What Kobe Wants….

Kurt —  August 22, 2007

Just as I went on a few days of vacation a new rash of “What Does Kobe Want?” and “What Will Kobe Do?” stories and speculation hit the media. The LA Times, ESPN, just about everywhere.

I’m already sick of it, and as a Laker fan I guess I’m going to have to get used to a season full of it. Because everytime the Lakers head to a new city for a road game, that story will resurface. Let alone the constant drumbeat this issue is going to get in the local media (talk radio will beat it into the ground alone).

Personally, I think Kobe has been pretty clear about what he wants:

He wants to win. That’s it. He’d prefer to do it as a Laker but if the front office can’t pull it together he’ll look elsewhere.

Where the issue gets complex is how to make that a reality — issues of trades for other players to the Lakers or Kobe out of town are fraught with player quality and luxury tax issues. But from where I sit Kobe’s core message has always been very simple.


I’m not going to blame the coming wave of Kobecentric speculative stores on the “mainstream media monster” because we asked for it.

Not us personally, I could live without it, but the fact of the matter is these Kobe stories draw readers/viewers. To use an example, you and I may mock “Around the Horn” but it wouldn’t be on the air if it didn’t get decent ratings. Say what you will about the media, but it is now a corporate-owned beast driven by the bottom line — which means if you are not reading or watching something, it goes away. Fast.

In a world where the goal is to generate “eyeballs” the “what does Kobe want/say?” stories are going to be a staple of the coming season.


RIP, Eddie Griffin.


Team USA gets going tonight against what-do-you-mean-we’re-not-hosts Venezuela. I’m going to be watching, although I’m not sure we learn much about the team from this game.

If you want to read more smart blogging about Team USA and the tournament as a whole, start with the good work at The Painted Area.

UPDATE: Quick thoughts on the game last night: It didn’t really tell us much. Yes, Kobe played good pressure defense and as a whole the USA forced 19 turnovers. Yes, Jason Kidd’s passing got players the ball in positions to succeed, something that became infectious. Yes, the USA as a team shot a reasonable 38.5% from three. Yes, the USA also showed some adjustment to the international game is still needed. But to my eyes this game looked a lot like an early game at the Worlds last year — this team is just way too talented for the competition it faced. The USA overwhelmed Venezuela. Until they play Brazil or Argentina I’m not sure how much we can tell. The coming destruction of the Virgin Islands tonight will look a lot like last night’s game.

My other thought — the mascot for this tournament may be the worst I’ve ever seen. One of the more creative bloggers out there needs to go after this one.

to What Kobe Wants….

  1. RIP, Eddie Griffin

    Always sad to see ball players die…


  2. I’m not sure if this post is about the nature of society and the media….
    or the Lakers and Kobe Bean Bryant.
    both are worthy of lengthy discussions.
    regarding Kobe, I think you are pretty dead on in your assessment. he (besides that one crazy “media frenzied driven” day), he has been pretty consistent on his message, and you nailed it too, he just wants to win, and isn’t sure the Laker management is willing or capable to help him win.
    it’s going to be an interesting year, no doubt.
    my eyes are going to be on the guys who I thought “phoned it in last year”…Kwame was a spectatot more often than a player, (whether on the bench or the floor) Andrew plain ran out of gas, shouldn’t happen when you’re the youngest out there, who he comes out this year is KEY to the success of this team. (the other was Smush, and we all know how that turned out).
    I’m hoping we get to see Mo Evans grow into a healthy, consistent contributor this year, he could become a difference maker.
    I also hope to see Chris Mihm take up where he left off before the injury, he could also be a real assett this year.
    Luke will bring what we expect, I’m just hoping he worked on a few off season surprises for us, (like he did when he came back a good 3pt shooter last year).
    Lamar, I hope he can stay healthy, and grow to be Kobe’s side man, we really need him to become a consistent solid 2hd threat, the ket word here is CONSISTENT.
    I actuallt feel pretty good about our guards, we have the right combination of vet, and youth, no lack in the hustle dept, and JC might be a nice surprise.
    Ronnie has to be our energy guy, grabbing boards, hoping the team catches his hustle vibe and becomes an “all hustle” team, can’t lose that way, and I’ll always root for the “all hustle” team.
    let’s see…who’s left…oh yeah, #24 Kobe, he’s going to have to prove that he can put the media fed garbage out of his head, become a solid leader and lead this team to one of the best seasons since 2002, or around then.
    this season could be a great opportunity for him, and the team, and the fans.


  3. Kurt,

    I disagree that Kobe has been clear about what he wants. I believe he wants to win, but when he went on the Dan Patrick Show and demanded to be traded he said he didn’t care where he played (even saying yes to Atlanta when asked) as long as he wasn’t a Laker. When he blew the “insider” comment out of proportion he took it from “wanting to win” to “being anything but a Laker”. His entire Radio Tour 2007, and subsequent lack of clarification has done nothng to make it easier for the Lakers to build a contender. For that simple reason the only thing Kobe has made completely clear is that he doesn’t want to be a Laker, win or lose.


  4. 3. I think for one day Kobe snapped (in part because nobody from the Laker front office was quick to respond and talk him in off the ledge), but even then his underlying message was still a burning desire to win. No doubt he helped muddy the waters with trade demands and frustrated outbursts, but I still think if you look at the overall message it has been pretty simple.


