My Second Favorite Team For Next Season

Kurt —  August 21, 2009

NBA 2009 - Lakers Beat Clippers 88-85
Looking for an off-season topic for a day, most of the members of the TrueHoop Network are putting up a post about their second favorite team for this season. During the D’Antoni years, even though they were serious competition for the Lakers, it was the Suns that I would watch no matter whom they played. The Bulls were fun for about a year. This year, I think I found my team.

My second favorite NBA team changes season to season, but bottom line is I just want to be entertained. And this go around, no underdog is going to be more entertaining than the Clippers.

They have one my favorite players in Baron Davis who, when his body isn’t betraying him or when he hasn’t mentally checked out, is just flat out fun to watch. Davis went to India this off-season, had some sort of epiphany (we can all hope that enlightenment involves ignoring Mike Dunleavy when he tells Davis to slow it down), and he promises to try this season. Then there’s Blake Griffin, who was fun to watch at Summer League and made me a believer, and he seemed to have instant chemistry with Eric Gordon.

And the list goes on — they’ve got emerging young guys like Al Thornton, plus a front-line combo of Marcus Camby and DeAndre Jordan that promises to give you one coming-from-the-weakside shot block into the third row every game. If all else fails, you can just mock Chris Kaman and Mark Madsen.

I can hear it now: “But you’re a Lakers fan, you can’t root for the rival Clippers.” Yes I can, the Clippers are not rivals. Rivals are relatively equal teams battling for something important. The Celtics are rivals. The Clippers are more like roommates.

Since it’s the Clippers, there’s the strong possibility this season will go wrong in a spectacular fashion. That’s fun to watch too, in a Macbeth sort of way. Either way, I’m good with the Clippers this season. I want them to get the eighth seed in the West, so the first round is a Hallway Series at Staples Center. I really, really want that.

Kurt

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96 responses to My Second Favorite Team For Next Season

  1. My 2nd favorite team next year will be the Thunder.

  2. I had to pick one for the purposes of this, and I debated the Thunder and Clips. Like I said, I just want to be entertained, and the Thunder (and Knicks) also will do that. In the end, I just have a fondness for Baron Davis dating back to UCLA that I don’t with Durant.

  3. I’m with you on this one, Kurt.
    B-Diddy has always been one of my favorite players to watch.
    The playoff series from 2007 when GSW knocked out the Mavs is one of the most exciting non-Laker playoff series of the past decade.

  4. Having a backup or second team if perfectly acceptable Kurt. I remember enjoying watching the Kings back before they became rivals. Then it was the Mavs and yes, the Suns. The Clippers are a good choice. However, I wanna watch the Cavs much more closely this year. I’d like to be able to mark the day on my calendar when Shaquille says “They need to get me the ball” to a reporter…

  5. If I have to choose my second favorite team it is easily the Golden State Warriors.

    Between Curry, Ellis, Turiaf, Randolph coming into his own, and a potentially insane Coach in Don Nelson, this rag-tag group of Shooting Guards are always entertaining.

    I also love watching this team because they are totally impossible to predict what will happen game to game or even quarter to quarter.

    I have a ton of respect for their rabid (and potentially masochistic) fan base as well (even though they have had one good season in the last 15).

    The Dubs are a great (second) team to follow.

  6. Living in the Bay Area, I also enjoy rooting for the Warriors. It helps that they aren’t “rivals” either.

  7. 4. +1 The Kings were my first second favorite team since the Sonics traded Dennis Johnson (I grew up going to Pepperdine games).

  8. If Warriors and Clipper were to be competitive again, we can have a california triangle like that of the texas triangle(spur, rocket and marv). I want to see that happen at least once, it would be fun.

  9. Much as they are a fun, well put together team, I just can’t root for the Thunder. Their owner totally sc***d Seattle and sold the NBA a bill of goods that I think will go sour over the next 10 years.

    This is the same reason I can’t root for the Raiders – their owner dissed Marcus Allen (one of the nicest, most talented players around) for no other reason than he could.

    We just shouldn’t support these types of people – regardless if their teams are in our cities.

  10. My second favorite team, always and forever: whoever’s playing the Celtics.

  11. I’m with Gary in Big D on this one….That’s the old school Lakers mentaility in its true form!

  12. Has to be Washington for me, some exciting young guys, solid veteran core with key players healthy for the first time in a few years, and a good team wide sense of humor. They won’t be winning a title, but they should be fun to watch this year, and since they are my home cable market I get all of their games.

  13. always rooted for the clippers, but i try not to invest too much hope in them every season because it just hurts too much. they’ve always got great young talent, but the FO never knows how to foster that and grow it into a playoff caliber team. despite that, i always wish the best for those bad news clips.

  14. OKC Thunder is a distant #2 for me. Young, dynamic, and one of the most impressive offensive players of his generation. This could be a lot of fun to see them come right out of the gate with Brooks established as the coach, with whatever system he wants in place.

    Personally, I think PJ Carlesimo retroactively got what he deserved from Spreewell for what he would go on to do to the Thunder/Sonics as their coach.

  15. Denver – I went to college there and shared season tickets during their 97-98 season when they only won 11 games. Brutal. That and with Chauncey Billups back on the squad, they have someone I had classes with (not that he went to many) to root for.

    Living in the Bay Area, it’s hard rooting for the Warriors as a Lakers fan. All my friends who truly are W fans simply won’t let me get away with it.

