiration from other championship teams. Although Kerr admitted the Warriors and Kevin Durant experienced a learning curve during their first season together in the 2016-17 season, the Warriors soon won consecutive NBA titles as Durant mixed his scores with Curry and Klay Thompson. James certainly has a perspective on how he's worked with Miami's Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. But Miami and Cleveland didn't win an NBA title until they first lost in the finals. The Lakers may not have the luxury of being so patient this season. Every year is different, ”said James. “I cannot base any previous team or situation on this year. This year it's all about how much work we can put in and how much we want to keep getting better. ”And this year it's also about how much James, Davis and Westbrook can bring their talent together. Mark Medina is a senior writer / analyst at NBA.com. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.

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Steph, Warriors are a real threat to LeBron, Lakers to the west

The Warriors have the perfect mix of experience and youth to be at the top of the list of teams the Lakers can defeat. (Author: Gardener)

The general belief, like that of the quota makers, is that the Los Angeles Lakers will run through the Western Conference after a year-long layover and return to the NBA finals. "There are a lot of names out there," says Stephen Curry of the Lakers who redesigned their roster in the off-season. “A lot of guys who won, some didn't win and some are hungry to win. They have a lot of experience and talent and an edge, just like everyone else in the league. ”The NBA has historically been unfriendly to teams built on older legs, and a team with a more desirable mix of ages is conceivable and youth reminded of it. After two seasons outside the playoffs, the Warriors feel a sense of urgency and are better than the team that won the postseason. The core of Golden State - Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Curry - knows the playoffs better than any other group in the league. Catastrophic calamities aside, the 2022 NBA playoffs will be their eighth postseason in 10 years as teammates. LeBron has logged more minutes than any active player and is one of only three players to have accumulated more than 60,000 career minutes, including the postseason. Then there are his new teammates in LA: Carmelo Anthony is second in career minutes, Dwight Howard fourth, Russell Westbrook sixth and Trevor Ariza eighth. The last "old" team to win a championship are the 2011 Dallas Mavericks, which had three vets with at least 12 years of experience. The 2008 Boston Celtics were considered old, but only one rotation player, Kevin Garnett, had been in the league for 12 years. The 2003 San Antonio Spurs had four players with at least 12 years of experience, but three of them, including a reserve guard named Steve Kerr, were on the verge of rotation. The Lakers have eight players with at least 12 seasons behind them - and five with at least 15 years in the league. In many ways, they are a one-off experiment to see if an old squad can be successful in the age of “load management”. The Warriors have their questions too, but age is not one of them. Aside from the core three, only Avery Bradley (if he makes the team) and Iguodala have been in the league for more than eight seasons. Four of their rotation players - Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman - have not yet turned 27. In a league where 3-point shooting is very popular, the Warriors with Curry as king have coached as much as any of their best teams since Kerr in 2014. Players have a chance of better than 35 percent off the board Shoot depth. Some of that will come from forecasted starters Andrew Wiggins and Thompson, who are hoping to return before the calendar turns to 2022. 27.0 percent) last season. "I told him in Portland, our first game (preseason), I wanted you to score two or three threesomes every game," says Kerr. Then there is Poole, the constantly improving third year Guardian whose attack could be productive enough to make up for his exceptional defenses. He is expected to open the season as the kick-off guard, but will continue to make significant gains minutes after Thompson's return. Kerr is already envisioning the effect that improved distance will have on shot selection. "When Steph and Klay are both on the floor with Jordan, we have a chance of always going from good (shots) to great," he says, "because the defense has to react in any direction." The relevant question relates So on defense. Can Draymond hold his all-defensive team level? The Warriors have calibrated well enough for the odds makers to place them 4th in the championship hunt and 2nd in the west, ahead of Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns, who last took the conference first and second places of the season. Only the Brooklyn Nets, the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks and the western favorites Lakers have a better chance of winning it all. "They did what they saw fit to To help win, "says Curry of the Lakers." We'll see how it goes when the season starts. "

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Lakers have championship talent, many questions as they try to recapture the NBA title in the 2021-22 season

Western Conference favorites face a ton of questions ahead of LeBron's 19th NBA season (Author: Gardener)

