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Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Denver

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights what's gotten the Lakers worried about the NBA's new technical foul rule meant to minimize demonstrative acts after calls.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr explains what Steve Blake admires about Derek Fisher.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk about Bryant's knee, the Miami Heat, Shannon Brown and Kwame Brown.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia argues that Carmelo Anthony's uncertainty with Denver clouds its future.

--The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman reports Anthony still wants to be traded. Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears also reports that Anthony would like to be traded either to the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen provides detailed notes on the NBA technical foul rule, Sasha Vujacic's injury status and Andrew Bynum's progress.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin provides an update on the Lakers' injuries and highlights Lamar Odom's frustration with the new technical foul rule

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton focuses on how the Lakers pace themselves during training camp.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen sizes up the Pacific Division.

---The Daily News' Elliott Teaford mentions Bryant could play as many as 24 minutes tonight against Denver.

--ESPN researcher Alok Pattani looks at Bryant's matchup with LeBron James via isolation plays and concludes Bryant's beaten him out. Of course, this is a small sample size and isolation plays aren't the same as a direct one-on-one competition. But it's a compelling nugget that will surely rest well with Laker fans.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark wonders how much Blake's presence will help Shannon Brown.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano provides quick-hit thoughts on various Laker topics.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell has a full practice report.

--Lakers of Fire's Garrett Wilson gives his take on Bryant's injury.

Tweet of the Day: "Training camp Laker Drew Naymick described his strategy for defending Pau Gasol, which he's doing now at practice: 'Foul him.' -- Lakers Reporter (Lakers.com's Mike Trudell)

Reader Comment of the Day: "No taking away Gasol's talents and what he brings to the team, but I'm with PJ on this. Because the game comes so easily to him, Gasol often strikes me as passive and just doing his thing. With Bynum and Kobe not able to contribute what the team needs, here's Pau's chance to bring it all every time. Pau could be a 25 and 15 player every night if he'd just recognize what the team needs. He's got it in him. I'm glad to see PJ raising the bar. Everyone on the team needs to answer the call." -- Rick Friedman

-- Mark Medina

Photo: Carmelo Anthony, who was almost traded by the Denver Nuggets this off-season, will be a free agent in 2011. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

 
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Rick Friedman winning the Rick Friedman Award? It's... it's... mind boggling! And, congratulations. Does that mean if Rick Friedman keeps winning the Rick Friedman Award we'll have to change the name to the Rick Friedman Award?

I'm so confused.

63 Footer - lol I think it just means everyone has to step their game up and write a better comment than Rick Friedman

I was thinking of changing my handle to 63 Footer Friedman... it just might help.

Posted by: KB Blitz | October 16, 2010 at 11:25 AM
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I do disagree with all that. I have formed my opinions based on observations of the game for over 4 decades. There may have been more dirty play and hand checking back then, but the pushing and use of bigger, stronger bodies around the league (not limited to a select few) and the fact that scoring is much lower today than it was in the 90's (see LRob's brilliant post breaking that down) is a testament to a more physical game. It is not nearly as easy to get to the rim as it used to be and the refs seem to permit more banging in the low post. Many times I watch a defender impeding another player going across the lane, but the call is often times ignored even though that rule was obviously put in to increase scoring BECAUSE of the level of physical play. As great as Barkley was, he would have a much more difficult time finishing today than he did in the 90's.

KB, you are a statistic buff, so if you are going to be consistent with your beliefs, then you will defer to LRob's brilliant statistical analysis, particularly with the eye opening stats of the Bad Boy Pistons.

You make some very persuasive points, but I simply don't agree with you. In fact, I believe the league became stronger after the Bulls dismantled and I think that the 2001 and 2009 Lakers would have beaten any of Jordan's teams, as would have the 2005 and 2007 Spurs, the 2008 Celtics, and possibly the 2004 Pistons. And that is even with Phil Jackson saying that his 1991 Bulls team was the best team he ever coached. We all know that's not true anyway.

I like the article about Blake making Shannon play better. Actually, Blake will make everyone play better. I loved the Sacramento game, the bench did great.

I know I'm beating an already mummified horse, but I've just been perusing a few clips of Jordan as well as some of Kobe and a few thoughts came to mind...

Kobe is better at taking what the defense gives him. He's not as physically gifted or as muscular/strong as Jordan, so he relies on the tiniest of free space that defenses offer. He's the absolute best at that, without a doubt. Give him a 25 footer, he will kill you. Give him the left baseline, he will kill you. Give him a lefty mini hook shot...you get the idea.

Jordan on the other hand forced you to give him what he wants. If he wanted the right baseline, he imposed his will on you until whatever he wanted was available, then he'd kill you. "I'll dribble this way, get to this spot, shoot this shot, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it." He was just stronger, faster, and more talented than anyone trying to guard him.

I've seen both play in their prime, and being a more physically gifted basketball player, Jordan was an amazing sight to behold. Kobe on the other hand, is more impressive because of his innumerable skill sets.

You can't guard either one without cheating, but they beat you in different ways. As with Jordan, I think we are witnessing a basketball player who we may not see for perhaps another generation.

