Preseason games have about as much meaning as a Pauly Shore movie. If you’re lucky it keeps you entertained for a couple hours, but there’s not much to think about afterwards.
But there are a couple of notes in the wake of the Lakers last preseason game — the ugly loss at the Forum to Golden State — that are encouraging.
One is that after that performance they held a team meeting to talk about it and make sure they don’t lay an egg like that again. For a preseason game. Also, every report coming out of practices is that things are very competitive — the guys are banging and working, not just going through the motions. Kobe and Artest have commented on this.
These are good signs — complacency may be the Lakers biggest weakness this year. This team has a tendency to coast, and winning a title could make that worse. But it appears that the team — with its veterans leading the way — is not going to allow that to happen. There is still a hunger and it is evident in preseason. This in no way means we should suddenly expect a Lakers squad focused every minute of every night, but it may mean that the team is not going to get too fat and happy.
As for tonight, it doesn’t matter who owns a hotel in town this should pretty much be a home crowd for the Lakers against the Kings. Remember, they played a 1992 playoff game at the Thomas & Mack (moved due to the riots) and you basically get all the Lakers home games televised there. Vegas is a Lakers town.
By the way, no Gasol or Walton expected to play tonight, although both are minor injuries that would not have kept them out of a regular season game. No reason to worry. Remember, 7 p.m. start, Chanel 9 here in LA and radio 710 ESPN here.
You can toggle between this and the Dodgers winning game one.
On a separate note, rather than open that Netflix envelope this weekend, try watching the Sonicsgate movie online. The fans in that city got screwed — by the team owners (old and new) and the politicians there to represent them. The fans were virtually powerless, and that was sad.
SonicsGate is definitely worth your time if you even care a little about the NBA.
Thank you for commenting on us here in Seattle. Been a laker fan ever since Karl Malone went to LA but still… losing our home team like that hurt.
the other Stephen says
the dude from the blowtorch claims:
1) Pau shaves hourly
***2) Lamar Odom uses a Magic 8-Ball to make every decision in his life.
3) Andrew Bynum smells like Listerine.
4) Luke Walton likes soda.
5) Phil Jackson’s car is green.
j.d. Hastings says
In case any of you have missed the blooming Stephen Jackson- Kobe thing (mainly Stephen Jackson), check these out. Kobe can destroy a man’s psyche with 2 words:
For all you Top Chef fans out there (and I know there is a lot on FB&G). Doesn’t the whole Stephen Jackson-Kobe “Young Fella” thing remind you of when Dale went off on Michael Chiarello in Top Chef Masters just because Chiarello said “Young Man”?
Comparing S. Jackson to Kobe sounds outlandish, but Artest makes a valid point. Jackson just wants to win now and realizes that hes not going anywhere with the GSW, but to the bank. Being 31 and starting a youth movement didnt sit to kindly with ole Jack, probabaly would have been happier if they would have pulled the trigger on that Stoudemire deal. Now he sees a rookie undersized point, a undersized 2 guard and the rest young talent that has to be molded by a dude that seems to run everybody out of town that will amount to a decent ball player.
Kobe was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, but different circumstances . He felt that the FO with all this revenue coming in, pinching pennys, and bringing in patch work players was an insult to their commitment to him and the future of a team that should compete for a championship every year. The GSW ownership will never compete on a revenue basis as LA, but they could at least try to make it look like they want to try to win.
I hope RonRon continues to be this insightful on situations around the league. It is intriguing to try to figure out what is really going on in his head.
j.d. Hastings says
6- that all sounds good… until you realize how Jackson went out of his way to get into the overpriced contract he just re-signed to immediately before he decided to start whining. To get that contract he intentionally sucked up to Nelson and Rowell or whatever the guy’s name is, going around Chris Mullin’s head in one of the big signs that Mullin’s was going to be ousted. He didn’t have a word to say about BD being shown the door or anything else. He looked out for Cap’n jack, no matter the cost to the team.
Then as soon as he makes himself impossible to trade for anywhere near equal value, he throws the hissy fit.
When Kobe got upset, he was 2 years into his deal, having earned that by helping take the team to the finals the year before. He was (publicly at least) a good camper through the rough 2005 season, then single-handedly carried the team to the playoffs for 2 consecutive years before blowing up about how little help he was being given. At which point even if it would have been impossible to get equal value for him, the lakers wouldn’t have to take back a terrible contract just to jettison him.
The 2 situations are completely different. Jackson’s bed is largely self made here. If he wanted to play for a contender, all he needed was to not demand the exorbitant extension and to sign cheap or be traded as a soon to be expiring contract. And he’d still be paid millions a year. Just not until he’s 35.
alex v. says
@5/Bernie – It would be closer if the player going off on Kobe was some undrafted scrub whose only chance to be on TV was to get in Kobe’s face.
But since you bring it up, wouldn’t the current season of Top Chef be better if they had just taken the top 4 last night and sent everyone else home? (Let those four just compete for cash prizes without eliminations or something to fill in the schedule.) As it is, it seems like we’ve identified the contenders and we’re just waiting for the playoffs to start.
