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Pau Gasol: More on his injured finger

Anyone who has followed Pau Gasol over the years knows his dedication to playing for his native Spain, so it shouldn't surprise to learn the All Star Pau Gasol Injury to Finger forward plans to stick with his national team, despite undergoing surgery on his left index finger- and after some initial confusion, the picture at right certainly indicates an injury to the left index finger- following a shot-block mishap in practice yesterday that led interphalangeal* ligament damage. Speaking at a Tuesday news conference, Gasol made that pretty clear:

"I am not overly worried as it isn't a very serious injury and in three weeks I expect to be back doing practically everything... I have explained the situation to the Lakers, and they have the results. They aren't pleased I am injured but I don't think they'll put obstacles in my way... I am making sure the lines of communication with them are open and clear, and hope I won't have to travel over there. My wish is to be with the team and to enjoy Eurobasket."

The timeline, far as I can tell, runs thusly: Spain opens up EuroBasket play in Warsaw September 7 against Serbia. According to a statement released by his country's hoops federation, ""The player must wait between twelve and fourteen days for the removal of the stitches and a total of twenty with a splint on his finger. After those twenty days he can touch the ball with some form of protection."  Presumably a pad or splint of some sort, though a kevlar glove or phalanx of bodyguards could also work. (And isn't it a little clinical to refer to Gasol as "the player?"  The guy was the MVP of the '06 World Championships. Are they not on a first name basis at this point?)

20 days without a ball in his hands takes Gasol to the end of August, a solid week before the start of the tournament, which runs until the 20th of September. So if the timeline for recovery is accurate and he heals properly- that sound you just heard was not gunfire, but Lakers fans worldwide knocking on wood- it seems reasonable Gasol wouldn't be able to suit up for Spain during the tournament. I'm sure all of you, like folks in LA's front office, will be cucumber cool and worry free while he does, right?

No doubt this will rekindle the debate on NBA players and international tournaments. I've always maintained, and still do, that it's nearly impossible to ask a guy not to play for his country, especially when participation is often considered not just simply an honor but a duty. But this is the sort of thing that gives those more concerned about the Larry O than the Euro-O the willies. Gasol should be fine, assuming he allows time for proper healing, but does the drive to play for one's country make that time tough to come by?

BK

*Absolutely the new Word of the Day.

(Photo, AFP)


 
 
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No Mas! No Mas Por Favor!

Pau is a true warrior, a champ. Just about my favorite Laker.

His dedication to his craft and, more, to his nation, is laudable.

But, that doesn't mean I don't cross fingers, knock wood, pray to the basketball (and medical) gods every time he suits up for a team other than our guys.

As long as he heals up quickly and be like Kobe which doesn't affect his shooting skills ... He can fight for his mother spain in fiba euro championship.

Come back strong pau ... back 2 back is a better goal! Spain is only 2nd to USA remember that ^_^

[REPOST]

Answers To Questions That Plague Us All...

1. Coach of the future? Phil Jackson, followed by Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher or Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.

2. Point guard of the future? Shaun Livingston, or Shannon Brown or Chris Paul.

3. Will Pau Gasol be okay? Yes, he needs the rest anyhow.

4. Von Wafer to Greece? Yes, and the European continent is not ready for this fundamental shift in athletic consciousness.

5. Smush Parker to Peru? No, Paraguay, stupid.

6. Will Shaq destroy the Cavs? Oh yeah. It's happening.

7. Will the Lakers be better than last year? Yes, because of Andrew Bynum and Thriller; however, no one is talking about the X Factor of next year's team. No, it's not Lamar Odom. It's the fact that a lot of The Bench Mob are in contract years and will play their hearts out as a result.

8. Is Mamba24 the Greatest? Greatest Blogger? Yes. Magic Johnson is the "Greatest."

9. Will Jon K. be able to return home from the wasteland of Northeast Ohio? It's in God's hands.

10. Does AK and BK hate Laker Nation yet and all our petty squabbles? Surprisingly no. They recognize the increasing importance of blogging in journalistic circles and a (somewhat) grateful to be leading the best team blog on the planet.

11. Cats or dogs? Dogs. By the way, MY DOG, Delilah, is having her leg cut off tomorrow because her cancer has returned. If you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for her, I'd be grateful.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I don't like it but if he's not restricted by his contract from doing any of this then it's his decision and I accept it as such.

Only in America do we think it more important to play for $$ than for country.

Do what you gotta do Gasol. Believe me, Kobe's got your back on this one.

