Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  June 22, 2011

From Brian Kemenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: For r the record, I don’t believe a deal sending Pau Gasol to Minnesota, whether for Kevin Love and the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s draft; the pick and whatever flotsam, jetsam and magic beans with which the Wolves would try to entice L.A.; or any combination therein is going to happen. Accepting any offer not including Love would be monumentally bad for the Lakers, and while far be it for me to tell David Kahn how to do his job, I’m not really sure how shipping out the draft choice, Love and whatever other pieces required to obtain Gasol and make salaries match makes much sense from his end, either. Strip away Love, and even if you believe Gasol the superior player (as I do), how much does he improve a 17-win team? Even if he and Ricky Rubio instantly developed a chemistry so profound the great Venkatraman Ramakrishnan wept in appreciation, unless Rubio really is the second coming of Magic Johnson, the Wolves are, what, a 30-win group for the next few years, by which time Gasol will be past his prime?

From Arash Markazi, ESPNLA: The Los Angeles Lakers announced their new broadcast teams for the upcoming season and both the radio and television crews will have new play-by-play voices. Spero Dedes, 31, who had been the Lakers radio play-by-play voice for the previous six seasons, will not be returning. “We allowed Spero to miss several Lakers games from time to time over the past few years in order to do national events for the NFL and college basketball,” said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Tuesday. “However, for our TV play-by-play position, we insist that that person not miss any games because we feel it is important to our fans to have consistency and continuity and to have the same announcer for all games.

From Chris Sheridan, ESPN: NBA players and owners each made new financial proposals Tuesday at a three-hour collective bargaining meeting, emerging from the discussion cautiously optimistic that progress was being made. The current CBA expires June 30, and the two sides are trying to prevent an impasse like the one that has stopped NFL business. The union made the first proposal, asking to retain the current “soft” salary-cap system but with a half-billion dollar reduction in salaries — $100 million in each of the next five years in a proposed five-year agreement, according to a source who was briefed on the negotiations. The owners, who are asking for a 10-year agreement, then came back with a counterproposal of their own. Owners offered what they called a “flex cap” system that would earmark at least $2 billion per season toward player salaries.

From Ben R, Silver Screen and Roll: Looking at the draft is almost a whimsical activity nowadays because the Lakers’ front office has hardly relied upon it in recent years as a method of gathering talent, much to the chagrin of Laker fans who happen to be fans of college basketball. Nearly all of the major additions to the team since 2008 have been through free agency and trades, which earned the team two championships in three trips to the Finals, but also has created some of the problems that manifested in the Lakers’ inglorious exit from the playoffs at the hands of the recently crowned champion Dallas Mavericks. In any case, with the draft approaching, it behooves us to look at the Lakers’ position in the draft and how they can possibly improve. After the jump, I’ll cover how the Lakers ended up in their current draft position, what needs the team needs to address, whether in the draft or elsewhere, and some of the prospects that the Lakers could be targeting in the draft.

From Defending champion Spain included Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in its preliminary team on Tuesday for the European championship. Ibaka, who was born in the Republic of the Congo, is still waiting to become nationalized by Spain before the championship begins on Aug. 31 in Lithuania. “We hope he can play, even though we are not sure that he will be able to,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. “We are in the phase of waiting for the paperwork to go through.” Ibaka played for Spanish clubs for three years before moving to the NBA in 2009. According to Spanish media reports, he maintains a residence in Barcelona. Ibaka could form a formidable front court alongside Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and his brother Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, who returns after missing the 2010 world championship.

Phillip Barnett


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  1. Sad to hear that Spero will be moving on, but I like Bill MacDonald for the TV play-by-play…there’s a lot of continuity there, and Bill always does a great job.

    I believe the last game he called was Kobe’s 81, so that doesn’t hurt either.



    summary: lakers will probably use first two 2nd round picks on guards and last two picks on european draft n’ stash prospects.


  3. I can’t disagree with you more, Jodial. I think Bill is an awful choice for play-by-play. He was a decent halftime show host, but I just can’t picture him in the No. 1 seat. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong.

    Not said to see Spero move on. For whatever reason he never was my cup of tea, either.

    Damn I miss Chick — it’s hard to believe he’s been gone for the past nine seasons; really closer to 10 given the time he missed in 2001-02.


  4. Now I wasn’t a huge fan of Joel Meyers, I thought he was too much of an analyst instead of play-by-play guy, but I agree it was strange to hear some of the talk about Spero on Laker blogs, you would have thought he was the second coming of Chick Hearns.

