Friday Forum

Darius Soriano —  April 25, 2014

The Lakers may not be playing, but I hope you are still tuning into the playoffs to check out the action. The games are fantastic and the road teams are showing that the value of home court only means something if, you know, you can win at home. The only favored team to win both games at home has been the Heat with every other team managing only a split — at best.

Those last two words needed adding because of the Rockets’ inability to win either of their home games against a very game Blazers’ team. Portland has cracked down defensively on James Harden while mixing up their coverages on Dwight just enough to keep him off-balance. On the other side of the ball LaMarcus Aldridge is dominating offensively, using his size advantage over Terrence Jones to score inside and work the glass while using his quickness and feathery jumper to torch Omer Asik and Dwight Howard when the Rockets try a bigger defender. Aldridge’s 89 points over the first two games have been the difference in the series to the this point and he has looked like the best player on the floor over the series’ first 96 minutes.

The Rockets aren’t alone as the only upper seed proving vulnerable, however. The top seeded Pacers trail the Hawks 2-1 and look to be in real danger through three games. Unable to establish their bully-ball offense in the paint with a struggling Roy Hibbert, their lack of wing creators outside of Paul George and (sometimes) Lance Stephenson are proving to be a big flaw. On the other side of the ball their defense continues to struggle, having difficulty containing Jeff Teague who is terrorizing the paint while his big men create alleys for him by spacing the floor to the 3-point line. The soundbites out of Indy are that adjustments are in order, but when a team has built its entire identity playing one way I wonder how easy it is to change gears and find success doing things so differently.

In the West, the Thunder also find themselves down 2-1 to the Grizzlies. Memphis has done an excellent job of getting OKC to play at a slower tempo, protecting the ball and running down the shot clock to limit the Thunder’s open court chances. Defensively they are showing a variety of different looks, but mostly are just playing hard nosed position D and capitalizing on the lack of creativity Scott Brooks is showing schematically and with his rotations. So many of the Thunder’s sets devolve into isolations or simple P&R’s with little movement on the weak side that the Grizz are able to anticipate where the ball is going and make crisp rotations to thwart those sets. Further, until guys like Fisher, Caron Butler, Thabo, and Perkins can prove capable offensively, Memphis will simply continue to crowd Durant and Westbrook to force them into tough situations. Much like in Indy, the Thunder (and head coach Scott Brooks) need to find some adjustments in either scheme, player rotations, or both to get this figured out or we may see an upset out West that few people (if any) saw coming.

This is just a sampling of the action, though. And while watching these games is a bit of a downer knowing that the Lakers are nowhere to be found, these games are still well worth your time. Not just because of the quality of play, but also because the fallout from these series may very well affect what the Lakers can do this summer in terms of coaching and free agency. Now, on to the links…

The other day I wrote about coaching changes and how Mike D’Antoni’s fate has yet to be decided (while adding it may be some time before it is). That is still the case, even though his brother Dan will leave his staff to coach at Marshall University. Dan, like Mike, went to school at Marshall.

I know many Lakers’ fans were hoping that it would be Mike who took that job, relieving himself of his duties and thus ensuring the Lakers would have a new coach next year. That didn’t happen, but it doesn’t mean a change still won’t come. If it does, here is a look at potential candidates from a list of next head coaching prospects.

Of the coaches on that list, one has a history with the Lakers and was, reportedly, thought of highly when with the team. Add those variables together and Quin Snyeder could make for an interesting candidate should the Lakers make a change.

One of the reasons the Lakers may make that change is because the players they have or want to keep essentially dictate it happen. And while folks usually point to Kobe Bryant as the key player in that discussion, #24 hasn’t officially gone on the record with anything stronger than a hint or innuendo speaking out against D’Antoni. The same cannot be said of Pau Gasol, however. The Big Spaniard said that in order to stay with the Lakers there would need to be “significant changes” while later openly discussing how he’s not the biggest fan of the style of play D’Antoni enjoys. I’m no expert in math, but I do know 2 + 2 = 4.

Pau also said that Kobe would be a main reason why, if he so chooses, would stay on with the Lakers by re-signing this summer. That’s not really surprising considering all that they have been through together as teammates for the past 6 seasons. That said, in practical terms, Pau saying that he’d stay on to play with Kobe also shows a lot of faith in the injured guard. Whether or not that is justified remains to be seen, but Kobe is reportedly back to work in his typical maniacal fashion to get back strong next season.

When Kobe does return how can he best be used on offense? Here is one take. (Thanks to friend of the site Dave Murphy for reaching out for some quotes on the subject.)

Last note on Kobe, here is a great commercial for the World Cup that he stars in.

And speaking of shooting guards, Nick Young’s future is at that position and not pitcher for the Dodgers.

The Lakers’ future is cloudy and there is still a lot to be determined. From what to do with their head coach to the draft to free agency, the potential for change is huge and there will be a lot of adjusting to do in the coming years. At the top I spoke about the playoffs and the hope is that the Lakers won’t just be back in that mix soon, but looked at as a favorite who can make some noise in their pursuit of another banner. Let’s just hope when that does happen, they look a little bit better than the Pacers do right now.

Darius Soriano

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161 responses to Friday Forum

  1. Really interested to see how this coaching search / no search goes. Stan Van is the only guy I’d be interested in, and if they reach out and he says not interested I’d probably keep Mike. The stuff about him wanted to stay in or near Orlando in the short term is nonsense if it’s the Lakers and the $ is good. But they should probably decide before the Rockets and Warriors jobs open as they appear likely to do so.

  2. I’m also interested / confused at this fan base wanting both Hollins or Byron Scott to be the teams next head coach. Those two men have coached a total of 19 years between them and have 3 50 win seasons TOTAL. Memphis never missed a beat after firing Hollins, Byron was a nightmare for the Cavs. SVG has coached 8 years total and had 5 50 win seasons. I’ve stood up for Jim Buss and Mitch throughout the past 2 years, but if they go and Hire Scott or Hollins then the front office is really the mess everyone says it is.

  3. Look at the whole record–then you might be less confused.

    Hollins coached the Grizzlies when they were still in Vancouver, and then took over a bad Grizz team later in Memphis, so he was 31-68 out of the gate. After that, Memphis got steadily better under him, winning 56 games and making the WCF last year (with some luck on opponent injuries). And it is pretty hard to have a 50-win season when the schedule is only 66 games. He was 41-25 in the lockout season.

    It is true that Memphis is more or less as good as they were last year, but is not as if they have exploded into a far better team without Hollins, either. Some people like Hollins because he is in some ways the anti-D’Antoni: Hollins won in Memphis playing a slow-paced, grind-it-out game, revolving around D and bigs, and he is known as being a pretty good communicator. Also, Marc Gasol supposedly liked playing for him. Hollins is not known for being very inventive on O–that is supposedly one reason he was let go in addition to not being a big analytics guy.

    If the Lakers were to keep Pau and Hill, and add Randle, who has been comped to Zach Randolph, Hollins might be a good call.

    As to Scott, I am not a big fan and his record is spotty. But he did make the Finals twice in New Jersey, and had two good teams in NO. Yes, he had a bad record in Cleveland but he took over the year after James walked, and Mike Brown didn’t do much better.

    It is very, very hard to recover from losing a superstar uncompensated and Cleveland has added to that problem by making questionable picks high in the lottery.

  4. So it appears that the theory that this is a guard , small ball league may not be all that true. Clips , Griz doing ok with big front lines .

  5. darius: ooooh burn: “Let’s just hope when that does happen, they look a little bit better than the Pacers do right now”. just had to get that in there, right?

    props to you and dave murphy’s take on what offensive system to use in kobe’s twilight years as a laker; shows total respect and a tribute to the black mamba.

    in a year of total coincidences; seems the league is skewed toward having the Miami Heat meet the battled and bewildered survivor from the western conference as no one team in the west is willing to give an inch up to this point. makes for great nba viewing knowing quite well coach popavich will have his men rested and ready to go into battle as a repeat of last year’s finals. spoiling the ending? not really.

    Go lakers; heal thyself.

  6. @RR…the Memphis hasnt won anything so the argument is moot. The Heat has won twice, the Hawks are doing great against the Pacers. Almost all the teams are using the same strategy that MdA has innovated and that is where the league is going as per reported at”skill ball..

  7. @James…you might wanna take a look at our other Lakers blog at silverscreenandroll about the Lakers shouldnt hire in-house coaches (Scott, Rambis).
    A very good site as well. Almost all are well informed and not a MDA hater site.

  8. Ko,
    I’ve never heard anyone say its bad to have big guys. Everyone wants talented big men. What we all know now is it’s very important to have skilled big men who can also spread the floor. Gasol and Randolph spread the floor. Perkins… Not so much. One of the many reasons they are down two to one. An offense needs to have space to function. A big reason the Clippers have been ousted out of the first round so often is because Jordan and Griffin can’t spread the floor.

    One of the first guys to understand this was Phil Jackson. People complained Robert Horry wasn’t big enough to guard PFs… But Phil knew it was important to have a stretch four. He kept that belief in his second go around with the Lakers always having Lamar Odom on the floor to finish games along with Gasol (or Bynum for the rare times he was 100%).

  9. 2 simple questions:

    – is it important to have your head coach in place BEFORE your teams 1st round draft selection?
    – is it important to have your head coach in place BEFORE free agency starts on July 1st?

