Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  July 24, 2013

Summer league is over and now the long wait until training camp begins. The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t in much of a position to do anything splashy between now and then. This is the time of year that used to be an absolute news vacuum. The internet changed all that of course. An ever-hungry beast was created, from hard news to celebrity trainwrecks. Luckily, we have the power of the almighty search engine plus tried and true sites. From money matters that aren’t as simple as previously thought, to injury time tables, Mennonite memories and more, here’s some late afternoon reading on a hot and humid hump day:

Eric Pincus the the LATimes offers a way for the Lakers to avoid the luxury tax this season.

Bill Plaschke from the LATimes believes there’s a decent chance that the Lakers won’t stink.

C.A. Clark from Silver Screen and Roll worries about a premature miraculous Kobe recovery.

The Kamenetzky Brothers offer a new Land O’Lakers podcast, ranging from next years starting Lakers unit to the summer of 2014.

From Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk, Melo doubts he’ll be joining the Lakers the season after next.

Andrew Bynum says he hasn’t yet played for a city that supports their team. Serena Winters from Lakers Nation has the story.

There always has to be a Phil Jackson link and this interview by Stephen Rodrick for the Men’s Journal is quite good.

This is the place called the lead-out or the bumper. Themes can be wrapped up neatly, insightful commentary can be inserted or stories can simply be fabricated altogether. Sitting here, staring at the screen. And… staring. It’s really hot out. I took the dog for a walk and when we got back, he started doing something strange with his mouth, like clicking his teeth together. Maybe he got stung by a bee. He’s pretty ancient. Back to staring at the screen. If you stall long enough, sometimes you find a great link to end on. Thanks for the save, Basketball Jones.

Dave Murphy


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  1. great pj interview!


  2. Phil is something else. The continued evisceration of Kobe behind the scenes was to be expected, but I also like how he worked in a cheap impromptu shot at Jerry West’s work ethic there.

    The Bynum cheap shot made me laugh. Can’t get too worked up about that, especially considering how annoyed I get with the celebrities/fans closer to the floor at times. Drew’s gonna Drew.


  3. Dave Murphy: “There always has to be a Phil Jackson link” See MannyP – I am not the only one : )
    Snoop: Yes – with regard to the Bynum statement – it is hard to get mad at someone for speaking the truth – even when it hurts. I heard that rather than giving away any free fan t-shirts at any home games next year, the Lakers are just going to directly put them on ebay for $1.99 each. Either way the description is the same – “never been worn”.
    Dave Murphy’s last link: Do we have any pics like that? I guess not. That would have required FO interactions with both Shaq and KAJ at the same time and that would be like hitting the California lottery twice.


  4. Classic Phil. I see his tune hasn’t changed much. I love the way he talks about Jordan. Let Phil tell it, Michael was trying to put everyone on the championship Love Train like the O’Jays. “Come and join me guys!” It’s funny that Phil’s narrative of Jordan is always so altruistic. I actually laughed reading that part.


  5. Zach Lowe of Grantland on the Laker’s playoff chances. Lowe is a Boston fan, so he is reveling in it, but he makes some good points:


    Oh boy, was there a lot of Lakers schadenfreude among rival execs in Las Vegas — and a lot of confusion about why the Lakers are bothering with Chris Kaman/Nick Young types instead of going into full-blown tank mode.

    I keep hearing from L.A. fans assuring me this is a playoff team. Really? Take a look at the Western Conference: The Clippers, Spurs, Thunder, Grizzlies, Rockets, and Warriors are locks, barring catastrophic injuries. That’s six spots. Denver still lurks, Portland fattened up its bench, Minnesota and New Orleans are both going for it, and Dallas has shown it’s hard to win fewer than 40 games with a healthy Dirk Nowitzki and even a so-so supporting cast.

    News flash, Lakers fans: Kobe is coming off one of the worst late-career injuries a player can suffer, and this defense was a giant sieve anytime Howard hit the bench last season. This looks like a lottery team banking on free agency for salvation, only it’s not quite bad enough to get true lottery value.


  6. Yeah, the PJ article was a great discovery, I did a basic search for ‘Phil Jackson Montana’ and the Men’s Journal piece popped up. As soon as I read the way the guy described Phil walking, I knew it was going to be a good one.


  7. What makes Phil a great coach also should give all of us pause about exactly what we are reading. A master manipulator dealing with the media ‘talking heads’ can be a dangerous thing – you think you have learned something, only to find out you have been enlisted to present his point of view of the necessary objectives.

    When I think of Phil, Jerry West is never far from my mind.


