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Michael Cooper previews the Lakers' 2010-2011 season

For a fanbase that loves debates, you're in for a real treat. The preseason question of the day has served as a great springboard to get you ready for the season, and to get you talking. But when I talked with former Laker (and current USC women's basketball coach/ABC7 Lakers analyst) Michael Cooper, he touched on a few topics that will surely get the Lakerholics rolling.

Among the highlights:

--Whether Lakers center Andrew Bynum will manage to stay healthy this season.

--What challenges he remembers during the 1988-89 season after winning two consecutive titles, and whether there's anything the current Lakers can learn from that.

--What it means for Kobe Bryant's legacy now that he won a ring against Boston.

--What he likes about how Ron Artest and Matt Barnes play defense, ringing praise considering Cooper won the following honors: NBA defensive player of the year (1987), five-time All-NBA defensive first team (1982, 1984-85, 1987-88) and three-time All-NBA defensive second team (1980, 1983, 1986).

--Who he thinks is the Lakers' all-time greatest player

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina.

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

 
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CURSES! FIREWALLED! Can't see Coop's $0.02 till tonight!

This is why I like text (transcript) as well....my connection won't let me show video.

Can someone share what Mr. New Mexico, Coop, said?

JustaLakerFan, the remark does not refer to you. It refers to JAMF, as usual I erred in spelling of an acronym and put it as JALF. Hope that is cleared and case closed.

Cooop, is he qualified to become the next Laker Coach after PJ? Yesssss, I say Coach K, Brian Shaw, Michael Cooper and Byron Scott (if he's available). Among the best players Lakers ever had, he said Kareem, Magic and Kobe....didn't mention Jerry West nor Shaq....why because MM asked for only three? How can you ask only three when there are so many jerseys hanging on the rafters? Too bad very few here saw Mikan and Baylor played, they are also best during their time. It is really unfair to compare players belonging to different eras and with modesty aside, will Cooper consider himself one of the best players too? I think so but nobody asked that question. I love Kobe as the best he can be, however it was already proven if he's surrounded by scrubs, even if he makes 62 pts. for three quarters or 81 pts per game, he can't reach the Finals without the other better players. Basketball is not tennis or golf where it's an individual game, it's needs a company of 11 better players to win it all. From 73 to 78, Kareem did not win Champs until Magic arrived in '79. Magic failed to win the Championship in '91 because he did not have anymore the great Center in Kareem as well as a good Coach as Pat or Phil.

Good stuff MM.

To summarize for you Fatty...

Only injuries can stop the Lakers. (like it stopped Coop's 89 team)
Lakers will get everyone best shot
Drew is key to Lakers success with shot blocking and alley oops.
Drew is still growing into his body
Ron/Barnes compliment each other well. Barnes will trash talk and play good d, while Ron will just lock you up and he's so strong
Boston will be a diff team because Rondo will be much improved
Must stop one of Miami's big 3 to beat them
Kobe is greatest Laker and one of all time greats
Top Lakers all-time 1) Kareem 2) Magic 3) Kobe

So yes, there was a little contradiction there about Kobe's standing.

Mr. Cooper is a class act.

Great stuff. Two big takeaways for me were his Kobe and Defense remarks.

Kobe is a living legend. I have to constantly remind myself to put what Kobe is doing day in, and day out, in context. From the buzzer beaters and the titles to his relentless work ethic; it an honor to witness a true genius at his craft.

The biggest difference between 08 and now is our Defensive presence. Our offense has always been potent; over the last year it is our defense (Thank you RonRon for setting the bar) that makes us a juggernaut. Like Mr. Cooper said, these key defensive pick ups will pay great dividends.

Looking forward to this season, and the chance to witnessing one of the most complete Laker teams we have had in some time....

Also, GM of the year remark was ON POINT!!!

Always a pleasure to hear Coop talk about basketball. He's a Laker through-and-through; he did the work, fought the fight and earned his rewards... he can say anything he likes and I'll always listen (don't always agree, but ALWAYS listen).

