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Readers share how they've passed the time during the Lakers' offseason

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Before I headed out on vacation, I asked readers of the L.A. Times Lakers blog how they've spent their offseason. Below are their responses.

"I watch the last few seconds of Game 7 once every week and a half or so...just to keep my smile muscles working." -- utzworld - the BANNER HOLDER

"I'm going crazy. I've seen Games 6 & 7 (both in full on my TiVo) so many times I could call them in my sleep. I've watched every Laker playoff game (on NBATV so just the shortened versions) every time they replay. I've scoured the blog for all the links, stories & Laker tidbits I can find. I've read every single comment on every single thread. I've dreamed of the parade, Game 7 and regular season highlights. I've had nighmares involving earthquakes and either cancelled games or injuries to players. I've almost worn out my "lucky" game day Laker T-shirt and my cat still doesn't want to sit with me when I've got the couch pillows in the "game day configuration". I've downed so many vodka percoset martinis that someone over at Grey Goose really needs to cut me into the profits, plus the pharmacist knows me by name. I've seen all the Team USA practices, games and interviews they've done. Lately I've been reduced to watching WNBA games (the horror) to get a basketball fix! Seriously - is it freaking October yet???" -- justanothermambafan

"1. Moved into the transition of living back in Los Angeles. 2. Hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains, visited the Kern River, and frolicked in the waters of Malibu. 3. Posted frantically here about players with last names of Lin, Ebanks and Caracter. 4. Watched the calendar like a sad puppy looking out the window waiting for its owner to come home. 5. Created fake news stories for the blog to help sedate my Lakeraholicism. 6. Seethed in rage awaiting the opportunity to crush the Miami Meat." -- Jon K

"Reconnected with other parts of my life. Household fix-it projects, movies on Netflix, exercise. But I'm a fair-weather fan. Like the Lakers, I won't really pay much attention until most the season is done and it gets closer to the playoffs. Never thought I'd care so much about the off-season, but the free agency was a better soap opera entertainment than most of the games!" -- jef

"What do I do to keep busy? Oh, you know, job, family, travel, controlled substances. The usual. You guys want to hear something truly terrible? I don't have tivo or NbaTV. I haven't watched Game Seven since, well, Game Seven. No, don't feel too bad for me, I find it sharpens my attention and heightens my senses when I am watching live games. Besides, when I watch replays, I keep thinking blasphemous thoughts like 'man, Luke Walton made a great pass there. And Kobe really shouldn't have tried to shoot that.' and "Wow, Lamar really plays hard.' Seriously. So it's just as well, I would spend all my time tilting at the windmills of Blog Mob Mentality and lose my sense of humor." -- phred

" I have watched: The the 2009 DVD about 200 times...The 2010 DVD about 100 times... 4th Quarter game 7 about 150 times...Complete game 7 about 50 times...Exit interviews about 100 times...Lakers on Kimmel show about 50 times...Laker player exit interviews about 50 times...Artest tweets I've check million times...Laker Blog profile I rewrote about 5 times..." -- LEWSTRS

"lately I have been spending time in the future watching and re-watching the Lakers win the 2011 Finals. I won't spoil it for the rest of you by giving too many details, but a few things I will share. During the last game of the regular season Shaq falls in the locker room showers and bruises his butt. While he could still play, he sits out the playoffs and says since he got hurt on company time, he will heal on company time. An already fragile team chemistry totally disintegrates and the Celtics are bounced out in the second round after getting swept by the Bulls. Wanna know about about 2012?" -- Art - FL Laker Fan

"I spent this summer like I spent last summer, and plan to spend next summer. Buying my championship gear, and re-watching the playoff wins all over again. And it must say, it is not getting old. The anticipation of the next season always gets old." -- Jodel

"I've spent the Lakers' offseason accumulating hate for the Heat and Celtics. Eddie House's addition to the Heat and Shaq's addition to the Celtics only made this process easier." -- NM