--Fearless

Hopefully Pau's intelligent enough to know that if there's any problems with rehabbing the finger then he shouldn't try to push through it for pride. Or is he? As Kobe has done, I wonder if he would play with this injury even if he's not fully recovered because the Euro championship is just that important to him. Wouldn't most of us expect him to play with an injured finger during the playoffs if he could?

That's my problem with this, how will we know if the finger's really okay when he picks up a ball again? I'm not sure that we'll really know until the NBA season starts. It's likely that if anyone tried to stop him from playing in September he'd just give them the other finger.

Gasol takes a page out of Kobes book of determination to play no matter what.

"My wish is to be with the team and to enjoy Eurobasket"

Sigh ... champions ... soon as they make it to the top, all u keep hearing is respect my wishes.

Well fine he can go play the euros but he shouldnt complain if we limit him to 25 minutes during the regular season ... how else will he get the rest he needs ...

selfish pri*k, putting his country before purple n gold nation ... oh the nerve ...

I say we start odom and bench Gasol ....

umm make that during pre-season ...


well, now he will have three weeks of rest, and he'll be ready for the start of the season. perfect!

Jon K. -

Your dog is in my prayers. I hope this operation gets rid of the cancer.

As liberal and grounded as I like to present my viewpoints, IF I were a team owner of anything with the exception of Hockey, I'd make part of my players contract, NO OUTSIDE Competing!!! Being a low level jock back n tha day, I see BOTH perspectives and to me, the bottom line is... I'm paying you X amount of Millions to play for MY Team, I'll PAY You these millions but in return I ask that YOU not compete during the off season but instead, work on conditioning and your skillset.

Once your contract is up, if you wanna play for whoever or sit around eating burgers having a nervous breakdown on youtube.. Hey.. its your life.. do your thang.. but apart from the Olympic games, I wouldnt want Pau playing Eurobasketball or any other kinda Ball but Laker basketball.. then you have to look at the other extreme side and go.. well why let him play in anNBA All Star game? thats not the "team" so I'm torn by it.. if I were Pau, I'd like to represent for my Country and show them why another Country pays me to be the Man but if I'm Dr Buss.. I'm like.. Ummm Hello?? Is Spain paying you to live the lifestyle you live? Down Boy..


. So its perplexing and something I cant come up with an answer for on lunch right now.. I'll get back to ya...

Jon K.,

Prayer said. Best wishes for your dog.

#4

Jon K -

I'm really sorry to hear about your dog. A good friend of mine just went though the same thing and it was tough for her, but it improved the quality of her dog's life. I hope it will do the same for Delilah.

Jon K - sorry to hear about your dog. I'm sure with a good home like yours she will live many more happy years.

As for Pau, he's an exceptionally bright guy (no knock to other NBA players, but the guy would have been a doctor if he wasn't a professional athlete) and he knows his limitations. I think if the US played in a significant international championship every year, and only the very best were selected for the roster, some of us might have a different perspective on what it means to him. Selfishly, as a Laker fan, I would like to see him take it easy for the rest of the summer. Thankfully it's not his shooting hand, he's already had the surgery, and he should be fine come the start of the season.

Only in America do we think it more important to play for $$ than for country. Do what you gotta do Gasol. Believe me, Kobe's got your back on this one. --Fearless
Posted by: Fearless | August 11, 2009 at 11:28 AM

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!
OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!

Gasol takes a page out of Kobes book of determination to play no matter what. Posted by: Ata cases | August 11, 2009 at 11:36 AM

AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN, OUT FREAKIN STANDING

I like Pau's determination but i would love if we could prohibit our players from playing for their country but that is unfair, so i applaud him as a true patriot and pray for his quick return. We need this guy, he is the most talented Laker not named BRYANT!

Jon K,

I don't pray but I will be thinking good thoughts for you and Delilah and hoping for the best possible outcome to her surgery. I've got 3 dogs and 2 cats myself and couldn't really tell you which I prefer, I like all animals, as they all have their own distinctive personalities. I must admit I usually enjoy the company of pets more than I do humans so be assured that I feel for you. I've been where you're at many times and I know how difficult it is, hang tough.

Prohibiting a "Euro" player from playing for his country is like saying that no NBA players can play for the U.S. at the Olympics...it's just not happening. I'm sure NBA teams could add clauses to their contracts that allow them to adjust compensation if the player is injured while playing for another team much like they add clauses about them participating in other risky sports.

Anyway...I'm off again. I'm enjoying this quiet time now that LOCO is finally over.

Enjoy the rest of your summer...be back in October.

