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Caught in the Web: Lakers visiting the nation's capital

Obama

Some people just aren't cut out for life on the road. That's the words of wisdom shared by Lloyd Christmas in "Dumb & Dumber" moments before driving one-sixth of the way on his cross-country trip in the wrong direction and then later trading his van for a scooter.

The Lakers haven't experienced anything that egregious on the road (at least not yet), but their trip so far has been far from pleasant. Their 106-105 loss Sunday to the Toronto Raptors marked their second road loss in the last three games. In a scene cut from "Home Alone," center Andrew Bynum overslept Saturday, missed the team plane and eventually flew commercial. The Lakers also had 39 pieces of luggage that didn't make it to the hotel in New York.

The East Coast tour continues, today with a White House visit to President Obama. The timing of the Lakers' visit to the nation's capitol a day before their game against the Wizards couldn't come at a more peculiar time. The Lakers are being honored for 2009 NBA title at a time when their play is far from championship caliber.

Though Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says he wasn't sure what he'll say to Obama, Bryant might ask for a bailout considering the team has asked him to bail them out one too many times.

Even before the trip began, the team thought the White House visit would serve as a good break between games.

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--Another Lakers loss yields additional reasons for the team's latest struggles. The Times Helene Elliott observes the Lakers' inconsistency throughout their current trip, a quality the Orange County Register's Kevin Ding attributes to complacency. ESPN Los Angeles' Steve Mason questions the team's defensive intensity and aggressiveness.

--The National Post says the Raptors' victory is a huge stepping stone for the team and Raptors HQ says it's the team's biggest win since it beat the Chicago Bulls during their 72-10 season in 1995-96. Who knew Lakers Coach Phil Jackson would be there to witness both of those wins?

--Jackson apparently has a new theory on what's contributed to Ron Artest's injuries involving plantar fasciitis. It's the shoes. In response, Artest tweeted: "Coach Phil Jackson made a statement that my shoes are the reason my feet were hurting. He has no evidence. I love my shoe company. Peak." Jackson could investigate if the shoe indeed leads to injury, but that would involve playing Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic.

--ESPN's Mark Stein reports that the New Jersey Nets prefer keeping guard Devin Harris through the season, including the NBA draft lottery in May -- before dealing him. Harris had been linked in a recent report as possible trade candidates involving the Lakers.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen debates whether Bynum is better than Orlando center Dwight Howard. Howard is ranked higher than Bynum, and it's not because Bynum overslept and missed his flight to Toronto.

--The general public may not be particularly excited about this year's dunk contest, but that doesn't mean Lakers fans aren't. Dime Magazine has a Q&A with Lakers guard Shannon Brown to preview the upcoming competition.

Tweet of the Day: "Just got a good look at the gal holding up the "Kobe: Marry me" sign. He wouldn't want to." -- KevinDing (Orange County Register Lakers reporter Kevin Ding).

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: The Lakers will meet President Obama today in honor of the team's 2009 NBA championship. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press.

 
Comments () | Archives (20)

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Charlie Rosen article is interesting.

from the Steve Mason article:

The Lakers are suffering from a case of being "fat and happy" millionaires with really big rings. Complacency will kill any hopes of a repeat. We can split hairs and invent reasons and talk about Kobe's finger and the problems of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol getting on the same page and Ron Artest whose foot is sore from plantar fasciitis and defending quick point guards and on and on. But let me point you to a quote from former Lakers head coach Pat Riley:

"When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat."

MM stated: --The National Post's says the Raptors' victory is a huge stepping stone for the team and Raptors HQ says it's the team's biggest win since it beat the Chicago Bulls during their 72-10 season in 1995-96.


It's really their biggest win since '95-'96? Shows you the sad state of their franchise. It's great to be a laker fan when you find out your team provides the biggest win for a team even though it's not a playoff clinching victory.

MM - you are on a roll with the humor today. :-)

Re: Tweet of the Day: "Just got a good look at the gal holding up the "Kobe: Marry me" sign. He wouldn't want to." -- KevinDing (Orange County Register Lakers reporter Kevin Ding).

I wonder what the reasons are for Kobe not wanting to marry that person?

