A Look At Crunch Time Against The Blazers

Darius Soriano —  March 25, 2012

The Lakers must find a way to diversify their late game offense if they’re going to be successful scoring the ball. Running simple down screen actions for Kobe and/or asking him to create off the dribble isn’t a strategy that will work often enough for it to be the only plan of attack. It puts the Lakers in a position where they’re too dependent on one person to score for their offense to be successful, and beyond that it’s asking him to do so mostly on his own. And while Kobe’s always seemed willing to operate within this type of structure, it’s not the most prudent way of attacking a geared up defense. Of course, missing Bynum surely hurt them as he’s become a very good late game option in the low post. And with his full compliment of players, who knows what Brown calls or what the players decide to run if given the chance. But last night was an example of the Lakers being too predictable. And in the end, that must change or they’ll be too easy to defend on these critical possessions.

The paragraph above was taken from the preview for the Mavs game after the Lakers stumbled down the stretch against the Rockets, losing a double digit lead on their way to a difficult to stomach loss. Losing that type of lead and then dropping the game is rare for the Lakers, but the way their offense performed and the tactics they used to try to score the ball were not.

Too often this year – and in years past – the Lakers have gone to a Kobe-centric offense to produce points. Now to be fair, the Lakers have won a lot of games (and multiple championships) using this strategy and so to knock it completely would be foolish. However, as I implied above, it would also be foolish to only rely on this approach if other options were available.

After that game I decided that the next time the Lakers had a game that was close in the final five minutes that I’d chart possessions, see what the team ran, and look at how successful they were. The Blazers game offered that chance as with five minutes left in the game, the Lakers led by only a single point after Wesley Matthews hit a spot up three-pointer to make the score 87-86 Lakers. Below is what unfolded down the stretch (note: the time remaining is when the Lakers start their possession):

