Get Well Cap

Kurt —  November 10, 2009

kareem_abdul_jabbar_skyhook
Laker legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar announced in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he is battling Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia. It’s a relatively mild form of cancer that usually can managed through daily medication, but it is something that Kareem will have to have watched for the rest of his life.

All of us here at Forum Blue & Gold wish Kareem the best in his ongoing fight against the disease, and are heartened to hear this will not dramatically change his lifestyle. It’s also a reminder to all of us not to ignore the little things our body is telling us, they could be signs of bigger things.

If you want to know more about Kareem , we have a great post here on his legendary Skyhook. Or, check out the man’s Web site.

Kurt

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44 responses to Get Well Cap

  1. Get well Kareem, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Anyone searching for a top-notch Lakers article to kill time today, look no further. I’m sick of the Kobe/MJ articles too, but if you read this, you’ll see it’s not one of those typical bias pieces. Clark articulates some things people have mentioned before, but he brings it all together really well:
    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/10/29/1106190/kobe-bryant-michael-jordan-and-the

  2. So it looks as if, if you have to get leukemia, this is the one to pick…? Get well Kareem, and live a long and happy life.

  3. Great article snoopy. It helped keep me awake during my first amendment class.

  4. Let’s all hope this news is similar to that dreaded news we heard back in November 1991 — something that was scary at first, but over time proved to be just another hurdle in the ongoing life of a champion both on and off the court.

    Let’s all hope to see Kareem standing on the court with other legends at Staples Center when the Lakers get their rings after winning the 2029 NBA Championship.

  5. 2029? I have Las Vegas Kings winning that year because they drafted this kid who is currently in the third grade in Fresno who will be the next Kobe……

  6. Sorry, this is comment that relates to the last thread:

    Kurt, I hope that bigger question wasn’t whether or not you should scale back FB&G; even though you have a lot going on, your work is greatly appreciated and this is the best interactive forum I have ever seen for those who love the Lake show & BB in general.

  7. Just a little tidbit of info concerning Cap’s cancer. It’s very treatable and there are several drugs that can target the cancer (speifically) without affecting the normal cells and their function. In general, he does need to be screened frequently because mutations can arise that can render a drug ineffective, but then another drug can be administered…chances are, he’s on a cocktail of drugs for it though.

    I knew medical school was good for something

    Either way, best wishes to Cap. The Lakers family is all thinking positive thoughts today.

  8. I agree with Jane.

  9. Jane, it was not about scaling this site back, more along the lines of what would/should be the next step for it. What is the best way to improve it? But that will not involve scaling it back.

    And thanks for the kind words.

  10. We all wish Cap the best!

    On a related note, will all those writers who bashed Bynum for scaling back his work with Kareem rethink their positions on Andrew’s maturity now? Because I’m guessing that decision to scale back the work was made/announced with full knowledge of the health issue that Kareem needs to focus on.

  11. On an unrelated note (Get well Cap!), ESPN put out a “future power rankings” forecasting the teams with the best 3 yr outlook following this year. I don’t have insider (anybody?), but the Lakers must be 3. They’ve got Portland as #1, Magic #2.

    What I couldn’t help but notice was that they neglected to even mention Rudy Fernandez as a “piece” to their future. They mentioned benchwarming JBayless, the Euro farm team, but no word about Fernandez. Maybe I’m just high on him, but it seemed more like another mail-in from ESPN. Kurt, I don’t know what started scaling back talk, but I’m glad to know it’s not happening!

  12. @Adam T
    Kurt posted about that in the comment thread right before this one.

  13. geez i hope it’s nothing too serious…

  14. As for improvement to the site, maybe we can have a section where we have box scores and can comment/interpret them?

    I like the current ‘overview without numbers’ style of recap, but sometimes I think it would be fun if we can have a comprehensive box score that we can refer to and pick apart.

    And, really, a fantasy league among FB & G members would be fun if we can set that up somewhere again. I’m very sure that somebody here won’t pick Fish…

  15. I shared an article earlier today that I thought was really good…but this one, by the same author (fresh, just published today) is phenomenal . I think it was linked on Truehoop today.

    Clicky –> http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/11/10/1124047/why-do-advanced-statistics-hate

    It’s not worth as much until he’ll post the 2nd part, and we’ll get to compare the components to other top players.

  16. I agree with harold, a fantasy league actually initiated by the site (where maybe there would be a few posts updating statuses or berating the fool who picks up Kwame Brown) would be fun.

