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HBO documentary on Magic Johnson and Larry Bird debuts tonight

If the early reviews serve as any indication, it's that Lakers fans, Celtics fans and really all basketball fans are in for a treat tonight when HBO premieres its documentary, "Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals," at 8.

Below is a sneak peek with what's in store tonight.

As for the reviews? Below are a few excerpts from people who have seen an advanced copy.

From The Times' Diane Pucin:

"We know about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Lakers and Celtics. But there is comfort in              hearing old stories and there is a chance to see Bird more relaxed and chatty than we've seen him         before. These two guys didn't like each other much at first. Now they do. How that happened is still a     good drama."

From Sports Illustrated's Nathaniel Friedman:

"Courtship of Rivals hits all the right historical notes and then some, even examining the Larry Bird   culture wars as a function of Reagan-era politics. In passing, it brings up perspectives you'd love to hear more about: that Magic and Bird are more similar than is regularly acknowledged, or the two  ushered in a new era by finally synthesizing NBA strategy with ABA flare. Yet, by presenting the Greatest Basketball Story Ever Told as a struggle, and then bond, between two strong personalities, you end up realizing that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson made history -- not the other way around." 

From ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky:

"I had a chance to view an advance copy, and it's absolutely fantastic. Incredibly well done, and               a must-view for Lakers and basketball fans alike. The film tells the story of the unlikely friendship               between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and how it developed out of an intense rivalry on the court, beginning before either arrived in the NBA. Both of the principals involved are incredibly open and revealing- particularly the notoriously guarded Bird- and the story put together about these two iconic figures of basketball history, touching on issues of race, HIV, and more, is deeply compelling."

--Mark Medina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (48)

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THE ZEN MASTER…
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JON… We are kindred souls in many ways. Thanks for sharing the story about Father Mike. The lesson the story so aptly highlights is the lasting value of figuring things out yourself versus having them crammed down your throat and that is the core truth behind the teaching philosophy that drives Phil Jackson’s coaching.
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Phil knows and understands that knowledge gained through self-discovery provides a more permanent basis for changed behavior and improved performance than knowledge gained through mere instruction or order. That’s why Phil wants his players to figure things out for themselves rather than telling them what to do.
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As you so aptly stated in relating your story, Phil “wants people to own their own experience and the lessons it teaches and, thus, gain the full depth of the benefits of that experience.” The key benefits of Phil’s philosophy are exemplified in the great performances of his players in the playoffs, when the pressure is the greatest.
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I’ve often used the analogy that you need to view Phil Jackson’s coaching strategy and philosophy with a telescope rather than a microscope. The goal is always to have the team performing at its utmost as it heads into the playoffs. The only function of the regular season is to get the team peaking as the playoffs near.
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That’s why none of the current turmoil has caused me to lose faith in this Lakers team or confidence that we will be playing our best as we head into the playoffs. The Chicken Littles and weak-hearted fair weather fans bailing out on this team need to remember that Phil has been here 10 times before. This year will be #11.
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Edwin is right that there is a little troll in every Lakers fan. We all have been critical at times of how our team has played. But the difference between a good fan and a poor fan in my mind is that the good fan continues to trust and believe in his team even when times get tough. They don’t bail out and become player haters.
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There are also a few Lakers fans on this blog who think anything goes in their quest for personal recognition. Their real motive for posting on the blog has little to do with any form of fandom. You can recognize these “fans” by the unbridled glee in their posts when we lose or play poorly. They would rather be right than win.
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TOM

B. Turner was said Kobe was going to talk to the team about their poor play ... team needs to talk back about his ball domination and ill advised shots.

Media is asking two players causing problems
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher how to solve the problem.

Doesn't work.

Never heard BT or Uber Lakers beat writer Bresnahan ask Kobe what he could do (not tell another player) to solve the problem?

Its not about effort with D. Fish. He doesn't have the talent.

D. Fish never was more than a marginal NBA player and now he is less.

I like your 3 problems, but I think you've got this wrong. This is my
counter:

1. Bynum & Pau have been playing this year with a sense of entitlement.
If they play with hunger & effort things will get better.

