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Lakers and NBA news, plus a referendum on Allen Iverson for a super Tuesday

Most of the available Lakers news was noted Monday night on the blog. Start with Kobe Bryant's balky groin, aggravated in Sunday's loss to the Rockets. He practiced Monday in El Segundo, and will suit up  tonight at home against Detroit. The bum hamstring that has sidelined Pau Gasol since early in the preseason is improving. He got some work in yesterday and is confident his recovery is finally on track. Gasol will be in street clothes tonight, but Thursday's tussle with the Bulls is still on the table. Then, of course, there's his acting career (Early reviews: "Damn near Newman-esque relative to this... Variety"). For Luke Walton, the news isn't good. He'll miss six weeks, minimum with a pinched nerve in his back.

Across the (NBA) universe, though, people are a'twitter (and a Twitter) regarding the future landing spot of former Grizzly (he wore the uni, even if briefly) Allen Iverson. Leon Rose, AI's agent, says his guy is just looking for the right fit, and will come off the bench under the right circumstances. Ken Berger of CBS Sports noted one scenario floated to him: AI to LA. Which leads to today's poll question:

I voted "No." If "Oh, hell no!" was a choice, I'd have voted for that. But maybe you feel differently? More news and notes below...

NBA NEWS:

-For the Pistons, tonight's game marks the start of a pretty tough roadie

-Via Howard Beck at the New York Times, it seems the Knicks are starting to wear on Mike D'Antoni in a big way. 

-Stephen Jackson and Larry Brown together, at the very least, gives people something to watch in Charlotte this year.

-Kurt Rambis and the Timberwolves did right by Al Jefferson, who was able to see his grandmother before she passed away.

-The AI-to-New York rumors, like everything else that happens with the Knicks, may have as much to do with LeBron as anything.

BK

 
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Sign him. Deal Farmar and Morrison to another team for another backup guard and ride it out.

hey people! It isn't all that bad for Luke. Maybe he can finally work on his acting career again. With 6 weeks he can do a few episodes of some crappy daytime soap opera.

ok, i admit i voted yes, but only to watch (or at least see the comment equivalent of) Jon Ks neck veins to bulge out.

I don't think AI can play in the triangle, at least not without a lot of learning. But if Mitch, Jerry, phil and kobe want it, who am i to say no? And if they don't, it won't happen. so i'm pretty much at peace with this.

OMG, please, say no!

The level of frenzy quest of a "solution" to this momentary elapsing of false starting by the Lakers truly is at an alarming rate if so many may think Iverson (the CURRENT Iverson: 34 years old, hot headed, undisciplined, not-as-quick-as-we-love-to-remember, prone to injury...) could be of some usefulness put in our delicate machine.

We are still trying to ease Artest's immission in this team, after a long preparation. Iverson would just add chaos (and ego) to a team which needs absolutely none of both.

I might agree that we have to fill in some refreshing blood in that field of the court, but surely Iverson would not be adding any of the more balance we need in there. And it's long past its peak. Would he be agreeing in being just a face among faces? Erm... ask the Grizzlies?

I am curious to read others posts about why and how Mr. Allen would do our beloved Lakers good.

I am saying this seriously: it has happened at times that my amazement at the level of competence of Lakers fans about this fabulous game changed my mind at points. But this is an uneasy task. I truly NOT want Iverson to ever be one of the adored people in this team we all worship and love.

This team, our Lakers, just needs to focus back.
Really.
It's the only problem we have.
But it's a pretty big one, I'll have to admit it.

ha ha ha... as of now, 46% vote yes on AI.

I'll admit, I'm in that camp - BUT like phred said, if Kobe and PJ don't think it would work, then it's NOT going to happen. I think much of the reasoning behind the universal blog "no" opinion over the summer was that we had Artest; the fallacious argument was that Artest is a huge liability in the locker room and having to babysit two guys would be far too much...

But if you look, our terrible PG situation (along with realizing Artest is not a locker room liability) has nearly half of fans at least *willing to consider* it

I don't see him necessarily as our "answer", but the guy does have ability to score and an ability to get a shot - our primary deficiency is defense, passing, and hitting an open shot. AI isn't much of a defender or a much of a passer - can the guy hit an open shot?

