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About that depth chart

The Lakers will kick off the season Monday with a GM under fire (though perhaps more than he deserves?), a star player (more powerful than Arte Moreno!) who seems to reside in various states of gruntle, dis or otherwise, a No. 2 who most believe is best suited to be a Swiss Army No. 3 ... and not much else, at least according to Tony Mejia of CBS Sportsline.com. 

It's reasonable to take the sort of positional rankings Mejia does with a grain of salt.  You can always argue about where a guy might fit onto a list, and no question that a team is often more than the sum of its parts (see first half, '06-07).  Certain players fill certain roles that can help a team thrive, their relative talents vs. the rest of the league notwithstanding.  But there's no arguing that, despite an improvement at point guard, the Lakers are still a top-heavy and talent-thin bunch relative to other NBA teams with dreams of big things. 

Click below for the rankings, and where the Lakers fit in.

Here's the disclaimer from Mejia, so you understand where he's coming from:

"Players are ranked in the order of their projected impact on the coming season. Upside is taken into account, but only for the next 12 months.  Whether you're a bargain or a bad contract doesn't matter."

Let's start with the no-brainer:

Shooting guard: Kobe Bryant, No. 1. 

Point guard:  Derek Fisher, honorable mention.  I'm among those who is happy to see Fish back, but it's hard to say that if you went team to team around the league that you'd take him over most of the other options.  He'll have an impact, for sure, and has obvious meaning to a team like the Lakers, but he's not in the neighborhood of a top-tier NBA PG.

Small forward: Luke Walton, Vlad Radmanovic, honorable mention:  Can't say this is a surprise, either.  Like Fish, Walton has value that is particular to the Lakers, but we're not talking about an elite small forward here.  On a better team, he's a rotation guy.  First or second off the bench, making valuable contributions.  As for Vlad Rad, "honorable mention" would be an improvement on his performance from last season, so if he can hit those heights, it'll make a difference (seriously, any contribution from the guy likely improves the Lakers, simply because they received nothing from him last year). 

Power forward: Lamar Odom, 10, Brian Cook, honorable mention.  L.O.'s a warrior, and we all know what he can do.  It's just a question of health and consistency.  It seems like every sentence about him begins with "if."  But odds are he'll start the season in L.A., so he's our "if," right?

Center:  Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, honorable mention.  So if you put three guys together in the H.M. category, that makes one top 10 center, right?  Bynum is still all potential, Kwame is still all one dimensional (defense -- an important dimension, for sure), Mihm is still all question marks.  This is a position that could turn into a strength for the Lakers, but it could also be a hole.  It'll help, too, if Brown and Mihm can successfully contribute some minutes at the four.

-- BK 

 
Comments () | Archives (227)

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I am really ambivalent about the whole Marion trade. He brings a little more defense but he also wants an extension at Kobe money which is absurd. And he really isnt the number 2 scorer we have needed. The point is, we need to find a 3rd guy to add to the mix, period. A Marion for LO trade or a JO for LO would still leave us looking for that 3rd guy. Hopefully someone from our team steps up. And one never knows what can happen at the trade deadline. Example, Magette says he will opt next year. If the Clips are losing will they trade him? Who else on a losing team comes on the market? I think we go into the season. Assess what we have and make moves later if they present themselves. By the way, because of Marions pipe dream 20 mil for 3 years, I dont think he is going anywhere. I am sure the Lakers talked with his agent. If thats what they think he's worth they are crazy. As a matter of fact he better shop around before opting out next year because from what I read he may not even get the 17 he is due on his current contract.

MH

It's September 28th, goin' on 29th
Do you know where your Superstar is????

Fox reports that Kobe hasn't spoken about reporting on Monday. His publicist has no comment. John Black expects him, but isn't sure. He'll probably show, but at best, this will be a labored start to the season.

Team chemistry is highly overrated. Look how well we did when Shaq hated Kobe.

" OK I have a NEW Bandwagon - excuse the long name
Its the "We Are Out in the First Round Again if Kupcake Doesn't Get off His Ass and Do Something" Bandwagon. Who is realist enough to be with me??????? Posted by: Jay Jay" LMMFAO!!! I'm wit cha Jay.. but we're KILLIN Mamba24 with all the Wagons!!!! between updating all the exsisting wagons.. I just cant imagine to work.. guess thats why I'm NOT the "GateKeeper" LoL BTW...Props and Congrats on the article Xodus, I enjoyed, well done.. Ditto Mamba24 on the now infamous "Ballad".. I found myself thinking of a catchy beat to add to it at work today.. scary when I have responsibilities and I'm humming a silly laker song in my head... whew.. Welcome back to EARTH A & BK I was starting to think you guys were gonna watch the "Get Matrix" thread reach 1,000 as some type of sadistic tourture joke??? Ok.. its gonna be a great weekend.. WV just got beat by So Fl I expect Cal to Beat the Ducks..and SC is on primetime again :) ahhhhhhh the little things....... Until Monday All... brace yourselves for the media circus surrounding our camp and KB.. I have a gut feeling this isnt going to be good for Laker fans, but we've been down this road before..

" Mamba,
Please sign me up for the "We Are Out in the First Round Again if Kupcake Doesn't Get off His Ass and Do Something" Bandwagon. Posted by: exhelodrvr"

I Love this one too Mamba... I'm aboard.. Thanks Jay Jay.. This one cracks me up and pisses me off at the same time.. wheres Marion Mitch? Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

" BALLAD OF THE MATRIX IS "THE JOINT" !!!!! Almost disrupted my office! Posted by: HoustonLaker"
Whew!!! I thought it was just me.. so maybe I'm NOT going in charlie manson mode after all over our FO???

Teacher Tom,
"Like a good student of a triangle, Lamar has been an astute and he let Kobe do the works without asserting himself or created any play between the two of them"

HOW CAN YOU ASSERT YOURSELF IN THE TRIANGLE IF SOMEONE IS DRIBBLING THE BALL TO YOUR SIDE OF THE COURT AND CUTTING OFF SPACING JUST TO JACK UP A SHOT WITH 5 SECONDS REMAINING ON THE SHOT CLOCK?

Ok I'm Done... I just read Ricks "mock" interview... I'm done.. Rick, theres gotta be a market for Tee shirts Front - Pic of Mitchs face superimposed on the old "Underdog" cartoons body, hands on hips as if saying "job well done!" Back - just the phrase.. " I Dont Have The Pieces" PRICELESS!!!! lmao

Michael H,

>>>A Marion for LO trade or a JO for LO would still leave us looking for that 3rd guy.

The way I see it. Lamar is the 3rd guy, and the Lakers don't have a 2nd guy. Either JO or Marion would be the
2nd guy. So you are correct that they would be looking for that 3rd guy, as opposed to now, when they're
looking for the 2nd guy. :-)

Third base.

Props to Ex & Long Time Laker Fan for calling out the hypocritical point of view VOR posted.. I read with disbelief and was chomping at the bit but between those two posts.. theres nothing more to add.. well said you guys... :)

"Wow. I gotta say, were I LO or Cook, I'd be pretty pissed if my team's official website allowed any poll regarding me being traded. That's pretty insulting. Even if it's being formally "conducted" by someone outside of the Lakers, it's still being presented on their site. That's pretty stupid form on their part. That's just asking for a player to be offended. - AK"


Yeah I thought about that and put it in the context of any one of us at our jobs, earning our livelihoods and seeing polls posted about how well we're performing our duties by anonymous co-workers.. pretty insulting.. but on the other hand, at least in the world of Pro Sports.. hopefully it serves more as motivation than the destructive nature it really is?

Rick Friedman,

Dude! Classic! Fly on the wall stuff.

--FearlessWhackJob

Can we make "Ballad of the Matrix" a sticky or something? That's got to be the song of this blog, at least until the trading deadline when we can't get him anymore.

--FearlessWhackJob

VMan,

I copied this off KB24.com. I guess this is why the FO thinks there'll be no drama at camp....


