The Best L.A. Lakers Title Teams

J.M. Poulard —  July 24, 2012

Throughout the rich history of the NBA, there have been some great teams, and then there have been some legendary ones. The league saw its first dynasty emerge during the 1950s as the Minneapolis Lakers won four titles in the decade with George Mikan leading the way.

The team then moved to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season and thus began the apparent NBA Finals curse. Indeed, the Lakers were defeated a whopping six times during the 1960s in the Finals, with each defeat reinforcing the idea that the Boston Celtics perpetually owned the Lakers.  Indeed, the Celtics won nine championships during the decade and defeated the Lakers in six of those nine championship appearances.

But the team’s fortunes changed in the 1970s as the team finally managed to capture a title after moving to Los Angeles. Since the relocation, the purple and gold has won 11 NBA titles; with many of those title teams holding a great historical significance to the league.

It begs the question: which Lakers team since the move is the best of all?

Glad you asked. The FB&G staff looked at the 11 titles teams and voted in order to rank these squads. Whether it’s their historical significance, their trampling of opponents or simply erasing the curse by finally conquering the Boston Celtics in the Finals, we managed to put these Lakers teams from worst to first.

And without further ado, the team that clocked in at #11…

The 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers

In the Shaq and Kobe era, many view this team as the weakest of all the title teams and the voting of the FB&G staff reflected that as well. After winning 67 and 56 games respectively in the previous two seasons and also winning back-to-back titles, it was widely assumed that this team should get back to the Finals and complete the three-peat.

The 2001-02 Lakers boasted the second best offensive efficiency and sixth best defensive efficiency in the league, mind you they flew a little under the radar as the Sacramento Kings (61-21) finished with the best record in the league and the San Antonio Spurs (58-24) finished second in the Western Conference standings.

With that said, the purple and gold still had Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Both players were in phases in their careers where they could assert themselves offensively seemingly on command without necessarily stepping on the toes of each other. In addition, the roles players on the roster had grown comfortable in their tasks and understood the pecking order on the team; but they never shied away from big moments.

Robert Horry provided clutch daggers against the likes of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2002 playoffs, Derek Fisher helped space the floor against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals and Rick Fox gave his teammates some scoring, rebounding, passing and strong defense in the Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings.

This Lakers team was an impressive 15-4 during their postseason run on their way to the title, but many will recall them as somewhat of an underachieving bunch because of their 15-1 playoff record during the 2001 playoffs. In addition, unlike the season prior, the 2002 Lakers were tested and faced elimination.

Phil Jackson’s unit lost Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals in Sacramento and had to win Game 6 back in Los Angeles — which they did — to force an epic Game 7 showdown for the ages back in Sacramento.

The Lakers ended up winning Game 7 on the road in overtime against the Sacramento Kings — three of their four wins in that series were by six points or less — and then went on to sweep the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals as Shaquille O’Neal earned his third straight NBA Finals MVP trophy.

Although the Lakers easily dispatched the Nets in the title round, the accomplishments from previous seasons created expectations that would have been difficult for this team to match despite finishing the season with a title. Indeed, statistically, the 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best championship teams of all time, boasting a regular season scoring margin of plus-7.1 and a playoff scoring margin of plus-3.8 with Shaquille O’Neal leading the way during the playoffs with averages of 28.5 points per game, 12.6 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game on 52.9 percent field goal shooting; but in terms of the rich history of the franchise post-relocation, they are the least impressive title team.

The Shaq and Kobe pair will always be one of the greatest dynamic duos the league has ever seen, and the 2001-02 season will be remembered as the final chapter of their championship days together.

The 2002 Lakers might be the “worst” Los Angeles Lakers championship team, but in the grand scheme of things, they still managed a title and completed the ever elusive three-peat.

Lakers fans will tell you, that’s a great way to finish last…

J.M. Poulard

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77 responses to The Best L.A. Lakers Title Teams

  1. Warren Wee Lim July 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I will forever cherish the journey of the 2007-08 Lakers team when they 1st got Pau Gasol. Easily a personal favorite. It didn’t win it all, but it meant most to me.

