Around The World (Wide Web): Meeks, Organization, MDA, D12, Achilles

Ryan Cole —  August 20, 2013

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Granted, the 2012-13 season was pretty crummy for every Los Angeles Lakers player, but consider the plight of Jodie Meeks. After two and a half solid seasons in Philadelphia, where Meeks established himself as a valued contributor on playoff teams, the sweet-shooting guard signed with L.A. at a discount with the hopes of winning a ring. While he witnessed his teammates go down left and right with injuries as the season wore on, Meeks fortunately avoided any health problems. With Kobe Bryant out with a torn Achilles tendon, it was Meeks who was on the court at shooting guard in Bryant’s place in the regular-season finale against the Houston Rockets, driving baseline and throwing down a game-sealing dunk in overtime to secure L.A. the seventh seed in the postseason.

From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: For 34 years, Dr. Jerry Buss was and will always be the face of the most successful franchise in the NBA. Through the decades, he not only provided ten championships to the city of Los Angeles, but also provided a sense of stability.Regardless of all the changes we’ve experienced in our personal lives, we could always count on Dr. Buss to provide us with Lakers teams that were exciting to watch and most importantly, championship contenders. Since the passing of Dr. Buss in February, the Lakers organization and fan base has experienced change for the first time in three decades and, as we all know, change creates uncertainty. With his children, Jim and Jeanie, at the helm, there is uncertainty about the direction of the franchise that has quickly turned into negativity from the media this offseason.

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Sad note for talk-show hosts: Mike D’Antoni isn’t turning up his car radio to hear you and your faithful listeners destroy him. “Hell, no,” D’Antoni said on a sunny Manhattan Beach afternoon, plenty of time before rush-hour shows typically unleash another round of venom aimed at the Lakers’ coach. These are trying times to be a Lakers fan in Los Angeles, the playoffs hardly a guarantee next season as the Clippers continue their assumed ascension past the 16-time NBA champions. Naturally, many of the verbal arrows get fired at the affable D’Antoni in comments at the end of online stories, letters to the editor and the above-mentioned airwaves. No, the specter of Phil Jackson never quite left the Lakers.”I think anybody that comes in here the next 10, 15 years, it’s going to be that way,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t think there is any doubt that he was so good and so large and he’s still sitting out there. “Had that bothered me, I shouldn’t have taken the job because you know it’s going to be there. I wasn’t stupid enough to think that, ‘Oh, they won’t remember him.’ Sure they will. It doesn’t really affect what we do day-to-day and how we approach the game.” D’Antoni, 62, has two more guaranteed years on his contract after going 40-32 last season and then getting swept in the playoffs by San Antonio as his players crumbled physically.

From Michael C. Jones, Yahoo Sports: It didn’t take long for Dwight Howard to become the most hated player in Los Angeles Lakers history. That distinction is his alone after playing just 76 games with the franchise. Almost any time a player has an “of all-time” distinction attached to his name, it’s a highly debatable topic. But, in this instance, there’s little disputing that Howard is loathed more by Lakers fans than anyone who donned the golden armor before him. Cedric Ceballos and his in-season vacation, Nick Van Exel and his uncanny ability to infuriate his teammates, and even Kobe Bryant’s tendency to move the needle in polarizing fashion across the league can’t hold a candle to the way Howard is pretty much despised outside of Houston these days.

From Sean Highkin, USA Today: Kobe Bryant is running again – sort of. He posted a video on his Instagram account Monday that shows him jogging on an anti-gravity treadmill. How much weight he’s putting on the left Achilles tendon he tore in April is unclear, but the fact that he’s running in any form just over four months after the injury is an encouraging sign for Lakers fans. Last week, Kobe told reporters in China that the tendon felt “really, really good.” He hasn’t been given an exact return date but, as the season gets closer, it’s no longer unrealistic to expect he’ll be back on the court as the  Lakers take on the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night Oct. 29.

 

Ryan Cole

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10 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Meeks, Organization, MDA, D12, Achilles

  1. ESPN’s B-ball experts have chosen the Lakers as “team turmoil” for the 2013 – 2014 season (see following link):

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9568773/2013-nba-summer-forecast-team-turmoil

    thoughts?

  2. The Lakers are the obvious candidate for that in the sense of how the media will cover them. The thing is that the team is a non-contender/maybe marginal playoff team, with three big-name players, an international brand, a controversial management situation, and a high-profile coach. Most teams like that are smallish-market, (Portland, Minnesota, Denver, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit) have maybe one star and a lesser-known coach.

    Add that to Kobe’s recovery and the zillion LeBron speculation stories, and the media will portray a turbulent situation.

    How it really will be, as opposed to how it will be covered, is another matter, however. But I expect a very bumpy ride as a fan, both in terms of the actual games on the floor and the media coverage.

