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Drew, Kwame and that nutty Buss fam

I finally have a second to address the recent Hoopshype.com article written by LakersBlog favorite and longtime hoops scribe Roland Lazenby.  In it, he talks about both the possibility of bringing back Kwame Brown to provide both some muscle and frontcourt depth, along with a description of the Buss family dynamic that's made Andrew Bynum as pawn and beneficiary.  I'll drop a few thoughts on the latter subject first.  The specifics Lazenby cites (Jim Buss encouraging Bynum to use his own doctors or pursue coaching outside of Phil Jackson) may be new items to some.  But the article's general theme of a schism between Jeannie and Jim Buss (the former widely viewed as the more rational one and the latter widely viewed as an unqualified ne'er do well who happened to pick a winner in Drew) is nothing if not worn territory.

Lazenby simply revisited the topic as background for Bynum's health and contract, which is obviously topical as we speak.  It's also a platform for discussing Kwame, which I'll get to in a bit. 

In terms of Bynum's knee, I'm not a doctor, so I won't claim to know if he was better off following the Laker medical staff's advice or his own physicians.  It's impossible to know for sure whether he'd have recovered quicker keeping things in house, so to speak.  But it's definitely not unheard of for athletes to work outside a team's medical staff with injuries.  If you recall, when Kobe was in Colorado back in '03, the team didn't even know he'd left Cali, much less jetted out to go under the knife.  I'm not saying this to "back" Bynum.  I'm just saying that, while deeper elements could certainly be lingering under the surface, the act in and of itself doesn't necessarily raise my eyebrows. 

I was also a little surprised to hear Lazenby describe Drew's decision not to play in the 2007 Summer Pro League as a "bombshell."  It could be a purely semantical issue (as in, "he just sort of informed them") but I specifically remember telling readers last summer that I not only wasn't surprised Bynum skipped SPL ball, but that after playing 20-ish minutes for 82 games and often going up against the likes of Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire, it would be a waste of his time and that workouts, whether in Atlanta or the team, would serve him better.  I don't pretend that I saw his third season coming, but it's still hard to argue the results of Bynum's decision. 

In a lot of ways, I think these examples serve more to demonstrate what goes on within the Buss family than present Bynum as a problem waiting to happen.  The idea that this kid is favored and protected by Jim Buss shouldn't surprise anyone who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to the team since Drew was drafted.  I imagine this will remain the case for Bynum's entire career as a Laker or until Buss puts a few more feathers in his cap, whichever comes first.  Is that relationship problematic?  I don't know, but I'm inclined to think if Bynum wasn't around, these factions would still find reason to squabble and sometimes act unprofessionally.  After all, it was often that way when Drew was still a high school student.   

I don't blame Laker fans if that relationship makes them nervous, but keep in mind, Dr. Buss has enjoyed an almost unprecedented degree of success as a sports owner, and that dude is a straight up odd duck.  Maybe there's something in the family genes that allows for a mix of strange behavior and O'Brien trophies.  Time will tell.

As for a potential "Kwame Part II," like I said when this topic came up about a week ago, I wouldn't rule it out as impossible, especially since big man options are slowly thinning out.  When it comes to players capable of pushing in the post, the pickings are basically Brian Skinner, David Harrison (a head case as a Pacer), Adonal Foyle, Jamaal Magloire (meh), Lorenzen Wright (meh again), Theo Ratliff (more meh), Zo/Deke/P.J. (assuming any of the three keep playing), Didier, Michael Ruffin, Randolph Morris (never seen him play, but he's big), maybe Jake Voskuhl... and Kwame.  Not exactly a mouth watering crew, making Kwame a reasonable option on paper. 

But I still won't believe it until I see it.  Or at least hear of meetings. 

Putting aside Kwame's deficiencies on the court (basically anything other than bodying a guy) and inability to stay healthy, It would be very ballsy to bring back a player, albeit one that could theoretically fill a specific need, so universally disliked by Laker fans.   Particularly on the heels of letting Ronny Turiaf- young, improving and quite beloved- go to Golden State.  Unless Brown was signed on the serious cheap, it would be difficult for fans to see his return as anything but an exercise in saving a few bucks at the cost of quality. 

Then again, as this front office proved by not bending to outside (and inside) pressure to make "big name" swaps (Jason Kidd, Jermaine O'Neal), they're not afraid to do the unpopular thing if it's believed to be best for the team.  I just have trouble picturing them signing up for another go around with  Kwame's lack of focus and drive.  Great guy, but hardly the poster child for pushing to get the most of his ability. 

Save an unforeseen trade, the Lakers may very well find themselves without a better option than Kwame, but I'm expecting every viable course to be explored before offering him a deal.

AK 


 
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Benjamin,

I agree. Stephen A. will tell us exactly why we SHOULDN'T bring Kwame back.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=iNwoCLEn7-M

LOL!

Man, this thing just doesn't end.

Clearly the Lakers need muscle inside.

This Lakers' front office mess...the thing that grabs my attention is this idea that Jim Buss doesn't understand the concepts of basketball. I thought it was PJ who was the numbskull but now I see that Jim Buss is the guilty party.

Championships are won with defensive muscle in the middle. That's the only concept Jim Buss needs to understand, accept and to embrace.

The idea of having Gasol at the 4 spot with with Kwame at the 5 spots creates a perfect balance of offense and defense. Trade Odom for Artest and you have a new philosphy of basketball.

And then there's Bynum.

My suggestion to the Lakers front office is this: Knock the politics off and apply basketball reason. Defensive wins championships. You have plenty of scoring with Kobe and Gasol. With Kwame and Artest you have a serious lockdown defensive squad with Kwame, Gasol, Artest, Kobe and Fisher. That's with the idea that Bynum might not be ready to go by opening night.

The front office needs to think logically. Kobe learned from last year not to start talking crazy about anything. Kobe isn't going to "talk" his intentions. Kobe is playing it smart now. But come the end of the coming season, if the Lakers don't make it to the finals....I think Kobe is going to walk because of the incompetence of the front office.

This situation is simple to understand and if the front office can't get this right...that's pure incompetence and Kobe would be justified to walk.

mike t.

