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Friday's heroics lending a nice glow to the weekend

Wrong footed, moving-left-but-shooting-right, over D-Wade, off glass, game winning three pointers tend not Derek Fisher jumps on Kobe Bryant's back to simply fade into the ether, so it's no surprise that Kobe Bryant's game winner Friday night against the Heat- if you haven't seen it a) click here, b) welcome back to society, because apparently you've dropped off the grid since Friday night- was still a major source of conversation Saturday at practice in El Segundo.

Lamar Odom, watching in the locker room after being ejected with about five minutes left in the fourth after picking up his second technical foul, knew Kobe had won it before he actually saw the shot, thanks to the gap between the roar of the crowd and the delayed TV feed. Odom was also a few seconds behind the other mega-clutch triple of the game's final five ticks. Derek Fisher brought the Lakers to within one point with his first three pointer of the night, but hardly the first of his tenure in purple and gold.

More good news for the Lakers- Pau Gasol didn't practice, but what Phil Jackson referred to as a "bruised eyeball" (the man is a basketball coach, not a doctor) won't keep him out of tonight's game against the Suns. Initially, Gasol worried the damage to his eye, sustained after LO accidentally swiped across his face, was worse, but his vision is fine and aside from discomfort, Gasol doesn't foresee any problems going forward.

Speaking of Phoenix, just as it was the last time they visited Staples, a 121-102 Lakers win on Nov. 12, they''ll be suiting up for the second night of a back-to-back. Tonight, though, they won't be at the tail end of an intense, road heavy stretch of schedule.  

The Lakers are expecting a better effort from the Suns tonight- so am I- as Phoenix continues its surprising season after hitting the reset button on the Shaq trade.

NBA news below the jump...

    -Bad news for the Blazers, as Greg Oden is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured patella Saturday night against the Rockets. John Hollinger writes that while the long term damage is bad for Portland, in the short run it may not be so bad.

    -Blazers Edge has a great breakdown of what it means for Portland. 

    -Luc Longley spent $2,900 to name a shrimp.

    -Tyrus Thomas is used to talk that sends him out of Chicago

    -This? Well, it doesn't look too good, that's for sure.   

    -Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer looks at the Lakers, and also notes some unhappiness with the work of Marcin Gortat in Orlando. 

    -Michael Beasley wasn't on the floor when Kobe hit his miracle shot, but showed some maturity when asked about having to watch the end of the game from the sidelines.

    -Andris Biedrins is getting close to a return for the Warriors. 

    -Kentucky's John Wall is a GM's dream in more ways than one. 

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (47)

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Mamba24,

Please make me owner/driver of the Happy Birthday LakerTom bandwagon (Lakerblog icon's birthday is TOMORROW)...

Let's get a well deserved W for his birtday.

Get it done!

Greg Oden broke his kneecap. I know that Blazer fans hate us with a passion like no other, and they celebrate anything that goes wrong with us, but I don't wish that sort of injury luck on anyone. I honestly wanted to see this guy and Bynum finally get a season together to try and be the next mega center fight.

Keeping my fingers crossed for our boy Bynum. I don't think we'll see a center like Shaq or Chamberlain who can carry that sort of weight anymore. Keep Bynum trim and athletic, like the Cap. Cap played til 40.

Hey, Mamba24, I'm down for my typically spot on the LakerTom happy birthday bandwag. He kinda like everyone's basketball uncle, love him or hate him.

Good Morning Everyone...

One of the worst acts i have seen on a court besides a fight..
My local team played on Saturday night.(Adelaide 36ers)...
They played against a team called the Melbourne Tigers,on our home court..
That court has been re named the Brett Maher court after our captain and point guard for the last 12 years...3 titles and a couple of MVP awards to go along with 3 Olympics as well...One of the true gentlemen of the game..You will not find a nicer bloke out there...The club decided to re name the court and place his name and autograph in tip off circle as a tribute to the player...

Last season we had a player (Julias Hodge) play for us and then leave before the season ended claiming that he was not payed but once he bolted for France to play he then had to pay the club back some money he said to the media he never got...It got ugly and he acted like an idiot with egg on his face...He signed to play with Melbourne and played here Saturday night in an epic game..It went to overtime and the Tigers won....After the game Hodge went to the middle of the court and began to stomp and jump all over the writing in the middle of the court...Stomping all over the autograph and players name...The crowd went nuts and guards and police had to hold members of the crowd from jumping on the court..The player had to be taken into the tunnel by police and protected by police getting onto the bus...
This guy is lucky to be alive......Imagine this happened to lets say Magic or another NBA player after a court was named after them...What would the crowd at a Laker game have done?......Sorry for the story and it being off topic but im still really angry ........


