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Sasha Vujacic explains it all

We touched on it in print (cyberprint, at least) and via the spoken word- sometimes we like to kick it old school- over the course of this week, and by now many/most in LakerLand know Sasha Vujacic was let go from the Slovenian National Team ahead of September's EuroBasket extravaganza. Friday on his official site, Sasha put out an official statement regarding what went down, hitting on what he called the "politics and hidden agenda" behind the scenes of his country's national program. The issue, it seems, was an injury to his left knee incurred on the second day of practice, and the quality of treatment he received from the team's training and coaching staff.

Fair to say Sasha didn't think it was very good, and clearly was concerned about sustaining further damage and risking his health and the upcoming Lakers season.

You can read the statement to get all the details- Sasha provides plenty of them- but from a Laker fan's standpoint, the most important information comes here, as he describes the days before his eventual release:

"...Coach Zdovc was asking me on a daily basis how I felt and I told him that I was feeling better and better! We came back to Slovenia and I went to Maribor (my home town) to spend two days off before the next team meeting. I trained on my own on my days off! I was feeling strong and ready to shine in my home town..."

Using that as a guide, it appears that with treatment Sasha's knee responded well and his health is sound, or at going in that direction. Hopefully that means he'll be good to go when training camp rolls around.

No question, Andy and I frequently tease Sasha on the blog and the PodKast- particularly over stuff like this, and really you can't blame us- but here I feel bad for him. Sasha expressed excitement after the season at the prospect of suiting up for Slovenia, and that he won't be able to do so is obviously extremely painful for him. It's hard to overstate the importance of national team play for European players, particularly those from smaller nations with less NBA representation. At the same time, Sasha was clearly aware both of his responsibility to his future and the Lakers throughout the process, something for which he should be commended. I don't think organizations can ask players to skip out on their country in offseason play, but they can ask that they consider the totality of their obligations, which Sasha did.

What we at Lakers Blog HQ worry about is how he'll react to this disappointment on the heels of a disappointing season (at least on a personal level). Work ethic has never been an issue for him, but Sasha tends to press in the face of adversity (particularly when adversity comes in the form of lean PT), and pressing doesn't help. No way to know until camp opens, but at the very least there are indications that health won't be a problem when he gets there.

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (98)

The comments to this entry are closed.

BK,

I disagree with your statement that teams can't ask their players to forego playing for their country. The team is playing their salaries and have every right to stipulate that if they choose. Of course, it may not be the wisest thing to do from a corporate image or player morale standpoint, but its definitely within their right. As a Laker fan I cringe at the thought of a 34yr old Kobe playing in the 2012 Olympics.

As far as Sasha goes, he must be extremely disappointed. He's had a rough 6 months. Unfortunately, like you said, he tends to press during difficult times...so this does not look good.

Aztronut,

If you leave now who else am I going to have to continue the Kareem vs. Walton 77-78 debate? Anyway, here's an article I found from Jabbar-Walton first regular season matchup in 1975. I know this is two years prior to the time period we're discussing so it's really irrelevant...but I thought I'd share it nevertheless.

http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=17674926&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=0&currentPage=0&fpo=False


Anyway...I've enjoyed your posts....I'm still smiling over the whole sock puppet thing. Quit being so sensitive. A man that can laugh at himself is very secure. God knows I've said enough things to be ridiculed about.

some of the stuff sasha describes in his explanation to why he was cut seems a little, well i guess "exaggerated"

i don't know. sasha is always ready with the excuses, during the season he said his poor play was directly related to his lack of minutes. now he says his knee was fine and then says the slovenian team wasn't cooperating to heal up his knee? i thought he said he was ready when he returned.
i watched him play, when he returned in the game I watched he looked bad. He looked sloppy, he continued to full court press. At one point he had more fouls than points, even though he'd been in the game for an extended period of time. he would defend way too close to his man and refused to give him any space, and so the defender would blow right past him. sasha's play, from what i saw, looked very much like he was deserving of being cut. he wasn't even the best player on the slovenian team which is sad to say the least.

he says he was cut because the guy explained to him he hadn't bonded with the team and because his leg was not okay even though he previously said his leg was "okay" differing story there. and also had he played better and been cut i would believe sasha's recounting of event more easily, except he was playing horribly. he was playing so bad that he looked like a guy playing in summer league. i mean he was sloppy and all over the place.

some of it just seems like a "cover-up" to explain why he was cut without telling the real truth. of course sasha wouldn't release a statement saying "i was cut from the slovenian national team because i sucked" hah.

sasha always ready with his excuses. if its not the minutes, its the team, and if its not the team now its the medical staff or "bonding issues"

Has anyone seen Phil's Google phone commercial with Whoopie?

Apologies if I'm late to the party

I feel badly for Sasha. I like the guy. I want him to do well.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Who cares about what reasons/excuses Sasha gives for his poor play. The bottom line is we root for him to do well as fans of this franchise. I'm the first to scream at the T.V. when he misses a wide open three that he is very capable of making. But at the same time, it goes that way with shooters. So why beat him up now that we have a new season to look forward to and we already won despite his shoddy play? I guarantee you were loving this guy when it seemed like he couldn't miss a shot. Hopefully he can better fit into his role of being a spot up shooter and keep that floor stretched. If he can just hang in the corners and nail some threes from time to time, then we will be that much better. Plus he plays with all sorts of heart.

Well, I totally understand this as I have thought about cutting Sasha from the team many times. A poster said he was averaging 3 ppg. Though it beats his point production in our finals, that is not good.

That said, the Soviet style basketball coaching makes sense too. My cousin works for NASA and said during MIR the Russians did not build in safety redundancies for their astronauts.

Poor Sasha. Poor us. Now that he is hurt and too bad to be on Slovenia's team, trading him will be near impossible and we'll just have to reduce his minutes to near nil. Am I wrong? Is there hope?

And, may I offer my condolences to Faith and apologies for speaking my mind so bluntly about Sasha?

GOOOoooOOO LAKERS !!!

Can someone please tell me how to post a picture I made? I tried photobucket, have the image in the free trial section but can not paste. I must be an idiot or the website totally sucks and should be taken out and shot. Any ideas? I'd love the help so I don't go crazy.

It's one picture and I have no face book subscription or any other way of posting something I've created. Any Ideas? It's a photo, remember, so I can't just link it.

Please help befor I bust a gut.

Wes

Does this work? New laker center:

http://tinyurl.com/l4hfms


Wes

Perhaps Sasha needs a change of environment....a trade.....

I was looking at the roster of the Washington Wizards....if they had a great system and coach I think they could compete on a pretty high level....

first 5 posts, 2 of the 5 don't relate to sasha.

Why not just have an open forum post so we could talk about things like who's better, Curly Neal or my favorite name on this blog, Nate of New Yori....

It's really aazing how a few years ago the Knicks were at 125 million per year and the Lakers were at the cap...and now the Lakers are the highest and the Knicks are around the cap....but as we know, everyone's waiting for the class of 2010......(not college class, free agent class)....here's a trade that some idiot hasn't suggested, Shannon Brown and M'Benga for Nate Robnson, the salaries match for trade, now tell me, who loves that Nate guy???? I like the green shoes though....

Phred,

Just to clear up the record on an earlier thread. There was no tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, snarkiness or even irony in my compliments. I sincerely appreciated your professional take on the somber Beasley story. It seemed to me there were two separate issues: human psychology (and probably sociology), on the one hand, and media exploitation on the other.

Watching that video was truly painful. I think I'd rather get my teeth drilled on...

I understand the desire to play for national teams, and I do feel bad for Sasha, though slightly suspicious that Sasha is the cause of most of his own problems.

There are two reasons, as a Laker fan, I hate to see our guys play international ball:

1) Fatigue/injuries. This is obvious. Pau broke a finger. Kobe looked, to me, run down a bit in the playoffs. It is just a high risk thing (see: Manu Ginobli).