  17. Snoopy, I just read that article earlier. I’m excited to see where he takes it. I’ve always noticed PER hasn’t been Kobe friendly…I don’t mind Hollinger, but he definitely relies on statistics too much and then defends them incessantly. What I can’t understand is not that Kobe isn’t at least top 3, but the wide margin by which he’s behind the PER leaders. That’s gotta tell you there’s a hole in the system. We all know it’s not perfect, and that’s what annoys me the most about his and some other writers (Abbot comes to mind but not nearly as bad) evaluations so shrewdly based on stats.

    Another thing for John to consider: most efficient does not always mean best or most valuable.

  18. Best wishes to Kareem, who it sounds identified the problem early and will be able to manage it. He’s a great man on and off the court, and I’m sure will use this to spread education.

    Kurt- regarding the next stage for this site, it seems obvious to me: Theme Park!

  19. The key to any analysis of the PER measure is to remember that it is an efficiency measure. In analyzing PER, most Kobe-supporters in the argument have two underlying assumptions:

    1.) PER should be an accurate measure of efficiency.
    2.) Kobe is efficient, moreso than most of the league and on the same level as Lebron, Wade, CP3, etc.

    Taken together, these two statements imply that Kobe should have as good a PER as Lebron and co. Since he doesn’t, we reach a contradiction. Most people then claim that this shows that PER is a flawed statistic, since PER is not doing its job as measuring efficient players.

    However, there are two possible contradictions we could reach: one for each assumption. Either PER is a flawed statistic or Kobe is actually not an efficient player, at least not on par with Lebron and co. I would claim that the 2nd statement is probably more correct, considering PER is an effective measure in probably more than 90% of cases.

    As we’ve seen in many cases, Kobe is more of a long jump-shooter, doesn’t get to the line as often, and doesn’t rack up as many assists as Lebron and CP3 and Wade. Kobe’s also a relatively poor three-point shooter, so that further lowers his true shooting percentage. Couple all of these together, and it’s pretty easy to see why Kobe has a noticeably lower PER than Lebron and co.

    I think the moral of the story is that too often people confuse PER as a value measure instead of what it rightly is, an efficiency measure. In this way, it’s not so difficult to see that Kobe is indeed a markedly less efficient player than the other three players at the top.

  20. PS: JR Smith’s real name is Earl?!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4643065

    This is almost as weird as the first time I learned that Vin Diesel’s real name was Mark Vincent.

  21. JD Hastings: Forum Blue & Gold, the medical marijuana collective. Lord knows it would be more profitable.

  22. Kurt

    if I may offer my humble opinion re blog upgrades… please don’t over do it. FB&G is great because of its simplicity.. small doses of wit/sarcasm.. take SS&R for eg.. the posts are great and the insights are awesome.. but its a pain to weed through the lengthy posts and all the funny features for the gems.. It feels more like a news website rather than a blog. (Not to say the comment posting here couldn’t be improved a la google wave)

    Bottom line is stick to the fundamentals and the stuff that we come here for.. New features like videos or polls are great.. but too many and they detract from what this blog is about.. Like craigslist and twitter, keep it simple.

  23. anyone else placed their votes for pau, drew and kobe for the all star game. I stopped as far as voting for ron though

  24. Well wishes to my namesake (though my father will never completely fess up to his Laker fanaticism). Get well soon!

    For the site: I like the idea of incorporating an advanced statistics segment as a reference tool. Maybe this can be done in collaboration with one of the great sites out there?

    Imagine, a small pop-up window takes you to a statistical breakdown of Kwame’s turnover to dunk ratio under the basket.

  25. brad miller in 0.3 secs!

  26. I think the links are great, the quality of the posts (both Kurt’s and the “guest hosts”) are exceptional, and the comments (as a whole) are very good – better than what I have seen anywhere else.

    The only change I would suggest would be to add the capability to delete/edit posts once we have made them.

  27. Exhelodrvr, I just installed a thing that should allow people to edit their own comments (from the same IP address where comment was made for 30 minutes after it was made). Let me know how that works.

  28. Zephid, PER is not just an efficiency number, but it is a number that rewards players who do everything.

    It’s natural to prefer a player who scores 10 points and 10 rebounds over a player who scores 10 points and 0 rebounds so that itself is not really a problem. But what if you have a player with 10 points and 10 steals? 8 points and 12 steals?

    So Hollinger attached a few multipliers to each of those stats so they can be of equal numerical value that add up to the final PER. And that’s where the problem is.

    It’s his importance (although he does consider what each is worth relative to scoring, such interpretations can differ) not everyone else’s, and that’s why I have a problem with PER.

