Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  July 10, 2013

There’s the rock star reunions that aren’t so cool, y’know the go-through-the-motions and strap on the Stratocaster and yawn your way through some outdated set list from a decade or so ago. And then there’s the reformations that you crave. If Kobe, Pau, Lamar and Farmar somehow end up on tour again, I’ll pay to see the show. If the Machine is on board as well, so much the better. And if Metta can miraculously wind up on the other side of the amnesty period, still in purple and gold? Mad Dog’s already coaching the D-Fenders and Kurt Rambis is in the mix for an assistant coaching slot.

What could make this even tastier? Some white-haired dude in a tall chair with a split-finger whistle? At some point it becomes ridiculous of course, it’s just piling groundless conjecture onto a few actual crumbs. Jordan Farmar did sign for veteran’s minimum however, so that part of it’s real. Plus the onetime caveman from across the hall has joined the band – he was never an actual member but he did jam in the same rehearsal space. Whatever Mitch Kupchak’s game plan is, I don’t think he brings a bunch of old faces back just to tank.

Dave McMenamin from ESPN writes about the signing of Jordan Farmar to a one-year deal. “I’ve been a Laker since I was born” says Farmar. You gotta love that.

In some interesting math mechanics, Eric Pincus from the LATimes asks if Kobe could take veteran minimum in 2014 to help the team. The Lakers would still hold his Bird rights and could then sign him to a max contract for the following year.

Mike Bresnahan for the LATimes writes about Phil Jackson’s humor, the Lamar Odom possibility and bringing the band back together.

Robert Sacre was a very solid #60 pick for the Lakers in last year’s draft. He has now signed for a second year – Drew Garrison from Silver Screen and Roll has the story.

Also per Drew Garrison, if Metta World Peace is amnestied, the Knicks will be his preferred destination.

Brett Pollakoff from ProBasketballTalk looks at last year’s highest NBA luxury tax bills, topped by the Lakers.

Daniel Buerge from Lakers Nation speaks with Roland Lazenby on the Lakers future and Jim Buss.

And finally this. Loren Kantor is a woodcutter/writer from Los Angeles who did a woodcutting of Chick Hearn and wrote about it.

***

Today being July 10, free agents can officially sign contracts. Of course, much of the deciding has already been done. For the Los Angeles Lakers who carry a heavy payroll, the choices are limited. They spent their mini-mid level exception on Kaman and are now dependent on veteran minimum deals, the league’s version of bargain basement bag-stuffers. The Lakers have often used these deals on older brand name players who never had their chance at a ring. This year, they seem to be looking at another angle, the idea of reuniting players who’ve already had their best days in Los Angeles. A sizable piece of the puzzle would be the return of Lamar Odom. After the events that led to his departure in 2011, I paraphrased the old Thomas Wolfe phrase, that you can’t go home again. I’m hoping I was wrong.

Dave Murphy

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69 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9466869/lakers

    Completely agree

    We would be a terror in after next year

  2. Great links, as always Dave.

    The Pincus article is especially intriguing. I realize it’s not in Kobe’s nature to do so, and it will likely take strong persuasion to convince him of anything less than $15. But man, that’s an incredible hypothetical.

  3. Shaun,

    Thanks for the laugh. The part about Phil sitting in Nicholson’s seat was hilarious.

    Seriously, I’m probably one of the “dumb” Laker fans that would love to see the band get back together, just for the hell of it. I intellectually understand the need to be bad, but really don’t want to see Pau leave and would love to get Odom back on board. Even The Machine is welcome…

  4. Heck, even Luke is welcome, he played his heart out.

    Kobe taking the minimum, that would be something. Would his pride allow it?

  5. Re Kobe taking the minimum, I guess that’d be the only thing that his pride would allow besides taking the max. Why? Because he BELIEVES he’s worth the max, a 10m/year deal would be unacceptable, as it would speak of a much lower value. A minimum deal shows, without a doubt, that a) he’s giving a huge discount to the Lakers and b) that he’s not interested in the money anymore. Not a lot of players can say that – even LeBron said he’s gonna get the max the next time around and that he’s tired of leaving money on the table.

    In conclusion, yeah, I am willing to bet he takes the minimum. Hope I’m right.

