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Lakers Q&A: Chuck Person instrumental in developing Lakers' shooting habits

Chuck PersonThis is the third post in an occasional series of Q&As with a member of the Lakers organization. Below is a recent conversation with Lakers Assistant Coach Chuck Person, who's in charge of game preparations for contests against Indiana, Charlotte, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Portland, San Antonio and Sacramento.

How does your history with Indiana and Sacramento [as an assistant] help when you're putting together the scouting report?

I think it's a byproduct of knowing the players in those systems because I coached the players. I know the coaches. I played for Paul Westphal. I worked with Nate in Seattle. I know most of the guys who played for the Pacers. It's just one of those things that a coach is very intuitive and instinctively understands what coaches better mesh with the personalities of the opposing teams.

After being a special assistant last season to now an assistant coach this season, what points of emphasis do you stress to the players regarding their shooting?

When the guys are out there shooting, we grab a ball and we just pass it to them. These guys understand what shooting is. They've been taught a number of years what shooting is. If there's something that needs to be corrected or fine-tuned in a guy's shot, then you give him a couple pointers here or there. But to say hey, I'm going to change this guy's shot or this this guy's, I don't think these guys are at a stage where they need much correction with their shot. At this stage, it's just a matter of repetition and they understand what their shooting strokes are and what their release points are and so on and so on. Sometimes players revert back and they create some bad habits if they're not very careful. When I'm actually passing them the ball, if I see something mechanically wrong with their shots, I'll voice those thoughts.

6a00d8341c506253ef0133f3f7717e970b-600wiLast season and this season with Kobe [Bryant's] finger, he had mentioned and credited your approach with helping him alter his release a little bit. What were the mechanics that went into that?

The one thing about Kobe is he always had great mechanics in his shot. It wasn't a mechanical thing. It was a compensation thing where he was really having to compensate with different parts of his body to make up for the pain and loss of his strength that he had in his fingers because of the avulsion fracture. Then he had some issues going on with his knee obviously at that time. We made some adjustments with his balance and what he needed to do to correct some things on other parts of his body that were basically having to carry a heavier load than what the other parts of his body could. Those were the adjustments we made. Kobe's a very smart player and he understood the language I was trying to speak to him, so I think it helped.

So when you say compensation and balance, what's the details with that?

When his index finger had an avulsion fracture on it, we just transferred more of the pressure on his release to his middle finger. It takes him some reminding and some thought process on his part to remind himself [he] can't shoot the ball the same way and that [he has] to put more pressure on [the] middle finger and ... ring finger. But it also helped me correct some things in his shot. When his right knee was hurting at the time, we had him put more pressure on the left side of his body, which he understood some of the things I was trying to do. Some of the shots he couldn't orchestrate, but he knew his spots and where he needed to get to in order to make baskets.

58956963Ron [Artest] has remarked in the past that your work with him in shooting and overall development as a player, he really gave you a lot of credit and said if it wasn't for you that he wouldn't have been an All-Star. From your vantage point, what areas did you emphasize with him?

Ron is a high-energy player and his motor is always running. He has a lot of thoughts going through his mind all the time so he's a unique player in that aspect. He'd sort of multitask on the court. It's always a work in progress with Ron to stabilize his thinking and stabilizing his thoughts during games, before games, during practices to get him to understand that doing things the same way and correct way is the best way to improve. He's battled those thoughts throughout his career. Even today, sometimes he reverts back. You just have to remind him of the good things he does throughout his career, throughout the game and throughout the practice session. It's a constant reminder of how far he's come.

When you say multitask, what does that entail?

Just maybe not focusing all the time on what's at hand. Sometimes we could be in the game and could have a play that happened five plays ago or thinking ahead to what might happen in the fourth or worrying about a guy that's going to come into the game that he's going to have to play, or worried about if he gets fouled, he'll have to go to the foul line. So just a lot of things that he thinks about on a constant basis. He's trying to figure all of them out at once instead of worrying about what's happening in the moment.

Your history with Ron, what have you seen in his evolution as a player?

He has evolved. That's a good word to use. He has evolved and transformed himself into the player and person we all thought he could be when Ron was having some issues following and conforming to rules. On his own admittance, he had gotten some counseling to combat some of the issues he was dealing with off the court, which carried on the court. It's taken some time for him to realize and understand who he is. Now you see the finished product. I think he's very happy with the finished product.

15152517This season, Ron did a lot of work with mental health charities and has made tremendous progress from the brawl incident six years ago. From your perspective, what went into that process into arriving to this point?

It's all the things. It's the evolution, transformation, multitasking. That's still part of it. Ron has a lot of things on his plate with all the charity work, which is all great work. But you have to balance the time you are dealing with the humanitarian part of your career versus doing your job. Basketball, that is our job. That comes first outside of your family. Ron understands that, but at the same time, he's such a good person that he puts other people before himself. Sometimes that leads to some distractions, but you can't fault the guy for working hard.

