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Kobe’s First All-Star Game

Tomorrow night, Kobe Bryant will suit up in his 14th consecutive all-star game (all as a starter). Sort of amazing to think it’s been that long since he made his first start back in 1998. Also crazy to think that back in that game, the NBA went with players wearing their own team uniforms rather than special all-star ones. Anyways, here’s a look back at that fateful day when Kobe made his first appearance as a starter when he didn’t even start for the Lakers and was in a full on duel with Michael Jordan (one that Jordan won handily, earning his 3rd MVP in the process). Enjoy.

Reader Interactions


  1. That has only been done a few times in ASG history, but yeah, I like it as well. I assume the NBA sells more merch by designing new ASG jerseys every year.


  2. thanks for posting this Darius. nice blast from the past.

    up and under from MJ, looks familiar. Kobe is so good at imitating, and making his own, shots from all the best players. a la Dirk’s unsexy, one legged turn around this season.

    i miss when they wore team jerseys too. it was cool seeing all the different colors out there, it positively reinforced player identities with the teams. rather than the AAU all star feel it has now. and it feels that they switched the ugly ASG versions to sell more jerseys. oh wait…


  3. rr,
    Okay. I just read the comment from sloppy. As usual people for some reason don’t realize athletes are different than normal people. Athletes take the same medicines as we do for completely different reasons. The injection Bynum had he takes often as a “preventative” measure after having cartridge repaired in his knee years ago. The reason to do this is to prevent the cycle of knee surgeries Kobe has had every four years after he first had cartridge removed in Colorado. Bynum had some good fortune when he was operated on when doctors found out his cartridge could be repaired and not removed during the operation. He was very fortunate. Lakers fans though we’re not happy as the repairing of the cartridge meant more time resting after surgery. But for his career it was a great thing. These injections of “lubricant” are not pain relievers. The enable joints to operate with more fluidity and less friction which of course ultimately results in less pain and a far more healthy joint. Don’t worry I do my research with my doctor friends anytime I read a headline that includes Bynum and knee. All in all this injection is something Bynum is proactively doing to make sure he doesn’t have the same chronic knee problems Kobe and most every other athlete has had following cartridge surgeries. Now… Would Bynum be in a much better spot if Kobe never submarined his leg offensive lineman style? Of course. But all in all Andrew has been very lucky to never have a serious knee injury like an ACL or Microfracture. Even guys like Amare who has has multiple Microfracture surgeries has had a long and fruitful career. I think some Laker fans need to put Bynum’s passed knee injuries in perspective.


  4. rr,
    This is from the LA Times today and also says this knee injection is preventative…

    “Let’s say it all together. Bynum is finally healthy. There’s still 33 more games to go, but so far, so good. The only setback came in the Lakers’ 100-85 loss Thursday to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he showed some slight discomfort.  The procedure he’s receiving today involves preventive care and was already scheduled so it’s likely this shouldn’t be anything serious. “


  5. Some good nemories right there buoy that swag even at 19…what am I gona do when hes done playing???that’s gona be a sad day.


  6. Kobe Rules the ASG:

    This is his 14th selection which is tied for 3rd all time.

    He has 4 MVP’s which is tied for 1st All Time (Pettit)

    Watch for him to totally aniliate the entire all time record book this Sunday.


  7. Aaron,

    You may be right, but you are extremely biased on all things Bynum (this is the third time this week you have used the “Kobe submarined” him line–might want to retire that one) so I will take it with a grain of salt. Maybe Slappy will show up and respond.

    Even if we accept your differentiation about why Bynum gets the treatment, Bynum places far different demands on his knee than the typical guy would be placing on it, so, intuitively, I don’t see that as a persuasive argument.

    That said, obviously, I am not a doctor or sports medicine specialist and I hope Bynum is fine. It is equally obvious, however, that the injuries have taken away some of the athleticism Bynum had earlier in his career.


  8. Aaron,

    You may be right, but given your Bynum-love (you need to retire the “Kobe submarined him” line–you have used it three times this week) and for some other reasons, I will take it with a grain of salt. Maybe Slappy will respond to the specifics.

    Whatever his medical situation, Bynum has lost some quickness off the floor from earlier in his career.


