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Thanks for a fun-filled 2009-2010 season

"There may be bumps ahead, but I'm going to devote all my energy into trying to make this Lakers blog great."

Those were the words I wrote in my introductory post as the new L.A. Times Lakers blogger nearly 5 1/2  months ago. And boy, has it been a wild ride since then. I witnessed Lakers guard Kobe Bryant fighting through injuries, Ron Artest's zaniness, Andrew Bynum's growth, Derek Fisher's playoff clutchness and Pau Gasol's consistency. I remember Bryant's questionable photoshoot, Artest's entertaining post-championship news conference and players pouring champagne on one another after collecting an NBA title over the Boston Celtics.

I knew covering the Lakers would be a fun-filled time. I just didn't know it'd be that fun. And part of the reason for that is because of the devoted community of the L.A. Times Lakers blog, which I can't thank enough for welcoming me with open arms. Your infectious enthusiasm for the Lakers and hunger for Lakers content helped push me in trying to provide the best Lakers coverage I could offer. Though I still see plenty of room for it to grow, I'm happy that I reached my goal in ensuring that the blog improved from month to month.

And that's where I need your help. What do you think of the Lakers blog? Did I meet your expectations, surpass them or fall way short? What grade would you give? What items would you like? What changes do you want to see? I'll provide my own analysis sometime in the next few days. But for now, share your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Mark Medina

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Here's some words from around the web on the Laker's draft. Not bad for having two packs at the end of the draft. But talk is one thing, I want to see these guys play. Anyways:

NBA Fanhouse: Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers took West Virginia swingman Devin Ebanks and Texas-El Paso power forward Derrick Caracter in the second round. Both fellows are former lottery-pick prospects who lost stock in college but still managed to produce. The rich get richer. Final Grade: A.

From SB Nation:
Los Angeles Lakers: B-

Devin Ebanks (43), Derrick Caracter (58). Let's get this out of the way: Ebanks might be the worst shooter in the draft. But he is 6-foot-8, a nightmare on the defensive end, and a relentless rebounder. If he can develop a perimeter game, the Lakers might have found themselves a player. Caracter, meanwhile, is a talented post player dogged by motivation issues, but is well worth the risk that late in the draft.

NBA Draft Guru says Lakers had the 6th best draft, even without a 1st rounder:6. LA Lakers

#43 - Devin Ebanks
#58 - Derrick Caracter

Devin Ebanks was the steal of this draft. He is a long, athletic wing with an NA body and is the best on ball defender in this draft. How he hell this far is a complete mystery. The rich get richer as the Lakers are smart enough to scoop him up as their Artest/Ariza replacement. Ebanks will play in this league for a long time. Caracter is a player talented enough to play in the NBA, if he keeps his head on straight. Coming to a stable team with good veterans will do him a world of good.

Los Angeles Lakers: D (Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter)

The Lakers traded their first rounder as part of the Pau Gasol trade. Ebanks was talked about as a lottery pick earlier in the year, but slid because of concerns about his position. Ebanks has good length and is a decent ball-handler, but isn't super-explosive and doesn't shoot well. He can rebound well too, but doesn't have much bulk or scoring touch inside. Add it all up and you get a classic 'tweener.

The Lakers can obviously afford to draft for potential after their second ring, but he's probably not going to help them much next year.

Caracter has very good touch and solid footwork around the basket. However, his conditioning is usually in question and he's fairly earth-bound. He's also been around college for a while due to a transfer from off the court issues.

Walter football says:

Los Angeles Lakers (Last Year: 57-25)

Live 2010 NBA Draft Grades:

43. Devin Ebanks, F, West Virginia
Regret your decision to turn pro? I would say so. Still, Ebanks ends up in a pretty good spot in L.A. He will add some athleticism and defensive ability to the Lakers bench and might be a potential Trevor Ariza-type player down the line, and is a very solid value this low. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)

58. Derrick Caracter, PF, UTEP
A solid value for the champs. Caracter is a big body who can clear out a load inside and provide some depth off the bench in L.A. which is especially needed since Andrew Bynum's injury issues are a concern. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)

Chris Mannix from says:

Los Angeles Lakers: B

Devin Ebanks is a solid wing defender with limited offensive skills but the real find could be Derek Caracter. He had a nightmarish two seasons at Louisville but appeared to turn around his career at UTEP, becoming (at least on the surface) a model citizen and a pretty good post player. He's a solid rebounder, too, and could become a quality backup to Pau Gasol.

(also, he's 6-9 almost 300. He'll give Big Baby a good time.)

Sprung on Sports says:

Los Angeles Lakers (A-) The Lakers needed a shot in the arm for their bench with Luke Walton, Shannon Brown and others in flux and got two very good ones in Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter. Both are high energy guys who should fit well in the second unit, which is just what LA needed.

USAposttoday, in broken english says:

Los Angeles Lakers selected Devin Ebanksand Derrick Carater in NBA draft. Lakers picked Devin Ebanks as No.43 overall pick and Derrick Carater as No.58 overall pick.Los Angeles Lakers general manager, Mitch Kupchak said that he is fortunate to have forward players, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Carater. Los Angeles Lakers, a two-time champion pick Devin Ebanks and Derrick Carater in the second round of the NBA draft. Both the players will play for Lakers in the upcoming season.

(all that and no grade?)

And lastly a look at the Lakers 1995 draft from

#10: LA Lakers: Incomplete

Andrew Bynum, C, St. Joseph High School (#10)
Ronny Turiaf, PF, Gonzaga (#37)
Von Wafer, SG, Florida State (#39)

In possibly the most interesting story from the NBA draft, the Lakers shocked almost everyone (except us) by taking the 17 year old high school beast Andrew Bynum. Bynum worked out for both the Blazers and Lakers twice, with one secret workout which was never reported to go around for each team, and received a promise that he would “not slip past the tenth pick”. According to sources, Bynum was in the mix for the Portland pick at #6, but John Nash was reportedly afraid of being criticized for taking the high school kid that early. Regardless, Bynum was the coolest and most confident 17 year old in the world while sitting amongst the crowd at Madison Square Garden waiting to show the NBA why he should have been invited to the Green Room. The most ridiculous part about this is that he was allegedly told by the NBA that he could not be among the 29 players invited to Chicago for physicals and measurements unless he came to play at the actual pre-draft camp. The fact that he did not do physicals lead to a rash of filthy rumors, some of which were published on ESPN, regarding knee problems that Bynum is suffering from. The “official word” that was being spread, possibly by an NBA team hoping to see Bynum slip to the their pick, was that he has cartilage that needs to be removed in his knee and that he will already require knee surgery at his young age immediately after being drafted. Another rumor was that Bynum refused to do any physicals for NBA teams, hoping that he could hide his condition from them.

With the #37 pick, the Lakers got was looks to be a terrific pick in Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf was viewed as a first round pick throughout most of his college career, but measuring out small and some questions about a problem that allegedly came up in physicals hurt his stock to the point that he was drafted in the 2nd round. If he’s healthy, he will give the Lakers some much needed toughness and defense in their frontcourt, along with another hard working, high character type that the fans will love a la Mark Madsen.

With the #39 pick, the Lakers went with Florida
State sophomore Von Wafer, a player who has bounced around teams for most of his basketball career and has always plagued by questions about his character and ability to fit within a team system. Wafer has some serious talent, but was shown the door and not invited back by a Florida State team that went through an extremely difficult season, particularly in the lockerroom where Wafer was reportedly a huge disruptance.

All three of these picks have serious question marks, which makes it impossible to grade at this point in time.

From Los Angeles Lakers grade B
Picks: Andrew Bynum (10), Ronny Turiaf (37), Von Wafer (39)
Andrew Bynum won't replace Shaq, nor will this high schooler see any real game action next season, at least as long as Phil Jackson is coach. But Bynum is a legit 7-footer with skills and the Lakers are apparently willing to wait for him. Given all of L.A.'s immediate needs, it took guts for them to make a call for the future. Fortunately for them, Ronny Turiaf could be a real sleeper out of the second round. The former Gonzaga star is a high-energy animal inside. Von Wafer, a scorer with a quick release, also has a chance to make the team.

NBAloud, 1995 ays:

10 LA Lakers: Andrew Bynum: A plus
The Lakers couldn't replace Shaq but at least they drafted the biggest body they could find. Bynum was a great pick by the Lakers. Among the league leaders for field goal percentage. The Lakers gambled with a high school center and came away with a draft steal.

Steve Kerr gave us this grade in 1995:

Los Angeles Lakers Grade: C

Phil Jackson will be gone before Andrew Bynum – the 10th overall pick – is ready to play in the NBA. Bynum is a high school center who could one day be good, but he's a project. This was the highest selection the Lakers have had in years, and they had a chance to add any one of a number of players who could have helped immediately. The Lakers' second-round picks might be more ready to play – Ronny Turiaf and Von Wafer are talented – but Jackson traditionally doesn't trust rookies. They'll have to wait their turn.

That's it.


Yep. Great job Mark. I'd seriously like to get some guest bloggers in the future. Anyone from a Lakers player to some opposing team's beat writer or whatever. Just someone who has good in side info. Just have a 30 min live chat where we can ask questions.


thanks MM.

The fans are all arguing whether the Lakers should get Bosh, but looks like management is going the opposite direction, according to Heisler. They're thinking about dumping LO because he costs too much and did too little in the Finals? So they don't have to use the MLE to get Blake or whoever? Are you kidding me? We're all thinking about how this team could get better, maybe we should all pray the team doesn't get any worse.

Thanks for everything MM. Looks like things won't get any less crazy in the off-season!

Great blog all year, and totally agree that it got better and more intense with the playoffs. This is my first destination for anything Lakers-related, and I can always count on you for the latest news, videos, etc.

Possible suggestions for next season: periodic roundtables/live chats with the other local beat writers and bloggers (e.g. OC Register, Daily News, LA radio guys), guest posts from Lakers employees who we normally don't see (e.g. scouts or PR or other behind-the-scenes people).


