But Knicks owner James Dolan was staying out of it. So much so that he was playing a gig with his blues-rock band, JD and the Straight Shot, at the same time as and a mere 3 1/2 miles away from the draft, which took place Thursday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder attended Dolan’s show and asked the billionaire beforehand if he was at least following the draft.
“Nope,” he said.
She then asked if the Knicks were going to trade Porzingis.
“Nope. I don’t know, you know what, if this tells you anything,” Dolan said, gesturing to the room inside the City Winery in the West Village. “Right? Right. It tells you how uninvolved I am with the basketball team.”
He later told the crowd, which Wilder said eventually filled, about the venue: “We didn’t plan to have this concert on the same night as the NBA draft, for those of you wondering.”
The Knicks wound up keeping Porzingis and drafting French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick. But by then Dolan had his hands full.
Dolan, 62, has taken his band on the road, opening for the likes of the Doobie Brothers and Don Henley. So he was not about to let a couple of hecklers ruin his night.
“OK,” he said to the crowd at the end of the disruption. “Let’s just keep going. You guys like Johnny Cash?”
Sounds like Dolan enjoyed himself. And Knicks fans seem good with what happened (and didn’t happen) concerning the team that night. So, at least for now, everybody’s relatively happy. And that’s about all the Knicks could hope for at this point.
The land on which Playa Vista sits on was, for thousands of years, a salt marsh that was fed by the Los Angeles River before its course shifted south to empty in San Pedro Bay in 1825.
The Tongva people called the area Washna and laid their dead to rest in a large burial ground in the shadow of the Westchester Bluffs. The Spanish used the area for grazing and called it Rancho La Ballona. In the 1900s, oil was struck in the westernmost edge of the wetlands, and it was re-dubbed the Playa del Rey Oil Field.
When Howard Hughes needed more space to build his newest bomber in 1940, he bought hundreds of acres of the wetlands, diverted Centinela Creek to keep his runway dry and built what he called the Hughes Culver City Plant.
It was a massive operation, with the world’s longest private runway and tens of thousands of square feet of hangars and manufacturing facilities. The infamous Spruce Goose was built there before being trucked to Long Beach for its first and only flight.
In 1986, the Culver plant shut down, and the historic hangars were abandoned. They soon found a second life in the 1990s as Hollywood sought ever-bigger soundstages to film modern blockbusters, with “Titanic,” “Avatar” and “Iron Man” among the movies that were shot in the gigantic Spruce Goose hangar.
The interest from Hollywood led developers to include a massive studio complex in the plans for a mixed-use development that was now being called Playa Vista. The scale of the project was huge, and it faced fierce opposition from residents of neighboring communities. The developers made density concessions, agreed to pay for the rehabilitation of the remaining wetlands and were allowed to move forward with construction.
The studio component was abandoned in the mid-1990s, but the plan to develop office space designed to attract tech firms that worked with the entertainment industry remained intact.
That would pay off in the 2000s as tech giants Google, Microsoft and Facebook began to move their L.A. operations to Playa Vista, marking this former marshland the red-hot center of Silicon Beach.
Master-planning: In Playa Vista it’s possible to work where you live, live where you work, and in your off-time catch a movie or hang out at the park.
Tech utopia: The dense concentration of tech companies such as Google and Facebook, which offer high-paying tech jobs in beautiful new architecturally significant office buildings, help makes Playa Vista the apex of the L.A. tech scene.
Beach-adjacent living: The heart of Silicon Beach may not literally be on the water, but Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey and Venice Beach are just minutes away.
No “there” there: It may develop over time, but at this early stage, Playa Vista has no real distinguishing characteristics, other than its extreme newness. Minus the ocean breezes it could be in San Jose or Austin.
Dennis Hsii, owner of Playa Vista Premiere Real Estate Group and a resident of Playa Vista, said the neighborhood has a little bit of everything for everyone, from residential neighborhoods to retail and restaurants — and more are on the way.
He said the neighborhood puts on such activities as movie screenings and concerts in the park and holiday festivals for children, which adds a community feel to the area.
“You can immediately go outside and bump into your neighbors,” he said. “People come here and feel like they are at a resort. They don’t have to get into their cars and can just be in the community.”