  3. The Only Question

    It’s the middle of summer. Games won’t be played. So this is the time to have this discussion. Let’s say Wade is still washed up as be was in the playoffs last year. So let’s say LBJ decided to join Melo with the Lakers and Kobe decides to play for the minimum like the scenario I was told about. Let’s say that all happens. The question really is who is that third max player. Who is that guy going to be. That decision most likley will define championships. LeBron might be the greatest player of all time that year. But even he would need help. Melo is a great spot up shooter. He is a great supporting guy. He plays that role so brilliantly on the USMNT. But he isn’t a dominant offensive player who can create open shots for teammates and he can’t play defense. So he is overall very limited. That’s why I say he is a role player. And a perfect role player. But Lebron needs that second guy. Who should the lakers choose? I’ll give you my top three…

    A) Demarcus Cousins: He is the best big man in the NBA right now and he is only 23 years old. It’s a no brainer. There are not big men growing on trees like in the 90′s. Get a young one whenever you can. He has the skill set to play Center on todays NBA of floor spacing. He can pass and shoot from distance while also playing relativley effectively in the post.

    B) Paul George: George won’t be available because he will be maxed out by the Pacers. He is the best player “out there” but even then I might take Cousins over him. It’s a tough call. The Lakere would already have LeBron and Melo on the wing. But I almost always take the better player. I would take Paul in this fake world where the pacers are too cheap to max out the next Scottie Pippen. I’ll sleep well at night with George, LeBron, and Melo playing together.

    C) Rudy Gay: This is the guy that is most available to the Lakers. He is a unrestricted free agent. If Cousins has a great year he will be maxed as well. Gay though is not cancellation prize. He is a tremendous athlete and defensive player. The numbers prove he is less than stellar generating shots for himself or others. That’s tottally fine for the Lakers. He will play the role he was meant to play. A Scottie Pippen role where he can slash on offensive while also adding outside shooting Pippen did not. He is only 26 years old and would be the youngest of the Holy Trinity (LeBron/Melo/Gay). This sittuation would really be perfect for Gay to show the world how great (very good) he is.

    I think by adding anyone of these player the Lakers would be favored to win the championships for the next four years. But because of Melo’s age and lack of conditioning (fat) throughout his career I doubt this (already shy of athletic perfection) basketball player will be very good after the first couple seasons. But the other two will be great enough I would presume. Melo will always be an effective spot up shooter.

  4. Aaron,

    C’mon man! Let’s be realistic. That scenario isn’t going to happen and everyone knows it.

    What I want to talk about is this post on Probasketballtalk:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/08/20/report-lakers-will-be-among-the-teams-wearing-short-sleeved-jerseys-next-season/

    Why do they keep pushing this down our throat? Can’t the Kings and other minor franchises do that? If I was a player the first thing I would do would be ripping off the sleeves the moment I stepped on court. I don’t even wear sleeves in basketball practice much less a game. I hope one of these days someone breaks a finger going for a rebound and getting it stuck in an opponent’s sleeve (preferably someone from the Celtics)

  5. Tell me again, exactly why we want Melo? To serve as another Gay? Of course I understand your scenario is that Lebron wouldn’t come without Melo, but if we were to get Gay what is the difference?

    The third player would be Kobe, for now. Another third player could be added in another year or two. Sure, if Cousins is available, he would be a great get.

    Then again, this supposes the Lakers are willing to pay the repeater tax from now into infinity. I am not sure that is the case.

  6. I think there will be less turmoil this year then last year. There will not be as much friction about who is getting the shots. Roles will be more defined and accepted. I think there are still roster problems to get the most out of every player. Like I’ve said I believe playing Hill forces Pau to play like a PF even if he will be listed as the center. This should have been an avoidable problem. But Hill isn’t going to be complaining about posting up or getting touches.

  7. Craig,
    So you answered your own question. The Lakers don’t get to decide if they want Melo or not. Melo and LeBron are attached. Like Wade and LeBron were four years ago. So it’s pointless to discuss if we want Melo or not. As long as we want LeBron we want Melo.

    And Kobe isn’t a third player. At best he is an average role player after his surgery. But the Lakers also aren’t able to add a third star after this upcoming summer because LeBron won’t sign with the Lakers if he isn’t coming with Melo and another star. He has no interest in wasting one of the last years of his prime with just Melo.

    As far as the repeater tax the Lakers would be not over the Tax. They would be right at the top of it hence why they would be available to sign those three players. When they add players the following years that would put them over the tax. They have shown the last few years they are okay paying the most tax dollars in the league. When the repeater tax gets too big in four years the lakers would have to play the same game and hop below it again.

  8. Those sleeves on the jerseys are very interesting. I predict that within a few years, players will be wearing small shoulder pads under that type of jersey. The players are already wearing heavy thigh pads under the baggy shorts as well as padded rib protectors under their current jerseys.

    So much contact is allowed now off the ball in the NBA that the game is becoming almost unwatchable. What passes for defense these days is just so much clutching and grabbing, IMO. I can easily see the day when an NBA uniform will include those shoulder pads and maybe helmets as well. NBA ball is deteriorating into a hybrid of basketball & football. How will it look twenty years from now?

  9. Kenny,

    20 years from now the players will be wearing helmets. Maybe 10 years from now.