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Yao Ming's career in jeopardy?

As Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojanrowski reports, that's the worry circulating throughout the Houston Rockets' front office.  The fractured foot that put Yao out of commission during the Western Conference Semi-Finals vs. the Lakers has been stubborn to heal, and beyond a recent "out indefinitely" statement, Yao Ming vs. Lakers Wojnarowski suspects concerns over Yao missing the majority of next season.  Or even worse, being forced into early retirement.  Obviously, more information needs to be presented before hitting the panic button- Rockets GM Daryl Morey is withholding public comment until more tests are completed- but I have to imagine it's a tense vibe over at HQ. 

And with this story, I ask two questions...

1) If Yao could miss a large chunk of time, does this development potentially shift an already radically altered NBA landscape?  Could that make Houston think twice about committing long-term to Ron Artest.  Are they more likely to move T-Mac for help or just let his 22 mil expire and blow the whole baby up?  Keep whomever they can to remain competitive?  Is there a team in particular you picture swooping in to become a player?

2) Does Yao's situation make you more nervous about various Lakers, whether Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Sasha Vujacic or DJ Mbenga, representing their country in Olympic play?  BK and I have both stated past opinions that it's damn near impossible to fault a player for his patriotism, nor should their NBA employer forbid anyone from suiting up in the offseason.  But all things being equal, are you now more inclined to hope those purple and golders take a pass and save their best for the NBA hardcourt?

In any event, best wishes to Yao for a full recovery.  He's a class act, a great competitor and has been terrific for the league.  I hope Wojnarowski is just caught up in worst case scenarios and not predicting the future.

AK

(Photo: Reuters)

 
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" Does Yao's situation make you more nervous about various Lakers, whether Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Sasha Vujacic or DJ Mbenga, representing their country in Olympic play?"

The short answer is: Yes.

Especially with big men.

That fricken idiot Chris Kaman played for the German team (how?) last summer and what happened? He spent most of the year on the Clippers bench injured.

Yao Ming plays constantly for the Chinese team and what happens?

He's constantly injured.

NBA players should be able to play for their national (not some other national) team ONCE and only ONCE. That's it.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

"Do you think this news potentially shifts an already radically altered NBA landscape?"

Short answer: Yes.

Yao Ming is one of the top twenty most important players in the NBA (arguably top ten). If a player like that goes out, it's a big deal.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

We should have just kept Turiaf last year. Scola wouldn't have gone off like he did in the Hou series and Nene would be stopped too.

Sorry Yao. You were too beautiful for this league.

This just goes to show you that screwing around with a child's natural human growth hormone levels in an attempt to create a "super-athlete" will invariably lead to complications later in life.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Yao Ming you were a Class Act, hopefully you will fully
heal and go on to play several more seasons. If not the
best to you.
Larry(Mamba24)

Yao's situation is unique in that his country and the govt and all EXPECT him to play, irregardless of his health. They have no regard for the human body over there, and unless Yao is dead, dismembered or dying, they're going to want him to play. Here in America on the other hand, we don't expect nor do we force. If a player is injured, we make sure he gets healed. That's what seperates Yao from our guys.

funny, i just read that article on Yahoo about Yao possibly being out the entire next season. i wish him luck in his recovery, and hope he's able to come back next season.

but with that said, it seems like the Rockets need to start preparing for a year without Yao. i think they can have at least three different mindsets.

1. they can do nothing, and just play with what they have. resign Artest, with the hope that Yao can come back and they'll still be competitive.

2. tank next season. don't resign Artest. deal McGrady or just wait for his contract to expire. hopefully they can pull a Spurs, and get a great draft pick in 2010. then, they can bring in an awesome rookie, a healthy Yao (hopefully), and let T-Mac walk, and bring in an awesome FA. maybe someone like D-Wade, if you can't get LeBron.

3. try to field a competitive team next season. Resign Artest, and trade McGrady for a good big man, like Stoudamire. he should be a good fit, as he can play center, and when Yao returns, he can slide over to PF. (i've pretty much gave up on T-Mac, as he's way too injury prone... and getting a big man is necessary to win in the West, i believe). maybe also go after Birdman. they need as much size as they can get, as Mutombo's also done.

i say the Rockets should go with either option 1 or 2. don't resign Artest. maybe pick-up a cheap big man somewhere. (i'm sure they're kicking themselves for not drafting a big man, but three guards.) they can wait until after training camp ends, and see what guys get cut from other team's rosters. then, just try to do their best. but only chance they're making the playoffs is if T-Mac has one hell of a season.

face it. even with Artest and T-Mac, that line-up now looks like a 7th or 8th team in the West (at best), which means having to play either Lakers, Spurs or possibly Nuggets in the 1st round. no way they'd beat any of those teams in the playoffs.

It is interesting that you bring up the question about someone who take pride of representing their country....this should not be a topic of discussion...I bet if you take into account the reasons for the injuries you will find that only few happen because they played during the summer for their country, how than you explain Greg Oden or Andew Bynum.
Look at the internation soccer players, they play for the country every year at 6 to 10 games per year, and you don't hear the English Premier league or other leagues refuse or question their players loyalty...
There is nothing like watching you country beat another country it is the highest challenge and exceitment...

Funny you should bring up Kaman.... I think this is a great spot for the Clippers to unload the dead wood in the middle with Griffin coming in - ship off Kaman (though Houston would probably want Camby's expiring deal) - in the best of all worlds, you get rid of Zach Randolph's contract, but not likley. Get back? How about McGrady if Houston is ready to blow it up? Or even better Battier. Pipe dreams, maybe, but Houston needs height and Clips need... veteran leadership who can stand up to Dunleavy. Sounds like Battier to me.

RE-post Sorry. ON point #2, I don't think that you can prevent players from playing for their country. Just because someone pays you a salary, doesn't mean they get to decide what you do in the off season. Still, there might be a way to allow teams to dock players for missing games due to injuries sustained in international play...? But that wouldn't even apply to Yao, who was hurt during a long NBA season and playoffs.

Too bad for Yao - great guy and a wonderful ambasador for the game. Hope he makes it back.

For foreign players playing on National teams is much more important. They grow in soccer-crazed nations where playing on the national team is the most important thing you can do. That's the mentality, so I don't think you can stop them from playing

Yao will be missed if he is to retire early.
Using a little hindsight, what would the Rockets be willing to bid for Bynum for his services if he did not sign his extension?

I can't think one Rocket whose services are needed. Yao and the "early retirement" angle seems premature. Never heard of this 'Wojanrowski' character, and now I know why.

And, we _really_ don't want Ron-Ron on the squad - anyone who leaves his doggies languishing should not be welcome in LA.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/17029765/

Doug

in some ways, this is helpful to the Lakers as far as Odom and Ariza. Houston has to rebuild. Nothing else makes sense, if Yao is out all next year and McGrady's contract comes off the books at the end of the year and then it's iffy if Yao can come back the next year???