  • 4:52 remaining: Sessions brings the ball up the middle of the floor and calls for a P&R with McRoberts. Sessions doesn’t really use the screen and penetrates to his left hand, probing for an opening. Nothing is there and he kicks to Kobe in the strong side corner. Kobe dribbles out, hits Sessions with a pass on the wing, who then enters the ball to Bynum in the post. After Sessions’ man digs down on the post, Bynum passes to Sessions, who steps into what would by a rhythm three-pointer. However, on the weak side of the floor, Barnes saw that his man was ball watching and made a smart cut behind him. Sessions, while in the air ready to shoot the three pointer, hit Barnes in stride and Matt finished an easy lay in against a flat-footed defense. Lakers lead 89-86.
  • 4:16 remaining: After the Blazers turn the ball over on their next possession, Sessions grabs the ball and races up court only to find the Blazers had done a good job of getting back in transition. He slows down, waits for his mates to get up court, and then attacks the paint behind Bynum – sort of like a RB following his fullback through the hole – who is diving the front of the rim. Sessions doesn’t find any daylight and pulls the ball back. On his retreat, he finds a trailing Kobe and passes it to him. Kobe then attacks hard off the dribble against his man (who is off balance because he was retreating, then tried to close out on Kobe on the catch) and draws a foul when elevating for a foul line jumper. Kobe makes one of two from the line and the Lakers lead 90-86.
  • 3:35 remaining: On the next Blazers’ possession they hit a three-pointer to cut the Lakers lead to one, and Sessions brings the ball up the middle of the floor. He calls for a P&R with Pau, and as before, he goes left, but doesn’t see an opening and passes to Kobe on the strong side wing. Kobe dribbles to his right and Pau comes over and sets another ball screen to try and free Kobe, who then threatens the paint and dishes to Barnes on the right side. Barnes then dribbles hard to the paint past his man trying to close out and dishes to Gasol, who had floated to the left corner after setting the pick on Kobe. Pau shoots a 16 footer from the baseline that misses. However, because the Blazers were in a scramble mode on D, McRoberts sneaks into the paint and taps the ball back high to Kobe, who secures the offensive rebound.
  • 3:18 remaining: After the reset, Kobe hit Pau on the mid-left block for a post up. Because the defense had scrambled, the Blazers were cross matched and they rushed a double team to Gasol. Pau read the defense and made the right read – a skip pass to Sessions, who rose up and buried a three pointer that he could step into with zero pressure on him. That make puts the Lakers up 93-89.
  • 2:38 remaining: On the Blazers’ next play they forced a switch and had McRoberts guarding Felton. Knowing he could beat Josh off the dribble, Felton attacked the paint, saw Gasol stepping up and shot a floater that missed short. Pau grabbed the rebound and hit McRoberts with an outlet pass up the right side of the floor. Once in the front court, McRoberts hits Kobe on the right wing who then dribbles the ball up high and calls Sessions over to run a 2/1 P&R. Kobe draws both defenders and then passes to Sessions on the right wing. Sessions, who is completely uncovered, attacks the paint hard, draws a defender, and then drops off a great pass to a hard cutting Barnes right down the middle of the lane. Barnes bobbles the pass but finishes a lay in once he controls the ball. Lakers now lead 95-89.
  • 2:00 minutes remaining: Kobe brings the ball up the right side of the floor after Crawford hit two FTs to cut the lead to four. Kobe calls Sessions over for another P&R, goes left, and hits Gasol above the three-point line on the right side of the floor. Not in a position to do anything, Pau passes right back to Kobe, who then attacks the middle of the floor but faces a double team at the FT line after coming to a jump stop. Kobe kicks the ball to Pau, who gives the ball to Sessions after he rotated back to the top of the key after the play had broken down. Sessions calls out an action and tries a pass to Kobe at the right elbow that gets knocked away. Kobe chases the ball down, but with the shot clock running down ends up trying to draw a foul when forcing up a three pointer. Luckily, Kobe’s shot hit the front of the rim, bounced straight back to where Sessions was standing, and the Lakers secure the offensive rebound.
  • 1:35 remaining: Sessions calls out a play with the ball above the top of the key. He signals Pau to go to the right block and tells Kobe to move from the right wing to the left corner. After Sessions can’t hit Pau in the post, he swings the ball to Ron, who then enters the ball to Bynum on the left block. Felton immediately leaves Sessions to double team and Bynum makes the good, quick pass to Sessions on the right side of the floor. With the D rotating to him, Sessions hits Ron, who then works off the dribble to the FT line and hits a pull up jumper over his man. The Lakers now lead 97-91.
  • 1:00 remaining: After a quick P&R got LaMarcus Aldridge a lay in, Sessions brings the ball up the middle of the floor. He finds that the Blazers are in a zone (a D that had bothered the Lakers all night). Facing the two guard Blazer front, he and Pau set up a quick P&R and Sessions dribbles to his right. Pau then sealed the guard he screened, called for the ball, and Sessions hit him a step below the FT line. Pau turned over his left shoulder and hit an easy ten foot jumper over a player he had a twelve inch advantage on. The Laker lead is 99-93 and the Blazers call a time out.

Over the last 49 seconds of the game, the Blazers run a variety of plays to try and get baskets and when most of them fail, they end up fouling the Lakers. Barnes and Kobe take a combined six FTs down the stretch (making four), with a Wesley Matthews three pointer producing the rest of the points this game would see. The Lakers end up winning 103-96.

The final tallies are quite impressive. In the four minutes before it became a foul fest, the Lakers put up ten points on eight “plays” (but only six trips down the floor). On their two misses they grabbed offensive rebounds and on the secondary possessions scored five points. They ran multiple actions, spread the ball around with no single player taking more than two shots, and weren’t predictable in any way.

After the game, the players and coaches spoke about how defenses must now prepare for more diversity from the Lakers. Not only do they have to worry about the actions to get Kobe the ball, the post up actions for Pau and Bynum, and the P&R sets that Kobe runs, but they must also prepare for the P&Rs that Sessions runs and the transition game that he brings to L.A.’s attack. Against Portland, the Lakers showed that the diversity is not just a part of their normal game plan, but part of their crunch time game plan too. And if that continues, the Lakers will be a much better team down the stretch of games and will be more difficult to beat. In other words, watch out.

Darius Soriano

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to A Look At Crunch Time Against The Blazers

  1. Great thing in these plays are multiple players had touches each possession. Such a luxury to have more than one perimeter creator. All the elite teams had more than 1 now do the Lakers.


  2. Off topic, but I sat w/ the K-Bros for the first part of their podcast the other day. Listen if you’d like:



  3. When I started reading this thread I thought of all the criticism Lebron was taking because he wouldn’t ‘take the last shot’.

