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An expert's view on the Lakers' greatest centers

Shaw_300

So, I'm highly unmotivated, but know I have to offer up something for the morning Laker-holics. I'm searching the Web for stuff that hasn't been discussed, thinking of things with which I might be able to entertain you.

Then it dawns on me. WWJMD? What would Jim Murray do? Not that perhaps the greatest sports writer of all time would be blogging at 3 a.m., but maybe I can draw inspiration from The Times' GOAT. Then the moment of clarity. I've got access to our archives. Let's follow the lead of LRob, one of our blog's historians, and see what Mr. Murray has to say about the great centers in Lakers history.

So, folks, I give you his column on Shaquille O'Neal's regular-season debut on Nov. 3, 1996. Enjoy.

-- Dan Loumena

"No Way He Misses This One"

By Jim Murray

I don't often feel this way, but somehow I felt I had to be there.

You see, I had been there when Sandy Koufax pitched his first game for the L.A. Dodgers. Saw him too, when he struck out 18 Giants in a night game.

Saw Bob Waterfield take his first snap as an L.A. Ram quarterback. Was there when Ben Hogan won his first U.S. Open at Riviera Country Club.

And I was on hand when the L.A. Lakers played their first home game at the Sports Arena. I was there when Wilt Chamberlain played his first home game as an L.A. Laker. Same when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made his debut as a Laker. Also when Magic Johnson did.

So I had to be in on the start of the Shaquille O'Neal Era, didn't I? Had a ring of deja vu about it.

I don't remember too sharply Wilt's or Kareem's inaugural game. But I do recollect that the advent of Chamberlain had a deleterious effect on Elgin Baylor's game. Chamberlain seemed to be occupying the places Baylor wanted to go to perform his sleight-of-hand under the basket.

I also remember that Chamberlain, who used to throw up as many as 3,000 field-goal attempts a season--and make as many as 1,500--and who rolled up as many as 4,000 points a season, suddenly became a playmaker in L.A. Only 7-foot-1 point guard I ever saw. His field-goal tries descended into the low 1,000s. So did his point totals. His rebounds remained the same. He led the league every year in those. He went and got the ball and dished it off to the shooter.

Abdul-Jabbar more or less brought his game intact. His rebound total, never robust, was less of a factor than his shooting. Abdul-Jabbar relied on Oscar Robertson to seek out the ball for him in Milwaukee and Magic Johnson to do it in L.A.

But how do the Lakers wind up with these nuclear forces in the pivot in the first place?

Well, in the cases of Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar, you have to detect the fine covert operations hands of then-Laker owner Jack Kent Cooke. The CIA lost a fine prospect when Cooke elected to turn his talents to business dealings and, particularly, the business of professional sports.

No one ever knew for sure how Cooke maneuvered for Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar, how many arms he had to twist, how many favors he had to call in. Cooke was never one to leave a telltale trail. No DNA would ever attach to his machinations.

But it was well-known Chamberlain was fed up with Philadelphia and Abdul-Jabbar was mild about Milwaukee. Every franchise in the league would have wanted them, but Cooke was never one to let nature take its course. Cooke had paid $5 million in cash for the Lakers at a time when basketball was something you went to for the dance afterward and pro basketball was considered the preliminary game on a show featuring the Harlem Globetrotters as the main event.

So, Cooke got his show-stoppers in the pivot. He got Magic Johnson in a coin flip that, so far as anyone knows, was honest (although, when the New York Knicks got Patrick Ewing, you had to wonder).

When Jerry Buss bought the team (along with the hockey Kings and a couple of mountains of real estate up in Kern County) for $62 million, he got Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson, and the world championships came with some degree of regularity. The act was a show-biz smash known as "Showtime," the seats were full of film goddesses and leading men, season tickets cost just less than an all-expense cruise in the Caribbean.

But then, Abdul-Jabbar retired, Johnson hit the wall, and the Lakers were back to square one. No skyscraper in the pivot and no one to go get the ball for him if there were. Almost enough to make you yearn for a dance afterward.

But then, Buss comes up with a page out of the Cooke school of ownership. A major coup. The most visible player in the game, the modern successor to Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar shows up in a Laker uniform.

I hotfooted it over to owner Buss to see what subterfuge he had to resort to to bring off this master stroke, bringing Shaquille O'Neal to L.A. Whose arm did he twist, what markers did he have to call in?

Buss sighed and denied complicity. "Do you want the dramatic version, the emotional version -- or the truth?

"The truth is, I relied on [his general manager] Jerry [West]. I prayed a lot. We kept hearing Shaq wanted to play here, but when we got around to signing, it looked like it didn't.

"We got rid of Vlade [Divac] and kept our options open.

"My feeling is, L.A. really needs something like this. This town has lost its football teams, it has lost a lot of star players. The town has been good to pro sports. It deserves something better."

In New York, the Yankees are the Yankees again. Are the Lakers the Lakers?

O'Neal's debut opened to what Broadway would call "mixed reviews." He was a presence in the sense that Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar were. The visiting Phoenix Suns seemed to go in a circle-the-wagons mode when he hit the floor. When he left the floor (with foul trouble), they were somewhat less intimidated. The Shaq-less Lakers squandered a 19-point lead on one occasion when he was largely bench-bound.

He came within a foul of disqualification. It's well to remember Chamberlain never fouled out and Abdul-Jabbar fouled out only once in each of his last two seasons. Of course, it would have taken a very brave official to foul Chamberlain out of a game in the days when he was one of the league's few drawing cards. O'Neal's fouls, too, are apt to have a referee looking around to see who he can pin it on.

O'Neal's 23 points for his opening game were creditable for a guy who had to spend 13 minutes on the pine. His 14 rebounds were downright encouraging.

Is it the start of something big? Will it end in a ticker-tape parade at City Hall? Or will Michael Jordan and Co. prove it's going to be just a lot of Bull once again? Oh, well. Either way I can tell my great-grandchildren some day I was there on one more start--whether it's big or Bull.

Photo: No Wilt Chamberlain, but three generations of great Lakers centers: Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and George Mikan. Credit: Peter Read Miller / NBAE/Getty Images

 
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@LRob you should be given an assist on this since you started the ball rolling with all the great Wilt & Kareem coverage so yes I have to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!

You found the right formula Dan. This is exactly how you keep the Lakerholics happy while still saving time for your regular job.

Maybe you should share the recipe with some friends of yours.

Wes

I know Mamba,

the LRob / Dan combo has been on fire. All these old Laker history lessons have been great. This is what I call light summer fare-- tasty, cost effecient summer delicacies that won't pack on the pounds or leave you regretting what you just consumed.

Keep it coming!

Wes

the LRob / Dan combo has been on fire. All these old Laker history lessons have been great. This is what I call light summer fare-- tasty, cost effecient summer delicacies that won't pack on the pounds or leave you regretting what you just consumed. Keep it coming! Wes Posted by: wes | September 05, 2010 at 09:46 AM
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Dag, that wes has a way with words!! And I could not agree more!!! Happy holidays sir!

Dan the man your doing a outstanding job, we've love to have you in Miani these L.A. Times Laker clowns don't desire you.

Mamba24, that roll call is WEAK, say something new that some OLD CRAP.

LakerTom, Nobody missed you, seriously man get a live.

Dan- Dfish was banned for a reason. I wouldn't let him back on until he shows some contrition, apologizes to Jon K, or failing that, posts a comment that isn't simply taking cheap shots at Derek Fisher.

Weak? Yes it is! Happy Holidays!

The Shaq trades the untold stories history may have to be revised

http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2010/09/qa_with_nba_great_shaquille_on.html

The Shaq trades the untold stories history may have to be revised
http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2010/09/qa_with_nba_great_shaquille_on.html Posted by: ocharvey | September 05, 2010 at 10:10 AM
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Great article thanks for the link my brother and Happy Holidays!

JH,

It's time for your diaper change. Where is Miani? Maybe it's the delusional world that you live in. Lakers all the way, and the trolls are just part of success. Sorry Laker family, I know I just fed the troll. but couldn't help it. I'm sure D Fish is lurking from Miani also.
Dan, nice, nice job.

