Fast Break Thoughts.

Kurt —  August 18, 2009

NBA Playoffs Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets in Houston
Tis’ summer, when the sun shines bright and NBA bloggers turn to bullet points.

• During the Magic 50th birthday celebration, NBATV went on the Magic marathon, which Darius watched:

One thing that has struck me while watching all of his classic performances on NBA TV over the past several days is how quickly he advanced the ball on almost every single possession. He covered so much ground because of his size, but he also was always unselfish enough to pass the ball ahead much more than what PG’s do today. On many possessions, he would take one dribble and then just pass ahead – to Cooper, to Scott, to Norm Nixon, to Worthy, to whoever was open or had a step on his man. Nowadays, primary ball handlers or offensivie iniators feel the need to monopolize the ball and trust *their* decision to make the play rather than give the ball up to an advancing teammate. Magic was just the opposite in that any player that was in a better position then him to make a play with the ball was the guy that he sought out. Sure, Magic would walk the ball up or call out a half court set or run the break in a traditional way where he was the primary play maker. But so many times he would make a baseball pass to an open teammate streaking up the sideline or he would throw a chest pass ahead to someone who only had a few inches of separation in order to create an easy bucket. Just an amazing player when it came to understanding who was in a position to hurt the opponent

• Back to our earlier discussion about the Lakers salaries, and Gary’s calculations that Buss really is only paying out about $100 million. The master of all things NBA/Lakers financial, Larry Coon, had a comment:

I don’t think it’s kosher to subtract the salary of the first round pick from a total that never included that salary to begin with.

Likewise, the escrow reimbursement mitigated 2008-09 expenses, so shouldn’t be applied to 2009-10.

That said, in addition to the windfall from the 2008-09 escrow, the owners are pretty certain to get all the 2009-10 escrow money — which means the payroll (but not the tax) will actually be 9% cheaper.

So with a payroll of $91,341,066 (the similar amount that was listed above is incorrect), the net payroll cost is $83,120,370. Add the tax of $21,421,066 and you get $104,541,436. Subtract the “found” $4.5M for the draft pick trades, and the end result is $100,041,436. Close enough to $100M to deem it “mission accomplished” for Kupchak — especially since the true payroll costs (and therefore the true tax costs) are inexact, and rely on end-of-year reconciliations like adjusting for bonuses that were earned or not earned.

• By the way, really interesting numbers here from CBS Sports. The Lakers take in nearly $2 million per home game. They also have the lowest number of people who don’t show up to use their tickets. These numbers also show what Rambis is up against in Minny.

• Great stuff from the Brothers K linking to an old Jim Murray article about Chick Hearn, a fantastic trip down memory lane.

• If you haven’t done it already, check out Kids in Seats. A fantastic program and their twitter fundraiser is still going on.

• Man am I happy to see Don Draper back on my television.

This photo touch-up cracked me up.

• The Lakers want you to have a shot of tequila.

• Finally, I’m late to this (I think Eric Pincus found it first), but if you have not seen this video, it is more than worth the 9+ minutes. Amazingly slick and well done, a great trip through Lakers history.

Kurt

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69 responses to Fast Break Thoughts.

  1. “• Man am I happy to see Don Draper back on my television.”

    Hell yes. Especially since Entourage has been kind of lame….

  2. i thought id start out this thread with a beautiful video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-yiQmDDMKc

  3. my bad … its a link to the same video posted already

  4. WhiteLightnin’ August 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Since I need a study break and there isn’t a whole lot else to talk about…

    Does anyone know about getting NBA leaguepass broadband? The NBA site is not very forthcoming about blackout dates and costs, I was hoping someone here could tell me more about it. I refuse to pay for cable but want to watch the games. Is there a way for me to only buy Lakers games? Thanks

  5. Nice video, but can’t help but chuckle at the grammatical & spelling errors.

    On a more serious note, seeing all of those hustle plays with number 3 made me sad all over again. When will we get over Trevor?

  6. yeah I had the same feelings when I saw Trevor on the video, he was fun to watch and cheer for. all we can do is wish him well, and hope he let’s his agent have it for messing up his CAREER!

    anyway, thanks Kurt, for the Lakers Basketball fix! this really is the doldrums, but at least we can root for a Freeway World Series, it is possible, and that, would be exciting, and another first for LA!

    green (team color, hmmm) is the perfect color for “envy”.

