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Lakers eyeing San Antonio as possible playoff opponent, Luke Walton eyes return

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I apologize in advance. My camera had a few technical issues, so there will be no moving pictures this time around. Nothing really newsworthy came out of Saturday's practice, other than Luke Walton confirmed he plans to play in tomorrow' game against San Antonio after missing nearly two months of basketball because of a pinched nerve in his lower back.

Below is a transcript  with interviews including Pau Gasol, Jackson, Lamar Odom and Walton.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

On team's win over Utah: "That's a line we want to continue to follow and continue to play with that kind of focus, energy and aggressiveness and all the above."

On there's still need for more consistency: "It was mostly up. As long as we're mostly up and we go in that direction, we'll be okay. I'm looking forward to doing it consistently in all the other games. It's a process. It doesn't happen from one game to another, but I think we're continuing in this line of work and this focus and understanding where we're at and what point of the season we're in and who we're about to face. We'll be all right."

On how teams sustains momentum: "Obviously it's a mental focus and a mindset you have to play with every single night. The results will help that momentum. If we're able to finish the six games off on a high note and feeling good about what we're doing and how things are going, it'll be a plus for the playoffs."

On if there's a certain record the team wants to finish the last seven games: "Just play our best and that'll pay off. I think we understand when we play like we mostly did last night, we're in good shape. The wins will come with that. That's the mindset that we want to have."

On if he sees San Antonio as being a possible first-round matchup: "It's possible. It's possible we play them. It's possible we play Portland. There's different possibilities. But we're thinking who we're facing tomorrow is a very top rival and a game we want to win. We want to continue to play with intensity and focus so that's where we're at."

On if it's good preparation wise to play a team the Lakers recently played: "It's good because it's easier to prepare for and you know exactly what they're doing. It's easier for us to play Western Conference teams because we're more familiar with them instead of Eastern Conference teams where we're a little more unprepared. But at the same time, it is easier to face them."

More interviews (after the jump)

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

On what's needed for the team to sustain momentum: "We know that this is an interesting week. We got a Sunday games from one weekend to the next and we have Denver and an arduous trip to Minnesota behind that. One things we look forward this week is meeting opponents we may see in the playoffs. Not to discount Minnesota, but San Antonio and Portland are highly potential first-round (opponents). Denver has been in our playoff situation the last two years. These are important games for us. We really want to go in and play hard. Maybe not show our whole hand, but still have that kind of game we want to play."

On if he felt team moved in the right direction with win over Utah: "Our defense was pretty aggressive. We had lapses, obviously in the second quarter we had a lapse. Third quarter, we struggled I thought a little bit. Fatigue and guys trying a little too hard to do things and make it difficult on ourselves. We had a push in the fourth quarter, which was good."

On whether Walton will play tomorrow: "He wants to. He'll discuss that in the morning and see how it is. He had a hard workout yesterday and we have to check him and see how he's going to do after that."

On what he can help with on the team: "I think he can help this second unit and solidify as a playmaker with that group from a different position than just our guards. He's always looking to get passes to guys and does that in the right way. He can help the team a lot."

On if he still has pain: "He had a little discomfort and soreness from last night's workout. He worked out at the arena last night. He worked hard and had a little discomfort this morning. It's mostly stiffness."

On if he can fill what was missing with what Lamar provided for the bench: "I wouldn't lay that on anybody. That's a group thing. But he can help them out a lot."

On if Sasha's minutes indicates he's out of the doghouse: "He's usually a (Kyle) Korver matchup for us. They didn't use Korver and I wasn't going to use Sasha in the first rotation. We had a rotation I wanted to go with, but he had an opportunity to get out there and at least get a run out there."

On if there's extra importance to tomorrow's game since San Antonio could be a first-round matchup: "It's important from the standpoint of just getting used to how they are and we do know that the liklihood of Parker coming back in the playoffs is great. So they'll still be a little bit of a different team in the playoffs. But Ginobili is always going to carry the force for us out there. It's always good to have that matchup and that intensity."

