Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  August 23, 2010

GUANGZHOU, July 29, 2010 NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant gestures to fans during a tour to Jinan University in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, July 29, 2010. Kobe Bryant is on a tour to 5 cities of China to meet Chinese fans and attend basketball training camp. Guangzhou is his 4th stop.  (Xinhua/Wu Lu.

From Mike Trudell, Basketblog: With 7:42 left in the second quarter of Team USA’s Sunday exhibition game against Spain in Madrid, the Spaniards had begun to come back from an explosive Team USA start. With an early 16-point lead trimmed to eight due thanks to the play of Ricky Rubio, a draftee of Kurt Rambis’ Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBATV cameras picked up a shot of Lamar Odom gesturing demonstrably with his hands. L.A.’s forward continuously brought his thumbs to meet fingers in the form of a clamp, signifying to the Americans that they must communicate better after Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose failed to rotate into the paint when Chauncey Billups was beaten off the dribble.

From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: If Kobe somehow was out the whole year, including the playoffs, how would the Lakers place in the west? This scenario has been posed to Brian and me over the years, whether during the Kwame-Smush-Cookie era, The Radio Tour, or the current championship incarnation. But to the best of my recollection, I’ve never formally analyzed the question. Seriously speaking, how successful would this team be next season without arguably the best player in the NBA, much less on the purple and gold roster?  After mulling the premise, I’ve provided my answer, along with my thought process. To further clarify, I’m viewing the hypothetical with a team-wide clean bill of health. Or at most, minimal games missed. Yes, those parameters may not be entirely realistic, particularly with Andrew Bynum’s history. But you also don’t need to be Dr. Jack Ramsey to predict what happens if there are additional major injuries on top of Kobe missing 82 games: The Lakers won’t win very often. Period. End of story.  Thus, I’m analyzing a scenario containing some degree of intrigue and mystery. With that in mind…

From Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: You can rant and rail and tell me once again that I’m looking for attention or trying to create waves, but Kobe Bryant is coming off a year that saw him drag an injured leg and back around, and he’s still got a bum index finger on his shooting hand. He’s played over 45,000 minutes in his career counting the playoffs and he turns 32 on Monday. Dwyane Wade shot better, turned the ball over fewer times, assisted more despite terrible teammates, picked up more steals and blocks — and he’s four years younger. And he’ll have the better season in 2010-11. The Lakers are still the favorites in my eyes, and Kobe Bryant should be respected more than any other player in this league, but he’s part of a great team now. And he passed the torch last season. Really, he passed two seasons ago to those who were playing attention.

From Matt Smith, Fox Sports: If you basketball fans haven’t been paying attention, the U.S. Men’s National Team has begun their quest for a World Championship. It’s a bit troubling to think the colors Purple and Gold, Black and Red, or Green and White mean more to most fans than Red, White and Blue. I admit I’m a dork for Team USA and always have been. I’m not sure if it goes back to my upbringing and a father that enlisted in the Army, or an Uncle Frank who served in Korea, or most likely a grandfather that came through Ellis Island from Hungary when he was just six and constantly harped about the “commies”. He never let me forget that I won the lottery by just being born here instead of some eastern bloc nation like so many of his relatives. So no surprise I get pretty damn worked up over the Olympics, World Cup and straight up international play.

From Mark Travis, But The Game Is On: Pau Gasol is one of the game’s best passing big men. While most seven footers in the league are playing basketball because of their uncanny height, Gasol is one of the few players that doesn’t get by just because he is tall. Pau is one of the most skilled players to ever play the game of basketball at any position/height and the fact that he is seven feet tall is just an added bonus that makes his skillset that much more rare.

Last but not least, it’s Kobe’s birthday, so I’ll leave you with this highlight clip to acknowledge his contributions to the franchise.

Phillip Barnett


to Around the World (Wide Web)

  1. Happy Birthday Kobe!!!!!


  2. Kwame to the Bobcats…and now, cue Elton John. “It’s the circle of life…”

    Watching the US-Spain game, if they had Pau Gasol, it would have been a wrap. Curious, but what do people think of occasionally using Odom at the Center position (and possibly having him paired with Caracter)? This summer may be an interesting experiment for Odom.

    Also, we need Pau to convince Navarro to join us in LA. Rudy looks like he’s washed up already. Hope he enjoyed his NBA career, his stock is slipping.


  3. DY,
    JCN is one crafty SOB. Love his in between game even though it seems like he should never beat anyone to a spot. He’s quicker than he looks and just a smart, smart player. That crunch time play where he froze Iggy with the hesitation and then went opposite of the screen in the P&R situation was just a heady basketball play. All that said, it’s only one side of the ball and his defense leaves *a lot* to be desired. But he’s easily an Eddie House type (better, really) and could make a strong impact on a contending team.


  4. Here is why Kobe is better than Wade:

    If Wade is given single coverage by Kobe for the whole game, Wade is held to less than his average.

    If Kobe is given single coverage by Wade for the whole game, Kobe scores 40+.

    How can they rate Wade or Kobe?


  5. Great clip, but only the first 8:22 had anything on it, except for the last 5 sec.


  6. How is Gasol merely “one of the game’s best passing big men”?

    Who’s better among active bigs?


  7. MICHAEL ZARABI aka ZERB August 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    i was expecting over 10 minutes … how can you tease me with only 8


  8. I would think kwame Brown is better, at the league’s veteran minimum, than Theo Ratliff, right?


  9. Sasha saying all the right things, let’s hope he acts on them as well:

    I’d be motivated as well if Sharapova asked me to work out…


  10. Question for Darius or anyone with an inkling to answer:

    If Drew had stayed healthy throughout this season, would he have gotten a look to be on Team USA this summer? Given they’ve been short on big men, I think he’d have at least gotten an initial invite? But then again, Kaman took a spot ahead of him at the ASG, was there a reason he didn’t go to tryouts? Was it just not on the Caveman’s agenda or was he not looked at? But a healthy Drew would have really been fun to watch with all those youngsters this summer.


  11. I’m sure Kwame would not like playing the paltry minutes Theo is ready to accept. The Lakers, as currently constructed, work because there is a blend of rock-solid veterans and some new faces every year who are willing to buy into the Lakers system. Kwame is sort of reaching his peak (although his peak is like the floor of the valley), and I’m sure this 1 year deal will be a sign of things to come.

    Theo is here and knows he’s rarely going to get double digit minutes. Mr. Minerals is content with that. The only person I hope is ready to buy in to the system is Barnes. But we’ll see. We have the best tattoed guy this side of the Rockies.


  12. #8 PaLaNi

    I believe that K. Brown is a better player than Theo at the price of league minimum, but would Kwame be able to handle the minutes he was going to get. In theory Theo is replacing Mbenga and I dont recall him getting off the bench too often. Theo will stay focus and not complain about minutes and how many times he checked in the game. That in itself is the sole reason Theo is a good fit for LA, low maintnence, veteran, and willing to do what is asked no matter the circumstances. You cant say the same for Mr. Brown.


  13. I know it’s an old topic, but man I am sick of Dic… I mean Doc Rivers spewing that trash about “our starting five has never lost”. It just is pouty and inane. Yeah Doc. How about we have your healthy starting five against OUR healthy starting five. That goes for 08 without Bynum and Ariza too. Not only is this Boston team a Boston team, but they have the worst attitude I’ve seen from any NBA team in history. A bunch of spoiled little brats.