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Ron Artest's 'Champion' earns encouraging reviews from music industry

With numerous entertainment celebrities on hand for Magic Johnson's party last week at Trousdale Lounge in West Hollywood to celebrate the Lakers' title, the biggest question on my mind involved Ron Artest.

He's been the talk of the town since the Lakers clinched their 16th championship, with his memorable postgame news conference and his rap single, "Champion."Being a hip- hop fan myself, I appreciated Artest's originality, voice and production from Dr. Dre -- a stark contrast than say Shaquille O'Neal's effort. I actually forced myself when I was younger to say Shaq-Fu: Da Return was a classic, but I think it was just wishful thinking.

Fortunately, there were plenty on hand to lend Artest support. Dre wasn't in attendance to detail what it was like working with Artest, but at least his son Curtis was. Beyond being interested in Curtis' revelation that Artest worked with him on a few unreleased songs, I selfishly wanted to know when "Detox" would come out. With the release date of Dre's long-awaited album being far from definitive, I began posting on Facebook last year a song he produced each day and show that by the time I completed posting all his songs, the album still wouldn't come out. When I shared with Curtis what I did, he replied, "That's crazy. He's got a big archive. It's just ready to drop. He may as well drop the 'Detox.' We want 'Detox,' pops." Unfortunately, everyone will have to wait. Curtis predicted the album will come out this year, but he didn't sound too certain.

Master P lauded Artest for being "creative," but it appeared that most of the artists credited Artest for his effort and enthusiasm moreso than his actual skill-set. But that doesn't mean Artest is a bust. It's just that he has more work to do. Case in point, Rashad McCants made it a point to say "he's a better rapper," and even suggested Shannon Brown would be the team's best free styler. Master P and Romeo disagreed, saying Artest wins the bill hands down. Romeoeven cracked that Artest didn't have much competition, bringing up Sasha Vujacic's name to illustrate his point.

But when I asked the three to bust out a free-style on the Lakers' winning a title, they politely refused. When I told the video would appear on Youtube and give him exposure, Master P laughed and said, "Exposure? That ain't enough." Romeo then suggested we should pay them, prompting business reporter and cameraman Nathan Olivarez-Giles to jokingly offer $60. "I'm heartbroken," Romeo said, laughing. "$60 for a free-style?!"

R&B Singer Brian McKnight wouldn't offer a critique, saying that rappers would have a better insight. When I reminded him that R&B has crossed over into hip hop, he answered, "These days. I'm old school. I can't believe I said that."

As far as who would be a good R&B singer on the Lakers?

"Kobe because he's smooth and he's right there and doesn't let anything affect him," McKnight said. "That's the great thing about him. But he'd have to be able to sing. That's the thing. Singing is different than just talking."

--Mark Medina

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

 
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re-post


Didn't want anyone to miss this


http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/490406/chrisrock2.gif


Ron Rap,

Incredible. I mean, the man was workin' out, learnin' the triangle, shootin' his shot to perfection. Wherever did he find the time to become a virtuoso rapper?


LTLF

Thanks for setting me straight on the Bosh champion thing. I almost added Olympic gold to the post but I figured most knew he didn't exactly overachieve when the gold game got tight at the end. But yes, he was there and was a bit better than Dwight.

That said, Bosh has never played in a series as intense as the one LO and Andrew just contributed to.


psycorp and carl: two goof-balls with no LOGIC.

Heck even the Kobe hate had more substantial logic to that (and there was little in that anyways). Their logic about Phil is turrble

TURRIBLE!

Carater - Bob McAdoo? HAHAHA
Ron Artest - AC Green? Ron missed more games this season than the IRON MAN has in his storied career.
Jordan Farmar - Norm Nixon Ok that is just plain turrible.

Just as turrible as Buss tried to put Showtime with Rudy T. It FAILED miserably and before Rudy T. resigned Kobe asked Rudy T. to implement more triangle plays and it helped the Lakers win more games before Rudy T. bailed! Yes Kobe had his assists but he was shooting 40%. That's Allen Iverson type FG% aka a HORRIBLE FG% especially for a star player!

You guys who want PJ out just to put Showtime back in FORGET IT. Even if Scott was hired SHOWTIME isn't going to be what the players will take. It will be just like New Jersey and New Orleans: Pick and Rolls 95% of the time.

Re: Kidd was the one who LED that Nets team.....people who say why he didn't return to the finals after those two.....the Deeeettrriooot PISTONS time was then! Larry Brown's Pistons went on in 04 to beat Shaq and Kobe's Lakers. Heck Kidd was able to bring the Pistons to 7 Games with "less" talent.

As for New Orleans that squad OVERACIEVED that year. Yes 56 wins then a 49 win with a EMBARRASSING 58 point blowout against the Thuggets. Scott lost his team and his "Oh in my day if you did that or that you'll" as much as I would say that....that's why Riley was booted out of LA after the media heard reports of him mistreating players.

And besides this team ISN'T meant for Showtime even if Riley himself came back. Kobe isn't Magic....Pau nor Bynum is Kareem.....Pau or Odom is not James Worthy....and Sasha is no Byron Scott the players. That team took advantage of Magic's fastbreak a TON in a faster pace era where their pace was even faster! One reason why Boston this year had to get into transition to take advantage of Rondo on the fastbreak....Magic and those Lakers especially took advantage of the fastbreak and when they couldn't they were taken to 7 games against a slow down physical Detroit Pistons squad and there were HUGE breaks for the Lakers (the phantom foul on Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas's ankle injury).

This Laker squad was ranked 7th overall in defense rating and for most of the year before the injuries piled on was FIRST (only reason we didn't get so dominant was that our offense was off due to injuries and Ron's integration). That's the strength of the team....NOT SHOWTIME.

WintonDupree- That's funny as HELL.

Lakers please sign Kyle Korver...I think he is perfect for the triangle...

Lakers still use the triangle...right...

LEWSTRS- I'm not sure, I'm not sure what the hell's going on right now.

Is Steve Blake really a good option for the Lakers?
I mean, I saw the guy playing for the Clips...hm...

As for the possible Bosh-Bynum trade that would include Odom. I'm only like 70% of the matter. While everyone knows I wouldn't mind especially for Bynum having Odom in the deal now gives me reservations. Even if Bynum wasn't a consistent factor the Lakers always had Odom to do ball handling and help do rebounds and always fill in when Pau/Andrew was injured. If a Bosh trade did happen while our PG slot would actually improve (over Fisher that is a big yes) our frontcourt would become weaker in terms of depth since well would that mean Caracter be our back up big? That would be concerning and while Ron could play back up PF at times he isn't the rebounder that Odom is.

That being said.....

Odom will never change, and Bynum is the Big Question Mark, not the Diesel whom some don't want to bring because of what he did to LA a few years back. High hopes are making a lot of you overrate these two guys.

Lot's of people don't want Bosh because they have Andrew and Bosh sucks as back up Center we need a true big yadda yadda yadda. Again, the perfect examples came from Ron Artest and Pau Gasol. Nobody wanted Gasol over Garnett or Jermaine. Nobody wanted a "loser" that couldn't win a playoff game, that was soft, that wouldn't even take over 15 shots a game as a primary option. It led to an unexpected finals apperaance (after going only 42-40 the year before) and eventually a ring while Bynum then was so ineffective against Dwight Howard. THEN, everyone was flipping out because Ariza was being "replaced" by the crazy Ron Artest, who was a threat to stain our chemistry. Why fix it? We were defending champs, right? Well, we didn't fix...we upgraded, and we won again...and a LARGE part of us winning was due to the way Ron Artest defended Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce in the playoffs.

