Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  September 21, 2012

Yesterday, Darius took a look at Lakers bench players through the prism of both past and present. How the new group will fit together is one of the fascinating unknowns going into this highly anticipated season. The countdown seems to move ever faster – the start of training camp is only ten days away. Here’s some links to carry into the weekend – as always, if y’all have more, post them below.

Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers examines the recent Jalen Rose admission that he intentionally hobbled Kobe Bryant in the 2000 finals.

Andy Kamenetzky from the LOL offers up a podkast featuring Chris Duhon who came over in the Dwight Howard trade, and saw the Orlando trials and tribulations up close and personal.

Mark Medina at the LA Times reports on MWP’s assertion that the Lakers could very well set a new NBA record for wins this season.

This is an ESPN Insider pay-to-read but if you’ve got a subscription, check out John Hollinger’s Lakers player profiles.

This Sean Sweeney article in Dime is part of the magazine’s larger current feature on Kobe Bryant as Player of the Century.

ESPN Go has the Mason & Ireland radio interview with Lakers Coach Mike Brown.

Aaron McGuire at Gothic Ginobili took on the task of writing 370 NBA player profiles recently. These daily capsules are grouped three players at a time and go way beyond simple summaries. Today’s trio includes Steve Nash. Head’s up going in – Aaron calls it as he sees it and that often involves some tough criticism. Regardless, he’s one of the smarter writers out there in my opinion, and I’m always interested in bringing diverse voices to these posts.

We’ve all heard about the possibility of Dwight Howard working with Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Captain’s been tutoring someone else as well – Joakim Noah from the Bulls. Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk has the story.

Arielle Moyal at Lakers Nation has a regular column combining commentary and links that is well worth checking out.

How on earth could this gem not be included – Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie brings us the night that Manute Bol got hot from behind the three-point line. Andrew Bynum, take note.


One of the pleasures of writing a links post is the reading part – there’s an extremely wide variety of styles, content and purpose and it’s easy to get lost in the task and realize that an hour or two has slipped away. This piece by Jonathan Abrams at Grantland, grabbed my attention and would not relinquish it – an uncommonly good story of a father and his son. If you read one thing today, read his profile of J.R. Smith.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy


to Friday Forum

  1. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that we haven’t heard anything about other cable networks getting the Lakers channel. I refuse to get Time Warner and hopefully they don’t put us through what they put NY through.

    Good to see The Captain get some recognition and spread his knowledge. Good thing what him and Hakeem are doing for the league.


  2. he’s one of the smarter writers out there in my opinion

    Perhaps, but saying the Lakers will have ups-and-downs due to roster age at the core takes about a zero point one in terms of smarts.

    At times, I get the feeling that these guys in other fanbases with blogging cred who try to objectively analyze the Lakers think the entire Lakers fanbase is composed of fifteen-year-olds who post Kobe highlight vids on You Tube. That the Lakers have age issues and very old core guys is a commonplace, as is the fact that it will affect them some. The question is how much it will affect them at playoff time. The other big question is whether Howard’s back is really OK.


  3. It would be a good idea, though for one of them to write about Mike Brown, the defense, or the health questions, or Nash, or what Pau’s role will be, in more detail, instead of writing the 5,789th “Will Kobe shoot too much?” article.


    Perhaps, but saying the Lakers will have ups-and-downs due to roster age at the core takes about a zero point one in terms of smarts.


    rr, the top quote is yours. As is the second one. I only bring this up because it seems a writer did exactly what you asked but yet you’ve still found a way to give a biting critique of the author.

    I thought the McGuire piece was smart and nuanced, though not that flattering towards the Lakers. There will be times we write those types of things here.

    Will we be met with similar scorn? I’m guessing yes. After all, I’ve seen Kurt Helin called a Laker hater on twitter by Lakers fans simply because he said unpopular things about the team.


  4. I for one certainly don’t think “think the entire Lakers fanbase is composed of fifteen-year-olds who post Kobe highlight vids on You Tube”. However, there is a sizable contingent here who seem to think with the acquisition of Nash and Howard that they might as well just throw the Larry O’Brien trophy in the Staples Center display case right now.

    I thought McGuire’s piece was excellent – smart and nuanced indeed. It fleshes out with stats and analysis what was clearly evident to anyone watching the Suns last year – Nash isn’t as consistently effective game in and game out as he once was. Fortunately for the Suns, in Telfair they had a pretty effective back-up point guard to pick up the slack at times. Not sure if the Lakers can boast the same depth at that position.