To say Kwame is universally disliked by Lakers fans is a slap in the face to Mike T.

Keep up the good work, Andrew.

First paragraph: "But the article's general theme of a schism between Jeannie and Jim Buss (the former widely viewed as the more rationale one and the latter widely viewed as an unqualified ne'er do well who happened to pick a winner in Drew) is nothing if not worn into the ground territory. "

Change "rationale" to "rational"

we should sign kwame and trade him for pau gasols brother!!!

I say the Lakers should sign Kwame for 4 million...

And then trade him to Memphis for Javaris Crittenton and
Marc Gasol. :-)

Thanks for the thread, AK.

Andrew the K, have you observed any kind of competitiveness between Jeannie and Jim Buss?

GO LAKERS!

Jon K,

"Have you observed any kind of competitiveness between Jeannie and Jim Buss?"

Only when I hear them talk about each other, basketball or the Lakers. haha

AK

It's official.

I want Kwame back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8eMsEXPmX0

GO LAKERS!

Xodus, et. all,

I want you to take a journey with me. A journey into the not so distant past... the NBA Finals.

Think back to PJ Brown making life hard on the Lakers. For God's sake, he's 750 years old. But, no matter, LA didn't have anyone to body and out tough him.

Consider Leon Powe having an All Star caliber series. LA didn't have a big with fast enough feet to guard him. Instead, Phil tried Walton... so sad.

Those are two memories i want to forget. But, until we address those weaknesses, we'd be foolish to forget.
Guess what Kwame could bring to this team? Toughness and quick feet.
That's all we needed in June. That's all we need right now.

Jesterguru,

Mike isn't a Laker fan. He's only interested in Kwame...and self-promotion.

It wasn't all bad times, after all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5XRxfP_OJA&feature=related

GO LAKERS!

AK

Great article. I feel the same way, I can't think of any famial dynastys that aren't nutty in one way or another.

Comparing Bynum seing a specialist in NY to Kobe jetting to Colorado is also a very valid comparison. Hopefully, AB 17 doesn't get into a bad situation as KB 24 did. That would hamper his growth.

It ain't a perfectworld, folks, but I'll take it over a world where the Lakers are worse than the Clippers.

{Repost}

giantsquid,

Thanks for the link. God, I'd sure like to see a lot more of that. Yep, I sure would.

It wasn't all bad times, after all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOcVOC-fgt4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEvrcEpf4l8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgtC9kQzUWE&feature=related

GO LAKERS!

AK,

I see.

Yeah...

Urgh.

GO LAKERS!

Long Time Laker Fan,

Heck, I'd trade Kwame straight up for Crit. I miss that kid.

Unfortunately, having moved to Portland, I have to listen to the worst home announcing team in the league when I tune in for Blazers games. The Mikes (Barrett and White) are the epitome of what David Stern was talking about (to them, on their broadcast) when he referred to "homer" announcers calling the game with no regard for objectivity.

Fortunately, the Blazers aren't my team. Also fortunately, having moved to Portland, I no longer have to listen to what has become of Lakers home broadcasts, which truthfully aren't much better these days than the Mikes'. Let's face it: We were spoiled by Chicken Stew for all those years and now everything else has lost it's flavor. Joel Meyers? That guy is just milquetoast.

Chick invented the term, "slam dunk." Meyers' s best coinage? "The Machine." Though it's the same league, it's not in even the same league, if ya know what I mean.

There was a time when I would turn off the national announcers to listen to home broadcasts. if I still lived in LA, those days would be over -- even with Doug Collins on the sideline (gasp).

Fortunately there is a solution for you in LA if you take up the banner and insist on a change.

Kevin Calabro, who for years did excellent work for the Sonics, has recently been hired as a soccer announcer in the wake of his former team's move to Oklahoma City. Yes. Soccer. This is a colossal waste of talent. This waste is as bad or worse than the travesties that LA and Portland are forced to aurally endure on game nights.

The solution is obvious.

Thus I create the Hire Kevin Calabro Bandwagon in hopes that the Lakers do -- sometime before the Blazers, ABC or anybody else wises up. Hop on.


XXX}}} HIre Kevin Calabro Bandwagon {{{XXX

Jesterguru: Owner, Driver, Holder of the whip

giantsquid's Kwame link.

The Angry Kwame

http://tinyurl.com/6z2w3d

GO LAKERS!

Xodus,

I know. That's why I gave Andrew props.

Andrew was implying, intentionally or not, by using the words "universally disliked by Laker fans" that Mike does not count as a fan.

Xodus/Long Time Laker Fan,

Yeah, I miss The Critter too. Under Kobe's tuteledge, he would have become very good.

GO LAKERS!

Benny:

"Guess what Kwame could bring to this team? Toughness and quick feet."

It's not his feet I'm worried about. It's his hands.

Bottom line, when every pass to the post becomes a turnover, it doesn't matter how good your defense is.

Jon K.-

I don't know about Andy, but from my experience, I literally can't remember seeing them in the same place at the same time, save the big charity night they had a couple years ago. But that was in an airport hanger in Santa Monica- lots of space. Generally speaking, I haven't seen Jim very often. So no observed tension, because they're never in the same place, from my experience.

BK

Guity,

Thanks for the pick up. It's one of those typos that spell check will unfortunately let fly.

AK

More Calabro: "Million dollar move, five cent finish." That's what I'm talking about.

Also worth noting: He did simulcasts for 19 years with the Sonics. Word's eye view, boys and girls.

Jon K,

Yeah, I should clarify. Along the lines of what BK said, I've also never seen the two together (which could say something in and of itself), so I've never formally "observed" any competitiveness. I was just referring to radio interviews and stuff I've been told.

AK

Benny Blanca,

Imagine this: Kwame Brown making life easier on Boston's D by forcing us to play 4 on 5 on offense and doubling Kobe and Pau every time down the court.

Imagine, if you will, Kwame bumbling easy passes and driving our turnovers up, and making our already discombobulated offense in the Finals even worse.

Seriously, you people talk about Kwame like he's Ben Wallace in his prime. Kwame is only a passable NBA player when playing man-to-man defense. Well guess what, KG, despite being a 7-footer is essentially a perimeter player, so Kwame doesn't help there.