Happy Birthday Laker Tom.....Lets pound the Suns...

The truth is that those shots by Kobe and Derek will allow them to make similar shots in the future.

Experience provides confidence.

Confidence provides opportunities.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I hate the Trailblazers, but I feel zero shadenfreuden at Oden's injury. Despite being a Trailblazer, he seems like a good guy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Hello, Laker fans!
Been a Lakers fan for 30 years.
I'm attending my first Lakers game tonite!
I'm a 38 years old rookie!
Man, I'm so pumped, I could not sleep last night.
With 24's game winning shot, it's going to be great!
And I get to see the Suns!
L.A. Live/dinner/Lakers/L.A. Live after the game!
Wheww, Heww! :)

I am utterly confused as to why Oregonians are such jerks as sports fans.

I like Oregon.

I've had consistent positive experiences with Oregonians.

I just don't understand why culturally they are such jerks as sports fans. Washingtonians aren't such jerks as sports fans.

Why are Oregonians such jerks?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

A little off topic here.. I think LO is actually a selfish player, why? Because his of his overpassing. It's like he's trying to prove a point.. make a statement.. at the cost of the team. An unselfish player does what's best of the team according to data (like shoot where the % is highest, pass if your teammate has higher chance of making it.. shoot if you have higher chance of making it, etc).

So any player that consistently goes against data either lacks bball IQ or is selfish.

A little off topic here.. I think LO is actually a selfish player, why? Because his of his overpassing. It's like he's trying to prove a point.. make a statement.. at the cost of the team. An unselfish player does what's best for the team according to data (like shoot where the % is highest, pass if your teammate has higher chance of making it.. shoot if you have higher chance of making it, etc).

So any player that consistently goes against data either lacks bball IQ or is selfish.

passionate lakers fan,

"Man, I'm so pumped, I could not sleep last night."

:) Dude, I'm happy for you.

Scream your lungs out, brother!

We expect a post-game report from you.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Also, one can argue that every player goes against data to some degree. What I'm referring to is obvious acts.. like passing when you're wide open at a frequent rate.

peter,

I see your point about Lamar Odom, but I don't agree with you.

Lamar's a good team player and he makes his teammates better (which is the most you can ask for a player), he just STILL is prone to make bonehead decisions sometimes. It is nowhere near how it was when he first donned the Purple and Gold when I would literally slam my forehead on the bar in anger while watching the game when I'd watch him make the absolute wrong decisions at crucial moments. He's matured.

I think with Lamar, it's important to be patient and have faith in the guy.

Look at last year's playoffs. He really came through when we needed him. That's the case and I believe it will be the case this year as well.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

peter,

Also, players don't play by statistics. They play by instinct.

People who have never been athletes play (because they don't play) by statistics. When you're playing, you just go by competitive instinct, and everyone's is a bit different.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

"Luke Walton has increased his off-court workouts daily since undergoing a procedure last month to alleviate his back pain.
He said he felt good enough to resume practicing with his teammates and playing in games, but wants to make a slow and steady recovery"


Uh Oh Laker Fans :- (

This excerpt from the Real GM warns us that Luke Walton is preparing for his return to wreak havoc in our substitution patterns. To hell with the fact that the Lakers have tightened their rotations and as a result have won all eight of their games since Walton's (aka "glue guy") departure. Phil Jackson along with AK/BK are chomping at the bit to reinsert this guy back into the rotation before anyone realizes "hey.....maybe we don't need this guy"?


Phil Jackson who lives vicariously through Walton is devising a plan as we speak to attempt to make Luke relevant........this despite Luke's slow lumbering and awkward strides through the lane, his brittle and injury prone bones, and not to mention his total lack of talent on defense, offense, and in transition.

Phil Jackson will totally ignore that a tighter rotation has limited his tendacy to "coach" us out of games with his substitution pattern.......which are usually done to justify Walton's 15 to 20 pain-staking minutes.

