Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Kendall Marshall

Darius Soriano —  May 29, 2014

General Thoughts on the Season

If I would have told you before the season started that a Lakers’ point guard would be 2nd in the league in assists, you’d have thought “wow, Steve Nash really came back well from his injury, huh?” or even “man, Steve Blake really is thriving under Mike D’Antoni!” right? And if I’d have told you, nope, Kendall Marshall was the guy who racked up all those dimes your response would have been “who?”.

And really, that’s the story of Kendall Marshall’s season with the Lakers.

The 2nd year point guard really did come out of nowhere to be a key rotation player for this team. Called up from the D-League after the Lakers had another horrific injury run to their point guards, Marshall instantly showed that his pass first (and second and third) approach was a perfect match for Mike D’Antoni’s spread pick and roll attack. This offense needed a playmaker at the point and Marshall provided just that, hitting teammates with passes right into their shooting pockets and scoring just enough to keep defenses honest.

Like any young player, Marshall had his ups and downs. After making his debut he proved to be a viable lead guard and put up some eye popping stats while playing heavy minutes only to struggle severely as a scorer and become turnover prone late in the year. Overall, however, it’s hard to see his campaign as anything but a success. After all, how many guys go from D-League obscurity to racking up double digit assist games as starting point guard for the Lakers?

Strengths/Weaknesses

Kendall Marshall

As the shot chart above shows, Marshall’s biggest strength isn’t shooting the ball. Yes, his three point percentage was nearly 40% and he showed the ability to stretch the floor as a spot up shooter when defenses sagged down to help in the post or closed out with hesitation so he would not get into the lane where he could better create shots for others. But from mid-range and in the paint, Marshall simply was not a great finisher — especially in traffic. If there’s one area where he really needs to grow his game it’s as a scorer, specifically when he gets a step on his defender but meets help in the lane. Developing a runner or a floater would do wonders for his scoring efficiency and open up his passing even more.

That last point is actually a bit scary to think about considering how well Marshall created shots for others and set them up for easy scores. Despite facing defenses that often did not respect his ability to score while playing him for the pass, Marshall averaged 8.8 assists per game which was good for 2nd in the league behind Chris Paul. Marshall’s ability to not only see the floor and pick out the open man, but to throw passes that were on time and on target was fantastic all season and really helped create a better offensive flow when he was in the game.

While his offensive contributions were key to the success the Lakers did have this season, his defense was also a reason for the team’s struggles. Though he possesses good size, Marshall isn’t exactly a stellar athlete. And on defense his lack of foot speed and lateral agility made it tough for him to guard many of his point guard counterparts. This often left the Lakers putting Marshall on opponents’ weakest offensive players and exposing their other perimeter players to match ups that they weren’t quite comfortable with. Further, all too often Marshall simply seemed disinterested with battling defensively and doing the dirty work that is required of players of his ilk; players who cannot rely on physical gifts to defend well. Marshall often didn’t bump cutters, would lose connectivity with his man when defending off the ball, and didn’t help the helper with physicality when having to battle big men on the glass. Overall, he simply didn’t show the same awareness or willingness defensively as he did on the other side of the ball.

Most Memorable Moment

Rather than pick out a single moment, here is a compilation of Marshall’s highlights from the year. While there were certain games that stood out that deserve mention, for me this season was more about Marshall’s total body of work and showing that, offensively, he really can run and offense and be a high level playmaker.

Overall Grade and Summary

While I would love to go higher, I can’t really give Marshall any better than a B on the season. His passing and instincts for playmaking were top flight, but his inconsistency as a shooter and scorer combined with his struggles defensively left me wanting more. That said, the fact that he came from the D-League to play heavy minutes and put up some amazing stat lines over the course of the year deserve heavy praise. Marshall was essentially staring at his NBA mortality in the face and fought to show that he really does belong in this league. And while I’m not completely sold that his ceiling is any higher than a back up on a good team, there is always a place for a guy who has instincts and floor general skills like he has.

Darius Soriano

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217 responses to Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Kendall Marshall

  1. Like to see his plus-minus numbers for the year and compare to other NBA starters. Guessing he was bottem 5 in NBA PGs.

    I feel his poor defense opened the gate to much of Lakers issues causing others to cover for him. Penetration on D was the worst I can remember while he lacked talent to penetrate hisself .

    Sorry but I would give him a D as only one of the needed 4 tools for a point guard(passing)was better then avarage. If Marshall is getting minutes again next year them the FO is an object failure.

  2. Renato Afonso May 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    “Marshall was essentially staring at his NBA mortality in the face and fought to show that he really does belong in this league.”

    Sorry but I can’t agree with the second part of the above sentence. He did not fight to show that he does belong. Fighting, to me, means working on the weaker parts of your game and improving them to make you a better player. Simply being there to push the ball forward and rack up assist numbers doesn’t cut it for me. He didn’t improve defensively nor did he seem to try hard(er) from game to game on that side of the ball. It doesn’t matter to me if your coach doesn’t hold you accountable on the defensive end since you, as an individual, must prepare for future coaches, teams, rosters, locations by always improving until your body doesn’t allow you to anymore.

    Marshall is a 10th or 11th rotation player on a mediocre team, at best. For a guy with his size as a point guard, his lack of physicality is impressive… To me it’s a D+ (I give him the plus for coming from the D-League and actually starting).

  3. Parrothead Phil May 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I would give Marshall a C at best precisely for the same reason as KO. I was a little more generous because Marshall’s passing skills and weird accuracy from 2-3 feet beyond the 3 point line were pleasantly surprising. If the Lakers can retain Farmar cheaply and he stays healthy, or they can acquire a true starting point guard, I would be fine with also retaining Marshall as a backup (at the right price).
    KO- Your malapropism- “object failure” made me smile. It reminded me of Dewey Crowe’s “the anus is on you” line from Justified.

  4. Nick Van Exile May 29, 2014 at 11:36 am

    According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus stat (that factors in teammates, opponents, etc.), Kendall Marshall was the 5th worst starting PG in the NBA. That pretty much falls in line with the Lakers’ record. Considering his inexpensive contract, lack of experience, and that the Lakers did not have to give up anything to acquire him, I’d say he was a terrific bargain for the Lakers. The fact that he started so many games really points to their incredible run of injuries over his qualifications to the starting job. Clearly, he’s a backup-quality PG and if he’s the Lakers’ starting PG next year, something seriously went wrong with either the draft or free agency.

  5. Del negro supposedly has a real shot at wolves job. Interesting point from the espn guys:

    RT @AminESPN: @MarkDeeksNBA Clippers had a better roster this year and a ringz-endorsed coach, won one more game, w/ similar ORTG & DRTG

    I think docs a reasonable coach don’t get me wrong- but vinny wasn’t terrible. But this is a good example that just because a guy has a name, doesn’t mean it means instant contender.

  6. Jerke,
    Those stat comparisons require context. Chris Paul missed a big chunk of this season from injuries under Doc. Also, the team had to learn a different system on both sides of the ball, which usually leads to an adjustment period. And last but not least, the competition in the West rose significanty this year. I don’t think there’s any comparison between Doc and Del Negro.

    Adding Doc also was a major factor in signing Paul to an extension. Respect for a coach cannot be underestimated….and that’s where D’Antoni’s biggest flaw was. No veterans on the Lakers had any respect for him.

  7. I think docs a reasonable coach don’t get me wrong- but vinny wasn’t terrible. But this is a good example that just because a guy has a name, doesn’t mean it means instant contender.

    The Clippers were already a contender. Rivers was hired:

    1. Because Paul wanted him.
    2. To get the Clippers over the top.

    One other problem with the Tweet is that ignores the fact that under Rivers, the Clippers out of the first round against a tough opponent. VDN was able to do that in 2012, but he was not able to do that last year and might not have this year. One can also argue that the Sterling fiasco affected the Clippers, although there is no way to prove it.

  8. “while he lacked talent to penetrate hisself” (sic)
    —-

    Actually, on defense it appeared he had penetrated himself, with his own head, quite often.

  9. One can’t be an apologist for one coach and say his record this year requires context yet everything is on another coach because one doesn’t like him. I just don’t feel that Doc is some coaching wunderkind like he’s been made out to be. Is he a good coach? Of course – but he didn’t win anything until Ainge and the Celtic ownership gifted him a championship team. Is the sterling situation stressful? For sure, but I would argue vinny was in a much worse situation being second guessed by everyone the entire year and still having a successful season despite being a lame duck coach the whole year. Reality is the clippers were still favored to win the whole thing- have an incredibly talented team from top to bottom and had cp3 for the playoffs. But couldn’t get past what is arguably the weakest/flawed thunder team of the past couple years w a coach in brooks (who is also good) who is being exposed offensively now that he doesn’t have that 3rd weapon on the flr in harden/kmrt. If they keep this same core together next year, who starts taking the heat more Paul or doc?

  10. Re: Doc Rivers

    Rivers is one of the best coaches in the league. He is not tactical mastermind. But most aren’t. Doc excels in the area that is most important, he connects with his players. It is no coincidence that Blake Griffin’s game took a huge step forward this past season. The players want to play for Doc. They didn’t want to play for Del Negro. That makes all the difference in the world. In a conference where a 48 win team misses the playoffs its easy to lose sight of context.

    The fact Chris Paul missed so much time and the Clippers didn’t fall off is testament to both Doc’s leadership and Griffin’s growth. Had Paul missed extended time last season the team would have probably missed the playoffs.

  11. But couldn’t get past what is arguably the weakest/flawed thunder team of the past couple years w a coach in brooks (who is also good) who is being exposed offensively now that he doesn’t have that 3rd weapon on the flr in harden/kmrt.

    And is tied 2-2 in the WCF and is 2-0 with Ibaka, even though the guy on the other bench is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history–and is a guy whose team Brooks’ team beat in the WCF two years ago. Brooks has his flaws, but he lost last year without Westbrook and he may be back in the Finals again this year.

    People mostly think that Rivers is a good coach who connects with players and has cred with them. That doesn’t make him a “wunderkind”, so I am not sure where you are getting that idea.

    Also, I don’t believe that anyone here thinks that a coach can turn a bad team into a contender. Everybody knows that the NBA revolves around talent, so getting along with/gaining the confidence of talented players–something Rivers is by all accounts very good at–is a key skill.

  12. Chris H

    You should punish yourself for that post.

    Funny !

  13. As for competition in the West,it always been close these past 7-8 years so thats no different and you could argue that Vinnys teams were weaker anyways. I understand what you mean regarding a couple more/less wins in the regular season – given contex – but in totality, if you’re giving someone complete control over your basketball operations then you should be expecting an improvement in your overal result, not merely holding the status quo against the former coach that was lame duck. As for the system stuff, there is some adjustment period of course but one can’t use that excuse as to why a team loses second round of the playoffs. And to some extent with an experienced team like the Clippers the players they have, I don’t think thats a valid excuse at all. The reality is, everyone scouts everyone so heavily that they all know what everyone runs – so between college and pro experience – when a player switches teams, the catchup period isn’t that bad (unless you have dumb players). The only systems currently that one could argue are difficult – are the Triangle under Jackson, because it requires good read and react decision making from all players; and MDA’s pure ssol system because it requires a top pass first pg to run it offensively who has to cll all the decisions. Aside from that, all the teams run a lot of the same stuff w different names w/ the only truly well coached team on both sides of the ball being the spurs and thats cuz pop incorporates stuff from everybody and demands his players be prepared.

  14. MDA’s record is irrelevant to this discussion. He obviously would have had a better record with a healthier roster, just like Doc would have had a better record with a healthier Chris Paul. My point is that the veterans on the Lakers (Kobe, Pau, Dwight, Jamison) all had issues with MDA. They had very little respect for him as a coach, and that is a big deal for a coach trying to lead, or to attract veteran free agents.

    You may think that losing to OKC (a serious contender to win it all) is some sort of failure (I don’t), but you cannot argue that Doc’s players love and respect him as a coach, as a man, and as a leader. Clipper players did not feel that way with Del Negro, and Laker players certainly did not feel that way with MDA.

    I think there are plenty of coaches better than Doc, and he might be overrated….but he is clearly above Del Negro, for the respect factor alone. Please look in the mirror when accusing someone of being an apologist.

  15. And to RR’s point, this isn’t to discount being able to connect with players – one could argue that Pop isn’t the most friendly guy and is hard on his guys – but everyone respects him. Vs there are players on the clippers that couldn’t handle being coached by him and his style.

    Aside from PJ, in the last 10-12 years I would argue its a pretty small list of guys who coach both sides of the ball well and can make adjustments in game while coaching their entire team – not just cedeing control to their superstar in the final mins etc…

    Pop
    Larry Brown w the pistons
    Rick Carlisle

    And thats about it – Doc’s a step below. I want to like Spoelstra but its truly hard to evaluate how good he is purely as a coach hen you have lebron overall brilliance on the court. SVG was the master of panic – Karl was good w the sonics but seems to have gotten worse w age, and then you have JVG, Doug Collins etc… who are great, smart commentators who sound all knowing but haven’t been able to find the right team or finish the job as a coach.

  16. LT – i was talking vinny not mda and the clippers not the lakers. All i was saying is the tweet from the espn guys which was an interesting take. I’m not a vinny apologist – but i’ve always thought doc was overrated and Delnegro was getting sh*t on relentlessly everywhere no matter what he did or won simply because he wasn’t the guy or wasn’t Cp’s favourite. In that respect i feel bad for the guy that he didn’t get his fair share of credit but got all the blame.

