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Top 5 Ron Artest off-season stories

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At this point of the year, the off-season has got to be quite a blur for Lakers forward Ron Artest. His off-season reminds me of the movie Bad Boys II for several reasons: 1. It was nonstop and fast-paced. 2. It was long and 3. You didn't always know what was going on, but it was still fun to watch. It at least made me stop for a second to remember everything he's done. For a quick refresher, here are Artest's Top 5 off-season moments.

1. Raising awareness on mental health issues - For all the funny antics Artest has done this season, let's get serious for a second. Artest should be continuously lauded for embracing his platform and joining Rep. Grace F. Napolitano last week at Eastmont Intermediate School in Montebello to speak on mental health issues. As The Times' Bill Plaschke noted in a recent column, "Artest stepped back into the punch line of the joke that has haunted him for most of his 30 years. In torn jeans, tennis shoes, collared shirt, sport coat and vulnerable grin, the wacky one took the stage at his weakest. I've never seen him stronger. For 20 minutes in an auditorium that was hushed and reverent, the Lakers tough guy bared not his elbows or his fists, but his soul."

What's great about Artest's involvement here is he knows the irony of it all: ""I know no parent wants their kid to be hearing from the guy who was on the Jimmy Kimmel show in his boxers. "But I put all that aside today."

All accounts indicate that even if the delivery was off, Artest's message was spot on in knocking down the misperceptions about mental health issues and how it's OK to seek health from therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. Although the theme of this entire season has illustrated a new chapter of his life, this event seemed to fully illustrate how Artest has come full circle since the Malice at the Palace. At first, people thought he was the one who needed help. Now he's in the position to help others.

2.Game 7 Press Conference - This is technically the off-season, even if it's just moments removed from the Lakers winning an NBA championship. This legendary press conference featured comedy: Artest pleaded for reporters to "acknowledge me," he asked his daughter why she was staring at him and he expressed giddiness over the fact the Lakers were on a Wheaties box. The press conference also featured apologies: Artest accepts responsibility for his behavior in Indiana and apologizes to that organization for being selfish. And the press conference also featured gratitude: Artest thanked Kobe Bryant for passing him the ball late in the game. Artest thanked Phil Jackson for knowing how to get in his head. And most memorably, Artest thanked his psychologist for all the work she put in during the 2009-10 season.

3. Go Speed Racer: Immediate questions come to mind when the news came out that Artest was cited for having expired registration on a race car: Where did Artest get these set of wheels? How fast was he going? Can I get a ride? Hopefully, he'll still be able to drive this car to work next season, and then challenge teammates to races in the parking lot after practice.

4.'If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball': Artest proved this off-season that there are actually more difficult concepts for him than learning the triangle offense: dodgeball. That's right, the sport everyone loved to play in elementary school gym class might require a few more flashcards than the Zen Master's offense. It also leads me to wonder how he'd do in an intramural bowling, softball or soccer league. The results probably wouldn't turn out well, but there would be a. great Youtube moments, b. great after parties and c. strong possibilities in scoring Lakers tickets.

5. "Champion" As soon as Artest signed last off-season to a five-year deal worth $33 million, he demonstrated his tremendous confidence that the Lakers would win another championship. He recorded a rap song, which was released after the 2010 title, and performed it at numerous L.A. post-Lakers championship parties. Some may wonder why his Twitter excursion doesn't get in the Top 5, since they've included random jokes, jabs at Doc Rivers and LeBron James as well as anything else that comes to his mind. But I'll admit my background as a rap fan plays into it. Given Artest's ability, I actually liked the song, and plenty in the hip hop community reacted in similar fashion. I can't wait until the music video comes out.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Ron Artest, who admitted in October that he'd begun seeing a psychologist back in his days with the Rockets, thanked his shrink after winning his first NBA championship with the Lakers. Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images.

 
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So, according to MSN news, Shaq hacked into an employee's computer and threw his computer in a lake because it had damaging information about Shaq's extra-marital affairs.
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Oh Shaq, is there nothing you won't do, Big Fella?
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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!!!

By the way, Thriller is awesome.
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He was true to his word. He won us a Championship.
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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!!!

Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, Sasha Vujacic the trio should have a nickname the Lakers...

Greatest... intervew... ever.
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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!!!

I do believe black athletes face greater media scrutiny than there caucasian counterparts. The treatment of Bonds vs McGwire is one example.

Not to get too heavy in racial issues; but many reports show that there's a drastic difference among the races when it comes to the perception of how media treats whites athlete compared to black athletes.

Posted by: LRob | September 14, 2010 at 07:24 PM

I know this is from last night, just catching up sorry.

LRob, While I agree that black athletes and white are perceived differently by the media and fans, I do think there is a reason for the discrepancy between Bonds and McGwire. The fact is Barry Bonds is a jerk. I didn't like for that reason long before the whole steroids thing came about. McGwire very well may be just as big a jerk in private, since I don't know him I wouldn't know, but he never came across that way when he spoke publicly the way Bonds did

@KOBEMVP… “HAVING SAID THAT, compared to the torn ACLs suffered by Nene, Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins, the ruptured achilles suffered by Mehmet Okur and Elton Brand, not to mention Greg Oden's and Joel Pryzbilla's injuries or Shaq's groin injuries in 1999 and abdominal injuries in 2002 or Marcus Camby's and Antinio McDyess's multiple injuries during their long careers, I would say that trading Bynum at 23, when his body is still strengthening (as opposed to breaking down) would not be the smartest business or basketball decision. But that's me. “
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The one thing everybody forgets is that, despite his injuries, Drew played exactly the same number of games last year as Pau Gasol. There is also empirical evidence that he is getting healthier and more resistant to injury as he grows up and matures. In the last 3 years respectively, Drew played in 35, 50, and 65 regular season games. Another 15-game jump would mean 85 games this year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@JALF… I loved that video, too. Like his rookie Shaq encounter, it shows what a competitive fire burns in young Drew’s heart. Ironically, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that these early injuries may end up being blessings in disguise in that they forced Drew to be patient with his dreams and temper his ambitions by committing to doing what the team needs in order to win.
~
I am sure that the day will come when Drew will dominate and I think the character building experience he has undergone battling back from his injuries has humbled him and taught him the value of a team oriented framework. It ‘s the attitude he will need to have if he is ever to become a franchise player. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you better. That may be true of Drew.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Ooops … 80 games.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

