Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  September 4, 2006

Just a few thoughts while celebrating Los Angeles’ 225th birthday. (She doesn’t look a day over 200.)

• I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of this humble little blog than while reading the comments on the last post, discussing USA Basketball’s future. It is some of the best conversation ever on this site (and that has me more pumped for the season). So let me bring a couple other thoughts into the conversation. First, from Roland Lazenby’s latest blog post:

As much as this loss hurts and embarrasses a U.S. team that once dominated international basketball, it may actually serve a greater purpose — to remind the American stars how much they must work to build team chemistry and to reinforce the idea that there will be no more cakewalks for American teams in international competition.

The Dream Team is just that, a distant dream in the rearview mirror of American basketball.

Now, every major international competition will be a dogfight. The Greeks, Argentines and Spaniards all showed that they are all quite capable of running with the USA’s best athletes.

Then there is Henry over at True Hoop, who says USA attitudes need some adjustment:

This is an incredibly important tournament for all of the players here except the Americans. None of these players grew up watching the World Championships on TV. For the Americans, it’s an after-thought. It has a tiny fraction of the importance of the NBA title…. That’s not an excuse, but it is a practical problem.

• Are we ever going to see an athlete transform before our eyes like Andre Agassi, who went from “image is everything” 20 years ago to substance in the last few years? I’m going to miss watching him play.

• I’m working very hard at not crowing about Notre Dame football right now (yes it was close, but that was a quality win in Atlanta Saturday). Instead, I just log on to Blue-Gray Sky three times a day now.

• For those jonesing for a little Laker/NBA action, well, is there anything better to look back on than this?

Kurt

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13 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. it was close to 6 am in the morning, me wearing my kobe jersey sitting on the couch barely toughing my ass with it. I screamed on Kobe’s shot, jumped on O’neal’s miss, and almost woken all my neighbours up when Horry hit these shot.

    watching NBA games when they are happening its hard here in spain for the time diference, but it worth not sleeping.

    so, what’s your story, HOW DID YOU SEE THAT SHOT?

  2. i was on vacation in Santa Barbara, I happened to step into a restaurant to go to the bathroom and while waiting in line I watched the final minute. After the shot I forgot to go to the bathroom. Since then I haven’t missed a Laker Playoff game, even though I had to get up pretty early to watch some of the games in Turkey.

  3. That and the Portland series–
    in the immortal words of Enberg the Great– “O my.”

    During those games I’d follow a superstitious code
    of where I’d sit or stand and not cheering while the squad
    was trying to come from behind, as if I’d crimp their mojo
    or something.

    After Horry hit that shot,
    I think I passed out standing up.

    I especially love the long shot of the crowd
    from the upper decks where the house just ex-pa-lodes.

    I didn’t have a problem disturbing my neighbors
    because the ALL the tenants in the building next door
    whooped and screamed like a giant bizarro cuckoo clock.

    Bee-yoo-ti-ful.

    – 5 -

  4. Back during the 2002 World Cup, in Korea/Japan, I stayed up or got up at all hours, to watch not only the fantastic USA run but also other games of interest.

    But back then I was single. Now spending time with my daughters dictates my schedule, and so I’m not up at 3 in the morning. Well, unless the four-month old is. I really wish I could have seen more of this tournament.

  5. The way the Greeks played against Spain without Gasol should tell us just how much the rest of the world will continue to “get up” for games against the US.

    Around my house, he wasn’t called “Big Shot Bob”, he was simply reffered to as “Horry for the win”.

  6. The Lakers have signed Danilo Pinnock: http://tinyurl.com/kt6kg

  7. Let the roster speculation begin!

    That is an interesting signing. Even if it is a non-garunteed contract with an invite to camp, it means he is not going to Europe. So either: 1) the Lakers keep him and buy out McKie, do a two-for-one trade or somehow free up a roster spot; 2) cut him during camp, at which point he is a free agent and not likely to be ignored.

  8. yeeeeaahhhh lets the GM show begin!!!
    lets see what Kupchack offer to us.

    i’m excited again :) not waiting for a big move bud i’d like to have pinnock in purple (or blue) and gold.

  9. Kurt, what are the chances we do a 2-1 deal? something like Mihm/Cook for Swift

  10. Mihm & Cook for Swift??? Let’s see…Memphis was disenchanted, traded him away, then had to accept him back to acquire who they wanted. Now two teams seem ready to get rid of Swift. This definitely seems a risk the Lakers should take.

    Who is drinking the kool aid here?

  11. You could make the same argument for signing Kwame.

  12. How did Lamar Odom get such a massive contract? I mean I like the guy but he doesn’t earn that. Him plus Kobe is basically 3/5 of our cap space. This is not right. Guranteed contracts were a bad move. Lets go back to incentives! (Now I’m done sounding like an old man, promise).

  13. Miami gave Odom that deal, based on his potential. But I’ve always loved the idea of incentive contracts, although I see why players and agents don’t.