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Caught in the Web: More focus on Shaquille O'Neal's legacy


--The Times' Bill Plaschke says Shaquille O'Neal could've left a better legacy with the Lakers. He will have a press conference at his house at 10 a.m. to announce he's officially retiring. 

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick mentions that it's possible Chuck Person will remain on the Lakers' coaching staff.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr provides a photo slide show featuring O'Neal.'s David Hess statistically analyzes Shaq's historical dominance (insider subscription required).

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky and Dave McMenamin debate what Mike Brown will bring to the Lakers.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen says Shaq would've left a more impressive legacy had he managed his weight.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker believes it'll take a while before the NBA sees such a dominant big man as Shaq.

--Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock touts Shaq's personality.'s Mike Trudell details Pau Gasol's decision to play this summer for the Spanish national team. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano looks at what Brown's offense might look like. 

Tweet of the Day: "mike brown followed me home to talk about his 3 principals of defense #hellalottascreentime" -- EricPincus (Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Well at least this makes the Lakers 15-pt blown lead in Game 1 more bearable. At least the Lakers were back-to-back champs and were gassed after three trips to the well. So what's the Heat's excuse?" -- Scott

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, and center Shaquille O'Neal sit on the bench during Game 6 of the 2004 Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves. What would have happened had O'Neal stayed with the Lakers until his retirement? Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 31, 2004.

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Is Pincus for real? Did MB really follow him home to talk some hoops? That's crazy.

Pincus used to post here back in the day, as did Lazenby (although less frequently). They sort of stopped when the Lakers started winning again and they each got their own followings

If it weren't for HIV, Magic would've led the Lakers to at least 2 or 3 more championships thus ending his career as the best in the NBA. Right now, he's No. 2 behind Jordan. Hang in there Dallas and go for the "miracle" victory. At least you've shown that there is no "quit" in your TEAM game, unlike our very own Lakers who are all enjoying their early vacation. After all, putting in 15 years of "hard" work before retiring with all the money you can ever need or want surely takes its toll. The team certainly "deserved" a break. This team will not even "smell" another ring for quite some time. Get ready for the drought. Teams will be realigned to beat the Heat.


Magic is the greatest Laker of all time! Kobe had the audacity to state that when "Magic's" team lost, they didn't break them up but what Kobe fails to realize is that "his" team totally quit in the playoffs preceded by a lackluster, lazy, entitled regular season play. Well Kobe, you claim to "embrace" challenges well here's one for you: Prove you can win another title without Shaq and Phil. So we don't expect you to pout or butt heads with your new "boss;" just go out there and do whatever it is you claim you do: Score, defend and win rings. The world is watching.

@GDUB – Thanks for the intro to Booker Little. Like Stu would say…that was NIIICE.

@Scott – congrats on the Friedman. Well said.

@fever – good to have you back. Most of us definitely enjoyed the Dallas comeback, but you really should get drinking the Lebron “hatorade”…he’s had an excellent post season thus far.

@ :-( - Kobe’s resume speaks for itself (just like Magic’s). He doesn’t have anything to prove. FYI after 3 straight trips to the finals the 90 Lakers lost to Phoenix 4-1 in the 2nd round.

I see a lot of interesting trade possibilities on the previous threads.

Trade Pau or Bynum for a PG or trade Bynum for Howard and Pau for a PG seems to be a lot of the talk.
If you trade Bynum for Howard that's a wash from a position standpoint.
But lets's say you keep Bynum and just trade Pau for a PG, that makes LO the PF and that makes the Lakers very thin as for bigs.

If you trade away either Pau or LO or Bynum for a PG there is no depth at all among the bigs and you have the new PG and Kobe, plus Fish, Blake, Brown and maybe Trey Johnson as the guard group.

Then you have Ron, Luke, Ebanks.

The Lakers don't have good depth anywhere except among Bynum, Pau and LO.
And if Bynum gets inured, or even Pau or LO, it's not a good situation.

