Lakers' Underdog Story and Dame vs. Steph

The Lakers are America’s favorite underdog, Dame taking the throne as best point guard in the League, and we pay respect to Chadwick Boseman, Clifford Robinson, Lute Olson and John Thompson.

Video Transcript

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Welcome to "Dunk Bait," where we talk mostly basketball. Today, we're talking about the "We Believe" Lakers, the biggest underdog in the league. Is Dame Lillard the best point guard in the league? And we will remember few legends.

All right, the "We Believe" Lakers. Some said they might get swept in the first round. People were not believing in them. I was kind of one of them. I think that they would win, but I was scared about a few players. How do y'all feel about them?

JOSIAH JOHNSON: Look, man, I think we're seeing right now the greatest underdog one seed in NBA history performing at the highest level overcoming--

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Rudy!

JOSIAH JOHNSON: --overcoming the odds, all the detractors, a 35-year-old man who's played 60,000 minutes-- Literally senior citizen. He's getting the senior citizen meal at Sizzler, at IHOP. Wherever you want to go, he's getting the senior citizen meal, body'ing young dudes, getting talked about like he's in his prime.

Not to mention Anthony Davis, the guy who couldn't get out to the playoffs, who couldn't do this, who couldn't do that. So to put these two dudes together-- to Wash King and AD-- who would have ever expected this? So to see what this team is doing against the odds, overcoming everything-- all the critics, all the doubters, everybody thought they wouldn't get out of the first round against the Blazers. I heard about Dame, and CJ, Nurk-- all these people were healthy.

But, you know, you can't stop the will of a team that really just, you know, is against the odds and has their backs against the wall and has nothing to lose. So I think we're seeing that firsthand. Looking forward to the second round. We'll see who there playing.

ZACH SCHWARTZ: Listen, I'm a person, you know, via BetMGM. I was telling people put some money the Blazers just in case. Now obviously a bit of emotional hedging for me as a Laker fan. I'll admit that.

But, you know, it feels good. It feels good to be the underdog finally. And I think it's a story that Hollywood is going to want to tell some day about-- about this scrappy team that were overlooked and just underestimated their whole time. And here we are, man. Just, you know, it really feels good.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: I must say, I want to apologize to LeBron's Standom, OK? As a LeBron Stan, I know the rules. We stick by our king, you know what I mean? And I questioned him in the bubble. I questioned him.

I treated him like he was a mere mortal, and I won't apologize for that. But then boys look midseason ready now. You know what I'm saying? They turned it around. And also I believe we can say now that no matter what you have to give up for AD, you give it up.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: I mean, look, when you look at it, to quote the great Michael Jordan, [BLEEP] them kids.

ZACH SCHWARTZ: [LAUGHS]

JOSIAH JOHNSON: [BLEEP] them kids. Because I felt the same way. I said, damn, they're giving up a lot for AD. I just don't know. It's one man. Like, what happened. You know what I mean if he can't sustain. But like MJ said, [BLEEP] them kids.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Dame Lillard had an incredible year. Is he the best point guard in the league?

ZACH SCHWARTZ: I think he's the guy you want on your team at point guard like, to win you games and stuff like that, more than anyone else. So I'll go ahead and say yes. But if Damian Lillard ran with Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, how many rings would Damian Lillard have?

LAJETHRO JENKINS: What are you trying to say, Zach! What are you trying to say, Zach!

ZACH SCHWARTZ: Oh, yeah. Come for me, all right? I said that Trae Young is better now than Steph was at this time in his career. And you know what? I'm right.

The only caveat in this-- it's not Steph-- is Luka in my opinion.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Oh, wow.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: Look, when you talk about Dame in comparison to all these dudes, Dame consistently is that dude. I mean, look, led the Blazers against all odds, 62 in the bubble, was the MVP of the regular season of the bubble-- really delivered.

And I think people get mad when it's like, oh, well, we're talking about Steph's numbers here or Steph's numbers there, and whatever, whatever. It's like, if you put Dame on that squad, his numbers would be different, right? His offensive load wouldn't be as difficult, and he'd really just be able to get buckets.

You got Klay, and you got Dray. You got KD. So what I'm saying is, I don't know know. Because I could put Kyrie on that squad as well, and I would love to see what happened there. But that doesn't mean that we would get the same result, better or worse. But I think what Dame did in this bubble really elevated him to that next level.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: His numbers were similar to what Steph's were in the unanimous MVP season. You can't take the belt away from Steph while he's not playing. You know, I want to see what they look like next year, but I think Steph has peaked. I don't think we've seen the best of Dame. So I'm not saying now. But I think in the coming years, it's Dame time for sho, for sho. [INAUDIBLE].

ZACH SCHWARTZ: Luka's better than both of them, but we can keep going.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Ah.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: Wait. Like, are we not considering LeBron Raymond James Sr, a point guard, in this?

LAJETHRO JENKINS: He ain't no point guard.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: If Steph's on Luka's level, the question we--

ZACH SCHWARTZ: Oh, my. I love that.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Let's, let's, let's-- all right, we got it. We got it.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: But let's save that for another day.

[LAUGHTER]

In the midst of a tragic pandemic, we got three pieced this week with the tragic passing of three just certified legends with Trail Blazer star Cliff Robinson, Lute Olson-- one of the GOAT college basketball coaches of all times-- then, obviously, Chadwick Boseman-- just, you know, living legend. "Black Panther," Jackie, every black hero that you can think of. So just, you know, what do you guys think about all these guys as kind of as we reflect on their lives and their contributions to this beautiful universe that we have?

LAJETHRO JENKINS: Well, I can speak on Chadwick particularly. Like, what blew me about him most of all was just how he operated as a human. You know what I mean? Like, all the stories that are coming out like of how he was moving behind the scenes and how he was, you know, fighting for others. You know what I'm saying?

And going out of his way to be kind to others while fighting for his life. I honestly believe-- you know what I'm saying? We talked about him playing a superhero. I believe he was the closest to a superhero in real life.

He was a legend. You know what I mean? And it wasn't just the roles he played where he was uplifting the community. You know what I'm saying? But how he moved as a human being-- that is most impressive to me.

ZACH SCHWARTZ: I mean, Lute Olson is up there in the pantheon of greatest coaches of all time and certainly in the pantheon of greatest Pac-12 coaches of all time. And I cannot tell you the amount of jealousy and frustration that I have of how wonderful that program is, and that's Lute.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: You know, Zach, to echo those sentiments-- playing at UCLA, I got to be on the other side of Lute L's on numerous occasions. But the development over the year into a successful pro career-- that was all Lute.

Channing from his freshman to sophomore, sophomore to junior-- the way his game elevated, how nice he got was a testament to just that program. And then Cliff Robinson-- obviously Sixth man of the Year, that stretch forward. But one of them dudes at just 6' 11" was a straight hooper, jumper. It really made big news believe that they could be more than just, you know, in the post-- a body in the post. So three guys that, you know, equally all had their impact on the community and I think will be sadly missed.

LAJETHRO JENKINS: All right, before we closeout, we got to do a shout out to the players, man. You know, what they've done has they have been done before and all these other leagues following suit. You know what I'm saying? The WNBA and the NBA shut it down and got these owners-- you know, put the fire to these owners.

And now they're actually using these arenas, you know, as voting centers as well. So I mean, it was incredible to see that. I've never been more proud to be an NBA basketball fan in my life, man. All right, that's the end of the show. I'm LaJethro Jenkins.

JOSIAH JOHNSON: King Josiah 54.

ZACH SCHWARTZ: I'm Zach Schwartz.

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