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My evening with Marbury, plus mo' video of a Laker-centric variety

Some talking video boxes from Tuesday night's win over the Knicks.  Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum and that Kobe fella the kids seem to dig. But first, a brief retelling of my "Stephon Marbury bro-ment." 

As most folks know, Steph is a currently exiled member of those exact same Knickerbockers and Nba_g_marbury_576_3 attended the game in a purchased courtside seat (opting to mostly fiddle with his PDA).  At halftime, a media crush circled Starbury, with BK and me joining a few minutes in.  But even catching the tail end, we saw plenty of the scene recapped by ESPN's J.A. Adande, which wrapped with Marbury "hugging a blogger he'd never met before."  Guess who the Internet writer just happened to be?

That's right, yours truly.

Just before this odd chain of events, Marbury had informed us that he's loving life right now (who wouldn't love getting paid $21 mil to do nada?), waiting to get freed of his deal and, I quote, "doing my thing."  A New York writer replied, "Isn't 'your thing' basketball?"  Marbury didn't budge, repeating instead his "doing my thing" mantra.  Then he turned to me, flashed a wide grin, and the following exchange takes place:

Starbury: Doing my thing, you know?
AK: Hey, doing your thing.
Starbury: Doing my thing.
AK: Doing your thing.
Starbury: My thing.
AK: Your thing.

Don't let the instant bonding and banter fool you.  I actually have no earthly idea what Steph's talking about during this "NBA TV meets Samuel Beckett" moment. 

From there, he leans over and we exchange an awkward semi-man hug, followed by a low five.  Mind you, this is the first time I've ever spoken to the guy in my life, putting a bizarre cap on an already strange 10 minutes.  Media session now concluded, Marbury returned to his seat and that was that.  All very cheery (dude couldn't have been nicer).  All very... odd. 

The vids are below...   

Asked if the Lakers were aware of the Knicks' outside shooting tendencies, Derek Fisher explains how they're making an active effort to force teams to beat them at the three point line, since it's a lower percentage shot than ones coming from the paint.  Obviously, such an approach isn't foolproof (as evidenced by New York's ELEVEN triples in the first half alone) and adjustments will often be required (as evidenced by the Lakers limiting the Knicks to just eight trey-ball ATTEMPTS in the second half).  But as Fish notes, it's very difficult to sustain success over an entire game from 20+ feet out. Obviously, shots must be contested (an aspect where the Lakers struggled in the opening 24 minutes), but it's easier to live with those shots falling than giving up easy layups. 


Fisher also did an nice job not registering what would have been reasonable disdain for the question's phrasing.  Let's see. The Knicks lead the NBA in three point attempts (30 per game).  They're coached by Mike D'Antoni.  They have no classic big in the rotation.  Al Harrington alone fires nearly seven per game.  Quentin Richardson is a former three point shooting contest champ.  Tim Thomas isn't even aware you're allowed to shoot inside the arc.  I'll go out on a limb and say the Lakers weren't shocked to see the Knicks chuck a few from distance.

   

More from Fish on New York's early scoring bonanza.  As mentioned earlier, some of their success was due to the Lakers' lack of success guarding what I've decided "The Machine" calls "the far line."  But the Lakers also missed a boatload of layups, which were often rebounded by a nearby Knick and transformed into transitional opportunities New York always seeks.  It's also a defensive scenario that doesn't exactly play to the Lakers' collective strengths. 


As BK and I have often harped, defensive success isn't purely dictated by the one on one abilities of the five cats on the court.  It's also the situations you place yourself in through offensive execution (or lack thereof).  Made shots allow a greater ability to set your scheme and run a game plan.  Missed shots often lead to covering on the fly.  Obviously, you have to be prepared for imperfection.  But a smooth, effective O makes life on D a hell of a lot easier, all in all.



Andrew Bynum has typically ridden pine during the stretch of fourth quarters, with Phil Jackson exhibiting more trust in Pau Gasol's one-on-one D, screen-roll coverage and general game IQ.  But we've also seen glimpses of Drew doing well covering in space (against Chris Bosh, for example) and PJ always stresses that Bynum is coming along.  Thus, it may not have been shocking to see him do well late in the game both altering shots around the basket and even covering a water bug like Nate Robinson around the perimeter.  But moments like those are nonetheless refreshing and hopefully up PJ's confidence to play Drew in crunch time, creating more options.    



