What I’ve Been Doing While Kobe Has Been Loafing

Kurt —  February 8, 2010

First, things first: I enjoyed the Lakers win in Portland as much or more than any Lakers fan. It was kind of cathartic. And because of the circumstances for that win, I am now on the bandwagon for having Kobe as the sixth man, coming in off the bench. What do you want in a bench player? A guy who can light up the scoreboard and just comes in and changes the tempo and feel of a game. Does that describe anyone better than Kobe? Clearly, this is the direction Phil needs to go.

I kid, I kid. My quick 2¢: The win in Portland and the team’s play may have had something to do with the locker room mood after the Denver loss. The Lakers, more than any time this season, seemed clearly stunned by that outcome, it hit them in a way other losses have not. It seemed to make them think about how they are doing things, going about the games. At least that seemed to be the feeling. Whether or not that translates into anything beyond a win against a banged-up Portland team remains to be seen, but the feeling was there. And there is plenty of time to right the ship, if the will is there. As a fan, that remains my hope.

While Kobe has been taking nights off, sitting with his feet up in the back of the bus, I’ve been busy at my new project, which launched today: Pro Basketball Talk. Please click the link, come on by and check out my new digs. There’s a great group of bloggers there working with me, and I’m excited about what we can do with the site.

I again can’t thank everyone who reads and comments at this site for all they have given me the last five years. I have loved talking basketball with all of you, I’m a smarter and better basketball fan for it. I see and think of things differently.  This blog will always be close to my heart, and I’ll still be around commenting this year. And celebrating (I hope).

Now you may resume arguing about Derek Fisher.


to What I’ve Been Doing While Kobe Has Been Loafing

  1. What can I say. I was a newcomer here not so long ago and I felt at home from minute 1. I will be following your new blog, Kurt. All the best!

    Now… who is going to moderate now? He he.


  2. Kurt & Matt Moore (from HP)?
    In Google Reader, done.


  3. Thanks again, Kurt..
    You will be seeing my comments on your new site.


  4. whoa, Matt Moore and Rob Mahoney contributing? Sounds like you got an all-star bunch of bloggers backing you, Kurt.


  5. Looks like Kurt has a great, veteran bench behind him. 😉

    Congrats on the new digs, Kurt. The feed has already been added to my RSS subscriptions.


  6. Kurt, Did all the back and forth about Fisher drive you away from us?

    Congratulations on your new project!

    I’m glad you left FB&G in good hands, btw.


  7. Congratulations, Kurt. I was away from the site for a little while & was surprised by the change, but am very happy for you. I wish you nothing but success (although your hard work has already laid that bed). Thanks for everything you have done to make FB&G what it is.


  8. thanks for the link Kurt. I will follow.

    I love the dig about the Shaman too!


  9. Wow Kurt, you have a great supporting cast over there for sure. I just created my Favorites link to it and added a basketball icon also for my new additional basketball blog in life. I was very happy that Darius created a Super Bowl post, like you used to do, you know, whatever the big thing was you guys always let us celebrate here at FB&G. I take it though that Top Chef and book reviews are gone, maybe Darius has other topics that here and there will be thrown in.

    Anyway, good luck and have more fun in your new endeavor, although this one is a job not your hobby, hmmm… that must just be great in your life, what has just happened the more I think about it, something you really enjoy in life being your job.

    “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus


  10. Kurt, comments don’t display on the site. Just commented on the Adonal Foyle piece, and it doesn’t show up.


  11. Good luck Kurt. Keep up the good work and will be seeing you on the new site!


  12. Kurt – I’ll follow your new site daily just like FB&G. Keep it fair and balanced. Oh, sorry, that line is taken. Best of luck and don’t let the other 29 teams take away from the greatest team in the league – our Lakers!


  13. (i posted this in a dead thread so i’m reposting it now)

    Fisher –worst starting player in the NBA.

    I doubt any level headed and unbiased individual would even make a case against that statement. To me it is undeniable.