Pau is a true warrior, a champ. Just about my favorite Laker. His dedication to his craft and, more, to his nation, is laudable. But, that doesn't mean I don't cross fingers, knock wood, pray to the basketball (and medical) gods every time he suits up for a team other than our guys. Posted by: t_sensei | August 11, 2009 at 10:59 AM

How about 1 more time folks...OUT FREAKING STANDING

My thoughts are exactly those of every other LA sports fan: would you rather have Landon Donovan healthy and ready for international play on the US team or have him leading the Galaxy into the playoffs? I say, BEAT MEXICO or at least TIE MEXICO. Which means I think Pau has his priorities straight.

Jon K,

I hope your dog comes out of the operation okay. I've been through pet surgery and it's a truly emotionally draining experience.

AK

EastCoastJessie

[Prohibiting a "Euro" player from playing for his country is like saying that no NBA players can play for the U.S. at the Olympics...it's just not happening.]

Strongest argument I've seen for having college players in international competition so far. And just wait till laker nation hears Bynum is signed up for olympic tryouts being held in memphis. Then all hell breaks lose.

On a more serious note though some sort of balance needs to be struck. There's should be some sort of no more than 2 summers ever 3 years cap on international competition. Just to ensure there's some downtime for the overly patriotic type.

wow, Rambis is already being undermined and he hasn't even been coach for a day. Talk about BAD IDEAS, this is a bad idea. Does Rambis have full control of who his staff will be? Minny should let him build his own staff, it would really be crummy to foist Jackson on Rambis if Rambis didn't want him.

Aug 10, 2009 7:53 AM EST

Mark Jackson, once a candidate for Minnesota's head coaching job, reportedly has an opportunity to join the team as an assistant.

However, it's unlikely that he'll accept the position under Kurt Rambis, who the Timberwolves selected over the former point guard and current ABC/ESPN analyst.

Wes,

>>> Picking the next Lakers coach is a tough chore. Do the Lakers stick with the
>>> triangle which means hiring a Lakers bench coach, or do they try to bring in
>>> new blood and teach 12 dogs new tricks?

All we can really do is wish that Phil remains healthy and motivated to coach.

- - - - -

#4,

>>> I still admit, I'd like to see that sort of master stroke in the playoffs, and not
>>> reveal this sort of secret weapon in the regular season. But I'm not against it.

That would be cool, too.

- - - - -

t_sensei,

>>> Love your enthusiasm and bountiful faith, but you really gotta get a grip on
>>> the basketball side of things.

>>> Lamar has no PG chops, sorry to say. And I really can't believe you can
>>> persist in slinging that line. This is all fantasy basketball stuff here.

Hey, it’s summer time. What else do we have to talk about other than crazy ideas. :)
As for Lamar’s point guard skills, he is a far better ball handler and play maker than Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic, who have both logged minutes at point guard. In fact, there are many Lakers fans who naively think that Shannon Brown can be a point guard.

>>> That PG scenario you keep spinning with Lamar just can't happen.
>>> From temperament to flat out 1-skills, Lamar is not the guy to run 4 other
>>> guys in a half court O.

The perimeter position in the Triangle are basically interchangeable. Basically, the point guard brings the ball down, makes sure everybody is in the right place, and then feeds the post and cuts to the corner to create a new triangle. There is nothing that Lamar cannot do at least as well or better than Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic.

I am also not proposing that Lamar actually play point guard but just log some minutes there as a change of pace and to give other teams something extra to worry about and Lamar some more playing time. Same with replacing Ron at small forward. The idea is to take better advantage of Lamar’s skills and nightmare effect in match ups.

Obviously, we will have to agree to disagree but thanks for your comments.

>>> I would much rather have Luke run the offense than LO. Luke can read a
>>> court and make great passes, to boot.

I am no Luke hater but I would take 10 minutes of Lamar doing anything over Luke, either at small forward or point guard. Put your best players on the court. If Drew and Pau play 36 minutes per game, then Lamar will only get low 20’s in MPG. The solution is to backup Ron or Fish for a FEW minutes each game. I would prefer that over Luke or Farmar or Brown. We are paying Lamar like a starter so let’s find ways to get him starter minutes. That is all I am saying.

- - - - -

zach from San Diego,

>>> LakerTom you have way too much free time.

Actually, I just steal what time I need from my job just like everybody else. :)

- - - - -

AK,

>>> It's just not practical on just about any level and I'd be stunned if the
>>> organization made that move

>>> I wouldn't have said anything, but you asked.