No way. They're going to be dumping players all over the place. Artest may go to someone who was thinking about Ariza or Odom. Scola should get moved, Battier should get moved, he also fills a void that Odom or Ariza would potentially fill for different teams plus Houston won't be going after Odom or Ariza either. That Brain Cook though... he's a keeper...

So possibly our odds of re-signing Odom and Ariza just improved.


Yao's a great player but he's so slow it upsets the tempo of the game. Houston would be better off without him. Like Shaq big slow centers are on their way out of the NBA. The rules have changed, now favoring quick agile leaping types, and the big slow centers are now on an island unable to bang and shove, lacking the movement necessary for today's game. It's not surprising to me that Houston played much better in the playoffs after Yao was injured.

Well if these people want to come to the US and earn an NBA salary then go abroad to play for their national team then they should not come to the States. You are either an American or you are not. Want to be an American and enjoy the fruits of capitalism which extends to professional sports then you should honor the US. Yao can go get me some sweeet and sour pork and moo goo gain pan at his Houston restaurant as my waiter if he leaves the Rockets.

http://tinyurl.com/nwbbqf
Kobe bryant on his Michael Jackson moment ... gotta love it ... just like Michael Jordan was the one person that pulled Kobe aside during the 98 allstars (when he was getting hated on for supposedly trying to steal #23s show) and said great game, do you ... MJ king of pop told Kobe, great player, do you ...

And on the topic of hateration ... Jackson used to get hated on so much but like Jamie Foxx said after the BET Awards last night ... The media tries to shape our opinions but stop and think that despite all the Jackson Haterade 750,000 people bought his concert tickets in 2 hours ...

A hater can't start achievement ... cuz a hater can't relate to it ... greatness recongizes greatness ... I ain't great but I admire it when I see it ... this ain't an endorsment of Kobe or Jordan or MJackson's personal life but this is an endorsement of them being great at their craft ... R.I.P. Jackson ...

oh correction ... meant a "hater can't STAND achievement"

As far as the Olympics go, I think we should go back to amateur players. Pro's ruined the Olympic spirit. Watching the American team getting burned by Russian officials in 1972 was far more fun than watching the "dream team" mop up on minimally talented teams. It was also an opportunity for college players who's skills may not translate to the pro league. I really miss the "old Olympics".

Sorry Yao. You were too beautiful for this league.

Posted by: Benjamin | June 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM


Yes Ben, he was. I' glad I'm not a Rocket fan today.

For Yao: http://tinyurl.com/yt2tco

Wes

Jon K,

"If Kobe is TRULY about winning, the security that the Lakers will be in contention for a Championship for the next six will be far more stress relieving than the knowledge that he COULD rent that sixth penthouse in Dubai."

That's retarded ... if Lebron is truly about winning he should take a cut now ... if Wade is truly about winning he should take a cut now ... and on and on

Again nobody is saying it wouldn't be commendable for Kobe to do so ... but to say he should be critcized for taking the going market rate is ridiculous in my humble opinion

And while we're on the topic of money ... quick can anyone tell me how much the laker franchise has appreciated in value since having #8 play for it ... even if Buss is operating at a loss but his franchise is appreciating in money, that's future benefits he can reap if he ever sells the franchise or a minor stake in it ...

For all this talk about Kobe's 140mil isn't so much different from 125 mil ... why aren't y'all focussed on Buss 800 mil in assets etc blah isn't so different from 755 mil ...

If Kobe walks and Lamar walks and Odom walks ... guess who will have to listen to your cries ... not Kobe, not Odom, not Ariza but Jerry Buss ... the onus is on him as an owner to make things work ...

Wanna keep kobe for less ... make him a verbal promise of ownership ... give him an endorsement deal to market your ranches etc ... but again it is up to Buss to figure out how he can create a great product

And you know the silliest part about BKs argument ... it's the part where he goes oh if kobe takes a cut he can walk into the GMs office and go oh odom isn't pulling his weight etc etc ... do you know what kind of cancer that'll be to team chemistry? ... have y'all forgotten when kobe's competitiveness forced him to play gm/owner demanding west returns etc ... is that really what y'all wanna wish on yourselves

People need to stop being lazy (that's you BK with the media pass) and start thinking creatively ... kobe opt out clause, less money is so easy and obvious it's why the whole blog leapt on it before BK endorsed it ... but ask yourself what would we be talking about if Kobe didn't have that opt out clause? ... exaclty, we'd be talking about constructive ways for ownership and management to retain this team ... or if we must lose a piece what's a cheaper option that'd still get us the title ...

Instead we act like dummies and go if Kobe doesn't turn his opt out leverage into less money for himself he should be criticized for it ... wow i wish my daddy would do something stupid like that ... he'd definitely get the little piece of chicken

And for those pointing out Gilbert Arenas ... are you kidding me ... KG overpaid already (so much so his deal is referred to as what triggered luxury tax) so the cut was necessary ... Magic (part owner now) ... again every situation is different and to ask for a cut in itself is not a crime ... it is the added notion that one should be criticized for not taking the cut is what forces the sheriff to rant ... to demand that y'all think think and think some more

Ask more of your media ... ask more of your writers ... simply endorsing the easy way out don't make it right ... now if BK had numbers showing why BUSS really ain't balling like that etc etc etc before jumping on Kobe's back ... it might be a different convo ... Cuz then he'd have proven that despites management's responsibility, there's nothing feasible they can do, thus the onus lies with kobe to come save the day yet again ...

anywho i think i've ranted enough on this topic ... enough so that i'm confident BK will at least think twice before postiong kobe haterade on here so quickly though I trust it won't let him stop him ... which is ok cuz the mamba faithful will always be around to police y'all

With that I'll end with a shout out to mud for his vote of confidence ... much appreciated dawg ...

"good job AK/BK. ya stirred it up good. it's pretty tacky though, and while i agree that it MAY be in Kobe's interest to offer to take less money, i also disagree that Kobe SHOULD do that. i also disagree with not being able to take in new info and admit the error. "

24 + 16 + [1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

JustaLakerFan,

"Using a little hindsight, what would the Rockets be willing to bid for Bynum for his services if he did not sign his extension?"

I'm guessing less than half his current contract ... say what you may but the jury is still out on Bynum's knees and Houston would be the last team willing to gamble on yet another player's health

And since I'm still a lil all worked up about my finals mvp not getting love ... let me say this is yet another reason to salute the dude ... for all the beating and injury he takes, he works 2ce as hard to recupperate from them via icing etc even if it means staying up all night ... like that type of dedication really is maniacal ...

idk wat else to say yo ... I love #24 ... I love how hard he works and how much he's given to this team ... I love his teammates for being willing to follow his lead ... I love PJ for letting them find their way (tho i got no love 4 d triangle) ... I love the owner that held unto Kobe tight showing he understood how rare a commodity he is ... etc etc etc ... and oh I love being champions again

JBuss get it done ... bring 'em all back ... they'll do u proud ... matter of fact setup a blog on lakers.com yo ... maybe hire the popular k brothers ... and we'll get site traffic on there, get u some internet revenue ya dig ... w/e it takes yo ... bring em all back ... then lets go teach the vince carters and richard jeffersons and whomever else the opposition thinks will make a difference a lesson they won't soon forget

24 + 16 + 1[7] = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

WELCOME TO THE NEW ECONOMY

Lakers fans need to wake up and understand that it is a new day when it comes to signing other team’s free agents and trading players with expiring contracts like Adam Morrison. Savvy financial moves to save money as we saw during the draft will necessarily be the only roster moves we can afford to make if we are to keep this team together.