    We’ll know rather soon if little Jimmy B. learned anything from his 1st year on the job.

  10. @RR…the Memphis hasnt won anything so the argument is moot.

    What argument? I was just going over Hollins’ record and suggesting that he might be a good hire under certain circumstances.

    As to the rest of what you said, Miami is currently 27th in Pace Factor, 15th in 3PA, and it is easy to go small when you have LeBron James and Chris Bosh. And, of course Chris Andersen is a big part of what Miami does.

    So…arguing that Miami is a big data point in favor of MDA ball is shaky at best. It is true that the league has gone more towards spreading the floor and shooting the 3, but it also true–and will always be true–that you need to have talent and play defense to win in the NBA. Right now, the Lakers don’t have much of the first and don’t do much of the second.

    Finally, if the league is trending towards what MDA does, then that might actually be an argument against him, since his calling card is offensive innovation and there are other holes in his coaching game. If the league has caught up with him, might be time to go a different way.

  11. Sid: I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to your question. Some will say you need to have a coach in place before so that you can draft and add players to fit said coach, others will say you need to know what your roster looks like before you hire the right coach for such roster. I think there’s plenty of things that can be said for either argument. Ultimately, it comes down to what makes you more comfortable.

    Personally, if we are making a coaching change, I would like a coach in place ASAP, but I’m willing to wait until after the season to chose a coach as I think certain guys I like as coaching prospect may become available then.

    Also, if the FO learned anything last year is to be patient, take your time and not to jump the gun when making coaching changes.

  12. “So it appears that the theory that this is a guard , small ball league may not be all that true.”

    Was and is true only to the extent of the dearth of talented bigs in the league. When you aren’t in that category, i.e., you’ve talented bigs, then bigs work.

    Spitfire: Speaking only for myself, I could not possibly care less whether or not SSR is an “MDA hater site”. For how entirely sloppy SSR is, their piece on the Lakers’ off-season primer provides, in pertinent part:

    As the percentages go, they’ll most likely end up with the fifth or sixth selection.

    The chance of 5th pick is 0%. Not even possible. Not even theoretically. They only do the ping pong balls for the top 3 picks, then from 4th pick on, it’s all by record. So all that can happen is the Lakers move into top 3, or pick sixth, or pick later than sixth, down to 9th as the last possible pick (with 9th pick occurring if 3 teams from 7th and worse somehow manage to move into the top 3, pushing 1 through 6 three places down in draft order, so 1 would pick 4th and 6th would pick 9th). There was also a piece before that one on Jimbo’s Great Plan For Reconstruction (all rights reserved) that claimed that the Lakers do not have a 1st round pick in ’15. We don’t know that yet, as that pick is top 3 protected. So might as well be an MDA hater and stick here.

  13. Spitfire,

    My opinion on silverscreenandroll is well known by most regulars here, but the problem with that blog is not about loving or hating MDA: it’s about lack of basketball knowledge by both the writers and regular commenters. Not all of us hated MDA from the start (I actually supported him until Kobe’s return) and the hate has nothing to do with record, but actual gameplay. But I’ll go further into that system that MDA “innovated”…

    Have you heard of Don Nelson? He was around for some time. MDA’s system, apart from the pick and roll plays he likes so often has more to do with Calipari’s read and react offense than most people notice or talk about. Plus, while it seems revolutionary for some, you must remember the game that Greece played against the USA in the ’04 Olympics. Try to see some footage of that game and compare it with the Lakers current offense out of the pick and roll. And since I actually watch a lot of European basketball, I can tell you that Greece actually did that because they knew they couldn’t battle the US inside so they had to spread the floor. Small ball has been around for some time before MDA came to the NBA all over the world and some coaches use it as a way to counter big lineups if their bigs are not good enough to fight the opposition down low. MDA has plenty of shortcomings as a coach that have been discussed before, but claiming that he made some sort of revolution in gameplay because of small lineups is wrong (see Don Nelson) or pace (see Paul Westhead) is simply misleading.

    Also, regarding small ball, has any team in the NBA won by playing small? I dare you to name me one team since 1980 to win with small ball… I’ll even make it easier for you and narrow down the candidates for that:

    2011 – Mavericks had Chandler in the middle and Dirk as PF. Are they a small ball team? I don’t think they qualify as such.
    2012/13 – Miami Heat have Lebron who’s actually the best player in the game and happens to play PF. Would you consider the Barkley’s Suns from the 90’s a small ball team just because their PF was shorter than average for the position? Lebron can rebound and guard the opposing PF’s (or most of them) and actually plays for a team that plays good defense.

    MDA’s teams were never good at rebounding, defense or winning in the playoffs just like Nelson’s teams. But if you like those guys at SSR so much, I can try and insert some memes or gifs in my post just to crack a joke…

  14. Slappy,

    Good post–but the pick is actually Top 5 protected.

  15. Byron Scott rebuilt the Nets into contenders and made the Hornets a good playoff team after years of futility, he failed in Cleveland bc well its the Cavs and after drafting Kyle Irving, they could not draft their way out of a paper bag. Hollins is a pretty good coach what remains to be seen is if he is able adjust his coaching away from Memphis style. What the Lakers dont need is old fossils i like Ollie too. I mentioned on another thread that Roy Hibbert was overrated and basically a scrub bc all he does is block shots bc he is 7’2. Cant score cant rebound cant defend. Boy was i right or what. Pretty good playoffs so far, Curry was fouled on that last play, in starting to think that Durant and Westbrook need to be split up, the Rockets cant guard, Harden has Lakers level defensive skills and he dont care and i hope they get swept. Neither Howard or Harden have what it takes to win it all. Just a bunch of ramdom thoughts lol

  16. Well informed Silver Screen and Roll is an oxymoron.

  17. @Renato Alfonso…how come did you say that those guys in there lack basketball knowledge?! What is your proof to that?! Those writers in there are not biased and in fact they do have post game video analysis to prove their articles not just the opiniom of the writer. They have data and previous reports backing up their articles so how come you said that they dont have basketball knowledge? writers are the ones you should call has no basketball knowledge. They said Rambis that Rambis is a good replacement coach for LA. rambis?!16-66 record for 2 seasons in Minny, benching K.Love..etc. ( that is also written in SSR so how come youcalled them “no basketball knowledge?
    Ans as far as MDA is concerned, it is well known around the league that MDA style of play has indeed changed the NBA style of play. Dunno if youre informed about the current rules of hand check and illegal defense which has changed dramatically. Why?! To make room more for the offensive player to score hence, excting basketball. Lot of PnR actions, 3pt shooting and floor spacing is what you are seeing right now in this league courteousy of MDA skill ball and his Seven Seconds ir Less in Phoenix. And oh yeah, dunno if you read or watch Kupchack’s exit interview about how the game has changed today, backing up MDA 100% . I just dont know if you think you are “smarter” than mitch himself and other Former Lakers players, coaches and GM that no pne can do any better than what MDA has done, most recently Rick Fox. The problem with all you people is that you guys are asking too much, you want to turn this D-Leaguers and outcasts roster into a contending team plus 300+ games combined of injuries?! Get real dude and be reasonable. And i am not asking you to go to SSR , judging the way to comment and from those guys in SSR made me believe to support them more.
    And ih yeah, if you dont like my post, dont comment ok cos i am not asking you to reply cos you are not James ok?!

  18. Doesn’t not don’t


  19. Sacre is better then Howard.

    Ok maybe not.

  20. Harden would fit in this season Lakers like a glove. He just dont give a crap on the defensive side.

  21. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but looks like Pringles is comin back.

    Let’s see what the next shoe to drop is.

  22. I said before that it looked like MDA was coming back and that he deserves a chance to coach a healthy roster before being properly evaluated, so my bubble is intact. No matter who coached this team the results would been the same. The goverment could create a hybrid of PJ, Riley and Auberbach in a lab and we still lose over 50 games. Its hard to win games when your missing at least 4 or five of the top of your rotation every single night. Btw how many games the Lakers played with their full roster this season?zero.

  23. The Rockets choking again, HAHAHA!!!!! But Joey Crawford is officiating this game, so you never know.

  24. Talked too damn soon lol. Great game.

  25. Contract extension for Nash in the works, too?

  26. MDA wants two years, as per Shelburne:

    “The motivation for the request is rooted in a desire to give him the authority to coach and ensure he won’t enter next season as a lame duck whose job security is undermined by constant speculation about his future, the sources said.”

  27. Heisler:

    “Ready for Mike D’Antoni III? After 10 days of soul searching, the key figures in Lakers management are agreed on bringing back D’Antoni for a third season as coach, a source with knowledge of the deliberations told the Register.
    Keeping D’Antoni, of course, would be unpopular among Lakers fans, united in their desire to see him fired and Jim Buss resign.”

  28. IF the reports of MDA being kept are true….

    I think they give him the 2 years. If only because if they have young guys it looks weak if the coach is trying to keep them playing hard during a losing season if they know he’s gone for sure otherwise theyll start playing just for themselves. Plus they can always fire him after next season if a good candidate is available and the pay will be the thank you for doing thankless work this year and next if it’s a tank year again. It makes sense for MDA to ask for the pay, if I knew was gonna get crapped on for a year or two regardless what he does (considering they won’t be contending at all) then the FO might as well make it worth his while.