Perkins is the fifth option of Boston's offense anyway, so what exactly would Kwame have fixed there? Maybe Perkins score 4 or 6 ppg. instead of the 6 or 8 he averaged in the Finals. Yeah, that would have won it for us.

And with Kwame coming off the bench Perkins would rarely play against him anyway. And with Kwame playing Perkins there's no way Perkins gets into the foul trouble that plagued him in the Finals because he doesn't have to guard him.

Leon Powe had one fluke game where he got a bunch of dunks in transition or on busted assignments. How does Kwame help that since help defense is his weakness, and he always gets lost on rotations?

P.J. Brown is another jump shooter, who Kwame wouldn't have been much help against either.

So tell me again how Kwame would have helped us?

Too many people have spent too much time listening to Mike T. rant about Kwame and his calves, and forget that the guy can't play basketball. I think I might save this post and re-post it after Mamba's roll call everyday.

AK and BK,

Thanks for the info.

It does put things better into perspective.

Time for some family group counselling, methinks.

GO LAKERS!

Dang it, where's Mamba24?

GO LAKERS!

And I also forgot to mention that Kwame is also a sub-par rebounder, so he wouldn't have helped much there, either.

Xodus -

I was about to write a post almost identical to yours. Exactly, precisely correct. Thank you.

To sum up my thoughts - Kwame is so frustratingly bad in every single basketball related area other than one-on-one defense, it's not even close to being worth signing him.

Brian Skinner, however, is a viable option at the veteran's minimum for 2 years. Or so I believe.

puddle,

puddle,

I wouldn't mind bringing Brian Skinner in for the vet's minimum either. He can body guys and hit the midrange jumper. And he'd play very sparingly anyway since we'd have (a minimun) 3 big men ahead of him anyway.

Most of us on the blog are pretty sure we don't won't to have Kwame back.
We all have a better than average understanding of the Lakers and what will make them a winner. So Kwame doesn't fit into our plans.

Most of us also think PJ is a great coach. And PJ thinks so much of Kwame, he feels Kwame could help on the Defensive end, add toughness, which most here feel the Lakers need.
Kwame is a liability on offense for sure. Missing lay ups and dunks consistently, is not only demoralizing to us, but has to be to the players.

So my question is, why do we not agree with our coach? Who knows better as to what the Lakers need? If PJ really wants Kwame, I would assume its for insurance, and those few key match ups, like Shaq, Duncan, Perkins, etc....

Sometimes its only for a few minutes, PJ wants the right match up, and maybe he feels Kwame is the affordable option.

The difference in winning the Finals and losing was really small. Can Kwame be the difference maker?

I would hope we don't need Kwame, I don't even think he's plays in the right sport. But if Coach wants him, we might have to get used to him being around.

Xodus,
"Too many people have spent too much time listening to Mike T. rant about Kwame and his calves, "

Absolutely. They can't see the herd for the calves.

"Other conflicts loom as well. Owner Jerry Buss “is not sold’ on young point guard Jordan Farmar while Jackson very much likes Farmar’s play..."

I'm with Jerry Buss on this one. I like Farmar but he's too short and a defensive liability for my basketball tastes.

mike t.

Aside for the picture on this website, I've never seen AK and BK together, either...hmmm.

LTLF,

LOL GREAT TRADE IDEA!!

Fatty,

"I would hope we don't need Kwame, I don't even think he's plays in the right sport. But if Coach wants him, we might have to get used to him being around."

That has to qualify as the line of the day. But the question of the day has to be, what sport is there for a 6-10 dude with small hands, no motor, poor hand-eye coordination and exquisite calves?

Laker Nation,

I've come to believe that we need a Four-Headed Monster to win the Championship.

That monster:

Andrew Bynum
Pau Gasol
Chris Mihm

and....

Kwame Brown

Andrew is our starting center--A beast in himself.

Gasol, our starting power forward--Is an offensive surgeon.

Mihm, provides rest for our starters as a backup--and provides an offensive threat in the second unit.

Kwame Brown provides rest for our starters as a backup, can play power foward and center if necessary--AND provides bruising defense when necessary.

Imagine if we were playing the Celtics and during key stretches we had Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum on the floor together. No one and I mean NO ONE would be able to score in the paint. Nobody.

That allows Lamar, Kobe, and Derek to strengthen our perimeter defense during these key stretches, forcing bad shots, and eliminating any offensive momentum the opponent may have developed minutes earlier.

The Four-Headed Monster is exactly what we need.

I've had an epiphany.

We need Kwame Brown back, Laker Nation. We need him back.

Like Lamar Odom, he will thrive when he is not forced to lead. The more pressure put on Kwame Brown (like Lamar Odom) the more he gets caught up in his head and sabotages himself.

By no means should Kwame Brown be our starter. By no means. But coming off the bench, he completes the puzzle.

Resign Sasha Vuljacic.
Sign Quinton Ross.
Resign Kwame Brown.

I firmly believe that this is what we need to do.

GO LAKERS!

lol good one, Ex.

I think we should give Farmar another season. His Sophmore Slump wasn't too horrible, he's only going to get better and he's a local. Good for the marketing team.

I agree that he is a defensive liability at this stage in his career, but what second year player is a defensive stopper? He just needs to work on staying in front of his man and he'll get better at imposing his will on D.

He's the only guy to take it to the hole consistently, even Kobe settles for mostly jumpers nowadays, his slump in January-March coincided with his sudden fondness for jacking up early 3's. That was my only complaint last year, 3-pointitis, a deadly disease for NBA ballers. We got infected in Game 4 and 6 in the Finals and for stretches in the regular season.

Give him a year and then we'll pass judgement.

Re-sign Sasha.

please?

I'm getting the impression that Jim Buss is going to react against almost anything Phil Jackson does because of his relationship with Jeannie Buss.

Jim Buss fears that if Phil Jackson and Jeannie Buss become hitched, it could increase Dr. Jerry Buss's liklihood of eventually handing over the Lakers to Jeannie Buss.

Fine by me.

GO LAKERS!

Xodus

Is underwear modeling a sport?

