Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  August 5, 2010

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 19:  (FILE PHOTO) Lakers T.V. and radio broadcaster Chick Hearn speaks during the Los Angeles Lakers 92-89 win over the Orlando Magic on January 19, 1998 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.  Hearn, famous for his basketball phrases like 'slam dunk' and 'air ball' during his 42-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died on August 5, 2002.  He was 85.  (Photo by Elsa Hasch/Getty Images)

Below are some Lakers related links and after the break are some links dedicated to leaguewide news.  Enjoy.

From Rey Moralde, The No Look Pass: It was eight years ago today (August 5, 2002) that the legendary late, great play-by-play announcer of the Los Angeles Lakers, Chick Hearn, passed away. In many ways, Chick Hearn was the Los Angeles Lakers. For a long time, it was him that completed your Laker games and he was the constant for many years of that franchise. If you weren’t at the Great Western Forum or the Staples Center, Chick made you feel like you were there yourself. His non-stop play-by-play is incredible. He can describe what’s going on during a game, whether it’s television or radio, and never made you feel lost. And he does it in remarkable rapid-fire delivery that only he can. Chick Hearn never seemed to run out of ways to describe a current situation and, even at his advanced age, you wonder how he did it. He was the best at describing what was going on in a ballgame with his endless basketball jargon. (Listen to his awesome play-by-play over here.)

From Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub: As I contemplated the reality that the Celtics had signed Shaquille O’Neal to a two-year deal, I started thinking about how Shaq immediately becomes the greatest player ever to have suited up for both of the league’s two historic powers. That got me thinking that it would be a fun waste of time thought exercise to try and build an actual basketball team composed only of players who have played for both the Lakers and Celtics. It’s a smaller group than you think—around two dozen—but we can build a pretty damn good team from this group. Two rules: 1) We are going to imagine each of these players in their prime. Gary Payton was obviously a shell of himself during his seasons in Boston and LA, but Gary Payton in his prime is indisputably the starting point guard of this all-time team. It’s just more fun—and a bit simpler—to do things this way. 2) No Minneapolis Lakers. Apologies to Clyde Lovellette, a Hall of Famer who won multiple titles with both the Minneapolis Lakers and the C’s.

From Vincent Goodwill, The Detroit News: Somewhere, Kobe Bryant is rocking a broad smile. Bryant, who used to own the title of “most compelling offseason NBA figure,” has ceded the spotlight in recent years. From being charged with sexual assault in Colorado (later dismissed) to his beef with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal to his on-again, off-again trade demands, Bryant is used to holding court in the offseason. Now, going on 32, he seemingly has left the drama to LeBron James. Bryant is the forgotten man in the NBA’s summer of hype, which should scare the living daylights out of his closest competitors. If there’s one way in which Bryant is most like Michael Jordan, it’s how he takes perceived slights. In Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech, he told everyone how his psyche worked. Whether it was Isiah Thomas, Pat Riley or Bryon Russell, anything Jordan could used as fuel to his fire, he did.

From Marc Berman, The New York Post: The Knicks’ chances of landing free-agent shooting guard Shannon Brown are just about over. Mark Bartelstein, Brown’s agent, told The Post the Lakers guard is “leaning” toward returning to the Lakers to go for a “three-peat.” Brown is expected to make his final decision today. The Knicks, according to a source, offered Brown just a one-year contract as they moved to protect their 2011 salary cap for a run at Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks offered him the full $2.7 million that they are under the cap. The Lakers have offered the fourth-year guard less per season, but multiple years.

From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: As the NBA’s offseason months roll on, we dialed up ESPN’s Ric Bucher to chat about covering the Finals, Kobe Bryant’s “unquenchable thirst” (not to mention his tussling of Bucher’s hair), the additions of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes to L.A., Bucher’s questions about LeBron James going to Miami and more. Bucher also offered up his most underrated NBA city, favorite road meal and stated why he thinks the Lakers should consider moving a major piece at some point of the season.

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From Dan Wolken, The Commercial Appeal: Lorenzen Wright was remembered Wednesday not only as a local basketball star but as a devoted family man with a deep affection for his community as thousands gathered inside FedExForum to mourn a life taken too soon. The memorial service for Wright, who was found dead last week in Southeast Memphis from gunshot wounds, lasted nearly three hours and included speeches from his siblings, local dignitaries and members of the basketball community tracing his journey from Booker T. Washington High to the University of Memphis and the Memphis Grizzlies. “He was a young man who never forgot who he was, where he came from, the values that shaped him and the people who encouraged him along the way,” Mayor AC Wharton said. “Lorenzen’s story was one of those special Memphis stories where a man is able to transcend his roots even while he represents those roots proudly.”