This requires less analysis, but still contains good info.  Kobe Bryant talks about defensive adjustments after taking in what the Knicks do (which is different than anything they've faced from other opponents) and the impact Bynum can make on the defensive end.    

AK

Picture of Stephon Marbury: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images 

 
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"As BK and I have often harped, defensive success isn't purely dictated by the one on one abilities of the five cats on the court. It's also the situations you place yourself in through offensive execution (or lack thereof). Made shots allow a greater ability to set your scheme and run a game plan. Missed shots often lead to covering on the fly. Obviously, you have to be prepared in the event of imperfection."

Exactly. Boston runs their offense slow, and in a controlled pace. Any team that stays disciplined like Boston (and San Antonio) has will always win and not go to the pace of the Phoenix Suns.

Teams like Golden State and New York has their offense so high that when they miss their defense tends to be more sloppy and that leads to a bigger score against them. The opposite is true when the other team doesn't make the basket they have better chance to score on the defense of the other team.

The Lakers bench unit wants to play at a high pace that their defense isn't there when they miss. PJ wants Farmar to run the offense so at least if they miss (and the triangle offense is designed to get the best opportunity to score by everyone) they would have at least some defenders in the backcourt to set up the defense. But no Jordan doesn't want that and plays crappy defense also.

Pace is controlled=Defense looks better. Otherwise Boston wouldn't have allowed 100+ against the Golden State Warriors if their vaunted defense was supposed to hold them down to 90 points!

Some people though just don't have a clue and give excuses like "they worked hard over the summer" instead of looking at the big picture....

-blitz

Damn! Just got caught giggling at AK's exhcange with Starbury in the middle of a meeting. Oops!!!

AK,

I never imagined that you and Steph would become BFF. How does it feel to have friends in high places?

That exchange was utterly hilarious. It was surely one of those "you had to be there" moments. Hopefully "doing my thing" doesn't involve the underaged.

PARGO!

AK

So what's your thing?

Tomorrow night at 5pm, I will be doing my thing.

Watching the Lakers take care of the Heat "Showtime 2" Style!

Go Lakers!

btw wrong blog I know but hehe

Yankees offering a 3 year deal for Manny?

We got Furcal and Blake back but aside from a starting pitcher we need Manny!

Kobe/Manny/Sanchez (have to give him props)/Beckham

That's Los Angeles for you!

-blitz

that indeed seemed like a "Wazzup" momment!

When I read the Adande article, I was wondering if 'the blogger' was one of you two. I figured it was a long shot. That is a riot

It's no secret my latest pet peeve is about the Lakers not contesting shots. It's been with me since I saw Kobe at a Lakers practice, playing off his man and barking at him "I'll give you that. I'll give you that." afterwhich the player proceeded to drain the jumper no problem.

The problem I have with the philosophy that shots further away from the basket are lower percentage and therefore, preferable, is simple - contested shots are even lower percentage. Why a defensive philosophy would include the notion of conceding ANY wide open looks is baffling to me.

Driving back to the office from lunch, I heard a clip of Kobe talking about the upcoming road trip and it struck me as odd. I think the way Kobe handles himself in interviews is unique in professional sports. I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something disingenuous about it. I'm sure that'll raise the ire of some Kobe-lovers out there. It's probably just an odd culmination of the roller-coaster that Kobe's public image has gone through.

When interviewers ask him about upcoming road trips the assumption is that those games are more difficult but he refutes that saying that the team embraces it b/c it's a chance for them to hang out and bond. Now, I know that PJ has put forth a slightly different version of the same answer but there's just something slightly off about how Kobe says it.

On NBATV Webber asked Kobe about what he does to lead his teammates after the disappointment of "losing the Championship" as he put it. Kobe said they were "excited" b/c it meant that they were close and all they need to focus on is addressing key issues.

The theme I'm sensing is that when Kobe is asked a question that talks about something "negative" (albeit lightly negative) his reaction is always - don't assume the obvious, I'm going to pull back the curtain and let you know that it's really a positive.

