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Caught in the Web: Capturing reaction to Kobe Bryant

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Should he play or should he rest?

That's the question most people -- reporters and readers of the Lakers Blog -- debated back and forth as Bryant continued to struggle with the month-old fracture of his right index finger. Bryant may have shown near invincibility by managing to stay on the court. But he showed vulnerability as his finger worsened, shooting 37 of 111 (33%) in a four-game stretch. Bryant then suffered back spasms that made him miss the entire fourth quarter in Tuesday's loss at San Antonio.

In the meantime, the Lakers weren't forging an identity themselves. Pau Gasol had been/is out with a sore left hamstring. Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom had a mixed track record in filling Gasol's void. Ron Artest hadn't been totally comfortable since the Christmas night concussion. Derek Fisher continued his poor shooting. And the bench didn't always provide secondary scoring.

That left Bryant thinking any individual discomfort will just have to be tolerated as he tries to carry the team. Nonetheless, Mamba's situation raised legitimate concerns, ESPN's J.A. Adande and ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky among them, that Bryant's refusal to sit out could actually hurt the team.

After the Lakers' win against the Bucks on Sunday, one reporter asked Bryant whether it's crazy to suggest he take a few games off.

"Probably," Bryant said.

Instead, he took the normal route, waking up at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning to receive four-hour treatment for his back so he could suit up for that night's game against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite an awful first half of zero points and one shot, Bryant lay down for the entire second quarter along the sideline on comfortable padding. In the second half, he scored 10 points, including the game-winning shot in the Lakers' 100-95 victory.

The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues that Bryant's refusal to rest should serve as a positive message to teammates, opponents and fans alike about the necessity in finding a way. After Mamba laced into his teammates for being overly reliant on him, the Lakers answered the call. In return, Bryant netted his fourth game-winning shot of the season.

More Lakers links (after the jump)

-- Silver Screen and Roll considers the Lakers' victory against the Mavericks as the best win of the season. The Lakers have a league-leading 30-9 record and defeated Dallas, the West's second in command, and Forum Blue and Gold thinks no one in the Western Conference will be able to challenge the Lakers.

-- NBA.com's Fran Blinebury thinks otherwise. He says the losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs reveal the Lakers' vulnerability.

-- Bryant isn't the only player to fight through injuries. It's been six games since Artest returned to the lineup after missing five games because of a Christmas night concussion. He asked out of Sunday's game against the Bucks after a fall. And he suffered an injury to his right index finger Tuesday against San Antonio. That didn't stop him from putting together a 16-point, 11-rebound clip against Dallas, a performance The Times' Broderick Turner wrote was "one of his best efforts of the season."

--Odom aggravated the sprained right index and middle fingers he injured against Phoenix last month, but that didn't stop him from being aggressive. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson chided him publicly for his passiveness, and Odom answered with 18 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high 20 shots. Odom told the Riverside Press Enterprise's Jeff Eisenberg that Jackson's criticism is the "same thing they've been telling me for the last four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 years. Since I was 10, 'Shoot the ball, Lamar.'"

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan dutifully notes that when Andrew Bynum gets touches, he scores. We'll soon see whether that's the case when Gasol returns, which is expected to happen Friday against the Clippers.

-- Though Dirk Nowitzki surpassed the 20,000-point plateau, the Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko writes the milestone was overshadowed by the Mavericks' loss to the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "PJ and Frank Hamblen laughing on the bench about something after Artest actually uses triangle post spot to create an easy shot for himself." -- KevinDing (Orange County Register's Lakers reporter Kevin Ding).

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected].

Photo: Kobe Bryant's back spasms improved marginally in the second half, just enough for him to bury a 19-footer with 28.9 seconds left, putting the Lakers ahead of the Mavericks for good, 97-95. Credit: Matthew Emmons / US Presswire

 
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http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yzc8mk5

Call me crazy, but I actually think this works for both sides. Lakers get another bona fide All-Star and massively upgrade the PG spot (at least offensively), while the Raptors get great young talent back for Chris Bosh and lose themselves of an expensive long term contract, while getting back expiring deals for this year and next. The Lakers could probably convince the Raps to release D Fish as well, so they could pick him up for the remainder of the season.

If Dr. Buss is willing to sign off on the long term financial commitment, I see it as a win-win!


Kobe's name is fading in on the 2K10 MVP trophy.

