Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Chuck-Kobe, Free Agency, Kobe’s Parents

Ryan Cole —  June 10, 2013

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: Who you got – Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan? Hakeem Olajuwon or Dwight Howard? Robert Horry gave his opinion on both (spoiler: he also took into consideration if Duncan won his fifth championship, something we discussed here just a week ago) in an interview with HoopsHype.When asked who had a better career between Bryant and Duncan, Horry’s selection would be Kobe. From a general manager perspective Horry gives Bryant the nod because he’s going to “sell tickets”" and “put people in the arena”:

From Darren Rovell, ESPN: The Kobe Bryant memorabilia saga has ended with an apology from the Los Angeles Lakers guard’s parents and a settlement that allows less than 10 percent of the items originally intended for sale to be auctioned. Bryant and a company that was auctioning off the memorabilia reached a deal one week before the two sides were due to go to trial in New Jersey. The agreement allows the sale of six items, which Goldin Auctions president Ken Goldin told ESPN.com on Monday morning he is confident still can sell for more than $500,000 combined.Bryant’s parents, who had contracted with Goldin to sell the items, apologized in a written statement.

From Suki Thind, Lakers Nation: We all love/hate Charles Barkley for the same reason: he speaks his mind. I personally like Barkley and how he says what’s on his mind, whether he’s right or wrong. Most recently, Barkley had this to say with regards to Kobe Bryant and his injury on the Dan Patrick Show: “I think he can be a good player. That’s it. Is he going to be an All-Star? He’ll probably be an All-Star because the fans will vote him in. But as far as being a dominant player, that’s not going to happen.” With this, I have to strongly disagree. Barkley actually makes it very easy for me to disagree with him for a few reasons.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers have four potential restricted free agents this summer: Darius Morris, Robert Sacre, Andrew Goudelock and Devin Ebanks. Once the NBA Finals  between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat wrap up, the Lakers have until June 30 to tender qualifying offers to make any of the four restricted. The team is not likely to give an offer of $1.3 million to Ebanks, who underperformed in his third year with the Lakers. To restrict Morris, who progressed in his second season, the Lakers need to make an offer of $1.2 million. Goudelock, who was signed for the last couple of regular-season games after Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury, would need a qualifying offer of $1.1 million. Center Robert Sacre’s offer would fall just under $1 million.

From Michael C. Jones, Yahoo Sports: The Dwight Howard saga wears on. As the July free agent frenzy that’s slated to take place when NBA free agency nears, the Houston Rockets are emerging as viable suitors to land the polarizing big man. Whether or not the Lakers are better off without him is a topic for another story (they’re not, by the way), but the fact is they have mortgaged their pride and their future on the fact that he will re-sign with them this summer and try to become the next great center in Laker-land.

 

Ryan Cole

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26 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Chuck-Kobe, Free Agency, Kobe’s Parents

  1. I would have assumed Horry was right with regard to Kobe putting people in the seats, but the Spurs actually had better attendance numbers this year. As much star power as Bryant has, it may be more about how good the team is. People won’t show up just to see him play if the team is middling.

  2. Comparing Bryant and Kobe is kinda apples and oranges, but I’d take Hakeem over DH too.

  3. I don’t know Matt… people line up year after year to see Kobe play because he is great, even when the Lakers visit other teams. That is worth a lot to a GM.

    Timmy may be a workhorse, but Kobe is a Stallion and Thoroughbred. He may be a faulty man, but he is an almost perfect basketball player. That, to me, is worth a lot more.

  4. Attendance numbers would only be worth comparing directly if the ticket prices are comparable.

  5. Three NBA teams have been fined an undisclosed amount for tampering, the league said Monday.

    The league said a memo was sent to the NBA’s 30 teams announcing the penalties, but with no specific teams or fines mentioned.

    The Atlanta Hawks say they were one of the three teams, saying that they “fully understand and respect the NBA’s decision.”

