After winning their preseason opener against the Nuggets, the Lakers have dropped their last three games by a total of 89 points. That’s not a misprint. The Warriors followed up a 15 point win with a 41 point drubbing and then the Jazz piled on with a 33 point win of their own this past Thursday.
Injuries have played a key role in the losses as the Lakers have had six players — Nash, Lin, Young, Henry, Kelly, and Clarkson — miss at least two games each. Four of those players would be key parts of the opening night rotation were they healthy while the other two (Clarkson and Kelly) would scrap for minutes as well. Needless to say, with this much talent out the Lakers are not in a position to compete even with Kobe showing good health and an ability to score relatively efficiently.
This trend of having players out will not get any better in this game, though. All six players mentioned will miss this game as well, leaving the coach (and Kobe) frustrated as the team hasn’t had a lot of time to jell on the court or find the chemistry and combinations can be effective over the course of the game. All of this matters, especially for a team that would be considered an overachiever should they even compete for the 8th seed.
Even in saying that, however, the Lakers have not looked like a particularly engaging team. Their offense has lacked creativity while also showing several layers of complexity that some of the guys simply are not catching onto. On several possessions Carlos Boozer has looked especially lost, often standing completely still while cutters move into his area to effectively gum up any spacing the team would hope to generate. The team is also running a lot of post isolations and pin down screens to bring guards to the shallow wing to set up mid-range jumpers. This has led to, expectedly, low efficient shooting and struggles to score enough points to stay competitive.
That last point, of course, is predicated on this team’s defense not being very good. They have struggled on the perimeter to contain shooters while also not doing a good job of bottling up dribble penetration. They often over help into the paint when teams move the ball and that leads to either late closeouts against capable shooters or frantic rushes to the perimeter that lead to blow-by’s which threaten the rim. Without a true shot blocker defending the paint to challenge and deter shots inside, the Lakers are giving up easy shots inside all too often.
If counting at home, then, this team hasn’t been good at defending jump shooters, dribble penetration, or shots in the paint. And it’s not like their post defense has been anything to write home about either. Combine this with how misses from long two pointers generate open court chances for the opposition and this team isn’t doing anything well enough on D.
This is how you lose games by an average of 30 points over the last week.
In this game, then, I honestly don’t have much good to tell you. The only bright spots have been Kobe Bryant and Ed Davis with Jordan Hill doing enough Jordan Hill things to remind you that he is a good player. You would hope that Julius Randle would join this group, but he’s become somewhat of a whipping boy for head coach Byron Scott, typically being the only player mentioned by name after games for not doing something right or for what he could improve on. Randle seems to be taking all this in stride, but I’d be lying if I didn’t have my concerns about Randle being singled out when the entire team is playing poorly. After all, you don’t lose games by 30 points because Randle, in his short stints, isn’t in the condition the coach wants him to be in or that he “looked lost”. But I digress.
In any event, what this team really needs is to get some players back healthy who can help them. Especially point guard, Jeremy Lin. With Nash looking like he will have another season of frustrating health and Nick Young out for another month and a half, Lin is the only other perimeter player who can pose a threat to defenses and create offense for himself or others. This team desperately needs some playmaking and Lin can offer it. Hopefully Tuesday will be that day.
For now, then, we just wait and watch the team struggle. But hey, did I mention that Kobe is looking healthy? At least we have that.
The last 3 games. Scott never made an adjustments on his strategies on both ends. He said that he will made an adjustment after losing by 15 to the Warriors but…yeah adjustments were made by the Warriors and not from our coach. Today, we will see if how will he (Scott) adjust to this game. Injuries are part of it for sure, but same as last year and only worse. I wanna see how will Scott reacts to the defense if the plan is to let them shoot 3’s or he will stick to his ego as we all know he is.
Completely agree with your article. Honestly I think the lakers have 5 good players and that’s about it. Lin/Kobe/Young/J.Hill/Davis. I think they can potentially win some games with those 4 guys, and Young coming off the bench to try and hold down the fort with the rest of the squad.
Until we see at the main guys on the floor together again, its too hard to judge how much potential they have. Even with Kobe showing flashes of being pretty good still, I believe their only hope for some success involved using people properly. They don’t have alot of all around talent compared to most of the West. But Lin is elite at going to the hole, and a decent creator when give the chance. Get hill to stay on the floor more, since on a per minute basis he appears to be an elite rebounder. Young shot 38% from three point land last year, and that was with jacking up tons of bad 3’s. So possibly with better looks and becoming the 3rd scoring option/prime option off the bench he could do some damage to 2nd units again.
Defensively then NEED Davis on the floor, and the NEED Boozer OFF the floor! I would just give Randle more time even if he needs lots of work, since he is going to be around for awhile, and unless they are crazy they will not try and sign Boozer to any contract next year. No team can handle having so many prime players doing DNP’s and hope to win. So I’m not writing them off completely, but I do think coaching decisions on who plays the most can make the difference between Tank 25wins, and feisty 40 wins. 8th seed would take Lin going borderline star player again, Kobe playing like 2012 again, and some modicum of healthy bodies from the rest of the crew.
