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Another Offseason Breakdown

Lakerville (as the kids like to call it) is being heavily discussed and dissected today on Hoopsworld.com. The post includes a potpourri of perspectives on what the team should do, shouldn't do, would do if they could, etc. Some ideas strike me as dead on the money. Some strike me as either unrealistic or just plain off. But either way, it's food for thought and y'all are always hungry when it comes to the Purple and Gold. So eat up and enjoy.

AK

 
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Since McHale (forever a Celtic!) is the GM over there, I assume that who he/she was referring to.

Lamar Show:

No, I was referring to Indy and Bird in particular. KG and JO are two players who might fit in well with Kobe, but both of those guys are under the damn Celtics! Who says Boston is irrelevant ? Their feaking alumni are all over the place!

Lamar Show,

To get JO, we'll need to include LO *and* Kwame for salaries to match. The guy makes around 18 mil next year!

Hey, we'll be back to Bryant and O'Neal.

And we can draft Patrick O'Bryant as their illegitimate progeny :)

Bryant, O'Neal and O'Bryant!

hariyahu,

That's pretty funny, nice.

No way are we going to get KG or JO. Along those same lines I think you can throw out the Lakers trying to go after any player with a big salary. The only way we make that work is trade LO and picks/Bynum/Kwame to make it work and I think the Lakers either get rid of salary burdens for picks or just stick with who they have and add some minor pieces in FA.

Faith,

Gotcha!!! BrianCook.com has nothing to do with Brian Cook, its about travel.

You naughty girl.

Of course "big money" Cook deserves his own webpage, even if it has nothing to do with him.

FOUR Hours to GAME TIME.....

Who are you guys to judge LO that he's overpaid as a complimentary player to KOBE? Do you guys know how many players have the stats of LO in the same salary? 15 pts 9 reb 5.5 asts. Could be easily 20 10 7. That's overpaid? You guys to lay off Lamar. He the best fit for Kobe. They get along well. Look what Lamar did in the playoffs....better numbers than Kobe.

no i wouldnt trade jo coz they would want someone else how in hell would u trade a 2 mill rookie for a max contract big guys we will have to give thenm lo or kwame and a good player worth about 4-5 mill .
plus in 2 years kobe should have 4 years at the top and will have a perfect team.
faith i ahve been telling all of u guys we need a shot blocker and it would be bynum but we could sign one for 1-2 years .so did the expert when talking about our paint in the suns series.
one question does anybody have espn ensider and read who MJ thought was better than him ?

smush is pictured like eveything that was bad in the team but he is a rookie while he did loose us the series but wouldnt have we lost it earlier hadnt he got the "steal".

Faith might be helping to promote the website and advertising it here ^_^ haha jk

18 mil? ok lets just trade Kobe for him LOL. na I'm not willing to give up LO and Kwame for him then. I rather try to do a sign and trade for be be be be bennnnn waalllace. (i can dream cant i?)

and hari... I didnt know you meant that stinking celtic. :)

TRADE LAMAR ODOM FOR MARBURY

DWADE FOR MVP!

lol...I stand corrected.

It's actually .net http://www.briancook.net/
and it seems to be maintained by a fan. I especially loved the pic in which it seemed like he punched a guy.

It's still pretty darn funny.

Now that's really unfair. Smush underperformed in some areas, but he also saved the series. That sounds like he was doing his job. I don't think we should come down on him for his inexperience.

If the guy is tanking, then we should chastize him. But you don't blame him for getting the starting job or being signed. It is what it is, and I'd like to see smush keep the starting job. His first full season of active duty starting was pretty much a success to me, and if we stick with him - I think we will have a good point guard who doesn't demand a huge salary.

Predictions:

Wade won't score over 40.

Shaq comes back with a 5-13 FT night.

The Mavs win by 10.

Shaq says he's been there before and they will fight back. Wade the same story.

We don't hear from the trolls until Saturday.

Mavs in 6.

The East is WEAK!

I for one don't blame Smush Parker for the Phoenix series. I blame PJ. Smush has to be in there if PJ tells him to be in there. PJ should have pulled them.

mike

Thanks Faith! I just made Brian Cook my wallpaper!

THREE Hours to GAME TIME......

sorry purple and gold, i have Insider but not sure what article youre referring to. there is an article about lebron being better than kobe haha. but noone wants to read espn's propaganda on the subject. =)

"Smush underperformed in some areas"

some? SOME? SOME??? i think he is taking maybe too much heat....but the fact is, he blew it. and in a big way. it wasnt a mistake or 2 here or there. he didnt show up at all. pulled a major dissapearing act only to show up and make mistakes or take bad shots or miss open ones. yeah he got THE STEAL...but really, his play was so bad overall that he hurt us much more than he helped us. he had many mistakes and missed open shots in that game and that game shouldve been won beforehand.
what bothers me more tho, isnt so much the misses, but his reaction and demeanor afterwards. he looked like a lost puppy that didnt believe he belonged in the league.

i dont think we should rag on smush too much tho. he had a great season, and he helped us a lot last season. but in the end, he simply just showed us what he is....a backup PG. we definitely need someone better to take it to another level.


haha brian cook's website is just alright. but not nearly as cool as this one...

http://www.slava14.blogspot.com/

exhelodrvr --

"Does anyone still question the wisdom of getting rid of Shaq when they did? What does it tell you when your 20M "star" doesn't play the last three minutes of an NBA finals game?"

In all the months I've read your posts, that's like the first one I've seen that doesn't seem logical. Shaq might not play the last few minutes because Riley's scared somebody might make Shaq shoot a freethrow. Shaq might not play the last few minutes becuase Riley needs to play small-ball.

And if the Heat somehow win this series, a LOT of people are going to come back and question the wisdom of the Shaq trade, even if DWade has to do all the major work...

---Mike T:

We agree to disagree regarding Chris Mihm.

---Fish Guy:

Mihm will make $4.2M next year, which is his last year under contract, and Gordan will make $3.8M next year, with the team having an option for $4.9M the following year and the right to make a qualifying offer of $6.4M the year after.

Of course, AK would remind you that even though they would be trading small for big, the Bulls would probably able to get more for Gordan than Mihm. He may be right based on Gordan's playoff performances this year but I still wouldn't trade Mihm for Gordan, who is a great scorer but doesn't play defense or handle the ball or pass well.

---Ken:

A shut-down defender from Switzerland? It does really sound crazy on the surface but his family is actually from South Africa. Ttust me, whoever gets him will get a great defender and "team" player who will make everyone else better.

---Edwin:

Excellent defense of why only an idiot would trade Lamar Odom now that he has taken his game to another level. Enough said. Don't trade Lamar or any of the key players for a draft pick in what is one of the weakest drafts in years.

glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Smush isn't all that bad

willn2win:

Couldn't have said it better. If you look at LOs averages for March/April, he's actually closer to 17/9/6. Couple that with the fact that he brings up the ball, plays decent defense and seems a genuinely good guy who gets along with Kobe - he's worth his salary to me. The only people I would trade him for would be KG, Duncan, Yao, Dwight Howard, Dirk and LeBron. Or next year's #1 - Greg Oden.

