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All quiet on the Western front ... a little too quiet for some

Derek Fisher officially met the media Friday afternoon, once again a Laker.  But given how things have gone this summer, Kobe Bryant again dominated conversation across the hoops universe (you know, aside from the allegations that a referee had helped fix games, calling into question the integrity of an entire professional sport).  Kobe took no steps Friday to clear up the whole Lakers-or-no-Lakers question when he met the media as a member of USA Basketball.  He admitted his Grand Radio Tour sent mixed signals, but feels this isn't the time to clarify his position, even when given a few cracks at it by an old friend.  Still, he said lots of nice things ... just not the nice thing. 

 

We've all spent a lot of time trying to decode the tea leaves on this one, and even Fish said people shouldn't read too much into his return to the Lakers, at least as it relates to Kobe.  At this point, unless the answer is, "I'm committed to staying in L.A. and trust management to do the right things," he's probably better staying mum on the subject.  By doing so, it'll continue to fuel speculation that he wants out, but that can't be avoided, especially if Kobe's still harboring some issues with the folks in El Segundo.  He is right that to turn the USA Basketball season into a Laker Circus isn't fair.  And even if Kobe does say he wants to stay, there's an element of distraction, too.  "Are you happy with Mitch?  Can this group win a championship?  Do you still want Jerry West?"  And so on and so forth. 

All of this is a consequence of how things went down this summer.  That Kobe repeatedly said he wished things had gone down differently is sticking to the plan of keeping things in-house is a positive sign.  It might cause the rest of us to wonder out loud, but clearly it's better than the media-frenzied alternative.  The more public this spat becomes, the worse it is for everyone. 

But since all that's left is for us to speculate ... let's do it.  I wonder if Kobe really knows what he wants.  I doubt he's gained a lot more trust of management, specifically that a championship-caliber team can be assembled around him quickly.  On the other hand, he clearly understands the fallout from everything that went down didn't make him look good, and he is trying to repair the damage.  And I think Kobe understands the team isn't going to move him.  So that leaves a holdout come training camp, and to start talking about that with the media in mid-July is a horrible idea.

Personally, I think he'll be there.  With bells on?  I have no idea.  That he hasn't come out and said he'll be a Laker in October certainly makes you wonder what he wants.  Or if he knows.

-- BK

 
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Only if this was the '08 free agency...

p.s. I hope i was the first one to post on this blog. I've only been first one other time!!

Clarification on Kobe's statement about Team USA - he said something like
"I want the best guy on the other team." I was a little confused about that
one, but Colangelo's explanation makes sense:

"...
That figures to improve Bryant’s defense, which Jackson has seen slip in recent years — although the Lakers still aren’t the team Bryant is openly talking about leading right now.

"He wants to guard the best player on the other team," said Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the U.S. team. "He has asked for that already."


So Kobe wants to GUARD the best player on the other team - I'd love it
if Kobe re-dedicated himself to defense and became the stopper - put
Kobe on Nash. Put Kobe on Melo. Put Kobe on Nowitzski. Then he can
lead the team on both offense AND defense.

BK,

KB is doing what he should, keeping his mouth shut till things declare themselves. i think he'd still rather leave, but he know that ain't gonna happen this year. he'll wait & see if mitch can swing a major trade...we all know what the chances of that are...and then, unfortunately, i think we're in for deja-vu all over again a year from now...hope i'm proven wrong.

btw, i'm a long-time reader, rare poster and life long laker fan and with the rash of racial commentary on the blog recently i have a question that i was hoping someone could help me with.

what ethnicity is jordan farmar?

i thought he was half-persian & half-ferengi (those ears are not of this earth)

I think the Michael Teniente conspiracy theory credit some values.

I think Kobe should see how Phil is riding the bus.

I don't discount, knowing Phil Jackson snakelike manners, that he came to coach the Lakers
for 4 reasons.

1---To gain 30 millions pretty dollar faces without diminishing his credibility as a coach, knowing LA TIMES and reporters haters will blame Kobe for the failures of this team.

2. --To control Jeanie part in the Laker pie and maneuver to nullify Jim Buss influence and input
in the Lakers enterprise.

3...To make sure Kobe won't obtain the glory of proving him wrong about what he wrote in that infamous book.

4....To make sure Michael remains untouchable in the atrium of the "best ever who played the game".


So...Kobe needs to watch closely this season, and then act in consequence

Get on the front page and vote.....Vin is great but Chick was the shiznizliest

"I wonder if Kobe really knows what he wants. I doubt he's gained a lot more trust of management, specifically that a championship caliber team can be assembled around him quickly." BK

We know what Kobe wants...

Is in his parade of interviews.
Is in his home video diatribe.
Is in his season end statements.
Is in the GM office uncertain approach of: "Rebuilding or winning now?.

As he said: The ball isn't in my court, regardless of my radio"s parade, my rumblings and whining...is up on Mitch and his comrades.

Is clear what Kobe wants: better supporting cast and a more reliable gm office (assessment that ticket season holders also gave to the lakers).

The "sick for attention banner", the "he doesn't know what he wants" gratuitous judgment, is just part of the other side of the coin with a unique description stamped : fairness can't be applied to Kobe - Bean - Bryant...the marked man .

All the brouha-ha at the end of this season---specifically, Kobe's meltdown---was to a large extent fueled by collective frustrations. In looking at the convergence of maleficent influences on this team, principally being attacked by a voracious injury "bug," it is not surprising that the team spirit of our beloved Lakers dissipated. Among the injuries to Kwame Brown, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, et al., was the injury to the apparently-fragile ego of Smush Parker, a "loner" from the outset. Not to be overly harsh, but the team's morale problems were exacerbated by his public pouting, Brian Cook's tantrums, and Sasha's petulance.

Now, with Fisher back, with Mihm healthy and back (and with something to prove), with Lamar healthy and still here (at least by training camp), with Luke healthy and back, and with the intangible benefit of having some competition between Jordan Farmer and Javaris Crittenden, plus the benefit of having a mix of older and younger players together, one suspects that the "chemistry" of this current roster will produce a kind of alchemy that will transmute the old Lakers' "lead" into the new Lakers' "gold."

I also suspect that Kobe's reticence about publicly making a commitment to return to the fold at this time is based on three factors: (A) he genuinely does not want to distract from the pending activities of Team USA; (B) he's been ordered to be discreet about disputes with the organization; and (C) he is deliberately playing the "mum's the word" game because he doesn't want Mitch, et al. to become complacent. In short, if they think he's still potentially capable of engaging in a boycott of training camp and the season it may place (and keep) pressure on Mitch & Associates to try to work out a complex multi-team deal that would ultimately bring Kevin Garnett to the Lakers.

Kobe's frighteningly intelligent and shrewd, and is fully capable, even at his young age, of engaging in Machiavellian manipulations. Not to gainsay his affection and friendship for "D-Fish" and Luke, as well as his other teammates, but I think his deeper agenda still involves doing whatever it takes to bring Garnett or a similarly-qualified individual---of whom few are now available---to the Lakers to make an impact in the future.

HOWEVER, with that said, if he can get over his emotional tantrums and return to the maturity he's previously displayed on many occasions, Kobe may look around to see that he actually has a pretty competent group around him. If---knock on wood---our ranks are not depleted by injuries this year, Phil Jackson may actually be able to develop a consistent game-plan that will allow him to return to the creativity which has helped him win 9 championships.

In closing, I suspect that our season this year will be much improved, with a record of 57-25 and third seed in the Western Conference. This will very possibly allow us to get to the Conference Finals, although if it's San Antonio vs the Lakers it will be a tough go for the Purple and Gold. We'll just have to see how things match up during the season.

Finally, Welcome back, Derek. We really are glad you're home!

When you read this, Kobe's position becomes pretty clear, even though the situation remains complex:
______

Bryant went so far in his role as team ambassador as to contact Mihm, who re-signed Thursday — welcoming him back and congratulating him after his challenging rehabilitation from a severe ankle injury. Bryant also said he long ago spoke to Andrew Bynum, whom Bryant disparaged and said should be traded in an amateur video from this summer that wound up on the Internet.

About his teammates, whom Bryant previously suggested aren’t nearly good enough to help him contend for an NBA title, Bryant said: "I’ve spoken to all of them. I speak to all of them consistently."
______

Kobe is with the team... but not yet with the front office. It's even a way of saying the front office isn't with the team the way Kobe is. A guy who's thinking he's going to Chicago (or Pluto) doesn't spend time speaking "to all of them consistently". Still, he isn't going to show his cards until all the bets are on the table. Oops, sorry, I shouldn't be talking about betting, should I!

