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Report Card/Exit Interview: Aaron McKie

As some of you may remember, BK and I doled out "report cards" at the end of last season for each player.  We also provided the transcripts from last year's exit interviews.  This year, we decided to try something new and combine them, providing each player's grade with their "adios" copy.  Some will contain "teacher evals" from both K Brothers, some just one K Bro.  First up:  Aaron McKie.

Report Card: I don't think it necessarily qualifies as "going out on a limb" to say the front office would likely take a "do over" when it comes to last season's signing of Aaron McKie.  Unless, of course, him playing 24 games over two seasons was part of some master plan (and if that's the case, I admire Mitch Kupchak's bold "outside the box" thinking, but advise another drawing board session).  Fortunately, McKie took the disappointment of what may be his final NBA stop like a pro's pro, always working hard and trying to add a positive veteran presence.  As I've said before, it bummed me out to see McKie's career wind down like this.  Sympathy won't lead to grading his play on a curve, but I respected how he tried to make lemonade out of seriously tart lemons.  Final Grade:  F/Inc.

-AK

Hit the jump to read McKie's exit interview.

Q: How tough was it to witness, as basically an observer, what took place with this team down the stretch?

Aaron McKie: It was tough from a standpoint of, obviously, losing.  I think this team had a lot more to give and it just didn't happen that way.  Obviously, in the playoffs, somebody's going to win.  One team's going to be better than the other.  I thought the guys were competitive in the last game, but I thought there was there was a lot more energy needed to go out and beat (Phoenix), because they come out and they play with a lot of effort and energy.

Q: Have you had much of a chance to think about what's next for you?

AM: No, I just want to go home and spend some time with my family.  Just sit back and think about everything and see what happens from there.  I'll definitely keep myself in shape, just in case.  I don't know.  It's a decision that I have to make and obviously it's a tough decision, so we'll see what happens.

Q: When you look back at your time with the Lakers, all the injuries and never really finding your place on the court, do you feel like you did what you wanted here?

AM: (Without hesitation) No.  I didn't.  I felt like that I could offer something to this team being out on the floor.  But with me not being on the floor, there was still more that I could do with the knowledge that I have of the game and the experience that I have, being able to help these guys through situations and through the season.  You never want to be a cancer to a team.  Obviously, you have that happen with some organizations, where guys feel they aren't playing and they feel like they should be out there playing, but I wanted to be more supportive.  Not just to the players, but to the coaching staff as well.  And I've learned a lot from being in this organization, from the coaching staff to the players.  This has been a situation that was definitely different for me, because I've always been the young guy on the team.  And now, I was the older guy, the elder statesman on the team.  The guys look to me for advice from time to time, which I took pride in. 

Q: What do you think this team needs to do to reach the next level?

AM: This was a young team.  I don't think nobody really took that into consideration.  Think about it.  Andrew (Bynum) may have started half the season.  Kwame (Brown) is still young.  Luke (Walton).  You know, the core guys that were out there playing.  Mo Evans.  Jordan (Farmar).  Smush (Parker).  Sasha (Vujacic).  These are all young guys and they're still getting experience as far as playing and being in game situations.  For that matter, playoff experience.  That goes a long way.  It took (Philadelphia, where McKie played for 8 seasons) a long time to advance.  We always got knocked out in the first round.  But each year, we learned from that.  It sat in our stomach throughout the summer and each year we worked towards that.  And I think that's something that these young guys have to understand.  It's not party time when the summer comes rolling around.  This is the time when you get better as an individual and be able to come together as a team to do it collectively.  Try to set your goals to be an NBA champion, which this city and this franchise is accustomed to.

AK: You mentioned the experience and knowledge that you looked to share with the younger players.  Could you feel any tangible results, either in their reactions or the way they carried themselves?

AM:  Well, I don't think you'll see the results right away, because that's something that takes time.  Once again, like I said, these guys are all young, so when I'm back in Philadelphia and I cut the television on and I'm watching these guys, how they conduct themselves, how they're playing, their feel for the game, then I can say, "Hey, maybe those guys got something from the conversations that we had."

AK: Is it almost like a "proud father" feeling, to some degree?

AM: You know, I would like to think.  It's just somebody, a veteran just passing down knowledge and information that I received when I was in their shoes.  When I was a young guy coming into the league trying to find my way, so I think that's just something that you do as a veteran, pass that knowledge down and hopefully, those guys will be receptive to taking it all in.  And when they get to that point where they're in a situation like I was in, they can pass it down to someone.  I've always looked at the NBA and being part of team as, it's not just about you as an individual.  It's about everybody collectively.

AK: If you do end up choosing to retire, do you have any thoughts on how you'll look back on your career?

AM: I don't have regrets on how my career panned out.  I've always been a worker from the time that I got into this league from the time that I finished, I did everything that was asked of me.  Worked my tail off and I don't have anything to hang my head on.  That's just the roll of the dice sometimes, the situation that you're put in, but I don't have any regrets.  I enjoyed my stay out here and like I said, I wish I could have added more to it and played a little more, to be able to help these out, but that wasn't the case. 

Q: Do you ever think about coaching?

AM: Yeah, I think about it from time to time.  That's something that, once again, when I'm back home in the summertime, I'll sit back and consider it.  Throw my name in the hat.  Maybe talk to a few organizations and see what it is that I can do.  There are things that I have to learn about that.  I think, for the most part, the X's and O's of the game, the feel of the game, I know all that.  But when you're put in different systems, you have to get a better understanding of that.  We'll see what happens with that.

Q: Having said that you would have liked to have contributed a little more, what do you think you could have done for this team?

AM: I don't know.  I could sit here and say, "We would have swept Phoenix."  (Laughs)  You want me to lie to you?  I don't know.  (Laughs)  I don't have a crystal ball or whatever, but I just think I could have brought some experience to the floor and I think that goes a long way at this time of the season.

Q: You've had a leadership role on other teams you've played with.  How do you think Kobe did growing into that role?

AM:  I think that's something that takes time, especially when there's a lot of pressure on you to be a leader.  I don't think a leader necessarily means you have to be vocal.  "Hey, man!  You get here!  You go here!  I think sometimes leaders lead by example and I think he's done a great job of that.  Getting in here and taking care of his body, working on his game and getting out and performing.  Things of that nature.  I think, with a guy like Kobe, a lot of guys are gonna follow his lead.  I think he's making strides.  I haven't been here long enough to evaluate him from day one when he got into the league up to this point, but I've been knowing Kobe since he was in junior high school.  He's always been a good guy in my eyes.  That's just something you get better with in time. 

Q: You sort of have to find your voice as a leader, is that part of it?