It would be nice if the Los Angeles Lakers could just have a quiet off-season once. Maybe they could build a bit of continuity, tinker with the edges, you know, the kind of thing most teams do in the off-season. This is now, amazingly, the sixth straight offseason that a big change has occurred. * 2020: Lakers hand over half of 2020 championship list in pandemic shortened off-season * 2021: Russell Westbrook acquired by trade; Just three players left in the 2020-21 roster It says a lot about the way the Lakers work that an offseason after a championship that flips half of the roster is probably the quietest of the circuit. Everything about Purple and Gold is loud, and there is no louder player in basketball than Russell Westbrook. There is no more relentless gamer or night-to-night gamer than Westbrook. There is also no player in basketball who is better able to lose his team a game or a season due to reckless decisions and poor shot selection. There will be nights when the Lakers have the top three players on the field. There will be nights when two of these stars watch helplessly as their new teammate freezes them from losses. The LeBron James-Anthony Davis pairing worked. They won a championship together in 2020 with little more than shooting and defense around them and could have won another one last season if they had stayed healthy. When James and Davis were on the ground last season, the Lakers flashed their opponents at 14.1 points per 100 possessions, according to Cleaning the Glass. Just count the minutes Davis was in the center and that number jumps to 24.3. The Lakers didn't have to do that. But James is entering his 19th season and has lost two of the last three to injury. Perhaps the Lakers care less about what James can do when he's healthy and more about doing whatever it takes to keep him healthy. Maybe they are tired of watching their offense fall off a cliff with James seated. It is impossible to predict what the end result will be. James has never played with someone as enigmatic or ball-dominated as Russell Westbrook. This is his greatest test as a problem solver, and the Lakers' hopes rest on him he'll solve the teammate so many other stars have slipped away from. The idea that Russell Westbrook will make LeBron James' job difficult has been a bit of an exaggeration. James would certainly prefer the correct distance, but he has just won a championship without him. When it comes down to it, the rear defenses give Dennis Schroder or Rajon Rondo no more respect than Westbrook. James now knows how to operate in confined spaces. LeBron can work with virtually any teammate at this stage of his career. Do you need it to make room for Westbrook? He shot nearly 39 percent with wide open threes during the 2020 championship season and in recent years it has become even more comfortable to bomb several meters behind the line. He's going to cut for Westbrook. We don't think LeBron is a great off-ball player because he rarely has to be an off-ball player, but that's LeBron-freaking James we're talking about here. If it breaks, it's impatience, and Westbrook will certainly test it. James may be able to exist off the ball, but it's not exactly what he's used to. Do you really want LeBron James to give up control of part of his playoff offensive to anyone? A Westbrook possession is generally a less attractive option than a James possession simply because Westbrook, like everyone else on the planet, is not LeBron James. If you include the sales and the unfortunate middle class jumpers, you can understand where the skepticism comes from here. Both were frequent last season. Westbrooks patented drives to the edge. As a member of the 2019-20 Rockets, he made 10.5 restricted area shots per game, more than his number even at his peak in Oklahoma City. That number dropped to just five last season, less than Bradley Beal's as his inexplicable jumpers took their place. Will that be the new norm when Westbrook turns her mid-thirties? Was it the injury that held him back at the start of the season (the numbers probably don't suggest, but maybe a little)? While it was a symptom of his more traditional Washington roster, it's not that the Lakers will give him the space that Houston's centerless roster has for 2020, and they'll have far less patience for Westbrook's exploits outside the edge. Houston did everything in his power to do Westbrook justice. The Lakers don't have that privilege. Westbrook and James Harden tinkered with some small-ball pick-and-roll looks that proved extremely difficult to guard. Imagine James and Westbrook pulling this off in a small ball constellation: Westbrook has always been a capable cutter, just not a willing one. Houston found ways to rid him of the ball that way, and used the defenders' disrespect for him as a shooter to turn him into a weapon as a backdoor cutter on pick-and-pops. You can bet the Lakers will play with games like this: The Lakers have struggled to incorporate significant moves into their offense in recent years, but they are getting a different breed of Westbrook, one that has apparently been humiliated by three consecutive trades . If there's a willing screener and editor, the Lakers should be able to find him. Basically, that's all you can hope for for Westbrook as an off-ball player. The question of the shot selection is a little more difficult. Westbrook only did 28.3 percent of his chin-up 3-s last season. The Lakers would love to eliminate all of these in favor of more catch-and-shoot 3s, of which he made 35.6 percent. But the selection of the recordings is not a question of the effort, like the editing. It's a fundamental feature of Westbrook's game, and asking him to sacrifice looks he clearly wants to get could have an impact. Will he play hard (and more importantly, smart) defensively if he switches off offensively? The Lakers are taking a cautious line here. You need a tweaked version of Westbrook to coexist with James, but a buy-in will be required to get that version. The Lakers want to pretend Anthony Davis's 2020-21 season never happened. Even before the injury, he had almost hit career lows on points (21.8) and rebounds (7.9), but those numbers were forgivable. It came out of the bladder, and later in the season there were flashes of its signature brilliance. His 42-point decimation of Deandre Ayton on May 9 should leave little doubt as to how the Lakers-Suns