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Kobe Bryant in research stages in helping to reduce homelessness

Opening the door to an upstairs room, Kobe Bryant's sudden emergence let out a collective gasp.

The reactions seemed equally surprised. It included the 26-year-old Jermell Foster who widely admired Bryant's determination: "He’s my idol so I was like, 'Woah." It included the 23-year-old Jabaree Lyons who's always wanted to meet a famous athlete: "I wasn’t expecting him to come through, but it was great." And it included the 21-year-old who goes by Hector that simply appreciated Los Angeles' most recognizable celebrity stopping by to visit: "It was great. I didn't know he was interested in helping people."

This was no ordinary meet and greet where a Laker chitchats, signs a few autograph items, shakes hands and then goes their separate ways. Bryant remained in an upstairs room on Tuesday at My Friend's Place, a nonprofit resource center on Hollywood Blvd. that offers free emergency services to homeless youth, for about 20 minutes tackling that very subject. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, just started the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation aimed to reduce the number of homeless in Los Angeles. So with figures that the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center says goes as high as 254,000 people, Bryant opened the conversation by asking the dozen or so kids how they respond in moments where they feel their "life is kind of stalled out." 

"What I do in the game of basketball is easy compared to what they have to go through," said Bryant, whose continuous fights through injury pales to being homeless. "What they have to go through, that’s real determination to be able to have that fight to say, 'I'm still going to make it.'"

Bryant's opening question to the children appeared to serve two purposes. One, it shed light on Bryant's equally determined attitude in his foundation proving instrumental in solving the problem. "You know how when I go after it, I go after it," Bryant said with his signature tight-lipped and serious looking smile. Two, it reflected Bryant's acknowledgment that he still has plenty to learn before giving an adequate benchmark he wants to reach: "We’re still educating ourselves to the issue because we’re kind of brand new to it. But we sunk our teeth into it man and we’re going to go after it."

Should Bryant follow through with the same energy he displayed during his press conference, the impact could be enormous. 

"By Kobe and Vanessa coming in through their family foundation and saying this is an issue we want to address, it mobilizes and raises awareness among so many people who felt on the fringe who wanted to do something but didn't know how," said Tod Lipka, the chief executive office of Step On Second,a mental health organization that provides permanent supportive housing for homeless. "For us, raising awareness will be a siginficiant accomplishment. They have the ability to bring the awareness of this issue foreward in a way few other people can. "

The origin of Bryant standing before an assembled press corps eager to hear his public comments on Mike Brown's hiring and disappointed for not receiving an answer goes back nearly a month ago. Global Philanthropy Group's Trevor Neilson, who's represented celebrity philanthropic efforts including Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Ben Stiller, recalled that Bryant's high school teammate and foundation spokesman Doug Young met with Bryant and asked him a series of questions about issues that strike him.

Though Bryant lives in Orange County where the homelessness issue proves less severe, the lasting image of seeing homeless people wander outside Staples Center following Laker games struck a nerve. It directly contradicted his childhood growing up in Italy where he instantly felt destined to play basketball.

"You have these dreams that you want to achieve and you feel like if you follow steps, A,B,C, you'll get there," Bryant said. "For some of these youths, they don't have that. Life is going in zig zags. For some of them, it's a one way street."

There's a few short-term ways to helps stop that from happening.

Michael Kass, director of development at My Friend's Place, conceded the shelter cut back resources two years ago because of the economic cloud hovering the city. On a $1 million operating budget, My Friend's Place fields 80-120 youth between the ages of 12-25, but remains open only on weekdays from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Should the organization increase its funds to $3 million like Kass believes will be possible with Bryant's backing, the site can open up on the weekends, too. Nielson argued it would be necessary to soon install a kitchen into the facility, considering the center only serves food using two microwaves and paper silverware. And plenty of the kids directly lamented to Bryant that the center's scaled back hours makes it unsafe for them to roam the streets at night. 

