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Raja Bell shows misplaced priorities by selecting Utah over the Lakers

Now Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell can go back to hating each other again. Despite Bryant's plan to meet with him Wednesday and persuade Bell to join the Lakers, he instead chose Utah.

The decision clearly shows that Bell values money and stability, rather than getting a shot at winning the title. Bell accepted a three-year offer reportedly worth $10 million, and the Lakers can offer no more than the $1.77 million remaining on their mid-level exception.

I don't have a problem with players looking out for their long-term future, particularly with a possible lockout looming after the 2010-11 season. But this is a different circumstance. A season after the Warriors waived him once he opted to have season-ending surgery on his injured wrist, Bell should've been jumping at any chance he could get to join the Lakers. At Utah, Bell joins a team that lost Carlos Boozer to Chicago and has a long-held reputation for being incredibly consistent in making the playoffs but ultimately falling short.

As far as the Lakers are concerned, they could've used Bell's defensive toughness and the acquisition would've served as another example that Bryant loves players that have had physical confrontations with him, including Ron Artest, because that means they'll carry the same mentality with the Lakers. Nonetheless, the Lakers' failed attempt to get Bell won't make or break their fortunes. The Lakers had already improved their backcourt by signing Steve Blake and securing Derek Fisher. Now it's possible they'll reconsider keeping Shannon Brown, whom the team loves for his attitude, athleticism and upside despite his inconsistency on offense and defense.

At the end of the day, the Lakers have the easiest sales pitch in emphasizing that joining their team gives them a shot at a ring. And with Bell choosing otherwise, he clearly shows he values the size of the contract instead.

-- Mark Medina

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

 
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Some players play to win championships.
Some play for the money.
Kobe and Fish and Artest (and - I hate to say it - LeBron now) are clearly in category #1.
Bell just put himself in category #2. Hard to blame him - but really.. how many millions do you need?
Anyway now we'll see which category Shannon Brown is in.

Wow MM. Never seen you so adamant about something before!

I don't know. Maybe Raja still just doesn't like Kobe and would rather freeze his arse off in Utah than play with a guy he once called an "arrogant, pompous individual." It sounds like he didn't even give Kobe the time of day.

that is really too bad. i was really hoping Bell would come to LA, we could have really used his services. i'm a little concerned that we still need a few very solid players to fill the holes, yet not sure if there are any left. i do still like Barnes as an option, the guy is very talented. anyone know if LA's FO is even talking to him?

Shannon....crit....Barnes....maybe DJ strawberry. OK......maybe I'm pushing it.

I'm not particularly disappointed by Bell going to Utah. He could have been a useful piece for the Lakers but not a necessary one in my book. Phil talked about what a challenge it was last season, finding minutes for the bench guards. A five-guard rotation is a very deep one. Bell could have been terrific, he could have been ineffective, we really have no way of knowing. My preference would be for Brown to return, it just lends more familiarity to the system as well as a real willingness - we all know what a team player Brown has been. And, if he doesn't return and/or we don't find another viable guard, we'll still have a very solid rotation with Kobe, Fish, Blake & Sasha.

Didn't want to think about him clotheslining Kobe in practice anyway. We can keep Shannon now who has alot of upside but needs to work on his defense more. Love his dunks though..BTW, we need sign our draft picks now so they can learn and develop quicker.

Sorry but you can't fault a guy for getting paid twice or three times as much cash.

Utah is overpaying. But, there's something I'd like to point out... Portland offers Matthews a stellar contract forcing Utah to get desperate (and also take away from a rival)...

Trading Farmar for Blake turns into trading Farmar AND Bell for Blake.

All I can say is that Blake better be effing good, because we just lost a young talent and a gritty defender for him.

Seems like Shannon Brown is coming back now that Bell has signed with Utah:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjcBoBf7H9nyKvYa3lGWjx.8vLYF?slug=ys-freeagentbuzz071410

Barring a huge comeback next season or Shannon being an even worst back up SG it looks like to be the end of the Machine in Los Angeles.

Goes to show you who has the class to reach out verses one who doesn't care except his pay amount and isn't a champion anyway.
Too bad for Bell another wannabe player who will never ever win a ring before his career is over.

Can anyone clarify what is the number of years that the rookies (Ebanks & Caracter) can get on their first contract? Is there a minimum (1 year?) or a maximum (3 years?)? First round picks gets a two-year contract with two more years that are team options.

Looking at the FAs that are left and it is slim pickins' right now. One name caught my eye, because he's still young at 26, is 6-7, is a decent shooter and pretty good defensively, but has either totally lost his confidence or just completely fell off. Sasha Pavlovic. Once upon a time was a pretty solid player for the Cavs and then just disappeared. I'm just wondering if he's got anything left and if playing in a different system would revive his career. Just a thought.

