The Lakers’ season has fallen into a fairly consistent pattern through 21 games. They will lose four to five games in a row, then win one or two straight. This cycle has repeated itself three times already this year and is in the middle of the fourth. This is how you get to be 5-16 on the year and looking as if wining one of every four games you play is the standard you can realistically achieve.
Maybe this is what this season was always going to be. The talent is what it is; the coaching hire is what it is; the strength of the rest of the league — especially the West — is what it is. The Lakers are on the outside looking in at teams who can be classified as even mediocre and that really doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. Not even with Byron Scott’s shifting of his starting lineup or the dumbing-down (my words, not his) of his defensive scheme. For what it’s worth, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. At least if you ask Magic Johnson.
Tonight, then, the Lakers continue down this path hosting the Sacramento Kings. Or should I say, the much improved Sacramento Kings. Before the season started, the Kings were one team thought to challenge the Lakers for one of the lesser records in the Western Conference. Instead the Kings have taken a nice step forward this year, mostly due to DeMarcus Cousins’ ascension as one of the best big men in the league, some personnel changes, and some subtle improvements from some of the other players on the roster.
While this development is somewhat surprising, the Kings’ improvement isn’t so different from what we have seen from other teams recently. The question with Cousins was never his talent, but whether it could be harnessed on a nightly basis to maximize. With Rudy Gay it wasn’t so much about how good a player he could be, but whether he would make the adjustments to his game needed to remove the elements that had past teams looking to dump him for more efficient options. Add in bounce back seasons by veterans Omri Casspi and Darren Collison, the return of Carl Landry from an injury plagued season, and young players Ben McLemore, Derrick Williams, and Nik Stauskas finding ways to contribute and the Kings have a nice mix of players who seem to be taking to the coaching of Michael Malone.
For the Lakers dealing with this group will be a challenge, though it will be somewhat lessened by the fact that Cousins will be out with a viral infection (meningitis). Missing their anchor will put more pressure on Gay, Collison, Landry, and McLemore to produce offensively to counter the points that the Lakers should be able to produce — at least that’s the hope from the Lakers’ end. If the Lakers can force Gay into an inefficient night (which may be difficult considering their defensive options) and bottle up Collison, it will go a long way towards getting this win.
Offensively, look for a heavy dose of Kobe to start the game but with Lin and the second unit being able to do some damage. Lin’s move to the bench paid some dividends in that units’ productivity, even if his individual numbers did not stand out. If Lin can continue to distribute while adding some points of his own, it will allow that unit to fully flourish and, potentially, put the Kings on their heels.
Add it all up — Cousins missing, Kobe finding a groove, and the 2nd unit getting buckets — and there is a template for a win tonight. Whether the Lakers get it…well, that depends on if they can break the cycle that’s been their norm this year.
Where you can watch: 7:30pm start time on TWC Sportsnet and NBA TV. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.
“And the Lakers wont build thru the Draft. For every OKC succes stories there are 20 falilure stories.”
That’s a strange thing to write. Sure, I’ve used the OKC example myself, but one of the big reasons for this current mess is that somewhere along the line, the team came to think that the late 1st rounder is worthless. The team even managed to convince some here, judging by the comments over the last few years. And so no Norm Nixon at 22, AC Green at 23, Vlade at 26, Eldon Campbell at 27, and Fish at 27.
Now so you get the rest of the strange in your remark, as you know, both Magic and Worthy were 1st picks in the 1st round.
And for how the draft helps you make trades, the Lakers later flipped Nixon for Scott and Vlade for Kobe. Kobe was otherwise kinda like a draft pick, meaning, the team couldn’t offer Vlade for the pick since someone else might draft Kobe sooner, so hold onto Vlade and then make the appropriate trade when you know who drafted Kobe.
In other words, in the entire history of the franchise, well, from the 80s onward, the only big ticket FA was Shaq. As you recall, Pau came over for Kwame & Co., and for more on the value of draft picks, true, Kareem more or less forced his way out of Milwaukee via trade, but the players traded for him were Junior Bridgeman (1st round, 8th), Dave Meyers (1st round, 2nd), Elmore Smith (Buffalo Braves, 1st round, 3rd) and Brian Winters (1st round, 12th).
Lastly, don’t confuse the value of the draft with Mitch’s seeming inability to draft. The two are not the same, though the latter perhaps explains why the meme has been late 1st rounders have no value, and never mind who the team got late prior, ditto the likes of Tony Parker. And if you don’t like to add Parker, since maybe you think luck, well, first, the Spurs have had more than their fair share of drafting success late, and second, maybe it isn’t luck, but as with OKC, superior talent evaluation. For what I mean, when you said, OKC, who did you have in mind? Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden? Ibaka was the 24th pick, by the way. And if you weren’t thinking of him, Bledsoe was their pick in the 1st round in 2010 at 18th.
Which brings me to some bonus freebies, with the first being, I was on the tank train even before Aaron. If KO would check his list from last season, I was down for 20-62. Should be that this season, but what with a more stiff competition for worst record in the league, KO need give me a mulligan and put me down for 15 and whatever it works out to. And hope that someone is brought on board the front office who can select the best player available.
Next, for KO, why would you have some great objection to the con job? Were you not at all concerned that when time came for discussion of repeater tax, there was no harsh word from the Lakers respecting the same? That was giveaway no. 1 that the ole Jerry Buss mantra of winning at all costs was no longer one of the SOPs of the organization. And you can add as well the whole let’s firing the entire coaching staff during the lockout, since who cares if we might have some gems of a scout and some other team is now entirely free to hire them away from the team, since they are no longer with the team to be hired away. Money, it’s a gas, grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
Related to that, some are either dim or insane or both for even thinking for a moment that these CBA schemes have something do with small markets and winning. But they do, however, explain why OKC can’t sign Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, and more or less had to trade Bledsoe for another 1st rounder (did they think that they’d be moving up in the draft by taking the Clippers’ 1st rounder the next season? Hardly)(we don’t normally call going from 18th to 22nd in the draft as moving up). And so you get my point, isn’t just the OKC small market and all that, as with that team, all their drafted players, they could have an international OKC channel, and I’d subscribe, but isn’t just the max contracts but also the regular luxury tax and now the added insidious repeater tax.
Which me brings to my next to last bonus freebie, which is, don’t take objection to league playing to losing since the league doesn’t play to win either, and witness the regular luxury and now the repeater tax, and so you’ll go broke if you draft with the best of them and attempt to resign all of your wise draft picks. For how lame the whole thing, the history of the league, as most remember the history, are eras of dominance. The decade that no one remembers, the 70s, was precisely the era of no dominant team over the years. And the NBA Finals were on tape delay. Too the dominance of Magic and Bird, Lakers and Celts, to change all that.
Now well and truly lastly, since Warren is down for the 3-5 year plan, I’m going with 5, since if the team can hold off giving Phoenix the 1st rounder for a while, the team saves a 1st rounder, as the team owes a 1st rounder to Orlando as well (Dwight’s parting gift to the franchise and the fan base). And so, what with 5 year plan in mind, if you think that it’s bad this year, next year is even worse, what with the need for Philly Out West, since the pick will only be top 3 protected. The year following that would be the same, as again only top 3 protected. Then in ’18 the pick is unprotected, so Phoenix can have at it. And instead of Orlando getting a 1st rounder, they instead get the Lakers’ 2nd rounders in ’17 and ’18.
Sorry, almost forgot, but some might want to look at this thing called birth date. The problem with the big FA signings is that, for the better part, there isn’t quite the same shelf or useful life left, i.e., take the rookie scale max # years contract, four I believe, then add on the per usual max length max salary contract following. So that’s what, 8 or 9 years before the elite become available to anyone else? All that assuming, of course, that the player isn’t as insecure as Dwight and so doesn’t leave money on the table. But with that, well, Durant is already 26, so 28 before he could be a Laker, and so a five year deal would take him through his age 32 season. Then you’re in the position of him wanting another max deal which would take him through his age 37 season. One good thing about Kobe this season is that we learn that we don’t want max salary deal at age 37. Or even 36. And so you get where I’m going with this, plainly, it is precisely because the Lakers picked up an 18 year old Kobe that it was possible for him to be part of two distinct championship team runs. And you can wind the tape back to earlier, and so go from win over 76ers to win it all to loss versus Bulls and that’s because Magic came out early, i.e., he was the bedrock of a long contending period, in other words, someone there for a decade or more to build around. You won’t get that with Durant or any other big name FA, as they’ll be 28 when you sign them, and if you have any down years there, no possibility of decade long run with that player as a foundation of the team. And even if you win it all for the first five seasons, still, at age 32-33, you have to look for the next big name FA. And to do all that isn’t any less lucky than the draft. Is all why the friggin draft matters, immensely, and so I disagree with you entirely on this one, Warren. Just hope that they tank up a storm for the ages over the next three seasons, and get lucky but the one time, with another Magic or Shaq or Kobe as a draft pick.