  7. I am doing nothing but fantasy football homework right now, but that video made me wish it was June 2010. It was killer. Let’s Go Lakeshow!!!!

    btw, am I the only one that listens to Pac and thinks that Kobe is basketball’s version of 2Pac?

  8. Anyone else out here watch ‘Shaq Vs.’ tonight? It was pretty boring – a touch-football game against Ben Rothlesberger – but Shaq chose a surprising number for his QB jersey…

    #8.

    Go figure. Tweaking Kobe, an apology, good PR (my vote), or some kind of (cough) accident?

  9. I actually enjoyed Shaq Vs. I like how the whole thing is staged to poke fun at itself, down to the commentators in faux-parody style. Probably not sustainable, and would’ve liked it more if it was cut down to a half hour show with the best stuff, but still fun to watch nonetheless. I’m intrigued to see how the sports w/ less variables e.g. swimming as opposed to football will work out. Better to not take it too seriously =)

  10. That number 8 did raise an eyebrow. But I think it was more the color scheme of the show being yellow and 8 being a quarterback number. But yea, wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do w/ Kobe.

    @ 4 Whitelightnin’ pretty sure you can’t buy just Laker games. I’m in Illinois though so that may be different. The blackouts are usually for what’s already showing in your area, so that shouldn’t matter too much. Look for early bird and save $20. Think it’s $170 instead of $190, includes nba.com broadband. It’s a package deal there’s no flexibility about it. I am definitely looking to get it. As for cable, I don’t think you have to upgrade your plan.

  11. @10 i’m also interested in subscribing but im not so sure if my internet can handle it.. i currently have a 3mbps connection and i live in the philippines.

  12. That video is very well done.

    It will be hard to replace all the hustle plays that Ariza brought, big steals at just the right moment, diving on the floor for lose balls, grabbing timely offensive rebounds etc. All the little things that don’t show up in the stat sheets. Artest brings different things to the floor and hopefully those make up for all the little things Ariza brought. Ariza was certainly fun to watch though.

  13. Basic cable includes ESPN and FSW. FSW carries all the Laker home games. Road games on KCAL(9), of course.

    You don’t need any exotic cable plans to get all the Laker games.

  14. I can share my experience with NBA broadband.
    last year, due to a family emergency, I spent from Nov to March in east TN. being an avid Laker fan, I enquired here at the FB&G family and was told about the NBA broadband option, so I took it. (by the way, NBA TV was not available at my location, so that might have been my first choice, if it were available).

    I was able to get the Laker games, you can choose to watch one team if that’s your preference, but you also get loads of other games.
    one thing though, they have this “Tuesday night fan night” where the fans vote on what game to watch on NBA TV, and on this night, that game is blacked out from NBA.broadband, (I don’t know why they did this but it was MADDENING!)
    the problem here is that the Lakers are so popular that that “Tuesday night fan vote game” about 80% of the time was a laker game, so I was blacked out on a service I PAID FOR! (in principle, I really hated that).
    also, I found the “stream” had it’s issues, there seemed to be an almost consistently timed “freeze frame” where the audio continued, but the picture froze for about 1 minute. (this always caused stress near the end of games, please don’t freeze, especially in close games). This is really a problem because unlike a you tube stream, there is NO PAUSE, OR BACKUP AND PLAY IT AGAIN feature.
    They do offer though, the ability to watch the game the next day in archive mode, but still, if you get to a commercial break, (where they go to black, and play that NBA piano ditty until you are sick of it), when you try to slide the bar forward to skip commercials, it’s really not possible.

    In conclusion, I wasn’t happy with the service, and I’m guessing that I changed away from NBA broadband and watched an on-line streaming feed at least 50% of the time. the picture was a bit better at NBA Broadband vs the free internet feeds, but the freezes made it more frustrating.
    Maybe now, a year later, they will have corrected these freezing issues, but I would suggest you ask to speak with a sales person and ask about the black out games, I felt pretty cheated when the one team I wanted to see got the most black outs, which I couldn’t find any place else other than a link from FB&G family on game night.
    oh yeah, that was another problem for me, there is no place on the site where you can email or call in to complain about your problems, they do not provide customer support very well.

    have you looked into NBA TV? I think that might be a better option, unless you travel a lot and take the laptop, cause then you should be able to get the games where ever you go. I have to say though, that I’m finding whenever you cross out of the US border now, things like mobil, and 3G broadband etc gets expensive, it’s all a conspiracy to milk us of what money we have left!

