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Use your finger to vote on Pau's

All things being equal, the injury Pau Gasol's left index finger doesn't appear to be a major issue. Sure, the damage was extensive enough to require surgery, make some fans throw up just a little, and force me to type "interphalangeal" (a word spell check always seems to think is wrong yet offers no alternative) more often than I'd prefer, but there's no reason to believe Gasol won't be good to go when the Lakers break camp.

On the other hand, it drives home the risks inherent in international play. I still believe it's nearly impossible to demand a player not suit up for his home country, but certainly understand the concerns. Replace "finger" with "knee," "3-4 weeks" with "3-4 months" and this is a very different conversation with far more curse words. So it's an interesting topic, worthy of (can you feel the segue coming?) a poll question:

 
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Seems like Gasol hasn't had a summer off in years! Yes, the Spanish team is very good, and he makes them probably the 2nd best team in the world behind the U.S., but he has got to exert a little pressure in order to get some time off and recuperate. The Lakers last 2 seasons played more games than any other team in the NBA, along with Olympic qualifying and the Olympics themselves, and now another summer of Spanish team duty. Pau works hard and represents his country very well, he has to get a lot of credit for that, however not only do the Lakers pay his checks, his body needs time to rest

Just look at Yao Ming and all of those summers he endured playing for the Chinese team, many times at less-than 100%. One has got to think that all of those summers are now catching up to Yao, he is breaking down. It would be terrible for that to happen to Pau, I'm sure the Lakers would really prefer he take a summer off, I guess they respect his decision though to do his duty...

The luxury with Spain is that with how deep their team is, Pau plays no more than 20 minutes a game in these tournaments, unless it's a championship game where he may play 25-30 tops, which is way less than the 40+ he plays in the NBA.
To some other points that some bloggers have addressed, ONLY the US values playing in the NBA over playing for your country. To other countries, the FIBA world championships and the Olympics (in that order) are more important to win than the NBA championship.
Hopefully, the US catches up to the rest of the world and adopts this mentality as well. There's a reason why the NBA tries to no longer refer to the NBA champs as the World Champs, since right now the reigning World Champion is Spain.
Basketball is no longer our sport; second to soccer in world popularity, thanks to the strides that the NBA has made during the Stern era. The game is bigger than the NBA, bigger than the Lakers, bigger than Kobe or Gasol.

The luxury with Spain is that with how deep their team is, Pau plays no more than 20 minutes a game in these tournaments, unless it's a championship game where he may play 25-30 tops, which is way less than the 40+ he plays in the NBA.
To some other points that some bloggers have addressed, ONLY the US values playing in the NBA over playing for your country. To other countries, the FIBA world championships and the Olympics (in that order) are more important to win than the NBA championship.
Hopefully, the US catches up to the rest of the world and adopts this mentality as well. There's a reason why the NBA tries to no longer refer to the NBA champs as the World Champs, since right now the reigning World Champion is Spain.
Basketball is no longer our sport; second to soccer in world popularity, thanks to the strides that the NBA has made during the Stern era. The game is bigger than the NBA, bigger than the Lakers, bigger than Kobe or Gasol.

I'm glad Pau is getting some rest. I admire his patriotism, but, come on, brother needs a break!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

About the whole soccer versus basketball debate...

Soccer is a beautiful game. I've played it since first grade and have played it after high school. I had the pleasure of playing against Cobi Jones in high school and I shut that guy down! I love playing soccer... however I have little understanding how anyone who has not played the game can enjoy it.

I love the strategy of the game, it is like moving chess.

What I don't like about the game?

Flopping.
Officiating.
No time outs.
Overly limited substitutions.
South American (Brazilian) over-dribbling
Flopping despite the fact that penalty kicks outside the box don't really matter much.
Yellow cards are given out far too quickly. They should only be given out quickly for flopping.
Game should be broken into quarters. Not halves.
Game should be allowed to be A LOT more physical.

