Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Postgame comments from Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher

You wanted the postgame transcripts.  You got the postgame transcripts.  People pleasers we are here at Lakers Blog.


      Q. Should we call you Dr. Coach Phil Jackson now with this great accomplishment or some other accolade?
      PHIL JACKSON:  No, it's just fine just the way it is, thank you.

      Q.  Your team started strong, they stayed strong with the Jazz, then Houston, then Denver and now you've finished strong winning the championship in Orlando.  Talk about the strength of yourself and the team.
      PHIL JACKSON:  We went into the playoffs and we thought that we'd helped ourselves by getting Andrew Bynum back again to give us some depth at the interior part of our game, shot‑blocking, rebounding, size‑wise, and we came into Utah, Utah played us the last game of the season, so we had a look at them.  They lost Okur, one of their steady ball players, one of the few three‑point shooters for centers in the league, and it changed up how we were able to play that series a little bit and got ourselves through that series quickly.  That was a benefit for us. 

      Houston was a different story altogether.  They were fast, they were very driven, team‑ball play, they did a good job in spacing out the court, getting accomplished what they wanted to do.  They had two defenders to throw at Kobe in Artest and Battier, and so they were a really worthy opponent, pushed us to seven games.  I thought that really made us the team that we got to be in the playoffs.  We understood what we had to get accomplished, and we did the job from that time forward, played good basketball.
       Denver was physical and quick.  They're an elite team.  They played extremely well at the end of the year, and we were able to come back after a 2‑2 start in that series and finish them off.
       This obviously was a game we expect tonight, to be honest with you.  I thought we'd have to struggle a little bit.  We got a run in the second period and were able to get some distance and play our game from then on.

    Q.  I asked you before the game tonight about the historic aspects of it, and I know you were a bit reluctant to talk about that.  Can you take a step back now?  You have done something no coach has everPhil Jackson, trophy done, won more championships than any coach in NBA history.  What does that mean to you?  And can you talk about the historical significance of it?
    PHIL JACKSON:  I can, but I'd like to say that it's really about the players; it's about Kobe Bryant, about Derek Fisher's leadership of the team.  I tried to take them through some of the build‑up things that we had to do last year as a basketball club.  They came together this year and were self‑motivated, and for a coach that's always a positive sign.  When a team is ready, they're aggressive, their learning curve is high, and they wanted to win.  I've always felt as a coach you have to push your team, and I told them they had to push themselves.  I wasn't at the stage of my life where I could get out and do the things that I had done 10 years ago or 15 years ago to push a team.  And they pushed themselves, and I really feel strongly that this is about them.
    However, having won ten championships is a remarkable accomplishment, there's no doubt about it.  Watching those games clicked down, and a championship of all different forms and fashions, on the road, at home, players that vault themselves into team play is a remarkable thing to have watched.
    I think I've always said this before, the journey is what's really important, and it's important for the players and the coaches to watch these kids come together and form a unit and be supportive of each other, and this was no exception, this team.

    Q.  On a night you passed Red Auerbach, would it be hard for you to not think of your Coach Red Holzman in the days leading up to this?  And would you imagine he probably would really enjoy watching you pass the other Red?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, he took a lot of pride in his coach Les Harrison, who coached the Rochester Royals.  I was at the Hall of Fame induction at one point for Walt Frazier, and the two of them came over and said, "You know, you're really our grandson.  You're his father and I'm his father, so you're really my grandson."  Harrison was obviously one of the founders of the NBA and a great basketball coach in his own right.
    So there's a legacy that came that direction with me.  But I've had a lot of people that have supported me.  Tex Winter, obviously, who's back in Portland recovering from a stroke, and obviously my college coach Bill Fitch, who's a big strong supporter of me over the years, have all been very important in my coaching career.

    Q.  You've never gone this long between championships.  Does that make it a little more important, maybe impressive in your book?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, I was in Australia, and the Lakers made a coaching change, Jeannie Buss called me up and asked me to come back and take the team at that particular moment, and I said, "No, I couldn't do that.  That's just not fair to the team, ,it's not fair to the players and myself."  I said that I'd have to think about it a long time because this team is quite a ways from a championship even though Kobe Bryant always gives you a chance to win.
    So over the next two and a half months I spent some time thinking about it and rekindling my energy to come back and coach, but when I came back I didn't anticipate we'd win.  I'd be part of it.  I thought maybe I'd build the steps to a winning team, but I didn't think I'd be part of it, and this is much quicker than I thought it would happen.

    Q.  You talked about how it was all about the journey.  Your journey with Kobe Bryant has gone a long ways from his being a young player.  He talked about it after he won, you grow as a man and you grow as a person.  How much have you seen on your journey with him together?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Well, there was a point in Kobe's first, second year when we sat together and watched tape.  I wanted him to understand his impact on the game a little bit and my feeling about his impact on the game.  We had a game in Toronto, and he had gotten hooked up with Vince Carter in the middle of the fourth quarter and they kind of exchanged baskets, and I thought it took our team out of their team play, and the game was much harder than it should have been.  So I talked to him a little bit about leadership and the quality and his ability to be a leader, and he said, "I'm ready to be a captain right now," and I said, "but no one is ready to follow you."  He was 22 at the time.  He was a young guy.
    In those eight years that have ensued from that period, he's learned how to become a leader in a way in which people want to follow him, and I think that's really important for him to have learned that, because he knew that he had to give to get back in return, and so he's become a giver rather than just a guy that's a demanding leader, and that's been great for him and great to watch.