Wish he'd at least rest, like say the all star weekend? but 1/2 a Kobe directin' traffic on offense and makin' plays on D like sendin' Dampier to the line, is worth the effort IF he can't get hurt worse givin' it all he's got, as he does.

The confidence boost to the roster that comes from him passin' them the rock and sayin' go get it, will be huge come April.

I don't think Kobe should rest...hell, he got an entire quarter off! What... is he a wuss, what, that's not enough?!

Tongue firmly in cheek...

@ Laker Truth

“I completely disagree that defenses were tougher in the 80's and 90's.“

Kobe even said that the 80’s and 90’s were tougher in several fox sports and local Los Angeles interviews. Reference: The Jordan Rules and the Pistons bad Boys.

---

“Sure there was no handcheck rule, but defenses in the NBA have evolved in the past 15 years like no other time in NBA history (zones, hybrid zones, double teams off the ball, delayed doubles, etc.). “

It has to evolve as rules change. Look and the zone integration as the last tenure of Shaq with the Lakers.

---

“There were plenty of SGs that shot over 50% in the 80's.“

Like who? Besides, if it were based of that, then MJ wouldn’t be labeled the greatest.

---

“There are very few in today's game because defenses are much more complex and players are more athletic. Quite simply, players have evolved and the game has evolved.”

Yes, and Jordan has influenced today’s players and has his skill set templated by today’s players. Just as Dr. J gives Elgin Baylor props, and Jordan gives Dr. J credit. Also as the commissioner and several on air analyst have mentioned that today’s rule are for Offense-centric style of play.

---

“For these reasons along with the fact that Kobe came to the NBA out of high school, came off the bench, and had to play as the #2 option for most of his career with the lane clogged by Shaq, it's IMPOSSIBLE to accurately compare Kobe and Jordan's stats.”

Exactly. Kobe has come into the league fairly mentored with talent. Which is another angle of purveyed development. Byron Scott has mentored him. He was a back up for Eddie Jones. Take a look at the next 4 players off the bench from the 1st Laker championship in the early 2000’s. Fisher, Shaw, Fox and Horry. Aside the from having dependable Shaw, Kobe has also had “Comfort under used” back up 2 guards in Mitch Richmond and Isiah Rider. Who did

---

“- DEFENSE - Even. If Kobe played in an era that allowed hand checking, his defense would look even better. If you watched the Oympics qualifying tournament and the Olympics, where physical perimeter defense was allowed, than you know what I'm talkin about. “

You can’t use the Olympics because look at the caliber of players playing next him. Kidd, Anthony, James and Howard.

---

“Let's not forget that Pippen was the defensive stopper for the Bulls, and usually guarded the best player. Kobe has been guarding the best player his entire career.”

But the defensive mentality is different. Kobe also has the tendency to cheat on defense and leave his players open. But Jordan is no slouch and himself. You can’t penalize Jordan for Pippen’s development. Beside’s it’s more amazing WITH Pippen, Jordan has First team Defensive mentions 8 times. Kobe has 7. Jordan has 1 DPLOY, Kobe O. The race is tight.

---

“Kobe, on the other hand, has been been in an uphill battle ever since Colorado. He was enemy #1 for Stern, Stu Jackson, the refs, the media and the fans for a long time. It's fair to say that Kobe had to play with more scrutiny and more pressure.”

Puppets my friend, Puppets. (Valid comeback from the Mamba)

---

“- OUTSIDE SHOOTING - KOBE's outside range is unquestionably superior to Jordan's.”

You are a 100% correct.

---

“- OFFENSIVE ARSENAL - KOBE has more offensive moves than Jordan ever had. Granted, one of the reasons is because Kobe had the benefit of watching Jordan play, and added on to it, but that goes back to my original point - the players and the game have evolved.”

Again correct. But Jordan has drove to the lane consistently with the Hand Check rule in place and HOF players guarding him. (Big and Small) I feel Kobe has the outside for sure. Jordan still has the edge inside. Remember the book “The Jordan Rules.” That’s how bad Jordan was with his offense.

Even Tayshaun Prince, Paul Pierce and James Posey checked him when it counted. The finals.

But the wider arsenal goes to Kobe. Though the “Dream” added some shake to Kobe’s combo meal. So now he just has to keep up the back em’ down post moves.

