The Curious Career of Glen Rice

Gatinho —  January 15, 2009
Michigan V Illinois

In 1989 Glen Rice entered the national basketball consciousness by scoring 31 points for the Michigan Wolverines in 1989 NCAA championship game. Rice and Rumeal Robinson would lead the Wolverines to an overtime victory of PJ Carlesimo’s Cinderella Seton Hall team.

The shot was pure. The rim was a prop. The net’s movement, or lack thereof, a testament to the release, rotation, splash; culminating in a textbook follow through pose.

Career TS% .551
Career FG% .472

Rice honed his shot by staying out late at the playground as a kid. His reasoning, if he could make it in the darkened shadows of the park, shooting in the lights of the gym would be nothing. He would learn what a shot felt like rather than relying on his sense of sight, almost as if shooting by wrote.

“He can definitely make three-pointers with his eyes closed, as he proved during warm-ups recently.”

He would be drafted by the sad sack Miami Heat and quickly bring them out of the doldrums, leading them to the Conference finals in his first season. But Miami would turn out to be the first stop in what can only be called a basketball Odyssey.

pawn 1 n. – a person used by others for their own purposes.

The trade from the Heat would be the beginning of a string of teams, including the Lakers, who would extract from Rice what they would before jettisoning him unceremoniously. But unlike some of his other stops, Miami and specifically Pat Riley would initiate him into the harsh realities of NBA player movement, and this would be one of the few times where Rice did little to earn his fate.

“Rice says Heat president and coach Pat Riley told him not to pay any attention to trade rumors—when Riley called to inform him that he had been dealt to Charlotte, “I was on my way to practice when I got the call,” Rice says. “I just went back inside, sat down on my living room floor and cried.”

But if Rice thought being lied to, followed by being traded away, was tough to swallow, his misery would soon enough subside because in Charlotte he would see the personal and statistical high point of his career.

“I’ve been in zones before where you feel like anything you put up is going in. This feels different. It doesn’t feel like something I’m going to come out of. It feels like this is the way it’s going to be.”

Rice had previously dazzled the league with his shooting prowess, but in Charlotte he would learn to keep defenders honest with drives to the rim. These forays often resulting in fouls, and one can imagine how well he shot freebies.

He would scratch the surface of superstar status on his third trip to the annual no-defense-scoring-fest known as the All-Star game. With 20 points in the third quarter and 24 in the half, both All-Star records, Rice would earn MVP honors and a momentary spot amongst the NBA’s elite.

Losing Eddie Jones

On March 3, 1999 Rice would traded to the Lakers for fan-favorite Eddie Jones and not-so-fan-favorite and over priced Shaq-back-up, Elden Campbell. Charlotte was willing to trade Rice, who had been holding out, but the trade’s finalization languished as Rice recovered from an elbow injury.

In the strike shortened season he would average 17.5 points a game, down five points from the previous season, but this was to be expected when transitioning from being the first option to the third. Rice played heavy minutes in the playoffs and produced good numbers, but he couldn’t help the Lakers avoid another playoff departure that was once again deemed too early for the talented crew that Jerry West had assembled.

Buss vs. West vs. Jackson

With the signing of Phil Jackson, Rice’s career and ego would take the hit that it never recovered from. Phil wanted to swap Rice for Pippen and there was also a rumor of a Latrell Sprwell trade. But Rice was to be a free agent at season’s end and David Falk was talking max deal, succesfully squashing both trades in the process.

Compounding the problem was the Lakers system. After years of having coaches run plays for Rice that had him coming off screens a la Reggie Miller, the Triangle would turn Rice into a standstill shooter and the numbers would drop further. The lack of defensive skills would become more glaring as the Lakers began their march to a title. But the trouble wouldn’t make its way into the paper until the most inopportune of times.

”Jackson has never wanted Glen, he’s always wanted somebody like Scottie Pippen, and this is his way of getting back at management for not letting him make a trade…Jackson did not get his way with the general manager or the owner about trading Glen, so who pays for it? Glen does. How many players would have stayed as quiet for as long as Glen has? But finally, when the team is affected, you have to say something,” she said. ”Now if it was me, I would have already been Latrell Sprewell II.” Asked about his wife’s comments, Rice said he agreed with them.
-June 14, 2000

As the 23 game grind that was the 2000 Laker postseason wore on, it became evident that Jackson valued Rick Fox’s defense over Rice’s offensive output. Rice would see his playing time dip 10 minutes from the previous postseason under interim-coach Rambis, and his scoring plummet to 12.5 points per game. And his performance in game 1, a 1-8 stinker where he played 24 minutes, made matters even worse. But knowing what we know about Phil Jackson, Rice would have needed to be perfect on the offensive end to make up for the abuse Jalen Rose was laying on him on the defensive end.

