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Derek Fisher news conference

Fisher began the news conference with an emotional opening statement, thanking the NBA, the Utah Jazz and the Lakers.  He also offered some insight into what his family has experienced throughout this trying journey.  From there, he took some questions from the media, listed below.

-- AK

On his daughter Tatum:
"Tatum's status right now is moving in the right direction and in a great direction.  We've had three rounds of treatment, and she's progressively gotten better each time when we've been back to New York.  We're due back in New York soon to get a follow-up evaluation to the last last treatment, really give us an accurate idea of how she's doing.  But she's doing great, moving in the right direction now and we feel comfortable that right now, three rounds of treatment, where we can settle into and we'll be able to transition into observation and evaluation here in Los Angeles.  Our doctor will remain our treating physician if there are any treatments that become necessary again in the future, but we've found a collective group of doctors that we need here in the Los Angeles area, so that we'll be able to transition into very soon." 

On whether he was surprised that the NBA and the Utah Jazz agreed to let him out of his contract in such an unprecedented manner:
"I'm not surprised, because I think what most people will find that if you get an opportunity to spend some time with a lot of the guys in our league, a lot of other professional athletes in a lot of sports, you'll find that there are really kindhearted, thoughtful, considerate young men that are out there competing and playing in a lot of these sports.  Because of negative stories that often hit the front page or the top stories, a lot of that kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  But I'm not surprised.  Definitely not by the Jazz, their response to doing something that would allow someone to think of their family first, because that's what they've always prided themselves in as an organization. 

"I think the NBA often times as a league takes a lot of image hits because of individual decisions that are made by players or management or anyone involved with our league at times.  But I think what you'll find more times than not, if you really get a chance to be around in more personal settings with athletes and people that compete in the NBA, is that they're really hundreds of great young men that are great fathers.  They're great husbands.  They do the best that they can on a day-in and day-out basis, so it doesn't surprise me.  It may surprise some people, but it doesn't surprise me that when things really come down right to it and there's something that an individual really needs from a team or from our league, when it's a situation like this, more times than not you'll find that people will step up and do the right thing."

On whether Kobe called him about this decision like he did to comfort Fisher about his daughter's situation:
"No, he actually has not called me related to my decision as a player.  The conversations that Kobe and I have had in the last several weeks have been exclusively about our families.  And I wasn't surprised when he called me about my family and my situation, but it felt great to hear from him because of our relationship.  Because of what I'm going through with our daughter, he having two little girls himself, I think that just took our relationship to an even deeper level.  There was just another link there, having daughters and knowing that as a dad, there's almost nothing more special to you, other than your wife, that means the most to you as the health and the well-being of your little girl.  That's what we've exclusively talked about as we've talked in recent months and recent weeks.  Obviously, I'm aware of what he's going through and the decisions that he's making or not making.  But I've always kept my comments related to that at zero, because it's not my place to judge or say what's right or wrong in terms of his decisions."

On how much the "home" aspect, the familiarity with the Lakers and L.A., played into this decision:
"The aspect of us having a history here in Los Angeles really factored in after we identified Children's Hospital in Los Angeles as a place where we could get the best care.  Once that happened, then of course, between the Lakers and Clippers, because of the history, because of the relationship that Mitch and I and 10, 20, 30 people that still work here and are a part of this family, the comfort level was there.  But in terms of making our initial decision to identify this city, Los Angeles came from our doctor.  We got the list from him.  And then from there, we were able to work through the different things that we wanted to identify.  It's really a three-pronged approach to finding the best place.  And for us, four because we have a treating physician in New York.  We also needed a pediatrician who has some experience with this.  A pediatric ophthalmologist, who'll watch the eyes for us.  And then a pediatric oncologist, who specializes in cancer for kids.  So once we identified that group that we could find here, having history here in Los Angeles, period, we zeroed in here.  From there, it became a matter of having discussions with the individual teams." 

On whether lining up in the backcourt with Kobe is an exciting prospect:
"Yeah, it's extremely exciting.  Just today, I'm finally getting a chance to think about the basketball aspects of coming back.  I've been a little guarded because of how many things have gone into getting here, not knowing if this moment would ever come.  It's exciting to think about working with Kobe again and working alongside him again.  And all of the guys on the team.  I think this team in the last couple years, even though it doesn't maybe feel that way obviously for Mitch and the guys that have been here, because of spoiling ourselves in the past with championships, there doesn't seem like there's been a great deal to be proud about.  But any team that's made the playoffs in the Western Conference in the last couple years has done a lot, because the Western Conference is about as tough as it gets.  The youth that Kobe and the guys have played with and battled with and all the injuries, key guys in and out of the lineup the last two years, to still make the playoffs and still be competitive in the Western Conference is phenomenal, really.  So I'm looking forward to adding what I can add to the things that are already here.  Not feeling as if I'm an answer or a solution to anything, but hopefully just adding value, adding depth, adding experience and allowing us to win a few more games so that we aren't a 7 or 8 seed.  We're a 2, 3, 4 seed with home-court advantage in the first round, allowing ourselves to build some momentum as we go into the postseason."

On whether he thinks his rejoining the team will have a positive effect on Kobe wanting to return:
"I can't answer that question accurately, but I'd like to think so and I hope so.  Like I said, I've made a concerted effort not to question or even mention anything about what he said, comments that he's made.  It's just not the relationship that we've had since I left here.  We've gotten closer from the time that I left until now.  When we played together, we were close, but it's gotten even closer since I've been gone, because it was almost like we were forced to talk more because we didn't see each other that day.  So I'd hope that me returning and adding some familiarity to the situation in terms of the triangle offense and just a feeling of camaraderie and family that we established here years ago, that it would help in his decision.  I can't if it will.  I hope so.  Like I said, I don't come in here feeling as if I'm the answer to anything, but I hope that I get a chance to play with him forever.  I hope to finish my career playing alongside of him, because Lord knows how young he is, he'll be playing longer than I will.  But I hope to be able to finish up playing alongside him."

On how much thought, if any, he gave to stepping away from the game this season or retiring:
"Well, the thoughts about stepping away from basketball were there because of the decision I was making.  Like I said, I did not know what was out there or what would be out there once the decision was made.  I knew that there was a very short list of cities that I could even play in, in terms of taking care of and providing for my family, and then being able to play basketball.  So when I made the decision, I didn't know out of those five cities and those teams in those cities what opportunities would be there.  And really just by faith, I made the decision and I felt comfortable with it.  I knew that, worst-case, basketball is not something that's really defined who I am as a man and as a person.  I felt confident that if basketball was not meant to be a major part of my life right now for a number of reasons, obviously Tatum being first, that I could move on with life and be happy and just as fulfilled doing other things.  So the thought was there.  The concern was there, but it was not one of fear, that if I did step away from the basketball that I would regret the decision or I would feel bad about it.  I actually felt as though we'd be OK right away."

