Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Chris Kaman

Andre Khatchaturian —  June 4, 2014

General Thoughts on the Season

Chris Kaman was the fifth highest paid player on the Los Angeles Lakers this season making $3.1 million. However, he had the second fewest minutes (19 minutes per game) on the team among all the regulars. Only Robert Sacre received less playing time.

Usually, a player receives little playing time when they struggle. That wasn’t the case for Kaman, though. Like Jordan Hill, Kaman was subjected to minimal playing time by Mike D’Antoni and had a series of DNP-CD’s despite contributing to the team in a positive way.

During his exit interview, Kaman expressed his frustrations and said that he doesn’t think two bigs fits D’Antoni’s style of offense.

While he did have several injuries throughout the season that also cut his playing time, Kaman could barely find his way on the floor even when he was healthy. There’s no doubt that this became frustrating as the season dragged along.

No, Kaman isn’t a Pau Gasol. No one expects him to be. However, he certainly wasn’t deserving of having the second fewest minutes on a terrible team. This is a guy who on one of the league’s worst defensive teams, had the second best defensive rating on his team at 103.6, yet once again, he received the second least playing time. Some of the times he would get DNPs or slashed playing time were highly questionable and inexplicable.

After a 17-rebound performance in a late December loss to the Golden State Warriors, Kaman had his minutes cut to half for the next game. Then, on Christmas he received a DNP against the Miami Heat. What’s confusing is that D’Antoni played him for 30 minutes in the following game against the Utah Jazz (oh, and he had a 19-point, 10-rebound showing in a win).

It almost seems like D’Antoni had no idea what to do with Kaman. Sure, he wasn’t the most consistent player, but it seems like his punishment for one bad game was too severe at times. He would go weeks without playing, and then put up a string of games with efficient shooting and strong rebounding only to be benched again.

Kaman played in nine games where he received more than 24 minutes of playing time. In those games, he had six double-doubles and he scored in double figures every time averaging 19.2 points and 11.1 rebounds in those games. Those are Gasol numbers! Scratch what I said before. Kaman was a Gasol when he got his fair share of floor time!

Strengths/Weaknesses

When Kaman was on the floor this year, the Lakers were significantly a better defensive team. When he was off the floor, the Lakers defensive rating was 108.9, compared to 103.6 when he was on the floor. The Lakers net rating with Kaman on the court was also almost twice as good as when he was on the bench (-3.7 against -6.5).

Offensively, however, it was a different story. Kaman had an offensive rating of 99, which could have turned the offensive minded D’Antoni off. That being said, he was an efficient shooter from inside and near the paint.

Shotchart 1401858533641

It would’ve been interesting to see how Kaman’s numbers would be different if had more playing time. This season marked the least playing time he’s ever received in his career — almost ten minutes per game fewer than his career average. However, his points per game average (10.4) was only a little over one point less than his career average of 11.7. His production was still there despite the lack of playing time. Finally, his player efficiency rating of 17 was the second highest of his career.

Highlight of the Season

The moment that will live on the longest from Kaman’s season is the picture (and the resulting memes) of him sprawled out on the Lakers’ bench in a game against the Cavs. In a game the Lakers finished with only 4 available players, Kaman enjoyed the extra space on the bench and decided to take the phrase “getting some rest on the bench” very literally.

The best moment of Kaman’s season probably came towards the end, however. The Lakers were playing spoiler against the Phoenix Suns and Kaman put on a spectacular performance where he scored 28 points on 13-of-19 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds in a 16-point victory. The Suns were riding a six-game winning streak prior to that loss. After that, they lost five of their last nine and missed the playoffs.

Going Forward

Kaman is a free agent this summer and could probably stay since D’Antoni is gone. Also, since he had some injuries, is getting older, and had limited playing time this year, the 32-year old may have lost some leverage in negotiation. If the Lakers can take him for less than the amount they were paying him, then they should keep him by all means. He’s a veteran big who isn’t afraid to shoot and could bring some pop from the bench.

Final Grade:

Incomplete.

It’s difficult to grade Kaman’s season. When he got playing time, he performed at a B caliber level (for Kaman expectations). Unfortunately, he only got playing time in a third of the games he played, which wasn’t that many because of injuries and DNPs.

Andre Khatchaturian

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151 responses to Los Angeles Lakers Player Grades: Chris Kaman

  1. I thought Kaman played extremely well this year. His comments and antics during the year left a little to be desired but, I think if the Lakers could sign him again at this price range with MDA gone, they should.

  2. “I’m jealous of Tim,” Kobe Bryant tells ESPN.com, “playing for the same historically great coach for his entire career.” This quote is from Marc Stein’s new ESPN article “Pop & Tim: Power Couple”. ( http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10955188/gregg-popovich-tim-duncan-stories )

    Obviously Kobe is paying Tim a compliment, but I also feel, at this stage of his career, he’s being very honest. Unfortunately, due to reality this couldn’t possibly happen.

    -Tim accepted and reported to the team which drafted him (San Antonio).
    -Kobe informed the Nets he would play in Italy if they drafted him.

    - Tim entered the NBA as a mature, yet humble 21 year old Wake Forest grad & teammate of 32 year old former Navel Officer & NBA HOF David Robinson.
    - Kobe entered as a relatively mature, yet (over)confident (some say arrogant) 18 year old high school player & teammate 24 year old fun loving NBA HOF Shaq.

    -Tim and Pop bonded very early in their relation, buying into Pop’s system, even BEFORE he was consider “a special coach” (read the article).
    -Kobe’s 1st coach was Del Harris, ’nuff said

    -Tim & Pops relationship has been described as “soulmates”
    -Kobe & Phil Jackson’s relation, not so much…so says Phil in his book.

    Add additional factors such as differences in:
    -personalities
    -cities they played in
    -expectations of teams they played for
    -willingness to make sacrifices both on and off the court for the good of his team

    So is the story of two of the NBA’s most talented & successful players of all time. Very different & very similar.

  3. Kaman likely to stay,,,,, Really??

  4. The 32 year old Kamen is consider by HoopsHype to be the 5th best unrestricted free agent center in 2014 behind Gortat, Spencer Hawes, Bynum, & Jermaine O’Neal. He’s not returning to the Lakers. His offensive skills may be just what the Thunder need in the low post.

  5. I’d be surprised if Kaman stays. I think he’s soured on the Lakers. This is a shame because he can contribute. But I feel certain that he’s gone.

    D’Antoni did us no favors by neglecting Kaman. This part of MDA’s resume is almost indefensible. Let’s just hope that Jordan Hill hasn’t written off the Lakers as well. The Lakers should definitely re-sign Hill. But Kaman’s gone.

    This should be a very interesting off-season coming up.

  6. This is slightly off-topic. But here’s a nice article on Marcus Smart:

    http://www.lakersnation.com/why-the-lakers-should-select-marcus-smart-with-the-seventh-pick/2014/06/04/

  7. I’ve been one of the lonely few here who have regularly defended MDA– I thought he actually got the team to overachieve despite being ravaged by injuries as well as keeping players focused and more or less on the same page despite their awful record. That said, even I must scratch my head at his bizarre and seemingly capricious treatment of Kamen, who I thought was, in the early stages, absolutely professional at keeping himself ready to answer the bell and, when he checked in, looking like he had turned back the clock 10 years. I don’t blame Kamen for being pissed off at the way he was treated and no amount of advanced statistical data will overcome my eye-test that good things happened when he was in the game… Ryan Kelly: not so much.

  8. I don’t see why Kaman would be upset with the Lakers. MDA was the one benching him. Hopefully the Lakers will have a new head coach before July 1st and Kaman can sit down with whoever is coming and decide if it is a good fit for him. Kaman is not as good as Gasol but represents a lot more bang per dollar.

    I’ve never been thrilled with Hill. I think he does some great things but he is a borderline starter and at 3 to 4 million I would say he is barely pulling his weight.

  9. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Dragging the “trade down” conversation from the last thread, upon seeing scouting videos of Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Marcus Smart, I believe we will be picking one of the three.

    As for other draftees, its good to know your options in case an offer from Charlotte or Phoenix comes around. You never know.

  10. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Related to the 7th pick, I believe the top choice should be Marcus Smart. He has his flaws esp on outside shooting but so did Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. You can’t teach size, and at 6’4 and 200 lbs, has blazing speed, and luckily for us, Utah and Boston are more interested at Vonleh and Gordon, then Smart is going to fall onto our laps.

    6’4 and 200 lbs, with that speed and defensive ability… Book me!

  11. Nick Van Exile June 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

    If the money is similar, I would prefer Gasol over Kaman (despite similar production) because of his history with the Lakers and his already proven ability to play with Kobe. However, Gasol will probably command at least double what Kaman does in free agency so Kaman would be a good plan B value signing for the Lakers.

    Last seaons, MDA really jerked around the playing time of Kaman and Hill for no apparent reason. Hopefully, Kaman is open to coming back now that MDA is gone.

    And picking Marcus Smart is starting to grow on me. No matter if they get Smart, Vonleh, Randle, or Gordon (or Exum through some miracle from the basketball gods!), they’ll get a great player that will be a big part of the Lakers’ future.

  12. D’Antoni’s weaknesses as a coach were glaring in Kaman’s case. Mike has a style he likes to play, a type of player he is comfortable with. In his defense he revolutionized the league with it in Phoenix.

