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Luke Walton's contract press conference and a traffic alert

First, the gridlock.  As you approach Jefferson Blvd. heading north or south on La Cienega, you'll encounter HEAVY construction.  "Sections of one lane" construction.  I'm not sure what's being fixed, but I don't understand why work so intrusive couldn't and shouldn't be done at night.  Unless they're looking for C.H.U.D., of course.  If that's the case, all is forgiven, because those suckers can wreak havoc if left to their own devices.

Why the Public Service Announcement?  Because the resulting traffic caused me to arrive late to Luke Walton's news conference and I missed some Q&A.  Granted, these events typically yield standard copy, so I doubt I missed anything particularly controversial.  Except when Walton said, "If they trade Kobe, big deal.  Dude's a flash in the pan, and it's more shots for me."  (I missed that because I made it up.)  Walton's happy to be back, but did note one downside to his new contract.  Asked if the Lakers were catering the news conference with Joey's BBQ (as they did on draft day), Walton joked how "they were only catering because they wanted me back.  Now that I'm back, no more business from the Lakers."  Walton will now shift to Business Plan B, convincing Sasha Vujacic that the BBQ sauce contains the same base ingredient as "the cream" and "the clear."

Here's (about half of) what Walton had to say:

On what Phil Jackson said to him while he was deciding:

"It wasn't a long conversation.  He just told me that he would like to see me back.  He understood the free-agent market, that I needed to talk to other teams, but he wanted to reassure me that he expected me back and wanted me back.  It's nice to hear that.  It's not a secret how much I respect Phil and how much I like playing for Phil.  I don't think he thought he really needed to 'sell' me that much.  I love playing in the triangle offense.  I love the coaching staff here and all that.  It was more about just that we could agree on terms that both sides were happy with."

On what other teams were possibilities:

"Lon (Babby, Walton's agent) and I discussed other cities.  Teams that I would have played for, mainly teams that were competing for NBA titles.  I didn't really have any one or two singled out.  I don't really want to get into names of the cities, but the teams that are kind of in the hunt of the championships each year.  Those are the teams we were gonna talk to if, for whatever reason, we couldn't work something out with the Lakers." 

On what the Lakers need to do from here to improve:

"Obviously, every team wants to improve, and that's what we're trying to do.  But for us, I think we have a great core.  The people upstairs, the coaches.  And before we got hurt, we were a team right in the hunt for things.  Then we hit the injury bug and that killed us.  And we're a young team, too.  One thing about having young guys is the experience and time will make us better next year.   There's been rumors about different players and what not, but I don't think we need to do that much.  I think we're pretty close to being able to compete.  Those aren't decisions I have to make.  That's up to Mitch.  That's his job.  I'm just here to play basketball and help win with whoever we do have on the court." 

On how he'd feel about Derek Fisher returning:

"I love playing with Fish.  He's a great player.  He's a great teammate.  He's a great leader.  If we're lucky enough that he comes back here, I think not only will he help our team just from being the type of player that he is, but we have a lot of young guards.  The guy we drafted this year (Javaris Crittenton),  Jordan (Farmar), Sasha.  We've got a lot of young guards, and I think they'd learn a lot playing under Fish.  My rookie year playing under Fish, he was great for me.  He taught me a lot.  He knows the offense in and out." 

On whether being a little older and now a part of the team under a long-term contract allow him to assert or establish himself as a leader:

"Yeah.  I kind of feel like I've been slowly becoming a leader on this team.... Besides (Brian) Cook and Kobe, I think I might have been here the longest. (Editor's note: That would be correct.)  So I definitely feel myself stepping more into a leader role with the younger guys on the team and knowing that I'll be here long-term.  I don't think it's about asserting myself on the court.  I'm kind of a player that lets the game come to me and makes the right plays as opposed to trying to go out there and score 20 every night.  I'm gonna go out there and play the game the way that I play.  But as far as being a leader, I'll try to assert myself more."

-AK   

 
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Good notes from the walton interview, its good to hear that he feels he is taking on a leadership role more and more. i just hope he can show more of it on and off the court. I feel that when he was playing well, hitting that little baseline fadeaway jumper and rebounding, we played very well as a team. and with him in the game the triangle flows a little more smoothly. im glad to see that hes back playing for LA. thought he came a mil too expensive, but thats ok

Now fish can be a big pick up. and i know Artest is controversial and might not be attainable but his defese tenacity would tremendously help. Then we could sign mihm. And even if we dont get artest i think our main unit is still very good

the whole nine yard (I guess) of the press conference:

http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/070712_walton.html

I know I was one of the people that questioned his contract, but I like Luke. He plays with heart, and is willing to give his body up for the team, and I can always respect that. If he can hit that jumpshot on a consistent basis, and work on his slides/foot speed, I think he can earn that money.

With DFish in, this current laker squad, barring major injuries like last year, can definitely compete.

I still believe Bynum will develop into a fine center. Vlad Rad learns the triangle and finds his touch. Team Defense. This team will rock.

