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A hodgepodge of Lakers topics, including Ron Artest's defense and NBA trade rumors


To start the holiday weekend, let's go rambling around the Web.

A Bleacher Report item on top NBA defenders caught my eye because it featured this headline: Is Ron Artest the NBA's top man-to-man defender? Well, the Lakers sure hope so. The article took awhile to meander to the headline topic, first pointing out that teammate Kobe Bryant and Boston's Rajon Rondo were likely the best on-the-ball defenders among the NBA's All-Defensive team. The article had some valid points about some of the best defenders actually being guys like Magic center Dwight Howard, who help provide defense.

This headline got my attention: George Karl is ready to go. I know, he's the Denver Nuggets' coach. But let's face it, they were a prime Western Conference contender before Karl began battling neck and throat cancer and his departure sent them into a downward spiral. Just saying it's good to see the guy back on the job. And the article includes this interesting quote in regard to his team being counted out this season: "Even without Melo [Carmelo Anthony] we're a good team." Hmm, is George already plotting strategy for an Anthony-less club?

OK, I came clean that I grew up in Oregon and I am a Trail Blazers fan. You've been kind to lay off me on that subject. Here's a link to's Rudy Fernandez trade rumors. Seems the Blazers will only part with the shooting guard for a first-round draft pick. I guess since they picked up Wesley Matthews from the Jazz, they don't need any more swing players, just draft choices. And speaking of trades, here's's take on the five worst trades of all time, and the Lakers are mentioned in a couple.

And because you know I like levity, and in this case a strong case of absurdity, I'll wrap it up with a story about a man who is suing Mark Cuban, Jerry Buss, Jerry Reinsdorf and Melo.

--Dan Loumena

Photo: Ron Artest makes life miserable for Celtics forward Paul Pierce in the NBA Finals. Credit: Getty Images





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Goooood Morning Lakerland! Man how sweet is it to wake up to all that transpired on the late shift. What a great bunch! We are good for a 24 hour clock of great posting here. Just like our Lakers, this blog is top of the heap. Thanks again Dan (you Blazer you) for doing your part to see us through.

On that article at Bleacher report (breaking down the top defenders), I will say this. The voting took place for defensive accolades after the regular season. Artest and his monster defense didn't begin to dominate until the playoffs then hit a crescendo in the finals.

I expect that this year the voters will take into account what happened in the playoffs this summer and factor that into their voting. Sometimes you have to get someones attention before they begin to look at what you are doing. Mission accomplished for Artest.

Good Morning Laker fam!

Dan good posting on the top defenders.

Ron probably deserved it more than Kobe this year since he usually guarded the other teams toughest wing. One game early in the season Joe Johnson got off to a hot start, then Ron switched on him, shut him down and the Lakers won in a route.

But Artest best work was in the playoffs. Holding Durant, the best scorer in the game, to 35% shooting was phenomenal.


Speaking of Wes Matthews...what was the Blazers thinking there. 5 yrs 34mil...Wow! That just didn't make sense with all the wings they already had. Firing Pritchard right before the draft and then having him stay on for the draft. Strange days in Blazer country.

You get a pass for being a blazers fan Dan. The fact that you broke the news without any Laker fans finding first means we won't hold it against you.

After all, Portland does have one of the finest versions of the hippy chick in the country and is world-renowned for it's breakfast cafes.


And can I say one thing? Speaking of breakfasts, I don't want to be served thin cut bacon with my egss and home fries with onion and peppers. I'm not going to Denny's either, so If anyone has plans of seeing me there someday, it's not going to happen. Bacon so thin Kwai Chaing Kane had to walk over it to leave the temple does not belong on the table of plenty, though i guess in dire circumstances even thinly-cut bacon caould be a pretty special treat.

But in general, I don't want to have anything to do with the thin bacon breakfast estiblashments.


Wes - Aunt Bee serves thick center-cut applewood cured bacon. She also serves Carolina inch-thick bone-in ham with blueberry pancakes, back-woods maple surple, over-easy eggs and grits. A big hunk of Clara Edwards cornbread, chicory coffee - and that's Saturday morning in the jailhouse.