---

“- PASSING - Slight edge to Kobe. As Phil Jackson noted, Kobe has more responsibilities (being a playmaker, running the offense, and guarding the best player) than Jordan ever had. Pippen was the real point guard for the Bulls.”

I am on the fence. Sometimes, Kobe works harder than he should. Maybe you should label this one Offense initiator instead of passing.

---

“- COMPETITION - KOBE, hands down. Although the elite teams are elite in any era, the number of quality teams and players in today's game is much higher throughout the league.“

The 80’s and 90’s had more hall of fame competition hands down. Check the list brotha.

---

“Jordan also played in the expansion era, which happened to coincide with the 73 win season. “

72 wins first of all. Kobe and Shaq couldn’t even beat the Spurs in the short asterisk season.

---

“There is no way in hell that Craig Ehlo or Jeff Hornaceck would be guarding Kobe one on one with a playoff game on the line in today's NBA.”

They would be guarding him They just wouldn’t be successful. The same way they weren’t successful against MJ.

---

“-CHAMPIONSHIPS -JORDAN wins 6-4, but Kobe is catching up.”

Absolutely. I hope he passes Jordan up.

---

“Jordan was more dominant throughout his career in HIS ERA,”

Which is why we should respect them separately.

---

“but as far as who is the better basketball player, I give the slight edge to Kobe based on his superior skill set and tougher competition.”

Repectfully, to each his own. I still say Jordan has a SLIGHT. But Kobe can change my mind at the end of his career.

Let’s respect the Gods in their own right and era.

Best Regards Laker Truth.

Charles

Agent Zero charged with felony gun possesion possible 5 to 10 year sentence. Say it aint so Zero.

Do I think he should rest? Yeah, I do. At least a week. Do I think he will? No, I don't. Am I OK with it? Yeah. Somehow, someway, Kobe and Phil make the necessary calculations that have resulted in a plethora of rings so far. So who are we to argue with their judgment? As an example, most of us (me included) were yelling through most of the game to sit Kobe down because he was so stiff and ineffective...right up to the moment he hit the game winner at the end! Enough said.

As for the trade Bynum for Bosh residual yapping still going on, get real. Bynum is waaaay more valuable to this team. He's not going anywhere. But you Raptor trolls just keep right on yapping away. It's cute, actually. Kind of like grandaunt Bessie's overweight pet chihuahua yapping at our ankles. Yo quiero Andrew Bynum, dudes. Phil quieros him too. Adios.

@ Laker Truth

Sorry 9 times 1 st team all Defense for MJ.

@ puddle

Would you do Morrison/Vujacic for Butler/Crittenton? Matches salary and Wizards save almost $5 next year, and Sasha's gone the year after.

Take care sir.

@ Mamba24

Thank you sir!

Puddle,

I really really really really like that trade. Bosh is a little bit more pricey than Bynum,
but a little bit more reliable. Calderon would be a huge improvement on offense, and
not much worse on defense. And sending out Sasha's contract offsets much of the
cost taken on for Calderon's contract. I had cooked up something similar.

It would absolutely have to include them buying out D-Fish and the Lakers getting
him back in 60 days (give Fish a nice rest before the playoffs).

The one problem is the same one that bothers me in any Bynum for Bosh deal.

It would give a leg up to any of Shaq, Dwight Howard, or Kendrick Perkins in a
potential finals matchup. Bynum is bigger and stronger than Bosh. Bosh is
better at defending the pick & roll, but Bynum is more solid at the 1-on-1 post
defense of big bodies like that.

OTOH, with how much better the Lakers would be offensively adding Calderon
and Bosh, the slight decline in C defense might not matter.

I'd like the deal slightly better if Toronto also included Rasho Nesterovic for
one of the Lakers' trade exceptions... just to give the Lakers a big body player
of better quality than MBenga.

Charles,

I'd do it if I were the Lakers, but I don't think the Wizards would. Butler is still young and his salary is pretty reasonable, and in this trade, they don't really get any talent back whatsoever.

I'm guessing they will trade Jamison and maybe some combination of Haywood, Miller and Foye, but I think Butler will stay.

Sir Charles,no sir Thank You!

CornerJ -

Raptor troll? LOL. Can you really imagine a mean-spirited Canadian Raptor fan? Do the Raptors even have any fans? You've obviously never read any of my posts. I'm as much a Lakerholic as anyone.

