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IMG's Dan Barto explains how he helped Derrick Caracter lose weight

6a00d8341c506253ef013484ea8e98970c-320wiEverywhere Derrick Caracter goes, his weight follows him.

It partly contributed to his abrupt transfer from Louisville. It partly contributed to his low-draft stock after his days at Texas El Paso. And it partly influenced how he structured his eventual two-year contract with the Lakers.

At each stop, he's managed to shed pounds. But not enough to stop teams and fans from wondering if it still prompt concerns. That's why, in addition to proving he's matured since his days at Louisville, Caracter also hopes he can prove his conditioning is working better than his bulky frame suggests. Caracter said he dropped from 305 to 277 pounds after his career with the Miners because of more sleep and better eating habits. And after impressing the Lakers in Summer League, the team currently lists him at 265 pounds. In an interview shortly after the Lakers selected him with the 58th pick, Caracter singled out his work with Dan Barto, IMG's pro/college training coordinator -- both before Caracter's senior year at UTEP and before the NBA draft -- as being a strong factor in his weight loss. I talked with Barto recently to get his take.

When did Derrick start working with you?

I first developed a relationship with Derrick last summer [in 2009]. He came down with Earl Clark. Earl Clark came down for pre-draft training that year and Derrick stayed for a couple weeks in July just trying to stay in shape after Earl left for the draft. We helped get him ready and continued to work, since he had taken some time off with training, to just be sharp when he went into school and make sure he was continuing to improve his body. He was in good shape last summer, but not as good as he got into this spring. He called in the middle of March after he finished [with Texas El Paso] and he said he wanted to do his training down here for the draft. He felt comfortable with it and he was here in early April. That's when we got rolling. He came in and the season had taken a long, hard toll on his body. He had just taken two weeks off so we started from scratch and looked at a eight- to 12-week plan. Anytime you have a player who's really trying to trim up and lose their body, you have to analyze the strength and conditioning program they came from and the position they played in college and translate that program into what you foresee him becoming. We took a lot of time to really look at what Derrick used to be when he was younger and how his body had changed and the different amount of coaches he worked with and really tried to peel back some of the layers and lay out a full 12-week plan for him so he could buy into something. When you have as many voices in your head, with assistant coaches and AAU coaches, it was important for us to really, really level down. We assessed what we needed to change, what's his goal weight and what skills will be effective.

I had a vision of him having a ground and pound low-post game but also have the ability to play in that pinch-post area at the mid-post and the ability to pick and pop. Those are things that are important in the NBA. He has the power in his body and strength and footwork. It was more the connectivity and smoothness and efficiency with what he was doing than his 315-pound body was not allowing him to do. When he came in, he was very broad shouldered. He had been lifting very strong with his upper body -- chest, shoulders, arms and back. We cut him out of all of that and focused on narrow muscular firing patterns and elongating of the muscles and strengthening of his shoulders above his head with his arms fully extended. That stuff translates into jump hooks and little touch shots around the basket. He wasn't going to go from playing in Conference USA to the NBA with guys playing the same size. They were going to be bigger, strong, faster, longer. When you watch Synergy, I watched almost every possession he had all season, a lot of his stuff was just him bullying to people and beating them to spots. We wanted to make sure he could make shots over top of people. In the Summer League, he was able to do some of that but he also missed a lot of opportunities to do that. That's going to be a work in progress that hopefully he can continue to improve.

6a00d8341c506253ef0134857a341c970c-320wi

He was doing Bikram Yoga three days a week. We have a muscle loosening specialist that came in once a week to work with him and do all the tension release, an hour of prehab a day, plus he had an extra half-hour of cardio before every workout. So you're looking at an extra hour-and-a-half of cardio, not sprinting, but trying to keep the calories being burned all day and then adjusting his diet. The reason it was 12 weeks is because it takes 90 days for your metabolism to really change. People a lot of times try to crash diet and lose all the weight at once. Our goal is 12 pounds a month for three months. That put him in optimal playing shape for the Summer League.

What's the next step for Derrick in terms of work he needs to do?

He needs to continue work on his lower-body efficiency and movement. He still has choppy moves in the post. He has trouble decelerating. His legs are so powerful that catching the powerful movement and slowing down when he gets to maximum speed is still a little bit difficult. Extending his arms to those touch shots and full extensions on his jump hooks will kind of be the last part. He really developed that turnaround jump shot over the right shoulder and his freeze fakes and step-throughs have improved. We worked a lot on the dream-shake series where he's engaging his whole body. It's not necessarily that we want him to make those moves in games, but it's all about body control. I think he'll be able to bump people back with his first dribble. Then what is it going to be after that? A: How deep does he establish post position after he goes to the low block? B: How much of a bump in body control can he use to get his own shot? C: When he does face-up from the elbows and is catching the ball in transition, can he make moves with body control? He's capable, but just training them doesn't necessarily translate them right away. Sometimes you have to really learn and study the game and I think that will be something that's very important for him when he's not in the game and he's in practice. He has to constantly self-correct and learn from other people's mistakes. Learning how to play off of the triangle is very complex and they ran it in the Summer League and he seemed to do OK. I think the rebounding and the effort with the lights on will never be a problem for him.

