Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor For ‘Green Book’

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So far the 2019 Academy Awards are proving queer friendly with Regina King winning best supporting actress for gay, Black writer James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk and now, Mahershala Ali, of last years’ Moonlight, winning for playing musician  Don Shirley in Green Book.

Ali last was in the Black, queer meditation on love Moonlight.

The post Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor For ‘Green Book’ appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Regina King Wins Best Supporting Actress For James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

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Via Towleroad correspondent Chris Chapman: “The #oscar for #bestsupportingactress just went to the great @iamreginaking tonight, whom I had the great privilege of shooting in #losangeles last November along with the Uber talented director @bandrybarry and gorgeous up and coming actress @kikilayne . #ReginaKing ‘s performance was pretty flawless in If Beale Street Could Talk and she has been a real trailblazer for #womenofcolor in #hollywood (and God knows we don’t see enough women or poc represented at awards ceremonies like this ). When she walked in to the studio of course I had #jonimitchell on the Soundsystem , so I asked her if she had any musical requests that would make her feel more at ease ….she said that although she loved #joni, she would be grateful if I cranked up some @jamiroquaihq tunes (which is a musical staple with her and her son apparently) ….of course I obliged and we were soon both bopping away to #jaykay belting out #virtualinsanity… I snapped away while she looked fierce and fabulous ….hoping that she walks out of the auditorium tonight with a little golden man under her arm ….#fingerscrossed #ifbealestreetcouldtalk #jamesbaldwin #barryjenkins #theleftovers#theboondocks #southland #boyznthehood #jerrymaguire #ray#howstellagothergrooveback #blackrolemodel #blackhistorymonth ©Chris Chapman Photography 2019

The post Regina King Wins Best Supporting Actress For James Baldwin’s ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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HBO Just Dropped New ‘Game Of Thrones’ & ‘Watchmen’ Footage: WATCH

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In a mash-up commercial that aired on ABC during their live red carpet coverage HBO dropped a two minute mash up “sizzle reel” of the much anticipated upcoming seasons of all of their programs but the stand out was new footage from season eight of Game of Thrones and the highly anticipated adaptation of Alan Moore and David Gibbon’s Watchmen series from HBO and DC Comics

Watch it below!

The post HBO Just Dropped New ‘Game Of Thrones’ & ‘Watchmen’ Footage: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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3 things we learned from No. 10 Michigan State’s 77-70 upset of No. 7 Michigan

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The two Big Ten rivals will do this again in East Lansing two weeks from now.

No. 10 Michigan State snapped a three-game losing streak to rival and seventh-ranked Michigan with a 77-70 triumph over the Wolverines Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor. The upset snapped a 22-game home winning streak for Michigan inside the Crisler Center. It also marked the first time since Feb. 20, 1986 that the Spartans have won a road game against a top 10 Michigan team.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the first of two meetings between these Big Ten powerhouses.

1. Even without Langford and Ward, Michigan State is once again the team to beat in the Big Ten

For the first time since league play began all the way back in early December, there is a clear team to beat in the Big Ten.

Michigan State’s win in Ann Arbor puts the Spartans a half game ahead of Purdue in the conference standings, and a full game ahead of Michigan. Tom Izzo’s team will almost certainly be favored win each one of its final three games of the regular season — at Indiana, vs. Nebraska, and then in the return game against Michigan at home.

Michigan State and Purdue split their two regular season meetings, which means if the two teams finish tied atop the Big Ten standings, the tiebreaker will move to which one has the best record against the next-best team in the league. That team would almost certainly be Michigan. The Boilermakers lost their lone meeting against the Wolverines, meaning Michigan State is the only team in the conference that controls its own destiny when it comes to being the No. 1 seed for the Big Ten tournament in Chicago.

The conversation surrounding Sparty at the beginning of the week was how heavily they might be limping to the finish line without the injured Joshua Langford (done for the season) and Nick Ward (likely out for at least the regular season). Now, MSU once again looks like the Big Ten’s top dog.

