Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  July 20, 2011

Yesterday, we talked about the release of the NBA Schedule and some games we might be looking forward to seeing — if the lockout ends on time. As of right now, it’s hard to imagine the lockout ending with reports that there are “no meaningful negations going on between the owners and players”. In fact, Los Angeles Times’ Mark Medina is reporting that “Lakers guard and National Basketball Players Assn. President Derek Fisher plans to play in a pair of exhibition games in the Philippines this weekend, his manager, Jamie Wior, confirmed Monday. Fisher will join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Derrick Williams, Tyreke Evans and Javelle McGee representing the MVP Sports Foundation, according to a person who was familiar with the roster but wasn’t authorized to speak about it publicly. The team is expected to play in a pair of exhibition games July 23 and 24 against the Philippine Basketball Assn.’s All-Star team and the Smart Gilas national team at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.”

We learned that Yao Ming was retiring earlier this month, last night, Yao officially announced his retirement in China. Below are a few reactions about his retirement:

From Danny Chau of Hardwood Paroxysm

From ESPN Stats and Information via TrueHoop

From Kurt over at Pro Basketball Talk

A look back at a 2007 Lakers/Rockets Game from Matt Moore

Some memorable moments from Mark Medina

Yao Ming Appreciation Day over at Ed The Sports Fan

From Jason Friedmana of Rockets.com

From the Houston Chronicle

From NBA.com

Jovan Buha of Hardwood Paroxysm argues that Andrew Bynum isn’t a role model, and it’s unfair to ask him to be:

Whether it’s committing several flagrant fouls with potential career-threatening ramifications, or publicly calling out his team’s brotherhood, Bynum is continuously defying authority. But not in a 1960s “the government sucks let’s have sex and do drugs” type of way; it’s an “I don’t give a crap about anyone else” type of way.

This isn’t a personal attack on Bynum. As I said, I don’t know him, and am basing this solely off of information I believe to be true. Over the past few seasons, he’s been arguably my favorite player to watch on the Lakers, and I believe if healthy, he’s the league’s second best center behind Dwight Howard. So don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t think he’s a terrible person, I just think he makes questionable decisions.

It’s looking more and more unlikely that Kobe will play competitively overseas after learning that he’s asking for $1 million per month to play in Turkey along side Deron Williams. What Kobe is doing, however, is playing overseas in the Philippines with what is being considered the most “star-studded” collection of NBA-ers to play against the PBA All-Stars.

Lastly, the guys over at Land O’ Lakers take a look at some free agent shooting guards the Lakers who may or may not be a good fit for the Lakers (they also took a look at a not so impressive list of free agent point guards earlier this week, too). Aaron Afflalo seems the most intriguing on this list, but considering he’s a legit two-way player (offense and defense) and he’s a restricted free agent, it’s tough seeing him in a Lakers uniform next season. Michael Redd (kind of sort of) caught my eye, too. He isn’t nearly the playmaker he was a few years ago after two knee surgeries, but one of the things that rarely leaves guys is a pure shooting touch. If Redd could come off the bench and spot up behind the arc for 8-15 minutes per game, I would be okay with that. I’m of the camp that the Lakers desperately need a guy who can come off the bench and consistently stretch the floor. I think Redd is a guy who can do that if he’s willing to accept that kind of role on a championship contending team.

Phillip Barnett

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9 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. JR SMITH!!!! He gives us everything Shannon did, plus he can actually play the game.

  2. @Busboys4me

    I’m 32 years old and I’ve been a Laker fan since I was 8. The very first day JR Smith joins the Lakers is the day I find a new team to root for.

    My least favorite player in the history of the NBA bar none.

  3. 2, now I kinda wanna see it just to see you make good on that promise lolz.

  4. 1: No! He’s a headcase waiting to happen. Another Isiah Rider. Why do we need a virtual “thug” on the team. His talent would be great off the bench if he were attached to another head.

    Totally bad move.

    Bye.

  5. Andrew “I don’t give a crap about anyone else” Bynum parks in handicapped spaces. 2 at a time. What a “swooshtag” move. No wonder he and Jimmy Buss are such good buddies.

  6. I have to agree about JR Smith. Don’t really think it would happen, but if he were somehow to become a Laker he would instantly supplant Karl Malone as the player I would feel worst about having to root for in Laker colors.

    Well, and Benoit Benjamin.

  7. JR Smith: So sad because he has all the physical tools to be a really good NBA player. Goes to show how important the mental aspect of the game is.

    Afflalo is a pipe dream, since he wants to keep starting and will probably get at least $8mil plus per year.

    Also, I love all this talk of NBA players fleeing overseas. Can’t wait to hear how these pampered players react to 8 hour bus rides, overly domineering coaches, two-a-day workouts, and sharing hotel rooms. Having these guys play overseas may serve an important dual purpose for Stern and the NBA: 1) grass is definitely greener in the NBA; and 2) these players will unwittingly spread the popularity of the NBA overseas.

  8. Sorry for re-posting here, but I think this is the more appropriate area to post.

    The NBA All Stars led by Kobe himself just finished the first of two exhibition games here in the Philippines. As in any exhibition game, the score is not at all given importance (though it was 131-105). There was also a 3-pt shootout during halftime between two PBA All-Stars vs James Harden and CP3 which the NBA Stars won 26-25.

    The atmosphere was electric in the Big Dome and you could see that the NBA stars were genuinely excited, and played hard (led by playing coach KB24). CP3 even said during an in-game interview that he was amazed at how electric the atmosphere was and how crazy the fans are here in the Philippines.

    Javale McGee topscored for the NBA team with 25pts with an array of dunks and alley-oops. Kevin Durant also gave a shooting clinic with 20 first half pts. Tyreke Evans also was hot from the outside, and Kobe was Kobe… playing hard, blocking shots, playing hard on both ends. Second overall draft pick Derrick WIlliams also showed some flashes of brilliance, but from what I saw, he is really a SF in the Marvin Williams mold. Fish was also Fish… bricking wide open outside shots (I give him a pass on this as I know he has the new CBA on his mind).

    It was surely a treat for us NBA and Basketball fans here in the Philippines!