Calvin Chang says
Mitch, please sign Sim Bhullar for the minimum. Lakers will make so much money from having the first NBA player of Indian descent, the team literally profits from this move. And he will block some shots. Jordan Clarkson will attest to that – having his teardrop swatted away by Sim on the fast break. Sim’s size is a game-changer. Can you imagine Sim blocking Dwight as he tries to dunk the ball. That will be priceless.
As for tonight’s game vs the Kings – if the players read Magic’s comments about losing, it will be very difficult for them to get motivated and play hard if they believe Scott is not coaching to win.
Kobe Alert: The 4 dimes against the Pelicans did indeed move KB by Baron Davis and into 30th all time. He is now the only player in the top ten in all time scoring and the top 30 in helpers. Kobes needs 33 minutes to catch Ray Allen for 11th on that list. After Allen, KB will need just 127 more minutes to catch Hondo for 10th (yet another top 10 all time category for Kobe). He also needs just 5 games to move by Hondo again and into 22nd all time. There are several others close so this list will be climbed quickly. All Star voting starts on 12/11, so vote early, vote often, and of course vote for Kobe. 63 more points to go.
Angry Fan says
Nice offense with this lineup. Kobe Kobe Kobe this team will never score. Not with Kobe a 35% shooter taking 50% if the shots.
Reggie Hammond says
Ronnie Price is a god awful shooter…I know his numbers are bad but it’s everything about his shot…just wild bricks…honestly miss last years guards
How many misses tonight for Kobe and Price. This organization has become a joke.
I can’t watch anymore. And who really cares if Kobe passes Jordan who spent 4 years in collage. Enough of that story as he misses another open shot,
What a bad joke.
Kobe 3 for 10
40 shots tonight?
There is is. Nick Young four point play..
Reggie Hammond says
Ko really this game I can’t blame him so far… a couple were easy shots he just missed the last second 40 footer…he has nobody else besides swaggy that can do anything for themselves on O
It’s becoming more and obvious what the problem is.
Remember when they won 2 games and Kobe had assists?
Well clearly his objective is to lead the league in scoring.
Not win games. Might as well change name to LA Kobe’s. Funny he goes out and team goes ahead. 11 to 0 run.
And Bryon Scott was hired for that reason.
Reggie rest of team is shooting 45% Kobe under 30% so how is that not his fault. Last 4 games this is what he has been doing. Other then Price he has worst numbers by far on the team.
Soon as he goes back in they go from up to 7 down,
Reggie Hammond says
There is an open I mean wide ass open 3 every defensive possession…down 9 at half
Kobe 3 for 12 and largest minus.
It’s getting more and more clear that his ego is one of the reasons they stink.
How long will fans watch him go 1 on 5?
Reggie Hammond says
Ko he did start forcing shots after our earlier posts I felt at that time 3-4 of his shots were really good shots he just missed shots you’d want him taking or an attempt to beat the buzzer…the other starters were (and are) awful Kobe took quality shots, bench came in played fluidly, Kobe came back in & went 1 on 5…so like I said I couldn’t blame him yet…now I am in agreement with you
+/- for the starters tonight:
This has been the pattern all year, and the reason for it is obvious: the Lakers don’t have a legitimate NBA starting lineup. The Lakers actually have a pretty good bench; the problem is that they start most of it. That is why the +/- numbers of all the guys who start are so awful. They can’t compete.
Kobe is still a good O player, but he needs to be going 30 MPG, playing some 3, and playing off-ball more. He can’t go 40M and carry a team on ISOs like he could 10 years ago. He can’t stay in front of 2s anymore, either.
Hill and Davis would both be good third bigs–25 MPG guys. Lin would be a good 3rd guard, 25 MPG guy, because he can play 1 or 2. Young is an 18-20 MPG guy–instant O for a contender. Johnson, Boozer, and Sacre are 9th-11th men–10-12 MPG guys. Price is a 3rd PG/12th man/clubhouse guy/stop gap. So, the entire roster is being asked to play beyond their abilities. The only exception? Ellington. That is why he looks pretty good sometimes.
J C says
What’s odd is that #24 can lead the team in assists and flirt with triple doubles for a few games, the team competes, and then invariably he reverts to shooting first.
Does he forget?
There are no other shooters on the starting unit. I’d start Swaggy and give Kobe someone to pass to.
Lil pau says
Okay complainers, lets hear what the lakers should be doing rather than letting Kobe shoot…
Reggie Hammond says
Boy Kobe looks good now atoning those few bunnies he missed in the 1st half
Reggie Hammond says
Lil pau that was my point in the 1st quarter he had nobody else to help but after the bench came in & gave the team some swagger he came in & started ball stopping & shooting over double teams…now he’s hot fiya
Price is pretty bad at shooting kobe was doubled pretty much every time in the 1st quarter.
We really miss Gasol and he is having another great year in chicago … couldnt we have kept gasol at C and tried to dangle a 1st for a 3rd star … kobes game misses gasol a lot as well … ours bigs plus our sets makes are games so hard to watch
We shpuld do a rundown in terms of how far our talent level has dropped off overe thw past few years going back to 2010 ….
We went from having 3 all stars in gasol,kobe,bynum with 2 great bench guys in lamar and artest with great role players in fisher, farmar,brown, and vucivic to a single all star in kobe and 2 good bench guys in young and hill but the real killer is that we essentially let all of those guys go for nothing
Where are all the three-point proponents? The Lakers stellar shooting from distance is 3-20. For anyone but Nick three-point shots are pyrite.
Reggie Hammond says
Shaun that’d be so so so depressing…I want the lakers to get this one to spite that flip flopper magic…Wes with some big rebounds & a 3 in last couple minutes
It has been a complete vacuum of talent for the Lakers …. and in addition to letting all those guys walk for close to nothing we traded a pick for sessions, he left … 3 picks for nash who was worthless, 2-3 picks for howard, left ….pretty much every trade after the veto ruined us
Thats like 8 players and 6 picks gone for next to nothing …. this must be unprecedented for most teams right … we must have the worst 4 year stretch of any team over the past 5 years in terms of the effectiveness of our front office … who also have now went through 4-5 coaches during that span as well
Magic was a bit before my time but did we go through this when he retired … i mean this will have to be our longest stretch of mediocrity ever …. we somehow need to fall into 2 all stara in the draft… ugh venterino
Lil pau says
Great game, for the 3 or 4 of us watching….
Reggie Hammond says
^ LOL it is a good one
Kobe to Hill and the Lakers lead.
Lil pau says
Does Scott ever call TO and run a play?!
Reggie Hammond says
Lil pau-no & it’s very frustrating
Fodder for the Kobe Alert!
The only the Lakers win is when five players score in double-digits and when at least one player on the team scores 24-25 points.
That’s cause he doesn’t know x&o’s. Plz have Davis in here instead of booz
Reggie Hammond says
I want that protected pick but this was a good win…good D from LA on that last posession too
Chris J says
Clearly this is a franchise that’s deliberately trying to lose games. Anyone who disagrees is an idiot.
Reggie Hammond says
Who would you want this year?
i don’t care about the pick. i’m ok with it if it happens, though.
The point I made at halftime (in mod) still holds overall IMO.
Go Kobe!Perfect game.
I must have fallen asleep and woke up to a Laker Win. Still dreaming.
I would want mda … it was fun basketball.
-Must admit, I fell asleep also, sometime in the 3rd. Kobe came thru at the end for a Laker win.
-interesting +/- stat for Lakers this game: all starters had 0 or negative rating, all subs had + rating.
-Didn’t like the NBA TV pregame talk from Isiah Thomas that Kobe should just score 63 tonight. Steve Smith didn’t challenge him on it.
