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Which Lakers would be good soccer players?

Photo: Manchester United practices at Wembley Stadium on May 27. Credit: Franck Fife / Getty ImagesThe Lakers would rather not be in this position, spending a large portion of May on things other than marching once again into the NBA Finals.

But the Lakers' four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals pushed up their calendar quite a bit. Exit interviews took place in the middle of the postseason. The Lakers finalized their coaching search at the tail end of the conference finals. And the Lakers enter Memorial Day weekend having to sit through the hype surrounding the upcoming Heat-Mavericks NBA Finals.

One of the activities this weekend that could help ease some Lakers players' minds: the Champions League final Saturday between Barcelona and Manchester United. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum traveled to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Pau Gasol, a Spaniard, often roots for Barcelona and recently tweeted about the big game. And the Lakers took in an Arsenal-Chelsea game in London during their preseason European trip. That made me wonder who on the current Lakers roster would perform well on the pitch. Below are a few ideas.

Kobe Bryant -- This isn't just because Bryant is super competitive. He grew up playing soccer in Italy and once said he'd have continued playing the sport had he continued living there. Bryant's crafty footwork in the post would pay dividends in the open field. 

Steve Blake -- Blake would be your ultimate setup man, using his shiftiness and ability to change direction to throw fullbacks off and then find a teammate for an open goal. 

Shannon Brown -- Brown has tremendous athleticism and would rarely get tired running up and down the field. His weakness, however, might be his shot selection, with him firing long-distance shots from outside the box instead of playing patiently and making smart, deliberate passes. 

Derek Fisher -- Fisher might not have the speed to play 90 minutes on the pitch, but he sure has perfected the art of flopping, er, taking a charge. 

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Manchester United practices at Wembley Stadium on May 27. Credit: Franck Fife / Getty Images

 
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unburied my post from 1:47PM:


So for those who can't follow every post comment I make (& who can follow anybody really with the post frequency):

I do not hate Mike Brown as a hire, since he is ostentibly a defensive coach I have been pining for for years now! I hope he kicks A$$ and takes names! I just hate how Jim Buss's arrogance is above common courtesy and manners in his hiring and communication "method" and blind allegiance to past decisions he made. He wreaks of spoiled rich boy entitlement privelege and corresponding unwarranted arrogance. Time for a little humility which is easier when you are rich, BTW.

I also don't hate AB. I just have direct experience with his type and talents. I also am old and therefore have learned to NOT ignore patterns and history. I loved the 17-1 Bynum. I am hopeful the coaching staff, including Brown can steer him that way. I have read that JimB will never consider a trade for AB no matter who it is! Yikes! Just plain idiotic, if true! I can think of maybe at least 10 players in the NBA I would gladly trade for and drive AB to his new city in a heartbeat! Unless I missed something there were 30 NBA players who were designated better than AB in the All-Star game.............just food for thought.

I am also not blind about Kobe's declining abilities/athleticism and if anybody was paying attention, took a lot of flak during the past season for my comments about my cringe factor in many situations Kobe forced at certain times. I am hopeful a new system will get Kobe more open shots and better defensive presence next season. New coach and system should do that, which is why I was not warm on status-quo Shaw for a head coach - I hope Brown is smart and picks Brian up before he gets a head coaching job somewhere.

HOWEVER..........anybody who thinks the NEXT 2 seasons will be about how far AB takes us instead of our legit HOF Kobe, is completely without sense! History tells us that Kobe will be on the floor more than AB, for one thing (injuries and willingness to play through them factor). History also tells us AB will not gain quickness and speed from one end of the floor to the other. I have never seen anybody at a pro level decrease their 40 sprint time, significantly ...EVER!

We are not talking about comparing Kobe and another teammate who is the same caliber.....like maybe a Wade or James, so quit trying to make AB out to be that! It is too much pressure on him to even delude himself that he can be that, let alone non-NBA blogger types delusions!

So, FO - go get that 3pt shooter or two, a waterbug point guard, and that big hops banger I have talked about for well past 2 years now! I wish Brown, Andrew, and Kobe the best year possible next year. We need to send Kobe out with at least two more rings no matter how it happens, or who gets touches or credit!

I hate this typepad thingy!

Kobe would of averaged two goal per game for his career
and broken numerous records while tallying multiple championships!!!

I love soccer -- It was my first sport. Use to watch the German leagues incesantly. But one thing I disliked was the flopping. NBA is turning into that - I see more flops in the NBA now more than ever before - and it's not just the charge/block flops but more of the I took an elbow flop. The NBA needs to review tape after games and if there is a clear flop, the player needs to be fined and Ted up.

MM,
I hope you passed on our sentiments about Trey to Trey. I think most of us here wanted more of him in the playoffs, and most of us here feel he can make major contributions to the team... that is, assuming of course that management invites him back in some fashion.

In other words, we like him.

Mark M.

Put me down for Barcelona in champions league winner!
They will massacre the English, I can bet on this!!

I'm a die hard Barca fan...

