Kareem Answers More Questions for FB&G

Kurt —  July 24, 2009

California v UCLA

As part of an ongoing series, we have asked a few more questions of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest center to ever play the game. Be sure to check out his Web site, which always has fascinating stuff.

Q: You played on two legendary championship teams: The Bucks with Oscar Robertson and the Showtime era Lakers. How would those two teams have stacked up against each other and how similar or different were they in terms of style and personnel?

Kareem Abdul Jabbar: Both teams were very efficient in their own style. The Bucks at the time set the record for efficiency by only played 3 playoff series and losing only 3 games. The Lakers were just extremely talented and consistent in 10 seasons by making it the finals 8 times and winning it 5.

Q: You also had to face off against some of the game’s legendary centers, including former Laker Wilt Chamberlain. What did Wilt force you to differently and how did you go about attacking him from the post?

Kareem Abdul Jabbar: Wilt could score at will but was also a great shot blocker so I had to always be careful to not let him sucker me into taking a poor shot but I would attack him as much as possible.

Kurt

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101 responses to Kareem Answers More Questions for FB&G

  1. Hi Kurt,

    Maybe you could ask Kareem whether or not his prize pupil, Andrew, is ready to step up and start regularly, playing about 30 minutes or more per game? Will he be able to do a better job of avoiding fouls?

  2. I wonder when, if ever, we’ll see the skyhook from andrew?

  3. I was sort of saving the Bynum questions for a session closer to the season. Maybe next month, though.

  4. The Dude Abides July 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    One of my favorite Chick-isms from the ’80s teams was when an opponent drove the lane and then turned the ball over after Kareem shifted over to help. Let’s just use Danny Ainge as an example. To set the stage, first picture Ainge’s expression in this photo,
    http://tinyurl.com/l9zckl
    then imagine him turning the ball over. Chick then says, “Ainge looked up and saw the goggles!”

    As for Drew, does Kareem believe the team might limit his minutes to about 24-28 per game for the next couple seasons to let his ligaments and tendons mature? That’s what MLB teams do with their young pitchers, and from Drew’s injury history, I think it might be a good idea. The theory is that the joints don’t reach full adult strength until around age 24.

  5. RE: Miller to Portland

    I think Miller will do a capable job playing the point. There should be less wear-and-tear on Roy over all, and they’ll be able to space the floor nicely when he’s the primary ballhandler/offensive initiator when paired with Roy or Fernandez.

    The issue I have is what happens when Miller has to play off-the-ball. Teams can sag off him because he’s a poor 3pt shooter.

    He has the ability to grab rebounds and start the fast break. Will McMillan permit them to run and take advantage of one of Miller’s strengths? Will Miller’s sagging defender sabotage their offensive efficiency?

  6. Ok Odom, time to make your mind up now that Portland is out of the equation.

    Is it LA, where you have a chance to win more titles or Miami where it’s hot and humid and no way you can compete with Cle, Boston and Orlando.

  7. WhiteLightnin’ July 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    “I just spoke with everyone of the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers and they also concur. Unfortunately, I’m still trying to convince Walter, who thinks we should just send Lamar a suitcase full of Walter’s dirty underwear.” -The Dude Abides

    As usual, Walters not wrong, hes just an @#%hole.

  8. Well that’s it. All the Lakers have to do is beat 5 years and $34 million. I have to believe that Odom blinks first. After all, he is certain to make less money if he accepts a lower offer, while the Lakers only reduce their probability of winning it all (and are certain to save money on player salary) if he walks–for less money.

    Interestingly, the Lakers could actually also make more money without LO. That’s because they could conceivably be forced to play more games in the postseason, which would earn them more revenue. Of course, that only happens if they make the finals.

  9. drrayeye,

    It confuses me when people ignore the fact that Bynum came back under tough circumstances.

    He had to come back from a major injury at the most crucial time for the year,and is known to be a somewhat slow starter. I thought he could have played a little better, had he focused solely on being a defender, and not worry about offense, but I don’t think a healthy Andrew would have been the foul machine he was.

    if he can stay healthy, I think everyone who was bagging on Andrew will eat crow. He was under enormous pressure.

    Chibi,

    I wonder how many padded assists Miller will get, because the Portland scorers sure do credit Steve Blake with bogus assists. It wouldn’t surprise me if Miller led the NBA next season.

    Kurt,

    Man! Things sure seem to be moving forward for you. Good for you. I can see it now…

    “Around the Horn: Blogger Edition, with Kurt Helin, Matt Moore, Jeff Clark, J.E. Skeets, Bethlehem Shoal, and Kelly Dwyer. Hosted by Henry Abbott.”

  10. The day I do Around the Horn and become Marriotti/Plaschke is the day I want someone to put me out of my misery.

  11. The Dude Abides July 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    WhiteLightnin’, Walter just told me that if you persist, you’ll be in a world of pain. A world of pain. Also, he didn’t watch his buddies die face down in the muck so that…

    …ok, you’re right, he’s an @#&*hole

    As for Portland, why are they spending money on an old PG who can’t shoot the three like Andre Miller, when they could sign a younger, better, quicker PG who can’t shoot the three like Ramon Sessions?