2. The passes are off and the turnovers are up because our players aren't
making hard cuts. They've been slacking off per their words. The best
games that they've played were when Kobe wasn't playing. Why? Because
*they* all agreed to play harder because Kobe wasn't there to save them.

3. With more effort focus goes up and the free throws will be made.
Posted by: hobbitmage | March 06, 2010 at 01:59 PM

hobbit,

Good response, some good points and I really liked to read reasoned analysis like you provided even if I don't entirely agree with it. Well, at least we agree Kobe can be/is a top notch defender when he plays that way. I agree with some of your points but I still would like to see Kobe not allow someone to get off and get a rhythm going.

You mentioned Kobe was trying to help our bigs because they were playing like dorks. I don't think that was established yet in the Heat game as Kobe started off immediately playing rover D and leaving Q uncovered. How about wait a while and let the game unfold before becoming a rover to help where needed.

As for the turnovers being the result of the players not making hard cuts, I think that is part of it, but they also have been making sloppy passes in traffic.

The rest of your reasoning is sound. I disagree with you about Kobe roving but I can agree with the rest of what you wrote. I don't think our two theories are incompatible, combine them together and the Lakers really role.

Thanks for a thorough response.

Art -FL Laker Fan,

1. This has been a very enjoyable conversation. Thx!

2. re: Kobe roaming on defense. I completely understand your position.
If the Lakers had been playing great defense before the Miami game I would
be in complete agreement regarding Kobe and his roving defense.

3. re: our bigs playing like Dorks. I understand why you think that hadn't
been established. However, if you look at their body of work this season
I think you can understand my pt. of view and possibly Kobe's opinion as
shown by his play. [ note: I could be wrong about Kobe's opinion. ]

Yes to the sloppy passes. That may be more of a chicken egg type thing.

yes, to putting both views/to-do lists together and the Lakers winning.

Be Well!

Something is up in Lakerville and in listening to the players carefully Laker Fans should be concerned. My major concern NOBODY is playing to there talent. NOBODY!

PJ's job is to make sure he gets the most out of his players.

Something tells me Phils Head will be on a platter for Dr. Buss if the Championship isn't brought back to LA.


BD

Todd,

"D. Fish never was more than a marginal NBA player and now he is less."

Wow. REALLY?

Dude, I'd hate to be YOUR friend, because that would suck.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K.,

Am a good friend.

Derek Fisher will be great in the media.

Recommend D. Fish become a full time media talking head
immediately. Retire from the Lakers now and get his mic
for the upcoming playoffs.

D. Fish vs. Skip Bayless!

Guys,

I hate to bring an off-topic issue here (I really do) but I need some guidance.

I want to go to the Lakers Fan Jam on March 20 or March 21. My 4 yo kid is a Lakers fanatic (he knows the height of 90% of NBA players, no idea how he developed that) and I simply can't stay there for more than 2/3 hours, as he will get tired/bored.

Being with real Lakers players (he knows every single one, including Morison) would be the reason we're going to this event. But I can't find out WHEN the Lakers players will be there. I doubt they will be there for 12 hours, obviously they will show up for a certain time and then leave.

MM or whoever can help, is there a way to find out WHEN they will be there? Saturday or Sunday, doesn't matter, I'll go whenever there's a player there to take a pic with him. I can't find enough info online...

Again, sorry for this off-topic call-for-help, but I need some help.

Thanks a bunch.

you know what, that Bynum for Kidd deal does not look so bad anymore. We could use a good passer, and Bynum has been a disappointment again this year

Kobe needs to have a talk about championship defense with ....

Himself and D. Fish.

They are the starters, first unit, closers, veterans, tone setters.
Its on Fish and Mamba to defend. They play the majority of the minutes.

Media lets them shift responsibility for lapses to the other players.

Would like to know what Kobe said to his supporting cast today.
More interesting may be who said what back to him.

Jon K,

Todd is so much deluded by his belief that Jordan Farmar is the best PG in the league not named Chris Paul that he disses Derek Fisher. He also disses Kobe Bryant in the sense that Kobe is not the MVP Andrew Bynum is and is also the DPOY of the year and should have been the Finals MVP of 2009 because Andrew Bynum was making Dwight Howard miss because he was saying Jordan Farmar is the best PG in the league and Dwight was like "whatt???" and distracted him enough to struggle. Since he is a big Jordan Farmar fan he belittles Fish and IGNORES Jordan Farmar's horrendous defense on DJ Augustin. :))

"you know what, that Bynum for Kidd deal does not look so bad anymore."

that proposal was before Gasol came onto the team. So, Bynum for Kidd looks a lot more palatable now with Gasol in LA...

