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Check your mail, Ron Ron

Ever since Ron Artest and his controversial NBA past became part of the Laker's present, there's been speculation a-plenty about who'll emerge the force keeping the small forward in check?  Will it be Phil Jackson, certainly no stranger to the art of reigning in eccentric/volatile personalities?  Kobe Bryant, the ultimate alpha male and the frequent target of Ron Ron's hero worship?  Derek Fisher, a vet who commands respect from even the biggest of superstar teammates?  Lamar Odom, Artest's buddy since childhood?  DJ Mbenga, something of an intimidating martial arts bad ass?  Well, add another name to the list of prospective calming forces:

Kyle Slavin.

The Second Coming's host recently penned an open letter to Artest about the importance of minding his P's and Q's while donning purple and gold.  In a nutshell, Slavin presents Ron's Laker stint as the best opportunity to define the story of his career.  Or rather edit that story's pages, what with all the missteps that have overshadowed Artest's work as one of the decade's best two-way players.  An early paragraph from Slavin sets a very clear tone:

    Let me be absolutely clear: you absolutely cannot mess this season up. You fail here, and you will never redeem your career again. You ruin this good thing we have going in LA, and the rest of your basketball days will be tarnished by it. In LA, we fans run deep. We know our basketball, we know our history, and we have more than a passing interest in the Lake Show. We will be here longer than you. We have more influence than you. Win us over, and you will be a Hall of Famer. Lose our faith, and you will never see this level of love again.

Sounds about right.  So there's one letter to a Laker, which got me thinking.  If y'all decided to type an opus to another member of the roster, what would you say and to which player?  Or would you just pick up where Slavin left off and tack on a little more for Artest's reading pleasure?

Thanks to True Hoop for the heads up.

AK

 
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Dear Sasha Vujacic,


Please hit 3s

AK,

Get with the program. It's 'Thriller' not 'Ron Ron.'

Stubborness does not equal journalistic excellence.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Kyle's letter is surprisingly to the point; however, I am less concerned than Kyle. I'm sure that these things have already been communicated to Thriller and Kobe will keep Ron's passion in check.

This is going to work out fine.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I'd like to know a lot more about the Rudy(ies) on this squad who have little or no chance of making this team, but, if they did, would get to ride along and possibly contribute to what can/will be a historic season.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

The sooner we can play Dallas; the better.

I just love watching Mark Cuban freaking out on the sidelines as his team is gradually picked apart by the Lakers. It's pure torture for him and I must say that I find his anguish to be utterly hilarious.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

On Bynum's end, the move is being presented as little more than the natural progression of a dude whose first day at the office has long since passed. Lakers public relations director John Black told the Times' Mike Bresnahan, "Kareem has been an instrumental part of Andrew's development and improvement over the years, but as Andrew is entering his fifth season, there's a lesser need for such intensive work together. Therefore, Kareem's workload will be generally lessened."

I missed the Bynum thread so I will post here about it and work my way through the threads.

Looks like AB is on his way to being franchise player because of the love/hate for him. That falls under Kobe status in that he is always criticized no matter what he does. Kobe faced it and now AB.

He is called out for not working out when rest is what he needed. If he would have worked out he would have been dumb and not putting the team first to heal properly and have lofty goals of making allstar team.

I don't see how he wanted KAJ to spend less time with him instead I see he is just going along with company line.
I see John Black explaining in more detail why KAJ is being scaled back.

I feel bad for AB if PJ is going to get more involved for what he wants because PJ does not develop players.

PJ has consistantly misused AB all his carreer and I don't see that changing much.

Now that I've endured another boring baseball season and an over-hyped start of football season.... I can get down to what really counts. Laker basketball.
And that includes
1. arguing with AK and BK about the relevance of the Lamar anthem, which will prove to be timeless
2. the everchanging yet never improving blog structure
3. Mamba 24
4. Jon K
5. Faith
6. Laker Tom
7. KB Blitz, who is this guy who just came on the scene last year? Were not worthy
8. Phred
9. Fatty
10. Edwin Gueco
11. Troll Man
12. every one else

Could be a dynasty about to happen but with Phil and his coaching style, Lamar and his focus factor, Artest and ????, Bynum and his work ethic along with his sense of entitlement after winning the championship in spite of him. Luke, Sasha, and no Superman (Rambis)

It will be great year to blog.

Edwin Gueco,

you wrote: If you wish to find time for Luke, I say go #2 as a replacement of Kobe. He should share time with Sasha. Luke is a set a man, too slow to be a PG and not a good shooter as a Forward. He replaces Kobe, Artest is in #3 LO in #4 and Gasol or Bynum as the Center and Shannon or Farmar as PG. I'm referring to the second unit. With this combination I think Luke will show his best games as a facilitator or court general in the triangle. Try to imagine if Luke holds the ball at the top of the post, how many possible alternatives he can create pass it to a moving Bynum, pass it to Artest or LO on the wing, or to Shannon coming from the back court attacking the rim. Lakers would maximize the values of Luke in this kind of setting. In soccer terminologies, Luke should not be a striker but forever the set up man at the top of the post. He will be remembered and excel in that role.

my response: I'm not quite sure what you're saying. If we ignore stats, I think
that Luke had a good post season. He did the little things. He passed. He
went to the rim. He made middle distance shots. As a "glue" guy, I think
he performed admirably.

Kobe is a shooting guard. As a shooting guard, I prefer Sasha or Shannon
over Luke. I agree that Luke is a little slow, and that's why I don't want him
in the backcourt.

re: Soccer terminology. My remembrance from playing the game is that
a striker is a forward position. I agree that Luke should play the half-back
position. To me, that correlates to the Small Forward position.

In your rotation, who do you have as a backup for Artest? Are you interested
in that backup getting better? If the answer to this question is yes, how will
you accomplish it?

