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Philapalooza: PJ talks to the media

We'll have some video later in the afternoon, but in the meantime you can kill the rest of your Friday with some quotes from Phil Jackson, who met with the media in El Segundo this afternoon ahead of Monday's media day.  Clean-shaven and (relatively) spry, PJ seemed eager to get going on what looks to be an interesting season.  Not that he was dancing a jig or anything, but that's not really how he rolls.

You can watch casually once the film is up ... until then, we'll all have to make do with the printed word.  A lot of ground is covered, but given the serious jones for anything meaty, I figure you can absorb it.  Some excerpts: 

On upcoming season:
"We're excited about our year.  A lot of the same players back again.  There haven't been a whole lot of changes.  Obviously Andrew (Bynum) coming back is a change, is a difference.  We think that we're healthy coming into this training camp.  Obviously we have some things that are going on -- Luke is still recovering a little bit from an operation, he'll be a little slow -- but for the most part we're relatively healthy, as opposed to last year, when we had players who couldn't compete right away.  We think some of our players have played probably a little too much basketball this summer, with Kobe and Pau (at the Olympics), so we'll generate a camp around their limited work, at least this first week."

On Kobe's deciding against surgery on the torn ligament in his pinkie finger:

"I think it was a good idea.  Regardless of the correction that might have been done by the surgery, he's still susceptible (to injury).  I don't think there's any more of a risk than there would be if he had surgery, then got his finger caught in a jersey again.  There's the same risk factor.  There's probably going to be a little less strength there, or whatever, but he's going to be fine.  He's played all summer with it. I wasn't happy with the way he shot the ball particularly, but I think he's adjusted to all that."

On Bynum:
"...Just looking at Andrew, he seems great, just to see him... He's still just in the playground stage here, but we'll see if he can get to that level where you compete in every moment you're on the floor.  You're working and you're doing the things you have to do every moment.  That's something Andrew was just getting a hold of when he was injured last year.  We need to get him back to that space sometime, hopefully in this month..."

"...We've seen Andrew play about 20 games in three seasons.  That's about it.  He played, obviously, more games than that last year, but he reached a certain potential point where we saw a light go on where he reached an idea that "This is how I have to play to be competitive."  What I'm going to ask Andrew to do in this offense is to rebound offensively, to set picks and to be a pivotal point in our offense.  I'm not asking him to be a one-on-one scorer, I'm not asking him to get a lot of points, but this is a guy that's going to shore up the defense, which I think is the important aspect, rebound, which I think is the second most important thing in our offense, and to be a person who can facilitate and help our offense out.

That means receptions off screen and rolls that he was getting last year, the lobs he was getting last year, some offensive moves that he gets if he catches the ball on the move.  Some things like that I think are important for our team to have, that kind of outlet.  We know Pau is a different animal on the post. He's more of a polished scorer down there.  To adjust the two of them on the floor at the same time and Lamar at a wing spot is going to be our situation.  It's going to be our situation, our goal at training camp to figure out how to do that."

On his health:
"I'm feeling fine.  I had a good summer."

On whether or not the guys have stopped thinking about the end of the Boston series:
"I don't think we've forgotten about it, let alone not thinking about it.  Jeannie made me watch- what do you call those things ESPN runs in the summertime?  They have a big ceremony down at Nokia?  The ESPYs.  She made me watch that when I got back from Montana just to spite me, and make me have to see those guys up there... There's still a little bit of angst and anger there (about the series, among the players and him). 

On how PT will be distributed, and the meshing of the three bigs:
"I think there's going to have to be an understanding on this team that there's going to be personnel that are going to be better off against some teams and some opponents and some styles and ways that we're going to have to play. Whether we have a small team like a Golden State and the rest are all small forwards out there playing, the guys are going to have to adjust and sacrifice to meet the demands game by game.  But we're going to have, potentially, a very large, tall, lanky, strong front line.  If they can play defense together, they could be a very formidable opponent to score against. 

Offensively, how we get those guys together and do that with the size they have and the abilities they have as starters, that's going to be interesting to see, and a big challenge for our coaching staff."

On entering the season as favorites:
"I don't think it's going to affect them.  I think they know they failed in the Finals last year, I think they know that they've got a game that they can play.  But those are players that may not be on the floor all the time together this year, so they've got to make adjustments.  They know it's a curious training camp for them, one where we have to figure some things out before we know how we'll go into the regular season.  I think they're ready to come in and work.  I like their work ethic."

Are you excited at the prospect of having that large front line?  Is it something you thought about this summer a lot?
"That's a word I don't use very often anymore, excited.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they play.  Lamar has to make an adjustment.  He's had an advantage at power forward the last couple seasons, especially playing power forward in a guard slot, out there offensively.  He's going to have to make some adjustments and we'll see how he does that.  Pau's got a (different) role to play on the floor with Andrew.  He's got to face the basket a little more, and play a more high post role... We've got some adjustments to make as a team, and offensively we have adjustments to make, too."

  • Says they're still a team on the young side, with very veteran leadership.  But in Jordan Farmar, Bynum, Trevor Ariza, and Sasha Vujacic, there are still some core players that are definitely young, growing players.  Lots of speed, energy, etc. But overall, the peach fuzz is off the team.
  • PJ will look to moderate Kobe's minutes as much as possible.  35 minutes is what he sees a star player like that as needing to remain in the flow of things. 38 to 40 "is getting to be a little too much at this time."
  • Olympics: Impressed with the demeanor of the team, and Kobe's leadership.  Not so much Kobe's shooting, but his leadership and defense. 

I asked him about last year, and what a difference a year makes.  Is it something he ever thinks about?  How much things have changed?  (He answers, without addressing Kobe specifically.)
"There's always those little issues with basketball teams.  Always someone's coming up for a contract, someone's got a free agency (situation) sitting on their table.  There's always a little level of tension, and players have to play knowing they have to conform to a team.  A "we" issue, not a "me" issue.  Basketball business goes right against basketball team. They just fight against each other." 

  • Not too worried about Bynum's contract affecting his play, though "maybe some of the people around him I'm concerned about."  But economically, PJ believes Bynum's comfort in knowing he has a big future professionally (and therefore financially) means the extension talks won't impact his performance.

On Ariza, and his role on the team:
"I don't hesitate to say that if this team doesn't work out the way I want it to, Trevor may be a starting player, in that first five.  I may just insert him and convince Lamar to come off the bench if I feel that's better for the team and we don't feel as comfortable on the floor as I'd like us to feel.  That's the role I see Trevor playing for us.  I think he's going to be a person who does things defensively and offensively for us that are going to be big plusses."

Is that Plan B behind Lamar starting in that large front court?
"Yeah.  I have to give that an opportunity.  They deserve an opportunity to see if they can play (together)."

  • On the odd chance there is any confusion, Pau will be the four, Bynum the five, due to Gasol's superior face up game combined with his shooting range and mobility.  But "they'll have to have interchangeable roles a lot of times in our offense and defense."
  • First salvo at Vlad: "Vladdy's not come out and played with these guys at all, because he's afraid he might get hurt.  So we're saving for training camp, in hopes he doesn't," Jackson said smiling.  He did say Radmanovic looked good, is in good shape, and has "the same jocular nature."
  • Referenced Scott Williams and Stacey King as two bigs he had playing together, like Bynum and Gasol, though those two were backups, not starters. 
  • PJ called Portland a potential team to make a move in the conference.  The Hornets helped themselves with Posey, but losing Pargo will hurt.  He mentioned Houston as a good challenger if healthy, and Dallas and Phoenix as "the two interesting teams to see how they come out of the gate and play."
  • Questions that need answering through camp and into the early season: How LO will respond to being played by SFs?  Pau playing defense in space away from the basket?  Bynum's ability to get up and down the floor? 