Best starting five in the Lakers History:

Magic
Kobe
West
Pau
Gasol

Hey Ricky,


A LITTLE biased isn't it? I know you are Spanish, but putting Gasol as the PF and Center positon as the best starting 5 is more than a streeeeetch. Considering that he would have to beat Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, and even George Mikan at that position. C'mon Man!
I do give you the PF when it's all said and done.

Good day folks,

Glad you enjoyed the reading. As a boy, I remember one time reading the newspaper and I kept going back and forth through the Sports section. My mom asked,'What are you looking for?' Not knowing about writing schedules, I told her that there was no Jim Murray column, to which she replied, 'Maybe he didn't write today.'

'Mom,' I said, 'They should make him write every day!'

As for DFish and JustaHater trolling around, I'll let MM sort this out. He knows the history, this is his blog to run. I'm just trying to give you fodder for your Laker delirium.

Got things to do. As the governator might say, 'I'll be back.'

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WELCOME BACK LAKER TOM – BANDWAGON " http://tinyurl.com/2ykqmc
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LAKERS BLOGAHOLICS !!!
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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My name is LakerTom and I am a Lakers Blogaholic.
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(01) utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - With LakerTom's return, that makes the whole Patriarchy present and accounted for, right? Welcome home, Blog Father!
(02) LROB – OWNER - LakerTom, Welcome back home. To quote a great song, "Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVS3WNt7yRU
(03) KBBLITZ – DRIVER - Good Job Laker Tom. I'd knew you would be back. You didn't need Phred to help with that.
(04 #4 – WELCOME BACK LAKER TOM
(05) ART-FL LAKERS FINE – RIDING SHOTGUN LT, Admit it, all that talk about the Lakers and the blog is just a cover. u 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.
(06) MAMBA24 – SECURITY1– OUT FREAKIN STANDING, Now the Band is really back together. Welcome back Laker Tom & all three Generations! http://tinyurl.com/ylp3qqc _ I Love LA
(07) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – SECURITY2 -- Laker Tom - welcome home, brother. I really missed you.
(08) FAN OF THE MAMBA – SECURITY3 - 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.
(09) MAGIC PHIL - You did the right thing, LakerTom. Welcome back!
(10) GILBERT BATTUNG - Welcome back LakerTom.
(11) NEWMEXICOLAKERLIFER -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!!
(12) JUSTALAKERFAN - Welcome back LakerTom from one Bynum backer to another. But ssshhh I am banned so you didn't see this from me. LOL
(13) EASTSIDE LAKER FAN - Welcome back LakerTom I missed reading your post
(14) SEELY_IGGY - Laker Tom, it's good to have you back again. Many of us have missed your writing and your passion for our belFrom one Lakers blogaholic to another, Welcome back Laker TOM !!!
(15) JOHNNYP - 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 . . . GOOooooooOOOOOO LAKERS !!! oved Lakers.
(16) HBMATT - welcome back Tom. LA Lakers 2009-2010 Back-to-Back NBA Champions
(17) MUD - nice to see you back, LT.
(18) OTIS - 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?
(19) JOLLY RANCHER - A huge welcome home to Laker Tom. Lakerblogaholic is a good thing. Chant 3 times, repeat as necessary.
(20) LEWSTRS - Laker Tom - so happy to see you back...Wouldn't be the same this next season, without your thoughts, opinions and superb writing...And it's nothing to be ashamed of...I to0, am a Lakerholic and Blogaholic, as you can see I'm posting at 4:50 in the morning...lol
(21) SONNY BELFAST- Lest we forget why we can never let Bay Area perspective be mistaken for reality in this world, welcome back Tom. I know that you are getting happy about the Niners. Me too. Go Niners. Your poor, old, injured, and sluggish La La Troupe had a good run, but it's a good thing you're back. This board gonna need your masterpieces soon enough, on such topics as: 'What's it gonna be, 5th seed or 8th? Should Dr. Buss bail Testes out of jail? Will Luke ever be half the man his dad is? You know the topics.
22) JOHNNYV - Laker Tom makes his long anticipated return, I MISSED YOU LT! I'm so glad you didn't miss out on the Wilt / Kareem posts.
(23) LEONARD BAST - welcome back Laker Tom! you were definitely missed.
oh, and since we got a Luke update and a Kobe update, how about a Andrew Bynum update? (in honor of Laker Tom, of course)-
(24) MICHAEL H - Aloha Laker Tom, I haven't been posting much this summer but I still read the blog daily. Missed your contributions. Just don't take some of these morons so seriously in the future. You are one of the best at sparring on the blog. But you use intellect and wit to put down your opponent. Unfortunately not everyone has that ability and they have resort to crude remarks. Just scroll on by. You are appreciated here. Aloha

Very nice link OCHarvy.

I've got "Ip Man" on the DVD player again. What a great kung fu epic.

I finally was able to sit thru the entire "House of Flying Daggers" in one sitting, but that was no easy viewing. That's about as beautifully boring as any kung fu epic can get. I feel like a better person having watched it but I don't think I'll invest that time again soon.

I may like old skool kung fu more, but the improvements recent kung fu epics have made to the genra should not be overlooked/forgotton. There is some amazing film work being done right now.

"Crouching Tiger,""Flying Daggers," "Ip Man," "Kung Fu Hustle," and "Shaolin Soccer" have breathed a kind of new life into the genra that I haven't seen in 35 years, or since Bruce Lee died and the genra went from flying kung fu wizzards to average joes (B Lee) fightiong back against oppression.

These new Asian directors and superstars are really, really artisans at the top of their craft and are making some amazing films.

What can I say but bravo, I love kung fu and go lakers!

Wes

I left out "Hero," and if you're talking modern modern kung fu masterpieces, you eithr include "Hero" or you leave the discussion.

Hero might even be the best of them all, better than "Crouching," "Flyong" "Ip," or the Srtephen Chow KF comedies.

"Hero" has a lot of what made Kurosawa's "Rashamon" so special. It has four different perspectives, none of which are 100% reliable. That's "Rashamon" retold.

I can't remember which color is the near truth and which coler is a near lie, but the color schemes are an important clue in the truth of "Hero."

Is it game time yet?

Wes

WELCOME BACK LAKER TOM!

On the renegade chat, we have been talking about you in hopes that you would return soon - we should have started a bet. Since there was massive pleading for a return to respect, along with Dan L.'s delete powers, the blog is a complete Laker family again.

I understood takig a break, I would only post in the early a.m. when the meanies were still asleep. But when we band together as TEAM, we cannot be defeated.

I am sorry Laker Tom that you were the straw that broke the camel's back but just like Luke - you have rehabbed. Just in time for FCM's return, camp just around the corner and a whole new season to cheer!

May we all continue to respect differing opinions knowing that the fundamental common ground we sharel (well 99.50% of us) is all things purple and gold.

LET'S GO LAKERS!!!

Cheers everyone - PLG

Welcome back, LakerTom, I too have been visiting but not posting (or really reading too many posts, mainly the old-timers who were here when I started blogging or the cooler new fellows-not going to name names as I want to stay above the fray).


I probably won't be posting as much here anymore as I do prefer Land O Lkaers (K-Bros), nobody can steal your handleas you have to log in, people are totally civil, and we have phred, dave m., exhelodrvr and myself from the olden days.


However, I'll drop a post or two (like now) but in general feel that this sight isn't moderated well enough to be as fun as it was up until the middle of last season when people just got too personal with their objections to each others opinions. I like to think of myself as an adult and hope that everyone can generally respect each other and too often here that has been proven a flase hop.


But the rela reason I am posting is to let all y'all know that have Fox Sports West in you cable package and are jonsing for some epic Laker action you can catch old, classic Laker playoff games (hell, we might even get a repeat of Kobe's 81) Sundays at 8 PM followed by repeats of Golden Days and Purple Nights. For 8 to 11 you get to nerd out on old time Laker games...tonight is NBA Finals, 1987, Game 4. A classic.