I guess that's what's refreshing about Bynum's interviews. You can see when he's happy and when he isn't. He's very specific and honest with his answers. He hasn't learned how to dish the rhetoric yet.

Marbury's a malignant narcissist with insanium in the cranium, yo.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

I've been noticing this about the Lakers as well. Teams are realizing that the Lakers cannot be beaten on the inside so they play the inside outside game.
Lakers need to make the adjustment by taking the ball out of the opponents hands. Then have another player try to beat you.They did a good job of this against the Hornets.

TOP TEN

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008


Honorable Mention

(from yesterdays TOP TEN, I’m still laughing)
#1
[Comment From Faith]
if this D was any uglier...it would marry Heidi Klum


Oh, and I want to know why the Lakers refuse to drive and attack the rim. Forget just Kobe. We all know Ariza, Farmar, and LO can do it. Heck, even Luke, Sasha, and Vlad are capable on occasion.
Someone tell Phil to tell his boys to drive the freakin' lane once in a blue moon.
Posted by: SkytimeJones | December 17, 2008 at 02:54 AM


DRUM ROLL

#10
131-92...Do those numbers ring a bell, Laker fans?
Looks like you`re still having trouble coping with the team Kobe refers to as the "Barometer".
Well, Xmas is only a week away.
This time, please, for the love of God...take it like a man!
C`s The Day!!!!
Posted by: RED`S LOVE CHILD | December 17, 2008 at 07:47 PM

#9
>>>"All I've got to do is get free," Marbury said. "Once I get
>>>free, the team I'm going to go to, I think a lot of people
>>>will be shocked."
I certainly would be shocked if he joined the Lakers. And not
in a good sense.
Posted by: Long Time Laker Fan | December 17, 2008 at 01:19 PM

#8
Can we stop reporting Pierce is hurt?
Every time....ooohhh no....Pierce injured his knee!!!
Then, he's OK...Pierce is dropping fadeaways...
Ridiculous!
Posted by: Korey | December 17, 2008 at 07:37 PM

#7
During a stretch of the 3rd quarter last night, the Lakers started playing pretty much straight-up man defense and boy did they ever look like a much better team. When are they going to bag this "hybrid defense" that has been embarassing us for weeks? How many uncontested jumpshots do we have to give up before we get the message? I guess we'll have to wait and see. We're not likely to make a big change as long as we keep winning, even if we win ugly.
Posted by: 40-year fan | December 17, 2008 at 09:18 AM

#6
Half time adjustment of going to man was great.
Did anyone else notice how enthused the Lakers became to go man? It was like weights were taken off their ankles.
The players don't seem too excited about Rambis zone trap anymore, and it shows.
Letting them go man, mano y mano, 'macho tough' stuff, playing 'old school' was just what the Dr. ordered. The occasional zone is nice, but is not good for the steady diet.
Give me some Powell any day. That guy is an animal.
C'mon PJ. I know you read this site with your AM coffee.
Give the kid more time!
Fatty- Who will take Marbury, if it means he doesn't go the Suns.
Posted by: Fatty | December 17, 2008 at 09:59 AM

#5
Looking at the box score you would think Lamar had a great game. All I know is Lamar could actually have more bonehead plays in his career than Kwame and that is hard to grasp.
This is my All-Time Laker Brainless Team
1. Kwame
2. Odumb
3. Smush
4. Elden Campbell
5. Mel Counts

All is good in Lakerland if that is the Kobe that shows up more often. That was a great 2nd half Kobe.

BD
Posted by: BD | December 17, 2008 at 10:55 AM

#4
Hey BD,
How could you leave Brian Cook off of your all brainless team?
Posted by: Long Time Laker Fan | December 17, 2008 at 12:47 PM

#3
Pfunk36,
I don't know whether to laugh or get frustrated at the irony of you only appreciating a post of ours that was specifically NOT about basketball. Haha…….
Posted by: Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky | December 17, 2008 at 04:50 PM

#2
"who has the best pattern of ruts in their head Harrington or Boozer---they need to have a rut off..."
And the winner is.... Harrington!
His head looks like a bike helmet! lol
Posted by: SamLL | December 17, 2008 at 10:04 AM

#1
What about "Itsy Bitsy Spider"?
Posted by: exhelodrvr | December 17, 2008 at 02:08 PM

I wonder if this is why Gasol has strep throat:

http://tinyurl.com/4m4bk2

You know how kids are with their germs.