    Well, Kobe does take the last shot; he takes it so much we all complain that the Lakers have no diversity.

    It would seem these two great players have no way to win – people are going to criticize them regardless what they do. The solution: Ignore everything everybody says, outside your own organization – especially fans.


  4. Darius,
    I listened to the podcast yesterday… As always good job. You didn’t get as much time as you should have actually. As Kobe and the late game offense goes… As I wrote Friday night… I think Kobe finnally discovered “The Secret”. Read Bill Simmons book for an explanation. But it’s just that point in a great players career (Magic was born with it) when that light bulb goes off on how to make the players on your team better without even drawing double teams. I think Kobe just had that moment in the second half against the Blazers. Of course his fully formed Lakers roster made it easier for him to have that single moment of clarity. But I will be on record after stating that LeBron was the best player in the game for the last few years… I think for the next two years or so Kobe will again be the best player in the NBA from last game on. Basically I think Kobe from this point on is gonna play like he does on the national team or all star team. He is gonna okay shooting guard and attack off the ball and spotting up more often and trust his teammates to do the right thing.


  5. From Previous:
    Edwin: Nice post
    Darius: I don’t imply to “know” what they could have done. None of us know what the players, coaches, or FO is thinking. Does that make everything we say “disingeniuous”? I thought we were not supposed to direct comments like that at each other : )
    In any case – what “we could have done” was use either the Sasha or LO TPE. We had chances to do so. We “could” have kept Shannan. The only benefit of not doing these things was financial, which is the Buss perogative. It is also a fan’s perogative to complain about it : )


  6. you sound just like the voice i hear when i read the pre-games


  7. It’s important to note that leading up to that last 5 minutes – Kobe had missed his last 11 shots.

    Kobe was likely willing to play the decoy role in crunch time because it was pretty obvious his shot was out of rhythm.

    It’s unclear whether (1) Kobe will be willing to do this if he has had a decent shooting night or (2) Kobe will be willing to be so uninvolved in the flow of the offense in a big playoff game.

    I don’t doubt that he is willing to make the right play – but I do doubt that he believes the right play will be to use him as mere decoy – only getting the ball with 5 seconds left on the clock as a matter of last resort – in the last five minutes in a close game as much as he did against Portland.

    Especially if the other teams star – like a Chris Paul, or Durant – is lighting up the Lakers D on the other end.


  8. Aaron: I never got the notion that Kobe never made his teammates better or he didn’t trust them. I remember those Kings and Spurs series in the early 2000s Kobe dominated those and made plays for everyone. Kobe has always made his teammates better he just was the only perimeter creator on the team. He’s made iconic assists that have been the sole reason the Lakers advanced or won the finals.

    Look at the Legends of the game and their perimeter mates. Jordan had a top 50 player in Pippen, Hodges both in their primes, Isiah Thomas had another ball handler in Dumars, Magic paired with Worthy, Scott, Nixon. Wilt had West, Baylor, Russell had Cousy, Havelick. Duncan had Parker, Ginobli, Avery. Most of these players played together in their primes. Kobe’s best PG was Fisher who is a pure jumpshooter never been able to take someone off the dribble his best SF was Devean George or a washed up Artest. So if Kobe was given another ball handler to play alongside of I see the same success those players had.

    All this stems from 04 finals, Game 7 vs Suns and 05-07 Kobe years when he played with Smush, Kwame, Caron wasn’t the player he is toady those years, a not yet matured Odom, Vlad Rad. The 2nd best player on those teams were Luke. So Kobe gets a bad rap in the selfish department because of those years. Everyone that has played with Kobe has been a better player than when they left.


  9. It is just very refreshing to see more options in the late game sequence with this team.

    It seemed almost too predictable and defenses honing in on that was part of the reason the team wasn’t doing as well in crunch time.

    The team is a threat from virtually anyone now, even though Kobe will still probably get the final shot.

    Nothing wrong with that, but it’s still even better to get the higher percentage winning shot!



  10. After seeing a number of ways in which Kobe has dealt with the talent around him, I tend to think he adapts his game to what his team has to offer. Early in his career, Kobe could create for others, and often did, but when it came to winning time, he let Shaq’s presence and ability open opportunities that he either used to score or swung to the teammates with good shots. This netted 3 chips.

