Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  June 23, 2008

As the frustration level subsides in the Lakers nation, we should look at some odds and ends issues that did not get much discussion here. What that means is that for now we return to the regular rules for discussion an Odom (or any other) trade — it is off the table until credible media sources say talks are taking place. For the many new readers here, that does not mean some media guy saying “the Lakers can expect a call” or a mention from Peter Vessey. It means more like Bresnahan at the Times or Ding at the Register saying talks are taking place. The hypothetical trade conversation can continue in the thread of the last post.

There are a lot of other interesting topics to discuss.

• It’s official, Kobe is on the US Olympic team. No shock there. I look at the roster and while it may be small (all the better to run with) like the balance — having Redd and Prince will be key in international ball. Kidd will help push the pace (although I sympathize with Cuban here, Kidd is the player most likely to feel the impact next season from no summer off).

The two complaints I heard were: 1) Not enough big men; personally, with international ball and the “big men” being more Dirk than Shaq, I think having Howard and Bosh with Boozer for muscle will be fine (it’s more about quickness and team defense, we’ll see if they get the rotations together); 2) Too many stars. I don’t look at this lineup and see a ball-hogging group, they guys on this roster can pass and the shooters (Redd) fit a need. Frankly, there are no Iversons on this squad.

Should be interesting, because Spain and Argentina (if Manu plays) should be right there with the US.

• By the way, it’s interesting to see the “club or country” debate in the USA about basketball after reading so many of the same arguments around international soccer for so many years.

• And while I’m on soccer, a Russia/Spain Euro 08 finals next weekend semifinal Thursday will be fun. I love watching Andrei Arshavin play.

• Rose or Beasley?

For me this comes down to my draft philosophy — take the best player, regardless of position. From what I saw during the season and Tournament (I saw Rose on television maybe five times, Beasley twice), I like Rose. I think in a league not allowing hand checking on the perimeter, his quickness and strength are going to make him a very valuable force for a decade or more. But, if the Bulls took a close look at Beasley and thought he was basically just as good, they should go that direction as he does fit their needs more. I’m just not sure he’s as good. Hollinger disagrees.

• Anybody have any draft sleepers they think will be good? I saw a good question the other day — who will be next year’s Carl Landry?

• By the way, a post looking at the Lakers options at #58 in the draft will be going up in the next few days. On Draft Day I’ll have an open chat going for people who want to swing by and make fun of what Kevin Love wears to the event (can he top this?), as well as follow the happenings.

• In case you didn’t see it, Ariza did exercise is option and will be a Laker next season. After that he is an unrestricted free agent.

• I’m excited to see Wimbledon starting, although to be honest the French Open is still my favorite to watch. Even if Nadal is unbeatable on the red clay. (I think he may win on grass, too.)

• I am surprised the Suns are shopping Barbosa around. If I were a GM of a team that wanted to get out and run…..

RIP George Carlin. Fuck I’m going to miss that son of a bitch.

• Yes, I just broke one of my own rules for this site, but in that one instance it seemed appropriate.