For potential homeowners, Hsii recommended visiting Playa Vista’s welcome center and going on an hour-long walking tour offered Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Within the boundaries of Playa Vista is Playa del Rey Elementary, which scored 903 out of 1,000 in the 2013 Academic Performance Index.
Nearby schools include El Marino Elementary and Cowan Avenue Elementary, which scored 944 and 829, respectively. Marina del Rey Middle had a score of 743, and Orville Wright Middle scored 737. Culver Park High had a score of 578.
In May, based on 11 sales, the median sales price for condominiums in the Playa Vista area was $963,000, according to CoreLogic. That was a 2.4% increase in median price over the same month the previous year. There were no single-family home sales during the month.
Times staff writer Rachel Spacek contributed to this report.
After a successful week at the Nuart, the one-of-a-kind documentary “Dawson Creek: Frozen Time,” a complete astonishment from beginning to end, moves to the Regent in Westwood on Friday and expands to the Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica, and the Vintage Los Feliz 3, with weekend screenings at the Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena. See it now on the big screen or forever regret it.
An aesthetic knockout that’s crammed with wild tales, amazing facts and unconventional personalities; a doc that’s also a detective story, a history of a particular place that turns into an examination of an art form as well as a gloss on the political history of the 20th century; this Bill Morrison-directed epic uses stunning images from a celebrated cache of silent films to tell the story of the Klondike gold rush town in the most entrancing way.
It’s the rare film where you feel you don’t want to so much as blink out of fear you’ll miss something exceptional on the screen, but “Dawson City: Frozen Time” fits that description. If you love film, if you’re intoxicated by the way movies combine image and emotion, be prepared to swoon.
Hello! I’m Mark Olsen, and welcome to another edition of your regular field guide to a world of Only Good Movies.
Are you feeling extra anxious lately? Do you have that vaguely untethered, end-of-the-world feeling? You are not alone. The Times’ Jeffrey Fleishman published an essay on depictions of doomsday dystopias in fiction and what they might have to say about our actual reality. From “Soylent Green” or “Waterworld” to “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Interstellar,” what does apocalyptic fiction mean in the face of, say, President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord?
“Perhaps more than any other moment in his presidency, Trump’s action highlighted a Darwinian worldview in which the planet is less a community than an unforgiving marketplace for countries to compete and barter,” said Fleishman. “But exiting the climate pact has raised larger existential questions at a time of rising seas, droughts and melting ice caps.”
The screening event we had last week was one of the most exciting we’ve put on in some time, with Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano talking about “The Big Sick.” We’ve got some more movies in the hopper for July, so for updates on future events, go to events.latimes.com.
‘Dawson City: Frozen Time’
Bill Morrison’s documentary “Dawson City: Frozen Time” explores the discovery in 1978 of a trove of rare nitrate films that includes footage of the 1917 and infamous 1919 World Series. Morrison’s film transforms that find into an exploration of history and memory and the bigger issues that that stash of rare film pointed toward.
Reviewing the movie, The Times’ Kenneth Turan said it is “[a]n aesthetic knockout that’s crammed with wild tales, amazing facts and unconventional personalities, a documentary that’s also a detective story, a history of a particular place that turns into an examination of an art form as well as a gloss on the political history of the 20th century.”
The Times’ Kevin Crust spoke to Morrison, who said, “I want you to have that sensation of having lived through the century, that you went through all the decades, that you worked up to that point. The minutiae is really the point of it. What gets saved, what gets lost, what gets forgotten, what gets remembered.”
In the New Yorker, Richard Brody noted: “In ‘Dawson City,’ Morrison offers a fiercely precise and discerning look at movies themselves as embodiments of history. In the process, he retunes our relationship with the ubiquitous cinematic archive — with the fresh batch of images that get delivered through the electronic pipeline by the minute — and with the very question of what’s contained, or what’s hidden, in the seemingly smooth and seamless flow of a movie.”
In the New York Times, Glenn Kenny added that the films rediscovered in the movie “suggest a vast unknown film history. They also remind any film scholar that no matter how seemingly voluminous your knowledge of movie history, it is likely to be only a fraction of a fraction of the entirety. In any event, ‘Dawson City’ now enters that time line as an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.”
