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Welcome, DJ Mbenga!!!

As many suspected would happen, the Lakers inked free agent DJ Mbenga to a 10-Day contract.  For those unfamiliar with Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, whose career stats don't bear a ton of run since entering the league, a few tidbits.  He's from the Congo.  He's probably best known for shot blocking.  Well, shot blocking and the ability to raise Stu Jackson's dander.  While playing for Dallas, he got suspended one game for a flagrant to Lebron (which I'm sure will tickle more than a few of you).  As a Mav, Mbenga also got punished six games for entering the stands.  In its own right, that's a pretty impressive clip for a dude who's only played 95 games as an NBA pro (I would have played the "in the Congo, we're allowed to do that" card in a transparently lame attempt to escape disciplinary action).

Oh, and I'm pretty sure the "M" is silent. 

Also got a couple scouting reports on the big man.  The Hoopshype take, then one from ESPN's John Hollinger (apologies to those without insider access). 

The official press release from the Lakers is below the jump.



EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent center Didier “DJ” Ilunga-Mbenga to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. 

Mbenga, a 7-foot, 220 pound native of the Congo, signed with the Golden State Warriors November 17 after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks prior to their request for waivers on him October 30.  In 16 games with the Warriors prior to his release January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.   

After signing with Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2004, Mbenga, 27, played 79 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, totaling 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes.  In his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06.  In 2006-07 he was limited to just 21 games after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis. 

In 95 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.47 blocked shots in 5.3 minutes.

The Lakers roster now stands at 15.

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Good pick up of DJ but I'm f"in bummed that Ariza just broke his foot. Are we friggin' cursed man? We're on a roll. We can't afford to lose these guys to injuries now.

well at least its another six fouls to give, and maybe a shot block or two....


since it is only a 10 day contract, can we expect to se DJ out there tonight????

Glad to see the Lakers make some kind of move to add frontcourt depth. Standing still would have meant too many players playing out of position. Having another big man restores some sort of balance to the lineup. I hope he can contribute something positive immediately.

I'm happy with this signing, much more than if we had signed Webber. DJ is a fairly natural shotblocker as a help defender. When Golden State played us at Staples earlier this season, Andrew dominated Biedrins, but DJ played him tougher. All we need for him to do on offense is catch a few passes and not miss open dunks.

True Laker Fan,

I can't guarantee PJ will give Mbenga any run, but I don't see any reason he won't be available to play. Considering Bynum, Ariza, Vlad and Mihm are out definitely out, they basically have no choice but to make him active, if nothing else.


i cant believe ariza broke his foot. same effing thing as last year.

The Dude,
Amen. Defend, rebound, block some shots and don't miss the fricken open dunks.

I am of the opinion that if the kid works out OK the Lakers may hang on to him and try to groom him to be Drews back up. If the kid works with Kareem - unlike Kwame - maybe he can improve. He would be in an ideal situation - not much pressure to produce in a high-speed offense like at Golden State. He could very well turn out to be a cheaper, much better version of Kwame even if he can't hold his position as well as Kwame.

I am most worried about Trevor going down now. Not so much for his "real production" or even his potential production but for the impact on the psyche of the team. I would have for the Lakers to get down and have the attitude of here we go again and accept injuries and bad luck as inevitable. I sure hope all the guys get back and get healthy soon. If we can have the full squad a month or so before the playoffs it will give the Lakers time to regroup and relearn to play together again. This team when it was healthy I think was a team to be taken seriously as a potential contender. A team that could well compete with the Spurs etc, for the title.


Cassandra Johnson sounds like a real witch.

I can't imagine a Packers or a Browns fan getting pissed off at another fan for "cheering too much." Ridiculous.

K Brothers, may I suggest a thread?

What defines a "good" or "true" fan of a professional sports franchise?

We talk about fans as being good or bad, such as "the Red Soxs have really good fans."

What does that mean?

What is it to be a good fan?


read this and especially the second comment

At least it sounds like DJ Mbenga plays with some passion, which is good.


The signing of Mbenga is an ok move if he can block shots, rebound, and be a defensive presence, then he could help. Maybe Kareem can give him some pointers to help him out on the offensive end. Hope to get a look at him in tonights game. If he doesn't work out during the next 10 or 20 days (with a second 10 day contract) we find someone else. Right now it's just nice to have another healthy body on the roster.

Personally, I would have rather picked up Fesenko whenever the Jazz drop him to the D-League but DJ is good for ten days I guess...

C'mon Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Injuries suck!

So DJ weighs 220, huh? That's 5 pounds more than Coby Karl haha. I've watched him play - he can block but he doesn't have the strength to keep other bigs away from the basket. It's all good though - I'd be happy with spot minutes. We're entering a crucial stretch - let's all be fans right now... that means supporting Kwame, Luke, L.O., everyone. I'm serious.

Guys, Mbenga is a stiff. Here's the scouting report:

Though considered a project, Mbenga is 26, so this is probably all we're getting from him. His offensive limitations are fairly immense, with a propensity for turnovers being as problematic as his inability to score. However, he's big and athletic and does a nice job gumming up the middle at the defensive end. That makes him a serviceable No. 3 center, if nothing else.