-Don’t see Lakers making a deal w/ Nets for D Will (age 30, declining skills, large contract: this season + 2 more totaling $62 mil) or Lopez (only 26, better contract: 2 years @ $31 mil but injury prone). Now if they want to move AK-47 (expiring contract @ $3 mill+), who they are not using at all, I’d sign off on that move.
-@ 6-16 (.273), Lakers currently tied w/ Utah for 6th worse record in the league. Scenario makes me wonder…if this was game #82 and a win would move the Lakers from 5th worst to 6th worst record. 10 seconds left, Lakers down by one, Kobe with the ball…
J C says
Big City –
Kobe would say, ‘f- it,’ and make the shot.
I like the question because it speaks the kind of guy Kobe is.
My brother called me from Sac yesterday, he lives there and is a diehard Kings fan.
He said to appreciate KB while he’s here because he’s in the top three to ever put on a uniform.
In his words, in any order you like, there’s Wilt, MJ, and Kobe.
-@ J C, Kobe in top 3? Betting he’s under 45.
-Happy to see all the Lakers wore “I Can’t Breathe” warm up t-shirts.
I don’t mind putting Kobe in the top 3 if we take into account ‘influence.’ Most of it had to do with timing (internet, and full time sports blogs) but he pretty much made ‘hard work’ glorious. Before him, I think people were more willing to let the Shaqs and AIs have some freedom (although Kobe nowadays skips team practice too); now just about every player must have a ‘gym rat’ in his description to be considered legit.
Basketball-wise, I don’t think I could ever cut a list down to top three, but Kareem, Wilt, MJ for sure. Post-MJ, it’s probably Kobe, Duncan, Shaq and Dirk (he seriously should be a two time champion… Wade smh).
-Happy to see all the Lakers wore “I Can’t Breathe” warm up t-shirts.
despite everything, it´s always good to get a w – that KB dime to JHill in the 4th was sweet
I think they may as well just try and win games, the purposeful tank isn’t going to work. There are just too many bad teams in the East. The Knicks are straight up horrible, the Lakers still have some players that are specifically excellent at some things. Without straight up throwing games even worse than some of Byron’s ‘strategic moves’ thus far it will be pretty hard to “win” the lottery spot of #5th worse team in the NBA. Mind you the Lakers are pretty bad, but they have a bunch of guys that can go off offensively some nights.
The funny thing is, the Lakers bench is actually crazy good compared to most benches. Our bench I would say with Lin/Boozer is probably better than our starting 5. The bench is definitely better offensively now and they have Lin/Young/Boozer/Ellington who all can score well any given night. The 2nd unit can actually spread the floor, rather than Kobe/Price two of the worst wing 3 point shooters in the league.
They basically are going to have to start overplaying their starters a lot more to ensure the losses pile up.
Kobe needs rested, him playing 10mins more than everyone else is crazy. They are setting him up for injuries, no way he can play this many minutes without sitting out some games (spurs style). Basic physiology shows how detrimental aging is on the recovery cycle. You can maintain amazing fitness levels at 36 no problem, but you just can’t recover. Microtears in the tendons, especially with back-to-back games greatly increase the risk of injuries both severe and moderate.
After Kobe gets this Jordan record, start playing him 20mpg, and let him use his muscle memory withou the constant fatigue to start shooting 40% again. Let him go out without being remembered as just a volume shooter and a poor one at that. Plus, many of us would like to see him WALK off the court, not be carried on a stretcher.
I still don’t know if rr actually believes the FO was trying to win this year after they couldn’t get LBJ. I think he is playing dumb and he really knows NBA teams tank for better picks since the inception of the draft. This isn’t anything new and it’s the reason the league implimented the lottery in the first place. It would be a conspiracy theory to suggest the Lakers were actually trying to win. Especially since the FO said last year it would be a 3-4 years before the Lakers would be competitive again.
I don’t need to play dumb; I have that covered without pretending.
You still don’t seem to get what people are calling you on, and your thinking is still too linear and black-and-white. I think the FO believes (and I think they are going to be wrong, sadly) that they can mostly rebuild the team through free agency, so they want to keep the cap clean and the powder dry for 2016. So, they weren’t in on Bledsoe/Hayward/Monroe/Stephenson.
In the meantime, what they tried to do was make the team as likable and competitive as possible by signing guys that they thought people would watch to short deals. So, I think they are in “semi-tank” mode. I think they want to keep the pick, but they did not totally punt the season.
I think one way to see this is the fact that they gave Nick Young a four-year deal–that is a long deal, which does not fit your narrative, but the FO thinks fans like having Swaggy around. They could have signed a worse player than Swag for 1/2M. They chose not to. Another way to see this is the Ed Davis deal. Davis is just OK, but the FO easily could have found worse bigs to come here for the minimum, and no fans are paying to watch Ed Davis. They didn’t–they brought in Davis, because his agent is Rob Pelinka and Pelinka saw an opportunity for PT for his client
You are arguing that the FO actually believes that Lin, Boozer, Davis et al are all awful, and they brought them in specifically to
a) Make the team lose
b) Fooling people into thinking that they were trying.
My argument is that if the FO is that serious about losing and is that smart, last year’s tank job would have been smarter and cleaner, and this year’s would be as well. The team is 6-16, not 3-19. Also, they wouldn’t have messed up so many parts of the back end of the roster in 2012 and 2013, unless you are arguing that the FO can identify mid-priced useless players but not cheap useful ones.
Finally, you have suggested that Kobe and Byron are in on it. You are actually giving Byron more credit than the clowns around the net who can’t stand him but love the FO. Those people are saying Byron is an unknowing stooge, brought in to shut up Magic Johnson and help to lose games, as more proof of Jim Buss’s subtle genius, which is IMO truly strange and a little unhinged as sports talk goes.
So, I think Kobe, Scott, and the other guys are trying. I think the FO is trying to play it both ways. They are not tying up money to try for 40 wins, but they are also not doing the 76ers thing. If they were, Kobe wouldn’t be here. They thought that they couldn’t do that for credibility and business reasons, so they are playing the middle. It’s messy, but that’s life.
Baylor Fan says
You knew the Lakers had to win once Magic said they should lose all their games. I think Magic is just trying to cover for Byron.
Everyone read Slappy’s comment at the top of the list. Well done.
We saw Jordan play before Pippen became Pippen. We have the stats and the eye test. And Jordan was exactly the same player. It really can’t be argued.
Not a good win at all! We need to tank the season and get the picks. A top 5 pick and 2 picks in the top 35 is what is at stake here. All that I have said has come to pass people. This team is as Stephen A. Smith said the other day on ESPN is “Awful” and Jim Buss is even worst. The trades and moves he has made are well known so no need to expound on that. But right now it is Kobe’s will vs. the future of the Laker Franchise!
I have seen a worst stretch for the Lakers…when Wilt/West/Goodrich retired the Lakers were really bad before they got Kareem and drafted Magic. We did not have a legit star at all on any of those teams during that transition period. The Lakers have always historically made great moves in the Front Office but I think we all can agree that has not been the case during the tenure of Jim Buss.
Sadly, Kobe at this point in his career is J.R. Smith if JR was allowed to shoot at will every game. JR Smith can get his shot off whenever he wants, Kobe can still do this through moves more than sheer athleticism. Kobe shoots poorly, except for in Spurts where he still dominates, just like JR Smith. Kobe is overpaid big time if it was based on basketball court stuff, not off the court marketing/legacy stuff. JR Smith is also overpaid, but he comes 16million a year cheaper, because JR Smith has always been JR Smith. Whereas Kobe, USED to be KOBE.
JR Smith now shoots better than Kobe and that is pretty telling. If KOBE was now Joe Schmo he wouldn’t get to shoot 23+ shots a game regardless how horrible he shoots. He would get benched when he goes 1-for 10 but instead he gets garbage time to pad his stats. This Kobe is just a poor shadow of the once dominant player. Still feisty and still irrationally believes he is going to make the next shot. JR Smith probably could win an occassional game for the crappy Knicks also if he shot 30 shots some games. Man if Kobe could just shoot as well as JR Smith does, 41% and 33% from three look pretty good now adays. Ronnie price is the perfect player to play with Kobe, one of the only people who can make Kobe still look real efficient on offense.