First of all, thanks for your tireless dedication to this Blog. We're a tough bunch to handle -- maybe I should speak just for myself on that one -- and insatiable when it comes to our appetite for the Lakers. I've cut and pasted your questions below, so I deal with the subjects you laid out.

*** What do you think of the Lakers blog?

You get extra credit for just being willing to pick up the torch from Andy and Brian. I'm a huge fan of theirs and I think they're a tough act to follow.

You've been exceptionally attentive to all of us, and you've certainly been gracious and generous when I've moaned and complained about this or that. Your willingness to take feedback is exceptional.

I still think your taskmasters at the Times are wrong to insist on so many threads a day. Give me quality over quantity any day. In general, I think many of the new threads exist just to put up a new thread and don't provide anything of value. You may have noticed that the Josh Powell thread was followed by ZERO comments about Josh Powell. I'm sure he's a nice man and a good teammate, but as a factor in the Lakers' fortunes ZERO would be about the right number. Giving us the freedom to post and have our comments appear immediately has been a spectacular step forward. And you've been pretty much right on target about yanking the privileges of people who abuse them.

*** Did I meet your expectations, surpass them or fall way short?

You've definitely exceeded my expectations, which generally are so high in almost every circumstance that most people fall short.

*** What grade would you give?


*** What items would you like?

I like the roundtables with informed experts and other guests. I know they're often hard to set up and time consuming, but it is a great format to spark comments and conversations amongst the rest of us. More live chats when there's breaking news. They're a better way to convey information and analysis than a long write-thru. The day Phil announced he was leaning towards retirement would be an example of breaking news for an instant chat.

*** What changes do you want to see?

1. Less content "above the fold." I'm now bulk ordering scroll wheels because I burn through them so fast. Once you've established the main thrust of a new thread, put the rest of it after the jump. It will make the blog more user-friendly.

2. Shorter write-thru's in general. Since you're required to post a certain number of threads, if you spread out your unique elements in unique threads, you can remain on-point about the big Lakers news of the day and not be forced to use material that rightly belongs on the cutting room floor.

3. Give yourself more freedom to be opinionated. Restricting stories to the 5 "W's" works on the front page, but not on a blog which thrives on attitude. Sure, there'll be a plethora of posts attacking you and telling you you're wrong, but that's what sparks conversation.

4. Participate more in the "comments" section. It will accomplish more than a new thread in keeping people interested and focused.

5. Ask the technical geniuses to make it possible for us to link to our individual posts from Facebook and Twitter. That'll certainly generate more traffic. Add anything else that can make this more like a social networking site including our own profile pages.

Sorry. I've already broken my own rule about brevity, so I'll stop here. I hope there's something in my feedback you find worthwhile.

Very good job Mark. The blog became better with you and your hard work. Specially with the live chats "on demand". I agree with Wes Joe, having special guests at the blog is a very good idea. Can we have Ebanks and/or Caracter?
Is there any chance to have avatars?

And i almost forgot, having a "Next post" button before "post a comment" would be very apreciated.


I really had fun on the Blog. My only thought would be to be more careful about allowing people to comment when they get too personal to another. I realize censorship issues, but I don't like it when people start attacking verbally a person's character and integrity. Thanks again for all you do!

Yes, without me this blog would self-destruct.

My expectations were roughly met. I didn't expect to like it as much as the K bros. I'm glad you didn't just go all T.J. Simers or Bill Plaschke. I don't think you can have people writing this blog that are actively hostile to the Lakers and Lakers fans. The blog is really for the fans and it served its purpose in that way.

What I liked:

1. Extensive coverage. There weren't really any pieces of Lakers related news that I missed here.

2. Fairly even-handed coverage. It didn't go too high or too low, but mostly stayed like Phil.

3. Being asked what we thought and responsiveness to it (at least in replies) at many junctures was a plus.

4. Your video coverage of things like exit interviews is solid and complete.

What I didn't like:

1. I miss the K bros humor.

2. I miss incisive analysis. I think it's clear that you guys doing the blog simply aren't as into the Lakers are the previous hosts. I think they were far more knowledgeable and offered more unique insights. I felt it was pretty mainstream, purposeful, but boring and not offering a great deal that I couldn't get elsewhere.

3. Too many posts. 5 posts a day is too many. Consolidate. It disrupts interaction and continuing conversations. I'm not reading 5 posts a day. It's simply not happening. Try 1-2, 3 on a busy day. This could be achieved by editing some posts with breaking news.

4. Encourage us to think in more depth about the Lakers and the NBA. I like seeing others encouraged to think about topics with greater depth and being encouraged to do so myself. There's a place for non-thoughful, Homerish, shallow fans. I don't want that to be here.

5. Too much like CNN, not enough like 60 minutes. I want unique insights and depth, not just slightly expanded headlines that don't offer opinions based on experience and are nearly context free news.

6. There's a lame metaconversation going with long-standing disagreements. It detracts from positivity generally and is a very annoying distraction. I'd like to see that discouraged if in words only. Encouraging a non-interaction policy with trolls might also be good. Negativity always bring greater volume and less substance. If that's what you guys want it's cool. I will transition out elsewhere.


I do still read much of the blog though I post far less often than I used to post say 2-4 years ago.

I agree with Rick Friedman's suggestions as well. His vision for the blog is something I appreciate, that would make it better.

MM - I'd say you've exceeded expectations, have balanced patience with establishing certain lines that bloggers shouldn't cross and generally earn a high B. I'd like to see less threads, more opinion, more thinking outside the box and more humor.

I loved it! Thanks MM!

M2: Thanks for the stories. My only suggestion and this was suggested to the previous pair is to get any of the Lakers to participate on the blog one day. After a practice or sometime in the middle of the season.

I have to imagine that Trudell isn't the only one with access. And I think it would be fun for the players to engage with this great blog just once. Perhaps, getting a bench (go deep) guy first will have fun and let them know about us.

We just want to be known...

Cheers - great job!


MM, great job!!! Keep it up!

Keep the bar open, we'll show up, man..


Haven't read the other suggestions so as to not bias what I'll say.

One thing you'll learn is that the blog is arguably at its peak in the off season. Yep, if you don't believe me, ask the Kbros. Last summer they were all upset because they expected a little vacation and yet it was crazy. Then two summers ago, it was even worse with the whole "do something and do it now", day in and day out defcom 5 Kobe watch, LOL.

One suggestion that has been brought up numerous times over the years (and nothing was ever done) is to have the poster name and time stamp appear ABOVE the post. Don't know if you were around when the icons came and went, most people hated them, I didn't mind them because it was a compromise of this idea. The icon allowed me to know who's post it was (though you sort of had to memorize the randomly assigned psychedelic icon).

Having the name first allows us to sort of move past any troll postings or pay closer attention to comments by people we tend to listen to.

Love the instant posting.

Love your efforts here (awesome, quite frankly)

One last request - at the top of the blog there's a link to previous post, home, and next post. It would be nice to have this navigation at the bottom also (easy to see when a new post comes up) - and having the "newer comments" link near the top of the comments ALSO... that way can navigate forwards and backwards through comments and threads easily regardless of if we're near the top of the comments or near the bottom.

Awww MM,

Hope you are not just fishing for compliments. Okay, you're almost the best. My heartfelt compliment will be: You are good because you were able to maintain and get the continued contributions/posts of the original ones who were here from the beginning of this blog. The volume of posters and postings has definitely increased. Congrats for a job well done. Cheers.

More Laker Girls interviews! Oh, when you interview, stay on the side not the middle. You'll get whiplash. hahaha.

Un-ban Mike T. I miss his absurdity.

Fatty must be required to have a saying or quote at least once a post.

Get Edwin to talk basketball and bball only. Peace, Edwin!

Please take justa. She's wants you to. (to the ASG).

Nobody should be allowed to take the handle DFish. Its blasphemous.

More C's fans on the blog. Love hearin them whine.

pHred should be allowed to ramble on and on.

Ok Mark - happy to...

I'm a 5+year blogger but as I mentioned once before I have been mostly off the blog since you've taken it over. No offense - you're an enthusiastic and very knowledgable guy - but you turn the threads over way waaaayyy too fast for my taste. I had been used to blogging with the K bros and coming back maybe half a day later and seeing regulars' reactions to what I said. Now I come back half a day later and there have been 3 new threads and no responses, responses to responses etc.

I've spoken to Laker Tom (who lives near me in NorCal) and he agrees, although obviously it hasn't discouraged him as much as it has me. I wonder what other regulars think. Then again, by the time I look back to see there will probably have been 3 new threads and I won't get to.....

FCM- Well, you’ve done alright. I pretty much agree with Rick F, Mr Nano, Benjamin and Dave M’s comments, as usual, they are (since Rick has come around on DFish) a very sensible bunch. I also agree with the LakerGurls, Magic Phil and well, pretty much everybody except the guy who wanted to bring back Mike T.

My suggestions, judge on their own merits if you will, I think you could benefit from working more of your personality that you show in live chats into your regular articles. We don’t expect all serious all the time, it’s completely understandable that you err on the side of being conservative in your first year, but hey, mix it up. Feel free to give us crap and tell us when we are full of it.

I think you are having some trouble of mixing the length and details of in depth reporting with the short term information dump of regular updates, and some of your stuff comes across as rushed and poorly edited. This is of course something you will get better on, and make no mistake, you are head and shoulders above the regular writers on the Times staff, who in my opinion get by on their past reputations, their exclusive interviews and their ability to provoke controversy, and end up abusing both the concepts of journalism and the English language itself. A lot of people apparently read Plashke and Simers simply to reassure themselves that they are still idiots. I don’t see this happening with you.

Of course, to be fair, I still sneak back and read all the K Bros stuff. Their slant on articles and their attitude towards the game is more similar to mine, and of course they never ever us the phrase ‘sense of urgency.’ Of course, I get to pick on you a lot more, because you are always congenial, humble and respectful towards all of us. It’s fun coming here.

Of course, I would like the names at the top of the comments cause I can’t possibly keep up with everybody’s comments.. I don’t think I would use an ‘ignore’ function, as I enjoy at least the faint hum of controversy even if I seldom read the posts in question, but I do appreciate reading some other comment forums that use more creative ways of ‘liking/dislike/ignore towards a particular comment. No hierarchal ratings systems, we get enough of that.