  5. chris,
    I wouldn’t worry much about #24. He has repeatedly proved he has ‘bulletproof hide’ and has been able to function in environments that any normal person would collapse. I don’t know what he does personally, but he sure keeps a straight face and nose to the grindstone while on the court.


  6. F-Kobe and tha it shard for me to say but common we all work with people we would rather not. I want to win every contract rhoguht the door but I cant have a complete melt down and make demands as he did and expect to be a leader, expect to have the same respect and loyalty.

    I agree Laker management has gone into the bowl and it is not just Mitch Ks fault. Google JIm Buss and see what legacy of failure it comes up with. I would have pulled the trigger on the Kidd deal last year. I would have NEVER traded Caron Butler after he carried the team down the stretch his year here. He has star written on him but the lure of a big man who is not as good right now as the big man we had. I like Mihn he plays defense, always caught Kobe’s passes and played with in the scheme they were running.

    Kobe wants to be traded any where and then it is really only to either of two places (New York or ChiTown) come on that is not about the Lakers it is about dollars. He could have talked the Lakers into keeping Shaq (thank god he didnt) he could have taken less money HE COULD STAND BY THE LAKERS FANS, THE CITY AND THE LEGACY who stood by him in his time of need and error. I have defended this man for years and followed, supported (with my dollars) and now I am tired. I want to win damn it, we paid for that ring on Vaneessa’s hand. I want the Lakers to win, I want my work to win but I dont say I deserve too more then the rest of us fans or anyone here at work.

    He would never be traded there but I would trade Kobe right now for Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas and be done with this mess and put a better team on the floor. He would veto that if the Wizards would accept and they would ahve star power and fill seats with a star in his prime not a Jordan farewell again tour. Gilbert is going to test free agency and loves LA. They might loose him anyway.

    I beg the Busses (Not Jeannie, love you doll, ditch Phil) to sell the Lakers to a group of Lakers headed by Magic and MR. West and continue the legacy not loose it or tarnish it. The Lakers are bigger then one player check the history.

    Also I would sign Rubben Patterson , he is a big vet guard who plays hard nosed defense and can score if needed. Phil loves these guys what is the hold up?

    Sorry guys I am sick of this stuff and would rather be over it and move on. Kobe’s 81 was awesome but was that team ball? Magic could have done all of that. He did what the team needed. Kobe, impress me with being in the top ten in assists your a great passer.

    Thak you for all the memories Kobe and it makes me sad, I have enjoyed you imensly but if you want to insult your team mates publicly, turn your back on the people who stood by you in your dark hours and say you deserve to win more than anyone else who has ever played then, thank you but good bye. 5 as 1 not 1 as 5.

    Sorry all I am over it.


  7. I know this is off topic and not about basketball ( it was said by a basketball player though), but I think this is a pretty ignorant and disgusting statement.

    Stephon Marbury’s long, strange summer took another unexpected turn yesterday. Marbury was in upstate New York altruistically prompting his line of affordable sneakers, when a TV news reporter from Albany asked him his feelings on the Mike Vick saga.

    Marbury’s response was distressing. Apparently his overriding feeling is that Vick is being treated unfairly and is the victim of an unjust double-standard. Here is Marbury’s quote: “I think it’s tough. I think, you know, we don’t say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dog-fighting is a sport. It’s just behind closed doors. I think it’s tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down. I think he’s one of the superb athletes and he’s a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation.”

    heres the link:

    Maybe Marbury has been hit in the head too many times witha basketball, he has done and said some pretty odd thinkgs recently.


  8. I read that as well. How sad it is that these people are completely out of touch with reality.


  9. It is clear that Kobe, Odom, and another impact player (either at the PG or PF position) would make a legitimate contender. Our problem lies in the fact that both of our tradeable assets are at the center position, and centers are hard to find. The question is how do we get that impact player and still have serviceable starting and backup centers. This is Kupchack’s burden. Good GM’s are creative. Kobe, for all his faults, brings not only his power and skill to the court, but also his creativity and imagination. I think he is asking management to do the same when it comes to their jobs.


  10. Kurt,

    I agree the core message Kobe has sent is to win and win now. But, is it not a little ridiculous to also demand a trade from the Lakers? if his core motiviation is to win, where else would he go? He and his advisors must know that trading Kobe to another team would likely put him in the same situation if not worse than he is with the Lakers (which by the way I don’t think is a bad situation. The Lakers have an opportunity to win and with some growth and a tweak here and there possible to be in the same breath as SA and Dallas). Seriously, if your goal is to win, don’t you think the Lakers, with their history, fan base, huge media draw, and the Buss record is the best place to be? Also, you would think his star would not shine as bright outside tinseltown. So, to me, it was an odd outburst to demand to be traded. I can accept the demand to win and win now. But, outside of that i think he was being ridiculous and selfish.


  11. 10. Like I said, I think what Kobe wants is clear, even though most stories seem to imply it is not. Are the Lakers the place that is most likely to happen? Maybe, but the issue certainly is up for debate. There are other options. But I agree that his asking for a trade made it more difficult to bring a winning team to LA, and in turn made it harder for LA to trade him.


  12. Knowing Kobe’s motivations are key to understanding what the guy wants.For him winning = glory. Rings = glory.

    This is the direction he wants to be going. Along the way, he wants to earn money too. I say rightfully so. If a Rashard Lewis can be paid 15M per, why not 20 to Kobe?