Darius won’t let me ask you a question as to why you think Scott and the FO are the only basketball people from high school to the NBA that are pro mid to long twos and anti threes and corner threes. Even though Scott’s past teams have been pro three pointers. You are a smart basketball guy. It doesn’t make sense to me.
As I said in the post, I think that the Lakers will shoot a low by today’s standards, although normal, number of 3s when they have more guys suited up. I think they will probably shoot more 3s tonight.
Johnson is terrible. An enbarrisment for Mitch and Jimbo that he is starting.
Kobe is forcing shot and look bad so far.
If you can’t play Davis and Randle in pre-season how the heck do you know if they can play.
This looks worse then I imagined.
Warren Wee Lim says
This is a much-worse season than last year. I miss D’Antoni.
Breaking news. Lakers (it was Kobe) made a three.
Can they rehire Brown? Any real franchise would fire Mitch and Jim. Time Warner may sue for fraud!
D’Antoni also had three healthy big men that he refused to play. A 3rd string guard starts with the whole bench d-league quality.
Just maybe this year people will start to consider that the Lakers need a whole new training and medical staff. The Lakers haven’t even played one game, and the injuries are mounting. How are young players injured since last year and unable to get on the floor? If Xavier hasn’t healed since last year do we label him not only injury prone but also a slow-healer?
When healthy, I stand by my projection that the Lakers will win 40-41 games.
Congrats Byron – you successfully have players passing up open 3 pt looks only to dribble drive and pass it to Sacre so that he can brick an 18 fter.
Im hoping Scott turns it around but at this point he’s really reminding me a lot of Terry Porter when Kerr hired him to take over the Suns. Porter was so focused on being pro defense/the anti mda/anti 3 that he took away things that made the team successful and lost a healthy season of Nashes career and they missed the playoffs by a couple of games even after finishing stronger under Gentry. This adherence of Scotts insistence about not shooting 3’s despite a overwhelming burden of evidence to the contrary that championship teams need to to use it as part of their arsenal is completely asinine.
But what bothers me the most and that I do find troublesome is the public dressing down of Randle – who at least has shown hustle and some serious potential and is trying to learn the game. You don’t have to be the ultimate players coach – but this “hard ass/i’m the boss/i know better than anyone” attitude Scott has put out there is getting annoying. The only guy in the league that has the success or balls to actually warrant that sort of approach would be Pop – but he’s actually very tough but fair and protective of his players. Killing guys when they’re new and everyone is trying _ including the new coach – to implement a new system etc… isnt exactly how you go about developing talent
Odd that the Suns have 4 PG. Lakets have one. Has there ever been a worse deal then Nash.
When Wes Johnson is your starter and Davis can’t get a minute one has to question this coach.
Chearn, Lakers need a whole new team…
There will be many teams that are fun and interesting to watch this year. Our Lakers will not be one of them.
The starters plus/minus is good…It was the 3rd unit that gave up most of the points….Teams know Kobe has no lift on his drives so they can over play him on D….Kobe shooting pct this season may hurt the team….Lin/Young/ will help a lot…
Price with the steal to Wesley Johnson for the slam dunk, That was nice.
A lot of issues still (a LOT), but 17 steals with still 4 minutes left is nothing to sneeze at.
Yes, it’s preseason. Yes, it’s Utah. But still.
Now you see that coach?
If you play Davis and Randle you might be competitive.
Please don’t be another stubborn MDA! Those guys can Play.
Kobe’s lift will improve sometime near season’s end. It won’t be what is was prior to the achilles but it will be better than now. I suspect he’ll incorporate more pieces from Adrian Dantley’s game for the duration of his contract.
Not a Boozer fan but he showed a little offensive value today. I want minutes for Davis and Randle but Randle is going to need to take the minutes since he’s presently the whipping boy.
Allowing the Lakers to come back from 22 points down in the third quarter, it appears that Utah’s coach didn’t make any adjustments.
the Lakers looked like some of the things they are working on are beginning to come into focus. a win is nice.
Favors and Hayward played 12 minutes each. Don’t get too excited.
First half was terrible. Not 100% what offence we’re playing. Lots of post-ups leading to mid-range jumpers.
Liked the line up that we ended the game with (even though no real PG) – Ellington, Kobe, Johnson, Randle, Davis.
Randle is a bully. One of his biggest problems will be offensive fouls.
Kobe and/or Lin have been able to put Davis into positions to be effective offensively.
Thanks JB for ruining the mood. Related to Aaron?
Also, Randle hitting some mid-range J’s in the second half. Quite impressive.
if the Lakers had git the majority of their good, open shots, the game really wouldn’t have been close tonight. they won through shutting down dribble penetration most of the 2nd half.