  5. I really enjoyed the article by Aaron McGuire. Perhaps “rr” feels the volatility with age issue is just common sense, but I have really not heard it spelled out as well as in this article.

    I hadn’t thought of the night-in-and-night-out schedule of the NBA in quite these terms, but it does make a lot of sense. It also emphasizes the job Mike Brown must do to keep our key bench players involved and producing for those nights we have two starters ‘under-performing’.

    I hope Mike Brown, or one of his coaches, is keeping an eye on this blog, because they may have to change their style a bit to get the most out of this team.


  6. I think McGuire was just…being a journalist. You gotta write about something. The possibiity that the Lakers will fail due to age is just one of many things that can be targeted by a writer. The chance that the Lakers will win it all is also just another topic that can be targeted by writers. They’re just doing their job. I’ll not go deep into any article at this point.

    Actually, those articles about the Lakers, as off now, are just fillers to keep us alive while we wait for what suppose to be the most memorable season ever.

    To write about such a team like the current Lakers is fuel for thought. They never played together but it’s very hard to not imagine how those pieces will fit.

    I’m trying to avoid even think about this season, until I’m able to see this squad performing together.


    Ok, back to therapy.


  7. Nash could be the 4th best Laker a particular night and Lakers can still win. That was never the case last year for Phoenix or the year before.

    That’s what great about the abundance of talent on this team. Not a single player needs to carry the offensive load night in night out for Lakers to win games. Kobe, Nash, Howard have had to produce high points every night they don’t need too this year. When everyone realizes that we could reach our peak a lot sooner than expected.


  8. Darius,

    While certainly McGuire’s article was not a typical helping of hatorade, it was also noticeably light on facts… like the fact that Nash has yet to show the nightly inconsistency that the writer suggested is a marker of the aging player. He even suggests that Kobe and Gasol may be subject to the same qualifier, without any real evidence. Pau has witnessed a dip in his productivity these last few years, but his role on the team is likely more to blame than anything. In terms of Nash, I think we’re entering into unprecedented (Stockonesque) territory where usual tropes about old age seem outdated. I happen to buy into what someone here suggested, that with the advancement of medical technology and health sciences, pro athletes careers will be extended further than ever before. This is doubly true for virtuoso talents with motors like Nash and Bryant. I guess I agree with rr. The article didn’t really provide a new perspective that hasn’t been rehashed one hundred times. It’s speculative and noticeably avoids empirical evidence.


  9. “I hope Mike Brown, or one of his coaches, is keeping an eye on this blog, because they may have to change their style a bit to get the most out of this team.”

    I respectfully disagree, i certainly hope that a professional team such as the Lakers and their coaching staff would not need such a resource. If they are basing their strategy off of blog posts on the internet.. let’s just say i’d worry about our success.


  10. It’s not surprising that Jalen Rose tried to injure Kobe back in the day. We’ve seen teams with their anointed “Kobe stoppers” being physical with the Bean ever since he came into the league. Even today, the only way to stop Kobe is to foul him and hope the refs don’t call it. What I love about Kobe is that he is pretty darn physical himself and can dish out punishment to his opponents on both offense and as a defender.


  11. I don’t think it’s disputable that Kobe gets away with far less than most superstars do. We don’t even have to compare him to MJ; Wade gets far more than Kobe.

    All of this, like Rose’s little confession, will come up and shed a new light in evaluating Kobe once he hangs it up. Laker fans will have the satisfaction of saying I told you so and we knew it all along, but it still irks me that he doesn’t get half the credit he should.

    Then again, I think it is truly possible that the league had an agenda to bury Kobe after Colorado.


  12. Cayucos,
    While the “professionals”, i.e. the Laker front office and coaching staff, certainly shouldn’t have to rely on something like a very intelligent blog to get all their information from, it would be foolish to totally ignore such an asset.

    There is an interesting, independent website out there that was started by Eli Lilly around 2000. They came to the conclusion that their ‘in-house’ experts were unable to solve some of their more difficult problems. Their solution: Detail the problems on the internet, provide a monetary reward, and let outsiders try their hands at solving these problems. This is like a variation on Mozilla, an open source organization that has been very successful in competing with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

    It was so successful that other companies wanted in on this business model and Eli Lilly spun off the service as an independent company so the company could more profitably serve R&D needs for all businesses.

