Fast Break Thoughts:

Kurt —  July 19, 2006

I’ll be at the last Laker Summer Pro League game tonight (I was not at yesterday’s shootout), and I’ll put up some closing thoughts and stats in the next few days. But until then….

• Brian Cook had surgery on a thumb he injured recently in a pick-up game. He is expected to be ready to go at training camp.

• My favorite inane basketball coach quote of the week comes from Long Beach State head coach Larry Reynolds, talking about new recruit Tim Island.

“He has the ability to shoot the basketball, which will work well in our offense.”

• I was worried that “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons was going to start rooting for the same English Premier League team I do. He isn’t (although he did pick my second favorite, I started pulling for Tottenham when Kasey Keller was their goalie and it was good to see an Amercian doing so well, plus a story Spurs fan Salman Rushdie did for the New Yorker years ago was one of the best peices of soccer writing I’ve ever read). That said, his piece breaking down the EPL teams is an example of why he can be so good and so much fun to read.

I’m curious what other club teams you are all fans of (I have just two jerseys, a Shearer Newcastle and an older Barca, two teams I pull for).

• It was linked to in the comments, but if you didn’t read the LA Times piece on Danilo Pinnock and his Summer League experiences as he tries to break into an already-full Laker roster, you should take the time.

• Also mentioned in the comments was Marcus Banks to Phoenix. That’s a great get for them because it gives them another perimeter player to fit their style but who can play defense.

• Team USA begins its tryouts/training camp for the World Championships today in Las Vegas.

• The sale of the Sonics to someone from Okalahoma City has sent a scare (and some anger) through fans of that team. Seattle ownership has complained about financial losses due to a bad stadium deal (which is a load of crap by the way, those figures never include the appreciation of the franchise). Okalahoma City proved itself ready hosting the Hornets. So don’t be shocked if the Sonics are on the move in a year. Which, frankly, makes me sad just as a fan of tradition. And for Seattle fans.

All of this scares fans of Sacramento, too.

to Fast Break Thoughts:

  1. Also, I was happy to read that Jim Cleamons will be rejoining the Lakers coaching staff after being with Byron Scott and the Hornets for the last two years.


  2. jim cleamons is a respected figure, hell help the team, and with phil’s nagging health concerns, he has the experience to help lessen the burden of running practice.

    kurt- my epl is gotta be chelesa. they have my main man from ghana, michael essien, and also have germany’s michael ballack and the czech republic’s excellent keeper who’s name escapes me. watch out for the other ghanian players coming into the epl, stephen appiah, on arsenal and asamoah gyan, still a fa.


  3. kwame a., I can see why you’ve got ties to Chelsea. But I work with two Londoners who grew up Chesea fans and they are insufferable now. Their dominance last year meant at least a weekly email with a link to Chelsea’s latest win. I was worried England was going to win the World Cup and then I would never have heard the end of it.


  4. Interesting point for speculation: What is the pecking order after Phil for head coach? Let’s say he decides three years is enough (or leaves before that due to the hip), which assistant takes over? Shaw? Rambis? Cleamons? I think we can rule out Hamblin.


  5. i was just thinking about the same thing kurt. i think that rambis is a great guy, i people in the lakers video department and they say kurt gets after the most in terms of film prep. clem is a great x’s and o’s guy and is the epitome of the head coaches right hand man. however, my vote goes to shaw. rambis and clem have both flamed out as head coaches, and like it or not, players remember that. b shaw is in the mold of nate mcmillian, avery johnson and doc rivers. these guys knew the game so well, it wasnt natural physical ability, it was basketball iq and understanding. couple this with b shaws fantastic attitude, ability to befriend kobe and his demanor and history in la, i think he is quietly being groomed as the next head coach.


  6. haha, you can speculate whatever you want with the english premier league, but the spanish league as the champions league will be for F.C. Barcelona again ^^


  7. yeah that fc barcelona team is good, but well see how good they are after ronaldinho’s terrible world cup. that being said, theyve still got decko, eto, but watch out, im telling you xavier, chelsea is gonna do damage


  8. There are still fans of Sacramento? Who knew?

    I’m still pissed they moved from Rochester…


  9. I think I’ve adopted Fulham. Mostly a Brian McBride thing.

    And you’re exactly right on Simmons. This is why people give him crap – because he is this good.


  10. I wish he was this good consistently. But when he’s passionate about something, he’s amazing.


  11. kwame, ronaldinho had a bad world cup bcuz parreira didnt give him the movement liberty rijkaard gives him,
    its like if you coach the suns and you dont let them shot the 3… i think ronaldinho fits better in barcelona than in brazil, bcuz of the tipe of players, the 2 brazilian strikers are big and strong, they cant get to ronaldinho’s assistence like messi, eto’o or deco can. they dont have a midfielder that control the tempo like xavi, so parreira put rony in that position and he wasnt comfortable.

    this year chealsea have had a good summer, adding ballack and sevchenko but they still far from the young talented barcelona’s team, not bcuz of talent, but the chemistry


  12. I don’t really care what people say – I’m a staunch Manchester United fan. At the time I got into football they had some of my favourite players (Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Scholes, Andy Cole) and I got to see a lot of their matches on TV. I really don’t care that they are deemed to be the Yankees of the EPL (even though you could make the case that Chelsea has surpassed them in that respect and, in the whole scheme of things, it’s actually Real Madrid). I’ve been following them closely for the past 5 years and have had an interest in them for the past 7 or 8 🙂


  13. sorry to break up the futbol love…but there is a really interesting article, with player interviews, about whether free agents, and team members enjoy playing with kobe. go to:

    I really enjoyed this read, and if you are a laker fan, I would guess you will too-


  14. So how does everyone think the US will fare in Japan this August?

    I hope they are ready for it, but it would be hilarious if D-Wade and Bron-Bron tried to play like they did in the playoffs. Will King James be surprised when he actually gets called for traveling? Or how will wade react when someone sneezes on him and he doesn’t get 2 freethrows out of it?

