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Lakers impressed with Steve Blake's understanding of the triangle offense

Standing off to the side, Lakers forward Ron Artest approached Phil Jackson with a potent observation. In just his second practice, Steve Blake already provided a formidable impression.

"Was Steve here during the summer a lot?" Jackson recalled Artest asking him. "Because he seems to know the offense already."

Even casual observers understand the irony in this conversation. Lakers fans may hold Artest in high esteem now for his 2010 NBA Finals' Game 7 heroics and lovable nature, but they also painfully remember Artest trying to figure out the triangle even well into the postseason. They witnessed his questionable shot selection, confusion over where he should move on the floor and transition in becoming a secondary offensive option. Compare that with Blake, and you have the Zen Master praising his understanding, Kobe Bryant crediting his basketball IQ and Blake, himself, sharing his extra off-season work.

"I'm pretty comfortable with it," he said following Monday's morning practice. "The more I see it with five guys on the floor, the more comfortable I'm getting with it."

It's necessary to take training camp developments for what they're worth. The Lakers signed Blake this off-season to a four-year, $16-million deal because of his uncanny court awareness, penetration and passing abilities. So it shouldn't come exactly as a surprise that Blake's met expectations. While praising Blake's skillset, Bryant pointed out this comes as no surprise given what he calls Blake's "high basketball IQ." The session also entailed no contact and Jackson expects Monday night's practice with contact will prove more valuable and revealing considering Blake is coming off a minor sprained left ankle that kept him out of the end of Sunday's practice. And Blake, himself, said he's trying to fully understand the offensive terminology.

Still, training camp and exhibition games provide at least an early glimpse of potential and how the team can lay the foundation. Blake's quick acclimation suggests he's well on his way in fulfilling the backup point guard role beautifully. His understanding of the triangle reminded Jackson of Pau Gasol's masterful quick study shortly after Memphis traded him February 2008 to the Lakers. Jackson already sees Blake possession as a certain quality that proves critical in properly executing the triangle, which is a pass-oriented offense involving player and ball movement, balanced spacing and constant reads and adjustments on the defense.

"It's a feel," Jackson said when I asked him what's needed in order to master the concepts right away. "It really is more of a feel than anything else. It's pretty simple. But it's a feel of how to do it and the timing that it takes that really is the aspect of playing in this system. All your players have to be fully functioning as playmakers. They have to be able to draw the defense in, know the timing and know the spots that other players are on on the court because everybody is playing a multiple spot that they can play. You see advantage situations and you have to know when those things happen. It's kind of a rhythm that ball players fall into."

For Blake, executing the offense properly also involved trying to learn early. He asked Jackson to send him a tape highlighting various parts of the triangle. He arrived to the facility two weeks before camp started to work with Lakers advance scout Rasheed Hazzard and assistant coach/shooting coach Chuck Person to go over which cuts to make, where to pass the ball and what reads to notice. He's repeated the process over and over to ensure sharpness and consistency. Blake points to having to "immerse yourself in it." And if the Lakers' third practice serves as any indication, Blake's already well on his way.

"I have a feel for it," he said. "I understand when the ball goes one place and a guy makes a cut, you do this or you do that .... It's more when you get out on the court and you make the cuts and you make the passes that you start to pick up on it."

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
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REPOST
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JLF - didn't know if that was you or someone else asking for the profile on Anthony Roberson & Drew Naymick, but I'll give my quick scouting report since both are from Michigan and Naymick balled at MSU....

Roberson - primarily a three point shooter but small. A poor man's Eddie House. Good scorer with deep range. Played a couple seasons in the league...was Pau teammate in Memphis. Didn't play up to his capabilities in previous NBA stints. No chance of making the squad.

Naymick - Strictly a defensive player in college. Long arms, excellent timing on shot blocking. Very, very, very limited offensively. Had a decent 10ft shot, but no confidence. No back to basket game. (That was 2yrs ago...maybe he's developed some overseas since then.)

Posted by: LRob | September 27, 2010 at 05:00 PM

Hmm. I think mud wins the 'justanothermambafan' award for causing the start of a post. To add insult to injury, FCM then posted a comment on the old thread. I responded to FCM's comment on that thread too, for some weird reason.

I admit to really looking forward to seeing Blake play this year.

Six threads today. man.

That's what I'm talking about! Way to go, Blake.

Can't wait til he gets the ball on his hands.

First time post, but I wanted to comment on a couple of things. Regarding Bynum; is it certain that he actually said he would do everything the exact same way leading up to his surgery? He's been misquoted before, and without knowing the question he was asked its hard to be sure what he said can be taken in such a negative light. For instance he said that he thought he'd be playing by the end of November, which at the time I took to mean outside time frame, as in at the latest I will definitely have played several game by the end of November, but is generally being reported as earliest possible date.
As for as Sasha is concerned, why is anyone surprised he took Kobe's place in the practice? Kobe didn't practice pretty frequently last season, and Sasha with all his faults at least knows the offense. I don't believe anyone's ever made the same accusation about Shannon Brown.

blake has to start and fish comes off the bench with l.o., barnes & hicks - if he makes the team... now that's going to be a formidable bench... man, i can't wait for the season to start... i'm just hoping, like everyone else, that we can survive w/o "world cup" bynum. a lot is going to fall on theo... i think he can do it. the team is not to keen throwing the ball inside but with blake at the point, maybe the 4 & 5 will get more touches. good luck kobe... we know your finger will be bothersome this season.

GO LAKERS!!!

Fricking awesome.
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Don't get me wrong. I love Derek Fisher, but I've also longed for a penetrating point guard with sharp passing abilities who can actually play within the Triangle. (Note: THAT GUY was NOT Jordan Farmar.)
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I think we finally have that guy in Steve Blake.
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The Bench Mob is going to be in full effect this year!
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What do we play for? RINGS!!!
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Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
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GO LAKERS!!!

With Bynum out until November, what's the possibility that these training camp invitees might get 10-day contracts?
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What do we play for? RINGS!!!
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Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
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GO LAKERS!!!

You can just tell Phil's lovin' what the new Lakers (especially Blake) are bringing. The Triangle? Got it. Sprained ankle? No big thang. He got some nice pros instead of some spoiled kids. I think consistency is the main thing Phil appreciates (hence his use of vets so much). With consistency he can "calculate" his game plan and then have it executed. He's gotta be lovin' it.

