Starting Fresh & the Challenges that Still Exist

Darius Soriano —  April 30, 2014

We may never know what went on behind the scenes that led to Mike D’Antoni stepping down as Lakers’ head coach on Wednesday night. Was it really about the team standing firm on not picking up his 4th year team option? Was the team going to let him go and rather than suffer the indignity of being fired he stepped down? Either scenario, to be honest, is believable. Especially after a report that the team agreed to pay him “more than half of the $4 million he was owed next season” upon him stepping down. Again, though, we will likely never know how it all went down.

What we do know is that the Lakers are now without a head coach and will be on the market for a new one.

That sound you hear is a cavalcade of Lakers’ fans celebrating like they just won their 17th championship. D’Antoni being gone is a dream come true. Just ask Magic Johnson. But, just because people wanted it so, doesn’t mean the only fallout is positive. Key questions also emerge. The most obvious is, of course, who will step in and be the next head man?

There will not be a lack of interested parties, that’s for sure. One report already has former Grizzlies’ coach Lionel Hollins interested in the position. Another says Byron Scott would like to be considered. In the coming days and weeks, I expect other names to surface who will be more than happy to take heaps of that Time Warner cash off the Lakers’ hands in bi-weekly installments. Coaching the Lakers may have lost some of its luster with the way the past couple of seasons have played out, but they are still the Lakers. That cachet still exists. Add in that they are more than happy to compensate the people who help them win and it will be a position people still want.

Just because there will be candidates, however, does not guarantee success; does not guarantee things will suddenly improve. D’Antoni had his faults and despite all that was done unto him through injuries and a major free agency defection he could have been better in several measurable ways. These things aren’t arguable. But the next guy in line will still have to deal with an uncertain roster, a potentially high draft pick to integrate into a team with Kobe Bryant wanting to win now, and the high expectations of a fan base who saw the person he’s replacing as a key culprit in the team’s downfall. When you sign on to coach the Lakers, you are signing on to win regardless of circumstances (at least in the eyes of many). In other words, no pressure big guy.

And therein lies the rub. It is overly simplistic to say just because D’Antoni is gone the team will be better off. Many thought that same thing with Mike Brown being handed his papers and look where the team is now. Coming off their worst season since moving to Los Angeles isn’t a particularly high bar to clear, but that’s not really the bar anyway. Fans, and to a certain extent the organization itself, will want the type of success the franchise has built its reputation on. And they will want it quickly. The coach will be a major part of achieving that success (along with the roster he is handed). Whoever takes over will have that honeymoon period of being “not Mike D’Antoni” and with no Phil Jackson to muddy the perception of the hire that period should have some staying power in the short term. There will even be some fans more planted in reality who understand the rigors of a multi-year retool and keep expectations in check.

But that won’t be everyone. We know that for sure.

In a way, then, what the Lakers have done (or what D’Antoni has done for them) is the easy part. The unpopular guy is gone, banished to never be spoken of again. The hard part, though, remains. The right hire must combine with the right draft pick and the right free agency signings and the right amount of injury luck to make everything right again. If that sounds like a lot of “rights”, you’re, well, right. A lot of things will need to go the Lakers’ way for them to get back to the position they are accustomed to being in. And while D’Antoni leaving may distract from this fact, that would have been true with him in tow, arms crossed and feet stomping on the Lakers’ sideline for another season.

Him being gone is just another unknown to navigate in a field that already had plenty of them.

That said, uncertainty and hope can be first cousins in the family of forward motion. The Lakers are starting anew and with that comes excitement. And after the last several seasons, we could certainly use some more of that around here. So, in many ways, celebrations are in order. At least until the next head coach loses three in a row.

Darius Soriano

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188 responses to Starting Fresh & the Challenges that Still Exist

  1. This does allow people to dream and hope, which is much needed.

    Most scenarios with short term success of any measure include one or more of our quite good bigs resigning, and that is now a lot more probable, so that is a positive too.

    I think my man Nash will be out, he could hang on to a vets min contract as a locker room guy and potential 15 mins of the bench guy, but his price tag is way too high for that, so I think that he will be gone with MDA leaving town.

  2. Marlon Brando May 1, 2014 at 1:44 am

    All the reports I’m reading about possible coaching possibilities continualy reference Jim’s preference for a coach that can create a fun and exciting brand of basketball. I have no clue how true that sentiment is, but I think I speak for most laker fans when I say that a fun brand of basketball is a winning brand of basketball, end of discussion. I love a good show, but I dislike sound and fury signifying nothing. This is our third shot after the two mikes, here’s hoping the third times the charm.

  3. I can see Byron Scott doing a decent job. But whoever comes on as coach, let’s hope we get a decent draft pick, a solid free agent, the return of Pau Gasol, and a healthy Kobe and Nash. That’s not too much to ask, right? Right?!? Guys …. ?

  4. minorthreatt May 1, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Someone alluded to it in the last thread, but whatever the reason for MDA’s resignation, it tells you pretty clearly what he thought next year was gonna be like. That’s a sobering thought. It also might reinforce the idea that it’s summer 2015 when they hope to make their big push. MDA couldn’t wait that long.

  5. Renato Afonso May 1, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Well, I’m happy for this. While I agree that injuries did play a big role in our record, what concerned me was the (lack of) defense and adjustments, as those are signs of a good coach. MDA would certainly do better with a roster more suited to his system, but I ultimately believe that all coaches can say the same. To me he’s simply a bad coach and now we’re finally moving on. However, I don’t think that the “fun and exciting” style of basketball should be what we look for. We should be looking for a good coach, who’s great on defense (and we all know that you get more fast breaks if your defense is good, see Miami), can make adjustments to his preferred style because of the roster available and can actually make mid-game adjustments to increase our winning odds. He should also be one to teach our younger players in a proper way, giving them winning habits right from the start. No rush… They should just take their time and find the right guy for the job.

    @Mid-Wilshere,

    I don’t think Ettore Messina is the right man for the job. Messina is a guy with a massive ego that may not be able to be successful with NBA players. He’s good, his offense against the zone should be in all coaching manuals and his defensive adjustments are awesome. But one must remember that in FIBA basketball you have far more options available for a coach, as there are no restrictions at all regarding the zone (actually I’m typing this without being 100% sure, but I seem to remember that zone defense in the NBA is still limited. MDA never tried using it, so there’s no way I could ever find out by watching the Lakers). Think of Ettore Messina as the guy you bring in if you’re close to winning it all but can’t get over the hump and have big money to spend. You know, like a certain Zen Master in the NBA.

    Also, regarding the European game, one must take into account the differences in game style and whether most european coaches would adapt to the NBA fast enough. The game is shorter by 8 minutes and a starting five player seldom plays more than 32 minutes per game. That would be ideal for Kobe (and Gasol if re-signed) but one must remember that in FIBA basketball that means 8 minutes for his replacement. In the NBA it means 16 minutes. To keep such a rotation in the NBA we need a stronger bench, even if one may say that we already had a good bench this season and lacked a starting five. Also, most top european coaches don’t have a problem in benching a star player if he’s not making an effort on defense or if he’s not doing what he was told to do on court. They also won’t have a problem benching him if he’s not making buckets. In a way, it’s far more similar to the NCAA without those stupid rules on team fouls and 1+1 free throws or even the horrendous 35 second shot clock.

    There are also plenty of good coaches in Europe as well as in the NCAA ranks but if I was in charge of picking a coach in Europe for the Lakers, my first, second and third choice would be David Blatt who actually coached Russia for six years in international stage. He has won at club level and national team level. The man achieved a european title with Russia that was actually played in Spain, and managed a bronze medal in the Olympics (even if all nations apart from the USA care more about the FIBA world championship than they do about the Olympics). His in game adjustments are tremendous as well as the preparation for the opponent. He can achieve more than expected with a weak roster and he holds his players accountable on defense. The man is simply a great coach that I can see being on par with Pop or Carlisle. I would love to see him in the NBA to see what he can do. We don’t know if he could manage the NBA egos properly, but I believe he could.

  6. What I’d hope is that the Laker FO, and any coach they hire, is not concerned with or swayed by public sentiment. If it takes time to get it right, then stick to what you believe in regardless of any criticism from outside. What I want to see from the Lakers is confidence in and commitment to what they’re doing. Championships are built by those with vision, not some wishy-washy, throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

    It’s early in the process. The Lakers have been floundering trying to find their way under the new conditions of the NBA, an aging roster, and having lost many great minds in the last several years. Hope they can turn the corner soon and show they still have what it takes.

  7. “It is overly simplistic to say just because D’Antoni is gone the team will be better off.” Darius I understand your point, and it’s a logical one, but in my eyes, as of today the team is definitely better off. And I’ll go so far as to say THIS is the BEST decision the front office has made in the Jim Buss era…and I don’t care about the details of his leaving.

    It only makes sense that a franchise with it’s eyes on the future has a coach in place BEFORE the draft & free agency, and now I feel as if they will.

    Haven’t felt this good about my team in a little while…today I’m a happy man.

  8. Based on the above posts it sounds like the best course of action is to hire no coach until 2015.

    Just let the players coach themselves. Kobe one week the 3 point line, Nash from trainers table another, Sacre from the tattoo parlor another, Marshall from the D League another etc etc. by the All-Star break then bring us in.

    Robert with Kobe alerts shooting every time one week, Renato with long pre-games speeches another Rr using so much logic it confuses the team and finish up with me “winning” about everything until the team hides me in Jimbo hat closet and drinks bottles of wine at half timeuntil the end of season!

    Come in guys let’s assume they now have a plan. Let’s assume people will want to play here and the owners will spend the money. Let’s assume the team will be much, much better with a good coach and our team will be competitive again.

    Please give me a summer of hope. Before reality sets in. OK?

  9. “Someone alluded to it in the last thread, but whatever the reason for MDA’s resignation, it tells you pretty clearly what he thought next year was gonna be like. That’s a sobering thought.”

    Next season, frankly, looked like a total mess, and the Laker FO would have been, justifiably, held responsible. I think D’Antoni quit because he saw that coming. If the Lakers had given him another year, it would have meant that MDA was in charge, and if his vision was to continue developing a young team for his style, that would have been acceptable to him no matter what it meant in terms of wins and losses. As a lame duck coach, without a commitment to anything, it would have been a battle between two opposing agendas — trying to win with Kobe and whatever other vets hanging on, who only care about championships, and with all the unrealistic expectations from everyone that goes with that, and then trying to rebuild for a future that most likely wouldn’t include D’Antoni anyway. A no-win situation, unless just collecting some more money would make it tolerable.