    What they found was that solutions mostly came from related disciplines, not other, equally qualified, specialists. It was an association of ideas by people on peripheral industries. That is what this blog represents.


  13. I only bring this up because it seems a writer did exactly what you asked but yet you’ve still found a way to give a biting critique of the author.

    He didn’t write another piece about Kobe shooting too much, so I didn’t criticize him for that, and I never said or suggested that he is a “Laker Hater.” The Haters are guys like Abbott, Moore, Ziller, Dwyer, the Hardwood Paroxysm guys, et al, as we have discussed on many occasions.

    In terms of this piece, perhaps it is fair to say that I was projecting, since *I* have talked about the age thing many times, but at the same time, pretty much every big-time analyst along with mnay fans/bloggers, along with the “Will Kobe shoot too much” stuff, has said, “The Lakers will be really good but have major questions with health, age, and coaching.” I don’t see pointing out that Steve Nash will not, at the age of 39, be the same player he was in 2005 and will need his minutes monitored/have his ups and downs as a “nuanced” insight, presuming an informed audience. Hence my jibe about the fifteen-year-olds.

    The Lakers’ 2013 backcourt will be perhaps the most gifted two-man pairing in NBA history. It will also probably be the oldest in NBA history. I think all Lakers fans are thrilled about the first sentence and most are aware of the implications of the second.


  14. From Nash’s Twitter account:


    Taking the Suns training staff out tonight. The last stand. If you see us in a white limo apologies in advance. Let’s effing hoop.


  15. I happen to buy into what someone here suggested, that with the advancement of medical technology and health sciences, pro athletes careers will be extended further than ever before. This is doubly true for virtuoso talents with motors like Nash and Bryant. I guess I agree with rr.

    My longer reply is in mod, but I didn’t address this, and it is certainly a fair point. I hope it is accurate.

    But basically, I don’t think anyone really knows how much age will affect the Lakers, or whether Howard’s back will hold up. But we do know that these are key questions; we don’t need a guy with a blog named after Manu Ginobili to tell us that Nash and Kobe are old(not that I don’t respect Ginobili–he is an awesome ballplayer).
    As Kupchak said at Howard’s presser: “I wish they were all 22.”


  16. JonM @4: I for one, do think we have the best team. That does not mean it is guaranteed that we get the trophy. Rather, it means that we have about a 35% to win the title.

    For those that think this is high, the Lakers have won the title 23% of the league’s 66 years. We have been in the Finals 47% of those years. We have not even been in the Finals the past 2 years, so we are way over due.


  17. Cayucos, I am not sure whether anyone from the FO reads this blog or not. However, just in case they did, I made sure they knew how important it was that we get Dwight. I posted my request twice a day for months and finally, my wish came true.

    rr: When people post the anti Laker stuff, it just means they fear/respect us. Same applies to the haters. Kobe is one of the all time best, and the Lakers are the best franchise in sports. There is envy and jealousy, and the writers have their blogs and their newsprint as vehicles to express that. I pity all of them – see percentages above for the main reason why : )


  18. I think someone from Lakers PR browses through public forums like this. Not for intellect or advice but to see what the consumer wants and thinks. The fans voice does carry some weight. We do after all pay some of their bills.

    BTW: I hope you all are as happy as I am with my new Dwight Howard #12 jersey.


  19. Craig W –

    That’s a great story, but hardly applicable here. If there is useful information for the Lakers to use on this site, I sure as hell haven’t seen it. As I said before, if the lakers coaching staff is so desperate for ideas that they would look at this blog for inspiration, I worry about our future.


  20. The Lakers PR staff is as concerned with this blog as I am with the flea on a dogs behind, I assure you.


  21. I think it is human that if it is a praise, or continued kudos for a player, a coach or even a movie star, they usually have time to read it whether it is an article, a tweet, a blog or even from gossips. When it is a criticism, a negative feedback, they often shut off their concern. That’s human ego in craving for attention and when attention becomes the missing factor, it is time to retire. There is a moment of childhood in everyone of us.