What would REALLY help soccer would be a good old Americanization of the sport. Pizza is really an American food not Italian, YET it is so fricken good.

The same could be with American soccer: More set plays. More physical play. Better officiating. NO flopping. It could be awesome.

Now, all that much said... I enjoy watching basketball so much more than I enjoy watching soccer. I also LOVE playing basketball. LOVE IT! I suck at it (in terms of scoring), but I play excellent defense, pass and rebound well (especially for a vertically challenged person like myself).

In summary, what I love about soccer and basketball is that they are team sports that trive off of sharing the ball and anticipating the actions of your teammates.

Both basketball and soccer are taken to the next level when the team moves the ball effectively in such a way to exploit the tactical weaknesses of the opponent.

Soccer may be the world's game, but basketball is equally (if not of superior) important(ce) to athletics as a whole.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

As I said before, unless it's stipulated otherwise explicitly in his contract, the decision on whether to play in the off-season is completely up to Pau. This is as it should be. This isn't Vlad Rad's snowboarding fiasco, it's all above board and out in the open. Everyone should know Pau's history and intentions. If the Lakers don't want him to play for Spain then they need to try and get his agreement to that condition. He's not a slave, he's an employee and the Lakers don't own his free time. I don't particularly like to see him play year round but I recognize that it's his choice.

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****** COME ON FOLKS I WANT THIS DAMN WAGON FILLED *****
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(01) JON K – OWNER - 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.
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(08) AZTRONUT - 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.
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(12) SCOTT - Oh, and put me on "Hope Jon K's dog gets better" bandwagon.
(13) MR.NANO - Jon K, I don't pray for pets, but for a fellow Laker fan and anti cat conspiration enforcer, i'll do it ;)
(14) BENJAMIN - Jon K, Good luck to your dog. See the best vets you can and doG will take care of the rest
(15) THIRTY2 - Jon K....Being a dog person for the last 32 years,i think its only fair that we pray for your dog..I have been lucky with my first 2 dogs..The first dog Samantha lived for 17 years..Kelpie cross with a Lab....When she passed away i didnt speak to a person for about 10 days....Im not joking.....I still have 2 dogs...Border Collie cross with a German sheperd who is 10 years old and a Lab that cost me a lot of money to buy is 6 years old.....i dont do cats...Although my wife has had cats her whole life,i can say this knowing we will never have a cat while she is living with me....They are to unpredictable for my liking.....No thanks....

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"....since right now the reigning World Champion is Spain." : Correction: The current world champ is the US of A, not Spain.

Would anybody dare to complain if PG's had got injured during training camp with the US basketball team? I don’t think so.
PG is a CLASS ACT on and off court. Instead of spending the summer splurging himself into the life of the rich and famous --as most NBA players do-- PG spends the summer defending his country, a great lesson to the vast majority of NBA mega-selfish players.
I look forward to see PG at the Staples next season

If these guys aren't playing for their national teams they'd be playing pickup games anyway to stay in shape. Injury can happen anytime, these guys play ball all year long, it's no big deal.

This is an accident waiting to happen...

well, ginobli sure was a big help to the spurs last year. parker is on track to do the same. yao ming won't play this season. what happens if gasol rolls his ankle? i say if these guys injure themselves playing for another team, hit them in their wallet big time.

Good morning Mamba24 and the fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!

Well - the PAU POLL seems to indicate the vast majority don't have a problem with a player playing for their country.

I really feel somewhat schizophrenic over this issue. Many (if not most) feel it's an honor to play for your country. But - your employer has the right to make you sign some sort of non-compete clause. Who's got the better argument? I have no idea. I see both sides, but do not see a persuasive "middle-ground" argument. Anyone?

Let's just be really really really really really really grateful it wasn't a career-threatening injury and that he'll be fine come training camp. We all dodged a bullet there.

Sports are a civilized modern battlefield. Players are modern warriors. They carry the hopes of their nations in their shoulders, mostly for the honor and the glory, not money.