"Summer is gone, fall is upon us and that can mean only one thing: NBA training camps are just around the corner. While some teams are holding their media days today, the Lakers will invite the media to their practice facility on Monday and will depart shortly after for training camp in Hawaii.
kb24.com will be at media day to bring you the sights and sounds as the team prepares to kick off the 2007-2008 season."

Is SM a Laker, yet?

--FearlessWhackJob

Lakers Fans, hate to bust your bubble but the word is, Marion is going to Golden State, for Harrington, Pietrus and O'Brian.

NEWSFLASH!!!!!

KOBE is NOT REPORTING TO CAMP

Long time

You have to be refering to Defense. Both Marion and JO are better defensive players. But if you are talking about offense neither are better then Lamar. JO scored around 3 points a game more as his teams number 1 option. He is primarily a jump shooter with no 3 point range. as far as the tough inside post scorer that we need to take pressure off of Kobe, thats not his game. Lamar brings it to the hole off the dribble better the JO. And Marion scored 2 points a game more then Lamar on breaks and put backs. He also can not create off the dribble. Good 3 point shooter when he has time to set and shoot but can be rattled with pressure. That said, I would do the deal because of his defense, but we would still be looking for our number 2 scorer. And I absolutely wouldnt pay him Kobe money to extend his contract. He is not THAT good. 40 mil for 2 players? we already have no cap flexability. He is a 15 mil player at best. Like I said before, we are better served at this point to play the team we have. We can evaluate what we have, and see who on our roster steps up(guarenteed there will be some that do) After all of the injuries that happened last year, it is impossible to even begin to know what this team can become. With so many quality players headed for free agency, there will be some come on the market by the all star break. Thats when we can land another quality player to add to Kobe and Lamar.

MH

So Plastic exptects Laker fans to feel sorry for Mitch for his ineptness after he has done bashing Mitch for a long time? Can't Plaschke pack his own pakage already?

mamba24,

Please add me to the get the matrix bandwagon, gamble on JO bandwagon, and make a deal before the deadline bandwagon. thanks!

Edwin Gueco

We won't know anything after 20 games. That statement is made so often on this blog and it's ridiculous.
After 20 games last yr we looked good. Andrew Bynum looked good.
The Spurs looked shaky.
However in April, May, and June (we did not participate)

Tim Duncan and the Spurs looked like MEN.
Our guys outside of Kobe looked like children. Yeah Lamar played hard but the story of his life is not reaching the potential we all think he has.

TIRED OF IT.

GET MARION PLEASE, JO, RICKY DAVIS, or just do SOMETHING FRONT OFFICE!!!!!!

Maybe Artes Moreno wants to buy the Lakers.
That sounds wonderful if we don't do a damn thing by Monday morning to improve this team.

"While the triangle offense does not demand a true point guard like other offenses, there is no doubt that it will run better with a true point guard who can create plays."

The triple post is also predicated on PASSING THE BALL. I can't wait to see how many games this upcoming season where ONE PERSON whom i won't name dribbles the ball 7-10 times in a posession not designed for that ONE PERSON.

VOR=Irrational Fan?

Voice of Unreason=Irrational Fan

"You are both [Linda Pineda aka Bryant K] youthful and immature. Alot of people can't stand you and I'm glad you posted a Linda P message as Bryant, K. Funny you were accussing people posing as multiple bloggers. Go away and leave it for the true Laker fans."

Hey, Irrational fan, don't be a hypocrite.

first you tried to have me banned (and i think it's worked because an unusual number of my posts are being deleted, but i digress), then you run away by changing your screenname and now your preaching to others? i can deal with being banned, but i won't change my screenname. why don't you revert back to being irrational fan?

so-called "true laker fan" can have differing opinions and still be a laker fans. not everybody is enamored with our current situation and there exists as many reasons are there are excuses, but the undeniable fact is that we traded away our HOF center (doesn't matter who made the final decision) to placate kobe and now we have to live with that.

LET ME REPEAT, WE TRADED A HOF PLAYER IN HIS PRIME TO PLACATE KOBE BRYANT.

i'm willing to take responsibility for my role as a "laker fan" in chasing away kobe.....conversely, are the so-called "true laker fans" (aka kobe loyalist) willing to take responsibility for chasing shaq away? don't answer, i already know the answer.

vman

"Fox reports that Kobe hasn't spoken about reporting on Monday. His publicist has no comment. John Black expects him, but isn't sure. He'll probably show, but at best, this will be a labored start to the season.

Team chemistry is highly overrated. Look how well we did when Shaq hated Kobe."

FIRST OFF, DOES KOBE STILL WANT TO BE A LAKER?

I partially disagree with you on chemistry not being important. On the court, everybody has to be best friends, off the court, it doesn't really matter. The proverbial "line" was drawn by kobe bryant in 2004 and shaq was shipped away. The current team chemistry is kobe dominating the ball and team. Furthermore, “superstars” (I’m not talking about 2nd tier all-stars like the lesser version of O'neal and The Malcontent #2 SMarion) have shown an aversion to playing with kobe.

check out KG at Boston. The most upsetting thing me as a “true laker fan” as Voice of Unreason/Irrational Fan has kindly defined for us is that we had a chance to get KG this summer had kobe not been an stubborn a$$hole with his “love me, hate me, trade me, I love LA” trade/non-trade demand. The weekend before training camp and we don’t even kow if our so-called “franchise guy” wants to be on our team.

I just saw a report on ESPN that KG/Allen/Pierce have already been playing with one another building “team chemistry”. What’s kobe doing?

LTLF,
"Third base."

Great Abbott and Costello reference.

Now we just need to get JJ, Voice of Reason, and Cut-and-Dry to do a Three Stooges remake!

in order to be successful this season, the Lakers starting five should be like this..
PG- Fisher
SG- Kobe
SF- Odom
PF- Kwame
C- Bynum

sixth man will be Walton..bench..Mihm, Radmanovic, Crittenton, Farmar, Turiaf, Evans or Cook

Voice of Unreason=Irrational Fan

"You are both [Linda Pineda aka Bryant K] youthful and immature. Alot of people can't stand you and I'm glad you posted a Linda P message as Bryant, K. Funny you were accussing people posing as multiple bloggers. Go away and leave it for the true Laker fans."

Hey, Irrational fan, don't be a hypocrite.

first you tried to have me banned (and i think it's worked because an unusual number of my posts are being deleted, but i digress), then you run away by changing your screenname and now your preaching to others? i can deal with being banned, but i won't change my screenname. why don't you revert back to being irrational fan?

so-called "true laker fan" can have differing opinions and still be a laker fans. not everybody is enamored with our current situation and there exists as many reasons are there are excuses, but the undeniable fact is that we traded away our HOF center (doesn't matter who made the final decision) to placate kobe and now we have to live with that.

LET ME REPEAT, WE TRADED A HOF PLAYER IN HIS PRIME TO PLACATE KOBE BRYANT.

i'm willing to take responsibility in my role as a "laker fan" for chasing away kobe.....conversely, are the so-called "true laker fans" (aka kobe loyalist) willing to take responsibility for chasing shaq away? don't answer, i already know the answer.

LakerBake wrote:

>>>TIRED OF IT.
>>>
>>>GET MARION PLEASE, JO, RICKY DAVIS, or just do SOMETHING FRONT OFFICE!!!!!!

Mitch! Get Slava Medvedenko back!!!! LakerBake needs change!

that top 100 list of influential sports ppl was crazy. Kobe at 88!?? NBA relies on kobe heavily for news generation. Ppl are more interested in his trade demands than the Spurs beating Cavs in 5. I would say that in terms of sportsmen, the list should be
1) Tiger 2) Peyton 3) A-Rod/Jeter (because of NY market) 4) Kobe 5) LBJ, Brady and LT
I think Peter King should be on that list too.

Long Time - yeah on Slava! Laker nation turns its lonely eyes to the shooting fool.