"I rewatch Game 7 of the Finals all the time. Specifically, when the Lake Show starts making a comeback in the 3rd quarter. When I'm not at home, I'm on all of the blog sites. So when does the season start???" -- PeteOC

"Thanks God, for NBA-TV. They have been a lifesaver showcasing all of the Laker playoff games in 1 hour formats. Running an all day marathon of "everything Kobe" on his birthday. I don't think I would've made it this far without NBA-TV. If you don't have it and you're a Laker fan - get now!!!" -- Luvdagame

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Luvy Guzman, 19, gets Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in her viewfinder during the team's NBA Finals victory parade in June. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

 
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63-FOOTER… Humbling is not the word for it. I made the first and only basket for our team, who got the ball out first as winners. Then we turned it over and never got back on offense. Final score was 15-1. And by then the word spread and there must have been ten 4-man teams lined up and fighting for winners. I stayed and watched Goodrich as he dominated despite what I had thought before was some pretty good competition. Of course, Gail’s teammates were two giant football types who dominated the boards and another guy his size whose job was to feed the ball to Gail. They left after three hours of totally controlling the court.
~
It’s funny but the only other two famous basketball personalities that I personally met and had long conversations with were Bruins. The first was John Wooden whom I met when I sent my son Kevin to his basketball camp three years straight. Kevin became a favorite of coach Wooden because he was the smallest kid in camp and one of the feistiest. He won a couple of awards and I was able to use that leverage to engage the coach in a couple of good conversations. What a classy guy. Kevin used to have his Triangle of Success posted on his bedroom door and was just looking for it the other day to give to his son Nick.
~
The other Bruin I met personally was Bill Walton, when he first became a motivational speaker. He was a guest at a dinner function at Mrs. LakerTom’s company and gave a great speech about how he overcame a speech impediment to find another career after injuries ended his basketball career. I deliberately did not mention how disappointed I was that he had become a Celtic and sent his kid to Arizona instead of UCLA. He and Kareem are tied in my book as the greatest centers in NCAA history. The smartest center ever to me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Good Afternoon Laker Fam,

Back from my sabbatical and just waiting for NFL to start and then NBA training camp to watch our beloved Lakers get going! This will be an exciting season!

Where's pot? Wherever you are girl, I hope all is well. Salutations to the blog faithful and welcome back MM! Purple and Gold forever! Go Lakers! Go Rams! Go ahead and slam me about the Rams, but I was a fan when they were the LA Rams! Much love to all my Laker family!

LT - I had the good fortune to have Coach Wooden come to Pali on a few occasions and run skill drills and was I used to demonstrate a few things by him. As a father, I can only begin to imagine how proud you must have felt when your son was "taken under the wing" of Coach Wooden. I would have been in 7th heaven. Classy guy indeed. He always had the ability to explain the difficult so easily.

I have always been a big Papa Walton fan as well. Injuries... I hate injuries.

Hee-hee, winners outs against Goodrich. That makes me laugh.

***Repost***

Hello Lakersblog family...Did everyone enjoyed their 3 day weekend??? hope so...Welcome back MM...I hope you've enjoyed your vacation as well...we missed you...Thanks to Dan for keeping this blog going while you're away...I hope to join the chat at 3!!!

Also thanks to Mamba24 for adding me on the roll call...~hugs to you~

LOL @ Me being the first comment! HA!

MM,

What summer? I'm still on the Game 7 Thrill Ride, ha, ha!!

As a newcomer, I have a stupid question for everyone. If a new topic is posted by MM simultaneously with one of our posts from the previous topic, what is the proper "re-posting" etiquette? Do you re-post to keep one continuous thread going or do you simply waste your brilliance with the hope that the members go back and read it?

Please advise.

Screw it. This was a potentially controversial Bynum post so it is hereby a ....