  10. good points, Darius. So many unknowns going into next year – Kobe’s health and draft pick being the 2 biggest. Whomever they pick better be flexible, because they are going to have to work within some significant constraints.

  11. This is how I feel about MDA’s departure from the Laker Family:

    http://youtu.be/y6Sxv-sUYtM

  12. Why Lakers should take long look at Derek Fisher to replace Mike D’Antoni as coach

    From Yahoo sports. And you guys laughed at me last month when I suggested this !

  13. Speaking of D. Fish, congrats for becoming the All-Time Leader in “Post-Season games played” w/ 245, passing another former Laker, Robert Horry (244) who himself passed a former Laker, Kareem at 237.

  14. Renato – Thanks for the insights on Messina. Saved me the trouble of asking if anyone had an informed opinion on him.

  15. Parrothead Phil May 1, 2014 at 8:43 am

    What about Messina disciple and former Laker assistant coach Quin Hillyer? He was once a rising star in the coaching world. I don’t know enough about him, but perhaps others on here do. Renato?

  16. This news is also music to my ears. Lakers still are far off from where they want to be. The culture and mystque dr. Buss, players and phil established over decades is long gone. Lakers need a leader, fisher is one but thats a tough sell to some fans. Kobe is a leader although his true aura of work ethic hasnt transitioned down because he hasnt practiced as much as he needs for that to seep into other players. Theres no one to follow. Lakers need a person who is strong and has a true defined direction. Without that guy they’ll continue to be lost.

  17. darius: “uncertainty and hope can be first cousins in the family of forward motion”, what a great line.

    two things: as long as they don’t marry and don’t have kids……

    what a great time to be in the laker front office: prospective coach(es) are lining up. per Dick Harmon of the Deseret News::

    “He’s got a high basketball IQ, he’s structured, confident, strategic, personable and demanding…He was pretty laid back during the preseason, watching, learning, analyzing things. He looked at talent, figured out what direction he wanted to take the team, who fit in what role, and after about three weeks coaching started.

    […] Messina is demanding, but he believes in players. If he signs you, it is because he thinks you are one of the best. He demands you to play to the best of your abilities. He gives you the ball and expects those who can deliver to deliver. Strategically, he’s great all-around, but he’s the best in the fourth quarter.

    It’s always up to the players to make plays, but when the game is on the line he knows where the ball has to go and how to get it there”

    sounds a lot like coach popavich. we need a do-over coach at this point for the long term. this guy sounds about right.

    Go laker

  18. kevin_ the thing about Fisher is that there are a lot of unknowns. We know he is a beast physically and a great teammate, but I have no clue as to how astute he is at reading offensive and defensive schemes from the bench and in explaining to others how to best counter such schemes. I’m inclined to err in the side of caution and recommend him as an assistant to whomever we bring on board.

    In terms of who we pick to coach the team going forward, the rumor mill has Hollins, B Scott, Messina, Kerr and even George Karl if you believe the LA Times. I have no idea what Mich, Jim and Jeannie will do, but I sure hope they keep Kobe in the loop and get his buy-in prior to making any decisions.

  19. Mid-Wilshire May 1, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Renato,

    Thanks for your response re: Messina. Very helpful.

  20. Parrothead Phil May 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Even if he became available there is no way I would want Doc Rivers as coach of the Lakers. I could not cheer for him and his Ubuntu b/s along with “our starting 5 never lost” nonsense. He will forever be associated with the vile Celtics to me.

  21. While I’m not convinced his philosophy is a sound one, I have respect for D’Antoni. I think he’s handled a very bad situation set up by the Laker FO well. This has been management’s failure, and his leaving puts the final stamp on it. He gave the effort, and then had the integrity to step aside rather than hang on to a situation where his leadership would be crippled. I’m not going to remember him as a Laker coach who lost games, but as an unfortunate piece of a struggling organization.

  22. One thing I want to say is this and why I have a problem with Jim Buss, if your preference was to play an “entertaining style”, why did you hire Mike Brown. I can go on with these questions…but anyway, I also believe Mike D’Antoni bailed the Lakers out here and was basically a lame duck coach THIS year and was saying he didn’t want that again, so you can’t blame him and I think management got lucky because they can make it seem like he walked away and start fresh. These are the top ten candidates for the job out there in no particular order:

    Jeff Van Gundy
    Stan Van Gundy
    Byron Scott
    Kevin Ollie
    Derek Fisher
    George Karl
    Tom Thibodeau
    Etorre Messina
    Quin Synder
    Steve Kerr haha

    Alright I’m one of those fans that’s ready for a fresh face of the established coaches I would like to see either Tibbs or JVG, Tibbs because you know he’s going to get the most out of the team and would command everyone’s respect….JVG has enough personality and clout as well to lead the team while commanding kobe’s respect. If the Lakers are going with a young fresh face which I’m sort of leaning towards, why not bring in Kevin Ollie or Derek Fisher? Ollie has proved he is a good young leader and can win and does have the respect of nba players on that level. Remember guys this isn’t just about kobe this is also about the Lakers going forward this next coach should be looked at more of a permanent fix now. Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson have shown players can go right into coaching and be successful Derek Fisher is arguable on their level of leadership and has even more championship experience and has played for the great Phil Jackson. With sophisticated coaching staffs these days, this is going to be an interesting decision overall for the Lakers. My personal choices would be either Jeff Van Gundy or Derek Fisher if he is interested.

    Regardless, we are getting kobe back we have a top 7 pick that we can move for an all star caliber player, we have the option of retaining Pau we have a couple of players in their prime that we can sign very reasonable deals with i.e. Farmar and Young, so I do feel that this team is going to be in contention much sooner than people think but everyone is watching the Buss family closely now and I hope they make the right decision this time.

  23. The Lakers head coaching job its one of the most coveted jobs in North American sports right up there with the Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys ect ect, i reaaally doubt it has lost its luster if anything its more appealling bc any coach want to be the one that “fix” the Lakers, coaches are already willing to jump at the chance to coach our team. Like MDA himself said, ” when the Lakers call u listen” i favor Hollins or Byron Scott for now and im really intrigued by Ollie, please no old dinosaur coach.

  24. I read somewhere that Steve Kerr who people thought was a lock to coach the knicks is interested on the Lakers job, see what i mean?

  25. Classy reaction, Magic.

    Please say no to Byron Scott. The majority of his success has come with elite PGs that are offenses unto themselves. Without that, he has been mediocre.

    I agree it will be interesting to see what route the Lakers take here, and I think the choice will reflect how optimistic they are about the near future. If they go with a rookie NBA head coach (including college coaches), it most likely indicates they expect a protracted rebuild. If they truly believe they can attain a big FA in both 2015 and 2016, I’d expect to see someone more established.

    I’d also expect a veteran coach only because after flunking 2/2 coaching hires, I expect Jim to be more risk averse than he would otherwise.

  26. Hopefully we get a defensive minded coach (JVG) because as you can tell in playoffs, Defense matters.

  27. Season ticket holders aside, I think this was an MDA decision. From a Laker decision standpoint, it would have been better to occur in a month or two, allowing more coaches to become unemployed and for political situations to play out, before the Lakers job came into play. Now the job is out there and a decision will have to be made sooner than optimal.

    All this is strategy people, not emotion. When do you get the best bang for your buck, business-wise.

    I have mixed feelings about MDA being gone, but think it was the best decision for him – and the best decision for our ability to retain our big men.

  28. as darius said, it’s premature to really say who made the decision. In lakerland, what is said in public and private rarely match up.

    but it’s a pretty good time for mda to go. It’s wide open right now and it could be even more so if we have some upsets in the playoffs.

    I’m more interested in the hiring process. If they don’t improve in that area, it’s really not going to make a difference. That would require Jim Buss to sit back, shut up, and listen. Not only to the coaches he’s interviewing, but to kupchak and others who have actual basketball experience.

    You need a coach who can give you a shot at the playoffs with kobe, and that will keep kobe happy. But you’ll have to be ready for life after kobe. That’s a lot to handle.

  29. – If this was an MDA decision, it does not inspire much confidence in the front office. It would mean that the front office initially wanted MDA back for another year…….that the front office’s initial plan was to let Pau and Hill go…..that they were ok with ignoring Kobe’s (and the fans’) demands for a different coach……..that they were going to risk having a divided and toxic locker room next season……..that they had no hopes for a a championship in the final two years of Kobe’s contract.

    — If this was a front office decision, there is some hope that Jimbo just might know what he is doing. It would mean that Jimbo can learn from his mistakes…..that he might not be as clueless as many of us have feared…..that perhaps the Lakers have a solid , well thought-out plan for next season……that Jimbo might think that defense, rebounding, adjustments, communication and leadership are important qualities in a coach.

    — I have no idea who’s decision it was, but I really really hope it was a front office decision, for the Laker’s sake.

  30. Warren Wee Lim May 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The coaching vacancy has added another hole and uncertainty to our organization. The permutations of things to happen took a huge left turn upon MDA’s departure and we must then assess ourselves properly.

    Sometimes its need-based, sometimes you create the need. Sometimes, the harder choice is when you have all the choices before you. Fat kid on a candy shop if you may call it.

    IMO the best trait the next Laker coach should have is the ability to command egos in the locker room. In other words, we need a coach that can tell Kobe to line up. The Kamenetzky term for this is “gravitas” which I believe is necessary when you’re coaching millionaires that live in LA and signed for big money.

    May 20th should be the soonest to decide, right after the draft lottery tells us where we are. During this time, teams are motivated to make moves according to their projections. Good thing our GM is in place because he can plan, create and design the whole thing.

    Lets start with the first step, because its necessary. I believe May 20th (which is not too far along) is the earliest date that something changes. Of course if you want to be really specific, the start of the 2nd round of the Playoffs (next week) is another factor that can play/add to your choices of coaches available. I think one or all of Vogel, Jackson and McHale lose their job. There’s also the remote possibility that Scott Brooks is on the chopping block as well.

    So why make your decision now, when you can make a better one in 3 weeks time, with more choices and better choices?

    Among the mentioned names, I really dislike Scott. I believe he is a good coach for a middle-veteran team that has established players, not one that’s just about to be built.

    I find Ettore Messina similar to MDA, in terms of philosophies and traits. Moving away from an unpopular choice at this point sounds logical.

    Kevin Ollie, alot of you might like him but I just don’t see him having that gravitas that I seek.

    Billy Donovan is a long shot, and still no gravitas.

    Stan Van Gundy is a very good coach, but his last stint had him painted a picture of embattled. Thanks Dwight.