As for his personality, I do think he's been marginalized in the last 10 months, and much of it unfairly, but his reaction to this marginalization hasn't been pretty and makes me squemish.

If it's too humbling for Phil to have JF or UPS step in as a starter, then maybe I'm in favor of AI (given KB & PJ approval), just because then it gives PJ an out to shore up that PG rotation... but I think we have the parts we need currently and the problem is just reducing Fish's minutes to about 10, and increasing everyone else's - a much easier solution, IMO.

All that said, in a perfect Lakers world, AI would be awesome leading the bench mob... but we live in the real world, not a perfect Lakers world.

Sign him up..

He'll add another element on offense that will force other teams to defend against. He can still score, and right now our role players cannot score the ball.

I think it can work. I think AI would see the choice that Ron has made and agree that taking a backseat to Kobe, Pau, Andrew would be his best choice to get to the finals again and win a ring.

We have never seen AI on the same caliber team as the Lakers. This can work.

How in the world could AI possibly work? Ever. Has no one been paying attention? He won't come off the bench. Period. He hasn't done it for the last four teams he was on, and when he was forced to, HE QUIT THE SEASON. You think Shaq's work ethic was bad?

And if he starts, the only way he'll keep playing and be happy is if he gets his shots (15+). With a team of Kobe, Odom, Artest, Gasol, and Bynum, that's not going to happen. We already don't get the ball inside enough as it is. Bynum's play right now is ridiculous and considering the teams we've played so far could easily be averaging 30 PPG if we fed him more. There's no room for Iverson on this team offensively. Period.

What we need is a PG who can defend other quick PGs in the league; that's our biggest weakness. And AI doesn't fill that void either.

If you want AI on the Lakers, you're either someone who doesn't watch much basketball, or a Boston fan.

AI’s THE ANSWER
AI is the answer, what’s the delay, what you waiting for, sign him to day
Ron-Ron can handle AI cause he wants a ring, let’s give it a try & see what he brings
Remember Vinnie the Microwave, instant offense to the piston he gave
On those days when mamba is a lil rundown, give AI the ball & let him throw down
Nothing but pluses can come from this signing, come On ya’ll & stop your whinning.
Everybody says we have plenty of offense, but what do they say about our bench
AI restores instant credibility, The man wants a ring and we need his ability
In a tight game with the Lakers in a pinch, it would be nice to have him on the bench.
Signing of AI would so demoralize the League, that most teams would all but concede
Besides he deserves a Ring as well, If KG can have one then what the El.
If that prissy Paula can win in a wheelchair, Then don’t ask the question, the answer is there
Other than a ring he’s done all he can do, AI’s the answer, no question that’s true!

In most any other year, I would say "hell no" to AI, but this year is different. He stated that he would be willing to come off the bench for a contender. Players with ego problems have a tendency to lose their attitude when joining a contender, let alone the returning champs (i.e. Marbury).

The Cavs and Celts have drastically improved their respective benches, and even with Lamar going back to the bench, the Lakers bench will have a clear disadvantage against these teams. Our bench needs an upgrade.

Phil likes to play a starter or two with the bench mob because nobody on the bench can create their own shot, something AI excels at. AI's presence will also lead to more rest for the starters.

AI's game will not mesh with the starting unit because he dominates the ball, does not play good defense, and has never been known to be an efficient spot up shooter, but with the second unit, his style of play would be an ideal fit. He would tear up the league as the leader of the bench mob. AI and Lamar surrounded by a couple shooters and rebounders would do some serious damage. If AI is willing to come off the bench and play for the minimum, I say the low cost, medium risk, high reward gamble is worth it.

HERE'S THE FACTS TO CONSIDER RE: AI...

1. "SHAQ-FACTOR" ~ Remember Phoenix two years ago? How about the Cavs THIS year? Remember what you thought about an "over-the-hill", can't-stay-healthy, former all-star who stubbornly still asserted he was in the upper echelon of talent, deserved to start, could make a championship happen, blah-blah-blah!?!