On adjustment of playing time- more of a concern for starters, or players in the rotation (Luke, Vlad, etc.) who played more last season but could see reduced time in '08-'09:
"I think it might involve all guys having to sacrifice minutes because of the depth of this team.  There's nine or ten guys that should be playing, and the ten man rotation really limits a team to two functioning units out there on the floor, and this team could very well play with two units on the floor in the first part of the season.  That does take some time away from players, and they have to adjust to it.  But in the long run, I think it saves a team a lot of mileage.  It did last year for us."

On Mihm:
"...I think he's moving really well, but his shot hasn't been there (like it was).  He was really an exceptional shooter from distance, especially for a big guy... Right now he still hasn't made the adjustment to his new legs, his new spring, his new ability.  That'll take some time in training camp, but he certainly looks like he's back and ready to play."

  • Walton will be starting the season behind, which could hurt him with PT, Vlad needs to show more consistency than he did last year, and sustain the good.  Ariza didn't really have a chance to integrate himself fully.  The small forward spot is definitely interesting, he said.

On the "soft" label thrown at the team over the summer, and how he'd define it:
"We know that we weren't a muscular, physical team, but we were able to where we did by finesse and speed and the abilities we had.  I was always impressed with our ability to be resilient.  As resilient as they were.  But it was noticeable in the last series, in the last game, that they came out with one specific purpose, and that was to stick us in the basket.  To go down and go to the basket and get what they wanted accomplished on the boards or in the lane.  It affected us.  It left a sour taste in our mouths over the summer."

So would you say that's accurate?  That you were a "soft" team?
"You don't get to where we are by being a soft team, but Boston was tougher than we were in the last game.  They got it, they deserved it."

BK







 
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ah, I love it when Phil picks on Vlad, and BK kudos on the very clever "Philapalooza".

Nice interview, BK. Thanks.

GO LAKERS!

Wow. A whole lotta nuggets from PJ. We can literally declare Summer officially over. Baketball season is truly (and finally, at long last) here. Go Lakers!

What the Lakes need is a Charles Barkley type of mental dominator. Fantasy, I know. Who would he be? Haven't a clue (Zo in his prime?). We are short that kind of player. I'm not here to cause trouble, just a championship kind of thought process. Someone to take over everything on the court - one who could tell Kobe what to do and where to do it. A stronger mind than Kobe's, and I'm not saying that Kobe isn't strong - he just is not the man, and the Lakes are not men as a result. This present Laker team is like having Kareem without Magic.

Yeah Mamba, I'm drinking again - what can I say? It's 5PM somewhere - where's the bar?

Thanks Elle, though in the interests of intellectual honesty, it must be said that adding "palooza" to things is one of our (or at least my) go-to post naming devices (haha). You'll probably see it a few more times this season. Hell, this month, even.

BK

1) Looks like for now it seems that Lamar will be the Small Forward starter though he will give Trevor an opportunity to show he can be a starter too and Lamar be a 6th man.

2) Yup Phil was right about Andrew saying competitive, I think after the 2nd Boston game Andrew reached within himself and unlocked some of his great potential A 17 point ppg 13 rpg in January is awesome. And Phil will be expecting him to play some very good defense as well which was a problem during last season even when Pau arrived (Pau is a more one on one defender, not a real post defender though he does block shots as well).

3) Possible more playing time for Sasha if Phil wants to reduce Kobe's minutes. Sasha will have to step up even more defensively and offensive. His numbers post all star break (when he really played 20+ minutes) are 10.3 ppg on 43% shooting (somewhat concerning overall) but 44% on 3 pointers (really really nice). So time for Sasha to step up again and hopefully sustain the 10 ppg at least for an entire season (and playoffs, which is always nice off the bench)combined that with improved defense from Sasha.

4) Pau and Bynum will be allowed to play their strengths once again (Bynum low post and Pau high post). Having Bynum as a potential low post weapon will hopefully encourage Pau to keep driving in to score instead of settling for a mid range jumper. In my opinion, when Pau had the ball on the high post last season since he didn't have a low post guy he sometimes settled for jumpers (though not as much as Ronny). Now with Andrew if he drives into the post since he is an excellent passer he can pass the ball to Bynum if the opposing team sends a double team and lead to a wide open dunk.

5) As much more teasing Phil does to Radman he is right though. Radman only scored 9.3 ppg as a starter last year and while it isn't bad playing with Kobe and Pau should have gotten him even more open looks and hit more shots consistently (he was only 36.9% from 3 point land as a starter, YIKES!). As a reserve Radman will have his stats lowered but if he can maintain the good things from last year and hit shots more consistently (along with finally playing some sort of defense) then he will have a shot of getting more playing time if Lamar struggles at SF and Trevor still isn't the right fit for the offense.

6) Well at least Mihm is healthy enough, we shall see how he does in PreSeason. I'm hoping he goes more to his post game when he's on the court and not shoot those jumpers. To be honest, as much as it is a good skill to have, centers shouldn't really be reliant on that jumper and should usually always post unless the lane is clogged and no one is bothering to come out to defend and you got all the time in the world to make that jumper.

7) Looks like the Lakers are really pumped up to go and play this season, according to Phil that Finals series they didn't like that at all and seems to make them even more hungrier to win the title. Sustain that attitude for the entire season and post season and for sure the title will be in Los Angeles once more (not the Clippers).

XandoPro, very nice to see your rotation and for most part I agree with it. However I don't think we will see much of Mbenga since Pau will probably play some center as well. Even if Mbenga was 3 min but hey who knows? If Mbenga really does well in Preaseason then there's more possibilities waiting in the future.

Thanks BK for the interview.

Otis, make sure you have a designated driver!! Unless you can walk then that's cool.

-blitz

blitz-

I wouldn't say Ariza will get a shot at starting per se, but that Phil is very open to the idea of starting him should the forecasted lineup of Bynum, Pau, and LO not work out the way they want. Phil definitely indicated he thinks it'll be a process, and that the first line of thinking is to make the "big" lineup work. It's not like they're competing for the same spot going into camp.

BK

Well BK I appreciate your honesty but I still think it was clever, now I want to add “palooza” to all Laker related things, Odompalooza, Bynumpalooza, Paupalooza oh man I could go at this all day. Anyhow, maybe your admission means that this Christmas we should all ship in and buy you a thesaurus?

Oh I know BK, if the big lineup doesn't work then Trevor will get a shot to start, that's what I meant really. Really in my opinion I prefer the big lineup.

-blitz

BK -

Thanks for giving plenty of stuff to masticate for the weekend. Hope you had a good day!

BK -

Great interview. You pretty much got him to talk about every subject that mattered. If there's one thing I would have added, I would have liked to have heard what he thought about his and his staff's performance in the Finals.

Next time, you definitely need to convince him to grow back his beard from the 90s Bulls days. Right now he's getting dangerously close to looking like Colonel Sanders.

http://tinyurl.com/57efmy

Repost:
DEPTH CHART FOR 08/09


STARTERS:
Jordan
Kobe
Lamar
Pau
Andrew
*After finally getting the nod over Smush Parker in the 80th game of his rookie season, Jordan Farmar was officially anointed our "point guard of the near future". And now over a year later, with playoff and even finalls taste in his mouth, he's ready as he'll ever be to man this ship. Time to roll the dice and cross our figers.

5 MIN LEFT N THE 1st:
Derek
Kobe
Trevor
Vlad
Pau

START OF THE 2nd:
Derek
Sasha
Trevor
Vlad
Andrew

9 MIN LEFT IN THE HALF:
Kobe
Luke
Lamar
Pau
Andrew

3 MIN LEFT IN THE HALF:
Derek
Kobe
Luke
Vlad
Mihm or MBenga

START OF 2nd HALF:
Farmar
Kobe
Lamar
Pau
Andrew

7 MINS LEFT IN THE 3rd
Derek
Sasha
Trevor
Vlad
Mihm or MBenga

START OF THE 4th
Jordan
Sasha
Trevor
Lamar
Andrew

8 MIN LEFT IN THE 4th
:Derek
Kobe
Trevor
Lamar
Pau

MY CLOSERS (4:28 4th)
Sasha
Kobe
Lamar
Pau
Andrew
----------------------------------------------------------------
MINUTES:
Kobe..... .........................34:28
Lamar.............................30.00
Derek...................... .......21.32.
Pau.................................31.00
Andrew..........................27.28
Jordan............................16.00 .
Vlad................................18.00
MBenga..........................10.00
Trevor.............................22.32
Sasha.............................14.28
Luke.................................9.00
Mihm........................... ...10.00
Josh.................. .............DNP Coaches decision
Dwayne..........................DNP-Coaches decision
Sun.................................DNP-Injured
---------------------------------------------------------------------
*Notes:
-For this team to be susessful, We need a solid ten minutes a game split between Mihm and MBenga. Andrew still needs to be eased in, so they need to step up.

