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Extra! Extra! (11.14)

It's day two of the Let Kobe's Knee Heal four-day restathon, so, who predicted he'd get to 95% healthy from around 70% by Friday night's game against Toronto, should be at what, close to 80% by now? The purple and gold took a needed day off Monday, and will use the break not just to give Kobe a chance to get stronger, but work out some kinks with the team and find some cohesiveness in an increasingly healthy batch of players.

Competition for PT will be stiff everywhere (unless it says Kobe or Lamar on your locker), including center, where a healthy-ish Kwame Brown is trying to play his way back into a starting gig over Andrew Bynum. However it works out, sharing the playing time pie doesn't seem like it'll create tension between them. At guard, it's a matter of finding not just minutes, but quality ones. It wouldn't hurt for Smush to get his mojo back. Yeah, baby! At least he's in good company on this list.

Turns out it was more duck than stork that helped deliver hoops.

For those of you who subscribe to Insider, Luke Walton is getting some fantasy love, which sounds far more scandalous than it actually is. Speaking of fantasy, it would help you to have a few of these dudes on your team, and the Lakers to sneak at least one more player onto this list, or move up in these.

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I'm still having a tough time understanding what the front office is thinking with the whole Kwame/Bynum thing. Obviously they both won't be with this team past next season. They are both guys who should be starting centers in the league, and will be paid accordingly. Unfortunately, Kwame's market value is still pretty low, and Bynum's salary is too low to move him for someone of equal value. Because Bynum is so young and Mihm is out, there's no reason to move one or the other this year, but how does Phil manage to give each enough playing time to determine if Bynum is the guy, increase Kwame's trade value, keep moral up, and still win games. I think this will be a big deal as the season goes on.

As for Smush and our starting point guard position, we don't have anyone on this roster that I feel is a candidate to make us a contender so I'm good with what he's brought to the table. With the tight rules on perimeter defense, his quick hands and long arms make him a better option on that end of the floor than anyone else we have.

as of November 14, 2006

I have never really liked the weekly power rankings produced by many of the NBA websites. In my estimation, many times the people providing these assessments are attempting to walk a thin line of evaluating how a team is currently playing, and the expectations of where that team will end up by the end of the year. This can clearly be seen in the how teams that have lost 3 or 4 games in a row remain higher than teams that have won a few games, simply because those teams finished much higher last year. Thus the normal Power Rankings are so subjective that they have little value other than offering more discussion fodder on forums and blogs such as this one. Furthermore, I would like to take a different approach when reviewing the status of the teams which focuses more on where they will finish and not simply how they are playing right now. Instead of looking at all the teams on a week to week basis, I believe that a monthly assessment, gives a clearer picture. A team may have a bad week, making a monthly assessment a better range for reference.

The following current playoff seeding predictions are a compilation of current performance as well as potential to maintain that performance over the remainder of the season. As each month of games has been completed, the overall records will become a greater factor when offering these predictions. However, for now, they are only partly responsible for the review. Please note that the seeding order is in accordance with current league rules for the playoffs (i.e. division winners). Also note, that I have left off actual records as it is still too early to determine the max and min totals that will be necessary for the 16 teams to make the post season.

Eastern Conference
1 – Cleveland Cavaliers
2 – New Jersey Nets
3 – Miami Heat
4 – Detroit Pistons
5 – Chicago Bulls
6 – Orlando Magic
7 – Indiana Pacers
8 – Atlanta Hawks

Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Washington are potential playoff teams that may crack that top 8 if someone falters.

Western Conference
1 – Houston Rockets
2 – San Antonio Spurs
3 – Utah Jazz
4 – Los Angeles Clippers
5 – Dallas Mavericks
6 – Los Angeles Lakers
7 – Phoenix Suns
8 – Sacramento Kings

Denver, New Orleans and Seattle are potential playoff teams that may crack that top 8 if someone falters.

EXTRA EXTRA!!! This year’s MVP race may very well come down to two players, Yao Ming and LeBron James…You heard it here first!

Jon Kavulic,
how do you count 6 point guards man? I am really not sure what type of basketball you've been watching over the years, but

Maurice Evans a PG?.... nooo ... he's a SG/SF...
Aaron McKie a PG? .... nooo... he's a SG/SF...

Neither of those guys were ever PGs for there whole career. Both 6'5-6'7 with limited ballhandling abilities and specialize in defending swingmen and knocking down open jumpers...

So there ya go, no need to stress about "6 FREAKIN PGs" because we really only have 4 on the roster.

Andrew Z.,
and what's wrong with having Kwame and Bynum again?

First, Bynum is young and dangerously inconsistent. If you were to mark Bynum down for 35 mins a nite then you can also mark down 10 losses. The kid is a KID. He'll give you 20 and 15, then he'll give you 3 and 4.

Second, Bynum and Kwame's skill sets are complimentary for the most part. Kwame is a much better position/post/on-ball defender than Bynum while Bynum is much better at patrolling the lane and challenging shots. Bynum also has a little bit more finesse and touch in his game while Kwame is more physical. Bynum actual is developing a nice free-throw line extended jumper and his pinch-post passing skills are already quite advanced.Add Turiaf to the mix and we have 3 big guys that can mix it up. Why wouldnt you want that? That's the type of depth you need in the playoffs where the matchup games prevail.

If you dont look at Kwame as a potential 20 and 10 guy, then it all makes a lot more sense.

If anything Andrew will be 17 and 8 in the future while Kwame will be more 11 and 6... Who wouldnt want that on the team?!