Way to go LA Cheapos ...I mean Lakers. I suppose Mbenga with his one point and one rebound per game is gonna save the team from the much anticipated mid season collapse. Yeah why sign Webber with his twelve points eight rebounds last season for the remainder of the year if you can sign Mbenga for ten fre aking days??????/

I expect that he will play particurlary since Ariza going down may mean that L.O. has to play some 3 moving ronny back to 4. Hopefully he could just take up some room in the middle and help on the defensive end.

Regarding Ariza, AK/BK - wasn't there a report or article that you guys posted up around the time he was traded to the Lakers about growing concern of Ariza's foot issues? I could've sworn I read something about Ariza playing on borrowed time with regards to a pending foot injury that he was bound to get eventually. I think it was something someone wrote from Orlando... or something like that.

At any rate - I'm not too concerned about Ariza's injury. He's a great athlete but not an impact player like Bynum. Hopefully Vlade gets back soon. He can fill that 3 spot perfectly. If they get Vlade and Sasha back, we'll be fine. Sasha was an integral part in leading the charge in that fourth quarter against the Suns. Vlade and Sasha help make the bench mob what it was during the beginning of the season. I think the Sasha showed Kobe and the rest of the Lakers that they are not as bad as they were last year. They have a bench... and they'll need to depend on that bench if they're ever going to get through this rough patch of the season.



I see your point, but what do you think regular contributors like us can do to help improve the quality of this blog?


Posted by: Jon K. | January 21, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Hmmmmmmmmmm, how about respecting the other bloggers, not calling them names, not calling them bad fans, not telling them to root for other teams if they want to boo, etc.... Just a thought.

what is WRONG with mitch k??? just when you think he has half a brain? he does STUPID stuff like this? why would he sign a player that CAN NOT HELP US!!! why would he NOT go and sign CHRIS WEBBER??? who is by far a BETTER PLAYER!!! it does'nt take a brain surgen to see that!!! man he must want Kobe to start his ranting & raving again??? what mitch you like DRAMA? or what, man you just mad a serious BONEHEAD move by signing Mbenga (no disrepect) but come on! you going to tell me that this guy (Mbenga) is better equiped to help us than Chris Webber? I think NOT!!! GO AND SIGN CHRIS WEBBER!!! SIGN CHRIS WEBBER!!! SIGN CHRIS WEBBER!!!


I completely agree with Flea. I also feel embarassed by the way so-called "fans" have acted.

What did you want me to look at regarding the second comment? Personally, all I can say is that the guy sounds like a jerk, or at least a person I wouldn't want to personally know.

As my father once told me, "Jon, one thing you're going to have to learn about life, is that one out of five people is a jerk. There's no way around it. Best thing to do is be aware of it and avoid those people as best you can."

Well, unfortunately, jerks also sometimes buy Lakers tickets, and when you watch the game, you have to share the experience with these people.

It's a shame, but I guess there's no way around it.

Best thing a good person can do is not to tolerate their behavior.

As it's been said, "Evil occurs when good people do nothing."


Go Mbenga!

What's his number going to? 86? Or something crazy like that?


WHY mitch WHY??? what is wrong with Chris Webber? why are we not trying to sign him??? he is the one that can help us, with all the injuries? this guy Mbenga will not be any help? man he will be lucky just to get off of the bench for warm up's??? mitch be very lucky i'm not the owner? because you would be FIRED already!!!

The beginning of the end?
Bynum and Ariza are probably 2 guys the Lakers could least afford to lose next to Kobe. It all come down to how well they can hold things together until Andrew comes back and make a push going into the playoffs.

The team looks completely different with out AB. Not even the same team.
Now we'll see what's really going on the next couple of games.

I read Kwame went to Kareem Friday to work on his post moves.
Anyone think he would have done that if he had not gotten Booed?

I believe in you, Kwame Brown

Why not?

If he can give us 10-12 minutes, 2-3 rebounds, 1-2 blocks, 3-4 fouls, it would be good enough.

And it would allow PJ to play Ronny at PF most of the time and limit Kwame minutes on court.

Man, how great it would be if Mihm could return to his previous form soon?

'Oh, and I'm pretty sure the "M" is silent. '

Maybe it stands for "Manute".

Jon K,

"K Brothers, may I suggest a thread? What defines a "good" or "true" fan of a professional sports franchise? We talk about fans as being good or bad, such as "the Red Soxs have really good fans." What does that mean? What is it to be a good fan?"

While I obviously won't stop folks from discussing it amongst themselves, I'm not gonna make it a formal topic, because I don't really like the nature of the question. As I've mentioned before (actually to you, I'm pretty sure), the entire notion of declaring "true fan" rules and parameters strikes me as very "holier than thou." I mean, who are you (or I, or anybody else) to say somebody isn't a "true fan" (whatever that means) simply because they don't do everything exactly the same way as you? That's pretty arrogant and offputting, if you ask me.

Take, for example, the situation with booing Kwame, since that's sparked talk along these lines. As I said before, I do believe it's a fan's "right" to do that, technically speaking. Said fan paid for a ticket, which affords certain priveleges. That being said, I also think it's an unnecessarily harsh, completely stupid and counterproductive reaction. Not only because it doesn't help Kwame, but it also distracts the other Lakers, thus taking the entire team out of the game. That doesn't do anybody much good when it comes to the objective (playing well and winning). Plus, I'm not a booer by nature. Just ain't who I am.

