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Lakers 99, Magic 86: NBA Champions!!!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Nba_g_kobe02_576

Press this snapshot's value up to a cool mil.  Why should Laker fans shortchange themselves?

The breakdown is below.


Obviously, no "Bad" after a game where the O'Brien punches a first class ticket to La La Land, but here's a sample of the "Good" that stood out most in my eyes.

  • Balance: It would have taken a serious turn of events for someone other than Kobe Bryant to get Lamar odom's reverse layup named Finals MVP (and had the unusual gone down, I would have pulled a "Zack Morris," called "time out," hopped a red eye to Orlando, driven to a still-frozen Amway Arena, put the gold in Kobe's mitts, then called "time in," because I can't deal with an entire offseason hearing about more "proof that the NBA hates Kobe").  Nonetheless, some blog debate has recently waged over Kobe's "Bill Russell merits." 

    After all, Pau Gasol's resume heading into Game 5 included two double doubles, no game below 50% shooting, and some increasingly effective defense against Dwight HowardLamar Odom's opening pair of efforts were outstanding.  Trevor Ariza and Derek Fisher didn't forge as many complete games, but both were Game 4 heroes.  Plus, Kobe's Game 3 wasn't so hot and was book-ended by good-but-not-great efforts, allowing a discussion to feel reasonable for some.  Bryant did nab the hardware, but it's fitting a series-clinching win would be secured through a balanced effort echoing the powerhouse these Lakers emerged.

    El Spaniard notched double-double numero tres (14/15), dished three assists, swatted a quartet of shots, and relentlessly challenged Superman around the glass.   LO was Pau's dub-dub partner-in-crime (17/10) and went perfect on his trio of three balls.  Just like in Game 4, TA was a tone-changing spark plug, this time in the second quarter after a brief nose-to-nose with Hedo Turkoglu.  Double T's were assessed, but whatever adrenaline rush ensued clearly paid more dividends for the Laker than his ex-Magic mate.  In the half's remaining 5:43 after their skirmish, Ariza canned a pair from behind the line, manufactured turnovers, got to the line and put scored eleven of his fifteen points.  (Memo to Hedo: Leave Trevor be.)  As for Fish, 4-7 FG for a baker's dozen, with a downtown shot the starting point for a second quarter 16-0 run, which transformed a nine point deficit into a ten point lead before the break.  Throw in contributions from an an extremely active (if shot happy) Andrew Bynum and solid minutes from Luke Walton and this night hardly required Kobe to strap the squad on his back. 

    All of which, I imagine, makes Bryant's 30 points (10-23 shooting), six rebounds, five assists (against just one turnover), and four blocks that much more fulfilling. Just another notch on his belt, as opposed to a hernia to nurse.  And it's been this way throughout the Finals.  Kobe wanted teammates who could deliver when it mattered most.  Hard to claim his wish didn't come true. Andrew blovks Dwight
  • Defense: As the old adage goes, it's what wins championships (although the truly accurate expression would not that defense wins championships, but only if your team is also proficient on offense, but I digress).  Clearly, that message spread at the season's start wasn't lost on anybody.  In cementing their Larry O'Brien relationship, the Lakers put Orlando in a multi-faceted head lock.  42% shooting (rounding up).  30% from Downtown (also rounding up).   Orlando scrounging up just 18 points in the second quarter, three more than their third quarter sum.  Boards crashed 47-36 in L.A.'s favor.  Six steals.  Eight blocks, one of them added to Gasol's name with less than 90 ticks to go and an eleven point cushion.  Reflective of a squad unwilling to ease up until melons were officially sized for crowns.
  • Not going for a knock out from Jump Street: While appearing on 710 ESPN's pregame radio show, I was asked what could most directly result in a Laker loss, beyond simply getting outplayed.  My biggest concern was a determination to turn every possession into a "dagger."  The desire to  Trevor and Hedo bury Orlando from the outset, which is hard to do while minding a blueprint and under control.  The image that immediately hit me was the "Ain't so Bad" match in Rocky III, where Clubber Lang (Mr. T) unwisely attempts to render Rocky Balboa unconscious with every punch, as opposed to adopting a tactical strategy.   As Clubber's disapproving trainer admonished, "You're wasting your punches!  Don't try to knock him out with one punch!  Use your head!  Wear him down!"  Clubber didn't listen and Rocky's plan to tire out an immature opponent reached fruition.


    Obviously, I wasn't suggesting the Lakers follow this strategy to the letter and allow Orlando to tucker themselves by firing uncontested shots.  There just couldn't be a "knock out" desire so overwhelming that it threw the game plan off kilter.  That's a surefire recipe for disaster

    Turned out, my concern was for naught.  During Orlando's first quarter (easily their best), the Lakers withstood an initial storm they had to expect from a team fighting for its postseason life.  They didn't panic or treat the game as if it was somehow slipping away.  Kobe and Co. remained calm, confident their superior abilities would allow them ride out the storm and eventually come out on the other side of it.  Slowly but surely, they got stops, hit big shots, forced Orlando mistakes and Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher celebrate allowed their desperation to emerge a fatal enemy.  As the game wore on, the Magic played tighter (as in "rigid," not "well oiled machine") and more aware of dire straights, which led to an unglued state.  Chances to capitalize on mini-runs or Laker misses went uncashed, perhaps the most glaring example coming when Rafer Alston attempted a home run pass to Mickael Pietrus, sailing the rock over his head and into the stands.  Bad decisions like that won't win a team many games, much less stop the dirt from filling up a grave.