I fail to see the "trouble" in having a tandem of Brown and Bynum. What is the difference between having them two and having a tandem of Shaq and Alonzo? The concern over minutes is a result of over-analyzation.

There are 48 minutes available each game for each position on the floor. Some games, Kwame will end up with more minutes, some games Andrew will. However, they will both most likely average aorund 24 minutes a night. That's solid and sufficient for them to equally impact games. You must remember that each game has different dynamics that make it such that one player will end up having more minutes than the other. Some matchups will favor one over the other. Sometimes quick fouls will generate more time for one than the other. Sometimes, a strong outing for one, will warrant that player having more time.

Just like with the Point Guard spot, the Lakers will be adjusting the distribution of minutes at center on a game to game basis, which is fine. I would rather have 2 players getting solid minutes than 1 getting the bulk and the other fitting in a few here or there. In the long hall, splitting time will favor the team come playoff time. Phil has done an excellent job of this in the past like when he managed to split time for Harper and Fisher or Green and Horry. They had consistent playing time and even consistent substitution points during games. That allowed them to develop a sense of familiarity with their roles on the team, knowing that each game they were going to check in at a certain time and play for a certain average number of minutes.

The bottomline is that the Lakers have the potential to be very successful this season and a major reason for that is their versatility.

JJ, might as well give Lebron the trophy already, majority of basketball already has. Actually, they did so after Nash won. Therefore, so much for a race. And be4 any Lebron fans get riled, its not that I dont think he's deserving. Anywayz, moving right along. I think Smush will be okay and his game will come around sooner rather than later..

In the triangle offense, I'm not sure if we can really give traditional position names to our players. Suppossedly KB is a shooting guard, but recently we've been told that he was playing the wing or forward position. We think of LO as a small foward or power forward but he is called the initiator in the triangle. So what the heck is Smush's position? It's not really PG if Lamar and Kobe play the initiator position. Maybe we are talking about defensive matchups. Smush guards the PG, Kobe guards the SG , etc.
Any help here?

Amdrew Z -
I don't understand what you said or meant by saying that "they both won't be with this team past next season".
Are you saying that Bynum will not be a laker?



I'm glad you addressed the 6-PG statement. I didn't understand that either. I also don't understand why guys are continuing to say that Kwame is out of position as a center and is really a power forward. Timmy is really a power forward. Dirk is really a power forward. Kwame Brown is really a center.

After last season, it amazes me that someone is still unclear on that. As for the PG situation, most teams have 3 or 4 point guards. If they have 3, they most likely have a fourth who is a combo guard able to play both guard positions. The Lakers actually have two PG's and 2 Combo Guards. Smush and Sasha would be considered combo guards in that they could play the shooting guard position. Farmar and Shammond are probably more or less point guards.

Just thought of the perfect big man free agent the Lakers could sign....Paul Shirley.

BK/AK you know it would make your job more fun.

Does anyone remember when Smush had his mojo? If we knew that then we'd at least know what the top of the Smush Mountain looks like.

I agree with Andrew Z, that that his quick hands are about the best ref approved weapon against the water bug guards in the league. No one can stay in front of their man while getting hip checked by bigs.

His shooting is another story. It's painful to watch teams double off him with the game on the line. Fish flashbacks haunt me in those moments.

Andrew Z,

Actually, that signing could just make BK and I work twice as hard to conquer the Laker-related blog item world. Dude's a pretty decent writer. haha


Korey, JJ, keifo,

This season, it's great having Bynum and Brown (especially with Mihm done). Next season, it's probably going to be okay too since it gives Bynum even more time to develop at a slower pace than just throwing him to the Wolves. But Kwame's contract expires after next season and Bynum will be up for an extension and both are going to demand top dollar being quality big men. If you're giving each 24 minutes a night, paying $10 million a year per player is not a smart business move.


You brought up the Shaq-Alonzo point, but Alonzo is on his way out and is making next to nothing, happy as a back-up. Do you think Kwame or Bynum should be a back-up and consequently get paid back-up money? That's not going to happen. They are both young, talented big men who both obviously play Center. And they both should, and will, be starters.

I think we're blessed to have two quality big men with complimenting styles this year, but moving forward (which is the point I was making in my first post) is going to get tricky.

Paul Shirley? HAHA. That guy is lame. I kinda feel bad for him, he just keeps getting the axe.

Andrew Z,
Would Bynum learn more working with the starting lineup, but playing against tougher opposition, or working with the second string, against easier opposition? I lean towards the former, but I think how the coaching staff views that will determine how those two rotate. Management does not view this as a contending year, so the main point will be to grow, and determine what the best lineup will be for next year. (Including looking at possible acquisitions.)

Andrew Z,
I actually dont think Kwame is going to attract top dollar because what has Kwame really done with the Lakers?

1) Get Comfortable..

2) That's it!

I mean, he hasnt really added anything new to his skill set. He's always been an inconsistent rebounder and defender. If he were to move to another team, he would be uncomfortable and wouldn't have the Lakers organization that been coddling him the last 2 years.

He would go back to be the greatest draft bust of all-time.

I think Kwame knows and likes this more pressure-free situation. His game grows at "his" pace, so we'll see when the time comes but I cant see any team mortgaging there future on having Kwame Brown as their starting PF. He can play more minutes and more comfortably with the Lakers

Shouldn't have capitalized "Wolves" in my last post, makes me look like I want to send him to Minnesota.

Bynum... Bynum... Bynum!!!

I dont think it matters that one plays "center" or one plays "forward".

It's more about complimentary skill sets.

