Monday Mailbag: Lakers Chances At Kevin Durant, Dating Advice

It’s that time again! You sent questions, and we’ll try to answer them. This week, the type of questions came in had to do with the Lakers, dating, potatoes and Kevin Durant because, of course they did. It’s August, y’all.

Anthony: I have no effing clue what’s going on here. We all saw the report of the Lakers agreeing to a deal with Upshaw right before summer league and reacted as such. He was, in many ways, the toast of the weekend. When he caught the ball in the post, a buzz shot through the arena. When he found himself defending top lottery picks like Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns, the same anticipation made its way through the crowd. Now, literally no other news has dropped and we’re all wondering what might be going on, though Eric Pincus tweeted Sunday the Lakers have no immediate plan to sign him. The shift is random and comes slightly out of nowhere, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Gary: No. To me, he is still very raw and has a long way to go from a developmental standpoint. Plus his conditioning needs a ton of improvement. His ceiling is beyond intriguing, but playing in the D-League for a year would be a great opportunity for him to work on those things. The Lakers already have Roy Hibbert, Tarik Black and (the GOAT himself) Robert Sacre at center, so a fourth center on the roster doesn’t seem ideal. Keep in mind, other teams are not very high on him either. If they were, he would have been drafted, so Los Angeles could probably get away with starting him out with the D-Fenders and freeing up a roster spot if they absolutely need to.

Ryan: I would like to say yes, but right now it’s hard to be optimistic about his situation. After he reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Lakers, everything has been silent since. In the meantime, the Lakers signed Jonathan Holmes and Michael Frazier, and they are running out of possible spots for Upshaw. I would love for Big Block Bob to take Sacre’s spot on the roster because of his defensive upside, but as of now I’d predict that he will NOT make the team.

Anthony: Loaded baked potato or potato skins is really the only way to go here. Gary, who actually lives in a potato might have a more detailed answer for you, but none of it actually matters. The two recipes are the only logical options.

Gary: Mash the hell out of them and pour on some gravy. Honestly, there are a ton of options with potatoes. Anthony actually had some good choices (Hey, first time for everything, right?).

Ryan: Potato-flavored Peeps. Enough said. (Disclaimer: the Lakers Outsiders do not endorse such a lethal abomination)

Anthony: The realistic person in me says just let her go. Fish in the sea and all. The entertainer in me says freakin’ go for it, man. Public displays of romanticism rarely actually work, but screw it. Odds are for nerds. Women want that man to believes they’re the one to prove numbers don’t mean jack. Be that guy. Get that girl.

Gary: Find another one. She’ll come sliding back into the DMs faster than you can say “potato”. 

Ryan: You could kidnap her and hold her hostage like Harrison does with Matt. (Disclaimer: Lakers Outsiders does not endorse this action and are not liable for the consequences if you choose to do this)

Anthony: I grew up as the participation trophy thing was just getting started. I remember thinking to myself: “Wait, this kid (a teammate of mine) rarely showed up for practice, was worthless on the field and smells funny. What could his trophy possibly be for?” It only got worse when I started coaching and had to say something nice about a later iteration of that kid as his parents watched on, hoping I slip up. It was the worst.

That said, I am not a parent, and, as such haven’t experienced seeing my child, whom I’d imagine I’ll probably care for quite deeply. I’ve heard parents say seeing their child sad as they can’t do anything about it is one of the worst things they can go through. If a trophy helps the child feel a sense of pride in something and allows the parent to avoid that situation, whatever. The kid will learn eventually that we aren’t actually created equal in sports. It’s how that tends to work out.

Gary: They are cool and all for a younger demographic, to help kids feel better and that sort of thing. But playing sports my entire life taught me that being able to play is an absolute privilege. A massive amount of people don’t get the opportunity to play organized sports for a variety of reasons, whether it be academics, disciplinary or worst of all: a form of disability. I guess you learn that as you get a bit older, but being fortunate enough to play is often overlooked by athletes of all age groups.

Ryan: I support handing out participation trophies because to me, youth sports should be about having fun and embracing the experience rather than just winning. I know when I got the trophies as a kid I never thought much of them since everyone got them. Now, though, when I see them on my shelf it brings back some of the best childhood memories I have. And for that, they’re worth it.

Anthony: Here’s the big one. If I was a Vegas odds-maker, I would probably set the actual odds at about 50/1 he comes to the Lakers. There are plenty of situations around the league where Durant will have a better shot to win. Thing is, and this might be extremely hot take-y: I’m not terribly sure he’s a great long-term investment. As with all hot takes, I could be proven ridiculously wrong, but seven-footers with foot problems hasn’t gone with in NBA history. He might not weight nearly as much as the typical big man with such problems, but the type of cuts and explosive moves he makes puts a similar wear and tear on that part of his body. I’ll feel a helluva lot better about this if he gets through this season injury-free, but if not, I might even be fine with the Lakers passing on the opportunity to sign him.

Gary: The same odds I have of marrying one of the Laker Girls (If you think that is higher than 1 percent, you are a.) crazy, and b.) my new best friend). Unless they bring Sacre to the meeting, then the odds dramatically increase to 110 percent.

Ryan: The same odds as Steve Novak missing a three-pointer — 0.0000000001%.

Author: Anthony F. Irwin

The old guy.

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