Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  May 30, 2012

We’re at that place again, the one that most of the league occupies this time of the year – watching the other guys play. I had a full week of funk but I’ve been able to get into the Spurs/OKC series. It’s good basketball is what it is, the Spurs are making a convincing run at it. Yesterday we looked at the triptych of Kobe, Andrew and Pau. The general perception is that Pau’s the odd man out, for all the obvious reasons. Management wasn’t looking to stay pat at the beginning of this season and that figures to pick right back up again.

It just so happens the Kamenetzy brothers and Ramona Shelburne also did a 3 on 3 about looking ahead yesterday. Well, Emile. J.M. and I were emailing about it hours before the mothership posted their fancy-like video technology. It just took us all afternoon to actually type the words.

Paul Shirley at the Flip Collective wrote a piece I liked, comparing the idea of Kobe, Pau and Andrew co-existing to a relationship with a girlfriend that didn’t work out.

C,A, Clark at Silver Screen and Roll says nobody cares where Pau wants to play. Well, I care where Pau wants to play. But Chris makes a good point, there’s no leverage when it comes to where Gasol himself would like to be – he’s a chip and if there’s a trade that matters to the Lakers, he’ll be tossed onto the table.

Mark Medina at the LA Times writes about a racehorse being scratched from a race. See, Kobe and Pau bought shares in this nag for some charitable auction back when they were buds. And, racehorses scratch quite frequently, it’s the terminology for some health concern or another cropping up before a race, causing the horse to be withdrawn. They’re surprisingly fragile creatures for being so strong and fast.

Mark’s article about Andrew is also worth reading. He looks at the pros and cons of a continued investment in the mercurial big man. If you’re starting to get a one-note feeling about this thread, get used to it. There’s going to be a steady diet of Kobe/Andrew/Pau discussion until this thing plays out. It could happen quick, and it could happen real slow.

Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie, reports on Metta World Peace’s continued work for mental health awareness, complete with a video that feels straight out of Nick Kids, 101.

Gil Alcaraz at Lakers Nation reports on the Lakers drafting at #60 this year. So, there’s that.

I’m a big fan of the Spurs blog, Pounding the Rock. Here’s Aaron Preine, writing a morning rehash after last night’s game. OKC is in a two down hole, and we all know those are tough to dig out of.

This last bit is simple self-serving, because y’all know I’m not above it. A few years back, fellow commenter exhelodrvr and I had a running series of exchanges about fringe sports, over at the Land O’Lakers. I don’t know why they instituted the policy of erasing old thread comments, that stuff was gold. At any rate, I never forgot about bog snorkelling.

As the cute little guy with cloven hooves used to say, “that’s all folks!”

- Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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92 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Dave M: The Kbros 3-3 also differed a bit from the FB&G one in that they were talking about the future and options. The FB&G one was talking about the past (favorite moments from last year). The Lakers did not have too many of those : ) Perhaps you guys could do another one where the questions are pitched in overhand? : )

    Anyone who wants to laugh, listen to Ramona Shelburne on the KBros video. Her quote: “I don’t want to hear about money – figure it out” Now there is intelligence. She clearly knows nothing about the cap or anything else about the CBA. At least when I complain about the FO I throw in some specifics like the unused TPE’s. She is acting like it is 1982 and we can just sign whoever we want, whenever we want.

  2. jumping onto some topics from the last thread: the Spurs big 3 did always compliment eachother well and had actually won titles together in the past. Bynum was never a key contributor on the past 3 Laker finals appearances due to his injuries. The big 3 for those seasons was Kobe, Gasol, and Lamar, the Lamar want back in a bad way.

    Maybe…. just maybe, we can get LO back on the cheap, move Bynum for some nice pieces (Kyle Lowry sounds really nice), and focus on building a top 5 bench around our former big 3, maybe by holding onto Sessions and Hill.

    I know it’s sort of a pipe dream, everybody saw how bad he was last season and no doubt he has personal issues, but if you can get him cheap… I don’t see why you wouldn’t take that shot and see what he can give you. At the very least he brings back some of that championship locker room presence that I’m sure we missed out on with him and Fish gone.

  3. I know a lot of folks are down on Gasol now. Hey it is what it is. He gave us a few good years & played a major role in adding the last 2 titles to the Laker franchise. And for that I’ll always be grateful.

    I’m looking forward to the day his # 16 hangs from the rafters of Staples Center.

  4. Robert, haha – I was just being droll about the Kbros beating us to the punch. Truth is, everybody tends to touch on the same or similar subjects, especially when certain things are so front in center. This is why I write about things like bog snorkeling, or fictional trips with Craig Sager. As far as more hard ball lobs, great idea – I’ll talk to the guys, see if we can come up with something.