Directed by Aisling Walsh and written by Sherry White, “Maudie” is the fact-based story of folk artist Maud Dowley, who suffered from severe arthritis from an early age. Sally Hawkins gives a deeply committed performance as Dowley, while Ethan Hawke plays the man who marries her in this unsparing portrait of an artist’s life.
In his review for The Times, Robert Abele noted, “Sally Hawkins turns a crumpled misfit into an affecting figure of fortitude and optimism in ‘Maudie,’ a portrait of the artist as a hermit wife that overcomes some clunky early brushstrokes to achieve a genuine grace and considerable poignancy.”
In the New York Times, Manohla Dargis wrote, “Mostly, it is a life that emerges through the contrapuntal performances of Ms. Hawkins and Mr. Hawke, who, with bobbing heads, mutter and murmur, bringing you into the private world of two outsiders isolated by geography, poverty, disability, temperament and habit. It’s easy, especially, to admire Ms. Hawkins’s technical skill — the private smiles and halting, crooked walk — but the beauty of her performance is that soon you see only Maud.”
‘Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe’
Author Stefan Zweig is best known to some audiences as the spiritual influence of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Directed and co-written by Maria Schrader, the movie “Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe” explores the life of the author, who achieved extreme fame in his day.
In his review for The Times, Kenneth Turan called the film “intellectually involving and strikingly made,” adding that director Schrader came to the film “armed with clear ideas of what she wanted to convey and how she wanted to convey it” and that “she’s made a movie that allows its actors to fully inhabit their characters in a potent but low-key way.”
Movie recommendations from critics Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang and other reviewers.
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Steve James’ compelling documentary on how a small bank in New York’s Chinatown became the only one to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. (Kenneth Turan) NR.
Beatriz at DinnerSalma Hayek gives perhaps the best performance of her career as an empathetic holistic healer who comes face-to-face with a rotten billionaire real-estate mogul (a marvelous John Lithgow) in this queasily funny and suspenseful dark comedy from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White. (Justin Chang) R.
ChurchillBrian Cox, in a towering, Oscar-caliber performance, proves the literal beating heart of this superb look at iconic statesman Winston Churchill’s torturous days leading up to the pivotal D-Day landings of June 6, 1944. (Gary Goldstein) PG.
Dawson City: Frozen Time An aesthetic knockout that’s crammed with amazing facts, a documentary that’s also a detective story, a history of a particular place that turns into an examination of an entire art form, this Bill Morrison documentary inspired by the Klondike gold rush and a legendary cache of silent films will make you swoon. (Kenneth Turan) NR.
It Comes at Night Confirming the filmmaking skill of writer-director Trey Edward Shults (“Krisha”), this nightmarish post-apocalyptic thriller about two families seeking refuge in the wilderness is a tour de force of narrative economy, etched in dim light and implacable shadows. (Justin Chang) R.
The Lost City of Z Based on David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller about the British explorer Percy Fawcett (well played by Charlie Hunnam), James Gray’s rich, meditative and deeply transporting adventure epic is the sort of classical filmmaking that feels positively radical. (Justin Chang) PG-13.
My Cousin Rachel Daphne du Maurier’s melodramatic thriller of a novel is turned into a triumphant exercise in dark and delicious romantic ambiguity courtesy of an extremely persuasive performance by Rachel Weisz. (Kenneth Turan) PG-13.
Their Finest Genial and engaging with a fine sense of humor, this story of making movies in World War II Britain stars Gemma Arterton and a marvelous Bill Nighy and makes blending the comedic with the serious look simpler than it actually is. (Kenneth Turan) R.
Wonder Woman With forthright emotion, spirited humor and a surprisingly purposeful sense of spectacle, director Patty Jenkins and her superb star, Gal Gadot, have made a thrilling new superhero saga that might just save the typically nonthrilling DC Extended Universe. (Justin Chang) PG-13.
Bruce Willis’ latest effort to dislodge his film career from a stubborn rut goes unrewarded with “Once Upon a Time in Venice,” a wincingly unfunny comedy caper set along L.A.’s funky beach community.
