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"Hate" Crimes?

Over the last couple days, I've noticed a trend with reader comments in reaction to our interview with Ken Miller of the Los Angeles Sentinel, or whenever people/journalists/other readers criticize Kobe and the Lakers in general. They're labeled "haters." They're "hating" on the team. They're spreading "hatred."  Offer a purple and gold opinion that's less that complimentary, and you risk being accused of "hate" crimes.

What I'm curious about, though, is how this ""hate" concept actually works. I admit, being 33, the expression wasn't huge back in the day for me, and I never grew up using it. But I've seen enough Lindsay Lohan flicks, rap videos, and Jerry Springer episodes that I am indeed familiar with the term. I get what it means. But I'm not always sure what sparks its usage. When does simple criticism cross over into "hating?"

Ken Miller spoke about the Lakers in mostly unflattering terms. He made some strong statements, some of which I agree with, some of which I think are way off base. But it's hard to argue that a 5-8 team lacking depth and concrete direction is bulletproof. Shouldn't readers expect, even demand, a certain amount of derogatory remarks? Some of Miller's criticisms are the same ones Brian and I read from all of you. For example, he thinks the front office is screwing up left and right, a sentiment 85% of the readers who accuse him of "hating" must agree with on some level, since almost every comment we get calls for Kupchak's walking papers. So where does that sentiment cross over from rooting for the team to improve into "hating" on the team?

Let me also make something clear: This isn't me being a journalist sticking up for another journalist. I'll say it again. I don't think Miller was right about everything he said. Not even close. I couldn't care less if y'all agree with him or like him, as long as you found him interesting (and judging by the passionate reactions, you did.). But if he has a "personal" agenda behind the "hating," I never sensed it, and we were on the phone with him for 45 minutes. He didn't seem happy that the Lakers are at an undeniable crossroads. He absolutely seemed like a guy who thinks the team is on a downward spiral, which he talked about in very blunt terms. But it doesn't get much more blunt than "fire Kupchak," which I believe is a website a reader started. Is that reader a "hater," or does he get a free pass, because he's a fan? Because either way, Miller and this fan are basically saying the same thing.

Do you understand what I'm asking? Is there an actual difference?

I often wonder the same question regarding Kobe barbs. I'll be the first to admit, Kobe lives a serious "damned if he do, damned if he don't" existence. And it's not always fair, especially now, when he's head and shoulders the best baller on his team, making the balance between taking over and involving teammates delicate. But if you think back on Tuesday's loss to S.A., and replay the events through the eyes of a non-Laker fan (or Laker "hater," for that matter), the truth is pretty obvious and simple.

Kobe was forcing shots down the stretch.

He wasn't feeling it, some of his teammates were, and they should gotten the ball more. Even PJ said so. The guy finished 9-33 with zilch dimes. That ain't productive, and there's no need to defend it.  On the flip side, that night didn't provide incontrovertible proof that Kobe's a selfish ballhog who's obsessed with his stats, will never be MJ, and needs to be traded. Absolutely not. It proved nothing other than the fact that he had a pretty bad game. But to call Kobe out after a night like that does not a "hater" make.

Or does it?

Seriously, I really wanna know. Can you say anything negative about anything Lakers without being a "hater?"  Does honest critique qualify as "hatred?" If that's the case, are Lakers fans forced to lie to themselves about the state of the team, lest they become "haters?" Does being a "non-hater" require blind loyalty and as much optimism as possible, even in the face of unpleasant truths? Or can the criticism come hard and fast, as long as a "Go Lakers!" immediately follows, so it's clear where the speaker's heart lies? Where does honesty end and "hater in the house" begin? How does it all work, because I find it extremely fascinating.

AK

 
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Bravo! Bravo! You have said something that has plagued me for quite sometime since I've been writing my comments. I felt like I had to defend myself first, by proclaiming I'm a Laker Fan before I begin writing my constructive criticism. I am elated to know I am not the only who feels like I am labeled as a “h8ter” (get it Kobe hater?) because I love a team that lacks heart right now. If my call name doesn’t tell you enough of how much of a fan I am, I don’t know what else to say…well I will just be labeled a “h8ter” for telling the truth.