Michigan and Michigan State will meet again two weeks from now on the final day of the regular season, March 9, in East Lansing. It seems almost more likely than not that at least a share of the league’s regular season title will be on the line for one or both of the teams.

2. Cassius Winston is the Big Ten Player of the Year

If Cassius Winston entered the weekend as the favorite to win Big Ten Player of the Year, he left it with even more space between himself and his competition.

It seems like the more Izzo asks of his star point guard, the more Winston is able to deliver. Against one of the best defensive teams in the country, and with no other real shot creators on his team, Winston was at his absolute best on Sunday. Using the high pick-and-roll as effectively as you’re ever going to see from a lead guard, Winston torched Michigan for a game-high 27 points while also dishing out a game-high eight assists. That’s two more assists than the Wolverines had as a team.

There has been some worry that without Ward and Langford, there’s simply too much on the shoulders of Winston for this Michigan State team to be a legitimate Final Four threat. Perhaps that winds up being true come March, but it certainly didn’t appear to be the case on Sunday.

3. Iggy Brazdeikis returns to form

Michigan already has a terrific NCAA tournament resume, but one of the primary concerns surrounding the Wolverines’ ability to play deep into March has been the recent play of star freshman Iggy Brazdeikis. The team’s leading scorer at 14.4 ppg, Brazdeikis hasn’t been himself over the past two weeks, and there’s been some worry that perhaps he had hit a freshman wall. Over Michigan’s last four games heading into Sunday, the Canadian import had been held to single figures in scoring twice, had shot just 12-of-33 from the field and only 5-of-16 from three.

Brazdeikis put any fears about his recent play to bed with a stellar 16-point, nine rebound effort on Sunday. He was the best player on the floor for an extended stretch at the beginning of the second half in which Michigan appeared to take control of the game. Michigan State took back that control once foul trouble sent Brazdeikis to the bench and limited his effectiveness after he returned to the floor.

Overall, four of Michigan’s five starters scored in double figures for the game. Ultimately, that wasn’t enough to overcompensate for just six bench points (all from Isaiah Livers) and a 1-for-8 shooting effort from second-leading scorer Charles Matthews.


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EXCLUSIVE: A Brief History of HIV & The Oscars From The Red Carpet: WATCH

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Karl Schmid live on the Red Carpet. (All photos are courtesy if Karl Schmid.)

When hunky ABC reporter Karl Schmid to come out as HIV-positive last year, the circumstances were refreshingly nonchalant. “There was no vicious ex threatening to out him, nor were there signs of reporters planning on breaking a story. Instead, he chose to come out by posting a now-famous photo wearing an AIDS Memorial T-shirt on Facebook,” I reported in my cover story for Plus Magazine last July

“Honestly, I just thought I looked cute in that picture,” admitted the Australian native, an on-camera reporter for ABC in Los Angeles and the former cohost of Logo’s Operation: Vacation. “I was going out to happy hour with some friends, so I threw it on. And while out I said, ‘Will you do me a favor — can you get a picture of me in this thing? Because at some point I want a post wearing it.’”

Since then the superstar celebrity journalist has become an HIV-activist bar none, whose used his celebrity status to shine a light to national audiences about what having HIV means today including Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U), to encouraging everyone to get tested.

His ultimate cris-de-coeur to date is the beautifully moving segment on HIV and the Oscars that he produced for the awards show that he’s sharing with our audience.

Schmid not only fronted the package but also came out again as HIV-positive to possibly the largest audience in the world: seen nationwide on ABC and in over 35 countries around the world.

Towleroad spoke to Schmid from the red carpet.

TLRD: What was the impetus for the creation of this clip?