So here we go again...same thing, different storyline. Why fix it if it isn't broken? Because other teams are adjusting to beat us, and because we had unlikely heroes in 2-3 of our Finals games, and if it wasn't for their odd games, we would've lost in five or six.

We lose defense up front, but just a little, because Drew didn't play but half the game. We definitely gain defense at the point. Lacking defense there cost us games, and put our bigs in foul trouble constantly. Basically, teams will have trouble scoring at the point (better than Fish's defense), the two, the three, and the five (because there are VERY FEW offensively-injected centers in the NBA and Pau has HALTED every big man sent against him so far with the exception of Shaq but even then....Pau wasn't sent into foul trouble that Bynum was and this was a HEALTHY Bynum). Four positions, locked up. Bosh will be defending power forwards more than centers...that will be his primary position, so he won't be giving up length and weight, like some believe.

Whether the Bynum for Bosh happens or not, please, don't overrate Bynum and Odom. One barely played for us when it mattered most, and can barely stay on the court, and one is inconsistent and put out some pathetic games in the playoffs. Kobe, Gasol and Artest are it. Those guys stepped up when it mattered and with PJ are the goals to making it a three-peat.

KB Blitz- You made some valet points, but giving up on Drew as he's about to turn the corner. If, I know if is a big word with Drew; by staying healthy next season I believe the real BEAST will appear and put all doubters to rest. I'm one who still believes Andrew can be a VERY GOOD CENTER, just one man's opinion.

RACE TO 6 / JUNTOS NA BUSCA DO HEXA

Kobe Bryant lights up Johannesburg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJHiM64zu5g

Maybe it's just me but, I don't see why so many on this blog are so enamored with Bosh. I mean it's not like he's a 'dominate' post player. If the Ls did acquire him would he make the team that much better? Methinksnot. Hopefully, we'll never find out. I like the players we have and am not in favor of losing any of them with the exception of Ammo. Afterall, we've been to the last 3 finals and won the last 2 with the players we have right now. Can't see any reason to fix what ain't broke.

Let's go Ls...all the way to a repeat!!!

KB Blitz- You made some valet points, but giving up on Drew as he's about to turn the corner. If, I know if is a big word with Drew; by staying healthy next season I believe the real BEAST will appear and put all doubters to rest. I'm one who still believes Andrew can be a VERY GOOD CENTER, just one man's opinion.

Damn It, the double post.

Nice vid, ouchhhhhhhh!
And good portuguese...
Vamos la' BRASILLLLLLLL...

G in DC(aka GDUB),

you wrote: Maybe it's just me but, I don't see why so many on this blog are so enamored with Bosh. I mean it's not like he's a 'dominate' post player. If the Ls did acquire him would he make the team that much better?

my response: Here's my take on it.

Bosh is scoring close to 10 pts. more per game than Bynum.
Bosh is grabbing 2 - 4 more rebounds per game than Bynum.
Bosh is able to play the 4 or the 5 which makes him more versatile than Bynum.
Bosh is playing 10 - 20 % more games per year than Bynum.
Bosh is quicker than Bynum which makes him a better pick and roll
defender.
Bosh has a better mid-range game/a better jump shot than Bynum.
Bosh has been an all-star ~ 4 times, which means that it's not just a fluke.
He's a legitimate all-star.

ANDREW WojNAROWSKI tweets:

"Negotiations moving toward Cavs hiring of Brian Shaw as coach stalled Tuesday and Lakers aide left meetings without a contract, source says"

"Cavs GM Chris Grant emailed team hadn’t “made an offer to any coach,” but sources say that’s pure semantics. Shaw and Byron Scott finalists."

What the heck???

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nba/news/story?id=5341636

dd one more marquee name to the most anticipated free-agent class in NBA history: Paul Pierce.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Pierce has notified the Boston Celtics that he will opt out of the final year of his contract before Wednesday's deadline to do so, which will make Pierce an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

HOBBIT

maybe PP opted out like Dirk, so they can sign the last longer contract. Kobe did the same. no one made a comment because it was obvious that Kobe will sign w/Lakers.

same with Dirk with Mavs.

but maybe the boat is rocking in Boston, and PP wants a larger piece of pie. :-)

FCM- Very informative. I guess. I'm glad you are working some of your interests into this. I would have to agree with Curtis and Master P on that one, though. Ron shouldn't give up the day job.

Benjamin- great link. Silver Screen and Roll didn’t miss a thing. Everybody should read it. No, I guess I should probably just post the link here again, but like my middle school science teacher probably didn't use to say, y'all will learn more if you have to look it up yourselves. Now pass the booze, sonny. Never was very sure about that guy.

Carl- a couple of suggestions. 1) Don’t start your post with “I’M NOT CRAZY!” Has anybody who isn’t crazy ever yelled “I’M NOT CRAZY?” 2) Capital Letters. 3)Punctuation. 4) Spacing.

Hobbit/Blitz- isn’t carl a bit below your weight class? On second thought, I just hope he doesn’t respond constantly like you guys do, at least without reading my above suggestions.


"but giving up on Drew as he's about to turn the corner. If, I know if is a big word with Drew; by staying healthy next season I believe the real BEAST will appear and put all doubters to rest."

I have no problem with people believing in AB that's fine that's what they should do. Heck I wouldn't mind LT if he weren't so defensive about any moves about even thinking to move Bynum nor would I have a problem with Staples24 had he not thrown Kobe and the rest of the Lakers all the under the bus just to bring up Bynum.

The thing about the BEAST is that why do people say he's a beast? Because he will score 20 points a game and average 10 rebounds per game? That is only *1* requirement to feel good about Bynum's potential. What about the other aspects of his game? His playmaking when double teams happen...his ability to draw double teams and use it for the benefit of his teammates? You may not be with Laker Tom when it comes to franchise player but even then $13 million for a guy who is at most a 3rd option? You would rather have other solid role players to carry the load rather than pay someone and at worst say "whoever says we don't need Bynum blah blah" when the Lakers lose.

If you want to put Bynum as a beast only for the sole purpose of 20 and 10 then I suggest that you consider that Zach Randolph is also a beast as well for his 20 and 10 contributions. Say what you want about a "true center" but Bynum was cheering on the bench while Gasol was manning the front lines in Game 7 and in the 2009 Finals against Dwight Howard. To me Bynum is still the same overall in terms of skill set: ok jumper mostly a guy who is dependent on getting single coverage and taking advantage of a top 8 player of all time giving him lobs for dunks that exaggerates his FG%.

If Bynum did that 20 and 10 LEAD his team deep into a playoffs, be the LEADER of his team rather than a good part of the whole engine my feelings would change. At the time being he's being still showed nothing but good things just because he played being injured (while admirable OTHER NBA players not to mention Laker players have played hurt) while being overrated as a franchise player and having 2 rings while riding Kobe and Pau to 2 titles already. In fact Bynum has done LESS work than Kobe when Shaq was in town at the very least Bryant was sometimes regarded as 1-B together with a top 10 player of all time. Not to mention he's being helped a TON not asking to lead the team on both sides of the court while being asked to score (and loves doing that) and becoming a defensive force (for all the "big guy" arguments remember that Shaq was terrible at screen and rolls even though he had seasons where Shaq nearly blocked 3 blocks per game (at best Shaq got 2nd team all-Defense) yet is more concerned about his production rather than the type of effect overall he has on the court. Try making him lead a team and being the go to guy with a bunch of scrubs. For all the talk about "Bynum would average 25ppg if he was in Toronto" let me remind of an argument where Bosh had to do EVERYTHING in Toronto while Bynum has had the luxury of having 1) A legendary player 2) A great role player and 3) A great coach cuddling him.