Meanwhile, Lipchak says Step on Second currently is producing 66 units of supportive housing with a $11 million operating budget. The organization is supposed to receive a $7 million grant by September, Lipchak says, but with the hope that they can expand to 200 total units, the organization is relying on a mix of public and private funds that he says will total $30 million. Should Bryant help in that cause, it would be easier for Step on Second to be less selective on determining which homeless people can stay. Normally, the organization weigh various variables such as age, severity of drug and alcohol addiction and how long the person's been homeless to determine the ones most vulnerable. Then, they find property, such as former motel lots, where it's easy to construct apartment units. 

But for now, the "big step" Bryant made entailed opening that door and gaining a peak into the homeless' world.

"He's got the keys," Foster said of Bryant. "Just by him acknowledging it and bringing his presence is enough to attack. We all know how he can attack."

Did he ever.

Bryant described the homelessness epidemic affecting children's dreams the same way he might trash talk an opponent: "It's weak."

He convinced them to pour out their stories and emotions as if they were trusting teammate: "heartwrenching stuff."

And he sparked a rallying cry as if he was leading a team to a late-game victory: "Basically I want to help them kick butt."

Except this didn't take place on a basketball court. By opening the door to the upstairs room, these teammates showed they're ready to follow. Now Bryant's trying to show he's ready to finish. 

"It’s something we can solve," Bryant said, "so let’s do it." 

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
Comments () | Archives (34)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I'm more than moderately concerned that Kobe doesn't answer how he feels about the Lakers hiring Mike Brown. I just hope this doesn't start spiraling out of control.

- - -

Buckustoothnail: At least your consistent with your hateful diatribes, buckus. I called you out as a phony from your very start on Bleacher Report. Thanks for not proving me wrong.

I see your diversifying your trolling. Maybe you should let people know this is but a little taster, little sampling of your works. Heck, for those interested in your brilliance, why not check out some more of your excellent work and comments at Bleacher Report. A couple of your most recent 'articles' include calling the Lakers the most classless team ever and stating that Kobe Bryant was the most overrated player ever.

Glancing at just one of your latest 'articles' you can find such written nuggets as: "A team that will never understand how pathetic they have become because of the continued excuses of these front-running, bloodsucking bandwagon "Fakers" fans."

and

"that is a fitting way for this Lakers team to leave their mark in history, as a team that ultimately were pretenders to the pantheon of all-time great squads, a team that will forever have question marks and asterisks attached to their titles, a team that went out as chumps instead of champs, and a team that will forever be recalled by true Lakers fans with shame, embarrassment, horror and humiliation."

You wouldn't know what a 'true' Laker fan would be since you're definitely not one, just a poor, miserable troll that has adopted a phony persona in order to slander the team you are obsessed in trying to soil the reputation of, the finest franchise in all of sports, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shoo, troll. Go on and write your bogus articles on Bleacher Report, go spread your bitter hate rants. Laker fans here, tried-and-true Laker fans are sophisticated enough to see through you like a pane of glass.

Much like you say the Lakers titles should have asterisks assigned to them, so should your name. Buckustoothnail*, a 'true' Laker fan... *wink*


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

Great coverage by MM.

Great start for KVBFF.org, which you can follow on Twitter -> https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=KVBFF


@CCX … I have to say I’m starting to wonder about Kobe’s refusal to comment. All he had to do was say I’m fine with coach but let’s talk about that some other time because we’re here today for another reason. End of discussion. I sure hope that this is much ado about nothing. I also am now wondering what was with the “confused” story that come out when the Lakers announced Brown’s hiring. Was Kobe confused because he thought it was obvious that Shaw would get the job because he was Kobe’s choice? Or was he confused as to why the Lakers didn’t discuss or at least tell him about the hire in advance. Remember all Jim Buss said was that they should have told Kobe about it in advance. He never said they should have consulted with Kobe. Maybe Kobe feels like he is no longer the main focus of the team. Maybe that’s why Mike Brown was so quick to assure him.