    In the meantime, the Lakers were an athletic metronome.  Steady.  Never too high.  Never too low.  Never too desperate to "make something happen."  Just working a plan.  It reminded me a lot of the San Antonio Spurs during their "every other year" title runs.  What made those Duncan/Popovich crews most dangerous was an eerily methodical nature.  Didn't matter if they were playing at the top of their talents or stinking up the joint.  They were impossible to rattle.  We saw that look's foundation laid for the Lakers during Game four's first half, when foul trouble led to some visible frustration, but didn't lead to bad play.  Tonight, the Lakers took that next step, a big reason they made reversing Orlando's fortunes look so easy. 

One Bad

  • Okay, I lied.  One negative.  If you're one of jackasses I watched on the news tear up the Staples Center/L.A. Live area or various spots around Los Angeles, find another team to root for.  Seriously.  You embarrass me and give the city a bad name.  At the very least, do the "semi-right" thing, go back tomorrow and clean up your pointless mess.   Then find another team to root for.  The Raider Nation is always taking applications.  

And the fans who didn't act the fool, congrats on a special night.  I know firsthand how much y'all bleed purple and gold, so enjoy the fruits of your labor. You deserve it.

AK

Photo: Kobe Bryant holding trophies.  Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 
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-also, props to all the guys who have to go in and clean up the visitors locker room at amway, cause janitors never get enough credit.

repost
Oh maaaan. I'm so sorry i missed the game chat for this one. Personal, family obligation, very important. But man. I have to go back and read through all of today's posts and comments and everything, but I just wanted to get in and offer my biggest congratulations to the

2008-2009 NBA CHAMPION LOS ANGELES LAKERS - ALL OF YOU. I LOVE YOU ALL.

and my deep abiding love for

EVERY SINGLE LAKER FAN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. DESPITE ALL OF OUR DIFFERENCES, OUR LOVE OF BASKETBALL BRINGS US TOGETHER-

and most of all (well, ok, the Lakers team most of all, but you know)

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES LAKER BLOG, ANDY AND BRIAN KAMENETZKY, THEIR HARD WORKING INTERNS AND HANGERS ON, AND THE ENTIRE BLOG CREW. Y'ALL ARE COMMUNITY, FRIENDS AND FAMILY. NOT, YOU KNOW, REAL FAMILY...why am I all capsing this? it's hard to read...but I digress.

It's been a great year, and I love all of you, even the idiots. you know who you are, but mostly the people who were here every game chat (almost) and the people who posted great and insightful comments every day, who are too many too mention here.

I LOVE YOU ALL

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS! NOW AND FOREVERMORE, THE GREATEST TEAM IN THE NATIONAL M F ING BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION!

Posted by: phred | June 14, 2009 at 09:23 PM


ON THE CUSP OF GREATNESS…

This may have been the first NBA championship for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers since Shaquille O’Neal was traded and Chick Hearn passed away but it will not be the last. What is scary for the rest of the NBA is that the Lakers won this title with a hobbled Andrew Bynum only playing a minor role. If Andrew can stay healthy next year, the Lakers will truly become a juggernaut of a team embarking upon another dynasty.

The Lakers crushing close-out of the Magic tonight was classic Lakers team basketball. Every Laker who played shone. From their stunning run in the middle of the second quarter to their total control of the game in the second half, the Lakers dominated the Magic on offense, defense, and the boards. Shell-shocked from blowing two overtime games, the Magic completely fell apart during the Lakers 16-0 second quarter run.

Kobe was unanimous Finals MVP as he orchestrated the Lakers to a 10-point halftime lead that seemed like 20-points to the over-matched and inexperienced Magic. With no Kobe stopper, Orlando had to chose between Kobe the unstoppable scorer or facilitator, an impossible task as Kobe shredded and frustrated the Magic’s defense. In the end, the Magic had no answer for Kobe Bryant, the greatest player in the game today, or for the team of clones who followed his lead and played championship level basketball.

Let no fan ever call Pau Gasol “soft” again. The Spaniard not only outplayed Dwight Howard at center on offense but also on defense. As far as I am concerned, Pau Gasol is complete proof of how much better Kobe Bryant makes his teammates. There were no dunk and layup drills in these Finals when Pau manned the center position. Nor was there any easy baskets for Dwight Howard. Pau showed Dwight was not yet ready for prime time. By the end of the series, you could see the defeat in Howard’s eyes. Pau has shown that he can play championship level center as well as power forward.

And let no fan ever call Lamar Odom “dumb” again. Lamar Odom just earned himself a long-term contract and the right to become a Laker for Life. No way the Lakers are going to let the Candyman go after his sterling performance in the Finals. Lamar and Pau give the Lakers so much flexibility on offense and defense at the 4 and 5 with their ability to play multiple positions. Lamar is part of the core heart of this team and will be rewarded with a chance to play out his career in purple and gold. Laker for Life.

It had to be bittersweet for the Orlando fans to see the emergence of Trevor Ariza as another future Lakers star. Trevor reminds me of a combination Jamaal Wilkes and Michael Cooper. There is also no way that Mitch is going to let this kid get away. He has been the biggest Trevor booster on the team. I really think we might also see the Mamba and the Cobra paired in the Lakers backcourt at times next year. Kobe could be great at point guard and Trevor’s shot could be perfect to play shooting guard.

