Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  August 28, 2008

After a few days going through withdrawals without my laptop, time to clear out the inbox in bullet point form.

UPDATED: Great stuff today from the OC Register, talking about Kuchak checking up on Bynum:

“Andrew has dedicated another summer to getting into the best possible shape,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “A month ago he was cleared from the knee surgery he had and at that point he began working on conditioning and getting into shape and I thought he looked like he has made progress.”…..

“I could see improvement in his body, his conditioning and mobility,” Kupchak said. “I didn’t see any signs of effects from the surgery.”

• There are now 16 Lakers under contract, although not all are guaranteed (Crawford and Karl, for example). As reported in the OC Register today, Kupchak plans to bring 18 players to camp. So we can expect a couple more guys to be signed, but they most likely will be camp fodder.

• Sun Yue will be in camp and his deal is guaranteed (two years, $1.2 million total).

• Can we stop calling Sun “”The Chinese Magic.” I get the correlation (tall PG) but Magic is a nickname we as Lakers fans just don’t throw around. If you want that moniker, you have to really earn it. Sun did not even start for the Chinese national team (ed. note: yes he did), is raw and is really a two-year project. He’s going to get a lot of run with the D-Fenders this year would be my guess. Save the nickname until we see if he can live up to it.

• By the way, Dwayne Mitchell is also on a non-guaranteed deal, according to Eric Pincus.

• I’m excited about college football is starting up again. Go Irish!

• A five-part breakdown looking at the correlation between the volume of Kobe’s shooting and Laker wins and losses.

• The Monta Ellis injury is just bad news for basketball fans, that is a fun player to watch who now is out for about the first half of the season. I hope his injury pattern is not something that becomes chronic.

Great read on New Orleans, the Hornets, Katrina and Gustav. (Hat tip True Hoop)

• One of my favorite blogs lately has been Eric Mussleman’s (the former Golden State and Sacramento coach).

• As I said before, one of the things coming in the next couple months will be a new look and some other changes to the site. It needs an update. But FB&G is a community at its heart and I want any changes to work well for all of you. So, before things really get rolling (and as was started in an earlier thread), throw out some ideas of what you do or don’t want to see. Or send me an email with your thoughts. From the little things (like fixing the header so it links back to the main page) to potential biggies (a section where readers can make their own posts) I am trying to think about them all. Like I said, my goal is for any changes to work well for the community, so tell me what you want to see.

to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. not your chinese magic August 28, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    “Sun did not even start for the Chinese national team”

    Uhh, pretty sure he did in the Olympics. He and his managment have had disputes with the Chinese team before but he did start the games for the Olympics which is pretty huge. He wont have an immediate impact but he could potentially take up the backup point role soon.


  2. 1. You’re right, he did start, correction made. By the way, had a true shooting percentage of 61% for the games, which is pretty good.


  3. I’m pretty sure Monta Ellis is only missing until late-November/early-December. Makes sense since his timeline is three months. We’ll get to see plenty of him this season.


  4. A couple of Bay Area papers said it could be January or February for Ellis. I hope not, but you never know (see Bynum, Andrew).


  5. Kurt,

    Actually, I love the site just as it is. (Though I would like the banner to link back to the main page, as you stated.) My problem with allowing others to make posts is that it makes things too complicated. The main thing I love about FB&G is the simplicity and straight forwardness of the layout. I know where everyone’s comments are and I know the focus of those comments (based on the main post.) That’s just my two cents.


  6. Kurt,

    The site used to have a ‘recently posted’ link on the right side and I felt it was very helpful, so I am hoping that you will be able to bring that back, but other than that I can’t think of anything else to improve on this site.


  7. 6. Recent comments is coming back for sure. It stopped only because at one point the plug in no longer worked with the most recent version of Word Press.


  8. Wow. Finally. The news we’ve been waiting to hear.

    Just think of how much more he’s going to feel the need to prove himself all over again. We’ve already seen what motivation did last year. Sweet!


  9. Since we are still more than a month away from the start of training camp, does anyone have any updates on how the rest of the team is doing? Have there been any informal workouts among the other players. Some teams have posted similar updates.
    So far, the only news is Kobe’s pinkie and Andrew’s conditioning.
    Also, since FB&G is now associated with, Andrew Bynum’s website gives special thanks to LD2K’s “Incredible Bynum” video. Pretty cool.