Guity,
I don't see how you can call that illogical. Shaq is obviously nowhere close to what he used to be offensively or defensively, and has actually become a liability offensively due to horrific free throw shooting. He is still capable of an occasional great game, but those are the exception now rather than the rule. Had the Lakers kept him, they would be seriously handicapped by his salary, and would not have Lamar Odom. So even if the Heat wins the title, it is still clear that gettign rid of Shaq was the right thing to do.

exhelodrvr,

I wouldn't question the trade at all, but I'm just peeved with what we got back in return. If we had insisted on Wade instead of Butler for the Shaq trade to go through - think of where we would be today!
We ended up being too nice to please Shaq. We should have played hard ball with Miami - no Wade, no Shaq should have been what Kupchak told Riley.

will2win,

Lamar Odom's career numbers are 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. That is a far, FAR cry from 20-10-7 that you claim he "could easily be". If he made the jump to those numbers he not only would be UNDERpaid at $12.5 million next year, but he would be a top 15 player in the league.

To give you some perspective, he's making relatively the same amount of money as Elton Brand. Who do you think is getting more for their money in that one? Also in that same general salary range are Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Shawn Marion. For the same money i would take all of those guys over LO.

What are all you guys smokin! Smush stunk up the place from game 78 on (including the playoffs). LOL...jk

No I agree with Mike T, it wasn't only Smush, but PJ also. With Smush's "attitude" and demeanor he should not have been on the floor as mush as he had. And Smush, there comes a point in time when he should have shrugged it off and played (without the "attitude" woe is me, woe is me). I still say that had Smush played limited minutes during the playoffs we'd have won in game 5, not so much cause he stunk defensively, but worst offensively (hello turnovers?!) But I agree, I do need to lay off a little bit (more lol). After all Smush currently is our guy, so let's hope for the best.

LOL on the Slava website, and I probably have brought more hits to the briancook website than it ever had. LOL

Trade Bynum for Jermaine O'Neal? ABSOLUTELY!!! Bynum is a huge question mark still. O'Neal is not. The soonest Bynum is going to be a significant contributor is 2-3 years from now, and it is a BIG IF if he will rise to that level. There is no track record to base that hope on at this point; it's just a hope. O'Neal at PF, Lamar at SF, Mihm/Brown at center, Kobe + ? at the guard spots, Walton, Turiaf, McKie, Sasha, Smush, coming off the bench? That's a championship contending team.

Mike T:

I actually have come to terms with our 3 centers and I think it's literally a "giant" advantage for us. Good centers are a rare commodity in the NBA today; that is why so many teams would like to have Chris Mihm on their roster.

For one thing, you have to remember that Andrew Bynum is only 18 years old and probably 2 or 3 years away from starting, which means that we really only have 2 centers that can really play.

Aside from the fact that you and I will never agree on Chris Mihm, you have to admit that last season would have been a disaster if we had not had 2 centers when we lost one of them to injury

Look at the NBA Finals going on right now and tell me how you think Dallas would be doing if they did not have both Dampier and Diop to rotate on Shaq.

Chris Mihm may not be the best center in the NBA but he has shown some very good skills and has the potential to become a top 10 center. He is a
good player who was a big part of why the team had success last year. We should not trade him unless someone offers us a deal we can't refuse.

I also think that the Lakers should abandon their max cap room free agent strategy for 2007/8 as it is highly likely that LeBron will resign with the Cavs. The CBA now makes it much easier for a team to hold onto their superstars. That's why Kobe, Amare, and Yao all resigned with their old teams.

Changing the 2007/8 strategy has two major results. First, we would be free to sign Chris to an extension in the event that he plays well enough next season -- or trade him before the mid-season deadline if he doesn't.

Second, we would be able to sign long term deals with one or two top-level free agents that could help the team immediately be in the hunt for a championship.

The Lakers have come together as a team last year and are only a couple of good players from competing for a ring. We already have a superstar in Kobe, budding all-star in Lamar, and promising front court strength with our 3 centers. We shouldn't trade any of that away when we can get the help we need from free agency and the draft.

I know it is hard to resist the temptation to trade someone in order to get a quick fix for our point guard problems but we need to keep every good player we can in order to build a deep team to compete with the Suns, Mavs, and Spurs.

Wizo,

I totally agree with what you're saying to an extent. Smush played so terribly I wouldn't have been surprised if I found out he was paid off by the Suns following Game 4.

But, despite his awful play we have to remember that a guy like Smush probably isn't very high on confidence. Every bad play probably makes him think he won't be re-signed and makes him play tighter and tighter. And that's exactly what happened because he played worse as the series went on.

Also, Smush was WAY in over his head having to play against the best PG in the league over a 7 game stretch. As ugly as Smush played it wasn't that surprising despite it being extremely disappointing.

Mike T:

Here is how I would explain the main difference of opinions we have regarding trading Chris Mihm:

---You would rather trade Chris now to get the help we need.

---I would rather keep Chris and trade the remote chance that we could sign LeBron James as a free agent in 2007/8.

We agee to disagree. Thanks, Mike.

Mike T:

Who is Marcus Douthit and what has he done that makes you consider him equivalent to Chris Mihm. If what you say is true, let's trade him to the Bulls for Gordan or whomever you want?

LakerTom,

I like Chris Mihm as much as you but he's probably going to get $6-$8 million a year as a free agent after this year and I don't think he's in our plans at that price. Sure, we'd love to keep him, but it's like Derek Fisher all over again where some team will overpay for his services and it will be in our best interests to move him. I think that's why he'll be dealth this offseason or at least by the All-Star break. If it was up to me I'd probably take Chris over Kwame, but we overpaid for Kwame and no one will take that guy off our hands (yet). If Kwame does have a good year we will have a great piece to deal though, so I'm pulling for the guy.

Ken:

Edwin is right about us not trading just to trade and you are right that sometimes it takes a great leap of faith to get a superstar. What West did to get Kobe, Shaq, and DFish was fabulous.

If trading Chris Mihm could get us a superstar in this draft, like trading Vlade Divac got us Kobe, then I would be the first to pull the trigger.

I don't believe that here are any "Kobe Bryants" in this draft, which is the weakest in years. If Jerry & Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and Phil Jackson really think that someone like that is available, then I am confident that they will make the deal. Unlike many on the blog, I think the moves the Lakers have made post-Shaq have worked out well. Two years after the trade, the Lakers are already back among the top 10 teams in the NBA.

While there are some outstanding prospects in the draft, I don't think there is anybody there worth trading Chris Mihm. I think there is a good chance, however, that we might get a valuable player who can help our backcourt and our defense, like Thabo Sefolosha, Alexander Johnson, or Rajon Rondo.

Shady:

Good post. We only differ in the shading.

And I would have to agree that Kobe, Lamar, and Bynum are more "untradable" than Brown and Mihm.

Wolf:

I agree that a team can be "defensive-minded" regardless of personnel. After all, that is what is required in order to play "team" defense. I also agree that Avery has done a great job with the Mav's defense that earlier in the year let Kobe get 62 in 3 quarters.

The keys to their defense, however, are really the defenseive-oriented players that they drafted, specifically Josh Howard and Devin Harris, and the players they got via trade and free agency, specifically Eric Dampier, DeSagana Diop, and Adrian Griffin.

