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Laker fans content with how the off-season is shaping up


There's never a moment that goes by in which fans of the L.A. Times Lakers blog aren't discussing possible trades, both real and imagined. When free agency kicked into gear on July 1, the talk escalated even more, turning to speculation and criticism on where LeBron James would be heading, whether Phil Jackson would return as head coach, the likelihood Derek Fisher would remain a Laker and whether the Lakers could pick up a few free agents.

When it comes to the off-season, usually it is the basement dwellers and teams that cleared up cap space that dominate free-agency discussions because they have the resources and needs to make some signings before the regular season begins. As far as the Lakers are concerned, the defending champions can afford the luxury of not needing to make the biggest splash. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak remarked shortly after free agency began that he'd much prefer this quieter setting than having to stay glued to ESPN's ticker as one of the main active participants. It's also certainly a lot less stressful these days than when a guy named Kobe Bryant went on a radio tour three years ago, changing his mind every few hours on whether he wanted the Lakers to trade him.

The Lakers' off-season has resembled the clear skies and perfect beaches that define summer in L.A., while the shuffling Eastern Conference movement seems to have only increased the humidity over there. Yet,'s Scott Howard-Cooper made a convincing case that the Lakers have become even better this off-season, a dangerous sign considering they're the defending champions. Even with Laker fans never running out of trade scenarios (some seriously want Shaq to come back?), their sentiment shows a general satisfaction with how the Lakers' off-season has transpired thus far. That's a scary thing considering recent poll results show that 95% believe the Lakers will win a third consecutive championship and 90% point consider them the favorite to win the 2011 NBA title.

Sure, some fans expressed some concern over the Miami Heat's busy off-season, with 53.5% of them considering the Heat the Eastern Conference's most dangerous team after they retained Dwyane Wade and signed LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. There was also 65% of fans who believed Oklahoma City Thunder could give the Lakers fits after the team signed Kevin Durant to a five-year extension. But there's very little that's giving Laker fans doubts about their chances to three-peat.

While some of that points to the fact the Lakers are back-to-back champions, some of it points to the team's moves it made this off-season. Some off-season activity actually just involved retaining their corps, but that's huge considering that's the personnel that put the Lakers in this position. The majority of Laker fans -- 51.4% -- gave the team's off-season moves a B, while 24.7% gave the Lakers an A.

The reasons are fairly obvious. One, Jackson decided to coach one more season, with 96.8% of fans arguing that Jackson's staying will significantly influence the Lakers' chances of three-peating. Two, veteran guard Fisher reached a three-year deal with the Lakers, with 88% believing Fisher will continue to make clutch shots and provide a valuable locker room presence during the rest of his stay with the team. And third, the Lakers acquired free-agent guard Steve Blake, with 80% predicting he will provide the perfect ingredient for the Lakers' aging backcourt.

The Lakers losing Jordan Farmar to New Jersey and failing to acquire free-agent guard Raja Bell resulted in fans expressing a collective shrug. In fact, the fans didn't feel strongly one way or the other about Farmar or Bell. About 67.3% of fans say Farmar's departure won't significantly help or hurt the Lakers, while 64% of fans argued Bell needed the Lakers more than they needed Bell. After all, the Lakers can still pursue other free agents, though they only have $1.8 million remaining on the mid-level exception. Still, that's not preventing fans from drawing up scenarios. There's a strong sentiment toward the Lakers acquiring Matt Barnes (34.5%) or Tracy McGrady (32%), though the exact percentages may have changed with reader comments suggesting there's high interest for Harvard guard Jeremy Lin. (ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reports Lin has been in contact with the Lakers.) There's also strong enthusiasm for rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, with 94% pegging them as the best players on the Lakers' summer league team and predicting they'll land a spot on the roster.

Nothing is all clear skies for Laker fans though, as their concerns go beyond free agency. Their concerns mostly point to the current roster and how healthy they'll be coming into next season. There's 20% of fans who are worried about Andrew Bynum's health. He played through torn cartilage in his right knee for most of the playoffs and planned to get surgery sometime in mid-July, though it hasn't been reported whether Bynum's undergone the procedure or changed his timetable. There's 17% of fans who want Kobe Bryant to take it easy. They're comforted by the fact that he opted to skip the FIBA World Championships this summer in Turkey, but fans are wondering whether Bryant will finally get surgery on his index finger, which was fractured for most of the season and then experienced arthritis around the knuckle of his finger. Although Bryant shared in his exit interview he was open to have surgery, he hasn't publicly announced what he's going to do.

Those questions will be answered another day. But for now, Laker fans are basking in the sun, enjoying the Larry O'Brien trophy and loving that their championship roster remains mostly intact.

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: The Lakers' acquisition of guard Steve Blake was one of many moves the team made this off-season. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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MM -

I was slightly more than surprised that you didn't include the Trailblazers as an option for the biggest threat to the Lakers in the West this season. They have the length to match up with the Lakers and the only reason they weren't better last year was because their players missed somthing like 360 games due to injury. OKC and Portland worry me more than any other team in the West.

*more than slightly

Ooops. Syntax today good not.

Sign Shaq.

Sign Tmac.

Sign Character and Ebanks.

Get Lin into training camp and at LEAST one 10-day contract.

Sign Brown.

Suddenly the rest of the league is going to be fricken scared to death.

We've got to tie Boston for most rings this year. That is our quest.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


All the attention Caracter has drawn in the Summer League has been interesting. As MM says, it's summer league. But the Lakers could could use a deep bench power forward willing to do the dirty work.

Powell, in my opinion, has hit his ceiling, and it is low. A guy that deep in the rotation needs to be able to come off the bench and play D and hit the boards. Powell was a mediocre rebounder for his size (lowest per minute among Laker bigs) and horrible defender for any size.

What he did was shoot a lot. He shot about at about the same rate per minute as Bynum (57% shooter) and Gasol (54% shooter). He shot 37%. He was a good spot up shooter and bad off the dribble. He liked to shoot off the dribble. Powell seems like a good guy, but he is a mediocre ball player.

