Around The World (Wide Web): Expect Less, Have More Fun

Ryan Cole —  September 17, 2013

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Pretty much any fan of the Los Angeles Lakers will tell you that the last three seasons haven’t been very fun, with the 2012-13 season falling much closer to painful than joyful on the experience scale. “We were stacked and it was an epic failure,” said Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist and Lakers super fan, Flea, in a recent podcast with LandOLakers.com. “For me, it was the most disappointing Lakers season of all time and not even close to any other season.” From the embarrassing ending to Phil Jackson’s final campaign, to the uninspiring Mike Brown era (L.A. topped 100 points just 24 times in the 71 regular-season games he coached), to the utter disaster of last season, the return on investment of time, money and emotion spent by Lakers fans has not resulted in any sort of payoff. I know what that life’s all about, having grown up as a Philadelphia sports fan. Losing and frustration and disappointment come with the territory.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers signed free-agent forward Marcus Landry to a contract Monday. Landry was a standout on the Lakers’ summer league squad in Las Vegas, averaging 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. While a deal wasn’t signed until Monday, Landry and the Lakers had reached a tentative, unbinding agreement on a “make-good” contract in late July.  The 27-year old, 6-foot-7 forward tweeted his intentions almost two months ago. Landry will make $788,873 for the season, if he makes the team.The Lakers now have 15 players on the roster, the maximum allowed for the regular season. The team is expected to bring 16 to 20 players to training camp, including second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly (48th overall). Landry previously played for Coach Mike D’Antoni in New York for the Knicks during the 2009-10 season.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant’s psychology is such that when his teammates struggle on offense he quickly fills that void — he believes he is a better offensive option even if the defense is focused on him than a passive or cold teammate. That has led to some bad choices and miraculous shots over the years. Now at age 35 coming off an Achilles injury, can Kobe change is ways? It’s not me asking that question (well, not alone anyway), it is Laker legend, broadcaster and Hall of Famer James Worthy. He spoke with Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “One of the biggest challenges for Kobe this year is, can he step back?” Worthy said. “He’s been in the league for 17 years, has a lot of miles on the body and has had a lot of injuries. Can he find a game that will allow other guys to flourish?”

From Matt More, CBS Sports: The big question for the Lakers, and one of the biggest questions for next season period, is when Kobe Bryant will return. Bryant has been aggressively rehabbing his torn achilles after surgery last spring in typical Bryant fashion. Kobe has said in recent days that the Achilles tendon feels “really, really good,” but also that he’s not sure if he’ll be ready for the season opener. Now the LA Times reports that while Lakers doctors say he’s “progressing,” the plan is for Bryant to miss all of the preseason, so his absolute earliest return would be opening night, October 29th vs. the Clippers.Kobe Bryant continues to move forward in his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles’ tendon, though the Lakers are unwilling to put an updated timetable on his exact return. “He’s progressing well and has met all the targets and milestones of his rehab, and we expect him to make a full recovery,” Lakers spokesman John Black told The Times on Monday. “One of the key issues is to make sure he builds up strength and endurance not only in his Achilles but also in his legs, knees, back and core.”

 

Ryan Cole

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15 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Expect Less, Have More Fun

  1. Flea: “For me, it was the most disappointing Lakers season of all time and not even close to any other season.” Agreed – none other is close. I saw the RHCP in Detroit at the end of last season. Flea was taking out his anger on his bass.
    Worthy: “can he step back?” No he can’t. He is Kobe after all and there has never been anopther like him.
    Moore: “The big question for the Lakers, and one of the biggest questions for next season period, is when Kobe Bryant will return” Indeed – all hope hinges on this. Perhaps Moore reads this blog : )
    “Landry previously played for Coach Mike D’Antoni in New York for the Knicks during the 2009-10 season.” Is that a good thing? Wasn’t Landry the guy guarding Kobe in the “Big” commercial at the Garden?
    McMenamin: “Pretty much any fan of the Los Angeles Lakers will tell you that the last three seasons haven’t been very fun” Well – I have had fun – I always do – but I would just say that these last few seasons and the coming one – appear to be a little less “interesting” than I have grown accustomed to.

  2. Rusty Shackleford September 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    With all of the forwards they are bringing in on 1-year deals they should give them a “Shoot For A Contract” incentive. They could score them based on 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage. In a season projecting to be KAHNesque I’m going to need as many side stories to follow as possible.

  3. Robert: To me, the worst season was the season Magic retired for health reasons. Not sure if you were alive back then, but that was a truly sad moment in sports.