series would have ended if he had stayed healthy. Davis remains the only great man on the planet who can do this: Davis is still the best defender in the universe when it comes down to it. James and Westbrook will spend the season competing to see who can throw him more praises. The Lakers will continue to torment the defense by leaching Davis on transition and free throws to allow for slight post-mismatches. These are all things that we can safely assume Davis will head into this season. Despite his reputation, Davis is actually a somewhat disappointing shooter. Just look at his mid-range and 3-point numbers over the last five regular seasons. Now let's take a look at the 2020 playoffs in the Orlando bubble. Whether or not you believe the Lakers got lucky with their opponents in the bubble is ultimately subjective. The following is not the case: You are incredibly lucky with a number of players shooting. Rajon Rondo shot under 33 percent behind the bow during the regular season and shot up to 40 percent in the playoffs. And then there's Davis, a remarkable player in every way, who rounded off his game during the two biggest months of his career by shooting all over the floor like Kevin Durant. Statistically, there is simply no real evidence that he will ever do that again. The Lakers have to bake a bunch of brick-built Westbrook jumpers into their offensive expectations. You can't take the same thing from Davis. He has to beat the zone defenses that the Lakers will see as middle distance shooters. He has to divide the land into James-centered possessions. If he's less, the Lakers just won't be able to win shootouts against the NBA's best offenses. The Lakers are in the uniquely troubling position of having too much depth and too little depth at the same time. Jeanie Buss ruled that every player under contract on the squad must be able to play, and the caveat to that mandate is that almost every player on the squad is likely to expect to play. DeAndre Jordan signed with the Lakers specifically to get minutes ... but when Dwight Howard is included, there aren't many left for the much-needed Anthony Davis on the middle line-up. The Lakers have been commended for adding Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk to below-market deals ... Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza are the only two forwards on the roster alongside James and Davis. And yet ... how safe can the Lakers feel giving important minutes to one of these players? Anthony is perhaps the NBA's worst defensive striker. Rob Pelinka has clung to Horton-Tucker for his life, but his shooting errors undoubtedly make him a poor partner alongside Westbrook. Frank Vogel kept the Lakers at the top of the league defensively last season without James and Davis, thanks to his relentless point-of-attack guards. Praising a team for doing well on minimum contracts is like praising someone for ordering the healthiest meals at McDonald's. These players were available cheaply for a reason, and while most of them can help out in supporting roles, the Lakers need at least two new starters and a few spare keys. He is on the right track for the Shooting Guard starting position. Starting Jordan in the middle would be a death sentence for the Lakers. It would also save Davis from the physical demands he would play at the center every night. The Lakers could maximize their offensive with Anthony, but until Trevor Ariza returns, their bank will remain positionally unbalanced. There are extra preseason minutes for Nunn, Monk, and Wayne Ellington to differentiate (or not) differentiate themselves. One of these three is going to pop. At least one of them will not be in the playoff rotation. Like Bazemore, he offers that rare balance between defense and shooting. When the Lakers signed him with 82 games, 25 minutes a night, they were poorly planning their roster. If Ariza had started the season well, he would probably have been the fifth starter. Now Jordan seems like the safest choice. Anthony will get the majority of the backup forward minutes. The remaining guards will get past Westbrook and presumably Bazemore for minutes. Rondo is lurking when Vogel feels he needs more skilled expertise, and James and Davis are more than happy with the idea of ​​sacrificing shooting for his basketball IQ. But that will be uncomfortable. There aren't five obvious starting players in this roster, but there are too many with rotation ambitions. That's even more worrying when you consider that some of these players made financial sacrifices to be in Los Angeles. Juggling with all of these egos will be Frank Vogel's greatest challenge so far. Well ... the offseason 2022 has to be almost uneventful for the Lakers. Remember, Westbrook's commercial value fell so low in the 2020 off-season that Houston had to take back John Wall, arguably the worst contract in basketball, just to move it. He will be 33 in one month and owe over $ 47 million for the 2022-23 season. Probably not a fourth move. There are unlikely to be any major strides. The Lakers don't have a tradable first-round pick until 2027. Horton-Tucker is the only valuable young player to be under contract beyond this season. The Lakers could stack his salary along with Nunn's for any significant improvement over the season, but that seems unlikely for a variety of reasons. Above all of this is the extension that Vogel signed this offseason. Many league insiders believe it only added a single guaranteed year to its contract and banned him for the 2022-23 season when James and Westbrook both expire. The Lakers originally planned to hire Ty Lue in 2019 but would only guarantee him the same three years they had originally given Vogel. For some reason, the Lakers have been reluctant to get involved with anyone or anything but Davis beyond the end of James' heyday. That creates a somewhat restless atmosphere around this season. There is no longer a pivot, no obvious trade that the Lakers can use to remake themselves when this goes wrong. This is the team for the next two years and probably only for the next two years. After that, Davis is the only other player fully guaranteed, even though Horton-Tucker has a player option. Based on all of the players playing on one year minimum contracts this season, they will likely have a number of new players. History says that having a healthy LeBron on your roster ensures just that.