Beyond that, how good a team's defense will actually be is very dependent upon the personnel. That is why there is sucn an emphasis on long, quick, and athletic guys who can bother defenders. What is really changing the game is the Tayshaun Prince, Josh Howard, Shawn Marion type player who can guard players at the 1 through 4 positions, especially with all of the pick-and-rolls that teams use to force defenders to switch.

Regarding DGeorge, I think he at times has been a good defender but isn't worth keeping at $5M unless he was willing to sign for much less. I expect him to go elsewhere as a free agent.

exhelodrvr:

"Does anyone still question the wisdom of getting rid of Shaq when they did? What does it tell you when your 20M "star" doesn't play the last three minutes of an NBA finals game?"

I think you actually answered your own question. Only Steven and his aliases.

Greek dude:

Thanks for the update on the guy that Mike T wants to replace Mihm with. Do you think the Bulls will accept him for the #5 pick?

"Good point guard that doesn't demand huge salary" - Damn, what have we become- Sterling's Clippers?

We don't have 3 centers, just 2- Mihm and Bynum. Kwame is a 4. Better learn to be a good 4 or he's history based on Jim Buss' projection. Bynum's the center by 2008 with Mihm as backup. Kwame's too expensive to keep just as a backup.

Lakers came within a game in advancing to 2nd round. Seeing that it takes at least a year to learn the triangle wholesale changes will not improve team chemistry. Just more confused players.

The idea is to tweak the team. Replace the least desirable part. Make it run better.

If Laketom's Thabo is that good and available, he'll be answer to faith's prayers. And mine.

LakerTom,

I too think the moves made in the Shaq trade and beyond have been good, and (wait for it) I have faith in Mitch Kupchak to make the deals to make this team better. What that entails I think most of us have our opinions on, but this ownership and management have a pretty good track record.

As for us being a top 10 team in the league, I definitely disagree. We might be top 15 right now, but that's going to be a tough place to hold onto, let alone improve upon, unless we get some more talent on this squad. Let's hope management makes that happen.

Ben Gordon + some stiff. For Chris Mihm + Brian Cook.

I think a trade like this makes both teams better. The Bulls need size and the Lakers need a decent point gaurd. Chris Mihm is a great Center and Brian Cook is great shooter. I think this trade could happen since good Centers are hard to come by. This would also make room from Andrew Bynum and Turiaf to play more next year.

COME ON MITCH Make it Happen!

1.5 Hours to GAME TIME......

Faith,

I finally got to real BrianCook. Well, he's advertising his Camp Cookie. His posture looks funny as if he has this scoliosis problem, a problem of curve in his spine. Nothing wrong of getting extra income from the camp. If I were Brian, I would get a personal coach to improve my defense and aim to be a first stringer, that would definitely improve my future contracts.

LakerTom,

I come to like what you have been suggesting to protect our Centers unless we get something better in return. We have agreed that these Centers are equivalent to gold or jewelries, the longer you hoard them, the better the return especially if they were tutored by the Cap.

Only one correction, I notice you keep on repeating the same spelling. Check the spelling of Ben Gordon's name....

Hariyahu,

Finally, someone is amplifying what I have been saying when we traded Big Diesel to Miami. It was in great haste to please Shaq to go to Florida where he resides (to escape State Taxes, nothing wrong about that.) We should have exported him to Hawks or Raftors with their 1st round draft picks for consecutive seasons in lieu of matching salaries. In the end, we got Odom, Mihm and Kwame in exchange of Shaq, Fox and Payton. Now Mitch is thinking of trading again Odom, Mihm and retain Kwame.

If Jerry West was our GM, he would be very embarrassed to the fans with the performance of the Lakers. During his time, he could not even stand watching Lakers lose a game, what more losing the playoffs after being ahead by 3-1. In the case GM Mitch, "He was happy with Lakers performance." As a consequence, he's not embarrassed to increase the price of Season tickets, without any clue on the make-up of the team next season. He hasn't recruited a decent international player, all he recruited was Slava and Sasha! Mitch, how about going to France, Spain, Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Brazil or Argentina? Use your frequent mileage plan or go on a bus tour to save a buck!

Andrew Z:

In the final analysis, regardless of what we in the blog think and post, you are right that the Laker trust will make whatever moves that they think are necessary for return to the championship level.

I do think, however, that the Lakers do not want to trade Lamar and believe he will become a bonafide all-star next year and continue to grow as the team's co-MVP. He is a unique talent that cannot be replaced easily.

And I, for one, think that Lakers management has done a great job so far and have confidence that they will make the right decisions. That's why we have 9 championship banners hanging from the rafters and the Heat have none.

I also believe that Jackson will either sign an extension to coach for another three years or take a position in the front office.

Have any of you seen Douthit? After seeing him in last year's summer league... to be frank... He's a step slower than Bynum with Kwame's hands. What I saw was consistent with his stats during his senior year at Providence...
29.7 mins. 7.8 pts. 5.9 reb.

Against NBA bench warmers, it was even worse.
Douthit doesn't even qualify as a backup for the great Frank Brickowski! j/k

Andrew Z:

I think we are wasting Kobe's prime to hold out for a superstar free agent in 2007/8.

Of the non-super-star guys on your free agent list, I wouldn't want Paul Pierce, Mike Bibby, Rashard Lewis, or Vince Carter, as none of them plays any defense at all.

The other players you listed -- Nowitzki, Billups, LeBron, and Wade -- will all resign with their original teams in the end as they can get an additional full year of max money, which was why Kobe, Amare, and Yao Ming all stayed with their original teams.

We need to use that future cap space right now to get the point guard help via free agency rather than save it for pipedreams that won't come true.

"some? SOME? SOME??? i think he is taking maybe too much heat....but the fact is, he blew it. and in a big way. it wasnt a mistake or 2 here or there. he didnt show up at all. pulled a major dissapearing act only to show up and make mistakes or take bad shots or miss open ones. yeah he got THE STEAL...but really, his play was so bad overall that he hurt us much more than he helped us. he had many mistakes and missed open shots in that game and that game shouldve been won beforehand.
what bothers me more tho, isnt so much the misses, but his reaction and demeanor afterwards. he looked like a lost puppy that didnt believe he belonged in the league."

Even claiming he "underperfomed" is assuming he should be playing at a certain level to begin with. You can make the argument "he's a NBA starter" blah blah, but that doesn't mean anything. The lakers knew who they were getting before they pulled the trigger last year. Someone who has bounced around, hasn't played major minutes, shows potential but isn't there yet.

He didn't pull a disappearing act, because he has shown us nothing to the contrary so far. Smush started at pg for us in the same manner he had all season - as someone who is still working up to his potential and someone who isn't really ready to be put into that situation.

It's BS to claim he "blew it". He didn't blow anything.

Mike T:

Marcus Douthit sounds like a pretty long shot to me. Wish I could join you at the summer leagues. I used to watch all of the summer league games when I used lived in LA. I specifically remember going to games when Raymond Lewis, probably the greatest LA player to not make it to the NBA, was playing. Let us know if you go and what you see.