  16. Literally laughed out loud at the “more like roommates” statement.

  17. Hard for me to pick a 2nd favorite team, but there are teams that I will definitely watch when given the chance.

    Portland is a very interesting group, and I will enjoy seeing how (or if) that team comes together with Andre Miller running the show. Orlando is going to be a very different, but much more interesting team (to me) with a healthy Jameer and Vince in the lineup. Chicago will be fun too, with Deng coming back off injury and rejoining Rose.

    The one team I won’t watch (unless they play the Lakers) is the Celtics. My blood pressure rises to dangerous levels just looking at Paul Pierce and KG.

  18. Don’t know if I would say their my 2nd fav but I am impressed with what the Clippers have done so far..first time in a long time, I usually enjoy watching them lose since one of my best friends is of the clipper nation..I will officially start cheering for them when Dumbleavy is fired.

  19. Your post completely entertained me….thanks!

    Quote of the Day:
    ” the Clippers are not rivals. Rivals are relatively equal teams battling for something important. The Celtics are rivals. The Clippers are more like roommates.”

    2nd Quote of the Day:
    “Since it’s the Clippers, there’s the strong possibility this season will go wrong in a spectacular fashion. That’s fun to watch too, in a Macbeth sort of way. ”

    Laughing laughing laughing… but I am rooting for them too.

  20. I have no second best team, only players that I root for on different teams that I watched play college ball. This year I think that Chicago will be fun to watch. With the maturation of D. Rose, and gritty playoff performance last year, it will be exciting to see if he can take the next step and shake up the East standings. S. Curry in the bay area, can he really play point in the NBA, with a shooters mentality. Can K. Durant really make Oklahoma a must see team this coming year? All the question marks and underdog labels is what truly draws me to catch NBA fever, a good book is as never as good as the story itself.

  21. No second favorite team for me. Can’t do it.

    Don’t want to be mean about it, but I do feel the universe is in proper alignment when the Lakers & Clippers are at polar opposites in the standings.

  22. Surprisingly, I think a fun team to watch next year will be Houston. They literally have no centers on the roster that aren’t injured, so they’re going to run, non-stop. Brooks will run the point, Battier and Ariza will man the wings, and they also have a nice rotation of “bigs” with Scola, Landry, and Hayes. Throw in Kyle Lowry at the back-up point, with an interesting set of draft picks off the bench, and I can see the Rockets playing great defense and running teams into the ground.

  23. I have a hard time rooting for the current Clippers. Dunleavy seems too controlling a coach, and as a GM his acquisitions haven’t seemed too thoughtful. They have many talented players, and 2 young studs in Gordon and Griffin, but I’m not hopeful things will work out because of systemic problems, the injury histories of key players, and real chemistry issues.

    A disaster waiting to happen: that’s the quintessence of Clippers basketball.

    That being said, I watch Clipper games anyway because I really enjoy the broadcast team. Ralph Lawler #1.

    In recent years, my 2nd favorite teams have been the Suns and the Warriors. This year, I’m rooting for the Raptors.

    I believe they’re in the process of implementing a d’antoni-style offense, and IMHO there isn’t a more aesthetically pleasing style of basketball. It’s basketball’s version of the “beautiful game.”

    Colangelo has made some shrewd moves and acquired system players. They ought to have more depth this season, better perimeter shooting, and more athleticism. With their personnel, they ought to score in transition and on the secondary break with panache.

    I’m no expert, but I think the Bosh/Turkoglu high-screen-and-roll is going to be their bread-and-butter. I don’t think they can consistently grind games out, but that combination ought to make their half-court offense pretty dependable.

    Still, I just don’t know if they have the pre-requisite rebounding prowess to be a great fastbreaking team. With so many new players(10, I think) it may take time for them to gel, but I like the front office, I like the system, I like the pieces, and I’m hopeful they’ll improve.

  24. Warriors for me since I bought part of a Warrior’s season ticket. Even though Nelson is too creepy for words. Can’t wait for their dates with the Lakers!

    However, on any given night I love whoever makes the Celtics feel pain.

  25. Eric Gordon is a stud.

  26. I enjoyed watching Orlando the last couple of years, although that was in large part because of the new-departed Turkeyglue.

    Golden State and OKC should be fun to watch once again. Not sure if the Clippers will be with Dunleavy patrolling the sidelines, but they certainly have enough talent to sneak into the playoffs.

  27. I can’t say as that I have a 2nd ‘favorite’ team after the Lakers. I like watching teams that are stylistically entertaining (like the recent Suns and the late 90’s early 00’s Kings), or play hard, or are just good (I was never one to hate the Spurs for being boring, as I always appreciated their execution). However, when it comes to basketball (NBA and NCAA) I’m *very* regional in the teams I root for to win it all; I like all the Western teams in comparison to the Eastern ones.

    I’ve been watching the NBA since the Blazer/Sixer finals (1977?) and I’ve rooted for the Western Conference team in *every* Finals. No matter how much a team is a rival of the Lakers for the Western Conference crown (like the Spurs recently, and Kings and others earlier) I’ll gladly root for them in the Finals, even if they knock the Lakers out of the playoffs in a bitter duel. Western teams are only rivals until the Finals, when they become my “favorite”. :)

    In closing I will say, that living in Phoenix, that if the Lakers don’t win the title I’ll always hope it’s the Suns next.

  28. Fun idea for a post. I’m with Joel, Orlando used to be my 2nd favorite team, but it was easier to like them when they weren’t a serious threat, when we didn’t face them in the playoffs, and waiting to see what new grimace Turk would pull off after another 4th quarter performance.

    Houston’s always been up there for me too, but that’s because of Yao. Now I’m not really sure who my 2nd favorite team is.

