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Ron Artest shows maturity in how he handles reduced role

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson jokingly pleaded with a reporter not to run the story. Lakers forward Ron Artest argued that the media brought it up in hopes it could divide the team. And both Jackson and Artest said it's a non-issue.

This, of course, involves the only topic Artest doesn't like talking about: anything involving struggling performance(s). Oh, he'll discuss them all right. He just won't do it with the same enthusiasm as he would the raffling-off of his championship ring on Christmas Day, raising money for mental health charities; his NFL aspirations; boxing; his recent appearance on a Houston sports-talk radio show in which he imitated Rockets forward Luis Scola; the Lakers' scheduled visit next week with President Obama and seemingly any other topic.

Just don't bring up these stats: Entering the Lakers' game Tuesday night at Staples Center against the Washington Wizards, Artest through 20 games has reached career lows in points per game (8.2), rebounds (3.3), assists (1.8), field-goal percentage (39.5%) and minutes played (27.1). He also has sat out significant chunks of the fourth quarter in favor of Matt Barnes and couldn't convert on the final play in three of the Lakers' six losses. 

"You just got to win games," said Artest, who argued recently that dissecting individual performances is only pertinent to tennis. "That's all that's important. You just have to go out and win."

Jackson, who's rarely shy about tweaking Artest for his off-beat personality and shot selection, appeared equally as defensive. "He's fine. Just leave him alone," Jackson said. "He plays well at practice. He'll find his stroke here, and he'll be good. He's just too good a ballplayer not to get out there and get some things going for himself."

Artest has overlooked a few things, however, as his offensive issues go beyond the stat sheet, including a drop-off, according to Hoopdata.com, in shots within 10 feet (25%) and from 16 to 23 feet (18%). Artest still sets himself on an island in the corner perimeter, disrupting offensive continuity and feeling out of rhythm with the reduced minutes. Without a doubt, he's showcased ball movement, penetration and tempered shot selection, but all three qualities come more in spurts than in consistent sequences.

Artest and Jackson also stress that his focus is more on defense. Fair enough. But aside from adequate performances against Portland's Brandon Roy and Golden State's Monta Ellis, Artest hasn't presented the lock-down presence Lakers fans remember from the postseason, when he kept the likes of Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Boston's Paul Pierce in check.

Lakers fans have the gray hairs to prove how agonizing it was to see Artest appear lost for most of the 2009-10 season, but the frustration gave way to a long and, in the end, satisfying journey toward Artest's memorable Game 7 performance in the 2010 NBA Finals, in which he scored 20 points on seven-of-18 shooting and held Pierce to 18 points on a five-of-15 clip. Though there's certainly time for Artest to provide that presence during the 2011 postseason, it'll require a vast improvement than the input he's put in through 20 games.

But here's where Artest is doing the right thing -- he's maintaining the right demeanor about his reduced role.

"He says, 'I don't care if I play two minutes or 42 minutes, as long as we win,'" Jackson said. "So that's the right attitude."

"Rather than be frustrated, I'd rather just stay ready," Artest said before the Lakers' 113-80 victory Friday over the Sacramento Kings. "If I play one minute for the whole game, it doesn't matter; it's just about us winning. That's it."

That epitomizes the sort of adjustment he has had to make his whole career, and I'm not just talking about his role in 2004 at the Malice at the Palace, which sparked an 86-game suspension and, Artest argues, cost him three or four defensive player of the year awards and one regular-season MVP honor.

He played a significant role in the 2007-08 season with the Sacramento Kings with a 20.5-points-per-game average. He took less of an offensive role with Houston the following season, averaging 17.1 points per game, and ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin recently reported that Rockets Coach Rick Adelman didn't like that Artest he had called timeout on plays without his permission. Fast forward to the 2010-2011 season, and you have Jackson telling Artest he should've called timeout after grabbing an offensive rebound in the final play of the Lakers' 95-92 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 28. Other than tactfully sharing his belief that Jackson just wanted to single him out, Artest has listened willingly.

"I had my chance to get everything I wanted individually," he said. "I had my chance to have my own team with Indiana and Chicago. I messed that up. There's no need to do that anymore. I still work on my game to be the best."

