Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe, Kobe-Duncan, Phil, Jeanie, Lakers-Clippers

Ryan Cole —  June 24, 2013

From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: In one of the most trying seasons of his career, Kobe Bryant has openly discussed retirement and has reiterated that it is realistic that he would hang it up after his current contract expires, which is at the end of next season. This was before the season-ending Achilles tendon rupture on April 12, 2013. While looking at the scar on his Achilles during an interview in Brazil, Bryant talked about his recovery so far and might have possibly reconsidered his retirement plans. Courtesy of KB824Legend (h/t Los Angeles Times), Kobe stated: “I can easily see myself playing another three or four years.”

From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: Coming off spectacular run to the Finals that was tantalizingly close to a fifth title, Tim Duncan has reignited the argument of who is the greatest player of his generation. The question is simple: whose career has been greater, the Big Fundamental or the Black Mamba? One roll of the basketball, and this would be a short article. In an epic Game 7 last Thursday, Tim Duncan had the ball in the post for hisSan Antonio Spurs, staring elimination in the face. Time was running out–48 seconds to be exact–and the team’s all-time franchise player made his move to the center of the key, and attempted a right hook shot over the 6’8″ Shane Battier that would tie the game. This shot was the very same one he’d make 99 out of 100 times, maybe even 999 out of 1,000 times. But that night, that one odd number seemed to rear its ugly head.

From Arash Markazi, ESPN LA: Phil Jackson isn’t quite sure when Kobe Bryant will return to the court next season, but he’s convinced Bryant won’t leave the hardwood for good until he at least ties Michael Jordan’s six titles and surpasses Jordan on the all-time scoring list. “His goal is another championship,” Jackson said Thursday. “He also has a chance to replaceMichael Jordan in the all-time scoring list. Those are two goals, with the first one being a championship, that Kobe would like to accomplish.” Bryant, who has five titles to Jordan’s six, is fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 31,617 points, behind Jordan’s 32,292. Bryant said Thursday his goal is to return to the court with the Lakers sometime in November or December after rupturing his Achilles tendon at the end of last season. “It’s to be seen how well he recovers from the operation,” Jackson said. “Odds are and the belief is it will be very soon in November, which is remarkable.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The rules changed when the league adopted the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, but Lakers executive and owner Jeanie Buss is confident the franchise will navigate its way back to the top. “We are in 100% in support of those agreements, but as much as they’d like to try to revenue share and make things equal — our basketball expertise, they can’t revenue share away from us,” Buss said.  “I believe that as they keep trying to make things more fair, they can never take away what the Lakers have — our history, our experience, our brain power in our front office.  We’ll always have an advantage.” On Wednesday, at a Time Warner Cable Media event to honor her late father, Dr. Jerry Buss, Jeanie said the franchise willingly accepted the more stringent rules — including steeper luxury taxes for teams over the salary cap — for the good of the NBA.

From Lucas Tucker, Yahoo Sports: Fresh off their first “title” of Pacific Division winner, the Los Angeles Clippers are bringing Doc Rivers to Hollywood to man their sidelines. There’s no denying that Doc is a top-tier coach, but there might be some culture shock next October when he watches the Clippers raise their first banner in Staples Center – celebrating last year’s division title. Doc comes from a place that doesn’t celebrate anything less than championships. Neither do the Clippers’ roommates. Hiring Doc is another move in the right direction, but should you ever question which franchise rules Los Angeles, just look at the rafters in Staples Center. Coming from Boston, Doc knows which L.A. is chant-worthy.


Ryan Cole


to Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe, Kobe-Duncan, Phil, Jeanie, Lakers-Clippers

  1. The article from SS&R by Mambino had me shaking my head. While I agree with his conclusion- I can’t agree with how he got there. (Or at least some of his reasoning along the way.)

    You ask any veteran NBA player what is more important- championships or MVP? Every one of them would give up their MVP award for a ring. MVP voting is so ridiculously biased that the award is virtually meaningless. If the Spurs would have won the championship, then the debate would have been a great one. But, how can you call it even if Kobe has one more ring than Duncan and then they trade off one-upping each other on all the other accolades?

    Statistically speaking it’s not even close. Kobe is near the top in all of them. Duncan is not. When it’s all said and done Kobe will top the great Michael Jordan as (at least) the 3rd greatest scorer of all time. Is Duncan the 3rd greatest big man of all time? Is he the 3rd greatest defender of all time? Rebounder? What is he the 3rd greatest at? He may be the best PF of all time although I personally might go with Malone even though he’s ringless.