But even taking into account that the booers were acting in a way I'd deem totally pointless, that doesn't automatically make them less of a "true fan." It just makes them "true fans" doing the polar opposite of what I'd do. But just because you're a die hard doesn't mean you're required to be a robot, acting the same way as every other die hard. Fans are like snow flakes. They're allowed (and supposed) to be different.



Man I thought the same thing about Ariza's foot as you. There was definitely concern about Ariza...which is one reason I think Orlando was ready to give him up...the concern that structurally his foot was prone to injury. I am hoping that this injury just heals (breaks dont require like actual surgery or therapy)...but I am concerned about long term prognosis. Does this take away his explosion, because thats his whole game. Also, will it continue to break. I am a bit worried about this, moreso than Bynum's injury.

As far as Mbenga..I think its pronounced m-benga....and while he's not going to rock the rim or score a bunch of have seen him play before most definitely. He came in to guard Shaq a few times for the Mavs when they played the Heat in the NBA Finals. However, Mbenga and Diop basically duplicate skills, so he left. And as far as his run in Golden State....Nelson doesnt use a conventional center..he uses freakin harrington at that was defintely the wrong system. Hes not going to score you a bunch of points..maybe none at all..but he can jump and block some guessing that the Lakers go with a different rotation

PG Fisher/ Farmar
SG Kobe/Sasha/Crittenton
SF Luke/Kobe/Karl
PF Odom/Turiaf
C Kwame/ M-Benga

We were in desperate need of sure.

Though personally I'd have liked to sign CWebb...the old decripit one. But hey that's just me.

Go Lakers!

I'll be riding this sinking ship..

Laker fan to the end..

p.s. I believe the Lakers should sign this guy...Sun Mingming


C-Webb could still be in the works. At this point (to the best of my knowledge), he hasn't made up his mind. But in the meantime, the Lakers need a body. But Mbenga is only under a 10-day contract, meaning he won't complicate anything with Webber, whose salary is basically set (pro-rated vet's min) and it's a matter of him deciding where to go. If worst came to worst, they can waive DJ and eat the cost, if that was deemed necessary.


How would you guys like this trade

Lakers: Ben Wallace (2 years 28 million left after this year)

Bulls: Kwame and Vlad

Not sure what to think about this one, but heres the article,1,7039872.column?ctrack=1&cset=true


So, I'm confused. Why do you think "an unnecessarily harsh, completely stupid and counterproductive reaction" is an inherent right of a fan?

How would making a choice of that kind ("unnecessarily harsh, completely stupid and counterproductive") leave someone open to being a "good fan"?


If nothing else, Mbenga can come off the bench, "gum up the middle" and allow Turiaf to shift his defense and offense off the opposing team's center. Turiaf is much more effective - as a defender, rebounder, scorer - when he's in the 4 spot. We won't need a lot of points out of Mbenga if Turiaf, Odom and Luke can pick up some slack.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Kareem's tutelage will help both Kwame and Mbenga maximize the abilities they have. If any former center in the history of the game can do it, Professor Abdul-Jabbar can.

WHY mitch WHY??? what is wrong with Chris Webber? why are we not trying to sign him??? he is the one that can help us, with all the injuries? this guy Mbenga will not be any help? man he will be lucky just to get off of the bench for warm up's??? mitch be very lucky i'm not the owner? because you would be FIRED already!!!

Posted by: ken bloom sr.

careful your being bad blogger

the booer

Lawrence Ross....

You're probably right that Mbenga is a stiff...he's certainly a one dimensional player. However, he is a healthy body who is in some sort of shape, unlike Webber or PJ Brown, both of whom haven't seen NBA action in close to a year. Signing him to a ten day is a conservative strategy. It buys the Lakers 10 days where they can see if Vlad or Mihm can return. Ronny needn't see as many minutes at backup C and guys like Kobe and Sasha can avoid playing the 3 unless it's by design.

Does anyone know how much a 10 day contract pays?

SIgning Webber would be a really stupid move.

For any of you who wanted him, did you watch him in the playoffs last season? NO defense at all. And you think he is in game shape now?

Good passer, decent mid-range shot, no inside/post game anymore.

It would take too long to integrate him into the offense to take advantage of those skills, yet during that time the team would still get the "un-benefit" of his complete lack of defense. Much easier to bring someone in short-term to rebound and play D than to bring someone in short-term for offense.

Ask yourself, if he is such a no-brainer for a team to pick up, why is he not on anyone's roster half way through January?

Jon K,

"So, I'm confused. Why do you think "an unnecessarily harsh, completely stupid and counterproductive reaction" is an inherent right of a fan? How would making a choice of that kind ("unnecessarily harsh, completely stupid and counterproductive") leave someone open to being a "good fan"?"

Because, like I said, it's what they're allowed to do, technically speaking. There's no reason they can't. Again, I personally wouldn't. I find it pointless. But mine is not the uber-opinion and to propose hard and fast "rules" acting like it is smacks of "holier than thou," in my opinion.