    Q.  Along those same lines, would you say that the second quarter was kind of representative of that during that stretch when you pulled away, three assists in that span?  Is that kind of what you're talking about there?
    PHIL JACKSON:  Yes, there was just that little feel there in the game where they were vulnerable and we took advantage of it.  Kobe was the thrust that created shots for guys and the opportunities for guys on the floor.  That was really our chance, and we said at halftime, we get another opportunity like that, we have this game in hand if we can just crack one more three‑minute span like that and create some turnovers and run‑outs and do it again.  Kobe said, "I'll push the guys and I'll find guys if you guys run the court."


    Q. How much does this mean to you, returning from last year, to come to the top and win it all this year? Pau trophy
    PAU GASOL:  Well, it's a dream.  It's a dream come true.  The completion of a goal, it feels amazing.  It's definitely a victory, it's a triumph that we've been working so hard for, and personally I appreciated so much and I value so much, and it's such a huge accomplishment for so many people that we're just extremely proud of ourselves right now.  We're just happy and excited.  We're going to go crazy a little bit, and we're looking forward to that.  But it's just been so much work that we put into this to make this happen today, and we love each other.  We're a great group, we're a great team, and this is amazing.

    Q.  Lamar, how about you?  What does it mean for you to finally win a championship?
    LAMAR ODOM:  I guess everything.  I've known what I wanted to do since I was ten years old, nine years old, and to finally get here and accomplish it is a dream come true.

    Q.  Talk about your journey from being a kid watching the Olympics in Barcelona in '92 with the Dream Team, and then we've been watching you when you were an 18‑ and 19‑year‑old, and then going through Memphis and now accomplishing this as the first Spanish player winning the championship.
    PAU GASOL:  Well, the journey is what makes it so special and so beautiful.  I had to work really hard throughout my career and started off as a kid in Spain just loving to play basketball, not trying to really become a professional, but I really started to be really good and I was very ambitious and competitive.  So I started really, I don't know, becoming a really, really good player.
    Then I got to the NBA, and it was really hard, also, the adjustment, and six and a half years in Memphis were tough as a professional, also personally because I don't take losing very tightly and I hate losing and it was affecting my person.  But the day that I was traded I couldn't believe it.  It was such a beautiful day for me, and then also I think the Lakers were pretty happy with it, too.
    LAMAR ODOM:  I guess so (laughing).
    PAU GASOL:  From that point on, it's just been another amazing journey and adventure.  To be able to get to this point today is hard to describe and put in small sentences because it's so amazing what we accomplished, it feels so good, and hopefully a lot of people enjoy this.

    Q.  Last season I know it was a difficult series for you all in Boston.  Talk about what you all gained from that experience, and now that you're here and that you've won, talk about what it means that you're maybe able to erase some of the doubts that were put out there about you last year?
 Lamar Odom, fist clenched    LAMAR ODOM:  That's exactly what it was, it was an experience, and usually experience makes you better at whatever it is, whether it's on or off the court.  We set a goal early in the training camp and that was to win the NBA championship.  Every time we came in as a group, we left that group by saying "one, two, three, ring."  We set a goal and we attained it.
    PAU GASOL:  Last year's experience, I think it made us tougher, it made us grow as a team, and we all were hurt by it.  We were very disappointed that we lost against Boston.  They showed that they were more ready than we were at the time.  But it really made us want it even more than we did last year, and it got us to this point.  We worked so hard from the beginning as a team and as individuals, too, to be able to be successful in the playoffs at the top level.  So it just makes it all the more rewarding, and the way we went through last year, it just makes it so much more worth it.

    Q.  Knowing that both of you guys have been traded during your career and knowing that those teams didn't want you to now be champions, talk about that.
    LAMAR ODOM:  First of all, I got traded for Shaq.  He got traded for Kwame Brown to the Lakers.
    It was a blessing.  We were fortunate.  Everything happens for a reason.  This was the reason.  It hurt to ‑‑ I'm not going to lie, it hurt to get traded from Miami and then have to watch them win a championship, but I felt like my time would come.  The Lakers got better and better and better, and then we got one of the best players in history in this guy.  We knew that we were going to be competing for a championship.  We're both fortunate at the end of the day.

    Q.  Last summer in Beijing Kobe and the U.S. beat you guys in the gold medal game.  Ten months later you're together on a podium sharing a championship.  What kind of teammate has Kobe been during that run?  And what has this meant to the fans back in Spain?
    PAU GASOL:  Yeah, last summer it was tough.  It was kind of weird to go against each other at the Olympics.  We had a chance to play each other twice.  First time they really kicked our butt, second time we were able to compete better as a team.  But yeah, it was tough.  Kobe doesn't have any friends on the floor when he's playing against somebody else.  That's just the way it is.  He's such a great competitor, he wants to win no matter what, no matter who he's playing.  It would be the same if it was his brother.  He would still try to destroy him, really.  That's just the way it is.  He wants to win that bad.
    He's our leader.  I think he's very aggressive on the floor, he carries a lot of weight.  He loves to do that.  You know, I think as teammates we understand what kind of player he is, what he brings to the table, and we try to complement each other.  I think what we've been doing well this year is understanding what our roles were, what our abilities are out there as individuals and make it work as a team.  It really worked out well.  I think we all understood how to play this game together and to take us to this championship.