From George Diaz, The Orlando Sentinel: There were about 50 foster kids in the auditorium Wednesday afternoon. David Vaughn’s story did not resonate with all of them, but hopefully a handful of faces in the crowd heard every word, and found strength in his journey sprinkled with desperation and determination. Vaughn told them about his highs as a first-round draft pick of the Orlando Magic in 1995, the $1.8 million contract, the cars and all the other extravagant toys; his lows of depression and violence, and how he ended up as a wayward husband, homeless and destitute. “It’s a great experience to share my story,” Vaughn said. David Vaughn’s comeback likely won’t be documented in Sports Illustrated or ESPN, but it is worth telling because it reflects a tenacity not often seen on the competitive fields of play.

From Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse: There goes another big man. Team USA has lost New Jersey’s Brook Lopez, the sixth significant post player to have departed in the past three weeks. Lopez dropped off the team due to his bout with mono and was replaced Wednesday by Washington center JaVale McGee as Team USA prepares for the World Championship, Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Turkey. McGee had been with the team for a July 20-24 Las Vegas training camp and was cut last Wednesday when the roster was reduced from 19 to 15 for a training camp next week in New York. However, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo had said at the time of the cuts that McGee could be invited back. That’s what happened after Lopez bowed out. Lopez got mono last spring and lost 25 pounds, although he has gained most of it back. However, he got out of shape and played poorly in Las Vegas.

From Matt Hubert, D-Leauge Digest: Dating back to the 2005-06 season, each D-League franchise has one (or more) NBA affiliate each season. Although there are exceptions, most of the affiliations are renewed each year, allowing the corresponding D-League and NBA franchises to build a relationship over time. During the NBA season, every NBA team has the option to assign any of its first- and second-year players to their D-League affiliate. The NBA team retains the player’s rights and has the right to recall him to the NBA at any time. When an assigned player is recalled, that ends the assignment. A player can be assigned up to three times during a season, and there is no cap on how long an individual assignment can last. There are two common misconceptions regarding NBA affiliations in the D-League.

Phillip Barnett

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30 responses to Around the World (Wide Web)

  1. Question for hardcore fans:
    Which D-league franchise would the Lakers use to assign (for example, Devin Ebanks) to develop players now that the D-Fenders are on hiatus for this next year?

  2. Shannon is coming back. 2 years, $4.6mil total with an opt out (again) for next year.

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/08/05/shannon-brown-to-return-to-the-lakers/

    Kind of getting sick of these opt-outs, but at least we have him for next year! Welcome back. Any may you continue touching the hem of the heavenly basketball shorts with each dunk!

  3. With Shannon Brown agreeing to a 2 year deal, the only question that remains is: Can this Lakers team possibly win it all without Adam Morrison?

  4. 1.)

    The Lakers are now affiliated with the Bakersfield D-League team, the Jam.

  5. I am guessing the Lakers brought back Brown to be the 3rd PG because you have to guess Matt Barnes will be getting all of the back up minutes at SG and Sf.

  6. Bringing back Brown is a good move. It ensure continuity at the guard position if (or, more likely, when) the Lakers trade Sasha.

  7. 3ThreeIII,
    “Can this Lakers team possibly win it all without Adam Morrison?”

    All of his titles have been with either Shaq or Morrison. This year will be a true test of Kobe’s ability to lead a team.

  8. Hey, lay off my man Ammo! You could always tell how awkward he felt about the whole winning championships thing here.

  9. Yeah… I am not a fan of making fun of guys who are the 13th man on the team and play as much as a 13th man on the team. Do you know how good you have to be to be the 13th man on a NBA team? Plus if Adam didn’t tear his ACL he would be a serviceable bench player.

  10. Back to Phillip’s points…

    Chick was the best ever. It makes me smile to remember that the very last game the man got to call was one in which the Lakers won their third consecutive NBA title. It was as though his saying the words “World Champion Los Angeles Lakers” would forever float off in space. As they should.

    And the Bucher interview was fairly interesting. I’m not usually a big fan of his, but he made some well-thought points during that conversation.

    His call of Portland as the NBA’s most-underated city was also a good one. I hate the Blazers, but Portland’s got a great downtown area. Memphis too, though once you get away from the tourist corridor I didn’t see much there.