RE-POST! Damn, MM, you're quick!
======


You seem like a much more patient person that I am, so my question to you is - How long before you lose your patience and give up hope that Bynum can stay healthy for the playoffs? If Bynum gets hurt before the playoffs next year (making it FOUR years in a row), will you continue to invest your hopes on his health the following year? What if he gets injured the year after that? Before answering this question, please remember that if Bynum continues this trend of getting injured, the longer you stay patient, the less you will get in return for a trade, and this is precisely the reason why I feel we must trade Bynum next season if he gets hurt again, before he becomes as untradeable as Greg Oden with a $15 mil salary.

peace

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | September 15, 2010 at 07:30 PM
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LAKER TRUTH

It's a difficult question to answer. Sure, it's disheartening and frustrating when he goes down with an injury, but fortunately for us, we have two rings in the bank with him playing as our starting center in the playoffs, however hobbled he was. In both instances, Phil Jackson proclaimed that at some point he would be a factor and, while he wasn't the beast that you or I would have loved to see, his limited minutes against Dwight Howard and the Celtics' bigs allowed PJ to play his normal 4-5 rotation with Lamar coming off the bench. This is a formula that has been undeniably successful. The fact that he played through a knee injury that would have had many players his size down for the count showed his maturity as a player and a young man and, more important than that, the size of his heart. He KNEW we could not win in either 2009 or 2010 without him, so in that respect, while he may have played at significantly less than 100%, he did what was asked of him and we have back-to-back championships. I understand the opposing view, which is that he was a non-factor or that he hurt us, but I can't buy into that when at the end of the day, Lamar Odom was drilling a three pointer from the corner in '09 at the end of Game 5 against the Magic and playing superb switching man-to-man defense in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against Boston. At leas a small part of that was made possible because of Andrew Bynum's minutes in those games which enabled Lamar to be fresh.

As for the salary issues, as far as I am concerned that is none of my business. As I have stated previously, considering that he is one of very few talented 7' back to the basket centers in the NBA with soft hands, agility, championship experience, and a tremendous upside, I personally don't view his salary disproportionate to other big men in the NBA. They are all overpaid (and always have been since big salaries came into the league) and perhaps Dr. Buss is overpaying him by a few mil a year. Personally, I was bothered by the fact that they extended his contract in a year when he was going to be a restricted free agent, but Mitch Kupchak knows his craft much better than I do and I was glad to know we had him for an extended period of time regardless. I thought at the time that they should have made him earn it and, if he did, then they could have matched any offer made to him. And don't kid yourself, even with his history of injuries, someone would have taken their chances on him and possibly paid him more.

So I honestly don't know how to answer your question. He earns 13.8 mil this season, 15.2 mil in 2011-12 and then the Lakers hold a team option for 16.5 mil for him in 2012-13. If he suffers serious injuries next season, it probably will be difficult to get anything for him in a trade. The following year, 2012-13, that team option becomes an extremely valuable trade piece, notwithstanding the new CBA. To me, trading Andrew Bynum for anyone other than Dwight Howard is riskier than keeping him. And remember this. If you simply eliminate Bynum's contract from the payroll, the Lakers are still over the cap and into luxury tax territory.

I don't think my views are extreme. I think young Andrew has become an integral part of the Lakers chemistry which has now produced two championships. I think he has tremendous potential to be a true difference maker in this league. It would be a huge bonus if he developed into that beast. In the meantime, we have two championships in the bank!

We are so caught up with Artest's off-season acts that we sometimes overlook the fact he is one of the most important pieces of the Lakers for #17. His defensive play against title contenders' SFs (i.e. LeBron, Durant, Pierce) will be crucial for another title. A good news is that he will surely play better than last seaon with much more confidence in triangle. And adding Barnes won't hurt either. Three-peat Lakers!!!!

MM - great post...butter...

What blows my mind is, Ron Ron went into the shower after game 6, when we got blown out in Boston, and said he will join the Lakers, and he won't let the Chowders do that to Kobe again...

Ironically, 2 years later, he joins the Lakers, Boston makes the finals, when everyone thought Cavs and Magic would instead, and makes good on his promise...

Can we say safely, that if not for Ron Ron, we would have lost game 7...

Laker Peace

Excellent point! What did he talk about after we won it? Improving! I believe he most definitely will. There is too much at stake to let down and Kobe Bryant certainly will not allow that anyway. Just like Michael Jordan was able to check Rodman, Kobe does the same with Artest. And then there's Derek Fisher. Does Ron-Ron really want to piss off that little bulldog? I'm excited to see Artest play better defense and take a more aggressive role in the triangle. I think we'll see his scoring average go up a tick, his 3 pt% improve and here's his chance to be voted back on to 1st team all-NBA defense!

It is a good possiblity that Bynum could end up with more rings than Kobe. He is only 22 and has already 2 rings. If he develops to be a dominant center (and injury free), and the Lakers signs key FAs to continue their dynasty he could end up with 10+ rigngs by the time he retires...He might have more rings than Bill Russell. How about that!!

Aloha everyone,

On Andrews injuries, they are a concern yes but up to now anyway, they are not the type of thing one see's with players that had their career shortened. Bill Walton had to retire early because his feet kept breaking. Bowie's legs kept breaking. There was obvious structural issues with their bodies.

Andrew injured a knee when he landed on a foot. This causes about 90% of all basketball knee and ankle injuries. He injured the other when Kobe crashed into it. as far as the knee injury in the playoffs, it wasn't a serious one. It was just the timing of it. If it had been the regular season, he would have had the surgery and would have been back in a few weeks. He just didn't want to risk it taking a little longer and missing the finals. What was irritating to me was the staff was aware of the problem before the season. I guess because Pau was down they decided to let him play and the problem became more severe in the playoffs. I just wished they had fixed it then.