    As for MDA, for sure he had his faults and if the FO wasn’t going to back him w the two years, then it was best for both sides to part ways. Yes I would’ve liked to have seen him succeed and no I don’t think he got a fair shake just due to the injuries alone. But we’ll never know and its done and over so time to move on.

  17. On another note – anyone else notice the tension between Jackson and JVG during the telecast the other night? Jackson sounded almost bitter at times

  18. LT – where did I mention MDA?

  19. Right here:

    and MDA’s pure ssol system because it requires a top pass first pg to run it offensively who has to cll all the decisions

  20. Parrothead Phil May 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I believe that Doc is both a good coach and overrated. As stated by others, he is good at connecting with his players and motivating them (personally, I feel that his Ubuntu talk is BS), but is not a tactician.
    The hype machine had the Clippers winning it all because they already had the talent in place and having Doc put them over the edge. Reality turned out a little differently. The Clippers finished no better than they had in previous seasons.
    It can be argued that the only reason the Clippers got out of the first round is because Bogut did not play due to injury.

  21. To get back to the original topic — I’d give Marshall a grade of C. He came up from the D League and had some very nice games. But he also had 8 scoreless games and 6 games with 5 TOs or more. Above all, his defense was atrocious. He may have been the weakest link defensively in a very weak chain — and that’s saying something.

    So, having said that, I don’t mind if the Lakers keep him. But…he’s got to work on his D and he would strictly be an end of the bench guy. I can’t imagine him ever being more than that.

  22. Darius: I may have missed it when you started these evals, but can you put some context around the grading scale. If I am not mistaken this makes about 4-5 B’s and an A. In my simple mind that would mean better than a lottery finish. Of course another conclusion would be that our coach had 5 B’s and an A and when you put them together they are a D. However even I would not put all of that on MD, so that brings me back to grading scale question. I think Daniel or someone sort of started speaking about this by saying team was a C- , even though he gave a couple of guys B’s. I have not seen a “C” yet so is this the sum is less than the parts? Maybe I am being too easy on MD then : )

  23. Jerke,

    Pop is the exception that proves the rule. Most coaches can’t take the approach he does. That is one reason Jerry Sloan is no longer in Utah. His style doesn’t translate well to this generation of players. He eventually lost control of Deron Williams and the rest of that team. And we know Sloan is one the best basketball minds around. But being a great basketball mind is not enough.

    And Pop’s success with keeping players under control is due in large part to Tim Duncan’s example. Duncan has done as much as anyone to set the tone in that organization. Duncan achieved HOF status a long time ago due to his play on the floor. So when he falls in line it has a huge impact on the younger players.

  24. Jerke–

    You mentioned MDA in your post.

    Coaches: Zach Lowe, one of the more astute observers of the NBA scene, said in his piece about Detroit’s hire of SVG that when we are talking coaches, there are only about a “half-dozen guys” that “really move the needle.” Lowe sees SVG as one of those guys, which is an arguable point, but as to the general point, I think there is something to it.

    That said, one can also argue that who the coach is matters in a lot of ways that may not show up hugely in the W/L record in a given year.

  25. ESPN is stating that Kupchak has indicated Derek Fisher will not be considered for the head coaching job of the Lakers. Obviously, this could be gamesmanship. However, the site also indicated that Fisher may not be so hot on the rigors of coaching.

    To me this is a blow. I am firmly in the ‘get a younger coach’ to grow with the team — as it will likely take a few years to assemble the talent needed to compete. I like DFish and see him as a no nonsense guy. I felt that if he were the Laker’s coach then we had a chance for the much needed continuity on the sidelines (which has been so sorely lacking). Perhaps Fisher will still be open to joining the FO although I am unsure if the Lakers are looking in that direction.

    I don’t really have a favorite among the current candidates. I am worried about the Lakers making another bad decision, like hiring Scott or Rambis. I am also worried about the team going all in to win for Kobe and sacrificing the future for a temporary bump in the win column. My rationale being that an established coach will push for immediate wins (veteran players) since they don’t have the time to wait for young players to develop.

    I understand the fear that the Clippers (with a new owner) may be in position to own the city. In my view a short term gain (ie: acquiring Melo) would only mean sustained mediocrity with the eventual hitting bottom pushed a few years down the road. We’re virtually at bottom now — let’s put the team back together with an eye on being competitive in a few years. Like so many have said: hire the right coach, draft well and spend cap space wisely.

  26. Marshall’s passing skills were nice to see, but I think he’s going to need to make some major improvements in his overall game, especially on defense, to stay in the league.

    Re: Rivers: I was really impressed with the improvements shown by Griffin and Jordan, and Doc also got a lot out of Collison. The Clippers looked like a more legit contender to me than they did before Rivers. One playoff series loss to a team like OKC doesn’t define them or anyone’s career. The Thunder have had years playing together in big games, have the talent, and are a little further along in their development. It’s too soon to judge or compare Rivers. A few years, we’ll see.

  27. rr – just about the systems – nothing to do w LT’s apologist comment.

    $2 billion for clippers is current offer by Steve Ballmer. If his major complaint was the capital gains tax, even with that taken into account Sterling has to seriously consider just taking the money and be done w it.

  28. I’d say a B was fair for Marshall but its based on potential not performance. He showed he is an excellent passer,and can hit the 3. If he could develop a floater as Darius suggested Marshall would develop into a very good offensive PG. I don’t think that is out of reach for Marshall. His defense is horrible and I don’t see it likely ever getting that much better. He is worth trying to develop but he needs to really show improvement next year.

  29. Robert: Why ask for context when when one’s mind is made up regardless of the context?

  30. Renato: Since you seem to have a grasp of Euro talent, what are your thoughts on Dario Saric? I see his name popping up recently in connection with options for the Lakers in the draft – but I see nothing of substance evaluating him. Would appreciate any info you or anyone else may have.

  31. I assume that the “player grades” thing is based on what the site writers think the guy did relative to his ceiling, and the Lakers’ whole 2013-14 roster was low-ceiling.

  32. Reading about Saric, he sounds like a Luke Walton type player to me.

  33. Ahhh Kendall Marshall, KO’s favorite whipping boy this side of MDA i i knew you were going to get the 1st comment i just knew it lol. He was ok for being an NBDL pick up could be useful as a second or or third string pg Pros:that court vision,passing skill and ocassional spot up 3 can be useful on a second unit.Cons: atrocious defense and really slow. KO saying that the FO is an ” abject failure” if they decide to keep him on a cheap contract with limited minutes coming off the bench is a tad exagerated dont you think?

  34. Maybe is me but the Head Coach is the one that makes decisions on minutes not the FO.

  35. Warren Wee Lim May 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    2 billion dollars. I’d buy the Lakers for 3.

  36. I had a hard time switching back and forth between the spelling bee on ESPN and the Spurs/Thunder game. The spelling bee ended in a thrilling tie between a seventh grader and an eighth grader. Glad I stuck it out with the ‘bee.

  37. Pretty much, rr. It’s certainly not a ranking or grade versus the rest of the league or on the team’s record.

  38. Shelburne:

    >>Once that happened, Shelly became sole trustee and had power to do deal w/ Ballmer, which is now being sent directly to the NBA for approval

    >>The Sterling Family Trust had rules & guidelines about mental incapacitation. Very recently, Donald was found by experts to be incapacitated

    >>Espn has learned that experts had declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly as sole trustee & power to sell the team

  39. I wonder if Balmer plans to rebrand the Clippers as part of a change in ownership. I certainly think that would be a great idea. Maybe he will use one of his XBox project names. Who knows. Either way, it’s great news for the league – so long as you ignore the fact that the NBA ignored Sterlings incompetence for decades and now rewarded the racist scumbag with a $2 billion payday. But hey, at least the league can now promote Blake Griffin guilt free!

  40. Rr- great quotes. I also think the “incapacity” claim here also serves two additional purposes (1) void any property transfers from Sterling to his mistress and (2) to avoid possible criminal liability to the IRS for making tax free payments under the table to Stiviano (while Sterling can’t avoid paying taxes on these payments if he did indeed fail to report them as wages or gifts, he could avoid criminal liability if he was not sane enough to have the “intent” to defraud the IRS or, alternatively, to stand trial).

  41. At $2B, the Clippers should have their own arena. Their arrogance deserves a home of its own.

  42. I think Saric, Vlade, Sasha, Slava and Kukos could win the Olympics for the Serbian National team.

    Other then that he is Kelly with an accent.

    No thanks, I am married to a Serbian and that’s enough.

  43. Renato Afonso May 30, 2014 at 3:37 am

    MannyP,

    I think I’ve already said something about him in a previous thread. Anyway, while Saric is a very good player in Europe, I’m not sure his game will translate well to the NBA.

    He’s 6’10” but he’s not long nor does he have a good vertical. He lacks strength to play PF and lacks lateral quickness to play proper defense against other SF’s. He’s fundamentally sound with a good outside shot but I don’t think you can expect a “Stojakovic”.

    In my opinion, he should stay in Europe one more year and do some proper strength training. If he’s stronger he will be the stretch-four every team needs in their roster. Without that, he seems to be a slower Radmanovic… From all the guys in Europe, he’s the one that I’m actually not rooting for him to come to the NBA quickly. I also think he will never be able to play the 3 unless we’re playing zone defense when he’s on court. Now, Bogdanovic is the guy I want to see in the NBA (he’s already drafted, so there’s no way to land him without trading for him).

  44. Wow. Donald Sterling lawyer Belcher must be beside himself thinking of all the fees etc… That just went up in smoke when that incapacitation ruling came down. no lawsuit to milk, and it’ll be Shelley sterling lawyers or whatever ones determined by the trust that will pick up any conveyance fees etx…. amazing that they managed to keep all this quiet till it was done, I mean everyone thought Donald was nuts but to be declared mentally unfit is a different manner. Further to Manny it’s points…it suddenly seems like this is a very convenient ruling. Especially if Donald doesn’t come out and dispute it. But I guess a 1.98+ billion dollar profit on your initial investment tends to make one shut up pretty quick.

  45. Curious when Sterling was declared incompetent. If the trust quickly arranged this to facilitate the sale it’s a clever legal move and it wouldn’t surprise me if the NBA had a hand in this.
    It might give Donald a cause to sue for damages if he weren’t already such an aged and looney pariah. Not to mention the fact that he’ll profit handsomely in spite of his alleged wishes.

    Sterling gets to go down fighting, swearing he’s not racist, and cash a 2 billion dollar check with a wink. He avoids everything except death and taxes.

  46. I know I’m in the minority on Marshall but I think his passing skills are so exceptional that his weaknesses can be tolerated as a backup PG. Unselfish guys who truly love to pass are popular among teammates; this attribute promotes teamwork which is infectious and has far-reaching if subtle effects on a locker room. Coaches who stress teamwork probably like having guys like Marshall around.

    In the context of the dismal ‘low-ceilinged’ season we just completed, for an inexpensive D-league cast-off that provided a surprising dash of entertainment, Marshall deserves an A-.
    I think this is how he’s viewed by Kupchak.
    Look for the team to bring him back.

  47. And re Sterling
    Something tells me the league and other owners really wanted to avert holding that vote.
    Like Cuban said, it’s a slippery slope and most owners probably have a few skeletons they prefer to keep in their closets.
    In a multi-billion dollar industry with everyone’s livelihoods at stake, justice moves swiftly and takes no prisoners.

  48. Womder if creepy looking V get a. 5% finders fee for setting this thing up?

    $100 mill gets you a bunch of surgery.

  49. darius: two, two billion dollars? seems donald sterling isn’t the only mentally incapacitated player in this nba racist induced sale of an nba team. the stink of it all reaches to high heaven in that money and not principles continue to drive this sports crazy nation. in the weirdest and that’s putting it mildly; donald sterling single handily drove up the value of all nba teams; thank you he is now deemed mentally incapacitated.

    ain’t life grand. make that two billion grand.

    side note to laker ownership: you’re now worth ten billion dollars.

    Go lakers.

  50. I’m so happy the clippers are being sold to ballmer….now the buss family has to step up…no longer can they hide behind sterling’s incompetence, this guy is going to bring a legitimacy to the clippers that the Lakers better be ready to combat….When you take a look at the last 4-5 yrs….it’s almost a joke how many things our great franchise has muddled and this summer they really need to step up, even if that means spending some extra money, going over the cap…they need to allow kobe to retire while competing for a ring…that brings maximum profit and fan happiness and should be the only goal….when I hear people coming on here talking about a 2-3 yr rebuild…….why? If the Lakers are serious about winning, surrounding kobe with talent, etc it would already happen, I shouldn’t be surprised, they’re really good at milking kobe with no talent around him when they wasted quite possibly the sickest prime of any player ever with players like smush parker and brian cook and chris mihm as running mates….wow hurts me to think about it now. The Lakers should trade their pick for a proven all star….retain farmar and bazemore and meeks and Johnson, try to re sign pau at 3yrs 24million, then try to steal a player like Greg Monroe. between farmar, meeks, Johnson, bazemore, you have enough defense on the perimeter, if kobe moves to sf which I see as likely this gives you a lot more flexibility with the roster. Ohya we also need a coach……please please hire jeff van gundy or Derek fisher.

  51. Have to agree w/ chris y, under Ballmer, professional promotion, new TV deal & new arena will be forthcoming. Free agents interested in L.A. will really have a choice. Lakers ownership is really going to have their work cut out for them.

    Hmmm, wonder if Jeanie can have Little Jimmy declared incompetent based on that contract he negotiated w/ Kobe?

