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Agent for Ron Artest says the Laker doesn't want to be traded

Ron Artest's agent, David Bauman, refuted an ESPN report that said Artest hoped the Lakers traded him.

"Ron is not looking for a trade," Bauman said. "The frustration is there among everyone on the team. But Ron is a Laker, and he just wants to win. Ron is frustrated with the losing, as everybody is."

After the Lakers' 109-96 loss Sunday to the Boston Celtics, General Manager Mitch Kupchak told the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner and NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper he was considering making a trade. The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlighted the limited trade options the Lakers had because of their "aging roster and cumbersome salaries," noting that Artest's trade value was low because of his season-long  inconsistency, his age (31) and because he had three more years left on his contract after this season worth $21.8 million. And though both Ron Artest's brother, Daniel Artest, and the report itself said Daniel  wasn't the source, he suggested on his Twitter account during the Lakers-Rockets game Tuesday that he was frustrated. 

The ESPN report stressed that it was likely Artest could change his mind given his fickle personality and the fact that his relationship with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson had improved ever since a Yahoo! sports report in December detailed a confrontation during practice between Artest and Jackson in which Artest voice his  frustrations with Jackson publicly criticizing him. Said Bauman: "Ron and Phil have definitely seen each other better eye to eye."

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

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Well, so much for that rumor...

Nice job MM, way to squelch that rumor quickly!


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

The usual BSPN stuff.

I always think that Phil likes to keep things a little on the roil until the post season, when he calms it all down and focuses everyone.

Example: he treats Ron with a little passive/aggressive judo, keeps him out of some tight 4th quarters, plays up Matty's role (did before, when he comes back), etc. Ron feels betwixt and between. Then right before the end of the regular season, he starts complimenting Ron's game, giving him more playing time, building up Ron's confidence, until Thrillah goes into the post season a charging Ronbull. Mission accomplished. He deals with the other players in similar but player-specific ways. He gives Kobe his head. He needles Pau on being soft. He questions LO's consistency and downplays his improvements. Phil manages players better than anyone evah. This is his way.

ESPN always wants to make headlines... true or not.

As much as the media-hype-Heat-machine wants to tear this Lakers team apart... it shall not happen.

Go Lake Show!

I always think that Phil likes to keep things a little on the roil until the post season, when he calms it all down and focuses everyone.

Example: he treats Ron with a little passive/aggressive judo, keeps him out of some tight 4th quarters, plays up Matty's role (did before, when he comes back), etc. Ron feels betwixt and between. Then right before the end of the regular season, he starts complimenting Ron's game, giving him more playing time, building up Ron's confidence, until Thrillah goes into the post season a charging Ronbull. Mission accomplished.
Posted by: 63 Footer | February 02, 2011 at 11:15 AM

GREAT POST! I didn't realize that's how Phil operates. I will have to watch for this more. Hey 63, you some kind of Guinness? LOL

True. On the other side of it, every player that wants to be traded usually says publicly that he doesn't want to be traded. So I don't know if Artest or his agent's words really mean much. A few months ago, we were hearing Melo didn't want to be traded.

Lakers biggest problem remains lack of perimeter defense. Opposing teams dominate the perimeter.
MM contention Fisher is invaluable is misguided.
Fisher is the problem.
No other player has been given a chance to show perimeter defensive ability.
Its been all fisher for 3 yrs without any other possibilities.

C-Webb said something stupid .... "Lakers need to get a perimeter knock down shooter like Kyle Korver .... Dah didn't Lakers just trade Sasha?"

Lakers should have not signed Fisher and Blake and gone with Sasha, Farmar and Brown at the PG position. They would have been better, younger and the salary outlay the same.

Of course, Fisher would be a broadcaster this season but who cares as long as he is not on the court as a defensive liability.

Posted by: Todd |


It's refreshing to read this...instead of the party line about Mr. Intangibles !!!

