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Mbenga Mback

Just got word the Lakers inked DJ Mbenga to a deal.  The terms weren't immediately announced -- BK was at a presser for Sun Yue earlier today and didn't hear any specifics -- but we're both guessing it's a partially guaranteed deal.  Then again, that's also us spitballing on the fly, so don't treat it as the gospel.  If we learn more, we'll toss it your way.

So what does this development mean in terms of the opening-day roster, which Mitch Kupchak previously indicated would be kept at 14?  Well, it could mean somebody like Coby Karl went from "hopeful" to "longshot."  It could mean that Mbenga is being kept around for insurance during camp while the front office gets proof positive that Andrew Bynum and Chris Mihm are in the pink.  Or we could see October 28th's season opener feature a 15-strong lineup and Karl and Mbenga riding deals not fully guaranteed, which leaves the team options as the season progresses.  Either way, some fans have wondered about Mbenga's status, so there you have it. 

And either way, I get an excuse to link this classic.

AK

 
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sweet, i wouldnt call anything he did on the offensive end consistent, but he was showing nice flashes of a mid-range offensive game, and he usually finished strong when trailing the break

worst case, he's probably the best insurance policy at the C position that was available this side of Alonzo Mourning

welcome back Mbenga!!

Mbenga carries us to the championship. Mark my words

Bloggers AK


Interesting entries in the Kobe Shaq debate from the last thread. I for one have always thought MOST of the problems with the Kobe Shaq era was the very immature acts of Shaquille Oneal along with the narcissistic Phil Jackson's mishandling of the situation.

Phil Jackson's coaching and comments to the media this year should be closely monitored!

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE EFFECTS OF PHIL JACKSON!!

Some bloggers are suggesting that all of a sudden Kobe matured during the Olympics never realizing that this was the FIRST time that Kobe played out from under the LA media and Phil Jackson! These have been the two forces that have attempted to CONTROL and DEFINE the greatness of Kobe Bryant.

PLEASE DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THAT FACT!!

These factors combined with Shaq's petty envy for the star power of Kobe have helped shape the "perception" of Kobe. Kobe's mistake in Colorado was everyone's "excuse" to validate in their mind that "perception"

However, if you take a trip down memory lane you will see a path replete with "strange" and "questionable" strategies by Phil Jackson to curtail Kobe's star power..........even when that star power BENEFITS the team.

I remember or have researched most of them and from time to time thanks to the digital age of youtube I will bring these moments to you...........Let's start with this one.

FEBRUARY 12, 2002

This was the first time that MJ and Kobe would face each other since 98'

The Staples Center is rocking............because Shaq is out hurt being replaced by Mark Madson at center......(yes I said Mark Madsen)

This is seemingly setting the stage for Kobe vs Mike........because that is what the people paid for and Kobe being dominant is the best chance the Lakers will have when starting Lindsey Hunter, Samaki Walker, Rick Fox and the aforementioned Mark Madson alongside Kobe..........Right?

Not according to Phil Jackson.........Phil inexplicably instructs Kobe Bryant at the beginning of the game to not dominate this game but instead get the ball into the post at least 45 times and run the triangle. It doesn't matter to Phil that Shaq is on the bench he still wants the ball to go into...............Mark Madson!

In the first half Kobe follows this strategy to a tee..........results? The Lakers fall behind by 20.

In the 2nd half Kobe takes over the game and brings the Lakers back for a victory and gets a triple double for his efforts.


Check it out for yourself

http://tinyurl.com/4x2dd9

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction


Oh yeah the topic

I think signing Mbenga is great because he is actually better than Chris Mihm

Yes! I love this guy, plus he has those very occasional flashes of brilliance: http://tinyurl.com/3lt3gy .

Yes, but is he any mbetter?

Also, I think we should have a permanent link to "Taco" on this page. I believe we'd all be better people if we started our day with that 2-second motivator.

That's alright. Mbenga's a banger and his offense improved over the season. I was a little hoping that Jelani McCoy might return or that C.J. Giles might get some proper coaching from Kareem and turn into the next George Mikan, but it's cool.

Dang we're an international team! Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Africans!

I hope Coby Karl comes back. Not only do we get TWO Coby/Kobes on the team, but Coby has a story you can root for. It's like Ronny Turiaf. Almost died and then played with the Lakers for a Championship.