    Travis – I miss Lamar too. Personally, I’m doubtful that we see him in a Lakers uniform again. It was just too much of a bad situation, the way it all went down. I really hope he gets his head and heart back into it, wherever he winds up. He’s had a rough year.

  5. BigCity – I agree. He’s done so much for this team. He’s been a good Laker.

  6. Ramona is right mostly. Most teams are over the cap and can’t straight up sign great players. The Lakers have a major advantage over most teams. They can go way over the luxury tax threshold, they have an 8.9 million dollar TE, they have a giant trade chip in Pau Gasol, they play in LA, and oh yea… They are the LAKERS! Last year in a worse spot they got CP3. I’m sure they will do just fine this offseason.

  7. Dave M: Glad you have a sense of humor : ) You mods/writers must listen to us spout off wild opinions all the time, while you guys mostly supply facts, links, and in your case jokes : ) That said, I am interested in the FB&G Royal Family opinions. Some possible questions:
    1) Do you think we should break up the Big 3? If so – in what manner?
    2) What type of job did Mike Brown do this year?
    3) What do you expect to happen with Kobe in 2014?
    4) How do you compare Jimbo with his father Jerry?
    5) How do you see the AB contract extension discussion going next year?

    I think this would be interesting and would generate good discussion. You guys do a great job with the site.

  8. Robert – good stuff. I’m saving the list and will bring up topics with the guys over cyber coffee.

  9. BigCity & DaveM-

    Retire Pau’s jersey!? Are you serious? I love Pau and I’m very grateful that he has helped us win the last 2 championships, but he has only been a Laker for what 4 years? You don’t get your jersey hung in Staples after only 4/5 years.

  10. What’s with all past tense Pau talk. He’s still a Laker and had a good season. It’s not his fault his coach tried to make him Dirk.

    All those links are great. But the main storyline is the draft. One ping pong ball can alter Lakers moves this off season.

  11. Aaron: So you think that last year – the day before we attempted to make the CP3 trade, we were in a worse spot than now? That is like Leonardo DiCaprio saying that the Titanic was in a worse spot the day before it hit the ice berg.

  12. @ KenOak, You surprise me. I thought you were a better student of history.

    Wilt’s number is retired, he played 339 regular season games in 4 years (’69-’73) for the Lakers scoring 5,985 points and helping them win 1 title.

    Gasol has played 320 regular season games in 4 years (’08-’12) scoring 5,896 points and helping them to 2 titles.

    Gasol’s #16 will hang from the rafters.

  13. @ BigCitySid: Of course, that is WILT CHAMBERLAIN we’re talking about, who was just a wee bit larger-than-life. Having said that, I’m a huge Gasol fan and would love to see him up there.

  14. I agree with all who feel Gasol’s jersey deserves to be in the rafters. So important to Kobe getting to 5 and Phil to 11. That’s one of the many reasons he needs to retire a Laker.

  15. If Pau goes to the Hall of Fame, he’ll get his number retired with the Lakers. That’s almost a formality. Especially since one of the main reasons he’d go to the HOF is because of his success w/ the Lakers (as well as his stellar international career).

  16. Pau Gasol is by far the best Lakers PF of all time. He is getting his jersey retired.

  17. YES!!! There’s still a chance for big moves.

  18. Hornets jumping into top 3. Why am I not surprised?

  19. Hornets win the lottery. Snoopy2006 called it.

  20. Glove – Yeah, and I’m not usually one of those that believes in draft fixes at all, but this year you just had to know it was coming.

    Long live Czar Stern.

  21. Wow! You have to say that was fixed. Sterrn sends a superstar to LA then gets the number 1 pick to replace him. Crazy

    Too many things go right in the draft. Rose to Chicago, LeBron to Cleveland, now this.

  22. BigCitySid-
    Wilt Chamberlain is….well Wilt Chamberlain! I will have to agree with everyone on this though. If Gasol gets into the HOF, then his jersey will most likely be retired.

    When I look at the names that have been retired though, I have a hard time putting Pau in that same class of player.
    Jerry West
    Wilt Chamberlain
    Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    Elgin Baylor
    Gail Goodrich
    James Worthy
    Magic Johnson

    Shaq/Kobe–

    Pau just doesn’t belong in that group in my humble opinion, but it’s just an opinion.
    Also, did anyone really doubt that the Hornets would get the #1? Crazy stuff.