Jon K,

No one would score in the paint because Drew would rotate to Pierce as he drives to the hoop while Kwame hopes the gravitational push of his calves forced the action away from the basket.

Seriously, who would Kwame guard when he came into the game? KG? He's a jump shooter anyway, so I don't see how Kwame's post D helps.

And it will certainly be fun when KG leaves Kwame wide open to smother Drew in the post or Kobe on a drive.

Jester.

We wouldn't be bringing him in for his hands. We bring him in for defense and physical presence OFF the BENCH.
All you need is someone to give either Bynum or Gasol a breather from time to time.
Brown knows the offense. He plays well with LO. And, this time around he won't be asked to do more than he's capable of. Just move your feet and grab rebounds. That's it.

LTLF,

looking at some of those you tube clips... I think he'd be PERFECT to run with LO and the BENCH MOB.
It seems as though when LO was going to pass to Kwame, he made sure it was nice and soft.

Jaime Sweet,

I wouldn't say Farmar had a sophomore slump. He was much better last season than in his rookie year. And statistically you could argue that he was better than Fish. Obviously, that doesn't take Fisher's leadership and timely shooting into account, but Farmar played as well as could be expected most of the season.

Xodus,

one of the BEST defensive games i've ever seen played on KG was by Kwame. He's fast, big and difficult to get around.
But that's neither here nor there...

In the case of the finals, Kwame wouldn't be playing against any starters. (In fact, If Bynum were healthy, he'd only be playing sparse minutes to battle certain players).
He'd just be out there to keep Leon Powe from looking like a lottery pick. He'd just be out there to show when Paul Pierce (or someone) drives and Kwame steps in to take a charge. He'd just be out there to box out and rebound on any one of those MANY possessions where Boston got 2nd and 3rd chances.

Those are the little things that can help. You don't need a star. And in reality, for what Dr. Buss will pay (luxury tax included) you won't find a better bargain than Kwame.

Benny Blanca,

I don't feel like re-writing my previous post again, but if you look at it, I'd like you to tell me in what situations would Kwame have been more of a help than a hindrance?

It sounds nice when you speak in vague terms like he's going to help bring more defense and toughness. Until you realize that all of Boston's best players are jump shooters or drivers, so there's no one of much consequence for Kwame to body(Perkins is the 5th option and had a bad series against us, and I could argue he would have played better by avoiding foul trouble since he wouldn't have to guard Kwame).

Kwame isn't a shot-blocker so he's not stopping Pierce and Allen's forays to the rim. Kwame's a poor rebounder so he wouldn't have helped us win the rebounding battle.

It sounds nice to say Kwame is physical presence until you actually remember who he is. The only time he was ever physical was during our run towards and in the 05-06 playoffs. After that he was back to his old useless self.

Xodus,

Kwame on Perkins
Bynum on KG
Kobe on Pierce

The Kwame/Bynum lineup would be there simply to stop offensive momentum.

Remember "The Collapse" in the Finals? When the Celtics produced the greatest Finals comeback in history? Remember that?

That comeback gets squashed with a Bynum/Kwame/Healthy Ariza (or Quinton Ross) lineup. You don't put in Kwame when you're behind. You put him in when you're up and you want to stop the other team from putting together an offensive run that might give them confidence.

GO LAKERS!

oh my god, another new thread. Well, here's my favorite:

There's no need to fear, KWAME BROWN is here.

When criminals in this world appear,
And break the laws that they should fear,
And frighten all who see or hear,
The cry goes up both far and near for
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN.

Speed of lightning, roar of thunder,
Fighting all who rob or plunder
KWAME BROWN, KWAME BROWN.

When in this world the headlines read
Of those who's hearts are filled with greed
And rob and steal from those in need.
To right this wrong with blinding speed goes
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN,
KWAME BROWN.

Speed of lightning, roar of thunder,
Fighting all who rob or plunder
KWAME BROWN, KWAME BROWN.

Benny Blanca,

>>>Consider Leon Powe having an All Star caliber series.

If we ignore game 2, Powe got 4 points, 1 point, 3 points, 0 points,
8 points. 38% shooting for the series other than game 2.

The All-Stars must have fallen a bit.

Benny Blanca,

Screw the luxury tax!!!! Do you know how much it costs to go to a damned Lakers game? And they've raised prices AGAIN this year!

Spend the money. We need a championship.

Four-Headed Monster.

Mitch, get it done, even if you have to lock Jim Buss in the cellar for a month or so to do so.

Get it done.

Resign Sasha Vuljacic
Sign Quinton Ross
Resign Kwame Brown.

Get it done.

GO LAKERS!

Xodus, Fatty -

I kinda like the idea of figuring out which sport Kwame should be playing, lol. Any sport where he would need to handle a ball with his hands is eliminated.

Soccer? Could you imagine him as a center-back? Big, strong, with a head as hard as stone. He'd be ideal for breaking up corners and standing as the centerpiece to a wall. He may not read developing attacks quickly enough however and I could see him heading a ball into his own goal. Hmm, maybe not soccer.

Volleyball? He doesn't need to catch it and he'd be a monster at the net. If it was beach volleyball, the sun would be glistening off those magnificent calves.

Which sport should Kwame be playing? Because we know it ain't basketball.

Don't let the hate for Mike T obscure what Kwame can do.

What Kwame can do, not many can do.

What Kwame can do, is needed by teams that want to win championships.

The focus needs to be on what Kwame can do, not what he can't do.

The question is at what price? The way things are looking, he might be able to command at least a few million.

I don't know what's possible Laker cap wise, but 3-4 million seems like what Kwame should get in this market.

Go Lakers

"Too many people have spent too much time listening to Mike T. rant about Kwame and his calves, and forget that the guy can't play basketball."

Let the church say AMEN!

Xodus,

Kwame can definitely guard KG. Gasol can guard KG.

Benny Blanca,

How often does Kwame play D like that? If he did this consistently he wouldn't have been buried behind Darko and Jarron Collins (who as all-around defenders are superior to Kwame). If he played like that consistently he wouldn't be among the many scrubs looking for a job right now.

And over the years KG has become even more of a jump shooter, especially this past season. How does Kwame defend that?