Kobe will be a sight to behold on Team USA. He will go out of his way to demonstrate what a great on and off the court team leader he is, in order to show what he can do with other great players to pass to, set up, defend with, etc.

This will make his demands for change that much more pointed.
His popularity too will be restored.
Kobe's shrewd and calculating.
And one hell of a ballplayer.

BTW, welcome back D-fish.

Long Time Laker Fan-

It is much easier for Kobe to take the top defensive position on Team USA than it is on the Lakers, because he has star-caliber players around him that will also take on a lot of the offensive load. But on the Lakers he is the only player who will be the top scorer 99% of the time, taking a lot of energy away from the defensive side of his game.

"That he (The Saint) hasn't come out and said he'll be a Laker in October certainly makes you wonder what he wants. Or if he knows"

is academic. Ultimately, to remain a Laker is not his decision to make. He can only choose not to be.

At one time or another, the man has trashed almost everyone in his life who could matter, including his beautiful wife and children. Most importantly, he recently and very publically trashed the BIG boss.

Over the long haul, such deeds never go unrewarded, if you know what I mean.

Cut bait now. You'll need little more than a Jorenema to dislodge this slug from an otherwise storied franchise.

Sonnybelfast

T.J. Simers is a guy really looking for attention.

He dream about meeting and talking some celebrities in his columns.
He like to be the macho man in inteviews.
He like to talk and trash Kobe because is the only way his column can be somedays the most readed in the Times sports section.

Is not about the news or the sports' topics, is about him, just him, always.

WOLF:

If you watch top perimeter defenders like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, you will see that thinking ahead and anticipating the offensive player’s moves and then trying to beat them to where he is going in order to draw a charging foul is a major part of their overall defensive strategy. This is something that Fisher has always been pretty good at. Yes, he sometimes flops but so do Bell and Bowen. The idea is to make the offensive player hesitant to penetrate for fear of drawing a charging foul and thus turning the ball over. Fish may not be as quick in body as some of the guys he defends but he will be quicker in his mind anticipating where the guy is going and will thus do a better job of defending our perimeter. That is something that we never saw even once with Smush Parker or, I am sorry to say, Jordan Farmar. Fisher’s type of defense gets into the head of the offensive player. Combine that with his toughness in general and Kobe’s renewed efforts to become the team’s defensive stopper and I think our perimeter defense will be much better this year, which will result in much improved team defense.

Tom

Mike:

I agree with you that Kobe’s comments about the signing of Fish, resigning of Luke and Chris, and drafting of JC combined with the fact that he actually is calling and talking to the guys is a pretty good sign that Kobe is going to stay with the Lakers. The guy really does not want to be anything other than a Los Angeles Laker in his heart.

I also think that his dropping 19 pounds and asking Colangelo for the job of guarding the best guy on the other team says something about Kobe’s focus for this year. It’s on defense, just as Phil asked. How many guys in Kobe’s position do you think really work hard in the off-season to improve their game even though they are superstars? Do you think that Cook or Sasha worked on their defense during the off-season? That is why Kobe is unique.

The pieces are falling into place suddenly for the Lakers. I predict the team will get off to a great start, will probably make a deal to get KG or JO before the midseason trading deadline, and will win 55 games and compete for a championship this year. And I give the front office an A for making all of the right little moves and resisting making a bad big move. We have a great balance of a team that is considerable improved over last year with a lot more valuable chips to use in trade once we start this season. God is definitely a Laker fan.

Tom

Kobe was never going anywhere simply because it wasn't his decision.

Buss wasn't going to trade his cash cow. At training camp Kobe will say something like "he's put it all behind him and try to win a championship with this team, this year" bla bla yada.

It's over for now. But it's out. Long range planning is pointless. If this year isn't an upgrade, all bets are off. oops. "bet" = bad word these days.

sambosola:

Jordan's father is African-American and his mother is Jewish-American.

Tom

Tibo69,
I think you nailed it all in one post.

The parrying between Kobe and TJ Simers in today's column revealed both at their best. Now, with any luck, KB24's actions on the court will speak for him going forward. The Lakers as a team may not be the most talented in the West this year, but we might see good chemistry carry the day.

Good post Vman.

The boiling of frustration has passed (playoffs are over)...the purpose of the frustration has also passed...because now the FO knows he's serious. The FO's bubble of winning now and/or later has burst where it's either win now or lose the best player in the game in his prime and the millions of revenue that come with him. Kobe's right...the ball is on the FO's court. At the end of the day they hold all the cards...and Kobe is sure to know that.

"Kobe will be a sight to behold on Team USA. He will go out of his way to demonstrate what a great on and off the court team leader he is..."

Hot damn! Well pass the jug boy and take another swig of that sweet Texas armadillo piss!

It's just too bad that his "greatness" didn't shine through as the "leader" of the Los Angeles Lakers. I guess he just hasn't wanted to go out of his way until now.

Actually, if made the leader of Team USA, even Miss Van Exel might fair well with a team of American NBA All Stars. He would need only to play with himself to succeed.

Sonnybelfast

"So for now, the mixed message that Bryant sent out on May 30 will continue to stand, and the damage this episode has done to Bryant's image is something he will have to live with. He said he had received several baby pacifiers in the mail from upset fans, including a pink one sent by L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers, who was Bryant's most persistent questioner Friday, imploring him to undue the confusion he had created."


WELL AT LEAST HE GOT MY PACIFIER, I SENT HIM. GOOD TO KNOW THE MAJORITY OF LA FANS ARE TIRED OF HEARING KOBIATCH CRYING ALL THE TIME.

Laker Tom
"I also think that his dropping 19 pounds and asking Colangelo for the job of guarding the best guy on the other team says something about Kobe’s focus for this year. It’s on defense, just as Phil asked"

WELL AT LEAST HE KNOWS THAT HE NEEDS TO EARN THAT DEFENSIVE 1ST TEAM AWARD HE WAS BASICALLY GIVEN THIS PAST SEASON. BECAUSE KOBE PLAYED NO DEFENSE LAST SEASON. HE WAS GETTING BURN AS MUCH AS SMUSH.

""When asked if the signing of Derek Fisher, the drafting of Javaris Crittenton and the re-signings of Chris Mihm and Luke Walton were enough to placate his desire for an upgrade to the Lakers' roster, Bryant's initial answer did not make a lot of sense. "

VERY PREDICTABLE. I GUESS HE TURNED DOWN THE PLUTO OFFER TO PLAY FOR TEAM USA. BUT KOBIATCH IS SO EASY TO READ. WHY TELL MEDIA YOU'RE COMING BACK TO PLAY FOR LA WHEN IT WILL TAKE ALL THE ATTENTION OFF OF YOU. JUST ANOTHER SELFISH PLOY BY HIM.

"Well, if i tell them i'm coming back to play for LA, there will be no more stories. And I would lose the headlines."

DON'T THINK OLD KOBIATCH ISN'T ENJOYING THIS STUFF. ONE OF HIS TOWEL BOYS OR KOBE'S TOILETS HAS TOLD HIM THIS COULD BE A GOOD PLOY FOR HIS SO-CALLED LEGACY.

TOO BAD JORDAN DIDN'T HAVE TO RESULT TO THIS TYPE OF STUPIDITY.

Kobe over-complimented Simers when he compared Simers' journalism to Kobe's basketball game. But still, this is where Simers' antagonistic a-holism really comes in handy, allowing him to ask the tough and interesting questions since he probably couldn't piss Kobe off any more than he has already pissed Kobe off.

I'm really looking forward to a list of games that TD officiated along with the games he will be officially accused of fixing. (No wonder I lost my daughter's pony the year before last.)

Gunner,
We don't give Kobe much defensive credit in this city, because we saw the team deteriorate before our eyes. Of course, this wasn't Kobe's fault, but no matter, he couldn't do anything right for many fans. I would say his defense wasn't up to his par this year, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a good defender and the award often takes into account past history.

After reading his comments to Jerry Colangelo, I wouldn't be surprised his he is the defensive stopper on the team and even perhaps leads the team in assists. He certainly has the skill and motivation to do both. Since he undoubtedly has confidence in his teammates and probably knows all their weaknesses, as well as strengths, he is probably in a very good place to make everyone shine this year. Here's to it happening!