  23. So surely David Stern owes the Lakers a “favour” now, right?

  24. I am sure it wasn’t fixed but boy that looks bad. I am sure Stern cringed when that ball dropped.

  25. Deron can stay in Brooklyn for marketing opportunities and continue to lose, He can go home to Dallas and not have to pay taxes or he can force his way to LA for his best chance to win a ring.

  26. I know Robert is crazy to be worried about the Celtics, but please help me root against them. This is a huge game. And please don’t forget the sprained ankles and flu symptoms that the West team will come down with right before the Finals.

  27. When it comes to billion-dollar industries, nothing is left to chance. Believing in ‘luck’ and ‘odds’ is for suckers.

  28. The Nets lost big-time. Will they really want to open their next season without Williams or Wallace and nothing to replace them?

    Will they really continue to value cap-space when staring down a 2012-Bobcats-like season to open their new arena?

    For once, I hope.

  29. Eric M: I do not favor the conspiracy theories. However, i do have a theory that your favorite team might be someone other than the Lakers.

  30. Funky Chicken May 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Eric M, a lot of what you just laid out is nothing more than Monday morning quarterbacking.

    Moreover, to assume that Stern did not know of the deal that the Hornets’ GM put in place to trade CP3 (the original deal) until after the deal was announced to the public is simply not credible. He knew; and he did not object. Only after getting rolled by small market owners did he raise his objections. If the GM did not have the authority to make trades, Stern would have told him so well in advance. In fact, he told the Hornets’ GM and all other teams in the league that the GM could make deals–which is why the Lakers made such a bold (and potentially disruptive) move.

    What happened is not at all akin to an “owner” stepping in to veto a trade. That has happened more times in NBA history than anyone could ever know–and that’s the point. We don’t know how often it happens because it ALWAYS happens before the deal is announced publicly. Therein lies the difference between what is normal (and appropriate) and what is not.

    That the Hornets ended up better in the end does not make what Stern did right. He screwed the Lakers and placed a big fat black eye on the NBA in the process.

  31. The lottery isn’t fixed. Just like the games aren’t fixed. And, good for the Hornets. Out of all the teams that had a really bad record, they were one of the teams that always played hard regardless of circumstances. They now have a good young coach and some pieces to build around.

  32. I agree… Good for the hornets!

  33. We are all entitled to our opinions, but let’s at least acknowledge the fact that there is zero evidence to support the league’s supposed innocence. And if it looks like a bull, walks like a bull, and even smells like a bull..

  34. Eric M: Go re-read my post. I said I do not favor the conspiracy theory so no need to argue with me. Now answer my question – I am thinking Clips.

    And by the way the Lottery did not “prove” anything. Whether Stern did or did not do the right thing had nothing to do with the Lottery.

  35. @34 Eric-

    Hey, my favorite teams are the Lakers, Harlem Globetrotters and the LA freaking Sparks.

    How come?

  36. The Lottery worked out in the Lakers favor. Brooklyn now does not have the key chip that may have made Orlando think twice about moving their All Star head ache.

    The rumours will start up soon as the DHoward and DWill supposedly want to play together. The question is where?

  37. Funky: Very well stated @31

    Darius: While I agree with your statements that the league and its games/lotteries are not fixed, the timing of Eric M’s post is a little odd, Also, the fact that he says that the lottery “proves” Stern did the right thing is almost implying a conspiracy all its own. How could a random event “prove” anything?

  38. Conspiracy theories are just that. Stern has an agenda make franchises profitable he’s done just that for two within a year. Every story book can’t have a happy ending.

  39. 27, 34 – Adam Silver knows how to use a computer?

    There are 2 schools of thought. 1 is to stockpile proven players (borderline All-Star talents) and stay competitive, and then use those players as opportunistic trade pieces, flipping them at the right moment for multiple picks and young talent. The 2nd is to simply bottom out, absorb 2-3 horrible seasons, and draft very high. This 2nd philosophy is by far the most popular right now, largely due to the Thunder’s recent success. Everyone’s been hopping on the wagon.

    I happen to agree with the 2nd philosophy. But to imply the first one is inherently idiotic is a disservice to very intelligent front office man in Dell Demps.

    Secondly, Robert is absolutely right. Using after-the-fact reasoning (like the Hornets’ 13% chance of winning the top pick becoming a reality) as “proof” of Stern’s genius is flawed logic. The move is the same, whether the Hornets got the 4th pick and Beal or the 1st and Davis. Judge it based on what it is, instead of running to blogs to claim victory only right after the Hornets claim the top pick.