63: If ever something was appropo, 'BS'PN perfectly sums up what they did on the Ron Ron rumor piece. Great observations on the ZenMaster. He really is the greatest at pulling strings, tweaking and drawing the best from players.

Perhaps the name PuppetMaster may better suit him...

- - -

J: You playin' Justa this week? Good luck, she's smashed me when we've played so I'm not even touchin' that one. I'm still picking crow from between my teeth to this day... =P

Chandler had been on the waiver wire for a while when I picked him up, didn't think he had much value but I regret cutting him loose since he's been on a mini tear since then. Yeah, I'd have traded Stuckey for him but it's all good. He's been injured though for the past few games.

I'm so pissed though, I usually set up lineups a week in advance, but forgot to check. So, last night I had Odom (20/20), Andre Miller (18/9) and Udrih (12/6/6) all on SITTIN' ON THE FREAKIN' BENCH! Ugh........ Yeah, I know, you're thinking 'why didn't he do that last week' lol...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

If Lakers want a trade to just to get better and price is no issue...
They need another unselfish player who will push the tempo...
Get an unselfish player who doesn't have any stats to show for but makes the WHOLE a lot better...
Get Greivis Vasquez for a trade of Ebanks who is Rudy Gay Clone with a lot of upside. Rookie for a rookie. Either that or they need to start practicing how to pass the rock once while driving to the rim! Emphasis on dragging the defense. Practice this Fisher!!! I'm talking to you!!!

This is the kind of steam the team needs to let off. I love the Black Swan thing. I love that Ron-Ron has this "I just want to win" mentality (allegedly).

HAVING SAID THAT, the team is still playing like crap at both ends of the floor.

ESPN SOURCE; one prominent Lakers hopes he's (Ron Artest) is gone in 20 days.

That's a dubious statement. I have never seen anyone of the more prominent Lakers ever throw anybody, anywhere under the bus like this in public, even if there was some dystentery (doubtful), they're so professional they'd handle it internally. This is the Lakers. Not the Timberwolves, not the Nuggets, Not Liverpool, NOT France's National Soccer team.

We're a family, we don't air our dirty laundry. We front you, take titles, than throw it back in your face, let me know how it smells Haters, after we climb the Mountain again.

@Justa- Thanks a million Justa, I'm ecstatic, can't put into words how happy I am. I wish my Pops was still around to hear about this. It still seems like a dream that he's gone.

Either that and give Ron to Memphis and start Luke, with Ebanks playing the most of the SF minutes!!

Ron is virtually untradeable with his current play and all of that time left on his contract. Realistically, the only way to get it done is to trade a very good player like Odom for a player that is just decent and then forcing them to take on a contract of a player like Ron. He has negative trade value.

Posted by: Bay to LA | February 02, 2011 at 10:46 AM
=====

I disagree. Kupchak was able to pawn off Buzz Kill Radmanovic with a similar contract a couple of years back, got a future talent like Shannon Brown in the deal and was able to save money on The Stache's shorter, less expensive contract. Artest is a former DPOY who recently gave Kevin Durant fits when we beat the Thunder at home and, not too long ago, he did the same to Paul Pierce and Durant in the playoffs. There are VERY few, if any, lock down defenders in the NBA quite like Artest and he's worth a helluva lot more than Buzz Kill, that's for damn sure. I know I am in the vast minority on this one, but I think his trade value his actually pretty good with the right team. The Orlando Magic, for example, could use some toughness and they have all this extra offensive punch, but they know they'll never get past Boston the way the team is currently constructed. I could see them trading a guy like JJ Redick for Artest. Anyway, these are interesting discussions.

All the trade talk is lame. We did all the trading already. It's a slump, it'll pass. Be happy. Be a fan.

sean - congrats on what you're doin'! Good to hear that sorta stuff.

JV - I'm definitely some sort of Guinness: a Guinness drinker. Love it whenever I can! :)

Cyber,

I tried to pick up Chandler too, but it's only when the waiver time is over that a player can be gotten. The person with the highest waiver priority gets the player so you can come in the last minute with the highest priority and you get em. Chandler is the best impact player I've seen in a long time on the waiver.

