Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  June 21, 2013

Winters surely come but the Spurs didn’t go quietly. On the road in Miami, nearly sealing the deal in Game 6, right in it until the closing moments of Game 7. They had a transcendent run, from opening day to the final buzzer. The rest of the league will filter back in now, the draft and free agency, coaching changes and summer league and the dog days that seem to turn hotter and more insufferable each year. Our long NBA season itself however, is over. Long live the NBA season.

Quincy Scott for Pounding the Rock on the beautiful game of basketball.

Tom Haberstroh for the Heat Index asks if Miami is the best shooting team in history.

The Grantland Staff with their final edition of this year’s NBA Finals Shootaround.

Phil Jackson’s gravitational pull back to the Lakers’ orbit seems to be happening in a roundabout yet familial way. Arash Markazi from ESPN has the story.

Arielle Moyal for Lakers Nation reports on Jeanie Buss’s Wednesday night appearance at a Time Warner cable event, along with other news and rumors.

Brian Kamenetzky from Land O’Lakers on Kobe’s appearance on ESPNLA 710 Wednesday with John Ireland and Mike Trudell.

It has been 30 years since Randy Newman released his song “I Love L.A.”. C.A. Clark from Silver Screen and Roll writes about an enduring element of the Staples Center experience.

There’s been a lot of recent talk about a possible Doc River trade to the Clippers. Nonetheless, other interviews are moving ahead, including Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw. Broderick Turner from the L.A. Times reports.

From Hoopshype Video, five Lakers needs heading into next season.

The NBA draft is just a week away. The Lakers haven’t exactly been burning up the draft boards in recent history and this year’s 48th pick isn’t apt to change the trend. Still, the event itself is something of a basketball rite of passage and if nothing else it’ll afford a chance to watch David Stern smirk benignly at the jeering crowd one more time. We’ll have more on possible picks, strategy and the ever enticing rumors of last minute trade-ups as draft night grows closer.

Dave Murphy


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  1. the espn story is on phil jackson is pure fluff. can’t see anyone listening to pj as long as jim buss is running the show. i nearly fell out of my chair laughing when mitch feigns surprise that phil isn’t working in the league. I have to hand it to mitch. I can’t believe some of the things he says with a straight face.

    did anyone else have a kobe flashback the way lbj whiffed on those 3 possessions at the end of game 6? I thought lbj should have given up the rock at the end since everyone knew he wanted to take the shot. like kobe, he willed his team back, but you have to give it up once in while just to keep the defense honest. and its exactly why you need a guy like ray allen in the corner.


  2. @trianglefan – who knows whether anything substantive will ever come out of these conversations but I’m not sure how the espn story is pure fluff – it’s almost entirely comprised of direct quotes from Wednesday’s Time Warner event. You can question what Phil, Jeanie and Mitch were saying but they were the ones saying it.


  3. KB knows the focus. Again other than offering the max, what are we doing to complete the task?


  4. Warren Wee Lim June 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Because all other options require other teams’ cooperation. This move (re-signing Dwight) depends solely on us being able to convince him to stay, and while he has good reason to leave, he also has good reason to stay.


  5. Kobe and LeBron 2 rings and Finals 2 MVPs in 3 years

    Playoff Record

    LAL 08-10: 46-21

    MIA 11-13: 46-21

    08KB: 30.1 pts 5.7 reb 5.6 ast 1.7 stl 47/30/80

    -10LJ: 23.7 pts 8.4 reb 5.9 ast 1.7 stl 1.2 blk 46/35/76

    09KB: 30.2 pts 5.3 reb 5.5 ast 1.7 stl 45/34/88

    -11LJ: 30.3 pts 9.7 reb 5.6 ast 1.9 stl 50/25/73

    10KB: 29.2 pts 6 reb 5.5 ast 1.3 stl 45/37/84

    -13LJ: 25.9 pts 8.4 reb 6.6 ast 1.8 stl 49/37/77

    KB 3 yr AVG: 29.8 pts 5.6 reb 5.5 ast 1.5 stl 45/33/84

    -LJ 3 yr AVG: 26.6 pts 8.8 reb 6.0 ast 1.8 stl 48/32/75

    Two great players vying for slot #2.