  52. Let me get this straight. A mentally incapacitated old man says some ignorant comments in the privacy of his home, and as a result, he will lose roughly $400 million dollars in capital gains tax (app 20%-23% on long term investments). I don’t know. As much as Ive despised Sterling over the years, that is a ridiculouly steep penalty. I don’t care how rich he is, $400 mil is $400 mil. The NBA had no choice from a PR standpoint to go after Sterling the way they did…….but from Sterling’s perspective, he got hosed big time.

    How much are the Lakers worth if the Clips can fetch $2 bil? Maybe $3 bil? $4 bil? This just confirms how much the owners took advantage of the players in the last CBA. When the next CBA comes around, I have a feeling the players union will have even more distrust when looking at the balance sheets of the teams.

  53. Chris Y: You will probably get your wish. If the Lakers go with an established coach I suspect the plan will be to go with more veteran players to fill out the roster.

    I love the Lakers. But the reality is that in a hard cap league you have to spend your money wisely. If the Lakers go all in to try and win a title with Kobe the FO will be forced to make bad decisions with our cap space — likely tying it up for years to come. The result will mire the team in mediocrity for the rest of the decade.

  54. If the Clippers are worth 2 billion, the Lakers should be worth twice that, crappy roster or not. Extreme over pay here.

  55. Bobby:

    If true, about Fisher, then I am bummed as well. I liked Fisher for the job not just because he is a former Laker but because I think he has the talent to be a great coach. I agree that he would be a great FO addition so we’ll have to wait and see if that is a possibility. I does appear that other teams (the Knicks) are also looking at him.

    I do not think the Lakers will hire Scott or Rambis. Neither of them have a compelling record as head coaches. The experiences with MB and MDA will force the FO to make a better choice. I do share your concern about hiring an older established coach. Their mindset will be to win now and with Kobe/Nash on board and Pau inclined to resign who could blame them. Couple this with an unfilled roster and a bit of cap space and you could easily envision a Van Gundy or a Karl pushing the FO to trade our pick and sign/acquire older veterans.

    To your point, that strategy gives us an immediate lift in the standings and puts us at the back end of the top 8 in the West. However, we’d be mediocre and likely caped out. The team would be putting off the inevitable rebuild for the foreseeable future.

    My point is we have already experienced part of the rebuild process: the pain of losing. We should see this this through and build the team the right way: by acquiring young talent through the draft, trades and smart signings.

  56. jerke: I wondered that too.. but something tells me the lawyers will get paid no matter what. Even in bankruptcies, the lawyers always get paid.

  57. Bobby and Chris Y: From reading the board I think this is question that that divides many Laker fans. Do we try and make it work for Kobe or do we rebuild with Kobe essentially being the face of a franchise in transition.

    It’s an interesting question because neither path provides a guarantee. It’s not a sure thing that Kobe can stay on the court let alone be the 2012/13 Kobe that produced at an insane level. On the other hand rebuilding offers no assurances either. Lots of teams have been ‘mired in mediocrity’ while waiting for young talent to develop.

    My sense is that the FO won’t go all in on Kobe as the reality of his injuries of 2013/14 are still fresh in their minds. I think they’ll keep their pick and be aggressive to sign young proven talent via RFA/FA. I see the FO picking up a few key pieces this off season and filling in the roster with 1 year deals. This path almost assuredly means barely making or barely missing the playoffs next season. They’ll do the same thing next summer: adding young talent through trades or RFA/FA.

    So in my mind the FO Is looking at a two year window to upgrade talent – primarily off of RFA/FAs. I think they are looking to make a big splash in the FA market when Kobe’s contract falls off the books in the summer of 2016.

  58. jerke
    thanks for the phil and jeannie conflict of interest stuff a few threads ago.

    “Hmmm, wonder if Jeanie can have Little Jimmy declared incompetent based on that contract he negotiated w/ Kobe?”
    BCS – best post ever.

  59. Fern new TV deal from Fox in 2 years could be worth 5 billion.

    As for Capitol gains state and federal comes to 32% which is much more then. $400 million.

    Maybe every season ticket holder will get a free computer under the seats with new owner.

  60. Wonder if Ballmer wd move team to Seattle?
    that would be interesting, prob good for lakers.
    Also wonder if they would change the team name, even if remaining in LA.
    They could go with, The Ballers.

    Ko
    remember when u got on Fern’s case about his grammar?
    Capital gains – not Capitol.
    Abject – not object.

    I’m just here to help.

    See Fern?
    I’m on your side.
    except it’s ‘whining’, not whinning.
    haha :)

  61. Leo: So in my mind the FO Is looking at a two year window to upgrade talent – primarily off of RFA/FAs. I think they are looking to make a big splash in the FA market when Kobe’s contract falls off the books in the summer of 2016.
    —-
    Bingo!

  62. “How much are the Lakers worth if the Clips can fetch $2 bil? Maybe $3 bil? $4 bil? This just confirms how much the owners took advantage of the players in the last CBA. When the next CBA comes around, I have a feeling the players union will have even more distrust when looking at the balance sheets of the teams.”

    The Lakers have to be worth at least double whatever the Clips fetch, maybe more. Everyone knew the players were getting hosed in the new CBA- even the players knew it. You’re right though that the next one may go a bit differently.

  63. “Maxwell Blecher, attorney for Donald Sterling, says in e-mail that Shelley Sterling’s claim his client is mentally incompetent is “absurd.”

    “Donald Sterling plans to file a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney Max Blecker confirms in email to Yahoo Sports.”

    And so it begins…

  64. I don’t think that the Clippers are “worth” 2B in any Platonic sense; it is simply that Ballmer’s net worth is around 20B, so he can afford it, and that Ballmer has wanted to be in the club for awhile.

  65. Ok JC well our first poker game is next Sat and I will remember.

    Raise
    Raise
    Raise

  66. It’s set the new floor for franchises in big markets. If the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, or Nets went up for sale anytime soon, I’d imagine that bidding would start at $2.2 or $2.5 billion.

    That said, there’s zero chance he’ll move them to Seattle. First, he’s already said he wouldn’t, and while talk is cheap, I’d imagine the value of the franchise would plummet by as much as $1 billion overnight. He’s rich, sure, but not stupid, and throwing away $1 billion is really, really stupid. Second, Paul Allen–who has some minor ties with this one software company that Ballmer is associated with–could easily lay claim to the entire Pacific Northwest region as “his” territory and move to block it, no matter how much consternation claiming that Portland and Seattle are the same metro region may cause in both cities.

    What I could see happening, mmmmmaybe, is if the NBA ever decides to open up Seattle for an expansion team (or another team moving there), there’s a 0.000000001% chance that Ballmer could pull a Rosenbloom/Irsay type of move, and “trade” the Clippers for the rights of the Seattle franchise. I seriously doubt it would happen, but that’s 27 million times likelier than the Clippers moving anywhere than Microsoft Arena, just down Figueroa from Staples (please note that “Microsoft Arena” exists only in my head).

  67. On the coach front, on the matter of retreads. A number of posters keep complaining that any coach with experience who didn’t win a championship is unacceptable. Since 1991 only a handful of coaches have won.

    Jackson – 11
    Popovich- 4
    Spoelstra – 2
    Rudy T.- 2

    19 out of the last 23 championships have been won by 4 Coaches. Odds are if you coached in the last 20 years in the NBA you did not win a Championship even if you did a very good job.

    Hoping for George Karl or JVG as option 2.

  68. http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/233625/NBA-Sterling-Family-Trust-Announce-Settlement

    Apparently the trust overrules all matters regarding the clippers and sterling family and the NBA is withdrawing its punishment of Donald and being indemnified against any further lawsuits from any party in regards to sale of clippers. nice little bow around the whole package.

    Ballmer has already said he wouldn’t move the franchise as it would devalue it – so clips are staying put. plus they have another 9 years on their lease at Staples Centre – so they will remain the enemies across the hallway for the time being.

    What would be interesting though – the Clips don’t have a lot in terms of celebrated history – wonder if Ballmer would consider rebranding them to cut ties w the past and move on from the Sterling era. The wizards did it and they have more tradition and memorable players than the Clips ever had historically

  69. Clippers/Ballmer: Not good for the Lakers. It is good for the Buss family because their investment is worth more. For the team and results – not good. Even more, the Clips will now be the cool, upstart team and we will be yesterday’s news, until we can completely turn this around years from now.
    Tonight’s Game: You are rooting for the Heat or the Spurs. Indiana is playing for the Spurs. If you want the sweep in the Finals and the Spurs DVD – then root against LeBronze.
    Fern: I would have defended you too, however you appear to be abandoning me on Byron : )
    West Coast Teams: Now that it appears that Ballmer is moving in, let’s review the ownership on the Pacific Coast:

    Clippers: Steve Ballmer – Microsoft Founder
    Blazers: Paul Allen – Microsoft Founder
    Warriors: Peter Guber – Film Producer
    Kings: Vivek Ranadive – Founder Tibco (real time computing $3.5 billion value)
    Lakers: Jim Buss – Known for being the son of Jerry Buss

  70. Chris Y-”Lakers are serious about winning, surrounding kobe with talent, etc it would already happen, I shouldn’t be surprised, they’re really good at milking kobe with no talent around him when they wasted quite possibly the sickest prime of any player ever with players like smush parker and brian cook and chris mihm as running mates….wow hurts me to think about it now.”

    You said it true.

    I used to fume at the talent they put around Kobe during his prime years, and fans have the audacity to question his salary for two years. Derek Fisher was the best pg that Kobe played with…think about that (Gary Payton does not count, too old). I will truly miss Kobe when he retires.

  71. Just a thought.
    3 years ago my mom, who had dementia, signed a reverse mortgage with a guy who knocked on her door. I took it to court and had he reversed due to her condition.

    Is Sterlings next move to have the agreement to give control to his wife reversed due to his condition?

    Don’t be shocked of anything.

  72. rr: I agree. The team is not worth $2b today. But, considering that there are only 30 NBA teams in the whole world, all that Balmer has to do is keep the team competitive for the next 5 years and he will at least get his money back in a tv deal. So, bad short term investment, but good long term investment.
    Robert: You forgot a lot of side players. For example: Jeannie (known for being Phil’s eye candy and a former playboy centerfold), Joey and Jesse (no known for anything, other than for receiving the NBA trophy when we we beat the Magic and then proceeding to make a dumb acceptance speech), Johnny (known for having b-day parties at the Bunny Ranch), Janie (not really known for anything – and that’s not a bad thing in this family). Of course, that’s a matter of perception. One could also say that each of these folks is known for being part of the greatest franchise in NBA history and being mentored by the greatest owner, greatest FO guys (Logo and Mitch) and greatest coaches in the history of the NBA – but that’s just me.

  73. http://www.tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=453470

    - includes quotes from NBA counsel as to why Sterlings lawsuit is now baseless and w/o claim

    “Mr. Sterling’s lawsuit is predictable, but entirely baseless,” NBA general counsel Rich Buchanan said. “Among other infirmities, there was no “forced sale” of his team by the NBA – which means his antitrust and conversion claims are completely invalid. Since it was his wife Shelly Sterling, and not the NBA, that has entered into an agreement to sell the Clippers, Mr. Sterling is complaining about a set of facts that doesn’t even exist.”

    The NBA had been prepared for a lawsuit, saying in its statement that “Mrs. Sterling and the Trust also agreed not to sue the NBA and to indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including from Donald Sterling.”

  74. MannyP: Awesome post. I wish I had written some of that stuff before you did : )
    By the way – who dresses this family?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbOkrbhAgEI

  75. Jerke…
    Always enjoy your comments. I think the main reason the Wizards changed their name from the Bullets was to disassociate themselves from the gun violence that plagues our nation.

  76. This sale is bad for the league, tv deal or not, the Clippers ain’t worth that, if the Buss family decides to sell ( just a suposition i dont want them to sell unless is to a group spearheaded by Magic, imagine that?) what would they ask? 5 billion? What about the Knicks? I think this is something that could spiral out of control. Botton libe is that as much as i love my Lakers and all sports in general ( everything but curling, what kinda sports is that?) i feel kinda uneasy seeing this kind of money spent on a sports team. I wish that kind of money could be better spent on causes that are more worthy than this. I guess all this stuff woke up the humanist on me…

  77. Manny,

    That is probably true, but I doubt that Ballmer was really thinking “investment.” I think he wanted a spot in the VIP lounge, and overbid enough to be certain of locking it in. The next two bids were supposedly 1.6B and 1.2B.

  78. One could also say that each of these folks is known for being part of the greatest franchise in NBA history and being mentored by the greatest owner, greatest FO guys (Logo and Mitch) and greatest coaches in the history of the NBA – but that’s just me.

    Both interpretations have some validity, but neither is all that relevant anymore IMO. The contextual elements that arguably justified defending Buss are mostly gone; only one year of Nash’s deal remains from the organization’s failed attempts to get to the top of the mountain one more time for Kobe and Dr. Buss.

    So this is Jim Buss’s show. He says so; Jeanie says so. He has stated publicly that he is giving himself 3-4 years to get the team back to the top of the NBA and that he will step down if he doesn’t do it. If he succeeds, the critics within the fanbase will be happy–and on the issue of Jim Buss, silent. If he fails, the defenders and Buss himself will be reminded of the man’s own words.

    So we will see what he does. One thing is clear: it is not going to be easy, and he is now facing a Leviathan in the same building, which makes it that much harder.

