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Lakers Report Cards: Devin Ebanks

6a00d8341c506253ef014e87427170970d-320wiThis is the sixth edition of Lakers Report Cards, focusing today on rookie forward Devin Ebanks.

Grade: C

Given that a fractured left tibia left him sidelined for the last two months, he only appeared in 20 games while averaging 3.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.9 minutes a contest and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson often compares rookies to whale feces, the grade assigned to Ebanks is by no means an indictment on his performance level.

It points to the equivalent of Ebanks taking an advanced class, making the best circumstances of playing with a talented and veteran-heavy roster, nursing a long-term injury and receiving little playing time. But Ebanks impressed the Lakers enough that Jackson and players universally lauded his work ethic, defensive tenacity, calm demeanor and unassuming nature. Unlike some of the reserves, Ebanks improved as the season progressed and he possesses enough talent that the team's contention that his "time will come" goes beyond just trying to provide encouraging words. He soaked everything in, ranging from studying more video with Jackson, seeking advice from Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher as well as bonding with rookie Derrick Caracter. And though Jackson and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak instructed him to work on his ball handling and shooting, that suggestion also points to the fact that they're envisioning him to play more at shooting guard than at small forward.

Considering the uncertainty of whether Shannon Brown will opt out of his contract this offseason, it's plausible that Ebanks would play directly behind Bryant next season at shooting guard. In fact, had Ebanks not gotten injured, he likely would've been ahead of Luke Walton in the depth chart behind Ron Artest and Matt Barnes at small forward.  But there's still plenty of work to do and it's not guaranteed the Lakers will keep Ebanks after this season. Despite all the potential he showed with his athleticism, quickness, defense and work ethic, Ebanks still appears raw with his shooting stroke (41.2%) and understanding of the triangle offense. His six-game stint with the Bakersfield Jam, where he averaged 27.7 minutes, 16.0 points and 7.7 rebounds, including 25- and 26-point performances in his last two contests, shows that these problems are all correctible with time and experience.

"This is my first year so I take it as a learning process," Ebanks said. "I'll come back and be ready to play."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers forward Devin Ebanks tries to score against the defense of FC Barcelona forward Boniface Ndong in an exhibition game. Credit: Andreu Dalmau / EPA

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I have to admit that I still haven’t watched another NBA game since the Lakers were sent fishing. But I’ve been reading the blog daily and thinking about the season’s travails and the challenges that we face in the what will be the most important off-season since the year we signed Shaquille O’Neal. So why then am I not fretting over who is going to be the next coach or whether Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, or Andrew Bynum will be traded? In other words, why is my proverbial glass still full?
The answer is simply that I trust the Lakers front office to do the right things to fix the problems that derailed the team this season. I understand the criticisms of the constant doubters and overreacting fair weather fans who’ve lost perspective and faith, but they just cannot see the forest for the trees. The reality is that the Lakers front office, although not perfect, has assembled a championship roster of players that has competed for and won more titles in the last decade than any other franchise.
Let’s start by talking about the search for a new coach. I think most of us agree that the Lakers need a fresh face and new approach as a coach. I think Phil made the right decision to leave. Teams will even tune out a great coach like Phil after so many years. And while Phil left some pretty big shoes to fill, coaching the Los Angeles Lakers is still without doubt the most prestigious coaching job in the NBA. There is no question the Lakers will have first choice of the best coach prospects available.
The more I’ve thought it, the more I’m becoming interested in the possibility of Rick Adelman as the Lakers’ next head coach. I’ve always liked his offense; it’s a read and react system similar in many ways to the Triangle. I’ve also always seen his departing jobs mostly due to his dissatisfaction with ownership making the right moves, ergo the Kings and the Rockets. And while I like Brian Shaw, I think the comments about needing an outsider and new voice to take command make sense. Rick would also be an excellent bridge to Derek Fisher eventually taking over as the Lakers head coach.
As disappointed as Jerry Buss must be, I doubt he is going to overreact and break this team up. The Lakers were eliminated and embarrassed because they ran into a perfect buzz storm of bad luck and fortune. Think about it. Who would have thought Pau Gasol would collapse, Kobe would be mortal, Blake would choke, Odom would disappear, and the Lakers would miss all their 3’s while the Mavs set NBA playoff records for making theirs? Play it again 10 times and the Lakers would win 7. That’s not taking anything away from the Mavs who played great. It’s just putting the loss in perspective.
What really excites me is the core of this roster. First of all, I think Kobe is going to bounce back and have his best year ever next year. He will be in the best shape of his life by the start of the season and will be motivated like never before. Only fools would doubt that the Black Mamba is done. But I do think Kobe is going to need to adjust his approach to the game to reflect the realities of his health and the fact that he is not the young stud he once was. I think a new head coach and system could facilitate Kobe making the necessary changes. Change would be harder for Kobe with Brian Shaw.
The other huge positive sign for me is a healthy and focused Andrew Bynum who elevated his play. While the team defense fell apart in the Finals, what we saw during the 17-1 post all-star game run was not a mirage but a taste of what a Kobe and Drew led team is capable of. Whether the Lakers trade Pau Gasol or not, Andrew Bynum is going to become the team’s #2 option on offense next year. And the Lakers will focus their offense on getting the ball down low to Drew like with O’Neal.
As for trades, I think the Lakers top priority is to revamp the point guard position with a younger player who can defend, penetrate, feed the post, and hit his 3’s. To accomplish that, the Lakers will undoubtedly have to trade either Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom. In addition to a point guard, I also like the idea of adding some 3-point shooters. A trade of Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom could net the Lakers a duo like Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith or Kevin Love and the rights to Ricky Rubio.
So bottom line, the Lakers glass is still more than half full and there is no need for the overreactions and doomsday warnings that plague this blog and Lakers fandom in general. Heed the sage advice of a fan who has rooted for and witnessed every one of the 11 championships won in Los Angeles and remember who you are and act like you’ve been there before because you have. We’ll be fine.