2) Off season workouts. They should be when you work on adding new skills or improving your weaknesses. During the season, you have to do what you are good at. In the offseason, you can work on your weaknesses. Playing international ball takes away this chance for growth - you spend the off season playng to your strengths.

Give me Kobe doing conditioning and working on new skills over playing international ball and teaching other guys how to play ball any day.

Tom D.

tsphere- thanks. I thought maybe I was into the over pontification a bit and I was waiting for someone to call me on it, but I guess that was just paranoia. Thanks, and sorry for joshing you.

that said, aztronut has to be somebody's sock puppet, right? Way too much indignation going on there. I mean- a guy disguising his identity by capitalizing a letter in it? who is he disguising it from, Lois Lane? Worst disguise ever. He's worried abotu somebody 'outing' a guy who posts using his own dang name?

Must have had some baaad experiences on somebody else's blog at some point.

Hey az! come back! We're harmless, honest.
just give us a chance.

If you are Jerry Buss are you totally furious right now having your 15 million bucks manhandled?

Players have got to be able to play for their country but I you have to feel for the guys who have invested money in the players.Maybe the teams should be able to demand the player hires his own physician whose job it is to look after the players interests or something.

As a New Zealander our biggest basketball export is Sean Marks who often declines national duty to focus on his blossoming NBA career.Its was worth it though as he became the best practice player Tim Duncan ever went against according to Tim...

LRob-

I really mean "can't" in terms of "shoudln't." I understand the risks for sure from the team's perspective, but it's a tough thing to ask players to choose between playing for their employer and their country. I think the best teams can realistically ask for is for guys to be responsible, and understand that they can't push it too far.

What I think will change the perception, though, is when a guy finally suffers a serious, season ending injury in international play. An ACL tear or something. Right now, the dangers of summer commitments have mostly been hypothetical. It sounds more dangerous than it is (looking past the fatigue factor, of course, but most of these guys would be playing somewhere if they weren't playing for their country). Gasol's finger is scary, but shouldn't be a big issue come October, but at some point, someone is going to get HURT hurt.

When that happens- and the math says eventually it will- I'll be very curious to see how owners react. And players.

BK

I feel badly for Sasha. I like the guy. I want him to do well.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | August 29, 2009 at 12:29 AM

Jon K,

Yea, I like the guy too AND I think it's time the Lakers trade him. Maybe a sign and trade from another team, don't know. What I do know is that it appears he is making excuse after excuse lately and maybe it's time for this guy to just man up and admit that he isn't working as hard as he should be.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong.

He is crap!! Only one descent season and then back to being the trusty garbage he is. He should of been put out the door when they did the same with smush parker. He will be crap these season.

Spin. Spin. Spin.

He was the scrubbiest player on a team of NBA Scrubs. Some of those Slovenian yokels were propping up Udrih and Nesterovic as the standard of Slovenian NBA players. Sasa can't even live up to that standard.

They cut him because his limited game wasn't worth dealing with his diva attitude. Plain and simple.

It's only a shame my beloved Purple n Gold can't do the same thing.

And to Luke too. ;-)

BREAKING NEWS!


Laker's new center (he's a real monster! Wink, wink).

I hope the link works (and this one's for Laker Tom).


http://tinyurl.com/mqw34k


Wes

When that happens- and the math says eventually it will- I'll be very curious to see how owners react. And players.

BK

Posted by: Brian Kamenetzky | August 29, 2009 at 11:29 AM

I agree 100%. Pau Gasol's injury could have been worse. And when it comes down to choosing playing for your employer or your country, the obvious answer should be the one who pays you. There are other ways International players can represent their countries other than risking their careers.

The guy who should take Sasha under his wing is Brian Shaw. Shaw was the perfect role player b/c he knew his role and played within himself. Sasha could use some of Shaw's calmess and perspective right about now.

The arrival and re-signing of Shannon Brown may have also messed with Sasha's head. With Farmar at the point and Shannon able to play the two guard, where is Sasha's minutes gonna come from? Based on what we saw last year, Shannon brings a lot more to the table than Sasha.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ron and Sasha got into a brawl at least once in practice this season. Two high-strung gym rats going at it everyday in practice? That's a recipe for a smackdown.

LA hates him, his country hates him...can't he just go away somehow so we don't have to waste another minute and another penny on him?

Worst player to be on the Lakers, worst player in the NBA.

I'll take Smush Parker any day! lol

If anything jeopardizes your Profession then those who pay you can
expect you not to play, unless they give you an exception.
Defending you country is one thing but playing for you country another.
The Machine better get his legs and his shooting in shape or he will be
history as a Laker if any one will take him. He has a lot of talent. Use it.

Can we get an update please. 3 is a long number.

Thanks in advance.

Wes

LAKERHOLICS HOT LINE…

-

DRIVE FOR FIVE…Finally broke down at the grocery store checkout counter and picked up a copy of Sports Illustrated’s Lakers Championship Issue. I’m saving most of it as emergency reading material for when I get stuck somewhere without a computer and connection to the Internet and Lakers Blog. Some great stories and photos but seeing it all in print like a historical tribute made it seem long ago.

Anyway, I loved the phrase Drive for Five that was used by SI. You can see the shift in the eyes of the media already. Shaq vs. Kobe is as old now as Shaq’s game. The media has moved on to what they now perceive as Kobe’s pursuit of MJ and his six championship rings. Thus, the Drive for Five, Kobe’s drive to continue his ascent into the stratosphere of NBA lore and legends. The Prince of the Lakers.

-

SAD FOR SASHA…We’ve all probably had the experience of watching a friend or loved one continue down the same spiraling path toward inevitable failure, usually involving some form of addiction or other symptoms of acute mental distress. That’s what it feels like to me watching Sasha. He is a nice, earnest kid in many ways, so naïve it makes me cringe. Hard to be cool when you’re always hot.

We haven’t heard or seen much from Faith lately. I’m sure she is hurting more than most of us at the frustrating saga of Sasha. Maybe he should start training with Michael Beasley and take a hit or two off the bong before every game. JK. Seriously though, if there is a player in this league who “might” actually play better stoned than straight, it would be Sasha Vujacic. Bake him some brownies, Faith.

-

WORKING OUT. That’s obviously what we are all hoping that every Laker player is doing right now. Of course, it was 121 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley and 118 in Palm Springs yesterday so maybe it’s better if they just avoided getting injured, compromised, or otherwise devalued. I think BK hit the nail right on the head with his take that it would require a major injury before teams wise up.
-
I also agree 100% with Tom Daniels statement that he would rather see our players working on their body, conditioning, and skills in the offseason than playing for their countries. But like BK pointed out, most of these guys are going to play anyway, be it pick up games at UCLA or in the backyard against their hated rival felt puppet. At best, we don’t want them learning how to skydive. LOL.

-

MIRAGE IN DENVER. J.R. Smith has been suspended for the first seven games of the season as the result of his recent reckless driving conviction on the heels of his involvement in a fatal crash in 2007 that killed a friend. Now that Portland has decided to sign only choir boys, the Denver Thuggets have quickly become the current reincarnation of the old Portland JailBlazers. No Finals repeat here.
-
I think the Thuggets are going to self-destruct and be torn down in a rebuilding project by the end of next year. A one-year older Chauncey Billups is not going to be able to hold this team together, not with the likes of J.R., Birdman, Mellow, and Kenyon. The Thuggets and the Rockettes are two teams on the fast track to the lower echelon of Western Conference teams for the Spurs and Blazers.

-

MORE: Kobe Bryant as Point Guard, Lamar as Small Forward, Drew-Pau-Lamar-Artest-Kobe as lineup, Drew as starting All-Star, Phil as coach for 5 years, and Derek Fisher as his successor.