Sometimes we eat our own posts when Lakers win, we often forget that we are Laker fans first than down right analysts always focused on the bad side. Let’s give them credit where it is due, Tyler is out and Price is in and those nursing injuries continue to rest, that’s what preseason is all about. Lakers had improved starting the 3rd Q, hopefully such momentum would boost their self confidence in trusting each other. They are lucky tonight but need consistency on 3 pt area other than Kobe. I think Davis& Boozer is better combination as a starting unit. We found a 3rd PG in Price which power the 2nd unit when you play Price and Clarkson. Nash should just concentrate on perimeter shooting than chasing youthful PG’s.
How do you get to the nba and cannot shoot. How do you get drafted make a million bucks and can’t shoot. I really don’t understand that unless scott has totally demoralized this group.
No, KO. The things I say are true.
I’m glad the Lakers won. This was a much needed victory in light of the three straight lopsided losses. While the players were not as concerned as the fans were I’m sure the W calmed some frayed nerves across the board.
I’ve mentioned in a previous thread that I thought the Lakers would struggle against the top 8 – 10 teams in the West. The talent gap is too wide to bridge. However, I thought the Lakers should win a fair share against the 11 – 15 teams. Their two wins have been against Denver (#11) and Utah (#15).
Like many Laker fans I have resigned myself to the fact that the team will not make the playoffs. I just want the games to be competitive, Kobe to be healthy and to see how the kids develop (Randle, Davis and Clarkson). I also hope that the FO does not do anything to take away our cap space. Trading for an incremental lift in the standings now and sacrificing future flexibility would be a huge mistake. These next two years may be tough but I truly believe that the rising cap (allowing the Lakers to sign three max players during the Summer of 2016) is a gift ‘do over’ that even Jim can’t screw up.
Renato Afonso says
“These next two years may be tough but I truly believe that the rising cap (allowing the Lakers to sign three max players during the Summer of 2016) is a gift ‘do over’ that even Jim can’t screw up.”
Are we really sure about that?
Warren Wee Lim says
Even with the win, I am not impressed. We were playing the worst team in the West last season without its 2 best players. I mean c’mon everyone’s happy with a win but not only do we have no offense we don’t have defense either.
Todd-” I just want the games to be competitive, Kobe to be healthy and to see how the kids develop (Randle, Davis and Clarkson).”
I wonder how many games it took the big three in Miami to gel before they started winning games? Sheesh! The Lakers are a new team with a new coach, could we give them some time to figure each other out? Kobe hasn’t played competitively since last year can we give him some time to get his timing and feel for the game? Some of you complaining about Kobe are the same people that bought into the idea that Dwight Howard was finished as an elite player. Calm down Chicken Little the sky is not falling. Wait until December before you start clamoring for MDA or Brown. (gag in my mouth at the memory)
I wonder if the Clippers fans are in hysteria because they’ve won half the games as the Lakers in the preseason. That with no significant changes in their lineups and an incumbent coach.
Kobe is acting like a phenomenon!
Warren, regardless of who was in for Utah, the Lakers erased a 22 point deficit and won the game going away. that is a good step forward in any circumstance. it doesn’t make everything good, but it’s better than a fourth straight blow-out.
Renato Afonso: “These next two years may be tough but I truly believe that the rising cap (allowing the Lakers to sign three max players during the Summer of 2016) is a gift ‘do over’ that even Jim can’t screw up.”
Are we really sure about that?
You are correct in that we can never be too sure about anything especially the decisions made by the Lakers’ FO. But I think the odds are in our favor.
If the Lakers are awful this year and keep their top 5 pick then next year’s team will add another young talented piece to build and market around. Added to this is my dream possibility – of getting a very good to great FA to sign a one year deal with us. Let’s say that Greg Monroe came on board for a one year max deal. He’d become a FA a year later when the cap expanded and we’d retain our cap flexibility to go after three other max guys or keep Monroe and sign two other max guys.
So while this year is ugly, next year looks a lot better to both the fans and to our sponsors. This makes too much sense for the FO to blow our cap space on trades for Larry Sanders and other marginal players like him. Someone tell me that Jim Buss wouldn’t agree?
What 4 games into the PRESEASON and some people here are complaining already about the coach. Seriously?????? Some of the complains look like copy/paste of the same complains of last season by the same people. That was a good win no matter how you slice it.
This makes too much sense for the FO to blow our cap space on trades for Larry Sanders and other marginal players like him. Someone tell me that Jim Buss wouldn’t agree?
No one knows what the voices inside Jim’s head will tell him to do next….
WOW! ESPN and that true hoop dude that allows trolls Lakers fans just did a front page hatchet job on Kobe where they took a dump all over him and his career. Worst attack piece on Kobe I’ve ever seen.
bryan S. says
Best moment: Randle’s defensive rebound, 5 seconds or less end to end dribble-dish to Ellington for the lay in. Totally under control, great assist off the sprint dribble. How many 6’9″ 250 lbs + guys can do that? Very few. Shades of Magic, Barkley, Lebron. People gonna eat crow.
