Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe-Jordan, Nash, PF position, Training Camp

Ryan Cole —  October 1, 2013

From Phillip Barnett, Lakers Nation: One of the most ubiquitous sports debates revolves around the greatest basketball player of all time. It’s a difficult one because every decade adds or takes something away from the game, making it hard to compare players across eras. We can go back and watch the games, but different players found success against different competition in different ways. Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the best basketball player of all time, but he isn’t nearly the most winningest player of all time (Bill Russell) and trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in all time scoring. Then there are guys like Kobe Bryant, who is regarded as the best player from the Jordan era, and LeBron James, NBA’s reigning NBA and Finals MVP.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Perhaps partly because Dwight Howard is out of the picture, perhaps partly because Pau Gasol is far healthier than last season (OK, mostly because Howard is out of the picture), Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has made an about-face from his initial coaching instincts when counting on Gasol’s services. Remember when Gasol was benched late in games last season? Or relegated to sixth man status? Or positioned on the perimeter when he was on the court and encouraged to attempt the most 3-pointers of his 12-year career? Not the case anymore. Just three days into training camp, D’Antoni has already named two definitive starters while Kobe Bryant is out: Gasol at center and Steve Nash, his longtime pupil, running the point. And expectations are high for the former four-time All-Star in the middle.

From Ben Bolch, LA Times: It’s a line Steve Nash would rather leave off a resume that includes two most-valuable-player awards, 10,249 assists and a record 90.4% accuracy on free throws. He’s now the oldest player in the NBA. “It’s not a privilege I ever really dreamed about,” the 39-year-old said Saturday while encircled by reporters during Lakers media day. “It’s pretty strange and I guess surreal in a way.” That would make it like everything else Nash has experienced since becoming a Laker. Weird has become the new normal for a usually durable player who last season appeared in only 50 games because of injuries and was transformed into a hybrid shooting guard even though he’ll enter the Hall of Fame as one of the all-time-great point guards. Nash’s first season as a Laker included one perplexing development after another. Instead of running the pick and roll, he would largely linger on the perimeter to stand and wait. As opposed to making jaw-dropping plays, he was more likely to be involved in bickering-with-teammate exchanges. Rather than leading his team deep into the playoffs, he was spearheading the charge into the trainer’s room.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: For centuries, before the existence of radar, before radios and satellites and cell phones and airplanes, the only way to get from one part of the world to another not connected by land was to pile into a ship and set sail across the ocean. A few days out, you could not see the land from whence you came. All you could see is a vast expanse of blue, spread out in all directions. Voyages often took months; months with nothing to do but handle your daily responsibilities, months in which your routine is all you had. Imagine the boredom of being stuck in a confined space with the same hundred or so individuals. Imagine the insanity of having to do the exact same thing you did the day before because there are no other options. Imagine the fear of not knowing when, or even if, your journey might finally come to an end.

Ryan Cole

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11 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe-Jordan, Nash, PF position, Training Camp

  1. I like the idea of Pau at center if that means that Hill will move to starting PF.

  2. The last 15 seconds of that Michael Jordan video is hilarious… :-D

  3. Omg. So sad. It was just announced Westbrook just had to have another knee surgery. So depressing. He will never be the same either. Rondo, Westbrook, and Rosé all in one year. Damn you basketball gods!!! Three of the premier young PGs in the game. The worst is Westbrook as to me he was the best PG in the game ( when you count defense).

  4. As I read it, Westbrook is out 4-6 weeks with arthroscopic knee surgery. This wouldn’t seem to be a career ending situation, but it does really impact the Thunder at the beginning of the season.

  5. The more and more I hear MJ23 talk, the more and more I grow to dislike him.

  6. MannyP, Jordan is talking the same way he has talked all his life. Is this the 1st time you have heard him talk?

  7. Jay – Nope. Heard him before. But in this age of new media, we hear from him a lot more than before, and the more I hear him the more I realize that he lacks even the smallest bit of humility. I guess I used to think he was just arrogant, now I think he is arrogant and a jerk. I suppose this is why he never says muchin his Hanes t-shirt ads.

  8. From the Dave Mac ESPN LA Link:

    “It’s hard to read the tea leaves to handicap the power forward race based on D’Antoni’s comments so far .. Johnson has a lot of upside, but very little experience at the position.”

    Please don’t tell me that D’Antoni is considering starting WJ at the Four? A move such as this – starting a 6’7, 215-220 lb, SG/SF next to an aging, finesse playing, coming off surgical procedures on both knees Center such as Pau – would be idiotic, to say the least.

    Simply put – Jordan Hill should be the starting PF.

  9. MannyP,
    You realize that MJ was the poster boy for both Nike and ESPN when both those entities were trying to break in to the NBA. They established their respective brands using his exploits. Therefore, it is natural that they both would loudly proclaim his successes and downplay any failures or moral crises. Now-a-days there is 24/7 competition and, seemingly, nothing is hidden for long.

  10. Aaron: The pipedream was partially contingent on Wade’s knees. It appears everyone else’s knees are giving out thereby, once again paving the way for LeBron to steam roll down the lane to another title. No way he leaves after a three-peat.

    MannyP: MJ is put in the same category as Magic and Larry as far as “saving the league”. I do not thnk so. Magic and Larry had already saved the league. MJ was always just an arrogant trash talker. There was a reason for the “freeze out”. Unlike those who came before him, he was able to back it up and be the best in the league as an arrogant trash talker. He was the best – but likable – no. Sorta like Phil : )

    Kobe: The calendar has flipped over into October. Not good.

  11. Manny,

    The way you feel about Jordan is the way I feel about Phil Jackson. The more he talks the more my perception of him changes. In many ways I think he and Jordan are kindred spirits. Jordan is just more direct about his arrogance.

    And someone tell Michael that Elgin Baylor, David Thompson, and Julius Erving would like to have a word with him about that “my moves” comment directed at Kobe.