Derek also came through with an excellent game, showing that the old bulldog still has a lot of fight in him. I was also very pleased with Jordan’s play, especially his passing to Kobe in the post. He does the best job of any Laker in giving Kobe the ball in a way where he does not have to fight to get it. I think we will be fine at point guard next year with Fish, Jordan, and Shannon. After all, they were good enough this year and the rest of the team will be even better next year. Luke also contributed some good minutes.

I hope the Lakers will keep this entire team together. Even Sasha, who has completely lost confidence in his shot. Next year, Kobe will be in the heart of his prime at 31. We will have a tougher Pau and a more consistent Lamar. Drew and Trevor should be primed to have break out years. I am hoping that Fish comes back rejuvenated and Jordan bigger and tougher and committed to better defense. Shannon should help against the bigger guards. Most importantly, the team will get a chance to play together more and that should elevate them beyond the cusp and straight to greatness itself. JMHO!

Tom

Congratulation to Lakers
Finally Kobe can win without Shaq

I predict Lakers Fans will sleep happy tonight.

Don't be hating on Kpbe for Colorado.

Go Lakers

I was wondering what Dwight Howard was referring to when he was singling out Trevor and Lamar in the post-game press conference, but after just watching the replay of the game on ESPN, that 16-0 run in the 2nd quarter was basically keyed by Trevor and Lamar, defensively and offensively.

Wow.

Aside from that, this was one of our best team games of the season. Kobe was incredible, Pau has really been a revelation working against Dwight, and Lamar, Trevor, and Fish were money.

Congrats Lakers!

Congrats Phil!

Congrats KTR!

I will always remember game 4.

Down by 5 with less than a minute to play, the Lakers were essentially bringing a knife to a gun fight. Fortunately, the Lakers dodged all the bullets and the Magic drew blanks at the free throw line. Knife to the Orlando Magic's heart. End scene.

Drew was also strong and aggressive, which I love, otherwise our rotation was the shortest its been all season, with Luke and Jordan making some good plays too in limited time (Luke especially solid on D drawing fouls, and Jordan made a nice shot to end the 3rd quarter).

hey blog. i know i haven't said much this year, but i just wanted to let you know that i've been a lurker, and i'm happy to see everybody happy. is this our first win as a blog?

REDEMPTION SURE IS SWEET!!!

Let's enjoy the moment because after overcoming all tribulations, we have definitely earned it.

Congratulations to the Buss Family, our GM, our Hall of Fame Coach PJ and his coaching staff, our AWESOME team and to all of LAKER Nation!!!!

We have witnessed the birth of a New Laker Dynasty and the world will be a better place because of it. We must beware, however, and continue to improve our game as the forces of evil will be lurking in the darkness, ready to take away what is rightfully ours.

GOOOOOOOOLAKERS!!!!!!!!!

thank god we got pao last yr....in the trade...everything's been so much better since he join LA...

congrats to the lakers and all fans! sleeping well....from here on out....

I also just watched Dwight's post-game presser. Handled with class- that's the way to lose with dignity. Great sportsmanship.

"Let no fan ever call Pau Gasol “soft” again. The Spaniard not only outplayed Dwight Howard at center on offense but also on defense. As far as I am concerned, Pau Gasol is complete proof of how much better Kobe Bryant makes his teammates. There were no dunk and layup drills in these Finals when Pau manned the center position. Nor was there any easy baskets for Dwight Howard. Pau showed Dwight was not yet ready for prime time. By the end of the series, you could see the defeat in Howard’s eyes. Pau has shown that he can play championship level center as well as power forward."

See even the great Laker Tom knows when to give credit to Pau and how that DUNK DUNK LAYUP DUNK doesn't happen even if Bynum isn't on the floor.

"Lakers should NOT dumb Andrew Bynum. "

Yes I agree as much as I've been hard on Bynum there are actually few centers (save for Dwight Howard) that are capable of being as good as a healthy Andrew Bynum. He's only 21 so there is no doubt potential within him.

That being said he still ain't worth EITHER the 14 million that he will get next season or the 10 million that Kobe earned during Shaq-Kobe era. That's why we should had waited till this off season to decide his salary so we would have been a great position to re-sign him and Odom and Ariza with less headache. 14 million when he's not even as good as Pau Gasol or young Kobe Bryant is a joke.

In either case now comes the off-season and for sure Odom will get a pay cut and earn around 8 million (his contract was really 11 million but went for 14 million against the salary cap because of the trade kicker in coming from Miami) so 3 million isn't that much and Ariza will go around 5-6 million. There is no other team that has currently cap room that would pay that much for Ariza when teams like Memphis has Rudy Gay, Oklahoma City has Kevin Durant and Detroit has Tayshaun Prince. And Odom? Oklahoma has Jeff Green and Memphis has Hakim Warrick and there would be no reason why LO would want to go there unless it was like 20 million. The only place that really needs a PF is Detroit and while Odom is a great complementary player Joe Dumars is looking for 2 franchise players as evident by the the cap space they have. Besides they have targeted Carlos Boozer more rather than LO. As for other teams most can only offer the mid-level exception to either one and Lakers will offer a bit more of course because they have their Larry Bird rights and can offer more. How much is up to Mitch but LO and Trevor and Shannon should be in a Laker uniform next season.

Parade time is on Wednesday 11 am but everyone should get there early.

Real champions wins on the road -- and these Lakers have proven through adversities that they are the real deal.