Here’s another oddity to me that makes me wonder if Drew’s “trust” comments were also about Kobe not passing him the ball as well as Pau not rotating to cover his man. I noticed that Phil was quick to blame the trust issue on Pau just as Kobe was quick to assume the comment was about defensive lapses. Anyway, I thought it odd that when Kobe made the pecking order comments, he listed Pau as #2 even though the guy choked so badly in the playoffs that Kobe ended up ignoring him. I thought at first that maybe Kobe was just trying to boost Pau’s spirits by telling him he was still his #2. But I suppose I could also assume that the comment was meant to put Drew in his place. I hope not. The last thing this team needs is to have another Kobe/Shaq conflict. I trust Kobe so much that I even hate to write these words and hope I am way off base but when you start to add up the pieces, it’s obvious that something is going on right now and it probably is somehow related to what happened to the team in the playoffs. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation. I went through my two favorite players splitting the team with Kobe and Shaq. Guys, please tell me I’m crazy and nothings wrong.
…………………………………………
TOM


Poor Dirk CANNOT get a call from the refs. I mean Haslem was just grabbing and hacking him but did not get the call. Fortunately Dirk is that good and made the shot.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Is it just me or is Lebron reduced to 3rd option in Heats system? He has completely shied away from the ball these last minutes of the game.

I wonder how Pippen feels right now after that greater than MJ comment.

LakerTom: Yeah, you're not going crazy because Kobe is too shrewd and too media savvy to continue having 'no-comment' about the Mike Brown hiring. He knows he is sending a signal.

But to whom? My guess is this is his response more towards Lakers management not consulting him than it's an indictment against Brown. This is Kobe's way of conveying 'you didn't ask me then, I'm not going to say anything now.'

I think there's also a hint of power play in his lack of comments, he's the established veteran and Brown will need to win him over by what he does. Kobe isn't simply going to trust him to take over the helm, he's going to have to prove himself to Kobe.

About Drew's comments, personally I have no doubt that Drew made them out of frustration, especially due to his lack of touches. I'm sure he directed at least some of it towards Kobe, some towards Phil, some towards the offensive system.

Oh man, I don't even want to think about the Shaq/Kobe feuds starting up all over again, hopefully that isn't happening. Drew, is stubborn and headstrong, but he's also young and fiery. I think his comments were more frustration at everyone/everything than focused on Kobe. We've gone around and around on this blog debating the issue, but I'm firmly of the belief that Drew wasn't getting quality touches. Less so for Pau, he was not working nearly as hard as Drew in establishing deep-post position. But Drew was working hard and not being rewarded.

That's why I think Drew was venting at everyone rather than singling out Kobe (at least I hope so!) Plus, I don't think Drew has the ginormous ego Shaq had.

I'm guessing that barring some type of unforseen trade, they will be together for the next 3-5 years, hopefully there isn't tension there.

- - -

LTLF: I'm with you on adding Beasley would be a plus, he's a young scorer and one of those tweeners that could work at either forward position. Johnny Flynn would have a great tutor in Fish. Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight - either one would be the keys to the deal.

If they want Pau, then accepting back Darko would allow us to address our lack of a proper backup center. He's better than Kwame (LOL I guess that's not saying much...)

The only thing is, I believe the reason they would get rid of Beasley is if they drafted Derrick Williams. So, I don't think they would trade the 2-pick and keep Beasley, one or the other but not both. I have read that they are looking to move the pick, so maybe something could be worked out that would allow the Lakers to complete the trade.

Only thing is, do we want a young point guard at this point in time? We have to assume the core has another season -maybe- two, is a young point guard the right type of player to target, or is a veteran presence better? Probably the veteran over the rookie I guess...


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

the LEBRON 4th WATCH continues (more LECHOKER 4th qtr stats in NBA FINALS from yellofever)

GAME 4
0 FG 0 PTS 2 TO... you are reading correctly 0 shot attempts in another tight seesaw pressure packed 4th qtr.... other than that nonexistent in crunch time again with 2 i cant handle pressure turnovers (travelling, double dribble)

GAME 3
1-1 FG on dunk on first possession of qtr.. than 2 TO and was never heard from again... have you ever seen a superstar of this caliber play hot potato with the ball??? and probably would have much higher TO count if he ever tried to attempt a freakin shot.