Want some?


How is business on this beautiful college football Saturday? I know you got all tailgaters gearing up for the PU/ND interstate battle.

Good day everyone,

JohnnyV, you're welcome. It's going to be a busy holiday weekend in the office (I'm working all three shifts), so I'll do what I can to keep you Laker-holics chugging along.

LRob and wes, you're making me hungry for Blazers news and breakfast. Not sure what P-town management was up to with the Matthews signing. He's a freakish athlete but that's a lot of money to spend on a reserve. I originally thought they were messing with the Jazz, driving up their signing price, but maybe they knew back then that Rudy Fernandez wanted out and would be a goner before this season started.

LRob, thanks for the DJ Mbenga link.

And Otis, I hear Aunt Bee setting the table and telling me to wash my hands. Time to get my bib on and chow down, then I'm heading into the office for UCLA's kicking off of the college football season.

Catch you all later.

Looks like Kobe is being Kobe...look out NBA. I can't attach link because its in NBA Insider. But here's info:
While talking about his offseason rehab, Luke Walton also gave Mike Trudell of an update on Kobe Bryant.

"Yes, I've seen Kobe at the gym the last couple weeks rehabbing his knee. He's itching to get back on the court. He shows up every morning at 7 a.m. at the team's facility and is kind of wrapping up around the time I get there at around 9 a.m. Kobe looks great -- he says his knee feels great. He's just about to start doing basketball workouts again and can't wait for it."

Bryant had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in the middle of July. He missed a few games at the end of last season and had the knee drained in the first round of the playoffs against Oklahoma City.

And of course I can't slight Luke. Sounds like he's also working hard. I hope he can come back healthy. He's going to need to compete for minutes.

Luke Walton only played in 29 games last season due to a back injury. He says he feels good after spending most of the offseason rehabilitating and strengthening the back.

"My back feels great right now. It's a lot stronger," Walton tells Mike Trudell of . "I'm feeling confident in it and am excited to test it out. That being said, at the same time I'm a little nervous, just because I know how much of a grind the season and training camp can be. I dedicated the whole summer to making it strong enough to last, and that's what I'm hoping for. If it doesn't, I'm in a pretty bad spot. But I've put together a great team of people to work with, with our strength coach with the Lakers (Chip Schaefer), a back specialist for some exercises, a Pilates teacher and a yoga teacher. I've just been mixing and matching all of those people every single day for the past two months to get this as strong as I can."

I don't see Portland as a rival. So no harm there Dan.

Good Labor Day Weekend Nation...

Great to hear about DJ...I'm glad the Nuggets picked him up...

Dan - will your Blazers be a factor in the West this year...nice young nucleus...and I like LaMarcus Aldridge a lot...

wes - the power of pork belly...has broken lifes and put countries at war...Canada was built on it...

otis - Aunt Bea said a good healthy breakfast, is the most important meal of the day and a key to success...Opie listened to her and ended up on American Graffiti and Happy Days....

LRob - night shift manager and blog historian...great work last night...

Observation -

Maria Sharapova speaks better English than Sasha...

But Sasha does a better 'clench fist'...Maria's looks spastic...

Wosniaki is hotter looking though...

But Sasha could do a lot worse...