When Phil [Jackson] brought you in here, what expectations did you have of yourself?

I didn't have any expectations. I knew what my skill-set [was] and coming in I knew what I could bring to the team. They were just coming off a championship and the bottom line is what can you add to that success? It wasn't me forcing my way in or saying, 'Hey, we can do it better this way.' The pedigree is already there. There are certain things that once you're there and you understand the system, there are some things that make sense that you get better at, and it's thought out and you put it into a plan. Phil will accept it and use it. That's who he is. I credit him and his coaching staff for accepting me in, especially with not knowing who I was.

What was the balance in understanding and respecting their territory, but also feeling assertive enough to show your expertise and what you can bring?

In my opinion, the only way to be a good player or a good coach or anything good in your profession, you have to be able to listen and to understand the specifics of what is being taught. If you understand it, you can inject what you know into the equation and not be met with resistance. That's the approach I took. I came in and listened. I tried to learn the system as quickly as I possibly could even if there's new terminology in Phil's system with the triangle. There's a lot of mechanism with learning the triangle. I studied my behind off every day and listened to the coaches. I talked to [Lakers Assistant Coach] Brian Shaw, who's a great friend of mine and he really helped me find my way within Phil's system.

In what ways?

Teaching me the offense and talking to me about Phil's personality and the players' personalities on the team. Basically, everyday I talked to him and he opened up to me and showed me the way. Phil was very open to me as well. He talks to me a lot. It was kind of intimidating at first, like everyone is, because you don't know if he's going to speak to you one day or not. Every day, he had very kind words and teaching points that he would share with me once or twice a week.

58233115What was his feedback?

I'm going to decline to talk about the things we talk about because they're very personal about his approach to the game and his approach to life. Those are personal things that you can't get in a book. You get it firsthand. I'm very fortunate enough that he allowed me to be a part of it.

Outside of anything personal, is there anything that sticks out that you'd say you learned from him?

The one thing that I know about him is he's a great manager of people. He's very intelligent. He commands his troops. He's a great general. He allows his coaches, lieutenants, to work for him. He gives them an assignment and he allows them to go out there and implement and fulfill it.

He remarked at the beginning of training camp that his expectation that this is his last season. He had said that his hope would be one of his assistants would be considered to replace him. Is that something you'd be interested in, if they approached you about that?

The one thing I know about people and about coaches is that when you're in a profession that demands competition and demands that you coach or perform at your highest level, any coach would want to lead his own team, to be able to organize and delegate responsibilities and ultimately win with a team that's his own. At the same time, that's what I've learned here under Phil on how to do that, how to win, how to organize, how to discipline players, how to delegate responsibilities to coaches. Having said that, if an opportunity presented itself and I'm not talking about here, I'm talking about somewhere else, yes I want to head coach but I understand there's a plan Mitch and his guys have laid out if Phil were to leave. I just would want to continue to be a part of that plan moving forward.

So later down the line, ideally you'd like to be a head coach in any capacity?

Again, at this level, everyone is in this job to want to be the best, whether it's winning with a team as an assistant or getting your own team as a head coach. To me it's all the same.

I read a cool anecdote that Donnie Walsh mentioned that you keep an index card of every drill that you had done when you were playing. What does that speak to you about how you studied the game?

I live and breathe basketball. This is what I love to do, outside of my family. In order to be the best, you write down everything that you absorb as a player and as a coach. You put it down on paper and you study it in case you need to reference back to some of those thoughts and some of those drills that you learned from other coaches I had over the years. The good things, you take it and move forward with it. The bad things, you kick it aside. You know what to do and what not to do. At the same time, you can develop your own system in how you want to play. I've been with some coaches and played for and played under, I think this triangle is the best system you can run. I've been on a number of systems. This is the only system everyone else plays out of. But everyone can't run the triangle out of their system. This is the one system that incorporates all 29 other systems in the NBA. I know that for a fact. When I was working for Rick Carlisle as a defensive coordinator there in Sacramento, I had to learn all the systems in the NBA. This was one system that's always given me problems when you have to coach against them.

When you compare that to everything in the NBA, what makes it difficult to study and grasp?

Because it's a system that's put in with all calls. But yet, it operates out of no calls. It's what we call automatics. It's the one system in the league that teaches you to go away from pressure. The majority of systems teach you to play with a direct line drive and take it to them. You hear the terminology all the time: 'Take it right to his chest. Take it right at him.' This system is an opposite offense. If you feel pressure, move the ball along then. We'll get something done on the backside of the offense. It's constant movement. It's not a run-and-gun system. It's not a walk-it-up system. It's a flow system that's predicated on the passer being able to pass to his other four teammates. It's the only system where spacing is geared toward that.