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Ranking of the 10 funniest NBA teams to see this season

Style points? Unintentional exhilaration? Check! Check! Check! We present the top 10 most entertaining teams of the NBA season 2021/22. (Author: Gardener)

See the 10 best NBA teams in our 10th Annual League Pass Ranking. As a reminder: these are observability values, not power rankings! We rate teams, 1-10, in five categories: ZEITGEIST: Do real people take care of this team? STAR / HIGHLIGHT POTENTIAL: Are you sticking to games at the expense of sleep and love because a gamer could do something spectacular? The ruthless execution lies in the beauty, and Phoenix added layers above the layers to its basic pick-and-roll attack: luminous screens, decoy movements, calculated drift cuts. Phoenix is ​​an average transition team and finished 26th in dunks. The algorithm is torn between admiring the audacity of Paul's evil agitation and punishing his hubris. Mikal Bridges added a pogo stick midranger, perhaps a sign that he has more points in him. Driving in Bridges is like sliding into a black hole: Jae Crowder Salsa danced the Los Angeles Lakers straight out of the playoffs - and embodied the first hit that led Phoenix to two wins for the NBA title. The series of shots he scored in Games 4 and 5 of the final with 82 points was downright ridiculous: loss of isolation; left float; Catch-and-shoot jumpers that started after picks were flying around. Kevin Ray and Eddie Johnson are an elite broadcast duo. This is about one thing: Zion Williamson, an unprecedented amalgamation of size and speed, has played 85 games in two seasons - and everyone wants more. We have seen many Zions - Point Zion, Post-Up Zion, Screening Zion, Fast Break Zion, Center Zion. There's no defense to keep Williamson off the edge. Large bodies ricochet off Williamson even when he's in the air. It's a matter of time before Williamson smashes a blackboard or the whole damn pillar collapses. He jumps three times for offensive rebounds in the range most people can jump. Passport vision is there, but Williamson is frenetic - prone to close-range fastballs and imprecise kickouts. Repetitions will help; Williamson's pick-and-roll partnerships with Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and Devonte 'Graham each pose defense dilemmas. On defense, ask yourself: Does Williamson care? New Orleans isn't going to go anywhere until they cobble together a good defense, and that's easier when everyone can see the franchise gamer give a shit. There's still something missing from Ingram - a combination of playmaking and defense. Ingram found that balance is as central to the Pels' future as anything but Williamson's health and desire to stay. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes could break out as two-way players. (Hayes is a malevolent dunker who pulls up 3s in the preseason, Alexander-Walker is a long-armed, brave goalscorer.) Valanciunas, who crushes his defenders to dust, is one of the undreamt-of joys of the NBA. Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine should be the perfect match: the league's most willing passerby bomb on the best open-court dunker since Prime Vince Carter. Merging the Ball / LaVine show with the, um, more patient stylings of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic will be a constant challenge for the Floor-Raiser team. DeRozan has shown - even in the bubble with the San Antonio Spurs - that he can adapt to the run-and-gun pace. Chicago needed another seamstress anyway; the stress of crunch time was too great for LaVine - even if he mastered it. More of LaVine off the ball - Spotting Up for 3s and Cut for Dunks - is good for him and the Bulls. Vucevic can pull for 3s and switch between post-ups and ball screens in the half field, depending on the matchups. DeRozan likes the midrange speakers too, and it will take time for these four to master their steps and build a hierarchy. Making a workable defense becomes more difficult. Patrick Williams is one of the league's most important players as few youngsters, acquired directly through Chicago's Lottery Picks and the Jimmy Butler deal, stay on this list - and the picks Chicago now owes to the Spurs and Orlando Magic . Williams is built for erratic defense, and its stop-on-a-dime midrange is made of pure silk - started so high that the ball falls through without creating much more than a wave. Derrick Jones Jr. is one of LaVine's only real dunking rivals. DeRozan is the king of the high five Phantom teammates between free throws when no one is approaching - or while attempting technical fouls. Prediction: Fake foul crackdowns won't hurt Trae Young as critics hope. He's too good, too smart, and his habit of slowing down in traffic - the gambit that often makes contact - is a (mostly) legitimate basketball game aimed at overseeing the defenses or making them take the wrong step . (Boy jumping sideways is a different story.) Young ran more pick and rolls than anyone, but the repetition didn't detract from Atlanta's entertainment value. The Hawks ranked # 2 in Dunks, with tons of Young's praises coming to Clint Capela and John Collins. Capela usurped Collins as Young's main screen-setter, but Collins found ways to stay involved - and put more energy into the dirty work. Young can see and make passes, including cross-court slings with both hands, which are off-limits for most guys his size. At the end of last season, Young started getting off the ball early - doing light reading and letting his supporting cast cook. De'Andre Hunter showed a burgeoning all-round game and should become an all-court destroyer on the defensive; he went chest to chest with Julius Randle in the playoffs. The show is fun, the art is pleasing. I wish the Hawks would bring back the stained glass dish in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. With Jamal Murray, the Nuggets might have fought for first place after finishing second last season. Nikola Jokic is the most entertaining player in the league - for those eyes - but Murray hasn't received enough credit for helping build the NBA's most challenging and untenable two-man game. Any star can score against the league's tentpole pick-and-roll defenses: drop-back schemes and switches. Murray can solve both by hoisting or driving for 3s. But in these gaps, Murray and Jokic do high art. We know what Jokic is - the greatest great passerby of all time and one of the most inventive passerby of all time for any position - but Murray brings cunning into the dance. Murray hesitantly freezes defense, and he's a master at picking up some extra dribble - the jump that pulls Jokic's defender closer to Murray and unlocks a simple drop-off. He'll make you cackle like an idiot at least three times per game. Rebound-in-outlet heaves are absurd: He whips no-look passes where it is unclear when - or even if - he discovered his target: If he misses, it doesn't matter: Jokic volleyballs ricochet off with both hands Distances outside the typical peak-in range. There are nights when the game looks so casual to Jokic - when the imbalances are overwhelming, when the images come to him so early and so clearly - that he seems to be attempting tightrope passes just to keep himself entertained. Michael Porter Jr. has one of the cutest unreachable jumpers in the league and will expand his game outside of the jump. Michael Malone gets a full season to experiment with Aaron Gordon's defense. Facundo Campazzo is an all-time threat to Nutmeg, and he's one of the league's most annoying irritations. The jerseys and places are solid; the royal blue "Mile High" uniforms were a nice addition. The algorithm could be as excited about the hopping bugs as Eric Collins, Charlotte's charmingly bombastic game-by-game man, yells over a LaMelo Ball long 2 as if Ball had discovered the cure for the coronavirus. Charlotte was 33-39 last season, by the seventh worst point difference in the league. If all goes well they'll likely top around .500, and guess what, I don't care because ball will throw Miles Bridges alley oops and Bridges will explode and Michael Jordan will grin while wearing a hat that a bit funny when you are honest with yourself. The Hornets move the ball and use super fun centerless lineups. Those groups were very small last season with Devonte 'Graham and Terry Rozier, and Charlotte made up for that by playing a lot more zone than anyone - a nice strategic shift. With Graham out and both