Repost

jayden24 - To a degree, Andrew is still young and doesn't exactly have the art in playing the media spin game. But as I mentioned in the post, Kobe went to the World Cup too BEFORE he got surgery. Say his rehab process went longer than expected? Is his commitment to the team questioned? I highly doubt it

MM

Posted by: Mark Medina | September 26, 2010 at 09:16 AM

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Wow, highly impressive Mr MM.
Well said and I think this comment deserves the BCOTD (Blogers Comment Of the Day). And RCOTD.


Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 27, 2010 at 02:26 PM

LRob,

Knowing the Lakers luxury taxes situation, if there is a "super" player from preseason entries, will Mitch fill up the 15th slot? Since you know more or less playing backgrounds or at least scouting report who could that player be?

So stoked that Blake is on our team! I really hope he splits the time with Fish and then maybe halfway through the season, takes over most of the minutes so Fish can rest for the playoffs.
How many guards currently in the NBA can come in here, and feel comfortable within the Triangle even before they play their first preseason game!? My money is on a number in single didgets.
I bet after we Three Peat, Blake will be considered the most important addition to the team.

mclyne,
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"How many guards currently in the NBA can come in here, and feel comfortable within the Triangle even before they play their first preseason game!?"
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This is the first time in my memory since Jackson came to the Lakers that a player has come to the Lakers and "got" the Triangle before the preseason was over (let alone just started.)
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I mean, Gary Payton didn't get the Triangle all the way into the playoffs!
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What do we play for? RINGS!!!
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Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
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GO LAKERS!!!

Is his (Kobe) commitment to the team questioned?

~~Kobe's commitment to the team was tested by time and by all kinds of circumstances. You can bring it to the bank that if there is a player out there who needs to reincarnate Willis Reed in Championship game, that would be Kobe. That is a reputation established by Kobe in the 7 Finals in a period of 15 seasons, a batting average of close to 50%.

Therefore, he says that he will play during the season, attend the World Soccer and refuse to finger surgeries, he has given his word. He wants to play and he wants to win. That alone separates him from Drew in their attendance to the World Cup prior to surgery.

JLF - didn't know if that was you or someone else asking for the profile on Anthony Roberson & Drew Naymick, but I'll give my quick scouting report since both are from Michigan and Naymick balled at MSU....

Roberson - primarily a three point shooter but small. A poor man's Eddie House. Good scorer with deep range. Played a couple seasons in the league...was Pau teammate in Memphis. Didn't play up to his capabilities in previous NBA stints. No chance of making the squad.

Naymick - Strictly a defensive player in college. Long arms, excellent timing on shot blocking. Very, very, very limited offensively. Had a decent 10ft shot, but no confidence. No back to basket game. (That was 2yrs ago...maybe he's developed some overseas since then.)

Posted by: LRob | September 27, 2010 at 05:00 PM

Posted by: LRob | September 27, 2010 at 05:03 PM

==========
Thanks LRob,
Yes I asked and wondering about the rest like Hicks and Trey Johnson etc.

Nice background input and thanks but would like to see if any eye openners in the bunch in training camp.
I expected most if not all to be training camp fodder but maybe one or two might get Defender contracts based on performance.

I think Steve Blake is the best reserve PG in the league. Any reserve PG better than him?

With Bynum out until November, what's the possibility that these training camp invitees might get 10-day contracts?

Posted by: Jon K. | September 27, 2010 at 05:48 PM
======

Zero


PHIL JACKSON KNOWS HOW TO WIN !!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“"It's a feel," Jackson said when I asked him what's needed in order to master the concepts right away. "It really is more of a feel than anything else. It's pretty simple. But it's a feel of how to do it and the timing that it takes that really is the aspect of playing in this system. All your players have to be fully functioning as playmakers. They have to be able to draw the defense in, know the timing and know the spots that other players are on on the court because everybody is playing a multiple spot that they can play. You see advantage situations and you have to know when those things happen. It's kind of a rhythm that ball players fall into." – Mark Medina.
~
Every time I listen to Phil Jackson talk about basketball, I’m always surprised at his wonderful talent for being able to succinctly and intelligently get to the heart of the matter when it comes to the game. His sage comments about teamwork being able to defeat talent was a perfect example of his ability to perfectly cut through all the hype, hullabaloo, and foolish banner-waving surrounding the Miami Heat to get to the essence of the situation, which was that the road to the title goes through LA.. Leave it to Phil to boil two months of offseason debate into a single succinct right on sound bite.
~
The above comments about the Triangle Offense and “everybody playing a multiple spot” were like a window into the mind of the future HOF basketball coach. You could see from his comments that Phil loves the Triangle Offense because it reinforces his sacred concept of teamwork and sharing the ball. While most NBA coaches are still struggling to find out how to go about winning, Phil Jackson and a few other enlightened coaches such as Greg Popovich have winning down, starting with committing to a philosophy and long range plan to build a championship character, teamwork, and chemistry.
~
That’s what sets Phil apart from coaches such as Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, who to me actually know too much for their own good about basketball. Rather than committing to a philosophy and staying the course, Stan’s move to foolishly play Jameer Nelson at the wrong time in the 2009 Finals was a perfect example of a coach over-thinking a situation. And just listening to the muddle that is Jeff’s analysis with its constant contradictions and second guessing of his own opinions makes me laugh. While he may drive Lakers fans crazy, Phil Jackson has a set of principles and a body of experience to which he has remained dedicated win or lose. Why should he change? He knows how to win.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Knowing the Lakers luxury taxes situation, if there is a "super" player from preseason entries, will Mitch fill up the 15th slot? Since you know more or less playing backgrounds or at least scouting report who could that player be?

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 27, 2010 at 05:52 PM

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Edwin - Actually I was pleasantly surprised when the Lakers signed both Caracter & Ebanks to bring the roster to 14. I highly doubt that they'll add a 15th.

I'm not really that familar with potential prospects. I don't follow any of the Euro leagues and I don't follow college that close other than MSU/Big Ten & of course NCAA tourney. (For example, I never even saw Derrick Favors play in college, other than highlights, and he was the #3 pick by NJ). I already watch NBA hoops non-stop with NBA league pass...so anymore bball and my wife would forget my name...lol.

I just happen to know about two of the guys in camp, Roberson & Naymick, because I've been aware of them since high school and followed their careers thru college. But I'm definitely not the college or international super scout.

