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The night Andrew Bynum became a Rock Star

It's hard to believe, but a big-time Lakers win over Miami- complete with a Kobe/Shaq hug out, a near triple-double by LO, a few D-Wade thunder dunks (Give the dude credit,folks... He can play) and #8's typical late minute "money ball"- managed to get completely upstaged. Entirely. By a lightning in a bottle kinda thing. Lotta stuff went down that night, but there's one moment that will remain with me for quite some time. With approximately three minutes left in the first half, I watched Andrew Bynum officially lose the title of "rookie" and take on a brand new label:

Rock Star.

His three first half minutes head to head with Shaq electrified Staples in a way I haven't witnessed in person since the first PJ era. It felt like a concert. You'd have thought Bono was playing center, the way that kid had the crowd on their feet and in the palm of his hand. To watch him battle the Big Fella was absolutely awesome. Everything about it, from start to finish. Even the part when Shaq severely posterized him, which I was terrified would leave Bynum with a broken neck. He looked somewhere between helpless and dead. It was like watching the roof collapse on a wheelchair bound puppy. But the kid got up, brushed himself off, sprinted down court, and on the very next possession, faked the Diesel on a spin move for a buoyant dunk. Bouncing like a Super Ball and stoked outta his skull, he even gave Shaq a little elbow action on the very next possession, which was met with a forearm shiver that would have intimidated many an Ultimate Fighter. And just for good measure, their little scuffle gets broken up by Kobe Bryant, the man who spent his first eight seasons feuding with Shaq! Are you kidding me?! You could bring together a team of Oscar winning writers and still not come up with that script.

That, my friends, is a full three minutes!

It reminded me of that scene in Goodfellas, when the young Henry Hill gets pinched selling black market smokes, but gets through his trial without saying a word or giving up any of Paulie's crew. As he leaves the court house with Jimmy Conway (who just slipped him a roll of Hundys), all the wiseguys are outside, whooping it up, and Paulie yells out "You broke your cherry!" That's what the night felt like with Bynum. You couldn't have squeezed a bigger gut check into three minutes, and he passed with flying colors. I'm not saying he's the second coming of Shaq in his prime. I'm not even declaring him a future All-Star yet. The kid's still raw, got a lot to learn, and would currently get crushed by Shaq if they battled 30-40 minutes. Sorry, but it's true. And that's no biggie. As a teenager, Henry Hill wasn't quite ready to organize the Lufthansa heist, either. But during those three minutes, Bynum displayed charisma, energy and major, major balls. And everyone in the audience is now dying to see an encore.

What else do you need from a rock star?

AK

 
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wade can play.

he just can't shoot threes worth anything.

how can people even compare him to kobe?

not only can he not shoot dagger threes to win a game like kobe often does

he can't shoot threes at all.

Yes, it was seriously awesome to watch. I'll always remember it, because when Bynum achieves greatness I'll be able to look back at the moment when he beat Shaq for the first time and say, "I remember the moment that was the beginning of it all. Everyone could tell that kid was special."

HELLO EVERYONE!

I JUST SAW THAT CRAP BACK PAIN RELIEVER COMMERCIAL BY SHAQ. I WAS SURPISED TO SEE HE'S WEARING HIS LAKER NUMBER "34" NOT HIS CURRENT MIAMI HEAT NUMBER "32".

IS SHAQ SENDING US A MESSAGE?

ANYONE? REACTIONS?


*KOBE FOR MVP

*GO LAKERS!

He's wearing "34" in that commercial? I'll have to watch for that. Is it a very old commercial? Who knows how long ago it was shot?

I'm surprised.

When Shaq made his presence known on top of Bynum's dome my first thought was "great, Shaq did it again." Meaning, he went at the pride of another player with his dominance to break him down mentally. But this wasn't any player. This one was a young Laker center who was brought in with hopes to fill the void of domiance The Lakers have lacked since Big Nestle went to South Beach.

I can understand that Bynum would be pumped up to play heads up against Shaq. This was their first matchup. Just as I remember Kobe v MJ for his first time. However, with Shaq getting that 330lb frame up on his first play against Bynum shows that #32 was out to make a point - which he did. Phil called Bynum Shaq's pogostick. Haha.

After the lovely accomplishment, the last thing on Shaq's mind couldn't be that he would get abused RIGHT BACK! Not next game. Not two years from now. How about the very next play?! Talk about making the most out of your minutes...and what a better way for Bynum to get his two points. THEN, to give Shaq a little bump, which we all know Shaq does while battling for position, shows some...either ignorance...or balls. Until last night I figured he would eventually become a more confident player down the road. Today I'm saying "Welcome to the game, son!!!" If you could just crack the recipe for that heart thing and pass it to Kwame. There is no reason he couldn't be the same. I'll be looking for the Bynum School of Dunk poster coming to a store near me.