Of course, my one really crazy suggestion, that would probably only work on this particular blog, is to separate the ‘comments’ section entirely from the individual threads and organize a single comment section, divided by time, date and topic. I have no idea how this would work, but I have thought of it as an option from time to time when the threads come fast and heavy.
Oh, and never be afraid to call out LakerTom, hobbitmage, KB Blitz and that snarky loudmouth phred and tell them to give it a rest for once.

p ang - I see a bit of a problem with your wish list. Some things just don’t mix. No Mike T.


Good job so far. All I'd ask for is to admit you're at least becoming a Laker fan by now.


Excellent work!!! Much love to all my Laker family!!! Mad laughter in all the faces of Laker Haters and enemies alike!!! Nuff said!!!


Great job from the get go...gonna be quick, but I agree and commented during the year that there were too many posts coming...I believe one day there were 8...seeing how most of us have jobs, and even if we have computers at work, do you want us to get fired???? I'd keep it to 3 big topic ones per day, maybe you could throw in a small topic one, especially if the day's action seems slow...otherwise good job, and especially with filtering out the posters who did not belong. People have the right to an opinion, however those who were booted were just downright insane and detrimental and disruptive. You kept the balance good, you didn't make it "Lakermania!!!" I believe you even said you were not the greatest Laker fan, so it goes to show your professioalism. Job well done, and thank you for a great year. Looking forward for many more years led by you.


Great draft picks. EBanks good backup for Artest coming off bench. Caracter should be the defensive stopper who can guard the paint against Glenn Davis who will be around a while! If PJ retires Lakers should go for Byrin Scott and Chris Paul as the ultimate PG solution....even if that means trading Odom who has great talent but needs to step up for a 3-peat given Lebron will match up with Bosh or Wade. Other priorities: Kobe should undergo surgery immediately, rest this summer and be ready for next season. Dr. Buss should give up his gambling for a year if he is cash poor. A 3-peat would add far more to his coffers than gambling. He can save 20 million repllacing half the bench. Raja Bell for 3?

A trade just popped into my mind, as the other day, Lamar's name was tossed around as usual....hey, I don't want to trade him, but if he goes, how about to Jersey who is looking to move their tectonic plate, for Yi Jinlian and Courtney Lee, I think we salarywise, their salaries are still not in the parameters with Lamar's being a tad higher than the Jersey pair, but we would get a 7 foot tough playing (???) mobile man that can catch the ball (not a "kwame") and a young 6'5" guard that may be able to make the big shot one day......


2 words: sports bar.

The concept built the blog. Putting up another thread in the middle of a multiple post exchange is like turning out the lights and sending everyone home to come back and pick it up tomorrow.

Can't imagine getting anymore in depth. You've gathered all the writing on this subject and posted it hourly. I'd say it's been covered very well.

That only leaves blogger interaction. It's been good but 5 years ago it was heated and cool from haikus to iambic pentameter to prose, we'd go 350 posts a thread regularly with everyone and the Bros K chimin' in. It's not suppose to be a chat room, but, that's what makes it rock.

2 other words: great start.

Hey MM,

Not a lot I can say that the others already haven't said in far better words but I want to thank you for the effort you put into providing insightful coverage and making this blog conducive for healthy discussions.Your willingness to try out new things, involve the readers ,incorporate feedback and, on the whole, the way you approach this job to it is commendable.


Mark Medina,

Thank YOU, brother!

Considering the circumstances in which you came in, I grade your job an A+! Seriously, a job well-done. There was a time when the Kamenetzky Brothers left when I was considered whether things would go on. They have and quite frankly with more harmony than there was before.

How would I make this blog better? More transcripts from interviews. We get a lot of group interviews of Lakers, but not a lot of one-on-one interviews, and sometimes it's nice to go over the text instead of just hear muffled responses.

Also, I would suggest more humor and more non-sequitor. We are a passionate, contencious bunch here. Distractions and humor go a long way to remind us that (trolls excepted) we really do care about the same thing. Deeply.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Mark Medina,

Thank YOU, brother!

Considering the circumstances in which you came in, I grade your job an A+! Seriously, a job well-done. There was a time when the Kamenetzky Brothers left when I was considered whether things would go on. They have and quite frankly with more harmony than there was before.

How would I make this blog better? More transcripts from interviews. We get a lot of group interviews of Lakers, but not a lot of one-on-one interviews, and sometimes it's nice to go over the text instead of just hear muffled responses.

Also, I would suggest more humor and more non-sequitor. We are a passionate, contencious bunch here. Distractions and humor go a long way to remind us that (trolls excepted) we really do care about the same thing. Deeply.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Mark Medina,

While I still give you an A+, a lot of that is about the conditions you entered this blogmunity in.

You've been great, but I do not think that Rick Friedman's comments are without merit.

This blog can be made better and you're the guy to do it.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Also, the present, ultra-condensed formatting is awful.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


humanomaly (29 minutes),

Dude, I like Yi Jinlian as a player and I wouldn't mind seeing him as a Laker, but does EVERYTHING with you have to be about getting an Asian player on our team? Really? It's almost obsessive.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Jon K.
No it doesn't, but yes it does seem that way, his name was out as potential dump for Jersey, and I love the height the Lakers had, and if you lose Lamar, which looks like a hot topic, I'd take a tough playing 7 footer. Actually I never saw him play much, just you-tubed some highlights and he definitely has bulk, and probably a more consistent outside shot than LO....and Courtney Lee showed a flash of steadiness in the 09 Finals, with the exception of that layup.....and no Jon, I am not thinking of Yao next.


p ang - I see a bit of a problem with your wish list. Some things just don’t mix. No Mike T.

Posted by: phred | June 26, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Tongue in cheek, phred. Just a bit of humor. Me and Mike T used to have totally idiotic banters that the KBros didn't appreciate.


you did a great job. I like the idea of the poster's name at the top.

Ballhog & Staples24,

this is for you:


Poor Shooting vs. A Defensive Game for the Ages
Let's put that 6-24 into perspective, shall we?

In Game 7, Pau Gasol shot 6-16 (and was 3-12 at halftime). Ron Artest, the hero of the hour, was 7-18 from the field. Andrew Bynum played limited minutes, but at 1-5, he also struggled while he was on the court. Lamar Odom was 3-8. Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic combined to shoot 0-6. Only Derek Fisher, at 10 points on 4-6 from the field (and 2-2 from distance, including a huge three late in the game), had a good shooting night for the Lakers.

For the Celtics, Paul Pierce was 5-15 from the field. Rajon Rondo was 6-13, which was actually pretty decent in this game, but nothing amazing. Ray Allen was a dismal 3-14. Nate Robinson missed his only shot. Rasheed Wallace's percentage from the field isn't bad, especially considering he took four three-pointers, but the 11 shots he needed to score 11 points puts him about on par with Kobe with regards to offensive efficiency. Glen Davis was good, but his efficiency (4-6 from the field) didn't come in high enough volume (only six points in 21 minutes) to really have much impact for the Celtics. Only Kevin Garnett had "a good game" offensively for the Celtics, shooting well over fifty percent and scoring 18 points on only 13 shots.

The criticism of Kobe's offensive output in Game 7 is that he needed 24 shots to get his 23 points. However, the same is true of just about every player in this game. Virtually every player listed above took essentially as many shots as he had points. In fact, that is true of both teams overall: The Celtics took 71 shots to score 79 points (1.1 points per shot), while the Lakers took 83 shots to score their 83 points. At this point, here is the question that needs to be asked: Why are we holding Kobe Bryant to a different standard?

The point is that this game was characterized by truly incredible defense, from both teams. In fact, from a defensive standpoint, I don't believe I have ever seen anything that compares, or even comes close. Expecting a player to score every bit as efficiently against that Game 7 Celtics defense as he does against far inferior defenses is simply asinine. It's like expecting a cyclist to ride as quickly up the steep slopes of the Pyrenees mountains, and into the wind, as he does on flat land with the wind at his back. It's like expecting a swimmer to swim as quickly against the current of a raging Atlantic sea as he does in an indoor lap pool. It's like expecting a car to drive as quickly and handle as smoothly on sand as it does on asphalt. It's— well, you get the point. It's absurd.

Michael Jordan would have struggled to score against that Celtics defense. So would Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain. LeBron James did struggle against them. This was a Celtics team that played some of the best defense that anyone has ever seen, and in that Game 7, they took it to yet another level. Kobe wasn't the only player to struggle with his shot; in fact, if you remove his statistics from the Lakers' box score, the Lakers' shooting percentage is virtually unchanged. So let's not pretend that Kobe's shots were hurting the Lakers; the rest of the team was struggling just as much as he was.

Is 6-24 a pretty number? No. It certainly wasn't one of the greatest offensive performances of all time. But those interested in evaluating the game based on real insight, rather than nearly useless box score clichés, will recognize that 6-24 had fairly little to do with bad offense from Kobe, and a lot more to do with defense for the ages from the Celtics. And that defense affected everyone on the court for the Lakers (except, of course, for Derek Fisher), not just Kobe.

Boston's Defense in Perspective
To see the effects of Boston's defense, have a look at Pau Gasol, whom some advocated as the "real MVP" of this series. He shot .536 in the regular season and .565 in the playoffs before the Finals, but only .478 against Boston. That's a drop of .058 compared to the regular season, and .087 compared to the rest of the playoffs.

How about LeBron James? He shot .503 from the field in the regular season, and .567 in the playoffs prior to meeting Boston. Against the Celtics, however, he shot only .447. That's a .056 drop compared to the regular season, and a .120 drop compared to the rest of the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant shot .456 from the field in the regular season, and .483 in the playoffs prior to meeting Boston. Against the Celtics, he shot .405. Viewed alongside James and Gasol, Kobe's .051 drop in field goal percentage compared to the regular season, and .078 compared to the rest of the playoffs, actually seems quite normal. In fact, both Pau and LeBron suffered larger overall drops in shooting efficiency against the Celtics than did Kobe.