    Yes Pau prob is gone w MDA coming back. But I think that the FO also figured they didn’t want to pay Pau for 3+ years by which time they should be back strongly contending. Pau is a good one way player right now – prob is lakers already have 2 in nash and kobe (Nash is gone soon) – do they want to pay a 3rd $ that would be better spent on younger bodies. Plus at some point bigs tend to drop off a steep cliff- like Patrick Ewing as a sonic/orlando – and Pau doesn’t have the defensive ability of Jermaine O’Neal – or even jason Collins for that matter to hang around in 3-4 years – not at the $ he’s prob going to ask for.

    Lastly, either kobe was told and signed off or if he wasn’t then this is basically a “this is the train, you might as well get on board. Because nobody but us is gonna pay you”. Or you can stay injured all season and insurance covers us. Or you can refuse to play and pout in which won’t cost them anything.

    My guess is kobe is pxssed – and channels that hatred to come out and play like a demon… in which case the lakers end up doing OK and challenging for a playoff spot

  29. Clearly the problem with the team last year was Dan not Mike. Now that Dan is gone everything will be fine .
    Defense will improve
    Bigs will be used
    Team will play to their talent
    Kobe will be happy
    Pau and Hill will gladly return
    Lakers will make the playoffs
    Jimmy will go out without a hat
    Jeannie will come to games

    And pigs will fly over my house and drop diamonds on my roof.

    Nice move there Jim and Mitch?

  30. I’m having problems reconciling Heisler’s and Shelburne’s reports.

    Heisler says, point-blank, that the Lakers are retaining D’Antoni. But Shelburne states the following:

    “The Lakers and D’Antoni have yet to formally meet since exit meetings after the season and sources insist no formal decision on his future has been made. D’Antoni has grown frustrated with the pace of the process, believing each day that his status remains unresolved further hampers his ability to successfully perform the job next season if he is retained.”

    These are not the same thing. Obviously, they’re speaking to different sources. They’re both credible writers. Which one has the better scoop?

  31. Also, how do you reconcile Kupchak’s statement that re-signing Pau Gasol “is a priority” and the recent reports that he’s asking D’Antoni to stay on? The two are mutually exclusive. If D’Antoni stays, Pau leaves (not to mention Jordan Hill). If D’Antoni leaves, Pau will consider returning. Very simple.

    Kupchak can not have it both ways. It all comes down to this: Who is more important to the team, Gasol and Hill or MDA?

  32. Pringles coming back would be a disaster… And for the people giving him the benefit of the doubt because he hasn’t had a healthy roster: fast pace = more injuries. So if next year, the injuries continue and we suck again, then what? Keeping mda is just a way for lakers management to avoid admitting failure.

  33. Spitfire,

    First, the name is Afonso, not Alfonso. Don’t insult me on a personal level.

    Second, I couldn’t care less about Lakersnation. You mentioned SSR not the other sites, therefore my answer targeted SSR. Had you mentioned other sites I would give my opinion on them simply because I can. If you want a private talk with James send him an email or write him a letter. This is a public forum and I happen to be around.

    Third, you chose to ignore some info I posted and keep saying that MDA made a revolution in the NBA. I’m saying he’s part of that tactical shift in today’s game but not the one behind small ball, fast pace or heavy three point shooting. Those things have been around for long and have been used by teams without competent bigs for the past 20 years. I actually mentioned a specific game in the Olympics to back up my claim that’s actually easy to find. If you choose to believe that MDA is the leader of some revolution and want to remain ignorant on the subject, so be it. Your problem.

    Fourth, I played pro ball in my country, have been to several international tournaments both as a player and as a coach and up until this season I was coaching a team in a lower league. Am I a good coach? I don’t know, but I am one at least…

    Five, I actually said that I didn’t judge MDA by his record. I judge him by the amount o blowouts to bad teams (too many), offensive execution (good), defensive schemes (I’m not sure they exist), usage of the teams best players or shall we say the bigs (not good at all), comments (terrible) and game to game as well as in game adjustments (non-existent). But hey, if you think that Sacre has it all and Hill and Kaman are just scrubs besides the evidence to the contrary… You could have a point saying that MDA should have a chance to coach a healthy roster (like Fern says) and almost everyone can agree that everyone deserves such chance. I believe that he will still fail given that chance but opinions may differ on this. Can we ask the people in NY how that went for them?

    Six, I suppose you live in a black and white world where a coaching decision is made based on the coaching ability alone, specially in a situation like the ones we’re in. There are several nuances to that decision that go from money to communication to the ability to build a competitive roster.

    Seven, anyone can use statistical data to prove a point. You can choose the stat that’s most favorable to your point and put some emphasis on that while typing a text. The point is that on SSR (that I used to read) the writers simply act as casual fans instead of pursuing a true basketball discussion. They haven’t shown any evidence that they understand X’s and O’s at any point, they certainly don’t understand defensive schemes as they simply choose to ignore them in most previews and they’re pretty harsh on people that disagree with them. Notice that I’m talking about the writers… But maybe it has changed a bit and I’m being unfair. I’ll read it once in a while from now on to see if anything changed.

    Seven, reading a comment thread with ZERO input on basketball as it often happens there is simply annoying. Having memes, gifs and one line jokes for something like 100 straight comments says much about the regular comments. I’m not saying that they should change. Everyone is entitled to their own space to talk about the Lakers the way they want. It’s their way, not mine or the way most of the regulars here. But here I learn stuff from several people that have a different opinion. We can have a rational discussion about basketball while trading rational arguments about the game and, trust me on this, we have several people that fundamentally disagree with each other and yet keep it about basketball…

    Eight, I’m certainly not smarter than Mitch or Rick Fox when it comes to basketball. But sometimes even smarter people can make mistakes (see Mike Brown hire) and how they fix they mistake tells us a lot about them. Also, the people in place to make the decision have access to info that we, the casual fans, don’t have and don’t make a decision solely based on basketball decisions. I want MDA gone because he’s a terrible coach on several levels but I can agree that his basic offensive system and the ability to get good offensive performances from fringe rotation players are both good. Maybe Mitch must think about the money. Maybe Mitch must consider that no good coaches are available at the right price. Maybe Jimmy doesn’t want to recognize a mistake or actually likes MDA on a personal level. We simply don’t know and must wait and see.

    Ninth, I know more about basketball than you and 99% of the people that post on that site. Maybe you don’t like reading it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Next time you want to discuss X’s and O’s you better bring some specific data to backup your claims instead of just giving me the general idea about pick and roll action and hand checking that everyone knows. Have you seen that USA-Greece game yet? How did the US choose to defend against Greece? After you answer that, please check some tape and tell me what the Lakers usually do on that specific situation that the US couldn’t counter in that game. Going even a bit further, I mentioned that after the PnR the Lakers motion resembles Calipari’s read and react offense. Do you know how?

  34. “faster pace = equals more injuries”

    there is nothing conclusive either way. MDA made a convincing case when w suns that playing uptempo was easier on bodies because of less banging/physical wear and tear and that players actually had to be in better physical condition to play. But there was no real empirical evidence to support that view or the opposite. People see what they want to see. Nash’es injuries had nothing to do with the system, neither did Kobe’s Achilles (the trainers and docs said so at the time and it was simply wear and tear), or Paus vertigo and illness early in the season. etc.. etc..

    the rest of the injuries were stupid bad luck to blakes hand, vertigo and illness to Pau, etc… no one got left untouched – I thnk meeks got off the least hurt. There may be a discussion to be had about training staff and guys coming back to early etc.. (in farmars case perhaps and maybe Kobe) – but just running up and down playing pickup ball (which is what it was this year) w no defense (which any decent player will tell you is immensely tougher and more strenuous on the body) , the team was really only playing half the game. Sh1t happens. GS teams under Don Nelson played at a way more rabid pace and their injury totals were never extraordinary.

    Lakers lost 319 games to injuriy/illness this year – most ever was by the Raps in 2002-3
    “By the end of the year the Raptors set two dubious NBA records; the only team in NBA history to not dress 12 players for a single game in a season and the all-time high for man-games lost due to injury with 519, surpassing the Boston Celtics’ 480 in 1996-97”


    Interesting stuff here why it felt like the league was crippled this year.

  35. If MDA is retained, I expect to read in the LA Times that there have been several unexplained suicides the following day. That is the tenor of this blog – and it is really kind of silly.

    I realize the people who post here tend to be extreme AND angry fans, but – folks – this is just a game. I have invested many years in the Lakers and they are like family, but they are not family. I also think MDA has run his course with this team, but the alternatives for next year aren’t really great and perhaps the front office doesn’t feel they will be able to sign someone they want to coach the team long-term.

  36. Look at it this way. If I were MDA, I would definitely ask for my option to be picked up. Coaching with this roster and a hostile fanbase for another year as a lame duck would be a challenging way to make $4 million.

    And if I were Mitch and Jim — even the most unflattering caricature of Jim — there’s no way in hell I’d pick up the option. So maybe there’s a stalemate.

    Would MDA walk away from $4 million…maybe $8 million? It’s almost the least likely scenario I can imagine. But if they picked up his option, I would be forced to agree with that caricature of Jim. Which is to say, I think that’s even less likely than MDA walking away.