-Luke's minutes have been slashed and will continue to be minimal until he can show everyone that he can stay focued and can be productive.

-Kobe will be used as a facilitator in the second quarter, partly because he is so good at it and secondly because this will take pressure off of Luke, to help gain his confedence back.

-Now look at Sasha's minutes. Other than that stint to begin the second quarter, he doesn't see any playing time until the end of the game. Keep him hungry.

-We are gonna use a MONSTER lineup to finish games. Nobody on the floor for the Lakers will be less than 6'7". Take look at my closers, this could be the deadliest in the NBA.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

If odum leaves, it'll hardly be a surprise. LA's foes are hoping he stays with the lakers.

What I find interesting, is this quote from PJ:

"We know that we weren't a muscular and physical team. We were able to get to where we did by finesse and speed and the abilities that we had."

PJ and BUTLER are on the same page. Losing turiaf and keeping odum does not improve this aspect of the team. bynumb and arriza are mighty young dudes to shoulder the defensive gains needed.

PJ on kobey:

"I wasn't happy with the way he shot the ball particularly, but I think he's adjusted to all that."

kobey hasn't shot well for months, and he needs to adjust to hand pain in order to find a new way to shoot?

Otis sez:

"What the Lakes need is a Charles Barkley type of mental dominator"

You mean, like, Ron Artest?

Jon K. will not like this:

http://tinyurl.com/4a5j6t

Thanks for all the elbow passing tricks and the cool nickname "White Chocolate" J-Will!

Another article about PJ's interview:

http://tinyurl.com/53qzvm

-blitz

Otis,
"What the Lakes need is a Charles Barkley type of mental dominator"

Yeah - that worked out real well for Charles, didn't it? Isn't he like #2 on the list of greatest players never to get a ring?

Go ahead and let yourself into the cell. Aunt Bea will send over some breakfast in the morning.

OK, this had been said on this blog before, but...

It is important to remember that Kobe's shooting percentage in the NBA season pre- and post-injury was not a concern. Nor will it be a concern this season. His shooting in the Olympics was bad. Even terrible. Phil certainly noticed this.

The general explanation given in the media is that Kobe wants to be the man and needs to get juiced up emotionally (as in in your face cockiness, anger or the tension of needing to hit the big shot in the big moment, not patriotism or whatever) to shoot well.

I don't really know that much about sports psychology but I'm plenty confident that Kobe's shooting woes during the Olympics were not the result of his finger somehow getting worse than it was during the NBA season, or that it is indeed anything to worry about.

There I go feeding the trolls again to assuage my nagging doubt...OK, mostly its just to talk about the Lakers because it's nice to talk about something I feel this good about right now. Good times.

GO LAKERS!

BUTTLER sayeth,

"bynumb and arriza are mighty young dudes to shoulder the defensive gains needed."

As are your homeboys Dragic and Lowpez. Aren't they the saviors of the Suns new stalwart defense? Two rookies? I'd give the experience and skillz to the Lakers on that one.

"bynumb and arriza are mighty young dudes to shoulder the defensive gains needed."

So is Robin Lopez and Goran. (young dudes to shoulder the defensive gains needed, plus they aren't experienced in the NBA so that goes against them too!, Don't say "Goran played in Europe it's more physical". No remember you can't hand check in the NBA, play like in Europe and watch the fouls pile up.

-blitz

The same article about Williams retiring also mentioned Jelani McCoy as being on the Clippers training camp roster. I thought he was on our's?

"Not too worried about Bynum's contract affecting his play, though "maybe some of the people around him I'm concerned about." This part surprised me a little bit. What does he mean by this?

Otis Campbell,

>>>What the Lakes need is a Charles Barkley type of
>>>mental dominator.

And how many rings did the round mound of rebound get?

Cameron it's a bit overblown that Kobe's shooting is affected.He improved alot after the round robin round at the Olympics was out of the way.It was just a bit of a slump.

RE Bynum...I still think this is a big question this season.Although it seems clear that he'll get the maximum if he plays well and will be aware he doesnt need to necessarily score alot...to what extent does Bynum GET that.

Its still a big ask of a young talented player who believes he can dominate and wants to prove himself.I do see parallels between Shaq and Kobe just becasue Bynums in a slightly different place in his career to the rest of the team.

I'm not saying I expect problems between Bynum and Kobe but I guess what Phils saying is he hopes Bynum buys into the team thing as opposed to listening to his agent telling him about all the extra money he can have if he makes the all star team or averages 20 PPG.Phils right - the business side is in direct conflict with the guys on the team plugging their roles in the best way....It seems obvious to us on the outside but this is the NBA remember....

Phil Jackson is back with all his BS. I am almost convinced that if the Lakers win this year it will be in spite of this guy.

The media is in a love affair with this guy........how does he go through a whole press conference and not be asked about his COACHING DECISIONS during the finals?

BK

I have to say I appreciate you bringing the transcripts but have you noticed that Phil pontificated on every subject except...........HIMSELF? HIS COACHING?

Hey Phil.......Do you plan on emphasizing defense in practice......unlike years in the past?

Hey Phil..........Assess your decisions during the finals especially your unwillingness to come out of the triangle and try different sets against Boston.


Hey Phil...........You didn't like Kobe's shooting during the Olympics? Did you realize coach that Kobe's shooting improved as the pressure increased and the games went on? He started out I think 1 for 15 but after that shot over 50% the rest of the tournament. (Somebody check my stats)

Hey Phil............Since you are elucidating on the things you didn't like about Kobe's shooting (which by the way gives fodder to people like BUTLER and the media to seize on) Did you like your decisions in the finals?


Hey Phil ............after MIcheal Jordan won his first two rings were you openly discussing cutting his minutes at the tender age of 30?

Maybe you should cut Kobe's practice time and let the situation each game dictate how much he plays...........WHat do you think of that coach?


du ma,

That Bynum's agent, mother, etc, want him to get his money and they want it now.

AK/BK,

Are the Lakers going to Hawaii this year?

Moment of silence for The Cooler King, Paul Newman

Toots and the Maytals is great blogging music.

Great interview BK, this is why I love Phil...he doesn't coddle his players or back down from a challenge. He acknowledges his biggest challenge will be motivation, which is every coaches greatest challenge when you come off a season of over-achievement.

I like his candor in regards to tension in the locker room, almost as if he is trying to lower expectations on Laker Lovefest '09. Last years feel good team will be at each others throats a bit quicker this season because they will expect to be just as good as last year. It might not happen. If we under-achieve expect to see some public rippings, especially from Kobe.

Not good news for Vladrad fans, shying away from playing because he might get hurt. That's not the toughness that we're looking for. Unless Luke isn't 100%, I'd make him EARN his minutes. If he wants to back into the pre-season, then let him turn himself around and figure out that winning isn't about potential, but about 100% commitment to the team. Not good news at all.

If the big three don't work out, I have no doubt Phil will pull the plug on it and put Ariza in the starting line up. Hopefully, that lights a fire under Lamar's butt. We all know he can be amazing, the staff knows he can be amazing, but can he actually be amazing consistently. We shall see, Zoor, we shall see.