Coop as coach? Hmm, I'm not sure they give him that standing. He obviously knows what he's doing, demands respect and can handle personalities, but do the Busses see him in that light?

Edwin - huh? Did I say something wrong? Sorry about that...

Fatty - welllllll - just cuz you had the summer from hell - here's a little pinch for ya! PINCH. Don't expect it too often though - LOL!!

Hope all is well. Good to see you back!

Justa JAMF, none. it's already history when somebody posted a farewell post and your response to that post. no worries everything is cleared and water is flowing freely again under the bridge. Let us move on.

Edwin,
See you created ish. LOL. I missed the part of erring in spelling of acronym. My bad. Oops, see now you got JAMF riled. (JK). Yes counselor case closed.

63 Footer - agreed - Coop is a Laker through and through. And after that pitiful display of Celtic love by Magic these past finals, I now would MUCH rather listen to Coop speak than cringe when I see Magic take the microphone. At least I know Coop will choose Kobe and the Lakers 100% of the time, even while calling it as he sees it. Kinda like Chick used to do. He'd tell you the truth, but you still knew he bled purple and gold. I'm not sure about Magic anymore. At all.

Yea Fatty,

I'll be happy to fill you in.
Coop said the Lakers appear ready to three-peat, except that the competition has stiffened considerably, so the challenge will be greater.
He doesn't think Bynum will even make it to the regular season before he is injured, yet again. (Tell us something we don't already know Coop!)
He thinks the newbies to the team appear solid on paper, but has his doubts that they'll be able to carry the team with both Andrew and either Kobe or Pau down, which he believes may happen, probably by mid-season at the latest.

He thinks Kobe is a magnificient ball player, but privately admits that both he and Lebron are douche-bags.

Oh, and Utz,

I was actually feeling generous. Coop actually has the Lakers finishing 5th to 7th in the west. He says forget trying to gain home-court. Just winning the Pacific will be tough enough.

He was happy to be a Laker, and still thinks Shaq may be the greatest Laker of all time.

Glad I could help out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Repost compost

After being away for a few days, I did a quick gist read of some of the recent posts. Nice profiles, by the way. Ya’ll are excited.

Too bad the Lakers aren’t going anywhere this year. I’ve got you fourth in the West, that is, if you stay healthy. Very, very unlikely.
The ol’ boys got some miles, especially the Saint.

Haven’t got a whole lot of time to waste now, but I was struck by a challenge made to me by one of the regulars here. Something about, still waiting for a response to something or other???

First, to be totally honest, I don’t play well with others, I’m a notorious cheat, and my posts here are completely self-serving (I mean, would any of you have it any other way...for yourselves, I mean?) and I only play the games that I want to play, when I want to play them.

But honestly Your Honor,

Come on, give it up. What kind of ploy you got up your sleeve?
This isn’t one of your lawyer tricks is it?

O.K., I got one for you:
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a catfish...no no no, never mind. We can’t tolerate any scum-sucking jokes on the nanny board.
How about this one:
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a rooster?
In the morning, one’s primal urge is to cluck defiance.

Oh Lord! That one’s got me laughing so hard I’m gonna have to take a long break...
but no worries mates, you’ll hear from me again, when you hear from me again. Hold your breaths.

Go Sacramento Kings of Basketball!
Go Niners! (Laker Tom and I are buds)!
Go Giants! (Great Pennant Race. Too bad the Dodgers suck. Darn)
Go Manny, Go!

Sonnybelfast

Oh that feels good Justa....Do you scratch backs too?

You mean I'm not dreaming?! Yessssss!!!

Let the (pre) season begin!

Thanks LRob for relating. How do you not like Coop?

LOL Fatty - yes I do, but that costs.... ;)

From the Denver Post:

"The consensus across the league is that the Nuggets will trade Anthony to New Jersey, New York, Chicago or one of the two Los Angeles teams, another NBA front-office source said, with New Jersey having the most to offer."

FYI, I'm not big on rumors.