For players that are just learning it, what's the main key in understanding the concepts as quickly as possible?

It's more than just the spacing. It's the footwork, preparation and timely passing. It's a two-count offense where you catch the ball and hold it for one-thousand one, one-thousand two to allow the other four people to make their cuts as appropriate to allow the other four people to make those cuts where appropriate so that player can make the next pass. Hopefully I'm not getting into too much that's not going to be legible or understandable. In short, that's what it is. You receive it at the wing, two count, other four players in unison. By the time it's in flight to the next player, it's another two count and the players are in constant motion and constant movement. It's hard for the defense to set up defensively. It's a read within that two-count. You have to learn terminology. We do have plays, but if the defense takes away the play call and the open man gets the ball, there's another action. The defense can dictate what we run and not what the coach says.

Back to the attention to detail and keeping the cards with the drills; how do you see that carry over with your coaching experience?

It carried over from college [at Auburn]. Sonny Smith, when I was a freshman, he allowed me in coaches' meetings. I brought a pad in and I wrote down the plays as they were drawn up with our offense and defensive systems. I listened to language and terminologies that the coaches were spewing out and some of the things they liked and disliked about the language. They basically built the system in front of me. It was truly amazing to absorb that. Same thing with Indiana. I played for Jack Ramsey as a rookie. He allowed me to sit in on coaches' meetings as well. I asked him to allow me to and it was very refreshing to see how different coaches implement, organize and delegate roles.

Through that process where you're absorbing everything like a sponge, what do you take away from all those coaches and use on your own?

The one definite thing that separates the winning coaches from the losing coaches is not Xs and O's. It's not the practice play. You have to have a good system. But the main thing in my opinion is you have to be able to manage people. You have to deal with people. You have to understand them. These players are not kids. You can't treat them like 15 years old. But they're not 4 years old, so you don't expect them to have the knowledge and experience of a true adult. They're young adults from ages 20 to 32. Their mind is forever changing and they're still learning on the fly.

So you have to learn how to deal with a young man you've given millions of dollars, but at the same time, understand they're going to make mistakes. So you're actually teaching. You manage them. They only have a four-hour time period when they have to be with us so the other 20 hours they manage that time by themselves. Are you willing to be that figure for them, their mentor and father figure if it's not there for them? Are you willing to listen to their problems and truly listen and give them your advice and tell them what they should do? A lot of coaches don't do that. That's where a lot of coaches fail in my opinion. But Phil is great at it.

Your background as a basketball player, where does that come into play with all this with managing people and your overall expertise?

It evolved in the game. When I came into '86 with the league, there was only a head coach and two other bench coaches. Now you have a coaching staff of five or six people. There were only 12 players. Now you have up to 15. You have a charter plane. The game is evolving and ever transforming so you have to be able to adjust. A guy like Phil, I've talked to him on numerous days, he's had to adjust to the players as well. Some of the coaches that won't adjust and won't make changes in the way they deal with people, those are the people who ultimately fail.

--Mark Medina

[email protected]

Photo: Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person talks to Derek Fisher on the bench during a game against the Trail Blazers. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Bucks guard Carlos Delfino knocks the ball from the grasp of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in the first half of the Jan. 10 game. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest drives against Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony in the first quarter Friday night. Credit: Rick Giase / EPA

Photo: Ron Artest, then with the Indiana Pacers, is escorted out of the Palace by Chuck Person following a melee in 2004. Credit: Getty Images

Photo: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson impressed assistant coach Chuck Person with how he deals with people. Credit: Jim O'Connor/US Presswire

 
Comments () | Archives (38)

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Henry Abbot has a habbit for not being happy. I don't know what's his deal. Michael Jordan and Jerry West aren't even on that list that Abbot cites. Abbot must have been those guys in high shcool who thought he would have made it to the pros if his star high-school teammate passed the ball to him. This dude is a joke.

Great job MM. I really like this feature.

Some here are super critical of Phil. Yet, Kobe, Laker management, and his assistants speak so highly him. I wonder how they reconcile those differences. Just another one of those things I wonder about.