Free Jordan Clarkson. He has looked pretty good in the d league. Really not sure of the logic of not playing him.
It’s always fun to put together “top 10” list. Personally I always think one’s age needs to be mentioned and what age you became a fan w/ one’s selection. If it’s a “top 10 best”, I don’t think any player w/ less than 7 or 8 years of NBA experience should be included. Limit to on court presence (post career influence is important, but I see that as a different “top 10”. And personally I ask myself “if EVERYBODY is available, who do I pick 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
Bottom line: for me, Kobe top 3 NBA player all-time, no, not close…but he does make my top 10. And personally I think that’s damn good & pretty realistic. I’ve been a fan since age 13. I’m now 62.
@ Vasheed, just about every NBA player looks good in the “D” league. Adam Morrison use to light those guys up. Don’t understand how the “D” league works or it’s purpose, because it doesn’t appear to be “developing” anyone. No wonder 17 & 18 year olds would rather play for free in college than for $30K in the “D” league.
LordMo: I always like historical references, because we have such a rich history. The time period you mention was not good, however the Lakers won the title in 72 and made the Finals in 1973. We were then absent for 6 years until we won in 1980. The lowest win total during the period as 30. Our current run is/will be much worse. When next year is over, we may have recorded three years in a row worse than 30 wins. We last visited the finals in 2010. This is our 5th year not being in the Finals and unless you are projecting a miracle, next year will make 6 (and counting). Also next year is likely to be our third straight DNQ for the playoffs, which has never occurred in history. Make no bones about it, this is worse than it has ever been and we are not done yet.
This is great. The freeze frame of Kobe shooting over all 5 Kings could not have been set up any better if you had staged it. gene/BCS: Sorry I beat you to this : )
It’s OK for Lakers to lose as long as the coach is your friend
Isn’t it entertaining when Lakers win a game, no matter what prevailing reasons were to be considered? They deserve praise for the effort and struggle to get this W.
Another thing I wish to add, sometimes we are too spoiled or too much hatred in expecting too much from Kobe, every achievements he made are being compared to other superstars and interpreted in several spins. Well, if and when he makes to the Top 3 scorers of all time, that’s a remarkable achievement no matter how many shots were taken. Babe Ruth had also a lot struck-outs in his time. Kobe deserves all the accolade this year not because of reaching this pinnacle but playing at a high level NBA standard after those debilitating career injuries on heel and knee. Lebron could not even play after muscle cramps. No hall of famer has achieved that feat, at most I knew legends who hopped in a Championship game with one foot that’s Willis Reed or Isiah Thomas and Wilt Chamberlain played and scored well with hands wrapped in bandage. However, it’s just one game. At his age and severe injuries, Kobe could compete with the youth and even aspire MVP’s if he could lift the Lakers to .500.
-@ Robert, lol very nice. That’s the Kobe I know 🙂
-Knicks are considering shutting ‘Melo down due to a knee issue which may require season ending surgery. If that happens (considering the Knicks don’t play better w/o Melo), our top 5 pick window will be narrowed to just three spots.
I find it amusing how much MDA fans are bothered by what Magic Johnson posts on Twitter, especially since other than financially, D’Antoni’s avoiding coaching this team was a big win for his career. He might actually get another NBA job some day now, although I kind of doubt it.
I think you made my point. It doesn’t exactly look like the team is heading to the playoffs. So what is the goal of this year? I would put forth that it is to find and develop talent. I don’t think Price has a future with the Lakers and i have doubts about Lin as well. What is the downside to playing Clarkson and seeing what we have for the future? Future hope is one of the few bright spots in another wise sour season. You don’t even get that if you never let them play.
the other Stephen says
That clip is priceless. If I had a clip from Semi Pro of Andre 3000 also shooting over five players, I would link that for you now.
Darius Soriano says
I’m not going to sit here and cape for Mike D’Antoni, but Magic’s hypocrisy on this is bothersome to me. Whether or not anyone thinks it matters or how much they think the front office should/should not pay attention to what Magic says, he’s a franchise icon who has swaying power over a certain Lakers’ fan demographic. So, in that sense, what he does helps shape public opinion which has a trickle down effect on the perception of the team. Even if that’s not true for some people, it’s impossible to say it’s not a factor for others.
@ Vasheed, you and other who are calling for playing time for Clarkson are absolutely correct. It looks like Price & Lin’s futures w/ the Lakers are limited. Only reason I’m not completely ready to give up on Lin is it must be extremely challenging for point guards to play with a ball dominant player like Kobe. Kyrie Irving is also feeling his way playing w/ LeBron.
But you guys are right, Clarkson needs to get run.
If you try to probe on Magic comments, it is addressed to this roster whom he thinks they are hopeless to make the playoffs without changes or additions. Therefore, the logical way is to tank and get something from the worse scenario. Being a Laker legend, he should not have said that in public, however he is not a fan of the young owner so he doesn’t really care of the Laker image at this time.
Well, Lakers won which becomes thorny path for the tankers.
Mitch’s strategy on trade exceptions is to wait for Feb trade deadlines after ASG, he wants to package them to a worthwhile acquisition. That is a good plan meanwhile, how willl they stop the hemorrhaging Laker season without any help? Scott mixed the players in 4th Q, Price for defense and Ellington for offense, played Boozer & Sacre in the 4th took advantage of the absence of Cousins.
Why is no one bringing up Mitch allowing the 2 injury exceptions to expire Monday? Isen’t that what Lakets fought for? Isen’t not using them the most obvious proof of a tanking team.?
Nobody thinks the Lakers aren’t tanking. Not even Kobe. He even basically admitted as much saying tanking is something the FO does but the players try to win.
Baylor Fan says
Aaron I still remember this game by Jordan: http://www.nba.com/bulls/history/michael-jordans-63-points-1986-nba-playoffs-may-have-been-greatest-game-ever-played.html
He played on a “bad ankle” according to the Bull’s management who tried to hold him out at the end of the season so they could tank. Was Jordan a great player without this game? Of course, but with it he was even greater.
Spoelstra was touted as a brilliant coach when he had Lebron now that his talent is old and or injured his team is not even playing .500 ball in the eastern conference. So I guess talent counts, huh?
Chris J says
Nobody thinks the Lakers aren’t tanking. Not even Kobe.
Plenty of people not named Aaron do not beleive the Lakers are tanking. But please, keep sharing with us your profound basketball insight, matched only by your keen mind-reading capability.
What else, oh omniscient one, is everybody thinking? Your five or six acolytes are awaiting your word with baited breath.
“That Aaron is the smartest prettiest girl at the ball” Or at least that’s my best guess.
the other Stephen says
I hope that in the years to come, even the bit players–not just the pampered stars–will be to be say this about the Lakers organization: https://twitter.com/FlashGJr/status/542926137542733824/photo/1
Bring back Nick Van Exel!! He’s been an assistant coach for several years, with the Hawks and the Bucks. Plus, I think he’s still irritated about that last Utah Playoff game where Del Harris started calling plays for a rookie Kobe, so Nick started forcefully throwing the ball Kobe’s way every time down. People talk about Kobe costing the Lakers games now, but if Nick and Eddie had run wild perhaps they wouldn’t have been swept from that series way back when. Painful. Lakers could have won 2 or 3 rings before Phil ever got here, but ended up trading Nick, Eddie, and Elden for scraps!!
Mda will resurface after this year… i really think that. Am so glad to see the hypocracy of magic being exposed. Love this forum by the way. My must read every day. Thanks for allowing me to shoot off my mouth as you can tell i am an mda fan
-@ Karen, MDA resurface? As a teams 1st choice, I’d be surprised. Desperation choice, I can see it.
-Hooray, T ‘Wolves & Hornets both won last night. Improving the Lakers chances of finishing in the bottom 5 by just a little bit more. Lakers now tied w/ Jazz for 5th worst record.
-Spurs rested Duncan & Manu last night vs Knicks for their showdown with our Lakers on Friday.
-No problem w/ Magic playing “bad cop” pertaining to the Laker FO tanking issue.
Big City, Harold, Oldtimer,
I’d agree with you!
Kobe’s not quite in my top 3…
My instant response to my brother was, what about Kareem?…what about MAGIC???
His response was, in terms of longevity, over a 19-year career, Kobe’s maintained a level of excellence that is unique. And he’s not done yet. And his legacy will fare better over time.