Andrew is a better passer and looks to be a better shooter than Kwame. Thus, he doesnt have always work as close to the bucket.While Andrew operates high post with cutters, Kwame works both blocks for rebounding position or post position when the ball swings from strong to weak side.

You know about the high-low post tandem right!

Andrew's passing abilities allows this more than anything to work to me...

The problem is that Kwame's salary is too high for what he provides. That is especially true if Bynum continues to develop. Mihm's health will factor heavily into the equation, too. If it appears that he will make a reasonably good recovery, he would (presumably, since he is coming off significant surgery and 1.5 years of no playing) be an inexpensive, quality backup. Assuming anyone else wants Kwame and his salary, that would free up cap space and or gain something in a trade.


Kwame came with serious baggage, including "Greatest Bust of all time" when he arrived and is still making $9 million a year. He's big, young, athletic, and has shown to be a very good defender.

To see what kind of money he could end up with, look at Tyson Chandler, Nene, Sam Dalembert, and Eddy Curry. I think Kwame is on par with those guys, and if the market is slim with big men when his time comes, he can get top dollar.

As for more minutes with the Lakers, over time I don't see that happening if Bynum continues this improvement since he'll get the majority of minutes at the center spot.


I actually feel that just court time benefits Bynum tremedously. Of course being on the court with Kobe and Lamar makes his learning easier, even if it's against the starting guys from the other team, but like you said, it's a development year and I think Phil is managing the kid pretty well so far.


I just don't see Kwame and Bynum meshing on offense. Kwame has shown to be horrible playing the 4, when he was paired with Mihm, and Bynum is the epitomy of a "true center". Throw in Lamar and Phil wanting to utilize Kobe at the wing position in the Triangle and Kwame either needs a 15-18 footer or a nice seat on the bench (or a plane ticket out of town).

Defense is another matter, but last time I checked we need 5 guys playing both ends of the floor.

The last thing the Lakers want to do is start trying to get Bynum the ball FARTHER from the basket. He's show a good ability to use different moves to score from the post. I really don't want to move a guy with that size farther from the basket.


You guys have the undrafted free agents article linked to where the Luke Walton story should be.


I would guess the Lakers front office is thinking the same thing right now. Since one or the other is likely to stay, I'd put money on Bynum right now.

Jim Buss will go into the luxury tax for Bynum. I don't think the same would be true for the Kwam. Kwame would be part of a package for any big move by the front office this summer. If C Mihm can play next year [big if], he'd bkp the kid.

I recall somebody in the front office thought that Kwame could play the 4 as he was brought in to start with Mihm. Maybe it's me, but I'd like to see Kwam & Ronny with Andrew against Brand, Randoph, TD et al. LO gets worn down trying to stick west PFs.

Andrew Z..
"They are both guys who should be starting centers in the league"
are you kidding me? I am a huge lakers fan and I love bynum (not so much kwame) but there's no way they should be starting at centers in other teams, especially bynum.

In two years, if there is a problem with having both of those big men on this team...The Lakers can deal with it then. However, right now, I fail to see the pertinence in talking about such matters.

We have no idea what the salary cap will be then, what these two players will look like or what the Lakers as a whole will look like.

We also can't assume that either of them will want to leave LA. For all we know both may want to concede top dollar to remain on the team by then. At this point is way too early to worry about.

Can someone start a "Jump off the Smush Bandwagon" list? I love my Lakers and for a while now Smush has been more of a liability than a contributor. The dude chucks it every chance he gets like he's trying to imitate Slava. Then he gets frustrated and starts pouting. HE IS CAUSING US TO SUFFER.

Sorry... I'm just frustrated.

Here's an excerpt from Stein's chat this morning:

Tom (Oxford, England): Why is Steve Novak your favourite rookie? Isn't he just the new one dimensional korver-esque shooting machine?

Marc Stein: (1:52 PM ET ) Because my two favorite things in basketball are fancy passing and dead-eye, long-range bombing. Shooting is such a lost art than when a kid comes in like Novak and can drain them from the parking lot, they stand out even more than they used to.


Jon (Mad-town): If you love dynamic passing and shooting who do you love to watch more, Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul?

Marc Stein: (1:56 PM ET ) I'd still have to say Kobe. There's nothing in the game that he can't do and, back he was the first NBA player I covered who was 10 years younger than me. I've been following him since his first dribble in summer league. But as my good friends in Atlanta will tell you, I'm a bit of a Paul fan as well.


I don't mean right now, but moving forward. These are two guys that could and should be starters in the league.


We speculate all day on this blog, including you with your projected playoff seedings...AFTER 8 GAMES!! It's what fans do!! If we just debated over what's absolutely current, we'd be talking about what the team is practicing right now. And to be honest, I find it more interesting to discuss what the front office is planning for the future of the team (and I guarantee they talk about this everyday), rather than discussing what lineups we should use.

And I started this whole thing with a post based on one of the links provided by AK. Since this team is in a development phase, talking about the future of the center position is very pertinent.

Chat wrap ESPN's Marc Stein on Kobe

Jon (Mad-town): If you love dynamic passing and shooting who do you love to watch more, Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul?

SportsNation Marc Stein: (1:56 PM ET ) I'd still have to say Kobe. There's nothing in the game that he can't do and, back he was the first NBA player I covered who was 10 years younger than me. I've been following him since his first dribble in summer league. But as my good friends in Atlanta will tell you, I'm a bit of a Paul fan as well


Fixed it. Thanks.


I love that the origins of Basketball were found in MY HOME TOWN of Chesterfield MO!! Next time I'm back at my Dad's place I'm going though our basement to see if there's any documents about tether ball buried in our basement...