    I think I’ll go with Miami. Wade is just supreme when he’s healthy, and I like this Chalmers kid a lot. They’ll be a scrappy, undermanned team – always fun to watch. I’ll probably also watch as many Nets games as I can, because I’m infatuated with Brook Lopez’s game.

  29. Sometimes NBA players waste money on another Bentley. Danny Granger knows how to spend his cash. I’d never heard of this before, but…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Danny-Granger-s-Batcave-plans-hit-a-snag;_ylt=ApoRjJ5qtK.lz.AeBCJhgLC8vLYF?urn=nba,184350

    That is awesome. If I had that much money I’d try the same thing.

  30. Everyone loves the Thunder I see…the sonices used to be my 2nd favorite team seeing how i live in Seattle. Unfortunately, just as they drafted some young talent, they got up and moved away…just my luck. Now I can’t see any NBA team in person unless i fly to L.A.

  31. I’ve gotta mention the Spurs and the Bulls. Being in the Chicagoland area, I have high hopes for the Bulls (not that I have a choice since everyone is a Bulls fanatic around here). Derrick Rose is spectacular to watch and I hope his game continues to develop.

    If we’re going with second favorite and not just second most fun to watch, I’d have to say I’m most intrigued about the Spurs. They went all in with their spending this year and they are all-out winners. Ginobili and Duncan should be revitalized, mentally if not physically. And the addition of quality players like McDyess, Jefferson, and Blair will make for a very good team. They may not be the most fun to watch, but they are my second favorite simply because they play basketball the right way. And now that they have more talent, that is going to be scary.

  32. #28 Miami

    I have always loved D. Wade as well. It is an unfortunate reality that the Heat are completely WASTING Wade’s prime years. They went with the one and done in 06 with Shaq, and now they have been wasting away for 3 years. They should have taken the Lakers approach of building young talent around their star instead of gambling one an old major 1 and done talent like Shaq.

    Lakers got Bynum even before Pau. And the Lakers were looking AWESOME before Bynum went down the first time, and we got Pau. Odom/Bynum/Pau/Farmar/Brown/Vujajci/Walton/. That’s much better than 1 shaq because now we get to contend for 5-6 years (counting the last 2).

    Even though Pau was an awesome GIFT, lol.

  33. Flint Tropics.

    Actually no. Who did Teen Wolf play for?

  34. Kurt,
    Re: Artest’s basketball IQ…

    Thats one of the things that Phil says he likes about Ron. Now I’m not saying Phil is right because he is Phil, I think Phil is a great coach but I as you already know feel his player evaluation skills leave a lot to be desired. But I do feel he is a very selfless player. He does what the team needs. At the start of last year he played little one on one basketball with Ming and T Mac in the lineup. Now in the Lakers series he was the only guy on their team that we double teamed… so he did dominate the ball and tried to make plays for himself and for his teammates. Even after Brooks killed Fisher over and over Phil didn’t adjust the defense much. He kept his attention on stopping Artest since Ariza couldn’t guard him one on one. I think Artest took plenty of bad shots because I think he lost a step last year and couldn’t create the open shots he was used to… but only after his team needed him to try and step his game up.

  35. 34. Like I said, I don’t want to rehash this because we’ve all been down the road with the Artest discussion, but I have yet to see evidence that he is a selfless player. Wasn’t in Indiana, wasn’t in Sactown, was better but was far from selfless in Houston (it was a night to night thing, and it was not just when his team needed him, in his last two stops he has gained the rep as a guy who takes the ball out of the hands of better shooters). As I said, I hope to be wrong, but his history is that of a guy who breaks out of the offense and does his own thing. I hope he has matured and that changes. (I’d add that Jalen Rose said basically the exact same thing today, and that he expects Artest to be the more mature player this year, but I don’t think quoting Rose is something that bolsters any argument.)

  36. glad to see sonics fans here as well. followed them since the kemp and payton days, something about seattle, their style of play and the color green.

    aside from the lakers, for me it’s a far second for either the clippers or the thunder. and although i do sometimes indulge in teams beating the celts and the cavs, i can’t consider that being a fan of such teams. more of a lakers fan taking over than anything. it’s getting to be an offseason slowdown for me. too much inaction for the purple and gold after the LO signing.

    and yes, i do hope ronron tones his act down a bit come summer training because he’s preoccupied dropping 3s and manhandling luke and sasha in scrimmage.

  37. Considering that Durant is the only player I came to think I could trade Kobe for, during his trade-me summer, and that one of my 45 nba jerseys colection (from now and then, and keeps growing) is Durants… I don’t think I have to make clear that I’d take the team that cannot be named as Simmons like to call them (damn, even Simmons love this team!)

  38. To get back on track, my 2nd team changes yearly. Being a brazilian myself, when Barbosa got in the NBA, the Suns were easy to follow, especially with Nash running the show. When Nenê finally made a splash with the Nuggets, hey, with Chauncey getting the pack together, another fun team to watch. Chris Paul’s Hornets, Brandon Roy’s slowpoke-yet-effective TrailBlazers. Come to think of it, I just like the NBA in general, other than being a diehard Laker fan, hating the Celtics, the Pistons and wondering why the Grizzlie franchise is headed straight to nowhere and we are all just waiting to see the day when they merge with D-League.

  39. Can’t root for the Thunder. Durant is a very skilled player, but he played at t.u. in college and was the rival of my Aggies. I don’t have a second team to watch…however I always try to watch a game of our next opponent right before they play our Lakers.

