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Kobe Bryant's apparent endorsement of possible Raja Bell acquisition speaks to his competitiveness

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A season after Ron Artest stormed cross court to get in Kobe Bryant's face during the 2009 NBA playoffs, Bryant welcomed his arrival in L.A. with open arms. Four seasons after Raja Bell clotheslined him in a Lakers' playoff game against the Phoenix Suns, Bryant apparently is doing the same thing.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that both the Lakers and Bell share a "strong mutual interest to reach agreement on a deal," with Bryant being what Wojnarowski described as a "strong advocate" for a deal to happen. For those wondering how Bryant can go from enemy to friend in a heartbeat simply don't understand that he views adversaries and teammates simply in the context of basketball. It's fair to say Bryant doesn't have many friends in the game within his inner circle, although he created bonds with several teammates in the 2008 Olympics. It's also fair to say that even if Bryant feels personal satisfaction in dominating opponents, that animosity quickly dies once the game ends and if they wind up becoming his teammate.

That's why in addition to Bell's defensive toughness and effective outside shooting, Bryant's endorsement of Bell means the Lakers would highly benefit from his presence. Bryant likes a player if he believes their work ethic is solid and they have good intentions in helping the team. Even when Artest went through his struggles last season in shooting and understanding the triangle offense, for example, Bryant forever praised him because of his solid defense and willingness to play hard every game.

"There's been times where I've been on the road where I couldn't sleep and I'd go to the gym and work out at 12 o'clock at night and Ron's in there," Bryant said during his exit interview. "He's working there and we get a chance to talk about the season and the commitment to winning. I think that's where bonds are forged."

That same bond can happen with Bell. The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner recently reported that with the Lakers' recently agreeing to terms with Steve Blake, the team has under $2 million left on the mid-level exception, so it remains financially unclear if acquiring Bell is feasible. If that were to happen, however,  the inevitable storyline would involve Bell's clothesline on Bryant in Game 5 of the 2006 NBA playoffs, and whether the two have patched things up since then.

But the clear answer seems to be that the two have moved beyond the war of words they had during that series, with Bell accusing Bryant of continually hitting him in the face and Bryant describing Bell as a "kid" even though Bell is older than Bryant. Instead, Bryant would talk about how the acquisition would help improve the team's toughness and bolster the team's backcourt that would feature Derek Fisher's experience and leadership, Blake's solid point-guard skills and Bell's effective outside shooting. Meanwhile, Bell would express giddiness over playing with Bryant instead of defending him as well as gratitude after the Warriors waived him last season after he opted to have season-ending surgery on his injured wrist.

I spoke to Artest earlier in the playoffs about what the transformation was like for him to go from defending Bryant to becoming his teammate. He likened it to suddenly becoming involved in a television show he was just watching. And if the Bell signing happened, the same transformation would take place, creating a show Bryant, Bell and Lakers fans alike would all want to witness.

Photo: The Lakers have reported interest in free agent guard Raja Bell. Credit: Robert Gauthier/LAT.

 
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Hey, if Kobe is for it, I'm for it.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!!

REPOST:

htjL

Pau for Bosh nevha, Pau is the BEST PF in the NBA, period, kapish comprende, you understand, you dig? Also, he has much much higher IQ than Bosh, great passer, a great team player, a proven winner, can play 4&5 spots and adds an international flavor.

What has Bosh done, beside make home video begging to be included in the all star game. So he should make another home video and beg Pau for a replica of the ring for posterity.

As bugs would say, what a marooon you are BOSH SMOSH

whats up doc, BELLS SMELLS, first bring back antique DFish back.

Raja Bell isn't answer.

Media types make me laugh with all the "veteran" talk.
Raja Bell is scrub 34 year old journeymen player nothing more.

Shannon Brown is better for Lakers than Bell.

How about some one proposing Lakers add a player under 30 yrs old who has upside?

Steve Blake is a little better than a scrub and marginally better than Derek Fisher.

Please spare me with the Chucky Atkins, Earl Watson, Earl Boykins .... veteran smack. They suck.

Todd,

>>>Shannon Brown is better for Lakers than Bell.

Actually, he isnt.

Bell is a better career 3-point shooter and a much better defender than Brown. One of the things the Lakers were missing in this year's playoffs were consistent 3-point shooters. Shannon did great LAST season, but in 2010, he only hit 28% of his 3-pointers in the playoffs.

Don't get me wrong, Shannon is okay, and he'd be good enough. But Bell is better than Brown.

Bugs,

I'm all for keeping Pau. I don't see Bosh meshing well with this squad to capitalize this coming season. I also don't think there'll be much of a season, year after next with the impending lockout. By the time Bosh is firing on all cylinders as a Laker, Kobe will be a 16 year vet at 35 with way more miles on him than any 35 year old in league history.

I can just see and argument being made the a quicker, stronger, more athletic Bosh who's 4 years younger and puts up better number than Pau ever could when he was his teams #1 option, wouldn't be an impossible trade scenario. Intangibles aside, I can also see people arguing Bosh is the leagues best power forward, at least from a talent perspective.

JUST CURIOUS:

LTF:

I think I finally figured out why Kobe shoots before he passes, isn't his position a shooting guard, new to NBA here..

Curious here, you think with LBJ Lakers could win 8 titles all back to back, his team in Cleveland is not that good compared to Lakers

I'm all for the move, but my god, we're suddenly a very old team. Gone is the summer of our youth! Turiaf, gone, Von Wafer long gone (was he ever really here?). Ariza, gone. Cook (thank god) gone. Farmar, Brown, both gone. We're a better team for the changes, but we're also a heck of a lot closer to the spurs now than we are the Thunder, and just a few 20-30 months ago we had one of the NBA's youngest rosters.


We have Andrew Bynum and his creaky knees as our youngest rotation player at this moment, and if we don't start thinking about the future and start adding some youth, in 5 years we're going to have one heck of a massive championship-run hangover.