    Maybe that’s the problem since Chick Hearns was probably the best announcer in the history of team sports (although Vin Scully could paint a picture with the best of them).


  5. i wish stu lantz could do a simulcast. he’s great. i don’t know if john ireland or bill macdonald are a good fit, but oh well. I thought joel was pretty good. Spero was constantly behind the play of the game. But the lakers never liked to spend money on their tv and radio guys.


  6. I hope someone’s talking Paul Sunderland off a ledge somewhere.


  7. I’m just glad Stu isn’t going anywhere. He’s my bridge back to Chick.


  8. For better or worse, I feel that Lamar Odom is a “dead Laker walking.” No one from the team has denied trade rumors surrounding Lamar, and there are rumors that Lamar was offered for Minny’s #2 pick. Also, hearing some Andre Iguodala for Odom and Artest rumors (which would be disastrous IMO).

    If so, Khloe and Lamar show may be shot in Cleveland, Minnesota, etc.


  9. Spero was an amazing radio guy. I would mute the TV and let him call the action instead of Joel. I like Ireland, but more for TV – not sure if he can do play-by-play the way Spero did.

    For TV, I don’t like Bill. Our organization has cut some serious costs, and I’m afraid we’ll be getting a far inferior product. Hope I’m wrong.


  10. @6 – props for bringing up Sunderland. He really did a decent job.


  11. I am worried about what my TV viewing of Lakers games will even be for next season. Time Warner, took over for Fox Sports West and KCAL. Since I have AT&T U-verse, I am not sure what is going to happen. Does this mean that anybody without Time Warner cable, does not get to see a Lakers game as a Los Angeles resident?


  12. ST
    According to the deal the new Time Warner channel should be available to all providers

    Will I have to get Time Warner Cable to watch the Lakers?
    No, while the new regional sports networks that will carry the Lakers games will certainly be carried by Time Warner Cable, the channels will be made available to all satellite, cable and telco distributors in the Lakers’ territory, which includes all of Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii.


  13. There’s been a fair amount of tweet-traffic about L.O. trade scenarios and whether or not it makes the team better. It’s probably important to keep in mind what “better” means to the organization in the current climate. There may or may not be a season but every component of either scenario, starts with cost analysis. The future will not look like the past. If anybody’s wondering about a trade (at least for our organization) that doesn’t have an eventual cost-savings attached, they can probably stop wondering.


  14. Glove, thanks a lot, I guess I could have done some Web searches myself to try to get the answer. Of course, there has to be a season to be able to watch the games, but anyway. I also suspect that the Lakers will try to cut costs somewhat, however they can. I mean, they are currently or were last season around $100m? in payroll, with the lux tax. Kobe takes like $30m of that, I know he is very important, but that is a lot of money for a single player.


  15. Kobe is getting paid for the $ he has brought into the organization over the years.

    It hurts us next year, but he certainly added a lot of profit for his salary in years past. Most of his career he has been quite underpaid for the amount of money he put in the NBA & Lakers coffers. This sort of gets lost when we are arguing about the costs next year.

    Remember when Magic signed a 25 year contract in 84/85? He was paid over 25 years, but his value to the organization far surpassed the total amount paid.


  16. the other Stephen June 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    i feel like Knickers is on crack every time he posts…


  17. Remember the words, “…the channels will be made available…”

    This means the rights to show these channels will be negotiated between Time Warner and the various entities actually showing the content. Remember the problems with getting some Fox Sports content on some of the feeds? This could happen again.


  18. sT — You needed worry either way about the new cable deal affecting you next season, provided there even is one given the labor issues.

    The new TV network won’t kick in until 2012-13 so KCAL and Fox Sports West will still be in the mix for the coming season, again, should there be one.


  19. Odom, given his contract, is obviously a very attractive trade asset, hence the chatter. Two thoughts though:

    1) if LA’s truly shopping Odom and refusing Pau trade scenarios (as is being reported), we can probably put to bed that “chemistry issues” are driving Laker trade chatter–Odom’s the glue of the locker room after all…

    2) I don’t see a scenario where LA lands Howard without Odom being included–as a result, if true, these Odom rumors project a pessimism (or unwillingness, given Jimbo’s loyalty to Bynum) regarding LA ever landing Howard…

    My take: these rumors have very little legs. First, LA’s FO doesn’t tolerate loose trade chatter, including from its trade partners. Second, we need to keep the core 100% intact, especially for 2011-12, considering the overwhelming likelihood of a shortened season–experienced teams that have played together will be at a HUGE advantage this year.