Oh yeah, A Last Starfighter quote, that's right. Next time I'm dropping some Krull on y'all.

Nice job all, I'm glad that Phil came out early to get the ball rolling on the season.

GO LAKERS!!!!!

bltiz,

White Chocolate is out? What the hell!?!?!?

Go Clippers!

GO LAKERS!

Yup Jon K. the good backup guard to the Clipps retired, guess he didn't want another losing season to the other team in LA.

Clipps again will suck this year. They have a scoring first point guard (Davis), a center who only got a career year cuz of Elton Brand's absence (Kaman), a center who will be likely out of position at power forward (Camby), and well no more defense. At least they got rid of Smush Parker.

-blitz

Pfunk,
Kobe has a lot more wear and tear on his body at this point than Jordan did. No college, Jordan missed most of one season with the broken leg, Kobe has been to 5 finals already, with the playoffs lasting longer now, and just through an Olympics where they actually had to prepare and practice due to the level of competition. And Kobe doesn't have the media kissing his butt constantly like Jordan did; the scrutiny he is under, and the too-frequent criticism also wears on somebody.

So yes, Jackson being the exceptional coach that he is, is doing what's best for Kobe.

Xodus,

I'm not AK/BK but the Lakers aren't going to Hawaii this preaseason. They will be instead practicing at the practice facility at El Segundo then have the preseason at a variety of locations such as Fresno and San Diego (remember last preseason the fires prevented them from going down to San Diego, home of 619.)

Jamie Sweet,

agreed with Radman, he had Kobe and Pau to have the other team think about and he only scored about 8 ppg this season, very not so good and while keeping that really needs to improve.

-blitz

No doubt our "core guys" need a couple of minutes shaved off per game. Our bench HAS to step up. As our seasons continue to creep into June, time management can make or break us.

Jon K,

I took it as a reference to Bynum's agent, who brought up a desire for a max deal during the postseason. There could be other people, I suppose, but that was the immediate thought that hit me.

AK

Nice interview!!! I've been reading PJ's The Final Season. It makes you wonder about his thoughts about the thoughts being expressed.

I'm glad PJ is reading this blog and is considering bringing LO in off the bench.

Luke's injury may keep him from playing full minutes. No comment.

It would be killer if Mihm could be a solid contributor. He and Mbenga upping their games will really help us win the division.

How can anyone not think that having our starting center out didn't account for much of the "softness?" If you took the center out of any team they'd be considerably less able to bang on the boards.

This interview has brought some reality to the idea that some Lakers play will quickly be upon us. This is very exciting stuff!!

GOOOooOOO LAKERS!!!!


pfunk36

Man, you really got it in for Phil. Why would he go away from the triangle in the Finals to run some unpracticed sets? That would be a suicidal decision.

Perhaps you are referring to his decision to play Mihm at the end of the 2nd quarter after Turiaf picked up his 3rd foul? Well, after watching Mbenga get pummeled by Boston and watching Ronny reach and slap for 6 games, I'd try something different, too. He had a core group of guys that had played above expectations and had fallen back to earth mentally. What would you have done to light a collective fire under their butts?

Last season is over, I think most of us here have moved on. It sounds like Phil has and is focused on his new task which is to prepare this team for 2008-09. He hasn't taken any options off the table, which is good to hear because I really want to see if that giant front court will bear fruit. If it doesn't, I see Lamar as being an excellent 2nd unit leader, possibly rendering Farmar expendable to package in a Luke/Farmar/Radmonavich trade. That's a lot of contract relief and potential all in one. I like Farmar and I love the local boy done good vibe he brings, but honestly, he really underwhelmed me in the playoffs. He struggled every single series. Actually, I thought he struggled from March on. Maybe he hit a wall and worked on his conditioning over the summer, but I think having the "Point Guard of the Future" label slapped on him has led to over-confidence and complacency. As soon as we shipped Critter out, Farmar lagged. Now with Sun out for camp and possibly longer, what motivating factor is there for a guy who can't seem to motivate himself?

I think the worst news to come out of this is that Mihm seems to be struggling in the off-season. That is NOT encouraging and I'm glad we have Mbenga. Hopefully, with more practice Mihm's shot will return...but I'm not willing to bet the farm on it. It's too bad, because Mihm was easily a 10 and 10 guy prior to his injuries. He was also a defensive presence and good at the basics. His lack of mobility and hops might really end his career as he didn't age into this, he was thrust into it.

Can't wait for opening day, baby.

Training camp starts next week right?

Go Lakers

I just got done reading the messageboard responding to the J.A. Adande article and decided that I would rather post here than get my voice drowned out on that monstrosity that is ESPN's response section...

Am I the only one that thinks Lamar Odom is going to have a better season than last? You know why I think that? Because I believe that Lamar is the type of player that would be more motivated at the thought of an expiring contract, rather than the thought of winning an N.B.A. title. People might believe that Lamar plays passive because he is "unselfish" but I have a hard time believing that theory because the guy freaking had a star shaved into his head.

Also...I've been a long time reader of this blog and look forward to jumping in on more topics in this coming season.

Go Lakers!!! Go Machine!!

AK,

What do you know about Bynum's agent? Who else does he represent?

GO LAKERS!

Yes TrueLakerFan training camp starts Tuesday right after Lakers Media Day which is on Monday.

Jamie Sweet,

NIce rebuttal. Mihm is actually healthy and while his jumpshot may not be back at the moment, the more he uses his post moves and less his jumpers the better.

Chris Mihm though isn't a double double guy. HIs best year was in 2005-2006 and he only got 10.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Mihm isn't a defensive presence either, he blocks some shots but he isn't really a "defense" type center and he's very foul prone (career average of 3 Personal Fouls per game). Mihm will be an adequate backup at best.

-blitz

*******

blitz,

>>>>>I still think we should have the Lakers Championship party at your place
>>>>>(regardless of what Mrs. Laker Tom thinks or the fact you live in the Bay).

LOL. One benefit of having been married for 40 years is that you learn how to weigh the pros and cons of moves like that with precise accuracy. No way I cross Mrs. LakerTom on that one.

*******

wes,

>>>>>I really didn't think he'd match the intensity he had last summer, but it looks
>>>>>like he has. And I have to wonder, would Bynum have taken to these aggressive
>>>>>summer training programs if he weren't on the same team as Kobe Bryant?
>>>>>I don’t think so. I see Kobe's work habits all over Bynum's own preparations,
>>>>>and that's a grade-A great thing.

This is the kind of leadership that really translates into improved performance. And this is the kind of comment that needed to be repeated. Kudos, wes. Kobe has inspired his teammates.

*******

blitz,

>>>>>Oh I know BK, if the big lineup doesn't work then Trevor will get a shot to start,
>>>>>that's what I meant really. Really in my opinion I prefer the big lineup.

What everybody overlooks is the strong possibility that both lineups would work. In fact, Phil actually intimated that we might see a lot of different lineups depending upon the opponent. It is not impossible that we might see Lamar starting some games while being 6th man in others.

*******

pfunk36,

>>>>>Phil Jackson is back with all his BS. I am almost convinced that if the Lakers
>>>>>win this year it will be in spite of this guy.

I generally was unhappy with the job that Phil did in the Finals just as I was with the performances of Kobe, Pau, Lamar, and the rest of the Lakers players. But you are judging Phil with a microscope when you need a telescope. His great talent is building a team and getting each player to understand and buy into their role on the team. His game strategies, end plays, and substitution patterns are often bizarre and unsuccessful but his talent for creating a team is that of a genius. The Lakers would never have made it to the Finals without the great coaching job that Phil did during the season, especially considering the injury to Drew and trade for Pau. Time you at least took a more balanced and unbiased view of Phil Jackson as a coach.

