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If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with

Csny Henry Abbott over at the ol' ESPN True Hoop recently polled his fellow True Hoop scribes about the NBA squad they enjoy watching the most when their favorite team wasn't playing (in Abbott's case, the Portland Trail Blazers).  For most of the T.H. family, the Golden State Warriors took the prize, which isn't terribly surprising. 

As BK once described Nellie's bunch- with their "jacking up any and all shots/don't bother defending anybody because that drains energy better focused on jacking up any and all shots" style- they're the ultimate NBA Live team.  And if you're able to treat the Warriors with the same emotional attachment as one typically affords a video game squad, they fit a very specific bill.

For Abbott, the poor man's "Seven Seconds or Less" Phoenix Suns didn't quite cut it, so he chose the original.  I think I gotta agree with him. 

Yes, I realize they were the "enemy," and whenever they played the Lakers, I regarded them as such.  My loyalties never waned.  But if you're willing to put aside misgivings towards specific Phoenicians (I never really had any, but for the sake of argument) objectively speaking, the Suns were one exceptionally fantastic team for an objective of being purely entertained with some high quality basketball.  Hella points racked at a breakneck pace.  Perpetual motion crafted by Steve Nash's creativity.  Defense treated as a decided second priority, but better than typically credited.  Matrix.  Amare. Diaw.  Barbosa.  Q and Joe Johnson (for a whle).  Even Raja Bell.  Phoenix's success reducing the Lakers to second class Pacific Division citizens was admittedly annoying, but not so awful that I couldn't still appreciate them for who they were and how they played.  

Other recent favorites include...

  • This decade's San Antonio Spurs: A far cry from of D'Antoni ball, but despite popular and uninformed opinion, never a "boring" team.  Between Tony Parker's speed, Manu Ginobli's herky-jerky unpredictability, Bruce Bowen's defensive prowess, David Robinson's class, a touch of Robert Horry, and Tim Duncan's steady ability to do everything that didn't involve a free throw, sooooo much to enjoy.  In particular, it never ceased to amaze and impress me how eerily methodical the Spurs remained under any circumstances.  Up 20.  Down 20.  All squared.  San Antonio played their game with ice water flowing through their veins and waited for the opposition to make a mistake first.  Typically, that patience paid off.
  • The current incarnation of the Portland Trail Blazers: Again, I'm perfectly aware this crew will likely become the Lakers' chief rival over the next decade, but it doesn't change the fact that I dig these guys.  A lot.  In particular, I've got a big-time man crush on Brandon Roy.  Extremely versatile, great in the clutch, good dude.  In fact, the whole team is pretty likable, in addition to collectively impressive talent.  As much fun as it was watching the Jail Blazers perpetually melt down- often at the expense of the Lakers- I hated seeing a historically great franchise in the gutter.  The city, their fans and the league deserved better.  Now they have it.
  • The Detroit Pistons, 2004-2006: By now, you've probably figured out that I have the capacity to forgive teams engaged in bitter battles against the Lakers.  I seethed while these guys took out the Kobe-Shaq-Malone-GP Lakers in the 2004 Finals and took boatloads of grief from a Day-Twah buddy, but that sting can't change the fact that Chauncey-Rip-Tay-Sheed-Big Ben were an absolute joy to watch.  One of the best starting fives in recent memory, these guys executed so well on both sides of the ball.  In his prime, Ben Wallace was one of my favorite players in the Association and I loved how dangerous Hamilton became playing off the ball. 
  • The early decade Sixers: A one-man team, but that one man (Allen Iverson) was a thrill to watch and the team (Aaron McKie, Dikembe Mutombo, Eric Snow, Theo Ratliff, etc.) was smartly assembled to compliment A.I. doing his thing.  
I'm sure I could find more examples if I thought longer about it.  Or, I could just stop yapping and let the blogosphere throw out some suggestions.  Who ya got?  And before anyone gets their "patriotic" bluster on, enjoying how another team- even a purple and gold rival- goes about their business doesn't make you any less of a Laker fan.  It just means you appreciate basketball and I'd like to think the Lakers Blog readership does.

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I loved watching the Suns. They are number 1 on my list. Just fin. But is Steve Nash not the most overrated player of his generation?

He is great. He is fun to watch. I am not dissing him. But he was never the best guy in the league. 2 MVPs to a guy who never saw the NBA Finals? And not because he didn't have talent around him.

Stoudamire. Bell. Diaw. Marion. Barbosa. Rose. Thomas. Those are real players. Piatkowsi. Jones. Banks.

I argue if you swapped Nash for Kobe, Duncan, Wade or James, that team wins a title.

Nash also failed to adjust to Shaq, who actually played pretty well last year. I think Nash plays his own style, speed, driving in circles, etc. It's effective, he's a great passer and shooter. But he never won, and he had talent around him.

Again, I love Nash. But he was MVP 2 years running. I'm just saying he never really was the best in the league.

Tom D.

Far and away, the Suns. Fun to watch, and a great rival (in that I knew they were better than the Lakers, but not invincible).

It is criminal what they have done, blowing up a team that lost in the Conference finals two years running under very dubious circumstances.
All they needed to add was an enforcer and they would have gotten over the hump. Instead, the Suns set slowly into the West.

Early 2000s Mavericks were fun to watch too. Nash, Nowitzki, Finley, Avery Johnson... they even had guys like Shawn Bradley and Wang Zhizhi to make things interesting. Lakers and Spurs always got the better of them, but they were a dangerous and intriguing team all the while.

The Clippers....(please move to Anaheim, to remove the stench from the most beautiful indoors Arena, Staples Center)....'s easy to watch a great team, but it's sometimes interesting to watch a bad team and try to figure out what they're doing wrong.

Watching the Crab's is boring, it's just watching the one man show....why even have the 4 others out there with him????

I have to say, the Oklahoma City Thunder is a team that I love to follow. I loved what they did with their number 3 pick. I think he'll play great alongside Westbrook. Westbrook-Harden-Durant-Green is arguably the best young core in the league. Had Bynum been a free agent this year I could definitely see the Thunder going after him. Could you imagine that starting five? Scary.

My real second favorite team? Whoever's playing the Celtics.

Last year's Rockets team won me over with their heart. No McGrady, then no Yao later in the series, yet they took the eventual champs to seven games on sheer grit. They were a hard team to root against.

This year, I'll be interested to see if Ariza can build on his Laker success and Brooks school people with the body of a high schooler. They probably won't make the playoffs sans Artest, but they're a team of underdogs who play beyond their talent level.

LG is correct. Whoever is playing the celtics is my second favorite team. Other than that, regular season basketball sucks unless the Lakers are playing.




>>> Kareem's personality shut him out of opportunities, fairly or unfairly, that he might
>>> have otherwise received once his playing days were over. But there's no way to go back
>>> and undo it. I think it's great how he's trying now to make himself more accessible,
>>> but guys his age just don't get head coaching gigs in the NBA without any sort of
>>> previous experience. It's not in the cards. –Brian Kamenetzky

>>> I don't think that Kareem has the coaching experience yet to show that he is capable of
>>> being a good NBA head coach. It takes more than intelligence and basketball knowledge.
>>> I would want to see him have a major assistant position (i.e. such as what Rambis and
>>> Shaw have had) for at least a couple of years before being made a head coach. –exhelodrvr

I don’t want to contradict or nitpick either of the above quotes as they are generally true and were made by two individuals whose viewpoints and opinions I respect greatly but I honestly believe that Kareem has been consistently disrespected by NBA general managers who continue to hire the same corps of inept uninspiring retreads whose coaching resumes truly offer nothing BUT experience.

Personally, I don’t think coaching experience – even NBA coaching experience – is anywhere near as important a factor in predicting whether a candidate will succeed or fail as an NBA coach as are ability to set the right priorities, establish a winning environment , manage and supervise assistant coaches, and develop and motivate players. Experience, especially that which ends in failure, is overrated.

That is why I cannot understand teams not giving former players like Kareem and Rick Barry – both proven NBA winners and champions who know how to win – a fair shot to show what they can do. I also don’t buy the idea that having been a superstar automatically disqualifies a former player from being a good coach. Just because Magic didn’t work out shouldn’t exclude other superstars.

Basketball intelligence is important but so is the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. Coaches like Stan Van Gundy are a perfect example of basketball gurus who basically know too much for their own good, which is why he made big gaffes like upsetting his rotation by over-playing Jameer Nelson. Give me a coach who knows what wins and has the guts and smarts to stick to it rather than blinking. Everything Kareem has said about coaching Drew shows he understands how to win in the NBA.

When you look at the current crop of head coaches in the NBA, many of whom are getting their second or third or fourth shots to become successful – Mike Dantoni, Eddie Jordan, Jim O’Brien, Scott Skiles, Mike Woodson, Larry Brown, Eric Spoelstra, Stan Van Gundy, Flip Saunders, George Karl, Scott Brooks, Nate McMillan, Don Nelson, Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, Paul Westphal, Rick Carlisle, Rick Adelman, and Lionel Hollins – you can see why Kareem might feel slighted.

While I personally don’t think Kareem is the right candidate to take over as head coach of the Lakers, I definitely believe that he could be an excellent coach for another NBA team if given the opportunity. A big market championship franchise like the Lakers just has dramatically different coaching needs and requirements than most of the rest of the NBA franchises. Furthermore, choosing a head coach to succeed a legend like Phil Jackson adds even more unique demands to the process.

Ironically, my choice to succeed Phil Jackson is a guy who has zero coaching experience but who has all of the tangible and intangible tools you want to coach a high profile franchise like the Lakers – great personal charisma, high basketball IQ, proven leadership skills, unquestioned player respect, and first hand knowledge of what it takes to win championships. That man is Derek Fisher and it is my fervent hope that Phil will continue to coach for another 3 years and that Derek will succeed him.

Sometimes, you have to think out-of-the-box. I’m not saying that experience is unimportant but rather that you have to look at it with a much more jaundiced view because more often that not it has shown what candidates cannot do than what they can do. Look instead for candidates that possess the same sets of traits that made Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich such successful coaches. That’s how you hit a home run and with franchises like the Lakers, home runs are what we fans demand.



I don't know how Dunleavy crashed so bad. That year he coached the Lakers, I thought was great. Slowed it down to playoff pace during the season...then lost in the finals to the Bulls, I believe. Playoffs are a whole different season, that's why it will be rare to see a fast-breaking team (7 seconds or less) or an outside shooting team (Magic), win the playoffs it just gets so much more physical and I believe the coaching experience to make the adjustments comes into play. For instance, in one of the series Phil and staff adjusted the triangle spacing by increasing it. Adjustment worked. I can remember how Fisher was always the guy willing to do the post game interview...he could be good, and watching his interactions in the last 2 years with his teammates, I believe he has become more vocal, on the court, during timeouts, etc.

I agree that it's unfair to pigeon hole Kareem. The guy is in good health, and he's one of the smartest players to EVER play the game.