  12. Yeah. Bad example. But you know what I mean.

  13. Kurt,

    I’ll be glad to do the honors. But someone will have to notify me as I don’t watch the windbag channel.

  14. VoR,
    So, you don’t watch ESPN, FOX, CNN, MSNBC. I guess that just leaves you Comedy Central.

    I’ll check you all later as, “I don’t roll on Shabbos”.

    Who the hell am I kidding? I’ll be clicking refresh on the the LO updates in 3…2…1…

  15. Coffee is for Closers July 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    anyone else see the Marbury video chat today?

    Its like Chicken Soup for the Soul in bizarro world.

    It probably won’t help him draw more nba interest, but i’d imagine certain oregonian sects might have hightened interest in him.

  16. BTW, the angle on that pic from Dude leaves me no thought but, they all had to have been wearing straps on under those shorts, or taping that junk to their thighs, right?

    LO update refresh in 3…2…1…

  17. The Dude Abides July 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    16. Speaking as someone who wore that type of shorts for many years, one word:
    jockstrap.

  18. I don’t like the Miller signing. He’s simply not a good fit. He thrives in an uptempo system in which he can take advantage of smaller guards with his size and use his finishing ability or midrange game to get points. Portland’s offense is as opposite to that as you can get; an extreme slow-down offense that resembles the Billups/Hamilton/Sheed Pistons more than anything else. A PG who can’t shoot the three almost becomes a liability in that system.

    Feels like Pritchard is simply spending money for the sake of spending money. Sessions would have been a better choice.

  19. Meh. Pritchard knows this is the last time he’ll have cap space for years (after extending the rookie contracters) and since he doesn’t have to worry about the tax with Paul Allen, he probably figures it’s worth a shot.

    It’s true Miller is up-tempo and doesn’t fit their style. Could it be that’s what KP is trying to do? Last year everyone was screaming at them to burn the Rockets by running, but had no one to really push the engine. Roy plays an old man’s game. Maybe Pritchard wants to bring in an up-tempo PG so that they have the versatility to switch speeds? (I’m not sure who’s going to run with him, but I think everyone outside of Oden can adjust to a quicker pace).

    Good questions, btw. I’d like to hear Kareem compare the different great Lakers teams, or (continuing a train of thought from the finances post) maybe have him compare the Showtime Lakers in their prime to the Bulls. I know it’s childish, but I always love to compare teams from different eras. Which sucks because it’s very hard, if not impossible, to do.

  20. Re: Miller

    One thing to keep in mind is that he is exceptionally good at throwing lobs at the rim. That forces opposing guards to stay tighter than most non-shooters. Of course, this only applies to when he has the ball in his hands.

    Whatever you think about Andre Miller, it has to be better than having Steve Blake run the point, right? However, the Blazers were 1 in offensive efficiency, so maybe not.

    If I were Portland, I’d wait until midseason salary dumps become available.

  21. What concerns me about the Miller signing is his poor outside shooting. Roy is going to handle the ball a lot more than the average SG, so the guy playing alongside him needs to be able to hit shots to keep the defense honest. However, Miller is an excellent floor general and will take some of the burden off Roy to make plays for everyone else, so while it might not be the ideal move I doubt it would be a disaster. (It still seems like Pritchard is trying to use up that cap room just for the sake of it…)

  22. All Portland needs is a guy who can get Roy the ball with his dribble intact and in good position. That being said, Andre Miller was a real sideways move for Portland.

  23. Miller has been underrated his entire career (I’m a long-time fan of his game) and I think he’ll once again prove people wrong. Portland can run with a line-up of Aldridge/Outlaw/Batum/Roy/Miller and it will be one of, if not the most athletic line-ups in the NBA. They still have Webster coming back (most people probably forgot this kid is on his way to being a scoring machine) and that kid Bayless, who thrives in an up-tempo game. This Portland team is stacked and scary good already, I would be surprised to see them finish anywhere lower than third next season in the West.

  24. 3 things Miller will do for Portland.

    Make plays for others,something the team was sorely lacking,esp w/Roy on the bench.

    Get to the FT line. The fouls Miller is able to get called will help Roy by getting teams into penalty earlier causing defenders to back off Roy.

    Veteran leadership. A solid vet who can still contribute big minutes is invaluable to a young team,even more so if he’s a PG.

    Miller’s lack of a 3pt shot hasn’t crippled his career so far,why should it now? He has a very good mid-range shot and knows how to get it.

  25. If “L.A.” decides he wants to attack the rim, Miller will have some guys to lob passes to. I know that people wanted the Blazers to push the pace and it seemed Sergio could be pretty good at doing that. I’m not sure if it was because they didn’t like the concept or if they didn’t like Sergio for that role. I guess we’ll be finding out.

