Wednesday Morning Reading

 —  May 11, 2005

I’m finishing up the end of the season report on power forwards, but if you want Laker news let me point you to a couple of things.

Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld is on Phil Jackson watch but there is little new news to report. That said, it’s a good breakdown of where things stand.

For those of you looking for the new wave of NBA stats for the playoffs, Knickerblogger has set up an NBA playoff stat page that is worth checking out.

In case you missed it, T.J. Simers of the LA Times laid this season’s Laker problems at the feet of Shaq in his Sunday column. Simers is the biggest name in a growing mass media understanding of what really happened in LA at the end of the dynasty — that this was not just Kobe’s fault. Eric Neel mentioned it in a recent ESPN.com piece — comparing Shaq’s last two years in LA to what Vince Carter did in Toronto.

My belief has always been that Shaq and Kobe deserve equal parts of the blame for the fact they couldn’t get along, with Buss getting some blame for not finding a way to get them on the same page. I think that’s always come through in this blog — although it was best expressed in a piece I did for Knickerblogger.

That said, my goal with this blog has long been to stay out of the soap opera that surrounds this team and to focus on the future and on the court (which is a little harder when there is no on-the-court action). So no more about the past, but I thought the slight shift in perception is worth noting. (Of course, if you read the USA Today piece on Shaq or watched ESPN’s Outside the Lines yesterday, you’d see the love affair with Shaq in the media is far from over.)