I respect your opinion that the Lakers are better off keeping Bynum rather than trading for Bosh. I think it's debatable. But if they had the opportunity to get Calderon AND Bosh while keeping the main core intact (aside from Bynum), you wouldn't jump at that? I would.

I don't like that trade there puddle. Ya giving up 3" 55lbs and 3 years between Bosh and Bynum. Bosh would also be relegated to 3rd option status and I don't think he'll be willing to lose all those touches and hurt his average. He's not worth max money if he's a 3rd option. It's just not worth it. You'd probably hear alot of crying from him too. As far as the guard upgrade, nice, but when introducing a new point guard to start, they need at least the offseason and a full season as a reserve to get the triangle down before considering starting. Also, to meet the league minimum of players on a roster, I think the Lakers might have to sign a player as well within a week which is another financial commitment.

Also, if Gasol gets hurt... who plays center? Bosh doesn't have the size to be a solid force down low and be effective. Bynum will get his range going eventually and he's already very athletic, very strong and has excellent footwork especially around the rim. He's got a soft touch and has shown to be a good free throw shooter. The kid is also 22 y/o. I'm sure upper management could think of better ways to use the expiring contracts and Farmar's to pull in a new guard if we really need one. We won a title with all of this squad, no reason we can't this year. Artest is serving as a present upgrade (I still prefer Ariza because of the future) and Bynum being healthy is a huge upgrade in and of itself. For the few reasons though that Bosh as a Laker might be nice... I can think of bigger reasons why Bynum needs to stay here.

Posted by: CornerJ | January 14, 2010 at 02:10 PM

You know, the best strategy for rest might be for Kobe to have a mysterious injury or illness right before the All-Star break. That way, there will be less games affected by his absence.

C'mon, we all know it happens.....

@puddle

I just posted a more convoluted over @ FB&Gway to get basically the same 2 players but in a bit more possible way from what I've read:


http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ygckx6v

@EDWIN GUECO, Samuel Dalembert of the 76rs donated $100,000 to Haiti relief.

Charles,

I was looking at your comments regarding Kobe vs. MJ.

I' d like you to be completely honest about 1 thing.

While watching Kobe play with Shaq, Smush, Kwame .....

While watching Kobe play with a hyper-extended knee, elbow, fractured
fingers, dislocated ligaments, etc. ...

do you *HONESTLY* believe that the most competitive person in the
league today, would not rise up and be as competitive then?

I see what you're saying about Kobe sagging off his man and playing safety,
but doesn't that go back to playing in college and who your teammates are?

I doubt that Kobe will ever win DPOY. That does not mean that his defense
isn't as good as MJ's or as Artest's. That means that on the teams he's played
& his mental makeup aren't the same as MJ's. Consider:

The defensive mentality of the Bulls started with the owner, then to the GM,
then to the coach & finally to the players. The Lakers have *NEVER*
adopted the philosophy of defense first. NEVER!

I asked this before and I'll ask it again: When did MJ ever play with a pg
like Smush or a C like Kwame?

Artest is the best defensive player that Kobe has ever played with, on the
Lakers.

This is a fact. Last night, with a busted fingers & a bad back, I saw Kobe
make a defensive play which led to the Lakers winning.

re: MJ being tougher. I read about MJ's ankle injury. I don't recall him
playing with a busted ankle. In terms of the injuries that Kobe has suffered,
while continuing to play, I think he gets the toughness award.

My .02 cents.

"Despite an awful first half of zero points and one shot, Bryant lay down for the entire second quarter along the sideline on comfortable padding."

Um, he didn't have an awful first half since he only played one quarter. And it's not like he took 20 shots and missed them all. That would have been awful. What made it not awful is that he got out there and showed his teammates that they could do well, even if he wasn't going to do what he does so well.

Kobe's name is fading in on the 2K10 MVP trophy.

Posted by: VMan | January 14, 2010 at 01:36 PM

all that matters is the MVP trophy given in june.
knock on wood.

LTLF -

I guess I don't worry too much about giving up muscle. Remember, in the Finals it was Gasol who did the heavy lifting in guarding Dwight, not Bynum. And he did a downright remarkable job at it. The Lakers absolutely swarmed the post and made him ineffective.

As far as Shaq and Perkins go, I don't fear them much. Shaq would give up AT LEAST as much as he'd score, having to try to guard Gasol or Bosh. Ditto for Perkins.