@MM... Just wanted to pass on that I logged into TypePad via Twitter and it brought me back to the blog with nobody listed as the poster but after posting a comment, it inserted my Twitter username, which fortunately is LakerTom. I only signed up for Twitter to do this and it was no big deal, not at all intrusive in my mind. I think you should consider this as the way to go. It’s an easy solution.

how can you grade him?

he played an average of 5min in only 20 games! thats only 118 total minutes!!

definitely an (I) INCOMPLETE

wheres the gasol report card! thats the one i'm waitin for!!

Coach: Rick Adelman

Kevin Love
Chris Paul

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

I have pretty decent trust in Laker's management to make the rite moves to make the Lakers a championship team whether it be give up Bynum and Gasol (and get Dwight and some other pieces back) or Bynum and Brown for Dwight, or give up Gasol strait up for CP3 or D-will. I really want the Lakers to be done with the whole 2 7 footers in the starting lineup deal because even though in past years it has worked to their advantage; it wont anymore because teams like Miami, OKC, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, and even Boston and San Antonio (at their ages SA, Bos) would now outrun the Lakers. I think the rest of the NBA figured out the Lakers of old with Gasol and Bynum up front; JUST OUTRUN THEM AND THERE IS 90% chance you'll win pretty convincingly too. The NBA is becoming more and more a perimeter oriented league with fast and quick and athletic guards and small forwards and big men that can actually run (unlike the 2 giants Bynum and Gasol). Lakers DEFINETELY need a point guard upgrade; it doesnt even have to be a superstar like CP3 just a point guard like a Raymond Felton, or a Mo Williams, basically a point guard is close to all star caliber and can shoot open shots and make them and sometimes get into the lane a wreak havoc like other point guards did to LA in the 2011 playoffs! If L.A doesnt get a Dwight Howard or CP3, then if they get obviously a point guard upgrade, get rid of Artest and get a small forward upgrade, and surround Kobe, Bynum, and maybe Odom with young players and atheltes and maybe 1-2 shooters then Lakers a championship team that way also. There are many good players teams are looking to trade or their free agents like: JR Smith, Aaron Afflalo, David West, D12, CP3, Andre Miller, Jason Richardson etc, maybe Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Antwan Jamison. In my opinion all of these players if the Lakers pick up someone like a David West or a JR Smith or a Danny Granger then that would be a huge upgrade at backup SG/ and or starting small forward!

Ebanks looks like, so far, a promisse.

I'd give him a C+, at least. I'd not be surprised to see this kid become a good player. As he is now, he already has that Ariza type of playing bball.

For what we pay him, he's definitly a keeper.


I'm heading off to the dunk contest. So this thread should be up for most of the day

One aspect of the Lakers offseason that many fans are unaware of is the fact that the major decisions this time are likely to be made by Jim Buss rather than Jerry Buss. And while Dr. Buss will definitely have major input just as Mitch Kupchak, the simple but fact that the torch has been passed to Jim at this critical moment in Lakers history makes what is going to happen even more fascinating.
There was a great article about Jim by Ramona Shelburne for talking about the fact that Jim is now running the day-to-day operations with Jerry fading more and more into the background. A must read for serious Lakers fans. Here is an excerpt from Ramona’s article:

It will be Jim Buss who decides whether the team should be restored or reinvented. Whether it needs a fresh start or a new blueprint. Whether the Jackson era should be scrubbed clean off the walls or reupholstered by longtime assistant coach Brian Shaw.
Kupchak will advise and consent. Jerry Buss will make the final call, as always. But it's become clear in recent years that Jim Buss is engineering this train now. One Lakers insider argued that "this is the same as it's been for the last few years," but I don't buy it. This is different.
Jackson has been an enormous figure in the organization for 12 years, but he was never Jim Buss' hire.
Four years ago, they had a public spat over the radio. Jim called out Jackson's habit of criticizing players through the media. The team's vice president, Jackson's girlfriend (and Jim's sister) Jeanie Buss defended Jackson.
Jeanie Buss and her brother have both said publicly that their relationship is fine.
On Wednesday, Jackson revealed that he hadn't spoken to Jim Buss in over a year, and only rarely conferred with Jerry Buss.
So now Jackson's gone.
His influence is gone.
And there's a huge leadership gap to fill in.
Whomever Jim Buss chooses to fill it will be the first and most important clue about the direction he intends to take the Lakers, and the manner in which he will lead them.
A new coach like Rick Adelman, Jeff Van Gundy or Mike Dunleavy would herald a new direction. Shaw would be a nod to a continuation of the Jackson era.
Already there have been tea leaves to read.
At midseason Jim Buss steadfastly refused to trade Bynum, or to even consider trading Bynum even if it might net swingman Carmelo Anthony. Bynum has always been Jim Buss' most important project. He has stuck his neck out for the talented young center on many occasions.
If he continues to do so, it reflects both his loyalty to Bynum and to his own legacy because of the role he played in drafting Bynum out of high school.
Others within the organization point to the decision a couple of weeks ago not to renew the contracts of the team's support staff.
Ostensibly, that decision was made to give those staffers time to find new jobs with a lockout looming, but the timing of the decision -- while the team was on the road in New Orleans, struggling in its first-round series against the Hornets -- gave the impression that there was more to the message than meets the eye.
Either Jim Buss or his father was leaning toward a housecleaning in the offseason, and not simply a cleanup of some of the issues that ailed the Lakers at the end.
On Wednesday afternoon, all of those dynamics were still settling as Kupchak grabbed two slices of pizza and walked the stairs to an uncertain future.
This summer, the Lakers will either reinvent themselves or try to restore what made them back-to-back champions.
The decision they make will reveal as much about the men making it as it will about the team's future.