AM: I think you gotta get a feel for your teammates, what they can handle, the things they can take in.  The dynamics of every team are totally different.  Everybody's not going to be able to handle (everything) the same.  That's something you have to gage from year to year, because each team, they make changes during the off-season and stuff like that.  I think that with the core guys here, he understands them and they understand him.

Q: Of the younger guys, who listens to you the most?

AM: All of them.  I've never had a problem communicating with those guys.  I think sometimes it can be a little too much, especially when you're not playing.  There's only but so much you can tell those guy, because at some point, they're gonna look at you like, "What are you talking about?  You're not even playing."  I never wanted it to reach that point, where it was like I was talking to them and they weren't listening.  So I kind of did it with baby steps.

Q: Were there some that sought you out more than others?

AM: I think all of them.  If you watched the game, I always sat down at the end (of the bench) and if they were taken out of the game, they would come over and we would have little conversations.  I would say, "Remember this play?  When this happened and that happened?"  They would listen and I would say, "Try to do it this way."  Sometimes that helps.  You don't wanna try to go to a guy in the heat of battle, they just look at you like you got ten heads.  You don't want that to happen.

AK:  During one of the San Antonio-Denver playoff games, the commentator said that Allen Iverson cited you as one of the people he learned the most from about how to lead.  Did you ever share anything with Kobe, in terms of leadership insight?

AM: No, because it was always part of my job.  I never put a "C" on my jersey and said, "I'm a captain," or put a sign on my back and said, "I'm a leader."  This is just me.  I come to the games early.  I work, get myself prepared mentally and physically.  Taking care of my body during the summer.  I think that's leading by example.  It never was a thing where we'd be in a timeout and I'd be like, "Be quiet!  I'm the leader!  I'm talking!"  I think guys, they get a great deal of respect for you when they see you go about your business.  I think that's what becoming a leader entails.   



      

 
Comments () | Archives (68)

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Man that's too bad he couldn't do more. Maybe he can be one of Phil's assistant coaches?

Aaron Mckie? Seriously? lol.

Actually I heard one instance when he took Farmar and introduced him to a ref...that's a veteran move. Don't know if it ended up that he didn't get "rookie" calls that game or whatnot...but I'm sure that one move helped.

I like McKie, and really geriatric walker and all...I never though it was the worst signing in history. We need and still need veteran leadership...but like he said, it gets to a point when you're not even playing so what's the point of listening to you. I think he'd be better served being an assistant coach, and not earn as much lol. That MLE for 2 years hurt. I think it was the MLE.

Anyone see these?:

Laker buddy says Garnett wants out
Posted: Friday May 04, 2007 08:34AM ET
Here's the background info: Lakers forward Maurice Evans calls Kevin Garnett "one of my best friends in the league." Here's the news: "I know he definitely wants out of that situation, deservedly so," Evans said Thursday. Evans spent his rookie year with Garnett in Minnesota.

Who would T-wolves want for KG?
Posted: Friday May 04, 2007 09:35AM ET
Kevin Garnett -- If he asks for a trade and the Timberwolves not only go along but are willing to send him to a hated rival, they'll want the Lakers' Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum.

Wes

Already posted? Sorry

I like McKie as much as the next guy - hell, I still have his Franz-Wonderbread rookie card from Portland!

But to be honest, Lakers got screwed with the signing. Bad luck and all, some things you just have to anticipate. Taking a guy so late in his career, wow.

Just another Blazer who got Laker money for being a good guy. Yes, I'm looking at you, Brian "I-was-beating-Spurs-in-the-playoffs-by-30-and-lost" Grant.

- Miguelinho

I don't know why Mitch was so poor at bringing serviceable veterans. Vlade Divac, Mackie all came here to rest their bodies. Shammon Williams hardly played.

Gdchild,

You're right! Seems like Kupchak heard all the "young team" talk and thought, "hey, I'll just inject random old guys into the team."

But it doesn't work that way. First of all, not all veterans are alike. A guy can spend years in the league - but so what? It could just mean he's a nice guy, got along with his coach, got along with the GM, just took it easy. But it doesn't necessarily mean he has the kind of insight that's helpful in bringing a championship to your team. Secondly, it helps if the "veteran" you take is still in shape to play with some regularity.

- Miguelinho

I kind of got the impression Mckie felt like he was serving a prison sentence for his two years in LA. Of course getting 2.5 a year from us and 7 million from the 76's will go along way in his retirement. He still gets 7 mil next year.

Another gamble by the Lakers that did not pay off.

Smush not coming back? That was not expected. My wife still feels Smush got a raw deal.

Fatty

I THOUGHT A GOOD LEADER LEADS BY EXAMPLE AN KOBE PLAYS TO WIN EVERY NIGHT AN FOR AARON AN MO ARE K-BROWN TO POP OFF LIKE THAT WOWWWW IM GOING TO LET YOU GUYS FEEL IN THE BLANKS

And we though it was bad here...at the rate of salary the 76s are paying without even having the players...ouch!

Compton,

I'll admit, I'm a little lost by the comment. Can you clarify a bit?

Thanks,

AK

Look...

As long as Kobe is ball hogging & trying to be the great MJ, he's not going anywhere but loose first round in the playoffs. With him on the handle, they barely made it to the number 7 spot. And unlike the Warriors, playing as ONE TEAM-ONE FIGHT type of basketball, Kobe is in for HIMSELF.

There is NO WAY that KG is going to be the second fiddle to that "crocodile-MJ-wanna' be KOBE". I bet IF you switch the teamates of KG & Kobe, LAkers will probably a contender by now. Imagine the power of KG & Lamar together with the supporting cast... & Kobe in Minnesota, they (the T'Wolves) probably won't even be heard anymore.

SO MY DEAR FRIENDS (I know you think Im just here to fool around), WAKE UP AND PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE SPARE YOURSELVES ANOTHER YEAR OF NON-SENSE & WAITING FOR SOMETHING THAT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN... KOBE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A BALLHOGGING LOOSER TRYING TO BE LIKE MIKE BUT NEVER EVER WILL BE!!!

totally agree with theoriginaltarugo....

And for those idiots who will say otherwise, look at the mirror and tell yourselves... How come SUNS is still there & TWICE we've been beaten by that TEAM?

-The only ANSWER to that is there... they play as a TEAM & not the me, myself, and I mentality.

I TOLD YOU SO!!!

"Paging LA Guy. LA Guy to the humility zone please..."

theoriginalblockhead or theoriginaltroll or theoriginaltarugo!!!
Your talents are needed else where, like on the Dallas blog and on the Miami's blog!!!