There is really no need for major major change.

GO LAKERS!

SHAQ'S BIG CHALLENGE IS A RUNAWAY HIT THIS SUMMER

I have "insider" knowledge that Kobe is quitely launching a pilot in response to Shaq's success on ABC's new reality show Shaq's Big Challenge.

Kobe's pilot is called "Kobe's Bigger Challenge".

Here is the premise of the show:

Kobe is to take in six (6) highly talented kids who are great in mathematics, spelling, chess, student government, football, and baseball (collectively “Participant”).

Kobe is to mentor these individuals to be the greatest at their respective specialty.

The objective is to accomplish the following within a 6-month span:
*Each Participant is to join a championship-caliber team
*Each Participant is to make the captain of the team miserable by underhandedly discrediting the accomplishment of the captain
*Each Participant is to escalate the problem by badmouthing the captian in public. Kobe recommends the usage of words like "childish, jealous, lazy, and fat”.
*Each Participant is to force the coach/management to pick either the captain or the Participant, but not both.

At the end of six months, whoever is the first to destroy the championship-caliber team win’s Kobe Bigger Challenge.

Vlad Rad is a defensive liability but he can help Defensively that is. And definitely he can help in rebounding.

But what I want for him is to..... HIT D TREY, VLADE. HIT D TREY.

GO LAKERS!

The Faze,

Thanks. Nice to see I didn't miss a ton of it.

AK

I agree with Luke that the Lakers' core is pretty good, and that injuries have obscured that. If the Lakers can swing a deal for KJ that would be great. But that won't be easy.

Let's say they don't make any moves. Let's look at next year and make 2 rather bold assumptions - that the injured Lakers recover from their injuries/surgeries and are able to play more games and at a higher level next year, and that the young players make a normal advancement from year to year.

Center: Kwame is healthy (maybe the toughest assumtion to make here). The Lakers get a guy they essentially did not have healthy all of last year who is a good low post defender and rebounder. The team is already much better just from his presence.

Bynum - last year at 19 Bynum put up number sthat looked a lot like KG and J O'Neill's numbers at the same age. Look it up. At age 20 both blossomed into real players. Remember O'Neill was a bust in Portland. So now you have a good low post defender starting, the pressure off Bynum, and he makes a leap as his body matures and he learns the game. Not bad at center.

Power Forward: If he had not been injured, Odom may have been an all star last year. He comes back at that form. Turiaf gets a year better and Phil gets less afraid to test his heart and give him minutes.

Small Forward: Luke's foot is healed and he picks up where he was at mid year last year. Vlad Rad is healthy coming into camp, gets comfortable, and gives the second unit a true offensive threat.

Shooting (a lot) Guard: Kobe Bean Bryant. Mo Evans can spell him for 5 minutes.

Point Guard: Fish is an improvement over Smush. Controversial but I stand by it. He can run the offense, provide smarts and toughness, and mentor the kids. Farmar gets a year better and more effective, playing 20 or so minutes behind Fish. If he falters Crit steps in.

This is maybe not a championship team, but it is a team that can challenge any team every night and could actually go on playoff run if the pieces work.

The guys I do not hold much hope for are Cook and Sasha. If they have any values they should be moved, and the Lakers should use their remaining exemptions to put in place better deep bench options.

Again, I would love to see KG come in, or some other great player, if the cost is not too high. But there is hidden potential on the roster, this team has good options at each slot, and they could surprise some folks if healthy. There shouldn't be panic changes made.

Ronny Turiaf will be much better this coming season. Mark my words.

We will have a dependable big man.

GO LAKERS!

weave,

i would add that luke is a good teammate and solid role player. my bet is we'll be hearing about luke long after kobe's gone.

"There is really no need for major major change."

agreed, we'll win 41-45 games and lose in the first round, but i bet kobe wins the scoring title again.

I don't know about you guys but I'm starting to feel a little better about this offseason. Luke is back (I doubted the length of his contract but what's done is done) D-Fish is coming back (thank God) and Kobe hasn't demanded a trade again in a few weeks. I'm starting to think I'll make it through this offseason.

Now there's only one thing bothering me...I read that we're considering Stevie Franchise?????? Is it just me or would we be crazy to get him?

If each player works on his Achilles heel, it will be a better year. A KG or JO each have theirs. They are not superman like Shaq.

Kobe: learn to be a leader. Teach and mentor. Become a respected member of the community. It is not all about winning, but it is about winning with class.

Farmar: develop an outside shot. And get in front of his man. Develop a dependable outside shot. Even JC has a better outside shot with more physical skills.

Walton: work on that mid range jump shot.

Odom: spend more time inside. Or at least quisi inside. midrange inside but not so much all the way outside.

Kwame: slow down and play strong. one thing at a time. catch before shoot. practice the fundamentals before going further.

Brynum: have to think and live basketball. work on moves. and more moves..

Ronny: keep up the energy. work on the shot.