    Considering the Salary Cap, having this money to put into Miller, and then extending Roy and Aldridge, actually could put them in a good position in a few seasons. Lets suppose Kwame was signed to a contract that actually expressed his relative value, would he have been an attractive enough trade chip to land us Pau? Sometimes you need a large expiring contract to bring in talent in a trade.

    Does the Miller move put Sessions back onto NYK’s radar?

  26. It is confirmed: Shelden Williams Works Out for Lakers ..

  27. Simply amazing what Roy has done.

    I live in Seattle and went to the UW, so i’ve seen Roy up close and personal for many years. I never, EVER, thought that Roy was going to be a star in the NBA. Don’t get me wrong, I thought that he would be an above average player in the NBA but never a star.

    His game has improved sooooo much over his college days that it is a bit amazing. I’m the biggest Lamar Odom supporter you can find, but if you compare them at their relative ages, Lamar had far more skill/talent. Yet Lamar’s game has not improved since he came into the league, while through hard work and effort, Roy’s game has improved by leaps and bounds.

    Perhaps it is more than hard work? Perhaps Roy just had the type of game and skill set which needed time to develop and Odom doesn’t? I don’t know. Perhaps players are simply just different in this respect. All I know is that if you judged them at age 21, you would have selected Odom as the future NBA star and Roy as the average NBA player.

  28. Kevah,
    Let me respectfully disagree with you about LO. In his years with the Clips, LO was a black hole- a more athletic Zach Randolph. Now, he uses his strength and length really well to play D and to rebound. He is much better at keeping the ball moving in an offense. Everybody talks about his problems going right, his tendency to finish with finesse and streaky shooting. All true, but those flaws don’t hold him back like they did in his first few years in the league and he’s gotten better at going to his strengths, which are many. He is a flawed diamond. I wonder what he’ll get paid.

    LO update refresh in 3…2…1

  29. solid answers. absolutely riveting. its great to see he’s not afraid to have a real opinion.

  30. Ignoring the offensive mismatch for a moment – Am I crazy for thinking Andre Miller will bring a Billups-lite effect to Portland? Probably.

    I think I’m infatuated with veteran “savvy” the way Jay Bilus is with “motors” and “upside.”

  31. Source is questionable, but there’s a report that Rubio is about to sign a new 2-year deal with Real Madrid. Probably doesn’t rule out a T-Wolves debut, but I can’t see him signing and creating another buyout issue just to gain leverage.

  32. The only thing Andre Millers is exceptional at is being on crappy to mediocre teams.

    I always thought he was overrated. He’s good, but how much stock can I put in a PG whose teams are never good? Elite PG’s make teams better. Kidd, Paul, Deron Williams, Nash, Billups (to an extent), Parker. You feel their presence. Can’t say that for Miller.

    I think this move effectively guarantees a lateral (if not backwards) movement. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

  33. 32.Actually, this is a way to get Rubio to the NBA in a couple years. There is that $6 million buyout that, by NBA rules, the T-Wolves can only give $500,000 toward. Real Madrid can give up whatever they want. So they make the buyout and make a, say, two year deal with a better buyout. That gets Rubio out of the bad deal, he can get a bigger contract than his rookie deal here, then in a couple years he and the T-Wolves can work something out.

  34. 9,
    I couldn’t agree more. It amazes me the short term memories fans have. Bynum came back for the playoffs on one leg as he is the only true center on the Lakers roster. All Andrew has done the last two years when healthy is dominate games… even against the likes of Tim Duncan. So if you guys want to talk about his health issues that is very fair… but if you want to question his play when healthy??? Thats a little bit of a stretch.

  35. do the wolves retain his rights? i think they only lose it if he sits out a season.. maybe go on the and1 tour.

    could be interesting if he did though.. re-enter the draft and hope to land elsewhere.. knowing the cruel sense of humour those ping-pong balls have.. he’ll end up back in minny.

    theres a good movie.

  36. Going back to Portland, Miller’s a slight upgrade over Blake as a starter. Blake, on the other hand, is a huge upgrade over Sergio as a backup.

  37. 33.

    Actually, after Miller joined the 76ers they made the playoffs two times straight after missing two years in a row, as well as improved their record both times (not by much, but still a good sign) Prior to that, his Denver teams went to the playoffs his entire stay there (4 seasons) after missing them for 8 seasons straight. He’s no first or second banana, but he’s a damn good point guard.

  38. I actually like Miller as a PG, but he is far better suited to up tempo offenses than what Portland has been doing. Now, with all their athletes, Portland should open it up more and maybe this will help, but if you ask Miller to simply be a half court guy he’s not much better than Blake, if at all.

  39. Adrian Wojoajdskfopki of Yahoo! is reporting that Odom’s leaning toward signing w Miami. I know this site doesn’t focus on rumors but…I’m scared.