We better hope these 2nd rounders are real players, too. Right now, thy're our future. Two second rounders...


Wes

Poor Knicks fans. They not only gave 100 million to Amare, but to free up that money they gave away what amounts to 3 lottery picks.


That really hurts. I think the 3 lost picks may be worse than the 100 million.


Wes

geez, after seeing that video again, makes me almost certain I don't want Raja.

karma, mf.

maybe he can still shoot and maybe he can still defend, but two things: wrist surgery and 34 years old. sounds like an Aaron McKee kind of acquisition to me.

do we really want to give that guy a ring. peep the grin he gives after the clothesline.

we'll see.

More important that Raja is to have a big man to backup Bynum, imho...DJ or Marcus Camby, somebody like that.

"I think I finally figured out why Kobe shoots before he passes, isn't his position a shooting guard, new to NBA here.."

LOL at assists.

So AI>>MJ because AI got more assists career wise over Mike?

Curious George=Logic Fail.

Hey yellofever,

When you have a person who is a bandwagoner usually the IQ of that person is quite low. Same goes for Todd and jimjoyce.

Wes,

you wrote: I'm all for the move, but my god, we're suddenly a very old team. Gone is the summer of our youth! Turiaf, gone, Von Wafer long gone (was he ever really here?). Ariza, gone. Cook (thank god) gone. Farmar, Brown, both gone. We're a better team for the changes, but we're also a heck of a lot closer to the spurs now than we are the Thunder, and just a few 20-30 months ago we had one of the NBA's youngest rosters.


We have Andrew Bynum and his creaky knees as our youngest rotation player at this moment, and if we don't start thinking about the future and start adding some youth, in 5 years we're going to have one heck of a massive championship-run hangover.

my response: yes. I had noticed that....

Has anyone noticed how old the Lakers are getting? 6 of six of their top seven players are 30 or over now.

With the loss of Ariza, Farmar, and quite possible Shannon Brown, the Lakers are getting old and slow fast. Spurs anyone?

Please, not Raja Bell. How about a couple of fresh young bodies.

It's hard to stomach Raja Bell...

That's like accepting Rajon Rondo on the Lakers...

I don't care how good you are...some players just don't deserve to be a Laker...

I felt the same way about Payton and Malone...

anybody remember when raja(mavs) & artest(pacers) got up in each other's grills back in 02?

With the loss of Ariza, Farmar, and quite possible Shannon Brown, the Lakers are getting old and slow fast. Spurs anyone?

The Lakers are trying to win as much titles with Kobe Bryant as the go to guy. Mitch is trying to maximize the number of titles that can be won with Bryant as the leader and the moves he is making is ensuring of that.

Spurs eh.....how about the Celtics who beat the "Young" Orlando Magic or the Lebron-led Cavailers?

Ariza got upgraded to Artest. Farmar the Lakers did not want to keep him because of his attitude and wanting to start. Shannon may have made the better deal financially by opting out but got up ended by the signing of Steve Blake.

Again: They are doing as much moves to MAXIMIZE the number of titles for now. They aren't thinking of 10 years from now they are thinking of NEXT season. When KB can no longer play at a high level and Gasol is old they will blow up the team and then everyone will see how the precious Bynum does without the second best SG of all time and a very skilled big man taking attention away from him.

Kobe has not forgotten, don't think for a minute that Raja won't get cracked in the mouth during practice, count on it. And WHY... do we need so many vets? As Wes stated were trying to catch the Spurs or the HATED C's in age, what's up with that. I thinks Brown has much more upsides then Bell, just one man's opinion, and we know what everyone's say about then.

What's up Justa, Did you enjoy the 4th.

Lakers definitely need an above 45% 3 pt. shooter that is a microwave off the bench not a charcoal stove! Mike Miller fits the bill if a trade can be made for him. Fish needs to be back as well and the bench needs a backup for Bynum. Mbenga/ Camby/Mcdyss would be decent options. To get Fish back we need PJ, MJ, MK, JB to find ways to cover the luxury tax with some kind of deferred compensation/player coach type alternative. If Miller can be obtained the need for a younger player on the bench is met with the draft pick-ups.

OK, how many players do we have if we have Bell, Fisher and Brown come aboard:

1 Blake/Fisher
2. Kobe/Sasha/Brown
3. Artest/Bell/Walton
4 Gasol/Lamar/Ebanks
5 Bynum/Gasol/Caracter

Intrinsically, the players that replaced mbenga, powell, farmar and morrison are: Blake, Bell, Ebanks and Caracter. Anyway, you look at this line up it is a huge improvement. We have a 2nd unit that is active and can respond vs. a second unit destined for the bench and cheerleaders.

For sentimental reasons in guarding Drew, Gasol and Odom during practices for big games and playoffs and also insurance, let's retain DJ Mbenga while promote Luke to F/O. It is a dream come true.

Please get all of Mike Miller's games the last 2 years and watch him. He is not the same player so lets stop the B.S.

#1 - What KB Blitz said. They Lakers are definitely going to be old soon, but the fact is that the FO is going all-in right now and will deal with the carnage of the bloated contracts when the time comes. But the window is still open and building for the future is not in the cards. Building for RIGHT NOW is all that matters.

#2 - Young players want more money and are not as concerned with winning. Veterans have made their money and are more concerned with winning a ring. This is why you see older guys sign with good teams for less and young guys sign with crappy ones for more. You never know when an injury will hit, so young guys take the money while they can, regardless of how crappy the team is. This is why the Lakers' best bet is old wily vets like Bell, Kurt Thomas and Rasho Nesterovic.