Leon Powe had one great game, he didn't look like a lottery pick throughout the series. And in that one great game he was scoring in transition and broken plays. Well Kwame doesn't get back on D well and he doesn't rotate well unless he's playing screen and roll D.

As for Pierce, you're once again speaking as if Kwame is a good team defender. He's not, Pierce would have scored on his drives and probably drawn fouls on the oft late arriving Kwame.

And you're also speaking as if Kwame is a good rebounder and boxes out. He doesn't. Do you even remember what Kwame actually did on the court?

Kwame excels in situations where he doesn't have to think. Man defense, where his body is all that matters (and I've already shown how he wouldn't help us in that series) and screen and roll D, because all he has to do is show and run back to his man.

The guy can't play basketball.

You know, in watching...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8eMsEXPmX0

..it stands out that every time you see Kwame Brown slam the ball down, Ronny Turiaf leaps up off the bench in pure exhilleration. It's a real pleasure to watch someone cheering for his teammate with so much energy.

I still can't believe Ronny Turiaf is a Warrior. Part of me can't imagine him cheering with such joyful energy for another team.

He'll always be a Laker, as far as I'm concerned.

GO LAKERS!

Jon K,

Having to play Bynum on KG hurts us two-fold. First because KG would just take Bynum out to the perimeter, where he would torch Drew over and over with drives and jumpers. It would also take Drew away from where he excels on D, which is protecting the rim and grabbing boards.

We want to move our best rebounder and post defender to KG so we can put Kwame on Boston's FIFTH OPTION? You're kidding right? That makes no sense whatsoever.

I can't believe how many people on here are thinking this Kwame thing is a good idea. Kwame can only do ONE THING well. It does NOT make up for the 1000 other areas in which he blows goats. 3-4 million is a ridiculous price tag for Kwame. Ronny is getting overpaid (slightly) at 4.25 million per season and he's a hell of a lot better than Kwame. Kwame was an embarassment to the Lakers name and uniform. Why would anyone want that back?

Rocky,

It has nothing to do with Mike T. It's about people overvaluing Kwame. As bad as he is on offense, he'd have to be DPOY quality for him to be a good player.

KG bailed Pau out over and over again by taking 17-footers when he had an obvious advantage in the post...so why would he play differently against Kwame, whose ONLY value is post-D?

Rocky,

Exactly. Kwame is NOT a starting center for a winning team in this league. He's not that guy. But he brings exactly what we need, a big body that can provide bruising defense at the positions we need it at (center and power forward) when we need it.

He IS what the Lakers need right now.

Was he a disappointment as a Laker? By my estimations, I'd say, "Absolutely." But I think we expected too much of him.

He was not what the Lakers needed at that time. Times have changed.

Bynum has emerged.

We have Pau Gasol.

Chris Mihm has supposedly healed (finally).

Ronny Turiaf is gone.

What do we need NOW (right now, not two years ago)? We need a big body to play strong defense in a reserve role at power forward and center.

Kwame Brown is THAT guy.

And...

1. He knows the Triangle. No learning curve necessary.
2. Phil Jackson and the coaching staff like him.
3. The players like him.
4. Dr. Jerry Buss likes him.
5. The Lakers coaching staff and players already know what they can get out of him. So, this time, there will be no unrealistic expectations and Kwame will be used in a role he fits, not forced into a role he was not meant to/was incapable of fulfilling.

And we nearly won a Championship without him last year. Laker Nation is less nervous than we have been for the last several years. As fans, less will be expected of him (especially if he signs for an appropriate salary).

I firmly believe that under these conditions, Kwame will thrive. By "thrive" I do not mean that will become the player that Michael Jordan thought he would be.

By "thrive" I mean that he will meet expectations and be able to fulfill the role given to him by the Lakers coaching staff.

The Lakers need a Four-Headed Monster and Kwame Brown completes that beast.

GO LAKERS!

Santa Purissima! his agent came back after the Finals , now the ghost of Kwame Brown is already in our midst. This is the Second Coming. Back to the Stone Age again when the ball becomes a granite, hard to catch, hard to dribble and hard to dunk.....Defenseis so slow footed why don't we enroll him first with Dancing w/ the Stars before rejoining the Lakers. Offense, what a nightmare!!! don't pass that freakin' ball to Kwame, he will throw it outside like a little child on tantrum. it is worst than having two Luke Waltons playing again! Life with Lakers is like riding a ferris wheel, what goes around comes around and these clowns Jimbo, Mitcho, Philo & Jenno running this circus are bickering all year round. Whoaaaa!

Laker Nation,

I ask you, please, shake off the ghosts of the past and the general animosity many of us feel over the countless arguments and jokes at the expense of Kwame Brown (many of which were generated by me).

Imagine a Kwame Brown not costing the Lakers nearly $10 million a year, but instead costing the Lakers around $3 million a year.

Imagine a Kwame Brown not starting for the Lakers, but coming off the bench when Pau Gasol starts to get pushed around by a bigger body.

Imagine a Kwame Brown not struggling to fulfill expectations of a number one draft pick, but a strong Kwame Brown coming off the bench in a reserve role to provide the Lakers with greater flexibility and defense.

Forget the past. Imagine the future.

GO LAKERS!

puddle,

I think playing goalie in soccer good be good for Kwame. He's huge, has quick feet and he wouldn't have to actually catch the ball. Just knock the ball down.

Xodus,

I keep talking about Kwame's feet. That's what is required to play good defense out on jump shooters. Quick feet allow you to close out on people with out fouling, and without giving up drives.
Neither Gasol or Bynum have those kinds of feet. They play defense with their length.

Ever heard good coaches talk about playing defense with your FEET?
that's what Kwame has.

I'm not suggesting Kwame will be ANYTHING more than he ever was. He's a big guy with quick feet and he knows the offense. THAT'S IT.
We already have two potential ALL STARS in the front court (Gasol and Bynum). We don't need more stars, we need role players who do what they do well.
Kwame is a great change of pace as a sub for Bynum or Gasol.

Xodus,

Okay. With our current lineup (Ronny's gone), if we played the Celtics again next year, and Gasol or Bynum is hurt, how are we going to stop the Celtics if both Perkins and KG are on the floor?

GO LAKERS!