One thing about being an addict is that you really have no control over your life. I left the blog angry at MM for allowing the insults to turn personally profane and disappointed in the blog in general for acquiescing and accepting obscene insults as an acceptable response in an argument. While I was able to refrain from speaking my mind and posting, I could not keep from clicking on the link to see what was going on. Not only am I a Lakerholic. Now I’m a Lakers Blogaholic!
The great thing about being a Lakers Blogaholic is that it is the sure fire cure for being a Lakerholic. All you have to do to get your daily fix is log onto the LA Times Lakers Blog. Even with MM on leave, it will give you all the Lakers news, dialog, and commentary you need to get through the long day. There is nothing more comforting and supportive to an addict than knowing their supply chain is secure and their stash stocked and stoked. That’s what the LA Times Lakers Blog delivers.
While it would seem that being a Lakers Blogaholic is a relatively harmless addiction, there are some dangers that need to be recognized – mainly that, like any addiction, your need and desire to feed your addiction will grow over time and you will find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time reading the hundreds of articles and thousands of comments posted. You may even find yourself frustrated and grumbling when instant posting is down. Finally, there is the ultimate danger that you will be seduced and become a poster and one of the bloggers within the blog.
After cooling down, I have to admit that I miss being part of the community. Reading the articles and posts is fun but seems shallow and one dimensional compared to the dialog and interactivity you get with other Lakers Blogaholics when you post. For me, it’s the ultimate fan experience, sharing my love and passion for the Lakers with other like-minded souls in a forum that is like no other in the blogosphere. That’s why I have decided to return to actively posting comments.
I would be remiss not to thank everybody for their kind thoughts asking me not to leave the blog. When you’ve lived as old as I have, you earned long ago that the world will go on fine without you. Like the Lakers, what makes this blog so great is that it is a team. So I am not returning to add something to the blog that is missing but to enrich and enliven the dialog and most importantly, get my full service daily dose of Lakers Blogaholism to keep my Lakerholism under control.
My name is LakerTom and I am a Lakers Blogaholic.


Welcome back home. To quote a great song,

"Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot"

Good Job Laker Tom. I'd knew you would be back.

You didn't need Phred to help with that.

Hey LT,

Admit it, all that talk about the Lakers and the blog is just a cover.
You came back because you just can't accept that Dogs Rule and you need to be here to defend cats when necessary.

It's irrelevant whether or not I agree with everything you say, I just enjoy different viewpoints and like your writing style.

Look forward to your commentary.

Laker Tom - welcome home, brother. I really missed you.

You did the right thing, LakerTom.
Welcome back!

LROB… Thanks for welcome back. While I didn’t post, I’ve been avidly following the action on the blog and your great posts about Wilt and Kareem reminded me again of how great they both were.
As JohnnyV aptly remembered, Wilt was my favorite player growing up and the reason in the end why I became a Lakers fan. I always felt a camaraderie for the underdog and hated how Wilt was disrespected and hated by so many fans so even though I listened to every Lakers game with Chick, my first favorite NBA team was the Warriors and then the 76ers because of Wilt. You can’t imagine how happy I was the Lakers traded for Wilt. He was without doubt the greatest center in the NBA. The youngsters can deny it all they want but Wilt in his prime would dominate the league today.
BLITZ… Thanks for the kind words. I’m sure you have been enjoying LRob’s grand tour of great NBA centers as much as I have. Watching all the great YouTube’s of Wilt versus Kareem makes you realize how easily we forget just how great they were. Being a UCLA fan like you, I was almost as thrilled when the Lakers traded for Kareem as I was when they traded for Wilt. The one play by Kareem that I remember more vividly than any other was in a Buck’s game against Wilt where Kareem was coming down the center of the court on a fast break like a point guard and Wilt was waiting for him under the rim. Wilt had already blocked a couple of Kareem’s shots and everybody was expecting him to intimidate Kareem. Anyway, Kareem took a couple of dribbles and then proceeded to throw down a gigantic windmill dunk on Wilt that was just astonishing. It was one of those transcendent moments when you realize that you are watching true greatness.
ART… LOL. The only place that dogs rule is dogtown and Jon K’s mind. I’ve always known the blog go on be fine without me but I learned that I would not be able to go on fine without the blog. The time and mood was right for me to take a vacation, restore my sanity and peace of mind. Sort of like a player sitting on the bench a while to get his bearings back. Sometimes you can learn more by watching than playing. My personality is such that I do often become a lightening rod but I really do not like the confrontations that escalate to unacceptable levels by certain other bloggers. Hopefully, I will be able to sense when a blog argument approaches that level and back off. To the extent that I contributed to that happening before I left, I certainly apologize to everyone.
JAMF… Thanks for warm welcome. And although I have been on the sidelines, I’ve been reading and tracking all the happenings on the blog. Looking forward to MM getting back so that you can continue your campaign for that ASG ticket. LOL. I have to say that you are somebody that I wished I had the opportunity to meet in real life. Like minded souls. Passion and humor are two traits that I love in a person. I also wanted to clear a possible misunderstanding from my initial post, which is that MM did email me an apology for what happened along with his hopes I would return. Of course, by then my Lakers Blogaholism had set in and I had already decided to return. Looking forward to having the full team on hand as we prepare for Phil’s Last Stand.