  10. Kurt,

    One possible addition? A “previous post”/”next post” link somewhere near the top of the page. Having spent a fair amount of time over at the Daily News’s “Inside UCLA with Brian Dohn” (great UCLA news resource – probably the best for recruiting), that’s the one thing that has been in major demand ever since it was removed during a site update a while back.

    Also, there are good things and bad things about the ability for users to add their own posts on the side. You could also set up a shoutbox-style chat feature on the main page, as a halfway measure.


  11. Kurt, a request on the website…since i check fb&g throughout the day while at work it would be great if the site is low bandwith with very few acutal videos posted on the site (if you are thinking about adding videos). maybe links to videos instead or actual videos on the site or something equivalent that is low bandwith. main reasoning being that THE MAN (work), earlier this year installed a snooping program that monitors workers use of bandwith and blocks access to high bandwith sites, especially those that contain videos. fb&g gets me through my day and it would be nice to continue to read it. also, i’m not a fan nested comments….the way it is currently is great, simple and easy to follow. thanks!


  12. Perhaps a better nickname for Sun Yue would be the Chinese Shaun Livingston.


  13. Kurt, I read a lot and I think something to look into is they have great blogs, but no Lakers Blog and they have a fan post section. I completely understand if you wanna stay independent.


  14. *It’s great to hear that Bynum is looking strong in his off-season workouts. After watching Spain play a bunch of high-low and have Pau play some from the high post and on the weakside post, I’m excited to see how Bynum and Gasol play together. I’m especially excited for the weakside rebounding chances that Pau is going to get when Bynun is operating in the hub of the Triangle and when Bynum gets involved in strong-side screen and rolls. From the games I saw during the Olympics (especially in the Gold Medal game) Pau excelled at crashing the offensive glass from the weakside, and he should get plenty of oppurtunities to do just that next season if Bynum comes back healthy and fit.

    *I’m also anxious to see how the fight for the last roster spots shake out. The OC Register is still calling for us to look at Livingston, but even if that doesn’t happen (which I would like to happen but admit is bad timing and is unlikely, I know), there is going to be a battle between Karl, Crawford, and Mitchell for that final spot. I know that Karl has the upper hand (as he should) but it will be interesting to see if either of the other guys show a lot to the staff to merit consideration for a spot over George’s Son.

    *Personally, I have zero expectations for Sun Yue. Just going off of the other (more talented and highly touted) Chinese players like Yao and Yi struggle early in their adjustment to the NBA, I think hoping for anything more than him to just learn the game at this level is a stretch. Personally, the more D-league time the better…I mean, the D-Fenders run our offense and should be teaching some of our defensive principles, so just get him minutes and let him learn and hopefully after his first contract is up he’s shown enough for us to want to keep him. If not, it’s not a bad investment (600k/yr.) for a guy that seeminly has some good potential.

    *I truly can’t wait for more hoops. The Olympics only slightly gave me my fix. I’d take more summer league right now….


  15. Two things I’d love to see on the site..

    – Threaded/leveled comments, or at least a better way of responding to a specific commenter and being able to identify it…some websites put up a link automatically (such as @Kurt or @13) to the specific post that someone replies to but keeps the ‘one-level’ system, which would work well here since those tree systems sometimes get out of hand

    – More guest posts from members..since we have one of the best communities of any sports blog I think we’d all enjoy more posts aside from the standard day-to-day Laker news from these members (this is just my attempt to have more posts to justify visiting this site 5 times a day)


  16. The LA Lurkers report

    Last year, I was able to see a real likelihood for the Lakers to land Pau Gasol well before the deal was consummated. This year, I think we might see the Lakers working through some of the consequences of that Gasol decision last year. It’s going to even be harder then I thought.

    The best analogy to the Grizzlies of last year might be the Sacramento Kings of this year. And they had a potentially eligible player to trade in Ron Artest. Unfortunately, anyone carefully looking for the right win-win combinations in a Laker/Kings trade, is still looking.

    The Kings were able to secure the return of a beloved former player and a much desired rookie in trade for the most valuable player on their team–who had become a distraction. The Rockets obtained a player that might well take them all the way to an NBA championship for virtually nothing.