I personally appreciate him more in a role like he's in now, or a role where's he's backing up PJ AND working with the young bigs... but who's to say that he couldn't take on a more significant position. Let's first promote him to full assistant, put him in charge of defense, and see how it goes.

Back in the day, I had two second favorite squads.. in the 80s it was the Hawks. In the 90s it was the Pacers. I liked the guy from Riverside... I think his sister played for SC... gosh, what was his name? And then in the 80s there was a player that I felt was crapped on by people unfairly -and he gave his all against the likes of Larry Bird, so I found myself cheering for him and his squad

Kareem MIGHT make a good coach, but with no real coaching experience it's more likely that he won't. If Jackson were to retire today, I would not want Kareem to coach the Lakers. I would select Shaw. If Kareem were to spend a couple of years as an assistant coach, and show that he has the management and people skills that are needed (which are as important as the basketball knowledge) then I think it would be worth taking a second look at him. Being a superstar doesn't disqualify one - Larry Bird is an example, although that was an unusual situation, and he didn't stick with it, so it's hard to tell if he could have done it for long. Lenny Wilkins is probably the best example. (I don't count Bill Russell's time with the Celtics.) Rudy T and Bill Sharman were ALl-Stars who very good coaches. But I think that most superstars have a hard time relating to average players. I think Fisher has the potential to be a very good coach, but not going straight from player to coach, at least with the Lakers.

I root for the Knicks. I live in NJ, but I can't stand the Nets, mostly because their arena is lifeless. It's fun to watch the Knicks, because they're an underdog basically every night. When they win, it's nice. When they lose I don't lose any sleep over it. I get to watch all their games on the local channel. I'm always hoping they make the playoffs, to be able to watch a playoff game at the Garden. It would bum me out if they got Lebron, though, I couldn't see myself rooting for them at all.

I respect the Spurs.

These other "options" I do not respect (except the 2004 Lakers who broke my heart). I'll leave it at that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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



Thanks for your comments. I think you’re right that Fish probably would not get the chance to coach the Lakers without some assistant coaching experience but I am still confident that he would be able to make the transition with little difficulty, especially since he would have Kobe’s support and the team would continue to run the Triangle Offense. Even if this alienated a couple of Phil’s current assistants, I have no doubt that most of the guys would stay and support Derek. This is one of the times that talent trumps experience in my opinion so we will have to agree to disagree.

Would Fish be as good as if he had some experience? Of course not. But that does not really prove that he couldn’t do the job. I believe cream rises to the top. Great coaches are great because of their talents and abilities to coach more than because of their experience. You don’t create a great player or coach by just experience. You can improve them but talent is far more important than experience. Phil Jackson would likely still be the great coach he is had he not coached in the CBA first. It might have taken him longer but the cream rises to the top. Same with every other great coach.

What really irritates me is the presumption that guys who didn’t get it and failed in one or more prior stints have learned and gotten better. Why is it easier to believe that a coach who did a poor job has somehow now learned to do it better than it is to believe that a guy like Derek Fisher, who has every trait in spades you want in a head coach for the Lakers other than experience could do a better job? Derek Fisher strikes me as a guy who would not miss a step moving to the bench as a head coach.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and Fish will play 2 more years and then join the Lakers coaching staff for Phil’s last year and then succeed him. The point I was really trying to make on Kareem’s behalf is not so much that Kareem should get a chance to jump directly to head coach but more that this recycling of guys fired from their last jobs goes to prove that experience is being misevaluated. The reason they were fired is almost always because they did NOT do a good job. But hey, they have the experience. LOL. If you know basketball, there are some players you just know would be great coaches. That’s what I clearly see in Derek Fisher. If he wants it, he has everything to be a great NBA head coach.


Shaq and I have similar environmental interests, at least.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


As far as most recent "other" teams:

I thought the Bulls put on a spectacular show in last year's playoffs.

The Spurs would get my vote for most consistently watchable over the last several years.

I agree with Jesse A, about the early 2000's Mavericks. Would also toss in late '90's, early 2000's Portland. Clippers for a number of reasons, ranging from trainwreck fascination to a constant amazement about how much talent and potential a truly bad team can have.

the last 'other' team i really rooted for was actually the riley/van gundy knicks. I don't know why, but I don't go for the crazy offense thing. I like teams that will happily beat you with 80 points on any given night. It probably wasn't, but it seemed like every year in the late nineties the knicks and the heat would wage the most brutal playoff series imaginable, at least until the next year. Great basketball, it wasn't bad offense, it was great defense.

there are some guys i like, but not to the extent of caring whether their teams win or not. Duncan, Arenas when he's healthy, baron davis and stephen jackson come to mind. oddly, Lamar Odom and Pau were both my guys, too.

kareem? great guy. i think there was a year he actually went to an Indian Reservation in the southwest and coached for nothing just to get some coaching experience, because nobody in any other league would give him the time of day. Just seems to have a hard time getting on the carousel. It's too bad, especially when you see the same guys getting hired to screw up teams over and over again, but guess some guys just aren't cut out for coaching.

Happy birthday to the best player in the NBA... none other than THE MAMBA, KOBE BRYANT!!! May you have more championships to come!

#HappyBdayKobe on Twitter is a trending topic.

Kobe's 31st birthday today.

Bordom's best friend, from some webpage:

"RE-DO - 2005 NBA Draft

After any major sports draft, every team and their fans usually feel great about the future. The NBA many teams draft based on potential and not on the basis of past performance. 2005 was one of the last drafts that high school talent could bypass the college game and enter in the draft. Teams will still draft on potential, even a year in college doesn't show enough to make an educated determination on what player is better than the other. Here is a re-do of the 2005 NBA Draft if it happened today.

1. Chris Paul - Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks would be a much improved team with Paul at the point. Andrew Bogut was a decent pick, but the draft class was presumed to be very thin in 2005 and they couldn't pass up on a big man with International flavor. Chris Paul is hands-down, head above shoulders, the filet mignon of this draft. (Paul went #3 to New Orleans)

2. Andrew Bynum - Atlanta Hawks - Atlanta was rebuilding a young roster and needed a scorer. At the time of the draft, Atlanta could have waited on a player to develop, but big men develop at a snail's pace. The Hawks ended up taking Marvin Williams, not a bad choice, but he was solely picked based on a predicted potential with no ceiling. (Bynum went #10 to the Lakers)

3. Deron Williams - Utah Jazz - Williams actually went at this spot and to-date seemed to be about the third best player in the draft. At the University of Illinois, Williams looked great, any other year, he would have went deeper in the draft, but he'll be great. (Williams went #3 to Utah)

4. Danny Granger - New Orleans Hornets - The Hornets was the lucky team in 2005 by picking Chris Paul. Granger would be a stud on any team in the NBA. He was supposed to go much earlier than where he went, many teams weren't sold on him. (Granger went #17 to Indiana)

5. Andrew Bogut - Charlotte Bobcats - Bogut would be a great addition to Charlotte. A Bogut/Okafor duo would be a much better front court team than May/Okafor. Charlotte went to take Raymond Felton at this spot, but many thought at the time that they needed to take some Tar Heels to increase attendance in Chartlotte. (Bogut went #1 to Milwaukee)

6. David Lee - Portland Trailblazers - Lee is an energy player that doesn't quit on either end of the floor. He was an Energizer bunny at the University of Florida, but many didn't think that his game wouldn't translate to the NBA. Portland picked Martell Webster, who is turning into a nice player, but in 2005 he was picked on potential. Lee has been the one constant on the Knicks roster during the last three years and will continue to be a piece of their future. (Lee was picked #30 by New York)

7. Marvin Williams - Toronto Raptors - I would like Marvin Williams on Toronto more than I do on Atlanta, where he ended up. Toronto was a team trying to find its identity without Vince Carter. They ended up taking Charlie Villanueva, which seemed like a decent move, since Villanueva could score all over the floor at UConn. (Williams went #2 to Atlanta)

8. Charlie Villanueva - New York Knicks - The Knicks could have used Villanueva on their team, especially since he would have been a nice middle of the floor scorer. New York had a ton of guards and wannabe big men, Villanueva fit a niche that they were missing. Channing Frye was the player chosen by New York, he may still end up being a decent guy, but probably not a starter. He was traded to Portland last season, where he is behind Greg Oden in the rotation. (Villanueva was chosen #7 by Toronto)

9. Jason Maxiell - Golden State Warriors - Maxiell would have added much needed defensive ability on the high-scoring Warriors. Golden State was coached by Don Nelson at the time he was just looking for more offense, so they chose Ike Idogu. Maxiell is coming into his own on Detroit where he is playing for a contender. (Maxiell was picked #26 by Detroit)

10. Jose Calderon - Los Angeles Lakers - Calderon was probably going to stay in Europe for a season or more, something the Lakers could have done. The Lakers were trying to find themselves as a team without Shaquille, so drafting a point guard may have not been in their plans. Andrew Bynum was probably the perfect pick for what they needed. (Calderon went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft)."

I love these things.


Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly.

happy bday to our main man, Kobe 'Black Mamba' Bryant!
i love you, more championships, champ!

I like ATL when I can't find a Lakers game. Josh Smith while he has holes in his game is great fun to watch. Al Horford is a great young leader and player. Joe Johnson is an underrated stud. Lots of good athleticism makes their games fun to watch.

Speaking of Al Horford, his Florida teams were so fun to watch execute and dominate the competition.

For Kobe, on his B-Day. 31? That's old guys. 3 more years at his peak is about all we should really ask of the man, but I'll settle for 8.

Here's some more of this re-do madness:

The 1996 NBA draft Redo.
NBA Draft 1996 Actual Picks.

1.Sixers-Allen Iverson

2.Toronto Raptors-Marcus Camby

3.Vancouver Grizzlies-Shareef Abdur-Rahim

4.Milwaukee Bucks-Stephon Marbury

5.Minnesota T’Wolves-Ray Allen

6.Boston Celtics-Antoine Walker

7.LAC- Lorenzen Wright

8.New Jersey Nets-Kerry Kittles

9.Dallas Mavericks-Samaki Walker

10.Indiana Pacers-Eric Dampier

11.GS Warriors- Todd Fuller

12.Cleveland Cavaliers- Vitaly Potapenko

13.Charlotte Hornets-Kobe Bryant

1996 NBA draft redo.

1.Sixers- Kobe Bryant

2.Toronto Raptors- Allen Iverson

3.Vancouver Grizzlies-Steve Nash

4.Milwaukee Bucks-Ray Allen

5.Minnesota T’Wolves-Jermaine O’Neal

6.Boston Celtics-Stephon Marbury

7.LAC-Peja Stojakovic

8.New Jersey Nets-Marcus Camby

9.Dallas Mavericks-Antoine Walker

10.Indiana Pacers-Zydrunas Ilgauskas

11.GS Warriors- Shareef Abdur Rahim

12. Cleveland Cavaliers-Ben Wallace (Went undrafted in the 1996 NBA draft)

13. Charlotte Hornets- Derek Fisher

Note: In the 1997 Draft the Sixers almost won the lottery and would have drafted Tim Duncan. Imagine how many championships Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant would have won? The Lakers Dynasty of Shaq and Kobe would have never happened with Kobe Bryant in Philadelphia. Instead the Sixers got the second pick which turned out to be Keith Van Horn.""

