Drrayeye Looks at the Roster

Kurt —  August 31, 2008

There are going to be a variety of previews on this site between now and Oct. 28 (the first game), but with the roster largely set (at least for the guys getting the majority of the minutes) it’s time to start looking at the squad. One of our insightful members here, Drrayeye, did that in a comment yesterday and I thought it was something that deserved more discussion, so here it is.

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.

Kurt

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89 responses to Drrayeye Looks at the Roster

  1. Nice post dre. I just hope the Lakers don’t keep too many point guards for so long. Mitchell, Sun, Farmar, Fisher and to some extent Crawford, Odom and Vujacic? Either something is up or something is down.

    I am not that satisfied with RadMan’s performance. He can be streaky but that only goes as far as some quarters and for limited stretches. Walton has to be more consistent with his shot for that is one of his 2-3 reasons why we go for him. Our size up front is still a concern. With another mbenga or some bruiser down low for boarding and injuries, i think we are set.

    My mind is exploding with possibilities given this lineup. I agree that the trophy granted we stay healthy is ours for the taking. Our frontline is imposing and our bench mob is solid. To me, that equals a force to be reckoned with. Again, that’s a tall order as some way, sometime we will have players down one by one. man does that leave a foul taste.

  2. Great Post drrayeye, We seem to be in good shape as far as not having a real changes to the team. Even if Kobe is completely healed by the 1st game (who really knows), I do not think that he will not play heavy minutes in the begining of the season. I am thinking this is where The Machine will earn his new contract. I have always liked Luke and VladRad and think they will do just fine this year since both should be free from injuries. Lamar will not have any trouble wherever he plays on the team, he is very versatile. Pau, I expect will thrive with the new player combinations he will be on the floor with.

  3. I was thinking a couple topics you talked about. Luke being Luke without injuries slowing him, and the Yue-Karl redundance.

    How sweet is the ball movement when you combine Walton, Odom and Gasol on court? When the matchup allow it, his 3point and passing ability are what triangle offense need.

    Long combo guard who can do it all but do not excel in any category. Who’s that, Coby Karl or Sun Yue? I might have a problem letting Karl go, I just liked having him in the team hopping for an oportunity for him, but man this is bussiness and the same way the Lakers could not afford paying Turiaf that much, they cannot afford Karl and Yue when team slots are needed (at least if they dont want to make the D-Fenders D-League contenders…)

    One thing you haven’t said that I’m really really looking forward this season is the 3 man rotation for the heavy minutes in the paint with Odom, Gasol and Bynum. It makes me pee myself. Its OK if you want to try Odom at the 3 and it make work well but he’s still going to take minutes at the 4 rotating with Gasol and Bynum.
    SWEEEEEEEEEET!

  4. Thinking about it would moving Lamar to the second unit and have Ariza starting be a bad idea. I know it seems a bit crazy. And I have a stipulation about it as well. That stipulation is only move Ariza to the starting spot if he is a better three point shooter than Lamar. Otherwise play Lamar at the three.

    I was just thinking that this would bring a major weapon off the bench for us, and Allow Lamar to play the four something he excelled at last year. He would also cause a huge mismatch against the second unit power foward for any team. The reason for this though is I am not sure Lamar is a good enough three point shooter to play the small foward slot in a traingle offense, which is often required of a small forward in said offense. It would also help with frontcourt depth as gaurd depth is not a problem.

    But on the other hand starting Lamar at the three would give us a big bodied small foward to guard other big bodied small fowards we often have problems with, Lebron, Peirce, Jefferson, etc. It would also give us an excellent finisher at the three spot and put another great rebounder in the starting lineup as rebounding was a team weakness last year.

    Perhaps I am placing too much importance on three point shooting and not enough on other aspects of the game. I just thought it could be an interesting idea to run with but in retrospect after typing this is seems more like a good change of pace line up to bring in at the beginning of the second quarter.

  5. hey does anyone know whats happening w/kobe’s pinkie?

  6. A very optimistic post which I agree with. I think that the Lakers are ready to win it all. Injuries are their only true weakness.

    I think that Luke Walton is not a bad player like other Lakers bloggers on other sites continue to say. He has been battling injuries since 2006. Plus, he is coming off the bench instead of starting and he might be better able to adjust this season.

    I also believe that the addition of Josh Powell was big. He has good size and has shown that he can play big minutes if any of the Lakers frontline players go down.

    Lamar Odom should have a very well rounded season, even though he will now be at the small forward position. He still has skills that no other player in the league can give at his size. With Gasol and Bynum, he can concentrate more on getting everyone involved in the offense since he is no longer under the stress of being the No. 2 scorer.

    I’m really looking forward to how the roster’s depth chart turns out for opening night. It will be interesting on how to spread the playing time between all of these players. Numbers 1-13 all seem like solid players to me.

    Just as Drrayeye said, this is a very well balanced team.

  7. 3. From what I read, even though the Olympics is over, Kobe is still contemplating when to have the surgery done. Personally, I don’t know what he is waiting for because the surgery is the only way to fix his finger. IMO, he is probably going to have it just before training camp so that he can rest during that time.

  8. Thanks melvin!

  9. Drrayeye screwed up and forgot to mention Chris Mihm, who’s finally healthy after 2 years of rehabilitation. For a feeling of what Chris might do, we need to remember the night last season when Andrew had an upset stomach and everyone else was unavailable. Chris played center in great pain for the entire game–and the Lakers won!

    Even without elavation and most of his quickness, Mihm could hold down the position. Bad news for those who had given up on him: heees baaack!

    This fall, I’d look for Chris to start out playing no more than 10 minutes a game, focusing on defense. As the rust wears away, we may see some good post up moves by mid season, but let’s give Chris a chance to succeed. We need his veteran depth badly. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

    Given the many injuries with our bigs, even considering Pau’s versatility at the 5, I’d still like to see Mbenga or some center we acquire later in the season on the bench.

    (1) Passerby: Our “real” point guards are just Fisher and Farmar. It will be fascinating to see Lamar backing up that position–if it happens. I could imagine Sasha at the 3, but not point guard–even as a Laker point guard–but that’s just me.

    If Mitchell makes the team (don’t bet on it), look for the Lakers to experiment with him on defense at the point guard position. Sun Yue is likely to play the bench role held by Coby Karl last year, but the Lakers might use “the Sun” as an occasional defensive point guard if he mastered that role, like Sasha did in the early years.

    Of course, with injuries, or trades, all bets are off.

  10. Drray,
    You think Vlad will be the primary sub at PF and not Powell? I see Vlad and Luke as being the big losers in playing time this season, unless one or both of them can shoot threes at about a 45% rate.