  9. Tomorrow is my birthday. I can’t even begin to say how thrilled I am that the NBA has put together a weekend of festivities, with contests and the greatest players in the league playing together on the same court, just for me! Thank you! It’s a great birthday present!

    I’m really hoping Kobe wins the game MVP again.


  10. rr,
    Duh… I love talking basketball with smart basketball people. I can do it for hours on end . My GF deals with it 😉


  11. @Everclear
    Me too, now that I’ve watched the video. That’s a little sad, actually. What happened to that cheerful, happy young man, who so obviously loved every moment of everything he was doing?


  12. Mimsy/Everclear: That guy is still there. On the outside, he shaved his head, got some ink, put a scowl on his face, added some rings, and changed his number, but in his heart he is still #8


  13. Aaron, you get 100 lashes with a wet noodle for substituting “cartridge” for the word “cartilage.” We all wish improving the health of our center’s knees would be as easy as changing a printer cartridge 😀


  14. Dude,
    You always abide. But I do pretty well for an iPhone user. Also… To add to the Michael Beasely rumors… My good friend just saw him at Jack & Jill’s in Beverly Hills. Let’s hope he doesn’t just like to vacation here 😉


  15. rr,
    Bynum’s lost athletisism if any has more to do with that heavy knee brace and being 24 and not 20 anymore. You say I have Bynum love. I do. Just like I have Kobe love. Just like I have LeBron love. I love the best players in the game. So if anything I have way more LeBron love than Bynum love. But yes… I was the first one on the site to rave about Andrew. Last year I proclaimed that when healthy Bynum was our second best player. I caught some flack for that on here. But after the playoffs I didnt think I would be called a Bynum lover anymore. Maybe I am wrong. I mean… I’ve stayed strong on my Bynum fr Howard no brainer trade stance.


  16. Great video, I enjoyed seeing Kobe with that young energy, when he just loved the game of basketball as something fun. Jack getting his autograph was cool.


  17. @Aaron – That’s good, I hope the interior of your iPhone never needs a cartilage replacement 😀

    BTW – just about everyone on this site was raving about Andrew from early November 2007 to mid-January 2008, when it seemed he actually might have a ceiling at both ends of the court that was higher than Dwight Howard’s.

    I would also attribute his loss of quickness to that heavy brace more than anything else. Unfortunately, for him to be able to stay on the floor, he’s going to need to wear that thing for the rest of his career.


  18. Who cares what the reason is, athleticism lost is athleticism lost.

    Reality check to all fans who think small additions (Sessions, Beasley, etc) without giving up any of our top 3 players will help us get back to true contender status: it won’t. Anything short of a Pau-for-top-7-PG trade will not get us back into the Finals. Even with the best minor tweaks, WCF is our current team’s ceiling.

    We are simply too old and stale to do any real damage. The team needs an injection of not just athleticism but fire and enthusiasm in general. Given that he is our most enticing movable asset, Pau must be moved now, because his value this offseason will be even lower than it is now. If he isn’t moved now, prepare to toil in mediocrity until 2014.


  19. Dude,
    There really is not a lot of medical evidence that he needs to actually wear that brace. From what I’m told he may or may not be benefiting from that brace. Often times doctors suggest braces so to make their players feel like they can do something to protect against injury and not feel so vulnerable. The docs I’ve spoke with say no matter what that kind of brave will help a little with any player because it slows the player down resulting in slightly less impacts at slightly lowes speeds. If it were up to me I would have him take the brace off for big playoff series 🙂


  20. Aaron:

    Palliative: Palliative care (from Latin palliare, to cloak) is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients.

    As I wrote, palliative, not curative.

    I called Andrew, Mr. Oil Change. Why do you do the oil change for your auto?

    Now note what it says, prevents suffering and not further degeneration of the knee. Which will happen in any event, though with the proper lubrication not quite so fast or quickly as without. By the way, the mere fact they are injecting fluid means that there isn’t enough fluid, since if there was the normal amount of fluid they would be overfilling the joint space and that would create its own problem.

