From Phillip Barnett, Lakers Nation: In a time when the culture of NBA philosophies began moving away from highly specialized role players to ball players with more unique skill sets who can fill multiple roles, Mike D’Antoni was on the forefront of an offensive revolution that saw teams — and more specifically — his Phoenix Suns try to win games by speeding up the pace of the game to manufacture high percentage shots in as many possessions as possible. What wasn’t specific to D’Antoni’s offense, however, was the utilization of basketball players who can fill multiple roles on the offensive end and defend multiple positions on the defensive end. Despite their contrasting styles of play, this changing of the guard is a reason that the Lakers and Suns met in the 2010 Western Conference Finals. They weren’t just the two best teams in the Western Conference that season, but they were the two teams in the Western Conference with the most interchangeable parts.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant has an obstacle in front of him, and that is when he is at his best. That is when he is most driven. Kobe at age 35 is working on a comeback from a ruptured Achilles that might have ended the career of lesser players. But Kobe was not going to let the image of him limping off the court be the last one of his career. He is fighting to get back in the game. He is fighting for that sixth right. And former teammate Antawn Jamison said count him out at your own risk during a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles (as transcribed by Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLosAngeles.com).
From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: With the Lakers at their usual self-imposed 14-man roster limit, it’s time for us here at Silver Screen & Roundtable to take a look at the docket and discuss….wait, did I write “docket”? I meant “damage report”. It’s been a summer like few others in franchise history, as the Lakers primary offseason goal was torpedoed in gloriously public fashion. A seven-time All-Star left Southern California for Texas, and with him a clear view of where the franchise was headed in the immediate future. However, as big as his departure was, change wasn’t just confined to the center position.
From Jimmy Goldstein, NBA.com: I moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s as a graduate student at UCLA and immediately began to attend all the Lakers games and sit courtside (back then, courtside seats cost $15 per game). I had come from Milwaukee, where I had worked as a statistician for what was then the Milwaukee Hawks (now known as the Atlanta Hawks). I was a teenager, and I became hooked on the NBA at an early age to begin a lifetime involvement. When I arrived in Los Angeles and began to attend Lakers games, I was still a big fan of the Hawks, even though the Hawks had left Milwaukee. The Hawks and Lakers were rivals, and I wasn’t about to abandon my loyalty to the Hawks just because I was a student in Los Angeles. Thus was the origin of my becoming an “anti-Lakers” fan. I hoped that the Lakers would lose because it would help the Hawks. And so I quietly pulled for the opposition, clapping when they scored a basket. Not all the fans around me appreciated my behavior. One fan, a well-known attorney, met with the Lakers’ general manager and demanded that my floor seat be taken away from me. He was told that I had the right to root for whomever I wanted.