  40. My second most watched team is the Clippers, because I get them on the FSW channel (which my TV is stuck on, unless I watch Laker away games on KCAL) for their home games here in LA at Staples Center. I have always liked Baron and now with Griffin they will be even more fun to watch. So they would be my 2nd most favorite team, just to see what they are going to do this year. Why is it, with decent players, super high draft picks like every year (guranteed lottery picks for sure), they just cannot even be a regular in the Playoffs?

  41. gr8 Scott: Are you sure you were rivals with Texas, and not more like roommates?

    I would have to say my 2nd favorite team are the Hornets. Chris Paul is poetry in motion.

  42. Without Shaq slowing things down, Phoenix should be fun to watch again.

    Can’t get behind the Superstolens. Bad karma.

    I feel the same way about slumlord Sterling.

  43. Kurt,
    Who was a better scorer than Artest in Sacramento or the last half of the year in Houston last season from the perimeter?

    Also… what is your take on the religion like denial that has happened regarding the Lakers turnaround around the country? Its like gospel to say everything turned around for the Lakers when they made the Gasol trade. Its like if people say it enough it becomes true. The truth is the day the Lakers made that trade they were already the first seed in the western conference. Andrew Bynum is what turned the Lakers around… Kobe himself said in Seattle just days after Andrew’s injury and days before the Gasol trade that “with Andrew in the lineup we are a championship team.” I would love for this site to help make sure the basketball world writes the real history of what turned a bad team with Kobe Bryant into a championship contender. Adding all stars like Pau Gasol and Ron Artest put the Lakers into a rare level of dominance… but it was Bynum turning into a star that season that took the Lakers from an 8th seed the year before to a #1 seed. Everyone forgets that… but I won’t let them.

  44. I tend to agree with the notion that Artest has become a more selfless player. I would put more weight on his time in Houston because his maturity has developed over time and with a more structured offense centered around other stars rather than being the go-to man it will reflect the situation in LA more. Personalities and coaching aside, even if he does play selfishly, he isn’t on a team that needs him to score, so he can simply be pulled for a solid backup in Walton. Bottomline, we can afford to bench him, but players can’t afford not to play (or at least can’t resist playing).

    But the discussion of whether he is selfless is a different one than whether he is a good passer. We’ve seen that he has some pretty solid passing and setup skills that will prove very useful in our system. Frankly I am more interested in whether he has the ability rather than whether he is selfless, because the latter is easier to teach.

  45. 43. Aaron, in Sacramento Kevin Martin was already a more efficient scorer than Artest, and end of game plays were set up for Martin that never got to him. These are my last three comments on this Artest for a while:

    1) He is not now and NEVER has been an efficient scorer, his true shooting percentage (this is essentially points per shot and includes free throws and threes) has never been higher than 53.8% (which is at best average), for comparison Kobe has never had a season that bad, and last season Gasol, Bynum, Odom Fisher and Ariza did better. Artest scored a lot of points because he takes a lot of shots, not because me makes some high percentage of what he takes.

    2) Simply put, if you think he has stuck with the offense and played within the system anywhere he has been in the last five years, well, you are just flat out wrong. And the coaches and players on those teams will back me up, after he left they all have talked about he worked outside the offensive structure. But it was just obvious watching him. And because you are the most talented guy does not mean you just get to break out of the system, particularly when you are not an efficient scorer.

    3) Shot selection and maturity to play within the offense are things a player can develop. And I sincerely hope that he does and will be rooting for him this year to fit in like we all hope he can. But if on the other side you think there is no ON THE COURT risk with Artest, you are fooling yourself.

    As for your other point, for a lot of casual basketball fans and the newspaper columnists who really don’t watch a lot of NBA until the playoffs, what they have seen of Bynum is not impressive (missed all together two years ago, hobbled around on one leg this year). In those years, Gasol has looked great. So they make a leap that, as you said, is totally wrong. Those same people will see a healthy Bynum these playoffs and say “wow, where did he come from?”

  46. I’ve liked the Jazz since I started watching NBA in ’95. The team always plays hard and collects quality players. I guess I’m a big Jerry Sloan fan as well. Can never get behind two teams – Boston and Portland. I might hate the fanbase more than the team.

  47. It looks like nobody has mentioned Memphis. What, no OJ Mayo love? I think that kid is going to be great, and the combination of him and Gay could be fun for years to come. And because its Memphis, you never have to worry about them as a serious contender…

  48. Kurt,
    You don’t have to respond to this since it is regarding Artest. I do think there is an on court risk with Artest as I have already said… but I think it has to do more with his deteriorating quickness than his offensive selfishness.

    Kevin Martin has never been a guy that can create his own shots. He scores his points buy moving without the ball and running around screens. When the Kings needed someone to create a shot for himself or for others they went to Artest.

    1) I agree with you… Artest has never been a very efficient scorer. He has always been better being a great role player and focusing on defense like when he was on Indiana. That is when he is at his best (much like lamar Odom). He was forced to be a playmaker on the Kings and for most of the year in Houston because of injuries. On the Lakers playing with Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol Ron can go back to being a great role player.

    2) I only somewhat disagree with you here. Artest in Sacramento and Houston did break out of the system… but that again won’t be a problem when he is the 4th most talented guy on the Lakers behind Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol. Just as he was playing with Jermain Oneal and Reggie Miller… Ron will flourish on the court in his supporting role.

    3) Again, you don’t hear of many guys having bad shot selection playing in the triangle under Jackson with Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq, Bynum, and Gasol. Because these are great offensive players creating shots for others. The other guys just play off of them. Even when Kobe was ridiculed for his shot selection the team still won championships. But supporting players have never had problems with shot selection. I don’t think it will start now. I accept Artest to have his FG% rise to around 46% next year with all the attention Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol get.