    Re Amare, did Andrew have microfracture surgery as well? No. The purpose of the microfracture knee surgery is to remove a small portion of the outer bone layer (subchondral bone) so that the deeper bone layer (vascular bone) has access to the surface layer. Such helps because the subchondral bone lacks good blow flow whereas the vascular bone has more blood flow and the cells can access the surface layer and stimulate cartilage growth. Also, consider:

    One of the concerns with microfracture is that it does not stimulate the growth of normal joint cartilage. There are many types of cartilage, and one of these types (hyaline cartilage) is normally found on the joint surface. Microfracture stimulates the growth of a type of cartilage commonly found in scar tissue (fibrocartilage). Unlike hyaline cartilage, fibrocartilage does not have the same strength and resiliency of cartilage normally found in a joint. Therefore, there is a chance that the cartilage stimulated by a microfracture procedure will not stand up over time.

    Oh, and Aaron, Greg Oden has also had microfracture surgery on his one knee. How has that worked out for him? He had the surgery between draft day in 07 and the start of the season. Missed the whole season. He’s never been the same since.

    Tracy McGrady also had microfracture surgery on his one knee in 09.

    Lastly, you should know better. The brace on Andrew’s knee is its own testimony to the condition of his knee.

    Almost forgot, but Andrew did sustain a torn medial collateral ligament:

    Feb 2 2009 9:58PM

    Results of an MRI on Andrew Bynum’s right knee showed a tear of the medial collateral ligament, it was announced today.

    Bynum, who suffered the injury early in the first quarter of Saturday’s victory over Memphis after having scored seven of the Lakers’ first 13 points, will be out approximately 8-12 weeks.

    The MRI was performed Sunday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and Bynum was examined this afternoon by Dr. David Altchek.

    And what grade of tear?

    MCL injuries are diagnosed in severity as grade one, two or three. The Lakers declined to identify the grade associated with Bynum’s injury. However, the length of his expected rehabilitation suggests a grade-three injury, the most severe type, which is a complete tear of the ligament, DiNubile said.

    That’s why he’s wearing the brace. Well, that and the fact that they suspect that he’s a bit loose-jointed. And for why the latter and more info on the former:

    “Those knees are often a bit looser,” he said. “The ligament heals in a lengthened position. So it’s more lax.”

    And so that’s why the brace.

    Almost forgot, again, but if one and all will note, my remark, initially, was in response to comments on Pau. I am not trying to knock Andrew. But given by Bynum’s knee and knee brace, his oil change(s), I would hope that the team would have a viable plan for a backup center who might one day need to play full-time as starter for a while, since if they dump Pau and don’t have that, then they’d be stuck with the likes of, at best, DJ, and at worst, Ratliff and Joe Smith, and we saw how those last two worked out.

    For yet one more, re the MCL tear, note that he did have surgery and then consider:

    And his MCL tear was followed up with a very small tear that became a small tear (since he was unaware of the very small tear and so continued activity enlarged the tear from very small to small) of the anterior horn of the lateral meniscus.

    And for yet one more, from a piece on HoopsHype:

    “It’s obvious that that is what’s going on,” said one longtime Lakers insider. “Jim Buss is setting up Drew.”

    That process began last season when assistant Chuck Person was given the freedom to restructure the Lakers’ defense around Bynum, never mind that the club was the reigning two-time NBA champion and seemed to have a defense that already worked quite well. After all, it was last seen stuffing the Boston Celtics in the second half of Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

    The idea of the new defense, though, was to keep Bynum closer to the basket and to require less mobility from him (perhaps to help him avoid injury).

    So seems that even before MB, they changed the defense to require less mobility on Andrew’s part, as stated, perhaps to help him avoid injury (and/or avoid a quicker degeneration of the knee).

    And re the sweep, disagree with HoopsHype at your leisure, but that same piece reports:

    The defense looked strong enough during stretches late in the regular season but was exposed badly during the playoffs.

    I’m not going to say what I believe, but responsible Lakers authority need answer the question, was that loss owing to a change of defense owing to the condition of Andrew’s one knee?

    Now on a semi-related note, one more from that same piece, on why I despise and loath Jimbo:

    Jackson left town with a stinging parting remark that he had no relationship with Jim Buss.