  40. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AsSqd2FdpqWtWDQjIqSaMWq8vLYF?slug=aw-odomheat072509&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    Lamar Odom(notes) is leaning strongly toward accepting the Miami Heat’s contract offer and leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks said.

    Odom has not reached a final decision, the sources said, but there is growing belief he will ultimately return to Heat unless the Lakers improve their current offer.

    “It’s close, but it’s not done,” said one source.

  41. Aaron,
    “All Andrew has done the last two years when healthy is dominate games”

    That’s a huge stretch. Pun intended. He played decently in about half the games. He has dominated a few games. There have been many more than that that he played poorly in.

  42. 41/42. If you were Odom and his people trying to leverage the Lakers, what would you leak to a reporter?

    If Odom takes five years of the MLE over, say, 3 years $30 mil, then that’s his call, that is not on the Lakers or its management. It means Odom thinks in three years he can’t get a deal for $2 mil a season, otherwise he is turning down more money for security. And really, he likes the Heat deal because he has an opt out at three years. So, he is going to take $5.8 mil a year and an opt out over $10 mil a year and having to get a new contract in three years? Again, if that’s what he wants, so be it. You can only do so much.

  43. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I think it’s time for the other Laker players to get on the horn with Dr. Buss and ask him to either put his original offer back on the table, or make a face-saving offer of four years, $34 million. Every GM in the league believes that the Lakers would be significantly weaker without Lamar. His presence on the team for the next three or four seasons could mean the difference between one championship during that time and three or four.

  44. If Odom leaves and only if…..Hakim Warrick anyone?

  45. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    46. We can only offer Warrick the veteran’s minimum, so I don’t think we’ll be able to get him if we don’t re-sign Lamar.

  46. Reading that Woj article was like getting a huge punch in the nutsack.

    Excuse me while I go recuperate in the next room…

  47. Just as a little grain of salt for that punch in the nutsack.

    http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/60798/20090725/heat_make_no_progress_with_odom/#

    It just doesn’t make sense that Odom likes the Miami contract because he can opt out after three years and seek a more ‘lucrative’ offer when that same opportunity exists with a three year contract from the Lakers.

    Really? Opting out after three years and being a free agent is the highlight of the Heat offer?

    If he thinks it’s such positive for him to be a free agent in three years why wouldn’t he just take a three-year deal from the Lakers–for more money?

    Just sounds like someone is grasping at straws to make what Miami can offer sound somewhat palatable and viable.

    Returning to Miami is a huge downgrade (and should be considered as an unfortunate turning point) for LO’s career. And yes, if he walks for the MLE when the Lakers are offering much more, then it’s all on LO and he’s not the champion we thought he was.

  48. Not to jinx the Lakers at all, but I would think some other player may step up and replace the 25 minutes a game that LO would bring. That is what I was getting last year before the injury to Bynum in my Fantasy leagues from him, yeah, 25 freaking minutes only, game after game after game. When everybody is healthy, he just does not play very many minutes and give you anything, other than resting a big. Of course our bench will suck, but anyway.

  49. If Lamar is seriously considering a Heat offer, why doesn’t Lamar’s agent suggest a sign and trade to get the Heat annual salary closer to the offered Laker level per year?

    If the Heat were able to offer a 5 year/$40 million package on a sign and trade, they would save all of the luxury tax they would have to pay this year for Lamar and still go into next year’s sweepstakes with a low salary cap by simply not signing expiring contracts. Jermaine O’Neal alone is an expiring at $23 million and almost the entire rest of the team is on expiring contracts. A sign and trade would seem to best fit with Riley’s plan to go after others to pair with Wade next year.

    There are several players with expiring contracts who might be able to help the Lakers this year, or be part of trade packages to land other players during the season. Worst case–the Lakers could do a salary dump.

    If something like this is not at least being suggested to Miami by Lamar’s agent, the purported interest of Odom in Miami might be nothing more than another leveraging effort to get the Lakers to raise their offer.

  50. I don’t know why they keep reporting it like this, but I thought you couldn’t do a 5yr MLE deal with an opt out after 3. From the Artest contract, it was first reported as a 3yr or a 5yr with an opt out option after 3, but when it was actually signed, it was a 5yr with an opt out after 4. Isn’t that somewhere in the CBA? If so, I can see why he’d want the security of that deal, but the money is better in LA’s 3 yr offer anyway.

  51. 43,
    I said when healthy. He wasn’t healthy in the playoffs playing on one leg. As a starter two years ago he avg 20 ppg and 14 rebs. Last year when he finally got over his knee surgery and got “healthy” he avg 26 ppg and 13 rebs in only 31 min per game with one of those games at Staples dominating Tim Duncan. He has only been starting and “healthy” for about 30 games in his nba career. Its a small sample size but its all we have. Now again… If you want to talk about being injury prone that is ok. But its stupid to really question his ability and production when healthy the last 2 seasons.