    It would be equally flawed to suggest Stern’s move was idiotic because of Gordon’s injury this year (although not quite as flawed, as Gordon had a bit of an injury history).

    The problem most Lakers fans had with Stern’s move was not the basketball side of it. It was the way Stern gave Demps freedom until the small market owners jumped on him, and the way he intervened at the last moment as Funky described.

  40. Gil:

    DWill just called out Adrian Wojnarowski’s rumour about he wanting to play with DHoward – saying it isn’t true. I think he’s just trying to control the hype – afterall he isn’t officially a FA yet.

    I agree with you that this is going to be an interesting summer. Can these two stars create the solution they want? Where?

  41. Eric M – The only thing thing “proven” here is that FB&G regulars are unusually kind to people who come here and try to start something (like you).

    After “The Decision”, I did something similar on a Heat site, gently teasing LBJ’s aversion to pressure, and was accused of having a body part I don’t in reality have, among other things.

    I guess most of us here on FB&G are too confident to worry about silly attempts to bait us.

    So anyway, what IS your favorite team? :0)

  42. Kings!

    At least we have hockey.

    Aaaaaaaa!

  43. Lakers fans shouldn’t be so sensitive. Hornets Other teams’ fans also shouldn’t be smug or claim righteousness here.

    They were fortunate, but good for them. I don’t begrudge teams their good fortune. Stern’s veto was what it was. He nixed a deal. As Snoopy said, he valued one very good young player (Gordon), an expiring contract (Kaman), another okay young player (Aminu), and draft picks (the ‘Wolves & their own) over the semi-expensive contracts connected to very good veterans that would likely keep them afloat. They ended up with 2 lottery picks one of which is now the #1 pick. No one could have predicted that, but it was the best case scenario for them and here they are. So good on them.

    Again, though, I think some fans on this board are being sensitive with claims of fixed results. You could point to any number of teams in the lottery and claim the fix was in if they happened to win. I don’t buy it one bit.

  44. Gah I hate the Celtics, and yet I find myself hoping that they will beat the Heat! I’m so conflicted. My dream scenario would be Thunder/Heat with Okc winning.

  45. Great game.

  46. “You could point to any number of teams in the lottery and claim the fix was in if they happened to win. I don’t buy it one bit.”

    Darius, spoken like the ESPN employee you are.

  47. I don’t like Dwayne Wade, at all! He fouls Rondo going to the hoop just like he did against Kobe in the ASG. Then on the last shot he kicks KG in the leg on the drive. What is up with the NBA refereeing?

    Rajon Rondo is playing like a man that could be a future franchise player…can anyone tell the difference?

  48. 2 non calls on wade cost them the game – that was like a 7 pt swing – players should be able to rip the refs when this happens – refs should either get points deducted for bad calls resulting in suspensions or they need to bring in some kind of replay/challenge system to combat the bad calls.

  49. No wonder Barkley is broke if MJ is his betting buddy. MJ can’t even win lottery with odds stacked in his favor. Even the NBA can’t win for the Bobcats.

    Can MJ make good draft pick when the choice isn’t obvious?

    Kwame Brown over Pau Gasol or Tyson Chandler looms large.

  50. What’s fueling this idea that Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, coming off what could be a serious injury from which to recover, are the end-all, be-all solution to L.A.’s woes?

    People gripe about Bynum’s antics with reason, but he’s yet to tank an entire season by jerking his organization around at every opportunity. Guys like Howard, you can have them.

    And what has Williams ever won? The Nets were a .333 percentage team this season. He’s far from a transcendent talent in this league.

  51. That was a great game. Boston isn’t going down without a fight. Sometimes you’d like to see the refs let players decide the game.

  52. Kevin: They only lost because you and I were rooting against them : ) Without us – Miami would not have pulled it out : )

  53. #49. LOL. ESPN employee? I don’t work for ESPN. This site is part of the TrueHoop Network but they don’t dictate anything or influence my thinking. But hey, whatever floats your boat. Since you’re now implying the NBA is rigged, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that you’re trying to say things about me that also aren’t true.

  54. Robert: it was a gutsy game Celtics played hard. Would love to see Lakers play that hard. All in all this slugfest makes it easier for Spurs to win it all.

    Games like the one Rondo just had makes players untouchable.

  55. Many people have always missed the essential point of the Stern/NO/veto thing. Eric M, with his unprovable assertion that it had nothing to do with the Lakers, is in that group.

