Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  September 1, 2009

LAKERS
A few hoop thoughts while wishing those near the fire luck…

• If you haven’t seen this, Jordan Farmar gave an interview this week saying he wants to be a starter in the NBA, with the Lakers or somewhere:

“I want to run a team and be the lead guard,” Farmar said Tuesday on the sidelines of a basketball clinic in Singapore. “Hopefully, it can be here (with the Lakers).”

“There’s a lot of jobs out there. I feel I have a lot to offer.”

My note to Farmar: The job is there, you have to take it. It is time for Fisher to be relegated to a backup roll, to step aside and maybe retire in the next year or so, but he is still the champ, the guy with the trust of the coach and who hits key shots in the playoffs. It’s the old boxing adage: If you want to take the belt off the champion, you have to knock him out. Jordan, you need to come into camp playing so much better than Fisher, and continue that through the season, that Phil Jackson has no choice but to start you. Play better than him on defense, make better decisions on offense.

There were some of us that hoped you would do this last season, and to be blunt you did not. You regressed. Blame the injury if you want, or confusion about your role, but in the end those are excuses. This job is there for the taking. You or Shannon Brown should get it, but if neither steps up the team has decisions to make.

Make the decision for them. Then you get the contract and the role you want. It’s on you, nobody else.

• Gary Vitti got a nice trip to Barcelona, probably ate some amazing tapas, and while he was at it cleared Pau Gasol to play for Spain in Eurobasket. I’m not going to go Mark Cuban here, because in the “club vs. country” debate I tend to land on the side of country.

Yes, there are injury risks, and I get the money tied up in Gasol. But if he was not playing and practicing Eurobasket, he would be in the gym and playing unregulated pickup games, and injuries can happen there, too. The injury risk is ever present on the court. I like how sharp playing competitive games can keep a player, and as long as he is not mentally worn out I say Pau should do what he wants.

• I’m really torn about the last episode of Entourage: I love that E finally told Sloan basically “you’re in or out, no halfway.” But that meant the return of Ashley, and for some reason that actress/character just bugs the crap out of me. Can’t stand her, not sure why, don’t really care. The sooner she is gone the better. Same with the new security team. If it wasn’t for Pivin this show might have lost me, maybe a season ago.

• Just bought Herbie Hancock’s “River: the joni letters” and am enjoying it very much.

• Also, just about to dive into Thomas Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice” for some light end of the summer reading. Anyone read it? Thoughts?

• If you were drafting Ricky Rubio, you had to know there was at least a 50/50 chance he would be in Europe for at least couple more years. And that’s not a bad thing. But it makes some of David Kahn’s remarks seeming to slam Rubio come off as petty and small.

• Damn the summer can be long and hot. When does basketball start again?

Kurt

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79 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. what!!?? no thoughts on sasha??!!
    maybe you’re saving this up for a dedicated post about where he expects to be and where we expect him to be playing, and at what level this season.

    maybe this is a ‘venting” post, and why you didn’t want to go there, in which case, please feel free to delete this comment, I won’t be offended.

    I’m sure there will be many opportunities to discuss “le machine” this year.

  2. Totally agree on the Farmar bullet point. As of right now, I see Shannon Brown as having the better chance to step into the starting spot, mostly because of his size and speed. Farmar has better handles, but the one thing we could always count on with Fish was his being a defensive presence, even if that just meant funneling defenders to the help. I think Farmar has a lot of work cut out for him on the defensive end, more so than Shannon has to pick up on the offensive end.

    As for knowing it’s on them to take that step, to demand it through their play, Farmar needs only to look at Sun Yue, who the Lakers drafted because of his size and handle (crafted in the Magic mold, if ever so rough a crafting) but then released since he never showed any progress to use those traits. Yes, it may be a harsh comparison as Sun barely got any real looks in terms of court time, but Farmar still has to realize that he, and any other lead guard options the Lakers have on roster, ARE the ones with first dibs on getting that spot, they just have to take advantage of their moment in the system, hone the parts of their game that will benefit THIS team. And judging by the looks of this coming year’s roster, that means solid defense and good decision-making to get the ball into one of our many potent scorers, all while being ready to shoot gaps and fill lanes when the defense collapses. Fisher never overplayed his role (maybe a couple times on those harrowing forays to the hoop), he just did what that team, that lineup, needed, and soon he was a solid rock that could be depended on.

  3. We’ll talk Sasha, but I’m not really sure what to say about getting cut from his country’s national team. It sounds like there is a lot going on under the surface — he doesn’t trust their medical team, their coach doesn’t trust him and may have some issue about Sasha not playing more for the team in previous years. I don’t know, seems to be a lot going on.