  37. And pigs will fly over my house and drop diamonds on my roof.
    Aaron, re: post on April 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm,
    Nice post, fine insight; and sans the braggadocio! way to go A

  38. I’ve been a Jimbo critic, but I always held hope that he could learn from his mistakes and become a better owner going forward. If MDA is truly retained, that hope is gone. Jimbo will have proven that he is as clueless as his harshest critics have suggested. How sad is it that Kobe might play his final two seasons of his career under MDA? The odds of Kobe getting injured again just skyrocketed with MDAs obsession to overplay him. The small chance of winning his sixth ring is close to zero now. Goodbye Pau and Hill.

    Kobe ignored MDA and decided to play more through the post in MDAs first year. Kobe also decided to play PG without discussing it with MDA. He will have to come up with his own strategies next season as well.

    I’m assuming that the front office will not be signing any veterans because every vet on this team the past two seasons have had issues with MDA (except Nash)….and when I say issues, I mean utter lack of respect for their coach. I guess veterans not respecting their coach isn’t a big deal for Jimbo.

  39. I agree with Jerke regarding pace and injuries. They’re not related, specially in a team that doesn’t fight for rebounds nor plays defense. Now, the training staff, on the other hand, should be questioned…

  40. So Sterling made another boo bo huh?

  41. Good teams make their own luck. San Antonio has made many adjustments over the years to preserve the health and effectiveness of their big 3. They cut the minutes of Duncan a few years ago during the regular season and then increased them during the postseason. The Lakers cry about their bad luck but then last year they got the bright idea of playing at one of the fastest paces in the NBA and letting Kobe keep playing a high level of minutes. The question was not would he get injured but how? The Brady Bunch (Buss clan) have not shown that they understand how to run a team in today’s NBA. Hopefully they will figure things out.

  42. @fern, those transcripts of sterling are brutal. You’d have to think the nba treats him like marg schott and they force him out of ownership.

  43. As to the Heisler/Shelburne stuff, my guess is that Shelburne knows more, but I of course don’t know. We will just have to wait and see. I don’t blame D’Antoni for going for the extra money, but he is not exactly in a position to be driving a hard bargain here.

  44. Craig,

    You apparently don’t around the net much. Compared to most of the internet, this place is the Algonquin Round Table.

  45. Jerke,

    That link doesn’t say what you seem to think it does, and the guy who wrote it certainly does not appear to be a doctor. At one point, he says this:

    “Was this injury preventable? Possibly.”

    He doesn’t tie possible prevention directly to workload, but I don’t think we really know if Kobe’s workload contributed to the Achilles giving out. I looked at several articles and while most cut MDA some slack, I don’t think a completely firm conclusion can be reached. Proving that the workload didn’t contribute to the breakdown is sort of like trying to prove a negative. YMMV.

    And note that I am saying workload, not pace.

    We do know that Duncan, Pierce, Garnett and Nowitzki have all had their MPG monitored much more than KB did, under Phil, Brown, and MDA; and that all of them are still playing regularly and that all of them are on playoff teams. And we do know that the Lakers’ injury issues have gotten worse since Alex McKechnie was let go. So, like most of the bad stuff going on with the Lakers, there appears to be a combination of bad luck and bad management in play.

  46. Nice Post, Renato. I have seen people go for “First, second, third”…but never “Ninth.:” 😉

  47. @rr, I don’t disagree about workload. Just some here specifically point to pace as being the culprit for Laker injuries when that’s pretty non sensual when one thinks about it. The article doesn’t make an argument for/against pace but leans to towards workload being the issue – both cumulative and examines the possibly more acutely specific to last season as an aggravating factor. Yes it does make a case that last season’s workload could been a factor in kobes injury, but also that it’s a risk reward thing w pretty much every good player who has played major mins over the course of his career. Sure it’s possible if mda limited kobes mins last year he might not have torn his Achilles but it’s not like kobe is gonna allow that. And Achilles can go pretty much at any time under innocuous circumstances which as the article mentions his occurred during the course of a normal basketball play. Isiah Thomas’s was the same, just normal course of play and.. Pop. And as I stated, considering that pretty much most of the effort last year was on just one side of the ball- I don’t necessarily think cumulative workload was a factor for anyone’s injuries last year lol.

    One thing to note, Nashs personal therapist/doctor in vancouver that he does his rehab w/ – rick Cellebrini – is actually a former protégé and disciple of McKechnie and the two are close so nash has been getting the best treatment he possibly could all along The movement stuff that McKechnie preaches is what keeps nash’s back healthy. Unfortunately, nerve issues have a whole other mind of their own and have to sorta resolve on their own

  48. Purpleblood,
    Thank you sir. You forgot to mention I also predicted, along with rr, that MDA would be back (there is some braggadocio for you). Again… I am upset it looks like MDA will be back. He will give us 3-10 extra wins next year and give away our pick 🙁

  49. As much as i despise the Clippers, i really feel for the players and what they are going to have to endure from the media. This idiot did it again, why he is still in the league baffles me. People that are offended by this bigot should just stop going to Clipper games until this idiot is vanished from the league. The NBA needs to act. And to top all off that he disrespected one of the biggest LA icons. I knew that Sterling was a racist, but this is level 99 in the stupid dumb racist scale. WOW. People beed to boicott Clipper games until this fool is gone.

  50. Maybe the plan is to be terrible again next season. If the reports about D’Antoni staying are true then that one domino sends the team in the direction of being bad next year. They won’t have any (good) big men. We can expect more of the same on defense. And after two straight years of being decimated by injuries we may as well expect it again next season. Sure, there is no evidence that D’Antoni’s style contributes to injuries. But after getting hit hard two years in a row there is clearly something going on somewhere. Or maybe the Lakers simply have bad luck.

    Think about it. No size/no post play in the West is asking to be manhandled on a nightly basis. The Lakers brass must want that. One more year of terrible play gets another high draft pick. That pick can be used or traded. And by the time Kobe’s deal is done they will be in position to surge forward with young talent and hopefully a good free agent or two. The key is they will have to be really bad next year to keep the pick.

    Outside of this there is no other legitimate reason to keep D’Antoni.

  51. I understand that with the injuries we’ve had, our record may not be much better no matter who coached.
    But could communication with players have been better?
    Could morale going into next season be better?
    Could legitimate players like Pau, Hill and Kaman feel more like being Lakers next year?
    And could our franchise player Kobe be less discouraged?
    Certainly, on all counts.
    But hey at least Sacre and Marshall are happy.

    Retaining Dantoni is a stunning, sickening decision.
    I really hope I’m wrong about this.

  52. This Sterling reaction is curious, not because people should accept what he allegedly said but because of the timing. TMZ gets something on tape and suddenly the league office and Jesse Jacksons of the world are fired up? There was a legal issue a few years ago in which Sterling made many equally if not more so offensive comments in the court records, yet there was no clamor to run the guy off then, no boycotts or other rush to address the problem. So why now? As Baron Davis said, this isn’t a new issue.

    My question is does the league now suddenly have a greater interest in Sterling’s alleged actions because the Clippers are now a higher-profile franchise? It’s easy to ignore the antics when they’re coming from the fringe, but when they stem from the mouth of an owner who could make the Finals, are they less palatable to the powers that be? Is there now greater leaguewide interest in pushing Sterling out than there was when the league could just ignore the Clippers?

    Lakers fans love to blast the veto, and with good reason. But from the leaguewide perspective, paving the way to prevent Paul from being a Laker and thus steering him down the hall was a huge gain, as overnight L.A. went from effectively a one-team market to a two-team market. The Clippers had long been a sleeping giant — great city, great arena, Prime Ticket in millions of living rooms. The key thing that kept them from rising closer to the Lakers level was Sterling and the lack of a signature star. Paul, paired with Griffin, addressed the latter issue… I wonder if running off the Donald is the league’s next step in the process. Because make no mistake, two marquee franchises in L.A. is a boon to the league.

    Again, I in no way wish to condone Sterling’s position. It’s repugnant, if what he supposedly said was true. But why is this bigotry any less repugnant than what he’s already know for, and has been for decades? There’s more to this story than just a bigot being a bigot.

  53. rr: Thanks for the correction. I have some mental glitch with that, since I said top 3 before, then got it right at top 5, now back to top 3. Some problem with the RAM in my brain. Or I’m just getting old (going the way of the dinosaur, at it were).

  54. Not just a bigot being a bigot, but more the likely an opportunist trying to be a blackmailer. The tape makes it sound like he espoused some bigoted notion and she decided to tape and blackmail his arse. She might have even been one of those saying to a friend :”you wouldn’t believe what I have to put up with”. If he left her over her race and friendship choices, this is his penalty to pay. At any rate I don’t feel sorry for him.

    It is not strange that his views are being exposed and he will be held accountable. The Clippers were helped immensely by the league. The NBA allowed them to have CP3 to spite the Lakers. His views are probably no different that many owners in all sports (it’s an ol Boy network comprised of Billionaires). The difference is that the Clippers are now at the forefront of the NBA advertisement machine. CP3 is an established star, Blake Griffin is being made into a MEGA-STAR. Even DJordan is getting televised love. As such, the NBA cannot afford to allow Sterling to tarnish the meticulous airbrushing to the manufactured faces of the NBA. Owners like Cuban and Dolan are tolerated because they don’t espouse hate. Dan Gilbert can now be relieved the Sterling has once again taken the bigoted spotlight off of him.