Why not? Bynum is probably already in the top 4 centers in the league and that's not saying much!

J. Walter Weatherman,

That post made me laugh out loud.

Guys - question about the upcoming game against Toronto:

I haven't seen any Raptors games this year. Has Bosh been playing C or PF? I know they have Rasho but he doesn't seem to be part of the core group getting the most minutes. Just wondering who is going to draw the defensive assignment on Bosh. If it's LO then I suspect he'll pull another disappearing act on offense.

I also heard that Toronto is trying to run this year and maximize their FGAs. This might be a real test for Bynum conditioning-wise.

AZ - I understand the point of the blog and the opportunity to speculate about things. I don't have aproblem with that. It's just that you have gone too far into the future for it to have much merit if any. It's one thing to look at this season and start thinking about what may be the case in April while in November. It's another thing to look at this season and think about 2008 or 2009.

However, to humor you, here is what I think. By the summer of 2008, or 2009, the Lakers will have at least 1 more championship in the organization. IF at that point, there is a clear issue with Kwame and Andrew...cut Kwame out of the equation and let him go somewhere else. Andrew is clearly the future of this team at 19 with his skills and desire to put it into practice during games.

Bynum will be the key to extended Kobe's career. Whereas the Heat are trying to extend the career of a center through working a guard that much harder. The Lakers are going to be trying to extend a career of a guard through working a center that much harder. By then the league will be commenting on how the Lakers are causing the rest of the league to adapt to them...just like they did during the 3-peat.

In other words, to sum up your little topic...Bynum will be here and Kwame will be gone if he does not accept lesser money.

AZ...another thing,

You post appear to be entertaining the thought that the Lakers need to act on this situation of Brown and Bynum now. I have a problem with that. Why trade away a solid player in order to bring in another player that may or may not mesh well with the team? Brown already knows the system, and has a year under his belt.

I really don't understand the point of your topic.

You mentioned the article which was provided in the initial summary of this edition of EXTRA EXTRA. Wasn't it clearly stated in that piece that both players appear to be happily supporting the other right now? Why are you trying to create an issue that isn't even present?

I believe that the Lakers will find a way to make this work or they will make the move when the time is right....this year is not the right time.


That works. I do like your optimism about winning a ring in the next two years, and depending on the growth of some of these guys, and adding a piece here or there, it could happen.

I'm still holding onto the pipe dream that Kwame can learn to play the four. He doesn't even need to be a scorer, just be a bigger version of Dennis Rodman. He's got the tools, just needs to get better between the ears and in the heart.


"Because Bynum is so young and Mihm is out, there's no reason to move one or the other this year"

That was from my original post. I'm just saying that it's in a team's best interest, if they want to establish success long term, to always be thinking one step ahead. That being said, it's much more imperative to give Kwame the bulk of the minutes to see if he can either play some at the four or increase his value around the league. However, Bynum has shown to be superior to Kwame offensively already, so should we sacrifice that right now? Kwame is still getting his conditioning now, so you're right, it's not something that will come into play right away, but I also mentioned in my original post that it's something to watch "as the season goes on".

That was my little homage to Mike T.

Jaideep (Irvine, CA): Lets just ask whats on everyone's mind. Lamar and Bynum for KG? Does that get it done? Do the Lakers pull the trigger on that? Is that enough for Minny? Thanks David.

David Thorpe: How can they dump their #2 scorer, and #1 board and assist man? Lamar is only 27, and Bynum may be a stud down the road. This is a no-go.

rayray, Roatation PLAYERS report card

KOBE- The man did a double 360 turn and SWISHED a baseline 18FOOTER. And T-MAC is saying: "he ain't himself." and "He needs to learn to play with this new body." T-Mac WISHES. Kobe's FINE. 11 years is 11 years but a man that's obssessed with his body and knows how to take care of it could go way longer. The dude had a KNEE sergury. He'll be DUNKIN on doubters when stakes are HIGH. Again.

LO- Some of the stuff LO does you wanna say could MAJIC do that?(of course MAJIC could. I'm just trying to make it RYHM) When LO scores 20 points and GRABS over 10 ribies, we're TOUGH to beat and he's a MEGASTAR. He doesn't PUSH anything. Sometimes not even when PUSH comes to SHOVE. And the COUNTRY thinks he should.

LUKE- He is complete in that INSIDE game. Upon improvement on the 12 to 18 foot BASELINER, which is a fast release shot, He'll be a GRRAT back up SECOND scoring option(!) for us.

KWAME- That KWAME fastball with ANDREW change up looks to me, not UNTOUCHABLE, but pretty hard to HIT.

SMUSH- This guy has worked on the TRIANGLE point guard elements during the summer. His release looks much faster, and his interior pasing is CRISP. BUT, and nobody is talking about this so I ask, doesn't he look alittle OVERCONFIDENT thus out of control? In the long run (this season), when(if) we find our identity, Smush'll be there with the 1st team.

VLAD- VLAD is eager to get into IT. To me, thats the KEY to his success. If he is there MENTALY, he's got PLANTY of talent to do just ENOUGH. If not MORE.

BYNUM- It's a PERFECT situation for ANDREW, when he starts coming off the BENCH. He and our bench will be even more PRODUCTIVE. Making HOOK shots and STEALING ribies are much easier over the SUBS.

FARMAR- Remeber Kyle Orton of the BEARS last year? didn't have a STRONG arm or SPACTACULAR talent or SIZE but was able not to make mistakes and give OTHERS a chance to do their thing. EXCEPT Justin has POTENTIAL to be Great. If this guy can shoot...Well IF (Luke Ridnour can shoot and look where SEATTLE is). Next year for SURE.

