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Report Card/Exit Interview: Vlad Radmanovic

Report Card: We'll begin on a positive note. Vlad's shaggy mane and ever-changing facial hair styles provided some giggles, along with a nickname that allowed me to amuse myself ("Cat Stevens").  For that matter, he inspired quality nicknames from Kobe ("Halfpipe," "Slalom") and Phil Jackson ("Igor," "Count Dracula"), too.  Unfortunately, that's pretty much the highlight of Radmanovic's season.  The pre-season hand injury may have hurt any chances of a flying start, but he still spent of lot of time freelancing instead of trying to work within the offense.  And he capped everything with a beyond stupid off the court injury (and an even stupider explanation).  Vlad is the first to say his play and season were awful, so I don't feel bad agreeing with him.  He does seem fairly determined to play better for the Lakers.  Which works out fantastic, because with his trade value now just slightly higher than Darius Miles' and Mike Dunleavy's, he'll be a Laker for a while.  Final Grade: F

-AK

Vlad Radmanovic's exit interview is below the jump.

Q: How was your exit meeting?

Vlad Radmanovic: Normal.

(Editor's note:  While the K Brothers have both stated that we like Vlad as a person, we've also both stated that the dude is a little... um... odd.  This would qualify as a classic "Vlad answer.")

(Everyone laughs.)

Q: How can it be normal?  It's the first one you've ever had here.

VR: It's like all other exit meetings.  That's why I said normal.

Q: I suppose of all the people on this team, you might actually be a little happy this season's over, just so you can put it behind you. It's been a tough season.

VR: I'm never happy when we end the season, especially in the first round.  But definitely, I have to take some time and try to get back in the basketball shape I need to be in order to play at the level I was supposed to.  A frustrating season, definitely.  And I'm a big part of it, as you all know, but I'll just try to put it behind me and start from scratch.

AK: There had been some talk that Phil Jackson was going to activate you for the playoffs down the stretch, which didn't end up happening.  Did you get a sense that he would?

VR: Honestly, I was ready.  I worked hard rehabbing and getting back into shape.  If he was about to call my name, I was ready to step up and play.  I can be smart and tell you I would have played great, but I don't know how I would have played.  He made a decision and I have respect for it.

(At this point, Kwame Brown peeked his head into the doorway and began whispering, "Why'd you jump off that mountain?"  Vlad smiled, but I get the impression he's officially "over" snowboarding jokes.)

AK: Does next season carry kind of a "redemption" feeling for you, where you have something to prove?

VR: Definitely.  I think I owe a lot to the organization and to the Laker fans.  There were high expectations when I first came here and obviously, I didn't prove any of them.  Definitely, next year I have to come back and play good basketball.  Just try, like I said, to put everything behind me.  That's the only way to do it.

Q: Were you able to develop any sort of relationship with Phil Jackson?  In the beginning, it was sort of sketchy.

VR: I did, even though I didn't play the last three months.  We got to know each other a little bit.  He's a great coach.  A little strange person, but I like it.  He's really straight forward and there's nothing you really can't figure out from him.  He just does it his own way and I have respect for it.

Q: Did he give you a book to read this season?

VR: No.  (Smiles) That's probably why I didn't play.

Q: Did you ask for one in your exit interview?

VR: No, I'm gonna hope he gives me one next year.

Q: With the obvious first answer being "Park City," is there anything else regarding the season that you wish you could do over or approach differently?

VR: There are a lot of things I would change about last year.  Maybe I'll just try to forget about it.  There's too many things to change.  Just putting it behind me and starting from scratch is something that I have to do in order to be the player I was supposed to be.

Q: What are your summer plans?

VR: I don't have any real plans.  I'll stay here for a while, work on the strength in my shoulder.  After that, I'll probably go home for a while.

Q: When you talk about being "the player I was supposed to be," how do you envision that?