  79. lol Kenny T – yeah, i forgot the whole context of what precipitated that name change and rebranding. Let me put it this way – the Clippers have so little positivity to associate with the name – (3 hall of famers inducted as clippers – when they were in san diego or buffalo) and aside from Danny Manning and Blake Griffin, they’ve never drafted anyone of note – and the franchise has been notorious for being poorly run/cheap for Sterlings almost entire rein (until he started to get alzheimers apparently from reports) – i don’t think it would take Ballmer too much to get the NBA to let him put a fresh imprint on the franchise. Pelicans used to be the Hornets – and the Bobcats (who have as futile a history as the Clippers) are going to be the Hornets again – why not let him wash away Clipper Nation and become the Los Angeles “Firestorm” or maybe in a nod to Ballmer’s background – the California “Silicon knights” or may be the “Binaries”? (players names would be in 10110101… format on back of jersey) lol.

    In all seriousness- the guy just spent 2 bill and lifted all the boats in the NBA – would love to see him get to have a fresh start for the Clips (and what a better ego trip than getting to name your very own NBA team and knowing they’ll prob unanimously accept it) Shame they’re married to Staples Centre for another 9 years.

  80. Here’s the full q/a of why Donald is done, the NBA won’t owe him anything, and the Clippers are no longer his.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/11010109/donald-sterling-lawsuit-nba-no-chance-succeed-court

  81. Jerke,

    Lester Munson may be right about this, but I know a couple of lawyers who call him–and his analysis–a “joke.”

  82. Warren Wee Lim May 31, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Heading into June and this is where we are:

    Kendall Marshall 915,243.00
    Kobe Bryant 23,500,000.00
    Robert Sacre 915,243.00
    Steve Nash 9,701,000.00

    I continue to assume that Nick Swaggy P is opting out of his current contract and seeking one that’s longer and bigger.

    7th overall pick 2,895,960.00 <– based on Ben McLemore's salary.

    So with 5 spots filled, 37.9 of payroll is guaranteed. With experts like Larry Coon and Eric Pincus estimating cap space this year to be 62.1M, the Lakers have 24.1M to spend. However with cap holds for 7 slots, 3.5M will have to be deducted from our "cap space" in order to fulfill the empty roster slots. This gives us a net cap of 20.6M before all player cap holds are considered.

    This is where it gets interesting, as Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill's cap holds combined will render the Lakers cap-less. If you believe both will be back next season, Pau's next conract will be significantly of lower salary from his 19.3M and his 20.25M cap hold. Jordan Hill has 6.65M listed as his cap hold.

    The decision of what kind of team to field is really important because while these two will wait for the Lakers to decide, will not wait forever. While they are very important parts of our team, we also did not sacrifice all the waiting for nothing only to not have cap space.

    How? Why? Because free agency is the best way to acquire talent. It bears its risks, since you could very well be signing your own doom as GM. Still, the ability to sign people out of nowhere is the best way to acquire proven talent.

    With Hill and Gasol's future hanging in the balance, would the Lakers be willing to let go of Gasol and use space to sign Lowry at 9-10M per? Hill retained as a defacto big while we draft Randle at 7.

    On 2nd thought, is Lowry plus Randle really worth letting Pau go?

  83. NBA FO must avert a messy vote and a forced sale. So it ‘brokers’ a deal to Ballmer virtually overnight. How else could Shelly Sterling have found three bids and executed this transaction so quickly?

    The 2 Bil price tag doesn’t mean other teams would garner such a price. It was a perfect storm. An overzealous and staggeringly rich buyer, a panicked league office with everything to lose, and a greedy, conniving soon-to-be ex-wife eager to stab her philandering husband in the back.

    Truth is so much better than fiction.

  84. The Clipper are likely worth exactly the amount they were sold for. Nothing on TV is worth what live sporting events are worth. DVR tech changed the game. Aside from this, the fact that the Clippers are in the second biggest market lends enormous value. Finally, not only is the NBA about to negotiate a new TV deal, they also have the digital broadcast rights to sell. There is a strong possibility that Google will be involved in the bidding for those rights and has the money to win it. China and India are only growing in interest in the NBA. A whole generation of Chinese kids have grown up playing the game and watching it on CCTV5. The NBA is also pressing some advantages in India and may well set itself up to be third to cricket and football in that country. That is a country with a middle class population the size of the US’ total population. Los Angeles is still a gateway city from those parts of the world and any successful team in LA will make long term inroads into giant populations in Asia.

    I don’t know if anyone else had a good look at that map of NBA fandom in North America that the NYTimes put together. It’s pretty interesting.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/12/upshot/12-upshot-nba-basketball.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

    Notice that in almost every market, the Lakers are either #1 or #2 in popularity according to Facebook likes. This likely reflects the reality of NBA fandom. This is why the Lakers can be on national TV even while they suck, and when good they are voted onto NBATV almost every week. With the legacy factor, the market position, the STAPLES deal, the dominant national and international position, along with the local TV deal in place, the Lakers may well be worth twice what the Clippers sold for. I don’t see the Buss family selling the team in the next few years. It could be they view the family’s relative wealth, compared to Ballmer, makes them uncompetitive (and we might all want to consider just how much we are all affected by a world in which even the haves of the world are clearly outclassed by those who are the haves of the haves… Just consider just how much wealth these folk control relative to the rate of growth of the economy in general). All that said, it seems the Buss’ define themselves as owners and caretakers of the Lakers. I have a strong feeling that if the Buss family thought they could no longer be competitive, they would certainly sell the team. I don’t base this on any insider information. It’s just reflective of what I’ve been allowed to observe of the family.

    Can I just say, Adam Silver is a straight up gangster. Not only did he follow through on his pledge to get the team sold quickly, not only did he manage to upgrade the ownership of a franchise that has two of the most visible stars in the league, not only was this the first significant act of his commissionership, but he managed to do all this while closing the circle of financial responsibility around the Sterlings. That indemnity agreement basically tells Sterling that if he wants to sue the NBA, he can win and would then have to pay himself the winnings. The number of legal obstacles the NBA has put in front of Sterling are so numerous and tightly woven, you could almost prove Sterling’s incompetence by displaying his efforts to fight against these circumstances. If the indemnity papers are solid, the only ones who could possibly benefit from this would be lawyers, and even then, these guys are on retainer anyways. Who is left to benefit?

    Anyhow, unless Kendell Marshall figures out how to play defense, the guy is an 8min a game type guy, at most, and probably not in a playoff rotation. I’ll be interested to see if the Lakers view him as holding value without MDA. I’m pretty sure that a coach who values defense will find it hard to find minutes for Marshall. Even with a go to tear-drop or floater I still find it hard to justify the bad D.

  85. @jc, it was a perfect package for the league and allowed them to get past a situation that could’ve gotten messy quick. I think the nba would win eventually, but all it would take is one court to allow sterling to get in front of the cameras and start spilling the beans on other owners like rich devos who owns the magic and has made discriminatory/homophobic statements in the past etc… but this way the nba side steps that mess and gets rid of the worst owner in the entire league w/o the other owners having to get their hands dirty since they rescinded the punishment and didn’t have to vote to kick him out. Mark Cuban can relax, everyone knows where the bar is now where the league would have to publicly make a serious stand on conduct etc.. Silver got the absolute best possible outcome to this situation he could dream of. Plus if the mental incapacitation ruling stands, Sterling literally gets written of as a crazy old man by the general public and no one else gets tarred by him this time.

  86. Jerke – exactly.
    I wonder how much involvement Stern had?
    Seems likely he was consulted.

    Looking forward to an entertaining game 6 and most likely a game w 7 – Spurs / OKC.
    What do you think, Robert?

  87. Do the Lakers have enough cap space to sign both Stephenson and Monroe this offseason? Coulpled with the number 7 selection this could give the team a nice talent bump this off season.

  88. rr

    Your lawyer friends (i’m a commercial litigator myself) are right. Munson’s analysis is hopelessly simplistic and lacks any nuance. He may wind up being right but it will be in the blind squirrel/nut way…

  89. The Clipper are likely worth exactly the amount they were sold for

    _______

    Perhaps they will be, if all the speculation/projections/predictions in your post turn out to be true, and given Ballmer’s history, he may have thought of some of that. But they sold for as much as the Dodgers, and right now, that seems like a reach.

    It was a forced sale, sealed bid, and a rare case where a good, big-market team with two stars and a name coach changed hands at an apex moment. All those things worked together to drive the price up.

  90. jerke, the issue was not what Sterling said. The issue was the reaction the players and public had to his statement. His statements are not an offense worthy of having his property taken from him. Especially as they were comments made in private. The fact that his comments created offense to his key employees, one which put them in a position where refusing to play became the option they were choosing, that established a clear threat to the league. It was on this basis that Sterling was ousted.

    Not that anyone asked me, but I think Sterling is a scumbag and I don’t feel sorry for what has happened, but not because of his statements or his feelings about the various races. Feelings and opinions are part of the rights we all have. As a Jew, I honestly don’t care if you or anyone else has Nazi sympathies. I do have an issue if you act in a manner that limits my rights as a citizen in this country. Say what you want, feel what you feel, think what you think. The problem with Sterling was when his words touched the recording device. The problem with Sterling was when he demeaned his employees with clear job-threatening behavior, as he did towards Baron Davis and Elgin Baylor. The fact that he denied people a place to live because of what he thinks of their culture or race, that was a problem with his business practices, and that was a situation that deserved social action.

    If the people in Orlando believe something similar to Donald Sterling, I don’t see what the problem is. If their bias leads to unfair hiring, or creates a hostile working environment for employees, that is when they could be shown to be a problem to the league and society in general. Until then, I would hope we retain the higher principles of tolerance that frankly, I can’t point to as being a feature of any society up to now, but are clearly enumerated in the founding documents of this American society. The intolerant are permitted to be intolerant in their heart and in their private life. In public, they need to fake tolerance. Tolerant people must learn to tolerate intolerance until that intolerance is proven in action, and not just from words stolen from a private conversation.

  91. The Clippers are almost a lock to head to Seattle. Ballmer has repeatedly declared he would buy an NBA team and move them to Seattle. It’s all but a done deal.

  92. Aaron, if he is willing to lose close to $1B in lost value on his investment, I guess you may be right.

  93. Considering he already said he wouldn’t – buying out his remaining 9 years at staples, losing 1 bill in valuation simply from moving, plus putting up at least another 4-500 million toward the 200 Seattle will put up for a new stadium.. I don’t think he was necessarily willing to surrender 5 bill or close to a quarter of his personal worth on a team. Maybe in 10 years, but being in LA is worth way too much $.

  94. P Ami: Yes – Seen our guys in a number of different cities and the Lakers always have a huge representation. In fact, the fans that see them in away cities are more vocal than the I-phone reading/celeb watching group we have in our 100 section.
    rr: I agree with most of your points on the perfect storm except one key one. A “forced sale” is not something that generally benefits the seller. So I do think that this is a significant raising of the bar for franchise values, especially the Lakers. The Buss clan has reason to celebrate which means there could be property being purchased in NYC, Montana, parties being thrown in the Nevada desert, and of course this could cause a shortage of denim and baseball caps.
    J C: I give the Thunder about a 60% chance to win tonight, but very little chance to win the overall series. In any case I am reasonably satisfied, because I was fearing a well rested Spurs team against the Heat. If OKC could push them to 7 that will help even the odds in the Finals.
    P Ami/rr: “I have a strong feeling that if the Buss family thought they could no longer be competitive” “He has stated publicly that he is giving himself 3-4 years to get the team back to the top of the NBA ” This all lines up nicely with the long standing 8 year record I have been reminding everyone about. We are 4 years removed from the Finals and have never been out of it more than 8. After 3-4 more years, we will most likely (sad to say) tie our record. Jim will be forced to step down and the Buss Family will cash out for $5 billion. We will then have a self made business man owner and we can start our true re-build. Wow – does it have to take that long? The Clippers key 3 positions (Owner/GM/Coach) are: Ballmer/Rivers/Rivers, and ours are Buss/Buss/Vacant. The Buss Family investment is safe though no matter what happens: I have said this before but this is a phrase to commit to memory:
    ““Invest in businesses any idiot could run, because someday one will” Warren Buffet

  95. The Clippers are almost a lock to head to Seattle. Ballmer has repeatedly declared he would buy an NBA team and move them to Seattle. It’s all but a done deal.
    __
    `bout time they went elsewhere

  96. Mind you the promise that Clippers are moving to Seattle, comes from the guy who guaranteed James will he a Laker next year.

    Right and lose a multi-billion Cable deal in 2 years and me a hero in LA so he can stay in the rain?

    No way.

  97. Warren Wee Lim May 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Ballmer already has a standing agreement that he will not move the franchise out of LA.

  98. OMG how is that not an offensive foul on TD on that Ginobili 3 pointer?

  99. If it wasnt fisher – someone else probably woulda got the call. that and its a make up for the missed goal tending call lol

  100. Disappointed that my man KD35 wasn’t able to advance to the finals for a showdown with LeBron. But with that being said, I find myself wondering how this series would’ve played out if Serge Ibaka was around from the jump.

    Much respect given to Tim Duncan. The Greatest Power Forward in the history of the NBA.

  101. Great game in OKC…. Saddens me when I think how far the Lakers are from that level. If that was Derek’s last game, the NBA has witnessed the last of one fierce competitor. Fish was the real deal.

  102. Was really surprised that Brooks didn’t use Caron Butler and Adams more. In the end, OKC’s bench was a non factor. SA deserves a ton of credit. To win in OKC without Parker tells a lot about their team.

  103. that was the biggest difference – SA didnt depend on isos from just two guys to score – they just passed, and passed, and passed over and over until they got good shots for whoever was open – not just their stars. that and they repeatedly took advantage and regularly created mismatches on the flr – diaw on fisher etc… over and over. – SA is a lot slower w/o parker on the flr though, hope hes back for the finals

  104. Renato Afonso June 1, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I’m glad that OKC is out of the Finals. I will hate every team that features Perkins. The guy is permanently fouling on both ends, scowling, complaining and doesn’t have any game. I hate him and want to see him out of the league, so, yeah, I’m happy OKC is gone.