    Yet an option you guys are bringing up is 10 times worse. Hincrich is a HORRIBLE replacement for Fisher. Taking into consideration for salary, Hinrich could be the worst player per $1 paid in the NBA. Ok, this i’m not too sure about, but it’s gotta be a close.

    Let’s take a look at Hinrich’s stats vs Fisher:

    Hinrich Fisher

    TS% 47% 50%
    eFG% 44% 45%
    FG% 37.7% 37.9%
    3fg% 34.9% 35%
    usg% 17.2% 13.7%
    PER 10.2 9.2

    To me, these are the most important numbers. PER is possibly the most important, but PER goes up the more your usage rate goes up (the more possessions you use). Hinrich has a 10.2 PER vs Fisher at 9.2. But Hinrich uses 17.2% of the possessions in a game when he is in, compared to Fish who uses much less in 13.7%. This is great, since if you are a horrible player, the best thing you can do is hide in the corner and hopefully everyone will forget you even exist. Hinrich for his pitiful numbers has a very high usage rate, which is horrible. A pitiful player that thinks he is good!

    The efficiency numbers you see above are the most startling. We see how inefficient Fisher is on the court –like i said, perhaps the worst starting player in the entire NBA! Yet Hinrich’s efficiency is even more putrid than Fishers! In every category, Hinrich is laughable. His TS% which is a pure efficiency number, ie how much do you produce per possession is at 47% while Fisher is at 50%. And you people want to trade for Hinrich?

    Believe me, Fisher is bad, Hinrich is even worse. You may say that his defense makes up for it a little. Well, at his age, his defense is starting to slip as well. Hinrich is one of the worse offensive players i’ve seen. He is shooting 37% from the field…no, not from 3pt land, but from the field in general, lol. His numbers are HORRIBLE.

    And you guys want to TRADE FOR HIM by giving up some of our assets and paying his ridiculous salary? If Mitch makes this move i will be stunned.

    Only fans who haven’t done any research and are going by reputation alone can believe Hinrich is the answer.


  14. I’m still in Fisher’s camp. However, I’m right with Kaveh regarding Hinrich. He’s awful. I have a friend who is a Bulls fan and he can’t believe how terrible Hinrich is shooting. Sure enough, we went to see the Bulls take on the Clips and Hinrich couldn’t hit a jumper to save his life. And yet, he kept jacking them up. He’s not the answer.


  15. 13.

    No dog in this fight, but here’s a ‘glue guy’ counter-argument that Hinrich’s true value is not represented by his numbers:



  16. We need shooters. Players that can extend the floor so that our Bigs can operate down low.

    The Cavs have Lebron, Parker, Gibson, Williams.
    The Celtics have Pierce, Ray Allen, and House (maybe even Rasheed).
    The Magic have Rashard, Reddick, and Jason Williams.
    Even the Denver Nuggets have Billups, JR Smith, and Carmelo.

    Instead of trying to make a big splash at the trade deadline, aren’t there some small-time impactful shooters out there?


  17. I’m still stuck in moderation there!!! LOL


  18. 16: I agree, but even if we got that kind of player, would he see minutes given lack of triangle knowledge and presumed mediocre D? Think of when we had Tracey Murray or Kareem Rush or even Glen Rice? How much PT did those players get relative to what you wd have expected? RadMan is the only true shooter who’s seen minutes for us in some time….


  19. Hi Warren, look when your name pops up it is automatic moderation all the time – lol. How are doing now days, are you still active in your very realistic fantasy leagues, you know, where player salaries are taken into consideration and such.


  20. kaveh,
    I too have brought this over from a previous thread…

    I have never been on a ‘Fisher is the greatest’ bandwagon; just that he is a complimentary piece of a system team.

    I would agree that he probably wouldn’t be playing many minutes in the league at his age if he were on any other team. However, he still has the ability to come in for a few minutes and add something to the game.

    My point is that the system we are running is breaking down and that, more than his individual capabilities, is what is creating such bad statistics – not the other way around.

    This is also the reason it is probably not logical to keep advocating for another body to come in. No new person is going to help fix the system – that has to be done by the players now on this team, and was done in the Portland game.

