Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Nick Young

Phillip Barnett —  May 6, 2014

General Thoughts On The Season

Nick Young was brought in this summer during the whirlwind of reclamation signings made by the Lakers this past summer as they tried to put a competitive roster together. The signing was on the heels of Kobe’s Achilles exploding, the team being swept out of the first round and Dwight Howard jumping ship for Texas. After a summer in which the Lakers felt they put a roster together that would compete for a championship, they were scrambling to put one together that might compete for a playoff spot, and Swagnificant P was one of the main signings that highlighted the summer.

Oy vey ist mir.

Many wondered how Young would fit in with this Lakers team, and considering the contract that Young was offered this year, Young contributed much more than what his contract was worth. Young averaged 22.8 per 36 this year, completely bought into his sixth man role and ostensibly gave Lakers fans a guy they could collectively root for. If nothing else, the Nick Young experience was awfully fun this season. Plenty of off the cuff post game quotes, the bad shots were often hilarious (see above) and the made shots flit down the hard wood, hunched over, with three fingers almost scraping the floor. In a year when the Lakers set a franchise low in wins, you have to take your wins when you can, and Young was definitely a win this year.

Strengths And Weaknesses

nick young

With no real timetable for the return of Kobe Bryant, Young was largely brought in as a guy who could create his own shot — for better or for worse — when the offense got into a bit of trouble while Bean rehabbed. Young’s role was slated to change once Bryant got back, however this original plan really never got going as planned. Young began the season struggling in a starting role and was moved to the bench just a few games into the season, and there was an immediate jump in the quality of play. Young was afforded a little more freedom and was opposed by lesser defenders on the opposing teams’ reserves. While the starting lineup was in constant flux, Young continued to come off the bench and close out games on the nights he had it going.

Along with many of the point guards, Mike D’Antoni turned what may have been considered a weakness into a discernible strength. Young had, and still has, a stigma that is of a guy who is going to take a lot of bad shots outside of the rhythm of the offense. While there was still a lot of wild, ridiculous shots taken by Young, his shot selection was much improved from previous years. Young recorded career highs in TS%, eFG%, USG%, offensive efficiency and PER. Young cut down on the percentage of mid-range jumpers he jacked up this year (.354 of total attempts from 10-23 feet this season compared to .455 for his career). On the flip side, Young shot .555 of his shots either right at the rim or behind the 3-point line.

While it doesn’t really mean much on a team as terrible on the defensive end as it was this year, that side of the ball wasn’t exactly his strong suit. There were stretches when Young came up with some key defensive stops, but Young struggled defending in isolation and didn’t always have the greatest rotations (who did). Early in the year, with the team (relatively) healthy, the Lakers were able to extend their defense to 3-quarters court, and Young was able to excel in those situations. Young helped force turnovers and get the team in transition. However, Young really struggled defensively in transition and in the half court.

Most Memorable Moment

Tough to find a starting point here. Tough to find an ending point, too. Young was only here for a year and the amount of comedy, joy, fun and excitement he brought can’t be bottled up into a single moment. Young’s 360 missed layup is as memorable as the celebration of the missed 3-pointer. Both of his 40-point games were as memorable as the previous moments (one in a loss, the other in a win that they needed to lose). I think my favorite moment may have been his celebration with Pau Gasol after Pau drilled a corner three late in the 4th quarter in a win over the Timberwolves. In the last two seasons, we haven’t seen too much joy come from The Spaniard, but Young brought out nothing but pure happiness from a guy who hasn’t seen a lot of it.


Overall Grade And Summary

B+ (Graded on a curve for terrible season)

Nick Young ended up doing a whole lot more than what he was initially asked to do this season. He was brought in to become a secondary scorer off the bench once the team got healthy. The team never gained full health and Young was the team’s primary perimeter option on most nights, the team’s sixth man, the spark, and overall feel good story (he was not the only feel good story). What was surprising was that he was much more willing to make the extra pass than what was believed going into the season. Not sure if that’s coaching or Young’s reputation being worse than he actually was, but it was a positive that wasn’t expected this year.

An interesting tidbit about Young’s season with the Lakers: he passed up Kobe on the all-time list of 4-point plays. Young now has 10 for his career to Kobe’s nine. Under normal circumstances, Young’s grade probably would have been a little lower, but he exceeded many expectations in many ways and it was a positive individual year for Young. Because of his player option, it’s likely that he won’t return next year, and he’s definitely earned whatever contract is thrown his way this summer.