I look forward to seeing him (Ebanks) get some real minutes during real games so he can actually show what he's got and get an opportunity to improve.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the Lakers already have what many are saying they need, a quick wing player who can hit from outside as well as drive (Ebanks) and a faster PG who can create, hit from outside and at least keep up with faster guards (Trey Johnson).

Replace Ron and Fish with those two starting and you have a faster team and a blend of athletic youth and experience.


Now, just gotta shore up some of defensive weakness...


Agree with yellofever. You cannot give Ebanks a grade; the sample size is just too small to be able to make a meaningful assessment.

As for the coaching position, we need a coach with a good defensive philosophy; any decent offensive set will work with the amount of talent we have on our team. Talent wins in the NBA, coaching wins in the NCAA; that being said the PSP would not mind any of Rick Adelman, Jerry Sloan, or JVG.

PSP Intern

Laker Tom,

I think right now the Lakers need to take a hard, critical look at who they've got, what they can do, who they need and who they can get.

This isn't the time to judge the situation through purple and gold glasses. Just as any CEO must take an unbiased view of his companies strengths and weaknesses and not be afraid to be critical, so must the Lakers do the same thing.

I don't think it's even a question of whether or not someone has a tendency to be a GHF person or a GHE person, it's more a position of hard-nosed critical thinking that's required.

You say you want:
- to see a new head coach from outside the org (Adelman),
- Kobe to adjust his game to reflect his age, health and declining skills
- a new PG as well as a 3 point shooter,
- a trade of Pau or Odom to upgrade other positions.

Your suggestions for improvement are about the same as those posted by "the constant doubters and overreacting fair weather fans who’ve lost perspective and faith, but they just cannot see the forest for the trees".

I like a lot of your posts but I think your commentary would take a giant leap forward if you stopped grouping the people who post here into categories and then being critical of a particular group.

I would prefer to see you mention specific names of people and comment directly on their posts, or tell that person (or persons) that you think they are "constant doubters and overreacting fair weather fans who’ve lost perspective and faith, but they just cannot see the forest for the trees" so they have an opportunity to defend their positions.

Do you really not see how that comment "in quotes" above might be found to be offensive to all those who have been suggesting changes?

LakerTom --

Excellent points all around, except I don't think the Lakers can or should trade any of their core player, i.e., Odom, Gasol or Bynum. I don't buy all this Dwight Howard talk. He's the only player I would consider trading for, and even then, I would hate to give up on Bynum. I may do it, but with a huge sense of loss.

Frankly, I think the Lakers don't need to make a big splash in the off-season. Maybe acquire someone like Aaron Brooks or JJ Riddick or Dorrel Wright, who led the league with 194 3's last year. In short, the Lakers need a solid 3-point shooter and a quick PG, nothing more. Blake, Ebanks, Caracter, Barnes, Walton (who no one wants), Trey Johnson, draft picks (4 second-rounders this year) and cash (Lakers have a $5 million trade exception vis-a-vis the Sasha trade) -- the Lakers should use these chips to plug our holes. But please keep the core in tact. They deserve another shot at the title.

The Celtics have been giving their core players, their top 3 plus Rondo, 3 chances (= 3 years: 2009, 2010, 2011) and now, an upcoming fourth chance next year, after winning their sole championship in 2008. Our core has won 2 championships, they deserve a second chance.

you can't place the same team simply because they had successes in the past (back-to-back champs)..... just look at the Spurs..... they never recovered or NEVER won another Championship.


Too slow & UNATHLETIC !!!




Laker Tom,

One more thing.
Even though I sometimes have criticized your posts you come across to me as someone I would really enjoy sitting down with at a bar and having a few drinks and discussing all things Lakers and basketball in general.
I understand you may not feel the same :)

One aspect of the Lakers offseason that many fans are unaware of is the fact that the major decisions this time are likely to be made by Jim Buss rather than Jerry Buss. And while Dr. Buss will definitely have major input just as Mitch Kupchak, the simple but fact that the torch has been passed to Jim at this critical moment in Lakers history makes what is going to happen even more fascinating.

This is the reason I cringe to think what will happen the rest of Kobe's declining career with the Lakers. (For those who think I among others are too focused on Kobe, you have to admit the Lakers will never have another talent like him in our lifetimes. Easy to state that viewpoint as he is competing for the conversation about GOAT!!! So, concentrating on building rings and teams around whatever Kobe has left is the only smart thing to do right now.) I think Jim Buss has a giant chip on his shoulder without much basketball acumen to show for it. He never played or coached in this league and an executive without direct player experience is always an ego looking for his "I am better than them" moment, even to a meltdown stubborness. I truly believe the tea leaves show some daunting tendencies toward holding a pat hand and watching the fanbase cringe through yet another season of mediocrity (compared to where they should be, IMO.) My ticker can't take it, how about yours?