  11. Kurt, I admit you have written some positive on these Lakers, but do not throw that away by having us believe that Fluke Walton is any good. or that he sucked this bad because of injuries. I don’t see why there are people defending this guy, he sucks. I was hoping they’d trade him during the summer to a team with cap space for a second round pick or a late first round pick. Fluke has taken Kwame’s place as the Laker “you do not want to see with the ball or you cringe when you see him with the ball”. Either way, him or Vlad has to go and if i had to pick between them I’d send Luke out first.
    They aren’t worth the money we paying ‘em. That’s one thing i hate about the Lakers’generosity.They should have tried to dump Luke, Vlad and Mihm. This management has to be serious about contending for more championships, you have no room for generosity. And not trading for Artest was huge mistake. Lamar has been here for 4 years and he still hasn’t breakout, he’s not about to breakout in his 5th year.
    That is why i still do not trust this management and the Gasol trade doesnt wash all the bad decisions that they made.

    just my 2 cents

  12. exhelodrvr,

    What would make you think that Josh Powell would get time over Vlad? Vlad makes too much and is too skilled as a shooter, to let Josh Powell take his minutes. Vlad does alot of things wrong, but when he’s on, he’s on. His scoring will be need on the 2nd unit, and I would think that you would probably see Powell getting minimal minutes, and at most, he would play the same role Ronny did. Which would’ve been dimished this year anyway.

    Luke will lose out the most. I also think Derek Fisher will not average more than 20 minutes this year. The young guys will get more minutes, and you may see Sasha move into the starting unit by the time the years up.

  13. I still think there are depth questions up front with all of the proposed rotations. I also think LO is a much better 4 than a 3 and may be out of place given his poor outside shooting and lack of defensive quickness. Lakers also have most of their depth around the 3 with Ariza, Walton, VladRad (a better 3 than 4) and Kobe (when the Machine is at 2). I would like to see Phil use LO at 4 most of the time rotating with Pau and then have Pau play 5 also when Bynum is resting. They could then rotate Pau, LO and Bynun each at 32 mins a game gvieing them plenty of rest and really throwing match up problems at most teams.

  14. I’d like to see V-Rad play a little PF. I remember Vlade playing quite a bit of power forward in Seattle.

  15. Remember the comments about Lamar on the weak side with Pau? Well, plug in Vlade in that spot and I think he would be a good PF for different reasons – he can shoot the 3. Also, he showed he could drive the ball last year. Now he can swing between the weak side and the strong side and fill either position (perhaps easier than Lamar – I know, heresy – in that he shoots the 3 better).

    I suspect he will be auditioning for Lamar’s spot, on the assumption that the Lakers can’t sign Lamar next summer and will need someone to fill his shoes.

  16. 11. MoneyM, why does there have to be a Lakers whipping boy? I mean, it made sense to be concerned about Kwame Brown or Smush Parker, they were being given far more minutes than their talents called for. But Luke Walton is no Kwame. He has passing skills that are a good fit with the triangle and he can run the floor, plus he can shoot from the midrange and three. His game was off last year due to injuries — and I don’t think anyone can make a worthy argument that the injuries did not impact his game. Bottom line, if he does not improve his 23 minutes a game from last year (down 10 minutes a game from the season before) will drop again. Return to form and his minutes may hang around 20 per game, and that would be a good fit off the bench.

    This management has to be serious about contending for more championships, you have no room for generosity.

    That is an example of what frustrates me about some Lakers fans. This management has put together a team that is contending for more titles, they reached the Finals last year out of the deeper conference without their starting center. This season they should be better. Why the anger and frustration?

  17. Kurt,

    Great comment. There are some who look at the glass half empty instead of half full. Well in the Lakers case, it might be 4/5ths full, depending on who you ask…

  18. Due to Fisher’s age, Farmar will be one of the first guys off the bench; and due to his growth, Sash will be there alongside him. But with a roster full of versatile players going up against an assortment of styles, I don’t think it makes much sense to establish too rigid rotation.

    For guys like Raddo and Walton, they’ll have to get used to playing on a situational basis. It will be up to the coaching to staff to identify precisely where and when they’ll be able to thrive.

  19. wonda,
    “What would make you think that Josh Powell would get time over Vlad? Vlad makes too much and is too skilled as a shooter, to let Josh Powell take his minutes”

    Vlad is erratic, Powell is a decent rebounder and defender (Vlad is neither), and Vlad is undersized as a PF – and he is a SF. He does have the advantage of 2 years in the system, but he still seems to get confused too often while he is on the floor. At this point, I don’t see his salary being an issue. The coaching staff is not going to miss out on a potential title because Vlad makes more than Powell. If Powell has a harder than normal time picking up the system, or Vlad gets off to a hot start, then I think Vlad might be a better choice.

  20. drrayeye,
    Great snapshot of where we are with this team. We really do have a strong, contending team. Which is all that we could really ask for. Most fans know that in any given season it takes a little luck and for some breaks to go their way to truly win it all. Here’s hoping that some of those breaks go our way this season. I mean, half of the players in your write up suffered some sort of injury setback during the season. Last year we had a strong enough team to overcome all those issues to still reach the finals. Next year, it’d be nice to not have any of those issues and take the next step.

  21. @Kurt
    We must have been watching two different lakers team if you think that Luke will produce or should i say if his strong points will outweigh his glaring weaknesses. Thing is, he loses his confidence quicker than anybody not named “Odom” on the team. He drives to the basket nonchalantly and sometimes misses the easiest buckets. What i mean to say is that his play doesn’t match his pay.

    And yes i meant what i said about serious about contending for a championship. A team contending for a championship has no room for weaknesses nor generosity. We are lucky that our championship windows is large(although an injury away from being a diff. case) because we have a lot of young players. but as seasons go by, especially if its a year where you lost in the finals, you have to make moves to hash out weaknesses. And i feel we have made none:
    -Josh Powell replaces Ronny who’s energy we’ll miss, the case is pending whether Josh can fully replace him
    -Dwayne Mitchell is a baseless signee since we already have Ariza who’s better than him at both ends of the floor.
    -Chris Mihm is awful. This aint 2004-2005 anymore, his play is not strong enough to warrant minutes.Which is why we should have dealt him and find a way to keep Ronny. People forget that Ronny was actually a tough dude. That knock down on that Jazz PG definitely sent a Message. I know for a fact that phil shunnin him for Chris “never play” Mihm irked him.
    -Vlad and Luke both aren’t good defenders and both have tendencies for mental lapses and on some days they are gawd awful
    -We need a 3 who can shoot and defend(sounds like artest, dont it?). Not having a 3 cost us the championship. Notice how in the games we won, Odom shot the ball well from 10-18 ft. It amazed me that People are saying Pierce outplay Kobe when kobe shot about the same percentage as him and had better overall stats than Pierce. Notice also how Kobe was the only Laker to defend Pierce really well during the Finals and when KB did that, there was no other player willing to shoot(except Sasha but he a bench player). Imagine if we had a real 3(yea, like Artest, Battier, Posey..) In that game 4, we had a good start mainly because of Ariza’s aggressiveness on D and Odom’s aggressiveness on O(notice how they are both 3s). But Phil never played Ariza again for some unexplicable reason.