    Duncan’s teams were arguably greater than Kobe’s, however 5 championships is better than 4 and the Lakers were the second best team in the league 2 other times. You also can’t disregard the fact that the Spurs have had the same coach for Duncan’s entire career. And he’s played with 2 other cornerstone players in Parker and Ginobili for what 10? Not to mention playing with Robinson for a handful. Nah. Give me the Lakers over their respective careers. (you can call me a homer if you like.)

    Intangibles? Kobe hands down. Timmy’s been a better teammate. Alright. I know for a fact that many of Jordan’s teammates hated him- even as they loved his greatness.

    Tim Duncan is a great player. Perhaps a top 10 player, but he’s not greater than Kobe. Why doesn’t anyone compare TD to Kareem, or Wilt, or Russell, or Shaq? Because he hasn’t attained that level of greatness. If I were starting a team with all the greatest players, then neither TD or KB would be on the first team. Neither would Lebron.

    Anyway. It would have been a great argument to have had he won, but Kobe hands down.


  2. It will be interesting to see what Kobe can do when he comes back. His game had already begun to evolve away from the athleticism-driven play at which he excelled as a younger man, and knowing Kobe, he’ll find a way to be effective with whatever his body will give him.

    He’s probably the smartest player I’ve ever seen, so he’ll adjust and still be a factor — even if that means three years from now his role evolves into being a Sam Perkins-like spot-up shooter. We don’t know what, exactly, his final chapter will hold, but I look forward to watching him play again soon, for however long he’s willing to keep it up.


  3. Woj reporting that several teams with draft picks in the 20s, especially the Nuggets at 27, are looking to trade out to get out of the guaranteed rookie deal. It’s unclear as to what’s wanted in return. I trust Mitch and our scouting staff, but I do hope they make a push for pick if there’s a player they believe strongly in. Partly because it just makes draft day more exciting for us fans. But through my rank amateur eyes, I like Reggie Bullock quite a bit – although whether he’s available at 27 is debatable. Mocks seem to vary quite a bit this year on placement.

    His shooting (and more particularly, his shooting off curls and screens) could be a great weapon off the bench, and he at least has the physical tools to not be a defensive liability like Vujacic was.

    Anyone else see any late-first-round players they feel strongly about?


  4. Not sure if he is the smartest, or has high basketball IQ, but he does know how to work around his limitations, new or old… so it will indeed be interesting to see how he comes back.

    And really, i think Kobe carved out a true niche for himself in the pantheon of greats in terms of overcoming various injuries by varying his game/mechanics accordingly.


  5. KenOak – The problem I had with his article was how easily he dismissed the problems that come with comparing across positions (edited for brevity, but see the whole post for context):

    “There’s also the argument that Bryant and Duncan shouldn’t be compared because there’s no comparing a “big and a guard”. That’s a completely bogus argument-..More to the point, would anyone say “You can’t argue that Michael Jordan was a better player than Wilt Chamberlain or Hakeem Olajuwan! There’s no comparing a big and a guard!”? No. That’s stupid. Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever, even when compared with big men…Stop it. Stop it.”

    That statement on a Lakers site surprised me. I know many highly intelligent basketball fans/analysts that would put Kareem in the GOAT discussion. And how do you compare impact across such different time eras? Russell and Wilt played a vastly different league. I’m not saying MJ isn’t the greatest ever, but to say so with such absoluteness and certainty ignores the nuance that should come with this discussion. My general rule of thumb is that anyone who definitively says they know who the GOAT is isn’t trying … it’s a discussion/debate, and it always should be.

    The point being I still think it’s very, very difficult to compare across positions and eras. It makes for great internet forum debate, but I have a problem when people declare absolute truths in a discussion with shades of gray.


  6. Kobe Alert Special Edition:

    NBA Championships: Kobe 5, Duncan 4
    Conference Championships: Kobe 7, Duncan 5
    MVP Top 5 in Voting: Kobe 11, Duncan 9
    All Star Games: Kobe 15, Duncan 14
    All Star MVP’s: Kobe 4, Duncan 1
    All Star Named Starter: Kobe 15, Duncan 12
    All NBA: Kobe 15, Duncan 14
    All NBA 1st: Kobe 11 Duncan 10
    All Defense 1st Team: Kobe 9, Duncan 8

    League MVP’s: Duncan 2, Kobe 1
    Finals MVPs: Duncan 3, Kobe 2
    All Defense: Duncan 14, Kobe 12

    NBA Championships: Jackson: 11 (5 with Lakers) Pop 4
    Conference Championships Jackson 13 (7 with Lakers), Pop 5

    I think the choice is clear in both cases. Jerry Buss was forced to choose between Kobe and another superstar with impressive stats a decade ago. He chose correctly. I think I have already covered recent choices involving PJ. Perhaps those making such decisions did not have access to these stats.