    I think 2004 was a huge mess. The talent around Kobe, Kobe’s angst over his legal issues, and his having come to his prime allowed for him to hijack the season even as they got as far as the Finals. Detroit managed to capitalize on Kobe’s mess and one wonders if that would have happened if Malone were healthy. Point being, my own take of the Kobe years has been that 2004 is the only year that Kobe took over in what might be considered a selfish manner. His reputation then took a hit because for the next few years as he continued to hijack the team, but justifiably so. Until Pau got here, Kobe was doing most of the offensive lifting out of necessity. When Pau got here Kobe was able to let the big-man’s presence change his approach, but he was still the primary creator and primary scorer. Yet, he made the right play often enough to have made 3 of the last four Finals and win two.

    Now, with a second creator on the outside, I have little doubt Kobe has already adapted his game to what the talent on his team will offer. He did it during the Shaq years, barring the 2004 anomaly. He took on the added burden when he was far and away the best player on the team until Pau came. He adjusted to Pau’s talent. He filled a whole other role on the Olympic team and won gold. He has already won two chips as the main man on the outside, but now has the PG side-kick that lends a new dimension to the offense and he has already shown a willingness to grow into these new capabilities.

    What I find surprising is how much Sessions seems to have elevated the games of our SFs. If that continues, and health maintained, wow. This is going to be a fun run in the POs.


  11. #6. No, it doesn’t make everything people say disingenuous. However, when what’s said is “We may have tried – but not hard enough”, it is disingenuous. You don’t know how hard they tried. You don’t know what deal was on the table. No one does for sure. To imply that they didn’t try hard enough removes any threshold for what is or is not a good deal and replaces it with the logic that because the TPE wasn’t used the team didn’t try hard enough. That’s also why I call that type of logic disingenuous.

    If you wanted them to use the TPE and because they didn’t you’re not happy, okay. That position ignores a lot of aspects of deal making at this level and ignores that we’re not privy to the details of discussions, but okay be upset. But to say they didn’t try hard enough implies you *do* know what was going on behind the scenes. That you were privy to deals on the table, how many calls were made or not made, what deals were turned down at every stage of the conversations. And, again, that’s disingenuous.


  12. Kevin,
    I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear. I should have been. I never said Kobe never made his teammates better. I said he never made his teammates better besides all the defensive attention he gets. Kobe has made hundreds of millions of dollars fr Detek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton, Devon Goerge, and Lamar Odom to a lesser extent. But he did so only because of the defensive attention he received. “The Secret” is the ability to understand how to make your teammates and your team better without even drawing double teams.


  13. Kevin,
    And of course he also made his teammates better by watching how hard he works and prepares outside of games. I’m obviously just talking about on court. And I beleieve Kobe has changed forever during Friday nights game. From now on I think he will be a different player. Of course it started with kobe seeing Andrew Bynum as the dominant player he is and finished last game with seeing Ramon run the offense perfectly and how everyone played better because of it. But we shall see. Only time will tell.


  14. Cdog

    I had some stats that I can’t find. They pointed out how on nationally televised games Kobe was averaging 5 more shots in the 4th quarter then locally televised games and his percentage in those games he shot more was lower.

    You can read into that what you choose but it does raise some questions.


  15. Darius: We did not re-sign Shannon. The Sasha TPE was allowed to expire. The LO TPE has not yet been used. Those are facts. If you choose to think that financial reasons had nothing to do with those items, then that is your opinion. My “opinion” is that if MK did not have financial restrictions, then he could have done things differently, + we would have a better team now. This will be an even bigger issue in the yrs to come – so we will see whose opinion ends up being correct : )


  16. PAni: Agree with everything you said. Great way to put Kobe’s challenges and his adapting to his teammates throughout the years. 04 really is the only blemish he wanted MVP that finals.

    Aaron: What qualifies as making your teammates better? What’s that secret you speak of? I wouldn’t say assists passing doesn’t make someone better just fills box scores. Kobe’s makes players better by elvating their play like all the greats do. They follow his lead on the court. PJ had a lot to do with that but 16 seasons in Kobe isn’t just starting to make players better.


  17. 17 – It’s the Bill Simmons “Secret.” Clearly it must be basketball fact.


  18. Not sure where I said that money has had nothing to do with Lakers’ moves. In fact, I know I didn’t say that. What I did say was that when talking about spending money, it’s important to try and take into account the quality of the players the team can acquire while also trying to sort out what deals were on the table.