Gordon Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr. available, the Hornets have access to larger and rotating small-ball groups. How about: Ball, Oubre, Hayward, Bridges, and P. Even Rozier - a crunch-time god last season - has a wingspan of 6 foot-8. James Borrego is faced with a delicate decision: either start games without a center or take one of Hayward, Bridges and Washington as the sixth man. Bridges flowed 40% from the depth last season, even tried pull-ups and made great strides as a playmaker. Can't wait to see how much more he's got, especially on defense, and if Washington shows similar overall growth. The honeycomb courtyard and striped uniforms stand out, striking the right balance between Charlotte's classic 90s look and modern taste. The biggest question: How polished can a ball be in the half field by a top scorer? A full season from Klay Thompson would have lifted Golden State to # 1 - a pole they held above their dynastic top. What Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have in common is why we play and love team sports. It's the kind of unspoken chemistry you dream of finding a season, in a pickup game, for a bloody day. It happens when two ultra-smart, ultra-skilled players with complementary strengths - including by far the greatest shooter of all time - bond for a decade. Curry is the league's most important highlight factory. A curry hot streak of deep looks and sounds feels like nothing else in the history of sports. Curry is always bobbing and weaving, a lurking danger that constantly attracts panicked eyeballs. He's one of the most creative painters of all time, with such a gentle touch that the ball seems to melt against the back wall and drip down. But Curry and Green take the two-man game to a higher level together. They outsmart the defense with such precision and speed that you barely notice what they did - how many decisions they crammed into two seconds, how many alternatives they combed through, how far ahead of everyone else. This game - one of my favorite curry green joints - looks so simple, but it just comes from years of problem-solving together: they call it "hand-back" and use it to flash defenses with the wrong foot. Green told me that they rarely discuss such readings anymore; they just see it and do it. Golden State finished third in pace, second in passes, and first in dunks last season. They looked like themselves as they fell back on the familiar: starting Kevon Looney over James Wiseman and playing more with Green at the center. They found that Juan Toscano-Anderson fits their pass-and-cut style. They know Andre Iguodala does, and Iguodala's return earns points of nostalgia. New additions for young and old ensure fascination. Champions should play with renewed freedom after casting out the postseason demons and working on the right mix of offensive roles for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. The regular season is now a playoff optimization lab for Milwaukee. The focus last season was on diversifying the defense. This season the focus is on improving a half-seat offense that accounted for most of Milwaukee's second-round carnage against the Brooklyn Nets. An important subplot is that Antetokounmpo carries over the improvements he showed from the midrange: more stable footwork, jump hooks, floaters, more sophisticated post-moves. Antetokounmpo becomes a fast-break marauder, one-on-one brute and praise-catching screen-setter in equal parts. He's the driving force behind the league's most devastating transitional attack, devouring huge spaces with every dribble - and either dropping thunder on the edge or stepping on one of Milwaukee's spot-up shooters. Donte DiVincenzo adds hopping rebounds and nifty pass-and-cut games. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is a bumper car that plays its own mix of rugby and basketball. Keep an eye on Jordan Nwora. It is downright terrifying when Holiday decides to put someone in jail - to lock them up in court. Marques Johnson is as good as an analyst; Steve Novak is great too. This is one of the best courts in the NBA: this could be a case where anticipation exceeds reality: it might be more interesting to think about how Russell Westbrook fits than watch the Lakers figure it out. Regardless, the Westbrook fit is perhaps the biggest question on the court in the league - the variable that determines whether the Lakers can whack the West and turn the East Monsters on their heads. Any possession of the ball will provide clues: what will Westbrook do when LeBron James has the ball? Does he set picks for James? A.s transitional defense? Will we ever catch James forgetting the cameras are always on him and rolling his eyes when Westbrook misses his 13th straight jumper? We'll see how much Anthony Davis Center plays and how the Lakers score points on the floor with Westbrook, James, Davis and one of Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. (These lineups will breathe in offensive rebounds.) Westbrook will pick up the pace for a team that all shone in transition two seasons ago. Freight Train James still shows up in every game. Stepping defenders still have no shot when James accelerates left to right into that bowling ball; they bounce off and he stretches his right arm sideways for a hammer dunk. The passing will always be there - the cross-court lasers, always triggered when the defenders lean in the wrong direction, always land in the shooting pocket. Twenty years later, James and Carmelo Anthony are finally teammates. The entire roster is like reuniting your favorite TV cast from 10 years ago. Oh, hey, is this what Rajon Rondo looks like now? The Lakers have the best seat in the league and elegant jerseys. One small thing: I don't like the wide black stripe that runs across their purple uniforms: Kyrie Irving broke the algorithm. The supercomputer that was housed in my garage to run these rankings exploded the moment the Nets announced on Tuesday that they were banning Irving until he was vaccinated. Is it punishing the Nets for this fiasco and deducting entertainment points for the absence of one of the NBA's great showmen with a 50/40/90 scorcher who was probably the best season of his career? Or should it assume that Irving will return and that the crunchy NBA franchise soap opera will impose another unbearable but irresistible melodrama on the world? The second most certain is that Irving will give in. The Nets topped this ranking prior to Tuesday's announcement and we decided to keep it here. If you can train your mind to ignore the noise - and it gets tougher given the moral and public health problems underlying this latest round of Nets theater - the jaw-dropping spectacle of watching them play cannot be denied. Together with two co-stars, James Harden dropped the booming isolation and became more of a point guard - he used to look for passports in the shot watch. Kevin Durant has long been happy to start possession, as a connector or finisher. Playing alongside two stars conjured up the best version of Irving: an off-ball threat that takes the offense as a secondary ball handler or whenever appropriate. Irving got an absolutely outrageous 54% on pull-up 2s, and he turned Brooklyn's pace upside down when he played as a solo star. Irving even started flashing into open spaces, triggering beautiful sequences of quick touch-passes - the kind of selfless, semi-equal basketball you wouldn't expect from a top-heavy team. (Having great shooters everywhere helps the Nets achieve this style as they have so much space to fly around.) Harden might be the most efficient isolation player ever. Durant reminded everyone during a majestic playoff run that he may be the greatest player today - and one of the best dozen of all time. Even without Irving, they're a gold mine. After last season's health crisis, you must be excited to see LaMarcus Aldridge dig into his office on the left block. Bruce Brown has created a whole new position - Rover - and James Johnson plays a similar screen-and-dive style. Jevon Carter defends every inch of the field as if his career rested on possession. Patty Mills never stops moving; he will sprint his way into more open 3s than he thought possible. The minimalist, black and white jerseys and the unique (in the NBA) gray courts work - both in terms of style and to visually differentiate the nets. The show is the best in the league. Look: I'm not happy either, but the Nets are repeating themselves as League Pass champions. The real games start in five days.