Thinking about one of the GSOAT as she’s recovering from a recent illness. Thus, my song today is one of Burt Bacharach’s classics.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STKkWj2WpWM

@LEWSTERS... Seeing you still here really brought a big smile to my face, Lew. Glad to see you fighting through the mire and standing firm. My philosophy has always to be among the last standing so good to have you at my side. I gave MM permission to give you my email address and looking forward to hearing from you. Fight the good fight.
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@HOBBITMAGE... “So. LakerTom ... can we stop with trying to remake Kobe into Magic
Johnson? He's not the same player and it's not the same team.” You trying to pull my chain again, hobbit? LOL. All I want is for Kobe to play smart, which is exactly what he has been doing since Drew returned to the starting lineup. The big difference is that Kobe’s shooting efficiency and assists are up and he is doing a great job getting everybody involved. I don’t care about how you characterize that but to me right now Kobe is playing more like Magic than ever before. Who cares about the semantics. It’s Lakers basketball at its best – inside out balanced scoring and managing the offense to minimize turnovers and points given up in transition.
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@ KOBEMVP888... Yes, I have made a concerted effort to develop a positive relationship with Hobbitmage and a big reason is that he has been doing the same. I don’t expect to agree with him on everything but in the end most of the differences that lead to controversy on this blog are splitting hairs. I know Hobbit definitely thinks and approaches things differently than you and I do. He and I have actually discussed this several times and I think it has helped us get by our earlier conflict.
...
Basically, you, he, and I really share many of the same traits in that we are all ultra-passionate, love the Lakers, and not at all afraid of confrontation. Slap one of us in the face on a good day and we may turn the other cheek but do it on a bad day and you better duck. Bottom line, we’re all Lakers fans and we all have buttons that when pushed will put us on aggressive alert. I love this blog and try my best not to be so confrontational. Truth is some days I do better than others but I still keep trying.
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TOM

Moderation still on? Still mehh then, kills the blog spirit.

Seriously, are people letting the idiotic comments some trolls post upset them to the point where we have to be moderated? Just ignore them; MM deletes most of them eventually anyways!

Nearly 12 pm central and we have a whopping 4 posts! Oy vey ... sigh

Thanks
PSP Solution Architect

MM - I like these "coach columns" best of all. Really great insight into the game of NBA basketball that unless one is a player, we usually don't get to see. God knows, you'll never get Phil to open up about his methods (and the few times he does, you never know if he's telling the truth or pulling your leg).

First and foremost, I take away how SMART and how professional these coaches are. This is a profession; it's their livelihood, and at this stage, it's their lives. I love true expertise in ANY profession (glass blower to rocket scientist), and can listen to a knowledgeable pro all day long. These are not fans spouting bs, these are guys whose BUSINESS it is to know basketball. The nuance and breadth of their knowledge is fantastic. And it's different from coach to coach, all falling under the umbrella of Phil. It's like a good craftsman with a solid toolbox: right tool for the right job.

@Tom Daniels - From your last post I was still unclear on your position regarding Drew. If its up to you do you put Drew on the all-star team or not?


@Lew - Thanks for the roll call.

Want another fact, jack?


5 CHAMPIONSHIPS. Trolls like you feed off BSPiN reporters. We have one measuring stick in Laker Nation: CHAMPIONSHIPS! And our ball hog has given us 5...soon to be 6!

AND THAT'S THE TRUTH, RUTH!

Hey Everyone!

Just checking in for Roll Call, as school has kept me *very* busy for the past two weeks. A couple of thoughts before I hit the books again (I know; really exciting plans for a Friday night here in London):

1) Socks as an All-Star - considering that this is a good deal of a popularity contest (5 of the 12 positions get voted on by the fans), I couldn't care less about the game. I just want him to continue to improve. If he uses the All-Star game as external motivation, good for him, as I'm not one to tell him otherwise. I personally don't give much weight or credence to All-Star bids...the only thing I give less credence to are Gold Glove Awards (See the example of Raffy Palmeiro [sp?] winning one while playing pretty much the entire season as a DH). I think he'll be on the All-Star team sooner than later, and I appreciate his contributions to the team. I just refuse to make normative claims about him and the All-Star game.

2) Hollinger and his statistics: Well...what isn't there to say about it, except that I would need to see his methodology to really make a strong assessment of whether or not his metrics *actually* measure what he says that they do. I'm pretty unimpressed with a number of these "advanced" metrics (PER and the like), because it's not necessarily evident that creating a more fine-grained metric gives a "truer" (for lack of a better word) glimpse of a player. In addition, Basketball is a sport that relies heavily on how one plays well with the other players on the floor (I believe basketballvalue.com is a good reference here). If Hollinger isn't factoring in combinations like those for the Lake Show from all of Kobe's years, then his metrics are unable to deal with confounding factors. I presume, however, that Hollinger has his metrics gated; even if that isn't the case, I refuse to have anything to do with ESPN's website since the airing of their infomercial last summer.

3) I hope you all are having a good start to your Friday, and hopefully I can catch you on the Live Chat tonight, although 2:30 am start times (or there abouts) are rough. Talk to you all soon!