JLF, thank you for understanding the situation. I did not create an ish (a camouflaged cursing), I was protesting on people jacking up handles until a good friend admitted that he's intentionally doing it to deliver the funny ish. That's just part of the blog, some are serious in raising POV's, some are playing in a relaxed fall doldrums since no Laker happenings and some enjoy jacking up handles as their achievement of the day. Is this not a reflection of the real world?

JACKSON 'LEANING TOWARD RETIRING'
EL SEGUNDO - It seems there's just one person not yet on board with the idea of Phil Jackson returning as Lakers coach. That person is Phil Jackson. Jackson said Wednesday that he is "leaning toward retiring" but has not yet made a final decision. That is likely to come by the end of next week. "Some of it's about health," Jackson said, after wrapping up two days of exit interviews with his players, the final obligation to a season that resulted in Jackson's 11th NBA title as a coach and fifth with the Lakers . "Some of it's just that's the way I feel like right now. I've had vacillating feelings about it."
====
Just read this so Jackson's last year in question per Phil Jackson. Last year is not set in stone, he may be back. I think winning 3-peat and shooting for 4-peat will bring him back.

The article about PJ is dated but I think it is relevant as I think he will change his mind.

JLF, thank you for understanding the situation. I did not create an ish (a camouflaged cursing), I was protesting on people jacking up handles until a good friend admitted that he's intentionally doing it to deliver the funny ish. That's just part of the blog, some are serious in raising POV's, some are playing in a relaxed fall doldrums since no Laker happenings and some enjoy jacking up handles as their achievement of the day. Is this not a reflection of the real world?

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 21, 2010 at 09:47 AM

--------
Edwin,
It's all good. I was kidding about the stirring up the ish. relax my friend.

The LATimes Lakers blog - where ISH stirring happens.

Great interview MM - I knew there was a good reason you were a couple of minutes late for the chat yesterday ;) BTW, your production values (lighting & staging) have gotten much, much better! Nice recap LRob (for the A/V impaired). Coop's point of view is not only extremely well-informed, but postively upbeat, especially with respect to Bynum's outlook moving forward....I like it! Way to kick-off the day!

Oh, Sonny. You're a funny little troll that we've taken under our generous wings. Here's one for your morning cup of coffee:

Q: What's the difference between the Kings and the Lakers?

A: The Kings are the kings of Sacramento, and the Lakers are the kings of bling!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahchoke, choke, choke. Ah, you got me laughing so hard that I'm getting choked up. Kinda like your team. See you on your way to the bottom of the NBA (again!).

Go Lake Show!

Lakers Blog Posts By Sonny Belfast - Where Delusional Hilarity Happens.

From Rotoworld:

"NBA.com's David Aldridge hints that Andrew Bynum (knee) may not be ready for the start of the season.
Bynum is expected to be extremely limited in training camp, instead using the first month of the season to get into game shape. It's not a recipe for success. Owners drafting Bynum should be well aware of all the injury headaches that come with it."

Uh Oh. I don't care if Bynum has to sit out for 5 months, as long as he plays it as safe as possible. It's all about staying healthy for the playoffs. Pau, Lamar, Theo and Character can hold the fort while he recovers.

I was protesting on people jacking up handles until a good friend admitted that he's intentionally doing it to deliver the funny ish. That's just part of the blog, some are serious in raising POV's, some are playing in a relaxed fall doldrums since no Laker happenings and some enjoy jacking up handles as their achievement of the day.Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 21, 2010 at 09:47 AM
*
What I'd like to know is who is the good friend who admitted intentionally doing it. I hope this is not about that mamab24, mamba24 thing where I said yes I am both, but the use of funny ISH makes me think it is. But still in all it's my handle so WTH!

KobeMVP888,


"From the Denver Post:"
"The consensus across the league is that the Nuggets will trade Anthony to New Jersey, New York, Chicago or one of the two Los Angeles teams, another NBA front-office source said, with New Jersey having the most to offer."


Rumors or not,


As long as it is not Bynum/Gasol/Kobe/Artest, and I'll try to hold onto DC and Blake, I am open for a MELO trade. My suggestion is LO,Ebanks,Sasha and draft picks.