Welcome back LakerTom.

Laker Tom... From one Senior to another......It's great to have you back. Missed your wealth of knowledge and passion for our Laker's!!

Welcome back LakerTom from one Bynum backer to another.
But ssshhh I am banned so you didn't see this from me. LOL

So great job, can take your neck bones and collard greens and watermelon and shove it up your are nothing but a low life and a COWARD...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 03, 2010 at 07:23 PM

Come on Lewstrs say what you really mean!! LOL jk.

hey JLF, you said: "Bynum-backer", very interesting term, I like it. I'm not a Bynum-hater of course, the kid have great potential and did very good in the playoffs, but I'm not a Bynum-lover, as he worries me with the injury problem. I remember Ralph Sampson and I don't want that to happen with us....But I'm definitly a BYNUM-BACKER...That was perfect.

We all know that the post above is not from LEWSTRS, the Trolls are getting more bold and downright rude, and of course, they don't have the sack to identify themselves. Justa, no sense in reposting a troll. Just my take. LakerTom is good to have you back. Go LAKERS!

Proud Bynum-backer here!

Magic Phil,
Thanks for the reply. I became a backer when he was drafted he commented by dissing Shaq saying he will at least make his free throws. That won me over right then as well as his potential.

Thanks again!

JLF, I didn't know Bynum said that....AWESOME! I was never a Shaq-team's member. He was dominant on the paint, but that was it. His offense was based on his size and I don't blame him. But he was nothing compared to great centers like Wilt, Kareem, Hakim, Pat Ewing and Yao. I'm glad we 3-peat with him, he did great...but I always loved the skinny guy with an afro hair, #8...
But the term "Bynum-Backer" was perfect, that's how I feel. Go copyright this one.

justa and JLF, let's create this new "slot": BYNUM-BACKER.
We have the Bynum-lovers x Bynum-haters....But, like us, a lot of people don't really fit in any of those 2 categories.
My name is Magic Phil and I'm a BYNUM-BACKER!

Nice to know that Snaq is now dissing the Cavs, saying Mo Williams took way to many shots, and likes the Celtics cause they all share the ball!! Way to BURN your bridges from every team you left!! Very IMMATURE and CLASSLESS!!

Welcome back LakerTom I missed reading your post

Anytime the Lakers intentionally ran plays for Bynum to score, he looked dominant. To me he often looks out of rhythm because he is not in his fav positions to score.

Here's hoping Phil utilizes and spotlights his offense in some lineup this semester. He's paid so much, we might as well run options for him to score. He probably will always play better defense when he is shooting 6 times per half (not just putting back offenseive rebounds).

Here's hoping the triangle offense doesn't mind Blake driving, and dishing to Bynum, And Odom putting in the rebound when he misses, and vice-versa!

Nice to know that Snaq is now dissing the Cavs, saying Mo Williams took way to many shots, and likes the Celtics cause they all share the ball!! Way to BURN your bridges from every team you left!! Very IMMATURE and CLASSLESS!!

Posted by: NewMexicoLakerLifer | September 04, 2010 at 05:38 PM

Well goes to show most old dogs can't learn new tricks. Scorpians are what they are, its in their nature.

Laker Tom, it's good to have you back again. Many of us have missed your writing and your passion for our beloved Lakers.