Rice would rebound in Game 2 by scoring 21 points, but it was in the aftermath of a Kobe-less game 3 loss (7 pts., 3-9) that would see the two headed monster of bad D and an inability to keep his, and bizarrely enough his wife’s, mouth shut that would initiate the basketball tragedy that marked the end of his career and relegate him to one trick pony status.

“Rice admitted he would not be 100 percent focused in Game 4 but said he would dedicate himself to addressing the deficiency in his game that Jackson said was the reason he removed Rice in favor of Fox in Game 3.

‘I’m going to come out and be very aggressive on the defensive end…If I get beat, I never claimed I was the best defensive player on this team individually. Jalen’s a great player, and when I get beat I expect the help to be there.’

That’s right, Rice said ‘when’ he gets beat.”

Mixed up in all of this was the growing feud of West and Jackson. Many onlookers were already thinking that the beginning of Jackson was the end of West. There was also West’s increasing anxiety, which forced him to feel barely measurable relief when the team won rather than any modicum of elation. There were promises from Buss to Rice about an extension, and West’s resistance to working for a man who could not keep a promise. There was the fact that the player didn’t want to be a hired gun and that’s seems to be all that the owner wanted, and he had no problem lying about it to keep that player happy during a championship run. Finally, there was Jackson marking his territory…

“I play whom I want to play when I want to play them, and how they play and what I think is best for the team. That’s it.”

Things Fall Apart

The Lakers would win a title and Rice would get a ring, but Jackson wouldn’t get his Pippen, and West would retire using Rice’s treatment as one of his reasons. Rice would be traded as a part of the monstrosity that was the four-team trade that sent Rice to the Knicks, Patrick Ewing to the Sonics, and Horace Grant to the Lakers.

And what were the Lakers looking for when they added Grant? Defense and rebounds.

Rick Fox would be the beneficiary of all of this. Becoming a starter by default, he would shed the 25 pounds he gained to try to be the banger the “soft” Lakers lacked and return to the form that saw him scoring 16 points a game as a Celtic.

We know what came next for the Lakers, but what became of Rice? In New York he became their sixth man. He was then traded to Rockets a year later. After a two-year stay in Houston he would be traded to the Jazz and bought out. He would wind up as a member of the Clippers, who waived him after 18 games.

“So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”
-MacBeth ActI.iii

An NCAA championship, 14 years in the league, traded 4 times, 6 teams, 3 All-Star games, and a ring. To travel from All-Star game MVP to publicly feuding with your coach in the midst of a Finals that would see you win a ring, and then to end your career as a journeyman bouncing from team to team.

No other way to say it: Curious.

-Gatinho aka Scott Thompson

Gatinho

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48 responses to The Curious Career of Glen Rice

  1. great article! I was just thinking of Glen Rice myself. The other day on NBA TV they were showing an NBA classic playoff game in 2001 between the Knicks and the Raptors. I completely forgot about Glen Rice and how he was traded after that 1st ring. He was supposed to be the 3rd piece to the Lakers “Big 3″. Turned out the Lakers big 2 (shaq & kobe) were all they needed!

  2. great chronicle, gatinho. takes my mind off the loss from last night.

  3. Curious, indeed. Great write up Gatinho.

    I love almost everything about Phil. To me, the proof of your mettle is in the results. And it’s hard to argue with Phil’s results. But he is a guy that wants what he wants and he does have an affinity for “his guys”. In this way, he reminds me of one of my other favorite sideline pacers: Bill Parcells. The Tuna would often bring in veteran players who had walked the line for him in other cities and I think when Phil got to the Lakers he wanted to do the exact same thing. “Get me Pippen, get me Grant” he was surely saying.

    In the end I feel bad for Rice as a player who was very good and probably deserved better. However, I know (and maybe he can take some solace in this as he probably knows too) that it would have been tough for us to win that first title without him. I know that he didn’t play the defense we needed and that his shot was not as reliable. But he was a *threat*. In the game in the Finals where he got his 21pts. we needed those points to win. He may not have been our long term guy, but in the short term he was more than just useful.