Yeah baby.


I don't like this one:

1999 Draft Redo
By gocelts34

Just like my 1998 draft redo, I am going to redo the lottery of the 1999 draft. This draft class was another that was loaded with talent. There are alot of big names, like Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, and Andrei Kirlenko. So here we go!

1)Chicago Bulls-Elton Brand

The Bulls did the right thing with there pick here, making Elton Brand there first overall pick. However the wrong thing to do was trade him for the second pick in the 2001 draft. Elton has been amongst the NBA’s best power forwards during his seven year career, putting up 20 points, 10 boards, and 2 blocks a game during that span.

2)Memphis Grizzlies-Shawn Marion

Marion is a guy that can do it all, score, pass, rebound, block shots, and come up with steals, he’s every fantasy owners dream. He has made a few All Star appearences, and has flourished over the past couple seasons under Mike D’Antoni. His career numbers of 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block boast really well for him.

3) Charlotte Hornets-Baron Davis

The Hornets were right on par here, taking Baron Davis with the number three pick in the draft. Baron played really well for Charlotte in his first four and a half seasons, putting up numbers of 20 points, to go along with 7.5 assists. His stellar play earned him a few All Star Game appearences, and help lead the Hornets into the second round of the playoffs multiple times.

4)Los Angeles Clippers-Ron Artest

Everyone knows about his ill tempered behaviors, but even with all that I think Ron is a really valuable player. He is a guy that can carry the scoring load for your team, all while also putting the effort in on the other end of the court to shut down the opposing team’s best player. Ron has had a real good career, and I think his best days are still ahead of him.

5)Toronto Raptors-Andrei Kirlenko

Andrei is one of the most productive forwards the game has ever seen. Some of his stat lines are just unreal. Before Andrei got to the league, only two players had posted five by fives in teh history of the NBA, Jordan and Robertson each once. Andrei became the third player to do that, and now has three career five by fives, including two in the same week. When healthy, he is one of the top defensive players, and shot blockers in this league. He is also a good scorer, rebounder, and passer. He is a real student of the game, and is always looking to improve.

6)Minnesota Timberwolves-Steve Francis

Steve is an electrifying point guard, who’s early days were his best. When he was in
Houston, he had big year after big year, which earned him an anual spot on the Western Confrence All Star team, and even some starts at the point guard position. However, since being traded from Houston, his career has been going down hill. He is now known as a cancer, and very uncoachable. Hopefully Steve can overcome that, and get his career back on the right track.

7) Washington Wizards- Lamar Odom is a very unique player in the sense that he is the size of an NBA power forward, but has the skill set to lead a team from the point guar position. Odom has found success in this league by using his ball handling skills, as well as his length and athleticism to break down defenses. Lamar has averaged 16 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 5 assists per game over the course of his career. He was also named to the to the 1999-2000 Schick All-Rookie First Team, and Named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month, March 2004

8) Cleveland Cavaliers-Rip Hamilton

Rip is a very efficient scorer, who has thrived in
Detroit’s system. Rip is the leagues most durable player, and is great at working within the system. He is also one heck of a defender, and will give you a good effort night in and night out. Rip
Hamilton has made one All Star appearance over the course of his career, and is known to be one of the toughest players to defend.

9)Phoenix Suns-Jason Terry

Jason Terry has established himself as a score first combo guard in this league. His career is capped off by a trip the the finals this season with the Dallas Mavericks in which he had averages of 22 points and 3.5 assists in the six game series. Jason was named to the All Rookie Second team in 1999-2000, and would later on play for the
US in many international tournaments including the 2001 Good Will Games.

10)Atlanta Hawks-Manu Ginobili

Of everyone in this draft redo, Manu made the biggest jump, going from pick number 57 all the way up to the 10th pick. After being draft in 1999 Manu stayed over seas for a couple of seasons to develop his game, and it was well worth the wait. Once Manu came to the NBA he became an immediate impact, finishing fourth in the 2002-2003 Rookie of the Year voting, and was selected to the 2002-2003 All Rookie Second team. Manu is at his best during the playoffs, averaging 16 points and almost 4 reounds and 4 assists.

11)Cleveland Cavaliers-Andre Miller

Andre made an instant impact ever since he hit the hardwood of the NBA. In his first season he had averages 11 points and 6 assists in just 25 minutes a game, followed up by a stellar sophomore performance were he averaged 16 points and 8 assists, and started every game for the Cavs. In 2002-2003 Andre recorded arguably his best season as a pro, with averages of 16.5 points and just about 11 assists. Andre has been very consistent in his last few seasons, and has career averages of 14.2 points and 7.5 assists per game.

12)Toronto Raptors-Corey Maggette

Corey has yet to play a full season in his NBA career due to injuries, but when he is on the court, you can expect a good offensive night out of him. Corey has career averages of 15 points and rebounds, and has become a consistent 20 point per game scorer. The only downside to Maggette’s play is that he tends to struggle on the defensive end.

13)Seattle Supersonics-Wally Szczerbiak

Wally has one of the purest strokes in the NBA and has became a very good scorer in this league. Wally has career averages of 15.5 points and just under 3 assists per game. Wally was voted to the 1999-2000 All Rookie Second team."


The Bill Walton led Portland Trail Blazers of the late '70s, were my other team, which is funny because I never liked Walton at UCLA. That's probably because I was a fan of the Long Beach State '49ers under Jerry Tarkanian and Lute Olsen and they could never make it past Wooden's squads in the NCAA western regionals, which back then used to be geographically determined.

Walton's play in the NBA won me over. For a few years there he was the best center in basketball, even better than Kareeem and Elmore Smith. Just kidding about Elmore but he was who the Lakers featured after Wilt retired and was quite a shot-blocker, but Walton was the consummate shot-blocker. Walton was the only one that I ever saw block a Kareem sky-hook, he was the best defensive player of his era.

Of course he never could stay healthy and that was his downfall. Professional sports are littered with great talents who never reached their potential because of injury, but at least Walton had his day in the Sun with the '76-'77 Blazers even though he only played in 68 regular season games that year it was enough to produce an NBA title and a couple MVP trophies. He lost me when he went over to the Celts though.

Here's the biggest bust list for eadch team. Something fun to read. From fannation:

"Biggest NBA Draft Busts by Team
Posted Jun 25, 2009 1:15PM By Will Brinson (RSS feed)

So, you may or may not have seen the feature we did for the NFL Draft in which we took every single team and decided who the worst draft pick in the history of that franchise was. And it was so awesome and fun to do (and totally not time consuming at all) that I decided to roll it out for the NBA as well.

So, for every NBA team, we give you a horrible draft pick -- either a straight bust, or player picked ahead of another player who was far better, etc. -- and then a snarky reason as to why said pick was the worst in franchise history. Your suggestions in the comments, please. And happy draft day!

1. Clippers: Michael Olowokandi, 1st, 1998

How do you like your 50 Cent jokes? Over easy? Slightly poached? Completely unfunny? Or would you prefer to just sit here and laugh at what a jimmy-joke Olowokandi is? Yeah, I thought so. The Kandi-Man never amounted to anything, but at least that's apropos of the Clippers franchise. Godspeed, Blake Griffin. Godspeed.

2. Grizzlies: Bryant Reeves, 6th, 1995

It would be totally reasonable to say "Stromile Swift" here. Totally. But the fact of the matter is that Big Country was a franchise-defining pick when the team was in Vancouver. I mean, there were more players to choose from, like Swift and 'Reef and Bibby, but Country was the guy. As you know, the team is no longer in Canada. You do the math.

3. Thunder: Danny Vranes, 5th, 1981

Ahhhhh, simpler times. When the Sonics weren't the Thunder. When Seattle wasn't Oklahoma. And when Clay Bennett wasn't Lucifer. But hey, what can you do? Oh, right. Lots of stuff: like revisit the past for the the Seattle Supersonics! For instance, Mr. Vranes maxed out in 1984 by averaging 8.4 points per game. Good times, etc.

4. Kings: Joe Kleine, 6th, 1985

Kleine, a big boy from the south, was picked No. 6 in Sacramento's virgin draft. The Kings passed up Karl Malone, Detlef Schrempf, Chris Mullin, Joe Dumars and Terry Porter. An inauspicious start, to say the least.

5. Wizards: Kwame Brown, 1st, 2001

When judging the Wiz' draft in '01 is that you have to remember two words: Michael Jordan. The greatest basketball player of all time was responsible for one of the biggest draft busts of all time, not to mention the fact that he is currently ruining the Bobcats franchise. At least Kwame made a ton of money.

6. Timberwolves: William Avery, 14th, 1999

The trickiest thing about the T-Wolves is that you have to remember: worse things could have happened if Joe Smith hadn't cost them eleventy-billion No. 1 picks. But for this spot, we'll take Avery. Why? Did you see how well he played in the NBA? Exactly. Add in the fact that he was a by-product of a great Duke team, yet he was the only guy that didn't pan out.

7. Warriors: Todd Fuller, 11th, 1996 & Chris Washburn, 3rd, 1986

That's, right, it's a tie! And sure, Adonal Foyle deserves strong consideration here, mainly because he was picked ahead of Tracy McGrady. But good gracious, look at the list of folks who were drafted after my boy Fuller (Nash, JO'N, Peja, Big Z, KOBE BRYANT). Also, I just wanted to make sure my NC State Wolfpack were fully represented. Sigh.

8. Knicks: Frederic Weis, 15th, 1999

The absurdity of the NBA draft can't be better defined outside of "Isiah Thomas doesn't own the worst pick ever for the New York Knicks." But it's true: Weis never sniffed the floor for the 'Bockers and proved to be worse than Michael Sweetney, even.

9. Raptors: Rafael Araujo 8th, 2004

I wanted Jonathan Bender here for the NBA Live 2000 factor, but they did score a Davis by trading him, so it's hard to justify. Of course, not nearly as difficult to justify as taking Araujo (2.8 points and rebounds per game for his career) over Andre Iguodala and the rest of the semi-studs in that draft class, need aside.

10. Bucks: Marcus Haislip, 13th, 2002

I originally wanted to roll with Andrew Bogut, with my theory being that "anyone you picked ahead of Chris Paul and Deron Williams is inherently a tremendous bust," but that seemed shortsighted. Besides, Haislip played a grand total of 79 games in his career, while averaging 3.6 points per game. The people drafted after Haislip aren't spectacular but that's weak-sauce, son.

11. Nets: Eddie Griffin, 7th, 2001

Far be it from me to mock someone who has since passed away, but I think it's fair to say that Griffin, God rest his soul, was not a fantastic choice for the Nets at seventh overall. Seriously, I'm not here to judge people, just to pick the busts of the draft. And, yes, I feel bad about this one, but a bust is a bust.