Once again, Bravo to you!
BTW – funny article.

What it comes down to is that some bloggers make negative statements which are in no way constructive and often down-right irrational.

Personally, I cannot stand so-called "fans" who whenever their team experiences adversity they respond by stating that everyone on the team should be fired, or that everything is horrible, or that there is no hope unless we have a public beheading of Kobe or Mitch K.

It's extreme and annoying and has nothing to do with being a "real fan", it has a lot more to do with being a "bandwagoner" going through withdrawl from coasting from easy victory to easy victory. It's crazy hater logic.

Red Sox fans are real fans.
Dodger fans are real fans.
Celtic fans (curse every last one of them) are real fans.
Green Bay fans are real fans.

Laker fans are real fans, unfortunately the Lakers have been so magnificent for so long that they've attracted a lot of bangwagoners and haters.

Who needs them, I say. I hope they find some other team to bandwagon on.

Keep in mind we the readers do not speak with one voice. Some people will address all criticism as hating because it's a simple claim that doesn't need to be backed up and helps the person crying "hating" to ignore the validity of the criticism.

I criticized Miller because he seemed to assume the worst of all situations, like when he said the main reason West left was because of Jackson. I haven't had personal contact with either party, but that seems simplistic to me. If the team continuously kowtowed to Jackson over West, why didn't they trade Kobe for Kidd as he admits asking? It doesn't make sense, but it SOUNDS good. That's why I think he forms some of his opinions for the sake of forming controversial opinions.

As another example, his comments about Bynum are absurdly premature. ANY comment about Bynum is absurdly premature. But he didn't seem to consider that sort of perspective as an option. He had to make it clear he knew exactly what kind of player Bynum would be.

So, I don't dismiss what he says because he's a hater, but because he seems to be a knee-jerk iconoclast.

First of all there is a thin line between being a "hater" and not. All of us who post here have some type of positive passion for the Lakers, and that wasn't reflected in the breif excerpts we read. The guy obviously crosses the line into the "hater" catergory. Especially when he makes comments like:

1. "I really don’t see the Lakers winning another NBA championship in the next twenty to twenty five years."

People that post here and "hate" on Kobe, but are still Lakers fans, would never agree with that, as you've seen in the posts. I don't even think Shaq the ultimate Laker "hater" would "sincerely" agree with that statement. (of course publicly he would)

2. "I think the biggest loss for the Lakers was Jerry West. I don’t think they’ll ever recover."

EVER" come on .... that has "hater" written all over it. "

3. "The bottom line is that the Lakers really only have one guy that anyone would really want and deal for, and that’s Kobe Bryant" and "So, when you look at that for what it is, I mean, there’s maybe the backups out there… but these guys have peaked out. These guys are not going to make a difference"

Again did he forget about Odom HELLO. Even D. George or the young guys have some value. But to say they are only worth back-up type players that "have peaked out" is very "haterish".

4. "You’re talking 2010, 2011 before the Lakers can get that kind of player." speaking about a superstar.

Us who occasionally "hate" on the Lakers are merely venting our frustrations. But Ken Miller sounds vendictive in his comments, I bet this guy thought Kobe was guilty and we should have kept Shaq and let Kobe walk also.

The guy is a "Hater"

The readers get a free pass because they are fans (too bad some are not very intelligent). Journalist are suppose to research stuff and used a lot less emotion than fans, I should not know moor about the Lakers than Him it’s is job to know, and after criticizing them a “GO LAKERS” don’t hurt

Man, It's so sad how many so called laker fans are feeling disappointed about their beloved team's performance,luckily those bastards are just a few.
Out here in Mexico there are real laker fans , we bleed purple and gold, we wake up every morning to read at least on the net about last night's game performance gettin a sad feeling after reading the results , but hoping for the next one to do better.
C'mon dudes , u either love lakers or not , period.
Yep, i'm realistic too, but what the heck, let me have something to love . Go lakers!

