Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  August 4, 2010

Mar. 04, 2010 - Miami, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02065582 Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (L) drives the ball past Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (R) during their game at the American Airlines arena in Miami, Florida, USA 04 March 2010. The Heat defeated the Lakers in overtime 114-111.

From Ramona Shellbourne, ESPN Los Angeles: Phil Jackson has officially signed a contract to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. The 11-time NBA champion coach announced on July 1 that he would return for what he called “the last stand for me” but it took until last week to finalize a new contract, according to a source close to the situation. Terms of Jackson’s new contract have not been released. A message left for his agent Todd Musburger Monday evening was not returned.

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Because Timberwolves vs. Kings is too big to waste on a day where fans might be distracted by toys or ham. Fortunately, the NBA was left with a decent consolation prize, insofar as ratings go. For the second straight season, LeBron James will return to Los Angeles on Christmas Day, though this time it’ll be in a different uniform (perhaps you heard he changed teams). There was certainly a chance the league could have gone Lakers vs. Celtics … but not really. L.A. vs. the SuperTeam! is the true made-for-X-Mas matchup, hypnotic as the yule log. Just as Christmas seems to arrive in stores earlier and earlier every year, so too will the hype and buildup for this game. As in … now.

From Free-agent center Shaquille O’Neal will likely sign with the Boston Celtics, as soon as Tuesday night or Wednesday, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard. O’Neal had said earlier Tuesday that he hopes to make a decision about his future soon, and both and Comcast SportsNet New England indicated that the Celtics were “close” to signing the four-time NBA champion. Later Tuesday, The Associated Press cited a person with knowledge of the negotiations as saying the Celtics were making progress on a deal for O’Neal. The Atlanta Hawks had been the front-runner to land O’Neal last month and are not completely out of the picture, sources told Broussard, but they have fallen behind the Celtics.

From Jorge Arce, Can the conversation be started now? as Kobe Bryant won his 5th title this year. Basketball enthusiasts say Kobe Bryant might be a great player but he is still not at par with all time Legend Michael Jordan statically or charismatically. Considering statistically, Kobe is still shy of one championship compared to Jordan’s 6 world championship titles, which he acquired in 15 years. However, Michael took the Bulls to win 3 consecutive titles from 1991-93 and then from 1996-98. Experts say if Michael had not left in-between to pursue his dad’s dream of becoming a baseball player, undoubtedly his reign would not have come to an end and Bulls could have won 8 consecutive titles for certain.

From David Brickley, The Lakers Nation: What if Mitch Kupchak wasn’t one of the best GM’s in the league? A man that has assembled a championship team, who isn’t satisfied with just one championship, the thrill of victory makes him hungry for more. Whether it was the devastating loss in the Finals to Boston in 2008, or the last two seasons in which the Lakers have won it all, Mitch Kupchak continues to improve the roster year in and year out. One may say he is never satisfied, that he always looks forward to the next season. We all know what he is most famous for, trading away Kwame Brown for All-Star Pau Gasol. But what about Brian Cook for Trevor Ariza, or Vladimir Radmonivic for Shannon Brown, signing Ron Artest to the MLE, bringing in Steve Blake, or Matt Barnes at the vets minimum. Or what about not doing anything at all.

Phillip Barnett


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  1. LEBRON JAMES SIGNED WITH ANOTHER TEAM? REALLY? WHO? Harlem’s globetrotters? Only them have enough space for his ego.


  2. So the Shaqrock has moved. Interesting to see if the league still has to double team him. He’ll be great kicking it out to Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

    Wonder how much he has left in the tank.


  3. Shaq is going to the Celtics because Kobe has one more ring than he does.


  4. (sorry, I commented on the previous post).

