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Josh Powell: Exit Interview

With interviews from Shannon Brown and DJ Mbenga already posted, Josh Powell completes the trio of "nice, hardworking journeymen I'm extremely happy to see win a ring as a reward for fighting to remain in the NBA."  Not that I'm "meh" towards Kobe or Fish getting sized for their fourth piece of bling, but it's especially rewarding when dudes who bust their butts just as hard to little fanfare (and even less job security) get a moment in history.  As Powell made perfectly clear, he doesn't take these blessings for granted.   

Powell first shared what he was told to work on over the summer.  Pick and pop prowess.  Improving an already solid jumper.  Improving his ability to attack the rim after snagging an offensive board.  JP expressed confidence that the organization wants to keep the squad intact, but admitted he doesn't know if that includes exercising a team option on him.  If he's not back, however, it won't be the result of an attitude problem.  

"They didn't give any promises or guarantees. They did say they appreciated my efforts this year. They thought that I came and worked hard every day, and that was a good thing. That was a plus.  And I was consistent as far as that aspect."

When you've had to scratch, claw and bite your way just to remain in the NBA, it's tough to know exactly how to treat the unequivocally "good times," because you don't know how long they'll last.  Not that Powell was anything less than thrilled at winning a championship, but his backstory (and I imagine, uncertain future) makes it difficult to wrap his head around the experience and celebration. 

"That's another thing I said in the meeting. A lot of the media were like, 'Why don't you look as happy as some of these guys?' Everybody hasn't had to take the path that I've had to take. It's been a rough path. I've done NBDL. I've bounced around overseas. I've done everything. This has been a rough ride, but it's something that I'll never regret, because it's what drives me.

That's where I get my hunger from and my dedication from. It's definitely something that keeps me going. I've had my family to back me. I've got strong faith in God. With that in mind, that's what keeps me going every day.  That's why I was just so quiet, because you just don't know how to take it or accept it. A lot of these guys were drafted, lottery picks or whatever their situation was. I was undrafted and had to really, really work to get to this point."

Powell talks about the three pointer he canned during Game 1 against Orlando, the first downtown bomb of his NBA career. Whether shots from beyond the far line become a consistent (or even requested) part of Powell's repertoire remains to be seen, but still, as Powell smiled, "You see I got a wet ball."

Also, we experienced some technical difficulties during Josh's interview, so everything wasn't caught on video. But here were some of the highlights...

Powell's rotational pecking order wasn't particularly desirable, in that PT was dictated more by situation than merit.  For the most part, when injuries (Andrew Bynum) or suspensions (Lamar Odom) created opportunities, he generally responded with a good performance.  Unfortunately, that showing was almost irrelevant.  Drew, LO and Pau Gasol equaled few frontcourt minutes available for Powell, end of story.  JP handled the situation like a pro, but that's not the same thing as "liking" it.  I asked Powell how difficult this set up was for him. 

"It's very tough because I think that any guy that is a true competitor, you want to be able to show what you've been working hard for during the summer and during the year.  You want to be able to contribute to the team.  But you gotta be positive about it.  You gotta understand your role, understand your situation and make the most out of it."

Words for Sasha Vujacic to learn and live by, but that's for another exit interview post to come.

On the ability to be himself among his teammates

"I think this team, everyone was close and open with each other, so it felt like you had more of a family bond, so you were able to show more of your personality. It was just great working with these guys. Great with the coaches. The organization. It was just a wonderful experience."

On Phil Jackson

"He allows guys to be players on the court and allows them grow and learn on the court. He's not, I don't know if "strict" is the right word, but I mean, you're gonna definitely want to perform for him. But there have been times when I may have made two or three mistakes, and he left me in the game. I definitely told him I appreciate that.  There are a lot of other situations where a coach's patience is a lot shorter. That's understanding (on his part) as well."

Previous Exit Interviews:

AK

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

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I think guys you'll enjoy some good laughs

http://tinyurl.com/Kobe-Luke


Kobe's at the Dodger game in Anaheim, front row seats behind first base. ESPN closeup. 1-0 Dodgers.

Trouncing of my first amendment rights and over zealous political correctness's police on this blog seem to the run the day here.To bad b/c this seems to be a first rate blog here.

The Lakers really dominated the majority of that series

With all the celebrating going on, have you wondered why Dr. Buss has been missing?

I think I know where he's been.

http://tiny.cc/7l6Nk

Jose,
You seem to misunderstand the purpose of the amendments. The first amendment applies to government restrictions, not on what a private organization limits. Nothing wrong with them having rules here.

There was a Kobe sighting at the Dodgers-Angels game tonight. The crowd started chanting 'MVP! MVP!' as KB left with his entourage at the bottom of the ninth inning with 2 out and LAD ahead 5-2. He was giving the crowd high fives on the way out.

He had his left foot propped up when the camera was on him and (horrors!) he was not wearing Nike's!!