On talking to the Clippers, and what was the main factor in choosing the Lakers.  Was it being closer to the championship?  The deal itself?

(Editor's note:  Before Fisher answered, Mitch Kupchak smiled, then joked, "You were talking to the Clippers?")

"Yeah, I was talking to the Clippers.  What are you thinking?  What's wrong with this guy.   No, once medically we were in good shape and we knew that Tatum could get good care, the thoughts about now I can think about playing basketball again and which team is best, those thoughts immediately started to happen.  And from there, knowing that I wanted to play basketball, that I love to play the game, of course you have a responsibility to try to find the best deal that you can at that point.  But it wasn't driven by any one particular thing.  It wasn't driven by financials.  It wasn't driven by the status of the team or if one team was closer to this goal or that goal.  It was really what I felt was best for my family, in terms of the fit.  And then ... having played with this organization for so long and having shared so many great memories and moments and times with so many of the individuals that are still here, including this knucklehead right here (motions to Kupchak), the conversations started to progress at a higher speed than other teams."

On whether he could ever picture himself in a Clipper uniform, as opposed to a Laker uniform:
"Well, being here for eight years and winning three championships, I never thought I'd wear another jersey.  And so with the changes over the last seasons and wearing two different jerseys is something that in this business you finally have to open your eyes to.  You think that you'll be somewhere forever and that life's gonna just go to plan, and that's just not the case.  I think that I could see myself wearing any jersey at that point.  But now, I don't really have to quite worry about that so much at this point.  I can put this one back on and feel good about it."

On where Fisher and his wife found the resolve to deal with Tatum's illness:
"The resolve to bring us through to this moment and in moments going forward, in my opinion, and I feel comfortable speaking for my wife as well, really just came from our faith in God.  I don't think that  either one of us claim to have the individual strength and that we can run back to you how we got to this point.  It's really just something that we've just woken up every day, each day, one at a time and trying to do our best for that day.  And it's been really stressful.  It's been really emotional.  It's put a strain on our family at times.  But like I said earlier, the strength of my wife has given me more strength, and I think that Tatum's strength and seeing what she's been through and that she wakes every day just ready to have fun and be a 1-year old.  That's inspiring to us as husband and wife and as parents.  So I think that the resolve and the strength has started from our faith and through the people around us.  Through the support and the prayers of my former Utah teammates and that extended family and now my Laker family.  And all the prayers that we were being sent, even before the possibility of me coming back.   The support has just been overwhelming, and I think that we've gained strength from so many different sources outside of ourselves, and that's what has allowed us to really hold on strong."

 
Comments () | Archives (131)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Best wishes for Fish and his family. Out of respect for Fish and my fellow bloggers, no kobe jabs from me on this thread.

Wonder what it means to Jordan Farmar that he wasn't included by name in Mitch's remarks:

Mitch Kupchak's Opening Statement
At the conclusion of our season we identified a need that would be our main focus during the off-season. That need that we identified was a veteran ball handling guard. That’s not to say that we weren’t happy with the guards that we have. We’re very happy with our young guards. At the time we didn’t have Javaris Crittenton, but we felt we need a veteran ball handling guard that had a presence on and off the court, in the locker room, and would be very productive on the court as well.

Oversight, or is Jordan on his way out?

We are going to see a better team due to all the intangibles, and team leadership D.Fish will bring. Though I question the Lakers financial state for free agents, I'm glad he will be here and hopefully he will impact the team cohesiveness. You came at the right time and this team needs a respectable elder statesman.

Peace

Laker Nation!

Welcome back to the Los Angeles Lakers family Derek Fisher!

We've missed you! Regardless of what happens this upcoming season, and how much you can contribute on the court, your veteran leadership will be invaluable.

All of us in Lakers Nation will NEVER forget your game-winning shot in that immortal 0.4 game! Your contributions to the Three-peat Championship teams will live on forever.

LAKERS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!

PURPLE & GOLD WILL REIGN AGAIN SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How does Jordan feel after being excluded in Mitch's statment, Rick? About the same as what Kwame was feeling after they resigned Chris Mihm... "Let me pack up my things - because I'm on my way out"

On a serious note - I read the entire transcript of the press conference and it makes feel good that we have such a wonderful human being back on our team. No knock on the other Jokers that are on the squad, Kobe included, but it always feels good to have an elder statesmen that can be a calming influence in the lockeroom. His sheer eloquence and experience will surely stabilize the team next year.

Welcome back Fish - Glad to see you home again.

Ahlayn

Vote for kobe on espn.com Who's Now Poll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome Home Fish!

What a class act!!

Ruben, no comment out of respect for Fish on this thread.

Hey AK,

Isn't odd that back in the 2004-2005 season, Jerry Buss had a Derek Fisher appreciation day and invited both Fisher and Phil Jackson to his booth during a game? Anyways I am just glad .04 is back.

MJT

Derek Fisher and the Hand of God.

PS: FIRE MITCHelle KUPCHAK NOW!!!!!

Thanks for the interview as always AK and BK. We appreciate it tremendously!

Welcome back Mr. Laker Through and Through .4 Fisher! Your laker family supports you and wishes the best for you and your daughter.

Welcome back FISH! It gives us encouragement to hear that you would hope to play alongside KOBE for the rest of your career.

Woot - it's awesome to get D. Fish back!!!

Now if we could just get Horry back too......

Seriously, congratulations Derek and welcome home!

D. Fish embodies the sense and stability that the Laker organization and the NBA desperately needs. He brings a quiet confidence to the battlefield.

His signing makes me optimistic that the downward spiral is about to spin back up.

Welcome back, Fisher.

Nice press conference.

BIG LOVE to DFISH & FAMILY...

prayers for the health, wellness, and happiness of your little lady, Tatum...
and the rest of your family ...

welcome HOME.

:)

*

This is great and I'm excited to have D Fish back. Here is the simplest way I can put this, so even a 1st grader can understand:

Fish is to Lakers as Dolphins are to Ocean.

The blessing from my family and the Laker nation go out to D.Fish and his family. Now that is done WELCOME BACK FISH. We have needed you more then you know.

While I still have reservations about how much we forked out for Fish, having back on the Lakers is definitely a good thing!

Rick,

Come on, you have a guy who is 6'4, who is reputed as a defender. Who can create his own shot. Who can shoot from the outside. It was never a question of Farmar being the answer. He's too small. If this guy, JC, develops properly he might be starting over Fisher by season's end. I think JC is just a solid ball player all the way around.

mike

Just a thought on the bogus trade mentioned on Yahoo.com

The rumours were that Jordan nixed a three team deal that would have had us sending Lamar Odom for Gerald Wallace. First I am not sure that the salaries would have matched up anyway with out additional players being involved but that is not really the point.