If we don't get Kwame back, who will toss cake on other people? For whom will we purchase butterfinger candy bars?

Puddle,

A little while back, i said great minds think alike (while referring to you).

I take it back.

The lakers are missing a few things. What Kwame is good at is one of those things.

Xodus -

Apparently, we're talking to a wall. Hard to believe we'd have to CONVINCE people that Kwame sucks something awful, as if they didn't see it for themselves for 2 1/2 years.

All that matters is whether the FO agrees with us, and besides Phil and his man crush on Kwame, I think they do. Plus, I don't think Mitch wants another sh*tstorm to weather.

But I've been wrong before. *Sigh*

I'm out. I'll let you finish up here.

Jon K.,

I'm glad someone else sees Kwame for the PIECE to the PUZZLE he is.

Puddle, Rocky, Xodus... anyone else,

Kwame will never be a star. He'll always be a #1 draft pick BUST.
But, ROLE PLAYERS come in all shapes, sizes, abilities and INABILITIES. That's why they are ROLE players. We only need him for a few things... the FEW things he CAN do.

I say bring Kwame back I year deal at about 2 mil.

Puddle,

If Phil "9 Rings" Jackson likes a player, doesn't that mean something...?

Jon K,

I agree.

Xodus,

"It's about people overvaluing Kwame."

We also can't undervalue Kwame. He is what he is. He's a terrible offensive basketball player. But he's also a fundamentally sound defensive player. He's solid down low, you can't push him around. PJ Brown and Perkins would not have been as effective if Kwame had a few minutes in there to box those guys out.

I think 3-4 million is fair for Kwame. I don't know if it'll work for the Lakers though.

Oh, Mitch one more thing...

In addition to...

Resign Sasha Vuljacic
Sign Quinton Ross
Resign Kwame Brown.

Also...

Retain Coby Karl

1. He's cheap.
2. He's better than expected.
3. He has high basketball IQ.
4. He knows the Triangle.
5. Kobe Bryant is a year older and got zero rest this summer, so we'll have to play him less minutes next year and, thus, we need greater depth at his position.
6. Fans love him and he's a feel good story. We need someone like that on the team now that Ronny is gone.

GO LAKERS!

puddle,

All this Kwame talk makes no sense.

Does he block shots? No.

Does he rebound well? No.

Does he rotate well on defense? No.

And the thing is, everyone is forgetting that we didn't lose the Finals because of defense, we lost it because Boston's D was incredible and shut us down.

In the regular season the Celtics averaged 100.5 PPG on 47% shooting. In the first 5 games of the Finals they averaged 96.4 PPG on 45% shooting. Our defense was good enough to win in the Finals, the problem is Boston ground our offense to a halt.

Both Rondo and KG played below their standards and we got Perkins into foul trouble. And Paul Pierce, for all of his heroics only shot 41% from the field. People need to go back and look at how Boston uglied our offense into losses. They weren't running layup lines on us.

2 years, totaling 5 or 6 million.

There's no question the Lakers need more front court help. We have Bynum recovering and Mihm looking like Bill "Ankles" Walton's illegitimate child.

It'd be nice to get someone back who knows the team, coaches and offense.

Can we just sign Lorenzo Mata-Real, Nik Caner-Medly and Joe Crawford than Kwame Brown? At least those three guys went to College and finished it. They are better shooters, rebounders and can be relied on D. They can read the X and O and will cost the Lakers $0.5M each compared to Kwame's $3M

If Kwame is signed, all season ticket holder, all club seats owners will boycott the Laker games in protest. Booing will be back at Staples and in this blog. BOOOOOOOOO!

Benny Blanca/Rocky,

Exactly.

Andrew Bynum is a Beast.

Pau Gaol is a Surgeon.

They are all-star caliber players, but they can't play every minute and they have certain weaknesses to their games.

Who compliments those weaknesses, thus providing the Lakers coaching staff with the necessary flexibility needed to ALWAYS have the opportunity to win?

Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown.

Together these four players create a Four-Headed Monster that cannot be stopped.

Kwame Brown is EXACTLY what we need RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!

Was Kwame Brown what we needed him to be two years ago? Nope. Not at all. However, under an extremely bizarre series of circumstances, Kwame Brown is exactly what we need for the 2008-2009 season.

Hopefully we can get him cheap. Why? Because if we get him cheap, Laker Nation will more easily be able to forgive him for past failings. And if we can forgive him, we can support him. And if we can support him, he'll be able to thrive in his limited role.

THAT is exactly what we need.

GO LAKERS!

Benny,

I keep saying this over and over again, you working with the assumption that Kwame rotates well on D. Yes, he's quick, but don't you remember how we'd knock him over and over again for his poor rotations? Why would that change now?

Jon K,

If KG and Perkins are on their games and we don't have Bynum AND Gasol, I don't think we can beat Boston. And that's more because they're going to shut down our O and dominate the boards.

We played KG as well as KG could possibly have been played in the Finals. He shot 40% (42% if you count the Game 6 blowout where the entire Boston team blitzed us) in the first 5 games. How much better can you defend a player of KG's caliber?

I don't think you guys remember how we lost the Finals. On the boards (which Bynum will help GREATLY) and by shutting down our D (which I'm hoping Bynum and a healthy Ariza can help with putbacks, hustle, Bynum in the post and alley-oops to Bynum.

Don't let the memories of Game 6 and the media fool you. We lost the Finals because Boston grounded our O to a halt, rebounding and experience.

Kwame helps us in none of these areas.

Rocky,

Kwame isn't a fundamentally sound defender. Tim Duncan and KG are fundamentally sound defenders. They excel at all areas of defense. Kwame excels at bodying guys and screen and roll defense.

He's a poor rebounder, doesn't rotate well and doesn't block shots. How is this a fundamentally sound defender?

CORRECTION: "shutting down our O"

WHAT CAN Kwame BROWN DO FOR YOU?

- Kwame can defend Duncan reasonably well.

- Kwame defends Boozer reasonably well.

- Kwame’s defense on Yao is on par to Bynum’s.

- During the regular season, Perkins manhandled Bynum, going for 20 plus points. This will not happen against Kwame.