    My favorite amongst the mentioned is Jeff Van Gundy. This guy deserves a shot at coaching again and he is one of the more-opinionated commentators on TV. Think also of how much you would like Thibs to be our next coach, well this is the guy that taught him.

    Another important aspect to note for the next coach is that he has to be young enough. No George Karl (health), Jerry Sloan (age) and Rick Adelman (retired).

    Coach K is a very big wildcard/darkhorse. We did try to pry him out of Duke rather unsuccessfully back then, he might be interested at this one last shot of coaching in the NBA esp if the Lakers get lucky in lotto and draft Jabari Parker.

    All in all, JVG, SVG and Coach K are my favorites. Lionel Hollins, is also a popular hire. Vogel might get a look if Indy decides to let him go.

    Thats my roster.

  31. … uncertainty and hope can be first cousins in the family of forward motion.” Wow. This is a great sentence! I am going to ” re-purpose” (read steal) it for my own ends! Thanks Darius!

  32. Warren Wee Lim May 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Scorchee, aside from the fact that your comment is going to be deleted soon, it might be good to know that the Lakers have no ability to acquire Kevin Love, sign Melo and retain Pau, Hill and Kaman.

    If you wonder why, read the CBA.

  33. Lt Mithel – great minds sometimes can disagree. I personally think that MDA was angry at a number of things, which could include his “auditioning” of young talent, not complaining too much about injuries, and most importantly the FO’s refusal to give him the time he feels he needs (2 years) to turn this team and his reputation around – but of course this final one would also require the FO to buy into his vision for the team, including building a team better suited to his needs (i.e. no Pau, no Hill). Maybe in the end he felt he did not get the respect he deserved by not getting an extension ahead of schedule after suffering through 2 injury plagued seasons. At least, that’s my rose colored glasses speculation.

    To touch on another topic you bring up, I do not know if I agree that this means the FO has decided to let Pau and/or Hill walk. I suspect that, absent some sort of trade that brings Kevin Love and a decent center into the team, both Pau and Hill will be targeted by the FO for contracts if its at a price that the FO feels still provides them with the flexibility to pursue whatever free agents they plan on targeting this year and beyond. To me, an ideal situation would be to resign both Pau and Hill and then trade our pick for KLove (or wait and sign him as a free agent). Probably not realistic, but hey, this old man can dream.

    Sadly, I think you are right that we are not going to contend for a title next year. Absent some Jedi/Ninja moves by Mitch, we will continue to rebuild next year, hopefully get a solid FA this offseason and next and maybe in two years we are hopefully be in a position to begin to contend. I don’t like it, but I think that’s a plausible scenario.

  34. Hey guys its been a longggggggggggg year. MDA was not the right coach for the team of Los Angeles. He didn’t have the Pat Riley swag or PJ’s Zen mystique. As Laker fans we not oly want to win we want to win with style. Kareem Worthy and Magic, Shaq and Kobe, Kobe and Pau, these teams had a flair and a finesse to them but also when the time came kicked some ass. Kobe is a question mark tbh. He’s my favorite player and has been since he came into the league. When Kobe came into the league my oldest son was just going into the Air Force now he’s a 5 y/o father of 2. Time has passed. I think as fans we need to take a step back. The entire image and make up of the Lakers is going to change and is changing. Dr. Buss is gone. Shaq is on instagram making fun of the deformed and handicapped, Kobe is about done. It’s time to let the past go and look towards a new future. What that future looks like none of us know. I hope we get a fresh new face to coach and usher in the new season for the Lake Show. Can we give the next coach and the front office 2- 3 years to put a system and players in place. Can we get a team that plays hellacious defense and a stud offensive player or two? Other fans always accuse us of being front running fair weather fans. If there was ever a time for us to stop living in the past and embrace the future its now. 18 years ago people were screaming because Vlade was traded for Jelly Beans kid. Lets give Kobe his year farewell tour. The truth my brothers, we are going to have to rebuild it, and it starts with this draft and next years FO class

  35. trianglefan – I agree. The expectations are set so low for next season that, barring LBJ signing with the Lakers, most coaches coming in will get a pass if we end up no better than this season. That is why it may make sense for the FO to take an educated gamble on an NCAA coach or Messina, as they will likely have at least 2 years to sort out any “growing pains” they may have to overcome in coaching at the NBA level. Just my two cents.

  36. Consodering that the lakers are payimg half hos salary next ueary thinking is that the FO asked him to step down amd his payout was for him resigning with dignity

  37. IMO the FO would have kept him around if he had not pushed for the option but decided giving him 2M or so to leave was a better call than committing to 2015-16. And MDA decided that 2M minus the hassles with chances to make more doing other stuff or coaching somewhere was better for him.

    I don’t think it matters that much at this point, but if I am right about how it went down, I think the FO made a good call.

  38. Whomever the Lakers choose for a head coach, I hope they drill down into some of his potential choices for assistant coaches. With the right assistants in place, the atmosphere and priorities could change over night.

    For example, if the Lakers were to bring in a head coach who would in turn bring in, say, Michael Cooper to coach defense, that would be a very important statement. Cooper has a very strong personality and takes no prisoners. Furthermore, as we all know, his approach to defense is almost maniacal. He would be the equivalent of a co-head coach devoted to defense and could institute a new mindset almost overnight.

    His mantra would probably be, “If you don’t play D, you don’t play.” I think the Lakers need that kind of discipline. Under Brown and MDA, they lost that special “edge.” Somehow, they need to get it back. I think Cooper could help.

  39. Per LA Times:

    Lakers will interview George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott and Rambis for coaching vacancy. Also, as reported earlier, Calipari + Ollie

    https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/461928163707084800

  40. Parrothead Phil May 1, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I apologize, I meant Quin Snyder (not Hillyer). I never remember his name because my wife and I refer to him as “mayhem” because he resembles the guy in the Allstate commercials.

  41. “You need a coach who can give you a shot at the playoffs with kobe, and that will keep kobe happy. But you’ll have to be ready for life after kobe.”

    Part of me thinks these are competing interests. I think the reality is the Lakers won’t contend for at least a few years. Most fans have accepted that. Based on Mitch’s public comments it seems the Lakers brass has as well. Kobe might be the only person who hasn’t.

    Personally, I’d like the Lakers to get a young up and comer (like Ollie) who can rebuild the team from the ground up. No Hollins. No Van Gundy’s. No Adleman. No Scott. No retreads. Start over. Yes, Kobe is still there. But what can they do? They can’t squander their long term prospects trying to chase a title that we all know is not coming over the next couple seasons.

  42. Oh please not Rambis.

    After failing with the Wolves, he was supposed to be the guy responsible for our defense last year…. how’d that work out? Plus he seems to be stubbornly insistent upon implementing the triangle, regardless of personnel. By what measure is he (or for that matter, BScott) a better coach than either MDA or Mike Brown?

    Karl or a Van Gundy (preferably the wider one), if I had a vote.

  43. My wish list:

    1. Hire a younger energetic coach (like Kerr, Ollie or Hoiberg) and not a retread
    2. Bring Jerry West back as a consultant
    3. Hire Derek Fisher either as an assistant coach or to a role in the FO. I think he is a winner and will be in demand. Phil Jackson was rumored to have inquired about his joining the Knicks FO. He needs to be a Laker.

  44. The Lakers wont ever be able to truly rebuild IMO until Kobe hangs up the sneakers. His unrealistic expectations of both himself and the team trickle down to the fans…who then expect a team with little talent to be a contender. As long as he plays we’ll always have a scapegoat, be it the coach or Jim Buss to blame for the teams shortcomings.

  45. It’s sad but IMO a huge portion of our fan base is slowly morphing into Knicks type fans. They scapegoat the coach, think the team is one player away from a big year, and think a sexy name coach will magically fix everything.

  46. I understand MDA needed an answer on extension due to another job offer.

    Disneyland wants him to host the Mad Hatter ride in Anaheim. Already fitted him for the big hat and having mustache already was a plus..

  47. sobering posts Dan, something to think about
    ___
    I´m glad MDA is gone just like so many of us in Lakerland, but there´s no doubt we´ve still got a steep hill to climb before we can hoist trophy #17 up toward the rafters.
    ___
    `Big Game´ represents!

  48. Ahhh but it’s kind of funny Darius. No?

    Ok

  49. andrew goudelock–the mini mamba–named eurocup mvp.

  50. I heard Jackie Moon is very interested in the position.

  51. lil pau – I suspect that is just the FO doing their due diligence and casting a wide net. Rambis is worse than mediocre, at least as a head coach. Rambis and Cleamons were parts of the reason I was not among those clamoring to hire Brian Shaw a few years back. Phil’s coaching tree has been non-existent, and none of his previous assistants have successfully transitioned to the big chair. I highly doubt Rambis is seriously in play. I’m more worried about Byron Scott being a “Buss family favorite” per many reports.

    I don’t understand the insistence to try to recapture our glory days by picking within the Lakers family. Take the best coach available, regardless of his ties to the Lakers. The NBA is rapidly changing. Instead of targeting West as a consultant, it should be a higher priority to target people on the cutting edge of new-age analytics, or we’ll continue to develop a reputation as a franchise stuck in the past.

  52. If Chicago is willing to let Thibodeau go, I’d sign him in a heartbeat if I were making the decision.

    Please, God, not Dunleavy. Either Van Gundy would warrant a conversation based on their past track records, but my gut says neither is “sexy” enough to get L.A. fans really excited. George Karl doesn’t feel right, either… I would hope they want to get a guy they can build around long-term, like Ainge’s strategy in Boston. A system and consistency are needed, badly.

    Ollie and Cal have good situations going in college, and I’d be surprised if either bit at the Lakers job. Ollie isn’t well-established yet, NCAA win notwithstanding, and it’s one thing for an NBA scrub to lead 19-year-olds, but leading NBA veterans — ahem, Kobe — is a wholly different animal. And Cal has tasted the NBA before and never seen the success he saw a level below; why give that up for a chance to chase the lottery in L.A. right away?

    I’m not in favor of Rambis, Scott or Fisher — much respect for their play, but this is different.

    Hopefully some other names will emerge. Nothing jumps out as “Yes, yes” now, unless Thibodeau comes on the market.

  53. Mid-Wilshire May 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    As I mentioned yesterday, the Lakers really should see which coaches shake out from the current chaos of these playoffs. There could be several prominent heads rolling as a result of 1st- or 2nd-round losses. Will Frank Vogel keep his job? Will Thibodeau become available? If Sterling decides not to sell his team and sue the NBA, thus engaging in litigation until the day that he dies, will Doc Rivers see this and decide to walk?

