At Lakers Fanclub UK, we have been thinking of ways that the UK fan-base could keep in touch with the opinions and views directly from Los Angeles. Over the past week we have reached out to a few established reporters that cover the Lakers, in an attempt to form a new article series titled “A Conversation With..”.
With that, Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation was the first to get back to us. We are delighted that Trevor agreed to take part, and we hope you enjoy reading his views and opinions below.
Q: First of all, thank you for talking to us Trevor. We are huge fans of your work over at Lakers Nation.
Trevor: “Thanks! I appreciate you reading and listening!”
Q: We see that on your bio on the Lakers Nation website that you’re a fan of many sports, most notably soccer, where you are a LA Galaxy and US Soccer fan. Do you have a Premier League team?
Trevor: “So not to disappoint, but I only follow the Premier League very casually. I don’t have a team that I support (though my mom is a huge Man U fan) but will absolutely put on any EPL game because I enjoy high-quality soccer. The Lakers take up a lot of my time and I have been caught up in MLS since its inception; as a young player at the time I thought it was so incredible that we would have a domestic league. MLS has come a long way in 20+ years, and while it’s nowhere near the EPL in terms of quality at this stage, there is only so much time in the day. In fact, I’m watching a Galaxy game while I’m typing this!”
Q: We hear that you are a long-time Laker fan, what are your first memories of the Lakers? Also, what is your favourite moment of supporting the team?
Trevor: “Actually, my very first memory is the Lakers. We had a green L-shaped couch in our living room and I can remember climbing up on it with my dad watching the Showtime era. I had a little plastic mini hoop that I used to try to do the sky hook on.”
“Favorite moment is tough; there have been so many. I’m going to cheat and say two: the 2010 championship and Kobe Bryant’s final game. In 2010 the Lakers vs Celtics rivalry was back and I was living and dying with every play. It was an ugly game, but that win was so, so sweet. Bryant’s last game, meanwhile, was unbelievable. It was the greatest send-off ever in a way that only Kobe could have done it.”
Q: What would be the routine of a typical working day in the life of Trevor Lane?
Trevor: “Not all that different than most people, I suppose. I try to make as much time for family as possible, which usually leads to some late nights writing and recording after my daughter goes to sleep. I’m often writing or podcasting with any free moments.”
Q: Obviously last season did not go as expected, could you round-up your thoughts on the 2018/19 Lakers campaign?
Trevor: “It was a perfect storm of issues that created a disappointing season. Injuries, roster construction, rotations, and trade rumors all played a role in a failed season. That said, it wasn’t as bad as so many have made it out to be. They were, after all, 4th in the West prior to LeBron James’ injury. We also saw Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball both take their games to new heights before injuries ended their seasons. Ingram, in particular, was playing at an All-Star level. That shouldn’t be overlooked in the midst of all the turmoil. Magic Johnson’s abrupt departure only served to intensify the scrutiny, and now the team will have to push back against the sinking ship narrative as they prepare for free agency in July.”
Q: Last season was obviously a tough one for the young core, who would you say has the highest ceiling out of our young players, and why?
Trevor: “Right now it has to be Ingram. In the weeks before his unfortunate DVT, he was getting to his spots at will and using his length to shoot over defenders. For the first time, he looked so comfortable, as though the game had slowed down for him. Defensively, his endless arms were walling off large sections of the floor…in short, he looked like the player we all hoped he could become when he was selected 2nd overall in 2015.”
Q: With Magic Johnson unexpectedly stepping down a few weeks ago from his role of President of Basketball Operations, what are your views on how the situation unfolded? Can you see an external executive being brought in, or will Rob Pelinka take on the extra responsibility?
Trevor: “It’s strange. I still don’t think we have the entire story, and perhaps we never will. Announcing his resignation prior to the final game and not letting anyone within the Lakers organization know his plans caused Magic to come off really poorly. It’s not the way you want to leave the organization that you love. That said, if he really was the absentee exec that we have heard about, then perhaps the Lakers will be better off in the long run, though they certainly could have used Magic as a closer with free agents.”
“It does appear that Pelinka will simply slide up a role in the organization, which won’t do anything to quiet the negativity about Jeanie Buss and how she runs the franchise. A complete and comprehensive search for the very best should have taken place, but Jeanie trusts Rob, and he will now have an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong or right in July.”
Q: A short time after, Luke Walton parted ways with the team, what direction would you like to see the Lakers go in when finding a suitable candidate to take on the head coaching reigns?
Trevor: “I think the Lakers launched as extensive of an investigation as they could given the pool of available coaches. With Ty Lue all but a lock to become their coach, they will now need to weather the storm of negativity from those who claim that Lue’s hiring is more evidence that James calls the shots. James or not, Lue has a legitimate coaching pedigree and should be given a chance to prove himself.”
Q: Can the Lakers tempt another star free-agent to Los Angeles in the off-season, or do you think they will trade for a second star? Of course, the possibility is there for the Lakers to strike out all together. How disastrous would striking out be, or would it?
Trevor: “At this point I wouldn’t be surprised either way. For all of the turmoil swirling around the team currently, they still have three big things going for them in free agency: LeBron James, cap space, and young talent. I think the real danger is if the Clippers and Knicks both land two stars then that could lead to the Lakers missing out because there are more legitimate landing spots than stars available. Someone is going to be left out, we just have to hope that it isn’t the Lakers.”
“Striking out would certainly be disastrous, though missing out on the top tier of Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, and maybe Jimmy Butler could lead the Lakers to turning to Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Vucevic, Khris Middleton, or another second-tier star. I wouldn’t consider it truly striking out unless they miss on both groups. If that happens, I’d expect to see a frustrated LeBron James.”
Q: Right, that’s that. Once again thank you for answering our questions. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. All the best, Trevor.
Trevor: “Thanks for having me, and sorry it took so long to respond!”
By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)