So say goodbye to signing a free agent with our MLE or trading Adam Morrison and his valuable expiring contract for another player or players. Using our MLE to sign a player for $5.5M would have the Lakers paying an additional $11M in salary and luxury taxes. Similarly, trading Ammo and his valuable expiring contract for another player rather than allowing his contract to expire would cost also us $11M in salary and luxury taxes.

Time to realize that we cannot have our cake and eat it too, meaning we cannot afford to sign Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, and Shannon Brown to new contracts AND also sign another team’s free agent and/or trade Ammo rather than just letting his contract expire. Since we have already chosen to spend the money to keep the team intact, we need to stop all the ridiculous trades and free agent signings and be happy with the team we have.

We are the freakin’ LA Lakers and 2009 NBA Champions. We ACT, not REACT.
All we need to do is bring back our existing roster and we’ll be far better than last year.
If you want to talk other team’s free agents or trade prospects, login to a Clippers blog. Welcome to the new economy – where the Lakers are king of the hill.

Tom

AK,

>>> In any event, best wishes to Yao for a full recovery. He's a class act, a
>>> great competitor and has been terrific for the league. I hope Wojnarowski
>>> is just caught up in worst case scenarios and not predicting the future.

Well said. Yao has been a wonderful ambassador to the NBA for China and a genuinely classy individual. No doubt that the extra load of playing internationally for his country has probably cost Yao several years of quality play. Here’s hoping he is not done yet.

Tom

What people, especially the media, fails to recognize that Yao is FORCED...or at least HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to play for his national team...in fact the only reason they let him out of China in the first place was because Houston agreed to let Yao play for the national team. Yao is like a commodity to them, and its a socialist gov and we've already went through that. Yao's situation is Highly different than other athletes who play for their national team.

BK, I think you have to see the international players at a different cultural lens. The other countries are extremely tied to their culture heritiage and therefore tons of pride. And then when they leave their country to play in the NBA they feel like ambassadors to the game from their countries and will always come back to represent where they came from. the US isnt their home even, does Pau even have a long-term residence here?

I think its a 'American" view on life if you think that these athletes shouldnt be playing for their country. If NBA teams have a problem with this, then they should write it into contracts. If fans have a problem they are ignorant to the fact one's loyalty to their country is higher than loyalty to a person's city of employment. You want to blame the high salaries put into risk, blame the GM who signs them not the player.

And back to Yao, if he doesnt ever win an NBA title, last summer was his shining moment, carrying the Olympic flag at the Games, and he had to play on that basketball team that was scheduled against the US. Yao doesnt agree with the government's policies, but he loves his people so he is out there for him. I admired Yao for obviously shouldering so much pain and burden in the Olympic spirit.

As for the guys like Sasha, DJ, they are fringe players and should play on their national team to get better and improve. I think its a great idea for Sasha to get some cajones playing back in Europe and in important games so that they can break him and then give him confidence. As for DJ he needs all the practice and its nice that one of two players from Belguim would go back and play for their team.

As for Pau he is part of the Spanish athlete culture that has Rafa Nadal, Fernando Torres (soccer), La Liga class A soccer, and pride for sports...he's like the Kobe of Spain how's he not going to play?

And for Kobe...didnt he skip out on some chances to play for Team USA before hand? It was simply their ego that seemed to motivate them to get to the Olympics (people telling them they cant win) and EVENTUALLY it turned into pride for the country, but you know it was about ego.

it pays to be tall:

Kwame Brown has until June 30 to pick up his player option for next season.

The Pistons fully expect him to do so.

Brown will make $4 million in 2009-10 under the terms of the option.
============
Meanwhile, Darko Milicic gets ANOTHER shot at the NBA with the Knicks. That dude couldn't even dominate a pickup game at a local gym.


Taliq,

Great takes as usual.

Trying to get a HIC (hater in the closet) to admit his haterade is a difficult task. If the HIC is so narrow-minded that he can't (or won't) even accept the simple concept that money, (like everything else in life) is relative, it becomes an impossible task.

Lake Show-

I think you misunderstood. I've always said that teams shouldn't stand in the way of players who want to represent their home nations. Even with the risk of injury. What AK (who wrote the post) was asking was if Yao's health issues change the outlook of any fans regarding Lakers players suiting up for their national squads.

As for Yao, yes, he felt incredible pressure to play, but some of that was internal (not just driven by the Chinese government). Yao has tremendous pride in his home country.

BK

What sucks is the Chinese players that come over to play in the NBA are only allowed to come over if they play for their national team in the summer. That's why Yao was forced to play over in China summer after summer even though one could tell he really needed the rest during the offseason. Yao's just too nice of a guy to say no. He played in the Olympics even though he wasn't fully healed because to the Chinese people him playing means everything. I feel really bad for him.

Had China not made him play for the Chinese team year after year, and instead let him rest and strengthen up in the offseason he could be an EVEN better center.

Except they didn't allow that. They forced him (and all the other Chinese players in the NBA) to play for their national team every summer. Get better Yao.

The whole national teams aspect is certainly on point in a larger sense... but Yao's case is unique. He's simply too big to play in the NBA. He probably would have had a much longer career playing overseas.

I hope he's not done.

As for the Rockets themselves, my feeling is that a different team emerged in the absence of Tracy and then without Yao. They'd be well served to really channel that energy - playing fast, lean and motivated. They should hang onto Artest. Find a young, hungry center who's not afraid to mix it up. Of course, the other side of the coin is that the team's as poised as any out there to be a major player in the free agent market next year.

Is there any evidence Yao's injury came from the Olympics? I honestly am ignorant on how he got hurt.

Players play in the Olympics because:

1) It is great personal marketing (I think it really helped Kobe)

2) The NBA likes it for marketing their product

3) It is a great experience overall and also a great basketball experience to play with the best

4) Playing ball is fun

5) Patriotism

I dont mind my guys doing it once, but honestly I thought Pau and Kobe looked a little worn out at times in the playoffs and hoped they would both drop international ball. It's a young man's game, playing year round like that.

I wouldn't stand in the way of anyone who wants to do it, it must be a great experience. But Kobe please stop now - you won your medal.