12. Bobcats: Adam Morrison, 3rd, 2006

If you're a fan of North Carolina (professional) basketball, allow me to lead you in a resounding, SIIIIIIIIIIGH. Morrison was the brainchild of His Airness, for whatever reason, and was drafted before such stinkers as Brandon Roy, Randy Foye, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo and J.J. Redick. Yes, that's exactly how inconsequential BBJ has become.

13. Pacers: Scott Haskin, 14th, 1993

There are several players you could make a bust claim for when it comes to the Pacers over the past few years (I desperately want to tag Clark Kellogg, but such is life). Of course, the Pacers have done a pretty good job on draft day, relatively speaking. But Haskin only played in 27 games during a one-year stint with Indiana, and that's more than enough to qualify him here.

14. Suns: Zarko Cabarkapa, 17th, 2003

Gracious. Where to start? Rajon Rondo? Luol Deng? Rudy Fernandez? Oh right. They drafted all those people ... they just happened to trade them for nothing. Poor Phoenix fans. Instead, I'll offer you Cabarkapa, another foreign fella that the Suns organization mistakenly fell in love with. Here's a draft day hint, all you GM's: if someone's first name is ends in "-arko", avoid him.

15. Pistons: Darko Milicic, 2nd, 2003

Like shooting fish in a freaking barrel. For those that somehow don't know, Darko was selected before Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He also managed -- through theoretical osmosis -- to bring down the entire Detroit Pistons organization, all by himself. When Joe Dumars and Larry Brown are framed for murder in three years, just don't act surprised, m'kay?

16. Bulls: Marcus Fizer, 4th, 2000

The really crazy thing about the Bulls' draft history is that they had nine straight years with a pick of ninth or better. So, yeah, there's been some quality basketball in Chi-town since MJ left. Remarkably, they've done a pretty decent job of drafting during that time too, although Fizer is an obvious exception, even if the 2000 NBA Draft was a tremendous stinker. (And it was.)

17. 76ers: Shawn Bradley, 2nd, 1993

Bradley is immortalized (via poster usually) as a Dallas Maverick -- the team's old tealish colors really did wonders for bringing out his skin complexion. But he was drafted as a Sixer way back when reading SI was cool (I remember his cover!) and he was taken in front of Penny, Mashburn, Rodney Rogers and even Vin Baker.

18. Heat: Harold Miner, 12th, 1992

The Heat's drafting prowess is relatively impressive, with regard to not taking total stinkbombs, actually. But the thing with Miner is that he was hyped as "Baby Jordan" -- I mean, really, people -- and only played 200 games, averaged under 10 points per game, and Miami could have had Doug Christie. Doug Christie! (Also, Spree and Big O if you prefer your jokes to be of the crazy/fat variety instead of whipped husband jokes.)

19. Hawks: Shelden Williams, 5th, 2006

Note to self: there is one good thing about that shipwrecked basketball city, Charlotte. It keeps you from being a Hawks fan. I wanted to go with Marvin here, but Shelden's the better Tobacco Road choice for one main reason (Chris Paul aside): the Hawks refuse to take a point guard. They had Brandon Roy, Randy Foye and Rajon Rondo all hanging around in '06 and they still Williams when they didn't even need him. Insanity, same thing, etc.

20. Jazz: Luther Wright, 18th, 1993

BO-RING. The Jazz nailed Stockton (16th, 1984) and Malone (13th, 1985) and from then until forever, the only time they've needed to step up and nail a big pick, they pulled Deron Williams. You could argue Raul Lopez in 2001 was a bust, but he wasn't found at a rest stop "banging cans and smashing in windows." Also, little known fact: Wright gets paid $153k every year for 25 years.

21. Hornets: J.R. Reid, 5th, 1989

Sure, J.R. played a ton of games, but there's an easy comparison here: Kendall Gill was drafted at fifth overall as well the following year. And, as my attorney pointed out, it's not like Gill is some huge superstar here, folks. Sugarcoat it all you want, Carolina fans: Reid stunk, and the Hornets took him way too early (Tim Hardaway and Shawn Kemp were both drafted after the UNC product).

22. Mavericks: Samaki Walker, 9th, 1996

Just so we're clear, there was a four-year stretch where the Mavs took Cherokee Parks, Samaki Walker, Kelvin Cato and Tractor Traylor with top-15 picks. Guh. If Dallas hadn't landed Dirk for Tractor, then the fat man would be the pick. But Walker is just indefensible here -- and actually worse than the aforementioned Fuller for the very same reasons (Kobe, etc.)

23. Rockets: Michael Dickerson, 14th; Bryce Drew, 16th & Mirsad Turkcan, 18th, 1998

Houston's draft history is bizarre in that, at least after the Cassell/Big Shot Bob years, they managed to pull the best talent from later in the draft. Including 1998, when they landed Cuttino Mobley in the second round after lobbing up this platter of eggs in a very quick first round span. I mean, just make a freaking play and shuffle those picks around, somebody.

24. Blazers: Sam Bowie. 2nd, 1984

Fair or not, he's going to be the guy here. And if for some reason you don't know why this didn't work out for Portland, hop in your car, drive to the airport, take the first flight available to Chicago, find any local sports fan and ask them how drafting Michael Jordan worked out for them that year.

25. Spurs: Rick Hughes, 14th, 1985

I don't want to say that the Spurs have been "lucky," because that would insult the excellent drafting history of the franchise. How-EVA, everyone knows about David Robinson's back injury and how it landed Tim Duncan and altered the history of the universe. And if you glance at the Spurs' drafting history, you'll note some stink bombs: Sean Elliott is debatable, Tracy Murray is "meh," Reggie Johnson was bad, etc. But for a straight-up bust, Alfredrick Hughes (Rick or Alfred, depending on your preference, of course) is the choice, averaging 5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists over his 68-game career.

26. Magic: Steven Hunter, 15th, 2001

Has there ever been a team with Ping-Pong ball fortune like the Magic? Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal (not to mention Chris Webber)? Of course, for every easy lay-up like those guys, there's a disaster like the three-pick '98 draft that yielded Michael Doleac, Keon Clark and Matt Harpring. But at least that trio was somewhat decent; even Zach Randolph has been more productive than Hunter.

27. Celtics: Eric Montross, 9th

Part of me wants to include Joe Forte here, because his sad little pro career was so short-lived, but he had two first-rounders drafted in front of him, so hype aside, Kedrick Brown was actually worse. But in a year where we have Tyler Hans-brah in the draft, it only seems appropriate to point out that the C's thought taking a big, lumbering, white guy who wore number 0 as his number -- and didn't really project to the pros, even though he played at UNC -- was a good idea. HEED MY WORDS, MISTER JORDAN.

28. Nuggets: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, 5th, 2002

Looking back at the the 2002 NBA Draft is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Unless you're a Phoenix Suns or Miami Heat fan, in which case you probably look at this pick by the Nuggets as pretty freaking humorous, considering your teams got Amare Stoudemire and Caron Butler, respectively.

29. Lakers: Brad Holland, 14th, 1979

The, ahem, haters may suggest that Andrew Bynum (SMASH!) should be slotted here because the jury is out on whether he's the "next great NBA center" or some such. But Holland's crappiness is obscured by this Magic Johnson fella that the Lakers took at the top of the draft -- when Jim Spanarkel is averaging more points than you are minutes, you suck.

30. Cavaliers: Luke Jackson, 10th, 2004

There are really any number of ways to go with this pick -- there's Dajuan Wagner, although he had health issues. There's DeSagana Diop (eighth!) but he's a "specialist." There's Vitaly Potapenko, 12th, immediately before Kobe Bryant in the same year Big Z was drafted, which is tempting. But Luke Jackson floors me, and not because he only played 73 games. It's because Cleveland had just been gifted LeBron James and all they had to do was make one good choice. Just one! Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin, Josh Smith ... any one of these would have been vastly more beneficial towards getting the King a title."



If I can't watch the Lakers, I will happily and excitedly watch the Clippers.

If I can't watch the Clippers, I will watch ANY team in the Western Conference over any team in the Eastern Conference.

If Western Conference teams are available, I prefer California teams (Golden State, Sacramento) over other teams.

If California teams are not available, I'd enjoying watching the Spurs play because a) I respect them b) Popovich is a fine coach c) Duncan plays with class.

Otherwise, it comes down to players (e.g. Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Durant, etc.) who interest me and/or any team playing the Celtics because I will always root against the Celtics with passion and viscious energy.

GO Clippers!!!


Wanted to say thank you to LakerTom for his comments the last week or so. He's back to his insightful self, instead of throwing jabs at other posts. When I first tuned in to AK and BK, LakerTom's comments honestly, were the only ones I had to read. Derek Fisher as a coach. You got to love LakerTom, he sees a cloud in the sky and says its a dragon. Personally I'm always on the other side of the fence, loving the logic but utterly disagreeing with each and every performance. But maybe that's the intrigue, he's the Skip Bayless of the Laker Blog. Let me give you my quick assessment of the future of Laker coaching.

First of all Derek Fisher is a mistake. Eventually down the road, maybe. But I think we can agree that Kobe is going to play for another 5-8 years and Kobe Bryant's former teammate cannot coach Kobe Bryant. Can you imagine a playoff game, Kobe has that once in a while off night, and Derek takes Kobe out the game longer than Kobe wants. What happens, does Kobe sit down and shut up, or does he pull a Carmelo and just not come out the game. Remember Derek is the really the only guy currently who will shoot in a clutch situation (and not care because Kobe can't say anything) when Kobe wants the shot. LakerTom might say that this is the type of coach the Lakers need. One of character, pedigree, rings, a true champion from top to bottom. But this guy is Kobe's teammate. At work a lot of time you wish your boss was one of your friends until it actually happens, then psychologically something happens. Jealousy, power, ego, whatever it is the dynamics of the relationship changes. It could work, but it also could would not. Since Derek has no coaching experience on top of it, I'd say that's a prescription for disaster. Plus the crazy media circus following the Lakers, Ron Artest on the team, it's just too much. They need more of a manager of egos, a lion tamer if you will. They definitely need him as an assistant to add character to the team but that's it, at least for the near future.

Now Kareem taking over is a stretch too. First all what does Kobe think about it. Personally, I think if Kobe is for it, then he's the man for the job. But if he's not head over heels for it, its not a good idea. Lets be honest about something right now folks, although we have learned that Kobe is no GM, it is KOBES TEAM. It should be, and if Kobe wants Coach K it should be Coach K. If Kobe wants Brian Shaw it should be B. Shaw. Because ultimately you need a good coach, who can get the most out of his players but you also need someone who the best player on your team trusts. Look at Doc Rivers and KG, Greg Pop and Tim Duncan, Mike Brown and ... ooops scratch that last one.

Remember Kobe is the best player in the world and PJ is the best coach. So do you follow up that with D. Fish? I love D. Fish by the way just not sure if Michael Jordan would have signed off on Ron Harper coaching him?

