FROM THE PRESS BOX – Working as a sports reporter, my schedule often starts at night. Which means I often get to watch a lot of ESPN programming.
Wednesday brought The Jump, which might be one of ESPN’s best shows. Each episode opens with a monologue from host Rachel Nichols.
Wednesday’s monologue centered around LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Is the Lakers’ window with LeBron closing as far as championship aspirations concern?
Within four hours last night, LeBron talked about how “amazing” it would be for the Lakers to trade for AD, the Lakers lost to the Nets and LeBron said “I’ve always wanted to play with Melo.”
These things are all related – here’s how: pic.twitter.com/oAH2avNttF
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) December 20, 2018
That was the focus and that’s where we start the latest edition of Ebs’ Hot Takes.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will never win a championship together. That was painful to write, but honestly, I believe it’s true.
The Lakers missed their best chance at adding a superstar this past summer when they could have traded for Kawhi Leonard, but they decided to hold onto their young pieces instead.
Through free agency, the Lakers were never really able to add any significant players to play with James. And moving forward, it’s tough to imagine Los Angeles being able to pull in a star this offseason.
Kevin Durant doesn’t think he’d fit with LeBron, Leonard could very well stay with the Toronto Raptors, you know Kyrie Irving doesn’t want to play with James again, Jimmy Butler could also stay with his new team and Klay Thompson has already stated that he wants to remain in Golden State.
So as it stands right now, the Lakers are pinning their hopes on Anthony Davis, who is scheduled to be a free agent in 2020. But there are some hopes the Lakers would have to jump through to get Davis.
The New Orleans Pelicans have already stated that they don’t want to trade AD. And the Lakers will be fighting with the Boston Celtics for Davis’ services.
Why would New Orleans want to trade Davis to the Lakers, a fellow Western Conference opponent, over the Celtics, who can offer a better package? They wouldn’t.
Manny Machado’s going to sign with the New York Yankees. If Marcus Stroman said it, it must be true. Right?
AL East >>>> every other division
Oh, and Machado is heading to the Yanks, per @MStrooo6 pic.twitter.com/eZst4cLMDe
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 20, 2018
To be clear, Stroman later clarified and said that it was just his opinion on where Manny Machado would sign. But it does make sense.
Just my opinion on Manny going to the Yankees. No insider info. Preparing to see Judge, Harper, Machado, Stanton, Sanchez, Hicks, Gleyber, etc. all in the same lineup…then go pitch against Mookie, JD, Bogaerts, Devers, Bradley, etc. in my next start! Lol #readyforitall
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) December 20, 2018
Signing with the New York Yankees presents Machado with the best opportunity to compete for a World Series title right now.
His addition would give the Yankees the best lineup in baseball and the starting rotation is already much improved from where it was back in October.
The New England Patriots will NOT play in the AFC Championship Game this year. The New England Patriots have lost two straight and could very well fall again this weekend against the Buffalo Bills at home. Yes, the Bills.
I know, it’s another Bills hot take. But hear me out.
Last time around, Buffalo put up one heck of a fight. And that was with Derek Anderson at quarterback.
Now a red-hot Josh Allen is back under center and New England will be facing one pissed off Buffalo defense. Despite sporting the top defense in the NFL, not a single Bills defender was named to the Pro Bowl earlier this week. And the whole team is pretty mad about it.
Zay Jones on #Bills Pro Bowl snubs:
"I think it's BS – I don't like it. Quote me on that if you want to but that's just my take. … I'm watching guys destroy offenses (and) Coach Leslie Frazier being a nightmare for offensive coordinators." #BillsMafiahttps://t.co/pEd2MG9be9
— Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) December 19, 2018
I wouldn’t want to face the Bills right now.
Oh, and did I mention that the Patriots just lost their only weapon in Josh Gordon? The talented wide receiver has already announced he’s stepping away from the team and is likely facing an indefinite suspension.
Josh Gordon facing potential suspension for violating terms of his conditional reinstatement under NFL drug policy, per @TomPelissero and @DanGrazianoESPN. Final punishment yet to be decided, but Gordon not expected to play again this season or maybe ever again.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 20, 2018
With teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts all clicking right now, it doesn’t look bright for the Patriots.