Anyhow, welcome back, DJ! Now go get us some tacos!

GO LAKERS!

http://tinyurl.com/4phdb3

So, theoretically speaking, if Mbenga played a full 48 minute game, he'd average 4.14 blocks a game.

GO LAKERS!

PG Derek Fisher/Jordan Farmar/Sun Yue/Brandon Heath
SG Kobe Bryant/Sasha Vujacic/Coby Karl/Joe Crawford/Dwayne Mitchell
SF Lamar Odom/Trevor Ariza/Vladimir Radmanovic/Luke Walton
PF Pau Gasol/Josh Powell/CJ Giles
C Andrew Bynum/Chris Mihm/DJ Mbenga

There's the training camp roster and I'm guessing that's the last addition there will be.

My guess is that Giles, Mitchell, Crawford, and Heath get cut for sure, with a strong possibility the Lakers cut Karl as well to go into the season with 14.

Jon K. -

Mbenga also has a story that makes you want to root for him...

From Wikipedia....
"Didier Mbenga was born in and raised in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where his father worked for the government.[2] When a new regime took over power, it hunted down everyone who worked for the previous leader.[2] As unrest in the country escalated, Mbenga's father was imprisoned.[2] Although he was eventually unable to save himself, he did manage to negotiate on behalf of his sons, who were also imprisoned and waiting to be executed. Mbenga fled the country on a plane to Belgium (the DRC's mother nation until 1960) , where he received asylum.[2] While living in a refugee center, he was discovered by Belgian basketball legend Willy Steveniers, who eventually served as Mbenga's personal basketball mentor.[3] After playing a few years in the Belgian league, Mbenga joined the NBA."

And also has done things to show he's a good guy and has gotten screwed because of it...

"In the 2006 playoffs he was suspended 6 games without pay for entering the stands. He saw coach Avery Johnson's wife being disturbed by some fans, and reportedly went into the stands with owner Mark Cuban to help usher Mrs. Johnson to the locker room. Regardless of his intentions, the NBA's Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson maintained a hard line against players entering the stands (a direct result of the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl of 2004), suspending him for six games without pay.[8] When asked about watching the Finals from home, Mbenga remarked, "Sometimes, I can't watch. When I start watching, especially when Diop or Erick have foul trouble, I get mad. I might shoot the TV."[9]

Glad to have you back DJ.

Mbenga was a non-factor whenever he played in the postseason, especially vs. Boston. There's a reason he was let go from Dallas - he's a big body without upside other than as a practice athlete.

The lakers have one of the thinnest big man benches in the league, which could haunt them terribly if injuries occur.

puddle,

I think the Lakers will go for 15 players with non-guaranteed contracts for DJ Mbenga.

WE SHALL SEE AND WE SHALL SEE SOON!

GO LAKERS!

I guess the Lakers won't be signing Smush anymore then.

Oh me, oh my, the horror! The disappointment!

"The lakers have one of the thinnest big man benches in the league, which could haunt them terribly if injuries occur."

That has to go as the dumbest comment of the day. First of all, you could say that about every team, which is the reason why any 7 footer with a pulse is signed. I'll go though a couple of West powerhouses.

Let's start with your Suns. If Shaq goes down (which he inevitably will), you'll be back to Amare at center with only Diaw and Lopez to back up the F/C slot. Diaw is a good backup, but Lopez is a rookie and nobody knows what to expect from him. Certainly not 30 minutes a night.

The Rockets do not have one single pure center to back up Yao Ming if/when he goes down again. Not one. Luis Scola, the undersized Chuck Hayes and Donte Green round out the PF slot.

The Jazz have 4 centers and 2 PF, but their backups at those slots are Millsap, Collins, Koufos, and Fesenko. Besides Millsap, you've got quantity, not quality.

The Hornets have Melvin Ely and Hilton Armstrong backing up the C slot. That's got to be slightly disconcerting knowing Tyson Chandler's injury history. Julian Wright, Ryan Bowen and Sean Marks round out the big men there. Again, quantity, not quality.

The Mavs only have Diop and Bass as backups at the C and PF slot respectively. At least they're quality backups.

I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is that Odom and Gasol's versatility and ability to slide down to PF and C respectively, makes it less disconcerting than if they could only play one or the other. Yes, injuries are a conern, but no more a conern for the Lakers as any other team up front. This is why big men are coveted and some big stiff goes in the top 10 of the draft every year.

puddle,

You're right. Mbenga is also a good story and someone you can root for.