This attempted trade, if the rumours were true, was most likely being made to give Minnesota better options in a KG deal. The Wolves have already admitted they do not care for Lamar's contract (maybe just Lamar). Perhaps, Wallace is a player they would rather have.

This deal could not have been considered unless it was just part of a bigger transaction. Odom is a far greater talent than Wallace. The good news in this might be that we are still working on the KG trade.

I say FIND THE PLAYERS the Wolves want, make it a three, four or five team trade. We need do this soon. WHAT SAY YOU?

To me, JC is the type of player who isn't going to hurt us because of bad fundamentals. That was Smush Parkers whole problem. He was a terrible with his fundamentals. Jordan Farmar is a pro but he has physical limitations.

mike

KL:

Good move. Maybe there is hope for peace on the Lakers Blog after all. Thank you.

Tom

Rueben,
"Vote for kobe on espn.com Who's Now Poll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


How about Who's Drama!!!


Then i will vote.

Derek Fisher
"Has Kobe called you regarding your free agency?
Actually he has not called me related to my decision as a player."


CASE CLOSED.

KOBIATCH IS PROBABLY MAD THAT DFISH CAME BACK. I CAN BET MONEY ON THAT!!

AK/BK:

Derek Fisher returning to the Lakers is a wonderful story, especially in contrast to the disappointing news that the FBI is investigating an NBA ref and the horror stories flying around the NFL about Michael Vick and his disgusting dog-fighting hobby and business. The rest of the sports world should stand up and take notice at what a classy and loved individual Derek is. I wish him and his family the best of health and success in their return to LA.

I firmly believe that Derek will revitalize the Lakers team esprit de corps and chemistry and refocus everyone on the team, including Kobe, to working together as a family to bring back the fun and glory of our championship days. Other than possibly Jason Kidd, there was no other veteran point guard out there who would have been a better fit. Kudos to the Lakers! DFish returning is proof positive that God is a Lakers fan.

Tom

yay my boy is back :) this is better than Xmas!

What a great human being!!

Absolutely A1 class act!!

To tell you the truth, I think we're in for a better than last year season!!

GO FISH!!!

I'm very happy D-Fish is back home where he belongs. While it is true that he's a little older and a little slower, It just means he's a little wiser and he'll be able to share that wisdom and his clean way of life with "all" the Lakers", young and old alike. Derek will become our player coach on the court and I truely believe he will continue to work for this organization in some capacity well past his playing days. D-Fish is a Laker for Life.

Ah but wait Tom,

I am lurking.

Ok, so I'm officially bored..

Here's trade scenario # 2362:

http://tinyurl.com/377dza

Heat get Vlad Rad, Mike Bibby and Marko Jaric
Kings get Odom, Farmar, Udonis and Jason Williams
Wolves get Bynum, Wright and 3 2008 #1s from the Lakers, Kings and Heat
Lakers get KG, Artest and Kenny Thomas

Assuming Wolves are okay with getting Bynum, Wright and the 3 picks for KG in addition to getting rid of Jaric's contract (plus shaving 26M$ off payroll), this is what we would have:

C: Mihm/Turiaf
PF: KG/Kenny/Cook
SF: Artest/Luke
SG: Kobe/Mo
PG: Fisher/JC

That would be a good side.

What do you think?

Here's a BIG problem !!!

The Suns traded Kurt Thomas and (2) 1st round picks to the Sonics for a future 2nd round pick. Sounds lopsided, but the Suns get immediate cap relief and an $8 million dollar "future trade exemption". Take it to the bank, the Suns are making a serious run at KG, "right now".

Reality Check Time,

That's what I thought - I'm guessing LA would have offered Charlotte Odom + #19 for Wallace (sign-and-trade)+#8.
And then offered Kwame + #8 + Bynum + filler to Minny for KG.

I'm wondering what Odom feels about the whole thing now.

Now that KL is a friend of LakerTom, I think Mike T. should go back to his former self that is to stick his opinion on basketball, let's have UNITY in the Laker Blog. If you read a dissenting opinion, be respectful and courteous rather start an all our war of never ending tirades among your fellow Laker fans. Every player are signed now, forget the likes and dislikes, we should all think like LAKERS and nothing but lakers, let's just move on and wish them the best. There are still three players waiting on the wing like: Yue, Karl and next year, Gasol. Let's start the junior lakers aside from the D'League, I'm sure these young lakers will be considered in the future.

Welcome home Fish, we need you in this town. Your daughter's healing will start here, it will be lifetime journey but love conquers all.

Lakerville loves Derek Fisher.

Mike T.,

You certainly represent the sentiment of the blog in your enthusiasm for J-Crit. It would be great if we indeed were able to draft one of our answers for the future.

I'm just thinking that because he is so young, we should give him time to develop and not rush him into a role he may not be ready for yet. As well as J-Crit played in the Summer League, he hasn't seen a real NBA match-up yet.

D-Fish will be serviceable for the duration of his new Lakers contract and brings a valuable sense of maturity as we enter the new season. I'm happy to let things play out as they will.

Considering all the question marks elsewhere on the roster, this should be one position fans, players and coaches should all feel pretty good about right now.

Fisher is already doing his job. He made peace on this blog. Imagine what he will do for the locker room.

And if if there was somebody who could lit a match under Kwame, Andrew, Vlad, Phil's and even Kobe's butt, its Fisher.

God Bless Derek Fisher and his family.

Fish is a great man and his respect and admiration for talent will surely be an asset with the off-season whining. He should be a great example to the team to play hard every minute, forgive and forget by the minute and help the team morale along with the whole Laker organization.

AK/BK Is it possible to keep this thread alive for the next 3 months or so?...Joking -maybe not actually
It would be so nice to not have to read about the hate the player jive. Any one who played or plays the game has to love the player, it is what he does off the court that is somewhat sketchy, that should sum it up...please. once and for all. No one is perfect - Derek will be a great attitude addition for this team.

Rick,

There's more to JC than his little sucess in the summer league. I read a report that he is a student of the game. He has a collection of tapes of the best PG in the history of the NBA. This guy is going to be solid. If he can penetrate, which he can, there's no reason why he should be stuck on the bench.

mike

Fisher is definitely a class act! We love you Fish...welcome back!

Gunner:


"KOBIATCH IS PROBABLY MAD THAT DFISH CAME BACK. I CAN BET MONEY ON THAT!!"


Dude... get your head out of your ass. Even KL, the ultimate Kobe hater, gave him a pass on this blog. Did you even read the entire transcript? Why the hell would Kobe be mad that his best friend in the NBA is joining the Lakers? Why do you have to bring the blog down with your negativity? You make me sick.

Just wondering what Phoenix, Chicago, Cleveland, Utah, ETC, saw in Chris Mihm's workouts that scared them. Heres a 28 year old, 7 footer they can sign for next to nothing but NO INTEREST?