  11. Dunk Specialist August 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Yeah I have to agree, why are we making fun of any player at the end of the bench. Especially one that was on our team last year. He works hard and I have never heard him complain. I don’t understand making fun of any player, but really leave the guys that are trying to stay in the league out of it. I know a guy who played for the Jam and he worked his butt off. No shame in not being in the top 1% of the world. And Ammo is in that top 1%. He maybe be 400 in the world, but that is 400 of thousands who play ball.

  12. Oh, forgot to add that Kimmel clip with Kareem explaining the history of the Lakers and Celtics was pretty good. Check it out here if you’ve not seen it.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/08/wednesdays-youtube-video-of-the-day-kareem-abduljabbar-explains-the-history-of-the-lakersceltics-riv.html

  13. “I am not a fan of making fun of guys who are the 13th man on the team and play as much as a 13th man on the team.”

    Anyone else see the irony?

  14. Ex…well the difference between the 13th man on this team and the 5th man on this team is that the 13th guy can shoot, but just was stuck to the pine all the time. After all, he must be pretty good to have made it on the team….The 5th guy, well he couldn’t shoot, is below “average” pg that PJ played all the time. On top of that the 5th guy just isn’t the jokester that Adam is. That 5th guy may be a leader, but he just doesn’t compare to Adam when it comes to waving that towell and cheering on this teammates. Oh and it’s only a mere conincidence that Kobe has only won rings playing with that 5th guy, cause he’s really not a good bball player at all.

  15. I think Aaron meant to say even the 13th men on an NBA is one of the best basketball players in the world. Accordingly, they deserve the casual NBA fan’s respect and deference.

  16. DY @ 15 – Sure, they deserve the casual fan’s respect, but do they deserve the respect of maniacal fans like us?

    (I am joking, of course)

  17. exhelodrvr ,
    Read that quote again. If a 13th man was playing 30 minutes a night when he should be playing 2 minutes a night…. than fans have a right to bash him. Because then he is hurting your teams chances of winning and making a fool of himself in the process. But if Morrison is just sitting on the bench doing nothing wrong I say lay off of him.

  18. Aaron,
    You don’t seem to realize how good a basketball player Derek Fisher is to be able to do what he has done, and continues to do. Hence the irony alert. And apparently you still don’t, so the irony is probably lost on you. You might want to get checked for anemia.

  19. exhelodrvr,
    I knew the irony you were referring to. What I am saying is there is a reason, Fisher playing 30 min a game, bothers people… because he isn’t a 30 minute a game type of player and Phil Jackson says as much. That is why you heard more people bagging on Derek Fisher last year then Adam Morrison. Because people in general aren’t as offended as when a 13th man plays zero minutes a game as compared to when a 10th man like derek Fisher plays around 30 minutes a game.

    And do I realize how good a NBA player derek Fisher is? That depends on how good an NBA player he is. I think even for a triangle like system (where you can play SG’s at PG) he at this moment is in the mid to lower half of back up triangle PG’s in the NBA. If that is how good of an NBA player he is… than yes… I do know how good of an NBA player he is. In his prime he was backing up Speedy Claxton in Golden State even after he signed a big contract to play up there. At this point in his career (the last two seasons) the only thing he can do adequately and he happens to do them extremely well is give great speeches and have one 5 minute stretch of great playoff basketball per season. A couple seasons ago it was two giant three pointers in Game 4 and last year it was the most dominant 5 minute stretch of 4th quarter playoff basketball a role player has ever seen. He can no longer shoot (he still only shot 20% in the Finals from three), he can’t dribble, defend or pass. Because of his defensive deficiencies Phil Jackson had to put Kobe on PG’s in the playoffs of a series got close. I don’t think any of us want a 32 year old Kobe coming off another knee surgery top have to guard PG’s next season in the playoffs do we? He also last year was a terrible decision maker… shooting early in the shot clock or taking ill advised forays to the basket. Where do you think I am grading him unfairly?

    Pros: *Great giving speeches and in locker room
    *Great for one big moment per season

    Cons: *Everything else

    The majority of people were in my boat until he had that 4th quarter of all 4th quarters. Most people after that forgot like a battered wife who Derek was the entire season up to that point and even after that game. I went from thinking he should have been playing behind Brown and Farmar to thinking that alone made it worthwhile to start him the whole year. And I still feel I was wrong and he should have started and played the minutes he did just from that 5 min stretch of basketball alone that almost only Phil Jackson thought he had in him. But I won’t be beaten by my husband to be given flowers and a warm hug the next day and say “What an amazing guy!!!! He gave me flowers.” Beautiful flowers only can make up for so much.