Phillip Barnett


to Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Nick Young

  1. Very sad news out of the Bay Area. Now there’s a realistic possibility Mark Jackson returns to the broadcasting booth, which would be a travesty.

    Emotionally, I loved Nick Young’s season. I’m among those that believes there’s something to be said for players that still take pride in the purple and gold jersey. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems that Young’s temperament/personality yields a positive effect on a locker room.

    On an elite team, I’m not convinced Young has a place. That said, the more I watch guys like Jamal Crawford and Marcus Thornton, there’s a lot to be said for a scoring punch off the bench. I don’t think Young’s quite that guy, but I enjoyed his play and gamesmanship, and as I don’t think we’ll be in the elite ranks anytime soon, I wouldn’t mind bringing him back on a reasonable 2-year deal.


  2. I would also love to see Swaggy back at a good price. He loves being a Laker, loves the purple (forum blue) and gold, and connects with teammates.

    Definitely a bright spot in a season I don’t want to think about.


  3. Swaggy P provided some fun moments & SWAG in an otherwise dismal season. In my book he exceeded expectations and deserves another shot (pun intended). If we can sign him at a reasonable price I would love to have him back in the purple & gold.


  4. At best, this kid is your 6th man. If he’s starting for your team and is the 3rd or better scoring option…you have a bum team.


  5. …there’s something to be said for players that still take pride in the purple and gold jersey.
    Definitely a bright spot in a season I don’t want to think about.
    `bout sums it up for me as well. Bring Swaggy back!


  6. Young has a player option for essentially the league minimum salary. Unless we are willing to pay much more over a 3 or 4 year period then he’ll be gone. I might overpay for 2 years but no longer than that. He’s 29 and by the time we are able to compete he will likely be on the downside.


  7. The only other guy who was this proud to be a Laker, besides Swag, was Farmar.
    So in my book these two guys deserve to be brought back.


  8. Leo, I agree. This is where Mitch has shot himself in the foot before – overpaying for marginal talent (eg Walton, Metta, Blake, Vujacic, etc). At the time of those deals an argument could be made that we were in championship mode. We are clearly not now.


  9. I think the front office understands we can’t sign support players – like Nick Young – to long term contracts, because we have to reserve them for starters that are able to help control a game. I don’t think anyone on the Lakers fits that category – some because of their skills and others because of their age.

    I heard an interesting comment about Mark Jackson from Colin Cowherd this morning. He is one of the coaches who is able to manage egos well. Going forward that will be a requirement for any Laker coach – particularly if we are able to sign any ‘front line’ free agents. That was perhaps Phil’s greatest strength and its presence would mean that Mark Jackson just went up in my eyes as desirable for the Laker coaching position.


  10. JC – I was so excited that Farmar was coming back. I had always thought that playing in PJs offense was simply a bad fit for him in his original stint with the Lakers. I was hoping that he would be Steve Nash light and excel under MDA. However, I have big concerns about his ability to stay healthy. Like my comment on Young – I would not commit too many dollars/years to him. At this point you can only rely on him to be a spot starter or a backup.


  11. After the rushed and irresponsible hires of Mike Brown and MDA, it’s no surprise that the front office is taking a patient approach this time around by considering all candidates.

    Meanwhile, the Warriors are reportedly interested in two candidates, Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy (two coaches who I think should be on top of the Lakers wish list, along with Thibs).

    I just hope that the front office is not being overly patient to prove a point, while someone like Stan Van Gundy gets snatched up by the Warriors.


  12. Young, Hill, Farmar, Henry, Johnson and Marshall would be an incredible bench for a championship contending team. When you have to rely on them as your front line players its not a good sign.


  13. I’m not a fan of Nick Young at all. However, he did have one of his best (if not his best) seasons this past year. He did give better effort of the defensive side of the ball and attacked the rim more. I simply wouldn’t keep him around if I was the gm. He’s going on 29 and has very limited upside. I think he has a very low basketball IQ. He doesn’t see the court very well on either end. He doesn’t have great instincts unless it’s when he’s creating a shot for himself, and sometimes he lacks good decision making in that area as well. I’d rather keep Meeks/Henry as SG/SF for the bench over Young. I think Henry (23) and Meeks (26) exhibited better work ethic. They try harder on the court, and both have a considerably better basketball IQ than Young with upside.