It's a game of hyperbole. Whatever's worth stating in the media, is worth over stating... just don't be boring. That's why Barkely's on TV right now spewing criticism at teams that don't have good records by Dec 1, looking tired and bored. The NBA doesn't have anything to talk about now, so we turn to player hating. That god for Kobe, a perfect target. Too many shots, too many misses, too many losses etc etc. It was ugly and boring tonight, but it's getting to be fun watching the growth too. It's gettin' better, slowly, but until it gets all the way there, hatin' beats the boredom, and we can't have boredom.

With the exception of Kobe, I think "The Buss" should trade everyone on the roster including Mitch.K and Jeanie.B to the T'Wolves for KG. Kobe and KG take on the world - Now I hope that doesn't make me a Laker hater for wanting to trade Jeanie?

The main thing that stuck in my mind were Ken Miller's comments on the possibility of KG coming to the Lakers. Why would KG NOT want to come to LA? The Lakers are a perfect match for KG. I don't think anyone would argue that the combination of KG + Kobe + Phil would automatically make a strong contender for a championship. Working out an acceptable trade for KG is another issue, but not an impossible task if KG demands a trade. Not sure if Ken Miller is a "hater," but he is definitely a "glass half empty" type of guy.

It's easy. People who are Laker haters are the people who wouldn't say something good about them unless they would look like a complete fool saying the opposite.

People who are Kobe haters are the one's who you hear booing him all game long away from home as soon as he steps on the court.

People in the media who are Kobe haters are the people who one day say that he is selfish and obnoxious, and the next day say he "tarnished his idealistic character as a model NBA player."

Screw them!

Where to start?? First I am a real, and true Lakers fan. Been watching since I first began to watch and enjoy the game of basketball. I think it's natural, and good for us lakers fans to question and vent about what is going on with our beloved Lakers but as a few of you have already stated, there is such a thing as going too far and the uninformed, way off base comments should not even be payed attention to.
Being the self proclaimed biggest Kobe fan alive, I'm not blind or biased enough to say that he is never to blame or even that some people give him way too much static for what he does on a court (even though most times they do) I know that sometimes he gets out of control. He's been that way ever since he came into the L, and even when he and Shaq were taking our Lakers to the promised land, he still proved that he could get out of control - taking too many shots and trying desperately to do it all himself sometimes. I hope that inheriting the team and standing alone as the leader that he will learn as Jordan did, to trust his team mates more and more and that he will finally dispell the tendecy to sometimes get out of control.
Judging from the first few games of this season and last season, I would say that he has much to learn in that department but he is learning and has learned much hopefully he will put it all together sooner rather than later.
Lakers fans have to remember that this is new for everyone. Kobe has never been the only, bonified scorer on a team, (apologies to LO, cause he really is my boy) but you all know what I mean, The Zen Master has never taken over a team in this position, having to rebuild. He's always been a closer. And the triangle, well that is new for most of the players and as we all know it is a difficult offense to learn, even for veterans (E.G. Gary Payton) And we should all ease up on LO as well because he is learning a new role too; trying to imitate Pippen cant' be easy.

All that being said:

GO LAKERS

And death to all you haters and band wagoners.

your right it's a shame how journalists across the country are hateing on the lakers right now especially kobe.however he does give them the fuel to the fire by playing the way that he does 1 he shoots to many jump shots when he should attack the basket more which would result in more foul calls and more free throws it also would help that plumetting fg percentage he also should pass more and stop taking all those jump shot's with defenders hanging all over him i think hands down he's the best basketball player in the league he seems to have mental lapses

There is a clear and distinct line between honest criticism and/or opinions and simple 'Laker hatred'.
Some people don't want to see the Lakers successfull because of their feelings about them. If you ultimately don't want the Lakers to win because of your feelings about them, then you're a 'hater'.

The Laker 'hating' takes on many forms. And most make it obvious...you know how they FEEL about the Lakers. They gladly wear that Laker hating feeling. They are the non-hypocritical haters. Love to talk to them, it's always a great conversation. Cause they're honest about it.

The most annoying form Laker hating is hypocritical kind. Just imagine the first kind of haters who love to wear it...that wind up gettin a job as an objective opinion. Will that person as a life-long Laker hater be able to give real observational opinions or will that little Laker hating gremlin take over?