Look, I'm not "the fan police." Who am I to decree people "fan or not fan?" If somebody is a die hard who follows the Lakers obsessively, roots his guts out and passionately cares about them, but happens to voice frustration in a way I wouldn't, I'm not about to start casting him out as "not a good fan. I don't consider that action enough to entirely discredit everything else that guy does as a Laker fan. I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water, so to speak, just because he acted in a way I wouldn't. I don't make the "rules," nor do I think anybody else should.

If you feel differently, express that opinion and lay out the "guidelines," I guess. Like I said, I think it would be pretty arrogant on your part, but if you disagree, have at it.


cursed cursed cursed. what the hell did the Lakers ever do to anger the basketball gods?

Before we turn the page on the PHX game, there are a couple of things that I'd like to offer up:

First, I think that game might've turned things around for PHX. As much as a a healthy Bynum might've resulted in a devastating loss that sent them asking a lot of questions, a dominating win seems like it's gotten them back on track.

Second, I think the team being so out of rhythm and desperate looking might've really hurt their chances of signing Webber. Even though he is looking to contribute, rather than getting a free ride, the Lakers (that night) looked like a team that might not even be able to tread water. Ariza's injury is making things look even more dismal. I don't think he's looking to be a savior - just a piece that solidifies.

This was just a marketing deal

Kamenetzky Brothers,

Whenever possible, please post those wonderful audio clips of interviews. These recordings are by far the best way for us Lakers fans to understand the players and the organization as a whole. Hearing the interviewees speak their responses allows us as listeners to judge a comments nature based on its tone and timing. Along with that we can understand the context of specific comments within an entire interview.

I frequently read news articles that either mischaracterize a players comments or flat out misquote them. It's much better to come across an audio or video clip where you can take a players comments at face value.

For example, in the "Y'all may have work off for the holiday, but the Lakers don't" thread the linked OC Register and Daily News articles contradict each other regarding whether or not Odom is looking forward to taking on a greater workload.

From the OC Register article:
"I'm not looking forward to it, to tell you the truth," said Odom, who had previously played more than 42 minutes just once this season. "(But) I'm ready for it. I'm in shape now."

From the Daily News article:
"I'm just going to have to try to pull the stat sheet up," he said of scoring and rebounding more while playing additional minutes. "I'm looking forward to it, to tell you the truth. I'm in shape now. This is the time to do it. I don't know how many games we've got before the All-Star break, but we need to finish up strong."

I personally think that the Daily News article is the correct one, for several reasons that I won't get into.

Just when I was about to say that Kevin Ding over at the OC Register usually does better work, I noticed that this article is written by Curtis Zupke. I'm not familiar with your writing Curtis but your definitely making a bad first impression. It seems that the quote is changed in order to fit with the picture that is being painted in the beginning of the article. It's more likely that the misquote happened first and the article was written around it (I don't necessarily suspect intentional misinformation). Either way, sloppy reporting.

Of course the Daily News article could be wrong, in which case my apoligoes to Curtis Zupke. I wish I had an audio clip to clear up this confusion.

Did anyone else notice this contradiction between the two articles? Andrew, Brian, can you clear things up? Does anyone else find these audio clips to be helpful? I would love to see them posted as frequently as possible and if you feel the same way, please don't hesitate to speak up.

I like the Mbenga signing probably b/c he's the best player available that suits the Lakers needs right now (I just posted why I think Webber isn't in the mix). As long as he's not a liability or turnover machine, I welcome him. I don't think the Lakers are going to get anybody who makes them better so I'm content in adding someone who keeps them from getting worse.

Also, if Mbenga takes to the system, then he'd be a great economical back-up for Bynum next season.

i guess a good pick up with mbenga. hopefully he can add some defense and can make a two handed dunk.

really bummed about ariza. exactly how long is ariza set to be out?

we really need lamar and farmar to pick up the scoring load.

GO LAKERS...i hate the nuggets


Jon K.,

Thanks for your reply and hope you are doing well.

I really don't know what to say about some of the other bloggers. Even though I have been blogging since 12/06, I still have mad respect for the Dave M's-Rick Friedman-Edwin Gueco- Hugo-LTLF-and the list goes on and on about you Senior bloggers. (Not to mention the KBros)

I understand your frustration, but I just feel it's the nature of a blog. If you senior bloggers don't respond to their infantile rants, you should be fine. I have used this line before from a blogger that is no longer contributing, "You sometimes can't hit someone with a 10 foot pole." (that came from a long hardly objective exchange with the person. Edwin may recall the female blogger who posed under another alias)

Also, I too have the tendency to rant and be robust. So I am easily at fault!

Take Care man!

I'll give this DJ a spin.

get it????

the Chicago tribune proposed a trade for Kwame's expiring contract and Vlade for Ben Wallace. Apparently they feel that he's a shell of his old self and Noah does his job for a fraction of his pay.

Speaking of sloppy reporting, which players leg did Ariza land on? Fishers or Odoms? What gives? Now that there are two conflicting reports out there, we have to break it down to most reliable sources... does anyone have any seemingly legitimate information regarding this?

Regarding the signing of DJ. I think it is worth a shot - he can't be any worse than Kwame can he? Second it is a ten-day contract - it is not like they are stuck with him for any length of time with a salary that would prohibit the Lakers from going in another direction. All the people crying that we didn't sign C Web should just chill. The Lakers could still sign him - and by giving DJ a "tryout" you may find a guy that fits the Lakers system even though he may have washed out in Golden State and Dallas. Give the guy a chance - if he stinks it up - he is gone in 10 days - if he does well they sign him to another 10 day or maybe even for the season. If nothing else it gives the Lakers another body at a relatively cheap cost so I don't really get the moaning about how bad it is they sign the guy.