Stay well, all, as I said I'll drop by just more infrequently than before. Morning Crew, you guys are da bomb. Mamba24, you are an inspiration to us all!

MM, if ever you return, it'd be cool if you still threw up my user profile ( not sure if that was a flash in the pan).


Stay well, all, I'm sure I'll mpost heer more when the games get going but for now I'm finishing up my summer with way less stress. Enjoy life!


*_____________________________________________________________________*
WELCOME BACK LAKER TOM – BANDWAGON " http://tinyurl.com/2ykqmc
*_____________________________________________________________________*
LAKERS BLOGAHOLICS !!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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! My name is LakerTom and I am a Lakers Blogaholic.
*________________________________________________________________________*
(01) utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER – CHAPLAIN - With LakerTom's return, that makes the whole Patriarchy present and accounted for, right? Welcome home, Blog Father!
(02) LROB – OWNER - LakerTom, Welcome back home. To quote a great song, "Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVS3WNt7yRU
(03) KBBLITZ – DRIVER - Good Job Laker Tom. I'd knew you would be back. You didn't need Phred to help with that.
"
"
(24) MICHAEL H - Aloha Laker Tom, I haven't been posting much this summer but I still read the blog daily. Missed your contributions. Just don't take some of these morons so seriously in the future. You are one of the best at sparring on the blog. But you use intellect and wit to put down your opponent. Unfortunately not everyone has that ability and they have resort to crude remarks. Just scroll on by. You are appreciated here. Aloha
(25) PSYCHEDLAKERGIRL - WELCOME BACK LAKER TOM! On the renegade chat, we have been talking about you in hopes that you would return soon - we should have started a bet. Since there was massive pleading for a return to respect, along with Dan L.'s delete powers, the blog is a complete Laker family again. I understood takig a break, I would only post in the early a.m. when the meanies were still asleep. But when we band together as TEAM, we cannot be defeated. I am sorry Laker Tom that you were the straw that broke the camel's back but just like Luke - you have rehabbed. Just in time for FCM's return, camp just around the corner and a whole new season to cheer! May we all continue to respect differing opinions knowing that the fundamental common ground we sharel (well 99.50% of us) is all things purple and gold. LET'S GO LAKERS!!!
(26) JAMIE SWEET - Welcome back, LakerTom, I too have been visiting but not posting (or really reading too many posts, mainly the old-timers who were here when I started blogging or the cooler new fellows-not going to name names as I want to stay above the fray).

sorry, but Jim Murray was the last great writer on the Times staff. Plaschke is such a poor imitation, it's not funny. i wish he would quit trying to use big words and colorful phrases, Plaschke just doesn't have it in him, it reminds me of Jack in the Box trying to make gourmet fare, especially after reading a Murray article again.

ROTFLMAO!!!!

Dan - thanks for posting the Jim Murray article to remind us how special it was when Diesel signed with LA. He brought the Lakers instant credibility and raised our expectations to Championship or bust.

Time, circumstances and hurtful comments have robbed a lot of us of our love for Shaq, but I will always be thankful and appreciative for the championships and making the Lakers relevant again.

Mamba - Thanks for the kind words. Whoever coined the phrase, "Mamba in the Mornings" were spot on. You're like our favorite deejay...you give us that extra boost we need in the am.

Wes - Thanks for the love about Wilt/Kareem. Your passion fo Kung Fu always reminds me of my early teen years when a boys who were sports fanatics were even bigger Kung Fu fans. It's kinda like re-reading some of the Wilt-Kareem stories...its hard to explain how big Bruce Lee was at that time.

OC Harvey - Great article. Thanks for sharing.

But the real reason I am posting is to let all y'all know that have Fox Sports West in you cable package and are jonsing for some epic Laker action you can catch old, classic Laker playoff games (hell, we might even get a repeat of Kobe's 81) Sundays at 8 PM followed by repeats of Golden Days and Purple Nights. For 8 to 11 you get to nerd out on old time Laker games...tonight is NBA Finals, 1987, Game 4. A classic.

Posted by: Jamie Sweet | September 05, 2010 at 01:38 PM

Jamie - Thanks for posting. I have complete sports package from Direct TV including Fox Sports West, but they alway "black out" the classic games in my area. I've called and complained to no avail. If anyone has any ideas or can help....do tell.

LRob, most welcome. I actually met Jim when I was a young reporter back in the late '80s, covering a USC-Illinois game that featured Todd Marinovich and Jeff George at quarterback. What a humble, sincere gentleman he was.

I think I told you guys that my buddies and I would go to downtown Portland to watch tripleheader martial-arts movies when we were teenagers . . . well this clip of Kareem and Bruce Lee never gets old, does it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsSoX6qB9N0

Enjoy. Catch you all later.

Hey Larry,

I loved your Blade clips. The first blade film was my first date with a woman I was with 7 years, so I feel the magic of that franchise.

Have you seen this clip from "Ip Man?" Let me set the scene for you. It's really wicked. Ip's wife and child are starving under the cruel oppression of the Japanese during WW2. He's lost his house, his money, everything he owned and he's just seen his good friend shot dead for taking a sack of rice after losing a fight organized for the sadistic pleasure of the Japanese generals who are obsessed with not only Chinese kung fu, but beating the crap out of Chinese kung fu experts. Ip calls for 10 men to enter the ring with him, so he can get 10 bags of rice if he defeats them all. This scene is choreographed by Sammo Hung, the guy who paved the way for Jackie Chan and countless others to become kung fu action stars. The music is so dramatic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qhPDEOYbx4

Wes

What does Armageddon, The Omen, 2012, The Lakers, Shaq (LOL) and Kobe all have in common? Here it is, something different, but still awesome...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yT8d5oSQVs&NR=1&feature=fvwp

What does Armageddon, The Omen, 2012, The Lakers, Shaq (LOL) and Kobe all have in common? Here it is, something different, but still awesome...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yT8d5oSQVs&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Here it is, something different, but still awesome... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yT8d5oSQVs&NR=1&feature=fvwp
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 05, 2010 at 03:48 PM
*
AW SWEET JESUS!!! I'm ready to run thru a brick wall right now. LEWSTRS you magnificent genius You! MY GOD WE ARE THE FREAKIN LAKERS AND DESTINY AWAITS US....OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!!! DAMN I'M PUMPED!!!!! WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!!HELL YEAH!!!

WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WE ARE THE FREAKIN LAKERS!!!!!!!!

DAMN LEWSTRS I AM READY TO GO TO WAR RIGHT NOW! SWEET JESUS!!!!!!!

THAT WAS A FREAKIN MASTEROIECE!!!! MY GOD!!!!!!

MASTERPIECE!!!!!

@WES, Mannnnn!! Why didn't you tell me about this IP Man before. That dude is good! I got to go check my source and see if he has any of those! Thanks Bro. I really appreciate that.!!!

When it's time to retire Kobe's jersey...will they retire both numbers...I don't think a team has ever retired 2 numbers for a player before...

But can you imagine another Laker ever wearing #8...

Something to chew on...

MY GOD EVEN THE COMMENTS ARE GREAT!!!
*
yoremom
1 month ago @m3sexyballer Your hateful speech shows me that you are looking in the wrong place for your "one true God." If you want to change your hateful ways I can lead you in the right path. His name is Kobe Bryant, our mighty Lord and savior! I pray someday you know love, know peace, and know LEGIT! Kobe bless!

yoremom 1 month ago crocopliddell
1 month ago @violator014 cuz lebron is of the devil and kobe was sent by God duh.


m3sexyballer 1 month ago aLeXa15al
1 month ago @crocopliddell AAAAAAAAA????are you fREAKIN lying me????!?!?!?!!!

yoremom 1 month ago yoremom
1 month ago @m3sexyballer umm, 666 is for the anti-Christ I believe. Lebron is not nearly powerful enough to be considered the devil. and what about Kobe being god? If you are doubting Lord Kobe I suggest you fast for a few days and spend time in prayer! May Kobe show you the light!