    But, like Farmar, what I really care about is how he looks when camp opens, then again on Oct. 28. If he can give the Lakers 15-20 solid minutes a night to rest Kobe and drain some threes, all those complaints about his contract will fade away.

  4. Kurt,

    Can’t imagine Pynchon ever being considered “light reading” — it took me two tries over the course of a year to finish Gravity’s Rainbow. I’d heard Inherent Vice is a different side of Pynchon, though, so maybe I’ll pick it up and read alongside ya. Certainly interested getting a bit deeper into his Los Angeles mythos.

    Did you ever see this: http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2009/pl_print_1708 ? The (Unofficial) Pynchon Guide to LA. He’s even got the Forum mapped!

  5. Kurt,
    I am happy Farmar wants to start. It would be strange if he didn’t. What is sad is the delusional world he is living in. It is strange that he thinks there are other starting jobs out there for him. Does he not realize the Lakers have the worst starting PG in the NBA? Every preseason list of PG’s has Fisher in the 31 to 45 section. If he can’t start on the Lakers he can’t start anywhere. That is the only thing I find disturbing about his comments.

  6. I’m hoping that both Farmar and Brown step up. I love Fisher.. but the team could use some athleticism at the 1.. and better D. Both of the kids have potential.. but it’s time to show some production.

    Feel *exactly* the same way about Ashley. And I know what bugs me… she looks and acts like a 16 year old. What grown man could be into that (granted, E isn’t exactly “grown”, but still)… and the show is definitely struggling. I do think that Arie and Andrew Klein’s drama are keeping things going for now. Hopefully they start kicking things up in the next few weeks.

  7. On the Rubio front:

    If he plays on any FIBA team, the Wolves retain his rights.

    Wouldn’t it be better to watch him evolve over two years, especially considering they got another point in the draft? His rookie contract at this point (assuming he comes over after two years in Barcelona) runs 4 years.

    It seems like a win-win for the Wolves to me.

  8. Ron Artest has said he loves listening to Celine Dion… now we know we also loves singing her songs. This is a much watch… and its why he is my favorite player on the Lakers.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Light-your-lighters-Ron-Artest-sings-Celine-D;_ylt=AmXQDyFVlf9Uw0JiyOkJ6xO8vLYF?urn=nba,186519

  9. You know why that Ashley girl bugs? It’s because her face is bigger then her body size.

  10. I think it’s because I see Ashley and I think “the third Olsen Twin.” And then I get ill.

  11. Good point, never thought of that. Bottom line is I was saddened to see Ashley back. Don’t the writers know we love Sloan!?!?!?!?

  12. I feel that Shannon Brown should be the first PG off the bench or even start (but that will not happen, at least not initially), simply because he is a better defender than Farmar and more athletic than both. Bigger, Stronger, more athletic and for the Triangle offense he just seems to fit right in, where Farmar is better at running the floor. Farmar might have a chance to start on another team (non-triangle based), but Brown last season just seemed to do everything he could to take the job away from Farmar and did, as far as I am concerned. Who knows what will happen after October 28th, but I really like ShanWOW and hope he excels on this Lakers squad. I say package Farmar with one of the bad contracts and move on.

  13. “Entourage” lost steam two years ago with the end of the Pablo Escobar movie storyline.

    Last season was simply painful. I have real friends who are out of work; we all probably do at this time.

    The last thing we want to do is tune into a show that’s supposed to entertain us with a look into a lifestyle we’ll never enjoy but instead we got 13 episodes of watching Vince lose his money, beg for work, fight with old friends, and so on. Who wants to see that?

    For that reason alone, this year was better than last simply because last season was so damn unenjoyable.

    The recipe for success: show more of that smokin’ hot agent chick Andrew was nailing, less of Ashley and more of the Ari/Lloyd banter.

  14. Isn’t the new season of Big Bang Theory starting up soon? That and the U.S. Open should get us through.

    Agreed with this post. Farmar has no one to blame but himself and his confusion on the court. I do think that we’ll see the Farmar that many of us expected to see last season. Just a gut feeling.

    I love WOW’s freakish athleticism even more. If he can come in playing more comfortable in a controlled role, and just more comfortable overall in the offense, he could be the one to snatch the starting job away.

    It’d be awful to have another season with 3 OK-to-solid backup PGs and no real starters (slumping Fish was definitely not up to par, regardless of what he did later on). I think one of our 2 young guys will make the leap sometime before the All-Star break.

  15. 16. Can you see Artest in the middle of that circle singing “My Heart Will Go On”?