What is interesting to me is that everyone wants to keep Bynum for the big, bulky centers, and yet it is exactly those kinds of centers against whom he has struggled the most. He hasn't played against Dwight or Perkins this year, but in his one game against Shaq, he was a big flop. Last year against those three you mentioned + Greg Oden, he really struggled. Bynum dominates 2nd and 3rd tier centers, but struggles against the best of the best. We'll see in the coming week if this trend remains.

Charles/Blitz,

I agree with you (and Blitz) that it is much more difficult to stop a perimeter player one on one in today's game (with the hand check rule), but it's also much easier to stop a perimeter player as a team. Help can come sooner without secondary defenders worrying about illegal defense calls. Zones, hybrid zones, man to man, all make it more difficult for offensive players to get comfortable and react once they get past that initial defender. There is so much more to prepare for in today's NBA. As Blitz noted, zones aren't very effective for long stretches, but just by having that option provides another wrinkle to throw at the offense.

It's like playing defense against an NFL quarterback. If you give a quarterback the same defensive scheme over and over again, he is going to eat you alive. The only way to contain an NFL quarterback is to give him different looks and get him out of his comfort zone. Well in the 80's and 90's there weren't many different looks you could throw at Jordan to get him out of his comfort zone. Defenses were exclusively man to man, simple and predictable. Sure the perimeter was more physical, but does that outweigh the added complexities of today's defenses? I don't think so, but we're going to have to agree to disagree.


One last note Charles. The 80/90's had plenty of hall of famers, and those elite players would also be elite in today's NBA as well, but from top to bottom, there is no comparison. This era has 7 footers shooting 3's. Remember Jordan's up and under reverse layup that had everyone's jaw on the floor? Well, Jr High school kids do that move now. In Jordan's era, there were only a small handful of players who could even come close to Jordan athletically (Sprewell and Ron Harper before surgery come to mind). In this era, you will find a handful on EVERY TEAM. Like in every sport, the players and the game have evolved.

Laker Truth -

Great post. Pretty much sums up my feelings about that topic.

My .02 cents.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 14, 2010 at 03:22 PM


I'd like to hear more about this, so I'm glad that you have another 1.98 cents to play with hobbitmage. :-)

I think you two bring up good points in your discussion.

Thanks for the info., can we trade someone for Delembert? haha,

I was reading the blog this pm after a great win against the Mavs., we're trading everyone after great efforts last night. Remember the rule, trading will be discussed only when we have a L, if it's a W, it should be hurray and if they won without the main players, 2x cheers! Again trade Bynum if we have 50-50 ratio at the end of the next 17 games before 02/18. If it is 60-40 & above, got to reward the young Center for carrying the team. Colangelo can afford to wait because Bynum is best prize out of the several offers.

We also talk of MJ who has been retired for about 10 years now. Kobe is still active but getting old just like anybody. Therefore, can we not wait in comparing two retired players? We are talking here in the blog as though 2010 is already on the bag. Hello!!! the road trip is just starting and we're at the start of the long road trip. Keep your hopes high and humility too when we're at the top.

#4:

You wrote: "You know, the best strategy for rest might be for Kobe to have a mysterious injury or illness right before the All-Star break. That way, there will be less games affected by his absence."

My response, first it not how Kobe rolls. When it comes to playing Kobe is the last person to make an excuse and you should know this by now.

AND ONLY A SLIMY OR DIABOLICAL MIND WOULD THINK OF SUCH AN EXCUSE.


ON THE TOPIC OF KOBE VERSUS MJ:

Lets not forget that MJ had one obvious advantage over Kobe and that is large mitts of MJ. Even Phil on many occasions alluded to it and suggested that it gave MJ a big advantage near the rim..

"Artest is the best defensive player that Kobe has ever played with, on the
Lakers."

OUT FREAKIN STANDING and so true..but wait what about the "Glove"? haha!

The only way you should compare athletes from different eras is to look at how they were relative to their peers. At this point, Jordan wins in that comparison.

Nice of you M/M to mention your ex-times mates Addande and BK. Their blogs are in a desolate place as though they're blogging in Antartica. EX could not create an audience with his famous one liner in the LOL. Lucky you M/M despite your conditions of tweets, myf, f/b, you're still the preferred site by the recalcitrants and eclectic debaters (quoting Mike James) haha, I guess you know how to stir the pot on Kobe, Bynum and Farmar.