    Kobe rules !


  7. Kobe is a very smart player so I suspect he will change his game to accommodate whatever reduction in mobility he suffers as a result of the injury. Frankly, the biggest problem we have with Kobe will be making sure he waits the adequate amount to come back. I’m worried that he is going to try too much too soon and re-injure himself.


  8. Kobe wins in most categories, but not all. Duncan, like Kobe has only played for one team his entire career. Which means, if he wanted, he could command basically the same salary as Kobe. He doesn’t, only about a third, allowing the team to surround him with younger & more talented players. Duncan also appears to have a better, more trusting relationship with his teammates. Allowing a young guy like Leonard to blossom. But than again, he had a great role model in David Robinson, who did the same for him.


  9. He doesn’t, only about a third, allowing the team to surround him with younger & more talented players.


    We covered this when you put up the list of the top 10 highest-salaried guys. Duncan’s deal before the new CBA was worth about 20M a year. His new deal was signed after the new CBA kicked in. Given the revenue disparity between the Spurs and the Lakers, in that context 30M is not a crazy offer for Bryant, and even if he had turned it down and taken 20M, the Lakers would still be over both the tax and cap thresholds.

    One more time: emotion and analysis don’t mix.


  10. Snoopy you are right about Kareem. He dominated in HS and college. His longevity in the NBA allowed him to play against multiple generations of NBA stars. He played against both Elgin Baylor and Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Hakeem Olajuwon. He was Finals MVP in 1971 and again 1985. He is probably the most consistent player in league history. And his awards resume speaks for itself.

    I’m not saying he is the greatest ever. But I hate when people act like the “GOAT” conversation is open and shut with Jordan being the king. So many great players get disrespected that way.


  11. I have a response to Sid stuck in mod, but yet another problem with his post is that the guys he is talking about mostly cost less than the guys Kupchak did sign–Leonard and Blair were drafted; Neal, Green and Joseph were minimum guys, and Splitter was drafted while Duncan was under his old deal.


  12. Shaw is Tweeting that will not run the Triangle.


  13. The NBA has approved the Los Angeles Clippers’ acquisition of coach Doc Rivers in a deal with the Boston Celtics, a league source confirmed to’s Jackie MacMullan.


  14. Shaw/Rivers: Well it appears as though my 2 top guys on my list have been hired. We haven’t totally missed out though. Byron Scott is still out there.
    MannyP: We do not “know” what DH is thinking, but indications are that he does not like MD. Even the possibility of this is enough to act. What is the compelling reason not to? With regard to your pondering of the Rivers thing – I like it – why would this be any different if we hired a coach like that? B Scott has been to the Finals twice and has 3 rings with the Lakers. He can also match MD in the suits department.
    rr: I told you that you were harder on Mitch (not saying you are wrong).
    Kobe: KB only had PJ for half his career, and won with 2 totally different Laker clubs. Can you imagine if he had PJ and the same core for 17 years? KB started his career with Del Harris and is now finsihing with – well – Del Harris. KB is the best of his generation, and that actually spans 2 generations. 3rd greatest all time.


  15. Warren Wee Lim June 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Glad Brian Shaw got a nice team. I hope he trades for Pau Gasol.


  16. rr: Doc Rivers basically did the same thing Dwight did, commit to a team then ask for a trade. Same situations very different coverage of the two. Not sure how it’ll turn out. 08 KG was the sole reason for the culture change and title they have in decades.


  17. Snoopy- Great post! I totally agree about Kareem. I’ve said it many times that Kareem should have much more consideration when talking about the GOAT.


  18. Looks like Ron is gonna decline his player option.

    WoW, I’m speechless right now. this offseason is really interesting


  19. Congrats to B-Shaw. Fingers crossed for the Nuggets signing Vujacic in July.

    I’ll be watching the Nuggets closely to see how this turns out. When Jackson retired, I was one of the minority of Lakers fans who wasn’t pushing for Shaw to be hired (Adelman was my guy). For one, the triangle had failed with this group under its master; I didn’t think continuinty was the best choice at that point. Another: Shaw was a completely untested head coach who trained under a coach not known for producing any strong head coaches. I remember a similar (though lesser) amount of buzz when Rambis left to coach MN. The thinking was after apprenticing under Jackson and experimenting with his strong side trap defense, that Rambis must have improved exponentially and would be an excellent head coach. Didn’t work out. Without a track record, being so high on Shaw made me very nervous at the time. There was only 1 concrete piece of evidence that had impressed me at the time – Shaw was credited w/scouting and forming the game plan against the Magic in 2009, and his game plan was excellent.