It would be nice to have UPS back. Hopefully he really works on different aspects of his game and comes back better and stronger next season. His postitive attitude is a plus on our team.

Raja took the money and ran, like 98% of you would have.To the BANK in GOD WE TRUST.

Can't believe bell wore a Lakers necklace to the espys. Kobe is gonna punk him now

Forget Raja Bell.................WHEN WILL THE LUKE WALTON ERA END??

LOL pfunk. Where would we be without your Luke and Phil hatred?

Hahaha! Raja sticks it back to the Lakers just like he had been doing all his career, the fact he didn't even meet with Kobe clearly showed he still has no respect for Kobe. Sasha can play pretty good defense too, and just as good of a three point shooter when he gets enough playing time. Lakers should just in tact with what they have.

May be this should serve as a wake up call to Mitch Kupchak, that he needs to address the need for a back up center ASAP. I absolutely do not trust Bynum's knees, and would not be surprised if he doesn't heal by start of season. So Mitch had better find a back up center quick, and don't bitch and moan when Bynum comes back with the bad news.

Man, I had a long day. Looks like the Blog had an even longer one.

Larry- are you ok? some weird stuff going on.

Luke Walton is making over $5mil this upcoming season and
$16mil left on his 3 remaining years. This is a guy who has contributed nothing the last 3 years is for the most part "untradeable" because his contract is not expiring and has not added anything to his game nor does anyone expect anything from him.


Luke Walton is costing us $16 mil against the cap.................yet............we have some bloggers pondering should Kobe have taken a paycut to sign Bell


Luke Walton is the gum on the bottom of the Lakers shoe........we just can't get rid of this guy

TMAC 3 has been banned. Geez I'm gone for the day and this is what happens. I'm going to stop doing automatic pilot

MM

And…everybody who had ‘the Utah Jazz’ in the pool, take a bow. [crickets] yeah, I’m sort of surprised too.

Hmm, Bell to Jazz, for quite a decent chunk of change. Looks like Shannon’s agent may have actually done a good job of judging the free agent market. Good year to be looking for a job in the NBA. I think Tracy McGrady might be moving out of our price range, too, looking at the available FA’s left.

Can't blame Raja for taking the money and running, and frankly, i wasn't that excited about the prospect anyway. There has to be an up and coming player out there somewhere who has more skills and less 'veteran reputation' (being old and overpriced) that we can find.

Back up C... easy, Mbenga. Who else??? Don't even talk Kwame or Snaq.

Back up SG - UPS

Wildcard w/ upside - Tmac if healthy enough to do a workout

That sucks, FCM. I skimmed over all that, so I don't know what went down, but that's too bad.

Not surprising, but too bad.

Fatty/Justa- seriously, is Larry ok?

also-

IT IS NOT ABOUT 'SIDES,' IT IS NOT ABOUT 'HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN ON THE BLOG' IT IS NOT EVEN ABOUT 'BASKETBALL IQ!'

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

SERIOUSLY!

GO LAKERS!

Raja is a complete fool. And oh, Joseph buddy, it is Kobe's Lakers with 5 championships who gave it to Bell over & over. What exactly did Raja get at the end? NOTHING!!!! Idiot!!

I would be happy with either Kurt Thomas or Oberto as our backup center next season. Has Oberto drawn any interest from teams this offseason? If I remember correctly, he was the starting center on a championship Spurs team fairly recently. He could be somewhat of a Scola-lite for us.


pfunk36 wrote:

" ... WHEN WILL THE LUKE WALTON ERA END??"

Sorry, but still got three more years to go on Luke's albatross of a contract until after the 2012/2013 season if you can believe it.

Boy, I still can't fathom why the Lakers made such an absolutely insane deal like that ...

The Heart of the Matter...is a Matter of the Heart.

In reality, Raja Bell chose Utah for two reasons:

1. The Money (10 million for 3 years versus 1.77 million for one)
2. He would rather be an ENEMY than a FRIEND

Clearly, the money is a huge factor, but in the end it wasn't the only one. It was more than a case of "misplaced priorities" because Raja COULD have taken the Lakers' one-year deal, won his ring, and joined the likes of Carmelo in free agency next year.

No. He decided he wanted the money AND more chances to defend Kobe (and dust off his 'clothes-line takedown' move) for the next three seasons.

Punk.

I am glad he is nowhere near the Purple & Gold. He doesn't deserve a ring. He will retire with cash, but will never sniff a championship with the Jazz.