Anyway the jury is still out. I think it's more about better luck then, any real problems with his body.

MH

MM - I gotta go with the press conference as the top Ron Ron moment. That's one of those all-time moments that will be played 20 years from now. Usually memorable press conference moments are from meltdowns i.e....Iverson, Denny Green, Jim Mora..but Ron's was pure joy.

Also, thanks for putting that link back to your post from June 29th when you interviewed Brian McKnight, Master P, Romeo, etc...that was good stuff. I don't know how I missed it the day it was posted.

Big hip hop fan...hmmm. That was a funny line about forcing yourself to believe Shaq Fu...Da Return was a classic...lol. Anyway I did like that one rap by Shaq..."I like playing on the west side, but I missed playing on the east side". Probably liked it more cause he was giving the Laker props.

I'm trying to catch up on a few posts...it's been a long day:

htj - thanks for your perspective on TO.

phred - regarding the fantasy league - your suggestion sound good Mr. Commish.

JustaLakerFan - Hack-a-Shaq now Shaq-a-Hack....CLASSIC!

@JALF… I loved that video, too. Like his rookie Shaq encounter, it shows what a competitive fire burns in young Drew’s heart. Ironically, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that these early injuries may end up being blessings in disguise in that they forced Drew to be patient with his dreams and temper his ambitions by committing to doing what the team needs in order to win.
~
I am sure that the day will come when Drew will dominate and I think the character building experience he has undergone battling back from his injuries has humbled him and taught him the value of a team oriented framework. It ‘s the attitude he will need to have if he is ever to become a franchise player. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you better. That may be true of Drew.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM


Posted by: LakerTom | September 15, 2010 at 08:35 PM
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LT,
I never looked at it that way but you are right. I have faith in Bynum's heart and determination as each year he built up his frame and improved his game. Even with the injuries except 08, he was big factor in championship wins. So to be effective in less than full strength can only make one salivate what a major injury free season would do for us.

Surprise! Ariza comparison is not one of Ron's top off-season topics...

Bynum will get injured again, go to the bank on that. A lot of wishful (and foolish) thinking out there. He has been injured every year but one, what empirical evidence is there to project anything else. And when he is injured again this year, I will laugh hysterically at all the Bynumb lovers who will say...
A. He's entering his prime, don't you dare trade him.
B. Just dumb luck, he won't get injured next year.
C. He will win more titles than Kobe, just wait and see.
D. He's worth the risk, just look at his potential.
E. You don't trade a big man with such skills.
F. The Lakers can't win without him.

Bynum will get injured again, go to the bank on that. A lot of wishful (and foolish) thinking out there. He has been injured every year but one, what empirical evidence is there to project anything else. And when he is injured again this year, I will laugh hysterically at all the Bynumb lovers who will say...
A. He's entering his prime, don't you dare trade him.
B. Just dumb luck, he won't get injured next year.
C. He will win more titles than Kobe, just wait and see.
D. He's worth the risk, just look at his potential.
E. You don't trade a big man with such skills.
F. The Lakers can't win without him.

Posted by: Open your eyes | September 15, 2010 at 09:57 PM
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My eyes are wide open!

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://lakersblog.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c506253ef0133f1f80996970b-600wi&imgrefurl=http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/06/codependency-between-andrew-bynum-and-pau-gasol-integral-part-of-lakers-success.html&usg=__2sg5_YdchgWcSSKNydsWYVzQ6dU=&h=417&w=600&sz=82&hl=en&start=0&sig2=bmqnANv8AD99ASdlM6fa8w&zoom=1&tbnid=wSPjBr_VA9-fLM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=182&ei=-aaRTIjFIsKInAeWuPWQBw&prev=/images%3Fq%3DLakers%2BBynum%2Bchampionship%2Bpic%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1279%26bih%3D702%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=832&vpy=353&dur=503&hovh=142&hovw=204&tx=122&ty=99&oei=-aaRTIjFIsKInAeWuPWQBw&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0

LROB…. Both Mrs. LakerTom and I love the music from Detroit. You forgot one of our favorites: Marvin Gaye.

We live in Mill Valley in Marin County, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Marin was also a main area for great musicians. Here are just a few of our current and former residents: Janis Joplin, Jesse Colin Young, Grace Slick, Tupac Shakur, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Huey Lewis, Booker T. Jones, Sammy Hagar, David Grisman, Bill Champlin, Bill Graham, and David Crosby. I’ve had the good luck to have seen many of these artists live in some superb local venues. Nothing makes the world whirl like music.
Posted by: LakerTom | September 15, 2010 at 03:57 PM
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LakerTom,

Kudos to you & Mrs. LakerTom for your musical taste. In the previous post I just said "Motown" to include all of the great Motown artists instead of listing them separately. However, Marvin was from DC so I wouldn't have counted him. He didn't move to Detroit until he an adult.

But now that I have a little more time...lol...I guess I will list a few separately. The Motown groups from Detroit were the Supremes, Four Tops, Miracles, Marvelettes, Stevie, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, The Funk Brothers, The Contours, Mary Wells...just to rattle off a few. I can't rightfully claim Marvin, Gladys Knight, The Isley's Brothers or the Jackson 5. But now that I think about it I could partially claim the Tempts because of Melvin & Otis.

I'm also a big fan of Bay Area Music - Love Santana, Huey, Tupac...although claiming him is shaky due to when he left the east coast. But you missed my favorite Bay Area group in Sly & Family Stone. You just scratched the surface on your list cause they're a ton of others (Journey & the Doobie Brothers and a plethora of R&B/Hip Hop groups)...so you are well represented.

I also noticed you listed Bill Graham. I assume you talking about the famous promoter? I bought his book, Bill Graham Presents...since I deal with a lot of promoters at work. It's a good read if you're into music and the behind the scenes of promoting big concerts. Lots of good stuff on the Bay Area, the Filmore, Woodstock, the Stones, Zeppelin, etc.