That entailed dropping his weight to 245 pounds so he can defend more mobile defenders, but he's not pursuing the league's defensive player of the year award or even a post on the NBA all-defensive team, an honor the Lakers believe he should've had last season. It's entailed Jackson and Artest having a more mutually respectful relationship than last season, when Jackson's continuous prodding of Artest's shot selection fueled the forward's frustration level and prompted him to vent his grievances via Twitter. And it's entailed Artest encouraging Barnes to replace him in the lineup (both players raise their hand on the court when they feel tired).

"I just go out there and play," Artest said. "I'm capable of putting up numbers. Whatever happens out there offensively or defensively, I'll be happy with the rhythm of the game and the flow of the game."

That area still remains in question for the time being. But one thing's for certain: Artest's heart and intent point to the right place even if his actions and explanations for his lapses fall short.

-- Mark Medina
Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (70)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I may not be in the majority here but I don't care. If both Ron and PJ asked that this not be run, then why the hell is it here, MM? Why? Like we need to be reminded he's not hitting his career averages? Or that he was involved in that Palace fiasco? Or that he has a reduced role right now? We need to be reminded? Seriously? I'm pissed off. They guy has been nothing but great for this team. He's worked his azz off and kept his head in the game - above and beyond our expectations. He did what he needed to do to secure # 16 for the organization. I'm sick of the negativity surrounding him, when all he does is try to be a force for good, whether on the team or in the community. Give Ron a freaking break. How about a bandwagon for that? Or maybe a thread, huh?

Modified repost compost from this beautiful Tuesday morning
(late Tuesday night here)

So, "From the desert, to the sea, to all of Southern California"...

Good morning girls!

Here's a little tune (video) sung by, no, Larry, is that you?,
and featuring Faith, Edwin, Mark (the song's namesake),
and almost the entire Laker cast (the owl, hmm, that's gotta be Tom).
The girls look so cute in their little tu-tu's.
At the end, we get to see Jon K and Justa.
Bringing up the rear in the group, of course, is Kobe.
They are all so happy, but watch your back Justa.

Sing it for Andrew...he may be needing surgery again by March
and will, no doubt, appreciate your undying support.
(Some will naturally sing louder than others...it's OK)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcxYwwIL5zQ

At least until the Playoffs, the league has done all it can do to grease your way to another championship. Enjoy these moments...the road's gonna get bumpy.
Bank on it.

Just remember to be kind to each other as it all unravels.
Just think: Zip-a-dee-do-da...My oh my...because it's all about the love.

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Ducks! (Thank God they couldn't find an excuse, finally,
to insert one of those choker SoCal schools in the mix this year).
Go Manny, Go!

I think people at the Latimes have confused linen with posts,
where determining quality is concerned.
A higher thread count isn't always better people.

Sonnybelfast

Sonny - why are you being such an idiot? You've been pretty cool in the past, but lately - what the hell is wrong with you? Seriously. I'm worried about your mental health these days. Maybe we need to get you the number to Ron's shrink. You need help, my friend.

I'm all for hopping on a "give Ron a freaking break" bandwagon...

He's given nothing but solid effort and entertainment since he arrived.

Sonnybelfast

2 or 3 live game chats ago I mentioned that I was starting to dislike Artest more and more with every game he played. But with this cool attitude he has and understanding that he's not playing well and might lose PT and still maintain a positive attitude, I can't help, but take that back. The mans OK in my book.

Now if The Heart n Soul of the team would take the same approach and responsibility and be MATURE about his game...nevermind, I'll shut my mouth now.

sonny must have a Lakers itch that needs scratching, sure is posting alot today.

Don't worry about me Justa...

I'd worry about your own flock.

I think they are going to need you soon.

Actually, it's already starting, and they already do.

Just stay calm, and be gentle.

Remember, it's all about the love.

Go Kings!
Go Oregon!
Go Manny, Go!

Sonnybelfast

Justa,

Point in case: What did you just say about Testes,
and the treatment he is getting?

I guarantee you, he is not going to be what is wrong with your team.

Sonnybelfast

But I do sincerely wish all of you Merry Christmas,
Happy Kwanza,
Happy Hannikuh,
and a Happy New Year,
that is until April.