GAME 2
0 FG 2-2 FT 1 TO... those freethrows were cheapies but more importantly NO SHOT ATTEMPTS THE ENTIRE 4QTR AGAIN IN ANOTHER TIGHT 4TH QTR PEOPLE!

GAME 1
2-3 FG 1-1 FT... pls keep in mind both his FG came after heat were up by 10 with about 2:40 left in qtr on 2 easy dunks... prior to that with game still on the line only had ONE FG brick the first 9 minutes of entire quarter

anyone wondering now or care to defend why Lebronze took his talents behind dwades coattails in south beach??!! pls feel free to jump in people and defend or attack or take cheap shots at this big CHOKER who calls himself the KING???

Thinking about it, I don't know if Kupchak would target a high draft pick (to use on a point guard). Just judging by Mitch and his way of doing things, I think this particular team has championship aspirations and that getting a high-draft pick point guard that would be pressed into being a starter is something he's not apt to do.

I could see him targeting a D-Will or CP3, who would be excellent, Russell Westbrook too. Tony Parker, Raymond Felton.

Personally, I would LOVE to have a Kemba Walker-type point guard waiting in the wings. If I were GM I might go that route, I'm sure it would be an upgrade from what we have now. Even if he was thrown right in as a starter. I just can't see Kupchak being that much of a risk-taker with this squad.

Hopefully he does take a risk - especially if it comes down to picking up a 2nd-tier type point guard using MLE or making a lesser trade or the rumored amnesty provision. I'd love to have a great, young point guard who we could build around alongside Drew.

Anyways, when you have probably the least talent in the league at the position (no offense to Fish or Blake), whatever they do will be an improvement...


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

@PSP.. just catchin up on some blog reading... me as pallbearer at 888's funeral!! LOLOL.. let me know if you need help paying for the ceremony.. i'll gladly fund the casket!

Yellowfever: Right on. I'm totally with you.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about when I say that LeBron 'hides' on offense in tight, close games? He stands in a corner, he doesn't look for the ball, he doesn't crash the boards or hits the lane. He literally hides.

LeBron had some clutch shots, such as the one two years back where he hit a 3-pt shot vs the Magic on an inbounds pass with time running out - but even that shot was a 'no-pressure' one in which he simply had to catch and release. His 4th quarter vs the Pistons was great.

But all too often does he do just as he did tonight.

Great player? Sure. All-time? Not on the same par as Kobe, never has been and probably never will be. Not. Even. Close.

That is why I've called him this generations version of Dominique Wilkins, and I'll stick to it until he repeatedly shows otherwise.

Wade is the best player on the team, and it isn't even close. That is why LeBron took his talents to South Beach, he knew that he understood he was more Pippen than Jordan. That's also why he had no problem deferring to Wade. He wants to avoid those pressure situations, always has.

Maybe that is what Scottie likes about LeBron? He has a wide array of skills and puts up big numbers but doesn't have the clutch gene - a lot like himself.


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

I wasn't saying right on to Yellowfevers comment about 888, which is about as tasteless a comment I've read on this blog.

Good lord, you guys still bring up 888 daily, he really made an impact on you all...


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

CyberCosmix,

you wrote: I wasn't saying right on to Yellowfevers comment about 888, which is about as tasteless a comment I've read on this blog.

Good lord, you guys still bring up 888 daily, he really made an impact on you all...

my response: Um ... Yes. He did make an impact. It was unpleasant.

Cyber

No need to mention.. we all know u weren't talkin bout 888.. But lighten up just havin a lil fun under the sun with 888.. I think we're all entitled considering he unexpectedly bailed on all of us with no good byes.. Besides we all know he's still alive and kickin over at some other bspn blog

But at least we agree on bron bron... Good point about his only buzzer beating shot of his entire career so far coming on a complete PRAYER. It was a hurried off balance 3 PTR and I'm pretty sure he didn't call bank!

And there is PLAYOFF pressure then there is NBA FINALS pressure! Its obvious closer he gets to that ring the more and more he's disappearing. At least he's devoting his energy on the defensive end and why I call him PIPPEN 2.0 or SCOTTIE LITE!

hobbit: "Um ... Yes. He did make an impact. It was unpleasant."
-
LOL

- - -

Yellowfever: I don't understand why the media fawns all over LeBron. When he's tentative they say he's unselfish. When he stands around they say he's 'letting others get involved.' When Wade chews him out on the court, the media says 'oh, look how LeBron lets Wade pump him up' - such nonsense!