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

On if he saw the Lakers' win against Utah as a step in the right direction: "I think so. We played basketball the right way. We moved the basketball, executed our offense, took good shots and played defense together."

On how the team will sustain it: "I don't think we'll have a problem doing that. I think overall we had a pretty good season. We maybe let some games go due to being a little too cocky. But I think we're focused on what we need to do. We want to win as many games as we can so we can wrap up that No. 1 spot in the West. Do that and move on and hopefully play most of our games here at home and try to do it again."

On if team's 2-3 trip was a reality check: "Yeah, especially when you don't prepare for these teams. We're prepared against Utah and San Antonio because we've seen them so much. We're of course not prepared as against Atlanta. When you don't play the right way, things can get out of hand. Everything happens for a reason. We're focused and ready to play."

On if he sees San Antonio as a likely first-round matchup: "Right now we're just worrying about getting the No. 1 spot. Once we do that, then we'll be all right no matter who we play."

On when the team doesn't execute the offense well, why it falls apart so quickly: "We got so many guys who can make plays on our own. We just try to go out and get it. Sometimes we're down eight or 10 points and we try to get it back all in one play. Everybody starts to go one-on-one and when that doesn't work, our defense and our all-around game suffers."

Lakers forward Luke Walton

On how he's feeling: "I'm feeling good. A little sore, but nothing too bad. Hopefully tomorrow is still the day."

On frustration level sitting out this season: "It's been one of the toughest years of basketball in my life. It is tough. It feels really good when I'm not playing. Mentally I can get out there and do a couple days of practice and then it goes right back down. It's been tough watching the team going through everything that it's gone through and not being able to be out there and help them."

On worry about him trying to overdo it upon return: "It's going to be hard. I know I need to pull back when I start feeling it. Whether or not I'll be able to do that, we'll find out. It's so late in the season and now in the playoffs. There's really no more time or chance to sit out again for a couple of weeks and let it calm down. I have to juggle how much I should work and if it starts to get back again."

On if he's confident he'll be play tomorrow: "Yeah, absolutely."

On how this injury distinguished among his other ones: "Every other injury I had, I know how I hurt it. I either rolled an ankle or hurt a hand or something like that. This came out of nowhere. This one has been extremely tough to try to play through because if the back is not working for you, it's tough to move and do the things you have to do on the basketball court to help your team win."

On if he's talking to anyone who's had back issues: I've talked to a ton of people. Doctors. My dad (Bill Walton) has been going through back pains. A lot of people come to me randomly now and tell me about the things they're going through. But we got a great training staff here and the franchise has been great about it as far as being supportive with it. We're going to try to make this last push and see if I can help this team repeat."

On if he noticed anything missing from the team when he was helping with the coaching staff: "One main thing, I'm not going to try to come back and be a scorer and come out and shoot. I know the thing I noticed the most was the lack of execution we've been having this season. The flow hasn't been as good. We've shown at times we can do it. It just hasn't been consistent. Coming back, I'm coming in with more of the mindset of trying to get everything running correctly and get the offense working and get people easy shots and see if that will start carrying over to everybody else."

On what he took away from helping the coaching staff: "It was fun. It was a lot of fun actually. They let me go to one of the meetings. That kept me involved with everything. Being out that long, sometimes you start to drift and don't feel like you're part of the team anymore and you're hurt. It was a way to keep me going and keep me at practice every day and do the thngs in the game to help them out but also help me out mentally and staying positive."

If players lobbied him for minutes: "Yeah, (laughs). That was the toughest part about it. There are still my teammates and I'm one of the players still so they were trying to get me to say stuff to them. They were joking they didn't want to say too much around me because I might rat them out. It was a fun experience."

If Sasha took him out to dinner: "No (laughs). I declined the invitation."

On if he should be listed as probable, definite, maybe or no for tomorrow's game: "Anything but no. You can put down any one of those. I'm suiting up tomorrow. So unless I get there and (trainer Gary Vitti) tells me I'm on the inactive list, then I'll be suited up."