That said, it is *interesting* to envision what a line-up of Gasol-Odom-Bryant-Kidd-Artest would look like compared to current line-up.

kensey

KB Blitz continues mischaracterizing my posts to justify Kobe's poor play and contribution to Lakers losses.

It is what it is.

Kobe better have talk with himself because his play is part of the problem.

Felton smoked D. Fish. Did you see that?
And what D. Fish do? nothing.

Augustine burned Farmar,
What did Jordan do?

Got his butt back and one!

Farmar isn't the problem. He only plays 18 minutes.

Problem resides with guards that play the minutes.

Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher.

Are you DFish Blitz too?

"Got his butt back and one!"

You mean let him get open 3 point shots :))

"Farmar isn't the problem. He only plays 18 minutes."

He is nevertheless PART of the problem. Like when he passed up a shot at the buzzer instead giving to Gasol who couldn't get the shot in time even if he got the ball in time. Or how he choked and threw an off balanced shot in the waning minuts of overtime in Miami? :)

Question: Since you are a big Bynum fan does name calling come along with that? If that's the case good thing i"m not a big bynum fan hehe.

"It is what it is."

Yet you keep blaming it on Kobe and IGNORE Pau's poor play and Bynum's poor play and when Farmar plays bad you IGNORE it.

This is why you have no IQ and i"m glad you aren't the GM or the coach of the LA Lakers

Lakers did the right thing not trading Bynum for Kidd. How can you pay over 20 mil for a point guard? Who can play with Kidd at that time ? Kwame Brown ? A player who can't leap, can't catch the ball?
Some Lakers fan forgot one thing, Bynum was not top 3 or top 5,top 10 in the NBA like Kwame, Tyson Chandler, Baby Shaq, Oden... If Bynum can score 20 points a game, 8 rebounds, that's a good pick of Lakers. If Bynum now playing for Utah, Dallas,...he will be much better player. I bet you that if you trade Bynum to San Antonio, Popovich will a big smile on his face.

B. Turner was said Kobe was going to talk to the team about their poor play ... team needs to talk back about his ball domination and ill advised shots.

Media is asking two players causing problems
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher how to solve the problem.

Doesn't work.

Never heard BT or Uber Lakers beat writer Bresnahan ask Kobe what he could do (not tell another player) to solve the problem?

Its not about effort with D. Fish. He doesn't have the talent.

D. Fish never was more than a marginal NBA player and now he is less.


Posted by: Todd

Todd,

It is good to see that someone on this blog understands basketball. Most of these so-called great Laker fans think that Fisher was some kind of a superstar
that now has lost a step. If they would watch the tapes from the early years of his career and look at the stats they would realize it is just a fantasy. He was at the right palce and the right time and Shaq and Kobe basically carried his butt. He has been one of the most overrated players in the league for years.

Todd,

"D. Fish never was more than a marginal NBA player and now he is less."

Wow. REALLY?

Dude, I'd hate to be YOUR friend, because that would suck.


Posted by: Jon K


Jonny boy K,
What does telling the truth about a players capabilities have to do with being a good friend. If you would quit living in Fisher fantasyland and wake up to reality it would be a miracle.

KB Blitz,

Enough already with the Kobe is unassailable.

Kobe shoots too much and dominates the ball.
He should play within the team framework.
Lakers have much better chemistry when he does.

D. Fish? Shouldn't play. Lacks talent.
.4 is over.

D. Fish should join KB Blitz as a Kobe worshipper on the bench.

I don't have HBO, but it would be nice to watch that someday. Thanks for the plug, FCM.

“…To which my Sifu responded (with typical indignation at my ignorance), ‘Because he was stealing Father Mike's enlightenment! He was forever connecting Father Mike's spiritual enlightenment with this guru! It was control! He may or may not have been ready for that experience, but this guy forced it upon him! Instead of allowing him to EARN it and thus OWN IT, he out of ego pressed it upon him! That's utterly irresponsible.’”