Magic Phil - I echo your comment. Not just with Shannon Brown, but I imagine Steve Blake will help the bench as a whole. Not just because of his skills, but because of his attitude. He's a team-first, try to make the play type guy. While Farmar seemed locked in on trying to fill his worth of production and cash in. That mindset a lot of times I think affected the way Brown and Vujacic approached things off the bench. They were all playing as individuals and it resulted in a disjointed mess

MM

Congrats on (another) well deserved Friedman award Rick. Good take on Pau. I agree with what you and MM say, Pau seems to thrive on the critiques. Like MM says, Phil's words irritate Pau, driving him to play harder.

I think though, Phil has to carefully choose just when to do it, it's kind of like nitro-boosting a race car, once you've used it so many times, it's out. Same with Pau, if the criticism is too constant, like a horse whip, Pau will numb to it. But that is what separates Phil from his contemporaries - he is the absolute, hands-down master manipulator.

No coach that I can recall in pro sports history has been able to extract as much from his players as Phil (Red comes close, but his was a single, extended dynasty basically composed of a near all-star roster of talent that was two deep in HOF'ers at several positions).

Pau always shrugs Phil's comments off when reporters come to him with barbs, but obviously they've had the desired effect in the past.

- - -

KB Blitz: I read your very well researched post on the previous blog page. You should consider rounding it out and submitting it as a Bleacher Report article.

I've heard Kobe say he wished they could go back to the '80s as far as the physical play, hand checking, etc... so there is no doubt that individually the refs are calling a tighter game now.

There were some bruising teams, like the Bad Boy Pistons of course (which MJ couldn't get through) and I would agree that the Knicks were a physical team too (what team that Charles Oakley played on WASN'T physical, lol!), but there were some ordinary teams he played against as far as defense, the Sonics outside of The Glove were not very good defensively or physical, the Malone/Stockton teams were more physical than the Sonics, but not overly good defensively. Malone was a good defender, but he was tangled up with Rodman. Bryon Russell isn't exactly Michael Cooper.

I think that MJ would have struggled against the C's defense, heck, I KNOW he would have struggled against the Lakers defense, the motivated one they displayed in that Gm 7 victory. The ironic thing is, I think mostly people look at this current Lakers team as an offensive team with Kobe, Pau, Drew and Lamar - when actually they are probably equally, if not better, defensively.

The Laker bigs are a fairly mobile, long bunch that would have given MJ problems in the post, Artest/Kobe definitely would have given him more problems than probably any other combo did that he faced during his title runs. Although MJ's outside game was very good, it wasn't his bread and butter...

Plus, MJ never scored more outside the 60's, what is to think he'd score 100?


GO LAKERS!!!!!

@MVP888,


Well going by YOUR logic in terms of "letting the front office" and NBA experts deal with things I'm going with THEIR opinions over yours (no offense intended because mine would mean the same though I base it more their opinions). As fans we can argue all we want but I'm going with THEIR opinions first who are even more ranked than Doc River's quote which was trying to look all humble in the midst of a beat down of the Lakers just to make Bynum look good when he didn't participate in giving Bynum an All-Defensive team quote when Bynum was more healthier than he was in the Finals.


And yeah there is NOTHING wrong with MJ giving Kobe that top 10 SG. He could have easily ranked him #2. Did he say *number 10* no he said top 10. Kobe is the top 50 of all time NBA players......is that a crime? NO! You are saying it is basically a crime not to include Bryant as "the equal of Michael Jordan". He could have easily meant #2 or #3 or #4 depending on YOUR viewpoint. There are many NBA hall of Famers who could disagree on wether he is #3 or whatever.


If anything MJ chickened of saying "top 10" instead of giving a damn number. Took the easy way out. Yet an uproar about not giving Kobe in the same breath as Michael or Earvin? That is the weirdest. It's almost (almost) as odd as an uproar that Andrew Bynum is a top 5 center and getting bashed for that for not putting him #2.


In the end the one whose opinions MOST counts than either of ours is Phil Jackson's and he has stated Michael is better and the biggest reason he was more consistently efficient in his scoring over Kobe's (the FG%). As much as you want to convince me with your's or LRob's opinions......I'm going to take Phil for his word even if he said the 1991 Bulls were the best team he coached. Why? Because he has the bling WE DON'T.

KobeMVP888: To that point, there are a lot more burlier guys that play nowadays. I think I posted that earlier this morning, but if you look at most rosters in the '80's and most of the '90's, you'll see a lot of lean/skinny guys.

Nowadays, the average physique of a basketball player is muscular and a lot thicker. Why? They need to be, the bigs are 'bigger', the game is rougher (not talking Kevin McHale clothesline here) and more physical.

When Kobe is talking going back to the '80s rules, he is mostly meaning that more hand checking was allowed (which a great player like him would utilize to spin-off) and the like. Remember, back then there was no Barkley backing-in rule. MJ used to use that a lot, backing a defender back, then separation, elevating and shooting over him.

So, there were some advantages that he played with that Kobe hasn't been able to utilize.

I'm not saying that MJ wouldn't be great if he played today, but I think we'd see the difference between himself and Kobe, that Kobe is a more well-rounded player, a better shooter and scorer. Jordan would be hard-pressed posting up in todays game.

Besides, why would he even say that things were different back then, I always thought that Jordan had his own set of rules: The Jordan Rules...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Cyber,

I too think Michael would struggle against the current Celtics squad but I think he would have been a bit more efficient (of course this is Michael's prime like 29 the same year Kobe first squared off against Boston). Even at the age of 38-39 he still scored very well against Paul Pierce. It's much different though with Garnett and guarding Ray Ray at the time.