VR: Somebody who's going to contribute on the floor, each and every night.  Consistency is something I definitely have to work on, in order to be a better player.  When I first came into the league, I had a goal to be a better player each and every year.  This is probably I've had so far since I got into the NBA.  It's hard for a player that signs a new contract.  A lot of people expect you to get better and bring something new to the team and obviously, I didn't do it.  That's what I have to do next year.

Q: How much of that struggle came from it being your first year in the offense?

VR: I never thought the offense was going to be a big problem.  Obviously, there is a significant difference between Phil's offense and everything else I've faced in my career.  It's a process, but I think so far, I gotta figure it out and hopefully, next year I'll be ready to explore it.

Q: When you arrived in L.A., did you picture yourself as a starter or did you leave it open to see what happened?

VR: I hoped I would be a starter, but I had a hand injury in training camp and Luke (Walton) stepped up and he played really good.  He took the spot and there was nothing to complain about.  He played better than I did in training camp and he knew the offense.  I had no clue about it, so there was the other thing.  He deserved it.  So hopefully, he'll be back next year and both of us are going to try to fight for the same spot again.

Q: At what point, if at all, did you start feeling comfortable in the offense?

VR: Probably right before the All-Star break. I thought coming back from the break, I'd just be fresh and ready to continue from where I left.  But unfortunately, that didn't happen.  We all know why.

AK: While you obviously would have preferred to play, do you think you were able to learn a lot just from watching that many games from start to finish?

VR: Watching is different.  When you're in a system and you run it, you know the timing and everything.  When you watch it, you can figure it out, but unless you're on the floor and in the situation, you can't really pick it up that easy.  But I think by February, I pretty much had it in my system.  That's something that you work on each and every day and it just becomes a habit.

Q: Will you need surgery on your hand?

VR: I don't know.  I'll talk to doctors and if something has to be done, I'd rather do it right now than wait a couple months and then figure out, "Okay, now I have to do a surgery." 

Q: Does it still hurt?

VR: I didn't play for three months, so I can't really tell you.

AK: Can the disappointment from this season be channeled next year, either as motivation or a reminder?

VR: Definitely.  It's a huge lesson.  Unfortunately, we can learn from other people's mistakes, but unless we experience it by ourselves, we don't believe it.  You're always suspicious about it.  But once it happens, you're like, "Wow.  Did that really happen to me?"  You all think it's impossible to happen to you, but once things happen, you feel vulnerable, too.  It's a big reminder, too.  It can definitely be channeled, but it's something that stays on your shoulders for a while.  Every time you turn around, you see it.  But like I said, just playing good and doing something different can do something to get rid of it.      

 
Comments () | Archives (28)

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He's still a space cadet.

I hope the Lakers management find a way to package this guy in a trade.

Wow, as evals come along, it's becoming clearer how Mitch Kupchak has really FAILED to make the Lakers better. Three years and NOTHING to show for.

I just hope they turn it around... like NOW!

GO LAKERS!!!

Next year i will be ready to EXPLORE IT? so what was he going to do this year. i think fully fit vlad could be a real weapon for this team but that comment just lost me .....what is he thinking?

AK
I would give him a Grade D. For the heroics in the Sac game and an F for Ffort because of his foolishness.

But definately an F for Snowboarding

Never before seen footage of Vlademirs accident.
The kid laughing, the one who is filming. Could that be Sasha?

.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NUpr0NfJIQ

Fatty from Arizona

Fatty,

Vlad definitely had a good game against the Spurs, but in the grand scheme of things (or at least report cards. haha), one game does not a season make. When you throw in the overall terrible play and the nonsense that cost him so much time, it's hard to rate his year much higher than a straight up disaster.

AK

This guy is a shame.
Another kwame brain type.
Just a one dimentional player, suspect defense (Lakers knew that).
And not character.

We need palyers with brain and heart.
some Derek Fisher type. hard workers, blue collar workers.

