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This week's 710 Lakers PodKast!

AK may be traipsing about on his honeymoon, but that doesn't mean there's no ear candy this week. It takes more than that to stop the 710 Lakers PodKast, that's for sure. Locusts? Car trouble? A Little House marathon on the Hallmark Channel? Those could do the trick, but not AK leaving town. A few of the highlights as I fly (semi) solo:

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First to post. Oh so suave.

Gonna listen me up a Podcast, now. Hyuh.


It’s good to see things start to liven up around here as the long boring summer departs and the allure of training camp beckons. Lakers passion is starting to leak out as we flex our virtual muscles in our own informal version of training camp, parsing whether the article was praising Kobe or dissing Pau. To me, the author was really trying to praise Kobe, probably in a deliberate play for the huge number of die-hard Lakers fans out there, but ended up dissing Pau with his unfavorable comparison to Scotty and other superstar sidekicks. I can see where he was going with Kobe because the guy is so far above everybody else that he doesn’t need a sidekick who is a superstar. Sometimes, the chemistry is better without a second superstar. The comments that Pau is a star but not a mega or superstar are also accurate. While he does not have the personal drive or demeanor needed to be a franchise player, Pau has proven beyond a doubt that he can be a force as the #2 or #3 option on a team. There is no doubt in my mind that right now he is the best power forward in the league bar none. And that does not even count him importance as the Lakers backup center. He is just not a #1 guy but few are.

Truth be told, how many real #1 guys are there out there? How many true franchise players? Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Dwight make the grade for me. KG, Duncan, and Yao are past their prime and on the way down now. You can water down the term and call Melo, Tracy, Hedo, and a bunch of other no-better-than-second-fiddle players superstars but they really aren’t. They need a lot more help than Kobe or LeBron would need to get the team to the championship. They are fools gold, #2’s and #’s with brilliant disguises. Guys like KG and Pau who could never carry their previous franchises to championships are lucky to have landed in situations where they’re playing with other great players because neither guy showed he could be the #1 player and both at times were very passive about the importance of winning championships. It truly did take Kobe to make Pau a winner, just like it took Paul and Ray to make KG a winner. Kobe, LeBron, and Wade are centerpieces that are irreplaceable. They can single handedly win games for you with a level of play that only an elite few can deliver. Players like Pau, Lamar, Ray, Paul, Tracy, Agent Zero – they are to an extent interchangeable.

I have also never really bought the whole “you have to have a second superstar to win it all” theories. Basketball is a team game and you can’t say that two great players are better than a great player and two or three near-great players. In the end, it’s the team that plays the smartest and best that usually wins. Boston in my opinion is a team that did not have a mega star. KG has some outstanding casts in Minny and could never win a championship. Same with Pierce and Allen. Put them together though and you have a combination of talent and experience that enables them to play at a high level even thought they really don’t have a superstar like Kobe. In the end, it’s the matchups of the five guys who are on the floor for one team against the five guys for the other team. This is where the Lakers have a huge edge in talent, height, length, and depth. Very often, it’s the matchup with the fourth or fifth option on a team where the battles are won and victories sealed. For the Lakers, that means Ron Artest or Lamar Odom against the other team’s fourth or fifth option.


It's unfortunate that the idiotic suits at the Times dropped the K brothers from the Dodgers' blog.

It has evaporated into a swirling pathetic mess.

What a shame.

Kobefan said,

"In the current active players list (who have played at least since 2001), I only see max 7 Hall of Famers. - Kobe Bryant, KG, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Shaqille O Neal, Jason Kidd. Unless Pierce, Parker or Ray Allen prove further a lot, they can't make it to this elite list."

I disagree on Ray Ray. He's a lock. He'll be #1 all time 3pts made when he retires (until ex-mate Rashard Lewis surpasses him). Pierce, Dirk, Vince, T-Mac, LeBron are also locks. Barring injury you can also pencil in CP3, Melo, DWade and DHoward. Pau can get in also if he continues on his current pace for another 6-7 years PLUS win another title or two.


Laker Truth 2 things that I really disagree:

"People always forget that Pippen was a BETTER defensive player than even Jordan."

DPOY: Jordan: 1. 9 Defensive All Teams
Pippen Zero.

Pip was a great defender but he wasn't as good to Jordan or even Kobe prime vs prime.

Next post I will put because it is really bugging to see the "It's more complex" defense aka the zone being used as an example of why it is harder today. It will be a long post.

Juan Carlos Navarro Now a Free Agent
Posted: 9/10/2009 12:05:00 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies have withdrawn their qualifying offer to guard Juan Carlos Navarro, making him an unrestricted free agent, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced on Thursday. In his only NBA season (2007-08), Navarro averaged 10.9 points and 2.2 assists in 82 games and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. After his rookie season, the 6-3, 170-pound guard signed with his former Spanish club F.C. Barcelona.