2. "D-FISH-FACTOR" ~ Somebody is gonna have to step up and replace D-Fish. This year, playing time will be critical for auditions and seasoning. Nobody ~ and I mean not even AI himself ~ believes that he could be the heir to Fisher's throne! NO way can we siphon off meaningful minutes from whoever that potential replacement is and give it to AI.

3. "PRACTICE-FACTOR" ~ I believe I have read somewhere maybe once or twice how the Triangle takes some time and practice to be absorbed. That's right, practice,,, I said, PRACTICE. I am talking about Practice!

4. "MALONE-PAYTON-FACTOR" ~ Sooner or later, there are diminishing returns when a roster becomes overloaded (translation = "bloated") with star players at the expense of solid role players (I am concerned about that even as we speak!). AI can no more say "pine" or "role" than a Celtic Troll can sing, "I Love LA!".

5. "DEFENSE-FACTOR" ~ I suppose AI's playing defense might be an added factor . . . except he doesn't play any!

Mike

Sorry folks. Sign AI. Dump his butt if he acts the fool. AI, SB, and LO coming off the bench (When Healthy) would be great.

On defense, AI is still a legit steal threat.

Someone will want the expiring contracts of Farmar and Amo. Pig where were you when I Devil's Advocately proposed a Farmar+Ammo trade?

We've seen what he did to two teams (Denver and Detroit) that were at least "deep in the playoffs" caliber, if not championship caliber. Not worth the risk.

Good Morning Charles...Good Morning Everyone...

quite simply Iverson is not Laker material and can never be a Laker, ala Malone and Peyton...

Mitch has something better on the horizon I assure you...

if he happens to join our team it can only be on the condition that he wears a bag over his head at all times---I really can't stand looking at him...

Mitch has something much better on the horizon I assure you...sans bag...

here's hoping we show up tonight for a full game...pick and roll, defense, pick and roll, rebounding, pick and roll, free throw proficiency, pick and roll blah blah blah...

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Get some more medical information on Iverson first, there seems to be an issue about how healthy he is, Exactly what's wrong with him, and will he recover?? I wouldnt mind having him on our bench, then we can make a trade with Farmar and Morrison with a pick headed out for another 'piece'. Lets give Kobe the ammo he needs for another title run.

I would rather have stackhouse than AI, if we are talking about aging guards. Though stack would make the team slow, his shooting would be benefit, but not sure about either of these guys on defense.

I love Fish but iverson is better.

THE BYNUM DECEPTION

If you were to look at the statistics, you could easily reach the conclusion that Andrew Bynum has been a boon for the Lakers. Averaging just shy of 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 assists, it could be said that Bynum is even the top playing Center in the Western Conference.

Once would be baffled by the reality.

The Lakers, early in their thus far 10-game season, have played honorable Basketball. They've won some game they shouldn't have, and lost some they have cruised to. When inspecting this body of work, one unmistakable conclusion can be reached: Andrew Bynum is playing a game of his own.

It is always wonder when fans celebrate the proclamation by players that they "want to be on the All-Star team". It's a mute but resounding aspect of our fan-player relationships. Fans want their players to be team-first, class defining guys, so when a player suggests that he wants to acquire the individual stats require to make an All-Star team, does that not become a wedge between the values and ideals of the parties involved? It's a conundrum isolated to current American society which permeates even at the highest branches of our govt.

On a practical level, when one looks at the dynamics of this Laker team, one thing stands out like a soar thumb. The absence of a truly great, dynamic big-man.

Some fanatics will argue vehemently that Andrew Bynum's importance and prestige on this current Laker roster should be elevated to Captain, or co-capo -- but the ballyhoo clearly has no merit with the experts involved.

Take for instance Bynum's yearning to score. Often times, Andrew will be seen running down the court before the ball is secured to define ideal early-post position on offense. Individually, this might seem like an advantageous way to play ball, and it can be, but not for the overall goals of this team. Big-men have to rebound, intimidate, and score in the half-court set. Guards typically run and score points in early offense. Inverting this method of championship play is creating much friction within the ranks, mentioned or not.