KobeMVP888,

Yes, we did win back to back rings with Bynum as our starting center, but as I mentioned before, there is a supposed "superteam" in Miami, with possibly another superteam in NY next season with Carmelo, CP3 and Amare. Boston bulked up at center as well. The only arguable weakness Miami has is at the center position, and I have no doubt that they will upgrade this position before the trade deadline, or at the very latest, next summer. The league is evolving, and the Lakers, in my opinion, cannot stand pat and expect the same results with the same team, and to their credit, they have continued to upgrade the roster by replacing Trevor with Artest, Farmar with Blake, etc (even AFTER winning it all). However, they will NOT have the luxury of prolonging this dynasty for another few years with a one-legged center (UNLIKE the past couple years), not against a Miami team that should continue to improve every year.

I completely agree with you that having Bynum allows the Lakers to have two solid big men on the court at all times, but the same argument can be made if you replaced Bynum with any other serviceable center (i.e. Chris Kayman, Brook Lopez, Mark Gasol, heck, even Brenden Haywood and Robin Lopez). Any of these guys would be better than a ONE-LEGGED Bynum, and would allow Phil to keep his rotations, as you stated.

My argument for trading Bynum IF he gets hurt again this year is simply to ensure (or drastically increase the odds) of having a healthy big man for the next two playoffs. In my opinion, the Lakers have a legit chance at winning the next three championships, but in order to do so, our THIRD highest player, whoever it may be, NEEDS to be healthy and be a major contributor.

peace

oops forgot Tower of Power in Bay area music. Not sure of AWB - Average White Band but I think so.
Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 05:08 PM
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JustaLakerFan,

Tower of Power...good one. AWB are from Scotland, but they're funky of enough for the Bay area to claim them.

That was a good look on that Michele Branch/Santana. And all of this time I thought the name of that was, "A Little Bit of This"...lol. It's impossible to listen to that and not hum along.

Lewstrs - sounds like you guys had a blast at your Council Meetings. What's the Lakers record on days you have "council meetings"? If the winning percentage is exceptional we may have to make them mandatory for key playoff games...lol.

I completely agree with you that having Bynum allows the Lakers to have two solid big men on the court at all times, but the same argument can be made if you replaced Bynum with any other serviceable center (i.e. Chris Kayman, Brook Lopez, Mark Gasol, heck, even Brenden Haywood and Robin Lopez). Any of these guys would be better than a ONE-LEGGED Bynum, and would allow Phil to keep his rotations, as you stated.

My argument for trading Bynum IF he gets hurt again this year is simply to ensure (or drastically increase the odds) of having a healthy big man for the next two playoffs. In my opinion, the Lakers have a legit chance at winning the next three championships, but in order to do so, our THIRD highest player, whoever it may be, NEEDS to be healthy and be a major contributor.

peace

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | September 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM
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That's why Mitch Kupchak is the GM and we're fans. We need more than "serviceable." I'll take Bynum on one leg over any of those guys with the possible exception of Brook Lopez, except that Bynum can snap him in half and we already have Gasol to give us plenty of low post offense. Chris Kaman is just as injury prone as Bynum. The rest of the bunch? eh

What I don't understand, especially after all the evidence I showed you on how fragile bigs are in general, including Shaq (Dwight Howard's a freaky exception), is what the hell are you afraid of? You can't take the two rings away and, other than Howard, you'd take "serviceable" to man the paint against the super teams you're concerned about? Do you grasp how strong Bynum is? Ask Gerald Wallace. Ask Dwight Howard. Ask Kendrick Perkins. Do you grasp how long Bynum is? Ask Doc Rivers. Or just look at him. Do you understand that his strength, length and agility can't be taught? He's been on two winners. Yes, I'll take a ONE-LEGGED Bynum over "serviceable." If it comes to that, we already have Ratliff and can bring back the un-signed Mbenga or someone like him. Serviceable are end of the benchers. Bynum is so much more than that, even on one leg.

Have some faith, my man!

I read a lot of comments on Bynum's salary the last few days and here's my take:

I almost always side with the players on this. (Hey I'm an employee not an business owner...what did you expect?) Thus, I'm rarely concern myself with how much player X is making. Players should get what the market dictates and their agents can negotiate. Owners should pay what the market dictates and they can negotiate.

I do hold owners responsible if they lose a key player by haggling over a few million $$$. For example, I thought Buss offer to LO was more than fair. However, if LO would've left because he wanted 9mil per yr instead of 8mil per year then I would have been disappointed in Buss because it would've cost the Lakers the championship.

I know sports is a business and owners have to run their franchises accordingly. But one of the reasons I'm a Laker fan is because I know ownership will spend money to make money. Dr. Buss is a great owner. If he suddenly starting counting "pennies" like Sarver, then the Lakers we've come to know and love would cease to exist!

So Baby Bynum do your thing. Whether you were making 5mil or 15mil...the only thing I'm worried about is your production!

Aren't we lucky to have Ron Ron in purple and gold? He is such a character, with a pure heart. Yes, he's quirky. Yes, he's got baggage. But he also is addressing his issues by seeing a psychiatrist, and look at him now! He has become a model citizen, a great example to youth of this country that might be facing mental issues, and a terrific spokesperson that tells it from experience. ANOTHER great piece MM!

What he does 'wrong' are actually more endearing, such as racing around in a giant hotwheel, or going on Jimmy Kimmel in boxers. His off the wall, unique personality is just the thing to help break up locker room monotony, to keep a talented team that is in cruise control someone to kid around with in Ron Ron's zany way of doing things.

But as wacky as he is off the court, he is as hyper-focused on it. He deserves major props for coming to L.A. and going so far to fit in that it was affecting his game and performance. He also was willing to take the blame if the Lakers didn't win, saying to blame him.

His post-Finals celebration was one of the greatest/funniest things ever. He was just so excited, just so happy he couldn't contain himself.