Go Laker Tom! Go Lakers!

There are lots and lots and lots and lots of Laker fans out here who would like to see Kobe gone and a clean Laker slate upon which to create another masterpiece.

Like it or not, they are everywhere and their voices as fans are just as relevant and meaningful as anyone's, including yours. Quit your whining.



Craig W
"Since he undoubtedly has confidence in his teammates and probably knows all their weaknesses, as well as strengths, he is probably in a very good place to make everyone shine this year"

I ASSUME YOU'RE ONE OF KOBE'S TOILETS. HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU SAY KOBIATCH KNOWS HIS TEAMMATES ON TEAM USA STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.

HAS HE PLAYED WITH THEM BEFORE? I DON'T THINK SO.

KOBIATCH DON'T EVEN KNOW HIS OWN LA TEAM STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. IF HE DID, WE WOULDN'T BE GETTING KNOCKED OUT OF THE FIRST ROUND FOR THE LAST TWO SEASONS.

Gunner, sonnybelfasr, all you other haters.

I read this blog everyday because it has good timely information.. The links are good, and the posts are sometimes funny and entertaining. I like an LA take on sport, but I can't read the Times because of the likes of TJ Stimmers. I hate haters.

Now, this blog's constant Kobe bashing is really getting old. I'm all for free speach, but this is a little rediculous. It seems a little crazy to me that a "Laker" blog would be so negative toward its star player. .A guy who works harder than any player on his team or any body elses. A guy who leaves it on the floor no matter what's going on off court. A guy who appears to want what all real Laker fans should want, to win championships. His methods may be uncoventional, but his intent is right on the money. I, for one, do not want to go aimlessly throught the rest of the 2000s like we did through the 90s, without being a contender.

If the truth be told, Kobe's public "outcry" probably did put a fire under the FO. At least it got Dr. Buss to leave the little girls alone for a hot minute and turn some attention to his team. Kobe's "tantrum" might even get us a marquee player before it is all over. To be honest, (again) it didn't hurt the team AT ALL. It may have even put a fire under some of our players who are not putting in the work to get better.

The weird part is you "Laker fans". It really seems like a lot of you guys have been drinking the coolaid of TJ and other media pimps. It is too bad. Instead to rallying around Kobe's attempt to force the the FO to spend some cash and get us a championship caliber team, you proudly send him pacifiers. I don't really understand that. You haters are schizo!!! You say you are laker fans, but you don't want to do what is necessary to win.

I'll never stop reading this blog, but sometimes I just do not need to hear the HATE.

Faith, Laker Tom, Tspere, are there other blogs out there that do not hate so much?

sonnybelfast,
Now that is an interesting comment by a Kings fan.

Now that we've got ourselves a solid pg, and 3 centers, I think it's time to make the move for JO. I want Garnett, but I don't think the 3 team trade scenarios are gonna happen, so why not go out and get the next best thing? I know a lot of people (including me) are worried about JO's injury history, but I think his health will be much better with us for 2 reasons:

1. JO is not gonna have to carry this team. Kobe is gonna be the #1 option, which will give JO more chances to take plays off on offense, and keep himself fresh longer.

2. (This depends on us keeping Kwame) JO WON'T have to guard the other teams best big man. IF we do the trade I'm proposing that will be Kwame's role. Can you imagine how effective JO will be just being a help defender?!?! He's a great shot blocker now, but being able to play off of weak pfs/centers will help his numbers sky rocket, and make our lane almost impossible to penetrate.

I'm pretty much conceding that Indy won't give up Granger so here's what I've come up with:

Indy gets:
Odom
Bynum
Farmar
Radmanovic

We get:
JO
Tinsley
Shawne Williams

I know that looks like a lot to give up, but if you think about it, we won't be that bad off. We just re-signed Mihm so Bynum will be a little easier to let go. We just drafted Crittenton so Farmar is pretty much obsolete, Radmanovic is a GREAT shooter, but hasn't learned the offense, and is a defensive liability. It will hurt to let LO go, but if you think about it were trading LO for JO. O'Neal is a better/more willing scorer, and a MUCH better defender. I know Odom has a better fg%, but JO's numbers will go up playing alongside Kobe since he'll have much easier shots. Here's the roster:

D-Fish-Tinsley-Crittenton
Kobe-Evans-Sasha
Luke-Williams-Evans
JO-Turiaf-Cook
Kwame-Mihm

Depending on what Williams does in his 2nd year, this team could definitely compete RIGHT NOW!!!! Our front court, and back court defense would be vastly improved, and could make up for Luke's lack of one on one D. What do y'all think?

tellitlikeitis ,
I like this blog and continue to check back in on it, but I do skip through a lot of the posting because of the totally negative flow of several of the blogger - just like you.

I also follow another blog that has fewer bloggers, but also mostly less inflamatory, and they do have some thoughtful posts.

http://www.forumblueandgold.com

Stay in touch here, but check some others out too.

Tellitlikeitis tells it Likeheseesit,

and that is fine, you whiney little skunk turd. But never assume those who disagree with you, especially on such a polarizing figure as the Saint, are the ones who drink the Kool-Aid.

Sonnybelfast

tellitlikeitis,
"It seems a little crazy to me that a "Laker" blog would be so negative toward its star player. .A guy who works harder than any player on his team or any body elses. A guy who leaves it on the floor no matter what's going on off court. A guy who appears to want what all real Laker fans should want, to win championships"

I'VE NEVER SPOKEN TO YOU BEFORE SO, I WELCOME YOUR SHALLOW OPINION.

But, get your head out of the Kobiatch a$$ for one second. When does a blog has to be a sacred grounds for a so-called star player! Doesn't matter how hard Kobiatch is working. Once again this is now a ME-ME-ME game. This is a team game. Something Kobe doesn't know.

Finally, Kobiatch wanting championships is like Kareem lacing up the shoes again to play with Kobe. Definitely not true!

If old Kobiatch wanted championships, he would have lobbied to keep the one player who had him the closest to winning more championships. Shaq-Fu!

TJ SIMMERS, u pank uss mfer!

Lay off Kobe or you gonna get it big time! Capice!

TJ SIMMERS get lost! We do not need you here in LA. Kobe is Los angeles and who is TJ Simmers? a trash writer!

TJ SImmers yo don't freakin talk like that to a KOBE BRYANT! He does waht he does to be the best. TJ Simmers does what he does to be an ignorant idot!

Look like all the cowbells and malacy of the Arco Arena is getting in the nerves of Sonnybelkfast, these days.

I know Kings complex is worst than Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix are championless, but they have won some playoffs to the Lakers.

Kings in the other hand, are losers in both ways.
That, and the mediocry state of his team, the hopelesness, the NBDL garbaje players, will make anybody shot the moon as catharsis.
if Kobe is that moon for you, good luck, Mr Sacto.

Craig W,
"I like this blog and continue to check back in on it, but I do skip through a lot of the posting because of the totally negative flow of several of the blogger - just like you"

IF YOU ARE USE TO YOUR MOTHER'S SILVER SPOON TREATMENT THEN YOU ARE RIGHT. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO LAY YOUR TISSUES AND KLEENEX FOR OLD KOBIATCH.

Is it not reasonable for fans to lobby against a player simply because that player is hailed as nothing less than the second coming by so many others, all, all, all the time?

Here it goes. I'll not make another disparaging remark about the Saint's value to the Lakers until someone else praises him. Is that not fair, or will you just throw another tantrum, collect your marbles and go home?

Oh, go ahead. Just go pout.

Craig W,

Thanks for the link.

Jorenema,

Now, that by your own admission I know you aren't a "white" slut, I hear you darling and think I know what you are trying to say. It is almost poetic; a catharsis composed by one. It's a beautiful day, and thank you for the good luck wishes.

Go Lakers

Truly though Jorenema,

Don't confuse all the rest with the fact that I admire steadfast fans of almost any team (except those in Texas), and a steadfast fan you are.
I just think your loyalty would be better served if shifted to the Laker TEAM and away from your hero. Kobe Kool Aid.

Weave-Man

I don't like your trade scenario and I'll tell you why. I don't like ANY trade scenario that leaves us with Kwame as our center. Or even leaves him on the team.

He's a pouter, a whiner, and an ineffective offensive player who can't catch the ball or shoot free throws when fouled. I can forgive the foul shooting (God knows we all forgave Shaq), but I can't forgive his attitude.

