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Lakers Chat: Lakers, Heat and the 2010-2011 season

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--Mark Medina

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Photo: Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, left, Derek Fisher, center, and Kobe Bryant look on during the second half of their 93-81 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series, May 4, 2011, in L.A. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

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Excuse the Length - I rarely do this:

I know everyone is stepping on LeBron today -- and I never like getting too high or too low about this stuff, or anything in life for that matter, because people who continuously overreact one way or another are really nothing more than puppets -- politics is a great example of this.

Having said that - I think I'm talking objectively and with perspective when I say I don't think I've ever seen what I saw last night. And I'm only in part talking about the game, because many, many players check out. Kobe was accused of it against Sacramento and against Phoenix. But that LeBron news conference was astounding.

Of course there was the part where he implied that our life sucks compared to his - and it probably does - but the strangest thing is his comment that he does not listen critics about his game. Many players have said something similar in the past - usually when they have finally won and usually it's in the context of "I never let the critics get me down or take my eye off the prize" - but this was different, I truly believed LeBron when he said that he didn't listen to critics! My immediate reaction is: how are you suppose to get better?

I'm not going to compare LeBron to Kobe and MJ on the floor - My comparison is more academic. The two things that stick out most to me about Kobe is, strangely, a regular season game against the Warriors - wasn't even a championship season - I don't believe. Lakers were fighting for Playoff seeding - it was a tough back and forth game - finally Lakers took control and Kobe went to the line to ice it. No one - I mean no one- form the warriors was looking or talking to Kobe -- Kobe just kept saying "game over - game over" Not one warrior talked back to Kobe. The second one is where Kobe was being buried by Barkley in 2010 and Kobe just went off - After the Lakers eliminated Utah - Deron Williams was asked why Utah lost the series - All Deron said was "Chuck woke up Kobe."

MJ was very similar - At MJ's hall of fame speech (5 years after retirement) he was still spewing venom at his critics. You can appreciate how much it got to him and how much he was motivated by them.

But LeBron does not care what his critics say?? There are a few different ways people handle criticism (1) internalize it and get better, (2) dismiss it as BS because you already understand where the criticism is coming from, which requires introspection, or (3) Deflect it like a mirror. LeBron is deflecting criticism - and not getting any better in the process. That is the epitome of not being coachable or teachable -- Of course Kobe is accused of this by people who don't understand this either. Criticism is beneficial, provided you have to have the psychology to use it. LeBron would rather shield it away. MJ and Kobe used criticism as fuel - not only as isolated motivation - but to get better. DeShawn Stevenson destroyed LeBron verbally throughout the series – even posting on facebook that LeBron was over rated – LeBron didn’t respond – he didn’t respond where it matters most – on the floor.

LeBron needs a mid range game - most critics have said that now - although a few were saying that even as long ago as 2007. But I'm interested in testing my theory next year. If LeBron still has no mid-range game after 8 years in the league - there is no other conclusion to draw but he truly is uncoachable!

"Of course there was the part where he implied that our life sucks compared to his - and it probably does" -

He's right; we don't have his money or lifestyle. But when I woke up this morning I was completely comfortable in my own skin and mind. Between me and him on a personal level if his comment was directed at me personally; I would just laugh in his face, shake my head, and say to him that he just doesn’t get it and he probably never will. That alone, knowing he is just a mindless puppet with many personal psychological problems is enough for me to “hold my head high” vs “not hanging my head low”. He is truly a joke on so many levels and I’m not talking about his game. I pity Lebronz.


H good points about LBJ. The main problem is his high school friends that he keeps around him. They are constantly telling him how great he is because they getting some crumbs off the king's table. LBJ is a nice person by all accounts and never got into any legal problems in spite of his upbringing. I rooted for him to win because of the universal venom he received this season. I felt that it strenghtened his resolve. But i was wrong. his comments about the working poor was terrible.

MM brought up an interesting question in the chat...

What if Derek Fisher would have signed with the Heat last summer?

As for the Lakers, if they couldn't bring Fisher back, and they had limited money to spend on free agents, I suggested that they might have re-signed Farmar. I know he chafed with PJ a bit, and the triangle cramped his style, but if it's Farmar or whatever guy you can get for a million bucks (think Anthony Carter), then Farmar doesn't look so bad.

Farmar would have been willing, as he'd basically be handed the starting role.

And Farmar's speed difference vs Fisher might have meant a few less points scored by Dallas each game. I'll cite Farmar's game against Houston (and Aaron Brooks) when Fisher got suspended as evidence that he's better than Fisher at defending speedy guards.

Considering Fisher shot 31% in the Dallas series, Farmar couldn't have shot much worse.

And considering how close 3 of the four games were, it's plausible that the Lakers could have beat the Mavs and moved on to the finals themselves with Farmar instead of Fisher.

And in the finals, Fisher would have played basically the same role as Mike Bibby... too old and slow to defend the opposing PG, and getting replaced by Chalmers mid-series.

There are those who say that Farmar had attitude problems, or whatever. But I'd rather win a title with attitude problems than get swept in the second round with a team of all model citizens.

But then, hindsight is 20-20. I'd NEVER have predicted JJ Barea as a starter and a major force in the championship team.

From hoopshype:

>>>On Monday, the Mavericks flew home to Dallas, where Stevenson was
>>>spotted wearing a Mavericks blue and white t-shirt with lettering that read:
>>>"Hey LeBron! How's my Dirk taste?"

The first Dallas player jumps on the classless bandwagon.

Lakers should trade up in the second round and draft Nikola Vucevic, then re-sign Sasha Vujacic.

just to mess with announcers.

@ LTLF: lol. The verbal gymnastics the announcer would have to go through to call the game when they're both on the court would be legendary.

Lebron, for his own good, needs to wake up and realize he's being Hammerized. MC Hammer went through the same crap he's going thru, 'cept Lebron is in basketball, not music. Lebron has a bunch of people who are his yes men/hanger-ons who are just leeching off of him. If he's not careful, he's going to end up like Hammer, broke from trying to take care of too many people who really didn't care about him at all and alone when the well dries up.

As far as his disappearance in the 4th quarter, he should take a note from Sam Perkins and apply something to cool his nerves. ;)


re: Kobe vs. Gs. I think you've got Kobe's words slight wrong.

As I remember the game [ apply multiple qualifiers. :) ] When Kobe got
fouled at the end of the game, I believe his words were: "And that's game!

re: D-Will, Barkley & Kobe. Yep! I laughed about that.

Here's the thing I *LOVED* about these finals. All of the people who kept on
with the Kobe's a ballhog, LBJ & D-Wade are better, TEAM basketball, just
got served. Straight Served!

LBJ & D-Wade are *NOT* in Kobe's class. It's not that their not good. It's
not that their not great. It's that he's of a different order. He's just wired
differently. Glad Kobe is on our side.

Now about making a trade ..... [GRIN]

Um ... didn't the team ... that played the best team basketball ... during the playoffs ... just win ... the trophy?

The Lakers will be back in the finals next year, but they need to make at least one big move.

Did anyone happen to see the funny story about the Laker's pick up game???

>>>>Did anyone happen to see the funny story about the Laker's pick up game???

Yes. we have. 100 times. Have you seen the dancing baby? ascii pictures of cows? Badger-Badger? Charlie the Unicorn?



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