I don't understand why people are assuming that the reason that Yao is injured is because he plays for his country in the offseason. While additional play may certainly cause additional strain, no one can say that not playing would have definitely kept him below some sort of "injury threshold." There are many players, especially bigs, who are just prone to chronic frequent injury. If we want to find ways to decrease the chance of injury, I think it would be smarter to look at the rigors of frequent NBA practices, the unnecessary pre-season, the length of each game or the grueling 82-game season. Those are the real reasons that their bodies are overly stressed. The addition of a less-challenging international competition seems innocuous in comparison.

dave m, there are no young, hungry Centers available and if Yao is really going to be out all next year PLUS he will be trying to come back at 31-32 years old the year after that with all his previous medical problems... that is what Mike T would call "fool's gold"...

Houston has to blow it up if they really believe Yao is going to be out all next year. What do you need Shane Battier or Artest or Scola for if you don't really want to make the playoffs? (so you can get a good draft pick) Tracy McGrady is one layup away from being out for the season every time he has the ball, you can't build around someone like that. If I were Houston, I'd sit on McGrady's contract and let it expire, dump most of the vets - they can't get rid of Cook yet... and give some young guys some run and see who blossoms. Then, BAM! McGrady comes off the books, they can sign a free agent, plus they would have a high draft pick from a lost season, and the next year Ming's contract comes off the books and they pick up another major piece.

If Aaron Brooks and Von Wafer turn out to be viable players, and one of their draft picks hits, then they can add in whoever they get in trade and have a fairly decent team in 2-3 years, maybe make a playoff run and go from there, otherwise they would just be treading water waiting to collapse if they sit around and wait for Yao and McGrady to actually be healthy enough to play.

I agree with Taliq that if Kobe Bryant doesn't play for the veteran's minimum, we should all boo him every time he touches the ball.

JustaLakerFan,

"Using a little hindsight, what would the Rockets be willing to bid for Bynum for his services if he did not sign his extension?"

I'm guessing less than half his current contract ... say what you may but the jury is still out on Bynum's knees and Houston would be the last team willing to gamble on yet another player's health

And since I'm still a lil all worked up about my finals mvp not getting love ... let me say this is yet another reason to salute the dude ... for all the beating and injury he takes, he works 2ce as hard to recupperate from them via icing etc even if it means staying up all night ... like that type of dedication really is maniacal ...

idk wat else to say yo ... I love #24 ... I love how hard he works and how much he's given to this team ... I love his teammates for being willing to follow his lead ... I love PJ for letting them find their way (tho i got no love 4 d triangle) ... I love the owner that held unto Kobe tight showing he understood how rare a commodity he is ... etc etc etc ... and oh I love being champions again

JBuss get it done ... bring 'em all back ... they'll do u proud ... matter of fact setup a blog on lakers.com yo ... maybe hire the popular k brothers ... and we'll get site traffic on there, get u some internet revenue ya dig ... w/e it takes yo ... bring em all back ... then lets go teach the vince carters and richard jeffersons and whomever else the opposition thinks will make a difference a lesson they won't soon forget

24 + 16 + 1[7] = The Purple Tinted Golden Age


Posted by: Taliq | June 29, 2009 at 01:48 PM

===================
Taliq,

It really is a hyphothetical thought but just to play, I think he would get at least if not more than his current contract.

This is based on his age and upside potential in him. Freak accidents don't necessarily make you injury prone.

He is willing to work his butt off all off season and during season when injured so he is no slouch.

Now if you think defending Rockets or any team not willing to throw bucks at a player just look around the league to see who makes what for their worth.

Even Lakers guilty of this in Lukes contract and he is definitely injury prone.

I too share your opinion on Kobe regarding him as a great player and love him and his teamates as ell. Not too crazy about PJ. though.

But I agree keep this team together!!!

Someone in our office said they now know what Yao Ming stands for in Chinese .... Bill Walton

I'm sure the Olympics didn't help him any, but you get the feeling poor Yao would have gotten injured if he was playing with cuddly puppies all summer long. The man just has a body that is too much for his feet to handle. It's a shame. He's a gentle giant who can be an absolute nightmare to defend. Ultimately, he's good for basketball and good for the NBA.

As far as NBA guys playing in the Olympics is concerned, I don't it much because I figure they're working out, running and playing all summer anyway. BUT, I can see how the experience could drain a player when you factor in the level of intensity of the scrimmages and games, as well as the travel schedules and the requisite emotional investment.

For Pau and Kobe, I'd love to see them take a break from international competition for the sake of the Lakers, but at the same time, I'm proud that the best players on the two best teams in the world are both Lakers and it's a thrill to watch them play.

Ultimately, each player needs to decide whether they're up for it - emotionally, physically, mentally - and have the strength to say no if need be, just as Bynum wisely did in turning down an invitation to the USA Basketball national team minicamp in order to rehab his knee. But for selfish reasons, I want to see all the best suit up for their countries.

One can really see the withdrawls from lakerholicism in a lot of these posts. I can almost see the hands of our bloggers shaking uncontrollably as they type their [slightly deluded] thoughts.

Hey! You guys ain't alone!

Exhedlovr! There's no cheese on my horseburger! I specifically asked for cheese!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Ok, I'm reading a lot about China forcing his players in their national team and people are relating that to their governement. I'm not saying they're not force to play, I don't know if it's true but there are a lot of countries with laws that don't allow players to skip games for their country. Spain it's one of them, you as a player have the obligation to play if you're selected and you're not injured.
So for that people saying Pau must drop internatinal games, the spanish federation can force him to do it.
That's not gonna happen because they love Pau and they understand his situation but they can do it.
In other way, that's obviously a cultural thing, it's never been one spanish player who has said I'm not gonna play (maybe Pau will be the first because he has to say this week if he will play the EuroChampionship) because that's sort of unpatriotism.

in regards to the "should NBA teams allow their players to play in international games/Olympics, due to possible injury?" in my opinion, it should be written in most players contracts... something like: you can't play 3 consecutive summers of International Play. If you play two consecutive, you must take the 3rd off.

i think the summer gives players valuable time to rest. just look at how tuckered out Kobe and Pau looked at the end of the playoffs. this is especially true for teams that play throughout the playoffs. that's a lot of games.

BobDob made an interesting point by stating that it's the long NBA season, with rigorous practices that causes the injuries. but i counter by saying: TOUGH! they're getting paide millions of dollars a year to play 82+ games and practice. if they don't like it, go to WalMart and bag groceries for a living.

meanwhile, these same players that go on to play International ball risks their bodies out there. it's almost like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders who played Baseball and Football. perhaps a clause should be written in contracts: if you get injured during International Play, and you can't fulfill your NBA contract, we don't have to pay you (until you're able to return). (yeah, i know there's no way the Player's Association would agree to this)

i'm not saying i am for this or believe in it. i'm just playing devil's advocate, and looking at it from a NBA owner/GM perspective.