A young guy with upside willing to bang inside would be a great asset on the bench. If Caracter can be that guy, he could be an upgrade at the 11th man spot.

My daily haiku:

Who's Jeremy Lin...
Asian persuasion with game...
Goes great with Sake...


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

Laker Tom
Jon K.
Nemaia Faletogo
Magic Phil
K Love
Cool Guy
Art - FL Laker Fan
Ice Cube
Psycho Drama Queen
enjoy the game
Jamie Sweet

Steve Blake needs to update his website:

That Blazer uniform on him is yuckkk....

My bad if somebody already made note of this:

So I am reading Hoopshype and Larry Hughes is supposedly twittering about he's down to the Lakers, Miami, Boston and Charlotte."

Oh really?

lakersrydeordie -

Larry Hughes? BARF. Please God, no. I'll take Jeremy Lin over Hughes any day of the week!

I have a feeling Matt "turtle head" Barnes is gonna choose the Lakers....what he doesn't make in salary he has the potential to recoup in other business ventures....

we shall see!

Laker fans are not only basking under sun, but having fun at the beach. A beach without any mixture of gulf oil. A beach that is not so cold and good only for sailing. A beach full of California Girls sun bathing or playing volleyball. It inspired the Beach Boys to describe them in a song:

"I wish they all could be California,
(wish they all could be California)
I wish they all could be California girls.
The West coast has the sunshine and the girls all get so tan.

I say sign Jeremy Lin.
He's a California guy, and will only add to the cultural diversity of the Lakers team, even more reflecting the Southern California area. He'd be the first Asian-American basketball player in the NBA since Wat Misaka in the 1940s.
If the Lakers sign him, just imagine the interest that's going to swell among Asian-Americans.
They can get a guy with a big upside, for little money.

Jon K --

My friend, as one of the most prolific and knowledgeable contributors to this community, this precious Los Angeles Lakers blog, I am actually more than a bit surprised that you would entertain the idea of welcoming Shaq back to the Purple & Gold.

Your 7 points, in response to 2Phatt seem reasonable in theory, but in practice (in reality), Shaq returning to this team would DESTROY it from within. Plain and simple. Think Trojan Horse.

The Big Has-Been would bring a negative energy and tension to the squad that a 2-time defending champ looking to 3-peat absolutely does NOT need.

Phil Jackson and his staff will have enough hard work ahead: teaching the triangle, getting the new pieces to fit, and coordinating the talents of every member of the team, without having to play peacemaker (once again) between Shaq and Kobe.

Thinking Shaq "can behave himself" is wishful thinking. The two of them playing an exhibition, which is what the All-Star game is, has ZERO bearing on how the two of them would perform together over a marathon regular season and playoff run.

Furthermore, there is an important aspect of reciprocity to ANY story of "redemption" wouldn't you agree?

Just as the offended must be willing to forgive, the offender should in return demonstrate a contrite heart, and a sincere attitude of humility.

When has Shaq EVER apologized for anything?

When has Shaq EVER shown remorse for any of his wrong doings?

I have always felt that Shaq bore the greater responsibility when it came to the Break-Up. First of all, he is 7 years older than Kobe, he SHOULD have shown greater maturity and wisdom. Instead, his LAZY ways, and insufferable petulance, caused increasing friction between the two stars, ultimately leading to Shaq being traded.

The nasty stuff that came out post break-up is only the proverbial 'tip of the iceberg' when it comes to the REAL crap that Shaq pulled behind the scenes. Shaq is toxic. Shaq is a poison. He does NOT deserve to be anywhere near the Purple & Gold.

At this point in his career, (sadly) the only larger-than-life part of his game is his EGO. Remember his "win a ring for the king" boasting when he arrived in Cleveland? How did that work out?

Remember, it has ALWAYS been Shaq who has burned bridges on his way out of town. It is Shaq who has ALWAYS conducted his own 'scorched earth' policy every time he leaves a team.


P & G R

[Re-post from end of previous thread]

While Dwayne Wade was busy tastelessly comparing the Miami Heat to the World Trade Center, LeBron James was wasting no time making up some of the money he left on the table for Wade and Bosh.

No, LBJ doesn't have a new sports shoe deal or a performance drink endorsement. As a matter of fact, he's not reading children's stories to Boys & Girls club members because the NBA Cares. The celebritization of athletes has instead achieved a new nadir.

For a nominal admission fee, this Friday night you can party with James at Lavo Nightclub at the Palazzo in Vegas, or if you have a previous commitment on Friday, you can party with James at the Tao Nightclub at the Venetian in Vegas on Saturday. Anything that's all about LeBron. Once upon a time the draw to clubs like this was Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan. But they're now soooooooo Yesterday. Now you can pay LeBron James to host your party.

Once upon a time because of its mob infested past, you'd only find the likes of the NBA's Tim Donaghy in Vegas. Then, David Stern saw the light and the money and allowed the NBA All-Star Game to be played there. Now there's serious talk of an entire NBA franchise calling Vegas home. In the meantime, you can go there and party with the king. What a swell party this is.

heya justa -

Even I have 5 Shaq Laker jerseys, and he was my favorite Laker during the 3Peat Era...

I agree with you on NO, to resigning The Big Show Me the Money...


LV is my home away from home. These clubs don't need any help selling out - just the other Saturday, Tao had a line all the way out to the wax museum!

LV isn't Miami Heat territory - it's Laker country. Let's not forget that.

And what's with comparing Lyn to Yue? That's about as insulting as it gets, for more than one reason.

If Shaq can:

Lose 50 lbs...and get in shape...
Give it his all in practice...
Take a back seat to Kobe...not needing the spotlight...
Be a mentor to Andrew Bynum...
Sign for the vet minimum...

I would consider resigning him back, and give him a chance to retire a Laker...

Too bad he can't do anything on that list....