Evans: play under control.

Valde: learn to ski and play basketball at the same time.

Jarvis: play it patient

Milm: you have to show you are not another Grant Hill.

Cook: learn defense and discipline.

It is not a much a matter of finding a superstar, as much as each player learning to contribute.

First, hit that shot.

Regarding what the lakers need to do from here to improve:
his statement is exactly what i've been saying all along. but it seems
to have fallen upon deaf ears.

AK- do you agree with his summation?

The Lakers are trying to sell Luke Walton as a leader. As soon as he starts getting abused next season all that is going out the window. If I were on the team and Luke Walton tried to be my leader I would tell him to shut the F up!

mike

Willie,

Do I agree with whose summation about what?

AK

KL- he's STILL tryin' to "one up" his big brother! lol

The White Media is so hypicritical that they will scream bloody murder for players being at strip clubs but keep their white mouths shut when it comes to Jerry Buss.

SIMPLE ADDITION:

What does this equal?

Driving under the influence of drugs + Driving on the wrong side of the road + A 23 year old female in the car with a 72 year old + Refusing to take a drug test =?

ECSTACY!

Why would a 23 year old be a 72 year old man unless they were both on drugs? Why isn't the L.A. Media on this? If guys like Pacman Jones had refused a drug test they would be all over it. Jerry Buss refuses a drug test and not a word or outrage about role model behavior.

Lets see: We have

Johnny Buss who these days is rambling on about being with models. (Clearly, a courtesy of his father.)
Jimmy Buss who mourned his male "friend" for an unusal amount of time.
Jeannie Buss who so starved for her father's attention that she posed for playboy, dated Kurt Rambis, and now is dating the coach Phil Jackson.
Magic Johnson who partied with Jerry Buss contracted AIDS.
James Worthy was involved in having "escorts" services.
Kobe Bryant who was accused of raping a girl in Colorado.
Kwame Brown was accused of sexual assult.

Now that's a pretty long list of sexual escapades by the family and employees of Jerry Buss, who is reputed as a "playboy." And now we hear he refused to take a drug test? What type of role model behavior is that?


eastwest,

What do you have to say about Jeannie Buss doing a spread in playboy because she knew that her father never missed reading the magazine? These "mistakes" by Jerry Buss have a long list of casulties. And now he refuses to take a drug test?

Taking drugs is not a mistake. It's an addiction. Being a role model is not a choice. It's a fact and a responsibility to society and life.

mike

ak- that the injuries is what did them in last year and they have a strong core that only needs minor tweeking.

KL ---
Enough of the Kobe bashing. Get a life will ya?
Are you on psychiatric disability or something? (it would explain you having all this time to lurk on this blog).
Finally, I know that for myself, and for I believe alot of other bloggers here, if you would stick to the topic ie., WALTON, versus your obsession with Kobe, maybe I would respect you and your comments more.

hubbit (not to be confused with hobbit)

In this day and age there's no way Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Andrew Bynum better let a white nontalent player like Luke Walton assume any type of leadership role. If they follow that fool, I'll call them slaves straight out.

mike

Willie,

No, I would disagree with Walton. I do think the injuries took their legit toll, but ultimately, this wasn't a team that could realistically compete for a championship, anyway. They need an upgrade at the 1, 3 and 5 spots, plus a dependable #2 scorer. And aside from Kobe and LO, the entire roster is made up of guys who wouldn't start for at least 50-75% of the other teams in the league.

Does the core, when healthy, make them solid? Sure. But "solid" will only take you so far. Changes are in order. Unfortunately, they're also difficult to make.

AK

There's no way black players, with any type of pride, will allow a non-talent white player like Luke Walton be their leader.

mike

Tom Daniels -

I agree with you about the Lakers are no where near as bad as alot of the bloggers seem to think. My only concern is that towards the end of last season, it appeared that some of the players were not on the same page and some had checked out - whether due to immaturity or personality. I hope the '07 - '08 Lakers can stay more mentally focused, whatever five players PJ decides to put on the court.

hubbit

SO YALL BEEN WATCH ANY OF THE SUMMER LEAGUE GAMES, LOOKS LIKE JAVARIS IS PLAYING WELL - JUST FOUND OUT IT IS FREE ON NBA BROADBAND, GOTTA CHECK OUT THE NEXT ONE. LETS HOPE KOLBY CARL MAKES THE TEAM - WILL BE A FEEL GOOD STORY IN THIS HELLYWOOD.

Hey MT... why don't you shut the F up!!!

Mike, that's ignorant on so many levels I'm not going to dignify it with a response. I'd recommend others do the same.

BK

BK,

I don't care what you and other white people think.

mike

So, what was the over/under on MT turning this into another diatribe against Luke? Kind of predictable, boy is so attention-starved...I'd love to see him call any of those players slaves, to their face. Well, it probably wouldn't be to Kwame's face.

If Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, or Andrew Bynum let Luke Walton be their leader, I'd spit in their faces if I ever met them.

mike

Why does everyone continue to bash Farmar's outside shot? He had the same 3P% as Kobe last year people.

So ....

I would just like to say right now, with the addition of Derek Fisher, barring injuries the Lakers should make it to the 5th seed. We lost a number of
games last year due to crappy pg play. If we can make it to the 5th seed,
there's a chance to get out of the first round.

I would love to read commmentary by Kareem on "socks". Center is
now our weakest position.

Go Lakers!
Go Kobe!

BK, it's all right. If anybody actually cares what "The Artist" has to say, they simply haven't been on the blog long enough. You're right though, it's a lot of levels. More than he can count, probably.

To paraphrase Keith Olbermann, "All we have to go on that you'd actually spit in their faces is your word, and your word, sir, has long since ceased to mean anything."

Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Andrew Bynum:

You let some punk ass non-talent white player lead you and I will rip you all season long. You let the Lakers front office treat you like field hands and make Luke Walton your master....you better not let that happen to you.

mike

mike t, hey man yo, what the hell are you talkin about? im starting to think someone is typing for you or the "real you" is at work or something. man that was some ignorant sh*t coming from your fingers. i hope im right because normally your an intelligent analyzer, but damn, wow.

if the lakers dont get artest, or jo and they resign mihm, they start ronny at the 4 and lamar at the 3. everyone complains that LO got no inside game, if the three he wont have to worry about that. what chayall think?

Why does everyone continue to bash Farmar's outside shot? He had the same 3P% as Kobe last year people.

Posted by: McGarnagle | July 12, 2007 at 07:17 PM

he played less too.

Believe me: when it's all said and done...you will see it next year. Luke Walton will not be a leader of this team. Say all you want but there's no way these black players are going to let Walton lead them. I won't have it!

mike

BK,

I don't care what you and other white people think.

mike

Posted by: Michael Teniente | July 12, 2007 at 07:14 PM

that cant be mike t.....cant believe that.

I thought Luke said pretty much what was expected here. Nothing that really surprised me.

Don't think the team is as good as he thinks it is, but he'd better be optimistic, everybody's a potential champ in training camp - except the Knicks.

You white people are such hypocrites that you celebrate Jerry Buss but scream bloody murder over black players going to strip clubs. You scream bloody murder over Barry Bonds but embrace Mark McGwire as if he's some hero. So please shut the F up because "your word, and your word, sir, has long since ceased to mean anything."

mike

The Wolf - you must be new here. Trust me, nobody that's been on the blog for a while is surprised when stupid trash comes from Mike T's mouth. Especially when Luke is peripherally involved. The funniest thing is, he thinks he has an actual effect on the players and the FO. Sit down, grab a beer, and read for a bit, it's actually pretty funny, for stupid offensive stuff.

Mike T

You wont have it? A little delusional don't you think?

MH

Mike T.

Once again you are blinded by your myopic personal feelings. You should be quiet. I can't wait for you to leave.

See, the funny thing is, Mike T doesn't know sh$t about me, but he's gonna make assumptions about who I am. That's the mark of an intelligent man.

You couldn't even splice in the quote without making a grammatical error. That's sad, man.

And, that's about as much of my brain space as you deserve for the evening. Can't really "dumb it down" for too long, that could be dangerous.

7th Seed for two consecutive years...
Eliminated on 1st rd. for two consecutive years
Lakers added Fisher, Crittenton and Karl
Quote: "This team is not as bad as the bloggers seem to think."

Where were you during the Showtime? or Are you the Jim Buss insider? Bloggers here are not blind and Johnny come lately, after seeing the core play for three years now and discussed it tens of thousand posts, we can almost predict how the season will end. Hopefully, we are wrong. We really need a KG or JO big time! together with LO unfortunately, nobody wants to trade with the Lakers' baggage. We have to love what we have and play for the best.

Kwame and Luke should be 2nd stringers, if they go on the first team, the 3 & 5 will be our weakest links & Lakers will have another inconsistent season, if that happens. I will go for Vlad(if healthy) and Bynum as first stringers together with Kobe, Lamar and Fish. With this lineup we have chance to go for 5th or 6th seed and advance to 2nd round.

Leadership huh!, perhaps to Crittenton and Karl but not to Fisher and Kobe. I think Lamar or Fish should be the Captain while Kobe remains as the emeritus. Many will disagree on the following statement because they think the Lakers are a great team - once you remove Kobe, this team will be fighting for the bottom position in the West. If you disagree, just look at the improvements of other teams from bottom up..

everytime i go on nba site......i'm reminded of Luke's contract..............6 whole long years for not athletic, slow footed luke walton. Dang..........at his position tooo many players are more athletic and cause luke to be a major weakness and defensive liablility..........

outside of a boring and stagnent triangle offense.........luke has no real value to any team........we need more athletic players.

what you'll thought there was some big interest in Mihm if we didn't resign him right away.........what a JOKE............please don't bring him back

Mike T,

I'm genuinely curious. When it comes to voices on this blog that carry weight with the front office and players, if you were to grade them on a scale from 1-10 (1 being the lowest, 10 the highest), what number would you give:

The average reader

AK

Andrew Z

Exhlodrver

BK

Sonny Belfast

Mike T.