  2. The 01 team… I rememeber Kobe just dominating the Spurs in the West Finals (the real Finals). Nobody could stay in front of him. I’m pretty sure Fisher had 500 open threes in that sweep all from Kobe. I rememeber how Kobe took that offensive rebound over Robinson and Duncan to seal the series in SA… The last two games in LA were a joke.

  3. What an easy question:

    1986-87 Lakers by far!

  4. Aaron, we’re still waiting for a source for your supposed Kobe/FO meeting in which he asked for Sessions to be slowed down and the ball to be put in Kobe’s hands more often…

  5. 2. Fisher couldn’t miss in that series either (he was 15-20 on 3′s if i remember correctly), which made guarding Kobe and Shaq effectively almost impossible. But I mostly remember Kobe completely exerting his dominance. I remember him repeatedly going up and grabbing important rebounds and tip-ins over the 3 7-footers. Kobe was the MVP of the playoffs that year but Shaq completely dominated Mutombo and the 76er front line in the finals to get the finals MVP.

  6. The best Laker LA team that won the Championship in my opinion was the 1971-72 team composed of Wilt, West and Goodrich. Baylor retired at early part of the season while Pat Riley was one of the bench. I was in foreign shores and watched only the final game on a delayed telecast but it was a sweet victory in winning (finally) the Championship. It was a historical victory after several tries and before they were frustrated and owned by bionic leprechauns for so many times in the 60′s. It was the first Championship victory in LA and previous ones were in Minneapolis powered by Mikan. NY Knicks were no pushovers either in ’72 and in fact won the first game in LA and were favored to win with Frazier, Lucas, Bradley, Debusschere, Willis Reed was injured and broad shoulder Phil Jackson was one of their bench.

  7. sbdunks,

    I believe that both Gasol and Kobe had spoken with Sessions about slowing down the pace. However, I don’t believe it was a direct intervention from the FO. Probably Brown okayed the conversation, and then the two vets spoke spoke with him.

  8. Aaron,

    I’m pretty sure that offensive rebound was in the 2002 semis against the Spurs. On that play I still remember Foxy’s box out on Tim Duncan. Man, I miss the “glue guys” like Rick Fox, Robert Horry, B. Shaw, and Mad Dog.

    The Lakers will be champs again when the “bench mob” rises again.

  9. As much as I loved this team, the officiating in game 6 against the Kings needs to be mentioned…

  10. As someone who voted, I’ll tell you it was ranking the lowest teams that was hardest. Perhaps it speaks volumes about how difficult it is to win a championship, considering how dominant this team was, yet we considered them the least of the 11.

  11. This debate has been going on since yesterday but I still don’t understand the correlation of this suppossedly Session/FO/Mbrown/Kobe-Pau intervention. In every playoffs, all players and coaches talked and try to figure out the adjustments they would make against the opponent. In the OKC game, it’s clear that Lakers would be at a disadvantage if they try to go on a fast game, it will tire the big 3 and our bench is not reliable to carry on. Therefore, what is the best strategy? If they asked Session to slow down since he’s the ball carrier, that is the best way to be at par with OKC. They won in two OT in late season through that strategy and would like to try it again in the 3rd and 4th game as a winning formula.

    Why is it becomes so political of an issue for Sessions vs. Kobe-Pau and others? I don’t know, I think we’re interpreting so many things that is beyond us. If the formula had worked, wow! everybody would be in that bandwagon and since we lost, we’re back to blaming game. What’s the point?

  12. I’m not going to go through every little latimes blog report when we all here discussed it at the time. The report was not that Kobe asked for the ball in his hands more… It was just that twy wanted to slow down the offense. Of course right after that meeting… Ramon was moved off the ball. Why are we still discussing this moths after? We discussed it at the time. This isn’t a debate. We already know what happened. It was reported by at the time and confirmed by Lakers players.

  13. T Rogers,
    Yep… For some reason I thought it was when the Lakers swept through the pkayoffs.

  14. Aaron,
    Once something gets in a person’s head that agrees with a previous bias it is almost impossible to dislodge that ‘fact’ from their mind.

    For people who want to believe Kobe orchestrated the way Sessions ran the club, no amount of information will change this.

  15. @Edwin Gueco: I like the 71-72 team too. I have wondered if they could really match up against some other Laker teams. Looking at your list Knicks players in that same finals, I’m convinced other historic Laker teams would have had their hands full. It’s easy to underrate the 71-72 team til you look at who they beat.