He may be Venice’s “only licensed detective,” but Steve Ford (Willis) seems to have a lot of downtime that he (or his body double) spends either skateboarding butt-naked or hanging with sad-sack surf shop proprietor Dave (John Goodman).
But when his beloved Jack Russell terrier, Buddy. is snatched by thugs, Ford springs into a semblance of action, reluctantly joining forces with a local gang banger named Spyder (Jason Momoa) with assistance from his nervous apprentice, John (Thomas Middleditch, the voice of Harold in “Captain Underpants”).
Alas, this is no canine “Keanu.”
Serving as the directorial debut of Mark Cullen, who, with co-writer brother Robb, also penned the equally limp 2010 Willis buddy comedy “Cop Out,” the smug movie is piled high with tired stereotypes (Adam Goldberg’s real estate agent, “Lew the Jew” among them) and half-baked action.
Clearly large chunks of the dialogue have been improvised here, which, in previous cases have been known to mine comic gold, but here tediously fall flat with a self-amused thud, effectively leaving Willis and the rest of his supporting cast, including Famke Janssen and Kal Penn, hung out to dry under the intense Venice sun.
Early in his career, filmmaker Bill Morrison would distress film stock with Drano to affect decay. In later films, working largely with archival footage, he meticulously stitched together glorious black-and-white images, allowing the inherent volatility of the medium to create beauty and meaning.
“I became enamored of the way time could ravage film on its own and see what the great ocean of time could affect rather than my own manipulations,” says the filmmaker in a recent phone interview from his home in New York City. His latest nonfiction feature, “Dawson City: Frozen Time,” a unique film borne of Morrison’s distinctive process, opens June 16 at the Nuart.
The film’s inciting incident is the 1978 Dawson City film find, when more than 500 nitrate films from the silent era were discovered in the permafrost-filled swimming pool of an abandoned recreation center in the Yukon. The trove included narrative features, shorts, serials and newsreels, including footage of the 1917 and 1919 World Series. A more conventional filmmaker could have made a fine documentary on the discovery and its aftermath, but Morrison is not your typical documentarian.
The director’s previous work includes “Decasia” (2002), about deteriorated nitrate film; “The Miners’ Hymns” (2010), on the fate of English miners; and “The Great Flood” (2012), which depicts a 1927 Mississippi River disaster. “These films existed somewhere between the experimental, the avant-garde and the documentary form, and all of them show some kind of nitrate decay or damage to the emulsion,” says Morrison. “I was preparing myself for [‘Dawson City’], which really combines all of them in the history and the poetry.”
The film’s foundations go back to a 1997 short, “The Film of Her,” Morrison made about the paper print collection at the Library of Congress. “I told that story,” he says, “essentially, using pieces of that collection and supporting archival material. I thought I could do the same thing with ‘Dawson City’ in the right circumstance.”
The “right circumstance” emerged in 2013 when Morrison was invited to screen some of his films at Ottawa’s ByTowne Cinema. A programmer there, Paul Gordon, mentioned his day job was digital migration at Library and Archives Canada, Morrison inquired about the famous Dawson City footage and was soon looking at 35-millimeter prints on a Steenbeck. He realized that not many people had looked at the films when he returned the following year and discovered reels he’d not rewound were still “tails out.”
Gordon helped Morrison navigate some of the archive’s other holdings, allowing the filmmaker to secure supporting photographs and materials, and eventually became an associate producer on “Dawson City.” Morrison made several trips back and forth to Ottawa before telling them, “You know what? I want it all, basically. I want all the newsreels, and I’ll try to be selective with the narratives.” The digital migration allowed the archive to ship materials to Morrison on drives, and he created his own database of the footage.
“I wanted a good portion of the collection to be represented,” says Morrison. “It’s nitrate. It’s so gorgeous the way it holds the silver, and the blacks are so rich. There were great artists back then making films. Sometimes that gets lost in the plots or the acting styles of silent films.” He estimates that 40% of “Dawson City: Frozen Time” is made of footage from the film find, supported by home movies, industrial films and photographs and a small number of interviews.
Morrison does all of his own research and editing. “I think of the two things as inextricably linked,” he explains. “I have to know where everything is, what we have and what we don’t have. It’s really how I write. The writing came as I was doing it.