Pau's reluctance, which trended him to choke in this postseason is enough for anyone who has been in the elite corps of top athletes of this world to ignore. It is not an abberation! He tells us he has no personal problems, so we must assume the problems he has were with the team. PJ is the only one leaving for certain, so unless it was with PJ, I have to assume it is with how this team works through Kobe. Pau is too weak to be called a 4 or 5. His little shotput shooting could work as a slow 3...but..... He gets thrown around too easily and the NBA is only "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" for supposed stars like PG. The whole league knows they can just bang on Pau for 1 quarter and he will quit or get so frustrated he will be ineffective for at least the rest of that game. And don't tell me about 2009! It is a bogus argument after 2011's showing! Pau constantly has excuses and platitudes after every game in which the Lakers do not do well. He says the same crap every time, but almost never just does what he says. Like they say "Just Do It!" Same for LO. Never get that garbage from Kobe or DFish types. They leave it on the floor and take their chances.

Jim Buss will never allow AB, his pet project, to ever be traded, even for a known injury-free, all star who defends and rebounds (what the Lakers need) Howard and could score 40+ anytime he is fed! Absurd! Pau needs to move on for some proven, potentially less offensive minded 4 that will bang, play hard D, and rebound happily. Good grief, Landry outplays him almost every time they meet and Pau has 5-6 inches on him!! Pau moving back to a team where he is the star and has no expectations will heal his game. That game he has now, which is known to the rest of the players he opposes will be a curse to the Lakers until he is gone. Kobe and the others who leave it all on the floor deserve better.

@ART … No problem. We’ve had this same conversation before and I share the same high respect for you and your opinion. I actually agree with you that the front office needs to view the situation objectively. I’ve never doubted that they will do so and let the chips fall upon whom they may. As for my grouping people together, it wasn’t met to single out or demean any specific individuals. I agree many of the same suggestions as I made have been made by more critical fans than myself.

The glass still half full title and post was meant to point out that we still have a lot going for us for which we should be thankful. It’s not the doom and gloom situation that certain bloggers have pointed out. As for fair weather fans, I don’t include any of the regulars in that batch or anybody who thinks we need to make some moves. If you think the Lakers are done and will never compete again, then as far as I am concerned, you’ve jumped off the bandwagon and you can stay off. :-))

OK, so here is the roster now and what they bring:

Kobe - GOAT candidate, enough said. (Needs more reliable backup on the bench to rest his legs.)

DFish - great leader but outside of PJ's triangle not enough for the fast guards of the current NBA and his shot outside is no longer good enough. (FAST Upgrade needed, but good for bench/practice.)

Ron - great defender but inconsistent for any offensive output from anywhere and his meandering forays in the offense are killing us. (Need a reliable 3pt shooter here.)

Pau - good for shotput set shots occassionally, but no base to compete for rebounds or position and hands are Kwame-like. (Need a strong 4 banger - Noah/Scola/Boozer/DJordan type.)

Bynum - good potential for above average center, but body likely to fail him and insufficient to command good D due to his slow jogs back on D. (Could try more injury free wishin' and hopin', but really.......time to find a big who can stay on the floor and maybe even one who can get to the top of the box for oops and blocks and rebounding often)

LO - nice 2010-2011, but if we are honest with ourselves he is too laid back and Hollywood to compete reliably. (I would take a Scola/Noah type any day over an LO who shows up about every third game to his potential.)

Barnes - leaves it all on floor. Good hustle. (KEEPER!)

Brown - fun for a highlight or two, but completely out to lunch running anything but I'll-dribble-for-10-seconds-then-launch-a-shot-that-has-little-chance-of-going-in-and-did-I-mention-I-will-wait-until-nobody-has-rebounding-position-to-launch. No D! (Gotta get Kobe a reliable backup.)

Blake - bust past month one. (Need to package him with whomever and get a fast PG or two or a SG who can sink a 3 at above average %)

Luke - good team player, BUT please retire or get bought out. (No future anywhere.)

Ebanks - give him a shot! Could show that Arizaness maybe if played! YOUNG!

Caracter - good attitude. Maybe keep him for a 15 sized roster for practice and backup - seems to stay healthy, which we could use. YOUNG!

Trey - Keep him and USE HIM! Good potential backup 2 or 3 maybe. Youngish.

Joe Smith - sorry PJ was a jerk about reserve playing time! (CYA)

Theo - time to move on from injuries - loved your game before this Laker stint! sorry PJ was a jerk about reserve playing time! (CYA)

@NUGGETSCOUNTRY …. Knock on wood, my ticker has held up fine so far. We pretty much see eye to eye on most of this stuff, with a case of degree and difference in patience being what separates us. There is no question that Kobe is a once in generation player. With the way super stars are uniting to form super teams, it’s critical for the Lakers that their one super star play at his highest level. That did not happen this playoffs and was a major factor why the Lakers could not overcome Pau’s collapse.

The problem with trading Pau versus Lamar is that there are far fewer players who would be worthy catches in return? Howard but then what do you do with Drew? Dwight at power forward? It could work if he accepted it. Pau for CP3 or DWill? That would work, too. After that, not many choices. Lamar, who makes less than half Pau, would enable the Lakers to look for deals for guys like Felton or Augustine or Reddick or Korver. It all depends on what is available out there. Chances are far greater that a good deal can be made trading Lamar than Pau, even though I would prefer Lamar. Pau may never regain my trust after how he played. I think he has peaked. Maybe the Lakers do too.