What can you do. I pretty much knew I wasn't going to get him. Almost dropped the injured Noah for him.

Good luck except when you're playing me. :P

I would be Better than Phrezra 2, btw...

Well, even if Ron did want a trade there is no team to take him with that contract. It really is difficult to believe that he is playing so poorly though, it does almost seem as if he has checked out. I would love to see the Lakers trade for Shane Battier, he gives you what Ron Artest does without the head-scratching behavior. Kyle Lowry is also a guard I really like over the Kirk Hinrich reports, but if Hinrich is bought out then we need to make that signing happen.

It's the 1st time after the Boston game that I read Lakers news or any kind of forum.

Because lately this team doesn't play with joy and this feeling passes to the fans.

But I understand it is a journey. And they have to deal with it.

And after all this talk about trades and the team bad performances I hope the players change anything. I hope Phil Jackson utilizes this as motivation.

I'm always with the team and I refuse to point fingers. It is frustrating the health of Andrew but I expect that he gets well soon.

I think in the middle of this chaos and disbelief, there will appear something good. Remember 3 years ago when we signed Pau.

Let's give a chance to this team and keep calm.


sean - of course! We gotta cheer for each other's success, regardless. Kick butt! Take names! Save lives! (Still really sorry about your dad... I'm sure he would have been proud of you).


cyber - still picking crow out from between your teeth? LOL! That's funny! Yeah - I'm up against Laker J this week. He says he knows he can beat me. We'll see.... Maybe you should have some crow ready for him just in case LOL!


HE SCREWED UP HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER SOLD HIS RING..
NOW HE CANT GET ANOTHER ONE LOL ONE AND DONE RON HAHAHA

Dude....Say what you like, but THRILLER is GONE, He's already left MENTALLY. Just waiting for the CARCUSS to ARRIVE, Ariza doesn't sound BAD at ALL.

'Trust me,

anyone (but Kobe) can be traded!! I just need to suck up some of their contract and go deeper into the Luxury Tax."

Quoted from Jerry Buss!!!

@Nuggets Country – Thanks for further breakdown of that play Kobe/LO play. When interviewed LO said he always trust Kobe to make the right play and Kobe could’ve easily knocked down that shot.


@63 Footer – I agree on Phil. Like Brian Shaw alluded to in MM’s interview yesterday. Managing personalities and egos is one of one Phil’s biggest strengths.


@sean – Congrats and Best wishes.

Here's a stupid trade proposal (that satisfies the CBA) that helps both teams:

Artest, Caracter and either Joe Smith or Ratliff for JJ Redick and Chris Duhon.

Ben: Wow, makes me think I really blew it big-time on Chandler. I really regret cutting him now as he's emerged as the Mav's defensive leader and is also showing some spark on the offensive end... oh well.

You and I are neck and neck. Do you happen to know how many teams make the playoffs? It's a big drop from J at 6 to us at 7 and 8. If it's top-6 that make the playoffs then we're both going to have to move up a slot or two, top-8 and we're good as long as we stay ahead of LEWSTRS since the Wookiee's are 26.5 games out right now... lol Lew's got Durant and some nice players so I think he's gonna stay in it til the end.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Ron just wants to be loved and needed…like everyone does. Even here on the blog hobbit will sometime say his opinions aren’t popular, but there’s always many people that come to his defense. MVP will say no one gets him…but of course several will let him know that’s not the case.

This one is for Ron. From one of the most underrated performers ever.