EVANS- If you decide to UPGRADE your SUB SmallForward position Mo'd be your MAN. this GUY can GIVE you some thing everyday and every once in a little while he'll BLOW UP on the opposition.

TURIAF- He might be the ONLY REAL power forward on the ROSTER. So when we want to go BIG, we have a TRUE PF. But, there is more to this guy. He goes through a hand shake with EVERY member of the team before the game START. Dances every basket the team makes. A PURE ENERGY BOOSTER.

SASHA- I am out of words. if 2+6 is 5, then Sasha's play so far, make sense.

COOK- We know COOKIE can't do anything comin in as a CENTER. And BOY is he out of rythem right now.

The Kwame / Mihm thing didn't work in the beginning because nobody but Kobe knew how to draw a triangle. Kwame might be able to log some minutes at the 4 with less confusion this time around. That doesn't mean he'll be able to hit a 12 foot shot with his new shoulder but he'd at least know where to be on the floor.

go lakers!

If KG goes anywhere via trade it's going to be Chicago, they're the only ones who have a package that would look good to Minnesota (and from the East).

I think we should all keep our fingers crossed that KG decides that money doesn't equal happiness and opts out and takes the MLE from us next offseason. How's that for a pipe dream?

You and Mike T, are killing me with this "watch as the season goes on."

You are creating issues in order to have something to talk about. I'm surprised that neither of you chose to use the "Did Bynum injure Kwame on purpose?" scenario. Seeing as how Bynum stood to benefit the most from Brown being out and would have never been able to demonstrate all that he has in a backup role...could he have injured Kwame on purpose.

How about we observe their relationship for the rest of the season just in case.

DO YOU SEE HOW IDIOTIC THAT KING OF STUFF IS? I understand speculation...but can't we keep iot to a minimum on here? there is enough actual facts to talk about and enough less speculative in nature to discuss.

The latest from Lazenby. He's got 10 highlights from the season. Also compares this team to the Phil's team in Chicago. Mentions a more up-tempo style that was different from the Shaq-led Lakers. Good stuff.

we CAN win a RING this year.


"EXTRA EXTRA!!! This year’s MVP race may very well come down to two players, Yao Ming and LeBron James…You heard it here first!"

Not really. My Grandma can make that prediction too. Yes. We heard it here but not FIRST. Specially since Yao and LBJ are the 2 hottest players in the league right now.

Word to Yo MOTHA! Lamar is not going to Minny for no KG - forget that & forget Bynum too.

Catch the followup to Roland's interview on 570. I had a great time listening.

There is no question Kobe is a hardheaded individual, but it is also very true that Shaq is equally hardheaded about competition on 'his' team, and he was the leader (read that: responsible for the wellbeing of the team - and he couldn't perform the 2nd job with Kobe). As a mater-of-fact he actively created an anti-Kobe clique on the team.

Smush and his Mojo. What a crock of crap! The guy didnt work on his game at all during the summer. Its pretty obvious if you ask me. I think he thought he had the starting roll locked up and wouldnt have any competition for his job. I just dont understand these guys. They have probably the best job on the planet and all they have to do is get better at something they do everyday ,How hard is that? Guys like Smush Parker make my stomach turn. How could he not find any games to play in during the offseason? He said he worked out on his own during that time. On what? His jump Shot? His defense? Going to the hole? What did he work on that he improved on? Some one Please throw me a bone here. I dont get these guys at all. How can you watch Kobe Bryant and his work ethics for a whole season and not follow suit and get better at at least 1 thing? Parker needs to go. His attitude just stinks. His Body language on the court spells trouble. I just think this guy needs to be traded ASAP. He brings this team very little in terms of being competitive. And I think other teams and players feed of his (woe is me) attitude. The guy just plain stinks! I hope someone on that coaching staff will get in his face and help spark a change in Him. But I also think thats wishful thinking on my part. Guys like Smush are to prideful to change for anybody. I hope hes gone by the Trade deadline. Ok Im done venting on Smush.
As far as the rest of the team I think were going to be just fine. Walton has improved a lot which I think will help carry us this year. Were Young were Big and we have a Competitive Leader in Bryant. Thats a Big load That most teams just cant handle.

Thank the Blog.

Here's one for David Thorpe....

How about trading Luke Walton, Chris Mihm, and Kwame Brown for Kevin Garnett???

Chris Mihm justification...his contract is coming off the books at the end of the season. Minnesota would in turn have capspace to work with during the summer. Keep in mind, at the rate they are going, they may be looking at the kit from Florida or possible Oden from Ohio State in the draft.

Luke Walton justification...They are in desperate need of ball handling help along with players that want to pass first and shoot second. In Luke they would have that.

Kwame Brown...When Kwame left Washington, his career was on a constant slide. Since coming to LA it has been on a constant rise. In going to Minnesota, he would be potentially moving into a situation where he could anchor the team.

The Lakers would potentially be left with a starting lineup of Smush, Kobe, Lamar, KG, and Andrew. The rest of the reserves would be Jordan, Sasha, Shammond, Maurice, Aaron, Vladimir, Brian, and Ronny. KG could easily fill in at center at times as well. The Lakers could also look to sign a decent backup center. I'm sure that the idea of playing with Kobe, Lamar, and KG would be enough to draw any player.