  6. rr,
    I couldn’t agree more. LeBron and Melo are going to want to play with guys on their timelines. That’s why they will both join up with a Rudy Gay or Demarcus Cousins. But the reason star players bring in veteran players is because those vets are the only ones willing to play for the minimum partly because those vets can’t get more on the open market and party because they have made enough money to take the min. But lets not pretend Battier had even an adequate pkayoffs. He stunk it up to the point where he was be ch for the majority of the minutes. He had one good game. It was good timing.

    What you’re failing to understand is if the Lakers get a top five pick and LeBron/Melo/Lakers FO don’t believe that player could help in the next two years they can easily trade that pick or player for an established star in their late 20′s (depending on the quality of the pick/player) that would meet their liking. That pick is an asset in every way.

  7. I like Rambis coming back into the mix.

    I secretly hope that he unretires long enough to be packaged in a deal with one or more of our scrubs and get back an all star – similar to how we got Pau.

    Hehehehe.

  8. People concerned about the Phil/Jim Buss stuff should check out the link to the Lazenby interview.

  9. If we can’t be contenders we might we well live in the past. I do that sometimes when I try to talk to a young attractive women only to be reminded that I am just a tall old guy living in my past.

  10. I can appreciate the humor that Simmons uses in making his points and he’s certainly not the only one using a tanking narrative. There are writers out there that I truly like and respect who have been preaching the art of tanking for weeks and we’re barely into summer. I’m just going to say right now that I’m not on board. The Lakers have had a rough couple of years but when I look at veteran players, including Laker champions who are regrouping and either taking less money now or potentially taking less money down the line, the idea of taking a dive isn’t what’s on my radar. I actually think the guys can get out there and stir it up and make some noise. I’m not predicting rings – the Western Conference is deep and the playoffs (and finals) showed us just how good basketball at a very high level can be.

    Bill Simmons writes: “Fact: This year’s Lakers team will be undeniably worse than last year’s Lakers team.” It bothers me when people state conjecture as fact. It’s July. There are no facts when it comes to predicting next season, just as there was no factual certainty of predicting the Lakers success a year ago when Dwight and Nash came on board. The season happens in real time, not in predictions. Anyway, long-winded way of saying you won’t be hearing tanking talk from me anytime soon. I’m more about digging the game of basketball, not loss-theory.

  11. Simmons is right on the money about what should be done.

    Get rid of everybody except Kobe and if he returns next season make sure he takes 35-40 shots a game.

    And I love the idea of signing old Laker favorites and reserves to a series of 10 day contracts.

  12. smoothaswilkes July 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Dave – nice work per usual.

    I thought Mad Dog was promoted to the big club as one of MDA’s player development coaches, which is needed as right now it’s only MDA and his brother Dan.

  13. Tanking or not (I tend to believe they won’t), their chief goal this off-season is not to take on any long-term contracts and in doing so, max out their available cap space going into next year and perhaps 2015. Whether that leads to a 7- or 8-seed, a lottery pick, or a top-4 seed, no one really knows yet.

    Barring a really insane deal dropping into their laps (like getting $1.50-2.00 on the dollar in a trade), any vets they’re going to sign are going to be on one-year deals only, perhaps with a team option for a second year if that doesn’t affect the cap negatively.

    In an ideal world, the Farmars and Kamans and (possibly) Odoms and Vujacics signed this year will become next year’s 8-11th guys off the bench, even if they are the 6-9th guys this year, and I think they’re all taking these short deals in the understanding that it’s better to be the 8th guy on a contending team than a starter on a 20-62 team, which is different from how Ramon Sessions felt. It’s kind of a savvy bet for them, in that they get to mesh with their teammates and the organization for a year. Granted, half those teammates will be gone in favor of the top-flight free agents, but Kobe, (probably) Nash, and (possibly) Gasol will still form the core.

    All in all, it’s probably not going to be a pleasant season, but as Simmons often notes, it always works out for the Lakers. We just may have to wait out a bad year in the meantime.

  14. Get the old gang back? I thin people are imagining 2008 when were more likely to get 2005 results.

    It’s only fun bc they win.