Wade is clearly the better player of the two, the only one with the clutch gene, the goto guy and the clear leader of the two. The pregame 'speeches' that LBJ makes are almost laughable. "I think we oughta try like our backs are against the wall. We can't stop trying to win" blahblahblah.... Wade lets LeBron conduct the huddle before they step out on the court - but Wade is the one who brings them together before the start of the game.

The whole ridiculous charade is a farce. No matter how Wade tries to portray the two of them together, doing press conference interviews (they lost their third wheel a long time ago!), sharing in the blame, sharing in the victories, sharing in whatever goes right or wrong - the fact is LeBron is Pippen and Wade is MJ. We see that whenever the game is on the line.

I am 100% convinced LeBron is scared of those shots. He wants Chalmers or Miller or Wade or Bosh to take them. Just look at what happened last game, after Dirk hit his shot, LeBron didn't try to get into the open and take the last second shot, he pulled up and passed to Wade. Repeatedly, again and again and again the same thing happens with LeBron - and all the apologists always come out to point out how LeBron really, truly, really, truly is clutch.

Man, I feel like editing together all these fourth quarter performances and putting a spotlight on LeBron, so people could actually see for themselves what we see - LeBron doesn't want to take pressure shots, period. He also shrinks when the pressure is on, save for a couple of times during his career.


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

CyberCosmiX: Man, you're so on point in your posts and---wait, what the heck?

http://www.digtriad.com/news/watercooler/article/178031/176/Florida-Homeowner-Forecloses-On-Bank-Of-America

Hobbitmage, that's awesome! Score one and a half for the little guy. BofA has deserved that and worst over the years for their shady business practices. Nice to know they couldn't duck their screw up and was actually held accountable for once.

Okay, just had to comment on that...back to basketball.

But yeah, CyberCosmiX, Wade has always been my pick over LBJ. Wade laces em up and lets his actions do the talking while LBJ talks about what he wants to do. That really is the crux of it. Hard to believe this guy held the entire league ransom last summer and teams were killing themselves to get him. And the silly media (and esp. BSPN) has pumped the guy up so much that now they have to make excuses for him when he pulls a no-show so they don't look stupid for proclaiming him King. I honestly think tho' that he may have permanently damaged his confidence and won't ever fully get it back. The more he fails, the more it proves that all the bs that's written about him is exactly that: bs. And the harder he tries to prove otherwise, the more the dagger gets pushed in.

As far as the video, I'd love to see that. Put it on Youtube and enjoy the inane comments that undoubtedly will come ignoring the facts that Lebron is seriously choking and go in circles trying to prove he's not. Always a good laugh.

Wade really is LBJ's boy tho' I guess because he really could throw LeBrick under a bus right now if he wanted to. Shame too since I'm sure Wade thought he was getting the help he needed yet here he is again, dragging a ton of dead weight in the playoffs.

No matter how Wade tries to portray the two of them together, doing press conference interviews (they lost their third wheel a long time ago!), sharing in the blame, sharing in the victories, sharing in whatever goes right or wrong...

Posted by: CyberCosmiX
=======

Cyber,

This statement is a little confusing on what you mean. It seems to me this is what a leader should do.

LeBron may not be as "clutch" as Wade however the 'big 3' have done a very good job this year sharing and playing together as a team.
There were times Wade was hot and took the most shots, times where LeBron was hot and took the most shots, times when it was Bosh and times where they all took about the same.

They sacrificed salary and came together and don't throw each other 'under the bus'. They win together or lose together, share the credit and the blame.

I wish I could say the same about the Lakers.

LaBron has had his moments this year and they wouldn't be where they are without him. If the Lakers had LeBron they might still be playing.

I am not a LeBron fan or Heat fan but they have really done it right this year and deserve more credit than criticism.