    BUT, he can’t adjust to personnel at all. Kaman ended up being one of the most productive guys available to MDA, But D’Antoni couldn’t find a a way to use him. Even with all the injuries, he just never understood that he had a useful big on the bench. I was sympathetic to the situation coach was in this year, roster wise. But his treatment of Kaman is one of a few things that convinced me he had to go.

  13. IMO, Kaman’s return will in large part depend on who we get as coach and whether such coach convinces Kaman that he will not face the same issues he faced under MDA. Kaman could be an excellent pick up at the right price. I truly hope he gets another shot under the purple and gold.

  14. West Coast Ram June 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    The more of these player evaluations I read the more I have to think that if any GM ever hires MDA or Mike Brown again they should immediately lose their job.

  15. I think Kaman is more likely to sign with a contender than he is to come back here, unless, of course, the Lakers offer him significantly more $ than a contender would. But I expect that a couple of contenders will look at him as a viable bench big, and that he will sign with one.

  16. Jurgen Klinsmann on Kobe and Landon Donovan:

    In what was the most controversial roster move in U.S. soccer history, coach Jurgen Klinsmann left Landon Donovan off the team ahead of the 2014 World Cup. …He said he doesn’t believe that past accolades should be taken into account when planning for the future….He used a Kobe Bryant analogy to illustrate this point. He said the two-year $48.5-million extension that the Los Angeles Lakers gave Kobe last fall was insane. “‘This always happens in America,’ Klinsmann told me, waving his hands in the air. ‘Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?’”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-soccer-coach-makes-blunt-144347143.html

  17. If Pau actually does sign elsewhere that may push the Lakers towards Kamen and vice versa.

    If I were Pau, I might go talk to OKC — I could see him fitting in with Ibaka and helping to bring a bit more structure to their offense.

    That would leave Kamen with the Lakers, as I believe the Wizards will re-sign Gortat and the other available big men are shaky in my opinion (or perhaps more shaky is a better description).

  18. Question is not who should Lakers keep, Kaman or Gasol, question is why would either want to stay? Only obvious reasons would be:
    1) if the Lakers offered the most money by far. And I don’t see the Lakers overpaying for either guy.
    2) other teams are not interested, and I don’t see that being the case.

  19. As GMs evaluate Kaman, it also won’t hurt that he essentially had last season “off” in terms of putting the usual wear and tear on his body. Between prior injures and last season’s DNP-CD-fest, he’s had several seasons in which his games played count was in the 30s. If he’s otherwise healthy going into camp, the fresh legs theory may play in Kaman’s favor when assessing his value vs. other veterans. I do not expect him to be a Laker this fall, unless he absolutely can’t bear the thought of not living by the beach in SoCal.

    An aside — what are others’ thoughts here on Bynum’s future?

    In some ways I could envision him being out of the league for good, since unlike with someone such as Oden, with Bynum there’s the mix of poor attitude to accompany the poor health. If so, to fall from All-Star in 2012 to paying only 26 games spread over three teams the next two seasons, talk about a hard and abrupt fall.

  20. gasols relationship with kobe may influence him to stay….and based on last summers comments from kaman, the allure of playing for the lakers was a big draw for him.

    according to rotoworld, the lakers have made a qualifying offer to bazemore for $1.1 million.

    bigsid,
    congratulations bro for finding more and more clever ways to put down your favorite player, kobe.

  21. andre: you brought up an interesting point about the laker defense being better when kamen was in the game considering who was coaching the lakers this last season. imagine for a moment, we had a coach who had an inkling for defense or at least an awareness of; kamen could still be instrumental whether he came off the bench or even started a few games. If you and I can see and understand this, am sure there are a lot of other teams out there that see the same potential. it would behoove us if mitch and jim make some kind of concerted effort to retain kamen’s services for this upcoming season; less of course they can find somebody better and more suited in styling a team that takes away the inherent strengths of having big players near the basket with an up tempo style of play. Oh yeah, that was already tried.

    how’s the head coach search coming along, btw??

  22. Food for thought: Below are three 7th-round draft picks who are now in the Basketball Hall of Fame:

    John Havlicek (1962)
    Bernard King (1977)
    Chris Mullin (1985)

    Another 7th-round pick of note was Kevin Johnson (1982), the former pg for the Suns with a classic pull-up jumper who is now Mayor of Sacramento.

    More recent picks include Nene Hilario, Stephen Curry, and Luol Deng. Since 2002, all 7th-round draft picks are still in the league, 7 of the 12 made the all-rookie team, and Stephen Curry and Luol Deng have made allstar teams.

    So…it is entirely possible that the Lakers could find a good player at #7 (should they not trade the pick away). But, of course, it’s important that they choose wisely. They’ll have their chance in 3 weeks.

  23. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh June 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    This might be a bit off topic, (don’t get me wrong, I liked Kaman’s production this season)
    but if we decide to let Kaman walk, and sign Gortat instead, along with -bear with me- Bledsoe as starting PG, how much would that put us into luxury tax? Any Idea?
    And, to continue the graze: how much can Ariza be had for?
    Top it off by re-signing Meeks and move Kobe to the three.
    I would think this is contending starting 5, quick enough and able to stretch the floor, with a very much improved defense but still good defensive/offensive balance, what do you think?
    So starting 5:
    PG: Bledsoe
    SG: Meeks
    SF: Kobe
    PF: Ariza
    C: Gortat

    assuming we will use our 7th pick for a forward, our bench could be formidable without breaking the bank:
    Farmar
    Young
    X
    Draft
    Hill

    don’t know what to do with Nash…

  24. An aside — what are others’ thoughts here on Bynum’s future?

    Simply Put: He has none.

  25. Chris is a good big to have coming off the bench. On a team like OKC or Miami he could really shine. He’s not the best defensive big. But he could still be a solid contributor. Seven footers who can actually score with their backs to the rim are a rare commodity. Oddly, enough the Lakers had two of them last season.

    For both Kaman and Gasol if the opportunity to play with a contender materialized I could see both leaving. I wouldn’t blame Kaman for leaving just because.

  26. Any feedback on today’s workout for draft picks at the Lakers practice facility today?

  27. Renato Afonso June 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Plenty was said about MDA during this season and now he’s gone, so I’m not going to go there anymore… but MDA’s damage to the franchise isn’t over yet. If both Gasol and Kaman decide to leave because of the way the coaching staff treated them last season, then it will be bad for us. Just take a look at the UFA center list up there: Hawes, Gortat, Jermaine O’Neal (?) and Andrew Bynum (??). Gasol and Kaman are two of the top 4 UFA’s at center so it’s obvious we should try to keep them but I’m willing to bet that they would take less money to help some other team… I’m sad about this and I can only wish well on Kaman (and Gasol and Hill) if they decide to leave.

    On a negative note: Kaman was one of the guys on court when Young had that scuffle in Phoenix and didn’t rush to help his teammate. Because of that I’m downgrading him from B to C+. You always have your teammate’s back even if you’re not his friend.

  28. Mitch has said they see some talent they would like to have that they don’t expect to go until at least the 2nd round. So I expect the Lakers are looking into a host of options. Trading down for multiple picks is one. Buying a pick in the early 2nd round is another. Picking up draft rights while absorbing a contract later is another. This should be an exciting summer. Just hope the Lakers don’t foolishly “overpay” to get someone to come here. It just doesn’t work in today’s CBA.

  29. One thing the Lakers can offer Kaman and Pau that no other team can offer is the love of our fan base and, contrary to what some here continue to imply, the feeling of family that comes from the Buss family. I’m not trying to be funny here.

    I was recently listening to Max-Marcelous on my drive home and, like many recent nights, they had Metta World Peace as a guest. If I remember correctly, Metta kept making the mistake of saying “we” when referencing the Lakers. I think Max gave MWP a hard time, but MWP said that playing for the Lakers was like being part of a family, a feeling he got from Jeannie on down the organization, so it was hard from him not to think of them as “we” or as part of his family. On another occasion he commented about how great a feeling it was to be greeted by Laker fans everywhere he went and he said he can actually feel the love that they have for him. In short, I came away with the impression that, despite the fact that he was not the best, second best or even third best player on the Lakers, the fans made him feel the love that other fan bases only bestow on their super stars. Hopefully, this is a feeling shared by all Laker role players and hopefully this will be something they think about when deciding where they want to play, assuming the financial considerations on the table between the Lakers and some other team are not materially different.

  30. T. Rodgers, “Seven footers who can actually score with their backs to the rim are a rare commodity. Oddly, enough the Lakers had two of them last season.”

    Lakers also had two (Bynum & Gasol) the last time Kobe was healthy…but Kobe still managed to take more shots per game than both of them combined :-(.

  31. Vasheed: Buying a pick in the early 2nd round is another. Picking up draft rights while absorbing a contract later is another.
    ____

    Are you speaking from insight or are you surmising all the available ways to get talent. Personally, I would love the Lakers to use every means necessary to get players they feel could help the team. So if they have the opportunity to buy picks they should do so. A few years ago, when the Lakers sold a 1st round pick to the Knicks. At the time the Lakers were well over the cap and I suppose there was not a player they felt worth keeping.

  32. Like everyone here i was impressed with Kaman and puzzled by Dantoni’s mistreatment of him.

    The question I asked mid-season bears repeating here. Yes, coaches decide who plays. But where was Kupchak all year? It’s only common sense to assume that a GM occasionally discusses strategy and use of personnel during the season.