    The search goes on.

    Last week, it was briefly rumored on the web that Lamar had been traded. Almost immediately, the sites lit up with trade possibilities–and passionate deniers who argued against trading Lamar.

    The deniers shouldn’t have been so worried. A trade for Lamar requires a team passionate for Lamar’s skills. From the Eastern Conference: Chicago would seem made for Lamar, with his rebounding and passing skills; likewise Detroit–Lamar once starred at Miami. From the West: Golden State, Memphis, and Sacramento.

    UInfortunately, I have not been able to find any serious discussion of Lamar outside of Los Angeles area sites.

    I’ll keep lurking.


  17. About the site…
    Simple is better. This usually applies to all websites.

    About the only thing I would like is a daily subject. I realize that Kurt can’t take the time to do this, but perhaps Tues, Thurs, Sat could be guest days (except for emergency Laker news or games). Some such informal system could be implemented to ease Kurt’s burden.


  18. I completely agree… with Goo… the wsites with comments that are leveled to the comments they are directed at makes for WAY better conversation. like over at blazersedge…

    i cant tell you how hard it is to work your way through hundreds of comments on this site to find the source of the conversation.



    wow… GINOBLLIIII!!!!

    isn’t he like older then kobe?


  20. Don’t change a thing.Really like it the way it is.Simple


  21. Darius,

    I too think Drew and Pau will work very well together. In the Gold Medal game, it was apparent that Pau is more skilled than Dwight Howard or Chris Bosh, but we all knew that. But one thing concerned me. Did you see the shot D12 threw at Pau? Then Pau’s half hearted attempt to stand up to it on the other end of the floor? Although he really had a problem against Boston’s physicality, and a little against Utah’s, if Dwight Howard feels he can get physical or try intimidation tactics, then what’s going t happen throughout the season? The rest of the NBA is going to test him game in and game out. Even Kobe sent him a message. I hope he’s going to get it. Assuming everything goes as it did last year (minus the injuries) for the Lakers, then the only thing that needs to be “worked on” is maintaining focus and intensity, or positively responding to attempts to disrupt the offense through physicality.


  22. I’ll make the same suggestion I make for every site I read at work…make the background look exactly like an Excel spreadsheet. This purple and gold stuff just screams “I’m not working!!”. I need to be able to slack at work with a bit less stress. One can only minimize so quickly.


  23. Manu needs surgery, too bad for him.

    I agree with Darius, Pau and Marc Gasol worked well together, there is every reason to think Bynum and Pau will work well together.


  24. the question has never been will pao and bynum work well together, the question has always been, will lamar odom work well with pao and bynum on the floor.


  25. given that lamar odom can’t shoot a three pointer to save his life.


  26. hey.. any news about kobe’s pinkie? whens he having it sliced up? everyones kinda forgotten about it…


  27. (24, 25) Mando,

    I agree with you, and strongly doubt Lamar will regularly play 30 minutes or more at the 3 this coming season.

    Lamar found his perfect niche as a Laker last year and almost brought us a championship as our factor X. This is his expiring contract year. Although things might change, I see no obvious viable trade for Lamar that is win-win right now. As the season progresses, it will be more and more difficult to integrate any major new player into the triangle, so the utility of a trade goes down as the season progresses. So, whether we like it or not, Lamar could easily be here for at least this season. Maybe we shouldn’t think too hard about cap space and contracts for next year?

    Under these realistic circumstances, the Lakers are likely to have Lamar play diverse roles–that could include a replay of last year in part. Right now, the Lakers are deep enough to not only survive, but thrive with substantial injuries to even the most key players on the team.

    Lamar is one of the biggest reasons.


  28. Kurt,

    As others mentioned, being able to respond directly to an earlier comment is valuable–but it is difficult to do without creating more problems than we already have.

    Perhaps showing “new” comments in a different color might help–or allowing users to switch from serial to threaded comments.

    The policy of having occasional guest posts may be more helpful than parallel posts running at the same time.




  29. One possibility would be to put anchors in the page each 10 or 15 comments. Then have a reference to all the available anchors at the top of the comments. This way the user could ‘jump’ to near where they left of on their last visit when the thread gets long, rather than just estimating with the scroll bar. Of course, this means someone has to enter the anchors every so often as I know of no way to automatically set anchors at specified intervals.


