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Quick-hit thoughts on Shannon Brown's re-signing, Shaquille O'Neal to the Celtics and the Lakers' schedule

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After countless days at the beach, at the gym, running errands and catching up with friends, it's good to be back on the Lakers blog. It may well still be the dog days of summer for Laker fans, but if last week indicates anything, it's that the Lakers never lack for news, even on the slowest days of the NBA off-season. We'll have a chat later today at 3 p.m. to get back up to speed with everyone, but for now, here are my quick-hit thoughts on some of the Lakers-related news last week.

Shannon Brown's re-signing: Brown's re-signing with the team all but seals the Lakers' off-season movement, a chapter for which I would give the Lakers high remarks for pulling off. Much of the off-season attention has deservedly focused on Miami in assembling its so-called Super Team, but the Lakers started this off-season already with a super team and then added some utility parts. Call it a slight tuneup for an already sleek car and efficient engine.

Of course, Brown's role might change slightly because of the Lakers' other off-season moves. With Steve Blake filling in for the departed Jordan Farmar, I expect Blake will play more minutes off the bench than Farmar, both because of Blake's superior skills and his acceptance of being a pass-first guard as well as the increasing need for Derek Fisher to limit his minutes so he's fresh for the playoffs. With Matt Barnes adding a defensive presence to the backcourt, the Lakers  have a player they can count on to take on a speedy guard or help the  team make a defensive stop.

Those two factors may mean Brown's minutes may decrease, since Blake is a more dependable option to run the offense and Barnes is more effective on defense. But that doesn't mean Brown won't be a needed presence. The Lakers want to limit Kobe Bryant's minutes so he's not as injury-riddled as he was last season and can play at full peak during the playoffs. That gives the reserves a chance to earn the "Bench Mob" nickname back. With Blake running the offense, Brown can continue to use his high-flying athleticism to help the Lakers run the floor. With Barnes being the main option on defense, Brown doesn't have to worry as much about making a defensive stop, a responsibility that didn't bode well for Brown when he played with Fisher and Farmar, two players who aren't exactly known for their defensive prowess, though Fisher would always display a bigger effort.

It'll also be interesting to see how Brown's minutes are shared with Sasha Vujacic, who's entering his contract season and will probably be mentioned in trade talks throughout the season. Although I prefer Brown over Vujacic as far as what each brings to the team as a whole, their skill sets are different. Vujacic can draw a good defensive matchup and hit key shots, so long as he doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve. Brown can help the Lakers run the floor.

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Shaquille O'Neal to the Celtics: This seems to cap  the antagonistic relationship between O'Neal and the Lakers that has simmered ever since he was traded after the 2003-04 season. Some of that antagonism is understandable. As much as 20-20 hindsight has shown the Lakers made the right move in trading Shaq and keeping Kobe, neither party was exactly in the right regarding the feud. But O'Neal's actions surely haven't helped his cause, including rubbing it in after winning a title with Miami in 2006, releasing a distasteful rap song (if you can call it that) targeting  Bryant after the Lakers lost the 2008 Finals and suggesting at one point that Phil Jackson intentionally tried getting Shaq and Kobe to butt heads. Shaq and Kobe have been cordial for years now, but that doesn't mean Lakers fans are as forgiving. With Shaq going to the hated Celtics, there's been some debate over whether the Lakers should retire his number. I don't think anyone should discount what he's done for the organization in being a significant piece during the Lakers' three-peat of 2000-02. Even the most ardent Lakers fan appreciates that, but the relationship between Shaq and the Lakers has deteriorated since then.

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Schedule: The full schedule will be released Tuesday, but some of the Lakers' games were announced last week, including their season opener (hosting Houston) and their Christmas Day game (hosting Miami). Though the Lakers' season opener doesn't exactly feature the highest marquee opponent, there is one story line that surely few will ignore. The debate over Ron Artest versus Trevor Ariza went back and forth ad nauseam last season, and even got to the point where a column seemed to spring up about the topic after every good or bad Artest performance. But whether the two want to admit it or not, the ring ceremony will bring out strong emotions from both. Artest will participate in his first ring ceremony after sitting in the locker room during last year's festivities and Ariza will have to witness his former teammates collecting their rings.