-Jon K

“What do you think would happen if Kobe said:
‘I could have tried to win the game, but I didn't. My teammates weren't
stepping up, so I decided to let us lose.’
I personally would love it, but I have no recollection of any player in any
sport actually having the cajones to call out the rest of his team in such a
fashion. The last time something like this was said, it was via a cell phone
and posted on youtube. i.e. the Bynum file."

-hobbitmage

I like both of these. I think Jon K did a great job of telling a story that expounded upon a possible facet of Phil Jackson’s philosophy without either regurgitating old clichés ‘never won without blah blah’ or pretending to have some special insight into Phil’s thoughts (mostly) ie ‘Phil just wants to prove blah blah to blah blah about blah blah.’

And I enjoyed mage's rather calm conversation with art from FL, and I loved this point; acknowledging that it is tempting to envision something happening, but also recognizing that there might actually be real reasons for it not to happen. And I agree both with both sentiments, which never hurts.

I was thinking along the same lines. I mean, if I appreciate that Phil lets his players figure stuff out by themselves, does that mean Kobe should do the same thing? And then I thought, nah, it would look bad, and furthermore, Phil is a coach, he leads by coaching. Kobe is a player, he has to lead by example, or nobody is going to listen to him.

Also yeah, there were a couple of games, most notably the second half of a playoff game against Phoenix in ’06 that some people might remember, when there was a slight suspicion that Kobe was trying to prove a point by deferring to um, whoever the hell was playing for us back then. I think there was indeed a bit of discussion about it in the press and by the fans, to understate it a tad.


Oh, and I wrote this Friday afternoon, in response to one topic of conversation that was being kicked around, it’s not quite topical but I think it’s still relevant, albeit similar to one or two comments that have already been made.

Now that I think about it, am I a negative or a positive fan? And like in politics, are there really only two divisions, two sides to every issue and one is always right and one is always wrong? I think that there have been very few commentors here that are so negative that they won’t take the trouble to respond positively to a friendly greeting or a compliment, or any who are so positive they won’t try to tear you a new one if they think you are arguing with them.

Of course, I would tend to believe that we are all people and all basketball fans, so we might all be special and wonderful creatures, or at least (as is perhaps more plausible); similarly flawed and occasionally weak individuals who are still all worthy of love and maybe even occasionally respect, although I’m not going to get carried away here.

To possibly expound further, I find that the more I recognize someone who posts as a person who is willing to share their experiences and interests, the easier it is to relate to them. Someone who restricts themselves to continually trying to make one or two points relentlessly and without variation is harder to view as a real person. Unless of course that they do it so zealously and persistently that it (or possibly they) becomes the comment equivalent of a running gag at which you can only shake your head and laugh weakly, in which case they are pfunk.

"Enough already with the Kobe is unassailable."

Once you stop with blaming D-Fish for all the losses AND Kobe for all the losses. Once you start blaming more like hm...Bynum/Gasol/Odom AND Farmar for their share in parts of losing.

Pau 5-14....not a very good line for a big man.

Andrew Bynu m3-9....ditto.

Once you stop treating role players as superstars AND stop putting crappy stuff like "Odom is the team's MVP" mebbe I'll cool down.

"Kobe shoots too much and dominates the ball."

So does Carmelo, Lebron, Wade and every damn good perimeter player in the history of the NBA! Even Magic Johnson was dominant with the ball otherwise he would have not had those 10 assists per game! You don't give a role player like Jordan Farmar or Shannon Brown 15+ shots PER GAME!

"He should play within the team framework."

When your team is TURNING THE BALL OVER when it attempts to play within the system, playing SOFT (Pau 5-14, Bynum 3-9, Shannon 2-9) no wonder WHY you want your best player to go all out. Yea you IGNORE every GOOD thing from Kobe and tell him about his 9-21 shooting....heck he had a higher FG% than either Bynumb or Gasol! Heck Kobe shot less than Bynum+Gasol (Kobe 21 FGA Bynum+Gasol 23 FGA) and still loss and you cry about his game? You FAIL as an analyst.

"Lakers have much better chemistry when he does."