-

Tom

I agree with some of the posts on here.. Lets trade Sasha. He's a good guy, but needs to go elsewhere.

Wes,

Nice. The Evolution of the Beast. I thought of you last night when I rented one of my all-time favorite marital arts films “Le Pacte des Loups” or “The Brotherhood of the Wolf.” The story is based on a real-life series of killings that took place in France in the 18th century by the Beast of Gévaudan. It stars Samuel Le Bihan, whom I never saw before, as the King’s botanist sent to stuff and preserve the Beast once it is caught and Mark Dacascos, whom I’m sure you know, as his faithful American Indian sidekick and blood brother. Never knew so many 18th century French men were such kickboxers.

That was the early feature. The main attraction was reviewing another old favorite Waking the Dead, a sensational movie version of Scott Smith’s wonderful novel of the same name starring the talented Billy Crudup as a patriotic 60’s young man who wants to president and the irresistible Jennifer Connelly as his anti-war Catholic girlfriend who wanted to be a nun but would settle for sainthood. One of the world’s most beautiful and romantic love movies of one the most wonderful books.

Anyway, one more month to go, Lakerholics. Hang in there.
Faith is baking a batch of brownies for Sasha right this minute.

Tom

I like Sasha. IMO he has a lot of pent up energy that needs to to reigned in and controlled. I'm not going to bash him because of his bad season, mainly because I'm not paying him, and my opinion doesn't mean squat in the scheme of things. I'm willing to give him a chance to make it right if possible. In fact October 27th is a good day.

Cuban has already set the precedent this summer when he "strongly suggested" to Dirk not to play international ball this off season. However, I didn't realize the NBA agreement with FIBA says the NBA cant' prevent players from playing in international competition.

Here is article about Cuban dealing with the international play question.

http://www.interbasket.net/news/3546/2009/08/19/dallas-mavs-hold-jj-barea-out-of-americas-tourney/

First of all, let's not breath a sigh of relief just yet. This is one side of the story and even if Sasha is telling the truth this does not excuse him for his horrific play last season. Now before you write this blog off as a hateraide comment, let me first remind you of a few things.

1)How many times are we going to see players play great basketball in a contract year, only to completely fall off the map the following year? Guys like Eric Dampier, Kwame Brown, and Luke freakin Walton. I'm sorry but somebody had to say it. I'm sick of it. Blame it on injury, bad situations, or even bad luck but why oh why do most players rarely have a bad year in their contract year? I hate it! Look at guys like Gasol, Dwight Howard, Lebron, and Kobe. Improving each and every year has nothing, nothing to do with a contract year. They want to be the best, plain and simple. Sasha if you don't play good this year, OUT THE GATE, then good riddance is all I can say.

2)Running on the grass was his reason for hurting his knee? Ok its possible, I mean I got no reason to think Sasha is lying. I mean he tried out for the team because he wanted to represent his hometown country, kuudos. Here's the problem though. Why are we hearing this now? You wouldn't throw your hometown squad under the bus before, but your willing to now? So you tried to get rehab over and over and they didn't do anything about it, then you go to China for a business trip and your ready to play now cuz your knee is better? Dude you aint Lebron James! If they said you got no chemistry with the team, then duhh, yeah the coach is actually right Sasha! It is what it is. You Brett Favre now because you won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers? No your going to be treated the same way as anybody else on the team. Take your big head and go have a coke and a smile is what the coach told you, and now you are spilling the locker room beans after being embarrassed. The truth is, you got to take some accountability for everything that happens in your life.

3)Is it me, or is the China with Artest thing just a bad idea when you have a bad knee. I mean, I get it, its business, money in the bank, you gotta go. The problem is when something like this happens, it just doesn't look good. If Bynum is rehabbing his knee and he goes to Thailand for a business trip and he gets cut from the team... well then frankly I'm blamin Bynum. Why, because the team you play for is invested in you. Hell, your taking someone else's spot who WANTS to be there. Now he probably was hurt, but dude if your not playing, YOUR NOT PLAYING< thats all I'm saying.

Truth is I love Sasha. I loved him when he was literally the only guy playing above his potential during the playoffs last year. But you know what, I loved Kwame and even Smush for a quick minute too. Every athlete has their own set of circumstances that they have to deal with. Look at Kobe when he went to court for rape and had a game the same day. The guy performed. Even Vick had to got to bankruptcy court and performed pretty good the same day for a preseason game. Sasha take accountability for the past year, it was a bad year. Say my bad and put the past in the past. Push foward with the attitude that everything in life is earned not given. You shoulda learned life wasn't fair in grade school. Improve on your game Sasha, that's the real issue. Who the hell wants a guy who has played multiple seasons in the league and basically has only played well for a basically the second half of 1 particular season? I don't! Sash get it together, ASAP, this is a what have you done for me lately league and lately you've been doin nothing but making excuses and blaming everybody but yourself.

I'm sorry but somebody had to say that sh..

K-bros (and anybody else who's been around Sasha) - the feeling I got from his website explanation is that he really overthinks and overtalks things. Is he that way in person? Is he talkative to the point of being annoying?

justa:

sorry but weed does not kill people...i insist...im a pretty level headed guy...you have to be retarded to die of weed, or a death related to weed...what death could that be? over-munching? come on.....im sorry i cant give a fresh perspective on this...im to biased towards mother nature and her fine natural herbs...

twitter is addictive, facebook is addictive...and the wrong kind of addiction...the sad kind of addiction..the internet addiction...sorry to rant but i insist this beasley kid is a prat with no education, no aspirations, half a brain and tons of talent...if he´s wasting it its his fault....is he so addicted he can´t wait until after the game to smoke up????? i insist people.... weed is addictive but to a lesser scale...and i can say this from a perspective of kowledge...my father´s an alcoholic and my uncle (unfortunately, its so sad) smoke crack.....dunno....weed just doesnt scare me...dunno how it can scare anybody...o yeah..the feeble minded...for now beasley falls under that category

Posted by: diegster | August 28, 2009 at 12:14 AM

========================
Diegster,
You are very wrong and from a personal perspective I say it can and does.
I never questioned your level headedness just your logic. There are those that can handle drinking far better than others but I still don't want to see that drinker drive. It is not question of being retarded or weak. And I did not say weed was addictive.

As for weed killing let me relate a true event and tell me weed does not kill. I am a Viet Nam vet and my best friend in HS was also in service and Nam vet. I plead the 5th on my use but my friend loved to smoke. One day after smoking he was cleaning his M16. High he checked to see if the barrrel was clean and pulled the trigger. Yes it was loaded and he blew his brains out. Now tell me weed does not kill.

I am not judging anyones use as I feel that is a personal choice but hope they don't drive. By being a personal choice if anyone smokes and effs up then they need to pay for their eff-up. Otherwise if so inclined smoke away and enjoy Laker life and life in general. I am not judging just stating the truth that weed does kill in certain situations. Hope that helps you understand from my perspective where I am coming from.

Laker Tom,


"Kobe Bryant as Point Guard, Lamar as Small Forward, Drew-Pau-Lamar-Artest-Kobe as lineup, Drew as starting All-Star, Phil as coach for 5 years, and Derek Fisher as his successor."


THAT is what I'm fricken talkin' about!!!


Yes.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Another foreign player blowing it for minor league play. So, Sasha tweaks a knee and Pau breaks a finger - they really are children, aren't they?

I understand that people are frustrated with Luke and Sasha, but does anyone really think we can trade them? This is a good rule of thumb:

If a player sucks, has a bad contract and would be a bigger help to the Lakers if he were in another uniform, the chances that another team would be willing to trade for said player is virtually zero.

We got spoiled with the Kwame-Gasol trade, but even in that case, Kwame's $9 million was coming off the books so the contract was desirable. Luke's contract runs through 2184 (I could be off by a year or two) and Sasha:Lakers::Appendix:Body... plus, his contract doesn't run out until 2011 I believe.