  55. We known for decades what Sterling is the difference is that he is not the NBA’s village idiot anymore (not by his own doing by reasons we all know), the Clippers are in the spotlight now and in 2014 with the explosion of social media made those comments? Imagine if the Good Doctor said something as stupid as asinine like that even back in the 80s when news traveled slower it would been a big deal too because the Lakers were succesful. He behaved the last couple of years but his idiocy was bound to rear its head soon. If your 81 and like to run around with 25 y/o gold diggers thats what u get. She saw a chance to make a quick buck and took it. Welcome to the social media age Donnie Boy. Now more than ever i hate the Clippers the thought of Sterling having a shot at a ring is sickening beyond belief, he needs to go away. Why he is alive and our Good Doctor dead?

  56. That’s the point of my question — why now? The court-related comments I referenced from a few years ago were worse, with Sterling making comments about how he liked to rent his properties to Koreans but not blacks, because of his own stereotypes about those groups.

    I always wondered how an African-American player could willingly play for an owner like that, and for years it appeared many weren’t — free agents weren’t exactly flocking to that team. But apparently guys like Paul and Ubuntu Rivers didn’t see issue with accepting the Donald’s money, even when his views were well known. And that’s fine — they make their own choices.

    Kobe came close to signing with the Clippers years ago, or at least he intimated he was considering that move when it offered leverage to get more from the Lakers. But today, he says he wouldn’t want to play for an owner like that?

    Now, all of a sudden to hear cries of boycott and ban him like baseball did Schott — again, if it’s unacceptable now, why was it not so years before?

    I sadly suspect it’s about money — the Clippers are more valuable to the league now than before, so what was OK for a third-tier owner is not ago for an owner with a fringe marquee franchise. We’re talking about the same man, but his circumstances have changed markedly. And consider how much more potential — and value — the Clippers could hold with a more desirable owner.

    Just a theory, but the evidence behind the timing (ignore before; now a hill to die for) raises the question, whether one agrees or disagrees with my attempt to discern the cause. But I this TMZ finding can be a means to an end for ousting the guy for good, lots of folks would gain from that.

  57. I dont care about the timing, this guy should had been dealt with years ago. On 2014 news move at warp speed and are more accesible to more people, is as simple as that in my view, if it results in getting rid of this walking corpse im all for it.

  58. Fern

    She is 23 and Donald has a $1.8 million law suit against her for prior fraud. She told him she would get back at him.

    Listen to the tape. She was setting him up and illegally recording him and she could be indicted for making the private conversation public.

    Word us she received $59,000 plus for selling that recording to TMZ.

    Point is, who is the real villain here and who made money off this deal?

  59. If that last shot would have been a Laker, Marshall would have shot an air ball.

    Got to love Cuban. Jimmy would have been watching at home not running out on the court like Mark.

  60. Michael kidd Gilchrist has the ugliest form in the nba. They’re up on Miami after 1 though. Mj got chubby

  61. Hmmm Ko let me see, the young gold digger or the proven track record racist that profit from the work of black players in a league that is full of minorities, the one that denied housing and harrased minority tennants. She is a fly on the windshield, he a billionare owner with a long history of racism, sexual harrasement discrimination and so on… But hey poor Donald Sterling is the victim here poor guy he got set up. He got what he deserved it. Lets see if he think twice before getting another “gf” 55 years younger i doubt he can do the boyfriend duties anymore unless it involves a pill and a pump. Indont care one bit about that gold digger, coming to a reality show near you soon enough, but the NBA would be a better place if they get rid of this scumbag.if i was a Clipper fan ( perish the thought) i would not want to go to root for a team whose owner dont want me there that im not welcome.

  62. Andy Roeser, president of the L.A. Clippers, today issued the following statement:
    “We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.” Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him–both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter.”

  63. Ko,
    Ummmm…. This isn’t about who the Girl is unless the audio was doctored (which is very hard to do) It’s long been known that Sterling is a racist. This is pretty consistant with what we have all heard about Donald. That’s why this realy isn’t news to me.

  64. Aaron

    Of course we know what Donald is, my issue is she used what she knew to defer attention from her emblazoned case . Also she broke the law

    Can you honestly say you have never uttered some comment to friends that could be used against you . The guy had always been a racist just ask Elgin. Always a slime hence a. 81 year old with a. 23 year old.

    Funny he makes those comments and she is half African American. Hypocrite, racist yes. But she sold the private recorded message which is punishable with up to one year in prison.

    Neither is right and both should be punished.

  65. “Neither is right and both should be punished.”

    They shouldn’t even be compared. One of them is an unknown person we’ll probably never hear anything about again. The other owns a team that is part of a multi billion dollar sports league largely made up of African American players. The level of reponsiblity demanded from each is no where near the same. She makes Donald Sterling look bad. Donald Sterling makes the entire NBA look bad.

    And yes, everyone (at least in LA) had known for years that Sterling is a racist. But timing does matter. The Clippers have a superstar player who does Kia commericals. They are on national TV every other night right now. They have more interest now than ever before. Having something like this come out now is more costly to the league’s reputation. That is why a big deal is being made now. On a day when there have been some excellent playoffs games this is the lead story for ESPN’s NBA news. That’s bad business for the NBA.

  66. Renato Afonso,

    IF, as you HYPOTHETICALLY put forward, Mitch and the FO are thinking about the money, then they are truly retarded businessmen, with zero of Jerry Buss’ acumen.

    Fielding a cheap roster may save you money in the short run, but after a few years of not getting to the playoffs, the Lakers’ stock will fall like a rock. Even the Lakers’ legendary brand needs stars and wins to stay afloat.

    If the FO would incur all the penalties that come with special taxes, they would – in the long run – make more money. That’s the way that I, as an uneducated fan, see it.


  67. Jason Gold of has written an article expressing dismay at the recent report that Mike D’Antoni will (according to Mark Heisler) be returning for a 3rd season:

    The article is entitled, “Los Angeles Lakers Ownership Fails Again.” In it Gold states that by retaining D’Antoni, the Lakers owners will have succeeded only in disappointing its fan base, enraging Kobe Bryant, slamming the door in Pau Gasol’s face, and showing themselves as dysfunctional, indecisive, and gutless.

    He pulls no punches. It’s must reading.

  68. Its becoming clear to me that if the Thunder lose this series they should breakup the Durant/Westbrook tandem. This should he Durant’s team no question and RW be his second fiddle, RW refuses to see that, he has shot 23 times tonight, shooting more than the MVP? Westbrook is good but this is KD’s team.

  69. Best collective first round ever? Definitely in recent memory. Too bad Memphis couldn’t close it out. I’d love to see Miami try to battle their front line in the finals.

  70. it’s Donald’s team and Donald’s mind. no one has the right to tell him what to do with either, if he’s just disgusting. the thing is, no one needs to do business with him either.

    i’m laughing. this is why the Clippers stink, because of what runs downhill.

    wow, so everyone is finally ready to admit that Donald isn’t a good person. is ir a surprise that his mistress also seems to be kind of nasty? i guess she got him back…

  71. “Sterling basically articulated Plantation Politics … Make money off the Bucks/Lay with the Women/No Association in Public good or bad” – David West

    The nail has been hit on the head.

  72. What was so nice about Renato’s post? I found it to be rather self-aggrandizing. I am smarter than 99% of the bloggers.
    Kinda sounds like MDA

  73. Can you honestly say you have never uttered some comment to friends that could be used against you

    No, but I am not an NBA owner who said I didn’t want blacks at “my” games. There are differences, real and significant ones, between what is going on with Sterling and some guy being a garden-variety jerk, etc.

  74. What was so nice about Renato’s post?

    I meant nice as in “insightful” rather than as in “pleasant.”

  75. I am very against the statements of Donald, and yes, I do believe they were racist. However, I honestly don’t believe Donald should be punished for it. What he said was said in private conversation. What he believes about black people, minorities, etc. is his business and he has a right to those thoughts. If he brought racism into his handling of the team, who he hires, etc. then it would be a problem. But there is no proven fact of that as far as I am aware. BTW, Charles Barkley has made racist statements against white people for years, yet nobody cries over that. Racism comes from all sides today.

  76. Rr

    I am not defending the guy. He was accused of being a slum lord and also treated Elgin poorly. I just think there is a bit of naivety out there.

    I used to work with the Raiders when they were last here. Might be shocked some things I heard. Some of the older, rich owners were or are not as sensitive as people are today. It’s getting better but the Sterlings of the world still exist.

    I know I yelled some terrible things at an old women last week on the freeway. Doesn’t mean I am against old women. Unless they are Celtic fans of course.

    Game today will be interesting and so will reaction to Donald being banned from the game. He is not a guy who likes being told what to do.. Money still can’t buy you class, just 23 year old girl friends.

  77. Thanks rr. You actually understood my point(s) and it wasn’t “pleasant”.

    Anonymous, I never said I was smarter than 99% of the bloggers. I said that I was smarter than 99% of the people on SSR. There’s a difference…

    Regarding the Sterling subject: he’s obviously scum and should be punished for those remarks. However, I won’t go further into that subject as the race issue has an impact in the american society that we simply fail to understand.

  78. Like I said, this has been going on for years and the NBA did nothing.

    In his deposition, Baylor spoke about what he called Sterling’s ‘plantation mentality,’ alleging the owner in the late 1990s rejected a coaching candidate, Jim Brewer, because of race. Baylor quoted Sterling as saying: ‘Personally, I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players.’