Take Miller for example. You asked how good will Andrew Bynum get.He says the best Bynum will get is as an Okay Big Plodder. That's not an honest answer! Either say you don't know or say what you see now. What he forgot to preface his answer with is "well if everything goes wrong but he's still playing in 7 years, he'll be an OKay plodder"
Kareem has said that Bynum can be special, sooner rather than later. OK he's on the payroll. How About Mr. W.C. Duncan? I do believe he said something about 'special footwork for a big man'.

So, who's not telling the truth here. I would tend to believe Kareem and T.D. over Mr. Miller. So, Mr. Miller what are your motivations to talking smack about the Lakers' future players. Either admit that you're not a Laker hater and revise your dis-honest answer with something believable or admit you're a Laker Hater.

Laker Hater's always
Talk bad about the Lakers' future, (Wishful thinking)
Can't resist from piling on
Try their hardest to sound like Laker fans
Complain with Laker fans, about the Lakers
Say things that don't sound like someone making un-biased observations about basketball
Stand firm on the course of hating the Lakers. They will not waiver especially when questioned.

Really? Really!


He took criticsm to extreme and people really wouldn't be reading this blog unless they were Laker fans. Why would someone who really hates the Lakers even be in this section of the Times?

Did he even have anything good to say? It seems when he did, he added something negative to it. "Bynum impressed me. Too bad he is going to be an average Joe. Too bad Mitch didn't pick him and everyone else in the Front office made the decision"

The fact is that this Blog creates a way in which someone can overly criticize a team and not say anything positive when in fact this is still a "Laker Fan website". Without a blog, this interview would never have reached the Times. Its like putting an article in a food magazine about how all the recipes published this year are crap and you shouldn't eat any of the food. Why would the food magazine put an article like that in?

It's one thing to be critical and its another to take it to extreme and not have anything positive to say at all.



On another note, this blog needs to be improved. I understand that you have to review each post before it is put online, but why not delete it afterwards if it is offensive? The reason I ask is because people ask questions that never get answered or comment on because of the delay in reviewing the posts. If someone asks a question at night, 30 people will post as well and then when you approve them all, that one question never gets answered (seems to get lost) because of the 30 other posts.

The Blog will work better if you just approved the posts automatically.

i am sick and tired of what has become #8 forcing up jump shot after jump shot each and every game. who in this league can stop him driving to the basket.it does not always have to be a fallaway jumper does it?this is amazing.

So far there haven't been any suicide bombings, so I don't think there's any major league "hating" going on around here. "Hating" is just an ill-chosen word picked out by people who think the only legitimate purpose of this blog is to serve as the gathering point for a huge, kiss-Kobe's-butt orgy.

You are only a hater if you only criticize Kobe, because watching Kobe is a bipolar experience. You can’t be honest without finding fault with his lack of court vision, but also admiring his dedication to improving his game. PASS THE BALL KOBE…oooh nice shot. That is the Kobe experience.

Zen's right... again.

I have no idea why people want to go on a blog and just vomit out their irrational need for constant perfection.

Listen, we're lucky to have Kobe. There isn't a team in the NBA (except Miami) who wouldn't trade their left nut to have Kobe on their team. So, why are so many so called "fans" constantly calling for his head.

Do you know how many games he's won for us over the years? For God's sake, he's only 26!

As for the term being used on this blog: "Hater" (or "H8ter"...that was a good one 'Laker Fan') allow to to just sum this up for everyone who needs a little clarification. The term Hater has become an increasing and over-used word these days. All it means is- if someone goes against your own opinions or beliefs, they are called haters. Its very simple, really.
For example, I truely believe that Kobe is the best basketball player in the world (forget the nba) bar none and he is NOT a ballhog like many say he is. THe fact is he is the best player on his team with almost NO help every night. It's sad but true right now.
SO if anyone disagrees with me on anythign I've said, you know what I will call you, right? A HATER! (lol see how that works!)
P.S. TO dig deeper...most of the time when someone calls you a hater, it really means that they know u are right! (shhhhhh...thats a secret)

since shaq left there is no Lakers, sincere laker hater go MIAMI.