No one is surprised that the Heat and the Lakers are squaring off on Christmas Day. As soon as LeBron James made his "Decision," plenty of fans figured they'd be spending their holidays watching the inevitable buildup to this matchup and then seeing if it will live up to the hype (my thinking is yes). I am surprised, however, that the Lakers are playing in L.A. on Christmas Day for the fourth consecutive season. I figured this would be a perfect way to excite the Miami fan base and help extend the never-ending story line about how the franchise assembled the Super Team. Surely, the Lakers aren't complaining. I'm sure that even if they have to play on Christmas Day, they'd much rather spend the holidays at home than at South Beach, as enticing as that indeed sounds. Lakers fans surely are happy they can play in the friendly confines at Staples Center (This time, keep the foam fingers to yourself if the result turns ugly). So in the end, this isn't a bad thing for the Lakers. I'm just frankly surprised it happened this way.

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Guard Shannon Brown agreed to a two-year deal with the Lakers last week. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal recently joined the Boston Celtics. Credit: Jacob Langston / MCT

Photo: LeBron James and the Miami Heat will visit the Lakers on Christmas Day. Credit: Hans Dery / Reuters

 
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WELCOME BACK MARK MEDINA!!!! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
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My Name is MAMBA24 and YES…I AM AN UNRECOVERED LAKERHOLIC!!!!!!
*
*___________________WE GOT THIS _____________________________*
The swagger is back and so is the Style, this dynasty just might last for a while
They say that Miami is loaded up for bear. To Tell the Truth I don’t even care
I say Princess Jimmy Bring it on, Against the Freakin Lakers you won’t last long
Going after a 3-Peat and we can’t miss, Tell them why JUSTA: , “WE GOT THIS!!!
Ron Ron said if everybody is healthy, This team is going to make history
Never again question the Heart of Gasol, The Man played title winning Basketball
Pau has finesse, sure you right, But he damn sure don’t back down from any fight
If any Lakerholics are still nervous, Tell them what we got HALOSANT: WE GOT THIS”
And about Sasha V what can you say, Sunk those 2 Free throws & Blew Boston away
Did any of you watch the Celtic players eyes, They sure looked Shell shocked & surprise
They were not ready for what they saw, The Lakers greeted their @zz with Shock & AWE
With a lineup of Kobe, Pau, Thrillah and Dfish, LRob tell them what we got: WE GOT THIS
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Best Blog, Best Owner, Best Player, Best Team, JUSTA pinch me, this must be a dream
The Lakers feel me with Lakerholic Bliss, RICK FRIEDMAN what we got: WE GOT THIS!!!
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Appreciate what you got in Kobe Bryant, A once in a lifetime true Basketball Giant
Also appreciate the LakersBlog Family, Don’t know about you but it’s meant a lot to me
Going after a 3-Peat and we can’t miss, Tell them why JUSTA: , “WE GOT THIS!!!
And although I didn’t win the Virtual Kiss, Justa You & I : WE GOT THIS!!!!!
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We Got This & We Want More! Nothing but a (17th) Title will suffice. @JustAnotherMAMBAFAN
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No matter what universe or alternate reality I’m in I AM A LAKER FAN!! @ LAKER LASS
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Think Achilles in the movie Troy:
Kobe left standing on the court ... "Is there no one else? IS THERE NO ONE ELSE???
In the end, it's all about KOBE. It's always been about KOBE. The rest is just BULL$&T
There can be only ONE. [ cue dramatic musing. :) ] @HOBBITMAGE
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LIKE FINE ART. . .--stand too close, and the brilliance cannot be fully appreciated --pass judgment before the masterpiece is complete, and short-change the genius of the process Nobody ever marvels at the canvas underneath the final presentation, but instead the magnificance of the finished product. This postseason run of the Lakers is like Fine Art. Wait, just wait on it, & behold the beauty @LAKERMIKE