Have you forgotten the playoff game last year when he didn't get the call on the offensive end, then just complained to the ref. And when his complaint fell on deaf ears he sulked and looked around for his headband while Amare ran the floor and slam dunked? That's how he played 75% of the time. I wouldn't care if he was Moses freaking Malone in the paint, that kind of attitude destroyed our morale last year and I want it gone!

There were two emotional cancers on our team - Smush and Kwame. As far as I'm concerned its one down one to go. No GM wants the Big Butterfingers as a long term solution, but if we dump him now at least we get some value for his expiring contract.

Every championship team has an all-for-one hustle attitude. Look at this years' Spurs or the Pistons team that beat us 3 years ago. Pouting is contageous and I for one don't want it anywhere on my team, let alone starting at the 5. Kwame must go!

"There are lots and lots and lots and lots of Laker fans out here who would like to see Kobe gone and a clean Laker slate upon which to create another masterpiece."

Probably true. But I bet there are VASTLY more that would prefer to
keep Kobe with the Lakers. Like 90% to 10%. You don't give away
a superstar even if he acts human once in awhile.

Jorema,

Yeah lets put another coach on the Lakers, and we'll see how Kobe handles playing for PJ Carlisemo.

Stop with the Phil bashing.

We all recognize Phil's shortcomings as a coach. He has little patience for young guys who make dumb decisions. He is much less a teacher and more of an organizer. He doesnt work well with bad teams because he talks about basketball and a high level and some idiots just want to play playground basketball and he wants professionalism even on the court. Yes that makes him an average coach for a bad team, and a great coach for a team with great players.

But give Phil this credit, he has stuck with the team for whatever image maybe he wants to have, but now after a couple of seasons, the team is actually getting to that mature stage. So stop with these stupid Phil attacks. He was the best person available for the job at the time, and is still the best coach available unless you want the coach cancer Larry Brown, the stranglee-PJ would get stranged by Kobe, or who else..Reggie Theus who would spend more time in front of the camera in hollywood than behind a bench.

Besides, if Phil had alterior motives for coming to the Lakers, so did Kobe. I mean both didnt want a poor legacy in LALA land. Look, if the Lakers return to glory and when a championship, both players get their legend status cemented, Los Angeles will forget all about the drama, and raise them up like Gods.

Jorema,

Yeah lets put another coach on the Lakers, and we'll see how Kobe handles playing for PJ Carlisemo.

Stop with the Phil bashing.

We all recognize Phil's shortcomings as a coach. He has little patience for young guys who make dumb decisions. He is much less a teacher and more of an organizer. He doesnt work well with bad teams because he talks about basketball and a high level and some idiots just want to play playground basketball and he wants professionalism even on the court. Yes that makes him an average coach for a bad team, and a great coach for a team with great players.

But give Phil this credit, he has stuck with the team for whatever image maybe he wants to have, but now after a couple of seasons, the team is actually getting to that mature stage. So stop with these stupid Phil attacks. He was the best person available for the job at the time, and is still the best coach available unless you want the coach cancer Larry Brown, the stranglee-PJ would get stranged by Kobe, or who else..Reggie Theus who would spend more time in front of the camera in hollywood than behind a bench.

Besides, if Phil had alterior motives for coming to the Lakers, so did Kobe. I mean both didnt want a poor legacy in LALA land. Look, if the Lakers return to glory and when a championship, both players get their legend status cemented, Los Angeles will forget all about the drama, and raise them up like Gods.

HAS HE PLAYED WITH THEM BEFORE? I DON'T THINK SO.

Only in all-star games

Kevin Garnett is said to be attending the Chelsea vs Galaxy Beckham extravaganza. If he likes Soccer (as does Kobe) and likes the Hollywood blowout scene so much, wouldn't he be happier playing in LA for the Lakers than in Minnesota?

Of course, I fail to understand why anyone would be happier in Minnesota, for any reason, ever.

In the immortal words of Mamba24, FREE KG.

Weave-Man,

Your deal for JO won't work. Indiana wants to get rid of long term contracts,
not take them back. There's no way they would accept a deal with Vlad
Radmanovic in it. If you want to construct a realistic trade, here is the list
of all chips that Indiana would be interested in:

required players:
Odom + Bynum

optional players:
Farmar (true PG)
Crittendon (true PG)
Evans (expiring contract)
Vujacic (expiring contract)
Turiaf (expiring contract)
Brown (expiring contract)

future draft picks

Lakers take BACK long term contracts:
Murphy, Dunleavy, Daniels, or Tinsley

There might be a small chance the Lakers could get back Foster or
Diogu or Shawne Williams, depending on how much they are giving
up, but it's unlikely Indiana would want to include any of them.

Well you can't accuse simers of being boring. And since journalism today is just another form of entertainment, I'd say he is doing a great job.

Truth is the real show down happens in october. Will kobe punk out and stick with his story that mihm and fisher are "great" additions to the team. Or will he stick to his earlier trade demands. And if he does route of the former, at what point do we the apologist start calling him a pretentious prick like the haters do.

I'm not saying he has to sit out training camp or hold la hostage. Just saying he better not be touting mihm and fisher as great basketball additions come october.

Incidentally Jorenema,

Insomuch as you brought it up, and unlike the Lakers under the Saint's leadership, I like what our FO is doing and the direction the Kings are heading. Garcia, Martin and Williams will lead a young cast of athletic and skilled hustlers; the new generation Sacramento Kings. We'll soon be among the serious players in the all powerful west. If Artest, Bibby and Miller sort it out, so much the better.

On the other hand, so long as Kobe is still deemed your leader and even if you bring in All Star, Hall of Fame help as you have in the recent past, you and the rest of the Kobe Kool-Aid drinkers will still be reciting the same ol' lines; the same ones we heard last year, and the year before. You know them well. Help me out here. Let's recite the verses in harmony.

Mike T: "Phil already got what he want for Walton. He wanted Walton to get a big contract."

This one left me scratching my head. Why would Phil want this if, as you assert, he'll now pull Walton a lot more frequently? What's in it for Phil, this big contract? Does he get a percentage of the money? Or does he just want to tie up more dollars for "whitey"? Honestly, your post is a whole new level of ridiculous.

Secondly, I would like all the Kobe apologists to deeply digest what has transpired recently.

1.)
The Front Office, for some of their previous bad decisions, have drafted more than a third of their roster. Luke Walton, Ronny Turiaf, Javaris Crittenton, Jordan Farmar, Brian Cook, Andrew Bynum are all NBA-caliber players. How many other teams draft that well??? As far as talent evaluating, Kupchek hasnt been all that bad.
2.)
The past two offseasons, the FO has also done what the fans, players and coach have wanted. Remember last summer, the Lakers came off a surprisingly successful playoff season and when many picked them to miss the playoffs, they took the Suns to 6 games. Nobody said, lets overhaul the roster, most people said, lets help them grow and mature. Kobe was optomisitc, Phil was quietly happy, and everybody was doing ok.
3.)
This offseason, the PR blew off the Lakers lid before they could respond. Plascke started a trade kobe movement, then Kobe suddenly agreed due to the "Lakers insider" and then there became a mess. However, they didnt panic and make a 2 for 1 trade that would have ended their offseason moves in June. Instead, they resigned key players, cut the problem players and have kept themselves in position to still make a great trade.
4.)
in addition to that, they have also kept the trade value of their assets up. Lamar is coveted by other teams, Crittenton is a potentially great draft pick that teams would want, and the reports of Bynum working out every day also get people excited.


Lastly,

Kobe has said that the way he handled things this offseason was wrong and he would DO IT differently. Basically he admitted that he's an ass, he did talk with Bynum (thanks Mike T. for that update awhile ago), he respects Fisher is happy with Mihm and Walton. So basically Kobe had pulled a 180...not thanks to him, but to the front office.

sonnybelfast,

"...and that is fine, you whiney little skunk turd."

Poisioning the well. Classic logic fallacy of people whose argument has
no real weight - try to insult the person who is arguing a different position.

If your rants about Kobe were founded, you wouldn't need to stoop to name
calling to argue against people who are more tolerant of Kobe's showing some
human weakness once in awhile off the court.

tellitlikeitis,
I agree with you. However, there are certain haters on this blog that I respect (i.e. Taoshum, Lake-Show), because although they hate Kobe and make no sense most of the time, at least these guys are real fans, and occassionally offer some constructive criticism and insight.
Sonnybelfast is an admitted KINGS fan, so I'll read his posts out of pure pity.
KL and Gunner are NOT LAKER fans, they have admitted several times that they are CLIPPER fans. I, for one, do not care to discuss Laker topics with non-Laker fans. Most bloggers either completely ignore their posts or do not take them seriously. If you do the same, this blog will be much more enjoyable.

