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Lakers Roundtable: Roland Lazenby discusses Jerry West and the 1960 U.S. Olympic team's induction to Basketball Hall of Fame

Those wondering when the NBA season is ever going to start can temporarily take solace that there are still plenty of Lakers items to talk about in the upcoming weeks. One of them includes the fact that both Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the 1960s U.S. Olympics team, on which Jerry West played, both will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday in Springfield. Mass. We'll host a live chat tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. as we watch the ceremonies on NBA TV

Until then, I'm going to take a look at both of those story lines. For starters, I talked with Roland Lazenby, who wrote a book about West this year titled "Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon." Since I spoke at length with Lazenby about West when the book came out, this conversation mostly centers on West's involvement with the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, which is also featured in the book.

Among the highlights from my interview with Lazenby:

-- The impact the 1960 U.S. Olympic team had on the game and why it was so dominant. The team went 8-0 and defeated teams by an average margin of 42.4 points. West averaged 13.7 points per game.

-- The relationship between West and Oscar Robertson

-- How Coach Pete Newell convinced West not to quit the team.

-- Why West kept remembering his brother David, during the team's Olympic run

-- Lazenby's comparisons between the 1960 and 1992 U.S. Olympics teams.

You can purchase Lazenby's book on West here, read his blog at Laker Noise and follow him on Twitter.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at 

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HOUSTON -- (August 12) NASA officials refuse to confirm or deny reports that Lakers blogger phred phredington was abducted by Aliens late Wednesday night. Eyewitnesses say Mr. phredington was spirited away after numerous suspicious posts.

Government sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity say that the UFO which spirited Mr. phredington away was tracked down by Air Force F-16 fighters and forced to land at Area 51. No communication has been forthcoming since.

Mr. phredington had recently completed a trip to the Pacific Northwest. but details are sparse about his activities there. Attempts to obtain comments from close family and friends have been unsuccessful.

Mr. phredington is best known for his hallmark signature, "It's all about the love."

Rick, as I said on the last thread....That might make some sense.

I swear he ended one of rants by saying, "its all about the anal probing"

Mitch's job is done and its time for vacation.

I can guarantee this song is going through his mind right now.

Roland Lazenby is one fine writer.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Okay Tim-4-Show.....

Mitch is finished with Lakers Summer School.

We are all waiting.......

What's his final grade?


Great interview!

D(erek)J(eter) - Thanks for the love! Roland has such great insight. It was a real treat to get to talk to him.


Jon K - You had a good idea a few threads back about the marketing part. The Times has a policy of not having any contests or promotions on the blog because that crosses the line between editorial and advertising.


They took phred!?! OMG!

@FATTY… “According to the piece, Ebanks has a non-guaranteed contract and Caracter a guaranteed one year.....uhm....” That IS very interesting. I thought after watching them in summer league that Caracter seemed to be the more impressive player. I think looking at our roster, it would be great to find a fourth player who could help us cover minutes at the 4 and 5. I thought Caracter had excellent moves in the low post and knew how to use hip checks to freeze defenders so he could get his shot up. It will be fun to see how he plays once preseason starts but I just have a hunch that he is going to be the better of the two.
By the way, nice job picking up on the towel issue and the Celtics. Proud to be cheaters is their motto.

Laker Tom -

Was it because Caracter was really thinking of going overseas to play and it took a guarantee to get him to commit?

Of course, both look like NBA prospects, but Caracter has a unusual low post game for such a young guy. With the isolation's he will get on this team, he could prove to be a handful for others to guard.

I wonder too if he and Ebanks will develop a special bond like Fisher/Kobe did coming into this together. They certainly will have a lot of time to talk watching the vets play.

But first, those guys need to hit the weight room if they are to have the strength to carry ALL those Vets bags this year.