So, I ask, one year in, after so many had there doubts, is there anyone in Lakerland that actually dislikes Ron Ron? I think not...

- - -

Regarding Bynum and his being prone to injuries, he has had some fluke ones. Landing with his knee in an extended position, Kobe rolling onto his leg, landing on Odom's foot:

* In '07-08 he was leading the league in shooting percentage when he got injured, partially dislocating his kneecap after landing on Odom's foot getting a rebound.

* In '08-09 Kobe was off-balance after a shot, rolling into Bynum and tearing his MCL. 'Drew was 26.2 points, 14 rebounds and 3.2 blocked shots in his previous 5 games.

* Last season when he injured his knee in game 6 of the OKC series, he toughed it out and withstood the pain to help the Lakers repeat against the Celtics.

Yes, multiple injuries, but these aren't T-Mac microfracture type injuries, or Greg Oden full-on breaking his knee. Big men are more of a risk in getting injured, 'Drew has simply gotten unlucky.

Just because Kobe rolled onto his knee, or he landed on L.O.'s foot going for a rebound that tweaked his knee, that doesn't make him injury prone. Fact is, he's suffered one injury - besides the two flukish ones - in 5 years. He played all 82 games in '06-07, after being uninjured his rookie year too.

Hopefully Bynum will stay healthy this year, god willing.

GO LAKERS!!!!!

oops forgot Tower of Power in Bay area music. Not sure of AWB - Average White Band but I think so.
Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 05:08 PM
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JustaLakerFan,

Tower of Power...good one. AWB are from Scotland, but they're funky of enough for the Bay area to claim them.

That was a good look on that Michele Branch/Santana. And all of this time I thought the name of that was, "A Little Bit of This"...lol. It's impossible to listen to that and not hum along.


Posted by: LRob | September 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

===============
LRob,
Thanks for the clarification on AWB.
I also mentioned Malo a band created by Carlos Santana's younger brother Jorge Santana on lead guitar.
----
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkDX_SZorg8
Suavecito/Malo

And
The story of Malo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5IrNQUBW1c

one thing about Ron Artest....
he hasn't been seeing a psychiatrist. he misspoke when he called his doctor that and he corrected himself later. his doctor is a psychologist.

psychiatrists treat with drugs. psychologists try to understand the thought process that has gone astray. one is physical and the other is mental.

Heck while I'm on a Bay area Latin rock I will date myself and bring up Azteca too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQMHnsa6f24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0s2EgC7Guw

On second one of the tracks listen to Neal Schon play lead guitar and influenced by style of Santana who he played with before Azteca.

Enough for tonight. Night all.

I also mentioned Malo a band created by Carlos Santana's younger brother Jorge Santana on lead guitar.
----
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkDX_SZorg8
Suavecito/Malo
Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM
------------------
JustaLakerFan,

I love that song. Smooth latin fused soul. I have it on one of my compilation cds'. I think it was "Didn't I Blow Your Mind - Soul Hits of the 70's. I never knew it was Santana's brother. Thanks for the education. Were you a fan of War also?

My favorite Ron Ron moment was definitely the press conference. That thing had like 8 All-Time moments wrapped up into one deliciously entertaining interview. Wow.

Well guys, I'll be MIA until Monday since I leave to go backpacking in Yosemite tomorrow. Enjoy your weekends and I'll look forward to talking to y'all next week.

Heck while I'm on a Bay area Latin rock I will date myself and bring up Azteca too.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 11:57 PM
----------------------------
I wasn't up on Azteca, but I definitely like them. After checking them out I realize I know a lot of their band members...Pete & Coke Escovedo and Lenny White. I still have one of my brothers Coke Escovedo albums to this day. And I have lots of Lenny White stuff.

I'll leave you with one more Latin soul group...Tierra. This was a good remake of the Intruders song. Actually it was a bigger hit for them than the original.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB-OWd5RIns&feature=related

KobeMVP888 & others,

Do you remember when I suggested that you look through the archives/
do your homework? So. Once again, the Bynum mania starts. Once again,
people ignore what objectively true to post their opinions as if they're
the gospel truth. Before you start with I'm trashing Bynum, why don't
you read some facts about Bynum? I know that you can't be bothered to
do any research on it, so I did it for you. It's below.


http://lakers.ocregister.com/2009/02/03/bynum-had-surgery-on-right-knee-as-pre-teen-too/10972/

snippet:
Here is what I wrote in my October column saying it was lunacy to think the Lakers should have to pay Bynum maximum-allowable dollars (and they eventually didn’t):

But with respect to current negotiations toward an extension, the Lakers would be foolish to give in. They are fully aware – despite their public proclamations that Bynum’s career shouldn’t be affected by his latest knee injury – that there are greater risks with him than other players.

Bynum needed surgery on his right knee as a pre-teen. He had an injury to that knee as a high-school senior that was bad enough to be misdiagnosed initially as a torn ACL. Then he hurt his left knee last season, not meeting projections to return for the playoffs and eventually requiring surgery.

Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, in explaining the complexity of Bynum’s injury a few days after it occurred, confirmed Bynum’s predisposition to certain knee injuries. Said Vitti: “He has a wide pelvis and is knock-kneed. It makes him prone to this type of thing.”

The thing about strengthening his core is smoke. It won't affect his wide hips
& knees. The thing about learning to play through pain is smoke. It won't
affect his wide hips & knees. The thing about big men being fragile is
mostly smoke. Yes, there is something to carrying so much weight, but
y'all are using that as a smoke screen to keep the Bynum propaganda
machine in full motion.

Bynum is structurally flawed and will be at risk for knee/leg injuries for the
rest of his career. His risk level will be higher than for other players who
don't have the same structural flaw.

hobbit -

Your support and faith in Andrew Bynum is reassuring...

Let's mark all your recent posts, so if AB doesn't measure up...you can say, "I told you so..."

On the flip side, if AB proves you wrong...maybe we can repost your remarks, to get a chuckle...