Now Perkins says Boston would have won for sure...BY DOUBLE FIGURES if he would've played. Well Kendrick this song is for you...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VZ5DfCY6kY

Here's the article...

http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/2010/09/perkins_we_woul.html

@LakerTom -- i'm with you there. I'm reminded of that thread about Mark Cuban bragging that the Mavs have the depth and height to beat the Lakers. Truth to tell, he may be right to a certain extent. What they don't have is the ability to "get it done" when the opportunity presents itself. In Phil Jackson, we have a leader who has a great philosophy in winning a team game like basketball, and a system that works. The Lakers also have a set of players who BELIEVE in that system. This elevates the Lakers head and shoulders above everyone else, and is the reason why we Lakerholics have every reason to be hopeful of a threepeat this year.

GO LAKERS!

Steve Blake looks a little crazy, in a good way. Intense. I like it.
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I've still got to do Bio-Chrono readings for the new guys.
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What do we play for? RINGS!!!
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Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
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GO LAKERS!!!

Hey LakerPeace, not sure if Steve Blake is the best reserve point guard in the league, but he's a perfect fit for the Lakers. Last season Darren Collison of the Hornets was the best reserve PG in the league, but he'll be starting with the Pacers this season. Goran Dragic with the Suns is a great reserve PG, but that team plays a different style than the Lakers, where the PG is always isolated with the ball and implements the offense off the dribble. So you're comparing apples and oranges.

This is the first time in my memory since Jackson came to the Lakers that a player has come to the Lakers and "got" the Triangle before the preseason was over (let alone just started.)
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I mean, Gary Payton didn't get the Triangle all the way into the playoffs!

Posted by: Jon K. | September 27, 2010 at 06:08 PM
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Jon K - I agree about Blake. How refreshing.

GP thought he was bigger than the triangle. He probably could've "got" it, but didn't have the right attitude IMHO. I liked Payton a lot and was a fan of his game because of his defensive intensity. But I can't recall another great player like him having that kind of meltdown in the finals. Being a GP fan made it tough to watch. Being a Lakers fan made it pure torture!

A weird thing is that so many people find Kobe offputting and I just find him to be exactly as an athlete or competitor should be. Period. I respect and LIKE him for that.
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I'd do the same in his position.
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What do we play for? RINGS!!!
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Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
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GO LAKERS!!!

But he's NOT that other thing that we Lakers fans have been spoiled with. Can he get better? Sure. Will he get better. Most likely. Is he a valuable part of the Lakers. Absolutely. But he'll never have a 1000 yard stare, and he'll never understand the need for one. That's not who he is.

Posted by: 63 Footer | September 27, 2010 at 05:12 PM
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Well said!

@MM… I was disappointed in your post stating that you wanted a mulligan with regarding your support of Andrew Bynum because Drew commented that he still would have gone to the World Cup even if he had known it would mean missing camp and some regular season games.
~
Sounds like you need to listen to your own sage advice and not overreact because of a comment that frankly could easily and ;likely better interpreted as a just a dumb comment made by a young player already made defensive by the media and feeling the pressure. Reminds me of my comments about how staying true to his principles was the bedrock of why Phil has been so successful.
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There’s a lesson to you as moderator also, which is that while we want you to take a stand, we also want you to think before you post because your voice carries a greater weight than we mortals in the comments section. I think like Phil, you have a strong set of principles guiding you in your profession. Nobody is asking you to be a Bynum Booster or Basher. Just to be fair and don’t loose perspective in a media frenzy. How about a mulligan for your mulligan? Anyway, no disrespect if you do want to retract your support of Drew. I just thought that wasn’t you. Anyway, just my humble opinion.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

phred - My point was he acted based on the information he had. My main premise in argument was that many players went on vacation, including a few to the World Cup. It's not irresponsible for him to wait to have surgery if he's told what the timetable would entail. But to say that if he knew it would cause him to miss the first month of the season and he'd still go to the World Cup? That's too much
Posted by: Mark Medina | September 27, 2010 at 05:14 PM
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MM - I've heard a lot "wiser" people than Drew say if they had a chance to do something again they would do it exactly the same. Usually its their ego not allowing them to admit they were wrong. But in Drew's case I don't thinks its ego. I agree with you that he was just being honest. He truly believes he deserved the time off because he gutted it out in the playoffs. And as bad as that sounds, I still don't have a problem with it as long as he's working hard to get ready now.

However, I do think that statement gives us some additional insight into Drew's mindset....for whatever that's worth. Like 63 footer said, that's Drew.

The Lakers have had a curse. Radmonovic, Glen Rice, and Sasha all went from good to poor shooters in our jersey. Horry and Fish are clutch, but not the greatest 3 pt shooters in general. But, generally, outside of Kobe, we've been a weak 3 pt shooting team for a long time.

If Blake can break this curse, our team will go up to a whole other level. No knocks on anyone, but having a steady, dependable, even good shooting guard has been a weakness of ours forever.

We are already the champs. With the addition of Blake (and Barnes) we are going to really be nearly unstoppable. If we play up to our potential, there is no reason we cannot win 75 - 82 games during the regular season.

I am VERY EXCITED about our team being even better than last year. WOW THIS WILL BE A SEASON FOR THE AGES ~!~! HISTORY WILL LONG RECALL THIS LINE UP. We will watch history in the making. Very excited, very lucky.

GOOOoooOOOOOO LAKERS !!!

so good to watch the Lakers in action at the training camp...it makes me more anxious to see them this upcoming season...kobe's looking good...wish I was there...

MM - you need to take me to see their practice...I can be your assistant, I'll even hold the camera and microphone for you...tee-hee =)

Concerning Perkins' post, the Lakers would have won for sure in 2008 had Bynum played; however there is no IF or BUT in basketball, you play with what you have and try your best. Get over it Celtics, the Lakers are thinking ahead of the next championship not wondering what would've happened if this player or that player had not been injured.

I think Steve Blake is the best reserve PG in the league. Any reserve PG better than him?
Posted by: LakerPeace | September 27, 2010 at 06:40 PM
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The only one I can think of that I would want (and rate) over Blake is Kirk Hinrich (Wash). He would've been a good fit for the triangle also...and is a better defender. But of course, he's making a lot more loot than Blake.

Jarrett Jack/Calderon....one of them will come off the bench. Ridnour is also a good backup PG. But I'd take Blake over each of those.


Watched the entire 3 hour Lakers practice and loved every moment.

But I did notice a few things (not) worth mentioning....

Phil saying Caracter may get some minutes at center in November while Drew is down.

Phil saying Blake is not a penetrating and finishing guard to the basket, that's okay, but he does know how to get by his man and create shots for others.