    See? The lakers are being passive and banking on AB(for good reason) and Ariza. You don’t wait for luck to strike, you seek it. Good organization dont do red tapes!!!! They used the offseason to hash out weaknesses and improve. No Red Tapes!!!! Why do you think PHX’championship window closed on them? they did the same thing the Lakers are doing now. They never tried to trade Marion or Stoudemire until it was too late. yea they were still a championship team but with lingering weaknesses, they were never able to get over the hump.

    Do you see one weakness on SAS’team besides old age? old age can be cured with rest and less play. Old age also has its advantages: tough under pressure. Manu not being healthy was an handicap for them and ultimately what cut their championsihp dreams short. not old age.

    Come on kurt, i got you mayne. admit it.!!!!

  22. MoneyM, you’re not even close. I think you sound like the classic impatient fan, the kind of guy who is either young or a poor student of history. And I’m not talking about long ago history — two season ago were you calling for Bynum to be traded when Kobe said so? For Kidd? The patience of the Laker management has proven wise lately. So, maybe waiting for Mihm and Luke to get healthy before we pan them is worth trying.

    Do I see any weakneses on SAS besides age? Hell yes, starting with depth. And the list is longer than that. And you gloss over age as if it hasn’t been a problem for them, as if their old role players have stepped up recently?

    Finally, I’m not going to rehash the Artest thing, but I thought that would be a bad move. If you’ve watched him pay the last couple of years you have seen him take the ball out of Kevin Martin’s hands (Sac’s best shooter) at crunch time and seen him play outside a team concept. I think he is a bad chemistry fit in LA, but just read this instead:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2008/07/05/lamar-odom-ron-artest/

    But you never answered my basic question: Why does there have to be a whipping boy? Why do some Lakers fans feel the need to be negative after a great season?

  23. To piggy back on Kurt here a little bit, MoneyM what do you like about this Lakers team? And please don’t say Kobe. I don’t mind a criticism of Lakers players (as long as it’s fair) but the over the top “player x is useless” shows a lack of understanding of the game. Every player has weakness and every player has strengths, so to say that any player is “worthless” is just hyperbole (unless we’re talking about Jamal Macgloire, then I’m all ears). It’s up to the coaches to use those players the right way and to play to those players strengths. I also think that judging players who have been injured, severe or just nagging, and then basically saying that those injuries don’t matter or don’t affect that player’s quality of play is a very close minded approach to player evaluation. I could go on, but I’ll just go back to my original question: What *do* you like about this current Lakers team?

  24. Kurt.
    No, I thought it would be a colossal mistake to trade Andrew B. for Kidd for the simple fact that you do not trade big for small. Especially when that big is young with immense talent and that small is an old guard on his last legs. I thought at the time, that it was ironic of Kobe to shun Andrew when Kobe himself should have known what it feels like to be in Andrew’s shoes. Kobe should have known more than anybody else how to approach the situtation when Shaq practically did the same thing to him. Still on Kobe, he used to be my fav player but now i swithed to a lakers fan instead of a kobe fan. People see him as this mentally tough guy while i see him as a mentally weak leader. It’s not his fault, he just dont know how to lead or inspire players(i.e Team USA and Lebron). I never saw him once retaliate in that Finals nor stand up for his teammates. He went to chat up KG while KG had just finished laying Gasol on the ground. He’s mostly a “you are on your own” or “every man for himself” leader. You watch your own back. You know it, I know it. And when things went really bad in that game 4, he started losing his head and screaming at the officials. but that’s a story for another day.

    Phil Jackson knows this fact. That is why he keeps on saying “we need an enforcer on this team”. That is why he wanted Ron Artest. Ron Artest would defer to Kobe in crunch time. Who’s kevin Martin? why would Artest defer to him? It’s all about authority and respect. and Kobe gets that from Ron. To make matters worse, Ron wanted to play with Kobe and the lakeshow and so did Kobe.

    As for The whipping boy thing. Usually the worst player on the team is the whipping boy and Luke Walton occupies that spot right now. Sasha surpassed him and so did Farmar, and these 2 guys are going to keep on improving. Ariza was already better.

    Same as the Suns, the pistons also waited too long to trade Rasheed wallace thinking that the next season would be different. It never became different. That unwillingness to part with the volatile Rasheed cost them a couple of ‘ships.

  25. Having quality depth means not having to use up the starters over the long long season.Going into the playoffs with fresh guys makes SO much difference.I thought that the hard play at the end of last season hurt the Lakers in the Boston series.

  26. “I don’t mind a criticism of Lakers players (as long as it’s fair) but the over the top “player x is useless” shows a lack of understanding of the game.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I’m by nature more of a pessimist than dre (sorry, don’t hate me), but I agree – any criticism should be fair, unbiased, and supported. I agree that Luke can play a solid role off the bench, I have no problem with the son of Bill.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone particular player on the Lakers roster, outside of Vlade. I’m seriously not trying to slam him at all. Vlade had some incredible games last year, and often saved the team. But my honest evaluation is this: his offensive output is offset by his lack of defense. I’m not trying to buy into the ESPN talking heads, but I think any reasonable basketball fan will agree that Vlade simply cannot slow down any fairly talented SF (or PF, if he switches to that position). It’s just my humble opinion that we need stronger perimeter D. I realize Phil Jackson’s teams are based on offense, but his championship Bulls teams featured the 2 most dangerous perimeter defenders in the game.

    I’m not saying ship Vlade out. He showed the ability to put the ball on the floor in the Spurs series, and I really liked that. If he can expand his offensive game beyond the 3 and turn it into a consistent weapon, then I believe his weakness at the other end would be compensated for.

    It’s just my opinion (and I hope I supported that, my intent was definitely not to bash) that after last year’s Finals, we have all the tools to succeed except 1 ferocious perimeter defender, someone to give the Paul Pierces and Lebron James of the world some trouble. Kobe can fill that role against 2-guards, but had a lot of trouble guarding Pierce in these Finals. Plus, he expends too much energy on the other end. Hopefully, if he’s fully recovered and spends a summer developing his game, Ariza can fulfill that role for us.

  27. chibi, I get a kick out of all you guys tossing dirt on Fishers grave…yes he’s getting up there in years for the NBA, but has he actually shown any of us a sign of his age…slowing any? I don’t see it.
    what I do see is a guy who works hard, takes care of himself, seems to lead a good life style, and appears as fit as the day he came into the league, maybe even more fit, bulked up some over the years.
    I for one would not begin saying Fish is slowing down, let’s see it first, he might be one of those guys who plays well into his late 30’s, if anyone could do it, I would bet on Fish.