  16. Aaron: I thought it was the time where Laker players asked to go back to the triangle but we know that was blamed on Fisher. Not sure anything came out about Kobe and Pau personally asking to slow things down. They’ve always had no trouble getting up the floor.

    No afro Kobe in shape Shaq deep team full of vets. Having 2 of the best players at their position by far with the benefit of the whistle in some games. It was really zero suspense with this team you knew they’d win it in 02. Those Kings teams were fun to watch too. I thought Kenyon Martin after that finals would be what blake griffin is now.

    Foye, Brewer have signed options are dwindling.

  17. I have to agree with #6, Edwin. Believe it or not, at that time people believed the Lakers just could not win “the Big One”. The ’71-’72 team set a record that still stands today. 33 straight regular season wins. Wilt & West lead the Lakers to their 1st title in L.A. and the 1st Laker title since ’53-’54. Which represents the longest amount of time the Lakers have gone w/o winning a title.

  18. Off topic: Read where the Magic may not trade D-12 anytime soon. I’ve no problem with that. I’m more than satisfied that with Nash running the point, Gasol & Bynum will get their fair share of touches.

    However than I read the following Dwight Howard article, and must admit…it’s a very scary possibility for not just the Lakers, but the entire NBA:

    John Rohde of The Oklahoman: “OKC could throw its name into the Howard hopper and offer Kendrick Perkins, James Harden and Eric Maynor in a Howard sign-and-trade with Orlando, it potentially could result in an NBA title or two with a starting lineup of Howard, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka, not to mention a season record for blocked shots”.

    The very last place I’d want to see D-12 end up in would be OKC.

  19. A note pertaining to the ’01-’02 Lakers. I believe this was the worst championship year for Shaq & Kobe chemistry wish. Their “differences of opinion” started to become noticeable. And Shaq would be gone in a couple of seasons.

  20. Craig W @ 14, EXACTLY.

    When rumors are taken as fact and/or skewed to fit an agenda or bias it is a problem and there’s no room for it on this blog. I, like many, come here for intelligent discourse about my favorite team and am tired of sifting through BS like this:

    “Aaron wrote on July 23, 2012 at 10:17 am
    Well… After Ramon statistically was a top 10 PG as a starter for the Lakers… Kobe met with the FO as he didn’t like playing off the ball. Ramon was never the same player again of course.”

    Pointing the finger at Kobe as the detrimental force behind why Sessions was slowed down, because Kobe wanted the ball in his hands more? This is just absolutely unsubstantiated, plain and simple. Kobe, by his own words, was ecstatic to play with a true PG so he can slide into his natural role as an SG and NOT have the ball in his hands all the time.

    “Aaron wrote on July 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    They were not rumors… It was reported by every newspaper and website and confirmed by Lakers players”

    If EVERY newspaper and website reported it and it was confirmed by Laker players, it should be easy to find a source right?

    We’re still waiting.

  21. My heart says the 85 team that won the title in the Boston Garden. The 72 team is a close second because it was the first Los Angeles Laker title.

    The best team? Although the 87 team had Mychal Thompson, Kareem was better in 85, so I’ll take them.

  22. It will be interesting to see what team the panel selected as No. 1, given that this panel included people who actually follow the Lakers.

    1971-72 was before my time, so I’d have to say the 1987-88 team was the best I saw, given the wars it endured on its way to the Back-to-Back titles. Kareem was slower by then, but Magic and Worthy were in their prime and that team just knew what it took to win.

    As for pure dominance, 2000-01 was unparalleled. But the Showtime squad gets the edge in that ranking given the better caliber of teams it topped on the way to the title, in my opinion.

    1984-85 and 2009-10 were the most memorable, and 1994-95 and 2007-08 were my favorite seasons when the team came up short, but still provided some entertaining basketball and some great playoff thrills.

  23. SBDunks,
    Everyone on this site spoke about this already? Are you serious? We had a few threads discussing if the Lakers choice to slow it down and take Ramon off the ball was the right choice. I will bother involved into a pointless discussion that already has taken place months ago.