  22. With regards to Lakers and its fans, have you noticed the media use our team as a good topic while treat us all like a piece of battery with positive and negative poles. Eric Pincus is an example of a writer that taps the positive pole to attract Laker fans to his article. On the other hand, Mr. Simmons and other Kobe hater writers would connect to negative pole which also attract readership. When we react too much on what they wrote, we are now forever beholden and probably duped too.


  23. All I know is I’ll be in L.A. in November and was able to buy tickets from the Lakers on Friday, rather than paying the marked-up prices on Ticket Exchange. So for that, all is momentarily right with the world — I hated paying three or more times face value, as I have had to do the last few times I wanted to take my family to Staples.


  24. The FO does take a look at the blogs – Mitch has mentioned that they do in previous interviews where he says some news is off and some are near to the truth.

    With fb&g being so tightly knit with espn is there a chance for the mods to hold more in depth interviews similar to the recent trudell interview but with players, coaches or the buss family?

    It would be great if there was an open post for questions that could be asked or just deeper in depth questions than what we typically see from traditional outlets


  25. I was speaking of the coaching staff, not the Front Office, and looking at the blog is a long way from making decisions based on ideas written here.. but i digress.

    It would be very nice to have a place to ask questions which could eventually see the light of day in an interview with someone associated with the Lakers. I think that is a fantastic idea.


  26. FYI Jimmy does read this blog. One of my friends has discussed it with him last year.


  27. Beh, still stuck in moderation (#11 for me).


  28. Here is another one I’d like to toss for you guys.

    For the dogged days of the NBA.


  29. What I want to see is how “will” or “well” Mike Brown use the pieces that is handed to him. It would be very interesting, to say the least.


  30. Ko: ” Jimmy does read this blog”
    I think so : ) He did everything we asked for : )

    Kevin: I am sure that #12 looks good on you. I am looking forward to seeing that jersey filled with the best big man in the league.

    Cayucos: I agree with your “concern”, however there are some obvious ideas that we have here, that seemingly have not been implemented: For example – management of minutes for the starters, which was an issue last year and could be an even bigger one this year.


  31. guys: here’s my recent conversation w/charter cable regarding the laker channel

    You have been connected to Daniel S.

    Daniel S: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you today! My name is Daniel S and I’ll be taking care of you. How can I help?

    david h: hi daniel; i’m an avid laker fan and was wondering if you know when charter cable will be adding the laker channel to the charter cable tv lineup.

    Daniel S: You can see a full listing of our channels by going to and entering your address.

    Daniel S: I cannot say when or if they will be adding it.

    david h: who can i escalate my question to in order to find out when?

    david h: the reason i ask is because if direct tv adds the laker station prior to charter, i say bye bye charter, hello direct tv.

    Daniel S: I do not think there is anyone I can transfer you to who would know when or if we would be adding that at the moment.

    david h: appreciate your honesty Daniel. Thank you for your response.

    fanatics of laker nation transcends all things practical. for that reason, am thinking of moving to Orange County where Time Warner is the cable company of choice and laker game opportunities.

    Go Lakers @


  32. Things do not look good.

    My choices are between Charter and Dish TV. To my knowledge, Dish is similar to Direct in their status. I doubt this gets resolved before the beginning of the season – these things always go to the last minute, at the very least.


  33. The Aaron McGuire capsule on Steve Nash is part of an amazing 370-part series about every current NBA player. I highly suggest reading it as it’s incredibly insightful, and gives you a much different perspective than what mainstream media gives us:

    Don’t let the fact that he didn’t say “STEVE NASH IS AWESOME AND THE LAKERS WILL BE TOO,” which is what it seems all Lakers fans want to read (myself included), sway you from objectively reading all he has to offer. Nash IS getting old, his variance in performance DID change, he DID play the lowest minutes per game in 12 years, and he WILL be 39. Aaron admitted he’s a huge fan of Nash, but he’s not Lakers homer and thus realizes his age and decline are becoming apparent and thus lower the Lakers chance of winning the championship.

    The Lakers are getting 2012-2013 Nash, not the MVP from 6 years ago.


  34. Sam: All fair points. The “age factor” (as discussed here and above by rr + others) is definitely a factor and does lower our chances. That is why our chances of winning it all are only 35%. If we had Nash, Kobe, and Pau all in their prime, coupled with D12 who is in his prime, then this would be all over. Unfortunately they are not all in their prime so we must be content with being the best team and having a 35% chance !