I must have watched that dunk sequence 50 times on my DVR....IT'S GREAT! Up until Barkley opens his mouth about how Kobe should be apologizing to Shaq.

Rock Star Shaq - Kind of like the Rolling Stones - just retire already and quit trying to play every Super Bowl.

Rock Star Andrew - Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals. Lay in the cut until the music finds you.


Bynum was Awesome. But who fed Bynum? KO8E!!! that could have been you Shaq but it happenned against you. By next season, we will witness the Most Lethal Dynamic TRIO for the triangle offense.
KO8E, LO & Bynum.


Please someone, AZ or BK, remind Shaq what David Robinson did to him. I can't believe he's doing the same thing to Bynum. I mean, "Don't talk to me unless you have a college degree". What a hypocrite?

Guys
I just got a DVR (you know pause, rewind, and record live TV, very fun) and I told my buddy that as soon as Bynum came in the game I would record it, hoping for a block shot on Shaq. But man-oh-man was that dunk unexpected.

On another note I've learned that I really dislike all Kobe Haters, we have this one guy here at work that can't even admit that he is a good player, everything he (Kobe) does is selfish etc... The other day someone posted a list of The 8th wonders accolades and acomplishments, so I printed it and gave it the the guy. His response "yeah he got all that because of Shaq",... what the hell? I've tried reasoning with the guy but he is relentless and his hate runs so deep, kinda like the the guy who hates the good looking star quaterback in high school for getting all the chicks. I've broken down all the scenarios for this guy, "PAY ME", refusing to get that operation, wouldn't take the contract we offered .... and still he reverts to Kobe is punk for ratting on Shaq (paying the girls to stay quite), of course I always say lets talk about B-Ball not personal lives. So my question is, I heard that the detectives were never able to prove that Kobe said anything of the sort, does anyone have any info, related directly to Shaq and the case, that I can slam this guy with?

Thanks

--Scott

P.S. this guy didn't even watch the game last night and when I told him that Shaq went over to Kobe and shook his hand, of course he said, "yeah right, why would he ever ..."

kid seriously showed a lot of heart. hes not all talk after all. he didnt "dunk on" shaq like everyone says he did, but it was still a nice move. you could tell he was full of adrenaline on the way back. you could also tell shaq didnt like being on the other end of the stick on that one either. i hope they get bynum in the weight room this summer, and add some muscle on that frame. he looks like hes never even touched a set of weights in his life. that being said, i cant wait to see a "bulked up" bynum next year. that would be scary. 10 minutes a night from here on out would be good for the rookie. it would also be a good way to guage his improvement and build some confidence. you could practice 24/7, but nothing is better than actual playing time, right?

shaq's gesture to kobe? FAKE!

i admit it--i booed when shaq extended his hand to kobe. had kobe pulled a shaq and ignored it, i dont even want to imagine the amount of critisism he would have gotten. i'm with you guys. i used to like barkley on TNT. now it seems like he just likes to pick and choose who to criticize. i guess its LA's turn to take some heat right? because if you watch their show, chuck criticizes almost everyone; except for his secret lover: ginoboli. its ok though, barkley is just bitter kobe has 3 rings and he doesnt have any. the show would not be as entertaining if chuck didnt say half the things he said anyways.

as well as devean played last night, i'm still up for trading him to bring artest to LA...

Yeah, brother! In two, three years, Kobe and Lamar will still be hot! Kwame will have evolved into a major offensive threat (he's already stepped up defensively) and BYNUM will just beginning the role of a powerhouse center!

The future is bright for the Lakers!

i really don't know...i should have tivo-ed it....but it was really a darn 18 sec or so commercial....

As great as the sequence is, I still think "the moment it all began" was his game v. Tim Duncan earlier when he had 6 points and 6 boards.

i agree kobe2shaq.

shaq hater- that commercial is really old. At least four years I would say, maybe even more. Hey, when you pay someone that much to be in your commercial, I can understand trying to squeeze everything possible out if it.

To the rest- check out Kobe's numbers in January:
PPG: 40.9
FG%: 48.1
3P%: 41.1
FT%: 88.2
Total Rebounds: 6.0
Assists: 4.4
Min: 41.1

My source: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/splits?statsId=3118

Those numbers are pretty impressive. Averaging 40 a game and shooting 48%, I don't get why more people aren't talking about him as an MVP candidate.