    These are big questions. And they should all be answered before the Lakers arrive at a head coaching decision.

    With that in mind, I would say that we still don’t have a final short list. And we may not have one for another 4-5 weeks.

  54. Mattal: You are a mind reader. Would especially like to see JWest come home. He deserves to a chance to return to the Lakers. Even if all he did was act as a sounding board for Mitch/Jim his association with the team would make potential FA’s feel better about the direction of the club.

  55. Warren…

    Seems like you didn’t notice the sarcastic, “40 wins here we come” part at the end of the post. The whole post was sarcastic.

    do you really think a new coach is going to make a difference next year with the current guy in charge?

  56. Scorchee

    IMO Warren is a very knowledgeable and articulate poster and great Laker fan.

    Not so much with sarcasm and sense of humor.

    Most of my posts are attempts(often failed attempts) at sarcasm. Have not always been excepted or understood.

    It’s just a game played and owned by a bunch of millionaires. A bit of levity seems ok to me?

  57. If Thibs is the hire or whoever else – and there is a suppose emphasis on D next year then this roster outside of Kobe/Nash /Sacre has to be totally remade. Keep Meeks and Farmar who hustle and have value on both sides of the ball – but no one else on the team provides any consistent defensive value anymore. None of the wings do or disappear from night to night and neither Pau/Kaman/hill provide any rim protection and have their own issues as individual /team defenders. I get the love for Pau because of his history – but unless the rest are brought back on one and done contracts (in which case it’ll just be more of the same ole same ole this upcoming year) don’t tie the team to players that aren’t either going to improve the team or improve themselves.

  58. darius: with all this back and forth and needs for this laker organization from top to bottom, seems right about now a trade for the clippers organization would be in order…..

    gone too far??

    Go lakers

  59. John Calipari – “Before it starts, I’m totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams. I wouldn’t & couldn’t leave this group.”

    Sounds good to me. Hopefully he stands by his words and doesn’t deviate from that statement.

  60. david h: I truly hope you are joking.

  61. if you hire a defensive minded coach like thibs, i don’t think you need to worry about getting defensive minded players – the team WILL play defense. if it’s thibs (which i actually highly doubt), i’d go the opposite route and target players that are strong on the offensive side of the ball to balance the product that gets put out on the floor.

  62. Dan, that’s the reason so many Laker fans were disappointed when Little Jimmy B. approved Kobe’s contract. We knew it meant the Laker would be irrelevant on the court for 2 to 3 years. One down, at least one to go.

  63. MannyP: you got me, totally a joke.

    future wifey tells me I have an overdeveloped imagination.

    was having one of those moments.

    Go lakers

  64. Hey, unlike last time, at least it looks like the FO will explore every realistic coaching option that could be available. Perhaps that’s why they may ask Chicago for permission, even if they know the answer is “no”. There is no urgency here, so no need to rush like we did last go around. Hopefully, they take a reasonable amount of time and come out with a great coaching team.

  65. This MDA news is fantastic. We now have a great shot at being bad enough to keep out pick next summer. I wish we let Rambus coach this year… Then we would have a chance at Embid, Exum, or wiggins.

  66. Thibs seems impossible to steal away, but that would be an absolute coup if the lakers could get him.

    Otherwise, Mattal’s plan sounds genius

  67. If we’re to believe media reports, Thibodeau has had some issues with Bulls GM Gar Forman, particularly after the team abruptly canned assistant coach Ron Adams a year or so ago. They’ve kissed and made up publicly before, but there could still be some resentment.

    He was also very upset this year when the Bulls dumped Luol Deng for cap consideration — playoff teams losing key players for no on-court return wouldn’t go over well with any coach, so who knows? Maybe Thibodeau wanting out of Chicago isn’t so far fetched. We’ll know more soon enough, one way or another…

  68. BigCity: “THIS is the BEST decision the front office has made in the Jim Buss era” While I would agree – I am having trouble identifying the second best decision.

    Marlon Brando: “Jim’s preference for a coach that can create a fun and exciting brand of basketball” Same as 2 years ago and many here bought into it. Bought into it all the way to 9-10 and then the wheels came off. Imagine 9-10 being fun – but it was for some.

    Ko: I like Fisher. Fern: Don’t worry – we are still in lock step on B Scott. Also mentioned B Donovan a month ago – sad to see no momentum building for him yet.

    Dan: “It’s sad but IMO a huge portion of our fan base is slowly morphing into Knicks type fans.” Well this is certainly true – but well justified. LA and NY are traditional NBA towns. We have met 5 times in the finals (we won 3). Phil Jackson looms large over both franchises. Both are in disarray currently. And most importantly is the similarity of the owners – both are meddlers and have had similar success doing so.

    MD: He simply was “Not the right fit for our roster”. I know – I have been redundant about this, for a while. I am very worried however. Most NBA teams have a triumvirate of management personnel. The owner, The GM, and The Coach. The dream group for this was Jerry Buss, Jerry West , and Phil Jackson. Currently we have Jim Buss, Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak, and Nobody. Based on my math that means Jim has control of 75% of the three key positions right now, and has basically full control over who fills the vacancy.

  69. Aaron

    I am sure you know Linda Rambis works for the Lakers and is Miss Buss’s best friend.

    You along with Sterling may be banned from Staples Center.

    This is sarcasm by the way.

  70. Don’t worry, Aaron has already been banned – and he can’t talk to any of the family, either.

  71. Warren Wee Lim May 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Ko, I appreciate what you said, although it puts myself in serious joke territory to believe it since the post was all about levity and sarcasm.

    Thing with sarcasm is, it doesn’t really fit into the internet. Most posters here do not know really have any personal connection, just a correlation to something. Like you for instance, I consider you “the wine guy who gets high on his own supply” … now if you count that offensive, you’re not really getting it.

    Thing with the other posters is, you never know when they’re joking because like I said, for sarcasm to be effective, you have to have a reference point between serious and joking.

    The sad thing then becomes I no longer know when you are serious.

  72. You are right Warren. Without knowing someone it’s hard to tell. I try too hard to be funny and it can be taken wrong.

    This us a great site and I really enjoy and like the people on here. If my attempts to be funny come off wrong please except it as never personnel as I like all here have one basic bond.

    We are Laker fans for life.

    Thanks

  73. Ko,
    Please keep your posts serious.
    Sarcasm is far too mysterious.

    Regarding Dantoni, some guys have all the luck.
    I applied for that Hatter job and was told I was “too cerebral.”

  74. The next Lakers coach has some big shoes to fill, although not in reference to the last couple guys to hold the job.

    Only three coaches in NBA history have coached two franchises to NBA titles. Two of them coached multiple Lakers championship teams. Another Lakers coach did the trick with the Lakers as well as ABA and ABL teams. All three of the Lakers coaches mentioned also won rings as players. Two of these guys went on to become outstanding General Managers.

    Phil, you’re on …

  75. To bad JC I was going to ask you for free tickets.

  76. Since I was a huge proponent for change I’ll confirm my relief/appreciation for the Lakers deft extrication from the Dantoni Disaster.

    However I’m a bit embarrassed for Magic’s tweet about ‘happy days.’ I’d like to see him comport himself with a bit more maturity considering his notoriety.
    I’m sure Dantoni feels badly enough without folks piling on. I did like Kupchak’s more respectful comments.

    Replacements:
    I hereby cast my vote for
    Fisher
    Ollie
    JVG

  77. Ko, you are funnier than you think. I like your posts.

  78. I find Ollie interesting. He can obviously coach the game, he’s been a long time NBA player, he can develop young guys (which will be required) and has ties to the best scorer in the league and future FA Kevin Durant.

    I find Fish interesting. He gets being a Laker. He has been coached by some of the best in the business. He knows how to maximize talent, can lead, uses his head (just ask Luis Scola) and is a winner. If LBJ is an option, Fish is a guy you can stand up next Spolstra and take seriously in terms of winning. Plus he has ties to Kevin Durant.

    I am interested in Messina.

    I’d fine with a Van Gundy and perhaps there are others I just haven’t thought of.

    Guys I would not even entertain for a second… Rambis, Scott, Thibs, or Hollins. Rambis is not a good coach. Scott is not a particularly talented coach, and Thibs and Hollins push their players too hard.

    Those are my 2 cents while excited about some of the prospective options, scared of a few and sick of hearing about the Clippers and Donald Sterling.

  79. If anything, the post i made earlier was a poor attempt at sarcasm. I should make my posts more clear as well.

    Chris J, i hope you are correct, in that Thibs may want out of Chicago. That’s the only coach i could see turn this team around immediatly :) . I would think that NBA players fully respect the guy and that could only help recruit some new pieces.

  80. Donald Sterling is well along in battling prostate cancer.

    Being completely blunt about this, he will fight the fight against the NBA because it makes too much sense not too. If he dies while the fight is still being fought, his family will get the franchise at its present value and, upon a sale, will pay little to no capital gains tax (25% of the sale price – i.e. he has probably already fully depreciated his original $12M purchase price). From a business perspective this is a no-brainer and anyone talking about him agreeing to a quick sale will need to have their head examined.

    We may not wish cancer on anyone, but them’s the facts folks.

  81. David Blatt from Israel or Fish would be great fits.

  82. JVG – Would be interesting to see how he would work out. This choice would be fine. I think JVG sees what Jackson is doing with the Warriors and now he might be ready to leave the booth.

    SVG – He’s not coming to a rebuild and I think he’s stated that somewhere already – I might be wrong. He would be a good choice but I just don’t see it happening.

    B.Scott – Nope. Nope. And here is some more nope. If you are thinking it will help get Irving from Cleveland that would’t be until 2017 and Scott would be gone before then anyway.

    Rambis – See Byron Scott. I love me some 80s Lakers but Rambis was turrible in Minny and not much better unless he was under PJ’s wing and even then it’s hard to determine his overall effect. Btw, he was brought on this season to fix the defense and that didn’t work out all that great. There was no system that I could discern but there was plenty of energy and effort – except for Gasol.

    Thibs – No and more NO. Doesn’t matter Chicago is not letting him go unless a trade works out like with Doc Rivers. Why would he leave anyway? Chicago is stacked for next year with the current DPOY, Rose returning, and whatever free agent they get after dumping Boozer. Why leave that for this high pressure rebuild that has to have a huge list of things to go right – See Darius’ above.

    Ollie – I like that he’s young but not sure what he did at UCONN is transferable to the Lakers situation. Experience is going to matter, so unless he pulls a Mike Brown powerpoint he’s not getting hired.