No problem, Andy. I respect and appreciate your opinion. And as I said, I realize there is a lot of fantasy speculation since I have never heard Fish express a desire to coach. At any rate, I still think Derek has the charisma and stature that I do not see in any of the existing assistant coaches, including Brian Shaw. I do agree that it would probably be an uncomfortable situation to keep the other coaches and that the Lakers are likely to hire somebody with more experience or resume. However, I still think if Phil were to coach for several more years, our best choice for a future head coach would be Derek Fisher. I do not think there is a single Lakers player who would not support that decision. Anyway, thanks again for responding. You always have a solid take on these situations.

- - - - -

ex,

>>> Giving another team more to prepare for also requires that the Lakers spend
>>> more time in preparation with that lineup, time that could be spent elsewhere.
>>> Right now they have enough going on with incorporating Artest into their game,
>>> getting Bynum back on track after the injury, figuring out the best way to work
>>> Gasol and Bynum together. You don't want to add something radically
>>> different into that mix if you don't need to.

I agree 100%, ex. Having Lamar go into the game as small forward with Drew and Pau manning the other forward’s positions, should not be something that you have to specially plan for. I am not so sure that the same might be true of Lamar at point. Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers do try and get Lamar on the floor more than just backing up Pau. I personally like the concept that there are 48 x 3 or 144 minutes to cover at the 3, 4, and 5 positions. If Drew and Pau and Ron all play 36 minutes, then there are theoretically 36 minutes left to be covered – 24 backing up Pau and 12 backing up Ron. Obviously, final totals would include some time from Mbenga, Powell, Walton, and maybe Ammo, especially if we have lots of blowouts, but the idea that we can have three out of Drew, Pau, Ron, and Lamar on the floor at all times in the 3, 4, and 5 spots would give us a huge advantage over other team’s front courts.

>>> I guess it's a question of degree. I could see them figuring that an established,
>>> veteran team could probably get by with someone inexperienced, but clearly with
>>> potential, and cheap, like Fisher. So I would be unpleasantly surprised, but not
>>> stunned.

I would be pleasantly surprised, too. Realistically, maybe Fish will retire and join Phil’s coaching staff after next year, work as an assistant for 2 years, and then take over from Phil. That would be a real pleasant surprise.

- - - - -

Edwin,

>>> One of the great possibilities of the Lakers, there are a lot of players who
>>> could pay PG in the triangle starting from traditional to non-traditional:

Excellent post, Edwin. Point guard in the Triangle is a lot different from point guard in any other pro basketball offensive scheme.

- - - - -

Mamba,

Let’s start a NO WAY BSCOTT COACHES LAKERS bandwagon.

- - - - -

Taliq,

>>> Personally though I've seen enough for both and in my humble opinion they
>>> dont have the IT factor that allows u to wield a weapon as powerful as the mamba.

I agree with you 100%. As for Howland, in some ways there are some strong similarities to Pitino and his failure in the Pros. I don’t know if a team can pressure all game long like Ben wants and not burn out his players, like Pitino did with his full court press.

- - - - -

Jon,

Hope Delilah gets better. From her cat friends. LOL

- - - - -

Tom

This is what makes soccer the greatest sports in the world, country comes before club. It's not about money, players get peanuts for wearing their nation's colors, it's about honor. The most important thing you can do as a professional is win the World Cup, not the Bundesliga or Priemership. Basketball could learn a lesson here

Not fair to compare kobe to gasol.. It was kobes first gold time playing in the international stage and that was the OLYMPICS not the eurogames

And not fair to compare soccer to bball... Soccer is international and the #1 sport in every other country but US or canada... An international medal in bball doesn't even come remotely close to what it means for soccer.

soccer the greatest sport in the world just because you play for your country? ppppplllleeeaasssee. too much foolish patriotism there. at least basketball is more exciting than soccer because of the speed of the game. even my soccer player friends would agree with me.

This is what makes soccer the greatest sports in the world, country comes before club. It's not about money, players get peanuts for wearing their nation's colors, it's about honor. The most important thing you can do as a professional is win the World Cup, not the Bundesliga or Priemership. Basketball could learn a lesson here

Posted by: JohnJ | August 11, 2009 at 01:05 PM

Soccer fan, mad that soccer isn't big in the US....

Greatest sport in the world doesn't mean squat here in America.

It's not naive to think UPS can play PG on this Lakers team playing the triangle.

To think it's naive is to think UPS is incappable of dribbling and passing in such a way as to limit turnovers.

He may not be a slash and kick PG like Farmar, but he can most definitely play the PG slot on this team in this system. To think otherwise is naive.