Derrick singled you out individually as well as IMG as the main reason he lost so much weight and improved his nutrition. From your perspective, how much different does he look now than from when you first started working with him?

When these kids make these transitions from an amateur to a professional player, it's easier to reference everything that you're treating yourself as a business. Everyone says it, but very few give you a plan. I feel we were able to give him a plan that was fair and motivational for him. He was able to do the work and execute it. We had no ulterior motives. Whether he was second or 58th [in the draft], we don't get one more penny. Our motivations are pure and his goal was pure. He wanted to get better and he wanted to learn how to use his body better and get in better shape. It's really about in the business we're in, figuring out what the athlete wants, agreeing on a plan and then holding them accountable to it. The first time in the last seven or eight years of Derrick's life, he was left alone. There was no distractions down here. There were no promises or expectations other than to show up. On his good days, we pushed him harder. On his bad days, we hugged him. College basketball, AAU basketball and agents don't necessarily take that philosophy. He was a kid who had very high expectations with a consistently changing plan. Now he's really been able to execute a plan and stick to it. Hopefully now he can do the same thing, stay patient with his playing time and pay his respects to the veterans and allow them to build trust in him and screen the hell out of people and grab rebounds. When they throw him the ball and they need him to score, he needs to make the right decision.

Has he indicated he'll work with you again?

I'm hoping we continue our relationship. I was just in L.A. last week for the Under Armour combine. He called me seven times on Saturday to work out, so I went to the practice facility and we got some shots up with him late Saturday night at like 9:30 p.m. Then he called me again Sunday, but my flight was leaving. He checks in two or three times a day. I think we have a pretty good relationship. But I also think the ultimate compliment is if he does it on his own and isn't dependent upon us. That would be the ultimate compliment that we did our job and hopefully he can make a guy like Devin or some of the guys that come in next year, or be the leader of next year's Summer League team or have everybody in the organization talking about his character and his commitment. I think those are the goals. He was amazing here. He came to our full-time orientation for our kids, introduced himself to parents and worked with kids on the side during summer camp. All of those little things go a long way and he has a special attachment to it. If he never came back and we get positive feedback and three years from now can move himself into a starting role somewhere, that'd be great.

How much weight did he drop from when he started until now?

At his highest, he was at 313-314 pounds when he arrived. There was a point in Summer League where he was down as low as 267 pounds. We had cut him off weight lifting. When he lifts weights, he bulks up very fast. He has a very unique body. When he worked out before the draft, he weighed 276. He was under 280 by the combine. By the draft, he was ranging from 275 to 280. When he got into Summer League, that's when he really got to his lower weights. When he weighed in here after the [NCAA] season, he weighed in at more than 312, but that's coming off of a season, he's beat up and he's doing no physical activity. I imagine he played in the high 290s. Before, he hadn't made a commitment to change his metabolism. That's the commitment we wanted him to buy into so he understands it will take three months and he can't have bad days and a three- or four-day vacation. He needs 90 straight days where he's shocking his body into a different eating system. That's when he cut out the red meat. If he treats himself, he treats himself to sushi.

What was his day-to-day routine?

Guys would get here at 9 a.m. They would do their prehab. Three days a week, they'd do their Bikram Yoga down in Sarasota (Fla.). Monday, Wednesday and Friday, he'd be down there. The other days he'd be here doing all the stretching with our trainers and the prehabilitation for any little nagging problems. Then we started on the court at 10:30 a.m. We'd go on the court until 11:30 a.m., immediately into the weight room and then into lunch. The second workout of the day was a multitude where some days it was just shooting, other days it was a second full workout with a lot of sprinting. We tried to stay away from the jumping because the jumping bangs up the guy's knees. But we did a lot of ground work with footwork. He'd go in Saturday mornings for a half day just in the morning, work out, lift and do all their pool activities with regeneration cold tubs.

Knowing where he's at at this point, what's your big-picture expectation of Derrick?

He needs to mentally be prepared. [Andrew] Bynum is starting the year a little bit banged up. They have a history of guys being banged up. And Phil [Jackson] is obviously going to challenge him as a project anyways or possibly even ignore him. He needs to be prepared for all of that. Long term, there's no reason 18 months from now he's not one of the sought-after free agents in the summer of 2013. If he makes it through his contract, that has to be the next goal.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina.