GO LAKERS!

Jon K -

That's a very good possibility as well.

"Mbenga was a non-factor whenever he played in the postseason, especially vs. Boston. There's a reason he was let go from Dallas - he's a big body without upside other than as a practice athlete."

I agree Butler. I like Mbenga but to say he's better than Mihm is quite questionable. Fouling out in less than 3 QUARTERS is not really "good".

At least we have insurance now. There really isn't any big signings we could do now considering 19 set roster unless with a sign and trade. Sun will probably make it to the roster so really this is do or die time for "George's Son" or "George's Kid".

"Dang we're an international team! Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Africans!"

Isn't that something Jon K.?

5 more complete days till training camp!

-blitz


BLOG CRUE
Great to see DJ back for the Lake Show. Hopefully he makes the team. Can't wait for the season to start.

Colorado (currently in Springfield, VA) loves the Lakers!

FIVE MORE DAYS TO TRAINING CAMP IF THE WORLD DOESN'T COLLAPSE INTO COMPLETE ECONOMIC CHAOS!!!!!!! WHOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

GO LAKERS!

Sun Yue!!!!!!!

http://tinyurl.com/49zozx

Is it just me or is the Charlotte Bobcats the lamest name since the Toronto Raptors?

Charlotte Bobcats. Phfst. Sounds like name of a girl's softball team.

(Said in Cartman's voice) Lame.

GO LAKERS!

don't worry Jon K, were are still here.

-blitz

TACOS!

Is is wrong that I enjoy puddle's intelligent, reasoned rebuttal to BUTLER's inane, poorly executed trolling? Shouldn't we not feed them?

I guess, in this miserably slow time, any fears can be blown out of proportion and reading a good argument against them warms that cockles of one's heart.

Anywho,

GO MbENGA!
GO LAKERS!

This is very important. Drew cannot play 48 minutes. Mimh has shown himself to be too fragile to be a good reliable big man - at least within memory. When Drew needs a breather the whole team will not have to shift with Mbenga there.

Personally, shoring up the guard position with the so far mediocre at best Sun Yue did not seem to add much more than redundancy. The center position, as we saw last year, requires a strong second option. That is especially true in the finals. In that situation you can count on a big, strong center and Mbenga - though just a stop gap measure - will provide enough of a presence to fill in while Drew catches his breath or diminishes the import of his fouls.

GOOOooOOO LAKERS!

JohnnyP,

Sun aka Q isn't a shooting guard but will most likely play point guard. As for the center position since you aren't a big fan of Chris Mihm we have also Pau to back Andrew up during times of rest and now DJ though he needs to show it more in preseason that he is a legit backup. That's really why we let go of Ronny cause as much as we will miss him team mate wise, we already have tons of big men. (Bynum, Gasol, Mbenga, Powell, Odom, Mihm).

-blitz

One of the lamest NBA team names is New Orlean's Hornets. I guess I feel a team should leave the name with the city if they move. Look at the Utah Jazz, in 300 years some historian will be trying to figure that one out, then he'll see they came from New Orleans. I always kinda thought the Lakers and the Jazz should exchange names, not teams, just names....

LA Jazz...(slightly more jazz takes place here than in Utah)....(obviously, we keep the banners from Minneapolis...stays with the franchise, not the name)

Utah Lakers....(although their lake is kinda wierd)....

....scratch that... on 2nd thought, LA LAkers has a great ring to it cuz you have that "LA LA thing going, after all, the rest of the country, well alot of it, has some despise/contempt for people who live in Los Angeles, LA LA Land..........

hman....

....from Carmel, CA

Didier in da house!

Good sign. I guess mbenga realized he had not better place to go.

Go Lakers

A list of the top 100 sports venues in terms of importance, according to Page 2 of espn.com. It's a pretty good list. They have the Forum at 64 and Staples at 98. But Candem Yards at No. 2?

http://tinyurl.com/4yemlj

P Ang,

Was that even on the back burner? lol.

If it was then...Oh the horror! lol.

Mbacon!

THE A-TRAIN AND Q-TIP?