This is what the Celtics do. If you expect to score at an extremely efficient rate against them, you're going to be disappointed. Sometimes it seems like an accomplishment just to score against them at all. This is something we all immediately recognize... except when we're talking about Kobe Bryant. Perhaps it should be seen as a compliment to Bryant that he's expected to be immune to the defense that has had the same effect on everyone else. But isn't it interesting that so many of those who have for years proclaimed the box score to be inherently flawed can't seem to get past a single box score statistic in evaluating Kobe's Game 7 performance?

Putting History's Greatest Players in a Defensive Context
Let's try and place Boston's D within the larger context, shall we?

Michael Jordan appeared in six NBA Finals series. These are the defensive ratings (points allowed per 100 possessions) of those six teams: 105.0, 104.2, 106.7, 102.1, 104.0, and 105.4.

Magic Johnson appeared in nine NBA Finals series. These are the defensive ratings of those nine teams (Celtics teams in italics, teams that beat Magic's Lakers in bold): 101.0, 103.9, 100.9, 104.4, 106.3, 106.8, 105.3, 104.7, 105.2.

This year's Celtics team had a defensive rating of 103.8. That's better than five of the six defenses Jordan faced in the Finals; it's better than seven of the nine teams Magic faced in the Finals.

But even that is misleading, since even the dullest of NBA observers knows full well that the Celtics in 2009-10 regular season were nothing like the team that showed up for the playoffs — let alone the team that nearly won the NBA championship. During the regular season, this Celtics team employed a deliberate strategy of saving their best players for the post-season. As a result, over their final 54 games they were 27-27. Their defense in the regular season, after Christmas, was barely a shadow of the defense they played in the playoffs. In fact, it was actually quite bad.

Perhaps that is the most significant indicator in all of this. Their regular season defense, when compared to the way they played in the playoffs and especially the Finals, was really pretty terrible — and yet, it was better than that of 12 of the 15 teams Magic and Michael played in the Finals.

Meanwhile, the Celtics' defense in the 2010 Finals, particularly in that Game 7, was much more reminiscent of their team that won the 2008 NBA Championship. That team's defensive rating? 98.9.

Michael Jordan never played against that kind of defense in the Finals. And yet, in nine of the 35 games he played in the NBA Finals, he took more or less the same number of shots as he had points — including one in which he took 43 shots to score 44 points!

Very few NBA Finals game logs exist for Magic Johnson, but in the one season I could find, he had one game in which he took 13 shots to score 14 points against a Chicago defense that rated at 105.2 points allowed per possession. Despite never playing against a team with a defensive rating below 100 points per possession, we can safely assume that in eight other Finals appearances, Magic likely had a number of other games in which his offensive output resembled Kobe's in Game 7.

Neither Magic nor Michael ever faced a team in the Finals with a defensive rating below 100 points per possession. Kobe has done it twice. The first time was with a team of inexperienced players, most of whom had never been out of the first round; only Derek Fisher and Luke Walton had ever been to the Finals, and Luke Walton had been a rookie at the time, averaging only seven minutes per game. Pau Gasol had only been with the Lakers for three months.

The second time Kobe faced a defense of that caliber, he took those same players and beat it.

The Box Score and the Double Standard
Perhaps what irks me the most is the double standard critics continually employ to devalue Kobe Bryant's play. When he was younger, his critics devalued his play by claiming that he was "just a great scorer," and nothing more. This was, of course, not true; Kobe has virtually always led the Lakers in assists, has always rebounded well for a guard, and is one of the few players who is great on both ends of the floor. But his detractors recognized none of this; to them, he was "a great scorer," but nothing else. They painted him as one-dimensional and elevated over him other players whom they saw as doing more things than just scoring to help their team win.

In that context, perhaps you can understand how frustrating it is to hear people talking about Kobe Bryant having a bad, or even terrible game on the basis of one thing, and one thing only: his struggle to score. The reality is that Kobe did so much more than score in Game 7, and much of what he did contributed directly to the Lakers' victory.

Whatever It Takes
An MVP-caliber player is not necessarily the guy that scores a lot. An MVP is a player who does whatever is necessary for his team to win. Sometimes, as was the case in Game 6 of the WCF or in Game 5 of this series (even though it resulted in a loss), that means taking over and scoring lots of points. Sometimes, as was the case in most of the WCF, it means dishing out lots of assists.

Sometimes, it means grabbing rebounds and playing defense. That was the case in this series. In all seven games, the team that won the rebounding battle won the game. Every NBA observer in the world understood that the key to this game, not only for the Lakers but for both teams, was to rebound the ball. Pre-game articles and studio crews hammered that point into the ground. By the time the game started, it almost seemed as though nothing else even mattered.

In that context, Kobe Bryant grabbed 15 rebounds. That's more than Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum, combined. Or Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum. Or Lamar Odom and Ron Artest. It's more than Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, combined. It's more than Big Baby and Kevin Garnett, combined. In fact, it's five times as many rebounds as Garnett, and three times as many as Artest or Bynum, and twice as many as Odom or Wallace. I could go on, but you get the idea. The only player that out-rebounded Kobe Bryant was Pau Gasol — and despite playing under the rim and towering over Kobe, Gasol's 18 rebounds barely outpaced Bryant's 15.

Together, Kobe and Pau out-rebounded the Celtics' starting five, 33-31.

The Lakers won this game not because of Ron Artest's second quarter scoring or Pau Gasol's second half shooting. They won this game by out-rebounding the Celtics, and while Pau Gasol's 18 rebounds should absolutely not be undervalued, they were not necessarily uncharacteristic; after all, he averaged 14.5 rebounds in the conference semifinals. It was Kobe's truly remarkable rebounding that set the tone for the Lakers and led them to a 53-40 rebounding advantage that decided the game.

When they weren't dominating the Celtics on the boards, the Lakers were suffocating the Celtics on the defensive end. In the pivotal third quarter stretch, the Lakers held the Celtics to only 17 points, while cutting a 13-point lead to four. In the entire second half, Bryant held Rajon Rondo to eight points on 3-7 shooting, five assists, and three rebounds.

Finally, in the final period, Kobe Bryant took control of the game by being aggressive, getting the Celtics into foul trouble, and getting to the line. While he missed all but one of his shots, he got to the line nine times, hitting eight shots. Those who have emphasized the 24 shots Bryant needed to scored 23 points may want to pay attention to the work he did in the fourth quarter, where he scored 10 points on only four shots. Forget the final game — in the final quarter of this series, Kobe Bryant took control and dominated.

In a post-game interview, Kobe was asked what his mindset was in the game, in light of his poor shooting, and what he did to still put his imprint on the game. His response effectively sums up the effort to lead his team to a repeat championship:

"Two things. Get to the free throw line; I got to attack. My jumper's not falling, I got to figure out some gaps, which is tough to do against this team. They do a great job shrinking the floor. So I had to get to the free throw line, and I had to rebound the ball. You know, rebounding has won every single game in this series, and I had to make sure I got my little behind on there."

Commentators often speak of great players doing whatever they can to help their team, when their shot isn't falling. You know what I'm talking about — in your best Mark Jackson voice, say it along with me: "His shot isn't falling, but he's doing other things to impact them game!" Why is it, then, that no one seems willing to point out the many ways Kobe did just that in Game 7?

Do they think it's coincidence that in a series so clearly influenced by rebounding, in the final game for all the marbles, a 200-pound guard of average size, with old knees and waning athleticism, just happens to pull down 15 rebounds?

The Bottom Line
No one is saying Kobe didn't struggle to score in Game 7 — at least, through the first three quarters. What we're saying is that even the greatest of the greats would have struggled against Boston's defense, as have all who have faced it. They can say that Michael or Magic wouldn't have struggled so much in a Finals Game 7, but neither of them faced a defense like this one. Jordan, meanwhile, never played in a seventh game in the Finals, so we'll never know what he would have done in such a game. Knowing MJ, he likely would have tried to take over the game himself, much as Kobe did — and against this Boston defense, the result likely would have been pretty similar.

Some have said, at various points throughout the series, that Pau Gasol was the Lakers' MVP of the Finals. After the game, one of my friends said to me, "Kobe is the MVP of the entire series, but if it were based on a single game, Pau Gasol or Ron Artest would be the MVP of Game 7."

It is true that Ron Artest was huge for the Lakers, particularly in the second period, when the rest of the team struggled. Without his second quarter offense, or his defense throughout the game, the Lakers' comeback would have been impossible. For that, he would be deserving Game 7 MVP. At the same time, however, it was Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol who dominated the rebounding game, and it was Kobe and Pau who attacked the Celtics in the fourth quarter, putting the Celtics in the penalty early and getting to the line a combined 18 times in the period.

In fact, Gasol and Bryant had nearly mirror image games from start to finish. Both shot poorly in the game; at halftime, Gasol was 3-12 and Bryant was 3-14. Both players dominated the glass, pulling down 18 and 15 rebounds, respectively. Specifically, both players had eight rebounds in the second half. Finally, both players got to the line 11 times in the second half, including nine each in the fourth quarter. Gasol was better from the field in the second half, going 3-4 to Kobe's 3-10; Bryant was better from the line, going 10-11 to Gasol's 7-11.

But the offense doesn't run through Ron Artest or Pau Gasol; it runs through Kobe Bryant, and so the responsibility falls on him. As Doc Rivers said after Game 3, another game in which Kobe struggled with his shot:

"He struggled from the field, but he did make a lot of plays. I think people fail to realize the reason a lot of the other guys are open is because Kobe Bryant is on the floor."

It was Kobe who drew double and triple teams, leaving other players open two and three passes down the line. And in that critical final frame, he showed once again that the fourth quarter belongs to Kobe Bryant, as he scored 10 points on only four field goal attempts.

At the end of the day, it wasn't Kobe's best game. But he was better than Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, better than Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. He was as good as Ron Artest and Pau Gasol, and the three of them fought and struggled their way, in a manner both ugly and beautiful, to lead the Lakers to victory.

Rebounding won the series, and Kobe Bryant averaged 8.0 rebounds per game in the Finals — more than any Celtics, and second only to Pau Gasol. Game 7 wasn't the best game of his career, but he pulled down 15 rebounds and dominated the fourth quarter, leading the Lakers to victory. I'd say it was still pretty good.