Hakeem said this will be the first season Dwight Howard will be an elite player since his back surgery. Says he is finally healthy. We shall see…
From Darius’ Twitter re. Kobe:
Add it all up & it’s a scenario that was almost always going to be difficult to manage. Critical media will have a field day, but whatever.
Perhaps, but the stuff up at ESPN at the moment is about one man, and one man only: Henry Abbott. After a long period of not writing much, Abbott has written a long piece entitled “Kobe” and has made two TH videos about The Mamba in the last four days.
bryan S. says
the stuff up at ESPN . . . . is about one man, and one man only
Hilarious! Abbott’s clicks are down. His Boss didn’t even have to prod him to write a Kobe piece. He knows the drill. What a douche. Don’t click!
Yeah that stuff from Abbott is really unprofessional. Making your argument is one thing, but harping on it over and over again is just tasteless and points to a lack of creativity. I guess he has run out of things to say.
david h says
“Kobe is like the big rock in their front yard,” says an agent who has had a Lakers client in recent years. “You can’t mow over it, so you just have to mow around it.”
Big rocks in the front yard make for great landscaping and anyone with a Briggs and Stratton would never be stupid enough to try to mow thru it.
Abbott’s article does not bother me as much as it seems to get under most Lakers’ fans skin. Let’s be honest the Lakers are a bit of a mess and the multiple back stories are as much fodder for Hollywood Tonight as they are for ESPN.
The issues that ail the Lakers are plentiful and Kobe does have to accept his fair share of the blame. However, the article does not do a good job of articulating that the general dysfunction of the Lakers goes far beyond Kobe. What’s missing is:
– The awkward relationship between Jeannie and Jim because of Phil
– The hubris of Jim
– Most importantly, how Phil leveraged his relationship with Jeannie to run Jerry West out of town (a loss that really hurts the Lakers now that Dr. Buss has passed)
I’m sure there are many more details that contribute to the frustrating product we currently see on the floor. One thing that rings true is that the future of the Lakers does indeed rest on the other side of Kobe’s contract.
“Just a few years ago, the NBA whisper network was thick with the notion that LeBron was destined to be the next hero of purple and gold. But when James hit the free agent market, the Lakers’ talks with James’ agent, Rich Paul, failed to even materialize in a sit-down meeting with the star.” -Abbott Article
That’s exactly what I hard from my contact with the Lakers. It was supposed to be almost a sure think LBJ would be a Laker.
Craig W. says
If you read an article written by Henry Abbott and it is about the Lakers, never mind Kobe Bryant, then you pretty much have been forewarned about what to expect. I haven’t read the article and don’t plan to – I have better things to do with my time.
Darius Soriano says
Perhaps that, as well. Henry’s article is pretty much a hit piece and it’s why I didn’t link to it here or on twitter. And as I tweeted before and after the tweet you mentioned, there are a ton of variables at play when discussing where the Lakers are now. I’d have focused on the Veto and the lack of investment in the draft, but that’s me. Henry went the angle he did and while it bothers me somewhat, he’s one guy (one guy with an enormous platform, I know) and I’m not going to invest too much time into debunking it or in letting it get me too heated.
Also, as with most anonymously sourced reports, I wonder the motives of those who spoke out and what role they play within or around the team (when it’s cited they’re team people) or who from opposing teams would say these things and why. Again, though, I’m not going to get too much into it. Henry writing about the clutch thing and using stats to back up an argument is one thing. Him finding anonymous sources to quote in a piece that Kobe is some virus to the Lakers is another and that’s some stuff that I can’t see worth writing personally.
Didn’t read the Abbott article and couldn’t care less about him or his blog. I don’t even check it out anymore, when it seemed to me to be a bunch of links to newspaper article. I can find those on my own – don’t need spoon feeding. Oh, and by the way how many rings does he have or how many title teams has he built? I forget …
… Honestly, I’d be more interested in hearing what somebody like Larry Bird thinks of Kobe … You know, somebody who understands the game as demonstrated by his play and later by actually building winning teams. I mean, even MJ rated Kobe as a top 15 wing or something similar. I’d give his opinion more weight than a guy whose blog seems to consist of linking to newspaper articles.
I didn’t read it, either, actually. But it was pretty obvious what the angle was going to be and the comments here plus a couple of emails that I received, on of which had an excerpt. I was just commenting on the fact that Abbott, after a long period of not writing long pieces, wrote this one at this time. on this topic.
“I’d have focused on the Veto and the lack of investment in the draft,”
Sure. There are multiple, interconnected causes, but I would probably put the Veto #1 if I were going to write a lengthy screed about why the Lakers are where they are. Kobe’s personality would be pretty far down the list.
Here you go:
If he could choose any current player that he’d like to play a season with, who would it be, Bird was asked.
“Well, probably Kobe, because of the fact that … well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now … but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he’s just, he’s just tough,” Bird said. “He’s just a tough cat.
Abbott won’t stop talking about kobe. He has a strange infatuation with him. I think he’s jealous of all his success.