And it is so appropriate that the NBA logo is derived from a photo of Mr. Clutch driving against the hated Celtics:

@FATTY… “Was it because Caracter was really thinking of going overseas to play and it took a guarantee to get him to commit?” The entire discussion about Ebanks and Caracter having options was incorrect. The Lakers own their rights and the team needs their low salaries and youthful potential. This was not like with Marc Gasol or Sun Yue where the Lakers felt the players needed some overseas seasoning. I think the Lakers just saw Caracter as a better prospect, hence the guaranteed first year of his contract. Caracter actually reminds me of guys like Barkley who knew how to use their wide bodies to freeze guys and get their shot off.
At least, that’s my take on it. It would be great if they both turn into real players who can contribute.
Too bad that the third new Laker who came to the team at the same time as Kobe and Fish didn’t stay.

Some updates on the CBA talks:

"The owners are pushing for a radical change in how the NBA's financial structure -- a hard salary cap, shorter contracts with not all of them guaranteed, some restrictions on player movement and more."

Mark Medina,

Fricken Times.

Okay. How about this? YOU could just randomly (wink) select a blogger to attend a Lakers game as a lighting assistant for your video summary afterwards.

How about that?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Can somebody please tell me why the heck John Stockton isn't inducting Malone into th H.O.F.?

I can not believe I lost another post.

If I spend more than 3 min on this website my "Asprie" mini computer refreshes itself.

Anyways, I was saying in more beautiful detail than I will ever try to reproduce here and now, that Charles Barkley is the man for putting LeButthole in his place today. Here's the fanhouse bit:

"Charles Barkley weighed in Wednesday on a recent Twitter statement by LeBron James. Barkley, a TNT analyst and former NBA All-Star, said he hopes James remembers Barkley's critical comments and called a couple of James' more significant actions this summer "punk" moves. "I heard about LeBron's little tweet today that he's remembering everybody who said anything bad about him," Barkley said Thursday on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM in Dallas/Fort Worth. "And he said 'everybody.' Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that (list). "I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should've stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade's team was very disappointing to me."

Yep. The thing that made me most mad was the three punks dancing on stage with a flashing red "WE DID IT!" sign, only a few weeks after the Lakers forwent (is that a word?) their own dancing during their championship parade.

That was unbelievable.



That link is bad, or at least doesn't have the logo link. I'd love to see the original photo that the logo was derived from.


@ wes - it seems to be working when I click on it. Anyway, I converted it to tinyurl format and hope that helps.

Kupchak will go on vacation thinking...what to do...what to do? In regards to Walton and Sasha. The only thorns on his side in what has been a great career as General Manager, and a phenomenal offseason.
Then he will realize...we are The Lakers...reigning world champions on our way to another threepeat. Uummm, another margarita por favor!

Laker Tom,

I think Ebanks is non-guaranteed because if Luke somehow comes back very healthy, then we may not need so many bodies at SF.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Thanks Snake. But I still can't find the Jerry West wallpaper. I can see his name on the right side, halfway down the page, but all the other links are for modern, FIBA players.

But, I cracked my skull 3 seperate times in my youth, so one never really knows...


@ wes - If there is anyone who realizes the frustrating reality of forming a SuperTeam, it would be Charles Barkley. If you recall, the 98-99 Rockets had Olajuwon, Pippen and Sir Charles, with Rudy T as the head coach. It was dubbed as the greatest frontline ever assembled in NBA history. They didn't make it past the first round of the playoffs. The chemistry simply was not there.

It's weird, the link only works if you have found the image already.
Wes, try the search function, it's the nº1 search result.

>>Lets try this:


Posted by: wes | August 12, 2010 at 05:51 PM

that works too!


Boston, Mass - - In a strange turn of events, Shaquille O'Neal has filed a lawsuit against LeBron James for "defamation". The two NBA superstars, at one time close friends, became at odds once James signed with Miami.

Asked in what way James defamed him, Shaq replied, "He just got more famous. So that means he defamed me. It's like dethroning, but instead of a throne, it's fame. So defame."

James was unavailable for comment, but his cousin's friend's brother's niece's uncle told the press that James was likely to counter-sue, as James believes Shaq has gotten more attention, and that it is Shaq who deserves to be the one who is sued for defamation.

When explained to Shaq that defamation actually means slander, not dethroning someone of fame, Shaq stared blankly at the camera for several seconds before replying, "You got your opinion. I got mine."

The court date is set for December 25th, although James is not expected to be in attendance, as he will most likely be stealing Christmas from small children in Ohio.