You can't buy the heart of a modern warrior, they are not mercenaries, or slaves, no matter how many millions you are paying them. They are not your property. They have hopes, dreams, families, love of their flags and what they represent.

You can't compare NBA business with national team pride.
Tomorrow you can see Paula Pierce playing in purple and gold (yes, i'm being heretic, i'll burn in hell), because NBA is a business, but you can't see Ronny T playing for Spain or Pau playing for France.

You can't pay a Laker fan enough millions to love the Ceptics. But you can work for them for reasonable money (if you really are that needed) and still root for the Lakers. I'ts love v/s work. Heart v/s wallet.

With a multi million contract in the NBA you are not buying the player's life. You are paying his work through the regular season and the playoffs. Not buying his free days or the off season. Not his identity. Not his nationality. Not his hopes and dreams.

NBA: Where nothing is personal, just business

"i say if these guys injure themselves playing for another team, hit them in their wallet big time.
Posted by: eggs are coolin' | August 12, 2009 at 08:34 AM"

Sounds like justice to me. You can play in international competition but if you get hurt and have to miss nba games, then you shouldn't get a pay check for those games.

justanothermambafan,

"but do not see a persuasive "middle-ground" argument. Anyone?"

eggs r cooling already gave us the middleground ... go ahead you're free to wild out, but if u're hurt start of the season and can't play in games then u dont get paid for those games.

Whats the big deal about Pau? Since when does Laker fan think its difficult to defend your title without your starting PF?

NBA: Where nothing is personal, just business
Posted by: MrNano | August 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM

Great Post Mr. Nano

>> With a multi million contract in the NBA you are not buying the player's life. You are paying his work through the regular season and the playoffs. Not buying his free days or the off season. Not his identity. Not his nationality. Not his hopes and dreams.

NBA: Where nothing is personal, just business

Posted by: MrNano | August 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM

Excellent post, well-put. I agree whole-heartedly. (Even though the results can be untoward and -- for team's fans such as the Rockets this year and Spurs last year -- very disappointing).

>> With a multi million contract in the NBA you are not buying the player's life. You are paying his work through the regular season and the playoffs. Not buying his free days or the off season. Not his identity. Not his nationality. Not his hopes and dreams.

NBA: Where nothing is personal, just business

Posted by: MrNano | August 12, 2009 at 08:56 AM

Excellent post, well-put. I agree whole-heartedly. (Even though the results can be untoward and -- for team's fans such as the Rockets this year and Spurs last year -- very disappointing).

Jayden24,

You raise a very interesting point, but unfortunately, we can't push the comment through because of language. Subbing out a couple of letters in an offending word doesn't meet Times' standards. Please rewrite it more "clean" (all symbols is fine, or just choose a different word) if you'd like, because it's definitely a worthwhile perspective.

AK

Whats the big deal about Pau? Since when does Laker fan think its difficult to defend your title without your starting PF? Posted by: 131-92 | August 12, 2009 at 09:36 AM

TOUCHE!

At least he doesn't snowboard.

I think NBA teams (and their fans) need to accept the possible consequences when they sign "international" players, or even USofA players who end up on the Olympics or other teams that compete worldwide.

Assuming the injury is not serious, this might actually work to Pau's advantrage, making him tougher mentally and lessening his alleged reputation for being "soft."

I still think he should show up for the first regular season game (or save it for Boston or San Antonio) clean-shaven and sporting a 1950s-style crew cut. I think that would so freak out his opponent that he'd end up with a triple-double.

MAMBA24, world championship, olympic games, different tournaments... spain is actually the world reigning champion... probably until USA gets to the next world championship with a team (and a motivation) as the one they had in the olympic games, and by the way spain is in europe (just in case)

Jon K,

Best wishes to your dog. - JohnnyP

Whats the big deal about Pau? Since when does Laker fan think its difficult to defend your title without your starting PF?