In the background, I watched Luke missing shot after shot while not being guarded while Blake and Sasha were swishing almost everything. Yeah, its only practice, but common Luke, we need you to make those open looks.....

And to add......

Kobe saying we made a great move in acquiring Blake. It was under the radar, because of all the other comotion going on, but will turn out to be a very important pick up for the Lakers.

Mitch saying the Blake pick up was a signifigant move for us with Fishers age.

And, Mitch saying we are EXTREMELY fortunate to get Barnes for the price. "He wanted to play for us and we wanted him"

Now if Luke gets and stays healthy, where does he and Barnes get any time? I guess we will just have to wait and see how PJ wants to use them. But it will give Luke plenty of time to heal correctly. Nice luxury, no?

The Lakers have had a curse. Radmonovic, Glen Rice, and Sasha all went from good to poor shooters in our jersey. Horry and Fish are clutch, but not the greatest 3 pt shooters in general. But, generally, outside of Kobe, we've been a weak 3 pt shooting team for a long time.
Posted by: JohnnyP | September 27, 2010 at 07:47 PM
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JohnnyP - Actually Radmanovic was a 40% 3pt shooter with the Lakers. Above his career avg of 38%. G-Money, a career 40% 3pt shooter, still shot a respectable 38% with the Lakers. But he did shoot 44-45% his last few years before joining the Lakers. So, yes that was a decent drop off. However, overall Rice was not the same offensive force on the Lakers he was in Charlotte. I'll attribute some of that to age and the rest from being the 3rd option instead of the 1st option.

Anyhoo, I wouldn't say the Lakers are cursed in that area...and I'm glad that's not something PJ emphasizes.

MM;

How refreshing your comment about the mulligan - I have my doubts that you actually wrote that post, as I've seen unbelievable bending-over backward for AB since this latest of many oops happened.

Tom:

You - scolding MM? That's not refreshing, that's downright falling-down drunk funny. Maybe you should be named Otis. Where's the sheriff when he's needed?

Steve Blake - that's what I'm talking about. I think he and Andrew should trade contracts.

@RAYMOND42N… Thanks for your comment. If winning a championship is so easy, how come there are very few coaches who have? It’s because they don’t have the faith of a vision, intelligence to create a game plan and build a system to achieve it, and dedication to see it through to fruition, as Phil has done 11 times before and counting. Following Phil is going to be a lot like following Wooden.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

63 footer and LRob,

I definitely agree with what you said "he can get better but he is what he is."

However, for others to say that 1) he is OK whatever he decides; 2) we always misinterpret his statement; 3) we're wrong in the premise of questions; 4) that team can wait just take his time....etc. They are cover ups as prescription for disaster, that's why it is just not acceptable to other group of fans. Mind you, these fans are die hard Laker fans too, they just have a different vision of a future Super Center.

To lump all these fans as Bynum bashers is grossly unfair too. Based on outlook, There is such a thing as a glass half-full, a glass half-empty and the 3rd one, a glass half-enough (just like the milk half & half). I kept on saying this line since Kwame and Smush, it is becoming trite through constant repetitions - we have the same ultimate objective but take different paths in reaching towards that objective. There are no right answers nor wrong answers, we can make judgments only after it had already happened.

LakerTom - I'm curious...has any of the recent develops with Bynum changed your thoughts, even in the slightest, on him becoming the beast we're all hoping for?

Anyway...my feeling are like the song you referenced a few days ago. You didn't think that slipped by me did you? Just a great song. FYI...Luther did a good remake of it also...I especially like the way he changed up the beginning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5IVuN1N6-Y&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--n2lxqgeoU&feature=related

I definitely agree with what you said "he can get better but he is what he is."

However, for others to say that 1) he is OK whatever he decides; 2) we always misinterpret his statement; 3) we're wrong in the premise of questions; 4) that team can wait just take his time....etc. They are cover ups as prescription for disaster, that's why it is just not acceptable to other group of fans. Mind you, these fans are die hard Laker fans too, they just have a different vision of a future Super Center.
Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 27, 2010 at 08:52 PM
-----------------------------
Edwin,

I understand why some are upset over how Andrew and the Lakers handled things. However, I don't think its a recipe for disaster. I think Laker mgmt understands Drew's personality and felt "signing off" on him going to the World Cup and delaying his surgery was the best avenue to take. I'm cool with that.

I would like Bynum to be the next "great" Laker as much as anyone. But even if he's just good and not great, he can still help LA compete for championships the next 2-3 years. After that, Kobe won't be at the same level and we'll need Drew to be better than "GOOD". If he's not capable, then the FO will need to make some moves and bring in other talent to stay at or near the top.

@LROB … Honestly, I think this entire hullabaloo over Bynum is a perfect microcosm of how polarized the media and fan base have become regarding Andrew. Why should I think less of Drew because he gave a dumb answer when questioned by the media responsible for created the issue?
~
Comments by an understandably defensive young player regarding a molehill issue that the media turned into mountain don’t mean squat compared to the heart Drew showed playing hurt during the playoffs and then suffering more damage to his knee despite being told by the docs that he wouldn’t. Frankly, who cares about the talk when the guy walked the walk? Give me a break!
~
Would the critics and doubters have preferred that Drew opted to have his knee scoped and missed the playoffs in order to be able to be ready to today? Would they rather that Drew just had the docs remove the pieces of his meniscus rather than fixing it so it would be stronger and not reinjured? What drives them to anguish and over-analyze and over-react to everything Andrew Bynum?
~
If being on the right side of the argument makes me a hopeless Bynum homer in anybody’s eyes, then so be it. If they don’t believe me, then how about Jerry or Jim Buss? Or Phil Jackson? Or did they not notice that despite all media rumor mongering that the Lakers had no interest in trading Andrew Bynum, even for a superstar point guard like Chris Paul or small forward like Carmelo Antony?
~
From where I sit having been a Lakers fan for over 40 years, what I see is the next great Lakers center and future franchise player taking over the role from Kobe Bryant as the Lakers’ most polarizing and controversial player. And all the Bynum bashers and lukewarm supporters will have changed their tune just like they did with Kobe. What’s great is they were able to make Drew’s knee stronger.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Jon K-
yes, i agree. Kobe sounds like what a winning athlete should sound like, especially being asked the same stupid questions over and over(reporters LOVE to get answers that agree with the column they are trying to write!).


all those getting upset about Bynum's vacation, too bad. whether you're right or wrong, nobody is paying attention, not because they should or shouldn't be, but because you're out of the loop(sorry). actually, i'd rather have 1000%(or so) immersion in Lakerism and hoopism by ALL Lakers, but then actual human beings need time off to recharge sometimes regardless of their big or small paycheck. those with small paychecks NEVER get to have vacations, and that is just as wrong as people with big paychecks never getting vacations. we're not robots with a purpose only to serve the one who bought us(which is why they used to say with all sincerity, "god bless America", they place where even a slave used to have the possibility to become the soveriegn in his own life). as long as the Lakers win in the finals this year, i don't see anything to get too upset about yet.

oh yeah, and Blake sure does sound like THE guy the team needed, i agree...