.... *RE-POST* !!!
=======

LT

I categorize the Bynum folks as Believers, Doubters and Bashers. You know where I stand. I think the Doubters are the vast majority (app. 60%) of fans who wish him well, but just don't see it happening. I think the Believers and Bashers are about a 50/50 split and comprise about 40% of the group.

The Believers think/hope (or "believe") that he will overcome the injury bug and develop into the best or second best center in the NBA for years to come. On the Lakers, his numbers should be around 18-10 for the next few years; on most other teams he would be more like 22-12.

The Doubters, the majority of Lakers fans, are convinced that Drew will continue to be injury prone, but sincerely hope that he will overcome his injuries and further hope that he will realize his vast potential. However, they don't give it much of a chance.

The Bashers want Bynum to fail so they can say "I told you so." They also refuse to acknowledge his contributions to our back-to-back championships and like referring to him as a "non-factor," giving all the front court credit to Pau and LO, as if his minutes were meaningless. They would trade him for a less dominant player in a heartbeat. In fact, they are torn between wanting him shipped out of Dodge and having him stay JUST so they can say "I told you so."

My concern, assuming young Andrew stays relatively healthy and starts realizing his massive potential, is that he leaves after the 2012-13 season (the Lakers have a team option in 2012-23 for about 16.5 mil). Remember, his agent is the despicable David Lee, who now has a BIG bone to pick with the Lakers after Mitch and Dr. Buss snubbed Trevor Ariza. I HOPE Lee doesn't have Andrew's ear too much. Between Lee and all the Doubters and Bashers, young Andrew might be fed up by then. Let's face it, Bashers bash for the sake of bashing, so nothing he does will ever be enough for them. They'll say he's not putting up Shaq-like or Kareem-like numbers, or that he hurts us more than he helps us, or whatever. I just hope the Believers prevail and that he fires his agent.

May I suggest Mark Bartelstein to you, Andrew? He seems to be doing the right things for his clients. Here's his list:

http://hoopshype.com/agents/mark_bartelstein.htm

Here's David Lee's list:

http://hoopshype.com/agents/david_lee.htm

NBA summer report cards. Three teams got A's. The Cheat, Thunder and .... YOUR defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers!

http://www.nba.com/reportcard/summer/2010/

1. KobeMVP: You followed the correct protocol. Just type REPOST before reinsertng your comments & you're good.


2. Count me in the Believers camp...until the next round of 2 18/10 games followed by 5 5/3 games because Phil said something that hurt his feelings.

MM: THIS is what we've had to deal with in your absence - Thivery of others' online handles and lewd comments related to them. Until Dan came along, NOTHING was done to stop this.

utzworld - Thanks for the heads up but I already deleted those comments. Someone also tried to impersonate Jon K again but I deleted those as well.

MM

I have only been half-committed to following the NBA this summer, so I think I may have missed something. Did Miami somehow win an NBA title over the summer?


Drew is going to be crucial this year. With Miami juiced up, and Boston having more old big men than a UCLA reunion, and teams like OKC rising in the West, the Lakers will need Drew to step up and become the third member of our own Big 3. Kobe. Pau. Drew.


The Big 2 are there. The role players are there (Ron, Fish, Lamar, Blake, Barnes.....). To lock this thing up Drew has to stay healthy and continue to mature as a player.


Healthy, the Lakers can take their third straight. Last year they limped through the playoffs, I don't think that will get it done this year.


Look for Drew to start slow, but start to warm up in December, as the weather chills, along with title hopes for other NBA teams.

Count me in as a 'Bynum Believer'...

I have had my heated battles defending the young kid...(not here)

Yes, it's been a long summer...only 3 weeks left of boot camp...the closer we get though, the bigger the 'jonesing' gets...lol

I can see we are getting closer, for more members are coming back and sharing their vacations...

Our boys are fresh, except for maybe Odom...but this experience is GREAT for him, being a leader and representing the USA...

Funny, but it seems a Laker takes charge and grabs the leadership role, in our recent National Teams...Kobe in the last Olympics, and now Lamar in FIBA tourney...

