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

From the Houston Chronicle


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