Not more sasha- poor baby acts - vujacic
Not more Lou - the high-IQ - but uneffective talents, - Walton.
Not more Kwame - the joker - Brown.
Not more Andrew- the Nintendo nerd give me the macdonal fries - bynum.
Not more Smush - I'm the king of the world - parker.
Not more Brian - shot first and get me out of here, moronic - Cook.
Not more Lamar - yesterday yes, today maybe - wannabe all star - Odom.
Not more Farmar - I'm a champion even without proving anything - Farmar.

Marginal or so-so and average talents players, playing together in any team are a secure recipe for disaster.

I wish this space cadet can travel to the moon and never return from there.

Now, people in Miami understood why Lakers had to trade Shaq. "Shaq knows his influence on his teammates," Riley said. "He's going to have to lead by real example. If he wants to give back $10 million and play half a season, then fine. The dialogue has to stop. You can't sell that to your fans." Vlad is smart guy, he signed with Lakers with one condition, he has to be a starter. I will take my chance with Vlad than Luke and Cook.

Honestly, I've never seen anyone look as bad in a laker jersey. The fool doesn't even deserve the nick 'Vlade'. Thanks Kupchack, keep the chumps coming. Where's Jerry West when you need him?

AK/BK,
In your opinion, is the expiring contract of Kwame (along with perhaps a second round pick) enough to pull Camby away from Denver?
I also am curious about Artest being available this summer (after his twenty days in jail, of course). Do you think Sacramento is over the drama and willing to send him south?
I just don't think this team has a whole lot of flexibility this offseason. As your exit interview gradings are showing, nobody on this Laker team really increased their value from last year. We'll see what options become available.

This is a little hard to write ....but go spurs.I hope they get up,they should be able dictate the pace of the game...a little better than what we did

Benny Blanca,

Don't be fooled with Marcus Camby. Marcus Camby is rumored to be on his way out of Denver due to salary cap issues. Can you imagine that? The Denfensive Player of the Year being iced out because of salary cap issues? No, it's not because of salary issues, it's because Camby can't stop opposing teams from attacking the rim. When the Lakers played Denver in Los Angeles on April 3rd FSN interviewed the Nuggets game announcer and FSN asked him what he thought of the Nuggets. The guy said that it was no secret that the Nuggets problem was their inability to stop penetration or points in the paint. Now you take what he said and you combine that with the rumor that Camby is on the trading block for salary cap issues...I don't think so.

Anyway, if it were a case of a salary cap issue both Camby and Kwame make around the same amount of money so it would get a straight up trade. But if it's a salary cap issue that is leading the Nuggets to get rid of Camby then why would they take Kwame who is making the same amount of money? If they did that it won't be because of money. It'll be because Camby can't guard the paint. Sure he led the league in blocked shots. But that's pretty easy to do when teams are attacking the paint. It creates more opportunities for blocked shots.

mike

I don't know if this was before or after his exit interview but it doesn't sound like Kwame is going anywhere.

KWAME:

We got to get healthy for one. And we've got to play together better. I think in times of adversity we just split up. I think we've got to be more of a team unit and support everyone, not just think you've got to do it on your own.

My job is to get as healthy as possible and to help the team. I don't talk about making changes because when you start talking about that, you're not a basketball player you're a personnel guy.

Once I'm healthy I have confidence that we're a better team and I'm a better player.

When you lose, like we have, there's no right or wrong answer. Hindsight is 20/20. Every body is a genius after it's over. Who knows? you can make changes and end up worse. But I think the longer you have guys in this system, and this is not an easy system to learn, the better its going to be.

I'm just focusing on me. I'm at the point where I got to get healthy. It's definitely a critical summer for me with all the injuries I have, it being a contract year next year, I've definitely got to be really focused on this summer.

mike

bluesky,

"Vlad is smart guy, he signed with Lakers with one condition, he has to be a starter. I will take my chance with Vlad than Luke and Cook."

I feel the same. I feel the same.

mike

Question, anyone:

Now Rockets is out of the play-off, Van Gundy is not signing an extension, and Rockets owner wants to have a fast team like te Suns, what is the chance of getting Yaomin to LA? With Kobe, Lamar, and Yaomin, definitely a championship Lakers.