Tell that last night when his team couldn't hit a shot or turn the ball over! I think you would rather have Smush back wouldn't you??

"D. Fish? Shouldn't play. Lacks talent.
.4 is over."


Farmar lacks defense. Worst than Fish. Freezes his team out of the offense when he is struggles. More of a PG suited for high offense instead of half court and defense. Would struggle with Poppovich/Doc Rivers/Larry Brown. If gets embarrassed on the offensive end he ignores the team and tries to back which 75% he FAILS. A mediocre talent who has more down games than up games. Chokes in the clutch unlike Fisher. Blames Gasol instead of shooting a wide OPEN 3 that was given by yours truly Kobe Bryant. Supposedly in a contract year where his play is supposed to elevate and HASN'T. Sasha in contract year earned his minutes in crunch time with very good play at least. Farmar choked in title game in Florida. Afflalo/Collison were much better leaders as was proven in the NBA as Afflalo is a good defender and Collison isn't making New Orleans fans miss CP3 too much.

Better a Kobe worshipper than a bandwagon fan like you who thinks the Farmar is the best PG in the league Farmar fan! You give Farmar fans from UCLA a bad rep. Even Jordan Farmar himself would laugh at your Stanley fantasies.

Laker Family,

Stay strong and calm Laker faithful. Adversity will either make us stronger or tear us apart. I have faith in the former and that our Lakers will be at their best come playoff time. Heavy is the burden of the one who wears the crown. Defending the title is always tough, especially because we have the biggest bullseye on our backs. No one is exempt from being blamed for our recent struggles and poor play, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. When things go bad, everyone deserves criticism and when things are good, everyone deserves praise.

Stay true fellow Laker fans, the best is yet to come!!! Purple and gold forever!!! Go Lakers!!!

Kobe says he's going to talk to the team. It's the other way around Kobe. The team should talk to you and tell you to stop playing individual ball

Bynum tried in the news conference but Kobe chose not to understand.

I don't see the Lakers winning the championship this year and hopefully this means we don't resign Kobe, the next TMac!

Phil is overpaid too. Imagine being paid $12 million to just sit and allow a player to play individual instead of team ball?

Could it be that the kid is still(in Phil's word) "uncoachable?"

Bench him then Phil. You're the only caoch in the world powerful enough to do that and not get fired

phred,

"Unless of course that they do it so zealously and persistently that it (or possibly they) becomes the comment equivalent of a running gag at which you can only shake your head and laugh weakly, in which case they are pfunk."

I honestly laughed aloud... and for about eight seconds.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

DFish,

"What does telling the truth about a players capabilities have to do with being a good friend."

"Truth" as you define it is actually technically "opinion."

These players on our team are human beings. People who I have personally followed for much of my life. They matter to me as human beings and, thus, I attempt to refer to them with respect as often as my maturity allows me to. They matter to me in a similar (but not the same) manner as my friends matter to me. I am a loyal person.

Our players are not fricken figures from some video game nor are they stats on some fantasy sports league. They're human beings who fight for US as fans who watch, root, and enjoy their competition.

So, I hope for the best for them--on and off the court--and I try to refer to them with both respect and the dignity of constructive criticism whenever possible.

YOU, by contrast, do NOTHING but complain and are EXCLUSIVELY focused upon "BLAME". That is the psychological imprint of a spoiled, self-centered person who thinks the world revolves around him.

You may not like how Derek Fisher is playing, but, dude, the guy has (AND DESERVES) FOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS and you are sitting around blogging on a computer being a self-righteous jerk.

Get some perspective, man, and learn to give respect when it's due.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Wow.

I really wish I had HBO. That special on the Magic and Bird looks awesome.

That rivalry has so far been the historic highlight of the NBA. It truly was special. I hate the Celtics, but I respect that team. I don't respect the modern incarnation of the Celtics, but I did that one.

Magic was something else. I wish he'd run for mayor of Los Angeles. That would be fantastic.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Magic Phil,

Off topic is the tonic of the blog, our blueberry pie dessert. If it weren't for off-topic conversations, I'd be napping.


I love the fact that your kid knows players heights. God, to be young is great, enjoy that time with him. I once knew all the Toho monsters by heart. That's about as far as I got with the young-kid-as-mastermind thing.