I promise I won't be offended no matter how you assess me.

Thanks,

AK

After 3 games.... 2 things are clear.. JC will be better than Farmar and Coby Karl is an NBA player.....

Guys, I still think our whole season comes down the Lakers getting Garnett, if not, it will be another painful season.. and after the last 2 with Smush and Kwame I really don't thiink I can take it...

I hope our prayers are answered and KG saves this Franchise from it self.

bd

You're delusional if you think Luke Walton is going to lead this team in any way shape or form. I know your white mind can't see it any other way but you better get used to it because your time as leader of the world is coming to an end.

mike

AK,

I really don't care. All I care about is for the players to, by chance, to read it.

mike

mike is a bleppin idiot!!!!!

Mike T,

Okay. Fair enough. I was just wondering, since you've often inferred that certain voices get paid considerably more attention (or at least that's how I've interpreted it). I'm just looking to see who among us has the player/front office ear, so to speak.

AK

I'm really curious to see if the Lakers have another major move in them before camp, because the team we have right now will probably make the playoffs, but it's not going anywhere.

Just like last year, and the year before. This could get really monotonous.

MA, I Have Been Reading These Blogs For A Long Time. I Know How Mike Is, But I Know That He Backs Up His Points, Good Or Bad, With Analytical Points And I Respect That. Its Just That These Comments Are Blatantly Stupid And Thus Cant Be Him. Im Not Sayin I Know Him, But This Is Competely Irrational.

Say what you want you punk MFers! Luke Walton will not be any type of leader next year. And that's what gets you mad, that a white player won't get to play the leader role.

mike

Are Mitch and Phil on the same page?

We should all remember that last time Fish played for the Lakers, he came off the bench. In his book, "The Last Season," Phil Jackson extolled Fish for his value as a veteran in leading the second unit. At the same time, he talked about Fish's limitations and wrote: "Fish finds it difficult to get around picks and often misses layups when pressured by a shotblocker."

Yet today Mitch Kupchak said. "Not a slight to Jordan [Farmar] and our drafted rookie [Javaris Crittenton], who's just 19 years old, but at 19 and 20 years old with limited NBA experience, we're not going to think that they're going to be the ones that can lead the team next year."

So, was Mitch speaking for PJ, or just speaking for himself? No doubt, Farmar has yet to prove he should be the starting PG for the Lakers or any other NBA team. He's played well at times, though he has yet to consistently establish himself in even the Summer League. But at the end of last season, he was the starting PG, and many believe Jordan should at least be given the chance to retain that role at the start of training camp.

So it seems odd that a guy who last came off the Lakers bench, having lost his starting job that year, is suddenly the new savior.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to have Fish back. He brings skills, character and courage to a team that was deficient in all of the above last season.
I'm sure both Farmar and Crit can learn a lot from him.

But it seems fair to ask the question, what can we really expect from Fish, especially given his daughter's health crisis. The expectations of the front office, the coaching staff, and the fans has to be realistic. This is a guy whose best years are behind him, not in front of him. Sure, he's an upgrade over Smush. Is he the BIG answer everyone was looking for over the summer? No.

There's barely any money left for meaningful improvement via the veterans exemption or the MLE. With Fish the 13th Laker under contract, it would seem almost certain the 14th and final slot would be filled by Chris Mihm.
It looks like KG will remain in Minnesota, and JO with the Pacers.

With a starting lineup of Kobe, Fish, Walton, Odom and Bynum or Kwame, it will be hard for the Lakers to improve their ranking in the Pacific Division and Western Conference hierarchy. The second unit looks like the same second unit from last season, a unit that was erratic instead of being a consistent contributor.

I'm not sure that all the hysteria of a month ago preceded anything more than disappointment.

Hey, I'm offended. I'd like to think little 'ol me has a voice.

Oh wait, still no defense, resigned Luke for mucho buckeroos, did I mention defense?

Damn you Front Office, Damn you players!!!

See What I Mean About Mike. World Coming To End? Wow.

The Wolf - I'm telling you, he does this all the time. Really. At least once a month, he'll go off on something completely stupid, misrepresent what someone says when they point out that it's stupid, then get petulant and insulting. Sometimes twice a month if we're lucky.

AK, I'd forgotten that trailer, thank you. Man, was that bad.

Mike T,
I see your outrage about Luke has not fallen on deaf ears. I think I just heard that Kwame is demanding a trade because he is not going to play for the Lakers if Luke is a leader. Ha !