    I am a big Kupchak fan but he should also be held accountable to players like Hill and Kaman whose inconsistent treatment by the coach was bizarre.

    Unless Hill and Kaman were contacted directly by ownership or Kupchak and told their services would be more highly valued next season, with commensurate remuneration, I wouldn’t blame them for leaving. In fact, I would blame Dantoni less than I’d blame management, and Kupchak. They have a responsibility to treat their players in a professional manner and to prevent coaches like Dantoni to sour them on the franchise.

    Abominations like Dantoni and the resulting
    and legitimate gripes that Kaman and Hill have don’t only affect their own status. They affect the team’s ability to recruit FAs in the future and the Laker brand as well.

  33. Bill Simmons writes:

    “If the Spurs beat Miami, Allen’s 3 stops haunting them — and if that’s not enough, we’ll remember San Antonio as the greatest franchise of the post-Jordan era. If the Heat prevail, they move into a different category historically: four straight Finals, three straight titles, one of the best teams ever. Those are the stakes. The rematch kicks off Thursday night. Miami and San Antonio, the sequel. You gotta love sports.”

    This is why the Spurs have to go down. The Lakers have been to 7 Finals “post-Jordan” and won 5 of them including a three-peat and 4 straight appearances, then a repeat on 3 straight appearances. However, Bill and most of the media would ordain the Spurs as the best. Go Heat!

  34. Meh. I was holding the baby while typing that last post. The Lakers went to 3 straight finals then missed one and went to the next. My bad.

  35. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh June 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Renato, I always like reading your insightful comments! Question:
    Do you think Gasol will be able to contribute enough to still be considered a starting center on a contending team in the west for the next 3 to 4 years?
    Because that’s the kind of contract he is looking for (and probably able to get somewhere else).
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Pau and I’m so thankful for his tremendous contributions to our last two titles. But I just think that at this time he is not enough of a two way player anymore to warrant a 3 to 4 year contract probably somewhere around 12 mil. or even more. So if Pau is not the guy, can Kaman bring enough on both ends of the floor to help us contend again?
    If not, do you think Gortat could be the answer (underrated, overlooked?) How much do you think will he be offered as a free agent?
    And IF Kaman were to agree to come off the bench at a 2 year/4mil. contract would you agree that Hill could be a more effective back-up center, providing more motor, hustle, shot blocking and rebounding -albeit less offensive production- than Kaman for similar$?

  36. Lot’s of good stuff up there:
    BigCity: ” Kobe’s 1st coach was Del Harris, ’nuff said” Nice – I was thinking I was the only one who felt this way : )
    lil pau: “I’ve been one of the lonely few here who have regularly defended MDA” Well there were many in late 2012 Over time this was a graph going from the upper left to the lower right. Anyway – lil pau – you should be commended for never changing your mind which is a trait I admire as I rarely do it myself : )
    Vasheed: I don’t see why Kaman would be upset with the Lakers. MDA was the one benching him. ” Who put MD in place and left him there for most of 2 years? Come to think of it – I am unhappy with the Lakers and this is one of the reasons. So Kaman should be upset.
    rr: “Why do you pay for what has already happened?” Well you do this for dinners, haircuts, bar tabs, etc.. Basketball contracts – not recommended : )
    Renato: “but MDA’s damage to the franchise isn’t over yet” I agree. You pick a Mike Brown it does lasting damage, you pick an MD – lasting damage, you trade your picks for Nash and let DH walk and pick those 2 coaches – you are looking at a decade
    MannyP: Family? What would Magic say about that? How about Kareem? Phil? Lamar? Fish? Pau? Kaman? Hill? Lester? Scouts? Are all these guys distant cousins?
    david h : “how’s the head coach search coming along, btw??” Search is over – We are just awaiting the announcement that it will be Byron.

  37. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh June 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Robert:
    Good point on Kaman probably being upset with “Lakers” in general as opposed to just being upset with the (former) head coach.
    But how common is it (or should it be) for a front office to intervene with their head coach
    regarding players’ minutes?

    Regarding the next head coach:
    “Search is over – We are just awaiting the announcement that it will be Byron.”
    From your mouth to god’s ears!

  38. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    If we have to talk about Kaman as a free agent big man, given the choice of ‘moving forward’ I’d let him and Pau walk and invest on Spencer Hawes and Jordan Hill. Both are not world beaters but locking both guys in good midlevel contracts add to the value of the team.

    Hypothetical scenario:

    PG: Marcus Smart (7th pick); Kendall Marshall; Jordan Farmar **
    SG: Jodie Meeks** ; Xavier Henry **
    SF: Kobe Bryant; Kent Bazemore ** ; Wesley Johnson **
    PF: Jordan Hill * ; Ryan Kelly **
    CE: Spencer Hawes * ; Robert Sacre

    Keeping guys on 1-yr deals with the ** on their names.
    Signing Jordan Hill and Spencer Hawes to 4-yr deals.

    Draft Marcus Smart.

  39. And re Kaman
    I hadn’t really formed much of an opinion on him prior to him becoming a Laker.
    I was very impressed with his footwork on the offensive end and his positive team numbers on the defensive end don’t surprise me.
    He’d really help a team like OKC or Miami.

    Any updates on Nash’ health or rehab?
    His last year (if he plays) affects other roster spots- Farmar Marshall etc.

  40. When a player plays the second least mins on the team – I don’t think you can make any extrapolations that extending his mins further would’ve resulted in a much better defensive team. Nor that he is as bad a offensive player as his rating says – neither Kaman being a good defensive player/being a poorer offensive talent passes the eye test no matter what the stats say. He only played 737 mins this year. or the equivalent of 20 games at starters mins – barely enough to see any trends or rule out high/low anomalies in his play. Early on MDA said he didn’t/couldn’t play kaman and Pau together because of legit defensive issues – which I could understand but there was just too much other stuff pointing to other issues between the two that would lead to him being shelved for such long intermittent periods. If you like Pau fine -If you like Kaman fine – bring back one of them but not both. Can’t have two non athletic bigs on this team that already struggles to defend.

    Nash update – apparently (from interviews up north here) he’s doing fine/feels 100%. Playing soccer/surfing, lots of other cross training. Says he feels great and the Doctors know he can get back to 100% – the problem (as with all nerve injuries) is can that be maintained or will it suddenly flair up w/o no provocation – so will aim to get in shape all summer and go 100% going into training camp as they have no idea if he’ll be able to stay healthy or not. i think Mitch indicated at interviews that they would like to keep Marshall – but that’ll all depend on who they draft I guess.

  41. Robert: Not buying that argument. The F.O. did what they should and gave MDA a shot at getting things right. I could argue that he still didn’t get a fair season with all the injuries. But handling player personnel went horribly wrong. During the year the coach makes all those decisions. At the end of the year the F.O. decides if the coach did well or not. The F.O. showed MDA the door and will be adding a new coach. Hopefully the Lakers will sign a coach soon and Kaman can then decide if he has confidence in the direction the Lakers are heading.

    Todd: Mitch has spoken in the past specifically about using cap space to acquire players. Buying draft picks is fairly straight forward. You referenced one such example. Mitch has spoken about trying to get picks as there are players they would like to get who he believes would still be available in the 2nd round. I cannot go into trade scenarios as it is against board rules but, I do see a number of feasible options that Mitch undoubtedly will explore.

  42. @Warren
    We should definitely move forward and not try to re-sign Kamen. Hes on the wrong side of 30 and is not the extra piece that will help the Lakers contend for a championship. Lakers will need a lot more than him and they are rebuilding anyway.

    @Todd
    Im curious as to how buying picks works. In the new CBA, isn’t it next to impossible to buy a first round pick? Otherwise Lakers should think about buying some picks haha.

  43. If the Lakers could buy 9 drafts they could be good.

  44. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    The participation of raw players like draftees will come to play in more or less 2 seasons from now when Kobe is one and done.

    Buying late picks is not a bad strategy at all. I dont like it if we expend #7 to get them.

    I like to move forward with relatively young pieces like Hawes and Hill and perhaps retain most of out athletic guys like Henry, Wes and Bazemore.

  45. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Kobe – 23.5M
    Nash – 9.7M
    Sacre – 0.9M
    Smart – 2.3M

    Hill – 5-6M
    Hawes – 5-6M
    Meeks – 3M
    Farmar – 2M
    Henry – 1M
    Bazemore – 1M
    Johnson – 1M
    Kelly – 1M

  46. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    It might be good for us that Meeks will be an early bird free agent. He’s been with us for 2 seasons and signing a 1-yr deal with us for double his previous contract (3M) allows him to complete his 3rd bird year.

  47. @Mid-Wilshire….
    I’m sure you meant the 7th pick of the draft and not 7th round picks. I’m not sure the NBA ever had a draft with 7 rounds.

    The team will probably lose Pau and Kaman because of all the uncertainty surrounding it. This team has so many more questions than answers. That is not the best enticement for free agents.

  48. Renato Afonso June 5, 2014 at 2:53 am

    TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh,

    Thanks! Regarding this subject, of course neither Kaman nor Gasol will be very productive in 3 or 4 years and I don’t agree with giving them such a contract. The problem is that, we can all agree, there’s no way to get to the top of the Western contract while Kobe’s contract lasts unless there’s a huge migration of talent to Eastern conference teams. So, since we’re talking about Kobe’s teammates for the next two years who will fight for a playoff spot, I think any of them would do just fine…

  49. Something to keep in mind: when considering possible Laker personnel moves AND salary cap implications. Their 2015 1st round pick is only “top 5 protected”. So what is the most likely scenario:

    -The Lakers put together a team talented enough to beat out two of the top nine teams in the WC for a play-off spot, minimizing the disappointment of no 1st round pick.