Another testament to how great our current team is...

There is a fourth catagory of Bynum opines: followers of the box score. The numbers don't lie, and there does not have to be a bias in any direction.

My wish is that every Lakers player becomes the greatest at his position all-time.

"2. Count me in the Believers camp...until the next round of 2 18/10 games followed by 5 5/3 games because Phil said something that hurt his feelings. "

Don't be blaming Phil Utz when Bynum has those games just as much when Phil can't be blamed for when Kobe has a 9-25 shooting night.

KOBEMVP888… “I categorize the Bynum folks as Believers, Doubters and Bashers. You know where I stand. I think the Doubters are the vast majority (app. 60%) of fans who wish him well, but just don't see it happening. I think the Believers and Bashers are about a 50/50 split and comprise about 40% of the group.”
~
I actually think you are being too hard. I still stand by my 80% are Bynum-Backers, 15% Bynum-Boosters, and only 5% Bynum Bashers. The difference is probably due to semantics. Even as a Bynum-Booster, I still have doubts due to the injury history. It would be silly for even Drew’s most fanatical supporter NOT to worry about him getting injured again, especially since we all know big men are more prone to injuries than smaller players. The key is do you think Drew will overcome that and reach his potential, then you are a Booster. If you support Drew and hope he will overcome the injuries but are concerned, then you are a Backer. If you are positive that Drew won’t overcome the injuries or ever live up to his potential, then you’re a Basher. By my definition, one might even consider Blitz and Hobbitmage to be Bynum Backers once emotions settle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

MVP888 - did you get my missed call on Sat night...I don't know if my VM was audible, but I was at the Orleans, and not far from Treasure Island...I was waiting for your call back, to make arrangement were to meet...

By my definition, one might even consider Blitz and Hobbitmage to be Bynum Backers once emotions settle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Tom one thing DON"T START it again please.

The name calling has to stop by you, me and hobbit.

Aha...Brother Blitz defending the Zen Master...

When ever Bynum does good...I give credit to him and whoever is guiding him at that point...if he does bad...I blame David Lee...for he is evil and deserves the blame...LMAO

BLITZ… LOL. What is the problem now. I sure don’t think that classifying you as a Bynum Backer according to what my definition is was calling you a name. I meant it as a compliment since I know you are hoping that Bynum becomes a great player even though you have concerns. My apologies for offending you. :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

There is a fourth catagory of Bynum opines: followers of the box score. The numbers don't lie, and there does not have to be a bias in any direction.

My wish is that every Lakers player becomes the greatest at his position all-time.

Posted by: Otis | September 07, 2010 at 02:12 PM
=====

Perhaps there is the Box Score Bynum Guy, but I couldn't disagree more that "numbers don't lie." Numbers absolutely can and do lie, ESPECIALLY when it comes to ROLE players and ESPECIALLY when that player's biggest role is to patrol the paint, alter shots and attract double teams in the low post. When it comes to other role players, does Artest necessarily have a bad game if he only scores 5 points and grabs 2 boards while shooting 2-9 from the field and 1-4 from the line if he limits his opponent on defense and the Lakers WIN? (do you realize that Luke Walton had better numbers in 2006-07 than Artest did last season?) What about the consistently inconsistent LO whose numbers fluctuate from game to game more than the stock market? Talk about unpredictable! What about Fish? Is he all about numbers? Has he ever been?

This is not baseball where box scores and statistics rule the day. If Andrew Bynum plays 28 minutes, scores 10 points on 4-6 shooting, grabs 6 rebounds and alters shots, and the Lakers WIN (this was Game 1 of the NBA Finals, by the way), he has done his job. PERIOD.

But then again, if your point is simply that there is a fourth category Box Score Bynum Guy and that guy believes that numbers mean everything, then I can't dent the existence of that guy!