*******

Jamie,

>>>>>I think the worst news to come out of this is that Mihm seems to be struggling in the
>>>>>off-season. That is NOT encouraging and I'm glad we have Mbenga. Hopefully,
>>>>>with more practice Mihm's shot will return...but I'm not willing to bet the farm on it.
>>>>>It's too bad, because Mihm was easily a 10 and 10 guy prior to his injuries. He was
>>>>>also a defensive presence and good at the basics. His lack of mobility and hops
>>>>>might really end his career as he didn't age into this, he was thrust into it.

Excellent post, Jamie. I actually am encouraged rather than discouraged over the Chris Mihm news. Hops and explosiveness were always a big part of Chris’ game before he was injured and the word from the Lakers is that Chris has regained the great athleticism that he was displaying. To me, that is more important than his outside shot or shooting touch. Those can be worked on. Someone posted the other day that the Lakers had been looking to play Mihm at power forward and Kwame at center before it was apparent that Chris was not ready physically. If he can reclaim his game, we will have a very valuable bench guy who can backup two positions with size, length, and skill. I will be rooting for him. He is as wild card with nothing but upside.

*******

ex,

>>>>>Kobe has a lot more wear and tear on his body at this point than Jordan did.
>>>>>No college, Jordan missed most of one season with the broken leg, Kobe has been
>>>>>to 5 finals already, with the playoffs lasting longer now, and just through an Olympics
>>>>>where they actually had to prepare and practice due to the level of competition.
>>>>>And Kobe doesn't have the media kissing his butt constantly like Jordan did;
>>>>>the scrutiny he is under, and the too-frequent criticism also wears on somebody.

>>>>>So yes, Jackson being the exceptional coach that he is, is doing what's best for Kobe.

Like I said, at least one former Navy pilot knows what he is talking about. We have a deep enough team and talented enough bench to pace our starters, especially Kobe and Fish, who are older, without sacrificing much in the short term while optimizing our potential in the playoffs.

*******

Tom

Jamie Sweet

"Not good news for Vladrad fans, shying away from playing because he might get hurt. That's not the toughness that we're looking for."

How do you even know that is true about Vlad? Oh......because Phil Jackson said it.....right?

Jamie, I will bet you any amount that if you heard from Vlad Rad it would be a completely different story than the one Phil gave.

How do I know? Phil Jackson will say anything whether it is true or not............this guy is full of shhhhhhh


man i can't wait the season is finally almost here.

Go Lakers

exhelodrvr

"So yes, Jackson being the exceptional coach that he is, is doing what's best for Kobe"

Uh..yeah right. I guess that is why Phil put Kobe back in the game against Boston in game 6 AFTER the outcome was well decided in the fourth quarter during the finals................


When you match Phil's actions with his words you too will be able to see that this guy is full of shhhhhhhh


As far as wear and tear on his body goes .....if Phil would shorten his rotation at times in the regular season maybe the games would be decided in the fourth quarter if favor of the Lakers so Kobe could get rest then.

If you come in with a PLAN to rest Kobe during games you will probably end up playing him more...........because he'll have to play in the fourth to close the game

You ever think about that? I know Phil doesn't

Jon,

>>>>>AK: What do you know about Bynum's agent? Who else does he represent?

From the link below of NBA Players and their agents from DraftExpress.com, David Lee of David Lee Services represents Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, and Hassan Adams. Drew is obviously his biggest asset. So far, Lee has done a fine job as Drew’s agent. While some fans may still complain, it is obvious that any agent would be asking for a max contract for a player with Drew’s great talent and character. He is the missing link to another Lakers’ dynasty.

http://tinyurl.com/3qsvwh

Tom

pfunk,
If you would stop looking at the NBA through the prism of "Phil Jackson is trying to do something so that Kobe doesn't look good. I know he is!! Even though I can't actually find any evidence. Oh, well, I guess I'll just make something up!" you would be able to appreciate the exceptional job that Jackson has done with this Lakers roster.

Ex,

The No. 1 rule of being an irrational fan is blaming people for things you can't prove and making irrational assumptions about everything. Mike T and to a lesser extent, pfunk, have made this into an art-form It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Pfunk36

"Uh..yeah right. I guess that is why Phil put Kobe back in the game against Boston in game 6 AFTER the outcome was well decided in the fourth quarter during the finals................"

And do what "put in backups in the Finals"? No way one does that in the FINALS, take Kobe out and you will see people saying "Kobe gave up" and "Phil let Kobe give up". They still wanted to try to win and Game 2 near rally showed how much it was possible however unlikely it is.

"You ever think about that? I know Phil doesn't"

And how you know that? Do eat with PJ at places,, related to him?? Or you look in his journal? No don't tell me "I know because his language says otherwise". That is YOUR perspective.

"How do you even know that is true about Vlad? Oh......because Phil Jackson said it.....right?"

Nope Radman has the height of a power forward yet only gotten at best 5.7 rpg for one (he's 6'10). Okay rebounding but Lamar Odom isn't exactly the power player type yet he gotten WAY more rebounds then Radman (Lamar is 6'10 too). Radman can only shoot and at times drive it in (which makes him better than Cook). His defense is poor (and was always poor) and Paul Pierce in the Finals bullied him. That is how Radman was soft and not because "Phil said so"!!


"As far as wear and tear on his body goes .....if Phil would shorten his rotation at times in the regular season maybe the games would be decided in the fourth quarter if favor of the Lakers so Kobe could get rest then."

Um 36 or 37 minutes isn't a BIG difference from 38 minutes. He doesn't mean "hours". Having Kobe rest would also mean more playing time for Sasha to continue growing as a player and having a chance to become a bigger impact for the Lakers. (One big reason why Sasha got even more playing time was because Kobe had to play the 3 due the weakness of Radman and Walton and this permitted Sasha to be the shooting guard and gave him tons of minutes). Plus having Kobe rest a minute or so gives him more opportunites for him to rest and come in back fresher when he needs to come back in. Ever think of that or still blinded by Ant-Jacksonianism?

You arguments beyond simply disilking the man personally are really poor.

-blitz

A couple of pic from our former buddy Ronny up in the Bay.

http://tinyurl.com/3ukv9c

http://tinyurl.com/4fhqjo

-blitz

Xodus,
"It's a beautiful thing"

I guess. In the sense that the reflections in "fun-house" mirrors are art.

Ex,

That comparison is exactly the type of "beauty" I was going for.

Blitz,

Man, those picks made me realize how much I'm going to miss Ronny. He'll always be a Laker to me, though, even if finances couldn't make that the case in reality.

thekobebryantblitz

Just because you've drank the PJ Kool-aid don't try and give it to me.

Phil Jackson has a track record buddy. He will say anything and all you or any journalist have to do is just follow up what he says.........that's all

And to your other point nobody would have accused Kobe of giving up if He had not re-entered that game with 7 minutes to go and your team is down by 30 points.

Phil just wanted Kobe to be part of that humiliation to deflect attention away from himself,

Go back to the Olympics and listen to the tenor of Coach K and how he respects his players during the press conference........and then listen to Phil's arrogant azz

When Coach K was questioned after USA's poor shooting performance against China Coach K didn't talk about anyone's poor shooting.........in fact he said shooting woes was the least of his concerns he was far more interested in defensive intensity and the rebounding and defensive rotations. He said the shooting would take care of itself

I wonder what Phil would have said.........probably blame someone other than himself.

Video of the press conference:

http://tinyurl.com/4stejb

pfunk36,

"Phil just wanted Kobe to be part of that humiliation to deflect attention away from himself,"

LOL!

Because the fact that Kobe was one of the players on the court when the 30 point leading being built wasn't enough. Let's make sure that everyone KNOWS that Kobe played in this game by putting him into the game late to remind them.

Xodus,

oops...

That should read "30 point lead was being built."

Jon K-

I took it to mean "Team Bynum"- family, agent, etc. would be more concerned than Andrew himself about the new deal. It was one of those oddly PJ statements, kind of out there without a lot of context. Assuming he's available again on Monday, I'm sure he'll get asked about it.

BK

"And to your other point nobody would have accused Kobe of giving up if He had not re-entered that game with 7 minutes to go and your team is down by 30 points."