Purple & Gold Reign,


I'm about 85% convinced I agree with you. Your post was a solid expression of how I've been looking at this.


explain to me how you can sign both rookies (caracter/ebanks), sign a veteran wing, a veteran big, AND lin??

lakers aint gonna have 14 players on the roster.. even if they can like LTLF suggests dont think they ever had before... cant have ur cake and eat it too.. so if you must make a choice please make one or the other.

and like i suggested i dont think its in our best interests to rely on ROOKIES if our starters are injured (in the middle of a dynasty run) or rely on our starters to play major minutes given the injury risk of bynum/luke AND inconsistent play of sasha/dfish and even odom.

i'm for upside but better safe than sorry.

Blake, Lin, TMac, LO,Theo Ratliff , Walton, Ebanks, Character, Sasha

Deepest Team in the League ....Fresh core going into playoffs !!

Kobe mins to 35 per.....Pau 35 per......Andrew 32 per.....Ron 32 per..... Tmac 28 per (13 to rest kobe/ 15 to rest ron) .....LO 28 per (13 to rest Pau/15 to rest Andrew) Fish 23 per / Blake 23 per .... Theo Ratliff , Lin , Character, Ebanks, Walton,- Insurance Players Sasaha -Salary dump

Here's a helpful link to available FAs:;_ylt=ArWKxPQik6AnnCeGAS8oGQ68vLYF?slug=ys-nbafreeagenttracker2010

If those guys haven't been signed by now it means they maybe available for a discount.

The Lakers' biggest need right now should be for a C or C/PF combo. That is if they don't sign Mbenga to come back which is likely given Phil has something stuck up his that is against DJ.

At a minimum Bynum will need a big body to practice against.

Not to imply that Rick was making the comparison to Yue... but to others - I can't think of a more insulting thing - Yue was god awful and perhaps the worst player to ever put on a Laker jersey... and then the only reason for the comparison is they're both Asian, another insult

Edwin Gueco -

I love that Beachboys song while in high

But if I think of a song that gets me 'Cali excited'...

It would have to be Tupac's' Califonia Love'...

Califonia Love

[1]-California...knows how to party
California...knows how to party
In the citaaay of L.A.
In the citaaay of good ol' Watts
In the citaaay, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin!

[Verse One: Dr. Dre]

Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west
A state that's untouchable like Elliot Ness
The track hits ya eardrum like a slug to ya chest
Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex
We in that sunshine state with a bomb ass hemp beat
the state where ya never find a dance floor empty
And pimps be on a mission for them greens
lean mean money-makin-machines servin fiends
I been in the game for ten years makin rap tunes
ever since honeys was wearin sassoon
Now it's '95 and they clock me and watch me
Diamonds shinin lookin like I robbed Liberace
It's all good, from Diego to tha Bay
Your city is tha bomb if your city makin pay
Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way
Dre puttin it down for
[repeat 1]

[2]-Shake it shake it baby
Shake it shake it baby
Shake it shake it mama
Shake it Cali
Shake it shake it baby
Shake it shake it shake it shake it...

[Verse Two: 2Pac]

Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreamin
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I'm hearin hoochies screamin
Fiendin for money and alcohol
the life of a west side playa where cowards die and its all ball
Only in Cali where we riot not rally to live and die
In L.A. we wearin Chucks not Ballies (that's right)
Dressed in Locs and khaki suits and ride is what we do
Flossin but have caution we collide with other crews
Famous cause we program worldwide
Let'em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans
Bumpin and grindin like a slow jam, it's west side
So you know the row won't bow down to no man
Say what you say
But give me that bomb beat from Dre
Let me serenade the streets of L.A.
From Oakland to Sacktown
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put they mack down
Give me love!
[rpt 1]

[dre] now make it shake...

[rpt 2]

[Outro: Dre, 2Pac]

uh, yeah, uh, longbeach in tha house, uh yeah
Oaktown, Oakland definately in tha house hahaha
Frisko, Frisko
[Tupac] hey, you know LA is up in this
Pasadena, where you at
yeah, Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good
(Tupac) even Hollywood tryin to get a piece baby
Sacramento, sacramento where ya at? yeah

Throw it up y'all, throw it up, Throw it up
Let's show these fools how we do this on that west side
Cause you and I know it's tha best side

yeah, That's riight
west coast, west coast
uh, California Love
California Love


>>> These clubs don't need any help selling out

So, what you're saying is, LBJ's decision to host a nightclub is as good of a decision as "The Decision."

Theo Raliff would be a better Option than DJ ...he is cheaper...has playoff experience (meaning he actually played key mins in his career)....he is still as great defender and avg 22 mins per game for the Bobcats last season.....Sign Ratliff for 850k if Shaq is a no go!

Why is Jeremy Lin's ethnicity even a factor?

“Black cat or white cat: If it can catch mice, it's a good cat.” -Szechuan proverb

FCM- technically, the Heat also resigned Udonis Haslem

Tim-4-Show -

"And what's with comparing Lyn to Yue? That's about as insulting as it gets, for more than one reason."

As insulting as it gets? Really? To compare two tall Asian point guards, both of Chinese decent, both touted for their court vision and passing abilities, both pursued by the Lakers, both exciting the Laker fan base to the point of hyperbole... that's "as insulting as it gets"? Perhaps continuing to spell LIN wrong is as insulting as it gets. Get real man.

All I meant by the comparison is that the reaction to Lin is similar to the reaction this blog had to Yue back in the day - even complimenting their games with similar verbiage - and I posted the quotations to prove it. If you want to paint me as some kind of racist, that's your deal, but nothing could be further from the truth, and it hurts me that people have been hinting at that.

I hope Lin goes through workouts with the Lakers. I hope he impresses. I hope he signs and becomes an inspirational story. I hope all these things for the young man. Beyond being talented, he seems genuinely good hearted and mature. It's just such a long shot that I feel we should somewhat damper expectations, and I don't appreciate that some on here are starting to paint me as something that I am not just because I mentioned how the reaction to Lin reminded me of the reactions I read on here in 2008 to the sigining of Sun Yue.

P & G R is 100% absolutely right. Shaq is TOXIC and a CANCER . Why risk the delicate chemistry of the championship Lakers? There is already a WELL ESTABLISHED pecking order on the team with Kobe, Gasol, Fisher... on top. Shaq will NOT fit in anywhere in this totem pole without causing friction.

Does the phrase "burning bridges" mean anything?

