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Ron Artest press conference video, Part II

Part I aqui, for those late to the party.  And if you'd like to first hear BK and I discuss our impressions of Lakers_Artest_med Artest via the 710 ESPN Lakers podkast, then watch Ron and compare notes, feel free.  Or you view the talkies below, then give the podkast a whirl.  But either way, listen to the poddy, or else you'll be dealing with a nagging void in your life that's impossible to quell.

Artest has barely been an unofficial Laker, much less one with an inked contract, but that hasn't prevented him from experiencing the crush that is the Laker Nation's enthusiasm.  Artest praised the fans of every city he's represented, but immediately noticed what sets apart a purple and gold's loyalist.  "The fans are so confident. That's what I've learned. Every fan is telling me I'm going to win, saying, 'you ready for your ring?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm ready.' "

The only thing better for Artest than proving O'Brien predictions correct would be doing so while playing alongside longtime buddy Lamar Odom. "That's a storybook ending. I don't want to think about it too much- I'd rather just do the work and let the work speak for itself...but it would be a storybook ending."  While mentioning the pair's New York roots, Artest took us on a trip down a Big Apple NBA Memory Lane, mentioning folks like Elton Brand, Rafer Alston and... Smush Parker.  (Hey, the guy did make it all the way to the L, like it or not).

Hearing talk about money being secondary priority, increased focus and moving past the Palace Brawl, it felt to me like age has drastically affected Artest's perspective on his career.  Pretty much.  "When I came into the NBA, I was wild," admitted RA. "It took me a long time to realize how I want my life to be. How I want my career to be."  Artest views his time with the Pacers as a step backward, a stumble he's since been determined to make up for.  "I want to leave on top of my game. That's real important to me."

"That's a no-brainer," smiled Artest as confirmation that he's cool deferring to Kobe Bryant. "And I didn't even finish school."  Heck, he spent last season sometimes giving up post touches to Luis Scola and Carl Landry.  Nice players both, but certainly not on Artest's level.  "I really don't even care if I score. I just want to win."  BK replied that such sentiments could have been ripped from the Lamar Odom Handbook, which prompted a grin from #37.  "(Lamar) told me to say that.  He said you'll love me if I say that. Really, I want to average 50."

BK then noted how, as the new piece of a championship squad, Artest could very end emerge the fall guy should the Lakers fail to repeat.  Does Artest feel that pressure?  Yep, and he's damn glad to.  "I love that. That's great pressure to have. I want people to say that. I want people to come down on me hard and expect all that." Besides, he would just be emulating the same Laker that he's willing to offer deference.

The following clip, for me, comprises the presser's most interesting section.  Artest's responses are probably more candid than I've ever heard an athlete reflect on his shortcomings, especially while being introduced to his new audience. 

I asked Artest if the fun side of his personality recently emerging and increased on-court focus went hand in hand.  Definitely, because both helped develop the ability to properly deal with losses, and that skill's absence caused serious issues for Artest.  "Losing got me in trouble most of the time in my career," admitted Artest, sharing tales of cameras broken and Gatorade bottles flung in reaction to defeat. Then he realized that fun was a necessity, even while competing at the highest level. 

"I had to find a way to able to lose a game and bounce back. That's why in the playoffs, we could lose by 30 and I'm totally happy,because I knew we'd win the next game. Before, everybody's jersey would be ripped up."

Obviously, such tantrums aren't a productive way to handle coming up short, and Artest eventually realized his negative reactions furthered the issue by preventing his squad from bouncing back.  "I was a bad teammate in Indiana," admitted RA.  "I was never a good teammate. Over the last couple of years, I learned how to become a good teammate. That was more important than my game, becoming a good teammate."

Again, this is brutally frank, often a rare commodity with professional athletes conditioned (and often encouraged) to deflect and spin.  In particular, the "bad teammate" sentiment reminded me of Kobe Bryant a few seasons ago.  I don't specifically mean the "bad teammate" label, but rather a realization that being a good teammate was ultimately as- or more important- ability.  And in particular, what "being a good teammate" means, which varies from elite player to elite player.

Even if you don't buy into the widespread notion that Kobe had to learn to "trust his teammates more" (or that some were even worthy of said "trust), by his own admission, the ability to communicate what's needed from them and the game plan was an area where Bryant needed to (and has) improved.  That recognition was kind of the last piece missing in Kobe's evolution as a player.  In a VERY different way, with a different set of circumstances and degree of professionalism, Artest realized the same basic principle.  Hopefully, he can continue to grow along these lines while in L.A.

During the Rockets-Blazers series, Artest's pursuit of a loose ball led to him happily chilling in the Houston stands.  There's an irony here that doesn't need much explaining.  Artest joked about this right after the game, but that ability to poke fun at his past has taken a while.  "It took a long time just to laugh about it, because it's something that hurt me and something that hurt my family. I never thought I'd be able to get over it."  But time, as they say, is the ultimate wound salve, upon realizing how much his circumstances had changed (and the role he played in changing them), Artest opted to savor the moment. 

"I actually had a chance to leave and walk right out, but I just sat down and just soaked it in... it felt so good to actually be in the stands and have fun. It felt so good."

As Mitch Kupchak acknowledged, the Lakers are now dealing with "a degree of the unknown." There's no way of knowing for sure how well Artest will fit in next season or if the team will improve with his presence.  And that's fitting, since he arrived because of surprising circumstances: Yao Ming's career suddenly somewhere between "on hold" and "in jeopardy," which goosed Artest's availability, and rapid impasse in negotiations between the Lakers and Trevor Ariza.  If the story's opening chapters provided this many twists, it's only logical that the ending won't be easy to predict.

Kupchak did express complete confidence, however, while evaluating his new acquisition's talent level. "Today sitting here, Ron, where he is in his career, and (compared to) Trevor (Ariza), Ron is a better player."

Also, some words from Kupchak about the Lakers' steadily rising payroll in a bad economy and whether that might prompt cost cutting (the casualty in particular being Odom).  While acknowledging that the bottom line has resulted in "hard decisions" (declining to match offers from the Golden State Warriors for Derek Fisher and Ronny Turiaf), Mitch also shared Dr. Buss' reticence to part with an essential player purely because of dollars and cents.

"With the (Buss) family, and this came up during the meeting on July 1st, you end up talking financial terms for an hour or two, and at the end of the conversation, (Dr. Buss) kind of looks at you and says, 'Mitch, but we're so damn competitive.'  So it's almost like the things you talked about for the last hour almost begin to go out the door because he wants to win.  I think the balance is that he's knowledgeable enough to make a good decision that involves basketball and business."

Finally, I wanted to share a quick exchange with Kupchak about the negotiations between the Lakers and Team Ariza:

Andrew Kamenetzky: Were you surprised to see the negotiations reach an impasse so quickly?

Mitch Kupchak: (small pause) I'm never "surprised," so I can't say I was surprised. I thought maybe that as we continued to talk, that maybe there would be some meeting of the middle ground within 24 hours. But it moves so quick, you know? And you have to go on feel. I just didn't feel that we were gonna be able to make a deal. If we did, it would have precluded us from bringing back the other players we wanted to bring back. You have to factor in that Ron all of a sudden became available and maybe under normal circumstances, you'd wait a day or two or three to try to work it out. But you can't do that.

AK: You don't want to potentially miss out on both guys.

MK: You have to kind of follow your gut feeling on the thing. And it moves quick. Once you start down that road, it's hard to do a 180. So we just gathered as much information as possible and about 24 hours later, we made the decision to move quickly.

AK: From the outside looking in, with the interest expressed both on your guys' end and on Trevor's end, to end up in that position so quickly was honestly surprising to see.

MK: It's surprising and disappointing.

Considering the setting (a presser to announce both a major acquisition and Ariza's replacement), hearing Mitch use the word "disappointing" struck me as fairly revealing.  Not that he isn't genuinely happy with Artest on board, but that doesn't change your general feelings.  I don't want to harp on the matter too much (as I've already made perfectly clear my thoughts on how events likely transpired), but the exchange felt too interesting to omit.

AK

Photo of Ron Artest leaning.  Credit: AP Photo/Philip Scott Andrews

 
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Artest! We got Artest!

But now, its like the woman who upon getting the man of her dreams want him to change. To behave, to . ., to . . , to whatever.

Heck NO! I want this Artest. Warts and all.

AK,

Great stuff, Andy. You’re keeping us alive. But I wished you would have asked the question that has been the horse that wouldn’t die: Did you make an offer to Trevor?

Tom

After listening to everything RA said, I am very comfortable with his addition and look forward to him integrating himself and becoming a valued member of the team. Sometimes we forget what it's like to be in your early twenties making considerable amounts of money and having everyone around you telling you what you want to hear. Under those circumstances, immaturity is sure to raise its ugly head but the key is learning from those thought provoking experiences. I believe RA has and I can't wait for the new season to start.

how about Kobe's teammates being more professional, working harder, finishing plays and being worthy of Kobe's trust?

i guess it's a 2 way street. the chicken or the egg.

looks like Artest is becoming the new vehicle to bring back kobe's shortcomings?

When we re-sign Odom we'll have...

In the final minutes of the game, Fisher, Kobe, Artest and Gasol as last-shot options with any misses being grabbed by Odom.

Then this same unit has Kobe and Artest to stop dribble penetration and Odom and Gasol to block shots and rebound.

So we do need Odom to be the kind of team we all want to be. No doubt about it. It's looking to me now like Portland may go after him after all. If the Jazz trade Boozer then they'll 100% match any offer Portland makes to Millsap. This leaves Portland still needing that SF or backup PF. This leaves Odom a possibility but at what price?

Anyone know what Portland can offer Odom?

Wes

I remember last year when Artest was bolting Sac-Town, the Blog floated the idea of Artest coming here. At the time I thoroughly rejected it. In my mind it was too close to The Brawl, too close to the Record Tour, and too close to his days of after loss destruction. When he signed with Houston, following Rick Adelman I noted, I thought that was interesting on a few levels.

1) He never showed any loyalty to any of his previous coaches, yet, here he was following a coach whom had given him a chance the year prior to play the game the right way. Despite his lame Sac-Town hair cut, he played in Rick's system and helped that team play better than I ever thought it could.

2) He wasn't (theoretically) going to be the dominant player on that Houston team. he had T-Mac and Yao who were obviously the focal point of the offense, marketing, etc of the Houston franchise. He accepted less than his percieved market value to play for a team he thought had a legit chance to go all the way.