If he stays on the inactive list, how would he react: "I'll be a little frustrated. But that's kind of been the theme this season anyway so it won't be anything new."

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers forwards Ron Artest, left, and Lamar Odom pressure Spurs forward Antonio McDyess during the first half Monday night. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times>

 
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The return of Luke Walton............what a freakin' joke

C'mon pfunk!! You KNOW you've been waiting for this day with baited breath!! And now it's almost here!!!!! WOOO HOOOOOO!!!! LUUUUUUUUUUUKE!!!!!

BTW - missed you on the live chat buddy...

I can't wait for Luke to come back and really draw the defense towards him so he can pass to the open man.
In all seriousness, he needs to prove to opponents that he can hit an open shot- then and only then will we be able to attract attention and be able to be a facilitator for the second unit.

Yea cheer up Pfraud36....your boy is finally back :D.

LakerTom,

"I didn’t realize politically conservative bloggers played fantasy basketball. :-) I seriously doubt with Kobe, Pau, Ron, Drew, and Lamar all locked up for next three to four years that Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak are going to break up this team to trade for anybody, including LBJ."

LOL. C'mon, Tom. I thought progressivism was all about "change" and making things better. Doesn't the LBJ to LA bandwagon epitomize the Audacity of Hope? :)

The key to making it happen would be Kobe. If Kobe reaches out and actively recruits him, I think we'd have a chance since LBJ has a lot of respect for Kobe. It'd be crazy for LBJ NOT to consider joining Kobe and the greatest franchise in the league.

Even if we win the championship this year, it's critical for Mitch to look to retool the roster and improve the team, just like the Yankees did this past offseason. Complacency is the surest way to a premature end to a dynasty.

Comments about bench performance are ridiculous when considering salaries.

Powell, Mbenga are minimum salary players.
No expectations for them, no criticism of them.

Lakers will have a bench full of minimum salary players next year too.

Consider the perimeter defense issues

Starting backcourt -- $28 million
Bench backcourt -- $4 million

Should we have the SAME defensive expectations for $4 million players as $28 million players?

Is this socialism? Obamacare?

Lakers roster re-mixers before you drop names please consider salaries before making a suggestion that is salary cap impossible!

There should be expectations for
Sasha, Farmar and Brown who are legit NBA players.
Unfortunately, Phil hasn't developed their talent fully.

Sasha and Farmar want out on the first thing smoking. Brown may
be ready to dash as well. Nothing personal. They just want a chance to play.

Lakers may have about $7 million to make roster changes next year, if Buss doesn't decide that he wants to go with 6 minimum salary players to save money. Dollar for dollar luxury tax is a beast ....

Since Kobe is making 1/3 of the Lakers payroll and Buss IS paying the luxury tax it would be hypercritical for Kobe to complain about bench production now and into the future ....

Kobe wouldn't do that would he?

EJK… “LOL. C'mon, Tom. I thought progressivism was all about "change" and making things better. Doesn't the LBJ to LA bandwagon epitomize the Audacity of Hope? :)” LOL. Personally, I admit that I am not a fan of LBJ. While I am not a hater and acknowledge his greatness as a player, I resent how ESPN and the NBA continue to coronate him as the greatest when he has not won a championship.
~
The only way that LBJ could end up in LA would be if he told the Cavs he was opting out and would only accept a sign-and-trade to LA, which means the Lakers would probably have to trade at least two of their other four core players – Pau, Drew, Ron, and Lamar. Since Ron is our starting small forward, that would mean he would probably be included along with one of our three 7-footers, probably Drew or Pau because they make more. Would the Lakers make that trade? Maybe if we lose this year. If we win, no way Jerry Buss would break up the Big 5 core. At least not in my opinion.
~
Personally, I also don’t think Kobe would sign off on the trade because I don’t think he would want to share the team leadership with LeBron or the ball. Further, I think he would not want to break up the existing team, especially if they win another championship. Chemistry and matchups are the key. Who knows if Kobe and LeBron could really coexist on the same NBA team. It is not a sure thing. Playing an NBA 82-game long regular season plus playoffs every year is not the same as sharing the ball and court on a pseudo All-Star team playing in a short tournament. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

If we lose Fisher, Farmar and/or Brown we'd probably need to pick up a vet who is willing to play cheap (MLE) for a championship. Some of the unrestricted free agents available include: Earl Watson, Jannero Pargo, Mike Miller, Mo Evans, Rafer Alston, Steve Blake and Chris Duhon. I'd think we could get one of them.