Laker Tom - I'm not flip flopping. I have strongly convicted opinions, but it's based on the details surrounding each case. I defended Bynum because I had the impression Bynum simply acted on information he was told and he went through all the proper checks in getting the trip approved. He didn't really express remorse about the trip, but it seemed to be more in justifying why he went there. To say he'd do it KNOWING the circumstances now I think honestly is selfish and not in the best interest of the team.

MM

Fanatical Fallacies -

Great name puddle...

Let's get ready to rumble...

mud - great post...I agree...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

as far as what i can see, hating on someone's actions based on "what if" is a pretty lame way to live. one can "what if" all one wants, but the reality won't change. is Andrew's behavior a little selfish sounding in relation to the discussion? YES! was the actual action criminal or at least irresponsible based on what was known and agreed upon at the time(or at least what we're told about such things)? NO!


no harm, done. thank you, come again.


i understand. nothing better to do, so all the writers get together and form "talking points" to encourage discussion amongst the rabble...

FCM- I guess have some confusion over the context of the quote. I haven’t had a chance to see or read the entire interview that you are referring to. My question is whether he was saying ‘I would rather have gone to see the World Cup than play in November’ or simply as you said in your article defending him; ‘I felt and still feel that I was tired and needed time before I was physically ready for the surgery, and I think I have a better chance of being healthy all season long since I got that rest.’

I thought you made a great point at the time. I’ve had arthroscopic surgery before, and my thoughts on the matter were that I wanted to get it over with as fast as possible, because I didn’t want to have that pain or damage any longer than I had to. So my first thinking is that because he put off the surgery 1) either Andrew really really wanted to watch the world cup, and really didn’t want to play in November or 2) Andrew put off the surgery because he wasn’t ready.

I don’t know which is true.

When Drew played during the finals, I basically said ‘He is playing on a hurt knee because he knows we need him to play in order to win. No matter what the team says publicly, this probably damages his knee more and probably hurts his career and future earning potential in the long run. He is choosing to sacrifice his long term health and his next contract in order for us to win this Finals, now.’ That seems to me to be a team first, selfless act, and I’m not going to criticize Bynum if he turns out to have a longer recovery time and misses some of next season, because we couldn’t have won the finals without him. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong, but that at least is where I am coming from.

Lastly, I honestly don’t care if he plays in November. I think that does make it less likely that he will be hurt later on. I don’t want Kobe to play much in November either if it helps. We aren’t playing to win games in November, we are playing to win games in June.

Occasionally, matters like team chemistry, cohesion, and the necessity of getting more experience in playing with the rest of the team are hurt by players missing time early on. But I think the Lakers are a veteran team, a championship team, and they won’t in this case be hurt by Drew not playing in November. Again, I might be wrong, but that’s where I’m coming from.


Apologies to everybody if this sounds a bit disjointed, I'm not sleeping very well lately.

Or, I suppose, like I think it was LRob who said, he was just following the natural human impulse to rationalize a stupid decision because he doesn't want to admit he made a stupid decision. I think the solution to this is for him to stop talking about his injuries to the media.

FANTASY BASKETBALL

if interested, email me at


phredphredington@yahoo.com

Yeah - Andrew should stop talking altogether.

phred - Andrew was asked by the K Bros on their show at media day directly that knowing what he knows now, would he have still gone to the World Cup at the expense of missing time for the regular season and having to rehab. And he said he'd still go

MM

This "playing to win games in June" thing does not hold water. Winning is everyday, not later in the season. Real teams want to win every game, every night out, and it's a habit that gets build early, not late. What are the Lakers players - Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez? 40-something guys with only so much left in the tank? Winning starts in camp, and that starts now. He who isn't ready can walk. Come to camp not ready to play like it's June? If these Lakers are accepting this visage, they'll be in Cancun by June 1.

@PHRED… “When Drew played during the finals, I basically said ‘He is playing on a hurt knee because he knows we need him to play in order to win. No matter what the team says publicly, this probably damages his knee more and probably hurts his career and future earning potential in the long run. He is choosing to sacrifice his long term health and his next contract in order for us to win this Finals, now.’ That seems to me to be a team first, selfless act, and I’m not going to criticize Bynum if he turns out to have a longer recovery time and misses some of next season, because we couldn’t have won the finals without him. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong, but that at least is where I am coming from.” Beautifully said, phred. As you preach, why can’t it be about the love? Thank you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Mitch said that the time table the Lakers gave for Drews surgery and rehab were given with the impression the surgery would be minor with the doctor tossing the cartilage...But that the Doctor once inside Drews knee had the option to sew the cartilage back together. Which is better for Drew in the long run. (no missing cartilage or such) But takes much longer to heal. Drews only 23 years old. The Doctor made the correct decision considering Drews age.
Lets give the Kid a break!
Going under the knife is no fun for anybody. No matter how much money you make.
P.S. and the rehab is torture too.

I've had four knee ops - one of them a complete rebuild with cartilage transplant - torn meniscus is not a torturous rehab. If fact, it's rather character building.

@LROB… I really didn’t answer your question as to whether any of this makes me think that Drew won’t be the beast I hope he will become. My answer is no, I don’t and here’s why:
~
Mentally, I think Drew has it in him to become the dominant player and leader on the team. For a kid just 23, he is uncommonly intelligent with a great work ethic and competitive spirit. And I think his basketball IQ is right up there with his measured IQ. This kid is really special and the Lakers know it. It would take more than ridiculous urban tales hyped by the controversy driven media regarding his dissing Kareem, lifting a playmate on his shoulders, or going on a team approved vacation before his surgery changes any of that. The media used to report the news. Today, they actually make it.
~
Physically, injuries are the only thing to prevent Drew from becoming the next great Lakers center by either robbing him of major playing time or his natural athleticism. In the short term, I think we will find out about the latter issue once Drew is back and fully healthy. After nearly two years since his last serious knee injury, we should finally again see the Drew that plays above the rim and jumps like a pogo stick instead of the hobbled guy who had to wind up to jump. As for the former worry, it will frankly take years of good health to make that go away since injuries are part of every player’s resume.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Or, I suppose, like I think it was LRob who said, he was just following the natural human impulse to rationalize a stupid decision because he doesn't want to admit he made a stupid decision. I think the solution to this is for him to stop talking about his injuries to the media.