  16. Hahahahahaha I haven’t seen one or heard good thing from anyone on that Ashley chick. How did she get cast. I personally don’t care one way or another about her. She seems really self absorbed. Seems like it would have been a better story line in she was with Vince since he would have ignored her. Better conflict than the whole fake Sloan thing. As for Farmar I think he was trying to use the media to help him get into the starting spot (either here or somewhere else). I personally think he rebounds this year and has a good year. Still not sure what that means for a contract with him. We are only losing the $5 million from Morrisons contract (though Fisher comes off as well. And I think we resign him for alot less), so it isn’t like we are suddenly getting a ton of money back. Plus with Kobe’s, Gasol’s, and Bynum’s contracts getting there 8-10% annual increases, Farmar may not be happy taking $3 million even if he is the starter. Could be a Ramon Sessions like stand off. At least we know that Brown is locked up for the next two years.

  17. Any chance we’ll see Morrison get some regular minutes this season?

    On another note, Nadal to meet Tsonga in the quarterfinals and Del Potro or Murray in the semis, people he has not matched up well against, while Fed to play Davydenko and Roddick/Djokovic. Sucks to be #3 Rafa. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/bracket?tournamentId=189&type=1

    Also, why does Roddick remind me of Redick so much (or vice versa?) Top dog and fall from grace. Certifiable hard work to remake the career. Particular skill but lack of versatility. Maybe because of the composure and quiet determination both of these guys exude, taking criticism to heart instead of to the press. But probably more because they’re both white and their names sound alike.

  18. Also, regarding that Farmer quote, I would be more convinced if he said it after a grueling workout with three trainers, instead of a clinic in Singapore (what do they eat over there anyway?).. also, the way he phrases it for being a lead guard somewhere as opposed to working hard to improve to lead the Lakers seems like he attributes blame to his situation rather than himself. Not comforting.

  19. 19

    Roddick has achieved a lot more at the highest level of his sport than Redick. Redick has never been good enough to have a ‘fall from grace’.

  20. My cynical take on Rubio using the Hubie Brown voice-
    “You’re Ricky Rubio,a star in the making. You signed a bad contract and the only way out is getting another team to buy it out. Euro teams can simply buy your contract from my club and you get nothing.
    So you suprise everybody by declaring for the NBA Draft,where you know you will be a top pick. Now you have options and next thing you know your team is willing to accept a contract buyout from a Euro team instead of selling it. You get your buyout and a new multi-million contract.
    Congradulations,Ricky,you have out-gamed the system!”

  21. There’s been some love for OJ Mayo on this site, and a tidbit from this otherwise pointless article caught my eye:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-10630-Boston-Celtics-Examiner~y2009m8d31-Exclusive-interview-with-Kevin-Garnetts-summer-trainer-Joe-Abunassar

    I think Mayo learning from Billups is perfect for him (the way Thorpe advises his players model their games after someone else). Mayo has that poise, but he needs that decision-making, the know-how of how to run a team. And working a bit with Billups (or just watching him in action) might accelerate that growth.

  22. You’re dead on with Farmer, he should stop talking at step up.

    Also, Pynchon is never “light reading”…good luck.

  23. 21 Joel, I agree with you. That was bad word choice on my part. I wanted to make the connection between both of them feeling like top dog at some point in their sport, whether they were the best in the world or not.

  24. Regarding Farmar, as will always be the case: never, ever, ever underestimate the power of the contract year.

  25. Haha, well put Zephid. Also, hopefully Kupchak won’t overestimate it next offseason

  26. Mitch has has several lessons on the judgment needed to evaluate contract years. Also, Farmar has ‘slipped back’ once already. I suspect this was one reason for ShanWOWs contract covering two years. Suspect that Farmar will have to clearly separate himself from Brown to get any sort of contract approaching mid level out of Mitch next year.

  27. Craig, the reason that Shannon Brown’s contract was for two years is that as a Biannual Exception signing it HAD to be a two year contract. Also, the second year is a player option. So it’s possible that Shannon leaves to pursue more money or more playing time.

  28. Kurt, Pynchon is never, ever light reading of any kind. It’s wading through molasses.

    As far as our point guard situation goes, it’s going to come down to whoever shows up and plays well. There’s really not a whole lot else to consider. If Farmar doesn’t pan out this year, he’s going to find himself on Mitch’s shortlist of players he can use as trading chips.

  29. RE: Entourage

    I agree with you Kurt and everyone else on the subject of Ashley. She is exceedingly irritating as a character and actress. I’ve seen her in a movie too and I couldn’t wait till each of her scenes were over in that as well. Plus, Sloan is like 10 times hotter.

  30. Fun read for us, the bored: http://nba.fanhouse.com/2009/08/22/ron-artest-is-angry-at-the-rockets/

    Think Phil can convince Ron that Paul Pierce messed up his Bird rights?

  31. the problem with farmar is he either doesn’t know or refuses to address the areas of his game that needs improvement in order to be that starting point guard that he thinks he can be.

    more on farmar on my blog at: purplegoldblog.blogspot.com

  32. Daniel,

    That movie must have been “Fool’s Gold.” Her character made the movie worse than it was.