The Lakers would be sacrificing their depth for a championship. I say it's worth it, because they will have not sacrificed their youth core, nor their leadership.


seeing as how I don't know your grandmother, and therefore never heard her make this assessment, I am going with my statement. Plus, I disagree with you that Yao and LBJ are the two hottest players right now. Boozer is the hottest player right now. Yet, I still hold that Yao and LBJ will be the 2 at the end.


I have. RAPTs are one of the EAST teams I thought will make some noise (along with ORLANDO). As for CBOSH, he is playing POWER FORWARD and put TIMIE aside, he is playin BETTER than every PF in the league. Another guy that is making some noise in Canada is Anthony Parker, dude can make shots.


That fast ball/change up thing was clever. LOL!

About Andrew playing against sub...That's true, too. You beat me to the punch on that one, especially if you have Walton playing team ball with him.



Just think of Grandma as a fan, from far away but still knows YAO and LBJ's names. Just tryin to tell you you're not the 1st person, not even the 1000000001st person, I've heard LBJ and YAO's name as MVP candidates from. Specially this WEEK that YAO has won the WesternConference player of the WEEK (not BOOZER). Now if you had said BOOZER you'd get some PROPS from me. But LBJ and YAO, what's new? and what are you saying different that everybody else in the country?

How many seasons has Shaq-A-Fraud been gone now? Why are we still having to hear about that he said she said sandbox B.S.? Can we just let it go people? Dayum already.

Was good while it lasted, well, for the 3rings and its over with..Moving on.

The problem with Mihm/Kwame/Walton for KG isn't the value concept, it is the dollars; they don't match - even remotely. You would need another $8mil to get close enough to do the deal.


thanks for taking the effort to write something for us fantasy leaguers. we've got a mean competition going on here! :P

Magic's Johnson is gonna beat y'all down! ;)

NBA's Race to the MVP list ....

Lamar Odom #5!!!

rayray...first off, for everybody in the country to be saying it...this is the first that I've heard Yao's name mentioned. I would like some proof to what you are saying since it's supposedly everywhere right now.

Thanks BK. I like what that dude said. "Luke Walton is turning into the player Mike Dunleavy was supposed to be."

I never thought about that but it's very true.

Well deal.

The Lakers aren't trading certain players right now.

Kobe is definitely untouchable, however, there are a few more that are reasonably untouchable.

Magic identified Lamar and Andrew on TNT on opening night as the most sought out Lakers. He made it clear that they aren't moving.

Outside of them two, I would say that Brian Cook, based on the new contract is settled in as well.

As far as the money is concerned, you have forgotten that Walton would be a sign and trade as his contract is not extended past this year. That affords the Lakers some leverage. They could also throw in McKie's expiring contract if needed. That should be enough to cover it, as Walton in his next contract will get more than he is now.

IF the lakers were to try a 4 for 1 trade, they would be wise to either get a draft pick or a throw in cheap center as part of the deal.


I see your point about moving on, but it's nice to see people come out and say it wasn't all Kobe's fault.

Shaq's gone, but his shadow remained. People don't want to say anything against Shaq because he's mean and petty. He has to belittle people to make himself feel better. Nobody wanted to be embarassed at the expense of one of his zingers.

Now that shadow is disappearing and the truth is finally coming out that Shaq didn't win those three championships with LA all by himself. There was another side of the smiling clown that he loved to portray himself as.

Phil, Tex, and Lazenby have all said that there was more to the story. I'll trust those three over the mainstream media.

Craig W,

Thanks for the link to Roland's blog. His coverage of the Lakers is great. Right up there with AK/BK.


In your earlier post to Kon K. you mentioned that there are only four PG's in the Lakers, well smush, farmar, shammond, sasha, kobe & lamar that makes 6 players who cound bring the ball from front court to back court within 8 seconds. They are all legitimate PG's.

If you watch closely the games of MO, sometimes he performs the job of a point guard, he can dribble and elude his man and he guard the fast PG's in the league like Nash, Bibby, Ridenour if given that challenge, I think he could perform better than Smush.

Go Lakers! Oh I feel you on that. I just get tired of hearing Shaq's name (associated with Kobe) is all. And I have noticed that now, after the damage is done, people are starting to see Sheisty Shaq for who he truly is.


Regardless of how players are used, the Lakers only have 4 point guards. I don't know why you are trying to argue this point.

Edwin, I guess Diaw is a center to you because he played center last year?

Can we get off this trade for KG thing? I'd love to see the guy in Purple and Gold but it's not going to happen.

The Shaq Moment I am waiting to see...

I noticed a few comments about Shaq and Kobe's relationship. I have said quite a bit about it over the time I have been on here. I think everybody knows where I stand on the subject.

However, what I am waiting for is the final Shaq moment that will make everything right for guys like Kobe, Jerry Buss, and Mitch. If you are watching things right now, you should be able to begin seeing what is happening. D-Wade is logging a lot of hours as the main one carrying the team. He is working hard on both ends just to keep the team afloat. At the same time, Shaq appears to be running on auto-pilot. Now, this should not be something new for Lakers' fans which remember how things were in LA post-the first title. Shaq didn't provided a second strong regular season after the first title. I expected the same this season, and he is being true to form. The highlighted moment will be later this season or into the post season when the Heat fail to make it to another title trying to ride the backs of Shaq and Wade. Because Wade will have worked so hard all season to carry the team, he will be in a mode of shooting more especially from the perimeter. Shaq will be less involved than this past championship run. That is when Shaq will snap.

I expect to hear similar comments like the ones he flirted with after his first year in Miami, in which he said he didn't get the ball enough. Wade will react because he will have worked hard all season. It will be interesting to see how the media handles this seeing as how wade is the new media darling. I predict that the media will go with Wade and Shaq will finally get the backlash.