Laker fans should rejoice because we just watched two impressive young players interviewed, one anointed as the team’s next great center and the other as the NBA’s first guard from China. While one is a sure-fire superstar center and the other a long-shot second round pick, you could not help but see that both players shared many traits in common that bode well for their future prospects and speak multitudes about the great job Mitch and the Lakers front office has done in evaluating, drafting, and developing basketball talent.

To begin with, both players are very personable and likeable individuals who came across well in front of the camera, providing intelligent and thoughtful responses to questions, displaying natural charm and a keen sense of humor, and confirming that here were two serious, dedicated young men who would strive at their craft and appreciate the opportunity to play for the Lakers. Most importantly, however, both players made some interesting comments that supported the idea that the Lakers are building a roster of players with high basketball IQ’s.

For Drew, all you had to hear were his comments about how he and Kareem interact. It is so rewarding to see a young guy who has the world by the tail but is still not only willing but eager to continue to learn from one of the greats who ever played the game. You only have to listen to what Drew says Kareem taught him about avoiding fouls when blocking shots and working on the skyhook to realize this kid is something special in more ways than one. And that Kareem deserves a chance to extend his impact to other big men on the team.

As for Sun, you all know that I think he is going to be the Lakers point guard of the future. I loved hearing him talk about the different roles he could play depending on what his coach was asking of him. And talking about having watched the Lakers and the Triangle Offense. I will be eager to see what Tex thinks of Sun Yue, assuming that Tex is well enough to help out for another year. I loved Sun’s humility but could see that there was a steely confidence and countenance in the way the he carried himself in the interview and in the way that Kobe and Mitch both alluded that he was not the type of player to back down.

Drew knows he is carrying the hopes of millions of Lakers fans for multiple championships while Sun knows he has been chosen to bear the hopes of millions of Chinese basketball fans that a skinny 6-9 Chinese point guard could become a star or valuable player on the NBA’s most storied and successful franchise. I predict there will come a time down the road when we will see both of these two young men starting, starring, and winning games for the Lakers.

Just my opinion.

Tom

puddle sez:

"That has to go as the dumbest comment of the day. First of all, you could say that about every team, which is the reason why any 7 footer with a pulse is signed. I'll go though a couple of West powerhouses.

Let's start with your Suns."

Yes, the SUNS are a powerhouse as you claim, more accurately though they comprise the PURPLE AND ORANGE CHURCH.

To your point though: backup centers have to be able to at least play ball, which is what Ronny Turiaf did. Nowhere in your admirable breakdown of other teams did you mention his name, which I find amazing considering how much he filled in for injured laker centers named gasal and bynumb last season, and because he will be battling the lakers several times this year.

So, hey - it's ok not to have a decent backup big...just don't tell Alonzo Mourning or Nene or PJ "odom and gasal are mine!" Brown.

Cameron sez:

"Is is wrong that I enjoy puddle's intelligent, reasoned rebuttal to BUTLER's inane, poorly executed trolling? Shouldn't we not feed them?"

It's not wrong, it just means you are willing to think anything except the truth when your dream is in peril.

Like I said, unless odom comes off the bench at PF, the lakers have nothing much in reserve for the frontcourt.

LakerTomtheHomer sez:

"Sun knows he has been chosen to bear the hopes of millions of Chinese basketball fans that a skinny 6-9 Chinese point guard could become a star or valuable player on the NBA’s most storied and successful franchise."

Is Sun playing for the Celtics now?

Mbenga was a non-factor whenever he played in the postseason, especially vs. Boston. There's a reason he was let go from Dallas - he's a big body without upside other than as a practice athlete.

The lakers have one of the thinnest big man benches in the league, which could haunt them terribly if injuries occur.

Posted by: BUTLER | September 24, 2008 at 04:23 PM


Butler, your such an idiot, HOW IS BYNUM, GASOL, POWELL, MIHM, MBENGA, & ODOM THIN
The Lakers have one of the deepest teams in the NBA and you say their thin? The only thing thin is your argument.

Well, we got rid of one troll, let's go C's, now all we have to do is get rid of Butlip, I mean Butler.
somebody squirt a little preparation H on him, that seems to get rid of hemorrhoids


Bloggers AK


Interesting entries in the Kobe Shaq debate from the last thread. I for one have always thought MOST of the problems with the Kobe Shaq era was the very immature acts of Shaquille Oneal along with the narcissistic Phil Jackson's mishandling of the situation.

Phil Jackson's coaching and comments to the media this year should be closely monitored!