  49. back to the subject of this thread, (which seemed to get hijacked into artest-land)
    I will be spending a lot of time this season in Toronto, so I’ll probably be going to a bunch of Raptor games.
    I am looking forward to it this year, with the off season they had and their roster, I think they can be a fun team to watch.
    so, the Raptors will be my second favorite team.

  50. You know my second favorite unit of all time to watch, was 1st half of last season, the Lakers bench mob. Remember, Odom, Ariza, Farmar would come in and not just keep whatever lead we had, but immediately extend it and keep extending it in an exciting fast tempo pace way, until all starters on both teams were back in. In fact did they not force the other teams to bring their starters back in sooner than they would have wanted to?

  51. Clips waived Mad dog mark Madsen. Any chance he will land on the lakers for the minimum?

  52. I always go for the underdog, and what team could be a bigger underdog than the Mionnesota Timberwolves?

    Since the ‘Wolves have $17 million in expiring contracts, they will be players in next season’s free agent sweepstakes–with or without Rubio.

    This year, victories may be few and far between. Right smack dab in the middle of all this are a great player from UCLA, Kevin Love, and a former player and coach who has spent his career with the Lakers–Kurt Rambis.

    Just to remind Kurt what he faced during the short lived run and gun Laker era, he’ll undoubtedly notice the Timberwolf blast from the past on his new team, Chucky Atkins. Kurt just missed reuniting with “Mad dog” Madsen.

    The Timberwolves are facing the unenviable possibility of being the underdog for 82 games–looking way up to the Grizz and the Clippers.

    I will wildly cheer every upset victory.

  53. I love ‘BD’ and hope that he can have a retro type season with the Clippers this year. I have known and watched this kid since his high school days.

    I always have an east coast team as my 2nd favorite team and ever since Dwight Howard was drafted by the Magic they have been that team. My 3rd favorite east coast team this year will be the Wizards. Nice to hear that Gilbert Arenas is playing well after two seasons of injuries.

  54. Apologies for going OT into Artest-land,but…

    Aaron,
    Kurt is right. Artest will be 30 in Nov,he ain’t maturing,he is what he is. He will break the offense and jack up wild shots. Phil,Kobe,etc. will get on him and for a few games he’ll play w/in the system then he’ll revert. He will contribute more than he hurts,but you are in for an interesting ride.
    Don’t confuse the last 4 Playoff games when the Rockets were w/out Yao. For the second half of the season the players the Rockets started at PG,SF,PF and C ave’d 50ppg,while the equivalent Lakers ave’d 52ppg(w/Bynum,if it’s Lamar then it’s the same 50ppg). The top 3 Rocket reserves ave’d 26.5ppg,the top 3 Laker reserves(assuming Odom off bench)ave’d 23.5(26.5 if Bynum is considered a reserve.)
    My point is not that Artest is not Kobe(duh),but that there was a considerable amount of offensive talent on the Rockets. Saying Ron will play w/in the system because he’s surrounded by scoring talent in LA when he didn’t do it before requires a huge leap of faith. History says such faith will not be rewarded.

  55. My second team is the Magic.
    Teams I will watch on LP are Magic,Heat,Thunder,Lakers,Blazers. I gave up on the Clips last yr as they were boringly bad.

    Least favorite?
    Utah and any team LeBron plays for.
    Yeah,he’s a great player,but he’s too much of a drama queen for me,and way too contrived.

  56. 51. No chance Madsen lands here in LA. First, with the Lakers, way over the tax, adding him at the minimum is a $1.6 million bill. And what do you get for that — a fourth string, 34-year-old power forward that hardly plays. Gasol starts, Odom is going to get most of the other minutes at the four, and any remaining minutes fall to Josh Powell. And Powell has a far more rounded game and is much better right now than Mad Dog.

    So no, not going to happen. The Lakers have said they are not adding to the roster.

  57. 54,
    There is a big difference between the Rockets and the Lakers on offense. The Lakers have more playmakers. On the Rockets Ron Artest was their 2nd best play maker. With the Lakers he will be the 4th or 5th best playmaker. If you cannot see that than I am very surprised.

  58. Folks I apologize. I should have realized Ron is the new Lamar who threatens to hi-jack every thread. If you’ll bear with me this will be my last word on Ron until the season starts-or a dedicated Ron thread opens :)

    Aaron,
    The Rockets asked Ron to move the ball,set solid picks,shoot when he’s open and take advantage of any mismatches esp down low. I imagine this will be pretty much what the Lakers will want him to do. He couldn’t do this in Houston and I’m rather doubtful he will do so in LA.
    For Coach Adelman,his system IS the playmaker. Run properly players will get numerous open looks either at the rim or outside. It’s in crunchtime when the refs tend to swallow their whistles,defensive intensity cranks up, that the system breaks down as players no longer can make the cuts w/out being pushed,shoved,held,whatever, and then a go-to guy is needed. For the Rockets that go-to guy was supposed to be Yao. The Rockets had such problems getting him the ball that Ron started to take over the role,which he did successfully more times than not. Unfortunately Ron then started trying to be the go-to guy from the opening tip and that was NOT what the Rockets wanted or needed.

    Out of curiosity who do you think on the Lakers is a a better playmaker than Ron besides Kobe,Gasol and maybe Lamar? More importantly who does Ron think is a better playmaker than himself,considering he’s compared himself to Pippen,not Rodman?(Please note Ron gave himself the Pippen role,while leaving Lamar the Kukoc role.) Please don’t answer,just consider them and when the season gets closer there will prob be a Ron thread where we can exchange views.