E-mail the L.A. Times Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Texas El Paso forward Derrick Caracter demonstrates his skills during a pre-draft workout with the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this month. Credit: Chuck Burton / Associated Press

Photo: Lakers forward Derrick Caracter, right, blocks a shot by Sacramento's Donte Green during an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas. Credit: Laura Rauch / Associated Press

 
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Nice post MM...I love DC's attitude...I'll be cheering the rookie on this year...Hopefully he gets some PT...If AB misses a few games in the beginning of the season...maybe this will open up PJ's rotation some...and he can get rewarded with some floor time, for his work,...and we get to see a glimpse of our new player...

Good Morning Blog Crue!

I love it when a player commits to getting in shape. It shows maturity and humility to do anything to be your best. It also shows his commitment to the Lakers and that he understands he needs to work hard. I like it!

Lakers Real Training Camp on NBA TV September 27 @ 5 pm. Can't wait!!

GO LAKERS!!!

Excellent post MM.

Seems to me like the Lakers found yet another nugget as the very last pick. I like his attitude and commitment. If he latches on to guys like D-Fish and B. Shaw, I think their mentorship will go very far.

I hope he has a great camp because it seems like he might get some run early in the pre-season given AB's status.

I have a good feeling about DC.

Cheers - PLG

Any early thoughts on the new, reinstated rules regarding technicals? Here's the article.....

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5609817

Thought it would be a nice morning diversion.

PLG

@MM… What a great and interesting article, Mark. This is exactly what we had been begging the KamBros to do – go out there proactively looking for exclusive Lakers news rather than just rehashing the same issues that everybody else rehashes. I was thoroughly impressed with Dan Barto’s approach with Derrick, whom I really think from the little I’ve seen might really have lottery pick talent and will likely be the steal of this draft. I will say it again: the LA Times selecting you to take over the blog after the KamBros was a genius move.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Wow, good in-depth look at Caracter's transformation. Good stuff. I love his attitude and commitment.

Nemaia I know you'll love this post!

Good morning blog fam!

I hope that with Drew's status DC gets some quality playing time in the beginning of the season. If he proves to be good enough right away, maybe he can get into the regular rotation.

RE: Andrew Bynum
.
What's the beef with Plaschke?
.
I don't recall seeing Andrew Bynum carrying one of the Playmates over his head at the pool while nursing a gimpy knee since at least 2009.

Bottom line is that Bynum waited 6 weeks to have a surgery that could have been done a week after finals. He had his knee drained so that he could... take a vacation.

Half of us here questioned it (I'm in that half), the other half did not... the official explanation was that he needed time to heal so that he could get surgery to heal, and 99% of us accepted it.

Now, I'm not so sure I should have accepted it. I don't see what swelling has to do with getting surgery or not, drain, operate, heal. You're done healing faster when you start this process June 20th than when you start the process July 30th.

Cyber-
If you're still counting votes, put me down for original name. We can shorten for ease of typing, but I just like your original name too much to see it go away.

PLG,

Thanks for the article on the rule changes for techs, I wasn't aware of that.
I don't like seeing players complaining and whining about the foul calls, it doesn't change the call.
Seems maybe there will be more T's called next year.
This will affect some players more than others.

re-Andrew Bynum

I really don't see how so many people are comparing his work ethic/attitude to Shaq. By all accounts Bynum has a much better attitude than Shaq ever did. Should he have gotten the surgery as soon as medically advisable? Sure, but I'm not gonna begrudge him a little vacation. He has been trying as hard as he can for at least the last 3 years, plus he played his heart out through pain this year. He deserved a little rest and relaxation. Shaq never cared to work in the off season. It wasn't just that one time with surgery, it was every year.

Tim -

I understand your questioning the timing of AB surgery...but I get the feeling you are questioning AB's dedication and desire, for he waited and took a vacation...

I can see that reasoning...but him playing hurt in the playoffs, should take that doubt away...

I think showing his grit during the playoffs last year was the biggest improvement and growth the youngster accomplished...

How can anyone come to that conclusion he was pulling a Shaq...bewildering to me...

Wow! Now THAT'S a trainer. No mumbo-jumbo, no fads, no quick-fixes, but a real eye for detail and how it's applicable on a one-to-one basis. I hope every professional athlete (or at least every Laker) has someone as good as Dan in their corner and I hope they buy into it.

Great read, great work ethic.

Good Morning blog,

Don't know if you guys have been following up on this but ESPN has a poll going on. Each franchise got to pick their best 5 starting line up.
Then every day fans get to vote the best starting fives against the other franchises.
Our Lakers are in the final against the Bulls.
Here is the link in case you haven't voted yet.

http://espn.go.com/espn/greatestteam/nba/

MM, good article on Caracter. Did Ebanks work with anyone after school? I do believe Caracter will be the better pick eventhough he was picked after Ebanks.
PLG,
Thanks for the article, hopefully the refs will not get whistle happy. Many guys play with a lot of heart and emotion and the refs have shown to be wrong or inconsistent. They should understand that. Some players do go overboard with their arguing and gestures, so they're going to have to restrain themselves. Barnes, Artest, Kobe, especially Kobe, you need to keep the arms under control.....no air punching! lol.