OTH, Tmac? Jeremy Lin? Eh, if they want to come to camp on a non-guaranteed try-out basis why not?


Assuming the Lakers sign a veteran big man and a veteran wing (I agree that these are higher priorities than signing Jeremy Lin), adding a 14th player to the roster for the rookie minimum will have minimal impact on salaries, especially if THREE of the fourteen players are under rookie contracts (not to mention Ammo's $5 million is off the books).

Lin has all the tools to thrive in the triangle. He has a high basketball IQ, can spread the floor, can drive to the basket, is a feisty defender, and most importantly, seems mentally tough. These attributes are surely worth a $500K gamble, even more so if you take into account Fish's age.


I respectfully disagree with your take on Jeremy Lin. Sun Yue's play and production in both DLeague and this year's SL came no where near Jeremy Lin's play during SL. Lin was consistent throughout SL and was arguably better at the Point than both Beaubois and Jones at times. He does possess skills and a willingness to attack the rim, regardless of the consequences. All some of us are saying is that he's worth a look and seems to be a very good fit for our system. I don't believe his play against John Wall was an aberration, but an indication that Lin has some serious skills with intelligence and heart to go with it. This young guy could develop nicely under Kobe, Fish and Blake.

Tom Daniels,

I agree wholeheartedly with your post in regards to Josh Powell and Caracter. Other than uttering sweet nothings in Kobe's ear every game, Powell contributed very little off the bench this year and his stats across the board were all worse than the year before(maybe with the exception of his 3pt shooting percentage). As you mentioned, his rebounding and FG percentage were way down and he seemed to stay out on the perimeter more, avoided banging inside and has no offensive post game. Enter Derrick Caracter. This young man has a monster post game with an array of moves and the ability to finish with either hand, a la Pau Gasol. He hit the mid range, high post jumper consistently and is a tenacious rebounder. For those concerned about his height, Caracter unlike Big Baby Davis, doesn't get his shots blocked that much because of his footwork, deft touch and moves around the basket. Caracter can bring some nastiness and physicality off our bench in the mode of DeJuan Blair. With two slender PFs in Pau and LO, Caracter will bring something different with his girth(270 right now)and brute force.

Some folks on here are concerned about the possibility of having three rookies at the end of the bench, but what they forget is that when they do play, they will be playing with the best at all times. This will only help them gain confidence and improve their game.

Enjoy the game- Just one question, do you really believe all these's new players going to learn the triangle and be counted on in case of injuries to the starters?


Jeremy Lin versus #13 Uconn:

Did Andrew have his surgery? Have not heard anything.

Okay, so where's Shannon going??? No mention anywhere above. Maybe crosstown.

James has convince another coward in the name Floyd Mayweather to sign with them

I'm not worried about rookies getting time on a PJ team. As Phil said, the best place for them to grow is in our practices.

Think about it.

They are having full scrimmages against the best players in the world.

They are students in the best classroom of the game. While watching the best team in the NBA compete.

Then, they are being coached and evaluated by the best teachers of the NBA game.

They- will develop, and when they- are ready, they- will play.

Blake gets Farmar's number in the last four seasons. Prior to that, it was worn by Tierre Brown. I wonder, how many jerseys were sold under Farmar, can Blake surpassed them? I think Blake will make No. 5 a respectable number next season.

LakerTom, speaking of Tierre Brown and his athleticism, are you sure this summer league sensation Jeremy Lin is not another version of Tierre Brown and worst scenario reincarnation of the pride of Fordham U., Smush Parker. Zacky will be back. lol!

>>>He was a good spot up shooter and bad off the dribble. He liked to shoot off
>>>the dribble


I can't tell you how many times Kobe or Pau or someone was double teamed and passed to a WIDE OPEN Powell at about 12 or 15 feet and he pump faked, drove closer (giving a defender time to move in front of him) and took a contested off-the-dribble shot instead. IDIOT!. He was so much better as just a stand still shooter.

Tim, just for the record I have not posted any comments on Lin one way or the other.


"adding a 14th player to the roster for the rookie minimum will have minimal impact on salaries, especially if THREE of the fourteen players are under rookie contracts"

true but nba roster is 12 with 1 injured reserve..(and lets just reserve that spot for luke) so that leaves 1 out of 3 rookies playing the entire season in the D-leagues.. i'm sure there are better options for lin out there.. that is unless you promise lin a roster spot at the expense of either a veteran guard or PF/center

>>>Theo Raliff would be a better Option than DJ ...he is cheaper.

Nope. Ratliff has been in the league longer than MBenga, so he would cost more.

Hughes is long and will fit into our plans as point guard when we play the likes of OKC. He will help us pack the lane. I prefer him over so untested rookie if he will come cheap. But we need t address our back up center issues and we need to do it quickly.

>>>Enjoy the game- Just one question, do you really believe all these's new
>>>players going to learn the triangle and be counted on in case of injuries to the

Not by October. But maybe by February or March


"I'm not worried about rookies getting time on a PJ team"

respectfully disagree... that statement is somewhat contradictory.. firstly phil never plays rookies. but secondly players dont grow during practices but during real game time. practices earn you a chance to play and are only a simulation of the real thing.. (ie.. morrison could probably make 10 of 10 in practice) and expecting a rookie to be ready to play especially during playoffs is a reach.


The blog gets excited on jeremy because he is the player we can afford. Others can talk big about getting Hughes, Murray, Rodriguez, Scola...all we can afford is Jeremy Lin, re-sign Brown and possibly ask Mbenga to occupy the end of the bench.

Other than that, we can be excited if we hear medical bulletin on Kobe, Bynum and LO. If they don't come out clear and the rehab goes all the way to November, it affects the Lakers momentum for 3 peat. We wasted re-signing PJ, we wasted the three year contract on Fisher all because Kobe, Bynum and Odom are sidelined in the first 15 games. If they are reading this blog, they should consult their doctors now. Pronto!delay all those out of the country vacations.

If you sign 3 Rookies (Caracter, Ebanks and Lin), you will not be relying on them to win you the championship. The ten other players on your roster should do that for you. However the Lakers do need young talent or trade bait.

