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Caught in the Web: L.A. Times' Mark Medina guest judge with former Laker A.C. Green in NBA/Sprite Los Angeles Amateur Dunk Contest

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom, sharing a laugh with guard Kobe Bryant enjoy a laugh before a Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center, would be a valuable piece in any trade talks. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times. The headline says it all.

Former Laker A.C. Green and I will be part of the judging panel overseeing the NBA/Sprite Los Angeles Amateur Dunk Contest at the Universal City Walk today at 4 p.m. The event is free, you can get directions here and it should be a beautiful day. All I know is that by disclosing this to the general public, I might rouse further heckling for giving a dunker the wrong score. In the meantime, below are some links.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan pretends he's Mitch Kupchak for a day and comes up with five trade scenarios.

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick updates the Lakers' coaching search. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr believes the Lakers should pick Brian Shaw as their next head coach. 

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer believes the Lakers could pick Rick Adelman just "strangely send a shot at Phil [Jackson]."

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky looks at what it would take for Orlando center Dwight Howard to come to the Lakers. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne mentions the Lakers have reached out to former Lakers and Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy, who is on the "short list" to succeed Jackson. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky doesn't think Dunleavy would be a good fit for the Lakers. 

--ESPN.com's Bill Simmons has lunch with Jackson and comes away with plenty of interesting observations. 

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell looks at Kobe Bryant's All-NBA selection. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark takes a look back at the Lakers' Showtime Era. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano believes Mitch Kupchak will be patient with the coaching search. 

Tweet of the Day: "You don't have to be a Laker fan to be a Ron Artest fan....but it helps" -- ronartest (Lakers forward Ron Artest)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I wouldn't mind seeing B. Shaw take a run at it. Riles was a rookie coach as was Dunleavy if I'm not mistaken, Lakers have a history of giving younger coaches a shot and Shaw certainly knows his way around the players." -- Ken

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom, sharing a laugh with guard Kobe Bryant enjoy a laugh before a Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center, would be a valuable piece in any trade talks. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (22)

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kudos on being selected a judge MM. I guess that makes two guys judging the slam dunk contest that can't dunk.

OK, OK. I do remember AC dunking it occasionally. So, make that one guy...

- - -

Of course Kelly Dwyer would interpret the Lakers hiring Adelman to be a shot at Phil. Ol Kelly, keeping the anti-Laker fire burning bright!

- - -

The Bill Simmons article is recommended, great insight on Phil. Watch though how Simmons tries to focus more on Michael Jordan while slighting Kobe. How he interprets not asking Phil to compare between the two players as if it's not even a question that merits asking. He basically uses his piece as subtle-jabs at the Lakers. Something he always does.

Oh well, at least he confesses that watching L.O. and Drew flagrant-foul their way out of game 4 versus the Mavericks as the equivalent of 'basketball porn' for Celtric-centric Simmons.


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

I.P- Dude....This is FUNNY $hit.LOL
The priest possess testicular fortitude to report accurately and objectively.

Hey, the ESPN story on Phil Jackson by Bill Simmons is a MUST READ for Laker fans.

Say NO to Dunleavy!

Yes to Adelman!

Hey, I for one believe that the "Khloe & Lamar" show is tarnishing Lamar's image. Did you see the episode where Khloe tells Lamar to be more "articulate"? Lamar is an NBA star, Khloe is a nothing (well, a reality show star, which is just slightly above nothing), and she's telling Lamar to be more "articulate"?

Man, that marriage is not gonna last, especially when Lamar will be playing in No-wheresville, USA next year.

Yes to Sloan

Khloe Kardashian is the least interesting person in the world.

Actually, I haven't seen a single Reality TV star who was remotely interesting. My entire cadre of friends are infinitely more interesting than these toolbags.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

LRob,

I was searching the NYT Sports, couldn't find that article mentioned. Could u kindly paste that link here? Thanks

The Andy Kamenetzky article linked above nails it when it comes to the Lakers getting D Howard or any other star player for that matter.