I loved what I saw from Bynum last night!!!! I'll admit after Shaq dunked on him I thought he would lose confidence, but instead the kid puts a lovely move on Shaq, and then bangs it through as if Shaq wasn't there!!!! That ladies and gentleman is having BALLS. I knew the kid had talent but that one play showed that he has heart, and one day can be the leader of this team. How many people think we should trade Bynum for Artest now?

Shaq made that commercial years ago. I don't remember exactly what year but he was with the Lake Show, that's why he had 34 on.

The kid did good. Real good. To follow up on AK's Goodfellas analogy though, I have to say that Andrew almost ended up like Spider instead of Henry Hill. Its a good thing that Phil avoided putting him back in the game until both Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown fouled out.

thanks for the correction elyse.

GREAT GAME! I WISH BILL RUSSELL WOULD HAVE SPOKEN TO SHAQ 2 YEARS AGO. WE MIGHT BE ON CHAMPIONSHIP#4 BY NOW. BUT RUSSEL IS A CELTIC! WE CAN ONLY WONDER WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!!!

then why in the world would the media air this commercial a day after shaq is cool with kobe and knowing this commercial is 4 or 5 years old? the most recent commercial by shaq is that 24 hour fitness - 30 lbs, congrats shaq thing.

The move that Bynum put on Shaq last night was by far the greatest play this season. I, like others thought that this would effectively reduce Bynum's mental to nothing. Not the case; the VERY NEXT PLAY the rookie took it to the old man and EARNED his first highlight film. Good work Bynum!!!

Kobe as always was acting like the league's true MVP (even during the Shaq stint) and looking to involve EVERYONE!!!
Lamar, what can I say but Thank You for finally believing in PJ's philosophy that you are the man. You are more instrumental than you realize and for all the Laker haters out there, where are your rings???

i know charles is bias, but i still watch him b'cos he is really funny, though ignorant, but funny, it even took him about two minutes to find the right words to say martin luther kings' statement were memorable, just dumb. y'all should just ignore him. even if kobe gets 50 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, they would always find a way to diss him, like, "if he has been doing this the laker would be a better team but he has been too selfish".the one commentator that gives the lakers props is greg anthony, and they always laugh at him, but tim legler who said kobe is the most selfish player in the league, is gradually eating his own vomit, it's ok to jump on the band wagon.

AAAHHH you know what that is the sweet smell of Shaq on the decline.

People say that the shaq trade was the worst in our history but last night L.O. almost outscored and out rebounded him. Kwame may have only gotten two point and rebounds but hey thats production. and If we didnt trade Shaq we wouldnt have been in position to get Bynum the Lakers next GREAT Center. we woulda maybe had a better record with Shaq last year but woulda had no Ko8e no L.O. no kwame no turriaf this Laker team would be where the T-wolves were last year some no names with a good big man missing the playoffs. SO im glad we got rid of the big Aristotle cuz now we got the lean mean big man machine # 17 Andrew Bynum. Trust me in 3-4 years L.A. will be contending for a title

Lance.P

lakers won a game convincingly, a game they were expected to lose, still haters still find a way to say kobe's good shooting%/clutch performance, plus high score wasn't good enough, they still complained about his defence, since when has kobe's D been questionable. might i add, he had braces on, "sprained wrist". if he puts up same numbers with same percentage, with same results every night (a 'W'), then forget defence.

When Bynum got posterized by Shaq, I felt really sorry for the kid. I wanted to cry for him. It's like we could all see each other in Bynum's shoes, a metaphor for every time that we all get hurt and are down. But Bynum jumped back up and basically said in his head, "Shaq, F** YOU! Let me give you a taste of your own medicine." And at that point we all wanted it so badly. We wanted Bynum to just dunk on the big fella soooo badly, not just for himself, but for all of us as Laker fans. For all the pain that we have come to bear for the past couple of seasons (the finals loss to Detroit, Shaq and Phil leaving, Kobe's trial and diminished reputation, Shaq talking smack about all of us saying we are fake, etc.). All I have to say is:

THANKS BYNUM!! THANKS FOR DOING IT FOR US!! You did it for us man and we appreciate it. We're with you buddy. You made all of us very proud and we all can't wait to see more from you. Keep working. Peace.

AB

It's Official.

The Lakers just signed Turiaf. They had to dump Laron Profit though to make room.

I'm not worried though, they probably kept Slava so they could look to make a trade deal. Teams are looking for shooters these days. My guess is that they'll sign Profit next year when Slava or another player is let go.

*points to arthas post*

lol, I thought these things were edited for content?