Many have suggested to trade Walton and/or Sasha but they need trade value. You can add Caracter to the trade while he is a commodity and it may happen. Otherwise who will want them? The biggest issue is their salaries. Maybe sign and trade Shannon along with Luke for an athletic 3 point shooter who can play defense.

If we can not get M. Barnes, I propose that we look at Mickael Pietrus and trade for him. The Magic are going to be loaded at that position and they need cap space as well. He is athletic, a good defender, and can hit the 3. More importantly, he is not a has been and can learn from KB. He can play the 2 or 3. Bye, bye Luke!

Besides Shaq, (if chemistry is an issue) Kwame, Kurt Thomas and Barron (Knicks) are options for the Vet minimum. We do need another big body at the center position.

My $.02

Yellowfever -

If you understood the comment, you wouldn't have replied in the way you did.

I suggest you read it again, then use your powers of reasoning to contemplate what Phil was getting at, when he mentioned, 'they will grow better in our practices'.

This is the last thing I'll say on this whole Jeremy Lin fiasco I've somehow caused...

My dad used to say to me all the time "Neither give nor take offense. It will make life much more enjoyable." I've tried very hard to live by his words.

If I offended anyone with my comments, that was never my intent, and I'm sorry. I also didn't follow my dad's advice because I did take offense to some comments made back to me. I'm usually level headed and don't let things get to me, but being called a racist hurts - especially when I'm married to an Asian woman myself and have always taken pride in being multilingual, for having diversity amongst friends and family, and for my general love for all people.

As phred says "It's all about the love." Much love Laker fam.

-Phil (puddle)

Matt Barnes signs with Orlando, 10 mil 2 yrs...

Typo -

May bad, I meant the Raptors Matt Barnes signed with...

Watching Cash Cab - did you know that Cleveland is ranked as one of the top seven "drunkest" cities in America?

LOL - I love that show Cash Cab...

"Are you ready to play Red Light Challenge..."

Boston is on that list too....

If the Lakers are pursuing M Barnes, wouldn't that indicate, they strongly feel Luke won't be able to go at it next year?

Barnes would only come if he was getting playing time. I assume behind Artest?

And if the Lakers are cash strapped, why would they spend money on Barnes if...they thought Luke could play?

So if we are really pursuing Barnes, then yeah, I'm more than a little worried about Lukes come back from back surgery. I've had that surgery before and I am amazed that a pro can play at the NBA level, after going under the knife.

Its never a sure thing about coming back from back surgery.


I think these cities make that list for very different reasons.

Boston cuz they party after winning so many championships. (They don't show the class we do lol!)

And Cleveland cuz they have to drown their many sorrows....


I don't find your post offensive and unreasonable. Everybody has the right to represent the other side of the story to get it balanced. Speaking of races, in this blog it should not be an issue at all. Whether someone insults someone who happen to be with another group, it doesn't matter because we all belonged to different fabrics interwoven under one. This is not the South nor the Northeast, it is California where all dreamers live and search for their destiny. The destiny today is being unemployed, lots of time for blogging. lol!


My friend and fellow Laker fan, from what I've seen and read in your posts, you didn't say anything wrong. We sometimes preceive or interpret things differently and thus come to different conclusions, right, wrong or indifferent. We can agree to disagree as long as we all respect one another's opinions, right? I have much respect for your perspective and insight about our beloved Lakers, and I know like most, if not all of us on here, you only want what's best for our Lakers so that they can keep to their winning ways. Go Lakers!!!

May bad, I meant the Raptors Matt Barnes signed with...

Yeah, it looks like Barnes had 10 mllion reasons why winning a chip wasn't that important after all.

Man, opinions are flying like hot cakes!

If it's true Barnes signed elsewhere, give those living the fantasy a dose of reality and post a freaking LINK. Otherwise you're no better tha Fox News.

By the way, did you hear we traded Luke for 'Melo?

No to Shaq for basketball reasons.
The triangle is based on movement and spacing.
The Lakers' defensive weakness is the S&R, especially S&R.
When Shaq was the most dominant player in the NBA it was OK to run the triangle through Shaq.
Today, he's just going to clog it up and slow it down.
No one is going to double team Shaq anymore.
On defense, he's the biggest problem to defending the S&R, always was, worse than ever.
We need a quality backup C because of Drew's probability of injury.
If Drew is 100% healthy, a backup C will never see any playoff minutes anyway.
Shaq is more likely to be injured or lacking in fitness.
So what do we get in basketball terms for risk of bad chemistry or even for veteran's minimum money? - Nada.

Or if you're more into metal and the word NOT, here ya go.\

Kobe was thrilled when he won #5 because it's "one more than Shaq." Kobe obviously doesn't want him back. Shaq talks too much and is full of drama.


Can you imagine a lineup with the 7ft powerhouse center of today (Bynum) and the 7ft powerhouse center of yesterday (Shaq) backing him up?

The only true advantage we have over Miami and Boston is at our center spot.

Every other position the Lakers have versus our main eastern conference rivals will be pretty much a wash...EXCEPT for the center position, which will be a very important position in the upcoming 2011 Finals. We control the middle, we control the series. Didn't we learn that during the last season's championships?

You want to beat Miami? Clog the middle with 7ft centers (Bynum/Shaq) and 7 ft power-forwards (Gasol/Lamar), and force Lebron and Dwayne to attack with jumpshots from the outside, which is the weakest part of both their games. Miami and Boston have NO ONE that can challenge us in the middle.

Look, if Kobe can forgive Matt Barnes and Raja Bell for assaulting him on the court, he can forgive Shaq for being arrogant.

Why all the conversation about resigning Shannon Brown, or that Asian point guard? We're set at both guard positions. Forget that, we need help at Center.

It is imperative that we sign Shaq O'Neil so that we can control the paint for our 3-peat bid.

Rick Friedman --

Psycorp --

Thank you for your support.

Those of us in Lakers Nation may sometimes disagree about certain things. That's okay. As long as the ONE thing that ALL of us have in common, is that we ALWAYS keep The Best Interests of the Lakers at heart, everything will be fine.