Beware Laker fans......you've been duly warned


Jon K,

Portland has got to be one of the worst places on the planet when it comes to sports - and they only have one professional team, Blazers. I don't even think the Suns fans are as bad as the Blazer fans... and at least the Celt fans could chant MVP as their own team purposely threw games for lottery balls... but Portland, I don't know, it's terrible.

Maybe it would be like Cleveland, except Cleveland was/is a temporary phenomena (like Phoenix) just a bunch of bandwagon fans with no brains. They're obnoxious, but Blazers fans are year in/year out obnoxious. I'm glad I no longer live in the area because it's too much - go to a game, you risk getting spit on or run over by a car in the parking lot.

Yes, it's that bad.

The worst I've had in Denver is some stuff thrown at me - but really no comparison.

Having said all that, it's fun to watch the Blazers stall out and die year after year, BUT I would never wish harm to Oden. He seems like a good guy, but perhaps now Laker fans can appreciate the difference between injury prone and freak injuries. Bynum has had some freak injuries while Oden is injury prone.

I'm glad they didn't draft Durant; it's a replay of the mid 80s.... and the 80s were the Lakers decade, just as it is NOW.

Go Lakers!!! Kick some Phoenix Butt!

I watched the movie "Obsessed" last night. For some reason, it popped into my head to share that bit of info.

AK

AK,

Is that like Fatal Attraction, but with a modern twist?

Tim-4-Show,

Sort of, but much less subtle (if that's even possible to believe) and much more craptastic. If you're looking to check your brain at the door, pretty fun.

Or if you're just into being obsessed, I suppose. Haha

AK

pfunk36 -

Honestly, give the Luke Bashing a rest. You sound as if you're just another troll. I'm looking forward to adding another productive player to our squad, as Luke is (so far) more productive than Sasha. You won't see Luke making crazy turnovers like Sasha at times.

Do you have any sort of empirical evidence to back the following claims?

1 - Phil lives vicariously through Luke
2 - Phil coaches the Lakers "out" of games (whatever that happens to mean)
3 - Luke lacks talent defensively, offensively, and in transition (conjunction of all 3)

If not, I'd suggest stepping off the soapbox. Unless you like sounding like someone who does not know what they are talking about...

Mamba24,

Please make me owner/driver of the Happy Birthday LakerTom bandwagon (Lakerblog icon's birthday is TOMORROW)...

Let's get a well deserved W for his birtday.

Get it done!

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | December 06, 2009 at 10:51 AM

==================
Sign me up please.

My fellow BBF (Big Bynum Fan)

Jon,
I can see that we both want Odom to improve and see that potential in him. I think he can clean up his game if he goes by statistics more and with instincts less. He's been going w/ instincts and it got him a pay cut and often frustrated fans.

I still think he's trying to make a statement with his overpassing and it hurts the team.

Have you read the Shane Battier article written by the NYTimes? It's a great article.

pfunk36,

Always glad we have you here to warn us about all the terrible things Phil Jackson is up to as coach. He has just made a mess of things everywhere he goes.


Tom D.

pfunk36 -

Honestly, give the Luke Bashing a rest. You sound as if you're just another troll. I'm looking forward to adding another productive player to our squad, as Luke is (so far) more productive than Sasha. You won't see Luke making crazy turnovers like Sasha at times.

Do you have any sort of empirical evidence to back the following claims?

1 - Phil lives vicariously through Luke
2 - Phil coaches the Lakers "out" of games (whatever that happens to mean)
3 - Luke lacks talent defensively, offensively, and in transition (conjunction of all 3)

If not, I'd suggest stepping off the soapbox. Unless you like sounding like someone who does not know what they are talking about...

Posted by: Caliphilosopher | December 06, 2009 at 01:13 PM

====================================================
Caliphilosopher,

Why the negativity to Pfunk? He has every right to state his opinion just as you do. You just don't need to be so negative about it towards him.

I can see why Luke gets bashed. He is way overpaid for what he brings and his contract and another players one has kept the Lakers from improving their bench.

PJ can coach (not coach) Lakers out of games. He is stubborn and uses questionable rotations and refuses to make in game adjustments and use his predetermined rotation and not go to a hot hand when one player is cold and having off night.

OK I will get off my soapbox but reserve the right to jump right back on as I wish.

JustanotherLakerFan,

"(Luke) is way overpaid for what he brings and his contract and another players one has kept the Lakers from improving their bench."