Posted by: 131-92 | August 12, 2009 at 09:36 AM

I don't....just look at the Lakers starting PFs in the 2000-2003 dynasty. Those PFs sucked big time, and the Lakers repeated. What excuse do the Celtics have?

131-92,

You are definitely an affixed member of this blog. Whether or not you are a closet Lakers fan, you are part of this community. It's all good. We welcome haters, non-haters, and closet fans alike.

Mr Nano, you're inspired with that beautiful post.

Jon K, have you considered getting Samson for Delilah, that may be the cure?

Mamaba24, you are always on the roll keep it up.

justanothermambafan,

Can we just agree that there should be a clause in professional basketball contracts that the player cannot play for SOMEONE ELSE'S nation in international competition?

If I was Mike Dunleavy, I would lose my fricken mind watching Chris Kaman go play for GERMANY in the Olympics and then spend 65% of the following season injured. How this could have been allowed to happen is still completely beyond me.

Chris Kaman is a traitor, an idiot and utterly disrespectful to his employer.

Go Clippers!

GO LAKERS!!!!

Edwin Gueco,

I am Delilah's Sampson.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

131-92, You are definitely an affixed member of this blog. Whether or not you are a closet Lakers fan, you are part of this community. It's all good. We welcome haters, non-haters, and closet fans alike. Posted by: never | August 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

You know that was pretty classy of you Never, I salute you sir.
Larry(Mamba24)

Edwin Gueco, I am Delilah's Sampson.
Posted by: Jon K. | August 12, 2009 at 11:25 AM

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!
DO I HAVE TO SAY IT?...OUT FREAKIN STANDING JON K.

Here's how it should go: NBA games should take priority over all other obligations except the Olympics and the FIBA world championships. Regional tournaments like Eurobasket, if you get injured and you miss games, you miss $! You can rep your country when it's important, otherwise you honor your paycheck...

I'll agree that you can put whatever clause into a player's contract that you want, as long as the player is willing to agree to it. What you can't do is to collude with all of the other owners to include the same clause in all contracts. This can only be done in consultation with the union during the collective bargaining process. Even then, individual players can obviously refuse to sign a contract with any such clause that they don't like.

So the Lakers could demand that Pau sign a contract with a clause stating that he not play competitive basketball during the off-season, or even that he not play for some other country besides Spain if you prefer. However, this is supposed to be a free market and Pau is a valuable commodity. He is obviously capable of shopping his services to those who wouldn't demand such a clause in his contract, whether that might be elsewhere in the NBA or overseas.

Would you really want to take the chance of losing a player such as Gasol to another team because you demanded that he sign a contract with such a clause, or even a contract clause which denied his salary if he were to get injured playing in the off-season? I didn't think so.

131-92, You are definitely an affixed member of this blog. Whether or not you are a closet Lakers fan, you are part of this community. It's all good. We welcome haters, non-haters, and closet fans alike. Posted by: never | August 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

You know that was pretty classy of you Never, I salute you sir.
Larry(Mamba24)


Posted by: Mamba24 | August 12, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Mamba24,

I second that!

Just to clearify ... I am NOT a closet fan and Im not Butler. I hate the Lakers but its not personal (unless some make personal) ... Its basketball. Just like Laker fan hates the Celtics. I have no problem with that. In fact I would feel the same way if the Celtics were 2-9 vs the Lakers in the Finals!

I have no problem with that. In fact I would feel the same way if the Celtics were 2-9 vs the Lakers in the Finals!

Posted by: 131-92 | August 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM

For a team and fanbase that like to think its successful, your 2-9 isn't as impressive as 22 years or no repeats since 1969.

And you forget all the times you weren't good enough to even represent the east to get the privelege to play the Lakers.

But hey, you have 2-9 and we'll keep the 2009's NBA championship. Hopefully KG and the Celtic organization is mature enough to realize you don't win championships by burning yourselves out by midseason. He himself is solely responsible for busting his knee...did he forget how old he was?