  15. smoothaswilkes July 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Wow. Just finished that Simmons piece. Usually I don’t agree but this time? Yes. Yes. Problem is everything he said. Kobe won’t be in for the tank and doubt that Jim/Mitch make the gutsy call to go the route he explains. Too bad because it makes way too much sense. That and I’m a bit tired of all the entitled Lakers fans out there that think it’s way below the Lakers to actually tank next season. If your not competing for the title you have to tank, it’s the new NBA landscape. Adapt or die. We need fresh young talent to infuse with the free agents all that cap space brings. Otherwise they are stuck in the middle or have a bunch of free agents and vet min’s to back them up. Should be interesting to see how it actually plays out but for once I’m on Simmons’ side. Go Lakers!

  16. , it’s the new NBA landscape.

    Nah. This is just a media meme. Houston:

    a) Never tanked
    b) Landed Harden after the new CBA was signed and a key component in that deal was a veteran, Kevin Martin
    c) While the league is always changing, one thing that that will never change is that you need stars. And you don’t always have to get them through the lottery. There are other ways. Again, given the Lakers’ circumstances, tanking is a very reasonable option. But people who sell like it will be a short, fun vacation, and like it is the only route back to the top, and like it comes with a guarantee, just don’t get it.

    Simmons mentioned Milwaukee. He didn’t mention Houston. He thinks tanking is the awesome because Boston is doing it.

  17. Corey Maggette stated that he is willing to play with the Lakers for el vet. min, interesting.

  18. the other Stephen July 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    There are nearly no small forwards left on the market, and our front office is unlikely to dig around for undrafted rookies or d-league callups either. Because of that, I’m really like to see CDR make the team this time around. His shortened stints with the Lakers and Mavericks were more due to logjams at his position, rather than a lack of talent. It takes a considerable amount of determination and humility to come back year after year. For a great read, check out his post from last year: http://humble-flashy.tumblr.com/post/38806787959/im-a-firm-believer-in-energy-i-believe-the

  19. Simmons is an idiot, why we wasting time discussing this fool?

  20. “Again, given the Lakers’ circumstances, tanking is a very reasonable option. But people who sell like it will be a short, fun vacation, and like it is the only route back to the top, and like it comes with a guarantee, just don’t get it.”

    Exactly rr. It would suck to tank and then draft an absolute bust. Greg Oden. Or to tank, but not have the top 2 or 3 pick and miss on the best player. And what if it turns out that tanking for one year turns into 3? (not by design, of course.) What happens to the Time Warner deal when the Lakers are fielding a bottom feeder team and the Clippers are making waves in the playoffs? What happens when the Clippers become the hot ticket in L.A.?

    There’s much much more to “tanking” than you guys are describing.

  21. Its been tweeted that once farmar is signed they may not be looking for another guard like sacha as they would have 5 on the roster…. except they are all undersized for the position they play except.kobe – I would love for us to trade one of the steves for a ok enough sf – getting rid of nash as per simmons suggestion would really be interesting for next year

  22. Also my favorite part of the acticle was his reaction to dantoni – of couse we want him coaching – hes the worst coach what better way to tank

  23. You know…the one argument that I haven’t heard anyone make is this. If the Lakers truly sucked this year. Like epic suck. Suck worse than any team in Lakers history. How much of a draw would it be to a player like Lebron where he could basically come to L.A. and save the team from the worst season ever? To propel the Lakers back to the top in a single year.

    And yes. This guy is worth one year of epic suck.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLsK-ZoL9sY

    I’m waffling. This sucks.

  24. Simmons is definitely not an idiot–in spite of what Doc Rivers says. ;-)

  25. KenOak,

    I think a lot of people are waffling, as you put it.
    Some key points:

    1. The Lakers are very capable of losing 55 games without trading either Pau or Nash.
    2. They may be able to get more for Pau and/or Nash at the deadline, and Kobe might be more on board by then.
    3. They will have the cap space either way.

    I think the Kaman and Farmar deals indicate that they may be thinking about #2.

  26. We’re discussing this as if it’s up to the Lakers at this point, to decide how competitive they’re going to be next year.

    Unless Kobe Bryant returns as the franchise player he has been for nearly two decades, playing serious minutes for the majority of the 82 game season, which when taken together is extremely unlikely…..

    Then this team, presently constructed is in the TANK, whether the Front Office voluntarily assists in breaking up the remaining pieces or not.