    Oh Shaq, the “Big Bridge Burner” (Triple B is what I call him). I don’t get it. When Perk returns, Jermaine, Triple B, Rasheed (he’ll come back, simply too much $ to walk away from, and Sheed was simply being emotional after a tough loss, see Favre, Brett), Big Baby, and KG will all be battling for minutes. I don’t see how the Celts will assuage Jermaine, after signing him to a MLE, about getting playing time. There is no doubt he was told that he would get ample playing time.

    So here are the litany of problems:

    1. who starts? It will be the battle of the O’Neals.
    2. once the starters are established, who sits? (Sheed, O’Neal)?
    3. once Perk returns, does he return to his starting position or will he be unceremoniously bumped out due to his injury?
    4. If Perk starts, which O’Neal gets benched (meaning 2-4 minutes a game)?
    5. when Triple B starts complaining about minutes and touches, who can handle his outsized personality and ego?
    6. when Triple B’s TV show expands to him challenging Spanish matadors, how will the Celts’ FO deal with that?

    On the positive side, I’m glad that the Celts are recruiting some Irish-surnamed players (O’Neals). This will inevitably lead to an arms race in the East, let them duke it out. All this intrigue should make for a fun season!


  5. Is anyone else offended that the Lakers are playing the Heat instead of the Celtics on Christmas Day? That is ridiculous to me.

    I can already tell that this Heat Hype Machine is going to get under my skin all season.


  6. XAV (and anyone else, for that matter),
    Glad to see you’re having some fun with Lebron’s signing with the Heat. However, please try to bring more to the table than an insult when commenting here. We get it, people don’t think highly of Lebron. We don’t need to hear about it all of the time, though. I’m not out to defend James, but it’s tiring when every comment is some dig on his ego or some unprompted insult. I’d rather you don’t comment if this is all you’re going to say.


  7. Great potential move by the Celtics.

    We all saw how acquring Shaq last
    off-season led to all sorts of wonderful things happening for the Cavs … oh wait, never mind.

    Seriously, although I still love him, it’s hard to imagine what he brings to the table at this point. Guess we’ll find out.


  8. I hear Shaq asked ESPN for a one-hour special to give us his decision. They offered 30 seconds between the 1am and 2am reruns of Sportscenter. He’s considering it.


  9. any news regarding efforts to trade Sasha and re-sign Shannon?


  10. It was nice to see all of the love for Kobe in the KB24 vs His Airness GOAT piece by Jorge Arce.

    On another note I’m stoked about the Lakers vs Heat Holiday Extravagansa. You know everybody returning to the Lakeshow this year will want revenge for last Christmas on top of wanting to go out and prove they are still the superior TEAM of the two.

    We need a T-Minus countdown clock to tip-off on this website.


  11. Boston is supposedly in the mix to sign Delonte West too, I have to say they have had a solid offseason as well if they can pull him too. And Sheed definitely is retiring, you can bet money that Danny Ainge wouldn’t have brought in Shaq unless he knew they were going to be short on big bodies down low. The realistic question is how will the rotation work. I read somewhere that management told Shaq he would have to accept a role off the bench so that means until Perkins returns around February as reported, the starting lineup will be Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG and Jermaine. When Perkins returns Shaq will be the backup center still and maybe Jermaine will be the backup Power Forward? I feel bad for the one guy lost in all this madness and that’s Glen Davis, he will almost certainly be stuck on the bench and he is a heck of a player. Maybe they will use him as trade bait now.


  12. Sheed is done. Worst case scenario Cs will buy him out. They actually need his roster spot. Also Perkins is much more useful against the Lakers, but against the Heat, Celtics now have 2 solid O Cs to throw against a team that have barely any big man D (and whatever problems he might bring Shaq still is a very good scorer on the block).

    That said I’m stil trying to process Shaq signing for the minimum in Boston to be their 3rd string center (which is what he actually just did).


  13. Jane – I don’t think most fans are offended by not playing the Cs on Christmas. Most people naturally assumed that once LeGone & RuPaul Bosh joined Wade that the marquee game would be Lakers/Heat and we were proven right (thanks Stern and co. for being SOO predictable). Simply put, you have the two teams with the most star wattage on a holiday that the NBA owns. I never tire of watching our Lakers play on Christmas. Other than spending time with family, it’s the best gift possible.