@Staples24 he's going to Chicago it's almost a done deal!

Actually, it might behoove the Lakers if Andrew Bynum starts the season on the bench. Some people call it all freak accidents, but it seems to me that Andrew's body has limits and he can only play so long before a blowout.

Maybe if Andrew gets up and running in January, he could still be playing at full strength in June.

And as a side benefit (regardless of the theoretical one above), It should get some minutes on the floor for Derrick Caracter & Theo Ratliff. It would be nice to see if Caracter's Summer League performance carries over into the REAL NBA games.

Melo, Boozer & DRose. Now that is a hell of a Big three!

From Rotoworld:

"NBA.com's David Aldridge hints that Andrew Bynum (knee) may not be ready for the start of the season.
Bynum is expected to be extremely limited in training camp, instead using the first month of the season to get into game shape. It's not a recipe for success. Owners drafting Bynum should be well aware of all the injury headaches that come with it."

Uh Oh. I don't care if Bynum has to sit out for 5 months, as long as he plays it as safe as possible. It's all about staying healthy for the playoffs. Pau, Lamar, Theo and Character can hold the fort while he recovers.

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | September 21, 2010 at 10:13 AM
=====

Uh oh? I though this was common knowledge. Maybe you and I should have a friendly wager on how many games Bynum is going to play this season and whether he's going to be 100% in the playoffs.

Mamba24,


That's better he goes to EAST. I like the way the Lakers are now INTACT, too close for summer camp to make big changes..


Do you know what the Nuggets are getting in return?

Off the subject, but a Denver story on Hoopshype today said the Nuggets are entertaining offers for Carmelo, including "both" Los Angeles teams....Who would we have to give up for CArmelo?

@Staples24, theres a holdup. The Nuggets want Noah and some draft choices and the Bulls want to give them Loul Deng so they are trying to find a third tean to participate in the trade.

To be honest, I don't believe the rumor that there's some chance the Lakers could trade for Carmelo Anthony.

First of all, you don't break up a championship team that has high potential to repeat. It's just foolish. A ring in the hand is worth two on paper, if you know what I mean.

Second, the Lakers don't have the right assets. Or not enough of them to match Melo's gigantic 17 million dollar salary. The rumor is that if they trade Melo, Denver is looking to rebuild. So they'd want to get back expiring contracts (Lakers have only Sasha's 5 million), young talented players (Caracter and Ebanks look promising, but Denver would prefer someone like Derrick Favors), and good draft picks. Lakers pick at the END of the first round, so their draft picks aren't very valuable.

For a Lakers-Denver deal to work out, it would have to involve a third team. And it would also have to involve one or two of their longer contracts to go out. Even if the Lakers were willing to include Bynum (which I doubt - unless there's something medical that they know and haven't told), that would still be about a 4 million a year increase in salary.

If both Odom and Artest were traded, that could free up enough salary that they could pay Carmelo without making a major jump in salary, but if you do that trade, have you really improved the team?

If Bynum, Odom, or Artest were involved in the trade, I'm pretty sure the Lakers could find a third team willing to take on any of them and trade Denver expiring picks &/or draft picks.

I just can't see it happening. It would require Denver to give up a superstar to a team in their own conference, and it would probably increase the Lakers salary even more than it already is, while potentially making the team weaker.

---

The Clippers, maybe. If they were willing to give up Blake Griffin, they could probably get the trade done tomorrow. A package centered on Eric Gordon might work. And they have a ton of cap space. I'm sure Carmelo would be okay with coming to Los Angeles instead of New York, but is a group of Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, and Blake Griffin enough for him to want to stay with the Clips?

>>>Uh Oh. I don't care if Bynum has to sit out for 5 months, as long as he plays it
>>>as safe as possible. It's all about staying healthy for the playoffs.

My thoughts exactly. I'd rather see socks sitting in November than sitting in June.