    Q.  Talk about getting ready to celebrate and a parade and all that stuff.  And Kobe was saying last year just how tough LA can be, the fans.  They still bring up what happened, what happened.  Now you don't have to go through that this year.
    LAMAR ODOM:  Well, they expect to win.  They're spoiled a little bit.  That's the tradition of the franchise is to win.  That's what makes us better.
    We'll have a good time away from basketball and then it'll be time to get back to work.  It's June?
    PAU GASOL:  14th.
    LAMAR ODOM:  In October we'll try to get right back at it to try to get here again.  The focus is there, our town expects it, and that's what pushes us, helps us strive for perfection.

    Q.  Before the game I was talking to you about what it would mean and it became a little bit emotional for you, you had tears in your eyes talking about it.  Now that it's happened, can you talk about what this means in your heart?  You've had struggles, personal struggles and bad luck struggles and now you're a champion.  What does this mean?
    LAMAR ODOM:  Going through ups and downs and experiencing death and birth and everything, that's a part of life.  Everyone goes through it.  I never felt bad for myself or asked the question "why me?"  It was just my story.  I wouldn't be Lamar Joseph Odom if it didn't happen to me.
    I've always seen this coming, my day.  When I was going to say I was NBA champion.  It's finally here, and it's great.  It's overwhelming.  I felt it as we were coming in today.  I knew we were going to win this game.


Q. Talk about the maturation process for Kobe Bryant.  You've been with him from draft day probably.  Has he really become a leader?  Phil was talking earlier about now people are following him as opposed to in the past.  What did you see?
    DEREK FISHER:  He's grown.  He's grown up.  He's doing everything that we could ever ask him to do Derek Fisher, Kobe, trophy in terms of leading the team and performance on the court, during the games, in practice, and like you stated, trying to be the type of guy that guys will follow as opposed to just dominating performances by himself and then expecting everyone to catch up to him.  He's really done an unbelievable job getting everybody to believe and buy into what we were trying to do this year.
    Last year we almost did it, but we had to wait a long year.  We're back here now, and Kobe is at the top of the list of all people that deserves a lot of the credit for what's going on right now.

Q.  What's the biggest difference between last year's team and this year's team?
    DEREK FISHER:  I think last year's experiences helped us a lot this year, the change in our team last season with the trade to get Trevor Ariza, the trade to get Pau Gasol, those are things that happened during the season, and even though we had a lot of success, obviously making it to The Finals, I don't know if we really knew who we were.  Even though we were in The Finals against the Celtics, I don't know, when we were put in a position where we had to dig deep, find out who you are and what you're made of, I don't know if we knew each other that way.  From training camp this year, to experience every practice, every bus ride, every plane ride with the same group, I think that really separated us from last season's team to this year's team.

Q.  Tell us about your faith, how it's kept you strong when you were seemingly struggling in the beginning, and then to see these beautiful rainbow three‑pointers just drop through the net.
    DEREK FISHER:  Yeah, a lot of guys in our league are guys that are made strong and are faithful guys, regardless of what their religious beliefs are.  There are a lot of guys in our league that don't necessarily talk about it, don't speak of it, but are really strong in their faith.  That's how a lot of us got here and how we've stayed here is because we've always believed in a higher power and something that was stronger than us that has allowed us to be successful in the position that we're in, to provide for our families.  When we've all gone through the individual struggles, Lamar sitting up here, to lose a child, that's struggle.  I guarantee you it's because of his faith, something higher than him, something stronger than him that has allowed him to continue to believe that life is going to be okay.
    The same goes for me.  When things are down, things are bad, there has to be something that you look to to want to believe that it's going to be better tomorrow.  For me that's always been my faith.  That's the way I was raised.  I believe in the Lord, and I don't necessarily throw it out there all the time, but it's a big part of my life.

Q.  Now that the battle is over, how great is the shout that is on the inside of you, the jubilation?
    DEREK FISHER:  Hard to put into words because it's a team sport, so as great as you feel individually, and you want to shout to the world about how you feel and what you think and what you did, it's really about the accomplishments of this entire team, especially on a night like tonight.  The focus belongs on the whole group.  It's great to see that box not just be Kobe or not just be Phil on the front, to have our entire team on the front of that box.  That's what this has been all about all year.

Lakers celebrate  Q.  Kobe talked about it, Pau and Lamar, the closeness of this team.  Talk about where this championship ranks for you also.
    DEREK FISHER:  Yeah, whatever you want to call it, camaraderie, chemistry, closeness, guys that are just enjoying being around each other, playing with each other, that's a big part of what we've done.  It was a long season to get back to this point to try and be patient enough to wait to have this opportunity to be champions again.  A lot of it was because of how close we were as a group, and I think losing in The Finals last year is what ultimately kind of brought us really close together because we all were in that boat together.