  8. Dating back to the days at the Great Western Forum (personally, talking 1979 and beyond) to present day at Staples, being a New Yorker, I’ve always been disappointed in the booshie and blasé attitudes of a certain segment of fans who attend Lakers games. So even though this is only news worthy because there’s nothing else really popping off this time of year NBA wise, I can’t be mad at Drew for expressing a feeling that, besides myself, I’ve heard numerous individuals (fan bases from other cities, current and former players, the media, ..) speak upon throughout the years.


  9. Yeah, maybe we should give back those rings we got with Phil. Because he is such a bad guy. Riley, or pop, they never manipulated anyone. Neither did Jerry west. I mean, he only threatened to leave the lakers a million times. No one is saying that pj is a saint, but please…


  10. Austin Daye worked out with the Lakers. That’s kind of interesting. Trying to wrap my head around the possibility of Pau, Kelly and Daye all on the court at the same time. That’s a pretty stretchy front court. Like Gumby-stretchy.


  11. Looks like MDA wants a veteran stretch 4 type who could be more reliable than Shawne Williams.


  12. T Rogers – Because nothing says “Come along with me, guys, I’m going to show you the way to go” like a slug to the face of Steve Kerr.

    Sam Smith and Roland Lazenby’s takes in their respective Bulls books are likely far more accurate (admittedly, Smith’s book was written halfway through Jordan’s career and he may have evolved).


  13. I’m just surprised no one has talked about the Dodgers superlative run in the last few weeks. Anyone catch the wondershow last night?


  14. Earlier this summer…Shaquille O’Neal discussed plans to “make DeMarcus Cousins the best big man in the game,” an idea that even the underachieving Cousins would no doubt get behind.

    A month later, Cousins has yet to hear from the 2000 NBA MVP…According to Cousins, Shaq has yet to reach out. From Jason Jones at the Sacramento Bee:

    “I have not heard from Shaq at all,” Cousins said. “Not a tweet, DM (direct message), nothing.”


    “I would be open to it,” Cousins said. “But I have not heard from him.”


  15. If Jerry West did regularly clear out of the office by 3pm, I admire him all the more!

    Results count, not hours logged.

    The Warriors have gone from laughing stock to a credible team since West signed on as a “consultant”. Think the ownership cares when he clocks out?


  16. rr,
    I find it hard to beleive someone who studies basketball no matter how dumb could find a way this roster makes it to the playoffs in a bottom/middle heavy west. They aren’t projected to have one above average to good player on the roster (unless Kobe is the first player in NBA history to return at above 85 percent from an Achilles tear).


  17. Mwp fan club,
    You mistake my comments. I think Phil can easily be considered the best coach in NBA history. Not trying to doubt his credentials.

    However, he is a master manipulator and you believe everything he says only at your own risk. He also is pretty ruthless – perhaps required in his line of work. Therefore, I refuse to refer to him as Saint Jackson, as some on this site would seem to be doing.

    I also have questions about how he would fit with this current team and where ownership wants to take it – sorry Phil Jackson does not own the Lakers, no matter how much some fans would wish it. It is really interesting to note that Phil’s coaching tree is not only small, but not too successful – just perhaps his system is not as well geared to today’s game and today’s player (whether or not that is good is another question entirely).

    Finally, none of us should assume Phil was going to take the coaching job last year, regardless what anyone is saying now. Phil was also recovering from injury and has repeatedly said he doesn’t enjoy the travel aspects of coaching. His only comments have been to say the reason for accepting the job would have been loyalty to the organization – not exactly a ringing endorsement of either his desires or the team.


  18. MWP Fan club,

    Surely West and Riley are manipulators. You can’t be in their positions and not be. However, rarely are West and Riley openly taking shots at players and team managers in the media. Their manipulation is mostly behind closed doors and out of the public eye. Phil, on the other hand, seems to keep a list of insults in his back pocket on the off chance that someone puts a microphone in his face. Of course that list will never have anything about Jordan on it. I’m still waiting on Phil to come out tell us how great a job Michael has done with the Bobcats.


  19. Most good coaches manipulate. Pj is perhaps one of the best. I guess that bothers you. Not sure why.

    He is the best coach, but the coaching tree is small. So no one else can run that system? Thats why rambis failed? and so i guess shaw is doomed too? Are you sure about that? I see components of the triangle in many sets.

    You just don’t seem to like him, which is fine. Just be honest about it.

    I do think Jim buss has not handled the pj issue well at all – but it’s how he handles most things. He has got a lot to learn.