    So one and all get my position, PJ has won how many championships? How many has Jimbo won? Oh, and for those who keep harping on the matter of the team needs some superlative PG, well, PJ has never had that, didn’t it have it ChiTown and didn’t have it here, but that didn’t stop his teams from winning all those championships. And for more on Jimbo’s incompetence:

    Tex Winter told me in 2008 that Bynum had a strange relationship apart from the rest of the team. The young center was protected by Jim Buss, who encouraged Bynum to get his own coaches because he opined that Jackson wasn’t a good coach for big men, Winter explained.

    “It’s an odd situation,” Winter said at the time, noting that Bynum dealt with his medical issues mostly apart from the team’s medical staff.

    Oh, and here’s one more on non-surgically repaired, i.e., natural healing, of a partially torn medial collateral ligament:

    Well and truly lastly, I mean it this time, nothing whatsoever against Andrew, just concerned that since Andrew is Jimbo’s guy and so Jimbo’s is rather psychologically vested in Andrew, well, kinda worried that the team might find itself in a position wherein there won’t even be a serviceable replacement for Andrew should he go down for any significant period of time. And given the brace on Andrew’s knee…
    But I am hoping that there is no further injury or any time off for injury, never mind grading the injury.


  21. Avidon: I agree with the fact that Pau’s value is declining, and I have been saying that all year. I wanted to move him in pre-season, and obviously so did the FO. A few threads ago, you kicked off the thread with a statement that the team needs to be nuked. So let me ask you this: Is the move of PG a stab at a title, or the first move towards scorched Earth? Or perhaps both? : )


  22. Sloppy,
    You’re not understanding something… Things are invented for the normal person… Not athletes. If Bynum was a normal person he wouldn’t be taking these injections because he doesn’t need them. Only people with pain and major knee problems need these injections. But athletes sometimes take these injections for different reasons… To prevent further issues… Not to alleviate a current issue. At least that’s what Andrew and everyone close to the sittuation says. Could they be telling a lie? Yes.. But if he was having real knee problems guess what? He wouldn’t be playing. He would be resting. This isn’t the postseason. Furthermore Andrew has been very honest with his healthy and feelings in the past. The information i give people on this site is from My doctor friend who is a ortho at the Mayo clinic. Btw… It was announced at the time that Bynum had a grade two partial tear of the MCL. Again… The reason for the longer recovery time is because he is a seven foot basketball player and hundred million dollar man for the Lakers. If he was a regular person his recovery time would be much shorter. But he plays in the nba and makes a lot of money.


  23. Avidon: I have been hoping for the blockbuster all along. The D12 pipedream does not look good now, and I would love to see other alternatives for dealing PG, because we need major change. However, I have not seen even the rumor of a trade that did not involve D12, that I thought made us a contender. I go along with the 1+3 tinker trades, because there is nothing better. Other than if we pursue your nuclear option.


  24. And my damn iPad won’t let me write “slappy…and when did I say Microfracture surgery and anything that happened with Bynum was anything close to similar. I was in fact saying the exact opposite. The partial MCL tear Bynum had didn’t require surgery because it was not a complete tear. Most complete tears require surgery. But because it wasn’t they didn’t have to operate. And you’re correct… Ligaments tend to loosen in his situation. However… I have been told that those braces may or may not actually help. A lot of doctors use them as a sort of placebo effect. And they want to let the player know the doc is trying to do something. If the player gets hurt again with the brace nobody will get mad at the doc… But if the player gets hurt again without a brace the doctor can be accused of not doing everything in his power to help.


  25. … The only thing I was told those braces actually do is protect against the kind of offensive lineman side swipe hit that knocked Bynum down in Memphis. That’s why you see a lot of offensive lineman wearing those. However the odds are that doesn’t happen in basketball (yes I know it happened to Bynum and Zack Randophlh this season)


  26. However, I have not seen even the rumor of a trade that did not involve D12, that I thought made us a contender


    I actually just sent you the newest Howard to LA rumor, which I will not discuss here. It is a three-way.