    Therefore, however way you may put it, the best place for Kobe’s “glory” and “money” will always be LA. He understands this, thus the “laker for life” statement. Sometimes, emotions get the better of us. Thus the “Pluto” and “Atlanta” statements.

    Over-all, If I were Kobe, this is what I would say by camp:
    “I am excited to face this new challenge ahead of me, that I still believe this team can make something happen. I welcome the addition of Fish, as a long-time teammate and friend.”

    Along these lines, its best to define the future by one clear statement saying “As a player, my every motivation is to win and be successful. I reserve my right to a decision pertaining to my future in 2 years. This is what I think is the right thing to do as an athlete, a professional and as a person.”

    Ultimately, it will come to this – will Ric Bucher be proven right? I doubt it. Conventional Wisdom dictates Playing is Kobe’s best option. However, sometimes people do crazy things… Sometimes, common sense is not so common…


  13. It seems other Lakers were traded for crazy outburst over the year, Van Exel was disgusted with their performances and said sarcastic things and he was gone. I know not the same player but what if Shaq had demanded a young dumb Kobe be traded for a veteran after that air ball perforamnce in Utah?

    I agree the Lakers are pretty a good team below upper team exectution and effort coudl make them much better.

    I like Critten and think he can play if Phil lets him. I think Turiaff should get more minutes and if the Lakers stay health and Kobe happy they have a good chance.

    At the deadline maybe they can dump Kwame’s expiring from a slightly over paid vet looking to move.

    Boston is better but lets not get crazy, they aren;t gaurenteed to win and will be cripped monitairlly for years.


  14. warren (philippines) August 23, 2007 at 1:38 am


    This has got to echo through the ages. I’m not sure I will be comfortable seeing Kobe don another team’s jersey.


  15. There’s no way we trade Kobe. One of two things have to happen, get another impact player, or Odom magically learns how to move without the ball. Since the other players besides Kobe and Odom are so weak, if Odom is the ball handler, good teams will just deny Kobe the ball. The offense has to go through Kobe, get in the passin lanes, Odom! I konw defense is our problem, butif Kobe is the facilator on offense, and night in and inight out, players are moving without the ball, getting into scoring position, and playing their roles in a consistent and dependable way, Kobe will become the great defensive stopper he was in the Shaq years.


  16. Did anyone catch the USA Venezuela game? I know it is a blow out against a far inferior team but Kobe has been getting rave reviews from almost every piece I have read. I am interested in seeing the +/- numbers and reviews from people who know Kobe’s game so well.


  17. Well Kobe will be at his best after causing all this rucus, he is audtioning for facilitating a trade and trying to be a team plaer NOW.

    Anyone’s thoughts on if Juan Howard coudl help us? I think he coudl be the Hoarce Gran troll in the triangle. Maybe we coudl get him for Kwame, not such of his salary, any thoughts?


  18. Larry Turner is the answer.


  19. I just went to ESPN trade machine and we could trade Kwame for Juan Howard and Mark Madson. We have to have some one else in to equall Kwame’s contract and they are not giving up good young talent.

    If we were to keep Madson he works hard and knows the traingle.


    Also sorry for any horrible typing trying to do this quick at work.


  20. 19. If you can build a time machine and get us the Juwan Howard of 2000 then I’ll think this is a good idea, but he turns 34 this year and his numbers have steadily declined over the last several years (there was a bump last year, but I think that had more to do with having Yao on the floor and taking double teams inside than Howard finding a second wind).

    Thing is, at the deadline, I think we can do better than that for Kwame (or with Kwame in a package). Unless there is a dramatic change in attitude in Indiana, or some other major shift outside of LA, the Laker roster for the start of the coming season is pretty much set.

    By the way, yesterday you questioned if Kobe was still going to have any gravitas in the Laker locker room after his outbursts this summer. That may have been my best laugh of the day. Thanks.


  21. 18. Carter, you may be the first person in history to type that sentence.


  22. I put this in the main post but am putting it here as well:

    UPDATE: Quick thoughts on the game last night: It didn’t really tell us much. Yes, Kobe played good pressure defense and as a whole the USA forced 19 turnovers. Yes, Jason Kidd’s passing got players the ball in positions to succeed, something that became infectious. Yes, the USA as a team shot a reasonable 38.5% from three. Yes, the USA also showed some adjustment to the international game is still needed. But to my eyes this game looked a lot like an early game at the Worlds last year — this team is just way too talented for the competition it faced. The USA overwhelmed Venezuela. Until they play Brazil or Argentina I’m not sure how much we can tell. The coming destruction of the Virgin Islands tonight will look a lot like last night’s game.

    My other thought — the mascot for this tournament may be the worst I’ve ever seen. One of the more creative bloggers out there needs to go after this one.


  23. the other Stephen August 23, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    since espn and yahoo aren’t doing us the courtesy of putting up the box scores, check fiba.com for them. here’s the one for last night:


    the numbers look alright for stoudemire and howard, but i remember that a lot of their points came from put backs and tip-ins and dunks that they picked up off of loose balls and the like. there wasn’t much posting up, and i remember there being plenty of fumbles whenever they threw the ball inside or tried to pick and roll. i fell asleep, so the only other things i remember were when dwight howard and lebron rose up as one to complete that alley-oop, michael redd’s bigger-than-ever bald spot, and all of mike miller’s bricks. and his girly hair.


  24. 23. For personal reasons I’m forgiving of bald spots, but Miller’s hair cannot get enough ridicule.


