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NBA teams, Nike unveil new “City Edition” uniforms for this season LeBron day to day with groin strain, but Lakers face much more dire problems at 2-9 Watch D’Angelo Russell forget to check in, Timberwolves play 5-on-4 without him Three things to know: Nets go for stability, hope for progress with Vaughn hire LeBron drops 30, then leaves latest Lakers loss with groin injury, MRI coming

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Since Nike became the official jersey maker in 2017, Nike has taken NBA uniforms in new directions — mostly in a good way, rather than jerseys for t-shirts.

The latest are the new City Edition jerseys, which dropped out for each team on Thursday. According to the official press release, these t-shirts “represent the stories, history and heritage that make each franchise unique, paying tribute to the inextricable link between court, society and culture.” You can see them all above, but here are a few highlights.

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Starting with the Mardi Gras-themed version of the Pelicans.

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Tonight, the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards will play their city matches.

The Lakers are 2-9 down (the worst start in franchise history), they’ve lost four in a row, and their short-term problems keep piling up:

LeBron James questionable Friday night against the Kings after an MRI showed a left adductor sprain (which is a fancy way of saying a groin strain).

After Friday, LeBron is busy from day to day, but with his age, a past groin strain and the fact that this injury often heals slowly, you can expect him to miss more time. Maybe a week or two.

LONG TERM IN LA

These short-term concerns about LeBron seem odd compared to the Lakers’ bigger problem: finding a way to turn this roster into a contender against LeBron. Fast.

The Lakers promised LeBron that they would create just such a team when he signed a contract extension last summer that would keep him with the Lakers until the summer of 2024. composition is not unsuccessful 2-9. New coach Darwin Ham came to preach responsibility, protection and search for a role for Russell Westbrook. So far, the Lakers’ defense is better than last season (though still average), the team is playing tough overall, and Westbrook is playing his best basketball off the bench (18.6 points per game in this role at 60.1) . actual hit rate). However, they have the third-worst net rating in the league.

He poses a dilemma for the Lakers front office to throw two first round picks they can trade right now (2027 and 2029) plus Westbrook and see if they can get enough to make this team respectable this season. rather than wasting the season. from LeBron. Or write off this season, keep their powder dry, and look for a bold move next summer? Chris Haynes details all of this in the Bleacher Report..

The question, which is now often discussed at the Lakers headquarters, is whether they should go all-in as soon as possible to renew the roster around James and Anthony DavisOr should they postpone the massive changes until the end of the season?…

Sources say James, who turns 38 next month and is in his 20th year in the NBA, doesn’t want to waste a season of his high-level playing days in hopes of getting reinforcements for the 2023-2024 campaign. Other major players on the roster would also prefer these picks to be used to boost the team this year…

Sources indicate that the team’s trajectory is heading south, and sources indicate that the front office is unlikely to tie this election to a potential deal, fearing that such a deal would not materially change the course of the season.

Simply put, the Lakers front office is not interested in the much-discussed Buddy Heald/Miles Turner trade with the Pacers because that could make the Lakers a playoff team, but nothing more. And no, the Lakers don’t want to trade Anthony Davis (at least not yet).

The reality is that the Lakers’ plan to build a champion around LeBron and Davis turned out to be fundamentally flawed. When they won the 2020 bubble championship (no star here), LeBron, if not the best player in the league, was in the bottom three. At the same time, in the falling jumper bubble, Davis was clearly in the top 10 players. While fans and the media have focused on how the Lakers front office blasted the 3&D roster around their stars (which was a huge miscalculation), the bigger issue is that no player has been this good since. . Maybe they’re both in the top 15 right now (All NBA level, which might be generous), but even if that’s true, neither of them is in the top 5 players who could anchor a title team. If the Lakers get a third star, they need someone younger, fitter and better than they are now.

Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated said on the SI Crossover NBA Show podcast that other teams’ front office executives think the Lakers were waiting for a particular player.

“When I mentioned the Lakers, they said, ‘They’re looking for a specific player.’ That they don’t make a deal with Pacer, that they don’t make a deal with Kyrie. [Irving] The deal now, which we accurately envisioned a couple of months ago, is a sign that the Lakers are waiting for a bigger chunk to come up that they think they can trade Westbrook and two future first players for.”

Maybe this player Bradley Beal, which the Lakers have been coveting for years and would fit in well alongside LeBron and Anthony Davis (even if he’s only hitting 32.5% of 3 this season). Except that Beal can’t be traded until January after signing an extension this off-season, and even then, that will only happen if he requests a trade – which he hasn’t done yet despite numerous opportunities in the past. The Wizards aren’t interested in getting away from Beal, as NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes and I discussed at the end of our recent Wizards and Oriental podcast.

May be Kevin Duran wants to get out of Brooklyn (although the Lakers trade package seems to be grossly inadequate to land him), maybe it’s someone else we don’t know about yet. Or maybe other front office executives are looking for an answer because they don’t see patterns in the Lakers’ behavior.

There is no simple answer. The Lakers painted themselves into a corner, which somehow earned GM Rob Pelinka a contract extension. Now they’re stuck between a bad choice: make desperate moves now or crash the season when LeBron turns 38. No doubt Pelinka and the Lakers head office told LeBron they’d give him a winning lineup when he signed an extension, but the execution was almost there. as bad as a three-point shot by the Lakers. Now they are stuck and the front office is trying to decide which direction to go.

But there may not be good options, but only fewer bad ones.



Source: nba.nbcsports.com

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