@TOM DANIELS... Thanks for your comments, TD. As usual, you do a great job of stating your position without the accompanying baggage that comes from confrontation. That’s why I always consider you the Better Tom and eagerly look for your posts.
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@LROB & MVP... I also watched that game. DWade went 0-7 in the fourth and LeCrab showed that he has no back to the basket game. They won’t get past Boston IMO.
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@MM... Outstanding article on the Rifleman. I found it fascinating that an assistant coach hired for his shooting acumen and skills would also be the guy behind the strategic defensive moves that Phil implemented to force players to the sidelines and baseline rather than the middle and to have the big men switch to stay closer to the paint. I had known that Chuck worked as a defensive coordinator in Sacramento.
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TOM

Mark Medina,

A fine interview. I really enjoyed Chuck's explanation of the Triangle... even though it still seems mysterious.

I'd love to see a thread where multiple unique "Triangle" plays are laid out in X's and O's and explained why they are uniquely "triangleish."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

@ KOBEMVP888... Yes, I have made a concerted effort to develop a positive relationship with Hobbitmage and a big reason is that he has been doing the same. I don’t expect to agree with him on everything but in the end most of the differences that lead to controversy on this blog are splitting hairs. I know Hobbit definitely thinks and approaches things differently than you and I do. He and I have actually discussed this several times and I think it has helped us get by our earlier conflict.
...
Basically, you, he, and I really share many of the same traits in that we are all ultra-passionate, love the Lakers, and not at all afraid of confrontation. Slap one of us in the face on a good day and we may turn the other cheek but do it on a bad day and you better duck. Bottom line, we’re all Lakers fans and we all have buttons that when pushed will put us on aggressive alert. I love this blog and try my best not to be so confrontational. Truth is some days I do better than others but I still keep trying.
............................................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | January 28, 2011 at 09:41 AM
=====

The problem that I have with this particular blogger is the snide, condescending attitude he has every time he posts something. He can never leave well enough alone. The one that cracks me up the most is when he claims that us pro-Bynum fans don't look at the *facts* when we offer our opinions. He means to say HIS *facts* but apparently he has a monopoly on what is a fact and what isn't fact. To him, one of Bynum's most important roles on the Lakers .. altering shots .. is not statistically measured and therefore is an "intanglible" and not important.

I've read a bunch of his garbage. His *facts* more often than not, are fairy tales because they don't tell the real story. They tell the story that he wants to hear because of his need to massage his anti-Bynum rhetoric. Your efforts of civility with him are admirable, but respectfully, the discourse between the two of you was much more genuine and entertaining when you were insulting each other. I'm sorry, but I refuse to fake it when a fellow Lakers fan goes out of his way to accentuate the negatives of one of the team's most important players.

If he wants to talk about the *facts* he needs to start with this one: the Lakers are 2-0 in the NBA Finals with Andrew Bynum as our starting center. You will never hear that from him though because he's more interested in supporting his viewpoint that we would have won it anyway and that Bynum was a non-factor. Just ask him. He'll go to the box scores and direct you to the *facts.* What a joke.

Roll call ... checking in!!!

I want this win tonight. Why? If we go 24-12 from here on out, that gives us 57 wins, which is plenty for a #2 or #3 seed. So if we win tonight, we need to go only 23-12. Simple math. I don't care who we beat or who we lose to in order to achieve those 57 wins. Why? A practice game is a practice game is a practice game. For THESE two time defending champions, there is no such thing as a statement game during the practice season. One is as meaningful or as meaningless as the next, and that includes the game on Sunday. When the playoffs start in mid-April, all playoff teams start out 0-0. All that matters is good HEALTH, being ready for every situation (which THESE Lakers have been since before the season even started) and a decent seeding (and an argument can be made that even THAT isn't so important).

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

LakerTom,

you wrote: All I want is for Kobe to play smart, which is exactly what he has been doing since Drew returned to the starting lineup. The big difference is that Kobe’s shooting efficiency and assists are up and he is doing a great job getting everybody involved. I don’t care about how you characterize that but to me right now Kobe is playing more like Magic than ever before. Who cares about the semantics.

my response:

1st. Thanks for your comments to KobeMVP888 about our civil conversations.

2nd. If I thought this was just semantics, I wouldn't bother to respond. Here's
the thing. I'm all about learning. Understanding. Getting better. The logic
in your sentence puts the emphasis on: The Lakers are better because
Bynum is in the lineup. That emphasis makes Bynum the lynchpin for
*everything*, which is of course what you like/believe. The problem is that
is completely discounts what the Lakers and coaches have actually said.

The Lakers said, let's revamp the defensive scheme. The Lakers said, *we*
need to play with more urgency. By making Bynum the lynchpin we can
say all the Lakers have to do is play Bynum at the Center and the championship
is guaranteed. It negates all of the of the other things that are critical to
winning a championship. Defense. Rebounds. Hustle. Composure. etc.