T. Rogers says
You were much more balanced in your assessment of the Lakers during your chat than Chris Broussard was in Cleveland’s chat. That guy sounds just like he did last season when he swore the Cavs would sweep all the way to the Finals. You came more like a basketball analyst than a blind fan. As a reader, I appreciate that.
I know this is a different thread, I just wanted to point that out to you. Also, I think Adande goes out of his way NOT to sound like a Lakers homer. I understand the motivation. But it does not come off as genuine.
Any links for the game?
Was this summer longer or shorter than last summer?
Were you all as eager as you were now last year when we got crushed by the Celtics?
Or were you more eager then, because you wanted the Lakers to prove that they can beat the Celtics and win it all?
Being more of a fair-weather fan, I think I’m much more eager about the upcoming season than I was a year ago… last year, in all honesty, I was afraid that we may fall short… again… and to Boston… again 🙁
Thank god that did not happen 🙂
7. The market this year and in years to come definately played a role in his signing that contract before it hit the table. You cant fault him for signing a contract that was stupid on managements watch. If someone offers you 2mil for your house and it s only worth 1.5 are you going to tell them that they are making a big mistake, I dont think so. Youare going to take the money and considered it a good business deal on your part. Thats why Im thinking management might have made him believe that they were going to get Stoudemire for a good inside out combo. I can remember Kobe not shooting the ball against Phoenix during the playoffs trying to get his point across. Thats why alot of fans hate Kobe because of his selfish attitude until the last two years when the FO finally brought players in that he had a chance to win with. I truly believe that Kobe would have went to another team if the other team would not have had to give up half its roster to acquire him, leaving him in the same postion that he was in LA. Its not a knock on either player but its a fair assessment by Ron to bring up that players(including KB) do this same amount of postering. So dont make it seem like this is the first time this has happen, cause it definitely will not be the last.
Joel Meyers has already used the word ‘length’ twice within the first minute.
j. d. hastings says
I have a sneaking suspicion that the Kings aren’t good
Anybody watching? After one quarter Andrew looks active, but as with GS, Kings don’t have a dominant five.
Otherwise not much to comment on so far.
what happened to LO? is it serious
‘magic eight ball.. will i play well today?’
‘don’t count on it’
he’s fine. just banged his shin. nothing serious.
i take that back, lamar just headed to the locker room due to his soar shins. hopefully nothing too serious.
j. d. hastings says
John Ireland calls it a bruise off from the main shin- i.e. away from the bone. I take that as a positive.
j. d. hastings says
I know a lot of people will see this as controversial, but I think we should consider starting this Mbenga, Farmar, Brown, Gaffney, Morrison unit. Solid.
Maybe fit in that lady who says her flu shot makes her walk backwards too. Switch things up a bit
out of kobe, pau, lamar, bynum, and ron; pau and lamar are the two guy i’d be least upset about being injured this early. why you might think, because bynum needs to stay healthy for once, kobe is getting to that age where i don’t think he should be getting any serious injuries, and ron is still learning laker ball. so, with pau and lamar not injury proned, on a “steap” downhill slope in their career, and they are familiar w/ the scheme of things they are the most affordable to lose for a bit at this time.
Off topic, but glad to see Chan-Ho to get a hold there 🙂 He’s no longer a Dodger, but he was always most productive in Dodger stadium…
Yeah, Bynum was 10-12, Free Throw shooter tonight, huh?, pre-season or not that is good for our 7 footer.
Vegas is definitely a Laker home game. Priceless moment when the guys in our section started chants of M-V-P….as Mbenga shot his free-throws…..
Nice to see Sasha found his shot. Let’s hope that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.
One other thing to consider about Kobe’s ’07 drama. It started with something else. Supposedly, someone in the organization made a statement saying that it was Kobe who wanted Shaq gone.
That set off the chain of events that led to Kobe being so pissed he demanded a trade. Had that never happened, who knows if Kobe ever goes on his radio show spree?
Jackson just wants out. Period. But he should just be a professional. Once camp starts, shut up and do what you are paid to do, and let your agent do what he is paid to do.
#24 – The Kobe situation actually started with him suggesting the Lakers bring back Jerry West as the GM which despite if he meant it or not, was a pretty bad shot at Mitch.
Stephen Jackson’s situation in my opinion is very similar. Kobe felt that management was in a rebuilding mode and he wasn’t down for that and Jackson feels that way about Golden State.
New post up.
9. Thank you.
Craig W. says
One thing youall are forgetting when comparing Kobe to SJackson…Kobe never dogged a game – exhibition or not – after his demand. He kept his play at top level.
That is a key difference for making any comparison. Vince Carter anyone?
By the time Kobe demanded his trade, he had three rings.
What does Jackson have other than a well-deserved bad reputation?
In fairness, Jax is dealing with a coach and organization that borders on the psychotic.