  52. I want to go back to something the Dude abides said a few days ago, about saving face.
    it’s very important that both sides come out of this stalemate with some kind of face saving solution.

    unfortunately (for us, and the Lakers), if LO goes to Miami, he can still save face because he can say he has a home there, friends with Dwade, no taxes, etc, and the offers were comparable.

    unfortunately again, I don’t see any saving face for the Lakers and Dr Buss if LO flees to the HEAT. it will look like Dr Buss was too stubborn and refused to give in to sign LO, and this is not good for the organization as a whole.

    Dr Buss and the front office need to have thought this through, and be sure they come out on top.

    and that means paying the extra few million, or arrange a deal like the Dude mentioned in the last thread, find a win-win, face saving for both sides.
    that is the best hope right now.

  53. Aaron 53
    No disrespect, but you keep using the word dominate. I don’t think it means what you think it means. Shaq dominated games. Hakeem dominated games. Duncan dominated games. Bynum played well on a team with Kobe, Lamar and Pau. It’s easy to get points and look good when you’re getting easy opportunities like he was/is. Bynum’s game is still rather raw in my opinion.

    I’m not saying he’s not good, but nothing he has done so far suggests he’s ready to dominate.(Or stay on the court for longer than 20 minutes a game because of fouls) As it stands right now he will foul out of 40 games this year if he plays 30 mins a game.

  54. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    55. A healthy and strong Bynum (all of 2007-08 until his injury, and Xmas 08 to 1/31/09) is indeed an all-star caliber center. He was a foul machine this past postseason, but he was only playing on one healthy leg. However, he actually did help the team a great deal by starting and playing 15-18 minutes a night after he came back, because it saved Pau’s energy for the 4th quarters.

    That said, we need to re-sign Lamar. Playing Andrew too many minutes could be detrimental to his health. It’s my pet theory that NBA teams need to monitor the minutes that their very young bigs (under age 24) play, just as major league baseball teams monitor the innings pitched by their young pitchers. Full maturity and strength for tendons and ligaments generally occurs at age 24. If the Lakers can limit Drew’s minutes to 24-28 per game over the next two seasons, it could prove beneficial to his career performance.

  55. Since this is a Kareem Post, cannot he help Bynum out with the proper way to guard opposing players and defend the paint without drawing the attention of the officials? The Laker staff must know of this foul problem with him, cannot somebody work on this issue of Bynum’s. Hey, Boston does all kinds of illegal defense and they never get called (remember the 2008 Finals), IMHO. What I am saying is, we do not have to sign LO as foul insurance for Bynum, we should not have to, right?.

  56. drrayeye makes a good point – if Lamar was serious about leaving, I’m sure his agent would inquire about a S&T route. I still think he’ll be back with the Lakers, this reeks of a leverage move.

  57. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Any moderator, please approve my two posts at 7:51pm and 8:35pm, respectively.

  58. chris h,
    You keep implying that saving face is such a great thing. I am sorry, but if Lamar takes the Miami offer to save face he is stupid. If Buss is influenced to pay more to help Lamar to save face he is stupid.

    This is a business situation. If Lamar feels his best advantage lies in going to Miami, he is going to do this and the Lakers are not going to make a foolish offer just to keep him. He is worth a specific amount to the Lakers and they are not going to pay him more than that amount. We can argue about what that amount is, but not that it exists.

  59. PS – the sign-and-trade option holds very little value for the Lakers, unless they get a future gem that they can afford to pay for next year. The money that would be paid Lamar is worth twice that amount in money saved, so why would they take on $10M just to make Lamar feel better in Miami?

  60. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Actually, a deal where both sides save face and compromise on both money and years would be ideal…which leads us to a solution of four years fully guaranteed at a slightly lower annual salary than the original 4 yr/$36m offer that wasn’t fully guaranteed. Both side compromise, both sides save face, and the deal can be structured to minimize the luxury tax hit next season and the season after.

  61. Bynum “dominated” the Clippers late last season with 40+ points. So, if we meet the Clips in the conf finals we’ll be fine.

  62. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    R, I have a couple long comments on Bynum that have been held up in moderation…one for about an hour and the other for two hours. I think people forget how much he dominated the defensive paint in last season’s Christmas Day game against the Celtics. Drew mentioned right around that time that it was the first time since his Jan 2008 injury that he felt he was in tip-top game condition. He was a monster down low for the Lakers for the next month, until that second knee injury against Memphis.

  63. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Grr…moderation again

  64. I am astounded by the selective memory of the Odom lovers and the Bynum haters. Bynum underperformed when coming back from injury and not yet at 100%. For some reason, many people remember only this version of Andrew, rather than the version that, when healthy, is the best center in the western conference.

    By contrast, Lamar Odom is an underperforming guy with a history of not living up to his potential. His play is erratic, at best, and he has utterly failed to deliver on his God-given talent (unless you think that amount of talent is not worthy of a single all-star game appearance, or a career scoring high of a little over 30 points).