    “Ashley” looks 14, is clingy, smothering, and has an annoying voice. Basically, she’s the female version of “E.” There lies the problem.

    What happened to Lloyd’s quest to be an agent? They forget?

    Here’s something Simmons might think about; Now that Vince’s career is back on track, do you think Medellin all of a sudden becomes some DVD phenomenon a la Scarface, where every high school and college kid loves the move and has a poster in their room, and rappers quote the movie constantly? It should.

  33. Regarding Pynchon, I agree with BCR. I tried to like this work, but was disappointed. On Farmar, I do agree with you Kurt.

  34. Here’s what I don’t get about Farmar: it’s not as if becoming the starting PG (or even option B in a “PG by committee” situation) for the Lakers last season would have been that difficult a task. Fish went through a huge slump, which Farmar didn’t take advantage of, and on top of that he lost minutes (in the playoffs, no less) to a guy who we traded for midseason!. If he can’t become a starter on the Lakers, he probably can’t become a starter in the NBA.

    My other thoughts are that Farmar needs to build some on-court chemistry with Kobe if he wants the starting job. Phil builds his lineups based on how a given “unit” plays. Nobody on the Lakers plays better off of Kobe than Fish, except maybe Pau. Farmar’s game blends well with Shasha and since departed Trevor Ariza because he pushes a high-energy pace. The problem is, he pushes the ball so much that he turns it over a lot, too, which doesn’t help us when the starters have built up a lead.

  35. Nice article on Tony Gaffney. I know that he’s probably inconsequential as he’s fighting for the putative last spot on the roster.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13719

    I think he would be a nice pick-up for the minimum although we are totally stacked in the frontcourt.

  36. I agree Shannon Brown has a lot of pop, and might leap over Farmar. But people are selling Farmar too short. He is going to have a bounce back year in 2010.

    http://www.NBATradeRumorsCentral.com – New NBA Blog

  37. 37. I like Gaffney as well, but I talked to his people at Summer League and they understood going in they were not going to make the roster. Remember, it’s not just the minimum salary, it is doubled with the tax for Buss. And you’re paying that for a guy to spend the season in the D-League if you’re the Lakers. He would be better off on a team on the bottom half of the standings, where he would come in as guy #13 and by the end of the season be getting some regular minutes.

  38. 33) “the problem with farmar is he either doesn’t know or refuses to address the areas of his game that needs improvement in order to be that starting point guard that he thinks he can be.”

    36)”My other thoughts are that Farmar needs to build some on-court chemistry with Kobe if he wants the starting job.”

    Good points – Farmar gives the impression of being stubborn and unwilling to mold his game to what this Lakers roster needs from its PG.

  39. RE Entourage: Ashley is terrible. She’s built like a lolipop. Or a hand mirror. And she’s 12. And she’s creepy. Plus, the show just isn’t as good when *everyone* is doing well as a character. It’s one thing when Vince is on top of the world. It’s another when Drama is a TV star, Turtle is dating Meadow Soprano, and E has branched out and on the rise at some big time Agency.

    RE Farmar: Athletes rarely say what I’d like them to and, in this case, it’s not much different. I would have loved for Farmar to actually acknowledge that he struggled last season and then say how he’s ready to step up his game this year. That he understands that the future is now and that it’s time for him to become the player that he knows he can be. And that after that, everything will take care of itself. Oh well. He’ll have his chances. But he will be pushed from both sides – Fish will start and Brown is ready to siphon his minutes away like last season. Farmar is a competitive guy though, so hopefully he’ll respond.

  40. Farmar on Kobe: “It’s tough. He’s the best. He demands a lot of attention. He demands the ball a lot of the time.”

    Yeah, of course he does, Jordan. He’s Kobe freaking Bryant. Your job is to take care of the rock so he can get it, and win ball games for the Lakers. And since Fish does a better job than you at that, he has the job you want.

  41. 42. This kind of adjustment is difficult for players in every sport. In the NHL, that third-line mucker/grinder led his juniors team in scoring for three years in a row. But as the level of play stepped up, he adjusted to what he needed to do for the team to win. The guys on special teams in the NFL were one of the stars of their college teams. It goes on and on.

    In every sport, some guys with talent struggle with the adjustment to not being the man. I watched former California High School football legend Russell White never make that adjustment, he couldn’t be a third-string back, play special teams and wait for his shot. Jordan may be struggling with that, but he has to realize that in the NBA, anywhere he goes, his job is going to be to feed the star, not be the star anymore.

    I’m not sure that is what is going on here. I don’t know Jordan. But I think it ties into what Travis was saying.