  6. LaBrawn and Kobe are two different animals. Kobe is an off guard. Brawn is an all-around monster athlete. He is able to do things that no other human of his size has ever been able to do. He is Magic with agility. He may go down as the greatest athlete to ever play the game. With that said, he is no Kobe Bryant. He is no MJ. He is a freak of nature that should be considered as the best all around small forward to play the game. He will never have the intangibles that those two had. He may develop a killer instinct, but I doubt it. He is more Hollywood than a stone cold killer who leads his team in battle. He needs everyone else to take the load off of him. One free throw made or rebound gathered by San Antonio at the end of game six and this would not be something anyone would question.


  7. Warren Wee Lim June 22, 2013 at 7:23 am

    For me the greatest center is Kareem Abdul Jabbar. For many others its Bill Russell. It might never end.


  8. He is more Hollywood than a stone cold killer who leads his team in battle.

    James has gone over 30 in four consecutive Game 7s, and is second only to Elgin Baylor in this category, who has done it five times. For that and other reasons, like his 19/26 in Boston with Miami facing elimination last year, the “James does not have the killer instinct” argument is over.

    Like I said, I don’t like the way that ESPN covers James and Kobe, either, and I think it’s fine to call out ESPN guys on that bias. But that has nothing to do with James as a player.


  9. “He will never have the intangibles that those two had.”
    I used to think the same thing. My thinking has changed. LeBron is not Jordan or Kobe. He is a different player. He is more versatile than either of them. He can effectively guard the first four positions. He’s had spots where he even guarded 7 footers. He is a better rebounder than both Michael and Kobe. And I think he is a better passer than both as well. Is he a better player? We won’t be able to answer that question until his career is over. It is not fair to compare LeBron’s career up to this point to Jordan’s completed career or even Kobe’s.

    In many ways we Laker fans do to LeBron what Jordan fans do to Kobe. We dismiss him despite mounting evidence to the contrary. I’m a Laker fan for life. But I am a basketball fan first. As RR said, at some point you just have to recognize his greatness and move on.


  10. I think one of the more interesting, abstract ways to look at superstar players is to take away their names and any references to names. It’s difficult, because identities are ingrained – even when watching high school or playground athletes, it’s easy to say, “so and so copped that move from…”. Yet, there is something kind of cool about watching somebody at the true upper tier of the sport (whether now or through old film) and just enjoying the beauty or power of their game. You can start to filter out whether it’s ‘better than’ and just be amazed at things that are done that seem removed from the rank and file – the ability to make the impossible play or to summon reserves of resiliency that set someone far and above the rest.


  11. At some point, one can believe that crescendo pitch has been achieved and we are due for a return to quiet. I hope we are getting close to the crescendo for fans feeling that part of fandom is knowing what will be before it has arrived. People make prognostications about games, series, playoffs, and careers and become so invested in their ability to know what will happen that confirmation bias is the main trait found on discussion boards.

    Just look right above at the comments by Busboy4me. Even after James has won 2 rings, took over key games in key moments, made clutch plays on both ends… he will remain the lessar player he imagined James would become because what? Because, like every other person on this planet he will make mistakes and requires these mistakes to learn to rise to the occasion. It’s as if failure is an inescapable mark that leads only to more failure.

    In 1984, after having won 2 championships (both with Finals MVP awards) Magic Johnson was being called Tragic Johnson and SI had an article calling him a choker. Why? Because he made some bad plays in key moments in a finals series against Boston. These things happen. What is incredible is to have just witnessed LeBron make clutch shot after clutch shot to win a game 7 in the finals and to still read people think that his intangibles somehow fall short. I can only assume that the failures of players, such as LeBron, are so significant to some people, it must reflect their own feelings of failing to know what a players career would look like from the start. Better to focus on past failures then to look honestly at our own continued ones.

    As for one made free throw or gathered rebound… Every close series turns on such things. If Perkins hadn’t hurt his knee, if Ariza hadn’t broken his hand, if, if, if… The Heat won a series that both teams deserved to win. LeBron is the best in the league and will probably be the best of his era. The nice things is, we just don’t know what is going to happen and we watch to find out.