The Academy decided this year to include two nominees for the top acting prizes who portrayed characters living with HIV. Rami Malek is up for Best Actor and Richard E. Grant is a nominee for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Jack Hock in Can You Ever Forgive Me. With that in mind, I wanted to look back and see how the Academy has or has not included HIV in the awards in the past. The documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar back in 1990 and of course we all remember Tom Hanks winning Best Actor for his Performance in Philadelphia – which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since then there have been nominations for How To Survive A Plague for best documentary feature in 2012 as well as Yesterday which was up for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005. More recently both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto picked up the top acting prizes for their work in Dallas Buyers Club.

Whether
or not you agree with the messaging these films represent, the fact that they
focus and feature HIV characters and themes, putting them into the main stream
means HIV is on our radar. It means people hear about it and talk about it. And
as far as I’m concerned, the more we can talk about HIV the more we can
“normalize” those three letters and a symbol  – all of this is a win when
it comes to tackling stigma.

Has your coming out with your status helped make these kind of segments more important?

I think so. Certainly for me it has. And how lucky am I to have the support of ABC, not just in my every day efforts, but on a platform as big as the Oscars red carpet pre-show?! ABC is the broadcast home of the Oscars, and these telecasts, starting from early on Sunday morning and continuing after the award show has finished, are flagship broadcasts for the network – seen by millions around the US and in something like 34 countries. For K-ABC in Los Angeles and the network to get behind me and support this important messaging is huge – not just for me personally, but for everyone here in the US and around the world who see our broadcast living with HIV. As I’ve said many times, the more we can talk about it, the more “normal” it becomes and thus the ridiculous and dangerous stigma HIV-positive people face slowly gets chiseled away.

I’m beyond grateful to ABC for giving us this platform, allowing us to highlight HIV and also to the Academy who continue to show love and support for films that include HIV.

Watch the clip below and read the full ABC article here

The post EXCLUSIVE: A Brief History of HIV & The Oscars From The Red Carpet: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Street Artist Erects Statue of Kevin Hart Holding LGBTQ Pride Flag Near Oscars Venue

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The street artist Plastic Jesus (you may recall he put Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star behind bars last September) has struck again, mocking deposed Oscars host Kevin Hart with a gold life-size statue in his likeness, holding an LGBTQ Pride flag.

Hart is depicted standing on a pedestal that bears the words “Hollow Apology”. The statue was erected at La Brea Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, blocks from the theatre where the Academy Awards are to take place on Sunday night.

Said Plastic Jesus of the statue: “Sadly, this year with the current feeling and rhetoric within the US, it seems that it’s now acceptable again to hate someone because of their sexual orientation. We all know many people in Hollywood and the entertainment industry who are LGBTQ, and we should be celebrating diversity, not attacking it like it’s the 1970s again.”

The statue was a collaboration with the artist Joshua “Ginger” Monroe.

Hart stepped down as host of the Oscars in December after past homophobic tweets surfaced online.

Tweeted Hart: “I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past…I’m sorry that I hurt people.. I am evolving and want to continue to do so. My goal is to bring people together not tear us apart. Much love & appreciation to the Academy. I hope we can meet again.”

A few days before stepping down, Hart had posted an Instagram video in which he said that he had received a call from the Academy who told him to apologize or lose the hosting gig. Hart said he would “stand [his] ground” and see what happened.

The controversy began after a gay son ‘comedy’ bit from a 2010 stand-up comedy special resurfaced on Twitter.

In the bit, Hart makes a “joke” about not wanting a gay son, saying, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear. Keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. I have nothing against gay people. Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

Hart continued, telling the audience he’s worried about “handling his son’s first gay moment correctly,” saying that when your kid has his “first gay moment…you gotta nip it in the bud right then.”

“Hey, stop! That’s gay! Quit it!”, says Hart, to gales of laughter. Hart then goes on to describe seeing another boy “grinding on [his] son’s ass,” telling the audience that he “panicked” and “knocked them both down.”

Several homophobic tweets from Hart resurfaced as well, including one which read: “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay’.”