>>What the heck???

Indeed Hobbit. What is he thinking now?
Is he opting out to get more money and a longer contract?
Or he will opt out and take less to allow the ceptics sign a good (or a very good) FA to have another shot for the finals?
In that case we will be flooded by trolls again, and FAN will be back to his former 'Captain Jack'.

I don't think Pierce is going anywhere. Some of these FA's opt out to get a long term contract from their old team before the much anticipated lockout the summer of 2011.

FCM- come to think of it though, to me, your headline didn't entirely jive with the rest of your article. Perhaps if you put the word 'encouraging' in quotation marks it would be closer.

I hope Buss doesn't play hardball with Fish like he did with LO. Fish should be rewarded with more than the vet minimum!

i have a question for ALL of U:

WHY DID BYNUM PLAY HURT IN THE FINALS?

A. because he has heart and wanted to give his best.

B. because he felt GUILTY that 2 years ago was MIA in the Finals because of the injury.
because last year he was MIA because in foul trouble.

all that is ok if one is payed maybe 2 mil. but at 12-13 MIL, one has to give something back. ( i will help you reminding you that aftyer injury happened in game 6 w/OKC, everytime he had to make same decison, we had to wait a day or 2 - vs. Kobe who regardless what the problem was, it was clear that he will play regardless of his physical condition)

-----------------------------------------------------------

i will be the first one to vote: BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

On a side note, I love how all of the sports writers have inside information.
Especially when they contradict each other.

Mr. Nano,

According to the story, attached to the link I posted, the Celtics were a bit
shocked by the opt out.

Phred, congrats on winning the butt contest. :) doesn't that tie in nicely
with your response to my respone to psycorp? :))

… he had to make SOME (not same) kind of decision …

ANDREW BYNUM TRADE RUMORS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From LA Times article by Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers-20100630,0,2902883.story
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“One player who isn't expected to leave is Andrew Bynum, whose name has been dropped in numerous trade rumors, all of which are "ridiculous" insinuations, according to a source familiar with the thinking of the Lakers' front office.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

rdlee,

Fisher should be awarded no more than $3 million. As good as Fisher was in last year's finals he's 36 years old and while can run an offense well he's getting on his years. The last contract was close to the mid-level exception and he isn't worthy of that in a full season. That being said Fish will likely remain in LA.

As for Pierce he is doing the same as everyone else is: Breaking the bank for his last big pay check. Out of the Celtics last year Pierce is the one who is deserving of a raise aside from Rondo. That don't mean he is worthy of it but still I think the Celtics front office will give him his last pay check.

"Hobbit/Blitz- isn’t carl a bit below your weight class? On second thought, I just hope he doesn’t respond constantly like you guys do, at least without reading my above suggestions."

MrNano...anyone who spews BS like that is free hunting. I mean if Kobe was their target lots of people would bash them. Phil Jackson does have his "WTF" moments....but then again all coaches do. They call him lucky yet Riley had Magic (who won a title without Riley as a ROOKIE), Red had Bill Russell (who won as the coach AND still be the go to guy for the Celtics....lets see if anyone can top thta), Pop had Tim Duncan (even Pop himself said that when he won his first title), and Larry Brown had to have a team that was capable of getting to the ECF (and having a glass Laker squad in 04 to face) to win his only NBA title. Him and Psycorp accuse Phil of not winning with scrubs....well Riley achieved a 15 win record in 07-08 WITH scrubs (I take that back....half of those games he had D-Wade and STILL lost). As Kobe has said:

"I don't know of any coach that won with a bunch of scrubs".

If they could identify ONE coach that won a title with no players that were at Kwamay Brown's level then they would have a point. Until then they should simply shut up since their arguments STINK and talk about something better.

As Warren Sapp would have said: "If you think you're so tough, why don't you put on a jersey?"

If Luke and Sasha are making 5 mil plus per, Fish should be pay more.

Is it July 1st yet?

2Phatt,

re: paying fish. take a look at the link I posted for Pearce. It talks about the
rule for old guys.

Blitz, I gotta say that your take on today's stuff is incredibly weak. First, you discount Byron Scott's achievements (while promoting PJ's) by saying that it was Jason Kidd who led that team to two finals appearances and a better showing against the Pistons than the 2004 Lakers, but apparently have no problem attributing the Lakers championship success to PJ rather than Kobe? Why did the Nets success hinge on the player but the Lakers success depend on the coach?

Second, you are 70% in favor of a deal that would send BOTH Bynum and Odom to Toronto for Chris Bosh? Are you serious? You want to trade our starting center (and the best young center prospect in the league) and the 6th man who gives the Lakers the length that helped them win a title for a guy who plays power forward and could not get his team to the playoffs in the weak eastern conference?

Seriously, I have no idea where you come up with this stuff. I can forgive the anti-Scott stuff as just your loyalty to a coach who helped bring 5 titles to Los Angeles, but this trade thing is pretty unbelievable. I can't understand how you could take a "don't tear this team apart" approach when it comes to the coach, but then tear the roster apart by getting rid of what makes the Lakers roster the best in the league....

Aloha,

I really can't see the Bynum/Lamar for Bosh and Jack deal taking place at all. That deal ADDS around 4 million to the payroll. Perhaps the Lakers are just blowing smoke about wanting to CUT payroll but somehow I don't think so.

As far as the statistical comparisons between Bosh and Bynums game, it drives me a little nuts. It really demonstrates a lack of basketball understanding. I mean yes Bosh did indeed score 9 points a game more then Andrew but as the number one option, with six more minutes of run a game. Pau averaged 18 points on 13 shots last year and he shoots a better %. Since Pau is the more versatile scorer I really can't see Bosh getting as many shots as Pau. Perhaps Bosh will average 17 maybe 18 at best on the Lakers as the 3rd option.

And rebounds, please. Again Andrew Competes with 2 of the best rebounders in the league as well as Kobe, the best rebounding shooting guard in the NBA. And if you break it down by rebounds by minutes played, they rebound almost at the same rate.

Does Bosh have a better outside shot? Absolutely, but I am an old school basketball guy and I will take 57% that Andrew shoots over 51% that Bosh hits.

I guess all I am saying is if you think Bosh is the better player, fine. If you worry about Andrews injury history, yes it's a real concern. But please stop with the stat comparison already. It doesn't work. 1st day of my Statistics class in collage we were given a book entitled "Lying with Statistics" One can make a case for just about anything with stats.

MH

phred - Thanks for the love man. I think the headlined though was appropriate, I mean no one slammed Artest's rapping skills. They all had the aura that they liked that he made the effort.

MM

"First, you discount Byron Scott's achievements (while promoting PJ's) by saying that it was Jason Kidd who led that team to two finals appearances and a better showing against the Pistons than the 2004 Lakers, but apparently have no problem attributing the Lakers championship success to PJ rather than Kobe? "

Big difference-Phil won without Kobe (In Chicago). He also won with Shaq as the go to guy with Kobe as a supporting one. He NEVER had his guys chase him out of town. MJ refused to return to the Bulls when Phil got fired by Krause.

Byron was chased out of New Jersey (even though his team was 22-20 which wasn't bad) and fired by New Orleans especially when hearing that he chose to opt to play golf in Southern California instead of game planning against the Lakers back in November.

