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Shaquille O'Neal questioned in beating, kidnapping of man by gang members

62402381--The Times' Victoria Kim and Andrew Blankstein report that former Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal and his business partner denied involvement in a 2008 attack on a man who said he had a sex tape of the former Laker. The story also mentions the victim told authorities that he believed O'Neal was behind the attack.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding lists 10 things Shannon Brown could have done to help the Lakers three-peat.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer expresses confusion over Ding's report that details Kobe Bryant's apparent zing toward LeBron James

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky analyzes how the Lakers should approach the NBA draft.

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix believes the Miami Heat have the best shot to win the NBA title next season, while the Lakers have the second-best chance. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin features Mitch Kupchak's comments on the NBA draft. McMenamin also reports that Derrick Caracter likely won't be a part of the Lakers next season.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details Mike Brown's three keys on offense.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano has strongly defended Derek Fisher's value to the team, but acknowledges his play is declining.

--Lakers Nation's Elizabeth Benson believes Matt Barnes will improve next season. 

--NBA Playbook's Sebastian Pruiti breaks down how San Antonio's offense looked when Mike Brown was a Spurs assistant coach from 2000 to 2003. 

Radio Interview

"Coach" John Kentera of 1700 ESPN (San Diego) and I talk about the Lakers' off-season, including the Brown hire, Derek Fisher's role on the team and how much change needs to be made to the roster. 

Tweet of the Day: "But will the magic take the call. RT @MagicJohnson: The @Lakers should think about calling the @Orlando_Magic..." -- BA_Turner (L.A. Times' Lakers beat reporter Broderick Turner)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I agree the Lakers lacked the depth of Dallas by getting rid of athletes and adding oldsters. Need to get younger defensively and offensively. The Bynum bashing is confusing. Some1 said he lacked offensive moves??? Coach tells him to play defense and Kobe sets his own pecking order so how does Bynum develop offensive game?" -- Bob Gonzalez

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal. Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

The comments to this entry are closed.

There's no sense in me commenting on Shaq.

And Dwyer seems like he's searching for controversy where there is none... probably just for ratings since the season is over, CBA is undecided, and there's basically nothing left to talk about except for hypothetical trade scenarios that can't even happen until CBA is resolved.

But I found this to be curious:
"the GM made a point to mention Caracter’s work ethic remains strong."

Cliffs is that Mitch said Caracter felt bad for what has happened this year... I guess he means either on the court, or off it, not sure... but that he's been working hard this last month. At the same time, saying it's not likely they use their option on him.

The only reasons I can think of NOT to extend the option on Caracter is:
1. You believe he assaulted the waitress and is unfit to wear P n G
2. You believe he's lacked effort and work ethic all year, so time to dump him
3. You expect a roster full of people with better skill and more potential to basically push him off the roster

We're hearing it's NOT #2. So which is it? Or is this going to be another stupid decision like picking up some worthless rookie with no potential (like when we swapped Coby Karl for Sun Yue) and dumping someone with at least some ability?

You're right MM - Kelly Dwyer is very confused.

LRob

>>>nothing left to talk about except for hypothetical trade scenarios that can't
>>>even happen until CBA is resolved.

Not true. It's perfectly legal to make trades under the rules of the old CBA from now until the CBA expires.

They can't include players who are now free agents, as they can't be signed until the new CBA comes into effect. But trading current players, draft picks, cash, and future draft picks right now is perfectly legal.

Sounds like Magic is on the Dwight Howard bandwagon.

Nobody’s talked about how the basketball world has reacted to the Miami Heat and how that may well change what future athletes decide to do. I think the last thing Dwight wants to do is find himself in a situation like LeBron and Miami have found themselves. That would wipe the grin off his face.

I don’t think we’re going to see a flood of teams trying to load up on superstars like Miami. I think teams are going to be careful not to do anything that could lead to them being compared to Miami. Most teams understand that no matter whom you add, the pieces have to fit, which Miami ignored in signing Wade and LeBron, who both essentially have the same games and need to have the ball.
…………………………………………
LAKER TOM

Posted by: Tom Wong | June 15, 2011 at 06:37 PM
-------------------------
LT,
Here’s a post I made the other day on that subject….