AK,

You honestly think I care what the Lakers front office whore thinks? I'm talking about Jeannie Buss. She's a whore, man!

mike

For Walton, everything is good. life is so wonderful, good contract, financially secured, and most important...
If the team fails, his father will fault Kobe, the press will excuse him, and KLBeast his hand kisser, will talk trask Kobe and talk about of him about as a hall of famer.

So, Walton love the status quo. No changes.
The same stuffed ribs in his restaurant.
The 10 or 15 girlfriends waiting for their part of the pie.

Yes...after all he is the son most beloved for Phil Jackson and some sissy bloggers here.

Rick-

I think it's a fair question, but I'm not sure I'd use PJs book to reference the current situation. Fish isn't perfect, but he's an improvement, which is what matters, and will provide some things the team needs (and fortunately, isn't signed to a five or six year deal to do it). If Crittendon/Farmar becomes a starter by year three of Fish's new contract, the money they're paying him to be a backup won't be outrageous.

As I said this morning, this move doesn't help them push to the next level, but it makes them better. It's all relative. But yeah, people shouldn't assume that because Fish is back, they're back in threepeat-ville. He's not going to have that sort of impact. But you don't pick up that kind of player with the MLE anyway. Stars, or even near stars, cost more. There wasn't a guy out there they could sign as an FA that would put them to another level.

It is what it is... which is probably not great news for Laker fans. But at least they're better than they were before, still have a little cash left over, and aren't locked into a six year deal they might regret.

BK

Mike T.,

While it is not polite and fair to make blanket accusation, I understand that you're depressed on the turn of events. It is best to quiet down and go back to your former old self as a basketball mind. What you are doing is not only disrespecting the Lakers in general but your fellow fans here who do not have any issues against you. Hope you'd abide with my opinion.

AK,

We are not blogging here to please the Buss Family and treat them as royalty. This blog is for Laker fans to voice their opinions. They are supposed to listen to all Laker fans not only the good opinions that prop them, Front Office. The posters in this blog are the closes description to the "vox populi" of the Lakers. On the other hand, I know you are only talking to Mike T. and referring to his posts alone.

Rick, well said. Sad though, but you may well be right.

MA, That Why I Think Someone Else Is Posting For Him. Like A Little Bro Or One Of His Buddies. Just Sayin.

Rick Friedman,

If I remember correctly, when Phil wrote about Fish's value as a second unit leader, the context was in part created by his willingness to give up his starting role to Gary Payton without complaint or even demanding the opportunity to outplay him. Jackson was praising the selflessness, especially in a contract year.

Ironically, Fish ended up getting a bigger contract from Golden State than anyone could have dreamed of, but that's a different story. haha

Either way, I do understand what you're getting at, for sure.

AK

I’m a frequent reader but only post every once in a while. It is REALLY frustrating when some bloggers start writing about their personal obsessions against some player or start some nonsense in order to get everyone’s attention. There have been some interesting opinions and analysis in this blog, and some really funny stuff too, but I fear the nonsense and obsessive rants are just getting worse. Or maybe it is just part of this crazy offseason...

The Wolf - Nah, he gets like this just about anytime Luke Walton comes up, someone says anything good about Phil, or someone questions any of Kwame's abilities. And MT's got well-known (and tired) racial issues. But it's definitely him. You should have seen him last summer.

Mike T,
Everybody here knows you're "all BLOW and no go", but please..... quit putting that blow up your nose and then typing on the blog. You're only embarrassing yourself.

how about this trade:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=981~617~2421~615&teams=11~11~11~13

Lakers get J O'Neal for Lamar, Kwame, and Sasha. This is a very reasonable trade and we would get to keep Bynum as opposed to giving him up for Garnett. We would also dump two of our worst players and their salaries and finally get the right big man to complement Kobe. The lineup would look something like:

PG-Fisher, Farmar/Crittenton
SG-Bryant, Evans
SF-Walton, Radmanovic
PF-O'Neal, Cook
C-Bynum, Turiaf/Mihm

Now that looks a whole lot better than what we have now and much better long-term since we still got Socks. You think Indiana would consider this?

Rick Friedman,

If Javaris and Coby could sustain their offense and quickness to the NBA and Phil will give them playing, I think they will be the big difference this year. I am resigned to Kwame and Walton,I've seen them for two consecutive playoffs how they just surrender their positions to power forwards and Centers. If there is any new weapon of the Lakers this year, it will be jump shooting. As I said in the preceding thread, I hope the three shooters namely: Cook, Vlad and Sasha will connect this year and for the first time we will see their worth. Lamar, Mo, Bynum and Ronnie should go for power lay ups or jump shots in the post, no long shooting for them because they are the rebounders. Lastly, the triangle should evolve based on the teams we are playing as such, there will be a variety of offense and remove the predictability of plays.

I'm very happy that Luke will be a Laker for years. He is a Laker.

GO LAKERS!

AK,

Nice CHUD reference. I'm about to lose any respect on the blog (that i haven't earned) by stating I made my wife sit and watch CHUD II about a month ago... it was terrible, yet terribly funny.