“I like to start with a discovery and then fill out a back story from there,” Morrison says. “Rather than trying to find a needle in a haystack, I’d rather start with a diamond and find the mines.”
That approach led him to the late 19th century. Before there was a Dawson City, there was a First Nation Hän settlement called Tr’ochëck at a bend in the Yukon River, tucked into Canada’s far northwest. When gold was discovered there in 1896, the Hän were displaced and the town of Dawson City was established. The explosive boom and equally rapid bust form the real start of Morrison’s story.
He realized that the gold rush was concurrent with the birth of cinema, and the history of film in Dawson City was the history of cinema throughout the century. For Morrison, this epic tale represented nothing less than “the story of capitalism as told through cinema and shown through this town.”
The result is an historical epic that spans the better part of the 20th century and includes a cast of thousands, including a string of surprising characters who would later find fame in Hollywood. “I guess you could say the same crazy people who would try to find gold up in the Yukon are the same people who would try to find it in Hollywood,” Morrison says.
Another consistently vibrant component in Morrison’s work is music, having worked with composers and musicians such as Michael Gordon, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer and others. “[Music] was always something that really inspired me in cinema,” recalls the filmmaker. “Even ‘Rocky,’ not just the theme song but how the strings worked through the fight sequences. I was really intrigued by that. Then when I saw ‘Koyaanisqatsi,’ I was, Oh, music can be your narrator and you don’t even need a plot, per se.”
On one of his trips to Ottawa, Morrison met with guitarist-vocalist Jónsi of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós and his frequent collaborator, Alex Somers, backstage at a concert. Later, in New York, after looking at the footage, the duo produced a demo that so impressed the director he used it with the pair’s 2009 album “Riceboy Sleeps” as a temporary “scratch” track for the film. Jónsi went on tour, but Somers eventually composed the eerie, churning score for “Dawson City” and recommended his brother, John Somers, as sound designer.
They created a soundscape that reflects both an accompaniment and a counterpoint to Morrison’s images and themes. John Somers developed a program that monitored the degree of decay in each frame and created a correlative audio component, giving the film an even more haunting quality.
Morrison ultimately sees the story as a grand tragedy, a mystery — how did those films get into the ground? — that reveals both human resilience and hubris. “I liken making the film to working on a huge jigsaw puzzle,” he says. “You know where the edges are but you don’t know how you’re going to fill in the middle. In the end, everything interlocks. There’s a reason the image before it is before it, and the image after it is after it, so it makes sense visually as part of an edit, as well as historically and narratively.”
For audiences, Morrison says, “I want you to have that sensation of having lived through the century, that you went through all the decades, that you worked up to that point. The minutiae is really the point of it. What gets saved, what gets lost, what gets forgotten, what gets remembered.”
It’s been called the King Tut’s Tomb of silent cinema, a celluloid find at one of the world’s far corners that dazzled the film universe, but to accomplished, ambitious moviemaker Bill Morrison, it was something more: the chance to tell the story of a lifetime, to spin a wondrous, almost indescribable tale, a complete astonishment from beginning to end.
The thrilling documentary “Dawson City: Frozen Time” is indescribable not because it’s ambiguous (it’s totally straightforward) but because it does so many things so beautifully it is hard to know where to begin.
An aesthetic knockout that’s crammed with wild tales, amazing facts and unconventional personalities, a documentary that’s also a detective story, a history of a particular place that turns into an examination of an art form as well as a gloss on the political history of the 20th century, “Dawson City” begins and ends in its namesake tiny gold rush town just south of the Arctic Circle in Canada’s unforgiving Yukon Territory.
It all started in the summer of 1978 when a backhoe operator excavating for a new building behind Diamond Tooth Gertie’s casino in Dawson City came across reels and reels of old nitrate film dating from the teens and 1920s that had been preserved in the far north’s permafrost for half a century.
Once the dust had cleared and the archivists had done their work, 533 reels were saved — half a million feet of film — the last surviving remnants of an astonishing 372 titles, all of which had been thought lost forever.
These included work by major stars like Lionel Barrymore, Lon Chaney and Douglas Fairbanks and long-forgotten features with evocative titles like “A Sagebrush Hamlet” and “The Bludgeon.”