    As for our games with the Cs, now that the 400 pound center formerly known as Superman has joined the Mean Green Machine, these games will have an added dose of spice. As if these games needed any more. I’m sure Bynum has a little bit of extra motivation in these games.

    And as for the LeGone bashing, I say, bring it. It doesn’t really affect our 2X World Champions much, but most folks genuinely seemed to want him to stay and win in Cleveland, but such is life. It’s all about our Lakers going for the 3peat!


  14. Caught the video of Jeannie Buss talking about her father. Wow, is she a cutie. Phil Jackson is no dummy. Buss has been a tremendous owner and as a lifelong Lakers fan, I can only offer my heartfelt thanks for his leadership at the helm.

    Shaq wearing the clover leaf? Somehow it just seems very strange. He wants to hang-on …


  15. @4 – It definitely is interesting, and fitting, that the Celts always seem to have all the black players with inexplicably Irish names: a Kendrick and two O’Neals, and they also had a Cedric back in the day.

    As much as I’m giggling at the thought of Shaq making the Celtics even more old and injury-prone, the paranoid part of me is remembering that Shaqasaurus was a factor in both our regular season losses to the Cavs. Granted that is just regular season – in a seven game series, Shaq drinks from the fountain of youth for at most two games. Hopefully that doesn’t spell the difference in the 2011 Finals.

    Also – at work and can’t watch the YouTube vid. Seeing Jeanie Buss definitely makes me want to, though! 🙂 Is it pretty much a puff piece about Jerry Buss being in the HoFame?


  16. Good Post Phillip, back to the Web links (not that they ever went away), which I enjoy. Great for Jerry Buss, as a rookie no less, I always like to hear what Jennie has to say about the Lakers. Yeah, those Celtics are coming out strong between seasons, I bet we meet them again (in the Finals), assuming we get out of the West of course. Darius, keep up the good work, as usual here.

    “The smallest deed done is greater than the best of intentions.” – John Wooden


  17. I just wonder how well Shaq will fit in on the basketball side of things even if you set aside potential locker room problems.

    Boston’s identity has been forged as a cohesive elite defensive unit. Even in limited 15 minute per game spurts, is Shaq’s lack of mobility going to severely affect Boston’s identity and effectiveness?

    As for Jeannie’s cuteness, I still regret losing my copy of P’boy with her appearance in it. I think that’s the most I can say without getting this comment deleted.


  18. The Big Aristotle
    The Big Daddy
    The Big Agave
    The Big Cactus
    The Big Shaqtus

    What’s Shaq’s new nickname in Boston?
    The Big Tea Bag?


  19. Yeah, Jeanie Buss is pretty much the total package. Obviously gorgeous, and also one of the best at her job.

    Darius – most of us probably remember the Roland Lazenby article from last year about a rumored power schism w/in the Lakers – essentially Jerry/Jim Buss vs. Jeanie/Phil – and how Jerry’s apparent pick of Jim as his successor has been problematic. I know this is off-the-court stuff that’s outside the purview of this blog, but from what you understand – how much substance is there to Lazenby’s article and what kind of impact might it have on the team on the court going forward past 2011?


  20. @18 sorry but i cant resist sharing.

    The Big Old Baby


  21. Grrreeaaat.

    Now this means that the chest thumping, trash talking, growling, and dirty plays will only increase now that the Celts got an “enforcer” to cover their tails. This is going to take hatred to a whole new level.

    Get ready to see a lot of foul-marred games and a lot of whining/complaining by the Boston players, fans, and media (they do it best).


  22. Here’s my conspiracy theory. The real reason behind the possible 2011 lockout is Boston’s insistence that the NBA become a 35 and over league, with each team being allowed one under 35 player (Rondo).