After all LO has accomplished in the last couple of years - not only for the Lakers but also now for Team USA - I'm stunned that people still undervalue him and want to trade him. Unbelievable. And for the Dough Boy???? Ugh. Just how many balls do you think the team can play with at any given moment? And just how will he lead the Lakers to a championship when he can't do it with the Thuggets (or the Olympic team for that matter, cuz that was Kobe's team)? Does anyone really believe that will work? Really? Just plug in Melo for LO and voila? Who here thinks there's no way Melo could subjugate his ego for an entire year, lead the team (or at least the bench), not cause any problems in the locker room and be totally happy in his reduced role? Hands in the air - anyone?

Lakertruth,


"I don't care if Bynum has to sit out for 5 months, as long as he plays it as safe as possible. It's all about staying healthy for the playoffs. Pau, Lamar, Theo and Character can hold the fort while he recovers."


I agree. It gives early playing time for DC as well, that could be great for his development. DC is an old rookie at 22, he's body is ready for NBA. Bynum is too important in the playoffs. He needs to recover 120 % before hitting the basketball court.

Who here thinks there's no way Melo could subjugate his ego for an entire year, lead the team (or at least the bench), not cause any problems in the locker room and be totally happy in his reduced role? Hands in the air - anyone? Posted by: justanothermambafan | September 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM
*
I do! Why? Because Kobe is his idol and counseled melo when he was going thru some problems. He looks up to Kobe like a big brother. It's much like how Ron Ron idolizes Kobe. Plus he know's he would just about be 100% sure of getting a Ring if he came here. Hell he played with AI for 2 years, at least Kobe will pass the ball. I don't think he would be a problem at all.

Oh Outlaw...

Thank you so much for taking me under your wings, but the Kings at the bottom of the NBA again...think again.

http://www.nba.com/kings/here_we_rise.html

Forget Oklahoma City and Houston. You've got more immediate fish to fry right in your own division. Clippers and Warriors could both give you fits. Portland, if healthy, and even if they are not can take you down. No?
And Sacramento, yes, the Kings are on the move.

I remember when Chris Webber said that he would never, NEVER play in Sacramento!

Petrie may be working his magic as we speak. We've got Lambert (6'11"), Landry ((6'9"), and either Donte (6'11") or Casspi (6'9"), and possibly Cisco (6'7") all positioned for trade as needed, and tons of cap-room for deal-making.
Exactly what no one is expecting may happen (and he is close enough to Hollywood without actually having to infect himself).

Yes, Carmelo will look good in purple and black, alongside my new 6'11' Cuz (possible ROY this season) and Reke 6'6" (ROY among roys from last season, and the dude can really drive fast), not to mention Beno (who gives the Lakers fits), plus either Donte or Casspi, and oh, someone who analysts think may have an All-Star break-out season this year, 6'11" Jason Thompson, and several other usable pieces, such as 7' animal shot blocker Whiteside (who is still growing) plus some other servicable veterans who are trying-out for the team. Near championship calibur? Nope. Not yet.

But we'll be much better than anyone will admit, at least publically, including many Kings fans. We could win 40 games, or we could win 50 or more, this year. One thing is a certainty, that we haven't had for a few years; these dudes are young, big, athletic, talented, and have an attitude.

Oh don't worry...normally I wouldn't bother you with much info about the Sacramento Kings of Basketball. After all, this is a board frequented overwhelmingly by Laker fans. But you did bring it up.

Just think of it as a favor. It's my contribution as a rallying peacemaker. Yep. That's me alright. I'm just trying to keep you from fighting with each other like little girls, and big girls again, until the season starts.

That's when you'll begin pointing fingers and tearing each other's throats out over the losses.

II'm off to Laos today. Save it.

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Giants!
Go Manny, go!

Sonnybelfast

Kobe888,

Thanks for the offer, and although I love making friendly wagers (or any wagers for that matter), I'm not going to bet that Bynum gets injured, no matter how favorable the odds are in my favor. That's bad luck, and bad karma. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope he stays healthy for the playoffs.