Tellitlikeitis,

This blog at its core is a good place. Yes it becomes tedious, and yes it becomes depressing...but at the end of the day, the only way to really maintain it's integrity and the thing that made people like it to begin is with is to continue posting. You make some great points, I'm a big fan of your views...we need more like you.

Yes there are many blogs out there...I don't feel like I can name em cause it's disrespectful to the K Bros who have given us so much (sorry Craig W, I don't mean to be pointed lol...it's just me that's uncomfortable, for me). But I will say this...do a search, and you'll find some place. Maybe you'll even find lakerville veterans out there in the wild lol.

Marty,
Yes; Phil's whole substitution pattern last season was aimed at getting Walton a better contract this year. It's all physics!

thanks for the info lakertom.

i hope you're right about swinging a deal for KG or JO...i don't see it happening, but that doesn't mean i can't hope.

Hi Faith,

Just checking. Did you receive my email?

Long Time Laker Fan
"Only in all-star games"

IF YOU CONSIDER PLAYING WITH THE PLAYERS IN AN ALLSTAR GAME EVIDENCE OF KNOWING THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, THEN THAT SHOULD TELL US KOBE IS ABOUT TO SHOOT THE BALL AND HOG AS MUCH AS HE DID IN THE ALLSTAR GAME.

I GUESS THAT TELLS US HE HAS NO FAITH IN HIS TEAMMATE ON TEAM USA.

Jay Jay,

I feel what you're saying about Kwame, and I actually agree with you...but the only problem is NO TEAM HAS WANTED HIM!!!! I would love to see Kwame moved for a defensive SF, or C, but no one seems to want to deal with Kwame, or his expiring contract. I say we keep him (since no one else seems to wants him) and take advantage of that expiring contract ourselves. We're pretty high over the cap, and having 9M+ come off could help us next off season.

Since we're stuck with him (at least for now), I say we use his one on one defense (the one good thing he consistently shows) to make things easier on JO. He NEVER has to touch the ball offensively since he'll be our 5th option at best. Kwame isn't my ideal center, but until we can move him I think we should at least take advantage of his FEW good traits.

MITCHELL,
"KL and Gunner are NOT LAKER fans"

GETTING THAT 5% COMMISSION HUH. KOBE LET YOU COME UP FOR SOME AIR ON THE WEEKEND HUH?

NO WHERE IN ANY OF MY STATEMENTS HAVE I SAID I WAS A CLIPPERS FAN. I BELIEVE IT WAS STATED THAT I'M A TEAM BASKETBALL FAN FIRST, AND LAKERS BASKETBALL SECOND.

MAYBE YOU MISTAKE ME AS A CLIPPERS FAN BECAUSE THEY SHOW A BETTER EXAMPLE HOW TEAM BASKETBALL IS PLAYED INSTEAD OF THE LAKERS.

MAYBE YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND IF YOU DIDN'T JUST BECOME A FAN AT THE START OF Y2K.

Exhelodrvr:

Thanks for the clarification, lol. Physics makes sense. Or maybe psychokinetics. Now if only I could find the connection between Vlad's Park City coffee and Kwame's dessert preference...

MITCHELL,
"do not care to discuss Laker topics with non-Laker fans"

COME ON MAN. TELL THE TRUTH AND SHAME THE DEVIL.

YOU DON'T WISH TO DISCUSS KOBE TOPICS WITH NON-APOLOGIST FANS!

5% kobe a$$whipe!

TheLakeShow:

"The Front Office, for some of their previous bad decisions, have drafted more than a third of their roster. Luke Walton, Ronny Turiaf, Javaris Crittenton, Jordan Farmar, Brian Cook, Andrew Bynum are all NBA-caliber players."


That's exactly the problem. You can't build a championship team by only acquiring talent from the draft, especially if none of your draftees are top picks. None of the players you mentioned would start on any playoff team... except for the Lakers.

Every championship the Lakers have won has been led by a superstar they acquired via trade or free agancy, and that is the only thing that will make the Lakers contenders again.

Gunner:

"TOO BAD JORDAN DIDN'T HAVE TO RESULT TO THIS TYPE OF STUPIDITY. "

You're right... fortunately for Jordan, he had already won five rings and cemented his status as the G.O.A.T. by the time the Bulls management started acting like a bunch of jackasses in 1998. So what did he do? He quit. Retired. Left the game. If that crap had started earlier in his career, do you think he would've put up with it? I think not.

Long time Laker Fan,
"You don't give away a superstar even if he acts human once in awhile."

IF THAT WAS TRUE, WE WOULD STILL HAVE SHAQ HERE AND WE WOULD BE CHASING OUR 5TH OR 6TH NBA TITLE IN THE 2000 DYNASTY.


Long timer,

"If your rants about Kobe were founded, you wouldn't need to stoop to name calling"

You are absolutely right. I just do it for fun. Besides, the last time "Fart Breath" (your new name) could have been deemed an insult from me, I think I was in the 3rd grade. What grade are you in?

As far as sound argument is concerned, I'll compare notes with anyone on this blog. Kobe is not your answer. The sooner you unload him, the sooner he'll have an opportunity to prosper, and the sooner the Lakers will prosper. That's my opinion. Many of you just happen to disagree, but you don't speak for everyone, not even close. You only think you do.


Fan of the Mamba,

I did. I emailed you back :-)

Long Time Laker Fan,

I feel what you're saying too, but you're forgetting a couple of things:

1. We're talking about Larry Bird. He's never met a shooter he doesn't like (i.e. Sarunus Jasikivicius), and there was an article a couple months back where Bird was talking about the pieces they need, and one of the main things he spoke about was a shooter.

2. They don't have a great trade history. Look at how they got hoodwinked by the Warriors. That deal was horrible and they took it, so what do you think they'll do when they see they're getting everything they want, and NEED, and all they have to give up is a player they (and the city) don't want (Tinsley), a 2nd year player, and a huge contract....accept the deal!!!! If Mitch does his job.... wait, if Jim Buss lets Mitch do his job, then my trade is more that practical, and could have a very high chance of happening.

Staples 24,
"Kobe is Los angeles"

I GUESS WE HAVE OFFICIALLY BECOME THE LOS ANGELES KOBES.

IMAGINE THE LOGO.

a Baby with a pacifier in his mouth and a girl bent over in front.


Case Closed

tellitlikeitis,

"You say you are laker fans, but you don't want to do what is necessary to win."

Frankly, I had a hard time spelling your name but when I read it, it's really that easy and your post says it all, just tell it like it is. I have been posting here in the blog after Kobe rants and followed-up his frustrations. The F/O did not accomplish anything except LUCK, luck on Fisher (tho' we should not call it a blessing as AK suggested) but it was pure luck for Jim and Mitch, LUCK on Crittenton that nobody picked him up during the first 20 picks or realistically the last 10 picks. Other than that, what have they accomplished but re-signed Luke and Chris. So it was management by luck and defensive re-signings rather than lose them. Nothing wrong about that, but how about the players that got away? It is also unfortunate that only the Lakers F/O values greatly their existing players except Kobe, other teams consider them averaged and a bunch of mediocres that could be the reason why nobody wanted the Laker goodies. What makes is so perplexing is the kind of optimism in this blog, trying to raise their stocks that WE ARE REALLY THAT GOOD and if you discredit that optimism, you're dam so negative and pessimist. Now that trading is far too distant to happen, WE ARE FORCED TO LOVE WHAT WE HAVE. We continue to assimilate with a bad General Manager, a mediocre Owner whom we can compare to a bad President of this nation. We can't do anything but to embrace them. While they are lucky to get some players, we are unlucky to have inept leaders.