  30. 22: LOL, I totally agree! If not a spreadsheet, maybe we can tone done the purple and gold.

    I am fairly new to the site (< 1year), but I really like what I see here. I like some of the ideas (especially being able to link to comments – I do not like the long trees).

    I also think some guest posts would be cool, as long as Kurt is able to regulate it so it does not get out of hand. I think we have a great community of knowledgeable people and that Kurt uses them in his posts pretty regularly.


  31. If the anchors were also listed at the bottom of the comments readers could ‘jump’ back near original comments if the responder refers to the number of the originating comment.


  32. 24

    With twin towers there is always a question of how they will fit together.


  33. 11.

    FYI, there is a “previous post”/”next post” link on Dohn’s blog. It’s in the left-hand column under “About This Entry”.


  34. The absolutely best thing this blog could add is a way for me to earn 1000s of dollars a week reading it. That would be much easier than finding time while other people are paying me to do stuff.

    One thing that strikes me about having separate sections where individuals can make there own posts is it adds a level of complexity. I imagine it’d turn out similar to the exellent Spurs blog we followed during our series with them. It was always easy to follow the main posters because they were on the front page, but once you started diggin through the ancillary posts, you just got lost in a wash of wildly varying quality. I would probably always want to see what Kwame, Reed and some others have to say, but if they are competing for time and space among non-proofreading ramblers like myself, it would be unfortunate. In the current comments based format, at least its all linear, so it’s easy to scan for the good bits among the rest.

    So, if measures could be taken to keep the riff raff from clogging the insight, that’d be nice.


  35. Andrew Z,

    So, have you taught your son to throw a curveball yet?


  36. I did not get to see the Lakers during the postseason because I was out of the country, but I had the fortune of having great friends who recorded the games for me. Upon watching the games against the Jazz and the Spurs I couldn’t help but notice how weak our frontcourt really is. Seriously, Pau and Odom were in our frontcourt? I don’t know how we got so far with those two. This is good news, because when Andrew comes back the Lakers will be tougher than before, and Odom and Gasol will have one more year of experience that will hopefully toughen them up.

    On another note, after seeing Marc Gasol play I don’t think the Gasol trade was that lopsided. The Grizz got something really good in return.


  37. drrayeye,

    I love it. You say “Lamar is one of the biggest reasons” and “almost brought us a championship,” but still agree with trading him. If you believe all of this, then why did you want him gone?


  38. wondahbap,
    Sorry to jump in, but I don’t think he wants him gone – I will, however, let him speak for himself.

    It is just that Lamar’s contract is so large and we cannot reup him at anything near what he makes now. He, therefore, is not likely to be staying beyond this year if he sees any other opportunities at all. He is not getting any younger and would like to get his money while he can. I don’t think there is a lot of demand for him, but if we could get several good pieces for less, we might do it.


  39. Love the site. The people here make it what it is. One Thing, how about a little icon that shows up on my Favorites?


  40. Valid Point, Craig. Thanks. I guess it’s been so long since we put a moratorium on the “Lamar Debate,” I forgot.


  41. (36) Wondahbap,

    Craig said it perfectly. There was a time that the Lakers were actively trading Lamar, but it didn’t happen. Now the Lakers have two totally contradictory perspectives of Odom. In one, they’re looking to trade him, but sure that they’ll regret it during the season. In the other, they don’t trade him and regret it after the season is over.

    It’s more complicated than that, but I think you get the idea.


  42. If only we could pay Lamar Luke and Valde’s contracts and get rid of them instead…


  43. j. d. hastings,
    I love it! We get to trade two contracts of our own and in return we get Lamar’s contract back. This is really deep into the summer blues. If we really had anything to discuss I bet Kurt would have deleted these comments, but at least we get to participate in a blog.


  44. Lamar….ah, we’ve come full circle.

    I’m not going to talk a specific deal but really just an observation about NBA trades in general:

    When NBA teams do trades there a couple of things to consider and factors that come into play.