#3 - When it comes time to blow up the team (probably 3-4 years from now), the Lakers will hopefully be building around young All-Star Andrew Bynum and Caracter and/or Ebanks. All the old guard - Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Walton, Odom - come off the books in either 2013 or 2014. By that time, Bynum will be in his prime and the Lakers will be in the position the Heat are in - flush with cap space and ready to build around their central piece. But that day is a long way away, and I don't think Mitch is too concerned with that day yet.

"I thinks Brown has much more upsides then Bell, just one man's opinion, and we know what everyone's say about then."

Shannon while being an amazing dunker took some really bad shots and bricked even more 3 pointers than Sasha did in 08-09. He proved to be a poor playmaker and while okay on one vs one defense was horrible in terms of team defense. Just think about how he left Ray Allen open so many damn times in the 4th quarter of Game 2 that forced Kobe to guard Ray Allen something that the Lakers coaching staff did not want to do considering that plays into the Celtics game plan of tiring Kobe out by chasing Ray through screens.

Farmar and Brown rarely drove tot he rim nearly 3/4 of their shots that they took were jumpers so it wasn't like if they were taking people off the dribble all the time.

It's ok to lose scrubs whether they are young or old. It's the young players with true upside you want to keep and basically both those two are scrubs.

Bell may be getting on with his age but he's a good shooter and can play defense much better than Sasha can who is a foul machine and can be inconsistent with his shooting as 08-09 proved.

Again they are wanting to win titles now....why would you want to sacrifice a title team to win 10 years from now? Even if they draft young talent they need PT and with a team like KB/PG/RA and LO they are not going to get as much PT. So just enjoy the ride because the Lakers are in a win now mode determined to win as much titles. They don't view Bynum the same regard as they did KB back in the summer of 04 as the better option to lead the team over Shaq in the long term.

The Lakers want to win now plain and simple.

Stop with the Mike Miller pipe dreams. He is not going to sign for $1.8 million a year, which is all the Lakers can offer him. Please stop!

Can anyone idenify the Lakers players on the court during that clothline? nba.com has Kobe as #24 at that time, but we know he was #8. Why didn't his teamates bust Bell? they all appear not to care at all. LO made a half hearted move in his direction, but that's it. Where's was and team unity and the Love for the Captain

Bell may be "better" than Shannon Brown, but in Blake and Fisher we already have a couple of older guys that can drain a 3. We need at least one young slasher/dunker that can keep opponents on their toes when they overplay our outside game. I missed Ariza's energy and excitement a couple of times during the playoffs (even though I was 100% in favor of "trading" him for Artest), and Shannon is the only Laker left with that kind of game.

The salary structure are as follows if we have those players aforementioned on aboard for the coming season:

1. Blake 4M Fisher 3.5M
2. Kobe 24.8M Sasha 5.4 Brown 3M
3. Artest 6.3 Bell 1.8M Walton 5.2M
4. Gasol 17.8 Odom 8.2 Ebanks 0.5M
5 Bynum 13.8 Caracter 0.5M (Mbenga 1.0M)

Total estimate 96M + 21 luxury taxes = $115M

Supposing Fisher, Brown and Mbenga will not come aboard, the total payroll will come out estimated to $ 100M.

KB Blitz- Dead on point, just a little clarity, it's all about the RINGS.

Seems to be a great deal of assumption that Ebanks and Caracter are going to be upgrades to the roster -- when they haven't actually even MADE the roster yet. If I'm not mistaken, they haven't even played in their first summer-league
game yet. And if they DON'T work out, that remaining $1.8 mil. MLE coin is going to have to be spent awfully wisely. (It's certainly not likely to land us Mike Miller.)

MM- I truly believe we need a CANCLE button after we post, sometime you just want to take it back.

I like the Raja Bell idea, getting him fits in with the Laker tradition of adding a veteran thug to rough some folks up (anyone remember Maurice Lucas or Mychal Thompson) to extend the championship run which is priority now. His ability to make threes has got to help since "The Machine" has been doing squat for the last couple of years. I really like sending Luke to the front office and free up his over the top salary and give Mitch a little buddy.

All this sounds good, but kobe can you please take less money so that we can sign these guys, I mean does your standard of living differ much if you make 22 million a year to say 16-17 million???

Raja Bell a flopper? You MUST watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BjhfwVY_p8

Did you know except for last year when Raja's season ended because of left wrist surgery, he was twice elected by the coaches for All NBA Defensive team along with Kobe, Dwight Howard, etc..?

2006 -7 First team All defense
2008-9 Second team All defense
2009-2010 - Didn't play wrist surgery

Lifetime 3pt 41% (Better than Blake)

Last two years with Phx 44%
With Charlotte 41%

Why is everyone all concerned about age all of a sudden?

It's no big deal. IN 2013 when their contracts all expire, Kobe and Pau and the others can all wear their multiple rings to AARP meetings together.

Blake with his 3 rings

Odom and Pau with their 5 rings

and Kobe and Fish with their 8 rings.

Now wasn't that simple.

Allnet,

Even if we take out Ebanks and Caracter as mere observer, the addition of Blake and Bell in the roster will still be huge compared to last season. Blake's career ppg is 7 pts. and Bell at 10pts. If you team them with Sasha, Odom, Walton there is a huge improvement. What we really lack is another PG either Fisher or Brown or both. Still IMO, what we don't need is Luke but can't touch his contract.

Guys,

You make a good point about the age. Though this is something that could eventually creep up with the Lakers, for the most part, this is something that frankly comes with the fact that when you're a championship team you don't get many opportunities to make quality draft picks. I think the Lakers gave more than enough chance to Farmar. Bottom line is he doesn't fit into the triangle and Jordan thinks he's better than he really is. The Lakers want to hold on to Shannon but they can't use their mid-level exception for teams already on the roster. If Shannon is willing to stay on for minimum pay without a multiyear deal, the Lakers would love to keep him and would likely resign him later down the line because he has that athleticism and upside. But if teams throw money at Shannon with long-term security, it's hard to pass up even if it's not on a championship team. The Lakers are in a predicament that for the most part is unavoidable. They're locked to long-term deals with players they know that will win them a title today (Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Artest, Lamar). And with the team having continued success, there's less room for them to get high end draft picks. That doesn't mean the Raja Bell signing is a bad thing though. It's used as a mid-level exception and it can help cover the deficiencies left by the bench. By the end of the next season, I honestly don't see the Lakers keeping Sasha so he's gone. And the Lakers will dump Walton's salary in at least three years when his contract is up. By then Caracter and Ebanks will have proven to be solid players at a cheap price.