*cue the humorous inferences now please*

CornerJ
- - - - - - - - -
Thanks for your support. Glad to see that somebody “got” my comparison of Drew’s and Kareem’s personalities. Of course, hobbitmage and LAL_fan completely missed the point and proceeded to attack me for the comparison, as if I were saying that Drew was as good as Kareem, which I have never claimed.
- - - - - - - - -
yellofever
- - - - - - - - -
My statement was NOT that any fan criticizing Drew should be ashamed. It was that any Laker fan ripping and hating on one of our players (which is far beyond just criticizing, about which I have no problem) or on another blogger for his or her opinion should be ashamed.
- - - - - - - - -
The Outlaw
- - - - - - - - -
Forgot to thank you for the props on an earlier thread. Baby Outlaw must nearly be grown up by now.
Why do I think that most of the haters and bashers on the blog also are against Health Care Reform?
- - - - - - - - -
mud
- - - - - - - - -
Thank for the props. It was a tough game. I thought we had it all wrapped up until the last 2 minutes.
Bummer.
- - - - - - - - -
Tom

From Charlie Rosen article

"..Bynum could eventually catch and surpass Howard — but only if he takes his job more seriously than he has in the past. "

It's a very big IF

First and for most great quote from Steve on Pat Riley, second Lakers will not trade Bynum no way in the world they even would consider. The reason that I am so sure is that they will not get anything in return as valuable. Everyone is saying Chris Bosh Chris Bosh, well Chris Bosh has an expiring contract and why would the Lakers trade a big man that has lots of future has played well all season for another big man that would not return to the LA franchise more than likely next year when he be looking for more money somewhere else! Lakers have a set team with Kobe and Gasol locked for the next couple years Artest can always be replaced but he too has a contract to return next season, all they really need is a decent point guard to replace Fish! Look to see a trade more than likely made around Morrison, Sasha, Mbenga, or even Farmar for Harris which will definitely help the starters with fish orchestrating the second unit or the other way around with Harris on the second unit. I will leave with this DO NOT BUY INTO THE HYPE OF BYNUM BEING TRADED, this rumor is mostly created by those fans that love to see the Lakers defeated and want to get into the heads of our key players!

the real poll question is:

over the past few years who or what is more annoying and obtuse:

Michael T. touching and rubbing Kwame Klown's calves

or

LakerTom searching for the needle in the haystack to find IF any little signs that AB is the future franchise player, very intelligent, well read who made any or one good play each game.

I finally decoded Mrs. Odom while our sport tv has broadcasted Lakers visit at the White House.
Erm.
Okay.
I thought she was the cute one but apparently the cute one stays with a footballer?

Once she got married, the gal holding the "marry me kobe" banner can still hope.
Not with Kobe, maybe... But there's definitely hope for anyone.

Eeewww.

(yes, I am shallow and think looks matter as well. Kill me...)

After last night's game it pretty clear we all want Bynum.

We also all like Pau even with his struggles lately.


James Worthy also mentioned Bosh is a like Gasol and Lamar, exactkly what I said before. Imagine if the Lakers made that trade, Raptors would have BYNUM and ANDREA BARGNANI (I also said before Andrea is a lot like a young Pau Gasol with 3pt range.


Raptors would be celebrating for years if that trade rumor pushed through.


Thanks Jim Buss again! Inside and outside two 7 footers.


With Andrea's improving skills to get to the basket, how young is this dude again and he seems more physical than gasol already.

Bynum, Gasol, Bosh, Bargnani - what is the best tandem if you can pick 2 out of this four?

It seems Bynum will have be in play with what ever combination you take.

Gasol is soft.

Bosh is not soft but small frame body of his makes him a target of strong players and there is nothing he can do about it.

Bargnani, is more like a combination of Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki. Andrea has the skills of all three.

Big body of Marc, Attacking and dunking like Pau, Shooting 3's like Dirk.

Out of Bosh, Gasol and Bargnani, Andrea impressed me the most.


Lakers at the White House.....

http://tinyurl.com/ydcq2gr

Laker Tom AKA Michal T. Jr AKA Bynum Tom,

- Andrew Bynum is well read like Kareem? Is this some kind of a joke? You're comparing an intellectual historian, a respected activist, and a published author to someone who just finished reading 'Green Eggs and Ham'.

- And you have the nerve to question Kareem's defense in an effort to make excuses for Bynum's defense? PLEASE, I beg of you to watch some old tapes of Kareem when he was in his early 20's. For over a year, you have made desperate attempts to diminish the contributions of Pau and Kobe, in an effort to boost up your boy Bynum, and now you have resorted to Kareem bashing. "You should be ashamed".