I must vent on one troubling aspect of the Mavs winning. I'm tired of hearing people (Carlisle, Dirk, reporters,etc) say Dallas winning was a victory for team basketball. I heard the same foolishness when the Pistons won in 2004. Newsflash people...you do not win an NBA championship without playing team ball. As if the Lakers last two championships or the Shaq era 3peat were not victories for team basketball.

Posted by: L Rob | June 14, 2011 at 07:25 PM
-------------------------
Most everyone predicted Miami couldn’t win it in the first year because they needed more time to acquire all the complimentary pieces. Thus, there losing won’t change anything. I believe nearly every team in the league would love to be in Miami’s position. Of course, the pieces have to fit. But if you can add Lebron and Wade you do it and figure it out later. Teams will ALWAYS want superstars.

LRob

>>>The Bynum bashing is confusing. Some1 said he lacked offensive moves???
>>>Coach tells him to play defense and Kobe sets his own pecking order so how
>>>does Bynum develop offensive game?

Bynum has decent offensive moves (wish he would have worked on the skyhook until he was blue in the face, but oh well). But Pau has better offensive moves. So usually, Pau is the preferred post up player.

When Pau's not on the floor, Bynum is the man in the post.

Bynum doesn't handle the double team as well as Pau or Kobe, he's not quite as good a passer, and he can only create his own shot if he receives the ball deep enough in the post and goes 1-on-1. Kobe and Pau are much more resourceful, and that is why they are options number 1 & 2.

If Bynum really wants to be option number 1, he should be begging for a trade to a team without a quality big post player. Or even Orlando. In Orlando, he'd feed first. And I'm sure he'd get 20 & 10 and be an All-Star in a situation like that.

Or he can wait it out until Pau and Kobe fade a bit (another 2 or 3 years), and as their skills wane and his improve, he'll become the defacto #1 on the team.

Kareem eventually handed over the reigns to Magic. Kobe would hand them over to Bynum.

>>>I think the last thing Dwight wants to do is find himself in a situation like
>>>LeBron and Miami have found themselves.

The problem with the LeBron thing wasn't about the 3 players going to Miami. It was the WAY they did it. A one hour special on ESPN... A Victory celebration before they'd won anything.

While all that was going on, Kevin Durant quietly signed an extension with his team. It barely made a blip in the news.

If you're going to brag about 8 rings and what have you, you better be able to back it up... that's what backfired (to some extent) on the Heat. Gathering the three stars in one place worked exceptionally well - they made it to the finals.

So players that want to get rings will undoubtedly be tempted to follow their pattern. But surely, they will be wise enough to not blow it out of proportion.

JAMF - It truly is good news and hopefully within a month, perhaps he's also in a position to say something. That's what irritated Phil, not only that it took so long for Tex to get inducted, but the fact that now that he is, he's not in the best of health. He certainly had plenty to say and it would've been nice if he was able to do that.

Okay, enough blathering about Dwight Howard. If the Lakers aren't willing to give up Bynum come hell or high water, then I don't think they'll be able to get him anyway.

Let's talk about Ray Felton. He played really well starting for New York last season, and he's definitely slated to be a bench player in Denver.

I doubt Blake and draft picks is going to convince Denver to let him go. They've got Gallinari at SF, so they probably don't want Artest. Thus, I think the minimum offer that would pry him loose would be Odom. Getting back only Felton for Odom is a sideways move, if not backward. But if the Lakers could get another piece in the trade, it might work out well.

So who would Denver be willing to give up? Here's how they're currently set up:

C: Nene, Birdman, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos
PF: K-Mart, Al Harrington, Melvyn Ely
SF: Gallinari, Wilson Chandler
SG: Afflalo, JR Smith, Gary Forbes
PG: Ty Lawson, Felton

Of those players, Chandler, Afflalo, and Forbes are restricted free agents, and Ely, Smith, and Martin are unrestricted free agents. Also, NENE has an ETO, so he could opt out and be a free agent as well.

