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Potholes on the road to a repeat: Regarding complacency

RiddlerTV

Let's be honest- The Lakers aren't exactly covered in question marks like something out of Frank Gorshin's closet. That doesn't mean there isn't anything to talk about. (Thankfully, because otherwise we'd be out of a job.) Winning a title is hard. Winning consecutive Larry O's is like trying to find an occasion to wear something from Frank Gorshin's closet on any of the 364 days of the year that aren't Halloween. Pretty brutal. So as the regular season approaches, we'll take a look at some of the bigger issues that loom over the journey ahead.

Starting... now:

The Concern: Complacency settles in once teams win a title.

No question, there is a difference between chasing a title and defending one. Technically speaking, like successive rolls of the dice, the run to last year's title and the chase for this one are independent events. Each season is its own unique universe, like a scene inside a hardwood snow globe. In real world terms, that's not always how things work. It's human nature to allow the past to impact the present, and last year's championship is unavoidably part of the context surrounding this season. It's easy to relax, to lose some of the focus required to re-reach the mountaintop, or worse, as Derek Fisher notes in our conversation with him last week, to assume you've got the whole thing figured out.

Even if complacency isn't the issue, most of us recognize that "What now?" feeling after accomplishing a long sought goal. It's easy to lose a little direction. It's hard to recharge and do the work required after getting to the top. Fortunately, sports aren't the real world (in more ways than one). Every season provides its own concrete, easily defined target- a championship, and the history/jewelry that comes with it.

More importantly, the Lakers feature Kobe Bryant, at worst tied year in and year out for the league's MCP (Most Competitive Player) award, highly skilled at kicking slackers in the ass. Fisher is a monument to discipline and leadership. Phil Jackson specializes in multi-title runs. Ron Artest wants a ring like a Tigger Pooh wants honey.** Strong management guarantees those who put themselves ahead of the team won't be on the team very long. And so on. These are highly motivated individuals who understand how their legacies as individuals are enhanced by the achievements of their team.* 

In short, call me naive if you will, but I don't think complacency a problem. Discuss.

Worry Level: Low

BK

*I consider concerns about PT, rotations, and guys "wanting theirs" to be something separate from the idea of complacency, but definitely an idea we'll touch on en route to opening night. 

**Regarding the Tigger/Pooh flub, I was thinking of that story of how Tigger kept insisting how much Tigger's love honey, among other things, but of course then it turns out he hates the stuff. Totally forgot that part. Pooh was indeed the proper reference. My apologies to A.A. Milne.


 
Comments () | Archives (142)

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Justa,
Where did I make any digs at laker FANS? I think 70 wins is a little naive, since it's only been done one other time. Shouldn't they worry about winning the West first? Fans will be fans, I'm sure the fans in Cleveland are thinking 70 wins, too. They are just as unrealistic as you guys. And for those who think you'll be so far ahead you can rest your starters, remember, these are ALL professional athletes with a little sense of pride. The lakers are good, very very good, and the champs until someone knocks them off, but 70 wins??? C'mon, man ain't gonna happen!!

WELCOME BACK ROLL CALL!!! umm ... MAMBA24!!!

It's about time lol!

I'll get to working on a new slogan if you want, but I think you already coined it "OBLITERATION".

How about instead of "WE GOT THIS" (from last season) - we go with "OBLITERATION - WE'LL SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS".

You guys can vote....!

Jamie Sweet - yah - Kobe picking up some sweet low post moves is going to be SICK!

I am stoked, geeked and otherwise jonesing for this season to commence. It's going to be absoFREAKINGlutely AWESOME!!!

60 wins - 70 wins - 82 wins...who cares? The only number of wins I care about is the 16 required to win the Championship...again!

Edwin,

"JustLakerFan, Thanks for sharing on the Lakers training of Mr. Shaefer. AK/BK did not allow you to cut & paste because it is a thread by itself competing with their complacency."

No. As I explained the first time pretty clearly, it was too long of a post, since the ENTIRE article was cut and pasted into the comment. That's unnecessary and just too much to sift through. But by definition, we had no problem with the article's topic being different than the post's, because we allowed a link to the article. It's all pretty simple, and there's really not much to read into.

AK

Mamba24 and our Chaplain, utzworld are back!

It's time some basketball, baby!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

phred,

I'll play. Count me in.

Go Lakers!