WE ARE FREAKIN LAKER NATION ALL OTHERS BOW DOWN!!!

Dan,
-
This is a great topic about the great Laker centers. For some reason, centers tend to reach their prime later than other positions. So an interesting question to ask is, where were these great centers in their careers when they were the same age as Andrew Bynum? Were they already dominant beasts at that age?
-
George Mikan – 22-year old George played an uneventful season with the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League in 1946. A year later, he joins the Minneapolis Lakers and the rest is history.
-
Wilt Chamberlain – 22-year old Wilt was playing exhibition games with Harlem Globetrotters in 1958. An obscure NBA rule back then did not allow him to be drafted until a year later. He plays his first NBA game at age 23.
-
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – The Bucks, featuring 22-year old rookie Lew Alcindor, are eliminated in the 1970 ECF (4-1) by the Knicks led by the more experienced Willis Reed.
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Shaquille O’Neal - 22-year old Shaq was taken to school by wily veteran Hakeem Olajuwon in the 1995 NBA finals and get swept 4-0 by the Rockets.
-
Other notable centers:
-
Patrick Ewing – 22-year old Patrick Ewing was still playing against college kids during his senior year in Georgetown. So he should be dominating those kids, right? Actually,his #1 Hoyas lose to unranked Villanova in the title game.
-
David Robinson - 22-year old David Robinson was serving in the US Navy in fulfillment of his Annapolis scholarship and does not even play his first NBA game until he was 24.
-
Bill Walton - Walton - 22-year old Bill Walton was drafted No. 1 and hailed as the savior of the Portland franchise. He falls victim to the 'Blazer Big Man Curse' and sustains various injuries (nose, foot, wrist and leg) during his rookie year. The Blazers miss the playoffs.
-
Andrew Bynum, at age 22, already has two rings, despite two major injuries. Is he the next great Laker center? I don’t know. Judging from where these great Laker centers were in their careers when they were 22, ask me again in 2 years.

Dan the Man strikes again! I'm telling ya...you and MM need to share Blogmeister duties!

Posted by: The Snake | September 05, 2010 at 05:16 PM

That's a very bad disrespect of Mikan/Chamberlain/Abdul-Jabbar/and O'Neal by comparing how they were at 22 and pointing out that Bynum has two rings at age 22. Here's a question: Did Bynum LEAD those two Laker squads to the title?

Mikan established himself as the original big man. Chamberlain when he came to the NBA in his first game had 8 blocks at LEAST! Kareem battled Reed's Knicks as the go to guy since Oscar Robertson was at the end of his prime. And those Knicks won the title beating Chamberlain's/West's/Baylor's Lakers 4-3. Shaq beat MJ's Bulls, Reggie's Pacers and faced against a top 4 at least big man in Olajuwon and top 10 SG in Clyde Drexler.

Why did Bynum do? Was a mere spectator albiet injured riding Kobe and Pau under a legendary coach in Jackson.

Here's a stat for you since you spliced it to promote Bynum in a feeble attempt to show he already has two rings (which Kobe gift wrapped to him).

Bynum's Finals production at age 22: 6.8ppg on 41.3% shooting, 4.8rpg, 0.3 assists per game against Howard and Perkins.

O'Neal's Finals production at age 22: 28ppg on 59.5% shooting, 12.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists against Olajuwon no less.

Unfair? Yes considering Bynum was injured in both finals that being said also unfair that you put up his 2 rings to not only to the great Laker centers but also to other legendary centers from Bill Walton to Robinson and try to show his 2 rings when those were even more Kobe's rings along with a great team with him (a defensive beast in Artest...best skilled big man in Gasol...Clutch leader in Fisher...legendary coach in Jackson....did I also mention that top 8 of all time dude?)

It's bad karma to even mention Bynum's name at the time being with those legends simply because he has 2 championship rings. Otherwise lets include Darko Milicic into the conversation since he won his ring at the age of 18. What other center did that?

Hey Larry,

Here's some more Donnie Yen in Ip Man:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TyZdgIjXP0&feature=fvsr

Wes

Blitz- I think he was just saying that Bynum shouldn't be compared to what other centers were at their peak because Bynum isn't at his peak. All those centers best years were ahead of them. Don't jump all over the guy just because you have Bynum issues.

KBBlitz, like I said in my closing paragraph, I don't know if Bynum is the next great Laker center or a bust. Do you know?

Look at this Larry. The best Donnie Yen of all time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKya2Jd2RqU

Wes

And it isn't disrespecting anybody to compare someone to them. Those guys are benchmarks against which Lakers centers should be compared. You could compare Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown to them, if you wanted. Snake didn't say anything about Bynum being better than any of those guys, he simply asked what they were doing at age 22 and answered the question.

Blitz- you really need to relax about Bynum. Respond to each comment as it is written, not what you perceive to be behind the comment.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Sorry if that sounded pedantic. I just wish we could talk about Bynum without choosing sides for once.

KBBlitz, like I said in my closing paragraph, I don't know if Bynum is the next great Laker center or a bust. Do you know?

Posted by: The Snake | September 05, 2010 at 06:01 PM

At the moment no but he has plenty of time to show us all.

The point is Byum can't be compaed him to the legendary centers simply because he has 2 rings at the age of 22. Otherwise include Milicic for winning a ring at the age of 18.

Phred,

It would be no different if Gasol was compared to Malone/Barkley or even Tim Duncan Prime. The biggest difference between Gasol and Bynum is that Gasol with one exception (we know who overrates him badly) isn't as compared to the legends while Bynum is already compared to the legends.

Only person that could be compared is Kobe and he earned that comparison.

The thing that Snake brought up is Bynum already has 2 rings and just compared to those other centers at the age of 22 yet mentioned their negatives (O'Neal's swept at the hands of Olajuwon/Kareem losing to Willis Reed) while promoted Bynum as "despite being injured". I never said he said Bynum was better, it was comparing because of "two rings".

That being said if Bynum was the one who led both Laker squads then he has every right to be compared but he wasn't the one was he?

(I have no problem about Bynum could be the next great Lakers center and I hope he does for all our sakes so we wouldn't be in a repeat of the 1990's of having a good team but not a championship one.)

Also have to let it go at times too Phred.

Blitz- I think you read too much into that. Wait, I said that already.

Blitz- I think you read too much into that. Wait, I said that already.

Posted by: phred | September 05, 2010 at 06:34 PM

Phred so do you hehe. That being said I'm doing another post that doesn't include Bynum okay?

Well, if I'm gonna be patronizing anyway...

the words 'compared to' don't mean 'is as good as.' They mean 'compared to.'

Putting two things up next to each other to see how they are alike and different.

Like saying Bynum didn't have the same stats as Shaq when he was 22. That's comparing.

It doesn't have to start an argument.

Blitz- I'm not saying you were coming down hard on Snake, I'm saying that you sounded to me like you were coming down hard on Snake. That's the sort of thing that gets things started around here.

As my previous comment probably demonstrated.

Oh sweet Mary...can't we discuss Bynum with out any friction...

Gotta give him credit...be it joy, adoration, animosity, or downright hatred...

Bynum does stimulate the fan's mind...

Compared to other players or not...that part is undeniable...lol

I'm typing my big post about how hard it is to be the man Phred so this is a small break for me.

Seriously Phred really need to calm down about this. You posting about this and that is just as bad as instigating another debate.

It's like it's almost a crime for me to post. While insults and name calling isn't the thing for blogs like this...you are making it seem so badly out of line.

I know you are trying to help but it's like you are trying to be my conscience. Phred really it's nice you are trying to help but it's making it worst.

Just like when you decided to put a post from our lakerholics live chat in here and distorted what I said. It's just as bad.

It's all about the love but then again this is too much love Phred.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Bynum is never going to be close to Shaq, simply because of how they are built. Shaq is a freak of nature, a huge guy whose body is put together like a smaller, athletic guy. He was a man amongst boys, but he had a lot of skill and subtlety to his game as well.