    Whether the Hornets came out better this way isn’t really what it is about. What it is about is that by doing what he did, and doing it the way he did it, Stern created a situation that suggests a serious conflict of interest. If the Lakers had been able to reload with Paul and perhaps Howard following Paul immediately after the new CBA was signed, it would have created enormous backlash and made Stern look very foolish. By doing what he did, he avoided that and still got Paul in a big market. Stern can say, all day long, as he has, that it was only about the Hornets. There is no particular reason for anyone to believe him. That is what conflict of interest situations lead to.

    The fact that Mark Cuban, who also wanted Paul and still wants Howard and who competes directly with the Lakers; and Dan Gilbert, whose franchise will take years to recover from losing LeBron James, both came out against the deal, only adds to this impression. And, of course, so does the Hornets winning the lottery. I don’t think it was fixed, but it LOOKS LIKE it could be. That’s why the veto is a black mark on the league and will always be one.

    Many people have justified it by saying it’s fine since the Lakers are the Lakers and they deserve it. What they forget is that Daryl Morey’s long-range plan to leverage his assets and build the Rockets around Pau and Nene was also ruined by the veto.

  56. Eric M,

    There were also quotes at major websites saying that Stern simply lied. Like this:

    _________________________

    Calling NBA commissioner David Stern’s assertion that the Rockets’ vetoed trade for Pau Gasol was never considered a done deal “an outright lie,” a person with direct knowledge of the process said Stern was informed throughout the negotiations and the day of the trade before he refused to let it go through.
    ________________________

    That is from the Houston Chronicle, perhaps a biased source, but it was all over the place, and I found it in about ten seconds.

    As to Demps, what is he going to say? He may be telling the truth as he sees it, but again, that is the issue with conflict of interest.

  57. Rondo is untouchable after that game fanbase pressure won’t let you trade him. That takes another PG off Lakers list.

  58. Stern…Always him:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/44357/nba-considering-significant-changes-to-rules

    This guy is destroying the game of basketball as we know it. Refs, LBJ, Hornets, trades…His hand is all over the cake.

    10 years from now, bball will be a lot different…

  59. Am I a “conspiracy theorist” if I believe that refs occasionally make make-up calls….. or that refs in the past have gambled on games….. or that certain refs are biased against certain players……. or that the CP3 trade was vetoed because some of the small market teams were angry about not getting their share of the luxury tax from the Lakers…..or for reading and believing Dan Gilbert’s letter to Stern….. or for believing Michael Jordan was protected by the league….. or for questioning why the league stopped picking the draft order out in the open with ping pong balls and decided to do it behind closed doors….. or for believing the NBA has occasionally shown a lack of integrity through the years….. Or for being suspicious that the Hornets pick was rigged?????

    I guess I am.

  60. Was the lottery rigged? Probably not. But the NBA has been accused of worse. I more fall in line with this Avidine quote… “When it comes to billion-dollar industries, nothing is left to chance. Believing in ‘luck’ and ‘odds’ is for suckers.” When there are billions on the line it would be stupid for a business to not interning. Pure and simple. If the league can survive game fixing… It can survive another lottery fix.

  61. The Great Actor Pierce was fouled out, it’s good , before he said that he is great player, without Ray Allen and Rondo, Paul Pierce can’t win anything.

    Who said Lakers shouldn’t trade Gasol for Rondo ? Rondo is young , can take the game to the next level. Jim Buss should watch this playoffs games, and if Lakers still can’t play P@R offense next year under MB then don’t hope for anything yet.

  62. I never understand these conspiracy theories about the NBA. If I believed even one percent of the *criminal* accusations being made here against Stern and co., I wouldn’t watch a second of basketball let alone comment on a blog… not even out of moral righteousness (although that too) but mostly because what’s the drama in watching scripted entertainment passed off as a sport? If you really believe that the fix is in, why watch?!… or is this some kind of Hollywood thing where the real drama is if the Lakers not only can beat their opponents but the corrupt officials as well. (Anybody see that Stallone soccer vehicle, Victory?)

    Spend a second on other blogs: everyone else thinks the league is conspiring in favor of the Lakers. Now look where corruption really exists (pick your F’d up government of choice)– is there any doubt who the beneficiaries are in those scenarios?

  63. Watching the phony lottery and the refs protecting the Heat makes me lose all faith in the NBA or should I say the WWA.

    Need to find a new hobby.

  64. From Woj says it all.

    “It’s such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show,” one high-ranking team executive told Yahoo! Sports. “The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. This is a joke.”

    Hornets coach Monty Williams represented the franchise at the draft lottery. (AP)
    The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That’s the worst part for the NBA; these aren’t the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.

  65. Hey Darius,

    Just wondering, since it’s now out in the open and everything… can I be an ESPN employee too? And have an office? And a mini-fridge?