I have never argued that Bynum's big body is not a plus. Nor has anyone
else. The GHF's just talk about the names of people: We have PJ as coach.
We have Bynum as Center. We have Kobe as SG. The GHE's say: Yes, we
have all of those people, but they need to do the right things and play the
right way in order to win.

On a secondary note: Has anyone, besides me, noticed what having a
defensive presence at C does for the Lakers?

Our opening sequence, this season, we had Ratliff as the backup C and we
were winning. [ Yes, against the weak and diseased. ]

Our latest winning sequence, we have Bynum focusing on the defensive
end at C.

Looking forward to the next two games.

this was written: If he wants to talk about the *facts* he needs to start with this one: the Lakers are 2-0 in the NBA Finals with Andrew Bynum as our starting center.

my response: Here's another fact. The Lakers are 2-0 in the NBA finals
with Mbenga riding pine.

KobeMVP888, we've had this dance before. You've made this a bad place to
be.

Best Wishes.

"2nd. If I thought this was just semantics, I wouldn't bother to respond. Here's
the thing. I'm all about learning. Understanding. Getting better. The logic
in your sentence puts the emphasis on: The Lakers are better because
Bynum is in the lineup. That emphasis makes Bynum the lynchpin for
*everything*, which is of course what you like/believe. The problem is that
is completely discounts what the Lakers and coaches have actually said.

The Lakers said, let's revamp the defensive scheme. The Lakers said, *we*
need to play with more urgency. By making Bynum the lynchpin we can
say all the Lakers have to do is play Bynum at the Center and the championship
is guaranteed. It negates all of the of the other things that are critical to
winning a championship. Defense. Rebounds. Hustle. Composure. etc.


Posted by: hobbitmage | January 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM "

Very true. I've noticed this happens a lot in sports and even outside of sports. A team is kind of like a car. If your car's engine goes out and you get a cheap rebuilt engine to replace it, the car won't run as well. When you replace it with the engine you had in the first place, the car runs a lot better. So having the quality engine is the most important part to the car's success right?

It might seem so, until you start putting in 87 gasoline instead of the 91 that your car requires. It still works, but you notice that it's not running to perfection. Once you go back to the 91, you can then conclude that 91 gasoline is the most important part to the car's success.

So far, the Bynum part is the only part they've had to do without, so his value in comparison to the other parts might be overrated.

Is Bynum's health important? Of course. But will the Lakers "car" run at a championship level if the Bynum part is 100% and the other parts are faulty? Nope. That's why it's difficult to say he's the true key to their success. It's much better to just say they're better with him than they are without him.

Hobbitmage, KobeMvp888, Stop it! Stop it now!! You are 2 brilliant but stubborn individuals. Now agree to disagree and lets move on and get this win tonight. Carry on!

@KOBEMVP888... Maybe I’m just getting less confrontational as I get older, although I’m sure Bay to LA and some of the usual more GHE posters don’t agree with that, but the truth is that I love this blog and am trying my best to avoid confrontation as it usually escalates and in my opinion seems to trigger waves of rude trolls and obscene posts that do nothing but denigrate the quality of dialog on the blog and drive good posters away. And of course, my hot spot is still Lakers fans who always seem to look for negative things to say about Andrew or refuse to give him the credit that he deserves. What can I say, I am still human and still believe fans should support their players when they deserve to be in the conversation and Drew definitely deserves to be considered.
...
You are one of the most knowledgeable and loyal Lakers fans on this blog and we really do share the same opinions about how to play the game of basketball the right way. I will always respect and support you because you have always had my back. I do hope that both you and Hobbit would try and forget the past and start fresh much like he and I have done. There are enough real things to get worked up in this world that are so much more important than whether or not HCA is the difference or how much the practice season matters. Hobbit has been willing in his recent posts to give Drew credit, maybe not as much as he should in my opinion but at least he is trying to be fair. That’s enough for me to bury the hatchet with any Lakers fan, even a downer like Bay to LA. In the end, we all just want the Lakers to dominate and to celebrate like champs in June.
.............................................
TOM

M24... Is that you Mamba? Freaking sounds like it. Carry on!

LRob, let me try to confuse you even more:


If the decision were based on Drew's performance this year no I would not pick him as an all star. Because he missed 24 games and then had to work his way into shape. That's not a punishment for missing games or being hurt. It's just that I don't think he has yet played enough games at a high level to have earned it . And Drew feels the same way.


Then I sort of switched gears in my own crazy head. I though, wow, if I were Popovich and I were coaching the West team I would want a true big man to battle Howard and the rest of the East's bigs. So forget about missed games, the guy is big and talented and playing pretty well right now. If, as coach, I wanted to win the game, give me Drew.