MAGIC PHIL… Thanks for the welcome back. Every Laker fan should be a Bynum- Backer. I still consider myself a Bynum-Booster and will continue to be until Drew gets the respect he deserves. If MM were take a poll, I would guess that 80% of the voters would classify themselves as Bynum Backers, 15% as Bynum-Boosters, and 5% as Bynum-Bashers. That would be an interesting poll.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t also worry about the injury problem. Big men are for sure more injury prone than smaller players. The nature of his injuries so far seem to be freakish but a big part of being injury prone is plain luck. I think Drew has done a great job overcoming the mental aspect of the injuries. Frankly, I will be holding my breath on every play and praying Drew will stay healthy. Most players take at least a full year to recover their athleticism after a major knee injury. If he can avoid injuries, I think we will see his beastly hops and dominant athleticism return.
JLF… Thanks for the welcome back. I remember those comments. Like you, I was always a big Kobe-Booster during the last three-peat (man, that sounded good saying it even though we still have not won the second three-peat) like you and Magic Phil. The moment I became a Bynum-Booster though was when he dunked back on Shaqzilla as a rookie. That made my day.
It will be good having the entire crew back and primed for the season. Hollywood could not have come up with a better script for the NBA for a single season that would top the reality we will be witnessing: Lakers tying the Celtics with 17 titles (Andrew Bynum’s number comes up big), Kobe ties MJ with 6 rings, Phil wins his fourth three-peat, and the Princess Jimmy and the Meat fail to live up to ESPN’s and Stern’s expectations. By the way, there are some old dogs that still learn.
LAKER J & Eastside Lakers fan…Thanks for the welcome backs. I’ve really missed posting.
TAINO… Excellent post about the need to involve Drew more in the offense. The key to this team optimizing their length advantage is play inside-out offense, which means more touches for Drew and Pau. I am hoping that the team is going to be so focused that will become an unstoppable juggernaut on offense. We need to show the rest of the league who the real Big 3 are.

Magic Phil,
Thanks for the reply. I became a backer when he was drafted he commented by dissing Shaq saying he will at least make his free throws. That won me over right then as well as his potential.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 04, 2010 at 05:25 PM

Yup, that got me hooked right there. And then during the first game, when Shaq used Bynum as a pogo stick, and Bynum came right back on the other end. He dunked over Shaq and then talked some smack, and Shaq tried to elbow him. I went "yeah" this kid has got fire in his belly! Anyone crazy enough to take on Shaqadoo-doo is alright in my books!

Hey LakerJ (and everyone else),

Believe it or not that is a passage from LEWSTRS. I just checked his e-mail address and IP address and it's the same as his other posts last night and in previous days this week.

Aside from JustaHater, I haven't seen much trolling around the Lakers blog the last couple of days since I blocked three IP addresses earlier this week. And JustaHater is pretty straightforward with his comments.

I'm hoping to get caught up in a couple of hours here in the office so I can get a new post on the blog for you Laker-holics (speaking of which, glad you made it back LakerTom!). Just to give you guys a new thread to start, etc.

Watching Artest play defense last year - I say unquestionably that he is the best Laker defensive player since Michael Cooper. And we all know what Larry Bird once said of Coop.
Kobe is perhaps an even better on-ball defender but he gambles too much, is out of position too often and doesn't respect non-elite players (until the last 3 min. of the game). Also, since he is the Lakers' primary offensive weapon you can give him a pass for sometimes conserving his energy for the offense.
I say if you want to learn textbook defense, both individual and team, just watch Artest and study what he does.

SEELY_IGGY… Appreciate the welcome back. By the way, I thought your post a few days ago about Lamar Odom and Kevin Love was spot on. Like Andrew, you cannot always count on the stats to tell the real story about a team. The key is always what is the role the player is asked to do and Lamar Odom is so multi-talented that his value often gets lost. It’s always a temptation to consider trading Lamar because it is probably the only way to add a star point guard without giving up a starter. In the end, I think the Lakers have been wise to keep him because he is so versatile.
DAN LOUMENA…Thanks for the kind welcome back. I have to take my hat off to you for the great job you have been doing help filling in for MM. No disrespect to the other substitutes, but you really seem to understand this crew and their needs and gripes. Hope you will continue to post every so often once you return to your regular duties. I know I won’t be the only one who would like and appreciate hearing from you regularly. So don’t forget us one MM returns.

From one Lakers blogaholic to another,

Welcome back Laker TOM !!!