  25. When reached for comment in Las Vegas, Kobe is said to have responded “Who the hell is Larry… what’s his last name?”

    Seriously, after so many failures, why do GM’s keep saying to stiffs “you’re 7 feet tall? here’s a check. oh by the way, do you know how to play?”


  26. Kurt,

    I agree. It looks like the team is set. We’ll go half a season with a healthy team, hopefully a more mature team and a couple of additions. Frankly, I am pretty excited to watch. I am a believe that the Lakers last year were on the road to a 4 or 5 seed before injuries. Further, if you look at SA, Dallas, and Phoenix, I don’t think either one of them got much better. In fact, I think Phoenix dropped a bit and are extremely thin up front after trading Thomas. Dallas will be interesting to watch to see if they can bounce back from the playoffs. SA, I don’t know, they are solid, but one year older.

    So, I am excited to see the Lakers grow. Hopefully Kobe puts his rant behind him, refocuses his energy and all the Lakers develop a swagger of us against the world. Additionally, we will have room by the trade deadline to do some things- small or large if necessary.


  27. Kurt and Co,
    Love the site, mostly the discussion to tell you the truth. So here’s something I can’t get around; why hasn’t there been an outcry for the insider (read: the buss kid) to get fired? With all the talk about trades that are totally outrageous in the hopes that Kobe MIGHT stay, it seems like we should focus on the more realistic. He said at the beginning of this whole debacle that there was nothing that would convince him to stay, EXCEPT firing the insider. We all know it’s jimmy he’s talking about so why aren’t fan’s screaming collectively, “Jerry, man, you need to fire your kid in order to keep The Kid. It’s business, family has no place. Let’s keep Jimmy’s appearances limited to family BBQs and court hearings and out of the F.O.”
    I should divulge that I am a huge KB24 fan, so like most Kobe fans I will ignore all reality to keep Kobe on the Lakers. I am of the “keep him at almost any cost” mentality.
    As a side note, before some of you lite into me, on the off chance the insider is Mitch, I don’t care, fire his ass too. I’m pretty unimpressed with his tenure thus far.


  28. 24. Hey, it can happen to anyone even at young age… OK? 😉


  29. 25. Remember that Turner is basically a camp-contract so the Lakers have some bodies for drills in camp. He’ll be cut unless one of the other bigs (or two) are out for the year. This is not a big deal.

    27. We’d all like to keep Kobe, but if Jerry Buss has to chose between his blood and an employee, well…..

    Also, nobody outside really knows for sure who that “insider” problem child is. Maybe it is Jim, maybe it is someone else. The Laker front office plays things close to the vest so it is hard to say.


  30. The FIBA mascot…

    You are looking for ways to make fun of it via TrueHoop.

    Here are my ideas and they are probably already taken:
    1 – “This is the last ref to be named by Tim Donaghy.”
    2 – Grover from Sesame Street on HGH.


  31. It looks like Kobe lead team USA in assists. So much for Kobe not being a team player.


  32. Regarding the mascot, here’s my caption:

    “What happens to Tim Donaghy when he loses a bet.”


  33. For some reason this blog is off centered for me. It is so far left and scrambled, I can’t even read most of the writing.

    Any clue why that is?


  34. carter, I’ve gotten that a couple times today. It’s being looked into and fixed ASAP.


  35. warren (philippines) August 23, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Christopher (30) – The mascot was more like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street! Careful when you say its Oscar, my 2-yr old daughter will spank you for that 🙂

    Over-all, team USA played like the 92 dream team in drubbing the Venezuelan club. However, it has to be noted that that Venezuelan team could be beaten by an NCAA team too. It was a good performance over a bad team.


  36. USA missed a bunch of free throws early. Carmelo had problems finishing all night. The team missed a number of open threes. After going inside early to Dwight(and almost fouling out the Ven front line),the team barely looked inside again. All in all,the game looked alot like an early exhibition game.
    I fear the US team is not going to go inside on a consistant basis as Coach K is a college coach and the college game is all perimeter oriented and his top NBA Assistant Coach also believes in a perimeter-oriented offense. Further only Kobe of the main rotation players has played w/a dominant Center and he was the only player who seems to know how to feed the post.

    As to Howard,his uptick last season happened when Yao went out for 35 games and Howard got a ton of minutes. The more minutes he gets,the better his shot becomes. Unfortunately,he can’t rebound when it counts,cannot block shots nor keep up on defense w/agile PFs. He is good in the lockerroom,can make the 15′ from either baseline or FT line,can work the pick-n-roll very well(esp if ref lets him slide while setting it)and can often catch the other team by suprise by running the court hard,and is a good person. On a bad team he can still put up decent numbers,on a good team he shouldn’t get enough minutes to stay effective.


  37. Rumor or Truth
    Since its been so ‘dry’ in the rumor area for the lakers any rumor is good enough

    Lakers x Bucks Trade in the work

    i heard bucks aren’t reupping with bell and they finally gave up on YI and they want a good backup pg (to replace bell), backup sg, and starting pf to move cv to starting sf, b/c most importantly they cant get Yi to come to the city of Milwakee.

    i hear farmar, kwame, evans and a next year’s 1st round pick s locked up for simmons and Yi.

    no Link yet ..