Anyway, I’m not worried about Jim Buss. His support in Drew’s corner will likely lead to Pau or Lamar being traded for a point guard and shooter. That’s what makes sense to be able to take advantage of Drew’s inside game and Jim is smart enough to realize it. Jerry and Mitch have been hesitant in the past to trade Pau or Lamar but now that Pau has crashed and Lamar had a subpar playoffs compared to his great regular season, I think the stage is set for Jim Buss to further his plan for Andrew Bynum to become the next franchise player. A new coach who will pound the ball inside, a trade of Pau or Lamar for a point guard to get the ball to Drew and a shooter to keep defenses honest. I know that’s what I would be thinking if I was Jim Buss in this situation.


I'm with you on this. I really do love the Lakers from the Jerry West days and still am addicted to cheering for them. However, I have a really bad feeling about what Jim Buss is going to do.

I think as you noted he will stay with AB and maybe even stay the course with Shaw.

We all know that kobe is not going to be the past kobe and all he's done but think his ego and selfish attitude are going to kill this team in the next few years. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely not a kobe hater - i think he is the ONLY laker who deserved wearing the purple and gold this season. Even though he was so banged up, he fought through all those injuries, even to the extent of hurting the team. His comments on the pecking order scare the heck out of me - maybe i'm taking it out of context, but it appears that he wants to be the number 1 go to guy no matter what. I don't think he could take a back seat to someone like dhoward. He is the alpha dog and he is not going to give this up until he retires.

I think it's time for a new direction. I would not be sad to see any of the players traded as long as mitch can make it worthwhile. not really knowing much about trades and salary matching, etc... but sound like we have a bunch of long term contracts that no other team will want. artest for 5 years was crazy - 3 years would have been palatable. Walton - they just have to package him with someone - i can't stand this guy and why do i see so many quotes from him on various blogs. Why would any laker fan care what this dude thinks....he is a big part of the problem having horrible contracts that bind Mitch's hands. No team is going to take him off our hands.

Anyway, I had a horrible feeling this entire season and am not looking forward to next season if it's more of the same. Even though i'm a laker fan, i'm not into s&m and do not want to watch gasol get pushed around in the paint until he is utterly worthless. or see LO disappear during the playoffs and just act like that's how it goes. or have bynum get hurt. or watch the bench give away leads again and again. or have shaw run the same offense while the players do what the heck they want.

until they hire the next coach i'll be holding my breath and praying for the best.

If all is true, what the Lakers really really need right now is not necessarily Dwight Howard, but one JERRY FREAKING WEST!

He would know what to do at this very moment, even if it means threatening to quit his job if the owner were to try to pull off an asinine trade by himself ala Mark Aguirre and Roy Tarpley for James worthy on draft day 1986.

If Kupcakes were to ever threaten to quit his job over a proposed trade, Jim Buss would take his resignation and tell him to go frick himself.

Jerry West, where are you when we need you, old sport?

Better yet, would Jerry West be able to co-exist with someone like Jim Buss???

I kinda doubt it, the old man was the personification of shrewd. He knew when to back down. The younger Buss has something to prove like all children of wealth so as to somehow justify the inequities of striking the genetic lottery.

@LakerTom: Agreed about probably keeping AB (best to have one main 5, unless Howard trade came about), since JimB will keep him anyway. I would like not to trade Pau for Howard, but for some strong 4 (I listed some types above even if they specifically are not available) and at least one fast PG and maybe a good 3pt shooting SG, if I had my dream trade. The funny thing I see is that the Mavs have the most FA this offseason of the types we might use, although I can't see Cuban letting the Lakers get any of them! We could pull off a 3way trade with Mavs and Nuggets and get some of these types I would like to see on the "blown-up" Lakers next year. I do want to see a D oriented coach and I think Shaw would signal a return to triangle predictability which will get us even less far next year.

I see more trade value for Pau instead of LO, but that's just me.

PS. My lack of patience probably has to do with ER scares the past 3 years, so my window of Laker dynasties is much more limited than many of us on this blog........... :-)

"Anyway, I had a horrible feeling this entire season and am not looking forward to next season if it's more of the same. Even though i'm a laker fan, i'm not into s&m and do not want to watch gasol get pushed around in the paint until he is utterly worthless. or see LO disappear during the playoffs and just act like that's how it goes. or have bynum get hurt. or watch the bench give away leads again and again. or have shaw run the same offense while the players do what the heck they want.

until they hire the next coach i'll be holding my breath and praying for the best.

Posted by: DaveW | May 14, 2011 at 06:00 PM

AGREED on all points!

@LakerTom: "Pau may never regain my trust after how he played. I think he has peaked. Maybe the Lakers do too.

Exactly how I feel! I don't trust someone on "my" team who chokes or pouts more than rarely! Especially for the entire playoffs and several games beforehand!

Frankly I would like to see FO trade Pau, LO, and RA for various reasons and get players who will leave it all on the court every game. D, banger, 3pters, fast are keywords for those trades.

Nuggets Country, kudos to your thoughts and essay. Beautifully written and hit the mark on what will happen to the Buss empire, I guess we got a new emperor who inherited the throne. I don't think Jeanie will compete nor make waves against her brother, will this be a new dynasty or the decline of the empire. Jim Buss may be the emperor but he is beholden by the forces where his empire resides. He has to respect the Lakers tradition, those jerseys hanging on the rafters, most of them are still alive. They will never abandon the purple and gold. Secondly the LA media and Hollywood celebs who are owners of 1st class seats at the Staples and club owners. This people have a say on the Lakers rise or demise. Thirdly, the other owners of the Lakers AEG and other minority owners, they could easily buy out Jim Buss. Fourthly, the ever hungry media always targeting the Lakers with Time/Warner, BSPN. social media such Lakers Blog, inquisitive media throughout the world. Can Jim Buss handle the pressure with little basketball knowledge? You can't rely on Mitch because he will say what u want to hear. Therefore, as the new emperor he has to satisfy his kingdom little chiefs from the live LA community, inquisitive media to the vociferous Laker fans.