I definer a "Hater" as someone who (1) makes sweeping, very negative judgments about someone or something and (2) makes the judgments first and then tries to find facts afterwards to support the judgments. Haters will either ignore facts that don't support their judgment or make up reasons to ignore the contrary facts.

Do I hold people who claim to be experts to a different standard than fans? Yes, because (1) they should know much more than fans, (2) they should be able to articulate the reasons for their judgments better than fans and (3) they should use less hyperbole than fans. I am okay if a fan says, "Sasha was the worst player in the NBA last year. He sucked at defense and he couldn't make a shot to save his life", but not if an expert says it. A fan hasn't researched all 400+ players who played in the NBA last season and wouldn't know how Sasha stacks up against someone deep down the Hawks bench. The statement has a lot of sweeping judgments and not a lot of facts to support them. I would expect an expert to say something like, "Sasha had one of the worst seasons in the NBA last year. On defense, he wasn't strong enough to guard shooting guards and wasn't quick enough to guard point guards. On offense, he shot only 28.2%, one of the lowest percentages in the NBA." The two statements are very similar, but the former is just conclusions while the later presents facts that lead to the same conclusions.

Given that background, Ken Miller is clearly a hater. He makes lots of sweeping judgments which he either doesn't support or makes a weak case for. Let me cite some examples.

"The Lakers as a franchise, their reputation is in the toilet." That's an incredibly harsh judgment which Miller doesn't clarify or support. Their reputation for what? With whom? One year after losing in the NBA Finals and "their reputation is in the toilet"? The Lakers were either the top road draw last year or close to it. My guess is that the Lakers reputation is in the toilet with Ken Miller and that is all Ken cares about.

"[B]ut if he’s done in three years, I think what they’re going to do is to move Phil Jackson into a decision making capacity upstairs, so that he can attract the players in. Because Kobe Bryant cannot attract the players and they are not guys who are willing to come and play for Mitch Kupchak. So Phil Jackson is going to have to be the magnet to get one of those superstars over here." This is a judgment that seems to be made counter to the facts. Do the names "Gary Payton" and "Karl Malone" ring a bell? The Lakers convinced RFA's Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown to come to them. Have any superstars demanded to be traded to the Lakers or signed with the Lakers as a free agent? No, but there haven't been any superstars demanding to be traded to one team and the Lakers haven't had the salary cap space to sign a free agent superstar.

"I really don’t see the Lakers winning another NBA championship in the next twenty to twenty five years." Come on - no one can see that far in the future in the NBA. Could you have said in the 1980-1985 time range who would not be competing for a NBA championship now? Of course not. In 1996, I would have said that the window on the Spurs team winning a championship had closed. David Robinson injures his back, the Spurs get a lucky ping pong ball when an MVP caliber player was in the draft and, voila!, the Spurs are championship contenders again. The statement is pure hate.

"I think [the work of Mitch Kupchak has] been horrible. One thing about Mitch Kupchak, I don’t think he can make daring decisions...He’s made safe picks...You can call the Andrew Bynum decision a daring pick, but that wasn’t Mitch Kupchak. That was a pick that I think was certainly made by a collection of Lakers front office people, mainly Phil Jackson and Dr. Jerry Buss." Again, sweeping statements, which, when Miller tries to support them, Miller resorts to making up facts. Miller seems to be saying that Mitch is doing a horrible job because he hasn't made a daring draft pick. Miller ignores all other aspect of GMing - signing free agents, making trades, signing a coach, maintaining the organization, etc. Mitch has had 4 #1 draft picks as GM, with which he drafted Kareem Rush, Brian Cook, Sasha Vujacic and Andrew Bynum. Miller admits Bynum was a daring pick, but he makes up that the pick was made mainly by Phil Jackson and Dr. Buss (All the reporting I have seen has Bynum as a Mitch pick that Phil didn't like). I can't see how someone can say that Vujacic was a "safe pick". How can trading his starting PG and SF for a former #1 pick that was left off his team's playoff roster not be called daring? Miller supports his sweeping judgment of Mitch's performance by citing one inaccurate fact about one facet of it.