Does anyone know whether he is an Angels or Dodgers fan? I am guessing Angels since he lives in Newport Coast....

"Does anyone know whether he is an Angels or Dodgers fan? I am guessing Angels since he lives in Newport Coast...."

He's a Dodger Fan. He told Magic Johnson in an interview that he would play Left Field (that's Manny's and Juan Pierre's position) and bat 3rd.

"Jose,
You seem to misunderstand the purpose of the amendments. The first amendment applies to government restrictions, not on what a private organization limits. Nothing wrong with them having rules here."

Nice one Ex. Very good at not only in Laker things but also others.

Now is the time to get greedy.

Greedy-greedy-hand-rubbing-shifty-eyed-greedy!

Our top 3 are in their competitive primes. Our 4th, 5th, and 6th are all early 20's and growing up fast. We have veteran contributors at 7, 8, and 9...and more young talent coming up behind them.

This team could be the group that slams the championship window on Garnett, Duncan, Nash, Nowitzki, Billups, Pierce, Stoudamire, etc. etc.

Or, this team could be like the latest version of the championship Pistons, or the Atlanta Braves - good enough to hang around til the end, but only 1 title to show for it.

Greed, baby. Rip off 3 in a row...
Start next year.

HIGH CHEESE

I would like to see LBJ wrap up his career with numbers like Dominique Wilkins - the dominant athlete/scorer of his era, who never won jack because there was always a better team in his way.

LBJ aside, who on the Cav's would you trade Lamar for? Which 2 players? Which 3? Same question with Pau? Which Cav would you trade Trevor for, today? Or Andrew?

Vegas still likes those guys - but I don't see them as a serious threat...


To the DYNASTY

HIGH CHEESE

Ice,

Can you put that link in Tiny URL form? It maintains the blog's physical appearance. Go to tinyurl.com. Very easy to use.

Thanks

AK

Fatty....Really nice piece of writing mate..well done...

Fatty,

Dang, that was fun. Do we get to be invited in the Owner Box?

LakerTom,

you wrote: What seems clear, however, is that Kobe probably earned as much from endorsements this year as his Lakers salary, which is surprising since his endorsements had disappeared

Actually, this is false. He earned 2 - 3
million more from his salary as a Laker.
He earned 39 million total & some
basketball reference page had him
earning ~ 22 million from the Lakers.
[ rounded up ]

You also wrote: I do think Kobe and his people will be on top of this situation and he will opt out and sign for less, my guess being $3M to $5M per year less. I don’t know where the line is, but I am pretty confident that the goodwill and positive image generated by that move would easily be recouped in endorsements.

My response: Please name one
company that would not endorse Kobe
after winning a championship, MVP
(last year) and finals MVP this year, but
would endorse him if he took less $ ?

You also wrote: Putting the onus, as you stated, on Buss and the involved parties is naïve. Just by the nature of being the 500 pound gorilla, Kobe IS one of the involved parties, generally because he is the team’s highest paid player and specifically because his contract option provides an opportunity for him to do something that will benefit both him and the team.

My response: Kobe is under contract for
2 more years. He does not have to opt.
His being the highest paid player is
meaningless in this scenario if he
makes no change to his status. If he
opts out, all focus then changes to him.
He *IS* the first priority for the team.
If Kobe affects this situation, then
so does Pau Gasol. His contract is the
2nd largest. Are you going to ask him
to take less also? Bynum?

you wrote this: Kobe has three choices: (1) Go for the max and look greedy and/or stupid, (2) Take less and be a hero and make more in the long run, or (3) Wait until next year to opt out.

my response:

1. Kobe said he wouldn't opt out this year.
2. If Kobe did ask for the max, I'd agree
that he's being greedy. That would be
detrimental to the team.
3. Taking less $$ does not benefit Kobe.
Taking less $$ to give to Lamar, does
not benefit Kobe. It benefit's Jerry
Buss.

By my calculations, using your numbers,
you're asking Kobe to leave 3 - 5 mil on
the table, not taking into account the
league rules for how salary increases
work. Once his salary is set, he can't
change it. Kobe has to pick up a fat
contract [ Nike: b/n 7 & 9 mil ] every two years to
make up for the loss in salary.

We're in a recession right now. I don't
think he can do it with endorsements.

I guess we'll find out.

AK , BK, or anyone else,

Would it be possible for you guys to post up dates or events for Laker autograph signings and etc? I never know when there is a signing or anything and was wondering how to find out. I would really appreciate it if you guys would answer!

I was wondering if it was Josh Powell whom was told by Patrick Ewing that he'll never make it in the NBA?

I just saw that TJ Simers posted an excerpt from my response to his anti-Lakers screed in this morning's column. I'm proud to be dissed in the same space as the K-Bros!

Re-sign Ariza!!!

Yes that was Powell. When Powell was trying to get drafted he worked out with Washington. During that time Ewing was an assistant coach and he told Powell that he would never make it into the NBA. The full story is on TrueHoop.