  35. Update on the NBA’s pre-season top 500 player ranking for 2012-13.

    Now that #16 (Tony Parker) has been announced, this is what the ranking tells me. According to 104 of ESPN’s top b-ball minds:

    -four teams have more than one player in the top 15. Lakers lead the way with three. Thunder, Heat, & Clips have two each. So nine of the top 15 players play with another top 15 player.

    -D-Will (somewhere in the top 15) is ranked higher than Melo (#17). I mention that because the Knicks were working so hard to get Melo and D-Will was available all the time…and at a cheaper rate.

    -Andrew Bynum is ranked as a top 15 player. And I for one am very happy about that. I think he will blossom as a player on both sides of the ball. It’s amazing how well big guys work on the boards & rebound when they get their fair share of touches.


  36. Steve Blake is out three weeks after stepping on a parking lot spike. And Steve Blake rapid fire jokes start now…

    And you thought he had a tough time getting around opposing PGs…

    It might be the only thing he hits all season…



    Pathetic. Who injures their foot on a spike strip? Two disappointing seasons and looks to be more of the same from Blake.

    I’m fine with our backups if we feel Darius Morris can make a jump like Bledsoe from Clippers made. Anybody see a fair comparison there?


  38. I know we all sometimes have trouble punching out at parking structures. But I get out try and raise the bar not step on a spike strip.

    Such a season of promise and Blake suffers a bizarre injury at a position we can’t afford lose players. My passion has come out early Blake’s in the dog house.


  39. Steve Blake out for 3 weeks cause he punctured his foot on a spike in the garage…


  40. dice8up @28: That link was very enjoyable. It was also highly accurate. The championships with completely different rosters is very key. If he does it with a third roster – he could be the GOAT. The dream scenario: 7 rings, leading scorer of all time, leading playoff scorer of all time, leading all star scorer of all time, most All NBA selections. I will stop there so as not to take up too much space : )


  41. I don’t even know what to say about a guy that steps on on a parking strip. Although I’m sure I’ll come up with something before my next post.


  42. “suffered a puncture wound to his left foot after stepping on a spike strip ..”

    Wow!! Seriously speaking, all I can do is laugh @ his misfortune. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to serious and more then likely, he’ll be ready for opening night. Just hope that this is not a sign of things to come for the entire roster this upcoming season.


  43. Somehow I expected no less from Steve Blake. It’s time the Lakers put an end to his career as a Laker with numerous opportunities to be productive, season after season he starts out injured. Then everyone waits for him to revert to form (pre-Laker) but productive play by Blake never comes to fruition. Enough! Reminds me of Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton, Vlade Rodmanovic, all given more than enough time to develop.


  44. I just wanted to clarify something from my last post commenting on the Gothic Ginobili article: the two statistics that McGuire uses are mean Game Score (composite number of box score) and its standard deviation. According to Aaron, Nash’s average Game Score was the lowest its been in 5 years (14.4) and the standard deviation is at its highest (8.84).

    What this tells us is that during the season, his performance (as a measured average of box scores) was down, and his performances varied greatly (from very well to very poorly). Looking at those statistics, one thing pops out: standard deviation doesn’t take into account the ordering of pairs. For instance, perhaps the bulk of Nash’s bad performances happened on back to back to back games or super condensed stretches of the schedule, both of which will not take place next season. Or perhaps the bulk of his poor performances coincided with the injury of another teammate. We also have to consider that last year’s Phoenix team was the worst Nash has been paired with in years. How can one responsibly say that his dip in performance had nothing to do with the talent he was surrounded by or a compacted schedule? Without those caveats, his analysis falls short of convincing (me, at least).


  45. Can’t wait until FB&G gets back to heavy comments daily. I’m suffering from hoops withdrawal need the Lakers.

    Steve Nash-Kobe Bryant-Ron Artest-Pau Gasol-Dwight Howard in Staples Center each wearing purple and gold at tip off. then the camera pans to Mike Brown. lol


  46. Robert wrote on September 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    dice8up @28: That link was very enjoyable. It was also highly accurate. The championships with completely different rosters is very key. If he does it with a third roster – he could be the GOAT. The dream scenario: 7 rings, leading scorer of all time, leading playoff scorer of all time, leading all star scorer of all time, most All NBA selections. I will stop there so as not to take up too much space : )

    Very doable…