About the only place Bynum beats Shaq is in how much pain and rehab and conditioning he is willing to do. Oh, and he is probably smarter than Shaq. And he can shoot better.

Well, frankly, he would have a lot going for him if he wasn't hurt all the time. And I would be rich if I had a lot of money.

Man, Bynum has one other thing Shaq has never had. He's the underdog. I have to root for him.

Blitz- I am, aren't I?

I know I risk coming across as a self righteous guy who judges. Honestly, I want to be the guy who pisses everybody off by making the jokes that are way over the line of good taste.

But it gets ugly in here sometimes.

I know, I'm never going to civilize the internet. I know it takes some delusions of grandeur to think I'm anywhere close to where the internet should go.

But on other hand, this blog is our community. And when you belong to a community, you have to speak up for what is important to you. And it is important to me that people try to achieve a level of respect for each other before they tell them that their opinion is a load of hog crap.

Cause there are a lot of hog crap opinions on here, and I would never want to tell anyone they had to agree with them.

oh, and Blitz, I'm sorry if it looks like i'm singling you out. I just have a lot of respect for you.

I'd lecture LakerTom, but he never responds to anything, he just cuts and paste stuff that strokes his ego.

(I'm joking, LT. Cause I do that.)

ATTENTION EVERYBODY-

KB BLITZ IS ONE OF THE MOST INTELLIGENT AND HONEST BLOG COMMENTORS WE HAVE! \

EVE...{ahem}. Even when he goes off on somebody he still retains enough civilized behavior to talk to other people like people.

Which isn't to say that anybody else doesn't.

Jeez, this is a freakin minefield.

You guys know what? I don't want to make it so everybody has to coddle everybody's feelings all the time.

I just want to be able to tell somebody 'Wow, that was a complete load of unmitigated crap that could only be excused by the fact that y0u are a complete moron,' without anyone taking it personally.

That would be my ideal. Cause what fun is posting here if we have to worry about some guy being all sarcastic and saying

'hey, what's the big idea of calling me a moron, phred? I thought 'it was all about the love?''

Sigh.

Phred,

Really just drop it. Almost done with my post and came to check out what you wrote really just drop it lol.

Sometimes hog wash opinion is fun too.

Really though just drop it mon.

Correction - meant to say...

Wes - Your passion fo Kung Fu always reminds me of my early teen years when my boys, who were sports fanatics, were even bigger Kung Fu fans. It's kinda like re-reading some of the Wilt-Kareem stories...its hard to explain how big Bruce Lee was at that time.

How Mikan showed the way to be the man beyond being big
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mikan-Chamberlain-Abdul Jabbar-O'Neal.


Out of all these names there's only one true "man". That was Mikan. Sure he wasn't the unstoppable force that Chamberlain was, not the style grace and longevity of Abdul-Jabbar-or the mass of O'Neal but the one thing George Mikan knew was how to be the man of the team from the beginning. Yea he only one 4 NBA titles but he won 7 total basketball titles. 3 of them were in the BAA league which was in those days comparable to the NBA before it folded. Mikan like his successors was a physical talented center. He won scoring titles, awards, and MVP, and All-Star call ups. That being said the fact that Mikan won 7 titles as the man shows that he understood that being the man was more than just scoring titles, statistical titles, or even MVP trophies, it was also leading your teams by establishing the big responsibility of being the man.

Being the man for those teams showed that he was more than just a single force like Chamberlain or a team player that Kareem was known together with Magic. It was that he did everything in on the court and off the court to win. To make sure his teams did everything and that he was the one who spear headed those attempts to win a title. If it took him to score he would score. If it took helping his teammates score then he did it. If it took him to defend he did it. Being the big man in charge of all those things are in an understatement very tough since you are the last line of defense and defenders ahead of you can be beaten individually. Mikan knew how to win and his legacy is underrated.

Wilt knew only the statistical part of that. He did everything true but he did not know when it was his time versus the time to use his teammates. Yeah he faced off again Russell but he also had times where his teams were full of Hall of Famers 1968 Philadelphia team where he blew a 3-1 lead over Boston. That changed in LA when he met West and especially in Sharman. He turned the chance to break statistical records in order to win a title. That being said it still didn't get through. In game 7 of the 1969 Finals he chose to stay on the bench (yes I know the injury) when it mattered and it cost LA as Don Nelson put the game winning bucket. It wasn't until 1972 when Wilt realized when to use his teammates (West/Hairston) and when to be the man who takes over and he did winning LA's first NBA title while wearing gloves that D-Lineman in the NFL used in Game 5. However by that time his dominance was no longer what it used to be and his supporting cast was declining after a decade of fighting the Celtics. Plus Reed was back and ended Wilt's last chance to be on Mikan's shoes.

Kareem won his first NBA title with Oscar Robertson but once Big O retired it showed how much it was really still his team. Despite Jabbar being there the Bucks fell into last place of the division. Kareem came to LA but still what happened? The Lakers still had to yet win a title. Kareem won his MVP's but once even he missed the playoffs. He got beaten twice by Seattle. Kareem was putting up all kinds of crazy numbers and setting an MVP record but he didn't win a ring since he days with Big O. Before a little Magic came, Kareem lost again despite having Norm Nixon and Adrian Dantley and Jamaal Wilkees. Then a man named Earvin Johnson Jr. was drafted first overall by LA. Magic knew that it was Kareem's team and until Kareem got injured in Game 5 of the 1980 Finals he seemed prime to win his second Finals MVP. But Magic knew it was time to step up and him as a rookie won not only Game 6 but his first Finals MVP. Over the next decade the team slowly shifted from Kareem to Magic Johnson. Kareem knew it was team to let his team be transformed into the PG's but at long last in 1985 he knew it was time for him to be the man that long time he couldn't be. Haunted in 1984 with the lost to the Celtics Kareem did with no other player at the age of 38 did: Step up and be the man. He did more than dominate, he LED those Lakers. For once Magic seemed to be his second in command in these Finals definately while Jabbar battled Larry's Celtics to 6 games. Initially destroyed by the infamous Game 1, Kareem led his team bravely to a decisive Game 6 in Boston doing one thing no one has ever done: Win in the Boston Garden an NBA championship as the visiting team. That Finals was the best of Kareem's career and the long awaited Cap was walking in Mikan's footsteps as a Laker. Even though Kareem wouldn't have such a legendary outing in the next finals as he did in 1985 he continued his evolution in allowing Magic to become his successor and it was no small coincidence that in Game 6 of the 1988 Finals that he was shot the Game winning free throws that ultimately saved the Lakers from having Detroit celebrating their first NBA title that year. When Magic went down in 1989, Kareem made one last valiant effort to be the man and as a 42 year old he succeeded even though James Worthy was doing his own Big Game situation in those Finals as well. However even his body had limitations at age 42 and he could not prevent the sweep at the hands of the Pistons. But Kareem had at least achieved what Wilt could never do as a Laker: Walk side by side with Mikan more than just one year. Kareem was the closest with George Mikan as the man since as a Laker he had did everything Mikan would have done. It took longer than Mikan for him to realize that but one reason he is more cherished than Wilt as a Laker (and why he is ranked over Wilt in some ways).