    There aren’t 5 rosters in the entire league that will be as old, as slow, or as injury plagued, that also are as limited in athleticism, can’t play a lick of defense, and have no bench to speak of as do the Lakers.

    Sorry but it’s the truth and there is no way to improve it before 2014. That’s a fact.

  27. I for one don’t think this current will be that bad. Last year team felt obligated to force ball into Dwight to keep him happy. Many times it ended in a turnover or missed FT. I feel the offense will be better if Kobe comes back at 80 percent. Add Odom to the mix and rebounding will be fine. This would be the same team that won a few years ago with the addition of Nash and Kamen. Sure it’s older but might be better without winning Dwight thinking he is some superman on offense. I know it will be a happier team for sure.

  28. I do think the Lakers are above tanking, and that should be one of the prideful things about our organization. We don’t want to tank, especially not so blatantly. We want to give a good shot regardless of the circumstances and respected for not ‘abusing’ the system.

    Having said that, yes, I don’t think I would mind a year of ‘honest’ sucking when the prizes are supposedly good. But to rig the team to fail? By trading away pieces that contributed greatly and made it plain that they want to remain a Laker (Pau, Metta)?

    No.

  29. Glad to hear Bynum & the Cavs connected. I now see them making the playoffs. They should compete for one of the last two maybe three spots. Cavs don’t need to be in the lottery next season.

  30. Kobe has mastered the interview and the SNS skills. His latest article on ESPN regarding Howard is just believable enough while having a very slight hint of Howard-dissing.

  31. Harold – I agree. One of Kobe’s best interviews for mine. Some subtle jabs about being “cut differently” whilst indicating that Kobe is cut from the same cloth as Cap & Magic. I enjoyed reading it.

    Also very good to hear how involved it appears Kobe is with the offseason for the team. In touch with the FO and discussing signings. I like that.

  32. What do people think about Rip Hamilton as a kobe stop gap? might play for the vet min?

  33. Fern – I wonder if Magette has anything left? He’s had injuries the past couple years that limited his PT, archilles and then calf issues.

  34. BigCitySid – Is there any indication Bynum will be able to play more than he did for Philly this coming season?

  35. ” … Bynum wasn’t willing to work out for NBA teams, but did cede to medical examinations in Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas …”

  36. If the Lakers can’t be contenders they might as well be top drawer spoilers next year. Be tthe team that stops other teams from meeting their goals for the season.

    The exciting thing about the NBA is that anything can happen in 82 games.

    Now as if Lamar will” return because he can’t be any more of a distraction to the team than, Dwight “I hope I get a chance to make this season up to you” Howard.

  37. Timetodienow1234567 July 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Kobe said he’s not going to take less. He’s going to try and get all that he can.

    http://hoopshype.com/rumors

    That could interfere with free agent signings. I hope they don’t offer him the max again and he eats up 30+ mil a year.

  38. If Kobe isn’t willing to take a pay cut to help his team win, then I wouldn’t re-sign him. I’d amnesty Steve Nash to completely clear the 2014 salary cap space.

    I’d try to get Gasol and MWP back at a discount in 2014 once I’ve signed all the free agents.

  39. Kobe won’t take less….thought that winning was everything….?after money…

  40. Timetodienow1234567 July 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I’m pretty sure Kobe’s top priorities are

    1) Become all time NBA scoring leader
    2) Make as much money as possible
    3) Win another ring

  41. You can´t amnesty Nash. Only players who have been signed under the old CBA can be amnestied. For the Lakers that means: Kobe, Pau, Metta or Steve Blake.

  42. I wouldn’t put much stock in Kobe’s “won’t take less” stance. I look at that as the first round in his summer 2014 negotiating dance with the team. When he actually does take less it will make him look more favorably. Kobe wants to win. He knows the Lakers can’t put a winning team around him while paying him $25+ million a year. LeBron doesn’t even make that kind of money from his team.

  43. Read the whole article about “Kobe not taking less”. It’s all part of the negotiation. When it’s all said and done he will re-sign for 10-15 million a year.

    Timetodienow1234567 Kobe’s priorities have always been:
    1. Rings
    2. Legacy
    3. Money

  44. If Kobe ain’t gonna take less next year, much less like $10m/ year, might as well just amnesty him now and save boatloads of cash.