How about a friendly wager on a different (and less important) topic?:
- How many minutes will Theo average? Over and under is 12 minutes a game.
- Who will get more technical fouls? Kobe or Barnes?
- Will this be the season Lamar learns to go right? Odds are 99 to 1 that he doesn't.
- How many games will Luke be healthy for? Over and under is 2 games.
- Will Sasha still be dating Maria by season's end? Odds 2-1 that he will be.
- How many fights will Artest and Barnes get into in practice? Over and under is 1.5.
- How many times will Mark Medina mention and criticize Kobe's shot selection in his threads? Over and under is 250 times. I bet the over on this one.

Just think of it as a favor. It's my contribution as a rallying peacemaker. Yep. That's me alright. I'm just trying to keep you from fighting with each other like little girls, and big girls again, until the season starts. That's when you'll begin pointing fingers and tearing each other's throats out over the losses. II'm off to Laos today. Posted by: Sonny Belfast | September 21, 2010 at 11:04 AM
*
ROTFLMAO!! Sonny Belfast in fighting form. Sonny you are going to make a fine Lakerholic when you finally see the Light and come on over to a winning team! Lol! Just playing with ya bro. I wish the best for your team man, I hope they hit that 50 mark. We need these lesser teams to keep us in shape for the Finals we seem to go to every year lol. But seriously Bro..LAOS? Man you and your family be careful and take care!
mamba24/larrY

>>>- How many minutes will Theo average? Over and under is 12 minutes a game.
under

>>>- Who will get more technical fouls? Kobe or Barnes?
Barnes

>>>- Will this be the season Lamar learns to go right? Odds are 99 to 1 that he doesn't.
When hell freezes over

>>>- How many games will Luke be healthy for? Over and under is 2 games.
over

>>>- Will Sasha still be dating Maria by season's end? Odds 2-1 that he will be.
yes

>>>- How many fights will Artest and Barnes get into in practice? Over and under is 1.5.
I'd go with 3

>>>- How many times will Mark Medina mention and criticize Kobe's shot
>>>selection in his threads? Over and under is 250 times. I bet the over on
>>>this one.
LOL. over.

JustaLakerFan,
-
I think there are three people who will determine whether or not Phil Jackson comes back: Bynum, Ebanks and Caracter.
-
WHEN we win a Championship this year, Phil has an ego and he'll want to go out on top. Despite their awesomeness, Derek, Kobe, Pau, and Thriller aren't getting any younger. Phil knows that and if suspects that age might threaten a four-peat, he'll retire.
-
Now if Bynum stays healthy and shows signs of Greatness and Caracter and Ebanks prove to be as good as we all hope they'll be... well, then that could really positively affect Phil's decision to stay for a four-peat.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

LAKER TRUTH

lol! Great topics. What if I set the over-under on Bynum at 68 games and all playoff games (healthy) and give you 2-1 odds?

Thank you Larry. Just a shortie to Vientianne...no biggie.

Glad you're back.

Sonnybelfast

KobeMVP888,

Those odds are ridiculously stacked in my favor, but again, I can't accept any bets where I will potentially benefit from a Laker getting injured (unless it involves a player whose injury will actually benefit the team. i.e. Luke).

Edwin - Sorry about that troll stealing your handle. I banned that IP address and deleted the inappropriate comment.

MM

So why wouldn't people want Melo on the Lakers?

I don't trade him for Kobe, Pau or Artest. Other than that ...

Are y'all on crack???

We are very proud of Coop in NM. Obviously he is the best player to come from here, There was Kenny Thomas, and Giddens who was with the Celtic's for a brief time. I would love to see Coop given a chance to coach the Laker's some day! He is one of my favorite's. Was cheering for the 49's last nite. They almost came thru. Mamba24... I'm tring to stay positive with the Vike's, But....Isn't going to happen this year.

I always had the utmost respect for Coop, not just because of his outstanding defense but, also the alley-oops which ignited the Forum crowds and the timely treys...he was a special player and one of my all-time fav Lakers.


Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!

CONFIRMED, MELO TO LAKERS!!!

Melo --> Artest, Odom, Ebanks, Caracter, Vujacic expiring and two first picks!!

It´d sound great, don´t u think???

hahhahahahahhaha

lakers aquired melo to ron2x..ahahaha


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