    For some reason, none of this seems to be recalled by the Odom supporters–who think that 12 points and 8 rebounds a game is worth $18 million a year between salary and luxury taxes for the next four year. These people seem to have no capacity for seeing how terribly hamstrung the Lakers will be in the next several years if they pay LO this kind of money. Think Luke Walton’s contract time 2.

    This is a guy who promised to come back to LA for less money, but is apparently willing to take $34 million over 5 years rather than $30 million over three. Not only is he a liar; he is unbelievably stupid, and this is exactly the kind of erratic behavior and bad judgment that allows him to leave 3 point shooters wide open when the Lakers are up by 3.

    Yeah, losing LO’s talent will hurt the Lakers, but this team is going to be dominant next year when Andrew returns to form and Ron Artest joins the fold to improve both the offense, the defense, the intensity level and the toughness. There are a lot of weak-minded fans who seem to think this team can’t win without LO, and that is a huge insult to what is going to be the best starting lineup in the NBA next year. By far.

  65. Hi Craig (59),

    There would be many details to work out, including the amount of Lamar’s contract, and the shared interest between the heat and Lakers on trade candidates/terms, so let’s only talk generally.

    Basically, a sign and trade could give the Lakers flexibility both in team development for this year–and plans B or C in case of emergencies. They could have their cake and eat it too.

    Rather than committing to Odom at a fixed amount for years, the Lakers would be only making a one year commitment (at most).

    The three most likely players that could be involved according to salary and position (Haslem, Blount, Beasley) are all one year contracts. If any of them fit in and work out, they could be viewed as rentals for the year–to be renewed if appropriate. In an emergency, their expiring contracts would allow them to be packaged into a midseason trade for a more appropriate player. If they were not needed, they could be traded as part of a salary dump–and the Lakers might not owe substantially more in luxury tax than they do now–without signing Odom.

  66. What do you guys think of Shelden Willams? Is he really that bad?

  67. So drrayeye, you are kind of saying that the Lakers could use this situation to their benefit by actually doing a S&T with Miami.

  68. The Dude Abides July 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    59. Wow…my comment at 8:35 pm was not only not posted, it was completely deleted! It took me 45 minutes to compile…what a waste. I’ll not say anything further, as what would come out would be very undude-like.

  69. 68)

    replacement player (league average) at best.

  70. Dude/64 – I do remember that Christmas game against the leps, and do remember – and applaud – Drew’s contributions. I seem to remember Odom did a few good things that day, also …

    The biggest concern I have about Bynum are his recurring knee injuries (of course). No need to waste space on this blog summing them up; I think we are all painfully aware that he appears to be quite fragile.

    Pollo/66 – As far as Odom is concerned, yes I freely admit he does not consistently deliver pts and rebounds like (for example) Tim Duncan. However, he did pretty well last season considering he started the year coming off the bench, then started, then came in off the bench … in other words, the use to which he was put was not exactly consistent, either. Through it all, didn’t be deliver the best +/_ of all players, starter or sub? And, didn’t he accept his role with a minimum of complaint (reference Allen Iverson for a scary counter example)?

  71. Pollo (66), I generally agree with your statements. Especially the part about Odom leaving 3 point shooters open.

    67, is Haslem worth $14M next year? Blount $16M? I think not. I could be talked into Beasley for $9M, but another player would have to be involved in such a deal to make the numbers work.

    I think it is pretty clear that Odom either takes the Lakers offer of (speculation) $8.5M, $9M, $9.5M = $27M/3 years or Miami’s of $34M/5 years.

  72. (72) tviper, the player obtained in a sign and trade from Miami would be an expiring contract. If he really didn’t work out, and the Lakers didn’t trade him midseason, his salary could be dumped in a salary dump trade and he would cost almost nothing–which is what the Lakers would get for sure if Lamar signs for the MLE as a free agent.

  73. P Ami,

    Let me ask you a question, did you see Brandon Roy play in college? At age 21, who do you think had more potential, LO or BR? I’m not trying to make a dig at LO, i’m actually giving him a compliment. At 21, I thought LO was a future hall of fame basketball player. He looked like a raw Magic Johnson to me.

    Perhaps he has improved a little bit. All i’m saying is that KG and LO probably had the same basketball skills at 21. KG has worked on his game and now is one of the most offensively skilled big men. I don’t remember KG being able to hit those turn around jumpers, fade aways, set jump shots, etc. And i definitely do not remember having such a freakin high release. He now shoots the ball from 3 feet above his head.

    I’m just saying that LO had so much potential and it has been almost completely wasted. He is almost all-star right now. Judging by his potential at 21, i would have thought one of the best players in the NBA. Maybe that says more about my ability to read potential than it does LOs ability to cash in that potential, lol.

  74. #5 Aaron,

    I swear I keep reading Aaron’s posts and I keep mistaking them for my own!