Doug,

You should read the details how Artest's dogs had trouble (travel, one dog ate all the food) and what he did to make up for it afterward.

Then you can make a fair judgment of the guy.

Or not, just decide you don't like him and any partial story is good for your purposes. That's probably easier.


Ideally, we don't even have to consider trying to acquire Artest because we get all of our guys.

Hey, this has nothing to do with the questions but I am curious.
We call Yao Ming Yao out of respect for the Chinese language. Apparently in China they say the last name first. OK, I get that.
So why didn't they call Kobe Bryant, Bryant Kobe during the Olympics? I don't recall Chinese fans yelling out " Bryant, Bryant"! Was it out of respect for the English language? This is confusing.
When Yao was a kid did his friends call him Yao or Ming? Did his mom yell out the window "dinners ready Yao". Wouldn't that confuse dad? I'm confused now. So is his proper salutation Mr. Ming or Mr. Yao? They never say Mr. Yao! I once heard a famous but unnamed broadcaster start to call him Ming but quickly correcting himself as if Ming was not his name.
I wonder if he has a middle name. If he does would it be traditional to say it first, last or in the middle? What if his father was named Ming? Would they call him Yao senior or senior Yao? The latter sounds too Spanish. Could you imagine calling Yao junior?
In any case a first name typically is something we call someone we are close to. If we truly like Yao, we should show him the respect of being like everyone else in this country and call him by his first name Ming! Why would our tradition be considered disrespectful. As the old saying goes, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". Good luck Ming, I wish you a speedy recovery.

I'll have to agree with some of the other posters -- Yao Ming is definitely a class act and hopefully the poor guy will heal up and enjoy more seasons.

Honestly, I'd rather him and all the other injured players from competing teams be healthy. It's that much more exciting and all the more satisfying when the Lakers crush them.

I just hope Gasol doesn't hurt him self with National play. Vujacic? That machine has BEEN broken.

Lakers This Decade: 00 01 02 09

Here's hoping for a Repeat!

clearly, this puts houston out of consideration. right now, it looks to me like the lakers are on top assuming they resign odom.

after that, it's cleveland and boston. i have no idea what boston's payroll is like, but i am guessing ainge is going to try to add a solid player to replace posey's production and defense.

cleveland is interesting. i am guessing shaq and ilgauskas won't play a ton together on the court and if they don't, i think cleveland's pretty weak at the power forward spot and thinner than the lakers on the bench.

orlando is worse off with carter versus turkoglu, but will have jameer healthy for a full season.

denver is insanely talented, but not enough to beat the lake show and the zen master.

this thing boils down to denver, la, boston, cleveland in my opinion.

Charlie V hits the market...This has to take some of the attention away from our guys..Not a lot but a little at least..

What are the Bucks doing?....Blowing it up from the inside out....

The Knicks have Lee and Nate hanging by a thread..

The Suns have handled Amare like a dirty hand towel...
They got burned by the warriors it seems...good...
The 76ers drafted a point guard..Miller time?.
The Magic are going to loose Turk and Lee...can Vince replace both?...I dont think so..
Yao Ming..Tracy Mcinjured..
The NBA is in Panic Mode..

Dallas Raine's Hair (one of the all time great blogger handles by the way) - First, if Yao has to retire for medical reasons than the team will recoup some salary cost. Second, there's a ton of salary coming off the books in 2010/11. Currently, they only have a little over 28 million in outlay for that season and that includes Yao's player option. So, I stand by what I said... the idea of building on what worked (and what surprised a lot of people) during their matchup against the Lakers after Yao went down. They played tough, hi-energy ball with role players. Resigning Artest isn't going to break their backs. There's no reason, especially in today's economy, that they can't field a competitive team this season and still take advantage of the fact that most of their salary will be freed up next season. And, as for there not being any good, hungry young centers out there, I simply disagree. There's a ton of guys out there, playing D-League, various other leagues, internaitonal, guys that didn't get drafted or guys that won't make the cut for whatever reason. That's where player personnel guys get to earn their salaries.

not sure how many of you guys read the Wall Street Journal. Just an FYI. There was a very nice full article on Kobe and his popularity and marketing efforts in China...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204556804574258222289862830.html

Sorry... haven't had time to learn how to use tiniurl...

Enjoy...

dave m,
H-O - Just passed it off the garage door back to myself (simulating an inbounds play) and did a reverse. (No dribble)

Jon K,
"Exhedlovr" ?? Turkoglu is a decent player, but I never liked him THAT much!!

I certainly hope Yao gets better soon. He is one of the best, if not the best, centers in the nba. Not only that, but he is a good guy and a great competitor. How could you not respect him after watching him play on a broken foot in game four (4?) of the semis.

Get well soon Yao.

LG

A lot of respect and love her, but also a sad level of ignorance and jingoism on this blog. That's not aimed at anyone in particular (well, it is, but self awareness is an incremental process not facilitated by harsh criticism.)

I really think the best thing yao has done has been to represent China is a positive fashion and serve as a cultural ambassador. It's pretty hard to have the expectations of an entire country on you at all times. Probably harder than anything anything kobe or lebron is doing.

In a more practical sense, I think puddle said it well. He's carrying a lot of weight on a very tall frame. This is something to bear in mind when co0mparing him to other players and discussing injuries. All physiologies are not created equal, and a player doesn't necessarily know how their body is going to react. So I think it's fairly useless to engage in recriminations and second guessing.

Of course, I can think of one comparison, a sort of maybe similar case; zydrunas ilguaskas. He was carrying a lot of weight on a tall frame. He ended up missing a lot of time with foot problems, but he was able to rehab and come back after most people wrote him off. The important thing to do is not to rush anything. I hope Yao can take at least a year or two and then give it a shot. He seems to be a pretty decent guy and even if he doesn't make it back, he's had a solid career and has a lot to be proud of.

That Kobe / Michael Jackson connection reminds me of the Elvis / Nixon relationship.

Kind of.

Wes

HAHA EX,

VERY FUNNY!

Thanks guys for all the compliments on my countryman Yao, he is truly a class act and an ambassador. During his 7 years' career in NBA,have you seen anything which you can criticise him of unprofessional ? Don't blame the Country of forcing him to play in the Olympics, patriaotism is the top priority, it's an honor , Yao is proud of himself to represent the Country, and it's the provision of his NBA contract to play for China. It's devastatingly sad to see Yao can't play in the NBA anymore, though I myself is a die hard Lakers fan.

hey guys i don't know if you know but the espy awards voting is up. we have to vote for the lakers and kobe. i remember last year when the celtics won and ray allen said wow we won twice in LA in two weeks ( he is talking about game 4 victory).

so please go vote for the lakers and kobe. go to espn.com and register for an account (takes 2 minutes) then just type in espy awards in the search.

come on lakers need one more award this year and kobe needs nba player of the year and athlete and finals performance. channel all your laker love and lets give the best team award. i am telling i am still mad that celtics won last year, even though fergie who presented the award said she loves the lakers.

ex - you're a better man than me. I just tried a fosbury flop into the wading pool and bounced the basketball off my head and through the neighbor's window. This after bricking a Rick Barry underhand free throw. I feel like such a stooge. The "R" goes back to you.