With the World Championships every four years, and the Olympics every alternating four years we can expect international players to play for their countries nearly every summer.

Maybe it is time for the NBA to realize the dynamics of basketball around the globe have changed. I know its a pipe dream, but reducing the number of games played by a third would free up time for players to rep their national teams and still get some rest. I know, I know the NBA would never leave money on the table.

But look at Yao. How much money is being left on the table with the guy's career possibly ending early? How much money is lost when a player like Manu who clearly is not "old" by NBA standards, but appears to be already run down? Is the NBA product diluted when its best international players are either burning out early or missing significant chunks of the season?

Think about it, folks. Eighty two regular season games and then FOUR seven game series to get to a title? That's the real problem, not guys playing for their home countries. Also, a shorter season would give more time for our American team to play together.

Jon K - hope your dog's ok. Going through this kind of thing with a beloved pet is one of the worst things we humans have to deal with - truly a heart rending thing. I know she'll be fine.

I'd cross my fingers for Pau, but he might take it as a snub...

You know - cuz he can't ....

You know - cuz his finger's broke...

Buuut seriously folks - I'm glad he's resting. Big season coming up, says Captain Obvious.

Get well soon, Pau and Delilah!

Speaking of finger surgery, is Kobe ever going to go under the knife for the finger he injured two years ago?

Tim-4-Show,

I think Shannon Brown COULD be the point guard of the future, but I don't have enough information one way or another to really push for him to have or not have that role.

Three things I like about Brown are that he plays his heart out, he's athletic, and he has a great attitude.

Otherwise, I think we'll need a full season of him in Purple and Gold to make a definitive evaluation.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K,

I wish your dog complete recovery keep her in my prayers

LAL_Fan

Tim,

>>> It's not naive to think UPS can play PG on this Lakers team playing the triangle.

Not any more naïve than to think that Lamar Odom, who is a better ball handler and better play maker, can’t play point guard for 5 to 10 minutes per game.

Tom

Thanks for quoting me LakerTom, I again misspelled a simple word play into pay, well in a way Lakers have paid their PG's too much money and that is one argument of Jeff S on Odom's versatility as a valuable PG too.

On Pau Gasol, well in US if Dwight gets hurt, there lots of alternates waiting on the wing from Drew, Oden, Bosh could sub. In Spain, they have no other reliable Center except Gasol. If Gasol goes down, the replacement are not as good as Pau. In Pau's mind, the fate of his team lies on the healing of his finger. In the case of the Lakers, they are deep and could find ways to replace him but not w/ Spain.

On 710 radio this afternoon, there is this guy from Lakers Live giving a lot of props to Ariza as the 2nd MVP in the playoffs. I don't know about that, there are so many 2nd MVP's from Fisher to Gasol & Odom too. It is good that this is not a beauty contest where there is value given to the 3rd runner up, only the Finals MVP is awarded a trophy. Going back to my concern after the Championship on Odom and Ariza, I said in order to sign both we have to choose lesser evil by absorbing or trading the 2nd tiers players and open a cap room for the two guys, no way can Lakers sign Odom, then came the Artest opportunity plus Ariza too without dealing with Sasha, Farmar, Luke and Adam or combination of two players.. If Ariza & his agent were just patient, maybe they could have restructured contracts to sign him in on bird's rights above MLE per year with deferments for next season. Even without Ariza, Lakers are still deep with so many possible combination, so PJ has to get back to coaching b/c of the excitment of having good pieces on hard while he gets $1M a month plus a nice GF who will inherit the Lakers. On the other coasts.the Celtics and Cavaliers are in quandary in signing players to protect their 9th, 10th, and 11th, seemingly that's where they could take the lead over the Lakers plus of course, a voodoo consultant working on Artest to become permanently insane. lol! That's a sure fire of destroying Lakers chemistry.

Good luck Jon K.

Wes

What I hate about soccer is the flopping. Something has to be done about flopping in basketball before it turns into a joke sport like soccer.

Soccer is better than basketball? Really?

http://tiny.cc/g3JxO

The Cavs just signed Leon Powe...is it just me or is EVERY team trying to get as many bigs as they can to counter Pau, Artest, Lamar & Bynum?

The good thing is I don't see any other teams bigs with the same skill set / game as what the Lakers have.

M eye rite?

Haha.

