From Mark Whicker, OC Register: After the blowout at Charlotte, Andrew Bynum pointed out that the Lakers were “angry, but not for the right reasons. We’re angry at each other.” Kobe Bryant said he would probably say something to his teammates at their next practice and, when asked what tone he would use, said, “What do you think?” Phil Jackson referred to Pau Gasol as “weak and sickly” after a 5-for-14 shooting performance, in the Lakers’ worst-ever loss to the Bobcats. Yes, it was a pretty dire moment there for the Purple and Cold, way back in … 2010. There are a multitude of reasons to beat up this year’s Lakers after Monday’s 20-point tumble own the Charlotte steps. The Lakers spread red carpets for the Bobcats to strut to the basket, their bench players were more like stunt doubles than agents of change and Bryant seemed very much like a 33-year-old playing his fourth game in five days.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: No longer will Jerry West’s image be immortalized only in the NBA logo. At 6 p.m. Thursday outside Staples Center, it will also show up in the form of a statue. This will be the third Lakers statue outside Staples Center, joining those of Magic Johnson and Chick Hearn. There are also statues depicting hockey player Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Johnson’s statue was dedicated during the NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles in 2004, while Hearn’s statue was unveiled last season The ceremony, which begins at 5 p.m, will be open to the public and will feature speeches from West, members of his family and teammates, colleagues and friends highlighting a storied career with the Lakers. During his playing career with the Lakers from 1960-1974, West led the team to an NBA championship in 1972, was a 14-time All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA selection and won the 1969 Finals MVP award, though the Lakers lost that series to the Boston Celtics.
From C. A. Clark, Silver Screen and Roll: Four games in five nights. It gets you almost every time. Basketball is a tough game, and participating in a professional basketball contest four times in 120 hours is just tough sledding. It leads to fatigue, which in turn leads to sloppiness, poor effort, and a tendency to give up. And when you are hitting double digits in terms of the number of years you’ve been doing this job, those challenges keep getting tougher. I mean, just think about it. All the game planning. All the team meetings. All the shoot arounds. All the layup lines. All that getting up from your fancy high chair. All those piercing high-pitched whistles. All the timeouts. All the post game questions. It’s exhausting just to think about. And its enough to make you want to just skip out on the last bit of your duties at the end of a rough night.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: And the rich get richer… Time Warner Cable — which already provides service to much of the Los Angeles area — will launch a two new regional sports cable channels in the Los Angeles marketplace in 2012 with the Lakers as part of the package, the team and company announced jointly Monday. The Lakers will be the cornerstones of those stations for 20 years starting with the 2012-13 season. While the financial details are not yet public, for the Lakers to jump ship from Fox Sports where they have been for two decades you know this has to be very, very lucrative for the team. This will also mean the end of Lakers road games broadcast on KCAL 9 in the city.
Phil Jackson calls Pau “weak and sickly.” Really Phil? Really? There are so many things wrong with that comment. One is that its not Gasol’s fault his coach puts him out of position at Center for half the game. How strong would KG look in the middle? How strong and healthy would Kobe look at PF. Heck… Even Kobe looks soft when he plays at Sf against a Pierce, Lebron, or Carmelo. I’m sick and tired of all the Gasol is soft talk. When he plays his natural PF I’ve never seen him look soft. If Phil doesn’t like how weak Gasol looks maybe he should stop playing him at Center!!
Let’s be honest here, there is something wrong with Gasol. Even in his supposed “soft” stage of 07-08, I never saw Gasol get so easily moved out of position, never saw so many of his shots challenged, and never saw so many easy buckets by the guy he’s guarding than I do now.
I’m not saying he should be the scapegoat but this is not the same Gasol I’ve seen from Jan of 08 till about mid-November last year.
Aaron, I believe the “weak and sickly” comment was made in 2010.
You’re almost as bad as me still complaining about (the recently retired) Larry Brown as a coach! :0)
Darius Soriano says
The game preview is up:
710 espn is saying that there’s a supposed reason that the Laker’s are playing so poorly.
They’ve alluded to the fact that one of the basketball players is having a personal problem that is a blockbuster.
It will either be confirmed or denied after the Laker’s game against the Cavaliers.
T. Rogers says
Gasol did spend his first six years in the league playing center. It is not a new experience for him. I do agree with you that he is not a true center, but he has excelled at it in the past. It’s just that now he seems overwhelmed when being put in the middle. Maybe he is tired of all the banging that comes with playing that close to the rim. I don’t know. But he has looked “different” for a good part of this season.
Bynum is the only true center the Lakers have. At 6’10” each Ratliff, Odom, and Smith are all power forwards. Ditto for Caracter. Unless Bynum is playing 40 minutes a night Pau Gasol has to play some minutes at center. It shouldn’t be that big of an issue. Only a couple of teams have real, physical centers. The majority have average at best big men in the middle. On most nights Pau Gasol should have his way no matter which position Phil has him playing.
Is OJ Mayo worth the luxury tax hit from the Sasha trade exception? One of the repeated phrases during his draft year was that he was NBA-ready but close to his ceiling. His Summer league point explorations were considered disastrous but the effort showed admirable work ethic. The addition would be more future minded as I would like to see someone come in and learn some of Fisher’s mojo versus cramming an older player into the system. Of course, there have to be much cheaper ways to go than 4.5 million squared.