  38. Gr8dunk, someone reliable said this guy brought up the Kidd rumors a week before they went mainstream.

    BEFORE anyone starts bashing, I think this would be a good trade. Why? IF Yi does well, he can get traded FOR A STAR (much more value than what we have now). If he does alright and shows flashes of stardom, we can get rid of Bynum! IF he’s a ROTY candidate, TRADE BYNUM and we have Kobe-Yi-and another star/borderline star!

    Any day you can trade a role player, an expiring role player, and a young starting pg for a future star big man, you have to do it. I’m SURE Yi would love LA. Yi is no joke.

    Now I’m just excited.


  39. GR8dunk (37),

    Farmar is our starting PG, Evans is a quality backup, and Kwame these days is a center–which Milwaukee doesn’t need. The key player that they DO need is really Odom, not Kwame. He’d fit in very well with that team.

    Yi might be worth trying at PF, with Turiaf backing him up. We don’t need Bobby Simmons–the Clippers do.

    Salarywise, we could approximately match Yi with Crittendon–rookie for rookie. Who could they come up with to match Odom’s salary?

    Nobody. They can’t afford Odom–and Simmons is not a good trade for Kwame.

    Why not a simpler deal for Yi?
    Crittendon + Evans+draft pick for Yi?

    They can’t sign Yi. Our deal is way better than nothing.

    I bet we can sign Yi.


  40. Gr8dunk (38),

    Milwaukee doesn’t have a very good bargaining position here.

    The first rule in any trade is “do no harm.” We should be able to get Yi without harming the team we have this year so badly.

    Remember–this trade would be primarily for the future.

    The issue isn’t Yi–it’s Simmons.

    Why, in effect, should we trade Kwame for Simmons?

    We really need three pg’s. Do we really need to destroy the stability we might have in the back court for the first time? If so, let’s at least keep the only pg left from last year. They don’t want Farmar anyway.

    I think we can do better for both teams.


  41. Sorry (38), I know that you are ca-born.


  42. Kobe should get what he wants, i mean come on yesterday was the guys birthday!


  43. The mascot looks like Grover on crack


  44. Since the rumor mill started about this Bucks thing, I think its best to look at the prospect of Yi in 2 things: keep him or deal him. I would like to assume that the best we could offer for Yi is Crittenton and Turiaf for the 2M he is designed to earn. Critt is 1.4, Ronny is 770k.

    For purposes of discussion, I think Buss would like to keep Yi as a marketing insurance in case Kobe bolts. We now have a Chinese market to cater for in case Kobe does leave + the star/prospect we get from his possible trade. Or we could look at it in the perspective that Yi can definitely yield us some fine players. For instance, I heard Memphis was interested in Mr Yi during the draft but went for the “saner” choice in Mike Conley. Minnesota was also waiting to pounce on picking him had it not for the Bucks to unexpectedly pick him at 6th.


  45. … continuation to 44.

    I am not really into trading Turiaf, I mean, he is best value for money with his salary. You can never probably find a cheaper energy guy than that. But if it meant having Yi to work with or play with, I think we must consider.

    At best, Crittenton can play 15mins this year. With a healthy frontline, Ronny will once more fight for his minutes with Mihm, Bynum and Kwame. Not that he demands for any, but it would be such a waste if Ronny just stayed on the bench.

    In the concept of “do no harm”, this trade definitely makes the team better without harming the core or chemistry. Yi can be the backup PF to Odom in order to log reasonable minutes. Since the 2-for-1, we can also sign Sun Yue to be Yi’s buddy.

    In light of all these I still think these are a bunch of rumors and nothing more. But If ever it does make it, I’m all for it.


  46. Watched the first 3 quarters of second game on delayed NBATV. Some thoughts after 7 quarters of play against overwhelmed opponents.

    Kobe is in cruise control. When the games get tougher I expect he’s going to explode.

    No Kidd,no offense. Seriously. This has got to be the worst offensive system I have seen any pro team use. I can only hope Coach K is using the first 2 games as a glorified exhibition season to get everyone used to playing w/each other and is keeping the real offense under wraps. There is little motion,almost no screens set(the few by Dwight resulted in Carmelo getting open looks at the basket and Kobe shedding his man,but then passing-in more competitive games look for Kobe to use Dwight to get open shots.) One “play” run several times in a row had Mike Miller post up,then run out to 3pt line-he never got the ball in the post and only once at 3pt line,missed the shot. Rarely did a player drive and kick. Other than Kobe,nobody could get a clean pass into a big in the low post,and the bigs touched the ball so infrequently they never passed the ball out,they got it,they shot it. In 7 quarters I don’t recall a single kick-out pass by a big.
    Billups was the PG on a title team and was resigned by a coach who runs a multi-option offense and Williams has become the successful PG for Sloan’s motion offense. For the offense to grind to a halt when two good PGs are on the floor-like it did last time in Olympics-some hard questions have to be asked of the coaching staff.

    Dwight seemed to get a little frustrated against Virgin Islands and threw a player away like we would toss a wad of paper. If I interpreted what I saw correctly,this is something the US Team needs to address. Telling the bigs they have to accept the grabbing is one thing,rewarding the bigs for hard work is another. There was a 3 on 1 break w/Redd I believe on left,LeBron on right and Dwight trailing in the middle. Redd threw a lob to LeBron whena half-second pause and a lob for Dwight would have rewarded the big for making the defensive play and then running the court. The bigs were running hard and I don’t recall any of them getting the ball on the break.