  59. Aaron, the question isn’t if Artest is the fourth or fifth best playmaker/scoring option for the Lakers, it is if he sees himself that way. If he sees himself as the second best option behind Kobe and proceeds to shoot like it, the Lakers will have a problem on their hands (he cannot take shots away from Gasol). That is simply all we are saying, and none of us will really know until December or so how valid this concern is.

  60. Also, I apologize to everyone for getting sucked into a silly, BS discussion.

  61. Speaking of things, way, way off topic, there is finally a FB&G Facebook page. We are finally in 2006!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Forum-Blue-Gold/260370320301

  62. Meh the offseason is about BS. Better this than the Bill Simmons kind.

    Davis – I like Mayo a lot too, there’s something about his swag and demeanor that just reminds me of a young Kobe. But the Memphis organization is so awful I can’t bear to watch or root for them, personally. And they’ve jinxed Bynum’s knee.

    But yeah, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Mayo.

  63. What’s b.s. about it? Conjecturing about how Artest (one of the most intriguing, exciting additions to the Laker roster in some time) will fit in with the Lakers is a much more interesting, inexhaustible topic than most any other up to date Laker news. There’s just not much else of interest going on in Lakerland now that the Odom drama is behind us. I still think there’s plenty of worthwhile Artest discussion to be had.

    That is, unless your mind is 100% made up that he’s going to be a problem, which is silly. The only year the T-Mac Rockets made it out of the first round and challenged the Lakers was the only year Artest played for them. No Artest, no 2nd round. Period. It’s all this “team killer” stuff that’s b.s.

    Indiana was better with him, Sacramento was better with him, Houston was better with him, the Lakers will be better with him. The Kobe/Artest tandem at the Perimeter is beyond exciting to think about. Cautious optimism is one thing, but there seems to be some rather unfounded pessimism.

    30 isn’t old age and it’s never too late to grow and mature. Artest will prove that.

    And anyway…Kobe exits the set offense all the time to jack up wild shots and Artest shoots a better 3pt % than Kobe does. Kobe’s my favorite player, but the point is, even the best have faults and flaws, if people really want Artest to accept his role on the team, they need to accept him and make him feel welcome- I’m sure the Lakers are not sitting around discussing Artest’s true shooting % and comparing it to Kobe’s or lamenting how he punched some idiot that deserved it back in Indiana.

  64. Josh, it’s BS because at the time Artest came on board we had long, lengthy posts and discussions beating this very topic into the ground. Just because there are no other horses to whip doesn’t mean I want to whip a dead one.

    And, in the same way you complain that that there is only a no discussion “unless your mind is 100% made up that he’s going to be a problem,” I would say from your comment you are 100% convinced he will not be. I again would say what I already said in this thread and in longer posts: It’s an issue, but one we will not no the answer to for months.

    But whip away at the horse.

  65. Cool, a Facebook place for us here now…

    From Stephen 9:43 – “you are in for an interesting ride”. Yep folks, this is going to be like when Rodman was here, does Mr. Toads wild ride ring a bell. I am really really looking forward to the 2009-10 season. I am sure Kurt will have a thread or two dedicated to Ron Artest, no doubt about it, just bound to happen.

    “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell

  66. awesome, facebook. fanned

  67. who’s who on facebook? Would like to put some names to faces. Pretty clear who I am. Feel like I should be posting this on the FB wall (ambiguous abbreviation alert).

  68. 58,
    You asked who is a better playmaker on the Lakers than Artest. To me its pretty obvious that its Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol. They all can get off better shots one on one than Artest. I think Lamar though probably is behind Artest in this department putting Artest as our 4th best playmaker.

    59 Kurt,
    To answer your question… yes… Artest does see himself as a 4th option on the Lakers. He already has said as much. We already know how he looks up to Kobe and respects him… and he says (we will see) that he is in awe of Phil Jackson. Again… I have concerns about Artest, but none of them involve him being selfish on offense. I am worried he will continue to lose athleticism and I am concerned his great outside shooting last year was a aberration.

  69. Getting back to the original point of this thread…

    I haven’t really had a second-favorite team for some time. I used to like the Knicks as a distant runner-up to the Lakers back when they had Ewing, John Starks and Anthony Mason. They never could get past the Bulls with Jordan, but those battles were entertaining.

    In the following years it was more about watching certain players that drew me to teams. Reggie Miller was always one to watch, and more recently I’ve found myself tuning in whenever Chris Paul is on the TV.

    I liked Wade for a bit, but once the refs bit into his superstar act it wasn’t quite as fun watching him play because he travels damn near every drive and never gets called for it. For the same reason I don’t enjoy watching LeBron as much as his talent should instill; it’s a joke watching him barrel into a defender like he’s a fullback clearing the hole, toss up a “shot” at the rim and get sent to the line because he’s LeBron and the other guy isn’t.

    Things like — the superstar treatment — that remain the NBA’s biggest flaw, in my view. (And yes, I know Kobe gets his share of calls too.)

  70. PeanutButterSpread August 24, 2009 at 12:51 am

    My adopted team was anyone that played against the Celtics or the Cavs.

    Seriously though, I rooted for the Hawks, they were really fun to watch. Lots of youth and potential. Not so much fun to watch when they’re on the road, but when they’re at home, they’re a fiery bunch.

  71. My 2nd favorite team is the Heat, simply because they will be getting way more nationally televised games than the W’s or the Thunder. Wade always plays like an MVP, but even more so on national TV. Someone earlier commented on how the Heat are wasting Wade’s prime years. People said that about the Lakers and Kobe 3 years ago. And 3 years ago, the Heat won a title. Things move a lot faster in the NBA than we tend to think. Hopefully Riley can pull off a trade for a decent big man.