Half way through last season, George Karl was quoted as saying that the Lakers were, "possibly the best passing team in the NBA."

So far this off season: we've addressed the PG (by getting rid of Smush and adding Fish)... Vlad will have a healed shoulder and hand to regain the shooting touch that earned him that contract... if they bring back Mihm, the center rotation will be much improved.
Sure, we could use more athleticism at the 3, but we're in the process of addressing two main weaknesses at the 1 and 5 (as identified by me and many others on this blog).
Let's say the Lakers resign Mihm, isn't this team considerably better than last years?

Mike,shut up !!!

Who cares if Jeannie Buss posed for playboy, more power to her. What's with you and drugs anyways? I bet everyone on here has done a little weed. I've done some coke. Big deal. No one died. I still have my brain cells. I got arrested for a DUI long ago, I learned my lesson...now stop whining like some chick on PMS.

Peace

You bring more drama than a bunch of lesbians

Michael T.,

People would listen to you more if you weren't a racist. By the way, isn't "Mike" a "white" (European) name?

MIke, you'e a True Laker Fan. Just stop being a douchebag. It's good for us. It's good for us. It's good for Lakerdom.

GO LAKERS!

Hey, I've been reading the press reports, but has anyone seen Coby play? How good is he?

GO LAKERS!

Laker Lifer - I actually don't know. I suspect that they'd want Bynum as part of the deal, but if the FO could swing it, I'd applaud them.

AK,
"since you've often inferred that certain voices get paid considerably more attention (or at least that's how I've interpreted it). I'm just looking to see who among us has the player/front office ear, so to speak"

I'm just curious which ones he is hearing at the moment.

AK,
Thanks a freakin' lot!! You spelled my name wrong in your Mike T poll.

Now the front office is not going to be able to find my posts!!

MA I Remember His PostS From Last Summer. None Of Those PostS Was As Bad As These. That Said Ill Give You The Benefit Of The Doubt.

Michael A/Benny Blanca,

Glad to hear you appreciated the C.H.U.D. shout out. It's actually the second or third time I've referenced them. Off the top of my head, I remember this one.

http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/02/and_if_pinkerto.html

I don't know if this makes me extremely clever or extremely pathetic. haha

AK

Michael A,
"So, what was the over/under on MT turning this into another diatribe against Luke?"

So much for him taking a break while he writes up the psychological reports he promised.

Mike T,

I read this blog every day because I love the lakers and respect AK and BK's takes on Laker news.

But it really really grinds my gears to see someone try to prop up their own self esteem and sense of worth by playing the racism card. You are truly the worst type of Lakers fan, and more than that, a terribly misinformed, and laughably stupid, human being.

AK, BK, what's with letting racist posts like that through? It's not good at all for the blogging community, and while everyone has the right to their own opinion, some opinions are better left unsaid...

Edwin, Edwin, Edwin of the San Gabriel Valley (San Dimas, I recall) -

I have been around and a fan of the Lakers BEFORE there was Riley and showtime. I have nothing to do with any of the Buss family and neither do you. I am all for a JO or especially a KG trade, but at what cost? If the FO can pull it off and not decimate the team, then go for it! But I am a longtime and true Laker fan; if we still have Sasha and Cookie out there on the floor, I will cheer them on! Won't you?

Michael T -

I used to look forward to your posts, they were insightful, well thought out.
Now to see this stuff from you makes wonder...
* Are you drunk or on drugs?
* Did you go off your medication?
* Do you need to speak to a counselor? (African American, of course)
* Do you need a hug?
* Are you one ignorant SOB who needs to go to bed without his dinner?

...Just wondering.

hubbit

Ex, at least you made the poll. Count your blessings.

Mike T really took this thread off the tracks. I would like to try and steer it back. I think we should all feel good about getting D-Fish back. While he is not a "superstar" aquisition, he fiils a huge need. We get the coveted veteran point guard (and if you look at his numbers, they are actually quite good) who understands the offense, and has the respect of KB and PJ. This is a good day in Lakerville. This will give time for Farmar and Crittendon to develop and be productive at the same time while not having to carry the load of running the offense. I would call this a very stabilizing day. Now, let's get to work on the heavy lifting and see if we can KG or JO - things are actually looking up.

Laker Life,

No, I don't think they would accept that, at least for now. That trade doesn't really make them any better and they don't get any good prospects out of that deal. As the season progresses and Kwame's contract becomes more valuable things could change but I also think more people will be after JO once the season starts, increasing the price Indiana will want.

Benny,
"isn't this team considerably better than last years?"

Assume a "typical" amount of injuries.

Assume Lamar and Kobe provide the same level of play.

Overall the PG is only slightly better. Crittendon is not going to play much this season. The Fisher and Farmar pair will be less athletic than the Farmar and Parker pair; fewer mistakes, approx the same offensively.

Bynum will probably be improved somewhat. If Mihm isn't horribly rusty, his minutes will be a slight improvement over Kwame's minutes.