Here's hoping were are chuckling, instead of conceding we were wrong and you were right...

hobbit,

Doesn't look like you're trashing AB here, but rather giving facts and opinions of experts to back up your opinion.

Other non-Lakers news...

Melo still wants out...Philly and NJ are trying to line their chips up to make an offer. Denver will be proactive....unlike the Cavs and Raps were with Lebron and Bosh...and trade Melo. Again kodus to Dr. Buss for parlaying Shaq into the best deal possible. We'll see how good the Nuggets mgmt is.

Rockets offered Dampier 2yrs @ 2mil per yr, but he's leaning toward Miami...somewhere Mavs are snickering.

Add Mark Cuban as another LeBron basher...

LeBron's list of payback grows longer daily...lol

Good Morning Laker fam,

This gem from 2005 should get you up and cranking this today...especially if you got soul.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw2vBYBE24Y

Add Mark Cuban as another LeBron basher...
LeBron's list of payback grows longer daily...lol

Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 16, 2010 at 06:17 AM
---------
haha...more mental notes. What did Cubes say?

Gotta love Ron. Every team has to have a "character," or where's the delight? Aside from Ron's great basketball, he's the "character." Kobe's too much like Jerry West (while basketball's on: no fun, no quotes, must work). Wilt used to be a bit of a "character," always good for a quote and a laugh.

Magic used to HAVE character, and whenever he opened his mouth, it was great. Lamar almost fit the bill in the past, but whereas Lamar might be a great guy to HAVE at a party, Ron IS the party.

Oh, and Luke is RIGHT OUT!

LakerTom: don't forget the Avengers and Dead Kennedys as San Francisco great groups, even if punk may not have been your thang, they were classic.

LRob,

I appreciate your post. The only thing I can say about it is:

This is how Lewsters interpreted my post:

Your support and faith in Andrew Bynum is reassuring...

Let's mark all your recent posts, so if AB doesn't measure up...you can say, "I told you so..."

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

It would be really nice if the Bynum fans would be honest about things.

Here is an example:

Bynum has a structural problem with his knees. I hope no one runs into him
this year.

Oddly enough, I think both KB Blitz & myself has actually said things along
these lines, but it gets drowned out by the Bynum propaganda.

Anyhow, have a good day.

63 footer,

I agree that having a character certainly makes following your team more interesting.

Good look on the Avengers. Wasn't Bill Walton's favs the Grateful Dead also one of Bay Area's finest (that wasn't listed)?

Good morning crew!

The post finals interview - by far the best, pure raw emotion. LOVED it.

FCM - I have to argue # 2 reason why Ron's season reminds you of BB!! I would say it was his shortest off-season ever thanks to Larry O' #16!!! :)

Cheers - PLG

hobbit,

Some view any critical comment of AB as bashing. Some don't. To each his own. I know I make critical comments of Kobe sometimes, but that still doesn't lessen the fact that I love his game.

No one mentioned the Dead? Philistines!

Since this is a post about Ron's greatest off-season quotes, and since everyone's arguing about Bynum, I put it to you MM - why not ask Ron about Bynum? Inquiring minds want to know! (I kid, I kid!)

KobeMVP888 & others,

Do you remember when I suggested that you look through the archives/
do your homework? So. Once again, the Bynum mania starts.
=====

Candidly, why should anyone even read this post when you come out of the gates in such an antagonistic manner. There has been nothing but calm, intelligent discussion on the issue with everyone voicing their opinions and none of those opinions being radical at all.

As for your suggestion that we comb the archives, why the hell should we? Do you think I or anyone else .. being the rabid fans we are .. don't have enough information on Bynum by this point to form our own opinion? It's almost as if you're opinions are fact and everyone else's are merely uninformed opinions because they didn't do their research.

I have been trying to be civil with you, but after reading those first two sentences posted above, I'm done reading your garbage. There are plenty of brilliant, non-contentious Lakers fans on here to enjoy and more posts than I have time to read anyway. Enjoy the season.

hobbit,

Some view any critical comment of AB as bashing. Some don't. To each his own. I know I make critical comments of Kobe sometimes, but that still doesn't lessen the fact that I love his game.

Posted by: LRob | September 16, 2010 at 07:00 AM
======

It's not in the least.

Following our Finals loss to the Cs, do you remember what we were called?


Soft.


What was our response?


QUEENSBRIDGE!!!!!!


RonRon is all heart. He gave us an edge. He made us hard nosed. We didnt need to be tough to defeat the Magic; we used our finals loss and overwhelming talent to steamroll them. This year was different, this year we went through an athletic Thunder squad, and faced a tough Cs squad; the difference this time? RonRon, we no longer had to rely on our offensive potency; we were ready to stand toe-to-toe and exchange blow after blow. Game 7 was a testiment to that. RonRon was our defensive leader. His mentality and physical presence rubbed off on the entire squad, and we were that much stronger for it.

RonRon also provided hunger and motivation for our team. While 2009 was fueled by the need for vindication; 2010 was a product of RonRons hunger for a title.


And what have we done this year? Like last year, we have gotten tougher. Bringing in defensive stars like Barnes and Ratliff makes us a defensive dynamo. The combination of vets. Barnes, Blake, and Ratliff with the athletic and explosive EBanks and DC provide a renewed source of motivation that will foster a great locker room. Not to mention Mr. Jacksons poetic LAST STAND...

The table is set.


-Californias Finest


The venom of a black mamba can kill a human in four hours, if, say, bitten on the ankle or the thumb. However, a bite to the face or torso can bring death from paralysis within 20 minutes. Now, you should listen to this, 'cause this concerns you. The amount of venom that can be delivered from a single bite can be gargantuan. You know, I've always liked that word... "gargantuan"... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence. If not treated quickly with antivenom, 10 to 15 milligrams can be fatal to human beings. However, the black mamba can deliver as much as 100 to 400 milligrams of venom from a single bite.