Against this Lakers squad would be a great show indeed. Prime Jordan would light up Ron who more suited to defend against big guys rather than quick guards so it would be Michael and Kobe defending each other. There would be games where they shut down each other for just that game but there would be at least one where they have a shoot out similar to Bird-Wilkins. In that case I think Michael being the better athlete (Kobe is no scrub either in that department) would score a tad bit more than Kobe but like what happened in 1986 against the Celtics the Lakers would win. The talent of the Lakers would beat out the Bulls though it would be a very close series that would have gone either way.


If there was one team that could potentially break 72-10 it would be this Lakers squad. Michael was the same age as Kobe btw when those Bulls went 72-10 so with extra motivation and a talented team it has the potential (we'll see if it happens) than either the 08-09 or 09-10 squad.

KB Blitz: "In the end the one whose opinions MOST counts than either of ours is Phil Jackson's and he has stated Michael is better and the biggest reason he was more consistently efficient in his scoring over Kobe's (the FG%)."
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A year or two ago I seem to remember Phil saying that Kobe is a better shooter, MJ better at posting-up, but in last seasons playoffs I believe that Phil said that Kobe can score in more ways than Michael.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

@Puddle - your post about the faster "pace" in the 80's compared to today was on point. MJ wouldn't score more points because he'd get less possessions and shots.

@Corner J - Loved your post of the refs. Perfect....all net!

@MVP - We both know Jordan's attempt to put down Kobe was WEAK. Good point on the Bulls not beating any great teams for their titles.

Yeah "Top 10" which means Kobe is better than Isaiah/Ice Man Gervin/and my favorite 70's perimeter player Earl Monroe and lets add Walt Frazier to that list as well.

It's not an insult to say 10 top guards is it? I mean you could argue top 20 but 10 is not a crime. Heck to be mentioned above the Pearl and the breaths of Magic and West is ALREADY an Honor.

Posted by: KB Blitz | October 16, 2010 at 10:13 AM
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Ok Blitz I see what you're saying. Then we should be okay if Doc. Rivers comes out an says the Lakers are one of top 10 teams in the league.

KB Blitz: I think that the year Michael returned, and took the league by surprise - well I mean that no one was expecting them to be that good, that quick. He clearly was refreshed and it showed in his game.

I think this years Laker team is right square in the bullseye as far as target with 3 straight finals appearances, I wouldn't expect them to come close to the Bulls record. I agree that they CAN and would LOVE it if they did, but just can't see it happening.

I agree that Michael and Kobe would nullilfy themselves. Kobe even since a rook used to 'super-focus' when he'd play against MJ, whether it was regular season game or all-star game. It would be fun, although I do think MJ might get Kobe into foul trouble, as I believe Kobe would be able to cross-up Michael too (ala AI). And yeah, I bet there would be a game or two that they'd simply go off on each other, like two gunslingers, and light up the scoreboard like a christmas tree.

Man, it would be fun to see, both in their primes...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Cyber,

Athletes then looked more like track athletes in term they could run the 400m. Skinnier does not mean weaker especially if you are wanting to be more in shape. Gasol is very skinny and nowhere near as bulked as Andrew Bynum but Gasol is the far superior player. The pace was more faster then so if you were not in shape you will be out run and simply not have the energy to compete.


Do you even know hand checking? It is when you are allowed to re-direct the other player and keep a hand on them when they are in a FACE UP position not when they have your back on you. Even today you are allowed to have 1 arm on the defender if he has his back on you. Sheesh wow and I thought I was the damn spin zone.

If you want a comparison compare an offensive line man trying to protect the quarterback during a pass rush. Remove that and good luck trying to protect your QB. THAT'S Handchecking.

LRob: How sweet would it be to see Kobe come back on MJ, "That's nice, I think he's in the top-10 too" lol...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

The Pace was MUCH higher in the 80's LRob. Showtime was basically a high octane offense in a higher pace hence why you could have Kareem score 20ish along with Magic, Bryon Scott, and James Worthy. Even in the current Lakers there's only 20+ scorer, Bryant. Gasol/Odom/Bynum score well below 18ppg.

Average pace per 48 minutes in the 80's and 90's? Well over 100+. Now? Well in the 90's.

League Average in 86-87: 100.8
League Average in 08-09: 91.7

Of course you are going to average less points if you aren't going as fast.
Posted by: KB Blitz | October 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM
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Thank you for proving our point. So it's silly for MJ to say he could score 100pts playing in a much slower tempo....when he couldn't drop 100 on the defenseless Westhead Nuggets...who invited people to score quickly on them.

A year or two ago I seem to remember Phil saying that Kobe is a better shooter, MJ better at posting-up, but in last seasons playoffs I believe that Phil said that Kobe can score in more ways than Michael.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | October 16, 2010 at 12:52 PM
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And Steve Nash can score in more ways then Shaq.

That doesn't make Nash better than O'Neal
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Ok Blitz I see what you're saying. Then we should be okay if Doc. Rivers comes out an says the Lakers are one of top 10 teams in the league.

Posted by: LRob | October 16, 2010 at 12:58 PM
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If he said we weren't one of the top 10 of the league then it would be a crime. He could EASILY referring us to #2 or #3. Heck he could even be saying #1. How do you know that he isn't putting us down if he had said that?

A top 10 thing is basically a cop out instead of giving direct number. It shouldn't be mentioned as an insult either.