    Also over 3 million in fines for refusing to rent to minorities funny never a word from NBA until now. Going to be interesting comments at half time today.

  79. One last thought.

    Only difference between the some of the good old rich boy NBA owners like Donald was for many years and Augusta National is the NBA plays with bigger balls.

  80. @Mid-Wilshire

    Jason Gold is just that…GOLD. That article is a perfect summary of my feelings.

    Does anybody really want to watch this mess in Kobe’s final seasons?! I’d boycott, but I can’t bear not seeing Kobe to the end. This decision may unfortunately bring the end sooner than I think.

  81. Ko,
    We aren’t talking about this girl. She is besides the point. She doesn’t own an NBA team and if she did she did nothing that would alienate her employees and their fans.

  82. As stated before, and others have since agreed, I believe much of the fuss with Sterling now stems from the Clippers recent ascension within the league. It’s easier to brush aside such bigotry when it’s coming from an owner of a 15-win team, buried on page 9 of the sports section. But when it’s Cliff Paul’s boss and Griffin Force may be affected, it’s suddenly higher profile.

    I also wonder how much of this could stem from Silver being in the top seat rather than Stern. Perhaps before people were less willing to speak out, but now they’re testing the new guy? Stern was always one to protect an owner.

    The disappointing thing to me is hearing all of the stars speak out, when so many were so silent for so long. Kobe was willing to play for the Donald in 2004 when an offer was considered, but now he says he would never play for the guy. LeBron says there’s no place for Sterling in the league yet he allowed the Clippers time to make their pitch to him on his 2010 free agency tour. Chris Paul could have bolted last summer, and Rivers could have stayed in Boston too. Every one of those guys had the opportunity to denounce this previously, but none did. And now TMZ gets a tape and everyone is in a clamor…

    I suppose better late than never. But this should have dropped years ago; despite that laughable statement from the Clippers P.R. team, Sterling hasn’t changed. But people’s reaction to him has.

  83. Ko–

    I know you’re not defending Sterling; I was just pointing out, as others have, that the context of his remarks is different than such comments would be for most people, and as Chris J has pointed out, the context of the Clippers is different as well. Add that to social/digital media, and here we are.

  84. Donald Duck
    Ronald McDonald
    Donald Trump
    Donald Sterling

    The duck owns the three clowns.

  85. Regarding pace and injuries, Kobe was older and with much more wear and tear than any starters on D’Antoni’s Suns, and Pau was both older and not used to running. And I think one of the positives this season was that D’Antoni did keep the players together and playing hard. Their bad defense was less about effort and more about mismatches, being out of position, and lack of communication. They were not casual pick-up games. The team worked and got worked over.

    I think with the right roster, a D’Antoni team could stay reasonably healthy and be pretty successful, like the Suns. Laker injuries were bad luck, players playing more minutes than expected and many fighting very hard for their uncertain futures. Part of that is attributable to losing the stars and having to rely on bench players. I’m no expert, but I believe injuries are more likely when guys are playing at a faster pace to compensate for a lack of discipline. We’ll never know how things would have gone with a different coach, but we can all make our guesses.

  86. Plantation Mentality is despicable. From the owner who does not to socially interact with African Americans but is happy to have them lapel on getting him richer, to the “house boys” who take the money knowing the truth, but without the guts to take the higher road on principe. There is no way on earth Chris Paul and rivers were blind to the rumors and the truth. But, they chose to take the money. In my mind, they are hypocrites who know feel ashamed that everyone else knows what they privately know.

  87. It would obviously be an upgrade (addition by subtraction) to banish Sterling-types from the NBA.
    Not only is he a pig, he’s been a lousy owner.
    Until recently.
    Over the last few years he’s allowed his GMs to make some moves that are paying off. So he’s finally shown at least some of the business acumen that afforded him NBA team ownership in the first place.
    If public opinion had final say in matters such as these, he’d already be long gone by now.

    But public opinion isn’t always reliable.
    Sterling will be no doubt be given due process and if his rights were violated via the recording, that may also play a factor. Unfortunately he has the right to freedom of speech in what he thinks is a private conversation.

    True, the sudden public outcry over this is a bit ironic considering Sterling’s history, but the current state of the Clippers and the sophistication of social media makes this a firestorm that’s impossible to ignore.

    Sterling is 81. He’s a throwback to a bygone era.
    Prejudice will probably never go away completely, but people whose biases are this egregious won’t be around much longer, regardless of the NBA’s ability (or lack of it) to eliminate them.

  88. “The disappointing thing to me is hearing all of the stars speak out…”
    Chris J, dig the post.
    However, humans never fail to disappoint. All of this shock from various people who have willingly considered or did take money from Sterling is weak. Not millions so arguably comparable, but I have left gigs behind based upon the employer’s history or behavior. I always found it strange that Baylor held onto that gig knowing who was writing the checks then cried foul when he came to see he was disposable. I know it’s more complicated than that but Sterling’s act is old. The goldigger’s act is old.

    And before I feel compelled to dispute ill-informed terms such as reverse-racism, I now jettison myself out of the conversation.

  89. All that being said, it would be awesome if the Clipper players refused to take the court today.

  90. There was also that fracas with Matt Barnes early this season and his use of the N-word.

    That garnered national media attention, for different reasons, but I remember reading about that and at the time thinking, “The media’s jumping Barnes for this yet, his team’s white owner continues to get a pass after everything discriminatory he’s said and done over the years?” It made no sense.

    Again, ultimately I agree with LBJ and others that believe there is no place for this in the NBA. It’s just strange that this didn’t come to a head sooner, and I wish some of the media talking heads would raise that question — why now? — as well.

    It’s an interesting question, as to how the league operates behind the scenes to protect a multibillion dollar global brand and its image.

  91. Just imagine the impact if LBJ had said in 2010 that he was unwilling to meet with the Clippers due to their owner’s past offensive remarks about African-Americans? Or if Paul had said last summer he wouldn’t re-sign with the team over the same reasons? Talk about giving the issue a prominent platform.

    I don’t know what factors led those guys, or anyone else, to act as they did. I can’t judge them for their prior inaction. But the opportunity has been there to blow this guy up long before TMZ got a tape… No one took the shot, or was willing to give it serious play.

  92. Maybe its me but the Clippers look like they throwing this game, either that or they are just rattled beyond description, i dare to say that they rather get bounced in the 1st round that try to get a ring for their idiot owner. If he is not forced to sell the team or stay away from the team forever, he will do irreparable damage to this team, no players will want to play there as long as his name is asociated to this team. I should be happy but somehow im not, i feel for the plight this players are in.

  93. Fern

    They may not like him, they may even hate him.

    But trust me, they will continue to take the money. Just like game will be sold out on Tuesday.

    Also GS made 8 3 pointers. Clips are trying.

  94. Fern- I agree.
    I also think it happened so quickly the players almost haven’t had time to fully process this and react.
    And some of them are young people who may not understand the full implications of Sterling’s statements or what his social responsibilities should be as an owner and public figure.
    Yet just imagine the ripple effect if players had refused to take the court today?

  95. So they rattled, and about taking his money, is their right and Sterling has been a racist bastard all his life but he never said something like this before. They might sell out bc the circus, but as long as this fool is the owner they are going to have a hard time atracting players, he needs to go away and never comeback. If the Clippers dont pass this round, things are going to get hairy on that organization and the blame will get placed on him. The backlash is still building up, i dont think there is nothing more repulsive that having this idiot win a ring, even if he is suspended he would still get one as the owner.

  96. Nobody can tell me that the Dubs would be down 18 points in the 1st half if it wasnt for Donald’s rant. Uf the Clippers go on and lose this series i would consider the VETO matter karmically solved.

  97. GS had one of best home records. I picked this series to go 7.

  98. I meant the Clippers of course

  99. Joey Crawford taking over the game…

  100. The Clippers didn’t lose today because of Sterling. They lost because Jackson inserted Barnes in Jermain’s stead.

  101. rr
    That extended clip man…it is really really telling. I, and everyone else, always knew that the NBA owners think that they are more important to the league than the players, but I didn’t believe that it was to that degree. The way Sterling talks about GIVING the players food, houses, and cars like they are nothing more than chattel. Man. It all makes sense now. I never believed that it was to this degree.

  102. Kg is an overgrown punk. Raps tie the series

  103. “The way Sterling talks about GIVING the players food, houses, and cars like they are nothing more than chattel.”

    In no way a supporter, admirer or fan of D Sterling, but I’d be surprised if his attitude is at all unique among the oligarchs who own professional sports teams . One thing that may set him apart is possibly that age-related cognitive dis-function has diminished his inhibitions (and sense). Remember his heckling his own players during games a few years ago?

  104. Aaron,

    Supposedly JO went to Jackson and told him it would be better to start Green.

  105. KenOak,

    Elgin Baylor’s term–“plantation mentality”–seems to have been apt.

  106. The only owner we know about is Sterling and his failed relationship with his prostitute. Sterling was set up and he kept stepping in it. He was in the same room with the woman and was being recorded without his knowledge. She kept egging him on with provocative statements knowing in advance what his reaction would be. None of this is new ground as far as Sterling and racism goes. His disparaging views of minorities have been documented over the years. It did not keep Stern from delivering CP3 to him. Why should Silver do anything new or different now? It is refreshing to hear the players take a stand but I do not see how this gives the commissioner the moral high ground to do anything substantial.