Therefore, the best we can hope for is that these guys bounce back from bad seasons. Nobody is going to be taking them off of our hands this season. Next year Sasha might be a trade chip, but we're stuck with them this year - for better or for worse.

If I'm wrong about this, Kupchak needs to be elected President of the United States because his miracle, genius brains would be better used elsewhere.

Laker Tom,


"LAKERHOLICS HOT LINE…"


Your post was just what I needed to get over my shakes. It's getting bad, brother.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Dave M-

"K-bros (and anybody else who's been around Sasha) - the feeling I got from his website explanation is that he really overthinks and overtalks things. Is he that way in person? Is he talkative to the point of being annoying?"

Talkative to the point of being annoying isn't fair- Sasha is a nice guy and I believe very earnest and well meaning. I would agree, though, with the overthinking aspect of things. He has trouble in general letting things go and just *playing* without worrying about the larger ramifications. He's acutely aware of playing time, tries to cram too much into whatever he gets, and so forth. As for overtalking, I think Sasha would probably benefit from talking a little less sometimes- not because he's a bad guy saying bad things, but he just tends to talk too much, eventually letting more than he probably should come out. I remember last year asking him a few questions about unrelated issues, and a frustrated Sasha kept coming back to rhythm and playing time. I really don't think he could help himself. It's what he was feeling, and it just came out.

It's just part of who he is. Very intense, works his ass off, desperately wants to be successful, contribute, do the right thing, and so on (this is why Kobe likes him) but where Kobe has taken that drive and work ethic and channeled it into incredibly positive ways, a comfort in himself, an ability to forget the bad, and so on. It helps, of course, to be supremely talented. Sasha, though, even on a relative scale, hasn't been able to do that. I don't know how good a player he's capable of being from a physical standpoint, but that ability, I believe, is limited by what he experiences on the mental side.

Long answer to a short question, but I hope that helps.

BK

A couple points on the Michael Beasley pot issues...


1. I do not smoke pot. I don't like it and I am often annoyed by people I know who smoke LOTS of pot.


2. I STRONGLY believe that marijuana should be legalized. Prohibition did not work for alcohol and it will NEVER work for marijuana. Regulation, taxation, education, and legalization is the ONLY sane path.


3. People who claim that marijuana is "innocent" and "harmless" are fools who are part of the problem and WHY marijuana has not been legalized. Anyone with any sense knows that this is a drug (much like alcohol is a drug) which can have very negative effects for SOME people. As such, when people claim that marijuana is a herb or a medicine (though I am not denying that it can have medicinal benefits in some cases), people with common sense look upon these people as being in denial, and they react against the "slippery slope" of denial that leads to addiction... and marijuana is kept illegalized. If they just admitted that marijuana creates problems, BUT that legalization is the lesser of two evils, then we'd actually get legislative progress on this issue.


4. If marijuana was legalized, I don't think NBA players should be banned from smoking it, because it is not a performance-enhancing substance; however, I believe that individual teams should have the right to test players against using it because it is not good for people's health and inhibits the best in a player. After all, we wouldn't want any of our Lakers smoking cigarettes, right?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!!

Laker Tom,


By the way, I'm going to start refering to Kobe Bryant as "The Prince of the Lakers" from now on because of you.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

BK,


"Long answer to a short question, but I hope that helps."


Sometimes the long answer is the best answer.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!!

Sasha is shooter gets cut from national team
Shannon is a shooter plus plus
Morrison is shooter plus height plus 20 pts/gm in summer league
Who is going to get PT??

the lakers as nba team should let the players play for another team when they under contrect with them what if a player get season ending injury with a 50r 6 mil.per year what a lost

Urgh. I'm getting the shakes again.


So, will anyone be at training camp except for the 13 players presently signed to the roster?


I know Clippers training camp starts September 29th. When does Lakers training camp start?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

If Sasha cant even make his own National team that should be an indicator for Lakers management to get rid of the over hyper, going a hundred miles an hour, within the first 30 seconds-takes a 3 point clank, plays (as the late Chick Hearn's would say, "Matador") zero defense, and plays with his hair so much to get noticed even during warm ups. Other than that, I think he is ok!

I USED TO YELL AT THE TV TO TRADE SASHA BACK TO HIS NATIONAL TEAM, NO WHAT?


KURT Rambis AND Bill LAMBIER join forces?

Batman and the Joker roommates, dogs sleeping with cats... mass hysteria!

Has anyone just heard a report of an automobile incident in Spain involving Pau Gasol, my neighbor is Spanish speaking and was on their channel. I havent seen anything yet here.

Justa & Diegster,

You are both right. Society would be better served by legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana. The hypocrisy of classifying it as a dangerous drug and the social and economic costs of the current governmental approach towards marijuana essentially undermines our entire legal structure. But that does not mean we should ignore the fact that pot is a mind altering substance and that its use by young people, workers on the job, and operators of dangerous equipment needs to be controlled.

But speaking as a lifetime lover and user but never abuser, pot can kill in the wrong situation just as anything that effects your reflexes and ability to pay attention. I sure wouldn’t want to get into a taxi cab where the driver was stoned, although any taxi driver who smoked on the job and was still alive has probably already leaned the ins and outs of driving high – just like some drinkers have learned how to drive drunk. The reality is that some people can drive fine high or after a couple of drinks.

I’m not saying that driving under the influence of any mind altering substance is not negligent, dangerous, illegal, or stupid but the great thing in America is that we have the freedom to make that decision ourselves. And don’t tell me that you have NEVER gotten behind the wheel when you had too many drinks or just smoked a joint or were talking on your cell phone or were eating something. Unfortunately, there is always a price for freedom, which in this case could be someone getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t and killing or maiming another driver, passenger, or pedestrian.

When you started your Viet Nam story I was having some serious déjà vu as my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law was drafted and sent there along with his best friend during the early years. During his first week in country, he and his best friend snuck off to smoke a doobie only to have a sniper pick off his best friend when he lit up the blunt. While Mike still smokes, he learned a lesson right there that there is a time and place for everything and the price for violating that rule can be pretty costly.

Human nature is such that we cannot even eliminate drug use in prisons, where we supposedly can control every aspect of the prisoner’s life. I would go so far as to agree with the critics that claim that pot is the doorway to more dangerous drugs and activities. But that is only true because it is currently illegal. Were it not illegal, access to other drugs would greatly diminish for most pot smokers. You can even see the impact of how medical marijuana shops have wooed many who smoke for medicinal reasons away from dealers who push a wide range of illegal substances besides pot.

Personally, I would not want to live in a society where everything was controlled so rigidly that I couldn’t smoke a joint without worrying about going to prison or be able to make my own decision as to whether or not I was able to drive safely after or while smoking a joint or having a couple drinks. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we have an inalienable right to smoke or drink but pretty damn close. That’s a big part of what makes freedom so intoxicating – if you get my drift. All in fun. JMO.

MORE: Kobe Bryant as Point Guard, Lamar Odom as Small Forward, Drew-Pau-Lamar-Artest-Kobe as lineup, Drew as starting All-Star, Phil as coach for 5 years, and Derek Fisher as his successor

- - - - -

Tom

While it is true that the NBA agreement with FIBA says the NBA can't prevent players from playing in international competition, I think NBA teams have the right to request their player not to play if they are coming back from an injury. Or if an insurance company refuses to cover the player because of injuries.

"the lakers as nba team should let the players play for another team when they under contrect with them what if a player get season ending injury with a 50r 6 mil.per year what a lost"


SEE? This is what Twitter does to people. It's like a zombie plague virus that destroys the part of the human brain that allows people to communicate in a coherent fashion.


Urgh.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

BK - yes, it was a helpful answer and I'll follow up if you don't mind with another question. To your knowledge, has PJ or anyone on staff suggested any form of counseling for Sasha and is he the type of personality that would accept and use that... or is he too singularly possessed of endless shooting drills.