Posted by: phred | September 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM
-------------------------------
Actually I said I hear a lot of people "wiser" than Bynum rationalize bad decisions after the fact. I didn't mean he was rationalizing his decision. He was just being honest. I said I had no problem with Bynum's decision because he and the team felt the vacation and delay in surgery was best.

I feel that Andrew is one of the least intelligent Lakers on the team. To envision him as a dominant leader is confederate money.

LakerTom,

Thanks for your reply. I thought it would take more than that to shake your belief, but I was just checking.

The jury is still out for me on whether he can be that "great" player to lead the Lakers to a championship. He's shown he's got the talent. But I still need to see that burning desire. Last year in the playoffs was a step in the right direction. (That's not a knock, because very few players have both the skill and the desire.) You can probably count the current players that process both on two hards.

Of course, now of this will matter if he's not healthy.

Actually I said I hear a lot of people "wiser" than Bynum rationalize bad decisions .................

should have said "I've heard"

well, Otis, you may be right. Drew might not be the sharpest pencil. from what i've seen, he doesn't spend his time on other's mistakes either. we should be critical of the team when they are wrong, so that they feel it and correct it. but those that toil for your entertainment are like your children, while you criticize them to improve them, you keep loving them, so that they do their best, like Andy does for you, or Aunt Bea does for everyone. just being old drunk and cranky won't help(you are THAT Otis, no?).


LRob is correct. even Andrew is correct. the date for the surgery was made, the ONLY way that reconstruction(the REASON for the extra delay, an ACTUAL GOOD THING!) was even an option, was IF the surgeon himself saw that it looked possible, at THE TIME of the surgery. obviously, Andrew, stupid as he is, when asked if he would have done any different, and KNOWING that he did the right thing,(checked with the doctor, checked with his employer and then made plans), and would never just go and do the wrong thing in a situation like that, since his MOTHER taught him better(!), could only do the same thing. a stupid man like AB can't even THINK of a possibility that COULDN'T exist!

there, i hope that settles this. there's no doubt that AB has some serious weaknesses to go with his strengths and that he's no Kobe(no one is, we're spoiled!). he's our starting center and a good one, quite servicable. when he's healthy, he's about the best in the league, for Laker purposes. you better start making him feel better, so he heals faster and keeps his mind on the game, missing it, needing it.


or else, we can keep proving ourselves to be monkeys, talking about whatever the LA media mob wants us to, useless drivel(no offense MM, you do your job well, and we depend on you and your brethren for news about our obsession, which we can get over quickly if it ceases to be fun, the best reason for the Lakers to win! what's with the Clippers anyway?). WHEN DO WE GET TO THE LOVE, phred?


see? a little of y'all in this rant. if any wisdom is to be found in it, claim it as your own and live up to your best ideal, like you demand from the team, but more so.

btw-
although, i mentioned your name at the beginning Otis, you've also said many things that i can get behind, so i can't claim that the previous rant is truly aimed at you specifically(well, some is). more, it's just a diarhetic(new word?) outburst, caused by a period longer than 20 minutes while unsupervised. sorry.

damn! i'm starting to sound all forcedly(another new word!) complicated just like Plashke and Simers, aaarrrggh!

Something tells me that if MM had originally chastised Bynum for going to the World Cup at the expense of training camp and the first month of the season, then reversed his opinion.... LakerTom would have applauded his courage for admitting his error.

well, Troll man, that's probably correct, just as i use too many commas. it's not that big of a deal, though. at least he's talking about the team. oh, that's right! Troll man...


carry on. i joke because i know you can handle it.

mud

you, know I can, because, if, you are going to dish it out, you should be able to take it, it's only fair.

nice commas.

As one of my many alter-egos, Sister Mary Elephant would say

Thank you


For the way andrew bynum dragged his sorry ass up and down the court for your purple and gold last post season i think he can be excused 1 month of the regular season basketball dolldrums.

in fact i think kobe "the one" bryant should be cryogenically frozen and only thawed out in the post season.

Having said all this i am going to see the lakers play minnesota in LONDON!! on monday the fourth of october.

does anyone think kobe bryant is going to play because i will be gutted if i dont even get to see him ????????

Drew is just a nice young kid... much too honest with his comments to the media, which occasionally gets him in trouble. (Remeber him prematurely looking forward to the Celtics matchup last year?) Kobe learned long ago to be terse and private, and he gets dissed for that too. Catch 22. Can't win. Let's just hope Drew gets well soon and stays healthy all season. He is a big body, he's got great hands for catching lobs (think Kwame), he can actually make free throws (think Shaq) and he learned last year that defense and rebounding wins championships. I think Drew matured big time last year. All good in Laker Land...we are improved over last year and can beat any Eastern Conference opponent.

Edwin,

Regarding my comment to charge a membership fee to the bloggers to help improve the revenue flow at the Times, I was just kidding around with that, but I know that's hard to tell in writing. If I were talking that would have been a tongue in cheek remark.

I have been enjoying your posts lately, some good stuff.

Laker Tom,

>>> For a kid just 23, he is uncommonly intelligent with a great work ethic and competitive spirit.

As you are one of the blog elders, I always approach your posts with respect and appreciation of your great basketball knowledge. However...

How can you make such a blanket statement? What FACTS is it based on? Uncommonly intelligent would suggest an IQ over 120. Have you seen Drew's test score? How do you define "competitive spirit." More competitive than who? Kobe? LeBron? Oh, yes, and "kid?" He's been in the NBA for five years. Calling Drew a "kid" suggests he gets a free ride on the short yellow school bus. Playing in the NBA for five years makes you a man with the responsibilities of a man.

Let me make it clear. I am not a Drew basher. I believe the Lakers are automatically the best team in the NBA when Andrew is on the floor. His presence puts every other team at a disadvantage when he is combined with Kobe, Pau, Ron, and whomever is playing point guard. He is a difference maker.