In terms of money, if you just consider all the players under contract whose salaries are fixed, that's right about 30 million. If they waived their qualifying offers on Afflalo and Chandler and if Nene opted out, they'd have 20 to 25 million in cap space.

I doubt Nene would opt out unless he's pretty sure they'd pay him MORE than he's currently slated to make next season. So add in 11.6 million (might be more).

Now they're up to 41.6 million.

What's it going to take to re-sign Chandler and Afflalo? I'm pretty sure Denver wants to re-sign both, and the qualifying offers are both right about 3 million, but that's the MINIMUM they could pay them. I'm guessing they'll both get better offers than that. If 3 mil was all Denver was willing to spend, I'm sure the Lakers would offer more for either one of them.

Let's just throw in a hypothetical number of 5 million each. I think they'll both get deals that start somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 million.

So now they're up to 51.6 million, which is getting pretty close to the salary cap.

That leaves only a few million to spend on K-Mart, Forbes, Smith, Ely, increase in pay to Nene if he opts out, and any other free agents they may want to sign.

So basically, Denver doesn't have a lot of wiggle room. If they re-sign all of their own players, they have 0 to spend on other free agents. Or they could let their own players go and sign other teams' free agents.

Since Odom is better than K-Mart, Andersen, Ely, Mozgov, or Koufos, he'd be a way for them to upgrade the front court, and he's pretty cost effective as well.

They'd probably be willing to include one of those 5 bigs in the deal. Definitely Ely if the Lakers wanted him (they don't). Maybe Andersen or sign & trade K-Mart (if that's even possible with the new CBA).

But if the deal is to go down now, before the new CBA, it would have to be a currently signed player - thus either Andersen, Mosgov, or Koufos.

Felton and Andersen for Odom... (or Odom and Blake).

I'm just not sure. Andersen could fill Odom's minutes off the bench, and Felton would be an upgrade at PG, that's for sure. But do they bring enough to make up for the intangibles that Odom brings to the floor? And who provides scoring off the bench?

The Lakers might be better trying for an Odom + Blake for Felton + S&T JR Smith, and then try to pick up a PF in free agency. At least that deal would give the Lakers a scorer off the bench.

"Okay, enough blathering about Dwight Howard. If the Lakers aren't willing to give up Bynum come hell or high water, then I don't think they'll be able to get him anyway."

I would argue that if the above is true, then the Lakers as a franchise are history for the time being.

Not because they can't win with the current roster, but because their management is totally inept and eventually they will not be able to rebuild. It would therefore be a cold day in hell before the Lakers ascend once again...

Tim-4-Show,

I'm 50-50 on the subject.

If Bynum could stay healthy for a few seasons, with no injuries that take him out for more than a day or two, then he could legitimately be what Laker Tom and Jim Buss are wishing for. And in that scenario, the Kobe/Pau/Bynum combo is pretty potent. Not completely unbeatable, as Denver showed, but an excellent core to a team. It's easier to tweak the set of role players than the stars on a team.

On the other hand, if Bynum goes down to another season-ending injury next season, then he will lose most of the trade value he currently has. Right now his trade value is at a peak, as he ended the season healthy and playing pretty well in the playoffs. One more knee surgery, and teams will DEFINITELY view him as a high injury risk player.

If Buss insists on gambling on the first scenario, that's his choice. And bear in mind that as much as Plashchke and Magic and some bloggers are screaming for it, there's no guarantee that Orlando would accept an offer of Bynum and Odom for Howard, even if the Lakers offered that much.

In fact, I'd be willing to wager that Orlando will not trade him at all this summer. If they do trade him, it will be at the trade deadline because they're forced into a trade him or lose him scenario like Denver was in with Carmelo.