Good luck.


Wes

Wes,

"I once knew all the Toho monsters by heart."

So did I.

I love that period. I loved that innocence that told me that Godzilla could possibly kill me or destroy me. It was a better time.

Monsters rock. Humans? Well, it's kind of a mixed bag.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Here's the thing...

Kobe is CLEARLY a top five Laker of all time.

ALL TIME.

Let's look at a potential list:

George Mikan
Jerry West
Elgin Baylor
Gail Goodrich
Magic Johnson
Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
James Worthy
Wilt Chamberlain
Shaquille O'Neal
Kobe Bryant

Among these ten best, he's CLEARLY among the five best.

Let's talk about him with a LITTLE respect. If you are ACTUALLY a Lakers fan you will.

If you are a self-centered scumbag, then you'll just make it all about yourself. A lot of people do.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jonny boy K,

You are such a respectful person. You write on the blog that Lebron's mother is a crack addict. And I could pull up 20 other things you have written when you are insulting people. Why does Derek Fisher deserve 4 rings ? You gave zero reasons "why he deserves 4 rings. He deserves 4 rings because you are somehow brainwashed that this guy can play basketball in the NBA !!!

John,


I just burned "Attack of the Monsters Gamera vs Gurion" and its the best Toho monster movie I've seen yet in my re-investigation of the genre. Thanks to netflix and a couple of nephews who love monster movies, I've been making collections of this stuff and this Gamera film is super cool. Its got a journey to a mysterious island, flashbacks to ww2, a super hot native girl who needs a guide in the big city, multiple cheesy narrators who fill the audience in on all the ridiculous plot changes, a cool prologue and a monster who shoots a rainbow laser out of its back. What else could you want? I like it more, actually, that any other Toho film, including all the Godzillas. It's like some fine relic you see on the Antique Roadshow that's ugly as heck but is worth $60,000-$80,000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkOMB2OHHUc


Wes

this just dawned on me:

This Orlando game can be at the most perfect time right now.

The lakers have just lost 2 in a row, and they seem to be in the worst stretch of the season. The team just looks out of sync, and especially unhappy to play with one another. What better way to rekindle the brotherhood than play at the stadium where they hoisted their 15th championship?


The Lakers are going back to the arena where they won it all, hopefully the arena will evoke great memories for them, and they will remember what it took to win it. I hope they come out with a new life after this game, and start playing Laker ball.

Todd,

you wrote this to kb blitz: Enough already with the Kobe is unassailable.

Kobe shoots too much and dominates the ball.
He should play within the team framework.
Lakers have much better chemistry when he does.

my response: I thought this was clear. *sigh*

Kobe is taking ~ 20 shots per game. That is in line with 2 other great shooting
guards. mj & Jerry west. [ note: basketball-reference.com is your friend ]

since coming back from his injury Kobe has been looking for his teammates.
Have you checked how many TO's Pau & Bynum & D-Fish & Artest have?

re: the Lakers & Chemistry. LO has said the team is complacent. Pau has
said the team is coasting. Neither of these things have any thing to do with
Kobe. So ... In light of the words by Pau & LO, how is Kobe affecting the
team? BTW, please explain how PJ introducing Pau to Oakley is related
to Kobe. Also, please explain how PJ referring to Pau as soft/weak is
related to Kobe.

DFish,

"Most of these so-called great Laker fans think that Fisher was some kind of a superstar
that now has lost a step."

I don't recall anyone on this blog calling Fisher a superstar, and it's safe to say that no one on this blog thought he was a superstar. And I don't think any of us thinks he's one of the best PG's in the game today. What most Laker fans do know is that he has been a valuable role player for our team over the years, and that his contributions to the team extend beyond the court.

You can hate on his game all you want and devote your entire existence on this blog towards denigrating him. But really, your irrational hatred for the guy prevents you from becoming a constructive member of the blog. Even pfunk, with his infamous distate of all things Phil and Luke, makes good points on the blog every now and then. Think about it.

I don't have a problem with kobe taking 20 good shots a game but taking multiple forced shots over double and triple teams is no good.