Mamba24:

Greetings and sharing a peace pipe with you my blog brother!!! By the way any idea where Swish is? hahaha now only kidding!!

lakerfan, extend ur peace pipe w/ #4 too. He's a nice guy and well versed on basketball topics being an ex player. We don't know u that well yet so we're not sure whether you're joking or serious with your banter. lol! Were u blogging when Mike T. was here? Just curious, when did you start posting? Because we encountered many names similar to yours tho' we're familiar with one by the name of lal_fan.

AND ONLY A SLIMY OR DIABOLICAL MIND WOULD THINK OF SUCH AN EXCUSE.


Posted by: lakerfan | January 14, 2010 at 05:29 PM

oh....so you do know me.....

Now do you see why I didn't want any imposters? It was for their own good, haha!

My response, first it not how Kobe rolls. When it comes to playing Kobe is the last person to make an excuse and you should know this by now.

Posted by: lakerfan | January 14, 2010 at 05:29 PM

But as for your postulate...you know Kobe? I wouldn't go putting words in his mouth now.

You know he doesn't want people putting words in his mouth....he'll come out and say it himself, and have someone capture on video...

C'mon, you should know how Kobe rolls!

ON THE TOPIC OF KOBE VERSUS MJ:

Lets not forget that MJ had one obvious advantage over Kobe and that is large mitts of MJ. Even Phil on many occasions alluded to it and suggested that it gave MJ a big advantage near the rim..

Posted by: lakerfan | January 14, 2010 at 05:34 PM

The other guys are talking about differences in eras, defensive schemes, rules, etc, you talk about hand size?

C'mon, at least make a good point, haha!

Edwin,

>>> Their blogs are in a desolate place as though they're blogging in Antarctica.

I actually feel bad about this. AK & BK should always have our appreciation for their role in building our community. But what you say is abundantly true.

While our game chat was on pause at halftime on Wednesday night, I looked in on the one running at the site that shall not be named. There were literally four people on there. No one had anything intelligent to say or ask.

With some great newbies, our core regulars, and now that Charles, LTLF, and Blitz have come back home, this LAT community is actually stronger than ever. Mark Medina has handled this transition with poise and grace. Onward! Go Lakers!

In Kobe vs MJ IMO Kobe is better already. I think it is useless to include some variables as MVP or DPOY.

Every one knows Kobe was punked by league for not getting MVP 2 years in a row which went to Steve Nash. Give me a break.

So why compare when bias especially after Colorado incident screwed Kobe from winning acclodes he desearved.

My take on Bynum and Bosh trade. Dumbest move. Bynum is getting his confidence back after 2 years in a row of freak knee injuries. He would not jump before but I see him doing that more lately.

Last game I was glad to see him attack the basket with moves and dunk authoritively instead of shooting the fall away bunnies. he is more effective going towards the rim and dunking. Bosh would give less defense and with more aggressive AB and you lose nothing offensively.

On Artest I think he ent into funk after Cleveland game as LeBron abused him. think it was just the way RA defended Lebron. RA gave LeBron to much room. Lebron is effective when he is allowed to dribble. RA played off of him.

Now Kobe smothers LeBron and does not let him get head of steam going off the dribble. LeBron not effective as he has to give up ball or get picked.

We definitely need a player who can hit 3 consistently and also be a slasher and good passer. Speedy pg who plays D and attacks rim or spots up fr 3 is ideal. It has been years I have been saying we need to improve pg position.

Last I watch away games on KCAL since I live in LA so don't go to live chat those games. I saw some posts and it mentioned you needed Twitter or facebook to sign in. Well I guess I won't be chatting as I refuse to give up my privacy to those arrogant sites.

See http://www.pcworld.com/article/186904/facebook_puts_your_privacy_on_parade.html

"But if they had the opportunity to get Calderon AND Bosh while keeping the main core intact (aside from Bynum), you wouldn't jump at that? I would."
- puddle

No, I wouldn't. But I do respect your opinion. I've already said on multiple threads that I would go for a Bynum trade IF it was for a world class PG, like Deron Williams. Calderon is NOT in that class.

"Now Kobe smothers LeBron and does not let him get head of steam going off the dribble. LeBron not effective as he has to give up ball or get picked."