  15. If you come here on game nights people usually post links to the game on line and if you go through a few of them you can usually find one that is good quality. Being in Nebraska that is how I watched the games that are not nationally televised.

  16. NBA TV, I would love that service, but AT&T U-verse does not not offer it here in my LA area, I guess other cable companies do, but the fiber-optic based AT&T system I have never did and hopefully well in he future. It is a great system, but without NBA TV, someone like me (BB fan) might have thought twice before switching over to it, but hey, as long as I get ALL Laker games what is there to complain about, right? Not much to talk about these days, also cool basketball links Kurt.

  17. 1. Entourage has been lame, in part because “E” just can’t carry the show. Turtle and Drama are more interesting.

  18. whiteliting,, if you want to see full games next season there are much cheaper places to get them. I also cancelled my cable tv and now just stream everything through my tv via my computer/internet. the best place to get games is myp2p sports. just do a search for the website. go to their forums and check out the nba basketball stream. look for full games download and playoff games. you can download the games from here. all of last years games plus playoffs are still up for download at pretty high quality. you can also stream games live but that’s generally low quality and mostlyy in different languages.

  19. white lightnin……..i was an NBA broadband subscriber last season, but i probably will do something differant this year. i am a Texas teams follower and found way too many Texas games blacked out for my liking. seams as tho everytime Dallas played, it was blocked out, same with SA and Houston, im very dissatisfied with it. i sent them 2-3 emails telling of my disgust without even a reply.

  20. “Regardless, I have always been absolutely amazed by and in awe of the continual top-notch quality of Lakers’ mixes, which are probably the best and most goosebump-inducing montages on youtube out of any other sports highlights. Well, ok, maybe Yi Jianlian’s Jesse McCartney mix tape still tops out at #1, but Laker fan editors and their videos come in at a close second. Anyway, in a continual effort to help assuage Summer nothingness, I bring to you one of the best Kobe Bryant reels I’ve seen this summer. I know people always say that, but this video, with its seamless blend of music and film, is definitely up there amongst any other video you’ve once deemed epic. It’s definitely emotionally stirring to say the least. Make sure to watch it in HD – it’s so real you get to actually feel how it’s like to futilely try to defend Kobe Bryant and fail. But feel Vindicated:”

    Watch an equally great mix called Kobe Bryant: Vindication (part 1 and 2) here:

    http://ohmeohmyjellosjigglin.blogspot.com/2009/08/vindicating-videos.html

  21. WhiteLightnin’ August 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you to everyone for all of the responses, but I think I need to clarify. I live in LA and could get all the games on TV if I was inclined to order basic cable. I am of the opinion that watching any TV is a waste of time (including Lakers games, even though I watch them and love doing so), therefore I will not and have not ever payed for any cable service. I would waste too much of my time if I had cable. If Lakers games are blacked out because of my geographic location, I guess NBA Broadband isn’t for me… I’ll stick to watching the KCAL games and listening to the rest on the radio/watching Justin.tv. I just really wanted to hook up my new video projector with some games.

  22. have you guys seen the true hoop article on Kareem vying for head coach?

    what are your thoughts?

    As much as I love and respect the guy (i think he’s deserving of goat) I just don’t think he’ll make a good coach, especially since i haven’t seen any gushing from Bynum, his current protege.

    Your thoughts?

  23. Harold,

    I think Henry Abbott was way off the mark and grasping at straws. His logic made no sense.

  24. Kaveh, during the season, how soon after the games do the myp2p sports full game downloads appear on the forums? I prefer to watch in higher quality than the streams but don’t like to wait around too long. I am not sure it can be a TV replacement altogether.

  25. I think the simple fact is that at this point, none of us know enough about Kareem as a coach. He can’t go from a ‘special assistant’ (basically a tutor) to a head coach. On the other hand, he’s right when he says he hasn’t been given a fair shot. I think the best thing is for Kareem to become a regular assistant coach (with payroll issues, doubt it’ll happen in LA though). As a regular assistant, Kareem would be responsible for scouting, gameplans, and all the things Brian Shaw impressed us with. It’d give us a better picture of whether or not he can be a successful coach. I can guarantee if Shaw had been a ‘special assistant coach’ in charge of developing Farmar, we’d be screaming for his head rather than pushing him for head coach. Kareem should be given the same chance.