It is not unrealistic to suspect that upper management has promoted this as a ploy to help Andrew make the All-Star team for revenue / respect purposes. Mainly, signing Andrew to a rather large deal was viewed around the leauge as premature.

TBC..

Can we sign him to a 10 day contract? That would be best for everyone involved, though I doubt it would ever happen.


Wes

In the poll, I voted no to AI coming to our team, but after reading a few of these comments, especially the one by Laker Truth, I think that maybe we should sign AI to lead our bench. I think right now our bench is our main weakness. They have trouble scoring, they tend to let teams get back in the game, and they're currently not helping our starters very much at all. Our bench could use an upgrade, and having Lamar and AI head up the bench would definitely be an upgrade.

I 2nd RIZZO.

In the dual of aging guards, AI tops him and always has topped him. It wasn't that long ago that I sat courtside and watched AI rip the finals bound Lakers for 51 in 3 quarters, TA and KB were the only ones that could guard him. Denver had more structural problems than AI. And actually, Denver is a perfect example that AI can have a winning attitude - the guy was upstanding and the consumate player here; the only problem was the lack of D, sure he can steal, but stealing isn't the same as playing D, ask Smush about that.

But, like I said, I 2nd RIZZO.

The biggest threat to the Lakers right now is overplaying D Fish, and whatever it takes to get Phil Jackson to do something about it is what I want in this point in time. If that means AI, then I'm for it... if it means no AI, then okay too

Good Morning Everyone...

Hoopsworld had a piece this morning on the Lakers maybe buying out Gaffney for half a mill to replace Walton....Not a bad idea...

If Iverson signs with the Knicks then that puts Douhon even further in the dog house...5mill left on his contract....Amo +Farmar maybe....

Charles,

I'm all about it. I can't wait for those cats to hit the road, Jack. If Sasha and Jordan were both expiring, it would be like a dream come true.

I vote "hell no" on Iverson, not because he wouldn't make us better but because I'm not sure it is what he wants. Iverson wants to prove to the rest of the league he can still carry a team, so much so he'd rather retire if denied the opportunity to prove himself.

I admire the guns AI is sticking to but this is clearly not our war, and whilst Iverson's battle to be relevant again might help us win a championship it might also derail us. And no this is not the same as signing Ron Artest, a player that declared from day one that he's just trying to fit in.

I think it would be in the knicks best interest to sign and start iverson. They are 1-9 and the entire world including the current knick players is resigned to the fact that they're waiting on Lebron's decision. An AI hell bent on proving himself is just what that team needs, and the bright lights of the city that never sleeps is the kind of attention AI needs too. And when Lebron goes to Jersey, the knicks just might find that AI is still a big enough star to appease their fan base. As for the rest of the world, we get to see what happens when AI is given a license to shoot in D'antoni's offense. Just imagine coach yelling to him, Nash is older than you and he could get from rim to rim in 5 seconds, I want you to be the answer AI, I want you to beat the opposition down the court.

I respect your game Iverson but we've got too much to lose. Signing you now would be akin to the patriots going for it on 4th down, up by six with 2 minutes left on the clock and the ball on their own 30 yard line. We just don't make those type of decisions in LA, to do so would seem desperate, and the only thing desperate on this coast is the house wives show.

Allen Iverson should go to the Knicks. He'll no doubt start there and actually help the Knicks win games. I would rather trade Morrison and Farmar to the Knicks for Chris Duhon, if improving the depth of the position is important.

Taliq,

"I vote "hell no" on Iverson, not because he wouldn't make us better but because I'm not sure it is what he wants. Iverson wants to prove to the rest of the league he can still carry a team, so much so he'd rather retire if denied the opportunity to prove himself. I admire the guns AI is sticking to but this is clearly not our war, and whilst Iverson's battle to be relevant again might help us win a championship it might also derail us."

That's a really interesting way of framing the question. And unfortunately, probably very accurate.

AK

Wow.

There is A LOT of craziness going around in Laker Nation today.

Sign AI? Are you guys crazy?

The guy's a loser. Always has been. Always will be... and he's toxic.