If I had to pick an MVP for Game 7, I don't know what I'd do. The Lakers couldn't have won without Artest's defense, or his second quarter offense, but neither could they have survived the fourth quarter without either half of their one-two punch. Fittingly for this particular game, all three struggled, and yet all three led their team to victory despite their struggles.

Merely Mortal
I'll leave you with this thought (I know what you're thinking: "Finally!"): Kobe's post-game press conference after Game 7 was the most honest, open, and transparent that we've ever seen him. As our own C.A. Clark already pointed out, he was more vulnerable than we've ever seen with this quote:

You know, I just wanted it so bad. I wanted it so, so bad. Plus, I was on [Empty]. Man, I was really, really tried. And the more I tried to push, the more it kept getting away from me.

As Ron Artest said in his post-game presser, Kobe was just trying to win. And you know what? At the end of the day, even Kobe Bryant is a human being. Even Kobe Bryant can become overwhelmed by the moment, and even Kobe can have a bad shooting night. Guess what? It's happened to all the great players who came before him, and it will happen to all those who come after him.

If you can't afford him his humanity, you don't deserve to watch this great sport.

But like C.A. said, though the moment overwhelmed him briefly, he responded with the heart of a champion, controlled the game by rebounding the ball, attacking the Celtics' defense, and getting to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and led his team to victory. In a world that has yet to succumb to being overrun by machines and robots... what more can you ask for? After this game, Kobe's dad said it best: "When you don’t have your game and you find a way, that’s a champion."

Shouldn't we celebrating and marveling at what Kobe was able to do to overcome his his shooting woes, rather than picking holes in a game that was, ultimately, worthy of a champion?


Dang, that was great. Just to expound on your point- how does a guy running on empty get 15 rebounds?. True grit. How can anyone even contemplate degrading that

p ang,

re: how people degrade that.

my response. they're called trolls. :)

you know ballhog won't give a credible answer. :)

ps. I guess we're the grave shift on the lakersblog. [GRIN]


First of all, good job.

Little things make a difference.
For example, the reader comment of the day is kinda fun. Some bloggers get some recognition, nice. After all, a blog is for the bloggers.
Same with the instant posting, nice.

I like the posts you do with all the links to articles around the web that are Lakers related.
I like how you control the blog from the abusive posters. With the instant posting that's a hazard, but as long as you can get to them within 24 hours it works well.
You are tolerant, gracious and even humble and accept feedback very well. Would not mind at all if you were more opinionated but then it becomes more provocative so a little more risk to you if you're up for it.

A continuing thread for the blog not broken up by your articles. At the end of each of your articles could be a link to 'post a comment' and that link would go to the ongoing blog.

If the continuos stream of a blog can't be or doesn't want to be done, then have it so some of your articles, like the short breaking news updates, injury updates, or all those exit interviews, don't allow any posts to them so it doesn't break up the continuity of the blog so often. That way you could continue to have 4, 6 or 8 articles of your own per day and the blogs comments wouldn't get broken up so much yet you would still be able to provide lots of articles.

Have more polls.
Not only that, allow us to create out own polls.
That would create a bit more fun for the bloggers.

Have a written transcript of the audio/video available, maybe a 'click here for transcript' link. Maybe a lotta work for that, I know.

Have the most recent blog comment appear at the top of the thread instead of at the bottom, would save on scroll wheels/arthritic fingers.

Have each post numbered, be easier to find where we left off.

As others have said, posters name at the beginning of their post.

A search feature would be nice. An ability to search for a previous bloggers posts or by subject or by some other metric, that would go through all the former posts, or say, maybe go back a certain time frame, maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe more.

Would be neat to have any blog interaction with any Lakers players, coaches or even office staff.
Can you ever interview any of the Buss family members?
Allow the blog to submit questions to you to ask your interviewee in an upcoming interview.

Keep up the good work.

Nice job Mark! Lakers are a great attraction and deserve this blog to add value to the concourse. With the greater use of handheld devices, very long postings are a distraction and are not read period. Scrolling on handheld devices is also very difficult. Please set a reasonable content size limit. Remember, quantity does not equate to quality but lowers it. Continue the good work.

If we're shopping Odom...

What do folks think about a sign and trade with Scola. He's less versatile, but he's way more focused and consistent. Pretty much just a 4, but I suspect he could be play 5 in bunches.

One more thing...

Tony makes a good point about handheld devices. Have the tech crew allow for a mobile version. Having to scroll through a million useless links on my Blackberry is a disincentive to use the blog when I'm out and about. The LA Times Mobile site is easy to use, and delivering the blog in that format would be really beneficial.

David Stern - "The Celtics were a worthy Eastren Conference Champion"


David Stern - Oh yes they were !


Priceless !!! I keep rewinding game 7 just to hear that part... HILARIOUS !!!!

This blog has remained fun, especially live game chats. I think the live game chats have become more interactive because there are so many daily posts, and now it's almost the only place where people can communicate with any certainty. The one suggestion I would give, MM, along with my compliments for running such a great blog, is to find a way to let multiple posts share one comment section. That way, you get to put out new posts and work on your craft, and we get to have sustained conversations throughout the day. The question is, how to do this...

I don't know, but I do love this blog. And MM has been a good shepherd.


Are we handing out a report card to MM? I'd say A-. I like the K Bros, they got this blog going and had put so much effort into making it what it is. But I think Mark Medina has filled in those shoes nicely and then some. I've been coming here every day for 5 years but rarely post. It's only when MM became the moderator that I started to get involved. Somehow he seems more approachable and friendly. The biggest improvement for me personally is the chat. It really is awesome to be able to interact live with the regulars on this blog.

The only suggested area of improvement is to reign in some out of control posters who attack people personally. Over the last few days I noticed the cattiness in the blog hit some pretty high levels (yeah, yeah, the masses are getting restless due to a lack of action), but this blog sometimes feels like a pileup on the highway. It gets ugly but you just can't look away.

On a side note to Wes: That post on the snippets of analysis about our draft picks was great!!!! Thanks for putting it together. I've been scouring the websites for those nuggets of information trying to understand the implications of Ebanks and Caracter's drafting. I also got a slight chill reading the past evaluations of Bynum, Turiaf, and Von Wafer. Highsight truly is 20/20 - issues with Bynum kneee, Von Wafer not working out, and Turiaf although high energy didn't quite pan out. The scary part was how optimistic and promising those reports were and how eventually they didn't quite live up to expectations. Not a diss on these players (ok, maybe Von Wafer), just a reminder to myself not to get too excited about our drafts or set too high expectations.

You've done a fun-tastic job, MM.

@ Hobbitmage,
Good morning, I hope you're getting some sleep!
I generally dislike long posts but I loved every... single...word of that description of Kobe's game 7. While I was reading it I kept thinking "Man, this is good. It's REALLY LONG, but it's really good! It takes some huge cajones to write this, who could this be?" LOL.

I could see that Kobe was tired, he was overwhelmed by the moment, and yet he would find a way during one of the most dramatic game's I have every seen. That game was going to be won by will and courage. Something that simply defines Kobe.


I'm fairly new, but I like what I've seen...

I think having an option to edit or delete a post would be nice...

And the easiness of someone posting under someone's handle is asking for trouble...

But it's a great thread, with great members...

Thank You...

Some things I learned this year:
I was one of the people that gave up on Bynum. I was so disappointed in him and tired of waiting on him that I just wanted to trade him for another player of high caliber. Bynum was injured too much and he didn't impress me with his energy or work ethic.

Bosh seemed like a player that could help us and play regularly and so I wanted to see the trade made. In retrospect, I don't know how much Bosh would have helped us in the playoffs. I'm sure he would make a difference in the regular season, but I don't know about the playoffs.

What I do know, is that Bynums length and scoring helped us against the Celts. I just watched the game 1 finals again and Bynum was HUGE. I want to watch all the games again and see what I can learn. I'll tell you this though. With Bynum and Gasol, DANG! They have now learned how to play together and they are quite a force. I give Pau alot of credit for playing away from the basket and his jump shot and passing skills. But Bynum held his own. Blocked shots, scored and seemed to give everything he had.

Now that it is the offseason, the question has come up as to whether we pursue Bosh or not. While it remains a risk to keep Bynum, I now see why it is so difficult to let him go. Bosh would help by playing more and throughout the regular season, but what do we play for? That's right, rings.

I will post some other things I learned in following posts. In particular, about Derek Fisher.

Let's see, Mark. You take the reigns of Lakers Blog and 5 1/2 months later we beat boston in game 7. I'd say you did a good job.

Seriously, a very good job.

I don't have the time to contribute here like I'd like to but I really enjoy reading the posts. It's a great community revolving around a great team.

WesJoe has a good suggestion. We crave insiders info. More of that in a livechat setting would be very cool.

Have a great summer everyone. Enjoy the fruits of our cheering ! !

GO LAKERS ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

As I reflect on the 2009-2010 Season, I remember the long crueling season, the constant nagging injuries, the acclimation of Ron Ron, the inconsistent bench play, the always present Haters and Doubters, the obvious bias by the media, especially ESPN and including Magic Johnson, the steady undying support of the 'half full' fans, the constant and irrating trolls, especially the Cavs and Chowd fans, the massive bailing of the fickle fan, after losing game 4 of the Thunder series, the massive band wagonning of those same weak fans after winning game 5 of the Thunder series, the attack of the Chowder Nation when the Finals were set, again the feable fans after losing game 4 and 5, and the huge Homerism from fans that didn't invest their soul to the cause, after we won...

The result was a 3rd straight finals appearance, the franchise's 16th Championship...A back to back win and another 3Peat opportunity...

The lesson was to stick with your team, till death do we part, we play till the fat lady sings...

My point...Fanhood is part of your character...If we would have lost the Finals, these pages would have been full of what the Lakers, PJ, Mitch and the players did wrong...

So to Dr Buss, Mitch Kupchack, PJ and the players I defer this off season...I have been a die hard fans since '78...