@KOBEMVP888 & HOBBITMAGE http://tinyurl.com/yg6uzyp

Great recap on Ron Ron. I used to be an extreme hater but he has found redemption with the Lakers.

Not getting into the Bynum mix

Box Set is another good bay area group that I wish would come south more often.

JR

The venom of a black mamba can kill a human in four hours, if, say, bitten on the ankle or the thumb. However, a bite to the face or torso can bring death from paralysis within 20 minutes. Now, you should listen to this, 'cause this concerns you. The amount of venom that can be delivered from a single bite can be gargantuan. You know, I've always liked that word... "gargantuan"... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence. If not treated quickly with antivenom, 10 to 15 milligrams can be fatal to human beings. However, the black mamba can deliver as much as 100 to 400 milligrams of venom from a single bite.Posted by: Kobe Kalifornias Finest | September 16, 2010 at 07:20 AM

And so.....

JR - can't find anything on Box Set - you have a link?

Yeah just because Hobbit posted a previous article by Ding and it's an automatic "Not a very nice thing about Andrew Bynum".

If we criticize Gasol for a lack of toughness how many of you guys would jump at that remark? Yet VERY few people at the moment is not jumping at any remark for anything negative from LO to Gasol.

Yet people point out how they wouldn't trade Andrew by Mitch so again there is an extreme bias.

Like it is a crime not to criticize Andrew Bynum and post an article about how Vitti who knows better than most of us says prone to my injury because of the way Drew was built. Wow we have no faith in Drew!

13ppg Bynum averaged while with Gasol/Bryant/Odom during last season and people lose their marbles and call out me for being an unbeliever and making excuses like "he was an impact more defensively!" when yet a single coach didn't even give him 1 FREAKIN All-Defensive vote last year.

(Not disrespecting Drew as he made a difference defensively of course just not to the level that he is hyped up to be).

Bynum will get injured again, go to the bank on that. A lot of wishful (and foolish) thinking out there. He has been injured every year but one, what empirical evidence is there to project anything else. And when he is injured again this year, I will laugh hysterically at all the Bynumb lovers who will say...
A. He's entering his prime, don't you dare trade him.
B. Just dumb luck, he won't get injured next year.
C. He will win more titles than Kobe, just wait and see.
D. He's worth the risk, just look at his potential.
E. You don't trade a big man with such skills.
F. The Lakers can't win without him.

Posted by: Open your eyes | September 15, 2010 at 09:57 PM

It is unfortunate that your handle is "Open your eyes". You need to take your own advice. Landing on a player's foot does not indicate a propensity to get injured. Having another player crash into your leg does not indicate a propensity to get injured, either. If that were the case, we would have traded LO a LOOONG time ago based on the fact that he's been the cause of two knee injuries of other players.

We kept him. Might as well keep the young kid, too.

There is plenty of empirical evidence out there to help those who are informed make intelligent decisions about the injury prone-ness of players. The evidence suggests that players who have structural problems with their bodies will be injury prone in a career threatening way. The evidence also suggests that every other player will also experience a number of injuries, frustratingly more than they want, and have to spend the entire rest of their careers managing those injuries, unless your name is AC Green or Derick Fisher.

The evidence also clearly suggests that Bynum is simply too young to make any such assessment just yet because men over 6'10" are notoriously slow to mature physically. It is only about now that we know (at least the medical staff knows) what kind of body Bynum will play with the rest of his career. Truthfully, he has probably *just* stopped growing within the last few months to a year.

The evidence also shows that men of his size sometimes grow until they are 23...

The jury MUST stay out because all the evidence in not yet in.

The evidence also shows that last year, Bynum and Pau were both injured as often and missed the same number of games. Bynum's injuries came at the most inopportune of times, but they were no more severe nor any more frequent. That alone begs against "injury prone-ness", unless you are going to put Pau into the same category.

The evidence also shows that Kobe has been injured more. FAR MORE than both of them combined. Kobe just plays through more, that's all. Bynum seems to be on the path of picking up that habit from Kobe. Not necessarily a bad thing, in my estimation.

So, now that I have enumerated the empirical evidence, do you have the wisdom and foresight to adjust your opinion? Or, in the least, to reserve judgment until all the facts are in?

I'm not holding my breath. I'm betting that your handle is more ironic than apropos.

--FEARless

A Friend,

When I saw you title I thought of that anonymous character in the Michael Douglas/Demi Moore movie, Disclosure.

Anyway good musical choice of War, representing LA's finest. A very underrated group IMHO.

I don't care about stats and opinions on Bynum...

I just have to remark when it's all NEGATIVE and TOXIC...

Fine, if you have given up on the kid, or don't think he has what it takes, for what ever reasoning you have...you are entitled to that...

But I sure hate to read about it on a Blog that is suppose to support their team...

I like to dwell on the positive...I am a half full, not a half empty kind of fan...I will continue to support Bynum, while he is still a Laker...So my stance is on record...

That's all I have to say Kid Bynumite...I guess I will just have to scroll through any negative Bynum comments...it's not my intent to argue about someone else's opinions...I will agree to disagree...

@63 - http://new.music.yahoo.com/box-set/tracks/first-to-know--178863361

Live version at the Filmore. Their album Twenty Seven is all good.

JR

Again here's an opinion that will again rile people up:

Bynum is so overrated Defensively!

How many All-Defensive votes has Bynum gotten at least: ZERO

07-08: zero (arguably Bynum's best year defensively).

http://www.nba.com/news/defensive_team_080512.html

08-09:

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/05/06/defensive.team/index.html

09-10:

http://www.nba.com/2010/news/05/05/all.defense/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2

In the mean time here's other Lakers besides Bryant that has gotten votes:

Derek Fisher got 4 votes in 07-08 and 3 votes in 08-09
Pau Gasol got 1 vote in 08-09 and 1 vote in 09-10
Lamar Odom got 2 votes in 09-10
Ron Artest got 8 votes in 07-08, 22 votes in 08-09 (making the 2nd All-Defensive team), and 11 votes in 09-10.