  14. So Andrew was dumped by Pacers today. Why has no one brought up that the decline of Hibbert seems to be around the time of AB signing?

    Make more sense if they lived on Colorado!


  15. Mark Jackson seems like he commands the respect of his players and his team did well against the Clippers even though they were missing Bogut but his offense seemed a little iso heavy and unimaginative during the year considering the weapons available to him. IMO the talent on that team would make a top offense regardless of the coach but I’d like to see MDA coach the Warriors; elite PG, shooters, athleticism, defensive anchor and perimeter stopper.


  16. Nerd Nation – my feelings exactly!

    MDA might be able to do something with the Warriors. The talent there seems to fit his style.


  17. LakerFanatic May 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Sorry but thanks for the memories…time to go….He did some nice things but you are talking about a 6-7 guy who needs to “play with the ball” to get past his man, is inefficient, dribbles just to do a fancy stepback move when it isn’t necessary, and cannot really drive consistently to the basket…he reminds me a poor man’s kobe in his rookie year with limited athleticism…not a player that will be there on a championship roster at this point the way he is playing now.


  18. Fantic

    Roght on point. If Nick is back next year the FO is expecting another losing season. Live the guy for entertainment value but not for on- court team play.

    Guy will want $5 plus. Better choices out there I feel.


  19. Chris Bosh?


  20. Who the Lakers keep will be largely dependent on who they can get in the open market. Who will be available? How much will those players command? Will the Lakers be willing to pay it? Will those players want to come to the Lakers anyway?

    Its one thing to let guys like Young, Farmar, Hill and others walk. Its another thing to replace them with better players. We can’t be 100% sure the Lakers can pull a swingman better than Nick Young this summer. Hopefully they can. But it depends on a lot of factors. The general trend is smaller talent following bigger talent. But if the Lakers can snag one really good free agent a few more dominoes will fall in their favor.


  21. Miami vs Spurs: It is ineviable – Choose your side. Mine its well known.
    Bufurd: Executive of the Year: I guess he nosed out Jim
    4 more years; 4 more years; 4 more years


  22. No Robert.

    He beat Jim by a hat.


  23. Ko check out this article re Bynum/Hibbert:


    Leo – Me too, I was always a huge Farmar guy.
    In addition to his injuries, I noticed this year he’s prone to making some crazy turnovers…
    so I fear his upside may be a bit less than we hoped.


  24. Renato Afonso May 8, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Well, at least Nick Young cares about the team and plays to win. One may question his basketball IQ but he surely doesn’t lack passion. And while I’m all for judging player efficiency, sometimes you need a guy to come off the bench that can create his own shot.

    So, like it was said above, unless we can get a better swingman in free agency, maybe keeping Young is the thing to do unless said signing forces Henry out. I would keep Henry over Meeks and Young, if there’s no difference in paycheck.


  25. My favorite Nick Young moment it was actually a quarter. That third quarter against the Heat on christmas when he absolutely torched Lebron. Didnt know if we are going to beable to keep him but if we dont i be forever grateful that he was one of the few hightlights in this miserable season.


  26. Thinking about guys like Nick Young makes me long for the role players of old, the real deal…and wax nostalgic about some awesome and crazy times. This is really long, but worth the read:



  27. The Grantland Article, if you have an hour of free time on your hands, is an excellent read as Jane mentioned. And for all the conspiracy talk regarding game six of that series, I think J.A. Adande, within the article, sums it up the best when he states – “The Kings weren’t quite ready. They lost Game 1 at home. They lost Game 7 at home. Those are two things that shouldn’t happen.”


  28. Absolutely a great read. And it reminded me of that horrible finish to game 5.

    Might be time to break out the 2002 DVDs.


  29. darius: as kevin ding puts it; there is credence to the possibility that Byron Scott, and not everyone else mentioned in a minute by minute, or as the media wind blows, will be lakers next head coach:

    “It’s a safe assumption that Jerry Buss would have made Scott the Lakers head coach instead of Brown upon Phil Jackson’s 2011 departure if Scott, eager to get back to work a year earlier, hadn’t accepted the daunting task of coaching Brown’s old Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James about to bolt.