Ahahahahaa! Yeeaaaaaaah, Kwamster decided to stick it to Detroit today, guess he didn't think anybody was dumb enough to bid more for his "services".
================
Center Kwame Brown decided today not to opt out of the final year of his contract and will remain with the Pistons next season.

He had until Tuesday to inform the team if he would return at $4.1 million next season or become an unrestricted free agent when the free-agency period starts Wednesday.

But his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said today Brown would be back.

"He started something last year and he wants to finish it," Bartelstein said. "In the second half of last season, he started to come on. And he feels he has something to prove."
Brown has been at the Pistons practice facility the past few weeks.
============
Brian Cook stuck it to the Rockets last week. SAME AGENT. Huh...
-----------
Rockets forward Brian Cook, who could not crack the rotation after moving to the Rockets in a trade-deadline deal, exercised his option on his contract for next season, rather than to become a free agent, Cook’s agent Mark Bartelstein said on Monday.

Though Cook played in just nine regular-season games with the Rockets, averaging just 2.8 minutes, the final year of his deal is worth $3.5 million, considerably more than he likely would receive as a free agent.


can I get in on this horse game? sound like fun.

'exhedlvr?'

can we get that through the censors?

Bill, The tradition is family name first, given name last. It's not really first name/last name like we do in the West. So it's Mr. Yao. His friends would call him Ming.

Back on topic, it seems to me that Yao's problems probably have more to do with his size than how much he plays. He's carrying a lot of weight.

Nick,

>>>1. Trade Sasha "0-for-The-Finals" Vujacic.

Shannon Brown was also 0-for-the-finals. Are you ready to
throw him under the bus as well?

>>>I gave him last years playoffs as a mulligan, dude just
>>>> completely sucked in the playoffs/Finals.

See, now that's just flat out ignorant. Either you didn't WATCH
the playoffs last season, or you have selective memory.

Sasha shot just under 40% for the playoffs, but that's because
more than half of his shots were 3-pointers. His effective fg%
was 51%. Sasha is a streaky shooter, so he had some good games
and some bad games. But more good than bad. Here are
Sasha's good games from the 2008 playoffs:

Denver, game 1 - 3 for 6 - 8 points, 1 steal, 1 block
Denver, game 2 - 3 for 6 - 9 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Denver, game 3 - 2 for 5 - 9 points, 3 reb, 2 assist, 1 steal
Denver, game 4 - 2 for 4 - 5 points, 1 rebound

Utah, game 1 - 4 for 6 - 15 points, 4 rebounds
Utah, game 2 - 3 for 5, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Utah, game 4 - 4 for 6, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Utah, game 6 - 5 for 7, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist

Spurs, game 1 - 3 for 8, 10 points, 5 reb, 2 assistt, 1 steal, 1 block
Spurs, game 5 - 2 for 5, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals

Boston, game 2 - 3 for 6, 8 points, 1 assist
Boston, game 3 - 7 for 10, 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
Boston, game 6 - 3 for 4, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal


Check out those stats. Now try to support your statement
that Sasha sucked in the playoffs/finals.

I particularly want you to focus on game 3 of the finals. The
Lakers were already behind 0-2 in the series. Boston's defense
was KILLING the Lakers.

In game 3, Pau Gasol shot 3 for 9. Radmanovic was a sucky 1 for 4.
Lamar Odom was worse than Rad at 2 for 9 (22%). And Fish
was the suckiest of all, hitting 1 of his 6 shots for 16% shooting.

With four of the five Laker starters fully SUCKING on offense,
the bench players came through and saved their butts. Trevor
hit 2 of 3 of his shots. Farmar was 2-for-4.

And Sasha hit 7 of 10 for 20 points.

Without Sasha, the Lakers would DEFINITELY have gone
down 0-3 in the series. At that point I can't imagine anyone
other than Kobe & maybe Fish would have played with any
heart in game 4 and they would have been swept.

If you didn't know, now you know. Sasha kept the Lakers
from getting swept by the Celtics.

Can you imagine how intolerable Red's Bastard Child woud
have been if that had happened?

So stop making ridiculous statements that Sasha was bad
in last year's playoffs. He did his job.

Yao has made his parents very proud.

And for the Lakers stuff. Sorry, he took his option and won't be available to sign.

http://tiny.cc/cakethrower

Dallas Raines' Hair,

>>>Meanwhile, Darko Milicic gets ANOTHER shot at the
>>>NBA with the Knicks. That dude couldn't even dominate
>>>a pickup game at a local gym.

Don't exaggerate...

dude couldn't even dominate his lunch.

Charlie Villanueva is now a unrestricted FA as well after the Bucks decided not to make him an offer. Last year I was really hoping that the Lakers would trade for him or pick him up. IF the Lakers lose either LO or TA, I hope we could pick up Charlie. It was said on yahoo sports that the Cavs are interested in getting him. This should be a very, very interesting FA period come July 1st.

Go Lakers!!!

longtimelakerfan-

do you ever get tired of pwning people? kidding.

good points, but I don't care what red's b(*^d would say.

WE WON! WE WON! WE WON!

YOU DIDN'T, YOU REST OF NBA!

THE LOVE WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW; WE *()^*()^ING WON!, JUST IN CASE ANYBODY FORGOT!

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

GO LAKERS!

(I get to do this on every single thread between now and, umm, ever.)

LongTimeLakerFan,

That was a classic thrashing of Nick and reminder to all of us about how our perceptions and opinions can blind us to reality. Hell with the Sheriff. Saying the wrong thing in front of LTLF is like sticking your chin out there and getting decked. Sorry, Nick. LOL!

Considering how horribly Sasha played during this year’s playoffs, I’m not surprised that Nick had forgotten how well he played during last year’s playoffs. Hell, it seems like it’s been decades since Sasha played well. But imagine how long it’s been for him.

I have a strong hunch that Sasha will bounce back next year. Shooters are like that. Hot & Cold. On & Off. Look at how great Eddie House has been for Boston after being a total bust with Phoenix. Sasha has too sweet a stroke not to get hot again. A fresh start will be the best recipe for getting him back on track and shooting like the Machine.

Tom

I think we may be in a little strife with Ariza...His agent saying the Lakers will not get a home town discount from Ariza..

David lee sounds like he is looking for some serious dollars for his client....The guy sounds like a lawyer....

Do we PANIC?....

so, i just had a moment of pure inspiration, and in a selfless act, i decided to post it;

somebody (green day, kanye (um, maybe not) black eyed peas or somebody needs to write a song called 'the los angeles lakers have won a championship! WE WON! WE WON! WE FAH)&(*)&KIN WON! WHOOOHOOOO!

i will buy stock...[smack]

THE LOVE WANTS THIS TO HAPPEN!