3) When T-Mac was frequently out of action and when Yao went down in the playoffs, he never freaked out. Even when he thought Kobe had neck chopped him, he didn't push with his hands or jump up and down screaming. he ran over to the ref (who promptly blew him off), he then ran over to Kobe (who made a veteran move by letting him get ejected, thereby winning the game without playing any basketball) and you know what? Replays showed Artest was right. He had gotten a major neck chop.

All of the last two season have seen no Sports Center Ron Artest freak out sessions, to my knowledge. SC used to LOVE showing Bill flip out. Now? There's nothing to show.

It would seem he has truly moved on from whatever place in life he was in prior to and during the brawl years. With a stable franchise, team and environment I think he'll be fine. Is he a character? Sure. But now I'd rather have him on our team than off it.

Now sign LO, already.

GO FRONT OFFICE!!!!!

p ang

b ang!!!!!!! WE GOT ARTEST!

AS IS

some tidbits from part II of his press conference:

on following kobes lead: "of course we gonna follow him thats a no brainer and i didnt even finish school"

on desire to win: "i gotta have one ring i need one bad"

on his role on the team: "i really dont care if i score i wanna win.. i dont have a problem with not scoring a point and deferring..."

on pressure: "that great pressure to have i want people to come down on me hard... thats why its great playing with a guy like kobe... i like to prove that i can be"

on walking into kobe in the shower: “I didn’t mean to walk in the shower with him. Yeah, I walked in the shower. I’m not a homosexual nothin like that but Kobe - he had no clothes on.”

GO RON RON!! man the more i listen to him the more he grows on you.. hes talkin off script and sounds totally sincere genuine and funny!

Laker Tom,

"Great stuff, Andy. You’re keeping us alive. But I wished you would have asked the question that has been the horse that wouldn’t die: Did you make an offer to Trevor?"

Glad you enjoyed it. I realize this "did he make an offer" issue has popped up on the blog (I'm nothing if not literate. haha), but I didn't ask Mitch about this, because it strikes me as a matter of semantics.

Of course an offer of some sort must have been made. Otherwise, how does Team Ariza even know the Lakers are thinking about a contract lower than what they're seeking? I doubt Kupchak instructed David Lee to throw out numbers, then told him they were too high without offering specifics the Lakers had in mind. Figures had to have been tossed around, which, to me, is an "offer."

Does that mean something was put on paper for Ariza to sign? Maybe not, but what difference does that make? Why bother putting together a formal contract you know won't get signed? That's a waste of everyone's time and energy. If that was the case and Lee is intimating that without a formal contract, there was no "offer" made, that's just splitting hairs.

Bottom line, I find it impossible to believe that the Lakers gave absolutely nothing in the way of what a reasonable person would consider an "offer." An offer "good enough?" That's another story. But are we really supposed to believe the Lakers, after trading players for cap space, selling draft picks and giving every indication of wanting to retain Ariza, decided all of a sudden that he wasn't worth an "offer?" Even an "offer" Lee considered lowball? That just hits me as a reach.

AK

I think what Mitch had to say about Jerry Buss is pretty revealing. This may be a minority opinion, but I am awfully glad that the owner of the Lakers cares this much about winning. I can't think of many other professional sports franchises with this kind of history of success -- rebuilding and retooling decade after decade, regardless of the risk, going after the best players out there. Lots of owners, in all sports, are happy to make money first, win second, which generally means don't win. Again, my opinion, but I'm grateful Jerry Buss owns this team.

Ouch,

"how about Kobe's teammates being more professional, working harder, finishing plays and being worthy of Kobe's trust? i guess it's a 2 way street. the chicken or the egg. looks like Artest is becoming the new vehicle to bring back kobe's shortcomings?"

You're right. It's absolutely a two way street, which is why I didn't say (nor have I ever said) that Kobe was entirely responsible for his teammates' past successes or failures. That would be ridiculous and I would never contend that Smush Parker fizzled out because Kobe "didn't make him better." If anything, he deserves a medal for channeling the best out of William Henry.

But having said that, Kobe does play a PART in the supporting players' success, because he's their leader, part of being a leader is figuring out how to get the best out of your teammates that are capable and WILLING to do more. That's simply the burden that comes with being not only a franchise player, but one desiring to go down as of the all-time greats. You can't have all of the accolades and none of the responsibilities.

Plus, not all of those past guys were Smush Parker. Kobe also had teammates desiring to do better, but not always sure of how. The understanding of the game and their roles wasn't always there, and Kobe grew better and more patient at clarifying matters. Everyone from the players to the coaching staff to Kobe himself has acknowledged this, so there's not much to "argue" about.

By jumping to "defend" Kobe, you're actually missing my point. This wasn't a criticism of Kobe, but rather a compliment towards the strides he's made along these particular lines. There's more to leading a team than simply talent and desire alone, and in the last few seasons, I think Kobe's not only grown to understand this, but done a good job working with that knowledge.

Plus, it was just a comparison between what Kobe and Artest both learned, which was more of what I was getting at from the beginning.

AK

forget the timeline nonsense. does it really matter? is your loyalty with Team Ariza or the Lakers?

AK speaks logic in his argument.

I think Mitch plays his cards extremely well. Close, straight and never sweating.

Remember the days when there wasn't a thread without someone posting "Kupcake must go!"?

Where are those comments now? They went away when we acquired Gasol, Ariza and now Artest.

I don't think anyone refers to Mitch as Kupcake anymore, and that's a good thing.

As Laker fans, we tend to live in the past a wee bit too much as a result of our epically historic team. Which is fine, but we'll never have abother Kareem Abdul Jabbar or a Jerry West or a Magic Johnson again.

Why? Those are once in a lifetime talents, especially West as he not only played as an amazing Laker, but formed multiple championship teams throughout his years of being GM.

To the future and beyond!

AK

i did not miss your point. and i totally agree that is a process. but kobe did not have, let's say, the opportunity or to find a way to trust his team mates for like 2-3 years because he really had only scrubs, and i'm not talking about talent, i'm pointing to the context and "those" players mindset.

so what i was saying with the 2 way street (or 2 to tango), is that most of the time both sides have to grow and to transform in that process. and are interdependent. a codependency that is positive and not negative. maybe PJ should write a book: from un-coachable to leader.

in this case, ron with the lakers, has already the context, a championship team, a great coach and staff, a great organization were his requirements or standards to himself and to his game will be ready to blossom. as we know, except maybe houston, he was always in a miserable company.

when i said "shortcomings" i forgot to put it in quotation marks, because many of his shortcomings r media created. also i referred to the 3-5 days when "Kobe takes a pay-cut" was an un-necessary topic from my point of view, but reflected negatively only on Kobe. and going full circle, even if you did not intended to have a negative comment on kobe, because of your history (BK included) of Kobe bashing, you also need a few years to prove to the bloggers that you CHANGED your attitude toward Kobe and were is a negative comment it is just by merit and positive criticism.

unfortunately, it is not only Kobe, the team, PJ and so on. it is also the fans, the bloggers, the writers, the K brothers. we r all part of this Los Angeles Lakers Syndrome with our "personal" sensitivities. and the epicenter of the syndrome will be still Kobe for at least like 5 years. but luckily we have a new fault line: Ron Artest.

i do not need to defend kobe. his game and the results for the past 2 years r testimony for what he can still do. and i'm sure that if this will continue for him and the team, in a few years even the hard core anti-kobe voices will be silenced. as i told today i friend of mine, be patient and stop being masochistic: enjoy his game.

so do u. thanks

AS USUAL ALL LUKE LOVERS RE-UNITED AND CAME TO HIS RESCUE. NO SURPRISE THERE BUT LETS RECAP THEIR RESPONSES. (btw i promise this is my last post on luke at least till i have to put up with him again in november)

"Well, at least you could get your facts straight. Luke does NOTmake the midlevel. Luke's contract started at 4 million, almost 2 million per year BELOW the midlevel"

so he doesnt make the CURRENT midlevel but ur figures are way off... ur the one arguing semantics here cause hes damn close to the midlevel and its going up every year... here's his salary from rotoworld:

2008/09: $4.42 million, 2009/10: $4.84 million, 2010/11: $5.26 million, 2011/12: $5.68 million, 2012/13: $6.1 million

--------------------------
"luke is a slightly less than the average NBA salary. He is appropriately compensated and is a good role player"

NO SORRY HES NOT SLIGHTLY LESS THAN AVG. FITS IN GREAT IN THE TRIANGLE BUT HAS NO VALUE IN ANY OTHER TEAM.. THEREFORE BY LEAGUE STANDARDS IS SEVERELY OVERPAID.. DID YOU JUST SAY APPROPRIATELY COMPENSATED?? OMG! YOU CAN DEFEND LUKE THE PERSON BUT NOT HIS CONTRACT
------------------------------
"Trevor is just a hair above average NBA player and he was offered a contract a hair above the league average"

did u just said luke is just below league average and trevor is just a hair above league average?? WOW. so ur argument is trevor is only slightly better than luke. just listen to yourself you crazy homer
------------------
"Keep crying and I bet we'll see you with Clipper Darrell one of these days."

this from blitz.. and suffice to say never worth responding to.
--------------------------
"Last year, Luke Walton was tough enough to injure Perkins
while blocking his shot. "

HAHAHA.. pure comedy. luke tough enough to injure perkins. now that is top10 luke hall of shame material.
---------------------
"In the 2006-07 season, Luke had averaged 11 points, 5 reboundsand 4 assists on 47% shooting. He shot a higher percentage than Kobe or Lamar and shot a reasonable 39% on his 3-pointers"

how honorable defend luke's 2006-907 season when kobe had smush, cook, kwame, vlade, mckie...
-----------------------
"At the start of that season, the Lakers had brought in Vlad Rad
for a full MLE, but Luke clearly outplayed him on both ends
of the court."

again that dont say much does it
------------------------------

"And the Lakers were over the salary cap in the summer of 2007 so they didn't have a bunch of cap space to make offers to anyone better than Luke."

are you saying lakers had NO BETTER OPTIONS THAN LUKE IN THE SUMMER OF 2007?? WOW HOW TRULY INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
-------------------------
"They could have just let Luke walk. But if you're barely a
playoff team and you let your third best player walk for nothing,
then you're probably out of the playoffs. But if you keep him
and maybe add a player or two you get a little better.

HMMMM NO ABSOLUTELY NOT LISTEN TO URSELF
------------------
"You want a comparable situation from this summer? Consider
Marvin Williams. He's arguably the Hawks 3rd or 4th best
player. "

luke aint half the player that marvin is. what are you saying. as a matter of fact there's probably 4-5 guys in every nba roster who are better and make less than luke. check for urself

http://tinyurl.com/l3d4yn

-------------------------
"The guy hussles, I'll give you that, but Luke Walton is a better player than Varejo."