The problem is, in my opinion, that Andrew has been told this so many times that he believes his own publicity. His statement in the K-Bros webcast that if he had to do it all over again, knowing what he knows now, he would still have put off the surgery so he could enjoy the World Cup and go on his safari. This isn't naivitee about what to say to the media. This is a statement of somewhat who is clueless about his professional obligations. That Phil and others have given him a pass in their public statements is a show of support for a valuable team mate, not an endorsement of his decision making.

You were not at the Lakers victory parade. I was. I saw plenty of jerseys for Kobe, Pau, Ron, and other past and present Lakers. Do you know how many #17's I saw? Two. The fan base is a long way from agreeing with you that Bynum is the future of the franchise.

Enabling Drew's cluelessness and other competitive shortcomings does him no favors. He needs more tough love and fewer free rides. I'm in favor of giving him all the time he needs to fully heal. I'm also in favor of insisting that he grows up and commits to achieving his full potential as a player and a team mate.

Good morning again,

On a more positive note, did you see Sports Center last night? Scott Van Pelt virtually apologized on-air to Lakers and Celtics fans for ESPN's overblown coverage of Miami Heat training camp.

The narrative is changing. Chris Webber and others on NBA-TV readily talk about the Lakers as still the team in-charge. More and more commentators acknowledge how the three Am-Ego's have made the Heat the team America loves to hate.

Only the Decision-maker still speaks with the same arrogance, in complete denial of his self-inflicted damage. Keep it up, LeBron. Kobe's positive Q-Score goes up every time you open your mouth.

FCM- It sounds to me like the possibility of ambiguity I felt is still not resolved. That statement is completely defensible if Andrew felt that he needed rest before the surgery in order to play at his best this season.

That was the point you yourself made, quite well, I thought, and I don't see that that statement was refuted by the quote to the K Bros.


I guess if I'm on the jury, I i'm still out.


My reaction to the comments on this blog, however, I maintain; I don't feel like this deserves the moral condemnation that Andrew has taken from some people. (No, I'm not aiming that at anyone in particular). I think there is nothing moral or immoral in his decision, and that we don't know whether Andrew has made a mistake or a wise move.

So I'm not going to 'defend' Bynum per se in purely basketball terms, I'm just going to defend him as a decent guy who I still trust is more inherently good than evil.

THE LOVE SUGGESTS THAT WE DO UNTO BYNUM AS WE WISH BYNUM WOULD DO UNTO US.

THAT IS RIGHT, YOU GUYS GET IN UNI AND BE AT THE LAKERS TRAINING CAMP NO LATER THAN TOMORROW AT SIX AM!

WE ARE GOING TO PLAY CENTER FOR THE LAKERS AND WIN A TITLE!

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE


GO LAKERS!

Andrew Bynum is not Kobe Bryant. Is he overpayed? maybe ... Has he failed to live up to expectations? maybe ... Would I trade Drew for Bosh? absolutely but that ship has sailed

What can not be denied though is the fact that he played through considerable pain in last years final and his presence was felt, he helped us win games. To bash him over the head with, oh Kobe plays through more pain is not fair. Kobe does more but I'm so glad we got Drew

We are the 2 time defending champions but make no mistake, Boston is stronger with Shaq ... Miami's team is like the stuff of video game cheat modes ... Durantula believes he can eat us alive ... and we're a veteran team that's a year older and bigger bull's eye on our backs

If there ever was a time for Drew to live up to his potential, that time is now. So here's praying he has a very healthy season and an even healthier post season. And if that means staying on the bench till April, then so be it.

Say what you may, but Drew has earned his stripes. You can argue dollars, but I say go ask Walton and Luke for a refund first. 17 might not be the best center in the league, but when healthy there is no argument that he makes us a much better team. In the words of Kobe Bryant, he makes us a championship caliber team.

And 2 the haters, pls don't take the Sheriff's mention of Boston, Miami and OKC as a sign of fear. Purple and Gold nation is powered by mamba juice. We welcome anyone to try and bite into our success, just don't act surprised if our venom is 2 much for you to handle.

I'm so happy a new season is upon us ... the quest for another ring begins

24 + 16 + [3|1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

Laker Tom - I'm not flip flopping. I have strongly convicted opinions, but it's based on the details surrounding each case. I defended Bynum because I had the impression Bynum simply acted on information he was told and he went through all the proper checks in getting the trip approved. He didn't really express remorse about the trip, but it seemed to be more in justifying why he went there. To say he'd do it KNOWING the circumstances now I think honestly is selfish and not in the best interest of the team.

MM
Posted by: Mark Medina | September 27, 2010 at 10:22 PM
=================

MM,

I appreciate when someone can modify their opinion about something when new information surfaces which is relevant to the subject instead of holding rigidly to a belief no matter what happens or what new information comes to light.

I agree with you that those comments by Drew can justifiably be interpreted as selfish and not in the best interests of the team.

I don't think Drew is very savvy about how to represent himself to the public, or maybe he really doesn't care what the media or fans think.
But he is young, maybe he'll get better at it.
Some PR training wouldn't hurt him.

Some say he deserved a vacation no matter what. Well, had he gotten the surgery done sooner, he still would have had time off from basketball.

This debate isn't about Drew the player on the court. He plays an important role for the Lakers when he is able to play and is a valuable member of the team.

I wonder how many bloggers would have insisted on time off from their
$10+ million per year job if they were in that situation.

Could you, would you, be willing to forsake a vacation for the good of the company that was paying you $10 mill per year?

Would you be willing to work 52 weeks a year for several years straight if needed for that $10 mill per year?

Is the amount of money you are being paid relevant to the degree of commitment you should make to the company?

To each his own.

Art,

>>> Could you, would you, be willing to forsake a vacation for the good of the company that was paying you $10 mill per year?

I haven't seen anyone suggest that Andrew forsake his vacation. Have the surgery, and go chill or do anything else you want. It's not an either/or.

Andrew Bowie? I sure hope not.

DBDH :(

Rick,

Yes, I agree he could have had the surgery and then just chilled out.
That's what I wrote, ("Well, had he gotten the surgery done sooner, he still would have had time off from basketball.").

My point was there were many posts referring to Drews time spent in Africa/Europe as needed time off to relax, only a few referred to it technically as a vacation.

But I get your point. I was using the vacation scenario to make the point stronger.

Yes, Drew would have gotten time off to chill out whether or not he went to Africa.

What I mean is, he will get time off no matter what, yet how many of us would be willing to work 52 weeks a year with no time off at a job paying us $10 million per year?