    It’s hard for me to imagine him as a head coach, but I think that’s partly because I can’t remember the last great big man who became a great head coach. He’s definitely cerebral enough. If he can reach his players, he probably does have the potential to become a solid to good coach. I’ll never bet against Kareem, but like I said, at this point we don’t have a diverse coaching body of work to judge off.

    I agree with wondah – Abbott’s logic was awful. There’s a very clear distinction between self-promotion/confidence and whining, and HA clearly doesn’t see that.

  26. On a side note:

    I just happened to get “Big Boi’s Neighborhood” on the radio this morning, and Ron Artest was on saying that he will play the role of Scottie Pippen in the triangle. And that Phil Jackson is his favorite coach of all time, going back to the Chicago Bulls teams. At that time, Chicago was his favorite team and he stated that he wants to play in the triangle with Kobe, who is the closest thing to Michael Jordan in the league.

    Also, Big Boi said that Ron Artest has given his real email address, along with his current cell phone number on other interviews. Ron Artest affirmed that he had given out his email address, he then proceeded to give his cell phone number! Artest said that that cell number was the same number that he uses to receive calls from his wife. He said that he will take all phone calls whether they come from Watts or Beverly Hills.

    Has anyone else heard about him giving out this information on other interviews?

  27. I’ll back Henry up a little on this one. First off, if Kareem wants to be a head coach then he needs to go the route of Rambis and just about every other ex player and spend years as an assistant until you get the chance.

    So my question is: Why has nobody hired him as an assistant? My guess (and it is just that) is his lack of being hired is either: 1) Kareem not really wanting to be an assistant coach doing all that scouting and grunt work; 2) Concerns around the league about Kareem’s notoriously difficult personality and how that would fit on a staff. Maybe a little combination of the two? Whatever the reason, Kareem has not taken the steps needed to become a head coach in the NBA. He’s not even been a head coach in the D-League, where a team might give him a chance because he would draw fans. He has to pay some dues.

    And I agree with Henry on this point: Bitching about it on twitter is not helping his cause.

  28. Would you want to hire somebody who feels he’s been wronged and provides no credentials other than experience that may not really be relevant to the job that is being offered?

    That was HA’s point, or more or less Kurt’s, which I can totally see and agree with.

    But regardless of his tactics, just based on potential, and what’s present so far, would you gamble on him being a head coach?

    I don’t think so. At least not before I’ve tested him in assistant positions or a coach to a specific player, and have seen results.

    So far, his only resume thus far is his coaching Bynum, and, uhm, I’m not convinced really.

  29. Ron Artest is kinda starting to freak me out…. giving out his contact information and stuff. He’s doing a lot of talking about his role, too and I don’t want him to enter the season with any preconceptions.

    I naturally have to compare this situation to the 04 summer when GP and Malone came in. Karl had the right attitude coming in (play tough D, and take those open elbow jumpers that the D gives him until he figures out his role on offense). Gary on the other hand thought that the team would benefit best by him playing HIS game, with post ups and floaters in the lane.

    I still feel good about what Ron will do for us defensively, regardless of what happening, but I don’t want him assuming that he’s a top option for us on offense. All we really need Ron to do is hit the wide open looks from 3, and if he doesn’t have a good look, pump fake and penetrate/dish.

  30. dave in hillsboro August 20, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Bitching? Really? I’m pretty surprised to hear you put it that way, Kurt, especially when you have been fortunate enough to get the man to whom you are referring to take time out of his day to answer your questions.

    I did not read Kareem’s twitter comments in that way. I don’t see how people are making this leap. I suspect it has more to do with preconceived notions than anything else.

    Setting aside entirely the question of whether Kareem would make a good coach or deserves a shot at it, whether he’s paid his dues or not, I simply do not see “the stain of victimhood” or the “whining” or any evidence that he feels he was “wronged” in those few short twitter comments, and I think anyone that does is reading more into it than there is.