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In my mind's eye, both the Lakers and Celtics are rushing towards each other in the fashion that they have in years past. Matching each other, blow-for-blow, against all-comers until the time to meet together arrives. They are looking squarely in the others direction while they simultaneously brush aside any with the misguided notion that they are also contenders. It is the same as how Bruce Lee will casually vanquish all of the Big Boss' henchmen on his way to the real dance. It is all about Boston. It has always been about Boston. Boston is the only franchise that has earned our respect...and our derision. @ FEARLESS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyAiHpjviJQ
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Wherever there is injustice...you will find us, Wherever there is 4th quarter suffering...we'll be there, Wherever the No-mo-Bynum banditos beckon to break up the brotherhood of Laker Nation...you will find... THE LAKER AMIGOS!!!@ CORNERJ
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Kobe can win THROUGH his team mates. He can win WITH his team mates. He can win DEFERRING to his team mates. He can win IN SPITE OF his team mates. He can win INSTEAD of his team mates. He can even win BY HIMSELF (just ask Dallas & Toronto). Champions are forged in the 4th QUARTER. Franchises are defined in the 4th QUARTER. Dynasties are cemented in the 4th QUARTER. Sit back & watch PJ, Kobe & Fish orchestrate this symphony we call Lakers basketball to another parade down Figueroa Blvd.@ FEARLESS
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Lakers Today, Lakers Tomorrow, Lakers Forever!! What Do We Play For, More Rings!! @ JON K http://tinyurl.com/ylc9dvd
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WHO ARE WE!! ALL TOGETHER:
We’re the World Champion LA Lakers , we’ve won (16) Rings
(10) of the 50 Greatest players played under our wings
Lakers Dynastiy Number (4) is well on it’s way
We have more Dynasties than others have Titles in the NBA
Best Winning Percentage in History, can’t ask for more
You want Hall of Fame Coaches, Check it, we’ve had (Four)
We got the (2) Time Finals MVP, you know that’s Kobe Bryant
Who scored more points than an entire team without even trying
He scored 81 points in a game & could have scored much more
But Rings not number of points is what Black Mamba plays for.
We got The Logo Jerry West & 1st Great center George Mikan
The Legendary Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had great centers like Shaq, Wilt & of course Kareem
Super guards Worthy, Goodrich & Silk played on the Laker team
Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just leased
A (11) time Title Winning Coach who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Legend, Broadcasted our Lakers Games
Now he’s Broadcasting from Heaven & is in the Hall of Fame
We got Sports Winningest & Best Owner, Kudos Dr. Jerry Buss
We play for Rings & Rings only , which is why teams fear us.
That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We the Freakin Champion LA Lakers, Who the Hell are You

Mamba24...Reading your posts in the morning gets me fired up more than coffee...lol

EXCELLENT OPENING for Mark's first post back...

Is it preseason yet...Oh the wait...so long, so long...

See everyone on the chat later...

Go Lakeshow!

MM!!!!!!!!!!!!


YOU'RE BAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!!


*sob* *tear*


WE MISSED YOU!!!!!!!!!!


LOL!!!!!!!!

Hey - btw - did you get a chance to check out the Seinfeld thread? We got over 1000 before the stupid LAT pulled the plug on us.... You really need to edumacate these guys and let them know WE WILL BE HEARD - lol!!

GLAD YOU'RE BACK MM!!! I didnt trash-talk you even ONCE while you were gone. I may even give you a break today on the chat HAHAHAHA!!

Hey guys thanks for all the love! It sounds like you guys missed me lol I won't let it get to my head. You guys are hard to please. But appreciate the love anyway.

I'll go over this in the chat. But here's what the schedule will be like in the next month or so.

I'm taking over the blog starting today for the next two weeks until the 24th. I will then go back on vacation until after Labor Day. Then it's time to start getting at it for the 2010-2011 season! When I take time off, it will be a similar setup. Various people from the sports staff will chip in when they have time to, though many of them also have other duties so just keep that in mind.