Yeah we have got ball hogging Kobe at 5.0 assist/ppg. Just like the Bulls had a ball of hogging MJ at career average of 5.0 assist/ppg. We will just have to say thanks but we will ride this one out like the Bulls!!

Don’t post us and we will not posterize you!!!


Aaarrrhhhh!!


Angry_Laker

Im sorry I jus dont see the worth of luke walton on the basketball court,an the same goes for Phil JACK-ASS I jus dont see the worth,I bet any other coach would've taking this same team further in the play-offs.
Can some-one please tell me why luke k-brown b cook soaking up all the min,it jus dont make sense when we have vlad an ronny t on the bench.
Im sorry flucc the triangle,like kobe puts it were still at ground 0.
if you think luke has an all around better game than vlad your dumb as hell,because your thinking with your heart an not your head,if you think b cook has more game than ronny t wowwwww im going to let the other laker fans feel in the blanks.
farmer
kobe
lo
ronny
k brown-baby drew,this line-up would've taking us deeper in the play-offs
With smush getting rear min 15 20
luke 15-20
mo 10 15
vlad 20-25
its so many combo's we could've put on the court but no he jus have to have luke in the line-up an b cook coming off the bench.
THE CITY OF COMPTON GIVE'S PHIL JASCK-ASS 2 THUMBS DOWN AN A MIDDLE FINGER UP
SORRY MIKE T HAD TO ADD A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
JUS ONE MAN SPEAKING MY MIND
COMPTON

Salary watch

Go to www.hoopshype.com and click on salaries.

Check out your fav teams and see how they sit with the cap.
Detroit, is sitting pretty
SA is alright
PHX quite high and over the lux
NY is way beyond beyondo. 65 mil coming off and still at 81 mil
Miami is in trouble for two years
LAkers about as bad as anybody lol

Luke: Looks like the best you can get is a MLE, and if the Lakers say they will match anything, you are screwed. Why offer him anything if you know the Lakers will just match.

Fatty

Mike T!!! WTF are you taking these days, ' Latka's Grandma Cake'

Kobe is shooting guard who averages 5.0 assist a game.
MJ averaged 5 assist a game over his career. I guess the Bulls should have got rid of him because the obviously should have averaged 10 assists a game like a point guard!!!!!

Mike T, you have totally lost my respect!!

You know basketball!!! The only way you get an assist, is if the other players on the team can make open shots.

I am not Kobe apologist!!! Kobe has made his fair share of mistakes, like any other person this team. But your blind love and protection of Kwame is verging on the state 'Stalker Love'.

You are trying to cover up some realities, which are how come Kwame appeared on the radar for game 3, but was nowhere to be seen in the other games. If you mention his injury, well he still had that same injury in game 3!!! This guy has got delusions of grandeur, he is not as good as you think he is. Come on, Butler averages 10 rebounds a game. I guarantee this, Kwame will never average 10 rebounds a game in a season. He has to go period. He obviously does not have the desire. Why else did the Wizard improve so much when Kwame was gone. He did get on with 'Agent Zero'!!! Kwame was quoted as wanting to knock his block off. Do you see a trend here!!!

He feels being the No1 pick gives him so certain privileges!!

I say get off your ass and rebound the ball, block the ball and defend.
If this was good enough for Dennis Rodman, it is sure as hell good enough for you.

Ps before you worry about getting more touches, may be you should learn to catch the ball and shot at the free throw line!!!

Aaarrrhhhh!!


Angry_Laker

"PHIL JASCK-ASS 2 THUMBS DOWN AN A MIDDLE FINGER UP"

LOL

Kevin Garnett should be a Laker.

He is a Laker in Spirit.

He's more a Laker in Spirit and Shaq was.

We need Kevin Garnett.

Kevin, please demand a trade. We (Laker Nation and you) need each other.

GO LAKERS!

Should this interview dispel Kill the Beast's claim that Mckie questioned Kobe's leadership? Unless I'm reading it wrong, he is expressing an appreciation of Kobe leading by example.

"I've been knowing Kobe since he was in junior high school. He's always been a good guy in my eyes" Is this not an endorsement Kill the Beast?

AK/BK

Hope you can come up with Kwame and Smush interviews as well. I'm kind of neutral with Smush. Considering his background, I kind of pity the guy.

laker gurl,

Interviews with everyone will be coming. We're spreading them out (and for some, we didn't have the audio, so they take some time to transcribe), but they'll be coming at a pretty good pace.

AK

AK,

I think I know what Compton is saying. There was something mentioned on 570 and brought up on the blog yesterday...how after his exit interview with PJ and Kupchak, McKie said Kobe still has to learn to be a leader.

And he's really implying the same thing in your conversation with him as well. "I think he's making strides. I haven't been here long enough to evaluate him from day one when he got into the league up to this point, but I've been knowing Kobe since he was in junior high school. He's always been a good guy in my eyes. That's just something you get better with in time."

And Compton is taking that, plus the lead-by-example comment, and calling McKie's bluff. Basically - if the ultimate form of leadership is leading by the example, how is Kobe not a great leader?

And, my own 2 cents on the subject is: McKie is picking up on something that's a natural reaction in people. It's humbling being a proud guy yourself and then seeing a guy like Kobe who trains more than you, scores more quickly than you, etc. Some people are ultimately inspired by that, and others sort of give in and try less than they would if Kobe played down to their level. It's like you're a writer for the Times, but there's one guy who's a bit older than you who always gets praise for his stories. And he's so good, and you're so overwhelmed, that you actually start reacting by trying LESS HARD to succeed in your own career. Hope that hypo makes sense.

It seems like McKie is implying that since Kobe is so good already, maybe he should be quiet on the court and not "push down" the other guys by pointing to spots where they need to go. But that sounds disingenuous to me. It's like McKie is saying - any other guy who wants to open his mouth and share experience CAN and SHOULD do it. And that's why he's feeling good about himself. BUT, when he starts talking about Kobe, he's implying that Kobe should talk LESS, be LESS vocal just because he's already so good. He concentrates on Kobe when really the problem is the guys on the other end. When Jordan pointed to spots and yelled at teammates, his teammates were mature enough to just do it, to execute like they're supposed to. But when Kobe spoke to his guys, when Kobe motioned on the floor, his teammates reacted by shrinking. Not all - but most. We all know Lamar didn't take it like that, and Walton never gets mad at Kobe.

But instead of supporting Kobe, and telling the youngsters to LISTEN to this guy without getting mad, what does McKie do? He basically condones how some of our petulant players reacted. Instead of coming up to Smush and saying, "hey, listen to Kobe - he knows what he's doing, he wants to win, he doesn't want to cut you down, he wants you to be more proud of YOURSELF," it seems like McKie was the kind of veteran who behind the scenes said, "Look, here's some advice from me - I don't know what Kobe told you - I think Kobe is being too harsh, etc."