    In Cleveland, Scott connected so well with young Kyrie Irving that Irving said upon Scott’s firing: “I’m trying to get over the loss of my basketball father.” In New Orleans, it had been similar with young Chris Paul, who upon Scott’s firing there said: “Coach was more than a coach to me. He was my mentor. He made me the player I am today.”

    “Scott’s ability to project confidence and communicate clearly would be big after D’Antoni failed in those areas. It’s common that the strengths of replacement coaches fall where their predecessors were lacking, and if he fits into any particular category as a coach, Scott actually views himself to be a rebuilding specialist.”

    “Back in November 2009, Buss hinted that someone he and son Jim had “a special fondness for” was already in mind to become the Lakers head coach.”

    couple the above with the fact that scott and kobe have close ties to one another and let’s not forget the history, the camaradie and ties to laker past and present. the boat will row in one direction, that’s for sure.

    an imminent choice?

    Go lakers


  30. Had lunch w a friend who is a partner in a litigation firm today. Of course, being die-hard NBA fans, the topic of the Sterling fiasco came up. I won’t bore you guys with legalese, but he said both sides have very strong cases. The league’s potential position has been widely reorted, so I wont go into it. But Sterling’s side of the issue is very interesting. Even if we assume that the NBA constitution or other agreement gives the NBA the right to force Donald to sell – which is probably the biggest legal issue at stake here – there are some major hurdles with forcing the sale:

    (1) the Clippers, as an asset, may be treated as community property, giving Shelly the right to block the sale without her permission as she owns an equal, undivided interest in the team and the league has explicitly said she is not banned.
    (2) if the Sterlings were smart, the ownership of the team is likely held by a Trust. In other words, Donald Sterling may argue that his actions are separate from the Trust that actually “owns” the team (this is a stretch, but the basis of this argument is that you can punish Sterling personally by banning him, but the NBA cannot punish the Trust as its a separate legal entity and Sterling did not commit the alleged acts while acting in an official capacity for the Clips)
    (3) Even if contracts were “breached” as the NBA alleges, the “breached” contracts may allow Sterling to “cure” the breaches (weakest argument as some breaches are of a nature that cannot be cured)
    (4) Even if there was a breach, damage to the NBA, from a financial perspective, appears to be minimal or non-existent. For all of the talk of player, owner and public rage at this incident, the only monetary consequence seems to be some cancelled sponsorships to the Clippers. No NBA players boycotted games, no games were cancelled, season tickets were not cancelled, fans did not request refunds and, as far as we know, no sponsorships/deals for any other team (or the league) were cancelled or threatened to be cancelled. While this has been a PR nightmare for the league, it may not be enough for the league to force the sale without a tangible financial loss.
    (5) The most powerful tool in forcing Sterling out, a player boycott, also has a lot of issues tied to it. For one, only the Clipper players could be entitled to boycott as a “labor dispute” as they are the only ones employed by the Clippers (they are not employees of the league). Second, if other players boycott, this could be considered a “secondary boycott” by the Players Union- which is illegal under the NLRA and could entitle Sterling to damages (google “NLRA secondary boycott”, too long to explain – but this may be one reason why the players never actually boycotted any games). Third, regardless of who boycotts, remember that, while no player can be forced to play against his will, boycotting games also means boycotting paychecks. Fourth, a league-wide player boycott would be a breach of the CBA (also why the players probably did not boycott any games). Finally, even the Clipper players may not be protected if they boycott unless they can prove their boycott is a result of one or more of them are being discriminated against or specifically targeted for discrimination – argument here is that Sterling never discriminated against his current players or that his racist comments are no longer an issue as he has been banned by the league and he no longer controls the day-to-day of the team).

    In short, unless the Sterlings agree to sell, this is going to take years to resolve. If that is the case, I hope Doc has the intestinal fortitude to walk away from this mess ASAP – even if he did not have it when he agreed to work for a known racist.


  31. Yes yes. Great read. In hindsight, that Sac team probably had more talent than the Lakers, but the Lakers had the edge in mental toughness.