  28. Exhelodrvr,

    Hmmm. Vlad is undersized at PF, huh? Let’s see. 6’10”, 234. Josh Powell is 6’9″, 225. Who is undersized? You may be right baout Vlad’s defensive and/or rebounding deficiencies, but he isn’t undersized.

    Everbody else…

    All this team needs is experience. Or should I say “needed experience.” They waltzed through the toughest Western Conference ever, then got better. The loss they suffered to the Celtics was the heartbreak they needed to know what it takes. I agree with Kurt. Enjoy what we have. This team can be great. As is. Focus and Intensity have to be realized and applied,

  29. Chris H,

    I posted a comment that I don’t think Fish would get more than 20 minutes per this year. But I think it’s due to the fact that Sasha and Farmar will be better than him, and they are younger. It’s about the future of the team also, and they play a role in the present and the future. Fish just needs to be the steady hand he was last year. He was the transition we needed.

  30. MoneyM,

    Everything needs to be taken in context. This is still pre preseason. I’m comparing my impressions of the Lakers compared to previous years and compared with the competition. From the time of the Shaq trade, the Lakers have had a difficult time with balance and depth. It wasn’t that long ago that some felt that the Lakers had no tradeable assets. There are some who would argue that the Lakers currently have the most complete teamwise talent in the NBA. The Lakers are predicted to win the West and face the Celts again. There is every reason to be optimistic.

    You are judging a team harshly that got it right when it seemed like everything was falling apart last year–and you are basing your judgments on one or two games in the championship playoff series.

    A few years ago, I obsessed on Smush Parker. Last year, it was Brian Cook.

    You are obsessing over Luke, a player that has made recognized contributions to the Lakers over quite a number of years and earned a long term contract.

    You are also making bizarre snap judgements about players you obviously haven’t studied:

    “Dwayne Mitchell is a baseless signee since we already have Ariza who’s better than him at both ends of the floor.”

    Dwayne Mitchell is an incredibly quick and athletic guard. In his college years, he was listed at 6′ 2″, so wait until you see him side by side with Ariza before you reject him based on that comparison.

    “Chris Mihm is awful. ”

    I would have expected him to retire, but I have an open mind. Don’t you want to at least see how he looks in preseason?

    Snoopy2006, I largely agree with your analysis.

    Exhelodrvr,

    Josh Powell has a great deal to learn before he can expect serious PT as a Laker. Unless there are serious injuries, I wouldn’t expect to see him much until the second half of the season.

  31. As an Asian American, I have got to say you must be a racist [edit]. Just because Sun Yue is Chinese does not mean he will “find the first dim sum place near Staples”. Why insult other races? [edit for personal attack]

  32. wonda,
    “Vlad is undersized as a PF”

    Yes – from a muscular perspective. And he plays that way. Powell doesn’t. Maybe it’s mental on Vlad’s part.

  33. KENNY
    Why must you think people are racist just based on their opinion? You think Sun Yue will have a roster spot? Coby karl is better than him at both ends of the floor. I’d be surprised if he makes the roster. and where in the rotation would you put him? ahead of Sasha?Farmar?Fisher?Vlade?Ariza?Walton? If i had to pick between Coby karl or him, i”d pick Coby. That’s how much of a long shot it is for him to make the roster.
    Right now, Walton is the worst player on our squad and he’s way better than Sun Y. Sun Y is mostly a passer and Walton does that better than him.
    You have to be reasonable man. It’s the truth.
    —————————————————

    @DRRRAYE
    i am not being impatient. I’m just trying to make sure that we dont repeat last year mistakes. You do realize that we could have won the game if guys pushed back when they were pushed right?? As a laker fan, i was pretty pissed watching Gasol and Odom getting beat up and Nobody stood up for them. Not even Kobe. I dont know if he was worried about his image, or if he’s actually “soft”. Either way, he didnt stand up for them. Magic, Larry and Jordan, all would have stood up. We have no tough guy on the team, and that cost us the ‘ship.

  34. versatility is underrated, i think. this isn’t football where we sub entire teams, but basketball where mismatches are to be created real time – and during the regular season, opponents have little time to prepare for such mix-ups.

    Kobe is a threat with or without his versatility, but I think there’ll be a synergy created in the company of good big men: Odom, Gasol and Bynum. Synergy.

    Anyway, if this group of players can recreate the flair of joy de vivre (?) that the last group had (absence of Ronny going to be a problem?) we’re in for yet another pleasant ride, devoid of the usual Laker drama.

    As used as I am to our flare-ups, it would be nice to have just one season where we can count on our team staying a team and having trust in each other, from beginning to end.

  35. Kenny, I left your comment in to get its point across but cutting back on the personal attacks of other posters we do not allow here. That said, I think you are taking what was intended as a joke as something more than that. I’m sorry if you were offended, I can assure you on behalf of Drrayeye that was not the intention.

    MoneyM, first, I reject your basic premise that we were short a tough guy last year and that was the difference. I think what you think of as toughness would have been solved by having Andrew Bynum as a backstop on defense in the Finals. I love how nobody said anything about us being soft while we were beating Utah or SAS, but suddenly we were in the Finals? No. And Gasol is not soft, and if you are suggesting Kobe is that borders of foolish.

    I think what frustrates the hoops-savvy fan base of this site with your comments is the absolutism. There are no absolutes, NBA players are not “useless” or they would not be in the league. As Darius and Harold said, Basketball is a game of matchups at this level. Dismissing Vladrad is a mistake, he is very good at stretching the floor, and can be very usefull at the pick and pop, or pick and flare, which former San Antonio coach Alvin Gentry recently called the toughest play to defend in the NBA. As for Luke, two seasons ago Walton shot 38% from three and had a true shooting percentage of 55%. He is a great passer from the high post, he is good in transition.

    It’s a matter of how you use players, taking advantage of strengths and hiding a weakness. There are few Kobes or LeBrons where there are few if any weaknesses, players have them. I trust our coaching staff more than most to use them properly.

    But the world is not black and white. Nor is basketball.

  36. (31) Kenny,

    I’m not Asian-American, but I have a Chinese friend that used to take me to all of his favorite secret places in greater LA to eat– including his favorite dim sum place in downtown. I was referring to that place in my mind when I wrote the post. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Okinawa, and Korea. One of my biggest blog brothers on this site is from the Philippines.

    When Pau Gasol was signed, I said we should find a good paella place for him, because it’s doubtful that he would have had much paella in Memphis. Was I insulting people from Spain?

    It was written in fun. It was intended to make (especially) you laugh.

  37. Is saying Sun Yue is on the prowl for dim sum any less offensive than, for instance, saying Josh Powell is ready for some for fried chicken and watermelon?

  38. chibi,
    I can say that the connotations associated with those two statements is definitely different. Also, I think drrayeye explained his reasoning behind his statement. Also, even though he didn’t mention this, I think there are some truly positive aspects behind a statement like drrayeye’s.