Guys, please tell me I’m crazy and nothings wrong.
…………………………………………
TOM
Posted by: LakerTom
=======

LT,

You're crazy and nothings wrong.

Actually, I'm probably only half right about that, there does appear to be something wrong.

Island Priestess & G. Money,

http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/06/08/11/LeBrons-disappearing-act-happens-too-oft/landing_nbafinals2011.html?blockID=531285feedID=4519

It's the fact LeBron James can disappear from the biggest moments of his career because he often cannot handle them -- which, make no mistake about it, is why the Heat lost Tuesday night.

snippet:
Eight points: That was his total for the night.

Zero points: That was his total for the fourth quarter.

One field-goal attempt: That's how many shots LeBron dared to take in the fourth quarter, a dizzying 12 minutes in which the Heat mustered only 14 points -- including just five points in the final 7:06 -- and squandered a nine-point lead with 10 minutes left.

snippet:
You have scored two combined points and taken four combined shots in the fourth quarters of Games 3 and 4. You have scored nine total points in the four fourth quarters of this series. Dirk Nowitzki, with his sinus infection and 101-degree temperature, scored more than that in the fourth quarter of Game 4 alone.

hobbit says: And *THAT* is why ballhogs have more championship rings
than non-ball hogs. [ Except for Bill Russell. Arguably the best defender
to ever play the game. ]

ps. I'm betting that Daniel "Boobie" Gibson is chuckling right now re: "Dying in
the moment".

If LBJ were playing with the Lakers, this blog would now be filled with demands for "LeBron has no heart, let's trade him for a young, quick point guard!"

>>>The only thing is, I believe the reason they would get rid of Beasley is if they
>>>drafted Derrick Williams. So, I don't think they would trade the 2-pick and
>>>keep Beasley, one or the other but not both.

You may be right.

But bear in mind that Beasley is nowhere near All-Star level. Nor is Flynn or Darko or anyone else on their team except Love. And also bear in mind that a #2 pick isn't a lock of being a good player. I'll remind you that Darko was a #2 pick.

Some teams are willing to give up a bunch of decent-to-good players to get an All-Star and a legit top 10 in the league player. Others are not. And the teams that win championships are the ones that are willing to make those kind of deals.

Remember - Miami gave Beasley to Minnesota for nothing just to make cap space so they could sign all 3 of the big 3. Look how that's worked out for them.

Which one is Minnesota? Don't know for sure.

>>>If LBJ were playing with the Lakers, this blog would now be filled with
>>>demands for "LeBron has no heart, let's trade him for a young, quick point
>>>guard!"

If LeBron was shooting 3-for-11 and the Lakers were getting swept in the second round?

Hell yes.

I'd say trade him to Golden State for Stephen Curry, Dorell Wright, and David Lee. Or New Jersey for Deron Williams and stuff. Or New Orleans for Chris Paul and parts.

Basically, he's the one guy in the league who could get you a young top-level PG and other assets as well.

But if the Lakers had LeBron and he was 3-for 11 in game 4 and the series was tied 2-2, I'd be demanding that LeBron shoot more. His shooting average will average out over 50% in time and he could be leading the team to a title.

Note that nobody was yelling to ship Pau out when the Lakers made it to the finals 3 years in a row. They said "he needs to toughen up". It's the early exit that's made people reluctant to stand by Pau.

And as I've said several times - I'm doing all these PG trade scenarios as an exercise. I don't think the Lakers will trade either Pau or Bynum (or Lamar unless they get a super deal in return).

But people are clamoring for a PG, and I have to admit it's now become a dire need. So I'm reviewing every PG that I think would be an upgrade and considering the situation of each of their teams and what they might consider trading them for.

The funny thing is, the best two trades made by Mitch were unexpected. Who on blog could have predicted that the Lakers could get Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown and change? And while I might have predicted the Rad for Morrison and Brown trade (I didn't - I wasn't really exploring what they could get for Rad) - I would have thought that Morrison was the guy who would step up and perform for the Lakers, not Shannon Brown.

So bearing that in mind, if Mitch manages to trade Luke Walton, Steve Blake, Derrick Caracter, and a bag of chips for Chris Paul, then more power to him. But I'm exploring what would be more balanced kind of trades.