    I love your take on D Fisher and S Brown. I don’t think fisher should get many minutes next year and have high hopes for Brown.

    I absolutely love Bynum’s game. I can’t believe so many people can all of a sudden hate on Bynum. Let’s remember a few things —Bynum is only 21 years old. He has had 2 major injuries which have restricted his growth not to mention his athletic ability. After the second injury, he came back absolutely rusty and without the athletic jumping ability movement he had pre-injury. Is there any doubt that if this guy had a few months before the playoffs to get ready, that he wouldn’t have been much much better? Again, not to mention that he is only 21. Where will his game be at when he is 25?

    And I also completely agree with you regarding Artest.

  75. Waiting for Lamar…
    Not all is bad, however
    New t-shirt is here!

  76. craig w, this comment will probably be deleted, I find it annoying when you criticize a comment when you didn’t read it thoroughly, please go back and read my comment again. I wasn’t saying LO would take the Miami offer to save face, I said he basically has a save facing argument whether he goes with either the Heat or the Lakers, whereas the reverse is not true (ie; the Lakers don’t have this luxury).

    I also said it would not look good for the Lakers org if it appears they let LO walk because dr Buss was mad at team LO, and for a couple million, he let his emotions hurt the franchise. that’s what I meant. (I also think he’s smarter than that and won’t allow emotions to keep him from making the best decision, but pride….???)

    obviously you and I place a different value on “face saving”, no doubt based on our life experiences. I tend to agree with the Dude here, it is important. actually in my life, I find it’s almost always smart to recognize the value to allow an adversary a way to save face. but again, that’s just my own humble experience, and I would not call you stupid, either.
    peace

  77. If Lamar leaves a dynastic team with the history and bravado of the Los Angeles Lakers coming off a championship season to take lesser money to play for a lesser team it would be the most shocking free agent departure in the history of western civilization.

  78. Aaron, not unlike Trevor then, eh?
    stranger things have happened, but I would hate to think lightening could strike twice in the same off season.
    let’s hope calmer heads prevail.
    and keep the faith.

  79. drrayeye (73), every $ of salary for anyone the Lakers acquire in a sign and trade will cost double this year due to the luxury tax. My point is that neither Haslem or Blount are worth paying that kind of money when neither would play significant minutes. Flipping them at the deadline to a team under the cap in order to absorb the salary would not be possible, because only OKC has the room and they almost certainly would not cooperate.

  80. tviper (80),

    In the worst case, the Lakers might get stuck with extra luxury tax for one year in a sign and trade–but no more than if they had signed Lamar. With Lamar, it would be luxury tax every year guaranteed.

    Whoever the Lakers would get in a sign and trade (if expiring) would be a very good prospect to trade during the season (in case of injuries or other needs) for someone else, since there will be many teams trying to dump salary for the next year–so, who the Lakers obtain, and/or how well he works out initially may not be as critical as you think.

    The devil is always in the details.

  81. My point is that while you would pay Odom basically double to play next year, you wouldn’t do that with any other player the Heat could provide (other than Beasley).

    As far as trading during the season, what you are saying is that the Lakers would trade an expiring contract for someone with more years. That is not likely as the 2010 payroll is already over the luxury tax and the line is supposed to go lower next year (thus, you would also be paying double the salary of the player acquired next season as well).

    The only trade I could see would be Beasley and D. Wright for Odom (starting at $8.5M). However, I don’t see MIA giving up Beasley for Odom when it is possible he signs for the mid-level.

  82. (82) tviper,

    What the Lakers would do or not do during next season if they had a player (or players) unnamed, acquired for an unknown value, (who might or might not fit in) to trade in an emergency (like the trade of Kwame for Pau Gasol) is highly speculative.

    If Lamar signs a Miami offer for the MLE, all this speculation is moot.

    It is if Lamar wants more to sign with the Heat, and Miami wants to pursue a sign and trade with the Lakers that things get interesting–one step at a time.

  83. The purpose of S&T is to sign a player for more than you are willing to pay him, so that you can trade him to someone who wants to pay him at that level.

    The problem with that logic is that you are now required to take back a player(s) that roughly equal that, higher, salary that you were unwilling to pay in the first place. Be that one year or more, you are still going to pay more base salary and more luxury tax than you are willing to pay to the player in question.

    Looked at from this perspective, S&T’s are bad for teams, never mind teams over the luxury level, unless the player you get is so good he makes your team substantially better. The problem here is that we all seem to agree that Lamar is the only player out there who makes the Lakers better immediately.

  84. Incidentally – relates to my comment in moderation – potential players received in S&T will make our future salary negotiations that much more difficult.

  85. Dude – I saw a bunch of comments in moderation last night and tried to approve them from my blackberry. If I accidentally deleted yours, which looked interesting, then I owe you a Mike Smrek poster. My bad.

  86. Dude, sorry I was out last night (a rare date night with my wife) and was not checking comments for moderation, this was the rare busy Saturday night for comments. I’m sorry about the delay and if a comment that should have gotten approved was deleted. If there was a way to get it back, I would.