P & G R

Luke Walton is the biggest piece of garbage in Laker history. There's no way to prove a back injury, he could have faked it all along just to get free paychecks. He's following his dad Bill Walton's exact footsteps. When Bill Walton was with the Clippers, he kept complaining about this foot injury and refused to play, sat on the bench for years getting free paychecks. Like father like sons. Two scumbags found a loophole in the system and abused with no professional integrity.

There should be a Luke Walton Boycott Campaign to get this guy off of the team. He needs to do everyone in LA a favor just retire and give the roster spot to someone that's hungry to play - any player making the minimum is more effectively than a player making over $5 million a year that's not playing.

MM,

Don't sweat the issue of guys posing as others and misrepping their views... it's happened to nearly all of us at one point.

In fact, that's how I put the 4Show on my name when some dude starting talking ill of Kobe under my handle

Of the remaining free agents, here is who I like that MIGHT be plausible:

Craig Smith
Marquis Daniels
Etan Thomas
Rasho Nesterovic
Josh Boone
Rasual Butler
Roger Mason
Jerry Stackhouse
Brad Miller
Anthony Tolliver
Shavlik Randolph
Kurt Thomas

Some I like more than others and some are probably too expensive, but I think each one could help the Lakers.

Well at least Raja can dream about being a Laker.

http://tiny.cc/xg3mw

If Oberto & Thomas are available at our price then easily take Oberto of those two.

Thomas doesn't really bring anything.

At least Mbenga can play some serious defense... you know, like 7 swats in 20 minutes sort of thing. Kurt Thomas can get shoved out of bounds and if he's lucky knock down an open look, but that's about it

Listen, I'm not a big Walton fan but it's not his fault Mitch massively overpaid him. Mitch was full of colossal mistakes back then. I think LW is generally a nice guy and I think he could make a valuable addition to the coaching staff... or, has made a valuable contribution to the coaching staff already.

We need a guy to write out every possession and Luke is THAT guy.

Not sure it's worth half of PJ's salary, but hey... blame Mitch for that one.

THINGS I THINK ABOUT (AFTER THREE DRINKS AND WHEN I AM TIRED)

1) I could read another zillion years and read another zillion blog comments, but I still don’t care how long you’ve been posting comments or what you say you know about basketball. I can judge you on what you say and how you say it. There are guys who are really old and who have been jabbering about basketball longer than I’ve been alive (see; Simers, TJ, Heisler, Mark and funk, P) who are still frequently wrong.

2) Write legibly; ‘i unnerstn b!@bllandI...&..i...h@vgramrskillz might actually be the modern equivalent of “Hamlet’ but I will never know, because I scrolled past the comment and I’m not going back

3) Offer evidence to support your points, or make points that are logically supported within the context of what can be illustrated ‘on this play, which I have provided a link to video footage off, Jordan Farmar was entirely in the wrong place, Kobe Bryant missed a pass to this open guy, Derek Fisher was too slow getting to the right place, or somebody on another team just did a better job’ is a great way to have an argument.

4) Try not to draw conclusions from these examples that have nothing to do with them ‘Kobe made a bad pass’ does not support ‘Kobe is a bad basketball player’

5) Learn logic. Never mind, just look it up.

6) ‘This is how the CBA works’ ; http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q9

7) and ‘This is understandable given these articles on economic decisions and human psychology as argued by ‘Smith, A, ‘Why Rich People Deserve to Be Happier than You’ (1798) and Skinner, BF, ‘A Pigeon Can Make This Decision Better Than You’ (1956) are good arguments, too.

8) DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU. We are all the same, pitiful, flawed, beautiful human beings. Get over yourself and your problems and have some respect.

9) IT IS STILL ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

10) GO LAKERS!

Well at least that ends the speculation of how we could have stomached Bell in Purple and Gold---I was torn bewtween knowing he would have been a good piece and still hating his stupid face---at least that conflict has been abated...

so i would assume we re-sign Shannon Brown? that's probably a better karmic move anyway---hopefully he keeps improving etc...

or how about Matt Barnes?

and now the McGrady debate is back in our collective face---oh fun

and we do need a back up center---still like to see (and utilize Mbenga)---but Kurt Tomas could do us some good as well...


and then there's Mitch still saying "hey Rocky, wanna see me pull a rabbit from out of my hat?"--I feel a surprise a comin'...

GO LAKERS !!!

phred -

I'm also somewhat concerned about Larry. He's been MIA for a while now and was overtaken by the weird Christina/TMAC3 alien. The whole blog today was totally bizarre. I had to extract myself at a certain point.

I knew it!
He's not a Laker, a champion with heart.
-
Shannon might improve his game this season.

All good in LaLaLand!

Cheers

Luke is the Lakers logo on the bench. If we can only sell that bench in the future as Lakers memorabilla.....Luke sat here. lol! Our great, great grandchildren, who is Luke? He was the greatest laker who belonged to all ages wet to four Finals, won 2 championships and will win some more till 2018 i.e. another MLE at the end of 3 years.