Not to equate McKie and Shaq, but it's kind of the same skills-versus-age battle we saw between #8 and 34. I think McKie would have been more effective if he supported Kobe and acknowledged his talent instead of pulling in another direction. If the tone of this interview was coming through the whole season in the locker room and on the bench, then I don't think McKie did us fans a good service.

- Miguelinho

Mighuelino,

I didn't hear the AM 570 interview, so I can't really comment on it. But I didn't take McKie's exit interview talk as putting down Kobe's leadership. For starters, you're leaving out the following exchange, which is basically pure praise:

Q: You've had a leadership role on other teams you've played with. How do you think Kobe did growing into that role?

"AM: I think sometimes leaders lead by example and I think he's done a great job of that. Getting in here and taking care of his body, working on his game and getting out and performing. Things of that nature. I think, with a guy like Kobe, a lot of guys are gonna follow his lead."

Plus, and this is just my opinion, but I don't think it's anywhere close to an "insult" to say that Kobe, while making successful strides as a leader, still has room to grow. Nobody is perfect and everyone can and should always make strides to improve themselves. And Kobe's only had 3 years as a team's unquestioned leader (and without always the ideal teammates), so frankly, it's only natural that he would still be discovering certain aspects of it takes to inspire or reach teammates. You don't just learn that overnight.

Kobe would be the first to acknowledge he's still actively learning aspects of leadership. And I'd be disappointed if he didn't try to learn more. The minute you think you know everything, you're guaranteed to let some wisdom pass you by.

AK

I like Mckie as person and his attitude as a Senior Player. He was a go 2 guy in '01 playoffs but then age caught up and the basketball abilities start to diminish. Here comes Cupcake, got him for 2 years at $ 5M. It was a wrong bet, we could have spent that amount on an energy player that provided the 6th player punch like Luke Ridenour or the type of Deron Williams. What advice do we need from a Senior Player when we have plenty of Assistant Coaches within the same age bracket of Mckie. Ironically, when he played to replace the injured players, he and Shammond helped in the spacing and also anticipated some defensive moves. He made some baskets as a reflection of his old self, but overall perhaps he was also inconsistent or else PJ could have given him more playing time.

Miguelinho, I do't sense Mckie was implying any of what you said. To me, Mckie basically said Kobe got better at his leadership and did a pretty good job.

the unoriginal tarugo

Not that it matters, because the wolves will not trade KG here but if they did KG would be ok with it. First they are very good friends. And unlike yourself he understands basketball. Everyone but yourself and a few other bloggers that drop by with who lack a basic understanding of the game saw what Kobe was trying to do the first half of the season. As the injuries piled up so did his shots and without those shots we would have had a losing record. We went through a six and then seven game losing streak with Kobe still averaging under 20 shots a game( check the mid season stats for yourself,) trying to get everyone involved. So if you watched those games and still have your opinion you truely are basketball stupid and if you didnt watch those games dont comment on something you didnt see.

MH

AK,

I hear what you're saying as well. And yes, we all have room to grow. Especially when it comes to something intangible like "leadership."

But what I'm saying is there's a time and a place. On a team like this, with young guys who seem emotional and easy to sway, McKie shouldn't have been sending mixed messages. Again, I don't know if that actually happened behind closed doors, but those mixed messages ARE coming through in the interview. Especially this part:

"I don't think a leader necessarily means you have to be vocal. "Hey, man! You get here! You go here!" I think sometimes leaders lead by example and I think he's done a great job of that. "

It's that part about being VOCAL that irked me. Because it matches too perfectly what we saw happening on the court. Many games, many plays - Kobe would get the ball and start motioning for guys to move around and switch spaces. And when I saw that, I myself was often thinking, "No Kobe, not again. Just play your game and don't take away these guys' confidence by publicly 'calling them out' like this." When McKie saw those plays from the bench, he was probably thinking the same thing.

But what I'm saying is, he shouldn't be voicing this to anyone but Kobe. Because if those young guys on the bench saw McKie groan or shake his head when a play with Kobe "directing traffic" didn't work out, that could only make things worse. At that point, don't you just have to go, "Well, it's a shame that play broke down. And even though our guys take it personally when that happen, I know Kobe doesn't mean to cut them down or anything. So what I'll do is TALK TO KOBE about this in private, because this is a problem - but it's only a problem because we have some guys who lack confidence in themselves. It's not really a question of Kobe having to make strides in leadership - just a question of adjusting his style for this season given the deficiences of the team."

So those words - "Hey, man! You get here! You go here!" - when McKie says you don't need to do this, that's the negative in Kobe's game that he's referring to. Because he says when it comes to leading by example, Kobe's great. But then he says there's room to grow. And that room to grow is the VOCAL part of Kobe's leadership. But to me, that's not a drawback in Kobe's game. It's mostly a question of the other guys.

Because ultimately, being vocal is an important element of leadership. And it's not right for McKie to feel good about himself because he gave VOCAL advice, and then look at Kobe and say, "well, if only he just stuck to leading by example..." That's just not right.

Is McKie a good guy? Yes. Does he give a positive take on Kobe? Yes. Is it a consistent support for Kobe, the kind a young team like this could grow from? No. And that's the one negative I see in McKie's comments. The mixed messages.