Todd,

You are better of in staying with jordan farmar than discuss Socialism or Obamacare. You never lived in a socialist country.

Are you comparing Kobe to Farmar & Brown? That not a fair comparison, Kobe adds to the lead while the other two combined reduces the lead and on a worst night they lose everything.

EJK,

I like Lebron to wear the Laker uniform too but at what price? Kobe is already making 30, perhaps LBJ will go for 25 what happens to the supporting cast? What's good about LBJ as a Laker, there is a continuity of excellence even in the post Kobe era. Well, right now we banked on Drew Bynum as Kobe's successor. How can he be a successor when he could not even manage a year without any injuries? He can't play injured, he has to be sidelined like Luke. I pity the old man to invest so much money to frail athletes.

With regards to dual Superstar, it is different during the time of Magic and Kareem, the salaries were within range of the owner's balance sheet and CBA rules. Well, in this day and age salaries goes haywire with ego entitlement "I'm the best so I should have the highest" out there. During Magic's time, he mixed it with cash, stocks, endorsements and goodwill. Today, it is Magic's money that is working for him.

Todd,

Think about how much we'd save if we replaced a starter with Ammo!

McLyne,

I am very excited about Luke coming back too. Like you suggested, once he starts poppin' threes, it will open our inside game up. But in that regard, why not use Ammo in the way we used to use Radmonovich? I assume he still has some shooting abilities.

And between Luke and Ammo, we'd have the advantage of the ultimate lock-down D crew!!

GOOoooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!

I honestly think the Spurs will do everything to avoid playing the Lakers in the first round. The Lakers match up with the Spurs very well.

It's not an excuse for poor play, but LO's comment about opponent familiarity does sort of correlate with their recent inconsistent play.

Spurs = familiar
Thunder = new team that just got good, unfamiliar
Rockets = familiar
Hornets = out of contention non-Division opponent, didn't take seriously
Hawks = new Eastern contender, unfamiliar
Jazz = familiar

Alright, lets cut the political comments above. I'm tired of everyone bashing Kobe because he's guarded. I would be too if most of the world had turned against him during my worst moment. He feels betrayed by the media, and he shows it. I think he takes great pride in his work, which is important. Its time that people stop insulting him and enjoy the greatness that is his talent. We will never again see as talented an athlete as Kobe, and I'm thankful I was able to live to see it.

Thank God Luke will be back and I mean that from the depth of my spirit.

Thank God.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Luke states: "Coming back, I'm coming in with more of the mindset of trying to get everything running correctly and get the offense working and get people easy shots and see if that will start carrying over to everybody else."

That's what we need, Luke.

Dude, get yourself to an accupunturist. This injury is driving me nuts.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Look at the Todd boy go as he defends Farmar's inconsistent play and blaming it on Phil and Kobe's new contract while almost every analyst while calling out Derek Fisher's poor play continue to state that Jordan Farmar isn't even doing much to get more consistent minutes at least and how Shannon actually did good here when he couldn't be developed by either Browns (Mike and Larry) while he got some good minutes here under Phil and Kobe. Not to mention how he notes that Sasha will leave in the off season on his own accord similar to Jordan but forgets that Sasha still has a year to go in his contract that he did not deserve.

Edwin,

That's simply Todd being Todd aka Lamar Odom is the MVP of the Lakers and Jordan Farmar being the second best point guard in the league after Chris Paul.

It's just as funny as Rick Friedman blaming Adam Morrison as a bust to Phil Jackson. (No offense Rick but Morrison was a bust even before Luke injured him).