    -The Lakers improve, not enough to make the post-season (10th/11th place), but too good for a top five 1st round pick.

    -The Lakers finish worst than last season and manage to keep their “top 5 protected” 1st round pick.

    So, what’s the most likely outcome? Any other choices? What are you hoping for?

  50. Why is anyone quoting Bill Simmons a Celtics Fan. The Lakers are the greatest Franchise post MJ. The 2001 Lakers specifically is the best team since MJ. The Lakers going to 3 striaght Finals twice is (wining 3 straight and 2 straight) is clearly more impressive than San Antonio who never won back to back championships and are playing in their 1st back to back finals. The Lakers have been to 7 finals and won 5 times. The 2 times they lost they beat San Antonio to get there. So I get confused how rational thinking people can claim that San Antonio is better thn LA?? Kobe also bests Duncan in head to head in the playoffs. Most peope crowning San Antonio either hate LA or hate Kobe. Totally baseless claim.

  51. Let people think whatever they want to think about the relative value/stature of Lakers/Spurs and for that matter Kobe/Duncan …

  52. Klinsmann never had Kobe play for him –
    ___

  53. BigCitySid: My thoughts in parentheses.

    -The Lakers put together a team talented enough to beat out two of the top nine teams in the WC for a play-off spot, minimizing the disappointment of no 1st round pick. (This would be Kobe’s preference.)

    -The Lakers improve, not enough to make the post-season (10th/11th place), but too good for a top five 1st round pick. (This is the likely reality as there is too much ground to make up in one off season. However, the Cavs just proved that anything can happen when you make it to the Lottery)

    -The Lakers finish worse than last season and manage to keep their “top 5 protected” 1st round pick. (Well, if we pursue the win now mode focusing on Kobe, Nash and a resigned Pau the odds are that injuries will prevent the ‘big 3′ from making any impact. In this scenario we will have a season similar to this past one and better odds at a top 5 pick.)

  54. If my memory serves me correctly teams can offer up to 3 million per year total in cash in trade transactions. So the Lakers could offer say 1 to 1.5 million for a pick. Early 2nd rounders are usually preferable as they don’t count as cap holds if you draft an international player and their contracts do not need to be guaranteed.

    I also envision the Lakers trying to add a few picks after July 1st when the new year begins. The Lakers will then have cap space to absorb contracts and acquire Draft Rights to selected players as part of the bargain.

  55. @KennyT,

    Thanks for catching my mistake. You’re right. I meant to say “#7 pick” but I mis-spoke (or mis-typed) and said “7th-round pick.” Of course, you know what I meant.

    The point remains, the Lakers can get a good pick with a #7 choice (but they still have to be very careful). Bear in mind, if Marcus Smart had declared for the draft last year, he would have been the #3 choice in that draft. So this year, the Lakers could end up with someone at the #7 slot who in other years would have gone much higher.

  56. Most likely the Lakers will be better next year then this year. So scratch the tank idea. I think if Mitch does a good job the Lakers can be a playoff team next year. If the Lakers can’t catch a break and land 2 or 3 quality mid tier guys for their starting lineup they will miss the play offs but still not be bad enough to get a pick without Cavs type luck.

  57. My mini expected draftboard:

    Cavs- Embiid
    Bucks- Wiggins
    Sixers – Parker
    Magic – Exum
    Jazz – Smart
    Celtics – Gordon
    Lakers – Vonleh

  58. BigCitySid,

    The likelihood of scenario #3 (being bad enough to keep their 2015 pick) is very possible. The Suns and Pelicans missed the playoffs in the West this past season. And both of those teams have dynamite young talent on their rosters. Both have excellent young coaches. The Lakers have a ways to go just to catch those teams. The path before our team is not a 5k. Its a marathon filled with hills and cobble stone roads.

    The Lakers will rise again. But there is A LOT that needs to happen before they do.

  59. Jo Houston/R: People will think what they want, and yes KenOak and I agree that the Laker’s accomplishments are much better than the Spurs + Kobe’s are better than Duncan’s. We want to keep it that way with a little room to spare. Hence we root for the Heat. If you are a golfer in the clubhouse at -5 and another golfer is on the 18th hole at -4, then you are rooting against him getting a birdie on the last hole.
    Vasheed/Todd: The middle of the road scenario, which is the most likely, is not a very good thing. No playoffs and no pick. I would prefer Door #1 or Door #3.
    Coach: Larry Brown has no interest. Byron has picked up endorsements from Mychal Thompson and Ice Cube : )

  60. Vasheed,

    I think your projected draft list looks reasonable. However, the Utah Jazz drafted a point guard, Trey Burke, last year with their #1 pick. This last year, as a rookie, Burke averaged 12.8 ppg and 5.7 assists per game. So, he could have a real good future. This year, then, they may go for a big such as Randle or Vonleh rather than Smart. But, of course, you can never tell about these things. Anything could happen.

  61. Mid: The Jazz really want need a sf. Parker would be the perfect fit. Alas hes not going to fall to them. They have a log jam at Pf already. Smart from my reading on Jazz sits is being viewed as an upgrade over Burke. Burke being described as undersized and possibly never more then a good back up. So i see this as a likely scenario. Meanwhile Ainge has practically gushed over Gordon. I have no doubt the Lakers take Vonleh if available.

    Robert: As shown this year its really hard to be bad enough to get a top 5 draft pick. Its also very hard to be one of the best 5 teams. Most teams fall into the average inbetween contending for the bottom play off seeds.

  62. @Mid
    I think it is likely they will pick a guard. Right now the jazz has backup PGs like Garrett and John lucas. Not exactly inspiring players.

    Meanwhile, they have enes kanter, derrick favors and even Marvin williams as their bigs. They even have a second year center, Rudy gobert,and they should see how he develops.

    I think it is likely they pick a guard instead of a big.

  63. BigCitySid> “So, what’s the most likely outcome? Any other choices? What are you hoping for?”

    Since we haven’t seen next season’s roster, there’s no coach yet, and Kobe, Pau, and Nash are all very questionable as to what they’ll be able to contribute, if anything, I wouldn’t put much stock in anyone’s predictions. I’m hoping for a brilliant new coach, a resurrection of careers, a rookie from the draft who immediately plays like a superstar vet, and an assemblage of as yet unknown role players who take the Lakers to the first of many subsequent championships. I’ll win millions in the lottery, as well.

    I believe the Lakers will TRY to put together as good a team as possible, within the framework of signing only contracts they actually want. They have a season to play, tickets to sell, a brand to maintain, and the still bitter taste of defeat they’d like to get out of their mouths. So it depends on the coach and players they assemble, and then who can stay healthy. All-in-all, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they make the playoffs, or they’re a complete train-wreck. Somewhere in that range of possibilities.

  64. TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh, June 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’d like to throw in another consideration:
    even with tons of cap space next offseason, it won’t be enough to build/buy a complete contending team, if we just continue to stop gap sign second tier/project players for one year or two year contracts now.

    With that said, and the likelyhood of Pau and Kaman walking (getting multi year contracts elsewhere) we need to think about getting some sort of quality core going already this offseason. A good start would be a starting quality center with big upside at a good price now. DeMarcus is locked in for the long run in Sac, and who else will there be available in the next 1 or 2 years?
    Now you have Asik, Gortat and also Spencer Hawes (as Warren pointed out earlier) available.
    Ditto for the PG situation: Marshall is not a starter on a contender, and no one knows how much Nash can contribute next season, let alone how long he is going to hold up. Farmar would be a great bench PG,no doubt, but not a contending starter. So we need to start investing this year in a quality starting PG who can contribute now, as well as for the next 3, 4 or 5 years. Drafting Smart isn’t the way to go, I think he will be a good PG in 2 to 3 years, but not a corner stone on a champinship team.
    I see too much of the bonehead/reckless/football-player-dive-for-contact type of style that westbrook has, minus Russel’s physical gifts and stroke. Chances are Smart will blow out his knees before he develops a midrange game/outside stroke. I rather the Lakers draft a forward, and invest big now to get Bledsoe. That way, we could use capspace in 2015 to add a star caliber at the three or four in free agency, and then add a top tier shooting guard after Kobe rides into the sunset, all without having to start building chemistry from scratch.

  65. I will be extremely surprised if Vonleh falls to the Lakers, barring some shake-ups or trades. I think the Lakers will be either

    a) Choosing between two of Smart, Gordon, and Randle, depending on whom Boston takes at 6.
    or
    b) Buss/Kupchak will trade down, looking to get Zach LaVine at 9/10 or so and a second guy in the teens or 20s. LaVine, as a local guy who supposedly has high upside, would be a popular pick.

    One caveat: Danny Ainge will probably make a big play for Love, and such a deal, if made, would obviously include the #6 pick. But I think that Saunders taking over on the sidelines in Minnesota is an indicator that Love will be there at least until the deadline.

    Finally, I agree with T Rogers the majority of the time, and I do again about the state of the team. To use my own analogy, the Lakers have fallen all the way from the top of the mountain to the very first base camp. All they have is a tent, some pots and pans, and one old, very tough mountaineer who has made the climb many times but may not be up to it again physically, and who will be using a lot of supplies–and they are just now trying to put together a new team to start–start–the next climb.

