Friday Forum

Darius Soriano —  May 25, 2012

The Lakers are now a team in transition. Transitioning from playoffs to off-season; transitioning from their current roster to one that will look different the next time they take the floor. That will require some difficult decisions to be made, where variables beyond player performance will matter. The Lakers will have luxury tax payments, revenue sharing payments, and new collective bargaining rules to navigate when reshaping this team. Mitch Kupchak has a real challenge ahead of him. History says he’s one of the few GM’s around the league that’s up to it. Whether or not that proves true remains to be seen but I’d rather be in a position where confidence is there than the alternative.

Speaking of Kupchak, Brian Kamanetzky has the details of his media session after the player exit interviews concluded. Some very good information from the GM who understands there’s change on the horizon.

Over at ESPN Los Angeles, Dave McMenamin has some comments from Kupchak’s mentor – ¬†Jerry West – who also acknowledges the Lakers simply aren’t a true contender right now.

Kevin Ding also looks at the Lakers contender status and notes that the days of simply spending more to get there are probably over while not counting the Lakers out from making a big move.

Of course, payroll is a product of player salaries. Over at Silver Screen & Roll, Acturial Sound takes a look at which players lived up to their earnings with their play this year.

In some straight news items of the day, Mike Trudell of has all the information you need on Kobe Bryant’s selection to the All-NBA 1st team and Andrew Bynum’s selection to the 2nd team.

Over at GQ Myles Brown has been chatting with super fan (and Lakers season ticket holder who never roots for the Lakers) Jimmy Goldstein (even if you don’t think you know who Jimmy is, you know who Jimmy is). In their latest convo, Goldstein talks about his travel these playoffs, Kobe, Mike Brown asking him questions at post game pressers, and more. Good stuff.

Finally, this is a must watch video. Gotye parody meets Kobe Bryant. I’d say more, but I’d ruin it.

Where the Lakers actually go from here is anyone’s guess. They have several routes they can travel but a lot of what they do will depend on the market for players, payroll and tax concerns, and their internal analysis of their own players. This will all play out over time. Unfortunately, the Lakers have a bit

Darius Soriano

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  1. I love Ding’s takes as usual. Agree with just about everything he says.

    Lakers willingness to take on the unknown and calculated gambles also means they’re not afraid of failure. I like how that mirrors Kobe’s mentality. Succeed because unafraid to fail.

    However that of course means there will be failures too. The Mike Brown hire was a calculated gamble. Ultimately it may fail. But I respect that Lakers are willing to go all or nothing. They just won’t do it haphazardly.


  2. Ding’s article talks about how the Lakers will not be able to spend their way out of this. That is correct for two reasons:
    1) Basketball reasons and the CBA: There is a tight cap, tight restrictions on restructuring contracts, and very few exceptions (like the MLE)
    2) Profit reasons: There is nothing preventing us from paying tax, paying all the revenue sharing, and spending as much as we legally can to improve the roster. Nothing preventing us except for the driver of the Buss.


  3. For the first time in a very long time it looks like there isn’t a quick answer for the Lakers.

    The depth of the salary situation is too great for a single transaction to right the ship.

    It’s hard to imagine they won’t ultimately figure it out, but, right now, Lakers fans have certainly seen brighter days.


  4. Don’t really get who Goldstein is aside from some rich guy who dresses flashy so everyone notices him and uses his wealth to make connections. There’s a lot of NBA fans who’d attend that many games if they had the money to do so. Don’t blame Kobe for ignoring a guy who roots against the Lakers and yet has courtside seats to every game, I’d flip him off before every game.

    Am I just bitter? I’d answer that, but I think my ramen is almost done…


  5. Snoop: You are right. The 100 section is filled with guys like that. The Lakers play on a neutral court unless they “entertain” the 100 section.