- He can set some manly picks (unlike Gasol) and commit some hard fouls (unlike Gasol).

- Against Boston, it WILL NOT be 5 on 4 on offense. If Kwame is under the basket, Perkins cannot and will not leave him alone. That’s against Boston’s defensive philosophy. Lamar was left wide open against Boston only in the perimeter.

- Playing against Kwame everyday in practice will raise Bynum’s confidence level. jk…not really.

- Although Kwame might not be a good rebounder, he’s better than Lamar at preventing offensive rebounds. No way Al Hardford goes for 20 plus rebounds with Kwame in the game.

- All this from a backup center, making only $2-3 mil per? That’s minimal risk. What’s there to complain about?

xodus,

You're totally my hero in this thread. You're saving me considerable time from feeling the need to post myself.

Kudos.

Kwame?

I guess Kobe was 100% correct when he called Mitch Cupchack and Jerry Bus "idiots".

What a guy and what a franchise.

ajajjajajahahhahahaha

Hey didn't Kobe Bryant make derogotory remarks about Andrew Bynum?

If I remember, Kobe made bad remarks about his entire team.

What a guy.

"I can get off at anytime [but my teammates STINK]" --Kobeef

Benny -

LOL, great minds SOMETIMES think alike. No worries, we don't have to agree on everything.

My overall point of view is that what Kwame is actually good at - one-on-one defense, S&R defense and, surprisingly, being a decent passer - does not make up for all the things he is NOT good at - weakside help defense, rebounding, finishing around the basket, boxing out, any form of shooting whatsoever, catching the ball on the run, catching the ball while standing still, free throws, playing passionately, being a leader, being a positive veteran influence. Basically, the Lakers don't need a guy who throws cakes that aren't his, fakes an injury to get out of playing during the playoffs (while with the Wizards), doesn't work hard during the offseason, gets accused of sexual assault (again, during the playoffs) AND doesn't produce on the court. It's bad enough to put up with headaches like that if the player is a huge contributer (Rasheed Wallace) but it's even worse if the guy is a scrub. Even at $3 million a year, I still think it's worth more to keep him AWAY from the team and find a different player to do the things he does well.

If we had to go the FA route, Carl Landry would be much better than Kwame at $3 or $4 million a year. The Rockets seem reluctant to offer him a deal, for some unknown reason. He's a beast on the boards and has shown a surprising knack to get off good shots. Plus he's young.

Brian Skinner could also be worth a look. He's like a Kwame Brown clone without the baggage, with a better attitude and with a veteran voice. He's not useful on the offensive end but he's a banger who does a decent job on the boards. He'd come much cheaper than Kwame would and he could be added without the PR nightmare that would come with bringing Kwame back.

Hell, I'd take Robert Horry back before Kwame.

I love this blog. Great exchanges from all parties.

LAKER TRUTH:

I don't recall much when we played Boston in December except for the spanking. How did Kwame do against Perkins? Did he actually play against him?

Xodus,

We already have the best offense in basketball and it will only improve with Bynum's return.

Where will we need to improve most next year? Defense.

Andrew Bynum is part of the puzzle. He provides a strong defensive presence.

Then there's Pau Gasol and Chris Mihm. I love both players. People hate of Mihm. I don't. I hope he's truly healthy, because I respect his offensive game.

However, truth be told, neither have very good defense against very large, very strong bodies. I hate the word "soft" when it comes to a player, but others might view Mihm and Gasol that way under certain circumstances.

So! We need someone to compensate for Mihm and Gasol's weaknesses, someone who can't be pushed around and can play defense.

Watch...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8eMsEXPmX0

Kwame Brown does NOT get pushed around. Not going to happen. He's like a cornrolled Thor on the court.

We don't need him for offense. Bynum, Gasol, and Mihm can provide that.

In some cases, Odom filling in for Gasol with Bynum on the floor doesn't solve the problem, like if you had KG and Perkins on the floor at the same time.

During certain crucial periods, we need a bruiser on the floor.

No one can say that Kwame Brown isn't strong, because he sure as hell is.

He's the perfect compliment for our game RIGHT NOW and he fulfills a piece in the puzzle that if all things go right

{1. Everyone is healthy.
2. We resign Sasha Vujacic.
3. The team continues to meld together.
4. We sign Quinton Ross to shore up our perimeter defense.
5. We resign Kwame Brown to shore up our defense in the paint and he thrives in that role.}

If everything goes right...

We're talking about a 75 win season next year.

We're talking history and the beginning of our next Threepeat.

Forget the past. See the future.

GO LAKERS!

Kwame can help on the boards. He used to give away a whole bunch of rebounds by not going to the ball. But he usually would take his man with him, allowing a teammate to grab the board.

Kwame's stats don't reflect how he helps a team on the boards.

Kwame is a fundamentally sound defensive player. He moves his feet on defense, takes charges, contests shots, he's solid down low, and he can handle the all star big men in this league. If he's playing defense on a Duncan or someone like that, we probably won't want him to rotate on defense, so I'm not worried about his rotations.

Kwame is not very good at screen and roll defense, but who is?

LakerTruth,

With Pau as the primary defender on Duncan, Duncan shot 40% from the field in the conference finals. Terrible for a player of his caliber in the playoffs. I think we'll be just as good with Bynum, likely better.

Once again, we don't need Kwame.

Xodus,

If Kwame doesn't play solid defense, then why does Phil Jackson (formerly a defensive-minded center) think that Kwame is one of the best DEFENSIVE centers in the game?

Is Phil Jackson completely deluded?

GO LAKERS!

And I haven't even mentioned that Kwame is ALWAYS hurt. He's as injury prone as anyone in the league.

I tend to agree with Xodus here. It's not that Kwame is godawful at everything- he's a solid one on one low post defender, and moves well enough to show and defend the pick and roll- but he's lacking in other areas. The Lakers weren't a better defensive team with him in the lineup, compared to when Gasol joined the team. Their differentials were better with Pau, while the defensive numbers were basically steady. They were a much more efficient squad without Kwame on the floor. The jump in talent was profound.