Shaquille O'Neal was the opposite. Like Kareem he came from another team in 1996 and was immediately compared to the centers of Mikan/Chamberlain/Abdul-Jabbar. However even with two guys that had kept LA afloat...O'Neal couldn't get the job done as the man. The guy named Nick Van Exel also feuded with his teammates and soon he was gone. Eddie Jones O'Neal felt wasn't a consistent shooter that he needed to dominant and in turn got a great shooter in Glen Rice. However it was still not enough. He could not lead either Rice or the up and coming Kobe Bryant into the promised land. In 1999 he got swept by Duncan and Robinson. Shaq was looking like Alex Rodriguez until he caught up to the one man that taught Michael Jordan how to be the man without dominating the ball: Phil Jackson. Jackson came to LA to have the opportunity to coach Shaq and with him came the triangle offense which was suited for O'Neal because it also demanded a great passer that O'Neal was. Phil immediately set the things Kobe needed to do as a second fiddle and told Shaq what he needed to do. Shaq responded with a legendary 1999-2000 that made him win the All-Star MVP, Regular Season MVP, and the Finals MVP. However he still didn't get it. While Shaq was in his prime he also had a guard named Kobe who wanted to be more than the second fiddle all the time. While that was problematic on Kobe's part as well, Shaq did nothing but not to budge about who was the one who did everything that got credited for. Hence began the feud with Kobe. The next two years Shaq did let Kobe get some more control and as a result won 2 more titles. But then Shaq got over confident that he could bring it on the playoffs all the time and chose to get surgery on company time. Kobe wasn't ready initially to handle the responsibility of being the man but by Jan Kobe showed with his best season ever of 30-7-6. Shaq at first seemed okay with this going along with being under Kobe's shadow briefly until the playoffs when Shaq raised his game but Kobe still dominated the ball. While it was ok against Minnesota Shaq did nothing to force the ball out of Kobe who was firing it all out against Bruce Bowen and averaged more turnovers than assists. The Lakers lost in 6 games. However Shaq did not earn Kobe's respect enough and while Kobe was at fault at times O'Neal was just as bad in the feud. After Kobe's rape trial Shaq did not call Kobe for his support (even O'Neal's uncle did), and said "they whole team was there" even Bryant had not yet arrived in Training camp. Even with Payton and Malone the Lakers did not win the title and Lakers management chose Kobe and traded Shaq to Miami. Initially Shaq was bristled about the Lakers choosing Kobe and not him and he had another MVP worthy season of leading his Heat to nearly a title. However Wade's injury did not allow him an extra scoring option and he again lost to the Detroit Pistons. He got more help in the off-season but it seemed he was not happy with Stan Van Gundy. He then got a few more help in trades and made up with Kobe during 05-06 but still Shaq was becoming less the man and more the second fiddle. It was more than proven in 2006 Finals when Wade took home the hardware. Even though O'Neal was initially happy with his new buddy he did not like that he was getting less attention. Less than 2 years later instead of helping his Miami Heat team win he was complaining about less than 10 shots and with the failure of the Heat to win was traded in midseason to PHX where again he tried to show "I can do this" with a nice presence initially in PHX but his poor free throw shooting doomed the Suns and the next year they opted to go into Shaq more and Shaq had a rejuvenated season. However they missed the playoffs that year and Shaq showed that he was no Stoudemire to Nash. The Cavaliers then got Shaq in hopes of having size to counter teams like LA and he did that but Shaq wanted still some shots and could not stand younger players stealing his thunder aka Superman Dwight Howard. He also feuded with his former coach the master of panic Stan Van Gundy and just now complained about Mo Williams getting shots. Shaq did not show the ability to be the man consistently in his career and while his achievements rank him in the top 10 of all time, there's a big difference between him and Kareem and in Laker lore...a big difference between him and Mikan.

Mikan showed us how to win and be the man of your career. Wilt realized that only when he joined the Lakers. Kareem got that when a little bit of Magic came his way.

Shaq never realized that. One reason he took shots on all his former teams. Reason he called out Mo Williams for the amount of shots. Would the "man" do that?

Not Mikan nor Wilt nor Kareem.

Blitz- say 'uncle!'

: )

It's dropped. I'm going to try find something funny to say to get the night shift started.

phred / blitz - i think you're both full of crap.


oops - did i just type that out loud?


:)

I just want to be able to tell somebody 'Wow, that was a complete load of unmitigated crap that could only be excused by the fact that y0u are a complete moron,' without anyone taking it personally.
Posted by: phred | September 05, 2010 at 07:42 PM
------------------

I think anytime you use "moron" it'll be taken personally...lol.

Not that you need me to say it, but just be yourself and keep calling it as you see it. That why we like reading your posts. Of course, if you get way out there someone will reign you in....or keep on scrolling.

justa-

[HIGH FIVE]

justa-

[HIGH FIVE]

Posted by: phred | September 05, 2010 at 07:59 PM
----------------------------------------------------------------

+1

Andrew Bynum, at age 22, already has two rings, despite two major injuries. Is he the next great Laker center? I don’t know. Judging from where these great Laker centers were in their careers when they were 22, ask me again in 2 years.

Posted by: The Snake | September 05, 2010 at 05:16 PM

Snake - the thing is at age 22 we knew Wilt, Kareem, Russ, Walton, Shaq would be great. We didn't need to wait two more years. Drew started playing the game so late, he's way behind these guys.

LRob- Actually, I'll cop to thinking that Shaq was going to be out of the league with a foot injury or two by the time he was 32.

Still not sure why that didn't happen, but I have to give him some kind of props. Maybe he kept his feet healthy by never ever doing any exercise on them in the off season or something.

When it's time to retire Kobe's jersey...will they retire both numbers...I don't think a team has ever retired 2 numbers for a player before...

But can you imagine another Laker ever wearing #8...

Something to chew on...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 05, 2010 at 04:22 PM

============
Lewstrs,
I was thinking the same thing and you beat me to the blog. Kudos for that.

phred / blitz - LOL! I'd chest-bump you guys back, but... well.... you know... :)

All this Shaq talk... I LOVED Shaq as a Laker. I've watched several episodes of Shaq vs and I gotta say there's still a lot of love there for the Big Fella. He's hilarious! BUT - speaking strictly from a basketball perspective - he's now Shraq The Big Green Ogre. I have to hate him for what feels like treason. It's a betrayal on a deep, personal, emotional level for me. I now need to see him humiliated. Again. By the hands of one Kobe Bean Bryant. Then you hang his jersey from the rafters.

That being said the fact that Mikan won 7 titles as the man shows that he understood that being the man was more than just scoring titles, statistical titles, or even MVP trophies, it was also leading your teams by establishing the big responsibility of being the man.

***

Blitz - read this and the first picture to pop up in my mind: Earvin Magic Johnson...

Blitz- that was pretty good. Was that all yours?

Hey, thanks for putting that together, it was an entertaining read.

justa-

[HIGH FIVE]

followed by-

[ROUND HOUSE LOW FIVE]

followed by-

[PALM SLIDE]

into a-

[FINGER FLUTTER]

ending in a-

[BUTT PAT]

A great point in there was how great Phil Jackson and the triangle offense were for Shaq. And to give the Big Jerk credit, he was willing to try it Phil's way, even if Phil's way was way adjusted (you see how I did that?) for him, that's part of how well the triangle works. You can never have too many superstars.

Bill Sharman was before my time, but it goes to show how good coaching can really help even a superstar. He or she might not need so much coaching on developing their game, but they can still use some guidance on what to do with their talent.

Hey, what do you know? I wrote something about basketball! Go me!

My, oh my,

What have we wrought by discussing young Mr. Bynum? The original question that was posed, 'Is he the next great center?' can't be answered. It can only be debated. When doing so, using words like 'moron' and 'idiot' doesn't really address the issue. Crap, I sound like a dad, again. I already raised two kids!

I agree debate is healthy, but I'd prefer to check in and see statements like 'you're argument lacks clarity' or 'the proof ain't in the pudding yet' instead of name-calling. That's me.

On point, Andrew Bynum is still an unpolished pearl. Mikan, Chamberlain, Kareem and Shaq were quantifiable entities by age 22. They had greatness stamped on them as they stomped around the NBA courts. Andrew has greatness inside him -- he's a 7-foot shot-blocker, he's got soft hands and a nice shooting touch, and he's got solid footwork -- but his lack of college experience and his injuries as a young pro have stunted his development.

That said. He's a perfect compliment to Kobe, Pau and the rest of the gang. And I mean perfect when healthy and focused. Will he be the centerpiece of the offense and team? Maybe one day, but not yet. Not close.

I'll have another post in the morning. I think you'll like it. I just have to make it through this shift (which won't end until after midnight) and then I'll get home and let it fly.