LakerTom,


The truth is before these medical marijuana stores opened up chicken littles were screaming that society would rapidly collapse into a marijuana addled topor, that California would turn into the massive equivalent of a 19th Century Chinese opium den.


Well, the stores opened and that didn't happen. Everything is fine, actually better than before because less people are committing "crimes".


Prohibition in the 1920's didn't work and was a stupid idea. The present prohibition against marijuana doesn't work and is a bad idea.


Though some of my stoner friends annoy me at times with the pretenciousness of their attitude towards marijuana, I would find it to be an absolute tragedy if any of them were arrested and put in prison for their relatively harmless (if unhealthy) vice. I don't see how putting a person in prison for using marijuana helps improve society or helps tax payers in any way.


It's just another example of why chicken littles suck as human beings. They create more problems than they solve.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

Laker Tom,


Speaking of kung fu, I'm about 3/5s of the way thru my kung fu exploration project via Netflix, and I must say I'll be happy when It’s done. This specific writing prep has been a blast, but a man can only take so much kung fu, even if it is the pre-pre season.


For me, the golden years of kung fu are between 1976-79, with peripheral years also having some commendable qualities. But I was shocked to discover that (so far) I do not like the later Shaw Brothers productions. The great Shaw Bros production company has repeatedly let me down by using too many sound stages, too much bad comedy/stupid sound effects, and too much bad monochromatic , all topped off with stupid slapstick comedians for heroes. Boo so far. I was even let down by the great 36 CHAMBERS OF SHAOLIN for the reasons I listed above.


What I'm a real sucker for when it comes to my kung fu, is authentic locals like graveyards or temples or ancient city streets with those houses that have a wall for a front gate and then a big courtyard before you get to the front door. (I love the way those old Chinese houses are laid out). I’m a sucker for those weird jagged-peaked landscapes you get in movies from Hong Cong or China, and I love any kind of conflict between masters with big white or orange eyebrows, any with any kind of specialized fighting technology.


I enjoy bad dubbing, a family-centric story, Buddhist teachings or morals, and either a 70s funky soundtrack, or an electronic soundtrack (or even better a combo of both). You Gotta have ugly villains and cute girls to have a truly good kung fu movie. And if she’s named Ming Chu, (like the Ming Dynasty because it’s always good and the Ching is always bad), well, then that’s about as hot as kung fu drama gets. Both of the Ming Chu’s I’ve seen lately have not only been righteously hot, but secretly endowed with and a pretty hefty collection of kung fu tricks.


Hot stuff for the simmering off season. When do we start playing ball?


Wes

Laker Tom...Justa.....JonK...

Please dont hold what i am about to post against me when i speak about my job...

I am a driving instructor..I have been for the last ten years...Before that i worked in the motor industry for 9 years..I see maybe 5 or 6 different students a day..and yes i have had to stop a driving lesson because a student was high..The good thing about the job is i am my own boss..Thats it..Its a stress full job..

Over here we have drug testing for drivers..So you get pulled over to the side of the road and they ask you to lick a swab..That gets processed as you wait..If you get caught you loose the right to drive and cant drive for 6 months..The same goes for booze...I live in the dope capital of this country..Adelaide...Up until about 5 years ago you could grow up to 2 plants in your back yard and just get an $80 fine..Now its a little stricter.....what people do while not intending to drive is up to them..but if you have plans to drive, dont drink or smoke and drive...Get a cab...I dont judge what people for what they do at home but my family and friends could be affected by someone who chose to get behind the wheel baked......

YO! Sasha has been talking a lot and producing very little for a long time in Lakerland -- why are we not surprised to see such a situation with his national team in which, of course, Sasha is blameless, and, of course, a primary but misunderstood outstanding producer.

Updates, Please.

Wes

TUFF BREAK FOR SASHA

thats quite a long article trying to explain the reason of why he got cut! after reading some of those comments under his official statement seems the consensus of opinion from his own countrymen are kind of split.. one side says he was a bigheaded jerk diva who expected star treatment and dogged it in practice and the other that sasha was indeed a victim of other hidden agendas from his teammates and coach.

its hard to say what really happened but i'm sure he brought some of it to himself. i'm gonna guess that maybe by playing for the lakers and winning a ring got to his head and he thought they'd hand him the captancy and that he'd be handed a starting spot. his teammates though were probably a little envious of his success and when he got injured and didnt earn their respect in practice they probably resented him more for not participating in practice and not showing up to games.

whats the deal about running on grass though?? can that be so bad as to cause sharp pain on your knees?? that part i'll also have to reserve judgement till i hear some opinions on that from some experts like gary vitti or some other trainers/ doctors (whats your take on that K bros?)... but it definitely seems like he did get a raw deal from their trainers/doctors.

regardless what happened, i havent lost faith in sasha. i'm still confident he'll rebound work hard in the offseason and show up new and improved next year... especially after last years finals and now this debacle i'm sure hes gonna show up to camp with a focus.

and any trade talks of sasha at this point is absurd. hes got absolutely zero trading value and would have to have a big bounceback season to come close to his contractual worth.


Is anyone here today? Last update 6 hours ago.


Wes

Wes - re: the paucity of posts and the long lag time, there can only be one explanation. A monster trade is in the works! Let's speculate! Crank up the crazy scenarios, defend and ridicule them - we gotta shake these doldums off!

Jon,

Thanks for your comments. Glad to be able to provide you with a fix. I couldn’t count the number of times when your obsession for the Lakers has carried me through the day. It is always a pleasure writing about the Lakers, especially after a long day or week of endless detail oriented emails at work.

What has really been helping me get ready for this last rough month without Lakers basketball has been the SI Lakers commemorative issue. I have to admit to being an ex-SI fan, having long ago cancelled my subscription and deleted them from my web favorites. I can’t even remember why I did that, probably some anti-Kobe article. At any rate, the 2009 Championship issue is just great.

Prince of the Lakers! It definitely is a perfect description of how I perceive Kobe Bryant. LeBron can call himself the King but is Cleveland really a kingdom? Kobe, on the other hand, has been formally anointed as the prince destined to bring the Lakers kingdom back to its glory days. He is the prince because he is still too young with too many championship rings to be won to be called the King.

If LeBron is a king, his kingdom is a one-time issue commemorative stamp. As for the Lakers, we talk about regimes in the plural and understand dynasties the way the ancient Chinese did. We already have a new prince in the wings ready to take on the role of keeping the Lakers kingdom gold and shiny when the current prince ascends the throne as the undisputed king of pro basketball.

I took the phrase Price of the Lakers from the great lead story in the SI issue by Lee Jenkins entitled “The Prince of the City.” Here’s the intro to give you a taste:

>>>

THE PRINCE OF THE CITY

THE LAKERS 15TH TITLE IS A SPECIAL ONE TO L.A. BECAUSE THIS ONE IS KOBE’S

He is often the first person you see when you land at LAX, the one who watches over you when lie out on Venice Beach, when you cruise Hollywood Boulevard. He is the Southland’s unofficial greeter, its one legitimate reality star, glowering down from the signs and billboards across the city with his familiar fourth-quarter glare. To tourists and transplants, the look is pure menace. But to those in Los Angeles who spent years in a state of anxiety, wondering if and when might blow town, it is a constant source of reassurance. Kobe Bryant still lives among us, and when the home team is down a point with two minutes left in the fourth. he will purse his lips and narrow his gaze, just like he does on those billboards. He will elevate over three defenders, contort his body 180 degrees in the air, lean back as if reclining in an easy chair, and nail that shot even if he’s got somebody’s fingernails in his eyeballs.

>>>

There is another story about Kobe entitled “The Fire Inside” by Chris Ballard that I have still to read as well as another great piece by Lee Jenkins on Lamar Odom entitled “Happy Ending” that was not only enthralling but also prescient considering that Lamar eventually did resign with the Lakers.