Hariyahu,

The Lakers weren't in a position to play hardball because there was a time crunch involved, because they needed to get Kobe signed. It's no coincidence that Kobe signed the day after Shaq was traded. The longer this took, the more they risked losing him to the Clips. Kobe flirted very publicly with joining them and by all accounts, it wasn't just an act. He was really considering it. Thus, they were under a very serious gun and needed to take care of all issues ASAP, one of them being the Shaq trade.

And Miami knew the Lakers were in this position, which took away L.A.'s "hardball" power. Them taking Butler instead of Wade had nothing to with overaccomidating Shaq. It had to do with negotiating from a place of weakness instead of strength. A team doesn't have the ability stay firm when it's obvious they're worried about being left holding the bag.

They also didn't have many other options. Shaq had a short list of teams he'd join and those few teams had to be willing to extend him, or else they'd be trading away talent for one year of his services, since he'd likely leave as a FA. That Miami was one of the only teams willing to acquire/extend Shaq put them in the driver's seat, since the Lakers didn't have many, if any, alternatives.

I would have loved to have gotten Wade, too. But drawing a line in the sand could have seriously backfired for Kupchak. I'm not saying it would have been impossible, but I think it was very unlikely to have worked.

Edwin,

You can't just trade Shaq to Atlanta or the Raps, because the other team wouldn't make the deal. Why would the Hawks, an awful team, give up the pieces they need to try and rebuild so they can rent a disgruntled, overweight Shaq for a year, knowing fully well he won't resign as an FA? They won't win a title during that season and they'll be worse off the minute he's gone. They get nothing out of it. If you weren't a team Shaq wanted to be on, you had no business trading for him. Again, this made Kupchak's options rather slim.

AK

LakerTom,

What free agent point guards are out there right now that we could sign with the MLE? There's no one. I think we need to get someone in the draft that is a big guard and can play like a Scottie Pippen, Josh Howard, Kobe Bryant (defensively).

I checked up on that foreign guy you mentioned and he sounded good. I think someone in the 6'6" range with some ball handling and defensive skills is where we should look. I'm not one of the people who think Bobby Jackson, Speedy Claxton, or whoever else is available in free agency this year is the answer. There are rookies that can have a bigger impact right off the bat than those guys.

As for wasting Kobe's prime years, I couldn't agree more. My thing is I don't see this roster as being one, even with a couple more years under it's belt, contending for a championship. I hope to God that something clicks in Lamar Odom and he turns into the guy we saw at the end of the year and is a CONSISTENT 20-10-7 guy. We would definitely be only a player away at that point.

I know you are going to hate this because it involves Mihm leaving, but how about Mihm and the #26 to Chicago for Duhon and the #16. We fill the defensive-minded point spot and with the #16 pick we can either go for Alexander Johnson or the Thelosha (whatever). We get younger, more athletic, and better right away.

Edwin:

Great post back to Ken. Thanks for getting Lamar's back.

Andrew Z:

I believe I was one of the first on the blog to be really high on Brandon Roy, having seen him play many times. If the Lakers trust believe he is the long-term solution for us at point guard, then I have no problem with them trading up to get him, even if we had to trade Chris Mihm.

AK has stated and I relunctantly agree that the Bulls would not give us the #5 pick for Mihm and I would not give up Lamar for the pick. That is why I changed my mind and decided that we were better off not trading any key pieces. I think we can get a potentially better player if we are lucky enough that Thabo Sefolosha slips to us at #26.

wiZo:

I agree with your post. In the end, the Lakers management have to be trusted to appreciate what we have, continue to build the team the right way, but not be afraid to make a move that could make us dramatically better. They have done a great job since the Shaq trade and we saw the results much sooner than any of us expected.

And you are right that we will have mucho cap space in 2007/8 when Brian Grant's $15M per year salary black hole ends. We need to use this money now to make the team a contender while Kobe is still in his prime. The league is wide open and we only need to add a couple of quality players who can defend to be in the mix. If we do make a trade, it would have to be for a player of players that management is "sure" will be the right fit, otherwise, we are better off by keeping the core together and letting them grow and develop as a team.

Andrew Z:

I think what all of the sports writers and analysts do is browse the Laker and other team blogs in order to get "rumors: to publish.

Marcus Douthit isn't my choice for replacing Mihm. Turiaf is my replacement for Kwame Brown at the 4 spot. Kwame Brown is my Replacement for Mihm at the 5 spot. Marcus Douthit is my replace for Turiaf as a back-up to both the 4 and 5 spot. Marcus Douthit is a defensive player. Don't think offense all the time because it's defense in the middle that wins games.

mike

Edwin Gueco:

You are right, hands down. Lamar Odom is a far better and more valuable player than Luol Deng. He is a better scorer, rebounder, defender, and passer. Only a fool would trade Odom for Deng. Odom is well worth the money we are paying and he is just starting to reach his potential.

As for drafting Brandon Roy, I love the guy but we can solve the point guard problem with a free agent (Bonzi) or draft choice (Thabo). Lamar is just starting to learn the triangle and how to play with Kobe. The best is still to come; let's not trade it away for someone else to enjoy.

Faith:

Props for helping back up Lamar. Two years from now when we have our next parade, Lamar will be right there next to Kobe on the lead float.

We made great progress last year and you are right to remind everyone not to disregard how important keeping a core of players is to building a championship team. Look at what the Suns and Mavs have done. Look at why the Spurs contend every yeasr. They have all slowly put together a core of players that provides the team with stability and then tinker with the roster to meet their changing needs. It is how we need to approach building our next championship team.

Faith:

Yes, this year's draft is a weak one. That does not mean that there will not be a Manu Ginobli, Leandro Barbosa, or Josh Howard available when we pick #26. It does mean, however, that the value of the lottery picks, which usually means a star or superstar, does not have the value of other years. This is not 2003 with LeBron, Carmelo, Bosh, and Wade.

JO for Andrew Bynum? That is like saying KG for Bynum. Of course we would do either deal straight up but only the Knicks make trades like that. I don't think we would be willing to give up what would be needed to trade for either of those guys. Other teams would give them far better deals than we would be willing to.

AK,

No sweat, finally I'm addressing to you. You never know the repercussions of those trade, Shaq may or may not extend depending on the price and prevailing team's culture. I just made those two teams as examples since I don't know the teams where Shaq signed a no-trade clause. For the sake argument, only Miami Heat is capable of getting Shaq, why did Mitch accept Brian Grant when he was underperforming with the Heat during that year because of his knee problems. During that time, we got in between two players Kobe & Shaq, we wanted Kobe but he was threatening to go to the Clippers as a Free Agent. WE ARE THE LAKERS. No player is above the team, that's a matter of principle! We will deal with Shaq at our own sweet time with the BEST DEAL of getting another Center to replace the vacated position. It should have been Nowitski or KG or Yao Ming but it has to be Shaq's equivalent. What we got are pieces of remnants of three players into ONE. We are AFRAID of losing Kobe so we have to move IMMEDIATELY. Pronto! We got deeply involved with their feud and afraid to lose both of them. Players may come and go, but the Laker team stays. We have a tradition of winning Championships and a solid franchise therefore, no individual is so great, so indispensable that he controls the team's future! That should never happen again where players control the objectives of the team and its future interests.

