Around The World (Wide Web): “The Treachery Of Age”

Ryan Cole —  November 11, 2013

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Someday, it might be appropriate to look back at the past four days of the Los Angeles Lakers’ existence — from playing Dwight Howard as an opponent Thursday to seeing Steve Nash being shut down because of back problems Sunday — as the official death of the dream hatched in summer 2012 to get back to being a championship contender before Kobe Bryant’s career came to a close. But today is not that day. Now is the time to simply appreciate what Nash — a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer, the greatest basketball player to come out of Canada, a player who ranks No. 1 in career free throw percentage, No. 4 in total assists and No. 8 in 3-point accuracy in NBA history — is going through as he sees the end of his splendid career coming at him like a freight train going full speed.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: It’s been 495 days since the Los Angeles Lakers traded some “throwaway” draft picks and a trade exception they needed to get off their hands after dumpingLamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for the all-world talents of Steve Nash. 495 days since the Lakers signed-and-traded for a “real” point guard after a failed experiment featuring Ramon Sessions’ 2012 Playoffs nosedive. It’s fair to say things have changed since then. Those “throwaway” picks were two future second-round selections and two future first-round selections. In case you missed it, folks are salivating over the Lakers having a 2014 first-round draft pick this summer. There’s no telling what the next handful of years will look for the Lakers with Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant’s expiring contracts and Steve Nash’s expired body, but the peep hole we’ve peeked through so far has been disheartening. Maybe the top-five protection on the 2015 first-rounder will be the saving grace in this mess.

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: In the first quarter Sunday night against Minnesota (as his Lakers were getting blown out of the water), Pau Gasol was 3-of-5 shooting for six points. The rest of the game he was 2-of-7 shooting, and the second of those buckets came :26 seconds left in the game when Rick Adelman had emptied the Timberwolves bench. Gasol finished with 11 points on 12 shots (but did have 11 rebounds). That’s been pretty typical to start the season. Gasol was expected to carry the Lakers’ offense, at least untilKobe Bryant returned, but he is averaging 15.3 points a game on 36 percent shooting — it’s taking him 16.1 shots a game to get those points. That is not Gasol like. It’s not close to what the Lakers were banking on. What’s more is on the season he’s shooting a respectable 45 percent in the first quarter but just 25.7 percent in the second half. Gasol said after the game the issue has been a respiratory infection he has battled all season — and that he is getting better.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Sunday he does not anticipate that Kobe Bryant will be able to return from his Achilles’ tendon injury within the next two weeks. “I don’t see that in the next week or two because you’ve got to be on the court. You’ve got to practice.  You’ve got to play,” Kupchak, speaking at an event for season-ticket holders, said of the team’s All-Star guard. Bryant said recently that he’s gotten in two of the three weeks of intense conditioning he needs before considering a return date. The Lakers undoubtedly will work Bryant slowly back into practice before he sees his first NBA game action since tearing his Achilles’ on April 12 during a win over the Golden State Warriors. “Clearly we don’t know what this team is all about until Kobe gets back, and when he gets back, how is he going to play?” Kupchak told an audience of more than 1,000. “I know he’s going to come back competitive. I know he’s going to be productive. But that’s when we’re going to find out what kind of team we have.” Kupchak acknowledged the franchise is preparing for the time after Bryant is gone.

Ryan Cole

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20 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): “The Treachery Of Age”

  1. ryan: here’s one about old age and treachery:

    A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

    Oneday the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she’s lost. Wandering about, she notices a young leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch.

    The old poodle thinks, “Oh, oh! I’m in deep trouble now!” Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat.

    Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, “Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?”

    Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. “Whew!”, says the leopard, “That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!”

    Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard.

    So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.

    The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

    The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, “Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what’s going to happen to that conniving canine!”

    Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, “What am I going to do now?”, but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn’t seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: “Where’s that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!”

    Moral of this story..

    Don’t mess with old farts…age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bull**** and brilliance only come with age and experience!

    Go lakers

  2. Sorry but I am not going to celebrate nor appreciate Nash’s legacy…As a Laker he has absolutely nothing. When he retires officially, yes I will look back and wonder what could have been..

  3. Today’s NBA fun fact #1: The top five NBA teams in terms of team payroll (Nets, Knicks, Heat, Bulls, & Lakers) have a combined win/loss record of 13-19 as of today, Nov.11, 2013. OUCH! And of this group only the Heat, at 4-3 have a winning record, lol.

    Today’s NBA fun fact #2: The bottom two NBA teams in terms of payroll (76ers & Suns) have a combined record of 9-5 as of Nov. 11th, 2013.

    Conclusion: it’s very early in the season.

  4. Rusty Shackleford November 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I hope the Lakers hand Nash a briefcase full of his buyout money at his exit interview. There’s no way they can be hamstrung to the tune of $9.7 million next year. That’s enough money for 1-1/2 productive players that will be able to stay off the trainer’s table.

  5. “Someday, it might be appropriate to look back at the past four days of the Los Angeles Lakers’ existence — from playing Dwight Howard as an opponent Thursday to seeing Steve Nash being shut down because of back problems Sunday — as the official death of the dream hatched in summer 2012 to get back to being a championship contender before Kobe Bryant’s career came to a close.”

    It’s worth noting that the original dream was Paul and Howard, and there’s every possibility Howard would have stayed had they pulled that off.