  107. Baylor

    He can’t, other then a suspension. The recording was optioned, sold and used illegally. It becomes fruit of the poison tree and can never be used in any legal action.

    Point of fact the NBA should have acted over the years on Sterlings dealings with housing and with claims by Baylor but all those were handled out of court.

    It’s a sad situation for the NBA, the players and the fans but Sterling has a floor full of attorneys and Donald loves to fight and sue. NBA needs to include a morals clause in future ownership agreements.

    This thing won’t go away for a long time.

  108. Why am I rooting so hard for Portland?

    I used to hate them.

    Go Blaze!

  109. Ko- fruit of the poisonous tree only applies in criminal cases. Illegal or not, if a civil lawsuit were brought up, that recording could be admitted as evidence if relevant and if authenticated somehow. Sterling could sue this lady for the recording. However, in doing so he would have to admit that it is authentic. Classic catch 22.

    Also, this has gone on for years. Sterling has been sued by former employees and state agencies for discriminatory conduct in the past. No one has ever cared because up to Blake Griffin joining the Clips, they were page 5 news and Steling could silence his critics by paying them off or making large donations to charities. Now, with CP3 in tow and Dic Rivers and the stellar play of Griffin, his transgressions are page 1 news. His comments are horrendous, but more troubling are some of the truth that he makes when he insinuates that he is not a racist because those very players he insults are happy to take his money to buy houses and cars, and charities fighting for the same groups are happy to honor him with awards for his donations. “Plantation Mentality” indeed, but I would argue that the players, coaches and charities should be ashamed of themselves as well for taking his money. The league is also to blame here. They have the power to do a lot by acting in the best interest of the NBA as a whole. Again, they never did anything in the past cause the Clips were terrible. Now they are in a terrible predicament, which they largely created by not acting against Sterling when these type of allegations came up in the past.

  110. rr,
    Interesting. I wonder if Mark Jackson took a page from Phil Jackson. Phil would always lie about that to save players face.

  111. Ed Malloy makes Joey Crawford look competent.

  112. Like many, I expected this Rockets-Blazers series to be the most competitive first round matchup in this years playoffs, but never could I have imagined this. Just pure entertainment, and what’s best is that I can view it in a relaxed state of mind without the added pressure of it being a series in which the Lakers are involved in.

  113. Rockets down 3-1 yeaaahhhh, looks like the Blazers chocked a little less than the Rockets, both teams horrible under pressure.

  114. As much as I dislike Houston’s stars, I must admit I rather like some of their role players. They have real character guys (Lin, Parsons), and some gutsy no-namers. Has anyone seen Troy Daniels play in games 3 & 4? This is someone who knows his role and isn’t afraid of the huge moments. Reminds me of Daniel Gibson in his first playoff performances, although I certainly hope his career arc develops in a much better way down the road.

  115. Harden ” defense” is beyond pathetic, i think he would make MDA call him out, yeah that bad. He is not a superstar, you cant be a superstar when you are that bad in defense, let me correct myself, is not that he is bad its that he dont give a @&$”.

  116. Glad Portland won. Hopefully Dallas can win tomorrow as well. Not sure why, but I just don’t want to see the Spurs or Rockets advance. Not that it really matters. Becase Pat Riley must have a rabbit’s foot in his back pocket. The Heat drew the easiest path to the Finals. They got lucky with Big Al’s injury. The Pacers still don’t look like they’ve figured it out. And whoever makes it out the West will be so beat up they probably won’t have enough left to get over the hump.

    Still its all been so entertaining to watch. I honestly didn’t think the playoffs could be this good without our Lakers. Some talking heads made a big deal about this year’s postseason missing the Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks. In reality, this post season isn’t missing them at all.

  117. Renato,

    I like your numbered post. Lots of good, smart points. But your list would sound more official (like “Renato’s top 10 reasons…”) had you not skipped number 8. You used no. 7 twice and so you only ended up with 9.


  118. These playoffs are epic.
    Rockets have supplanted the Heat as my number one team to hate. It’s nice to see Howard’s team struggle but the guy that really gets my goat is James Harden. He is a nice shooter but he tries to bait the refs on every single play. And on defense I saw him get beat and then just trail the play, walking. Who teaches these guys? How do coaches tolerate this stuff?
    I was surprised Houston went away completely from Parsons in the second half considering he was so hot early.
    Like Fern said it was a bit surprising to see both teams a little jittery at the end, especially Aldridge. Batum, Lillard and Mo Williams saved his bacon there.
    I’m partial to the Spurs cuz I think their Big 3 are the classiest group going. Ginobili’s passing is awesome. Their team system seems to develop new talent and build great chemistry. But Dallas looks like it has enough momentum to pull another 8-1 upset.
    Meanwhile, the Heat is the only unbeaten team.

  119. rubenowski,

    Ah! Thanks 😉

  120. Magic saying he wants to buy Clippers.

    What about us Magic?

  121. Anyone hear Coherd’s show this morning? He said, in order to force Sterling to sell, that the league could make his entire team free agents. I can’t impagine this being possible. However, if it is true, would any of the Clippers want to move across the hallway?

  122. Leo: I heard that as well. Colin Cowherd often says sensational things to stir the pot. He cited that the league could rule Clippers’ players FAs due to a hostile work environment. I seriously doubt that this could be mandated by the league.

    I think what could be interesting is that the players may sue the league to void their contracts during the offseason to become FA’s because they don’t want to play for Sterling anymore.

    Curious if anyone has any additional thoughts?

  123. Todd: I think Doc Rivers may ask out of his contract. He can make a statement and get a new gig with another team.

    Not sure if the any of the players other than Paul or Griffin would want out of their contracts. Why give up guarenteed money if you were not sure you could match it or exceed it elsewhere? However, Chris and Blake would be in great demand if they hit the free market.

  124. Those of you who think the league could force Sterling to sell for comments he made in private, are being unrealistic. Think about the precedent that would set: every billionaire owner of an NBA franchise could lose their team if comments are aired disparaging gays, women, minorities, etc. The league has to act, the owners want the league to act, but the owners also want to make sure they are protected. Expect a fine and a meaningless suspension for the owner (meaningless in the sense that preventing him from going to games is hardly punishment when he gets money every time a game is aired, people buy tickets and jerseys and the Clippers win games). Remember that the league did nothing when there were sexual harassment allegations against the Nicks a few years back. If they did not act then, when it would have had a stronger case than now, i highly doubt they will act now. Plus, Sterling is a highly litigious individual. He is not going to be “forced” to do anything without first trying to explore every single advantage he has in court.

    The real power to make a statement here is held by the players and coaches. Doc Rivers can resign in the offseason and Blake, CP3 and others can demand trades or not resign with the team. Outside of that, the fans can chose to stop buying tickets and Clipper gear. Other than that, I don’t see anything meaningful here.

  125. Todd – the players cannot sue to void their contracts. Its not realistic. These racist allegations have been around since 2004 and at least public in court papers since 2006. What are they going to argue? that their agents are so incompetent that they were not informed of their bosses racist tendencies? Maybe for drafted players still playing on their rookie contracts or players that are on the roster as a result of trades, but for the rest that signed contract extensions or came here as free agents: they are screwed. They do not deserve a pass. They can turn their jurseys inside out, wear black socks and even put black tape over the clipper logo, but at the end of the day most of those players willingly chose to take money from a known racist. Now they feel awful because everyone is aware of their hypocrisy. Well, tough luck. I have no issue in forcing them to endure the consequences.

  126. Leo and Todd: Got some comments stuck in mod, but in summary: IMHO, what Cowheard is saying is fantasy. A more realistic possibility is a fine and “suspension” from attending games. That’s it.

  127. So your saying Doc, with his new LA house, might quit?

    Well I smell a trade! Doc for MDA.


    We will throw in Marshall and Sacre for Paul and Blake!

    As Ralph would say!


  128. I think this Sterling revelation is a death sentence for the Clippers. There is obviously more ammunition to be uncovered. Everyone seems to think that if Sterling is hit financially he’ll sell. I’m not so sure. If you recall he made money when the Clippers were drawing poorly in the Sports Arena – he just adjusted his players’ payroll accordingly.

    If revenues fall in the wake of this scandal then he’ll reduce his costs so that he still makes money. He could dig in his heals for a long time. This may not get resolved until the Clippers lease at Staples is up. If he’s forced to move then it may change his cash flow equation so that he has to sell. Although knowing Sterling he’ll just go back to the Sports Arena…

  129. KenOak is right here. We have people from different countries, different races and with different views on politics, economics, etc. George Best’s comments go beyond the Lakers and sports in general. There are other places for those comments…

  130. Renato

    Completely agree. There are many different views depending on where you are from. I know because my wife is half Serbian and half Mean.

    Now that’s a tough combination.

    Good thing she doesn’t read this site.

  131. It’s easy to say now that everyone should have been boycotting Sterling before these statements were made public. I don’t keep up with everything Sterling, but has there ever been a recording of his actual voice revealing such racism? I can’t find any, and allegations made, settlings out of court, are not the same as hearing something with your own two ears. There’s a good reason it’s a big deal right now.