I was a little choked up when they won game #4 last Thursday -- I mean, just playing through bad officiating, and everyone seems to understand the magnitude of the game, the stake on hand ... just amazing! And now, as a fan, after all the emotions invested all season long, now coming into fruition ... is just amazing ... definitely a well deserved win.

To Pau, congratulations for being the first Spaniard to win the NBA championship -- definitely an integral part of this team.

To DJ, congratulations for being the first Congolese to win the NBA championship -- definitely an amazing and inspirational life story.

To Sun Yue, congratulations for being the first Chinese to win the NBA championship.

To Kobe, congratulations for leading the team to championship, and for the finals MVP ... indeed a memorable season ... you are amazing ... you are the reason.

To all the critics, doubters, and haters -- GOOD NIGHT! Nuff said!

I would just like to thank AK/BK. Lakers blog is the best blog thanks to you guys. I absolutely love your blog and your time and dedication allowing lakers fan to vent and the breakdown after each game is unbeatable. Thank You so much

as soon as i posted again on the last thread, i noticed a new thread was up. darn. i'll repost a snippet, in regards to Andrew Bynum. it's only in response to people saying, "Trade Bynum!":

repost:
KB Blitz is right. Gasol did out play Bynum. for the present. but i'm willing to bet money (and so do the Busses) that one day Bynum will be the MAN. one day (in the next 2 or 3 years) Bynum will become the 1st or 2nd option. he will become a combination Shaq/Kareem, mastering the power game, with shooting and low-post skills, shoot at least 50%, score at least 25 ppg, grab at least 10 rpg, and get at least 2 bpg.

i'm not saying this will happen, for a fact. but this is what i, LakerTom, all the Bynum supporters, and Lakers owners/management are hoping for. i do not foresee Gasol getting any better than he is now. he's in his prime. Andrew Bynum is about 3-5 years from entering his prime. he will (hopefully) improve drastically. and by the time AB enters his prime, Kobe and Gasol's prime would have ended.
(end repost)

so, right now, of course Gasol is better than Bynum. no one will argue that. but Bynum has the potential to be better than Gasol (is now). that's why the Lakers MUST keep him, and every other team is chomping at the bits to get him.

Gotta admit, we watched the game on delay after a graduation ceremony and were a little loud, and a neighbor came and yelled at us. That doesn't put us in raider territory, does it?

is it me or did kobe jump in the air just like mj when he won in utah.lol

Well, blog-fans, tonight was the culmination of 7 years of frustration, madness, excitement and emotional turmoil. We came damned close to winning in 2004, closer than people think in 2006, and of course, we can finally stop talking about Game 6 of 2008. I am still on Cloud 9, but I have a few thoughts I want to get out before this emotion wears off:

There are three overwhelming reasons I love this team more than I should love any sports team. I've been a Lakers fan ever since I first saw a giant named Wilt, clad in Yellow, being called 'The Stilt' by a crazy man named Chick. I've been a Lakers fanatic ever since I saw an even bigger giant named Kareem sinking skyhooks from all over the court. I've been a permanent addict ever since I heard that crazy man named Chick call an entire Lakers game on the radio. All the other incredible moments, Magic, James, Coop, Riley, Shaq, Kobe and PJ...they all built on that foundation, but the big three will always stand out from everything else. Two of them are gone, but it brought tears to my eyes to see Kareem standing on the court with his Purple and Gold descendants, especially while I was wearing a purple t-shirt with the word Skyhook across the chest. It was a beautiful melding of past and present, and I swore I could hear the voice of Chick in the air tonight, saying something about jello jiggling.

The only championship that has felt this good to me was 1985, and it struck me how similar they are. 1984 was a year of painful heartbreak, as we watched the evil green empire snatch another Finals away; sportswriters and just about everyone else swore we'd never find a way to beat the Celtics, and even I almost bought it. 2008 saw a similar end to a dream, and sportswriters once again swore we'd never win with such a soft team. A year later, in each case, the sportswriters ate their words.

After Shaq left, I never lost faith that we'd be back, sooner than later. Kobe is one of the greatest players in the history of this game, and it amazed me that so much venom and myopia could be leveled at him. Kobe's an imperfect human, as we all are, and he's fallible on occasion in his basketball game, but his game is one of utter beauty; only people who watch 82 games a year really appreciate the magnitude of what he can do. I knew that we could find a way to build a supporting cast, and while I lost faith in the eccentric Lakers front office and Buss family machinations, I never lost hope that things could turn around. The last 5 years have been filled with a constant refrain of "Be patient...wait and see...it's coming together!", and with a little luck, great timing, and outstanding player analysis, Mitch turned the black holes of Brian Cook, Kwame Brown, Vladimir Radmanovich and Smush Parker into Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown. After that, it was just tinkering and fine tuning, and now, we sit here in ecstasy.

A few random thoughts:

* It's surprising that so little has been said about L.O. overcoming the loss of his son two years ago; to paraphrase LBJ, that's the kind of loss that cannot be weighed, and I commend him for his ability to survive and thrive in spite of it

* Other than a perfectly timed run by the Heat, I think it's safe to say that things worked out well and to finally put the Shaq trade postmortems out to pasture. But...remember that we got Lamar in return, and I wonder who most teams would rather have in 2009-2010.