Here is the first test on July 1st, granted the lockout has not surfaced yet, Magic asks for Bynum, Odom and Blake for Howard and Arenas. Will the Lakers blink and close their eyes on the offer and refuse to return phone calls? Another test, if Hornets trades CP3 and ask for Bynum straight up, what will Jim Buss do? There is passion in politics by playing favoritism but in the end, someone could buy you out in any business. Your minority partners could put a leverage on you or the market forces could drive you out of ownership. Learn a lesson from the McCourts.

Dave W,

you wrote: i think he is the ONLY laker who deserved wearing the purple and gold this season. Even though he was so banged up, he fought through all those injuries, even to the extent of hurting the team. His comments on the pecking order scare the heck out of me - maybe i'm taking it out of context, but it appears that he wants to be the number 1 go to guy no matter what. I don't think he could take a back seat to someone like dhoward. He is the alpha dog and he is not going to give this up until he retires.

my response: I think you're *feeling* about this instead of "thinking" about
this. Let's see if this is true ...

you talk about him fighting through the injuries to the extent of the team.
Are you paying attention to the rest of the team?

So .... the last two years, as Kobe has fought through injuries we're two out
of 3 in the NBA finals. He didn't hurt the team for 3 years, right?

With all the self-admitted complacency of Lamar & Pau, the poor-shooting
of Artest, the slow-healing of Bynum, who missed 1/3rd of the season, and
the disappearance of the Bench ... How did Kobe hurt the team by playing?
More time for Devin Ebanks? Luke Walton? Joe Smith???

re: pecking order.

I ask you again, are you paying attention?

Pau, as #2, was instrumental in 3 trips to the finals. With repeated attempts to
force the ball into the post, we got swept. Just so that we're clear, that would
be to Pau & Bynum. Why are you mad that Kobe considers himself a better
option than a passive spaniard & a young center who has played his FIRST
playoff season healthy & was neutralized by Tyson Chandler & Brendan

What is it with people talking about alpha dogs? Do y'all have *any* idea
of what you're talking about? Have you actually given any thought to it?

To think that Kobe would endanger winning, so that he could seek glory,
is obviously false in light of a four game sweep of the Lakers & his play
the previous year. He's passing the ball into the post & our bigs didn't get it
done this year. To argue that he wouldn't give the ball to Dwight is
foolish & without basis.

Class Claaasss Claaaaaasssss SHUT UP
thank you

Well class we've come to the end of another school year and unfortunately it ended sooner than expected when that school in Texass at the regional semi-finals defeated our debate team.
Grades have been so good over the past few years it really hurts Sister Mary Elephant to reveal your final grades, but as your teacher I must objectively evaluate your performance so that you may improve in the areas that are sub-standard.

Little PJ - As teachers aide you were more passive than usual this year. Of course this is nothing new as the results the prior 2 years have been outstanding. Your system of starting slowly then cramming for the Finals did not work this year. Perhaps the students just didn't pay enough attention to you because they knew you were moving to Montana with your parents. Perhaps it was just because the students had a lot of extra-curricular activities and they didn't devote enough time to their school studies. Whichever the case, you did not recognize the students needs for this school year and they were left without the leadership required of a teachers aide.
Grade = C-

Baby Kobe - Your prior scholastic career has been exemplary. But I am grading for this year and your performance while still good, was somewhat disappointing. A little advice, when debating other teams let some of your schoolmates answer the questions to let them feel part of the team, but most importantly, if they answer a question wrong, don't make all those mean faces at them. You win as a team you lose as a team.
Grade = B

Gassy - You started the school year strong but ended weak. As our only exchange student perhaps you missed your mommy more this year than in years past. Maybe your mom can come and be with you next year to give you the love and support you seem to need.
Grade = C

Big Andy - I'm concerned with you becoming the school bully, your last fight on the last day of school will cost you a one-week suspension at the beginning the next school year. All your absences prevent you from becoming a straight-A student, but most importantly, doing well for a few weeks at a time doesn't make you a top student. A top student is consistent throughout the entire year.
Grade = C

RonBabyRon - Since coming to this school your grades have not come close to the level in your transcripts. Perhaps this is a tougher school district but I don't think it helps your studies by losing valuable study time to auction off your bicycle nor does it help when your parents insist on taking you to talent shows all the time.
Grade = D+

Little Fishy - The school allowing you to stay an extra year even though you had enough credits to graduate was a mistake. Sometimes it's hard to leave something so familiar and comfortable but you presence caused a more worthy student to be denied admission. I want you to think about that.
Grade = D-

Baby Odie - Another up and down school year with more positives than negatives for a change. That scholastic award you received was deserved but the little boy from Dallas who finished in second place was a better student when it counted most. Your parent’s decision to allow you to be on the "Mickey Mouse Club" seemed to make you lose focus on the task at hand. As always, maybe next year you will put it all together.
Grade = B-

Lil Machine - Though you were forced to transfer out of this school district early in the school year I believed the superintendent should have done more to keep you here. Your dumb fights with Little PJ's friend, B. Shaw, was your undoing as the district had to do the politically correct thing and back those students up. I am sorry for that and the school district is now aware what a huge mistake it was.
Grade = n/a transferred

Stevie B. - It's hard for all transfer students to do well at this school as our standards are higher than any other institution. That being said, your performance was far below standard and should be acknowledged accordingly. I fully expect a complete turnaround next year.
Grade = D-

