Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  May 24, 2011

From Arash Markazi, ESPNLA: Lakers forward Ron Artest doesn’t believe the NBA labor situation will result in an NFL-style lockout and expects to play an 82-game regular season beginning in October. “I don’t think there’s going to be a long lockout,” Artest said Sunday night. “I don’t think we’re going to miss any games. I think there’s going to be some negotiations but I see us playing in October. I think [NBA commissioner] Mr. [David] Stern and [NBA Players Association director] Mr. [Billy] Hunter will resolve it. I think they’re going to learn from the NFL lockout. America isn’t America without sports. You wouldn’t want to be the guy who messed up sports.”

From Danny Savitzky, Hardwood Paroxysm: There’s no quick fix to major issues of social tolerance, and that is why it was no surprise to watch Joakim Noah utter the same disparaging slur Sunday night for which Kobe Bryant was shouted down just a few short weeks ago. Movement is not going to come quickly, and it’s not going to come without a lot of work. I won’t rehash everything I wrote about Kobe after his incident, but in short, he was wrong, and he should be held accountable. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t mean to imply hateful feelings, and it doesn’t matter that a fan provoked him. He needed to be more mature and contain his emotions. That’s what professional athletes are expected to do. What’s more interesting this time around, though, is the marked difference between the penalties handed down to Bryant and Noah. Kobe was fined $100,000, while Noah was docked just half that number. Same word, same situation, same penalty, right? Apparently not. The NBA’s explanation for the variation in the totals of the fines was this: Kobe’s outburst involved verbal abuse of a game official, while Noah’s did not. I just don’t see how that reasoning could be any more bogus.

From Brian Champlin, Lakers Nation: Sometimes the blame game is the only game in town. When the season is over, when your team has exited the court amid disappointment and embarrassment, feelings of bitterness are bound to take hold. ?Over the past few weeks Lakers fans have made their frustrations abundantly clear. There have been many soft targets to go after. Bynum’s disgraceful foul on Barea, the bench’s lack of production, Lamar’s distracting foray into reality television. But head and shoulders above all all others was the performance of Lakers big man Pau Gasol. For his part, Gasol asserted that his porous play had less to do with any truth to the rumors swirling around his personal life than it did to with what many of us suspected about his physical condition after virtually three straight years of playing basketball, “It wasn’t about self-esteem. It wasn’t about confidence. I collapsed. I was exhausted a little bit too. It hasn’t been a lack of confidence,” Gasol told the Spanish website Marca in a recent interview.

From Royce Young, Daily Thunder: “That was bad.” That’s what I heard a fan saying as he walked out in front of me. Simple, succinct and entirely correct. That was bad. Very, very bad. I’d also accept horrible, awful, tragic, disgusting, pathetic, sickening, terrible and cruel. Yeah, cruel. I like that one. I’m going with cruel. I honestly don’t even know what to point to. I don’t know who to blame. When you blow a 15-point lead with five minutes left in a must-win playoff game, it’s everybody’s fault. Right down to the ballboys and security guards. I want to grab Tony Brothers and shake him for calling such a touch foul in such a big moment, but it’s not even worth it. It should’ve never, ever come to that. Scoring two points in the final five minutes is nobody’s fault but your own.

From Eddie Maisonet, Ed The Sports Fan: Last night after the Dallas Mavericks came back in miraculous fashion versus my beleaguered Oklahoma City Thunder in game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, I changed the channel with the hopes of escaping the reality that I witnessed just minutes ago. HBO boxing was on, and the replay of the WBO light heavyweight championship between Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal came on the set. Being a boxing connoisseur and having no desire to sleep, I watched the entire fight in what would be a microcosm of what I just witnessed earlier that evening. Bernard Hopkins, at age 46, became the oldest sports champion of our generation by putting the beats to the younger, stronger, faster, Jean Pascal in a way only an old man could. He used every ounce of his skill, he was as crafty in the ring as an old player talking to a woman, and he cheated like his life depended on it. Thumbed him in the eye, elbowed him in the mouth, did push-ups in front of him between rounds, holding behind the refs back, everything he could to get an edge over a fighter 18 years his junior. Jean Pascal never had a chance. In reality, the Oklahoma City Thunder never had a chance either.

From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: If you have a better moniker than “Iron Man” for the player that has taken the court in the most consecutive professional games, let us know, but it’s worked pretty well from a self-explanatory sense over the years. In the NBA, it’s L.A.’s Derek Fisher. By completing his sixth-straight 82-game season, the Lakers point guard has his games played streak all the way up to 495, currently the longest in basketball, dating back to April 15, 2005 (point of reference: the Sonics still had three more seasons to play in Seattle). Fisher moved into pole position this past December when Portland’s Andre Miller missed a game due to an NBA suspension, stopping his run at 632 contests. Historically, former Laker A.C. Green dominates with a remarkable mark of 1,192 (11/19/86 – 4/18/01). And how do the NBA streaks compare with those in other professional leagues?