Personally I am hoping for the best, but it is curious. Sometimes these foot injuries can linger. Luke's dad had his career ruined by foot injuries. Mihm's contract is a bargain if he plays but a total waste if hes only going to watch the games from the stands. WHAT SAY YOU?

JC is the new Kwame for M Teneinte.

Look like he is ready to elevate JC as the new coming Jesus, after the trully Kwame.

God save us, then.

Mike:

I agree with you 100% about JC. Penetration from your point guard is a basic must for a strong offense, whether you run and gun like the Suns or run the Triangle like the Lakers. It’s as important a prerequisite for the position as being a tough defender in my opinion. Just look at how much havoc penetration causes to the Lakers defense. It is one of the missing ingredients keeping the Lakers from being an elite team.

You could easily argue that having guards who cannot be kept out of the paint is as important as big men who can patrol the boards in winning NBA championships. I remember when the Pistons finally dethroned the Lakers in the unfortunate Hamstring series. In truth, the Lakers really lost that series because they just could not keep Isaiah Thomas or Joe Dumars out of the paint. As the Lakers learned the last two years, it’s hard to play good team defense when the enemy point guard is always in the paint.

If JC can be our guy who cannot be kept out of the paint while at the same time being our guy who can stop the opposition point guard from getting into the paint, he will have a major impact on this team. He would be bringing much of what was so appealing about getting Jason Kidd, a guy who can help us on both offense and defense. I have only seen highlights of JC so far but I am looking forward to watching him during preseason. I have always been the biggest Farmar supporter and love getting DFish back, but if JC turns out to be the guy we have been dreaming about, I have no problem even starting him sometime later in the season. Who knows, some idiot might even launch a Start-JC Bandwagon. lol.

I also have not soured on Jordan Farmar, although I was disappointed in his play the second half of last year. With his vertical leap, I thought he should have played much taller but he seldom played above the rim. And while he was fearless in penetrating the lane in college, he seemed hesitant to get into the paint in the pros. When you’re a small guard in the NBA you have to have great quickness and great savvy to succeed. When you watch Steve Nash play the point, you understand what savvy can do. He really just toys with guys. But the key to that is that Nash is a great shooter, something that Farmar has yet to show. And if you can’t shoot and are hesitant to get into the paint, you are not going to be the answer.

Anyway, we definitely are dramatically stronger at point guard heading into this season compared to last year. I have already gone on the record as have many that the leadership and camaraderie that Fisher will bring to the team in the wake of Smush Parker will be dramatic and have a great impact on the team’s chemistry and chances. I would like to think that we will be stronger at center too with the re-signing of Chris Mihm. The word so far is that the team is very pleased with how well Andrew Bynum has been working and developing this summer. Throw in a healthy Chris Mihm eager to show his worth and healthy Kwame Brown in a contract year and we may see a dramatic improvement in our play at center.

Now if we could use some of our pieces at point and center to solve our problems at small forward, we could really be a threat. Ironically, the logical pieces to be traded are your guy Kwame and my guy Farmar. I do agree with you that investing so much in Luke and Vlade at the position when neither guy can defend was a mistake, but I also think you can’t let a valuable piece like Luke leave since you have his Bird rights. We are entering a new era of competition in the West where the luxury tax will have to be incurred to compete, which is bad news for Suns fans. The Walton decision was Jerry Buss saying we are going to do what we have to do even if it means paying a luxury tax. That is good news.

Tom

LakerLarry:

You could be right about the Suns, but I don’t think so. It appears that Sarver is dead set against paying a luxury tax, which is really bad news for Suns fans since more teams are realizing that they will need to pay a luxury tax if they are going to compete, especially in the dominating Western Conference.

The problem with the trade exception is that it cannot be used to get a player with a salary greater than the exception. The logic behind this is that the trade exception is just more time to complete the even salary foir even salary trade with Seattle. Thus, the Suns cannot use the exception directly to get KG because he makes more than the exception. Instead, they have to find a third team to trade the exception to get a contract that they can combine with other contracts to get KG. As the Lakers learned, multiple team deals are much more difficult to pull off. It is some help but not earthshaking help in future deals.

Tom

I assume the name of Fish's daughter Tatum was taken from Tatum O'Neal. When I was a kid there is Harlem Globetrotters' forward by the name of Goose Tatum, I don't anybody remembers that guy. I don't know whether Fisher has been born when Goose was with Harlem. Do you know that in Asia they learned basketball because of the Harlems. Everytime they put up the show, the kids get excited buy a ball and put up a waste can as a basketball ring on the side of the streets. From there, it goes to intramurals at grade school and onward. At that time also NBA was all white because of the politics of the times.

I agree with Mike T (gasp!) that JC looks like the real deal, and I'm excited to see what sort of impact he will have this coming year.

However, I am also realistic about the possibilities. He's a rookie - he's going to have ups and downs. If you look at the drafts in hindsight, the essential difference between lottery guys and late first/second round picks is the time frame in which they are able to contribute - a guy like Oden goes #1 because he is ready to contribute something NOW. A guy like Kobe goes #13 because he's just a kid, needs some time to develop into the player he's going to be. JC is good, but he's still got a certain amount of POTENTIAL attached to his goodness. He's going to hit a rookie wall, just like everyone else, he's going to have stretches of games where he's going to make dumb decisions and get benched and get yelled at by Phil. That's just going to be a part of his process, and I think it's important not to set the bar impossibly high before this guy even suits up against other legit NBA players.

Also keep in mind that Phil doesn't just throw rookies into the mix if he can help it, even ones that show promise. Basically unless Farmar has a total meltdown I don't see Critter getting any more than 4-8 minutes a night (barring the injury bug, of course - the fact that he can theoretically play either guard spot could mean he sees more minutes if either starting guard or their immediate backups go down).

But like Mike said, he's a student of the game - that's awesome. Let him learn this year. You don't bring in a promising young quarterback his rookie year - you want to give him time to practice with the guys, earn their trust and respect, get him familiar with the offense. Give him spot minutes to get his feet wet, but don't crush his confidence by throwing him out there before he's ready.

Are the Suns stupid or what?

They are giving up Kurt Thomas? That takes one BIG step back because Thomas was the only one CLOSE to effective versus Duncan.

Put Amare on Duncan for a whole series and the series will go 5 games not 6 or 7.

Heck, if you have Amare as your main defensive big guy and scorer for a whole year , i dunno...

The Suns are good, but to take away a key defender and rebounder and ADD a scorer i dont know..

They better hope Diaw can play big consistently!

We are overloaded at Center, PG and SF. But those guys could be valuable b ack ups on other teams.

Now that we have all our players, this what we should do for trades:

1. Trade Kwame, Farmar, Vlad to Sac for Artest, Shareef

2. Trade Bynum and Crittenton to Minny, and Odom to Boston in a three team deal.

3. Trade Cook/Sasha for Steve Novak/Kirk Snyder NOT Luther Head. Snyder is bigger, stronger, better talent and the Rockets have NO room for him since they got Scola, Wells, Francis, and James.