Not sure what Luke worked on while he was out besides some coaching skills, but I sure hope he worked on his outside shooting. If you're slow, unathletic, and not a big man, I feel that you should be able to at least consistently hit open jumpers. How valuable could he be if he became an outside threat?

As far as facing San Antonio goes, I'd feel kinda bad beating up on a bunch of old foggies. That just doesn't seem right. It would be more interesting playing Portland, since all the experts seem to think that we'd struggle against them. Wouldn't it be more fun sending a message to Portland and the rest of the league in the first round?

Here's my question: Why is it that T.J. Simers always seems to start writing pieces on the Lakers just before the Playoffs start and gets to write the end pieces to Lakers Championship Papers like he did for the 2008-2009 championship? The man is by far the worst Troll this community has ever had to read, not to mention the worst LA Page 2 guy the times has ever had. Every year he does this, and every year we have to stomach this pompous jerk. I for one gave up on him after last years sour piece and want to start a bandwagon to keep him from writing about anything Lakers ever again. Who's with me!?!

PS: MM and the Blog Family, you guys are the reason I read Blog post instead of Chicken Little Plaschke and Sour Grapes Simers. Keep posting and writing worthy articles that allow me to bypass these so called professional writers. You guys are the heart and soul of our team spirit and you guys should get the recognition you so richly deserve

Isn't Brandon Roy available next year?

I agree that TJ Simers is very hateful. He cannot criticise Kobe's skill or sucess so he attacks him personally. Is that why I watch sports to see someone smile? I watch it see someone do things that I can only dream of doing.

Normally, I ignore the posts that diss Luke. It's like arguing with a 12-year old. But with Luke about to return, and several posters again ragging on him, I'm going to unload. Dudes, you show your pathetic ignorance about the game and the value of someone like Luke on the team. Those of us who have played on championship caliber teams understand both his deficiencies and his major assets.

Luke has been a winner at EVERY level he has played. That wasn't luck. He contributed significantly to those championship teams. Some of us saw him play on those teams. And he has contributed to the Lakers in exactly the same way. Namely, the guy is like WD-40 on a team that has a squeaky, barely moving offensive set. When he's in, the ball moves, and every guy on the team moves. If anyone gets open, Luke finds them and gets a sweet pass to them.

BBIQ is underrated, and he's got a virtual PhD in it. The Luke haters seem to dwell on his lack of athleticism (or as they would say it...athuhleticism). There have been a lot of very good players in the league who never got a Phi Slamma Jamma but who contributed significantly to their teams. Luke is one of them. And it's no accident that he got that 5-year contract...it emphatically shows that Phil (yeah, 10-Rings himself) knows how much he means to the team.

Re: TJ Simers,

"....start a bandwagon to keep him from writing about anything Lakers ever again..

posted by: Cap's Goggles "
___________________________

Cap's Goggles,

Please make room for me!!!! I'll be honored to be the Driver of the Bandwagon!LOL

MM, is way better accurate/ balanced than these guys- Chicken Little Plaschke and Sour Grapes Simers.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

I'm tired of everyone bashing Kobe because he's guarded. I would be too if most of the world had turned against him during my worst moment. He feels betrayed by the media, and he shows it. ........................We will never again see as talented an athlete as Kobe, and I'm thankful I was able to live to see it.

Posted by: Arjun Mehta
________________________


I couldn't have agreed more. Right on point Sir!


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Laker Tom...

Thanks for the kind words. Coming from you, they really mean a lot. Yankees kicking it off tonight in Beantown, LT! Besides the Celtics, there is nothing more putrid than the Sawx!!

KB Blitz,

>>> It's just as funny as Rick Friedman blaming Adam Morrison as a bust to Phil Jackson. (No offense Rick but Morrison was a bust even before Luke injured him).

Blitz, I'm guessing your just exercising some humor or sarcasm here (*sarcasm* font missing). For the record, I never blamed Phil for AmMo. He was a bust before he got here.

I can usually follow your posts (and enjoy them), but this particular rant leaves me scratching my head.

