#IMHO: Rebuilding a Dream Team USA for the Modern Era (2021)

Rebuilding a Dream Team USA for the Modern Era (2021)

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony kicking off this morning / tonight on NBC, Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson and Lang Whitaker describe their Dream Team USA starting 5 including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ja Morant and others!

Giannis Ignites in Game 5, Space Jam 2 Review, John Cena Surprise Return! | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Giannis Ignites in Game 5, Space Jam 2 Review, John Cena Surprise Return!

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 82, Devin Walker and Jon Roser discuss:

(0:31) Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Saturday and are now leading the series 3-2 after winning three games in a row. In the midst of this wild Bucks comeback, what superstar play from Giannis will you remember the most?

(4:29) Space Jam: A New Legacy
Space Jam 2 featuring LeBron James came out over the weekend smashing box office estimates. What is your review of the movie and is it worth it to see? *Potential Spoiler Warning*

(6:49) John Cena
Money in the Bank went out with a bang last night with WWE Superstar John Cena making a surprise appearance for the first time since March 2020. After over a 16-month hiatus, do you think fans will welcome him back to the ring with open arms?

#IMHO: Best Playoff Performances in NBA History!

With the NBA Playoffs in full swing, Grind City Media’s Kelcey Wright Johnson and Jon Roser reminisce on the greatest NBA Playoff Performances of All-Time including Michael Jordan’s Flu Game, Magic Johnson’s rookie year explosion, LeBron James coming back from down 3-1 to defeat Steph Curry’s Warriors, Zach Randolph’s Game 6 sending the Memphis Grizzlies to the NBA Western Conference Finals, Kawhi Leonard ending LeBron James Miami HEAT run in 2014, Kobe Bryant’s 28 points on a sprained ankle game, Charles Barley, Luka Doncic, and many more!

Was LeBron James' poked eyed ACTUALLY that bad? | Rise & Grind

Was LeBron James’ poked eyed ACTUALLY that bad? | Rise & Grind

After remarkable go-ahead 3-point shot over Steph Curry to win the Sate Farm Play-In game, Rise & Grind’s Jessica Benson and Meghan Triplett can’t help but wonder how much pain Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was actually in after being poked in the eye by Golden State Warriors guard Draymond Green.

Magic upset Grizz at Buzzer, NBA Play-In Race Heats Up, NFL Draft Reaction | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Magic upset Grizz at Buzzer, NBA Play-In Race Heats Up, NFL Draft Reaction

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 72, Jon Roser and Meghan Triplett discuss:

0:00 Grizzlies-Magic Weekend
The Memphis Grizzlies split back-to-back games with the Orlando Magic over the weekend, but the biggest storyline was the Grizzlies blowing a 20pt lead to lose at the buzzer. With low spirits, what can the Grizzlies do to bounce back from this demoralizing loss?

3:55 Play-In Tournament Seeding
Amidst a three-way tie between the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trail Blazers, LeBron James fired off saying the play-in tournament was a “bad idea.” What are your impressions of the Play-In Tournament and what are your impressions of the Brooklyn Nets?

6:55 NFL Draft
The 2021 NFL Draft concluded over the weekend with Trevor Lawrence going #1 overall and the San Francisco 49ers nabbing Trey Lance. What are your impressions of the Draft and who do you think got it wrong?

Los Angeles Lakers 2020 NBA Champions Team Photo

#IMHO: The Lakers are champs! Talking LeBron, AD, and the future in LA and Miami…

Grind City Media’s Lang Whitaker and Kelcey Wright Johnson weigh in on the most pertinent news from around the NBA. What’s lit? What’s lame? Find out each week right here.

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 9:40 AM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: IMHO

Kelcey:

Let’s begin this week by saying congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers, your 2020 NBA Champions. And any of the haters out there saying this title deserves an asterisk, just put that away. The Lakers won a title in the most stressful season imaginable. It wasn’t easy for anyone, but of all the teams that went to The Bubble, the Lakers performed their task better than anyone else. Congrats to them on a job well done.

Before we turn the page and start to look at how the Lakers will look next season, whenever that is, let’s stop for a second and appreciate LeBron’s greatness. The man is in his mid-30s, and he continues to get better every single season. It’s really unbelievable. I remember watching him play in high school and thinking he was going to be great in the NBA, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted this level of excellence, sustained for this long, with no signs of slowing down!