Until then, play nice you delirious Laker fanatics!

When Kareem saw that rookie called Magic, he didn't think he was taking the spotlight, or that he wanted to have the team for himself. He knew the guy was great and that he would be a great player. Shaq, on his prime (the Lakers years) was unable to give any kudos to Kobe. I believe that, without Kobe, we would not be able to 3-peat. The #8 kid w/ afro hair has a big part on the thing, still Shaq got all the attention. Shaq was just the best at his position, during a certain period of time. Hakeem was also the best center b4 Shaq and after Ewing and so on...
-
I know, 3-peat is very hard to achieve and he did. Put him in the HOF, fine. But if they decided he's not a HOF, I'll totally understand.
-
Cheers.

Ok - I can approve the butt pats.

Dan - you're doing a great job for us. Thanks a lot! And admit it - we're growing on you!

KB Blitz

Great post (the really long one), except that I think your characterization of Wilt Chamberlain is off in many respects. Red Auerbach would agree with most of what you said, but then again he failed in his attempt to lure Wilt to the Northeast so he could draft him as a territorial pick and spent the better part of his career focusing 0n beating Wilt's teams. He wanted Wilt in the worst way but because he could not have him, was bitter in his attitude toward Wilt much as he was bitter in his attitude toward Phil Jackson until the day he died. So he made it personal.

Wilt was a team player and wanted to win championships as much as Russell, but simply didn't have the talent on most of his teams or Red Auerbach coaching those teams to help him win championships. When the 76ers won the championship in 1967, Wilt averaged 24.1 ppg (.683%), 24.2 rpg and 7.8 apg. In the playoffs that season, he averaged 21.7 ppg, 29.2 rpg and 9.0 apg. Does that sound like a player consumed with his own numbers or winning? You know he could have DOUBLED his point production if he wanted to just based on his other sick numbers.

I agree that George Mikan does not get enough credit for establishing the importance of having a great big man patrolling the paint. He paved the way for Wilt, Russell, etc, etc, etc. In terms of Lakers lore, Shaq probably comes the closest to Mikan in terms of dominating the game, especially in the playoffs. Let me re-phrase that. Especially in the NBA Finals. Kobe doesn't get enough credit for all he did in the Western Conference playoffs leading to the 3 marshmallows the Lakers faced in the NBA Finals from 2000 through 2002.

As for young Andrew, no he hasn't LED us to anything, nor do I expect or want him to for the next few seasons. As you repeatedly point out, he is a role player, but he gives us the little things we need in the paint that his great predecessors gave us: a superior low post presence at both ends of the floor and an offensive threat. It is very easy to get all wrapped up in talent and to downplay the contributions of role players. I've said this many times, but Bynum has the most difficult role of all the Lakers role players because of what he must sacrifice in order for the team to be successful as a unit. I applaud him for this. If he can continue to improve in his role in the pecking order and help us to a three-peat in whatever role he is asked to play, I will be more than happy to listen to all the Bynum bashers continue to trash him. There's a thing called TEAM, which is more important than anything else.

Oh, and welcome back Laker Tom. I'm thrilled you returned!!

OK, justanothermambafan,

You're growing on me, although I've known many of you for a few years from helping with the blog, I just did it from behind the electronic curtain, never revealing myself. It's nice to be accepted by others, especially for one's basketball knowledge and one's understanding of what others seek. I originally thought you guys just wanted links and updates (tough in the middle of summer), but what you aspire to is understanding and debate. This is your forum. This is good. I want to keep insta-post going, because I see how you use it as a virtual live chat room so when each of you has the time you can communicate quickly back and forth. But trolls, as you call them, and denigrating arguments with one another hurt that cause.

KB Blitz, nice post. Excellent clarity.

OK, the deadline rush is upon me, or to put it in basketball terms, it's the final six minutes of the game and I gotta check back into the workflow.

The question that I have asked before but was not answered was this. If not Bynum who? By that I mean this. Bynum was selected 10 overall in 2005. Can someone find a Center that was selected 10 or just past 10 with his ability/potential in the last 5 years? Someone that can contribute to the Lakers championships. I'm not swaying one way or the other on this, but the fact reamains tha Bynum was a virtual unknown coming in to the league and was considered a reach by the Lakers at 10.
So who would you like to see wearing the purple and gold at center, if not Bynum?

When it's time to retire Kobe's jersey...will they retire both numbers...I don't think a team has ever retired 2 numbers for a player before...
But can you imagine another Laker ever wearing #8...
Something to chew on...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 05, 2010 at 04:22 PM

I'm with it. He deserves it. 3 rings as #8 and 2 and counting as #24.

Dan - the fact that you GET US is the reason why many of us like you just as much (if not more) than the blog god MM himself. Even when Mark comes back, I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping you'll come on here once in awhile to comment, live chat or post a thread. Your posts, along with your understanding and humor, have really helped eased the angst around here when others (who shall remain nameless because I'm not in the mood to verbally throat punch someone right now) were here but gave us crap to feed on. Thanks Dan. I know I'm not alone in my appreciation. So - when the season starts make yourself known. You have a lot of fans here LOL!

Watching the 87 Finals on ESPN...

Is it just me, but as soon as I see Danny Ainge's mug, I instantly get negative feelings deep inside me...I just can't stand the guy...McHale is, almost, just as bad...

lewstrs - yeah I'm watching it too - and NO - it's not just you.


Man - that skyhook is indefensible. I sure wish Socks would add that to his arsenal. The Lakers would go 82-0 LOL!

correction - Game is on FSW, not BSPN...

Dan,
Thanks for posting a Murray article. I miss his writing, his humor and thoughtfulness, the way he'd shape a piece and bring it full circle by the end. Articles and stories just don't seem to have the same staying power these days, probably the immediacy and clamor of the electronic age. Reading Jim again changes the pace, I find myself enjoying it as if on paper, without the time constraints and constant urge to scroll.

****

LT,
I don't stop by that often but it's good to know you're back. It's always been a great pleasure, reading your stuff.

Dan, I second the motion the observation of Justa (JAMF). Here is what I like with you in the blog....you participate, you moderate and suggest things to the kids who are already adults to be reminded. You said: "What have we wrought by discussing young Mr. Bynum? The original question that was posed, 'Is he the next great center?' can't be answered. It can only be debated. When doing so, using words like 'moron' and 'idiot' doesn't really address the issue. Crap, I sound like a dad, again. I already raised two kids!"

~~Exactly, that is the biggest problem in this blog - the center of attention. People will do anything to get someone's attention either by being controversial, beneficial or plain elderly advice like you and I. I get into trouble in reminding people that saying moron, stupid and idiot are not accepted by the masses of bloggers, readers or posters. You can utter that to your close buddy but not to the public in general especially in an anonymous setting.

You hit the nail, Dan. People are engrossed in debates about Bynum and it something to be determined in the future....the same way with Kobe and MJ, it will be determined by future basketball historians not bloggers of today. If you discuss today, you get into biases negatively or fanatically, one way or the other both will be flawed because there are so many "X" factors. Why can't we wait guys and gals? Another thing why don't we just declare our own opinion and stop from there.

I think Dan, you have a role in this blog even if MM comes back. As an asst. editor you should treat this also as your baby in assisting MM. This is a two man moderator like it was during the KBros., some bloggers need babysitting and others utmost respect for their intelligence and insights that makes this blog rich with experiences and insights of Laker fans. Chick and Jack Murray did not live long enough to read the enormous personal stories from fans in general. It is too bad if this blog will end in this manner of trolls and impostors because the good people did not do anything.

Game 4 of the 87 Finals...

I totally forgot the miss rebound on Kareem's 2nd FT...Like everyone you mention this game, you think of Magic's baby hook...but if they would if gotten the rebound, the Chowds would of most likely won the game...

There are a lot of similarities with that Finals team, and our current team...
They were both multi-faceted offensive powers...many weapons on offense...A go to guy in crunch time, Kareem and Kobe...multiple role players...and an established system...