    First, when teams trade for an expiring contract they usually want to dump a longer contract that they have on their books. Look at the Gasol trade. Memphis took a clearly inferior player and a couple of young prospects in order to dump Gasol’s contract. Memphis traded a very good player, but also a player that was owed a lot of money over the next several years. They wanted to get rid of his contract and were willing to take much less value (in terms of talent) to reduce their financial burden. This is the trend.

    Second, teams only trade young, promising players if they are getting a marquee player or difference making type player in return. Again, look at the Gasol trade. The Lakers were very high on Crittenton and (probably) also had a pretty high opinion of Marc Gasol. But they were willing to give up young, cheap, promising prospects in order to land a player they felt could put them over the top. This is also the trend.

    So, in this regard, I point to drrayeye’s point “A trade for Lamar requires a team passionate for Lamar’s skills.” because this is the truth. If the Lakers were to trade Lamar it would be (as has been mentioned before by others) in an anti-Gasol trade. The Lakers would be giving up an established player with good value (like Memphis) for up and coming younger players and a filler contract that would expire (like Memphis when they aquired Critt, Marc, and Kwame). It’s really the only type of deal that makes sense. I’m not advocating such a deal, or saying that this will happen. I’m just saying that any deal involving Odom, needs to take these two types of trade scenarios into account.


  45. I like the simplicity of the website. I also like that it is still independent and the you (Kurt) controls the content and comments.

    I think that you could look into sbnation as long as they let you keep control of the domain and that you can control the content.

    The only issue I would see is that it might expose the site to more “The Lakers Nation” types with a lot of nonsense like wild trade thoughts and “trade Luke for [fill-in-the-blank]. The sbnation sites have the ability to let users create their own blogs within the main blog and that might lead to less control.

    Personally, I like the site the way it is. Maybe you could go with a three column version of this site’s theme though. But other than that, keep it as is.


  46. Darius,

    I don’t think it would be the same situation as the Gasol deal, because Lamar is in his last year. He is an expiring contract. IT would be the same as last year with Kwame, only Lamar is actually good. Just like the rumored Artest deal, the Lakers could deal Lamar for a cheaper player who still has time left in his contract, meanwhile the team trading for Lamar would get a good player for the rest of the season, then have a huge salary come off the books. The Lakers have all the leverage in any negotiation with a possible trade partner. It’s a win/win. I don’t think it will take a team passionate for Lamar’s skills. It will take a team like Memphis again, who is looking to shed payroll, and with everyone trying to ready themselves for 2010, the Lakers may get some good looks this season, if they decide to go that route. But I think a trade happens if: 1) The Lakers got off to a slow start, or 2) Lamar gets some injuries during the season, or 3) The Lakers have a great start with Lamar putting up terrible or below average numbers.
    I don’t think the Lakers could tinker with the team if they are playing well, and Lamar is playing well.


    Site’s fine to me. If there are changes, please leave the comments section simple as it is.


  47. A few thoughts on Lamar.
    First,he’s not getting anywhere near max money on his next contract. the question is will it be a $7-8mil,or a $9-10mil type deal.
    Second,the team’s roster and thus payroll are nowhere close to being fixed for this yr,let alone next,so any assumptions on affording Lamar next yr are based on nothing solid.(For example of something unexpected,what if NBA declines Cavs request on Snow and Cavs decides after a couple pre-season games it could really use another shooter? Would the Lakers turn down a Rad for Snow deal?)
    Third,can anybody name a team that Lamar would put over the top? So why should any team give up talent for a rental that won’t assure them a long Playoff run?
    Fourth,why would Lakers trade Lamar when they have no real clue what Bynum will be able to contribute?
    Finally,there’s no real benefit from letting Lamar walk away at the end of his contract. If the Lakers give Bynum a big contract they’ll be over the cap anyway,so the only replacement would be a MLE player,and how many MLEs will give what Lamar does? What’s the real diff for the Lakers in paying someone $6mil on a MLE,or paying Lamar $9-10mil? The Buss family spent more this yr than anyone thought they would,so finances are not the main consideration for them.

    Yes,I was one who said the Lamar experiment was a failure and that he’d be traded. But I also believe you don’t fix what isn’t broken,and last yrs run after the Gasol trade showed the Lakers ain’t broke. Unless you believe the Kobe,Gasol,Lamar core just got lucky,I really don’t see why you would break it up.