With regards to Kobe, you said it right, he was the only one who came to work last two seasons and try to win it all alone or as a fascilitator. He followed what PJ told him to do so. Some people hate his unconventional ways being a spoiled child and grew in another country. But if you try to think on what he was saying, he was right to the point of our present state of players. We failed to see the importance of J. Kidd because of a future vision on the horizon. This summer we concentrated too much on marquee trades/rumors like KG, JO and Pau without grabbing other mid-level stars who would have contributed to the Lakers cause, I say we failed to convince or salesmanship on Papaloukas, never bothered to trade for the best euro, Navarro, never joined trade talks or even metioned in "hoops rumors for Gerald Wallace, Rashard Lewis" Lakers rumored on too many PG's like Blake, Francis but not on PF. Those are the positions where we were soft, 3, 4 and 5. Our Centers could not handle a foxy PG and our PF's were non-existent in the past, soft on defense. Now we all expect Fisher and Crittenton to do what PF duties are, that is to guard the post. That's highly ridiculous. So from the standpoint of vision, this F/O lacks the present vision but too much of future vision beyond the horizon.

So for Kobe, it's OK to play safe and have an injury-free summer, this is just a qualifying round to be in the Olympics. What is important is not in Las Vegas but in Peiking Olympics in '08. If he gets injured by trying too hard, it's not the Olympics contingent that will suffer but the Lakers, that's what happened to the Grizzlies when they Gasol got injured.

To the so-called Laker fans, you get too emotional on guys who do not share your views. You only see the trees around you but do not see the scope of forest that you'll cross. Some of you are so particular about the details, semantics, grammarians but missed the message being raised. You're quick to criticize on someone's posts as though you are all-knowing when your posts have nothing to offer. The blog lacks creativity to enhance one's viewpoints but engage inviting disenchantments. You engage too much on trivialities, on personalities but not towards the improvement of this team. All I ask is address on the right department, don't address too much on the personality of an anonymous blogger/fan but more on the public figures that you are aware of, whether it is a blame, a praise to decision-makers, the players that determine the success and failure of this team.

Taliq:

"I'm not saying (Kobe) has to sit out training camp or hold la hostage. Just saying he better not be touting mihm and fisher as great basketball additions come october."


Huh? I don't get it. So he should trash Fisher and Mihm when reporters ask him about them?

Or should he say "no comment"? Do you really think that Kobe should praise his teammates one day and diss them the next? What the hell is going on around here?


Taliq:

"And if he does route of the former, at what point do we the apologist start calling him a pretentious prick like the haters do."


I guess Kobe will be hated, no matter what he does, right? If he sits out camp, he's a crybaby, and if he relents, then he's a "wuss" and a "punk". And I thought the "Kobe haters" needed to cut him some slack. At least they're consistent.

Long Timer

"I bet there are VASTLY more that would prefer to keep Kobe with the Lakers. Like 90% to 10%"

Although I would seriously question your numbers, I am happy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Be certain though that your high percentage is shrinking and your low percentage is growing exponentially with each passing week.

What is this blog going to do when it is 50/50? Make like a amoeba and split? Or worse yet, how about 60/40 against the Saint. Will you then shun all Kobe supporters?

Sonnybelfast

Vanexel...

Phil is a tricky pony. one of the things that got under his skin is that he never could manipulate Kobe and develop in him a inferiority complex as he did with Pippen.

By his own admission , the so called Zen Master, admitted in his book that he needed a psychologist to deal with "the Kobe factor", finally accepting that Kobe mind is stronger, for good or for worst, than any other player he had known.

It’s a fact that Shaq and Kobe were salivating with "the Colorado incident", so they could finally put a claw in his jugular.
Its' a fact that...Phil and Shaq were livid in the reality that Lakers fans were always at Kobe side regarding all those infighting wars.

So, Phil knows that Kobe isn't a piece of meat in the plate ready to be devoured . Phil also knows that nobody can match Kobe focus and he can be as manipulative as him in the way of get what he wants.

What you make of this reunion Phil-Kobe reunion?
Can work for both. Phil toke a hit with that il advised book publication that Derek Fisher called "a sad thing for a genius coach like Phil"..

Well....some stuff are said, others can resurface in any time.

But I will tell you one... Phil needs Kobe now as a allied. If later, Kobe doesn't benefit Phil strategy or advantage, Kobe will be his first line of attack. As he did with Shaq recently, prompting The Big Ego to call him "The big traitor".


Save your swill for tomorrow. I'm down to the creek for a dip.

Sonnybelfast

I endorse publicly all the Edwin Gueco words in his last post.

I endorse his passion, his courage to evaluate Lakers' dilemma without the influence of some people exhibiting their hidden agenda, instead of thinking of the well being of the team.

TELL IT LIKE IT IS...EDWIN.
KUDOS.



hal9000,
"You're right... fortunately for Jordan, he had already won five rings and cemented his status as the G.O.A.T. by the time the Bulls management started acting like a bunch of jackasses in 1998"


I DON'T THINK JORDAN WOULD HAVE ACT A DAMN FOOL IN THE MEDIA IF HE WON FIVE RINGS OR NOT. I BELIEVE IT TOOK JORDAN 8 OR 9 YEARS BEFORE HE WON HIS FIRST TITLE. WAS HE ACTING LIKE A DAMN FOOL IN THE MEDIA BEFORE THEN?

I DON'T THINK SO.

Sonny,

You just added yourself to that short list of people who have trashed Kobe's children. Congratulations.

Wes

Weaveman,
The problem with keeping Kwame is that the team is over the salary cap; therefore when his contract expires, the Lakers will only benefit from the amount under the cap that the expiration creates. And it doesn't look like there will be any. Additional incentive to trade him mid-season.

Sonnybelkfast
'Insomuch as you brought it up, and unlike the Lakers under the Saint's leadership, I like what our FO is doing and the direction the Kings are heading. Garcia, Martin and Williams will lead a young cast of athletic and skilled hustlers; the new generation Sacramento Kings. We'll soon be among the serious players in the all powerful west'

Maloofs brothers are like Jim Buss: clueless in basketball and living in a bubble full of pokers coins and bad bloated money. Their 10 minutes of fame is over (Britney is long memory by know and qualify as a asterisk) and also the 10 minutes of fame of their Sacramento Queens team. is long gone.

Lakers fans can live about good old memories. Sacto fans have a book history empty, cero, nada....non hall of famer kind of player, non championships, non respect. Second bananas is the best they can aspire.

Sonnybelfast,

You said: What is this blog going to do when it is 50/50? Make like a amoeba and split? Or worse yet, how about 60/40 against the Saint

This will not happen. Kobe is too good of a basketball player and the
fans have watched his supporting cast of scrubs for too long to not
understand. We wait, with baited breath, to see D-Fish on the court
with Bryant again. We believe that Kobe will pass the ball when his
teammates make their shots. We believe that when the game is on the
line, Kobe will be there to lead us to victory.

Yes, your team played better team basketball at the end. Did it feel good
not seeing them in the playoffs? Enjoy your moral high ground while you
team has "ZERO" championship banners hanging from the rafters. How
many of your players are playing for team USA right now?

The Los Angeles Lakers currently have Kobe Bryant on their roster. 2-time
scoring champion. 3-times world champion. The best basketball player
in the world. You have who? If I had the to make a choice b/n mediocre
team basketball with a playoff appearance vs. great team basketball with
a lame team [ yours ] who couldn't beat a bunch of zombies with broken
knees I would prefer to watch mediocre team basketball with the best
player on the planet. That would be the Lakers.

I'd say see you in the playoffs, but your team won't be there will it ...

Go Lakers!
Go Team USA!
Go Kobe!

The tricky thing is this:

If the Lakers come back healthy this year--and stay healthy--this is one of the top ten teams in the NBA. I believe this. I really do. But that still leaves us with a first or second round elimination at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, and I'd rather have dinner with Dr. Lecter--or be dinner for Dr. Lecter--than see Nash, Barbosa and Bell celebrating on our floor.

This team can and will be better than the majority of NBA teams, but what does that matter if in the end the Suns leave the party with our girl?

Wes

1) Kobe's not going anywhere. Let's get that straight.

2) Please ignore Michael T's, statements. I've been a hardcore member of this blog since its inception, and despite his intelligence and passion, he is almost always WRONG (with the exception of some post game summaries).

3) Anyone remember Phil's first year as Coach? Things didn't go too well during the first half or so of the season. Things were not clicking. Then Derek Fisher came back from injury. He played with fire and brought that team together. I honestly believe that his efforts making that team click (particularly with behemoth Portland in our way) is the number one reason we won a championship that year. I'm hoping Fisher will have a similar impact this year. (I'm not talking championship. I'm talking marked improvement.)