    Thanks.

    - Dave

  66. partly wish that this year’s #1 pick Anthony Davis would be a big bust, like kwame or Oden.

    >>>If you really believe that the fix is in, why watch?!…

    I guess it is something like watching Avatar or Avenger, you know it is just a poorly-plotted movie, but you enjoy it:)

  67. anti Dwyer Abbott May 31, 2012 at 1:49 am

    these are getting deleted but Refs and ESPN has done it.Heat cannot be stopped.Kobe hater Stern has done it again and again.Travesty calls.

  68. R.R. Magellan May 31, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Darius: I demand unlimited supply of apple juice.

    I think it’s quite hilarious that Laker fans are talking about conspiracy theories against the Lakers when, ya know, the Lakers have been to the finals like half the time this league existed.

    No, of course, I don’t believe in them. I believe in something called human error.

  69. Also torn by the celtics and heat. can’t stand either one so not sure who to root for. just as long as the west takes the championship that’s cool.

    as for LO – I am so against the lakers ever taking him back. hope lakers will only get players who want to give it their all like kobe.

    so sick and tired of these guys making so much money and only wanting to play hard when they feel like it. You’re not always going to have a great game – but the effort should always be there.

    Go LA Kings!!!

  70. Renato Afonso May 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I believe that the NBA would go a long way by watching the Euroleague. Yes, there are bad referees in Europe and furthermore the enforcement of rules differs from country to country. For example, the french refs are usually insane when calling a 3 second violation but are extremely lenient when it comes to calling a travel. Now, what you do have is some consistency… A specific referee keeps his criteria in every single game he refs, like it or not. And egregious non-calls like the James Harden travel against the Spurs are ALWAYS called. The game is more fundamentally sound even if the NBA has the better athletes. Enforce the rules as they should be (instead of protecting every single superstar when they drive to the basket) and the game will be more team-oriented. I’m a Lakers fan but I’m really enjoying the Spurs games. If everyone could play like them the NBA would have more real fans that would actually spend more money on their product…

    Regarding the lottery, I actually wrote to NBA.com when the veto happened and they replied with a “proper explanation” that the trade simply didn’t happen, that it was not a veto. Add that with this year’s lottery and the Patrick Ewing lottery and the refs criteria of the past decade and I can honestly say that I believe in the conspiracy. There’s simply too much money involved for the NBA to be an honest business. Some people are honest, obviously, and do the best they can but money rules everything. Now, one can believe that the sport is rigged and still enjoy the show, right?

  71. YOu do realize that the Lakers have been to far more Finals than anyone else, right? So if the NBA is fixed … or is it only fixed in the years the Lakers don’t win a title?

  72. kehntangibles May 31, 2012 at 5:18 am

    So, if a zombie attack isn’t an option, what is more palatable for all of you? Heat or Celtics winning?

  73. The Hornets had something like a 14% chance of winning the lottery, while the bobcats had a 25% chance. The difference is not that big. In fact the team with the highest chance of winning the lottery has only won it twice. There was no benefit for the league in having NO win the lottery, the team is already sold. And the CP3 trade to the Lakers was turned down because it was a bad trade for a team that needed to be sold. They would have been marginally better this year, but would have had a much higher salary for the next few years and still not be likely to make the the playoffs.

  74. 75 – Another poster completely missing the point. Please read rr’s post at #58.

    Again – Lakers fans that objected to the trade because they thought the Lakers package was better for the Hornets are few and far between (I haven’t seen one yet). That was never the issue. If Hornets fans/other team’s fans/Stern acolytes still think they have to make that point, they’ve completely misunderstood the initial complaint.

  75. 56, Darius – Lakers bloggers shouldn’t be so sensitive :D Pretty sure Blizzard was joking. And while I don’t truly think the fix was in – I’m not sure what to believe after this year – I think this is a bit off: “You could point to any number of teams in the lottery and claim the fix was in if they happened to win.” You could, but not with equal conviction. You have to admit the league owning a team is pretty unique circumstances.

    It’s not the actual question of whether or not the lottery was rigged (we haven’t examined the machinery ourselves, so we’re either speculating or simply trusting the people overseeing the process). It’s – as Woj wrote this morning – the problem that the league’s grave mistake in purchasing the team in the first place has created a conflict of interest that brings up the potential of a rigging. To use Woj’s words, there’s “an appearance of impropriety,” stronger this year than any other, and that stems from the league’s mistake.

    Also, if it’s not clear, my above post was directed at ryan, now #76.