Common jon k thats blasphemy. u know ur better than that
-----------------------------
"I told you that the Luke Loyalists would come out in full force "

ur absolutely right again lakertruth... i learned my lesson. I SURRENDER. ( WHITE FLAG)

From a prior thread:

"Lamar is a legend in his own mind ,if he was so great other teams would want him like they wanted Ariza and Brown,to tell you the truth he owes the Lakers for all those years that he was #2 and did'nt show up .Every Gm out there knows that he only showed up in the contract year and he really did not show up that much , in most playoff games he made about 8 pts are less. if he was so good he would not have slipped all the way down to the forth option ,I say that he needs to swallow his pride sign a 1 yr deal at at 5.5 million prove himself of not being so inconsistant than maybe he will see a better payday if not from us than someone else."

The rebuttal:

Regular Season:

99-00 16.6, 7.8, 4.2
00-01 17.2, 7.8, 5.2
01-02 13.1, 6.1, 5.9
02-03 14.6, 6.7, 3.6
03-04 17.1, 9.7, 4.1
04-05 15.2, 10.2, 3.7
05-06 14.8, 9.2, 5.5
06-07 15.9, 9.8, 4.8
07-08 14.2, 10.6, 3.5
08-09 11.3, 8.2, 2.6

Playoffs:

03-04 16.8, 8.3, 2.8
05-06 19.1, 11.0, 4.9
06-07 19.4, 13.0, 2.2
07-08 14.3, 10.0, 3.0
08-09 12.3, 9.1, 1.8

to quote Paul Pierce
"it's going to be a really great summer next year"

ooooooo Reallly, keep dreaming "Truth"...it will be for Laker fans though...


LAKERS VS CELTICS 2010

yo K bros

why didnt you post my last message? anyways to rephrase would you mind please removing that small video link in the right column... kinda sick of looking at dfish big shiny dome everytime i scroll down.

much appreciated. thanks.

Yello,

We have no control over that. It's the tech people.

AK

Jamie, I don't think it is surprising or hypocritical for the criticisms of Mitch to have declined. I routinely bashed Mitch, and I think the criticism was well-deserved. The best player in the game was surrounded by guys who were simply terrible. Too often, these guys were given contracts that made no sense at all (think Luke, Brian Cook, Vlad, Smush, etc). The criticism was not of Kupchak the person, but of his specific decisions that were worthy of criticism.

Of course, terrible decisions don't have to be fatal, and things can be done to reverse those decisions. Digging himself out of self-imposed holes is something Mitch does quite well. Extricating himself from Vlad's contract, Cook's contract and, most notably, Kwame's contract, were all works of art. For that, he should be, and is, credited. As a longtime advocate of signing or trading for Artest, who I saw as the perfect complement to Kobe, I give Mitch and the organization huge props.

I see Mitch no differently than I see LO. Lots of underperformance in the past, but tremendous recent production. It's ok to criticize guys for crappy work if you are fair in complimenting them when they perform well.

The market may not bear $10 million for LO, but we can't lowball him either. C'mon. Per 100 Possessions, we were losing with Lamar on the bench, both over the whole regular season AND in the playoffs, the dude was key for us, very valuable, and a good soldier in terms taking his pride down a notch for the team.

Yet, LO ain't done yet, he's got at least 5 good seasons left, plenty of time for more glory and riches, but if we lowball him, and still expect him to come off the bench, we've seen where that's got him in free agency, he'd be way better off taking a one-year MLE back in Miami with D-Wade, where he'd dominate at starting PF again and be poised to make a long playoff run alongside Wade, O'Neal, and co.

So we can't lowball LO, he's got little incentive to take a cheap short-term deal with us, and would truly show generosity by taking a short-term longer deal, especially when he's got a starting job waiting for him in a city that loves him, and with a superstar former teammate who wants him, meaning there's a GM who needs to please and who also loves Lamar's game and wants him back.

I'm getting worried, because I want Lamar to stay, as a Lakers fan first, but when I consider it from LO's point of view, as a player and hoping to get one more big contract, and hearing about these lowball offers, it's starting to make more sense to sign a one-year deal with Miami, star and showcase himself, and try again in 2010.

AK - that was a nice exchange with Mitch. HIs answers seemed pretty revealing and honest.

Tom - I think you've shepherded a good debate on the situation. Without knowing what exactly happened or didn't in the room (or on the phone), I'm left with one overall feeling: In the broadest of terms, Team Ariza took a very low percentage shot. Team Artest took a very high percentage one.

I'm left with a certain hope and feeling toward Trevor, who was a stand up guy during the season. I want him to do well in his career and to get past this. I read that Adelman had dinner three nights in a row with him. This tells me that his new coach has some sensitivity to the situation.

As for Artest, there's been a lot of red carpet rolled out. He must be thrilled. I hope his buddy Lamar joins him soon.

in my book is still cupcake but this time he cooked up a brilliant one.

and to make it better, i hope he pulls a trevor ariza on LO and will go from there. looks like a whole organization is waiting "patiently" (how long) for the new diva in town. if the championship and ron's presence does not motivate him to go for it he is already damaged goods.

i will repeat: do we want an unhappy and pouting LO?! when anything than a re-peat is inexcusable?

at this moment he is jeopardizing the re-peat. even in chess there is a time limit to make a move. he is beyond that. and in poker, the time limit is even shorter. i hope the FO does not want to be part of this guilty game. somewhere i see KB fumigating.

and BYnum , better put yourself together and get some steel knees. now or never. in my opinion "IF" bynum plays like in dec/jan, LO is obsolete, disposable, redundant and REBARBATIVE.

it will be a great irony, after weeks of "let's sign TA and LO" to have their butts shipped out. the SKY is NOT falling. the worst case scenario, Africa will be represented by the 6'-10 Chinemelu Elonu for under 1 MIL. a great shot blocker.

http://tinyurl.com/ldo4h2

Dave M,

Ron Artest has been talking a lot and a new thread every time he speaks. He is getting the attention of all Laker fans whereas before it is only the NBA office attending to Artest disciplinary action. In the case of LO, he's hold out in Las Vegas. I don't think his hands are winning in Vegas, heard those new casinos are about to burst from a bubble economy.

When is the deadline for LO's signing?

Have we evaluated the consequences of what would happen if LO is not signed? Is there a chance for a repeat? I think this kind of discussion would matter to everyone and also to LO, right now he thinks the Lakers are at his own mercy. He's wielding the power in the negotiation. What do we get in dwelling the Ariza debacle? You can't cry on spilled milk, let's move on and prepare for contingency signing if LO departs. It is possible he will hold out for one season and complaining to everyone that his family cannot live with $ 8M, remember that T'wolves player who is not satisfied of his contract and held out, until finally no team signed him again. LO is a good player and the more he delays, his value goes down to MLE level.

Wes,

>>>If the Jazz trade Boozer then they'll 100% match any offer
>>>Portland makes to Millsap. This leaves Portland still needing that
>>>SF or backup PF.

Ah, but you forget that Portland is in that deal as well. Part of the
deal is that Portland is taking Kirk Hinrich & not giving back as much
salary as Hinrich makes - maybe Blake to Chicago. Portland's part
of the deal is that they're giving cap relief to both Utah & Chicago.

And if you trim even 2 million off of Portland's cap space, then they're
down to MLE level money.

If the Boozer-Hinrich-Thomas deal goes down, Portland is out of the
Lamar game.

"just listen to yourself you crazy homer (to LTLF)"

yellofever,

When you say that 4 rings is equal to 6 and 5 rings is greater than we all know how delusional you are to most people here in the blog.

>>>so he doesnt make the CURRENT midlevel but ur figures are way
>>>off... ur the one arguing semantics here cause hes damn close to
>>>the midlevel and its going up every year... here's his salary from

Where you're getting lost is this: Luke is in the third year of his contract.

Let's say Trevor had accepted the full MLE level money the Lakers offered. There is what he would make in the first three years:

5.854 million
6.469 million (10.5% raise)
7.148 million (another 10.5% raise.

Luke makes 4.84 million next season, as you pointed out. And he's
in the third year of his contract. Thus compared to the MLE level contract
that was offered to Trevor, Luke would make 2.31 million LESS in his
third year than Trevor would have made in his third year.

What you don't seem to be grasping is that most contracts (including
a full MLE) increase their amount each year.

If you prefer to think in terms of averages, compare Luke's 6 year
deal with the 5 year MLE that the Lakers supposedly offered Trevor.

In the first 5 years of his contract, Luke will make 24 million
24 / 5 = 4.8 million per year.

Trevor would have made 33.8 million for his 5 years
33.8 / 5 = 6.76 million per year

So Trevor would have averaged 1.96 million more per year than
Luke.

No matter how you slice it, Luke's contract averages out to about
2 million per season LESS than they were offering Trevor.

Please, let's sign Lamar Odom.

I'm sick over the matter.

Lamar Odom = Laker for Life

Lamar and one other move (I'm going by intuition here, not logic) is key to a Dynasty.

This can be VERY special.

I really love the Lakers and am thankful for all the memories they've given me as a fan and as a Los Angelenan.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

>>>NO SORRY HES NOT SLIGHTLY LESS THAN AVG. FITS IN
>>>GREAT IN THE TRIANGLE BUT HAS NO VALUE IN ANY OTHER
>>>TEAM.. THEREFORE BY LEAGUE STANDARDS IS SEVERELY
>>>OVERPAID.. DID YOU JUST SAY APPROPRIATELY
>>>COMPENSATED?? OMG! YOU CAN DEFEND LUKE THE PERSON
>>>BUT NOT HIS CONTRACT

Ludicrous. Lots of teams would have use for Luke, and his level of
pay is very reasonable. BTW, it seems like your caps lock is stuck.

I am surprised how good I feel about the signing of Thriller.

I thought I would be horrified. The opposite has happened.

It just feels right. I feel like this guy, OUR GUY, has finally been given a chance for real redemption.

Honestly.

It feels good.

This may sound weird and all, but it feels better than the Gasol signing. Of course, signing Pau Gasol was a A HELL of a lot more exciting (it was ecstatic!), but there is something deeper about signing Thriller.

It's like the stars aligning or something.

I am absolutely surprised HOW happy I am that he is a Laker. I honestly feel like he's always been a Laker. It's odd, but pleasant.

Now let's sign Lamar. He's our's too, and should be, we love the guy.

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

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

ouchhhhhhhhh,

Lamar Odom = Laker for Life

Period.

