In an era that was laser-focused on the fast break, guard Michael Cooper of the Showtime Lakers was all about getting stops on the defensive end. His presence played a large role in the team forcing the turnovers that would allow Magic Johnson to get out in transition and do what he does best.
Cooper won five NBA championships with the Lakers and took home the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1987, cementing his status as a legend in Los Angeles.
On this episode of the LN Podcast, Cooper joins host Trevor Lane to discuss today’s Lakers team. After finishing the 2017-2018 season with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, what’s next? Is head coach Luke Walton adapting to the team or is he trying to push them into a Golden State Warriors-style offense that doesn’t truly fit the Lakers’ personnel?
Cooper also explains his thoughts on this summer’s upcoming free agent market and what impact Magic Johnson may have in negotiations. While the Lakers will be doing all they can to sell stars on coming to Los Angeles, Cooper believes that Kobe Bryant has the right idea about how to approach the market.
Speaking of Bryant, Cooper also describes a secret one-on-one workout against Bryant that took place shortly before the 1996 NBA Draft. With the Lakers trying to decide whether or not to make a trade in order to select Bryant, it was his play against defensive ace Cooper that left no doubt that the move needed to be made.
Looking around today’s NBA, Cooper explains which current player he believes would give him the most trouble if he was defending them.
Lastly, Cooper discusses his fight against oral cancer, and what he’s doing to make a difference in a too-often overlooked struggle. All that and much more on this episode of the LN Pod, just click the player above!