Our "Bench Mob" has been important the last two years, and I would think
they'll be important this year as well. If Lamar gets 10, as the backup PF,
and we get 5+ apiece from Sasha, Shannon, Farmar, & Luke that's 30 pts.
Kobe is averaging ~ 30. Pau is averaging ~ 20. Artest averages ~ 15. Bynum
gets 10+ and Fisher gets 10 .... That's an average score of ~ 115.

Is something wrong with my math? Now if Artest's long minutes prevent
Luke & Sasha from contributing ... What is our average score and is it
sufficient?

To re-state. Our depth has been crucial over the last two years and I
think it would be a bad idea, from a chemistry perspective & a winning
perspective, to negate this advantage. Playing Lamar & Artest at multiple
positions, sounds great from a matchup position. I don't know if versatility
is a red-herring to sound basketball team principles.

Hey, I named him "Thriller", I believe...I don't know if anyone beat me to it...and I never make a roll-call, which is fine with me because I am, word slips my mind, anti-organization, which in itself is an oxymoron, because by proclaiming to be, you are aligning your self with others with the same belief...this you are somewhat in an organization......
... was just wiki'ing around...the MidWest...should be referred to by an older term they used "The Old MidWest", because, it's only slightly West of the East. I would have to spend the greater part of a day in order to even fly to the MidWest from LAX which is in the West. Oklahoma City, 31st most populated city in the USA, I guess that puts it about right, how many teams are there now? But then Seattle is the 15th most populated, and they were raped of their team, and San Diego is the 8th largest city and they were raped of their team (kinda like Al Davis and Donald Sterling use the same instruction manual).

JustaLakerFan,

Andrew Bynum is tailor-made to spark another round in the eternal war between optimists and cynics (who like to refer to themselves as "realists" for whatever that means).

Why?

He has no proven track record, but has shown sparks of intelligence and absolute brilliance as well as stints of unwelcomed behavior and disappointing play. To further complicate/arouse the issue are injuries. Are these injuries flukes or are they evidence that Bynum is physically injury prone?

No one knows the answer to these questions, so we attempt to resolve the cognitive dissonance of not knowing by falling back on the individual natures of our personalities/intellect.

Those of us who are optimists {Laker Tom and Jon K. raise their hands.} see the glass as half-full deal in order to deal with our cognitive dissonance by imagining in the present a glorious Purple and Gold hued future in which Andrew Bynum is crushing opponents on the way to a Hall of Fame career.

Those of us who are cynics/pessimists {KB Blitz looks over with grudging acknowledgement.} prepare to protect themselves from the pain of disappointment by focusing on the negative so they don't get their hopes up so high to make themselves vulnerable to events truly beyond their control.

So, those of us who are pleasure-orientated, create psychological pleasure for ourselves by imaging a very positive future with Andrew Bynum at the helm of another Lakers Dynasty.

Those of us who are pain-avoidant orientated create psychological defenses that provide a degree of psychological/emotional comfort in the knowledge that if things do go wrong they'll at least be prepared for it.

THAT is what is happening with this debate around Andrew Bynum. We're all just coping in our own bizarre way with our collective desire for the Lakers to do well and Andrew Bynum's status as The Big Question Mark.

Well, at least we can all take comfort in the knowledge that the season is about to begin and one way or another Andrew Bynum is going to answer that question for Laker Nation. I just hope he answers it with an exclamation mark instead of a period.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

humanomaly,

As I remember it and I remember it clearly, I created the "quest" to give Ron Artest a new, more mature nickname. I came up with a lot of names, but none of them really stuck.

Then when Ron chose '37' as his number to honor Michael Jackson, Taliq/Segeboy stated succinctly "Well, I guess it's settled. Ron's new nickname is 'Thriller.'"

And the blogmunity exploded in collective applause.

So, Taliq deserves the credit.

As decreed by concensus, Ron Artest's official nickname as far as Laker Nation is concerned is "Thriller."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Um, first I don't think I'd type an opus to any individual player because that just seems a little stalker-ish. And, if I did, I'd be a lot less condescending. Artest came here to play and I'm not about to start presupposing problems. Clean slate as far as I'm concerned.

hobbitmage,

Couldn't we experiment with Luke Walton playing a point forward kind of role? I think he's better suited for that position than even Lamar Odom.

Also, I see Ron Artest playing much better with the starting line-up than with The Bench Mob. Without strong personalities like Kobe and Pau around him, I just don't see the chemistry with Ron and The Bench Mob being as congruent.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

wow, #8? [bows]

my offering, repeated;

‘Laker named Thrill-Air’
To the theme song from ‘the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVbQo3IOC_A

Now this is a story I’m telling you all
I’m not just a guy who got into a brawl
Laker fans just chill out
And sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became a Laker named “Thrill-Air

I’m from Queens New York born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin all cool
Shootin some B ball til it was time for school
Became mostly known
for my defensive skills
At least until I played in that place; Auburn Hills
I came out of St Johns, feeling kind of rare
The Bulls said ‘Make these guys forget all about that guy Air’

I did my best in the city that’s windy
But they packed me up and shipped me out to Indy
We did all right there, those guys were alright
We were on our best behavior ‘til we got to Detroit.

That mess, that was bad
But I was sitting it out,
lying on my ass
‘Til some guy had to go and hit me with a glass
Well, that was gonna cause a fight

The NBA got kind of pissy, they whined about that
I got my suspension, seventy games I sat
I thought what the hell?
This really ain’t fair
I caused more suffering when my album hit the air

Well the Pacers they decided that I’d have to go
They shipped me off to Sacramento
I played real hard for Adelman
Must’ve had some success
Traded for me when he got to Texas
Playin’ for the Rockets was doing alright
But me and Kobe, we’ve always been tight
Rockets jersey wouldn’t be the last that I’d wear
Couldn’t wait to tell Kobe- man was in the shower

A season or so later
Heard Mitch to Trevor ‘Yo homes smell ya later’
Sign for the minimum
Do it with flair
Now I’m the Laker with the nickname Thrill-Air

or my prediction to the usual lakers fans open letter to stars- 'hey man, love you. can I have some tickets?'