His intangibles are off the fricken charts.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

ouchhh - I'm with you on this whole LO contract already. Unpopular on this blog but if he didn't bring his A game while getting overpaid, why do people think he is going to perform great when he thinks he's underpaid?! Makes no sense. If LO comes back - he could turn into a real big baby and just not be able to mentally get up for games....that is who he is. He now has a ring so the drive may even be less than before. Maybe we need Artest to get LO's butt into gear rather than the other way around!!

Either way - if LO walks Mitch will eventually replace him with the parts that we require for more rings!! In Mitch we trust!

I hope this means nothing, but if u add Ariza's #3 and Odom's #7 u get Artest's #37...
LO!!! Pull out the pen. We must defend!
Did u guys see the "gang green" unity @ the Rasheed Wallace press conference? How can we be patient? They think they still the champs. LO, lets go! The Hunger For More.

yellofever,

>>>did u just said luke is just below league average and trevor is just
>>>a hair above league average?? WOW. so ur argument is trevor is
>>>only slightly better than luke. just listen to yourself you crazy homer

Sigh. It's clear that LakerTom:Bynum = yellofever:Ariza

Yes. Ariza is slightly above average. Playing on a team like the Lakers
made him seem like a very good role player. Watch what happens
next year in Houston when he doesn't have Kobe and Pau and Bynum
and Lamar drawing attention away from him.

Ariza is not Caron Butler. He's more like Robert Horry or Rick Fox.
A very good role player, but no chance of ever being an All-Star.

To yellofever and others who think that Trevor was the reason why
the Lakers won the championship, you're delusional. Kobe and Pau
and Lamar and Fish are the reasons why the Lakers won the title.
Any open shots Trevor got were because his man was double-teaming
Kobe or Pau.

And even the big steal. OH, we NEVER would have got past Denver
if Trevor hadn't stolen that pass at the end of game 1.

But maybe if Trevor hadn't shot like crap for the whole game (2-8)
or maybe if he'd have defended Carmelo a little more (Melo scored
39 points on 70% shooting) or maybe if Trevor hadn't turned the
ball over 3 times (2 of which led to fast break layups by the Nugs),
then the Lakers would have been up 10 or 12 and there wouldn't
have been any need for the Sportscenter-highlight steal.

Don't get me wrong. I like Trevor. I wish he didn't have a turd for
an agent and the Lakers could have re-signed him. I'd be just as
happy with him starting at SF as Artest. Artest is better, but with
Trevor there's no real danger that he'll do something psycho and
get suspended for half a season.

But if you start over-glorifying Trevor's accomplishments, then you're
in for a big surprise when you see what he does without a hall of
famer
and an All-Star to prop him up.

Like I said, slightly above average NBA player.

>>>"Last year, Luke Walton was tough enough to injure Perkins
>>>while blocking his shot. "
>>>
>>>HAHAHA.. pure comedy. luke tough enough to injure perkins.
>>>now that is top10 luke hall of shame material.

Watch the game.

December 25, 2008. About 5 minutes left in the first quarter.

Perkins thought he was going in for a clean layup or dunk, but Luke
Got the ball from the side and pushed it back. Perkins missed the next
game (which Boston lost), came back and played weak for about a
week, then re-injured the shoulder vs Cleveland.

It's fact. Go back and watch the play.

yello,

>>>"In the 2006-07 season, Luke had averaged 11 points, 5
>>>reboundsand 4 assists on 47% shooting. He shot a higher
>>>percentage than Kobe or Lamar and shot a reasonable 39% on
>>>his 3-pointers"
>>>
>>>how honorable defend luke's 2006-907 season when kobe had
>>>smush, cook, kwame, vlade, mckie

Well how about this then. In Luke's one season as a part-time starter,
he was just as effective as Trevor in his one season as a part-time
starter, and Luke had only Kobe & Lamar drawing attention away from
him.

Besides, it's not a matter of "defending Luke's season". The argument
was that based on that season, an offer starting well below the MLE
was a very reasonable offer.

Edwin Gueco, you're right that we should be concerned about this "Lamargate"!
From 14 to 10, now 8 or 7m$, maybe 6. There's still plenty of cash on the table. Incroyable!
Ron Artest said basically this: "If you can't live with 5 m$, you can't live". Plain and simple. They both come from NY. So Guys, talk to each other and share some ideas on how to spend it wisely.
In this league, players and their agents are often too greedy even though this US economy is in totally bad shape, same trend around the world. No, they don't mind... like living in a big bubble! This stubborness (about $) have been a constant for a long period in this league. Many players don't deliver or play to their real potential but they're still complaining about getting more $ to feed their bad habits...sorry family!
My belief is: The more you work hard, the more you'd get a lot from somebody else. That's exactly where an agent should intervene to deal/sell/negociate for his dear client (s) ...some commercials, endorsements, shoes, candies, cars...etc.

This morning, I was in a meeting arguing with different parties who didn't want to elaborate on the best ways to succeed together in the long run. Like several agents, they were always focused on small things, short term view, instant gains...!! I'm dying to know what will be the outcome on Monday.

As a Laker fan, I know that this new salary cap will affect our team and we won't be alone. But it would remind everyone to think twice about their real market value and commitment! Don't be too greedy! Out there, there are many ways to get a compensation for a good work.

LO, think twice. I want you back. Sign this contract!
I'm polishing your second ring that will be delivered on June 15, 2010!


Guy Owanlele

>>>are you saying lakers had NO BETTER OPTIONS THAN LUKE IN
>>>THE SUMMER OF 2007?? WOW HOW TRULY INCOMPREHENSIBLE

That's right, champ. Here are all of the unrestricted free agents who
signed for the MLE or less in the summer of 2007:

Matt Barnes
Ruben Patterson
Mickael Pietrus
Chucky Atkins
Hassan Adams
Matt Carroll (full MLE)
Jason Kapono (full MLE)
Devin Brown
Eddie House
Brevin Knight
James Posey
Jannero Pargo
Morris Peterson (full MLE)
Maceo Baston
Eduardo Najera
Dikembe Mutombo
Jason Hart
DeShawn Stevenson
Grant Hill
Jarvis Hayes
Smush Parker
Derek Anderson
Jamal Magloire
Calvin Booth
Brian Skinner
Ime Udoka
Steve Blake
Jacque Vaughn
Devean George
Eddie Jones
Jake Voskuhl
Austin Croshere
Dahntay Jones
Jeff McInnis
Bonzi Wells
Malik Allen
Desmond Mason

So I'm sure you're thinking, hey there are some guys there I would
have preferred over Luke. Let's run down the top names:

Posey & House signed with Boston because they already had the
big 3 and those guys wanted to ride coattails for a ring.

Grant Hill joined Phoenix for a similar reason.

The Lakers had just lost in the first round of the playoffs, Bynum was
still considered a bust, and they didn't have Pau yet. So the Lakers
could have just said, "Hey, come play for us, we'll be in the finals."
or the agent would have laughed in their faces.

So who else was left that might arguably be considered better than
Luke - Mickael Pietrus (who hadn't really blossomed yet, but okay),
Steve Blake (ditto), maybe Matt Barnes. So you could have had one
of those guys or one other player from the list...

If you didn't mind not getting Derek Fisher.

The Lakers spent most of their MLE to re-sign Fish that summer. When
you drop the level that the Lakers could offer down to the veteran's
minimum, then all that's left is guys like Smush (no I take it back, Smush
got 2 million per for 2 years).

So basically, yes. Luke was well above anyone the Lakers could
afford to sign that summer.

You've really done you're homework here, yello, haven't you? You
can probably recite every bad play that Luke has ever made (YEAH
BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN HE PASSED THE BALL BACK TO KOBE AT
THE END OF THAT CLEVELAND GAME... OR WHEN HE...)

You've got yourself in such a Luke-hate frenzy that you're blinded to
any positive contributions by Luke, or his value to the team. You conveniently
forget the facts of all the good things Luke has done. And you don't
seem to understand the math of contracts well enough to make a reasonable
comparison between them.

Trust me. Though Luke is not a star, he's way better than guys
like Smush and Kwame and Radmanovic. If the difference in skill
between Trevor and Luke is a mile, then the difference between Luke
and Smush/Kwame/Rad is a light year.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

Just thought I would get your “rivalry” juices flowing a bit mid-summer.

Here’s food for thought from the rival Celtics concerning the acquisition of FA Rasheed Wallace (courtesy of boston.com today).

Here’s what Paul Pierce had to say about Sheed:

"I mean, I just think it's a great addition," Pierce said. "We obviously had depth issues last year because of injuries, but just bringing Rasheed in expands the things we do on the court, he fits right in as one of the pieces of the puzzle.”

“I think it's going to be an exciting year. Everybody knows what we're all about, winning a championship."

My take:

The Celtics, minus Garnett, did not have depth issues. Their bench played fine without him (ie. Baby Davis, Perk, House). Excuses! Excuses! Coming from a defending champion? Wow! Pierce and Allen are two legitimate all-stars that simply didn’t get the job done as they were ousted by Orlando in the second round “outright.” Pierce, the self proclaimed “best player” last summer, spent a whole lot of time “talking” about nonsense the entire year and lost. Certainly, he didn’t need KG to help him with the “toughness” factor the rest of the way. Or did he? A former NBA Finals MVP with only "one" ring? Well, who’s got the trophy now? I do agree with PP that it will be an exciting year ahead. We shall see…

Here’s what Ray Allen had to say about Sheed:

Allen said the Wallace deal sends a message to the rest of the league: The Celtics are not to be messed with in the upcoming season.

"I think when Kevin was traded here two years ago, I think people sat back and took notice and immediately pushed us to the top," Allen said. "They were a little afraid of us, and I think the same thing is happening now with adding Rasheed to the roster."

My take:

Interesting thoughts and “message” by Ray Ray. First of all, whenever a team has a collection of multiple all-stars (future hall of famers in that regard), of course it will create a whole lot of attention. What else is new about that notion? Concerning the “fear” factor, I don’t believe it exists any more. What fear? All Ray Ray has to do is look back at a determined Orlando club (Game 7 101-82 loss at their arena), a tough Chicago team (forced to play a Game 7), and the “adversity” driven Lakers team (2-0 against them) last season for further clarity. Besides, teams have gotten better the last couple of weeks. What makes Ray Ray truly believe that they were the only team that improved the most? I’m sure other teams like Cleveland, Detroit, and San Antonio just to name a few will have a lot to say about that situation in mind.

BTW, our defending champion Lakers certainly will as well with a much improved “attitude” and “defense” courtesy of “4 rings” Bryant, Artest and the triple towers in Gasol, Bynum and Odom (signing soon) including the benchmob. Don’t worry Ray Ray, you’ll see how good the association is based on your “toughness” assessment. Again, we shall see…

How you’re feeling about now 131-92, RLC?