Sonnybelfast

Sonny - no one on here "needs" me, and I'm not so deluded as to think they do. The problem here is people like you who only come on to stir up crap and bother those of us who are minding our own business and trying to hang with our friends in the peace and comfort of this sports "bar" blog that we have created. That's what you do Sonny. You lay down a load of crap just when we've cleaned up, and then try to act all innocent and talk about how it's all about the love. Do us all a favor - go away. And if you can't do that, then the next time you jack phred's line the least you can do is mean it. Contribute something worthwhile. Then maybe you'd have some friends who "need" you too.

Just relax Justa,
Justa just relax,
Relax Justa bit,

Breathe in...breathe out. Justa feel that chest expand.

Now, so that we can get justa perfectly clear about something,
I submit the following:

At the bottom of each post (go ahead, take just a moment and scroll down),
is the name or moniker of the person who has posted.
Simply, scroll down past it, and don't be bothered.
Breathe in...breath out.

And now, were you somehow under the impression that I,
and ardent Sacramento Kings of Basketball fan,
am looking for friends here???

Someone may be delusional, but I don't think it is me.

And it is all about the love. The love of NBA basketball.
And the Lakers, well, they are a popular team, are they not?

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast

Ron's numbers may be down, but his attitude is up. I have no worries...his offense will come around. He continues to give consistent effort on the defensive end and that's why the Lakers brought him in. Now if only his teammates followed his lead in that area.

justa,

I don't know why sonnyboy doesn't take his talents to some other teams blog, perhpas it's because he gets a small amount of attention here. Perhaps if he were totally ignored he might go away.

Art - no worries, I'm done. He just never used to be like that, but whatever. Hope he has a good time wallowing with his team in the sludge at the bottom of the NBA barrel.

Ron Ron is the man.

Says Phil:

"He's fine. Just leave him alone".

Sounds like sound advice, if you know what's good for you.

Sonnybelfast


Happy Bday Lew,

You've been blessed with another day. Enjoy it my friend. I asked a few other guys to send you greetings as well. So here you go!


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

Justa - song please!!

Sonny is upset because his beloved Queens lost to the Clippers. Yes it was an epic battle to determine the worst team in the division. So Arco will hang yet another banner to celebrate consecutive lottery picks selected by a team!

This is what I'm feeling today...

Questions is, do I feel this way because I'm thinking of my next year of my life...

Or am I thinking about my Lakers...and what is in store for us the rest of the season...

Either way...it is fitting...
Change: we have change coming....
Patience: be patient, have faith in what your are doing...
Fear: Beware everyone out there, when it all falls into place, we have to be Feared...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFh2vpGeoIk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErvgV4P6Fzc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shEbyzbSyXg&feature=fvst

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

*repost*

Happy Birthday Laker Tom...When I first browsed this blog, you made an immediate impact...and that's before I knew we shared the same birthday...lol

So a Happy Tora Tora Tora to you...have a wonderful day with your family...There is also another member whose BDay it is today...sorry I couldn't find your old post...but have a great day too...

Hopefully we get a birthday present of Andrew playing in this coming road trip...

I'm officially checking in for game day Roll Call...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Posted by: LEWSTRS | December 07, 2010 at 08:46 AM

Enough discussion about Ron Ron and his fairweather fans.

I'll return...well...when I return.

By all means, some of you...do hold your breaths.

Bedtime for me.

Go Kings!
Go Niners!
Go Oregon Ducks! (So the Pac-12 finally has a worthy rep)
Go Manny, go!

Sonnybelfast

I'd like to take a moment to remember our brave men and women who were cowardly attacked at Pearl Harbor, and thank those who fought valiantly during that battle.


My happy birthday wishes go out to Laker Tom, LEWSTRS, and yes, yours truly. I believe there is a fourth one, but can not remember who it is. A little help anyone?

Justa: How soon we forget:


HE HATE US CAUSE HE AIN'T US


All the Andrew/Kobe/Ron Ron dissing in the world can't hide this one absolute truth:


The Lakers WEAR rings.
The Kings only HEAR rings coming from their cowbells.


Nuff said.