    Again, great piece.

  4. Tremendous work.

    At one point recently, Kurt, I think you asked what our favorite types of posts were. This is the answer. I love posts like this one, that focus in on 1 player or 1 aspect of our Showtime or our 3-peat Lakers and show them in a new light. I would love to see one on Fox.

    Great work.

  5. Glen Rice was just a poor fit for the triangle and the triangle philosophy – much like Steve Nash would be.

    That said, it is interesting to note that Jackson had a major (not total) hand in running off both Glen Rice and Jerry West. While we fawn over Phil, we should remember that he has a very dark side too. I contend, along with Roland Lazenby, that Phil had a lot to do with Shaq and Kobe’s problems with each other, because of the way he chose to handle each player and refused to mediate anything.

  6. Great job Gatihno.

    Snoopy,

    You don’t want to see one on Smush?

    Darius,

    Like Luke. I think Luke is a Phil guy. Is Vladi this team’s version of Glen? Granted a very very poor man’s version, but the type of game is similar. Big, good shooter (sometimes HOT shooter) who is suspect on defense?

  7. Great stuff,

    I think a lotta people never accepted Rice, because Eddie Jones was really the most popular Laker from 95-99.

    In 7th grade my coach tried to get every player on our team to shoot like Rice…yea, uh, not as easy as Rice made it look.

  8. Actually, Vlade is better on defense than Glen was – in part because he is really trying to fit into the system. He is not a great man defender, because of his lack of lateral speed and athleticism, but he is a fairly good team defender and seems to be able to read the passing lanes well. Also, I don’t think anyone is currently in Phil’s doghouse. I think most of this was resolved when Phil returned to coach the Lakers and his only problem then was Andrew Bynum.

  9. kwame, I agree, part of the resentment was that he came at the cost of Eddie Jones, one of my all time favorites, remember when he started doing those drives from the corner dunks? remember when Karl malone just rolled his eyes, like how ya gonna stop that??
    that was classic.

  10. 6) wondahbap – lmao maybe as a humbling reminder of how far we’ve come…..no….i don’t think even that would be worth re-living Smush

    3) Darius – Agreed, no one can argue with Phil’s results. However, I have some personal/moral issues with the way he manipulates and often tears down his players, often damaging their psyches (as with Rice and Pippen in 95). His ego is obscenely enormous. I don’t think nearly enough credit is given to Tex Winter; without Tex, there would be no Phil. Phil was a master of picking the brains of great minds, and Tex is a legend.

    Also, Phil’s made some colossal mistakes that haven’t cost him. The biggest is his treatment of Kobe during the 3-peat days. Phil always felt he had to structure a team hierarchy, and so early on chose to cater to Shaq’s ego and tear down Kobe. It was chronicled well in “The Show.” If Kobe didn’t want to win so badly, he might never have accepted Phil back, or been willing to work so well under him. Phil dodged a bullet there. I think he could have been more even-handed between the two. But his decision to take Shaq over Kobe almost cost him, when Buss chose Kobe over Shaq. Lucky for him Kobe’s desire to win is unmatched.

    That’s what makes it so hard to say who the greatest coach ever is. Based on accomplishments, Phil should be there. But he’s certainly not the best in terms of X’s and O’s, which is a staple of good coaching. He’s a master, as everyone knows, of fitting parts together and getting the best out of his team (see: 06 Lakers). He’s in the discussion, but I don’t think it’s easy to declare a best coach ever without clearly defining the criteria.

  11. Since we’re delving into this past Lakers era…

    The one thing that always puzzled me most about that deal was why the Lakers were so fixated on dealing Eddie Jones. He was an All-Star player, very popular and not making much more money than they guys who took his place.

    Some said Eddie was blocking Kobe’s place as a starter. I’m certainly no Jerry West, but I never bought into the argument that Kobe and Eddie couldn’t have been great players together for years and years.

    Each had the versatility to play the 2 guard or small forward role, so the lineup could have included both of them as starters along with Fish, Shaq and Horry.

    Off the court, EJ and Kobe were both Philly guys and seemingly had a good rapport.

    The conspiracy theorist makes me wonder what went on behind the scenes. Perhaps Eddie was a victim of the Buss/West power struggle? I’ve never believed it was strictly basketball related.

    Despite liking Eddie’s game, I had high hopes for Rice when that deal was made. I’d always felt he was an exceptional offensive player.