- Miguelinho

AK
KOBE IS ASK TO DO A LOT MORE THAN ANY OTHER SUPERSTAR IN THE GAME TODAY THAT I KNOW OF.
HE HAS TO BE A LOCK DOWN DEFENDER,HE HAS TO REBOUND,HE HAS TO BE A GREAT PASSER AS 1 BLOGGER PUTS IT,HE WASHES EVERY-BODY CARS,DIRECT TRAFFIC IN THE PARKING,LOT FEEL THE ICE IN THE ICE MACHINE TURN ON ALL THE LIGHTS MAKE SURE ALL THE ELECTRICAL STUFF IS WORKING SCORE-BOARD SHOT CLOCK EX,RUN OVER THE FLOOR WITH THE MOP AN BROOM MAKE SURE THE FLOOR IS READY FOR GAME TIME,OH AN BYE THE WAY HE HAS TO SCORE ABOUT 40-50 POINTS A GAME FOR US TO HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING,BECAUSE THE LINE-UPS PHIL JACK-ASS PUTS ON THE COURT,WOWWWW IM GOING TO LET YOU GUY'S FEEL IN THE BLANK.
IF KOBE HAS AN OFF NIGHT 99.99% WE LOSE,AN HE KNOW'S THAT,FOR SOMEONE ANYONE THAT SAY'S KOBE'S NOT A LEADER IS (DUMB) POINT BLANK PERIOD.
KOBE PLAYS WITH HEART PASSION EVERY NIGHT IN HIS MIND (HE) HAS A CHANCE TO WIN EVERY GAME,HE HIMSELF IS THE ONLY LAKER THAT CAN PUT THE TEAM ON HIS BACK AN SAY OK THE TEAM IS HURTING JUMP ON MY BACK AN I'LL TAKE YOU GUYS HOME,JUS LIKE WHEN HE SCORED 50 ARE MORE POINTS LIKE 5-6 TIMES BECAUSE WE WERE ON A HELL OF A LOSING STREAK,HE IS LEADING BY EXAMPLE.
JUS LIKE THE MOVIE (300)THE KING WAS ON THE FRONT LINE WITH HIS SOLDIERS LEADING THE WAY,NOT LIKE BUSH FLOODING IRAQ WITH TROOPS, WHILE HE GOES TO BED COMFY AT NIGHT IN THE WHITE HOUSE,WHILE WERE GETTING ARE ASS KICK OVER THERE WHILE HE LEADS FROM A DISTANCE.
BUT UNLIKE 300 KOBE DONT HAVE THE SOLDIERS THAT CAN RIDE ARE DIE FOR HIM ON THIS TEAM,RONNY ALWAYS PLAYS WITH PASSION, HOW COME HE ONLY PLAYED A HAND-FUL OF MIN AGAINST THE SUNS WOWWWWWW IM GOING TO LET YOU ANSWER THAT MAYBE ASK THE 10 MILLION DOLLAR MAN YOURSELF AN L-O SHOWED HEART BUT THATS IT.
IM JUS ON MAN SPEAKING HIS MIND
COMPTON

He sounds like a good guy,at the time that we signed him we also had intrest in derek anderson as well but he chose the rockets over us.This might sound a little crazy but i would rather mckie than a vet that became a cancer over court time ......never once did you hear this guy complain about playing time and although he may have been a little expensive he showed his all class ...i think he would be good as an asistant,he seems very composed

Miguelhino,

"Those mixed messages ARE coming through in the interview. Especially this part:

"I don't think a leader necessarily means you have to be vocal. "Hey, man! You get here! You go here!" I think sometimes leaders lead by example and I think he's done a great job of that."

Maybe it went over my head, but I don't think he was specifically referring to Kobe with the part about being vocal. I think he was just talking that style of leadership. But even if he was talking about Kobe, he never said that style of leadership was even bad in the first place. He just said it's not the only way one can be a leader. Again, I don't see a swipe at Kobe.

AK

If were ever going to get a bargin with the mid level, it will be this year with only two teams under the cap. Also Kwames 9 mil expiring contract will be huge this year because of the amount of quality free agents coming out in 08. But that makes getting the right deal essential. We can not fall into the trap of making a deal just to make one. There is a ton of quality guys coming out next year so Mitch has to be careful.

Hey Angry_laker,

I'd probably be angry too IF I were you... IMAGINE, you counted all the airballs that Kobe attempted and IF ONLY those were Lamar's maybe they've would have won. But you're too blind to see that because you've been snorting Kobe's shorts too long already and of course you want some more... he! he! he!

Unfortunately, you're wife/girlfriend/or whatever she(it) rather smell STEVE NASH ass and you can't handle it.... Bwaaaa!!! ha!ha! ha!

So to you my dear angry_laker.... ARGHHHHHH!!!

he! he! he!

I TOLD YOU SO!!!

SORRY I LEFT THE CAP ON.
there its off
next time

You are correct sir Tarugo!!!

Angy-laker is just like his idol mambo24 (isn't this a dance?) first round twice eliminated by SUNS Kobe... nothing but a FAKE but never a winner. But hey, he will be remembered as the greatest copy cat of all the MJ wanna be'es.

I TOLD YOU SO!

There is ONE thing the Laker organization can do...

Take PJ out and bring Angry_laker and his wife (or whatever it is???)... to coach Kobe that way she (or whatever it is... Angry_laker's partner) can monitor Kobe's progress while he (Angry_laker) smells all the USED Kobe shorts. I TOLD YOU SO!!!

hE! HE! HE!

AK,

Obviously you were actually talking to Aaron, so you got more than the black-letter quotes. I don't know what he was actually thinking.

But at the least, you have to admit that Kobe often told the guys "you go here, you go there" right on the court this season. And last season. And the season before that.

So at the least, it's established that Kobe has that element to his leadership that McKie called the "vocal" element.

And as for the negative part - McKie brings up the vocal element, telling guys where to go. And then he doesn't say anything about that vis a vis Kobe. Right after, he says it's also possible to lead by example. And here, he stops and says Kobe does a great job of this. So to me, it seems there's a good chance he swallowed his words about Kobe after the vocal element part. And that ultimately, McKie is urging Kobe to just pursue the lead-by-example style. Which may be good advice, at least for this team as currently constructed.

Whether McKie is actually taking a swipe at Kobe doesn't even matter to me. I'm just wondering how the youngsters perceived him: whether he was a help on the bench, in the psychological sense, or whether he was a zero, or maybe even a -1.

- Miguelinho

p.s. Keep up the great work! It's great how you guys put up comments even when you don't agree. I could definitely see two Bros in your position cherry-picking the comments. And then the blog wouldn't be the cool place that it is.

Hey theoriginaltarugo!!!

We know you have got two girlfriends. You sound like you are the 'SuperFly' of this blog.

I will tell the rest of the blog their name if you don't mind. They are couple of twins called 'Left Hand' and 'Right Hand'. We always knew you such a hand job!!!.

Keep it up if you can!!! Your posts make me laugh too much!!


Aaarrrhhhh!!

Angry_Laker

Hey theoriginaltarugo!!!

I know you have got two girlfriends. You sound like you are the 'SuperFly' of this blog.

I will tell the rest of the blog their name if you don't mind. They are couple of twins called 'Left Hand' and 'Right Hand'. We always knew you such a hand job!!!.

Keep it up if you can!!! Your posts make me laugh too much!!


Aaarrrhhhh!!

With regards to Kobe as a Leader.