After the Finals ended, I said on Twitter that to me, Michael Jordan will always be the greatest of all-time. But at the same time, LeBron is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen. Which is to say, to me greatness isn’t directly connected to ability or skill. MJ did unprecedented things on and off the court, and he changed the game forever. LeBron has also managed to create an incredible off-court legacy, but he is doing it in the shadow of what MJ did and has done.

Kelcey, where do you place LeBron in the pantheon of greatness?


From: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Sent: Monday, October 13, 2020 12:07 PM

To: Lang Whitaker

Subject: Re: IMHO

Lang,

In full transparency, I have no idea what you mean by that. I was actually having this conversation with some of my friends that other day and I think the consensus among us is that we grew up post-Jordan, so we didn’t get to see him but everyone always just told us he is the GOAT. We didn’t get to make that decision for ourselves (although watching The Last Dance this year helped us understand).

But for most millennials, LeBron is the player we grew up with and we get to see play and hit milestones and win championships. He is our GOAT.

One of the biggest arguments you hear is that Jordan has more championships — so do championships directly relate to greatness? Because Danny Green and JR Smith are working their way up the greatness scale then. Or do we measure success purely on stats? Because then LeBron tips the scale, right? Or is it some combination of the two, plus the players’ impact on their team? Defining greatness isn’t so black-and-white, in my opinion. But we don’t need to go that deep (haha).

But whatever generation you grew up in and however you measure success — if you’re a basketball fan — both Jordan and LeBron are in the top three of people who have ever touched that round, leather ball.

The question that I pose to you though, Lang, is where AD ranks in our greatness talks?

LeBron James Lakers Championship Interview

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 12:56 PM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: Re: IMHO

It’s definitely generational, at least partly, and I get it that there are large groups of people who never saw Jordan play at his peak. But to me greatness isn’t only about titles and rings. It’s also about off-court impact and a player’s influence. And the phrase “Be Like Mike” still holds up. Heck, LeBron is literally re-making Space Jam! So like I said, LeBron is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen. But to me, MJ was and will always be the greatest.

As for Anthony Davis, the other night, as soon as the Lakers had clinched their title, I grabbed my phone and started doing some research. AD is 27 years old, I discovered thanks to the Google machine. To me, the greatest power forward of all-time is Tim Duncan. By the time Duncan was 27, he was already a two-time MVP, and had won two titles with two Finals MVP awards. Different situations and different types of players, I know, but to me, this is what we are measuring AD against. I’m not even sure I’d put AD ahead of Karl Malone at this point. I know AD is probably going to play for another decade and continue to accumulate awards and numbers, but for now, I think he’s in that top tier at PF. How high he climbs? The jury is still out on that one.

In the meantime, Kelcey, as both the Lakers and the Heat head into the offseason, it’s already time to start thinking about their futures. The Lakers managed to put together a bunch of vets playing on affordable deals, and the Heat have a bunch of young players with a couple of vets. Goran Dragic will be a free agent this offseason, as well as guys like Jae Crowder, while the Lakers could lose key role players like Dwight Howard or Markieff Morris. Put on your GM hat and be Pat Riley or Rob Pelinka, and tell me how you’d keep this teams at the top of their Conferences heading into next season.

LeBron James poses with Anthony Davis

From: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:17 PM

To: Lang Whitaker

Subject: Re: IMHO

Yeah Lang – this is a tricky one for GMs; after the longest season, in a bubble, without a restart date set… how proactive do the two top teams need to be during this off-season?

If I’m the Lakers I’m looking to run it back. As long as you’ve got LeBron, until the day he retires, you’re in the mix for a championship. I think Dwight Howard and AD come back, and I’d love if KCP comes back as well as Rondo. But I also think adding Bradley Beal to the Lakers roster makes them unstoppable, so just keep that in your back pocket for 2021.

I think the Lakers need to look at adding a veteran star to their team to win now and not wait to develop the younger guys like Kuzma. LeBron James is 35 years old, so the Lakers will never be a young team because there just isn’t time.

As for Miami, on their board is Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, Meyers Leonard, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem and a few other role players. And they’ve got Jimmy locked in for a few more years — so who do you bring in to ride alongside your superstar guard?

Would it be crazy to say someone like Russell Westbrook? Lang, I would pay so much money to watch these two together. I said in one of our earlier pieces that I think Houston parts ways with Westbrook and builds around Harden — Miami’s shooters could surround the PG well and hey, if toughness costed the Heat the championship, doesn’t get much tougher than Russ.