  42. Part of the problem with Farmar is his attitude. He gets easily frustrated and sulky.

    But, I do expect him to have a good season (well, at least I keep hoping for it).

  43. the other movie I saw the Ashley actress in was Nick and Nora’s infinite playlist, which was a pretty good movie and she played an annoying character, which she did effectively.
    here’s a link on her career -
    http://www.pro.imdb.com/name/nm1232226/

  44. Totally off topic, and it’s about the Blazers, but this is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever seen:

    http://www.blazersedge.com/2009/9/1/1001028/anatomy-of-portland-trail-blazers

  45. Hey Kurt, didn’t know you were an Entourage fan as well!

    I agree with you, that Ashley girl is annoying and, to me, unattractive. Sloan is gorgeous and much more likeable. For some reason, the scene in which E ditches Sloan to go see Ashley, I felt the scene would’ve been more complete if he said something along the lines of, “I’ve been waiting for you for two years, I’m done.” (I think on the show Vince said they’ve been broken up for two years, though the Entourage timeline is very hard to keep track of.)

    Jeremy Piven/Ari Gold is, like you said, the only reason this show is still floating. I haven’t seen any serious acting on “Vince’s” part. He has just become so bland and boring. Though I can’t blame the show, since they’re really trying to focus on the other characters’ lives.

    About basketball… not much going on. Can’t wait for preseason games. For any video game fans, NBA 2k10 will be coming out soon, with Kobe on the cover. That game will be insane. There is a downloadble “summer camp” called 2k10 Combine that allows you to run drills and scrimmage. You guys should check it out if you’re into sports games.

  46. #42, 43: I went to high school with Farmar. He was to the Taft team as Kobe was to the Lakers in 2005. 80% of the plays were for him. If he felt like it, he would just iso and break his man/the defense down. It must be hard going from being the Kobe Bryant of your high school to playing alongside the real Kobe Bryant where you have to defer to him.

    Go easy on him.

  47. any way we can get jarvis crittenton back?

    he’s like a combination of farmer and brown. i think he could have both of their upsides but he’d have to bulk up a bit.

  48. Sports Illustrated’s NFL preview is out, which is the annual edition in which its “experts” list the obvious teams (such as most of last year’s division winners, plus the Patriots now that Brady’s back) to make the playoffs.

    I swear people will buy anything, even if the writers probably spent no more time than it takes to say, “The Steelers, they’re usually good… I’ll pick them” while working on these pieces.

    Look for the amended mid-season edition, with new division winner picks, and the week-by-week playoff predictions that seldom turn out to be correct.

    Vegas loves the fact that people buy into these guys’ thoughts.

  49. 48) even if that is the case, that Farmar was used to being option A, B, and C in high school, he’s been in the league long enough (and he’s been around Kobe long enough) to know that this is no longer the case.

    Nobody goes easy on you or me when we wish the world revolved around us like it did in high school.

    I should point out that maybe we’re reading too much between the lines about Jordan’s attitude, but fans usually are right when it comes to this type of thing.

  50. I find it very discerning that Young Farmar does not own up to his own play as the reason for his benching and short minutes. Does he think the coaching staff has it in for him and dont like him? When someone blames everybody but themselves when something happens, it tends to be a red flag for things to come in the future. The starting job is to be earned and not handed out because you was the MJ of your highschool team, every player in the league was probably the MJ of their highschool. Farmar needs to get over himself, stop sulking and play freakn ball within the system or get shipped out. I want Farmar to be successful if he earns it, but if he has the same attitude he had last year, his days in purple and gold will numbered.

  51. Here’s a good interview with Tony Gaffney, camp invitee

    http://files.hoopsworld.com/video/TonyGaffney_IMG.wmv

  52. 47. I am looking forward to 2k10. I get the NBA 2K games the day they come out, even though I rarely buy games. But I love these. Too bad I’m going to have med school apps so that does not bode well for me.

  53. Well I think people need to remember that Farmar is only 21. Young kids like that are always concerned about money and being needed/important and that is in any field. Especially since everyone else is always showing off. He will mature over time and I bet Laker fans will regret losing him because they wrote him off at 21. The biggest mistakes are made with emotional or quick thinking. Remember the Celtics traded Billups because he didn’t work out as a rookie. The Spurs wanted to trade Tony Parker and get an upgrade in Kidd. The Celtics keep entertaining the idea of trading Rondo. Notice how they are all young point guards. Remember that the hardest postion to do well is be an NBA point guard. Especially when the offense calls for you to give the ball to Pau and Kobe all day. Try controlling the game without the ball. Fish is a 13 year vet. So give Farmar more time. He isn’t playing at the park. He isn’t asked to go out there and just rebound. He has to run a team and no one shoots as well when they are thinking about a million other things. Thats why the Suns/Knicks/Warriors players shoot so well and have career years. Because they don’t have to think about anything but shooting. But Phil ask his players to play a very smart game where spacing is important. Eventually playing in the system becomes natural and you don’t think as much and react and the game slows down. For some it is more natural and easier, but that doesn’t mean that the players it takes longer to get won’t get it and eventually thrive in it.