Wow, don't you think we are asking too much? He has done a lot in carrying the burden of this team, what kind of leadership do we still expect from him? As professionals, players don't need to be led, that's the job of the coach. All they have to do as a player, follow the strategy laid down by the coach during their practice in El Segundo and the implementation on the game day. If I were Smush, will I say: " Oh Kobe did not pat my back when I made the shot but he noticed my defensive flaws" as a consequence, I do not consider him a good leader. If i were Cook, "Kobe did not recommend me to play some more, I don't think I can rely on him." Kobe does not do this, Kobe does not do that! In losing, there are always opinions to protect that bruised ego and the human instint of self-preservation while in victory, there is always shared achievement that he was part of the success. It all boils down on "me" first or "me-too" as well. In the eyes of the observers those are the fans like us, we all know who made the valuable contributions, no need to address the ego of any players or search for the failed leadership. If they failed in their first round playoffs, they all lose as a team not individually but the whole team. Kobe did not volunteer his opinion, he was asked: what do you envision with this team in the future? Bluntly, he gave his position, I WANT CHANGES AND I WANT THEM NOW. So what is the connection of leadership that the scrubs are complaining, they are mere sour grapes. Well, we all know they were not only sour but those grapes were already rotten a long time ago. Good riddance.

Miguelhino

I just read the interview of Aaron McKie and I agree wholeheartedly with you about McKie. What McKie said is SUBTLE but it is there. I sense some resentment not from what he says but from what he DOESN'T say!!

Also the interviewer can SHAPE perception to the uninitiated by the QUESTIONS asked. For instance, Why ask Aaron McKie about Kobe's leadership? Who the hell is Aaron McKie? The question implies that Aaron is qualified to gauge Kobe's leadership qualities..............How many rings does he have? Nothing personal against McKie but Kobe has been busting his azz since he was 17 back in Philly.

Why not ask about Phil's triangle system versus the one Larry Brown ran in Philly..........or ask Aaron does he feel that Phil's juggling of the lineups throughout the year affected the psyche of a very young team?

Sometimes interviews reveal more about the interviewer than they do the interviewee..........think over that.

PJ's EXIT INTERVIEW (its a must listen):

if you wade through the politics of what he said.. he basically says
#1- we need a new PG ... Smush aint comin back... we need someone with better ball pressure and keep people in front of them...
#2 - we need better play out our BIG GUYS in terms of reliablity for 82 games to solidify the D. (ahem.. Kwame?)... Saying some of it is not to depend on guys who arent physically capable (inured a lot) to handle 82 game season!
#3 - we cant go into next season with the same starting lineup
#4 - The change doesnt have to be a star, but just GOOD PLAYER who fulfill a certain role. He pointed out a Rodman type of acquisition is necesasry
#5 - HE THINKS THE WORLD OF LAMAR ODOM... (translation he is probably not going anywhere because he played so well in game 5 that he showed that he can come up big under duress)
#6 - Bynum's improvement will be watched very closely this offseason. They said they will have a BIG part of what he does this summer. I GUARANTEE the Lakers brass will figure out what his potential is this summer where he will be under intense scrutiny. We need to see if he can develop and contribute to a championship team while he is developing. (translation = if he shows signs that he can only develop on a young team and wont be valuable to a team trying to win a title he will be trade bait)

WOW, those 6 statements are BIG.

I am 90% SURE that by next year:
-The team is going to change next year and IT WILL BE at the 5 spot and at the 1 spot for sure.

- Odom looks like a keeper!!!

-Kwame & Smush are gone. PJ basically identified them (implicitly) as players that arent mentally or physically good enough. The door is open for Farmar.

- Bynum will be evaluated closely and next year he will either put in 12 points a game OR the Lakers will decide he cant grow on our team and trade him. My guess is they trade him for another player.

wow...wow...

THE EXIT INTERVIEWS ARE AMAZING.. any true fan must listen to them in the entirety. It tells you a lot...

AK

Its time for censorship again. That person can not be over 13.

Fatty

Dear Tarugo (the original one),

I am sorry for all the stupid stuff I said about you! As I was pleasing myself (you're right my partner is an IT for lack of a better word to describe her/it), It came to me... the ONLY reason Kobe won those rings is becuase of the daddy. Again you can now have a foot of my ass because my Lakers team lost again... to the SUNS!!!

LONG LIVE STEVE NASH... THE REAL MVP!!! which my everdearest Kobe would never ever be.

And you're right... YOU TOLD ME SO!!!

Balakubukobe!!!!

The 'oringinaltarugo' has always been the way he is unique.
While you a just a very poor copy or 'oringinaltarugo's hand puppet or his 'Alter Boy' or you are just his 'Bitch' or' his towel boy'
Please try to have an original thought!!!!!!


Aaarrrhhhh!!

Angry_Laker

McKie is right. If you don't play, you don't get respect. Nice guy but a symbol of Kupchak's ineptitude.

The next veterans in need to be more like Brian Shaw and Horace Grant, guys who play limited minutes all season long, so they're already in the flow at crunch time when they're most valuable.

Those guys were leaders -- Shaw still is -- and Kobe could look up to them and learn because they had cred.

The trouble is, Kupchak just doesn't know the difference. Still another reason he should be replaced by someone who really knows how to put together a roster.

Kupchak's post-report card comments were laughable. Something along the lines of we'll be aggressive in the off-season just like we always are. That's another example. Kupchak doesn't even know what aggressive is, and he proved again before the trading deadline this year that he doesn't even know how to be aggressive and do a deal, even though it was obvious that we didn't have a team to ride all the way to the Championship.

How much longer will this lame-brain continue to helm the Lakers front office and give us teams that are just as lame as he is.

I'm astonished that the drumbeat that he must be fired isn't louder.

To the Angry_Laker (imposter)!!


It must he so hard not having the confidence to be yourself and try to mimic others and then spout false hoods.

I not dead yet and already I am getting Angry_Laker impersonators!!!

Oh well, suppose there will be a book deal and film in the pipe line!!!

Aaarrrhhhh!!

Angry_Laker

Korey,

How are they going to trade these players if there are no takers? Like for eample on Kwame who still under contract for one more year. Will they just absorbed the $ 9M. as luxury tax exemption?

Compton,

No worries. I didn't think you were actually screaming. haha

As for your point, I'm gonna have to disagree with you. Kobe's play, brilliant as it often is, doesn't automatically make him a great and infallible leader in all aspects of leadership. They're separate issues, in part because you don't have to be a great player to be a great leader. Take those threepeat teams. It was widely acknowledged that Shaw, Fox, Harp, Fisher, etc. played huge leadership roles on those teams. None of those guys were any more than role players, but they have strong leadership qualities that their teammates respected. And when you look at Fish in Utah right now, he's played a strong leadership role there as well, which has had a immediate impact on that team.

I don't say this to discount any strides Kobe's made as a leader. I just mean that it makes perfect sense that he could have room to grow in certain areas of leadership no matter how well he plays. And as I said, I don't consider that to be a put down of Kobe. Everyone can always improve and learn more.