Q.  Was this group closer than your other championship teams?
    DEREK FISHER:  Yeah, I think we were closer because ‑‑ this team is closer because of the combination of guys in terms of their ages and where they are in their careers at this point.  Teams that we were on before with guys like Brian Shaw and Robert Horry and Rick Fox and A.C. Green and Glen Rice, you're talking about guys that were 30, married, families, there was no real need for guys to be 20‑something and hanging out and going to dinner together.  That's not what middle‑aged guys do.  We don't kick it like that, you know?
    You know, with these guys, everybody being early to mid 20s, guys that are still trying to make their spot in this league, earn their contract situation, there was a willingness to learn and be around me, to be around Kobe, to be around other people that they could learn from, listen to.  It's just a special group.  I mean, I think that's why you saw the emotion that you saw tonight.  We didn't act like we expected this to happen.  I mean, we really celebrated like we didn't know this was coming.  It's great.  It's great.

  Q.  Take us back to after you guys lost in Boston, getting on the bus.  What happened on the bus on the way out of the Garden and just the plane ride?  What was going through you guys' minds as things progressively got worse as the night went on?
    DEREK FISHER:  Yeah, in combination with the emotions obviously of losing in The Finals and having our season be over the way it was, to then leave that arena after really having a tough time in the locker room, get on the bus and the fans on the streets were going crazy, as most cities do.  A lot of people approached the bus, throwing rocks at the bus, shaking the bus.  At one point we thought a couple windows were going to crack.  I mean, it was rough.
    We were fortunate to get out of that without obviously anybody being injured on our side, but also there wasn't anybody that was injured by the bus or that got hit or anything, and that's the most important part.
    So once we got back to the hotel that particular night, it was interesting, even though we were really obviously disappointed and angry about what happened, there was almost a shift right at that point to what is it going to take for us to actually do it.  We didn't really sit around the hotel that night, we sat in the lobby of our hotel in the lounge, and we all just kind of talked.  At that moment talking about what is it that we're going to have to do to get this done.
    That's what I remember the most.  The plane ride was long, arduous, painful, but I think it's definitely what set this year in motion.

Q.  How much did you guys talk about The Finals last year and use that as motivation this time around?
    DEREK FISHER:  We didn't talk about it in a day‑to‑day type of fashion, but there were just certain times, certain experiences, certain games where it came up.  There was one regular season game in Washington, D.C., against the Wizards where we had a big lead and allowed the Wizards to come back and we almost lost on a Caron Butler three‑pointer, and after that game we talked about the fact that how dare us lose a game we're leading by 24 points on our home court in The Finals and allow a team to come back and beat us, possibly losing the championship at that point.  Instead of going 2‑2 it's 3‑1.  How dare us be lackadaisical in a regular season game and do the same thing that cost us the championship the year before.
    So it came up in certain situations like that, and it was definitely a very poignant, obvious reminder for a lot of guys, what our purpose was this year.

   Q.  How big this trophy for the fans of the Lakers?  How could you describe that?  It's the 15th trophy, but we all know that every arena you go, there's always Laker fans all over.  How big is this trophy for them?
    DEREK FISHER:  I think it's humongous.  Even though this is the 15th title and the team has been to The Finals 30 times, they're the most spoiled fans probably in basketball.  But there's just a high level of expectation and excitement when teams win a championship.
    For us, that's a big part of the enjoyment is to see the fans in an arena like tonight, when they travel during the regular season, to see the fans support us, and obviously when we get back to Los Angeles tomorrow, it's going to be unbelievably enthusiastic and exciting.
    One thing I will say, though, hopefully tonight it hasn't already happened, but in terms of the way people celebrate or choose to be enthusiastic about what we've done here tonight, rioting, turning over cars, throwing bottles, destroying property, that's not the way ‑‑ when we go out and play and we feel like we're representing the city of LA and we're representing our fans, there's a certain way we feel like we owe them in terms of the support they give us, so we have to do things a certain way.  So for fans, for anybody still watching, if you're not outside causing problems already, I mean, honor this the right way.  We've done this for us, for you, for the city, for southern California, for all Laker fans around the world, and there's a certain way that you should celebrate.  There's a certain way when you win, a certain amount of class, a certain amount of dignity that you should carry, same as when you lose.  But we won tonight, so let's not make it a negative situation with craziness and foolishness.

   Q.  Can you talk about Coach Jackson.  What makes him so special that he's got ten rings?
    DEREK FISHER:  I guess the best way to sum it up would just be that Phil's belief in his players I think far outweighs any other coach that I've played for in terms of his willingness to allow the players to be players and make the plays.  I think there are a lot of coaches that ‑‑ I've never coached before so I don't want to say overcoached or undercoached or over‑whatever, but his willingness to allow things to happen and develop and grow and mature, there are not a lot of coaches in the playoffs and Finals when everything is on the line that will still be playing 9, 10, 11 guys in the rotation, but that's all about the fact that it's everybody on the box in terms of winning the championship.  You don't just play seven people and then the other people just sitting over there and feeling like they're not involved or not a part of what's going on.  I don't know if there are a lot of coaches out there, if any, that trust that he and his staff have done the things in practice every day all season that when the pressure is at its highest point, regardless of who he puts in the game, they're going to get the job done.  I think that's what separates him from everybody.