  66. @Mid-Wilshire…
    Your point about the 7th pick affording good talent over the years is well taken. Hopefully the Lakers cash in.

    I’d love to see them take Vonleh or Gordon. Randle leaves me cold and I haven’t seen enough of Smart to comment on him. I’d love to see the team get a quality big, because right now the only big under contract is Sacre. How scary is that??

    As far as Danny Ainge lusting after Gordon, I’ll believe it when he drafts him. I wouldn’t believe Ainge if he told me water is wet. He’s got too much old school Celtic in him to tip his hand.

  67. Robert: I think you misread what I wrote. With the exemption of Kareem, Not a single one of the players you mention have ever, ever, ever, said anything critical of the treatment of the Buss family members towards them. Magic Johnson is critical of Jim, but he has nothing but praise toward Jeannie, the family and the Lakers as an organization. In fact, he has said he has been very heavy handed on his criticism because he is a Laker for life, and views the Lakers as part of his family so he only criticizes because he wants whats best for the org and to honor the DR. Sounds like someone who hates the family?. Oh, and what was Kareem’s beef? That he thought he deserved a statute too. What did the family do? They apologized and gave him one. Kareem has not said a peep since.

    But, you are free to disagree. Just my opinion.

  68. thx for that list, rr. interestingly enough, the 7th picks look a lot better than the 6th picks. hopefully that trend continues this year.

    looking like we’re gonna end up w/ what’s left of vonleh/gordon/smart (no randle, pls), which i’d be quite happy with. in fact, i’d prefer one of those to two of the next tier of players (lavine, mcdermott, etc.); feels like a significant dropoff in talent/potential after the first 8 players.

  69. Here’s an article on the Warrior’s pursuing David Blatt (who just won a Euroleague title and is considered perhaps the premier European coach today). Apparently, Steve Kerr wants him as an assistant coach. This strikes me as slightly ironic since David Blatt might actually be the better coach of the two.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/warriors-pursuing-maccabi-tel-aviv-coach-david-blatt-for-steve-kerr-s-staff-001311942.html

    I was hoping that the Lakers would pursue either Blatt or Ettore Messina. It’s never too late to start. But they better hurry.

    What would they have to lose?

  70. Seriously tho, this does make me question LeBron’s ability to dominate the sport in a post-global warming dystopia.

    Funny

  71. Warren Wee Lim June 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Aaron Gordon is an athlete but so is Marcus Smart. At 6’4 and 200lbs he is ready to take on a rigorous NBA schedule. His post game is what makes me like him apart from him being a Westbrook-type of a speedster. Lacks perimeter game but thats something Westy, Rose and others have managed to overcome.

    Penetrations, moves to the basket and around it provide better success for the guys in the perimeter. This is why I fancy Smart to be our pick if Celtics and Jazz fancy Gordon and Vonleh enough.

  72. so how about them Heatles?

  73. @warren lee,

    if we bring back players like meeks, Johnson, henry, bazemore, farmar……and marshall? why would you want to bring in marcus smart.

  74. Warren Wee Lim June 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Chris Y, this is my idea of a team:

    1. Draft Marcus Smart.
    2. Re-sign Jordan Hill.
    3. Sign Spencer Hawes.
    4. Re-sign Meeks, Farmar, Wes, Bazemore, Kelly and hopefully Nick Young.
    5. Save Cap for 2015.

  75. Parrothead Phil June 6, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Been seeing lots of this meme again this morning and I love it….
    http://i.imgur.com/spqfyPx.jpg

  76. warren lee and chris y:

    warren lee and chris y:

    To be honest the Lakers most glaring need is in the front court where we are clearly lacking talent and depth. Chris outlined the fact that the Lakers have sufficient depth at the guard position although there is not a Kobe level replacement in that group. Of course we do have Kobe under contract for two more years. Absent the opportunity to draft a game changing back court player (not sure there is one in this draft) the team should be focusing on bigs.

    Perhaps, the FO has their sights on Greg Monroe, the RFA power forward? If the feeling is that we can get him I wonder if that changes the focus of this draft.

  77. ummm you didn’t answer. @ warren lee kim

  78. @ todd I agree, I wouldn’t mind if the Lakers drafted vonleh and signed Monroe to fortify the front court. There is a lot of depth and while yes we don’t have another all star in the back court, we have farmar and bazemore who I feel are extremely capable and can play multiple styles, kobe will play more sf these days so if the Lakers bring back a combo of meeks/Xavier/young….they won’t need help in the back court.

  79. Huh Todd.

    By far the Lakers biggest problem was back court last year. They had the worst plus-minus is the NBA at PG

    Bad defense at back court leads to penetration and open shots. Godzilla couldn’t save them at center.

  80. Nick Van Exile June 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I really hope the Lakers aren’t targeting Greg Monroe. In a down year for him, Pau Gasol had better per game averages (in less minutes) in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks and a better PER, FT% and 3FG% compared to Greg Monroe. Monroe is 10 years younger but hasn’t shown much improvement, if any, the last 3 years and will still likely command a long-term contract in the $10-15M/year range (more than Gasol will be getting). If Monroe was constantly improving or was at least a rim protector, he might be worth it but unfortunately, neither is the case.

    I’m not a big fan of Spencer Hawes either but at least signing him is likely to cost much less (~$7M/year) and he offers almost as much production as Monroe (as well as the added dimension of being able to shoot 3′s at a decent percentage).

  81. Of course I have been anti-Spurs around here the last week or so. Still I am amazed at the way they find young talent, develop them, and work them into their system. Those guys are a true team. They go 10 players deep. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do. Every player knows where they are supposed to be. They are loaded with talent. And they are doing it all with a $63 million dollar payroll. Laker loyalty aside I have to tip my hat to those guys. They are the blueprint for success in the league going forward.

    LeBron and Miami are pretty much in a must win situation for game two. If they go down 0-2 that series is over. If LBJ wants to stay alive and get the media off him for “cramp-gate” he needs to come out like a madman in game two and lead Miami to victory.

  82. Nick Van Exile June 6, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    T. Rogers: I completely agree about the Spurs! They obviously have some great players in Duncan, Parker, Ginobli, and Leonard but their ability to reload, year after year, with role players (Mills, Bellinelli, Diaw, Green, etc.) that fit their system and culture is remarkable. I think that is what the Lakers are missing right now. The Spurs have had a consistent coach/system/culture for almost 20 years. Everyone seems to be on the same page. In contrast to that, since Phil Jackson left, the Lakers have lacked a consistent coach/system/culture that allows them to pinpoint players that will have predictable success in this environment. Hopefully, with the next coach they hire, they can establish this direction and consistency that they can then build the team on.

  83. parrothead phil- re-

    http://i.imgur.com/spqfyPx.jpg

    YES. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALING ABOUT!!!!

    I may bag on Kobe a lot – but he’s a real stud.

  84. thast was me agreeing w parrothead,
    love the Limpin’ Lebron truth.
    couldn’t he hop a few feet?
    he had to be carried?
    WOW.

    agree w all those above about teamwork and system of Spurs.
    Breathtaking.

    i cannot imagine a universe in which these guys lose this series.
    If the “Lebrons” wiN, I will gnash my teeth and curse the day of my birth.

    Ko,
    Godzilla plays for Houston now.
    He was too scared to play alongside Kobe.

  85. @ Parrothead Phil

    Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  86. KO – What I’m saying is that at #7 there are no back court players that would be appreciably better than what we currently have. Disclaimer, I am not high on Smart. Absent assurances of a Monroe signing (and who really knows since free agency does not start until July 1st) I would select Vonleh should he be available.

    Note, if the Lakers were drafting #3 I would be all in for Exum.

  87. rr: nice actuarial summation of where we are at and the likeliest of outcomes given the info available. Only thing missing is a risk analysis :-)

    chrisy: If we draft Smart it will be because our point guard corps consistent of a 3rd stringer who can’t move his feet defensively, a 40 year old guy who can’t stay healthy, and a talented, somewhat erratic, injury prone free agent who may not be brought back. Smart has great lateral quickness (faster lane agility times than Westbrook or Wall) and can defend 3 positions. NBA ready body who can contribute right away. Guys with length and quick feet are key to team defense more than ever now. The guys playing 1 and 3 are going to need to cover the gaps created by our free safety *cough* at the 2. Of the guys you mention that could be brought back, only Bazemore can possibly approximate what Smart does defensively.

  88. Parrothead Phil June 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    One more that my son shared with me this morning…

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BpbDjoyCMAAceyv.jpg

  89. Greg Monroe plays with Andre Drummond and averages 15 and 10….. you’d rather have spencer hawes? He’s also 2 years younger then spencer Hawes and will be entering his fourth year, if you can sign him for 3 years for 27-30 million they should do if they’re serious about bolstering their front court, BUT, this is why they should hire a coach soon and are probably waiting until after the draft, but they need to establish an identity and if Greg Monroe doesn’t fit their style, they should pursue bigs that do. Who the Lakers draft, if they don’t move the pick will say a lot about the direction they want to go in.

  90. Do people really think we’re set at ANY position? We need all the help we can get, at every position, and if Smart’s the best player remaining, we should take him.

    On that note, I’ve never known more about the potential lottery picks than I do this yr. Having a hard time deciding who I like more between Gordon and Smart (seems like Vonleh will be gone before #7).

  91. Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Quin Snyder is soon to be named as the new coach of the Utah Jazz, according to sources close to the process.