30 Minutes to GAME TIME.....

In 30 minutes Basketball fans throughout the Nation will be graced with 48 minutes of athletic entertainment and intriguing sports drama. In 30 minutes fans nationwide will see two NBA coaches of two teams using strategic moves and counter moves to gain the upper hand in this best of Seven series.

The Dallas Mavericks holding homecourt advantage while winning both games on their homecourt are trying go up 3-1 on the Miami Heat. The Heat pulled out one of the most dramatic victories in NBA Finals history with a 13pt comeback victory win with just over 6:00 left in the contest. DWade scored 15pts during that 4th quarter blitz that ranks his achievement as a very special moment in NBA Finals history.

Shaq has been somewhat neutralized against a smaller Dallas lineup. The MOST DOMINANT Center in the history of the NBA is DUE for a breakout game tonight. Shaquille O'Neal, a 13-year veteran is a proud man who wants to make his mark on this Finals and deliver a PROMISE to the fans of the City of Miami of bringing a Title to the Heat organization.

Role players must stepup for Miami, to neutralize the vaulted talent of the shooting Guard lead Mavericks. Watch for James Posey to have a STRONG defensive effort against Dirk and Walker will have a much better shooting night behind the arc as his confidence should grow tonight.

Questions to be answered tonight: How will the missed freethrow by Dirk affect his game tonight? How will Dallas respond to a tight game? Will Miami comeout strong preventing the lapses they tend to suffer in the middle of the second and fourth quarters?

These questions and MORE will be answered in just 20 minutes. So get the popcorn, chips and salsa ready, set the DVR, pour your favorite beverage and sit it close to you so you don't miss a minute of some most thrilling, action-packed NBA Action ever. Sit back and relax as Shaq and Crew try to WILL themselves toward a VICTORY over the upstart Dallas Mavericks. And watch as DWade hurls his body through agonizing pain just for the opportunity to win one of Sports most cherished awards, an NBA Championship.

OUT!!!
the Truth

enjoy the game

Andrew Z:

I am still strongly on the Bonzi and Speedy free agent bandwagon and the Thabo or Rondo draft bandwagon as the solutions to our point guard problem -- all without having to give up our strength at center.

The Lakers need to really look at what Bonzi could do to help the Lakers become tougher defensively and able to punish smaller guards offensively. Bonzi would also alleviate Kobe of scoring pressure so he could return to being the shut-down defender he used to be.

Our projected 12 that will dress for each game:

1 - Bonzi Wells/Speedy Claxton/Thabo Sefolosha
2 - Kobe Bryant/Sasha Vujacic
3 - Lamar Odom/Luke Walton
4 - Kwame Brown/Ronny Turiaff/Brian Cook
5 - Chris Mih/Andrew Bynum

+3 Inactive: Aaron McKie, Laron Profit, 51st pick

GAME TIME BABY!!!!

Heat will win a MUST Game!!!!!

OUT!!!
the Truth

ya heard it here FIRST!!!!!

Andrew Z:

The free agent we need is Bonzi Wells, who can give us 20 and 10 next year and kill small point guards like Nash and Parker in the post. He has matured from his days in Portland and taken his game to the next level. He will be an all-star next year and would give the Lakers the #2 scorer they need, freeing Kobe to focus on being a shut-down defender.

If we abandon the 2007/8 cap space plan for LeBron, we could sign Bonzi and Speedy to three years deals as follows since we get back almost $10M next year for Devon's and Slava's expiring contracts. Bonzi would get $27M ($6M/$9M/$12M) and Speedy would get $15M ($4M/$5M/$6M).

While I do not believe it is in our best interest to trade Mihm, I would feel differently if the Lakers really saw something in someone in the draft that they felt was worth it, whether it be trading up into the top 5 for Brandon Roy, whom I love, or up to #16 in order to grab Thabo Sefolosha or Alexander Johnson.

It has to be for a player that they believe is "can't miss" or otherwise, stay put at #26 and try to find a Manu Ginobli or Boris Diaw or Josh Howard -- all of which were picked later than we are picking this year.

The only area where I have some criticism of the Lakers management moves has been their late first and second round drafting. I thought Bynum was a great move at #10 and I love Walton and Turiaff but we probably should have drafted better players than Sasha, Cook, Slava, etc.

LakerTom,

Now that's a lineup. I see championship.

Peter Angelini

Edwin,

In principle, I agree with everything you wrote. But unfortunately, reality is a big, ugly factor. And the reality is that your approach could very likely have led to Kobe bolting and still needing to deal an unhappy, uncooperative Shaq. And that would have probably made none of the fans happy, since you'd be dealing with an absolute start-from-scratch rebuild.

Remember, a large reason the franchise can say "WE ARE THE LAKERS" is because they've had the players throughout their history that gave them the ability.

Again, all things being equal and ideal, you're totally right. But sadly, things are neither equal nor ideal.

AK

Edwin:

I understand your complaints about the Shaq deal. The reason we had to include Brian Grant was because of the requirement to match salaries coming in with those going out. There was no other way that Miami could match Shaq's huge salary.

I also think that Jerry Buss made the smart decision by doing so quickly so as to improve the chances of signing Kobe. Had he tried to play hardball with Shaq or waited for a better deal, we might well have lost Kobe. I think Kobe was seriously looking at the Clippers and do not think he would have returned if Shaq was still there. Since Jerry had decided Shaq had to go, he wanted to make sure he did not lose Kobe too.

What is interesting is looking back and comparing this entire scenario to the deals that Jerry West made to get Shaq in the first place. He took a huge risk by trading Vlade Divac for the draft rights to get kobe BEFORE he had any indication that Shaq would elect to sign as a free agent with the Lakers. But, of course, the rest is history. Shaq signed. The other teams ahead of us passed and we drafted Kobe. And then, to top it off, we were lucky enough to draft DFish at the end of the first round. And Jerry West become the King of the GMs and Mitch Kupchak had the unfortunate task of following him as the Lakers next general manager.

Zooooooooo!!!!!

Alonzoooo Moooourningggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

End of 1st quarter - Heat up


enjoy the game

Miamiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Heatttttttttttttttttt!!!!

All you so-called 'ROOKIE' Basketball prognasticators need to LEARN how to LISTEN or go back to playing tiddly winks and worshipping Kobe 'one-and-done' Bryant!!!
When I said HOME COOKIN',.....I MEANT 'HOME COOKIN'!!!!!! Role players and the Heat were DUE!!!! 2-3-2 can do wonders in the NBA Finals!!!!!!!!

OUT!!!
the Truth

enjoy the game

AK,

If that was the case, our biggest problem at that time was COMMUNICATION. If we wanted Kobe, we could have communicated to him in privacy what we are doing. Kobe was a player who wants to win but he could no longer tolerate the BIG CRY BABY. It comes to a point that he wanted to sacrifice few millions from his contract, his Laker career just to get out from the shadow of Shaq. Nonetheless, HE ALWAYS WANTS TO WIN. He'd understand the importance of a good Center vs. three forwards. Cuban admitted that he almost pulled the trigger and sent his franchise player, Dirk to LA. Kevin Mchale was evaluating the chances of getting Shaq but the problem is the salary. Had we stayed longer we could have gotten a better deal. However, we lost control of the situation, the situation controlled us. The Finals was just over, so we still had the time to approach other teams.