  48. more on Lamar…
    coming off the bench for the 6th man award…. (see Manu G…)
    could make sense, start Trevor, LO comes in for either the 3 or the 4.
    Vlad, Luke, etc work in based on match ups.
    LO could also come in for the 1 in certain cases.
    here’s a link from the OC reg-


  49. Chris H,

    I don’t think Lamar’s ego could handle coming off of the bench.


    There’s no way Lakers trad Vlad for Eric Snow. Snow’s FINISHED. You’ll see more of him on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” than you will on an NBA court. That trade would make absolutely no sense, even if it is just a thought.


  50. wondahbap, I have been under the impression that lamar is an unselfish player, who doesn’t seem to have a huge ego…
    I think if it positioned in the same vein as the way the Spurs use manu, it wouldn’t be percieved as a slight, but rather as a strong strategic move.
    as they said in the article, (did you read it?)
    “it’s not really who starts the game, but rather who finishes it” and I could see the best 5 on the floor at the end of games, and that would no doubt include LO much of the time.
    where you you get that he has a huge ego?


  51. Maybe a poll question that goes on the side? could change every two weeks or every week with the results to the last one underneath and a results link for past polls? i think that would work out well…


  52. I still am in the camp that maybe we should try Odom at the three before we decide it can’t work. Maybe a month into the season we ask him to take a Manu role, but let’s see what a Fish/Kobe/Odom/Gasol/Bynum starting five can do before we tear it apart.

    Since its the deadest time of year I’m not as tight on the speculation restriction, but Eric Snow is out of the question. Unless he comes with a Delorean equipped with a Flux Capacitor that can go back a decade and get that Eric Snow.


  53. Kurt,
    “I still am in the camp that maybe we should try Odom at the three before we decide it can’t work”

    Personally, I am in the Odom as 6th man/Odom-Gasol-Bynum rotation for the 4 and 5. However, Odom as the SF gives the Lakers (if PJ wants to substitute en masse) a second string of Farmar, Vujacic, Powell, Mihm, and Ariza. That’s got to be the strongest 6-10 in the league.


  54. It seems all fans have a ‘flash point’ player. For much of the rest of the NBA this player is Kobe. For the Laker fans it was Kwame last year and Lamar Odom when Kwame was traded. Good grief people! Lamar is not going anywhere this year – and perhaps after that, as well. The comment about MLE or Lamar was very apt.

    The Lakers are not going to add several more promising players in place of Lamar. Their roster may not be set, but it is rather full at this time. If they took anything it would be draft picks – and then they are still left with the remainder of Lamar’s salary for trade balance. It just isn’t a practical solution for this year – never mind the Pau-Bynum-Lamar questions.


  55. wondabap,
    My point is that if we trade Lamar for an upgrade in talent, then that player will most likely have a longer contract (much like Gasol, when we aquired him). And if we aquire good, young, cheap players + a contract filler for a trade of Lamar, that team that is aquiring Lamar must really be in love with his skill set.

    We will not find a team that is willing to give up good young players AND dump a mid-size expiring contract just to aquire the larger expiring contract of Odom. It’s going to be an either or scenario. So, when considering what type of deal would involve Odom, just realize either the player coming back will be a player with a Richard Jefferson type contract (long and for big money) or the Lakers must find a team that loves Lamar AND has the young, cheap pieces that we like. And in the end, the Lakers will not take back a bigger, longer deal than what Lamar already represents. It’s why, as drrayeye points out, a deal involving Lamar is tougher than it seems because the variables at work don’t line up for an easy deal, especially when you consider what Lamar actually brings to the table as a player for us. We like what he does for us, so why give that up unless it’s for the perfect deal for the Lakers franchise?

    In the end, though, I agree with Kurt in that we must see how Lamar works at SF before any trade is made or his role is adjusted/changed . He is too valuable as an overall contributor to just dump him for a better fit at ONE position (SF) when he is already a very good fit at ONE position (PF) and may workout to be a very good fit at TWO positions (SF & PF).