@wes - There are 5 wizards in Tolkien's Middle Earth, we get mentions of all five and see three (Gandalf the Gray, Sauruman the White and Radagast the Brown...more druidic than wizardly). I can't wait for the two movies (a most excellent idea) and am stoked to see Peter Jackson back at the helm of the entire production as director.


@LakerTom - (Regarding the new Technical Foul rules) As much as I want to see players accept some calls, there has just been way too much video evidence to suggest that the refs correctly call the game. This is slightly mitigated by the fact that they often blow calls for both teams and it always seems to even out. But too much of the problem is being thrown at the feet of the players. There are plenty of solutions, most of them not cost effective like adding a 4th ref, but the league seems bound and determined to put this on the players (who are reacting to outside stimuli, they're not just exploding in random acts of emotion). This seems as much a part of the CBA process to me as anything to do with the NBA brand.


I think that they should further modify the rule so that you are NOT summarily ejected after two techs. Flagrant behavior should be added to the terminology and ejections should be only for confrontations or overly physical fouls. Ejecting a Kobe Bryant from a game where he reacted to a foul and which fans from cities outside LA have gone to just to see Kobe play will not make the NBA brand any better. It will make it pitiful.


I want to see an increase of sportsmanlike conduct, to be sure, but as currently constructed this new tech rule will end up depriving fans of the very players they fork hundreds of dollars out to come and watch at the arena, to say nothing of people who buy cable packages or internet access to various NBA-related what not. No automatic ejections would allow the league to penalize the player and team, but not deprive the fan.


Whether the league likes it or not, it's product is the players, not the NBA. Of all the jerseys I've ever seen, not a one said 'Stern' on the back.

Jamie Sweet - "Whether the league likes it or not, it's product is the players, not the NBA. Of all the jerseys I've ever seen, not a one said 'Stern' on the back."

Except for the one that Stern secretly had made that he puts on late at night and stands before a full-length mirror chanting: "One day... one day...."

Blitz....Blitz....Blitz,

You're trying to take me off point here with peripheral issues, but uh-uh...its not going to work. The point of my posts were:

1. MJ could not score 100pts in today's NBA. Saying so was disrespecting current players. The pace was faster and teams were giving up a lot more points when he played. (Points you even highlighted in your post...thank you very much.)

2. MJ saying Kobe is a top 10 guard was intended as a slap...because he's threatened Kobe will surpass him. If you can't see the "intent" in that comment then you probably think Mike's HOF speech was respectful.

Oh yeah, I've said numerous times that I still rank MJ ahead of Kobe because of his defense....so don't try to make that part of this conversation. (But Kobe is a work in progress).

Thank you for proving our point. So it's silly for MJ to say he could score 100pts playing in a much slower tempo....when he couldn't drop 100 on the defenseless Westhead Nuggets...who invited people to score quickly on them.

Posted by: LRob | October 16, 2010 at 01:03 PM
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Didn't I say he WOULDN'T put 100? In my original post I stated he wouldn't score 100 points because of all the factors. Heck Wilt couldn't do it. It was an exaggeration about how the perimeter play is MUCH easier than in previous times.

I did not say he would score but he would get 44ppg with these rules. Could he have scored 100 points once? With the way the rules are then it is a very good possibility especially considering Kobe scored 81 points against a Defense-less Raptors that had Charlie Villeneuva and Chris Bosh as their post defenders.


Michael put up 63 points against the #1 ranked defense in 1986 in the Boston Celtics who had Bird-McHale-Parish along with Bill Walton as their 6th man. NO Celtics squad compares to that one not the current and Russell's would be the closest. And this was IN Bird's gym no less.


In Chicago or wherever his home court would have been against a team like the Golden State Warriors or the Phoenix Suns if he wanted to he could have scored 100 points if he had his retribution night he felt he could have scored 100 points. He wouldn't average 100 points because simply there is too much factors going against him like I said the pace but with the rules are it is not out of the question though 100ppg is obviously an exaggeration.


How would you feel if Kobe said he could average 100ppg if he wanted to? My guess it that you would be part of the choir and singing it to the rest of the world that he could have averaged 100ppg.

MM - exactly report on Phil prodding Pau. I agree with Rick Friedman comments 100%.

And yeah there is NOTHING wrong with MJ giving Kobe that top 10 SG. He could have easily ranked him #2. Did he say *number 10* no he said top 10. Kobe is the top 50 of all time NBA players......is that a crime? NO! You are saying it is basically a crime not to include Bryant as "the equal of Michael Jordan". He could have easily meant #2 or #3 or #4 depending on YOUR viewpoint. There are many NBA hall of Famers who could disagree on wether he is #3 or whatever.

Posted by: KBBlitz | October 16, 2010 at 12:40 PM
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I doubt there are many Hall of Famers who would call Kobe "Top 10" at his position. Top 50 player? Criminal, no, but as ABSURD as Top 10 guard, yes. Kobe Bryant is a talent at the shooting guard position rivaled ONLY by Michael Jordan and Jerry West. The Big O was a combo guard and Magic is in a stratosphere all to himself at the lead guard position. After that, you can lump in all the players you named on a different level below the elite 5.