T. Rogers - well said!

Well, the congratulatory wishes on Kurt Rambis will be over starting tomorrow. What will he bring to MN T'wolves except the Lakers playbook, their scouting system, their trainers and medical staff, their preseason regiment. As long as these people can be lured by money in a free market there is a possibility that they will follow Rambis b/c MN has a lot of cap room. This includes Mychal Thompson as possible assistant coach, , who used to be a broadcaster in MN, together with mark jackson, Coop and so forth. So for the next few months and years, Rambis will be a threat to Lakers dynasty not really beating the Lakers but exposing their logistics into open and the secrets of the triangle and possible snatching players. If Glen Taylor wants to create some upheaval he'd just float a rumor that someone in the league is willing to pay Kobe $150M for 5 years, that's $30M a year, can Lakers afford to match that offer?

SR GASOL IS MAKING A BIG MISTAKE

I would never be against anyone passing up the chance to represent their country but pao needs to seriously take a step back think rationally and re-evaluate his position. He's probably being too spur of the moment just charged up with national pride and emotion after just been in battle with his fellow countrymen so let's reassess here:

- this is the eurogames not the olympics or worldcup here
- he already got lived the international thrill of victory by playing in the olympics last summer and already proved to the world spain is the best in the world (next to US) and that he's the best in spain
- this is bball not soccer where winning internationally DOES NOT transcend winning for a club team
-hes an established vet unlike a rookie rubio with a lot to prove
- he's risking millions and millions of future income and should think about his family
-risk of injury esp at his age is too HIGH. Look at ginobli last summer and how much he cost the spurs
-he plays for the lakers (best pro club in the world) not clippers with buss (best bball owner in world) with kobe (best player in the world)
- he is still property of the lakers and still has a moral obligation to show up to camp healthy
- we have a freakin DYNASTY IN THE MAKING and is risking multiple world titles

The cons just massively outweigh the cons in my opinion... I will still respect his decision but I think its still a big HUGE mistake.

#4,

I love soccer. Played it for years, but I think that the World Cup is over-rated as a significant number of the players don't need to be from the country they represent.

When France last won the World Cup, the majority of their players were not of French origin. How lame is that?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

AK - " I've been through pet surgery"

Seriously?

Word of the day - facetious.
Dang, I couldn't resist.

Good point lakertruth

Flopping started to become an art in the nba AFTER all the influx of talent from europe (vlade etc).. No doubt those guys grew up watching soccer and brought it here to the nba.

I'm all for penalizing floppers.. Nba should reconsider their technical foul rule for flops cause its making a mockery of the game

#4,

I love soccer. Played it for years, but I think that the World Cup is over-rated as a significant number of the players don't need to be from the country they represent.

When France last won the World Cup, the majority of their players were not of French origin. How lame is that?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | August 11, 2009 at 04:14 PM

Good point Jon.

For the record I really, really like soccer. Its probably my 2nd favorite sport for its movement, the ability for individuals to excel, and the athleticism.

But I thought JohnJ's comment that basketball could learn some things from soccer ignored the strides made by the Redeem Team, and indeed the world body of basketball.

The 'Redeem Team' by its very name, acknowledges a return to the former standards of the Dream Team. A return to commitment to country, team concepts, and the spirit of and respect for competition. It was a very concerted effort to do so.

Though I may have sounded a bit petty, JohnJ's failure to recognize that team's efforts struck me as mightily ignorant. The Redeem Team's success, in both the means and the ends, and the salient point made by you are a good counterpoint to the soccer buff that thinks soccer holier than any other sport. Its just like any other sport.

And there's no way I'm calling soccer 'the greatest sport in the world'. Most popular? Sure, but hey, McDonalds sells the most hamburgers too.

Its not a coincidence best floppers in the nba are mostly international w soccer influence: vlade (best flopper of all time), nash, ginobli, gasol, varejao etc


M eye rite?

Haha.

Posted by: Marco | August 11, 2009 at 03:30 PM

You are right. And this nonsense that teams are going to somehow out tough the Lakers this year is garbage from 2008.

The Lakers are bigger, can be just as physical, and have more skills. Better yet, this will be year 3 of Bynum/Pau/Lamar. While everyone seems to be adding, we'll be multiplying. The skills sets aren't individual anymore, they are meshed now.

*Not too worried about Pau Gasol's finger. He needs the rest anyways.

*This Laker team is Phil Jackson's team. But if he had to be replaced, I'd go with B Shaw. I'd go with Shaw because in all reality, Kobe will be a player-coach. B Shaw might be the best candidate to defer to Kobe, but in certain situations, also be able to challenge Kobe. I think that whatever would make that happen probably would be the healthiest situation after Phil Jackson. We don't want some authoritarian coach after Phil Jackson, that's for sure.