Q.  Do you see this team being capable of winning more rings in the coming years?
    DEREK FISHER:  I'm surprised you asked.  I've never seen you before, but I'm going to remember you now when you put the pressure on me like that (laughter).
    We obviously have guys that are free agents that it's going to be important to re‑sign in order to start thinking about the future and what this team can accomplish going forward.
    You know, it's easy to shy away from the expectations, but at the point in my career where I am, why run away from it?  We've won a championship tonight, and we're going to enjoy this one and celebrate like we have.  But as athletes and competitors you always think about what can you accomplish next.  We'll see what happens, but definitely when we start training camp next season and we have our ring ceremony at Staples Center the first game of the regular season, our first home game, all thoughts will be on winning another championship.  That's what our season will be about next season, and that just comes with the business.


Comments () | Archives (150)

The comments to this entry are closed.

And if you read this far and thought that last one might be true, then you’re a Lakerholic.


Posted by: LakerTom | June 15, 2009 at 07:10 PM

Priceless Tom... priceless....

Go Celtics 2009-2010!

Posted by: JC | June 15, 2009 at 07:56 PM

Yes, yes, go Celtics! We want you in the Finals next year as our next victim!


I don't think this team will stay together. Kobe won't take a pay cut to resign anybody. He's already mentioned that Buss has more money than him and it's his responsibility to pay. Also there is no way from how Lamar is talking that he'll take a big cut to stay with LA. My guess is that if the Lakers don't offer 10+ mil per year, he's gone. I've got to believe Ariza will get a huge pay raise too.
My feeling is we keep Ariza at a big price, Kobe opts out and resigns for a bank breaking max deal and LO is gone. I'm not happy about it but I think realistically that what's going to happen.
To repeat w/o LO Bynum better step up BIG!

"Go Celtics 2009-2010!"

Where could they possibly go...I mean besides the early bird special at Denny's!?!?!?

Also, who's this A$$ CLOWN TJ Simers anyways?
The guy is not even a good enough writer for the Classified section, let alone the Sports section!

You're on the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers blog


I just wanted to compliment you on the cleaner bullet point layout. You should do this all the time but expanding each bullet point to a paragraph because we do love your prose. That way you are free to make your point while we are free to choose the links to follow. I mean I went straight for Kevin Ding and was easily able to avoid TJ Simers.

Maybe you don’t want to do it all the time – no writers ever do – but it would be a great format, sort of twitter-like. You could even tweet each paragraph with links to engage your audience. Anyway, think about it. Even if it were just like an addendum to each Extra!Extra!. That allows us to know where the link goes without having to test it.

Tom, larry. thanks.

but I think you missed my point. Talking about these jerks who shall remain nameless just makes them happy. These hypothetical people really do not deserve our attention. they are not, in terms of talent, the best writers on sports issues. They no longer have exclusive inside connections and choice interviews due to their constant butt kissing and schmoozing. In order to still be read, and have work, they have to generate attention.

if we want to get rid of them, STOP PAYING ATTENTION! do not put their names in any posts. do not refer to them so that people will check out their columns to see what the fuss is about. ignore them. if we must refer to them, don't argue with the specious points they raise. just point out their lack of talent, judgment, and integrity.

I like to think that i stand behind the things i say, as irreverant as they are. I will go out of my way to make people understand that I respect them if not their opinions. I can even respect these hypothetical columnists as human beings, as some have pointed out, they do have redeeming qualites, as do we all. But I don't want to read them. I don't want to hear about them.. I definitely don't want to reward with them with notoriety.

let's read good writers, even if we disagree with them. let's ignore sophists and mercenary talking heads who will say anything for attention.

please, take me off your bandwagon. and please consider withdrawing it. let's not give this jerk any more hits. He was a good writer once, and maybe he can be again, but he needs our help. make him earn his daily bread with great writing and content. lets reward all the great writers- like the K Bros, like most of the great blogs and newspapers that the K Bros link to, and to the great writers who post on this blog for nothing more than a love of the game.

i agree that it sounds unlikely that Kobe would take a pay-cut, as it's almost unheard of in professional sports for any star to do. but Lamar Odom has repeatedly stated that he wants to remain a Laker more than anything, and would take a pay-cut if necessary. and it's not like his stock is as high as when he first signed that last deal with Miami. yes, he's invaluable to the Lakers, but he does come off the bench, after all.

as someone else has suggested, in these struggling times, most teams are looking to reduce payroll... even big spenders like the Mavs. many teams in the NBA are losing money. they may not be able to afford to offer more than the Lakers for either Lamar or Trevor. (it's possible)


I am embarrassed that some Lakers Fans would do this...

But it happens everywhere.

Posted by: Charles | June 15, 2009 at 02:48 PM

Thank You Charles for telling it like it is!

This CHAMPIONSHIP is dedicated to:

Charles Barkley and JR Smith.

What a great season. The Lake Show brought it back home.

COLORADO LOVES THE LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Congrats to the Lakers and to All the Lakers Faithful who kept faith with the Team especially on times when things did not seem too good. Now that the Lakers are the 2009 Champs, relaxe be happy and be very glad we have been so lucky and privillage to have witness this 15th NBA Championship of the Team, and also Phil Jackson's ascension to being the TOP Coach Of All time in the NBA.