I personally think all star games have lost their luster, and it is meaningless to most guys who wins and loses. It's an honor. Drew hasn't earned the honor this year, but he might be the best center in the West at this moment.

@BAY TO LA... “Is Bynum's health important? Of course. But will the Lakers "car" run at a championship level if the Bynum part is 100% and the other parts are faulty? Nope. That's why it's difficult to say he's the true key to their success. It's much better to just say they're better with him than they are without him.”
...
Good analysis. I agree 100% with what you said. It’s good to see something positive when you post rather than always looking at the glass as half empty. This team needs everybody contributing if we are going to three-peat and chemistry on the blog is just as important to its success as chemistry on the Lakers. My apologies for anything you may have misunderstood or misconstrued as saying you were not a true Lakers fan. :-)
..............................
TOM

RANDOM THOUGHTS . . .


1. DREW POTENTIAL ALL-STAR

--Is his mindset and motivation toward improving helped or hindered by all-star status this year? No doubt he is "on the bubble" for inclusion. But as a loyal Laker fan and supporter of Drew, I wonder which serves HIS progress better.

--The ASG in the past decade has deteriorated to the point that true bigs don't fit the pace and style. The game has always been fast-paced. But decade by decade the emphasis has changed from a competitive game with moments of exhibition to an exhibition game with moments of competition.

--Rehab and rest are a big part of recovery. As much as I would be proud to see multiple Lakers on the roster (Kobe+1, +2?, +3?!), no ASG provides Drew a solid 5 day stretch (almost a week) for rehab and rest. As much as an ASG selection means, strength and rehab of knee means more.

--Arguments by my fav "Toms" (LakerTom and Daniels) and Hobbitmage point to the undeniable fact that the Lakers are a better team with a healthy Drew.

--Shaq once said (yuck), "If you want the big dog to guard the house then you gotta feed him." That selfish attitude hurt the Lakers. I am anxious to see Drew display just the opposite trait no matter whether he is an All-star this year or not.


2. MODERATING COMMENTS v. INSTANT POSTING.

--I recently was targeted by a now-banned poster. His vulgar comments were shameful. I did not like it. As a victim, I felt MM's response was proper and timely.

--Perhaps an "ALERT ICON" could be included here. Any time we read something that we feel is vulgar or crosses the line, we can click on that "ALERT ICON" which instantly alerts MM to our concern. He can deal with it appropriately. This would allow a "trianaglish" (quoting JON K on that one!) hybrid of both insta-post and moderation.


3. THE HEAT LAST NIGHT.

--The Lakers aren't the only ones who miss their healthy big man. No doubt about it, Chris Bosh may be third in pecking order but he seems to be critical in the overall successful balance of the team.

--The box score oddities reflected the reality of the game. Heat could not make late-game isolations with Wade and/or Lebron pay-off. Knicks suddenly knocked down 3's late-game.

--How long should it take for Lebron to refine his game by incorporating effective low-post moves? He has been around for seven years now.


Random ramblings complete.
LakerMike

@ LAKERTOM . . .
I just want to affirm you in the obvious efforts you made starting a few months ago to be more accepting of those who disagree with you. Your passion has not wavered while your tone has grown much better. Makes for much more enjoyable reading and interactions. I for one am proud of you.


@ HOBBITMAGE . . .
I also want to affirm you in what has been an obvious recent attempt on your part to be more accommodating of those with whom you disagree. Like I told you a week or two ago, you are respected by many of us here much more than you think!


LAKERMIKE

kevin C - your knowledge is very limited...no wonder you only got a C instead of an A...

Laker Tom - I am so excited about the NorCal chapter and meeting up in May...since iheart and I started discussing the idea...all I could think of was dungeness crabs, authentic Chinese food in Chinatown, and some passionate Laker Fans representing in Northern California...Let's make it happen...

LRob - my flavor for today...for AB whether he makes the ASG or not...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPS4LyveJs

MVP888 - I think you and hobbitmage need to start back to square one...forget all the previous posts and banter...you both are wonderful writers and passionate about our Lakers...the majority of your discussions are splitting hairs...I know you guys can agree on something...

hobbitmage - you are part of the NorCal Chapter...so no excuses this May...hope you like authentic Chinese cuisine...not that phony Panda Express crap...

MM - great thread...looks like taking off the instant post has worked, except for kevin C...thanks for forwarding the emails to Laker Tom...

iheart - I'm getting excited girl...I'll see you later on game chat...

Blog Family - have a great and productive day today...get a head start to a great week end...and witness the beatdown in downtown tonight, as we abuse the Queens...

@M24 . . .

How's your personal threepeat doing? lol


LakerMike

@it's the fact, jack

You're an IN-HOUSE TROLL, then. I did a dissertation on the likes of y'all a couple of weeks ago.