Dave M

Add Baron Davis to the list of guys who can possibly be had in a sign and trade next summer. Golden State has refused to extend him. Heck if they are tanking he could possibly be available at the all star break.

MH

The Lake Show:

"SELL THE LAKERS TO AEG"

Dodgers=Fox
Angels=Disney
Cubs=Tribune


The Angels DID win the World Series under Disney's watch - 1 out of 3 ain't bad.

On the other hand, you make some serious valid points.

Mamba: Please change the name of the "SELL THE LAKERS TO AEG" bandwagon to simply "SELL THE LAKERS". Thx...

This may be the worst Saturday Night Live cast of all time. These guys are just not funny.

Nope. Not funny.

Wes

Mike T and Linda P--

A match made in..........Heaven?

Wes

giantsquid,

>>>Marion cannot create his own shot. Period. A very large portion of his points come off breaks, beating
>>>his man downcourt, or putbacks. He is a decent 3pt shooter, but not great. Over the span of their careers,
>>>Marion has averaged a couple pts. per game more than Lamar. That's not what I would call a dominant scorer.

I think a lot of people are underestimating the difference Marion would make to the Lakers.

While you are correct that Marion can't take the ball, dribble drive, juke and jive down the lane and get a layup
or dunk, it isn't critical that every player on the team be able to do that. Shawn Marion is brilliant at moving without
the ball to get to an open spot or to get a back-door cut to the hoop. He's not someone who will stand and watch
Kobe -- If Kobe goes into a 1 on 2 move, Matrix will be moving to the spot where Kobe can pass out if he gets
trapped. If Kobe jukes up a shot over 3 defenders outside, Marion will be moving to the hoop for the rebound
and putback. Trust me, Marion would score just fine in the Lakers offense.

Since you brought up 3-point shooting, you're correct, he's decent but not great - but he shoots a higher percentage
on 3's than Lamar Odom does. For their careers, Lamar is a 31% 3-point shooter, while Marion is at 34%. And
Marion also shoots a slightly higher percentage overall than Lamar (48% vs 47%).

As for point differential, last year Phoenix's first, second, and third options were Amare, Nash, and Barbosa. SM
had to get most of his points on scraps. Look at the year before that though, where Amare was out and they
needed more scoring out of Marion - in that situation he scored almost 22 points a game. I'm sure he'd score at LEAST
that much in the Laker offense, where he'd be the second option instead of the 3rd or 4th.

Let me try to extrapolate what that difference means. It will be oversimplifying because I'm going to look at averages
instead of looking at it on a game by game basis. Plug 22 points a game in place of Lamar's 16 a game for last
season. (We'll ignore the fact that Odom MISSED 26 games and his replacement didn't even average the 16 points).
The Lakers lost 11 games by less than 6 points, 3 games by exactly 6 points, and went to overtime and lost by
more than 6 points 5 times. If the Lakers had 6 more points in each of those games, then they'd have had 16 to 19
more wins. Let's say 17 (i.e., one of the 3 games where the deficit was exactly 6 points, they went to overtime and
won). That means that with Marion instead of Lamar on the Lakers, the projected record for last year would
be 59-23 instead of 42-40. Considering one of those losses was against Phoenix, and also considering that Phoenix
would have gotten a point or two LESS from Odom, that means that the Lakers would probably have won the
Pacific division.

Okay, so you're probably thinking "6 points a game difference between Marion and Odom is a fabrication - in reality
Marion only scored 3 points more per game last season". But consider this: Marion was behind Amare, Nash, and
Barbosa in the scoring food chain. With the Lakers, he'd be second to Kobe. Also bear in mind that Lamar missed
26 games, and the Lakers lost 14 of those games. Merely having your second best player on the court may have
been the difference in half of those losses. And finally, Marion's defense is better than Lamar's, so that may actually
reduce the opponent's score by a point or two.

Jerry, agree to pay the man. Mitch, get on the phone and call Steve Kerr.

LOL
now Lebron is ripping his teammates and management......

Well it looks like we're pretty close to the trade deadline eve.

I don't think no one gets traded once they get to camp unless they don't show or come in there ANGRY as all HELL.

This is your 2007-2008 Los Angeles Lakers possibly.
Looks similar huh.

What a way to send Phil Jack out

Well I guess it's time to see how many players will opt out next summer and who will come play with Kobe.

Baron Davis will opt out and he's from Los Angeles.
I wonder how many more.

It's depressing when you're looking at a summer already and with no money which is fine by me cause we should have spent what we spent WISELY.

Bandwagons I am willing to join:

The "Lookin Pa Nub in All da Wong Pwaces" Bandwagon
The "I Drink Scotch Before Breakfast" Bandwagon
The "Cracking Wise" Bandwagon
The "I'm NOT a Little Teacup" Bandwagon
The "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Now I Need Therapy" Bandwagon
The "Grills Are to be Used in Any Weather Including Snow" Bandwagon
The "I'm a Bad Motha (Shut Yo Mouf)" Bandwagon

I'm sure I'll think of others that I would be more than happy to join later.

Long Time Laker Fan

Who do you think led the Suns in shots attempted last year? Go ahead look it up. I'll give you a hint: Nash was third and Amare wasn't first.

I've already conceded that Marion is a slasher who moves well. That's great when you have the likes of Nash and Diaw making plays. On the Lakers, minus Lamar - not so much.

Lakerbake,

"We won't know anything after 20 games. That statement is made so often on this blog and it's ridiculous."

I'm not referring to the Western Conference playoffs or semblance of Championship. We just have a profile of how these new players look like from Critt, Karl and the new Bynum, the Mihm come back, the Kwame/Odom injuries. In statistics, the call it sampling that establishes trends. Of course, the 82 games are most important.

With regards to last year's performance, we have an idea of theLakers when they lost miserably to the Pistons, win a lot at home and lost on the road, that a sign of an immature team, they just know how to play when fans were cheering for them. Even during the first 20 games, we had an idea where they were headed, the best finish was 2nd round, why? Their victories were tentative and losses mounted on teams below .500, not a good sign of championship calibre.

Did you guys check out KB24.com? The opening video has what Kobe does with the announcers. Then the rest showcases his TEAMMATES. Where was Phil in it all?

mike

Gen_one,
You forgot "How to be a Ho"!!

Lakerbake

Your right 82 games is the bottom line but the 1st half can still tell you alot about a team. Last year we beat 15 playoff teams in our 1st 27 wins. 2 against the Spurs, Dallas, the Suns, Houston(twice) and Utah. This was a team moving in the right direction. What that stretch couldnt predict was injuries and we were hammered by them. To improve this team we need trading chips. Moving Lamar for JO, Marion or AK47 is a wash. We need to Add to Kobe and Lamar. This 1st half will be important because we need some guys to step up, if only to improve as trading chips. Vlade, Andrew and others will all be better this year. Lets see who becomes available down the line. By the way camp opens on Monday, do you really think we will see anything now? Doesnt work that way in the NBA.

MH

>>>Who do you think led the Suns in shots attempted last year? Go ahead look it up. I'll give you a hint:
>>>Nash was third and Amare wasn't first.

Leandro Barbosa, with 13.9 shot attempts per game. What do I win?

Amare also attempted 7.1 free throws per game to Marion's 3.1 free throws, so that's about 3 more shots a game
that Amare was taking that don't get counted as shot attempts (vs 1 more for Marion). Thus the order in number
of actual shot attempts was Stoudemire, Barbosa, Marion, Nash. And Nash was only taking about 1/2 an attempt
per game less than Marion.

>>>I've already conceded that Marion is a slasher who moves well. That's great when you have the likes of
>>>Nash and Diaw making plays. On the Lakers, minus Lamar - not so much.

Because Kobe has never passed to an open shooter? And Fish is a total ballhog, not to mention Farmar and
Crittendon. And Bynum or Luke couldn't pass the ball to someone slashing toward the basket, could they.