@JAMF - You can't exactly ignore the issue here. The performances speak for themselves and his involvement in the final minute partly contributed to three of the Lakers' six losses. This post though was aimed to put it in context

Happy Birthday Laker J...we have a special bond...I tell everyone who says, wow your BDay is on Pearl Harbor Day, well they bombed the Philippines the next day...lol

Enjoy your day bruh...

Too bad we weren't all in the same city...we could of got together and watched the Lakers whip on the Wiz tonight...

Thanks LRob...That was cute...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZtJqDIom5Q

**Mush Alert** If you're not into kindness and camaraderie - please scroll on by.

Happy Birthday to my Blog Brothers: Lew, Laker Tom and Laker J (and the fourth one too). Thanks for your part in making this blog a fun place.

LRob - since you asked, my morning commute was Macy....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfPnJCv-Z40

MM - who's ignoring?? Everything has been said and rehashed. Ad nauseum.... I'm just saying you could have found a better use for the space.

Wow! The Lakers had better win today with all the Pearl Harbor Day birthdays...

Happy birthday to LakerJ and LakerTom, too! A Lakers win is now expected.

@JAMF - I havent' devoted a post yet this season about his early-season struggles. Maybe from game analysis itself, but that's it. Again this is more about how Ron's handling it than anything else

JAMF,

Sunny just wants to talk about a real team, that's why she comes here and never mentions her Queens. Well, she does say "go kings" at the end of her posts, but I think she really means the LA hockey team.

Her "team", the queens, are imploding.Tyreke and Cousins are proving too immature for the league. Getting kicked out of practice, being fined, the other players saying they aren't smart enough to learn the plays........

She doesn't want to face the disaster up north so she tries to pollute this great blog.


LA Lakers 2009-2010 Back-to-Back NBA Champions

Ron will lock in on defense when it's time and his offense will come around. If I'm not mistaken, Ron's numbers last year was his career low but when it counted, he was the man. So as long as he is fine, we should be. I wish people would just leave the man alone. I think people want him to lose his cool and go off on his team/coach/organization and demand to be traded and wear out his welcome. I don't think that is going to happen. He's too smart and older to fall for that trick. Nice try Miami, Spurs, and Mavs! (LOL)

Justa

Sonny Belfast, once had a live chat dedicated to him by the K Bros who were fans of his old school rants, not that that adds up to a credential or anything.

He actually seemed tame in comparison to the crazies that crowded this space back when.

Yeah, a Kings fan, which begs the question, what sorry need for attention wells up inside the greying and balding set that would make them prefer derision to the misery of the shared Kings experience?

I think it adds spice, and the early blog season sometimes needs spice, if not, there's always the scroll option.

I am in favor of the info about Ron being published and think Phil was out of line in asking for it not to be.

It's not like it was secret, confidential information that might help the Lakers opponents. And it's not like the information wasn't true.

If both "Jackson and Artest said it was a non issue", then what's the problem?

I'd rather read it from local sources rather than have to wait for Wikileaks to get to it.

I wanna see the good and the bad, isn't that a responsible journalism.

Okay - I'm just goin' with the blanket Happy B-Days y'all!

And since we all have such different musical tastes:

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rur5wKoua1o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjF1bG5LUcs

I am one who is also disappointed in Ron Ron's current play...

I really thought he would have better results with the great preseason he had...

But to put it in perspective...I was the same way last year, thinking we should of kept Ariza...

And what does Ron do in the playoffs and game 7 of the Finals...

Patience is a virtue would be the message here...

Also...Thanks Lass and 63 Footer...

justa

It is what it is. Let's be real here about the first quarter of the season. It is more important to integrate Barnes and Blake and to give Shannon Brown more minutes while he is playing at a high level with his young, athletic legs, than it is to put more mileage on the legs of 31 year old Ron Artest who has spent a career expending more energy at the defensive end than any player since Bruce Bowen.

I know you don't agree with my depiction of the regular season, but that is exactly what is going on. Ron Artest will be critical in the playoffs, just like he was against Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce in April and June. Matt Barnes must get minutes to absorb the system and Shannon Brown will only be more effective in the playoffs with more minutes under his belt. Therefore, Artest is the guy to rest. With fewer minutes, of course he will be in less of an offensive rhythm. He's not sitting because he's hurting the team on offense; I do NOT buy that at all. The truth is that we don't need him playing 35-40 minutes per game right now, but we will when it counts.