    The basic issues with your position are simple:

    1. If the Lakers did what you want them to do (kitchen sink for Howard + bad contracts) I think there is about a 50-70% chance Howard would walk.
    2. Even if he didn’t walk, the Lakers would not be favorites in any sense against OKC, MIA and CHI during the remainder of Kobe’s contract with Howard/Kobe/Turkoglu/Duhon/MWP/
    McRob etc. They need to bring in some talent WITH Howard IN the deal to have any shot to get to that level.’s new advanced stats database has some very good stuff on player profiles, including shot chart data. Playing with it today, I saw these numbers for shots in the restricted area, (at the rim) for three players:

    Fisher 866 minutes 10/30
    Blake 526 minutes 4/10
    Sessions 784 minutes 44/94

    As with any stat, there are situational caveats. The Lakers have two elite post players and they have Kobe; Cleveland has no elite post players. But it still tells you something: Sessions can get to the rim far more easily than Fisher or Blake can and he is more likely to put the ball in the basket when he gets there.

    And that is the real issue with the Lakers 1s and 3s: they are not threats. Fisher is one of the toughest guys in the NBA and is still a great leader. But he can’t play pick-and-roll, he can’t drive and kick, he can’t draw the D, and he can’t finish. All he can really do is pass the ball into the post or give it to Kobe–and the other team KNOWS that. That is why they can set up their defenses the way they do, and that puts more pressure on everybody.

    Kobe sometimes reponds to that pressure by taking 22-footers with guys draped all over him, and he should definitely do that less often. But if the D actually had to worry about the other two guys on the floor, and they would have to worry about Beasley and Sessions, that would certainly help the Lakers quite a bit.

    Enough to “get titles?” Probably not, but that statement is equally true of kitchen sink-for-Howard.

    So, WADR I think you should reconsider the use of the diminutives you always use–tweak, tinker etc–and start calling these moves what they would actually be: upgrades on the offensive side of the basketball.


  27. Robert alluded to it earlier, I think KB is definitely going to go for the All-Star career scoring record tomorrow. He needs only 19 to pass MJ, his All-Star pg is 20.3 and his last All-Star output was 37. While I don’t expect another MVP performance this year, if he was to put one up he would take the record for total All-Star MVPs outright. Be interesting to see how things go tomorrow.


  28. Nice post and nice video find; makes me nostalgic to watch Young Kobe flying all over the place back in ’98. I was in 7th grade then and played playground basketball everyday. Starting around then, whenever somebody launched a crazy fadeaway, it switched from them calling out “Jooordaan” to “Kooobeee.”


  29. Great retro footage of Kobe. So, young and desirous of being accepted.

    Kobe scores 30, his season average tomorrow.

    Look for LBJ aiming for MVP honors, also.


  30. Aaron on other Howard lovers.

    Over the life of his next contract he could lose up to $30 million. Not only because Orlando can pay him much more by retaining him but when you factor in NO STATE tax the number is huge. If you realize that someone signing with New York pays, Fed, State and City tax you see why Miami and Orlando has such an advantage.

    As a business man and former entertainment manager I would advise Howard to stay where he is and build a team around him and make considerably more money.

    Enough if the Howard junk. He is not coming here so Mitch and Jimmy get us a darn point guard so I can enjoy Laker playoff basketball.


  31. Slappy

    This is just a place for thoughts.

    Not a reprint of War and Peace.

    My finger hurts from scrawling on my iPad.



  32. Chearn

    Nope. Howard is at home. All the Bynam talk and how every good Center and stopped AB cold this year, you can expect a 20/20 and MVP performance tomorrow.

    You can book it just like I said you could book OKC giving Laker fans a reality check!


  33. I can’t wait until the trade deadline passes, so all of the Dwight Howard talk can end. He may be a better player than Bynum, but adding Howard to this roster does not address the Lakers’ key needs.

    The effect would be similar to the deal that brought in Glen Rice years ago — L.A. added a great player (who was never quite as good once he got to L.A.), but even his addition wasn’t enough to put the team over the top right away.

    Unless Howard can play point guard, small forward and center, the Lakers need a little more than an upgrade at center. Pau for a point guard who can shoot (sorry, Rondo) would be ideal. Thanks again, David Stern, for killing that dream.


  34. rr,

    I agree that Sessions is somewhat intriguing as an alternative to the players we have now due to his propensity to take the ball to the hoop.

    But to my eye at least, I’m not persuaded that is the biggest issue with respect to our inconsistent offense.

    I think there is far too much congestion inside the lane area most of the time because our “bigs” along with Kobe look to post up our smaller opponents the majority of the time we have the ball.

    Our opponents don’t respect the consistency of our perimeter game at all and pack their defenses in accordingly.