Steve Nash is not the only player in the world who can get an assist. He's better at it than most, but
if you're assuming that the only reason Marion can score is because Steve Nash is passing to him, then
I've got news for you--Marion was scoring fine before Nash ever came to the Suns.

giantsquid,

One more note on whether Marion can score without Steve Nash passing to him:

Joe Johnson left Nash's Suns and increased his scoring the next season (and increased it more the season after that).
Part of it was that he took 3 more shots per game... shots he wouldn't have gotten on a team with 5 to 7 good offensive
players like the Suns have.

Similarly, I would expect Marion would take more shots per game for the Lakers, since he would be the second option
on a team that's not quite as strong offensively, and thus he would score more.

KL,

You wrote: 'm willing to take responsibility in my role as a "laker fan" for chasing away kobe.....conversely, are the so-called "true laker fans" (aka kobe loyalist) willing to take responsibility for chasing shaq away? don't answer, i already know the answer.

I don't know about anybody else, but why would *I* believe Kobe chased Shaq away. I can remember him waddling
down the court screaming at Jerry Buss "PAY ME MY MONEY!". I can also remember the owner of the Lakers
saying: "If Shaq had come to camp in shape the last few seasons I'd probably have paid him."

Conspiracy theory vs. The rich owner of the team who tells everyone including the fans which includes KLBEAST:
F-U!

Wait a second ... Jerry Buss to KL: "F-U!" Holy putzmonkeies! Jerry Buss has been reading your work!

SHAWN MARION WILL IMPROVE THE LAKERS ON DEFENSE AND OFFENSE…

Those who have been here for a while know that I have long been a big Lamar Odom fan and have consistently defended the idea of trading him. In fact, my initial reaction to the proposed trade talk was that the deal would not improve the Lakers while probably greatly helping the Suns. I have since completely changed my mind and now think the deal would improve the Lakers both on defense and offense and help calm down Kobe and the fans and breath new life into the team.

Defensively, there is no doubt that Shawn Marion would solve the Lakers’ current defensive woes at the small forward position. While I love Luke and think he is a valuable role player, he cannot play good enough defense to be a starter on a championship level team. Marion is able to guard four different positions – point guard, shooting guard, small forward, and power forward – and will help improve the team’s overall perimeter defense, which was downright porous and helpless last year. Did you see him guarding Tony Parker during the playoffs?

But don’t take it from me alone that Marion is a superb defensive player. Last year, Shawn received the 12th most votes (5 first team and 10 second team) in the balloting for the 2006-07 NBA All-Defense team with way more votes and points than Ron Artest or Andrei Kirilenko received. HoopsHype also had Marion on their NBA All-Defense first teams in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and second teams in 2001-02 and 2005-06. While Lamar is an underrated defender and did an especially good job on Marion himself during the last two playoffs, he is not in the same league as Shawn Marion is as a defender.

Offensively, opponents of trading for Marion claim that he cannot create his own shot and must rely on a great point guard like Steve Nash to get him his points. What these critics ignore is that Marion is really a perfect fit for the triangle offense due to his constant movement, cutting, and playing without the ball. Unlike Lamar, who basically needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective, Marion knows how to play without the ball. Shawn gets his points by being in the right place at the right time and using his great jumping and slashing ability to get points via backdoor cuts, lobs for dunks, and boards. In truth, Shawn Marion’s style of play is better suited for the triangle offense while Lamar Odom’ is better suited for the Suns’ run and gun open court offense.

Bottom line, Shawn Marion is a proven All-Star player, having been selected to the NBA All-Star Game in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, while Lamar Odom, as talented as he has been, has never been selected.
Marion was also named to the All-NBA 3rd Team in 2004-05 and 2005-06 and the HoopsHype.com All-NBA 3rd Team in 2004-05 and 2005-06. He will provide the Lakers with a proven #2 scorer and NBA All-Star player, a second NBA All-Defensive quality player, and a guy who wants to share the limelight and will not be intimidated by Kobe Bryant.

There was almost unanimous agreement on the blog this past season that the Lakers need to improve defensively, especially on the perimeter, if they were going to elevate their game to get past the first round of the playoffs. It doesn’t look like Indiana is going to back down on their demand of both Lamar and Bynum for JO and it doesn’t look like Sacramento is willing to trade Ron Artest to us under any circumstances. Now, just like happened with Derek Fisher, Shawn Marion is almost dropping into our laps. He wants to come to LA and play with his friend Kobe. If the power is in our hands to make this deal, then we need to do so. It will go a long way toward righting the Lakers’ ship and, in my opinion, to bringing another Lakers’ NBA championship.

Tom

"LET ME REPEAT, WE TRADED A HOF PLAYER IN HIS PRIME TO PLACATE KOBE BRYANT"

Ahem, I don't think O'Neal was in his prime - and I don't think you'll find anyone to agree with you on that one.

Also, O'Neal himself has said that he thinks it was a Buss decision.

No question that Bryant could have done something to stop Shaq from leaving, but you could just as easily say that O'Neal could have tried harder to stay too. I know that you have beef against Bryant, and I won't attempt to correct your opinion, but when you're wrong, you're wrong.

LTLF,

While I agree with you that Marion would have no problems finding and making his shot in the Laker offense, I'm not sure if the difference would have been 19 games in the W column. I know you made that statement to back up your argument, but here's where I see a flaw.

Marion on the Lakers would be playing SF, and that would mean taking away Luke/Vlad's minutes. Considering we got around 12 ppg from that position last year, you'll have to account for drop in points there. Even if you get Brown/Mihm/Turiaf to play PF, I doubt if you could get more than 6-7 PPG from them. Brown doesn't have a jumper, Mihm cannot effectively block his man and Turiaf is not starter-material.
The option is to put Marion at PF, but I doubt if we would be that effective offensively if he has to D up the bigger PFs in the league (and that's everyone else, considering he's 6'7").

If you had an effective PF as well, I would agree that the difference between Marion and Odom at the 3 would be huge.

this is just silly. joe johnson is a totally different kind of player. and the hawks are horrible. he became their first, second and third option. marion already is the second option on phoenix (really, shots are distributed pretty equally among the Sun's top 4 players ). marion's game is very well-suited to an up-tempo style in which he can benefit from the play of facilitator's such nash and diaw. joe johnson doesn't require someone else to create a shot for him. he's not nearly as limited.

i can't think of another player of marion's stature who is less well suited to the triangle. he doesn't post-up well, he doesn't facilitate, he doesn't create, he's not a great 3pt. shooter. putting marion in the triangle makes as much sense as putting yao on an up-tempo team. they're both great players but they need to play in a context that suits their skills

Shawn Marion for Lamar Odom is a lateral movement. It is a little exciting but will not get the Lakers any deeper in the playoffs than hitherto. Also, it could come with a steep price ( contract extension and lots of money). For the next two or three seasons, the West will be dominated by Spurs, Suns and Mavs. All the others are just participants.

The Lakers will do well to go with the team they have and see what happens (miracles happen).

giantsquid:

We obviously differ as to whether or not Shawn Marion is a good fit for the Lakers’ Triangle offense. You think he’s a terrible fit for the Triangle because he “doesn't post-up well, he doesn't facilitate, he doesn't create, he's not a great 3pt. shooter.” I think he is a great fit because he consistently moves well without the ball, is the one of the best back door cutters in the game, and is a superb finisher and rebounder due to his extraordinarily quick hops and athleticism.

The key to success in the Triangle offense is ball and player movement. Everybody talks about Luke’s value to the Triangle as a facilitator but if you think back to what you saw in the games, you would realize that where Luke really excelled in the Triangle was cutting and moving without the ball. All season long, we only had two players who consistently cut and played off the ball the way they were supposed to in the Triangle: Luke and Mo Evans. Over and over, these two guys were fed for easy lay-ups or dunks. Luke’s praise as a facilitator in the Triangle was more the result of his cutting and perpetual movement than his actual passing, which sometimes was over-passing because of his inability to finish the play athletically. Better to pass than get stuffed!