4) Everyone (except possibly Kobe) should improve this year. Barring the injury bug, we should move several steps up the playoffs ladder this year. The X factors are Bynum's development, Luke's transition into a leader, Lamar move from a player who defers to a player who demands, Rad Vlad fulfilling his duty to the team, and Chris Mihm's health. Remember. We were at one time 30-19 last year before injuries hurt. We're stronger this year AND Smush is gone who I feel was a blight upon our team.

5) Last year Kobe received all the spotlight. This year Phil Jackson deserves all the spotlight. He has a strong team with remarkable players and, more importanly, several players bristling with POTENTIAL. Perhaps the greatest skill of a coach is to develop his players' potential and train that potential in such a way in which it supports the strengths and potential of other players upon his team. This is a team which could win a championship, but should not win a championship (in the present environment of the Western Conference.) If this team makes it to the conference finals or the Finals, it will be an absolute sign of the Greatness of Phil Jackson.

6) I love our depth at point guard and center. I haven't been able to say that for years. Actually, I think our overall depth is quite good.

7) Also, with the exception of Kobe's recent outburts (which annoy me, but I understand the way he feels), I very much like the personalities on this team. This is a team I can root for and will root for with passion.

GO LAKERS!

Wes,
"If the Lakers come back healthy this year--and stay healthy--this is one of the top ten teams in the NBA. I believe this. I really do."

YOU MUST BE EJECTING CRACK TODAY. BY MAKING NO LEGITIMATE MOVES THIS SUMMER, LAKERS HAS MOVED DOWN TO ABOUT 10-12 BEST IN THE WEST.

Edwin,
Re your post "The blog lacks creativity to enhance one's viewpoints but engage inviting disenchantments. You engage too much on trivialities, on personalities but not towards the improvement of this team."

It would be a great loss if you got too disenchanted with the blog. You are one of its best and most thoughtful contributors. When you and I disagree it is always with respect because I can see your point of view and where it is coming from.

Our blog is like the rest of society, a mixed bag of people, which means there are always a few with an ax to grind. But I think the majority do have something to say. Some who I've fiercely disagreed with at times I've also come to respect.

It has been a frustrating year to be a Laker fan. No doubt there are some on the roster that are mediocre at best, which is why we haven't been unable to unload them. Some of the burdensome contracts have also limited our ability to make deals. Some of the players you mentioned that would have been great acquisitions were just not affordable given the amount of cap space we had. You're right, that clearly is the fault of the Front Office. But at least, so far this summer, Mitch and Jimmy haven't done anything stupid as far as deals go. Hopefully they'll find some cure for our weakness at small forward, though I'm unable to see what it is over the horizon. If Lamar can regain the warrior mentality he had towards the end of the season, I think we'll be fine at PF. With the return of Mihm, Ronny can get more minutes backing up Lamar instead of being forced to play center which is not his strongest position. We may not have a strong #2 scorer, but Fish gives us a choice of better second options than we had last season.

For now, I'm willing to go along with the Stephen Stills song, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." It may leave me over-optimistic, but it seems like a better place than over-pessimistic.

KG in da house (The house that David Beckham is currently living in that is lol).

Faith,
No offense taken. You are one of the posts I try to always read, even if I disagree. I obviously keep coming back here so there must be something I am getting. However, it can get somewhat tedious and often I just like a back and forth about a different perspective in support of a better Laker team - not just a rant about some obscure fact.

tellitlikeitis sounded like an exhausted sole who was looking for some solice that wasn't poisonous. We all need relief and I thought I would point out one possibility - there are others.

I too, appreciate the K brothers; I just don't like poison for poison's sake. I am not sure how to stop it, but if someone is 99% poison then perhaps the blog should not be open to them. Critical - YES! Hypercritical - YES! Poisonous - NO!

I realize there is a 1st amendment issue here (I was part of the counter culture in the 60's). However, someone once said that the 1st amendment protects your right to say something, not your privilege to avoid ANY consequences for voicing your opinion. Even Gandi spent time in jail. When you stand against something you should probably expect something to happen - it just shouldn't be your death. Yeah, that is extreme, but you get my point about these nabobs of negativity.

put jeannie buss in charge of everything. fire mitch, fire jim buss!!! with al this turmoil jeannie manage to increase the lakers treasure chest eventhou they are fielding a sub par team... heck she can handle Phil ryt! It seems that shes the only Buss that has the balls to do things that'll improve the status of the lakers...

Here are the western team s that should easily be better (record-wise) than the Lakers: Mavs, Spurs, Suns. If the Lakers are healthy and only one of their centers has a career year (not much to ask since they are all pretty young) I think they are on par with: Denver, Utah, Houston. I think they are already better than GS, LAC, Sac, New Orleans. Portland, and Seattle are not ready YET. Minnesota and Memphis just stink.
I don't compare the Lakers with any teams in the leastern conference. They are the minor leagues.

Gunner- LAKERS HAS MOVED DOWN TO ABOUT 10-12 BEST IN THE WEST

Well said, I couldnt agree more, other than the Kobe drama what is something to be excited about with this team?

Whats all the hating with TJ Simmers? Seems he is asking the questions of Kobe all of us want to ask?

Kobe are you going to be a Laker?
Kobe did you aplogize for calling your boss an idiot?
Kobe did you apologize to Bynum for calling him out in the media?

I cant understand how asking these questions make him a hater. He wouldnt even have to ask if Kobe didnt get all hysterical in the first place.

Make you bed, then lie in it.

Gunner:

"I DON'T THINK JORDAN WOULD HAVE ACT A DAMN FOOL IN THE MEDIA IF HE WON FIVE RINGS OR NOT. I BELIEVE IT TOOK JORDAN 8 OR 9 YEARS BEFORE HE WON HIS FIRST TITLE. WAS HE ACTING LIKE A DAMN FOOL IN THE MEDIA BEFORE THEN?

I DON'T THINK SO."

Once again, you're right. Jordan didn't complain publicly in the '80's, and that's because the Bulls' management actively recruited quality players, and as a result, the Bulls' record improved almost every year. The Lakers, on the other hand, have recruited... Smush Parker? Kwame Brown? Vlad Radmanovic?

As a "Laker fan", can't you even admit that Lamar Odom is the only Laker besides Kobe that would start on any other playoff team?

One thing about team expectations. One of the teams you don't expect will do much better and one of the teams you expect to be near the top will fall off. It happens most years.

Since most people outside of LA do expect the Lakers to be better next year, our concentration should be that we do not fall into the 2nd category mentioned

The Lakers really screwed up by not trading for Jason Kidd, I mean that man is just a great future hall of fame player, and really, look at his sucess and gamesmenship in the league, playoffs every year and just the same vibe as Kobe - a crazy desire to win with the ability to do it (look at Garnett, he DOESN'T really win in this league.) It would of been great to see - and this might sound nuts, but I think he'd bring more or as much to the table for this Lakers team as Garnett would have - because Kobe just respects him so much -- I just know they are the type of players that compliment each other. But we have Andrew Bynum still, so there......anyway, here's an AP article from today from VEGAS.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2007-07-21-500326649_x.htm

KIDD AND KOBE
By Brian Mahoney, AP Basketball Writer

LAS VEGAS — Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant will be on opposite teams when the United States closes minicamp with an intrasquad game.
Too bad for Bryant. He'd finally gotten to see what it was like to play with Kidd.

Kidd's return to national team duty is a huge boost for the Americans, giving them a player who is closing in on 40 appearances for his country.

"I learned a lot just by playing with him the last couple of days and just talking with him," Bryant said after practice Saturday. "Being that we're the two old dogs on the team - he's the old dog by a long shot - he's just an absolutely wonderful player to play with and a joy to be around."

At 34, Kidd is easily the oldest player in camp, and he brings the international experience that the U.S. was missing. He started every game in the last two Olympic qualifiers and was on the team that won gold in the 2000 Olympics, the last major title for the Americans.

"My job is to help the younger guys," Kidd said. "And that's everybody I guess, because I'm the oldest. Just make the game easy."

He had to pull out of the '04 games because of a knee injury, and declined USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo's initial invitation to join the program in 2006 while dealing with marital problems that would become public.

But he missed the competition of international basketball, so eventually let Colangelo know he'd be available this summer if a spot was available, which was quickly granted to him.

"I felt that I could help," Kidd said. "Not just by playing, but being around the guys, talking to the guys about the experience and what it takes to win."

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony were the captains of last year's team in the world championships, but Kidd has immediately assumed a leadership role with this group. He said he told the players during a meeting Thursday that "I wasn't here to lose."

He never does when wearing the USA jersey.