AK,
Now I understand better why you are such a Kobe-hater!!

Fish looks good in a suit.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

{Repost. The Crusade must continue!}

On The Subject Of A Supportive Crowd At Staples Center...

Most players feed off of a crowd's energy. The Black Mamba is one of the few players who also feeds off of an opponent's fan's negative energy.

He is a rare breed. Most players deep inside are fairly insecure people. They live for the support and acclaim of others.

On Christmas Day, give it to them.

It is an absolute joy to support your team loudly and vocally. It is the ONE way we as fans can actually influence the outcome on the court. None of us will ever don a Lakers uniform and play for our team. NONE OF US! But we can make a difference. We can lend our energy to our team and send our hatred to the Celtics with such a fury that they wilt as grass before a fire!

There are some "fans" out there who think it gauche and coarse to support your team like rabid wolverine on methamphetamine. They are mistaken.

There is a true joy in supporting your team with all your energy, emotion and heart. You can only know that joy if you give into it without inhibition.

The experience is not unlike dancing. Truth be told, I LOVE to dance. Love it. If you've ever danced, the greatest joy is feeling the music and letting loose by dancing AS IF NO ONE IS WATCHING and then let your enthusiasm and energy become infectious until the whole dance floor is lost in the music.

THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT ON CHRISTMAS DAY!

As a fan, lose yourself in the game. Don't worry if people are watching you or think you foolish for shouting your lungs out. LOSE YOURSELF IN THE GAME! SCREAM AS IF YOU ARE ALONE IN YOUR HOME! DON'T WORRY WHAT PEOPLE THINK! WORRY ABOUT WINNING! GIVE IT ALL! GIVE YOUR ENERGY, YOUR ENTHUSIASM, YOUR JOY, YOUR LOVE, YOUR HOPE... GIVE THEM ALL IN SCREAMS OF SUPPORT TO YOUR TEAM!

SUPPORT YOUR TEAM AND IT WILL SUPPORT YOU!

And remind those Celtics who they are playing and how much we hate them! They are going to be a long, long way from home on Christmas Day... and we're going to be here.

And we want vengeance.

We need vengeance.

And they are going to feel every ounce of anger and bitterness from Game Six of last year's Finals.

We are days away from redemption, Laker Nation, and that redemption begins with EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH A SEAT IN STAPLES CENTER SCREAMING THEIR LUNGS OUT FOR 48 MINUTES!

Remember: You can't play, but you can make a difference. Make that difference. Let your enthusiasm and energy become infectious.

Let's win this fothermucking game on Christmas Day.

Let's take what's ours and remind those jerks in green who we are.

WE'RE THE FOTHERMUCKING LOS ANGELES LAKERS! THAT'S WHO!

Who the hell are you?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers CHRISTMAS DAY... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

lakers_sth,

"I guess that's what's refreshing about Bynum's interviews. You can see when he's happy and when he isn't. He's very specific and honest with his answers. He hasn't learned how to dish the rhetoric yet."

I agree. Kobe has a reason to be guarded. Bynum has yet to be guarded, unfortunately, sooner or later he will learn to be.

Better enjoy his openness while we can.

Oh, by the way, lakers_sth? YOU BETTER MAKE SOME FRICKEN NOISE ON CHRISTMAS DAY AT STAPLES! I MEAN IT! I'M NOT MESSING AROUND ON THIS ONE! BRING A BLOWHORN IF YOU HAVE TO, BUT YOU BETTER BE VOCALLY ACTIVE WHEN THE GAME IS ON! WE NEED STAPLES TO BE ROCKING!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Okay. Who's actually going to the game on Christmas Day? I need a roll call.

If you're going to the game, there are some things we need to discuss.

REAL FANS MAKE SOME NOISE!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

If KG gets down and starts barking at the Lakers, someone should
go over and climb on top of him and yell "GIDDYUP!"

We need a BIG TRADE!

Don't let the 21-3 fool you.

Why can't we trade 2 or 3 of our Avg players for 1 good player? I know we can't get anything for LO or Rad but I know we can get something for Luke! HAHA..