Jackie Wilson – To Be Loved (written by Berry Gordy) – think of the scene with Eddie Murphy singing this in Coming to America.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t99mJmbeLvU

"I disagree. Kupchak was able to pawn off Buzz Kill Radmanovic with a similar contract a couple of years back, got a future talent like Shannon Brown in the deal and was able to save money on The Stache's shorter, less expensive contract. Artest is a former DPOY who recently gave Kevin Durant fits when we beat the Thunder at home and, not too long ago, he did the same to Paul Pierce and Durant in the playoffs. There are VERY few, if any, lock down defenders in the NBA quite like Artest and he's worth a helluva lot more than Buzz Kill, that's for damn sure. I know I am in the vast minority on this one, but I think his trade value his actually pretty good with the right team. The Orlando Magic, for example, could use some toughness and they have all this extra offensive punch, but they know they'll never get past Boston the way the team is currently constructed. I could see them trading a guy like JJ Redick for Artest. Anyway, these are interesting discussions.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 02, 2011 at 11:55 AM "

I guess it could happen, I'm just not expecting much to come back their way in such a trade. With the Vlad trade, Shannon Brown developed into more than what was expected but at the time, that trade was largely projected to be purely a salary dump and a way to save 6 million dollars a few years down the road with either team risking much.

The Magic are one of the few teams I could see that might have some real interest in Ron so I guess we'll wait and see. All things considered, I'm pretty sure Ron stays in LA.


MVP will say no one gets him.

Posted by: LRob | February 02, 2011 at 12:18 PM
=====

If I said "no one" I meant it figuratively. You know what I mean, my friend.

Trade everybody for Chuck Norris.

DBDH!

Justa: Yeah, still picking crow, those pesky feathers are hard to get out... I've learned my lesson and tossed away my leftover crow, but we do have a number out back that I'm more than happy to pellet-gun down if ya need it! But I don't think J will be calling his shot this week, he's still smartin' from his loss last week.

You're all in a logjam from 2 thru 5, only a game and a half separates you guys. Of course, phred leads the way.

BTW have you seen our fearless leader phred's stats? He is 13-o in pts and assists, 12-1 in 3-pts, 11-2 in steals. So, he basically has a bunch of guards that score, dish and are good at steals. He is also 1-12 in blocks and turnovers. He really has a good strategy, win those 4 categories and lose only 2. Makes one go hmmmm.......


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Todd and S Perkins,

You two (and any others) need to really get your fact straight. In the past three years, there has been the potential to have up to six starting point guards in the NBA Finals. There have been three. None of which are considered any of the game's current great point guards. The so called "great" point guards in this league routinely get bounced out of the playoffs. There hasn't been a "great" point guard in the Finals for many, many, many years. Since Magic and Isaiah, I think.

Well, Stockton made it (if you consider him great), but MJ drubbed his team out pretty handily.

Great Point Guard play hasn't been the recipe for playoff success. Great point guards do win a TON of regular season games, though...So, if that is your goal, then I guess you two would be correct.

I, on the other hand, want another championship. For that goal, Fish is the man. That is because its intangibles that win championships. Not points, not rebounds, not threes, not blocks, not field goal percentage.

If that stuff won championships, LBJ would have seven rings already. He is still sitting on zero. He collects all of the aforementioned stats at an inhumanly staggering pace. Yet, he's collected no rings.

Yet, Fish, with his intangibles keeps collecting rings.

Be students of history and you will see the folly of your ways.

--FEARless

MVP - my point to you and hobbit is more people get you and appreciate you than you think.

Artest cares about only one thing - Artest.

He got his ring; so now he wants to move on "where he can be THE star"...

But his trade worth is negligible. Yeah, he can play good D from time to time when he feels like it, just like the rest of the Lakers. Thing is, you gotta play D every night, or a team even with as much talent as the Lakers will end with 50 wins or so.

I'd trade Bryant. He turns 33 this year. That's really getting up there in all pro sports, never mind the NBA. He's maybe only got one or two good years - at best - left; so try and get someone really good in return while he still has a good rep...

FYI: Lakers Blog is now firewalled at my work. I can only post AND read during lunch hour on my laptop. As a result, I can no longer do Game Day Prayers.

Pass the word along.