The reason I mentioned his opinion is that it represents an opinion of an NBA fan from another city. To me, that’s interesting.
As Oldtimer said, it’s sometimes difficult to truly appreciate Kobe here in LA.
And I can dig BCS’ assumption that the youth of a fan plays a huge role in perspective.
In this case, my brother and I have been diehard sports fans since we were kids.
I’m 55. He’s a 62- year old attorney and judge.
T. Rogers says
D’Antoni was ahead of the curve a decade ago. He brought back the face paced, up and down game at a time when grinding it out was the preferred style. He really made the 3 pointer into the premier shot in the league. The problem is since then most of the league has adopted his style or elements of it. So as a coach Mike is no longer an anomaly. He’s not unique anymore. That plus his some of his baggage may make him a hard sell going forward. But if he sits out for a couple of seasons he may get a shot somewhere else.
Wow Dogers now trade Kemp one LA team wants to win.
Wait breaking news!
Dodgers trade bubble machine to Arizona for 2 live lizards and free pass to Cheetahs strip bar,
Calvin Chang says
If the NBA wants to prevent tanking, one idea is: All 14 teams that miss the playoffs have equal number of pingpong balls for first round draft. But 2nd round draft order will follow the current draft lottery system.
MDA employed the Euro Basketball style in NBA of which he was a star during his time. Unfortunately, NBA is not geared to run and gun style alone. It is just one tactic. Got to look at the history of the league from the post domination of Big Men era like Russel, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq etc. combined with the flashy moves of Pistol Maravich, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier and Magic Johnson to the era of marksmen like Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Larry Bird.
This game is not one dimensional offense alone, it is a mixture of power post-ups, point guard dexterity and natural body-english artists on the court. The Coach is the five star general who thinks of everything to win a game. He utilizes his tall players effectively to do a particular job while he position his gunner that will deceive the enemy. In other words, he would not overplay his superstars to oblivion that would lead to possible exhaustion and injuries. Like in a good tactician in military, he would know when to use his Air Force in open war while hold on armada of carriers near the shore. He thinks of everything in order to win a battle and eventually the war itself. This is where MDA is lacking, he is just a one dimensional Coach accustomed to Euro Basketball. After few games, his old players are exhausted, his Centers are frustrated for doing a yeoman’s job of taking rebounds from the perimeter. How many Lakers got so frustrated with MDA style starting from Howard followed by Hill, Gasol, Jamison. Even Meeks for a time was wondering why he is being benched? Kobe was over exposed for 40 minutes a game and he was already 34 years old at that time. At the strings of losses, he failed to manage the course of games played, he solely relied on run and gun for 7 seconds offense while zero on defense.
What is your answer to the best Centers of the competing team, torturing your team in the post? How will you repulse the flashy PG’s who are penetrating your porous zone defense or weak man-to-man? How will you stop TO’s, get long rebounds and overcome weaknesses in transition defense?
Lastly.will you hire MDA as a commanding general being aware of his one dimensional approach?
Calvin Chang says
@Karen: I’m sure D’Antoni will get another shot. His system might not get you to the championship, but it is very entertaining and will generate interest, ratings, and tv / ticket revenue. With the right players, he can get the team deep in the playoffs. But unless he hires some defensive wizard assistant, his style won’t get you to the championship because the game slows down to a grind in the playoffs.
Calvin Chang says
I wonder if Spurs can beat the Lakers if Pop rests all 4 of his stars like he did in New York. Wow- what a slap in the face of Fisher. Knicks got whipped by Pop’s B team. Just goes to show what a great system can accomplish. Put together a bunch of role players, have them perfect their roles, get them to play hard, and BAM … victory.
George Best says
If you can’t pick first or second the Lakers need to do what they can to win and give up their pick now. This top 5 protected is terrible if you keep getting the 5th pick. You aren’t likely to improve. You need the top pick and with Kobe around and the Knicks and sixers its a non difference making pick. Pay your debt and move on.
The lakers are going to be worse next year. Kobe is a year older and still kills the cap space. It’s just a bad time for the franchise and as bad as the team is you can’t root to lose if the result is a pissed off fan base and the number 4 pick.
Magic is right. Lose all the games or just finish with the 6th to 8th worst record and pay your debt. Then we can move forward
Calvin Chang says
Something to ponder – with this exact same roster, would Popovich have been able to coach this team to make the playoffs? I’d say yes.
MDA’s system has won a championship for four straight years.
Calvin Chang says
Aaron – MDA’s space-out offense style has won, but only when combined with excellent team defense. If D’Antoni himself is the head coach, the problem is that D’Antoni doesn’t focus much on defense. So MDA as head coach will not get you to the championship because it will be missing the elite team defense component.
Renato Afonso says
@ Calvin Chang
Probably not as a new hire and this roster. If he had been here for at least one season with any semblance of continuity and could select the players to round up the roster, then we could probably be fighting for a playoff spot. With him some good players would not be looking to leave, the X’s and O’s would be better, our defense would certainly be better and he would probably have players better suited for the system. Well, we would actually have a system…
Again, the problem is not Byron Scott’s (in)ability to coach. The problem is that for four years running our head coach is terrible (from Brown to MDA to Scott) and we don’t have neither an identity nor a system or seemingly a plan.
Renato Afonso says
Please don’t say something as misinformed as this: “MDA’s system has won a championship for four straight years.”. Using elements of floor spacing on the PnR action to open up lanes or the corner three pointer is not MDA’s system. Plus, the Spurs can adjust tempo, which is something that I’ve never seen a MDA-led team do…
Calvin Chang says
Clarification on my something to ponder – If Pop were coaching this exact same Lakers team, will he be able to get this team to the playoffs? My guess is yes. It will be a spectacle. I can picture him yelling at every single one of these players. Imagine Pop yelling at Nick Young for launching contested shots, at Boozer for not playing defense, at Jeremy for jumping into the teeth of the defense with nobody to pass to, at Wes for launching bad shots, at Kobe for shooting a 35 footer with 5 seconds in the shot clock. But it is exactly what this team needs to play smarter basketball.
Knicks are a franchise I have hated since my youth. So occasionally watching the train wreck they call a team and OWNER is worth a good laugh. Lakers could easily become the Knicks a team that is “big market” blah blah blah but the real talent goes elsewhere. The east truly is horrible, yet the Knicks can’t win anything. There is a team that needs blown up, but they have the Melo Anchor for what four more years!! At least we only have Kobe anchor for another year. Byron Scott can easily help make this franchise look like a stay-away if you want to win franchise.
You can only pull out trophies for so long, players have shorter memories. I think for pure entertainments sake we should just blow up this roster even more, and try and land JR Smith, or Josh Smith or ideally both. Wow could you imagine Kobe, J-Smith, JR, and Swaggy Young man the ball movement would be EPIC. You would see guys jacking up 3’s from 10 feet behind the three point line, it would become the new 7 second or less offense. Two more years to the real rebuiliding effort…get those records Kobe. Chronos is getting impatient.
Calvin Chang says
@Renato – Let’s say it’s Pop as first year coach with this exact same roster. No additions, no changes. I think the first 15 games will be painful as Pop yells his heart out at these players to play the right way. But after 15 games of yelling, benching, practice, even more yelling, I think Pop can get this team to find their roles and play a style that can win many games. Pop will turn Wes into Bruce Bowen. He’ll get Lin to lower his turnovers and play smarter. He’ll get the spacing right. Ryan Kelly will probably get more minutes than Boozer in Pop’s system to help with spacing. He’ll turn Wayne Ellington into a Gary Neal.
Renato Afonso says
In those conditions, I would say it’s a 10 win swing. Enough to have a respectable record (according to roster) but not enough to fight for that 8th seed.
lil pau says
Re: the Knicks… I’ve been one of the few defenders of the Lakers’ front office ’round these parts, but I would argue that the worst move this FO has ‘made’ in the last few years was one that fortunately didn’t come to fruition– trying to give a max deal to Carmelo (when not paired with LBJ). Could you imagine 5 years of Melo in purple and gold? Shudder.