“…Fantasy Leagues, NO NO NO NO, not here, if you want to do it, do it at work or do it somewhere else. It tends to confuse people who duck in and out of these blogs, and not everyone plays "fantasy leagues", maybe you guys can set your own up and go for it. I find at work, people wasting valuble time on it, they enjoy so good for them. But I think we should keep the blog to reality, as much as possible….”

Posted by: humanomaly | September 29, 2009 at 01:11 PM

Human- Reality? What blog are you reading?
No, seriously, I’m trying to recruit blog members for a fantasy league, probably using the Yahoo sports fantasy site. I’m not expecting to have any particular overlap with this blog once it gets started, as it has its own comments section and everything. If you don’t want to join, you don’t have to, I’m just asking if anybody who reads the blog comments section wants to join. I’m already in several yahoo fantasy leagues and will be in a few more regardless of whether you or anybody else wants to join.

And frankly, I’m still a little surprised that people who care so zealously about basketball and find what appears to be several hours a day to post lengthy arguments about nothing *cough* are so prejudiced against fantasy sports. I think y’all are afraid you’ll like it.

Still need a few more people before I set it up. Anybody?

And Blitz, HM; “Yo no soy marinero, soy Capitan, soy capitan.”

Yeah, we get it. All we have to do is waste a few seconds cutting and pasting with Babelfish or something similar, assuming we care that much.

Mamba- I have no recollection of anything like that happening. I do seem to have lost a few weeks and have a stamp on the back of my hand reading ‘SANE’ for some reason though.

Ok, this is only the third or fifteenth time i've refreshed or commented on this thread, and that picture of Frank Gorshin is seriously starting to freak me out.

Mamba24,

There you are, we miss you how was fishing? The blog is boring when you were absent, we do not need fantasies when Mamba 24 is around it brings hope and excitement just hearing Mamba24. Don't change your name for name's sake, you are Mamba24 = Larry in real life. Now let us summon all who are still lingering and reading in the peripherals afraid to log in or just shy:
Korey, Faith, Paul Lee, LakerSTH, Troy, Passionatelakerfan, Peter, Aztronaut,Filipino bloggers who survived the deluge, Euro bloggers, Guity, Keifo, Cbuck, J.Walter Weathermen, bluesky, Xodus,Weave man, Lakersrydeordie, Arnie, bronxlakerfan, maleke, tajluck, miguelinho, Michael A., Michael H., Johnny, Mitch, TexasLakerfan, ArizonaLakerFan or Pig Miller, Hugo Boss, Guy Owanlele, Dantheman, Mannie Jenkins, Rizzo,Greeklakerfan, Lakerlover, shekobe, SBPimp, Fan of Mamba, Tim4show, Zakee, Zen, wow, Twoody, Brandon, Albert, JJ, AZ, Eric Pincus, Roland Lazenby, Adam Kiley, Chucky, Lamar Show (noshow),WiZo, Shady, LakerKev, Fearless, bobie, James katt, Rhon Salmon, Ken, Gunner, KL, Mike T, Vonislav Waferdenco, LTLF, David Whang, You ever notice, Critical Beatdown......did I miss anyone? Guys & gals get up and go, don't be complacent to blog. Go Lakers beat LakerTom.....hahaha!

That training link was very interesting. Schaefer said a whole lot about Luke and Farmar by not saying too much, no?


LAKERS MEDIA DAY ???


Lots of Lakers news on the LA Times Fabulous Forum but not at Lakers.com or the LA Times Lakers Blog. Already an article about Drew wearing a brace (or two) and Lamar saying that the wedding yesterday was “real” and Kobe saying he is ready for the season. Where are the KamBros? Waiting until the end of the work day when we all go home to our slower Internet providers. LOL!


Been listening to the NorCal talk radio shows and apparently Monta Ellis announced on the Warriors Media Day that he and first round pick Stephen Curry can NOT play together because they would be too small and the matchups would be bad. LOL. Somehow, I think Ellis will go the way that Radman will with the Lakers. Guys who injure themselves and then lie about and then get traded. Too bad Ellis does not like to play defense. He has probably the best midrange jumper in the league.


Tom


Sasha from the media day -

On perhaps why his shooting was off??

“After watching the tape from last year, I was really playing with it too much.”

The poor guy was just too tired to shoot with any accuracy.

Oh, he was talking about his hair.

