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Doug Gottlieb: Kobe Bryant Told Me LeBron ‘Is Not Built For L.A.’

“LeBron does not get, know, or understand L.A. He’s not built for it the way I’m built for it.'”

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Coming out of the NBA All-Star break, a lot of speculation circled LeBron James and whether or not he might leave the Los Angeles Lakers after his contract runs out after next season. (A possible return to the Cleveland Cavaliers has been part of that conjecture.)

Much of the rumor and innuendo surrounding Lebron and the Lakers is the team’s disappointing performance this season. The Lakers are ninth in the Western Conference going into Tuesday (March 1) night’s play and a match-up versus the Dallas Mavericks at home.

The team has lost its past five games and first two since the All-Star break. On Sunday, they were demolished at home by the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-95. The Pelicans, by the way, are behind the Lakers in the West standings.

Understandably, the home fans at Crypto.com Arena showed their unhappiness with their team’s poor performance by booing and heckling the players. Showing that the losing and failure to meet expectations is getting to them, LeBron and Trevor Ariza exchanged insults and profanities with fans behind the Lakers’ bench.

That entire spectacle compelled Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb to say that the Lakers “hit rock bottom” Sunday night and led him to recall a conversation he had years ago with the late Kobe Bryant. This was after Bryant retired and he knew Gottlieb through the youth basketball teams they both coached.

The two finally met for drinks the night shortly after LeBron and the Cavaliers visited Los Angeles to play the Lakers and Kobe had opinions he needed to share.

“He said to me — unequivocally — ‘LeBron does not get, know, or understand L.A.,'” Gottlieb recalled. “‘He’s not built for it the way I’m built for it.'”

Gottlieb then asked Bryant to explain what he meant by that.

“He’s like, ‘Look, man — I shot those two airballs when I was 17 and I thought the world came crashing down,'” said Gottlieb. “‘And my reaction to it was, I lived in the gym all summer. The way in which people reacted to those airballs — shots that I shouldn’t have shot, they were bad shots, but I missed by a mile — fueled me. Fueled me my whole career.

“‘I took negativity and it fueled me. That’s not what fuels LeBron. He’s just built different. He’s not the savage competitor that me and Mike are. I’m the type of killer that wants to kill you and your whole family. LeBron just wants to be loved, wants to play ball, wants to win games. But he is not the killer that me and Mike are.'”

Gottlieb’s overall point, emphasized by the Bryant story, is that Los Angeles and the Lakers fans have never embraced LeBron. And maybe he hasn’t embraced L.A. either. If the Lakers miss the playoffs this season, has LeBron’s tenure with the team been a success? They won the NBA championship in 2019-20, so the answer is surely yes.

Yet that title was won in the Orlando bubble. Lakers fans didn’t celebrate it with their team. (And COVID probably would’ve prevented them from fully doing so anyway.) The Lakers have fallen short of expectations in three of his four seasons. And his fifth season could be a disappointment as well unless general manager Rob Pelinka is able to make impact changes to the roster.

LeBron might leave town after that, and maybe Bryant will have been right about whether or not he was built for Los Angeles and the heavy expectations put on the Lakers.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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