PER MIKE BRESNAHAN...
...........................................
“One thing looks certain: the Lakers have "zero" chance of obtaining Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony, according to a person familiar with the Lakers' thinking who declined to elaborate.” Too bad. Hopefully, the report is just another case of an insider who is not inside.
..........................................
TOM

Thanks, Justa, 63 and LRob, thanks a lot guys.

Marc Stein, is a pretty reliable reporter. He does have an abundance of dubious 'sources' in a number of his trade rumors

sean, I saw everyone congratulating you and backtracked to see your post. Congrats! My wife did EMT and is just about to start nursing school this semester. A family friend passed the paramedics class and was unable to pass nationals after 3 chances so make sure you keep up with your studies until after you pass it.

Good luck with your studies and new career!


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

FEARless - Excellent post...but I must add that yes I consider John Stockton great.

This is nothing more than a mid-season squabble. These are the dog days of the NBA after all and since Lakers are back-to-back defending champs they feel they have spent more energy over the past 3 years combined from hustling to get the home-court-advantage than this year, however they already feel confident enough right now to not care during the season, specially since the Spurs are spending so much of their energy going for the HCA. We want to be healthy come April and what they need to do is just take a step back and take things into perspective. They have a lot of swagger and "floss" as Stephen A. Smith pointed out yesterday on the radio, but we as fans and Laker greats are justified to demand better play and call out a "disinterested" team when we feel they are not playing competitively against our top rivals, namely when they have laid eggs against the Heat on Christmas day and the Celtics a few days ago. The reasoning is simple, we use these teams to measure our strength, and they have not met the challenge. The vets understand is a grind, and we do need to play better against our top level rivals, however you do have to play hard at home, you always have to be aggressive, and nobody knows this better than Kobe Bryant. Now, in regard to Ron's alleged "trade" rumor we need to understand he is sensitive, and needs to relax and let the game come to him and guys such as Kobe need to let him know this and be flexible and let this play out. Right now however, staying healthy is number one priority, this aspect becomes more important as the year goes on. I believe they have a "switch-it-on" mentality right now, and they will be ready come April or late March, and like all great teams they have the ability to switch it on whenever they want to but they do have to step up against the better teams, it is a matter of pride and all great teams. The flack they get right now is deserved, but probably blown out of proportion, but they must play better as a team and get better as time goes on or we can get too complacent and it might get late in the game. Get your game tight Ron.

sean,

Congrats on getting into Paramedicinen school. I still remember the days of those pharmacology exams. Study hard. I'm glad I only have to re-cert every two years now. Keep the faith!

CARMELO ANTHONY TRADE:
CAN L.A. LAKERS CHALLENGE NEW YORK KNICKS FOR MELO'S SERVICES?
...........................
By Michael Roberts for Denver Westword Blogs
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/02/carmelo_anthony_trade_la_lakers_new_york_knicks.php
Interesting article that suggests the Nuggets drop hints to the Lakers to better the deal with Knicks.
...........................
TOM

"I, on the other hand, want another championship. For that goal, Fish is the man. That is because its intangibles that win championships. Not points, not rebounds, not threes, not blocks, not field goal percentage.

If that stuff won championships, LBJ would have seven rings already. He is still sitting on zero. He collects all of the aforementioned stats at an inhumanly staggering pace. Yet, he's collected no rings.

Yet, Fish, with his intangibles keeps collecting rings.

Be students of history and you will see the folly of your ways.

--FEARless

Posted by: FEARless | February 02, 2011 at 12:27 PM "

So if Fisher and LeBron traded places a few years ago, do you think Fisher wins with the Cavs and the Kobe/LeBron/Gasol trio loses in LA?

This tends to be a slippery slope.

What doesn't kill us, makes us that much stronger. Ron is a laker and this will motivate him to be better and be that guy that helped us tremendously to win the championship last year.

When all said and done, it's about winning!

CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FUK LA!!!

Teams that might have a use/need/desire for Ron, probably a playoff team.
I'd think the top 6 teams in both the east and west might be interested, except Celts and Spurs.
The next question becomes what are they willing to part with.
Wonder if Riles called Mitch yet to see what he could finagle.