Don't quit your day job!

MBenga, Kwame, the African names will help the Lakers. Hey, we don't expect too much on the offense. We just want rebounds, block shots and accurate passing those are the roles of the mighty Centers. The forwards and guards have to step up and finish those shots. Remember passing becomes an assist only if one can put it to the hoop. If the shooter lacks confidence, this is not the time to experiment on the outside, go inside and try to shoot the ball at closer range that is within your shooting ability.

Go, Fight & Win one for the Blog.

I think that geting. Dj For 10 days was a bad idea with his sportman attitude on the court that he had on the past games.

I read those scouting reports linked in the post ... I felt as if I was reading the scouting report for Kwame! "Good defense, no offense"

Danny Hernandez,

So if we could get Rasheed Walace on a 10-day you wouldn't do it?


We should sign Slava for 10 days too. Instant offense just about anywhere and knows the triangle well...

Signing Webber is not a stupid move.

We can sign anybody who can help and I believe Webber in his waning years can help in the offense and making good decisions in the post. He may not be a defensive weapon but he's still middle of the stars in this league. He is better to the 75% of the Lakers, his experience and presence would give confidence to the young ones.

As always, I also like to recall those foreign drafts who are hibernating in other leagues. They are good shooters and can play, if we have some weak players, let's use common sense and get the ones that are already playing in the Olympics. Of course, I don't know whether that is possible for so short a time. There has to be contingency for everything, don't be caught by surprise and be completely paralyzed due to injuries of the regulars. We have good coaches and good players, let us replenish our inventory with good quality of materials at all times.

Where can I pick up a DJ "Daco" Mbenga #28 jersey for my Laker jersey collection?

Colorado loves the Lakers!

DJ and Webber both, would be good pick ups if Mitch can pull it off.


How about Wilcox of Seattle, is he really available or need a trade? He is a good rebounder and power forward. This is exactly the type player the Laker need in power rebounding. We need to polish his shooting, I think our coaches can do that, if they can turn Ariza into a 3 point shooter then they could also train Wilcox. Will Seattle release him for nothing?

Mitch wants to get C.Webb. Its out of his hands though.

C.Webb needs to decide.

You can whine about Jerry Buss not giving Mitch more money to throw at Webb. Complaining about Mitch is pointless.

LakerGate---did Laker Management ask Derek to fall on the sword so Lamar wouldn't be blamed?? I wouldn't doubt it after the Kwame Fiasco.

I like DJ as a pickup and has 10 days to become a Staples favorite. Welcome about DJ.

Lakers have to win tonight and expecting to see Fish and Lamar show up tonight..

Go Lakers!!


I was just thinking, we could have used Brian Cook in this situation. He knows the system. Vlad's out (so no redundancy of roles there) and he's a front court player. I just checked his stats and he's played well the past couple of games. I would think that Orlando would have been willing to give him back considering his production but he did play well the past 2 games so that is a little bit of wrinkle in there. By "give back" I mean maybe cash and a 2nd round pick or something.

Jon K,

You used to be one of the bloggers I most respected. I now think you have completely lost it. Who died and appointed you "hall monitor?" To say, "Evil occurs when good people do nothing" when you are talking about what makes a true fan suggests you have gone over the edge.

The whole fan "broohah" started Thursday night/Friday. It is now Monday. The Lakers as a team are now headed into a new game with new issues.

You need to get over yourself and move on, as everyone else has. The Lakers have a new team member on the roster, another key player out of action, new player rotations to deal with, and an opponent in the Nuggets anxious to exploit every weakness. Every fan, no matter how they feel about Kwame, understands that he needs to play well, and is willing to support him under the dire conditions the Lakers now find themselves.

Whether booing is right or wrong, the Lakers as an organization responded as every fan would want them to: with unity and support for a fellow team mate. Kwame knows and has admitted that he played like crap on Thursday night. Just as it is not healthy for Kwame to keep obsessing on that game, it is not worthwhile or healthy for us fans to keep obsessing about it either. It's over. It's a new day and a new game.

If you feel the need to be "holier than thou" as a fan, you have a serious problem.

I am not one to attack a fellow blogger. I have defended KL and Gunner for their right to speak out regardless of their opinion. On Sunday, I acknowledged that one of Mike T's posts might actually help Kwame, breaking my personal policy of for the most part refraining from commenting at all on Mike's posts. I think we should be talking about basketball. I think we should be talking about the Lakers. The blog is the home of many opinions about all things Lakers. That said, none of us are in a position to judge what is a fan and what isn't, or who is a fan and who isn't. Fans have many ways of expressing themselves. That includes you. That includes me. Only a police state would have fan police. Last time I checked, America is not a police state.

Jon K and AK,

I don't think booing is productive, especially for a guy like Kwame, but I have to say that the people that did that at Staples the other night are probably as much of a "die hard" or "true" fan as any of us. They're probably just more vocal. Listen, they're big enough fans to spend hard earned money on very expensive tickets and then were given that to have to watch. All booing aside, that Kwame play was atrocious. I was cursing my head off at the TV (even did the Old School "earmuffs" for the kid) which is just another way of vocalizing my displeasure.