    But Rice really never delivered the goods in L.A., I suspect (as the post alluded) because he was never a good fit for Phil on or off the court.

    True story… I attended a concert at The Pond on the Friday night on which the Pacers won Game 5. A while after the game ended, Ice Cube brought a portable hoop onto the stage and hit a couple of shots, then said, “That’s what Glen Rice should have been doing for them Lakers tonight.”

    No love from the hood, man.

  12. love your stuff. come check out my new blog sometime….looking for some laker love. Would love to blog!

  13. On top of your comments, Chris. In Madmen’s Ball, Heisler says that Eddie was a good go between with Shaq and Kobe. Go figure.

  14. Snoopy,
    I would say that Phil did what he needed to do in order to get the results he wanted. He played to Shaq’s ego because he was the guy that needed to be coddled. He broke down Kobe because he knew that not only could the young guy take it, but he would rise to the next level in order to prove that he was that great. Where you say he dodged a bullet, I say no other coach could have gotten what he needed from those guys in order to accomplish what they did. I’m not going to knock other great coaches, but when Pop has won titles he’s done it with one of the greatest players ever who is also one of the greatest players in accepting coaching and not having an ego. When Larry Brown won his title he did it with a group of players that were not only extremely talented, but literally loved eachother like family. When Chauncey got traded to Denver there were stories about how he and Rip just sat in their hotel room and cried. When Phil won his titles, he had to manage two of the more selfish superstars ever while getting them to play as a team. When each guy is so concerned about what *they themselves* can do. Sure, they were the most talented. But with that talent also came the ego’s that continually needed to be fed. I remember when Shaq went to Miami and they won the title and Riley had his guys believing in “15 strong”. And everyone talked about Shaq and how he understood his place and took a step back to Wade. There was no talk about the feeding the big dog. There was no shouting to the owner in his courtside seats. There was no media bashing. Phil did what he needed to do to get those guys to win. I don’t knock his efforts because the results are where the banners meet the rafters.

    As for X’s and O’s, I agree on your comments about Tex. I think Phil would also speak very highly of Tex. However, I don’t think you give Phil enough credit on X’s and O’s. Out of timeouts he consistently comes out with plays that work. During the playoffs where matchups become the sole focus of every game, Phil’s staffs consistently come up with plans that limit the strengths of the other team. When we were the LA Kobe’s facing those Suns teams, how close were we in talent? And then how close were we to winning? How much of that was scheme and X’s and O’s? No coach is perfect. Phil has his flaws. But I wouldn’t take any other coach in the league to coach the players that Phil’s had to coach in his two stints with the Lakers.

  15. I know I definitely had a man-crush on Glen’s shot. I remember seeing him doing a one-handed shot at the elbow that so impressed me that I spent hours copying it. To this day, it’ll pull it out every now again and just stop and pop one-handed.

    Great post, Gatinho. I look forward to more!

  16. 14 – I think you misunderstood my comment about X’s and O’s. I only meant that Phil doesn’t deserve to be called the greatest coach of all time if we’re judging on the basis of X’s and O’s. I didn’t mean to imply that he’s deficient in that area at all; he’s still extremely great at making playoff adjustments (which is why this year’s Finals were a surprise) and playing matchups.

    Also, I agree completely with the rest of it. Everyone agrees Phil’s greatest strength is getting the most out of his team as a group, as in the 06 run. His title shouldn’t be just that of coach, but of “psychologist,” for the way he manipulates everyone.

    My only issue with him is based off my own personal views, not on his body of work at all. Small incidents like his asking Tex Winter to sit behind the bench and no longer next to him, possibly kindling the Pippen-Krause feud. Small things like that. But I’ll never in a million years argue with Phil’s success or greatness as a coach.

  17. *and when I said “the way he manipulates everyone”, I meant it as a positive – getting everyone to fill their roles

  18. 14 – Blatantly jumping in the middle of a conversation, I have to note an observation. Darius, I’ve posted here about a month and I’ve never seen you post anything related to a Laker in nothing but the most favorable light. You would make a fantastic criminal defense lawyer. I mean that sincerely & respectfully.

    In agreement with Craig & Snoopy, PJ has done some incredible things in his coaching career, not the least of which include trashing star players in a book and then coming back to coach 1 of them. Unheard of. This Rice thing doesn’t surprise me at all.