Never, that is correct...Ewing told Josh he'd never make it. Now Josh can say, "Hey Patrick, how does my ring taste?"

Never ,
Yes it was Patrick Chewing who told Josh that he could not make it in the league.. Hey but he NEVER won a ring whereas Josh has one!!

LGFI

I liked Josh and the money was well spent..I like Brandon Bass a lot more and would love for him to join our team..

hobbitimage,
" Please name one
company that would not endorse Kobe
after winning a championship, MVP
(last year) and finals MVP this year, but
would endorse him if he took less $ ?"

You're missing the point. The financial benefit for Kobe from a reduced salary would come from additional titles he gets because the Lakers sign Odom and Ariza. Not from sponsors who sign him this summer.

"Trouncing of my first amendment rights and over zealous political correctness's police on this blog seem to the run the day here." You are mistaken about your rights. This board is private property of the LA Times. You have to follow their rules. No exceptions...as it should be.

'Taking less $$ to give to Lamar, does
not benefit Kobe. It benefit's Jerry
Buss.'

well if he wants money then it's arguable but it seems to me Kobe likes winning championships wouldn't you say?
Seems to me that Kobe might not be as good in two years as he is now? maybe he gets clobbered by someone and his career is over.It makes a lot of sense for him to opt out and negotiate a long term deal or am I missing something?


hobbitmage,

>>> Actually, this is false. He earned 2 - 3
>>> million more from his salary as a Laker.
>>> He earned 39 million total & some
>>> basketball reference page had him
>>> earning ~ 22 million from the Lakers.
>>> [ rounded up ]

I used figures from Fortune: $45M total less $22M salary = $23M endorsements.

>>> Please name one
>>> company that would not endorse Kobe
>>> after winning a championship, MVP
>>> (last year) and finals MVP this year, but
>>> would endorse him if he took less $?

If I could do that, I would be no longer be working and have time to answer your questions. LOL.

>>> If Kobe affects this situation, then
>>> so does Pau Gasol. His contract is the
>>> 2nd largest. Are you going to ask him
>>> to take less also? Bynum?

Kobe affects the situation since he has an option that he can exercise to opt out and become a free agent. Pau does not have a similar option, which is why he is not involved, but when his contract expires, he will also have to confront this issue as will every other player. Drew’s contract probably already includes an adjustment for less as the problem really started with Drew’s big raise. So Bynum already took less.

>>> 1. Kobe said he wouldn't opt out this year.

I have not heard that but I did say one option was for Kobe just not to opt out until after next year.

>>> 2. If Kobe did ask for the max, I'd agree
>>> that he's being greedy. That would be
>>> detrimental to the team.
>>> 3. Taking less $$ does not benefit Kobe.
>>> Taking less $$ to give to Lamar, does
>>> not benefit Kobe. It benefit's Jerry
>>> Buss.

>>> We're in a recession right now. I don't
>>> think he can do it with endorsements.

>>> I guess we'll find out.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree because I feel Kobe would easily earn back the $3M to $5M I am guessing he will leave on the table. Winning the regular season MVP allowed him to jump from $16M to $23M per my calculations and eliminate the $25M to $16M advantage that LeBron had last year. As you said, let’s just wait and see what happens at this point in time. But for say $5M, which is just over 10% of his income, Kobe can come out like a hero and possibly or probably earn more as a result. That sounds like a good bet to me. No long response, hobbitmage. Thanks.

Tom

LakerTom & Others,

You say Kobe will take a paycut because he will make it up in endoresements. Of course, he CAN make it up, but why should he? He will get the same endoresements, even if he does or doesn't take the max! Why? Because,he's not going anywhere else regardless!

Also, come on people! You think it's the same thing for us to go ask our boss for a pay cut? 6 figures compared to 25 million? It doesn't even compare!

I believe Kobe is worth the max right now..But is he worth the max when he is 35 years old? Probably not! And that is why I would argue a small pay cut because he's getting more years! So technically, he is not getting a pay cut at all! He is getting more money until he is 35.

At 35, he is going to be a different player then he is now. He already can barely get up for dunks sometimes. 27 Million+ when he is 35? I'm not so sure that is a wise investment. I understand Kobe is a freak in keeping himself in top condition, but guards rarely dominate at 35. Just something to think about!


I hope Josh Powell returns. The guy may not be as entertaining as Ronny Turiaf, but he's a better player, and retaining him would be a steal for the Lakers.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K.,

Couldn't agree more. I had serious doubts about him as he was a former Loser (er, I mean Clipper) and you pimping him hard made me nervous.

It's nice to have your suspicions blow up in your face!

It'd be great to have him back. I really, really like his attitude.

i heartily concur with Jon K. and Benjamin on keeping Powell...

add him to the list of players i hope we can keep...

GO LAKERS !!!


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