Oh yeah, my response to ‘Hey, phred, how many of these do you live up to?’

I don’t care, I don’t really care if you can live a long, happy life and never read anything I write. This is the internet, and I’m trying to be funny.


So who's the Lakers next target to recruit?

MAMBA24!

COME BACK! WE LOVE YOU!

Floyd- I think one of Mitch’s best, surprising brilliant moves this summer might be doing nothing beside what he’s already done (and signing a reasonably priced vet and/or Shannon) and not panicking. We have a good team.

Raja made the right decision for himself. I would have done the same.
Walton and Sasha contracts were waste of money
Lamar should be traded
What is Fisher's worth for the next two years at age 36

luke walton can really play well. he just need to be healthy..

In defense of UPS, his hand was injured at the end there...

But yeah, this guy needs to find a consistent jumper. I have no delusions that he'll learn to finish on the drive, or be capable of driving and dishing... (and yes, I know he can finish, but he can rarely drive on a guy and THEN dunk it)

Do you see anyone better at a price we can afford?

Still giving Mitch a D so far in this off season... he can move it to an A, but he better start doing that rabbit trick Floyd was talking about

with limited money left, it's hard to recruit anybody to come to LA, let's be realistic, they need to feed their families ( remember Latrel Sprewell ? ),a ring won't feed them , with only 1.8 mil available , it's really hard to attract FAs to come to LA to play almost like for free .If we didn't re-sign Fish, we might be able to get Bell .If you were the players,you would go for the money or the ring ( the ring is not guaranteed 100% , don't forget )? don't cheat on yourselves, I think 90% of us would go for the money, at least I would , to be honest with you, period.

He'll Always Be "Raja Ding-Dong" to me... He's perfect for the Classless Jizz Fans!

And Kobe will break his ankles first time the Jizz play the Lakers...
______________________________________________

Mamba24, There was a South Park episode where Kyle says to Stan that statistics show that 1 outta every 4 people are Morons. [Wide Shot to Stan, Kyle, Kenny & Cartman with the First 3 looking at Cartman].

Nuff Said...

Now Come Back, Damn It!!!!!!
______________________________________________

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

TS;

It was actually the signing of Blake to most of the MLE that took up the available money. The amount to resign Fish as the Lakers own free agent to whatever money does not count against the salary cap.

Tim-4-Show

^^^^All I can say is that Blake better be effing good, because we just lost a young talent and a gritty defender for him

I wouldn't call Raja a young talent

um...okay, too bad Bell chose Utah. don't blame him though, cuz that was a lot of loot for his sorry (role-playing) butt.

i agree with resigning Brown now. i've always been a big supporter of the dude. as long as he works on his outside shooting, i think he'll be a great piece. a gem, if you will.

as far as back-up centers...um, people, we have one of the best back-up centers to ever play the game. his name is Pau Gasol. just sign our draft pick Caracter or Mbenga or Powell, and we'll be alright on the frontline. don't forget that we still have LO to man the PF spot, should we need Pau to move over to the 5. why bring in another big who would need to learn the triangle and would probably never even get off the bench anyway? am i speaking Latin here??? (and can't Artest also slide over to the 4, and kobe/sasha/brown slide over to the 3?)

and i don't really want to comment on the whole Luke Walton debate (if there even is one going on), but hey, it's gonna be a new season and hopefully his back will mend in the off-season. you never know. i'm just hoping that if he's not physically able to contribute next season that he'll retire.

It's a blast watching you dimwitted Laker fans begin to realize just how cheap and narrow-minded Buss, Mitch and Co. are. Penny-pinching for low level free agents; whining about Luc Walton making 5 mil, yet celebrating another over-the-hill, 36 yr. old Fisher signing a 3 year deal.

And, yes, we HAVE NO HEALTHY STARTING OR BACK UP CENTER!

If they expect Shannon Brown, or any self-respecting NBA player to play for 1.25 million/yr., they're kidding themselves

Everybody that thinks Raja Bell is wrong for taking the Utah deal is just plain crazy, and I say this as the biggest Laker fan possible and I say this as somebody that wanted us to get Bell. For most of his career, Bell has basically been a solid 10 points-per-game guy that shoots over 40% from 3-point range and is a dogged defender, which is exactly what we could use on our bench. But let's examine some financial facts here...