    I took Kareem’s twitter comments as simply an honest appraisal of his coaching aspirations, his belief that he is capable of doing the job well, mixed with the suggestion that his fans could perhaps help propel him into an opportunity. He probably hasn’t done everything right to get a shot at head coaching, but lots of former coaches have done less and still landed the gig. Just a few weeks ago, Mark Jackson was considered a finalist for a head coaching job, and what exactly has he done to earn that opportunity? I would say he has done less than Kareem.

  31. @7 Jim.

    “btw, am I the only one that listens to Pac and thinks that Kobe is basketball’s version of 2Pac?”

    I don’t know about listening to 2Pac, but when I was younger and more prone to conspiracy theories, I used to insist that 2Pac didn’t die, but just took up basketball.

  32. Ron Artest is marketing himself, and building a fan base for him as a player on the Los Angeles Lakers. His method is questionable, but it is also a novel idea, especially here in Los Angeles where anyone with notoriety (think of the reality tv-contestants) try to assume the status of ‘star’ and sequester themselves away from the public. Ron Artest is giving access to anyone that cares to contact him.

    That in its self is reason enough to get publicity. I just hope that his antics do not take on the role of Dennis Rodman.

  33. I seem to recall Kareem saying a couple years back that he can’t even seem to get a regular assistant job. Wasn’t one of the reasons he volunteered on an Indian Reservation HS team some time ago, was to get more experience?

  34. Ron has given out his phone number on Twitter. You can call and talk to him or Shin Shin.

    Ron Ron is definitely wacky. I’m just hoping it ends when the summer does.

    I think the comments about KAJ “whining” are extreme. He mentioned fans thought he would be a great HC and he said he agreed. Taken completely the wrong way.

    Now, if he intended for it to be like that, then how many coaches have there been who didn’t have to put in the time? I don’t remember Magic, Larry Bird or Isaiah Thomas having that experience. What was Michael Jordan’s FO experience? Steve Kerr? Danny Ainge? Even if that is how Kareem meant it, then still, he might have a point.

  35. I hope Kobe isn’t the 2Pac of basketball, seeing that I think 2Pac was overrated and the ultimate actor.

  36. Totally agree with Dave in Hillboro. Henry is stretching it quite a bit. What is wrong with Kareem expressing his aspirations to coach for the Lakers some day on twitter. It’s twitter! With the character limits and the nature of that site, it’s not like he’s going to spell out exactly how he plans to go about achieving the goal of coaching for the Lakers some day. I’m pretty sure Kareem knows from his own experience in the industry and nature of the business that he’s not going to be handed the job or get the job without a lot more experience as an assistant coach or just with twitter backers rooting for him. The man is not stup*d.

    Also, if you got fans rooting for you to coach the Lakers, would you go on twitter and write, “would love to be an assistant coach some day for the Lakers first,” or “I need more experience and if I can get a position as an asst coach I can someday maybe coach for the Lakers.” It’s twitter. He’s engaging in convo with his supporters and you have to express confidence.

    Kareem may or maynot have issues personality-wise that has prevented him from getting coaching (assistant or otherwise) positions in the past, but until we know circumstances of his life, the Lakers (and any other team) staffing & financial situation around hiring staff in today’s financial climate, we shouldn’t make assumptions about why and where he’s at now in his life. The man has accomplished much in his life. Whether he is a good coach or not we don’t know and there’s nothing wrong with him expressing that he would like to do that some day.

    It’s just too much reading between the lines. It’s freaking twitter! This sure is a long summer. I can’t believe this is a topic of discussion. I can’t wait till the season starts.

  37. Kurt,
    I have to take you to task for your comments on Kareem. inwit got part of it right about Kareem’s body of work.

    However, it is pretty well established that he was ‘sort of blackballed’ by the NBA community when he stopped playing. He repeated tried to latch on to a number of coaching staffs to further his skill set, but was rebuffed at each opportunity.

    I think Kareem was too cerebral and professorial for most NBA people and they didn’t feel comfortable with his approaches and opinions. He has also always been an activist and this still doesn’t play too well with the ‘powers that be’. Also, I do believe that there was a ‘don’t hire this guy’ comment making the rounds of the coaching fraternity.

    This is not a new topic and has surfaced periodically since Kareem retired.

  38. 36-Ha- Wondahbap, my man, bold move, Tupac overrated, I’m not buying it bro, I have to wholeheartedly disagree and chalk it up to you growing up on the East Coast, ha.