    Also, I’m not quite sure if it takes teammates into account. A player playing alongside Rodman will have less rebounds but that does not mean he got worse by playing with Rodman. He just can’t show the numbers to prove that he isn’t actually worse than his pre-Rodman days.

    On top of all this, there is the systematic stuff. Certain systems and offenses are stat-friendly while others aren’t. Last resort shots because they couldn’t get their plans working and buzzer beaters… none of these are actually counted less in that formula either…

  29. I just voted too! But it’s kind of a bummer to have 3 forwards listed (Ron, Pau, and LO) on the ballot, because we can only vote for two of them!

    I’d love it if 4 Lakers were All-Star starters w/ the 5th coming off the bench! I plan on voting every day

  30. I’m sure people thought of this long ago, but I was busy tonight channeling evil thoughts at the Celtics, and something occurred to me: we’re always talking about how the addition of Artest helps us match up defensively with Pierce. But what about the offensive end? Part of Boston’s success was Pierce’s defense on Kobe; Kobe got his, but Pierce’s length and strength made him work as hard as any top defender does.

    But with Artest, that changes. They can’t get away with having Ray Allen cover our SF anymore, or we’ll take Allen in the post. (Hell, even Luke has a better post game than Ariza). That means Kobe will likely get primarily one look, from Allen, who (while above average) is the lesser of their wing defenders.

    The other wrinkle: with Kobe’s dominance in the post this year, Allen stands even less of a chance of stopping Kobe. Artest changes the matchups completely, on both ends.

  31. Kurt – the edit thing isn’t working for me at all, I don’t see a difference.

  32. 21- Kurt- It’d also guarantee interviews and participation from like half the team (or league)

  33. Snoopy206- great point. I havent seen people talk about that.

    At what rate does Artest draw fouls? If he can force Pierce to sit early with foul trouble that would be a huge bonus.

  34. Okay, tried something else to see if you can edit your own comments, it looks like it is working on my end. Let me know how it works.

  35. Can I edit this?

  36. I’m not sure if it’s my connection speed, but it’s not allowing me to submit an edit. It keeps saying “Loading…”

  37. It works !!!!

  38. My best wishes to Kareem. I hate to change the subject… but seeing as we’ve got a couple days until the Suns, and I always notice some TV chatter on this site…

    If I’m going to start on a TV series, what should it be? I like comedies… Seinfeld, Curb, Scrubs, South Park… but drama is fine too. Would appreciate your suggestions.

  39. All the best Kareem, get well soon, Magic being sick is just enough Lakers…

  40. 28, most of the coefficients are league and team normalizers, which are simply put there to allow Hollinger to compare across seasons and across teams with different styles and paces. Things like VOP (value of points, so far as I can tell), DRBP (defensive rebounding percentage), and factor (normalizer for FG/FT ratio and AST/FG ratio), are all leaguewide normalizers. Other coefficients are things like tmAST/tmFG, which is a style normalizer for teams which run mostly ISO and teams that have more open offenses.

    Other than that, the only funny business with coefficients is the 0.44 and 0.56 in FT differential. I’m not quite sure why those are there, but I think it has something to do with proper price to pay for missed FT’s (most probably something to do with the likelihood of rebounding a missed FT).

    And yes, it is a measure that rewards players that do everything, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me that a player that does everything isn’t more efficient that a player that does only one thing. Steals, rebounds, blocks, rebounds, all of those are subject to the actual value of points. If points are really hard to come by in any particular season, it would make sense that points would be valued more highly than steals. But if points aren’t so hard to get, then it would make sense that steals are more valuable than points.

    In researching this, I think I’ve come to see why Kobe is scored noticeably lower than some individuals in PER: It’s because his largest statistical contribution is points, and he has played in an era where points have largely been easier to come by (and this would seem to indicate that MJ’s otherworldly-PER’s are due to this phenomenon as well). Kobe doesn’t get that many assists, rebounds, steals, or blocks, and thus he loses a lot of the +’s that are a product of the fact that points just aren’t as valuable as the other stats in a relative sense.

  41. PS: Kurt, it would be great for us moderators if we could see all the comments waiting for approval in the actual comment list, and approve them on this web page instead of the site admin page. It would definitely help me approve comments faster, which I think everyone would appreciate.

  42. This would have been a brilliant post if I hadn’t accidentally edited everything out.

  43. New post up talking Suns.

  44. I don’t know if it’s the upgrades, or just my work’s firewall, but I cant’ post now. It times out. (I was trying to test the edit function.)

    Never mind, there we go, now it worked. And I can edit my comment too! :)