I can understand you being sensitive about Ron-Ron. But for him, we aren't talking about three-peat this season. I defend MM for posting this article because as I see it: "No harm, no foul, no blood, no ambulance." It just stirred up some conversation.


My respect and admiration for Ron, who grew up and understood that fun and winning and extraordinary performance isn't a constant state..

"Rather than just be frustrated, I'd rather just stay ready."

Mature, skilled, generous.. and measured in his responses to journalists who always have the choice in which "stories" they pursue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXVnXVuj4Ps

888 - sorry you had to see that. I let fly for various reasons, least of all is worry over RonRon. That said, he doesn't deserve the constant rehashing of past events or current questioning of "what's wrong"? Ugh. It's ok. I'm done now.

justa

You just stirred up some conversation, so that's good. You even got MM all defensive about it. Let's face it, everything gets rehashed ad nauseum. Now can we please get Ariza back?! JUST KIDDING.

@UTZ
"The Lakers WEAR rings.
The Kings only HEAR rings coming from their cowbells."

EXCELLENT POST!

@bithday kids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e60qCSK0oxY&feature=more_related

@Ron Ron
Keep playin hard on D and your shots will staart fallin. Don't let the haters get you down. Remember, you are a CHAMPION. you didn't warm the bench while your mates were winning you a ring, you were a big part of the team that accomplished this goal TOGETHER!

@LakerTom - Happy Bday. Since you're a fan of JT...I've enlisted his baby sister to do the honors...Have a great day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQpB9FsbWUE


@Laker J - Happy Bday with a little rock flava for you. Enjoy your day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjbCM5f2yuw

888 - you know, we haven't had that particular debate in awhile LOL! Or how about who's better - Kobe or MJ? That one hasn't seen the light of day in about a month or so....

Coming out of lurking mode to wish LEW a Happy Birthday!!!

Pare you don't look a day older =) ~~~ HUGS to you!!!

Hello all!

justa

Let me add this. When the Lakers signed Artest, Phil drew a contrast between him and Ariza when he said that Artest is a big minutes player, where Ariza is not. I think that pretty much explains what I was trying to say in terms of the reduced minutes being the reason why Ron-Ron has yet to find a rhythm this season.

HAVING SAID THAT, we all have our opinions about what is and what isn't and what should be and what shouldn't be. The reality is that we are on the sidelines making our own observations, but we only know so much. Only Phil Jackson, his coaching staff, Lakers management, the trainers and the players really know what is going on. So, as always, I defer ....

Happy Birthday Laker Tom, Lewsters, Lakers J, and i believe it was PatrickHenry's Birthday also?

Ron and Matt have been splitting minutes at the 3 , so RA stats of late are no big deal.

Ron was being left wide open in the playoffs last season for a reason. In game 7 of the Finals, Ron showed his value to the team. Defense, Defense, Defense!

Or how about who's better - Kobe or MJ? That one hasn't seen the light of day in about a month or so....

Posted by: justanothermambafan | December 07, 2010 at 10:05 AM
=====

zzzzzz

LOL!

@LRob
coming strong with Cracker- back at you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbbYp7dcYFo&feature=related

Happy Birthday Lew! Happy Birthday Laker Tom! Happy Birthday Laker J! May the Lakers give y'all a W as a fitting birthday present!