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!
Result? 2008-2009 NBA Champions!

Edwin Gueco,

I think that the question of plan B is a great one -- I wondered about that before free agency started. Seems like the pickings are slim now for unrestricted free agents; perhaps Mitch would have to swing something imaginative with Odom and another player for a bigger name? But, that could get messy and more difficult.

I hope Lamar at least decides to sign a one year deal, although it looks like 2010 may be worse from a cap perspective, so no guarantee of big money and he would face competition from other free agents.

I personally don't see how the Lakers can repeat without Odom and I don't really want to find out if I am right or wrong!

I'm torn you guys. As time moves forward I am wondering more and more if we MUST have Lamar or not. While I really like our starting lineup now, it's the bench I am concerned about.

Lamar gives us a guy that can back up at the 4. In effect, we have 3 guys covering 2 positions. Gasol playing both the 4 and the 5 spot. WITHOUT Lamar, we go to a more tradition team in that we have starters and subs (scrubs).

While I see the signing of Artest as a big upgrade, does this give us enough to go the season without a top notch Bench? If we went through the season like this without Lamar, we would need to depend on Bynum for a big year.

With a more traditional rotation of starters and subs (scrubs), Bynum would need to play alot more minutes, Artest would need to play alot of minutes, Kobe plays alot of minutes, AND Gasol plays alot of minutes. Fisher is the one who still has a back up that can spell his minutes in Farmar and Brown (I hope!).

One of the dangerous obstacles in a rotation like this is the injury bug. When one of the starters goes down then we have no one to really step in and maitain serious momentum. This was NOT the case last year. When Bynum went down, we had a good replacement (Gasol). When Gasol switched to the 5, Lamar was a great replacement at the 4. Without Lamar, we lose BIG TIME insurance. Now the question becomes, is Buss willing to pay WAAAY over the cap for insurance? I dunno guys. In a bad economy, that seems reckless to me.

Buss's commitment to us is to field a competitive team that gives us a chance to win it all. He has done that. Is his responsibility to us that he field a team without any holes? No. Is his responsibility to us that he field a team that is favored to win it all and dominate the league and win 70 games? No.

In some ways, if Buss were to sign Lamar, it would be almost reckless. Yes, there are ways that he could reclaim some of that money by selling out Staples, additional add revenue, additional media coverage (meaning a high level of advertising), and high levels of team merchandise sales. But in a down economy, who knows how much of this stuff will be there?

I admire that Buss is even entertaing making an offer to Lamar. The truth is, we already have the highest payroll in the league (I haven't verified that).

Therefore, I am thinking this may be it for us. Going through the season without Lamar and hoping against hope that no serious injuries occur. Is that a gamble? OH YEAH.

I am thinking back to (1982?) when Worth broke his leg. Magic (AND Byron Scott) injuring his leg (torn muscle?) and out for the finals against Detroit. Then in I think 2003 when Malone had the bad knee and was out against Detroit ( I think we would have won that title with a healthy Malone).

I am also thinking of us being eliminated from the playoffs by a miracle shot in Houston by Ralph Sampson. What if Buss makes a crazy investment in our team and someone gets lucky with the right bounce and we don't win the finals? (Perish the thought!). We had some good fortune this year in the playoffs and the ball mostly bounced our way.

I am just saying that even if Buss were to get Lamar for us, something could happen and therefore make our season an unfortunate one (gasp, a Kobe injury?). THEN what happens to Buss's big investment!

All I'm saying is, it is setting in for me that Lamar may not be able to play for us. Not because we don't value him enough and not because Buss is cheap. It just may very be that it's just plain unpracticle. Therefore signing Lamar would be borderline nuts.

Do I want Lamar? YES! Does he deserve to be here? YES! Would it absolutely STINK that Lamar is not here? YES! Can we win without Lamar? It won't be easy, but YES, we can win.

All of this is just my way of dealing with the impracticality of Lamar being here. It may still happen and we might sign him, but MAN, it's dangerous to sign him for what he's really worth. Therefore, I don't blame Lamar for being bummed. I don't blame the Lakers for taking their time and giving Lamar some space to deal with this. But this is an unfortunate reality.

This may be our team guys. We already may have the lineup for this year. It's the practicle choice and to do otherwise is dangerous and unwise. Maybe we go through the year and make a deal to trade Morrison at some point and improve the rostor for the playoffs. That wouldn't be so bad would it?

Those are just my thoughts.

If BYnum is healthy, Lamar is worth maybe 7M, maybe 6M, because he's only going to be getting 25 mpg. If Bynum is going to be out half the year, then Odom is worth probably 9M. That's the big question.

Given economic uncertainty, it behooves Odom to sign for more than 1 year. From a business and self preservation sense. Is it possible that the economy deteriorates further? Indeed it is. My feeling is that this free agency year is the last year of "funny money" contracts like Varajao. Even Marions seems over the top to me (from a strategy of team standpoint given they have Josh Howard, etc).

Next years free agency could end up a bust with most of the big names staying where they are, and playing their asses off this year to earn it. Economic downturns trim fat and excess - clearly by some of this years FA contracts more of that needs to go further in the NBA. Lamar, being relatively well-off, might have been insulated from the economic downturn until NOW. It will be interesting to see what he decides to do. Smart play would seem to be to come down to just above MLE for 5 years (saves face somewhat, Lakers probably would dole out something around there no qualms). Lets hope Lamar has the economic downturn in view, but experience tells me people ignore it until it until it is OMG right behind them kicking them in the butt!

LTLF

i totally agree with u on Ariza

and i will add one more thing: at the time when ariza made the 2 steals (besides the fact that in both games the Lakers were up by 2), Le Blonde James was still in the competition. this blog and any writer around the league, will try to blow up beyond proportions any play and any player not named Kobe Bryant. just to take away from him and to make Miss James look better

yes, role players r paid to make great plays. they can be even the stars of certain games. but they r still ROLE players and should be paid accordingly.

1. how about the spurs game when Kobe shot that big 3, put the lakers up by 2 with a few seconds remaining and fish gave mason the And1 foe 3 ponts. Spurs up by 1. Kobe was doubled teamed and ariza WALKED, because he can't dribble to make a lay up and had shit in his pants as closer.

2. the sixers game in LA. kobe made a clutch shot with 8 sec. left. TO. the lakers had a foul to give. ariza was on igualda. and he FORGOT to foul him and Igu made a 3 point shot. great defender. what an idiot, that forgets in 8 sec what he has to do.

but on the last nte, reminds me how LUUUUUUUUUke did the same thing the previous year after a TO. they both suck.

i preached for years that we need a 3 and a PG. finally we have a 3. i hope shannon will step up us the favorite PJ tall guard in the triangle

enough Ariza and spilled milk

if one never attended AA meetings or NA meetings, please organize a TA meeting were the group can make collages with his photos, watch over and over the steals in the denver series, watch how he make 3 points unguarded. with assists from kobe.

while still in the denial phase they can come up with suggestions how ariza can learn to dribble, create his own shot, post up, improve his lay ups, make jumps with a hand in his face, run the fast break and especially defend one on one. barrow melo and turk for practice. just enoughhhhhhhhhhhhh od this media myth.

i really hope that mitch never offered him a contract and just told lee: go find out how much is he worth. indeed he found out.

Larry Brown called him delusional and traded him to orlando. in the game at the garden, the kobe 61 pt game, i was listening and watching the Walt Frazier/knicks feed. ariza dribbled once, got in the air, no lay up, no dunk and it was a TO. immediately Frazier said: he does the same thing from the moment he came in to the league. if he can't dunk, it's a turnover. never improved his game.

i'm pretty sure the delusional ariza, thought after all the media praise that is the second coming of whatever. we all call Lee the bastard in this fiasco. but knowing all this, i'm sure that ariza really believes that he is worth all that and the bag of chips. but the chips r only on his shoulder. let's see ariza the "rocket". in a few months Houston will have a problem.

i never wanted to write all this because i tried to be sensitive to the rest of the bloggers and i was in a great mood after winning the championship. but hey, let's forget about it. especially with artest. it's a NO brainer.

we've see the best of ARIZA in his career in the NBA. his 15 Min. r already up. and yes, only an IDIOT will give his starter position on the Champ team to go play a few more minutes, for less money on a lottery team. i'm sure GM's evaluate a season and a career before giving the money out. also how important the players fits as a piece of puzzle on the team roster. with Artest ready, Ariza became a fire work. now shiny in the skies, next moment just a trace of smoke fizzling against the stars.

my name is ouchhhhhh and i'm NOT an Ariza fan.

we want ELONU signed for under 1 Mil. 6'-10 and great shot-blocker.

Lamar is the big man insurance. You have to resign this guy. Short term big money 1-2 years to appease him. Josh Powell can not fill his shoes (granted that they have different skill sets.) We need Lamar to have a stronger chance of doing well during the playoff's and making it to the finals.

Good morning CRUE!

Lamar Watch 2009 continues....

and continues....

This waiting is killing me.

We WANT LO. We NEED LO.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - SIGN ALREADY!!!

We're supposed to be basking in the glow of our victory - not stressing out over getting our most important free agent back.

I"M TRYING TO BASK HERE.

Oh yah - troll people - LAKERS WON!! WE WON!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

exhelodrvr -- Exactly!

LTLF -- really great stuff. Makes a debate much better when someone injects some facts. I'm not a Walton lover or hater -- I think he contributes as a role player off the bench, does some valuable things, and seems to be a pretty good "glue" guy. Ariza was moving to a place that could have been beyond that, but based on limited evidence. Both contracts have to be put in perspective of the year it happened, the state of the team, and the available options.

When the Lakers signed Luke, I did not recall many options (or options wanting to join the Lakers, hence the whole nobody wants to play with Kobe debate), and you confirmed it. With Ariza, a very viable option opened up.

I think what has made Kupchak stand out the past two years is his ability to recognize failure and move to acquire better assets. Will be interesting to see how the summer and the season play out. I could see additional moves of existing players as the season goes on.

ex

just read your line with LO 25 mpg. and i was thinking mpg=gpm, gallons/miles. 25 is not enough. we need something more green than LO. elonu under 1 MIL. more efficient. i know, i know that u, Justa and jon k will need therapy. so is BK. but hey, it's summer, it's not spring. u will get over easier.

Jon K.

It is about affirmation. The street dog was found and put into an animal shelter. Now it found a new home. A healthy pack. Kobe is that pack leader and PJ is the Ron whisperer.

AK,

>>> But are we really supposed to believe the Lakers, after trading players for
>>> cap space, selling draft picks and giving every indication of wanting to
>>> retain Ariza, decided all of a sudden that he wasn't worth an "offer?"