  23. Dunk Specialist August 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I am curious, does anyone think this hurts Shaqs chances of having his jersey retired with the Lakers? It is strange, if the Lakers don’t retire his number he may not get his number retired by any team. Shaq is clearly a Hall of Famer and one the the best ever, so this could be reallu odd. Does anyone think signing with the rival will hurt his chances? I know he pissed off Buss on his exit, so I would love to here what people thought.


  24. Jane,
    ABC and the NBA are like any other business… it is all about money. Lebron Vs Kobe generates the highest ratings… it is as simple as that. If you would like to talk only basketball it is hard to make a case that the Celtics will be a better team next year than the Heat. Lebron with only Moe Williams (avg NBA starting PG) has performed better in the regular season than the Celtics the last two seasons and will now be playing with Dwane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Mike Miller to go along with his old starting Center (Big Z). Trust me… you would rather be watching Heat/Lakers than Celtics/Lakers on Xmas. After all, half of Boston’s roster might retired by December.


  25. Shaq’s new nickname should be “The Big Leprechaun”…

    We can affectionatly call him “The Big Leper”.


  26. The prospect of Shaq and Big Z lumbering after one another trying to keep up with Lebron, Wade, and Rondo in the ECF next season is hilarious.

    Dwight Howard must be licking his chops while on the treadmill right now. And Pau/Bynum ought to be as well.


  27. Shaq talk aside, seriously — what was the point of that Jordan fluff piece?

    When I read crap like “Experts say if Michael had not left … undoubtedly his reign would not have come to an end and Bulls could have won 8 consecutive titles for certain” it makes me want to grab a 9-iron and start swinging it like a lunatic.

    Now the Jordan-hype machine has people convinced the Bulls would never have lost a series? How disrespectful is that the back-to-back champion Rockets?

    People just buy hook, line and sinker into the “Jordan is the greatest” argument, since that’s what Nike and the NBA and NBC programmed a generation of fans into believing. I guarantee there are still morons out there who believe the guy could still play in the NBA today. (They’re the same people who argue Mike Tyson could win the heavyweight title again, too.)

    Anyone who really wants to take the Pepsi Challenge should compare Jordan’s stats with Kareem’s, then ask themselves objectively who had a better career end to end.


  28. @ dunk specialist. I was thinking about that as well. i have hard time with it. if it was any other team, i’d argue that he should have his number retired at some point. if he wants to play with the celtics, it’s certainly his right, but i would prefer the lakers hold off retiring that number until after shaq’s death. shaq should be honored, but not in this lifetime if he’s a celtic.


  29. From previous thread:

    Shaq seems to have a knack of making teams better–by leaving. It all started in his earliest days with Orlando–who reconstructed themselves as NBA championship finalists–ironically, with the best center in the NBA.

    Shazam moved to Lakertown–already a team of great champions–and cashed in while renaming himself almost daily.

    The Great Aristotle moved back to Florida and soon became the great Walrus on South Beach–until he was traded to the Valley of the Suns–and became the Great Cactus. Then on to Cleveland where he became Joker to the King.

    Since they were reconstructed, the Lakers have now been to 3 consecutive NBA championships.

    The Miami Heat have now reconstructed themselves and risen up in the East.

    The Suns have almost immediately become competitive again–since the Armadillo left the 4 Roadrunners.

    With Cleveland, it’s too early to tell.

    As a Celtic, is the Suumo Wrestling Lep the Diesel that drives Boston over the top–or a Trojan Horse, still secretly loyal to his beloved Lakers? Or?


  30. comment to DY (4):

    Sheed has retired for sure, but the Celts are trying to sign and trade his salary before he technically “retires.” If Perkins returns this season at all, it will not be the same Perkins as years past. Jermaine O’Neil has not had a solid season for many years, so he must be considered an experiment.

    So the Giant Green Teabag is likely to get ample PT.


  31. drrayey

    also from the last thread your still wrong.