Many of us always point out the Doc Rivers comment, well if Doc Rivers felt that way then why didn't he even give a damn vote to Bynum at least? He could very well have considering as a coach you aren't allowed to vote for your own players.

Could Bynum be a true juggernaut next season? Heck yea! But the way he was hyped up the last few seasons is really unfounded.

One last thing, the 7 blocks in Game 2 of the Finals was nice but so overlooked was Gasol's own 6 blocked shots. How many people put up Gasol's own blocked shots? Very few if it all!

I like to dwell on the positive...I am a half full, not a half empty kind of fan...I will continue to support Bynum, while he is still a Laker...So my stance is on Record...Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 16, 2010 at 08:12 AM

LEWSTRS = RCOTD!!

@MICHAEL H, JUSTALAKERFAN, LAKERPEACE, KOBEMVP, LEWSTERS, LROB, CYBERCOSMIX… Thank for stream of excellent posts supporting Andrew Bynum and intelligently discussing his injury situation. It’s good to see so many well-respected bloggers speaking up and appreciating how much Drew means to this team.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@HOBBITMAGE… I remember the comments by Vitti about Drew’s having a wide pelvis and being a little knock-kneed. I wonder if there is any truth to that as an actual medical diagnosis. Perhaps we have some Lakers bloggers who are orthopedic surgeons who could chime in and educate us on this subject.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@LROB… Good links to some cool music. It should be noted that my list of musicians was limited to those that are or were residents of Marin County. The list of Bay Area music contributors would be much larger for sure. My point was that Marin County was once a real focal place for musicians and all creative artists.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@LAKER TRUTH… I understand your concern about Drew’s previous injuries but I think the Lakers front office is committed to Drew as our center for the near future. The real test of course will be what happens after his current contract approaches its end, which is one reason why it is important for Drew to show that he can stay healthy for a full season. Regardless, I think any extension Drew gets will reflect the injury factor.
~
Bottom line, if Drew stays healthy, he will get an extension. If not, it will depend upon the nature, timing, and severity of the injury. If he misses some regular season games but is at full strength and a major factor in the playoffs, then I would expect he would still get extended. The dilemma is that there really are no comparable players out there for which we would trade Drew. That’s likely why he will not be traded.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

hobbitmage, KB Blitz: my goodness, the singleminded obsession you guys have at knocking 'Drew.

What is it you guys want? A trade? For whom? Let him walk as a free-agent when his contract expires? Start Theo Ratliff? I just don't understand why you guys have to so pointedly try to knock Bynum, from his defense to his body structure to whatnot.

BTW, since he's been a Laker there has been ONE injury of significance that he's suffered on his own during the run of play, outside of landing on Odom's foot on a rebound, and Kobe basically taking him out at the knee when off-balance falling into him.

So, again, why the constant knocking on 'Drew, what is it that you guys would happen with him?

Just asking, because I have to agree with LEWSTRS, all this Bynum bashing tends to get "NEGATIVE and TOXIC"!

GO LAKERS!!!!!!

@Tom:

@MICHAEL H, JUSTALAKERFAN, LAKERPEACE, KOBEMVP, LEWSTERS, LROB, CYBERCOSMIX… Thank for stream of excellent posts supporting Andrew Bynum and intelligently discussing his injury situation. It’s good to see so many well-respected bloggers speaking up and appreciating how much Drew means to this team.

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

You forgot me!

--FEARless

jk - of course, you've always had my back. :)

@FEARLESS… “You forgot me!” LOL! Ironically, I had just posted when I saw your post and had that exact same thought. Don’t want to do that. We’ve been blogging together for longer than any of those guys so I definitely don’t want to skip you. I still remember the great discussions we had about how important it was for people to go back and finish their college degrees. And I am grateful that you guys have all taken a strong pro-Bynum stand. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than to see all of the intelligent comments. So thanks to a long-time blog friend for his great support of Drew. Now it’s up to Drew to come through big.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Just asking, because I have to agree with LEWSTRS, all this Bynum bashing tends to get "NEGATIVE and TOXIC"! GO LAKERS!!!!!! Posted by: CyberCosmiX | September 16, 2010 at 09:04 AM

God bless you!

Thanks Tom,

I remember those discussions well. I'm glad I got my degree, its the reason I still have a job right now. I want to go back and get my PhD, but living off a stipend is for the birds!

I have four kids to raise, after all.

I still think Bynum will come through. Remember how high I was on him (and Farmar) way back when they were playing in the Pyramid?

--FEARless

Heck while I'm on a Bay area Latin rock I will date myself and bring up Azteca too.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 11:57 PM
----------------------------
I wasn't up on Azteca, but I definitely like them. After checking them out I realize I know a lot of their band members...Pete & Coke Escovedo and Lenny White. I still have one of my brothers Coke Escovedo albums to this day. And I have lots of Lenny White stuff.

I'll leave you with one more Latin soul group...Tierra. This was a good remake of the Intruders song. Actually it was a bigger hit for them than the original.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB-OWd5RIns&feature=related

Posted by: LRob | September 16, 2010 at 12:52 AM

======================
LRob, Thanks for the link but yes I was aware of Tierra. I didn't mention them because they were LA products vs Bay area groups. Then I know you must be aware of other LA Latino groups such as El Chicano, Lil Willie G and the Midnighters, Cannibal and the Headhunters among others off the top of my head. I think Sapo was LA band but I could be wrong.
Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

I also mentioned Malo a band created by Carlos Santana's younger brother Jorge Santana on lead guitar.
----
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkDX_SZorg8
Suavecito/Malo
Posted by: JustaLakerFan | September 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM
------------------
JustaLakerFan,

I love that song. Smooth latin fused soul. I have it on one of my compilation cds'. I think it was "Didn't I Blow Your Mind - Soul Hits of the 70's. I never knew it was Santana's brother. Thanks for the education. Were you a fan of War also?

Posted by: LRob | September 16, 2010 at 12:26 AM

===========================
Yes most definetly fan of War, the musicians of course. LOL


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