Phil helped MJ finally blast past the Detroit Pistons by using teamwork of the triangle offense where as before where MJ went against 4 Pistons. Phil helped Scottie develop into a point forward where as Pippen was just another role player. He turned an underachieving Lakers squad that got swept by San Antonio into a 67-15 win team, won 3 titles even though Shaq had injuries, helped develop Kobe from a wannabe MJ, into a very great second option (during his time as a 2nd fiddle possibly the best evern), and tuned the offense to help Kobe's scoring when he came back instead of doing Mike Brown's way of "giving to Lebron and let him do everything", and helped turn a 32 win Lakers squad to get back to the NBA Fianls in less than 3 years. Heck you didn't even need to put Pau Gasol into the equation, the Lakers were a beginning to become a good team before Pau came along. Pau was the perfect big man for Phil's offense though.

Does Phil have his faults? Yes and he had a HUGE mistake putting Kobe on Rip Hamilton in 2004 and tiring Kobe out by chasing in screens and still trust Kobe to make the right decision even though Kobe still fired into misses while Shaq was destroying the Pistons. One reason why we didn't win the 2004 Finals. In 2008 he trusted way too much Sasha and Jordan in Game 4 and that resulted in a 2-15 shooting brick that cost us that game. Then again all coaches has faults (seriously I would never find out why Riley stood there instead of finding a way to counter the Pistons near rally in Game 7 of the 88 Finals) but great ones like PJ/Riley/Red USE their players the right way and its no wonder why the Lakers team WANT PJ back instead of "understanding" the reason with his health.

"but then tear the roster apart by getting rid of what makes the Lakers roster the best in the league...."

The roster that made the Lakers best in the league is Kobe AND Pau. Yes Odom made a big difference last year and Bynum did help in spurts but where they the biggest difference in the end? No.

Again listen to the argument: NO ONE wanted Gasol...why put a guy who is soft and couldn't win a playoff victory? Yet now who is willing to trade Gasol and all of a sudden he's the most skilled big man in the league! NO ONE wanted Ariza to be replaced by a crazy Ron. Who the hell wants to give up Ariza, who is younger, arguably has still room to grow, shot nearly 50% and was clutch at times in the playoffs to a guy who while is better defensively *now*, is a career 40% shot bricker in the playoff (he still shot 40% hmmm), has had distractions to teams before, and could only possibly go down hill considering his age? What do you know GOD? Ron Artest became a Hero with his game winner against Phoenix and his big time play in Game 7 when Kobe and Pau where at first shooting bricks AND still played big time defense against Paul Pierce who in 2008 was roasting the Lakers except for Game 3. If Bosh came how would you know he wouldn't made the team better?

The biggest reservations I have against that rumored trade is that yes Odom would be included and while Odom didn't do very well this post season he was at the very least not be owned as he was in 2008. I would be very nervous if Powell was our back up or even Caracter. The reason why I'm in favor is simple....Bosh is better than LO and Bynum *overall* (Not saying everything Bynum still has the edge in size though that is quite overplayed). Do I think the trade will happen? Not likely and I wouldn't have a problem if it never happened.

As long as Kobe/Pau/PJ remains the team won't be truly be apart just as long as an UPGRADE happens. Artest proved to be an UPGRADE over Ariza even though Trevor was a HUGE part of the 09 title....hell I could argue Trevor's contributions were BIGGER than any of Bynum's in the playoffs so far. And again dismissing Bosh......do you honestly think that Bynum would fare that much better with a team like Toronto? Just ask Trevor how he did as "the man" when he did get 18ppg but shot 39% in Houston.

michael h,

I understand that you are driven crazy by the statical comparison but here's why the stats can be valid:

REBOUNDING

Ths strongest argument of why Bynum isn't averaging as much. I concur it is HARDER for him to secure many rebounds when you have 2 good rebounds. The thing I could bring up though is WHY is he letting Odom and Gasol out rebound him? Odom as good as he is isn't Dennis Rodman and Gasol has MUCH less weight than Bynum. In my opinion Bynum should making those two look like wannabe's in rebounding. No offense to either two they are exellcellent rebounders but if Bynum was as good as Shaq he would have taken AWAY rebounds from them rather the other way around.

SCORING.

The weakest argument. Yes true Bosh has those but remember while Bynum is doing it as a third option remember HOW is he doing it. Alley oops. Spoon fed from Bryant penetration or Gasol pass. Those help to easy dunks and bring up the FG%. How would he do without it? Against in the face of double teams and the focus point of defense and be forced to create? Having those two helps a TON in your FG% and scoring. Ask Trevor how he is doing. With the Lakers as a ROLE PLAYER he shot nearly 50% in the playoffs with less double teams and Kobe helping to bring away most of the attention. When he came to Houston he was targeted a TON since Yao was out. Yes he got his points but a 39% clipp? He had to shoot nearly 14 Field goals a game just to score 15 points per game...that isn't efficient by ANY MEANS!

Plus Bynum would have to have ADDITIONAL responsibilities from helping setting up the defense and helping a TON more because his teammates wouldn't be as good on protecting the perimeter as Kobe and Artest is. That really does get taxing and it wouldn't help that he also would have to find ways to score that is MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to score against with KB. Do you agree it would be HARDER if he faced double teams Michael h? Would he still maintain a 57% or would it drop and if so how much? Because all these counter arguments of "he's not the top player on his team" yet Bosh still shot 51% with the defense gunning for him while Bynum is protected by Kobe and Pau. When Pau cam here he averaged 18ppg on 49% some people though his stats would go DOWN with Kobe....they nearly averaged the same a BIG part being in Phil's offense (centers has the easiest transition in the triangle) and being together with Kobe? How so? He became more EFFICIENT! With Kobe and Pau.....how would you not know that Bosh wouldn't become more efficient? He wouldn't have as much double teams and when he go to back up center he can post up just as much! Sure his PPG would go down but if he still scored at the clip he was he would be even more efficient and can possibly play more with Kobe's strengths allowing Kobe to play in the post more or dribble penetrate and kick.

If you want to use the argument Bosh is the top dog on his team go ahead. Remember though to FACTOR what would happen to Bynum if he was the go to guy on that Raptors team.

Aloha!

Michael H,

Aloha.

So a counter to what you've said. [ yes, let's agree not to make this too long. :) ]

1st. regarding the trade. Until it actually happens, let's just table it. ok?

2nd. regarding Bosh vs. Bynum & stats.

A. Can we agree that while stats don't tell the whole story ... they do tell what
actually happened in some capacity?

you wrote: As far as the statistical comparisons between Bosh and Bynums game, it drives me a little nuts. It really demonstrates a lack of basketball understanding. I mean yes Bosh did indeed score 9 points a game more then Andrew but as the number one option, with six more minutes of run a game. Pau averaged 18 points on 13 shots last year and he shoots a better %. Since Pau is the more versatile scorer I really can't see Bosh getting as many shots as Pau. Perhaps Bosh will average 17 maybe 18 at best on the Lakers as the 3rd option.

my response: Stop. The statistical comparison in no way shape or form
demonstrates a lack of basketball understanding. It is merely a numerical
representation of what happened.

The games in December were telling. Offensive rebounds are about
*HUSTLE*. That is what our SG, KB, grabbed 15 rebounds in game 7.
In the month of Dec. Bynum was getting about 4 rebounds per night.
The observable fact was that he wasn't trying. I reach this conclusion
via ...