I think it's classless and counterproductive to boo your own guys, but I don't question the level of care those people have for the Lakers and their winning. And I don't think anyone else has the right to say what guidelines any fans have to follow.

Lets root for Seattle and Atlanta to win today. Our best hope is that our competitors start losing games.

The Lakers CAN'T give Webber more money. Salary cap. In this case, that's a good thing, though.

Jon K, everyone has a right to their opinions. If you feel you're truly right, okay, but you don't have to persecute those that you disagree with you. As AK pointed out, that's a very arrogant way of looking at things.

"but he's still middle of the stars in this league. He is better to the 75% of the Lakers,"

No, and no.

David Whang,

>>>Personally, I would have rather picked up Fesenko whenever the Jazz drop him to
>>>the D-League but DJ is good for ten days I guess...

I would love to get Fes, but I think the Jazz are planning on keeping him. It would probably
cost Critter to get him, and I'm not sure I'd want to pay that much.

Relax guys, it's only a 10-day contract. Sure his offensive game sounds like Kwame II, but we need another player to "gum up the middle" in the short term. We can still work on signing PJ Brown, C Webb, or another higher profile post player in the mean time.

Frank Rizzo was right, it is upto Chris Webber.One thing bad about Chris, he thinks he's in college kid, have all his own sweet time to do the choosing. He's a wanderlust, try to weigh in on decisions, yet he has a reputation to repair. How many teams has he played now? Kings, Sixers, Pistons and still unsign to this date. Well, he thinks he is 21 year old still dating Tyra Banks, not a player who is about to turn 35 years old. What more recognition does he like in playing with the Lakers, playing under Phil and with Kobe and when Bynum and Ariza comes back they have chance to get to the Western Conference. He is a prospector for a gold ring but his experience is only in river gold panning. "Hey, C-Webb, got to make a decison and take risks!" Lakers can get him at a guaranteed contract, this kid does not need the money because he's still in the payroll of the Sixers. Here is career statistics:

Why are people still calling Mitch stupid for things like not signing Webber?

For one thing, he outguessed a lot of us (including me) on how good Bynum would be -- although in my defense I never ever wanted the walking body cast that is J. O'Neal in a Laker uniform.

But seriously, Chris Webber? You're asking for a good passer who can't play defense, has no inside game, and can't rebound in traffic. Aren't we already paying Luke Walton for all those things?

I like the DJ signing. Well done, Mitch. It's not the scoring that we're missing most -- although we've definitely seen better. It's the weakside D. Between Kwame and DJ, hopefully the fort will be held down.



Everyone that is complaining that we should have signed C-Webb is really missing the point. We needed someone today, not in a week or 2 weeks but now. You can not assume that C-Webb is ready to sign with us. I think he is still hoping that Detroit signs him. If he decides that he wants to come to L.A it isnt going to cost us much to buy Mbenga out. In the meantime we had 3 guys covering 2 positions and you just cant go on very long being that thin. Besides in 10 days we could have Vlade and possibly Chris back as well. So lets just wait and see how this all plays out.



>>>First, I think that game might've turned things around for PHX. As much as a a healthy
>>>Bynum might've resulted in a devastating loss that sent them asking a lot of questions,
>>>a dominating win seems like it's gotten them back on track.

Since when is an 8 point win "dominating"? If Phoenix had blown out the Lakers by 30 or
something, that's one thing, but the Lakers played the game all the way to the end. If I was
a veteran center, I look at that game and say, "Gee, if they had gotten better play out of the
center position, they might have won that game."

Similarly, it can't be a great confidence builder for Phoenix that they got the Lakers down
20 and then couldn't keep them there. When the Lakers got Phoenix down 20, they put
them down 30 and the bench was able to hold on for the win. Phoenix had to put back
in their starters at the end or the Lakers would have stolen the game from them. And all
that WITHOUT their dominating center.

I'll wager the Suns (not to mention the Mavs, Warriors, etc.) are hoping Bynum will take
longer than expected to come back

Hadn't caught all of the postings so forgive me if this has been said...

About this "true fan" debate. Fans have the right to boo and in fact should boo! It is the only recourse they have to disapprove with a product they paid (an exhorbinant amount of) money to witness. In the "real world", if you go to a resteraunt and the service is terrible, you can complain to the manager and withhold a tip. If your car is not serviced correctly, you can complain to the shop owner and demand they fix it as it should be fixed. Until Lakers management start giving refunds for an especially bad product, booing is the only way to voice disapproval. It is harmless and if a PROFESSIONAL cannot take it, well, they are not very professional. There are a lot of rec center ball clubs they can play for! And for all the people who will trot out the obligatory "if you were an accountant, do they come to your work and boo you" scenario, if said accountant made $5 mill per and screwed up at an unacceptable level, you should do more than boo him!

and besides, those of you who deride booing are probably big kobe fans (of which I include myself). Funny though, I'm sure most of you, echoed by some in print, think that Kobe "calling out his teammates" (euphemistic phrase for selling them out) was necessary to motivate them into this fantastic start! how is this different than fans booing Kwame? any thoughts?