    ESPN.com has also learned that the Houston Rockets were also fined what one source called a “small” amount. The identity of the third team fined was not immediately known.
    —–

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9362896/three-nba-teams-fined-tampering-ahead-free-agency

  6. Warren Wee Lim June 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Darius quote from last thread:
    “That said, I do understand that there are mechanisms in the CBA that hit owners in the wallet and that those things will affect how teams do business. So, in that respect, I think it’s prudent that fans understand what those limitations are and keep a certain amount of perspective as to why teams make the moves that they do whether they agree with them or not.”
    —-

    This sums up my point. My point is, just like everyone here want a championship every year. Twice if possible. But I do understand the CBA and its machinations thus I am trying to open some minds into what I call “practical thinking” because these things lead to better conclusions.

    I have nothing against anyone here, in thinking this is a hobby or not. Its both actually. And atleast we all agree that losing money in any business is not ideal. I was so relieved.

    I don’t get anything out of Jim Buss or the Lakers. I just want the satisfaction of my team doing well and winning it all. But I do realize that the CBA affects everyone and not just the Lakers. The penny-pincher owners have proven to be contenders for a short while and lose steam, the Lakers have proven to have owners that do not fear spending if it meant fielding the best possible product. But to say that the CBA has not altered the team’s decisions when it comes to money is simply wrong. To say that the tax system (new and old) has not affected trades and selling of draft picks is simply wrong.

  7. Been away for several days.
    Purple: The Detroit shows were incredible. Carpe Diem !
    Ownership: Need to belatedly weigh in. I think it is a hobby that must be run as a business. For the Buss Family it might be more of a business, but the irony here is that is where you would hire the best people and get out of the way to make the most money. Having fun with the business by tinkering with all the decisions, is something a multi billionaire would do. That is, unless you consider yourself the most qualified to make all the decisions.
    Kobe: You just gotta love the man’s attitude. Yea – he’s signing an extension – why wouldn’t he?
    Fans: Most probably know I have been critical of Laker fans and our LA home court in the past. This little skit was humorous and did not surprise me, as I have had some conversations like this inside the confines of Staples.You gotta love it, as these people clearly believe in Laker Manifest Destiny.
    http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/06/07/jimmy-kimmel-live-asks-lakers-fans-how-they-think-the-lakers-will-do-in-the-nba-finals/

  8. rr: hopefully Lakers were the 3rd to level the playing field.

    Would Ron be back because he can still help the team in D’Antoni’s system? Or because it’s hard to replace a steady veteran, even in decline, like him? Nash, Kobe and Ron have all said separately the team needs length and athleticism. I don’t see how an addition like that would help if those 3 are playing close to 30 minutes a game.

    Selfishly hoping a guy like Nate McMillan doesn’t get a head coaching gig, so he can be on the Lakers bench next year. If a slow pace is what they want he’s the guy ask for help with ideas and things. Lakers whole coaching staff is in flux, probably waiting for the head coaching slots to fill up and hope former head coaches want to coach bad enough to take on a seemingly impossible task. If Shaw was promised the job after this season would he come on as an assistant to help the defense. I know there are a lot of hypotheticals but that’s what we’re dealing with until Dwight signs somewhere.

    Saw Kobe on Kimmel in regular sneakers. I hope he keeps progressing at the rate he’s on.

  9. But to say that the CBA has not altered the team’s decisions when it comes to money is simply wrong. To say that the tax system (new and old) has not affected trades and selling of draft picks is simply wrong.

    “Simply wrong” is not really much of a rebuttal.

    Basically, I think that your analysis is questionable because you focus too much on the money and not enough on the basketball. Obviously, money affects team decisions. But the Lakers have since 2010 had a very simple plan:

    1. Try to max out the production of each year’s specific roster, without worrying about the future or the payroll.
    2. Land the transitional foundation player to take the team into the post-Kobe era.
    3. Clear the decks, in terms of both money and players, the year that Kobe’s and Pau’s deals expired.

    They started doing that before the new CBA was in place and kept doing it after the new CBA took effect. It is clear that they were aware that there would be heavier tax penalties down the line, but they triggered on the Nash deal and kept Metta and Blake anyway–for, well, basketball reasons.