YaY!!!!!! I'm in the Minority in a BIG WAY!!!! 8% ???? LMMFAO

Mamba24, I'm down for a ride on Jon K's girls bandwagon.. lets fill er up folks!!!

Jon K - Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Delilah !! I'm a dog lover (Bulldogs,Golden Retrievers and German Shepards my faves) so I feel your pain Bro.. stay strong..

justanothermambafan, Laker Tom,Charles, Dave M,Mamba24, Taliq and Ex... Fist lbs.. No Reason... just felt like it cuz I'm still in Finals 09 mode :)


Kam Mom - Talk to the Knuckleheads about the importance of pacing oneself and try to talk them into AT LEAST Two more weekend getaways while nothings really goin on. I know personally for me, after 4 years of excellent reading material, I WANT BETTER DAMMIT!!!! I'll feel so much better knowing our Bro's had as great of a summer as most of us (hopefully) are having.. :)

Laker Fam - Do something nice for a stranger just for the hell of it.. I bought a down n out dude a 2 piece w/drink.... he appreciated it and wolfed it down.. I appreciated that he took my offer without asking for a lil sum sum extra for a crack dessert.. and driving away.. it just made me Happy ?? I dunno, you guys try it.. lemme kno how it turns out on a slow thread day... Peace n Chicken Grease...

Hopefully this finger doesn't affect Pau and Sasha's relationship. I'm just kidding...I still remember the Suns game last year when Sasha jumped all over Pau after a dunk.

Seriously, I think Pau should be able to represent his country. If the Lakers step in, it will only hinder the relationship they have. The Spurs aren't barking at Tony Parker...right?

Great debate for both sides. Make him sign a clause to prohibit him playing competitive ball......but then he may go elsewhere or feel disrespected and we'll have a allen iverson situation. I guess we just pray that nothing bad happens to him,although playing ball all year round males you a great baller.

God bless gasol!

SAY A PRAYER FOR JON K’S. ILL DOG DELILAH – BANDWAGON
****** COME ON FOLKS I WANT THIS DAMN WAGON FILLED *****
*
(01) JON K – OWNER - 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.
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – DRIVER – 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.
(03) MAMBA24 – RIDING SHOTGUN – Jon my brother, my prayers and love go out to you and Delilah Stay strong my brother.
(04) # 4 - Prayer said. Best wishes for your dog.
(05) CALIPHILOSOPHER - Your dog is in my prayers. I hope this operation gets rid of the cancer
(06) PUDDLE - 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.
(07) CHRIS - Jon K - sorry to hear about your dog. I'm sure with a good home like yours she will live many more happy years.
(08) AZTRONUT - 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.
(09) Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky - I hope your dog comes out of the operation okay. I've been through pet surgery and it's a truly emotionally draining experience.
(10) LAL_FAN - Jon K, I wish your dog complete recovery keep her in my prayers
(11) WESJOENIXON - Good luck Jon K.
(12) SCOTT - Oh, and put me on "Hope Jon K's dog gets better" bandwagon.
(13) MR.NANO - Jon K, I don't pray for pets, but for a fellow Laker fan and anti cat conspiration enforcer, i'll do it ;)
(14) BENJAMIN - Jon K, Good luck to your dog. See the best vets you can and doG will take care of the rest
(15) THIRTY2 - Jon K....Being a dog person for the last 32 years,i think its only fair that we pray for your dog..I have been lucky with my first 2 dogs..The first dog Samantha lived for 17 years..Kelpie cross with a Lab....When she passed away i didnt speak to a person for about 10 days....Im not joking.....I still have 2 dogs...Border Collie cross with a German sheperd who is 10 years old and a Lab that cost me a lot of money to buy is 6 years old.....i dont do cats...Although my wife has had cats her whole life,i can say this knowing we will never have a cat while she is living with me....They are to unpredictable for my liking.....No thanks....

Posted by: MAMBA24 | August 12, 2009 at 05:03 AM

==============
Sign me up please. My dog is not a dog but a family member.


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