    Mainly, speaking of helping a foreign player adjust culturally to America while remaining comfortable (and I think food/cuisine is a major part of having a comfort level) is a positive thing. So, talking about dim sum and having Sun have a place where he can get some food that may make him feel more comfortable isn’t such a bad thing, imo (though, I don’t begrudge someone there opinion and wondering what the intent was or possibly taking offense). And also, if you’re going to bring up cuisine and black players (like Powell in your example) I still remember when Chris Webber first spoke about his trade to the Kings from the Bullets and saying that he was not able to find any good “soul food” in Sacramento and that he had to travel all the way down to the Bay Area to get some of that style of food. My point is, this can be an issue for players of all cultures and shouldn’t necessarily lead to thoughts of racism immediately.

  39. MoneyM,

    just so that you know, Sun signed a two year deal with the lakers; therefore hes not as a long shot as you think in terms of making the roster… and for karl and mitchell? well, they will have to fight for their spots…

    other than the above thought, heres a link for an article on kobe’s killer instinct. great read.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/chris_ballard/05/27/kobe0602/index.html

  40. the other Stephen September 1, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    i’m an asian-american, and i took no offense. i got ya back, drrayeye. although training camp hasn’t even started, i’m so excited to see what the lakers have been working on this offseason!

  41. Re KobeK,
    As I recall he spent most of the Summer League as a playmaker looking to set others up,as opposed to gunning for points. The team may consider him their provisional third PG.

  42. Darius, great news: It looks like the Heat have signed Jamal Magloire for this coming season, so your favorite player is in the league for another year.

    And Drrayeye, last time I went for Dim Sum downtown it was the day of a Lakers game and James Worthy was at the next table over. There are some great places not to far from Staples. There also are some great taco trucks in the area.

  43. Funny stuff, Kurt. KD had a great piece the other day that touched on Magloire specifically, and it stuck with me a little bit. But over the last couple of seasons, Magloire has been the guy that symbolized a certain mindset that exists in the NBA that kinda bugs me. A guy like him can sign on with a team, get released and sign on with another, get released (or not re-signed) and go to another team, and so on and so on, while a guy like Rod Benson (whom I also read over at BDL) can’t make the NBA for anything. And there are a ton of guys like Benson who, over the course of a season could do a better job than a guy like Magloire but never sniff an NBA roster. Like I said, it kinda bugs me. In the end, I really don’t think Magloire is “useless” but I do wish that he (and guys like him) wouldn’t take up roster spots when there are guys that could definitely do what he does and maybe make his mark. KD’s piece said it much better than I ever could, but I really do share his sentiment on the subject and have thought it for a while. If I ever saw Magloire in person, I’d probably have to apologize to him.

  44. Drrayeye, would that be me?

    Love your post man. I haven’t been around and the next thing I know is that you’ve conquered the site with your insight. Props to Kurt in allowing “member days” though. I think its a really cool idea.

    Anyways, scrutinizing the post and not the comments led me to some random thoughts. The eccentricity in me always searches for that bigger name out there. But this Laker team we have right now maybe one of the best to date. I am tempted to still look outside the backyard but for the 1st time in a very long time, I am quite content with what we have.

    Lets look at this per position.

    C: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Josh Powell, Chris Mihm, DJ Mbenga

    Immediately, we jump into the eternal question – is Andrew back? If so, how has he recovered? The only question really is if he could get back to the form where he left us last year, this will already be an exciting time for Laker fans.

    The 2nd aspect has to be Pau playing sparingly at C. We all know his body and his mind is not ready to be a full-time C. But if Andrew holds up, at least Pau can be a C by convenience and not by necessity.

    Chris Mihm has been injured since he scored 31 points in opening night of the 04-05 season. Atleast those are some really nice memories. His lateral movement is what I’d love to see come back. He is a decent passer and by all means an underrated scorer. So we need him to be healthy and we’re set.

    DJ is a personal favorite. Though he may look at Miami to be the better choice right now, I wouldn’t mind having him back. And then there’s Josh Powell. He provided “meaningful” minutes for the depleted Clipps and if he could learn the intricacies of the TRI on the fly, he would be a very welcome addition (or replacement) if we think about Ronny.

    PF: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, VladRad

    We have seen in several occasions that Pau plays well off the ball being the PF. By off-the-ball I mean that he is not the biggest focus in the interior. We have seen how many dunks he’s had taking it off the dribble from the pinch. We should see a lot more of these this year.

    Lamar Odom is the paradox. He will be bumped out of position to a position he was originally designed to be. But since he has been playing PF for the looooongest time, his muscle memory dictates he should be playing half the time at PF. 18/18 at SF/PF would be nice and perhaps advisable.

    I could not agree more about the VladRad assessment. He now plays the spot where big shot bob used to roam on, positioning himself less on the rebounding and boxing out, but to pick his spots to score.

    SF: Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza, Kobe Bryant

    It will be interesting how Lamar comes back to his SF position. With that, we should see in the 1st couple of games how he reacts. I hope the less pressure makes him thrive.

    Luke Walton is smarter than the “puke” comments. I recently saw a flashback of his game 2 expertise in the LA-DET series where he did it all. Maybe Dad should be hired as a special “motivational” coach. He seems to play well with Daddy at the stands.

    Trevor Ariza is the consensus favorite Laker. He should be busting his ass as in the gym as we speak and remember he is on a contract year too.

    SG: Kobe Bryant, Sasha Vujacic, Joey Crawford (I like calling him Joey), Coby Karl, Dwayne Mitchell

    Kobe naturally takes the 36 minutes here with consistency. The best thing about his upcoming surgery is that some new guys will be given a free tryout in this spot. Sasha should take this spot very comfortably but its the names after him are the most interesting.

    Joey, Dwayne and Son-of-George are all playing for the opportunity of a lifetime. Atleast in the summer leagues we knew that Coby has taken his game a step further. But as to this would be enough to convince the Zen Master to earn him some PT would be another story. As for the 2, they will probably hold on to the last roster spot depending on possibilities – but I don’t see them developing into the rotation anytime soon.

    PG: Fish, Farm, Sun

    Isn’t there a weird connection of the three?

    Fish will still be the spiritual mentor of the team and chances are he should still be the starting PG. But we all know he’s not 23 and we saw how rest could have mattered in the Boston series. I hope that Jordan Farmar gets a 41-game start. That means, I hope he is ready to get the 28-minute slice of the pie. Give Fish the other 20 and keep him fresh. Fresh-Fish – again, another irony.

    Then there’s the Sun. I don’t know if it is by any stretch of the imagination “fair” to call him the Chinese Magic Johnson. I seriously think he should still learn the language first. Get some time in the D-leagues since we have enough depth and lastly, hook up with Drrayeye to find that Dimsum.

  45. Darius,

    re:”Like I said, it kinda bugs me. In the end, I really don’t think Magloire is “useless” but I do wish that he (and guys like him) wouldn’t take up roster spots when there are guys that could definitely do what he does and maybe make his mark.”