  20. 21. (Aaron). Enter Steve Blake. He’ll assure Fisher doesn’t play 30 minutes a night. He’ll guard the quick PGs. FIsher will still give good speeches and hit the occasional clutch shot. Nothing else here to see…let’s move on!

  21. Great job, ex. I thought we all had a silent agreement just to never acknowledge Aaron from now on. Now you went and blew it, and he’s back like the plague. Why continue trying to argue with a wall?

  22. Aaron. You wrote, “In his prime he (Fisher) was backing up Speedy Claxton in Golden State even after he signed a big contract to play up there.” So how many championships do Speedy Claxon and Deron Williams have again?

    According to your theory, Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak are dead wrong to entrust the generalship of this team to the man who has held down this spot for FIVE championships. By the way, Phil, Mitch, Kobe, Pau and Magic Johnson ALL disagree with you.

    As to the slam at DFish that he couldn’t start on any team other than the Lakers, there is a reason that most other teams in the league struggle even to reach a finals, while Phil’s teams win them again and again and again.

    Phil understands the players and roles that must be meshed to form a team that can rise to the challenge and play their best when it is all on the line.

    He has NEVER had teams that were better at each and every position. Cases in point, every point guard we’ve faced the past two seasons, Horace Grant or AC Green or Robert Horry against PFs Duncan or Sheed, etc. But Phil knows how to reduce his opponents percieved advantages, while making his own team’s advantages count.

    In every case, (5 for 5!) Fisher’s supposed weaknesses haven’t mattered, and his strengths have been a crucial difference maker. (His strengths include poise, leadership, fearlessness, dependability, playing the scheme on offence and defence, funneling the ‘superior’ point guard to his help, taking charges, fighting through screens, and knocking a dirty player from the other team onto his ass!)

    I support Derek Fisher all the way, until he himself, or Phil Jackson indicates that a change of the guard is necessary.

  23. Skyhook33,
    You may get pleasure out of spelling out exactly why you think Fisher is valuable, but your comments are sort of like water off a duck’s back to Aaron. He doesn’t even hear them, much acknowledge them. That is the reason Zephid made his comment about ignoring Aaron completely. You are not talking to a rational human being – you are talking to a self-informed fan who listens only to his own logic. Us long time bloggers here have stopped trying to discuss this subject.

  24. You know I just realized something!

    Jordan Farmar has been posting under the alias Aaron. It all makes sense now. He’s been trying to be a starter all these years and knows deep down in his heart that he’s better than the ol man. That can be the only rational explanation for the constant criticisms thrown at a 5-time champion.

    It’s okay Jordan, we’re hoping you’ll get your starting spot someday.

  25. Well, in an odd sort of way, I have to agree with Aaron.

    In fact, I think we can all agree that Derek Lamar Fisher is undoubtedly, unquestionably, indisputably, undeniably, and incontrovertibly the absolute worst starting point guard in the NBA … with 5 Championship Rings.

    That’s 5 delicious chocolate chip cookies!

    ‘Nuff said.

    (Hmmm … now I’m hungry).

  26. If D-Fish wasn’t a good 5th guy, i guess Pat Riley wouldn’t be wasting his time trying to get D-Fish “5th guying” his Super Friends…

  27. Skyhook,
    Lets go over your arguments…

    1.Championships are a great barometer to compare players

    You wrote “So how many championships do Speedy Claxon and Deron Williams have again?”

    So you really think Derek was better than these players? You really think Robert Horry was better than Karl Malone? Winning championships has more to do with the team you’re on as opposed to how good you are.

    2. Laker management wants him

    You wrote… “According to your theory, Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak are dead wrong to entrust the generalship of this team to the man who has held down this spot for FIVE championships. By the way, Phil, Mitch, Kobe, Pau and Magic Johnson ALL disagree with you.”