1. His location. As soon as someone shot, he ran to the other end of the
court because he was only focused on offense/scoring.
2. The number of rebounds that the other team got. he has been out
rebounded by someone who is 6 inches shorter than his 7'0.
3. His failure to *try* and grab the rebounds.
4. His failure to box out.

You speak of the dubious use of stats and then you turn around and use
them. If you are going to talk about Bosh's extra 9 pts then you need to
actually look at his offensive rebounds and factor in how many of the
extra 9 pts were from put-backs. You didn't do that.

Furthermore, you didn't actually evaluate the offensive scheme of Toronto
and compare it to the Lakers offensive scheme.

If you are going to factor in the extra 6 minutes of playing time then you
need to actually look at the foul rate. Bynum *would* get more playing
time *IF* he were deserving of it. His high foul rate, his poor conditioning
led to using Pau & Odom much more than PJ wanted to. I get this from
PJ's statement where he talked about limiting the minutes of Pau
[hamstring ], Kobe, & Fish.

You make the claim that Pau is a more versatile scorer. Please substantiate
your claim. *I* would make the claim that they are relatively close. One
way to substantiate my claim is Bosh's 4 all-star bids, while playing in the
conference with Howard, Shaq, Lewis & KG.

re: Pau's shooting %. If you are going to negate the stats, you can't turn
around and use Pau's stats. Furthermore, if memory serves the C for
Toronto shoots 3's. That means that he's not a post player. You would
have to examine Bosh's points in the post and compare them with Pau's
points in the post in order to compare the two and you didn't do that.
You would also have to account for Bosh getting double-teamed. Bosh
doesn't have the leeway of playing with a Kobe, Pau & Bynum so you would
expect the all-star to face a few more double-teams then Bynum/Gasol
wouldn't you?

If Bosh averaged 18/10 he'd still be an improvement over Bynum today.
From your argument, we have no reason to believe that Bynum will ever
do better than those numbers due to playing with Pau & Kobe. Given
Bynum's penchant for fouling as seen via the last 2 years, you can't really
argue that Bynum would do much better in an offense which featured him.
The defense would double-team him. He's not a great passer. He's been
too busy trying to score and reach the all-star team. So. He would pick
up offensive fouls and get traveling calls.

Finally, Bosh went to college & is a four time all-star & a 1 or 2 time
Olympian. He's more fundamentally sound than the high-school kid who
didn't play for the first 2 years and has never been an all-star & has had
significant injuries for the last 3 years.

you wrote: Again Andrew Competes with 2 of the best rebounders in the league as well as Kobe, the best rebounding shooting guard in the NBA. And if you break it down by rebounds by minutes played, they rebound almost at the same rate.

my response: your fudging. You're using stats to make up for Bynum's
weaknesses. To clean this up you'd have to show Pau's rebound rate when
Bynum is on the court and LO's rebound rate when Bynum is on the court.
You didn't do that. You'd also have to compare rebounders in the west vs.
the east. Howard has been the best for the last 3 years. KG was best b4
that and now KG & Howard are in the same conference as Bosh.

With respect, you should have paid more attention in your stat class.

Aloha

hobbitmage,

In the interest of brevity I'll just respond to the most often cited questions in support of PJ. Generally the questions along the line of "how many ring did Shaq win in Orlando with Hardaway before Phil...?" or "how many ring did Jordan win before Phil..." or "how many ring did Shaq/Kobe win before Phil...?"

The answer is simple: Phil was LUCKY to be at the right place at the right time. Before his arrival on the team Jordan and Kobe while were already talented were not mature enough. OK, so I'm willing to give Phil some credit perhaps in helping the maturing process of both these future superstars but he DID come in just at the right time when a typical player start to "get it" after his first couple of years. Would he had won championships if he had a rookie Jordan/Kobe on the team? I sincerely doubt it. Not only were they not ready their stellar supporting cast was not fully assembled either.

As for Shaq, who else did he had beside Hardaway? a bunch of chopped liver for supporting cast that's what. When Shaq came to the Lakers, they would have had a lineup of four (4) future All-Stars: Shaq, rookie Kobe, Norm Nixon and Eddie Jones as well as Robert Horry.

It took a couple of years for this lineup to gell and that's exactly when Phil just "happened" to stroll in with a future championship lineup already GIFT BOXED for him to open and enjoy. Also no small thanks to Lakers management to get rid of "Cancun" Nixon and his toxic presence and tweaked the team for Phil's arrival.

Would Phil had won if he had the team when Shaq first came over? I doubt it as well.

Last but not least, why didn't the Jazz with legendary HOFs Stockton and Malone couldn't win with their pick n roll? simple again, number one there was at the time another team in Chicago led by a guy named Jordan that kept denying them and number two, the Jazz supporting cast was pure chopped liver compared to the powerful Bull supporting cast.

Aloha Hobbit & Blitz

First for the record, I believe Bosh is a better player. But I would only trade Andrew for health concerns which are real, not how much more Bosh might bring. The problem I have in the stat comparison is that somehow some way Bosh is going to bring those stats to the Lakers. Will not happen.

My problem with that trade is the 4 million it adds to salaries. Bosh would make around 7 million more then Andrew for 2 to 3 points a game more and perhaps a rebound a game. Plus we lose a little in post defense.

Now I ask you why was the thunder able to hang with us? Why was the Suns able to hang? And to a lesser extent the Celtic's? Primarily a weak bench and the lack of consistent outside shooting to spread the floor. Yet the purposed Bosh /Jack trade not only doesn't address those issues, removing Lamar from the bench makes a weak bench even weaker. Plus now you have to spend even MORE money for a quality big off the bench. Our front line personal has not been an issue, even with an inconsistant Bynum and lamar. With a shooter and a better bench, we wouldn't have even been challenged. I believe we need to spend money in the area of greatest need. Yes you add an all star, but he is the SAME player as Pau. As a team we would still be out of balance. And if you want to extend Kobe's career, you better up grade the bench to reduce his minutes or he will burn out.

Oh and Hobbit, yes I was using stats too. Accurate stats. Comparing rebounds per minutes played, not total per game, apples to apples if you will. And how does comparing rebounding in the east and west matter anyway? Yes Howard is number one(another guy without a 2nd rebounder unless your actually and believe Rasard Lewis is a rebounder). The west is the tougher division but even that doesn't matter. It is about what the player does. And on the Lakers that means several good rebounders competeing for boards.

And Blitz, Andrew faced double teams all YEAR, geez where were you? You and Hobbit were even arguing with me earlier in the year, about getting the ball more into the post and you BOTH said it couldn't be done because defenses were collapsing the POST. Now your saying Andrew was SINGLE COVERED this year? Which is it? Single covered or defenses collapsing the post? Perhaps you should go through your archives before making those statements. Check out what you wrote. Aloha.

MH

"And Blitz, Andrew faced double teams all YEAR, geez where were you?"

I have not said he faced double teams constantly...what I said the post was CLOGGED. That does not mean double teams when he HAD the ball. Why was the post CLOGGED? Because Pau and Andrew WANT the post and both guys posted up and that CLOGGED the lane making it easier for double/triple teams come to Kobe should he decide to penetrate OR less space for Pau to operate in because Bynum was in the lane as well. I have not said Bynum was constantly doubled....he faced single coverage almost 90% of the time. The 10% of the time he was doubled 7% of that he STRUGGLED to do anything and got a turnover or offensive foul. He RARELY punished doubles...thank Kobe and Pau for those times. Lots of time it was either alley oops, "Oh nice pass to Bynum by Bryant", or posting up against one man. Of course thanks to Kobe those doubles didn't come as much but I guess you prefer to ignore that. Having the post CLOGGED isn't the same as a natural double team. That simply means its' harder to get the ball into the post regardless of single or double teams. When you get the ball into the post you have to decide what to do then. When the double teams happen when you make your move.....what then??