Turiaf is probably a little better.

Walton and Evans probably a little better.

The big question is Vlad; if he turns out to be decent, and the other improvements above take place, that will make a noticeable difference.

Enough to maybe have an outside chance at the WCF, but not a title contender. (Assuming that Phoenix, Dallas, and San Antonio all don't have an unusual amount of injuries.)

Tim in Sydney-

I hear you. It can be a fine line. I happen to think that kind of thing doesn't offer much to the blog on any level, really, but on the other hand we really don't want to get into the habit of censoring the opinions of our readers any more than is absolutely necessary. The response to M.T.'s posts tonight have been about what I hoped they'd be- some rightly condemn his words while others choose to ignore him. We have a strong group of readers with a variety of opinions willing to debate a variety of subjects. Fortunately, these things tend to take care of themselves.

But there are and have been times when we've had to draw a line.

Thanks.

BK

AK - re: C.H.U.D. Maybe a little of both. It was fun watching that crappy trailer again though, that's for sure.

Ex, don't make me say it. You're trying to make me say it. I won't.

Ah, the heck with it. "For some reason, I imagine he's seen a few psychological reports."

Damn, couldn't stop myself.

If you don't agree with his view that's fine, but that is no reason to attack the man personally. Granted this isn't the best place to do it...but like all of us, he's entitled to his opinion.

Ex, it's now how they spell your name, it's the fact that you get your name out there lol.

Re: Luke. I think Luke is a good guy. I've already stated my opinion on his salary, and with this post I get a glimpse into what could be his role this coming season. I don't see him getting any faster, I also don't see him get better athletic wise, but I think one thing he can improve on is being consistent on his shots.I don't think he can be a "shooter" per say...but I think in the latter part of the season, with his ankle he got away from that fadeaway move on the paint he used so effectively early on...and his shot from 3 went away...those are the things he can get back. I'd like to think that Luke could turn into a better help defender (admittedly he's not that bad, but not being quick kinda takes away from that)....and perhaps a much better (currently he's average in rebounding I believe) rebounder. These are all things we must look from Luke this coming years. These are the things that make his 6 year salary less harder to swallow lol. It would also be awesome if he can use veteran quirks (read: moving your feet effectively) on defense to make up for all the times other 3s in the league beat him on the dribble.

Benny,
"possibly the best passing team in the NBA."

He didn't say anything about catching, though.

BK - cheers, while I agree about censorship, how about MikeT's calling Jeannie buss a 'whore'? That's not cool, surely... She posed in playboy - so have hundreds of other women, including actors, singers, random celebrities... but unless he can prove that she is selling herself for money, that's surely just ... rude! I mean yesterday (or was it Wednesday?) there was some reference about someone's momma, and that got removed... I mean ... really ... that's nowhere near as bad... if I called Mike T's momma a whore would that be allowed through? (not that I am, I neither know or have ever met Mike T's momma and I'm sure she is a lovely woman even though she has brought up a disturbed son...)

AK/BK,

Thanks for letting the forum do the censoring and not doing it yourselves. For all of the alternative points of view offered in this space, none so hateful and malcontented as those of Mike T. can be tolerated. The two of you are doing an excellent job of letting the masses ensure that loons are cast out, and exposed for what they truly are. On a Lakers news note, all of what has happened today can be counted as pluses for the Laker family. Character guys like Luke and Fish are too far and few between in the world of pro sports these days, and it's nice to say the purple and gold can boast a couple in uniform.

Shouldn't "punk ass" be hyphenated?

Let me check ... nope, mine isn't.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_22746.shtml

Fisher Put on Waivers

Derek Fisher was officially put on waivers by the Utah Jazz, opening the door for him to sign with the Lakers. He has already agreed to a three-year, $14-million deal with the Lakers, but he cannot officially sign the deal until after he has cleared waivers, which will take seven days. It is still possible that a team could pick him up before he clears waivers, but if they did so, they'd have to pay him the $20.6-million in salary that his original contract with the Jazz stipulated.

Ex-

I believe that is an area as yet unexplored by your average guide to Standard Written English.

BK

AK,

I think your wrong that we need upgrades at the 1, 3, and 5. We only need an upgrade at one of those positions and to keep our solid players at the other two. Look at San Antonio, Dallas, and Phoenix, they all have three major players and the rest are either solid or worse.

"And aside from Kobe and LO, the entire roster is made up of guys who wouldn't start for at least 50-75% of the other teams in the league."

I think your also wrong here. It's true the rest of our roster wouldn't be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd option on many teams but Luke, Kwame, Bynum, Mihm, and Cook could all be the 4th or 5th option on many if not most of NBA teams.

The way I see it the easiest yet stil plausible way for the lakers to be a top 4 or 5 seeded team is for Lamar to play the whole season like he did before his injury and for one of our younger guys to have a break-out into a legitimate third option. Bynum, Turiaf, Kwame, and Farmar all have legitimate shots at having great years next year.

 
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