    Regarding the Finals, I’m with Cuban on this one, whatever gets Duncan and Pop out of here faster…

  105. Warren Wee Lim June 1, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I was rooting for OKC. Now rooting for Miami.

  106. The Fisher Flop did not draw a foul as it should not and more poor officiating resulted in an obvious goal tend not getting called. The Spurs did a great job of gutting out the win without Parker. I am sure glad the Thunder got rid of that Harden chump when they could. They might be looking at a repeat trip to the finals with him on the floor instead of Fisher. The Lakers need to study what the Spurs have been doing as an organization for the past 5 years because it is head and shoulders above what they have been doing.

  107. Agreed great win by a Team that shares the rock. No one cares who gets the glory.
    It’s really a joy to watch these guys.

    Not sure about Scott Brooks playing Fish 32 min.
    What happened to Sefolosha? Didn’t he used to start? And Jeremy Lamb only 6 minutes?

    KD is a stud and Westbrook is a force of nature out there. But 14 turnovers between them?
    The Thunder is a team that could use a veteran coach to get them to the top. Their offense seems to be a bunch of athletic individuals doing great things without a cohesive plan.

  108. Right and lose a multi-billion Cable deal in 2 years and me a hero in LA so he can stay in the rain?
    ___
    thanks for the heads-up KO -
    ___
    Pop, Duncan (he IS phenomenal, isn´t he?) & co. are truly impressive in their consistency. Gotta admire that -
    ((would anyone agree that TD is comparable to our great KAJ? I mean in his on-court demeanor &, of course, consistent performance level?)) [has this been mentioned before?]
    ___
    As for who the eventual champs´ll be, I´m just bummed we´re not anywhere close to being in the position to fight for a title…so f*** it, I don t give a sh** who wins…
    (doesn´t mean I don´t love a well-played game though; bball is such a great sport)

  109. Duncan’s not a small forward and the Clippers are not moving to Seattle.

  110. Any truth the Clippers are changing their name to the Welders and giving away Welders masks at every game in honor of V?

  111. A “forced sale” is not something that generally benefits the seller.

    I get that, but the NBA’s business model is such that a lot of things that are true generally do not apply, and this was an unusual situation even in that context. As to franchise valuation, outfits like Forbes very often shoot low because they underrate the non-monetary factors in play. I do not think that what Ballmer paid for the Clippers necessarily indicates that the Busses could get 4B for the Lakers tomorrow, but yes: the Lakers brand is like the New York Yankees, Manchester United, the Dallas Cowboys, and Batman. Even if the Lakers are bad for the next ten years, and even if “Dawn of Justice” is a terrible movie, those brands will still have enormous on-ground value, and there will always be super-rich people who want to own the brand. The Busses will make a killing if/when they sell, even if they run the team poorly for a long time.
    -

  112. The NBA would like Sterling to go away quietly avoiding a vote on ousting him. Problem is for Shelly to sign off on the sale Donald has to be declared mentally incompetent. I think if Donald chooses to this will be dragged out in the court until he dies.

    I’m excited for this years free agency period. I think the Lakers can make a lot of moves to really build something. Its noteworthy Mitch has been scouting a lot of players who are likely to go later in the draft.

  113. “SA didnt depend on isos from just two guys to score – they just passed, and passed, and passed over and over until they got good shots for whoever was open – not just their stars.”

    Except that when it came down to crunch time where did the ball go? Oh yeah, to Tim Duncan in the post and Manu Ginobili in the pick and roll….

    Tim Duncan is a great player. He’s arguably the greatest power forward that has ever played the game. ( He is the greatest if you factor in rings.) However, he is not as great as Kareem. Not even close. Kareem had every tool in the bag, *and* he had the unstoppable sky hook. He also had the longevity that Timmy D is mirroring. Tim’s greatness, in my opinion, has more to do with longevity and consistency than it does domination. Kareem had longevity, consistency, and Domination. You can make a case for TD being a top 10 player of all time. A good case IMO. However, you can make the case that KAJ is the greatest player to ever play the game. ESPN with the MJ love be damned.

  114. The Clip sale is a done deal with Rachelle agreeing to reimburse any expenses the NBA has defending itself against the Donald. The NBA Governors and Stearn avoid having to give depositions under oath about their behavior and the problem goes away before next season starts. Ballmer is going to be the second coming of Cuban except that he has a lot more money.

  115. I know it’s a day late and has already been mentioned, if that was the last of Fisher as a player I want to stand up right now and cheer, shout, clap and let all my feelings for the man evaporate towards the heavens. When we consider that in one offseason we got Shaq, Kobe and Fish (Travis Knight, lets not forget… or never mind, lets forget), it is hard to not to marvel at that haul. From Jerry Buss, down to Jerry West, and Mitch (who was heavily involved in helping to clear the space needed to acquire Shaq) that was one incredible offseason of work.

    I remember the that second championship run during the three-peat. Fisher broke something, I don’t remember what bone. He only played 20 games and it was the first time he was the regular time starter. He came back from that injury just flinging fire into the pot. His 3pt shooting went up. His free throw shooting went up. His game just went to another level. That is not to say the man was anything but a role player. What he did was fill that role brilliantly. Seeing Kobe grow into who he became is an obvious pleasure. Seeing Fish become what he has become is a more subtle one. The man took big shots and was a key component in the three-peat, especially the second two runs. Him and Kobe sitting on the bench in San Antonio, both with tears in their eyes as their run was ended by the Spurs made me feel equal to them in some way. Of course, we are always reminded of the 0.4 shot. When a shot of yours has a name that any fan of that sport can instantly recognize, that says something about how a man has contributed to his sport. He went away for a few years and I just can’t forget his entrance into Salt Lake City, after sitting with his family dealing with his daughter’s eye-cancer, and he just did his job, hit big shots, gave his team a jolt. Then his return to LA helped to mold a struggling team into a championship team. The Fisher-Kobe good cop-bad cop was a key feature of those three runs to the finals. Maybe it’s the Lakers fan in me. I got to enjoy the drama of Lakers success that Fish was a key ingredient for. Maybe it’s just an appreciation for a man who is professional and passionate all in one body. That flagrant foul against Scola that woke the Lakers up and helped propel them to that ’09 championship, those big 3PT he hit in Orlando, that full-court march past the Celtics and a layup that eluded three men (one of whom is a Hall of Fame level defender), the tears he shed after the game, how much passion he has for his teammates, the look on his face when the Celtics celebrated the “Best Team in Sports” award that ESPN gave them in ’08, the look on his face last night when the Spurs were celebrating their win… Maybe it was the Lakers fan in me but I wanted the camera to stay with Fisher and follow him as he stood on the court for what may be his last time as a player.

    I don’t see how Fisher would not be a very good, to excellent coach. He never relied on elite athleticism (by NBA standards) but on smarts and hard work. He never seems to think that anything should come easy. He made himself a professional. He made himself a better player. He made himself a better leader. He made himself a better man. If ever there was gift that Fisher was given it was the ability to work and to endure. I want to see that man in a suit on the sideline embellished with ties based on purples and gold (never green). I like narratives and there is always a circle to trap us in those. I do believe that Fish would help us write better chapters in the future. I want him to come home.

  116. The Busses will make a killing if/when they sell, even if they run the team poorly for a long time.

    —-

    Amen. As proof of this point, look what Sterling’s in line to receive after decades of fielding an awful team with a brand that’s been synonymous with steaming dog crap up until three years ago, when Mr. Stern weighed in and set them further on the right path with a gift-wrapped Chris Paul to pair with prior top lotto pick Griffin.

    I’ve said on this site from the day this Sterling thing dropped that the underlying issue wasn’t actually race, but money. If it were about race, the NBA could have and should have acted against Sterling years ago. (The ESPN OTL piece that’s dropped in the past couple of days re-outlines what was long known and ignored.)

    The Clippers have long been an undervalued asset to the NBA because of atrocious ownership. Removing Sterling addressed that issue, improved the league’s perception and took Silver to iconic status. This was a beautifully orchestrated campaign on every level for the NBA’s interests. Ridding the league of Sterling and his bigoted views was the cherry on top — not the dessert.

    And to rr’s point, the same components that just made the Clippers valuable the Lakers have as well — as well as a top-tier brand. The Yankees didn’t make the playoffs from 1982 through 1996, yet their value didn’t drop a dime; in fact, it’s soared. The Knicks are more valuable than any team in the NBA and they haven’t seriously contended for 15 years. So as far as cash value goes, the Buss family has nothing to worry about.

  117. P Ami
    Very well said. I was a little choked up when the camera panned to Fisher as he was standing on the court looking around. He was a great Laker!

  118. P Ami- last two posts excellent.

    Agree on Fish. Call it instinct or common sense, but it seems crystal clear to me that he can step up to coach almost seamlessly.
    There have been a lot of hard workers in NBA history. What makes Fish memorable is that he consistently exceeded our expectations.
    How does a 6′ guy with questionable quickness and no ‘hops’ to speak of carve out an 18-year career?
    By out-working the other guy.
    By demonstrating passion, confidence, teamwork and a belief in himself.
    All qualities that will serve him well as a coach.
    Hope it’s with the Blue & Gold.

  119. Fish: Why did he not retire a wire to wire Laker? I questioned it at the time strongly, and now looking back I fail to see the compelling reason why this did not happen. The guys who took his place, the coaches who were going to be threatened by him, and our results, were all disastrous.
    KenOak: All correct with regard to Duncan. And I know you understand this. If SA wins he will be making a case to move up from Top 10 to Mt Rushmore. It will be huge for him and Pop. This would be my previous generation comparison. Imagine that the Celtics of the 80′s had kept the band together into the 90′s. Then imagine Larry Bird and company beating MJ in the finals one of the years that he won. What a nightmare. Well that is what we are facing. That is an exact comparison. LBJ will be there no matter what. but would your rather the Celtics have one more and MJ only have 5? Of course not. And we can’t have Pop and Duncan do this. Root hard. I know you will.

  120. Fisher left the lakers and signed huge contract with dubs 6 years $36 million. Lakers did no wrong in his leaving and made right decision by not offering same terms. Lebron wins another he surpasses Kobe in most people’s eyes, whereas Duncan wins who cares no one compares him to Kobe. And if Lebron loses, there’s a slight chance he leaves Miami which will be great. If he wins, they might all take pay cut and add another near all star and rattle off 6/7 in a row. East is like the jv, they only need to beat one team from the west every year, vey doable. Go spurs!!!

  121. I hear ya Robert. I have to disagree though in one regard. The Celts only won 3 in the 80′s versus the 5 Showtime titles. I still think that the Lakers would have been considered the best in the decade. However, to knock one of Jordan’s titles off? That would be worth it!

    You’re right about TD and the Spurs though. If they win this one against the Heat, then get ready for the BS onslaught from ESPN. It will be nauseating.

  122. Stuck in mod; my reputation must precede me.
    Only positives re Fish.
    Agree w P Ami.

  123. “Lebron wins another he surpasses Kobe in most people’s eyes, whereas Duncan wins who cares no one compares him to Kobe.”

    Lakafan,

    For Kobe’s detractors LeBron has already surpassed him. One more ring for LeBron will be looked at as more icing on the cake. But Duncan tying Kobe with 5 rings after coming into the league only a year after Kobe is different. The case will be made by many that Duncan is the best player of his generation. And that is a generation that includes Kobe Bryant.

    Duncan would have three Finals MVP’s to Kobe’s two. He’d have two league MVP’s to Kobe’s one. But Kobe has the edge in championships. You better believe that a Spurs title will kick the “Duncan is the best player of his generation” talk up several notches. It’s bad enough already hearing media types rank LeBron ahead of Kobe.

    P. Ami’s post about Fish got me thinking about game six against the Spurs in 2003. I remember watching Kobe and Fish cry on the bench. I still remember the camera people cutting to a shot of the sun setting over the Pacific ocean that night. The message was clear. To me, the Spurs are a hated rival. I can’t root for them as long as Tim and Pop are there. Yes, I have great respect for their organization. But I’d rather see Miami win another title. It will likely be the Heat’s last anyway. If all three of those guys stay together the luxury tax will eat that team alive over the next few seasons.

  124. If Lebron wins another ring….his legacy to me will be…..teamed up with 2 other top 15 players in their prime, right before the new cba, and surprised the league with the heatles. Been very lucky for his legacy, I remember him collapsing in game six before ray allen saved him, not to mention vs dallas in the finals. Imagine if Kobe at 26, teamed up with tracy mcgrady and Elton brand………right before the league was going to basically start over with the new cba. I’m happy he got a ring, but he will never be on a basketball purist level like Larry Bird. Give Bird Lebron’s athleticism…the only thing he didn’t have to work for or improve.

  125. I don’t get the LBJ hate. The guy is superbly talented and he will go down as one of the greatest to play the game. Enjoy the moment. You “haters” remind me of those of us who hated Jordan because he dared to “take away” the spotlight of best player from our beloved Magic. I seethed at the “ballhog” Jordan play and loudly exclaimed that he was nothing without Pippen and Rodman. 20+ years later, I realize what a buffoon I was to have my Laker pride blind me to what was unfolding before my very eyes. (Incidentally, this is why, IMO, a lot of Jordan “fans” hate Kobe – kid came into the league while the memory of MJ was still too fresh).