    If you think re-upping Shannon Brown would have been the wise choice, okay. I’d disagree with that considering the quality of the player and what he signed for (3.5 million this year). If you’ve kept up with what he’s done with Phoenix this year – 40% from the field, 32% from three, 11.4 PER – I’d lean towards that being money well saved.

    As for the TPE’s do you know what deals were on the table to use them? Can you accurately speak to what the pros and cons of what those moves would have been from a financial standpoint and improving the team? I don’t begrudge the team for not spending money if it’s not money well spent.

    Now, do I wish the team spent money on very good players? Yes, but I think they’ve done that for the most part. I also feel that they’ve done a pretty good job of getting out from under contracts that would burden them next season in Walton and Fisher’s deals. Of course not all deals are about money and I’ve spoken against deals that have shed salary when I thought it could be damaging against the team in other ways (chemistry, leadership, etc).

    Fwiw, I think the LO TPE will be difficult to use unless the Lakers have the opportunity to get a really good player without having to give up anything. Teams are usually hesitant to give up good players with no baggage solely for salary relief. However, if a deal like that pops up and the FO thinks it’s a player that can really help the team AND is worth the money, I’d bet they’d look to acquire that player. But, again, this goes back to my comment in the last thread, the guys *fans* think are those types of players don’t always coincide with who the front office thinks those players are.

    And, considering how a lot of fans evaluate players, I’m okay with that.


  19. IMO, the Lamar TPE was being held specifically for an acquisition of a potential second player that would have been necessary to complete the acquisition of a superstar (i.e. using the TPE to get Jameer Nelson in a related D-12 trade). I’m very skeptical that the team will use it to acquire a piece in a standalone trade.

    @15, Ken – That’s a statistic that may not look good on its own, but when you take into account the fact that the Lakers are more likely to play a good team when the game’s nationally televised, the stat becomes more logical.


  20. Darius,
    Perhaps it is just nostalgia taking over, but it does seem the bloggers on FB&G were not as focused on simply being critical, regardless of the facts, in the 2006/08 timeframe. Of course we had our troll, but most were fairly ready to analyze things – rather than just spout an opinion.

    The value of this site is that opinions are backed by some facts and views are somewhat nuanced. The ‘He’s selfish’ or ‘They are bums’ arguments are tiresome and add nothing to our knowledge.

    I certainly have my own opinions, but I come here to learn things I hadn’t thought of – not to have a blogger repeat the same thing over and over.


  21. Dude: I agree with your entire first paragraph @20.
    Darius: Thanks for the response.
    “from a financial standpoint and improving the team?”
    My point was that we really should not have a financial standpoint unless we are re-building. If we are over the cap, it does not matter how far we are over, from a “basketball” standpoint. It is my “opinion” that the entire team salary + taxes we pay are a mere footnote to the Laker income statement. We don’t have access to that – but as a spoiled fan, I can guess what it looks like : )


  22. @Craig W – Are you referring to the FB&G bloggers or the FB&G commenters?


  23. From a superficial glance, I do find it curious that the financial reins are being tightened (if you buy into this narrative, which I’ve begun doubting lately) for this simple reason:

    While revenue sharing is estimated at $50 million a year, we’re also bringing in an extra $200 million/year with the TV deal. Even with revenue sharing, that’s a net gain of $150 mil/year for a team that profited about $40 million last year, almost quadrupling the teams profit.

    It’s not my money, and I understand this team is the Buss family’s primary income, but from the outside looking in, it makes more sense to be less worried about money now than three years ago.

    This has me leaning more towards the reality that Jim Buss isn’t cutting costs by whatever means necessary, but is working more along his father’s lines of prudent spending. I think Buss saw what happened with Sasha and Luke, and decided not re-signing Shannon was in the best long-term interest of the team. I tend to agree; Brown was serviceable, but brought a lot of headaches as well.

    So I think the narrative that we’ve become a Scrooge-run team is overblown. I don’t see a large body of evidence to support that yet. It could be there, I just don’t think we’ve seen enough data. We’ll find out this offseason and in the upcoming years.

    Edit – I should add, however, that I’m talking specifically about the roster. I still see little to no rationale for cleaning house and getting rid of Ronnie Lester and most of our scouts. I’m not really not sure how to defend that, to be honest, and I’ll admit that was the first thing that had me really concerned about young Buss.