Lakers Forever!!!!!

Otis, just catching up on the thread but back atcha my brother!

rdlee - like you, I don't see Kobe taking a cut. However, I'm starting to believe that Buss will find a way to keep both Odom and Ariza. It's tough math but may be doable. We're already over the cap with a dollar-for-dollar penalty. But, we have one chip in Morrison's expiring contract... just exactly how we work a sign and trade with a willing partner is something I'll leave to brighter minds than my own... it would probably hinge on somebody looking at the 2010 market.

Since a topic is writers, Heisler (who I think has phoned it in a bit much over recent years) wrote a pretty good new piece on Kobe. I still haven't read the Simers column and don't think I will.

I was really embarrassed for the Buss family by having that kid up there accepting the championship trophy. I can see why Bill Simmons wants that guy in charge of the Lakers ASAP. That was horrible.

Poor Sasha. He didn't even hit a single shot during the finals. What happened? I guess he really needs playing time to succeed.

I'm ready for training camp.

This offseason I’d like to see 1) Gasol and Farmar add a bit more upper body muscle and 2) Shannon add a mid-range jumper.

Unlike the terrible, terrible, terrible Kwame Brown, we need guys to add things to their games this offseason. In fact, I'll be REALLY mad if we have kwameiers in the ranks right now. This is not the time to relax. This team has a solid shot at repeating and any player who sits home and gets fat this offseason is in my doghouse. This is a once n a lifetime shot here and we’d better be ready.

I want to see Morrison contribute too, if he's still around.

And I don’t trust Bynum. I hope the Lakers assign him a trainer.


In my earlier congratulations I gave I omitted one group.

I forgot to congratulate the trolls for coming here to strengthen our resolve but mainly for the comic relief you provided with your idiotic posts! Job well done and now you can go away.

Also there is no way from how Lamar is talking that he'll take a big cut to stay with LA.



He just said he'll take less to stay in LA. You're making more of this than you need to.

As sure as sunshine, as sure as summer as sure as summers eve, I am 1,000 % positive the lakers will keep both Lamar and Ariza.

Unless Lamar gets offered a 5 year 60 million dollar deal from Detroit, he'll be staying here. You don’t break up a championship team during Kobe's absolute prime, while paying the coach 12 million a year. You invest into this beast not away from it. Feed it or it's going to eat the whole city.

The real question in my mind is will the Lakers use their mid level this year.


And I think that Lamar and Ariza are uniquely loyal and lovers of Southern California and won't leave.

Plain and simple.

I'll bet my........soul?


To those people that called Gasol soft and referred to him as Gasoft. Remember he was never soft and from now on be only be called Gasol or Gastrong.

I am a Lakers fan and I always will be.

I've never met Kobe Bryant and probably never will, but I feel as if I know him on a certain level, respect him, and want what is TRULY best for him, his family, and his life.

I just want to say before I go to bed that Kobe Bryant has all the money he and his family will ever need in their lives.

All of that is accomplished.

What is important is destiny and legacy.

If Kobe Bryant resigned for minimum it would be a HISTORIC moment in sports. It would be simply beautiful.

Money is the root of many evils.

Ultimately, abundance of money has never made any man truly happy in life. It's not enough. Something deeper is more important.

Heart and spirit are the root of joy and godliness.

This Laker team can be a lot better than it is. And that is something special.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


i heread that need to pick between Lamar odom and tevar ariza. in my opion the lakers should trade sasha luke , and adom morision, to free up money.

It's been almost a day since the Lakers got the Larry O'Brien trophy. Let's pause for another minute and bask in the glory. As the late great Chick Hearn would say,

"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 Jell-O's jigglin'!"

Congratulations Lakers!


Whew Champions again! Sounds nice.

I've been abstaining from posting here in the blog until it was all over because there were a lot of times that the Lakers followed up my post with a Loss. Sorry bout that but you have my word that reading this blog and all its comments is part of my daily routine be it when Im in the office, at home or through my mobile phone when I'm out of town.

Goooooo Lakers!

Hey, Mamba.
Thanks for all you do to the blog community. Please add me to the "Fire TJ Simers" bandwagon. What a bitter man! Decent human beings should not be subjected to his pathetic ravings that pass as commentary. Pitiful!

16 DOWN, RINGS TO GO........

Today was a holiday for me. Didn't feel like working, wanted to reflect, relax and just get away. Didn't read much of the blog, until now. I did read the TJ Simers article this morning, wish i hadn't. Talk about envious, dude is so jealous of Jackson and the Laker's success, it's laughable.

I usually make it point to skip over Simers. I've just become fed up with his smug, cynical, all about me style of writing. Dude has morphed into a world class jackass at this point. He has nothing really interesting or insightful to say, so he uses schtick to make up for his lack of talent.

. i have farts that are more interesting than a TJ Simer's column.

Do yourself a favor, just stop reading him. He's insignificant. The less your react to him, the quicker will be his departure.

After today's hatchet job on the Lakers, he should be departed once and for all.


so happy with the win. been waitin since 2002. even more special considering we lost the last couple trys. was wondering if anyone was recording KCAL 9's coverage of the parade onto DVD?? i would love to see it. pls email me on

If you look up the word dunb in the dictionary, you'll see TJ face. Frankly I think he pays the L.A. Times to have the garbage he dreamed up printed.. Who would be in their right mind pays him to write anything?