MM

@LEWSTRS, Thank you my brother for the compliment! But I am juast here to be of service in whatever way possible. I hope you have a wonderful Laker Day sir! Carry On!

Does anyone else not care about Shaquille O'Neal? I don't care what he does anymore, I didn't think twice about it when news broke he signed with the Celtics. I figured anywhere would be better than being with the Cavs at this point. If he did it out of scorn, well wow that's pretty immature, because really...who cares?

Shraq who?

Mark,

There seems to be a small mistake in your post. Shaq released that song (which caused him to be fired by the Phoenix Police Department) after the Lakers lost the 2008 Finals.

Well Shaq can get his first endorsement as a Chowder...

He can be the new Jolly Green Giant, for canned vegetables...HO HO HO...Green Giant...

Great representative...not because he is a giant...but the HO HO HO part...

LMAO

I really can't wait for this season.


First, I like the offseason re-tooling of the bench. We haven't really seen these guys play together, but looking at the minutes going to Blake vs. Farmar, Barnes vs. Walton, Ratliff vs. Mbenga seems like a clear upgrade and gives Phil vets he can trust in the playoffs. And I'm hoping to see Caracter in a Laker uniform (we saw Powell's ceiling and it was low, time to look at other option) as well as Ebanks.


Second, I hope to see healthier versions of Kobe and Bynum, as well as possibly Artest and Odom. Huge possible upgrades without making a move.

Third, I love seeing tough comps - teams you can really look forward to seeing the Lakers play, teams that really push your guys. Teams that make the Finals the climax of the season instead of a foregone conclusion.


Boston is clearly one of those teams - 2008 and 2010 prove that. They are getting older and Shaqy-er, but it would be a mistake to count them out.


The Heat is another. I am curious to see how good they really are, and looking forward to a battle on Christmas Day. Time to break out the white unis and stick it to Reilly's new boys.


Out west some of these young teams, OKC, Portland, whoever, will emerge too.


It should be a great year to be a Laker fan.

Welcome back, MM.
We indeed missed you, but Houston did a great job (but not as great as yours).
I'm taking care of my son today, will probably miss the chat, but I'll try.
Cheers.

Welcome back Mark... the blog was not the same without you!

MM,

Welcome back! Wow, you jumped right and saddle and started riding or writing, LOL. Anyways, it's great to have you back. By any chance, do you have any idea on how things are progressing with Caracter and Ebanks?

Good Morning to the rest of my Laker fam! Much love!

Mark Medina is back!!!!


Awesome awesomeness!!!


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

MM: With respect to when Shaq released that rap song against Kobe it was after Kobe and the Lakers lost to the Celtics in 2008. Shaq was mocking the fact that he had 4 rings and Kobe had 3 rings and failed to get another one with Shaq. Your statement that Shaq released the rap after Kobe won the 2008 Finals is incorrect. Can you double check that?

Mark Medina,


Just so you know, to placate our Lakeraholicism some of us (including justanothermambafan) have committed to a Fake News Cycle to get us through the dog days of August. I hope you'll play along.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

THIS JUST IN: Charles Barkeley has committed to come out of retirement to join the Boston Celtics and Shaquille O'Neal in their quest for a ring.


Charles Barkeley has long been haunted by his ability to say things without thinking about them and the fact that he will forever be known as a loser since he did not win a Championship.


"This is just my best opportunity and since the average age of the team is so close to my own, I don't feel out of place," said Barkeley.


When questioned about his statement last year that "teams don't get better when they get older, they die," Barkeley retored, "Well, we gonna DIE tryin'!"


In related news, Charles Barkeley and Shaquille O'Neal were recently seen together arguing at The Chowder House in Boston and creeping out seventeen year old girls.


More news as it comes.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


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


GO LAKERS!!!

GOOD MORNING LAKER BLOG FAM!!! Hope you all had a GREAT weekend.