Although, I don't know if it's a fair assessment, with the rules changes and all, but I think our present team is better defensively...When the play within PJ's scheme on defense, the present team, is better on their rotations and quicker on the help defense...and a better rebounding team...probably because of size...

Great stuff, I hope FSW keeps showing some Lakers history and show more archive games...This helps keep the Lakerholism in check...

KB Blitz,

Enjoyed your summation on the dominance of Mikan. Some of the rule changes that took place during his supremacy reflected his greatness.....

1. They instituted goaltending cause Mikan would play a one man zone under the hoop and just swat shots away.
2. 24 second shot clock. The Pistons once stalled the ball to beat the Lakers 19-18.
3. Widened the lane from 6 ft to 12 ft to try to slow Mikan down from scoring easily around the hoop.

Mikan definite was the leader on all his championships teams. But more importantly he increased bball's popularity, he was the drawing card and the face of the league. Kareem credited Mikan with devolopment of the sky hook. He said he watched Mikan and started practicing shooting the hook with both hands. So, yes Mikan is under appreciated.

One point worth noting is that Mikan was the leader, but he always had a very good team with at least two other all-stars.

However, one of the parts of your post I disagree with is this statement:

"Kareem was the closest with George Mikan as the man since as a Laker he had did everything Mikan would have done. It took longer than Mikan for him to realize that but one reason he is more cherished than Wilt as a Laker (and why he is ranked over Wilt in some ways)."
---------
I think Kareem did everything to help his team win from the moment he stepped in the league. His team was NBA champs his second year. As far as his early years with the Lakers go...Kareem did not have one all-star teammate until Magic in 1980. You mentioned AD, Wilkes and Norm...and we all remember Silk and Norm fondly these days, but they weren't all-star performers in 78 and 79. (Here's a quick question...who was the PF of those 78 and 79 teams?) As I mentioned before I still plan to go into more detail one of these days regarding those Kareem years of 75-79 that you oft reference.

And as great as Magic was in game 6 of the 80 finals...I believe Kareem should've been the MVP of that series. He was the leader of the Lakers in the early 80's like Mikan was of his teams.

Thanks for the post

Watching the 87 Finals on ESPN...

Is it just me, but as soon as I see Danny Ainge's mug, I instantly get negative feelings deep inside me...I just can't stand the guy...McHale is, almost, just as bad...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 05, 2010 at 09:31 PM
---------
Danny was easy to dislike. I didn't like him because it seemed like the media tried to tell us how good he was before he had proven anything. It took him about 3-4 years before he caught up to his press clipping. By that 87 finals he was actually good player.

Dan - I know Ainge is a home grown Portland boys...so you probably remember the hype better than most. (He was also part of those under-achieving Blazers in 91 and 92.) That team should have won a title.

KBBlitz - great post awesome recollection or historical fact finding on all those Laker Greats. Shaq was dominant but would not have been as dominant against centers like Wilt or Kareem. The other three were too smart and crafty. Mikan was good but c'mon he was OK compared to these extreme athletes. I would still want him more than Shaq though because he could make his team better and delivered in all facets of the game plus he wasn't a liability at the ends of games like Shaq. Bynum doesn't deserve mention in this subject period, too raw, too frail, nowhere near the talent level and basically a flop so far, looking more like Sam Bowie or anyone with potential that played for the Clippers!

and as far as that block of Lew Alcindor by Chamberlain....hmmmm
I think one time I can remember Wilt ever really punching one of KAJ (lew's) skyhook and it was from the right side not from the top of the key but I could somehow be wrong on that. Kareem owned Wilt and I hated him until he became a Laker, thank God, Dr. Buss and Jerry West for beginning to work the league and draft for great new talent. The 80’s were very special as a Laker fan. The thing is the two great ones, Kareem and Wilt battled but at that point in Wilt's career he was trying to do what the team needed almost to a fault-bad coaching lost a few championships between Sharman and Van Breda Kolff it sucked. Wilt and Jerry West had some very bad playoffs series although they were and still are revered as the greatest in history.
The 90’s era with Phil in Chicago was awesome but not really great basketball other than watching Michael, but he has been awesome as a coach who learned a lot from his Knicks (Red Holtzman) and taking notes from Auerbach. He was a student of the game and his intellect has been the difference in making players buy into the Team philosophy here in LA and in Chicago. Shaq could have been so much better had he ever learned any outside game and perfected a foul shot. All that money and he still has nothing but a dunk if he can get up off the ground. Don’t get me wrong I loved our Lakers winning with him but he scared me so much at the end of games and I have always been disappointed in his work ethic. I guess the whole historical viewpoint got me into my Blogaholic mode and I had to interject my opinion. Whew – thanks for letting me vent I am Pete Maguire and I am a Laker Blogoholic …just been dry for a few years!

mamba24,

http://tinyurl.com/2cxu4ou

Was gonna type up a bible about how #24 rocks but figured I wouldn't bore us all with yet another "this is why i love kobe so much" ... this muffa is just inspiring tho, 2 work this hard for something, 2 be this good at something, 2 love doing something so much ...

what's the something he plays for? RINGS
why do we watch? RINGS
where will our quest for a 3-peat lead us? RINGS

I pray we all find our somethings ... to work hard at, 2 be good at, 2 do it simply 4 d love of it ... black mamba, the blog salutes you, yet again ... miami is gonna be m.i.a if they step unto the court with us and boston's getting bucked if they still want 2 dance

october ... come quickly

I totally forgot the miss rebound on Kareem's 2nd FT...Like everyone you mention this game, you think of Magic's baby hook...but if they would if gotten the rebound, the Chowds would of most likely won the game...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 05, 2010 at 10:07 PM
---------
Lewstrs....one of my all-time favorite ref comments came after that 87 gm 4, when Earl Strom chastised Red Auerbach......

After Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, Red Auerbach confronted Strom in the hallway near locker rooms and told Strom, "That was the worst officiated game I ever saw!", referring to the fact that the Lakers shot 14 fourth period free throws to the Celtics' one. Strom stared back at Auerbach and said, "Arnold, you're showing all the class I knew you always had."

I just got back from vacation! I just wanted to greet all the Laker Nation! (hey that rhymes...)

JustaLakerFan | September 05, 2010 at 07:23 PM

I knew you had no malicious intent with your post...

The thing is the two great ones, Kareem and Wilt battled but at that point in Wilt's career he was trying to do what the team needed almost to a fault-bad coaching lost a few championships between Sharman and Van Breda Kolff it sucked.

Posted by: Pete Maguire | September 05, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Hey Pete - I hope you mean Mullaney and Van Breda Kolff. Sharman led Lakers to title in 72 and they had a great chance to repeat in 73 if Happy Hairston didn't go down. Anyway Jerry West said they would've won a couple of more titles if Sharman had been there coach earlier.

Kobe doesn't get enough credit for all he did in the Western Conference playoffs leading to the 3 marshmallows the Lakers faced in the NBA Finals from 2000 through 2002.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | September 05, 2010 at 09:00 PM
-----------
You're right about Kobe not getting props for how great he played in the WC playoffs those years.

Hey MAMBA24, thanks for the shootout. You rock, homeyboiiii!

Hey MAMBA24! Thanks for the shoutout! You rock, homeyboiiiiii!

Sorry for the typo (shootout). That wasn't me. I was typing on my iPad and the darned thing auto-corrected shoutout to shootout. Duuhh!

Cheers to all you Lakers fans around the world!!

Best Lakers all time:

PG.- Magic
SG.- Kobe
SG.- West
PF.- Pau
C.- Gasol

Shaq?? He cant make a simply free throw. That for my is not a real player, a big body with many skills, maybe, but not a real BB player.

Kareem? He had a simply weapom (sky hook). Poor defense, poor rebounder, poor BBIQ. He was really the Magic´s sidekick.

Chamberlain? Great player, but a losser against Russell.

Mikkan: A jurasic species in BB history.

The Best power forward and Center in Lakers history, without doubt, Pau Gasol.

 
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