Kevin T says
Just the fact that Abbot got this one fact wrong (Paul George signing in Indiana instead of L.A.) tells me not to take his article seriously, and its all about clicks with him. Plus imagine if Paul George waited to become a restricted free agent and sustained that horrific injury, he would have gambled on his big payday. Most and all players who are offered max contracts will take it no matter what and Abbot could take that to the bank. In today’s NBA it seems like injuries are far to frequent and no one will gamble a huge payday for any organization. Another thing is Kobe just called the ESPN dudes idiots, so I figured something was coming but not this soon.
Abbott’s piece was actually non contraversile. Nothing everyone hasn’t already known. I read the entire thing. He wasn’t saying Kobe was some virus… He and his sources inside the Lakers are saying his form of basketball is outdated and it alienates teammates and pushes away potential teammates. The game is all about ball movement now.
Kevin T says
The only reason the Lakers or Kobe can’t get anyone to play with Kobe now is because of his age and injuries, but mostly age. All this same guys that supposedly don’t want to play with Kobe now would have done so if Kobe was no more than 29,30.
@rr-If he could choose any current player that he’d like to play a season with, who would it be, Bird was asked.
“Well, probably Kobe, because of the fact that … well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now … but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he’s just, he’s just tough,” Bird said. “He’s just a tough cat.
Thanks for the quote. I respect the opinions of MJ and Bird far more than others with opinions about Kobe Bryant!
Abbott was saying Kobe couldn’t attract and didn’t want other good players around him. In the end it’s a good thing though for the Lakers. Instead of being stuck in second round pergatory with players like Dwight Howard… The Lakers will now be able to rebuild with three top picks in a row and a ton of cap space when kobe’s contract is up.
Also Abbott never said Kobe wasn’t clutch. He actually said Kobe probably would have elite clutch time stats if he didn’t force shots and played within the offense more. But Kobe didn’t and his clutch stats were not very good. I’m always confused as to what exactly people disagree with Abbott with in regards to his constant criticisms of Kobe.
I’m someone who thinks Kobe is the third best player of all time career wise behind LBJ and Jordan. His advanced stats don’t back it up but if you’re picking all star teams Kobe would play more within the team concept like he did for all star teams and national teams and his advanced stats would look a lot better.
Kevin T says
Does anyone think stars will go play with D-Wade now at his current age and status? NO
But 4 years ago 2 stars did, now is Wade a bad team mate? and Bosh stayed because Miami could pay him the most and also he already won a few and its about money now. Also people always saying if Kobe took less money then Lakers this or that, but Wade took less money and his own teammate Lebron went to a different team. Basically what I am trying to say is that there is no one right way and nothing is guaranteed.
“Abbott was saying Kobe couldn’t attract and didn’t want other good players around him.”
It’s easy to take shots at Kobe and the Lakers when they’re down, isn’t it? I remember that people were saying similar things around 2007 — they seemed to quiet down shortly thereafter.
Abbott is a bit too obvious in his seething hatred – he would be more persuasive in his nefarious aims if he would dial it back a bit. It must drive the guy to distraction that Kobe still has 5 titles to his beloved Lebron’s 2.
“I’m someone who thinks Kobe is the third best player of all time career wise behind LBJ and Jordan. His advanced stats don’t back it up…”
I recall that a few years ago Kobe said something to the effect of: if they had told me that the point of basketball were to accumulate particular kinds of stats, then I would have played the game differently. The point is to win a championship as a team. Some stat-heads over at ESPN actually openly mock the idea that the competition is more important than individual stats (“count the ringzzz” as they say).
The funny thing is that a feedback loop comes into play between today’s media and some certain conceited players. The media will pick up on some obscure stat that supposedly proves that their preferred ones are the best evah — you know the kind, “Lebron is the first player since X to have scored more than 23 points with more than 8 rebounds in 11 consecutive games, etc, etc”. Then Lebron reads these stories and starts chasing whatever stats the media cherry-picked to boost him. It’s pretty silly, but that is what happens when you’re willing to elevate post-hoc spreadsheet analysis for results of the actual competition on the court.
Abbott is a Trailblazer fan. he’s more than a little bit ****hurt
Breaking my self-imposed silence now that the regular season is (finally) almost here to say…
If Henry Abbott is already doing hit pieces on Kobe Bryant during the freaking pre-season, then Abbott must be worried Kobe is going to play well this year…
T Rogers says
Abbott lacks Zack Lowe’s basketball insight. And he’s not connected to players the way Stephen A. Smith is. So his only way keeping his name out there is with Laker/ Kobe hit pieces.
I guess its working for him. He keeps coming back to it.
The Abbott piece reads like the fall of the Roman Empire. I hate Abbott and I love Kobe, but I found more accuracy in the piece than inaccuracy. Rome has fallen. That is a fact, Where I differ from Abbott is his affixation with the king of all gladiators, Me – when looking for someone to blame for the fall of Rome – I would start with the Emperor.
mindcrime – My thoughts exactly. You know it’s almost game time when the HA hatchet comes out to take some swings at the most successful basketball player of this generation.