    Sessions doesn’t appear to me at least to have a particularly reliable perimeter game as compared to several other PG’s that we might obtain (Calderon, Bayless, Lowry).

    Again to my eye at least, the way to open up the middle and in large part remove the persistent double teaming of our stars is to make our opponents pay by consistently delivering on a perimeter game they have to respect.

    Beasley could help with that when he decides to show up as he has a nice stroke, although he appears to possess the ball too long at times frittering away the shot clock as Kobe does as well.

    My choice would be Houston’s Kyle Lowry via a Gasol trade if we could pry him away, and included in that would have to be additional consideration for the hole at PF that Pau’s departure would leave. The addition of Patrick Patterson in that deal would be sweet.

    If Lowry is unattainable then I would be interested in either Calderon or Bayless from Toronto and in that scenario we keep Pau.


  35. Slappy is simply reminding all the enamored fans that Drew’s knees are not to be trusted. He is obviously a great talent, but that means little to nothing if he spends half of his time on the injured list.


    Trading Pau for a good young PG is just a step in the right direction imo. It can either be part of the nuclear option or a step toward true contention (depends on the PG’s skill set and how management handles other roster decisions).

    BTW – for all regulars clamoring to talk trade scenarios and/or other topics that may not be related, I would encourage you to use other means of communication. Follow me on Twitter at and let’s play virtual GM a little.


  36. Avidon,
    And what I am saying is that is pretty rediculois when you compare Drew to other players with real knee issues. If you’re going to have knee issues you want Bynum’s knee issues.


  37. Dave,

    I focused on Sessions not because I think he is great, but because the team can actually get him. Not a Bayless fan, and Calderon doesn’t fit in the TPE. Can’t see Houston giving up Lowry.


    I think if that is an issue, a separate floating thread that can be used until the deadline would be better.


  38. If not Gasol, what 4 would best compliment Bynum within MB’s system? Just curious, and I’m not suggesting a trade as I would imagine they would be unobtainable.

    Also, how many teams have a surplus of decent guards? Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland, Clippers… anyone else?


  39. rr,

    I’ve been a regular visitor to this site for a little while now, and trade speculation is allowed about once every blue moon. While I greatly appreciate that about this site (it keeps quality of the comments higher than most other blogs) sometimes trade talk is just fun. Considering trade scenarios are a regular part of fans’ face-to-face conversations, I am all for kicking around ideas on other available communication channels.


    Bayless always intrigued me. If he can be had for anything other than Pau, it could be worth it. Low cost, plays both guard slots (though clearly better off as SG), young and athletic, showed promise of big-time scoring ability.


  40. Aaron,

    You like Bynum. We get it. We understand. We like Bynum too! That doesn’t change a few facts:
    1. He has had a couple of knee injuries.
    2. He is *not as explosive or athletic as he was pre knee injury.
    3. He is not as quick as he was before the knee injuries.
    4. He is more likely to suffer another knee injury than if he were never injured in the first place.

    Every time I see him land awkwardly or wince in pain- I cringe thinking: Is this it? Is he gone for the season again?

    Now maybe 2 and 3 can simply be attributed to the bulky knee brace, but I rather doubt it.

    Having said that- He’s all we got right now…we have to ride his talents until we don’t have those talents to ride any longer. Whether that is by injury or trade, I don’t know. All I have to say, until he is traded or rehabbing his knee again, is Bynum Smash!


  41. Not a “downside”, but I don’t see him as being as good a playmaker or finisher as Sessions is.


    SESSIONS 15.9/32.9
    BAYLESS 15.9/23.8

    Bayless is a bit better from long-range, so you would like Bayless better if you are focused on that.

    I also think that Sessions has more of a track record, and therefore Brown might actually start him and bench Fish. I don’t see that happening with Bayless. The Lakers need to get a guy Brown will start and play 30, and back-up with Blake.

    But don’t get me wrong–Sessions is not a cure-all, and Bayless would help the Lakers.


  42. Also…I’m betting right here and right now that CP3 feeds Bynum a huge friggen feast tomorrow. Why? He wants to torture Lakers fans. He wants to let everybody know just what we would have had if he were in a Lakers uniform. Bynum would be averaging 24 points a game with Paul starting for us. Kobe’s life would be so much easier right now.