* I'll never forget the day when I logged onto ESPN.com and saw the headline: Lakers trade for Pau Gasol. I sprinted out of the building and called my dad, telling him that we went from being in the playoff hunt to being Finals favorites. Rarely has a GM done almost everything I've suggested to people that needed to be done (trust me, Jim Hendry of the Cubs hasn't listened to anything I've said over my imaginary hotline to his office), but Mitch has heeded my imaginary advice in almost scary fashion: addition by subtraction by cutting loose Smush Parker, Kwame, Cookie and Vlad-Rad...trade for a solid 4 (Pau was kind of overkill - the kind I love), find a smart PG (tragic luck in D-Fish being available) and add some defense in the SF spot ("oh, I don't see you playing Trevor Ariza much...we could use him to lure in more UCLA alums...why don't you give him to us, since we're giving you Mo Evans?"). Playing armchair GM has never been this satisfying!

* Goodbye to some of the most annoying subplots in NBA history: Kobe vs. Shaq...Pau is soft...Lakers are soft...Sasha is mental (crap, that one's still gonna get some play)

* Special thanks go to AK/BK for running the best sports blog out there and to Faith, PsychedLakersGirl, Jon K, Mamba24, LakerTom and last but not least, Mike T, for your loyalty, roll calls, emotional calls to arms and for your unswerving dedication to the understanding that DEFENSE wins championships (even if one of you might have been a tad overzealous in your love of one Kwame Brown).

Lastly, I can't let this moment pass without noting that this is the 1st Banner of the post-Chick era. I can't find the words to express how much that man meant to my love of this team, but my dad says it best when he talks about him: "Chick Hearn sold NBA Basketball to Los Angeles". He sold the Lakers to my heart, and trust me, when the clock clicked down to zero, my first thoughts were of how much fun Chick is having up there looking down on this all. This has been one amazing ride and all I have left to say are the immortal words of my favorite announcer in the world: "Ladies and Gentlemen, this game's in the refrigerator, the door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard AND THE JELLO'S JIGGLING!!!!!!!!!!"

It's premature to say trade Bynum. He's young and he wasn't 100 percent, obviously.

People make so many decisions based on such little information sometime. Great players prove themselves over time, as do great teams.

Nice to see one otown fan congratulating us in a classy way. Gives me a nice feeling. Not as nice as that of winning the championship and finally silencing all of Kobe's critics, but still nice.


KBBlitz,

You've made some good points, but it is partly wishful thinking on your parts that are free agents will not become targets for acquisition. I still feel pretty good about our ability to retain our squad.

I just read TJ Simer's "IIdolatry of Lakers is ludicrous" and as if it wasn't obvious before, it is very obvious now. TJ Simers isn't about reporting sports. TJ Simers is about TJ Simers. The Lakers just won their 15th championship. Phil Jackson just got his 10th championship. Kobe Bryant just got this 4th, 1st w/o Shaq. Pau Gasol representing Spain just got his first. What is TJ Simer's message? The Lakers can be champions but it doesn't mean he will like them. The news is not about the Lakers being champions, it was about his dislike of the Lakers. TJ Simers has no business writing about the Lakers because of his bias. For that matter, he should be fired.

Congratulations to the Lakers!!!!! YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sleep on that, TJ Simers.

Well, so much for my Lakers buzz...TJ Simers puts it all into perspective for me:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-simers-lakers15-2009jun15,0,4342696.column

Congratulations to all Laker Fans around the world. This has been a real achievement and it makes us all very happy indeed.

To AK/BK thanks a lot for your dedication and terrific contribution to this excellent blog. Keep it on guys.

Now, our fellow spaniard Pau Gasol appears in every frontpage this morning in alsolutely all of Spain,s media, many of them even talking on a possible best ever spanish sportsman title for the guy. Needless to mention, the entire country rooting for the Lakers all long.

From Spain.
Go Lakers.

As a long-time Laker fan from the days of Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain in the 70's, nothing makes me more proud than the Lakers team that won the 15th title today! From a devastating and embarrassing game 6 defeat last year in Boston against the Celtics to NBA champs in convincing fashion 1 year later. That was quite a ride!

Everyone deserves the NBA ring this year: 4th rings for both Kobe, who probably played his best season in recent memory, and Derek. 1st rings for Pau, Lamar, Trevor, Andrew, Luke, Shannon, Jordan, Sasha, Josh, DJ, Adam, Sun, etc. Congrats to Phil for his 10th ring and NBA rings again for others on the Lakers coaching staff and consultants (either as players or coaches) for an absolutely fantastic job this season: Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw, Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons, Craig Hodges, Tex Winter, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, part owner Magic Johnson, even Gary Vitti who kept the team as healthy as possible despite the numerous injuries throughout the season.

Of course, everything would've been impossible without the genius of low key GM Mitch Kupchak, also a distinguished member of Lakers champion teams and the all out support of Dr. Jerry Buss and his family.

It's on to another three-peat and I'm confident that the Lakers are on the cusp of another historic dynasty for the next few years. Congratulations!

Just got home. I only caught one of the games between the Lakers and the Magic. The game where Fisher the 3 pointer.

Well, I guess the Lakers proved me wrong. They won the Championship! Congratulations to the Lakers and their fans.

I, for one, am not a fan of Kobe Bryant or Phil Jackson. When they're gone...I'll follow the Lakers, again. But tonight is their night.

mike t.

Hello everybody. Before anything, congrats to the Laker Nation for this so well-deserved title ! it was about time after the big blow of last year. some payback was due !!
also my props to the whole team and coaching staff for such a great job.