Other Team

I like watchin' the Celtics lose.


Love him but people skills have never been a highlight of his resume. Head coach duty requires multi millionaire personality juggling. Still, Kareem has made it a goal to coach in this league, is putting in the time and effort and usually succeeds when he does. The clock is his main foil. As with everything else in this culture, old age isn't a point on the plus side.


I've watched A LOT of the Crabs over the last couple years. It's really ugly basketball punctuated by LeBron driving to the right side of the basket for a layup/dunk (over and over and over and over again).

Yesterday I went to the Browns' game for my father's birthday. (My father is a huge Browns fan.) I found a curious similarity between attending a Cavs game and attending a Browns game: A fear of emptiness.

What I mean by that is that EVERY (and I mean EVERY) moment the game was not in play speakers were blaring music, performances were distracting the audience, and/or advertisements were being thrust in the face of the audience. It was kind of jarring. It was like a bad corporate capitalist circus of continuous marketing. Also, for all the talk of how fanatical Cleveland fans are supposed to be, the Cavs and Browns ownership sure doesn't give them much of an opportunity to be fans. Literally every moment the game was not being played, the crowd was overwhelmed/shouted down by extraordinarily loud music and/or commercials. My sister's family actually left the game early because they were so discomforted by the sensory overload between plays.

I've attended Lakers, Bruins, Kings, and Clippers games in Los Angeles and it was nothing like that. All were far more pleasant experiences.

I wonder if its a small market thing and the ownership is trying to milk as much money as they can out of each game by having so many advertisements or if the ownerships on some level don't trust their fans in some way, so they feel the need to distract them at any given moment in fear that they otherwise would grow restless and/or engage in negative behavior.

It's just odd.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Happy Birthday to our hero, Kobe Bryant.

As for other teams, only the Jordan/Jackson era Bulls have any interest for me.

Happy Birthday Kobe!

Anyway, I was watching a hardwood classic between the Lakers and San Antonio on NBA TV. So here is a question to all Chick Hearn fans and I'll include myself in that group as well.

When Chick called the game by putting it in the refrigerator, has he ever jumped the gun too soon where the Lakers had actually lost the game?

I know from a few games I've observed in the past, it came close but I don't ever remember him being wrong.

My respect goes to the Spurs.

The Suns and Kings were fun to watch, as they had innovative or fun systems to watch. IMO, the Kings 02 were a better offensive team than the Suns 05, because the Suns 05 hinged upon Steve Nash's brilliance (and ultimately, his deficits on defense).

The Kings had a better half court system, a philosophy that doesn't put an emphasis on how fast you get a shot, but on a read-and-react cutting system (Pete Carrill's vaunted offense that can be a Goliath killer), and they had better personnel for the playoffs. Its just that, they didn't have Shaq, who was a complete game changer back then.

Fun to watch, but second favorite? I'd say whomever is playing the Celtics, but in reality, I love to watch CP3. As a fellow point guard, I can appreciate the things he does. Unfortunately, I think he's going to rot with the way NO is making up their roster. CP3 needs athletes, guys that have a good eye for cuts, run the break and some long armed swingmen defenders to help him on when he goes for steals. He's awesome though and my second favorite team/person to watch.

The best to the best. Happy B'Day Kobe


Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, you and I are totally out of sync on this issue so we will just have to respectfully agree to disagree. But please, Skip Bayless? He is the ultimate pessimist and naysayer. Compare with almost anyone in the world but not a GHEer like him. We’re polar opposites. Anyway, I’ve always liked and respected you so no big deal. And if I seem more over the top than usual, that’s undoubtedly due to the Lakerholic shakes I get when the blog slows to a crawl.

First of all, while Kobe may be consulted, he is NOT going to be the one to select the next Lakers coach. That decision will be made by Jerry Buss with advice and support from Mitch Kupchak and possible even Phil Jackson. And as much as Kobe may wish for Coach K to leave Duke, that is just not going to happen. Furthermore, I am not even sure that Coach K would succeed. As with free agency and trades, Kobe has made it clear that he has no intention of playing general manager.

Second, I don’t see how you can conclude that Derek Fisher or any player with whom he played could not coach Kobe Bryant. I personally think Kobe would be thrilled at the idea of Derek taking over for Phil. Kobe has ultimate trust and faith in Fish and considering how long he has played with Kobe, I also don’t buy the jealousy destroying the relationship argument. I think Derek knows how important Kobe is and that it is Kobe’s team. That is the one area where I can agree that Kobe’s input is important. If there is a qualified candidate that Kobe already trusts, then that would be the logical choice. I just happen to think that Derek Fisher could be that candidate.

Finally, the MJ and Ron Harper comparison just does not fly. In addition to having the unconditional trust of Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher has the personal charisma, stature, and positive trait you look for in a great head coach – great people skills, proven leadership ability, high basketball IQ, unquestioned respect as president of the players association, and knowledge of how to win in the NBA. Seriously, he has far greater potential to be a great coach than a guy like Ron Harper or even the other hopefuls like Byron Scott, Brian Shaw, or Kurt Rambis. Anyway, only 5 more weeks until camp opens. Let’s hope Phil coaches Lakers championships for the next 10 years so that none of this discussion will matter.



"Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly.

Posted by: lakersrydeordie | August 23, 2009 at 08:57 AM"

GOOD times fly, bad times drag.....watched pots never boil.....


Where is Yaroslav Korolev on that "Worst Draft Picks EVER!" List?

Go Clippers!!!



What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


2001-2002 Los Angeles Clippers. Seriously.

They sucked, but damn were they fun to watch. Q, Elton Brand, Darius Miles, Odom, Maggette, Dooling, Boykins. It seemed they were going places.

Too bad.


I did not become a Lakers fan until they traded for Wilt Chamberlain, who was my favorite player and whose team I had always rooting since his time with the Warriors and 76ers. Ironically, there was one team that I always watched when Wilt and the 76ers weren’t playing. That team was the Jerry West and Elgin Baylor Lakers. Living in LA, those were also the games that were always available. Finally, in addition to loving Jerry and Elgin, how could you NOT like the Lakers with Chick Hearn calling the games. When the Lakers traded for Wilt, I literally jumped for joy. And I haven’t stopped jumping.

As a Lakers fan, there were a couple of “other” teams that I liked but they were old school teams. I never really liked the Suns or Mavs as they did not play winning basketball. I preferred teams like the 1970’s Knicks, who are what the true Garden fans loved and want to see again, perhaps the smartest team to ever play in the NBA and maybe the greatest passing team. Walt Frazier , Willis Reed , Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, Dick Barnett, Jerry Lucas, Earl the Pearl Monroe, and Phil Action Jackson. The way they played and the legends set by that team are what Madison Square Garden is all about.

The other team I loved to watch was Rick Barry and Jamal Wilkes 1975 Golden State Warriors, who swept the Washington Bullets in the biggest upset in NBA Finals history. Barry was a great player at both ends of the court who was as smart and clutch as Larry Bird but a much better athlete. I still remember seeing him dunk on bigger players on fast breaks his rookie year. Wilkes roamed the baseline like an assassin. Phil Smith might well have been the first guard in an NBA Finals to ram two left-handed slams in heavy traffic over opposing big men. Guards back only dunked on fast breaks.

Finally, the last “other” team that I loved to watch was Bill Walton’s 1977 Portland Trailblazers coached by the great Dr. Jack Ramsey. Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas (for whom Luke Walton was named, and a corps of great role players who knew how to move the ball and play great team defense. But Walton was the man. The people who constantly harp on Luke probably never saw Bill at his prime before injuries derailed him. He was the Mickey Mantle of the NBA, the guy who could have been the greatest center ever had he been able to stay healthy. Eventually, his physical health eroded even his mental health and he ended his career in Celtic green and shame as far as I am concerned.


puddle - that was definitely a fun team to watch.

Tom - I agree, Fish would enjoy the support of most players out there with the possible exception of Scola, haha. Thaat will always be one of my favorite playoff moments - wham! Big man meets pine.

Laker Tom,

I see you are still on the Derek Fisher for coach bandwagon. With all due respect, I still think you vastly underrate the value of experience.

Phil paid his dues in the CBA and as an assistant before taking over in Chicago. And even then he kept Tex around for his experience.

Popovich, who I also respect greatly, was at the Academy, Pomona-Pitzer, Kansas under Larry Brown and San Antonio under Larry Brown before taking over the reins at San Antonio.

Auerbach was a grizzled veteran of the basketball wars before started winning. As was Wooden.

The one coach everyone throws out as an example of the inexperienced head coach is Riley. But Riley, frankly, took over a team that had already won a title, and had Jabbar, Worthy and Magic playing for him. In my opinion it was the most talented NBA team in history, the only real weakness being Kareem's age. It is possible to argue Riles should have won titles in some of the years where he didn't. He always pushed his teams, and sometimes over a long NBA campaign that was counterproductive. All of this is not to say Riley wasn't a good coach, just that he makes a bad model for how to grow one.

Look at the other coaches who won titles. Chuck Daly certainly paid his dues, starting out looking for his own shadow at Punxsutawney High. Rudy T. was an assistant for a decade. K. C. Jones had been coaching since '67 when he took the Celtics to their 80's titles. Oh yeah, even Doc Rivers had about 10 years in when he won.

So for the Lakers? Best case Phil keeps going for a couple more years. He is the best coach in the NBA and has plenty of experience.

Then? Go for experience, it counts. Maybe someone on staff. Maybe outside. But titles go to guys with experience.

Hell, we don't even know if Fish wants to caich. Promoting him, with no prior testing as a coach, to the # 1 job in the business, head coach of the Lakers, is not a good bet.

Tom D.

If you take winning percentages out of the equation, it's more fun to watch running teams. It's also more fun to play that style.

I always wondered why Lenny Wilkens would end up with a job back in the day....he obviously was not a player's type of person, his winning percentage was probably barely over 55% if that....dude just getting jobs....must be nice at those salaries....then I think the last one's he just couldn't keep his opinions to himself and focus on coaching.....another guy who gets job, Don Nelson.....cuz the ball bounced up high and came back thru the net? I wonder how much he's backing Keith Smart nowadays....

The Lakers are lucky, they have dedicated coaches that know how to work independently. I think if you pick one and he fails you could not necessarily say the other choice would have been better. It's going to be tough to take over PHIL'S throne chair, but someday someone will have to step up. I think Shaw can do it, I think if they groom Fisher for a few years he could do it, I think Cleamons could do it, pretty sure Hamblen doesn't want it....maybe Scott and Rambis will be unemployed by then, but I think that Rambis lost some cred by leaving (but he had to, for the opportunity and money, or did he??? Afterall playing number 2 to the best in the game and maybe history is perhaps a sacrifice he had to make). .....wild card...James Worthy.....

Tom D - although your post was addressed to Laker Tom, I thought I'd toss in a response. I agree with much of what you say about experience. And, I would assume that Fish, if he ever decides to coach, would himself want some seasoning as an assistant. It just seems in keeping with his nature. And of course, we don't know if he possesses the intense will and desire neccessary to succeed as a coach.