    As a general comment, I cannot see a sign and trade happening. The Lakers would want Beasley, no way Miami would trade a kid about to turn 21 for Odom who is about to turn 30. I don’t know how good Beasley will be, but if I’m in South Beach I’m not giving up that potential for LO. The other players that make the money work are not that appealing, and really why should the Lakers do this unless they are getting real quality in return?

    Odom is going to sign with LA or Miami, his camp leaked that they were leaning toward Miami because they want to leverage the Lakers. At this point I would not say Miami is a bluff, but I would think any sober assessment by Odom would show the Lakers have the stronger hand in what they are offering.

  87. The Dude Abides July 26, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Thanks guys…I thought I had offended someone when my comment got deleted after I was complaining so much. That was the one time that I forgot to copy and paste a long comment into a Word document as backup. It was a long compilation of Bynum’s stats in comparison to an all-time great. I’ll do it again.

  88. Through all of the various opinions, I have not seen anyone really address what is the most likely outcome. The Lakers can easily let LO go (for nothing) and enter next season with the best starting lineup in the league. From there, they can see how things play out, and if they are as dominant as I think they will be, they’ll stand pat. If, however, I’m wrong and they struggle due to a weaker bench that somehow offsets a far superior starting 5, then they can add a veteran backup power forward at the trade deadline.

    Ammo’s expiring contract can easily be used to sign a veteran backup PF. Even if the team had to take back more years (e.g., a guy with another year beyond next year for $5 million or so), that would be FAR better financially than locking yourself into an $18 million a year commitment to LO for 4 years.

    The reality is that the Lakers don’t need to re-sign LO at this point. They may very well have a roster that is sufficient to win it all (I strongly believe this to be the case). If so, they are much better off letting LO go for nothing, thereby preserving cap space and enhancing the ability to re-sign Pau and keep a great core together for many years. If today’s roster (without LO) isn’t good enough, you add a veteran backup PF at the trade deadline and save a boatload of money compared to bringing back a guy whose offseason attitude should give every fan (and management) reason to doubt his commitment to winning over personal gain.

  89. The healthy January Bynum we saw before the injury was the best center in basketball. Props to Cap, no doubt.

    And does it slightly irk anyone else that Greg Oden got a minicamp invite over Andrew?

  90. I second Pollo Loco. LO was important in Lakers’ championship run. But I think Pau Gasol was the biggest reason they won, besides Kobe of course. Last year Gasol was beat badly, but not this year. Even w/ Odom last year, Lakers lost to Celtics with Ariza just coming back and Bynum not available. Odom was totally MIA when he was counted on to produce. But this year Lakers had Bynum and Odom was coming off the bench. He tends to disappear when the spotlight is on him. The consistent thing about Odom is his inconsistency.

  91. 93)

    “Odom was totally MIA when he was counted on to produce.”

    So was the rest of the team.

    “The consistent thing about Odom is his inconsistency”

    Myth.

  92. (90) Pollo Loco,

    Nicely said. I’ve made analogies to the Nuggets last year when they did a salary dump for Marcus Camby. It gave them flexibility to trade for Billups–and the rest is history. As Mies van der Roh said long ago: less is more.

    The question remains as to why Lamar would take less money to enter into a highly risky situation in Miami. I believe the answer lies in Lamar’s “redemption” last year, and what it has done to his own perceived value.

    Despite persistent claims that he wants to retire a Laker–and would take a pay cut to stay here–Lamar, through his indecisiveness, appears very uncomfortable with his possibly declining role over the years as a Laker sixth man. Otherwise, IMHO, he would have happily signed long ago.

  93. One thing we are not appreciating in all of this is how Odom feels toward LA. DWade has been tweeting away begging Odom to join Miami, Pat Riley made the maximum offer he possibly could, while here, the Lakers front office is just being disrespectful with its offers. I would not be surprised if Odom chose the Heat BECAUSE of the the Lakers front office not valuing an important member of the championship team. With Odom the Lakers win it again, without Odom, it’s hardly a given…

  94. 95

    How is $27M guaranteed over 3 years a ‘disrespectful’ offer for a backup PF a few months away from his 30th birthday?

  95. I agree with Joel: LO is more disrespectful to Lakers FO than the FO is to LO.

    LO is a case study on how not to get more money.

  96. 95 – look at what Turkoglu got – it’s irrelevant whether Turk was overpaid or not, the fact his he got 50 mill guaranteed whereas Lamar (a similar player) is essentially getting half of that…

  97. by the way, new post up talking about Bynum

  98. I’m chuffed to see the new thread – something besides all the gloomy LO talk.

    having said that, I have to agree with P. Loco’s post (90), and add that the FO orchestration of the dumping of LO, and his bloated salary, has been nicely finessed . (language mavens might want to remind themselves of the obsolete sense of ‘nice’.)