Ummm, Kobe's head-to-head record against Lebron isn't very good. He's behind on scoring, on shooting %, on assists, and on wins. So I'm not sure if he's the ideal model to base guarding Lebron on.

GOAT DEBATE

I've been gone for a while. Problems, problems, problems... But have enjoyed following the blog's transition from afar. Only the strong survive!

~I don't get into GOAT debates involving players who are STILL playing. Just like the Beatles, you gotta listen to the WHOLE album before making judgments on just how great the latest is.

~Having said that, let me appear to contradict myself and offer the following pieces of info. This is to reflect on the level of competition rather than the individual talents of either player. Interpret it as you choose.

~MJ's path to the Finals meant getting by ...
--Larry Bird, possessing 3 rings
--Isiah Thomas, possessing 2 rings
Kobe's path to the Finals meant getting by ...
--Tim Duncan, process of collecting 4 rings

~MJ's Finals victories over ...
--5 teams in 6 meetings, none reigning champs
--3 Reg Season MVP's (Magic, Barkley, Malone)
--5 rings (Magic)
~Kobe's Finals victories over ...
--4 teams in 4 meetings, none reigning champs
--1 Reg Season MVP (Iverson)
--0 rings

~MJ's Team Finals record: 24 wins, 11 losses = 6-0 overall
Kobe's Team Finals record: 19 wins, 12 losses = 4-2 overall

~Finally, debate regarding greatest teams of all time usually includes many teams including the '87 Lakers and '96 Bulls. As much of a Lakers fan that I am, I have to admit that even the '01 Lakers (15-1 playoff record and Kobe's best offering to the mix) do not enter the discussion.

Mike

Louis,

Although I like what your Houston-Toronto-Lakers trade gets for the Lakers, there's no way Houston would give up Battier for nothing but expiring contracts. They'd want some talent back as well

Edwin,

>>>I was reading the blog this pm after a great win against the Mavs., we're
>>>trading everyone after great efforts last night. Remember the rule, trading
>>>will be discussed only when we have a L,

Nahhhh, it's not like that.

We're discussing trading because it's starting to approach the trade deadline and all the web sites are discussing trading. It's a topic of conversation this time of year. Even the best teams look at what potential weaknesses the team has and tries to address them before the trade deadline.

That's one reason why I don't favor a Bynum for Bosh deal. I don't see Bynum as a weakness on the team. He's a bit inconsistent at playing with Pau, but other than that, he's a strength of the team.

The Lakers' two weaknesses (as I see it) are these:

1. starting point guard play (Fish = weakest link defensively + 36% fg)

2. front court depth beyond the big 3. Powell & Mbenga don't cut it. If the big three are healthy for the playoffs, then this doesn't matter, as Pau/Drew/Lamar would play 95% of the front court minutes. But if any of those three is out, it would behoove them to have a fourth front court player who's better than Powell or Mbenga.

It's not huge, the Lakers still have the best record in the league. I think the overall PG play would improve just by starting Farmar and playing him more minutes. And the bench front court player doesn't necessarily require trading anyone either. They could just wait until players get waived and pick someone up (like the C's did with PJ Brown 2 years ago).

But there's no harm in doing a little fishing with the contracts of Morrison, MBenga, Powell, and to a lesser extent Vujacic. Especially since several teams are expected to have fire sales to free cap space to try to make offers to LeBron, Bosh, Wade, et al.

lakerfan,

>>>OUT FREAKIN STANDING and so true..but wait what about the "Glove"? haha!

Yeah, by the time the glove played with the Lakers, he was like one of those weightlifting gloves. You know, the ones with padded hands and holes where all the fingers go.

“I' d like you to be completely honest about 1 thing.
While watching Kobe play with Shaq, Smush, Kwame .....
While watching Kobe play with a hyper-extended knee, elbow, fractured
fingers, dislocated ligaments, etc. ...
do you *HONESTLY* believe that the most competitive person in the
league today, would not rise up and be as competitive then?”

Of course Kobe would just as competitive. Please re-read your first three lines; you’re veering on high emotions and hardly connect fluidity of your point.

---

“I see what you're saying about Kobe sagging off his man and playing safety,
but doesn't that go back to playing in college and who your teammates are?”

I don’t quite understand your question. Kobe has been in the league since 1996. Kobe is an intelligent person and builds on his game year per year, actually game per game. He never played in college and was a top rank High school draft. (He’s been also mentored by Michael Cooper.) You see what I’m saying about him sagging, I just don’t quite get your second statement.