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE EFFECTS OF PHIL JACKSON!!

Some bloggers are suggesting that all of a sudden Kobe matured during the Olympics never realizing that this was the FIRST time that Kobe played out from under the LA media and Phil Jackson! These have been the two forces that have attempted to CONTROL and DEFINE the greatness of Kobe Bryant.

PLEASE DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THAT FACT!!

These factors combined with Shaq's petty envy for the star power of Kobe have helped shape the "perception" of Kobe. Kobe's mistake in Colorado was everyone's "excuse" to validate in their mind that "perception"

However, if you take a trip down memory lane you will see a path replete with "strange" and "questionable" strategies by Phil Jackson to curtail Kobe's star power..........even when that star power BENEFITS the team.

I remember or have researched most of them and from time to time thanks to the digital age of youtube I will bring these moments to you...........Let's start with this one.

FEBRUARY 12, 2002

This was the first time that MJ and Kobe would face each other since 98'

The Staples Center is rocking............because Shaq is out hurt being replaced by Mark Madson at center......(yes I said Mark Madsen)

This is seemingly setting the stage for Kobe vs Mike........because that is what the people paid for and Kobe being dominant is the best chance the Lakers will have when starting Lindsey Hunter, Samaki Walker, Rick Fox and the aforementioned Mark Madson alongside Kobe..........Right?

Not according to Phil Jackson.........Phil inexplicably instructs Kobe Bryant at the beginning of the game to not dominate this game but instead get the ball into the post at least 45 times and run the triangle. It doesn't matter to Phil that Shaq is on the bench he still wants the ball to go into...............Mark Madson!

In the first half Kobe follows this strategy to a tee..........results? The Lakers fall behind by 20.

In the 2nd half Kobe takes over the game and brings the Lakers back for a victory and gets a triple double for his efforts.


Check it out for yourself

http://tinyurl.com/4x2dd9


Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction


Oh yeah the topic

I think signing Mbenga is great because he is actually better than Chris Mihm


Posted by: pfunk36 | September 24, 2008 at 03:52 PM

=============================
EXCELLANT POST!

Thanks for the truth being exposed and validating what I have said about PJ.

Keep up the great posts.

Yes! I love this guy, plus he has those very occasional flashes of brilliance: http://tinyurl.com/3lt3gy .


Posted by: laker hopeful | September 24, 2008 at 03:57 PM
=======================
I also think if he had been used in finals he would have helped out tremendously.
Good post

tomK,

Butler and Let's Go C's! are the same person.

GO LAKERS!

"Mbenga was a non-factor whenever he played in the postseason, especially vs. Boston. There's a reason he was let go from Dallas - he's a big body without upside other than as a practice athlete."


-blitz

Posted by: thekobebryantblitz | September 24, 2008 at 05:25 PM
===========================
Mbenga was not used in Celtics series so you can't say he was non factor since he was not used. If he played and was lousey he would have been called non factor. If he played good, which I think would have been the case, he would have been a positive factor.

You forgot the Denver series when Nene was starting to dominate the post when Gasol was out. PJ finally used Mbenga and he stuffed Nene and stopped the penetration and interior dominance. If you can find replays of games played watch and see for yourself.

Welcome back Mbenga...I guess I am still going to be amazed all year long each time I see those ears on his oddly shaped head... cant wait for season to start...

Yay! Another serving of Congolian Beef.

>>>Dang we're an international team! Americans,
>>>Europeans, Chinese, and Africans!

WE MUST SIGN A SOUTH AMERICAN AND AN AUSTRALIAN!!!!

Then the Lakers would have players from SIX OF THE SEVEN
CONTINENTS!@!!!!!(*&!&!^!!!!!!!!

I don't think they have any hope of signing anyone from
Antarctica. Maybe a penguin mascot or something.

>>>Mbenga was a non-factor whenever he played in the
>>>postseason, especially vs. Boston. There's a reason he
>>>was let go from Dallas - he's a big body without upside
>>>other than as a practice athlete.

I can't wait to watch Congolian Beef humiliate the lesser Lopez
brother in the regular season.

>>>Butler and Let's Go C's! are the same person.

Not quite.

KL and Let's Go C's! are the same person.

Didn't you notice that when KL was allowed to post again that
Let's Go C's vanished?

Let Mbenga Play!!!!

MBENGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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