I have never seen Kobe yelled at Bynum and Fisher.

Kobe has constanly pushed Odom and Gasol.

Due to Wolves Kurt Rambis and his triangle system, it is highly possible Wolves will want some of Lakers triangle ready players, highly possible of trades down the road.

Gasol, Sasha, Walton for Kevin Love, Brewer and rights to Ricky Rubio?

"When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat." Pat Reilly


Don't be too quick to assume Pat would criticize this team I am sure Pat is proud of his record as Laker head head coach. He had a team full of hall of famers, all stars and number one picks. And yet last years "underachieving" 65 wins for the Lakers matched Pat's BEST year ever as a Laker coach. Pat's wins as a Laker by year:

81-82 57
82-83 58
83-84 54
84-85 62
85-86 62
86-87 65
87-88 62
88-89 57
89-90 63


Even GREAT, no, even ALL TIME GREAT teams lose some games in the regular season. Injuries. Egos. Bad streches. Bad luck. Boredom. It happens. EXPECTING 72 wins for a team is ridiculous. Ridiculous. This team needs to get healthy, get its game together, and position itself for as many home playoff games as possible. I want to see them win and play well every night. But they won't.


Oh, the three Shaq/Kobe champs won 67/56/58. This team will be fine. Step away from the panic button.


Tom Daniels

LakerTom,

you wrote: Thanks for your support. Glad to see that somebody “got” my comparison of Drew’s and Kareem’s personalities. Of course, hobbitmage and LAL_fan completely missed the point and proceeded to attack me for the comparison, as if I were saying that Drew was as good as Kareem, which I have never claimed.

my response: Nice Dodge!!

So let me repeat myself: You compared Bynum to Kareem in terms of
intelligence, being well read, graceful, blah blah blah.

specifically you wrote: Both are very intelligent, articulate, well-read individuals with consummate confidence in their basketball abilities.

A simple question for you: Can you name 5 books that Bynum has read that
PJ hasn't given him? He's well read, right? Those are your words per a
copy & paste.

re: attacking you. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. When your wife questions
you, do you also feel attacked? When your boss questions/questioned you,
do/did you also feel attacked?

re: confidence in his basketball abilities. Hmmm ... Let's clarify this and maybe
you can enlighten me. Kobe is confident in his basketball abilities and attacks
everyone on the court. MJ was confident in his abilities and attacked
everyone on the court. Magic was confident in his abilities and attacked
everyone on the court. Barkley was confident. Karl Malone was confident.
Kareem, Russell, Wilt, etc. etc. etc.

So ... can you name *ANY* physical center that Bynum has done well
against? Can you name *ANY* skilled low post player that Bynum has
done well against?

You have actually said a number of true things about Bynum and I have
actually agreed with them. You said:

1. He has soft hands.
2. He has a soft shot.
3. Good footwork around the rim.

Roughly 3 years ago you taught me that Bigs take a while to develop. Ok.
I learned. I watched. I accepted. Now, I'm asking you to teach me once
again. I watch him around the rim, and I see him pick up silly fouls. I see
him rush shots that he doesn't need to rush. I see him not make passes that
he should make and his rational is that he won't get the ball back. [ note: that's
actually what he said, not me making it up. ] So where is this confidence you
speak of? What is this confidence based upon? When has he actually had
a chance to "deliver" which would cause him to be confident? Can you
actually consider him to be confident on one hand and then in the next
breath talk about how young he is and how he's got so much upside?

Lace up. Throw down. Spit some game and give me some knowledge.

Hobbitimage,

"I watch him around the rim, and I see him pick up silly fouls. I see
him rush shots that he doesn't need to rush. I see him not make passes that
he should make and his rational is that he won't get the ball back. [ note: that's
actually what he said, not me making it up".

Your comment needs to be backed up with Bynums FG%. Could you please post them? Thank you.

hobbitimage, good find on the Mason article with the Pat Riley quote. Riley definitely understands first-hand what happens when a championship team gets complacent, and that's definitely one of the problems the Lakers have right now. Props to you on the find.

TOM DANIELS...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!
I'm with you Brother!

(yes, I am shallow and think looks matter as well. Kill me...) Posted by: ZairaAmaterasu | January 25, 2010 at 01:28 PM
A JEWEL OF THE NILE COULD NEVER BE SHALLOW!
Kill you, Over my dead body!!!


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