Game 7 2006 Playoffs versus Suns. Down by 25 (very close to 30) at the end of the 3rd Quarter. Kobe still is in the game and afterwards people unfairly calls him giving up. And didn't you remember the Celtic's "You're not Jordan!"? Him on the bench only reinforces the fact he "gave up". Send the reserves and we could have lost by 50 (speculation though not unreasonable). No this is the Finals and you try to send your best player to try to win it, not to give up. Maybe YOU don't think people would have said it, but many people outside Lakerville would say Kobe "gave up" in Game 6 had Phil decided to take him out.

"Phil Jackson has a track record buddy. He will say anything and all you or any journalist have to do is just follow up what he says.........that's all"

You sure your name is Pfunk36 and not Jerry Krause? Krause said the exact stuff you said about PJ and looked what happen to the Bulls after the 6th championship.

"Go back to the Olympics and listen to the tenor of Coach K and how he respects his players during the press conference........and then listen to Phil's arrogant azz

When Coach K was questioned after USA's poor shooting performance against China Coach K didn't talk about anyone's poor shooting.........in fact he said shooting woes was the least of his concerns he was far more interested in defensive intensity and the rebounding and defensive rotations. He said the shooting would take care of itself

I wonder what Phil would have said.........probably blame someone other than himself."

Olympics: Impressed with the demeanor of the team, and Kobe's leadership. Not so much Kobe's shooting, but his leadership and defense.

Yup giving credit for Kobe's defense and leadership sounds arrogant (sarcasm here).

"Just because you've drank the PJ Kool-aid don't try and give it to me."

Nope not saying I want you try to drink the PJ Kool-aid. Me and most bloggers will NOT drink the PJ Haterade.


Try again. Your points are so so moot and I'm having fun hehe (busting up arguments).

Xodus,

I will too miss Ronny so much. Maybe he didn't become the physical player that he could have been but hey he does have some good skill (shot blocking) and he was always a bright spot in the Lakers Locker Room. I wish him well wherever he goes. Even if he wasn't going to get as much playing time as he did last season, I wanted to at least have him accept the qualifying offer so we would still retain him and not spend that much money and the next season he could have gone if he really wanted more playing time and money without the Lakers being too much of a obstacle if that was his desire.

-blitz


I have a concern about PJ saying that Andrew will anchor defense, set picks, get offensive rebounds as his firt focal point.

I agree with all 3 but I think Andrew has to be SUPER.
This includes commanding a double team in the POST.
The anchoring of the defense, the rebounding, and commanding a DOUBLE TEAM will make the LAKERS win the TITLE without question.

ANDREW NEEDS TO BE THE #2 star on the LAKERS and that needs to be his productivity.

PAU and LAMAR showed that they could not be #2 at the CHAMPIONSHIP level, not West playoffs level but CHAMPIONSHIP level.

This season is about ANDREW BYNUM first and then
if KOBE has the legs left to FINALLY finish the whole damn thing off and bring the title back to where the MAGIC MAN set a standard!!!!

That's what's up!

What up LakerTom??
It's time!!

"Anti-Jacksonianism?"

O.K., forwarding this one to my friends at Websters...

Lakerblake

It might well happen that Bynum's role is bigger than what PJ is saying but they might as well start by having him plug the holes from last year and if he starts demanding serious attention then all the better.He's young he's coming off an injury,the team is already pretty good without him,and he's facing enough pressure as it is.Lets go easy!

Butler,
"If odum leaves, it'll hardly be a surprise. LA's foes are hoping he stays with the lakers.

What I find interesting, is this quote from PJ:

"We know that we weren't a muscular and physical team. We were able to get to where we did by finesse and speed and the abilities that we had"

I think Odom has done his job according to team orders, when he came from Miami, and 1st year with Lakers, wasn't he bulkier??? ....to play in the post....But that costed him speed.....then he leans down a bit, still plays the 4, and gets over 10 boards a game (?) and people still criticize,...lack of physical toughness, well, the Lakers obviously do not diet like the Celtics, (Chubbapalooza)....but going deep into the playoffs, being able to execute their game and use their fat asses to their advantage....they won...they key is to play your game, keep it flexible, and make them adjust...problem last year, obviously we had no gate-keeper (last line of defense, Bynum, we had the keymaster with Kobe and his defensive approach, started last year, probably will up it a notch this year, and please let it be more contagious than MONO (may Sun rest in peace, no he's not dead.....any word on what he's going to do during training camp time, hang around, but at a distance, or stay home in bed, not "kissing"....)

Any idea as to what PJ's appproach to VladRad really has, if Vlad doesn't care, he wins, if he crumbles, he loses, PJ wins but loses, and team loses....but then it's survival of the fittest and Vlad is not a child, but a man with a storied history of his upbringing and growth....so I think it's probably a standoff, where they do it just to feed the media chum. If Vlad gets beat off the dribble, his man will have to get past 3 obstacles, Jordan Farmar blocking layupp from behind, the 4 player, then the 5 player rotating over to fill the lane...better than last year, when all he had to get past was the (4)/5 Pau, who had to watch out for foul trouble....this year, with the depth, if fouls become a problem, depth and hunger will persevere.

h.

You put Kobe on the Houston or Phoenix teams that Barkley was on and you have a title. Hey - put Lebron on the Lakers - title. Two superstars, two. Magic without Kareem = no titles. Just games here - could we sign Lebron in 2010? Is this even possible? Butler, I wanted Ron Ron but he is not really what leadership is all about. Mamba, Blitz, Xodus, Mike T - happy Sunday.

Jamie Sweet,

>>> Not good news for Vladrad fans, shying away from playing because he might get hurt. That's not the toughness that we're looking for.

Gee, I didn't know there were any Vladrad fans.

LakerBake-

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The point of what PJ was doing, I think, was to avoid putting Bynum in a position where the expectations for him to be a savior, so to speak, would be high. He talked as well about how Drew was just getting to the point as a player that he had an awareness of how good he could be, how to dominate a game, etc. Then he got hurt, so he's still a young, developing player who needs to grown and learn.

On a team with Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Fish, etc., I think this is sound strategy. Take the pressure off, don't say that Bynum needs to be a monster in the low post for the Lakers to succeed, etc. It'll certainly be beneficial if he is, but give him those other things to focus on- rebounding, screens, defense, blocked shots- that make a player whole. He'll get his points, and as we saw last season teams will have to honor him on the block or they'll get burned.

BK

Ex

Aunt Bea in a fun house mirror was art... in black and white, naturally.

blitz,

Ronny does not look nearly as good as he does in Purple and Gold.

GO LAKERS!

BK,

Thanks for the feedback.

Hey, do you have any idea how Sun Yue's mononucleosis may effect Lakers management's choice to sign players during training camp?

GO LAKERS!

To add to what BK said about PJ just enjoying a Vlad Rad tweak every now and then, I thought the comment might have been a joke referencing when Vlad got hurt during the '06-07 training camp, which put him behind the 8 ball to begin with. Maybe I'm wrong, but either way, I don't think it really matters.

AK

Vman,

"Aunt Bea in a fun house mirror was art... in black and white, naturally. "

Thanks for a wonderful visual!

LakerBake,
No need to put pressure on Bynum. Let him grow into a more sophisticated offensive game. He will get plenty of easy opportunities because of how the defenses will need to react to Gasol and Bryant.

I agree with B.K. What Phil laid out is all within Andrews current capabilities. He really doesnt have to be super to win a ring, just solid. Just having him changes all of the matchups and he will get his points because there really anyone out their that can match up against our Bynum/Pau combo. Even Boston will have trouble. Perkins will have to play Andrew straight up without much help from KG. Last year KG doubled down on our center in both the regular season and the finals. He cant do that any more. Good times ahead.

MH

LakerBake,

>>>>>I have a concern about PJ saying that Andrew will anchor defense, set picks,
>>>>>get offensive rebounds as his first focal point.