AK

Whew!

It's been a great privelege to allow me... bloging here... I know I am not well like here ladies and gentlemen but I think it's time for me to evaporate.

I'd like to thank everyone... especially AK/BK you guys made this wild ride they call playoffs very interesting.

And to those "tarugo (the original)" haters... i.e. angry_laker, you're not too bad girlie-buddy & I surely miss our love-hate (he! he! he!) relationship.

Hopefully the Laker can give us fans a better SHOW next TIME...

See you all next season again... ALOHA! ADIOS! SAYONARA! PAALAM! BABAYOUUU!!!

ITOLD YOU SOOOOOO!!!

Pfunk,

Despite having no rings (which is hardly the only way to judge success), Aaron McKie has been widely acknowledged as a leader throughout his entire career. It was a huge part of why he was brought to the Lakers in the first place. Thus, it makes perfect sense to ask a guy who's been able to reach a wide variety of teammates his perspective and thoughts on Kobe's leadership. Perspective and thoughts, by the way, which were pretty positive.

"Sometimes interviews reveal more about the interviewer than they do the interviewee..........think over that."

Actually, what was truly revealed was your complete lack of knowledge when it comes to McKie's career. Think over that.

AK

Miguelino,

Again, I don't think McKie was citing the "You go here, you go here" thing as a positive or a negative thing. He was literally just saying, it's a style, and there's more ways to lead but just that style. I think McKie sees Kobe as more of a "lead by example" guy, but even if Kobe "directs traffic" (so to speak), what does it matter, because McKie's not really saying it would be bad if he did.

AK

...even if Kobe "directs traffic" (so to speak), what does it matter, because McKie's not really saying it would be bad if he did.

AK

----------------

He kind of did say it would be bad, AK:

"I think you gotta get a feel for your teammates, what they can handle, the things they can take in. The dynamics of every team are totally different. Everybody's not going to be able to handle (everything) the same."

McKie is technically right here. But the problem is, those words are the stuff of mediocrity. They excuse the behavior of young players who sulk instead of getting inspired and playing up to Kobe's level.

It's like with parents who raise spoiled brats. And years later they say, my gosh, why is my kid so disrespectful? And 9 times out of 10, it's because the parent was too concerned about the kid's feelings early on. Always thinking what the kid could and couldn't "take in," to use McKie's words.

So the question is: would you rather have a leader who continually challenges his teammates to do better? Or a leader who coddles them and never brings another championship home? McKie's words are dangerous because they can lead to an atmosphere where everyone feels content but the team just stays in one place.

- Miguelinho

AK, you're right about the "direct traffic" stuff. Not a bad thing. As a tri veteran on this team, Kobe was often asked by Phil to direct the traffic since he's the floor general and knew the tri inside out.


Guys, there's a Smush exit interview on daily news blog. You can go see for yourself whether Smush is a goner.

IMO, both Smush and Kwame are mentally weak. You can clearly tell that in the last 3 games vs the Suns last season.

Whew! All this McKie talk...

It's time for the other interviews. I'm sure everyone agrees with THAT. Hahaha!

- Miguelinho

Edwin,
it really isnt that hard if you ask me.

BOTTOM LINE: Kwame is a valuable trade peice.
- He has a 8.1 million expiring contract (not 9 like some people say)
- At the very least he is a big body in the paint

We get better in either of these trade scenarios:
1. Use Kwame's salary to trigger a deal for a big player in conjunction with Bynum. The Kwame + Bynum + Evans + Sasha + Cook deal is about 18 million dollars worth. That is enticing enough to get something big done and it features 3 expiring contracts and usable players as well.

2. A more realistic thing might be to give Kwame away to create cap space. Trade him for pennies. For instance, you can trade Kwame (8.2 mill) for Tyronn Lue (3.5) and that will create a 5 million gap for use.
Use that gap so that you can acquire a 2nd tier player, a defender, someone like... GERALD WALLACE...

The more and more I think, the more GERALD WALLACE makes sense to me. I think this is the angle the Lakers will go instead of going after J.O. (or if the Pacers dont want to trade).

so I think that Kwame is gone for pennies, we resign Luke for reasonable, then we sign a GERALD WALLACE and another big that can play 82 games.

If it is determined that Bynum cant help us immediately, then we will go big and package Kwame and Bynum in order to get a big time player. Probably even throw in Farmar if we have to.

So, basically, since the team wants to wait to evaluate Bynum nothing Big will happen to at least after the summer league in Vegas IMO.

Korey, I like Gerald Wallace deal, that will really improve the shooting in the perimeter. I think we can also improve our standing with the incoming draft. Those three Greeks that I posted, if we can buy their contracts from their Euro owners, give them this MLE and BAE, we're back on the groove.

Lakofan,

Thanks for the links. I'm actually listening to Kupchak right now. I have to say, especially at the start of the interview, he sounds like he understands the pressing nature of the situation. It's a glimmer of hope, at least. Assuming he's still GM by next season, he's our best hope.

Just like we did with the Lakers this season...I guess it's only right to wish Kupchak the best and send out good vibes.

- Miguelinho

AK

When the Basketball pantheons gather I'm sure Aaron McKie WILL NOT be among them........do you think he will be among them?

Instead of talking 'bout it you've got to be "bout it...........and Kobe is and has always been 'bout it! Based on Kobe's career and his achievements and his unquestioned discipline, dedication, and passion for his craft......this question of Kobe's leadership is ridiculous. If I am Kobe's teammate I would spend all my downtime just trying to workout with the guy to pick up his work habit...........THAT'S LEADERSHIP.

The perception of Kobe's leadership is continually raised by the media and focused upon as though THAT is a reason for the poor management, coaching, and production of this team.

In your exit interviews why not ask the players does Phil Jackson exhibit leadership qualities in terms of TEACHING DEFENSIVE ROTATIONS?

Why not ask the players if they feel confused in their roles and does Phil coaching style and substitution patterns contribute to this confusion.

IS THAT COACHING LEADERSHIP?


In the past Shaq and Phil have undermined Kobe's leadership every step of the way and media pundits have helped to fuel the perception with uninformed questions.

You justify the questions by stating that Kobe is not perfect and can improve.

Is Phil Jackson perfect? Where are the questions about his leadership ability?

It is almost as if the media has conspired with each other not to ask or raise questions regarding the real problems with the Lakers..........in order to dumb the masses.

KOBE BRYANT IS NOT THE PROBLEM WITH THE LAKERS...........why not focus more on the problems?