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Lakers ’LeBron James and Anthony Davis flash in midseason form in Big Three's debut

Between James (17 points) driving to the edge and Davis (20 points) flying over it, the team seems to be in good hands during the process of integrating Russell Westbrook during a 111-99 loss to the Golden State Warriors inch forward. (Author: Gardener)

You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Lakers striker LeBron James comes in for a layup while Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson defends in the first half of a Tuesday night preseason game at the Staples Center. Lakers Big Man Anthony Davis seems to fit as Andre defends Iguodala of the Warriors in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers security guard Rajon Rondo, left, is defended by Golden State Warriors security guard Gary Payton II in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu) Golden State Warriors' Gary Payton II # 0 knocks the ball off LeBron James # 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Andrew Wiggins # 22 of the Golden State Warriors drives against Carmelo Anthony # 7 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook, left, passes the ball to Anthony Davis, right, while he hits Golden State Warriors Center's Kevon Looney in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, is defending, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James shoots during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October December 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu ) Carmelo Anthony of the Lakers is fouled by Jordan Poole # 3 of the Golden State Warriors in a 3-point shot in the first half of the preseason game on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Warriors head coach Steve Kerr responds to a call from Referee Nate Green in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game against the Lakers at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Golden State Warriors # 1 Damion Lee wins the basket against Russell Westbrook # 0 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots against Golden State Warriors strikers Otto Porter Jr. (32) and Nemanja Bjelica (8) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) The Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins is fouled by Carmelo Anthony # 7 of the Lakers in the first half of the preseason game Tuesday night at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) LeBron James of the Lakers hits the basket against Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors in the first half of the preseason game Tuesday night at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Golden State Warriors' Gary Payton II # 0 dips the ball in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers striker Kent Bazemore (left) shoots alongside Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP.) Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, right, grabs the ball as he beats Lakers striker Anthony Davis during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday , October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers security guard Russell Westbrook shoots while Nemanja Bjelica of the Golden State Warriors defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Center Kevon Looney, left, shoots Lakers striker Anthony Davis in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) The Lakers 'Dwight Howard is fouled by the Golden State Warriors' Nemanja Bjelica during the first half of the preseason game Tuesday night at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) The Lakers' Dwight Howard reacts after a tough foul by Nemanja Bjelica # 8 of the Golden State Warriors in the first half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Guardian of the Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole, left, shoots under pressure from Lakers striker Anthony Davis during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday October 12 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica, right, is defended by Lakers striker LeBron James during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James comes in for a layup while Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson defends in the first half of a preseason game Tuesday night at the Staples Center. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica (left) drives against Lakers Guard Austin Reaves in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Carmelo Anthony of the Lakers shoots a 3-pointer over Jordan Poole of the Warriors in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) The Lakers 'Trevelin Queen passes the ball around the Warriors' Jordan Bell defense in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Moses Moody of the Warriors steals the ball from Lakers center Dwight Howard during the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers striker LeBron James, right, is defended by Golden State Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday October 12, 2021 . (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) LeBron James of the Lakers shoots the ball while Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Warriors defends in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) The Lakers' Joel Ayayi drives against Chris Chiozza of the Golden State Warriors in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) The Warriors' Jordan Poole dips the ball in front of Chaundee Brown of the Lakers (right) and Rajon Rondo in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers center Dwight Howard dips the ball over the Warriors' Jordan Bell in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers striker LeBron James shoots over Golden State Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) The Warriors' Gary Payton II drives past Dwight Howard of the Lakers to the basket in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers Guardian Mac McClung (left) is defended by Golden State Warriors security guard Avery Bradley in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Chaundee Brown Jr., right, grabs a rebound alongside Golden State Warriors Guard Damion Lee, center and forward Jordan Bell during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 10th. December 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Guardian of the Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole, left, walks in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, under pressure from LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers the basket. October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Center Kevon Looney (5) shoots Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday . Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo o / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) defends against Golden State Warriors striker Jordan Bell (6) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) is fouled by Golden State Warriors Guard Gary Payton II (0) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 . (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Guard Damion Lee, right, shoots against Carmelo Anthony of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) speaks to Kent Bazemore (9) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica (8) hits the basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo.) / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Kent Bazemore (9) shoots against Golden State Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. October 2021. (AP Photo.) / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors striker Jordan Bell, center, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers striker Cameron Oliver, left, and guard Austin Reaves during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Austin Reaves (15) speaks to striker Kent Bazemore (9) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Gold de State Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica (8) dribbles against Los Angeles Lakers striker LeBron James (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game the preseason in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12th 2 021. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) hits the basket against the Golden State Warriors in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook (0) passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors Center Kevon Looney (5) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 . (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) dunks against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots against Golden State Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica (8) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers protector Russell Westbrook (0) shoots against Golden State Warriors striker Chris Chiozza (2) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers- Striker LeBron James (6) wipes his face with his shirt during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots Golden State Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson (95th) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 ). (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) drives against Golden State Warriors striker Nemanja Bjelica (8) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. ( AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) dribbles during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) dribbles during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Steph Curry, left, and Damion Lee of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after a dunk from Andre Iguodala, not pictured, in the second half of Tuesday night's preseason game against the Lakers at the Staples Center. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles against Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 (0). (38) goes into the basket as it is defended by Golden State Warriors striker Andre Iguodala (9) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) is defended by Golden State Warriors striker Jordan Bell (6) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots over the Golden State Warriors Center Kevon Looney (5) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. ( AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers head coach Frank Vogel looks back on during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game at the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Striker LeBron James (6) drives into the basket while Anthony Davis (3) sets a screen for him during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) drives against Golden State Warriors striker Andrew Wiggins (22) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Rajon Rondo (4) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Rajon Rondo (4) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) gestures during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) gestures during the first half of a The preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (38) goes to the basket under pressure from the Los Angeles Lakers striker Kent Bazemore (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in the Pre-season in L os Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) falls into the front row first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles during play , Tuesday October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) is assisted by Guardian Rajon Rondo (4) as he falls to the front row during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) is released from Los. Angeles Lakers guard sRussell Westbrook (0) and Rajon Rondo (4) dur in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) drives past Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (0) (0) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Guard Damion Lee (1) drives against Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Guard Damion Lee (1) drives against Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Rajon Rondo (4) shoots against Golden State Warriors security guard Moses Moody (4) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. ( AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) rises to s basket (6) under pressure from Lakers striker LeBron Jame during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. October 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) drives at Golden during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 State Warriors security guard Moses Moody (4) passes by. (AP Photo.) / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook (0) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers guard Russell Westbrook ( 0) drives against Golden State Warriors striker Chris Chiozza (2) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors security guard Damion Lee (1) shoots Los Angeles Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers heads Carmelo Anthony (7) ) in conversation with Anthony Davis (3) ne ben LeBron James (6) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts in front of LeBron James (6) after scoring against the Golden State Warriors in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors forward Chris Chiozza, 2, drives Lakers Guard Austin Reaves (Jan. ). (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots over Golden State Warriors Guard Gary Payton II ( 0). (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Austin Reaves (15) wants the ball against Golden S. fit tate Warriors striker Jordan Bell (6) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) shoots over Golden State Warriors striker Andre Iguodala (9) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) dribbles in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 against Golden State Warriors striker Juan Toscano-Anderson (95). (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors Guard Avery Bradley (10) dribbles the ball from Los Angeles Lakers Guard Austin Reaves (15) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Kent Bazemore (9) reacts alongside Carmelo Anthony (7) after beating the Golden in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 State Warriors Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors guard Jord A Poole (3) drives against Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 . (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu) Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook (0) is defended by Golden State Warriors striker Andre Iguodala (9) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook (0) is defended by Golden State Warriors Guard Moses Moody (4), strikers Jordan Bell (6) and Andrew Wiggins (22) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in the Los Angeles preseason, Tuesday October December 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Golden State Warriors striker Andre Iguodala, 9, responds to a call during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers guard Mac McClung, 37, dribbles in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021, versus Golden State Warriors guard Avery Bradley (10) (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers guard Mac McClung (37) dr ibbles against Golden State Warriors guard Avery Bradley (10) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 20 21. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu) Golden State Warriors security guard Jordan Poole (3) drives past Lakers security guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers strikers LeBron James (6), Carmelo Anthony (7) and Anthony Davis (3) see during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Tuesday , October 12, 2021, on the bench too. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker Kent Bazemore (9) looks on during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu ) Golden State Warriors striker Chris Chiozza (2) drives against Lakers Guard Chaundee Brown Jr. (38) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (38) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers striker LeBron James (6) faces a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors unveiled in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) greets strikers LeBron James (6), Anthony Davis (3) and Carmelo Anthony (7) as he approaches a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu) Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) yells before a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

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Kim Kardashian's SNL jokes about O.J. Simpson sparked sharp criticism from Nicole Brown's sister

Nicole Brown's sister provided some honest thoughts on Kim Kardashian's jokes about the murder. (Author: Gardener)