From Jeff Miller, OC Register: We met Phil Jackson for the first time in the old Forum, in a dimly lit room with wall-to-wall shag. The carpet was purple. He wore a flannel shirt that, much like the Forum itself, made Jackson appear as if he had been dressed in the 1970s and not changed — or perhaps even showered, frankly — since. But this was 1999, and Jackson was about to open his first training camp here. He talked about installing the triangle offense, about “establishing a learning curve” and about how his new players would be “squeezed inside a box they haven’t been in before.” At the time, there was talk that Dennis Rodman would be rejoining his old coach. None of the talk, however, had come from that old coach. “We need guys who can facilitate an offense,” Jackson explained that day. “Dennis can debilitate an offense.”

From Janis Carr, OC Register: James Worthy urged the 100 or so fans who showed up to Saturday’s “Go Green” event in Pico Rivera to recycle. But that’s not what he wants to see the Lakers do with their head coaching position. While the Lakers TV analyst and former player said he hopes assistant Brian Shaw will get the Lakers job over former coaches such as Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy and Mike Brown. Shaw worked six years as an assistant under Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of the season. “It’s never a quick process with the Lakers. I’m sure Mitch (Kupchak, Lakers general manager) and Dr. (Jerry) Buss and the family are studying who they want. Brian Shaw – that’s who I like to see get it, but it’s a process of elimination and I’m sure they will look at a few.”

From Mark Medina, LA Times: The Lakers had strongly encouraged Shaw to get into coaching, allowing him to join meetings during his time with the Lakers from 1999-2003 where he’d learn how the coaching staff put its scouting reports together. But instead of immediately joining the coaching ranks after retiring in 2003, Shaw told The Times in January that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told him to spend a year scouting the team’s coastal opponents. Jackson required that out of Shaw because of his concern that he remained too closely connected with the players on the current roster and they may not give him the respect he deserves. After a year of scouting, Shaw joined the Lakers’ coaching staff in 2005 as an assistant for five seasons. Part of his responsibilities in the 2010-2011 season entailed putting together game preparations for contests against the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls where he compiled a 14-6 record.

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Lastly, NBA.com’s Art Garcia has put together a fantastic post on all of the issues surrounding the NBA labor talks. Give this the once over (I’ll probably have to read it 10-12 times). This is a great start for anyone who isn’t familiar with what’s going on. Great supplemental reading for those who do. You can check that out here.

Phillip Barnett

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16 responses to Around the World (Wide Web)

  1. The more I think about the Lakers’ coaching search within the context of the current NBA labor negotiations, I think you HAVE TO go with Shaw.

    Despite what Artest says, there’s going to be a large chunk of the season lost due to a lockout. Consequently, there will not be many games for use in integrating new O and D schemes–continuity is key, and Shaw is the only one who provides that (unless we can talk Fish into retiring and coaching). Further, why not use a shortened season to give Shaw a test run (2-3 contract)–he’d have no excuse not to succeed, and if he fails, we can move on in 2013, where a marquee coach (e.g., Coach K) would feel much more comfortable coming in as savior rather than as the one trying to fill the shoes of Phil…

    Additionally, I see the new CBA jeopardizing the ability of the Lakers to keep their core intact for more than 2-3 years, regardless of their performance on the court. The window is closing on this group (both due to age and the CBA)–we can’t waste a half-a-season (or more) growing into a new coach…

  2. Nobody knows how much if any of the season will be lost due to a lockout. What we do know is that Chris Bosh was the best PF in the NBA for the last couple years and was disrespected for being the third best player on the Heat. Guess what… That’s what happens when you play with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. Bosh was the fourth best player on the Dream Team behind James and Wade… Nobody was mad at him them. He is the only PF left in the game that is very good on both sides of the ball. He is basically a Pau Gasol that can play defense. I hope this series starts earning him the respect he deserves.

  3. Oh Aaron, Bosh was much worse as a player this year than he had been in years past. Thats why people got all over him.
    And he’s not the best PF left in the game. Are you telling me Bosh is a better player than Dirk, or Amare, or even Zach Randolph. The same Chris Bosh who was unable to win 1 playoff game in the Eastern Conference.
    The reason he is having good games (by primarily making jumpshots, not dominating the game in any way) is because for the most parts teams are ignoring him. If Chris Bosh scored 30 but DWade or Lebron are limited, the heat are beatable. If Chris Bosh scores less than 10, with a terrible reboudning game, but Lebron or DWade go supernova, the Heat aren’t beatable.