Raja Bell has "only" made about $27 million dollars in his career up to this point. So if you're a man in that position, how are you supposed to turn down the guarantee of $10 more million dollars compared to just $1.8 million? He's getting a guaranteed $8.2 million more, which amounts to just over 30% of all of the money he's made in his entire career. We aren't talking about a guy that's made $100 million (where another $8 million wouldn't be such a big deal). This is a big deal for him, so nobody should blame him.

as I said, Bell should have been fined like major for the takedown, say $50K and 30-40 games of the next season (in addition to end of the year from that point on).....it's not impossible to sign free agents, just so so players who never took home big bank contracts so that they have the option to play gollum for squat. Bell probably made good money, but in Lamar and Kobe range....

After Utah made its offer known to Raja Bell, it meant that Raja would PAY $1.5 million every year for 3 years for the chance of winning a a ring. I know a ring is important but most people posting on this forum would never make $1.5 million if they added up their earnings over lifetime. I would have loved to see Raja Bell choose the Lakers but at the same time I can easily understand his choice.

Salim, Fisher's worth at 36 is the same as it would be if he was 45 or 25...invaluable. that was why he was recruited by Pat Riley. people like Mitch, Kobe, PJ and PR know that playing basketball is more than just how many points you score, assists you dish, or rebounds you grab. it's also about character, selflessness, work ethic, and leadership. not to mention the cojones to take the big shot on the grandest stage, down 3 points in the NBA finals to the Boston Celtics(or whomever) with 4 minutes to play.

honestly, how many PGs in the NBA today can we say can bring all of those intangibles to the game and in the most crucial situations? how many relish and thrive in those situations. man, there's only one i can think of...Derek Fisher.

TS- if we didn't resign Fish, we still wouldn't have been able to offer more to Bell. Under CBA, we could offer Fish all we wanted or absolutely nothing and we still would only be able to offer Bell or anybody else 1.77 Mil.

He just didn't want to play with a snob like kobe, you got the fish who flopped we got the bell that rang! Get off your high horse the lakers are going down no 3 peat!

Or, you know, what Troll Man just said.

Does Lamar Odom work on his game during the summer? WTF is Odom doing to improve his game? He was on Regis and Kelly last week for Christ sake..........Hey Lamar.....work on your footwork in the post, your midrange jumper and your right hand......IMPROVE YOUR GAME!!

John Doe, you're an idiot. why? cuz resigning Shannon Brown is not restricted by the salary cap. they don't have to just offer him the vet. min. nor the remainder of the MLE. they can sign him to whatever Buss is willing to dish out. i wouldn't be surprised if he gets in the ball-park of 3-4 mill./per. maybe a 3 year deal. depends on how well Brown's agent can negotiate and if Buss/Mitch wants him back. i'm sure PJ does.

Tim, you're giving Mitch only a D? man, with how little cap space LAL has/had, i think he's doing at least a B+. landing Blake and resigning Fish is enough for that, imho. not to mention the incredible drafting of Ebanks and Caracter, who are lighting up the summer league. didn't some critic say that Caracter has been the best player this summer? nba.com, i think?

John, i'm sorry for calling you an idiot. it's 3:49 AM over here in New Jersey. and i'm not really thinking that well. lol!

"What is Fisher's worth for the next two years at age 36
Posted by: SALIM YILMAZ | July 14, 2010 at 11:50 PM"

very timely shots.....they're not paying him for 2-3 years, they're paying him for 3-4 moments, the ones that will bring the trophy.

There may be no "rabbits" for Mitch Kupchak to pull out of a hat, then again, we don't know for certain.

At the end of the day, I trust in the judgment of the Lakers' GM and staff to do what is best for the team this off-season, and on into the future.

And, in case there is any confusion, Mitch Kupchak does bear the ultimate responsibility for trades AND draft picks (both good and bad). The buck stops WITH HIM at his desk.

Remember that the free-agent situation is a fluid thing that constantly changes: every off-season presents a different group of players, entering the arena to negotiate with a varied set of potential employers, in what could be a dramatically different economic and CBA climate.

When Luke and Sasha were signed, they WERE given reasonable and competitive contracts for the time period they were inked. It is a mistake to try to judge the price and terms of their contracts by today's standards. Doing that is a 'straw man' argument.

Fans have every right to complain about, and over-analyze a player's performance, but the question of whether a player is worth or not worth what he makes is not a simple one to answer.

For now, since both Luke and Sasha are on the team, and will be remaining for the foreseeable future...give them your wholehearted support and encouragement. They deserve nothing less!

Don't forget, for good or ill, they are BOTH two-time defending NBA Champions. They are BOTH part of this close-knit Band of Brothers on the Lakers Family, along with Kobe and the rest of the starting five.

In case you haters don't understand...THAT DOES MEAN A HELLUVA LOT!

P & G R

Huge letdown.. Damn damn u raja!

Great.. no more defensive guards left and esp nobody that fits his mold.. Lakers couldve really used another tough perimeter defender who can shoot the 3.. and someone who can run with our second unit to help give kobe more rest..