    Maybe it has something to do with GM’s being scary. I think they would prefer to sign the guys with a history, who they know has done it, or been there, rather than a completely fresh face. As Bill Simmons says, this is the No Balls Association. I think job security makes that happen. Just think about San Antonio. Pop isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the “GM” unless they decide to leave, and how many players do they have making contributions that seem to come from nowhere or were considered nobodies? They know they can take that chance and teach them without getting second guessed. Or like Jerry West drafting Devean George out of Division III.
    Maybe that’s why.

  46. Anything less than a championship this season will be a resounding failure. Given that, it is imperative that Bryant is rested during the regular season – personally I would like to see him average somewhere around 32 mins/game – with depth in our wings, this should be very possible…

  47. 46 Jimbo, I have a feeling I’ll be saying this a lot this season, but I disagree with your basic premise. I think this team could be better than last season and still not win the title (there are other very good teams out there and we don’t know how trades and other things will shape the landscape between now and June). I would be okay with that. If this team plays up to its potential and still does not win, so be it.

    That said, the idea of keeping Kobe’s minutes down this season is a good one. Really, I think that is even more true of Pau, who may be more tired due to the Summer Olympics (Kobe’s conditioning does not worry me).

  48. The only thing that I agree with MoneyM on is “We have no tough guy on the team, and that cost us the ’ship”.

    Kurt I know that in the past you have disagreed with this
    idea. Does the fact that Phil Jackson continue to say “we need an enforcer on this team” change your mind at all?

  49. To be expecting no-less than a championship is to be foolish. No one is assured of the Championship – not even the three-peat Lakers every year after. There are always hurdles to overcome. And if you look at the glass half-full instead of it being half-empty, you will realize that the journey is actually twice the fun as the destination.

  50. I hate to be called “addendum” again but that seems to be me…

    But to add to my last post (49), it should read: And if you look at the glass half-full instead of it being half-empty, you will realize that the journey is actually twice the fun as the destination. Like how falling in love is double triple the fun than going straight to the sex.

    Pardon the analogy but aren’t we R-18 here anyway? ;)

  51. the other Stephen September 2, 2008 at 11:05 am

    i remember what pjax said about needing an enforcer, and how he thought that dfish was the only one who somewhat fit that description, but i dunno.. there’re a number of people who aren’t afraid of knocking people on their asses and getting in their faces, starting with lamar odom. that guy seems to be at the center of alot of arguments.

  52. Kurt,

    C’mon. I’m surprised at your last comment. You’re really going to say “I think this team could be better than last season and still not win the title ……I would be okay with that. If this team plays up to its potential and still does not win, so be it.” ?

    I don’t believe that you would. Does that mean you were happy just to make the Finals last year? Was that enough? I know that answer is no. We’re discussing and debating what this team needs, or who should play where, or how much because we want to SEE THIS TEAM WIN IT ALL . We know we’re that close, and by all expectations should be better. Can you honestly tell me that if this team ” plays up to its potential” that it shouldn’t win the title? I feel that they will be the best team in the NBA and it will be their destiny to win it all, and so do you.

    Tell me. How much did it hurt losing in the Finals? Especially to Boston? Or, how happy would have you been if they won? You have this blog because of your passion for the Lakers. Don’t be afraid to have expectations fall short, because it takes the fun out of it. Trust me. I’m a lifelong Red Sox fan, and circa 2004 is much better. If you wouldn’t be disappointed in not winning the ‘Ship, then you have turned into a PHX or Jazz fan.

  53. 48. Phil Jackson is the best coach the NBA has ever seen, a master of motivation and melding of player talents. But if you look at his GM skills over the years, they have been less than impressive.

    Do I think we needed toughness in the Finals? Obviously. But I think the best solutions to that problem were on the bench injured for the most part. A healthy Ariza on the wing and a healthy Bynum in the paint would have slowed the parade to the basket by the Celtics. I think our young guys learned what it takes to win a title. I think counting on those things to bring the toughness (plus somewhat Josh Powell) is better than shaking up the roster to bring in an Artest or other tough guy that could mess with chemistry.

  54. Let me add my “addendum.”

    If you wouldn’t be disappointed, then what does it matter if lamar plays the 3 or 4, or if Bynum comes back, or if Pau toughens up, or if Vlad gets a clue? It matters because you want a Championship. You have already set the bar to yourselves. You just don;t want the disappointment. But that disappointment only comes when you know your team CAN win it all. Sue no one is assured of winning it all. That’s why they play the games, and our chances are better than most. their journey has brought them here.

  55. Wow, my words have been twisted around like some presidential campaign spin machine got a hold of them.

    At no point did I say I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Lakers did not win a title this season. That is different in my mind than “I would be okay with that.” If we lose to a better team, as happened last June, whether due to injuries or even because this other team really just was better, I can accept that. It’s different from disappointed. As a fan I would be hurt, but intellectually I could accept it.

    Bottom line, I just wrote a whole post about this a week ago — enjoy the journey, it is not all about the end result. Could I enjoy this team and think it did well if it did not win a title this year? Yes. I might be disappointed but that is different than saying “we didn’t win the title so this season is a failure.”

  56. wondabap,
    I would think that we discuss minutes, rotations, player postions, etc in order to try and (as Kurt said) maximize this teams potential. That’s why it matters. The end result will be what it ends up being. Manipulating that result by playing players where and when they should play is the job of the coaches and acquiring those players is the job of the GM. And ultimately in the end, we want to make sure every step is being taken to put this team in the best postion possible to win. But, again, as Kurt said, all those steps can be taken and we could still lose. It *is* possible that we won’t be the best team even if everything goes our way, just because another teams best could be better than ours. Being a fan, at least a rational one, means accepting those possibilities. It’s also why the games aren’t played on paper.

  57. Kurt,

    I agree with the season not being a failure, and enjoying it. So I see what you mean from that standpoint. You’d accept it, well….because you would have to. What else could you do. Sure we could all enjoy the ride, but if this team is better than last year, we should expect a title. That’s what I mean.

  58. Darius,

    re:” would think that we discuss minutes, rotations, player postions, etc in order to try and (as Kurt said) maximize this teams potential. That’s why it matters.”

    Yes, I know. The reason it matters is because we feel this team can (kurt, here’s a suggestion for the site – italics) a Championship. Kurt thought I may have twisted his words, and I think you and he might be misunderstanding my point. I agree with you two that not winning it all would NOT be a failure, and that we should enjoy the journey. But I feel there is nothing worng with expecting a Championship if this team plays the way we think it should, or know it should. Yes, it is true that “It *is* possible that we won’t be the best team even if everything goes our way, just because another teams best could be better than ours,” but I don’t feel that our best ball will be beaten this year, neither do you, and neither does Kurt. I expect them to be at their best this year, and hopefully I will enjoy this season watching them travel down that road. I expect their best, and think their best results in a ring. Two years ago I would only expect their best to get a 1st round upset. Do you understand what I mean a little better?