    Sources on Friday confirmed a Sportando.com report that Snyder is poised to receive a three-year deal from the Jazz to replace Tyrone Corbin.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11044243/quin-synder-soon-named-utah-jazz-coach

  92. Parrot,
    http://i.imgur.com/spqfyPx.jpg
    Friggin´ great!! thanks
    Mamba, Mamba my man- big-time, A1, high-powered, strictly business, copacetic, consequential, mind-blowing & awe-inspiring
    ___
    If the “Lebrons” wiN, I will gnash my teeth and curse the day of my birth.
    ___
    hahahahaha, fantastic

  93. Reports are that Quin Snyder has the Utah gig.

  94. Robert´s been saying it´s Byron for us, is the Snyder signing another indication that it indeed will be Scott?

  95. Mitch said they are going to draft the best player available as it should be, so that should be the end of that debate.At this point in time im kind of burned out of the endless Draft/rumors/FA speculation/next head coach debate.Let the chips fall where they may as the saying goes. About Kamman, he got a really bad deal under MDA and his almost criminal way not to use him. He needs to go elsewhere hopefully a contending team where he could really help. He has his flaws as a player but i apreciated his profesionalism and the fact that he made a difference almost everytime he got the chance to play. Btw the FO have no say or no right to try to tell a coach how to handle minutes. Any self respecting coach would tell them to do something to themselves and quit. One of the reasons that Hollins quit Memphis was that fool Hollinger actually went down to the floor during practice and was triying to tell players how to do stuff, Hollins went ballistic and kicked that idiot off the court. People forgot how PJ kicked the freaking Logo of all people out of the locker room on his 1st season as a coach? Coaches dont take too kindly to FO meddling, even MDA would not allow that and he would be right about it.

  96. Purple,

    No idea. In an email exchange with Robert, I said that while I am not that wound up about who the next coach is, I would prefer that they take a shot on a guy who has not been an NBA HC, and I mentioned Snyder and Fisher. Snyder resigned under a bit of a cloud at Missouri, but there are many positive markers in his record. He has NBDL, NCAA, and international exp.

    Scott really WANTS the gig; that may help him.

  97. Im having more fun reading the trolling of Lebron and trolling him with my Heat “fan” friends and family(unfair but fun) love to troll them with Kobe’s food poisoning game,winning a chip with a broken finger the “Achilles” fts or my fav, playing almost an entire half with a broken knee and hitting the dagger three on top of that. Ohh they hate that lol. All in good fun though. Btw im speaking for myself about burned out on whats going on in Lakerdom. Just waiting to finally starting to see things moving fwd, can’t wait for these Finals to be over with.

  98. ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    One scenario circulating in coach circles is that Snyder, upon landing Utah job, will try to import Euro legend Ettore Messina as assistant

  99. rr the Lakers gig it would be a dream come thru for Byron Scott, i like him as a coach he has pros and cons like everyone else, but i think he need to be a little less vocal about it. I think he ran his mouth a little too much after his interview, could that hurt his chances? Dont know but i dont think it help either.

  100. T Rogers: Our Spurs nightmare is happening. My only condolences are that at least we know what is happening. Others will only realize when the Spurs DVDs start coming out. The San Antonio Spurs – The Team of the Century and the second DVD if you subscribe for 2 years: Tim Duncan – Player of the Millennium.
    Spurs: Yes – they have a well oiled machine for an organization. They have Peter Holt as their owner (he was voted the #1 owner in the ESPN ownership poll). They have Pop as their coach (5th best ever in the NBA), and they have Pop/RC Buford as their GM. RC won the executive of the Year this year. We used to have a group like that. We had Jerry Buss, Jerry West and Phil Jackson. We now have Jim Buss, Jim Buss/Mitch, and no coach. I do not think too much research needs to go into why they are successful and we are not.

  101. KenOak/T Rogers: Don’t read this. This makes my DVD titles look downright under-exaggerated.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2086890-lakers-insider-rivalry-with-lakers-serves-as-backdrop-for-spurs-in-nba-finals

    Byron: Fern – We got this. Purple: Here is the metal reference. James Hetfield is not a great singer by traditional standards. But who else could be the lead singer for Metallica? Such is the case with Byron and the Lakers. I think that even our “Master of Puppets” will be able to figure this one out.

  102. Renato Afonso June 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I stick by randle as the best player in that tier. He’s still the one with best skillset.

    Ko, Godzilla would help. Don’t you dare dis Godzilla. I’m even going to Tokyo next month to pay him a visit…

  103. Cool. Warn him about muscle cramps in his big attack.

  104. I like Warren’s Idea of Spencer Hawes. The Lakers really need to find ways to fill all their positions. They need value per dollar. Hawes also has range and that makes me more comfortable with signing Hill. I would also like to resign Hill but my jaw drops when I hear some writers suggest throwing up to 8 million on him. He is a guy that I would be ecstatic about for 2 million, ok with for 3, sour on at 4 and would be screaming bloody no at 5.

    The more I read about Smart the more he grows on me. He seems very NBA ready other then his outside shot. Gordon I think has a higher ceiling but isn’t as ready. Vonleh I think may be the guy who falls to the Lakers as I posted before and I think he would be a no brainer pick.

    I feel very good about the odds of the Lakers being a fun team to watch next year.

  105. rr,
    thanks for the insightful post –
    Robert,
    you´re right dude, Hetfield´s the guy, as it may come to pass that Byron will be ours. I´m assuming by the `Puppets´ reference that you mean the one who wears the baseball cap, yeah? :)
    (Do you agree that there was NO better version of Van Halen than the original line-up with ol´ David Lee at the helm?)

  106. Warren Wee Lim June 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Noah Vonleh’s draft stock is rising since he is a big that is underutilized in the Indiana U system. Most project him to climb as high as 5 for Utah and possibly 6 for Boston. That can only mean that we’re choosing between the trio of Vonleh, Gordon and Smart, with Smart becoming more likely in many mock drafts.

    I’d offer 5M starting starting salary to Hawes and Hill, becoming our inside/stretch options up front. Only if they are cost effective. Id like to stay away from the Kaman/Gasol route since they will not be part of the team come Kobe’s retirement.

    We can also throw the kitchen sink at Lowry, but he’s someone that will likely not improve anymore. At 10M annual, Id rather give 2.5M to Smart.

  107. Warren Wee Lim June 6, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Chris Y: i thought the answer was simple, Smart is better than what we have on our back court.
    Farmar should be a very good backup PG as with possibly Henry and Bazemore beside him.

  108. the other Stephen June 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    A Smart-Xavier backcourt could play some bully ball.

  109. I stick by randle as the best player in that tier. He’s still the one with best skillset.
    ___

    What other pieces would you use next to him? I’m under the impression that he’s very crafty at one particular thing but doesn’t provide much beside that. He might end up having great individual stats, but I don’t have enough imagination (or basketball knowledge?) to see him as a part of a great team. Unless you can pair him with a big who can both provide spacing on offense and protect the paint. And I don’t think there are many who excel at both.

  110. CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone international to look for a new coach.

    The team has contacted Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt about its coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

  111. If the Lakers are going to keep Farmar and Bazemore, they don’t need another pg especially with nash and marshall on the team….which I can’t believe could happen because they both suck something bad. Farmar and Bazemore are BALLERS and I’m not saying they’re better or marcus smart wont be……but if you have them….and marshall and nash….you’re not drafting him….now if the Lakers don’t keep Farmar and Bazemore that’s another story. By the way….Farmar is a back to back champion, he had some really nice games last year and he’s only 26….he can also play multiple styles and has a jump shot….something smart doesn’t, in fact his shot is horrible. Bazemore can also play pg and is a better defender and shooter and is also young. These are two great options with nash and marshall as safety nets. You also have Henry if they bring him back whose proved he can play a little pg as he had to last year. Marcus Smart could be a baller….but it depends on our coach, our identity, who we keep…..so yes SMART is better than Nash and Marshall at this point, but I don’t think he’s better than Farmar and Bazemore at all…so that’s your opinion. He could also be the next Rodney Stuckey….so who cares?

  112. David Lee sang with Van Halen? I thought he plays with the Dubs.

  113. Robert> “Our Spurs nightmare is happening. My only condolences are that at least we know what is happening. Others will only realize when the Spurs DVDs start coming out. The San Antonio Spurs – The Team of the Century and the second DVD if you subscribe for 2 years: Tim Duncan – Player of the Millennium.”

    I think most everyone has been aware of what the Lakers and Spurs have accomplished in the current era and how they compare. There’s no official competition for “Team of the Century,” no trophy given out by the NBA, and even if there was, it’d be another 80 some odd years before it happened. Not everyone cares all that much if Pop or Duncan personally have more rings than PJ or Kobe. If the success of the Spurs (or the Heat) has any impact on the Laker organization, it should only be to inspire them to more greatness.

  114. Looks like Bynum wants to return to Lakers..

    should we do it?

  115. Warren Wee Lim June 7, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Since when did Bazemore become a PG?

  116. Nova: Might be worth a camp invite, but I wouldn’t guarantee anything. His medical history doesn’t bode well. If I were in his shoes, I’d retire from basketball and look at other career options.

  117. “Looks like Bynum wants to return to Lakers.. should we do it?”

    Make the trainers earn their money? More team chemistry drama? Better bench hairstyles? If the price is right, I say go for it.

