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Analyzing the Lakers' psychology on winning

As the Lakers have reflected on their 2010 NBA championship, two themes have emerged. They especially appreciated this title because they earned it by beating their archrival, the Boston Celtics, and because it capped a season full of challenges stemming from injuries, inconsistent performances and fatigue. Yet, not all players have experienced the joy of winning in the same way. Their reactions can be different, and quite telling.

Not everyone celebrated like Ron Artest, for instance, who proclaimed giddiness over a Wheaties championship box to reporters and shared his random, fun-filled thoughts in tweets.

Lamar Odom may not have been singing the praises of Wheaties, but he savored the win as well. "The feeling is amazing," the Lakers forward said of nabbing the championship. That’s opposed to losing – which, he noted, really hurts.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol uses the pain of remembered loss to boost his motivation. “Something that I like to do mentally is picture how it feels to lose," he said. "If we lose this game … how hard it's going to be,” and then he does “whatever it takes so it doesn't get to that point."

But for guard Kobe Bryant, it’s not “I really don’t want to lose this series. We want to pummel these guys,” it’s all about “the joy of winning,” he said. “Everything else adds to it. … It's always the excitement of winning."

Yet as much as the chance to win provided motivation, criticism may have added fuel to Bryant’s fire. There was the perception that he was too old against the Thunder's youth, and the semifinals matchup against Utah likely reminded him of his early struggles against the Jazz. The West Finals series against Phoenix probably brought back memories of the Lakers' 2006 and 2007 first-round exits to the Suns. Eventually, the NBA Finals against Boston partly served as redemption for the 2008 Finals loss, as well as adding to the historic rivalry.

As the Lakers prepare for next season, it’s interesting to mull what kind of attitude is the best for winning. The answer could prove important in the team’s chance at a three-peat.

Over the years, Lakers legends have used both positive and negative energy as part of their success strategies. Lakers owner Jerry Buss has shown willingness to spend money to build a championship team even if it eats into his profits. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson stresses meditation so his team relaxes and visualizes success. He has said he values the journey to a championship even more than the Larry O'Brien trophy itself. Lakers guard Derek Fisher prides himself on being a positive role model. He’s provided leadership in a utility position, although he has admitted that the bite of criticism – age and slowness against quicker guards – has pushed him to succeed.

Magic Johnson, who won five titles with the Lakers, personified the positive persona. Jerry West, who won a title in 1972 and helped orchestrate the Lakers' three-peat from 2000-2002 as general manager, was known as a perfectionist who succeeded through constant self-doubt.

Perhaps winning can become too much of a given for a championship team, becoming numbing at times for the Lakers. There’s a false impression that success can come at the flip of a switch. The fear of losing can provide a nice jolt, a reminder that success can be fleeting.

Balance is needed, though.

I've always appreciated Bryant's joy in small victories. After a reporter asked Bryant in his recent exit interview how much it helped working with Lakers shooting coach Chuck Person and former Celtics scout Mike Procopio, I followed up, remarking to Bryant that he seemed to gain satisfaction from adding a new wrinkle to his game.

"It's just fun for me," Bryant answered. "I enjoy what I do. So you love what you do, you're constantly looking for ways to do it better or do it different. I just love the game."

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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utah thunder?

I agree w/ Kobe and disagree w/ Pau: We should think about the WIN, not think about the feeling of loosing. When we think about loosing, we kinda enpower the "lost" itself. If it happens, it happens.
Don't waste your brain with loss.
Cheers.

repost:

I never thought Tony Parker would wear a different uniform other than the Spurs...

I'm not ready to give up on ShanWOW, hope he sees the light and sticks with the Lakers. I would rather stick with a homemade product, than gambling on a has been. The question about Shannon is he smart enough to understand the triangle and find a niche...

Overall, our core has stayed the same...I see big seasons for Bynumite and Artest...Now if LO can get more consistent, he made big strides last season, but faded in the playoffs...

I think we just need to protect HCA during the 82 game preseason, and we jell and peak right before the playoffs....

PJ has said he wants to go out with a boom, and be totally dominant the whole 82 practice games, and more so in the playoffs...

Could we be in store for one of the best seasons for the Lakers in their already rich history...could PJ be going for the best record ever...does PJ want to own the longest winning streak...winning 34 games in a row...mind boggling!

Is is October 27 yet...

MM,

How about a post on the "Keltic Fan's Psychology of Whining"?
_______________________________________________________

GO LAKERS!!!!!! ONE, TWO, THREE-PEAT SQUARED!!!!!!

ONE, TWO, THREE, DOMINATE!!!!!!

Followup on the "Keltic Fan's Psychology of Whining", they do have a "Hall of Fame Whiner" as GM.

No one in the history of the league whined better than Danny Ainge.

