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Kenny Smith visited the ESPN L.A. 710 studio today to promote his involvement with March Madness this year.
Of course, seeing as he was visiting the Lakers’ flagship radio station, Smith was asked for his thoughts on the purple and gold.
And, somewhat refreshingly, Smith actually praised the Lakers’ front office as opposed to pulling it apart like many in the media are doing these days.
“Honestly, I don’t think the Lakers made bad moves in the last couple of years. I don’t know who wouldn’t have tried to trade for Chris Paul, then they have the league slap their hand and say, ‘That’s not a fair trade,’ – I’ve never heard that happen before,” Smith said. “Then, you trade for Dwight Howard, the best center in the league arguably at that time [and] it just doesn’t work out.
“And Mike D’Antoni was probably the second best coach available other than Phil Jackson, so I don’t think they made bad moves, I just think don’t think they worked out the way they wanted them to. They just have to make a move that’s going to work.”
Smith was then asked by the ESPN L.A. 710 studio to explain the reasoning behind his comments, and he did so brilliantly.
“Listen, man. If you date Uma Thurman and Halle Berry and it don’t work out, there ain’t nothing wrong with your choices, man,” Smith said. “it just didn’t work out.”
Smith also debunked the theory that Los Angeles is no longer a desirable place for free agents to sign.
“This is still one of the greatest franchises ever. It’s still one of the greatest cities to live in. [Look at] Phil Jackson: He’s still mentioning L.A. in his New York press conference,” said Smith, who won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. “He’s talking about the weather and how much he misses [it], he’s talking about Jeanie [Buss]. He didn’t say anything about Willis Reed or Walt Frazier, he ain’t talking about all the greats of the Knicks, he ain’t talking about the ’69 team with Red Holzman, he talked about the Lakers, man.
“So, there’s still an opportunity for this franchise here in L.A. to do well because it is a great destination.”
That’s exactly what general manager Mitch Kupchak keeps preaching, too: Los Angeles is still a great place live, and the Lakers’ rich history isn’t going to just disappear overnight.
Ultimately, free agents will still come to Los Angeles.
However, as Kupchak also keeps mentioning, the team won’t just spend their cap space this summer for the sake of it: They’ll wait until the right players come along, and that might mean saving their money until 2015 when players such as Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo and Marc Gasol will be free agents.