    Calipari – Nope. Just ask the Nets. Lakers won’t pay him what he’d want. Regardless, why leaving a stacked Kentucky team to rebuild in this situation? It’s more cred for him to be in the conversation but I don’t think he’d be serious. Why risk his legacy, which will only become greater staying put.

    Messina – No disrespect to Renato but I completly disagree. I would be very happy with Messina. Proven winner. Can handle egos, which yes he has but have you seen the size of PJ’s? I think he’d do just fine, thank you very much. But it’s his coaching skills that are the most impressive of anyone on this list, hands down. He’s a great choice and your wrong to think otherwise.

    D. Fish – Nope. Don’t care what Kidd is doing in Brooklyn. It’s different to be the good cop to Kobe’s bad from coaching Kobe. They would probably be co-coaches or it would seem and that isn’t good for Fisher’s learning curve. Plus, if Fish fails is that how you want to remember him? I don’t. Pass.

    Quinn Synder – Smart, young coach that is well respected by Kobe and is an upcomer. He’s familiar with the team. Has been successful everywhere he’s been. I think he’d do a great job for a rebuild and beyond.

    Fizdale – He seems to come up as the next great assistant ready for a head coaching job. Honestly, I don’t have an opinion on this dude. But the pedigree is there and he should probably be on the Lakers’ list for an interview.

    George Karl – he’s last on this list for a reason. Simply put, if Kobe and this team is not built for MDA’s offensive system, then they are light years away from being able to run Karl’s. Did you see Denver last season? Do you think Kobe is playing at that speed? Yes, he has other offenses that he’s ran in other stops but old Steve Nash is not in his prime Gary Payton and The Rainman is not on this roster.

    That’s it. That’s my list. Agree, disagree but I think Messina, Snyder, JVG is Win, Place, Show. I’d be happy with any of the three.

  83. Who the heck wrote the coach info above?
    Platcke
    Shelbpurne
    Dr. Naismith
    Metta (no scratch that one )

    Brilliant analysis and I agree with almost all.
    I might give me value to Fish with a strong ass’t coach on board

    So mystery poster show yourself or I will have to call my friends at the NSA to purge your IP address!

    Great job!

  84. Ok so maybe I should have left out the last line. Is it too late?

  85. The problem for the Lakers that remains is that Jim Buss hasn’t resigned as he promised to yet.

  86. Robert,

    It is a minor thing, but since you bring it up all the time, the Lakers were 10-9 when Kobe came back, not 9-10.

    As to the coaching search, the fact is that the Lakers gig is in many ways not a good gig right now, and it will get that much tougher if Sterling is forced out and the Clippers are sold to Guggenheim/Magic or Oprah Winfrey/David Geffen. So we will see.

    I personally will be surprised if either Calipari or Messina comes here, and I don’t see its being a Karl or one of the VGs, either.

  87. Rr I agree. I see a first timers like Ollie or Fish. We all know Scott wants the job and the deal with Time Warner was perhaps a prep for this job.

    I bet Lakers will wait until games ate over. Never know if some current guys become available. I can almost guarantee that The Don will still be in place (and in litigation) by start of next year.

    What do people think about a buy-out and signing by Lakers and Doc?

  88. rr: Since I did not even find it fun to be the “6th” best team in the league, this one game would not have made things fun for me. However I appreciate your keeping me straight. That is why you are the GM. So for example if I said, “rr – I am thinking about making myself co-GM with you – what do you think?”. You would say something like “Well Robert – I am not sure that is a good idea. You would have to come to work on time, it would cut seriously into your party and poker time, and you would not be able to make outlandish statements about other teams and players anymore.” I would of course immediately agree.

    Coaching Candidates: If you had not noticed – I am sticking to my basic principle. The incoming coach MUST have a ring. That is why Hollins, Fish, Scott, and Donovan (yes this counts) should be under consideration. We did not have too much luck with the last 2 non-ringed coaches. We have better luck with the likes of Pat and Phil. Do not make me break out the stats again : )

  89. Folks, don’t mean to be a nagging Nancy, and with all due respect, i really think some of you place way way way too much value on the Time Warner deal. If Time Warner had so much control over the future of the Lakers, there would be ample stories to back up your theory – yet I can find none in the net. Plus, TV distribution deals for sports do not work in the way some of you imply. My understanding is that the distributor purchases the rights to air certain games (in this case, all Laker games in the regular season, with the playoffs being carried by other parties). The distributor makes it money by getting people to subscribe to its service or getting other cable providers to pick up their sports channel. They also make cash via commercials during games. The risk to the provider is that if the team sucks, they may not get the number of subscribers or advertisers they expected to get to make the deal financially attractive to them – but that is the risk they assume from the go and is not a risk a team usually accepts. With that in mind, it would not make sense that the Lakers, given their history of rings, number of fans worldwide and having just earned two rings prior to the TW deal, would agree to an unusual scheme where they are penalized if their ratings fall below a certain threshold.

    If the Lakers owned their cable channel and thus controlled distribution like the Yankess and the Knicks (I think) do, then ratings would be important. The reason Mitch, Jim and Jeannie have never mentioned them in any interview as being important is because, well, they are not important to the team – the Lakers get paid regardless of the ratings. That’s why the timing of the Time Warner deal was so important to the Lakers – it ensures they have a rock solid revenue stream and gives the Buss family some wiggle room to weather through a rebuild or restart period (remember that unlike every other owner in the NBA, the Lakers are the primary source of revenue – if not the only – for the Buss family).

  90. darius: it would be wise, given his history, jim buss not involve himself in selecting the next laker coach or any coach while he continues in his capacity as executive vice president in charge of basketball operations for the los angeles lakers. jim buss needs to divest himself of the chores he was once given in being active in the day to day basketball operations. the executive vice president of basketball operations should be involved only in the approval of the next laker coach.

    leave the heavy lifting to mitch kupchak.

    It’s Friday, time to anticipate some heavy lifting later on tonite.

    Go lakers

  91. Robert: So what you are saying is that we should give greater consideration to DJ Mbenga or even Sasha V if they wanted to coach over Ollie, Calipari, heck even Coach K because they won an NBA ring? Well then, how about Magic as head coach?

    Of course I’m saying this in jest, but I just wanted to point out the gaping hole in the logic of your argument. I’m all for arguing the merits of a candidate, but requiring that they have earned a ring seems just silly to me.

  92. MannyP: I did not say the “ring” makes them qualified. Rather what I said was the lack of a ring makes them “not” qualified. Big difference : ) And Coach K would qualify (see the Donovan exception above). A ring (according to my view of the world) is a player ring in the NBA (preferably not where they were 12th man), a “Head” coaching ring, a “head” GM ring, or an NCAA championship ring. Lieutenant coach rings, and GM underling staff rings do not count. So for example, Frank Hamblem is not considered a candidate, and neither is Jim Buss. I clarify the later, cause he could be considering himself for the position in perhaps Co-Coach role.

    david h: You get the prize of the day. Please print you comment and send it to the Laker FO.

  93. Playoffs:

    Best Role Player: Draymond Green
    Best Up and Coming star: Damion Lillard
    Best Series: Portland, Houston
    Western Conference Winner: Portland or Houston
    Eastern Conference Surprise Winner: Washington
    Best Coach Who Actually Coaches During Miked Up Timeouts: Terry Stotts
    Great Truth Revealed Yet Again: Bigs Matter
    Most Visible Decline Of A Star: Chris Paul
    Most Disappointing Star Three-Way Tie: Durant, Harden, Westbrook
    Most Disappointing Team: Indiana

  94. Manny,
    Just wanted to mention that the Yankees do own their own network (the YES network) that distributes their games. The Knicks, on the other hand, are owned by James Dolan who essentially owns Cablevision.

    As for the Lakers, people claim to “know” what is in that contract, but I find that a little hard to believe. No disrespect to those who make such claims.

  95. I’ve been favoring George Karl for a while now. Younger guys may only know the fast paced system he ran with Denver. Older guys should remember he was also successful running a half court set with Seattle. I think he is the guy who could make things work with what is likely to be a roster in flux for the next 2 years. I would also like to see Fisher in some capacity in the L.A. F.O. but I wouldn’t really want to see him as head coach.

    As for the Van Gundy’s, Jeff stresses old fashioned smash mouth ball. He would command respect but I fear he would start another injury plagued season. He was notorious for harder practice sessions then even his mentor Pat Riley in NY wearing his players out.

    Stan’s failing was keeping a superstar ego in check in Orlando’s version of the Dwightmare. Otherwise a very solid coach.

  96. “Phil wanted [Anthony] to know that Kerr and his thinking will simply be an extension of himself,” one of the sources said. “He wanted Carmelo to know he’ll still be able to coach him by extension.” Wall Street Journal
    – See more at: http://hoopshype.com/rumors.htm#sthash.tnYXk5Xz.dpuf

    Apparently stevphile kejacksonrr will be confirmed soon as coach of the knicks lol

  97. Robert> “…the lack of a ring makes them “not” qualified.”

    Would you have hired Popowich before he won a title? Doc Rivers? Carlisle? Spoelstra? Seems a bit limiting. And I think having played for a champion is worth little in the evaluation of a coach. Lots of players win titles, like Carlisle on the bench, but have to work their way up to showing they have something as a coach. Until they actually win, it takes vision to spot the winners. But considering the lack of vision the Laker FO has had recently, maybe they’d be better off to just hire a coach who’s already shown an obvious knack for winning it all. I’m sure the many possible candidates are lining up for the job as we speak. :)

  98. Parrothead Phil May 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

    My problem with SVG is that when he coached Orlando he always seemed to be a screaming panic stricken lunatic when under pressure. As a Laker fan, I’ve been spoiled with the cool, calm demeanors of Riley and Jackson (Pops in SA, too) in the most intense basketball situations. Discount it if you will, but I believe that the coach’s demeanor has a huge effect on the players and their performance under pressure. That is the leadership function of the coach after all the X’s and O’s.

  99. SVG did a good job with Dwight. He just had the misfortune of Dwight getting all of the leverage because of his impending freeagency. Dwight wanted to go to the Nets, that’s where the friction started.

    To date, no one has put a better defensive scheme around Dwight or has seen the benefit of using non guards in a pick in roll with Dwight. (why do i get the feeling that SVG in Houston with a melo/dwight pnr would be super effective)

    That’s a direct result of great coaching, i think. I would trust SVG on that he would maximize whatever Talent he has.