*___________________________________________________________________*
GIVE RON A FREAKING BREAK - BANDWAGON
*__________________________________________________________________*
(01) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - OWNER - I may not be in the majority here but I don't care. If both Ron and PJ asked that this not be run, then why the hell is it here, MM? Why? Like we need to be reminded he's not hitting his career averages? Or that he was involved in that Palace fiasco? Or that he has a reduced role right now? We need to be reminded? Seriously? I'm pissed off. They guy has been nothing but great for this team. He's worked his azz off and kept his head in the game - above and beyond our expectations. He did what he needed to do to secure # 16 for the organization. I'm sick of the negativity surrounding him, when all he does is try to be a force for good, whether on the team or in the community. Give Ron a freaking break. How about a bandwagon for that? Or maybe a thread, huh?
(02) MAMBA24 - DRIVER - Yeah give Ron Ron a Freakin break
(03) FAN OF THE MAMBA – RIDING SHOTGUN -
(04) LROB - Ron's numbers may be down, but his attitude is up. I have no worries...his offense will come around. He continues to give consistent effort on the defensive end and that's why the Lakers brought him in. Now if only his teammates followed his lead in that area.
(05) MAGIA32 - or 3 live game chats ago I mentioned that I was starting to dislike Artest more and more with every game he played. But with this cool attitude he has and understanding that he's not playing well and might lose PT and still maintain a positive attitude, I can't help, but take that back. The mans OK in my book.
(06) BUMMI - Ron will lock in on defense when it's time and his offense will come around. If I'm not mistaken, Ron's numbers last year was his career low but when it counted, he was the man. So as long as he is fine, we should be. I wish people would just leave the man alone. I think people want him to lose his cool and go off on his team/coach/organization and demand to be traded and wear out his welcome. I don't think that is going to happen. He's too smart and older to fall for that trick. Nice try Miami, Spurs, and Mavs! (LOL)
(07) LEWSTRS - I am one who is also disappointed in Ron Ron's current play... I really thought he would have better results with the great preseason he had... But to put it in perspective...I was the same way last year, thinking we should of kept Ariza... And what does Ron do in the playoffs and game 7 of the Finals...Patience is a virtue would be the message here
(08) NOAH - My respect and admiration for Ron, who grew up and understood that fun and winning and extraordinary performance isn't a constant state.. "Rather than just be frustrated, I'd rather just stay ready."Mature, skilled, generous.. and measured in his responses to journalists who always have the choice in which "stories" they pursue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXVnXVuj4Ps
(09) MCLYNE - @Ron Ron Keep playin hard on D and your shots will staart fallin. Don't let the haters get you down. Remember, you are a CHAMPION. you didn't warm the bench while your mates were winning you a ring, you were a big part of the team that accomplished this goal TOGETHER!

*____________________________________________________________________*
DEC 7. LAKERTOM’S & LEWSTR’S & LAKERJ’S & OCLEZY’S BIRTHDAY. A DAY THAT SHALL
LIVE IN LAKER NATION INFAMY - HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUYS’ - BANDWAGON
*________________________________________________________________-___*
(01) LAKERTOM – OWNER – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEWSTRS & OCLEVY
(02) LEWSTRS – DRIVER – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAKERTOM & OCLEVY. Happy Birthday Laker Tom...When I first browsed this blog, you made an immediate impact...and that's before I knew we
shared the same birthday...lol So a Happy Tora Tora Tora to you...have a wonderful day with your family...There is also another member whose BDay it is today OCLEVY, have a great day too...
Hopefully we get a birthday present of Andrew playing in this coming road trip... Happy Birthday
Laker J...we have a special bond...I tell everyone who says, wow your BDay is on Pearl Harbor
Day, well they bombed the Philippines the next day...lol Enjoy your day bruh...Too bad we weren't
all in the same city...we could of got together and watched the Lakers whip on the Wiz tonight... ... Also...Thanks Lass and 63 Footer...
(03) LAKERJ – RIDING SHOTGUN - My happy birthday wishes go out to Laker Tom, LEWSTRS,
OCLEVY and yes, yours truly.
(04) OCLEZY – RIDING SHOTGUN – HAPPY BIRTHDAT LEWSTRS & LAKERTOM
(05) LAKERJ - My happy birthday wishes go out to Laker Tom, LEWSTRS, and yes, yours truly.
I believe there is a fourth one, but can not remember who it is. A little help anyone?
(06) KOBEMVP888 – LEWSTRS Happy birthday, baybeeeee!! Wow! The Lakers had better win today with all the Pearl Harbor Day birthdays... Happy birthday to LakerJ and LakerTom, too! A Lakers win is now expected.
(07) MAMBA24 – Truly a Tremendous Trio ! Happy birthday Guys!!
(08) LROB - Happy Bday Lew, You've been blessed with another day. Enjoy it my friend. I asked a few
other guys to send you greetings as well. So here you go! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqicvsmCZfQ
@LakerTom - Happy Bday. Since you're a fan of JT...I've enlisted his baby sister to do the honors...Have a great day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQpB9FsbWUE
@Laker J - Happy Bday with a little rock flava for you. Enjoy your day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjbCM5f2yuw
(09) LAKERLASS - **Mush Alert** If you're not into kindness and camaraderie - please scroll on by.
Happy Birthday to my Blog Brothers: Lew, Laker Tom and Laker J (and the fourth one too). Thanks
for your part in making this blog a fun place.
(10) 63 FOOTER - Okay - I'm just goin' with the blanket Happy B-Days y'all! And since we all have such different musical tastes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FchMuPQOBwA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rur5wKoua1o&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjF1bG5LUcs
(11) IHEARTKB24 - Coming out of lurking mode to wish LEW a Happy Birthday!!!
Pare you don't look a day older =) ~~~ HUGS to you!!!
(12) MCLYNE - @bithday kids http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e60qCSK0oxY&feature=more_related