The 2nd PROBLEM in Communication was Mitch involving the media, he was communicating or backbiting with BIG EGO through press releases. The Lakerville was all tense with the situation, we're not the Champions, yet we're the center of the news. "The first principle I mentioned, nobody is indispensable, second principle, whatever is the problem, all players should be treated with utmost respect." Don't discuss your plans through the media. You have to ax them first at the right moment but as a GM, keep your mouth shut! Nobody should know what you're planning to do except your chosen player which is KOBE. You only go to press when it's all said and DONE, not when you're still negotiating to fill the Center position.

Well, we matched the salaries, maxed our salary cap, up to now we're still searching for desired exchange but the product is no longer there. We have no elbow room to deal with good players. Beyond Shaq and Kobe, I still believe there are great players today and in the future who would like to wear the purple and gold at least once in their career. It was unfortunate we lost great minds of the Lakers like: Sharman, West, Hearns, Magic, Kareem they have no say on what's going on with the Lakers, they just toe the line. The Buss family and their Mitch Kupchalk is running the whole show. WE the fans are paying for their bad decisions.

LakerTom!

Drop the Bonzi Wells nonsense!

GO LAKERS!

P.S. Start the Darius Miles nonsense!

Since Buss took over the Lakers have won 8 NBA Championships. That's more than any other sports team during those years. Bad decisions? We can't win every year. Heck, the Yankees spend big, huge money and they can't even win every year. The Buss family is the best thing to happen to sports in Los Angeles.

mike

Mike T.

I agree with you on the Buss Family is the best thing to happen to sports in Los Angeles. In the end, he lost the best basketball minds on how to solve the squabbles in his team. He FIRED PJ, a year later, he HIRED him back. He used to have Jerry West settle all side problems and Chique-baby gives him the feedback with frankness on what the team truly needs. Today, he's the lone thinker, he talks to his daughter, Jeanie Buss or Jim Buss and to "Yes Sir Mitch Kupchak." It's kinda lonely on the top.

I totally agree with you, Jerry Buss is the best sports owner Los Angeles ever had.

exhelodrvr --

"Does anyone still question the wisdom of getting rid of Shaq when they did? What does it tell you when your 20M "star" doesn't play the last three minutes of an NBA finals game?"

Well your second post is much more reasonable -- certainly what we see now is Shaq approaching senility. But he's still a long way from being a liability. And if the Heat win the title, it puts Laker fans in a small bind. They either have to say the Heat won it all because of Wade (which they hate to do because they feel it somehow diminishes Kobe), or they have to say Shaq is still somewhat valuable (also a loathsome idea to most Lakers fans).

Instead of trading anybody, and long before non-communication brought the participants to loggerheads, he Lakers probably should have brought in Dr. Phil to make Shaq lose 40 pounds and to put Shaq and Kobe and Jerry and Phil through 4-way marriage counseling.

Maybe your original post was more illogical in the wording than in the intent, because, as I said before, the only way people are going to stop questioning the wisdom of the Shaq trade (mind you, whether they are right or wrong in questioning it) is if Shaq loses this series and starts fading off into the twilight.

They say you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

You know why we lost Jerry West, right? There was a power struggle. Who did Jerry West have a struggle with? You got it, Phil Jackson.

The classy Jerry West didn't let it develope into a circus and just decided to retire. Phil Jackson's ego didn't want Jerry talking to the players in the locker room. One thing led to another and Jerry said, I'm out of here. That's your belove PJ for you.

Jerry Buss would have never fired Jerry West, but he doesn't grovel either. So when Jerry decide to go, Jerry Buss let him. You can thank Phil Jackson for that.

mike

Edwin,

To a large degree, I agree, especially that things should have never gotten so out of hand publicly. Why athletes/owners air grievances through the media is beyond me. And I'll take it another step further with the problems you discussed, because Kobe's also fairly responsible for the team's disadvantages during this process.

It was made perfectly clear to Kobe from the get go that he was their choice. And that obviously wasn't enough, in and of itself, since he was willing to keep the team in the lurch. He waited as long as he possibly could to officially declare free agency (even though he'd already said he'd opt out of his contract), thus the Lakers had to protect him in the expansion draft, which kept them from protecting Jamal Sampson, who they wanted. He also allowed himself to be wooed hard by the Clips, which only put even more pressure on the Lakers. If you're the Lakers watching this, you're gonna do whatever you can to get Kobe on board ASAP. The longer it plays out, the more opportunity for Kobe to sign with the Clips. It's only natural they felt rushed.

If Kobe wanted to, he could privately have said "Guys, I'm with you. Get this trade done whenever for the best players you can and don't worry about me." I have to imagine he didn't do that, because the Lakers clearly felt under the gun. He could have simply signed and waited for them to trade Shaq. Again, it's no coincidence that he signed the day after Shaq was traded. That was obviously an important consideration for him, which made it a priority for the Lakers.

And by the way, I don't mean this is as an "it's all Kobe's fault" thing. Shaq did the Lakers no favors on the way out. He was an absolute pain in the ass and it was by design. My point is simply that Kobe made it tough, too. And from start to finish, so did a lot of people, for that matter (Buss, Kupchak, etc.). Throw all that together and it's pretty obvious why the Lakers were dealing from an absolute position of weakness during that trade.

AK

HEAT WIN!!!!!!!

Game Four was EASY to call. Home Cookin' just as I said, as the visiting Maverick team is sleeping in a hotel that the residents of the City of Miami are sure to descretly make uncomfortable as possible. There are those fans that could be disturbing needed comfortable REST that the Dallas squad needs. Little things that can have an ADVERSE influence on a team or group.

As I mentioned before, it is the physical as well as the MENTAL games that play EQUAL parts to victories. Such as Dirk missing the GAME TYING freethrow in Game Three his psychi was all over the map in Game Four as he went 2-14, and had a slight ankle SPRAIN. Jump shooters lose their legs most SO-CALLED basketball geniuses should know that.

Shaq COMMANDS Double Teams and has ALWAYS caused matchup problems in a Seven Game series. Shaq doesn't have to score 1,000,000 points in a game to be a FACTOR, it is just his MERE PRESENCE that causes concern and problems. Nobody can BOXOUT Shaq in the paint.

Most of you SO-CALLED Basketball Geniuses were correct saying DWade is no Kobe Bryant. DWade is DWade, a phenomenal TEAMplayer that CALMLY plays TEAMBALL WITHOUT making the grim faces on foul-calls, pumping his chest after making a basket, arguing with refs, flailing his arms in disgust, degrading his teammates or elbowing opponents. DWade does none of those things, he just plays the game CALMLY the way the game is SUPPOSED to be played,...THE RIGHT WAY.

OUT!!!
the Truth

Heat wins 4-2
Ya heard!!!

TELL THE TRUE STORY

Shaq wanted out of LA when Buss would NOT resign Phil Jackson. Why didn't Buss give Jackson the $30 contract he asked for???? Hell he is giving it to Jackson now anyway. Tell it like it is and stop blaming Shaq for just wanting money, etc. When it was made know Jackson was not going to be the coach, a coach who lead the team to THREE Titles, Shaq of course wanted out, any of us would do the same if in that situation. That is why Shaq is in the NBA Finals, and Kobe and crew are sitting home just like the rest of us, WATCHING ON TV.