I quit reading his column long ago, but the last time when I glanced at his column's headers I just have to post this comment.

What I think is the guy obviously has no talent, and so he has to come up with something so idiotic that pissed readers off and creates a little stir, otherwise nobody knows who TJ is.

Core of the night, and I dare to show off from darkness and stop my lurker status to pour out my Lakers' love in front of all the people that for so long made me enjoy my faith through this blog's lines (and comments) for years even from my own Country, named Italy.
Forgive me for any grammar mistake or typo I could perform now, but I write not in my own language and I am SO emotioned to actually do this here, now... the brain may cut its services any time soon.
I am in happy and blessed state since the 15th ring came in, it's like I never fully wake up, but I keep dreaming while it's daylight, and I can't easily drop on bed and sleep, cos my emotions rushing prevent me from complete rest.
I love these guys who let me live such a rollercoaster of passion this year. I knew we would have reached the top again, I knew it in my core but to reach that goal with pain along the way it has made it all so much more precious.
I have always had MY top five in this team: Kobe (I'll write about him in another blog post) the real Chosen One; then my beloveds Pau, Trevor, Lamar and Derek. I am so happy in the end they are what made the difference. I am happy to read about their joyful ride. I am happy they bulked up their strenght and faith and will and became the phoenix so brilliant and sparkling out of last year's humiliating ashes left landed on ground.
But what I love the most about the Lakers is that they REALLY are a team. All of the guys in Lakers this year are MY babies. I believe the combination had to be THIS one to be worthy. I thank every single one of them for takin part in the graceful, sweet, so deserved redemption we've just accomplished.
There's something poetical about them players, this team, LA town and California sun. There's something magical about this sport . Something magical, something uneasy to handle, yet impossible to not bend at with love, if you really get what this game is all about.
I have learnt to love this game of basketball thanx to Lakers. Now I can't watch Italian or European leagues when I get back to my Milan town with the same eyes (it's ten years now) cos the game just isn't the same.
I can't wait to reach Coliseum and chant. I thank you all the people in the blog for their overwhelming passion, and their competencies, which has mede me learn technically about the game in all this run of time.
I hope NONE of my guys will leave the franchise. But in any case, Lakers are Lakers. They will always have to rise the bar high, be proud of wearing those awesome colours, and try to win. And get to win.
With heart.
With mind.
With talent.
With everything they've got to show us they do understand what's to be like to be a Laker. Cos we fans DO feel what it has to be like to be a Laker: it's a gift from above to make you someone better. And make an entire Laker Nation happy to breathe and worship a team of people which we feel like brothers, sons, fathers, inspirations, friends, idols, and just part of our own core.
Congratulations guys, I love you so wildly.
Hats off to Master Zen PJ.
Love you all in this blog.

Another piece of 100% Pure, Laker and Kobe hate from Bill Simmons!!

Man, doesn't this guy have any self-esteem?? He is one of the most despciable writers I have ever seen!!

We can all hope Kobe opts out and signs for less, but realistically, will he? should he? think of all the revenue he just generated for the lakers. the perfect summer for the lakers would be if kobe opted out, went tim duncan, and signed a 5 yr extension at 20mil/year. sign lamar for 8mil, sign trevor for 7mil. if trevor wants anything more than 7-8 million, let him walk and sign ron artest. trevor, as well as he played, is still a role player who relies on a kobe bryant to create open shots for him. yea hes a good defender, but now is not the time to add to our terrible contract list, which already includes sasha, luke, bynum). yea we just won a championship, but if a team is gonna give trevor 10 million, and trevor uses that to up the ante, let him walk. same with lamar. you cannot pay someone more than they are worth.


Lakers 2009 World Champions


One way to get at Simers is to write to the Times & tell them you are canceling your subscription because of him and his insulting columns. I used to subscribe to the Times but don't anymore. One big reason was the sports writers. I now have a subscription to the O.C. Register. Kevin Ding's article this morning is great. Read that & compare it to the Times articles. It's the difference between "See Spot Run" and The Great Gatsby".

dave m,

Agreed, that Heisler piece was remarkably balanced. Really a pleasant surprise. I won't read Simers -- I'm glad he gave it a title that makes it easy to avoid!

Scott Ostler in SF Chronicle has a good column on Jerry West.

It's hilarious both a SF columnist and the readers comments under it (one from an admitted Lakers hater) give more credit than the LAT's own Simers.

Still in complete euphoria!! Btw Bill Simmons is a complete idiot, i know i know we've said it a million times but have you seen his latest article? He cant even hold his jealousy back, so much that he even starts to get his facts wrong ... when exactly did kobe win 4 scoring titles? Anyway the haters can keep hating for the next year!!

I thought the Simmons column was quite good; I saw very little in there that I disagreed with.


What Can I say....

Proud of my team...

Proud of the end of a decade of Kobe hate!

Lookin forward to Kobe squashing the new hate, getting 5 rings and laying claim to "better than Bird" status!


Finger point at cha!