I guess they've learned from the best.
______________________________________________________
GO LAKERS!!!!!! ONE, TWO, THREE-PEAT SQUARED!!!!!!

ONE, TWO, THREE, DOMINATE!!!!!!

THE BRING BACK DFISH SUBURBAN CARAVAN

Like the Secret Service, we have unlimited black Suburbans
to escort DFish to the Lakers training camp in El Segundo...

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -PAY DEREK FISHER -------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -SIGN DEREK FISHER ------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -LOVE DEREK FISHER ------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll-- FISH WILL NEVER LEAVE ---]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

Mark Medina
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Just woundering how the rest of the roster will fill out.

will it be Tmac that joins or raja bell.? is shaq a possibility. we all know he wants back but do we want him back.? can we even trade walton or sasha? can we use sasha in a trade with the clippers to get blake instead of using the MLE? Will caracter even make the roster? we all know ebanks will. So many questions left. when will they be awnsered and how...? Predictions....
Who will play with the past present and future champs next season...?

Brig back Shaq caravan.

You loose Farmar and Brown at the same time, we loose our abilty to ATTACK THE RIM OFF THE DRIBBLE. BEll,BLAKE,SASHA does not give you that.


Unless Bell is a replacement for Sasha. Mitch might be thinking of trading Sasha during the season, then Bell would be a good move now for cheap.


T-Mac...Shaq...
PLEASE, stop that, guys...
Please...
Shaq is scum and T-Mac is done, just see the bag of ice on his knee everytime he sits...

20-20 HINDSIGHT FROM THE THREE-POINT LINE:
In 2003 the Lakers drafted both Brian Cook and Luke Walton ahead of Mo Williams, Kyle Korver, Steve Blake, and Matt Bonner, all of whom were available deep into the second round.

Oops.

I think the Suns were the best 3 pt shooting team last yr (41%) followed by the Cavs and Magic. It seems 3 pt shooters tend to run hot and cold, but then if the Suns had a Pau/Bynum inside to go with those shooters they may have won it all.

And the Lakers were in the bottom 10 of the league for 3 pt shooting so improving in that area will just make them even awesomer!

So maybe add another 3 shooter like Bell and a slasher type so Kobe isn't the only one able to do it.
Trade with GS for Anthony Morrow, Sasha/Brown?

And trade Luke and Mbenga and future draft choices for D Howard, uh huh.
Too much California dreaming...


I agree w/ Kobe and disagree w/ Pau: We should think about the WIN, not think about the feeling of loosing. When we think about loosing, we kinda enpower the "lost" itself. If it happens, it happens.
Don't waste your brain with loss.
Cheers.

Posted by: Magic Phil
----------------------------------------------------

good point.
not surprised the Chocker from Memphis has this mentality.
it's embeded.

in what universe was it that either of those guys actually drove in the lane and attacked the rim? I mean seriously I liked both guys but methinks we must be overstating their value.

Jordan and UPS hardly ever attacked and preferred to shoot 1st on the outside. Funny thing at that seeing as our strengths obviously dictated otherwise.

UPS can dunk, I give you that...but he's best on the open court. Anything other than that is often a helter-skelter headache of offensive execution. I didn't mind it because the guy could get down on D but of late he didn't do much of that either. The bipolar duo needed to be fixed and so it shall.

Surprising since we got the Chocker (Choker) from Memphis, we have been to the finals 3 years in a row...

It is so puzzling to me how some fans can still nit pik this unit that has been to the finals 3 years in a row, with a back2back championship...

Some people are never satisfied, or will try to find the bleak in the sunshine...

We play for 'rings' not perfection...

If the Lakers were flawless...great defense...great offense...greatest player...best big man in the league...best NBA coach ever...great shooting percentage...greatest in all the stats across the board...

Some here will still find something to gripe about...

Sasha's eyebrows are too thick...
Kobe the best closer, but hogs the ball...
Pau is is not soft, but could be tougher...
Fish is old and slow, but I would not have anyone else during the playoffs...
Caracter is too fat...
Ebanks is not New York enough...
LO needs a new wife...
Artest is lost in the triangle...
We won by 5, but we should of won by 15...
etc...etc..

Amare to the Knicks, wow, the Suns are done!

So, let's review.

Worth a max contract: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard.

Not worth a max contract: EVERYONE ELSE.

Got it? Now, stop spending like drunks, NBA GMs.

Or don't come to CBA negotiations next summer whining about how much money your businesses are losing when you're throwing $20 million per year at Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson. No one will believe you. No one will sympathize with you. And for good reason.

Bryan Toporek

Shannon's team mate at MSU, Mo Ager is the new starting forward for the Summer league's New Orleans Hornets. Played last Winter in Spain.

A great tandem in college, ask Ammo about their triple OT game in Hawaii 3 years ago.