PLG - Thanks for the article on techs. If I could borrow a line from "Cat in the Hat"...I don't like it. I don't like it one bit!

I understand the need to get a little more civility. But basketball is an emotional game and players will react. I don't want to see refs giving out excessive T's. If they're called more frequently this doesn't bode well for the Lakers because Kobe's so demonstrative.

Good Morning Laker Fam,

Special shout out to LRob! The article speaks volumes of Caracter's character! As LakerTom aptly put it, it's nice to get good, inside stories of our beloved Lakers. LTLL's comment about Caracter's maturity and humility will be the key to his success as long as he stays that way. He seems to have learned from his past and has made a firm decision to match his talent with a strong work ethic and determination, two things he lacked in high school and college. The light switch has been flipped on. This man will surprise a lot of people and will be a big part of the Lakers future.

Much love to all my Laker family! Where's "Pot"? Mamba24? Caracter's journey has just begun! Go Lakers!

Hmmm can't stop singing this one today. I dare you not to like it. Shout out to all the wonderful Laker sisters here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JV74i4yvcA

Paul Lam,
Thanks for the link. I just voted for my beloved Lakers, not only because they are the Lakers, but because I do believe they would beat that Bulls team.


Kareem
Gasol
Baylor
Kobe
Magic
GO LAKERS!

Bottom line is that Bynum waited 6 weeks to have a surgery that could have been done a week after finals. He had his knee drained so that he could... take a vacation. Half of us here questioned it (I'm in that half), the other half did not... the official explanation was that he needed time to heal so that he could get surgery to heal, and 99% of us accepted it. Now, I'm not so sure I should have accepted it. I don't see what swelling has to do with getting surgery or not, drain, operate, heal. You're done healing faster when you start this process June 20th than when you start the process July 30th.
Posted by: Tim-4-Show | September 24, 2010 at 08:42 AM

FIRST OFF, THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN GO IN AND PREFORM SURGERY RIGHT AFTER THE SEASON When he had pushed his body and caused such swelling and fluid to form, at the very least he would have needed two weeks to take meds, allow the swelling to go down and THEN preform the procedure, however his surgeon was unavailable for those next two weeks, so bottom line it was NOT 6 weeks as you had exaggerated , it was two weeks at most. Typical Bynum basher !!! How are those two weeks , and a few preseason games missed going to cause us to miss the playoffs, ANSWER : THERE NOT !!!

Where's "Pot"? Mamba24? Caracter's journey has just begun! Go Lakers! Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | September 24, 2010 at 09:04 AM
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Hey Nemaia, how are you? Me and Pot are celebrating our virtual honeymoon we never got a chance to take LOL!

Wow - I just read an article today on the dangers of drinking.

I gotta tell ya - it scared the crap outta me.

So that's it.

After today, no more reading.

Posted by: justanothermambafan | September 23, 2010 at 12:55 PM

LOL Justa, that was just too funny!

LRob -

Good Morning...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eeFHdL2FBM&feature=related

Mamba24 -

I got a peak bro...can't wait to see the whole thing posted...