If Kobe Bryant resigned for minimum it would be a HISTORIC moment in sports. It would be simply beautiful.
Posted by: Jon K. | June 15, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Jon K you forgot about all the money he spent on the trial and the ring he gave to vanessa. he might not have as much as you think. Plus I hear vanessa spends like a drunken sailor.

I like phred's call on the recent negativity - don't acknowledge, don't respond, don't name names. Walk on.

I thought the Simmons column was quite good; I saw very little in there that I disagreed with. Posted by: exhelodrvr | June 16, 2009 at 08:09 AM

I thought the same thing thing myself and the end was especially complimentary towards Kobe.

"Plus I hear vanessa spends like a drunken sailor."

Hey, mamba24, watch it! That's an insult to drunken sailors!!

Bill Simmons is an idiot.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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




I don't think he has the guts.

I agree with Ex. There's a lot of good stuff in the Simmons article. I don't think he's spot on in all his observations, there are a lot of good ones.


I hope you're right about Lamar, but when guys start talking about "needing to do what best for my family" I get worried.

Big Al

>>>"Go Celtics 2009-2010!"
>>>Where could they possibly go...I mean besides the early
>>>bird special at Denny's!?!?!?

EXCELLENT!!! Well played.

I would have gone for the cliche "YES! GO FISHING!!! IN APRIL!!!",
but the Dennys remark is much sweeter.

Pau is my Homeboy! Look at this awesome shirt I just found on the net. I bought 3!


>>>i agree that it sounds unlikely that Kobe would take a
>>>pay-cut, as it's almost unheard of in professional sports
>>>for any star to do.

There are three recent cases I know of in the NBA:

1. Shaq took a cut down to 20 million per with Miami, which
was ironic because he REFUSED to take a cut with the
Lakers - he wanted a contract starting at 32 million and going
up from there.

2. Gilbert Arenas just was offered a max contract by Washington,
but accepted something 20 million less than the max to give
them a little bit of flexibility.

In both of those cases, the team wasn't the reigning champion,
and the big star was hoping their discount would encourage
the owner to add one more piece that might tip them up in to the
top echelon. Worked for Miami (I believe they got Posey and
Payton after the Shaq reduction). Didn't work for Washintgon,
though it didn't help that Arenas took the big paycheck and then
went on to miss basically the whole season with an injury.

The third case was Kevin Garnett. Part of the trade to Boston
was that he wanted an extension. He got a 3 year extension
at a slight reduction in salary - same reasoning as Shaq and
Arenas. KG's salary will go down from 24 million this season
to 16 million next season.

But here's the skinny. Kobe could get a deal for more total
money than he's currently owed, take a slight pay cut, and
still be one of the top 10 highest paid players in the league.

Right now a max extension is 7 years (if I'm not mistaken).
So let's say Kobe takes an offer of 7 years at 20 million per with a player
option each year (or something like that). Maybe throw in incentive
bonuses - 5 million for each championship,1 million for MVP,

That deal would get him 140 million total (as opposed to the 48
million left on his current contract). So he'd guarantee himself
92 million more money. And if he has an opt out clause for
every year, then if the team starts to tank, he could opt out
and renegotiate (with the Lakers or any other team) to get even
more money.

With that deal, it would cut 6 million from player salaries next
season (3 salary + 3 tax) and almost 10 million from player
salaries in the next season. At the moment, Bynum is their
only huge contract that runs beyond the 2010-2011 season.

Note that a contract like that could actually INCREASE Kobe's
salary. If, as I suggested, there was a 5 million dollar incentive
for a championship, then if they won it next year, he'd make
25 million instead of 23 million. But if they win the championship,
Buss could afford the extra 10 million (including luxury tax),
since they'd have extra revenues from all the extra games.

LakerTom was grossly opposed to my suggestion that the Lakers
should offer Bynum an incentive laced contract. But it would
actually be a really practical tool right now.

The wild-ass speculation in the press (and blog) seems to think
that the Lakers would be able to keep both Lamar and Trevor
if their combined salaries next year would be in the 12-14 million
dollar range (Maybe 6 for Trevor and 7 for Lamar).

But incentives could really make those offers more attractive.
The main thing I'm thinking of is a championship incentive.
Offer each of them a 4 million dollar bonus in any year they
win a championship.

Then not only does it give Trevor a chance to earn as much
as 10 million per and Lamar 11 million per, it also gives them
incentive to EARN that extra money.

There could be lesser incentives for making the playoffs or
making an all-star team or stuff like that, but put the big golden
ring on championships. The beauty of it is, if the Lakers do
win the championship, then they're playing extra games at
Staples, so there's extra revenues to PAY all that extra salary
and luxury tax.

I've got to say, if some team (most likely Detroit) offers either
Trevor or Lamar a contract averaging 10 million per, I think
they're gone. I think they'd give the Lakers a chance to match,
but I don't think Buss would pay 20 million per for either of
those players.

So what do you think? Think they'd go for the incentives?

I think the incentives are a great idea, with perhaps a smaller one for reaching (and losing in) the WCF. That also ties the salaries to the team's income, which is good. Odom also needs to be willing to accept a lesser role (with the assumption that Bynum is going to be healthy), so I don't see personal goal -incentives being that good for him.

« | 1 2



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...