  10. About Horry’s perspective… His choice of Hakeem is an obvious one. Dream was a dominant defensive player, dominant offensive player with skills Dwight will never have. It’s just the not a comparison. Also, his view of Kobe vs Duncan is valid. Agree or disagree, it’s valid. I have enjoyed Kobe’s career too much to want to trade him for any comparable player and it’s hard to compare the two as they play different positions. I don’t think either team would be disappointed to have either for 17 years or longer.

    Barkley… Everything points to his being right about Kobe’s future. From the results seen in other athletes, to the view of doctors I have spoken to, it’s just not reasonable to expect Kobe to be the Kobe we’ve known. It is a safe bet to say that Kobe will be a much diminished player. The achilles is one of the parts of the body that is does not respond to extra work. It requires time, and even then it is a finicky tendon. His desire to come back in time for next season may be the worst thing for him. I will be happy if he comes back as a rich man’s, late career, Ron Harper. I hope I am wrong.

    One more thing… If Dwight returns, great. If not, I want the team on Wiggins Watch. Get under the cap, trade all assets for youth, picks and expiring deals. Ain’t nothing wrong in bringing in youth and then drawing top dollar free agents in 2014. It’s the formula that got us Lakeshow and then became Kobe/Shaq. It works.

  11. I agree with Warren. For the Lakers it is not so much the Luxury tax as it is the repeater tax that will force them to dump salary before rebuilding. It will take a lot more finesse to manage salaries going forward. I think there is a lot of value with mid tier contracts as teams try to fill their roster with max contract guys and min salary guys.

    I do think Kobe may have problems guarding quick players next year. But I do think he will still be an effective offensive player as he has the craft skills to make it work.

  12. I don’t think Kobe will ‘rush’ his tendon any more than it’s possible/healthy. His body is worth a fortune and he knows it.

    Also, the ‘diminished Kobe’ will be an interesting sight. With every year, every injury, Kobe is relying more and more on his skills rather than natural talents; and so far he’s been holding up quite well. I fear that his reputation will take further beating, especially his defensive rep, as there’ll be many who won’t remember how good a defender he once was, being able to guard 1~3 if asked to.

    P. Ami sorta mentioned this, but what is really crazy is that a ‘diminished Kobe’ could actually open the door to PJ’s return… and for Kobe to serve as the triangle PG.

  13. Warren Wee Lim June 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Rr,

    Might be the last I speak of this with reference to your point(lessness).

    I am saying that the money aspect of the game is something that the Lakers do not simply overlook but manage as well. I know what the plan is, The plan was Kobe and Pau Gasol and the uprising of Andrew Bynum. The plan was adding and surrounding these players with guys that will compliment them. When Ariza played his bluff, he got called. We signed Metta instead. When Odom got depressed, we jettisoned him to Dallas. Using the same Traded Player Exception, we signed Steve Nash. We also used the 1st round pick we got there by trading it to Houston along with Derek Fisher’s 2-yr deal to get Jordan Hill. We also packaged our own 1st round pick to send Luke Walton’s (and whats left of him) contract to Cleveland in exchange for what would become our starting PG for the remainder of the year.

    The Lakers spent a 1st rounder to send Sasha to the Nets.

    All this misreadings may be summarized into:
    1. The Lakers are weary of the taxes; but are not afraid to spend on the “right” players.
    2. The Lakers are willing to spend more provided it guarantees a championship or close to it; but they will not be in tax territory if it means being a lottery team.

    I see the Lakers front office as smart gamblers. I’d like to refer to myself as one as well. While most would require player development, I do on some degree, the dependence on veterans occupying most of our team’s minutes have lessened the need for more role players than needed. Esp at a time when we had Lamar Odom, a big convenience at the 3/4/5 spot because he was able to play multiple positions and provide rest for our bigs.

    I am neither a pessimist or a compulsive gambler, I bet on the ones that feel right. Even at times when the odds are not necessarily for me, I like a little challenge from time to time. In the end, its all about what feels right. I too spend my money when it feels right. But I don’t waste it on petty things that I don’t need just because I can afford.