Come in from the cold. It is hard and painful enough to have to go months without a game, but to be outside of the LA Times Lakers' blog . . . ouch, that had to hurt.

Thanks for helping us all get our fixes!!

And even in the off season . . .



As an infrequent poster but everyday reader, I really appreciate you taking care of the few who swipe other people's IDs. They add nothing to the blog, just take away from the otherwise awesomenicity (see, I can make up words) of this blog.


And welcome back Tom.

LA Lakers 2009-2010 Back-to-Back NBA Champions

By the way, there are some old dogs that still learn.

Right you are as that is why I said MOST old dogs that don't learn! LOL

Oh to explain the scorpion remark I will provide one version of the often told story.

There was a duck and scorpion by the edge of a large lake. The scorpion says to the duck "The lake is too big to go around and I can't swin. There is more food for me on the other side. Will you give me a ride to the other side??"

The duck replies "oh no you will sting me and I will drown."

The scorpions repl "No way, If I sting you you will be paralysed and won't be able to swim so we both die."

The duck agrees based on the logic and lets the scorpion on her back.
Half way across the lake the scorpion stings the duck. Before the poison tacks effect the duck says why? You know what will happen.

The scorpion replies "I know but, its just my nature."

Now that is Shaq.

Bear with my corny humor as just having fun on my BD. I do celebrate them!

nice to see you back, LT.

All is right in the Lakers Blog World now that Laker Tom is back!

Welcome back LT!

As you were. Nothing to see here, move a long.

So LakerTom . . . . . Welcome back - your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back - to the same old place that we laugh about.

So . . how many games will Andy Bynum play this year?

JOHNNYP… Thanks for nice welcome back. I always love your enthusiasm. I’m a Lakers Blogaholic for sure. It’s like Methadone for Lakerholics.
H B MATT, MUD, FAN OF THE MAMBA… Thanks for the welcome backs. It’s nice to wanted. Guess this is my welcome back tour.
JLF… Happy Birthday, Justa. And you are right. Shaqzilla is a scorpion at heart.
OTIS… Thanks for welcoming me back. My hope is that Andrew continues the trend he set last year and plays 15 more games than the previous year, which would mean playing 80 games this year versus 65 last year. If Drew, Pau, and Kobe can all stay healthy and play 80 games, they will show that they are the best Big 3 in the game today. Had to have a great home cooked breakfast after your post yesterday. Best way to start the day.

Ron Artest numerolgy,

Going out to dinner with Mrs. Talk to you all later.

A huge welcome home to Laker Tom. Lakerblogaholic is a good thing. Chant 3 times, repeat as necessary.

Dan and crew - the comment from Lewstrs was in reference to Floyd Meryweither (sp) and the racist rant he had toward Manny Paqiau (sp). Not surprising that he was upset and he used the blog to vent.


With LakerTom's return, that makes the whole Patriarchy present and accounted for, right? Welcome home, Blog Father!


Happy bday...enjoy!

Lewstrs - thanks for kind words. Have a great weekend!

good luck to DJ!

But he was nothing compared to great centers like Wilt, Kareem, Hakim, Pat Ewing and Yao. I'm glad we 3-peat with him, he did great...but I always loved the skinny guy with an afro hair, #8...
But the term "Bynum-Backer" was perfect, that's how I feel. Go copyright this one.

Posted by: Magic Phil | September 04, 2010 at 05:32 PM

This made me laugh - Shaq is "nothing compared to Ewing and Yao"?

hey bossman.. check this forward that my buddy sent me. its like the drudge thing u like but sports obv. ill cya


LakerTom is back, self-effacing and self-aware as ever. Good stuff. Welcome back LakerTom!

And FWIW, I like Dan a lot better than MM. I think he's more respectful of the fact that we're fans, that we want some original insight and we don't want to just be given every lame article dissing the Lakers on a platter as if it's a perfectly roast pig with an apple in its mouth.

That is really interesting all of the different trades and things that could be happening. I really wouldn't mind if some of their players would move on to different teams, but that is just me. I think that the Lakers have won too many championships and we need to get some other great teams up there to the top and be recognized for their hard work.



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