Marion will replace Luke in the starting offense and will basically play the same role in making the Triangle work by cutting and keeping everything in motion and being in the right place for easy hoops when the defense breaks down or the shot is taken and the boards are open. He will also give us other offensive options that Luke didn’t, especially the ability to go back door for a few athletic slam dunks on plays that Luke could never make. One of the reasons Steve Nash is has been so successful is that he has had guys to pass to who were always moving and always in the right places at the right times. That is what Shawn can give our offense. He will basically be Luke on steroids for the Triangle – as well as a guy who can shut down the opposing small forward.

Bottom line, Lamar Odom and Shawn Marion are both extraordinary players. Each has an important area in which they excel: Lamar’s ball handling and playmaking, Shawn’s defense and finishing. Each has pluses and minuses as far as the Triangle goes: Lamar is great as a playmaker but not so great without the ball; Shawn is not a playmaker but he is a great cutter and finisher who’s always moving without the ball. Both can play either forward position, although Lamar may be better as a power forward than Shawn due to being his height and strength. Shawn, on the other hand, is quick enough and fast enough to stay defensively with small forwards who would just blow right by Lamar. Right now, I just think the Lakers need Marion’s defense and small forward skills more than they need Lamar’s playmaking and power forward skills.

Tom

Final thoughts on Shawn Marion

1) according to the arizona papers, suns management has already stated that they aren't going to trade him
2) according to paul shirley's book, shawn is not the brightest bulb (check out some marion interviews and decide for yourself). of course, shirley thinks kobe's a jerk so you can take his opinion with a grain of salt (i am not a kobe hater).
3) marion is not worth a 3 yr. 65 million dollar extension. he's a great player but he has limitations.

The Source,

"Shawn Marion for Lamar Odom is a lateral movement"

Barring unforeseen Laker change of weather, I don't think JB or Cupcake will make a decision on a Sunday after mulling this matter for almost a week now. LakerTom, we have to accept realities that it will be status quo and the F/O will gut it from here, Mitch will lay down his job on this lineup, either he becomes a hero or a jobless goat in 13 months' time (Well, some goats would write a book while aspiring goats would buy it. lol!) For the Buss family, perhaps it would take two more luckluster seasons before they will be forced to sell the team. Just look what happened to the Dodgers, Kings, Ducks, Angels, Sparks the takeovers of ownership after accumulating losses, lower ratings after losing steam of fan patronage, then they become the topic of Jay Leno and Conan on lossers.

By observations, here is what I can tell you including to many bloggers here who are not familiar with the sports customs of Los Angelinos, this is a melting pot but a difficult cosmopolitan to please. Their fans would be more concerned with the possible freeway congestion rather than watch a full game. They can't take garbage games, they usually leave at 3rd quarter when the lead becomes over 20. Sometimes I see fans at the Staples prefer watching games at the TV sets along corridors seeping their favorite gourmet coffee because there are only three minutes left & they want to be ahead of the line in the restrooms or at the beer counter. lol! They arrived late during home games because the starting time coincides with the gridlock along 10 & 110, & they've been spoiled by the late Chiqui's words-eye-view, they'd rather listen to him than move like a snail on a freeway. If you find bloggers here nauseated with the team, what more if you talk to longtimed laker fans along the streets who are non-bloggers. They tell you: "Lakers, gimme' a break they're chokers." haha! They can pinpoint a good player by merely watching the way a hoopsters jump and dribble at Venice Beach courts or at Pauley's. You can't fool them with your fantastic basketball mind. There are just too many equivalents of MikeT. in LA. another haha! So those are the laker fans, call them fair-weather fans they smirk at you cuz' they know there is always a fair weather in their smoggy city. They're willing to pay the price as long as you put up a good show. Another trait, Los Angelinos, they are stubborn fans, they defied NFL in the last 13 years because they're not willing to pay taxes just to have a football team. They've been spoiled by the Olympics, called the area as "LA is the Place." Why? It has saved the Olympics twice in 1932 (depression era) 1984 (after financial losses at Montreal & Moscow) when it becomes a financial burden for sponsoring cities. Here the Olympics made $ 200M net income. Therefore, you can't take this city as a hostage by any sports fame or entertainment. Not even the Las Vegas could shut down LA, it's vice versa a big chunk of their income comes from Southern California. LA is for everybody, they would even accommodate the Clippers but since they are no winners to this date, they're treated as mere Clippers. You want to test it, put up a Clippers Blog and see whether it could survive a half season.

Hollywood is not only a place for actors and musicians who belonged to broken homes but it's a place for perfection or else you continue with your broken dreams. How many stow away kids ply along Hollywood Blvd & Melrose, hoping they will be discovered until they fall into the prey of homelessness and drug addiction? A movie is produced after several takes, sometimes a hundred times at the wee hours of the day just to perfect a single scene, ask those actors/actresses whose names are inscribed on the Hollywood famous sidewalks, the struggle they went through before reaching the Oscar's or Emmy's or the Hollywood sidewalk.

The same treatment is expected with the Lakers. Fans expect their Laker players as the cream of the crop like the last 12 aspirants of the American Idol Reality Show. Let other teams in the NBA develop the untested rookies and aspiring scrubs. It was only in Mitch's era when Lakers became an averaged team by combining the stars with scrubs, together with the disabled.

As Laker fans in the blog, we have to rally the team for the 3rd year, hoping they will wake up to their senses.

Edwin:

Great monologue on LA fans. LMAO. LA fans don’t even care that they don’t have an NFL team, for God’s sake. lol. Beyond the bandwagoners, though, there is a core of true Laker fans that were here before the current regime and will be here after a new regime has taken over. We rooted and cheered for Jerry and Elgin and Wilt and then Magic and James and Coop and then Kobe, Shaq, and Fox. Now we're hoping for Kobe, Lamar, and Andrew. or Kobe, Marion, and Andrew. lol. And we didn’t leave our seats early or miss a chance to see our team play in person. We loved every minute of every blow out.

I think you are right that a deal is probably not going to go down. When is the deadline for making a trade? I know there is a period at the end of the season when teams cannot complete trades. Is there a similar period at the start of the season? I’m sure Mitch knows. It’s the only time when he is safe from fans. He is probably praying for that day to arrive so that he can relax for a moment and take the pressure off. lol.

Still, this deal seems like a way to fix all of our problems: satisfy Kobe and the fans, improve our defense, and change the chemistry of the team without giving up Bynum. Lamar only had two years left on his contract so this is a make or break year for him. Considering the injuries he has had, you have to wonder if the Lakers would be willing to give Lamar an extension at $16-18M per. Marion seems like a better bet having been incredibly durable during his 8 year career.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I still think we will be dramatically improved even if we don’t pull of the Odom for Marion trade. We have added three new faces in Fisher, Crittendon, and Mihm and maybe a fourth in Karl. Bynum may be ready to break through and become a much better player and Vlade may redeem himself and give us what we thought we were going to get last year. No Smush alone is worth 10 wins. lol.

Tom

Bynum The Untouchable = Godzilla in LA

Could the MIP award be in the cards for AB?

Looking forward to the new season, should be exciting without a Smush in the backcourt.

Kwame, is this the year you can catch the ball???

A lot of question marks this year, AB, Radman, Critt, and can Mihm play the 4? Does Lamar get hurt again?

I think this team is for real if AB is stronger, Mihm is healthy and can play the 4 and if Critt could be special, then just maybe the Lakers will surprise and get out of the 1st round this year.


