Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  July 30, 2010

June 10, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02195866 Boston Celtics player Tony Allen (R) tries to stop a drive against Los Angeles Lakers player Shannon Brown (L) during the first half of game four of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 10 June 2010. The Lakers lead the series over the Celtics 2-1.

*It’s Friday and there still isn’t any word on whether or not the Lakers are going to bring back Shannon Brown, however, Land O’ Lakers have taken the liberty of breaking down all of Brown’s possible options along with the pros and cons of each one. As Chibi mentioned in the last thread, “[it] seems like there’ll be a bit of a minutes crunch at the swing position. If you’re an agent, that could significantly impact a client’s value the next time they become free agents.” Shannon Brown will have these kind of arguments presented in front of him, and he’ll definitely get more minutes with the Cavs or Knicks, but that also comes at a costly price: the opportunity to continue winning. We should know Brown’s decision within a week.

*I really enjoyed this piece, which is also from Land O’ Lakers, on the way the Lakers have slowly changed the image of the franchise from 2008 through this offseason. This shows just how committed the Lakers are to winning championships. Even after winning a title, the Lakers don’t remain content with their basketball team, and just like we’ve been hearing about Kobe for the past 14 years, the Lakers off season has been doing what they can to make the team better. Last season, the Lakers addressed their toughness issue by bringing in Ron Artest. This off-season, they’ve addressed their need for a steady handed back up point guard and more consistency off of the bench. With the signings of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes, the Lakers have addressed those issues and more. It’s all about who can improve in the NBA, and even as two-time defending champions, the Lakers have improved once again.

*Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times has a piece about how the attitudes of Lakers fans on Ron Artest and Matt Barnes. Media features comments from readers before and after the signing of each ball player. It’s a pretty interesting post and we really get to see how much putting on the Forum Blue and Gold changes the perception of players.

*Lastly, I ran across this piece on Magic Johnson’s business success after basketball from The piece is featured in Success Magazine’s August issue and really highlights Johnson’s business mind. Here’s a small piece of the feature:

Armed with that anecdotal information as well as statistics about the demo- graphic he believed he could open for Starbucks, Johnson requested a meeting with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. He showed Schultz that the minority population in America is growing at a rate seven times as fast as the majority population and that African-Americans now spend almost $1 trillion annually. Latinos, America’s largest minority at 15.1 percent of the population, have a spending power in excess of $980 million.

“I asked him if he wanted to leave all that on the table or if he wanted to reach those populations with a partner who under- stood them,” Johnson recalls. “He went to his board and we joined forces.”

Now Johnson’s company owns 125 Starbucks franchises, “and our per capita spending at our stores is outstanding. We proved everyone who said that minorities wouldn’t spend $3 for a cup of coffee wrong.”

Phillip Barnett