"Guess who's back,
back again
Shady's back
Tell a frie".... Oh I'm referencing the wrong Eminem (MM)

WELCOME BACK MM!!!

Well, I see that there's not much new on the Laker front but I did manage to read most of what I missed this weekend.

One of the topics I missed and I wanted to weigh in on:

Are you into any of these series...

1. Sopranos - Most definintley one of the Best Shows!

2. West Wing - Never did get into..

3. Heroes - Currently I have Season 1, 2 & 3 lined up to begin watching.

4. Entourage - LOVE THIS SHOW!!! Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold, word escape me...

5. Lost - Another show I couldn't get into for some reason. Maybe I'll give it a shot, but just not now.

6. Deadwood - This on either...

7. Rome - Nor this one...

8. Dexter - Currently in Season 3 - OH THIS SHOW IS FRIGGIN AWESOME!!!

9. The Shield - HANDS DOWN THE BEST SHOW EVER MADE!!!! Imho. Like the Sopranos but as Cops with way more action and sick plot lines.

10. The Tudors - Nope not this one...

11. Six Feet Under - And another...

12. Friends - I admit it (guilty pleasure) I really liked this show.

13. Sex in the City - Hated it!

14. Band of Brothers - A MUST SEE, MUST HAVE SERIES. Goes great with Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List

15. Taken - ????

16. Spartacus: Blood and Sand - OH YEAH, 300 the Series.. LOL... I watched the first episode and have decided to wait to watch the rest when the season comes out on DVD (I wanna watch it all at once)

17. Arrested Development - THE BEST COMEDY NO ONE WATCHED - I admit I was one that didn't see it 'til it was already off the air, but when I did start watching I was amazed that it didn't last longer than it did. I HIGHLY recommend this show to those of you out there that have not seen it yet.

18. Curb Your Enthusiasm - Haven't watched it yet, but definitley on the to do list.

AND FINALLY - Twilight Zone for me is by far the BEST sci/fi show past & present. I really miss the 4th of July Marathons that they would do on Channel 5 back when I was a kid.

Guys, Thanks for the catch regarding Shaq. Made that change. There's no new developments on Ebanks and Caracter. Mitch has said they'll try out during training camp and then take it from there.

MM

MM.. Nice to have you back...We'll get some real Laker news again, LOL. We still have one or two more spots to fill. I wonder if it will be one of the rookies.

As we all know, Shaq is a very sensitive dude and does not take criticism well. Case in point: Jim Rome saying Boston made a bad move getting him and then Shaq wanting to fight Rome. The guy calls himself MDE, and clearly has a huge ego but realistically, his career could indeed be called somewhat of a disappointment. And now in the twilight of his career, he's trying to leech off others to get another ring, and doing it with the hated Celtics. Any die-hard Lakers fan must now say Shaq's Laker jersey can never be retired simply for this fact.

Jon K - Hah saw the note. That's some pretty funny stuff. As long as you keep it clean, I'm all fine with that.

MM

Snaq's new nickname should be a hybrid of sorts. One part "Austin Powers", one part "Shrek", one part Boston, one part truth, 100% pure awesome:

Snaq, The Big Fat Bosturd.

DBDH!

***

@ MM,

What's the chat server website again? I want to make sure I can login properly, as well as timely.

On the one hand it's nice to have Shannon back. On the other, I wish we would have upgraded that position.


The positives to Shannon's return is his experience with the Lakers' triangle offense. His athleticism and spectacular dunks. He has a motor that is always revving. Can play the one if necessary.


As for the negatives: He is not a great shooter that can spread the court. Not a great ball handler or passer. The Lakers tend to lose too much offense, and teams make a run while he is on the floor. Not a player that will be a Laker for years to come.


Best case scenario would have been to trade Sasha and not sign Brown, and obtain a player that is Sasha and Shannon in one. Not many out there but R. Fernandez and Azubuike come to mind. I know those two are not free agents... just sayin'. Can anyone think of others?