    Phil Jackson didn’t want to start Fisher and didn’t until Harper got hurt on the way to Fisher’s “2nd championship.” Mitch and the gang at that time couldn’t afford to bring in talented players besides Kobe and Shaq. They traded away Glen Rice (who was aging anyways) after the first championship. As for the last couple years the Lakers have been trying to replace Fisher but no average PG’s have been available for the MLE. And as far as Lakers players and management praising Derek Fisher, the head of the players association and longtime nice guy… what are they supposed to say? “He is old and washed up… we need a better PG but we can’t afford one and nobody is trading one to us.” Thats like saying because we started Smush Parker and Kwame Brown that the Lakers wanted them starting. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

    3. Derek Fisher is the reason we go to the Finals

    You wrote… “As to the slam at DFish that he couldn’t start on any team other than the Lakers, there is a reason that most other teams in the league struggle even to reach a finals, while Phil’s teams win them again and again and again.”

    This might be the most “interesting” thing you wrote. Fisher of course played on two other teams in the NBA and none of them made it to the Finals. Maybe if the Jazz started Derek over Deron they could have been playing late in June? To answer your question the reason the Lakers made it to the Finals the past three years is because of Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, and Lamar Odom with a lot of Artest last year and a slight pinch Ariza the year before.

    4. Phil is used to having teams with major weakness’

    You wrote… “He has NEVER had teams that were better at each and every position. Cases in point, every point guard we’ve faced the past two seasons, Horace Grant or AC Green or Robert Horry against PFs Duncan or Sheed, etc. But Phil knows how to reduce his opponents percieved advantages, while making his own team’s advantages count.”

    I can’t argue with this point because it is true. Most coaches don’t have teams that are superior at every spot on the floor. The Shaq/Kobe teams were actually inferior at PG with Harper/Fisher, at SF with Fox, and at PF with AC/Grant/Horry. They didn’t win because of those guys… they won in spite of them with the raw and unnaturally lethal combo of Kobe and Shaq. And that is my point. Celebrate the big time clutch plays of these lesser players but do not mistake their championships rings for medals that read “average NBA player” in all cases. Now Horry and Fox in their primes were average NBA players at their positions.. although in the playoffs they were usually outmatched because they were going against better players. Derek Fisher in his prime mostly because PG’s are so good in this league was a bad starter to good back up. Basically… Fisher in his prime was a Steve Blake. A fringe starter but a very good back up. He was known as a good back up to Harper but a weak link as a starter.

    5. Fisher’s weakness’ haven’t mattered

    You wrote… “In every case, (5 for 5!) Fisher’s supposed weaknesses haven’t mattered, and his strengths have been a crucial difference maker. (His strengths include poise, leadership, fearlessness, dependability, playing the scheme on offence and defence, funneling the ’superior’ point guard to his help, taking charges, fighting through screens, and knocking a dirty player from the other team onto his ass!)”

    Of course we aren’t 5 for 5 with Fisher starting at PG. We are 4 for 5. And of course we aren’t 4 for 5 because we have not won every season with him starting at PG. And its silly to say his weakness’ haven’t mattered. When we lost to the Celtics in the Finals would we have won if we had a average PG? Maybe, maybe not.

    The bottom line is it is always better to not have a bad starting PG on a championship team. The Lakers know this but thus far have not been able to bring in an adequate PG. Guards are expensive in this league… Monte Ellis is being paid over 100 million dollars. The MLE brought us one of the better SF’s in the game but basically could only bring to LA a good back up PG (Blake). Just because Fisher was starting the last couple years doesn’t mean the Lakers were happy about it. Were they happy about Walton or Vlad Rad starting? They weren’t even happy about Ariza starting as they brought in Artest.

  28. I am absolutely with you, and I was not intending on making fun of Ammo. I was making fun of the “Kobe cannot win without X…” bashing, which exhelodrvr caught but others seemed to have missed.

    I have played against future NBA players at the high school and college levels, and retired NBA players at local gym pick up games. Believe me, I know how amazing professional athletes are.

    (Side note: which is why the occasional, “Duke University could beat the Clippers”, arguments drive me nuts… The worst player on the Clippers is almost certainly one of the 10-15 BEST players from his school, ever. The Clippers would beat Duke by about 30 points in a game for money… The Lakers would beat Duke by about 12, because, you know… that is the Lakers.)

    No offense meant to Ammo, who caught a couple of bad breaks as a new player (Larry Brown and the knee injury). On the other hand, I have a lot of trouble feeling too sorry for a millionaire who can essentially retire into a hobby job at the age of 26…

  29. Thanks for the post! I can’t wait to see Shaq the first time he plays the Lakers – $10 says he plays all game if it kills him, puts up a 30-20 like the old days, and knocks Kobe down at least 5 times.