    Ever have someone who for no real reason everything they do rubs you the wrong way? Increasinly for me,LeBron tic’s me off w/every action of his. I’ve never met him,there is little rational reason-other players may do the same thing and it doesn’t bug me,but if LeBron does it….
    I realized how much this irrational feeling is consuming me after I cursed him out after one fast break. Kidd has the ball and instead of laying it in he banks it off backboard so LeBron can have a crowd-pleasing dunk. After the dunk LeBron stopped and faced the crowd and gave one of those “look at me,what a bad-*** I am” pose. Its after 12:30 in the morning and I start screaming at my TV that Kidd set up everything,that instead of strutting like an ***hole you should be turning and acknowledging Kidd for the pass you selfish,arrogant piece of….!!! My neighbors are probably thinking of calling the cops.
    Oh well,”I love this game!”


  47. If,if,if…
    If the Lakers can trade for YI and if Minn really wanted him,make the trade a three-way and get Corey Brewer instead. I think he would be perfect as a SF in the Triangle. Extremely good passer,rebounds,willing to play D,unselfish,superb in the open court. His outside shot looks really weak right now,but I imagine after a couple of yrs it will be pretty good. Give him a yr to learn Triangle and how to mesh w/Kobe and Lamar becomes very expendable next off season.


  48. Cookie monster on crack meets Tim Danaghy….GO KOBE GO!!!!!


  49. Warren (44) (45),

    I’ve done some Googling, and I agree that Yi is a player we must consider seriously.

    The only player that they might appreciate that would not effect our team this year is Crittendon. They already have many big players, so I’m not sure they’d want Turiaf. They probably could use Mo Evans. I think we’d also have to throw in a first round draft pick.

    He could become a superstar–and he’s flashy.

    We’ll have to see if this is real.


  50. I don’t think Yi is what this team needs. No more youth.

    This teams missing piece lies within 2 possibilities:

    1. Get a high quality Small Forward and keep Lamar at the PF spot.

    2. Get a banger Power Forward and move Lamar to his natural position at the Small Forward spot.

    I prefer option 2.


  51. I’m with Carter here, the goal for these Lakers is short term not long term. Yi may well be a quality player in a few years, but we’re already waiting on one of those.


  52. (50) (51) Guys, this rumor’s got wings. Posts have sprung up in the last 24 hours.

    First of all, the rumor being sent around probably originates with Eric Pincus–but others have picked it up and tweaked it. Maybe this rumor was inspired by Yi’s agent. I don’t believe that the Bucks are directly talking to anyone.

    However, it is entirely possible that Yi won’t cave and will sit out the year. The Bucks are beginning to realize that this is no bluff. Suddenly, they are feeling some real heat from all sides. They still swear they will never trade YI. My interpretation?

    Sounds like “bargain time” for someone.

    Marketing Yi in LA at this point in his career would be the biggest marketing deal the Lakers have ever pulled off–if they get him–far bigger than Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, or Kareem. Far bigger than KG or JO would have been.

    They were/are USA–he is World. He is considered one of the National treasures of China–and will be a key to their Olympic competition next year.

    As I’ve Googled around, I realize that this guy could become a superstar in the NBA. He’s already a Chinese hero that may replace Yao Ming. If we didn’t want him–he’d give us far better opportunities to land a true star than we do now.

    The Pincus deal being shuttled around also includes Bobby Simmons (essentially Bobby Simmons for Kwame). Wouldn’t that be “now”?

    In this deal, we would get a great 6th man in Simmons, and Yi would give us more flexibility among the “bigs.” Yi’s much further along than Bynum.

    We already have Carter’s option 2 in Turiaf. Simmons would give us options 1 and 2.

    The downer for us if we think “now” (according to Pincus’s “logical” deal) would be to lose Farmar. Given their players (Williams/Bell), they don’t need a starting PG. I personally think they would prefer Crittendon.

    Consider: We might get away with Kwame + Crit. for Simmons + Yi

    Given Houston’s Adelmania, if we kept Yi, we might be able to trade for “misfit” Yao Ming next year (for example, maybe Odom + Bynum+Simmons for Yao Ming and Battier).

    Unfortunately, I personally think that the best deal for Milwaukee involves the Clippers–since the Clips greatly appreciate Simmons (as a saviour two years ago, and have lost Brand their starting power forward and star–they are truly desperate to find someone for the power forward slot–someone who’d bring in customers to watch their team? Could Yi do the job?

    The Clips could trade Maggette and Cassell for Simmons and Yi. Milwaukee would have an expiring contract in Cassell (and could use him meanwhile) and a chance to negotiate with Maggette to extend his contract. Maggette would complement the other Milwaukee players.

    I argued with ca-born (and still partly disagree), but he was much more in tune with reality than me:

    “Any day you can trade a role player, an expiring role player, and a young starting pg for a future star big man, you have to do it. I’m SURE Yi would love LA. Yi is no joke. Now I’m just excited.”

    ca-born, I’m slow–but I get it now!


  53. DrRayEye,
    5 minutes after Adelman walked into Les Alexander’s office and demanded the Rockets trade Yao would see Adelman tied to the Saturn V and Les directing the refueling and raising up of the rocket in order to launch Adelman’s butt into space.
    When it comes to franchise player vs coach,the coach loses. Magic got rid of Westhead,Kobe won in the duel between him and Phil in 2004 for just a couple of Laker examples.


  54. On the Yi rumor…

    Well we have to consider that the laker FO has always promised a move coming. Who better than the new age marketing bomb – Yi Jianlian.