All you stat-boys don't get that they (stats) need to be taken in context. Jerry West may have taken 20 shots a game but were they good shots within the flow of the offense or were they one on one ball dominating ones?

I appreciate all that kobe has done for the organization but that does not give him free license to not play defense or not run the offense. No one player is bigger than the team. LAKERS FIRST, everything else a distant second.

Orlando is probably the team I least dislike in the East. I'll root for them to come out of the East again this year. I like coaches who are hard on their players, and Stan Van Gundy fits that mold perfectly, while adding a touch of self-deprecating humor and funny expressions. And none of the players on the team are annoying. Overall, an easy team to root for.

The ideal situation would be Orlando knocking off Cleveland again in the playoffs, pushing LeBron closer to leaving that franchise and joining Kobe for a decade-long dynasty.

I thought I posed a comment about Big Ben from the Steelers here. Was that cut?


Wes

MM,

You’ve got a nice gig goin’ here but I just spent a couple of hours catching up with the comments and it seems to me that the inmates are now running the asylum. When >90% of the material posted in the comments on this blog is no longer worth reading, then I can only conclude that it’s time to check out for a while. There really needs to be some kind of self-policing mechanism in place to keep this place viable for the reasonable folk.

Contrary to what many are claiming, what I was proposing the other day is exactly the opposite of censorship. I was asking for the community as a whole to shine a spotlight on the egregiously hateful comments and give them the publicity they deserve. There should be consequences to lies and slander, and while I’m not in favor of banning anyone for speaking their mind I do think that they should suffer the humiliation, or praise if that’s the case, of having what others consider their worst offenses echoed out to the entire community for either approval, distain, forgiveness, or agreement. You have already tacitly expressed your opinion of this concept in your implementation of a “blog comment of the day” and I believe we need is its analog from the other end of the spectrum, in order to achieve the proper balance.

The blogroll is a wonderful concept and I was not asking Mamba24 to change it one iota, but rather suggesting a completely separate entity along the same lines, in which slanderous statements against the Lakers or fellow commentators would be highlighted in one place for everyone’s perusal, with documented quotations and time-tags. The commentariat would then obviously be able to comment on these posted “greatest hits” and a consensus might eventually be reached regarding what is acceptable to the greater majority and what is not. How this got twisted into “censorship”, or enforced conformity, through purposeful misinterpretation and passive-aggressive misrepresentation is merely another symptom of the disease infecting the body of commentary around here.

I think that if you research other well-run blogs around the internets, you will find that the best of them have some kind of self-policing mechanism in place to keep the trolls and sociopaths in check, and the best of these are controlled by the commenters themselves. I suggest that you become a student of other good blogs if you want to continue to improve this one. As for me, I think it’s high time that I took a vacation from all this hatefulness, as I’m sure you wish you could from time to time. Perhaps I will be back in the future and perhaps I won’t, I’m sure it will have no effect on the success or failure of this blog in any case, but what you do will so please consider your actions in this regard carefully and do what you think is right, not what is expedient. Best of luck and...SLATFATF!

Orlando is probably the team I least dislike in the East. I'll root for them to come out of the East again this year. I like coaches who are hard on their players, and Stan Van Gundy fits that mold perfectly, while adding a touch of self-deprecating humor and funny expressions. And none of the players on the team are annoying. Overall, an easy team to root for.

The ideal situation would be Orlando knocking off Cleveland again in the playoffs, pushing LeBron closer to leaving that franchise and joining Kobe for a decade-long dynasty.

Posted by: EJK | March 07, 2010 at 12:16 AM


Hey EJK,

Nice post. I too am a Magic fan but don't have quite the same emotional attachment to them as I do the Lakers. But if the Lakers don't win it all, I hope the Magic do. Yes, SVG is a funny guy to watch and Howard, now there's someone who can be a real beast at times. On one hand, I would love the see a repeat of last years finals but on the other hand, I would like to see the Lakers beat LBJ or the Celts just because its the Celts and Cavs not because I like either of those teams.

As for LBJ playing with Kobe, I just don't think there is any way to make that work from a financial perspective. It's more of a fantasy league type of thing in my mind. Now, getting LBJ to replace Kobe, well, that's a whole different can of worms that I think has been recently discussed.