There were serials, shorts and a great deal of vivid newsreel footage, including an undreamed-of previously unseen cinematic record of one of the most controversial plays in 1919’s infamous “Black Sox” World Series scandal.
Writer-director-editor Morrison turned out to be the ideal person to explore all of this. He conveys with magnificent obsessiveness the dramatic details of how and why all that film got buried in the permafrost in the first place, what transpired when it was found, and the unexpectedly compelling history of Dawson City in particular and the 1897 Klondike gold rush in general.
It’s a history that encompasses numerous larger than life individuals who interact in multiple ways and reappear when you least expect them. These include celebrated dancer Klondike Kate Rockwell, President Trump’s grandfather Fred, and future theatrical impresarios and key Los Angeles figures Sid Grauman and Alexander Pantages.
Morrison’s best known previous feature, 2002’s “Decasia” (the most recent film named to the Library of Congress’ prestigious National Film Registry), dealt with the innate beauty of decaying and decomposing nitrate footage.
Because of his longstanding and particular interests, Morrison had a deep affinity for the strange and startling beauty of the Dawson City found footage (much of which ended up with distinctive water damage markings), using it several different ways but always to its best advantage.
Another characteristic of Morrison’s work is its connection with contemporary music. For “Dawson City,” well aware that silent films were never truly silent but rather depended on musical accompaniment, he collaborated with Alex Somers, a composer and frequent collaborator with the Icelandic group Sigur Rós. Somers produced an exceptional score, brooding and wonderfully ominous, that elevates and enlarges the film’s extensive silent imagery.
Though “Dawson City” conveys an almost unparalleled amount of information to viewers, it stays away from conventional voice-over. Rather it makes extensive use of crisp white type on the screen to tell us everything we need to know.
Often that type is shown over the numerous evocative black and white period still photographs that Morrison has used to further deepen the story. Many of the most iconic images were taken by Eric Hegg, and the wild tale of how many of Hegg’s fragile glass plate negatives managed to survive is one of the many told here.
Though it’s so subtly interwoven you might not immediately notice it, one of “Dawson City’s” narrative threads is a gloss on the nature of capitalism, grounded in gold mining information and including fascinating newsreel footage of a 1917 New York march protesting anti-black violence and a 1929 anarchist bombing of the J.P. Morgan bank that killed 38.
As compelling visually as it is dramatically, “Dawson City’s” splendid images are its strength. Morrison has an exceptional eye for what is striking, and he uses excerpts from the recovered footage in unexpected yet complementary ways.
Initially, clips are used as a witty way to illustrate story points: If the type on screen mentions a Dawson City fire (there were many), we see a variety of inferno footage. But Morrison so loves this footage he can’t stop there, favoring us with montages of shots edited together just for the pure joy of expressive imagery.
It’s the rare film where you feel you don’t want to so much as blink out of fear you’ll miss something exceptional on the screen, but “Dawson City: Frozen Time” fits that description. If you love film, if you’re intoxicated by the way movies combine image and emotion, be prepared to swoon.
‘Dawson City: Frozen Time’
Running time: 2 hours
Playing: Opens Friday atLandmark Nuart, West Los Angeles
For a little while, LeBron James will take a break. He’ll take his mind off the game. He’ll spend some time with his kids.
It won’t be long before James gets back on a basketball court, the unceasing pull of the sport he loves calling him, just as much as the memory of losing in the NBA Finals will push him. Then his team, and 28 others, will set to work at figuring out their place in the Golden State Warriors’ era.
“They’re going to be here for a while,” said James, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star who has been to seven consecutive Finals. “They’re going to be around for a while. … Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. So there’s going to be a lot of teams that’s trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they’re able to actually face them in the playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference.”
Their dominance isn’t bad for basketball. Monday night’s Game 5, during which the Warriors clinched their second championship in three seasons, was the most-watched Game 5 since 1998, with more than 25 million viewers.
But for the teams who all strive for the same thing, this conundrum exists in both conferences.
James is 32 years old, but he showed no signs of aging during this year’s playoffs. The Cavaliers casually dispatched every team they played, sweeping the first two rounds. The Boston Celtics offered some resistance — winning one game — but even that effort seemed ultimately doomed.