  39. I guess people have vastly different definitions of “bitching.”

    I don’t think he should go straight from a tutor to a head coach, but as others have pointed out, there are many less celebral coaches (*cough* Vinny Del Negro) who have been given that opportunity. I guess it’s human nature to compare your situations to others.

    I do think his strong activist opinions have something to do with it, like Craig said. Yes, there have been other activists (Phil Jackson and Bill Walton) in the bball community, but they’re…well, it’s pretty obvious. That’s as far as I’ll go, this shouldn’t a discussion on race. (Although even Phil was sort of blackballed for a while, and was lucky to get an NBA opportunity).

    All I’ll say is that Kareem’s strong opinions, when put in the context of who they’re coming from, seem to make the bball community uncomfortable. And unfortunately this gets translated into “introversion” or just being a not-nice guy. I’m not sold he’ll be even a solid NBA assistant coach, but he deserves the same opportunities that guys like wondah mentioned are getting.

  40. ^And I realize most of the people on this site will agree that Kareem deserves the same opportunities, that’s not really the disagreement. I got sidetracked. But I did take the tweets the same way dave did, I didn’t see whining so much as open statements. But it’s open to everyone’s interpretation.

  41. When was the last time a lakers SF has been in the top 5 of any list? Hoopsworld has Artest as the 4th best SF in the NBA.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13628

  42. Everybody has an opinion, are not blogs just great, what would we do without them…

    “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.” – Dag Hammarskjold

    Are all of you getting tired of the quotes I find?

  43. Journey through glorious history of bad spelling. Geez….

  44. 33) Wait, didn’t the Bulls win three championships with Rodman? I think I could live with that…

  45. 42 – If we had kept Butler he might have reached that level. Might have. It is a great feeling, though, considering how our perimeter defenders used to be Radman and Luke – and now we go from Ariza to Artest.

    It is good to be a Lakers fan.

  46. Regarding Snoop’s comment about big men not being head coaches, anyone have any thoughts as to why?

  47. Snoopy2006 – there was no way we were going to be able to keep Butler. At the time he was either going to play the same position as Kobe or Lamar and he was going to demand a high contract – he was an unrestricted free agent the next year.

  48. 36 and 39 – 2pac in terms of impact and public perception, yes. But in terms of skill mastery, I’d go with Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, or even Lauryn HIll. As for the pursuit of perfection…I don’t know if there is a hip-hop equivalent.

  49. I think the Bill Russell stigma, when Russell coached the Kings, still affects Kareem – a star center who everything came easy to (seemingly) who then would not work hard enough on a day in day out basis.

    Still, however irrational that is, it still shouldn’t matter as far as an assistant coach position is concerned.

  50. in other news, orlando gets stacked with point guards but some months later get guard to tool with in jason williams. honestly, they should have gotten another big. maybe after this, the rather surprising spending spree or ORL ends. the contenders are pat as of now. against the east’s beasts, a tall frontcourt outside bass and gortat would be nice. still thanking they did not get powe.

    i contend that we have the highest ceiling for growth hinged on bynum’s knee and 20-20 promise, vujacic and farmar getting a new lease on life and a new way of seeing the basket and our overall D mentality. GO LAKERS!

  51. Craig – You’re right, forgot about that.

    Don – No idea here, but it’s something interesting to think about. It might be that guards (esp PGs) have to have a more cerebral approach to the game. Ewing’s struggling to get a shot, although he had no problems becoming an assistant. With more time to think, I realized I did overlook one of the all time greats – Bill Russell won championships as a player-coach, but that was clearly a very different era, I’m not sure if it’s applicable to today.

  52. Sorry, I forgot the whole reason I was posting again – this quote cracked me up and I thought I’d share this interview:

    Von Wafer: “I thought free agency would be a lot different”

    http://hoopshype.com/interviews/wafer_barrigon.html

  53. meh,

    Well they did some GREAT stuff during the playoffs. All the games were posted during the playoffs, and most were posted in 720i HD TV. So I got to watch them in full quality. The thing is though that the lower quality downloads, during the playoffs, posted within 4-5 hours after the end of the game. The HD versions posted within 1 day or so after.
    Here is the playoff page: http://www.myp2pforum.eu/nba-basketball/37612-nba-playoff-game-downloads-2009-a.html
    I would disregard the initial post which has all the games posted. I would just go through the different posts and find the games i’m looking for. Also, you would need to get a rapidshare account which costs like $10 for the entire month. It is a hosting site. People upload to rapidshare and then you download from there. You are paying for the service of them holding the data and providing great downloard speeds. I can usually download a game in like 5 minutes depending on the size.