  54. Thanks for the great Blazers link Kurt, I had wondered how their no frills offense was so efficient. It’s solid basketball. Beautiful to watch.

  55. I agree that Lakers fans may some day regret that Farmar is not a Laker. Earlier when I said pack him with a bad contract and trade him, I meant that as a good thing for him. In other words, we would need his value to get rid of a bad contract and he would go to a team where he excels more. But, I do not think anything is bad or wrong about this loaded, stacked Lakers squad for the 2009-10 season, which cannot begin soon enough for me.

    “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

  56. Trading Farmar doesn’t make sense unless you get a PG back in return. Not only is he a prototypical back up PG because he is a change of pace guard… the Lakers wouldn’t have a back up if he got traded. This is Fisher’s last year and judging by his decline as the season went along Derek might not be up to starting this season and he isn’t a good fit to play with the up-tempo 2nd unit. In his prime Fisher could only start in the NBA for a few seasons (those were all on the Lakers as he was a backup in Golden State & Utah) and at 35 he isn’t a sure thing to perform next season especially after seeing him struggle so mightily the last half of of the year. The Lakers just can’t be getting rid of PG’s… its their weakest position.

  57. Being that Young Farmar is 21 and not ready to lead a team as of now, it is not doing the Lakers any good at this moment. Its not that your giving up on him, its a what are you doing for a championship team that maybe have 3 or 4 more runs at a championship left. Are you going to hold a roster spot and cap money for him to mature and become the player you want him to be, or cut your loses and hope he doesnt come back to burn you later in his career. If he plays like last year the FO will take option two and wish him the best. Next year is a contract year, if he doesnt start or get starter minutes then he will not be worth keeping. If the coaching staff and his teamates dont show the confidence in him leading the team then its a done deal. The team is not in a rebuilding phase, its a championship team that needs consistent play at its weakest spot on the floor. Results are what we need now and if he cant do that then maybe a change of scenary will do wonders for his game.

  58. Russell White was a great football player, and he is one of my good friend’s cousin.

    52) Farmar is beginning to sound like another infamous Laker pg. by the name of Parker.

    I watched Farmar play plenty of travel team games and his entire career at UCLA. Back then you loved that he walked around with a chip on his shoulder. But it is just plain irksome now. Nothing is given to you in the NBA most definitely not a starting pg position (an argument could be made about Smush Parker, getting the starting pg job)! So if Farmar wants the pg position it has been said here before he has to play better than Fish from training camp, pre-season and into the regular season.

    If he does, maybe Fish will do just as Luke Walton did for Trevor Ariza, he’ll go to the coach and suggest that its time for the changing of the guards!

  59. Boy are we fans one dimensional.

    PG is our weakest position. Why don’t we get a Chris Paul type of player?

    We mention it from time to time, but never seem to remember that we are running a system here. Chris Paul would not fit into this system and would want out at the earliest opportunity – like Farmar has been sounding off.

    This is the triangle people. We don’t need or want a prototypical point guard in this system – it screws things up too much.

    Fisher is not the weak point we all talk about – in comparison with other pgs in the league. He is what the triangle needs. Of course he is getting old – he never was considered an average PG during our heyday and we complained about that – and we will need to replace him. However, let’s not downgrade his skills just because they don’t match what other clubs/systems need for their point guard.

  60. Fisher is the weakness in the triangle, when he cant hit the three consistently and cannot defend at a high level on any given night. Thats what is asked of the point in the triangle offense. An MVP point we do not need, but a consistent one would be nice. So if we have a point guard who is not pleased with their role on a championship team, then Im sure there are plenty in the league who will fall in line to have the opportunity to play defense, ficilitate the offense, and shoot a open three at a high percentage.

    You have to realize a good thing when its in your face. A sounding off of Farmar is premature and makes him look like a spoiled baby. In 4 to 5 years maybe the triangle wont be around and he can have the keys to car, but as of now just relax and collect those rings coming your way.

  61. Finally finished that Blazer post link. Thanks Kurt. That was some fine basketball analysis and film – for any team, but especially so for the Blazers.

    It was interesting to look at the analysis and remember that most of the triangle is reaction off just such type of activity – just more detailed and consistently more aggressive passing by all the team members. I can see why teams would get tired of playing a team consistently applying the triangle methodology. Also, why lazy players wouldn’t want anything to do with that system.