Only one thing that really bothers me: i have been reading about the so called Bynum's potential for 2 years already and still no trace of it. I mean, the guy has been in the NBA for 3 - 4 years? right now his contribution does not match his salary , never mind to even afirm that he is or will be better than Pau, which sounds like a very bad joke (drunken joke)

So, as i see it, i think Lakers should trade Bynum for a center that can bring in some REAL contribution right now and also with bright future. how about swapping with Memphis and getting Marc Gasol? the guy is really tough, defense-oriented, and with a rather impressive skillset as well. and he's something like 24 - 25 y.o. Honestly, i think that Lakers would save money as well as would enhance the team dramatically in the short term. thoughts?

congratulations lakers...i love u ol..kobe ur d best,and congrats...

Anybody read Simers' article? Is that guy a self-important phony blowhard, or what?

I think every Laker fan should carefully read TJ Simers very important column regarding the Lakers championship.

We really need to wonder if we are elevating the Lakers beyond where we should in our lives. Maybe we should forgo celebration at this time for somber reflections on what Simers perceives as the off-court shortcomings of the players, coaches and owners.

Maybe Simers has made a very important statement regarding the culture of celebrity and the American "Win at all costs" ethic.

Then again, maybe he is just a pompous, self-absorbed jackass like 99% of the Times readers have thought for years. Yeah, probably that.

Choke on it Simers!

-Sincerely, fans of the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers

Congrats 2009 Lakers! Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Derek, Trevor, Drew, Luke, SB,JP,JF,SV, DJ, AM,& SY and Coach Jackson!

Lakers 15th NBA Title !
10 rings for Coach!
10 players with their 1st NBA ring!
2 players on their 4th NBA ring!
1st MVP Finals for KB24-trophy named after Bill Russell
Well, deserve for Pau and LO because they been in the league for at least 8 years!
Trevor and Fish for coming up big in games!
Total Team effort! It's back in L.A. Kids!

As i said a dozen times these lakers are unbeatable if they play his way nd thats why PJ always laugh alone, he knows what he has.

TA is a superb player and deserve more money.
LO is superb also and deserve less money.
PG just played a huge defense against superman this series, an Howard knows it and yesterday was fustrated.

Howard sored 40pts before lakers...then just 11...

Kobe is just a player from another planet better than Jordan (i always hated that guy).

Bynum has a lot of work to do.

Dereck is a veteran who solved game 4 by himself, as expected.

PJ is just what Kobe needs.

They key of the last two years is Mitch.

Gasol was the best adquisition by far and these finals proved.

Kobe needed a guy like Pau, thanks Mitch.

If the media gives voice to that is moe embarrasing, so just ignore that and let's have a nice party week!!!


Boy, this has been a heck of a ride this year, hasn't it? Congratulations to everyone in the royal blue and gold. One of the most overall satisfying championship seasons I can remember, and I go way back to the beginning of the Showtime era. There are lots of questions to answer this off season, but those can wait for another day. Let's just all wallow in the championship for a while (and please don't commit any more crimes - that's a ridiculous thing to do and I hope all of you who do this go to jail). Great job, Lakers. The O'Brian trophy is back where it belongs for another year.

Did I miss something or is Mike T. not around?
So much for giant calves and fools gold. Its kind of quiet with no Kawme to get mad at.

GOOOOOOOO Lakers

Jack

Good morning Laker Nation...

Words can't express the happiness and joy I feel today. All of us Laker fans have stuck with our team through thick and thin and we deserve this win as much as the players.

Can't say enough about each and every one of the Laker players. Wether they contributed 30 or 3 points in this series, each one had a hand in this amazing victory.

The only sad part about this is that we're also on vacation at least until October now. We'll just have to get the championship DVD and watch it over and over until the pre-season.

I want to thank all the Laker fathful on here who made every day special for us. AK/BK, thank you for doing what you do.

Now let's celebrate with a parade and have a great summer everyone.

Your friend on the East Coast,

EastCoastJessie

Fitting that their most complete game on O & D was their final one.

The question all season through lead collapses, no shows, and the puzzling Houston series was "Do the Lakers not have enough heart to be a champion?" or simply a case of the opposition not good enough for them to bring their "A Game" to matches against the Kings, Bobcats & Yao-less Rockets?

Well looks like the games against the Cs, Cavs & Finals Magic have answered it. The tougher the opponent or greater the stakes, the better they play. I'm fine with that!

Balance has been restored to the NBA.

Thanks to the entire Lakerblog community for all the support through the dark times - so that we may now all taste the sparkling wine.

I'm very thankful and appreciative to this team and its players and coaches.

Somewhere, there are some fake laker fans such as MT or KL that are having a REALLY BAD DAY. Well... we tried to tell you.

Let's get a roll call for the parade.... (assuming LA will pay for it)

Phred, you said it best...it's all about the love! What a year! NBA CHAMPIONS AGAIN!!!!

I am especially happy for Kobe, and the team as a whole..Beautiful cameraderie -- great team play, beautiful everything..You showed you indeed have heart and are more than worthy of the championship..Phil you are the best and thanks to Mitch for recognizing talent that would inevitably propel us to this level..

I am sooooo happy...

>>>Down by 5 with less than a minute to play, the Lakers
>>>were essentially bringing a knife to a gun fight.
>>>Fortunately, the Lakers dodged all the bullets and the
>>>Magic drew blanks at the free throw line. Knife to the
>>>Orlando Magic's heart. End scene.

Verry well put.

mad props.

KB Blitz,

>>>As far as I am concerned, Pau Gasol is complete proof of
>>>how much better Kobe Bryant makes his teammates.

Jerry West commented on that. On how much better and harder
Pau is playing with the Lakers than he did with the Grizzlies.