  24. Trying to turn a slow footed team with the twin towers into a running team is a silly strategy. The only chance the Lakers had this past post season was to slow the tempo down against faster teams. Slowing the tempo down was a necessity, especially with Bynum running the floor. Artest, Gasol, and especially Bynum, are not transition players.

    To suggest that Kobe wanted to slow the tempo down for his own benefit, rather than the benefit of the team is flat out silly. Sessions’ game suffered, but the team makeup is not suited for a run and gun game, nor was it suited for a pick and roll offense, which are Session’ main strengths. Sessions thrived when he first joined the Lakers, but once teams started employing the pack the paint defense, especially during the playoffs, his greatest strengths were taken away, and he was forced to become a spot up shooter because teams left him wide open and dared him to shoot……but hey, it must be Kobe’s fault.

  25. Kevin,
    Yes… There was a players only meeting that happened because Fisher waned to go back to the triangle. But the meeting I’m speaking of happened after the Lakers started Sessions and the team became a PG centric team. The talk was all about what exactly happened at this meeting with Mitch and Brown. All the public was told was that the team decided to slow the pace down to te betterment of Drew and Pau. But right after that the only change was that Ramon was taken off the ball. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure the main talking point was to get Kobe the ball more. Although of course this also resulted in the pace slowing dramatically.

  26. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Off topic – but here’s an Abbott article on Dwight’s offense:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/48306/keep-your-eyes-off-the-ball

  27. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    18, @BigCitySid:

    I think OKC should offer Perkins, Ibaka, Perry Jones, Harden and Maynor for Dwight and filler.

    Orlando gets a good starting 5 right away! OKC won’t have a bench though, but nothing Presti can’t fix.

    Only issue is that Dwight would be option 3 on that side. If he can get used to that, and playing in a small market, that will be a real dynasty!

  28. Aaron: You may have caught this when everyone else didn’t but I don’t get why Kobe would be telling Brown or Mitch he needs the ball more. He was already getting his shots and had no problem getting the ball when he was on the court.

    BigCItySid: Doesn’t sound realistic. All along it’s been said Magic want picks and cap relief they get none adding Perkins salary and Harden max next season.

    Princeton offense should help with the fact our players are old. Pau and Kobe look far from athletic.

  29. Yes Aaron, we did discuss the coaching staffs decision to slow down Sessions. I, like you, was against it. We did not bring Ramon in to fill Fishers role as a spot up shooter. His value was in his speed and athleticism, something severely lacking in the starting unit up until that point. Stripping him of that negates his value.

    However, this – “Kobe met with the FO as he didn’t like playing off the ball” – is pure speculation on your part, and that’s my point. Quit trying to pass off your own opinion or speculation as fact.

  30. Wade is doing the exact same thing Kobe is. At home resting. Harden is getting no PT, Ellis is resting, Ginobli is older. Never is his outstanding legacy going to have a dent in it but Kobe could fall a few slots down the SG depth chart. Same goes for Pau.

    Every time I watch Kobe struggle in the Olympics I think to myself why at 33 is he playing in the Olympics. Shouldn’t he be resting? Then I realize Lakers have no backup SG and get even madder.

  31. 33 straight wins. Our first L.A. championship. Enough said. Later teams may have been able to beat the ’71-’72 roster but if you are basing the evaluation of greatest Lake Show teams on best for a given year, it is tough to top what Wilt, Hairston, West, Goodrich and McMillan did, plus supporting bench. Winning 33 straight games in a regulation season is still an amazing feat. Many of the younger posters on this site may not remember or were around then, but they were a well-oiled machine.

  32. I have a post in moderation kind of barbing Kobe. As soon as I submitted it Kobe made some great plays. Second time that’s happened this week. I think Robert has a jinx on fans who talk about Kobe on fb&g.

  33. @ 28, Kevin:

    Do remember that Magic GM Hennigan spent the past four seasons with Oklahoma City, including the last two seasons as the Thunder’s assistant general manager. So it’s definitely realistic and as Laker fans, scary as hell.