Screenshot of Kim Kardashian monologue on SNL No Kardashian or Jenner were safe from the jokes when Kim Kardashian served as the host of Saturday Night Live. The star poked fun at her sisters, estranged husband Kanye West and former stepfather Caitlyn Jenner, to name a few. J. Simpson and the late Nicole Brown, and they drew the wrath of Brown's family. Kim Kardashian joked in the Saturday Night Live monologue that her father, Robert Kardashian - who served as one of O. J. Simpson's defense attorneys in the murder trial following the murders of Nicole Brown and Rod Goldman - introduced her to her first black person. Kim asked the audience, “Are you going to try who it was in the dark?” Kardashian went on to say that meeting Simpson left traces, “or several. I still don't know. "Tanya Brown, Nicole's sister, called the jokes" distasteful, "according to TMZ, and criticized SNL for making a joke on Nicole's brutal murder: Kris Jenner, in particular, was close to, and at the time, Nicole Brown Unclear how she felt about the jokes. TMZ reports that Tanya Brown wishes the star had made the murder a forbidden topic: Apparently, no topic was off-limits for Kim Kardashian's first SNL hosting appearance as she discussed her impending divorce joked with Kanye West; called her mother's boyfriend, Corey Gamble, a gold digger; parodied Sister Kourtney Kardashian's passionate relationship with Travis Barker; and even joked that her mother Kris Jenner was involved in the release of her sex video in 2007. Simpson has been since Years associated with the Kardashians on the tabloids - not because of his relationship with the late Robert Kardashian, but more because of the speculated relationship he had with Kris Jenner. The rumor that Simpson is Khloe Kardashian's biological father didn't seem to go away. The next host of Saturday Night Live is the new James Bond villain Rami Malek with musical guest Young Thug. And stay tuned for news about Kim Kardashian's upcoming Hulu reality series, which will in part showcase Kim Kardashian's ambition to follow in her father's footsteps and become a lawyer.

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Chelsea Handler shares her love story with boyfriend Jo Koy

Chelsea Handler and her comedian colleague Jo Koy have known each other for years, but recently fell in love romantically (Author: Gardener)

On their Dear Chelsea Thursday podcast, Handler invited boyfriend, Jo Koy, on the show to talk about their relationship - which the couple revealed had been at work for years. After Koy was first introduced by a mutual friend nearly 20 years ago, he made regular appearances on Handler's show Chelsea Lately, which appeared on E! Talking about those early years of friendship, Handler, 46, and Koy, 50, agreed that their chemistry was "amazing" - but their memories differ. "And you thought chemistry was sexual and I thought it was comedic," Handler said when Koy put in, "I never said that!" RELATED: Chelsea Handler shares a kiss with boyfriend Jo Koy when she goes on Instagram later Handler admitted that "in retrospect" she probably had a bit of a crush on Koy, too, but that she probably "suppressed" those feelings over time. “I just wasn't in touch with myself to understand it, I knew that I enjoy talking to you and that I have you in my life because you are positive and optimistic. But I wasn't like, oh my god, that wish for something to happen. For something to happen, not at all, "said Handler. I would probably have ruined it if I'd had these feelings sooner." Handler said that Koy didn't seem like a potential romantic partner to her for a long time because he had "brother energy", as if I just felt so safe. And I feel like, 'oh this is family,' like I've always felt that you are family. "They started texting and having COVID-safe hangouts and eventually started too Regularly with FaceTiming. Chelsea Handler and her comedian colleague Jo Koy have known each other for years but recently fell romantically in love with each other for about four months due to their work hours and quarantine rules, Handler said. Back in LA, we thought, 'Stop going to dinner, '"said Koy. From then on, they spent a lot of time together, and things went "organically" according to Handler. RELATED: Chelsea Handler Says She's' Finally In 'Love' With 'the Best Art Of Guy' Amid Jo Koy Dating Rumors After Koy Coming To Las Vegas To Support Her On Her First Big Show Since The Pandemic, Handler said she felt that something was different between them and noted that she just wanted to spend time with him. She took a step when they got back in LA, she said, and they've been together ever since. The couple made their relationship public on Instagram last week when Handler shared a pair of photos with Koy, including a cute snap of the duo in the middle of making out.

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Kumail Nanjiani says the reason he built muscle for eternity had nothing to do with the Marvel movie

Kumail Nanjiani may have stood up for Marvel's Eternals, but it was about more than that. (Author: Gardener)

Many stars have seen their career prospects change after joining the MCU. The Chrises' careers - Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt - are perfect examples of the cache a superhero outfit has in Hollywood. This appeared to be the case with Kingo Kumail Nanjiani of Eternals. But the Eternals star had a motive other than joining the Marvel Ensemble film. Kumail Nanjiani grew up under the influence of Hollywood action blockbusters and Bollywood films of the 1990s. So playing a being disguised as a Bollywood star in a Marvel film meant the pressure to attain a certain physique. But for Nanjiani, it was about more than just looking good in Eternals. For the Eternals star, the replenishment was more about his Hollywood future after the Marvel movie hit theaters. To change Hollywood's perception of him, Kumail Nanjiani took what one would call an extreme measure. In 2019, the Silicon Valley alum broke the internet by posting its now infamous shirtless photos. But Nanjiani revealed to GQ that these photos were more of a signal to the entertainment industry than showing off his body. Going against the guy in Hollywood is something every actor faces when it comes to diversifying their acting resume. It was no different with Kumail Nanjiani, of course. Often times, black, brown and Asian actors are faced with certain barriers when it comes to the range of roles. These barriers can limit the number of roles offered or auditions. As Kumail Nanjiani pointed out, he was limited to either computer nerds or terrorist suspects. Of course, everyone loved him as Dinesh in Silicon Valley, but that also played into the cliché. Instead of accepting his fate, the star of The Big Sick took matters into her own hands. While Kumail Nanjiani is beginning to reap the fruits of his labor, not everyone was on board initially. Eternals director Chloe Zhao was stunned when she first saw The Lovebirds star's physical change on location. Fortunately, Kumail Nanjiani assured Chloe Zhao that his physical transformation had nothing to do with her or the movie. Like any actor, Nanjiani wanted to change his career path, but on his terms. Hopefully, the more roles the Stuber star gets, the more barriers he'll break for other South Asian actors in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Marvel fans will have to wait until November 5th to see if the actor's physical training at Eternals has paid off.

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