Art - FL Laker Fan,

Mo Williams (Cavs)
Ray Allen (Celts)
Jason Terry (Mavs)

Those are the guys that annoyed me so bad, they rarely missed a 3-pointer...
-
LEWSTRS,The max contract thing...it depends on the team. Dirk Nowiski deserves the max, if he plays for Dallas, but he'll never get a max if he'd deal w/ the Lakers, understand? Is how much important you're for that particular team.

Cheers.

M2,

Another great thread. An original enterprise angle well thought-out and well documented. You're on a roll. Keep 'em coming.

Lewstrs..........I agree with you 100%. People just can't enjoy the journey, it seems some people just aren't satisfied with winning. It has to be by 20 or the players aren't showing up. I'd like the people who complain, to bust their azz for 82 games and be perfect evey nite. People enjoy this team cause without Kobe & CO.in 5 or 6 years, then you will really hear the nit piking.

Mo Williams (Cavs)
Ray Allen (Celts)
Jason Terry (Mavs)

Mo Williams is an overrated player. Nice shooter but hell thought he was some big deal when he came with Bron. Shoots good but hell a BUM.

Ray's the only person that I respect as a shooter. Probably the only pure shooter since Reggie Miller. Sure Rip stole Reggie's moves but Ray's the only one who could match the Knick Killer.

Terry annoys me to no end. It's one thing to celebrate a game winning shot but hell when he makes a three he has to do that annoying jet celebration EVERY DAMN TIME. He freaking ripped off the Jet nickname from Kenny Smith (who actually did something as a player like make the game tying shot in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals) just like Amare Stoudemire ripped off Black Jesus from Earl Monroe. Jason Terry needs to win a title at least before he does anymore of those stupid celebrations just because he made a damn three pointer.

Whoa! Amar'e gets a 5 year deal with the Knicks worth about 100 mill! Dang! That's about 20 mill per year. More power to him for being able to get that deal.

Fisher only wants a fraction of that. Let's hope we find it.

Allen Iverson just tweeted that he wants to come back into the NBA. And any team that wants him, he'll help out in any capacity. That being said, will he accept the vet's min. I like his attitude what do you guys think off the bench?

I didn't mind it because the guy could get down on D but of late he didn't do much of that either. The bipolar duo needed to be fixed and so it shall. Posted by: Faith | July 05, 2010 at 04:25 PM
.
And thus spoke Faith. LET IT BE WRITTEN, LET IT BE DONE!
mamba24(larrY)

If you're a regular here, you know I've launched many a screed proclaiming that all the media hype about "King James" is the result of a mandated storyline dictated by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Until now, this was always a supposition on my part, simply concluding that if 1 + 1 = 2, then Licensed Media + Hype = Stern. Lo and behold:

http://bit.ly/9F1kTT

According to the web site Mashable.com, "The NBA appears to be the latest big brand trying out Twitter’s new “promoted trends” feature that lets a company bump a given topic onto Twitter’s trending topic list.

The league has promoted the term 'LeBron James,' meaning when users click on the basketball superstar’s name (which is accompanied by a “promoted” icon), they’ll see both tweets about him from regular Twitter users and a promoted tweet from the NBA. "

You read it right. Now that we're in the off-season, the NBA is now PAYING to be connected to LeBron James. I repeat, the NBA is now PAYING to be connected with LeBron James. I guess we can also figure out where that money goes when Stern fines somebody like PJ for disrespecting the world's most powerful basketball despot.

Not for Stern's lack of trying to stack the deck on Jame' behalf, the NBA is paying to be associated with a player who has never won a Championship.

Stern's obsession is sick. He is simultaneously a stalker and an enabler. How else would all these teams be salivating over an underachieving player who publicly displayed his lack of character by refusing to shake hands with the Orlando Magic players who sent him fishing two seasons ago. These teams relish the power of Stern's favoritism to help them gain stature.

It must gall Stern that for all his efforts to tie himself to James, he has continued to fall short in his blatant effort to anoint James the savior of professional basketball in America. Now Stern is putting the NBA's money on the line in the hopes that the overhyped sweepstakes will at last create a superteam that can realize his dream of a championship for the so-called "King," delivering Stern to the promised land he's dreamed of as would-be King Maker.

Money talks. This ploy has spoken volumes.

LEWSTER, Throw me on the re-sign Fish caravan please!

I AGREE WITH FAITH (and not just because I am madly in love with her). Farmar rarely drove to the basket with a plan. His dishes often shattered on the parquay floor. And, UPS delivered most of his drives to the basket in the open court. We are not trading down in regards to penetration. We never had any. It is not, apparently, key to our victory.

I Am, however, way psyched about having outside shooting and a fairly consistent three shooter in Blake.