I am all for superstars joining superstars (especially when they’re Jimmy and Russ — two of the more wild personalities in the entire league).

Speaking of superstars… without looking too far ahead, I’m sitting back looking at the Clippers implode… Do you think Kawhi could be a moving piece to the Lakers or the Heat in 2021?

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks with Heat President Pat Riley

From: Lang Whitaker

Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2020 9:33 PM

To: Kelcey Wright Johnson

Subject: Re: IMHO

It’s weird, but I feel like Kawhi would be a better fit in Miami than crossing the hall at the Staples Center and becoming a Laker. At this point, we’ve seen him on three teams in the last three seasons, and I don’t know if I really feel like he belongs to any of them. He was on the Spurs longer than any team he’s been with, but he achieved arguably his greatest success in Toronto, but then left to go to the Clippers, where he kind of dropped off the map.

Does it feel that way to you, too? Kawhi has always been quiet, but we heard way more from Paul George this season than we did from Kawhi. But go look at the stats: I just did, and was a bit surprised to discover that Kawhi averaged career highs in points and assists per game this season.

Because he’s so quiet, I don’t feel like I know anything about him. So of the two options you mentioned, I could see him going to Miami and falling into the “Heat Culture,” whatever that actually is, and spending some time chilling on South Beach.

But actually, I’d love to see him stay with the Clippers. I know loyalty is out the window in pro sports, but it would be cool to see them try and build something long term.

Wait, what am I saying, let’s send Kawhi to the Eastern Conference!

Lakers Win NBA Finals, Dak Prescott's Devastating Injury, SEC Football Weekend | 3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance: Lakers Win NBA Finals, Dak Prescott’s Devastating Injury, SEC Football Weekend

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 45, Meghan Triplett and Jon Roser discuss:

0:00 Lakers Win NBA Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers have been crowned the 2020 NBA Finals Champions after defeating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 with LeBron James awarded MVP. Where does this leave LeBron James in the GOAT conversation?

3:38 Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott was rushed to surgery last night after being carted off the field with a gruesome ankle injury in the home matchup against the New York Giants. What does this mean for the Cowboys and Dak Prescott’s future going forward?

6:12 SEC College Football
After several high scoring games this past weekend between Tennessee/Georgia and Ole Miss/Alabama, fans are left wondering what has happened to the SEC-level defense?

Jacob Blake Shooting, Lakers on Mamba Day, and Time to Doubt the Process? | 3-Point Stance - Ep 39

3-Point Stance: Jacob Blake Shooting, Lakers on Mamba Day, and Time to Doubt the Process? – Ep. 39

Grind City Media’s 3-Point Stance segment is a Skype-styled conversation between 2 friends, with 2 perspectives, on 3 topics from the weekend centered on sports, entertainment and pop-culture presented by MTN Dew. On Episode 39, Meghan Triplett and Jon Roser discuss:

0:14 Over the weekend, footage of what appeared to be an unarmed black man getting shot 7 times by police went viral sparking riots in Kenosha, WI and across other major US cities. What is your initial reaction to the video and where do we go from here?

3:18 The Lakers had a dominating performance over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Four of the First round NBA Playoffs on 8/24, the two numbers symbolic of late- Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant. With the team appearing to be back in full stride, is there any hope left for Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers fans?

6:33 After a 4-game sweep by the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers have fire their head coach, Brett Brown, with more changes expected to be coming to the front office. Is it time to start doubting the process?

#IMHO: Predicting DPOY and MVP between Giannis and LeBron, 2019/20 NBA Awards

#IMHO: Predicting DPOY and MVP between Giannis and LeBron, 2019/20 NBA Awards

Grind City Media’s Mike Wallace and Lang Whitaker predict who they think will win the 2019/20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards between reining MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and NBA icon LeBron James.

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#IMHO: Which NBA teams is the season hiatus affecting the most?

#IMHO: Which NBA teams is the season hiatus affecting the most?

Grind City Media’s Lang Whitaker and Michael Wallace take a closer look at why some teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks are itching to finish the 2019-20 NBA season, and why others like the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors may not.

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Discover the latest Memphis sports community news at: http://grindcitymedia.com/

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Instagram: http://instagram.com/grindcitymedia
Twitter: http://twitter.com/grindcitymedia
Facebook: http://facebook.com/grindcitymedia

Follow the Memphis Grizzlies on YouTube for exclusive team videos and player highlights: http://bit.ly/subscribe2memgrizz