Michael Jordan has proven time and time again that he's all about being His Airness for eternity. This is a campaign by Jordan, not his opinion. You KNOW Jordan sees himself as the clear #1 and everyone else beneath him (as evidenced by his Hall of Fame acceptance speech), so using my logic, with Phil Jackson being the judge, that means Kobe is his equal at the top. Hell, even former Kobe Hater Jeff Van Gundy now concedes that Kobe is in the conversation with Michael Jordan.

This was a deliberate dig by Jordan at Kobe to create separation between himself and his twin. If he thought he was #2 or #3 at his position, he should have said that or "Top 5." The truth is that he KNOWS Kobe is right up there with him, so he deliberately exaggerated. Sorry, but it wasn't as innocent or inadvertent as you make it out to be. It was transparent and Michael Jordan is a horses ass.

As per George Lucas: "You can't put a title card at the head of the movie and say, 'Well, we really had a bad problem. You know, the actor got sick and it rained this day and we had a hurricane'... You simply have to show them the movie and it has got to work and there are no excuses."

I feel that way about players: "You did what you did, and that's all you can say."

What if Jerry West had the three point line? What if Shaq played in the 60's? Or the 50's? What if Elgin's knees didn't blow? It's fun to theorize and opinionize, but really... it is what it is, and there's no way to really know. And MJ knows that, it's just that his competitive juices are always going, and he wishes he could play right now... as do any great players. It's part of what makes them great.

"1. MJ could not score 100pts in today's NBA. Saying so was disrespecting current players. The pace was faster and teams were giving up a lot more points when he played. (Points you even highlighted in your post...thank you very much.)"

The pace was faster but because their play was overall better (as in they weren't poor shot selection shot jackers) they were able to survive that. Teams played more of a team game in 80's and 90's. Michael didn't play 1 vs 5 aka Lebron James. If teams of today played like in the 80's and 90's they would suffer a ton. In fact that's what happened in the late 90's after Michael's retirement. Too many shot jackers and less fundamental play that the 80's were played like brought the FG% down. You couldn't make the better play to make your team win. That's why the hand checking rules were eliminated to make the Wade's and Lebron's look good today. Put them in the 80's and let's see how Wade or Lebron like Bill Laimbeer's elbow or being smacked around by Rick Mahorn.

The pace was faster yeah but they were more initiated in team play very similar to what the NCAA is at at the time being. Even with dominant ball handlers like Michael and Clyde they were still able to play within a team more compared today. Nowadays you have Mike Browneque offense of "pick and rolls" going 1 vs 5 and either use individual abilities to score or pass it out to an open teammate. Very few set offense system like the triangle and princeton exists now, ones which were meant to go around the most intense and physical of defenses. Now you guys like Lebron making the most simple of offenses make Mike Brown a Coach of the Year recipient. If teams today played like Magic's Lakers without the hand checking and elimination of true physical defense then heck then heck every game would be at the pace of Nellie Ball.

"2. MJ saying Kobe is a top 10 guard was intended as a slap...because he's threatened Kobe will surpass him. If you can't see the "intent" in that comment then you probably think Mike's HOF speech was respectful."


You know not everyone in the world shares our viewpoint that Kobe is equal to Jordan or that Jordan is only a tad better in this or that. There are other NBA fans more than Laker fans who think Kobe isn't on MJ's level achievement wise or that his first 3 rings were influenced by Shaq and so on. They will disagree with you all you want LRob. Not everyone shares this or that. Kobe may be the closest to MJ but he still has a long way to go to being equal to Mike.


Do I think his Hall of Fame speech was arrogant? Yes he should have done better than trying to thank his haters and stoop to our level of (haha take that you haters for saying I couldn't do it).

This was a deliberate dig by Jordan at Kobe to create separation between himself and his twin. If he thought he was #2 or #3 at his position, he should have said that or "Top 5." The truth is that he KNOWS Kobe is right up there with him, so he deliberately exaggerated. Sorry, but it wasn't as innocent or inadvertent as you make it out to be. It was transparent and Michael Jordan is a horses ass.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | October 16, 2010 at 01:22 PM
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So was this an Horse Ass?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu3vLyoDmuU

A year or two ago I seem to remember Phil saying that Kobe is a better shooter, MJ better at posting-up, but in last seasons playoffs I believe that Phil said that Kobe can score in more ways than Michael.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | October 16, 2010 at 12:52 PM
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Absolutely. He does not give Michael Jordan the clear edge over Kobe. He differentiates them. He will always have a soft spot in his heart for his Bulls teams, but that is both natural and understandable. Philip came out of nowhere and turned the Bulls into a dynasty. So in that regard, I would expect him to be even more partial to Michael Jordan, but he carefully remains politically neutral on the topic. I'm sure he'll write another book when he retires and maybe he'll give us some more insight then.

HAVING SAID THAT, I saw all of those guys play in the primes of their careers, except West and Roberston, who were further along in their careers but were still GREAT. Other than the Top 5, no other guards in history gave you the complete package of mastering every facet of the game. Players like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen (also twins for all intents and purposes) are much more one dimensional. Only players like Kobe (Magic, Jordan, West and Robertson) can have an off shooting night, but still lead his team by cleaning glass like Kobe did in Game 7. By the way, the level below the Top 5 includes ringless Jason Kidd, a complete player. But he's a level below them.

Oops, I forgot about Mr. Triple Double himself, Steve Blake. Sorry. :)

KB Blitz: First I was merely pointing out what PJ had said, because you said above "Phil Jackson has stated Michael is better and the biggest reason he was more consistently efficient in his scoring over Kobe's (the FG%)".