  34. There is no way to tell. We do know Kobe’s shot attempts went way down after Ramon entered the starting lineups and the offense strarted humming… But I think it had more to do with Kobe just wanting the ball in his hands more. It probably sucked for Kobe to give up the ball to a younger less known player. Most anaylysts predicted kobe wouldn’t be a big fan pkaying off the ball in the first place but the Lakers are hoping a legend like Steve Nash will do the trick. The thing is in Kobe’s prime there was no other player besides Jordan i would want as the primary ball handler (including LeBron and Nash). He was devastating all over the perimeter and could get teammates wide open looks better than any PG including Magic as he could completley collapse the defense. But that just isn’t Kobe’s strength anymore. He is more like a Melo nowadays. A Melo who can play defense ;)

  35. Dont get all bent out of shape over moderation. Sometimes its the use of words that trigger the moderation and then you have to wait for a mod to release. Remember that these moderators have day jobs, so sometimes these things take time.

    I bet if you reword your post, it will show up.

  36. DH to OKC?

    And Hedo and JRich and Big Baby?

    Ha!

    Oh wait…ORL is willing to trade DH for Perkins, Harden & Maynor for DH without getting the bad contracts?

    (Stern, hang up the phone plz…)

    Might as well trade him to Miami for Bosh + Jwan Howard + season tickets, right?

  37. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Funniest stuff I read today:

    LBJ’s gmail hacked: http://tinyurl.com/csvl7q4

    I guarantee you will laugh your socks off :)

  38. 30) half decaf,

    Using words that have the letter sequenxe Ay Ess Ess somewhere in them, even if not inappropriate (such as Ay Ess Ess U M E), seems to result in posts getting automatically hung up.

  39. With the D. Howard talks in neutral again, Im ready for some real juicy Pau talks. Speed is the new it girl in the league, and the two top teams(Miami and OKC) have it. LA cant afford to go into the season with an aging Kobe and two plodding centers and expect to compete.

  40. The Lakers are reportedly interested in Delonte West.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8196654/source-los-angeles-lakers-interested-former-dallas-maverick-delonte-west

    I’m not sure what his health (physical or mental) is like right now but from a skill set standpoint he’d be a great pickup.

  41. @42. need to keep gasol, his style of play with nash just works so perfect

    i am only 19 so i never got to see the celtic/laker finals in the 80s but from the playoff series that i have been able to watch in my life, the 2002 western conference final is by far my favorite. not only that, but it has to go down as one of the greatest playoff series in the past 15 years. games 4 and 7 were undeniable epic classics

  42. Found this at Land O Lakers; it was posted not long after the Sessions deal. Note the part that I tagged with stars:
    _____________________
    ***Bryant has shot more often and more accurately with Sessions on the court, per NBA.com. He has attempted 28 field goals per 48 minutes, a giant number that is nonetheless about equivalent to how often Bryant shot before the Sessions deal. But he has shot 46 percent with Sessions, compared to just 33 percent without him over four games and 43 percent for the season, and he has been deadly from three-point range with Sessions running things.*** Kobe has hit 6-of-10 from deep since the trade, and at least a few of those looks have been more open spot-up chances than he usually gets
    ___________________________________

    Sessions’ USGs, 2012:

    CLE 22.4
    LAL 20.5
    PLAYOFFS 18.0

    USG of course does not tell the whole story.

    Bryant’s USG was 35.7 during the season and 35.8 in the postseason.

    Nash’s USG last year was 19.6; it is 21.2 for his career.

  43. Delonte signed with Mavs.

    Good.

  44. West would have helped the team; the Lakers should have signed him last year.

    We will see what Kupchak does about adding another guard/wing. It will be an important decision.

  45. West, Foye, Brewer gone. Lakers always have something up their sleeve. So I know their not thinking going into the season counting heavily on Blake, Morris, Goudelock, Ebanks and Eyenga.

    Anybody know why Ebanks hasn’t signed?

  46. I get that the Lakers want to save a spot or two just in case of a trade and you can’t blame them because dh has dollar signs written all over him. But we’re missing out on some nice backups.

    Harden will eat jodie meeks lunch. Calderon is still out there.

  47. Kevin,

    The Lakers asked Ebanks not to sign yet. I am thinking he was part of the Howard proposal. If he signs without the trade, we can not trade him until January. Another move being held up by the Howard deal. Now with the Magic saying they may not trade him at all, I think it is time to finish our roster. If the trade does happen at some point we can deal with it then.