    Bosh was also, by the way, very bad in the Boston series, as he got manhandled by KG. The same KG who got 3 rebounds in game 7 last year to the double digit rebounding game of Pau Gasol. Miami beat Boston because DWade went Supernova on Boston – which he is still feeling the effects of against Chicago because he really hasn’t played that well yet.

    And by the way, they did give him the biggest contract of the three, so if that jumper stops falling, or Dwade sprains an ankle and people can focus of Bosh, it will begin to look terrible again.

  4. Have to agree with Cdog. Bosh benefits from basically having two number one options on his team. LeBron and Wade garner A LOT of attention. Bosh should be getting 20 and 10 with relative ease most nights.

    And while Dirk has not been forced to play defense in the last two series he is proving his is the best PF in the league. He has a different way about him this season. I fully expect him to exact revenge on Miami in the next round.

  5. Let’s also not forget that Boozer is guarding Bosh. Boozer cannot guard top tier PF’s.

  6. Let’s also not forget that Bosh is guarding Boozer, and he isn’t exactly shutting Carlos down. Boozer does absolutely nothing against the Lakers, and yet he’s managed to put up decent numbers against Bosh.

    Bosh is good, for sure, but to call him the best PF in the game is to radically exaggerate his abilities. Not many high-level PFs (and Bosh IS a high-level PF) have the luxury of being the THIRD best player on their team. In fact, I don’t think I can name a single guy who has that luxury besides Bosh.

  7. Boozer is sort of, kind of, guarding Bosh. The type of guarding where you are looking at Lebron and Wade the whole play with your arm stretched out toward Bosh. And for all the credits to Boshs defense, Boozer went for 27 and 17 in the last game. I don’t remember him doing that, ever,to Pau against the Lakers the last 3 years.

  8. Here’s to hoping that all of the Lakers take the approach that Artest has espoused, namely that the season will be 82 games. This way they can all work hard on their games (shooting, defense) and not use a shortened season as an excuse.

    Maybe the Lakers can win the 6th championship during a shortened season, ala, the San Antonio Spurs! Of course, a shortened season will garner Kobe an asterisk next to his 6th ring, but who cares!

  9. If Bosh is the best PF in the game, we must be talking about a different game.

  10. Aaron lives to stir up trouble on this site – at least IMHO. Bosh is a very good player, easily top 20, but let’s not understate how many WIDE open looks he gets because of Wade & LeGone Quitness. I’m really hoping that Dallas can oust the Heat next round, otherwise, we could be in for an extended Heat run. If they can win a title this year (with a less than stellar bench), can you imagine what they could do with some decent role players? It could be scary and if our Lakers don’t get a decent PG and see Shannon/Barnes grow positively (ie, better D/decision-making for ShanWow, better perimeter shooting and health for Barnes), there may not be a team that can truly compete with these guys for a while (maybe OKC). I don’t hate LBJ, but I don’t want to see him win a ring either.

  11. As of right now (since Dirk is going into Bird on steroids mode) Dirk is the best PF going right now. But overall it’s hard to argue Bosh hasn’t been the best PF for the past three seasons. His offensive and rebounding numbers have been better than everyone besides Dirk except that Chris actually plays defense. Coach K called Bosh the best defensive player on the Dream Team saying what separated Bosh and Howard was Chris’ ability to defend the pick and roll. I understand it’s hip this year to bash Bosh… But the proof is in the pudding.

    10)
    If Wade amd James getting Bosh open looks is the reason for his level of play than please explain why Chris Bosh put up even better numbers with the Raptors playing all by himself?

    7)
    Bosh wasn’t guarding Boozer… It was Anthony or a hel defender when Bosh switched onto Rose in pick and roll situations.

  12. As Gasol’s prime winds down… I think it’s time to remember his athletic prime… When he sported the short hair look as a young Grizzly. it’s easy to forget just how coordinated and explossive hen used to be before he broke his ankle playing for Spain. I would say he was one ofnthe most athletic seven footers to ever play in the NBA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0bJjb-rrNg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  13. @Aaron, thanks for the link to the tribute. Back then, I actually longed for Gasol to become a Laker! I’m convinced though that Gasol will come back next season a rejuvenated man. For what ever reason, this season, he did not enjoy playing the game of basketball! All sports is unforgiving to any player that does not love playing the game!

  14. Sorry for the delay (unexpected work meeting) but the new post is up:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2011/05/24/improving-from-within-andrew-bynum/

    Thanks for your patience.

  15. Coach K quotes do not a pudding make. KG, Dirk and Pau are all better PF. The proof is in their resumes.

    I remember the stellar D Bosh played on the Raptors. Wait…what?

  16. 15)
    KG and Gasol at one time three years ago were better. Yes Dirk is on an incredible hot streak… But I have a feeling Bosh will end it in the Finals.