"If you recall, the primary reason why Jerry West left the Lakers was because of the power that Phil Jackson had." I recall that Jerry West resigned because the stress of the position eventually totally mentally and physically exhausted him. At the end, he couldn't handle watching a team that should win almost every game underperform and got no joy from their winning the championship. If Jerry West has ever said that he left because of the power Phil Jackson had, I haven't seen it. It sounds like making up facts to blame the current Laker organization for West's departure when West left for personal reasons.

"The bottom line is that the Lakers really only have one guy that anyone would really want and deal for, and that’s Kobe Bryant. And I think that no one is going to aching to help the Lakers unless the Lakers can certainly help them. And the Lakers don’t have any players that anyone else would want. If you look at the players that have, nobody really wanted Kwame Brown. The guy the Lakers really wanted was Eddy Curry and they didn’t get him." Another sweeping statement that is contradicted by the facts. There were other teams that were trying to land Kwame Brown before the Lakers sealed the deal. The Lakers had the best offer of players for Chicago (but lost out because New York offered Curry a much better contract), so they must have some talent. Odom definitely has trade value. I would think that any team in the NBA would leap at the chance of acquiring Bynum.

Is the guy a hater? Well, does he say one thing positive about the Lakers? Mitch won 2 NBA championships, lost once in the division finals, lost once in the NBA Finals and almost completely rebuilt the team in one off-season, but apparently didn't do a single right thing in those 5 years. Come on. Miller sees the Lakers' last five years in black and white (actually, just black), but reality is that everything is a shade of grey. Until Miller takes of his shades of gloom, talking to him is IMHO a waste of time.

Haha! and how many Miami fans were there before last year? Really? Half of Miami didn't care about Miami. Go jump on the wagon Kim..and don't bother looking back this way. Hater's an overused term...My advice to Ken (and I'm sure he doesn't need it). Ignore them...people are sheep..on this message board or any other on the net, people are unwilling to be very open minded. The truth is, we all love the lakers, we all know they have very LARGE faults this year, but we don't want to hear it from anyone but ourselves. ....Go LAKERS!

I have been a Laker fan all my life but I hate Kobe and I hate Shaq. Why couldn't they get alone like Magic and Kareem? Luckily for me, I moved to Memphis 10 years ago and it's amazing to see what THE LOGO can do almost overnight. That Miller guy was right. The worst thing that happened to the Lakers was loosing Jerry West. Good thing for me to be living in the city where he chose to land.

Sincerely,

Laker fan in Memphis

The definition of the word: “HATE” from Webster’s Ninth Newl Collegiate Dictionary:
Hate verb Hated-Hating: 1. To feel extreme enmity toward 2: to have a strong aversion of intense dislike for. HATE implies as emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice.

In Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, it defines a FAN as: (prob. Short for FANATIC) 1: an enthusiastic DEVOTEE as a spectator. 2: An ardent admirer or enthusiast.

And my point is you can’t call yourself as a “Laker Fan” and at the same time “HATE” on the LAKERS! Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong to be frustrated with how the team plays and be frustrated on how the management is handling the team.

I just hope all those that fair-weather Lakers Fan would just support another team...hey how about jumping on the Clippers bandwagon. Please take the rest of those Hollywooders with you guys.

Dennis,

Beautiful post. I think it should be that authoritative post banning all haters who fit your categorization.

Laker haters are just plain disagreeable people who love to complain and then wonder why everyone else wants to seemingly take the joy out of their strangely delicious misery.

I used to love Shaq. Then he disrespected my team and my city, now I am a full blown Shaq-hater. Something about sports brings that out in people, the ability to really hate something that has no bearing on you whatsoever. Miller is obviously a Laker hater who barely tries to hide it, but I don't mind reading it as I enjoy seeing people work themselves into a froth over the Lakeshow. The Lakers and the Yankees have to be the most hated franchises in the U.S. - as a Laker fan I enjoy it actually, because no matter how hard someone from another city hates on my team, there's always a strong contingent of Laker fans in their crowd when the Purple & Gold come to town and I know we're represented worldwide as I saw several #8 jerseys in Europe last summer.