I think one of the big subplots on the floor as opposed to off the hardwood this season is the DFish, Farmar, Shannon triangle.
How much can Fish still bring to the game?
If he shows age, will Farmar or Brown be getting the minutes?
If Brown starts getting more minutes than him, will Jordan try to get traded by mid-season?
Or will this intra-squad competition turn out to be a positive instead of a negative?

Kiwi,
"I'm not sure a player with 'pooh' on the back of his jersey is such a good omen either."

Yeah, but who's going to want to cover him? And think of the options it would give the announcers:

'Boy, they're really playing like _____ tonight!'
Posted by: exhelodrvr | September 29, 2009 at 12:57 PM"

Having the a player with the name "Pooh" on the back of his jersey may serve as a benefit.....It's a play, he's going to beat his defender so bad that he'll be dyslexic, he'll look up as see "hooP"....and think, "dang, I just got spun around so bad, where am I?"

Complacent? No, I think, like Fatty, that distractions are more of an issue.

How can these guys get compacent with everyone is getting pushed by someone for their starting job?

Michael Fey (really? was this a joke?) will put the heat on Bynum.

Ammo is breathing down Artest's neck.

Kobe has to worry about Shasha taking his minutes.

No let up. Gotta play or lose minutes.

Thirty2:
"Good Morning Everyone...

Taliq....I hate the crabs..The whole damm lot of them..And that now includes Crabiel Oniel.....lol..."

AND I remind you they hired the "informant" Cobi Karl to camp...."well daddy Karl, I think the triangle had these options, let me write them down, #1 to 145"....

Seriously do you think they want him for his outside shooting to replace Wally or somthing, they probably woulda tried for Sun but Cleveland is Podunk and there probably isn't anyone there that can speak Chinese, which is a moot point now, seeing in the exit interviews, that Sun's English is better than 90% of the current NBA..

COBI KARL=UNETHICAL!!!!

Justa,

You have to forgive Owen. He just doesn't want anyone to break the '72-'73 Septics record of having the team with the best record in the NBA that didn't win the title. They went 68-14 but didn't make the Finals. Every other team with 65 or more wins, except Dallas(67) & Cleveland(66), won the title.


LA Lakers 2009 NBA Champions

"Mamba24 and our Chaplain, utzworld are back!"

I never left, Jon. At best, I was down to a post or so a week (more than that if you count my helping to defend the Ranch from those poisionous green cockroaches that dwell among Ceptic tanks in the greater Boston area), but I was still clicking away.

AK,

Without missing a bit, as LakerTom pointed out there have been a lot of news about the Lakers lately.....you're still in honeymoon j/k only of course you have to be present there always. We need to know more on medical report on the fingers of Kobe and Pau, are they fully healed? How's the poker player, is he confident to finish the season with the Lakers? hey Gelabale, Gaffney, Monds are good players, they could compete with our 5M do-nothing cagers who sucked last season. on the contrary, I'm willing to trade all of them including Farmar just for one player.....Ricky Rubio that's a sure ticket to dynasty with Pau, Kobe and Ricky on the point. However, right now it remain as a dream. There is nothing impossible with Jerry Buss and Mitch.

Responding to the misconceptions of his marriage -

Odom said: “It was real. It’s crazy how perception works in America when you’re looking at things from the outside.”

I'm impressed. Married only two days and starting to sound like Dr. Phil.

I've been married for 33 years and on a good day I sound like Yoda after he's had three beers.

"Yup. On goes the shoe, left foot the first, then right it would be, if for not the chewing, the dog, and the doo."

Marriage can you make wise, beyond your years. Or senile, whichever comes first.

Don't buy for a moment that when Odom says, marriage hasn't changed him.

LakerTom-

I'll get to posting as soon as I'm done watching the Godfather Trilogy on AMC.

Thanks.

BK

As reported by Jeff E of PE.com, Bynum will be wearing a brace for the rest of the season. "- Andrew Bynum says his right knee is fully healed and that he no longer is experiencing any of the pain that hampered him during the playoffs. He does think he'll wear a brace on it for the remainder of his career."

~~he is no longer Socks Bynum, he's new name is Brace Bynum this is like Mitch Kupchak injury. He may be applying for future GM too. lol!

BK- NOOOOOOO! Don't watch the third one! Mere mortal eyes were not meant to witness such horror and crapitude!

Famous quote of LO on her endearing love of Khloe

"“If I were a garbage man and she worked at Burger King … but that’s not the case,” Odom said. “We just want people to understand and respect how we feel about each other.”

~~“The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never returned.”
William Somerset Maugham, Novelist and Playwright

Can we translate these love dudes into Laker Championship? lol!