I live in NYC where A-Rod puts up MVP numbers every year yet is ragged on every time the press needs a whipping post. Listen Kobe is money to the media, mention Ocho on a radio talk show and the phones light up, both for and against. Same thing with magazine covers, Web hits and TV airtime. Unfortunately the American way is to succeed at all costs (winning is the only thing, remember), malign a man achievements, speculate about his character, rubbish his records, twist his words it all fair game as long as you achieve ratings and sell more AD space.

I was just curious... how many of you miss Chick?

When Bynum spun baseline I could almost hear him "well Shaq just made a trip to the popcorn machine" I think he would have liked the Bynum Kid; he has heart. The beauty of Chick was that there was little bias, he called it as he saw it.

I am glad that he did not have to see the Shaq BS that has taken place. I bet Shaq might have been a little too embarassed to have acted the way he has if Chick was around. Chick was like a papa and brought so much joy to the game for us. I like some of the new guys and Stu is still there but it aint the same.

Chick would have cut right through the circus that surrounds the team right now. Vick the Brick was on the radio with his garage door wide open talking about how Kobe and Shaq had "burried the hatchet" saying, "it takes two to tango" what a load! If Chick were alive he would have told Vick ...your right it does take two to tango but this aint no tango and there has only been one 400 pounder that has shown up to dance!

RIP Chicky Baby ..we miss you.

I was AT the game last night when Shaq went and posterized Bynum, and I thought that Bynum was a little over his head. I mean, Shaq not only got the offensive board, but dunked it at the same time over Bynum. Really, it was a great play. But nothing could prepare me for what was going to happen next. Bynum got up, ran down the court, and got an isolation play for himself. An isolation play between him and Shaq!!!! I was actually hoping for a skyhook ala Kareem. When I saw him fake and start spinning, I started up out of my seat, knowing that something good was going to happen, more than anything else probably a foul on Shaq. But when I noticed that Shaq was still standing there and Bynum was all by himself going up, up, up, towards the rim...man when that ball went down everyone in the building went nuts!!!! And it lasted for at least 10 minutes...

It was even better that when they went to a tv timeout, on the big screen, they had a message from one of the Laker players regarding the honorable MLK. Guess who! It was Bynum on the screen...the crowd went nuts again!!! This had to be the single greatest moment in Laker Land since 2002 and the wonderful Robert Horry!!! I seem to remember that Shaq used to be able to make these type of plays, but now he was on the receiving end of it. Can you imagine that the Lakers would run a iso play for Bynum against the MDE? Can you imagine how Shaq felt after Bynum humiliated him? On national tv? We expect that Shaq will have his way over Bynum for at tleast 1-2 years, but never, never did I expect that he would make Shaq look that old that quickly. I am a teacher, so my students were all asking me about it this morning, and I had to remind them that I was there to see it live in person...I had goosebumps all day long just telling the story!!!!!

This Laker team is for real. It has all started at the defensive end, where they are ranked ninth in the league!!! Last year they were in the high 20's in defense. Their offense has not been as good as last year's but they are coming together as a group, and playing as a team. Will they win a championship this year? Probably not. Can they make the Western Conference Finals? With the teams out there, there is a good shot that they can make the WC Finals. When we face the Suns this week, and Detroit and San Antonio soon, we will see how far we have come. The Lakers let some games go early on with their inexperiience as a team, but with confidence building wins versus Cleveland, Dallas, and Miami...who knows what is in store for the rest of the year. But watching Laker games has been great this year.

As for Kobe and Shaq, it was truely awesome to see them talk to one another. Think about it, these two guys were instrumental in bring 3 straight championships to LA. They fought with each other, but were always able to put their differences aside to reach the promised land. I hope that in the future these two players will get to know each other on a more personal level and become friends. While that may be unlikely, they both know how important each was to their individual success as players. It would be nice, when Shaq retires, to have Kobe give the speech when #34's jersey in hung in Staples. I can only hope for the best!

Go Lakers!!!!!

David Gago

That was a great game, great win, and some great performances! I was glad to see Kobe & Shaq "kiss & make up", so everyone can now move on... especially the media.

Kobe was his usual MVP self & Odom was fantastic as the #2 man. Devean, off the bench, was outstanding and Kwame was defensively productive. But Bynum rocked! His floor time was short, but amazing.

Bynum was probably anxious at getting a chance to go head-to-head with Shaq, so I'm very happy that Phil actually let the kid play against him. I was pissed when Shaq dropped Bynum on that dunk. I was hoping he didn't get hurt & was worried if that might have intimidated him, but on the next play, when he did that fake, spin move, and dunk all on Shaq, I was pumped. I think Kobe purposely fed him the ball to let him exact some revenge.

I loved to see that Bynum wouldn't back down from Shaq & actually gave him a little bump. This kid is special!

Let's keep the wins coming....