    Regarding Artest, and his basketball IQ: I think the IQ level that Phil refers to is his defensive basketball IQ. It’s the same reason Phil loved Scottie, because he not only had physical ability to lock down players, but had the IQ to know when and how to channel players into help defense, and how to give them different looks on every possession. But I don’t think anybody would argue that a team with Artest as the 1st option on offense isn’t going to be effecient on that end.

  72. Living in Oakland, my second favorite team is the Warriors. I root for them 78 times a year. Because they’re a consistent lottery team, they always have some young up and coming player that is exciting to watch – Arenas => Monta => Randolph => Curry. I like Wright and love Biedrins as well. I really wish they could have kept Baron though. They wouldn’t invest in Baron, but they’ll waste $50 mil on Maggette? Ugh.

    As for Artest, I’m not sure how this will work out. I definitely see both sides of the argument. If Ron does indeed see himself as just a role player, moves the ball, only takes open shots, and is consistently looking for the easiest play, I think the Lakers will be fine. In a way, he could be the super-duper upgrade to Rick Fox. On the other hand, the Triangle is based off ball and player movement and if any player decides that he’d rather hold the ball (Kobe included) the offense can break down rather quickly. Also, I think we should note that the Triangle does not put some sort of block on people taking bad shots. For years Kobe has been criticized for taking bad shots within this offense (now, most was forgiven because of the caliber of his teammates or because of his fantastic ability to make those shots, but the fact remains that he took bad shots). And in recent seasons Farmar, Fisher, and Sasha have all been known to take bad shots or stall the ball in order to look for their own shot. Now, all of those guys are role players and none of them are the caliber player of Artest (though I would argue that Fish has hit enough big shots in his career to have some leeway, but not much considering the guys that we really want shooting). So, maybe Ron should be allowed to embelish a bit more just based off his talent level. But in the end, he will have the ball in his hands and he will have ample opportunity to *not* pass and to just shoot the ball or dribble to look for a better opportunity for himself or his mates. In a perfect world, Ron would act more like Luke in that he’d consistently move the ball and then be rewarded with easy post ups and wide open corner and extended wing jumpers based off excellent ball movement. In my worst nightmares, Ron decides that he’s going to be a real creator in this offense and will bypass the easy pass in order to dribble the ball, attack and look for his own shot, or instead of make the easy entry pass to the post he’ll call for the P&R (think Farmar on half of the possessions that he uses). Mind you, I don’t think any of these (nightmare) plays are the product of low BBIQ. Rather, I think they’re the product of a supreme confidence in your own ability (but at the expense of the abilities that your teammates have). In all of Ron’s other stops as a player, he’s played this way for large stretches of games or the season. In the end, I think we’ll plenty of both the good and the bad with Ron (on offense) and that we’ll learn to live with it. But, I’m not ready to claim that “selfishness” (if that’s even what you want to call it – I’d rather call it confident improvisation away from the offense) won’t be an issue. Because any player with Ron’s history of playing style and mental make up will end up going for his own.

  73. My second favorite team?

    Last year’s Lakers.

  74. Just to be the turd in Darius’ toilet, but Artest is a pretty poor corner three shooter. His sample on HotSpots strongly indicates that he’s much better from straight on and the wings than he is in the corner.

  75. ESPN’s reporting Beasley will check into rehab… Not good news for those who enjoy the Heat.

  76. Zephid,
    Well then, even worse off than I thought. I do think he’ll get plenty of opportunities to play on the extended wing and at the top of the key (I mean, everyone plays everywhere in this offense), but I think those chances will come more if he’s playing Kobe’s role in the offense (when Kobe sits) or if he’s paired with Kobe and Kobe is in the post (especially if they’re on the weakside of the Triangle together where Kobe is on the low block and Ron is making the post entry as a lot of times that pass is made from the FT line extended or higher outside the 3pt. line).

  77. Sasha Vujacic just got cut from the Slovenian national team. I may put this in a longer post, but he missed a couple games there with a knee injury. Then they cut him. Something is seriously wrong there.

  78. Kurt,
    That’s pretty discouraging. He’s not one of the best 10-12 guys on that team?

  79. Im not sure he’s one of the 10-12 best guys on our team, either.

  80. Thats pretty sad that they cut him, maybe they thought the FO would put pressure on him not to play because of the injury. He needs to talk to a sport psychologist to get his mind in order, he has lost all his mojo. Come back to LA work on that jump shot and use getting cut as motivation to prove all the naysayers wrong. Whatever happens he is still on the payroll, I would like to see him come out of this black hole and at least contribute next year.

  81. It’s not a question of work ethic with Sasha, he hustles on the court and stays late shooting after every practice. He wants it. But Sanchez, you are right about needing a sports psychologist now.

  82. I agree. Sasha is not the same guy we saw 2 and 3 seasons ago. I wish we could figure out what happened to the kid. Was it a relationship that ended that affected his play? Maybe something negative happen to a family member? I just can’t understand why he has regressed so much so fast.

  83. 82. I wish I’m not right, but that was his contract year…

  84. A photo of Beasley’s stash, what up with the tat. He definitely should have been just a little more careful. I guess this is a good public announcement on why you shouldnt use drugs.

  85. Did Sasha really regress, or was his hot shooting an abnormality? I can only remember him sustaining great shooting for 1 season (albeit with no stats in front of me). It seems like that 08 year was the outlier, not the rest of the years. Sasha has struggled since he came into the league – he was booed so much Kobe even commented on it, and Phil called him an afternoon/practice shooter only.