  4. MannyP – agreed it was a horrid, horrid season. The worse.

    I also hated the year that started with Malone and the Glove, Kobe’s legal problems, and ended with our heroes bounced by the Pistons. As a fitting Coda, then Shaq was traded. Ugh!

  5. We as a group really like Jordan Farmar. But lets not forget who Steve Nash is before we just brush him aside.

    On his way to becoming the team’s best PG, Jordan Farmar will have to do it from the bench. He cannot demand the starting position (nor will he) at this point. He’d have to put forth an effort that could carry us to victories in stretches before he can become it. Meaning, Farmar won’t become the team’s best PG because of how we feel about him, he would have to earn it.

    In a scenario where Farmar becomes the team’s best PG, I peg somewhere in the 32-game mark or so, the change in scenario from lead bench to starter will not be to his advantage. He would have to face starting PGs of the other team, as well as do his stuff being defended by the starting PGs of the other team. If not, the team’s best perimeter defender is the one on-duty against him. So lets not try to get ahead of ourselves here. Just like Earl Clark, he got his props not because he’s a better PF than Pau Gasol but because he was the lowest pile of the totem pole and that the other team would prefer he scored rather than the rest of our star-studded team.

    For the record, I am not saying JF cannot adjust to the starting role. All I’m saying is that Nash has had this title for so long that a 2-game starter like Farmar would just so easily snatch it from him is quite outrageous.

    Its nice and exciting to guess, predict and etc. But ultimately, its about a lowered-Laker-expectation that would do everyone good. Have fun, just like Darius said. Be a fan of a non-contender for once. Be less scrutinizing of the errors of a young team, because thats what we are. Yet, do not be surprised if we achieved great things because we have great players on the team. Coming from someone who thinks we’d win 50 this year, chea!

  6. The only way Kobe takes a step back is if he plays with 4 all stars. If he`s not on the court to start camp.expect him to do a lot of tutoring with the new wings.

  7. The ’91 season was more depressing, as we didn’t know at the time that Magic would have such a long life ahead of him.

    But in terms of straight-up downer on-court disappointment, last year was the worst. From the 0-35 run by GS against the Lakers in the preseason opener to the last day of the Howard saga with the false reports that he might stay after all, the whole thing just sucked. The 2004 team was irritating in some ways, but they did win 56 games and the conference title.

    And of course on top of that, Jerry Buss died.

  8. I thought it was great having Malone. If he didn’t mess his leg up the Lakers would have won that year. We may be speaking about a very different history had that not happened following that. So I can’t really say that was the worst year. I would go with Magic’s 1st retirement as worst year I can remember.

  9. It was cool having Malone and the Lakers that year showed glimmers of what might have been.

  10. Normally when a tallish guard loses his first step to injury he starts posting up more. And I’d really expect that since Kobe has superb footwork and should be able to work over opposing SG/SFs down low.
    But D’Antoni hates low-post offense,feeling it stops ball and player movement. So that’s going to be an interesting dynamic. Esp if you consider that if Kobe sets up down low,he has to be fed,and that might be a way to keep him from dominating the offense…don’t pass him the ball :)
    What I think we’ll end up seeing is a ton of Kobe and Gasol/Hill pick-n-rolls. W/Hill being used more to free up Kobe and Gasol popping and rolling.

  11. Stephen, MDA doesn’t hate a post up. He just hates it the traditional way (big man) and he hates the lag in pounding the ball for 18 seconds only to pass off on the last second and shoot a desperation three. For him, why not shoot an open three?

    The concept is ball-movement. Find easy makes. A layup is the best-case scenario. A foul is just as good. An open 3-pointer is better than a contested fadeaway jumper. Gasol can score rolling off a PNR, he will be fine. He will be drawing alot of fouls too if he’s healthy and aggressive in rolling so his FT% will be very useful in this manner.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ga49vPn2ao

    Just a basic PNR play, ran better w/ Nash obviously.

  12. Why not a open 3? Well if you have guys who can’t make a 3, then it becomes a problem. Maybe thats why some people don’t like d’antoni. He just didnt fit the team last season. Hopefully the team now has better shooters so we won’t have to watch guys shooting bricks.

  13. I agree…I kind of liked the Malone, Payton Laker edition…they were fairly dominant..they made it to the finals and if malone is healthy it would have gone 7 games IMO…the last couple years being early exits and being swept was embarrassing…Actually the last season for me has to have been the toughest…I’m not gonna say I thought we would win 70+ games but I definitely thought we would get 60 or close to it. A team with that much talent not hitting the 500 mark until a few games to go and the “race for the 8th” that ended up being the 7th was just embarrassing.