I would be really surprised if any of the top 6 Lakers go anywhere this season but who knows, poop happens.

"Here's a stupid trade proposal (that satisfies the CBA) that helps both teams:

Artest, Caracter and either Joe Smith or Ratliff for JJ Redick and Chris Duhon.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 02, 2011 at 12:10 PM "

MUCH better than a lot of the ideas I've seen thrown out in here since there is a possibility that the other team could benefit from the deal. Too often the trade proposals in here are unrealistic and only help the Lakers.

I'm just unsure if Orlando would give up JJ right now. He has been playing big minutes and is probably the most reliable 3 point shooter on a team that shoots them almost exclusively. If it was on the table I think both teams would have to consider it.

BOSTON CELTICS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUK DA LAKERS!!!!!!!!! AND DA MIAMI HEAT AND DA BULLS AND DA MAGICS AND AGAIN DA LAKERS!!!! WE ARE THE BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOSTON CELTICS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUK DA LAKERS!!!!!!!!! AND DA MIAMI HEAT AND DA BULLS AND DA MAGICS AND AGAIN DA LAKERS!!!! WE ARE THE BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOSTON CELTICS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUK DA LAKERS!!!!!!!!! AND DA MIAMI HEAT AND DA BULLS AND DA MAGICS AND AGAIN DA LAKERS!!!! WE ARE THE BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOSTON CELTICS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUK DA LAKERS!!!!!!!!! AND DA MIAMI HEAT AND DA BULLS AND DA MAGICS AND AGAIN DA LAKERS!!!! WE ARE THE BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ron Artest is a gutless, worthless piece of human gangsta trash who helped bring down a franchise because his manhood was challenged by a plastic cup!
He belongs in prison with the rest of his posse.

Too soon to be trading for the future. This team needs to send PJ home with another ring, PERIOD! Ron, Pau & Fish have got to "get it on" in their minds and dedicate themselves to the goal of getting that ring for coach. If Kobe is on board, then there's no reason for them not to jump on the bandwagon. Drew is a great player so all we can do is hope that his knees will hold up. To me, that's the real weak link in the chain. It has nothing to do with Drew's ability but more about his body's capability to remain around for the long haul.

BTW-Sorry about grammar my last post I had a hangover. Who's taking the Steelers this weekend? The Black and Gold over the Packers in a low scoring game.

@John Petterson QUOTE:

CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FUK LA!!!

Posted by: John Petterson | February 02, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Response:

-LOL, Fk U troll... Celtics are the fakest team in the history of the NBA and update their team logo-colors etc. this varsity green deal, its horrendous. The Lakers are time-less. Proof of this is, is, Celtics players' deal with this melodramatic attitude they somehow obtained through osmosis. Examples of this incredulous lameness reflective of Bost-AHn, include Kevin Garnett cocking his head to the side everytime just to get "air-time", just like other drama Queens in Miami to remain unnamed..and banging his head against the pole cover, pumping his chest (for no apparent reason) like a freaking d-bag, hitting people in their spheres, getting no suspensions nor technical fouls (evident of the NBA's bias toward the Celtics). What a headcase, what an overdo. And what about this fruitbasket Paulina Pierce who has forced himself into Celtic-drama mode, belongs in a drama movie, his ..I mean her, continuous squinting and high-low change of tone mid-sentence is ungodly or should I say "Celtic-gay". Celtic fans, I get it, unlike you, you obviously like L.A., our weather, our endless supply of 10" women, mid 70's weather any given week in early January as you die in 6' of snow and blizzard, stop pretending to be like us, we are dramatic because this L.A. people. I can't stand the fact your barren dry, cold town, keeps pretending to be very thuggish. Nobody points this out, so I will save the day and do it. Have a good day (in case you get a high of 45 fahrenheit). What a despicable town. I LoooOOVE L.A.!