OUT!!!!
the Truth

Heat 4-2

AK

That Kobe / Shaq summation was spot on. With every Heat win, there's more pressure in Laker land. If they don't say it, it's not because they don't feel it. It's the Lake Show on South Beach with Riley in a new suit. THis has to be stirrin the emotional waters in the office.

How could it not matter? Your ex wife is remarrying a younger, richer guy 20 minutes after the ink is dry on the divorce. "i'm happy for her" is the right spin, but who buys it?

Phil was last years summer story. He flew in from Australia to save the ticket prices. What will the story be this year? "We're happy for Shaq and Pat. We feel in our hearts, once a Laker always a Laker...yada, bla bla"
Spin, spin, spin.

BTW I know the trade specs grow like weeds but this dump LO for anything other than franchise players is crazy. He's got issues but he can stick with Dirk and other new breed, 7 ft something, shootin' fool that runs like a gazell and can post up. He's a walkin' mismatch. 11 mil aiin't a bargain, but who is in this league?

Lakertom,

I'd have Laron Profit in that lineup over Sasha in a heartbeat. I think he is a better shooter and more athletic.

Great posts BTW. Maybe you can get a consulting fee from Kupchek...

Edwin:
Mitch was on the radio the other day and I was actually surprised to hear him say that they have been scouting international players for 6 years now. and also that they've had a scout that has just lived in Europe scouting players. I almost didnt wanna believe it. I just assumed we were late getting in on the international scene. It just shows how we just plain didnt scout well enough. (I have to add, Phil's influence could very well have steered us away from international players (like how he refused to take barbosa) cuz even tho they have better fundamentals, theyve had to adjust to the style of play here. phil is simply too stubborn and impatient to develop anyone.)

Evan:
Im really not sure if you quoted me cuz youre agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. It sounds like you are disagreeing with me....but making the same point I just made...which is that Smush should be a backup PG. I only used the word "underperformed" quoting you. You seem like you are saying Smush is worthless...yet your other post you seem to be defending him. Is one of your posts being sarcastic??? Im confused.

AK:
Good points about the shaq deal. Kobes almost joining the clippers was so real that Elgin almost seemed shocked when he resigned with the Lakers. I agree with your take, but you forgot to note that Mitch only weakened his own leverage when he absent-mindedly publicly declared Kobe untouchable. Everyone knows Kobes untouchable. He could have told Kobe that in private also. Saying that only Kobe was untouchable was probably the final straw as shaq demanded a trade almost immediately afterwards.
Plus, it seems pretty clear that Mitch was going to avoid trading to a Western team at all costs.
But Edwin, I agree with you in principle. We really couldve gotten a better deal. But I think AK is being practical. and I must admit, if I were Buss, I'd also be peeing my pants at the thought of losing Kobe (not only Kobe "the best player" Bryant...but also Kobe "Sells out the Staples" Bryant).

Andrew:
Earlier I proposed maybe Mihm+26 for Deng+16. I think its too much to give up for Duhon+16. As much as we start liking draft picks...at 16 the reality is you can draft a total bust at 16. For them to get Mihm for that is a steal for them IMO. Id rather get Gordon or Deng. They probably wont do that...and thats fine. Mihm will likely retain his decent trade value up until the trade deadline anyways. Theres always teams lookin for a decent C.

LakerTom:
At times it may seem like Im disagreeing with you with all my "proposals", but I'm not. I'm simply going with your main idea, but just trying to remain open and flexible. This really is the most exciting draft we've had in a long time. During the championship years, it was just "we could use another shooter" or "how about a PF that rebounds"...nothing really major. Right now were at a major crossroads. Sign a major FA using our future cap space? Wait a year till we have a lot of cap space? Make trades to get a TON of cap space to sign multiple FAs to multiyear contracts? We could go in so many directions. So while I agree with you, we really need to be strategic about it. And of course with so many options, ppl are going to disagree on the proper course of action. Which is why this thread will soon have 300 posts. =)

I really should read all the posts before i comment...but there are so many posts that i forget what i wanted to say in the first place.
AK, i always try to look at things objectively, but i never really saw kobe's responsibilty. good points. with that said, edwin, youre also right in the communication just wasnt good. mitch really is the confusing one in this tho. shaq and kobe are still gonna look out for shaq and kobe in a situation like this. it should be mitch being the buffer and mediator...at least long enough to work out a solution. instead he brainfarts and publicly disses shaq. really confusing action by a GM.

GO Kobe "DWade wanna'be' Bryant! Keep practicing for next season. This time we want you to score 82 points againts... Toronto(again).

Release Lamar(former star)Odom for Mar(star)bury.

DOES ANYONE 'REALLY' THINK....

that Kobe Bryant would have ACTUALLY went to the Clippers?!!!!!!!

What purpose would it have served for Kobe to go to the Clippers AFTER the support the Buss Family offered during the Colorado trial?
Buss provided Kobe with a PRIVATE JET to attend court proceedings. Kobe WOULD NOT have went to the Clippers after playing with the Lakers for x-amount of years along with the SUPPORT the organization gave him during a bad time in his life.

Kupchak and crew got BLUFFED, panicked and had a fire sale.

Now while Shaq is in SouthBeach making a DESERVING Dwayne Wade famous and nationally recognized playing supurb NBA Finals BASKETBALL, Kobe's agent is busy trying to retool Kobe's image through cable talk show appearances.

In Boxing they used to call it the 'ROPE-A-DOPE' guess who got DOPED.

OUT!!!
the Truth

wiZo - I agree and disagree with you at the same time. I Agree that it is phil's job to put the best player in when the situation calls for it, but I just didn't think his play deserved what you said about him. When you have a "green" player in, you can expect "green" plays and it's not really his fault. You basically said he "blew it" "didn't show up" and so forth. I say, he has shown up in the same way he has all year - Erratically. We shouldn't expect a 180 just because the playoffs start.

I don't feel he tanks games, and even if he isn't always into the game 100% I do honestly believe he's trying to contribute - just under some outside sources of pressure.

While watching these NBA finals, there is one thing that really pisses me off! Shaq is actually guarding people past the free throw line! You would rarely see Shaq go out to the 3 point line and guard someone (And Dirk landing on his foot).

Is this the result of Shaq's newfound motivation or was he just doing what Phil Jackson told him to do. I remember all those pick and roles that teams used to involve Shaq with and he would never come out. Maybe that was Phils philosophy? Or maybe Shaq just didn't flat out give enough effort on the Lakers?

Steven,
Sorry but the full extension Shaq insisted on was well known before the Lakers announced Phil was gone. Shaq would not let up on his full extension because he knew that if he got it, the Lakers would not have been able to sign Kobe to a max deal. If the Lakers gave Shaq his extension and re-signed Phil we would have lost Kobe for no compensation. You cannot just lose a talent like that with no compensation. But that's what would have happened. The Lakers also wouldn't have been able to trade Kobe because Kobe had the power to negate any trade. He was a free agent.

What would you expect the Lakers to do? Lets say they lost Kobe. What would they have done? Who would have taken his place?