We need a PG Mitch!
We need a PG Mitch!
We need a PG Mitch!

Fish/JF guarding Rondo, Paul, Parker, J-Will, in a 7 game series?? Your kidding me right? Really it's not even fair, a mismatch would be a understatement.

PG penetration is just killing this team and breaking down the defense to where it almost looks like they aren't even playing any defense. Know what I mean? Even the Barea's of the league look like Pistol Pete.

Fish is a rock but his quickness has evaporated. And Jordy couldn't guard a paperweight if his life depended on it.

THIS TEAM NEEDS A PG WHO CAN AT LEAST SLOW DOWN PENETRATION or we can forget about about DEFENSE. How can you play defense if the PG is always busting right down the middle??

And don't blame Bynum because when he goes out the other team practices there layup drill with smiles till he gets back

BD

Another thing to ponder:

Number of times their opponent has scored at least 100 points:

Boston: 5 times
Lakers: 11 times

Number of times they've scored at least 100 points:

Boston: 13 times
Lakers: 20 times

If you go to the game on Christmas Day, bring a chain and padlock.

Then when Pierce gets a "painful injury to his knee" and they
rush him off to the Celtics dressing room, go sneak down and padlock
the door shut.

That way, the "truth" (yeah right) will be pounding on the doors
while the Lakers are manhandling his team.

"With all due respect, blitz, you are rapidly becoming a Zakee” clone with your constant and at times unfair criticism of Jordan Farmar."

Tom why is it when I went hard against Bynum when he was playing bad you didn't say anything?

I went hard also against Trevor and Odom.

All 3 guys are now playing well.

As for Jordan Farmar it is a fair criticism. The Pacers game and beyond he has slumped and he has not done anything about it to improve his play.

Sasha had 2 hot shooting games already. Trevor after missing the baskets in 2 games are converting them again. Even Lamar shows that he has game that is beneficial to the Lakers.

Luke as much as he is blasted we saw his IQ despite his lack of true athleticism.

Note that I support all Bruins after they left the majestic UCLA but when it comes to the Lakers it matters not. Jordan has been doing the wrong things. First with his erratic style of play (which was responsible for the Pacers comeback) and his lack of defense which nearly cost us the Washington game when Kobe and Pau should have been resting.

And all 4 games back in the Staples Center he has been lackluster enough for PJ to get Lamar Odom to be in charge of the 2nd Unit. LO made it perfectly clear that the 2nd Unit must step up and not have Kobe and Pau play in the 4th quarter when they are resting.

And now Jordan is complaining about his role in the team.

Right now we don't have time to say "He will get it in due time" because December we should have all pistons (not the Detroit Pistons) be firing up near 90% capacity and Jordan is more like 50% and it is really making the team worst than it should be.

Home court advantage really helps and with the way the Celtics and the Cavaliers are playing we won't have home court advantage if we don't win as much games as possible.

Jordan simply is not defending and that is breaking down the traps which lead to dribble penetration forcing Bynum to rotate over and either gets 1) Fouled or 2) An open 3 point basket. When he is on offense, Phil Jackson is asking him to run the triangle offense to at least give 2 defenders in the back court to set up the defense should it be a miss but his quick shots and more fast break shots is making that almost impossible for the 2nd Unit to defend.

I may be a mean curr Laker Tom but I"m a fair curr. No one is immune to criticism.

Jordan is the number target because 1) He is not defending. and 2) When the fastbreak isn't there he tries to still get it out instead of running the triangle offense which is designed to get the best shot available with the least resistance. It only takes one person to not do their job and simply he is not doing and that is harming not only the 2nd Unit but also the whole Laker team as a whole or did we not forget the 2006-2007 where everyone panicked when people got injured and had a 7 game losing streak?

J-Critt actually had some potential and he was getting off the bench with the Lakers as both a point and two guard even. He's rotting in the bench in Washington simply because there are much depth ahead of him and he doesn't know the system. And he served Jordan Farmar last year when Memphis played their 3rd game against us.

Do I think Critt will really come back? Most likely not.

Right now Jordan is simply not getting it and he is venting. He has to stop acting so immature and run the offense instead of forcing his offense.