I can't wait for that moment where Shaq realizes that everything has gone full circle.

Expect to continue hearing the Shaq/Kobe saga (cat fight) until the Lakers win another championship.

The absence of Shaq, after all, best explains why you haven't won another to date.


Yup, Shaq was definitely a force on the court and it's sad to say, but we'll never see that Shaq on the court again.

I have to say that the most amazing thing to come out of the whole divorce is this Phil/Kobe dynamic. What a weird turn of events. Phil bashes Kobe in his book and then two years later they're in perfect harmony.

Phil has gotten Kobe to buy into whatever he's selling. Kobe's also a student of the game and Phil is filling his head with his basketball philosophy and knowledge.

Kobe has got Phil's undivided attention (compare this to a child that crave's a parent's approval) not unlike Jordan and O'neal had before him.

It truly is a beautiful thing to watch.

stop trying to trade for KG....there will be no trade....if KG wants to be a laker he will find his way here without messing with the team.

KG doesn't want to go from minny to minny, he wants to go from minny to the Lakers.

Lakers= Champ team
Minny= Not champ team

On Lamar Odom, #20, required reading for all TRUE Los Angeles Laker fans.

Even as a Kings fan, I'm fed up with the man-child.


If having Shaq is why the Lakers haven't won a title what happened in '03 and '04. And I also don't remember Shaq being much of a contributor in the Finals and hasn't done much this season.


I disagree with you on the point that the absence of Shaq is why we don't have another title. The Lakers lost the last 2 seasons that we had Shaq, including a second round exit while Kobe was STILL playing the team concept.

I contend that IF the Lakers had kept Shaq, the Lakers would be still trying to win a title and the bad part is that they would have someone that would be increasingly hard to trade away in an aging Shaq.


"If having Shaq is why the Lakers haven't won a title..."

I said, NOT having Shaq, provides the best explanation.

Do the math:

Shaq = Laker championships
No Shaq = No Laker championships
Kobe = Great highlights, turmoil, and no
championships any time soon.
Shaq = Heat championship

Don't get me wrong. Shaq is the second biggest punk to ever wear purple and gold.


If anything you could say that Shaq is the reason the Lakers haven't won a championship in 4 years. If Shaq didn't take summers off where he bloated up each and every summer and then "get surgery on company time" the Lakers would have won more than 50 games in 02-03, wouldn't have had to face the Spurs in the second round, and could have made it back to the finals.


That links not working.


Your trade scenario for KG shows me that you greatly overvalue the talent level and demand for our players, grossly underestimate how good KG is, and have limited knowledge of how the salary cap works and how good management works within that system.


My bad I forgot the word "not." That still doesn't change anything. The Heat won a championship in spite of Shaq.Shaq supposedly saves himself for the playoffs yet he played worse in the playoffs, but Shaq was horrible in the finals and at the time it looked like it was because the Mavs were doubling him with two 7-footers whenever he caught the ball.

I've seen every Heat game this season and Shaq looks to have gotten worse. He's already missed 2 games. And the offense often flows better when he's not in the game, because he's so slow, and he can't score if he's not getting a dunk or putback.

If we had Shaq now we'd be paying him $30 million a year to average 14ppg and 7.5 rebounds.


Love the trade idea for the Lakers, but I can't imagine the Timberwolves giving up KG without taking on LO and/or Bynum in return. At least one. There isn't a GM in the league (including ours) that would be willing to take a bet on Kwame Brown anchoring a team.


Andrew Z,

I've got to agree they might as well give KG away for a twinkie, a slice of cheese and the change Jerry Buss has in his pocket at the time.

There's no way we get KG without giving up either Bynum or Odom. We traded Shaq to Miami for Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and a first round draft pick, and that was a pretty lopsided trade considering Shaq had just come off a great Finals performance.

And that's before we get to the salaries not matching up!


Sorry about that. Try AK/BK's version of the same piece (above). "At least one more player onto this list"

JJ and Xodus,

I agree. Had Shaq not become such a putrid slob, you might have been right back in the hunt. Since then though, several mega superstars have paraded through as Lakers. My point is this: It was with Shaq that the man-child won his only championships. Shaq left and won another one, and may be in the running for another still. Meanwhile, Kobe is left with his individual awards and his apologists; I call them Los Angeles Kobe fans.

I can't help but notice that real Los Angeles Laker fans are starting to rumble. Someone's doing some math.

Sorry about that Najja,

Try AK/BK's link to the same article. See #20, Lamar Odom.

"At least one more player onto this list"

The trade talk is cool, I dont really mind. Dont want that deal if it gives up Lamar and Andrew, one or the other, ok, not both. Would love to have him here. Moreso, I would love to see him in either Boston or Washington or maybe Chicago. Paired up with Arenas or Ben Wallace would be great, but KG and Paul Pierce, that would be unbelievable for the league. Boston back in the conversation. Plus two of the league's biggest stars torturing the East and making it stronger. Would help make the battle for the East Champion closer to being the battle that it is for the Finals participant from the West.

funny video

Kobe also left a message and said that the key to playing well is hard work and togetherness.


"I've got to agree they might as well give KG away for a twinkie, a slice of cheese and the change Jerry Buss has in his pocket at the time."

Very nice.