BK,


>>> I'll get to posting as soon as I'm done watching the Godfather Trilogy on AMC.


LOL. I actually have been viewing numerous film franchises all summer and that sounds like a good idea. Just finished watching all of the Star Trek movies in sequence as well as Die Hard, Matrix, Transporter, Predator, and Terminator series. Godfather Trilogy sounds like a perfect segue. Can’t wait for the your posts. Let’s just not try and stretch them out for the rest of the week. JK. Thanks for all. Like I told LakerMike, there will come a time when we will all look back on you guys with the same love as we hold for Chick. Of course, I may be dead by then but the thoughts will live on. LOL.


Tom

Will Artest be a model citizen and continue playing top-notch defense? Or will the Lakers regret letting the younger Ariza walk? - Mike Bresnahan LAT

~~i believe in Ron Artest, he can sing on Karioke, he can tweet endlessly, he can join NFL, he can bat for the Dodgers, will he lasts 100 games with the Lakers without losing his head or back to his moronic past. I hope it ends where it begins as we witness the new Ron Artest.

>>>>he is no longer Socks Bynum, he's new name is Brace Bynum this is like Mitch Kupchak injury. He may be applying for future GM too. lol! Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 29, 2009 at 04:24 PM >>

Stop that Edwin, stop that right now! LOL! How are you my mentor. The fishing was lousy but the rest was good.
Mamba24

Wait a second. I just checked AMC on my DIRECTV** and they are showing "Under the Tuscan Sun"

** DIRECTV, the best that TV has to offer!

human,

The NBA. Where ____ happens.

70 wins is a bit too much but in my opinion more realistic than it was last year. Why? Ron Artest. Artest is a defender who has been working his butt of his entire season. The only real question mark is the PG slot but heck not every team not even the showtime Lakers or the 95-96 Bulls had no weaknesses. Showtime didn't have enough shooters beyond Byron and maybe Coop. The Bulls didn't have any post up players beyond Michael and Scottie in 95-96.


Is it a wet dream? YES! And besides the goal in the regular season is to win more than any other team in order to secure home court advantage as the Orlando series and especially Houston series proved. But 70 wins isn't as impossible as last year's was. Last year until the playoffs Ariza wasn't as good (he was still good). Then in the playoffs after bump in the road we win 16 games.


Some stuff from training camp is how much time Pau Gasol gets off because of Euro titles? How many times will Phil actually use the big lineup? How much less minutes Kobe takes to save for playoffs (he'll get at least 34-35 minutes)? Will Fish still be starting or will we see by the 1st pre-season who the real starter is? How much the work Artest and Odom (beyond his wedding) did will translate into the court. Will Morrison be good at all? And will that haircut by Sasha that is reminiscent of him back in the 2006-2007 be different or be the same as he was in years past? How much of the Dream Shake did Kobe get from Hakeem? Is Bynum better and how? Did he learn how to be a passer in the post or is he just one dimensional and just prefers to score/get rebounds/ and try to block shots and get into quick fouls? And who might get traded and why during this season?


Can't wait for the up coming season.

And Laker Tom Monte Ellis is a fantastic scorer but he is in a PG's body. There's a reason why Baron was so good with him in that he could play the PG slot and can guard SG's like Kobe. Now way he could have played PG as good as Baron and during his time last season he played more like a SG than a PG. Because of his contract though I think it will be Stephan Jackson who will be traded and get a PG who can defend SG as well to play the point.


That is my opinion for those up there in the Bay!

Edwin

I loved that comment from PE.

"My knees are great, except that I have to wear braces on both knees for the rest of my life"

WHAT THE HEY!!! Braces for the REST of his life???!!!!

That's like me saying, I'm fine, doing great, except for my brain tumor.

I agree, no more 'socks' for the kid. We are watching him grow up and getting old before us.

My new name for the kid with braces? Forest Bynum

"Hi, I'm Forrest, Forrest Bynum. I play ball for the Las An-ge-lees Lakurs"

And the fans are screaming, "Run Forrest Bynum, run!" As he waddles awkwardly down the court.