The Lakers not only need a PG, they need outside shooting and some athleticism but they also need better depth.

When you look beyond Bynum, Pau and LO the tradeable pieces don't look very good. If you trade big for small you lose the depth among the bigs. If you trade big for big you still have the other issues.

The one's that should be traded, like Ron, Luke, Fish, Blake, maybe Brown, aren't going to get much quality in return.

If Mitch and Co can figure out a way to improve the team through trades I will be pretty darn impressed as well as surprised.

Maybe they see the same thing and that's why they said they expect the core 8 to be back. The reality is they don't have very many good options for trading players due to salary issues, length of contracts or quality of player and if they do trade they lose depth somewhere else.

Seems to me you either have to blow up the team (not likely), or just fill in here and there through free agents and the draft. The reality is the team pretty much as is just needs to come back next year and play better.

Here’s the “thing” about Mike Brown: of all the candidates, he’s won on the big stage as an Assistant Coach with a team that featured the “Twin Towers” concept; he coached one of the most gifted and athletic players in LBJ; finished at the top of the heap the entire time he was coaching; got them to the Finals and all of this with basically a prodigy. Bear in mind, this is during the past several years. What have the other candidates accomplished as head coach?

This guy is relatively young – see Spoelstra – and is in tune with the defensive scheme of things. Offensively, he’ll have the right staff to assist him and he comes to a “loaded” championship club that’s basically “been there and done that.”

Kobe still wants to win and he realizes that his window of opportunity is rapidly closing. He wants to show the “MoFos” out there that he isn’t done yet and he’s going to have an equally enthusiastic and hungry coach who wants to accomplish the same thing. An epic matchup would be Brown’s Lakers VS Spoelstra’s Heat and the storylines are obvious.

All we can do is wait and see but I’ll say this much: I’m not going to be as easy next season as I was this past season with the Lakers. If they’re stinking it up, let it be known and no “pass” due to “practice seasons.” They must develop winning ways during the regular season so all of those habits are in place for the playoffs.

As far as trades are concerned, the only big moves I see are if Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and/or Deron Williams notify their respective clubs that they will not be signing contract extensions, otherwise there will be small tweaks “here and there” because let’s face it: who in the league really wants to help the Lakers win?

That was a great game last night. Big Dirk, he's a man on a mission. He was as stoic as can be after making the biggest plays of his career. He wants it bad. I have to admit, I was actually cheering on the Mavs.

Go Lakers!

I'm with those who want to trade Pau Gasol for Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Pau showed what he's all about this year, it's not pretty. Chris Paul would be absolutely perfect on the Lakers.

Go Lakers!

I am among those who think that if the Lakers can get an elite PG by trading Pau or Lamar (as in DWill or CP3) then they should do it. However, I agree with Art that doing so would leave the team dangerously thin in the post. Moreover, we all understandably (after the way the season ended) are looking at trade possibilities to improve the starting 5, but I'm not so sure that the team needs to make such a drastic move.

I don't think the Lakers failed to achieve their goal because of a lack of talented. In fact, I continue to think the Lakers are the most talented team in the league. Whether due to injury (Barnes), inexperience or newness to the team (Blake, Ebanks, Caracter), or fatigue (most of the rest), it is hard to find a player on the team who did not personally underachieve.

It isn't unreasonable to think that with a (long) summer to consider how this year ended and to rest up mentally and physically, that a Laker team can't win a title next year with Bynum, Gasol, Artest, Bryant, and even Fisher, supported by Odom, Barnes, Blake, Ebanks (maybe), and a free agent or two to support the bench.