    Thibs (this scenario won’t happen) makes players better then they are defensively by team schemes. Imagine two perimeter players that can create their own shot (kobe, melo) a decent post player (Pau) and a top 8 defense in a slow it down type scenario (playoffs)…

  100. Renato Afonso May 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Anonymous,

    If the Lakers were in need of a coach to put them over the hump and win the title, then I would be on board with Messina. For the current Lakers, I stand by my words. And where do you stand on Blatt?

  101. I can’t speak to Messina, knowing very little about him, but I feel similarly about Karl and the VGs. If Kobe were 31 and Pau were 29, and last year’s team had gone 50-32 and needed to try to get to that next rung, I would be more behind bringing one of those guys in, because I think they are all good coaches. As it is, I am not as behind that type of hire.

    OTOH, Jim Buss has said that he is giving himself ” 3 to 4″ years to get the team into contention (not just improved, but a conference-finals or Finals-level team) or he “will have failed” and would probably step away. If Buss actually believes that, he may then want a guy he thinks can have an immediate impact and who has a track record. So we will see.

  102. Robert: Under your own definition Jim Buss, would qualify as he trumps Mitch as GM because, as you have alluded in the past, he is too hands on and has not up to now left Mitch alone to run the team. Also, Riley, a career bench player, may have never been given his first chance under your analysis – and he won a ring his rookie coaching year. Not sure Phil Jackson would either prior to making it rain in Chicago. Pop, with 0 “rings” prior to joining the Spurs, certainly would have been passed up.

    While I agree that a good attribute to look for in a coach is to have guided his team to a championship in their respective league, however, that argument would never allow guys like Pop, Phil and Riley to have be given that first chance to shine. The same goes for requiring guys to have been starters or key subs and not the “12th man” on a team. If memory serves me right, I cannot think of an NBA starter or “super sub” who has won a ring and then coached a team to a championship in the NBA or elsewhere (Bird may have been the closest to one; I know Rivers was a starter in his prime – but never for a team that won a ring).

    Perhaps – and its only a suggestion – we may need to dig a little further and look at a combination of factors, including basketball knowledge, experience (whether as a player, assistant coach or coach in a competitive league), an eye for strategy and the ability to communicate and connect with players.

  103. Agree with almost everyone here today. Haha

    Reason I see a younger guy coming in is because it fts with the rebuild concept. Someone like Fish could learn on the job while expectations are fairly low for the first year or two. Less pressure than on a contender expecting to win immediately. Then if the team does well he can grow up on the job at the same time expectations rise.
    He’d also be the perfect bridge between Kobe and the rest of the world. As he was when he played here.
    Additionally Fish is developing a relationship w a certain MVP candidate now, which ya never know could come in handy down the road.
    Fish also fits the “ring” criteria nicely.
    And he’s (mostly) a Laker.

    I like Ollie cuz he’s a former player, he’s young, and he’s obviously risen quickly in the college game so he must be clever.

    In both Fish and Ollie cases, I think they’d demand less in salary initially than say SVG or Karl, which helps defray a bit of the costs the team incurred from Dantoni’s buyout and the Mike Brown expense.

    I also like Thibideau cuz he knows how to coach Defense. We’ll never know this for sure, but I’d bet my Mad Hatter’s hat that with the same roster and injuries, Thibs would have finished our season w more wins than Dantoni just did.

    I like JVG cuz he’s funny and smart and he jumped into the fray and let Alonzo Mourning drag him around MSG that day.

  104. rr: Your post made me laugh. Not at you of course – but at Jim. Let me re-phrase and use one of your previous quotes. “I took over this team in 2012. The past 3 years have been an “unmitigated disaster” culminating in the worst year in Laker history. I am now giving myself 4 more years to simply reach the conference Finals. By the way – after 4 more years, we will have not been in the Finals for 8 years which will tie a record for our entire 67 year history. If after 8 years and a negative record tying performance, I have not reached the Western Finals, I will then step back and stop being a Co-GM and at that time I will just be a normal owner. Perhaps then I will start a new timetable, that if the Lakers do not reach the finals for 25 years – I will sell the team. ”

    Gee Jim – why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?

  105. Can someone tell me what came of Messina’s past departure with the Lakers? I don’t recall if he left for another job elsewhere, or if he was let go during the Brown purge or what?

    To rr’s point — the Jim Buss “3 to 4 years” thing is either really inspiring or really scary; I can’t make up my mind if I should be emboldened that he is so confident they can rebuild quickly, or scared because I think that’s overly optimistic on Jim’s part. I suppose time (and the ping pong balls) will tell. But even with a No. 1 pick, God willing, there would still so much more to be done.

    Regardless, the coach the Lakers do choose will be a key piece in shaping the leaguewide perception of the current management team — nail it, and the whispers about “No more Dr. Buss, different place” will lessen. Blow it and the criticism will be as loud as Stephen A. Smith on a megaphone, trying to yell over the din at a Metallica concert.

  106. for Robert:

    to laker front office: It’s Friday, time to anticipate some heavy lifting later on tonite.

    Go lakers

  107. Robert – didn’t we go nine years w/out hitting the finals in the 90s? Only know this because I became a fan of the team right after Magic retired, and it felt like forever before I got to watch them compete for a championship (although, admittedly, getting to the finals even every nine years means you’re still outperforming most of the league).

  108. Barry; Thanks for the response. The Lakers lost in the Finals in 1991 and won the title in 2000. We were absent from 92-99 which was a total of 8 years. It was a very bad period led by Del Harris and the Jerry’s left him in place too long. They made up for it in a big way though. Believe it or not our second longest stint in franchise history is 5 years, which I think we “might” tie next year. We have 31 trips to the Finals and 16 titles in our 67 year history so taking out the last 4 years we “were” making the finals every other year and winning every fourth year. When you take over a team like that you either keep up the pace or move aside and 8 years is not the honeymoon period.

    david h: What else can we do? : )

  109. Stan Van Gundy. Lakers will be a hell of a lot more entertaining no matter who’s on the roster because of the way he works the press, and he’ll know what to do with the players he actually has and not spend his time exiling talent to the end of the bench.

  110. to Robert: we can take up a collection and start by asking every kobe Bryant fan in china to donate at least $1.00 ea. that would mean with you and I and china, we would have 1.5 billion and two dollars to offer the buss family; straight up.

    anyone else??

    Go lakers

  111. Mid-Wilshire May 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    @ Chris J,

    You asked about Messina’s departure from the Lakers. He left Mike Brown’s staff (after 1 year as a consultant) to be the head coach of CSKA Moscow, one of the premier teams in Europe. And he took Quinn Snyder with him. I understand that Messina has recently decided not to return to CSKA Moscow. Reportedly he prefers to return to the NBA in some sort of coaching capacity with one of the major teams. The rumor is that San Antonio is targetting Messina to be the top Assistant Coach under Popovich.

    If Messina does return to an NBA team in some capacity, this will be his second tenure in the NBA in 3 years. Clearly, it seems, this is where he wants to be. But as Renato says, he’s more of a Championship coach than a team re-builder. He might not have the patience to stick it out with the Lakers over the next two years.

    However, he knows Kobe. As far as I know (?), they have a good relationship with one another. And, of course, they both speak Italian. But then again, D’Antoni speaks Italian. And that didn’t help him with Kobe.

  112. Mid Wilshire –
    what you said.
    Messina sounds good too

  113. david h: I have been trying to raise that billion for 3 years : )
    MannyP: Jim named himself co-GM after our last title so – no he does not qualify. And I would not apply this rule always – else as you say nobody would get a chance. This time however we need someone with a championship resume. If you do not go with a championship coach – then the next best thing is a promotion from within the organization (former player or Lt coach). We had the chance to do the later with Shaw, and we then had the chance to get a championship coach. Instead we picked NBA veteran coaches who did not have championships. Which is why I am no high on the VGs or Karl etc. Go with Donovan or a former Laker.
    rfen: The two most successful ones were promoted from within which I like (Pop and Spoelstra). I will admit I probably never would have hired eiether Carlisle or Rivers. However it is the same hard headedness that would have prevented me fom hiring Mike Brown or Mike D’Antoni : )

  114. I wish you guys were right and the coach was going to make a difference. Maybe Ollie could help recruit Durant. But basically all that matters is if we draft well the next couple years so we can attract three max free agents. Once that happens we can pick any coach on the planet.

  115. I normally don’t watch much of the NBA playoffs once the Lakers are done, but this year has been absolutely fantastic! Dallas is giving SA everything they can handle right now. Hopefully Portland can send Houston packing tonight and DH12 can learn how to fish in Texas.

  116. Aaron: “But basically all that matters is if we draft well the next couple years …”

    ————————–

    I like the sound of that much better than the overused “T” word … thanks Aaron, hope the phrase catches on.

  117. Lovin thomas robinsons energy…. could be a great guy to go after

  118. Howard is dominating the 4th here…big misses at the line though.

  119. Damian Lillard….cool.

  120. Wow Lillard. Just wow.

  121. WOW!!!!! Damian Lillard !!!!!!

  122. Go Portland! That Lillard guy is pretty dang good! Howard had a great game, but yeah those misses at the line really hurt them. Refs missed that out of bounds call too.

  123. What a great game in Portland. I hope the Blazers can send Dwight fishing after Game 6.

  124. Howard out in round one AND the resignation of MDA? Good week.

  125. Wow!! What a finish to a phenomenal series.

  126. Great week is right.

    Dwight try Dancing with the Stiffs!

  127. Feels like my team just won the championship. What a game. When is Lillard gonna be a free agent.

  128. Good thing howard turned down all that extra money w the lakers so he could win a championship. If he thinks things will get better next year, rockets owe asik and lin 15 mill a piece. They ain’t adding anyone unless they can convince someone to one or both of those contracts

  129. Houston needs a coach who can get the PnR game going and likes a fast pace.

    Mike D’Antoni is available.

    KenOak,

    Yes. The 4th showed why you really want Howard…and the downside to counting on him late. The playoffs have a way of doing that sometimes.

    Letting Lillard get that good a look there…really might end McHale’s time in Houston.

  130. so he could win a championship.

    Houston is a lot closer than the Lakers are.

  131. Howard should have signed with a team in the Eastern conference for a better chance at the title. The west is crazy tough to go through and it’s been like this for a while. That’s why I value championships won by any west team much more than any team from the east

  132. Does ANYONE give MEM a shot to beat OKC without Z-Bo? Ouch.

  133. It’ll be interesting to see who receives the brunt of the blame from the Media Mouths, and fans alike, for the Rockets downfall. Dwight or Harden?

  134. This has to be the one of greatest weeks for an LA fan.

    And thank you Dwight Coward for losing again. You just made my day!!!! Wootwoot!!!

