The Morning Column: September 7, 2021
The Lakers could enter next season with more former All-NBA players than any team ever, a big weekend for UCLA football and its social media team and USC opens as 18-point favorites against Stanford.
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1. 🏀 The Lakers are putting together an all-star team
At what point can a team have too many current or former all-stars?
The Lakers will find out this season. DeAndre Jordan is expected to become the newest and eighth overall former NBA All-Star on the Lakers’ roster next season.
Jordan was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Detroit Pistons along with four second picks and $5.78 million on Friday. The Pistons are finalizing the buyout of the two years and $20 million left on Jordan’s deal and once he clears waivers, he will sign a one-year, minimum contract with the Lakers.
A three-time All-Star center, Jordan will join LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and Marc Gasol to give the Lakers eight former All-NBA players. Even if Gasol and the Lakers part ways (his return is coin flip at this point), the Lakers would still be the first team to have at least seven former All-NBA players play in at least one game in the same season.
He would presumably occupy the same role JaVale McGee had during the Lakers’ championship season last year and be a rim-protector along with Howard, who returned to the team this offseason and complimented McGee when they teamed together in the front court. The imminent addition, however, wasn’t embraced by all Lakers fans, who didn’t view Jordan as much of an upgrade.
2. 🏈 ‘Sissy Blue’ for the win
Not only did UCLA defeat LSU 38-27 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, giving the Bruins their first victory over a Top 16 team since 2015, but the program has been killing it on social media. Before the game, LSU coach Ed Orgeron told a heckling UCLA fan, “Bring your ass on, in your sissy blue shirt,” and UCLA made sure Orgeron and everyone remembered that after the game. The official UCLA football account tweeted, “peep the header” and posted a “Sissy Blue” shirt with the UCLA scripted U and Jumpman logo.
UCLA is now 2-0 for the first time since 2017 and Chip Kelly looks like he has a team with the same swagger as his old Oregon teams and a social media team that is doing a great job of capturing the fun this squad is currently having.
3. 🏈 USC opens as 18-point favorites against Stanford
After defeating San Jose State, 30-7, in its season opener, USC opened up as an 18-point favorite against Stanford. That’s actually a larger point spread than USC had against San Jose State (14 points) and the most points USC has been favored to win by entering a game against Stanford since being favored by 41 points in 2007 when Stanford pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history by beating USC, 24-23, at the Coliseum.
The 7:30 p.m. kickoff on FOX should make the game more bearable for fans at the game. It was 90 degrees at the Coliseum last Saturday and the stadium ran out of water in many sections by halftime. The good news was the Coliseum served beer and wine for the first time since 2004 so fans could cool down with a $14 Michelob Ultra.
4. 🏊♀️ Vegas pool parties for sports fans
When Derek Stevens opened Circa last December in Downtown Las Vegas, he wanted to cater to sports fans. He not only wanted to build the world’s largest indoor sportsbook but he also wanted to have the world’s largest outdoor sportsbook and viewing party. So he opened Stadium Swim, a rooftop pool amphitheater able to hold 4,000 guests with a 125-foot stadium-style screen in front of six multi-tiered rooftop pools, 30 cabanas, 38 day beds and 337 chaise lounges. “I love watching sports in the pool but there was nowhere to do it,” Stevens told me during construction. “So, I created the biggest outdoor sports betting pool party in the country.
It was only a matter of time before other Las Vegas hotels followed suit and copied Stevens’ concept and the first one opened over Labor Day weekend. The recently remodeled Sahara Las Vegas opened the 35,000-square-foot Azilo Ultra Pool, which has a 10,000-square-foot, two-story LED wall that spans the length of the pool’s south side along with VIP cabanas with HD TVs.
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Sept. 7, 1979: ESPN makes its debut
On this day 42 years ago, ESPN became the world’s first cable channel dedicated exclusively to sports. The first show on “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” was appropriately enough, “SportsCenter.” The show was anchored by George Grande and Lee Leonard, who opened the show by saying, “If you're a fan, what you will see in the next minutes, hours, and days to follow may convince you that you've gone to sports heaven.”
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Kevin Love
Happy birthday to Kevin Love. The former UCLA center was born in Sant Monica 33 years ago today. Love is a five-time NBA All-Star who won a championship with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and teamed up with Russell Westbrook to lead UCLA to the Final Four in 2008. Could Love possibly return to Los Angeles and once again team up with James and Westbrook on the Lakers? Love’s agent said he has no plans currently to negotiate a buyout with Cleveland but it’s still early and Love’s role with the Cavaliers is up in the air after the team added Jarret Allen, Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen to the frontcourt over the past year.
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
9. 📺 On The Air
4:45 p.m. – Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals – SportsNet LA
7 p.m. – Los Angeles Angels at San Diego Padres – Bally Sports West
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Monday’s show, we talked to hall of fame NBA photographer Andy Bernstein about his relationship with Kobe Bryant and Fox Nation host Abby Hornacek about her journey from USC to television news.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you on tomorrow!