That said, I do get a certain sense from the guy, that he'd do well in any number of leadership situations after he retires from playing and that includes coaching. Also, my sense is that a generational shift is forming in the NBA coaching ranks. There will always be veterans, guys who've been coaching a long time or guys that have come up the hard way. I just don't think there will be as many of them.

Jon K.,

I just came across your post from a ways back in the blog about Delilah being alright and I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that. I congratulate the vet who operated on her and you for caring so much about her. You know, I could never even watch Lassie as a kid because I couldn't stand to see her in peril during every episode. Something about animals in distress just affects me deeply and it warms my heart to know that Delilah is feeling better. Thank you for passing that information along to the group.

Aztronut/Laker Tom,

Are you guys crazy? Walton better than Kareem? Revisionist history. Never was and never could've been. Even when 100% healthy. Yes, Walton was a great player for two seasons, but still not Kareem's equal. I used to hate they way CBS used to overhype Walton. Brent mancrush on Walton was worse than Madden's on Farve.

As a matter of fact I contend that LA would've bounced Portland from the playoffs in 77 if it wasn't for injuries. Remember two of Lakers starters were hurt. Lucious Allen and Kermit Washington didn't play in that series. When healthy LA beat Portland 3-1 in regular season. Even without their starters the Lakers had lead in Q4 in most of those games but Kareem didn't have enough help to win.

This I will give 78 before Walton went down they were clearly the best team in the league and would've have won it that year!

Tom D,

>>> I see you are still on the Derek Fisher for coach bandwagon. With all due respect,
>>> I still think you vastly underrate the value of experience.

>>> Hell, we don't even know if Fish wants to coach. Promoting him, with no prior testing
>>> as a coach, to the # 1 job in the business, head coach of the Lakers, is not a good bet.

I’m sure you’re right and I probably wouldn’t be stretching the point if we had something better to talk about. I’ve also acknowledged many times before that I don’t even know if Fish is interested in coaching. His election as president of the players association, however, shows that Fish does have leadership ambitions and how better to express those ambitions other than to coach the Lakers.

Seriously, I do realize that it is a long shot at best that Derek Fisher would succeed Phil Jackson as the Lakers head coach without any experience but I think that’s because most NBA general managers are afraid to think out-of-the-box and actually overrate the value of experience. They are naïve to assume that more experience will solve the problems that prevented most coaches from succeeding before.

How else do you explain the constant recycling of head coaches who have failed and been fired or let go during their prior coaching stints? More often than not, NBA head coaches fail to win because they didn’t have the personal charisma, stature, smarts, or talent to get their players to buy into their system, not because they didn’t have sufficient experience. Many coaches are doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over again and some will just never learn how to avoid the same mistakes.

The guys you all mentioned were winners from the start who just got better with experience but do you think if Chicago gave Phil or San Antonio gave Pop a chance to be head coach with no experience that either one of them would NOT have succeeded? No, I didn’t think so. It might have taken them longer for sure because there is no doubt that they would still have become great coaches.

On the other hand, just like with some players, putting them in the big leagues without any experience in the end makes them better players because they develop and grow more rapidly because of the challenge. Would Kobe be as good a player today if he spent 4 years in college before coming to the NBA? Just maybe Phil or Pop would have become the great coaches they are today more quickly.

At any rate, I see the same innate personal characteristics and potential in Derek Fisher that I believe have made Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich great coaches. When you combine that with the fact that he has Kobe’s unquestioned trust and is a 4-time Lakers champion, I think you have a much better option to succeed Phil as the Lakers coach than any of the candidates the media is considering, including Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, and Brian Shaw. And Coach K and Pop are just pipe dreams.

I also know that it’s not a good bet that it the Lakers would hire Derek without some experience that is not my point. My point is that I think it would be a solid bet to succeed if it did happen. And who knows, maybe somebody will read one of my posts and say something to Jim or Jeanie Buss who will mention it to Derek and then Jerry and the power of the LA Times Lakers Blog will prevail. LOL.

If you have listened to what Derek has to say every time he opens his mouth and see the respect that Kobe and every player in the NBA has for the man, the kind of character he represents, I think you have to stop and take a long hard look at how you can plan to have this guy take over for Phil Jackson. There is no other candidate on the horizon that even comes close in my mind. Who would you want?



Thank you for concurring with my opinion of Bill Walton's Blazers of the '70s. I asserted that Walton was the best defensive player of his era but after thinking on this a while I would go even further. I really do think that Bill Walton, in his short-lived prime, was one of the best defensive players, if not the best, I've ever seen in the NBA. I really can't think of anyone better off of the top of my head, but then I never did see Bill Russell play in his prime. Of course, defense is played differently as a center then it is at any other position on the floor but I'd still put big Bill's skills up against Jordan's, or Kobe's, any day. The thing that a center can do, more than any of the other spots, is to influence the way the whole team plays defense. If you've got a dominant defensive center it makes defensive adjustments much easier for everyone else on the team, and that's what Portland was known for back then, great team defense and it started and ended with Walton.

Beyond his defensive skills, Walton was without doubt the best passing center ever to pick up a basketball. I don't think anyone that ever saw him play would even attempt to debate this point. It's kind of like how noone who really knows jazz could ever question that Charlie Parker was the greatest saxaphone player in the history of music. It's simply self-evident.

Walton made his team better. He made everyone on the floor with him better defensively and he got his teammates open shots. He was the Magic of the post and that Blazers team wouldn't have finished in the first half of it's division without him. There really aren't any notable names from that squad besides him and Maurice Lucas, and even the original Luke is largely forgotten today. Bob Gross, a Long Beach State alum, Lionel Hollins, Dave Twardzik, who remembers these guys? Big Bill was this team and it was hard not to root for them even as they swept LA out of the playoffs, but of course I still pulled for the Lakers.

I mistakenly implied above that Bill won the regular season MVP award in addition to his Finals MVP in that Blazer championship year. I now realize that it was not until the following year that he won that regular season MVP, even though he got injured half way through the season. I don't believe he ever did play a full season without injury and his prime only lasted two or three years, but he still was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time, pretty remarkable. This just goes to show how dominating he was when he had his time.

1. Orlando Magic (the Finals were a bit tough for me)
2. Chicago Bulls (Joakim Noah!)
3. Who ever is playing the Celtics.


Walton pwned Kareem in that series, like he was never dominated before or since. It's the stuff of legend and it's the reason the Blazers swept them that year. I never said big Bill was better than Kareem. Kareem had the greatest career in NBA history, I don't question that, and he won the regular season MVP in that Blazer championship year, but Walton kicked his ass in the playoffs. As for '78, has anyone else ever won an MVP playing in only 58 of 82 regular season games?


You said the following in your earlier post, "Walton's play in the NBA won me over. For a few years there he was the best center in basketball, even better than Kareeem and Elmore Smith." So yes you did say Walton was better than Kareem for a couple of seasons.

You my friend bought into the hype.

As far as the 1977 playoff series go Walton did give Kareem a competitive matchup, but Kareem definitely came out on top. I believe Kareem avg over 30pt, plus outrebounded and out assisted him in that series...I'll have to find box scores to back it up, but I remember watching and wondering why was they hyping Walton when Kareem was outplaying him.

Now the reason the Blazers swept the Lakers was because they didn't have any ballhandlers. The Lakers led in the 4th quarter of most of those games, but they couldn't even bring it upcourt against Portland's pressure defense in the 4th Quarters. You said no one remembered those "other" guys on Portland. Well true bball fans remember them. Lionel Hollins was a solid all around player and very good defensively. First team All-Def in 78. It was sad watching Don Chaney struggle to bring the ball up in the twilight of his career. Remember Lucius Allen was injured.

Lastly, I only saw one player outplay Kareem in a playoff series and that was Moses Malone. His combination of strength, quickness and skills was tough for Kareem to match up with. That being said even Moses didn't "own" Kareem. Please define what you meant by Walton "owned" Kareem. If you have the stats from that series please share. In the meantime I will find them to substantiate my position.


Check it out Kareem vs Walton. First minute of game lets you know who dominated who.


Here's the YouTube link from game 2 of the 77 series vs. Portland. I tried to post earlier and it didn't work. Anyway you can go to you tube and find several segments. Kareem outplayed Walton in all the clips I saw...just like I remembered.


Yeah, the Suns never won a champeenship and i guess that's what counts. But I always like to claim they got robbed in '06. Having two of their best players suspended for a crucial game after reacting to Horry's magic elbow shiver. Also, wasn't the Ref actually betting against them in that series?

the Suns were a great team to watch, and watching kobe trying to bring his team together, only to switch to Sun-killer mode when he couldn't was gloriously frustrating.

Other favorites are the Atlanta Hawks who took the Celtics to 7 in '07 playing with only inspiration. Chris Paul and the Hornets were pretty great, and I hope will get their mojo back this year. And... that's it. Cleveland and the Celtics are cool to watch, i guess.

(01) OWNER – SAMLL - Happy birthday to the best player in the NBA... none other than THE MAMBA, KOBE BRYANT!!! May you have more championships to come!
(02) CINZ – DRIVER - HappyBdayKobe on Twitter is a trending topic. Kobe's 31st birthday today.
(03) LAKERSRYDEORDIE - Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly.
(04) ISANG - happy bday to our main man, Kobe 'Black Mamba' Bryant! i love you, more championships.
(05) WESJOENIXON - For Kobe, on his B-Day. 31? That's old guys. 3 more years at his peak is about all we should really ask of the man, but I'll settle for 8.
(06) RICK FRIEDMAN - Happy Birthday to our hero, Kobe Bryant.
(07) JUSTALAKER FAN - The best to the best. Happy B'Day Kobe
(08) HUMANANOMALY - Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly. Posted by: lakersrydeordie | August 23, 2009 at 08:57 AM" GOOD times fly, bad times drag.....watched pots never boil.....
(09) MAMBA24 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY KOBE, It’s my fault your bandwagon is late
(10) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – HAPPY Birthday to the Head Mamba Kobe Black Mamba Bryant

I followed those clips by Lrob and found this one of Dr. Jack looking slim and strong in his late ‘70s best.

I have a philosophy about the ‘70s btw, and it's that God lets everyone from those years into Heaven. And I don't mean if you're born in the ‘70s, I mean if you had anything to do with it. Maybe you died in the ‘70s--you're in Heaven. Maybe you had your prime in the 70's--you're in Heaven. Childhood in the 70s? Heaven.

Born in the 80s? Sorry.


Was Kareem 7-5?

The announcers from the Lakers / Portland final seem to think so.


Laker Tom and Dave M,

I agree completely that Fish is a good guy and seems to have a lot qualities that make a good coach.

I also think that being a great coach requires a whole host of skills one must develop and demonstrate before steppiing into a top job. Skills that are specific to the profession and different from being an player. Skills Fish may or may not have.