Yes, because they decided that Ron Artest would be a better fit for less money.

Tom

hey alllllllll

just read that Jordan Crawford, who posterized le Blonde is the brother of JOE CRAWFORD, the Lakers D fender

What are you waiting for Lamar? I already told you that I would sweeten the deal with a twix candy bar. I have it boxed and ready to be shipped....

Sign the papers.

We all can critique Mith all we want for giving what I consider bad contracts to Luke and Sasha, but we need to take into consideration circumstances. My only problem with Luke’s contract – length, 6 years, now it’s looking like forever. But Luke was coming out from the best year in his career, averaging more than 11 pts per game, who new he will digress, because of injury, or some other reason, so dramatically? The same true for Sasha who morphed from last year Lakers 6th man to someone who completely vanished during the season and playoffs, very often doing more harm on the floor (fouls anyone?) than playing smart basketball.

just read that Jordan Crawford, who posterized le Blonde is the brother of JOE CRAWFORD, the Lakers D fender

Posted by: ouchhhhhhhhh | July 10, 2009 at 09:16 AM


Phew, I started reading and thoght it was gonna say, was found in the trunk of a el dog Caddilac.

AK and Laker Tom

let's not forget that the trade started at 12:01 EST. that was 9:01 PM PST. there were 3 hours in between

i've seen the video with artest talking to his wife, his agent, what he refers to 12:01 PST

i'm sure especially on the west coast the phones started to ring. maybe even before Ariza and Lee suggested the new price. mitch told them to looks around. they tought that they have time

mitch not wanting to deal with the huge price and especially with LEE, called Artest's agent and told him the MLE.

artest went to heaven and they confirmed it in a new york minute

mitch said YESSSSSSSSS also

case closed

everything that AK said it is very logical and yes, not making and offer will be a stretch after saving all the money and selling the picks. but maybe the effort was not for ariza, not for Lo not for shannon, but for all of the above or none of the above. just for the best situation.

it is a "stretch" to think that it was no offer, whatever that means. maybe it wasn't. so what. r we looking for the moral points in the capitalism. finally it is business. same like u going to the market and shop around for some vegetables. do u go back to one vendor to tell them that down the street u found better greens for the same or cheaper price?

and artest was the only one that qualified for the MLE

easy solution, easy client, easy agent, smooth transaction. great bargain. twice as good as the original for the same price.

bye, bye, rizza and lee

obviously Ariza makes u to say that Lee was guilty. they knew exactly what's happening. except that Lee is paid to be the jerk. it comes with the territory. ariza is as guilty as his agent. and delusional. he will wake up in houston. and who really cares.

Join the TA group. (trevor anonymous-12 dribble)


Stay strong, Lamar!

Keep in mind : The $10M per year Buss is offering you...is nothing more than worthless California IOU`s!!!!

Just wait until RonRon {I mean, MoRon} realizes the mistake he just made!

This season the race to the best record in the league is going to be magnified times 10. Boston looks like a great team, i'll admit to that. But everybody's talking about how artest is going to fit in, rasheed is volatile too and rondo was about to get traded 3 weeks ago. Let's spread the criticism media folks. Cleveland is kinda like the Dallas Cowboys of the NBA. All flash no real substance. They are going to be dancing to the new soulja boy song in pregame rituals. Meanwhile the good teams will be looking smash them in the mouth. Spurs... Duncan and Ginobli won't be healthy at the same time throughout the season. They are officially the new Rockets. As for the Magic, I like their team. Hope Dwight improves his free throw shooting, cuz without that your always going to lose 1 or 2 big games... and in the NBA Finals, thats all it takes.

If we sign LO guys, THE LAKERS HAVE THE BEST TEAM ON THE BOOKS FOR THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS. That's crazy! Look at where we were 2 years ago. Kobe threatening to leave, Bynum hurt, pre-Gasol we were a 7-8th seed team. Look at us now! The one thing we've learned over the last week, anything can happen at any time. Look at the salary cap changes, or the free agent pickups, or the injury updates (YAO-Oww). Buss is using his poker brain now. He's putting all his chips on the table and is forcing other teams to call his bluff. I luv it, Mitch, the Buss family, Phil and Kobe keep doin what your doing. You are going in the right direction, don't stop- in fact keep this team together right here. Maybe dump a sasha or luke contract if necessary, but keep the core team together.

And can we get back to a conversation that has been ignored since the finals. If Ron helps Kobe gets a ring next year, thats 5 folks! Technically that lifts Kobe to Magic status. And if he gets another one after that (which is more than possible) then Mike can move over as well. We already have the best coach, and possibly have the best player of all time and the winningest franchise of all time coming up. These parameters will be defined in the next 2-3 years.

My chicago buddy would say mike pippen and rodman were the best ever. And I remember that for some reason they made karl malone, reggie miller, patrick ewing, and even an aged magic and bird look like #23 was simply the best thing ever. I remember the tongue, the swagger, the calls that went his way .

But check this line up jordan fans... cuz these are the 5 reasons we are going to win next year.
5. Lamar Odom is the best non-factor, versatile, lengthy player in the league hands down. He gets offensive rebounds, he accepts coming off the bench in a contract year, he makers 3's all of a sudden, he really does it all for a 4th or 5th scorer on a team. The real beauty of LO is if Bynum goes down again (fingers crossed) then LO fills the crack. God bless you and your family LO, you are wanted and appreciated in LA, sign that contract baby. You will be needed.

4. Derek Fisher is the most underrated big shot player in the history of the game. People acknowledge Robert Horry, well let's give this guy the same accolades. Who would have thought that this guy would be the Laker starting point guard, post-nick van excel time. Truly the most important part of his game is his leadership. I like that he's one of the few guys that Kobe trusts. That speaks volumes, especially considering Kobe's mind state when he wanted to leave the team. Its a new day folks and most of that is contributed to D-fish.

3. Gasol, best skilled big man in the league. Need I say more.

2. Artest, most intimidating guy in the league. He shuts down Lebron, Melo, basically every good 2,3,4 position player in the league. Hence a lock down defender (not the same thing as TA, a good defender). Now he can't shut down Duncan and he couldn't shut down Kobe either. But he takes on that challenge and you'll never see Lebron, Melo, or Kobe attempting to guard Duncan. Thats the kinda guy he is. Thats the kinda player the lakers need. Their knock is that they are soft and Artest preys on the soft. He can't stand weak, uninspired play, he even said the lakers fell asleep sometimes when they played Houston in the playoffs. He said they were 'taking a nap." Can you believe this guy? This is not somebody who we enjoyed playing against and now he's on our team. I luv it. The risk is worth the reward.

1. Kobe Bryant, possibly the best player ever to play this game. He has made his teammates better. He had more ASSISTS than any other player in the finals. This is a testment to how far this guy has come. Kobe doin work shows how intense this guy is. He's almost crazy. Remember when Kobe told Gasol to cut to the basket so he could give him the ball in Game 6 down the stretch. Gasol got an and one and when they were in the back celebrating, instead of simply saying 'thats what i'm talking about,' he goes on again directing with his hands about how he ran it perfectly and how they need to continue to exploit teams weak spots. KOBE THE GAME AND THE SEASON IS OVER. Do you think Lebron, Shaq, Melo or Wade is going to talk about a play with a teammate that worked when champagne is being doused?
Thats, watch film instead of going to the club kobe. Thats, support embrace and include my teammates kobe. The same kobe that has put himself in a position to be the best ever to play this game. I luv it.

Magia32

in the trunk after the ESPN interview?

he was so contrived, poor kid, looks like NIKE kinda scared him if he reveals the truth. he was repeating that he did not know where Le blonde was on the court. also i'm sure that he is apprehensive of his future if he basks too much in the glory of the dunk. papa stern will ban him from NBA.

WOW!! THAT RED AUERBACH WAS A PLAYER LEAVING BASTARDS BEHIND, WONDER BESIDE LIKE RED`S LOVE CHILD WHO ELSE IS OUT THERE..

HAHA


Everyone of us here likes Lamar to come back to the fold. Lamar is also bothered by his conscience and wants to settle this now that his childhood friend is aboard. Chances are, even those Laker fans he met in Vegas are asking him, are you going to sign with the Lakers? - here is our problem, some teams with caps space like Blazers and others are delaying the process dangling along the slight possibilities that they can sign Lamar for 10M. The situation here is like a dying patient at the ICU, for as long as the monitor is moving upward and patient is breathing, there is chance of life - that's the version of Lamar's agent. We will only see progress when the monitor registers flat picture with no more 10M team to screw around. That's when we see Lamar get excited and call AK/BK for conference, out of his hiding place. GThey always come out hero and announcing throughout that they never doubted of leaving the Lakers. Is this healthy for everyone? NO. The overall economic situation is bad, so why forced the issue of "greed". Ask more when it is plentiful and the demand is greater than supply, that's why 1 year, 8M is good enough. My contention is to prepare for Plan B, in case Lamar's holdout becomes permanent and elusive to save face. I'm sure Mitch has done that. If Lamar's agent is reading this blog, I say if 10M does not exist and Lakers are offering 8M but if they sense that the only option out there is MLE, the poker player owner might throw the gauntlet there at 6.5M, take or leave it. Lamar will have no choice but to take it or rest for a year b/c no one is offering more than MLE.

Going back to proverbs, it says like this: “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush,” it is saying that it is better to stick with something you already have, rather than pursuing something you may never get.

Laker Tom,

But again, the only way they know Artest is a cheaper option (although not dirt cheap) is by making an "offer," however you want to define it. By knowing Ariza and the team are miles apart and evaluating how big an impasse this will be. Did they decide Artest was an attractive alternative? Of course, but having a B plan (and down the line) doesn't mean Ariza wasn't also of sincere interest as well. The situations are not mutually exclusive, certainly not to the degree that it appears you consider them.

Also, consider the Lakers' situation. Outside of resigning their own free agents, their only means of adding a decent player would be the MLE. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep it available, if possible, particularly if LO can't be resigned? Would you really be anxious to burn the whole thing 24 hours into the FA period, particularly when retaining Ariza, a player you like anyway, allows you to keep it handy? All things being equal, if there was even a prayer of making something work with Ariza, it makes more sense to try and hammer it out. That gives the Lakers considerably more flexibility during the offseason. But unfortunately, it became abundantly clear PDQ the Lakers and Team Ariza were miles apart and not likely to make it work. Waiting too long could have resulted with neither guy on the team.

AK

Am I the only one who thinks that the Lakers would be stronger with Artest and Ariza, but no LO (who is expendable iff Bynum comes through)? It's too bad that combination is off the table.