BD

When I first heard about the SM for LO deal I was excited and optimistic that it would happen because it made sense for both teams. The Lakers needed a change, a big move, and a better defender and slasher who could move without the ball and the Suns could use LO's ballhandling skills, but as the days went on I realized that the deal was to obvious for Cupcake to make it happen and the bum owner to approve it. I hate to see the FO do nothing when all everyone is screaming for is a move. But this FO is too calm to pull anything off.
Another long year dying slowly

as much as i hate to say this cuz i like LO to stay, but if the lakers was to trade for marion, they could be sabotaging phx with LO. if LO is good with the ball in his hands, shouldnt one think in phx he has to adapt to be more like marion was? nash is the ball handler there so LO would have to move w/o the ball, which many of us agree he is not as effective, right? LO could be a second facilitator for the suns, but thier system may not need that. then again LO may be the best thing since air conditioning in the desert, but his injury history is enough to keep more than a few games from entering their "W" column i would think. your thoughts?

Is Paul Shirley playing in the NBA ? Enough said !

"Is Paul Shirley playing in the NBA ? Enough said !"

you need to be in the nba in order to be able to judge someone's intelligence? somehow i doubt that.

My Gators just lost at home to Auburn tonight. I may not be on the blog for a while because of a bud light induced stupor.

Hopefully I'll be back up and running soon.

Is SM a Laker yet?

--FearlessWhackJob

Anyway, don’t get me wrong. I still think we will be dramatically improved even if we don’t pull of the Odom for Marion trade. We have added three new faces in Fisher, Crittendon, and Mihm and maybe a fourth in Karl. Bynum may be ready to break through and become a much better player and Vlade may redeem himself and give us what we thought we were going to get last year. No Smush alone is worth 10 wins. lol.

Tom

I somewhat agree, Tom. I don't think a lot of people realize what an upgrade Fisher for Smush is. Simply put, we go from an amateur drawing pay to a true professional. I think Mihm off the bench is a nice addition, too. Not earth-shaking, but nice.

The only X-factors that can give us a shot at really moving up are the young players Bynum, Farmar and Crittenden. Since Crittenden is likely to be buried under the Triangle, I don't expect much. I hope to see some improvement and some mental toughness from Farmar, since he will have to fight for his #2 job. The real key is Bynum.

If the reports of his offseason workouts are true, that is really good news. It looks like most of the tools are there physically, but what bothers me about Bynum is that he has lacked fire. How many times does someone develop intensity? It's there or it isn't.

In the end, it's tough to be too enthusiastic at this stage. Most of that has to do with the fact that the teams in front of us haven't really changed for the worse. Some of the teams in back of us look like they are better and could push us right out of the Playoffs. And our hopes really ride on one significant upgrade and a bunch of shaky kids.

I hope it works out.

Local news from Superior California-

http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=33313

Go Kings!

Go Niners!

Sonnybelfast

Edwin,

>>>It was only in Mitch's era when Lakers became an averaged team by combining the stars
>>>with scrubs, together with the disabled.

Started watching in 2000, Edwin?

Check out the 1991 through 1994 seasons if you want a dose of reality. Two of the three seasons they lost more
than half of their games, and in the 1993-94 season, they had a worse record than ANY team during the "Mitch era".
They only made the second round of the playoffs twice from 1992 to 1997 and they didn't make it out of the second
round. That's 6 years without getting as far as the Western Conference Finals. And the GM during that time?

Jerry West.

So if Kupchak gets the Lakers back to the Western Conference Finals in less than six years, I hope to
see you giving him props for doing a better job than Jerry West did in rebuilding the Lakers.

The stars of those teams were mostly names like Cedric Ceballos and Vlade Divac and Nick Van Exel and Eddie
Jones. But also James Worthy from 91 to 94 (3 of the 4 seasons), Byron Scott from 91 to 93, and A.C Green
from 91 to 93. But West also brought in great players like Rory Sparrow and Jack Haley and Benoit Benjamin
and Elden Campbell and Antonio Harvey and Trevor Wilson and Anthony "Pig" Miller. So it's not like every player
West brought in was an all-star.

Looks like the Laker players aren't as healthy as we would like. LO, Kwame, Turiaf, Sasha.

Marion is NOT the answer...

One can’t find the answer without knowing the question: Does kobe want to be a laker?

Picking up Marion in exchange for Odom will not happen. Pheonix will not help the Lakers. Our best chance to become a competitive team since shaq was chased away by kobe, laker FO and "idiot" LA fans is playing in Boston. His name is Kevin Garnett and his teammate is Ray Allen. Speaking of my favorite outside shooter...

Rey Allen called out Kobe in 2004

Said Allen: "If Kobe doesn't see he needs two and a half good players to be a legitimate playoff contender or win a championship in about a year or two he'll be calling out to Jerry Buss that 'We need some help in here,' or 'Trade me,' " Allen said. "And we'll all be saying, 'I told you so,' when he says that."

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/basketball/195189_sonx14.html

KLBeast is saying "i told you so". KLBeast predicted the same thing as Allen and now 3 years after the Shaq debacle and 2 scoring titles later, laker fans don't even know if their beloved franchise's so-called "franchise guy" still wants to be a laker.

KOBE BRYANT WANTED THIS AND NOW HE WANTS DEFLECT BLAME TO OTHERS.

Is Kobe getting on the plane?

Juwan Howard can help the lakers, BUT....

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3041426

The BUTT [of jokes] in the NBA is kobe bryant and the lakers. Howard can help the lakers, but he'll sign with a contending team instead. This is what happens when a selfish jerk known as kobe bryant puts INDIVIDUAL LEGACY above winning. Kobe is on an island and only Jermaine O'neal (2nd tier all-star) and Shaun Marion (also 2nd tier all-star and a malcontent like kobe) is willing to openly lobby to play in LA. BTW, O'neal recinded his lobby to play with kobe.

Let me clarify why Marion is a "malcontent" like kobe. Marion has a chance to win a championship and would rather put his INDIVIDUAL feelings above the team. At least Marion isn't as much of a jerkoff as kobe by not lobbying for Nash's departure.

I hope the scoring titles and INDIVIDUAL ACCOLADES awarded to kobe in 2005, 2006 and 2007 was worth it? Kobe Loyalist love it while the rest of the laker fan base suffer. KLBeast is happy to take the criticism from Kobe Loyalist for the sake of openly talking about the Elephant (not shaq either) in the room.

Question of the day: Does Kobe still want to be a Laker?

Last post of the day...(i promise)

Webber has offer from Olympiacos of Greece
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3040997

Webber would rather play in Greece than in LA with kobe. Funny the article doesn't mention LA as a possible destination.

Least

"Our best chance to become a competitive team since shaq was chased away by kobe, laker FO and "idiot" LA fans "

Didn't Shaq demand that the Lakers trade him? Pretty sure he did. The Big Baby felt slighted because Mitch wouldn't say he was untouchable.

Laker Tom,

>>>When is the deadline for making a trade?

In February.

LT laker Fan,

Hey, Pig Miller, Sedale and also Harvey are fun to watch, there is entertainment. Vanexel and 'chise Ceballos, Eddie Jones eventhough they are not winning are a happy bunch. They don't claim to be the winner with their group because they have no Kobe and you don't expect anything from them. They are just pure entertainment.

How about Kupchak era? Too much politics starting from shipping out Shaq by going through media big time, then getting all these scrubs from Boston Celtics combined with the existing ones taken from the draft and proud of them as a worthy replacement of the Big Fellow. They always brag of championship, could'nt even pass the 1st round under a diminutive guard, Steve Nash!. As Mike T. often said, they have weak upper extremities, too soft, too weak that a strong Santa Ana winds could blow them away. They get hurt by landing on the foot of another player, not defending but by merely jumping in the wrong direction. LMAO!!! LTLF, no good for entertainment in the last three years, sometimes a waste of time and money. Lastly, Cupcakes' proselytizing with the Buss family and the media like: Bill Plashke, Mark Heisler, Joe MacDonald on radio and with AK/BK on the blog as well as some bloggers here is just disgusting of too much politicking and less managing. With Jerry West, when his team stunk, admitted it, too fidgety and could not even watch a game. He made remedies by shipping out ceballos, vanexel, jones, campbell, lynch and finally, coach harris out of the Lakers. How about Cupcake? I hope he ships out his gutless a** out of LA? That is the first remedy to put this team in the right direction.