Not that it counted for anything, because it didn't, but the Lakers' record down the stretch of the regular season was 6-7 without Bynum in the lineup. So in that regard, you are right. I look at those box scores and see his name absent and I see a less than .500 record. That's an argument I will listen to.

BLITZ… LOL. What is the problem now. I sure don’t think that classifying you as a Bynum Backer according to what my definition is was calling you a name. I meant it as a compliment since I know you are hoping that Bynum becomes a great player even though you have concerns. My apologies for offending you. :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | September 07, 2010 at 02:39 PM

It's calling out people in general. One thing me and Phred has stopped doing is calling out people even in general. Everyone knows that neither me nor Hobbit shares your ultra-optimistic views on Bynum and you get carried away in taking shots and name calling when you want to make a point.

Yea it was meant to be a compliment but imo the bigger compliment would not mention me or Hobbit even though we would be in the category of backer. It goes a long way for maturity.

Thanks though.

Blitz: You misinterpreted the source of the blame. That was NEVER Phil's fault. It's 100% on Drew.


Managers flame employees on their performance on the regular. Good employees know how to brush their shoulders off and keep it moving. The more sensitive types fall apart before their co-workers very eyes and burn up all their sick days before Summer hits. I know of what I speak...I was once the latter!

Changing topics...

One of the first things I want to pay attention to, when the season starts is:

STEVE BLAKE...

Does Mitch keep his string of great signing going...
Will 'BLaker' soak up the Triangle, like he died and went to heaven...It's a system that fits his game...
Will PJ actually make him an offensive option, or just let the game delegate his shot opportunities...
Will Fish support BLaker and help him in his acclimation, even with the possibility it will lessen his playing time...(I think so...Fish is just such a class guy and team player)...
Will this team love each other as much as last year's unit...because, not just in our Blog, but the team itself...phred's line RINGS loud..."it's all about the LOVE"

KoveMVP; Yep - I get you. However . . . wouldn't you agree that Bynie is here to bring 15 and 10 for the year? Ronnie boy and DFish are here to support and box score means next to nothing. Bynie is not in that latter category.

Lew

I did get you VM, but got it late because I went to a show with wifey and stayed out gambling with her afterwards. Sorry I didn't get back to you and I owe you one. I left Vegas early Sunday morning to beat the traffic back to So Cal and now I am suffering at my desk (once again) defending Andrew Bynum! Sort of.

And that year consisting of 80 to 100 games?

BLITZ… No problem. If that is what you want, I will not refer to you or Hobbitmage in the future.
Have a good day. As for me, you can continue to comment all you like whenever I post. :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Hey guys we got a live chat up!

MM

MM; Where and how?

Otis - Go to the thread above called Lakers chat and login through there.

MM

KobeMVP; Yep - I get you. However . . . wouldn't you agree that Bynie is here to bring 15 and 10 for the year? Ronnie boy and DFish are here to support and box score means next to nothing. Bynie is not in that latter category.

Posted by: Otis | September 07, 2010 at 02:55 PM
=====

I think he is in the latter category until he is 100% physically and mentally ready for prime time. That's the biggest misperception about young Andrew; that he is more than just a role player. Since the arrival of Gasol, Drew's development has been been put on a slower pace even when he's been healthy. His numbers tend to spike when Gasol is out.

In Phil Jackson's 11 championship seasons, when has there ever been one guy who has been the clear cut third option whose star status is up there with the #2 option? In order, PJ's top 3 third options on his championship teams in the regular season averaged 15. 9 ppg (Glen Rice- 1999-00), 15.0 ppg (Bynum- 2009-10); 14.3 ppg (Bynum- 2008-09). None of the Bulls averaged more than 14 ppg other than Jordan or Pippen.

If Bynum dissuades 5 shots per game and alters 5 shots per game next season, neither of which show up in the box score, he will be doing his job. Staying healthy for the playoffs would be nice, too! If he's healthy, he'll easily average 15-10 next season. Per 36 minutes last season, Gasol averaged 17.8/11 and Bynum averaged 17.8/9.9. Both played in exactly 65 practice games. If they could both play 75 games and put up similar 36 mpg numbers, we'll be fine.

