Clearing out the Inbox

Kurt —  May 31, 2006

A lot of things that I have wanted to comment on or link to have been piling up in my inbox but I haven’t gotten around to posting them. Until now. Sorry if some of it is dated, but as much as I enjoy this blog I wasn’t going to blow off summer BBQs for it — good ribs trump just about everything.

• Updated Reading Suggestion: Kevin Pelton talks about the changes in the offenses in the NBA, particularly the love of the three, in an interesting new piece at

The San Antonio front office has been the league’s best in recent years and remains way ahead of the rest of the NBA in terms of mining foreign talent, but the Spurs group missed how the game was turning to speed. Signing Nick Van Exel and Michael Finley last summer and Brent Barry the summer before gave San Antonio plenty of veteran savvy, but not enough quickness. So when the Mavericks paired point guards Devin Harris and Jason Terry in the backcourt, the Spurs never found a defensive answer.

This has got me thinking about the Lakers, the triangle and the future, but really that is a topic for a full post in the future (like, next week).

• Updated Reading Suggestion, part deux: Friend of this site Jones on the NBA, a Los Angeles guy who follows the Lakers closely, has some suggested off-season moves for the Kupchak/Buss team. And they involve Ben Gordon.

• I have been racking my brain for a couple of weeks to come up with a clever Black Mamba/Snakes on a Plane joke, but I just can’t find it.

• Eric Pincus lists roughly 7 million possibilities for the Lakers’ off-season moves in his latest piece (remember folks, these are rumors, I don’t like to deal with them myself, so I link to them). What I found most interesting was his list of potential draftees the Lakers are bringing in for workouts, it’s amazingly diverse, from top 5 guys to others likely to go undrafted. What I take away from that is that the Laker front office is keeping its options open.

• Some Laker fans/media types are floating it but I don’t like the idea of bringing D. Fish back — if we want a veteran older point guard we can get Mike James or Bobby Jackson, sign them for the full MLE and save millions per year, plus not have to go four years on that deal. Remember, Fish will be 32 next season and is signed through 2010, will make $5.8 next year and $7.3 by the end of the deal. That’s a lot of scratch.

• Another idea getting floated around is the idea of trading Lamar Odom, but I think Gatinho made a great point about this in the comments:

The problem with trading Odom is not emotional attachment, but time invested by the franchise. Bringing too many new starters to this offense creates the problem we had last year with a majority of our starting line up essentially learning on the job. Odom is one of the main reasons that Jackson chose to return. Trading Odom would have to net a top 10 player, not just a high draft pick and a point guard. If his growth stagnates in the coming season, then consider it a failed experiment, until then I would consider trading Odom as throwing a lot of hard work out the window.

• Who said that free agents don’t want to play for the Lakers? Once again, a little research gets in the way of a radio talk show topic.

• The Lakers along with Dallas and Memphis, plus hopefully a couple other teams, will be back in Long Beach for the Summer Pro League starting July 8. A number of other teams have moved operations to that summer league in Vegas (including Dallas, which apparently is doing the split squad thing). I don’t really understand that, what has Vegas got that Long Beach doesn’t? Both have an overrated pyramid shaped buildings, both have wanna-be rappers/hip-hop artists acting tougher than they are and trying to impress women. Long Beach. Vegas. It’s almost the exact same experince.

• You can expect first-hand updates on the Lakers at the Summer Pro League here at FB&G again this summer.

• In the days before I had children, I used to sit and read the New Yorker at night. I miss that, particularly when smart people start talking about things I find interesting — such as Malcolm Gladwell defending the new stats.

• I thought Nomar Garciaparra was a bad pick up. I was wrong.

• Speaking of things I was wrong about, I thought Pat Riley lost it when he broke up last season’s Heat squad and brought in Walker and Williams. But the Heat are going to the finals, and credit to them and Riley, and for taking advantage of the small window they have with Shaq.

• Shaq back in the finals will not change my perception of “the trade” or who “won” or “lost.” The Lakers can be winners if they rebuild the team around Kobe and compete for a title before he retires, something they would have struggled to do around Shaq at his age. Miami “won” long before reaching the finals because they started selling out formerly empty seats in their arena (and bringing in more sponsors).

• Just how bad is Ben Wallace’s free throw shooting? Historically bad.

• Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt? Was I the only person whose first thought was, “They named the baby after one of the bloodiest Civil War battles?”

• By making it through this post, apparently you can at least read at a high school level. (This is one of my favorite posts anywhere in a while.)