I would tell everyone to really take care of themselves this year. Nagging injuries are the biggest thing that we are trying to avoid as a team. Health will be the key.

BTW - Baseball season isn't over! The Halos are still in this thing - playoffs start next week!

Fantasy team update- the unofficial Laker Blog league is of the ground! sort of. we have ten people signed up, but we can have more.

phredphredington@yahoo.com

my last recruiting post, i promise.

Jon K,

I agree to an extent on what you replied, but i made my comments partly tongue in cheek to make a point. AB is far from Kobe achievement wise but he is subjected to the love/hate opinions about him.

I do not refer to the coping methods you refered to but the "he is a bust and trade his lazy arse outta here" hate. Not very constructive opinion but just hate.

I think without a doubt that his injuries were freak rather than injury prone. One can debate the landing on LO's foot as non freak but I don't think so. I say anyone should try it out and see if it is freakish or not. As to the Kobe runninng full bore into AB's knee is definitely freakish and doubt anyones knee meeting the same force would not be injured. That is not injury prone but freak accident without a doubt in my view.

Good comments Jon K and thanks for your insight.

*off, not of. that would only make a little bit of sense

Jon Jon - Regarding Thriller;

It was at the Lakers practice on NBA TV, that we heard the other Lakers players calling out

"Ron Ron!"

They have not apparently bought into the 'Thriller' argument. ( I thought they read this blog for advice??)

I personally like 'Thrilla the Gorilla', but am hoping the other NBA players point at him in awe and yell, "Godzilla!!! Godzilla!!!" As he stomps down the court breathing fire.

Ron Ron has an air of craziness about it and puts more of a Steven King-like fear into NBA players. And in the end, isn't that, what we all want with Ron Ron?

A scary psycho kind of a guy, that when he says, "I've killed for less!" you wonder, did he actually mean that? Would you hurt Kobe, with his best friend in a hockey mask, Jason, or Freddie Krugger standing near by?

I don't think so.

When I think of Thriller, I think of Michael Jackson.

But Ron Ron, its more like Hannibal Lecter.

Your loyal friend on the blog,

Fat Fat

JustaLakerFan,

"I think without a doubt that his injuries were freak rather than injury prone. One can debate the landing on LO's foot as non freak but I don't think so."

I, too, think the injuries were bad luck with the exception of landing on Lamar's nefarious foot. That foot is just plain bad mojo. I wish Lamar would begin using the dark magic of that foot on our opponents instead of his teammates because that thing is DANGEROUS.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Fatty,

Remember, brother. We're trying to minimize the craziness factor rather than maximize it. Points well taken, though.

I think "Thrilla the Gorilla" is a keeper, though.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K,

Hola.

you wrote: Couldn't we experiment with Luke Walton playing a point forward kind of role? I think he's better suited for that position than even Lamar Odom.

Also, I see Ron Artest playing much better with the starting line-up than with The Bench Mob. Without strong personalities like Kobe and Pau around him, I just don't see the chemistry with Ron and The Bench Mob being as congruent.

my response: Why would you put a tall slow player at the point-forward
position? I thought that you'd like a taller person at a forward position.
If you're thinking about Luke at the point-forward, instead of Lamar,
because he's a smarter player and a better passer ... I won't disagree with you.

re: Artest & the Bench Mob. Again, I don't disagree with you. This part of
the conversation started with an article about Luke & the minutes Ron
will get as a starter. From a philosophical point, I like having a 9 - 10 man
rotation with the minutes roughly what they were last year. I understand
that you might change things depending upon the team we play. So, Artest
would play less minutes than he wants to. People have argued that he should
play multiple positions so that he can get the minutes he wants and be
happy/motivated. The same for Lamar. In theory, this would also help
justify the large bucks they make. My stance on this should be clear.

Hobbitmage,

With regards to Luke, he had some good games, many so-so games both good and bad since 2004. What he achieved in short of span as a sub, he also gives back in form of bricking those shots unguarded. He has attracted so much attention because he is 3rd oldest Laker in the team not in age but in tenure with the team and we will have Luke up to 2013. I remember my days that if you re a forward, you should be a good shooter on the wing at 45 degrees or 180 degree on the side. The game has evolved with MJ, the guard became the gunner rather than just a facilitator. Luke is in between a good shooting forward and a speedy guard that's just my perception. Definitely, he cannot be a Center. In a triangle all these positions become immaterial because they all move in different fashion to create mismatches or by freeing the shooter on outside or creating an opening in the post when they double team the shooter. As we both agree, Luke misses a lot of open shots so that is the weakest part of his triangle. However, he has the eye of an eagle and foxy hands to deliver the ball where there is an opening on those two sides of the triangle as long as you don't depend on his side to score. Therefore, if you have Artest/Morrison in 3 and LO/Powell/Gelabale in 4 what is the suitable place for Luke? Based on the quota of points enumerated, Luke should no longer be asked to score but do the miscellaneous like fouling, rebounding, blocking, taking the ball from the sidelines and perhaps some dirty jobs of hard fouls (sigh!) to avoid the fouls on Bynum or technical fouls on Kobe. By the way, funny if u think about it we are debating the 5 minutes playing time alloted for Luke this season, the longest will be 15 minutes during the garbage time. Why is Bynum, Luke, Sasha, Farmar are attracting a lot of attention in the blog? nobody cares of Mbenga, Powell and Morrison. Supposing we discover during the preseason games that Gelabale, Gaffney, Monds and others are better players than the players under contract, what will PJ/Mitch do with the discovery?

Solicted advice? Here's a few.

Sasha - Slow your game down to the speed of your brain (hopefully that isn't toooooo slooooow). Be quick, but don't hurry.

Pau - Take the floor every night with the confidence that you are an elite NBA player.

Ron - Fitting in isn't about giving up the agression that makes you great. This is a tough tighrope act, but play your new role with agression and abandon. It is what makes you a scary player.

Lamar - Come into every game off the bench with the idea of changing it.

Drew - Become an all star by playing the best post defense in the west. Your points will come from just from being big and talented in the post. Don't force it.

