A few weekend notes

Kurt —  June 23, 2006

Just clearing out the inbox a little.

• I’ll make it more formal next week, but we’ll be doing a draft open thread here next Wednesday, paving the way for comments (and a little live blogging). The draft starts at 4:30 but it will be more like 6:45 or so by the time the Lakers pick.

• The Laker summer league roster for Long Beach is starting to take shape, with Andrew Bynum, Von Wafer and Devin Green all on the team for the second year in a row. Of course, there will be the two draft picks. Some of the other guys signed are former Duke player Nick Horvath, Kasib Powell, Nile Murry, and former Santa Clara star Doron Perkins. (That comes from the LA Times Lakerblog interview with Ronnie Lester, both parts of which are worth reading.)

Wafer and Green do not have guaranteed deals for next year, so they will be playing for a contract. That means we can expect Wafer to shoot a lot, although what he may need to do more is show he has learned to play within the triangle.

The only disappointment is the Turiaf will not be there, he is playing with the French national team this summer.

• I will be at as much of the Summer League as I can, providing thoughts and breakdowns on the Lakers and other goings on.

• Pounding the Rock has got the early line for you conspiracy theorists out there — now that Michael Jordan is part owner in Charlotte, do they win the lottery next year to get Greg Oden?

• Phil Jackson went on the Dan Patrick radio show Wednesday and said a few interesting things. Among them was a strategy for taking advantage of a Wade or Kobe in the current NBA climate: “Give him the middle of the floor. It used to that be the isolation came on the wing or the sideline. But with illegal defenses not being called, so zones are available, the top of the floor seems the best place for players, and also it isolates them in a way in which officials can read then call the foul or the contact.”

• Tex Winter has a book coming out soon. Hoopshype has an excerpt that shows you a little of how Tex came to be Tex, and come up with that offense.

• Hoopsanalyst continues its great breakdowns of different positions in the draft, with shooting guards next. In that group is Shannon Brown, someone the Lakers may end up with at 26.

• Isaiah Thomas coaching the Knicks is a bad idea long term, but I bet they are better and more exciting to watch next season. Thomas, for his many flaws, seems to coach an up-tempo game (the last two years in Indiana the Pacers were in the top 10 in the league in pace). That better suits the Marbury/Francis/Robinson back court plus guys like Frye. They are not likely making the playoffs, but Thomas style will be a better fit than Larry Brown’s.

• Adam Sandler has a new movie “Click,” about a remote that can control the speed of time. Didn’t the Twilight Zone basically do this 40 years ago?

to A few weekend notes

  1. real qucik kurt, gotta let you know, get down with Ghana, my dad’s country and be a part of the biggest upset in world cup history, were taking down the brazilians, in ghana they call the team “africa’s brazil” and well show just why, btw- donovan is the most overrated athlete outside of manu ginobli.

    i like isiah coaching the knicks too, his mess, he can clean it up

    the guy i want the lakers to draft would probably be maurice ager, he plays the three, can replace devean and can provide strong perimeter man defense. he would be nice to play behind walton, a good piece of the bench with turiaf, smush (hopefully), cook, bynum and sasha.


  2. can’t we just draft magic again?


  3. kwame a., nothing against Ghana here, they earned the advancement. Hard to beat Brazil without Essien, however. Good luck.

    I like Ager a lot, I watched him a few games this year and he can score. But I get the impression he won’t be around at 26.


  4. Off topic:

    If I ever start another blog, it will be simply to rip Bill Plaschke day in and day out. Here’s a great one.


  5. Kurt, why do you need a new blog for ripping Plaschke? I should hope everyone here loves talking about how he’s a douche

    This year has been my first real attempt at getting into soccer and I’m really enjoying it, I don’t understand why more people aren’t in to it by now as long as you don’t take a patriotic go US angle to try to get into it and instead watch some real games


  6. “…Murray would have taken Plaschke
    out behind the Times building
    and kicked the crap out of him
    for what he writes about every sport.”

    In the immortal words of Tony Bruno,

    I’m not even a fogy, never mind an old one,
    but this is one of those “back in the day” items
    where you can clearly see when institutions
    like journalism are not following their own standards
    and ideals when you see who the current “exemplars”
    of the profession are.

    Sports journalism ain’t a cure for AIDS, true,
    but sports is important to the fans as well
    as the players and teams they follow
    and the writers and pundits in print
    TV and radio also have a role
    but they’re exploiting the need of the fans
    and wrapping it in self-hype.