Over all, I think my fanhood for the Lakers have been rewarded, with team being in the Final 15 times, and winning it 10 times...

If you think this is not enough, talk to other NBA fans, especially Cavs, Suns, and even Spurs and Celts fans too...

Every team is scrambling, radically changing their teams, all to keep up with this present Dynasty...I have the FAITH this organization will do what is best...In the words of Jon K..."What do we play for...RINGS"

I look back at 2009-2010, and I thank the Lord for my Los Angeles Lakers...

Here is some very interesting read on the Black Mamba:


You have done a great job and hope you continue to do so. I read fan comments suggesting tighter scrutiny like your predecessor (AK/BK), who ran this blog with an IRON FIST, virtual GESTAPOS. The premise of this blog is virtual and accessible to fans world wide. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BADGES. I suggest fans who want autonomy on what type of comments they "only" want to hear then they should join AK/BK's blog on ESPN or create their own blog with club membership.

The fans who complain the most about the trolls should use discretion, no one is holding them at a gunpoint to react and respond to posts from trolls. I find it even more entertaining when fans act gullible and get caught in the act repeatedly. Just press the logic button called "discretion".

In conclusion, thank you for keeping us informed and up to date on 2010 NBA champs.

You are doing a mahvellous job




>>> how about to Jersey who is looking to move their tectonic plate, for
>>>Yi Jinlian and Courtney Lee, I think we salarywise, their salaries are still not
>>> in the parameters with Lamar's being a tad higher than the Jersey pair, but
>>> we would get a 7 foot tough playing (???) mobile man that can catch the ball
>>> (not a "kwame") and a young 6'5" guard that may be able to make the big
>>> shot one day...

Actually, if Mike Heisler is correct about the Lakers wanting to trade off Lamar to reduce salary, then New Jersey might be an ideal trade partner. Here's my reasoning.

1. Note that Jersey's not getting the big press about where LeBron, Bosh, or Wade are going. Beyond that, there's Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, then the next tier down. Let's assume either Stoudemire or Boozer goes to Miami, and that new York gets one or both of the other two. Basically, New Jersey may get shut out of the big name players. (I guess Rudy Gay is the next guy).

2. Russian Mark Cuban wants to win ASAP. Derrick Favors may be good in a few years, but they want a starting PF sooner. Lamar would certainly fit the bill - talented, experienced, can play inside or on the wing, and would fit well with Brook Lopez

3. New Jersey has several young low priced players, expired players they can sign&trade, & draft pick that could be potential pieces in a trade.

4. Jersey is under the salary cap, so they can take on more salary than they send back. So for example, they could take Lamar's 7.5 million and send back two players who make 5 million combined.

5. Lamar is from New Jersey, so if he's getting traded off, it's one of two places where he might not mind too much (the other being Miami, where he played before)

Here are the potential pieces that New Jersey could include one or two of in a trade for Lamar:

Players they'd likely willingly give up to get Lamar:
Yi Jianlian - 4 million in 2010-11 - still has potential upside
Josh Boone - 3 million QO in 2010-11 - very good rebounder & shot blocker
Keyon Dooling - 3.8 million in 2010-11
Rafer Alston - they have sign&trade rights.

Players they'd be less likely to give up, but who knows:
Derrick Favors - 3.4 million in 2010-11 - rookie contract with HUGE upside
Courtney Lee - 1.3 million in 1020-11

Plus of course, either side could offer future pick or picks as well...

There are a lot of ways a trade could work out -

Lamar + Lakers 2012 first rounder for Derrick Favors.

Lamar for Boone, Dooling, and 2 future second rounders

Lamar for Boone and Yi Jianlian

Lamar for Yi Jianlian and New Jersey's 2011 first rounder

etc. Lots of possible variations. Could either get the Lakers 2 players for what they're paying Lamar or one player for much less salary.

Note that if the player they get can't replace Lamar, that's not necessarily a deal breaker. For example, if it's Lamar for Boone, then he could play minutes in the front court and provide rebounding, but they might want more scoring in the front court. But the Lakers would be saving 4 million from Lamar's deal, so maybe they could spend some or all of the MLE to hire a free agent to fill that front court scoring need (e.g. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Brad Miller, Drew Gooden, Udonis Haslem)


First of all ~ ENJOY YOUR BREAK! You have earned it.

Secondly, regarding evaluation input.
--I was very disappointed when the K-Bros jumped ship. It took a while for me to adapt to the change in style and tone between those two and you. But I have come to appreciate and respect you as well. You do your homework, which is the highest praise I can give an "investigative reporter" like you.

--So much GREAT INPUT from the many who have posted here already. More ideas than you will be able to handle I suppose. I hope you pay attention to the repeitition of certain requests and suggestions.

--What may seem like a small, trivial point to you just might be a big deal to us. Don't underestimate repeated points that are echoed over and over.

--I have ONLY TWO NEW THOUGHTS of evaluation to add.

1. Perhaps you could develop a predictable schedule for your posts? You pick the times and we all would adjust. The reason for this suggestion is:
a) Helps EVERYONE know when to expect more input from you...
b) Helps lower frustrations of those who feel you post too often, having clear expectations for your post times
c) Helps lower frustrations of those who feel you don't post often enough, etc.
d) Helps all of us manage the pace and timing of when we want to comment
e) Would likely generate MORE visits for LAT because this truism cannot be argued ~ People gravitiate to routines more than randomness.

2. Perhaps inviting the most faithful, recognizable and deserving bloggers here to occassionally provide BLOG POST essays would be very interesting. As you know, there are many who post here who have great B-ball knowledge, good writing skills, and a passion that cannot be ignored. Might be fun, in the spirit of the "Reader Comment of the Day" to have a "Reader POST of the Week". Honestly, do you think the likes Wes, LakerTom, JON K, Hobbit (to name just a few) would bring something unique on rare occassions with your permission?

Again, I think you did a great job. Enjoyed the balance you struck between being objective and friendly, authoritative by not an authoriatarian, in charge but not a tyrant.

Thanks again!

If everyone in the Laker organization is getting a salary, how much profit is enough? 15 to 20 million isn't bad take home bonus and you get to be god of LA.


Tht post was so long I didn't even attempt to read it. But if it's about Kobe's game 7, I'll go back and give it a look. That game was a once in 50 years experience. There are maybe a couple of those things every 100 years for fans to indulge in. I'm glad ours came when it did.


@ HOBBIT . . .

Wow ~ once again you submit doctoral thesis level essay in support of your argument. I don't think I tell you often enough how much I enjoy your work.

You ask, "Why do people continue to hve a double standard for judging Kobe's performance?" Two answers in my humble opinion.

1. Kobe is not just a superstar in the NBA. He is a Mega-star amongst the Superstars.
--Over 400 players in the NBA.
--Max of perhaps 60 true stars (avg two per team) in the NBA.
--Limit of 24 All-Stars chosen each year.
--Only 15 "All NBA" chosen each year (1st, 2nd, 3rd teams)
--During Kobe's 14 year career, only 6 active MVP's (Shaq, KG, Duncan, Dirk, LeBron, Nash)
--Only 1 other player "NBA experts" argue as better than Kobe (LeBron)

Add all those numbers up and you have the recipe for the double standard. People just expect more of Kobe than all the others ~ fair or not. The irony of it all (and what ultimately justifies his place as the greatest today in my opinion) is that he never is judged as having met or exceeded the expectations place on him; meaning people believe he is even better.

LeBron gets praised for exceeding expectations, even when he loses before even reaching the finals in both of his MVP seasons. The world worships him.

KG gets praised for returning Celtics to former glory, although his scorecard shows only 1 championship.

DWade gets praised for being the most unstoppable offensive force, while his teams languish with low scores and early round eliminations at low playoff seeds.

You could add to the list. These star players are great, having met the high expectations the "experts" have for them. BUT WITH KOBE, the "experts" can never seem to set the bar high enough.

--Kobe wins, but "experts" say "but can he do it again?"
--Kobe scores, but "experts" say "but look at how many shots he took"
--Kobe leads, but "experts" say "but look at how intimidating he was to his teammates"


2. The second reason is flat-out shameful. There are those who will NEVER EVER give Kobe his due and will always use shifting standards to judge him with because THEY DON'T LIKE HIM. Personality, Colorado, Laker-for-life, Race, whatever... it is shameful.

Again, great research and presentation. Meat to chew on for days in that post of yours!


For many years the Mychal Thompson story, the Michal Thompson acquisition, was the quintessential role-player addition to a Laker team that led to a championship. He had a sort of mythical role in Laker lore that was unmatched by anyone (for me at least) until Ron Artest came aboard and did what he just did. Neither Mychal nor Ron came to the team with the fanfare of a Kareem or a Shaq, but they sure were the right persons for the job, and what a job it was Ron just did. Ron's masterwork on Paul Pierce trumps even Thompson's work on Mchale, when you factor in the two game winners Ron tossed in on his way to basketball immortality. I'm so happy to have been a witness to it.

Now to Hobbit's article...


Great article Hobbit. For me, ironically, it was the bucket Kobe hit to put the Lakers up by 4, that bucket, that was the game changer for me. It gave us our first cushin of the game (I think) and it really gave me the feeling that the worst of the storm had passed and now Kobe's will had broken thru the stress of the moment and we were about to win. From Kobe's bucket on--not Ron's shots, not Derek's shooting, not Pau's buckets--I felt like we would win that game. And that's what a leader does, he makes people believe when belief is the only thing that matters.

Great article Hobbit. Both teams had terrible shooting games but Kobe found other ways to lead. And Ron...what a perfect sidekick. I loved his explination about how/why he won't just support any "franchise" player, and he added that Derek is better than most franchise guys. But Ron's following of Kobe really sets the tone for the new or young guys. The message I get is you'd better work as hard as Kobe, or Ron's going to kick you AZZ back to college...

I love LA.


Does anyone have an online link to game 7, 4t quarter? Or if someone has game 7 on DVD, maybe I can burn a copy of "The Crawling Eye" (1958) in exchange for a copy of game 7...

Just a thought...