    If we may have to consider the merits of the original deal, they are said to be asking for Kwame, Farmar and Evans. I would personally not do this deal since it involves 2 of our starters and last year’s 6th man for a rookie and a coming-off injury borderline, overpaid star.

    I agree that swinging him to LA Clippers might be a good idea. The Clips are missing someone to put the ball in the basket with Brand optimistically returning in February. Remember, its an injury that disallows you to run. So, speed, lateral movement and wind are surely affected.

    I do not think the Clippers are looking to move Maggette at all. Otherwise, the deficiency to score gets even worse. Cassell, however, looks expendable. After all, Milwaukee is not looking for Kwame in particular, but an expiring to dump off Simmon’s salary. LAC would be more than willing to bid for his contract, though it may span for 3 more yrs.
    Aaron WIlliams will be a likely salary filler.

    As for the Lakers, Its likely Crittenton + any of Turiaf or Evans or Vujacic plus an 09 1st (surely) would be a fair deal. If we treat Yi as simply the #6 pick in the draft, he will then be traded for #19 + able defender and 6th man + future first (2009). Sounds like fair for me, plus the fact that a salary dump is achieved as well. It can actually be 2 separate deals in the making unless the Clippers “steal” the limelight by offering Al Thornton and 09 1st as well.

    In the end, Yi’s agent will be pushing for a Lakers Bucks deal. This is China’s chance to be on the biggest market city in sports and it could be the answer to Buss’ wet dreams in marketing.


  55. On second thought, maybe its best to offer Kwame, Crittenton and Evans for Yi and Simmons then take what the Clippers have to offer for Simmons.

    Milwaukee gets: Kwame + Critt + Evans+09 1st from Clips (?)
    LA Lakers get: Yi Jianlian + Sam Cassell + Aaron Williams
    LA Clippers get: Bobby Simmons


  56. Rather than go off on a rant about what I really think of the Yi rumor, lst me put this out there:

    The Bucks are not powerless. The Bucks only lose the rights to Yi if he is not under contract and he sits out all professional basketball this coming season, including any and all teams in China. He is currently under contract to a team in China, a team that by all accounts was heavily involved in picking his agent (based on what I have read). Why does the Chinese team care? Because they want a big, big buyout. And they (rightfully) don’t see the Bucks as a franchise likely to fork over the big dough.

    But, unless his Chinese team releases him and then he sits out a year, the Bucks retain yi’s rights. And the team is not about to release him, they want the buyout (plus if they release Yi they would lose face, a big no-no in Chinese culture). And, just for fun, let’s say Yi’s agent convinces said team to release him, and he sits out a year, how do you think David Stern sits with a player manipulating the draft like that?

    The Bucks have no motivation to make a deal unless they can save face in it, and what the Lakers are offering really doesn’t do that. So, the Bucks can afford to wait until they do get a decent offer or until Yi caves. The Bucks hold a lot of cards here, they are not feeling as much pressure as everyone seems to imply.


  57. Kurt,

    This is clearly beyond the rumor stage. We now have confirmation of teams talking. Doesn’t that fit your rule about trades?

    Bobby Simmons was injured last year. He wasn’t missed that much.

    They wanted CV shifted to SF. They figure Kwame fills the bill at PF.

    They wanted alternative backup for Williams. They have Farmar.

    They wanted backup for Redd. They have Evans.

    We’ve got a true sixth man.

    See below.

    I’ll give you the paste, then 3 links:

    Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:07 pm Post subject: believe it or not


    we are gonna get Yi jianlian.
    i just heard it from people. Like most stupid people who come up with rumors say, “IM NOT AN INSIDER BUT……” F THAT!!!!!

    I would like to say,,,, IM an insider on this one!!!!!! haha.
    i heard bucks aren’t reupping with bell and they finally gave up on YI and they want a good backup pg (to replace bell), backup sg, and starting pf to move cv to starting sf, b/c most importantly they cant get Yi to come to the city of Milwakee.

    i hear farmar, kwame, evans and a next year’s 1st round pick s locked up for simmons and Yi.

    I guess bucks line up is

    Mo wiliams / Farmar
    Redd / evans
    CV / Mason
    Bogut / Gadzuric

    i heard we’ve been offering that same combo of players (kwame, evans, farmar) for numerous players but have been rejected.

    IMO, i think those players we tried to get w/ that combo were artest and camby. But we couldn’t land them.
    Who Knows??? But all i know is is that that combo landed us Yi and Simmons.
    My friend told me that Kupchack tried desperately to get a starter w/ that combo all summer long without giving up our core starters. When that couldn’t happen, he and Phil decided to make our bench more solid then ever.

    I think it has more to do with a politic push from the international side of Yi, but still, i am excited as heck with this one. Not b/c of Yi, but I’ve always wanted Simmons. Im telling you rite now, that guy is a poor man tmac.


    This guy apprently had a source back when the Kidd deal was brewing so he seems credible.

    Emplay or Eric Pincus of Hoopworld and a mod/admin on Lakersground and Clublakers has confirmed there have been talks between teams.


    Yi To Lakers?


    After anxious waiting, we know that Yi will not be suiting up in a Bucks uniform. They’ve agreed to send Yi and Simmons to the Lakers for Brown, Farmar, Evans and a 1st Round Pick in the 2008 Draft. IMO, we got jipped in this deal. It’s not official yet, but it’s a locked up deal yet to be announced.