The other phrase besides “Prince of the Lakers” that I took from SI was the DRIVE FOR FIVE title to describe next year as Kobe Bryant shoots to tie Magic Johnson with 5 NBA Championship rings. As I said in my Lakerholics Hot Line post, you can see the shift of tide as the media now is starting to realize that Kobe can realistically challenge and perhaps even surpass MJ’s legacy of six rings.

Finally, the SI issue has a terrific section on The History of the Lakers, including their selection of the greatest Lakers players of all time. As you would expect, choosing the best 12 Lakers in history resulted in a team with four centers and one that would match up well against any other 12 from the rest of the NBA:

PG – MAGIC JOHNSON, Gail Goodrich
SG – KOBE BRYANT, Jerry West
SF – JAMES WORTHY, Jamal Wilkes
PF – ELGIN BAYLOR, A. C. Green
CE – KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, George Mikan

- - - - -

Tom

Thirty2,

Hey, man. No problem. I’ve taken a cab many times when I had too much too drink and I sure don’t recommend anybody to get behind the wheel unless they are able to function enough to drive safely. I wouldn’t mind alcohol testing devices that would disable the car if a drunk person tried to drive and I have no problem with submitting to a drug test if I am pulled over for driving erratically or breaking the law. Those are fair price to pay to try and keep idiots who can’t control themselves from getting behind the wheel. What really amazes me are guys like JR Smith, who kill somebody in an accident and then are caught drunk driving again within 2 years. What ever your philosophy of life is, you have to respect the safety of other people and be ready to do the time if you do the crime. It’s that simple.

Tom

Laker Tom...

No probs man...A lot of my mates drink and smoke as well...I dont have a problem with that at all...

As for JR Smith...I did not no that someone was killed in a past accident..WOW..

And then drink driving as well...what are these guys thinking?
As for that device...Well when you get caught a second time for drink driving,one of those is fitted to your car..the only way you can start the car is by blowing into the machine that is hooked up to your ignition...

The only problem with that is that these guys get friends that are not over the limit to blow into the machine and presto the car starts...

It's time sasha starts playing seriously or welcome the reality of being treated. Enough is Enough of is nagging ways!

Jon K, LakerTom, Thirty2,

I agree with what you guys have to say. Yes I think weed should be legalized as prohibition did not work but made matters worse.

I just wish any one who smokes or drinks or whatever don't get behind the wheel and drive.

The only reason I commented was that Diegster said no one has died from smoking weed and I had to tell him the truth. My best friend was like a brother to me so I lost a very good friend who was like family to me.

I am not preaching as I don't care what anyone does as long as it is responsible enough to do in a confined area with less chance of hurting anyone like at home.

I am above no one and no oe s above me in opinions but as stated some tolerance levels are higher in some than in others. You all made very good comments and now if Laker camp would get here now it would be all the better for all.

As for Sasha I think he needs to step up by settling down. He is capable of high level of play but the question is whether his mind will let the game come to him or will he try to do too much.

I think this season should tell if he chose right and if FO thinks he should stay or go.

EJK said...
"The guy who should take Sasha under his wing is Brian Shaw. Shaw was the perfect role player b/c he knew his role and played within himself. Sasha could use some of Shaw's calmess and perspective right about now."

I think that sasha has had plenty of wingtime.....come on he threw up bricks for 3 years before he had a mild run....it's supposed to be the other way around....you're supposed to be good for 3 years then you have a slump...

That is what I found so unfair about the player the did not sign from last year. If he wasn't good enough, they should have just cut him during the year. I think if they gave him 3 years and a ball feeder to shoot a 1000 shots a day like sasha did, I think, and if he had a mentor like Bynum has Kareem, (hey Magic, don't you care about your team...didn't you find any curiosity in a 6'9" point guard? This team is gonna be worse than the Hamblen run team when Phil steps down....Phil wins, but he can win even better. M'Benga showed he had the KaJones to play and mix it up and he barely ever made it off the bench while Gasol was sucking for oxygen....I am a Laker fan, but I don't agree with everything they do. Here's an example of a great one....acquiring Aaron McKie, and don't give me anything back about how we were able to utilize him in a trade down the road....we obviously know, that was NOT why they signed him.

AC Green making that list will cause debate if anyone noticed or cared, but I think he did the best he could with what skills he had. I went to OSU and was there some of the years he was. He's a quality individual and I think he's a boarderline jersey on the wall guy. Did anyone ever have any comment to my question of Payton's jersey....where it will eventually get hung. One of the best guards in history and no team, city with enough connection to do it. I say the Lakers do it, until a more appropriate place is found. He deserves the recognition and he deserves to be applauded by fans of the game.

Sasha...outa here.....

I joked about trades and such earlier but I was thinking about the reality of the current roster and about bench players in general. It's always fun to think about trades or to hope for a really deep bench or wonder if a particular player (such as Sasha) will emerge again and become a force. However, it seems likely to me that the upcoming season will see a much simpler and more shallow rotation. Hopefully Drew will be strong and healthy and playing increased minutes. Ron will play a lot more minutes as a starter than Trevor did. There's a very realistic chance of having 6 players in double figures - Kobe, Pau, Ron, Drew, Fish and 6th man Lamar. I think the bench (apart from Lamar who's more a hybrid than a classic bench) will really function in a very defined and structured support role... I think it could be easier to see guys getting pt based largely on consistency - Luke and Shannon for instance over Sasha, Morrison or Famar. The obvious downside would be the lack of a "push unit" but it may simply not be as necessary this year.

Kung Fu, legalized mary jane, great lakers centers- THE SEVENTIES HAVE NEVER ENDED!

Or something. I have thoughts on the wacky tabaccy, but I’m holding off, cause I keep hoping we’ll rotate back to a conversational topic I care about…

No, Sasha and his Slovenians doesn’t qualify. I don’t expect that any ‘he said, she said’ debate about injuries will result in the truth coming out. I’m glad he’s not playing for them, for whatever reason. Any injury, whatever, get the heck out and stay at least healthy. I have no high hopes for a machine comeback, but if he can give us a few minutes a game and at least make somebody cover him I’ll take it.

I’m cool with the lack of thread refreshment, no news is good news at this point of the year, and we don’t even have that many comments yet. Let the Bros K get a little slack time.

No new song parodies yet, but I’m working on it. Still looking for a good song for sasha, but I think I have my material for Luke, Pau and Ron. Mbenga and Powell might have to wait until mid season while I wait to see if they are going to stick around. Ammo? Pssht.

Jon K.


Tony Gaffney got an invite to join training camp. I'm not sure if the Lakers 2nd round pick Chinemelu Elonu did.

The Lakers need youth, speed, and athleticism to replace Trevor Ariza. Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, and Phil Jackson should sign free agent Gerald Green to replace Trevor Ariza. He should be available at close to league minimum. He is young, athletic, long, fast, can shoot and jump through the roof! Sign Gerald Green!!!

Laker Tom,

"PG – MAGIC JOHNSON, Gail Goodrich
SG – KOBE BRYANT, Jerry West
SF – JAMES WORTHY, Jamal Wilkes
PF – ELGIN BAYLOR, A. C. Green
CE – KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, George Mikan"


A.C. Green over Pau Gasol? Really?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

I had couple posts deleted today. I'm not sure why... AT ALL.


I'm not going to make a big deal about it, but it kind of sucks when your posts get deleted on a whim.


Oh well. It's not the end of the universe.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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

GO LAKERS!!!

cinz,


Who is Tony Gaffney?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

I read a post referring to Kareem last name as Jabbar. His last name is Abdul-Jabbar, and it has been Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since he changed his name from Lewis Alcindor, so please if you don't know well enough, don't post it.