Organizational skills. Administrative skills. Strategic and tactical skills. Thinking on your feet under pressure. Teaching. Leading from the bench, which is different from leading on the floor. Managing intensity over a long season. Dealing with egostisical stars, unhappy bench players, outright psychos. Political skills to manage the front office. Ability to manage a staff. Dealing with the press. On and on. It is not just being a leader in the locker room and knowing how to play.

It isn't enough to have the raw materials. You have to learn and develop all these skills as well. Phil was a de-facto assistant to Red Holtzman in NY when he was injured. Coached in the CBA and Puerto Rico. Was an NBA assistant. No, Tom, I don't believe he could have stepped into the Chicago job without all that as background. I think that is where he learned coaching. Coaching needs to be learned. It is a tough profession.

I love Fish. I think he possibly could be a good coach. I also think there is a difference between an entry level job and the top job in the game.

I don't want to get into Walton vs. Jabbar. Jabbar wins that every time.

But LakerTom has a point. I watched Bill in his prime. He was one of the most incredible players I ever saw. He was long. He could leap. He may have been the most fundamentally sound big guy ever. He had the enthusiasm of Magic Johnson.

Great defender, tremendous passer, blocked shots WAY over the rim. Surprising quickness. Great teammate. A winner. I loved watdhing him play, and it was so sad watching him decay.

Now as an announcer.........

Tom D.

My second favorite team after the Lakers? Well...I'll have to say the Boston Celtics.

No, no. I kid I kid. I wouldn't go that far.

My second favorite is, and will always be, the San Antonio Spurs. Tim Duncan is my favorite player of all time, and Pop my favorite coach. I enjoy watching Tony Parker as well, and the team (like AK said) is ice cold. They're pure basketball and grit.

As fundamentally sound as the late 70's Blazers were, I could never root for them. Being a Lakers fan watching Jerry West coach a team with Don Ford, Kermit Washington, Cazzie Russell, Lucious Allen, Don Chaney, Tom Abernathy, and CJ Kupec win the most games in the league was incredible!
Actually my favorite all-time non-Lakers team was the Dr. J Sixers! Watching them warm up was worth the price of the ticket alone. They had the best dunks ever seen in warmups with Chocolate Thunder, Jelly Bean Bryant, World Free, Dr, J, George McGinnis, Caldwell Jones. They even had some good little guys like Doug Collins, Mike Dunleavy, Terry Furlow and Henry Bibby.

Tom D,

Thanks for your response. I understand and acknowledge your points but we will have to agree to disagree. As co-captain of the Lakers and president of the NBA Players Association, I think Derek has already shown the “organizational skills, administrative skills, strategic and tactical skills” that are critical to being a great coach. In fact, most of the attributes that you listed, he has in spades IMO.

- - - - -

LRob, Az, Tom D,

I don’t think either Az or I were saying that Bill Walton was a greater player than Kareem. To me, it’s like arguing who was the greatest center fielder – Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays or Joe D. The answer is obviously Willie Mays but if Mickey had not suffered the injuries he endured, the result might have been different. Joe D was like Wilt, an older timer that you could not ignore. That is how I see Bill and Kareem and Wilt. Anyway, pushed to vote, Kareem and Wilt will always be the best to me with Russell right behind them and Bill as the guy who could have been there had injuries not stopped him.

- - - - -


Please add me to the Kobe Bryant Birthday Bandwagon. I only own one Lakers jersey – KB24 – although I do plan to also purchase an AB17 white jersey for the upcoming season.

- - - - -


AK & BK,

It would be great if the LA Times tech people could decide upon a style sheet so we would not what to expect as far as spacing between paragraphs. One day there is spacing, the next day it disappears, the next day it appears. We don’t know whether to double space between paragraphs or not. These are issues that good IT people test and make sure are working before implementing them real time.


Good morning Mamba24 & Laker morning CRUE!!!

My 2nd fav team after the Lakers has got to be anyone kicking green heiny. Period.

After that, it's anyone who gave the Lakers a run for their money and scared the crap out of me, but still lost to the royal P&G in the end.

I'm just keeping it real (and simple) here.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - is it October yet?????


I'm not sure why you chose not to post my reply to "lrob"/"LRob" as I didn't use any magic words but rather just called him out as a sock puppet misrepresenting himself as he attempted to misrepresent what I had said in my earlier posts. Based upon the fact that wesjoenixon refers to his post and mistakenly calls him "Lrob" I suspect that he may well be the instantiator of this particular sock puppet.

I really don't find all these clever user names that appear once and/or are specifically tailored to a certain topic or post to be all that amusing, especially when they attempt to create conflict with other commenters. If you're not going to deal with this, nor allow me to call them out then I'll have to think long and hard about my continued participation in this community.

I only own one Lakers jersey – KB24 – although I do plan to also purchase an AB17 white jersey for the upcoming season. Posted by: LakerTom | August 24, 2009 at 08:44 AM

Come on LakerTom we all Know You have both the Gold and the Purple AB17 jerseys. Now fess up! LOL!!!

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - is it October yet????? Posted by: justanothermambafan | August 24, 2009 at 08:49 AM

I'm sorry JustAnotherMambaFan But it is not October yet and you will just have to learn how to control yourself like me. %%^^$$&&**((())_+_ If october don't get here soon I'm going to ##%^^$##%**!!!

(01) OWNER – SAMLL - Happy birthday to the best player in the NBA... none other than THE MAMBA, KOBE BRYANT!!! May you have more championships to come!
(02) CINZ – DRIVER - HappyBdayKobe on Twitter is a trending topic. Kobe's 31st birthday today.
(03) LAKERSRYDEORDIE - Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly.
(04) ISANG - happy bday to our main man, Kobe 'Black Mamba' Bryant! i love you, more championships.
(05) WESJOENIXON - For Kobe, on his B-Day. 31? That's old guys. 3 more years at his peak is about all we should really ask of the man, but I'll settle for 8.
(06) RICK FRIEDMAN - Happy Birthday to our hero, Kobe Bryant.
(07) JUSTALAKER FAN - The best to the best. Happy B'Day Kobe
(08) HUMANANOMALY - Happy Birthday Kobe Bean Bryant!! Wow, 31?? Time sure does fly. Posted by: lakersrydeordie | August 23, 2009 at 08:57 AM" GOOD times fly, bad times drag.....watched pots never boil.....
(09) MAMBA24 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY KOBE, It’s my fault your bandwagon is late
(10) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – HAPPY Birthday to the Head Mamba Kobe Black Mamba Bryant
(11) LAKERTOM - Please add me to the Kobe Bryant Birthday Bandwagon. I only own one Lakers jersey – KB24 – although I do plan to also purchase an AB17 white jersey for the upcoming season.

Actually my favorite all-time non-Lakers team was the Dr. J Sixers! Watching them warm up was worth the price of the ticket alone. They had the best dunks ever seen in warmups with Chocolate Thunder, Jelly Bean Bryant, World Free, Dr, J, George McGinnis, Caldwell Jones. They even had some good little guys like Doug Collins, Mike Dunleavy, Terry Furlow and Henry Bibby. Posted by: rdlee | August 24, 2009 at 08:42 AM
You got that right Rdlee! But you notice they had to get rid of one of their stars- George McGinnis before they won the title and don't leave out Mr. fo fo fo MOSES MALONE!


Your post didn't go through because I felt it was unnecessarily hostile towards somebody that simply disagreed with you, and was according you respect while disagreeing. Perhaps he did miss your point, but there's no need to get that personal about it so quickly.

For what it's worth, the IP addresses are the same whether "LRob" or "lRob," but the software not allowing me to check the entire history of the address. But since he wasn't being "wacky" or overly sarcastic with the post, it didn't feel like he was taking on a new identity specifically for your Walton/Kareem discussion. I also have no idea what a "sock puppet" is or what it has to do with an IP address. In any event, I don't think any of this merited the tone you were taking. It's part of my job to make that call, and I did.

And finally, if you have an issue, by all means, bring it BK's and my attention and we'll gladly look into it. But telling BK and I what we "need to do" or else you'll leave the forum won't result in us bending over backwards to make sure you stay. If you're so concerned about receiving respect, please remember to offer some as well.


Laker Tom - LOL - I'm thinking of getting the white #17 as well. Right now I've only got the gold #8 (which needs to be upgraded) and the white #34 (which I can't decide if I should keep it and stuff it down to the bottom of my underwear drawer, or put on an effigy & burn it). Decisions, decisions...

I think Walton would have been the best center ever had he not had the injury problems he did.

I don't think anyone will ever compare to Wilt for individual dominance, or Russell for team dominance, but that in large part that was due to the era they played in.

Kareem had the incredible longevity, although that could have been surpassed by Wilt had he wanted to continue playing.

I'd have to go with the Trail Blazers as my second team, but the Clippers are right there, too.

You gotta love the Portland because they always feild a competitive team (Jail Blazer years not-with-standing), but the Clips have that special sort of "Ahhh it's a REALLY ugly puppy" love-type-thing goin' for them.

Guys - here's an excerpt I took from a thread on the Lakers Blog on the Orange County Register. OOOOWEEEE this year with Thriller is going to be some kind o' fun!!!

"For instance, over the weekend, Artest took issue with the way Houston treated him as a free agent and issued a not-so-veiled warning.

“Houston did me dirty. I can’t wait til next year when we go to Houston. I’m not shooting. All defense. Somebody getting locked da (messed) up

I still feel blessed, but they messed up my bird rights. So its on as long as Im in the league.”

The short version of his beef is that a player acquires “Bird rights” after playing for three seasons without being waived, or changing teams as a free agent. It’s a salary cap exception that gives teams the right to exceed the cap to sign its own free agents.

The Rockets could have kept Artet’s “Bird rights” had they done a sign-and-trade. But since he left as a free agent, the “clock” resets.

Artest signed a five-year deal with the Lakers, so he doesn’t have to worry about any of that now. One would think. But that’s not how Artest thinks.

“We are the most hated team on the planet. This is going to be fun:) And I am going to be the most hated. Trash talk coming soon!!!!!!!”

Seems the trash talk already is here."


LOL. I used to have a white 34 and gold 8 too but I unfortunately outgrew them (LOL) and had to pass them down to my son. I also just bought my grandson a gold 24 for his 8th birthday. I am really looking forward to my white 17 to go with my gold 24. I may also spring for a purple 31 to complete my updated Lakers wardrobe. Hard not to want a #7, #16, and #2 jerseys too. Hell give me 12 of them. If the Lakers would add a Sunday black jersey, I could opt for a fourth.



I never tried to tell you what you "needed to do" but rather simply tried to summarize the situation from my perspective. I can't believe you don't know what a sock puppet is because I've had this conversation with you both previously. Perhaps it was only your brother who responded?

A sock puppet is a phantom participant, who is actually another commenter in disguise. These false handles are often used to attack other participants or their comments while concealing the true personage behind a temporary or aliased usename. This makes it rather easy for them to create conflict or launch personal attacks on others without soiling their supposed honor.