  135. Memphis: Mike Conley has a bad hamstring injury, and Nick Calathes was suspended for violating the drug policy…so they are going to be counting on Beno Udrih.

  136. @rr lol at mda comment. The prob is, is that howard should be destroying w lin in a pnr game but he doesn’t want to play that way anymore.

    I never thought that high of rockets – thought harden was overrated/a bit one dimensional and Portland is a great team but Houston isn’t dominant at all despite having two of the best defensive bigs in the game.

  137. Houston’s good; Portland’s good. Howard is excellent but certainly has his faults. Lillard is cold-blooded and has a great stroke, but if he had missed, the story line would be Howard leading Houston’s comeback.

    The West postseason is the way it is because there are 8 good teams and no great ones. I don’t mean that in a negative way; the playoffs have been really fun. But all of these teams have flaws. Harden’s crappy D is a bigger issue for Houston than anything Howard does poorly IMO.

  138. jerke is right,
    Houston is hamstrung next year…and closer to being a contender may not be any different than the Lakers next year. What with the salary cap requirements and all.

    I wanted to see two days with 3 7th games each, but I wanted to see Howard out more.

  139. “But all of these teams have flaws. Harden’s crappy D is a bigger issue for Houston than anything Howard does poorly IMO.”

    This. You add Lin’s sometimes poor defense and Parson’s, as well…. Although Parson’s is known as a competent defender isn’t he? Houston may indeed have cap issues next year unless they can find takers for either of Lin’s or Asik’s contracts. Most believe that they will make a play for Melo next year -> which will be hilarious to see Melo and Harden on the floor at the same time fighting for touches and playing terribad defense.

  140. LA & Lillard at their postgame pressor…Lillard said he doesn’t know if he’s ever seen a buzzer beater like he made. HELLO?! Take your pick of Lakers, little boy…Kobe, Fish, etc. Were you not born yet?! Respect your elders and know your game’s history!

  141. I realize it was to win a series & not just a game, but still…Stockton did that, too.

  142. Even if Houston has to come back with most of the same guys, they went 54-28 this year and their entire core is made up of guys in their 20s. That is why Howard wanted to be there. Also, they are the type of team that might benefit from a roster move for a ring-chaser at the margins and from a coaching change.

    I get that Lakers fans want Howard to lose, and tonight he did, in very dramatic fashion. But that doesn’t really change the big picture for Howard–or for the Lakers.

  143. Robert,

    Re Buss and his timetable: My view on the Buss discussion is somewhat different now. IMO there are two reasons to cut him slack. One is of course the Veto. The other is the fact that going into 2013/14, the Lakers were still carrying Pau and Kobe’s old extensions, which by themselves took up about 80% of the cap. The other stuff–Phil, Jerry calling the shots even in poor health, injuries, fanbase, Howard’s personality, the CBA–never convincing to me as defenses of Jim.

    But in any case, that time is over, and MDA’s departure just draws a line under that. Some facts:

    1. Every dollar the Lakers spend on players from now on will have been committed under the new CBA or after Jerry Buss’ passing, or both. They will still be carrying Nash’s deal for one more year, and that is a pretty big problem–but that is the last remnant from the post-Phil, post-Veto scrambling.
    2. There will be a new coach, again–but this time he will be a guy who was hired after Dr. Buss’ passing and after Phil went to New York…
    3. …Phil is in New York.
    4. Jeanie has said that basketball is Jim and Mitch’s show.
    5. Jim has given himself this timeline–which may or may not be serious, of course.

    So…basically, I think it is time to sit back and watch. If Buss actually somehow has the team back in contention in three years, no explanations will be needed. OTOH, if the team is as bad in three years as it is now, no explanations will be accepted.

    Where I think things could get tense, in the sense that there will be more testy arguments about Buss, is if they are in the middle. If the Lakers are at 45-37 in three years, will Jim still think that he has “failed?” He specifically said, “Finals or conference finals.” But if the team is OK/pretty good, it is hard for me to see him stepping down. He will want to “finish the job” etc.

    But, in the present, he has now made/approved two big decisions since his father’s passing:

    1. Kobe’s deal.
    2. Deciding to pay MDA 2M to walk rather than either extending him or daring him to walk for nothing.

    I disagreed with #1. I agreed with #2.

    Next up: coaching hire and the draft pick.

  144. Lilliard–WOW.
    One of the best series I’ve seen.

    Gotta admit Dwight played well tonight and in the series. Harden wasn’t very effective down the stretch, but neither was Aldridge for Portland.
    …Houston still has tons of upside in Parsons and T. Jones too. They’re gonna keep improving.

    I saw no problem w McHale’s coaching tonight.
    Even if he did clothesline Kurt, and looks like Herman Munster.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=herman+munster&client=safari&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=tKNkU6nbEs3voATE_IC4BA&ved=0CEEQ7Ak&biw=320&bih=444

  145. I dont think Houston will win anything unless Harden finds within himself to give a crap about defense. That was a terribly coached defensive last possesion are u kidding me?and it was the result of Harden non defense, if he had a lick of defense on his body he should had been the one guarding Lillard putting a slower Parson on him cost them the game let me correct myself it wasnt as much as a terrible drawn play as it was a no choice play in view of Harden ineptitud on defense.. Howard is gonee yeahh!!! One team down 1 to go.

  146. Life’s biggest irony: the best coaching option for the Tockets may actually be the guy that DHoward did not want to play for while a Laker.

  147. McHale benched his stretch PF after game 2 and went with a twin tower frontcourt of Dwight and Asik. It was his best adjustment of the series, and it played a big role in slowing down Aldridge. The offensive minded coach sacrificed offense for defense when the stakes were highest.

    Can you imagine D’Antoni making such a bold adjustment…or any adjustment for that matter. I didn’t see a single adjustment against the Spurs in last year’s playoffs. I’m not a big fan of McHale, but unlike MDA, he makes adjustments and his players respect him. MDA coaching the Rockets would likely be a disaster.

    The perfect coach for this Rockets team would be Phil. Two elite defensive big men….a shooting guard who needs to adjust his shot selection….outside shooters everywhere……an elite defensive PG? Phil would be drooling over this team.

  148. I saw no problem w McHale’s coaching tonight.
    Even if he did clothesline Kurt, and looks like Herman Munster.
    ___
    hahahahahahahaha
    ___
    bye bye dh

  149. @kevin…. which is why lebrons legacy should get an asterik …. the heat get a straight line to the finals every year

  150. @rr actually I see nashes contract as a positive this year. 9 mill expiring might look tempting to someone out there looking to rebuild or move some guys (Indiana perhaps?) after a disappointing year or mid season collapse. Nashs deal would be more detrimental if they needed to depend on his production to challenge for a title etc… but if he stays too injured to play much I can see mitch flipping him for a younger piece or too w nash taking a medical retirement post trade or just sitting out the remainder of the season on the injured list rehabbing etc… in vancouver. and not that nash would demand a trade to chase a ring – but if he gets back to 12 n 8 a game, and is healthy it won’t be surprising if he gets moved to a serious contender w only 2-3 months left on his deal. That’s the one thing this year, it’s not necessarily about competing to win everything so the lakers dont have to sit around and wait out the season/playoffs to see what kind of team they have. If mitch sees a move that could make the team better now w/o jeopardizing too much cap space he can do that immediately.

  151. Dear PurpleBlood

    I am an attorney representing Mr. Herman Munster. This is a cease and desist order to demand that you stop disparaging the looks and character of my client by comparing him to a Mr. Mchale. This is you final warning!

    Signed

    Al Lewis
    Aka Grandpa

  152. @rr actually I see nashes contract as a positive this year

    If you are assuming that

    a) The Lakers will be really bad again.
    b) Nash will be able to stay healthy enough to actually play and contribute, and will want to go to a contender for a four-month ring-chasing mission (And considering that Nash bought a 4.8M house in Manhattan Beach this week, he may not. I don’t know if Nash a NTC, but even if he doesn’t, this could be an issue).

    Then it might turn out that way.

    As of now, however, he is IMO nothing more than dead weight on the cap. The 2015 Lakers have already committed about 55% of their cap space to two guards who

    a) Will be a combined 76 years old when play starts.
    b) Appeared in 21 games between them last year.

    I backed the Nash deal, but the issues I had with it were the third year and the 2015 draft pick. We will see how heavy the price turns out to be on those parts of the deal.

  153. Dear Grandpa,

    I represent Mr. Purpleblood. He wholeheartedly and unwaveringly re-asserts Mr. Munster’s resemblance to Mr. McHale is nothing less than spine-chilling, and welcomes any jury of their ghoulish peers to deny it.

    See you in court.

    Respectfully,
    Gomez Addams

  154. Hilarious Ko. Just hilarious.

  155. Should the Lakers pick 6-9, assuming none of the top five drop (Wiggins, Embid, Parker, Randle, Exum), I hope they to take a hard look at Dario Saric. 20 years old, mvp of the Adriatic league, voted best young player in Europe by FIBA. 6’10’, 220 lbs., 6’10 wingspan. Very comparable measurables to Chandler Parsons. But greater offensive skills and appears to be a bit more athletic. A long three or a stretch four. Significant upside as he’s dominating a very good professional league at 20. Apparently he had a 2013 draft promise from the Mavericks at the 13th spot–but didn’t declare for the draft last year. Check out his most recent scouting video at Draft Express.

    Renato? Thoughts?

  156. Before someone jumps in to enlighten me, I just read that Saric might not come to the NBA this season if drafted… so I am throwing a bucket of cold water on my previous post. Sheesh.

  157. Shaun,
    The Heat have a straight line to the finals every year because of LeBron. He is playing with basically the Miami Cavaliers

  158. If Nash hadn’t had such rotten luck the last two years, this third season of his contract might have been worth it.
    We might have been marveling at his longevity.
    Sadly now, yes a huge chunk of the cap is committed to our aging legends.

    The upcoming season it’s all about:

    Snagging a nice draft pick & developing him
    Adding one FA (not counting Pau)
    Retaining Pau (& maybe Hill)
    Kobe’s recovery (!)
    Nash’s last stand
    And finding the right coach.

  159. Fantastic JC & Ko! thanks for the laughs! (& to think Ko once posted that his own spouse doesn´t think he´s that funny!)
    ___
    The 2015 Lakers have already committed about 55% of their cap space to two guards who

    a) Will be a combined 76 years old when play starts.
    b) Appeared in 21 games between them last year.
    ___
    reality bites (in the bum)

  160. It is interesting to note that a 4.8M house in Manhattan Beach is not a bad investment in the current real estate environment in the South Bay. A year from now you will probably be able to turn that house for a profit, if you so choose. Meanwhile you get a nice place to hang your hat and the ability to easily travel back and forth to Phoenix to visit/pick up your children. i.e. I don’t view the purchase of an expensive house in an exclusive area of L.A. to be any kind of a roadblock to any decision going forward.