Re: tanking. Aaron, there are plenty of people who subscribe to the idea that the Lakers are in at least some *minimal to moderate* version of a tank. At its least extreme, few would doubt that they are sacrificing wins now at the expense of cap space and flexibility should the right players become available. To this end, they passed on decent players (Monroe, Lance) for the hope of landing a whale (Marc Gasol, Durant, Aldridge, Westbrook) down the road. It’s debatable if this strategy – to retain assets – constitutes a true tank, especially given that I think they are trying to win every game and have found the best personnel they could grab under the circumstances (1 year deals, late in the offseason because they were chasing LBJ). If Monroe or Lance would have taken a 1 year deal, I bet they’d be on the Lakers.
That said, although you see it as a given, I don’t know of a single other person who adopts your view that the Lakers are in ‘full tank mode’ in which Scott is deliberately structuring his roster to lose (starting Price/Davis) or is secretly encouraging low % offense (the long 2), and was hired with a wink knowing the job was really about losing, nor have I met anyone who supports your bizarre theory that MDA was fired (actually, not renewed) because he went off the reservation and actually tried to win games, thereby earning the ire of the front office who somehow thought MDA would agree that it would be a good move for his career to lose as many games as possible. I believe the Lakers are trying to have it both ways– be as competitive as possible within the extreme limitations of managing their contracts so that they can grab a star free agent should one become available. I would agree this has risks, but so does the pure tank and frankly, I couldn’t support a team (and would absolutely never watch) that I thought was deliberately trying to lose.
T. Rogers says
“I’ve been one of the few defenders of the Lakers’ front office ’round these parts, but I would argue that the worst move this FO has ‘made’ in the last few years was one that fortunately didn’t come to fruition– trying to give a max deal to Carmelo (when not paired with LBJ). Could you imagine 5 years of Melo in purple and gold? Shudder.”
What’s even more interesting is Carmelo said he didn’t choose L.A. because the roster beyond him and Kobe would not have been good. Now look at the mess they have in New York. I can see his logic a little though. If you are going to be on a bad team may as well do it with $30 extra million and the green light to shoot. But you are right. As bad as the team is now I’m glad they didn’t land Carmelo. The Spurs are proving that depth, when done right, really does trump concentrated talent.
fine post, lil pau-
What stands out most to me is the `sacrificing of wins at the expense of cap space and flexibility´ for the foreseeable future. It is what is, however much we kick and scream –
As Sinatra once sang: `the best is yet to come, and won´t it be fine´ –
gotta get there though, have to climb that steep mountain…patience patience patience (my current mantra as i watch/listen to the games)
lil pau Completely agree with regard to tanking. Managerial tanks happen all the time and the Lakers are doing that to some extent now (not fully otherwise – no Kobe). Involving Byron and the players would involve a lack of game integrity and I do not think that is happening.
Pop: Why are we using Pop as an example and not Phil? Do you think the Celtic fans use Phil or Pop as an example? No they use Auerbach. We should use Phil. And to answer the question – No – Phil could not win with this team. Which means nobody could.
Spurs: Having a deep, even roster is not some new way to win. The Pistons did it in 2004 and 1989-90. The Spurs did it last year. All other championships since 1980 have been won by teams fielding super stars who were the focal point of their team. That is 30-4 for those counting. I hate the Spurs by the way
The Lakers certainly didn’t intend to tank, but I think once Nash and Randle were out, it became obvious that they would have no hope to compete for a spot in the playoffs. Every game now is only important because it will lead to either keeping or losing the pick; we’re at a stage where it is possible that we could be just good enough to lose the pick, which is somewhere we don’t want to be.
Having sad that, I still wish BS showed some promise. I don’t care much about the result, but if all BS can do is to give Kobe room and hope the basketball gods work in his favor, I don’t see us doing much damage with a top pick in the future.
Calvin Chang says
@TRogers – What the Spurs show us is that when players with good attitudes play patient, unselfish basketball with good spacing on offense, and good team defense, you can win a lot of games. Think about the Spurs b team. Many were cast-offs, rejects, or D-leaguers. Boris Diaw was thought of as a bust after his Suns days. Danny Green was waived by Cleveland. Patty Mills, Aaron Baynes, Cory Joseph, Bonner, Belinelli were not sought-after before Pop found them a role. Tiago Splitter doesn’t create his own offense and usually scores off drop passes, put backs, cuts. But Pop carved out a role for each of these guys, and trained them to just focus on their role and do it well. If they try to do too much, they get yelled at or benched until they learn. Now that is elite coaching. My point is – a good coach can get his players to over-achieve and find ways to win, and the Lakers roster is not as terrible as it looks.
The Lalers didn’t offer any contract to Isiah Thomas, Monroe or Lance. Or so says those pkayers. Not a one year or two year deal (the same one Lance took). And the Lakers pulled their offer to Melo right after LBJ said no. Hence why all of the sudden Melo’s decision was between the Bulls and Knicks
Scott wants to win while telling the team not to shoot threes? While plugging in players and rotations that were statistically proven to be sub optimal? Almost everything points to a full tilt tank. But if you want to think the FO and Scott know nothing about basketball be my guest.
Full tank. The Lakers have been better with Kobe off the floor on offense and defense. Full tank. And I never ever said players had anything to do with a tank.
Wow. Perfect timing. I just saw this tweeted… Kobe Bryant is hurting the Lakers…
Pop, Spoelstra, and Jim Carrey have all said they copied MDA’s system. Let your hatred for MDA go.
That Kobe guy is funny…Yelling at Mitch for not having better teammates…dude if you would have turned down Jimbo’s $25M offer and taken say half of that, maybe they could have surrounded you with better players. It all goes back to having an incompetent FO. Why even offer $25M in the 1st place. 2 years, $30M would have been a very fair deal for both sides.
Regardless, that’s over and done with. This is the path the team chose…year 2 of a 3 year tank!
Aaron: “Full tilt” Yes – that is what we have been on, ever since the VETO – Full Tilt. “Full Tank” Actually I think we are running on empty. With regard to the Kobe article: I remember reading similar articles in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2012. I will boldly predict a similar article will be written next year. In any case Aaron we disagree on some items but agree others. Talent wins and the Lakers do not have enough of it.
Laka: “Why even offer $25M in the 1st place” Good question. And that was the root of the problem.
Guys, get over the 25 mil. It’s a severance package (no pun intended). The guy toiled away for decades, brought 5 championships, tore an achilles and worked his way back to a franchise that was at best going to start over with what, Carmelo? FO also wanted to repair its image after Howard dumped them, to create this ‘we take care of our own’ thing.
I personally would rather pay Kobe 25 than pay Kobe and Carmelo 40, especially if that means reuniting Carmelo with Lin again. And we know just how trade-able Lin is… if he can’t make it in the biggest Asian-american NBA market, he probably can’t make it anywhere.
Kobe needs to take off the egocentric glasses for a minute. He leads the league in usage % and FGA’s. He is overall stats for his position make him the worst defensive player at SG thus far (Yep Harden is playing better D). Kobe barely practices anymore. He plays the most minutes on the team. Yet somehow its all the other guys faults, most of the other guys who shoot far less and shoot far better. He influences a team more than anyone in the league, and it leads to losses. So many games this season his teammates played better than him on both ends of the floor–they just didn’t get to jack up 25+ shots.
Part of the reason the Lakers aren’t winning more often is Kobe. But since Kobe occassionally helps them win a game with some strong spurts of offense–its all the other guys faults. No other human being in this league could control a team like Kobe does the Lakers. He can play completely horrible, slack on D, skip practices, and talk crap on his teammates b/c of course he used to be Kobe Bryant. Now his only claim to fame is that he shoot so much that he still averages a lot of points. But give a ton of players in this league an opportunity to shoot 30 shots (including all those shots that don’t count b/c he gets fouled) and control the ball sometimes 45% or more of the game, and they would avg 26pts also. Efficiency does matter, next he gets to play PG. This ego worship crap is crazy, it was bad enough when he USED to be amazing, but now that he is in decline its just disgusting. Melo and Kobe would have sucked just as bad as this team does now, but it would have been funny watching them attempt 70% of the total shots every game.
Calvin Chang says
Can’t argue with what Tankyou said. It’s true.
Regarding the comments above about the Lakers courting Melo. I agree that the team dodged a bullet on that one. I do not think Melo will age well and he is at this stage of his career a one dimensional player.