Oh, another thing. The new CBA could make things better or worse for the Lakers. If it's really bad, it could make some teams with high salaries want to dump off a good player or two. If there's an amnesty, then some teams may cut good players (fully paying them off).

So one of those cut players who's basically already fully paid for a year or two might be willing to sign with the Lakers for a minimum contract for a year or two to try and get rings.

For example, Gilbert Arenas isn't worth 20 million. But if he'd sign with the Lakers for 1 million per, he might be worth giving a shot. Or if Atlanta decided they could get by with Teague, they might cut loose Kirk Hinrich and the Lakers could scoop him up.

Way to go Dallas!! Pulled it out in the 4th - again!! Whew... My heart can't continue to take the stress LOL!! I know, I know...it's Dallas NOT the Lakers, but hey - the Heat MUST NOT WIN this thing. Nothing will ever make sense again if they do. And yup - princess choked - again!! Too delicious. No sane person can argue that this fool didn't take her talents to South Beach to ride Wade's coattails. It's so obvious. (Shout out to hobbit and yello for some great posts on that subject). If anyone is MJ on that team, it's Wade. WTH is Scotty smokin? yeesh

Cyber - how's that for positive LOL!! (Yup - feeling much, much better today - can you tell?!!)

According to Hoopshype, Golden State is shopping Monta Ellis around, so lets consider him next...

Golden State has another PG who they value more in Stephen Curry, so they're willing to let Ellis go.

Ellis is super quick, so he adds the speed we need. He's a decent defender as well, though he'll have problems with taller points. He's a so-so passer - getting over 5 assists per game the last couple of seasons. And he's a below average 3-point shooter, though he has worked on that and improved over the course of his career. Last season he hit 36% of his 3-pointers.

The new GM, Jerry West, and new coach, Mark Jackson, want to emphasize defense more for the team. According to the Chronicle, the Warriors are looking for a big guard, a swingman, and a post presence.

If defense is their primary criterion, then Ron Artest may appeal to them. For big guards, they could probably do better than Shannon Brown, but not without spending more money.

So maybe a package of Artest and Brown could get Ellis. I think Brown has to approve trades since he's on the last year of a player option, so it may not fly anyway.

I'm sure Golden State would love to have either of the Lakers' big 2 (Pau, Drew), but I'm not sure GS has enough assets to make it worth giving up either of those guys to get Ellis. They draft at #11, so there's no great PG prospect left down there. Maybe something like Bynum and Walton for Biedrins, Ellis, Wright, and their next 5 first round draft picks.

But like I said, I don't think the Lakers would give up Pau or Drew for Ellis, unless David Lee came along in the deal, and that's not going to happen.

So probably the only thing that would work is something like:

Ron Artest + Steve Blake + part of the Vujacic trade exception
for
Monta Ellis and Dorrell Wright.

Justanothermambafan,

When Dallas was down by 8 or 12 in the early fourth I started to wonder.

I enjoyed Dirk being aggressive when he had the flu. Nothing like MJ or
Kobe did, but he got it done.

so, now that LBJ's manhood is being challenged .... it'll be interesting to
see how the Heat respond and if the Mavs win.

According to Hoopshype, Golden State is shopping Monta Ellis around, so lets consider him next...

Golden State has another PG who they value more in Stephen Curry, so they're willing to let Ellis go.

Ellis is super quick, so he adds the speed we need. He's a decent defender as well, though he'll have problems with taller points. He's a so-so passer - getting over 5 assists per game the last couple of seasons. And he's a below average 3-point shooter, though he has worked on that and improved over the course of his career. Last season he hit 36% of his 3-pointers.

The new GM, Jerry West, and new coach, Mark Jackson, want to emphasize defense more for the team. According to the Chronicle, the Warriors are looking for a big guard, a swingman, and a post presence.

If defense is their primary criterion, then Ron Artest may appeal to them. For big guards, they could probably do better than Shannon Brown, but not without spending more money.

So maybe a package of Artest and Brown could get Ellis. I think Brown has to approve trades since he's on the last year of a player option, so it may not fly anyway.