  56. Hasn’t the team talked about Odom at the 2 with Kobe at the 3? I can see thhat maybe working better for keeping Odom, Bynum and Pau on the floor together. I don’t think I could elucidate why very well, but it seems like Odom overperforms when he’s out of position more than he meets expectations at his natural position…


  57. Darius,

    Okay. I understand your point better.

    Chris H.,

    I don’t mean Lamar is selfish, or that he has a huge ego. I mean he has a fragile ego. I don’t think the expectations he has for himself could handle coming off the bench. This is a man who had a star shaved into his head for weeks. Manu came into this League on the bench, and was Never the phenom Lamar was or always expected to be. The siituations are different, and Lamar cares about those things. Nothing wrong with that. Check out his website, and you see that man who wants to be a star in this League most likely, needs the comfort of starting. As he should.


  58. j.d. hastings (#57)
    My initial thoughts are that this move of Odom to the SG spot is really just to pair him on the weakside of the offense where he can pair more easily with Gasol. As we saw this past season, Odom and Gasol had a nice chemistry and it would make sense that the Lakers would try to use them on the same side of the floor to try and exploit the weakside of the defense with them playing off of eachother.

    Also, this move plays more to some of the strenghts that Odom displayed this past season which were cutting off the ball from the weakside and displaying the ability to catch and either finish (career high FG%) or make the interior pass when he receives the ball after cutting. Also, realize that Odom (though he likes to have the ball in his hands) would operate better on the weakside (like he did a lot this past season as the PF) where there is more spacing and he can use his long stride to try and attack the basket (when he does have the ball in his hands) and not have to navigate through as many defenders to do so. Odom playing SG would also benefit the offense as a whole because it would have Kobe and Fisher operating on the strong side and would provide more spacing to the post man when he operates in the hub of the offense. Imagine when the ball goes into the post on the strong side and Bynum (or Gasol on occasion) is flanked by Fisher and Kobe. Having those guys as shooters on that side means that the post player is going to have that extra second to operate in the post because defenders are not going to leave those guys to help down. And then when that strongside motion is run and Kobe and Fisher run that scissor cut off of the post, Kobe can get open on the backside when the PF screens his man and he would be available for the pass on a ball reversal (check “sideline triangle” info at the 3:15 min mark of this clip and watch til the end).

    There are a ton of options out of the Triangle anyway, but puting players in positions where they can be most successful is what Phil stresses the most in his coaching style. Right now we want to put our strongest and best players on the court to start the game. Odom is one of those 5 players. But to maximize him, I think a key thing the coaching staff can do is try to play to his strengths and put him in the positions on the court where he can contribute the most and use his skill set the best to compliment the other 4 players. I think that would be on the weakside at the SG position where he can be paired with Gasol more.


  59. #50,Wondabap,
    I used Snow/Rad as an example of some completely unexpected,unplanned future event. I know Snow is done,that’s why the Cavs are trying to get a career ending injury exemption for him.
    The whole point of such a mythical trade is Snow’s contract is expiring,thus giving the Lakers financial relief from Rad’s remaining yrs. If Rad’s contract wasn’t on the books for the next few yrs resigning Lamar becomes so much more affordable for the Lakers.

    Right now I imagine the Lakers are happy w/their rotation players and just want to add depth at the 4/5. But if somebody makes them an offer they can’t refuse…well,they ain’t gonna refuse it.


  60. Just heard that the Golden State Warriors are investigating Monta Ellis’ ankle injury because they have questions about or don’t believe, Ellis’ explanation on how he got injured. It is in the Contra Costa Times. Sounds a little like Ellis may be pulling a “Snowboard Job”.


  61. Hey, just thought i’d re-plug that link from Kurt above:
    Awesome Kobe study on his impact on games depending on his shooting volume. Really telling and actually very encouraging as a Lakers fan, considering his surrounding talent now…


  62. My suggestion for the site is to make it more “mobile-friendly”. When I bring up the site on my blackberry, I need to scroll past all of the links on the right of the page before I reach the good stuff: the feature story and comments. If there was a way to make it so that the story comes up first, that would be great.


  63. I found this thread on lakers topbuzz that had an english interview with Sun Yue.


  64. Just one site suggestion: an edit function for comments.


  65. I like the Lakers 2008-2009 squad–all of them, individually at least to number 13, and I’m likely to be happy with 14 and 15 as well when we figure out who they are. In comparing the Lakers to opponents at this early preseason point, the established Lakers are already united in team spirit and familiar with each other. Other NBA teams are still trying to sign free agents, find additional players, or, worse, trying to locate one or two starters for the upcoming season.