"it's too bad he doesn't have the wherewithal to get the same joy out of the experience as people do watching him play."

[email protected]

A perfect example in how an accusing hand has a finger pointing outside with the rest of the fingers pointing at himself. What a joyless sportshustler.

Todd; I agree with you. Phil Jackson has done a horrible job of nurturing the talent of the Laker PGs, including Sasha, Farmar, and Shannon.

He destroyed Sasha's confidence by killing any significant minutes he could have played and not instilling a sense of support when Sasha went through a shooting slump, despite that Phil's golden boy Derbrick Fisher has been in a 2 year shooting slump. He never game Farmar the confidence that he would be the Laker starter, instead, again, Phil inexplicably chose the aging, slow, and inaccurate shooting Derbrick Fisher to start. And he let the previously undisciplined Shannon Brown, who's bounced around from team to team because of that undisciplined aspect, continue to be, you guessed it, undisciplined in the triangle.

The Lakers have a significant problem at the PG position, and this is not so much because of Mitch Kupchak. This is all Phil Jackson's fault. His handling of our Laker PGs has been incredibly horrible.

Also, exactly why is the return of the mediocre (at best) Luke Walton significant, when, based on precedence, he's only going to get injured again in approximately 17 to 24 days?

Hello Randy Michaels,

After your leaked letter to news directors and editors banning silly journo phrases that people substitute for English, it's time to turn your attention to the LA Times.

When Kobe signed his new contract, it was hours before you could find the story on the LATimes.com home page. The first story, written by the primary Lakers beat writer, ended up on a secondary blog totally off anyone's radar.

The Times' so-called columnists, Bill Plaschke, Mark Heisler, and TJ Simers are so out of touch, most of their columns are about themselves or their delusions.

I could go on and on, but I don't need to. Look at the product for yourself. Your empire extends beyond the Tribune tower in Chicago. LA awaits you.

A few comments....

Let's ask ourselves why Dr. Buss is willing to reward Kobe with such a lucrative contract. Surely the Lakers' owner is a shrewd businessman who is not only in this for the love of the game but to make money as well. He knows that Kobe gives the Lakers a chance to win every year, especially with the cast, already signed, that will be backing him up for the forseeable future. Plus, Kobe puts the fannies in the seats. For those who talk about disparity of Laker salaries, remember that no one comes to see Sasha and Jordan when they decide to come to a Laker game. Well, maybe Maria Sharapova and Jordan's relatives! Kobe has earned this new deal. Dr. Buss makes money with Kobe...plain and simple.

Regarding first round opponents, the Lakers just need to worry about finding their own game. There is not one easy out in the Western Conference top eight. These playoffs are going to be a minefield. So the Lakers had better watch their step. If they play cohesive and unselfish basketball, they'll be fine no matter who they face.

After today's game, the Lakers don't play again until Thursday in Denver. It's a great opportunity to get back in the gym and work out the kinks. Personal agendas have got to take a back seat to the team philosophy and overall welfare. Winning is all that matters now. Not contracts, not stats, not perception, not personal satisfaction, not legacies. Winning! Here and now!!

I hope you guys get a chance to read a piece of garbage article in LAT today. I'm so tired of TJ Simers' dark journalism and unwarranted negative criticism toward Kobe. No wonder, most of the Lakers refuse to sit down with him to talk about the team,, prognostic, playoff outlooks..Etc. He's the reason why I'm no longer care to read LAT's second page. Yes, Kobe has some minor issue but to paint him as a loner and do not care for his teammate is simply FALSE! Instead of writing something positive of the team (DFish's rediscovered his shooting touch, Pau's newfound toughness, AB's recovering from his injury..Etc.), he chose to insult Kobe and the his fan-base in his article today.

I'm starting a bandwagon on calling TJS a "Jerk of all Trade." A master of "Garbage Journalism." He's an annoying troll that didn't get enough hug when he's a child. I have no idea why he's on LAT' s payroll. He has the same take on some of the Dodgers as well. If you hated your home teams that much, then move to the city where he thinks the home teams are doing well. He would bode very well with all the trolls in Boston.