Yep...I searched for West logo and found it.

That is really cool, btw, to finally see that image. Super cool. Can you imagine if that surfaced on the Antiques Roadshow agter being lost for 50 years?

I love that show. The best on television.


I liked the fact that Charles Barkley was very outspoken about LeBron James actions and criticized him both for leaving Cleveland and for the way he went about it, including his recent tweet where he implied he would get even with all his doubters. Unfortunately, Chuck will probably end up kissing LeBron’s ass as usual the first time they meet in person or he interviews him.
Against the Rangers the other night, Mariano Rivera gave up a lead0ff triple but still managed to keep a run from scoring. That was the 5th time he has had that situation. His ERA is 0.00. Batters are hitting .000. Now that is a stat that tells you something about closing. Unlike last year, I think this year’s Lakers are going to have so many blowouts that Kobe won’t get many chances to close.
Chris Bosh has been infected with LeBronitis, a mental disorder where the patient truly believes they are royalty and entitled to special treatment. Does Bosh realize that LeBron and Wade expect him to take charge and neutralize Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol when the Heat meet the Lakers? His play against our 7-footers last year was enough to crush the Trade for Bosh supporters.

More proof that celtic fans are delusional:

f_ U all.......Celtics will hoist banner 19 to the rafters!!
Posted by: MCB | August 12, 2010 at 05:47 PM

Hey MCB, it's 18 not 19, but then again, your delusion and apparent lack of knowledge about your team sure makes it more sweet that your Celtics lost a 13 pt second half lead in game 7 of the Finals. Go back to your blog you bandwagon Celtic fan and begone. Dont worry, we'll still be talking trash when your gone
Posted by: Cap's Goggles | August 12, 2010 at 06:13 PM

Unlike last year, I think this year’s Lakers are going to have so many blowouts that Kobe won’t get many chances to close.

--Laker Tom


I predicted 20 twenty point blowouts last year, and I thinj we ended up with 4 or so. But with Blake's 3 point shooting and passing skills added to the second untit as well as the Barns defensive factor and a healty, smarter Andrew Bynum maybe playing an entire season, I think we'll heave 15 or so this year. I can't go as far as 20 again, not until I see something from these guys.

But knowing how important home court is to the Lakers' championship chances, I think we'll play more consistantly well this year as compared to last.

And I think Ron will be a better shooter this year, as well as Sasha. I see us a better overall team, even though Kobe is now well into that downward arcing part of his career. He just is, and that's OK. We all have a genetic timecard waiting to be punched.


So does anyone think that Kobe has called the Lakers Video dept. and asked
for everything they have on LBJ & D-Wade?

You realize that right after that call, he contacted Glover {?] in Chicago and
asked for an update on Miami's past offense/defense with an update on
LBJ, D-Wade & Bosh's tendencies?

I wouldn't be surprised if Kobe is working on left handed shooting ...

Nice signings of Ebanks & Character!

The Lakers have an AWESOME roster! I am content with every player we
have. The upcoming season has the feeling of something ...

And for a visual, just turn your head sideways.

Most players' career arc looks something like this: ( But Kobe's will look more like: /

(I really wonder if this visual will line up when I hit the post button...oh well, it's worth the risk)


puddle - that was hilarious! These fake news stories sure are keeping the angst at bay while we work our way through this long off-season.

LakerTom - I also think Bosh is going to have a rude awakening this season - especially when they play the Lakers. Against both Gasol & Bynum, but also Lamar. I fully expect LO to gain some valuable experience with Team USA this summer - especially if he's going to play minutes at center. The 3 A-Holes really have no idea what's coming at them. It's the World Champion Lakers 3-Peat Freight Train!!! And it's coming for YOU suckas!!! Muahahahaha!!! This is gonna be some kinda fun!


Most players' carrer arc is the top arcing line, Kobe's is the combined bottom two:



Laker Tom,
I think Ebanks is non-guaranteed because if Luke somehow comes back very healthy, then we may not need so many bodies at SF.Posted by: Jon K. | August 12, 2010 at 05:44 PM

....I hope that's not what the Lakers are thinking. I would rather have Ebanks on the roster than healthy Walton.