I'm pretty sure the doctor delayed the surgery because of swelling in the knee. So Bynum's choices were to sit at home on his butt and do nothing, or enjoy the only "time off" he was going to get. Honestly I don't begrudge him using his time off to enjoy himself.
And to those comparing this to Shaq delaying his surgery and saying "I'm gonna heal on company time," it is totally different! Even IF the delay in surgery was Bynum's choice, he did get it done in July. Remember, Shaq waited until September (right before training camp) to get his surgery! Jeez people, please quit harping on Bynum about this.
Posted by: Troy B | September 22, 2010 at 07:51 PM
~~~~~
Troy B, I've been saying the same thing for a while now. I guess some people don't feel that pro athletes should have a life outside of their respective livelyhoods. I believe if these guys didn't have outside interests they'd prolly burnout in no time...all work and no play...


Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!
Posted by: G in DC(aka GDUB) | September 23, 2010 at 07:49 PM
-------------
Couldn't agree more with you guys. Great points made.

Lewsters,

you wrote: Why do you always, so eloquently post, and with so much precision, write about all the reasons why Miami is superior to the Lakers...Is this really your message.

my response: I don't think I've ever said that Miami is superior to the Lakers.
I don't think I've ever said that any team is superior to the Lakers. If you
can show me one of my posts that indicate this, I'll be glad to eat crow.

"Get your facts straight...The surgery was delayed because of swelling and the surgeon's schedule...
If you're going to bash the kid...get your facts right at least..."
-
And Plaschke even quotes Mitch in the article, saying that the Lakers weren't concerned about letting him wait before getting surgery. MM has said too what you say above, about the surgeons schedule and swelling delaying the surgery.
Plaschke just has to stir up some trouble, he just can't help himself...
- - -
This video is absolutely sick, THIS is why Jerry West wanted Kobe so bad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgkepsY27ik

GO LAKERS!!!!!
Posted by: CyberCosmiX (or CCX - You decide!) | September 24, 2010 at 12:31 AM
--------------
CyberCosmiX,
Eccellant points about Drew and video was awesome. Kobe sporting number 32. I wonder if tribute to Magic? Maybe MM can ask when training camp starts.

Mamba24 -I got a peak bro...can't wait to see the whole thing posted...Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 24, 2010 at 09:31 AM
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Good morning Lewstrs my brother! I'm just finishing up, probably submit it tonight or tomorrow, but it still might be weeks before it get's posted, plenty of people ahead of me with theirs. But what's out there now is more or less the way it's going to look. Thanks for talking me into it bro! You and justtanothermabafan that is,LOL!


Caracter's journey has just begun! Go Lakers! Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | September 24, 2010 at 09:04 AM
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NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! MAKE IT SO!!!!

Hey kettle - I'm here! Good to see you - miss you - can't wait to get back to our normal Lakerholic routine around here....

Ok that's enough honey, we have a lot of catching up to do!

It will be interesting to see if DC's talents continue to impress in camp as in summer league. It will also serve as good early experience for him. I really hope he has matured from his earlier work ethics problems. He didn't focus on studies as he just wanted to play ball. Well no longer in school but still has to study to play in NBA. I think he can but he has to show i and then he will be a huge steal in the draft.

Justa and Mamba24,

Things are good!!! Just been sooooo busy with family and work. Looking forward to being with you guys on here during the season grind. Hope all is well with you guys and the rest of our Lakers blog family!!! Nothing but love!!!

my response: I don't think I've ever said that Miami is superior to the Lakers.
I don't think I've ever said that any team is superior to the Lakers. If you
can show me one of my posts that indicate this, I'll be glad to eat crow.

Posted by: hobbitmage | September 24, 2010 at 09:36 AM

-----------------

Oh I'm sorry...you're so quick to refute any information about Lakers having any advantage over the Heat...In fact it's all you post about...You list match ups that show Z will work Pau/Odom...You point out that Miller is 6 inches taller...etc...I don't need to search the archives...I'm sorry...I almost think you are a Heat fan...if I'm imagining this...my apologies...but hard to come to any other conclusions with your posts...

If your point is not to underestimate the Heat...well I think we got that...but hobbit, how many times do you have to post the same thing...so it is easy to come to my conclusion...

To clear it up...what exactly is your point with your detailed posts about Lakers and the Heat...

Justa and Mamba24,Things are good!!! Just been sooooo busy with family and work. Looking forward to being with you guys on here during the season grind. Hope all is well with you guys and the rest of our Lakers blog family!!! Nothing but love!!! Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | September 24, 2010 at 09:51 AM
*
Glad to hear things are good Nemaia! Yes I think the Blog is starting to square itself away and round into regular season form. But of course Nemaia, on a Virtual Honeymoon, that's all you think about...Nothing but Love!!!!!!! Lol!

Todays Pop Quiz...

List the 4 teams whose names don't end with the letter "S"

you have 15 seconds to answer...

MM,

That was really an interesting article and unique as well. I didn't know the training was not only intensive, but so detail oriented.
You asker Barto good questions and he did an excellent job with is detailed and informative answers.
Would love to see more articles that are sort of off the beaten path like this one.