Matty B. - With you getting sick and being out for such a long time, your less than expected performance can be somewhat explained. However, next year is probably your last chance to show you belong at this prestigious school. Good Luck
Grade = C-

Shanny B. - With all your talent you failed to realize that, like in Math, you can't go directly to Calculus without knowing Algebra or trigonometry. Master those subjects and your potential is limitless. Do the same as this year and you might have to go to a public school.
Grade = C-

Baby Lukie - I know you are at this school because you are the god-son of a high ranking official but it would be better if you just take the alternate computer classes instead of wasting space at this school.
Grade = F

Now class I know there are other students in this class but Little PJ failed to turn in any progress reports on them but I did find a list of their names
Theo R.
Devin E.
Derrick C.
Baby Trey
I will have to give you all an incomplete grade because I have no record of any of you participating in any school activities. I so very sorry for this, it seems to happen every year some students are ignored and not given an opportunity to.......

Class Claaasss Claaaaaasssss WAKE UP

Dave W.,

I totally agree with hobbit, why will Kobe not give the ball to Howard or CP3 when he's double teamed? Kobe wants to win and he knows his time is now limited to dominate the game. Kobe knows these two players well including D'Will and he acted as a mentor and the support role in the last Olympics. Therefore, Kobe will do anything as long as he wins. It's not controlling the game but being control of the legacy, you have to analyze deeper the inner motivation of that self-centered persona. I will not be surprised if these three guys are now talking to each other confidentially and started planting the seed. Did he not campaign for Barnes last year and also Raja Bell? With Bynum and Pau, he has some doubts lately that's why Socks kept on saying trust issues, however in his in interview he wanted them back in the most diplomatic way. Will Mitch bring them back? Why not, if the thing in consideration is trading for Raymond Felton or Smith or Harrington. This is like trading Empire State Building with those new small buildings of his majesty Donald Trump. Lakers does not gain anything from this lopsided trade because they are not the equivalent of Bynum, Gasol or Odom.

Posted by: Ludwig

****....Buss has something to prove like all children of wealth so as to somehow justify the inequities of striking the genetic lottery.****


Bynum for Dwight Howard.
Gasol for Chris Paul.


That is big, strong and fast.

Paul is the PG, shooter, quickness, perimeter defender, closer all in one.

Dwight is the Center, big, fast, shot blocker, rebounder, low post, healthy all in one.

Howard and Paul together can win championships, whoever you put around them they can win. You add Kobe (all-star superstar), Caracter (big body inside), Ebanks (length and quickness).

CP3 and Kobe would be the best guards combo in the NBA.
Howard and Caracter would be the strongest low post in the NBA.
Ebanks, you can put anybody here as long as it is athletic, long, can shoot 3's and can defend.

Orlando's incentive:
Bynum is the best replacement Orlando can get for Howard.

Hornets Incentive:

They instantly become long inside. Especially with a small frontline of Okafor and West. They do not have to extend the contract of West, they can have Okafor and Gasol, and use the money for West to get a new PG, like Raymond Felton.

Bringing Dwight Howard and Chris Paul together is like Jerry West's Shaq and Kobe at the same time all over again.

You bring the FRANCHISE, you worry about the pieces later.

Sister Mary Elephant --

Brilliant stuff, inspired!

I would only quibble with some of your grades, I'd give ...

Artest: C+ (as opposed to a D+)
Andrew: B (as opposed to a C)
Blake: D+ (as opposed to a D-)
Barnes: C+ (as opposed to a C-)
Odom: B+ (as opposed to a B-)
Fisher: C+ (as opposed to a D-)

By the way, did you hear how much CP3 praised Fish's play in the first round of the playoffs, I guarantee you he wouldn't have given him a D- either.

Good job, though!

Well like I said back in Jan or Feb, this was not going to be easy. Well it was not to many issues, sport's is not hard. A team that has been to gather for what 4yrs and playing long season has to tire out at some point. Our team was not a good fit no outside shooters and to slow out front. Instead of Blake we needed speed, the one year wonder Artest was just that, slow was he all season, appears to be a mistake Arzia extra million would have been good money spent. Kobe was not himself maybe we will not be seeing the old Mamba but a older version of an old Kobe just about over the hill his jumping ablilty has left him. Maybe he should move to point. Well anyway maybe a off season of rest and a three point shooter and a point guard is all we need. Hope so!

Hobbit and Edwin,

First of all - I have to say that I truly respect both of your opinions...i read and agree with most of what you have to say. I never said that I am super knowledgeable about bball - I've played but am not a triangle expert - I just really love to watch many different sports.

As for this laker team, I don't know who should stay and who should go...yes, I am very disappointed in how this team got swept and basically rolled over. It was totally embarrassing and I'm surprised they are not more embarrassed for their own sake.

I did not mean to attack kobe if that's what you got from my post. I LOVE kobe and know that he is the only player that brings it every game. I know that it might also be for his own selfish goals, but i know the dude wants to win at nearly all costs. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

Maybe there is too much to write about in one shot and maybe i am not able to articulate everything that I want to - but I realize that without kobe this team as is, would be garbage. Gasol no matter how talented is constantly being pushed around in the paint. LO doing his annual disappearing act - but he did have a great regular season. I would like to see both of them traded as long as mitch can get players who can summon their talents during the playoffs.

Do you know the story that John Wooden spoke about - his one player who was horrible in practices but during the games the competition brought out the best in this guy. He was clutch. To me Pau and LO are not....this is when they disappear. So it doesn't matter if they have talent if they can't bring it out when it is really necessary. Trade-able assets to me.