Fish - You are the canny vet, don't need advice.

Farmar - You're still young. Work on your game and your time will come.

Shannon Brown - Work on slowing down quick guards and burying threes and the minutes are there.

Luke - Work on that "jumper," please. Make other teams respect your shot and you will be a more dangerous passer.

Ammo - This is your make/break year. Find a role and make it work. Minutes will be scarce, the coaching staff will need to know what you will bring. Shooting? Knowing the system? Energy?

Kobe - Use your teammates (and be Kobe).

Everybody else - be ready in case of injuries or garbage time.

Tom D.

sadly, or perhaps fortunately, 'thrilla the gorilla' is pretty much taken by Joel Pryzbilla. Although i think his full name is 'Thrilla Przybilla the Vanilla Gorilla.'

And you guys can say whatever you like, but I like having Luke Walton as our um...8th or 9th guy who plays maybe 7 or 8 minutes a game. And I dare anybody to take issue with that.

and for Ron Artest's nickname, I still like 'Billy'

or it 'Bill?' I forget. either way, i'm going with that.

To Derek Fisher: Thanks for being the personification of class!

To Kobe Bryant: Thanks for showing how someone can mature as a player and as a person, and for being the epitome of trying to make the most of your talents!

LakerTom, Hobbitmage, and John K:

Thanks for the comments and the invite to participate further in the blog. I'll just say again, that I'm somewhat time challenged on a regular basis, so if I get involved and don't respond back and forth, please understand.

I've got a few minutes today - so...

LakerTom - here's a quick story before I accept your invitation to check out a Laker game in the Bay Area sometime.

I was living in New Hampshire during the Lakers - Celtics, Magic - Bird era. I would watch the games at a local pub, the only Laker fan surrounded by 150 Celtic fans. Game 4, 1984, McHale cheap shot - clotheslines Rambis and everyone in the bar is outta their seats jumping for joy. The guy across from me starts clapping in my face - screaming "what an awesome play". Of course, I went across the table and took him to the floor and you can imagine the rest - although, nothing too bad - I'm an ex baller - I don't know how to fight :-).

Needless to say, not a great move as a person trying to pursue a professional career in a small town. So, with a little self evaluation I realized it best that my habits relative to watching Lakers games might be better as a recluse ritual - NBA TV, cold one and my lounge chair at home. When the game gets tight, or the Lakers are playing with less than the desired enthusiasm, and I might get a little too into it - my girl friend, the dog, all clear the room. Beyond that - no harm, no foul.

Since, I've never lived in LA or in any towns with a visible contingent of Laker fans, I've opted to not be the resident minority fan at the local pub - after my experience with the gangreen fans in New Hampshire.

Anyway, moral of the story is that, it would be fun to get together with a few other Laker fans over a few beers to watch a game or two.

As far as Brown - it is as much gut as anything. Sure - awesome dunker and physical talent. However, we've all seen those types come and go (Orlando Woolridge). Something about Brown - his size, his game as it relates to the Triangle, his willingness to play D and the Lakers need to have someone content to take only what comes to them - all these things lend me to believe he might be the right fit and final piece to even greater heights.

Bynum's rebounding - I'm glad somebody else noticed that. What I was seeing two years ago was the emergence of the next Moses Malone. The guy just grabbed every rebound and it had gotten to the point where other players were just conceeding the rebounds in a way they used to do when Malone was on the floor. Last year - what happened?

I agree on your points on offense and being a two way player and how one facet of the game actually should compliment the other. I honestly can't explain why Bynum's rebounding last season - even at his peak before the injury - never reached the level of the previous year. My only guess relates to the injury. If he can regain that rebounding form of two years ago and play strong defense without fouling, this Laker team could be truly one for the ages.

Hobbitmage - As far as a small rotation - I would prefer to call it a short rotation - I need to clarify. What I meant to say about Odom is I like that he can play all 5 positions and I like him as the primary first guy off the bench. My bad on expressing my point, causing a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to advocate shortening the rotation during the regular season, as that would be a recipe for disaster. I think the only two things that can beat the Lakers this year are mental complacency and or injury to a major player(s). Better to keep players fresh - it statistically reduces injuries. Plus, the competition for playing time should keep guys motivated.

Also, to clarify - I don't want to come across as thinking I'm a resident expert. I coached many years ago and was a better player than a coach or referee. I had much to learn as a coach - mostly because I was a little young and/or inexperienced at the time - but again, my strength was recruiting and recognizing potential. I was a college assistant coach and often there's a big difference between assistant and head coach - as in my case. I recently retired from officiating because I didn't have the time with my professional obligations to focus and thus improve to the level of official I could be proud of. So, now I'm a regular fan with a little past experience. That experience has me pretty excited about the potential of Andrew Bynum.

John K - Again, thanks for the encouragement to participate.

This blog is fun to read and especially in the off season when the Times articles are far and few between. One can always count on the blog for a few minutes of entertainment that will take your mind off the stress of the day.

I think this year could be special!

DKWSFO

JustaLakerFan,

An excellent post. Other than PJ, we pretty much see things with the same perceptive but cynical eye.

>>> Looks like AB is on his way to being franchise player because of the love/hate for him.
>>> That falls under Kobe status in that he is always criticized no matter what he does.
>>> Kobe faced it and now AB.

You are right on that one but I think everyone (other than Blitz, that is) will jump aboard when Drew not only stays healthy this entire year but plays at the level he was playing right before both injuries. Bottom line, that is all that most of Drew’s critics want and I have no problem at all with that.

But there are a vocal few bloggers who are so blind or biased that they cannot see the potential greatness in Drew and who virulently lash out at any poster who dares to rave about Drew’s unlimited potential and/or his possible role as the Lakers’ next franchise player and next great center.

Jon K., in his response to you, described these bloggers perfectly as “cynics/pessimists” who “protect themselves from the pain of disappointment by focusing on the negative so they don't get their hopes up so high to make themselves vulnerable to events truly beyond their control.” Right on, Jon.