  76. Warren Wee Lim May 31, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Someone will ask questions like this come July so I feel obliged to say it again (from the previous thread):

    I was reading the CBA today and came across several important factoids:

    “A team may use the Early Bird exception to re-sign its own free agent for up to 175% of his salary in the previous season2 (not over the maximum salary, of course) or 104.5% of the average salary in the previous season, whichever is greater. Early Bird contracts must be at least two seasons in length, which prevents teams from using the Early Bird to sign a one-year contract, then signing the same player with the full Larry Bird exception the following season. Early Bird contracts can be up to four years in length, with raises up to 7.5% of the salary in the first season of the contract. Early Bird is also a component of the Veteran Free Agent exception, and qualifying players are called “Early Qualifying Veteran Free Agents” in the CBA. ”

    Such provision will apply to Matt Barnes should we choose to retain him.

    And here’s one that would apply to Jordan Hill:

    “If a player was a first round draft pick, just completed the third year of his rookie scale contract, and his team did not invoke its team option for the fourth season (see question number 48), then the team cannot use the Larry Bird exception to re-sign him to a salary greater than he would have received had the team exercised its option. In other words, teams can’t decline an option year in order to get around the rookie salary scale and give the player more money. “

  77. I’m originally from NY and grew up rooting for the Knicks. My 68-73 teams were some of the best basketball ever played. I wasnt a Laker fan then. When the lottery came into being i was a Big East fan and wanted Ewing to the Knicks in the worst way. The lottery was born and sure enough Ewing became a Knick. In some ways the lottery inherently adds to the perception that its rigged and of course we all know perception is reality. Coincidence yes. As avid a fan of the Lakers as i am and as avid a Stern (Idontwantosayhaterbutthedudereeks) non supporter as I am i do not believe the lottery is fixed. It just seems like it is. If the dictator had not succumbed to Gilberts and Cuban’s whinning and we had gotten CP3, would any of us be sitting here even comtemplating that Herr Stern fixed the lottery? That being said the Bobcats reeked all season, they tanked like the edmund fitzgerald and titanic combined. Id say karma had more to do with the results than the fix being in. And Having the number one pick doesnt mean anything except you get the first chance to pick. Hello Greg Oden, Kwame Brown, Michael Olawakandi, Michael Thompson and the list goes on. Good luck Hornets and Anthony Davis any chance the hornets trade 1 and 10 for Bynum?

  78. Conspiracy theory? I’m going to have to agree with Avidine and Aaron on this.

    “Was the lottery rigged? Probably not. But the NBA has been accused of worse. I more fall in line with this Avidine quote… “When it comes to billion-dollar industries, nothing is left to chance. Believing in ‘luck’ and ‘odds’ is for suckers.” When there are billions on the line it would be stupid for a business to not interning. Pure and simple. If the league can survive game fixing… It can survive another lottery fix.”

    I’m not a Laker fan that thinks every time we lose it is fixed. When a ref makes call that my rose-colored glasses see as a bad call, well I lambast that referee- true. But, I also felt sick to my stomach watching some of the calls that went against the 2002 Kings in the last 2 games of that series.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjRcTiwVEwo

    Of course there were some bad calls earlier in the series, but not as egregious as some of these.

    Someone asked earlier- why do we watch these games if we think that it could be fixed? Look at the WWE/WWF. Look at boxing. Why is reality tv so popular? Hell, baseball had a fixed world series.

    We watch the sport because we love sports and we love drama. And NBA players are, perhaps, the greatest athletes in the world.

  79. #78. I don’t deny the conflict of interest. And as it’s been pointed out, *that* is the more important issue here. However, I simply believe it’s a leap to go from “there’s a conflict of interest” to declaring that “the fix was in”.

    As an aside, I don’t take shots at my integrity and honesty as someone that does this for, essentially, nothing as a joke. Maybe you would. Maybe you’d put in a bunch of time trying to run a site with as little bias as you could and then laugh when people say “well you only think that because you work for ESPN”. Criticize my writing all you want. Disagree with what I say on a topic all you want. Accuse me of not thinking for myself or of somehow being influenced by those that don’t influence me and do it with little knowledge of how things work and you’ll get a response that sets things straight. Joke or not.

  80. Renato Afonso May 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

    74. exhelodrvr,

    Who said that I don’t think the NBA already helped the Lakers before? 2002 vs the Kings comes to mind… The point is, we are the glamour franchise and it’s good for the NBA when we are competitive and/or win titles. What’s bad for the NBA is having us winning every other year. This is a business and the new stars in the league are not playing for the Lakers. The NBA will preserve what it thinks is better for their owners and their revenue. Sometimes it works in our favour, sometimes it doesn’t.