    In the couple years since then, I’ve begun to think I was wrong – only because of the rave reviews he seems to draw from players everywhere he goes. Based solely off that, it seems like he does an excellent job of connecting with players and developing talents. So while I was never as high on him as most of Lakers Nation, I’m glad he finally got a head coaching gig and I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.

    On the subject of Rivers, I really don’t understand – and I say this generally, because it happens all the time – the concept of signing a long-term contract and then looking for ways to get out of it. I suppose it’s common in the sporting world, but in the rest of the world, when you commit to a job for a number of years, you agree to honor your contract in return for the security of knowing your salary is guaranteed. It’s an immense protection for coaches, who are fired all the time. I guess I don’t understand the concept of trying to weasel out of that, on a personal level.


  20. Vhanz – where did you see that? Do you everyone think he is re-upping at more years less per year?

    If we just lose him and have no SF and kobe gone for the first 2 months – season is gonna start out super rough


  21. So happy for Shaw.


  22. Mamba Rules!
    Kareem is great! Love you big fellla! (Long live Coltrane)
    Happy for B. Shaw


  23. Warren Wee Lim June 25, 2013 at 9:17 am

    His big announcement was him and Terrell Owens are having a reality show. Bazinga!


  24. Hi Robert. I don’t agree with your comment that even the possibility of a dislike is enough to act. “Panic” is not a word associated with this organization, so my guess (and its only a guess) is that they are not going to fire any coach or make any trades until Howard commits 100% to staying put. Even if we assume that Howard absolutely hates Mike D, unless he has committed to the Lakers, the FO is not going to fire the guy on the mere “hope” that Dwight stays around. I understand your concern and I too would like to see some moves, but I really think that nothing will happen until Dwight commits to staying (or leaving).

    Now, switching topics a bit, let me ask you about the following scenario: Maybe the biggest issue with Dwight is not the FO, nor the coaching, but a certain beloved player named Kobe Bryant. Since Shaq left this has been Kobe’s team – and only Kobe – and will remain so until Kobe retires. Period. Dwight may not want to “lead” a team by himself, but he certainly wants to share the “leadership” podium, kinda like the way Wade and Lebron do it in Miami (let’s not kid ourselves, Bosh is an after thought there) and the way many assume it may work out for him in Clipperland. But, do you see Kobe “conceding” his monarchy and agreeing to a “junta” style leadership for this team? I don’t see it – and that’s why I now think this is the biggest keeping Dwight from committing.


  25. Looks like 4 out of 5 are saying Rockets. And I had the odds at 25%, so I am an optimist. From the link: “Choosing the Lakers would be based on trust and history.”
    Once again it appears they could be reading this board : )
    And they went 5 for 5 for the Clippers, but that is not a fair comparison – they got a new coach.


  26. Metta’s not crazy, and I am sure his agent told him that he would be turn down a 7M player option.


  27. the other Stephen June 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    @ Snoopy
    The Lakers could really use a wing, and I don’t see many interesting players in that late first round territory other than Glen Rice Jr., and Tim Hardaway Jr. There are, however, a couple in the late second round that could easily fall within our reach: James Ennis and Carrick Felix. Both have displayed solid shooting mechanics, and have steadily improved to become good shooters from the three. Ennis is hugely explosive and athletic, while Felix is a hustle player with a great defensive mindset and fundamentals.

    In short, one is a strong all-around sleeper, while the other has more well-defined defensive potential. None of this will matter if the coaching staff cannot develop its players, starting first with establishing some continuity and the right culture, and corralling the defensive mistakes and lessons from last season.


  28. Glen Rice Jr: He is out due to distant ties with the Triangle. Son of guy, who played for a guy, who ran Triangle. No good.


  29. the other Stephen June 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    One late first round wing player I forgot to mention is Tony Snell. He’s said to have a sweet shooting stroke. I haven’t seen him play, though.


  30. rr – heh, actually Meta IS crazy, but your point is well taken.

    Guess I’d put it this way: Meta is crazy, but he ain’t no fool.