What happened to our Laker girls? They are all pretty faces but missed LO. There was a time when fans go to forum just to watch the Laker girls danced and giggled. We are the envy of the league. Today, they are ordinary dancers who wear Laker outfits, there is no more character like Paula Abdul. I doubt if they could catch the eye of Shannon Brown, he prefers the food than watching the Laker girls? How about catching Sasha with short hair? Nope, that's Faith's property. Faith will not log in until Sasha becomes committed to being Sasha, the machine. Anyway, take a look of our Lakers girls below:

http://tinyurl.com/485avu

Justa,
Where did I make any digs at laker FANS? I think 70 wins is a little naive, since it's only been done one other time. Shouldn't they worry about winning the West first? Fans will be fans, I'm sure the fans in Cleveland are thinking 70 wins, too. They are just as unrealistic as you guys. And for those who think you'll be so far ahead you can rest your starters, remember, these are ALL professional athletes with a little sense of pride. The lakers are good, very very good, and the champs until someone knocks them off, but 70 wins??? C'mon, man ain't gonna happen!!

Posted by: owenfromburbank | September 29, 2009 at 02:46 PM

=======================
Owenfb,

To talk down to Laker fans is a dig. When you call us Laker fans you guys that is talking down especially just prior to a negative rely,(you guys are naive). Might as well call us delusional.

As to 72 wins so what if it has been done only once. Remember the hype that Babe Ruth's home run record would never be broken. Update it has been broken twice.

As to Lakers besting the record my answer is I don't know. I like the chances and the optomism my fellow Laker fans have and hope they are right. I only will know at seasons end but I do know our chances are way much better that the Ceptic's chances are. ut I really don't care as long as we win the ship! &2+ wins would be icing!

So I hope this clarifies how you take digs at Laker fans kind of like back handed compliments. Yes the Lakers are a very very good team and the team to beat.

Justa,

You have to forgive Owen. He just doesn't want anyone to break the '72-'73 Septics record of having the team with the best record in the NBA that didn't win the title. They went 68-14 but didn't make the Finals. Every other team with 65 or more wins, except Dallas(67) & Cleveland(66), won the title.


LA Lakers 2009 NBA Champions

Posted by: HBMatt | September 29, 2009 at 04:10 PM

=============
HBMatt,

You are right I will try to remember that. LOL

JustLakerFan,
Thanks for sharing on the Lakers training of Mr. Shaefer. AK/BK did not allow you to cut & paste because it is a thread by itself competing with their complacency. I think your post was on the spot and up to date to what Lakers were doing in the off season.
====================
Edwin,

Thanks I agree but I am not here to fight the blog powers to be but to contribute and share pertinent Laker news with LakerNation regardless of topic. I see many stray off topic but I just want to share Laker news without rocking the boat. I will follow the guidelines as requested but I will share info pertinent to Laker fans. Like this link on RA video new song;

http://tinyurl.com/y8qob2o


Aflac Trivia Question ...

Who was the last team to have the best record in the NBA and win the title in the same year?

Bonus Question ...

Name who they beat in the Finals?

BTW first person to correctly answer both Aflac triva questions gets that years Finals DVD!

Hurry ... second to answer gets a set of steak knives!

*** Winner has to be 18 yrs of age or older
*** Winner's favorite team must have less then 17 Titles

New trivia question:
Which was the last team from the East to make it as far as the Finals?

^^meh. You're not much of a troll, 82-101.

A WAY better question: What 2008 championship team got beat by the team that eventually got beat by the team that lost to the 2008 champs a year earlier, thereby redeeming them in every corner of the globe except in a dreary place called Boston (where they hold on to championships for 22 to 85 years), making the 2009 champs even better, stronger, and tougher, and changing the 'a' in 2008 champs to a 'u'?

Or maybe an easier one? What team FAILED to even defend their title because their driven, tough, power forward, drove his not so tough knee right onto the injury list?


Hint: its the Celtics, you nitwit! Why did you even need the hint? LOL

Justa - are the PLAYERS talking 70 wins, or just the fan? I mentioned fans all over are naive this time of year, not just in LA. I'll bet you won't find one person in the lakers locker room who says they will win 70 games. I hope you do - I hope you go for it, because that way the starters will have to play major minutes, and, NOT counting Mr. Khardashian, you have an unproven and offensively challenged bench. The Bulls won 70 games because they played defense every night - and while the lakers scare the crap out of me this year, sorry, but I don't see them playing that kind of defense for 82 games. Shouldn't being healthy for the playoffs be a more realistic goal? In other parts of the country, that is the goal. Good teams can win on the road, as "you guys" showed last year, so best record doesn't even mean that much. Just sayin' 70 wins is unrealistic.....anywhere!!!

 
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