I've got to represent for my hometown team on the Lakerblog. Congrats to the -WORLD CHAMPION- Park View Little League team from San Diego, Chula Vista to be exact. What an exciting run these kids had. They have been an inspiration to all of San Diego County.

2009 NBA Champion Lakers
2009 World Champion Park View Little League

Padres? eh...Now it's Charger time.

Go Lakers!
Congrats Park View Little League!
Go Chargers!

dave,

>>> However, it seems likely to me that the upcoming season will see a much simpler and
>>> more shallow rotation. Hopefully Drew will be strong and healthy and playing increased
>>> minutes. Ron will play a lot more minutes as a starter than Trevor did. There's a very
>>> realistic chance of having 6 players in double figures - Kobe, Pau, Ron, Drew, Fish and
>>> 6th man Lamar.

Excellent points, dave. I agree 100%. I am hoping that we man the 3, 4, and 5 spots by splitting the minutes between Drew, Pau, Ron, and Lamar (3 positions x 48 minutes per game = 144 minutes to be covered / 4 players = 36 minutes per player). This would give us three All-Star level front court players on the floor at all times – much like we manned the 4 and 5 spots by sharing the time between Drew, Pau, and Lamar. Of course, we will hopefully have a lot of starters sitting in the fourth quarter due to blowouts so that will give Walton, Powell, and Mbenga their shot a playing time. But in games that are close, I would rather see us play our best players all game long – even if it means Drew, Pau, and Lamar as the three big men on the floor at times. We should be able to dominate inside.

Tom

Jon K,

How many posts are you referring to? I just saw one unposted, and I believe it was an accident, because there was a small chuck of ones waiting to go live. Sometimes, we push stuff through and it doesn't register with the software.

AK

And it's worth noting that sometimes comments don't actually make it to us- readers hit "post," but something happens along the way. Either way, we don't delete posts "on a whim."

BK

He sucks, who cares. The Lakers need to figure out a way dump the toaster oven as soon as possible, if possible. The NBA and it's guaranteed money in a salary cap league is ridiculous. If you are going to guarantee money to players then get rid of the cap, like baseball. If you want a cap then do not guarantee all the money and allow teams to get out of contracts to help with cap space, like football. The NBA is the worst of both worlds, salary cap and guaranteed money is communist. The worthless players have no reason to work hard and earn they keep, they can just lounge around and never play and make millions.

Jon,

>>> PG – MAGIC JOHNSON, Gail Goodrich
>>> SG – KOBE BRYANT, Jerry West
>>> SF – JAMES WORTHY, Jamal Wilkes
>>> PF – ELGIN BAYLOR, A. C. Green
>>> CE – KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, George Mikan

>>> A.C. Green over Pau Gasol? Really?

Funny, but I was thinking the same thing. The first team of Magic, Kobe, James, Elgin, and Kareem could beat any other fivesome in history IMO. The second team of Wilt, Pau, Jamal, Logo, and Gail is pretty damn sweet, too. Hard for a new Lakers player to make anything but the third team on Lakers.

Tom

Question for Bloggers:

I am using IE8 and there are no spaces between paragraphs which makes it very difficult to tell when a paragraph starts and ends. Is anybody else having the same problem? On my home PC, I am running an older version of IE and the spacing is fine. Want to see if problem is mine or blog with IE8. Thanks.

Tom

Even Sasha's own country men don't want him...he can't shoot and can't defend. How the Lakers gave him a contract is beyond all understanding, Laker management needs to identify who did the evaluation, because after the Boston series 2 years ago it was plain to see that Sasha really belongs in the CBA

AC Green over Happy Hairston? Over Bob McAdoo? Mychal Thompson?

Two more years of this guy...or maybe only one. Next season he'll be a player w/ an expiring contract of approx $5 mill. Finding a reliable & inexpensive back-up 2 guard for the Laker's is not the easiest thing, but this guy has been a major disappointment. Phil Jackson has been dropping Kobe's mpg over the last 4 years from 41 mpg in in '05-'06 to 36.1 mpg in '08-'09.

I was hoping "The Machine" could limit Kobe's playing time to only 33 mpg this season, Kobe's 31 w/ 14 extended NBA seasons on his knees. But 17 mpg of Sasha doesn't appear to be the answer.

Good morning CRUE!!

Where is Mamba24???

Where is Faith???

Man - this summer is taking toooooo long, and is taking it's toll on some of our most beloved blog members....

You'd think after a championship season we'd all be savoring and basking and stuff like that there... but NO.

I'm jonesing. I need a fix, and this Sasha non-story is just not cutting it for me.

HELP A BROTHA OUT!!! How's Bynum's training coming along? Is Pau's finger healing? Is Shannon hitting the gym? Is Prince Kobe sharing his knowledge with the bench mob - esp Shannon? Is Kareem schooling our big men? Has a defensive coach successor been decided on? If so - who? If not - why not? Is anyone else going to be in training camp? When the hell does training camp start? When will phred post his song parodies? When will Jon K come on back to Cali, and will he bring his lucky barstool with him?

Is it October yet????

I've been reading this blog for a good while, just never felt the need to post a comment before. Though I do enjoy what you all have to say in comments, someone usually comes along and expresses my point of view well enough that I feel no need to chime in. However, today I felt the need to clear my throat and simply ask, what is with all the hate directed at Luke? I understand if you think he's overpaid (I'm not gonna argue against that, cause perhaps he is). However, that boy is a solid role player that knows his limits, does his job, hustles, makes a few points, has great court vision and passing abilities... he is a good cohesive factor for the second unit. I mean, how much do you guys really expect out of a bench player? Not everyone can come off the bench of be an impact player like Lamar. Some people are simply meant to come off the bench and keep the status quo. They are simply meant to keep it together long enough for our starters to be able to rest. Luke does that well. He comes in, he scores once or twice, defends okay (though he's a bit slow) and generally holds the fort down while our stars get some much needed rest.

Also, someone mentioned in a post that Sasha doesn't play defense. Whoever that was, you lost me with that one. Sasha works hard on D. They don't call him the pest for nothing. Even if he is fouling, he is still damn good at getting under a player's skin and in their head.

This one's at LakerTom, whose wisdom I've learned to respect by the way. You put up a lineup of Kobe/Artest/Lamar/Drew/Pau. That is a huge lineup, don't get me wrong. But what does that lineup do against smaller, quicker teams? I feel like it would get burned by the likes of Aaron Brooks, etc.

One last point, K Bros, keep up the good work. You are the only thing keeping me sane in the offseason.

White Mamba,


>>> This one's at LakerTom, whose wisdom I've learned to respect by the way.
>>> You put up a lineup of Kobe/Artest/Lamar/Drew/Pau. That is a huge lineup,
>>> don't get me wrong. But what does that lineup do against smaller, quicker teams?
>>> I feel like it would get burned by the likes of Aaron Brooks, etc.


Thanks for your comments. I agree with your take on Luke, especially the point that sometimes all we want from our bench mob is to hold down the fort and give the starters some rest. Luke does deserve some credit for being a great teammate and valuable reserve. Thanks for giving him his due.


As for the Kobe/Artest/Lamar/Drew/Pau lineup, your question of “what does that lineup do against smaller, quicker teams” is an excellent question?” An even better question, however, is what do the smaller, quicker teams do against that lineup. Nine of out ten times, I think they have to substitute.


I doubt we will ever see it from Phil although I think it could be a deadly weapon. Whether it is 3 against 3 on the playground or the NBA, basketball is all about the matchups and who can force the other team to change its lineup to “better” match up. It’s the classic tall ball versus small ball.