P & G R

Boston is on that list too....Posted by: justanothermambafan | July 19, 2010 at 06:11 PM
What else is there to do in Boston but get drunk? Lol!

reign - you've got my support as well.

Quite simply, No way Kobe's going to help Shaq get a ring.

. . get another ring

many on LA Times Lakers Blog: SIGN SHAQ!!!

Kobe: Over my dead body.

"Free-agent swingman Matt Barnes confirmed on Twitter he is joining the Toronto Raptors on Monday night."

Jamie Sweet -



Matt Barnes(notes) is nearing agreement on a two-year, $9 million contract with the Toronto Raptors, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

And this too:

Matt Barnes- G/F - Magic
Matt Barnes will "likely" sign with the Raptors, according to Associated Press reporter Tom Withers.
Talks between Barnes and the Cavs appear to have stalled and he might be drawn to Toronto, which has minutes available at SF and plays an up-tempo style. Jul. 19
Source: Tom Withers via Twitter

Now do you need my SS# and driver's license too...

justanothermambafan --

Thank You as well for your support!

p ang --

You got that right, remember when Kobe was asked what the 5th Ring meant to him, the first thing KB24 said ON HIS OWN was that it meant he got "one more than Shaq" and that he has not forgotten what Shaq said about him.

Troy --

The thing about Kobe and Shaq is that it is NOT just about Kobe "forgiving" Shaq. Remember, the root of the trouble between Kobe and Shaq was that Shaq was a LAZY sob, who NEVER had the dedication and work ethic that Kobe did!

The Mamba has always been one who LEADS by example. Remember, that Artest said he willingly looked up to Kobe and followed Kobe's lead because he RESPECTED Kobe's hard work and leadership.

When has anyone EVER accused Shaq of being a hard worker? What makes you think that The Big Has-Been would suddenly start to work hard at this stage in his career?

NO. Shaq would just POISON what has taken years to build up.

P & G R

A broken down, unmotivated, bitter Shaq isn't controlling anything but the buffet line.

Just say no to Snaquille O'Meal.


hey, if you're throwing around vital info, let's have an address and the passwords to your email.


Naw, it's just sort of polite to include verification 0f the whatnot we all obssess over daily. You know, to stay healthy in our minds. I'm just glad he didn't end up on San Antonio or Dallas.

Also, I take back calling you Fox News, only Fox News is a low as Fox News. So low, so low Fox News, where Glenn Beck goes blind, now how will he re-create Dr. King's historic Million Man March in ...March?

Also, to all those going crazy over this, Jon K can stay on this Blog as long as he puh-leazez, y'all. How else will we have a finger on the pulse of Cleveland? How else will we hear the (sure to be hilarious) stories of drunken Cleveland-ites pining/hating/wishing they had never heard of yet still can't help but love him stories/ over LBJ all next season? WHERE I ASK YOU????? Jon K, that's right. Plus we'd lose the Bio-Chron doo-hickey...a weapon unto itself.

You know, in some ways what we Witnessed with Le Bron could have played out here a few years back, when Kobe wanted to play on Pluto. Imagine the rending and gnashing of teeth we all would have done, doesn't matter who we could've got in a trade, nobody would have replaced Kobe. Nobody.

In regards to the uproar over Diesel, I'm not sure how I would feel about Shaq hopping back on the Lake Train; he left on pretty terrible turns, but last year we saw Iverson kissing the floor in Philly so stranger things can happen. I also don't really see Kobe having that big of a problem with it. More the fans, Dr. Buss, and maybe Bynum because you know Shaq would say stuff like, "There's only one starting center for the Los Angeles Lakers and his name is Shaq Diesel, baby; coming back lean and mean, got me a new trainer, worked on my free throws and I developed a set shot from 12 feet out. Oh, you already got a guy who can do all that? But can he invent names for himself at the stunning pace that I do?" or something to that effect.

The biggest thing I have hard time seeing Shaq accept is truly so little money. For a man that has such tremendous pride in what he has accomplished in his NBA life to be paid so little for, in his mind still, so much is something I don't expect to see. I think he'll do like Barnes and go for somehwere closer to 5 mil.

Besides, he would take a lot of heat coming back here (not sure if that alone is worth 1.7 mil), it'd probably go down something like that scene in Raiders where Indy and Marion get back together over the headpiece left by the singed Nazi in the snow. Lots of fighting of Mongolians and Tibettans, snow (somehow, miraculously, Shaq would bring some snow to Cali), whiskey and the movie ending with Shaq bellowing into the mic, Kobe sitting next to him, "You still my little brother? I'm still only one behind Kobster! CAN YOU DIG IT?"

Needed a few more semi-colons in that thar post thar.

Does Larry Hughes has anything left?

Bell and Barnes take the money and run.

Purple & Gold Reign, p ang, john, htj,

are ALL RIGHT. Shaq needs the Lakers more than the Lakers need him. He doesn't even deserve to be on Kobe's team now after all the tension he created when he was a Laker. Shaq just thinks he could go to any team and win a championship, but he just fails (Suns, Cavs). I bet now he wishes he had a good relationship with Kobe because he would have obviously won more rings, AND I'm sure he wishes he was still on good terms with the Miami organization... you know he would love to join Wade and Lebron.

REAP WHAT YOU SOW, SHAQ. No Miami Heat, and more importantly, NO LAKERS FOR YOU. HAHA

WHERE YOU AT JON K? We know Lakers are "forever." You don't need to say it in every post.

Jeremy Lin could be a nice addition because he hustles and has great basketball IQ. But he will not be the first Asia-American in the NBA if he ever makes it. Raymond Townsend of UCLA made it with Golden State Warriors earlier.

WHERE YOU AT JON K? We know Lakers are "forever." You don't need to say it in every post.

If Barnes signs with the Raptors or Cavs, he's obviously not playing for a ring.

He could easily sign a two year minimum deal (with an opt-out clause 2nd year) and have Early Bird Rights to sign & stay with the Lakers if he stays for the entire contract. He'd actually have a chance to win a few rings and maybe even stick around in LA (something he hasn't been able to do with a team so far).