I'd love to see an upgrade at PG, but I can also understand the team not making any major moves this summer. There will be several appealing free agents a year from now (with clarity on the CBA, to boot), and if the team's "stand pat" approach does not work in what is likely to be a strike-shortened year, I would advocate (and expect) major changes a year from now. However, the reason we're all so irritated right now is that we all know that this Laker team should be playing in the Finals right now--a pretty good indication that they need a personality change more than a personnel change, and being humiliated in the playoffs and getting a fiery, defensive-minded coach may be exactly what they need for that personality change....

Dude...there will NOT be any trading happen in Lakerville, I don't understand you're suppose to be smart fans...right? You understand the CAP, right. You know the good doctor is cash strapped, right. Than why in the Hell do you play gm all day knowing the Lakers are not trading any of their core players? WHY...WHY? Getting a second level PG will be the BEST they can do, and adding some different bench SCUBS.

Heat in 6

@ :-( - Kobe’s resume speaks for itself (just like Magic’s). He doesn’t have anything to prove. FYI after 3 straight trips to the finals the 90 Lakers lost to Phoenix 4-1 in the 2nd round.

Posted by: LRob2 | June 03, 2011 at 09:45 AM

Keyword there is "lost," not "quit." Kobe's team quit and he couldn't do anything about it. I don't ever remember Magic's team quitting, but they LOST their fair share of games against SUPERIOR teams, not the likes of Cleveland, MINN, GS, etc., etc and when they lost to Jordan, it was due to injuries during the playoffs, not because of emotional and mental defeat. Magic's Lakers never approached a season as if they were entitled to be in the postseason; they played knowing they had to earn it no matter how favorable their odds were to be there. Yes, Kobe has a lot more to prove. Is he one of the elite? For sure but he can add some notches to his belt by winning with another coach and leading what will hopefully be a rejuvenated and revived team.

I just watched shaq's retirement and it was great. It was nostalgia for me having watched him when he got drafted. A man with unmatched strenght who could bring down the whole rim assembly. He has somthing that kobe doesn't and thats personality. Shaq will definitely have a career in television. Shaq problem was that he had such great natural ability that he felt that he didn't have to work as hard. If he had the work ethic of kobe man what a career he would have.

"If he had the work ethic of kobe man what a career he would have."

Posted by: Island Priest | June 03, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Exactly and there's a phrase for that: "Wasted Talent."

I'm not advocating this, but the thought occurred to me... suppose in a hypothetical world, we trade Pau for CP3 and Bynum for Howard straight up. Now you have CP & DH as your young core and Kobe as a vet leader.

Can that core win multiple titles?

I'm not sure.... DH didn't do squat with Jameer & CP3 didn't do squat with Chandler.

But when I think of acquiring CP3 I think "Holy ####, we just improved tremendously"... and most people would agree, trading DH for Bynum straight up would be a massive improvement also.


island priest: there's a corollary -- if Kobe had Magic's touch in dealing with his teammates, what a career *he* would have had.

Some of you really should listen to yourselves. Shaq restored the Lakers to the top of the NBA, and the upper echelon of pro sports as a whole. He won you 3 titles, and if Kobe hadn't shot LA out of the 2004 Finals, he might've won them another one. He spent 8 years taking a physical beating from opponents, night in and night out, to return LA to the promised land. And all some of you can talk about is what he *didn't* do.

What Could Have Been was not *just* a function of Shaq's work habits. Even so . . . folks, the man ended a 12-year drought for this franchise, and in spectacular fashion. That should be enough for you. Sure, titles were left on the table, but that's life. If Laker fans can overlook Kobe's faults, then we should be able to thank Shaq and let the past stay there.

But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. LA fans are far less forgiving of their big men than they are of others. Pau Gasol runs out of gas in the playoffs, Laker fans call for his head and forget that he's the guy that got LA over the top to win 2 more titles in the first place. Kareem says he wants a statue, an honor worthy of his status, Laker fans tell him to shut up. Now Shaq retires and all you want to talk about is what he didn't do for you. Collectively, they helped win LA 10 titles.

The summer of ingratitude rolls on in Laker Nation.



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