---

“I doubt that Kobe will ever win DPOY. That does not mean that his defense
isn't as good as MJ's or as Artest's.”

Laker Truth said that Kobe was better. Besides I clearly stated that the defensive race is tight. You are emotional right now Hobbit. And what does that mean that Kobe will ever win DPOY? I still believe he can.

---

“That means that on the teams he's played & his mental makeup aren't the same as MJ's. Consider: The defensive mentality of the Bulls started with the owner, then to the GM, then to the coach & finally to the players. The Lakers have *NEVER* adopted the philosophy of defense first. NEVER!”

This is a bad reply. It’s the same coach. The players from the early 2000’s were vets that actually played defense. We won last year’s title due to our defense. (Props to Pau Gasol btw) Jerry West (The LOGO) was there during the infancy of Kobe’s career till the beginning of Kobe’s championship run. The owner Jerry Buss had the Showtime Lakers that had the most underrated defense due to their superior offense. We wouldn’t have won those rings if we weren’t defensive minded in the 80’s. And finally, this is Kobe’s team. He IS the biggest influence on the team. He is the greatest player of this era. I’m quite sure he can influence a team.

---

“I asked this before and I'll ask it again: When did MJ ever play with a pg
like Smush or a C like Kwame?”
When did MJ play with a Big like Shaq or Gasol?

---

“Artest is the best defensive player that Kobe has ever played with, on the
Lakers. “
Ok. Well Rick Fox was legit. Devean George had pretty green eyes. Ty Lue had awesome cornrows.

---

“This is a fact. Last night, with a busted fingers & a bad back, I saw Kobe
make a defensive play which led to the Lakers winning.”

And…

---

“re: MJ being tougher. I read about MJ's ankle injury. I don't recall him
playing with a busted ankle. In terms of the injuries that Kobe has suffered,
while continuing to play, I think he gets the toughness award.”

Kobe is definitely tough. I also said that MJ is no slouch. What does that imply? And to give you another perspective about being tough, Jordan’s wear and tear reactions were stronger than Kobe that he was NOT oft injured. The only time Jordan’s body could suffer would be from the flu. (Lest we forget his 1997 Finals game performance with the flu?) Now I don’t stand by that perspective, but I’m not going to play out of sight out of mind. I just give respect to both players.

Kobe’s career has not ended yet. It becomes just as redundant as the LeBron is better than Kobe debate. I furiously debate against Cav fans about that.

@Laker Truth

“Sure the perimeter was more physical, but does that outweigh the added complexities of today's defenses?”

But the players then had the Brains and the Braun.

---

“This era has 7 footers shooting 3's.”

That is a matter of opinion. 7 Footers need to be in the low post.

---

“Remember Jordan's up and under reverse layup that had everyone's jaw on the floor? Well, Jr High school kids do that move now. In Jordan's era, there were only a small handful of players who could even come close to Jordan athletically (Sprewell and Ron Harper before surgery come to mind). In this era, you will find a handful on EVERY TEAM. Like in every sport, the players and the game have evolved.”

Jordan is the template. That was my whole point.

Like you said let’s just agree to disagree. Thanks for your replies and much respect.

Charles

"Now Kobe smothers LeBron and does not let him get head of steam going off the dribble. LeBron not effective as he has to give up ball or get picked."

Ummm, Kobe's head-to-head record against Lebron isn't very good. He's behind on scoring, on shooting %, on assists, and on wins. So I'm not sure if he's the ideal model to base guarding Lebron on.

Posted by: LAGuy | January 15, 2010 at 07:05 AM

====================
Really? I guess you missed how ineffective Lebon was defended by Kobe. Guess you missed the shots Kobe schooled Lebron on too.

Kobe is unbelievable, but for consistency on offense and defense and focus
on winning every game. Nobody matches Jordan. Also, Kobe is amazing when he wants to play D. But Jordan played harder more consistent defense on a nightly basis. If Jordan han't retired in the 94 season, the Bulls might have won 8 straight championships. Also the Bulls Champioship team were broken up prematurely, by the bungling Jerry Reinsdorf and his inept GM Jerry Krause.

Somebody tell Fisher to shut up after the elbow to Gasol. Fisher's forearm to the head of Scola last year in the playoffs was one of the cheapest shots you will ever see in basketball !!!!!


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