4.Waive Novak- Sign Ely

Line-up
C Mihm-Turiaf-Ely
PF KG-Shareef
SF Artest-Walton
SG Kobe-Snyder-Evans
PG Fisher/ Brevin Knight??

I know it would hurt to trade all of our rookies--Bynum, Farmar, Crittenton. But if we did do that, we would get back players capable of winning now. Im telling you that team is the best shot to take out SA and would knock the teeth out of the soft Suns.

The downfall to that team would be that their bench would look different, but Shareef could still score a little, Snyder is a sleeper, Luke would do his thing, and turiaf would provide defense.

Point guard would again be liability, but they could rotate Kobe, Artest and evans to D up the other best player. Or maybe instead of signing another big they could sign another PG

Hariyahu,

An amazing trade scenario. It even makes sense for everyone. Impressive.

Well, it's good to have Fish and Mihm back. I feel good about this.

GO LAKERS!

Laker Tom,
Excellent analysis. We've got to shore-up small forward so Luke can come off the bench. But the line-up we see is likely to be the one we start the season with.

Tom,
I'll have to look that one up, but I thought, as an example, the Suns could now trade Marion + the trade exception for KG. Not that it would be enough to get KG, but the principle has to be the same. I thought the trade exception meant you could take back more in salary than you were giving up, because of a prior trade you had made with a team which was under the salary cap. In that prior trade the team under the cap would have agreed to take contracts off your books without needing to send you an equal amount of salary back. What am I overlooking?

I have an idea. I'm writing a piece on the intergrity of the N.B.A. Why don't some of you, who I say only comment on a idiot level, write something interesting about the state of the N.B.A. right now. Here's a good place to start:

Adrian Wojnarowski

“An FBI investigation into a veteran referee's alleged betting on games has thrown everything about David Stern's league into question and promises to erode its credibility."

This is huge. Some of you want to be writers should take this and run with it. Lets see if you can put a well thought out piece.

I would like to see Andrew Z. write something on this subject. There's no way that guy has the intellect to write about something like that. But he has enough sarcasm to be critical of everything anyone else has to say.

mike

Reality Check Time,

There is only one Bill Walton. He got hurt for so long when he was with the Clippers from San Diego until it moved to LA but he got well when he played with Boston Celtics. Today, he talks as if he was the model player of all times. I've never seen or heard Chris Mihm boasts or make any self glorification.

Are we experiencing problems in the blog? I got two posts that never printed. Maybe AK/BK are indisposed and it's on auto pilot.

I have to agree with LakerLarry. The Suns are positioning themselves to make a run at KG, if not this year then next.

And I'm sure Kobe is so pissed that one of the toughest, most clutch players in recent memory, a personal friend, who came into the league with him at the same time, to the same team, is back where he belongs. Yeah, that would really suck!

Hey, I like what I see in JC too, but it sounds like Mike T has a new man-crush. Sorry Kwame.

sonnybelfast

"I am lurking."

please continue in my absence brother. LOL.

lakertom

"Good move. Maybe there is hope for peace on the Lakers Blog after all. Thank you."

maybe my mortal enemy. i'm keeping to my word for this thread. have a nice weekend.

edwin

"Now that KL is a friend of LakerTom, I think Mike T. should go back to his former self that is to stick his opinion on basketball, let's have UNITY in the Laker Blog."

with all due respect, "friend" is a stretch, more like a truce. i'll be honest with you, i really don't have a problem with anybody on his blog personally because i don't know any of the blogers personally. i can only judge a blogger based on their posts. anyhow, just thought i'd clarify.

pete Maguire,

"Fish is a great man and his respect and admiration for talent will surely be an asset with the off-season whining."

whinning from whom?

hal9000

"Even KL, the ultimate Kobe hater, gave him a pass on this blog."

um, thanks?

BTW, the "olive branch" that i was referring to is in regards to a previous post seveal threads back where i welcomed you to the blog. i had read a post where you mentioned that my ridiculus comments were a motivating factor for your participation on this blog. i was happy to hear that i had a part in your participation on this blog however dubious. anyhow, please continue to give us your opinions, good or bad.

Larry:

The easiest way to understand how a trade exception is to work is to realize that it is just the back end of a non-simultaneous trade. The exception lasts a year then it expires. It can’t be used to sign free agents or be combined to trade for a player making more than the amount of the exception. It can only be used to complete the non-simultaneous trade from which it was created. Or a team can just abandon it to reduce salaries, which is probably what Phoenix might do to avoid the luxury tax. But they can’t have it both ways. They can use it to get another player to use as a chip in a KG deal but not in a direct deal for KG.

Tom

I think Fisher will have a bigger impact than anyone realizes. He's a selfless team player with veteran leadership, kind of like Sam Cassell. He might not be a great defender, but at least he puts it all on the line during the game. Great to have D-Fish back.

OUT OF RESPECT FOR FISH AND MY FELLOW BLOGGERS, I WILL COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IN THE NEXT THREAD.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&id=2942739&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dsheridan_chris%26id%3d2942739

Notable exerpts below:

"...this version of Team USA will do anything other than crush this summer's competition. Part of the reason is the lack of competition -- Argentina will be missing several key NBA players from the squad that won Olympic gold in Athens in 2004, and Brazil still does not know if it will have its best big man, Anderson Varejao -- and another key factor will be the upgrades the Americans have made to their roster."

"It has now been more than seven weeks since Bryant issued his infamous and contradictory "I want to be traded" and "I want to be a Laker for life" statements, and he has passed on numerous opportunities since then to publicly clarify his position."

"His most recent statement on where he stands -- "I said what I said," Bryant told L.A. reporters last week -- did nothing to clarify the situation, because when Bryant said what he said, different people took it a different ways. But Bryant has clearly not said anything to indicate that he has officially withdrawn his request, and the Lakers have held steadfast in their public statements that they have no intention of trading him."

"Whether Kobe might hold out of training camp if the Lakers refuse to move him remains an open question, the answer held by the party that feels it holds ultimate leverage in what still could develop into a testy standoff."

"Bryant was offered the opportunity to clarify his position through an interview with ESPN.com on the eve of minicamp, but he declined through his agent."

I can't wait until the next thread, KL's drooling...

The Suns really have sent a message to their team this year, that money is more important than titles.

They didnt trade for KG because of the luxury tax, and they got rid of the one guy who made them better defensively, Kurt Thomas for draft picks.

The Suns are going to wear out Nash and Hill's legs late next year, and then hope Amare and Marion carry them.

This luxury tax really seems to scare many NBA owners... I wonder why this is since the NBA is so lucrative.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If the Lakers dont make any more moves what do you think about changing the line up?? Could we put Kwame at Power Forward??? I believe this at some point was his natural position.