  14. Warren,

    Like I said, the Lakers have made a lot of basketball decisions, which you essentially repeated from my post, based on the three-step plan and specific facts and beliefs about each player. Was money a factor? Sure. Was it the biggest or driving factor? Not seeing it. The biggest factors in how the Lakers handled 2010-13 in my opinion were the FO wanting to win another one before Kobe has to retire, and perhaps also wanting one more to tie Boston, for Dr. Buss.

    And, while the Lakers, like every other team in the league, will be mindful of the new cap rules and in the Lakers’ case, the new tax penalties, I don’t think money will be biggest factor driving personnel decisions going forward, either. Trying to win will.

  15. Kevin,

    My guess is the 3rd team is Dallas.

    ___

    It’s the formula that got us Lakeshow and then became Kobe/Shaq. It works.

    __

    Magic retired in 1991. Shaq came in 1996 and joined a team that had gone 53-29 which Jerry West spent almost five years retooling with a succession of intelligent moves. Again, I am not 100% opposed to tanking if Howard leaves, but it will be a whole new thing for this entire fanbase, from Bellflower to Beijing, and from ages 8 to 80, if the Lakers actually try it.

  16. Warren Wee Lim June 11, 2013 at 3:34 am

    All I am pointing out (to no success apparently) is that the Lakers have made equal value to winning with regards to the money aspect. Odom was a money decision – but they quickly reversed it to become Steve Nash before the TPE expired. Before Dallas could transmit the pick, they turned it + Derek Fisher into Jordan Hill’s expiring contract. Sasha was expiring and it cost us a 1st rounder to send out. Radmanovic was a big part of our team (Phil was using him alot despite calling him a space cadet) but we traded him for Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison despite weakening our championship bid that year.

    As you can see (or not) the Lakers have made lots of money decisions. I never said it was the biggest driving force, I agree that its winning. However, like I have said alot, this front office is smart. Luke Walton and a 1st meant 14 million and 8 million in salaries. Whilst it added a young guy on our team, we sacrificed that in order to save ourselves 8 million in tax penalties that year (pick + walton – sessions) while filling a need in PG.

    If you don’t like to recognize that money, while not the biggest driving force, is a pretty big one. I would be doing the same if I were the heir to that corporation. While I don’t lose any sleep if the Buss family pays 85-125 million in taxes, I have an owner’s mentality with regards to the the vision I have in building my next Laker contender. All I know is that adding salaries to no end IS NOT the way. I am not saying the Lakers tank at all, all I say is that the Lakers need to be wise about this unique position we have in 2014.

    Lets agree to disagree but some things won’t be denied. Things such as Cap Space in Lakerland is quite different from cap space somewhere else, say Charlotte or Indiana. Such is just the function of Economics.

  17. Warren Wee Lim June 11, 2013 at 3:39 am

    OTOH, while I remain a Laker fan for life, I can’t help but wish Duncan gets his 5th. I cheer for him because I am a fan of his game and his legacy. As a basketball fan in general, Tim Duncan is a very good example for the upcoming superstars of the league. His game, him staying on a small market team, his character and his legacy is one for the ages. No off-the-court news for him either means he’s either clean or have very good PR personnel around him. Thats very admirable.

  18. Warren Wee Lim June 11, 2013 at 4:19 am

    Double post.

  19. The plan was to be a title contender last year and this year. Hang a banner in the rafters or 2, throw a retirement party for Kobe, hand the keys over to Dwight and reload a new team in 2014 with Dwight as the centerpiece. The best of plans though don’t always work out and now this is an awkward year as this was not in the plan.

    Things may work out for the best though. The 1 year rebuilding plan just became a 2 year plan and that may lead to positioning for a stronger foundation then would otherwise had been possible.

  20. Radmanovic was a big part of our team (Phil was using him alot despite calling him a space cadet)

    Phil had actually pretty much benched him right before he got traded. You can check the game logs at Bask Ref. if you don’t believe me, and and given that Phil put Shannon Brown in the playoff rotation (about 17 MPG) and the Lakers won the title, it is hard for me to read that move as “weakening the championship bid.”

    As to Odom, that was obviously in part a salary dump, but he came in to camp depressed and out of shape, didn’t like being here anymore, so they moved him.