AND I WANT TO SALUTE "BIG GAME SPAIN." LO doesn't get to comment on winning because he didn't show up during the playoffs. But, in the fourth quarter of the last game "BIG GAME SPAIN" TOOK OVER. He manned up! He is a big time Marquee player. NEVER CALL HIM SOFT OR STROFT AGAIN!

GOOOOooooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!!

Tale of two cities.

What LBJ should realize is that Cleveland will always love him win or lose, NY will not. In NY, rings are the basis. That is why Willis Reed is a legend there and Pat Ewing is just a bad memory. Cavs fans think Brad Daugherty is a HOFr. Since LBJ's a certified loser, he should stay home. At least there he's a hometown legend.

Does anyone really think next season will be any different than this season?

Lakers will lose interest early in the season and will play selfishly and without heart for most of it, but will still finish first in the west due to their overwhelming talent advantage.

Fans will suffer through regular season games, wondering how the Lakers can play so poorly and without heart.

Fans will disagree as to the main reason for the Lakers playing so poorly: Kobe, PJ or everyone else.

Lakers will get it together enough in the playoffs and will probably win another championship, and fans will be delirious with joy and forget everything they went through during the regular season. Just like they have done now.

jim the Lakers were disinterested last season . Phil Jackson already mentioned he was not pleased with last season and is vying for perfection. He wants the Lakers to decimate teams both in the regular season and off.

@Rick Friedman:

I too, am soo sick of Stern and his paper 'king'...

But the media is just as guilty and stupid for buying into it...

@jimjoyce:

Would you rather the Lakers played like the Cavs with the best regular season record, but not even make the Conference Finals...

What's up with Tony Gaffney, is he a restricted free agent for the celts? I remember Phil wanted to keep him on the roster last year but it was a luxury cap issue.

jimjoyce=bandwagoner.

Wants to win regular season awards not titles nor Finals MVP's.

Would believe Dirk to be the next Larry Bird because how NoWINski led his team to a 67-15 record but CHOKED.

jimjoyce=CHOKER.

Logic Prevails! Jimjoyce don't know basketball.....it ain't like baseball is the same. jimjoyce is a CHOKER

>>>In 2003 the Lakers drafted both Brian Cook and Luke Walton ahead of
>>>Mo Williams, Kyle Korver, Steve Blake, and Matt Bonner, all of whom
>>>were available deep into the second round.

And the only one of those guys who can play a lick of defense is Blake. Korver and Bonner are particularly horrible defenders. Here's how bad that group (including Walton and Cook) are - Luke is the best defender of the six of them.

At the time, the Lakers had Derek Fisher as their starting PG, and were just about to hire (or had just hired - don't remember the timing) Gary Payton - so they probably thought they were set at PG.

You have the benefit of having seen those guys play. If Mitch could have forseen that Payton and Fish would have been gone the next year, he might have picked either Williams or Blake instead of Luke or Cook.

No Tmac - I'd love it if he could still play, but he can't

No Shaq - The big turncoat, look up 'he pushed em under the bus' and you'll see his big, fat smiling face. They say time heals all wounds, so I can see his jersey being raised sometime before I die.

No AI - If he can't practice he can't play. He should take up bowling or something.


It's going to be a really interesting season. Draft pundits talk about 'right now' and 'upside.' Nearly all agreed that 'right now' Evans is better than Wall ... but #1's got 'upside.'

Now, Lakes fans, think about two things. The 'best' player on the court in the NBA? I'll take Kobe, but I could listen to arguments about LeBron or even DWade. How much 'upside' do any of them have? Not very much ... they are already so good that there is nothing that will dramatically take their game to the next level ... they are already there.

So then, what NBA player does have the most 'upside?' Who could go from where they are to the 'super star' echelon? I suppose there a few names you could kick in ... buy my moneys on A. Bynum.

All that ridiculous talk about trading him for the 'poor man's' Pau Gasol, Bosch.

The big 'if' ... if Bynum stays healthy his games could grow by leaps and bounds into the most dominant big man in the game since Akeem.

'Joy of Winning vs. Fear of Losing' I'm going to keep on pounding this.

"Pau, please take the early mid-range jump shot!" Now I know why you don't. You are afraid of missing. You are a great player, but you're held back by your tentativeness. When you stand there and look at the rim when you are wide open the offense stagnates, the defense sags, the defenders get box out position, you have no easy move to the basket.

Either shoot the damn ball right now or kick it back out! You'll hit enough for the defense to come out making it easier to drive to the hoop, making it easier for you team to rebound, opening up the lob to A. Bynum, taking you to the next level.

Whoever make the post above about Lakes fans complaining even if everything is perfect, I got one word: Kobe. The best player on the team works harder than anyone else and is endlessly refining his game. There is no 'perfection,' but only those who strive come close.

DF


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