I still think we see the Lakers and Cavs in the finals, so much drama, but if not both of them then for sure one of them. I have trust in the basketball gods to make it so. I mean, can you imagine a Denver-Atlanta finals? Would anyone except the most die hard BB fans even watch?

The greatest documentary ever. That was fantastic.
Another level of hoops that hasn't been seen since.

Before Artest, I thought it would be very difficult to repeat, if for no other reason than we won't have the stinging memory of a finals beat-down to the Celtics to inspire us. I thik one of the only players who hs lived up to his ability has been Artest. Artest and Kobe, and Gasol for a while.


I think the lakers are playing poorly, but I think there is another phenomena at work here and that's the almost overnight return of parody to the NBA. How did this happen in 2 or 3 drafts? Maybe it has something to do with all these super skilled little players coming along.


Whatever the reason, a lot of teams have hope now.


Wes

EJK,

Just got back on the blog after a long travel on the road, thank you EJK for your post by throwing the lifeline in explaining what I was driving at on the Dead Troll issue.

Thanks Hobbit, fellow San Gabriel resident breathing the nice winter air for understanding and your other comments. I guess by now I need not explain more the can of worms I opened for fishing. Thanks also for Wallace for being a peacemaker but I thought we were all on the same side bidding to be included in the roll call.

Thank you LakerTom for understanding my point, as usual our longtime friendship never wanes by temporary upheavals. When we rant and vent - we're a troll. When we rejoice and hopeful - we're back to being a homer. Having experienced those mixed reactions since 1969 on Jerry West missing many Championships, we're not really affected by bumps along the road.

For D Fish and Jon K...peace to both of you. D Fish, I know you can be tolerant to seniors like Derek F. He's trying his best to contribute tho' it's becoming futile probably in the stage of diminishing returns. Someday you will become a senior too and understand the difficulty in keeping up with youth's exuberance. Jon K, exert a little patience on fellow bloggers ranting. If you could tolerate those James fans in Cleveland, then why not extend it to fellow Laker fans venting.

Thanks Ouchhhh and Jeannie for riding along on the carousel of trolls, instead of the singing Happy Truckin', let's transpose it to Happy Trollin'.

Today is a date with The Oscar in Los Angeles. All the nominees are hopeful to win so they prepared their speech. If they don't win, it's ok at least they enjoy this moment of being part of the winners. Well, let us all have the same attitude with our noon game in Orlando. If we don't win, it's OK, season is not over yet. There are still so many battles to be fought and playoffs to gain perfection.

FOR WHOM THE BLOG TROLLS (With the apologies to Ernest Hemingway who wrote the novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in replacing it with a new title) - a dedication to fellow Laker fans who are fighting their own special battles and really trolling with life:

Utzworld's daughter and bannerette holder, Mycaela who is in her advanced stage on lead poisoning. Hoping for more miracles and heal completely.

Segeboy, the Sheriff in the guilded age who is establishing a new life deep down there in Nigeria. Hoping you will be back to America soon.

Mr. Nano who withstood the unstable ground while watching the Lakers in Chile. His situation there is shakier than the Lakers.

For whom the blog trolls is also dedicated to all of us. Winning or losing in a basketball game really doesn't matter, life goes on being Laker Fans.

wesjoenixon,

Gamera is awesome.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Did anyone even see the Magic Birg 'doc? Great program. Also gives insight on what it takes to be a Champion and how hard it is to repeat.

M

I was a Team Attendant for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1977-1983 while they were at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. I can honestly say this documentary took me back (I was even in a clip for a second, Ha) and is well worth your time if you are an NBA fan. For me, their era will never be matched by anyone. Kobe/Labron are not even close.

I can also say that having the privilege to spend time with both of them, albeit as a side note in Larry's fast pace hustle and bustle life in the NBA, he was very kind to me as a kid.

As for Magic, I was lucky to spend more time with him and he became my hero, as a player and person.

After you see this special, I know the different two people they referred to as Earvin Johnson and Magic Johnson.

Both of them are special!

Wow! What an awesome documentary! I'm not even a basketball fan or any type of sports fan and even though I fell on this channel by mistake, this documentary had me glued to my seat the whole time! Well put together, fascinating story, found myself cheering, even! Great Job!


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