In the 2009 Championships Dwight wasn't doubled initially most times when he got the ball. When he made his move help came regardless if it was Pau or Andrew defending (Pau did a much better job at forcing Dwight into the double teams) and guess what Howard *struggled*. Lots of this defense came on how they defended Shaq on practice. The biggest difference was that Shaq could punish those double teams when it happened by passing while Howard nor Bynum *cannot*. Neither are good passers. No matter how good you are unless you name was Shaq or Wilt or Hakeem or Kareem you WILL struggle with double teams!

Double teams does not mean being close to another defender in an attempted post up when his teammate is close by. It does not mean a double team when Bynum simply looks where the ball is waiting to see what it is going to do. Double teams usually happens when you make your move and another defender comes to help. That's one big reason why Howard struggled against LA. And that's one reason why Bynum is hardly facing any when he has KB to draw them just as much!

Ask Ariza how is he doing please!

To pyscorp: THIS IS WHY YOUR LOGIC FAILS!

"As for Shaq, who else did he had beside Hardaway? a bunch of chopped liver for supporting cast that's what"

Nick Anderson (before his infamous choke) averaged 16ppg, Dennis Scott (13ppg), Horace Grant (13ppg and 10rpg). Shaq's supporting cast made him get to the Finals where Nick the Brick happened and met Hakeem's Rockets where Hakeem owned Shaq. That don't mean Shaq had bad teammates....they were pretty good beyond Penny.

"Before his arrival on the team Jordan and Kobe while were already talented were not mature enough. "

Oh now you admit Phil helped develop Kobe bravo to that. I'm sorry though but Jordan was ALREADY matured. He got back from an 30-8-8 season. What Phil did though was DEVELOP MJ into a guard who didn't have to be racking up 8 assists per game. Instead of trying to create for his teammates like a PG he got MJ to LET GO of the ball and let his teammates find him....guess what they SWEPT the Pistons! They EMBARRASSED the best defensive team in the 90's the New York Knicks! Look what happened to Kobe with no Phil: Yes he did get his 6 assists but 4 TURNOVERS per game AND a 40% FG% (that's not good since your logic is quite TURRIBLE). That was pretty much what the offense was then: Showtime with Kobe pick and rolls and forced to create.....it got so bad that Kobe asked Rudy T. to use triangle plays and the Lakers began to have success against then Rudy T. resigns. Then Phil comes back re-introduces the triangle...has LO be the ball handling player instead of Kobe and Kobe attacks like a Small Forward and guess what a 35.4ppg that is only surpassed by 3 players: Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor, and none other than Wilt Chamberlain. Surprise Surprise at remembering TRUE HISTORY.

"Would he had won championships if he had a rookie Jordan/Kobe on the team? I sincerely doubt it."

Which coach would have won championships with a rookie Jordan/Kobe on a scrub team. A BIG reason why Jordan and Kobe got drafted is well...their team was pretty crappy to begin with! NO COACH WOULD HAVE WON A TITLE WITH JUST A ROOKIE SUPERSTAR AND A BUNCH OF SCRUBS. NOT RILEY, NOT POP, NOT SLOAN NOBODY! I DARE YOU TO GIVE ME A LIST OF COACHES WHO DID!

"When Shaq came to the Lakers, they would have had a lineup of four (4) future All-Stars: Shaq, rookie Kobe, Norm Nixon and Eddie Jones as well as Robert Horry."

HAHA THIS IS WHERE YOUR LOGIC GOES DOWN EVEN PAST THE SEWERS OF LOS ANGELES!! 1) SHAQ WAS ALREADY AN ALL-STAR BUT GOT SWEPT BY UTAH. 2) NORM NIXON GOT DRAFTED IN 1977 HE WOULD HAVE TO BE NEARLY 40 TO BE ON THAT LAKERS SQUAD (HE RETIRED IN 1989). 3) ROBERT HORRY WAS *NEVER* AN ALL-STAR. BIG SHOT? YES ALL-STAR? NEVER! AND 4) EDDIE JONES MY FAVORITE early 1990's Lakers PLAYER WAS TRADED *AWAY* FROM THE LAKERS MARCH 1999 WHILE *RAMBIS* WAS COACH. I STILL REMEMBER LAKER FANS STILL CHANTING "EDDIE EDDIE EDDIE!". Phil "strolled in" LONG AFTER EDDIE WAS GONE!

The 1998-1999 WERE *SWEPT* BY THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS. SWEPT! Embarrassing! To be Swept in the last playoff game in the Forum! In fact they weren't even 1st in their *Division* , Portland was. That Lakers team was talented but UNDERACHIEVERS. You don't have any idea of what that means do you Psycorp??

"Also no small thanks to Lakers management to get rid of "Cancun" Nixon and his toxic presence and tweaked the team for Phil's arrival."

This is why your logic sucks. Aside from the wrong thing I mentioned earlier by Nixon....Norm was traded to the Clippers for the rights to Byron Scott! He didn't have an attitude problem...the Lakers wanted a good SG to complement the Showtime Lakers!

"Jazz supporting cast was pure chopped liver compared to the powerful Bull supporting cast. "

Wow I can't believe you have the audicity to even post ab0ut the NBA. Karl Malone/John Stockton/Jeff Hornaceck that makes a FORMIDABLE team. Best PF at that time (2nd of all time), 4th best PG of all time, one of the best shooters of that era...hardly a "scrub" team that won 62 games and had the home court advantage!

And as "powerful" as the Bulls cast was lets see before you go and tell me more about the "scrub" Jazz: Beyond MJ/Pip/ and Rodman: Luc Longley! Ron Harper! Steve Kerr! Toni Kukoc! Scott Burell oh noes this Lakers squad whould never beat the Bulls with that supporting cast! MJ was 35 at that time he was out of his prime....Pippen wasn't himself he had a back injury...Rodman was great at defending/rebounding but he was no scorer/Kukoc was their true 2nd option.....Toni Kukoc hmmm.....who averages only 13ppg and LESS points than Bynum has as a 3rd option...so MJ/Rodman/Kukoc and a less than 100% Pippen....why were they so good besides MJ's greatness even at the age of 35....maybe because they had a coach who still coached them to maximize their abilities through TEAMWORK instead of the traditional PG!

I'll say it again Pyscorp: Your logic at bashing Phil SUCKS. Heck I could give a better argument against Phil than you could on your best day! You write inaccuracies that result in you re-writing history. Sorry but this is not Ancient Egypt. This is 2010 and we remember quite well without a person re-writing Egypt. I suggest that you don't even post anymore before even thinking of using your bad Phil Jackson HATE logic!