In a Reddit AMA in 2014, Hart was asked, “You find a lot of comedy in male insecurities, including a famous bit where you express fear that your son will be gay. You praised Frank Ocean at the MTV VMAs in 2012 for having the courage to come out, and recently said in an interview that you don’t do jokes any more about gays. What changed your mind on this subject of humor?”

He replied:  “It’s just a sensitive topic and I respect people of all orientations. So, it’s just best left alone.”

He later told Rolling Stone: “It’s about my fear. I’m thinking about what I did as a dad, did I do something wrong, and if I did, what was it? Not that I’m not gonna love my son or think about him any differently. The funny thing within that joke is it’s me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities — I panicked. It has nothing to do with him, it’s about me. That’s the difference between bringing a joke across that’s well thought-out and saying something just to ruffle feathers. I wouldn’t tell that joke today, because when I said it, the times weren’t as sensitive as they are now. I think we love to make big deals out of things that aren’t necessarily big deals, because we can. These things become public spectacles. So why set yourself up for failure?”

In 2015, Hart said he would never play a gay role  because of his own insecurities, revealing that he turned down a spot in 2008’s Tropic Thunder because the role was for a “flagrant” gay character.

Said Hart: “Not because I have any ill will or disrespect, it’s because I feel like I can’t do that because I don’t think I’m really going to dive into that role 100%. Because of the insecurities about myself trying to play that part. Like, would I think people are going to think while I’m trying to do this is going to stop me from playing that part the way that I’m supposed to. ”

The post Street Artist Erects Statue of Kevin Hart Holding LGBTQ Pride Flag Near Oscars Venue appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Arkansas softball player hits the Home Run Cycle … in 4 innings

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WHAT?!

Hitting the cycle is impressive, but hitting the home run cycle? Well, that’s another thing entirely, a feat that has only been achieved once in professional baseball history, and just one other time in DI softball. Now, what if I told you Arkansas’ Danielle Gibson hit the home run cycle, in four innings.

Gibson kicked things off with a two-run homer, than a three-run, then a grand slam and finished it all off with a solo home run in Arkansas’ 15-3 win over SIU-E on Saturday afternoon.

The Home Run Cycle has only been achieved once in professional baseball, dating back to Tyrone Horne for the (funnily enough) Arkansas Travelers in 1998. It’s never been done in MLB, and a couple of recorded times in NCAA baseball, and just once in softball before Saturday. But nobody, nobody has ever hit the home run cycle this quickly.

Gibson’s final stat line on the day: 4-4, 4 H, 10 RBI, 4 HR.

Not a bad day at the ballpark.


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Nike’s incredible new ‘Just Do It’ campaign gives women the spotlight

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This ad is wonderful.

Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign will air during the Oscars on Sunday night with an ad titled “Dream Crazier,” narrated by Serena Williams.

The campaign focuses on the pejoratives lobbed at women in the world of sports. Passion becomes unhinged, angry becomes hysterical and daring to be different is “crazy.” Told through 24 different women, the ad spans the sports landscape to show us the athletes who are daring to do what people thought impossible.

In the order of their appearance the athletes are:

  • Sarah Reinertsen – paratriathlete
  • Victoria Azarenka – Tennis
  • Sam Gordon – Football
  • Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher- USWNT Soccer
  • Megan Rapinoe – USWNT Soccer
  • Li Na – Tennis
  • Sue Bird — WNBA
  • Caster Semenya -Track & Field
  • Diana Taurasi – Basketball
  • Cheryl Reeve – Basketball coach
  • Simona Halep – Tennis
  • Marlen Esparza – Boxing
  • Lisa Leslie – WNBA
  • Becky Hammon – NBA coach
  • Ibtihaj Mohammad – fencing
  • Simone Manuel – Swim
  • Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
  • Serena Williams – Tennis
  • Sam Kerr – Soccer
  • Tatyana McFadden – Paralympics
  • Sky Brown – Skate
  • Simone Biles – Gymnastics
  • Olivia Moultrie – Soccer

These images are definitely going to be on kids walls.