The LA Times Lakers Blog is the best sports blog in the world bar none. I have browsed other sports blogs and what stands out to me about this blog is the consistency and loyalty of the bloggers within the blog. Despite the hurricane of posts that the Times demands you generate, changes in format, and massive infestations of trolls, there still remains a constant large contingent of die-hard Lakers fans who have decided that THIS is their virtual Lakers sports bar where they’re going to hang whether it’s offseason, preseason, regular season, or playoffs. If you love the Lakers, there’s no better place to go.
I’ve said many times that I think you have way surpassed all of our expectations when you took over from the KamBros, admittedly a very tough act for anybody to follow. While we’ll always be indebted to Andy and Brian for creating, nurturing, and building the blog from nothing, I think you’ve brought an entirely new level of productivity that has frankly amazed most of us. I still suspect there must be a twin or clone working with you behind the scenes. You have redefined productivity and won us over.
My grade for you would be a solid A. That, of course, does not mean that you don’t still have a lot of work to do and room to grow but more that you’ve done a job that deserves to be recognized without a minus or other mark to detract from the excellence that you have achieved. One thing that I do think you have been very smart about is being careful not to allow your opinions to dominate the comments section. That is a change over the KamBros that I think has improved the blog. You have remained the blog moderator and leader without dictating and feeling you have to resolve every spat. Bravo!
Aside from your excellent analysis and writing, like everybody else, I love the automatic posting and while I was at one point worried that it would turn the blog into a giant version of Live Chat, I think it has instead provided the instant gratification that encourages readers to visit and post more often. I also like the transcripts of the interview. Jon K is right that there are often some gems there worth discussing that you just don’t catch listening to the interviews.
I think Jay Jay and phred and others have hit the nail on the head with their complaints about the excessive number of posts disrupting and discouraging the blogging within the blog that for many of us is as great a lure as your articles and posts. I like the idea phred’s idea of separating the articles and comments, sort of like how Outlook separates your day into appts and emails, with the appts being your various posts of the day and the emails being our comments, all neatly presented as the Daily Lakers Blog. I realize that the Times wants a standardized format for all blogs but maybe you can convince them that this might be a way to get other Times blogs to produce like this blog.

Kobe at the World Cup - the camera zoomed very briefly at Kobe at the USA-Ghana game. The lady sitting next to him did not look like Vanessa???

Hi Mark:

It's been a pleasure seeing you manage our blog with proficiency. You did excel all my expectations.

Keep up good work, get some rest and hope to see you soon.


Jon K,
"obsession" other blog topics I had mentioned Steve Blake and Matt Barnes as players I thought the Lakers could benefit from acquiring, but did not tie it into an Odom swap, because an Odom move was not that hot of a topic a few days ago, however looks like I was onto something because after that there was talk about Lakers going after Raja Bell, a Kobe nemesis, well Barnes obviously falls into that category as well, so no, I don't only play fantasy dream Laker team with Asian players in mind, if I was obsessive I would have claimed that Yuta Tabuse, who went through Phoenix camps a few times maybe would be our SOLUTION. Jon, I just see Yi as a big guy with some skills, and who knows, maybe he'll be a little more consistent than Odom. In actuality, I don't want to lose Odom, I love his game, I love having a guy who can get you 15 boards and take the ball from one basket to the left side of the other basket!!!!!! We cool???? I do however like the fact that the Lakers are an international type team, does anybody out there think that foreign players can pick up the triangle better than "Rucker Park" players or Carolina college players?????, or small college players who were stars on their teams.....?????
...and who out there would fear the Bulls if they did get LeBron and Bosh??? I'd have to see the rest of their roster, and I know it's pretty strong, and their chemistry, as LeBron and that point guard whose name I keep forgetting, oh yeah, Rose, are both players that are used to having the ball alot, however, I think in Cleveland, I think LeBron was forced to......If Chicago does get that package, then I hope Shaq is right and Bosh is "Rupaul"....and the Lakers could counter by picking up Shaq...the dream finals next year, Lakers vs. Chicago, Phil going for his 4th triple, and Shaq vs Bosh, and Kobe vs. Lebron...BRING IT ON!!!!!!

Jon, what do we play for????????

Rings!!!!! Lots and lots of rings!!!!!!!!!!


Some suggestions...

1. More Lakers girls.

2. More interviews with former Lakers Greats to better learn about the human history of the team. I'd like to hear from Gail Goodrich or an interview with Elgin Baylor about his team landing in a cornfield in a snow storm. Stuff like that. HOW DID WE GET TO BECOME THE GREATEST TEAM IN SPORTS HISTORY? This is a question that would be nice to be continually answered. It also helps build a sense of community so we're not just at each others throats over various trade scenarios.

3. CONTESTS!!! I'm talking contests that matter. Like, whoever wins blogger of the week gets a pass to a Lakers game. THAT'S what I'm talking about! That'll get the blogmunity pumping! Contest, baby! Contests!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


MM, You did a great job in inheriting the job of Moderator. I wish you can join us more in the conversation in the future not just relegated on threads write-up which are great and very informative.

Unlike my friends here in the blog, I would not give you a grade because I don't feel like giving people marks. Who am I to do that? By this time, you know me if there's anything I feel to be improved, I'm always brutally honest to you. Always, it is a constructive criticism.

Thank you for instituting the automatic posting which gave full freedom for everyone to say anything they want and no holds bar. It carries with it a great responsibility on the part of poster. Of course, we cannot avoid chicanery and juvenile adventurism whether they are trolls, fans using multiple handles, or whatever the tactics, In the end, we still come as one strong community. It took time and tens of thousand posts to build this community and it would be difficult for anybody to destroy that camaraderie with silly tricks.

PS. Next season, I will try to grant the wishes of P. Ang but I'm not a knowledgeable resource person like LTLF, LakerTom, Hobbit and Kblitz. Perhaps, it is time to retire too like PJ. lol!

Laker Tom,

"The LA Times Lakers Blog is the best sports blog in the world bar none. I have browsed other sports blogs and what stands out to me about this blog is the consistency and loyalty of the bloggers within the blog."

You are correct, sir!

Another thing I like about how Mark Medina handles conflict... unlike the Kamenetzky Brothers who felt the need to nanny the blog constantly, Mark Medina doesn't feel the need to mettle so much, but when it becomes clear that someone is merely a provocateur who brings no beneficial content to the overall discussion, he just bans them.

Which is how it should be.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Laker Tom,

"The LA Times Lakers Blog is the best sports blog in the world bar none. I have browsed other sports blogs and what stands out to me about this blog is the consistency and loyalty of the bloggers within the blog."

You are correct, sir!

Another thing I like about how Mark Medina handles conflict... unlike the Kamenetzky Brothers who felt the need to nanny the blog constantly, Mark Medina doesn't feel the need to mettle so much, but when it becomes clear that someone is merely a provocateur who brings no beneficial content to the overall discussion, he just bans them.

Which is how it should be.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


nice work Mark.

Failed to mention, whether PJ retires or not Fish needs to be back as the best team communicator/leader in the league. He is a true asset during the playoffs but shoud be a bench player coach for the 3-peat. He would be full of energy for the play-offs. Byron Scott would bring Chris Paul to the Lakers for a combination of players on the bench----a PG solution for the next 7 to 10 years! Raja Bell could be a good bench defensive stopper at the guard position. Decent 3-point shooter along with Sasha. That team coulod gurantee a 3-peat regardless of a James-Bosh pact! All Dr Buss has to do is stop losing at high stakes gambling for a year! Mcdyss for Mbenga or can Mbenga improve? No need for Morrison, Powell, Farmar bench with Ebanks & Caracter! Go Lakers 3-peat is there for the taking with good moves!!!

In reference to this morning news on LAT Sunday, Mark Heisler emphasized "austerity" program of the Buss family. If I'm correct with my haunch, we'll be getting these $1M free agents whoever they are starting J-Critt, Ebanks and Caracter plus no name but strong and CHEAP. Sorry, that's the new direction and LO's name was prominently mentioned there, perhaps trading to the recent draft picks + future draft picks. That's how you tighten your belt, pull all the way to the last hole of that belt, the stomach shrinks, chokes the food storage as well as the intestines. Therefore, to all of you guys there dreaming of Lebron, CP3, etc. stop dreaming, new hires will be paid only at minimum like: the McDonald flippers of burgers or make it a little classy, In N Out burgers in white apron a quintessential LA's pride. lol!


"LeBron gets praised for exceeding expectations, even when he loses before even reaching the finals in both of his MVP seasons. The world worships him."

I disagree. LeBron gets praised despite not reaching expectations. It drives me nuts.

Over the last tumultuous decade of my life, I spent a summer back in Cleveland, Ohio working on the line in an elastomeric roofing insulation plant. [If you ever want a reason why unions are sometimes necessary, spend two and half month on the line in an elastomeric roofing insulation plant, stacking 55 pound drums of liquid insulation, every five seconds for eight hours a day, no breaks, in 112 degree, 88% humidity heat--day in, day out. You'll feel a good day's work for that... at $8 an hour and your skin covered in mica and chemical dust as you drive home.]

Anyhow, so I'm on the line with this kid and all we do is discuss sports. LeBron had just been drafted. Hadn't even played a game yet and was insistent, INSISTENT, that AT THAT VERY MOMENT LeBron James was the Greatest player to have ever played a game.

He insisted that LeBron James was already out of high school better than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain.

That's the insane hype surrounding this guy.

And when it comes down to it, he loses key playoff series when the game falls on his shoulders.

It's beyond infuriating to me

LeBron lacks the mental toughness and compulsive competitiveness one requires to be a Champion. If he ever wins a Championship, it won't be because of his leadership, it'll be because of another player's leadership. LeBron simply lacks that capacity. He's too busy mugging for cameras and doing a little shimmy dance.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Yi's skill sets kind of remind me of Gasol-lite. Do you think what he would bring to the team might be redundant then?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Mark Medina,

Do you have any insight into Buss's reported "austerity" program and what that's all about?

Why Dr. Buss? Why?!?!?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Adding my appreciation for your strong commitment and for being --as Wes described you --a good shepherd. You've provided a relatively sound structure for bloggers to offer our talents and pathologies.