I'm sure Golden State would love to have either of the Lakers' big 2 (Pau, Drew), but I'm not sure GS has enough assets to make it worth giving up either of those guys to get Ellis. They draft at #11, so there's no great PG prospect left down there. Maybe something like Bynum and Walton for Biedrins, Ellis, Wright, and their next 5 first round draft picks.

But like I said, I don't think the Lakers would give up Pau or Drew for Ellis, unless David Lee came along in the deal, and that's not going to happen.

So probably the only thing that would work is something like:

Ron Artest + Steve Blake + part of the Vujacic trade exception
for
Monta Ellis and Dorrell Wright.

>>>Poor Dirk CANNOT get a call from the refs. I mean Haslem was just
>>>grabbing and hacking him but did not get the call. Fortunately Dirk is that
>>>good and made the shot.

And did you see the flop by LeFlop at the end of the first quarter. Haywood is backpedaling, LeBron runs into him and then waves his arms violently like he got hit with a baseball bat. Ref calls the foul. Rick Carlisle complains and the ref hits him with a T. So the refs spot the Chiami Cheat 3 points for a flop and let Haslem ride Dirk like a pony.

>>>Thinking about it, I don't know if Kupchak would target a high draft pick (to
>>>use on a point guard). Just judging by Mitch and his way of doing things, I
>>>think this particular team has championship aspirations and that getting a
>>>high-draft pick point guard that would be pressed into being a starter is
>>>something he's not apt to do.

Yep. I agree. Rookies don't win championships. Veterans do. A pretty-good veteran is more likely to help you win a championship than a rookie who will eventually turn into an All-Star.

OTOH... Magic Johnson in 1980.

I'm just saying.

It's not completely out of the question that if the Lakers worked out Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker and thought they could have an impact in their rookie season, they might take a chance on them.

And the Lakers also dumped off their starting center (who later did make an All-Star team) to trade for a rookie more recently - Vlade for Kobe.

But Kobe is the example that reinforces your line of reasoning. Kobe as a rookie was not ready to help his team win a title. It took a few years of seasoning. And the Kobe/Pau/Drew/Lamar core doesn't have a few years... they need a PG who can play NOW.

The King is on strike and DWdae is to blame. Dwade should keep his big mouth closed talking about the heat is his team and he is the leader. The King was not amused. So the King showed the loud mouth wade that without him the heat are toast. I'm sure dwade is begging his madjesty forgiveness by now. Groveling in fact. I don't agree with Lebron's tactics but it is similar to the tantrums kobe has thrown in the past. Remember game 7 against the suns? I watched lbj get to the rim and turn while in mid air and threw it back to a teammate. I said wtf? But anyway hopefully dwade and riley will get through the king so he can crown the tall gangly german.

>>>hobbit says: And *THAT* is why ballhogs have more championship rings
>>>than non-ball hogs.

Yep.

Was it G. Money who was calling Kobe a ball-hog because he took a lot of shots, made less than 50% of them, and got only 3 assists.

Let's see:

Dirk Nowitzki: 6-19 shooting, 1 assist
Jason Terry: 6-15 shooting, 3 assists.

while on the other side of the ball,

LeBron: 3-11 shooting, but he did get 7 assists
Dwyane Wade: 13-20 shooting, with 2 assists

So if you're keeping score, by G. Money's standards, that's Dallas 2 ballhogs, Miami 2 generous giving players.

Yet Dallas won.

I'd rather be a ballhog with championship rings than a non-ballhog without one.

LBJ is not only the heat's best player but the nba's best. Dwade can score but lbj can score, pass, rebound and defend. Some of those assists he got was the best since magic. He was the team playoff leader in all statistical categories. But obviously he is upset with dwade the loudmouth. But the king cannot tarnish his legacy by throwing the series. He will not. Not when you have a basketball genius riley as president. Hunker down and expect fire and brimstone from the king on thursday night. There will be hell to pay for the knave dirk noWINski and the royal jester the jet. Like the ABC montage goes, "You lived your entire life for this one moment....". Go get em king.


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