    I remember game 7, after regulation, it was Mateem Cleeves (a bench warmer for Sac) giving the team a pep talk before overtime started. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but he said something to the effect of “c’mon guys, this is it! The whole season is riding in the next five minutes! The entire season is on the line!”

    I remember thinking this has got to be the worst pep talk ever. Phil is doing his Zen thing to calm his team down. Meanwhile, here’s this scrub, screaming at his teammates, reminding them of the magnitude of the moment, likely making them even more nervous and anxious than they already were. I’m not sure if that speech had any negative effect, but the Kings players sure looked nervous listening to him.


  32. Good post, Manny.

    I would suggest, though, that this has, oddly, in some ways has been a PR plus for the league. It has made Silver look good, and it has further raised the profile of the Clippers. If they make the Finals, there will be something of a “Let’s get behind the Clippers, everybody” vibe out there.


  33. It has made Silver look good
    So far, so good. But what if he is unable to make good on his intentions?


  34. Informative post, Manny.


  35. its better for us if we can keep swaggy. he can give us some scoring off the bench, just like this season. he’s also cheap, salary wise.

    on another note, heard that coach Karl is interested in our coaching position. we should interview the guy, he’s a proven coach, that can run effective plays depending on his players.


  36. But what if he is unable to make good on his intentions?’

    No way to know, but I suspect that many people will see Sterling and Family et al as bad people hiding behind legalese. And if Silver is able to run the Sterlings out of the NBA, he will be Nerd Clint Eastwood.

    That said, I am skeptical about the NBA’s legal position here, although obviously many other forces will be working for the league.


  37. It seems more and more from whats being reported that the case against Donald Sterling isn’t the worst part – but Shelley Sterling wanting to remain owner may be the stickier problem. Easy to make a case Donald broke morality clauses and therefore is subject to losing franchise – but unfortunately nobody has yet taped the wife saying inappropriate things – though there seems to be plenty of heresay that she was complicit if not overtly supportive of his views.

    And speaking of discrimination – J Adande posted a link today

    J.A. Adande ?@jadande 10 hrs
    Such a smart piece… RT @ThompsonScribe: The Warriors, Mark Jackson and how race played a part | http://bit.ly/1ntbWW8

    In it the writer tries to make a nuanced arguement as to how race factored into Jackson being canned and how perhaps the FO and ownership should have been more understanding of him as an African american coach. While i understand what the author was trying to say – I also thought there was an interesting flip side in that Jackson as a coach and Pastor was someone who has personal and somewhat more vocal beliefs on sexuality – that especially run in conflict with his President of Basketball operations – Rick Welts – who s well respected and openly gay.


    Given the Warriors wanting to move to San Francisco, cant help but wonder if they also looked at Jackson not necessarily fitting with the image the organization wanted to promote – that being one of non discriminatory in any fashion. Not sure who it was on this board that mentioned it – but the thought was thrown out about Sterling possibly wanting all inappropriate/discriminatory activities brought out in open court that all teams have been guilty of in the past – tarring all owners – or at least the league anyways in an effort to insure his hold on the Clippers. You have to think that in light of the STerling case that all organizations are very very carefully looking at themselves and wondering if there is anything in their collective closets that could come back to bite them if brought to light – or may be of embarrassment in the future.


  38. Not a good 2 weeks for seniors.

    Mrs. Donald
    Now Lasorda’s “run over by a car” quote.

    Guess I better stay in bed and wear a muzzle before I am next.


  39. Manny, that’s a great post and a prime example of what makes FBG simply awesome.

    IMO the league averted disaster with the quick Sterling ban – temporarily. I believe the players would have had enough public support to boycott one game – which would have forced the league’s hand to do exactly what it did. Silver just avoided that catastrophe by acting so immediately.

    I think if Sterling’s wife is allowed to maintain ownership, you’ll see so much backlash – Doc leaving, for example – that the Clippers value will plummet. Even Shelly will see that and eventually agree to sell or abandon the legal fight.

    Jerke, interesting take as well on Mark Jackson.

    No matter what skeletons the rest of the owners have to hide, they won’t be able to reverse course now. They’ve painted this issue as a “black and white” one, no pun intended. So any softening in stance will be ill conceived by a public and by the players association. There’s no turning back now. They’re gonna have to get Sterling out.

    Anyone else notice this irony? We can refer to this as the “Sterling / Silver” case.