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

THE LOVE WILL REPOST THIS *^*(^

GO LAKERS!

All three Lakers free agents have done well the last year. I won't be surpirise if one of three gets an offer the Lakers can not match.

If it comes down to who the Lakers has to keep two out of three. Who will it be? I feel strongly about Ariza first. Brown probably because we needed a strong PG and Fisher is retiring. Is it Odom the odd man out?

Odom is really a back up to Gasol if Bynum is healthy. Besides it will be cheaper to keep Brown than Odom, Powell is also waitng in the bench for more PT.

I really hope Odom would not accept a bigger offer and just take what the Lakers give him 9-10 Mil. Odom has a chance to be in a championship team for years, he really should stay.

I would like to see Ben Gordon stay with the Bullls. I thought Gordon and Derrick Rose are perfect backcourt.

EVERYONE GO ON THE ESPYS AND VOTEEEEEEEE FOR THE LAKERS!!!!!!!!

"The Magic are going to loose Turk and Lee...can Vince replace both?...I dont think so.."

Howard, Lewis, Carter, Nelson

That's four all-star.

Pietrus and Reddick also got better in the playoffs.

"think we may be in a little strife with Ariza...His agent saying the Lakers will not get a home town discount from Ariza..

David lee sounds like he is looking for some serious dollars for his client....The guy sounds like a lawyer....

Do we PANIC?....

Posted by: Thirty2 | June 29, 2009 at 10:37 PM "

TA is not irreplaceable. at least, not in 'graveyards are full on indespensible men' or even in 'superstars and role players win championships' sense. anyone who wants to pay him 7 mil or above can have him, although i don't see that happening. detroit would be crazy to wreck their luxury tax on him, and cleveland can't afford over the MLE. if we don't want to pay MLE for him, that's open to discussion. frankly, that's worth a thread of it's own; but just to avoid taliq and lakertruth (*^&ing on BK again, lets assume we will pay at least that for TA. So, if somebody pays him more, and he goes, that's their loss. not a smart investment.

so, i mean, the lakers need a new song to play after we win it all. 'i love LA' is just not cutting it.

*its

"The Magic are going to loose Turk and Lee...can Vince replace both?...I dont think so.."

Howard, Lewis, Carter, Nelson

That's four all-star....


Posted by: Staples 24 | June 29, 2009 at 11:05 PM


not next year.

Staples24...How many 3point shots can Vince,Jameer,Lewis,Reddick and Pietrus put up before Dwight complains about touches?....Lee is a better defender than Nelson and Reddick put together....And another thing..
remember Turk had a lot of the ball handling duties as well..Vince might be flash bang but the Turk was a steady engine for that team...Vince Carter is a distraction....The guy tanked in Toronto and admitted it..In my book you cant forgive a player for that EVER.......

With this unfortunate news, it would appear that Drew should be a shoo-in for the All-Star game as a starting center next year. I can't think of another center in the West who has a better chance than Drew. It would be rather embarrassing If Drew doesn't start in the All-Star game next year.

Phred..Well said...

LTLF,

"Sasha shot just under 40% for the playoffs, but that's because more than half of his shots were 3-pointers. His effective fg% was 51%. Sasha is a streaky shooter, so he had some good games and some bad games. But more good than bad. Here are Sasha's good games from the 2008 playoffs"'

True Game 3 2008 Finals he did step up big.

But in Game 4........

http://tinyurl.com/lpcpqy

1-9 for less than 3 points.

Game 5.....

2-10 for less than 4 points and one of them came off a turnover.

This year he shot even more horribly than he did in 06-07.

Unless Kobe plays more SF (only if Trevor has shown that his production was because he was in a contract year) it is much harder for Sasha to re-duplicate his 07-08 season which only was possible because guess who was injured? Trevor Ariza forcing Kobe to play more SF.

EJK,

"With this unfortunate news, it would appear that Drew should be a shoo-in for the All-Star game as a starting center next year. I can't think of another center in the West who has a better chance than Drew. It would be rather embarrassing If Drew doesn't start in the All-Star game next year."

I could really see him in the All-Star team next year only because the two top centers last year (Yao and Shaq) are no longer there to take their spot. BUT most likely not starting. Why? Al Jefferson and some say he was snubbed off the All-Star team last year. Plus Greg Oden is still a possibility also being an All-Star (he could explode however offensively limited he is).

ariza's agent said ariza wont take a home discount to stay in l.a.

i hope mitch doesn't over pay him. he's been pretty bad the 2nd time around in signing guys to the 2nd contract.

OK, phred, but you're starting with a HO.

The post by leonardbast is pretty dead on.

Representation on a player's respective national team absolutely should be negotiable. Contracts already forbid certain activitites (ie snowboarding...). So why can't playing summer National Team Ball be negotiable? That is not to say a player "can't" play International Basketball in the summer. It is just that the risk of injury needs to be priced into a player's contract. Just like high risk mortgage borrowers pay a higher interest rate (or should...). Owners' interests are not being respected without some contract protection. If a player gets injured playing fot their national team why should an owner have to suffer a potential financial loss?

Re Charlie V.- That guy really came alive in the second half of last season. Statistically, his game kept getting better and better. The Bucks are simply foolish for not resigning him. He would be a great fit for the Cavs with his ability to hit an outside shot.

With this unfortunate news, it would appear that Drew should be a shoo-in for the All-Star game as a starting center next year. I can't think of another center in the West who has a better chance than Drew. It would be rather embarrassing If Drew doesn't start in the All-Star game next year.

Posted by: EJK | June 29, 2009 at 11:26 PM

================
I agree. No Shaq, no Yao, stay healthy Drew and get it done!

1. Screw international basketball - if I were an owner, I would not allow my players to participate.

2. "I Love L.A." > Phred

phred

"somebody (green day, kanye (um, maybe not) black eyed peas or somebody needs to write a song called 'the los angeles lakers have won a championship! WE WON! WE WON! WE FAH)&(*)&KIN WON! WHOOOHOOOO!"

I think i remember Vic the Brick mention that he and Flea were working on something that will be bigger than "WE LOVE L.A.".

It was a youtube clip that i was watchin, when he spoke about it.

Bynum would have to play better than Stoudemire and Jefferson. and you never know, a free agent center or via trade, another good center can arrive in the West. (although, i hope this doesn't happen)

but it would be pretty cool if LA had three All Stars next year!

oh yeah, on the subject of Sasha, i looked at his numbers for last season. his 3 pt shooting % was not horrible. 36%. it's not much worse than his career %. (although the year before, he shot an awesome 44%) his scoring went down from 8.8 to 5.8 ppg.

so, i think if he can hit one more 3 pointer a game (without missing any more), he'll be just about back to his 2007-08 numbers. in many other categories, he went up: steals, ft%, assists, and his turnovers went down. so, it's not like he's not improving at all.