Yet Drew admitted he wasn't willing to forego the trip to Africa (his vacation), even if it meant he would miss the beginning of the season and not be there for his team

Perhaps it was clumsy wording on my part. Your post on the matter was very good, very well stated, and I agree with what you wrote.

Good Morning Laker Fam,

Bynum's still the hot topic this morning. I may have been unclear on Bynum's intent. I believe he was being honest with the reporter and doesn't feel like he did anything wrong. And I'm cool with it.

@Art - Yes, I would forgo the vacation, but I'm wired differently than AB. I don't think $ has anything to do with the conversation.

@Rick - regarding pampering Drew vs. giving him tough love. I defer to Phil on this. He knows Drew's personality best and if tough love was/is necessary I'm confident he'll provide it.

Any thoughts on Shaq's comments that was posted at 11:36pm?

LRob,

I understand what you mean about the $ not having anything to do with it.
I believe there are many hard working people trying to advance their careers who would be willing to and have given up a vacation or time off, some perhaps to advance their careers, some just to keep their positions.

I thought that maybe getting paid $10 mill per year might increase the obligation to do such a thing.

I'm pretty sure the rest of Artest's comment to PJ was, "...I'm sure glad he isn't *my* backup!"

This development does not bode well for the rest of the league. That suddenly makes the PG position not so much of a liability anymore. Maybe the Lakers have become an American League team. With Fish being the designated hitter.

Sux to be everyone else...

--FEARless

I am so happy. Great posts yesterday. I am LOVING Steve Blake - his attitude, clarity and focus. He's already made me (the D-Fish fave) completely confident. I honestly never felt that with Jordy. Complete opposite as a matter of fact. It was all about him and his minutes. What a difference!

FCM - it's great to hear stuff right from the mouths of players and Zen.

LakerTom - loved the post on PJ. Very nice. I love hearing him speak as well. I love listening to every word because there are always innuendos.

Rick F. - You and I heard the exact same thing in K-Bros interview. It was at that point that my feeling for him moved away from ambivalence. I have been talking about his attitude for a couple seasons now - the interview cemented my feelings. Selfish, bad attitude. His response was rapid fire, no emotion. I it was immediate and almost shut down. When someone does that, it's generally a selfish defense mechanism. That's what I heard. I wish I could have been there to look into his eyes.

I am still hopeful about AB and know that if he is on the court in 4Q playing at his best capabilities, the Lakers are unstoppable. Rather than being an All-Star, he should be saying he wants to earn PJ's trust that he will dominate his position in 4Q when it counts. That attitude will earn teammate and fans respect.

A couple years ago - here on the blog - there was a a lot of hype about the "three towers". Unfortunately, we can still only imagine it. Because we have a 7'1 cheerleader riding the pine and waving a towel when it counts most. As a loyal fan, I don't want to see that anymore. At the end of a game, the luxury and opportunity of putting up a Lakers wall shouldn't be an unreasonable expectation. Just imagine the scene.......

Cheers - PLG

"You were not at the Lakers victory parade. I was. I saw plenty of jerseys for Kobe, Pau, Ron, and other past and present Lakers. Do you know how many #17's I saw? Two. The fan base is a long way from agreeing with you that Bynum is the future of the franchise.

Enabling Drew's cluelessness and other competitive shortcomings does him no favors. He needs more tough love and fewer free rides. I'm in favor of giving him all the time he needs to fully heal. I'm also in favor of insisting that he grows up and commits to achieving his full potential as a player and a team mate."

Posted by: Rick Friedman | September 28, 2010 at 05:24 AM
=====

Good morning, Rick.

Make it 3. I own one. Didn't Drew exhibit maturity in the playoffs by playing on a knee that should have sidelined him? By sacrificing his body and further damaging his knee in the process (as his surgeon discovered when he went in there and decided to sew him up rather than trim the cartilage), Andrew Bynum made us a better team and we won a CHAMPIONSHIP in the process. As Lakers fans, this is the rule, not the exception, but this spoils us. Other teams would be tickled pink to win ONE championship. Contrary to what the actual "bashers" (not you) say, they probably would NOT have accomplished this without Bynum on the floor and he was NOT a non-factor either last season or the prior championship. So Bynum earned the rest.

Phil Jackson felt the mental rest was important for Bynum and he endorsed it and the end result was a 10 day difference. Every player on the Lakers rested this summer, with the exception of Lamar, who played a far less grueling role on Team USA than he does on the Lakers. Andrew earned the rest and my answer would have been the same as his answer.

Pau Gasol missed the first 11 games of our most recent championship season. Are people still bashing him for playing for Spain last summer and wearing down his body when he could have been resting? OK, perhaps a few, but I'm a happy camper. When #17 is achieved next June and the Lakers are hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy for a third consecutive season, only the "bashers" will remember that Bynum missed the beginning of the season. At least let's hope that it plays out that way, but it is certainly a reasonable scenario.

Go Lakers!! #17 coming up STRONG!!!

@Rick,

I'm going to have to side with KobeMVP888 with this one. Bynum was integral to our last championship, and he missed exactly the same number of games as Gasol in the process of last season.

You can count on one hand the number of players in this league that would have played on his ankle, championship in the balance or not. Most of those players play for the Lakers. Bynum is one of that short list.

The problem is, we are spoiled here. We see this every season out of someone, whereas other teams see this once in the history of their franchise.

I say, give the kid a break, and lets see how the chips fall in June.

--FEARless

Saw Blake at Target recently shopping with his family. He was holding his brand-new baby. Seems like a real nice, genuine guy. Someone we can be proud of as part of our Laker family.

I think the Lakers will be pleased with Drew Naymick. When he played for Michigan State Drew did all the grunt work that made others look good. He set picks, blocked out, provided a steady defensive presence in the post, made the extra pass and blocked shots like no one else in the history of MSU. Drew is clutch on the free throw line, a great asset for a big man in crunch time. He has a nice mid range game. He is a model citizen, was All Academic Big Ten, and is a hard worker. Tom Izzo rode Drew hard during his early years at MSU and Drew matured and toughened as a result. His experience in Europe has helped him to round his game. He will be a nice piece that should help the Lakers stay on top of their game.

the thing about Steve Blake i like is watching these interviews with him, i noticed he has a high level of maturity and demeanor of patience, consistency, no-nonsense, but knows how to take a joke and is very natural and articulate in conversation. reminds me of some classmates back in college who always did well, studied, had fun, but knew their priorities and graduated top of the class and in time.
He seems like one of the new leaders for lakers. cant wait to see him play.


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