    Sterling’s a bizarre one. Not easy to understand as a person, and someone adept at both making friends and making problems go away. It’s easy to understand that money buys him a lot of freedom to be a nut-job and prosper. It’s easy to understand why players and coaches have signed to make millions, that fans care more about the team than the owner, and that the league didn’t go out of their way to act on something that wasn’t causing any appreciable problem. It’s the world we live in. Now investigation needs to happen. The NBA has something more concrete they can deal with, and public sentiment to encourage it.

  132. darius: who knew??

    Sterling and Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jerry Buss were indirectly responsible for each owning their respective NBA franchises. The first instance came in 1979, in which Buss used the money he made from selling a portion of his apartment buildings to Sterling (worth $2.7 million), which covered the remaining balance in purchasing the Lakers, the Kings hockey team, and the Los Angeles Forum from Jack Kent Cooke for $67 million. Two years later, Buss suggested to Sterling that he could purchase his own NBA franchise, and Sterling bought the struggling San Diego Clippers for $12.5 million. Unlike Buss’ instant success with the Lakers (including winning an NBA championship in his first season as owner, 1979–80), Sterling and his Clippers struggled through many lackluster seasons, and they did not have their first winning season until the 1991-92 season, eleven years into his ownership.

    another who knew fact:

    Donald Tokowitz (legally added Sterling as his last name as an adult) was born in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. He and his family moved to the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles when he was two years old. His parents, Susan and Mickey, were Jewish immigrants. He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, where he was on the school’s gymnastics team and served as class president; he graduated in 1952. He next attended California State University, Los Angeles (Class of 1956) and Southwestern University School of Law (Class of 1960) in Los Angeles.

    if only Donald Tokowitz Sterling kept his prejudices to himself, everything and then some listed above could also have been attributed to a great man other than the late great, Dr Jerry Buss.

    all roads lead to lakerland

    Go lakers

  133. Half serbian? That’s tough but you get no sympathy from me since I have a full latin woman at home living in a latin country. However, I always have the last word in an argument: “yes, dear…” 😉

  134. Ko+Renato: Agree 1000%

  135. Rands: I think this Sterling revelation is a death sentence for the Clippers.
    Unless Sterling is removed from day to day operations (I don’t think the league could force him to sell) I agree, the Clippers will be like a Zombie franchise. They will still be operating but they will be like the Clippers of the Sports Arena a league wide pariah.

    I guess the Lakers have won the battle for LA after all.

  136. KO — where did Magic say that?

  137. If Doc Rivers resigns from the Clippers, refusing to work for Sterling any longer, would that affect the Lakers’ decision on a head coach?

  138. Chris it is on Team Stream and severally other places. Owners with a 75% vote can force Donald to sell team.

  139. Magic Johnson Interested in Purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers?

    Team Stream report

  140. It is really unfortunate that the best first round in years is being overshadowed by Sterling’s ignorance. I don’t know exactly what Silver can do. But whatever it is he needs to strike swiftly and hard. Hopefully by the next round this distraction will be out of the way. I’d hate to see this become THE story of the 2014 playoffs.

  141. Ko, that would make me cry, literally.

  142. They cant force Sterling out of ownership, technically the comish works for Sterling if they try to force him out this litigious ornery stubborn old man will fight like a cat cornered, my guess is a 5 year ban hoping that he croaks before that. If the Clippers get bounced in this round because this fool mess them up i would consider that cosmic payback for the VETO and combined with if/when the Rockets get bounced, i would celebrate like we won it all and would consider this a remarkable season.

  143. Fern

    If 75% of the owners vote they can remove him based on a attorney spokesman for the league.

  144. Ko maybe but that dont mean much when he sue the crap out of the league and tie them up in litigation. They better off suspending him, he should die soon lol. Im probably wrong but meh.

  145. Mean people live forever. Least that’s what my wife tells me all the time.

  146. It’s obvious that Magic Johnson is behind all of this.

  147. The NBA owners have their own constitution and function outside of the legal system. Silver can impose whatever he wants short of taking the team away and Sterling would not have a legal leg to stand on. The same way Stern blocked the CP3 trade and Silver told Jeannie that she could not be involved in basketball decisions (because of her fiancee), Silver can suspend Sterling or even insist that he no longer be involved in operating the Clippers or attend their games.

  148. Nice game for Hibbert

    0 points
    0 rebounds

  149. Baylor,

    I would like to see where in the NBA Constitution is says you can suspend someone for implying a view that differs from your own, or majority in private conversation. I doubt it does. I actually don’t think what the guy said was a racist statement, rather, it implied racism. We know he is a racist from his history. But in a case like this, any fine or suspension by the NBA can only by brought about by the present matter.

  150. Ko April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    Nice game for Hibbert
    0 points
    0 rebounds
    The Lakers should trade for him. MDA would play him heavy minutes if he can stay that “productive”.

  151. Ko April 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    Nice game for Hibbert
    0 points
    0 rebounds
    The Lakers should trade for him. MDA would play him heavy minutes if he can stay that “productive”.

  152. I bet the house that Robert Sacre would had scored a bucket at least, grab a rebound and block a shot, and he is a bum!Always knew Hibbert was hugely overrated. How can u be a 2x all star with 11ppg and 6 rebounds a game, tonight he missed shots 5 inches from the rim measuring 7’2 what a waste of space the Pacer must love that contract they gave him, he is the main reason the Pacers are about to get bounced. This era big men are truly pathetic.

  153. Just theorizing here…

    The Magic Johnson-ownership interest angle, if true, would add a whole ‘nother wrinkle to this story that would answer the original question I posed on this Sterling issue yesterday: why now?

    If the league wants a new, better owner for an undervalued franchise, who better than Magic? If the current owner is unwilling to sell, what better means to put pressure on him than having everyone from the President of the United States to his fellow owners, the reigning MVP and his team’s own players and head coach call for Sterling’s departure?

    Not to suggest the TMZ tape was a set-up, but if the end-game is to force Sterling out, the NBA has definitely seized upon the opportunity that tape has provided.

    It’s always a game of follow the dollars, the league makes more money when its franchises are more valuable. With Sterling, the Clippers would never realize their potential. With another owner — be it Magic & Co. or some other reputable buyer — L.A. becomes a true two-team market and the other owners stand to gain from the riches L.A. offers.

    Whether this is just conjecture or the truth I can’t say. But the pieces sure fit.

  154. @ Joe M
    “I actually don’t think what the guy said was a racist statement, rather, it implied racism.”

    You don’t think that he made a racist statement? You’re certainly right that his statement implied racism…He stated that blacks/minorities are good enough to employ and to make money off of. Good enough to sleep with behind the scenes, but not out in the open. He stated that blacks/minorities were the “enemy.” You don’t see the racism in his statements?

    He should have his team stripped from him- by that, I mean that he should be forced to sell his team. The other alternative is that the league could mandate that all Clippers players become free agents at the end of the season. No player/employee should have to work in a hostile work environment like this.

  155. @ Chris J
    “It’s always a game of follow the dollars, the league makes more money when its franchises are more valuable. With Sterling, the Clippers would never realize their potential.”

    Or, it’s just a matter of he was actually caught on audio tape saying things that are pretty terrible for the pre-civil rights era, much less 2014. I don’t think any of the players really knew the depths of this guy’s beliefs. The other half of your argument- that the Clippers would never realize their potential rings false too. They are quickly taking up a piece of the LA market at a time when the Lakers are at the lowest point. I would put forth that if the Clips were to win it all this year, while the Lakers look to be out of contention for the next 4 years, then their value would absolutely skyrocket. They would be poised to possibly grab the next generation of fans, which as we all know is what winning does.

  156. Maybe the league should give him a team of

  157. Darius,

    Really? You are going to delete 3 of my messages for expressing opinions that are different from yours? I did not say anything offensive to anyone. I can even understand you deleting the one message, because it came off hateful. However, my last message, I was simply defending myself from some harsh critiques of my previous statements. I did not insult them. Yet, someone insults me (Fern) with a hateful comment, and his post is allowed to stay, just because you agree with him? I understand its fair to keep hateful and harsh messages out of your site, but fair opinions that differ from yours? And if you think my opinions are ridiculous, I got news for you, there are millions of people in this world that share my same views of the situation. I cannot respect that and I will not participate on your site anymore. Perhaps this is a time for you to reflect on why your forum has seemingly to lost a lot of members.

  158. @KenOak

    Or, it’s just a matter of he was actually caught on audio tape saying things that are pretty terrible for the pre-civil rights era, much less 2014.

    Aside from the fact that Sterling has made other, similar comments previously and the NBA did nothing. But now a lifetime ban? Why no outcry before? It was warranted then as much as now.

    The other half of your argument- that the Clippers would never realize their potential rings false too. … I would put forth that if the Clips were to win it all this year, while the Lakers look to be out of contention for the next 4 years, then their value would absolutely skyrocket.

    Winning would — and has — raised their value. But so long as Sterling owns the team, the taint would exist. Get rid of him and the franchise grows in value even more so than it would/has through improved play and recognizable players. Both factors in raising their value can coexist.

  159. Prior comment was mine; used a different computer today and it didn’t reset my name.

  160. Joe

    This is a volatile subject. No one can condone his words or his past deeds. Although he has contributed millions to charities he still is a racist. The problem is there is racism on both sides yet one side gets much more attention .

    On this site it’s best to not get to political as sports and politics do not always mix. Just let it go and hope the Lakers come back soon. Sterling will end up selling and make $600 million and we will still be left here asking for the head of Pringles!