But that isn't what Phil has said.

Phil has said that Kobe is the better perimeter player, and I'm pretty sure in last years playoffs he mentioned Kobe could score in more ways than Michael could (as well as getting a glint in his eye on another occasion when asked who was the better at hitting game-winners).

I'm sure that Phil -or anyone- can see that the disparity in FG% between MJ and Kobe has to do with degree of difficulty of shots, that being based on perimeter vs post-up games.

Without turning to the NBA rulebook, my understanding of handchecking doesn't matter if he's facing you or his back to you. He could have a dribble left, be dribbling, or have lifted his dribble. It could be that you are putting a hand on a player as he dribbles past you.

The NBA had to do something because the league had gotten more physical, players and bodies bigger, if they didn't do something then the game would slow to a crawl. That's why they started restricting handchecking and the various other rule changes they've made. This is what MJ isn't taking into account.

Handcheck wouldn't affect Kobe, that's the point. FIBA allows more handchecking, I don't remember him being affected by it in FIBA play. You could say that he is more of a perimeter player, and that he'd be more affected, but he also is a master at drawing fouls. Do you not think that Kobe wouldn't have thrived, absolutely thrived in an era that players were placing more hands on you? He would have killed those that tried to handcheck him, through his handle and his ability to draw fouls on contact.

That is the main thing, the NBA still calls shooting fouls the same, so that Kobe would have absolutely thrived back then, his game is based on drawing fouls, as Stu loves to say 'you reach, I teach'. The black mamba would be striking time and again.

MJ's game is closer to the rim, but he was utillizing contact to create space. Kobe takes any hand NEAR him and draws a foul. Jordan was good, but Kobe has perfected the move to face up his man and come around, either to the right or the left, and draw the foul.

MJ can't back his man down like he could when he played, they did away with that.

MJ also isn't as good a 3-pt shooter as Kobe is.

So why should we believe he'd even get close to 81 - let alone 100? He never scored out of the 60s in his career. If this is an era promoting more of a perimeter game, then MJ wouldn't be as effective now than he was then...


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

63 Footer: If Jerry West played with a 3-pt line, I think he may be looked at as the GOAT.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

CyberCosmiX - I think Jerry would have won a couple more championships with the 3 pt line, or maybe not. Would have been exciting. Still, it's all make-believe.

The only true answer is the Michael Crichton/Steven Spielberg blockbuster eventually coming out "NBA Park," where they clone all the greatest bball players and pit them against one another on an island in the Caribbean.

KobeMVP888: "HAVING SAID THAT, I saw all of those guys play in the primes of their careers, except West and Roberston, who were further along in their careers but were still GREAT. Other than the Top 5, no other guards in history gave you the complete package of mastering every facet of the game. Players like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen (also twins for all intents and purposes) are much more one dimensional. Only players like Kobe (Magic, Jordan, West and Robertson) can have an off shooting night, but still lead his team by cleaning glass like Kobe did in Game 7. By the way, the level below the Top 5 includes ringless Jason Kidd, a complete player. But he's a level below them."

-

AMEN!

This was in a series where the team that out-rebounded the other won every game, so Kobe was key. He was a demon, his defense was stellar. Ray Allen was absolutely nonexistent outside of game 2.

Kobe has got the all-timers two ways though, through killer skill as well as longevity (given he stays injury free, godwilling). He may end up as scoring champ, he may end up passing Kareems (I think Cap has it) all-star appearances record, he will probably end up with more rings than MJ, and single-handedly move the Lakers past the C's as far as championships won. He's also a damn-good defender, as consistently good as we've seen over the past decade.

Don't tell me that MJ 'missed two years' because he was most likely pushed out of the league for his gambling problems and mobster associations.

Kobe is the NBA equivalent of five-tool player, he could do it all, and probably has the best mid-range game we've seen.

Kobe's not there yet, he still has work to do, but he's on his way...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

"Phil has said that Kobe is the better perimeter player, and I'm pretty sure in last years playoffs he mentioned Kobe could score in more ways than Michael could (as well as getting a glint in his eye on another occasion when asked who was the better at hitting game-winners)."

Phil stated he was a better SHOOTER. And Phil has agreed that Kobe has more skills than Michael.

That doesn't mean he said Kobe is better than Michael. Skills are only ONE part of your game.

"Without turning to the NBA rulebook, my understanding of handchecking doesn't matter if he's facing you or his back to you. He could have a dribble left, be dribbling, or have lifted his dribble. It could be that you are putting a hand on a player as he dribbles past you."

Exactly and while running to the basket the defender is allowed to put a hand on you to try to protect himself from your penetration. You would have less space and more effort to create. There's a reason why Mark Jackson posted up more to avoid the constant hand checking. It was ruining the game for the perimeter players. Like you stated the NBA wanted it gone in order to OPEN the lane so you could see more highlights on ESPN. Bron and Wade would have very little space to go for those dunks with hand checking. Why? Because the constant putting on hands in a FACE UP position would interfere enough for them to take different angles. Then the NBA put in the Mark Jackson rule AND the hand checking rule. Now? You got guys flying to the basket as if they were Clyde the Glide!