If you believe Walton is overpaid for his production, that's your opinion and you're entitled (although if you look around the league at players making around what he makes, not counting stud players still on rookie contracts, it's actually fairly comparable. That may be indicative of role players making a sometimes surprisingly high salary, but the fact doesn't change). But the notion that Walton's contract has prevented the Lakers from spending and improving their bench is patently false. Since re-signing Walton, the Lakers paid Sasha 5 mil (he's since disappointed, but that's a separate issue), resigned Shannon Brown and paid LO NINE MIL per season to come off the bench. Other than Ronny Turiaf, who they arguably didn't need (as much as I love the guy) and replaced with Josh Powell at 1/4 of the price, they haven't allowed any bench FA to walk.

Again, if you think Walton doesn't earn his keep, that's your opinion. But his contract hasn't really prevented the Lakers from spending at all.

AK

Pfunk36, you are 100% right, I think anyone watching the Lakers know the team don't need Luke. Sasha, Adam, Luke can all be packaged for a shooter off the bench. Now just finding some Dummy, I mean GM to make a trade.

Caliphilosopher,

You can be Stevie Wonder and see Luke is useless, no game, Offense or defense. You have a man crush on LUKE?

If only Luke weren't on the team, the Lakers might have done better last year, and they would have been able to sign a significant free agent in the offseason to upgrade the team.

What'd you say? They won the title last year? And signed Ron Artest and RE-signed Lamar Odom?

Oh. Never mind.

Tim-4-Show,

I've witnessed similar behavior from University of Oregon and Oregon State fans too.

I still don't get it.

Nothing's weirder to me than watching Oregon Duck fans HATE on UCLA teams when almost the entire roster of the Ducks are composed of Southern Californians. Just bizarre.

I've been to Oregon several times. Went rafting there. Had my car breakdown in remote Eastern Oregon and was helped out by some kind Oregonians. My experience on a personal level has been that Oregonians are laid back, fairly nice people.

And then there's the dark side.

As sports fans they are fricken monsters. Classless, viscious, hateful jerks.

I just don't get it.

WHY?

I understand why Clevelanders are as brutal, classless idiots that they can be, but I do not understand why Oregonians are such awful fans.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I find Luke Haters to be tiresome.

Most I don't even consider to be real Lakers fans. They don't even understand sports. They just hate to hate. Some of them I think are just plain racist. They just hate Luke because he's Luke.

It's really annoying.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Mamba24,

Please add me to the Happy Birthday Laker Tom Band Wagon. The man is an undisputed blog treasure, agree with him or not. Mostly, I just marvel at his insight. His enthusiasm is part of what makes Lakers Nation so special.

From New York, NY


Hello guys,

Tonight's game= Win #9


Love to our team and to all


SHEKOBE FOREVER

Mamba24 please make me a straphanger on the Laker Tom Birthday bandwagon. He is one of the prime muses on this blog and I think we all appreciate his reasoned diatriabes.(Of course I am a charter member of the Adore Andrew tribe.)

Thanks

Jack

Put me on the LakerTom B-Day bandwagon forthwith! Hurry, without delay, I say!

This is of ultimate importance!

--Fearless

Mamba24,

Please add me to the Laker Tom Happy Birthday Bandwagon.

Despite the constant slings and arrows hurled at him, he remains one of the most intelligent, optimistic voices on this blog. I firmly believe that this blog would not have the readership it does without Laker Tom's presence.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

AK,

"If you believe Walton is overpaid for his production, that's your opinion and you're entitled (although if you look around the league at players making around what he makes, not counting stud players still on rookie contracts, it's actually fairly comparable."

You can use reason, logic, statistics, and sane examples and it won't matter.

Unless Luke somehow wins the All-Star break slam dunk Championship, some people are going to hate on the guy with a weird kind of obsessiveness.

I don't fully understand it, but I find the inflexibility of these people's hatred to be annoying at best. It just makes me shake my head in frustration. There's no reasoning with these people.

I mean, so much hatred for a role player who's not paid THAT MUCH money and who actually makes his teammates better? Get real. Something else is going that has nothing to do with Luke.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Caliphilosopher,

Why the negativity to Pfunk? He has every right to state his opinion just as you do. You just don't need to be so negative about it towards him.

I can see why Luke gets bashed. He is way overpaid for what he brings and his contract and another players one has kept the Lakers from improving their bench.