  59. This Little Pinky September 2, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Dimsumgate is intriguing.

    The quote that Sun Yue is “ready to find the first dim sum place near Staples” isn’t offensive on its own.

    The question comes in whether the author’s intent or perception reduces Sun Yue to just a culinary reference.

    DrRay does say that he said the same for Pau (paella), but the sensitivity to “Chinese food” references is not the same as to Spanish food.

    You have to realize that in the Chinese-American community, most outsiders’ references to Chinese culture is either “Chinese food” or “Kung Fu”. And that’s it. That’s why if you said Sun Yue was ready to karate chop the league, it would have been equally offensive, even if you meant it as a compliment.

    Now, you can tell from Drray comments, he didn’t intend any offense, and I’m sure none is taken by many readers.

    But it’s just something to be aware of – you can say people are being overly sensitive about this stuff, or you can choose to understand it.

  60. this season is a failure if and only if we implode somehow, or if players decide not to show up.

    anything other than that should be pleasant to watch.

    win or lose, i like our team playing like a team, and i like to see more players shoulder some of the responsibility of winning, other than relying on Kobe at the first sign of trouble.

    let kobe be the alpha male, but i would sure like to see a pack of wolves backing him, not a bunch of wide-eyed pups.

  61. wondabap,
    I know what you mean.

    I’m just more of a hope person. I hope that our best would be good enough, but I don’t know it for a fact. I do think that we will be a really good team, and that we are one of 3-4 teams that should be in the conversation to win it all. I don’t know if that makes me the type of weak fan that should turn to the Suns or the Jazz (not what you said, I know), but I do know that I’d prefer to still root for our side.

    In the end though, I think we’re on the same page it’s just that I’d prefer to not get into what we should or will do and focus on how we do it and what the players/coaches can do to make it better. But, I think we all want to do that too. It’s what being a fan is all about: looking at the team and trying to figure out what’s working and what’s not and how to win, all while cheering our tails off.

  62. i’ll certainly admit to cringing inside when i read the dim sum remark based on the understanding of Asian Americans’ perception across the country as perpetual foreigners. i know this site has many visitors and people from different backgrounds and we’re not here to discuss the reflex to reductionist stereotypes, but I like the way that This Little Pinky has interpreted the situation. and as truehoop anecdoted regarding his experience with a practical joke in reference to the Spanish team’s controversial photo, it’s another chance to step back and think about the way things may be received by others.

    I’m excited to see the Lamar/Pau/Bynum front line. If that works out well, it could be quite a juggernaut. I’m not worried at all about DFish as he showed last year that he had somehow become faster and smarter during his couple years away. He’s a great professional and if he can stay healthy, he should be just as steady as last year.

  63. On Dimsumgate, I am an American currently living in Japan, and when I arrived here, everyone would tell me the location of the nearest McDonalds. There is someting to be said for being able to find familliar food in a forigen country. As Sun Yue is actually from China I think it is a reasonable assumption to think that he might be looking for a dim sum place. Now, if he was of Asian heritage but from America it would be different, but I think in this case the comments were not out of line.

  64. As an Asian-American, I found the comment somewhat offensive, but not quite enough to make note of it, especially since I have no idea whether the person that made the comment is an Asian-American or not. There’s always a double standard, just as it’s okay for African-Americans to call each other words that would get me shot if I used them. As for the Spanish team photo, well, I wanted to shoot them, and no, I don’t mean taking pictures.

    At any rate, just like sexual harrassment, even the lightest comment made is judged by the persons listening/reading the comment, not the person making them. So I think it’s best to exercise caution, even if you are friendly with other Asian-Americans and you get by fine joking about race and ethnicity. I won’t even mention how annoying it is when somebody says ‘I have an Asian friend’ as if… well, as if I were to say ‘I knew this caucasian girl once…’ to my Asian buddies.

  65. not to spam, but to respond to food in foreign country… I don’t buy that as a defense. It’s one thing to tell them in person, quite another to ‘expect certain behavior and make note(fun) of it in public.’

    For example, if I were to help a senior citizen negotiate stairs, it may seen as an act of good will. But if I were to say ‘senior citizens need help negotiating stairs,’ I may be making a generalization that can offend senior citizens who are fit enough to run a marathon.

    Anyway, although I doubt the original comment was intended to make fun of race/ethinicity/nationality, you just have to be more careful when in a company of strangers.

  66. Hey Warren, good to hear from you, it has been awhile, from reading your comments you have been keeping up with the Lakers I see. Yea, after reading the comments today it has been an active forum. I just keep thinking about how the current champions went 7 games in two playoff series within the worst of the two conferences. I mean, to me it seems like they came within 1 game twice of not even being in the Finals. I think that sometimes certain things eigther fall in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time (you know what I mean here) and you just never know – fate maybe. All that I will EXPECT from the Lakers this year is to be one of the best teams, rightly challenging any other team in the whole NBA to prove we do not deserve the championship.

    GO LAKERS…

  67. One comment more, the only real way to view the FB&G forum at work, is to really try to convince your boss that your monitor needs to be facing away from your office door or cubicle entrance (bad reflections?), or maybe just move it and see what happens.

  68. When I was in Taiwan, I gave a lecture at the Chung Ching Institute on “avoiding midair collisions” to an assembled group of fighter pilots. As a partial reward for my lecture, I was taken to a Taipae dim sum restaurant where exotic delicacies were delivered on a conveyor belt. At the end of the meal, the famous chef who prepared the meal came out and signed an autograph as a momento of the event in my honor.

    That’s the kind of dim sum I had in mind for Sun. Dim sum is clearly a sign of high culture among Chinese I know overseas. Noted author Amy Tan explores the subtlties of the dim sum experience among immigrant Chinese in her books.

    I have no doubt that a visit down the street from Staples to a great dim sum lunch in his honor would make “the Sun” feel respected, understood, and right at home.

  69. Hey sT. Indeed its been a while. I’ve been very busy playing SIM leagues lately.

    About the dimsum comment, I myself am fully Asian, Filipino-Chinese to be exact. Its only a matter of perspective. I do not find myself being insulted by that comment as supposed to the possible interpretations that go with it, and I in fact found myself joking about it. This aside from the fact that Drrayeye is a good friend of mine. Even if Darius or Kurt himself said it, it would still ring the same tune.

  70. There’s always a double standard, just as it’s okay for African-Americans to call each other words that would get me shot if I used them.

    Comment by harold — September 3, 2008 @ 12:09 am

    Often times, people say things with no intent to be racist but language squshes their intentions.

    Many would argue that that sentence that I quoted would, in of itself, be a racist statment because it implies that (1) all Black people own guns and (2) only solve problems with violence.