***LAKER WARS EPISODE 4 A NEW HOPE: THE RETURN OF LUKE***
'PLEASE OBI LUKE KENOBI ONLY YOU CAN SAVE US NOW ***

**
TJ SIMERS YOU MUCKRAKER YOU - BANDWAGON
**
(01) CAPS-GOOGLES – OWNER - Here's my question: Why is it that T.J. Simers always seems to start writing pieces on the Lakers just before the Playoffs start and gets to write the end pieces to Lakers Championship Papers like he did for the 2008-2009 championship? The man is by far the worst Troll this community has ever had to read, not to mention the worst LA Page 2 guy the times has ever had. Every year he does this, and every year we have to stomach this pompous jerk. I for one gave up on him after last years sour piece and want to start a bandwagon to keep him from writing about anything Lakers ever again. Who's with me!?!
(02) JOVBATZ44 – DRIVER - Please make room for me!!!! I'll be honored to be the Driver of the Bandwagon!LOL MM, is way better accurate/ balanced than these guys- Chicken Little Plaschke and Sour Grapes Simers.
(03) EJK – RIDING SHOTGUN – TJ Simers is a piece of garbage.
(04)
(05) ISLAND PRIEST – SECURITY - I agree that TJ Simers is very hateful. He cannot criticise Kobe's skill or sucess so he attacks him personally. Is that why I watch sports to see someone smile? I watch it see someone do things that I can only dream of doing.
(06) LAKERGURL – SEARGENT AT ARMS - it's too bad he doesn't have the wherewithal to get the same joy out of the experience as people do watching him play."[email protected] A perfect example in how an accusing hand has a finger pointing outside with the rest of the fingers pointing at himself. What a joyless sportshustler.
(07) RICK FRIEDMAN – REFEREE - The Times' so-called columnists, Bill Plaschke, Mark Heisler, and TJ Simers are so out of touch, most of their columns are about themselves or their delusions. I could go on and on, but I don't need to. Look at the product for yourself. Your empire extends beyond the Tribune tower in Chicago. LA awaits you.
(08) WALLACE – JUDGE - I hope you guys get a chance to read a piece of garbage article in LAT today. I'm so tired of TJ Simers' dark journalism and unwarranted negative criticism toward Kobe. No wonder, most of the Lakers refuse to sit down with him to talk about the team,, prognostic, playoff outlooks..Etc. He's the reason why I'm no longer care to read LAT's second page. Yes, Kobe has some minor issue but to paint him as a loner and do not care for his teammate is simply FALSE! Instead of writing something positive of the team (DFish's rediscovered his shooting touch, Pau's newfound toughness, AB's recovering from his injury..Etc.), he chose to insult Kobe and the his fan-base in his article today. I'm starting a bandwagon on calling TJS a "Jerk of all Trade." A master of "Garbage Journalism." He's an annoying troll that didn't get enough hug when he's a child. I have no idea why he's on LAT' s payroll. He has the same take on some of the Dodgers as well. If you hated your home teams that much, then move to the city where he thinks the home teams are doing well. He would bode very well with all the trolls in Boston.
(09) MAMBA24 – JURY – First we must give him a fair trial then we find him GUILTY!!!!
(10) .

We clinch homecourt advantage throughout the west if we win today. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


*
WELCOME BACK JUST ANOTHER MAMBA FAN – BANDWAGON
***
It's great to be back here on the blog too! Doc says my surgery went well, and if the level of pain is any indication of that, then I'd say it's a throbbing success lol! Oh man - I sure wouldn't wish this on anyone... Still - if I come out the other side able to walk up and down the stairs freely, and able to work out again, then of course it's all worth it. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and bandwagons - I surely do appreciate all of it. It was nice to learn what being a die hard, purple and gold running through the veins, member of Laker Nation is all about!!! Thanks everyone!!
***
(01) MAMBA24 – OWNER – Justa I formally trun back over to you the Keys to the house of Mamba. Wecolm back sir you have been missed!! Whopeeeeeeeeeeeee!
(02) MCLYNE – DRIVER - glad to hear everything went well Justa! We will continue to pray for a speedy recovery.
(03) TROY – DRIVING – SHOTGUN - JUSTA!!!! Good to see you up and about bro. Hope the pain subsides soon. I'll be keepin yuou in my prayers for sure.
(04)
(05)