PJ can coach (not coach) Lakers out of games. He is stubborn and uses questionable rotations and refuses to make in game adjustments and use his predetermined rotation and not go to a hot hand when one player is cold and having off night.

OK I will get off my soapbox but reserve the right to jump right back on as I wish.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | December 06, 2009 at 01:47 PM

=================================================

Hi Justa!

Actually, I'm not offering my opinion; I'm critically assessing the claims that pfunk made in that post.

Luke hasn't kept the bench from improving; he's not the GM. His agent got him the best deal possible at a location where he wanted to be. That's not getting overpaid, that's called good negotiations by his agent.

PJ's rotations seem to work - he does have 10 NBA championships. I'd worry about the rotations more in the post-season.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't post here; but if something is said that is unsubstantiated, unfounded, inaccurate, or just plain false, I reserve the right to point that out, especially when I root for ALL of the players on our team.

Caliphilosopher,

You can be Stevie Wonder and see Luke is useless, no game, Offense or defense. You have a man crush on LUKE?

Posted by: 2 PHATT | December 06, 2009 at 02:45 PM

======================================================

2 PHATT,

Luke is useless? On what principled grounds are you basing that claim? He has no offense or defense? Care to back that up with any sort of defensive/offensive metric?

I also don't get the whole genderized "crush" thing. But for the record, I root for Luke because he is a LAKER. I want to see everyone on our team succeed.

I am a die-hard Lakers fan, and I root for the football team, Dallas Cowboys..I am also Native New Yorker and it pains me to see the Cowboys wimp out to the Giants yet again..okay, okay, everyone is probably wondering how I ended up being a Cowboys fan. Plain and simple. Growing up in Queens I got to see the Jets play at Shea Stadium so as far as NY is concerned I rooted for the Jets but the Cowboys were ALWAYs my team.Nonetheless, we proved we can still NOT win big games --- gway Romeo Romo and Blade Wade Phillips, I want a new coach..

But back to the subject at hand..Go Lakers..I expect us to use our length which is our strength against Phoenix tonite..Hell, I need some luv after all, my football team stunk it up in December as always............

Jon K. -

I share your disbelief regarding Luke haters. The biggest thing is that I could understand if they were Celtics/Cavs/Magic/etc. fans - but the hatred is internal. What gives?

I also think that there is something more than disliking him just as a player, but I personally can't point to any textual evidence on this blog (save for pfunk) that supports that hypothesis.

Luke would have to average 14ppg, 4ast, and 5reb in a playoff series while adequately defending a top-notch small forward in order to be considered legitimate.

Oh wait - he's done that already.

Lakers vs Suns! 180-175!

@AK: I always look forward to reading your Lakers blog. However, the first part of this particular post really got to me. The phrase "wrong-footed" really doesn't describe Kobe's game-winning shot. The guy took off on his left foot. (If you don't believe me, watch the video clip again.) Anyone who's ever played basketball knows that, for a right hand shooter, jumping off of the left leg is the "natural" way of doing things. If Kobe had jumped off of his right foot, then you could call it a "wrong-footed" shot. For what it's worth, Nash is one of the best in the NBA at making wrong-footed shots (right hand shots jumping off the right foot). Maybe we'll see one or two of those tonight. :-)

On another note, the Lakers really need to work on their abominable pick-and-roll defense. Wade really embarrassed them in the 4th quarter. The guards should have done a better job at switching the high pick for Wade at the end of the game. That was the difference...the Heat started doing guard-guard pick-and-rolls instead of guard-forward pick-and-rolls. The Lakers just didn't make the simple adjustment of switching it quickly and decisively, which brings me to my next point...

Why is it that Pau is the only one who knows how to show-and-recover? (This is one of the many reasons that Pau is so valuable to the team.) Bynum needs to learn how to get into defensive stance, block the passing lane with one hand, hedge to prevent the guard from splitting the defense, and then recover to his man. It isn't difficult to do. Bynum is a liability when he's standing straight up with no defensive balance. This is definitely an issue of fundamentals. Hopefully the coaching staff is going over this with Drew. He really needs to work on it. If I were an opposing team's coach, I'd pick-and-roll Drew to death until PJ took him out of the game. We can all expect to see this tonight with Stoudemire and Nash. Nash should have 20+ points with about 15 assists. Hopefully, Fisher can prevent penetration to the middle.

JustanotherLakerFan,

"(Luke) is way overpaid for what he brings and his contract and another players one has kept the Lakers from improving their bench."