GO LAKERS!

KOBE FOR MVP!

first time this year that espn said something good about the lakers.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-060117

Let's not get carried away here. The Lakers did NOT win convincingly, as someone said. They almost blew it again.

Bynum caught Shaq by surprise; I loved it, too, but it hardly makes him Shaq II.

And sure, Lamar had a great game. A day after going 1-8. He is wildly inconsistent, and hasn't shown anywhere close to what we need from him.

*I agree with the anonymous dude. I thought these posts were supposed to be edited for content. AK, please be more careful when editing posts.

i also miss chick. and i hate stu. that guy is retarted. why the hell did they take off those "moments with chick" and put on that stupid "ask stu".


who is arash markazi? it's so dang nice to see someone in the national media get the sahq-kobe feud more right than not. every laker fan knows it was shaq that kept the feud going. should be required reading for kenny and chuck.
the whole thing feels good, no? Talk about kobe's "bewildered smile"...I'm just happy for him, and for us. good times.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/arash_markazi/01/17/hot.read/index.html

Bynum Boom By Ya!

I remember sinking back on my couch when Shaq dunked all over Bynum's back. I felt for the kid but like AK said, on the VERY next play, Bynum answers!

that's what gets me. the very next play the kid goes back to work. he doesn't shrink back, he doesn't hide in the offense. no, he mans up and stays focused enough to execute the spin and dunk. if he allowed himself to be affected by the posterization, bynum would've traveled or fumbled the ball.

but no, he stayed cool.

i thought the kid was going to get a technical when he bounced the ball back and then to watch him check shaq.... OH MY GOOD LORD! bout darn there died. i loved it. shaq was right to check bynum back, but bynum was right too to go right at him.

bynum boom by ya! the champ is here!

I was there at the game, and It was indeed like a rock concert when Bynum dunked on Shack. This moment gave those folks who watched the game across the nation a great feelin I'm sure. It was that universal feeling that you get when you see someone down on their butt get back up and redeem themselves in a big way. LA is now in love with this kid who determined to get back up from his butt and shows us all the heart of a lion by going up against the Big intimidator. Who in their minds think that Mihm or Kwame could have done that to Shack? The truth is that Bynum knows that he's better than Shack. This kid is the real deal. It's weird but if you see him practice he looks kinda bored, maybe he's saving his energy, maybe he's the kind of person who silently learns and only uses his energy when he has to, or maybe deep down inside he doesn't want to show off and make everyone else feel inadequate, I don't know.

and another thing... to satisfy my paranoia that the idiots who have staples center press badges are scared of or enamored with shaq:

Where the heck were the postgame questions to Shaq about the Bynum exchange?

did anybody else see or read shaq's comments about bynum? did i miss it? i have a feeling no one in that locker room asked about it, even though EVERYBODY outside that locker room was talking about it. heck, i'm sure press row electrified after the kid's dunk...

so where were the postgame questions? was press row too busy coddling up to shaq to not ask a very legitimate question about an AMAZING moment in the game?

please correct me if i'm wrong.

CBuck,

You're totally wrong. Not only did Shaq get asked about the Bynum moment, but they played his comments on SportsCenter. I hate to say it, but sometimes you guys are looking for media conspiracies that simply don't exist.

You know I don't like correcting a native from the Loo, but you did ask for the answer.

AK

Mitch is GENIUS.
Nuf said.

hey, i stand in my little corner of paranoia now corrected.

i really don't have any media conspiracies - besides the one about plaschke possibly being the second shooter on the grassy knoll - i'm totally straight. i can't believe YOU fans are soooooo sensitive. (can you feel the sarcasm?)

thanks for the correx... btw, what did shaq say? i really do wanna know.

Call a spade a spade, Shaq posterized Bynum...period. I doubt Shaq had it in mind to play serious D on the kid on the other end, hence the baby dunk ensued. Ive been a Lakers fan to the heart for over 20 years, and for all teh bashing Shaq has gotten, Shaqs the coolest player on the floor when it comes to not complaining about calls, etc. and for that hell always have my respect.

CBuck,

I'm totally paraphrasing here, but Shaq said something along the lines of the whole thing just being two seven footers banging, the way the game should be played. And he actually complimented Bynum's spin move. He may have said more about it, but I was in the Lakers locker room the whole time. I have no idea how long the media stayed with the topic (they may have been more interested in the Kobe-Shaq truce). But it definitely came up.

I mean, give the media a little credit. Do you honestly think writers are so tight with Shaq that they'll simply pretend a game highlight (that the entire country saw) didn't happen just to protect The Diesel? Of course not. They'd look blatantly idiotic. Granted, some may be blatantly idiotic for entirely other reasons, but there are limits to the idiocy they'll sink to. Few, if any, like Shaq that much.