(Thank you David Lee...)

BTW, new nickname for LaBron: Dr. Dunkedonstein!

Lamar signed his original contract for 4 years and $11.4 Million. His second contract was 6 years @ $64 million, an average of $10.5 per year.

Drop the ego and sign @ $8 million for 3 years and let's get 2 more rings.

As Artest said.....if you can't live on $35 million, you can't live. Lamar, you've already made $75 Million. How many more houses can you buy??

There are lot of complexities on the departure of Trevor, the topic just don't want to die. Prior to the draft day of July 1st, I presented a proposal at that time which one do you prefer: the 1st tier (Kobe, Pau and Drew, well he's a first tier b/c of Jimbo; 2nd tier, Lamar, Trevor, Derek and Shannon; 3rd tier, Luke, Sasha, Jordan, Adam, DJ, Josh and Sun. and of course our draft picks. You can't have both ways b/c luxury taxes are looming.

Draft day came, Mitch opted to get cash than package trade. Then, comes F/A signing, it became complicated when Ron Artest signaled that he wanted to be a Laker thru tweets, f/b and rumor - JB and Mitch are faced with three options, how will you decide? Luxury tax is the devil in all of these options. Isn't it that the only way to sign Ariza + Artest + LO is to trade some pieces? Lakers have to choose the best option. Trading and dumping to clear space was the only option to retain Ariza. In the case of Artest, he is the black gold if we refer to Kobe as the golden child. At the price of MLE, that's a bargain for the black gold in black market. huh! If LO signified in the beginning that he will hold out to this date, Lakers could have opted for Ariza signing at 7M, however his agent could not wait. He's fidgety and excitable with uncontrollable mouth. He is an opposite of LO's agent patient and silent worker. Going back to my initial prposition if given a choice who do you prefer: Adam + Farmar vs. Ariza; Luke + Sasha vs. Odom or a combination of any of the3rd tier vs. Artest. We love Luke, we love Sasha, we love Farmar but under those considerations, I will pick the former namely: Lamar, Trevor and Ron without any question by hook or by crook, w/o remorse. Are there any takers? Can we really dump players for nothing? I believe those were the issues at that time and been aswered. Let it die now, RIP, Ariza is no longer a Laker, Artest is, and Lamar I don't know?

lamar does not want to buy houses. he wants to buy the Queensboro bridge so Queens can be part of manhattan. or maybe a beach.

queens and beaches. what a diva

edwin

portland has only 7.7 available and is in trade for heinrich. also looks like roy and lamarcus r asking more than they expected. surprise will come soon. looks like is the new trend. the world economy going down and all the starlets in the NBA try to push up the prices before 2010.

soon they will be just part of a chorus line

LakersFan22,

"As Artest said.....if you can't live on $35 million, you can't live. Lamar, you've already made $75 Million. How many more houses can you buy??"

Same crap as asking Kobe to take a pay cut ... this is america people ... it is your right to go for the most dough you can get back

I want Odom back ... it'd be great if he came at a discount ... but I ain't gonna criticize anyone for going after what they feel they're worth ... unless they try and play the victim (i.e. criticize laker management) as in the case of Ariza and his fans or is it just his fans ... w/e

justanothermambafan you need to stop watching and start doing ... find out where u can find odom yo (talk 2 d 420 connects, they might have a clue) and get on ya knees and beg like ya life depended on it ...

AK/BK

Does signing Artest to the MLE mean his contract does not count for luxury tax purposes? Can the same be said of Shannon Brown's contract considering he signed for the bi-annual exception (I think that's what it's called)?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

man, I want some of you guys across the table from me if I have to negotiate something. A week of non communication and y'all are either begging LO to come back and we'll give him whatever he wants to ranting and raving that you wouldn't even pay him the MLE if he came crawling back.

relax. it'll happen. go find a pool party or something.

RLC,

>>>Just wait until RonRon {I mean, MoRon}

That's actually pretty funny. Whenever Lamar makes a bad play,
the blog refers to him as Odumb, Now we could have MoRon and
Odumb. If it weren't for Luke's high IQ, we'd be the championship
team with the lowest IQ ever. :-)

cavs sign varejo to a six year 50 mil deal ... umm wow ... and y'all wonder why odom wants upwards of 10 mil a year

btw is it only me or is cavs management setting themselves up for the biggest heart ache ever ... they're commiting all these big dollars to FAs but what happens when Lebron walks? ... contrast that to Miami where Riley is saying he ain't spending until Wade makes a commitment to the team

Odom just sign yo ... we love u ... at ya press conference point us to a website where u selling odom t shirts and we'll go buy some stuff to put more dough in ya wallet ... work with us my dude ... remember wat u said, we rock stars ... we need u on d drums buddy, dont leave

>>>As Artest said.....if you can't live on $35 million, you can't live.
>>>Lamar, you've already made $75 Million. How many more
>>>houses can you buy??

Maybe Lamar needs the cash. Maybe he's planning a hostile takeover
of M&M Mars.

Edwin - I have a feeling the Lamar situation will get resolved before Monday.

Lone Star Laker Fan - the problem with that scenaio is it leaves us with a glut at the SF. We need Lamar at the 4. Where in Texas are you located? I moved to Austin last summer.

dave

edwin

farmar was shopped and no interest. maybe others were shopped too. Buss maybe just saves some money for february. it will be a better time to evaluate if sasha is back to his old self. other teams will look at what is needed and how their roster performs. many trades will happen then.

does not mean that if buss saved money, all the money will go to LO. especially with the news about the 2010 cap. 6 more months and the economy can change or get worst.

yo longtimelukelover,

"Yes. Ariza is slightly above average. Playing on a team like the Lakers made him seem like a very good role player. Watch what happens next year in Houston when he doesn't have Kobe and Pau and Bynum and Lamar drawing attention away from him."

actually i agree kobe and company made ariza appear better than he really is but cant you make the same argument about luke? can you imagine him in any other offense where theres a higher premium to create your own shots or in a defense that doesnt have 3 seven footers to back you in the lane.

---------------
"Well how about this then. In Luke's one season as a part-time starter, he was just as effective as Trevor in his one season as a part-time starter, and Luke had only Kobe & Lamar drawing attention away from him"

luke was the laker starter for about 2-3 years and those were just about the most agonizing years in laker history. he obviously proved that hes not starter material and cannot match up with any starters in the league. its only when he was demoted and played with other scrubs and his minutes were limited to 15 min a game that he became somewhat effective
---------------
'You've got yourself in such a Luke-hate frenzy that you're blinded to any positive contributions by Luke, or his value to the team'

well how bout we the flip side to that? you lukefans are in such a luke-love frenzy that you're blinded by all his liabilities.. you luke lovers always glorify those occasional good bounce steps or lobs he makes but what about the other 3 turnovers where he tried to force a pass in the lane.. you remember his occasional wide open 3s but what about the other 10 plays prior to that where the defense left him wide open and doubled down on kobe and gasol.

all im saying his this guy helps us one way and hurts us in ten others... he can be effective with the right matchup but how often does that happen?? most of the time hes physically dominated by a quicker or bigger more athletic forward on both ends of the floor

now bring artest whos gonna get more minutes than ariza and luke becomes no better than a 10-15 minute player so please dont even argue anybody playing that much deserves that much money.

Lets go,

'The Celtics, minus Garnett, did not have depth issues. Their bench played fine without him (ie. Baby Davis, Perk, House).

Perk is a starter ... he doesnt come off the bench! Dont you watch any Celtic games? Didnt you watch the Finals the year before? If your answer is yes ... then you are an idiot. If your answer is no ... than shut up and dont have takes on teams you dont watch!

'I’m sure other teams like Cleveland, Detroit, and San Antonio just to name a few will have a lot to say about that situation in mind.

I dont know if you know this but San Antonio is in the West ... The only time they will have a lot to say will be in the Finals. If that happens ... Guess whos there and whos not?

'How you’re feeling about now 131-92, RLC?'

Im feeling great!! Couldnt be happier ... we added KG and Rasheed to the team that lost in 7 games to the eventual Conference Champs in the second round! And we are not done yet!

Please Lets go ... If your gonna have a take than at least make sense and know what your talking about! Im sure the fact we have House makes up for the loss of KG ... very intellegent take. You are brilliant ... what a basketball mind you have.

You coulda written about anything in the world but you chose to write that? Also dont worry about us ... worry about the Lakers signing LOL.

Without LOL your gonna be SOL!


yellof.

luke is needed as this blog's mascot and punch bag. that was part of his contract. it is sponsored partially by LA times. and the K brothers r paying 75 dollars monthly. each.

yo blitz

what is your obsession with that kobe/mj 4-5 ring comparison i made 6 months ago? to refresh this was my original argument:

kobe 3 rings- was premature and no way anyone could compare him to jordan
kobe 4 rings- yes its now fair to say you could start comparing kobe to jordan
kobe 5-6 rings- yes when its all said and done kobe will be considered greater than jordan. i know its hard for haters to believe that

since when do you judge how great someone simply in YOUR OWN ABSOLUTE TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF RINGS HE HAS... its a different game today than it was ten years ago. but by your argument i guess bill russell and robert horry are also greater than jordan. lakertom was right about you... ur nothing but a sycophantic lunatic hater fan who cares more about proving others wrong than lakers winning. i think he once said "u know everything yet you know nothing".. u show off all ten pages of fancy stats but you aint got a brain to make logic of any of it... i doubt ur even old enough to be posting here. didnt your read the disclaimer in the bottom
"IF YOU ARE UNDER 13 YOU MAY READ BUT NOT PARTICIPATE" so please just STEP OFF BOY AND MIND YO OWN BIZ!

yellofever,

"now bring artest whos gonna get more minutes than ariza and luke becomes no better than a 10-15 minute player so please dont even argue anybody playing that much deserves that much money."

I get more upset when Luke plays up to 15 minutes ... 10 minutes is about all the Luke I can stomach

Having said that when he has limited minutes his liabilities aren't as obvious and he is still able to showcase his strength (blending in with the other 4 and being able to make the occasional nice pass) in those minutes ...

I'm not sure that's worth his contract but it's certainly better than playing him more because of his contract and thus hurting the team in the process ... in essence let Luke be yo ... his minutes are down and he's still able to help the team ... plus he's decent insurance for when someone get's hurt

I'm guilty of this too ... was ripping on Bynum's contract etc ... idk ... like what's the point of complaining about a situation that's not easily rectified ... let's just hope we can get Odom resigned but if not then Kobe n co will just have to make do with what they got ...