NBA summer report cards. Three teams got A's. The Cheat, Thunder and .... YOUR defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers!

http://www.nba.com/reportcard/summer/2010/

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | September 07, 2010 at 01:39 PM

==========================

How can the combo of Westbrook and Thabo get a B+, but Kobe, Derek, and Steve Blake get a B?

How does 3 B's, an A+, and a C get an overall A (Miami Heat)? How bad are their rounding skills? That looks like it should be a B, maybe a B+.

The more I look at the report card the more I doubt the rankings.

Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday got an A, but not Kobe and Derek. Is this just a future ranking or a right now ranking?

They even got the Orlando Magic's frontcourt ranked a C. With one player alone, they should have at least a B.

MM - no such 'thread' appears, but I'm good for now. Someday, explain fully.

THERE GOES MM HERDING HIS FLOCK: HAHAHA

So you know MM in your absence your staunch disciples were like fish out the water. I am so glad you are back to lead these aimless souls to the promise land. I say heeeeeeeeeeeel!!


Hey guys we got a live chat up!

MM

Posted by: Mark Medina | September 07, 2010 at 02:59 PM


Hey Lakers Blog community,

After a grinding 11 shifts in 12 days, I had me a 12-hour sleep session, a good meal and caught up on all the weekend reading. Some entertaining stuff, particularly going back to the '60s and '70s.

Again, thanks for the kudos and praise. I wish I could have done more, but I'm glad my efforts were appreciated.

Good to have MM back at the helm. The next time he needs some time off -- and I realize most of you think nobody would ever want time off from Lakers fanaticism -- I'll make sure his shifts are covered.

Now, I've got a Fantasy Football draft for which to prepare. But let me say this in my best Full Metal Jacket, gunnery sergeant voice (the scene just before they go off to Vietnam when he lets them know not everyone will be coming back alive):

"Lakers bloggers and commenters will oome and some may never come back, but the LA Times' Lakers Blog will live forever, therefore you will live forever."

I'll poke around from time to time, jump into some conversations and help Mark when he needs it.

Looking forward to a new NBA season, but first I've got to get a fantasy football team in place.

Best wishes to you all.


Dan - I also can't thank you enough for your great efforts in holding down the fort. Feel free to jump in whenever you like.

MM

I'd like to chime in on Drew. But first...

Welcome back Mark. I mostly read and only occasionally add two cents. Only discovered the blog in the last year. Fan since '69. This blog and the Fam are a tonic to keep a Lakerholic humming along during the long off-season.

Now I've stated this before, here on the blog, and a few of the comments today go almost as far as I have fantasized...that Drew could easily become the Lakers leading scorer in the next few years, barring injuries of course. Kobe in his waning years becoming more of a facilitator (see game 7 of '10 finals for his ability to morph into whatever he wants and the team needs him to be), and Andrew possibly developing another shot (sky hook anyone?). He's already bigger than almost every other big he has to face, and does have a very soft touch. Moreover, I feel that this could all happen in the context of a successful Laker team.

Meaning Andrew Bynum, 25/10 man, and Lakers in the finals again and again and again.

Love this blog Fam and it was a little unnerving watching it semi-disintegrate, with some of the best, most articulate posters going away. Glad everyone (i hope) is back.

Dean Treat aka wildone

Signed-up for every Laker forum I found.
Watched the Lakers summer camp live for the first time in my life.
Analysed every Laker from last season, re-analysed them all for next season.
Decided to build a huge Mitch Kupchak shrine.
Got stressed about the potential departure of Jackson, Fisher, S.Brown...
Researched the life and career of Adam Morrison, Jordan Farmar...
Analysed every detail about Blake, Barnes, Ratliff, Caracter, Ebanks...

...on USC Football... That's how many make it through the off-season.


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