  45. For those who want the Lakers to put the best product on the court for 2013-14, why aren’t you advocating for the Lakers to sign the best player or trade for the best available player regardless of whether it will eat into the 2014 salary cap? Just like there is no guarantee that the Lakers will get the top draft pick, there’s certainly no guarantee that the Lakers will get LBJ in 2014.

    So the anti-tankers are saying it’s wrong to put out an inferior product even if it may help put the Lakers in a better draft position in 2014, but it’s ok to get crappy 1 year vet min contracts to preserve the 2014 cap space?

  46. I’m willing to bet large sums of money that the FO did not wish to re-sign Howard. He really asked whether they would amnesty Kobe? lmao

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9468452/dwight-howard-wanted-end-kobe-bryant-era-los-angeles-lakers

    After hearing him ask for that- what would be the easiest way to push him elsewhere? Have Kobe come out and say that he is going to play for another 3 or 4 more years. Good luck with “your” team in Houston Dwight.

  47. @Manuel, good call. Forgot about that. $10M for someone who will essentially be just a spot up shooter. SMH. Couldn’t the Lakers buy him out?

  48. “Amnestying Bryant and shopping Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to teams with salary-cap space would have allowed the Lakers to try to recruit Paul in free agency.”

    What the heck was the FO thinking??? We could have had CP3??? Arrrrrrh!!!

  49. The way the centers are falling it looks like a good move for the Lakers to lock up Kaman at a reasonable price as soon as they did. I figure he will get 15-20 mins as a backup, while Pau plays minutes more attuned to his age.

  50. If my boss told me to take the minimum wage for the good of the company, would I do it?

    I don’t think so, so I don’t hold it against Kobe.

    As for the source quote that has Dwight asking Kobe to quit… oh man, I don’t believe that. Not even Dwight could be that stupid to make such a suggestion. Would he want to be on a team that treated its franchise superstar that way?

  51. Like Darius said on Twitter: worrying about Kobe’s 2014 contract now does not make much sense; for one thing, he isn’t even running again yet, much less playing.

    And like I said a couple of days ago, one thing in this whole mess that I am sure of is that Kobe will not get much more than about 12/13–and that is if his comeback goes well. Garnett makes 12; Duncan 10.3. Nowitzki has already said that he will take a big pay cut next year if it will help Dallas. Jim Buss is putting a lot on the summer of 2014, as is the fanbase, and those feelings will increase exponentially once people actually see this team play and realize what this year will be like. Even Kobe will not be given much room to mess up Buss’ 2014 plans, whatever they are.

    And, even if Kobe left the Lakers in a huff, it is highly unlikely that any other team would offer him more money than that. Dallas, also loaded with cap space in 2014, would be his likely destination but I can’t see any way that Cuban is giving Kobe 20M or even 15.

    In the departure scenario, Kobe would possibly sign with the Clippers for the mini-mid level just to torment the Lakers and to keep his family in LA.

  52. Kobe knows how much his legacy is worth; he won’t be signing with the Clippers just to spite the FO and alienate a huge chunk of his fanbase.

    He’ll take a cut, but it would be unwise to mention it; he should let his performance talk first before showing ‘weakness’ and already discussing a paycut.

    I doubt he’ll sign for the minimum because, I seriously don’t think an athlete making the minimum can go into a lockerroom and say that the team is still his.

  53. Kobe knows how much his legacy is worth; he won’t be signing with the Clippers just to spite the FO and alienate a huge chunk of his fanbase.

    Pretty much. That is why people shouldn’t be worrying about it; assuming that he can play, it is in his interest and the Lakers to have him back–but not at the max.

  54. Harold – I tend to agree with you. Kobe’s competitive nature sees negotiations as another competition, and even though he knows he’ll take a pay cut, he’s not going to admit weakness unnecessarily. Just not in his personality. That said, I’m not sure the comparison to your own job makes sense; I don’t know what you do, but most of us don’t have a clear personal “legacy” that would be aided by us taking the minimum wage. For most of us, the primary purpose of work is to put food on the table. If Kobe’s ultimate goal is legacy and rings, as he so often says, the comparison doesn’t quite work.