"Handcheck wouldn't affect Kobe, that's the point. FIBA allows more handchecking, "


Yeah but then again when Kobe is in FIBA he has Lebron/Wade/Bosh/Howard and almost every star in the NBA not to mention he is going against usually talent that is NOWHERE near comparable to the NBA. Scorching the Aussies? Beating Lithuania is nowhere near impressive as putting those in the NBA.

Put in FIBA rules and he would have MORE trouble than he does now though he would be MUCH better at defending guards than without.

Kobe plays still if he was hand checked like he was in the early 2000's. Which is good one reason why Bron hasn't succeeded is mostly Bron plays with such athleticism that when there is a force that can put up resistance so far he FALTERS worst than Kobe.

Kobe's best year while in the hand check era was 02-03 and he averaged 30-7-6 his best overall year. He shot 45% despite having a damn good post player in O'Neal then.


"Stu loves to say 'you reach, I teach'. The black mamba would be striking time and again."

And that was the same Stu Lantz who TWICE mentioned hand checking in fact I still remember the quotes:

"Who on earth would want to be a defensive guard in the NBA today I mean you can't hand check so it's so hard to defend"

And in the Pistons Game last year when Kobe drew a foul against Ben Gordon:

"You see because you cannot hand check nowadays you will be given a foul for that kind of reach".

And MJ go watch film more than just his highlights. He utilized the mid range game far more than either the 3 point line or post. You put so much "he played mostly in the post" when that was only ONE part of his game just as much as 3 pointers are only ONE part of Kobe's game or Lebron driving to the rim is only ONE part of LBJ's game.


In fact I lament that nowadays that too many perimeter players just go and jack up 3 pointers instead of taking the more efficient mid range game which is only 1 point off. Efficiency is much more important than jacking up three's one reason a good big man is very valuable in the NBA.


And again the points.....hmm so David Robinson scored 71 points and David Thompson scored 73 they are better than Magic Johnson? Besides again I loved 81 points by Kobe I was there that being said it was the freaking Toronto Raptors. Jeez you had Bosh and the great Charlie Villeneuva being your post defenders. How would you rank them to Bird-Parish-McHale-Bill Walton? I doubt you will even answer that question.

"Don't tell me that MJ 'missed two years' because he was most likely pushed out of the league for his gambling problems and mobster associations."

He left the game because his dad was murdered. How would you like it if your dad died because some guy tried to rob your dad and shot them.

Add: And how would you like if your dad died and some blogger said it was a gambling thing and it was nothing?

Not everyone can be Bruce Wayne and become Batman. Most of us who were very close to our dad would be devastated.

And he missed only 1 1/2 years. When he came back he put 55 points against Riley's Knicks which was the best defensive team of that year.

Man that was as shallow as Michael's HoF Speech.

63 Footer: "The only true answer is the Michael Crichton/Steven Spielberg blockbuster eventually coming out "NBA Park," where they clone all the greatest bball players and pit them against one another on an island in the Caribbean."
-
LOL I gotta put that one on the to-see list! I wonder if they battle against the Creatures that the NBA forgot, such as Chris Kaman, Shelden Williams, Sam Cassell, Joakim Noah and of course the immortal George Muresan.

Iiikes, I really think I'm goin to hell....


GO LAKERS!!!!!

KB Blitz: "And again the points.....hmm so David Robinson scored 71 points and David Thompson scored 73 they are better than Magic Johnson? Besides again I loved 81 points by Kobe I was there that being said it was the freaking Toronto Raptors. Jeez you had Bosh and the great Charlie Villeneuva being your post defenders. How would you rank them to Bird-Parish-McHale-Bill Walton? I doubt you will even answer that question. "

-

Kobe scored 81 and is pretty good, no? A lot of marginal NBA players have gone off, does that mean they are better than Wilt? Nate Robinson had a very high scoring game last year, what's your point?

MJ couldn't beat the '80s C's, so what is your point?


GO LAKERS!!!!!

KB Blitz: BTW In the 81 pt game the Lakers were down by, what, 17? In the second half? The Lakers NEEDED that game by Kobe to win. So why denigrate it? Why compare it to the game that David Thompson scored 73 (wasn't that an end-of-season game to win him a scoring title). Why bring it up?


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Kobe scored 81 and is pretty good, no? A lot of marginal NBA players have gone off, does that mean they are better than Wilt? Nate Robinson had a very high scoring game last year, what's your point?

MJ couldn't beat the '80s C's, so what is your point?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My point? You want to include that "Kobe has 81 while MJ never got above 69" yet MJ got his at the hands of Bird-McHale while Kobe did it at the hands of Villeneuva and Bosh.


Put Kobe on the same Chicago team going against the same Celtics squad. With Kobe being not as athletic as Michael it is doubt able he would score 63 though he would certainly be trying his best. I thnk he would have gotten 46ish personally though well short of 63. Why because of the talent that was of that Celtic's squad COMBINED with all the rules which are brutal compared to the protection perimeter players today have.


And Davin Robinson is no scrub and neither was David Thompson. I'm laughing my butt off for even bringing up Nate Robinson.

KB Blitz: Without getting into it, he was 'quietly' pushed out of the league for his gambling associations and ties with mobsters. They gave him an ultimatum, that is what I understand. Of course, no one will come out and say it, but it's pretty well known.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

KB Blitz: BTW In the 81 pt game the Lakers were down by, what, 17? In the second half? The Lakers NEEDED that game by Kobe to win. So why denigrate it? Why compare it to the game that David Thompson scored 73 (wasn't that an end-of-season game to win him a scoring title). Why bring it up?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And Michael's was in the playoffs going against the Number one team at the time who would win a title that year and only lost ONCE at home that entire year AND the best defensive team that year.