You probably didn't aspire to this gig, and I'm guessing it's not a lifetime post, so I'm curious about your personal career goals... if you feel like sharing that.

How about YOUR expectations? Bet you didn't know you'd have to develop skill sets in psychology, law enforcement, literature, comedy, anger management, restraint, theology, etc.

Looking forward to a new season.. and cringing slightly...

Laker Tom/Mark Medina,

In terms of instant posting versus reviewed posting, perhaps we could do it this way....

Bloggers would get a trial run here, let's say a month. If during that month they maintained good behavior, they could fill out a form in which they promise not to use foul language, racist statements, etc. and they would be given pass for instant posting of their posts.

The consequence for breaking the rules after agreeing to terms and conditions would either be banning OR returning permanently to the "reviewed before posting" category.

All newbies would have to go through a trial period in which their posts were given review before posting. What do you think?

In this way we would still have a review to make sure content is kosher, but it would also allow for fluid flow of discourse in such a way that the blogmunity engine could keep rolling.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Gracias M&M

Cölöradö löves öür Wörld Champiön Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Also, I would give you "A" grade as well. The blog's application for the mobile device would be a nice addition to the blog.

Also, I had expressed my desire for the LA Times to provide T-Shirt for the regular bloggers so we can wear them during the season. I think arranging a get together event during the game would be a plus too. I dream of watching the game with my fellow bloggers at the Yardhouse or other sport bars. Think about these idea.

Right now, you should focus on getting a scoop on the Lakers's Brass of their plan for next year. An article in LA Times today which depicted a potential cost cutting by the Buss does disturb me greatly. How much profit do you want, Dr. Buss? Apparently $20M you generated from the team this year is not quite enough for you. But cutting down salaries of the staff and prohibit MItch from signing players to patch up the pathetic bench we had this year is not well perceived by the fans. If you can't afford running the team successfully, please think about selling the team to Magic Johnson.

Also Hobbit, your post on Kobe is beautiful!!! I love it!! A master piece indeed.


did U ever mention that the ARTICLE u COPIED and PASTED was written by

Josh Tucker from Silver Screen and Roll????????????????????

looks like some bloggers r understanding that it was written BY U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it's really not fair to "not mention" the REAL WRITER.

Hey MM,

Thanks for everything. A solid A for your work on the blob this year. I agree with Rick and others, so I won't go into a lot of detail.

I think the LA Times needs an overhaul of thier blog technology on the whole. I doubt you have much (if any) control over that. Other sites like SB Nation allow you to create a profile, rate responses, highlight un-read comments, that sort of thing.

Overall great blog though

MM, I've never mention to you regarding a nice job you're doing, but you gets mad LOVE from most of the regulars. Great Job, I do know for a fact that their are a couple Lakers players and assistance coach that do read the blogs regularly. I believe you may know who they are, this info comes from a close friend of mine that works at their training site in El Segundo.
Someone mention to have a player on a LIVE CHAT, I think you can make that happen.

@ JON K . . .

I totally agree with you. I really failed to communicate my point on Lebron. (By the way, no matter your tone, no matter your linguistic brutality, I ALWAYS enjoy reading your stuff!)

Here's what I meant ~ which pretty much is what you said. Lebron is worshipped no matter what he delivers. As you noted, it seems that he is given credit farrrrrr beyond his performance. Expectations sky-high ~ Only delivers Skyscraper-high goods.

But, it seems that when he consistenly "underperforms", excuses are made by his worshippers and the bar is reinterpreted to let him off the hook and render his latest performance like it is one for the ages.

How many times have we seen that buzzer-beater 3 he hit against Orlando in the playoffs? RESULT? Cavs lost that series. Blah-blah-blah

I agree with your concise point.


Now that the smoke from the Lakers victory celebration fires have died down, you would think, with their top five players all under contract and two consecutive NBA championships firmly in the books, that the future of the franchise would be as easy to see as distant mountains on a clear summer day. Then, of course, you remember this is Southern California, where the smog often cloaks and obscures the mountains from view and smothers the valleys making it hard to get a simple breath of fresh air. That’s what this offseason is beginning to feel like, waiting for the smog to lift and destiny to clear.
One thing Lakers fans thought would be a foregone conclusion this offseason was the decision by Phil Jackson to return for one more year as the Lakers head coach to lead the team to its second three-peat and put a final exclamation point on his brilliant coaching career with an incredible fourth three-peat. With his comments last week, it’s now starting to look like Phil may actually decide to retire for good, leaving the Lakers with a humungous challenge in choosing a successor to the NBA’s greatest coach. Needless to say, history has been pretty harsh and unforgiving on coaches who succeed Phil Jackson.
So if Phil really does decide not to return, where do the Lakers turn to find their next head coach? Do they promote one of the longtime assistants from Phil’s coaching staff? That would enable the team to continue to play the same offense and defense as well as maintain much of the same organization that Phil built and which has been highly responsible for guiding the team through many years of success. The question in my mind is whether Brian Shaw or Kurt Rambis have the stature and mystique to be the Lakers next head coach. It’s the same question that bothers me about twice-fired Byron Scott.
It’s no secret I would love to see the Lakers next head coach be Derrick Fisher, the current president of the NBA Players Association and the player that most NBA general managers voted as having the best chance of becoming a successful NBA coach. There is no doubt that Fisher has the basketball knowledge, full respect of Kobe and his teammates, and personal charisma to succeed Phil Jackson. The only problem other than that he still wants to play is that Derek has zero coaching experience, which means he likely needs to a couple of years as an assistant before taking over as head coach.
Assuming that we don’t want to go through the possible turmoil of finding out that Brian Shaw, Kurt Rambis, or Byron Scott can’t live up our expectation, there is one answer that makes perfect sense, which is to bring Pat Riley back on a 3-year contract to replace Phil as head coach with responsibility for mentoring and tutoring Derek Fisher to take over as the team’s long term head coach. The move would give the Lakers a great short-term solution with a proven championship coach whom the team would respect and follow while at the same time providing a perfect transition to Derek Fisher.

Laker Mike,

"linguistic brutality"

You may not always agree with me, but at least you'll know where I stand... and it is an irrational urge to hope that everyone will agree with a person on anything at any given time.

In my worldview, I am treating people with respect by being direct with them. Others may disagree, but screw 'em!

Anyhow, thanks for the welcome home. It's good to be home.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


looks like some bloggers r understanding that it was written BY U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it's really not fair to "not mention" the REAL WRITER.
Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | June 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Actually Hobbit did place the web address for his post. I just didn't see it and I'm guessing alot of other people didn't either.

Ouchhhh, does everything you say have to be caustic? I mean damn dude.


Brilliant post on Kobe in game 7. I concur.

First, I don't have Buss kinda money and he needs to be secure with his money in terms of family and lifestyle. After that, is there anything better than winning championships year after year? I would be working July 1 to improve our team. I'm thinking LBJ in a sign and trade deal. Next, perhaps a trade for CP3. I would spend whatever I could to make our team unbeatable for years to come! Although it hasn't always worked for George (Yankees), it's been a pretty good ride. He pretty much opens his wallet every year!

If we keep Farmar and most of the team intact, at least sign Korver.

In defense of Lamar, it's probably hard for him to be assertive, what with Kobe, Pau, and shares with Ron and Drew. If he was a number 2 option and knew he could let it fly whenever, he might be the Lamar that we see every 5th game on a more consistent basis.


Neither will Staples17 and his "Andrew Bynum is KEY to all the Lakers" "Superstars come and go but there will always be the LA Lakers!"

Oh let me add another statistic to the ones they posted about lowered FG% about Kobe and Pau:

"In fact, both Pau and LeBron suffered larger overall drops in shooting efficiency against the Celtics than did Kobe."

Andrew Bynum before Celtics: 57% (this included when he was hurt so he was hurt no matter what but still at least shot around his average).

Andrew Bynum vs Celtics: 45% (12% drop far more than Lebron and Pau and consider how Bynum was VERY close to the basket most wasn't like he was shooting from the mid range more times).

Bynum 09 Finals before Orlando (49%)
Bynum vs Howard in the Finals (36% a 13% drop off ).

Kobe may not be shooting lights out in the Finals but Staples24's boy has it even worst when it comes to drop offs.

re: I agree only 1 of MJ's Finals he faced against a defensive minded team the former Seattle Supersonics and he had poor shooting performances once Payton guarded MJ (had Payton been put on MJ the Supersonics could have won the Finals, and the finals still came to a Steve Kerr game winner). However I still have to disagree in terms that MJ never faced these a Celtics defense since he faced them in the Eastern Conference against first the Pistons then the Knicks and Miami (under Riley's plagiarism of the Pistons defensive plans). Ditto for Magic Johnson and his Lakers until the 1988 Finals.

More proof on why you can never trust a hobbit. LOL he's been doing that for years. Someone comments on it. A year later, he pulls out the same lame trick.


See what happens when we leave a thread on for a full day - just like old times.
Way to go MM!

And I not only agree with Laker Tom about that, but also about Fisher being our long term coach of the future - once he's had a couple of years to apprentice under someone be it Phil or Pat Riley or maybe even Larry Brown.

But I can't agree with trading Lamar. Is everyone nuts? Bynum's track record for staying healthy is NOT good and without a starter quality "back-up" on the bench we wouldn't have won this year's title and we won't win the next. And neither Yi nor Favors even comes close. In fact there's no one else anywhere with a price tag under 10 mil that could do the job nearly as well as Lamar.

I would consider LO to Toronto with Sasha for Bosh. Toronto, if they get any sign and trade for Bosh (with Bosh agreeing of course), they'd better take it.

Here I am defending LO a couple posts back and now I'm trading him off, ha, ha. Wow, I've turned into a real flopper, like Sideshow Bob of the Cavs!


Bosh for LO/Sasha??

Who comes off the bench as 6th man like LO does now?
I don't think Bosh would be too happy.
He wants to be the man, but I don't think it's the 6th man.


Good point. Just kinda dreaming on how to improve the team if I could pull ALL the strings, ha, ha!

Here we go:


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