For all you guys angry at Mitch for not signing Webber.. let's all be clear on this that Lakers have gone after Webber and at this point it is Webber who is holding out to see if any possibilities come out of Detroit which is where he wants to be. It is out of MItch's hands. Lakers just have to wait until Webber makes a decision. Unfortunately we are running short of bodies thus we signed the new guy for 10 days. it is only 10 days.. not a year contract. It'll be good to see what he can do and also keeps the flexibility of signing Webber if he decides to come here.

what happens if Mbenga, after a few days worth of coaching from Kareem starts torching Kwame in practice? LOL! Would that be priceless or what?

Chris Webber doesn't want to work. He wants to waltz into an easy situation and get a ring. I've seen a couple of reports that say he's NOT in good condition. Can you friggin believe that??? Dude has some gall to be playing hard to get and he'll still take a month or more to get into game condition??? What good is he to us then? We'll get maybe 2-3 weeks worth out of him and then Bynum will return. Might as well pick up a Mbenga or at least somebody who is in good enough shape to help us right now.

Also, with the Ben Wallace rumors, wasn't PJ Brown holding out to see if he could get a big payday for being involved in a trade? Maybe that's what the Lakers are going after because it sure doesn't sound like Webber will be coming here.


>>>You can whine about Jerry Buss not giving Mitch more money to throw at Webb.
>>>Complaining about Mitch is pointless.

Buss has nothing to do with it. You can blame the salary cap for not giving Mitch more
money to throw at Webber.


I see your point and I know that this is an "open" forum for discussion, but just because (Thank God) the Bill of Rights gives us the Freedom of Speech, it doesn't mean that we should encourage people to run shouting through the streets screaming obsentities and describing in detail the joyful smell of their bowel movements.

There are mores of appropriateness. The same holds true for almost anything, including being a fan.

I don't want to personally "define" what it is to be a good fan. I'd like to find out what other people's opinions are on the matter. Particularly people who think it's okay to abusively boo a player who booing doesn't serve as an effective motivator.

That mentality is alien to my own. I just don't get it.

Maybe because it doesn't make sense.

In any case, when you are talking about advanced discussions of anything, it is important to define your terms. What are we really talking about? Too many things are taken for granted in this world and that's were confusion and rationalization come into play.

What is it to be a good fan?

What does that mean?

To me that means caring about your team, rooting for your team, having a deep desire for your team to win, and supporting your team whenever possible in a meaningful, effective way (if possible.)

I have three teams that I REALLY care about: The Lakers, the Clippers and the UCLA Bruins.

I know that there is some antimosity between some Clippers and Lakers fans. Living between both worlds you come understand each group's perspective.

A lot of Clippers fans don't like the Lakers not because they don't like Los Angeles or don't respect the Lakers as an organization.

They don't like Lakers fans and don't want to be like them. They think they're snobs who don't know how to handle struggle and who are completely intolerant of their team unless they are entertainingly winning for them.

I don't believe that about Lakers fans as a whole, but for some parts of that I do believe that rings true for SOME Lakers fans.

There are a component of our fan base that simply are not good fans.

They follow the Lakers because it is trendy for them to do so. And they don't really understand athletics.

When I hear that people completely booed Kwame every time he touched the ball, that's something I'd expect of Detroit fans or Knicks fans.

I hate the Knicks and the Pistons. Number one reason? The fans.

It's embarassing.

So, I'm not quite sure what to say except maybe it's a good idea for dedicated Lakers fans to educate new or conditional Lakers fans in what it means to be a good fan.

To help them understand that it's not like watching a game on television. The energy of the crowd influences the game. Anyone who has played in front of large, vocal crowds knows that to be true.

Maybe by understanding and accepting that factor, some abusive booers will change their behavior in such a way that helps our team win. And isn't it all about that anyways?

God, I hope so.


If DJ can avoid 5 missed dunks/layups and 7 turnovers tonight, he will have outplayed Kwame. This aside, I do think Kwame will have a decent game tonight


"Again, I personally wouldn't. I find it pointless."

Doing something pointless usually implies that the action being taken has no impact. On the other hand, you find booing to be counterproductive. So which is it, counterproductive or pointless.

Personally I wouldn't call anyone a bad fan because they boo. It's just an emotional impulse. But it is counterproductive and occasionally hurts a player's performance. And that's bad for the team's fans.

Frank Rizzo,

If all it was is money standing in the way with the Lakers, every big-time free agent would be signing with us. It's not a money issue. It's a salary cap issue.

what happened to marc gasol and that other guy i think his name is sun yue or something? those guys they drafted?

Laker Nation, as the incomparable Dr. King once said “let freedom (and Kwame’s layups) ring.”

1. Unbelievable … Another day another injury … This is becoming epidemic over the last two years. Landing on player’s feet seems to be the favorite pastime of the Lakers. I have never seen this type of horrific display on other teams.

2. ReliFace, good call on the injury timeline in yesterday’s blog.

3. Take the “cursed” talk and shove it where the sun don’t shine – nut up – and play ball! Laker Nation does not CRY!

4. It’s nice to see Mark Heisler of the LA Times borrowing ideas from the Laker Blog for his stories (,1,546448.story?) Maybe some royalties next time Mark?