Look at this lineup:

-Fisher
-Kobe
-Artest
-Gasol
-Bynum

-Lamar

Ridiculous! The season needs to start already.

Go Lakers!

Yellowfever you took the words right out of my mouth homie. WTF is gasol playing for a European Championship for? He won in 06 and got the MVP trophy. Dude, your on top of the world right now! Dynasty in the making is certain if everyone stays healthy. YOU SHOULD NOT BE RISKING YOUR CAREER on some trophy you already got? What? And now that he's hurt his comment is he'll be back for the European Championships? Your right the Lakers Management is not happy about your injury Mr. Gasol. Not at all, not one bit.

i for one don't want to think about replacing PJ just yet... there's more to be accomplished in lakerland..... this is a team that's built for the long haul and i don't see phil stepping away from it all.... phil has never walked away, he was always pushed out.... and somehow i don't see the good doctor pushing phil out a second time.....

Let's compare Boston's frontcourt to the Lakers:

- Gasol / KG - slight advantage goes to (healthy) KG
- Bynum / Perkins - advantage goes to (healthy) Bynum, although Perkins is the strong and physical type of player that can give Bynum fits.
- Lamar / Rasheed - if Rasheed is motivated, which I expect, this one's a toss up.
- Josh Powell / Glen Davis - advantage Davis

The Celtics are neck and neck when you compare the frontcourts. The Celts also have a HUGE advantage at PG (Rondo over FIsh), as well as the advantage at SF (Pierce over Artest). If the Celts stay healthy, they will be a big time threat to the Lakers next season.

I'll second yellofever's arguments. International basketball doesn't have nearly the same stature as soccer, notwithstanding last year's Olympics Gold medal match, one of the most memorable games I've seen, mainly because of the context. Or maybe because of seeing Kobe sink that clutch shot at 3:00 in the morning.

On a tangent, can Kobe have a better year than this last year?

1) Clutch shot then assist won Gold medal at Olympics (and spares USA major embarassment)

2) Wins 4th NBA championship, finally puts Shaq question to rest

3) Won regular season MVP last year then Finals MVP this year

4) Spoke with Magic at Michael Jackson's funeral, watched by over a billion worldwide

Oh, and put me on "Hope Jon K's dog gets better" bandwagon.

I'm real interested to see what kind of offense Rambis will use - he's got a couple rebounding bigs with Jefferson and Love and the team in general's pretty young. Apparentlly Kahn made some comment about going with an uptempo offense but I don't know that he had consulted with Rambis about that... Is Chucky Atkins with the team now? How was his relationship with Rambis when he was a Laker?

Maybe Rambis will go with something akin to the system that Riley put into place during the end of the Showtime era... still using elements of the fast break but also relying a lot on the half court, more blue collar sets to favor an aging Kareem. That's when Mychel Thompson was brought in as a backup to my recollection.

Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone really care? (I'm obviously bored, haha).

Heard on the Mason and Ireland show that Phil is feeling really good about his health these days. Jeannie Buss was on, and she said he's starting to get on his motorcycle again.

Take away points:

1. Phil feels healthy (hence the motorcycle comment).

2. Jeannie feels he can coach here for a long while.

3. With Rambis taking the next logical step in his career, Phil doesn't feel the pressure to step down to let his protege take over.

With that last point, there's much to read between the lines.

First, Phil saw Rambis as his protege. I'm sure to some extent, Phil feels that way about B.Shaw as well, but just to hear that he thought about Rambis that way is a salient point.

Second, Phil thought well enough of Rambis to throw out the idea that he and Kurt trade off coaching home and away games. This second point validates that.

Third, there are already thoughts of succession. The Lakers aren't just haphazardly heading into the future. For all the hand wringing that goes on here, they aren't just sitting on there hands up in the FO.

I can't believe what I'm reading on this blog.

Gasol shouldn't play because he has a minor injury to a finger on his non-shooting hand that will be healed before camp starts?

Weren't people touting how tough Kobe was for playing in the Olympics without getting surgery on his pinkie finger? How is this any different?

This guy had a year of med school before he went pro. Both of his parents are medical professionals. I'm sure if there were a real chance of something that affected his career, he would think about it before he decided to play. The truth is, this is probably less serious than Kobe's injury was.

So, I say good for you, Pau. Play. Represent your country and win the whole thing. Show everyone that a "soft" Euro center can be just as tough as his American teammate, and bring some of that swagger and confidence with you to camp in October.