Aloha Michael H,

you wrote: First for the record, I believe Bosh is a better player.

my response: sweet. we agree on something.

you also wrote: The problem I have in the stat comparison is that somehow some way Bosh is going to bring those stats to the Lakers. Will not happen.

my response: I had said earlier, that by any metric you want to slice it Bosh
is a better player. As a better player than Bynum, is it unreasonable to
believe that he will play better than Bynum? Feel free to re-post my statement
where I talk about how many points & rebounds Bosh will get as a Laker.

you wrote: Now I ask you why was the thunder able to hang with us? Why was the Suns able to hang? And to a lesser extent the Celtic's? Primarily a weak bench and the lack of consistent outside shooting to spread the floor. Yet the purposed Bosh /Jack trade not only doesn't address those issues, removing Lamar from the bench makes a weak bench even weaker. Plus now you have to spend even MORE money for a quality big off the bench. Our front line personal has not been an issue, even with an inconsistant Bynum and lamar. With a shooter and a better bench, we wouldn't have even been challenged. I believe we need to spend money in the area of greatest need. Yes you add an all star, but he is the SAME player as Pau. As a team we would still be out of balance. And if you want to extend Kobe's career, you better up grade the bench to reduce his minutes or he will burn out.

my response:

1. The Thunder were able to hang with us because ....
- They were younger & more athletic. i.e. being able to run.
- Well coached defensively.
- They denied the ball to Bynum & Pau for 2 games.
- They're actually a good team who had won 50 games.

2. The Suns were able to hang with us because ....
- They're a well coached team. [ by committee actually. Gentry spoke to
every coach who had had any success against Phil Jackson ]
- A better shooting team. Who won 54 games during the season.
- The length of Robin Lopez stymied Bynum because Bynum doesn't know
how to play well against skilled bigs.
- Ron Artest

http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/basketball/nba/game/Lakers_Suns/2010/05/23

3. The Celtics were able to hang with us because ...
- They are an excellently coached team.
- The best team defense in the league.
- 3 HOFers.
- a coach who did a better job of developing his bench.

Jarret Jack is 2 inches taller than D-Fish. %age wise he shot better from
the 3. %age wise he's a better shooter.

With respect, he does address our issue at pg.

you need to explain this: Our front line personal has not been an issue, even with an inconsistant Bynum and lamar.

How can you say that our front line personnel has not been an issue and in
the same sentence say that Bynum & Lamar have been inconsistent?
For the last 2 seasons Gasol has averaged 3 more minutes per game than
the year when Bynum was completely out with his blown knee.

you wrote this: Oh and Hobbit, yes I was using stats too. Accurate stats. Comparing rebounds per minutes played, not total per game, apples to apples if you will. And how does comparing rebounding in the east and west matter anyway? Yes Howard is number one(another guy without a 2nd rebounder unless your actually and believe Rasard Lewis is a rebounder). The west is the tougher division but even that doesn't matter. It is about what the player does. And on the Lakers that means several good rebounders competeing for boards.

my response: yes, we agree that you were using stats. Your earlier post said
you didn't like stats not that the stats were wrong. Make up your mind.
Comparing rebounds in the east vs. west matter because of who you are
rebounding against.

Oden. out.
Lopez. was out.
Channing Frye. outside shooter.
Nenad Kristic. Do I have to say anything?

Are you really telling me that our bench PF should be out-rebounding our
starting C?

you wrote: It is about what the player does. And on the Lakers that means several good rebounders competeing for boards.

my response: YES! That's my whole point. at 7'0 285 lbs Bynum should
be out-rebounding everybody. He's not. That's because he doesn't try. I
studied this in great detail because LakerTom kept making excuses for him.
Time after time Bynum did not try to grab rebounds. Before the end of the
season, he wasn't focused on defense. He wasn't focused on rebounds. He
just wanted to score so he could be an all-star. FYI, I posted an article
earlier in the season where the sports writer said: Bynum doesn't rebound
unless the ball falls into his hands. [ paraphrase. ]

Have you done any research to validate this thought? Let me help you.

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2009/12/17/bynum-on-the-boards/

snippet: Andrew Bynum, all seven feet of him with that 7’6” wingspan, had three rebounds in the win over the Bucks. That’s the same number he had in the game against Chicago the night before. He had four against Utah to start this road trip.

snippet: 4:40: Third Quarter: Lakers with the ball and Gasol takes a 16-footer straight away. Bynum is in position to fight if it comes off to the left. It goes right. But what is interesting here is Ron Artest was also on the left, slides under the basket and does fight, all the way to the baseline with Bogut for the ball (it goes out off Artest). Ron-Ron showed passion, he wanted it. Bynum’s rebounds tended to come because the ball went to him, not because he fought for it.

[ note: there are a number of examples in this article where bynum does the
right thing. However, look at that sentence above. Bynum wasn't fighting
for the rebounds and that is what I observed and spoke about constantly
during the season. ]

you wrote this: you and Hobbit were even arguing with me earlier in the year, about getting the ball more into the post and you BOTH said it couldn't be done because defenses were collapsing the POST.

my response: I think you should get your facts straight. I'm reasonably
certain that I wrote this about a playoff series not about the season.
Specifically, the OKC series when they fronted and came over the back.

Psycorp,

KB Blitz has addressed most things, so I won't go into detail.

1 thing. You mention Phil was lucky vs. being good.

11 & 2 in the finals. hmmm .... Most NBA professionals don't actually
agree with you. From what I know of statistics, I don't agree with you either.

hobbit- oddly, the two are directly related. It seems you won't ever understand how, though, as you seem to lack an awareness of the subtle ironies of life.

FCM- well, it's just that when I read the headline, my thought was 'huh, all those professional artists and experts in the industry thought that 'champion' was good?' And then I read the article and saw that all the experts said that they thought that Artest had made a good effort and showed some energy, not that the single really showed he had some skills, and I thought 'yeah, that makes more sense.'

So, your headline was accurate, but it mislead me. You see what I mean?

Mitch has his work cut out for him this summer. First he needs a head coach. Then he has to build on this 7-man roster he walks into July 1 with:

C: Bynum (knee surgery)
PF: Gasol, Odom
SF: Artest, Walton (pinched nerve in back - may not play)
SG: Bryant (possible finger and/or knee surgery), Sasha
PG: None


Only the PF spot (and the C spot with Pau as backup) is really set with a starter and proper depth.


What the Lakers need most is a couple of guards who can play heavy minutes next to Kobe. That will be the biggest challenge. Fisher is likely to be one of those guards. He is old, but he played all 82 games last year and had a strong playoffs. But the time to get a successor in place is here. Shannon Brown may come back, but he is not the answer. Sasha healthy helps the guard rotation, but he going to step into the starting PG spot if Fish falters. This is not a job for Critter. He is at best a fallback for Shannon not signing. The Lakers need to go out and sign at least a first tier backup guard.


They also need an SF off the bench who can defend and shoot. Walton is not the answer - his health is too much of a question mark. That makes two spots the Lakers need to fill by going out and signing a free agent (with limited cash). No, a second round draft choice can't fill that role.


They need a big or two for the bench. Powell and/or Mbenga may be back, but not having cracked the rotation by now, they are clearly emergency only options. But after getting a guard and an SF, cash will be strapped for bench bigs.


The Lakers have the core of back-to-back champs intact. But they need to improve what proved to be a spotty bench last year. Better role players are where the Lakers have the biggest chance to improve this off season. Then they need their core to be healthier than they were this year. Injuries kept the Lakers from reaching their full potential all year.


Tom D.

Trade rumor in Spain: Pau Gasol next year to Boston Celtics, RAy Allen, T. Allen and Big Baby Davis to L.A.L.

Pau Gasol fit better with the Celtics than with Lakers. His personality is more a Celtic personality (no Hollywood character, only BB)

Pau Gasol will play by Celtics in order to established his career as the best big man in his decade, playing for the 2 best teams around the world.

Chris Bosh - 24 pts, 11 rebs, 52% with Toronto

What would those numbers be with the Lakers?