Rumor has it that the remaining $1.8 million (with an 8% increase for each year (1-5 year contract)) of the Lakers' MLE is being offered to Crittenton.

I'd be inclined to offer it to Barnes first as J-Critt will likely be sitting on the pine behind Fish, Blake & Sasha. Barnes could actually be signed for 3 years (with an opt-out in year 3, if he wanted to).

Why not offer him the minimum & Barnes the remaining MLE?


PG&R and other Shaq naysayers,

Here's why the Lakers should bring Shaq back.

1. Yes, he burned bridges on way out of LA and Miami...but he didn't torch Phoenix or Cleveland. Maybe he's maturing in his NBA twilight years.

2. He is still better than KThomas, Nesterovic, Kwame and DJ

3. Need someone to play more than DJ played last year to keep Pau and Drew fresh for playoffs. Shaq's offensive game will be better than any backup center.

4. Yes, Shaq is horrible with P&R but he still is a physical presence on defense and could help in the finals. Six more fouls against DHoward, or a few hard fouls on Bron/DWade, or bang with Sheed, Perk, JO and Big Baby.

5. Chemistry is for the classroom not for the court....and boy am I glad I'm not in the 11th grade again. Last year the two teams that gushed about having great chemistry and how everyone got along was Phoenix and Cleveland.

6. Sign Shaq and keep him away from Miami, Boston, Dallas, OKC or another contender signing him now or more likely picking him up after a buy out at the trade deadline.

7. It takes two to tangle. If Shaq humbles himself...and that's a BIG if, then its time for Kobe to show humility and welcome Shaq back. Plus Kobe gets the added benefit of doing something yet again that Bron couldn't Shaq win his 5th.

8. Shaq will be motivated because he wants to be remembered as the best big man of his generation. A 5th ring and he'll past Duncan.

9. I'm a sucker for a happy ending and what could be better than Shaq, Phil and Kobe reuniting for a title in PJ's last year.

I just read something from Orlando posting that Matt Barnes is going to Toronto to replace Turkgelo. He replaced him in Orlando and that failed. Why is he going to Toronto? Crazy !!!!

We are missing out on quite a few players. Are they running from L.A. because they can't handle the pressure of winning?

These are good fishermen Bell, Barnes, Tmac and Hughes and hopefully not Shannon Brown. They will use the Lakers offer as a bait to attract other big fish to swallow it. Because they cannot live with rings alone and 1.7 M is not enough to support their extravagant life. Don't waste time on veterans, sign our F/A, lock in the rookies and move on.

Nemaia Faletogo:

good posts on Lin and rookie PF Caracter, enjoyed reading it.


Marc B,

Nice post. I really hope the rumor about J-Critt isn't true. He hasn't done much with other opportunities he's had elsewhere. Offer someone else the MLE and I'd take the chance on Jeremy Lin over J-Critt right now.

M Smith - who do you think you are coming on here & bagging on a long time and well respected blogger in Jon K? Maybe before you vent your petty grievance about the phrase he uses at the end of his posts, you should try learning how not to double post first. Because now you just look like an idiot. Just sayin...

We still have two needs left to address, a Back Up Center 6' 10" or taller, thats a good defender, and an additional Guard, that should be a combo guard 6'4" or bigger and be able to handle the bigger guards out there, IE: D. Williams, C. Billups , ETC.
Mitch is searching to see if he can get an upgrade to DJ and /or Shannon Brown.

His challenge is he only has the VET's minimum (800k -1.375 mill) and the balance of the MLE not used on Steve Blake (1.8 Mill.) to use.
Shannon Brown and DJ would be signing as returning players and therefore need not be constrained by those numbers. Just Buss's apprehension of paying double because of luxury tax being the big factor.

A Follow-Up On Barnes--

The only concern I'd have is whether he'd be another Ruben Patterson type in practice. Remember him? Phil told the front office to trade him because he was too aggressive, trying to beat up (not fighting, just banging) Kobe on the court during practices. I wonder if Barnes would be the same? That would be my only concern.

Unlike Raja Ding-Dong, Barnes would actually see more minutes playing the 2 and 3 positions. Instead of Kobe being the defensive stopper to cover for Ron if he gets in foul trouble against the name SFs, Barnes would be there too.

My Thoughts on Whaquille--

I've Said It Before and I'll Say It Again: The Only "Double-Doubles" Whaquille will be posting if he comes back to the Lakers will be from In-N-Out!!!! 'Nuff Said!



Brad Miller got 3 yrs 15 MIL from Houston. Jermaine Oneal 2 yrs 12 mil from Boston. Shaq still commands double team down low. Be realistic, Shaq would never sign with the Lakers for vet's minimum. He is probably asking 7-10 MIL that's why he is still out there. Otherwise they would have signed him already for 5 mil a year. Don't you think?

So enough of the wishful thinking, Barnes, Shaq, etc.

CENTER - free agents...

Team, Player, Age, Type, 09/10 Salary, Signed by:

Atlanta, Jason Collins(notes), 31, U, $825,497
Atlanta Randolph Morris(notes) 24 U $855,189
Charlotte Theo Ratliff(notes) 37 U $825,497
Chicago Jerome James(notes) 34 U $6,600,000
Chicago Brad Miller(notes) 34 U $12,250,000 Agreed to 3 years, $15 million with Rockets
Cleveland Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) 35 U $925,000 Agreed to 2 years, $2.8 million with Heat
Cleveland Shaquille O’Neal(notes) 38 U $21,000,000
Dallas Brendan Haywood(notes) 30 U $6,000,000 Agreed to 6 years, $55 million with Mavs
Denver Johan Petro(notes) 24 U $825,497 Agreed to 3 years, $10 million with Nets
Detroit Kwame Brown(notes) 28 U $4,000,000
Detroit Ben Wallace(notes) 35 U $825,497 Agreed to 2 years, $3.8 million with Pistons
Golden State Chris Hunter(notes) 26 R $632,455
Golden State Anthony Tolliver(notes) 25 R $427,317
L.A. Clippers Brian Skinner(notes) 34 U $825,497
L.A. Lakers DJ Mbenga(notes) 29 U $959,111
Memphis Steven Hunter(notes) 28 U $3,696,000
Miami Joel Anthony(notes) 27 U $825,497 Agreed to 5 years, $18 million with Heat
Miami Jamaal Magloire(notes) 32 U $825,497 Agreed to 1 year, $1.4 million with Heat
Milwaukee Primoz Brezec(notes) 30 U $825,497
Minnesota Nathan Jawai(notes) 23 R $736,420
Minnesota Darko Milicic(notes) 25 U $7,540,000 Agreed to 4 years, $20 million with Wolves
Minnesota Oleksiy Pecherov(notes) 24 U $1,547,640
New Jersey Tony Battie(notes) 34 U $6,606,600
New Jersey Josh Boone(notes) 25 U $2,056,968
New Orleans Aaron Gray(notes) 25 R $1,000,497 Agreed to 2-year deal with Hornets
New York Earl Barron(notes) 28 U $48,559
Oklahoma City Etan Thomas(notes) 32 U $7,906,088
Orlando Adonal Foyle(notes) 35 U $825,497
Philadelphia Francisco Elson(notes) 34 U $1,700,000
Phoenix Channing Frye(notes) 27 U $1,990,000 Agreed to 5 years, $30 million with Suns
San Antonio Ian Mahinmi(notes) 23 U $989,670 Agreed to 2 years, $1.8 million with Mavs
Toronto Rasho Nesterovic(notes) 34 U $1,990,000
Toronto Patrick O’Bryant(notes) 24 U $855,189
Utah Kyrylo Fesenko(notes) 23 R $870,000


Barnes will be a Raptor. LOL.


Psycho Drama Queen,

Thanks for the compliments. Enjoy reading your posts as well. Go Lakers!!!

SHOOTING GUARDS - free agents!!

Team Player Age Type 09/10 Salary Signed by:

Atlanta Joe Johnson(notes) 29 U $14,976,754 Agreed to 6 years, $119 million with Hawks
Atlanta Mario West(notes) 26 R $451,596
Boston Ray Allen(notes) 34 U $18,776,860 Agreed to 2 years, $20 million with Celtics
Boston Tony Allen(notes) 28 U $2,500,000 Agreed to 3 years, $10 million with Grizzlies
Boston Marquis Daniels(notes) 29 U $1,990,000
Boston Michael Finley(notes) 37 U $194,235
Charlotte Stephen Graham(notes) 28 U $825,497
Charlotte Larry Hughes(notes) 31 U $160,244
Chicago Devin Brown(notes) 31 U $1,159,693
Golden State Anthony Morrow(notes) 24 R $736,420 Agreed to 3 years, $12 million with Nets
Indiana Luther Head(notes) 27 U $825,497
L.A. Clippers Mardy Collins(notes) 25 R $1,867,742
L.A. Lakers Shannon Brown(notes) 24 U $1,990,000
Memphis Ronnie Brewer(notes) 25 U $2,717,161 Agreed to 3 years, $12.5 million with Bulls
Miami Dwyane Wade(notes) 28 U $15,779,912 Agreed to 6 years, $107 million with Heat
Milwaukee John Salmons(notes) 30 U $6,429,150 Agreed to 5 years, $40 million with Bucks
Milwaukee Jerry Stackhouse(notes) 35 U $422,460
Minnesota Aleksandar Pavlovic(notes) 26 U $1,500,000
Minnesota Damien Wilkins(notes) 30 U $3,630,000
New Jersey Trenton Hassell(notes) 31 U $4,350,000
New York J.R. Giddens(notes) 25 U $1,028,880
Orlando J.J. Redick(notes) 26 R $2,839,408 Agreed to 3 years, $19 million with Magic
Sacramento Ime Udoka(notes) 32 U $786,650
San Antonio Keith Bogans(notes) 30 U $825,497
San Antonio Roger Mason(notes) 29 U $3,780,000
Toronto Antoine Wright(notes) 26 U $1,800,000
Utah Wesley Matthews(notes) 23 R $457,588 Agreed to 5 years, $33 million with Blazers
Washington Randy Foye(notes) 26 U $3,575,761 Agreed to 2 years, $8.5 million with Clippers
Washington Mike Miller(notes) 30 U $9,780,937 Agreed to 5 years, $25 million with Heat

I think Mitch has done a good job managing this offseason and I'm also anxious to see how the new additions to the team will fit in. Should be a very interesting and fun season ahead...can't wait for it to get started.

Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!


>>> I'm a sucker for a happy ending and what could be better than Shaq, Phil and Kobe reuniting for a title in PJ's last year.

Who is that a happy ending for? Not for Kobe. Not for Phil. Not even for Shaq, who's not very good at swallowing his pride.

Sentimentality is nice for looking at old photos. It's disastrous in business. All the "bring back Shaq," "bring back Kwame," and "bring back J-Crit" sentiments may tug at a few heart strings. But if the Lakers are serious about a 3-peat, the team is going in another direction.

The more realistic signing is Kwame Brown and Devin George.

or Patrick O'Bryant and Ime Udoka.


@Gilbert Battung, the first Asian-American in the NBA was Wat Misaka back in the 1940s.

The player you cited, Raymond Townsend, seems to be the first Filipino-American player in the NBA, and he played much later than Misaka, in the 70s.

For whatever reason, I'm reading this thread and various opinions and directions and I just start thinking about the length of an NBA career... and wondering what the Lakers will look like in however many years. And I figure, I'm just gonna watch Kobe this year, that's all. This will be his 15th season. 15th!! It's insane. It goes by so fast.

Shaq has too much pride to sign for the Vets minimum even if it means another ring. He will always have one less than KB if he rejoins the lakers.
More realistically though are Kwame Brown, Earl Barron and Patrick O'Bryant. I like Kurt Thomas, but he may be too small and going on 38.

Sign Shannon Brown or T-Mac and the Rooks including Lin.

Or look to trade away some overpaid underachievers with some draft picks for a 3 point specialist that can defend!

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