    Do not make the same mistake. LBJ is the real deal. Just like Kobe was. Just like MJ was. Just like Magic was. Sure, he is imperfect, but heck, all of these guys are. Enjoy the moment. Don’t be the guy that 20 years from now is telling the above story.

  126. Screw the Spurs and screw the Heat. Seriously

  127. Manny P: Great post. Life experience brings perspective.

  128. T Rogers: Exactly. They are already chiseling in LBJ on Mt. Rushmore. No avoiding that. However, Kobe is still clearly the best of his generation and more importantly, the Lakers are as a team. That is being threatened.
    KenOak: I know you don’t really mean that you wish the Celtics had one more and MJ had one less. If you do, then you should understand the LBJ haters too. Do you care about the Bulls now? Does it matter to you that they have 6 or 5? However it does matter how many the Spurs have and how many the Celtics have.
    Fern: Yes. It is not good to say “Go anybody” in this. It is the lessor of two evils. Celtics rare evil #1 and Spurs are evil #2.

  129. IMO the wild-eyed anti-James stuff among some in the Lakers fan base is in some ways a response to the way ESPN, the loudest voice in modern media, covers James, as opposed to the way they cover Kobe.

    But yes, James is obviously one of the very greatest players ever, and while people have their feelings about the formation of the Heat and James’ personality, those things should not ISTM detract from what James does on the floor.

  130. Screw the Spurs and screw the Heat. Seriously

    Heh. It is a great matchup for the NBA, but from a purely emotional LakerCentric POV, pretty much. Either Duncan and Popovich get #5, or James and Co. get a three-peat. There is no Door Number Three here.

  131. People underestimate the fact that Kobe won multiple rings with two different teams, which is quite rare in NBA history. I can’t think of any superstars that have done it, but they are likely out there. Kareem came close. He won one in Mil and multiple in LA. Jordan always had Pippen. Horry and John Salley were not superstars. Anyone else?

    Duncan will have done it with the same core.

    Lebron won his rings by being on the ONLY ‘superteam’ in the league.

    When Magic was on his superteams, he had to compete against other superteams like Boston. Kobe and Gasol had to face the big 3 of Garnett, Allen and Pierce. Lebron has no such obstacles. He is playing in the worst Eastern Conference the league has seen in quite some time.

    I’m not suggesting that Lebron is not at all time great….but if we are talking about championships, a couple astrixes should be attached to his.

  132. People underestimate the fact that Kobe won multiple rings with two different teams, which is quite rare in NBA history.

    Sure, but he won all five with Phil, and with Fisher, FWIW. The threepeat teams had Shaq, one of the greatest centers ever, and the B2B team had Pau. Kobe never won without Phil and some excellent play from the bigs.

    The bottom line is that no one wins multiple titles without the right teammates and the right coach. Olajuwon won in 1994 without a true #2–but that was Jordan’s sabbatical year. Houston’s repeat team was unusual but had to add Drexler.

    Dirk won once without a true #2, and Duncan won in 2003 when Robinson was old–but Popovich was there.

  133. Sure, Kobe had Shaq, but you can make the argument that those Portland, Spurs and Sac teams had comparable, if not more talent. When Kobe had Pau, you can make the argument that Boston had more talent . There is no team that currently even comes close to the level of talent that is in Miami….not.even.close. They are the lone superteam in a league with no superteams in sight.

    Btw, as much as I loved Fish, he was a role player and was never considered one of the better PG’s in the league. I was obviously referring to the star core players. The first team was Kobe/Shaq and role players…… the second team was Kobe/Pau and role players.

  134. “Photo Caption: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (front row, far right) took in Sunday’s Red Sox game from the EMC Club at Fenway Park. Seated immediately to Love’s right is his agent, Jeff Schwartz, who also represents former Celtics star Paul Pierce.

    At around 9 p.m. on Friday, Bill Fairweather received a surprising phone call from one of his employees at The Greatest Bar, of which he is co-owner.A few minutes later, Fairweather raced from his home on the North Shore to the establishment located across the street from TD Garden, home of the Celtics. Apparently, Kevin Love had just walked in, unannounced.”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/06/01/kevin-love-enjoys-quite-weekend-boston/1mEG5awQsl1I8GRtqVwU7K/story.html

  135. I’m also not clear on why you are bringing up Dirk, Duncan, Olajuwon, etal. Those guys earned their championships the right way against stiff competition.

  136. Lt Mitchel/rr: To get more specific. Kobe is the only guy in the Modern era – Top 10 discussion who has won multiple titles as part of a differing Big 2 (Shaq/Kobe, Kobe/Pau). MJ/Pippen, LBJ/Wade, Duncan/Parker (1 with Robinson), and Magic/Kareem. Russell, did accomplish this in the 60′s (of course there are no films of the games – so I for one am denying they exist). Perhaps Mikan as well, but modern era – only Kobe has done this. As far as the coach- in fact all players won most of their titles with one coach. Nobody in the top 10 group has won multiples with multiple coaches.
    rr: I have said many times that Kobe never won without Phil and neither did MJ. Somebody needs to get the credit for the titles so if it must be Phil – I can live with that : )
    LBJ/Duncan/Pop: Recognizing someone’s greatness and rooting for them are two separate things. Larry Bird was great but I despised him and never rooted for him. Same with MJ. Same with Duncan, Same with LBJ. Generally – if they are not Lakers – I do not like them

  137. I’m also not clear on why you are bringing up Dirk, Duncan, Olajuwon, etal. Those guys earned their championships the right way against stiff competition.

    I covered this: like I said, people have their emotions about James, the way the Heat were formed, and James’ personality, just like people have their emotions about Kobe. You can find people in other fan bases who will tell you with a straight face that the only title the Lakers earned during the Kobe era was 2001; the rest were all gifts from the refs and luck with opponent injuries.

    None of that has anything to do with what happens on the floor, and what those guys do on the floor, whether you want to look at the numbers, use the eye test, or some combination thereof.

  138. But yes, James is obviously one of the very greatest players ever, and while people have their feelings about the formation of the Heat and James’ personality, those things should not ISTM detract from what James does on the floor.

    I agree 100%. If my post came off as anti-James that wasn’t my intention. I think LeBron is one of the best wing players ever. For my eyes he is one of the best players I’ve ever seen.

  139. For all you Sneaker Junkie’s who don’t have to ask Mommy for $$: http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=15966

    This will be a collector’s item, less than 2000 being made.

  140. T Rogers,

    Wasn’t talking about your post. I am fine with people disliking James; we are Lakers fans, after all. But I think sometimes people try to downgrade his abilities, and I will address that when the mood strikes.

  141. A sign of maturity is being able to appreciate the accomplishments of others…even opponents. As much as I hated the Celtics (since ’65) it was hard not to like & admire Bill Russell. Just as difficult for me now to dislike Tim Duncan or LeBron James.

    As a matter of fact there is a very nice article about Tim Duncan in which Kobe pays him a very nice compliment, stating he’s jealous of an NBA accomplishment Tim is a part of that he was unable to do. Details in the next post.

  142. These Finals are like “Sophie’s Choice.” There’s no good outcome from a Laker fan’s perspective, beyond hoping for an entertaining series, like last year.

    My gut says the Spurs take it. But my gut also had the Pacers pulling off the upset, which is another reason I don’t gamble.

  143. only Kobe has done this.

    That’s fine, but I don’t think it really means anything in terms of where you rank him. He has never won without Phil Jackson and an elite big man. What it speaks to is his longevity, which he would have without the hardware.


    the second team was Kobe/Pau and role players

    Odom was a Top 30-40 guy from 2008-11, and so was Bynum when he could actually play.

    Teams win titles, not players.

  144. rr

    “IMO the wild-eyed anti-James stuff among some in the Lakers fan base is in some ways a response to the way ESPN, the loudest voice in modern media, covers James, as opposed to the way they cover Kobe.”

    This right here. I detest the way that ESPN fawns all over him. I don’t deny LBJ’s talent or greatness, but I do think the guy has it rather easy in the eastern conference with his little super team. LBJ is a top 10 all time guy, no doubt… One of the greatest athletes that I have ever seen. (Maybe only behind Bo Jackson.) I never got to see Wilt, but he has to be in that convo too.

    @Robert
    No, I don’t really wish that the Celts had one more instead of the Bulls…

  145. Personally, I think the best thing for the Lakers is if SAS win. The fact that the Spurs knocked OKC out and can continue to do so for another season, IMO, makes a Durant acquisition more likely. I’m not saying that Durant will come here for sure, but if his teams keep getting frustrated, I just might. I honestly don’t care if Timmy and Pop win another and match our 5 in this era. I don’t need everyone thinking our run was more impressive, or that Kobe was the better player. I was here watching these teams compete. I saw what the SAS have done to put themselves in the position to be at this level, I got to experience the joy of winning against them and the heartache of losing to them. They are a great team, they play beautiful basketball, they are coached by a classy and funny dude, Tim Duncan has been a pleasure to watch. If they win, good for them. It, in no way, diminishes the accomplishments of the Lakers. As for the Heat, I guess I don’t hate them like I used to either. I’m just of the mind that LeBron is probably staying put in MIA, but losing this year and next might make him look for greener pastures.

    I don’t know if anyone else has paid attention, but it looks as though Gordon has impressed some people in workouts and his shot looks better. I still don;t want him but maybe it means he gets drafted and gives us a better chance at Vonleh. I don’t know what may be going on behind the scenes with guys like Exum but of the guys who may fall to us, I really want Vonleh then I like Smart… but if a miracle descends upon us, and Exum is available, I’ll be really happy for that. Looking forward to the finals. If it comes close to last year’s showdown we are in for a treat… After that, DRAFT NIGHT!!!

  146. ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    Story highlights: Phil & Fish nearing first substantive chat about NYK job; Lakers contemplating Scott Skiles & Larry Brown for their search

    Brown has a job; he is coach at SMU.

  147. “Tim Duncan has been a pleasure to watch. If they win, good for them. It, in no way, diminishes the accomplishments of the Lakers. ”

    +1 to P. Ami’s comments

  148. “I honestly don’t care if Timmy and Pop win another and match our 5 in this era .. I was here watching these teams compete .. It, in no way, diminishes the accomplishments of the Lakers.”

    Well said P. Ami. I’m in total agreement.

  149. It is going to be Byron. MannyP is correct. Once my mind is made up – it is made up. Everyone who is hoping for the ex-Laker – it looks like we are all in on Byron. Fish is too big a gamble for Jim. If a rookie coach falls on his face it will look way too bad – Jim can’t take that chance.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–lakers-cool-on-derek-fisher–who-is-knicks–top-head-coaching-target-172421527.html
    Tim Duncan: I agree – it was a pleasure watching him walk off the floor in 2001, 2002 2004, +2008. And yes it is +1 Playoff record = Kobe 4 Duncan 3

  150. Can someone please explain why Phil was fined for tampering? Was it because Fish’s season had not come to a close when he said the comments? If it’s because he is making a comment about a player before the free agency period in July (?), then why is it OK for the Nicks to say they want him to interview for a coaching position, but not OK for Phil to say so? I’m confused.

  151. because Stern publicly has stated that he resented the way Phil criticized the league and didn’t fine him so now they’re doing it as a welcome to the league.

  152. Robert: I agree on the “save face” argument. Nevertheless, there may still be a place for Fish in a coaching position for the Lakers, even if not in a head coaching capacity. I do not know how many players jump immediately from playing to coaching (other than Kidd), so it may very well be that a guy like Fish is more interested in an assistant coaching position to start out than a head coach role (i.e. the “traditional” route).

  153. Agree w Big City, P Ami and Jerke.
    I’m a hoops fanatic for 40+ years.
    So I love my Lakers but I love good hoops even more.

    So I don’t feel threatened by SA’s success.
    Just absolutely love the way Gonobili passes and competes and Duncan’s stoic approach.

    As far as LBJ is concerned, I hated ‘the decision’ and I was getting over it but as I said before it makes me kinda nauseous to see him pound his chest with spittle flying from his grill. I don’t understand this.
    So as a comparison when Duncan or Ginobili or Parker or Leonard hit a big shot they may smile or pump their fist but that’s it.
    And I hate to see a guy as strong as LBJ flop. But he does, no doubt about it.
    So I’m rootng for SA.

  154. Lakers are now talking to Skiles and Brown? Yikes.

    Skiles is a marginal head coach and he wouldn’t top my list. Brown is a coaching genius who, however, comes with some issues. He is constantly asking his GM to acquire ‘different’ talent than what is on the roster. I hope, the Lakers have a longer term plan as they can’t be making roster moves that impact their cap to satisfy the coach. This is what gets Brown into squabbles with the FO and is one of the reasons he never stays anywhere very long. Plus Brown is a little older so if you were looking for more than a 2 year solution he is not the answer.

    Not sure what Jim/Mitch are doing as they are casting a very wide and varied net.

  155. BTW, I’ve been failing to compliment people on their thinking and the ideas presented here. I appreciate those comments of appreciation for my own contributions. I have the bad habit of responding to disagreements and then assuming that agreement and appreciation is otherwise implied. I’ll try to be less like that. So, thanks Jerke, J C, KenOak and the rest of you who have been holding this conversation with me. As Lakers fans we are blessed to have experienced some of the best moments in the NBA, many of the best players wearing our team’s jersey, one of the best blogs in a sport with probably the best population of bloggers on a North American sport, and many great and thoughtful fans to share our passion with.