Sorry for being a heartless fan but that's just the fruits of frustrations. lol!

There's an article in the NY daily news that the lakers would give up Kwame Brown and Radman for Marion and that is the deal that is on the table for Steve Kerr to take. The SM for LO deal in nonexistent. Just like our FO to act like their trying to make things happen by putting up b/s deals that the other teams for sure wont take and say that they tried. Why in the world would the suns want Kwame, maybe Radman they would like but this proposal is b/s and is just for the sake of saying they tried.

edwin,
good post. jerry west was never happy with mediocracy like mitch is. i feel like mitch is happy as long as he doesnt screw up in a big way, even though he has. if we dont get out of the first round this year i hope mitch has the balls to make some changes. jerry west would have never let it get this bad. what do you think about magic as gm? i know he already does a lot but has he ever spoken about taking the position?

GO LAKERS

If that's the deal they've offered Phoenix, you're right. Only a drunk actively drunk would take that deal. I'd come back with Tucker for Bryant if I was Phoenix.

KL,
Couldn't you improve your show just a little bit? Like use that device we call memory. The last time Webber was up for grabs -- and when his value was greater than it is today -- he expressed a direct interest in playing in LA, and -- oh, miracle -- alongside Kobe. But Detroit made a more attractive offer, including the decisive bait of going back into history and having Webber become a Michigan native (how Dumars managed to do that nobody knows, but since then they all call him Harry Potter Dumars).

For your post about Webber to make any kind of sense at all we would have to suppose that since his signing with Detroit Webber has had the time to read your informative posts on the blog and realize that nobody in his right mind would play for a selfish Japanese city (something Coby Karl can't claim to be, by the way). Webber has undergone an awakening thanks to you, KL. I can't think of any other explanation for his now being tempted by Pluto (I mean Olympiacos).

Come to think of it, the real explanation may be Pluto after all. Aside from being Mickey's dog and a banished planet, Pluto was the god of wealth (thus, the origin of the word plutocracy, the kind of regime we've been living in for at least the past six years and Jerry Buss for the past 50 or so). So it may just be -- mind you, this requires a real effort of the imagination -- that the 10 to 12 million the Greeks are offering could be part of the explanation.

I thank you for one thing, KL, that this was your last post. Damn! It was only of the day. All my hopes are dashed. I'm dead set against banning the beast, but if the beast decides to go and lie down with the lambs and even hibernate the whole winter, I don't think there will be many who complain.

>>>There's an article in the NY daily news that the lakers would give up Kwame Brown and
>>>Radman for Marion and that is the deal that is on the table for Steve Kerr to take.


No, that's not what he said, you're extrapolating. His exact quote was "Shawn Marion is only going to land with
the Lakers if new Suns GM Steve Kerr is willing to take back Kwame Brown and Vlade Radmanovic. That's not
happening, and the Suns aren't getting Lamar Odom for Marion, either." That is a stated opinion by the writer,
not a report of an actual trade that was offered.

Note that this came after a full article where he talked about Mitch not being able to get KG and not being willing
to give up Odom & Bynum forO'Neal. Also in that article, he stated that Kobe has the option to opt out after this
season. The writer clearly doesn't know what he's talking about -- it seems like a rah-rah piece for the Celtics:
the tone of the article is "Lookee lookee the Celtics got Allen and Garnett and Lakers got nothing!"

Here's a link to the article, by the way: http://tinyurl.com/2u2z49

Jman:

“The real key is Bynum.”

I think even Bynum’s detractors understand and agree with that statement. Obviously, the front office has been monitoring Bynum’s progress. And what is significant is that there was progress that could be measured. Bynum’s efforts probably ensured that the team was not going to pull the switch on the Jermaine O’Neal deal. If Andrew takes his game to the next level, it changes the landscape for the Lakers and the entire NBA.

What we’ve heard from Bynum this summer was almost too good. We wanted him to show fire. I think the initiative and effort that he made on his own to improve his strength, conditioning, and durability through an aggressive summer physical regimen setup for him by Sean Zarzana show that Andrew realizes how important it is to get better. It’s the kind of commitment that KB24 would appreciate – the kind of dedication that too few of his teammates displayed last year. I can’t wait to see how this translates onto the court. The quotes from Luke Walton and Chris Mihm indicate that we’re going to see a much improved Andrew Bynum out there this year.

It will be fascinating watching the chemistry between Kobe and his teammates, especially Andrew Bynum and now Lamar Odom, what with Kobe’s alleged approval of the Lakers trading for Shawn Marion. If Andrew performs as well as we hope, I think Kobe will go out of his way to embrace him as a teammate. I also think that with Smush gone and Phil cognizant of his loss of control over the team last year, the overall chemistry of the team will be to band together against the world. And I agree with you that the return of Derek Fisher and Chris Mihm will also add greatly to the team.

Couple of issues out there that I found interesting. The first is that I would like to learn more about the “basketball drills that former NBA star Gerald Wilkins put Bynum through” that Broderick Turner referred to his article for the Press-Enterprise about Bynum’s summer efforts. I thought that the program that Zanzara setup was truly Kobe-esque. I would love to learn what pure basket ball exercises Bynum was given by Gerald Wilkins.

The second issue is the supposed poll on the Lakers website as to whether or not we should trade Lamar Odom and Brian Cook. Man, what is going on here. The fact the poll was on the team’s official website and that the results were favoring making the trade makes you wonder. It was a stupid thing to do for sure but it does indicate that the team was evaluating the public relations aspect of trading Odom and Cook for Marion. That is the only thing that makes me think that there is still a chance for the deal to happen. Probably not but I always prefer to be optimistic, as you all know very well.

Go, Niners. Make the deal, Mitch.

Tom

Mike T:


"Did you guys check out KB24.com? The opening video has what Kobe does with the announcers. Then the rest showcases his TEAMMATES. Where was Phil in it all?"

Last time I checked, coach Phil isn't in the highlight reel... because he's a COACH, not a player. How often do you see coaches in highlight videos?

Kwame Brown was in the video... does that mean Kobe values Kwame more than Phil? You've got to be kidding me.

Mike, your obsession with PJ is starting to worry me. Maybe you should seek professional help.

EdwinGueco,

>>>Hey, Pig Miller, Sedale and also Harvey are fun to watch, there is entertainment. Vanexel and 'chise Ceballos,
>>>Eddie Jones eventhough they are not winning are a happy bunch. They don't claim to be the winner with their
>>>group because they have no Kobe and you don't expect anything from them. They are just pure entertainment.

Okay, so you're getting all rah-rah for the happy-loser-Lakers and glossing over the fact that THAT IS THE FIRST
TEAM THAT JERRY WEST ACTUALLY PUT TOGETHER FOR THE LAKERS. West didn't bring in Kareem or Magic
or Worthy, so the VanExel/Divac/Ceballos group was the first team that West actually built.

I don't expect the Lakers to win a championship every season, I wasn't objecting to that point of your original post.
I agree with you, some people do unreasonably expect that.

What I do object to is you and others trying to paint Mitch Kupchak as some terrible GM and Jerry West as some
genius who never picked or traded for a bad player and who never had a losing season. West had rough spots,
just like Kupchak is now. So when you say something like "It was only in Mitch's era when Lakers became an
averaged team by combining the stars with scrubs, together with the disabled." you're either lying, selectively
remembering the past, or you never actually watched any of those years. I'd say that your description adequately
depicts the Lakers from 91 to 97. So which is it? Lying? Blocking the bad years our of your memory? Or did
you start watching the Lakers in 2000?

From your "chise Ceballos" comment, I'll take it you did actually watch the Lakers in that era, and I'm guessing
you're just in denial that Jerry West could ever have built an average team that "combined stars with scrubs".