Kidd led unbeaten U.S. teams in the 1999 and 2003 Olympic qualifiers, plus the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. His only losses while playing for his country came while he was still in college, when he was the lone freshman on a team that went 3-2 playing national teams of Europe.

"I thought I would put my undefeated record on the line," Kidd said, "and I can put it in these guys' hands and we can come out with a gold medal."

Kidd had one of his best seasons in 2006-07, averaging 13 points and 9.2 assists for the New Jersey Nets. He was even better in the playoffs, averaging 14.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 10.9 assists.

And for a while, Bryant thought Kidd would be doing that in a Lakers' uniform.

The Nets and Lakers were close to a deal at the trade deadline that would have sent Kidd to Los Angeles. When both players were here for All-Star weekend, just days before the deadline, they both seemed to believe a deal could happen.

But the Lakers refused to part with center Andrew Bynum, killing the deal and angering Bryant - who was later captured on video complaining about it.

"I was optimistic about it, very optimistic about it," Bryant said. "But I have the opportunity to play with him and now try to take advantage of that moment."

But it won't happen Sunday during the exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center. Kidd will be playing for assistant coach Nate McMillan's white team, while Bryant will be on Mike D'Antoni's blue squad. The rosters are:

White - Kidd, James, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Tayshaun Prince, Mike Miller, Shane Battier and Michael Redd.

Blue - Bryant, Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant and J.J. Redick.

Weave-Man -

Back to our earlier Kwame discussion...

The problem with leaving him at the 5 and using him as our 5th offensive option is: He POUTS when he thinks he isn't getting enough touches. Never mind that he drops the ball when he does get it, he THINKS he's Moses Malone when he's really Benoit Benjamin. And when he pouts he "forgets" to play D (like with Amare in the incident I described in my earlier post). So he doesn't even do the only thing he's half good at.

I'd rather have Rony in there even with his limited physical skills because he plays with HEART no matter what the score. Face it, we have the best skilled player in the game who is - to put it charitably - emotionally fragile. So why not surround him with a bunch of guys like Rony and Fish and Luke who play with heart. Pouters like Kwame and Smush throw him off his game, and like it or not we NEED Kobe on his game to have ANY chance of winning.

I say trade Kwame for a bushel of lemons if we need to but get his cancerous attitude OFF the team or stick him at the end of the bench and let him pout there!

hal9000,
"you're right. Jordan didn't complain publicly in the '80's, and that's because the Bulls' management actively recruited quality players, and as a result, the Bulls' record improved almost every year"

IN 1988-89, THIS WAS THE BULLS ROSTER

Michael Jordan
Scottie Pippen
Bill Cartwright
Horace Grant
Sam Vincent
John Paxson
Brad Sellers
Craig Hodges
Dave Corzine
Charles Davis
Jack Haley - MIKE T'S BOY
Will Perdue
Anthony Jones
Ed Nealy
Dominic Pressley
David Wood

IRONICALLY, THEY WENT 47-35 THAT YEAR. DOES THAT RING A BELL? ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THEY WENT TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE A GOOD BENCH.

BUT YOU DIDN'T SEE JORDAN CRYING OVER HIS ROSTER. AND I DON'T THINK THAT ROSTER GAVE JORDAN ANY ADVANTAGE OVER THE ROSTER OLD KOBIATCH HAS RIGHT NOW.

PIPPEN WAS NOT A STAR YET. ONLY DIFFERENCE WAS JORDAN MADE PLAYERS LIKE CARTWRIGHT, GRANT, PAXSON, PERDUE, HODGES BETTER BY GIVING THEM THE BALL AND KEEPING THEM FOCUS.

THAT ROSTER IS NOT BETTER THAN OUR ROSTER. ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THOSE PLAYERS WANTED TO PLAY FOR JORDAN.

I AM STILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM A PLAYER ON THE ROSTER RIGHT NOW, THAT WANTS TO PLAY WITH KOBE.

LAMAR HASN'T SAID ANYTHING. LUKE HASN'T SAID ANYTHING. BYNUM HAS SAID ANYTHING.

Thank You Jorema and Rick F.

As you can see in my post, I spoke of generalities because of the past threads. There was a thread that focused on Kobe haters that we resort to censor their posts because it was a repetitive kobe hate. Then in the past few days, it was centered on Mike T., but we're more or less familiar with the fellow, why engaged in a tit-4-a-tat as though we're all bunch of kids? Words don't mean anything, just let it fly. If you find their post too negative, try to find the a ray of hope or anything that we can pick up to improve the team. Lately, with the resurrection of Fisher, we're treating him now as a Messiah who will deliver Crittenton to stardom, patch up on Kobe's plan of leaving the team, and make this team great again on defense. That is too much expectations on few players. You need 8-10 deep to compete for the big one. Mind you, I'm always a devoted laker fan, when competition begins all these critical analysis ENDS while my loyalty to my team BEGINS.

However, we're not addressing our redress to the right department. Our weaknesses in the post is still there with Bynum, Kwame and Mihm. Trade is a farfetched solution at this time, it's too late because no team want to trade their biggies with an expiring contract and that's only asset of Kwame. They like Bynum as a project but it has to be accompanied by LO. In the case of Mihm, we are forced to absorb him because the 5 teams who tried him did not consider him as a starting or a subtitute Center. One idea that I have is that Kareem should undergo a rigid training on these guys at a Laker School with the help of the Showtime Lakers from Magic, Rambis, Green, Nixon, Worthy, Goodrich, Silk etc. as observers. More heads are better than one.

How do we cure this problem at this time without necessarily trading? Don't you think that it is more worthwhile to concentrate on productive discussion among laker fans rather than devoting a thread and series of posts on racism, on blogger's plan of creating his own blog or isolate the kobe haters. If someone comments on anybody race, don't enhance it just leave him alone with his own opinion, the team will not benefit from that discussion. I find those comments useless use of our time. We have to somewhat galvanize all our assets, again many heads add more inputs to the creativity until that thinking process will reach as solution. OUR BLOG IS GOING TWO YEARS NOW, SO FAR WHAT HAVE WE RESOLVED AS A GROUP OF LAKER FANS? One radio talk show called us Whack-Jobs. It means we're a bunch of nobodies and doing nothing junkies! Let's establish a position paper and submit it to PJ since Kupchak and the Buss family are out of reach. One area I can think of is early pre-season training, to sharpen skills and body conditioning. I always believe in practice makes it perfect As I said I'm not all-knowing I'm sure others are critical to my approach but rather than kill the message, enhance it until we reach to a productive process of endeavor.

Hey, that's the only thing that I ask. I value the great contributions of Jorema and her improvement in her writings. Before, some people use to criticize her spelling and sentence construction but now she has made other sport journalists jealoused with her well-knit ideas. I also value the professionalism of Rick Friedman, Faith, Jon Kavaulic and Lakertom, you guys & gal are of the pillars of this blog that made a great site to read. More so with all the bloggers that contributed fun and made our laker expectations tenable on a daily basis. I just cringed when we resort to extreme criticisms or extreme hate in callling people by names but that's the real world that we lived in, it's too late to change it for the better.

10milliondollarzen,
That article is really depressing.

hal9000
Re: "As a "Laker fan", can't you even admit that Lamar Odom is the only Laker besides Kobe that would start on any other playoff team?"

Don't forget, D-Fish DID start on a playoff team, this year.

KIDD,
""My job is to help the younger guys," Kidd said. "And that's everybody I guess, because I'm the oldest. Just make the game easy."

AND THAT'S WHY HE TAKES AN AVERAGE NETS TEAM EVERY YEAR AT LEAST TO THE SECOND OR THIRD ROUND.

WHILE OLD KOBIATCH KEEPS US WATCHING SCORING TITLES.

White - Kidd, James, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Tayshaun Prince, Mike Miller, Shane Battier and Michael Redd.

Blue - Bryant, Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant and J.J. Redick.

GOOD LUCK STOUDEMIRE. YOU'RE GOING TO BE SETTING PICKS ALL GAME LONG AND WONDERING, WHY YOU DIDN'T GET THE BALL BACK ON PICK IN ROLL.

IT SEEMS LIKE ALL THE TEAM PLAYERS ARE ON THE WHITE TEAM.

AND ALL THE "AND 1" PLAYERS ARE ON THE BLUE TEAM.

Jon Kav,

Ya got it right, my brother. If you get a minute, a Java Crit bio chrono read would be a huge hit.


 
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