  6. David – Funniest story i’ve read in a while. Thank you for brightening up an otherwise dreary Monday.

    I frankly do not understand this Jeckyl and Hyde team. They pull together and have amazing games against the the Rockets and the Clippers, two teams they should have no business competing with, but fail to show up against teams they should be going toe-to-toe against. Is it on the coaching? Is it on the players? I simply cannot understand it. It is very frustrating. You really do not know what you will get out of these guys any given night.

    My hope is that once Kobe comes back, his leadership will stabilize things enough for us to see exactly what we have here in terms of salvageable talent for next year.

    In terms of Pau, all I have to say is “Son, I am dissapoint.” (spelling error intended). I was really hoping he would step up his leadership but I can see that he does not have the personality to be the #1 option. It’s a shame, but I suppose its a good thing considering that a team with Kobe Bryant cannot really have two guys wanting to be the #1 option.

  7. David H-Hilarious!

    Truly I am not a xenobhobe!

  8. It’s worth noting that the original dream was Paul and Howard, and there’s every possibility Howard would have stayed had they pulled that off.

    Yes, indeed. I have said that before, and I am sure will say it again when I think it’s relevant to do so.

  9. I frankly do not understand this Jeckyl and Hyde team

    Most players in NBA rotations are capable of playing very well–sometimes. The kinds of guys the Lakers have–rotation guys, but not solid starters or stars–will have nights when things work and they look pretty good. But the bad nights will outnumber the good ones when you don’t have stars or solid starters. It is also helpful not to look just at the Lakers, but at the other teams. Looking at the wins specifically:

    #1–The Clippers are a bad defensive team right now, although their offense is so good that they have a good team overall. The Lakers’ bench successfully exploited the Clippers’ lack of athletes on the perimeter.
    #2–Atlanta is a decent team, but undersized and the Lakers won by one.
    #3–The Lakers shot 78% on the 3s in the first half and then pulled it out after losing the lead when the 3 stopped dropping. Houston is always going to be in danger of Howard being a problem at the end of close games. Also, Houston had a bad night from the arc themselves.

  10. ehh..looks like one of my comments got deleted…I’ll just preface my comments from now on with “No offense…”

  11. What’s really upsetting is how the management of this team failed miserably in dealing with the future. They’ve traded away too many draft picks, this type of performance could go on for the next 5 years. You can’t contend and build for the future at the same time. Yes I know the Lakers have never built through the draft, but Magic, Worthy, Fisher, Bynum, and of course Kobe came from the draft. Maybe it’s time to realize that. I’d settle for a Nick Van Exel right now…

  12. the other Stephen November 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Great story. Thanks for sharing, David H.

  13. justintheNICKoftime November 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Come on guys did anybody really think that this group would be able too compete on a consistent level night in and night out. I am proud of the players effort, disappointed by some players, but I was expecting a let down or 100 this season. Nothing could possibly be as bad as last year, watching games was like pulling your own teeth. One at a time with short intervals inbetween prolonging the pain. Current squad is built for next year, money will not be tied up, just have to weather the storm.

  14. Keno: Saw your post – nice. Keith Erickson: I hope he did not marry too young. UCLA + Lakers – the dude must have been legendary with the women.
    Nick Van Exel: Two references in this thread. We are now coveting the 90’s. Wow – this is worse that I thought.
    Original Dream: Ah yes – the original dream of Paul/Howard/Kobe. Well – we got screwed and since then we have been on Full Tilt.
    “Come on guys did anybody really think that this group would be able to compete on a consistent level night in and night out.” How long have you been posting here? : )

  15. I hope the Lakers hand Nash a briefcase full of his buyout money at his exit interview.

    I agree and believe that this is already a foregone conclusion. Also, with the way Pau has been looking thus far, I have a hard time believing that, under any scenario, management will want any part in bringing him back next season.

    Bottom line is that the both of them, in their current state, is what I consider to be ‘Fresh Laundry’ .. AkA – Washed Up

  16. Can we fire Pau Gasol. Where is Donald Trump when we need him. Lol. Team is playing as expected, but I am very very very disappointed in Pau Gasol’s play up to this point. Nash is really up there in age and his body is braking down but Pau is 33 and playing like a 40 year old. Show some heart out there, you big __________. Fill in the blank.

  17. Another thing about Pau, after the games he talks and pretends like he is the leader of the team. I don’t see him leading anything or anybody on the floor. He is going through the motions and getting paid handsomely for it. Some people are born leaders and some are born to follow and Pau, you are a follower. I truly believe once Kobe comes back, Pau will play much better and not because of some magic potion or anything. Just Kobe’s presence is enough.

  18. david h,
    funny parable! thanks
    ____
    goin´out on a beanpole & sayin´that we get the W tomorrow night against N.O.

  19. My only comment is 107 points given up a game. Last in the NBA.

    Nice plan Mike NoD.

  20. This is just incredible. Does he realize that guys like me read what he says and re-post it?
    All of this is from MD today in a second McMenamin article not linked above.
    “We got to find our identity – We don’t play slow or fast. We don’t do anything with a purpose. We’re trying to get that.”
    “We’re trying to clarify what playing hard means ”
    “mathematically, we’re still in the race,”
    and my favorite
    “”We can do better than what we’re doing. We can win a lot of games. We have to try to get this settled as soon as we can.”
    Now that is leadership