>>>is it me or did kobe jump in the air just like mj when he
>>>won in utah.lol


As opposed to what? Standing on your hands and jumping in
the air? Standing on one foot and jumping in the air?

leonardbast,

>>> KB Blitz is right. Gasol did out play Bynum. for the present.
>>> but i'm willing to bet money (and so do the Busses) that one day
>>> Bynum will be the MAN. one day (in the next 2 or 3 years) Bynum
>>> will become the 1st or 2nd option. he will become a combination
>>> Shaq/Kareem, mastering the power game, with shooting and
>>> low-post skills, shoot at least 50%, score at least 25 ppg, grab
>>> at least 10 rpg, and get at least 2 bpg.

>>> i'm not saying this will happen, for a fact. but this is what i,
>>> LakerTom, all the Bynum supporters, and Lakers owners/management
>>> are hoping for. i do not foresee Gasol getting any better than he is now.
>>> he's in his prime. Andrew Bynum is about 3-5 years from entering
>>> his prime. he will (hopefully) improve drastically. and by the time
>>> AB enters his prime, Kobe and Gasol's prime would have ended.

Excellent post. I especially like the Shaq/Kareem reference because that IS exactly what I foresee for Drew. And you are dead right that that is what the Lakers front office, coaches, and players all expect from Drew. My only question regarding your post is that I think we will see a period of two or three years with a dominant Drew along side a Kobe and Pau still in their prime. Kobe is only 31 and Pau 27 so they both have many more years to play. I have to admit it is pretty sweet to be NBA champions today AND the future favorite.

And blitz needs to stop dumping on Drew and wait until after next year to assess whether or not he is worth the $14M the Lakers will be paying. My bet is he will be a bargain when he is the team’s #2 scorer and top rebounder in 2010 and we win our second title in a row. Why would any Laker fan would dump on any player on the day we win a championship?

Tom

Did you guys notice that Kobe breathed air, just like Michael?
He's so trying to be like Michael.

Oh yeah, and how he has two arms and two legs? What a poser.

>>>It's premature to say trade Bynum. He's young and he
>>>wasn't 100 percent, obviously.

The ONLY thing I would trade Bynum for at this point is an absolute
stud point guard who's still young.. If New Orleans is willing to give
up Chris Paul or Utah is willing to give up Deron Williams to get
Bynum, then I'd be perfectly happy to have a starting lineup of
CP3, Kobe, Ariza, Odom, and Gasol for the next few seasons.

But barring that, I say keep him. His upside is much bigger
than anything you could get for him, and even his minimal
upside (the LEAST I would expect him to achieve) is as good
as anything you could get for him.

Mike T,

>>>Well, I guess the Lakers proved me wrong. They won the
>>> Championship! Congratulations to the Lakers and their fans.

Thanks for at least having the class to show up and admit you
were wrong and congratulate the team (and the bloggers who
supported the team). You're a better man than LeBron James.

>>>I, for one, am not a fan of Kobe Bryant or Phil Jackson.
>>>When they're gone...I'll follow the Lakers, again.

We'll miss you, but we'll have two or three more championship
runs to keep us warm. See you in 5 or 6 years.

Would you come back if the Lakers hired Kwame Brown to
back up Bynum in a couple of years?

Midnighter,

>>>i have been reading about the so called Bynum's
>>>potential for 2 years already and still no trace of it. I
>>>mean, the guy has been in the NBA for 3 - 4 years? right
>>> now his contribution does not match his salary

I'm assigning you some homework, M. Go look up the history
of Jermaine O'Neal. Look what he did in his first four seasons.
Look how he improved from there. Compare and contrast with
what Bynum has done.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!! LA LAKERS, from the lows of last year to the INCREDIBLE HIGH OF D. FISH DOUBLE DAGGER THREE POINTER, to a continuous drone of KOBE BRYANT GREATNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. THANK YOU TRUE BLOG CREW FOR PROVIDING OUR MUTUAL SUPPORT FOR THE RIDE. It was a rough ride, BUT ITS ALL SMOOTH SAILN' from here.

SHOUT OUT TO MAMBA, THE LAKERS WOULD HAVE NEVER DONE IT WITHOUT YOU. Kobe may have, Pau, Odum, Bynum, Ariza, Fish and crew, but we have the MAMBA to get us through to victory. From Lucky Barstools to ROLLCALLS, to Perfect understanding that the LAKERS CAN HEAR YOU IF YOU YELL LOUD ENOUGH AT THE TV, A CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LAKER BLOG CREW, WE GOT THIS DONE. And to the haters, you are worthless, but just for fun, MAMBA, I'm looking for the Troll Roll call in the next few days. BECAUSE WE JUST EARNED OURSELVES A WHOLE NEW LOAD OF TROLLS!

AND TO THE LA LAKERS, what can we say? OUR MEN GOT THE JOB DONE.

HOW MUCH HEART DO YOU HAVE NOW????????????
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. SO MUCH HEART YOU Can't even BEGIN TO BELIEVE THIS. WE ARE CHAMPIONS. WE GOT THIS DONE! LA ENJOY.

1. T.J. Simers is an idiot and a troll.

2. This Championship finally got Michael C. Teniente to admit the truth, in that he is not a Lakers fan. Should have been forthright years ago.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Once again, I want to give mad props to Mitch Kupchak. He orchestrated
the trade that turned this team from a playoff team to a championship
contender.