    Sports stories
    have become rumor-mongering and muckraking
    ( perhaps to overcompensate for the free ride
    athletes got from the media in the ‘golden age’
    whenever that was )
    and the sports punters are more about
    showing off how on the inside they are
    with an organization, an owner or a player
    or like Plaschke, what a “maverick”
    and straight-talker they’re supposed to be,
    and radio jox are provocateurs and clowns.

    What I get less of is the reporter who LOVES SPORTS
    and wants to know about the sports they don’t
    regularly follow, instead of kicking on them
    just because they’re not big money major league
    US mainstream primetime luxury skybox
    supersized college conference madness and $$#!!@.

    I don’t get to watch many hockey games
    or WNBA or soccer games, but when I have
    gone to a live joust, I get caught up and
    have a great time, not in small part because
    the fans are into their teams, no matter
    that it’s not big ticket.

    Plaschke and others like him
    ( and unfortunately their readers or listeners as well )
    habitually spout off without even making the feeblest
    attempt to pop the top and check out
    what they’re being PAID to bloviate about
    if there are no perks to be had.

    I don’t know that his comments are racist as such,
    but they are institutionally prejudiced and meant
    to be more provocative than informative.

    That they also expose his ignorance
    is the extra sauce of unintended consequence
    on the side.

    I push back the plate of indigestible glop served up
    that provides no nutritive value about a sport
    that I might have become interested in if the article
    had been more about the sport than the sportswriter.

    Enough with the annual self-fulfilling catbox filler
    asking why US sports fans ain’t feeling soccer
    or similar stories where the writer’s nose is in the air.

    Go to a game a give us a cool profile.
    Then one might actually have grounds
    for an article about players’ ethnic backgrounds
    and know what they’re talking about.

    Readers used to envy the sports beat crew
    because that had a job that gave them entree
    to their favorite pasttimes.

    Now I think many resent them
    for lame and lazy efforts,
    just as they would a player dogging it on the field.
    But they don’t get benched and fined,
    they churn out another column
    and listen to the sound of one hand
    patting one’s own back.

    Think I’ll go to the library
    and check out a Ralph Wiley or a Wm. Nack book.

    Up with Copa Mundial
    Down with sports hax.

    – 5 –


  7. Well said, 5.

    Murray was another (Vinny, Chick) reason that Los Angeles sports held such intrigue for its fans.

    My favorite part of that Twilight Zone episode is when he goes to the ball game and moves second base when the runner is stealing…

    I hope the rest of that Tex book is more interesting than the excerpt…

    The Samba Stars still haven’t quite found their ritmo and Ronaldo has a couple more kilos to lose, but…


  8. chris henderson June 23, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    the twilight zone is a treasure trove of amazing stories.


  9. chris henderson June 24, 2006 at 7:55 am

    and Chick, alnog with Magic and that Showtime era were my main reasons that i became a loyal Laker fan. but I think it was bigger than all that, the NBA was about where soccer and hockey are today before those great Magic and Larry battles brought fame and fortuune to the NBA.
    I always thought it was really wrong that before Magic and Larry left the game, all these rookies were making more than them… that just wasn’t right.


  10. I know this might not be the place for this comment but I know people have been talking about trading Chris Mihm and i wasnt one of those people, but i just realized this is the last year of his deal. I think that considering the intrest teams give big men in free agency that we should just trade him for something of equal value instead of losing him for nothing or losing more cap space by a sign and trade next summer. It is also possible he has a career year and will want big money. So what do you guys think?


  11. Well, you are right in your reasoning, but its not exactly as if he is making a whole hell of a lot of money so that teams would want him to open up cap space for the summer of ’07. Also it seems more likely that he would get shifted at the trading deadline than over the summer because teams will want to see him a)recover from his injury and b) see if he continues to improve his game. He needs to cut down on silly fouls, and maybe work on his post moves and 15 foot jumper. Of course with Isiah in the mix you never know.


  12. Jamil, I think the consensus is that Mihm is on his way out, the question is when and for what. I’d only make a deal this summer if I loved it, I may be the only one but I want him around for “Kwame insurance” at the start of the season.

    One possibility is that another team will lose its starting center in training camp or a preseason game and will call the Lakers with a deal. Otherwise, like Ian said, I wait for the trading deadline. There will always be some interest for a solid 7-footer, it’s jst the matter of getting the right deal.


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