If he does that all power to him, if not this Laker team will not be in a position to compete with the Celtics for a title no matter how good Kobe, Pau, Bynum are.

And didn't I tell you so? Bynum will NOT average 20ppg and 10 rpg. So far I have been proven more correct with 13ppg and 9rpg (I predicted 15 and 10).

-blitz

AK....

Caught sight of you during video of the Marbury interview along with Marc Berman of the NYPost and Frank Isola of the NYDaily News.
Question...doesn't J.A. Adande know you? You both worked for the LATimes recently. Why would he refer to you as a "blogger'? Just curious.

If Starbury ever has trouble "feeding his family" on his meager $21M income, he can always consider selling ad space on the side of his big head that doesn't have the star tatoo!

If Phil can't handle the team anymore why not let Jim Buss coach?

At least Bynum will get some PT in the 4th qrtr.

BD

Jon K

I will NOT be going to the game, but you are right, make some noise LA fans, none of this, English-style pip-pip cheery-O crap that we see during LA games.

Only the Clippers could give up a four point lead. Only the Clippers. Poor Baron Davis.

Starbury's thing is cashing paychecks and chuckling, from here to there, pretty much everywhere. I loved his, "The next team I'm on better watch out..." quote. They'd better watch their salary cap balloon and their questionable shots taken early in the offense numbers go up, up, up.

Anybody read the LA Times article on Farmar. It seems he has lost his swagger, and I feel we are partly to blame as we have been harping on him since the 7th game of the season (Actually, I was harping on him during pre-season as I have not been a fan of his defence...ever). How do we get the Farmar back that looked like he would be a starter in a few years? We need that guy. I'm sure he's frustrated with getting beat on D. Time after time. But what's to be done? Better situational defense when he's on the floor? Put him on the shooting guard and let Ariza or Kobe handle the PG? have Farmar set a screen on the screener and try to create some offensive fouls?

Dunno.

Can't wait for tomorrow.

Kobeblitz,

you wrote: Again I don't want to win in the next 5 YEARS those years will probably be dominated by Lebron, Wade, and Dwight Howard.

Again you always "forgive" Jordan Farmar and the rest young players even when they are playing bad!

my response: Help me understand something....

How long does a player have with you, before you cut
him off at the knees? 1 game? 5 games? 10 games?

If Ariza or Farmar had been playing at their worst for
a year, I wouldn't be talking about cutting them slack.
The reason why I don't cut Lamar slack, and I thought I
had made this quite clear, was that he's already had
years. Trevor Ariza has played less than 1 full year
with the Lakers, if you discount his injured time off.
During that year, his shooting percentage has increased
and he's shown himself to be the best defensive SF
we have outside of Kobe.

Isn't this Jordan Farmar's 3rd year with the Lakers?
According to the coaches he's getting better with each
year.

If you need to "vent" I'd suggest you go buy some beer.
It's cheap & american. Buy a 12 pack and come back
when you're sober.

I'd like to direct your attention to Greg Popovich & Jerry
Sloan. These two great coaches have taken their time
and really developed their players. They install
confidence into their players and their players have
done very well. Do you believe that their methodology is
wrong? Or are you so focused upon today, that you
care nothing about tomorrow?

*I* was all for trading Bynum for Kidd, because I wanted
to win NOW. Just like you. I was called out by a few
on this blog for being short-sited. Look at where Bynum
is now compared to where he was two years ago!

I learned a valuable lesson then and I would suggest you
learn the same. Stop paying attention to the minutia of
today and look at the big picture. If we are going to be
competitive for a championship for the next 5 - 10 years
we are going to have to get some young guys and have
patience while they learn the game at this level. I can't
think of a single championship team which has/had a
high turnover rate with players.

STOP ACTING LIKE A 15 YEAR OLD VIRGIN!

People have complained about our pg's for the last 4
years. When we had Smush it was understandable.
Complaining when we have Fisher is STUPID! Farmar
is having a great chance to learn from Fisher, who
while not an all-star, is a champion as well as being a
class athlete.

We have the 2nd best record in the NBA and arguably
the best team and the best coach in the NBA. Our
players are not robots. They are not race cars. They
are not machines. They are humans and as such they
ebb and flow in how they play the game.