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Jussie Smollett: The Lifetime Movie, A Trevor Noah Parody: WATCH

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As a birthday present to himself, The Daily Show host, Trevor Noah had his staff make a parody trailer for a Lifetime movie about the Jussie Smollet case.

Featuring openly gay and Black cast member Jaboukie Young-White as Smollett, it’s hysterical.

Read: Jaboukie Young-White’s story here.

Young-White has been skeptical of the Smollett story from the beginning, telling Noah, “This story has been weird for me, Trevor. As a gay person, I’m used to speaking on gay issues. As a black person, I’m used to speaking on black issues. But I’m not used to them intercepting. The only other scenario he could imagine is if RuPaul robbed a bank.”

Watch the parody below.

The post Jussie Smollett: The Lifetime Movie, A Trevor Noah Parody: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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The Warriors want you to know they really don’t care about the regular season

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They lost at home to a James Harden-less Rockets team and kinda just shrugged about it afterwards.

The Rockets went to Oracle Arena without James Harden and somehow beat the Golden State Warriors, 118-112, in one of the biggest upsets of the regular season. The Warriors played all five of their All-Star starters to no avail, losing for the first time in 11 tries when Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins all suited up.

Houston owned this game from the jump, scoring the first 15 points of the game. It took more than four minutes for Golden State to score for the first time while Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker and Chris Paul lit the place up. The Warriors did make a late comeback, coming within four points in the final 30 seconds, but it was too little, too late.

Afterwards, the Warriors were remarkably calm despite the embarrassing home loss. Almost too calm. The biggest takeaway of the night wasn’t how they lost, it was the way they bluntly expressed their boredom with the regular season.

1. Kevin Durant kept it real

Draymond Green went down with an ankle injury after stepping on Cousins’ foot in the second half of the game and didn’t return. After the game, Green said he doesn’t expect to miss much time.

When Durant was asked about his concern for Green, he responded, “I mean, he’ll be back for the playoffs. That’s the only thing we worry about here, right?”

That’s … pretty damn straightforward. Durant is right to think this way and most are probably in agreement, but it was jarring to hear the language so matter-of-fact.

2. Draymond Green said this game “didn’t feel like it mattered”

There’s obvious fatigue in Golden State after three titles in four years, yet we all know this team ultimately is too talented to miss the Finals. And they know that too.

“We’ll be fine,” Green said. “We have to focus in and lock in. The game’s gotta matter. From the start of the game tonight, it didn’t look like it mattered. It didn’t feel like it mattered. The game has to matter more.”

Green then elaborated on a bad practice the day before.

3. Klay Thompson isn’t scared of Houston

A television reporter asked Thompson if this loss to the Rockets was all more the frustrating given the problems Houston’s given Golden State over the last two regular seasons. The Rockets won two out of three matchups last regular season, and have won all three this year with one left to play in March.

“Guess what,” Thompson said. “We haven’t had a problem getting over the hump in the playoffs.”

Golden State did win last year’s Western Conference Finals, but only after the Rockets pushed them to seven games. An injury to Chris Paul in Game 5 helped, as did Houston missing 27 straight threes in Game 7.

The Warriors want to simulate the rest of the season like fans do with NBA2K franchises, but they can’t. You can understand why they’re getting lethargic.

But they let that mentality cost them an easy home win over a Harden-less Rockets team, which still raises eyebrows.


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Richard E. Grant Calls His Role In ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’ An Homage To The Generation of Gay Men Who Died of AIDS: WATCH

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Richard E. Grant, the actor who won a best supporting actor award for his role in the Oscar nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me? at the Spirit Awards yesterday, dedicated the award to the men who died during the plague years of the AIDS epidemic, calling it an homage to that generation.

He noted that he wanted to accept the award on all of their behalf, in particular the Scottish actor Ian Charleson, who starred in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, and died of AIDS in 1990.