Either way the expectations are the same ... they never change for this organization ... we always think championships and even without Odom the mandate is the same ... it just means Artest will have to spell Ariza and Odom ... and as someone already pointed out that's exactly what his jersey number does #3 (ariza) #7 (odom) = #37 (artest)

did the K brothers give us an assignment to watch Celtics games?!

i did not think so. they will never do that to us. it will be too cruel.

tcb247,

All salaries count towards the cap and luxury tax ... what exceptions do is they allow you to sign players even though you're over the cap

e.g. if salary cap is 60mil and luxury cap is 70mil ... and my payroll is at 68 mil ... i can't sign any players (except those where u own d bird rights, i.e. they've been with the team already for a few years but are now free agents) cuz I'm over the salary cap ... but wait there are exceptions, such as the MLE ... that'd allow me to sign a player for about 6mil bringing my total payroll to 74mil and my luxury tax will be 4mil

LTLF,

Thank you for your excellent, reasoned discussion of Luke vs. Trevor.

I understands all of Luke's limitations, but I also recognize his strengths. He is what he is, a pretty good bench guy. I have no problem with having a guy like him long term as part of this team, paid below league average.

I do wish he would spend the whole summer shooting. It is the one part of his game I think he SHOULD be better at.

Taliq - I have been crawling around on my hands and knees in desert heat, on broken glass, screaming to the heavens COME ON LAMAR - SIGN YOUR CONTRACT ALREADY!!!!

I'm quite sure he can hear me. It should be any minute now. I'm sure of it.

Meanwhile..... I hear phred throws a good pool party.

phred - where you at?

131 -

Explain - please - why you're on our blog?

I don't get it.

Your team consists of geriatric losers who are - or should I say were - 1 and done.

In case your mama didn't tell you about the Lakers, let me explain something to you:

WE WON!!! WE ARE THE 2009 CHAMPS!!!!

Your boys were on the outside (waaayyyy outside) looking in this year. And for the foreseeable future that situation will not change.

Get used to it. You're washed up. You're yesterday's news. You're nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Oh yah - by the way - WE WON WE WON WE WON!!!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!

yellover you must be a kid son.

"but by your argument i guess bill russell and robert horry are also greater than jordan."

Horry of course not , Russell definately ranked over Michael.

"its a different game today than it was ten years ago."

You are right: tougher era, more physical, more fundamental, and simply more fun to watch. You must be a kid because you simply didn't watch Magic and Kareem in their time or watch the dueling fights between Cooper and Larry Bird who DOMINATED every athletic defender from Cooper to Dominque Wilkins to even Michael and Pippen. Even Laker Tom would tell you that!

But then again you are below 13 so I guess I shouldn't be hard on you.

And here's a FACT for you son:

Magic Johnson/Larry Bird>>Kobe Bryant. Kobe hasn't even surprassed Shaq/Duncan yet. Top 11 Kobe is though.

131;

Good post - pretty right on.

Red;

Another disaster.

At the Boston Globe Celtics blog, the talk is 90% Lakers - glad we have your attention.

If the Lakers offer Lamar a lifetime guarantee of free candy, does that count against the salary cap?

KB BLitz

do u have deck cards of these players and do u re-arrange them on a daily basis?

or u just have 10 cards of jordan and u re-arrange them by year in his career?

Blitzstory

forget the "aura". i just watched one of those "historical" games and the lakers could not buy a bucket. i could not hear what chick was saying? something with the pea, ocean? it was really pathetic seeing all those HOF's playing like scrubs.

by the way: duncan/shaq r aging pretty bad. like trying to age a zinfandel. it's not cabernet.

Rick

only if it is mix and match

And one last thing yellofever that you could learn dude.

How almost everyone in the NBA agrees that the defenses today aren't as good as in Magic's era and how WEAK zone are:

[Reluctantly, HOU coach Rick Adelman has had to play some zone defense in the last few games. But he makes it clear that he's not a supporter of zone:

“I never liked it. Sometimes it throws a team out of whack. I think it’s good to change up once in a while or take someone out of their comfort zone. I’ve always found, in the NBA especially, it kind of lets people off the hook as far as their responsibilities for defense.]

[He (Flip Saunders) sees too much length, quickness and athleticism on Detroit's front line to resist the idea, even though he knows that the Pistons of [Larry] Brown vintage were adamant that real men don't zone."]

[The (NBA) committee instituted a three-second rule for defenders in order to prevent teams from parking taller players in the post. The goal was to free the lanes and encourage cuts and drives through the paint.]

Rob Peterson of NBA.Com on why there are so much more perimeter scorers today: http://tinyurl.com/kv8vbc

NBA Rules from 1999-2000 season to 2006-2007 showing the decline of physical perimeter play:

1999-00
• In the backcourt, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders. In the frontcourt, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders except below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may only use his forearm. In the post, neither the offensive player nor the defender is allowed to dislodge or displace a player who has legally obtained a position. Defender may not use his forearm, shoulder, hip or hand to reroute or hold-up an offensive player going from point A to point B or one who is attempting to come around a legal screen set by another offensive player. Slowing or impeding the progress of the screener by grabbing, clutching, holding “chucking” or “wrapping up” is prohibited.

2000-01
• No contact with either hands or forearms by defenders except in the frontcourt below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may use his forearm only.
• Defender may not use his forearm, shoulder, hip or hand to reroute or hold-up an offensive player going from point A to Point B or one who is attempting to come around a legal screen set by another offensive player.
• Slowing or impeding the progress of the screener by grabbing, clutching, holding “chucking” or “wrapping up” is prohibited.

2001-02
• A new defensive three-second rule will prohibit a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.

2004-05
• New rules were introduced to curtail hand-checking, clarify blocking fouls and call defensive three seconds to open up the game.

2006-07
• On a clear-path-to-the-basket foul, the team that is fouled is awarded two free throw attempt and the ball on the sideline.

“And the league is based on solid man-to-man principles.

-Derek Fisher 2008-2009 season.

-ESPN]

Anything else dude?

a puppet mockery of Le Dunk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMeRdwVfyIs

Luke Haters, get a life.

Your hatred is not supported by stats, nor by reality. It reeks of obsession. I'm not sure if it's because of his Dad, it's its because he's good-looking, if it's because he's white, if it's because he was on the 2005 Lakers team, if it is because he was on the 2004 and 2008 teams that lost in the Finals, or because he has a long-term contract.

I don't know.

All I know is that Luke has a ring and he's a Laker and will be a Laker.

So shut the hell up.

Go join a Celtics blog if you want to spit out hatred constantly.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

LTLF

Your post to yellow is right on. Likewise, yellow also has some points, but all in all, I'd rather have Luke on my team than Ariza. Here's why.

Ariza: Although Ariza can in and of himself have a good game, he hasn't yet shown the ability to make the offense move correctly, get teammates involved or really make a post entry pass with consistency. Basically, he either is good or bad, depending on his own play. His pros are hustle plays (he makes a lot of them), defense (I'd say he's above average for his size and weight) and offensive rebounding (he gets those skinny arms and hands up over some bigs and just tips it in). His cons are suspect outside shooting, not enough junk in the trunk and youth. He has some time to continue the expansion of his game. We all saw how much he improved his 3-point shooting from the beginning of the year to the Finals. But he has consistently needed someone to create his space and shot for him. If he can take that next step and find a way to create and make jumpers without the benefit of a nice pass... watch out.

Luke: Although Luke will never posterize anyone with a sweet slash and dunk, he will get Bynum, Gasol and any other Big off the bench going just by keeping the ball moving from weak to strong side. He's a shade less accurate than Ariza in regards to his outside shooting, but Luke has a low post game that Ariza lacks. Also, for everyone's continued harping on his lack of athleticism, speed and hops, he can create his own shot against better athletes. When Luke gets his shot going, I actually believe he's moe of a threat than Ariza because if you guard Luke, that opens up passing lanes to cutters and Bigs who move across the lane. Like any player, Luke forces passes and makes bad decisions. I thought last year he did a great job of not letting bad offensive stretches derail his game like Farmar or Vujacic would.

Some wil say that Ariza can guard the quicker players that blow by Walton, I would counter with the fact that you can play Luke against an opposing Power Forward and not give up too much (assuming he's not matched for too long against Duncan or Aldridge). Would Luke shine more on another team? It depends on how the coach uses him. Same with Ariza, if you hand him the ball with two minutes to go in the 4th... well, let's just say his turnover stats may rise a wee bit.

With Ariza you get a velociraptor with Luke you get a triceratops, both could hold their own in the strange primordial jungle of the NBA, but on our particular team the triceratops is more valuable than the 'raptor, mainly because we have an Allasauros (Artest and a T-Rex (Bryant) as well as a few Megalosaurs (Gasol, Bynum and hopefully Odom).

Truly a pre-historic team

Lamar we need you and you love us. Get 'er done!

Charles,

"PJ is the Ron whisperer."

I love this.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I don’t know if I should add my 2c to the whole TA discussion here. How good TA we will find out from his first season with Houston when Yao out, TMac either out for at least 1st part of the season or will be traded, so he will be faced with necessity to learn how to create his own shot off the dribble, how to shot contested jump shot, how to dunked without Yao commanding full attention and so on. As I said before, triangle makes even average players looks great, MJ use to call it “equal opportunity offense”, and even Smush Parker use to average more than 10pts per game while playing with Lakers. It very well can be a case he will continue to grow as a player to overcome weaknesses and improve his game. Who knows...

On LO subject. Does anyone can confirm, if Portland supposedly out of LO sweepstake, we basically have no team left on the market who can offer him anything above MLE? Am I wrong?

People keep talking about Lamar as "insurance". He's more than insurance. He super-charges our rotations. We end up not having a "second string" like most teams. The lines between starting line-up and Bench Mob become blurred. We become relentless as a result.

Seriously, with Lamar AND Thriller, the opposition doesn't have a chance.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

131,

"You coulda written about anything in the world but you chose to write that? Also dont worry about us ... worry about the Lakers signing LOL."


Wasn't it you who just yesterday went on some little kid rant about possible salary cap "hell?" And you're telling him he coulda written about anything besides that. And again, good stuff chastising Let's go L's for writing about your C's when you can't go one post without writing about the Lakers.

Pot:Hey Kettle

Kettle: Yes?

Pot: You're black

AK / BK,

I happened to catch some of Trevor Ariza's introductory press conference, and I must say he came across to me as being extremely uncomfortable with the situation and a little shocked, perhaps, at his present circumstances. Kind of like he couldn't believe what had happened to him. I may have completely misread him, though - you guys have said in the past that Ariza is somewhat quiet. Did you see any of that press conference, and what did you think of it?

 
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