PG Fisher/JC/Farmar
SG Kobe/Evans
SF Odom/Walton/Radman
PF Brown/Turiaf
C Bynum/Mihm

I actually lke this line up more. I mean I said I would take Melvin Ely for rebounds and defense, or Marc Jackson. But isnt Kwame better then those two at that? I mean if all he is asked to do is rebound and play defense (not to catch passes) is he all that bad? I mean, its not worth the money, but he wont earn it playing Center 82 games. And I admit that we dont know Bynum's conditioning, or Mihm's durability yet, but sometime in the middle of the season, wouldnt it be nice to see a line up with Bynum and Brown clogging up the middle?

And then we do get to move Odom to SF, where most of us feel that is where he belongs. Luke also goes to the bench where most of us think he belongs to hold the bench guys together.

What is bad about this from a GM standpoint, is that Mihm and Fisher, getting a combined 5 mil next year, will probably hhave 10 times the impact of Brian Cook, who is the odd man out of the rotation

AGAIN, I WILL REFRAIN FROM COMMENT UNTIL THE NEXT THREAD

Francis hoping new-found maturity helps strengthen Rockets' title hopes

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2943970

Notable excerpts

"He won't be the star of these Rockets, might not even start and his nickname could be retired, but the 30-year-old Francis said that's OK with him.

"I [Francis] have no problem with somebody calling me that [Franchise]," he said of the moniker. "But if the Rockets win and I'm out there, I'll be more happy if that happens."

"We were thrilled," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "I think it speaks a lot to Steve's character that he's chosen winning over everything else. We really feel like he's a strong piece to get us, deeper and farther into the playoffs.

"This new "mature Steve Francis" he thinks will translate into more success for those playing around him."


FrustratedLakerFan

"He's [Fish] a selfless team player with veteran leadership, kind of like Sam Cassell."

My only comment is that winning a titles means the entire team, from the star to the waterboy (no pund intended to Waterboy), has to be "selfless".

The Lake-Show

"The Suns really have sent a message to their team this year, that money is more important than titles."

with all due respect, the suns are good enough to win now with the core group of guys. thanks to Horry's hip check and the Diaw/Stodimire suspensions, the dynamics of the series changed completely. My personal view is the Suns/Spurs series was the defacto NBA title series. I'm willing to bet that Phx is seeking to acqire KG in free agency.

NEXT THREAD BEWARE

Fisher hopes return to L.A. will soften Bryant's trade demands

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2943997

"Derek Fisher hopes his return to the Los Angeles Lakers might make Kobe Bryant rethink his demand to be traded."

"I've made a concerted effort not to question or even mention anything about what he's said, comments that he's made," Fisher said. "It's just not the relationship that we've had since I left here."

"Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer the past two years, complained at the end of the season about a lack of talent around him and said May 30 he wanted to be traded. He added that nothing could change his mind."

"The Lakers haven't won a playoff series since reaching the NBA finals in 2004 for the fourth time in five years."

"O'Neal was traded to Miami in July 2004. A day later, Bryant signed a seven-year, $136.4 million contract to remain with the Lakers."

MAN, THIS IS KILLING ME

Bryant mum on future with Lakers during first U.S. team practice

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2944034

Notable excerpts

"It's about going forward and handling the situation the right way, and handling it behind closed doors within the walls of the organization, and doing it that way," said Bryant, who has failed to clarify his position for seven weeks now since going on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York saying he wanted to be traded, then altering his position in subsequent interviews later that same day."

"Bryant's agent has put in a formal trade request to Lakers management, and Bryant has discussed his wishes with team owner Jerry Buss."

"If Bryant's trade demand stands, he could force the Lakers' hand by holding out of training camp. But when asked specifically whether he'd be at camp, Bryant politely declined to answer."

"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."

"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. "I think they're a helluva basketball, um, a great addition, I have to say, to the team. I think it was important to keep Luke, and Fisher I talk to all the time, and I'm extremely happy for his family, and I'm happy for Chris as well. I reached out to him."

"Asked if he thought the Lakers might pull off a blockbuster trade, he said: "It's not really about me. It's just about what Mitch [Kupchak, the Lakers' GM] and them feel like they need to do to improve the ballclub."

State of the NBA?

Tomorrow may be much different.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap=bettingprobe&prov=ap&ty

The Suns freed up cap space 8 or 9 mil.

They are seriously contending in the KG sweepstakes.

Fisher is a class act- its good to see in a time of other athletetes bad behaviors ( vick etc).

Just one comments on this quote from D fish

"Like I said, I've made a concerted effort not to question or even mention anything about what he said, comments that he's made."

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but if Fish and Kobe were so "close" and Fish was someone who could mentor Kobe, wouldnt Fish have said something and not made a "concerted" effort to not say anything.

Im not sure how to interpret that quote but it does make me question his so called mentor role for Kobe.

KL,
Um thanks? Although it will be short lived, it is nice to have a break from your REDUNDANT babbling about Kobe. Im sure tommorow will be the start of groundhog day again. Today must have been really painful for you. I am sure you are jonesing for your fix. Dont worry, soon you can shoot up up your anti-Kobe venom. We need an intervention for KL.

Miss Van Exel,

You're the smart one; obviously born and raised "in L.A.",

so tell me, how is discussion, any discussion about your favorite player (I'm guessing it's the Saint) or any Laker player for that
matter, not pertinent to a Laker blog?

Don't positive Kobe remarks out distance the negative ones by light years in this forum? What happens when the
consensus shifts and a majority of Laker fans want Kobe out? Can they still come play in your tree house? Are you sure you're not Arthas? It's O.K., you can tell us.


AK-BK quick start a new thread!

For once we need to thank Simers. His article makes it pretty clear -- though he himself won't draw that conclusion -- that Kobe's staying put. My reading is that it's still something of a poker game, but there won't be any major surprises. I can imagine for example that Kobe wants to see some kind of a decision concerning the "insider" or the attitude he represents and that he wants to keep the pressure on Mitch K. It would be utterly stupid of Kobe, as well as humiliating, to come out and say, "yeah, I'll be at training camp, everything's back to normal". Both sides have to save face and saving face means more than saying in public that the other guy had a point and we've talked it over and now we agree. There are still some issues on the table (like a potential trade) and this isn't the time to demobilize.

Fisher may well be the key to the final face-saving solution, less for his basketball skills than the fact that the two of them represent a coalition that continue to keep the front office honest.

Hi everyone

Listen I really don't understand most of you because it is not your team it is the BUSSES and all we can really do is watch. And nba basketball is not what it use to be ( to high of salarys no basketball skiils just dunk&chuk it looks like any old pick-up game around socal ) so the have the same chance as all the other teams. It all comes down to who's still standing in the end, I just what to be able to turn on game and watch the whole game haven't been able to do that since MAJIC.

OUT -PK-IN-THE-MESA

Laker Tom,

Thanks for your insights, especially on how the trade exception works. They are very informative. Great post.