>>>>>I agree with all 3 but I think Andrew has to be SUPER.
>>>>>This includes commanding a double team in the POST.
>>>>>The anchoring of the defense, the rebounding, and commanding a DOUBLE TEAM
>>>>>will make the LAKERS win the TITLE without question.

>>>>>What up LakerTom??

Couldn’t agree with you more, LB. It’s the key to great inside out basketball.

What up is the Era of the Beast.

Tom

Great article on Bynum on the front page of the LAtimes. He was supposed to back up Josh Boone and Hilton Armstrong? Couldn't lead his High School team past the first round of the state championship, and three years later is the star starting center of the Lakers. Goes to show how you can not predict things like player development in sports. Bynum is the anti-Kwame. Kwame had so much hype, people knew about him, and did terribly. No one knew about Bynum and when he got picked so high he had a lot of pressure but did not crack because of it. It only made him better.

Otis

1) Having Charles Barkley and Kobe Bryant would be worst than the drama between Kobe and Shaq. Barkley feuded with Hakeem and Pippen in Houston over the number 1 slot. Barkley only succeeded on Phoenix being the number 1 guy. Put another superstar that is capable of being number 1like MJ, Shaq, Olajuwon, Kobe, Pippen, Ewing, and even legends like Wilt and Kareem, Barkley would clash over since he has a huge ego problem. (He still has it on TNT even if it is much better).

2) Lebron on the Lakers hmm that's a tough one. Better offense? Maybe. Better defense? Maybe not as Lebron hasn't recieved that much votes for the all defensive team.

3) "Two superstars, two" Can't get that in one or two big signings. Have to have one big one either developing from drafting (the best way) or do a sign and trade (that is rare, Pau Gasol trade was very very sneaky and lucky). And the answer is no we probably cannot get Lebron in 2010. He wants to be a billionaire and while he can get that in LA he prefers New York (his favorite city is Brooklyn) and to even be at that point the Lakers would have to let most of entire team go (Jordan Farmar, Pau Gasol (trade him for cap room and draft picks), Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum wouldn't be resigned since he wants a contract of 16 million per year and that would force to either give him or Kobe up, assuming you want Lebron and Kobe and Kobe stays around his current Salary of 20 Million (Lebron would want more if not equal) so that's another 20 million so that's 40 million and you still need about 10 more players and to get the really good role players have to spend at least 5 million. So either have to sign only 3 at mid level exception and really on rookie (rookie contracts are cheap, like 1 or 2 million) or sign people to minimum for only 1 or 2 years. As if the really good role players sign only for 1 or 2 million for that long (sarcasm). So no cannot get Lebron unless blowing up the entire team and lose for the next two years (as if LA wants to miss the playoffs).

Otis, we are fine, Bynum and Ariza will help us and we have all the things needed to make the title run. This offseason was quite since we have everything that we need and didn't require much except our players becoming healthy again to lead to the title. Basically calm down lol.

-blitz

I am welcoming myself back to the blog.

Go Lakers!

Good job AK/BK on the interview. I agree, however, that there was not much questions at Phil as how he will assess his coaching strategy. One thing is to say that if Odom doesn't work on the front line he'll put in Ariza, but how much of that is his fault? I have a feeling that Odom is really being used as a scapegoat, for better or worse.

I really like though that he's going to put Gasol back on the high post. That is where he is way more efficient. Gasol is not going to power his way to the basket, but he can use his feet to get momentum to get to the basket like he did against Garnett in that Game 2 dunk.

Jon-

Regarding how Sun's absence could affect the roster, my guess is very little, other than perhaps if they do keep 15, they might be more inclined to keep a guard. But really, Sun was the 13-15th guy anyway, so it doesn't change much.

BK

Jon K,

Could you do a Bio-Chrono on Brandon Heath?

If you can, thanks.

Assuming the players stay healthy, I think this team could take a quantum leap forward because of one simple factor. No one is going to have to compensate for some element that's missing on the team, which has been the case in varying degrees ever since the Shaq trade. When players are allowed to fulfill roles, to be their own pieces and not have to play beyond themselves, that's when they're the most productive and efficient. This is the unsaid benefit of depth and players vying for PT. Specialists will be allowed to be specialists. No one has to play out of position or do something beyond their skillset.

Deficiencies may be exposed as the season gets underway, but I don't anticipate they'll be very big. This team, as constructed, is close if not complete. It's exciting. I agree with PJ that last year's run was ahead of schedule. Before the post-season, I said I hoped the team would gain some valuable playoff experience - and they did - more than expected. This year is the beginning. Now is the time.

TIME TO GIVE CREDIT TO JIM BUSS…

Imagine that you Jim Buss and you have finally just started working for your father Jerry Buss learning the ropes in preparation of someday taking over the reins of the family owned Lakers. The team and its fans are in turmoil in the aftermath of the Shaquille O’Neal trade to Miami and the team missing the playoffs for the first time in years. The silver lining for the Lakers is the
#10 pick in the NBA draft, the Lakers reward for their dismal season and their first opportunity in many years to draft a top 10 player.

Andrew Bynum had wowed Laker execs at a private workout in Chicago but Phil Jackson wanted to draft a player who could help the team sooner than the 17-year old New Jersey high schooler, a proven player such as Sean May. Since the Lakers were not ready to commit to drafting him, Bynum worked out for Portland and was getting ready to work out for Golden State, two teams with higher draft picks than the Lakers #10. You love Bynum’s potential and have a vision that he could be the next great Lakers center. You can either back down to Mitch and Phil and the rest of the Lakers front office scouting team – or you can put your reputation and perhaps your future as the owner-manager of the Lakers on the line.

Thankfully for Lakers fans, Jim chose to put his name and reputation on the line, not only to commit to Drew that the Lakers would take him #10 so he would shut down his workouts, but also to refuse to include Bynum in any trade discussions with the exception of a deal for KG. Within the next 30 days, the Lakers are going to sign Drew to a 5-year contract extension for something close to $70-80M, guaranteeing that he will wear purple and gold the next 6 years. There will be the usual naysayers who claim that Drew is an injury risk or has not proven he is worth a max contract, but trust me, Jim Buss will not allow Andrew Bynum to become a free agent no matter what. The contract extension will be signed before the October 31 deadline.

We can talk all day about Kobe being a better leader, Pau fitting into the team perfectly, young players like Jordan and Sasha maturing, but bottom line, the emergence of Andrew Bynum as a dominating center was the catalyst without which the Lakers might have sunken. So let’s all give a well-deserved toast to Jim Buss, who just may be a chip off the old block, if you know what I mean. It may his name rather than Jerry’s that is associated with our next threepeat.

If you think about it, Jim is doing just exactly what his dad did over the years. Rather than micromanage and second guess everything like Marc Cuban, Jerry Buss stayed involved but generally trusted his basketball people to call the shots and make the decisions, except for those rare franchise-defining moments. For the Lakers, that moment came when they had to decide whether to draft Andrew Bynum or Sean May. Like his father, Jim looks to be a chip off the old block insofar as making the right BIG decision – like drafting and keeping Andrew Bynum.

Tom

BK,

Thanks.

XandO Pro,

I'll do it today.

GO LAKERS!

XandO Pro,

I did a quick Bio-Chrono reading for Brandon Heath.

It's pretty good from a competitor's and teammate point of view.

Physically - He's mentally based, which means he's heavily focused on the dialectic between confidence versus fear/insecurity.

Emotionally - He's physically based, which means he's heavily focused on the dialectic between enthusiasm and emptiness.

Mentally - He's creatively based, which means he's heavily focused on the dialectic between social/creative union and conflict of ideals.

Creatively - He's creatively based, which means he's heavily focused on the dialectic between love and hate.

I'll go into greater detail about this later on tonight, but it's a good reading. Oddly enough, there are some major similarities between his reading and that of Kwame Brown's, except that Brandon Heath has a physical predisposition that is likely to make him a far more competitive personality than Kwame Brown.