  24. Snoopy: Nice post – Very well put. This discussion started in the last thread (Darius – I promise, I will not take it into the game thread). If you review, what I said was that the Lakers are the Yankees of the NBA + should spend accordingly. So, we are far from scooges, but as a spoiled fan, with our HUGE income, I demand nothing less than spending as much as is legal under the NBA rules : )


  25. Snoopy,
    Not to kill your math (and this really doesn’t, but for accuracy’s sake), but the Lakers aren’t brining in an “extra 200 million”. They’re brining in an extra X million that is the difference between what their current deal is and what their TWC deal is – which will kick in next year.

    Based off what the FO has said in the past year, I think their approach is still to field the most competitive team they can while still being somewhat fiscally responsible. As I’ve always said, it’s not my money so I’m in no position to tell them how to spend it.

    That said, I’ve also heard (and I think Lazenby has said this) that one of the major benefits of the TWC deal is to aid in the estate tax bill the Buss family will have to pay when Dr. Buss is no longer with us. Because the Lakers are truly the family business, I think this will shape their mindset on spending in the future but not so dramatically that it’s toned down a great deal from what’s presently the case. Though, I think this must be repeated, the Lakers have been in the habit of spending on players that can help them compete for a championship, not just spending to spend. They’ve seemingly had no issues forking out huge contracts to elite players like Kobe, Shaq, or even Gasol. They’ve also rewarded core players on championship rosters (like Odom, Fisher, etc, etc). But I don’t expect them to spend like the Knicks did under Isaiah. Spending that much money on a middling team is not smart.


  26. Darius,

    Good points, I was over-simplifying. I actually asked a few threads ago if the numbers were accurate and didn’t receive a response, so that helps. For curiosity’s sake, does anyone know how much they bring in annually with their current TV deal?

    The estate tax is the X-factor. I’ve only read a little about it, so I have no idea about its magnitude.

    Your last paragraph basically sums up what I was trying to say, just more eloquently. The Lakers under Jerry Buss have always had the mindset of being relatively prudent financially, and at the same time spending when doing so puts a team into contention (similar to what Cuban calls being “opportunistic”). My general point is just that I don’t see Jim Buss as radically shifting the philosophy of his father (a conclusion many jumped to after the Odom trade).


  27. Snoop: The Laker haul from the new Network deal is $4 billion over 20 years or roughly $200 million as you stated. The current Fox West deal is roughly $30 million per year. My math says that is plus $170 million. Under the old CBA we paid $20 million in taxes. New CBA + rev sharing, perhaps as much as $65 million. That is minus $45. So net the 2 together + we are $125 million to the better. More than enough to spend an extra $10-$20 million to get a title : )


  28. As I’ve always said, it’s not my money so I’m in no position to tell them how to spend it.

    The Lakers have the 2nd-highest ticket prices in the NBA, and the fanbase has supported the team very well for many years. That is part of the picture as well.


  29. #29. I certainly agree. Just as I think it’s fair to point out that the franchise has produced a lot of wins and great basketball that draws those fans. This isn’t NY where the Knicks have been largely irrelevant, losing more games than they win, yet still charging crazy amounts for tickets.


  30. The best way to protect estate from estate taxes is through life insurance. You pay the premiums while the insurance company covers the estimated estate taxes of the deceased.

    Is Dr. Jerry Buss not fully insured and use the TWC deal as the source of funds? That’s a bad financial advice. Revenue will be added to the estate while an irrevocable life insurance will not be counted as part of the estate. In essence, the life insurance will yield only pennies for the dollar of coverage.

    PS. Last but not the least just my observation….we are not commenters, bloggers or whatever. I don’t earn a living out of blogging, I’m here to join my fellow Laker fans in conversation about my passion which are the Lakers. Don’t blame the messengers for their opinions. There is nobody here who has the monopoly of correctness in everything. Everything is an opinion and speculation. History will be the sole arbiter of what is being argued today.

    If those old residents or the moderator himself in FB&G do not welcome new fans, please say so in advance and let’s be clear in discrimination of people that you do not wish to read, post or air their views. It is also tiring to read inhospitable posts, insults and tirades address to posters.

    If somebody ridicules or makes an opinion about Laker players, owners, managers that is just a fair comment under the law because they are public figures.