And, for the record, the person who got banned didn't do so for disagreeing with my opinion...he made a personal attack about the health of my daughter. Get your facts correct, jack.

AND THAT'S THE TRUTH, RUTH!

@MM . . .


Looks like some housecleaning is needed on a couple of earlier posts.


LakerMike

@frmkt – nice Inxs

@mclyne – You woke up with Primus…we may have to set up an appt with Ron Ron’s Doc….just kidding. South Park in the house!

@Laker Tom – excellent post at 9:41am

@hobbit – FYI…I consider myself a GHF, but know the Lakers have to do XYZ better to win another title. So I don’t think you can make broad sweeping statements on either group.

@Tom Daniels – Thanks for the clarification. It’s crystal clear now :-)

Oh yeah, Stern will select Yao’s replacement….not Pop, and the rest of the reserves are chosen by all the coaches in each conference.

Well, tossing in my 2 cents, I think LO deserves being the 2nd Laker and Pau and Drew are reasonable toss ups. I would like to see all 4! I do think Drew has been the best Center in the West, although he has missed some games and is catching up well. I think Pau has played barely below his standards, but again, was out of his true position.

Lew and Laker Tom - are you guys having a NorCal meeting in March? Is that really going to happen? I hope I get an invite!!

:)

Cheers - PLG

@NORCAL LAKERS FANS...
......................................................
(01) LakerTom
(02) iheartkb24
(03) Jay Jay
(04) DKWSFO
(05) Lakerfan in Cupertino
(06) LakerFaninCowTown
(07) AndTheJellosJigglin
(08) OUTLAW
(09) NBA4ever
(10) Hobbitmage
(11) Psyched Laker Girl
......................................................
Iheartkb24 and I would like to get the NorCal chapter of the blog together to watch a game in February or March at a sports bar and maybe to buy group tickets for the April 6 game against the Warriors at Oracle Center. I have asked MM to give all of you my email address. Please let us know if you are interesting in getting together. And any other bloggers in NorCal who are not on the list, please ask MM for my email address. Thanks.
.....................................................
TOM

@PsychedLakerGirl - I did mention you to LakerTom...YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO JOIN US!...the more the merrier...

LakerTom and I are also planning to watch the game at the Oracle...Anyone interested please let me know or LakerTom...

@63 - I'll be expecting you to join us this May!!! like Hobbitmage, no excuses...I want to meet your son =)

@Justa - girlfriend, you need to take hubby to SF...please join us, pretty please =)

MVP888 - I think you and hobbitmage need to start back to square one...forget all the previous posts and banter...you both are wonderful writers and passionate about our Lakers...the majority of your discussions are splitting hairs...I know you guys can agree on something...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | January 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM
====

He is utterly incapable of making his points without being condescending. Any time someone make a point in favor of Bynum, for example, that person ignores the *facts.* That's like saying the person is ignorant or doesn't know what he's talking about because he doesn't use box scores to support his argument. What a joke. It has never stopped and I'm tired of it. I've tolerated him using the race card and tolerated him bashing me as a member of the legal community despite those type of remarks having ZERO place in a public forum, but to continuously float his superiority because he reads box scores is insulting to any fan who has even a BASIC understanding of the NBA. I have no interest in communicating with a Lakers fan who does nothing more than toot his own loud horn while attempting to belittle and scorn others.

P.S.- hobbitmage is far from a "wonderful" writer. He's a volume writer who is enamored with himself. He's a hobbitmage fan. Of course we can agree on certain things, but I have no interest in what he has to say when there are so many truly excellent bloggers in here who are so much more enjoyable to read. He's a waste of my time.

By the way, you've missed some excellent flow elsewhere. Come back.

heart - son won't be out yet, but I'll definitely try to make it up.

KobeMVP888 | January 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Like I said...let's start back to square one and forget the past...I have seen you come to terms with kmpclean at the other site...and he use to irritate you to death...but now you guys can have some sort of civil discussion...

Do it for TrueFan...that would be his advice...

Thinking about one of the GSOAT as she’s recovering from a recent illness. Thus, my song today is one of Burt Bacharach’s classics.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STKkWj2WpWM


Posted by: LRob | January 28, 2011 at 09:39 AM


@LRob, thanks for that great link. I, too, hope that Miss Franklin can fully recover and regain her health. She's given so much joy to so many throughout her illustrious career.

@MM...

Thanks for the great thread about Chuck Person. It's really funny how a player's on court persona can differ so much from what they are actually like. Chuck was a big time agitator and trash talker on the court. But he is obviously very cerebral and passionate in his approach to his coaching career. He is definitely an asset to this Laker team. Sounds like he is quite capable of becoming a head coach one day. I never would have imagined that he has been sitting in on coaches' meetings since his freshman year in college. Very interesting stuff!


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