WELCOME BACK D-FISH! Glad to have you back where you truly belong.

That's funny when D-Fish called Mitch a knuclehead! Ain't that right??? haha

Apparently, the Suns are looking at PJ Brown now. Even if they lose Kurt Thomas for the regular season, I'm sure they'll try to use it before season end - in time for the playoffs. That's when they really need a defensive presence in the middle.

GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK FISH!

ON ANOTHER NOTE:
Most of these trade scenarios you guys put up are pure non-sense and pipe dreams. BOTTOM LINE: The roster is not changing before midseason.

Look, the Lakers are not going to make a single significant move this pre-season. Potentially, maybe, perhaps, there is a chance that the Lakers will try to move Farmar, Rad and Kwame, but the possibility of that happening before the first game of the season is MINIMAL. It is also ridiculous to think that the Lakers are going to blow up their entire roster just to get KG or JO. That's a desperation move the Lakers do not need to do at this moment.

The Lakers' best bet at this moment is to hang on to these players and see what develops over the course of the first couple of months.

Kwame is on the last year of his contract and, like any other player in his last year, is bound to play better b-ball than his last contract years combined. Mihm will be rusty, but should be a decent contributor within a few weeks. Kobe lit a fire under Bynum's butt, so I expect the kid to be more consitent.

The duel of Farmer and JC for the second spot behind Fish (who'll start but wont get the most minutes per game) can only mean great things for the Lakers this year. Plus, D-Fish unquestionably brings an air of confidence and leadership.

Also, after the embarrasment he was on and off the court last year, not much is expected from Rad. So this is one point of lost hope. Then again, maybe he'll regain some confidence.

Additionally, Odom is not going anywhere because teams are undervaluing him in trades. Odom is a warrior. Dispite losing his daughter and playing under constant pain due to injury, the man was solid. In a league were a player will refuse to play because he feels "tenderness", his warrior mentality is rare. His stock is low right now because of his surgery and Kobe's rant. The Lakers are right to demand more in return for him in a trade.

Finally, Kobe has stayed quiet because he finallly realized that to get KG or JO would mean gutting the team and putting him in a worst spot than he was before. Plus, he also finally understands that the Lakers have a better shot of making a deal during the season than right now. He was right to critique Kuptchack over the Jason Kidd trade - but its foolish to assume that would happen again. If you look at the Laker roster, they have great trade assets to use a couple months into the season when certain teams are bound to blow up because of poor trades or management (hello Minnessota and Boston!!). Best bet is to wait, keep the team healthy, and then make a move.

As far as Kobe's silence, I think that Dr. Buss finally sat Kobe down and got an understanding for what KB wanted. I also think he explained to Kobe that right now the Lakers are not in a position to make any good trades because everyone thinks they are desperate - and they simply don't have any tradeable assets because players are coming back from surgeries/injury (Kwame, Mihm, Odom, Rad). So I think that the team asked Kobe to "keep it down", and promised him that they would discuss this again a couple of months into the season. I think he relunctantly agreed not to mention anything about his desire to be traded - but also said he would not comment on whether he liked the mixup of "his" team. Freaking Kobe... would it hurt a little to be a team player and say "I really like the guys on the team next year." Anyway, don't expect Kobe to say a thing about this even after pre-season camp. If he wants all-star help, he needs to be patient.

Everyone knows that if the team struggles during the first half, then the Laers will face the biggest dilema in the history of the franchise: do you blow up the roster to appeasse a future hall of famer in his prime with the risk that if it doesn't work he'll walk, OR do you trade a future hall of famer in the PRIME of his career? I dont' have an answer for that yet - its too early to tell, but my gut says that it wont come to that.

I think that a more likely scenario is that the team has a solid first half, and then we explore getting Kobe his second all-star. If KG, JO, or others are unhappy and struggling, then maybe the lakers would move one of their trade-bait backups with a lame-duck contract (i.e. Bynum and Kwame/Rad). If such an opportunity does not present itself by midseason, then the Lakers will likely only move Kwame and Farmar in order to plug any holes they have developed during the season - if at all.

I don't think we have a roster that will win a championship this year, but we not be far behind San Antonio and the Suns. I think Kobe will opt out at the end of the season to make a point, but I guarantee that he won't go anywhere because the Lakers will make sure they remain contenders and can pay Kobe more than anyone else. Additionally, it is unlikely that any other team that is a "true contender" - meaning that they are only missing one small piece of the puzzle - would be willing to shell out the kind of money Kobe would want.

So in the end, KOBE WONT GO ANYWHERE. He's not going to take a paycut at this stage in his career because it would limit what he can earn in the future. So, all I can say to KOBE is that is that LIFE IS ROUGH WHEN YOU ARE MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR.

I've put up 2 posts about the ref scandal and frankly I'm surprised that this knowledgeable fan base doesn't seem to realize the cancer of doubt that's about to infest the game we love.

The scandal is a seed that's growing roots so deep ya can't get under it. This can't be fixed, it can only grow old and fade. Everything will be questioned. Every result, every box score. Phoenix / San Antonio last year? This cancer is about to metastisize. If there's other refs named, it's over. The brawl at Aubun Hills is nothing compared to this. When the outcome is fixed they call it fiction. The NBA is becoming professional wrestling.

As I said in an old post, the players and coaches better wake up to the fact that they don't know how to make this much money anywhere else. From this point forward the arrogance is over. Kobe Bryant and Le Bron should come by your house and help out with the yard work, maybe give your kids some tips on free throws to get fans back. The questionable moral behavior of the hip hop generation come of age and finanacial gain might have helped drive ratings down but this latest debacle is good old fashioned low level mob based gambling addiction. It's a stain that won't wash out. Stern and company better get scrubbing. Mike Vick and Bonds will help deflect the spotlight for now, but this story is about to grow heads.

Good read on what kobe is thins about the new signings and what he's been up to. And how how feels about the team now.

Good leadership move on calling chris after he got signed.

('http://www.ocregister.com/sports/bryant-lakers-team-1781435-situation-way','541')

('http://fe15.news.sp1.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070721/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/oly_us_minicamp','561')

Vman,

I already had my doubts about the officiating in the NBA. The only difference is that I thought
Stern was calling the shots. I have always felt that it was a not a good situation where no
one is allowed to criticize the officiating, even though it is obvious that they are not un-biased.

Roger

mitch r,

"Um thanks? Although it will be short lived, it is nice to have a break from your REDUNDANT babbling about Kobe. Im sure tommorow will be the start of groundhog day again. Today must have been really painful for you. I am sure you are jonesing for your fix. Dont worry, soon you can shoot up up your anti-Kobe venom. We need an intervention for KL."

i take it you're not "mitchell" because you're actually making conversation. believe me, it is killing me not to be able to spew my "venom". BTW, my stuff might be "redundant" to you, but could be refreshing to new bloggers who fell the same way as I do. you take care.