  19. Phil is a great coach, period.

    Is Phil a great human being? That is the question. I certainly don’t think he will ever be mentioned in the same breath as Tony Dungy.

    The issue we all may have with Phil is with his manipulation of players to reach his goal. Yes, he got there, but is that the only measurement?

    In 2000 many would have also put Kenneth Lay on a par with Bill Gates, but he turned out to have feet of clay (Enron). I am not comparing Phil with Kenneth Lay, but Phil certainly doesn’t seem to care how many bodies he buries along the way.

  20. I remember the stated reason Eddie & Elden were traded for Rice was that the Lakers really needed an outside shooter to spread the floor for Shaq. Kobe did not have the killer shot he now possesses, and Rice was one of the premier outside shooters at the time.

    The problem as I saw it was the Rice had too big of an ego to fit into the Phil system. It wasn’t that he couldn’t, it was just that he felt that he had earned the right to have a system built for him. And he wasn’t the only “star” that fit into that category at the time. Remember JR Rider and Mitch Richmond? Both big time scorers, and big time egos, and neither could fit the bill in Phil’s system.

    The beauty of the current Lakers is that, aside from Kobe, there are no big egos on the team. Gasol, Odom, and Fisher are perfectly happy to fit in where they are asked to achieve the final goal. And even though Kobe is Kobe, he understands what is necessary to win in June.

  21. #16. Point taken. And if we judged only on X’s and O’s you’d be right. You know what though, I’m glad that we don’t just focus on X’s and O’s, you know? Coaching is so much more than drawing up the right play or what system you run. That’s a great start, but you also have to get the guys you’re leading to do what you draw up. That’s where our guy is one of the best to (not really) pace the sidelines.

    #18. Yeah, I try to stay positive. But I’ll criticize our guys…it’s just that it should be constructive, you know? All the “player X is trash” stuff is pretty pointless to me. Every player has their deficiencies, but when you play the game or are around the game I think it’s a better approach to ask “what does player x do well and what does he not do well” and then adjust how you use that player or how you view that player accordingly. So much of playing is success and breeding confidence and so much of coaching is putting players in positions to be successful. That means shaping their minds and coaxing them to do what needs to be done, demanding more from them, but not expecting things that they aren’t capable of. My perspective as a fan is to enjoy the games the best way I can and then to try and look at things in a manner where they can be figured out to maximize the success of the team. I love the process and the details of the game. Why something is happening. A lot of times that leads me to being less critical and more analytical. There are solutions to most problems. You get lemons, you make lemonade.

  22. 20 – “Coaching is so much more than drawing up the right play or what system you run.”

    Wonderfully said. There are many different methods of coaching, and you could find people who’d had success and failure with every method. Bottom line? Coaching is about winning. And no one has done that more than our Zen Master.

    On a side note, this got me thinking about something else. Phil seems truly unique in how he lets his players grow, trust themselves, and sits back and lets them run the show and dig themselves out of holes. Is there anyone else who’s ever employed a similar philosophy? I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

  23. One note about last night. Remember when Kobe shot the air-ball in Utah? Well, I wonder if Ariza’s miss last night couldn’t be something for Trevor to build upon. He might just work hard enough to become a closer for us in the future. Anyway, I just thought that was another way to look at the development of our squad.

  24. 22-Ariza was fouled, simple as that. I’m glad he took it hard to the whole, and if the roles were reversed (Ginobli driving the lane and Trevor bumping him) Ginobli would’ve gotten that call. Regardless, I liked the way he approached the play once he got the ball.

  25. Awesome post. Thanks Gathino.

  26. 20 – Mix some strawberries with that and make strawberry lemonade…

    23, 24 – I hate to get to into this call, that call. To me it was all about defensive intensity. However, I did just watch it again on the tube and Ariza definitely got bumped by Manu. Yeah, T&A’s not getting that call at this stage. That’s the NBA.

  27. another shakespeare reference? That is two days straight!

  28. Great post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat and reminisced with friends about the 3-Peat Lakers and after mentioning Rice I get versions of, “Oh yeah, I forgot he was on that team”.

    I loved Eddie and obviously didn’t get to see him play much after he left the Lakeshow but what I remember seeing often during his Lakers career, and maybe a few more times when with the Heat, his shot was always short in the 4th quarter and his drives to rim didn’t quite have finishing strength on them towards crunch time. Might PJ have done a better job then Del in setting rotations and roles so Eddie would have his legs late in games? Maybe with the additions of B. Shaw and Harper you could have saved Eddie’s strength. It could also be that if that lessened strength in the 4th was mental that PJ would have helped Eddie through that wall. I don’t know. I do think it means something that I give PJ credit enough to assume he could have solved Eddie’s deficiencies as I saw them then.