He said in the speech that the film’s friendship between his character and author Lee Israel (played by Melissa McCarthy), reminded me of him of an amalgam of The Odd Couple and Midnight Cowboy.

Grab the tissues and watch the video below.

The post Richard E. Grant Calls His Role In ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’ An Homage To The Generation of Gay Men Who Died of AIDS: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Ja Rule’s halftime show for the Bucks was the second-biggest disaster he’s been involved in

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My goodness.

The Milwaukee Bucks held a “90s night” on Saturday, which led to one of the most painfully awkward halftime shows in recent memory. Someone thought Ja Rule would be a good choice, and well …

He really had a way of getting the crowd amped up for his performance.

“They say this is 90s night, so they brought out a 2000 artist [laughs]. But my album came out in ‘99, so I guess that counts.”

Ooof. Oh, and if you thought that was all, no no no no it wasn’t.

“We ready? [silence] Are we reaaaaady?! [more silence] I guess not.”

You know how when a halftime show is so good that players leave the locker room to check some of it out? That kind of happened on Saturday night with Giannis Antetokounmpo, except not at all.

There’s something amazing about the optics of Giannis out there working on his Js while Ja Rule is desperately trying to engage a crowd that could care about anything else. Maybe this was a work of piety by Giannis. At least he gave the crowd something to cheer for.

Meanwhile …

Also he’s trying to be Lil B and cursing the Timberwolves.


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It’s time to panic about the Lakers

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Could LeBron James really miss the playoffs? It doesn’t look good.

The Los Angeles Lakers got smoked on Saturday night by a New Orleans Pelicans unit without Anthony Davis, who sat the latter half of his team’s back-to-back. L.A. fell, 128-115, in a game that wasn’t close for most of the second half, despite playing every key player except an injured Lonzo Ball.

It’s time to worry about LeBron James and the Lakers.

Doubting James is foolish given the way he’s always turned it on when it mattered but, but L.A. is now 29-30 and 3.5 games back in from the No. 8 seed in the West with just 23 games left. The Los Angeles Clippers hold the No. 8 seed by 1.5 games over the surging Sacramento Kings, who are two games ahead of L.A.

This is uncharted territory for The King.

Losing to a short-handed Pels team is tyical for this L.A. season

Winning big games and then immediately crashing and burning against inferior teams has plagued the Lakers all season long. This loss to New Orleans came two days after L.A. rallied from 19 points down to beat a full-strength Rockets team. Before the break, L.A. lost by 42 points to the Pacers, then beat the Celtics 48 hours later, only to get blown out by 23 points to the Sixers and then lose to the Hawks in the next two games.

There’s been no consistency for L.A. since James returned from a month-long groin injury. Once upon a time, the Lakers were 20-14. Now, after LeBron’s groin strain and a two-week rumored Anthony Davis trade, the team is below .500.

What now for L.A.?

Something has to change for the Lakers to solidify a playoff spot. Just as what many suspected before the season started, it may start with the inexperienced personnel.

“How many know what’s at stake if you’ve never been there?” James asked the media after the loss, according to ESPN.

“I’m playing devil’s advocate, you know? It’s kind of a fine line when you talk about that, because when you’ve never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable.”

James has played more postseason games than the rest of his team combined, and a handful of guys playing meaningful minutes, including Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma, have never been there.

A temporary fix may come on the buyout market, which unofficially closes on March 1 because that’s the last date a newcomer can be playoff-eligible. Maybe former Clippers center Marcin Gortat or former Kings shooter Ben McLemore can complement James’ surrounding help like nobody else has. There’s also been the whispers of Carmelo Anthony all season long.

There must be some roster movement though, for any conceivable run to be made. Aside from an under-the-radar move to acquire Pistons wing shooter Reggie Bullock, the trade deadline was utterly disappointing.

Now the whole Lakers season is in danger of feeling that way, too.


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