  40. Building on what Jerke said: With Dr. Buss’ passing Sterling is now the longest tenured owner in the NBA. I’m sure he has enough dirt on the league and certain owners to make this interesting.


  41. KB: Can’t make this up: “Honestly I didn’t care,” Bryant said Thursday during a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” when asked by Kimmel if he was “happy” that D’Antoni accepted a buyout of close to $2 million for next season rather than come back to coach the team. “The first thing I thought of was seeing the Munchkins on the Yellow Brick Road dancing and singing, ‘The Wicked Witch is dead,’ ” Bryant said. “When he tweeted that (Magic), that song just came to mind.”

    Consulting KB: Yes KB is an employee and no they do not have to consult with him on the next coach. However they are 0-2 so they should take all the advice they can get. KB knows this team and what it takes to be successful in LA.

    Heat/Spurs: Yea – yea – first round was exciting, but it is inevitable. If you do not join me with rooting against the Spurs can you at least spare me the yearly posts about how SA pays the right way and are a pleasure to watch. I agree with the later during games that they lose.


  42. Rachelle Sterling is every bit the racist that Donald is. She is on videotape posing as a “health inspector” to screen would be renters by race. I agree that the players hold the power in this dispute. If they are not willing to tolerate working for an owner who lives and breathes racism then the NBA will take action. That action has to be to remove both Sterlings from the Clippers.

    From the Laker’s perspective: go Donald and go Rachelle, keep fighting the NBA. Selling the team would likely lead to a Clipper’s dynasty that is marked by winning and possibly a championship or two. It would be much more fun to see them disintegrate and turn back into the franchise we all came to know and love.


  43. I don’t see the Sterling issue going away any time soon. Trying to take away property rights in this country from a wealthy person is a very uphill battle. I understand the NBA wanting to brush this whole incident under the rug as soon as possible, but I don’t see it happening.


  44. “I think if Sterling’s wife is allowed to maintain ownership, you’ll see so much backlash – Doc leaving, for example – that the Clippers value will plummet. Even Shelly will see that and eventually agree to sell or abandon the legal fight.”

    I think what will really matter is that the league made its bold statement and move at the right time during the crisis. However long it takes to get it worked out, life goes on. People understand legal battles can’t be avoided, are out of their control, and will feel obliged to wait. Doc apparently has nothing against Shelly. I’m not sure many people do. Silver, when asked, said, “No, there have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family, and I should say that this ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling’s conduct only.” This isn’t a ban on Shelly, and if she hangs on to ownership, I could see Doc and most involved that matter going along with the prevailing winds. As long as Sterling, Donald that is, isn’t running the team, it may only become a back-page story.


  45. I believe that Sterling have a strong case, at least strong enough to tie the NBA in litigation for years. He is a racist to the bone BUT he didnt ran that organization in a racist way. Elgin Baylor sued and alleged discrimination a case he lost btw but he took his paycheks for what, more than 20 years? And he was the one running the team during all that span. I have no doubt those new tapes were staged by Sterling himself. Btw im as much of a lawyer as im a player in the NBA lol so its just my opinion on the matter.


  46. “From the Laker’s perspective: go Donald and go Rachelle, keep fighting the NBA. Selling the team would likely lead to a Clipper’s dynasty that is marked by winning and possibly a championship or two. It would be much more fun to see them disintegrate and turn back into the franchise we all came to know and love.”

    What we get here is a Lakers perspective. I wonder if other sites like this, for other teams, are as interested in the issue. Is it now really about the racism of Sterling, or how it’s going to impact the Clippers as a Lakers rival?


  47. In the end maybe the NBA at be tied up in court, but that won’t stop sponsors from refusing to support the clips or broadcasters not showing their games etc, or players refusing to sign w the team. Further more people have a right to a workplace devoid of harassment, intimidation or discrimination. If push came to shove – I don’t know that it would be that hard a case for the players union to ask a judge or labour board to void their contracts w the clippers in light of the conduct of the owners. A couple owners have already suggested allowing all the players to be released as free agent following the end of the season (w their own teams and desires in mind of course lol)

    That’s why this must be strictly an ego play by either Sterling to keep the team, sure the team is worth lots now- but even if they win the franchise could be so quickly devalued and rendered non competitive that in the long term, the NBA could make a play to shutter the franchise anyways. There is no winner in this situation, Sterling only rob themselves of the current value of the team.