  156. Todd: Fingers crossed the FO is just using all of these interviews as a way to get some free consulting. For the most part these are smart folks who have insight on what direction the game is going and types of payers are needed to compete at a high level. It’s not a bad idea to talk to numerous potential candidates. The hope is that after thoughtful review Mitch and Jim incorporate some of the best ideas into their concept of how the Lakers should move forward. The problem comes when you get too much input and you end up with analysis paralysis…

  157. We all know LeBrawn is a great player. I just feel he took the easy way out by bailing on Cleveland. Of course, it made sense to hook up in Miami for him. I laugh when I hear comments that he has to do everything for the Heat. This guy plays with Wade and Ray Allen, two of the greatest shooting guards of all time. Battier the Butcher usually covers the opponent’s best wing when he’s in the game. Birdman and Haslem do the dirty work. The guy is surrounded by 3 point shooters that make his fullback-like drives to the basket a lot easier. One can argue that without “The King”, the Heat would still be strong enough to come out of the East.

    No one can dispute James’ greatness. He is, however, blessed with an abundance of good
    teammates. Ray Allen could play until he’s 50 on this team. Bosh can just fill in the gaps. Bosh is rarely called upon to do any heavy lifting. My point is that the popular spin of the LeBron cult is that he makes his teammates better. I would hasten to point out is that this Miami team makes him better, too.

    I would hate for the Heat to threepeat. I’ve no love for the Spurs, either, but I can’t stand kings.

  158. The Spurs should be the ample favorites on this Finals, the Heat havent look that dominant considering they had basically doormat opponents in that weak East their supporting cast with the exeption of Ray Allen looks aged like it lost a couple of steps . Indiana is not even in the same league, they made it to the Conf. Finals because Washington and Atl are terrible teams that cant close out an opponent when they’re down. The whole eastern conference stinks. The Spurs had to navigate thru the minefield that is the West. I would had prefer the Thunder but they were exposed as the RW/KD show that they are, people praise the Thunder and their FO but to put two non-entites like Tabo and Perkins in the starting lineup put an ungodly amount of pressure on their big 2 thats just dumb. Anyways, Spurs on 6, homecourt this time around and too much depth, too many weapons to wear Miami’s big 3 down.

  159. I think the Spurs have a good chance particularly if Kawhi Leonard has a strong series. He has got to make slowing down James his mission in life. Obviously, Tony Parker’s health looms large as well.

  160. rr,

    You accuse me of being biased against Lebron while failing to address my point. Tunnel vision much? Kobe, Duncan, Shaq, Dirk, Magic, Bird, Olajuwon……. all had to play against teams with similar or greater talent to win their titles.

    The only superteam in the league today is Miami. No team has come close in matching their talent level in the past three years. Not.even.close. As great as Lebron is, I cannot ignore the fact that he has not beaten a single team with similar talent to win his two rings….because those teams do not exist. He’s obviously good enough to do so, as he proved while in Cleveland….but his championship teams never had a chance to find out…..and hence, the astrix.

  161. You accuse me of being biased against Lebron while failing to address my point.

    ______

    I am not sure what your point is, except that you don’t like James, and you don’t like the fact that he decided to play with Wade and Bosh, and I covered that in the initial post. None of what you said addresses anything James actually does on the floor, and the value thereof. If you want to address that, go ahead.

    As to Miami’s current team, it is thin and aging. Bosh is 30, Wade is 32, Allen is 38, Battier and Andersen are 35, and Haslem is 33. Miami’s gambles on Oden and Beasley yielded nothing, so they actually started Rashard Lewis in Game 6, and they are giving heavy minutes to Norris Cole. Bosh and Wade are still good very good players, and Andersen is a very effective bench big, but James is the key to everything that Miami does.

    In 2012, James’s team beat an OKC team with Durant, Westbrook and Harden. Last year, they beat an extremely deep and talented team coached by Gregg Popovich, anchored by the three guys who have won more playoff games than any three-man group in NBA history, and still keyed by a guy who is probably one of the Top 10 players ever. San Antonio has an old core, but they are still, obviously, a really outstanding team.

    So, put as many personal asterisks as you like on the titles James wins. All any team can do is beat who is in front of them, and James’ place among the game’s best players is very clear.

  162. I really want James and the Heat to lose.

    That raises the chance of him opting out and coming here to .0000000001% as opposed to zero if they win again.

  163. The collective age of Miami’s “aging” big 3 is 91 years. The collective age of the Spurs big 3 is an ancient 106 years! Subtract a decade and a half from the Spurs and you might have an argument that the talent is comparable, but as of now….not even close. The Spurs win because they have a great coach, great system, and play as a single entity, but in terms of roster talent, again….not even close. Tony Parker might be a top 10 player as you suggest, but Lebron is definitely the number one player. Bosh, the third option, can be the number one option on many teams, and Wade has already proven to be a championship number 1 player. Again, not even close.

    In 2012, Harden was still a young pup learning the game and coming off the bench. Wade was still a superstar, while Westbrook was a star on the rise…and Lebron was better than Durant. The Heat clearly had more talent than the Thunder.

    Again, since you admit to not knowing what my point is, I will try to explain. All the all time greats in the past four decades played against teams that you could argue had very comparable or GREATER talent. That argument is null and void when it comes to Lebron. Yes, he is the best player in the league….but again, I will put astrixes on his rings until he plays against a team with comparable or greater talent.

  164. I like those odds Ko.
    Almost as good as Pop coming to LA to coach next year if Duncan retires after winning his 5th ring.

  165. LT -
    You’re forgetting that some things get better with age.

  166. PAmi: I tried to join the chorus earlier today to say “great post!” and “my thoughts exactly!”, but when I hit send I received a message that said “Slow down, you are posting too quickly.” What the hay? The post I sent prior to this attempt was a full three hours earlier . . . That’s one way to keep me off this site!

  167. I’m starting to ask who isn’t being interviewed for the Lakers coaching position. Its a shorter list then those who are. I understand after the last few flops, they want to be seen as doing due diligence, but its starting to look like a circus.

  168. I’ve never liked any competition where winners are made by a vote. The NBA, you win 3 straight titles, and the accomplishment will be, objectively, as good as any team that managed it. No need to try to measure relative “talent” with a million different nebulous opinions.

    Miami has been greater than the sum of their parts. They’ve earned 2 titles with their leader, LeBron, and now 4 straight Finals appearances. That takes tremendous dedication and mental toughness. If they beat a great team like the Spurs twice, that would be an impressive accomplishment, but they wouldn’t need to be validated by my opinion. In any case, I’m rooting for the Spurs, a team I like and admire despite them being a Laker rival.

  169. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Putting asterisks into the championships isnt really fair, since, you know, it is what it is and you just come out as sourgraping.

    Accept them for what they are and give the due respect they deserve.

    I dont care who wins here, Im just fortunate to see great players play the game I love in my time. Of course its sad its not the Lakers but it doesnt hold their accomplishments any less.

  170. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    In other news, Skiles is someone I also like for the job. Young enough too.

    Oh and Sansa just look like she got laid by Littlefinger.

  171. Renato Afonso June 3, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Well, I don’t like the Spurs but this is something that is related to us:

    http://grantland.com/features/san-antonio-spurs-bench-international-manu-ginobili-rc-buford/

    How come some teams are much stronger in international scouting than us? Apart from Sasha, why are we so bad when drafting international players? Is it bad luck and we get players without talent? Are we unable to see their strengths and properly groom them into being better basketball players?

    This is the thing that puzzles me the most… I’m pretty sure that we have roughly 30 point guards currently in Euroleague who can shoot better than Kendall Marshall, are better finishers at the rim and play better defense than him with good court vision as well. I could start giving you a list of names but that’s besides the point. The point is that we could’ve done better than Marshall and Sacre with proper international scouting…

  172. Renato Afonso June 3, 2014 at 3:17 am

    And for all the talk about our TV deal and ability to go into luxury tax to compete because of the TW deal, this is something that cannot be understated enough. If we are the team with most revenue in the league, we could certainly employ the best scouts and have the most extensive scouting network (while getting results from that scouting network). It doesn’t count towards the salary cap and it’s certainly cheaper than an average NBA player. On a similar note, how come aren’t we on the cutting edge of strength training and injuries prevention? We can talk about the TW deal all we want but with the salary cap in place, it will only make the Buss kids richer with no direct correlation to how the team performs…

    I wish this could be discussed. Is there a way to compare each team’s spendings on scouting, training staff, medical consultations and physical rehabilitation and so on? Are we being cheap in those areas?

  173. The Spurs core is older true, but they have a better system and from option #4 on down they are better than the Heat, the Heat have Ray Allen as their main support of the big 3 and not much else behind it. This could be the difference. Chalmers and Cole are not really doing much,Hasleem, Lewis and Battier are in the tail end of their careers and are not even close to the effective players they once were, the Odem and Beasley experiment (looking to luck out with cheap players) was a failure, thats more or less the entire Heat supporting cast, it was enough for the weak Eastern Conference i dont know it would be enough against the depth of the Spurs.

  174. ESPN says that the Lakers are hosting a big workout session for potential draft picks. Smart, Vonleh, McDermott and Stauskas are scheduled with LaVine and Gordon as possibles.

    Anyone with insight have any thoughts about where the Lakers heads are in regards to the draft?

  175. Seems they prefer Vonlrh if he’s avail.
    Wondering why Randle is dropping.
    Once considered top 3/4

  176. Renato Afonso June 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

    McDermott and Stauskas would be terrible picks if any of the other guys is available…

  177. Anonymous,

    The consensus is that the top 5 draft picks will be the following (in no particular order):

    Joel Embidd
    Andrew Wiggins
    Jabari Parker
    Danta Exum
    Julius Randle (probably)

    That will leave the Lakers choosing, in all likelihood, amoung the following at #7:

    Aaron Gordon
    Marcus Smart
    Noah Vonleh

    On the fringe are Doug McDermott, Nik Stauskas, and Gary Harris (who could be a sleeper). An excellent review of the various draft candidates can be found at the following site:

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/140530_prospect_breakdown_luke_winn

  178. Mitch has been talking about talent available later in the draft. It looks like they are considering scenarios where they might get more picks or change draft position.

  179. I would have no problem exchanging the 7th pick for the 14th and 18th. We need young cost controllable talent.

  180. Renato – I think your criticism is valid, but it seems to me that most of the teams in the league are guilty of those same things. Are the Heat, Pistons, Warriors, Bulls, etc any better at Euro scouting than the Lakers? In terms of “cutting edge” physical therapy, where do the other elite teams in the league fall? Same on scouting. I get that these are areas of improvement, but I disagree that we are worse off than many teams in the league. I think the better argument is to say we should be leaders in those areas and not follow the rest of the league.

    Lt Mitchell – There is a bit of revisionist history going on here. Please look at the teams we beat in the finals during the Shaq-Kobe run and explain to me how those teams were “elite” in terms of competitiveness in comparison to the competitiveness we see in the playoffs from the east today. Does that mean that the Laker titles from the Shaq-Kobe run should have asterisks as well? What about the Kobe-Gasol title we won from the Magic?

  181. What is the consensus on trading down? I personally would hate to trade down because I believe the quality of a player that we can get at top 6 is better than anything below that.

  182. Vasheed and Todd,

    Correct. Let’s not be shocked if the Lakers trade their #7 pick for 2 later picks or for a veteran who can contribute immediately. The Lakers need talent. And they need bodies.

  183. Not going get into a specific trade scenarios as per board rules. I think the Lakers have some guys they would like to get at the top. If unavailable they would be willing to trade down for more picks. They have been looking at a lot of guys who aren’t projected to go until the 2nd round.

    Considering all the open spots any thought the Lakers might actually look at some of their stashed draft picks?

    Chinemelu Elonu
    Sergei Lishouk
    Ater Majok

    I’m assuming they aren’t all that good…. But I find it interesting the Lakers still have their draft rights.

  184. It’s funny. If we had licked out and moved up to number 3 there would be talk about moving the pick for an established NBA star. Possibly someone who may prefer the warm California climate to a colder climate for example.
    Instead, due to a ping pong ball, we are looking at moving down.
    I don’t know why a veteran coach will be needed.
    If Buss passes on Fisher because he has past ties to the Phil era or worse because Jeannie wants Phil to have him, that’s deplorable.
    If B Scott helps us recruit players I guess he’s good enough.
    Still prefer Hollins over Scott.

  185. My thought was around a player like LaVine. The 7th slot would be a reach for him and he may still be there at 14. The Lakers could conceivably get the heir to Kobe and another (eventual) rotation player (at 18) for their one pick.

  186. manny,
    the lakers had to get past a stacked Portland team, a spurs team with Duncan in his prime, and those sac teams. those teams had comparable talent, and many thought that Portland, with it’s all out spending spree, hadmore talent than the lakers.

  187. Renato Afonso June 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

    MannyP, I agree with you. With the income the Lakers have we should be leading the league or at least in the top 3 in those areas. There’s no small market/bad TV deal excuse and, frankly, we shouldn’t be on par with the Pistons and trailing the Spurs and the Suns. We should be ahead of them and they should be complaining about how the money we spend in scouting and injury prevention is “unfair” and alters “league balance”…

  188. G,

    The Lakers’ thinking might be that in a loaded draft such as this, it might be better to go 2 for 1 — drafting two good players rather than one (potential) game changer.

    According to nbadraft.net, below are some of the (very) good players who could be available lower down in the draft:

    Gary Harris, G (projected at 11)
    Dario Saric, F (projected at 12)
    Rodney Hood, F (14)
    Kyle Anderson, G/F (18)
    Shabazz Napier, G (19)
    Cleanthony Early (20)

    Now the question: would the Lakers be better off with one Noah Vonleh or two players such as Gary Harris and Cleanthony Early?

  189. again….not even close.