Yes, I did intend my reply to "LRob"/"lrob" to be a personal attack because I don't believe that I can have a civil discussion with a sock puppet. Perhaps I am in the wrong here, but I have never noticed a commenter with this particular handle before. I was under the impression that to establish a new username on this site one would have to reregister, in other words it doesn't just coincidently happen that "LRob" was changed to "lrob" but it is evidence that someone from the same source IP address is manipulating the process.

Now perhaps, "LRob" is a new user who wanted to change his handle and simply capitalize his name, I agree that this is a possibility. However, another possibility is that another established commenter wanted to purposely misrepresent what I had said without properly identifying themselves. As there has been a plethora of throw-away user names appearing around here lately, I chose to assume the latter.

To clarify my position, I am in no way trying to tell you how to run your blog. I'm just saying that I'm not sure I want to stick around if folks are going to be allowed to misrepresent my opinions from behind a wall of secrecy. You do what you want and I'll do what I want, okay? I'm under no misimpression that my absence from this blog would in any way diminish it's popularity or worthiness to the Laker fan community. I'm not trying to denigrate your work, I'm simply frustrated by a past history of being sniped at by cowards.


Actually that was Rick Barry doing the game with Brent Musburger. I don't know why he kept saying Kareem was 7-5, but it could've been because they Lakers had just eliminated his "world champion" Warriors in an epic 7 game series and Kareem certainly played like a GIANT in that series. One of the greatest individual performances in a playoff series ever.

Also, you can hear Mendy Rudolph, as the third man in the booth with Barry and Musburger. I believe he had just retired as head of the referees the previous season.


You definitely had that conversation with BK, because I'd never heard the term "sock puppet" before. But now having it explained, I still think your reaction was a little over the top. "LRob" vs. "lRob." Couldn't it be something as simple as the same person not capitalizing an "L?" You even acknowledged that possibility as well. It didn't feel to me like two separate people. I honestly checked, and like I said, the IP addresses matched. In any event, the person didn't seem to be addressing you in a way that wasn't earnest. That's a separate issue from him mistaking your point.

Believe me, I understand the frustration over feeling your opinion is being willfully misrepresented. I'm the type of person who goes out of my way to clarify my points whenever that happens. But unless it involves somebody that has a history of doing this, I also try to make sure I'm simply reiterating my position, as opposed to making it a personal battle. And by your own admission, you don't know this other poster, so there's no past to draw upon. Thus, I don't think you needed to go there so quickly.

Also, just so you know, BK and I are always on the lookout for people posting under assumed names purely for the sake of goosing arguments and creating conflict. We remind people to use one handle consistently and block those who post under multiple handles at random. We obviously don't catch everyone, but it is an active concern. If I had picked up any vibe that this person was purposely trying to antagonize you for the sake of doing so, it would get blocked.

No worries on my end.


Tom D,

I agree Walton was a great player when healthy for those few seasons. His defense and passing was superb, but I always was impressed with his timing. His ability to tip/block shots without fouling was uncanny.

For everyone that enjoyed those Blazers teams of the late 70' should read the book, "Breaks of the Game" by David Halberstam. It chronicled the Blazers from 77-80. Great insight into the inter-working of a team.



Why do you think that Bill Walton could have been the best center in NBA history, had he not been injured so often?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Oh and BTW, for the rest of y'all that are still paying attention to me...

From wikipedia: "In the postseason, Walton led Portland to a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference finals (famously outplaying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the series)"

and a reference link,

I think that the point being made here is that statistics don't necessarily tell the whole story, nor even the truth sometimes. Walton's value wasn't ever adequately measured by statistics, although he did lead the league in rebounding and block shots during his short-lived prime and typically averaged around 5 assists per game, an outrageous number for a center. Walton was the prototypical Wooden player. Meaning his value was to the team game and his focus was simply on winning as opposed to putting up big numbers.

I really don't understand how anyone can purport to make an objective judgement of the past based on a couple minutes of a video clip, but maybe that's just another of my personal foibles...


I imagine that Thriller is going to be like a Rottweiler with a spiked collar which Kobe will repeatedly sick on the enemy. This is going to be really interesting. Is it October 27th yet?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Yes Aztronut posted on 8/23 @ 11:23am that "Walton was best center in league for a few seasons. And you asserted that if Walton had remained healthy he could've been the greatest center ever. Now you both could've been using a little hyperbole to make your point. If that's the case then I understand. But my point is still the same even when 100% healthy Bill Walton was never as a good as Kareem. Not in college, not even at his best in 77-78. Please understand that I loved Bill's game. He was definitely a great player, just not as good as Kareem. But heck that's no crime. No one else was either in the 70's. He could've easily been the MVP every year from 70-82.

As far as the Mays/Mantle comparison. I get your point, but the difference is Mantle was still had sustained excellence over 15 years despite the knee injuries.


Apparently, I'm still not getting through to you here...

"It didn't feel to me like two separate people."

This is pretty much exactly the opposite of what I was trying to say. It's not about two seperate people using a similiar username, it's about one person using multiple usernames. It's about the Terracotta warriors, a false army supporting a single person's position.

I'm sure this is on your checklist of bad things to look out for but from my perspective, I haven't been explicitly looking for this kind of thing but have noticed it happening around here anyway. I think if you were ever to check a listing of usernames on here you might notice that there are a lot of clever sounding handles that only get utilized for a brief window of time. Yeah, maybe some people just register, post a few comments and then go away, but it doesn't seem to me that this blog would be so easily dismissed by so many people.

IMHO there is something else at work here and while I'm sure that it's rarely put to use for nefarious purposes, I'm highly sensitive to it when it shows up on my personal radar. If you don't see it, or don't want to acknowledge it that's your perogative, but if you keep an eye out for it in the future perhaps you'll start to notice what I'm talking about.

Thanks for your time and attention to this matter.


I'm with you on the Willie Mays thing. He's probably my favorite baseball player of all time. Mediocre minds think alike I guess? Just kidding, I can only speak for myself in that regard!

Did anyone hear about Beasley's twitter account being canceled, and the player going into rehab after he posted a picture of himself sporting a new tatoo--with a strange plastic bag sitting on one of the tables in the pic?

He did. I want to see the photo so I can see what's in the bag. I hope it's not crack. It's probably weed.

More reason to fear technology.



Thanks for your post about Delilah. She's doing much better and even bounding up stairs every now and again. I think she's going to be fine.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


We need a thread composed entirely of quotes by Thriller.

Or at least a quote from Thriller at the end of every thread posted for the next year.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Okay, I may have misunderstood some aspects of what you were getting at, but at the same time, if one person was trying to use multiple handles to antagonize, why wouldn't he use something other than a slight variation of the same name? As opposed to something that reads as much like a typo. A true "throw away name", as you put it. And why wouldn't he take on varying tones, or do something distinctively annoying (save simply not agreeing with you or getting your point, which isn't the same thing)? The comments themselves felt pretty consistent. None of this sounded like the issue you're describing, the same person posting under different names purely to spark argument or discord. As I said, we continually look for that.

By now, I think we can just drop it. I'm certainly going to be on alert for violations, and your point has been made.


So Dirk's girl gets 5 years for bad checks. I can't help but feel bad for her. She almost landed Dirk, and despite all of her craziness, she' still someone's daughter. Maybe Mr. Ed and whomever he was dating.

I don't know the whole Dirk story, but it seems like those two had a good thing going until her past snuck up on her.

And the pic of Beasley's weed can be seen on hoopshype, but I won't post them. I don't want to kick Beasley too much when he's down.

But that was a dumb move, and a good reason why Twitter is a BIG BAD PR NIGHTMARE waiting to happen. The world doesn't need to know that every NBA player parties like crazy all night and sleeps around noon.


Jon K,
Did you ever watch him in his healthy years with Portland?


I think it's been made in more ways than you know. Thanks again for listening.


When I put together a list of other teams that I loved to watch, I noticed that all of them were in the ‘70’s, the era when the NBA supposedly fell of the popularity wagon and was struggling until Magic and Bird came along and saved it. A closer look shows that there were some great ‘70’s championship teams like the 1970 and 1973 New York Knicks with Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks with Kareem and the Big O, the 1972 Lakers with Jerry and Wilt, the 1973, the 1974 and 1976 Boston Celtics with Dave Cowens and Nate Archibald, the 1975 Golden State Warriors with Rick Barry and Jamal Wilkes, and the 1977 Portland Trailblazers with Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas.

While the ‘70’s actually were an era of outstanding teams and players, the real reason that NBA popularity declined was parity and the lack of genuine dynasties. Basketball without the dominating dynasties was like baseball without the Yankees. That is what Magic and Bird did. Give us two dominant teams that captured the hearts of basketball and sports fans. Same with the Bulls in the ‘90’s. Look for more enhanced NBA ratings with the Lakers poised as the dynasty of the next decade. Dynasties give fans living proof of greatness and give leagues the focus and attention to succeed. That is why great Celtics and Lakers and Yankees teams have always been great for their sports.


Easy 1 for me ... 2nd fav team would be the bulls, 3rd fav the knicks ... simply cuz i used to live in nyc and now in chitown and i was in chitown during the jordan years as well

And shame on all the laker fans calling the phoenix suns their second fav team. That'd be like choosing the celtics. Even till today I can't watch any tapes from the playoff series where we were up 3-1 only to lose 4-3 to d'antoni and his band of misfits, complete with mr. i stole two mvp awards from kobe (lol, hold ya horses, that's an argument i dont have the energy to defend). I was thrilled when they traded for Shaq and even now I enjoy titbits like Shaq stealing Nash's show. I'm sorry but it'll take several more losing seasons for the suns to make it off the list of teams i hate.


Hmm why do I get the feeling you're classifying failure as a coach who didn't win the whole championship? Or how else would you explain stan vangundy making your list, I even see Larry Brown on there.

And whilst you're advocating rookie coaches without significant prior experience how about backing that up with some stats. I mean just cuz Fisher hasn't coached before doesn't mean we can't argue against his nomination by providing the jobs newbies Michael Curry and Terry Porter did last season.

Frankly speaking if Fish want's to be head coach then he needs to relinquish that pg spot sooner rather than later and spend a few years on the bench with PJ. Then perharps you can use avery johnson to make your case, then again he's at best in the same league as stan vangundy (i.e. made it to finals but no championship) so by your standards even avery doesn't make the cut.

Who's the right coach for the lakers? I say riley or a proven winner in college. i.e. using championships as the standards, then lets go get someone that's won multiple times at the nba level or the college level.

Sasha has been cut from the Slovenian National Team.

Looks like the Machine has completely broken down.

Couldn't make it to a team that hasn't produced that many good NBA players?

Sasha is gone from the Lakers maybe not this year but surely when his contract expires or he is traded earlier.

Morrison better step up that shooting.


I did not see him play with the Trailblazers. Most of what I've seen of Bill Walton was old highlight reels when he played for the Bruins.

Seriously though, better than Kareem, Mikan, or Chamberlain? Really? I'd like to hear your argument.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


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