And Darius – I would LOVE to see someone put the effort into a long-read, feature article about LA that started with the 2010 title and actually included things like the veto and the ripples (tsunamis?) that emanated from it. Yes, Kobe’s personality appears to run some the wrong way, and there are times it seems he could be more savvy in his dealings with the media, potential FA acquisitions and teammates, but as you say, his personality is pretty far down the list if you’re trying to catalogue the ills of the Lakers.
it sure is easy to look back and make stories out of kernels of truth. you can make a living that way. Aaron, skill recognize skill, trolling is a skill and Abbott is one of the best. since Kobe has a huge and rabid fan base, it’s easy to make a living based on clicks.
i don’t regret a moment of Kobe’s time with the Lakers and i’m sorry to see them end, just like i was for Wilt, Elgin, West, Chick, Kareem, Magic, Worthy and all the other greats who played here, but especially those that played to the end of their NBA careers with the Lakers.
Abbott can suck eggs. he’s just upset that even Walton had to get out of that accursed Rose Garden.
Robert, if Rome falls, does that means this is the beginning of the dark ages for Lakerland? 800 years of no championships sounds terrible.
Anyway, I think the problem with Abbott is not whether or not what he is saying is true. Its the shameless way he goes about it. What is his issue with Kobe? I haven’t seen him constantly write or talk the same way about any other player. Perhaps he’s seriously demented or perhaps its like what Mud says: That he is just looking for “clicks” and followers. What a jerk.
I thought Kobe is 40th in ranking, why do they still talk about him, why not focus on the first 39? Well, because Kobe- hating and Lakers-ditching sells whether the insider blog or commentary. Writers like Abbot and Ziller make a living out of the Lakers.
My take, c’mon ESPN do it more, make money out of the Lakers whether from the local sector or in the national level, it is a good motivation for the purple and gold team and its fans.
Aaron, you said the best three players are LBJ, Jordan and then Kobe. What happens to the other 47 greats who played the game since the 60’s so called Top 50 NBA Players? “Great” is a subjective word, the determination of greatness should be reserve only for recognized basketball historians. The measurement should not be done while they are still playing but after their playing days are over like: Bill Russell, Kareem “the Cap”, late Wilt “the big Dipper” so far I only mentioned Centers. Kobe and LBJ are not yet in the Hall of Fame although they’re destined to be there in the future if the trend continues. Therefore, It is premature to call them great of all times today because the future hasn’t happened yet.
I always am amazed when someone says LBJ is in the top two of all time. They must think that the basketball universe was formed in 1987 or 1988 as MJ started to enter his prime. It certainly should be subject for debate whether MJ was the best ever. Arguments, realistic arguments can be made that the competition the Bulls faced in their six championship runs were not as strong as the competition other dynastic winners faced. If you compare the talent level faced by the Bulls in the finals I would argue it is not even close to the kind of talent that opposed the Lakers and Celtics in the eighties. There is an argument that Jordan never would have won a championship in opposition to that kind of talent, let alone six. I would argue that Bird and Magic were at least on the same level of greatness if not higher. You talk about advanced stats, I don’t care how you measure the sport statistically no one compares to Wilt, and Oscar was right behind him! And the greatest champion with the biggest heart and the most guts (in a tie in the guts category Jerry West) was Bill Russell. Nobody was more athletically gifted to this day then Dr J. So I can only say an argument can be made for MJ but not a conclusive one. But LBJ??? You have got to be kidding, at this point he can not even be mentioned in the same breath as Kobe never mind the others. It is a shame that current fans don’t even have enough knowledge of the games history to refrain from making casually silly statements about LBJ’s ranking among the greats of basketball history.
G: I don’t think it will be 800 years. However a couple years back, I first brought up the Laker record of 8 years without a trip to the NBA Finals (that is over a 66 year history with 31 trips to the Finals and 16 Titles). Many scoffed at the time. We are now a favorite to break that record as we are now 4 years in and I think it is safe to say it will reach 5 this year. To continue the Roman comparison: Emperors Berger/Chalfen – founded the Empire; Emperor Cooke – Built the Forum; Emperor Buss – Expanded the empire to legendary status; Emperor Buss II – Barbarians storm the gates of Rome.
Warren Wee Lim says
mud, they did do that, coming back from tonnes down to win it. It will require max effort just to pull off wins like that against supposed inferior teams. No one hates the win but its just painful to watch early on when you lose games on the 1st quarter.