With a lineup of Kobe/Artest/Lamar/Drew/Pau, I would expect that either Kobe, Lamar, or Ron would guard a guy like Brooks. I would prefer Lamar, who would obviously sag on the guy and try to force him to take a jump shot but still be close enough for his length to bother him. Meanwhile, if he did penetrate, then the tall trees help defense has to stop him


But the point of the lineup is NOT to matchup with the other team but to FORCE them to try and match up against us, which would be impossible. Whomever Brooks guards would automatically be posted up by the Lakers. How is he going to stop Lamar? He may beat Lamar on a couple of plays but after being dominated in the post for several easy dunks, he will likely be replaced by a bigger player.


One of the real strengths of the Lakers is their great versatility and depth. Lamar especially is a match up nightmare for other teams at power forward and often at small forward. Playing him at the point at times would add to the problems other teams would have preparing for and defending the Lakers.

As for Sasha, I am probably on of the posters who believe his defensive prowess is highly overrated. Being a pest and drawing a couple of offensive fouls by players sick of Sasha hacking and whacking is not a substitute for good defense. Whirling your hands all over the place is not a substitute for concrete feet that get frozen in place by any good move. And harassing guys who are way out on the perimeter and drawing unnecessary foul after foul that puts the team in the penalty is not good D. Sorry, but we will have to agree to disagree. Sasha may be the worse defender on the team along with Jordan and Josh. Sorry, Faith. Better get that boy some special brownies to calm down.


Needless to say, some of this is just summer fun to keep off my Lakers jones but there is still some solid reasoning behind what may seem on the surface to be a crazy idea. :)


- - - - -


Tom

AK/BK,


It was two posts: One insulting Twitter; another arguing in favor for repealing the Prohibition against marijuana.


I see one of them has been posted.


It's not that big a deal, especially since both subjects haved already been addressed by me, but, you know, whenever you write something you kind of want it to go through.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!


yellowfever-
Im certainly no expert, But I do run. I run on pavement, which is obviously worse than grass- and have experienced "patella-femoral pain" or more simply "Runners Knee" If Sasha was experiencing anything , It is my guess it was this. It hurts- the pain is sharp, there is usually no swelling and nothing that can really be detected in MRI, x ray etc. the only thing you can do is rest, and in my case it took about 2.5-3 weeks of rest to heal. Its caused by many things, the wrong shoes, weak quads, or just too many miles.

What is strange and unfortunate is that every other player on their team wasn't experiencing any pain or butting heads with the team personnel (that we know). Sasha is known for being a workhorse, yet found their training too excessive? It must have been pretty bad. My only guess has to be that his shoes are to blame. I agree, It didn't help he went to china, and wasn't even wearing any knee sleeve/band to at least LOOK injured. He must be a real cry-baby in the eyes of the national team. There had to be another reason for dumping him, isn't Pau still on his team with the broken finger?

his laundry list of excuses remind me of when a child gets into trouble at school and tries to call mother with frantic "look what they made me do" excuses before the headmaster calls. Either way I'm sure his coach was pretty cut-throat and wasn't into the excuses. Tough luck for Sasha...

dave m-

Honestly, I don't know.

Jon-

I understand, but as we've explained before, we don't cavalierly delete posts just for funsies, as you tend to suggest when something isn't up. There are any number of glitches that can pop up in the process. Anything from us simply not seeing everything in the cue to the Spambot acting up to software things that perhaps cause comments not to be saved properly.

Not trying to pick a fight. Just explaining what can happen.

BK

Ah, see, I never said Sasha was GOOD at D. I was just arguing against the person who said Sasha doesn't work hard at it. But I agree with you, actually, I think he works a bit too hard and is trying too hard to prove himself on D (since his offense is struggling so much) and as a result commits stupid fouls. In fact, that is one of the failings of our beloved Lakers in general that bothers me. Why do we always seem to put the other team into the bonus first? Why does it feel like we can't play hard D without fouling? I think we foul too much. Houston barely fouled us at all, but still played solid, close defense. Is it really a mindset? Is it that we don't have a true defensive stopper on our team (i.e. someone that specializes in just that, like Battier)? Maybe something else? I dunno, but it bothers me. Maybe Artest will help fix it... we'll see.

Comment from Sasha's board seems to explain it better:

"With all respect to you guys and Sasha, Slovenia has a big basketball tradition. A nation of 2.000.000 people has some 6 NBA players and looking on the small population of the country it is quite a huge amount. The facts are that Sasha didnt train much (beacuse of his knee injury) at the preparations for the European Championship and since it would be his first time ever to play for his national team which he so dearly loves, he doesnt know the other players and they arent n’sync. So his missing out on the preparations, not getting to know the guys, his terrible performance in a friendly tournament in Sevilla Spain where Slovenia lost to Great Britain!!!!! and scored 56!!! were the reasons that he was let go. And besides they say Sasha has a tough character and they surely got into a fight with the other NBA Slovenian players. He is a substitute for Kobe Bryant and here he wanted to be number one and he played to poorly for that to happen. Good luck in LA"

Actually makes sense, the coach wanted a cohesive team, not a struggling leader. So it really is a case of the injury combined with the fact he needed extra preparation to get his game back after struggling and not enough time in a short Summer session for the coach to pull it off, not that Sasha couldn't make the team. If Sash, wasn't going to be prepared, this was probably the best thing, the worst thing would him be stuggling again through another tournament.

He can work on conditioning and getting his shot mechanics perfect now. His role as a Laker is basically being there to make open 3s and be able to play D good enough not to be a liability. Last year he made great strides on D, if he gets his shot mechanics back, he should be back to hitting those open 3s with machine like precision. Having Sasha play more like a primary option was probably never going to help his Laker game, now he can concentrate on better executing his roll. His confidence will magically come back as soon as that ball starts going through the hoop.

AC Green making that list will cause debate if anyone noticed or cared, but I think he did the best he could with what skills he had. I went to OSU and was there some of the years he was. He's a quality individual and I think he's a boarderline jersey on the wall guy. Did anyone ever have any comment to my question of Payton's jersey....where it will eventually get hung. One of the best guards in history and no team, city with enough connection to do it. I say the Lakers do it, until a more appropriate place is found. He deserves the recognition and he deserves to be applauded by fans of the game.

Sasha...outa here.....

Posted by: humanomaly (aka "The Anti-Crust") | August 30, 2009 at 10:19 PM
=====================
The thing about this post that I don't agree with is the Payton part. I am still on fence about Sasha. But Payton burned his Laker ties when he did not report in time for a trade and Lakers lost out. I don't remember all the details off the top of my head but he cost the Lakers and was done intentionally. Let Payton find his home elsewhere.

It is always disappointing not to represent something. Especially for athletes who love thier country. I believe that every athlete should recieve no pressure from their professional team not to represent their country in international competition. I think the NBA understand that, and every player understand that to varying degree.

KURT Rambis AND Bill LAMBIER join forces?

Batman and the Joker roommates, dogs sleeping with cats... mass hysteria!

Posted by: VMan | August 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM
=====================================

Actually, I am intrigue with this combination. I will probably have to follow that intensely.. :)

This combination has the making of a UFC potential on the hardcourt...

HI I read the link for this and at the end of it, it said what "what do you really expect out of a bench player." first I think thats really messed up because he was just injured and they didnt know how well he could play so im not getting mad im just saying but to the person who actually wrote that at least he's actually part of the Lakers and he helps shoot points and all you do is say gossip about people so honestley you shouldn't be talking ok well thanks for reading and once again im not mad! :-) p.s they said on ESPN he is the also best for free pointers from Kobe so imagine that like Kobe so he's a really good plaer

HI I read the link for this and at the end of it, it said what "what do you really expect out of a bench player." first I think thats really messed up because he was just injured and they didnt know how well he could play so im not getting mad im just saying but to the person who actually wrote that at least he's actually part of the Lakers and he helps shoot points and all you do is say gossip about people so honestley you shouldn't be talking ok well thanks for reading and once again im not mad! :-) p.s they said on ESPN he is the also best for free pointers from Kobe so imagine that like Kobe so he's a really good player


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