MM

Edwin-Like the way you put together the roster for the Lakers. I like it very much. I don't like DJ Mbenga. Need to give room for someone with potential .
As for Jq-I like Raja Bell even if he clothesline Kobe. People forget what Ron Artest did to Kobe during the 2009 Rockets playoffs, and yet Ron Ron joined the Lakers and got a ring. I don't care if Raja Bell is 34. DFish is 36 and everyone
feels the hopes for a 3-peat is in his hands. Can Raja can sign for what is left knowing he stands a chance of getting something he never had. It's all about the ring not past competitive confrontation . I am very happy about Adam Morrison, Josh Powell (I hope) and Jordan Farmar not coming back. Farmar didn't like Phil Jackson and hated the triangle offense. I hope a team like Indiana picks him. Sorry to see Shannon Brown go. LO better get is act together. Maybe playing for team USA will help sharpen his skills.

Allnet,

>>>Seems to be a great deal of assumption that Ebanks and Caracter are going to
>>> be upgrades to the roster --

Doesn't matter. They're replacing players who barely got on the court last season. If they're good, fine. If they suck, the Lakers can hire some other cheap deep bench players.

>>>And if they DON'T work out, that remaining $1.8 mil. MLE coin is going
>>> to have to be spent awfully wisely.

Nah. No big deal - Instead of worrying about the 11th & 12th players off the bench, consider this. The Lakers effectively already have this high quality 8-person rotation:

C - Bynum
PF - Pau, Odom
SF - Artest, Walton
SG - Kobe, Sasha
PG - Blake

If they get Fish back, that becomes a 9-man rotation. Even if Walton is too injured to play effectively, they have 7 or 8 quality players.

Assuming they get Fish back, all they really need to add is one emergency backup guard, one emergency backup big, someone to fill Walton's minutes if his back doesn't recover, and bench warmers.

I should point out that Powell really wants to come back. So if Caracter can't make the squad, the Lakers could certainly get him back on the roster. It would just cost twice as much as Caracter. MBenga might be a possibility as well, though I think he wants to play more minutes, so he may leave for that.

In short, the Lakers title hopes don't depend on Ebanks and Caracter. If one or both can play some okay minutes without embarassing themselves too much, then they'd be cheap bench players. If not, the Lakers will pay a bit more to find guys who can cut it.

Guys,

It sounds like you have totally forgotten about and given up on Ammo. Adam Morrison was, albeit from the sidelines, always a possible three point threat that other teams had to consider. The intimidation of the possibility of bringing in the White Mamba kept others teams from even trying at times.

Ammo is young. If you all are into age, Ammo has years of legs in him!!

GOOOooooOOOOO LAKERS !!!

James G.,

I hear you on Mbenga. I just suggested DJ as an addition because he is an insurance for possible injury again during the season. His another role is toughness during practices, he makes Bynum and Gasol better than going with 6'10" or 6'9" guards. Lastly, among all players next to Fisher, Mbenga is a role model. For addition of 1.0 or 2.0M in taxes, he provides "heart and character" for the Lakers that makes them a great team. There is a Mbenga-following among the fans.

It is nice for LO to play w/ Team USA but he is not healthy. He has a shoulder problem. I hope the Coach will not take him because he could hurt the team or himself during the tournament. Well, LO has a "chocolate sense" instead of common sense. During off season, this is the time to get medical attention not during the season.

I feel like we need to trust the Laker brass. They've done well the past 3 years!

I defer to Mitch and Dr. Buss...

Something I didn't know about Bynum's contract...

It has performance incentives for both this season and next season.

Remember when we were talking about re-signing Bynum and I suggested performance incentives? Mitch was listening :-)

2Phatt,

"Why didn't his teamates bust Bell? they all appear not to care at all. LO made a half hearted move in his direction, but that's it. Where's was and team unity and the Love for the Captain"

My sentiments exactly, but what can you expect from guys like Cook, Walton, Kwame and Smush? That team was as soft as it gets. Kobe's teammates all had that dear in headlight expression, and just stood there with their tails between their legs. I was pretty embarrassed to be a fan of the Lakers after seeing Kobe's teammates respond like hall of fame wussies.

MM,

I love your summary and enjoy your active participation in our discussion. I'm sure you will duck some arrows and/or throw roses on you along the way. The best thing is you made your point across.

I like that someday Ebanks and Caracter will become serviceable to the team tho' they have to wait till Walton retires from team three years from now. That's too long for the wait and Kobe is on his downhill also by that time.

Ahahahahahaa! Lebron sets up a one hour special on ESPN on Thursday to make his announcement... the insanity just got raised another level, now we're getting the equivalent of a Presidential address from King James. I really do hope he has all of the teams hats lined up in front of him and then he fakes like he's going to pick one up and then picks another...

Does anyone know what happened to Jim Buss?

You hardly of him any more.

Remember 4 years ago when the blog went after him? Even Dr. Buss wondered why so many were against him taking over the Lakers.

And can someone explain to me how the Vet Min. works?

How does one qualify? What is the amount to be paid? Does the league pay half the salary? How much of it counts against the cap?

Thanking you in advance.

Fatty - Who is totally worn out getting the house ready for the in-laws who are coming tomorrow..

The coach won't take LO on Team USA because he's not good enough.

