Jammed: Why Bakersfield Will Not Win the D-League This Season

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJuly 10, 2010

To begin with, I don't understand why we even have the NBA Development League in the first place. It's unnecessary, if you ask me.

Apparently, the D-League office didn't need the D-Fenders, so why do we even need it? It befuddles this columnist, even if you try to convince him otherwise.

If you can't make the starting 15 or 16, or however many are on the final roster for opening night of a National Basketball Association season, you have one of three options: 1. play in Europe, 2. play in a foreign league outside or Europe or 3. get a day job.

And no, the other leagues we have here in the states do not count as as a viable option (that's right, I am aiming my crosshairs towards you, ABA).

Sadly, we are stuck with the joke of a league that is the D-League: the league where those who still want a piece of David Stern's wallet but are not worthy enough to deserve one (like the LeBrons and Kobes of the world) go to play.

By the way, that rally in Miami was nothing more than a sideshow; there is no way that the Heat will get seven in a row as foreordained by the chalkmaster himself unless an Act of God happens. Take it to the bank.

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So while we are on the D-League subject, I want to express why the Bakersfield Jam will not win/do not deserve to win the 2010-11 D-League crown. Thank the Lord of all hoops that the D-Fenders will not be competing this coming season, because they flat-out stank last year and tanked in attendance.

I mean, who the bloody heck wants to watch a group of street bums that have no business donning the purple and gold and will have nothing but pipe dreams of joining the Lake Show? By oath, I'd opt to demand a refund!

"We will be the affiliate of the Bakersfield team which, from our point of view is natural," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a recent interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It's perfect for us. There were a couple options that the [D-League] ran past us and just from a geographical point of view, it just made sense that we would be affiliated with the Bakersfield club."

Mitch, just do the right thing and fold the D-Fenders, please? There's not point in reviving a affiliate that no one here in LaLa Land should give a rat's rear end about.

Let's go back to the Jam's prospects. The rookie scrubs that comprised the Lakers at the 2010 NBA Summer League on Friday against the Detroit Pistons don't know how to hold on to a lead. They let the Pistons outscore them late in the fourth quarter to lose 89-84.

Down goes the two-game win streak dating back to last season. Nice knowing you. 

And this was a team that was leading for the bulk of the contest down at the Cox Pavilion (a place better fit for volleyball) at UNLV. Inexcusable way to finish. In fact, they didn't finish at all. They were the hares, and Detroit were the tortoises. 

It seems as if these young rubes didn't get the message from Chuck Person that when they are leading a game, as a team they need to close the deal.

Seriously, it doesn't matter if Devin Ebanks got 21 points or Derek Caracter got 20 or D.J. Strawberry (mercy, that name reminds me of baseball player Daryl Strawberry) racked up 14 and Rob Kurz got 11 off the bench. This ragtag Laker team needed to close out the game.

And they didn't.

Heck, this piece I'm whipping up here on Bleacher Report (god bless this place) could have been about the possibility of the Bakersfield Jam actually contending for the title.

Might I also add that some of the shining faces on this group of first-year men like Caracter, Ebanks, and Strawberry may end up playing for the Jam this year if they don't get to rub shoulders with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher, and the rest of the Lake Show.

But come on, Laker rookies. This was winnable. You can't give up these types of leads at the next level if you want to survive in the NBA. It's not gonna happen.

Last year, Bakersfield finished 17-33 in the D-League. This was better than the D-Fenders and it wasn't the worst record overall, but it was still horrid, and I don't think it's going to change.

Here's hoping that should any of you scrubs make the Jam at the minimum, you do your club and the Staples Center stepchildren a huge favor and deliver the W's. 

Get your feet on the ground, kids, if they aren't yet. You're not ready for prime time, and it showed Friday night. It won't surprise me if this year's D-League chumps-er, champs come from the likes of Rio Grande Valley.

Wait a minute. Aren't they the defending D-League champions? I should have known this league was unnecessary. Enough of this. Give me Euroleague action any day!

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