From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: It’s always enlightening to hear from Lamar Odom following any season, win or lose, and Wednesday was no exception. Odom is always good for a few laugh lines along with a healthy dose of honesty. Among the more notable moments came when Odom weighed a year of personal achievement- it was among his best seasons as a pro, arguably his strongest- with team disappointment. “It’s funny, but on the plane, that’s what kind of broke me down,” he said. “When I was with Derek [Fisher], and I was talking to him about individual success, but after experiencing championships? To hell with it. You go through so many things in life, and the one year when I get “noticed” or get accolades, or to work with my wife, the reality show, the fragrance happening, is the year my team comes up short. We lose. It’s just the way it is.”
From Daniel Bruege, Lakers Nation: Kobe Bryant has long been the best player in the NBA. Despite constant arguments from pundits claiming other players had surpassed him on the court he continued to prove why he was the best. But during the 2011 season he took a clear step backwards, as the beating his body has taken over the last decade finally seems to have caught up to him. ?However, it was announced that Bryant was named to the first team All-NBA and first team All-Defense teams once again. While Bryant did have a good season and was one of the best players in the league, both those awards should have gone to somebody else.
From Sam Amick, Sports Illustrated: There is a recent blueprint here, even if it’s a tad incomplete. The same Phil Jackson who headed off into retirement on Wednesday was close to doing this dance a year ago, thinking seriously about leaving the Lakers behind and forcing the purple-and-gold powers-that-be to plot this new plan. The rumblings could be heard even then, whispers that the vaunted triangle offense that had played such an intimate role in Jackson’s career wasn’t welcome anymore. Only Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss truly knows how badly he wants a new brand of basketball, an evolution into a Showtime-esque era that would require the right kind of coach and a more athletic roster to suit that style. But as the Lakers begin the league’s most high-profile coaching search in the coming weeks, that question will be crucial in the decision-making process
From Sam Amick, Sports Illustrated: By the time Kobe Bryant was done with his state of the union address at the Lakers’ practice facility, he had spoken for nearly 24 minutes. He reflected on the departure of Phil Jackson, shared his insight on what led to the end of this reign, and explained why the future remains as bright as the Southern California sun for the fans here. But his most telling message, the most obvious sign that the Bryant of old still plays a bigger role here than the old Bryant, took only a few seconds: “A wasted year of my life.”
From Broderick Turner, LA Times: Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who has become a hot candidate for a few head-coaching vacancies in the NBA, including his current team, has gotten the OK from management to interview for the Golden State Warriors head coach opening. “Yes, we have been given permission,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a text message Thursday. He said the Lakers also gave assistant coach Chuck Person permission to talk to the Warriors.
From Matt McHale, By The Horns: In the NBA playoffs, thanks to the best-of-seven series, the better basketball team usually wins. That’s what happened last night. While it’s certainly true the Bulls haven’t always played up to their potential this postseason, they did it on the road in Game 6, blowing out the Hawks in their own arena. There were some crazy numbers in this one. Like Chicago’s 53.2 percent shooting. If you subtract their 3-for-13 effort from beyond the arc, the Bulls converted 59 percent of their two-pointers. And they registered 34 assists on their 41 made baskets. That’s pretty incredible.
From Bret Lagree, Hoop Onion: The problem with energy is that it’s finite. The Atlanta Hawks fell behind early in Game 5, they fell behind by a lot: 15 points just 10:37 into the game. They worked hard to get all of that back before the third quarter ended but had nothing left in the tank to compete effectively in the fourth. The Bulls played Taj Gibson and Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer for the entirety of the competitive portion of the fourth quarter. In normal circumstances, they aren’t collectively better than Jeff Teague and Josh Smith and Al Horford. When they’re fresh (none of the Chicago trio had played more than 10 minutes in the game prior to the fourth quarter) and the Hawks players are exhausted, well, energy won out. It’s not a knock on Teague or Smith or Horford or Joe Johnson that they ran out of gas three-quarters of the way through the 93rd game of the season. They gave all they had. Nor is Larry Drew in line for criticism for riding his starters too hard. Only Zaza Pachulia provided any productive auxiliary minutes. Jason Collins didn’t hurt the team when he was on the floor but he didn’t help, either.
Bill Simmons has a excellent piece on Phil Jackson
2) Glove – thanks, that was excellent.
2) Good article, but I had to laugh as Simmons calls Jackson the “best living coach.” His Celtic pride cannot call him the “best ever”. And classic Bill Simmons, he still found a way to throw in some barbs at Kobe.
Paul L says
@1 Felton made $7.5 mil this year and Blake made $4 mil.