That's right. If Mitch hadn't made the trade for a big name player
to put alongside Kobe, we'd all be congratulating Denver on their
first championship right now.

So, thank you Mitch. Thank you for bringing Adam Morrison
to the team so we could get a championship.

It is sad that the city of Los Angeles can never party after a championship with "CLASS". Instead of celebrating and being proud of their team and their city they end up in the front pages of the news for their behavior. Why do they always have to be "thugs" and be labeled as such? Try having class and show pride in your city and team.

Some thoughts on some hard offseason subjects...

If Lamar leaves for a huge offer (from Detroit, for example)...

What do you think of Charlie Villanueva? He's a free agent,
he's a Laker fan (he's been tweeting about the Lakers lately).
He lives in LA in the offseason. He might be willing to take a
couple of years of mid-level for a chance to play on a championship
team.

Other front court FA's include Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Anderson
Varejao, Brandon Bass, Chris "Birdman" Anderson, Antonio
McDyess, Rasheed Wallace, Paul Millsap, Carlos Boozer,
and a bunch of guys who aren't as good as that pack.

Millsap and Villanueva are both restricted, as are Davis and
Powe, so if you pursue one of them, the team might just match
your offer.

I'm hoping the Lakers will keep Odom, but if they do lose him
to the temptation of huge payday, who do you prefer?

Similar question... What if Ariza gets a 10+ million per year offer
from Detroit? Who do you get to replace him?

One obvious possibility is Ron Artest, but remember that Artest
wasn't willing to opt out of the last year of his contract and take
only MLE money last summer, so I doubt he'd take it this summer.

Perhaps if it is Detroit that makes the big offer to Ariza, Mitch
could convince them to do it as a sign and trade for Tayshaun
Prince. But since the Pistons already have Tay, they're more
likely to make an offer to Lamar than Trevor.

Any other thoughts on this?

"Did you guys notice that Kobe breathed air, just like Michael? He's so trying to be like Michael.

Oh yeah, and how he has two arms and two legs? What a poser.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan"

Outstanding response to that ridiculous 'Kobe is trying to be like Michael' posting.

Well done, LongTimeLakerFan!

And the third free agent: Shannon Brown.

One thing to consider is that the Lakers have no Bird rights of
any kind for Shannon Brown. Whatever they offer him has to
come out of their mid-level exception, unless he's willing to accept
the veteran's minimum.

So effectively, think of Shannon as just another free agent in
the free agent pool. If you could get Allen Iverson to sign for
exactly the same amount of money as Brown, which would you
sign? If you could get Jason Kidd to sign for the same amount
as Brown, which would you sign? What if it's Mike Bibby?
or Eddie House? or Von Wafer? Or Juan Carlos Navarro?

I'm not saying I want one of those guys more than Brown, or
that any of them would actually sign for a couple of years at
2-3 million per.

Any thoughts? Would you take any of those guys over Brown?

How much would you spend to keep Brown? Remember that
it's effectively doubled. So if you say, I'd pay SB 4 million a
year, you're really saying, I'd pay 8 million a year to keep SB.
I like Shannon Brown, but I don't think Buss would be willing
to pay 8 million a year to keep him. If he'd play for 2 million
per (effectively 4 million), then I think Buss would do it.

Can I get an explanation of why my posts are getting moderated out? Thanks!

Please don't click on TJ Simers link for which he gets more hits on his article and can justify himself in continuing to write for the LA Times. He is all about putting a damper on your elation, and the majority of fans know he has no business at all writing about the Lakers or the sports scene in Los Angeles. He clearly doesn't like the idea of sports figures getting praise, which is fine, but then why is he a so-called sports writer? What insight does he really contribute that a fan of an LA sports team wants to know or couldn't figure out on their own? He has a schtick (sp?) and as long as he gets people to read his stuff, he'll be kept on. But if he is truly ignored, that's the only way to get him off the radar and move far far away.

I love LA. The Lakers represent my city. Therefore, I love the Lakers. And we are going to enjoy this championship they brought back with them. PERIOD, T.J.

Our guys were so good, none of the ESPN writers thought we would do it in less than 6. Way to go, Lake Show!

HEY CHAMP!!

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!

I can't believe there's people ripping on bynum and his contract...

The man was injured for crying out loud.in hindsight its so easy to say he's not worth the money but had he not gotten injured and that beast stayed healthy all season we may have had to pay more or we may have just as easily lost him in free agency

Lakers may have overpaid then but we SECURE HIM AND HIS POTENTIAL FOR YEARS TO COME AND NOW THE FUTURE IS LOOKING VERY BRIGHT

SEE YOU ALL IN FIGUEROA

Congratulations to the Lakers. The class shown by Kobe, Gasol and team in the semi-finals made it easy for thousands of us Nuggets fans to support you in the finals.

MOTIVIZED... PULVERIZED and REALIZED

Congratulations Lakers. I was following the score alerts on trackle.com as I was on road. Congratulations to Phil Jackson for 10th championship.

Way too go Lakers. Kobe is a rapist & jerk. And you fans burned down your city & stole anything they could get their hands on.

LA what s___t hole.

In response to Andrew Bynum's trade value....Yes, I would consider trading him for Derron Williams, but not CP3 (who I believe has an inflated ego).....however, I would say to make the trade fair, Utah would need to concede more, another of their top players, the only one I can think of would be AK47, or a first round pick. Andrew is a big man, point guards come along a little bit more often, let Utah roll the dice....if you can pry them out of Jerry Buss' hands...


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