    However, like I said, even though I think there’s some outside influence in certain decisions (both on and off court), I do enjoy the game and the show. It will never be about blaming the league every single time we don’t win…

  81. Renato Afonso May 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

    And by the way, I’m from a soccer country where corruption exists in our main sport. Just look at what is happening in Italy right now… But people still enjoy the game and still root for their team…

  82. The point of the episode of the league owning the Hornets is that it radically increased the perception that there could be a fix – not against the Lakers, but for the Hornets.

    Whether or not Stern is guilty of anything else, he is certainly guilty of extremely poor judgement in acquiring the Hornets to prevent them from self-contracting the league.

    The result of this extremely bad judgement is to color the league for, probably, the next 10 years and permanently drop Stern’s legacy from a great commissioner to simply a good one. Also, the hubris of his ego has been permanently cemented in the public’s mind.

  83. 82 – I think just about all of us here have a tremendous amount of respect for the fact that you (and the other bloggers) consistently put together high-quality piece after high-quality piece for no other reason than a passion for the game and a desire to share that passion with fellow basketball fans. I didn’t see that poster’s original post an attack against integrity, but I think it’s because, as you said, I’m not the one putting in the time and effort. I likely wouldn’t take it as a joke either, so I apologize. But I do hope you understand the fact that all of us keep coming back to this site for insight and debate is a sign of the immense respect we have for the writers (and their integrity) on this forum.

  84. I do believe that Darius’ response to being called a shill was appropriate and I wonder how a person who thinks a site is being run by a shill rationalizes reading the results of that supposed shill’s thinking. This is also connected to the thought that folk enjoy WWE and that this is a rational for why they watch the NBA, even as they think it rigged. Personally, I don’t enjoy watching pro wrestling and I can’t spend time reading the work of sports journalists whose angles are obvious and simply provide opinions for the sake of exciting irrational reactions and do so for the easy clicks. These are writers whose salesmanship trump integrity and creativity. Same can be said of WWE, these are competitions that are trumped by melodrama and the easy sell. This site has been anything but this. Real analysis, rational criticism, and integrity have always been valued by those who run this site.

  85. Great behind the scenes look at the lottery drawing, highly recommended read:

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/05/30/nba-draft-lottery/

  86. I agree it is foolish to think that a gigantic business with billions on the line would always be on the up and up. That just seems naive to me. No giant business or government can avoid the temptation of “more”. That doesn’t mean they are evil or void of substance. It simply means they are human. If the NBA (as some evidence suggests) isn’t what meets the eye it is probably for the best overall. What’s best for the NBA is usually best for the fans. Some times it can hurt the Lakers (CP3) but most times it will help the biggest and best franchise in the world (game six against SacTown).

  87. Rigged result? The lottery proving that David Stern was “right,” and, incidentially, pumping up his ego, is not proof of a fix, it’s just the natural order of things.

    As Doystoyevsky said, try arguing with twice two makes four.

  88. I’m not going to go as far as to say that it was a definite fix, but it certainly did not put the commissioner nor the league in a very good light. Just a whiff of coincidence can fuel a lot of speculation. All I can say is that I wish the process was much more transparent. Everything is done behind closed doors, and Stern could have easily quelled most rumors simply by picking out the lottery balls in front of live television. Personally, I would also feel that it would make the televised draft much more exciting as well.

  89. To continue… The NBA is a monopoly. Name one monopoly that did not take advantage of its space in the marketplace? I don’t think this lottery was rigged but I don’t think it’s weird to think it was. There is a chance. I hope one day another league in either the states, England, or Spain will sprout to rival the NBA and keep them honest.

  90. I’m happy the lottery is fixed (tongue in cheek). Otherwise, we would not have Magic Johnson or James Worthy as two of the 50 greatest to ever play the game.

    Additionally, we would have never gotten Kobe Bryant from the Charlotte Hornets had that team not been involved in the fix.

    That’s akin to when good things happen we never think of the other guy and ask, “Why me?” We only want to ask that question when bad things happen to us.

    I’m just happy as a Lakers fan I’ve gotten the chance to watch some of my favorite players in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform: Gail Goodrich, Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kurt Rambis, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, A.C. Green, Shaquille O’Neal, Derek Fisher and Kobe Bean Bryant!

    God willing I’ll be fortunate enough to see the next Lakers great lead them to a championship.

  91. @74

    Nobody (at least not me) is saying the fix is in against the Lakers. Just because our team won a couple of rings in the last few years does not mean there is no funny business going on inside the league as a whole.