    You are ignoring everyone on the team other than James, and Wade and Bosh are not quite as good as they used to be.

    Also, by that reasoning, the Lakers 2001 and 2002 titles should both have “asterisks”, as noted. No one else had two guys as good as Kobe and Shaq, and the Lakers Finals opponents, Philadelphia and New Jersey, were far worse than either team Miami has beaten in the Finals. The 2000 Pacers were not an awesome team, either.

    So, again: you don’t like the fact that James, Wade, and Bosh wanted to play together, and you particularly don’t like the fact that James wanted to play with Wade and Bosh, so you want to take away from what James has done on the floor, by mentally putting “asterisks” on his titles.

  190. @Mid
    I would rather have Vonleh, Gordon or Smart than any combination of two players from your list. However, I am intrigued with the prospect of getting both Harris and Early. Checking stats, they seem to have the potential to be legit NBA starters or good role players.

  191. @G,

    I like your thinking. It’s not an easy decision.

  192. I am on board with the idea that the Lakers should not apologize for being a big market/big cable team. They are in a position to throw money at problems to help solve them. A long term view is needed and signing a couple of high priced free agents is not an example of one. The top teams that do not have LeBron develop players over a few years. The Lakers could work with their D League team and make it more than a run and chuck team. The Spurs are incredibly disciplined with their use of older players. They do not burn them out to try to get a few extra wins. The Laker scouting has been bad (sorry but where are the players?) for a few years now and needs a major overhaul. Lastly the character of the player is important. The Pacers fell apart this year when they started valuing raw talent too much and ended up with a critical mass of knuckleheads.

  193. Trading a high lottery pick for 2 lower ones is the most retarded thing i could think of. Why? I mean there is a higher posibility that we get something worthwhile of an 7th pick than lower. We could get 2 busts instead of one. The Lakers need the best talent available and like its been said ad-nauseum this Draft is suposedly deep in the top ten, beyond that, not so much, it would be absurd. The Lakers dont plan to rebuild thru the Draft its just a tool available and teams like the Suns, that have a ton of 1st rounders are willing to trade some of those because they are wary of having so many rookies in the team. About the “asterisk” thing, thats a useless argument because if the Lakers were the ones that had a big three like that, im 1000% people would be singing to a different tune. Lebron and co. saw an oportunnity and took it. The Lakers have done more or less the same during their entire history, cant cry foul when someone else do it.

  194. I will reserve judgment on whatever the FO does with this draft, since I am not that well-versed on draft issues. But subjectively, I am opposed to trading down. As Fern says, the Lakers need the best talent they can get at 7, whoever Buss and Mitch think that is.

    While it is early in the Kevin Love Sweepstakes, it is a sign o’ the times that Love is flirting with Boston, and that most of the rumors revolve around Golden State.

  195. Nick Van Exile June 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

    If the Lakers trade down for multiple picks, I would not use a first round pick on Kyle Anderson. Having seen him play quite a bit at UCLA, he is going to have to find a pretty specific situation to be a success in the NBA (something like a point forward for a bench unit with shooters). He is long but he does not have NBA athleticism, quickness, or strength. He can handle the ball but he dribbles high and is susceptible to getting it stolen. His shooting improved this past season but it is still not a strength. Because of his lack of athleticism and quickness, he’s going to have a hard time guarding wing players (and he’s not strong enough to guard power forwards). I’d put him in the early to mid second round.

    Having said that, I would not trade the 7th pick for only the 14th and 18th picks. The NBA is a star-driven league. The 7th pick has the potential to be a star (Vonleh, Randle, Gordon, Smart). The 14th and 18th picks are more likely to be rotation players (especially since drafting high risk/high reward players out of high school like Kobe has been eliminated). Yes, the Lakers have a serious talent deficiency and holes everywhere in the roster but I would hold out for the 14th, 18th, and the 27th pick from Phoenix for the 7th pick and possibly cash. Phoenix just barely missed the playoffs and adding a potential star player in the 7th pick would have a better chance of putting them over the top vs. 3 mid-to-late first rounders who might not even be able to crack their rotation.

  196. * retarded* was a strong word, apologies. But that pick should be kept unless there is a chance to trade it for a young stud( Irving im looking at you) trade down makes no sense to me, we dont need only “bodies” that sounds like the team wont be able to fill the roster up between here and training camp, bodies are a dime a dozen in the NBA, what we need is talent and i would prefer the team draft someone with talent that might help right away than 2 lower draftees that most probably would fall in the “project” category. Those “projects” turn into nothing most of the time. I said a thousand times that people wants the next Kobe or Magic in the Draft but i be happy with AC Green, Green was drafted in the mid 20s i dont remember, and we all know how much he helped this team, my hope is that we get a better player than him. A solid player, the superstars will come on time. Kevin Love to Boston? Thats fine is that what he wants, like i said before he is a stat stuffer without a lick of defense in his body i would be happy if he come here but he is not a franchise player, he gets hurt too much and while Minny is not a world beater by any means, they have the personel to at least make the playoffs during his tenure. Ricky Rubio said a little while back that maybe the Wolves needed another kind of leader. If thats not a big statement about his leadership i dont know what is.

  197. In terms of “cutting edge” physical therapy, where do the other elite teams in the league fall?

    I posted part of an Insider article on this two months ago. The Spurs, the Mavericks, the Raptors and 8 other teams use a firm called Catapult Sports, which supposedly specializes in injury prevention analytics. One of their top guys is Alex McKechnie–whom Jim Buss let go in 2011.

    Excerpts:

    Introducing Catapult Sports
    For every NBA team, staying healthy has always been the game within the game. As Kevin Pelton demonstrated on Tuesday, you don’t win without your health. Staying healthy has always been tricky business for NBA teams. But the Spurs and Mavericks, along with eight other teams, have jumped to the forefront of a data wave by joining forces with Australian athletic tech company Catapult Sports.

    With about 350 clients worldwide in professional and collegiate athletics, Catapult is already a giant on a global scale, just not necessarily here on American soil. But thanks to Mark Cuban, that’s about to change. Earlier this month, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” quietly invested millions of dollars into the tech group. It’s easy to see why Cuban wants in on Catapult. Through its wearable GPS technology, Catapult casts light on the shadowy domain of injury prevention, the next frontier of NBA analytics. Rather than relying solely on eyes and ears to get critical answers on player fatigue and health, Catapult provides a gold mine of information that helps teams identify when injuries are more likely to occur due to exhaustion.”

    Shaq called him “The Resurrector.” Most NBA folks know him as the “Silver Fox.” The white-haired former training guru for the Los Angeles Lakers, Alex McKechnie, is currently the Toronto Raptors’ assistant coach and head of sports science. To kick off his 13-year tenure in LakerLand, McKechnie rebuilt Shaq in 1998 after the mammoth center shredded his abdominal muscles in a Lakers preseason game. McKechnie revitalized Shaq’s career by focusing on strengthening the 7-foot-1, 315-pound monster’s core and is credited with doing the same to resolve Pau Gasol’s back issues that plagued him for years in Memphis.”

  198. Fern: Its all relative. Let’s say the Lakers really like LaVine as Kobe’s long term replacement. Clearly LaVine is not ready now but in two years (after serving as Kobe’s understudy) he might be. Picking LaVine at #7 may not be the right move but if he was the Lakers wanted and you could get him and another asset by trading down why wouldn’t Mitch do that?

  199. Again the Lakers dont need a “project” they need talent, if you have the talent available you can afford to have projects. The Lakers need talent right away and that 7th pick can adress that either by the Draft or a trade.

  200. rr- Yes, I remember that article – but mostly because it is a straight grab from the info on Catapult’s website. Of course, that does not mean the technology is bogus, it just means that this is not truly an “article” but more of a PR piece, but that is to be expected of sports journalism in today’s environment. While I agree that this technology seems very promising, I wonder how helpful it may have been given the age+career minutes played by our more prominent injured players. Perhaps a more nuanced analytic approach would have suggested more bench time for Kobe as a method of injury prevention, but such decisions are not made in a vacuum and do not account for the very real possibility that Kobe may not agree with such approach. In addition, can you imagine the backlash from a certain faction of Laker fans who, prior the Achilles tear, would have skewered the FO for letting a coach bench Kobe and thus “wasting” whats left of Kobe’s career playing time?

    Still, I see that the point you are making is that the Lakers have refused to incorporate new technology/ideas into their plans, and so are not on the cutting age. I cannot disagree with you on this point as you are correct. I think the team as a whole needs to look for more cutting edge technologies to assist them. I think their hesitation to do so comes from the days where the DR ran the ship, but times have dramatically changed since then. I certainly hope our next coaching hire is more open to new technology, as I think that would be critical in helping the FO transition to this new reality. Still, I am not in the camp that all is doom and gloom here as I see positive signs of hope. For example, Jeannie Buss attended the Sloan Analytics conference last year and the Lakers have plans to build a new state-of-the-art training facility on the new land they recently acquired in El Segundo. Sure, they are a little late off the gates on both of these, but hopefully this is a good sign of where the FO intends to go.

  201. Renato: someone named eric pincus at the los angeles times agrees with you:

    http://bleacherreport.com/tb/ddcPq?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=los-angeles-lakers

    hopefully it penetrates the front office walls of mitch and jim. at least take a look see, right?

    Go lakers

  202. Fern-I agree with you on principle, but I wonder if trading to get more picks this year (and maybe even next year) may perhaps benefit us in the long run. Statistically, we are looking at a role player with the 7th pick, not a franchise defining guy. Perhaps we are better off if we can swap that one role player for 2 or 3 more role players at relatively low cost while still keeping our cap space low for this season and next.

  203. I read FBG all the time but don’t often post. I see many recent posts about whether the Lakers should entertain trading down and getting two picks for their current #7 selection. Trading down in the NBA is not like the NFL where it’s done more frequently. In football you have so many positional needs that the two for one can make a lot of sense.

    The Lakers are so short on talent that they need to keep the pick and get a player that can produce almost immediately. They do not have the luxury of drafting a LaVine (sorry Bobby) and waiting a few years for him to hit his stride. When you think about all of the expired contracts the Lakers have and the fact that Kobe/Nash were injured all last year there a good chance this draft pick may be the best Laker on the floor many nights.

    I do not think the Lakers will trade the pick for a veteran, like Love. I think the concern is that he would leave like DHoward. The Lakers can’t afford to have that happen. Let’s be honest – the Lakers are 2 to 3 years away. This draft provides a key building block. The rest will come through signing FA/RFA.

  204. the other Stephen June 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Since we’re all contemplating the future of the Lakers, I think it’s a good time to bring up this golden post by the incomparable Jon Bois: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/6/3/5772796/nba-y2k-series-finale-the-death-of-basketball. Y’all probably need a good laugh.

  205. As for suggestion 2 for 1 on draft.

    2 years ago I screamed for Lakers to take Thomas who ended up last pick by Sac.

    Either I am smart or a idiot because I am doing it again .

    Napier is a winner and will be better then Thomas. I would be very happy with Napier and Saric who could both start.

  206. On trading down vs. drafting at the 7th spot:

    I think the fallacy of trading down to get more than one “good” potential role player is that these kinds of players are available as free agents on relatively cheap, short-term deals. Guys like Bazemore, Johnson, Henry et al are going to be better this season and likely will be better long term than most prospects picked beyond the 10th pick. To maximize the potential talent pool in free agency, you need a system in place to plug guys into. We are at a disadvantage if we go into the draft without a coach, and I expect we will have one before then. Where garnering later picks makes the most sense is in drafting bigs. Taking a flyer on a international prospect with a later pick can be a great move, as the Lakers did with Vlade. There are a couple of guys in this draft who might be worth it.

    If we keep the pick, I’d take one of these guys in this order (if still on the board): Vonleh, Gordon, Smart, Randle. My darkhorse is a reach pick: LaVine. The mock I respect the most after many years of following them is nbadraft.net. These guys put LaVine ahead of Gordon as top prospect from the Pac12.

  207. Manny,

    The article is indeed slanted towards the new tech and slanted against the Lakers–that is how ESPN rolls. I said so at the time.

    That said, the Spurs use this company, as do the Mavericks. To me, given the management of those teams, that is a strong data point. And, while we cannot prove a connections, the Lakers injuries have gotten worse since McKechnie left.

  208. Gary Harris of Michigan State (as I mentioned above) could be a real find. He’s 19 years old (and will turn 20 on September 14). His upside is enormous. Below are some stats:

    6-4, 210
    16.7 ppg
    42.9% fg percentage
    35.2 3-pt. percentage
    81% ft percentge
    4.0 rebounds per game
    2.7 assists per game
    1.8 steals per game

    In addition, he was considered by some to be the best perimeter defender in the Big Ten last year. Nbadraft.net has projected him as the 11th pick. Could he go higher?

  209. Bottom line: Trading down would signify the Lakers know their is no 2014-2015 postseason, and since they will only have a 1st round pick next year’s if it’s a top 5 pick…next season could be longer than this one.

  210. rr – Yes. You are correct. I think the FO needs to take a hard look at our conditioning/physical trainers and assess why there is a gap. It may be time for some new faces . This is one area where it pays off to be a trend-setter rather than a follower.

  211. @Brian
    Everyone has heard that Kobe story, but the problem is that all parties involved deny that it happened like that. BTW shouldn’t the title be…how the great Jerry West manipulated the Nets into not picking Kobe Bryant? That doesn’t fit the narrative about JW though…

  212. Mid-W: Gary Harris measured 6’2 1/2″ in socks, with a 6’7″ wingspan. That’s very small for a projected shooting guard. He apparently doesn’t have the skills to play the point.