I don’t think anyone would have been against signing Felton instead of Blake if the price was the same. I guess the Lakers could have tried to sign Felton for the full MLE and then played chicken w/ Fisher by offering the vet minimum but that is not realistic given Kobe/Phil’s affinity for Fish. Plus, I doubt Felton would play for roughly $2 mil less just to play with the Lakers over the “7 seconds or less” Knicks. Also, the Lakers could not have signed Barnes in that scenario which would have been a great signing had Barnes not gotten injured this season.
@2 I agree it is a great column overall but Simmons always has to put a stupid comment in there to anger Kobe fans, Laker fans or NBA fans in general. In the first sentence he writes “when I met the greatest LIVING basketball coach for lunch…” Just a subtle tweak against fans of Phil in favor of his beloved Celtic Auerbach. In my mind PJ vs. Auerbach is not even an argument kind of like MJ vs Kobe.
(edit) @4 you beat me to it
Please no Dunleavy. Please no.
2). Bill Simmons was correct in saying that Phil Jackson is the best living coach. Here’s the list:
1) John Wooden
2) Phil Jackson
3) Red Auerbach
I’m not against signing Mike Dunleavy. I think Adelman would be a pretty good signing because of the movement that goes along in his offense similar to the triangle. However, I think the Lakers do need to hire an assistant defensive coach like the Celtics did with Thibodeau. Kobe in his exit inteview alluded to needing a defensive minded coach. And I agree.
I wonder how Phil Jackson’s coaching peers feel about his career. His accomplishments are obviously undenaible but I think there’s probably a feeling that PJ was in the right place at the right time with some alltime greats.
Personally I think winning two titles with a slightly past his prime Kobe and a very, very, very good but flawed player like Gasol cemented his legacy.
John Morris says
NBA Coach ranking last all time: Randy Fundt.
I would love to have Aldelman if it weren’t for the fact that we would lose our entire coaching staff and familiarity with eachother. This team as constructed needs to play in a similar system (because of the short window due to age) but with some new parts (at point guard). Signing Theo and saving $2.7 million on Mbenga (salary plus luxury tax), trading Sasha to save another $5 million and other penny penching moves killed us. We needed to keep what worked and improve on the other areas. We didn’t improve our weakness or our depth and we paid for it. What Buss saved in salary, he lost in revenue by us not making it to the Championship. The Lakers need another big who can play center if Bynum goes down or Power Forward when Gasoft has the cramps (yes the cramps). They have to have a starting point guard who can stay in front of someone (heck anyone would be an improvement) who can also hit shots because the two guard is losing a step too (1st team all defense was ridiculous to anyone watching him play off his man a get burned by threes all year). They need more athletisism because the League is getting younger not older. Lastly, they need a coach experienced enough to make things work. Adelman has done it in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston. The guy is good and has had us beat even though we were far superior. I just hope he’s not at the end of his rope like Jerry Sloan was for Utah.
Kobe will run over Shaw and Rambis (familiarity), and he will fight with Adelman because he will want the ball to go inside first and he won’t budge. That’s why Adelman is the best choice.
Agree with number 6, Wooden is the best, Phil is next. Phil, though, is the best NBA coach ever!!!
Celtics didn’t hire Tibs, Chicago did!!!
Chris J says
@ John Morris — It’s spelled Pfund, not Fundt.
It’s tough to call him the worst coach ever. What players did he have to lead?
When a guy is forced to give significant roles to players like Tony Smith, Doug Christie, Elden Campbell, Benoit Benjamin or the late-career James Edwards, what can you expect?
Am i the only one wanting jeff van gundy as the next laker coach? we need a defensive coach, offense will work itself out!
Big NO to Dunleavy. Really? Didn’t the Lakers FO watch him repeatedly crap the bed in the same arena? I think this is a classic Mitch smokescreen. You never hear about a Mitch move before it happens. Either that, or Jim Buss wants to interview Dunleavy.
Adelman, Shaw, Van Gundy. I agree with that list. JVG can flat out coach defense, arguably as good as Thibodeau. His weakness has always been offensive creativity. Adelman is renowned for his offense, but I believe with the right players, he can coach a solid defensive system too. Shaw for the sake of continuity. Dunleavy for the sake of punishing Lakers fans everywhere for their knee-jerk reactions.
Can we convince Luke Walton to become an assistant coach and get out from under his contract?
Serious question – when new coaches are hired, don’t they always pick their own coaching staffs? Although I like Adelman, I’d hate to see Shaw, Hamblem, Cleamons, and everyone go. That complete lack of continuity might hurt us.
I’m terrified if we hire Van Gundy, that he’ll bring Mark Jackson with him as an assistant coach. You saw how Artest, Odom, and Bynum react when they’re angry. What do you think they’ll do after the hundredth time they hear “Mama, there goes that man!” or coaching pearls of wisdom like “Hand down, man down!” I might even choke him.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up. You’ll find that some of the most recent comments can be moved to that thread.
Check out coach Phil Jackson discussing his relationship with Jeanie Buss and the internal strife that plagued the Lakers this season.