The point is stop bringing up the 81 points as one of the biggest reasons why Kobe has an edge on Michael in that department. Scoring against Bosh isn't as impressive as scoring on the Celtics frontline.

KB Blitz: So what, Kobe outscored the entire Mav's team through 3 quarters. Again, I just don't understand the point you are making other than bashing Kobe.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

[KB Blitz: Without getting into it, he was 'quietly' pushed out of the league for his gambling associations and ties with mobsters. They gave him an ultimatum, that is what I understand. Of course, no one will come out and say it, but it's pretty well known.]

Oh so you wouldn't be crushed if a loved one was murdered?

Nice. Then Kobe wasn't pressured when he was accused in Colorado then.

KB Blitz: "The point is stop bringing up the 81 points as one of the biggest reasons why Kobe has an edge on Michael in that department. Scoring against Bosh isn't as impressive as scoring on the Celtics frontline."

-

Kobe scored what, 55? Alone in the second half. That celtic game was an overtime game, was it not?

Again what is your point other than to try to bash Kobe in order to raise MJ up...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

KB Blitz: So what, Kobe outscored the entire Mav's team through 3 quarters. Again, I just don't understand the point you are making other than bashing Kobe.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | October 16, 2010 at 02:34 PM


Because you are putting down Michael's accomplishment by putting Kobe ahead. Same thing you did with Howard vs Bynum that Howard wouldn't be as good as Bynum when Bynum was healthy even though Howard was owned Bynum almost every time they met.

If you want a fair argument fine, then don't be bringing other players' accomplishments down in order to strengthen your argument and complain when I do the same damn thing.

Kobe scored what, 55? Alone in the second half. That celtic game was an overtime game, was it not?

It was double overtime but what was most impressive was that was against the Celtics front line in an age of handchecking.

Had Kobe scored 81 against the current Celtics it would mean much more than it was against the Raptors!

KB Blitz: MJ is a great player but he couldn't score 100 in this day and age. That is ridiculous.

Bynum has a better touch than Howard ever will. I give props to Howard for his defensive work, but Bynum has far-and-away a better scoring touch. Heck, Howard looks most times like he doesn't even want a pass to go into him when he's on the court.

Give Bynum 2 years, he'll be a beast by the time he's entering his prime (he's still 22, remember?)

Back to Kobe, I am convinced that he's a better scorer than MJ, I am convinced his offensive skills translate into him killing it 'back in the day'. I am also convinced, again, that MJ wouldn't score 100 - let alone 81 in this day and age of bigger bodies and perimeter shooting being more of a premium.


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Again:

He would be hard pressed to score 100 but with today's rules of no hand checking and defensive 3 seconds? Flagrant touch fouls that Lebron and Wade and Kobe back in 05-06 enjoyed? It's certainly possible ESPECIALLY Kobe scoring 81 points. It's not unreasonable if a last place team with Bosh and Villeneuva as their post players and MJ having a retribution night like Kobe was having that night can score 100 points. Is it probably not likely but not IMPOSSIBLE.

And yea again with the Bynum vs Howard talk how is Bynum with a softer touch better? Howard has a spin move and dunk and can dribble to dunk the ball but not shoot it. Howard's quickness and superior athleticism is what gets him past Bynum and it's not like Bynum will develop quickness like Howard in 3 years especially when his body stops that last 2% of overall growth. ALL great centers had great athleticism and quickness from Wilt to Kareem and yes Shaq whose agility combined with his strength got the Wilt comparisons. Bynum is certainly more skilled than Howard but Howard is by far and will most likely be the superior player overall and both are HORRID playmakers.


Look I love Kobe there is a reason why I am called "kobebryantblitz". That being said I don't drink too much Laker juice (which I love to drink) and like viewing all sports with more objectivity. In the NFL I didn't let the Randy Moss breaking Rice's record dilute me into thinking he's a better WR than Rice or Marshall Faulk's or LT's game make him better than Walter Payton or Barry Sanders or even Jim Brown when LT broke his rushing record. Same goes for the NBA. I recognize that Kobe has MORE skills than Jordan even Phil said so and he has coached them up close while we fans have only watched highlights. The fact is that accomplishment wise Kobe as great has a long way to go before can legitimately be equal as Mike more than just those "Become Legendary" commercials. Reason why I still recognize the loosening of rules and why I don't recognize Lebron or Wade as greats equal to their level even though they have accomplished much already. 100 points is a reach for ANYONE and Wilt only accomplished that once. Do I think MJ will have done it no but he certainly would have the opportunity thanks to the weakened rules perimeter wise.


And Phil has stated back in 2007 in the pre-season (the same one when Kobe was angry at Lakers management):


Phil said: "Michael would average 45 with these rules."


So I'm going with the Zen Master with this one Cyber. Disagree all you want but I'm with Phil.

WOWEE...

Heat in the Blog today...let's save some of that energy for the Nuggs game...

Since we have been all over this for 2 days...How about we change the topic...

Who thinks Ron Ron should have not change numbers...

Who thinks Ron Ron will get DPOY this season...

Who thinks the Lakers won't win the West this year...

Who likes "Young Guns" for the new nave for the Bench Mob...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!


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