Thanks for the comments, CBuck

AK

I think proclaiming Bynum just short of the second coming of Jesus Christ is a little much. It was a hell of a move he put on Shaq and even more impressive when you take into consideration he was so abused at the other end, but I won't get too excited. I want to see the kid get in the weight room, be a little more aware on defense, and show that heart on a daily basis. Right now I think we're looking at the next Sam Bowie more than we're looking at the next Kareem.

I also find it funny that with one dunk and a win over Miami, we have no more Mitch Haters on this blog and even a proclamation of him being a "genius". Mitch has done a good job personnel wise, taking some big risks, but what he has done from a business perspective should be lauded. He's a good GM people, you don't work under the Logo for all those years and have his stamp of approval for nothing.

I am so happy that Kareem is Bynum, Kwame, and Mihm's coach. Thank you, God!

Kareem GUARANTEED a Lakers playoff spot this year, so, there you have it! We're going to the playoffs!

for one stupid guy who said bynim caught chake by surprise why was shaq so angry and humilated by the (just)18 rookie
he plainly out smartted and out played the big deisel
i m one of the few laker fan who still love shaq
even if kobe is the best(kobe for MVP)
but that kid is special
its the first time i see someone dunk on shaq
i guess whith amare and the promise bynim showed shaq is starting to feel the big deisel s time is almost over and the paint will be dominated by 2 players for the next years 23 year old amare and lakers pride(after kobe) Andrew Bynim(give the guy more min)
thank karreem33 for the great teaching
we know bynim can score but whith the NBA leading scorer(in history)teaching him and NBA s all time best player(kobe) leading the way
i feel by the end kobe might just have more rings than MJ and big bill russel
maybe maybe not but how many fans hope so

Shaq,

I enjoyed Bynum's move on Shaq as well. Two warriors going at it. Why all the Shaq haters? They guy gave the organization credibility and brought us 3 championships. Even though his game has begun to decline I miss the big fella. Hopefully the lakers can meet Miami in the Finals at some point in the next few years. That would be a blast.

first of all..it was a great win for the lakers against Heat. no question about it. Great performance by Kobe as usual in the 4th quarter. Good performance by Lamar Odom. Honestly, I don't think Lakers would have won this game, if it wasn't the last game of a 7 game road trip.

As far as Lakers chances this year, they are not going to be in Conference finals. Trust me. They will be seeded 7 or 8 in the Western conference and they will lose to Spurs or Suns in the first round.

As far as the Heat chances go, I don't think they will get to the conference finals either, they are just too old.

As far as the Laker's chances in the next 2 years go, a lot depends on the following.
1) Kobe's improvement. He is shooting approx. 48% in the last 6 games. Before that, he was shooting an abysmal 41 or 42%. Just to compare, MJ had a shooting % of nearly 52% for 4 years between 1987 and 1992 and had better assists and rebound per game, when they were very successful. So, there is some truth to what Barkley, Phil and others say. Kobe has to take good shots and involve teammates to give them a chance to succeed( goto conference finals etc). A person, who takes so many shots has to shoot a high percentage, for them to be successful. But still, Kobe is great to watch and I only hope he improves and wins atleast one championship like MJ.
2) Lamar Odom has to be the next Scottie Pippen for them to succeed. Quite frankly, I don't expect that to happen both offensively and defensively. Laker's better get Ron Artest type of player(not Ron Artest) to contend for a championship. Even Danny Granger would do well. I think he has immense potential. Lakers should trade for him.
3) Better play from the big men. Mainly defensively and the 4 and 5 spots together need to get atleast 20-25 touches in a game for them to be successful. This is the same figure Phil had in mind, while coaching the Bulls.

As far as Shaq goes, it is sad that he is on a decline. But don't forget, we got the 3 championships, because of Shaq. Kobe was important, but I strongly believe Lakers would have won the championship say with a Jason Kidd, instead of Kobe. Someone, who has the guts to take the big shot like Kidd or Iverson( he is a ballhog, but he can take big shots). Also, Kobe was not that great an outside shooter between 2000 and 2002, he used to get to the lane because Shaq will have 2-3 people on him all the time. So, DONT FORGET AS TO WHAT SHAQ HAS DONE FOR THE LAKERS. Don't you remember, Shaq dunking on Scot Pollard and C-WEbb with both hanging on to his shoulders. Thats how dominant he was. Teams used to be scared to play Lakers, not b'cos of Kobe. We all know it was b'cos of Shaq.