  118. If we get Vonleh, I will be ecstatic. I know we see the Bosh comparison, and I’m not going against that perception. I do see a little something different. His lower body looks like it can get sticky. Work people in the post kind of sticky. I have all the respect for Bosh but I see Vonleh picking up some more low post skill over the next few years. A team develops him like the Lakers did Bynum, I think he’ll be a punishing player. A go to guy in the post would be amazing for the team and lends itself to long term success. If not Vonleh, I do like Smart. Either way, they need to pick well and develop well, and they need to start building a system right now.

    I think the biggest thing a coach has to bring to the team is a culture. Phil did that and the Lakers have always done that when they’ve had good coaches. Riley clearly established a culture in Miami. OKC has a culture, even if still a little green. Doc brings a culture. I think there are a few guys out there who can do this while learning the NBA coaching game. Success comes from establishing good habits, familiarity, trust and other bonding type activities. Obviously this assumes skills and talent which is the other aspect of the game we are focused on. Get us a coach who can establish a long term culture, understands the game, can lead people and let him learn the league on the job.

    In my dreams, the Lakers draft Vonleh, Kobe is healthy and keeps Duncan company as a top-quality old man, Nash plays 60 games and 20 minutes a game. Maybe we sign Kamen and Hill. We keep Swaggy, basically a healthy version of last year’s Lakers but with Vonleh instead of Pau. We barely miss the playoffs but get a Top-3 pick. That pick can become an asset, one that could moved for a good available veteran and then we sign Love…. By year two Vonleh is clearly showing he can be a defensive anchor and is improving his offensive game. He has some post moves and a couple of counters, he can shoot from deep and it opens up a little off the bounce game. Hopefully he sticks to only a couple of dribbles before putting it up. Probably still has a hard time passing out of the double-team but seems smart enough to figure it out in a couple of seasons. You have Kobe in the final year of his last big contract. You have Love and maybe the veteran player we got with the high pick is Kyrie Irving. Bazemore or Henry become a Danny Green type. Swaggy, Hill and Farmar are off the bench, maybe Meeks and another big. Kelly should be able to contribute 10-15 minutes a game. The season after that the team would have the money to sign Kobe for closer to $8m (if he’s willing) and another big FA. Keep in mind that this is all a dream scenario but, aside from the lottery luck in 2015, and getting Vonleh at the #7, I don’t think I reached my way off a skyscraper.

    2015

    Irving / Farmar
    Kobe / Meeks
    Bazemore / Swaggy
    Love / Hill / Kelly
    Vonleh / Kamen

    Then a big free agent signing for 2016 sets the team up to contend for a while. Hitting with this #7 pick is really key as it provides excellent value for a price that lets the team collect high quality assets before spending some of that Time Warner money to keep the next generation of players at market value. One hopes the pick actually develops into a max player that can be signed because of Bird Rights despite getting the team to the cap again with FA veteran players signed at their value.

  119. should we do it?

    I don’t see why not.

  120. Farmar and Bazemore are BALLERS

    Farmar and Bazemore are like everybody else under 30 and under 6’7″ the Lakers had under contract last year: guys who can contribute on an NBA bench. The FO did a pretty good job of picking up/using guys like that: Henry, Farmar, Johnson, Meeks, Bazemore. You can add Kelly to that list if you like as well, although he is obviously taller. What the Lakers didn’t have and still don’t have is either any elite talent or a starting lineup. So, again, if they keep the pick, the FO should take whomever Buss and Kupchak think the best player is at 7.

    As to Smart, I have not liked what I have seen of him that much, based on the eye test. His form on his J needs work, I think his lift is suspect, and a lot of stuff I saw him do in college seemed to be based on being bigger and stronger than everybody else playing guard. OTOH, even with the miserable 3P%, (.299) the metrics like him a lot. Certainly, the idea of a big, tough, combative backcourt player is viscerally appealing, given how bad the Lakers’ perimeter D has been the last two years.

    I would be happy if Vonleh slipped to 7th, but as I said earlier, I will be very surprised if it happens. I think he is as likely to go 4th as he is to go 7th.

  121. http://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/la-sp-lakers-fisher-20140607-story.html

    Fisher is out. As the lakers want experience. Geez I hope it’s not Scott – loudly proclaiming you’re the perfect for this team solely on your relationship w kobe yet meanwhile kobe is injured and there is absolutely no foreshadowing of what this season’s team should look like? Smh.

  122. jerke: You are late : ) I posted that Fisher was out 3 days ago. Larry Brown is out too. Byron is the right choice. He is part of the Laker family and has 3 player rings. He has been to the finals twice. He knows how to handle the press and the “heat”. He is tight with Kobe. He will be supported by the Laker community (Magic, James, and Mychal). He is a recognizable name that the fans will support him because he is a Laker. Now – I know some will not consider all of that a valid argument for Scott, and to them I say – I would love to hear a valid one for anyone else. Further – I am not saying Scott is the “answer”. Nobody is. Scott will be good caretaker for few years, as opposed to the bad caretakers we have had for the past few. What is not going to happen, is the utopian dream. Coach comes in and gradually builds a champion by starting with you guys and vagabonds and molding into a team over the course of 6-7 years. That will not happen. And if it does, I would still pick Scott, because he is a guy who “could” do either job. Meaning be a caretaker or coach the contender. However what I am expecting is for us to be average at best and very bad at worst. The new coach will probably last 2-3 years and be gone unless we and they get very lucky. This is Hollywood, but it is not a movie, so the dream of gradually building a team from the grass roots over the course of years is extremely elusive. It might happen for a GM – not for a coach in today’s NBA.

  123. Jerke, don’t forget his relationship with Irving and their shared experience of utter failure. That should seal the deal.

  124. rfen: I understand this is not important to you. Some do not care about the Celtics either. What difference does it make that the Celtics have 17 titles? We still have 16. Would it matter if the Celtics had 15? Yes it would to me. If not to you – OK fine. I feel the same way about the Spurs. I do want them to win for the same reason. Accomplishment is measured against others. It matters what others do. Only four guys get on Mt Rushmore. Only 10 guys get in the top ten of all time. Only one franchise can be the best of all time. And only one franchise can be the best of each generation. I root for Lakers in the individual awards and the Laker franchise overall. Therefore I root against those close to us or our individual accomplishments. My rooting appears to be in vain – and I am becoming resigned to watching the Sports Illustrated commercial celebrating the Spurs dancing on our legacy. The fact that they “play the right way” will not make me feel better : )

  125. Actually, supposedly Irving really likes and respects Scott, and if Scott gets the job, that will probably be an indicator that the FO either knows or at least believes that to be the case. If you Google “Kyrie Irving Byron Scott” you will see many references to this, including Irving’s reaction to Scott’s firing. Here is a -tweet from that time:

    Jason Lloyd @JasonLloydABJ
    Follow
    Kyrie “emotions are running high. I’m trying to get over loss of my basketball father.” #Cavs

    Basically, assuming that players see a coach the same way that fans do is generally not a good idea.

  126. I have a post stuck in mod with actual evidence, but there are many indicators that Irving really likes and respects Scott.

  127. If hiring Scott nets us Irving then I suppose that’s argument enough.
    That’s Julius Irving — right?

    I do think his relationship w Kobe will be helpful.
    Sorry to see Fish fall out of the running.
    Perhaps Hollins is still a possibility.

  128. As for Bynam.

    Right now our starting center is Robert Sacre.

    It’s like asking should I eat worms or spiders.

    Depends how hungry I am.

  129. Bynum can play well but are his knees going hold up? If the doctors say his knees are ok maybe roll the dice and add him as a bench guy but Bynum cannot be counted on.

  130. That’s Julius Irving — right?

    Laugh if you want, but Kyrie Irving is a very good player and the kind of guy who could help draw other guys. I don’t know if Irving’s relationship with Scott is actually a big enough deal that it would influence Irving to come here, but if Scott gets hired, that will suggest that the FO thinks so, as I said.

  131. Haha Rr was joking.
    Yeah I like Kyrie and hoping Ninja Mitch has something like that up his sleeve.

    Ko
    I prefer worms.
    And Gasol’s not even being considered?
    That’s food for thought.

  132. Reports Cavs are going offer Irving a max deal. Don’t sound like they letting him walk.

  133. Irving is a RFA in 2016 in any case, and on top of that, it would be surprising if he turned down a max deal. No one yet has turned down the Early Bird extension. The CBA is of course set up that way on purpose, and it will be one of the many things that Jim Buss will have to overcome to meet his self-imposed contention deadline.

    That said, at some point, somebody will turn down an Early Bird Extension, and Irving has things he can do/say if he really wants out of Cleveland, which he may not. Whether his connection to Byron Scott is strong enough that Scott’s becoming the coach here would actually impact Irving’s career plans is another question.

  134. Well niw is the time for Kibe to get involved. It would need to be done in secret but unless Kibe wants to watch another horrible season he must reach out.

    Irvine, Kobe, PF in the draft and a real coach is 60% better then last years joke.

  135. Man my typing stinks. I need to find bigger keys.

  136. Warren Wee Lim June 8, 2014 at 4:55 am

    Couple of corrections with the best intents:

    Kyrie Irving is eligible for an extension on July 1st to October 31st. He is set to earn $7,070,730 in 2014-15 and has a choice to accept the extension offered by the Cavs or take a $9,191,949 qualifying offer to forego his extension and become an unrestricted free agent the year after.

    This extension is not called the early bird extension.