James figures to play at this level for at least four more years, darkening the fates of any other contender in the conference.
But the Warriors’ dominance poses a problem for everyone. Will James play the rest of his prime with Golden State this good?
Stephen Curry is 29, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are 27, Kevin Durant is only 28. Durant can opt out of his contract this summer, while Curry and important reserve Andre Iguodala are at the end of their deals. Green is under contract for three more years; Thompson is under contract for two more.
But after a season in which Curry and Durant both sacrificed personal accolades and attention to win a championship, it’s hard to imagine either leaving in free agency. That could set up the Warriors to maintain the level of play they had this year for the next three or four years.
The Warriors swept through the Western Conference playoffs, no easy feat.
The Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and the Houston Rockets all had better regular season records better than any Eastern Conference team. The Clippers and the Utah Jazz both finished with the same 51-31 record as the Cavaliers did in finishing second to the Boston Celtics.
All of those teams have stars who are in their mid-20s and older. The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard turns 26 this month. Houston’s James Harden will be 28 by the start of next season. Clippers forward Blake Griffin is 28, and their star point guard Chris Paul is 32, though it’s unclear what each player’s future is with the Clippers.
If any of those teams are to wait out this run, those players probably will waste the primes of their careers.
Rebuilding teams might be better equipped.
The Lakers are one of them. They have the second pick in next week’s draft, and a roster full of young players. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has said he’s looking more toward next summer’s free agency than this summer’s free agency.
All that means the Lakers aren’t likely to be back in contention for at least another couple of years. And that might be perfect.
“I joke a lot, I said, ‘If there’s a time to be rebuilding, this is the time to do it,’” Lakers coach Luke Walton said recently on a podcast with Bleacher Report. “The Warriors don’t look like they’re going anywhere for a while.”
When he arrives in Las Vegas at the end of June, Mel Brooks will have just blown out 91 candles on his birthday cake.
Brooks’ first Las Vegas appearance comes in the form of a one-man show called “An Evening With Mel Brooks,” which gives a behind-the-scenes look at his long, Hollywood-centric life.
During his career, the actor, director and film producer has won four Emmys, three Grammys, one Oscar and three Tonys. He said it was hotel mogul Steve Wynn who asked him to perform in Sin City.
Brooks told Wynn he had “a little time at the end of June and the very beginning of July.” Wynn pressed for two nights instead of one.
Now, Brooks will take the stage at Wynn Las Vegas on June 30 and July 1. (His birthday is June 28.)
What took so long? “Many years ago, Carl Reiner and I got tremendous offers [to play Vegas], but we had other careers,” he said. “We just didn’t want to take the time and do it.”
Now all that has changed. The Hollywood legend said his Vegas shows will be a mix of movie clips and personal stories. About half the time will be reserved for questions and comments from the audience.
“I’m going to show what I consider some of my funniest clips from my funniest pictures, hopefully starring me in them, for about 15 or 20 minutes,” he said.
“Then I’m going to come out and I’m going to talk about my life. I’m going to go all the way back to being a little kid in Williamsburg in Brooklyn.”
“I will tell them what has kept me alive, what I think is a good rationale for living every day, stuff like that,” he said. The funnyman quickly added that even his nuggets of wisdom will have a humorous spin.
The two Vegas shows come on the heels of one-night sellout shows in New York and Chicago. Brooks said a surprising number of millennials were in attendance.
“They were screaming and yelling and throwing out questions. It was a laugh and love fest,” he said. “A joke that works, works through the ages. It would work for Henry the VIII, and it would work tomorrow. Funny is funny.”
Tickets in the $75-to-$150 price range remain for both shows. The most expensive seats and meet-and-greet packages are sold out.
“It’s a bit egotistical and braggadocio, but there’s every good chance that there will not be a seat available on either night,” he said.
Despite his age, Brooks continues to actively pursue his show business career.
About a month after his Vegas shows, he is tol travel to London to oversee rehearsals of his “Young Frankenstein,” a musical based on his popular 1974 film. It is set to open Sept. 28.
“I’m immemorial,” he said. “I’ve come a long ways since I was a corporal in the army.” Brooks’ brief service in Germany was 72 years ago, at the end of World War II.