Baylor Fan says
It would be great if Kobe were the problem, that would mean that the ownership and coach would be awesome and a bright future awaits. The Lakers lacked someone with Popovich’s foresight to help Kobe ease into “old age” like he has done with his stars.
yeah, Warren. no doubt they need to work hard, but the thing is, there just aren’t any players right now that can get by without working hard. maaayyybe LBJ, but i think even he has to work hard if the other team does. yes, it stinks to watch them fall behind. if the players give the correct, coordinated effort, they can hang and that’s all that we can ask right now. even in the Kobe/Shaq, Kobe/Gasol, Magic/Kareem, Chaimberlin/West, West/Baylor days it was a HECK of a struggle.
the team needs to be given a reasonable chance to learn the schemes and then carry them out. since they are lacking talent, they will have to play correctly, which is still possible. that possibility is what the 22 point comeback was about…that and the realization of how the plan actually works.
…or everybody’s worst fears are realized and they stink on ice no matter what. if that happens, it’s just time to look forward to next year. that’s all sports are. i think it could be ok, though. there’s still a lot of future out there.
whatever with the rant. i hate to see the score pile up too.
Craig W. says
With the exception of LBJ – and he went to Miami first – exactly which superstars have attracted other superstars to leave their teams and join them – traded don’t count?
Alpha dogs generally don’t voluntarily join other alpha dogs – and don’t bring up Shaq, because he had no idea who Kobe Bryant was in one case and had to have a good end to his career and counter Kobe when he joined Dwayne Wade.
So Kobe is being blamed not only for the career he had with the Lakers but the “shape” he is leaving the franchise in going into the future? A big part of Abbott’s criticism with Kobe is that he is selfishly doing what he wants with his career without carefully planting the seeds for future Laker success when he is gone and so the team will not be able to immediately build a successor dynasty when he retires.
I’m sorry, exactly what contingency plan did Abbott’s great hero, LeBron James, leave for the Cavs and the Heat when he abandoned them for greener pastures?
For that matter, exactly which great player not only won championships but carefully curated a team that could continue to win titles after he retired/went to another team? Jordan, Magic, Bird, Hakeem, Shaq, Dr. J? Of course not. So Abbott seems to be blaming Kobe for putting the Lakers in a position where they won’t be good in the future. To me, this is crazy. You could say the same about Nash when he left the Suns, or Derek Jeter this year. But nobody does, because it’s a crazy charge to level against a player. Unless you’re Henry Abbott and the player is Kobe, in which case it’s all fair game.
Also, in his attempt to blame Kobe for everything, Abbott’s arguments don’t add up. He claims Kobe has set the franchise back for years and the team is “crippled” for the indefinite future, and the blame is on Kobe and Kobe alone. Well then , in two years when he is gone, the Lakers are still in LA, still a marquee franchise and have $80 million and draft picks to play with they should be in fantastic shape to rebuild quickly, right? If Kobe is the only problem, then he is a finite problem of a limited duration at worst. But no, that wouldn’t be melodramatic enough for Abbott, because Kobe has to have ruined everything forever. Even though if Abbott’s arguments are correct and the problem is all Kobe, then the problem will be gone when he is gone.
This article was tailor made in retaliation for Kobe calling all those great basketball “minds” on ESPN idiots how dare he?.How convenient it came out 2 or 3 days after the fact. Even a 36 year old Kobe with all the injuries of the last 2 years is not the 40th best player in the NBA.
Kobe and his current contract conversations will continue. Realistic basketball people, (pro & con Kobe fans, pro & con Laker fans) knew this. Only surprise was that some didn’t think it would be a continuous lightning rod…especially if the team performed poorly.
Kobe and his current contract conversations will continue. Realistic basketball people, (pro & con Kobe fans, pro & con Laker fans) knew this.
That is correct, but that has nothing to do with Abbott, and this comment is just your own anti-Kobe bias getting the best of you. Abbott has been fixated on Kobe for several years now. This piece is a different because:
a) The Clutch stuff was biased, but at least it was about a basketball issue and was backed up by some data. This was just a hit piece.
b) It appears to make no attempt to do any nuanced analysis. The Lakers are in bad shape for a lot of reasons–Veto, Nash deal, engaging in short-term roster strategies over a long period of time, lack of focus on the draft, coaching hires, FO/family drama, changes in the CBA. Kobe’s personality is just one piece of that puzzle, and that is obvious to anyone who is realistic about the situation.
I can still dream of Anthony Davis in a Lakers uniform!
Aaron’s so called “Lakers sources” must be same sources Chris Broussard has:
Mac & Fern,
As for me, I think all great championship teams face difficult transitions at one time or another. Organizations figure out how to navigate those transitions, not the players, no matter how great or powerful those players are. Of course, a well run organization will figure out how to maximize the benefits of those aging great players, to include knowing when to move on or when to hold on, for whatever reason.
The combination of multiple transitions — ownership, players, CBA — presented a rather large challenge to this Laker organization. On the one hand, I think that absent the veto, things might be very different today and we would all be congratulating Jim and Mitch for figuring out how to make it work. On the other, I’m not convinced that the ownership would have made the decisions necessary to complement Kobe and Paul to bring additional rings, given some of the other decisions that have since failed.