We have played with this defensive scheme for less
than 1 year. Nobody knows it very well. They have
to learn it. They have to internalize it. These things
take time.

If I had my way, we would be crushing every team by
20+ points. That's called a pipe dream. It's not going to
happen. If you're telling me that we're on route for a
record setting season & possible championship while
our young players are learning, I AM OVER-WHELMED
with JOY! Pay attention! Our young players are getting
better. Our veterans are resting. Have patience man!

re: excuses for Farmar and Ariza. We see this
differently. I don't make excuses for players having bad
games. It's part of being human. They get to do that.
Just like Kobe going 6 for 26. When they go 6 for 26 for
an entire season, then I call them scrubs and want them
to be traded. I have watched baseball, basketball,
football & soccer. Athletes go thru stretches where
they're in the zone and where they're not in the zone.
I don't think they should be cut when they're not in the
zone, because you never know when they're going
back into the zone.

My problem with Lamar is not because of this year or
even because of last year. It's because of years of
watching him and evaluating his personality. So far my
analysis of him has been spot on. The same can be
said of Kobe. The same can be said of Fisher. The
same seems to be true of Ariza.

I have a suggestion for you. Go get some beer. Go
back and read your rantings for Lamar and against
Ariza from this summer and compare it to what you've
seen for the first 20 games of this season.

Then do a detailed posting, ala Mike T, and show me
that I was wrong about Ariza or Farmar. Show me
somethin'! I've got family from Missouri.

BronxLakerFan,

"AK... Caught sight of you during video of the Marbury interview along with Marc Berman of the NYPost and Frank Isola of the NYDaily News. Question...doesn't J.A. Adande know you? You both worked for the LATimes recently. Why would he refer to you as a "blogger'? Just curious."

Oh, I know J.A. He's a cool dude. My guess is that he was trying to get the piece in quickly and didn't have time to ask me if I cared if he made specific mention of me or just didn't think it was necessary to say who the blogger was. But either way, we definitely know each other.

AK

Jon K,

Going to the Xmas game but unfortunately (and I'm serious) I'll b in a luxury suite on the "C" level!!! It's cool to be blessed with the tickets but it's HARD to make noise and feel as if you're making any impact at all!!! If you don't know what the C level is, its the one right below the "nose bleeds".

During the three-peat Shaq & Kobe years my friend had courtside seats and it was amazing to be able to say something to a player and have them react! One night (Portland Game 5) I believe we were losing and I said something "rather rude" to Bonzi Wells. He and Greg Anthony got up during the time out and were calling me on to the court!! It got so bad that security had to come quiet me down. Then Game 7 comes (one of the greatest games I've ever been witness too) and during warm ups Bonzi and I kept jawing and at the end of the third quarter Bonzi was telling me to get my fishing pole. Well we all know how that game turned out and when the Kobe to Shaq alley oop popped off I kept screaming to Bonzi "No, you get your fishing pole!!!" Great times when you're courtside or within adequate screaming distance!!!

Jon K,

Last year I went to the last NO/LAL game of the year. It was in April, I think April 13th. Anyhow, I am lucky enough to know a guy who sits at the scorers table and my friend and I were lucky enough to get taken by Rob down front, introduced to all the ushers who were told to leave us alone, and were able to find empty seats right behind Lawrence Tanter. I know - who was insane enough to not show up for those seats? Anyhow, of course it was the really expensive seats and sometimes on TV we see that people are really lethargic, texting, etc.. while they're there. (I think they're texting their friends and saying "Can you see me? I'm on TV!" I know I did) But that night the place was just screaming, even those lower levels. We did every chant they do there, yelled and heckled the opposing teams players (mostly Bonzi Wells) and basically screamed, especially when they let the Hornets back in, but mostly when Kobe had a moment with a monster dunk. We went crazy! I think the fans are starting to feel what's at stake and will respond accordingly. At least, I hope they will. I'll never forget that game and hopefully if I make it back to LA soon I'll be able to call him up and get to go down on the floor again. I'll never forget it!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AK -

Is there a video of that exchange? I'm sure there were some cameras that were rolling. I'd LOVE to see that posted.

mitch,

Well, when you talk to people when you go to the bathroom or buy beer or in the parking lot, get people pumped.