GO LAKERS!

Gasol will be playing a lot of backup C when it is time to win games. Mihm and Mbenga, as much as I like both of them and glad the Lakers resigned DJ, will only be playing when the Lakers are blowing out the competition.
My greatest worry is still the bench.
Last year, the bench mob did really well when Bynum was playing center but of course it was time for him to move up to starting C.
This year, we will have the best starting lineup in the game, whether it is LO or TA in the small foward position.
With Pau playing backup C and PJ trying to manage his minutes because of his summer Olympic playing time, the question will be who will the backup PF minutes go to?
It is going to be between Vlad Radman and LO.
LO will be getting a lot of backup PF minutes if Vlad isn't on his game.
Which is fine because Ariza and Luke can still cover the SF position where we are the deepest in the NBA.
So the key players next year are: Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, LO, Fisher, Farmar, Sasha, Ariza, Vlad and maybe Luke (if he can recover from his injury and it is possible that he won't). That's really our 10 man lineup for the playoffs.
Last year, PJ liked playing the bench as a 5 man unit but that probably won;t be possible this year, as Gasol will be switching between starting PF and bench C; and LO will be switching as starting SF and bench PF.
Gasol is smart enough to handle the extra complexity but I wonder if LO has enough brains to do it. LO can be a bit slow mentally.

LakerinBC,

Odom will get minutes at PF no doubt and so could Radman. I don't see no reason for Powell to get minutes either if he really has a good preseason. Plus he got two 20 point 10 rebound games which could only help him get PT with the Lakers.

-blitz

laker hopeful sez:

"Kwame had so much hype, people knew about him, and did terribly. No one knew about Bynum and when he got picked so high he had a lot of pressure but did not crack because of it. It only made him better."

I'm not sure I'd get too sentimental just yet. bynumb needs to actually play, now. Not just dunk in practice in front of approving friends and kareem.

Tom - I'm happy that Jim Buss advocated so strongly for Andrew at draft time. I'm not so sure that I'd call him a chip off the old block, at least not in a broader business sense (he certainly has the party part down pat). Jim has too often seemed prone to creating divisions and when Phil mentioned not being so sure of "the people around" Andrew, I wondered if Jim Buss might be one of those.


BUTTLER

"I'm not sure I'd get too sentimental just yet. bynumb needs to actually play, now. Not just dunk in practice in front of approving friends and kareem."

How about all those times he dunked on Amare last season? In front of a National TV audience?

I can't wait for the season to start.

XandO Pro,

Okay. Here's the thing about Brandon Heath...

Physically he is mentally based. This is good because people who are mentally or creatively based are more competitive than otherwise people. They obtain their physical strength through being "better" (more competitive) than other people.

Emotionally he is physically based. This is problematic because it is difficult to really get deep with these people. They are all about amount more than quality, emotionally speaking. These people love emotion. Emotion. Not what kind of emotion. Just emotion. I feel sympathy for these people because when they hurt, they just feel dead inside and its very hard for them and very hard for other people to relate to. Still, for them to be stimulated they need enthusiasm and energy in terms of communcation.

Mentally he is creatively based. This means he is a good team player. It also means that it is essential that he be essential. The more important his role; the better he will do. He will be mentally/socially stimulated by having the ability to create opportunities for other people (teammates) and to in some way be able to dictate the flow of the game. He thinks at least two steps ahead of the moment and is very intuitive.

Creatively Brandon is creatively based. This means a lot of things. First of all, Brandon's creative life is the CORNERSTONE of his life and his success (and success can be measured in a lot of ways.) Ultimately (no religious bias here) Brandon needs to get himself right with God. Why? Because everything in Brandon's life comes down to his creative level (which is also his spiritual level). His mental level is creative... which brings him back to his creative level. His physical level is mental... which is creative... which brings him back to his creative level. His emotional life is physical... which brings him to his mental level which is creative... which brings him to his creative level.

So since creativity and spirituality are interconnected (on a variety of levels) Brandon really needs to explore his spiritual life to be his best. It all comes down to that.

If Brandon is able to get his spiritual life together, be creative, be able to feel that he is an essential component of a team, lead the creative development of that team (on some level), be surrounded by people who are enthusiastic/emotionally expressive, AND have a forum through which he can explore his inherent competitive nature... he should do EXTREMELY well.

Indeed.

If he's doesn't become a Laker, in the right environment he will do very well.

GO LAKERS!

Hers is my take on the starting five.

Bynum, Gasol and Kobe are locked in for C, PF and SG. The starting SF should be based on who gets to start at PG? But first, I do not think Lamar Odom should even be considered starting at SF, ODOM should be the 6th man at PF position replacing either Bynum or Gasol.

It leaves us with Radman or Trevor? The strengths and weaknesses of these two are very much the opposite of each other. So, why don't we answer the question first as to who start at PG, Fisher or Farmar? I believe that Farmar needs an athletic running wingman with him to be successful in his running game, Trevor Ariza is he's guy. In the same way if Farmar comes off the bench, Ariza should too.

While if Fisher continues to start at PG, Vlade Radmanovic is the perfect compliment to Fisher's run the offense aka Jackson's triangle offense.

So my personal choice is for Farmar and Ariza to join the 3 regular starters. (Bynum, Pau and Kobe) I also think this is our best offense/defense team of five.

And let Fisher, Sasha, Vlad, Odom come off the bench playing atleast wth either Bynum or Gasol at Center. This is almost the starting five of last year, how great could that be?

The only change I will make in closure is maybe inserting Sasha for Trevor or Farmar if the games are close enough that Sasha's shooting could be very important.

Mihm 10 th man, Walton 11 th man, Sun 12th man, Mbenga 13th man, Powell 14th man.

Fine poetry there; Like a haka. Like the rabid stomping of ancient feet in the Colosseum in
Rome calling the warriors to their doom or glory, so your poetry of the coming season calls
all fans back from their farms and factories and decries and that all now stand as one, and
rise together in this hour to answer the cry glory and the call of fame!

Wow! Wes Posted by: wesjoenixon | September 26, 2008 at 12:31 PM


I'm sorry Wes but I'm gonna have to steal those lines for later on in the season when we
need them. I see you haven't got out of shape during the layoff. LOL!

And the people cried, Save us from these degenerate Celtic scum who know not how to
reign. And the gods felt pity and some a bugle sounded and the Zen master returned from his
summer retreat back to lead the forces of good(The Freakin LA Lakers) against the Dark Side
(TheCeltics & the rest of the no class NBA scum). The Dark side began to tremble as they realized
their reign upon the land was coming to an end. They realized a 4th Laker Dynasty was upon them
and they feared that this one would be endless, as the Dynasty of Mamba would last for 4 more years
and then the Dynasty of The Beast – like a seamless thread - would continue for 10 more. They tried all
manner of evil tricks to sabotage the start of the Dynasty…TO BE CONTINUED.
WILL YOU BE THERE? THE NBA WHERE LAKER DYNASTY's 4, 5, 6 ..........HAPPENS

Good Morning Guys,

It has been about a week and a half and I have missed quite a bit. Anyways, Happy Media day and looking forward to posting this week!

Media Day post?

KBros?

TRAINING CAMP!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!

GO LAKERS!

Pig,

There will be definitely be reports from Media Day.

AK

Mamba,

>>>>>Dark side began to tremble as they realized their reign upon the land was coming >>>>>to an end. They realized a 4th Laker Dynasty was upon them and they feared that
>>>>>this one would be endless, as the Dynasty of Mamba would last for 4 more years
>>>>>and then the Dynasty of The Beast – like a seamless thread -
>>>>>would continue for 10 more.

Dynasties upon dynasties! I love it, Larry.

Tom

It has been about a week and a half and I have missed quite a bit. Anyways,
Happy Media day and looking forward to posting this week! Posted by:
Charles | September 29, 2008 at 08:21 AM

Charles back posting and Media day too! My goodness my cup runneth over!

Thanks, Andrew.

 
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