There is a great difference between Laker Hating and Laker Realism. Lakers fans hate losing but are realistic when it comes to watching "talent" play. Shaq, Derek, Rick, and Big Shot Rob are not going to walk on the floor wearing Lakers gear anymore. What's next? Watching the young men develop, trading busts like George and Slava, and picking up a real star next year. It's a good thing Lakers fans have all those memories, unlike Clippers fans.

Memo for Shaq, thanks for the memories now go to hell! It appears he's doing the same thing in Miami, taking the Holidays off while the rest of the team plays on. Theres's no denying Shaq is an awesome player but he is definitely way past his prime and that is why he needs an all-star team including the bench. It seems his motives are to get back to the Lakers, i.e. taking less money. Watching Shaq all these years, I would not be surprised to see him return just a few games before the Heat plays the Lakers on Christmas. If the Lakers don't win a championship and it doesn't appear to be likely in the future unless the team trades for Kevin Garnett, I don't give two sh!ts who wins as long as it isn't the Miami Heat! Go Lakers!!!

Memphis,

What championships has Memphis won? The logo has already traded half the players he acquired because he realized he made a mistake. I respect the logo, but he hasn't done anything for Memphis yet..

TNT commentators like Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller are the ultimate Lakers Haters. Miller was known for his antics when shooting the ball and drawing fouls. Barkley loves to hate on the Lakers no matter how well the lakers perform. It seems that even when the Lakers have an off year they still hate on them. Could it be that Miller and Barkley still are pissed and jealous of Kobe for having won three rings to their zero rings? I believe it to be true. Kenny Smith appears to have an objective view and a far more reasonable commentary when it comes to the Lakers. I predict Kobe will have the last laugh because I feel he will win another ring. Miller and Barkley will have to eat humble pie but will always be Lakers Haters. Gooood!

Zen, Memphis has not won any championships. Unlike Cinderella, you don't turn an NBA team from a pumpkin into a luxurious chariot in no time by spreading some pixie dust on it. It takes time and before the logo, the Grizzlies had only won a max of 23 games in a season. When he got there, they won 28, then 50 (playoffs), then 45 (playoffs) and now there on pace to have another 50+ season (playoffs). I know the expectations in Lakerland are championships or bust, but now that he is not there let's just see how long it takes Mr. Mitch Krapshoot to rebuild the Lakers into a Championship caliber team.

There actually isn't a significant difference in talent between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

There is a subtle shade of difference in the way they envision a game enfolding. Kobe sees himself scoring more points than anyone else, then tapping some unknown source of energy to make one final heroic shot to win the game in the final seconds. Michael Jordan simply saw a game in which his team outscored the other team by the end -- much less complicated.

Considering the mountain of talent that went into both men, that isn't a huge amount of difference. The possibilites that present themselves here probably attract Phil to coaching Kobe -- Kobe is THAT close to being the next Jordan.

Long ago Kobe himself seemed to have started the long process of re-working the complicated mindset so he could be called Jordan's equal. But Kobe's old mindset is a structure of thought built over the course of 2 decades that needs to be torn down and re-built, and if it happens at all it will probably take a good while.

The irony of it all is that every time he gets his butt kissed, Kobe's old mindset gets reinforced. His biggest supporters hold him back the most. But either way, whether Kobe succeeds in his quest or whether he turns into the NBA equivalent of a car-accident for us to stare at, his will be a fascinating story...

Haters? ha!

Looks like the Lakers playing less than STELLAR has got them in the Cellar.

They are 76ers of the West.

Charge on AI of the West.

Shaq moved on and so should all Laker fans. I is not Shaq's fault now.

there is a reason why kobe is hated not only by true basketball fans, but also by his own team mates... he's an egotistical ballhog who only cares about himself... a jordan wannabe who can't accept that he's just that.
Lamar Odom hates him and you can see it in his play... he just wants to get out of that team... away from that egotistical ballhog.


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