    The regular season is different though. Since it is normal people like you and me copying the games and then uploading them to sites like rapidshare, every game is not there during the regular season. Since the lakers are so popular though, i would say that 85% of the regular season games are there. here is the site for regular season games, you can check it out for yourself:
    http://www.myp2pforum.eu/nba-basketball/25289-full-game-downloads.html

  54. kwame,

    Yes, I grew up on the east coast. But I also think Biggie was overrated. Great MC, but not the greatest as a lot of people think. That was more a product of Puff’s marketing.

    I guess this a convo that should be had on straightbangin. Haha.

    Snoopy,

    I remember watching a report when Josh Childress first signed with Olympiakos. They praised him not trying to score 20.

    Wait until they get a load of Wafer’s and Kleiza’s gunning.

  55. Ron Artest is fast becoming my favorite player…don’t get me wrong, I love his on court stuff, but i really love his off-court stuff.

    This guy gave out his cell phone to ANYONE on a radio show. He also gave out his cell phone to random people when he was in China. He says that people call him all the time from China and he talks to them when he can.

    Some have used this as a blight on Artest’s state of mind –“he is crazy” etc. But I love it. He just seems like a basketball player who is still LOVING being a basketball player. Like how you loved the game when you were 15 years old.

    I think Artest is awesome. I’ve been defending him on this site and others for the longest time. I hate how people use instances that should be commended –i.e. taking the time to talk with anyone even though you’re a superstar, giving your $45k watch to some stranger kid in China who needs money to go to college, etc. –using this as evidence that he is crazy.

    I think that it’s evidence of him being an awesome guy. Who else, if you met him on the street, would gladly take 5 minutes of his time to talk with you? Knowing these recent action, the guy may even drop what he’s doing and go out to a bar and have a few drinks with you. How can this be anything but commendable?

  56. The problem with Kareem.

    I know that everyone is going to hate me for this, but Kareem seems like the guy who thinks he is entitled to something. He is entitled to this or to that…”the man owes me this or else he is holding me down.”

    This is not the right attitude to have if you are going to be a head coach. This is the attitude that Allen Iverson has.

    If Kareem is SERIOUS about coaching, then he needs to take actions that get him into coaching. He cannot take the “i’m entitled to the job” stance. He must put in the WORK required to get the job! That means doing whatever is necessary, putting the time required in, to go up the ladder of coaching. Whether that’s assistant coaching or d-league.

    Either way he is getting more handed to him than anyone else. If it was you or i, we couldn’t just get an assistant role or a d-league job. We would have to start even LOWER. Perhaps high school coach, college assistant coach, etc.

  57. #54 @ Kaveh:

    People brand him with the “crazy” label basically because the things he does don’t line up with what they consider the “norm”, just as they do with all eccentric personalities.

    Personally, I think you’re right that people should really lay off him… unless whatever weird/out of the norm thing it is he’s doing is breaking some moral/state law or detrimental to other people/his team.

    I don’t really understand why people would knock him for giving his watch away to a kid in China though… what’s wrong with charity? =\

  58. Did Bill Russelll coach the Kings or was it the Sonics?

    Also, he won a ring with the Celtics as a player/coach. (Ah but now somebody will hasten to remind me that was in “another era” ….)

  59. This ‘crazy’ comment about Artest and people’s insistence that players conform to some global idea of normal really does have a connection with Kareem’s inability to get any ‘run’ in the coaching ranks – IMO.

    I have followed Kareem since he was a freshman at UCLA. I have never heard any well documented situations where he was rude or abusive to people. He was always thoughtful and internally focused.

    He also took a lot from the general public – see John Wooden’s comments about what he learned about people by how they treated Kareem (Louis). This was 1966 when Kareem enrolled in UCLA and the times were extremely different. Anyone who hasn’t lived through the 60’s and the black/white thing should think twice before they criticize an athlete for keeping his feelings and opinions to himself.

    Kareem is extremely proud of who he is and where he came from. This still grates on some of the ‘straight jackets’ in the NBA management structure.