I love D-Fish as a Laker. And think that he's a very good addition to the squad.

"I think they're a helluva basketball, um, a great addition, I have to say, to the team."-Kobe

Was he about to say 'I think they're a helluva basketball team' as if he wasn't a part of the team? Anyway you try to spin this, comments like these hurt the fans. Kobe does not want to be a Laker. I'm ready for him to go, as great of a player as he is.


As far as the ref gambling on games: I don't think this problem will get out of control. NBA games are on TV with almost every angle covered. The league reviews the refs performance after each game. If a ref wants a job and respect, he wont gamble it away.

I think I can tell if a game is being rigged or not. If the Lakers are losing, it's rigged. If the Lakers are winning, it's a well officiated game. That's my criteria.

Come on people. Kobe Bryant is giving interviews from camp USA basketball. You think he's going to say something bad? He's representing AMERICA. No way is he going to say anything bad. He would be killed in the media. He would be called selfish for bring up his own disatisfication during this time of representing American basketball on an International level. But here are these writers trying to get him to go there. Why don't the writers just talk about International basketball? They bring up all these Lakers issues and if Kobe says one bad thing they'll write about him as if he's a bad guy.

mike

Vman

regarding the ref scandal, i believe the ref is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Same with Mike Vick. The only time i've deviated from this view (in recent memory) is the OJ Simson case in the mid 90s and the 2 border agents (Ramos and Campean) who were used by the government to send a message to other border agents to not enforce our immigration laws.

rocky

what's up bro?

regarding the quote on the "team", i will defer response until the next blog, but one could speculate that there is a cognitive dissonance in the tone of the response.

Laker Tom,
Thanks for clearing up the trade exception rule. You forced me to go read the exact language and you are 100% correct. In viewing the Suns move in that context I tend to agree with your assesmnet that this is probably just a payroll reduction to stay under the cap.

Suns fans should start wondering what's going on. Giving up 2 future first round draft picks just to get rid of a player's salary doesn't seem really smart. There has to be more to their move than just cap space.

Rocky,

""I think they're a helluva basketball, um, a great addition, I have to say, to the team."-Kobe

Was he about to say 'I think they're a helluva basketball team' as if he wasn't a part of the team? Anyway you try to spin this, comments like these hurt the fans. Kobe does not want to be a Laker. I'm ready for him to go, as great of a player as he is."

You know Rocky, I think it was well thought out. After all these years of letting the media ask set-up question, and Kobe answering them, and then having the media kill him, I think Kobe probably has learned to play the game. I think that answer was intentional. Nothing has changed. But if he's serious about a trade...he'll sit out of camp come October.

mike

laker lover

"AK-BK quick start a new thread!"

i second that notion. hey, i can argue that when one calls KL and "idiot" in the future, i could be justified in insisting to be called an "honorable idiot".

"Come on people. Kobe Bryant is giving interviews from camp USA basketball. You think he's going to say something bad? He's representing AMERICA."

Can you imagine that? The International players/fans would be saying stuff like...selfish Americans if Kobe says anything bad about his professional team. It's not like they don't think Americans are selfish anyway. Kobe says one thing and he won't be a captain of USA basketball.

Right now Kobe is in a keep your mouth shut mode. Say polite things. But under no circumstance does he say anything negative. Not right now.

mike

"Are the Suns stupid or what?
They are giving up Kurt Thomas?"

It could be about one of two things:

1. Luxury tax. Is keeping Kurt Thomas worth 16 million dollars? That's how much expense they cut by
dumping him for a trade exception (8 million in salary, 8 million in luxury tax). The only players that make
more are Diaw, Stoudemire, Nash, and Marion, and it's not like they're going to dump one of them. The
next two down are Barbosa and Bell. In terms of getting the max salary+tax relief while taking the
least away from the team, Thomas was the best choice.

2. They're fishing for somebody else. It isn't KG, because you can't combine a trade exception with
other players to get a larger salary. It would have to be someone making 8 million or less.

Michael Teniente

with all due respect, i don't think some players in the NBA (i won't specify who) are that intelligent (you have to remember, these are egotistical atheletes with no education and hordes of money and "yes-men" following them around). some people learn their lesson after one mistake while others make the same mistake over and over again. ever heard of the cliche "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"?

This is encouraging:

"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."

If he's speaking to his teammates consistently...that's a good sign. Why would he be speaking to them consistently if he wasn't going to be around? I mean if he apologized to the players wouldn't that be a one time thing? But to be consistently talking to them is a sign that he's trying to get them on the same page or something.

mike

Kobe does not want to be a Laker. As if there's something better in the basketball world than being a superstar for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Chicago?? Give me a break! He's going to fill Jordan's shoes? He hasn't even come close to filling Magic's yet.

It boggles my mind. We're the Los Angeles freakin' Lakers! And here we are begging this guy to stay?

This is still making me sick to my stomach.

Have a good day guys.

Regarding the Phoenix trade exception:

"They can use it to get another player to use as a chip in a KG deal but not in a direct deal for KG."

The problem with that theory is that Kurt Thomas was an expiring contract - Minne would have no problem taking
Kurt Thomas as part of the trade. And if they were trying to get KG, then Kurt Thomas + TWO future first round
picks would be worth more than whoever they could pry free with the trade exception.

I think this trade indicates that they're NOT trying to trade for KG anymore. It's either a salary dump to reduce their
luxury tax or they're making a play for someone else.

I'll throw out a theory. A lot of teams are trying to get the rights to Juan Carlos Navarro, but Washington is
insisting that whoever wants him has to take back Etan Thomas' contract. Phoenix could trade part of the
trade exception for Etan Thomas + the rights to Navarro. Navarro reportedly wants 3 million a year, so
Phoenix could get Etan Thomas to replace Kurt Thomas + get Navarro in the deal. It would cost them
even more luxury tax than Kurt Thomas would, but maybe...

When the Lakers are losing the fix is obviously in. Kobe gets no ref love. There was always doubt, but now those complaints can be heard differently. I've had friends tell me that games were rigged for years. We've all heard stories. The game relies on ref credibility. What now? "It's one bad apple" works mid baseball season but come April there'll be signs in the stands, or worse, empty ones.

Rocky, it's already out of control and testimony hasn't even begun. It's front page now, if this guy exposes a web of any size, maybe including another ref, we're talking Congress. ESPN has editorialized about the porblem that Stern won't be able to sweep away. You can't suspend some players and wait this one out. Games will be mentioned, names, associations. Outcomes will be questioned. Asterisks in the record books?

One thing is sure, Stern was able to negotiate a TV pay raise after horrible Finals ratings and this is worse when it was already bad.

i would also add that the person making the most money doesn't always mean he's the smartest person.

look at KL, KL's the smartest guy in the world, but make pennies on the dollar.....kidding........okay, mabe not.

 
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