    As much as I loved the additions of B. Shaw, Harper, Rice (at the time), Green, Grant and to some extent Sumake (sp?) Walker, I always wished that the Lakeshow teams had been kept together long enough to mature and get Phil to coach them. Nick the Quick, Eddie, Kobe, Elden (again, I’m assuming that if Kwame could be some form of serviceable under PJ, Elden’s little hands might have gained an inch or two) and Shaq would have been fun to see with Horry, Fox and a mix and match of Hollywood Harper and B. Shaw, maybe another big.

    Believe me, I am happy with the results of those 3 seasons but the Lakeshow was fun. Van Exel could have shadow-boxed the spunk out of Cassell’s Big-Ts.

  29. The no call on the blocking foul didn’t bother me. The bogus travel call did. Of course, this is all shoulda coulda woulda, but if he’s allowed to continue to the basket without that whistle, then we see a drastically different shot given Trevor’s athleticism. With the way he can jump, a finger roll half way through the lane to the basket was possible.

    Regret is a wasted emotion.

    Let’s start thinking about Orlando.

  30. Can’t have regret, how about anger? Just kidding…

    Orlando? Well, Bynum just played impressive individual D on Yao and Duncan. What will he do with D. Howard pt.2?

  31. i lovedddddd Glen Rice. It made me sad the he had such a hard time. That part about him crying made me wanna cry. Thanks for the article!

  32. Was it a foul? Was it a travel? That’s not what mattered about last night. What mattered was that a fully-loaded Spurs squad threw their best at a Laker team that was undermanned at the PG spot – and we almost won.

    I also think the team had a lot of positives to take away from this game. For example, I liked the way Bynum played at times. He started off timid, but built up his confidence and had some nice moments against Duncan.

    I also thought Ariza played well and, despite the desperation drive to the basket, I think that Ariza has learned that when tripped, a flop is the best option.

  33. I don’t feel sorry for Glen Rice. He was a one-dimensional player who made the most of his talent (shooting). Phil’s rings prove he made the right choice by playing Fox over Rice. And Rice’s wife is probably still talking out of her ass about it.

  34. we are tied in losses with the cavs now, they lost today to the bucks

    one thing that differs kobe from lebron and puts a gap between why kobe is the best right now is because of his ability to produce in crunch time

    tonight in the cavs vs bucks game with the game tied after derrick rose hit 2 FT’s and about 6 secs remaining on the clock lebron james pulled up for a jumper (or was it a 3?) and missed. and also in OT he got fouled almost right away and missed the first free throw before making the second.

    kobe is without a doubt the best player in the nba right now. he can produce when the pressure on. great players play even better during crunch time

  35. excellent the cavs just lost, lebron 8 for 28 and 8 turnovers, dosent prove much but doubt has ever had a game that bad, certainly not during his prime

  36. kobe hasent i mean

  37. James,

    Of course he has.

  38. Re Rice/Eddie: Rice definitely never was as accepted by the fans because we gave up Jones in that deal, and Eddie was a fan favorite like none other from the the moment he was drafted.

    I remember I was vehemently against the trade for two reasons: 1) Eddie was my favorite player, and 2) I saw no reason why he and Kobe couldn’t form a ridiculously athletic perimter duo. I still don’t see why that would not have worked – especially watching Kobe and Ariza get after people right now. Eddie was a very similar player to Ariza defensively – not as long, but better manning up.

    Even though that deal did rid us of Seldom Eldon (the original Kwame Brown), because we also lost EJ, Rice never got any love in LA.

    As for last night -that non-call against Ariza was brutal. How they called that a travel when he was tripped and then pushed is beyond me. But I loved how we came back in the 4th – I was about ready to call “ballgame” when we got down by double digits late in the game, but I loved the heart and hustle we showed.

  39. oops i meant the bulls!**

  40. Two shallow reasons why I ilked Glen Rice”

    1. Being around 10 years old at that time, I found amusement in hearing the tandem of Curry Rice in Charlotte.

    2. Glen Rice was the cover boy for Nba In The Zone 98 for the Playstation.

    Being the cover boy, they usually just showed clips of his great shooting. Also he has a pretty high three point shooting rating that made it cool to use him.