>>> I don't see how he wanted KAJ to spend less time with him instead I see he is just
>>> going along with company line.

Funny how none of the critics explained how a 22-year old center could make the decision about who should coach him? But then they probably thought the same thing of Kobe. Bottom line, the Lakers front office decides who coaches whom, not the player and definitely not a young player like Drew.

It sounds to me like there were several possible factors involved here including Phil wanting to spend more time with Drew, which I believe will be great, as well as giving Drew a change of pace. After so many years, even Yoda can grow old on a young player. Drew has great potential as a finesse player, which was why Kareem has accomplished so much with his moves and footwork. But there is another type of low post game that was not Kareem’s. Drew has great potential to be a real banger in the post at both ends and Phil may be a better tutor for Drew in that respect.

>>> I feel bad for AB if PJ is going to get more involved for what he wants because PJ does not
>>> develop players.

>>> PJ has consistantly misused AB all his carreer and I don't see that changing much.

You know, I generally am critical of the same things you are with Phil – his substitutions, time outs, end game plays, rotations, and at times handling of Drew. They are not the way that I would have handled them as a coach. On the other hand, when I look at the cumulative result and not just the individual actions, I find myself in awe of what a genius Phil is in handling personnel and building team chemistry and coherence. His method not only has proven to work in elevating teams to a championship level but more importantly, keeping them on top once they get there, as evidenced by his 3 three-peats. So I disagree with your above two statements. Phil does a great job of developing players and does it within the team concept. Despite my criticisms, I trust him make Drew the best.

Tom

JustaLakerFan,

>>> I do not refer to the coping methods you refered to but the "he is a bust and
>>> trade his lazy arse outta here" hate. Not very constructive opinion but just hate.

I absolutely 100% agree with you. It’s fine to disagree but disagreement is NOT justification or reason to rudely attack other Lakers fans? Great job defining the difference. Jon K’s definitions were great but he left out a segment of bloggers that are more egregious than even the trolls – the mongers.

Tom


While reviewing Ron Artests latest ramblings, as well as watching him speak, has he ever really been analyzed for any type of mental illness. The reason I am asking is I work at a MICA Center in San Rafael, and he appears to have issues that medication many help.

"Bynum's rebounding - I'm glad somebody else noticed that. What I was seeing two years ago was the emergence of the next Moses Malone. The guy just grabbed every rebound and it had gotten to the point where other players were just conceeding the rebounds in a way they used to do when Malone was on the floor. Last year - what happened? "

The saying goes "you can't have enough rebounders" and while that is true the reason of Bynum's rebounding is because there are others rebounders. Just like scoring. Having the presence of a healthy roster Kobe averaged less scoring along with less minutes. Who else was a rebounder on the team besides Bynum? Gasol/Odom and Kobe is a very good rebounder as a guard (mind you he's no Oscar Robertson). Add in tip ins by Ariza and you see an understandable decline. That's what happened, not really Bynum's fault.

That's why I don't expect him to really average Dwight Howard numbers because the Lakers have Gasol/Odom who are very great rebounders. Nevertheless I want him to focus much more on the defensive end and do a better job on screen and roll. Yet he is so focused on scoring more that he forgets to play defense especially when he doesn't get the ball (one of the things I did not like about Shaq despite his offensive dominance). Sure his supporters like Laker Tom says he will but has he shown that? Blocks are even more misleading about defense than steal are. Case in example Marcus Camby. Camby averaged 3+blks a game and won defensive player of the year. Yet the Denver Nuggets before Chauncey Billups were an offensive powered team known not to have any defense despite Camby's presence. Not a knock against Camby but just because he averaged so many blocks he had problems defending post ups and screen and rolls.

Also look at Bynum's blocks compared to his PF's. So far when he got major minutes (28) he averaged 3 PF's a game. In comparison to Ben Wallace one of the best big man defenders of the first half of the 2000's era he averaged well over 3 blocks a game yet managed to only average 2 personal fouls a game despite 38 minutes a game.

That's why I'm not on the bandwagon despite Bynum's games where he will score a lot. Seeing him score without playmaking and leading is like seeing the worst parts of Shaq. Bynum has only averaged 14ppg at most something that people get all happy about? And people expect to take away shot attempts from Kobe/Pau nevermind Artest who is a very viable scoring option not to mention Odom and the bench. I want Bynum to show he can be Shaq like numbers like Kobe has done with the MJ comparisons (having scoring streaks that only rivaled by MJ and Wilt). Otherwise while I support him I'm not sold on him as a franchise player. Vlade Divac had similar numbers (and was actually a better playmaker) yet no one said he was a great laker center. Bynum has a lot to prove before he is the next great laker center. He isn't on Kobe the second fiddle's level when comparing ages.

"at times handling of Drew"

Laker Tom. You are critical of ANYONE who criticizes Bynum. You are still a good guy but you always get so worked up when something is bad said about Bynum. Heck just accept that Bynum like ANY NBA player has his faults. Kobe has his faults, Lamar has his faults, Pau Gasol has his faults. Yet you go out of your way to bash anyone who does not accept your views? Where is the maturity in that?

he could actually send the e-mail; ron posted his address on twitter because he was looking for some strippers in his next music video:

96TruwarierQB Ron Artest looking for ten models for his new video. Email shinshinartest@gmail.com if interested!!!!!

My own odds and ends on a Sunday evening...

I'm coming down with a cold. Blech.

Why hasn't Sonny Belfast blogged by, considering we've got his beloved Testes?

Phred, I'll take that dare - I figure Luke to average 15- 17 minutes.