    It truly almost brings a tear to my eye just thinking that CP3 was a Laker for 3 hours. I don’t wanna see a Paul/Bynum screen roll or even worse an alley-oop after Paul drives into the lane.


  43. Dave,

    Had a long Bayless post that seems to have been eaten.

    Basically, Sessions is a better playmaker/finisher than Bayless (much higher AST% 33/24) and I think Brown might start Sessions.

    Bayless is a little bit better outside shooter and would help the Lakers.


  44. rr: You are correct that I do use words like “tinker”, + “journeymen” when referencing the small trades, because that is what they are. I also use “pipedream” + “does not fix our problems” when referring to D12 – True? : ) When you combine those two, I would be remiss if i did not also consider the nuclear option as Avidon has brought up. PG is the key. I still say if we keep him or trade him in a blockbuster, we are trying to win. If we trade him for a package of lesser players – it is a disguised white flag – setting us up for a better salary position (not saying it isn’t the correct move).


  45. Avidon @43: I agree that PG is the key. As you know, any re-build is a slippery slope. The reason why I am starting to use the word “disguised”, not only for the fans, but also for Kobe. They can’t ask Kobe to bless a full re-build. A PG move that looks decent, but is really a step towards re-building, “could” be acceptable.
    All: This is why I hold on to D12. It is my way of not facing reality “yet”. However my time is running out + talking to people like Avidon brings me closer to the brutal reality.


  46. Robert please read my 38 above. Would you give up $30 million to fight the Harbor Freeway?

    I will be posting the list if NBA Legends for our event on March 14th in Long Beach for those that would like to attend. Some big names. We are working on either a hoop or a drawing to win signed basketballs and other prizes.

    Should be fun and free for all. James Worthy, Norm Nixon, Lucius Allen, Tommy Hawkins, Jamel Wilkes just to name a few. Will post list later today. Ken


  47. Ken: I understand – that is one reason I call it a pipedream. You say want to enjoy playoff basketball. So do I : ) And the way to do that is to have a chance to win it all. From your posts, it seems you have accepted the fact that we will not do that. I am not there “yet”. Talk to me on/before 03/15 : )


  48. So far from what I’ve seen, this All Star Show was a disappointing festival. I guessed they run out of gimmicks in those dunking contests, the winners on 3 pt shooting was unspectacular because participants were more on a rest mode than on a competitive mode. I don’t see the face of MAD….David Stern, although the hectic schedule of NBA this year b2b2b2b games greatly influenced the performance of the athletes in this All Star Game. Even those young rising stars were just flatly tired playing serious basketball. In the past, it used to be an All Star competition of the old NBA legendary stars and the main event which is the All Stars itself. Years later, the marketing wizards added more gimmicks on the dunk contests until it became myopic, childish in trying to reinvent an ordinary dunk. In the first place, what can you really do in reinventing a dunk. Just my two cents….


  49. No I do believe deals are being worked on and will be made. I have a problem wasting time with bad players. There should have been a plan B when Paul deal fell through. West would have had one!

    Anyone with a brain knew we needed a PG and Artest is a loose canyon who can’t shoot. Reacting to Odom sulk was stupid. That was a live trade chip with a short contract that is worth a Sessions or more.

    Either this NEW management is trying to hit the lottery again like the almost Paul deal and play your pipe dream game for Howard or or or they are just plain stupid. 11th best record at the half way point sounds like stupid to me.


  50. For those who don’t for some reason understand that we are the favorites to land Dwight… Here is a blurb from a NYC paper that suggested trading Carmelo and Chandler for Dwight…

    “Anthony and Chandler for Howard and Hedo Turkoglu might be the best non-Andrew Bynum trade we’ll see. ”

    This is because the best the Magic can get for Dwight is Bynum and its not close amd everyone knows it. So if the Magic want to get something in return for Howard and not let him walk this summer they will be knocking on the Lakers door… Not the other way around. People forget that the Lakers have much of the bargaining power here. Our all star starting Center isn’t asking to be traded.