And if they are offering him at the trade deadline, the Lakers may not want to trade (if Bynum is playing like an All-Star) or may not have enough to offer (if Bynum is already out with an injury).

So at this point, I'd put the odds of the Lakers acquiring Dwight Howard at about .01%. If he makes a couple of disgruntled comments about his team between now and February, it goes up to 1%. If he makes noise that he'd like to be with the Lakers, maybe 5%. I just don't think it's very likely.

WOW this thread is HOT!!!!!!

hostile enviornment in this thread!

give it a rest guys, 888 is out and no longer here so stop escelating any un wanted drama...

cant we all just get along?
or cant we all agree to disagree on a subject!?

jeeez

What is it with this blog? It's a cycle. Every two to three weeks, something blows up. We get peace for a stretch and then someone mouths off in a way someone else doesn't like. And lately, it's about childish $#!t, not even basketball. If it was about basketball, I wouldn't even (actually don't) mind because folks are passionate and vocal (and a little bit crazy) when it comes to their favorite teams. Even when the trolls come out. Just words and an opinion to me. We should be fairly lucky that we love the Lakers and not say, the Timberwolves or Cleveland. See, since the Lakers are winners, the trolls shut up when they're winning (or in the case of the Cheat fans, the trolls shut up when their Lord of No Rings chokes and loses it for her team). And even when the Lakers are down (which the trolls come out in full force), it's never down and out for long.

My point? Let's all act like adults and leave words as exactly that--words. Harmless.

>>>The Bynum bashing is confusing. Some1 said he lacked offensive moves???
>>>Coach tells him to play defense and Kobe sets his own pecking order so how
>>>does Bynum develop offensive game?

Bynum has decent offensive moves (wish he would have worked on the skyhook until he was blue in the face, but oh well). But Pau has better offensive moves. So usually, Pau is the preferred post up player.

When Pau's not on the floor, Bynum is the man in the post.

Bynum doesn't handle the double team as well as Pau or Kobe, he's not quite as good a passer, and he can only create his own shot if he receives the ball deep enough in the post and goes 1-on-1. Kobe and Pau are much more resourceful, and that is why they are options number 1 & 2.

If Bynum really wants to be option number 1, he should be begging for a trade to a team without a quality big post player. Or even Orlando. In Orlando, he'd feed first. And I'm sure he'd get 20 & 10 and be an All-Star in a situation like that.

Or he can wait it out until Pau and Kobe fade a bit (another 2 or 3 years), and as their skills wane and his improve, he'll become the defacto #1 on the team.

Kareem eventually handed over the reigns to Magic. Kobe would hand them over to Bynum.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | June 16, 2011 at 09:13 AM

=====
LTLF

AB never had a chance to develop as he was told to ignore offense and play D. Yes he never mastered the sky hook (unfortunately) but he has post moves. Yes Pau is a finese player thus is more agile. Pau does not create shots as all centers are dependant positions and rely on getting the ball fed to them. That is why both Pau and AB complained about touches. I also do not buy into option 1,2 or 3 etc... option 1 is the player who has the highest percentage shot no matter who he is. Nice input from you though.

I'm deleting the negative comments between PSP, JAMF and Troll Man. This is ridiculous

Yahoo Sports Contributor Gil Alcaraz touts Cleveland St. point guard Norris Cole as a possible fit for LAL http://yhoo.it/mgL0cq

NBADraftnet profile: http://bit.ly/jewhhB
ESPN stats: http://es.pn/jvNvI5
YouTube: http://bit.ly/lPubBt (#30)

First take: Haven't seen him play (live full game); clips suggest good forward-lateral quickness, average overall athleticism, solid not superior handle; could struggle against superior athletes at next level; accuracy should be much better (43%/FG% 34%/3PT%) at CSU level of competition; not necessarily a pass-first point guard at CSU; OTOH, showed steady across-the-board improvement each season as 4-yr senior; college nos. similar to Jose Juan Barrera; studied DRose & Deron Williams according to interviews.


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