Now shannon may be the next best option.. He did disappoint at the 2 last year backing up kobe but maybe that can improve alongside blake..

Barnes I would consider next.. could bring some heat on both ends but followed him last year and his game can disappear for long stretches at a time

First it was swapping Trevor for Ron-Ron. Then Farmar for Blake. And almost Brown for Bell. The Lakes are getting older and slower. I'd like to see them keep some young athletic types on the bench. I wonder if they still have interest in Javaris C.

@Tim-4-Show: "Trading Farmar for Blake turns into trading Farmar AND Bell for Blake.

All I can say is that Blake better be effing good, because we just lost a young talent and a gritty defender for him.
"

Most people were faulting the Lakers for going after Raja now, people are up in arms about it. Steve Blake @ 30 yrs of age and 6 apg- 6 assists do the math. I will take him and less injury prone over Raja Bell anyday, anyway. Look on the bright side, at least the Lakers can go away knowing that his intentions weren't to win a title, as much as making some money. It would have just been a cancer in the locker room to have him barely put up#s in practice

Good one pfunk36 "Does Lamar Odom work on his game during the summer? WTF is Odom doing to improve his game? He was on Regis and Kelly last week for Christ sake..........Hey Lamar.....work on your footwork in the post, your midrange jumper and your right hand......IMPROVE YOUR GAME!!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtIaMr2hGeI&feature=player_embedded

Steve Carell spoof of LBJ's decision that was shown during the ESPY's

Free Agents Lakers should look in to:

Tracy McGrady
Jerry Stackhouse
Roger Mason
Matt Barnes
Larry Hughes
Josh Howard
Tim Thomas

Other teams probably will offer Josh Howard more money but I still think he is a great fit

I think we should keep UPS because if we lose him we become very un-athletic. UPS brings that athleticism and youth. He has a lot of upside and needs to improve over the summer which I think he will.

Seems like we are down to T-Mac/Shannon Brown/Marquis Daniels/Rasul Butler and Shaq/Brad Miller/Kurt Thomas? MK needs to make a quick decision to fill the last two slots on the bench. The selection must be based on getting at least a 15 point bench advantage over Heat. They have 3 young superstars joined by Haslem and an ok PG. Shaq would help clog the paint for the bench and T-Mac would help spread the floor as a reliable scorer!

I'm glad Raja Bell took his act to Utah. It is a blessing in disguise for Lakers because the dude hates Kobe with a passion and cares nothing about the Lakers. He would have destoyed Laker's team chemistry by publicly displaying his arrogance and disdain for Kobe. Dude is from the Island, head strong and set in his own ways.
Shannon brown is a better option. He knows the system and his game is bound to improve next season. Character and company are keepers. They will be effective if Phil will Jackson ever utilize them.

It's ironic that Raja Bell is being criticized for taking the most money offered to him instead of the best chance of winning a championship, and yet Lebron did exactly the opposite, and he gets criticized as being a "ring chaser".

The hypocrisy is astounding. So Mark Medina, did Lebron have "misplaced priorities" or not?

I can't wait for a Laker vs. Jazz game in the upcoming season. Once Raja Bell is introduce to the Laker home crowd, I can hear all the BOOS!

Please David Stern don't schedule the Lakers to play the Miami Heat on X-mas. We all know Lakers don't give a care.

Schedule the Lakers againts the Kings or, a Texas team. If Stern wants to make it a coast to coast attraction, let it be Lakers vs Chicago.

End the night with Phoenix againts Portland. Some how i feel that is going to be some good games if they meet in the playoffs.

Laker fans would rather have a X-mas match with the Celtics. Or maybe with the Thunder. David Stern needs a new Sith Lord, why not Kevin Durant.

Can't wait for the 2010-2011 NBA schedule to be released. When should we expect it? Last days of July or early August? Last year it was released in August, right? People tell me if i am wrong

AHHHHH!
A big is what we need.
Bell said it himself on the interview that he doesn't bring anything that we don't already have so wasting money on that punk would have some folks rithing by december.
Kurt Thomas and Shaq are racing to see who is the oldest player to be a waste of money. The man is only 6'9". That doesn't do much clogging up the paint.

We NEED Mbenga, he has the chemisty and triangle knowledge already. His Christmas day present to us would be a nice block on wade in the second quarter to put us up by 20 pts.
Thomas would not demand any respect in defensive presence and the driving iso game would kill him.

The 2010 NBA Champions should open w/ one of the 3 divisions of the West. Pacific: let it be the Kings.

Northwest the Jazz should be there to see how rings are presented.

The Southwest best team to witness and get us going to our 3rd championship is the Dallas Mavericks.