Mike T,
What makes you think Jerry West didn't have an ego? To tell you the truth, Phil Jackson was the coach of the team and he had every right to not have the "logo" in the locker room when he is coaching the team.

Steven,
Your example is actually not a 'ROPE-A-DOPE' at all. 'ROPE-A-DOPE' is is what Ali did to Foreman. He leaned on the 'ropes' and let Foreman uselessly wack at him until Foreman got tired. 'ROPE-A-DOPE' is to appear to be in a position of weakness and let your opponent tire himself out trying to take advantage of your perceived weakness, then you take advanage of his loss of energy and concentration. Kobe was actually not in any position of weakness; perceived nor actuall.

So I guess that makes 2 sports you know nothing about. Want to try for a 3rd? Maybe football?

LakerTom,

I think you're highly overestimating Bonzi Wells. He is nowhere near a 20-10 guy nor an All-Star. However, I would like to have him on the team but unfortunately he probably played himself out of our price range with his performance against the Spurs in the first round. We have to remember that all we have to offer any free agent is the MLE and that's about $5 million a year. Also, any player worth anything is going to want a three or four year deal and Laker management has repeatedly said they are not willing to give long term deals since they want cap space for 2007/08.

On another rumor note, I heard on 570 AM that Lamarcus Aldridge was just in LA and had a "secret" workout with the Lakers. That makes him and Brandon Roy who have worked out with the Lakers and neither of those guys would be available at #26, so it makes you wonder.

How about Ben Gordon and the #2 for Lamar Odom? We could take Aldridge or Thomas with #2 and have our future power forward and a legitimate scorer to help out Kobe. Plus money to spend on a free agent (Al Harrington?). That would be a pretty good line-up.

PG Ben Gordon
SG Kobe Bryant
C Kwame Brown
PF Lamarcus Aldridge
SF Al Harrington

I said Aldridge was in LA for a workout but the workout was actually in Chicago and the Lakers were one of two teams that attended a special workout. Either way, the Lakers are attending workouts of players that have zero chance of being available at #26. You have to think they are at least considering moving up.

guys, 'nuff with the shaq trade "what ifs". As the saying goes, it's all water under the bridge. Over and done with. A proactive and spirited discussions of how to improve the team is of more positive value. If I will give award for the MVB (most valuable blogger) at this point, it has to be Laker Tom (with some exceptions i,e for his favoring of Bonzi who is not a point guard, etc.) Edwin Gueco and Michael Teniente would come close. Anyway, the point is blaming the management and coaches does not help. Constructive suggestions are far more helpful. It is always a pleasure reading those suggestions. Props to all bloggers.

wizo the MJ thing on insider was a couple of days ago and i posted asking did anybody read it it said mj says he isnt the best in the world and it stops and when u open it u got the insider account thing.

did anybody consider that kobe was afraid of signing and getting traded or even signing and the lakers keep shaq.
plus the greatest dynasty got cut short because of their egos so it was a matter of me or him so they didnt think about the future but on who is more valuable.kobe is wasand will for ever be but he only scrwed himself coz if he had done what he should have he would have had more players around him(but doing well whith good players would mean that we dont get the 10 pick and no bynum and no kareem back to coach so i say it turned out okay)

AK,

Thank you for your added insights on what really happened in '04. Now we appreciate more the importance of your blog. It was apparent that the Lakers didn't handle the situation in the best way possible because there was no person to mediate or act as a buffer among protaganists: Dr. JB, Phil, Shaq & Kobe. That could have been the role of the GM Mitch K. but it became worst when he went to the media and resumed verbal sparring with BIG BABY. As I said before, when their careers are done, when players' jersey banners are being raised, when hall of fame awards are being given, looking back there's something to laugh at - that blight in '04 or their height of immaturity as professionals.

Mike T.

I know you're a Laker veteran, how did you come to know this locker room incident between Phil and Jerry West? What we only heard was JW was asking for a raise or part ownership of the Lakers like Magic and Dr. JB turned it down. You said that you don't watch games at Staples but this time, you hear what's going on in the locker room. Haha.

Wizo,

Good to know that Mitch is doing international scouting. Lakers was one of the first teams to spot international players, that's drafting Vlade Divac in 1989. That was 17 years ago, later, the best we got were Slava and Sasha. When you visit these basketball countries, the most popular teams are the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls, we just didn't capitalize our popularity.

Wizo,

Excellent point. Mitch's (and Buss') outward favoring of Kobe, whether justified or not, didn't make this whole mess any easier. Common sense and pragmatic thinking certainly didn't come into play enough with that approach.

AK

guys why do u wanna trade LO7 he is great !
and let me get this u want to bring player for kobe s prime but u would trade LO7 for a draft pick?
bunch of hypocrites hahahaha.
keep LO we do good we are on our way we do bad we earn the lottery pick.seriouslyhe have great talents
and they will develop and they will not have great pressure on them coz of kobe and lamar leading the way our bigs have kareem to teach them .bynum is huge and courages .kwame at worst will be a good rebounder and defender plus he will protect the other players in case of a mixup.
lamar is a walijng triple double and luke has basketball IQ and u have just about the greatest playa in the world and maybe in history in kobe bean bryant. dont break that up other s u can breake them up .(kwame no body want buit the big guy will proove them wrong, right mike?)

Edwin,

I read it in the newspaper around the time it was happening.

mike

Zen,

As I understand it, the protocol is Owner, GM, Coach, and Players.

PJ is coach. JW was the GM. The GM is the coaches boss. JW is the one who had the right to be in the locker room if that's what he decided he wanted to do. Sure JW has an ego, but after 40 years as a faithful employee, and building those great teams in the 80's and bringing in Shaq, Kobe, Fisher, Fox, Horry, and every other player up to the year 2000 it was JW's team and not PJ.

mike

I think anybody who wants Bonzi Wells on this team isn't paying attention. He's a loose cannon, and I doubt he would fit into the locker room the Lakers have right now.

I don't think it's going to be as easy to get Ben Gordon as a lot of people here seem to think. I'm not sure he's really the answer anyway, although he's a decent outside shooter.

I don't think Chicage gives up that draft pick unless the deal is obviously beneficial for them. I think their line-up right now is so flexible that the best offer for anybody is what they'll go with' I suspect the only real untouchable in their line-up is Hinrich.

Wade is making me a big believer. I still think Dallas is better, but not if they keep shooting that poorly.

Mike T,

Having the GM in the locker room talking to players when Phil is in there is what I would call micro-managing. It's simply not his job. Phil is there to do a job and JW should be doing his: finding new talent and keeping our talent here. From what I understand, JW was giving them pointers, coaching advice, etc.. That is simply not his job. He was micro-managing

I agree with zen. A GM should keep his nose out of the locker room. He hires the players and coaches and then lets them do their jobs. If he is unhappy with the results, he can get rid of them, but in no way should he tell them how to run their team.

zen,

With a guy like JW I would think he knew a little somthing about basketball. Why shouldn't he advice player on how to play the game? What was PJ, a scrub as a player, jealous?

mike

Michael T,

I don't think there is anything wrong with someone like Jerry West talking to a player about the game. However, if in fact he was in the locker room with the players and coaches and trying to give his input on strategy then he was overstepping his boundaries. I don't think it had anything to do with Phil and the level of player he was.

 
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