    I think DrRay (and Harold for that matter) mean no harm with their statements. The increasing international flavor of the NBA makes culture shock more and more of an issue (ask Yi Jianlian about it). Having a large, established Chinese American community along with its infrastructure (including Dim Sum) will help us recruit, retain, and relax Chinese players. I believe that was all DrRay was trying to say.

  71. I think we have probably beaten the ‘dim sum’ comment to death and should move on to other things. I bet drrayeye doesn’t add a dash of flavor to his blog without thinking long and hard about it in the future, tho.

  72. Craig W,

    I second that. I think it should be done with.

  73. the other Stephen September 3, 2008 at 10:53 am

    i’ve been thinking for awhile that it would be nice if there could be different categories of comments, the ability to respond to specific comments, or just better visual organization of comments in general. i think that would be greatly beneficial to the health and depth of discussion, as well as for the average reader.

    i just never suggested it, cause i figured it would be ignored, like usual.

  74. How to deal with the comments is the thing I’m still the most puzzled about. Simply put, there is a split between people who would like nested comments and those who do not. Whatever I do is going to not please some people. The compromise may be to allow people to “quote” text from another comment in their comment. But I’m not sure.

  75. Kurt (74),

    The comments are fine. Don’t change them. See how easy that is other Stephen (73). All you have to do is scroll up and see what I’m responding to. it’s much better than:

    -(Admin)Kurt: “How to deal with the comments is the thing I’m still the most puzzled about. Simply put, there is a split between people who would like nested comments and those who do not. Whatever I do is going to not please some people. The compromise may be to allow people to “quote” text from another comment in their comment. But I’m not sure.”

    User: Response here……

    Next thing you know, there are 20 responses to one comment and you have to read the comment 20 freaking times. All I want is the ability to use italics.

  76. Kurt,

    I’ve been thinking. I’d like to see your status as one of the premier Laker Blogs to gain more insider information, or more access. F B&G seems to be THE blog that gets run with the other blogs whenever the Lakers are involved in a playoff series or the is a Laker blog link. I read on HP how Matt has gained more access due to the growing popularity of his blog (thanks to a Kobe Bryant Blog Day, of course…).

  77. harold, my wife is Korean, and I have in the past mentioned to someone in passing that my wife is asian, and I don’t feel like I am a racist, nor do I think my wife would be offended. I don’t see how it is different that saying she is French, if she were from France, or Dutch if from Holland, or Russian if from Russia…etc.

    on that example you used about saying that if you dated a “caucasian” girl…
    now if you were in Asia, and hanging with your buddies and you were dating a Caucasian girl, then maybe it wouldn’t be so odd to clarify that point…am I correct on this?
    just curious.
    and about those Lakers…??? when are we going to GET SOME BALL???

  78. 76, It’s something I’m working on, but something I want to do right. Meaning I don’t want to go to Laker practices and what have you and recycle the same quotes from the same interviews. The Lakers don’t need another beat writer. The key is doing things that are different and provide a different perspective. I have some ideas along those lines, and like I said, I’m working on it.

  79. I definitely agree. Also, what’s up with the tees? Any info yet?

  80. Kurt, on Blazer’s Edge, there’s a “Junk Drawer” post where Blazer fans don’t have to adhere to a particular topic. I think you could experiment with some of your ideas if you created that kind of sub-forum, without altering your current format.

  81. Kurt,
    I’d like to have a link to recent posts, similar to what TrueHoop does. I know that the updates here are not as frequent as TrueHoop, but there are times that the updates are more frequent (more than one a day, during the season especially) or you want to access a past post and comment on it without having to scroll down the page. Is it just me that thinks that? Or am I just lazy?

  82. Yea Kurt, what about those tees?, I have already budgeted for a few. Again, about the comments here at FB&G. It is one (of the many) reasons that I really like this forum. Like I said before, when I view this blog I just start from the post then work down from comment 1 – 100? and if someone references a previous comment, I just go back to it if I want to. When I am returning to view this blog later, I just start where I left off and continue on down, not worried about missing any new comments. Some forums that I go into, I really do not know where to start and if someone responds (nested) to a comment that I thought I had already read, I probably will skip the newly added response because I do not realize that it was added. Maybe I am just the only one with these issues with nested comments. As to repeating an earlier comment that has been made, I have to agree with ;wondahbap — September 3, 2008 @ 12:12 pm; comment. See how easy that was to reference a previous comment accurately and without a number which sometimes will change depending on what has been moderated. I was a mainframe programmer so maybe I think a little sequential sometimes when I not into DB2 mode, lol huh.

  83. This Little Pinky September 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Hey, when the heck is Kobe going to get that surgery on his pinky? I keep waiting to hear something about, but instead … nothing.

  84. ottereater: i’m not sure if you’re familiar with the incident at V. Tech a while back(Cho was K-American); i may have made a broad sweep on america/americans/right to bear arms in general, but i don’t think ‘shot’ necessarily equates a specific race. My bad for picking the word ‘shot,’ but I think if I said ‘you’d get into a fight’ that would just as easily be interpreted as a comment on temper. Maybe I should’ve just said ‘would definately hurt their feelings.’

    chris h: i guess i picked an unclear situation to illustrate my point, and in retrospect, may be a situation that only minorities from other cultures can relate to. It’s just that there are times when such comments can be taken as if you’re being treated as an exotic object and not as a person, as if the norm is NOT to have such friends. I’m sure I’m crossing more lines here, again, but I think it kinda feels like how a gay person must have felt in the 1930s(or pick any place/period in time when it was taboo) when a straight person told other straight people that he actually had a gay friend. Never mind, I’m not sure if that feeling can be conveyed quite right.

    At any rate, like I said above, I don’t doubt drrayeye’s intentions, and would’ve let it slip, especially in a community like this, had it not been for somebody else pointing it out, the Spanish Team’s photo, and the LPGA’s intent to have an English requirement to participate in its tournament.

  85. Kurt,
    Regarding the comments-and overall-I like things the way they are. To me this forum is like a good conversation-your posts get the conversation started and then we get to put in our 2 cents as the mood strikes us. To beat an analogy to death,I like having one long coversation that flows instead of numerous side discussions one has to skip back and forth to.

  86. kurt,

    is it inappropriate to bring in links for articles from other site here at FB&G? please advice me if so… since this is the third time i have done this this week here…

    anyway, our kidrew just posted a blog on his own website, for anyone whos interested on his recovering process, its a great read. he also mentioned he wants to be on the 2012 USA team…

    http://www.andrewbynum.com/index.cfm/pk/view/cd/NAA/cdid/401152/pid/400026

    peace out.

  87. Sam, links that people here would find interesting and are on topic are always welcome. Or, just the occasional thing I find cool could show up, like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2s6LZUdYaU&feature=related

  88. MONK!!!

    What a way to end my day. Thank you, Kurt.

  89. New post up. What should Farmar make?