    For those of you hoping you can sign Kyrie, well it would have to be in the summer 2016 and provided that he takes the qualifying offer before that happened.

    For those of you hoping you can get him via trade, it would have to involve the #7 pick among other things, but the Cavs can outright do better if the idea was to trade him. You can expect whopping offers from other franchises that will beat ours black and blue. Kyrie is under contract for atleast 2 more seasons if he indeed “insisted” on coming over to LA.

    Good luck with that.

  137. ….the more quotes…..the more things that come out of mitch and jim…..it just shows how incompetent it all is. Lets interview….Byron scott, lionel hollins, MIKE DUNLEAVY, and Alvin gentry….for the Lakers job…..but lets not interview fishers because we want a coach with head coaching experience……but we hired Mike Brown…..Mike f’in Brown. We don’t even look at Quin Synder even though he was on our bench, never interviewed Brian Shaw…..ok so we clearly don’t want to go young…..at this point…..Mark Jackson is my fav option to coach the Los Angeles Lakers and I would want him there for 3 years because you can bet he learned a lot from coaching in Golden State and he’s been in the western conference and knows it…… really you’re not going to hire Derek Fisher because he hasn’t coached before? who do you think was coaching on the floor for your titles? he has more leadership and winning experience than the whole Lakers front office. I thought Jason Kidd was the dumbest coaching hire the Nets could have made, and it showed….but even he turned it around, a lot of it has to do with who players want to play for. I can’t wait for the draft because I feel like after that the Lakers can just start doing something and we can at least start to see what their plan is. That’s what bothers me the most…..there is no plan. no identity, no direction. We went from a team that wanted a defensive identity so they bring in Mike Brown, to a team that wants to play up tempo so we bring in O’Antoni, then we have to continuously move pieces to the roster, there is no direction and it gets old as a fan. You can really really see and feel Jim Buss’s time at the helm. You’d think with such an established franchise it wouldn’t be so glaring….but yea he sucks that much.

  138. For those of you wonder how San Antonio attracts the type of players they do, in my opinion it’s rather simple. They acquire guys who want to play ball, team ball under Pop & with Duncan and company. Guys looking for glamor destinations, endorsements, individual attention via self proclaimed nicknames (Swaggy P?), and movie deals don’t go to San Antonio. Only guys who want to play serious ball.

  139. Jo Houston: “Why is anyone quoting Bill Simmons a Celtics Fan. The Lakers are the greatest Franchise post MJ.”

    With all due respect, I think you’re shortchanging the Laker franchise. Personally I think they are the greatest franchise in NBA history, and here’s why:

    Team Years/existed Titles Final appearances Post-season appearances
    Celtics 68 17 21 51
    Lakers 66 16 31 60

    Most people are only interested in the most obvious stat “most titles”. However how can post season & Finals appearances be ignored? Seriously, isn’t making the Finals better than not making them?

    The Lakers are the greatest NBA franchise.

  140. I root for Lakers in the individual awards and the Laker franchise overall. Therefore I root against those close to us or our individual accomplishments. My rooting appears to be in vain
    ____
    Hmm, it would feel better to clearly outperform competitors instead of hoping that they don’t take advantage of their opportunities so we kind of become the best by default.

    On a related note, according to this poll the Heat have surpassed the Lakers as America’s most popular team:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11040129/miami-heat-america-top-nba-team-espn-sports-poll-shows

  141. David Lee sang with Van Halen? I thought he plays with the Dubs
    __
    good one
    ___
    P. Ami, re: `In my dreams´
    Man, I would love some semblance of your dream scenario to come to fruition -though you may do well to put on a parachute just in case ;)
    ___
    Big City,
    Throwing down the hammer at 7:33am! Dig it! (though I know you´re not a Mamba fan, which has me scratching my head at times, nevertheless I´m emboldened by your true Laker colors!)

  142. BigCity: Bingo. We crush the Celtics. 31 trips to the finals, and most importantly most of their titles were when they used peach baskets. So we are the dominant team both of all time and especially the modern era. However we have lost the marketing battle. When talking about the greatest of all time, everyone says 17 > 16. Funny how it does not work this way in football and nobody cares about the old Browns and Bears titles. And ditto with the Spurs. Even if the Spurs win, Kobe/Phil will have 5 titles in 7 trips. If they win, the Spurs will have 5 titles in 6 trips. However, this will not stop anyone outside of LA proclaiming them the better overall team than us. They will cite their playoff appearances and such, which are not cited when we get compared to the Celtics. We are lucky to be where we are, as it took the Lakers decades to acknowledge our Minny titles (the trophies where found in a closet).

    Purple: Seen VH 7 times – 5 were with Roth (last in 2012).

    chris y: “there is no plan. no identity, no direction” Been saying this for 3 years. Even though I support Byron, I was not happy when Fish was fully removed. Perhaps he could be on the staff at some point.

  143. This extension is not called the early bird extension.

    Not technically no. Early Bird is generally used to refer to two years, so you are correct there. I was using it more colloquially. The rules about extending guys on their rookie deals are complicated–
    “Rose Rule”, Designated Player, etc.

    As to the rest, yes, as I said, it is unlikely that Irving ends up here any time soon, for the reasons I outlined. What will probably happen is that Cleveland will draft Embiid, Irving will stay in Cleveland and try to make it work, and the Lakers will continue to struggle.

    The point was that Irving’s apparent connection to Scott is, actually, the only connection the Lakers could possibly have to Irving.

  144. Robert: “Some do not care about the Celtics either. What difference does it make that the Celtics have 17 titles? We still have 16. Would it matter if the Celtics had 15? Yes it would to me. If not to you – OK fine. I feel the same way about the Spurs.”

    The Celtics are a truly historic Laker rival, so the 17-16 titles has some historical significance. I personally don’t dwell on it, though. And I don’t look at any other franchise the same way. To me there’s no special rivalry with the Spurs. The current era in San Antonio is very impressive. I think they’ve earned their success by managing and playing the right way, so I’d rather see them win than most other current teams. If the Heat win a string of titles, they’ll just as assuredly overshadow the recent success of the Lakers. What matters to me is the Lakers getting it together again, not worrying about other franchises, and as I said, the Spurs should inspire the Lakers.

  145. For those of you wonder how San Antonio attracts the type of players they do, in my opinion it’s rather simple.

    Buford and Popovich like international players; supposedly they see these guys as generally being more polished and coachable than Americans who grew up in the AAU system and were BMOCs for a year or two tend to be. Parker, Ginobili, Splitter, Diaw, Belinelli, Mills, Baynes, and Duncan were all born outside the US and many of them played or have played in some form outside the US. The Spurs got Leonard in a draft day deal for George Hill, and picked up Green off the scrap heap.

    So, the Spurs are not really about attracting players. They are about finding guys with some skills, usually international guys, and putting them in position to succeed.

    But the whole thing is still built around Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili, who remain the Spurs’ three most important players at 38, 31, and 36, respectively. Leonard and Splitter are good players, but they would probably look different if they were going 35 minutes a game and were expected to anchor the team.

  146. Also, just to be clear, if Irving does not take an extension, he will be a RFA next summer. That is what Bledsoe, Hayward, and Monroe did, so they are all RFAs this summer.

  147. I don’t think any player should be deciding the coaches for the team, certainly not a player that has proven nothing in terms of winning, certainly not a player that isn’t even playing for the team, and certainly not someone who thinks of Byron Scott as his basketball father. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think much of Scott as a coach. Oh well… if the only alternative is Mike Dunleavy, fine. But he isn’t so I’d rather go in a more forward looking direction.

    BTW, everything I’ve read indicates the Cavs are not going to offer Irving a max as they don’t believe he will accept it.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24572043/report-cavs-dont-want-to-give-kyrie-irving-maximum-extension

    BTW, Kobe has been paid to do his job and sell tickets. The Lakers have no chance of contending in the next two three seasons, so Scott’s experience in the Finals is irrelevant. By the time the Lakers may have a contender, Kobe will not be their best player. Heck, he won’t be their second best player and one might argue he would have to be their an excellent 3rd or fourth option for the team to be a contender. Kobe’s feelings about a coach is irrelevant.

  148. Robert> “Even if the Spurs win, Kobe/Phil will have 5 titles in 7 trips. If they win, the Spurs will have 5 titles in 6 trips. However, this will not stop anyone outside of LA proclaiming them the better overall team than us. They will cite their playoff appearances and such…”

    Caring what other people think, then, must be the key. ;) Since Popovich took over the Spurs, in 17 seasons, they’ve by some standards already outperformed the Lakers—much better regular season W-L record, better average yearly ratings, more playoff appearances, and doing it all with a difference in team payroll that almost every year favors the Lakers by about the cost of a star player or so.

    It all depends on how someone wants to measure the teams. Probably true that if the Spurs win it all this season, they’ll be a lot more enthusiasm shown for them for awhile. Whatever. However the Finals go, and for all time, this era of the Spurs will be considered a great one.

  149. @rr….
    Although technically Tim Duncan was born outside the continental United States, he and everyone else born in the United States Virgin Islands since 1917 is an American citizen by birth. Tim is not foreign born, although many misinformed media types have portrayed him as such.

  150. Tim is not foreign born, although many misinformed media types have portrayed him as such.

    Fair enough, but the overall point holds: Duncan’s background is not that of the more typical American-raised NBA star. Ditto David Robinson, and lot of the “culture” comes from that, IMO.