Hola, Navarro? Adiós Farmar?
Maybe the Lakers can still afford to sign him to a contract?

Laker Tom,

An excellent post! I 100% agree with everything you said regarding "superstar" talent on a team and that you don't need a superstar combo to win championships. Basketball is a team sport, Kobe would not be able to win rings without a strong supporting cast. Additionally, I doubt he could win with a strong supporting cast that did not play well as a TEAM. However, you do need exceptional talent to win in the NBA!

I also liked how you gave LeBron credit where its due. Recently, too many bloggers have been dissing LeBron when its totally not necessary. I will be a Laker fan until I die but I don't understand why people can't appreciate the talent that LeBron James has. Yes, he plays up to the cameras and the fans a bit more than Kobe does but it's just differences in personality. When team USA was training for the Olympics, why did Kobe accept advice from LeBron? It's because he respects his game and appreciates just how good LeBron is and will become. If Kobe doesn't hate on LeBron then why should any Laker fan? We are primarily Laker fans but I don't see why we cannot appreciate great basketball talent? Even if they are not in purple and gold!

As for the Jordan - LeBron comparison, I would say that they are slightly different types of player. It is easier to compare Jordan and Kobe because they are similar height, build and mirror the same qualities - ie excellent shooters, court vision, defence, athleticism, strength. LeBron has been made differently to these guys! He is taller and stronger but slightly lacks the same shooting and finesse that the other two have. However, where he lacks in areas that Jordan and Kobe excel he more than makes up for with his power and quickness (especially for his height)!

I genuinely believe that it was not LeBron's fault for failing to make the NBA finals. If you want to point the blame on one player then I would suggest Mo Williams, who just didn't show up after the first round of the playoffs!

If I were to peer into a cystal ball (not unlike the one LakerTom has) I can see the next generation in a three way debate as to who was the greatest of all time - Jordan/Kobe/LeBron... Unless another player arrives, the next step in evolution, which will undoubtedly happen! Will the likes of Jordan, Kobe or LeBron stick out from the crowd of the "greaest players ever" that has accumulated over time! Will players keep getting better and better? Or will the guys we watch today, with wide eyes and open mouths but the pinnacle of our sport?


So your argument that Ray Allen is an automatic lock for HOF is because of his 3-pt shooting?? If yes, then there is the earlier version of Ray Allen - the guy by name Reggie Miller over there. He has single-handedly carried Indiana many a times, and has been a prolific 3-pt shooter. I dont see Allen getting inducted before Reggie gets. So, I wont take that Ray is a lock.

Among active players, when I told there are Max-7, I had also mentioned its the players who have played at least from 2001. You need to look at the career of 8-10 yrs to see how a player will develop. So, that excludes Lebron, CP3, Howard etc out of the list, for now.

Also, seems like you have a notion that a very good Franchise player will become a HOF. To become a HOF-er, you need to be great, not good. T-Mac and Vince Carter, you must be joking, considering how little they have achieved...

LRob, if you included Dirk, T-Mac, Vince Carter etc as auto-locks, then how did you miss Joe Johnson, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Chris Bosh etc??

Since its inception - ONLY 135 players have been inducted into HOF - and that includes players from ABA days, WNBA players etc. Which means the HOF are close to "Greatest 100 of All Tine" list. If you convince yourself that T-Mac and Vince (what have those guys achieved anyways) are in the "Top 100 of all time", then all the best!!


Agreed on your MUCH ADO ABOUT We are starting to flex some virtual muscle. Heck, I'm gonna do some virtual reps. Then some virtual crucnhes. All while drinking my non-virtual coffee.

Ahhhhhh coffee. Nectar of the Gods.

Seriously though, it was and may still be slightly off-putting when the questions about Pau's toughness crop up. This whole toughness issue feels eerily similar to some of the tactics being used to obscure a lively debate about our healthcare (which I will not get into here). Media pundits and bloggers throw his toughness into question so as to obscure the fact that he's a finesse player. He is tough, both mentally and physically, but he doesn't look tough, doesn't talk tough, basically sounds like a real tall version of everyone's cool friend who agrees with you so that you look cool, too.

I disagree with the school of thought that says Kobe would be here without Pau, just like neither of them would be where they are without Fish and Lamar. As you said LakerTom, it's a team game. Is Kobe our best player? Undoubtedly, but Maverick needs his Goose, so to speak. Is Gasol Kobe's Goose...or is he the Ice Man?

KB Blitz,
[DPOY: Jordan: 1. 9 Defensive All Teams
Pippen Zero.]

Probably a typo on your part but despite not ever getting a DPOY award there's no way you can put 0 next to pippens name. Dude made 10 all-nba defensive teams.