@MM "I think the Lakers gave more than enough chance to Farmar. Bottom line is he doesn't fit into the triangle and Jordan thinks he's better than he really is."

I agree on two of your three points. Jordan doesn't fit the triangle and they did give him more than enough of a chance.

Now, maybe I'm being blinded by the fact that we're both alumni of the same High School and College, but I do believe that he has the skill set to become a Tony Parker style PG. Prior to his knee surgery in 2008-2009 season, he was showing a lot of similar skills to TP and everyone was high on him. After the knee surgery, he came back too soon (albeit we needed him back due to other backcourt injuries) and hasn't been the same since.

(I'll get bashed for this, but I don't think Tony Parker or Steve Nash would fit well in the triangle either--they need to dribble the ball too much to find their pass or shot.)

On the other hand, I've called him "Ordinary Joe" Farmar for most of this past season since he didn't deserve to carry the name "Jordan" the way he was playing. His Head is Getting in the Way of His Talent.

I've Also Called Him "ADHD Boy" for his poor judgment on the court and when he get's benched.

With more minutes and a starters role on a team that doesn't run the triangle, I believe that Farmar will develop into a better than average NBA point guard.

He better choose wisely though, since playing for another team that gives him limited minutes will hamper his career.

Nevertheless, He Did Help Us at some opportune times in this past seasons playoff run (steals, shots, etc.) when Derek got in foul trouble and when the team started to get a little lethargic.

At Least Thank Him For That as He's Shown the Door...
_____________________________________________________

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


Fatty, here's a link for you (and anyone else interested) that does a pretty decent job of explaining all the NBA salary complexities.

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q9

Raja Bell is both hated and praised. Much like fans hated Sugar Shane Mosely and loved Oscar De La Hoya for instance. It's that most infallible asset in sports- Will. Sometimes you have a chance to land a player at the minimum for a ring. In a time when unproven players in the post-season like Amar'e are getting $100 MIL contracts, it is time to consider determination inside a person's heart. Let's remember the heretofore Mitch Kupchak before he started actually having the right players to make deals happen. Everybody joked that Pau Gasol seemingly landed in the Laker's lap, for his brother Marc Gasol who is one of the best post players in the league certainly top 10 center. That's not called lucky it's called foresight.. that elusive quality that few general managers have, mixed in with a little bit of luck. Jerry West's protege ,Mitch Kupchak, is now a seasoned veteran GM in the league. After 2 titles we can't say he isn't a top tier GM, you certainly couldn't have called him that during the Shaq-for- Kwame Brown days. In that regard, I think Mitch can now read "toughness", etc much like his mentor Jerry West did when he made the trade for Kobe and Shaq in the mid 90s. That being said, so has Kobe learned from his past mistakes. I love the attitude of Raja in being humble enough that he can actually envision himself playing for the organization at a low salary- getting the endorsement from a student of the game, ultimate competitor, like Kobe speaks volumes. I can see how player's put differences aside to benefit each other mutually- See: Shane Moseley-Oscar de La Hoya, Pac-man and Mayweather today. And coming from a player that has never experienced a championship like Raja Bell- and being humbled enough to accept the bare minimum or close- to win it all, speaks volumes as well. You can only go back to 2008 when the c*****'s with Leon Powe, etc rose to the occasion because they too, had never won anything. Even on the subject of Raja's injuries, you can still see the determination in someone's eyes, you can see the heart, like Bynum not allowing himself to lose to the C*****'s, or Artest. Phil Jackson has coached many a player back in the Chicago 'Unstopabulls" era. Fact of the matter is, the Lakers need to fill a rost er spot that can solidify the defensive efforts, and still be able to fit quickly into the offense. Raja Bell, while he had rough past couple of seasons is not because he didn't have the will. He had freak accidents that simply couldn't have been coped with in that limited amount of time. He will have the best training staff, doctors and medical staff surrounding him 24/7 much like Kobe has. He won't be asked to do much just defend show character and effort every night and he could be an addition to the team that would be worth every penny. He just has to put the work in, and let bygones be bygones. And on the subject of he doesn't deserve to be a Laker to me, that's true for some players, but this issue with Kobe was 4 years ago, and something that can be attributed to a player doing what it took to win. If he can move his game to the Lakers, it can only benefit the team. The same can be said for more players regardless of age. Much like Steve Blake, and Phil's past PG signings with the Bulls etc. While it wouldn't be a team that be very flashy at times, it will be able to score more consistently, more efficiently, under the system, hold leads and give the starters rest for longer periods of time. You give something up in youth, but you gain in experience, grit, defense, and efficiency.

Allen Iverson twitted recently that he would accept any role and any team- that's a very good sign. Much like Bell- a crafty defender- it's all a matter of putting the work in, and staying healthy, not waste energy a lot defending folks letting the guys finish teams off.

This is WAY off topic, but congrats to Jared Weaver making the All-Star team. Dude deserves it, and that was almost one of the all-time snubs. It isn't his fault that the Angel's bull pen only recently started showing up to games.

--FEARless

Let's hope this only happens if both Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown aren't re-signed. Otherwise, you have a team with no young legs. That guarantees that the team will not be healthy going into the playoffs, much less be competing for the best record going in.

For the grind of a long regular season, you need young guys on the team to develop for the future and to help ease some of the burden of playing long minutes on the veterans.

We saw what happened this year when injuries (Walton, Bynum, Vujacic) and lack of production (Vujacic, Farmar, Brown) forced the top-6 into heavy minutes. They looked worn out during the first round and they're only going to be a year older next year.

With Bell's injury history and lack of production the past couple of seasons, wouldn't it make more sense to find some younger players and try to develop them into consistent contributors for 10-15 minutes a game?

This would allow the older guys a few less minutes in the regular season and keep them fresh for the playoffs.