I was so concerned about what a bad move it would have been that I wrote a letter to Mitch pleading with him to not sign him. Maybe Kobe and Melo would have made the Lakers more entertaining but there would not have been enough room under the cap to field a championship team. Then when Kobe retires we would have had a 33 year old Melo as the centerpiece of our team for the remaining two years of his deal. We would have had to wait for the 2018/2019 season before he rolled off our books.
I’m surprised that no one has commented on the proposed fire sale by the Nets. I’m concerned that Jim will make deals for Williams and Lopez. Mark Stein indicated that the Lakers would have interest in both players. I hope that Stein is making that up because I see Williams as an old 31 year old and Lopez spends more time on the disabled list than playing.
My approach to the Lakers current situation is that we have no choice but to lose. We have to keep this draft pick. This summer we should focus our cap space on young talent. I think someone else mentioned that we could target Monroe and Jackson in free agency. These two combined with Randle and the top 5 pick gives us a young nucleus that could not only surprise on the floor but make the Lakers more attractive to future elite FAs.
T. Rogers says
You are right about fitting pieces together. I think that is one of the things that makes the Lakers roster bad. The pieces just don’t fit. Lin has shown that he excels mainly when he has the ball. But that’s not happening on a team with Kobe Bryant. Hill is a power forward playing center. Boozer’s love of shooting mid range shots would gel much better with a traditional low post seven footer (like Pau Gasol). And there just isn’t enough long range shooters to go around on this team.
You are right about the stars. But the league is changing. Remember that old adage about jump shooting teams never winning a title? Take a good look at the Spurs. They are a jump shooting team if I ever saw one. And I’d argue that the star driven NBA is actually a recent phenomenon.
Those great teams of the 60’s and 70’s were actually pretty well balanced. Sure there were stars then. Wilt was a one man wrecking crew. But production-wise most of those old teams were very balanced. This was even true in the 80’s. It was the 90’s and the Jordan era were teams started being stripped down to one or two stars and bunch of nobodies. In many ways I think the Spurs are pushing NBA basketball back to its roots. I feel the way you do about the Spurs. But I have to give credit where it is due.
Kens tongue in check Kobe alert.
Kobe could pass MJ Friday .
Kobe 19 years
MJ 15 years
Kobe 44% lifetime 38% this year
MJ 49% lifetime
Kobe played with 2 all-star probably HOF centers to open up the floor.
MJ played with with with Cartwright?
That’s all folks. Tongue in check.
Don’t worry about the $25 million.
After next season, it’ll be off the books, freeing the FO to do more terrible deals.
lil pau says
But if you want to think the FO and Scott know nothing about basketball be my guest.
Aaron, I really don’t appreciate you rewriting my arguments to make me sound like an idiot. If an aversion to the 3 and starting Davis/Price (you do know that line-up was -2 against New Orleans, far better than any other lineup that night, right? In other words, it worked. It also looked good against Sac) is all the proof you need that this team is trying to lose games in some kind of Faustian Kobe and B Scott sold their soul and competitive zeal for money, then that’s fine. Because Kobe knows something about basketball, too, right? Really, I couldn’t disagree with you more, but let’s agree to disagree, but in the meantime, please don’t rewrite my argument to make me look like like a fool; I get rewritten enough in my day job. There’s an ethic to discussion/debate on this site and frankly, your disregard for any other point of view has diminished my enjoyment of this site to no small degree which is really too bad, because I love it here. Ironically, the only argument I see that supports your notion of a full tank is one you haven’t mentioned– shutting down Nash over a spurious ‘luggage’ incident and claiming he’s out for the year… aren’t back injuries more fickle than that? I suspect something else is going on there– not a tank, something else, but who knows?
Re: Lance and Monroe… perhaps, and I don’t claim to have inside information, Mitch called the agents of both players and asked about a 1 year deal and was shut down in a heartbeat– would a player even be aware of such a call and, if so, would he describe it as ‘interest’? So much happens behind the scenes that we’re not aware of– maybe a superstar’s agent has told Mitch to be patient and that Savior X is on his way in the off-season… who knows?
Re: tanking… A useful distinction, perhaps, between a moderate and full tank might be that the latter includes a desire to lose enough games to hold onto the pick. I do not believe this is happening — that the Lakers are specifically trying to lose to secure the pick — others might disagree. If this is not happening, then the Lakers are in, at most, a semi-tank, which is not so much a tank at all (because intentional losses are not involved) but rather valuing flexibility and cap space over maximizing the current lineup.
if these guys can’t take this obnoxious, but harmless trash talking, they can just quit, as far as i’m concerned. basketball is not youth soccer. it’s not supposed to be nice.
Ahh Kobe! It’s pretty hilarious reading, listening to, and watching what so many people have been just waiting to write and say about Kobe for years now. They had to bite their tongues while he was dominating the league and winning championships because it would look too much like sour grapes, but not now. Release the hounds!
Calvin Chang says
Kobe talking trash to his teammates and complaining to Mitch about his teammates’ intensity in practice is nothing. Media is just blowing it up because they need to write stories. But if you ask the players, it’s irrelevant.
Calvin Chang says
@TRogers- I think if Pop were the coach, he will find a way to make these pieces fit. Pop’s formula on offense is have corner 3pt shooters to spread the defense, high pick and roll to get the defense off-balance, then drive and kick and move the ball until an open shot can be had. Kobe and Lin would be his offense-initiators from top of the key. He’ll stagger their minutes so Kobe and Lin average about 28 minutes per game and don’t play a lot together. He’ll get Wes, Ellington, Young and Ryan Kelly to be his wing 3pt shooters to space the floor. Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, Sacre or Boozer will be the pick guy. Pop will drill it to these guys that those are their roles. If they try to do too much and force bad shots, they’ll be benched and yelled at.
Calvin Chang says
@TRogers – Lin will come off the bench like Manu. Kobe starts with Ellington, Wes, Hill and Davis. Ellington and Kobe take turns bringing the ball. In a half-court set, Wes and Ellington take positions in opposite 3pt corners. Kobe initiates the offense from top of the key with Jordan Hill setting the high pick. Ed Davis lurks in the back door. With the defense spread out, Kobe uses the Hill high pick to get space. Depending on how the defense reacts, Kobe can drive or pull up for a 15 footer, pass to a rolling Jordan Hill, hit Ed Davis backdoor, or kick it out to Wayne or Wes. Once the defense is off-balance, it’s just passing the ball like a hot potato until they get an open shot.
Calvin Chang says
@TRogers con’t: Second unit will check in after 7 minutes and will have Lin, Young, Kelly, Boozer, Sacre. Young and Kelly will be the corner 3 guys to spread the defense. Boozer and Sacre taking turns to do the high pick and roll with Lin. First unit checks back at the half of the 2nd quarter. Everyone plays around 20 to 28 minutes. Pop will rest Kobe and Boozer some games and get Price or Clarkson some experience. No one gets burned out. Players stay fresh and stick to the system.
I’m sorry you don’t find me entertaining but I promise to try harder and I think I will eventually win you over. Sitting Nash is the only thing that makes me think they weren’t tanking. He would have been good for more losses than kobe this season. You can’t have enough forty year old six foot white PGs on a tanking team.
I addressed the whole tanking thing a couple of days ago. What you are either missing or can’t handle facing is that the Lakers are a huge mess, and huge messes are complicated and really hard to clean up.
Coaching: Popovich is one of the greatest coaches ever, obviously. But many observers have noted that a lot of his huge impact is tied to honing his philosophies over nearly 20 years and having Duncan as his roster anchor. If you just stuck him on the 2014 Lakers in September then I think that they would, as suggested, win 8-10 more games than they will with Scott. That is a huge deal, but this would not be a playoff team in the West, no matter who the coach was.
But while Scott and Kobe have plenty of faults, the obsessive focus on them is just a way of people venting and giving themselves false hope. The Lakers have a terrible roster, and do not have a legit starting lineup.