I'm willing to concede Jordan was a better defensive player than pippen but the gap between them defensively wasn't that much. idk, it irks me when folks don't give Pippen his due. I mean MJs got g.o.a.t. status on the lock but Pippen is more than worthy of his top 50 nba players nomination. He makes top 3 small forwards of all time on my list (LBJ/Pippen/Bird).

Scottie Pippen was a phenomenal basketball player. His resume speaks for itself.


>>> Will the likes of Jordan, Kobe or LeBron stick out from the crowd of the "greaest players ever"
>>> that has accumulated over time! Will players keep getting better and better? Or will the guys
>>> we watch today, with wide eyes and open mouths but the pinnacle of our sport?

Thanks for the nice comments. We pretty much see things the same way. Like everything else in the world, time will pass and someday in the future, when AK’s and BK’s kids are running the blog and the Lakers have won 25 championships, there will be fans who never saw MJ, Kobe, or LeBron play and will saay that they probably couldn’t keep up with the latest greatest ESPN pimped superstar du jour. Of course, then Blitz’s kid will chime in that nobody was greater than Hakeem or Duncan or the Bulls, at such point my grandson LakerNick will point out that Kobe won 10 championships and Andrew Bynum was a better player than Hakeem or Duncan. LOL.


Jamie Sweet,

Salient points about toughness. I heard Colin Cowherd give a lengthy discussion on how different parts of the country give credit to different sorts of attitudes. In the Midwest, its a quiet, hardworking demeanor. On the West Coast, its our 'cool' attitude: if you wear a suit or hardhat every day, you probably work for someone. Preferably, you do deals in flip-flops and hawaiian shirt (this is Colin saying this, not me, but you get the picture).

But on the east coast, they are obsessed with toughness or the perception of toughness. In NY its that NY attitude. Old steel towns like Detroit and Pittsburg, you have to show that you're tough as an athlete. The Northeast is utterly obsessed with toughness.

For us here, toughness- so what? Yawn. What do you want me to do with that? Having to prove you're tough proves you're not so tough. Toughness is an East Coast obsession, and given that sports media's east coast bias (most anyhow), its easy to see why this is such a big issue with Pau. Pau is more like us here, even though his demeanor is more European than Californian.

I don't fault the East for thinking the way they do, but at the same time, I'm thinking 'Who cares' if someone thinks Pau is soft. The guy is the most skilled big in the game today and fits well with what we try to do. I'd rather have that than a guy that beats his chest every play needing to prove he's 'tough'.


"Toughness is an East Coast obsession, and given that sports media's east coast bias (most anyhow), its easy to see why this is such a big issue with Pau."

You are correct, sir!

Moving to the Eastern Standard Time wasteland known as Northeast Ohio, I have noted with interest the Eastern obsession with toughness.

In the East (the center of the disease being New Jersey, I mean that, really, it IS New Jersey) they are obsessed with toughness, which breeds a weird type of dysfunction. In California, the intelligensia is obsessed with sensitivity, which breeds the dysfunction of political correctness. Healthiness lies between the two poles. Toughness is essential, but only when it is mitigated by compassion.

But, yeah, people who complain that Pau Gasol is soft are just morons. I hate that discussion.

I understand why people in the East are obsessed with toughness, one has to have a thicker skin to deal with the cold and gray; however, people in the West who have to deal with the same issues (Washington, Montana) deal with the same issues in a more evolved fashion: A quiet, intelligent toughness. In the East, their toughness is "tempered" with a neurosis that leads to insecurity and, thus, the urge to ANNOUNCE their toughness to the world as a strategy for overcompensating for their insecurity out of the hope that their fronting will keep others from looking too deeply and thus realizing their insecurity.

It's interesting. Presently (despite multiple academic degrees) I work security at a bar in Akron and EVERYONE is fronting all the time and I look at people and all I see is insecurity because people who front are inherently insecure.

Pretension is not a unique quality to Californians. The disease is everywhere. It's just more insidious in the "salt of the Earth" American heartland... and somehow even uglier.

There's something about a loud, violent obsession with "toughness" that just disgusts me. All I see is weakness.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Those stories on Forum Blue and Gold were fantastic. I particularly loved Jason Lodge's story.

Fricken Celtics. Out here in Cleveland people describe Bostonians as mean-spirited, (spiritually) ugly people... which says something. Bill Russell is a class individual [went to school in California], but you take him away and the Celtics are nothing more than a poor-man's Detroit Pistons.

I feel such sympathy for Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. It still boggles my mind that they had to deal with that decade. It must have been like Chinese water torture.

Next time we play the Celtics, they need to be punished (and by "they" I mean the Celtics).

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Watch out Jon K. You're gonna stir up the wrath of Uncle Rico & The B@stard!

Which trade do you lakers fans like better, Luke Walton, Shasha V, and Mbenga for Tyson Chandler or Jordan Farmar and Mbenga for Demar Derozan.



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