First, let's get the business out of the way:

Yes its a NEW DAY - on this 30th of September our front office, in an attempt to restore us to the glory of our proud Laker heritage does....

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

PS - Hey MAMBA - where are you man? I have at least 4 others on my :
"We Are Out in the First Round Again if Kupcake Doesn't Get off His Ass and Do Something" Bandwagon.

I count on you as our official bandwagon keeper. Geez do I have to do everything myself around here :-)

The announcers aren't players, either.

mike

Mamba,

How about an "All they have to do to win the West is keep their focus and hey check out the Laker Girl on the left" bandwagon?

so... what rock has Ric Bucher crawled under?

"ESPN columnist Ric Bucher repeatedly stated that Kobe will never play for the Lakers again and he would rather sit out and force a trade than play for the purple and gold."

Well... Kobe's showing up... never say never again? Eh?

Damn, my football season is over already. St. Louis Rams 0-4.....we'll get 'em next year for sure!

mike

Can you guys believe training camp is here? Wow, Im getting all these butterflies just thinking how crazy tomorrow will be. Many things have been said from our lakers, and from the world regarding our lakers. However, we all have to come out tomorrow and show that this is still a team, and all attention will be on who else, Kobe Bryant. It will still be an amazing sight seeing Kobe in that purple and gold, but I hope this team shows tremendous growth, and can compete in this crazy western conference teams, where teams in the 6 th, 7th, and 8 th seed could compete for the first four playoff seed in the East.

For me, Im just glad bball is back, and one of the greatest player of all time is playing in the city he belongs.

ALL HAIL THE LAKERS.

Im ready for the go around once again, ARE YOU?

Once again, after all is said and done, more is said than done.

Kobe will show up and the team will be back where it was... watching him fill the seats in Staples.

go lakers

Who's our eyes and ears in Hawaii? Who's going to keep up posted on developments? We need more than what we'll get in the paper. AK & BK would be the logical selection, but their podcast is keeping them way busy. So in their absence I nominate ... me. Hey, K Brothers, see if management will fund a trip and all-access pass to HI for me, could you?

Yes I am!

Woo hoo training camp. Finally!

Questions about the 2007-2008 Lakers:

With the exception of the returns of D-Fish and Mihm, the Lakers roster going into training camp looks much the same, but we shouldn't necessarily expect the team to look the same on the floor.

PG: Conventional wisdom is that D-Fish will be the starter. But he's also only good for limited minutes. Technically, the starter's job is Farmar's to lose, but he's got J-Crit breathing down his neck, and Farmar could easily fall from #1 to #3. I'm betting D-Fish will play the first 5 minutes of the first and third periods, and the last five minutes of the 4th. We'll have to see whether Farmer or J-Crit get the most remaining minutes.

SG: Will Kobe report? If he doesn't, who fills that slot? Mo Evans? Sasha? The conventional wisdom is that Kobe will report, but few have tried to answer the "what if?" question.

PF: The easy answer is Lamar. But it could be Chris Mihm backed up by Ronny, and Lamar moves to SF.

SF: Lamar? VladRad was slotted to be the starter last season until he injured his hand; now he's allegedly healthy. But has he finally learned the Triangle? Walton could conceivably have two challengers at this position and end up coming off the bench.

C: After all the controversy, Bynum should have the starter's job to lose, and Kwame would come off the bench.

We ARE talking about the Lakers, so there are very few givens in normal times. But even with pretty much the same cast, we could see a very different line-up. I'm betting that PJ is looking to stir the pot.

I have been hiding out since the blog had lost some of its appeal with all the negativety afloat, (no names needing mention cuz yall know WHO you are!!) however, i am EXCITED to see training camp here and hopefully Kobe maintains his professional approach to the game and all other players STEP their game up this year and maybe, just maybe, somewhere, somehow management sees fit to ADD a player of TRUE significance if not now then by the deadline so we can truly give KOBE some help and maybe have a chance to seriously contend in the West. Hell, if we were an EASTERN team, we'd be a SHOE in for the 2nd round maybe even the FINALS!!!! LOL oh well...Anyway, GO LAKERs 2007-2008 -- my team regardless, RYDEorDIE!!

"I will bring us through this, as always, I will carry you kicking and screaming, and in the end you will thank me."

-After bashing Kobe all summer...I am now supporting him (on the assumption he turns up to camp)

Everyone was starting to say he was the best player in the league...he felt himself getting complacent,needed to keep things interesting...some drama...he was like a tortured artist with no torture he NEEDS to be criticised...He's about to have the best season of his career.Mark my words.

'I want to be the best center in this game. Can you help me?'

and they call Phil the master mindf**ker?

and they also say Kobe doesn't make his teamates better??

Talk about finding out if Bynum has what it takes in a real hurry....After questions arose about bynums temperment Kobe challenged him to see how he reacted over the summer.The whole thing was a big charade.Cant wait to see how Bynum looks.


don't you think it was Smush's bad attitude and Radmanovic's flowing, long hair, which made it seem he didn't have a care in the world - that sent Kobe over the edge, along with the injuries?

If I'm Kobe, I'm secretly feeling pretty good about things. He's not going to say it but looking around at the team, Vlad Rad is back with a shorter haircut, implying he's ready to play hard this year, PG is vastly improved, I'd say Fisher gives us around 25 minutes/game, Farmar surprises and plays well, Crittenton plays a fill in role at PG and SG for about 15 minutes/game. Mo Evans goes back to giving us some good D, Walton embraces coming off the bench in favor of Radmanovic who starts and gives us 12 pts/6 rebs/game. Bynum gives us 12 and 10 with 2 blocks in about 25-30 mins/game. Mihm gives us about 15-20 minutes/game at C and PF. Turiaf can give us 15-20 mins at PF and emergency Center.

There's a lot of depth and mutli position availability so we can keep up with the fast teams. The 2 wildcards are Kwame and Odom. Is Odom on the block? Remember the Gerald Wallace rumors? Then they would have traded him for Garnett, now the Phoenix rumor... plus, it sounds like he's not going to be ready for the start of the season. Just a thought... and Kwame, we can make use of him until the trade deadline, assuming there's no injuries to Bynum or Mihm. If those guys produce and stay healthy, Kwame almost has to be moved because they can't carry him next year.

I'm excited about this year. If Bynum and Vlad Rad step up, that alone is a monster improvement over last year because those are the equivalent of free agent pickups for something that was not available last year... Smush is gone, can't argue with that... Kobe's in tremendous condition... yeah... we've got a dangerous team and with a great coach... there's always a chance.

lalakerlover & giant squid

I'll tell you who is a ffn jerk...Paul Shirley.I sent him an email asking a question 2 -3 years ago when he first started writing for ESPN.Its not my usual form to email such people and I cant remember the reason I was inspired to do so (particularly when I read his columns these days) anyway he never wrote back.

I nearly fell off my chair when about 3 months ago I got an email from Paul Shirley...it turned out to be an en masse email and promoting his new book....what a gripper....the cheek.I bet AK and BK had more class when they released 'On the edge'

It certainly didnt occur to me to do anything of the sort when I first released 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone' and I had no idea it would sell that amount back then.

Kiwi,

"It certainly didnt occur to me to do anything of the sort when I first released 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone' and I had no idea it would sell that amount back then."

Dang dude, that was funnier than when Mike T was pretending to a physicist.

Kiwi,

"It certainly didnt occur to me to do anything of the sort when I first released 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone' and I had no idea it would sell that amount back then."

Dang dude, that was funnier than when Mike T was pretending to be a physicist.

Kiwi

"It certainly didnt occur to me to do anything of the sort when I first released 'Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone' and I had no idea it would sell that amount back then."

Can you explain quidditch to me? That game makes no sense at all. Wonder how many half-court shots would be attempted if they were each worth 150 points.

Kiwi,
"'Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone'"

I thought "Lord of the RIngs" was better. No offense.

 
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