    I would love to see Steve play well next year, help set the standard with Kobe – and hopefully Gasol – for how to operate as a team of Lakers, and go out with his head held high. I think it does good things for the Lakers ability to attract free-agents going forward, i.e. we are not a cheap franchise and we take care of our own. Yes, Steve Nash is a Laker now.

  161. Will this ever stop?

  162. I don’t view the purchase of an expensive house in an exclusive area of L.A. to be any kind of a roadblock to any decision going forward.

    You missed the point; the house itself is not really the issue. The question will be whether Nash, who said last year that he went to a lot of trouble to set up in LA/accepted the deal here in part for family reasons, and who, additionally, has now made a massive investment in a house here, would want to spend 4 months living in Indianapolis or Memphis, say, to play for a contender–assuming that he actually plays well enough and often enough to be useful in trade. It is certainly possible that he might; he is a competitor. I don’t know, as I said, if Nash has a NTC, but even if he doesn’t, it might be tricky.

    A scenario could emerge such that the Lakers could, as jerke suggests, try to move Nash’s contract, without actually moving Nash himself, but that would also have some complications.

    To be clear, I absolutely do not blame Nash for taking the money, and I already said that I think, barring something weird happening in the off-season, the FO should let his deal expire rather than using the stretch on him. But at the moment, strictly in terms of trying to rebuild the basketball team, Nash is dead weight.

  163. They are a lot better than the cavaliers… wade, evem hobbled is still better than amy teammate he had at cleveland+bosh+haslem+ray allen+chalmers+battier+ amderson even norris cole… they are good but I wonder if they would even make it out of the west

  164. Nashs house has a lot more to do with him trying to get into the movie business or hook up with all the hotties in LA now that he is divorced… ita a good place for the next phase of his life

  165. Great series i wanted the Clips to lose but in all honesty that group needed that win.What i find stupid beyond belief is that Mark Jackson is in the hot seat, i cant think of any other coach that had improved a team so dramatically in such a short time. His players love him and leave it all there and in my opinion the reason they lost this series is because they didnt had their starting center Andrew Bogut on this series and they still push this Clipper team to the absolute limit. Mark Jackson turned that sorry franchise around and it pisses me off that that FO have the gall to put him on notice because they are impatient, on what grounds they can be impatient? This is the same level of arrogance of Jerry Krause when he blurted out that stupid quote “players dont win championships organizations win championships” supposedly he had some friction wiith the FO, so what? He is bringing unprecedented sucess and tecognition to that franchise, and the thing is that the Dubs future looks bright. I just dont get the impatience of a FO that havent achieve anything, i would understand if this was the Lakers or the Celts but the Dubs? C’mon they should kiss his a… Err i meant shoes.

  166. Fern
    Must be stuff we don’t know about. Two coaches fired and supposed fight with West shows issues. Word from GS is big problem between owner and Jackson .

    Owner always wins there.

  167. Renato Afonso May 4, 2014 at 1:56 am

    bryan s.,

    The top european players usually wait a couple of years before coming to the NBA and, therefore, avoiding to be stuck with a rookie deal that it would pay them less than what they get in Europe. Plus, they actually will get a chance to log more minutes in Europe and continue their development (see Bogdanovic). On Saric, I think he needs to bulk up so that he can play the four in the NBA. He’s too slow to play the three in my opinion…

  168. Darius make a new post this one takes too long to scroll down

  169. Ko, definetly it is but i dont think he deserves the ax, if he gets fired the Lakers should considering as well.

  170. Altercation between players after game last night.

  171. Yeah Nashe’s contract isn’t exactly a plus this season, but then again mitch is more concerned w next year anyways. That lost pick considering everything broke worst case scenario for lakers this past year hurts more in retrospect.

  172. That lost pick considering everything broke worst case scenario for lakers this past year hurts more in retrospect.

    Indeed. If the Lakers end up with, say, the 7th pick next year, have to give it PHX, and PHX gets a nice player out of it, that could really hurt the Lakers. So, if the Lakers are bad again next year, I expect that the tank/don’t tank conversations will at times be quite contentious.

  173. I don’t think tanking is a realistic option at all. We’d have to be REALLY bad to have a guaranteed top 5 pick and I don’t see that happening unless Kobe misses almost the entire season again. Tanking to get to the 5th worst record and then ending up with the 6th pick in the lottery would make us a complete laughingstock.

  174. Great game in TO. God I hate garnett.

  175. Renato: Appreciate your thoughts on Saric.

  176. Bummer

    OldCelts trying to blow Nets game.
    Bummer

    Please ignore my above wish.

    Too bad.

  177. Damn it.

    North of the border here, word is that Lowry most likely will come back to the raps. Likes the team and after today will prob feel like he has some unfinished business. Don’t think you’ll be seeing him in forum blue next year. Dwayne Casey will obviously return as coach after the job he did this season. Great game – Woulda been nice to have a team to cheer for still lol.

  178. Lowry may well return to Toronto, but I doubt that he is looking at all his options that carefully on the day of an extremely emotional one-point Game 7 loss.

    As to 2015, the Lakers may be bad enough that they are in line for a top 5 pick even if the FO tries to make short-term moves to get the team back to .500, so they may be facing the same kinds of questions about trying to go 31-51 or looking more at 23-59 next year–only next year, it will be about increasing odds for either having a Top 5 pick or losing the pick to another team in the conference.

    And, of course, if the Lakers wind up drafting 6-9 in 2014 and a couple of guys in the Top 4 turn out to be impact guys, I don’t think that many Lakers fans will be saying, “Yeah, but Nick Young’s 41-point game at Utah last April 14 was awesome, and so was Kaman’s 31/17 against Phoenix!” –and that will add fire to the discussion.

  179. Renato Afonso May 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    These Pop-Carlisle matchups are awesome… The adjustments, the response to the adjustments, the way to guard the opposing star player. Just great. You know, everything I missed in this year’s Lakers.

  180. I’m getting the sense people here aren’t being realistic when it comes to Kobe’s likley production next year. He was bad this year in limited minutes. Like below avg back up SG bad. I wouldn’t expect much better next year coming off yet another career altering injury ( although of course not as bad). At best I see Kobe giving us a PER around 17. But most likley it will be in the 14-16 range. And the defense will be even worse of course than his offensive production. The Lakers will a bottom five team next year (what they probably want) unless they for some reason sign a significant free agent on a one or two year deal. But that seems very unlikely when you look at what’s best for the team.

  181. And, of course, if the Lakers wind up drafting 6-9 in 2014 and a couple of guys in the Top 4 turn out to be impact guys, I don’t think that many Lakers fans will be saying, “Yeah, but Nick Young’s 41-point game at Utah last April 14 was awesome, and so was Kaman’s 31/17 against Phoenix!” –and that will add fire to the discussion.

    A-friggin’-men to that. By the time it was clear the injuries were just too much, in my opinion the more Ls they rang up, the better.

  182. Chris

    Both Nick and Chris were doing what anyone would do. Increase their value. Both no doubt are gone next year. How can we blame them.

    “Hey Nick can you please miss some shots and play bad ”

    Gee I have shoes to buy. Cars to buy. Big houses to buy. Sorry man I am Swaggy and I gotta stay that way”

    Hard to argue.

  183. Ko,

    I talked at length about those games when they actually happened, and neither I nor anyone else here blamed Young and Kaman for playing great in those particular games.

  184. Aaron: You are beginning to depress me with regard to the Lakers, and that is hard to do, as I am already at very low levels. Your final sentence: “But that seems very unlikely when you look at what’s best for the team.” You are making a leap that the Lakers FO is going to be in sync with what we consider to be in our best long term interests.

    rr: You state that the tanking discussions could get contentious. Agreed. The time for that discussion is now, not once the games begin. Tanking (as you know) is done through roster management, not via “throwing” games. So as Aaron is suggesting, should we do nothing in FA and seek to finish in the bottom 5? Or are we going to make the team quasi competitive by signing a FA or two?

    Tanking in 15: Brought it up months ago and was shot down on many fronts. Now it is becoming apparent that it might be the best way. The multi-year Tank.

    SA: Please root against them. It will be them or Miami. A rematch is inevitable.

  185. Tanking in 15: Brought it up months ago and was shot down on many fronts.

    First, there are different kinds of “tanking.”

    Second, you are trying to catch a horse that has left the barn, and IMO you are not exactly clear on what I am saying. Signing Kobe to the deal they did basically guaranteed that they are not going to go that route; that is not really doable. If you are arguing that they should be pulling a 76ers in 2015, then Kobe needed to be offered 1/15 and told to test the market when he turned it down. That moment has passed. So, saying that they “should tank” NOW doesn’t really make sense IMO.

    But, as Aaron suggests, and as I and other have noted, the team may very well be bad enough to be in running for the Top 5 picks next year anyway, and in that event, that will be when the discussion will happen again, and when the team will need to look at roster management, etc. This past year, they held on to Pau, Hill, and Kaman, and I think doing so probably netted 3 or so extra wins. What effect that will have on the draft remains to be seen, but anticipating that type of scenario is different than an all-out 76ers TANK! scenario.

    My guess is that they will make a big play for Kyle Lowry. Ever since Phil left, the FO has been trying and trying and trying to get a dynamic PG. They have done this with a third-tier player (Sessions), a superstar (Paul) and a HOFer in the twilight of his career (Nash). Lowry is in his prime, and is seen as being a very high-level PG now. So my guess is that he is the first piece of this big “plan” Mitch has alluded to and the “vision” that Jeanie mentioned. I think they will try to parlay Lowry and the pick into a team that has enough potential that they can use it to recruit in the 2015 FA market.

    If they miss on Lowry, then I am not sure what they will do. If the pick is 6-9, they may try to move it. The problem, again, is that they have already committed a huge chunk of the 2015 cap to Kobe. So, if they miss on Lowry, I think we will see the same kind of roster next year that we saw this year, but a little younger. No Pau, no Kaman.

    If they get Lowry, then they may be more aggressive in trying to add one more guy in the mid-level price range and may look to have a more veteran bench.

  186. 2017 Thon Maker

  187. Ko,

    I don’t fault Young or Kaman for playing hard. No one, for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I would not have liked to see a few more losses, if that would have made in difference in landing a better pick.