5. The next 7 weeks will reveal Kobe’s MVP destiny and perhaps NBA legacy. Laker Nation knows what he can do, but nationally, If Kobe can throw this team on his shoulders and drag them into mid-march with a winning record over the next 27 games... (See road trip from hell) the MVP is his! Especially if the Lakers make a strong run when AB gets back. But …

6. If the Lakers struggle, are DOA by mid-March, and wait for young goliath to snap them out of the dead man walking funk, as dominant as he was, Kobe will not sniff an MVP now or perhaps ever. You can’t win MVP of the league if you’re not the MVP of your own team.

“Beware the ides of March” young Caesar!


By the way, there's nothing arrogant about telling a jerk he's being a jerk and helping him to correct his/her behavior. It's called bravery.

Listen, just last week I almost beat up someone in a bar because he was grabbing/fondling a waitress who didn't want that. It was in a room filled with men who did nothing. I stepped up because it was right for someone to step up.

I personally believe we, as a society, have become psychotically politically correct. So much so that when people act like irrational jerks, people, in general, look aside.

The world clearly isn't black and white, but there are certain values of right and wrong that are fairly easily defined via reason. And we have a duty for standing up for what we believe in.

I know it's only a game, but the Lakers matter to me.

It has been confirmed by Kwame, Phil Jackson, and many other Lakers (including Kobe) that abusive booing was not helpful in assisting their game against Phoenix (or probably anyone else, quite frankly.)

That's a fact. Not conjecture.

Let's say someone was throwing stuff at the Lakers during a game. Or thought it was a good idea to drive around their hotel at night honking their horns so that the Lakers wouldn't get a good night sleep before an important matchup (aka Sacramento Kings fans).

I'd say they're classless jerks and I'd let them know.

By the way, that loudmouthed, classless jerk who was fondling that waitress? He barked at me "Mind your own business!" threw obsentities at me, and then left.

And he left because he knew, inside, he was being a jerk.

And after he left the waitress thanked me, as did two other men. And people generally had a better time after he was gone.

I'm sure the same would have been true at the Phoenix game if the majority of other fans would have told the abusive booers to "Shut the frick up!"

And it probably would have been a much closer game.

People may have a rigth to say what they want, but you have just as much right to tell them that they are full of crap.


Frank Rizzo,

Where did you hear this about Chris Webb?


It's not so much that he can help's that he's another body to throw out there.

If Kwame got into foul trouble, and LO, and Ronny, the next tallest person we have is Luke. Scary thought.

Good point AK. Though with what I've heard of late, that ship has sailed. And we sunked it (Or blew it away I'm not sure lol).


Where did you here about Wilcox being available? I would love to get him.

Edwin Gueco,

I really like the idea of bringing in Chris Wilcox. He has some motivation issues, but is crazy athletic and strong.


I like he idea of dumping for dumping Lamar and Vlad for Wallace--Rodmanesque in terms of game, lots of great playoff experience. But who becomes our back-up 4 behind Ronnie?

I am very excited that Benga is on the team. I am so excited that he will also go down under by legs. Ha ha ha.. I hate being a Laker. I will hurt one by one until J'Buss and Mitch Cup plays as a Center and PF and goes down badly. Ha h aha ha ha..I will Take down PJ and T-Rex winter too



Not to flog a Kwame or Mitch Kupchak too much.. but..........

Caron Butler 25 pts 9 Rebounds 5 Assists and 5 Steals taking out the Mavs handily.

Kwame Brown 8 pts 6 Rebounds 0 Assists 1 Steal 7 TURNOVERS handing the victory to the Suns

Kwame will only have a game like Caron's in his dreams.... but then again, as they say... Kwame is the kind of guy that could FU a wet dream.

Being a lifelong Laker fan doesn't mean a person has to ignore the obvious. Wishing Kwame to be better doesn't mean it will happen. His talents are extremely limited. His work ethic is poor. He thinks he is way more than he is and..

He chews that gum like he is just plain bored with the game. Don't like him... never did... never will.

GO KWAME will not make Kwame go... GO AWAY KWAME will help the Lakers immensely!

This is a decent move I guess. We need that athletic, big guy to block shots and anchor defense. Kwame's big, but his athleticism isn't that good anymore and while he's good at muscling people around, I think his defense is overrated. Both of them don't rebound much.

They both have no offensive game, but I think Mbenga is a long, athletic guy that can and will want to learn from Kareem. I guess he also has more fire in his belly than Kwame. If Mbenga can get those dunks or heaven help us some easy layups, he'll be able to make an impact.

Trevor Ariza is out for 8 weeks too! What a blow. He is a sensational team defender and the best we have at the 3. I can't believe the Lakers luck.

Ive had some time to get over the loss of Ariza. This pick up is not that bad. It is only a ten day contract, plus it was obviously done to address one spefic need. The lakers aneeded a big man that can play defense adn thats about teh only thing we got. I'm still keeping out hope we do sign C-webb if for nothing else than to keep kobe happy and keep him from feeling he is in a sinking ship. Hopefully lamar could step it up ive been seing him a lot more aggressive recently. We need luke to play good though. He is going to be a key factor into how well this team plays in the upcoming weeks.

Go Lakers...


I don't think that's going to work.


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