As far as the best SG in the league at this time, Kobe stands out because of his ability to defend, hit clutch shots and take 3s.
The other 2, Wade and Lebron have a lot to improve. But they are only 3 years into the league. Remember, Kobe was not good in defense and 3s in his first 5 years in the league. So, we should compare them only after they complete their 6 years and see what they are made of. If you compare their first 3 years, Wade and Lebron have done better in all aspects of the game than Kobe, including shooting percentage and Wade gets a higher grade cos he led them to the conference semi-finals in his first year and has made clutch shots. Lebron obviously has improved his game in 3s, but he doesn't make the big shots. So, i feel it is crazy to compare Kobe with Lebron and Wade at this time. As Kobe used to say, age doesn't matter mileage matters. So, the jury is still out on whether Wade and Lebron can improve their other aspects of the game like defense and 3s. Lebron can hit 3s, but he has to show that he can make clutch shots and I feel Wade has proven that.

My 5 thoughts on the HEAT game and other Laker stuff:

First off: Big major props to Bynum. For this Laker fan, that was some serious vicarious satisfaction. Also if I remember correctly Bynum was demanding the ball the play BEFORE he got posterized by Shaq. I think Shaq was pissed by the kid's eagerness to take him on one-on-one and decided to try to kill him. Hence the pogo-stick posterizing. I don't think that he expected Bynum to go right back at him. The kids got Moxey. I know, I know, its only one dunk. But my God, what a dunk! The look on Shaq's face was priceless. "Now where DID that delinquent go?" lol. With that attitude he's gonna go far.

Second: Kwame and Chris. The Heat game was the first one that I watched this year and I must say that I was impressed. They more than held their own. The box-score may not reflect it, but for stretches they were dominating. Mihm has got serious game, and if Kareem can teach Kwame to dribble I think we'll have a nice twin tower situation going on. (triple tower with Bynum?)

Third: Kupkake, Cupcake. Whatever. If I'm not mistaken Mitch has been in charge of the Lakers since West bailed at the end of the 2000 season. Which means that everyone on the roster is there because of him. You like Smush? Thats Mitch. You like Bynum? That's Mitch. You think you'll like Turiaf? You see where I'm heading. Now that Bynum's dunk has cut him a great deal of slack, people are starting to recognize what he's done. They are investing in their young players. Believe me, this same team that is labelled as thin and lacking talent will in a year or two, be called very deep and talented. The Lakers are playing great now, but this team (no, I won't capitalize the word) has amazing potential. I say if the Lake show gets 5th or 6th seed in the west he should get GM of the year.

Fourth: Mr. Bryant. Oh.my.god. How can you get a quiet 37? And it looks like he's just warming up. To describe Kobe's situation as a "scoring burden" is not accurate. He could average 40 and not break a sweat. He's got quite a bit more gas in the tank. Good times.

Final: Phil Jackson. I think he's trying to replicate his Bulls teams. I don't think he would be in LA if he didn't see potential. Which is what makes this team so fascinating and entertaining. A lot less soap opera, a whole lot more Basketball. I love it. Where can they go? I think deep second round. This Western conference finals talk is a bit premature. Give the kids a year. Enjoy the ride. My $0.02.

P.S. And thanks for the blog.

Just my 2 cents but did anyone else notice that Kobe was the guy who kicked that ball into Bynum? After Shaq scored the way he did, typically that would be the time Kobe would try to strike back, probably drive to the basket and either get fouled or make the lay up, but not this time. I mean here we are talking about Bynum, excited about the prospects for the future and how he might be the future of this organization (lets not put the cart before the horse he still has a lot of work to do) but none of it would be mentioned had it not been for Kobe's unselfish play to kick him the ball when normally he wouldn't. Kobe recognized the situation and let the kid have a chance to do his thing.
My point is that there seems to be a lot of Kobe bashing on how he can never live up to MJ's legend based on the simple fact that MJ made his teammates around him better and Kobe doesn't. Well I think he helped make that kid a hell of a lot better with that one pass.

"for one stupid guy who said bynim caught chake by surprise why was shaq so angry and humilated by the (just)18 rookie
he plainly out smartted and out played the big deisel"

LOL!! One play. What do you think would have happened if he had been in there for 35-40 minutes? Bynum may end up being great, and I certainly hope he will be. But there is NO WAY you can say that yet. No one has any idea what he can do at this level. How many first-round, straight-out-of-high-school busts have their been? A LOT!!

"we know bynim can score"
No we don't.