  41. Gatinho, liked your post very much with all of the links, FB&G does not lose a step when Kurt is gone due to the great bench players he has around here who can come up with posts like yours. Like someone said earlier, these posts on single players at certian times in Laker history are just wonderful and make this blog great. Rice, was here so short of a time I never really associate him all that much with the Lakers, but he was a great player indeed.

    ‘Until you transcend the ego, you do nothing but add to the insanity of the world’ – John Randolph Price

    Bring on the Magic…

  42. Scott,

    Thank you so much for the saga of Glen Rice. It’s impossible to forget that beautiful shot.

    I personally bought in to that “third option” idea, and wish Phil would have found ways to integrate him into the Lakers system–partly for strategy, and partly for the sheer beauty that he brought to the game.

    You’ve done a great job of laying out some of the organizational complexities that lay just below the surface and eventually did Glen in, giving more context to the loss of Jerry West, and ultimately the guy currently referred to as the “Big Cactus.”

    It also makes me appreciate the apparent lack of drama both on the team and in the organization this year. Of course, that won’t last forever.

    To realize that, listen in to the roller coaster discussions on Celtics Blogs these days.

  43. I think we needed to get rid of Eddie Jordan for Kobes development. There just wasn’t enough room for the both of them in the offence. At the time Shaq was rightly taking the bulk of our shots, and Kobe needed shots to develop. With Eddie there he wasn’t going to get enough shots, simple as that.

  44. Ahh…the LakeShow years. Our “underdog” status years. I loved Nicky V. That boy had ice in his veins. Remember that last second 3 to finish the Celtics?

  45. I think that part of Glenn’s problems, sadly, was that he had a very opinionated and strong minded wife. I say “sadly” because I believe that a lot of his problems were not due to his comments, rather to the comments of his wife and our sports media tends to dislike sports figures who are married to outspoken women or women who outshine their husbands. Frankly, the sports media seems to be happy with guys that are married to the “strong, silent type” of women who lurk in the shadows of their husbands and don’t ever speak out. Ironacally, the “strong silent type” tend to be the weakest type of women as these are the type of women that will put up with a cheating husband – exactly the oppossite of what that “strong silent type” stereotype.

    I think both Glenn Rice and Doug Christie were two guys that have been a victim of this – but Glenn got it worse because his wife was a bit of a hot head and had a tendency to say politically incorrect things (see the Latrell comment above). I think this hurt Glenn in the end because the sports media portrayed him as a man that was being manipulated by his “bitchy” wife – in other words, it made him look “weak” willed and gave his complaints the appearance of being “irrational” – when in fact they may have been valid all along.

    Anyway, at the end it looks like Glenn’s problems were really because he did not fit Phil’s system well and, frankly, because Phil did not want to change his system to suit Glenn’s talents. There is no question that that was a waste of his talent, but the Lakers made a strategic move to suit the offense around their two superstars (Kobe/Shaq). In the end, chosing Phil as a coach sealed Glenn’s fate – much as chosing DAntoni for NY sealed Marbury’s and Curry’s fate.

  46. Sorry for going off topic, but one of Kurt’s favorites, Kelly Dwyer, talks Lakers/Spurs game.

    http://tinyurl.com/7vfpk6

    I think he’s a little too forgiving of Bynum only getting 3 boards, but maybe that’s because Kelly didn’t remember Bynum only got 1 the night before and averaging under 4 rebounds a game over the last 4 games.

    Hopefully the coaches will talk to him about being more active on the boards.

  47. Great article.

    Personal story. My friend who is a die hard Laker fan framed a Campbell, Jones and Rice jersey in his Laker room with the title “Worst Laker Trade Of All Time”. We thought for sure we had blown our opportunity for a championship. Glen Rice was a bad fit for the triangle and he became our whipping boy. Deplorable defense, never in the right spot and couldn’t make a shot when we needed one. Then became a distraction during the Championship. Probably our most hated Laker player.
    P.S, – Vlad is our current whipping boy

  48. Last night I was watching the Cavs Bulls game, and Lebron had a tough outing. When he missed the jumper at the end of regulation the guys on espn said that for his carrer he is 2-23, or something like that, in the last 5 seconds of games. I was curious if anyone knew or knows of a way to find out what kobes stats would be for the last 5 seconds of games. Just for kicks and giggles