------

Otherwise, my biggest concern would be Kobe's willingness to sacrifice some of his offense for Howard. During his exit interview, I asked Kobe about the feasibility of expanding Andrew Bynum's offensive role to match recently expressed wishes. Bryant's response wasn't terribly ambiguous:

"It's tough to do on this team. Ultimately, he'll have to fall in line. I'm gonna shoot the ball. We all know that. Pau's gonna get his touches, so he's number two in command. Drew's gonna have to fall in line with that."

Regardless of whether you endorse Kobe's pecking order mentality, it's application is one thing with Bynum and quite another with Howard. I'd like to think he'd also recognize this difference and adjust accordingly. But if Kobe truly believes in a pie sliced just so, obtaining Dwight is arguably pointless. You're not getting the maximum return on your investment and practically begging for a situation where stars clash."

------

If Kobe cannot adapt his mindset to the reality of needing another go-to guy to go along with him, there is no point in the Lakers making any big trades for a star like Howard or a star PG/perimeter player.

Kobe's "I eat first mentality" is perhaps his worst quality and in spite of all he has accomplished this alone may prevent him from getting another ring before he retires. The Kobe of old is gone. He will still be very good with flashes of his old self but the clock is ticking.

I hope he one day realizes it, sooner rather than later. It's one of the few tarnishes on his suit of armor.

Maybe they can do it with a couple of good, cheaper role players, but without some help, Kobe and the Lakers are about to enter the twilight zone of really good teams that don't have quite enough to get over the hump.

Hopefully, I'm wrong.

I can't think of a worse match of a coach and player than Sloan and Kobe. One of them would kill the other before preseason was over.

L Rob's handle was jacked. I deleted that comment and banned that IP address

Funny how all the teams left in the playoffs are teams that use all the players on the court. Westbrook might take the blame if OKC loses game 7.

This would be a good time for Kobe to realize that he "ain't" no Jordan and perhaps save the "pecking order" for game time situations. For him to make the predetermination that he "eats" first is pretentious and narcissistic.

Art,

You are not wrong. Kobe is saying those thing pecking order because he's dealing with Pau and Drew. If you tell him that he will be surrounded by his former teammates in the Olympics Paul or D'will and Howard, that mindset will change. It is the trust issues that is involved here. Kobe's ego is unquestionable but that ego relates to winning and getting a ring. Look at this way, give the ball to Pau, he loses it on sloppy ball handling; give it to Drew, he missteps that lead to T/O, besides he's slow in getting back to offense, he's also slow in going for defense. As such, Kobe will always be Kobe, he will treat himself as a savior just like the Smush/Kwame years.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2011/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=philjackson-110509

This is the story recommended by Rob in LA about Phil. IMO, only Kobe is the only player interested for 3peat. All of his teammates have projects in mind of their own and treated the 3 peat as a secondary venture. Kobe is injured this year, he tried to be there as a leader but physically, he's just mortal like others.

Kobe likes Odom, because Odom never wants to be number one. Odom can't play with Kobe, we saw the way they played before Gasol arrived. When Gasol came to LA, we saw Gasol and Odom played well together with beautiful passed to each other, how come we did not see that with Kobe&Odom ? You got the answer.

@Ed
Let's hope your reasonable explanation is correct because there was a time that incredibly, Kobe had to be convinced to feed the ball inside to Shaq while he was with the team. In his interview, Kobe mentioned during that time he was "road kill" when it came to who should be the offense but now it's his turn.

Like I said before, the lure for playing in L.A. was playing for Phil but now that he's gone, any potential superstar considering L.A. will have to be convinced by Kobe that he will have the ability to coexist. Olympic ball is far more different than the NBA where stats are recorded and history is made.