    The Lakers at this point are not only balanced, but may have backups available to sign to restore balance in case of injury. There are some Laker fans that have lost confidence in one or more of our returning players–but not me.

    Those Laker bloggers who wish to call Luke “*uke” should wash their mouths out with soap. Last season, Luke played through injuries and changing roles in an apparent confused state. It will be interesting to find out about his mobility and three point shot in the preseason. I expect to see Walton regularly in certain combinations at the small forward and I expect him to make important contributions.

    VladRad had a decent season last year, but still battled nagging injuries. His role is likely to shift from the small forward to the power forward–with more emphasis and opportunity as a scorer. I expect his role to also be better defined than last year and be another bright spot on the Laker team.

    Derek Fisher played the last games and the playoffs with a significant injury. It will be interesting how healthy he is when he reappears in the preseason, and it will be interesting how many minutes he will play each game during the regular season.

    I’m sure that Jordon Farmar is working on his three, but many of us are hoping that he gets to the hoop more often and rotates better on defense. It will be interesting to see if another Laker is added to the point guard rotation.

    The Machine should expect an enhanced role on the Lakers to go with his substantially enhanced salary. I’m sure that there will be various strategies to make his scoring more efficient and his defense more acceptable.

    Lamar had his best season as a Laker during 2007-2008, and he is as healthy as he ever has been. This season, his versatility will be challenged as never before.

    The real treat will be to see Trevor Ariza and Andrew Bynum going through an entire preseason with Pau Gasol. There are many adjustments to work out. So far, the only Laker surgery on the horizon is for Kobe Bean, but he’ll be ready and rested by the time the season starts–I hope. If not, the early season absence will be a good test for the rest of the team.

    Then there are three or four members of the newby squad to be added in:

    Here comes the Sun (Sun Yue) seems signed, sealed, and soon delivered–ready to find the first dim sum place near Staples (hint: it’s not too far away!).

    Josh Powell has apparently been swiped from the Clippers for the “Ronny Turiaf” slot–a slot that may have to be redefined to suit Josh.

    I’m convinced that the Lakers will fill only one more slot (#14), unless they sign Mbenga (#15).

    That slot should go to Coby Karl, and it may, but he may overlap too much with Sun Yue. I’m speculating (with no knowledge at all) that the slot will go to lightning fast Dwayne Mitchell in the hope that he can be a point guard defensive stopper. Why else would they even hold on to a 26 year old this long?

    I find it least likely that they will select Crawford, but there are still a few other players that might be asked to training camp, and other strange things could happen. Slots 14 and 15 may not be completely determined until the start of the season.


  66. If you want to talk about Drrayeye’s post, I started a whole new post and thread just for that so check it out.

    Also, thanks for all the suggestions. Not sure I can do all of them, but I got some great ideas to try to pull off.


  67. I’m not sure what Mitch and Co saw in Sun Yue in the olympics, but apparently they are giving him a thumbs up over Kobe Karl before training camp even starts. I hope this motivates Karl to succeed.

    On another note, I agree with the guys at the OC register that the Lakers “should” give Livingston a look. The problem is that – if he has good advisors – he will be looking for a guaranteeed deal and I don’t know if the Lakers are willing to take that chance. Still, playing for the Lakers carries a lot of spotlight should at least talk to him and invite him to camp. The pitch is that if he does well (say beats out Farmer for the backup spot or he becomes a starter) then next season he is going to cash in bigtime while at the same time proving that he still haa it.

    Before you burn your monitors, Yes, I’m saying the Lakers need a third option at the point. If Fish or Farmar get injured for a few weeks, we are going to be paper thin at that position. Fish has 2 more highly productive years left at most and, although I like Farmar, I don’t see him being a starter. Sorry. Jordan is good, but he struggles against young and quick point guards – which are the wave of the future in the NBA. I think this severly limits him because of his small size. Sorry, folks, but thats the way I see it. Also, II think Farmar did better when he had Javaris knipping at his heels for playing time.