A birthday wish for our Three Amigos.

Phish performing a Little Feat favorite in A Cappella:

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

Justa,

Don't take the Sacramento Troll's bait. He's been doing that routine for years. Obviously, the man has a deep-seated love for the Lakers. He checks the blog every single day, and he posts when he can. He loves to predict doomsday outcomes... it's cathartic in every way, seeing that his beloved Kings have done nothing but lose, lose, lose their way into obscurity for the past six years.

I was watching some of that Clippers/Kings train wreck last night, thinking to myself, "Here comes a Belfast post in three... two... one..." And it looks like I was right on the money. He's as predictable as his Kings. They're both losers.

Keep you head up, Justa. And remember the time-tested adage: Starve them, and they'll eventually run away to the dark, ugly places from whence they came.

Go Lake Show!

Laker Tom - I wish you a Happy Birthday too!!! we need to get together with the NorCal peeps soon...

Happy Birthday also to LAKERJ & OCLEZY!!!

@Justa - smile lady...don't let anyone ruin your day!!!

Thank you all for the well wishes. Yeah Lew, I wish we could all get together have a beer and enjoy the Lakers game. Well, I'll still do 2 out of three. Here's wishing for a Laker victory as a present from the our team.

@JAMF - For the record, Phil's request not to write a story was more in jest. It's not as if he was shining a flashlight on the media and warning of the long-term consequences. What's interesting is Phil any chance he gets needles Ron, but lately he's been very supportive of him. It seems that now Ron has bought into what Phil wants him to do, PJ just wants to be encouraging. Again I explore that in the post and thought I highlight his struggles, I credit Artest's attitude on dealing with it

@Laker Tom
@LEWSTRS
Hope both of you have a great birthday! Thanks for your presence here. It really means a lot

outlaw - thanks and no worries. Lots going on to piss me off and the poor little troll (and MM) had to bear the brunt. I'm good now though...


888 - I find myself agreeing with most of your posts. I think the only time I didn't was regarding the "practice" season. Otherwise you're in my head. (Scary, huh?)

Mark Medina,
-
First Andrew, now Ron.
-
I'm curious if the next blog spotlight will be "Steve Blake Shows Maturity In Leading The Killer B's."
-
Followed by "Team Shows Maturity On Road Trip."
-
I'm just sayin'.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

MM - I was gonna go into another rant about how PJ & Ron's relationship now needs another explanation of his past bad acts, but whatever. I'm done. It's your thread - I'm just commenting on it.

@JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN, Just finished reading your duel with Sonny. WOW! That was simply magnificent Fabulous!!!! It's plain the Mamba Clan chose well in choosing their Leader! And sorry to contradict you ma'am but we DO need you!! OK just thought I'd pop in and say my peace.
Back to cleaning up after the winter snow storm in 10 degree weather. Aint life grand?

justa

Some bloggers preferred the term "preparation season" better, although few like the concept at all. However, because this is a term that I borrowed from the greatest Lakers blogger of them all, TrueFan1947 .. may he rest in peace .. and because the forum where I met him has dedicated the season to him as the "True Season," I am obliged to call it the "practice season" for the remainder of this season at least. Plus I 100% agree with it as it applies to Phil Jackson's treatment of the regular season with his veteran championship caliber teams.