  58. Believe it or not, I am a fan of Eric Pincus, I have met him on several occasions (our kids are close to the same age) and I respect what he does and tries to convey. That said, all he has confirmed is that there have been talks. To be honest, talks happen between teams all the time, and that is pretty meaningless. Maybe the other people have inside info, but I’m hesitant to buy it. Message board chatter, regardless of who it is from, does not sway me. Frankly the deal just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, doesn’t mean it will not happen, just not buying it.

    And, for the most part, my rule for talking trades applies only to what I write in the post, I just try to tone down what happens in the comments because speculation is not the topic I’m aiming for. To get mentioned in a post the not-so-hard-and-fast rule is getting mention of serious talks in a very reputable publication.


  59. Drrayeye, it seems that this one guy started all the rumor and it has now spread like wildfire. I am personally at LakersTopbuzz and I tell you we are also talking about it there.

    In light of this rumor, it remains a rumor till some kind of news breaks out. I’m not sure if there is a sign-and-trade provision for rookies w/o contracts but I think Yi can be traded with zero value. As far as the merits of that rumor are concerned, I hope its not Farmar.


  60. Warren,

    I believe that everything is originating from Eric Pincus, as we have noted. I have not found any independent confirmations. I even checked some English language Chinese Newspapers. We have no authoritative evidence that a serious discussion is taking place at all right now

    Except for two Laker “rumor” sites and one Bucks “rumor” site that I posted, there is stony silence.

    What made me warm up to the idea is that it made so much sense for both sides–for Milwaukee, it made basketball and business sense. For the Lakers, it made more strategic sense than anything else.

    It still may happen.

    I was educated by the Bucks bloggers. What the Bucks lack is someone big and strong who can play down low–both offense and defense. Ta da! Enter Kwame Brown. Brown’s power forward play would really be low post. He might even give the Bucks the illusion of defense.

    Evans might do as much as Simmons in a back up role at a fraction of the cost. Farmar is the question mark. Maybe a trading chip? If so, wouldn’t Crit be more attractive?

    If nothing works, they have $10 million, a tradeable asset, and and a draft pick.

    Simmons can be a true 6th man, has heart, and plays good defense. Just ask the Clippers.

    Yi could well be the future of the Laker franchise–if not from a basketball point of view, a marketing point of view. He would have to be a huge bust in the NBA to slow down the flow of international cash.

    The Lakers already tap into the Asian market with Kobe. Adding Yi couldn’t hurt. If Kobe leaves, Yi
    could be the player to build the team around–and they’d still draw crowds and make money with a losing record. Yi may well keep the Lakers alive financially.

    Please note: I’m saying this even if he does very poorly as a basketball player. He also could be the best player in the draft this year. He certainly would keep the Lakers competitive against other Western Division teams in the future.

    Yi could be mentored by Odom–perhaps even freeing Odom to play his natural position from time to time w/Simmons backing up Kobe. He could be brought on slowly rather than rushed in the way Milwaukee would do it.

    Rather than paying $20 mil for a superstar, we could grow our own!


  61. I gotta say, I’m not too crazy about taking on Simmons’ contract, but, getting Yi essentially for Farmar would be a coup I’d like think. As I’m sure some people here know, I’m not a big Farmar fan, but I am a huge fan of Crittenton. This would free Critt up to log 20 min or so a game and I am all for that learning on the fly business. Plus Yi eventually allows Odom to slide over. If Yi gains some muscle and is able to bang inside, a frontline of Odom/Yi/Bynum (or Mihm) would be solid. A starting 5 of Critt, Kobe, ODom, Yi, and Bynum in a year or two could be quite potent. I’d like to think the Lakers could get Yi just for Farmar and a pick given the current state of affairs with the Bucks/Yi showdown, which would allow us to keep Kwame for a later “purchase,” but I’d probably do the trade with the Bucks as it is presently being reported.


  62. From the standpoint of marketing, I bet Buss is already wetting his pants of the thought of tapping into the world’s biggest market – China.

    This is the contention that has been circling my mind – Yi Jianlian is a really good player from what I hear and these are not the rumor-mongerers talking. Meaning, if given the chance, he could very well make a bid for the ROY to some extent. In terms of trade asset value, Yi has a 4-yr window to prove his worth and in the meantime, we can already reap the soaring TV ratings from Asia and the World for this. Not to mention I am half-Chinese, half-Filipino by blood and I am already excited.

    By getting Yi for ONLY Kwame, Evans and Farmar (Crittenton really makes more sense for them and us), the Lakers are armed with 2 potential 7’0 nukes. Odom can still start at 4 as Yi will take the time to come off the bench and provide some firepower – at least for the 1st half of the season depending on how NBA ready he is.


  63. Can you imagine the look on Kobe’s face if he was told that the laker’s big trade was not for Kidd,KG,O’Neal but a raw Chinese player w/no outside shot,no defensive skills and zero upper body strength?


  64. Well if indeed Yi is the one we trade for this part of the season, we have the luxury of until the deadline to check him out. He will still be a valuable trading chip by then.

    Anytime you are able to acquire a high pick for basically nothing, you do it. Even if it meant paying a little more than the usual. Imagine how teams would salivate at the thought of getting Yi and Bynum. 2 19-yr old nukes of potential. Or we could choose to afford the wait ourselves.


  65. HAHAHA!! Guess that rumor’s over.