DKWetc... what's your take on the current refs situation?


dave m

DKWSFO,


Thanks for your response. Having moved from LA to Mill Valley 30 years ago, I’ve enjoyed many games as the only fan rooting for the Lakers in various Bay Area sports bars although I always have a lot of Lakers fan support whenever I go to see them play the Warriors. There have been times when I am sure there were more Lakers fans in attendance. Unlike Jon K, I’ve never had a fight in a sports bar. Had my share of them on the courts when I was younger and dumber. LOL. Let’s definitely set something up down the road. Hopefully, some other Bay Area Lakers fans will pipe up.
-
Speaking of the Warriors, I am still concerned where Stephen Jackson is going to end up. He would be a much more important add to a contending team than Richard Jefferson was in my opinion. He can play great perimeter defense at guard and is a clutch shooter despite being more of a volume scorer. I just don’t want to see him in San Antonio or Cleveland. Too bad the Warriors wouldn’t take Luke and Sasha and their $30M and give us Jackson. Put him at point with Kobe (he averaged more assists than any Laker, OK, partly due to the system) and you would have a brutal defensive team: Kobe, Jackson, Artest, Gasol, and Bynum. Of course, we have too much on the plate to do it but it’s nice to fantasize sometimes, especially if I don’t then have to go online and do moot work for phred.
-
Your comments about Drew’s rebounding are bothering me. I can remember bombarding the blog with comments with an ABOV E THE RIM theme because of how impressed I was at WHERE the ball was when Drew was grabbing it. It was always way above everybody else’s hands. And as you said, teams – and even Lamar Odom – were simply forfeiting every rebound to him. The more that I think about it now, the more I am convinced that Drew’s elevation on dunks was also not as good last year when he was peaking two years ago. His offensive footwork and moves were much better but he may have lost some of his hops because of the sublimation. Now you know what we will be watching.
-
Good blogging. Thanks.


Tom


Thank goodness it appears Phil Jackson fetish for Luke the Puke is coming to the end that it deserves. Let's win another ring!

Luke should no longer be asked to score but do the miscellaneous like fouling, rebounding, blocking, taking the ball from the sidelines and perhaps some dirty jobs of hard fouls (sigh!) to avoid the fouls on Bynum or technical fouls on Kobe.(...)

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | October 04, 2009 at 03:25 PM

I would love to see Luke making the dirty job. His actual play tastes to me like a artificial sweetener. Luke "Dirty" Walton works for me. Go for it Luke. You can do that. You don't need to be fast, not even accurate in your shots. Use your big body and your BB IQ. You will surely be respected.

I once sent Luke a letter with comments from this blog and he was kind enough to send one back telling me to go and ........myself. It was nice of him to take the time to converse with his fans.

I once got an invite from Ron Ron to be his friend at one of those sites, but I declined once I found out about 100,000 others got the same email.

Dave M -
Sorry to hear your sick. Hope its not the 'you know what Flu - the one everyone is afraid to speak its name'

Unless you are between 19-24, you have nothing to worry about Dave M. You are older than that, aren't you?

hey, I think i'm going to do a Jon K style multiple post posting (word up, represent!)

ummm. HM- sorry, my knee jerk reaction- I didn't know you worked with helping people, that impresses me. But if you are really going to be working with people with mental health needs, you need to go back to your DSM IV supplemental. 1) Bill does not appear to have a significantly low GFA, and 2) no real mental health professional would diagnose anybody from a distance without talking to them or their family.

(and yeah, the guy is mental. But he's our mental, thanks very much.)

Blitz- I would be thrilled (pun acknowledged, but not intended) if Drew was as good as Camby defensively. Camby isn’t perfect, but he can seal off his space of floor pretty well. Sure, there are other rebounders around Bynum, but he misses rebounds. I think this is mostly because of footwork, which needs work, and the anticipation that comes from experience, which I just hope he can get. As LakerTom will tell you he knows (heh,) Bynum will improve if he works at it. All this endless sound and fury at and from LT is mostly just noise, but there are two truths that everybody should acknowledge- Bynum will get better if he stays healthy and IF HE WORKS REALLY HARD.

(Ok, that can go in my open letter to Drew, although I really think he would be a bit offended by it; Anybody who can get to where he is in the NBA obviously works hard, probably as hard as I ever have, and I can’t say I’m some slacker lily-waist)

I’m pretty sure Bill is truwarrior, but I would think he’d be at least 1truwarrior, or maybe 2 or 3 truwarrior. 96 truwarrior is waaaayyy lame.

Dave m- whoops, I mean, I think I didn’t mean to exclude the possibility that Luke might play more or fewer minutes, I meant that if, hypothetically he did average 7-8, I well then disagree with anybody who complains about his playing time. Um, wait, you are kidding, right? Who the heck comes to the blog and argues with me that Luke needs more playing time? Feel better BTW- I don't think we're allowed to talk about health insurance here, but man, don't get sick these days.

LTom- Re Captain Jack- I’ve been drafting the man rather higher than ranked in my, um FANTASY LEAGUES *ahem* because I think he’s not going to get traded, and he’s too much of a baller too not play hard even if he’s unhappy. I really have been looking at trade alternatives, and without some weird injuries or salary negotiations (weird even by we traded an assistant coach with the sixers for Pau Gasol standards,) I don’t see where he can end up. But yeah, I would maim to see him in a Laker uni, so…

Chuck23? Chuck23? Maaaaan. That’s retro.

Fatty- really? You sure he didn’t mean to send that letter to Chuck23?

dave m,
"Why hasn't Sonny Belfast blogged by, considering we've got his beloved Testes?"

Yeah - the balls' in his court!

The Bynum situation is a Laker management force out or smells like it. Come on Kareem is like a laid off executive on outplacment. Sure he still gets a pay check and gets an office in the same building but its isolated on a different floor. For that matter, Kareem is in the stands anway, never on the bench. I think there was some tussle with the vacancy of Rambis and Kareem wanting a larger role on the staff but looks like politics created some friction and then they sent the Captain to the dog house. High stakes politics with Phil at work here. What you don't read in the media and the reporters fail to pick up.

Stop dissing out Ron. He's not going to destroy the chemistry of the team and rather enhance it.

Fatty and Phred - it's not the flu whose name we dare not speak. I had that the last time around and it seriously kicked my ass for a few days. As for age, I saw Hendrix at the San Diego Sports Arena. Of course my friend's mom had to drop us off and pick us up. But still. It rocked.