Wouldn't be surprised if Stern chose the PHX Suns as the first opponent

Buckus Toothnail

The money that Lebron gave up is chump change considering all his endorsements, not to mention no state income tax.

Players like Raja have to take the money, he's never made big money and with the new CBA coming up it looks like there will be even less money down the line.

Can't blame Raja and I don't think its fair to call him a money chaser either. You can bet if the Lakers could offer him close to what Utah did that he'd be a Laker.

Blitz,
thanks for the link to the Steve Carell spoof of LBJ's decision at the ESPY's. Wonder what LeWrong's reaction was

Bell went with the highest offer (by a pretty wide margin), but there is nothing wrong with that. Players generally do not take huge pay cuts to win championships until they're about to retire. Bell still wants to maximize his earning power, as most players (most people) do.

Money does not matter to guys like Kobe Bryant only because they are already sleeping on piles and piles of money.
Guys like Raja Bell still wants to "be set for life," and you can't blame him for it.

@ Fatty - I can't believe that is Mamba24 yesterday...

John Daly and Tiger up on top of the leader board...running 2nd and 3rd in the British Open...

The Raja Bell caravan has four flat tires...I agree...now I can keep hating him...

If Mitch can't get another FA guard, we will need Sasha to find The Machine this year...I think Sasha comes through if he gets the playing time...finds his rhythm and shot again...

Everyone have a great day...

Best thing about the ESPYS last night...

Lebron and the Heat was the butt of the jokes...The spoof on The Decision was classic...

From the boos from the crowd when Lebron was mention, safe to say his brand is pretty tarnished...

Seth Meyers was good, but I think I like Jamie Fox better...

I'd take the 10 million dollar contract in a heartbeat. Raja probably made 4.5 million more from the Utah deal, something I wouldn't have turned away from.


As far as the Lakers necklace thing goes, that's pretty odd. I can only guess that Raja was trying to convince himself that playing with the Lakers was the best move, but in the end he just couldn't do it. He tried, but he and Kobe have too much watcer under the bridge to just let it all go. I think deep down inside Raja would have been hoping Kobe misses a couple of game winners, even as a teammate. Raja seems too smart to be a sidekick, even if it's the best move for his legacy. Other things matter, and that's OK.


Again, we need people who want to be here.


Wes

The question regarding who the best player in the NBA is got answered emphatically the minute LeBron James took his hyperventilating talents to the land of orange juice.

Kobe Bryant is the best in the game; it's as simple as that.

Basketball, like most sports, is as much about mental toughness as it is about physical toughness. Patience is one manifestation of this psychological strength, perseverance is another, and the greatest show both at key moments in their legends.

In uprooting himself after only seven years to chase a title with two supremely talented athletes in their primes, James showed a rabid desire to win and a willingness to sublimate parts of his ego to do so.

But he also demonstrated a lacking of the aforementioned virtues.

Kobe was savagely selfish in establishing himself as the Laker alpha dog and the situation got very ugly at times, but the Closer ultimately backed it up.

Now, he gets to savor the fruits of his labor safely because his two closest rivals have joined forces and individually hamstrung themselves.

Better yet, he can only add to his myth.

Remember, he's going for a three-peat with all the power-brokers from last year in place yet his Lakers are shaping up to be underdogs.

And everyone loves an underdog.

By Andrew Brinin

Oh well on Mahah Raja, no harm no foul.

I just kinda think maybe Kobe should do his recruiting outside the public eye.
All this big deal about him recruiting Bell then it goes no where, looks like Kobe has no influence. I think it would be better if he did his recruiting privately, then if it works out let it be known the role he played in the process.

Back to the drawing board.

I dont care about that cat face raja bell.I dont like him the way he smile after what he does to kobe before.Lakers will crush all of them on the way to three peat.So all of you stop worrying about other teams because their nothing but a second grade trying hard copy cat.Lakers the greatest team in the world.KOBE the greatest player of all time........

I really wanted Raja to join the Lakers, but @ 33 years of age I truly understand his decision to accept $10 mill over 3 years (basically $3.33 mil per year) from the Jazz as opposed to $1.77 mil a year for 2 years from the Lakers. This is not a guy who was being paid $12 mill per at anytime in his career and this may be his last contract.

Now I still wish he would have put Utah on hold and kept the dinner date w/ Kobe, informing Kobe of his Utah offer. Then Kobe would have had the opportunity to give $1 mill of the $24 mill per year he is due next season back to the Lakers to use on Raja Bell. Raising their $1.77 mill offer to $2.77 mill per year. Lowering the difference between offers to around 1/2 mill per year. I think that could have made the diff.