If we have one true # 2 back up, playing time will increase for that player. That can translate into continuity, rhythm, chemistry and production on the court. Not to mention much needed rest for Kobe. Maybe that was the thought behind trying to sign Raja.


All and all great off season. Welcome back Shannon Brown. Let's go L's.

Hello All-
`
MAMBA24, your morning posts are second to none.
`
Just back from the wine country and pleased to see that we signed SB. I think PJ and Mitch are going to see how our new team gels. If Sasha is the Machine he stays, if he struggles he's gone for draft picks and $$$.
`
I for one can't WAIT to see how our new team plays together and am looking forward to a new and improved Ron Ron now that he's got a year under his belt. While on vacation I had several Laker conversations and realized that Ron Ron might be my favorite player EVER. Just thinking about that crazy SOB puts a huge smile on my face. I can’t wait for Christmas!!!

Oh, and I'm glad Shaq signed with Boston. He's a good fit and he'll make them stronger. Therefore, it will be that much sweeter to kick the snot outta em...

HalosAnt -

Need to give Rome and Deadwood a shot...great work and very entertaining...(both very mature themes, parental guidance recommended)

Taken - Great series by Stephen Spielberg...great cast, plot and directing...Haven't known anyone not liking this show, once they see it...It is another one you want to watch in one shot...but will be difficult with 6 disc...The box set is awesome, with character outlines and a time line summary...

Mamba24, what's your opinion of Taken...I figured it would be on your list of sci fi...

Mark,

A hearty WELCOME BACK! Your first post makes it seem that you haven't missed a beat. The substitute teachers barely filled the void. Magic Phil even had to stage a renegade live chat to satisfy all the jonesing while you were away.

(This might be a good day to ask for a raise. I think the rest of the sports department would rather get hit by an 18-wheeler than have to deal with the likes of us!)

WATCHING LAKERS AND YANKEES...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was one of those lazy Sunday afternoons when to my surprise, NBA-TV was finishing showing highlights of the Top Ten Games of the Season with the Lakers-Celtics Game 7 as the #1 game. I followed that by watching the Yankees continued to show Boston’s pitching ace Josh Beckett who his daddy was. Love how the Red Sox keep signing great pitchers who cannot beat the Yankees. Tonight it will be Lester. Shades of Pedro.
~
Watching the great Derek Jeter (the player, not the blogger, LOL) get a hit to pass the incomparable Babe reminded me of the great K0be Bryant’s many statistical accomplishments passing various Lakers legends. The captains of the most storied franchises in their respective sports possess many of the same championship characteristics, including constant attempts by the sports media to crown other players as their superiors.
~
For Jeter, shortstops like Nomar Garciaparra and Alex Rodriguez were prematurely ordained as the latest greatest thing to ever play the position. For Kobe, it was Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Dwayne Wade, and now LeBron James who the media have proclaimed at various times to have dethroned Kobe as the best. You would think that they would have learned by now to stop this silliness and accept the greatness of Derek and Kobe.
~
While I hope that Miami self-destructs, it will be interesting to see if LeBron James can somehow redeem his career by sublimating his game to that of Dwayne Wade, much like Alex Rodriguez has been able to resurrect his career with the Yankees by accepting his secondary role to Derek Jeter. It is an interesting parallel as I have finally come to respect ARod for accepting his role as part of Derek Jeter’s Yankees. Alex was much older and more mature when faced with joining the Yankees than LeBron was when he decided to join the Heat. It will be interesting to see how LeBron adjusts to playing on Wade’s team in Wade’s town. Will he be like ARod?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

MM,

You said: There's no new developments on Ebanks and Caracter. Mitch has said they'll try out during training camp and then take it from there.

~~since they will undergo a tryout perhaps, it's good idea to include other veterans in the F/A unsigned and Summer League participants who are SF and PF, to see if Ebanks and Caracter really belong to the Lakers.

@Lewstrs - Your taste in shows are similar to my own. My wife and I just streamed The Shield knowing nothing and it turned out to be, in my opinion, the best cop show to date. You should also check out Firefly. It was only around for one season well worth seeing. Rescue Me is another FX show that I like. It took a couple of episodes but now I'm hooked...