Oh well, I never claimed to be some bball guru - just stating my opinions.

At least I'm not on here saying let's get dhoward, kobe, griffin, cp3, and durant.

If any one remembers in the 2008 Olympics, Kobe "D" up and deferred to other stars to WIN the Gold. The only time he really TOOK over a game, well, was game 7 in the 4th Q. He actually won that game for US. So I firmly believe if we added Howard and DWill or CP, Kobe would love it and share big time. If we had either as point guard, Kobe would be our outside threat. He would be a knockdown shooter, especially open. Mostly if we just added DWill or CP, we'd be nearly impossible to beat.

For a banged up player, Kobe played what I thought was a fine season considering. How many of us has played with bum knee and broken and bruised fingers? His season stats were very close to his career averages. If we get a DWill or CP or the like PG, I think Kobe would be close to unstoppable. Can't imagine how many open shots KB would get with one of these Super guards. I also think that Kobe should sit the lesser of back-to-back games from here on out (although I know he would be furious, but that's why the Coach is the boss).

Who could or who should the Lakers target with the Mle? Thoughts...

the few times I saw him he was ok. I can't grade him any lower than a C since that's about what a guy drafted in the second round this year played, average minutes. Marginally good player, he has a lot to improve but given that the important bench players weren't effective, how many more minutes will he get, I mean seriously. Realistically, he could have done more yet, Phil possibly had one of his worst seasons coaching.

Where is the Phil Jackson report card?
-eventhough hindsight is 20/20 he should have rested his starters more down the stretch and motivated them up, pushing the message that they hadn't won anything, ultimately having to play them down the stretch. Didn't play Joe Smith, Theo, Luke Walton more.

Where is the Mitch Kupchak report card?
-B- He depleted the bench which meant Phil was limited to playing his starters more, and costing them to be mentally fatigued in the 2nd round. With the absence of suitable backups, Sasha V, Farmar, or getting tall athletic guards our defense suffered and Phil relied heavily on Artest, Barnes etc, who were ineffective (not Mitch's fault they didn't play up to expectations). The team could have done more to keep some of the bench who were actually useful during the re-building process, ending with 2 straight championships. He could have complimented or added to that quickness.

Overall report card?
-C+ The team could have over-performed, chemistry issues, lack of concern, bad coaching at times, didn't take the motivation of playing the Heat in the finals to heart, playoff laydown (avoidable), too many losing streaks.


If these vets aren't hungry, a new coach and/or system, with new starting PG/SF/C/PF could do the trick. Depending on who you move in the off-season, be it Lamar, Artest, Luke, Shannon, Andrew, Pau, you need guys who can bring the intangibles, and don't have indifferent attitudes so they don't let their guard down, and their teammates down. In any case, motivated playoff tested-ready, overachievers are welcome additions.

Dave W.,

Nobody here has a monopoly of basketball knowledge, there is only one I know and he's no longer in this blog, Mike T. A self declared best mind ever....

What we are doing are mere speculations, spinning our own likes and dreams. You know what, even if our premises are so out of place and impossible, at least we start working on the crystal ball. The GM gets some ideas, some imputed stats that he could use when he calls and deals. During the time of the logo, there is no blog to read he absorbs everything the pressures of wheeling and dealing. Today, Mitch may be under pressure from fans to produce but he could also send coded messages through the blog and see if it works with the other team, also through their own fans blog. Therefore, it lightens up his job from the thinking perspective because so many fans are contributing whether some vitamins or germs of thought. It's up to him to decide what is the best route, what is feasible and what are fantasies? Therefore Dave W., don't interpret what I said as a direct criticism to what u were thinking, I just supplement what you have already started.

Keep on posting and we'll overcome the Lakers no-show this year. We have faith with purple and gold but we have to be realistic too with the growing competition.

If any one remembers in the 2008 Olympics, Kobe "D" up and deferred to other stars to WIN the Gold. The only time he really TOOK over a game, well, was game 7 in the 4th Q. He actually won that game for US. So I firmly believe if we added Howard and DWill or CP, Kobe would love it and share big time. If we had either as point guard, Kobe would be our outside threat. He would be a knockdown shooter, especially open. Mostly if we just added DWill or CP, we'd be nearly impossible to beat.

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | May 14, 2011 at 08:53 PM

Agree wholeheartedly. If PG is your concern, Dwill or Chris Paul can fit that role perfectly, if center, Dwight Howard. And you could do no wrong. Winning breeds more winning, ask Michael Jordan and the Worm.

i disagree on the comments about ebanks not playing enough to get a grade. the positives are when he got into games he consistently did things that continued good things happening on the floor as compared to when some people get into the game the lakers would lose leads or the momentum would switch back to the floor.
he reminds me so much of a young ariza the continued development would basically shut up all the ariza fans who want him back.
all they have to do is trade barnes and give him a shot next year. every game he did play for the lakers you saw improvement. i really believe after working this summer on his game if there is no lockout he is going to really help improve the bench.

Really not sure what the lakers can do. There players are signed to long term contracts. Kobe is in decline. maybe a new reserve or two will be changed. They stayed to long with Fisher and the lakers have the biggest payroll in the NBA. Last time this happened in 2004 Dr. Buss gutted the payroll. He may do the same thing again. At the end of the day it is still a business.


Really, Mark?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


The Triangle is dead in LA, so stop talking about it and judging players based on how well you think they've learned it. Buss hates the triangle. It's gone and is now irrelevant.



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