If your point is not to underestimate the Heat...well I think we got that...but hobbit, how many times do you have to post the same thing...so it is easy to come to my conclusion...To clear it up...what exactly is your point with your detailed posts about Lakers and the Heat...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 24, 2010 at 09:52 AM
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Lewstrs, the Manny Pacquiao of the blog!

Todays Pop Quiz...
List the 4 teams whose names don't end with the letter "S"
you have 15 seconds to answer...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM


Heat, Magic, Jazz and, uh....

Thunder!

REPOST, and a long one, in case you guys missed it from my early morning insomnia hours.

Why did the Lakers lose the 2008 finals? was it the bad officiating? Boston's defense? Did Ron Artest, and a little Bynum, really make that much difference?

What I'm really getting at is - if we had Bynum and Ariza healthy for 2008, would we have won? I'm not so sure about that. Here are my thoughts.

Players and teams get treated differently by the refs based on their reputation. Players like Artest and Bell, for example, are allowed to do things on defense that most other players would be called for a foul. The same goes for entire teams.

In Boston the last 3 years, I've seen them get away with what most people would call "cheating" because the refs are treating them based on their reputation. Yes, certain teams/players get obvious bias treatment from certain refs. A great example would be Joey Crawford with the Spurs/Duncan.

For the most part though, it's about the reputation. In 2008, Boston had that rep, so the refs were letting them be excessively physical. The Lakers did not have that rep, so the refs were calling fouls differently. At that time, outside of Kobe, the Lakers absolutely did not know how to deal with that. Yes that includes Pau, hence the "soft" label (which I have never liked or agreed with).

Even if we had Bynum and Ariza, I see no reason why the team would have been any better at dealing with those circumstances. The fact is, when in that situation, a team needs to stay aggressive to "earn the respect" of the refs, which the Lakers did not do.

This year, especially with the addition of Artest, the Lakers had built a reputation for having a very solid defense. We saw in this years finals the refs pretty much giving the same respect to both teams, hence the better results

Posted by: Troy B | September 24, 2010 at 03:11 AM

Hey Art and LRob - IMO, it sounds like the rules change is all for TV purposes. And since I am that type of fan, I can see how it's a negative to "the game".

But I think it's definitely going to take away from the passion of competition. And the competition is what we all LOVE about any sports. I can't imagine not seeing Manu with his big nose begging for a little respect. And D-Wade with his snicker. And throw in Boozer, K-Mart, JR Smith and the list goes on of other complainers. They know the NBA is entertainment and I think they have played the part.

I do of course fear for our demonstrative Lakers: KB24, Ron, Barnes and Sasha. We might be tallying some technicals this year and I certainly don't want to have that problem come playoff time.....

PLG

LRob: THANKS for the Hey Soul Sister link. That was great. Good tune to follow me around all day as well.

PLG

Todays Pop Quiz...
List the 4 teams whose names don't end with the letter "S"
you have 15 seconds to answer...Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM Heat, Magic, Jazz and, uh....
Posted by: LakerLass | September 24, 2010 at 10:06 AM
*
Come on Lass, You can do it! Lol!

Thunder! Posted by: LakerLass | September 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM
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OUT FREAKIN STANDING MAM! LOLL!

Thunder!

Thunder! Posted by: CyberCosmiX (or CCX - You decide!) | September 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM
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COPYCAT!! LMAO!

LakerLass WINS Showcase #1...

Troy - even better the second time I read it...

So the point in that ? I know it's not something we've been discussing lately, but i do think it's relevant. My point for that post is two fold. 1) I get really tired of hearing people make excuses for losing the title. I think the only excuse should always lie with the team. This is something we've been hearing laately, from Doc talkin about his starters thing to Lakerfans talkin about 08 to people bringin up Miami's title in 06. Let's just drop all the excuse making and give credit where credit is due. 2) I believe that this experience is a big reason for us developing that championship mettle. That loss may have been a blessing in disguise as it forced us to become a tougher team. that will play dividends down the road, as it did this year.

Troy -

As devastating was the loss to the Chowds in 08...

Looking back now...it's was the best thing that happened to this team...

That Championship mettle you were talking about...it was born after losing Game 6...

Who would of thunk...great point...I feel you bro 100% on this one...

Todays Pop Quiz...
List the 4 teams whose names don't end with the letter "S"
you have 15 seconds to answer...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 24, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Well, I got the Heat, Thunder, and Jazz in time. took longer than 15 seconds to get the Magic though.

Morning to the blog fam!

hobbitmage: I'm just curious, exactly why do you feel that us Laker fans should be muted in questioning the meat? Now, I would be concerned it it was a Laker PLAYER saying these things, not because it would ultimately change the outcome of a series, but because of the extra motivation it would give them.

Should the Lakers respect the meat? I suppose so, especially if they do what the Cavs regularly did, dominate lesser opponents in the regular season. Should the Lakers fear the meat? Lakers should fear NO ONE after their 3rd straight trip to the finals!

Look, you quote your articles in the past, sometimes I'm not around these parts all of the time, but these are a few of the things I've written about the meat since they got together, which isn't inconsistent with I'm saying here:

How LeBron Let Everyone Down
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/417693-how-lebron-let-everyone-down

An Open Letter to LeBron James
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/418451-an-open-letter-to-lebron-james

Why Amar'e Stoudemire Would Have Been a Better Fit Than LeBron James
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/421903-rileys-miami-mistake-amare-stoudamire-a-better-fit-than-lebron-james

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh: Miami Heat Sacrifice To History?
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/427425-lebron-james-dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-miami-heat-sacrifice-to-history

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh: Three Aces Still Lose To Full House
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/428433-lebron-james-dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-3-aces-still-lose-to-full-house


Everyone has built the meat into this 'superteam' and near universal praise has been heaped upon Pat Riley. Heck, just this morning I see ESPN is going to do daily special reports about the meat?

So again, you can fear/respect them all you want, the fact is Riles made some boneheaded moves rounding out the talent of this team, in my opinion, and as a Laker fan I can say the only team I respect is the Celtics for the battle they gave L.A.

(From the Plaschke thread)

And what's up with all of these posts saying the regular season doesn't matter. We need Bynum from day 1. Do you think the Lakers would have won Game 7 in Boston??? I DON'T THINK SO... We will have to fight for home court advantage throughout which makes this Bynum news devastating. The guy is a joke and Kobe needs to get in his face and be the leader we all read about. In a couple of months when Bynum reinjures his thumb or ego he'll have no trade value.

Posted by: DJ Cro Pack Attak | September 24, 2010 at 06:26 AM
=====

Did you miss last season or something? The news is "devastating"? The guy is a "joke"? I hope he has "no trade value." Yeesh.

If ever there was an example of how meaningless the 82 game practice season is, it was last season. This doesn't apply to every team; it applies to championship teams like the Lakers and Celtics. Watching the Game 1 replay from the Thunder series, JVG said that the Cavs were the best team in the league and he "didn't even think it was close." Who represented the East in the Finals? The #4 seed Celtics. The Lakers won very few "meaningful" practice season games last season (if you want to call any of them truly meaningful), yet flipped the proverbial switch and won it all. I attended the 126-113 drubbing by the Nuggets when Billups drained 9 threes and thought the Lakers simply weren;t a championship team. Boy was I wrong.

Day 1? On the "meaningful" scale, I give it a -10.

Some fans just can't see the forest through the trees. This is the two defending champions we're talking about. Please take 10 steps back, punt, and try looking at the big picture.

re-Andrew Bynum

I really don't see how so many people are comparing his work ethic/attitude to Shaq. By all accounts Bynum has a much better attitude than Shaq ever did. Should he have gotten the surgery as soon as medically advisable? Sure, but I'm not gonna begrudge him a little vacation. He has been trying as hard as he can for at least the last 3 years, plus he played his heart out through pain this year. He deserved a little rest and relaxation. Shaq never cared to work in the off season. It wasn't just that one time with surgery, it was every year.

Posted by: Troy B | September 24, 2010 at 08:49 AM
======

EXACTLY.! +1! Exemplary post!

Shaq and Kobe carried the Lakers. Andrew's still a role player. There's a huge difference anyway. I'm relieved that Bynum will be playing fewer games to start the season anyway. I'd rather have him healthy at the end for a change. It will also give Ratliff and Caracter a chance to get up to speed.

puddle, justa: Isn't that Kobe vid jaw-dropping? MAN was he good, so much better than those other players on the court. Jerry West had it right about him!

THIS IS A MUST-VIEW VIDEO!!!!! E-VERY-ONE OF US MUST MUST MUST WATCH THIS KOBE VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT"S OUR CIVIC DUTY!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgkepsY27ik

- - -

LRob: CosmiX - good to see original name picking up more votes. I think it will prevail when all precincts are counted.
-
I thought CCX was running away with this faster than the Lakers sweep of the Nets in '02 Finals (it was in '02, right???). But the comeback for CyberCosmiX is on!


Guys please let me know which nick you prefer, CyberCosmiX or CCX. I'm tallying the vote count til tomorrow, so please vote away!

Nickname vote standings:
CyberCosmiX=4 (LRob, Dan 'The Man' Loumena, phred, puddle)
CCX=3 (LEWSTRS, LakerTom, J-Dizzle)


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Caracter needs to shadow Kobe and Pau. Learn their work ethics, study habits, practice and carry their bags.

We know he's got skills and the body potential to be a solid player. What about from the neck up? Is he a student of the game? Or does he rely solely on his God given talent?

BTW MM, is Kareem going to be working the Lakers big men this pre-season and season? Haven't heard much about whether his cancer is totally in remission and whether he feels up to working with Lakers' bigs this season? That's a post update that I'm waiting for.

Oh well, back to hibernation... Just two more days until the Lakers groundhog pops out. I sure hope he doesn't see his shadow... lol
_____________________________________________________

GO LAKERS!!!!!! ONE, TWO, THREE-PEAT TO THE THIRD POWER!!!!!!!!!

Paul Lam and others that voted on BSPN....
I think I voted the same way as almost all of you:
Gasol
Kareem
Magic
Kobe
Elgin

Not terribly fond of how they put this together - Gasol is our best power forward of all-time?? Something seems weird about that, but I suppose it would be Gasol over older Malone (in 04) - but in truth, I'd probably go twin towers with Kareem and Wilt, but they don't give you that option.