MM,

Could you also give us some feedback from the Players Union and Owners about the much rumored "lockout"? First, what happens to the games during the lockout period? What are the current issues today that could lead to a lockout?

@LakerTom - Great post. It's hard to believe that Miami won't be great with that much talent, but at the same time LBJ and Wade both need the ball to be effective. And by need the ball I mean dominate it. Not sure how that will work. Your thoughts?

are there any other doubters out there who still believe shaq wasn't the true cause of ruining a lakers dynasty and in the process, ruining whatever legacy he started for himself? dude never lived up to his potential due to the mere fact that he took his "gifts" completely for granted, unlike another teammate of his known as Kobe Bryant. He hasn't wasted one single ounce of his "gifts" and still continues to evolve before our very eyes. Kobe is going to add passing to his repertoire but at a level not "witnessed" since Magic Johnson. He has that ability and it would be more effective since he does nothing but draw double and triple teams. It's going to be a BLAST!! GO LAKERS and IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

President Obama played with the NBA stars of the yesteryears and today in celebration of his birthday. It was closed to the press the audience are mostly families and the wounded soldiers themselves. I'm sure there's no negative spin out of this gesture. Lakers were represented by Magic, Fisher and Kobe (who stayed in the sidelines due to recuperation from recent surgery.) It is surprising Shaq, the Shrek or Boston Green Monster was not invited. He could have been much more competitive against Russell and Magic, tho the latter oldies could still shoot better free throw % even on blindfolded. lol!

thanks The Octo...

This brings back some memories...Damn I miss Chick...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFBxNCiL7cw&feature=related

Rick - Thanks for the love. It was nice to recharge a little. It's kind of like what the Lakers are doing this offseason. They're resting simply so they don't miss a beat next season. Haha feel free to negotiate on my behalf. I guess I've sort of gotten used to everyone's "demands" here.

Just a heads up. There is a new post with some links

MM

@ HalosAnt:

Check out "Party Down" on STARZ. It just got cancelled, which after 2 seasons is both a travesty as well as an honor. Another great show (a la "Arrested Development") that wasn't given a real chance to succeed due to multiple factors of which had nothing to do with the show's creative content.

Also, the originally webisode-driven series "Childrens Hospital" (no apostrophe on purpose...) is a choice viewing pleasure. All of the stars on the show are instantly recognizable, albeit not by name sometimes, but by past hilarious performances.

DBDH!

Mamba24's comments and Roll Call are always inspiring kickoff comments to a good Mark Medina post. Onward.

I'm just a bit skeptical about how well the new Miami Heat TEAM will do against the elite competition in the East. The big men of the Celtics, including the Big Snacking Snotty One, will be formidable and experienced; but, Garnett seemed way off from his old self. Chicago looks to have improved.

Yao will be back at Houston. I hope he plays in the opener. Injured Portland players will be healed and they have provided tough competition for the Lakers. Dallas disappeared in the last playoffs, but still was formidable towards the end of last season.

For me, the new 6 year veteran guy, Steve Blake, is the one I want to watch. He appears quite versatile and mature. His numbers 7 pts/4 assists/2 rebounds seem comparable to Fishers. How will Phil Jackson use Steve and Derek during the season?

In the end: "We the Freakin Champion LA Lakers, Who the Hell are You."

Im not surprised it happened that way(Lakers playing at home versus playing at miami) The most important thing is, THATS ITS CHRISTMAS DAY! I think the world would agree that the Lakers are indeed the returning champs ,which ofcourse would give them the SENORITY! Dont you believe the best basketball player in the world should deserve to stay home with his family on the holidays? Who cares about whats going on with Miami&how to pump them up. But in 1way i wouldnt mind, perhaps the lakers would play better on christmas day if they played away,motivation i think would be better. Still cant stop the thought, that we all watched thier struggles at home the last fews years on Chistmas together. We shouted we cried we pouted, for every year on Chirstmas day it seems, NO SIGN LAKERCLAUSE . BUT WE ARE 1 GREAT BIG HAPPY LAKER FAMILIA ,REGARDLESS! For all the struggles & all the years our Lakers went thur tough times. Thats what its about! Exactly what Lebron James is a blindbat about. Its the previous roads &the struggle to get there & to finally win - Is what makes it priceless& all worth it! A SENTIMENATALLY ELITE FEAT FEW WILL ACCOMPLISHED.