Ex - hahaha!

I agree fully, if Ron doesn't show up and blow up on the LakeShow, he is done for. Let alone losing an up and coming star such as Trevor Ariza is a huge sacrifice. The Lakers starting line-up consists of many veterans now and a solid younger bench. Although the Lakers picked up a great veteran player, they are soon going to need to begin looking into the future and their options for bringing in young talent.
Go Lakers!

Old Fong...you speak wisdom, old one. Or something. Did I miss the time when you explained the origin of your patronymic (or maybe just only) title? I'm curious. Good points on Kareem, it doesn't really run contrary to what we've been saying about Kareem around here. Good guy, but it gets very awkward when discussing his coaching with his coachees. How much knowledge is really getting imparted there? Well, has to be a fair amount, but do they think so?


As for your defense of Bill (see how I’m workin it in there.) I think most of the “predictions” of bad behavior (wishful thinking fueled by delusions based on faulty cognitive absorption of events which are apparently beyond the grasp of Bostonian based basketball blog bloviating bastards. (alliteration! [makes finger into gun, mimes shooting off a round, blows non existant smoke off of finger]) that envision bad things based on boyish bull bandying, coming from cretinous, cowardly celtic cast offs. Umm, did I finish an actually complete thought there? Maybe? Close enough

Midtown High Football Rules!

“…To Derek Fisher: Thanks for being the personification of class!
To Kobe Bryant: Thanks for showing how someone can mature as a player and as a person, and for being the epitome of trying to make the most of your talents!
Posted by: exhelodrvr | October 04, 2009 at 05:07 PM

Hey, I thought Alec Guiness was the personification of class!? Oh wait, that’s the anagram of class. Genuine class, no less. Gotcha.

Dave M- Well, I have no idea how old that makes you, but it makes me jealous. I don’t think I’m going to ever be able to cross Jimi off my list of wannasees. Too many questions of a metaphysical nature that I don’t think are within my skill to navigate. If I do, though, I will tell him to pick up his dog, natch. (Get that reference, &&^es)

Ex- another nickname heard from. Well, I have quite a bit of respect for Sonny, he is a much higher class of foe than these sniping gutter mongrels we encounter nowadays, and now I mourn with him to see his beloved almost was (did Tim Donaghy reach down and turn Robert Horry’s shooting arm into a thunderbolt of destiny? No, he did not. A higher power than you or I [probably David Stern, but like I said, I’m not much on the meta-physical stuff] decreed that we would prevail that day) and now never will be at least until some great change occurs in the sea and in the earth, and after phred stops digressing, his beloved Sac Town is going to be a foot note to lottery history for way too long.

But, despite any anagrammatic nonconformity, he will show up and act like the genuinely classy individual that he is. Take notes (yeah, like they can read,) green asterisked trolls.

did I mention that Midtown High Football Rules!?

Damn straight they do.

why not worry about rasheed wallace messing up the celtics chemistry..

DKWSFO,

I love your perspective, intelligence, and style of writing. I hope you stick around, time restraints considered.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

"humanomaly,

As I remember it and I remember it clearly, I created the "quest" to give Ron Artest a new, more mature nickname. I came up with a lot of names, but none of them really stuck.

Then when Ron chose '37' as his number to honor Michael Jackson, Taliq/Segeboy stated succinctly "Well, I guess it's settled. Ron's new nickname is 'Thriller.'"

And the blogmunity exploded in collective applause.

So, Taliq deserves the credit.

As decreed by concensus, Ron Artest's official nickname as far as Laker Nation is concerned is "Thriller."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!
Posted by: Jon K. | October 04, 2009 at 01:22 PM"


Jon K.
Job well done, Taliq's post was timed at 8:34 Am on 07/08
My post was timed at 9:44 AM on 07/08
....so he beat me by 50 minutes.....I presume the KBros were still snoozing, so I had not seen Taliq's post as it probably was not up yet. Thanks, I dug and read some stuff that was written by you, alot by you, because I found that you used Thriller alot once deemed. I read some posts by myself, and do not remember writing them, I was on the Sun Yue crusade still, and whatfor about Nate Robinson. Those were good days...LakerTom once told me, when I was new to this blog that I must be a diehard, because I troll old blogs, Tom, I proved you right, and showed how darn stubborn I can be. This was like the ultimate test, I'm tired and buzzed. Jon, I have always found you to be even-keeled, not like myself, the car going down the highway, bouncing off the guardrails, but still getting there. Hey, do me a favor....I never saw a response to a question I asked a few times...was it cool or uncool for Cobi Karl (now a skirt/Kiltic camp-can I play?) to feed info about the Lakers during last year's run to his daddy, George? I think it wasn't. I know it probably goes on all the time with players on different teams being friends and all, but I felt that situation was a bit more significant.
I also saw my name in rollcalls and never realized it before, hey, I only have a few hours per day of productivity, and that's what daydreaming is for.

"What do we play for? RINGS!!!" Jon K.

Q: WHY do we play for Rings??? A: HISTORY

HuMAn....

PS. Thank you Taliq/Segeboy for participating today, and the best thing is you didn't have to do anything!!!!

My apologies to the blogsquad for having such a strange name...maybe I should use "crusty"

(and I'm not alluding to Michael Jackson's album or tour or whatever it was....)

Phred:

"sadly, or perhaps fortunately, 'thrilla the gorilla' is pretty much taken by Joel Pryzbilla. Although i think his full name is 'Thrilla Przybilla the Vanilla Gorilla.'

And you guys can say whatever you like, but I like having Luke Walton as our um...8th or 9th guy who plays maybe 7 or 8 minutes a game. And I dare anybody to take issue with that.