Kobe’s practice rant: I am not a supporter. I have seen six games so far this year, and parts of a few others. I think these guys are trying as hard as they can.
it’s just trash talking!
it was all fun! if anyone’s feelings are hurt, they shouldn’t be. in fact if any feelings ARE hurt, then those people with hurt feelings ARE as soft as Charmin. Kobe is correct. everyone needs to match his level of intensity, or they are on Aaron’s team, the Bizarro Lakers. i can stand a team that’s undermanned in the present. i can’t stand a team of quitters just going through the motions. the hell with the draft pick. draft pick or no, there will be opportunities for greatness.
here is what the actual combatants had to say:
Again where is the coach. Is Kobe the coach. a guy who doesn’t practice but wants to shoot the ball all the time. Sounds like something at local park. Then KOBE shows up to one practice and tells his teammates, coaches and Gm the reason why he playing poorly is because of everyone else. Lakers are turning into the Local Zoo.
lol Barkley w the quote of the day on lakers on inside the nba
“They talking about maybe Kobe meant to light a fire under his guys…”
“He doesn’t need to light a fire under them – he just needs to lock them in the gym and just burn down the whole damn building – the team is just that bad’
(cue for Shaq to start laughing/crying)
Renato Afonso says
Pop, Spoelstra, and Jim Carrey have all said they copied MDA’s system. Let your hatred for MDA go.”
My name is Afonso, not Alfanzo. Second, integrating elements of MDA’s spacing, which what they actually said, is NOT the same as running the MDA “system”. The ball movement is not the same. The similarities are simply the early PnR action with the corner three available on both sides. That is it. Plus, the Heat and Spurs actually played good defense and could change the pace. Backdoor screens, off the ball picks, feeding the post to assist the cutting man are not part of MDA’s offense. You might as well credit the Guru of Go…
And yes, I do hate MDA. I do hate Brown. And I’m starting to hate Scott. The difference is that some people who never played or coached keep praising MDA, hence my need to talk about him, It was entertaining to see but every coach I know and spoke with about MDA simply don’t recognize him as being a good coach. Trust me on that one. He’s not very well respected in Europe as a coach… (A couple of italian friends of mine actually liked him as a PG back in the day)
Renato Afonso says
Using Pop as a comparison is nice. I actually believe that Pop is a better coach than Phil. Their strengths are different and I believe that Pop would never have success with massive egos like MJ or Kobe but I also believe that Phil couldn’t develop the well rounded roster that Pop did with Duncan as their anchor.
I would say Phil is the best coach to have when you have alpha dogs like MJ and Kobe (and Shaq) and a veteran team on the cusp of becoming great and Pop is the best coach for, well, every other type of roster. But there are other good coaches around and I’m very impressed with Brad Stevens right now. What he did in college plus what he is doing in Boston is very, very impressive. I hope to see him with a good roster someday. Maybe in LA, because I hope Boston never has a good roster again…
He influences a team more than anyone in the league .. No other human being in this league could control a team like Kobe does the Lakers
And this is 1 of the reasons why I am of the belief that no *Superstar/Elite Player* will sign on with the Lakers. It’s easy for them to see that the organization is a vehicle that Kobe is driving and there’s absolutely no way, even at this point of his career, that he’ll allow anyone else to get behind the wheel.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the organization will have the testicles to walk away from Kobe after his contract expires at the end of next season. I say this because I sincerely doubt that Kobe will retire from the game if, and of course that’s a huge if, his body is still holding up and he’s still looking as good *physically* on the court. Also, with the possibility of more scoring records to break and the new Television Deals kicking in – meaning more money for the players – yeah, it’ll be very interesting, to say the least.
rr-Is it possible to paste your post at the top of every thread. Bravo!
mud-You’re right! Players that can’t stand the heat need to get off the floor. Phil said the Knicks are battling a culture of losing, in the organization the archetype is ingrained and once losing is allowed to take root it’s hard to remove. Do we want this for our Lakers?
hop-Kobe has five rings and has earned the right to sit out practices. Do you think Popovich just sits Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker out of games? No, they sit out of practices, too. San Antonio’s culture appreciates what those guys have achieved, so they don’t harp on that. BTW, that’s part of the corporate culture that Popovich has cultivated, lo these many years. Nineteen years must mean nothing to you. Well, how about these guys that have played 2-5 years sparingly, why can’t they lay it all out on the court in practices and games?
Jerke-Every now and then Barkley comes up with true laughing/crying comments. That was a bonanza.
If any of you take umbrage with Kobe talking trash on the court listen to the links from the guys on the team. Everyone knows that more than anything basketball is a game of confidence. You never back down from words. Ever! Every player had to go through that mode of speech to get through high school, travel team, and college basketball. Now they’re sensitive when some of them are making millions…please. Jeremy Lin was taunted endlessly in the Ivy League so he should understand how to play with verbiage.
“No other human being in this league could control a team like Kobe does the Lakers”
This is one case where the fanatics have been way ahead of the curve. We have been saying it for 19 years. KOBE RULES !
T. Rogers says
That’s a harsh truth there. But its a legitimate point. And I agree with RR. These guys are playing pretty hard out there. They are just not very good. At some point Kobe will have to face down that reality. Cutting them down and showing open disdain will only make a long season much longer. Kobe has to understand that he is no longer the black mamba. His team mates watch him shoot sub 40% most nights. They watch him get torched on defense. Its only a matter of time before they start openly firing back at him.
And don’t even get me started on Jeanie and Jim’s sit down with Ramona Shelburne. In the words of the great Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart.” That’s what’s happening now.
Q&A with the “Buss Kids”: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12000240/lakers-owner-jeanie-buss-says-tanking-unforgivable
the other Stephen says
lol @ Aaron
Alienating people left and right on this site…all in a day’s work.
Kobe could criticize his teammates harshly, I hope he doesn’t get mad too if they return the favor that he is not perfect on the court, he shares a lot of TO’s, missed shots and ball hogging that could be translated to productivity. I am a Kobe fan and I consider him to be in best shape among the worse roster. You can squeeze enough juice out from a rotten lemon. Who assembled this bunch of lemons in the first place? There were several opportunities in rebuilding this team to a decent .500 ranking, but those players were ignored, driven away because of too much ambition in getting Howard, Melo and James who don’t intend to join the Lakers anyway.
Having said that, trash talking is not the way to go, it has to be a set discipline coming from the Coach not from a Superstar approaching twilight of his career who may be perceived with selfish motives to beef up his legacy. ,Assistant coaches should rehash plays that will help the weak players on their fundamentals and honing of skills through repetition on FT’s, perimeter shooting and rebound scenarios. Trash talking shows moral decadent in sports and the uneducated way in motivating individuals. Admittedly, I am an old school fan, I believe in John Wooden approach in coaching and motivating. Perhaps, a four year College graduate can help an athlete mold his character, sharpen his thought process and take care of his financials after basketball career.
loved the clip, and the message your post meant to impart, thanks
Regarding the Q&A with the “Buss Kids”: While I respect Ramona Shelburne it seems to me that she either submitted questions in advance or was given parameters about what topics to discuss. I did not feel that any ground that was covered revealed anything that Jim and Jeannie did not want to be shared. Jim and Jeannie’s responses seemed pre-planned and orchestrated.
Calvin Chang says
Too much of a big deal over Kobe firing up the players in practice. I think the main reason players take it down a notch in practice is because of what happened to Xavier – in practice. Plus, it’s hard to mentally go all-out at your very own teammates.
Not quite. I have been saying for a while that I doubted that the late Jerry Buss was responsible for some of this collapse. I’ll let you figure out whether Jeanie was saving dad’s legacy or speaking truth:
Jeanie: [Interrupts] Dad was in the hospital. I would always run things by Dad too. But he was in the hospital, not feeling well, and that is why he counted on us to make the decisions. So I agree that he would have input, but he needed my suggestion or Jimmy’s suggestion or [GM Mitch Kupchak’s] suggestion because he was confined and did not have access to all the information that we did.
What I’ve always thought. The man’s in the hospital, never coming out, and hadn’t otherwise been to games for a while there. I was banned from SS&R for saying such in not so pleasant terms (they wore on me after a while so I made it entirely plain, in language that they would surely understand, if you know what I mean).
And not that I see Howard as the player who would take the team to glory, which is not the same as saying that he wouldn’t be useful on such a team, but note also the part about perhaps realizing, finally, that you don’t pick your coach to match your well aging PG who simply isn’t the future of the franchise. Not that Howard would have stayed in any event, since as I’ve said, one of the choices was a team with a soon to gone the way of the dinosaur Kobe or a much younger Harden, but the choice of coach certainly didn’t give him a reason to stay. And then when you make the correction late, way late, it then looks like you don’t what you’re doing and you’re just desperate, which might be endearing, firing the coach so I won’t leave, but it was late and it reeked of panic.