    We keep looking for a silver bullet, when what is needed is a more system oriented attitude by our players. They won it all so now they can show what they have off. This won’t get another ring and let’s hope to combination of the Denver and Portland games illustrates this to all our players.


  21. #14 kaveh –

    I think alot of what people like about Hinrich isn’t going to show up in statistics. Also i think you have to cut him a little slack this year due to injuries that he has had to play through along with being in and out of the starting lineup. He has been starting about the last month or so and has been playing pretty well. The Bulls have been getting wins. Last year Kirk shot over 40% from 3. He is a career 37% 3 point shooter. And beyond that why everyone likes him is his defense. He made the All Defensive 2nd team in 2007. Here is a quote from Pat Riley..

    ” I think he’s one of the top defenders in the game, in the league. He reminds me of Jerry Sloan, he reminds me of Michael Cooper. and goes on to say “He’s into you, he’s relentless. He has a reputation as a tough defender and he gets away with more.”

    that reputation alone with the other Laker Defenders could be very scary for other teams.

    Not saying trying to obtain him with his contract is the best basketball move for the Lakers. But you can see why other people may be a bit higher on him than you are.


  22. kurt – best of luck with the new venture. i hope it will be a great as this one!


  23. Bynum out. Kobe out and getting an MRI. Sounds serious for Kobe and precautionary for Bynum.

    Now, where did I put that panic button again?


  24. 16,

    I have 2 issues with this.

    1. Of the 12 players you mention, only 3 are primarily shooters, whose main purpose is to spread the floor and hit open 3s. All the others have a large roll in the offense when they’re on the floor.

    2. Our personnel is essentialy what it was last year when we won the championship. In fact, the only real difference is the Artest/Ariza swap, and Ron is shooting the ball pretty well from 3 point land.

    If you feel 3 point shooting is the problem, you need only look at Kobe. He shoots almost twice as many 3s as anyone else on the team, besides for Artest. But, he is shooting at a much worse rate then he was last season. I think we can safely blame this on his mangled finger, but he continues to jack up the 3s despite his lower effeciency. If Kobe would be shooting at least his career avg. from 3, I don’t think this is a real issue.

    To me the main difference between last year to this year, and many have been on this lately, is the ball movement. The stats show the Lakers averaging nearly 2 fewer assists per game this season. That can be attributed to more missed shots, but the missed shots can come from lack of good looks which usualy is the result of good ball movement.


  25. >the system

    you want to see a team playing the triangle well at this particular juncture? the ‘wolves, winners of four(4) straight. consider their win over Memphis on the weekend; Gomes scores 20 in the 1st half, Brewer gets 15 in the 3rd Q and Jefferson 16 in the 4th (plus Sessions got 19 and Love 12 for the game). This is the epitome of getting the ball where things are working.

    It’s the wolves, so it may be an aberration, but, OTOH, they could be learning to play the tri, finally.




    Anyways, once a gain good luck with the new gig Kurt. Wish you all the best!


  27. I can only comment on the ridiculous comment to make Kobe the six man. I agree that he is playing too many minutes but he is also out there playing ALL NBA DEFENSE. The greatest players in the history of the game would also be great six man candidates if you had your way (Jordan, Wilt, Bird, Magic, Wade and Lebron). Superman will be back on the court tonight wearing #24 in a starting role, sit back and enjoy history being made. Hey Phil Jackson lower Kobe’s minutes to 33/34 a game and allow the bench to get better!


  28. >ridiculous comment

    jenks, that was clearly labeled as a joke by Darius.


  29. #29. Jenks21,
    Did you read what Kurt wrote at the top of the following paragraph? He was joking. Relax. No one in their right mind is going to say that Kobe should come off the bench. Yet. Ha.


  30. @Jenks,

    No one would think that. I’d rather trade Kobe. (That was a joke also.)


  31. Whoops just saw this post on the front page. Didn’t realize Kurt had posted this, I found his new blog through TrueHoop today.

    Definitely a potential HOF lineup of bloggers. I’m waiting for the Ziller guest appearance.