    I have Kobe pegged for a 2-year $25 million deal. That said, if any superstar – out of Duncan, Garnett, Dirk, Kobe – is most likely to rebel against that severe of a paycut, IMO, it’s Kobe. His philosophy has always (justifiably) seemed to be, “I bring in x dollars of worth to this franchise, so I need to maximize every penny I can get.” I think it’s impossible he takes the minimum or anything close, and I’d be shocked if he agrees to anything under $10 mil.
    ———–

    For people who haven’t seen the story:

    “Dwight Howard’s distaste for the offense and approach of coach Mike D’Antoni is widely cited as the biggest trigger in his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. But another key factor that led the All-Star center to the Houston Rockets was the Lakers’ refusal to establish a clear timetable for moving on from the Kobe Bryant era, according to sources with knowledge of Howard’s thinking.

    Sources told ESPN.com that Howard and his representatives — in a handful of meetings with Lakers officials before he became a free agent July 1 — strongly suggested the center would have a difficult time re-signing with the team if Bryant stayed with the franchise beyond the 2013-14 season, the final year of his contract.

    …with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said.

    “How can it be Kobe’s team and Dwight’s team?” one source said. “It was about the passing of the torch.”

    As an offshoot of those discussions, sources said, Howard’s camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league’s amnesty provision, since Bryant’s return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question.”

  55. Also, the more I read excerpts like this, the less I miss this diva each day:

    “One source added that Howard had concerns about how the Lakers planned to market him after being disappointed with the franchise in that aspect last season.”

    Wtf do you want? Mitch to negotiate your endorsements for you? Billboards year round? Jim Buss to star in Kazaam 2? Good riddance. Emotional decision? Yes. But at least now I can dislike the guy in peace.

  56. Dwight has never won a ring, an MVP or been a team leader and yet he asked if Kobe could be amnestied or not resigned. Yeah, like that was going to happen. I hope people here now understand that either Howarf was never serious about resigning or the FO could not reasonably agree to his demands without a signed contract.

  57. Rusty Shackleford July 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

    I do agree with Dwight’s assessment that Nash is done and hurts the team defensively every possession he is on the floor. We will see how he does in Houston.

  58. I have a feeling it`s going to be Blake amnestied,not MWP. Depends on how things go in the next 6 days with potential signings,and the decision put off until the end. One thing about Kobe,he`s going to get the best money can buy in surgery and rehab.

  59. Snoopy, Manny:

    Like the Shaq/Kobe thing, this was about both guys, and about ownership. The reason the Shelburne piece about it was good is that it reflects those realities. Beyond all that stuff, as the KBros said a couple of days ago, the main problem is that winning papers over a lot of these issues, and the Lakers didn’t win. If they had gone 56-26 and won a playoff series(they were 28-13 over the second half) Howard might well have left anyway, but it would have changed the dynamic a bit.

  60. I can see Howard’s point of view in all of this and I don’t hold that against him.

    If last year the Lakers had been the team that we all hoped they would be when the Front Office put them together, despite anything else, most likely Dwight would still be here.

    But last year was an unmitigated disaster. On the heels of that, I think Howard would’ve been a fool not to question what kind of a future he was going to have in Los Angeles, particularly considering that Kobe expects to be the man of the franchise, for another 3 years or so.

    As great a player as Kobe has been, part of me hopes he’s doesn’t return following rehab because I’m not entirely persuaded that the team can get on to it’s future whilst adjusting and accommodating his expectations at every turn.

    It’s not hard to see Howard’s dilema.

    Kobe is exactly the type of guy who will be telling people five years after his career ends that he’s still better than 80% of the guys in the league and he’ll mean it too.

    He’s not the guy who ensures that there will be a graceful hand-off or a passing of the baton to anybody. IMO no matter what he says, he’s not built for that.

    He’s the guy who says, “the baton belongs to me and if you want it, you’re going to have to take it from me.”

    The NBA is a small club and it wouldn’t surprise me if this episode with Howard doesn’t pin a rap on the Lakers for future star free agents to be aware of. That Kobe is the incumbent and the Lakers and their fans are completely sold out on him until he retires.