Posted by: phred | October 04, 2009 at 04:54 PM"

Were talking "Thriller" like the old tv show, not "Thrilla" like the fight in Manilla.
Hey phred, I think Walton for maybe 12-14 minutes a game on games he's needed in, where there's a matchup that he might be effective with. In other games, zero would work, but remember, it's a long march to the playoffs. After all, those 29 minutes that Sun put in all of last year probably made a crucial difference in the Denver series...relax, I'm kidding. Geez, just realized I made a boo boo, Benedict Arnold Cobi Karl is in Cleveland's camp for a few more hours, not the Knick's as I alluded to in my last ramble. SORRY!!! OK???????
I'll take my chill pill now.

Phred, sorry...
I'll have Japanese for lunch tomorrow, I'll have "Sebuku"
I'm goin to sleep than I realized the old tv show was "Chiller" not "Thriller", I think, which obviously has a very dircet refernce to Michael Jackson...I actually think his "Off the Wall" (?) album (1979) was better than the "Thriller Album (1982), I guess I like it when an album is good and doesn't get enough credit. I'll give you an example..."Aja" by Steeley Dan, got airplay, made them mainstream....I think it was their downfall, good album but alot of their albums were good, I preferred "Katy Lied". I hope your fantasy league is flowing fine.

Dear Khloe,
Please let Lamar know he has a right hand. He might listen to you.

Jacqueline --

Rasheed is gonna behave cuz he was all over KG's sack during the playoffs and seasons past! So much that he wouldn't/couldn't hit a shot to depend on his life and forgot how to defend when it came to KG -- he is in love with the guy I guess! I recall Rip Hamilton callin him out that playoff for kissing and huggin on KG after the Pistons would lose a game!! Here they were trying beat the Celtics who were beating them soundly and Rasheed is hunting down KG to hug him up after each beating!!

Though Boston is the least of my worries, I think Sheed will behave..He loves KG too much not to.

"Jon K,

I agree to an extent on what you replied, but i made my comments partly tongue in cheek to make a point. AB is far from Kobe achievement wise but he is subjected to the love/hate opinions about him.

I do not refer to the coping methods you refered to but the "he is a bust and trade his lazy arse outta here" hate. Not very constructive opinion but just hate.

I think without a doubt that his injuries were freak rather than injury prone. One can debate the landing on LO's foot as non freak but I don't think so. I say anyone should try it out and see if it is freakish or not. As to the Kobe runninng full bore into AB's knee is definitely freakish and doubt anyones knee meeting the same force would not be injured. That is not injury prone but freak accident without a doubt in my view.

Good comments Jon K and thanks for your insight.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | October 04, 2009 at 01:48 PM"

not taking any position, just woke up, caffeine....
I'll take the other stance just for the halibut...perhaps he just puts himself, leaves himself, exposes himself without moving a tad microsecond quicker. Not aware enough of his surroundings or perhaps overconfident. The LO step down, I don't visually recall it, was he aware LO was right there? Could he have played the ball differently? I do remember Kobe's attack/roll, AB did not move much. since Kobe was coming from the left, maybe he should have been moving slightly left to block out any defenders that may have been following, as I recall he was pretty flat footed almost directly in front, slightly to the right of the rim, was he blocking out or was he waiting for the rebound, was he kinda upset that he didn't get a pass for a dunk? Don't know. Look, I'm justa taking a point of view, does not mean I believe in it. Thanks. I'm gonn go watch the 2 freak accidents on youtube now,

Just watched the two AB injuries, first one was hard to tell, no comment, 2nd one was creepy, Kobe drove past Pau Gasol, Gasol was close but not a threat to rebound, however there was a Memphis player that put a forearm against AB's back just as it was all happening, Almost looks like the player used enough force to start AB's forward motion collapsing as KB24 made contact with Andrews planted feet. Should he have been backing up to box out, but that would have given Gasol clear room and better shot at a potential rebound. Gasol being right there was creepy. No conclusion.

DKFWSO posted
"I was living in New Hampshire during the Lakers - Celtics, Magic - Bird era. I would watch the games at a local pub, the only Laker fan surrounded by 150 Celtic fans. Game 4, 1984, McHale cheap shot - clotheslines Rambis and everyone in the bar is outta their seats jumping for joy. The guy across from me starts clapping in my face - screaming "what an awesome play". Of course, I went across the table and took him to the floor and you can imagine the rest - although, nothing too bad - I'm an ex baller - I don't know how to fight :-)."

You win my respect, that is the fight that should have been heard around the world....with Howard Cosell commentating...Doesn't matter the outcome, it was your actions that spoke.

AS for Artest's nickname amongst his team, if they call him Ron Ron, we should call him Ron Ron......thanks Fatty.

Response to: Posted by: Jon K. | October 04, 2009 at 01:18 PM

Just to clear a couple things up, we obviously know what an optimist and a cynic are but a realist is somewhere in between. The optimisti will tell ya he's a 20/10 guy this season and plays all 82 games no problems. The cynic will say he plays 30 games and hurts himself again. The realist will tell ya he'll play about 70+ games and average maybe 14/8 so long as he stays healthy. That's what a realist is.

As far as being injury prone, I'd say no. He landed on Odom's foot and busted one knee, Kobe fell into the other leg and hurt that. I'd call that more accident prone. Yao Ming is injury prone. Guy lands on his own two feet and broke them not once but twice. Bynum had unfortunate circumstance.

i am ai liang glad to meet you

Early on the thread turned to Luke Walton, let me give my two cents on him, especially since that is the one reserve player (well, outside of Sasha) that people have such strong opinions of.

I have always felt that Luke is the type of player that mostly won't hurt a team being on the court, he is too smart, savvy & unselfish for that. However at times he does little to add to the team on the floor, he is usually passive and looks to create for others, not unlike Lamar at times. Defensively though I think he mostly is a liability. I realize that he keeps things within the triangle, something Phil and Tex must have loved through the years for the amount of time he's been played.

The thing about Luke is, if a player is not hurting but also not helping is he really a good piece to have out there? Luke seems like an awful nice guy, a good kid we've seen grow up here with the Lakers. As a person I really root for him, but bottom-line I feel the Lakers have better options at the 2/3 than Luke. If he sees more than a quarter worth of time in tight games this year I'd be surprised...


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