Here's the crux of the matter: We won loads of championships before Shaq, won 3 with Shaq, and will win loads more no that he has gone, Kobe or not, its the Laker way. Kobe or no Kobe. But Kobe is a G, no appologies necessary for that. He's cold. Would love to still have Shaq, but Dr. Buss made the right move. Its not fair though to compare his situation with ours, Shaq was brought in to make the Heat instant competitors, Kobe is building a team from scratch, which takes much longer. That being said, he's on track. The first season just sucked, but really wasnt all that bad if you look at the record prior to Rudy T stepping down, plus Kobe got hurt. So the first step was obviously to carry a team to the playoffs on his own, check. The next step is to get this team to advance at a least round, we'll see what happens. If it does, still on track, if not this season, the next. But its understood that a rebuilding project is supposed to be slow and deliberate, and trading Kobe, only puts us even more years away from a championship, I know those REAL Laker fans dont want that, do they?

please man. So Kobe is a PG because he brings the ball up the court and so is Lamar (who rarely does but thats besides the point).

So anybody who brings the ball down the court is a PG? Puhh...pUHH..Pleaaase?!

While certain players may have different skill sets and may play their position differently, in general positions are positions.

Lebron is not the PG for the Cavs. Neither is Larry Hughes. D-Wade isnt the point guard for the Heat. Chris Webber was the never the PG for the Kings. and so on and so on.

Call it nitpicking, but it is what it is...


I know it's against the Constitution of the United Blogs of America, but is there any way you can delete any posts by you know who? j/k Don't want any mad cows!

I just cast my All-Star Ballot, and I'll do it every day until voting stops!

Here it is:
F Lamar Odom
F Luke Walton (Write-In)
G Kobe Bryant
G Chris Paul
C Yao Ming
F Chris Bosh
F Lebron James
G Gilbert Arenas
G Vince Carter
C Dwight Howard

I'm out like the lights at Staples!

So, true laker fans are supposed to hate Kobe? enough already. Kobe has played just fine this year and has bought into getting everyone involved. This young team is growing with Kobe as a leader and Kobe himself is learning how to lead. As a TRUE Laker fan, I will enjoy this journey.


you know baseball. And it's the KNOWLEDGE that you get it.


YAO is the player of the WEEK and with the "what have you done for me lately" attitude that every AMERICAN sports fan has then YAO is an easy choice right now. There's the PROOF.

Kobe is a Team Player-

That is FREAKY, Casue if you take out VINCANITY and put JoeJohnson instead that'll make my VOTES. WOW.

And to you're name I have to say, He is a TEAM player this year, isn't he? This is the FIRST time I am seeing KOBE playing without planning to win nothing but BALL GAMES.

JJ & Korey,

What is your definition of a Point Guard? Is it according to height or speed? Is it based on the position they classified themselves when they first played ball in College or NBA or the position assigned to them by the coach.

Did Lamar play the position of PG last year? If the answer is Yes, can PJ assign that postion to Lamar this year? Can Kobe play the position of PG with Smush or Farmar? If the answer is Yes why typecast them according to your standards.

You mentioned Diaw playing the Center, nothing wrong with that and he advanced the cause of the Suns that won them games during the playoffs. What is so wrong in his resume that he played that position? So with Ronny Turiaf, he's not a center but under certain needs of the team he performed good in that position so he could play Center. Another guy whom you all know, Magic Johnson, he is not a Center but he played that position and gave the first victory of the Lakers that led Showtime Dynasty.

So what I am saying there are players who are typecast as one dimensional position and there players multi positions. In fact, when we first played basketball, there are really no positions, you're supposed to know how to play all positions

Sonny,'AKA - Chico'

You are on form tonight! So I get it, you want me to hate Kobe and blame him for everything that ever went wrong with the Laker's Organisation. Since he never contributed anything worth a dame to the organisation.

I mean he just some jumped-up guard who was privileged to be playing with Shaq as won a championship every year he played for the Lakers because he was that good.

Chico add 'creating alternative realities' to your comedic talents.

Maybe if you concentrate hard enough you get Sacktown win a title.

Then again, maybe you are right, I am going to petition the 'Warren Commission' to re-open JFK case. I can revel to you the guy on the 'Grassy Knoll' was Kobe!!!!

I tell yah!!, would kobe be getting so much hate, from Steven, Sonny, tarugo and the rest if he was white!!

I forgot, white men can't jump but are pretty good at lynching!!

Peace & Love



Boy are you getting flack on this one.

I think we should alternate starting Kwame and Andrew, once Kwame is healthy. We know Andrew is going to fall off the 2nd game so use that to our advantage during this evaluation phase. It will give Kwame a chance to grow back to the playoff dude we all loved on back in May/June. Give Andrew solid minutes and give him the rest he needs to recover. If we know his game will slide some let him be the bench that night, keep him crisp and rested for his 20 and 15 nights. Ronny is gonna also be there to be an energy and rough guy on backup. We can also carry a Andrew, Kwame, LO, Kobe line up and switch out for Luke, Smush, MoEv, Vlad, JustinFar, Sasha. Take your pick depending on the night.

Mihm is done for the season at this point. With his contract expiring and no sign of a return, I think we can actually keep Kwame and Drew on the books until we need Kwame for KG. If Kwame produces this year Minnie may want him as a big to replace KG, not that he will ever potentiate to that degree. He is big and getting better finally.

Andrew, KG, LO, Kobe will be KILLIN em in 2 years. We will have KG for 3 or 4 of the next five, wait there is Ra INGIN in my ears I just cant shake! HA HA HA oww!

Club 50 to go

On HBO Tonight!!

The 'Fight for the Ages'

Not Ali Vs Norton, not Ali vs Frasier but

"Knight vs Sprewell"

I would pay money to this one!!!

Peace & Love


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