Cats v/s dogs discussion is over
Now is Bball v/s soccer?

Jon K,
I don't pray for pets, but for a fellow Laker fan and anti cat conspiration enforcer, i'll do it ;)

Hey Jon K.,

I'm actually in OKC and spoke with someone within the Thunder organization (of which Livingston is currently a member). He said that Shaun was favoring his knee heavily in the recent past, but presently has some more a little bit of explosiveness developing. He said he still has extremely good court vision. Thought he might give the team some interesting choices later in the season, but probably in terms of backup point minutes.

Jon K,

Good luck to your dog. See the best vets you can and doG will take care of the rest.

a newbie....jump on the bandwagon while they're winners...
"

"Speaking of finger surgery, is Kobe ever going to go under the knife for the finger he injured two years ago?

Posted by: fuzzyfingers | August 11, 2009 at 02:39 PM"

havn't been keeping up....reflect back to 2008, or were you not paying attention..

Kobe changes mind, won't have finger surgery
'I just didn't want to miss any time 'punching the clock' for the Lakers'

NBCSports.com
updated 1:21 p.m. PT, Tues., Sept . 9, 2008

Keep up to date...dude...

Edwin Gueco....

"the secrets of the triangle"???? There are none...perform it well and you can't stop it. The Lakers have adjustments as well for when people try...they'll start it at a little bit more out, to spread it out, they, can tighten it up...it's flexible....the key is for the players to not panic and to make the right adjustments...the players....and if not, then the coaches can lay ouyt the adjustments. Yes Rambis' knowledge of the triangle may be a threat but I don't think it is if it is going to Minneapolis......I think the Lakers bench and a starter could still emliminate the "wolves" (oooh....scary name!!!!!)

Which brings me back to a point I brought up a while back but it got not response....the situation of Coby Karl feeding Daddy Laker information during the Lakers/Nuggets series....Granted he was no longer a Laker, but how ethical was that?....considering the father-son relationship. Granted, any team can hire any consultant who they may feel has info that can help them in a series....The ideal father would sat "son, there is something out there called integrity, I think our staff can get by"......a sleezy father would say "tell me evertything, all their weaknesses, all their signals, everything....."
If he would have hired him as a consultant at that point would that have made it "ok"? Me personally, if I were cobi karl, I would have not disclosed anything. I think that it was kinda sleezy......I think of othere players around the league think about it, they would not like it, (from the Laker's point of view".......anyway, any thoughts out there????

Hey Everybody,

Thanks for the kind words about Delilah. She's in a cage right now at the vet hospital all doped up in preparation for tomorrow's surgery. (I still don't understand why they have to give her a "pain patch" the night before the surgery.)

I'm kind of stressed about the whole thing, but I'm hopeful that everything will turn out as good as it can.

Thanks.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Benjamin,

A healthy Shaun Livingston would be the perfect Lakers triangle point guard of the future: Long and with amazing court vision.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Edwin-

No team can offer Kobe more than the Lakers. That's just how the world works. As for other teams learning the secrets of the triangle thanks to Rambis, it's really not a concern. The triangle isn't a secret. It's an offense. Every scout and coach in the league who watches the Lakers understands what they're doing. It's not surprise or mystery, but execution, that makes it effective.

BK


Dear bloggers,

As an spaniard, I feel compelled to tell you all some info that you probably don't know and might somehow explain Gasol's decision.

There are only two tittles Pau has not won yet in his career: the FIBA Final Four and the European Championship.

Our general thought in Spain is that he plans to win the top european club competition when he comes back to Spain prior to his retirement in Barcelona, hence as someone who wants to win everything he will logically willing to win the European Championship.

Best regards from Spain

Javier

Did Coby Karl sign a non-disclosure agreement with the Lakers? If not then he's under no obligation to keep anything he learned while here to himself.

a few thoughts from Spain:

-Gasol has never won the EURO championship as some said here. In fact, he missed the clutch shot in the final 2 years ago. I'm sure this will be his last Euro tournament. I'm from Spain and I am against Pau playing Euro tournament (only World Cup and Olympics) but you can not imagine the pressure that he has by the Spanish media.

- Internatinal tournaments in basketball are not as popular as in soccer just because soccer is more popular world wide than basketball. The best players of each country play in Europe and international tournaments like the World Cup are their chance to see and to cheer for them. The only country were basketball is more popular than soccer is the US and already got the NBA were the best players play and until a few years ago they had no other country able to compete a similar level. This is changing tough as many international players that play in the NBA make competitive rosters in quite a few countries already.



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