But, the organization is still facing transitions with its best player and with the CBA, and now with the new TV contract, another window has potentially opened. Jim can still turn things around in a reasonable amount of time. I’m not quite ready to accept an extended Dark Ages; perhaps the Renaissance comes sooner than we think.
I’ve been a fan of Kobe since I watched him dominate in the PA high school scene. I really think he needs to be part of a ‘committee’ of offensive leaders this year with Lin/Young. If he becomes the sole #1 option, even during games he clearly is brick laying–then I’m going to be very frustrated. The kobe that shoots 27 shots to score 27pts is not the occasional kobe I find enjoyable to watch and it kills team basketball. So I truly hope that he is going to pick his spots, hold the ball less and only go into high usage Kobe on those games he’s feeling it.
They have plenty of offensive talent when healthy, if the pass and use PnR’s. Despite the focus on defense I would say the have much less defensive talent than most of the teams in the west. Having a rotating Hill/or Boozer coming at a penetrating guards holds no real fear. Davis seems to have some defensive chops, but thus far they don’t seem to be giving him alot of PT. I hope they give him a lot of PT he is very athletic and looks like he can be one of the few really good defensive players they have.
IF we see a scoring avg. of around 19/20 from Kobe and 15-16 Lin, 16-17 Young, 14-15 Davis, I think the team will beat most expectations. But If I see Kobe and Boozer as the top scorers and they are taking nearly half the teams shots each game–they will be in the basement. Not too mention, it would mean horrible player development opp’s for some of the talent they do have that might actually help them be good again in the future.
bryan S. says
Mac: Great post, man. Really nailed it on the wholly fallacious argument of blaming Kobe for leaving the cupboard bare. I hope the bespectacled Gollum lurks this site (no doubt!).
Fern: Yeah. Interesting timing . . .
Mud: Killing it as usual @ 8:42
Robert: I love history but the fall of the Roman Empire? Sheesh.
Last but not least: Really impressed with Darius’ ethical standards, particularly in light of the fact that his site is part of the True Hoop Network. He’s the real deal.
T. Rogers says
“Last but not least: Really impressed with Darius’ ethical standards, particularly in light of the fact that his site is part of the True Hoop Network. He’s the real deal.”
This really needs to be repeated. Everyone who comments on this site should take note as well. This is one of the many reasons why this is the best Lakers site out there.
Supposing the Lakers did not sign Kobe from his current contract, say Jimbo/Jeanie went for $ 15M offer in a free agency, would there be a team there that would outbid the Lakers, barring the Achilles plus knee injuries he had last seasons? I believe Knicks would make that offer because Kobe sells tickets just like legends Michael Jackson sells cd’s even after his death. Fast forward to summer of 2016, Kobe retires from the Lakers. Will somebody sign Kobe for less than $ 20M under the current CBA cap rules? If he can maintain the 20 ppg, somebody out there will sign Kobe even at age 38. It is like Babe Ruth or Tiger Woods, sponsors and teams will always go with brand name even if it has past their prime because they contribute revenues for the franchise. However, here is the other side of it, when Kobe becomes Nash (he gets hurt just by carrying bags lol!) then he should really stop playing.
On the contrary, if Henry Abbot is no longer controversial and there is no Kobe to kick around, will he still retain his job? I doubt, ESPN will always go for ratings, good or bad articles.
Apparently Paul George thinks Abbott’s article is crazy as well
To some extent, Abbott’s obsession with Kobe might be explained by the fact that Kobe is the living evidence of the limits of advanced basketball statistics.
And yet, when faced with such evidence of the theory’s flaws, instead of using this singularity to improve the analytical methods, they try and belittle Bryant’s accomplishments/game/etc. Imagine if the scientists who discovered the flaws of Einstein’s general relativity, instead of trying to improve the theory (which they are doing now) would force the universe to fit into the existing, flawed theory.
Now, the comparison could still go on (black holes and Kobe’s volume shooting…), but that’s more less the picture.
The HA article doesnt dig deep enough into LAkers ills, but it does have some valid points. The same thing that has made Mr. Bean great for so many years, has also become his kryptonite at this stage of his career. #24 needs someone to help him carry the load, he is no longer able to carry that burden every single game. Its not trashing him or reducing his greatness. He is up against an opponent that is undefeated FATHER TIME. Although I would rather watch Kobe go out on top and ride off into the sunset, it just not happening. So I must drink the reality cool aid and prepare myself for this team of castoffs to suck until he is gone. I know it hurts but the pain is what will make it even better when Purp and Gold is back on top.
Phil Jackson @PhilJackson11 · 35m 35 minutes ago
“@flea333: henry abbott your @espn kobe article is absolute garbage and a blatant irresponsible attack. “Go get’em, Flea
Craig W. says
Because the ‘talking heads’ have said something for a number of years doesn’t make what they say true, i.e. calling Kobe a ‘ballhog’ for 8 years doesn’t make him a ‘ballhog’.
If repetition made things correct, Hitler possibly would have changed our minds – but it doesn’t and he didn’t.