  62. Actually, Jordan turns 23 in November. I’m going to have to defend both Alexis Dziena and her character on Entourage, Ashley. Yes, she does appear a lot younger than she is, but she actually likes E (who is a schlub and a completely uninteresting character) and encourages his endeavors. Of course, Emmanuelle Chriqui is absolutely smoking. It’s no wonder she’s had E on puppet strings for so long.

  63. 61 – We’re not downgrading Fisher’s skills by comparing him to other PGs (at least, I’m not). We were all over the moon when he came back and stabilized this team, and it had nothing to do with how he stacked up against other PGs – he fit the triangle perfectly, he was exactly what we needed.

    Unfortunately age catches up with everyone, and Fisher’s porous defense started the descent. But it wasn’t the most egregious flaw. It was the fact that, for a good stretch of several months, he couldn’t buy a shot. No spacing whatsoever. And worst of all, he lost his head and forced so many ill-advised shots that here at FBaG we even created a new name for this fiasco: the PUJIT. The shots in the Finals were beautiful, but doesn’t change the damage he did along the way. I agree with DirtySanchez – the Fisher from most of last season was the weakness in the triangle, simply because he couldn’t play like the old Fish except in select stretches. Happens to the best of them.

    But I agree with your general point. We don’t need a true PG like Paul, we need a spacer/defender like Delonte West, or someone in that mold. Shannon might develop into that if his game grows, but it’s iffy.

  64. People began to mention Fisher a few hours ago and Aaron hasn’t chimed in yet to say how much he thinks Fish sucks. What is this site coming to?

    Maybe he was at work or something.

  65. Farmar or Brown?

    I think Fish is done. He is a huge part of this team, but we need him in clutch moments, not as a day in day out starting PG. I wish Farmar and Brown could learn all the intangibles from Fish. How to take charges, flop on occasion, understand basketball and how to take advantage of certain situations, etc. And most importantly, what your team needs from you and how to deliver. But as for a starting PG, fish is just too old to survive an 82 game season and then bring it for us in playoff time. Fish needs to play 20 minutes a night max during the regular season.

    Now on to Brown vs Farmar. Farmar believe it or not has the skill to be a very good PG. At least on the offensive side. He very much reminds me of a poor man’s Tony Parker. Farmar needs to continue and improve using Parker as a model. Improve his jump shot, increase his skill around the rim and in the lane. Most importantly, he needs to understand how to STOP MAKING MISTAKES. Turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers. Bad shot selection. Not undersanding mis-matches, etc. And his defense is atrocious. I think the BB IQ will come. His defense, however, I’m not so sure about.

    Brown on the other hand is a physical beast. He has all the tools to be a great NBA player. Unfortunately his skill set is really raw. He needs to understand how to get in the lane and finish around the rim. It is inexcusable for him to be so athletic, and yet Farmar can get in the lane and finish much better. Brown needs to get a much quicker release on his jump shot. On defense, he has all the tools. He needs to better understand the game, when to take charges, how to lead your opponent to help, etc.

    Basically both need to improve going forward. Brown needs to turn into a gym rat and improve his game. Farmar needs much more time on court during games. I think Farmar should start next season.

    Brown has the higher ceiling but Farmar right now is the more finished product. In the end, Fisher needs to be in the game late in close games and in the post-season.

  66. Chris Paul is a bad example for some of these arguments. Yes, the triangle doesn’t need a prototypical PG, but any system (especially one managed by Phil) benefits from adding an all-world player. Any notion that we wouldn’t improve somewhat drastically is off the mark.

    As far as our current situation goes, if Farmar conforms his game to the Lakers’ system, then he’ll have a good year. Brown already does so, and will only be better next year with a training camp under his belt. Farmar has more overall talent, but as I mentioned above, the one that shows up and plays well is who will be the starter by year’s end.

  67. Chris (66),
    Well played. Sorry I wasn’t here for the Fisher bashing I was in the gym and then saw a movie. The funny thing is people think I hate Fisher. I understand why they do. When someone is overrated I feel the need to make them correctly rated. Yes I was the first one last year to do the most sacrilegious thing you could do at that time as a Laker fan… critique Derek Fisher. I was amazed people were wearing rose colored glasses when watching Fish the 2nd half of last season and when I called it like I saw it 95% of you guys killed me for saying he was just a bad NBA starting PG (even in the triangle).
    Lakers fans overrated Fisher for many reasons.