According to Hoopsworld the Knicks are also planning a huge press conference on Thursday the same day Lebron is going to announce where he is signing. Of course it may just be a coincidence but Thursday the day Lebron is going to announce and that hmmm......

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=16714

Remember this isn't realgm or bleacher report Hoopsworld is actually reliable to a degree (they were the first to break that we signed Steve Blake). This may be the first sign that LBJ is going to the place where Celtic fans chanted where he would in Game 6 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

If Lebron does sign with the Knicks, get ready for a Hollywood vs Broadway Finals (also the long awaited Bryant-James clash).

fatty,

Minimum Salary Exception: Teams can sign players for the NBA's minimum salary even if they are over the cap, for up to two years in length. In the case of two-year contracts, the second-season salary is the minimum salary for that season. The contract may not contain a signing bonus. This exception also allows minimum-salary players to be acquired via trade. There is no limit to the number of players that can be signed or acquired using this exception.

Should they sign Bell they'll most likely use instead the remainder of the mid-level exception (about $1.8 million).

BREAKING NEWS ... BREAKING NEWS ... BREAKING NEWS...

So, get this: LeBronze will make his big announcement Thursday at 6 pm Pacific Time on ESPN

http://es.pn/bW3LhJ

His people are demanding all the commercial time in a one-hour "special" with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs .

Yes, the self-proclaimed "King" is too important to just hold a press conference, or let the team he's chosen just hold a press conference. It has to be a one-hour special on ESPN. Ya think all this suckulage by David Stern has gone to his head?

It's certainly worth it to ESPN, just to get the 167,000 Twitter followers James has racked up in the six or seven hours since he's opened his account.

Seriously, do people really care about this *that* much? I don't. I'm only fascinated by the circus all this hype has created. Same elephant. Different day.

It's obvious that the Lakers want to win now and that is driving the decisions by the front office. As Laker fans we're blessed, but it's hard putting together a championship caliber team and even harder to actually win a championship. It's probably hardest to find an owner willing to go so far over the cap to maximize our potential to win.

Once you have championship caliber team particularly one that's relatively young, you ride it. We're in relatively better position than the Celtics were when they signed Garnett and Allen.

Our day of reckoning will come, but by that time we'll hopefully have a few more rings and the good news is that most of these contracts expire around the same time.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/416340-lakers-should-send-kobe-bryant-to-knicks-and-sign-lebron-james

intersting article on why the Lakers would want to trade Kobe to the Knicks and Lebron to LA. The most intersting quote was actually this one:

"Kobe Bryant may be the ultimate Laker, but nowadays it doesn't matter because loyalty has been lost in sports for a long time."

Only problem is Kobe's contract doesn't end for a very long time and by then, Kobe would have tied Michael Jordan. And that trade would never happen in a million years

someday i'm going to try to solve the world's energy problems by inventing a car that runs on opinions. Of course, the downside to this will be that the US has to invade to make the Laker's Blog safe for democracy.


FATTY - RE: THE VET MINIMUM

If you are talking about the bi-annual exception, it's a 2 million slot available to a free agent for a maximum of 2 years.

Teams can only use this exception every other year at most and they can only use this exception if they are over the cap.

The NBA minimum salary can be used to sign any free agent. I believe the salary depends on years of service

Finally, all salaries count against the cap and I also believe that they count double if you're over the luxury tax.

@KBLITZ,

"The Lakers want to win now plain and simple."

Thanks for hitting that nail right on the head!

--FEARless

Allnet & KB Blitz - Thanks for your help.

This is some of the stuff I was looking for. A vet min. is on scale, A vet of of 9 years is 1,352,000 for next season

"When a player has been in the NBA for three or more seasons, and is playing under a one-year, ten-day or rest-of-season contract, the league actually reimburses the team for part of his salary - any amount above the minimum salary level for a two-year veteran. For example, in 2005-06 the minimum salary for a two-year veteran is $719,373, so for a ten-year veteran, with a minimum salary of $1,138,500, the league would reimburse the team $419,127. Only the two-year minimum salary is included in the team salary, not the player's full salary. They do this so teams won't shy away from signing older veterans simply because they are more expensive when filling out their last few roster spots. "

Rick???? I can't even believe that..... WTH???? I thought this was the NBA - not Jamesland... or whatever... I can't even think clearly. This has messed me up. Who the hell does she think she is??? And - more importantly - who the hell does Darth Stern think he's fooling??? What a fricken butt kisser. The hype surrounding this little princess and her daddy Warbucks is seriously disgusting. A nauseating puke-fest. Ugh.

Regardless what the rest of the NBA does, and who's butt they're currently kissing, I am a Laker fan. Through and through. Thank god for the great Laker organization that will keep Kobe & Company winning a few more rings in the foreseeable future. They can have their king of no rings. We've got the greatest player in the game driving the Lakers to championships. We play for rings, suckas. Tell us how our azz tastes.


Edwin,

I appreciate the love. It's one of the criticisms you guys provided, and I totally agree. Since the season's died down I've also felt I've had more time to go through all this and interaction. I need to still do this during the season so it's really just a matter of me figuring out how to be the most effective.

MM

MM - it's easy - you need an assistant. There are prolly even peeps on here that would volunteer!

sup 2phatt - i'm good, thanks for asking - you?

jon k - my first reaction to seeing your comment about if Kobe's good with it then so are you, was to agree. Hey - if Kobe likes you and wants you as a teammate, who are we to argue? Logically I agree with that, but my heart wants to clothesline him while screaming in his face that he's not worthy to wear the purple & gold and karma's a beyotch.

oy vey - the dreaded double post.... sorry guys

SAY ELLO TO JOUR RELATIVES FROM DISTANT PAST...

http://news.discovery.com/human/early-human-ancestors-faces.html

An ESPN LBJ special? Then I think LeBron ought to hold his own NBA lottery: 6 ping-pong balls bouncing in a drum – each labeled with one of the contending teams – to be drawn one by one, with the last drawn to be the winner. Would be priceless to watch the camera close-ups on the faces of the various GMs as he works his way down to the final ball.