T.J. Simers is a bitter troll with an inferiority complex. The only time he shows pleasure is when someone kisses his butt. Otherwise, he is a surly curdmudgeon and a general displeasure to read.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Rick Friedman,

"The Times' so-called columnists, Bill Plaschke, Mark Heisler, and TJ Simers are so out of touch, most of their columns are about themselves or their delusions."

Agreed.

Roland Lazenby's criticism of Mark Heisler (my favorite of the "Three Stooges" as I call them) was interesting. He notes that Heisler never breaks any news, which is true.

I think these guys don't break news because no one wants to speak with them because no one trusts them, and why should they?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Re:
Simers - I'll jump on the bandwagon. But that's not going to do any good. We need to drive him out of town. His latest article, I only read the first few sentences and gave up, sounded like a last desperate attempt for attention. Without reading the whole article, the article looked like it was going more towards accusation or slander. Is the LA Times even allowing that? I thought some newspaper writers got in trouble or fired for that.

Phil Jackson - His players are not listening to him that made him consider about not coming back next year. Maybe it's best. I agree that he messed up a of his players' confidence.

Kobe vs media - Kobe gets no love from the media, that is true. However, to many fans and players (not necessarily Lakers), he's the best basketball player in the NBA. It's funny, being from Chicago, I don't hear much love for Lebron as much as the media does.
"Is that a goatee?"
"No it's that brown stuff from kissing Lebron's butt"
"What's it taste like, ESPN and TNT?"

Wallace,

"I'm starting a bandwagon on calling TJS a "Jerk of all Trade." A master of "Garbage Journalism." He's an annoying troll that didn't get enough hug when he's a child."

Please put me on that bandwagon.

I've read the L.A. Times sports section on a daily basis since I was six years old. I used to LOVE Jim Murray's articles. So funny, intelligent and epic. Now we've got these Three Stooges and all they do is communicate snarkiness. When I read these authors, I simply feel slightly gross like I've just witnessed an ethically uncomfortable situation. It's hard to put into words, but simply put: Their writings do not inform me; they do not inspire me; they do not leave me feeling as if the subject matter is something meaningful and important.

In short, they are hack journalists polluting a once-great newspaper.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Thank God for Mark Medina. If it weren't for him, half of us wouldn't even log on to latimes.com

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Welcome back, Justanothermambafan!

Your spirit and energy vitalizes this place! I'm glad your surgery went well.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I rarely read Simers.. he's an obnoxious turd.
But there is one aspect to think about, not just for Kobe
but the team, coaches included..
the difficult thing for me lately as a Lakers fan
is not the losses, it IS the absence of joy.. except for DJ,
I don't see guys who are happy to be out there.
Hopefully winning will change that, but maybe the energy
deficiencies are related to another energy... of a warrior
in that kind of ecstasy that comes when he believes
that "today is a good day to die".. meaning 100% is expended.
Easy for me to say..
I sure hope the boys find it. As a unified team.

Mamba,

Just for the record, I never called Simers a piece of garbage. That would be rather insulting to the landfills across the country :)

In all seriousness, if you find this guy so detestable, I'd suggest that you not read his articles, just as we scroll past comments posted by trolls here.

MAMBA24,

"First we must give him a fair trial then we find him GUILTY!!!"

I laughed aloud. Really.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Justa, we need to get together for a drink! Heck, I'd even drink your poison of choice, Tequila, instead of my poison of choice, chilled Grey Goose, with you!!

Easy with the knee, will you?

Go Lakers!

PS: Mamba, you answered my question about the Lakers' locking #1 in the West today. After today, I hope PJ would rest starters a bit so they'll fresh and ready to rock N' roll in the playoff.


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