    We know he can shoot, since he does amazing blindfolded things in practice. But to me, the mental aspect has been a regular problem for Sasha, and his great game shooting was more of an abnormality than the norm.

  86. Ron Artest shot a TS% of 60.8% in 2005-2005. If memory serves, this was also the year that he was Defensive Player of the Year. At his current age, he has not lost much on defense, going by the numbers. Year in and year out, he is in the top 5 for defensive player of the year.

    When Artest plays for the Lakers next year, I think he will put that GREAT (yes, i said GREAT) passing to work. He reminds me a bit of a child in that if he believes that he is getting his just reward via passing (the people he is passing to make the basket, Artest gets the assist, and the accolades which come with the assists), then he will gladly pass. Selfish or not, there is little doubt that Artest is a great passer and playmaker. He does have a very high basketball IQ. Just like Kobe –Kobe can take bad shots, and has taken way too many shots in the past. No one would question his BBIQ. I think in 05-06, Kobe took like 27 shots per night –way too much.

    Kobe and Artest are similar in a way. Kobe’s mental attitude was probably the same as Artests….when Kobe was 19 to when Artest is 29 that is, lol…

  87. #71 Travis,

    You wrote: “Someone earlier commented on how the Heat are wasting Wade’s prime years. People said that about the Lakers and Kobe 3 years ago. And 3 years ago, the Heat won a title. Things move a lot faster in the NBA than we tend to think. Hopefully Riley can pull off a trade for a decent big man.”

    That was me saying that the Heat were wasting Wade’s prime years. Comparing him to Kobe is RIDACKULAS –Kobe is 3.5 years older than Wade. Kobe has been to the NBA finals 6 times, he has won 4 championship rings. The Heat, with Wade, have gone to the NBA finals 1 time and won 1 ring. In fact, i think that they have only made 1 deep playoff run. To compare these two records is absurd. Kobe is now back on a championship contending team, and may make 2-3 more runs in the NBA finals.

    What you are referring to was a 2-3 year period when Kobe was not on a championship contending team. Can’t compare that to what has happened to Wade.

  88. 87. Just so we are clear on the facts, Artest did have a TS% of 60.8% in 04-05, but that was in the 7 games he played that season. In every other of his 10 years in the league he has played at least 55 games and his TS% was never higher than 53.8%. In his 11th season, to expect anything other than the statistical norm is foolish.

    88. As for Wade/Kobe, again let’s be clear on the facts. Wade went to college for a couple years and is now entering his 7th NBA season. Kobe is entering his 14th. Their situations have been radically different.

  89. anyone have insider and can summarize the laker buzz on espn?

    as for sasha being cut, well, hope the injury thing isn’t bad…

  90. Something is amiss, afoot, awry in Sasha being cut by his home country’s team. They did not even want to use Sasha as a marketing tool? Seeing as how he is a member of the world champion Los Angeles Lakers!

    Shooting tricks are for half time shows at the All-Star game. Sasha is paid to perform shooting prowess in the games.

    82) Unfortunately, in the business of basketball, none of the intangibles that you mentioned are valid excuses for his consistent inconsistency. Lamar Odom lost a child, a son no less, and was given marginal time to recover. Sasha has been given enough years to adjust to the NBA and has come up woefully lacking (save for his contract year). Enough with the kid gloves for Sasha Vujacic, he must come out of the gates shooting the open jumpers or he will go the way of our last two European players, Vlad Radmonovic and Slava Medvedinko (sp?)!

  91. 90. Not that much to it. Hollinger predicts that Farmar bounces back but that Kobe will take a small step back, however that the Lakers have the talent around him and depth to manage his minutes and not have it show. Also, Bucher says that Bynum will be the bellweather on the Lakers, he is the key to their repeating.

  92. Kurt,
    I find it interesting that the ESPN people constantly err on the low side when discussing Kobe. He shoots too much – his shooting is falling off – he is getting too old – his numbers will go down.

    Kobe is getting smarter – like Jordan – and is still in phenomenal shape. He uses his teammates to maximum advantage most of the time – Magic was so far out of the norm that we shouldn’t even try to compare the two.

    I really get tired when people either complain that he shoots too much or that he is getting old. Even when his skills start to diminish he will be able to dominate games – based on his drive and skill set. Wilt was still a sight to behold, even in the 70’s, when Elgin and Jerry were around to do much of the shooting.

    Even ESPN (especially stupid, partial needs) should just relax and just watch this guy for the rest of his career.

  93. I don’t think the Wade/Kobe comparison is THAT rediculous. Wade is 27, almost 28. When Kobe was 28 people were saying (including Kobe) that the Lakers were wasting his prime years. The only comparison I made was that both, at age 28, were/are former champions (Wade has a finals MVP, remember) and that both ended up leading non-contenders in their late 20’s during the 2 or 3 years following a trip to the finals.

    I was just trying to make the point that things change quickly in the NBA, and that anytime you have a MVP caliber player on your team (which Wade and Kobe both are), you’re really only a player or two away from contending, thus the statement that the Heat are wasting Wade’s prime years is a bit presumptuous seeing as how we said the same about Kobe when he was the same age.

  94. oh and regarding Sasha, I think some extra time on the bench while SB gets some run at the 2 spot will probably help him come back to earth and stop trying to be the “machine”.

    and maybe spend a little time revisiting his catch and shoot mechanics. I can’t remember him shooting a balanced shot last season.

  95. New post up, Xavier previews Eurobasket. Sans Sasha.