    WRT Fisher and Walton, we covered that, but basically, both of those guys got excessive contracts, and the Lakers needed to include picks to get another team to take them on. In addition, with a veteran team trying to win, it would proably be hard for a rookie late-1st-rounder to get playing time anyway. And then of course the Lakers then re-signed Jordan Hill–and therefore added him to the already massive payroll.

  21. PAMI

    I totally agree with your quote: “One more thing… If Dwight returns, great. If not, I want the team on Wiggins Watch. Get under the cap, trade all assets for youth, picks and expiring deals. Ain’t nothing wrong in bringing in youth and then drawing top dollar free agents in 2014. It’s the formula that got us Lakeshow and then became Kobe/Shaq. It works.”

    The new CBA is so restrictive – you could almost say that it was put in place to negate
    creative owners like Jerry Buss. The fact of the matter is that we cannot rebuild on the fly like we were able to do so in the past.

    Additionally, this argument about the Lakers not caring about spending money on tax penalties is ridiculous. It does matter – regardless of the new Time-Warner deal – it matters. Do you think that all the contracts expiring during the summer of 2014 is coincidence? No, it was planned so that the team could get a reset on their tax bill.

  22. No, it was planned so that the team could get a reset on their tax bill.

    _____________

    Many of those deals were signed before the new CBA was in place, and they tracked Metta’s and Blake’s deals to parallel Kobe’s and Pau’s, probably with the idea that those guys would be core rotation players. The problem with the deals is that they are all too expensive and a year or two too long, but that happens in sports when you are trying to win, and when you decide to reward your stars.

    And, of course, as Robert has pointed out a few times, Nash’s deal runs through 2015–because they really wanted Nash for basketball reasons.

    Some of the recent deals, sure–but I would suggest that, again, the motivation was more basketball than money. The Lakers are a basketball team, and the “business” of the Lakers all starts from there. That is what I am arguing–not that the Lakers “don’t care” about tax penalties.

  23. Also, people who want to focus on cost-cutting should be looking at what the Lakers did in the FO, not on the floor. I would be willing to bet that

    a) Fewer than 20 people replaced the 20 Jim let go.
    b) That they work for less money, both individually and collectively, than those he replaced.

    I would guess, for example, that Glenn Carraro works for less than Ronnie Lester was working for and that the new clubhouse guy makes less than Rudy G did. Same with the old scouts/new scouts.

    I may be wrong, of course, but it seems logical.

  24. rr: Yes – u are on target. A couple of quick comments.
    “Clear the decks, in terms of both money and players, the year that Kobe’s and Pau’s deals expired.” Unfortunately they did make one large exception to that, which is why we can make no more. No vagabonds, no problem children, and absolutely no boat anchors. We will take youngsters and picks only (otherwise we stand as is).
    “basketball reasons”: It does appear that all of the player moves were done for these reasons. Now, if they had only acted that way in the FO and the Coaching areas.
    Spurs: They need to be beaten. I admire the way they play and the way they are coached about as much as I admired the way Larry Bird played and KC Jones coached. In other words – I despise them.

  25. Robert,

    My guess is that Nash will either be traded or accept a buyout and retire before 2015–unless both he and the team make a huge comeback in 2014. But I doubt that he will be on the roster at his full salary. If Howard walks, Nash may not be on the team in 2014, much less 2015.

    As to the other point, we’ve covered that already. Whether taking on another player is a good idea depends on who the player is and how much money/how many he wants/has The Lakers actually have to make a decision next month in that regard about a player: Earl Clark.

    The Clippers are interviewing Shaw, Karl, Hollins, and Stan Van Gundy this week.

  26. Even with old CBA the FO was going to reset the tax situation in 2014, this has been coming since Pau and Kobe signed their latest deals it was reasonable at the time to expect a 5 year windows out of both of them and it has paid off. Now even with the new CBA the Lakers will have a boatload of cap to atract 2 max players if Dwight bolts ( which at this time i could care less, i dont think he can hack it in LA, too much pressure for his weak mind) or 1 and some nice complementary players if he stays. Either way im confident the Lakers will do what they always do.