Im glad Kobe stayed! Poor guy had no chance before Gasol got here. But Kobe was patient &at the end willing,unlike Lebron James. Kobe played his heart out those seasons we couldnt advance.Especially that 81 point performance & 1 other game in particular. Lastyear in the finals the commentaters mentioned it.. When Kobe had that awesome game in Boston &they chanted MVP. His performance was a showcase, 1 of those special games where every1 of his impossible shots were going in 1 after another. Anyhow the crowd was screaming MVP & i couldnt believe it! I mite applaude a player like that, but to scream for him to be MVP ,when infact i hate his team-FORGET ABOUT IT. Now thats 1 for Boston to suck on!lol

Shaq tarnished his reputation with Laker fans to say the least. It's one thing to move on with your career but to take cheap shots at a remarkable franchise such as the Lakers is juvenile and a perfect example of a hater.
It's funny how Shaq thinks that joining the celtics is a done deal to obtaining another ring. PROBLEM IS......the HEAT! Good luck getting past them in the eastern conference finals!
Like Mark said, re-signing Brown is like "a slight tune up to an already sleek car". You may want to re-think that ring right away, Shaq!

Another thing im happy about, now that Lebron James is playing in Miami. All of Kobes records after he retires will now be alot safer considering Lebrons #'s will drop. Do you agree?

The other beast outthere that mite cover some ground on Kobe's records once retired, is Kevin Durant!

helllooooo lakerblog people em back lol, this college thing is pretty rough never had the time to post at this blog in the last 2 years thank god i only have one more year to finish my studies. Back to laker world WOOOO!!!! is it too late for me to celebrate? guess not, so glad to see justanothermambafan, Jon K and Mamba24 still posting lol. Can't wait for the next season to start oh and i've heard that no other team had gone to the finals 4 straight years for like 30 years or something and i was like oh well we just had to beat another record lol

WE THRIVE ON BEING THE BEST WE CAN BE !!
AS LONG AS WE HAVE KOBE!! lol

Red Bluff, I agree - Blake seems to have the perfect game for the triangle. I'm looking forward to seeing him give Fish&Chips(5) a solid back up or eventually supplant him. I'm also excited to see Barnes backing up Ron Ron. SF's around the league are going to hate that crazy tag team. Yes I'm talking to you LBJ, Paula..etc. Kobe with SB & Sasha to give him rest is all good. Pau/Odom, it doesn't get better than that as a 1-2 PF combo, and a healthy Drew with the vet Ratliff gives us a beastly 5 spot. 11 deep not even counting the 2 rookies (Phil never plays them anyway unless its a blowout) and Luke if he can play. We got this.

Better late than never..welcome back MM.

@mamba24 I been a laker fan since I was 12 and you gotta b 1 of the corniest laker fans I've ever came across...ever!!! Go waste some more of your time and write another corny poem... And take the lakers franchise penis out ur mouth you freakinn cornball! Now tht calls for an LMAO n to all my laker fans GO lakeshow...

MM.......!!!! Yehhh you're back! It's so nice to have you running the show again. We appreciate the effort by the smorgasbord of LAT employees chipping in, but none of them comes even remotely close to meeting our needs (well, of course, we're a pretty needy bunch).

Mamba24 - I was plesantly surprised to see my name on your glorious roll call - oh, thank you, thank you! What a way to start this thread with the spirited shout out!

Btw, does anyone one else think JVG is fool and a tool?!! 72 wins, and in the beefed-up Eastern conference! Whatever he's smoking, I want nothing to do with it!


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