    On a similar note… The Lakers have not traded Bynum yet. They have been offered superstar players for the last six years and he is still on the team and every non trade it has seemed been a great non trade. We all make fun of Jim Buss amd his staff but they have been the ones being right more often than wrong. As Jim Buss said this summer… If we can trade Bynum straight up for Dwight Howard it only proves what a great draft pick he was and how holding onto him up until this point was the right decision.


  51. Ken,
    What kind of trade chip is Odom now? We traded him when he was at his most valuable. If you think Lamar is playing bad because he is sulking you are mistaken. People don’t get flabby and out of shape because of seven days of being sad. The Lakers didn’t trade him because he asked to be traded… They have never done that before. They aren’t stupid. They traded him because they knew how out of shape he was given his history of laying on beaches all offseason, his age, and the eye ball test. I mean how quickly did they pull off that deal with the Mavs. They couldn’t even afford to have him be seen at one preseason game or have him come to practice or people would see his old flabby body in a sleeveless basketball jersey. The only thing we could say about the Lamar trades over the summer is “man the Lakers pulled a fast one over the Hornets and then the Mavericks.” The Lakers couldn’t trade Odom right now for a bag of sunflower seeds.


  52. To add to Aaron’s point, Kupchak also had to move LO before LO calmed down and rescinded his trade demands, which of course would have happened within a day or two, especially with Pau manning up and attending practice. Just like with Shaq, the Lakers found a tricky way to move a beloved player while selling Laker fans on the idea that it was the players idea and they were just reluctantly going along with it because they are so selflessly accommodating. In Shaq’s case, Mitch prodded Shaq by repeatedly wounding his sense of pride in Mitch’s postgame press conferences (tellingly: when have we seen those since, btw??) until Shaq demanded a trade; with Lamar, it happened organically in that LO’s feelings were hurt by the CP3 deal and he asked for for trade on his own, but for Ken and co. to argue that Mitch traded LO out of some kind of knee-jerk reaction and was too naive or impetuous to even consider talking LO off the ledge flies in the face with the entire history of how the Lakers front office has always worked.

    Mitch saw an opportunity to sell high while not having to make the Lakers morally accountable to fans (or to Kobe) for dropping a beloved player, and he moved quickly. It makes me sad as an LO fan, but as a Lakers fan, it was a great piece of GMing. Buy low; sell high.


  53. Invited Guest on March 14th at Kavikas Resturant 95 Aquarium Way Long Beach March 14th 7pm to 12pm.
    Legends of the NBA Event

    Lucius Allen, Michael Cage, Mark Campanaro, Darwin Cook, David Cooke, Dan
    Issel, Glen McDonald, Louie Nelson, Norm Nixon, Reggie Theus, Ernest
    Vandeweghe, James Worthy, Kim Hughes, Jamaal Wilkes, David Greenwood, Flynn
    Robinson, Jerry Chambers, Larry Spriggs, John Williams, Freeman Williams,
    Brian Taylor, Eric Money, Danny Schayes, Tommy Hawkins, Shawn Rooks, Kenny
    Fields, Tracy Murray, Derek Strong, Jamaal Sampson, Sam Williams and Rick
    Darnell Co-Presidents. Duane Cooper, Pooh Richardson, and many other former
    players. Ed Ratlief, Tony Farmer

    You can email be to be on the list if you like at


  54. Aaron @59: I agree that we are the fav amongst the teams, however the real favorite is that the Magic pull a Cleveland. Emotional ASG, followed by a 2 week lovefest in the press. The owners get to save face and then DH gets to choose between Cuban and staying. On a side note – it is a little ironic that I am a D12 table pounder and I am skeptical, and you are a AB fanatic and you think it is likely to happen : )


  55. rr: You are correct that I do use words like “tinker”, + “journeymen” when referencing the small trades, because that is what they are.


    No–that is not what they are. I responded to this by email.


  56. Aaron,

    I think you are overrating how people around the league see Bynum, and underrating DeVos’s fear of the “bad optics” of putting Superman 2 in a Lakers uniform.


  57. rr,
    I am probably not based on the star pkayers offered for Bynum’s services and how quickly and easily we have said no up until Dwight Howard became available.


  58. An entire post on the 98 All Star Game and not one mention on how awesome it was that there were 4 Lakers on that squad. Shaq, Nick, Eddie, Kobe.

    Man, I really wish we didnt trade Eddie for Glen Rice before Phil got to town…