This Spurs vs. Suns game is classic basketball.

The counter to Steve Nash...Tony Parker. Now that's the value of a point guard.

mike

$20 bucks says he decides to go surfing this Summer...hahaha

Here's something to watch. In the Spur/Suns series watch how the Spurs operate with Parker on the court and then how they operate with Vaughn in the game. The Suns break the Spurs down when Vaughn is in the game. Now that is with Vaughn in the game for limited minutes. What the Lakers did was have a Vaughn type guard starting for us for a whole season.

mike

I would not be surprised if we could not get Artest for a trade of just Cook and a possible throw in player. Sac loves fowards that can shoot a la Stojakovic. And there salaries should be about the same

ooooh! 'Being a contract year Ive definitely gotta be focussed this summer' ?????????????? are you kidding me?

How can a guy who has already made a fortune (and not fulfilled the good faith by his employers) actually see a contract year as being more important than any other year for him to get healthy and perform?

Im just focusing on me is right.

Kiwi,
THat's what I mean. With no extension, Kwame would have been focused last summer, and played better this year. Or, he could just be blowing smoke, too. He knows that he'll be able to get at least $5-6 M per year, and likely some team might give him even more than that. So why work hard? That seems to be his attitude.

Hey, Fatty

There is nothing more dispicible than a traitor, most countries hang them. We used to in the good old days.

I'm speaking about somebody venemously rooting AGAINST their home team - in your case the Suns. You live in Arizona and root for another state's team? Real loyal guy, aren't you Fatty boy. Hope you never get near any national secrets that you could scurry off to Venezuela or Cuba.

Same goes for anybody who lives in the L.A. area and roots for the Suns. Low character losers. There is somethng mentally wrong with people who root against their home teams.

kiwi,

I think, maybe, when Kwame said this:

"My job is to get as healthy as possible and to help the team."

I think after his exit interview Mitch and PJ might have told him to just concentrate on getting healthy. So when he said this:

"I'm just focusing on me. I'm at the point where I got to get healthy. It's definitely a critical summer for me with all the injuries I have, it being a contract year next year, I've definitely got to be really focused on this summer."

It's in the context of, basically, what Mitch and PJ have asked him to do.

The points isn't really the contract year but getting healthy.

mike

Mitch Kupchak MUST be fired... still waiting on the press conference. Fire Mitch Now! If I performed my job the way he has over a five-year period, I'd have my bags packed. Quite a honeymoon give to Mitch (short for Michelle) by Dr. Buss. His five year tenure is abismal... MITCH MUST GO!!!!

You guys need to SLOW this down! I can't cover so many exit interviews with nursing school! LOL!

I like Vlad...I like that signing. I ain't gonna lie, I wanted his hinny gone after that snowboard incident...but now that I think about it, a guilty player is one that (would probably) work hard to make things right. lol. So go Vlad...work your but of this offseason, perform miracles and learn to play D lol. At the very least though...he has the size to play pretty good defense, all it takes is effort.

Some guys just never grasp the triangle. I'm afraid Vlad Rad is one of them. Even before his space cadet snowboarding incident, he looked like a schoolboy who just missed the bus most of the time he was on the floor.

He should be traded. He's a big man/shooter, and should bring a little trade value on that basis alone. Package him and bring in the best available big so we have a real front line.

You forgot that he looked like the Geico Caveman

Luigi
I gotta secret for you... you're nuts. I know you gotta be joking, LOL.
I have to root for the Suns because I live in AZ?
I was raised in SoCal and moved to AZ in '84.
I always was and always will be a Lakers fan. I used to have my brother tape games and send them to me in pre addressed pre paid envelopes before the NBA season pass.
I wish the Suns the best, but that's all.

Man, management should have voided this guy's contract after he violated the terms of it following his injury.

I like how Mike T tries to turn this into a Kwame discussion. No surprise there, I guess.

Worst man-crush (at least, I think it's a man-crush) I've ever seen.


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