    1. He was a life long Laker who was on 3 championship teams

    2. He Hustles, is attractive, and is well spoken.

    3. Laker fans compared him to Smush Parker and LA hasn’t had a good PG since Nick Van Exel.

    4. People didn’t realize or wanted to pretend that his skills didn’t drastically erode.

    The truth about Derek Fisher is he once was a nice back up PG behind Van Exel, Ron Harper, Speedy Claxton in Golden State and Deron Williams in Utah. But he has always been in the 25 to 30 range in terms of starting PG’s. At one time he could take a charge and hit open shots. It looks like that time has passed. Now all the “experts” have Fisher between 30 and 45. I of course would put him closer to 45. He just doesn’t give you anything when he is on the court anymore. There isn’t one thing he is good at. I do think very highly of Derek… I think he wants what is best for the team and I think he is going to request (much like Walton did for Trevor last year) to have someone replace him in the lineup. Now why couldn’t Phil see that Ariza should play ahead of Luke? He might be a genius and doesn’t want to hurt team chemistry instead choosing to bring the team together by having them make serious lineup decisions.

    Looking ahead the real question is who would benefit the Lakers more at the PG this season… Shannon Brown or Jordan Farmar? You are all right when saying Farmar has the best PG skills. The Lakers though have so many playmakers that Jordan’s pick and roll skills would largley go un used with the first team. Farmar also is too small to ever be able to play even adequate defense. This Lakers squad needs defense, rebounding, spot up shooting, and movement off the ball out of its PG. Those are all things that Brown does better than Farmar. Jordan is also better playing with the 2nd unit than Shannon is. Farmar can create off the pick and roll for 2nd string shooters like Sasha and Morrison. He also can push the ball for the speed game that the 2nd unit likes to play…. something Brown cannot do.

    So am I a Fisher hater? I am only if in relaity he is a better player than I think he is. I’ll tell you what… you know who are Fisher lovers? Every PG the Lakers play.

  68. I really wish people would stop saying that Brown is a better 3pt shooter than Farmar.

    Their career %s
    Brown: 32.6%
    Farmar: 35.3%

    Yes, as a Laker last year Brown shot far better than Farmar over that time period. But that is a very small sample size. Brown shot 66.7% in the regular season and 43.4% in the playoffs, but that was only on 9 and 25 attempts respectively.

    Shannon is clearly the better defender, but I would be slow to compare the few minutes Shannon played last year and say that he is the superior player when Farmar was playing the worst of his career and Shannon playing his best.

  69. “Yes I was the first one last year to do the most sacrilegious thing you could do at that time as a Laker fan… critique Derek Fisher.”

    I take it you have no idea of the history behind the PUJIT acronym…

  70. Not even the words you say are more important than the way you say them.

  71. This may have been answered on a post already, but is Farmar really 6’2″ as listed by most websites? Granted, players’ listed heights are often exaggerated (i.e. Barkley), but is Farmar more like 6’0″?

    I just really have a premonition that ShanWOW is working hard this summer after getting a contract (thereby validating a lot for his own psyche) and having an opportunity to be a lead PG for the next 2-4 year run. It’s going to be a healthy competition amongst Farmar and Brown. If only we could combine the attributes of both players, that would make for a fine PG.

  72. I can sympathize with Jordan in one respect: The triangle (with Kobe as the focal point) is a hard system to run as a PG. You have curb your natural instincts as an offensive player. Gary Payton couldn’t even do it.

    But what I can’t excuse is that a guy (SB) with zero experience in the triangle and little PG expereince came in midseason and outplayed Jordan. Even in the playoffs, Brown was our clear-cut 3rd best Guard on the team behind Kobe and Fish. That made me really question not only Farmar but also Sasha. There’s no excuse for that. These guys know the system, they know their teammates, and they’re the ones who came into the season knowing they will play for a title. And Brown, a guy who couldn’t even get minutes playing for the Bobcats, simply out-played both of them. Based on that, in my mind, I don’t see either Sasha or Farmar amounting to much on another team. They are Brian Cook, Devean George types of players.

  73. new post up, from regular commenter here Chris J.

  74. Aaron, nobody’s going to let you get away with saying “Oh I was just making a reasonable argument based on facts about Fisher and I was crucified.” You made some nasty, caustic comments about the Fish we’ve come to love. You’re not a pioneer for bringing to light Fish’s inadequacies, in fact they were being debated long before your comments, but you were out of line to call him names and make crude jokes as opposed to making an argument supported by facts. You could argue Fish is among the worst starting point guards, but you did not argue it as much as you spewed it all over and then some.

  75. My favorite Herbie Hancock album is the Prisoner

  76. Hey guys,
    I’ve been quiet over the Aus winter on here, but I have an interesting observation for you all.
    Jeanie twittered the other day that she was working in the office over the long weekend, yet she was not alone.
    A Mr. Ron Artest was on the practice court alone working out….. do you think he’s keen to play for us this year???

  77. Yeah, ozlaker, I am following someone’s twitter, I think it is FB&G’s and saw that comment by her, she said he was working out practicing at the facility. Cool, this is going to be a very good year for the Lakers, IMHO.

    You know, take no prisoners…