  60. If I’m not mistaken, Phil Jackson was a big man playing basketball. He is a pretty good coach.

  61. 56. I don’t give a crap about his off the court stuff, I want him to be focused on the court. Not like last year, actually in tune with teammates and doing what is best for the team. If he does that, he can give his phone number to anyone he wants.

  62. Man its good to be a Lakers fan. This team is so stacked we have to discuss back up coaches. But it still bores me. Its not too early to talk about this season.

    Its not like we have an all star at every position… what about PG?!?. How much worse is Fisher going to be next year? How much of a baby step back will Kobe, Gasol, and Odom take? How much better will Andrew Bynum, Shannon Brown, Sasha, Morisson and Farmar be?

    Can the Magic or the Spurs challenge the new and improved “mighty” Lakers? Is this the year Lebron can win a championship with an average supporting cast?

    There are plenty of things to discuss other than who might replace Phil 4 years from now. The Lakers are a loaded team… but they are not perfect.

  63. Kurt,
    After watching Artest for many years and appreciating his competitive spirit from a distance… the one thing I know is Ron gives it all every night on the court. What I would like to see him do is curb his eating to match his work ethic. He needs to lose some fat and weight so he can get back some quickness. Thats what we have to worry about with Artest. He shows up for every game… he is focused and is a true warrior. That is the last thing you have to worry about. I hope he gets on the same HGH he used in 04 with Indiana. He was all muscle and averaged 25 ppg that year to go along with his DPOY award.

  64. 64. My issues with Artest are not his energy (although he took nights off in SacTown), it is his hoops IQ. I don’t really want to rehash this again, but my concern is that despite Kobe and Phil, when the going gets tough he is going to try to take over games, or he will do things that break down the offense. Last season we begged him to take over games because the Rockets were much worse when he did. Time will tell if that will be different this time around, I am rooting for it too be.

    As for 63, debating what kind of step back Kobe/Gasol/Odom may or may not take back next season during August is about as pointless as further Artest discussion. I just don’t see what we gain from it now, and remember we have months before the season starts. Months. Sorry if it bores people, but welcome to the offseason.

  65. Wondah,

    Sorry, but the 2Pac-Kobe comparison is ON point. Two cerebral players. Both were introduced to the game with proven squads: Digital Underground and the Shaq-Phil Lakers. Both come from unusual backgrounds: Kobe’s Italy is Tupac’s theater; Tupac’s jailing is Kobe’s rape case, both transformed to much more cerebral and mature manifestations of themselves. I think someone could make a case that Phil Jackson is the Sug Knight of coaching (as if only by reputation he’s landed extremely talented teams, and it’s really criminal how many championships he’s won). We need to tie a do-rag around Kobe’s head and see how well he acts an “even thugs cry.”

    I love Artest. I hope his antics equal good court play AND absolutely wacky on and off the court theatrics (in a way that doesn’t find him sidelined). If I had international calling in Lebanon, he’d be on my speed-dial.

  66. About 40 days to go until training camp starts – I’m not sure I’m going to make it!

    I think Artest knows he is replacing a player, Ariza, that the fans really bonded with last year. But all kinds of silly talk and stunts won’t do it with us, but playing his rear off on the court and bringing toughness to the front line will do alot.

    It’s a little like when Byron Scott replaced Norm Nixon, it took some time for everyone to get over it, and then it worked great.

  67. wondah- whether Pac is overrated is a matter of taste, but I wouldn’t say that he was an “actor” given that he was killed while running around Vegas with LA gangsters. In any case, I like the Kobe comparisons: Kobe demolishes the East Coast teams last year (Lebron: Biggie, Kobe:Pac) and 2Pac wrote “hit em up”, demolishing bad boy records.

    Concerning Ron, I agree that its harmless now, but the reason I loved the 08-09 Lakers so much more than the 3-peat teams is the lack of drama off the court. Hopefully Ron puts this stuff away when the season starts.

  68. Disagree!! That is still basic point guard play, to deliver the ball to the right place. That is why I was never a fam of Nash. Despite his assists numbers, he would hold on to the ball too much. But Jason Kidd does it, Baron Davis does it, Andre Miller does it and Paul does it (although, their plan is for him to hold on to the ball).

    That is what PGs are supose to do.