KB Blitz,

In regards to LeBron's announcement and the Knicks press conference on Thursday, are two different things in my opinion(I could be wrong), because Thursday(8th) is when teams can actually begin to sign FAs, so I expect the Knicks presser to be in regards to signing Amare. I think LeBron will stay in Cleveland.

So... LeStar is an idiot, Boston SUCKS, and we are the next NBA champions,

What's the news about that?

@Fatty: let's hope Jim Buss stays in the shadows...I don't know about that guy...

What a crock or sheet...1 hour special by the King to tell the world where he has signed...Stern probably booked it himself...

Still can't stomach Bell...I didn't feel this way about Artest last summer...

I'm all for these guys promoting themselves, but this has gone beyond beyondo.

A one hour special??? In prime time, no less.

What's next, a toilet cam? So we can all watch in wonder as we see his highness's stuff go down the drain.

"Oh man! It was a floaty! I feel so privileged to have seen it!"

Regardless what the rest of the NBA does, and who's butt they're currently kissing, I am a Laker fan. Through and through. Thank god for the great Laker organization that will keep Kobe & Company winning a few more rings in the foreseeable future. They can have their king of no rings. We've got the greatest player in the game driving the Lakers to championships. We play for rings, suckas. Tell us how our azz tastes.

Posted by: justanothermambafan | July 06, 2010 at 08:03 PM

************************

AMEN SISTER!!!

Point Forward

Sorry, I didn't mention this earlier, but I really liked your well thought out piece. Well said.

Hey Jon K. Looks like the Clips got Vinny Del Negro as their coach.

From what I saw from Bulls game he's a guy who the guys will respect and unlike Mike Brown won't lose the locker room as easily. That being said he's definitely not the X's and O's Coach though he's the bigger upgrade over Dwyane Casey.

That being said no matter who the Clippers has as their coach Jon K. only one thing will remain constant:

Clippers suck today...Clippers will suck tomorrow...Clippers will suck forever

Still going to try to take me to a Clips game?

I'm all for these guys promoting themselves, but this has gone beyond beyondo.

A one hour special??? In prime time, no less.

What's next, a toilet cam? So we can all watch in wonder as we see his highness's stuff go down the drain.

"Oh man! It was a floaty! I feel so privileged to have seen it!"

Posted by: Fatty | July 06, 2010 at 08:31 PM

***************

OMG...Stop It...you made me choke on my ice tea...ROFLMFAO!!!

Can somebody remind me, is it the NBA that owns ESPN or the other way around? I can never keep that straight.

Breaking News and My comments:

News: LeBronze will announce his decision Thursday in an hourlong ESPN special
Comment: Perfect. LeBronze has always been about the spotlight while Kobe has always been about winning. Thats why LBJ is always in the spotlight and Kobe always wins.

News: Clippers hire Vinnie Del Negro as head coach.
Comment. Also perfect. A mediocre coach for a mediocre team.

Here is your old Lakers at the season opener 2010-11:

Kobe-32
Ron-31
Pau-30
Drew-23
Lamar-31
Sasha-26
Steve-30

That's NOT what I call old. I mean the Celts with their "old" guys were in the Finals you know and their core players (exclude Rondo) average age was appox 34.

BWAHAHA choke...MMGGBBGAHAHAHAA

Fatty- that one is going in the archives.

More important that Raja is to have a big man to backup Bynum, imho...DJ or Marcus Camby, somebody like that.

Posted by: Magic Phil | July 06, 2010 at 05:43 PM

Why do you always propose we get somebody that we have no chance of getting for a number of reasons:

Mike Miller- WE CANT we don't have any money left, and we couldn't get him with the MLE anyways.

Marcus Camby- WE CANT he is signed for two years in Portland.

Do a little research before you post.

Nem,

Again true Thursday is the day when Free Agents will sign and I wouldn't be surprised if LBJ stayed near his hometown and the press conference would be welcoming Amare to the Big Apple.

Having said hearing that Lebron's real agent (not world wide Wesley) is going to New York and Lebron might go with them is a sign that he could actually be leaning to become a Knick. Personally I had him going to the Nets considering his close friendship with Jay-Z, the Nets putting up that Mural next to MSG, and how they not only cleared cap room but also has some very nice talent along with a good defensive coach in Avery Johnson. But again can't ignore that:

"While the team should be officially announcing Stoudemire's five-year, $97 million contract signing, likely on Thursday, the scale of the event and extensive planning going into the press conferences indicates that something bigger may be happening in the Big Apple."

Sure the Knicks are excited to have finally a quality free agent sign with them well since well for a while and it might be just for Ama're. That being said it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he went to the big city.

Our "old" team I figure has a good 4 year run left. Then we rebuild like always. Remember when Kareem, James and Magic left, we soon got Kobe and Shaq. After Shaq we got Pau to go along with Kobe.

STOP IT FATTY!!!!


STOP IT!!!!


*GASPING FOR AIR*


OMG THAT WAS FUNNY!! Kinda like the NBA version of The Truman Show. LMAO!!


I am thinking that the "King of No Rings" is staying put. Surely having this sports conference to announce he's leaving Cavs would really be rubbing salt, don't ya think?

ALLNET… ROFLMAO. The idea of a LeBron Lottery was inspired. If it doesn’t happen in real life, you should submit it to Nike for MVPuppets commercial. Priceless. RCOTD!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Clippers signing Del Negro was a good move...