If you believe Walton is overpaid for his production, that's your opinion and you're entitled (although if you look around the league at players making around what he makes, not counting stud players still on rookie contracts, it's actually fairly comparable. That may be indicative of role players making a sometimes surprisingly high salary, but the fact doesn't change). But the notion that Walton's contract has prevented the Lakers from spending and improving their bench is patently false. Since re-signing Walton, the Lakers paid Sasha 5 mil (he's since disappointed, but that's a separate issue), resigned Shannon Brown and paid LO NINE MIL per season to come off the bench. Other than Ronny Turiaf, who they arguably didn't need (as much as I love the guy) and replaced with Josh Powell at 1/4 of the price, they haven't allowed any bench FA to walk.

Again, if you think Walton doesn't earn his keep, that's your opinion. But his contract hasn't really prevented the Lakers from spending at all.

AK


Posted by: Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky | December 06, 2009 at 01:58 PM
=============================
AK/BK

I am JustaLakerFan and not JustanotherLakerfan, and yes he is overpaid. I have heard this argument before and will state I would look just as far as Houston and say who would you rather have on bench Luke Walton or Trevor Ariza as Artest's backup?

Their contracts are a wash and I'll bet 9 of 10 would take TA over Walton. Yes Luke's contract prevented Lakers from resigning TA.

By the way Turiaff is a pf not sf. Turiaff is better than Powell just way less expensive. To say suppose Turiff did not get greedy and ask same money as Powell or what Laker's offered would you choose Turiaff or Powell?

Those are my opinions and I am entitled and I appreciate you calling me out without being negative about it which was my previous point.

I am

Hi Cali,

OK semantics your assessment rather than opinion amounts to same thing. You are very entitled to do so just question the negativity in doing so.

Peace Brother

JustaLakerfan,

"I would look just as far as Houston and say who would you rather have on bench Luke Walton or Trevor Ariza as Artest's backup? Their contracts are a wash and I'll bet 9 of 10 would take TA over Walton. Yes Luke's contract prevented Lakers from resigning TA. By the way Turiaff is a pf not sf. Turiaff is better than Powell just way less expensive. To say suppose Turiff did not get greedy and ask same money as Powell or what Laker's offered would you choose Turiaff or Powell?

Those are my opinions and I am entitled and I appreciate you calling me out without being negative about it which was my previous point. "


You're actually framing the argument incorrectly. Ariza and Artest would have NEVER been signed together, regardless of whether or not Walton was here. And not just because of any money involved. Ariza wouldn't have stuck around to be a backup playing Luke's minutes (10-15). He wants to play more, and should play more, so the situation wouldn't have worked out. Beyond that, it wasn't Luke's contract that made signing Ariza untenable. It was Ariza's asking price. He wanted anywhere from 7-9 mil, which is too much for a 4th (at best) option not named "Lamar" or "Odom." The contract he got from Houston isn't what he was actually trying to get from the Lakers.

Plus, you also have to remember that if Walton wasn't on the payroll, the Lakers would still be over the cap.

And yes, if Ronny had been willing to play for 1 mil, I'm positive the Lakers would have resigned him (and could have). But Ronny wasn't, so they let him go. I don't even understand what your point is. And whether he's better than Powell or worse is totally irrelevant, because the issue was Ronny's offer from Golden State, which was too much for the Lakers to match for a reserve big man. They're too stacked at the 4 and 5. So they got Powell, who's done a nice job at 1/4 the price. Even if Ronny is the better player (depends on what you want from the position, really), the difference is pretty marginal. It's hard to truly argue they "miss" Ronny.

Again, it all backs up my original point. which is that Walton's contract really hasn't prevented them from doing anything. And I appreciate the civil tone on your end as well. It's a nice way to discuss the issues. Thank you.

AK

Hi JustaLakerFan!

I wasn't trying to be too negative; I just tire of hatred on Luke for reasons that are unfounded. Is Luke the best player out there? No - you get no disagreement from me. He did play an instrumental role on our championship team, and I think that people who trash him willfully ignore that.

There's also a difference between critical assessment and an opinion. If there isn't, then everything is subjective, and that's not how the world works (regarding truth and falsity).

I also appreciate your civility. I hope you're having a good day so far, and it was good chatting with you on the live-blog yesterday. :-)

A Mazing. That's all I have to say!


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