  61. Just read a quote from Kobe in which he states that he will not take less money to help team sign other players. Hard to still root for the guy. How much is enough? He is the wealthiest NBA player in the league. His skills are slowly diminishing and he is coming off a major injury. Come-on. He said he was solely about wining. Not so much, I guess. The Lakers need to trade him while there is still some tread on his wheels. Crazy, I know, but the guy has become an albatross. Dwight not wanting to play with Kobe as “top dog” takes on a new light.

  62. I hope people here now understand that either Howarf was never serious about resigning ..
    —–
    Exactly. As Steve Nash alluded to, Howard’s mind was already made about heading off to Houston before he sat down with each one of those teams.

  63. http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9469767/kobe-bryant-believes-los-angeles-lakers-extension-no-problem

    There, that settles the whole Kobe extension debate. As many have noted, if Kobe wants to win any more rings, and if he wants to keep climbing up the scoring charts, it’s actually in his best interest to play on a better team at a more reasonable pace instead of playing hero ball on a horrible team. The former means more wins as well as fewer minutes which will allow him to extend his career that much further. This means he needs to give the Lakers extra cap space for strong free agents. Which means a pay cut. Which Kobe, I’m sure, is well aware of.

  64. Snowmass: I have a comment stuck in mod but you need to go see the actual video to see that what you are saying is completely out of context:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65ICQCfvv70&feature=player_embedded

    Relevant video starts at 2:35

    As you will see, he is saying that the initial position in any negotiation for an athlete is “i’m not taking a paycut”. Not what you are implying in your rant.

  65. Just read a quote from Kobe in which he states that he will not take less money to help team sign other players

    __

    Negotiating tactic. One of the hallmarks of Bryant’s public personality is that he never admits weakness. Also, people need to remember a basic truth: Kobe’s contract is up. He can say what he wants, but the offer will be the offer, and no one, including the Lakers, is going to offer him more than about 12-14M.

    The Lakers have many more pressing concerns at the moment than what Kobe is saying about contract negotiations which will take place a year from now.

  66. DH: In the end – probably correct that he had no intention of signing with us. He became this way for reasons already cited. Bad relationship with MD and his system, and the KB questions/relationship. We did nothing to improve these. So it was what it was.
    rr: ” those feelings will increase exponentially once people actually see this team play and realize what this year will be like.” I remember in 2005, I was in denial. Shaq left – but I thought with KB, we could be in top 6 or so teams. Was wrong obviously and people who think that this time will also be wrong. We will be back, but it will not occur in 14.
    MannyP: “Dwight has never won a ring, ……. yet he asked if Kobe could be amnestied or not resigned.” You certainly have been focused quite a bit on “rings” lately. As I said – there is not as much difference between us as once perceived.

  67. OK, guys thanks for the clarification. In the end, however, do you think Kobe will take significantly less to help the team? Plus, it remains to be seen how effective he will be after the injury. Of course, that holds true regardless of whether he is a Laker or on another team.

  68. In the end, however, do you think Kobe will take significantly less to help the team?

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    He won’t have much of a choice. Garnett makes 12; Duncan makes 10.3. Dallas is basically where the Lakers are–bad team, Nowitzki’s deal ending, missed the big fish (albeit in less painful fashion than the Lakers did) pinning hopes on cap space next two years–and Nowitzki has already said that he will take a big cut. If the Lakers offer, say, 12M, it is unlikely that Kobe will get much more elsewhere–even if he proves that he is still a high-level player.

    Jim Buss is still getting a little slack from the fanbase (just a little) now for two reasons:

    1. The Veto

    2. People can’t stand Howard.

    But there will be expectations going into the 2014-15 season that the team will be better, younger, and seemingly on some kind of positive path. It is highly likely that Houston and the Clippers will win 50-60 games each and either of them could easily be in the NBA Finals. The Lakers are likely to end up below .500, maybe well below, and out of postseason.

    In that context, the fanbase won’t want Kobe getting in the way of moving the team forward with massive contract demands, no matter how much we/they love him.

  69. Add–also Kobe himself may still think that the team will be good this year. Pau replaces Howard, Lamar comes back, he is back early, Nash is healthy. I would speculate thet Kobe may believe that the Lakers will surprise everybody.

    But if they don’t, and the season goes more or less like most observers will expect it to go then Kobe will probably be more amenable to pay cuts to some new players.