Kwame has value as a defender but it's important to keep it in perspective. Not that they can't use what he provides, but it's important to remember that beyond the fact that he's a total liability offensively (which hurts them defensively b/c it gums up the O), he's not a complete defender, either. Doesn't rebound well, doesn't rotate well. To assume sticking him in the lineup somehow locks them down, especially when he'd be seeing more second string centers and working with less skilled players on the other end is a mistake.

Does anyone really think Kwame (even keeping Gasol on the team) in the Finals would have meant a Lakers win? Really? Kwame Brown? To a large extent, I feel like time and circumstances are getting people to overvalue his skill on that end, similar to how some people, by the end of the playoffs when the need grew, made Ariza into some sort of uber-wing defender who couldn't be scored upon and would solve all the Lakers problems. Ariza is solid defensively, for sure, but he's not Ron Artest. It reminds me of how my mom remembers our dog 15 years after he died- all the good stuff, and she seems to have forgotten all the moments where she threatened to have him shipped away.

Kwame has value defensively, but it needs to be kept in perspective. Some of it will be mitigated, too, by him playing as a backup, where his good points would be less applicable. He might be able to body Tim Duncan... but will he be playing against Tim Duncan very much?

He could provide a service, for sure, but I question the impact it would have overall. That said, someone needs to fill in the Turiaf role, and as AK pointed out earlier today, there aren't a lot of great options out there.

BK

Benjamin,

I'm doing my best, man. lol

Thanks Charles. I appreciate the luv. It's nice to be appreciated.

Go C's!

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9584

Kwame Back to LA?

"In one of the more interesting stories of the day, there's a lot of buzz around the idea that Kwame Brown could return to the Lakers now that he's a free agent. Brown, who was part of the deal that sent Pau Gasol to the Lakers, got the "good riddance" treatment from LA fans who saw him as a drastic underachiever. it seems the Lakers coaches and brass saw things differently. Tex Winter is quoted today as saying that they always liked what Brown brings on the defensive end, and would welcome the chance to bring him back into the fold."

Check this section out:

"Brown, who was part of the deal that sent Pau Gasol to the Lakers, got the "good riddance" treatment from LA fans who saw him as a drastic underachiever. it seems the Lakers coaches and brass saw things differently."

I personally feel that entertainers like Jim and Jerry Buss had put a lot of value in what the fans were saying. You see these two Buss', in my opinion, were trying to mix entertainment with their basketball philosophy. The entertainment part is keeping the fans happy.

I got the first hint of this when Mitch Kupchak, referring to the Lakers intention to resign Walton, said something like this: "We're in for many many happy days ahead of us."

I said to myself: What the hell? Walton played two good months of ball in the first half of the season. Then in the 2nd half of that season he was injured and did terribly in the playoffs. But the Lakers signed him to 30 million over 6 years. So for 2 good months of basketball Walton got paid 30 million?

What were the Lakers' thinking? It became clear to me that they were listening to the fans. Listening to the fans is a fatal mistake when you're talking fundamental basketball because 90 percent of the fans don't pay attention to stuff like that. 90 percent of the fans think we should have 5 scorers, which is just foolish.

I believe that mauling the Lakers got at the hands of the Celtics was a serious wake-up call for the front office. That was a real eye opener and every writer worth is value knows what happened. All you have to do is pull out the videos and watch how Gasol get pushed out of position on both the defensive and offensive end of the game and it's plain to see why the Lakers got manhandled.

If there were any integrity in the Lakers' front office they would watch the video and have no other choice but to acknowledge what happened. But here's where the logic has to be the bottom line. Nothing is going to change what happened to Gasol because were talking about body type and slow feet. There's nothing you can do about that.

So with that the front office is saying to the fans. Thanks for opinions but we saw what happened for ourselves. Maybe you won't acknowledge it but were are.

That's what this paragraph means:

"Brown, who was part of the deal that sent Pau Gasol to the Lakers, got the "good riddance" treatment from LA fans who saw him as a drastic underachiever. it seems the Lakers coaches and brass saw things differently."

In other words the Lakers are finally saying to the fans who don't understand fundamental basketball: We don't care what you think. And if you step off on us...someone else is going step on board with us.

Lakers' tickets are hard to come by. If one doesn't want their tickets anymore...someone else will.

Enjoy the game but leave the basketball philosophy to us.

mike t.

Kwame does have calves that stay to the ground, thus he can't be moved. Mike T's head is probably huge by now. He might hate Phil, but they both believe in the calves of Kwame

Kwame Brown flat out sucks. Talk about someone with "mental problems". The guy has to have zero self confidence. He went from getting booed at Staples to sucking on the Grizz. I'm sure Kwame is a great person (expect for the weird cake incident) but his hands just don't cut it.

Kwame is a good defender but still lacks the toughness. How many times did Kwame go for a LAY UP, get fouled, and miss one of both of the free throws? A lot more times then he actually dunked the ball. I would actually love to see Kwame Brown do good in the NBA, just not on the Lakers. I think Kwame belongs on the Bobcats or someone like that.

Lamar = Laker for Life

GO LAKERS

Andrew Bynum is a beast
~~No, he is just a puppy of Jimbo currently lame.

Pau Gasol is a Surgeon
~~No, he is Catalan currently taking a siesta, Dr. Altchek was the surgeon.

Kwame Brown is exactly what we need
~~No, not another Walton, one step forward and two steps backward......prrrt traveling or 3 seconds.

Kwame Brown can defend reasonably well
~~No, Duncan will be very happy to see Kwame b/c he could not block those bank shots of Duncan, we won against the Spurs of Kobe, Kobe Kobe.

Kwame can defend Boozer
~~who cares about Boozer, he is not a reliable shooter he won't pass the tall arms of Vlad-Odom-Gasol and now Bynum if healthy. I worry more on Deron and Okur than guard Boozer

Kwame's defense on Yao
~~That was then, Yao will just be laughing at Kwame all he does is foul Yao and he makes two on the line.

Kwame is a waste of money, a waste of player roster, a reminder of Laker scrubs, anything that we hates at F/0.

Give chance to the youth at the Summer League like Pinnock, Jefferson, Dunston etc. than ever tried Kwame. He never succeeded with Wizzards, not with the Lakers, not even played with Grizzlies why experiment a failure? Try another avenue that may work.

 
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