Thirty2,

>>> Do we PANIC?....

David Lee was also Drew’s agent. In fact, I think his only two clients are Drew and Trevor. He is just doing his job which is what he did when he said Drew would only sign for the max. It is just posturing and nothing more at this time. He will need bids from other teams before there is any bite in his words. In the end, Trevor will make the decision and I don’t see him leaving home or his teammates on the Lakers.

- - - - -

phred,

Yes, we did win. Yes, we did win. Yes, we did win. Yes, we did win. Yes, we did win.

- - - - -

Staples 24,

>>> I feel strongly about Ariza first. Brown probably because we needed a
>>> strong PG and Fisher is retiring. Is it Odom the odd man out?

I disagree. Lamar Odom is the most indispensible free agent by far because he is the insurance against Drew getting hurt again as well as a part of our Big 3 that rule the 4 and 5 spots for 48 minutes every game. Trevor is not far behind because he is a starter and future star. Shannon Brown is the least important because he is just a role player who does not have the ball handling or playmaking skills to be a starter.

- - - - -

EJK,

>>> With this unfortunate news, it would appear that Drew should be a shoo-in
>>> for the All-Star game as a starting center next year. I can't think of another
>>> center in the West who has a better chance than Drew. It would be rather
>>> embarrassing If Drew doesn't start in the All-Star game next year.

Excellent point. Since I have been tagged as Drew’s blog agent, I should have caught that. LOL. Thanks for doing my job and I agree that Drew should be embarrassed if he doesn’t win the starting job. He needs to start the season like he played the last two Januarys. That will win him his first All-Star game start at 22 (October 27th).

Other than myopic old timers like blitz voting for over-the-hill Tim Duncan, Pau should also join Kobe and Drew in the Western Conference’s starting All-Star lineup. He is the best power forward in the West. Three Lakers start the All-Star Game. We can make that happen this year if the blog flexes its muscles and AK and BK lead the charge.

- - - - -

blitz,

>>> Al Jefferson and some say he was snubbed off the All-Star team last year.
>>> Plus Greg Oden is still a possibility also being an All-Star (he could explode
>>> however offensively limited he is).

Jefferson is a limited player with a good offensive game but no defense and no All-Star. Oden is already being shopped as a bust by the Trailblazers and even more injury prone than Drew. Drew really has no excuse for not starting as there is really no competition.

- - - - -

Tom

1) Phil Jackson (X) will be back next year.

2) Kobe will not opt out this summer (which helps the Lakers financial situation - short term, of course).

3) Lakers will only be able to re-sign 2 of their 3 free agents.*
----> I'm prognosticating Odom & Brown. Ariza is young & coming off the type of postseason he had, there is an invaluable perception of "upside/unrealized potential" to his game. This means some team throws $7.5 - 8 millie his way which I doubt the Lakers match.

* This is offset by the slim to none (and slim just left the building =) chance that Ariza is enlightened enough to understand how much his game flourishes when he's on the court w/Kobe & how much more beneficial it will be to his game to remain under the tutelage of Bryant & X for another few years (and then ca$h out).

That's how I see it happening. Only time will tell. We'll shall see.

No$tra-

Phred,

Here is the vid, he talks about it at the 5:15 mark.

http://tinyurl.com/nmavpv

Nemaia,

>>>Last year I was really hoping that the Lakers would
>>>trade for him or pick him up. IF the Lakers lose either LO
>>> or TA, I hope we could pick up Charlie.

I think the Lakers will re-sign both Trevor & Lamar, so it's a
non issue, but I like Charlie V as well. I don't think he could
play SF, so he wouldn't be much help if the Lakers lost Trevor,
but he'd be an ideal replacement for LO.

phred,

>>>WE WON! WE WON! WE WON!
>>>...
>>>GO LAKERS!
>>>
>>>(I get to do this on every single thread between now
>>>and, umm, ever.)

I'm LTLF, and I approve this message. between now and ever.

KB Blitz,

>>>But in Game 4........
>>>1-9 for less than 3 points.

>>>Game 5.....
>>>2-10 for less than 4 points

He also had a 1-11 game in one of the earlier rounds. Like
I said, he's a streaky shooter.

But Sasha had a LOT of help shooting poorly in games 4
and 5 - Kobe 6 for 19 and 8 for 21. Pau 6 for 13 from the center position,
Farmar 1 for 6, Fish 3 for 10.

Suffice it to say that every Laker had some bad games vs
the Celtics. But Sasha did shoot well in 3 of the 6 games.

>>>This year he shot even more horribly than he did in 06-07.

What is it they say about mutual funds? Past performance
doesn't guarantee future success. That would be the caveat
before the 2008-2009 season by Sasha. But in the same way,
past performance doesn't guarantee future failure.

We know that Sasha is capable of being a reliable 3-point
shooter and a pesky defender. Just because he didn't do it
this season doesn't mean he can't get back to that level next
season.

Also, there's something most people here haven't considered.
The couple of weeks of the season and the first couple rounds
of the playoffs, Shannon Brown played out of his head. He
played at a much higher level than he had ever played in the
past for any NBA team.

Could be that he's just a perfect fit for the Lakers. Or it could
be that he was putting in 150% of normal effort since it's a
contract year. There are some people here saying the Lakers
should give Farmar away for a bag of chips because Shannon's
got it covered. But there's a possibility that Shannon will do
what Luke did in the 2007-08 season and Sasha did last season -
play below your expectations.

So what are you going to do if he goes back to being a 32%
3 point shooter and a 41% shooter overall? Are the same people
who are declaring him the starting PG of the future going to
be throwing him under the bus like they're throwing Sasha
right now?


>>>ariza's agent said ariza wont take a home discount to
>>>stay in l.a.

If he's resolved to take that tack, then have fun losing most of
your games somewhere like Memphis, Trevor.

Trevor's a bit like Shawn Marion. He needs a top tier player
like Kobe who's drawing double and triple teams to make him
effective. His Lakers flourish could turn to a Minnesota flounder
in a hot minute.

I think Kwame and Cookie and the Space Cadet should get something.

Not a ring or a full share of the championship prize money or
anything like that. But they really should receive some
compensation for being the pieces the Lakers dumped off to
get Pau, Trevor, and Shannon.

Maybe a cake for Kwame, a cookie for Cook, and a new snowboard
for Vlad.

What do you think?

It's way too soon to think that Brown is the PG of the future.

I think it's time for me to pay a little visit to Trevor's agent and hang him by his ankles out a 25th story window for a good 90 seconds.

No, home discount?

Fricken punkass-punk-punk!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Regarding Yao, you have to remember that the dude is 7'6" tall. Granted his playing in the Olympics put some stress on his not-quite-healed foot, but the bottom line is that his lower body is not well equipped to handle the weight of his upper body running up and down a basketball court for 35+ minutes, 82 nights a year, without some kind of injury. It was almost inevitable. Sad, but inevitable.


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