Remember. Our crowd matters. We matter. We make a difference.

We've got to win this fricken game.

Get Los Angeles involved!

REAL FANS MAKE NOISE!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Mitch - I was at game 7 of the Portland series as well... absolutely unforgettable... everyone going nuts, one of those things as a sports fan that will never leave you.

longtimelakerlover,

Why did you respond the way you did?

Because you're a good fan. A fan who cares and a fan who wants to win.

Good job, brother. In the future, keep it up.

Those fans who care need to start shaming fans who spend their time texting and asking their date, "Who is Vladimir Radmanovich?" Fools and idiots who have never experienced a moment of depth and passion in their entire empty lives.

If they want to learn what's that all about it starts Christmas Day!

First, spend time with your family, go to church, meditate on the beauty of the day...

AND THEN GO TO STAPLES CENTER AND EXPRESS EVERY LAST OUNCE OF UNRESTRAINED TRUE SELF ANIMAL INSTINCT YOU'VE GOT HIDDEN IN YOUR BEING!

WE ARE GOING TO WIN THIS GAME ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND IT BEGNS WITH LAKER NATION!

NO SITTING ON HANDS! NO QUIETLY BEING PENSIVE IF WE DON'T HAVE THE LEAD!

THAT IS OVER!

IT IS TIME FOR LAKER NATION TO TAKE BACK STAPLES CENTER!!!!!! THIS GAME IS HUGE!!!!!

EXPRESS YOURSELF!!!!!

REAL FANS MAKE NOISE!!!!!!

WHAT DO WE PLAY FOR? RINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers CHRISTMAS DAY... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

I actually feel pretty sorry for Marbury.He's been screwed over by the knicks.I saw an interview with him looking forward to the season and speaking highly of Diantoni (despite the history)...sure it appears he's been part of the problem and no doubt he's been difficult but look at this way - he spent years on a crappy team knowing his reputation as a guy who cant win was being consolidated.At the same time everyone is quick to see that Thomas had no idea how to build a team or coach one,history also remembers Larry Brown doing a bad job.Now the extent to which Marbury made their lives difficult is unclear but it's certainly not all about him.

In fact Marbury wasn't getting the blame for a long time...it wasn't until he had that crazy interview and had to testify about that girl in his car that the tide turned.Whether it is Britney ot Tom Cruise the moral of the story is that people will put up with msot behaviour from a celebrity as long as you dont act crazy.

The knicks came in and wanted to build for the future and he wasn't in those plans but he was under contract for this year so they figured they'd bench him and he'd make himself look bad while not offering him a decent buyout...at the same time his reputation has been destroyed so he can't guarantee being able to recoup the money - if they were offering him even 80 percent of that contract Marbury would take it.

So the knicks are lowballing him when the situation was their fault...theres not too many players who are going to be the star guy in such a disfunctional setup for so long without going nuts and to me Marbury did his time without incident for ages on a poorly run team..now he's not part of their plans they lowball him.The least they can do is offer him a decent buyout.

AK

That is hilarious. No one ever, and mean EVER, lets me do my thing anymore. It has gotten to the point where I do not even know what "my thing" is anyway. I would have totally given Marbury a close-fisted man hug for getting to do "his thing". I can't wait to tell my wife I want to start doing my thing again! Let's see how it goes...

Hey everyone - I've been lurking for a while and Jon K's post on The Crusade brought me out of the shadows! It gave me goosebumps! I've been a rabid fan since I was a kid in the 60's. Have been to the parades and cried in my beer with the team but have never wavered in my love for the Lakers and hatred for the Celtics. In fact my friends and I created a little tribute to Red Auerbach before the playopffs last year that the C's fans seem to love (http://tinyurl.com/4pop3e) ! The drooling barbarians that they are... Any way I will be there and screaming my lungs out on Christmas and I urge you all to do the same! Oh and once last thing, the Lakers need to show more Chick Moments at Staples! We have to keep him relevant to all the young kids coming up, because he will always be the greatest.

Lakers forever!

"Starbury: Doing my thing, you know?
AK: Hey, doing your thing.
Starbury: Doing my thing.
AK: Doing your thing.
Starbury: My thing.
AK: Your thing."

haha! that's great!


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