    Chris Sheridan is already having a field day with Coach K. his blog is an interesting read (if you have insider), although it seems a lot more venomous than his usual tone in his articles. Is he a Tarheel fan or something?

    I am pulling for Kirk Hinrich to make the team because he is just a great player (although he is slowly becomming over rrated).

    I just wish more shooters had been invited to training camp. Opposing teams will just zone us to death, and this time we our center will be Brad Miller (erp!) I mean if T. Duncan couldn’t do anything in the post what will the Token White Guy be able to do?

    And since the issue of players not coming to Japan has been brought up (I am still ticked at John R.) what is with Michael Redd getting married right during the tournament? I mean how hard is it to reschedule a wedding?

    As far as the EPL goes, it is infinitely more fun to watch than the serie A because in Italy all they do is defend, and try to hit on the counter. In the premiership there is constant attacking for 90 minutes, so I even rate it higher than the Primera Liga. Plus the red devils are better villians than los galacticos, so much more fun to root against.


  15. It’s Arsenal all the way. They play the most attractive football in the EPL. They play their youngs. They had Barça on the ropes in the Champions League final for 50 minutes while down a man. Most importantly, they employ the best player in the EPL in Thierry Henry (even the opposing fans cheer him-which is doubly strange considering that he is French).

    Go Lakers, by the way.


  16. Bill Simmons is pretty good when he actually talks know..sports

    References to every show on MTV and ABC is cute but I don’t read his articles for the latest happenings on Laguna beach or Lost


  17. Perreira essentially coached Brasil out of that World Cup. He never set a consistent line up, gave Ronaldo way too much respect and a prominent place in the offense for a fading star when guys like Robinho and Adriano languished on the bench or in the foreground.

    An he moved Ronaldinho out of position, stifling his amazingly creative game.

    His decsion to stick with the old guard was their undoing.

    My team is Flamengo… Zico’s Brasilian club….

    I always thought that B Shaw was the Chosen One as far as coaches go.


  18. Like Kurt, I also support Newcastle. They didnt look too hot in the first intertoto match, but hopefully theyll lock up a striker or two in the very very very near future…


  19. Ian: The US in Japan is going to be interesting. I actually like Miller because he can step outside and hit a jumper, something key for a center in international ball. But like you, I fear that once again this team is all slashers and not enough shooters. Wade is a force of nature but we still need guys who can consistently drain the international three. Kobe would have been perfect for that.

    Sherridan is just weird in that ESPN piece, he sounds like a guy with a grudge. First off, here’s the thing that sets him off:

    “We have to go out there and be dominant for 56 quarters — every quarter of every game we play. That’s our mission,” Gilbert Arenas told me following Team USA’s first practice Wednesday.

    “Who on earth told you that?” I asked.

    “Coach Mike,” Arenas replied.

    Sherridan thinks this is the wrong attitude. His response:

    You know what would have been a better message, Coach K? How about this: “I don’t care if you lose, and I don’t want you losing your confidence if you do lose. I want you playing at your peak seven weeks from now. I want us at our best when this mission finally gets serious.”

    This is the kind of logic usually reserved for talk radio. Your concern is Coach K. wants this team to excell from the start? To create an aura that might intimidate a few teams? Sure, that would be horrible.

    Sherridan must have been hanging out with Steven A. too much.


  20. Ian, reprinting an update for you from reader JL (down a few posts in the comments):

    Just a response/update for Ian (Pooh Jeter Comment)
    He signed with the Kings Yesterday 7/19/06.. And yes, with his work ethic and dilegence he’s gonna definately make it!!


  21. Your right on Kurt, Chris Sheridan’s article gave me a headache while reading it (stupidity usually does that to me). I don’t think Chris has played a lot of sports. Of course when your playing a highly competitive game your going to try and dominate every second of the game. Coach K’s doing exactly what he should be doing, installing mental discipline in his team by trying to get them to focus on every minute of the game. I’m not sure where Sheridan gets off thinking he knows how to manage a basketball team better than Coach K, but I won’t get into that. Someone needs to tell Sheridan that Team USA is not a little league team, and shouldn’t be coached like one.

    Concerning soccer my favorite club team right now would have to be Barcalona, not because their the Euro champions, but because they have Rolandiho. I’m terrible with loyalty to soccer clubs though, all my loyalty is taken up with the Lakers and SF Giants (yes, I’m a giant fan, it’s a weird combo but it is what it is).

    One thing I’m really tired of is people complaining about how we don’t call soccer football in America. Soccer is called soccer in the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Only the UK and calls it football. This means the vast majority of the english speaking world calls it soccer. Maybe the UK should shut up and call it soccer too.


  22. The word “soccer” is believed to be a derivative of the original Football Asscoiation, or Assoc, which became Socca and then soccer.


    Soccer is an abbreviation for Association Football. The Football Association was formed in London in October 1863 when representatives of eleven clubs and schools met in an attempt to standardize the rules of the game. The name Association Football was coined to distinguish it from Rugby.

    By 1889, the abbreviation socca’ was in use, and the spelling soccer had made its appearance by 1895.


  23. Newcastle United signed Damian Duff from Chelsea today.


  24. I like the guy, but Newcastle picking up a guy with a history of injuries just sounds like tempting fate.


  25. and they still NEED a striker…badly.


  26. Sheridan is just getting owned. I haven’t seen a single person in his defense yet.