THANK YOU RAJA BELL!!!! I can now breathe a sigh of relief. You are not worthy of wearing the purple & gold uni kid...keep on steppin'.

This is the best news I've heard today since watching Drew Brees beat Kobe AND Lebron as best male athlete...WHAT???? Just unbelievable, but whatever!!!

Bell had some great years with the Jazz and loves Utah so why assume its only about money.

Well, I think he would have been a good defender off the bench, but oh well, get ready for a few more elbows to the face buddy.. Now that we've settled that.. we still need a backup 2/3 and center.. this actually makes it easier, we can sign 1 guy for the remainder of the MLE, and 1 for the vet minimum. I'd still like to see Tmac fill out that backup 2/3 roll, but whatever MK and Phil come up with I'm sure will be golden, can't wait to see what it is. I'm still rooting for a Tmac signing right now though! :)

Raja Bell is as nasty as they come. I wouldn't be surprised if he did all of this to humiliate Kobe and do exactly what he did...just cancel like he was cancelling his dentist appointment. You all fell for it.

SIGN UPS NOW...WE DON'T NEED NO RAJA BELL!! He's used to early vacations and wouldn't be too happy playing 'till mid-June with the Lakers anyway..scumbag.

Bell also was considering a two-year, $8 million offer from Chicago. Obviously not all about money.

I THINK BELL'S NOT SIGNING WAS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE FOR THE LAKER'S. THEY SHOULD NOW TURN THEIR EFFORTS BACK TO SIGNING AND GROOMING SHANNON BROWN TO BE THE BEST POINT GUARD OR SHOOTING GUARD HE CAN BE. HE HAS UNTAPPED POTENTIAL AND APPEARS TO HAVE A VERY GOOD ATTITUDE. PERSONALLY, I DIDN'T THINK BELL WOULD BE A GOOD FIT, BELL CAN BE TO EMOTIONAL AT TIMES AND WHAT HE DID TO KOBE I FEEL WAS AN I NDICATION OF HIS TRUE HEART. KOBE IS A CLASS ACT WITH A FORGIVING HEART WHICH IS GOOD. HOWEVER, SOMETIMES EVERYTHING WE NEED IS ALREADY IN OUR HOME, WE JUST HAVE TO FIND IT. SHANNON CAN BE GREAT. THOSE TWO NEW RECRUITS CARRACTER AND EVANS WILL BE TOO. JEREMIAH 29:11

Attn: Larry Holiway (AKA Mamba24)

Larry,

I know you're out there reading this. Don't pretend you're not. What I'm about to say may seem harsh, but I say it as a friend.

I don't know what's going on with you, but you owe the blog an apology and an explanation for whatever was going on yesterday. It was offensive and inappropriate, but at the same time it makes some of us worry about you.

You've built up enough goodwill since the inception of this blog that all can be forgiven, but you've got to man-up. Going into hiding isn't going to make it right. Get a grip, address whatever's going on and get it fixed. We're still your family here.

Both Yahoo and Hoops World are reporting Lakers close to signing Shannon Brown, that would put the roster at 10.
2 more to go.
My guess is Caracter, Ebanks to wind it up.

So Blake replaces Farmar and Powel, Mbenga replaced by Caracter, Ebanks.

Injuries may be the difference maker next season.

I don't want Bell anywheres close to my Lakers team. Even in his prime, he wasn't all that great. I don't understand what my fellow bloggers here are thinking about. Some of you talk like Bell was an all-star or something.

Kobe use to score on Bell at will, and Bell didn't hit any more of his 3pointers than Sasha would, given the playing time.

As for Tmac; Tmac is so broken down, no way we can rely on him to make it through the year backing up Kobe, and it's essential we get Kobe his rest this year and the next few years.

We don't need either of these wash-up'd losers. We have a young Sasha who has proven he can hit the open shot, under pressure, and can play competent defense.

Use our remaining resource$ to find a backup center for the injury proned Bynum, dammit.

Maybe its not all about the money. Deep down Rajah Bell still hates Kobe!

MM,

I think there is something in this story that you might have missed. Maybe there is something with the wrist the Bell isn't telling anyone. It might be worse than perceived. Or at least potentially worse. If that is the case, then he has a guaranteed $10 million in the bank.

The Lakers could only have paid him $1.77 million this season, but that doesn't mean that would be the total value of his tenure with the Lakers. He must have doubts and just wanted to bank the cash.

BTW, I can say I'm in camp #1 because I actually had that chance as a recruit coming out of High School. I chose the better program for less $$. It did it again when I chose to teach rather than continue working in the IT industry.

It is a hard decision, but $$ alone does not make you happy.

MM, is there a way you can look into his wrist thingy? I'd bet dollars to donuts that is at least part of the reason he chose Utah.

--FEARless

 
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