  48. All everyone wants to talk about is the Clippers. You all are worse than Robert talking about Jim or MD. Can’t we talk about basketball? (that was for you MannyP)


  49. Robert: You should watch the entire clip. He also had a lot of praise for Jim and Jeannie and did say they are both on the same page and focused on getting us back up to the top. You are right, you cant make this stuff up.


  50. “Consulting KB: Yes KB is an employee and no they do not have to consult with him on the next coach. However they are 0-2 so they should take all the advice they can get. KB knows this team and what it takes to be successful in LA.”


    I think the time to consult Kobe on a coach was right after Phil left in 2011. Kobe still had lots of productivity left and so did Pau. The core of the championship teams of ’09 and ’10 was still intact. Of course they didn’t and we got Mike Brown.

    Now things are much different. Kobe may not want to accept it, but the team is rebuilding. In two years he probably won’t be around anymore. Now it actually makes sense for Mitch and Jim NOT to consult Kobe. They should be looking for a coach that will be a building block for the next era of Lakers basketball, an era that won’t have Kobe as a centerpiece.

    The irony of it all is has management consulted Kobe before (and took his opinion seriously) we probably would have avoided both Mikes.


  51. As a human being and as an NBA fan, I certainly can get behind getting the Sterlings out of the league.

    But purely from a LakerCentric POV, the longer Sterling is around, the better. Imagine a Sterling-free Clippers team with new uniforms, maybe a new name, run by Magic Johnson/Guggenheim or an entertainment industry syndicate fronted by Oprah Winfrey/David Geffen–recruiting future FAs. Even WITH Sterling, the Paul/Grfffin combo drew Doc Rivers and other lower-tier FAs looking to win to the Clippers.

    Understanding both of these positions is, IMO, simply being honest about the matter. Sports fandom is not a moral statement; most of us simply want the Lakers to win.

    I don’t know what other sites are saying, and I am not particularly interested. But if Sterling is forced out and the Clippers become even more of a destination franchise than they are now, it will effect the entire Western Conference. And while I don’t know what they are saying about Sterling, I do know that many GS and MEM fans already seem to very much dislike the Clippers and root against them.


  52. I think the time to consult Kobe on a coach was right after Phil left in 2011.

    I think it was pretty clear that Kobe wanted Shaw; I am pretty sure that KB said as much. Don’t know how that would have worked out. I said at the time that I would have preferred Shaw to Brown.

    Brown’s team actually went 41-25, got the 3rd seed, won a playoff series, and then lost to a better team, so the Lakers in truth had a pretty good year immediately post-Veto under him. He was lucky in two ways:

    1. The Lakers beat their PYTH by five games; they had a PYTH of 36-30.
    2. Bynum, Pau, and Kobe stayed healthy.

    But results are results.

    As to now, you make some good points. It is possible that KB might want, say, SVG instead of a guy like Fizdale. But then, Jim Buss is talking contention in three years, so me might want a veteran coach as well.


  53. T Rogers: I agree with the 2011 comment obviously. However I also agree that his input would be less needed now. That said – how about: “Hey Kobes – we really value your input. You realize we have a 3-4 year plan going on here, so this is what we are thinking – what are your thoughts?”

    MannyP: Kobe has never spoke poorly about the Buss Family (why would he?). He is also a fairly diplomatic guy at this stage of his career. He usually does not come out and trash people. That said – “I didn’t care” and a Wizard of Oz reference were a little humorous.

    By the way – I have no inside information and the field is wide open. That said -the next Coach of the Lakers will be Byron Scott. It is beginning to make too much sense. Kobe happy, ex-Laker – so fan base happy, he is very well dressed (very important), he has 2 trips to the Finals and a COTY. The decision would not be questioned (at least not until 1/2 way through the first season – which will be true no matter who it is).


  54. if anyone needs to be groomed as the next general manager for our los angeles lakers, it should be james worthy. big game, as he’s affectionally known, is already lined up to represent the lakers at the upcoming nba lottery. as a reward for bringing us the number one overall pick; he should also be brought into the laker organization, and where best would a former tar heel be situated and accepted alongside current general manager and also former tar heel mitch kupchak.

    Go lakers