  48. @ Kevin, #47 & 48, it’s a wonder the Lakers are doing as well as they are this off-season. According to HoopsHype ( http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm ), the Lakers already have the highest payroll in the league (over $90 million) for next season by $7.5 mill over 2nd place Miami, and that’s only for 10 players.

    Not a lot you can do when one player has a $28 million salary. The rest of the roster may be comprise of D-Leaguers.

  49. Dirk, Kaman, Collison, Mayo, West, Marion, Brand, Jones

    Durant, Ibaka, Westbrook, Perkins, Harden, Sefolosha, Maynor, Collison

    Lawson, McGee, Faried, Miller, Afflalo, Gallinari, Harrington, Chandler

    Paul, Jordan, Griffin, Butler, Hill, Crawford, Bledsoe, Odom

    Kobe, Nash, Ron, Pau, Bynum, Jamison, Blake, Hill

    Lakers are not the only team that can go 8 deep. We still need a upgrade on the perimeter.

    BigCitySid: Wow! Brewer and Foye signed for the vets minimum they were there to be had.

  50. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Brandon Rush, Brandon Rush, Brandon Rush. Good defender, good 3 pt shooter, athletic. What am I missing ??

  51. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    The assets we have left this year :

    Mini-MLE
    Veteran’s minimum
    McBob’s expiring contract
    Eyenga’s contract (team option for next year)
    Barnes’ (next) contract

  52. Aaron, please go post on another blog man you are ruining this thing for everyone. I used to love coming to this site now I can’t even read half the stuff because it’s directed at your nonsense

  53. SBDunks

    Why do you keep questioning Aaron. He told you he makes half his income betting on NBA games. Clearly he is a true insider.

    Oh I just left a meeting with 4 former NBA players to discuss a new beer called Legends as a sponsor for retired NBA players Assoc. Two of then work for current radio or local teams.

    All of them said never happened with Kobe but may indeed have come from Andrew who was already dragging down court.

    Now that sounds like reality to me.

  54. @53 his qualifying offer with Golden State is for 4 million which we cannot match unless we do a sign and trade which GS won’t do unless they are in love with McRoberts.

    Don’t see it happening

  55. Any one mouse

    You are not missing anything except a way to get him. We either have to find a trade or hope that the Warriors sign Landry. If they do that would push them into luxury tax territory and they may not want to match an offer for him.Stanley Cup in hand, Los Angeles Kings eye free agent Zach Parise
    Sat Jun 30 09:54pm PDT

  56. any_one_mouse July 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    56,57,

    Yes, we have to get creative. I can’t post anything more, or else I’ll be back in moderation-hell

  57. Is Mike Brown lobbying for his old players (Jamison, now West)?

  58. J.M.: I do not agree with the premise of your post. We have 16 championships – not 11. Do not pull a Jerry Buss and take 30 years to acknowledge the other championships : ) Do you think the Celtic’s board has a poll where they ask what your favorite title is during your lifetime? for 2/3 of their board the answer would be pretty simple, as most of their titles belong in moth balls, however that does not stop them or the typcial ESPN announcer from saying the word seventeen, thousands of times per year.

  59. D12: If there is any hope (and Mitch must decide if there is), then we must wait. We simply can’t “move on”, because getting him is our best shot at a title. If we add a vagabond or two to the existing roster, then we could be as high as the third best team in the league, but we will still remain a long shot to win it all (not impossible – but a long shot). The only way to crack the top 2 is with Howard.

  60. Robert: I agree Howard gives the Lakers a much better chance to win the finals. Adding him and a sg would assure Lakers have a competitive wcf.

    Bynum has so much talent that is evident. If it was a matter of him learning post moves and footwork we could love with that. But our titles chances w/ Bynum are solely based on the fact is he going to come to play. Effort can’t be game to game.

  61. Plus according to reports, the Lakers are amenable to taking back JRich’s contract in the Howard deal. He would be a fantastic backup for Kobe at the 2.

  62. I think the thing to watch here is Ebanks. If he re-signs, I expect that means the Howard talks are dead for now.

    Also, Robert, who the Lakers get to back up Bryant matters a lot, “vagabond” or not–as you demonstrated last year with your nightly bench scoring repoprts.