Pfunk,

"When the Basketball pantheons gather I'm sure Aaron McKie WILL NOT be among them........do you think he will be among them?"

No, I seriously doubt McKie's face will be put on basketball's equivalent of Mt. Rushmore any time soon. But it doesn't erase the fact that he's been a great leader throughout a long career, so that's a totally irrelevant and stupid question. It's almost as stupid as declaring that to simply ask McKie about Kobe's leadership is to automatically question it in a negative way, especially when McKie's answers were pretty complimentary. Neither McKie nor the media made Bryant out to sound like a problem during any part of that interview, which is plainly obvious.

As for the media not questioning Phil's leadership and coaching, if you listen to his exit interview when it's posted, you'll see he does get asked. But I'm sure it won't be enough to your liking, since you have a personal and obvious vendetta against Jackson. I look forward to your rant against that, too.

AK

Pfunk,

When it comes to Phil Jackson, the "championships = greatness" logic can paint you into a corner, too. Remember, 9 rings? And 1 as a player. Does that mean he's 3.33333 times as great as Kobe? :)

And you have to respect how he's introspective. If you listen to his exit interview press conference, he HIMSELF brings up the issue of how he's changed with age. He says age makes you more patient. Very believable. And then he adds, well maybe that's good and bad. The bad side was - if you're patient with players until the end, there's no guarantee they'll grow into their roles. Think: Smush.

So with Phil, he'll criticize himself even if the reporters don't ask pointed questions.

- Miguelinho

Korey,

I like wallace also, unfortunetly you cant trade a 9 mil contract for a 3 mil. They have to be pretty close in value, i am not sure what the exact figure is but i know its at least 90%. Again i am not 100% sure but i believe Kwame jumps from 8 to 9 mil for next year. If that is the case it makes him even more valuable as trade bait.

MH

Miguelinho

Don't be fooled by Phil's lame attempt at introspection!! THIS GUY HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS DOING AND HE KNOWS IT. This act of humility only buys him a little more time and deflects attention away from his poor assessment skills.

If it really took him THIS long to come to the conclusion that Smush wouldn't "grow" into his role as the Laker point guard then this so-called great coach just wasted a whole year because he can't properly assess potential. This is paramount when trying to grow players into their role.

If Phil was this bad and wasted this much time with Smush how much longer will we have to wait until he realizes this about Luke Walton............and can he be trusted to handle the development of future personnel ........especially when he HAS NEVER DONE IT BEFORE?

As far as my logic "painting me in a corner" don't be so sure. I have never attributed those championships to Phil Jackson. I think he has been a benificiary of great talent and fortunate timing............the jury is still out on this guy.

However, based on this past dismal season the jury is about to render a verdict


AK

It isn't personal.......it's strictly business


PHIL JACKSON HAS TO GO!!

Michael H,
you can do that.

Go to the ESPN trade machine and try Kwame Brown for Tyronn Lue.

The rule is incoming salaries must be greater than 125% plus $100,000 of their outgoing salaries

Since Kwame makes 8.2 mil, you can grade for a player that makes roughly around 3.75 mil or so
OR
the simple thing is to know that you can trade Kwame for someone with half his salary (About 4 mil)...

So I am saying trade Kwame for ANYBODY that is making 4 million and is a useful player somewhat. Or even
if they have 2 years left on their deal thats cool as long as we get the extra 4 million cap space to
use for helping in signing someone new...

AK/BK,
do you guys know the rule about the MLE? Can you use your extra space to add on to that (4 mil + 5 mil = 9 MILL = Wallace) or???

If you cant, then the Lakers need to make a deal with Wallace early and then dump Kwame contracts to Bobcats in
a sign and trade.

Pfunk,

I think you may be right in the sense that Phil is too old for this. And that's exactly why he's not rushing to renew. But just think: if they kick him out, that's $10 mil. they have to pay him anyway.

From a business point of view, would the next coach's first year really be worth $10 million PLUS whatever he'd be paid himself? I doubt it.

Who would you rather have on the sidelines? Fickle Larry Brown? A "players' coach" with no results like Maurice Cheeks? Pat "retirement sounds good" Riley? Kobe himself? :)

As for getting lucky on the 9 rings, I'm sure Doug Collins and Del Harris would like to agree with you. But don't you think even THOSE guys ask themselves why they couldn't do the same things when they had Jordan and Shaq and Kobe on their teams? Especially with Jackson joining the Lakers: what a change between '99 and '00! From being swept by the Spurs to winning it all. Not a bad immediate impact, don't you think?

- Miguelinho

Miguelinho

I hear you............But, I did say a lot of it had to do with timing. The teams he took over were ripe for the picking. I mean with Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, and Kobe you are talking about maybe the two best guards to EVER play the game, and four of the top 50 ever...........is that skill........or fortune? What do you think?

AK AND BK

Do you think it's possible to get both Steve Blake and James Posey for the MLE?

I don't know what salary these guys are on, but i think they would both be a good pickup and a good fit in the triangle.

James Posey is alot better defender at the number 3 position than Luke Walton.

And he and Steve Blake are good outside shooters.

What do you think?

Pfunk:

You must be joking. Please tell me you don't believe this pablum. Phil Jackson has won titles with another organization. Shaq has gotten one other organization to a Finals and helped another to a championship. They have their faults, but their ability to lead is fairly evident. The front office has made some blunders (Caron Butler for Kwame), but they've been hamstrung dollar-wise because of the Shaq trade residue (Brian Grant is laughing all the way to the bank) and Kobe's cap number.

And you say that they sold KOBE short? Kobe is out for one thing. Himself. That's it. But the Lakers are stuck with him, so they have to accomodate the child. His team gets run out of the playoffs, and all he can talk about is himself. Is that LEADERSHIP?

If Phil's not on the sidelines, it's hard to imagine this team even being in the playoffs. The last 2 seasons would have been just like the first one.

Drink the Kool-Aid if you must. But Kobe's the team's biggest asset, and arguably, its biggest liability. The task for the Lakers is how to build a contender making the most of his assets (his game) while minimizing his liability (his selfishness and monstrous, destructive ego).

So maybe the way is to bring in Kidd to feed the big baby and find athletic role players able to run the floor with the elite teams and willing to do what Phil asks to win a title. Personally, I'd LOVE to see Kidd come in and take over the locker room, but that's a pipe dream.

We both love the Lakers. We just see things very differently. I just hope I am wrong, but chances are, Kobe's gonna break your heart and you won't see it until it's too late. Phil's done his best to avert a disaster and now the front office has to come up with a good game plan.

What will you say about Kobe's leadership if he demands a trade? The real tragedy would be if you defended him even then.


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