I will probably pick KB to be my soccer guy, since he grew up in Italy and he used to play soccer, or else I would pick Steve Nash but his not a Laker lol

Good thread tho MM, nice to include soccer once in while lol
but you gotta put up Lionel Messi's picture hahaha not Man United

Agree though about the trade, Ron should be first in line but I don't know what they can get for him.

You were kidding about Luke I suppose, you think he is really tradeable?

You mention drafting a quick PG, what do you think about Trey J?

Posted by: Art_Lakers | May 27, 2011 at 03:44 PM


Art,

No. I don't think Luke is tradeable. Unless Sota would make a deal because
they run the triangle.

If by Trey J you mean Trey Johnson. He didn't get enough playing time
to really see. *I* would not have gotten rid of either Ariza or Sasha. But, what
do I know? After all, I think basketball players should actually run hard
when they're on the court.

A better response might be, who/what can we get in the draft or with a trade
vs. Trey J?

NuggetsCountry | May 27, 2011 at 03:44 PM

loved this post.

Man-U will win!

Chicharito and Rooney will score at least a goal apiece
while Messi will be shut out!

Final score 3-1 Man-U!!!!!!

Kobe definitely would have become a world-class goalkeeper. With his wingspan, quickness and athleticism, very little would get past him when he is guarding the goalmouth.

hobbit,

I doubt Trey could be much worse than Blake was. I don't see him as the answer to our problems, but probably worth keeping unless we somehow pick up a glut of excellent point guards.

@Snake93463255253

No goalkeeping for Kobe--Use his world class athleticism and ability to shoot from anywhere to score lots and lots of goals!!!!

We could put Ron on defense and let him harass the forwards.
Bynum would be a great goalie with his length and great shot-blocking abilities!!!!

@ Mr. Laker

Man-U will win!

Chicharito and Rooney will score at least a goal apiece
while Messi will be shut out!

Final score 3-1 Man-U!!!!!!

Posted by: Mr.Laker | May 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM

WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!???
Mr Man U... first see if you can beat Real Madrid then come to play with the big boys...

4-0 Barcelona wins!!! count on it!!! we battle so many good teams to come and give up now????? theres no way!!

Thats what they said when Barca was playing Arsenal "oh the gunners will kill barca... " lol we saw how that turned out, we were faced with the best teams and we prevaled

so Barcelona all the way!!!
your 2011 champions leage winners!!
woot!!
cant wait till tmrw, its on Mr. Laker... Ill see you here next week when my team beats your team!! hahaha

oh Mark M please dont tell me your a Man United fan...

I hope not! lol

okay ladies and gentleman I will be signing out for today

MM thank you for great read on the threads A+ today for very entertaining threads and points and interviews...

and thank you to blog regulars for being good sports and dissecting the Lakers upcoming stuggle...

I will see you guys hopefully tmrw...

Till then....

Techa Ninna is out!!

@Nuggets - great post. I agree with 95% of it except I don't think the Lakers necessarily need a waterbug pg....just an athletic one, that can defend, create and score. Delonte West fits the bill best out of all the free agents, plus he has a good track record with coach Brown. As far as his stability issues I would leave that up to coach to decide since he knows him better than anyone.

One thing is certain the Lakers need to add one athletic interior player, another athletic wing (and play the one they already have...Ebanks) and a shooter. They have plenty of tradeable assets and I say everyone not named Kobe should be considered. I'm not saying blow up the team...just that all options should be explored.

@Tech9ne

Barca will not win!

They have too many injuries in their defense while Man U has none!

Man U seems to be peaking on defense and especially on offense with no one being able to contest the speed of Chicharito.

Barca seems tired and worn-out from their battles against Real M. plus Messi has never scored at Wembley stadium!

United wants it more because of the revenge factor and they are also playing for their goalkeeper van der Sar who will retire after this game as Champion.

Motivated Red Devils at home will be too much for a nothing to play for Barca team!
3-1 Man U.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@LRob2: "@Nuggets - great post. I agree with 95% of it except I don't think the Lakers necessarily need a waterbug pg....just an athletic one, that can defend, create and score. Delonte West fits the bill best out of all the free agents, plus he has a good track record with coach Brown. As far as his stability issues I would leave that up to coach to decide since he knows him better than anyone. "

LOL. I also agree with you, but my perspective is that compared to our current PG crop, even Delonte looks similar to one of those waterbug guards I speak of. I would gladly take Delonte, Barea (FA this summer!), etc.... My take on 'waterbug' is that it gets that excuse out of our concerns. My perfect PG is like Delonte - someone who can hit open 3s with high %, who can drive with success, and some size to counteract some of the bigger-faster guards like DWill.

"They have plenty of tradeable assets and I say everyone not named Kobe should be considered. I'm not saying blow up the team...just that all options should be explored.

Posted by: LRob2 | May 27, 2011 at 05:40 PM

"

Precisely! Don't give away an AB or Pau or LO for nothing, but I think they are the best assets we have to get back what we really need. I also would love to see Trey, Ebanks, and Barnes retained.


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