Kobe and Shaq were both necessary for the titles. A Jason Kidd point guard is not necessary in the triangle offense, and Kidd would not have scored enough to offset not having Kobe. You think Shaq had problems co-existing with Kobe? Try having Iverson instead!!

i just want to correct kobe-shaq-lakers-fan...first of all, if shaq didn't leave LA, kobe wouldn't blossom into what he is right now...the reason why kobe hasn't done what lebron and wade did in their first three years is because shaq is the main option of the lakers...and i don't think shaq would win the title if it weren't for kobe either...remember game7 of the conference finals against portland when they were down 15points coming to the 4th quarter?kobe's the one responsible for making that comeback...shaq almost lost his balls that game...he's ineffective almost all game long only to come alive after that alley-oop from kobe...if they hadn't won that game...i don't think that they will have a three-peat...so stop comparing kobe...kobe made a name for himself...he's not michael jordan or wilt chamberlain...we will all remember him as kobe...not jordan2...simply KOBE...one of the best laker in our time...

I think Bynum showed some serious guts and some potential even though it was only 3 min. Kwame and Mihm have potential to be good as well, but they don't always step up to the plate and take it to the edge like this kid did in just a couple minutes. Don't get me wrong I am not saying Phil should start him, however I say let Bynum get some more minutes. He could improve quicker and become the player we all hope he can be much sooner

I'm a Lakers fan ever since the Lakers won 33 in a row with Wilt. I've seen it all! Me and my brother knew that Kobe was the next MJ, which he will become, I believe. As for Bynum, it would be a serious mistake for the Lakers to trade him for anyone, period! This kid is not some skinny, can't gain weight, type person. He will have a game which is a cross between Kareem and Shaq. He will have the agility of Kareem and the body close to Shaq! Can you imagine? As for Kwame you have to understand that being the number 1 selection comes with a lot of expectation. The problem is that when he was in Washington Jordan was the focus of the team, the offence revolved around him. Kwame needs to be the 1st or 2nd option for him to be effective to the naked eye, just like Lamar. That isn't going to happen with Kobe in the mix because Kobe is determined to be great, which he is and will be. But to be all that, he needs the ball, which leaves Kwame out as a superstar player. The good news is that under PJ he is becoming a solid player. Starting with his defence! Kwame just needs to concetrate on defence and rebounds and just like Ben Wallace he will find himself scoring out of that but with greater ability! It was hard for Kwame because he's just not playing basketball but triangle basketball. Once he gets that triangle down, which is just about done he can then expand his game. For example, do you see how he sets that high pick for either Kobe or Lamar? One thing I notice is that Kwame doesn't roll to the basket. If he did he would be free because when he sets that pick towards the basket his man always goes to Kobe or Lamar, whoever he's setting the pick for. Kwame needs to roll after he sets that pick! Once he gets really comfortable with the whole Kobe first, Lamar second in the triangle then we'll see Kwame tap his potential all within the frame work of team ball. By the end of the year if Kobe would recognize, Kwame should be ready to play the all around game to help the Lakers go deep into the playoffs. Believe me the key to the Lakers is Kwame.

Bynum is the Man! Under "Captian" his mental toughness is way above any other rookie. Kwame and Mihm should learn from Bynum.

Mihm's hook shot is coming up good. I think he is really learning from Kareem. Kareem's magic is working.

bmac - exactly my point. If Kobe does what he did against Miami(feeding Bynum) and give others a chance, we will win many games and content pretty soon.

Kobe-MVP --- I don't agree with u'r logic. Wade wasn't the first option for the Heat last year, he still managed a better %. Yes, I remember when he drove the lane against Portland. Read PJ's memoirs to understand what happened in the 4th quarter. I mean the memoirs from that year. Just don't throw stuff out there on the blog and preach the choir by saying Kobe is one of the best Lakers of all time. Is that all u've got :-) U'r writing as if I hate Kobe. Like I said, I have been a fan of Kobe, since he was 15. All I want him to do is to do somethings better and get us a championship.

I cannot wait for Kobe to either be traded or to retire. He has done nothing but disgrace my franchise and it sickens me to know that he is wearing the uniform of my beloved Lakers. Mikan is probably turning over in his grave. Long live the Lakers.

hey Uncontainable Spirit if you are under 13 years of age you may read but not participate okay.

for the guy who answered to me(the guy who misspelled shaq)bynim did something others didnt do so he is good
he did humilate shaq
propably shaq is more experienced and powerful and would hurt andrew in 40 min
for the scoring stuff if he scored over one of the most dominating center can he not score over weajer opponent and smart guy i mentionned that he is beeing coached be the best scorrer in NBA history
i love shaq as mush as u do but dont be stupid

Would the average 13 yr old know anything at all about George Mikan? C'mon man!

shaq and the rest of these nba players are exactly that doped up players that know more about what kind weed is in each town than about respect and dignity.


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