I don't like to quote Phil too much because he rarely means what he says, but just the other day he said: "It's very important that we play good games on Tuesday [against the Washington Wizards] and Wednesday [against the Clippers]. Whether we win or not is not as important as we play well. But if you play well, you usually win."

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

mclyne - thanks very much.


888 - I see what you're saying. Agreed.

We're under the radar, which is good. Not spoken of like the champiopns we are. All the pundits who "rate" the teams have us 3rd or 4th in the pecking order. So what? Those who truly know the sport, know that the hornets (for sale), and the spurs (old legs), will eventually come back to the pack. We in the meantime, will integrate our new parts, and welcome back our fragile but talented 7 footer. When all is said and done, all roads lead through Staples......WHAT???

Hey Justa et al., As for lil' sonny, poor guy hasn't recovered from Big Shot Rob's "3" when they thought they had finally won a series. Where is that team now? No c-webb, vlade, bibby, or adleman to coach. Now they have a young team of knuckleheads just waiting to be fined...go figure?

Look - anybody who is not delusional can see there are some problems to fix on the current version of the Lakers. These may or may not turn out to be significant problems, but we will not know until June.


Frankly reporting these items like this post however insignificant some may think they are, consist of the only topics that journalists can glean from the relatively few problems of the Lake Show.


I certainly would like to know more about what Kobe is doing for his health and long term playing potential, because the on-floor evidence is that he is not performing anything close to 80-90% of our expectations even adjusted for age. That goes for day to day. BUT, Kobe is nearly impossible to research due to his secrecy about what he does to ready himself day to day, so any journalist is challenged beyond belief to find out that.


I would like to know what Pau actually does in the weight room (drink a soda? BS with pals? What!?), as we have been told he goes into the wieght room - my questions arise from the results which don't really show much improvement of his "base" that PJ always talks about, and we ex-post players know is the key to banging in the paint. BUT, once again journalists are very limited to asking questions, as they cannot see it for themselves. NEVER!


I would also love to know why PJ allows Kobe to play free safety on D, which frankly results in way too many points for whomever Kobe is covering. I watch this intently, as D was my specialty. BUT, once again, journalists are never going to get a straight answer about this topic either.


So, stats they can see and compare may end up being the story they can actually verify. Simple as that!


I am hopeful the Lakers get some practice reps in to solve some bad problems on running their O and even more bad D, before they meet the big players in their schedule! Of course letting the starters off practice 90% of the time just means the 2nd string gets these things worked on but the starters do not! Yikes!!!

"I would also love to know why PJ allows Kobe to play free safety on D, which frankly results in way too many points for whomever Kobe is covering. I watch this intently, as D was my specialty. BUT, once again, journalists are never going to get a straight answer about this topic either.
Posted by: NuggetsCountry | December 07, 2010 at 11:48 AM "

It's a very interesting question, I've always assumed it was to keep Kobe fresh and not have him expend any energy needed for the offensive side but it's especially peculiar when Kobe himself adds in comments about the team winning with its defense, not its offense.

He played a lot of free safety back in the Shaq days as well (although he did play much more on-ball defense than he does now) but at that time, he had a lot more steals and general disruption to show for it. As it stands now, it's basically a green light for whoever Kobe is guarding. I know people will say he tightens it up when it matters and he locked down Westbrook and Rondo but he played free safety on them too, they just didn't have reliable jumpers that could make him pay for it.

Bay to LA:

Exactly! I observe the same things. This is one reason I hate Kobe getting on the All NBA Defensive team recently. As much as I worship his game and his determination, a lot of times it is his very poor D that loses games for us! Let the other players cover their man and let the chips fall where they may! Kobe CAN play great man on man D, but rarely does anymore. His man (or more correctly the man he switches off to) regularly scores a personal best the past few years, because they have wide open shots even an old man like myself could hit! I cannot count the number of times that Kobe's game point total is matched (or exceeded) by all the points scored in a game by whomever he was covering...... and their shot percentage is always better because they are wide open!

Hint to the other Kobe worshippers (myself included): in future games count up the opponents point totals versus Kobe's. You will be shocked that even when Kobe goes off, he is usually matched (or close anyway) by his opponents (guys he guards) cumulative total.

Artest, the Laker.


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