  63. Below is a very good article that chronicles the D12 saga. Maybe the Lakers are being smarter than we think. Why take on D12 bad back, bad contracts, and the possibility that we would have to wait for months to see if he can actually play. He may never be the same.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1264402-breaking-down-the-strange-and-shady-backstory-of-dwight-howards-back-injury?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=nba

  64. Busboys4me-
    You just linked to the bleacher report…

  65. KenOak

    I’m not saying it’s factual, but it does make one wonder if this has anything to do with the trade not taking place.

  66. Warren Wee Lim July 25, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Busboys, I literally fell asleep reading that. That’s a blasphemy of an article.

  67. Busboys, I disagree with KenOak and Warren, I thought it was an informative timeline that summarizes the Dwight saga. Thanks for posting.

    My thoughts during the whole saga is that if I was Mitch, no way would I deal Bynum until I saw Howard run and jump on the court. Reading again “bone fragments removed” reinforces this opinion.

    Interested in what Warren thinks was “blasphemy.”

  68. @ #52, Kevin. Kobe’s back-up needs to be a guy who’s ok playing about 14 minutes a game, can play “D”, have some size (at least 6’4), can hit an open jumper, and be willing to accept the veteran minimum.

    I believe UFA Roger Mason fits all of the above. Does anyone know what’s his status?

  69. StepUp,
    If you choose not to read me go right ahead… But it would be akin to giving up Motzart or chocolate.

  70. The condition of Dwight might be why Orlando is holding out for a better offer. Teams can lowball them considering that his health is in question until he plays some games. If he returns and plays up to capability, then there is no question that he will garner more in return. Plus teams will probably be more inclined to take some of their junk off their hands. Orlando FO is playing this cool, patience always wins out in the end. The strategy doesnt benefit LA, but can make the GM in Orlando look like a genius.

    The deals for Dwight will only get better with time, because other teams cannot find talent, of Howards caliber, on any other team in the league.

  71. I gave up Motzart years ago, but I do still eat it when I go to the artists’ Passover.

  72. Robert,

    Yes, we missed a lot of Vagabonds because of Howard deal.

    Lakers said: “Yes, we’re interested with this trade.”

    Howard said: “Yes, I want to be traded with the Lakers.”

    What matters most, is what the owner of the slave says and Orlando says: “NO, let’s wait till February.” Problem with Howard, why did you enslave yourself?

    Are you willing to wait till February till all the vagabonds are gone? Even in poker, you’ve to choose your own battle.

  73. Aaron,

    Your super-inflated ego makes up for your (sometimes) ridiculous comments. It’s quite entertaining. I’ll never stop reading you, no matter how many times you exaggerate.

  74. @1/2decaf1/2regular:

    As Michael H pointed out, we can only hope that GSW withdraws his qualifying offer after overpaying for Landry or Kirilenko.

    As far-fetched as that sounds, keep in mind that this has been a *crazy* summer –

    1. OJ Mayo signs for 4M a year
    2. Jerryd Bayless signs for 3M a year
    3. Courtney Lee gets signed/traded to Celtics for a second round pick and trash.
    4. Jameer Nelson gets 8M a year from Orlando
    5. Brook Lopez gets the max

  75. The Lakers do not “need” D12 to win it all. That’s ridiculous, really. They were *this* close to defeating OKC with what they had last year. If the bench hadn’t been *AWFUL* and anyone besides Kobe had been able to shoot, they’d have stolen that series. They have the best SG in the league right now(no, it ain’t D-Wade, fg% aside, Kobe owns him every time they match up), the 2nd best center(and clearly the best offensive center), one of the top 10 PF’s, a top 6 PG and just acquired a backup PF on the cheap who is going to give them big time offensive punch off the bench. They need some 3 pt shooters and for Bynum to be healthy and motivated and for Artest to be in the kind of shape he says he is and that’s it. Waiting around for Dwight Howard at this point, when there are still bench and perimeter needs, is foolish. It’s time to end this charade and finish filling out the team.

  76. I like what the FO did so far (of course. Nash, Hill, Jamison) but missing Brewer and Foye for the vets min was a turnover.

    Unless I’m missing something here… (can we sign more than one player for the vets min?)

  77. @80 – We indeed do not need DH, but who’s gonna convince Bynum that he needs to play DEFENSE FIRST AND FOREMOST?