Thriller's willing to be a team player. AI is not. Let's keep that clear.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K

AI not a team player?

You're probably right, BUT let's not forget that Kobe is not a team player if he thinks management is taking advantage of his hard work just to sell tickets - let's not forget that Magic is not a team player under the wrong coach...

there are many instances of a team player appearing to be exactly the OPPOSITE. You really have to look at underlying motivations, and with AI we all profess to know his motivations, but none of us really knows.

Always a loser?

Well, I never thought much of his leadership, but I wouldn't go so far to say he was always a loser and will always be one. He seemed to be a fairly solid leader here in Denver. Billups is far more of a leader, that much is clear, but this does not mean AI is a loser.

Mamba24,

I haven't been listed on the last 3 roll calls. Can you please restore me to favor? I'm feeling left out....

Nobody wants our scrubbies that include Ammo and Sasha Fierce himself! And def not injury prone ass Wally boy Walton! Nope sirree, we are stuck with them fools....Unless, in a perfect world, we can swing a trade and get somebody like Kirk Heinrich, he is def an upgrade to what we have and he can play defense as well!!! But we all know that aint gonna happen..

I do believe Mitch is gonna do something..I don't see this bench being much better even after Lamar is relegated back there -- Sasha and Jordy don't play together or WON'T and any other combo involving Sasha doesn't seem to work anymore..

He is def D'Antonio material. Sasha can go, if we can get A.I. to conform (yeah right) and somebody like a Wilson Chandler to upgrade our bench, we are right there with the Boston's/Clevelands and Orlandos.....right there!!

He only wants to join a team to be the starting PG and if this did not happen with Grizzlies, is very unlikely to happen in any other team.

In my opinion he is one of the most overrated players in the NBA. He was very good but not enough to earn an MVP.

no way. it wouldn't work at all.

Honestly don't know how much Stack has in the gas tank, but he would be a great character presence in the Ron Harper/John Salley (lol at the thought) type mold. I for one could see a possible AI signing as bringing more skills, but Stack could take over those Kobe/Artest backup minutes, especially now that Luke is down. I'd like to see the signing if the Lakers do want to add another warm body, probably meaning that Morrison would be deactivated. Yes, Stack would be a much better time-filler than Morrison.

One other AI thought, those that think AI would be filling out the D-Fish PG backup minutes are wrong, he is more a SG than a distributor. I don't know how much he'd be willing to play 2nd (or 3rd, 4th, 6th...) fiddle to the Kobe-led Lakers, it is obvious he does want his time/shots as witnessed by his unglorious flameouts in Detroit/Memphis. I just don't trust him not to cause trouble, I could just imagine the Lakers rolling off a 10-gm win streak but AI leaving early, not talking to the press because he only played 11 minutes. Can't we ALL just imagine that scenario playing out if they did bring him in? That's why even though AI might be at a higher playing level than Stack, his head makes him a probably liability, and not in the Ron Artest type of risk factor...

oh, one last thought. Wouldn't bringing in AI be like the Celtics bringing in Starbury last year? All that happened was that ended up blowing up in their faces, with Stephon 'eating vaseline cures sore throats' Marbury calling out Paul Pierce and coach Doc Rivers as phonies, amongst other fun things. I mean isn't it obvious that this is what would happen? Think it through, the more one does, the less sense it makes bringing in selfish AI onto a championship level team...

AI has always been a prime talent, and nobody can take that away from him. But he's always been a head case--it's always about him, not the team. This situation with the Grizzlies is a prime example. He won't tolerate spending time on the bench, even coming back from an injury. A lot of players wouldn't like being on the bench, but most of them would do the best they could in the situation. Not AI. His presence on a Laker team would destroy the chemistry.

Yes. Either the Knicks or Lakers are a good fit for AI. With the Knicks he'll get 25 touches a night. With the Lakers, he'll give them the another shooting threat and he's someone who knows how the play the passing lane on defense. Let's remember we're talking about ALLEN IVERSON. He's hardly ready for retirement. And a team can pick him up for a big discount of UNDER $2M a year. WOW!

Celtic Pride!


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