17 pts, 10 rebs, 58% ?

A Lakers line up of Gasol, Bosh, Artest, Kobe, and a good pt guard would be very impressive.

We all know, we need a sign and trade to get Bosh. And although we on this blog are specialists at doing such a thing, teams rarely can accomplish that feat.

In trades and FA signings, it takes two to tangle, but with a sign and trade, all three entities have to agree and feel the deal is in its best interests.

First Bosh would want to play with the Lakers, he does, but they have to agree to a price. What does Bosh want, the maximum? Toronto is willing to pay that. Whatever that is, that has to be established first.

Step two, once that has been established, the Lakers would have to offer players to Toronto of equal value, that the Raptors agree to. This is the tough part, but Colangelo says they are not only willing to do a sign and trade, but it would be desirable to do so. Seattle wasn't with Rashard Lewis and let him go with no compensation to Orlando. The Lakers don't have that liberty to just sign him.

Back to step one, the money. Wanting near max money, (15-17 mil?)who could the Lakers counter with to match? Odom and lots of parts? Lamar a solid bench player, makes 8.5 per year. Let's say, add Sasha (5), Farmar (2.8) and you might be able to tempt Toronto to take it.

But does that make any sense to the Lakers having a fantastic front line, all making near max, and one of them coming off the bench, probably Bosh. Would he agree to a relegated bench job? I don't think so.

Any deal would have to make Bosh a starter, which means either Pau or Bynum being involved.

Now if I was Toronto, I would be asking for Bynum, no question about that. He's our prize in any trade deal. But for such a prize, they would have to take some of our junk contracts. (Luke?) And perhaps, throw in a quality point guard.

With the upcoming free agent scramble to complicate any trade and sign, any deal would have to go down fast.

Plus, the Lakers are under no pressure to make any deal at all. They are pretty good as they stand in the front line.

This is why I think any Bosh deal, no matter how we think it will improve the Lakers, will not go down. Its just too complicated, and not a necessity to the Lakers.

The Pau´s Spirit obviously is no Laker. His quiet personality, his concept team sport about BB, his unselfisch personality, his game, all this is "Celtics material" not Lakers material (Hollywood, rares personalitys - Artest, Kobe.... -) Pau is a quiet person. He never find the photo, the showbussines. And obviously, he want to be the nº 1 option his team. This year, he deserved the MVP finals, but Kobe receibed it.

3 years as 2 fiddle is enouhg. Pau needs and want be the 1 guy, as in Memphis. No more overshadowed for Kobe. Pau is better player than Kobe. He is the real "Key player", not Kobe. Kobe is only "Spectacular plays", but Pau won championships b/c his super-game.

Pau want and needs Boston for establish his legacy in the NBA.

Ricky--do you go out of your way to show how little you know or is this all accidental? If so, buy a lottery ticket because you have incredible luck.

Pau Gasol playing for Boston will be "FANTASTIC".

Pau Gasol deserve win rings with the 2 best NBA teams.

Pau need Boston to establish his NBA legacy. The "unique" spaniard that play for te 2 best teams in the NBA history and be the only europlayer that won rings with two differents teams.

It feels like Christmas Eve wondering what's in all the packages. The only problem for us Laker fans is that we've already opened all of our presents and are just hoping Santa Buss doesn't leave coal in our stockings.
All I want for Christmas is the return of the Zen Master and Fisher, good health especially for Kobe, Bynum and Odom, Steve Blake or Kyle Korver, Adonal Foyle, Tony Battie or Kwame Brown.

Phred,

you wrote: oddly, the two are directly related. It seems you won't ever understand how, though, as you seem to lack an awareness of the subtle ironies of life.

my response: phred, phred, phred. *sigh*

Ok. You're right. When it comes to your butt, I have completely missed any
subtle ironies. This is why I would have voted for Justa's butt if I had
chosen to vote.

However, you win. Jim Bean is THE BOURBON and you are THE BUTT of
the Lakers Blog.

Feel free to save this post, print it out and stick it on your wall. Maybe you
can make a screen saver out of it. dunno.

Holy Frak!! Did Psycorp just post that Norm Nixon was on the 99 Lakers??? Hooooly FRAK!!! Did Psycorp just say that Norm Nixon was the one who yelled "1 2 3 Cancun!"...Jesus dude? Really?

I might also like to add, if that team that got swept by the Jazz was so full of talent, why couldn't Delmer "Del" Harris get them to an NBA Finals? I mean he was lucky enough to coach the same team before Phil...but I guess Phil being here his first year with the same core of players, installing a new offense, winning more games, and taking it all home against Indiana was just all luck because the team was handed to him and all.

By the way psycorp, I made a call and there are some nice men in white suites comming to get you. They are going to take you to a nice place where the Bid Bad Phil won't bother you again.

VMan,

>>>That said, Bosh has never played in a series as intense as the one LO and
>>>Andrew just contributed to

Yep. I'll give you that. But neither LO nor Bynum particularly shined in that series. Granted, if Bynum was healthy, he would have contributed more.

But until Bosh plays in such a series, we'll never know how he'd hold up.

But just to recap:

In the semi-final vs Argentina, Bosh shot 3/4 and 5/5 free throws for 11 points, plus 10 rebounds (to lead the team), and a block.

In the finals vs Spain, Bosh shot 1/2 and 6/6 free throws for 8 points, plus 7 rebounds (again leading the team). [In that game, Pau outplayed Bosh & Howard combined]

In some ways, Olympic semis and finals are MORE intense than NBA finals games (at least games 1, 2, and maybe 3). In the Olympic elimination rounds, it's like a game 7 - lose and you're out.

And under that single elimination pressure, Bosh led the team in rebounding and made all of his free throws. Not too shabby

>>>I hope Buss doesn't play hardball with Fish like he did with LO. Fish should
>>>be rewarded with more than the vet minimum!

To be honest though, LO didn't deserve more than the Lakers offered, and no other team offered more which proves it.

Portland reportedly wanted Lamar, and they could have offered more, but when their offer to Hedo Turkoglu fell through, they made an offer to Paul Millsap instead of making an offer to Lamar. NO TEAM IN THE LEAGUE was willing to pay Lamar more than the Lakers. The only reason there was any question is because Lamar was OVERpaid in his previous contract - it was based on potential that he never played up to.

I don't think Fish will get the 5 million he made last season, but I think they'll offer him more than the veteran's minimum. I'd guess it'll either be like 2.5 to 3 million for 2 years or a one year deal for 4 million.

>>>If Luke and Sasha are making 5 mil plus per, Fish should be pay more.

Faulty logic. Eddy Curry is making 11 million for New York and he barely played last season. Should Fish be paid more than him?

If Luke and Sasha had played their whole contracts at the level they played the year before they signed them, the Lakers would have THREE straight championships right now and you'd be talking about how deeeeeeep the Lakers were.

Just because the Lakers ended up overpaying two players doesn't mean they should overpay a third.

>>>Is it July 1st yet?

Just under 12 more hours. (remember, it's July 1st on the EAST coast).

>>>Step two, once that has been established, the Lakers would have to offer
>>>players to Toronto of equal value, that the Raptors agree to.

Not necessarily of equal value. If Toronto is offered the choice of letting Bosh sign somewhere else for NOTHING or trading him for at least one player they like (say Bynum or Odom) and no albatross contracts (e.g. Luke), then they would probably do the sign and trade to get at least one quality player back.

phred - totally see what you're saying. man The Times should hire you as an editor. seriously.

MM


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