Bluesky,

Kobe and Odom never won Championship since 2005 UNTIL Pau Gasol got into play. Odom will improve a little bit but his stardom will always be stagnant. I can't compare him as a role player similar to the Showtime era like Big Game James, Byron Scott, Michael Coop. With Odom, it is like what Forrest Gump said: "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Having said that, all those 3 years of achievement are history. It is not in consonance with the elevation of the game, the resurgence of 3 point shooters, quick high IQ PG's, youth movement. Look at your roster based on this perspective: how can u be competitive in 2012, 2013 which will be the last years of Kobe against all competitions. Having the triple towers will not be enough, we need more. Continuing the triangle under Shaw will not be enough, we need more creativity. Relying on old PG and a disappearing PG will not be enough, we need more to be at par with the cellar dweller teams who have better PG's than the Lakers. This is a great challenge for the FO, undue pressures from bellyaching Laker fans; high cable media exposure and also high profile advertisers like Nike; lastly from the league office ratings, ratings, ratings....Lakers should be there competing or else NBA, LA economy will be in a bad state.

Edwin,

You have a valid point regarding the trust issues.
But there were too many times last year when Pau or Bynum were hot and ended up going 6-8, 7-9, and Kobe went 7-19. There were even games where LO or Ron were hot but then they stop getting the ball and end up with 10-12 shots to Kobe's 20.
Kobe has a flaw of not staying with the hot hand unless it's his.
He needs to give his teammates the same respect he expects from them.

Art, :-(,

Thanks for partly agreeing. Remember who is the coach? It's Phil Jackson's uncanny rotations, we all cringe when he did not play the rookies during the season, instead went for veterans playing them too much minutes. We do not have a reliable 2nd unit to support the starters. With regards to those stats, PJ never stopped Kobe from shooting at will. It is the Coach who should stop this ball hogging and stealing the show. However, if you were Phil it is back to trust issues. He has more trust on the shooting power of Kobe compared to Artest and Odom. Kobe used to have good stats on shooting but his stubborness in getting those fingers fixed couple by numerous injuries really boiled down to miss those shots. In the end, we were all commenting here in the blog why are the Lakers shooting to many perimeter shots from Kobe, Fisher, Odom, Artest, Gasol, Brown and Barnes. Where are those triangle plays, the pick and rolls, going to the low post. None whatsoever, Lakers became LAZY and COMPLACENT believing that they can all accomplish victories by just relying on their shooting prowess in the past. When everybody was bricking, guess who tried to be the hero, as usual Kobe. This time the best closer title did not work at all. Will somebody tell him what is the best strategy besides PJ who is no longer the coach, not Shaw, not Chuck Person but again....a Coach that he would trust? Precisely, that is the reason why I'm hot in convincing Coach K to come to the Lakers. IMO, he's the only guy who can charm the Mamba.

Edwin,

Ok, agree about the importance of the coach controlling the players.
PJ stayed one year too long unfortunately.
But please already, coach K has made it clear, recently, that he isn't interested.
Let's at least talk about the realistic possibilities.
If coach K changes his mind I'll eat my hat.
Or something like that...

Art,

I know Coach K is a longshot, but as we blog don't u think Kobe is trying to lure Coach K himself. Maybe a strong personality like Sloan can be a good Coach. He commands respect out there, being loyal to one team and known to a stubborn Coach. He will not bow down to Kobe's wishes.

On the other hand, he just declined the offer of the Warriors to be interviewed. It seems only Brian Shaw and Chuck Person are really interested in the job lobbying furiously that they can be better than PJ. hoho! Lakers are really in a tough situation in finding another coach. It is just me....I will go for the Showtime players to run the show. Start Magic as the GM and coaching the Lakers by committee of Showtime players from the Cap, James, Coop, Norm and include here Shaw and Stu. I believe in more heads better than one strong personality. These are all great players with credentials to be working as "thinking committee", I think you can compare them to Security Council of Pres. Obama in deciding to attack the hideout of the late Bin Ladin. If u put the Lakers under a weak Coach like those in the past may it be Dunleavy, Del Harris, Rambis and the retired Rudy T., history will repeat itself it will take years before getting back to Championship mode.

Coach: Rick Adelman

Bynum
Dwight
Kevin Love
Kobe
Chris Paul

Bench: Blake Grifin, Odom, Artest, Steve Nash, Yao Ming, Fisher (needs to retire already)


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