The Bulls would NOT be able to touch that team. Bulls have MJ, we have Kobe. Bulls have Pippen, we have Elgin. Bulls have?? we have Magic. Bulls have?? we have Kareem. LOL, good luck with that one.

The only difference between this season and last season....

Home court will almost assuredly belong to Miami and if (IF) they're good enough to make the finals, then they're good enough to be massive favorites with the home court + playoff tested.

If they're not good enough to make the finals, then I agree with you... BFD about the regular season

Phil Jackson will have press conference at 11 AM. Go to the below link for live stream:

http://www.nba.com/lakers/multimedia/livestream.html

Troy B: "Cyber-If you're still counting votes, put me down for original name. We can shorten for ease of typing, but I just like your original name too much to see it go away."

Thanks Troy, your vote has been counted!

Up-to-the-minute count:
CyberCosmiX=5 (LRob, Dan 'The Man' Loumena, phred, puddle, Troy B)
CCX=3 (LEWSTRS, LakerTom, J-Dizzle)

1 MORE DAY!!!!!!! Not to vote, lol, for LAKERS TRAINING CAMP TO OPEN!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!

Go Lakers!!!!!

KobeMVP,

Regarding your comments about the regular "practice" season being irrelevant, does that mean you also believe having HCA is not meaningful either?
Are you ok with the Lakers getting a 5-8 seed for the playoffs?
Once they lock up a number 8 seed should they just pack it in and rest everyone?

I'm not suggesting they will, just wondering how you look at that.

MAMBA24: "Thunder! Posted by: CyberCosmiX (or CCX - You decide!) | September 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM
*
COPYCAT!! LMAO!"
-
I'm just a slow reader, thats all =P


GO LAKERS!!!!!

For some reason I cringe every time I think about Andrew and his rehabs. I truly hope he gets his health this year. I think he will be very important to our success this year. You know, allowing Kobe, Pau and others to get less minutes.

Hopefully DC can provide something similar to what DeJuan Blair did last year for the rival Spurs. His jump-shot looks good from 15 feet, and he is surprisingly nimble for a big man. My prediction is that he keeps the weight down, and plays in around 70 games or so averaging 5 pts and 4 rebs. But the minutes he and Ebanks will provide could be quality!

KobeMVP888: " I'm relieved that Bynum will be playing fewer games to start the season anyway. I'd rather have him healthy at the end for a change. It will also give Ratliff and Caracter a chance to get up to speed."
-
Didn't we just see a few people around here say that Bynum is more prone to break down because he came straight out of high-school? Shouldn't, therefore, the same people come out and say 'GREAT! He's going to miss playing extra, meaningless games!'

This is what I don't understand, some people claim they don't hate him, they bring up how he's played so many games, blahblahblah... whatever, but here he gets to miss some frankly meaniningless games and they don't stand up to say 'good!' ?

Seems like some people only point out the facts and stats that can be used to justify a negative point about him...

Totally agree with your point, we've seen for 5 seasons what Drew can do, just saw how he was possibly the determining factor for the Lakers in the last Finals, a player the Celtics couldn't matchup at all to. If he misses some exhibition games, and helps keep him fresher at the end, then great!


ONE MORE DAY!!!!! GO LAKERS!!!!!

Tim-4-Show: "Paul Lam and others that voted on BSPN....
I think I voted the same way as almost all of you:
Gasol
Kareem
Magic
Kobe
Elgin

Not terribly fond of how they put this together - Gasol is our best power forward of all-time?? Something seems weird about that, but I suppose it would be Gasol over older Malone (in 04) - but in truth, I'd probably go twin towers with Kareem and Wilt, but they don't give you that option.
The Bulls would NOT be able to touch that team. Bulls have MJ, we have Kobe. Bulls have Pippen, we have Elgin. Bulls have?? we have Magic. Bulls have?? we have Kareem. LOL, good luck with that one."
-

I would also go with twin towers, and it is true, power forward is one position the Lakers have been fairly weak at over the years, there just hasn't been talent at the position compared to other positions.

All the way back to the showtime days, the Lakers never really had a physical power-forward they had needed outside of Maurice Lucas for a year or two in late-showtime.

I think the Lakers needed a bruising, physical PF all throughout the 90's, had they had one I'm pretty sure that the Van Exel/Eddie Jones/Shaq/young Kobe era teams would have been in the mix for a title.

At least we have a good PF now! ;)


GO LAKERS!!!!! ONE MORE DAY, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I rarely post. but this was one of the best articles I have ever read on BB and the lakers. I'd love to hear other experts talk so openly on various lakers and explain to us the process of upgrading a talent. I love all those opinions, but let's face it everything has been said. The Bynum stuff seems easy to judge. When I read the article i was a bit angry but I thought, "Maybe there's issues I don't know about." Kupchak's pinched face to answers about Bynum might represent frustration but maybe more at the situation and having to answer for it and maybe not so much at Bynum. Plachke's article might be dead on and maybe, just maybe, ... it's not. I'm going to sit back, breath and watch the other bigs, especially caracter and Ratliff use the time to grow into their uniforms.

Hey guys thanks for the love and sorry for the delayed response. I was out on assignments mostly for a high school project we're doing.

I don't know what Devin's off-season workout exactly consisted of but I'll definitely be sure to ask him at some point during training camp. He obviously doesn't have the history Caracter has with constantly trying to lose weight, so I don't forsee it as exactly a point of emphasis. But he's an athlete so of course he had some sort of off-season regiment.

MM


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