If the lakers lose both bench big men [ Powell & Dj] They will need a body there that can contribute on the glass as well as rebounding. Here are the obvious names that have come up in speculations. Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown. Hey why not throw in Theo Ratliff. If were talking about a guy that can come in "if needed" for the injurys likly to come. To give Pau and drew 2-5 min less a game this season Kurf thomas would be ideal. Even at his age his still proven he can still produce. The man can hold his own in the paint plus he can hit the open jumper. Powell can hit the jumper he husltes and is young. But if Turiaf was just let go im sure the same will be for Powell. I'd take Kwame, he already knows the triangle, he knows the players, and this time around he wont be asked to score. Just rebound and play D. I would like the pick up but i dont think hes takin the 1.7 that the lakers have to offer. Now Theo can block shots be a defensive presence in the paint but just like Kwame he cant score. Now I believe theres a wild card out there that no one is talking about. Hes on the same team as Kwame and if were talking defense and rebounds a spark off the bench "if needed" would be Ben Wallace. Yes he had is ordeal with Artest but he only made 800,000 last year.We all know what he brings to the table If healthy and hungry I'd ink Mr. Wallace

Ben Wallace would be interesting. Putting him on a team with Ron Artest would be almost as interesting as getting Raja Bell.

Ben Wallace and Ron Artest

Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell

That sounds more like a line up for Friday Night Fights

Would be nice to know what kinda $$ Mitch still has to deal with (with Doc's okay)?

Watching the video of the Bell clothesline of Kobe...

I noticed that it was only Lamar that was going towards the Suns and their bench, and I think it was Kwame that stopped him...

Too bad we didn't have Ron Ron then...I'm sure he would have had something to say to Raja...

Out of the big men out there...I still favor DJ Mbenga...

I don't think he got enough playing time, but when he did, (AB was out for his hip or Achilles I think), he played well...

He hit his jumpers, rebounded, got a couple of blocks, and did great on defense...

I can't remember who we played, but that period he got more playing time, he did well...

That is pretty much what we need for the big we will sign...I know DJ would have to take a pay cut...I think DJ made almost a mil last season...

Is this possible...would some of you salary experts tell me if the numbers do fit...

justa - that does sound pretty enticing. I think that breaks company practices though

MM

Besides Kwame, Shaq, Kurt Thomas or DJ how about...
Tony Battie, Adonal Foyle, F. Oberto, J. Magloire or even Big Z?

Aloha,

Just got home and have been reading all the comments on the Lakers getting old. If you think about it, young teams do not win championships. Veteran teams do. just look at our 3 peat teams. Kobe was young, Shaq was in his prime and everyone else were old dogs.

Now I am all for bringing in younger players but consider this, if a young player plays out his contract all the way to becoming a unrestricted free agent and can still be had for MLE money, odds are he isn't going to be a great addition anyway. Thats why championship teams plug holes with proven vets.

However we may have gotten lucky this year. Both of our draft picks are said to have 1st round talent. They both fell into the 2nd round for non basketball related issues. Hopefully they both have matured and have their heads right. If they do, they both have huge upside.

There is one more guy I would love to see us take a gamble on. Mikhail Torrance was considered the 2nd best point guard in this years draft. He is 6' 5" and long. He is a good defender and has a nice stroke. He was a senior so he has some maturity. He was projected as a 1st rounder. He was huge at the Chicago rookie camp. I seen him projected in the middle of the 1st round. Then they discovered a medical condition called athletes heart and he fell out of the draft. Well it turns out unlike Ronys heart condition, Mikhail's is not serious. A lot of guys have it. I was really bummed out when Miami picked him up for their summer league team. But heres the deal, after summer league the non drafted guys can still be picked up by anyone. I am hoping we can sign him.

I really think this is the way to get younger. When you win, you always draft very low, so you need to take some chances. We did with our picks and hopefully we can grab Mikhail Torrance as well.

MH

Aloha,

Just got home and have been reading all the comments on the Lakers getting old. If you think about it, young teams do not win championships. Veteran teams do. just look at our 3 peat teams. Kobe was young, Shaq was in his prime and everyone else were old dogs.

Now I am all for bringing in younger players but consider this, if a young player plays out his contract all the way to becoming a unrestricted free agent and can still be had for MLE money, odds are he isn't going to be a great addition anyway. Thats why championship teams plug holes with proven vets.

However we may have gotten lucky this year. Both of our draft picks are said to have 1st round talent. They both fell into the 2nd round for non basketball related issues. Hopefully they both have matured and have their heads right. If they do, they both have huge upside.

There is one more guy I would love to see us take a gamble on. Mikhail Torrance was considered the 2nd best point guard in this years draft. He is 6' 5" and long. He is a good defender and has a nice stroke. He was a senior so he has some maturity. He was projected as a 1st rounder. He was huge at the Chicago rookie camp. I seen him projected in the middle of the 1st round. Then they discovered a medical condition called athletes heart and he fell out of the draft. Well it turns out unlike Ronys heart condition, Mikhail's is not serious. A lot of guys have it. I was really bummed out when Miami picked him up for their summer league team. But heres the deal, after summer league the non drafted guys can still be picked up by anyone. I am hoping we can sign him.

I really think this is the way to get younger. When you win, you always draft very low, so you need to take some chances. We did with our picks and hopefully we can grab Mikhail Torrance as well.

MH

So long as I can still get some FFFIIISSSHHH to go with that bring him on. The Lakers are all about defense and Bell can play. They need the depth and if he signs for what they have left, it's a bargain. It hurts a little to lose out on S. Brown but he wants more money than the Lakers are going to pay him, so Bell is a good alternative because they are playing for rings now, not tomorrow, so the older and more experienced the better. The Lakers have their core in place they just need some more depth to make it last longer. Adding Bell plus Blake and re-signing fish, and PJ = threepeat.

CURIOUS HERE,

How would 2010 lakers team stack up against the lakers of the 80 ies??

I say Magic, Cap, Big game james, coop, B scott, Silk, Superman, Mychael T would be too big and strong..

 
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