Okay, we did our jobs as well.

The Lakers are set for next years Title run.

1st round of Vodka/Percocet is me.

Now we can sit back and relax for the rest of the summer.....

By acknowledging all the people who have been “taking shots” at him, James is showing weakness. If he truly believed that the Heat was the team for him, he should be able to ignore the haters. But he can’t.

Since deciding to join the Miami Heat, LeBron has attempted to perform some damage-control by playing basketball with little kids. Look at James dunk in that ten-year-old’s face. Aww. They all look so happy!


If you don’t think we all see right through your miserable attempts to win us back, you are even dumber than we thought. And this tweet doesn’t help. It’s fine if you want to embrace your new “villain” status, but leave the kids out of it.

Dear LeBron,

If you keep threatening people, all of your teammates will be afraid to date me. I’m sorry I tried to get you to call Delonte “dad,” but now you’re just being selfish.



Since you won’t ever be able to beat the Lakers in basketball, maybe you could try fist-fighting Kobe. Better get some brass knuckles though. Kobe wears rings....(LMAO)

The media will be watching James’ every move, and we will jump at any chance to make him look even worse.

Keep it up LeBron. You’re keeping us employed.

Both Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley have publicly disagreed with James’ decision, and that is never a good thing. Barkley even responded to LeBron’s threat by telling James to put him at the top of his list.

Barkley has it right. It is “Wade’s team.”

But if LeBron keeps this up, he will alienate himself from the public, and we can watch Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard pick up some new endorsement deals.

Bailey Brautigan

The Lakers' frontcourt is simply too dominant, in every sense of the word.

Give Kobe Bryant all the props you want, but acknowledge that the Lakers' frontcourt has been without equivalent peer for the last two seasons.

If the frontcourt and especially Bynum can stay healthy, there is no reason why the Lakers can't three-peat, or four-peat, or five-peat.

James Wong

@WES… I actually have high hopes for Sasha and I like your goal of 15 blowouts. What is your criteria for categorizing a win as a blow out? I wonder if any website tracks blowouts and how they define it. Either way, I think the table is set for a perfect storm in the Lakers favor. The Heat will be under pressure to perform and I think are going to stumble out of the gate. I think they will have a tough time beating both Boston and Orlando. It’s going to come down to whether Bosh is worthy of being part of a Big 3 or just a role player. Based on how he played against Drew and Pau last year, I think he is going to be a big disappointment. He is not the player to anchor the paint.
@HOBBITMAGE… You are right. The Miami Heat was exactly what Kobe needed to get his competitive juices flowing. The attention that LeBron, Wade, and Bosh have garnered is grade A motivation for Kobe’s killer instinct, as is Shraq signing up with the Celtics. Throw in Phil’s last stand and I think any analyst who thinks the Lakers are not the favorite, doesn’t know Kobe Bryant very well. Those who think Kobe just might win his second regular season MVP may be right.

Jon K - LOL I'll see what I can do.


James Wong,

Nice to meet you.

"Barkley has it right. It is “Wade’s team.”

But if LeBron keeps this up, he will alienate himself from the public, and we can watch Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard pick up some new endorsement deals."

Posted by: LEWSTRS | August 12, 2010 at 06:45 PM

Lebron never has been a great endorsement man. Not a great public speaker. That's why I said Wade was the pimp that went out to get him some "Ho's". So the Miami Heat is where it's Christmas year round..."Ho, Ho, Ho!!!"

Can't imagine Shraq jersey retired near Jerry West one...

Would be awfull...

Mitch's job is done and its time for vacation.
I can guarantee this song is going through his mind right now.

Posted by: Fatty | August 12, 2010 at 03:37 PM
Fatty - I think you got it wrong. This is what Mitch will be rocking when he boards that jet.

What I'm up to.... since I was busy back in the late 80's, working...I had lost interest in Miami Vice, the series....I had never seen the ending, the last show, so I put the whole last season on my Netflix queue and am watching it.
You know what, it really is not as "dated" as other shows from that time period. Thus I have to say that the show was ahead of its time. No comments on what finally happens I'm only on the 3rd disk of 5. I swear, it's not all that dated...Crockett is still cool!!!



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