"Too soon to be trading for the future. This team needs to send PJ home with another ring, PERIOD! Ron, Pau & Fish have got to "get it on" in their minds and dedicate themselves to the goal of getting that ring for coach. If Kobe is on board, then there's no reason for them not to jump on the bandwagon. Drew is a great player so all we can do is hope that his knees will hold up. To me, that's the real weak link in the chain. It has nothing to do with Drew's ability but more about his body's capability to remain around for the long haul.

Posted by: frmkt | February 02, 2011 at 01:17 PM "

They're going to be reaching an interesting dilemma in the near future in regards to present vs. future. Do they gradually try to re-tool and upgrade while staying competitive or do they go all out until Kobe's contract is up and then become a lottery team?

people panicing and stuff remember the 01 season when the lakers were up and down and what happen in the playoffs 16-1 record we got this

I say trade Kobe for Durant ASAP. Kobe's days are numbered, he can't even go by defenders anymore, can't hit the 'big shots' anymore really, and his only real 'weapon' is dumping it of to Gasol. Do it while he's still considered 'elite' - that is if the OKC would be dumb enough to part ways with the their budding superstar!

@Bay to L.A.

Let's face it, there is an even bigger point than believing the Lakers can switch it on whenever they want, when Magic and Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak are calling them out publicly and privately accusing them of being a bit long in the tooth etc. There WILL come a time of reckoning for this team, right now there are 2 teams trying to get HCA, the Lakers are Championship-tested, it was evident game 7 albeit without Perkins, but there is such a thing as being too complacent to the point of it being dangerous and at the same time giving teams these contenders even more confidence come the playoffs. As long as we get the bench back, this team will perform as expected of them and not a moment too soon, and we should not sit here and crucify them but they do have an obligation to their integrity, their fans and Jim Buss to perform at a high level short of risking injury day in and day out. Right now though Mitch is in a unique situation of: vets who know what it takes to win but don't or have not proven or shown they CAN or discerning whether it is any of those, and complacency has hit all time-highs underperforming in marquee matchups (Xmas doesn't count) . All of those might be true, questioning the Lakers desire to win, confusing GOATS, forcing Mitch to strongly reconsider being open to making a trade to force them to change their mentality because right now we have seen a team that has far-underperformed and not passed the proverbial "litmus" test. It will be interesting to see in the coming week how the leaders in the team like Fisher, Kobe respond because while it might be true that they are distracted from the teams responsibilities guys like Odom and Barnes who have distractions themselves being in the reality-TV game have played great when given minutes, Odom when he played when Bynum was injured and Barnes being a sparkplug out of the bench, so no I refuse to say that they have distractions and are complacent they right now face the possibility of maybe not turning it on enough in the playoffs against VERY hungry teams who are younger in many cases and have proven they CAN beat us. We just need for players to find an inextricably hard balance between re-engaging themselves and getting into a rhythm mid-season and staying healthy or maybe we should trade to find our purpose once again and beat good teams to SHOW that they really ARE the team to beat.. right now they have NOTHING to play for.

@the Realist

Kobe who is selfishly workaholic to a fault? No. Here is the stat-line from last night 32 points 11 assists after being pommeled for 72+ hrs by the media. When you play hard you win games, unfortunately for us the Lakers have not shown they want to beat good teams, they have a bad record to teams over .500 this IS concerning to a point. Don't forget the fact that aside from Luke Walton and Lamar Odom we have a totally new bench who is at 1/3 strength trying to learn the triangle with teammates who frankly have the experience to win clutch games, but they do have to iron this stuff out because a lot of what we hear in the media and coming out of GOATS and critics is true maybe a bit overblown, but perception becomes reality, unfortunately we have not really had a team firing on all cylinders with a healthy rotation against good teams to be 100% sure. I will give the Lakers core the benefit of the doubt- they have earned it in ways we will never know, but weighing in the fact that a lot of the games have not even been close against these .500 + teams, we probably should be more concerned specially as we play more and more of these teams.


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