Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers
Wed Apr 15, 10:30 PM EST – TWSN, CSNS
Line: LAL -2.5, O/U: 205.5
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
The end is here. Enjoy it the best way you can.
A few more hours and this season’s misery gets its burial… unless somehow Boston, Cleveland or San Antonio is the last team standing in June. Then again, I can’t stand the Clips nor Rockets either. Wake me in September.
the other Stephen says
Disregard Kings. Acquire Vasheed Black. #rosterconstruction
“That’s my guy, that’s my guy, that’s my guy,” Westbrook said. “Kobe’s a good friend of mine and being in L.A., I was able to watch him and see him become a Hall of Famer and one of the best players to play the game. It’s an honor to be able to see somebody like that, to be able to have your back and support you.”
Iil pau says
Wow, thunder out. Could be good for us…
Did you just hear laker commentary regarding lin after lin’s interview. Ellington was praised and lin was described as someone who dribbles dribbles and doesn’t move the ball from side to side. And that is what scott wants. Hello, Has he told kobe that. Kobe holds the ball can be tripled teamed but will still shoot.
Really? Been paying attention? Scott will never question Kobe. That’s his butter. Only reason he has any job. He could on a shooting spree and Dcott would say “see Kobe can do anything great”. It is what it is and Jimmy must be proud and TW feeling not so smart.
Oh well happy off season all. We are all very strong to live through these 2 years without violence. Things will get better. Right?
Next up for the Lakers the lottery, here’s hoping the ping pong balls bounce the Lakers way. Lakers need something good to happen to them this year.
bryan S. says
Did the Lakers keep the Clippers 2nd round pick? Top 50 protected, 55-60 protected. Since the Spurs lost tonight, I think we keep it. Anyone?
Watching this game was so difficult. Couldn’t help but turn to the GSW-DEN game more and more. While Den lost, couldn’t help but be envious of their position- their interim coach melvin hunt seems great. Wonderful personality, smart game adjuster… lakers FO needs to start poaching.
Lakers do not get that pick .. It was in latimes article someone linked to in last thread. And the Houston pick we acquired with Lin will be like 28th now. Do get to keep our 2nd rounder and not have to convey to Orlando
bryan S. says
Answered it: Lost the pick–based on Clippers season record–not sweating *that* pick. Lakers may try to buy a second rounder if there is someone they like who’s dropped. (Might be harder to buy a pick now after the Clarkson pick.)
bryan S. says
Here is what Lakefan was saying about the Lakers picks.
“Assuming the Lakers don’t trade for another pick, or pawn one off, at worst the team will have two picks. Having lost the Clippers’ selection, the best case scenario is two first-round picks and the Lakers’ own 34th overall selection.” – LAT
The probability of losing the pick is negligible, chances are we’ll get it at 82% chances. However, if the “bad luck” owner lingers around, it’s possible Lakers will slide to 7th with the 18 per cent chance and lose the tanker’s goal which they have been wishing and labored throughout the season. As they say, misery loves company and a loser never wins.
J C says
From previous thread…
Thanks for catching my intended humor.
(Tough crowd here.)
No I haven’t seen those outtakes but I’ll check them out – thanks 🙂
Yes I’m actually a huge Phil fan.
It’s easy to lose even with talent!
Phil has clearly proven himself to be exceptional.
Yet..the chicken or egg question will always dangle for me, at least in fun-
Phil hasn’t exactly had to endure any rebuilds, at least not as head coach. He always seemed to land in the right spot to win.
But again I’m a huge fan and have read all his books including Sacred Hoops – a good read.
Here’s to a good draft!
– Today couldn’t come fast enough. By every measure possible, this past season was a complete disaster…except to the pockets of the Buss family. 🙁
– Was/is anyone surprised by the mutual love feast between Kobe and Westbrook?
– Is Anthony Davis, at this very young stage of his career, already a top three player in the league? Just took a look at basketball ref. Only two guys are in the top 10 of at least 15 of the 50 positive basic and advanced stat categories used to measure players: LeBron & A. D…simply amazing!
– Darius, any thoughts of testing FB&G’s readership’s b-ball knowledge w/ a little post season bracket style contest? Could be a lot of fun.
T. Rogers says
Davis shows that with all the fawning over guards there’s still nothing like a highly skilled, multi-talented big man. And by “big” I mean a true 6’10” to 7’0″ guy. Not these 6’8″ guys with short arms being passed off as bigs.
In the era of the “stretch” four he’s so much more than that. He has the handle to put the ball on the floor. He has an explosive first step (for a big). He has great lateral movement on defense. And his ability to get off the floor quickly and block shots reminds me of a young Dwight Howard.
If he can stay healthy he’s going to take over the league.
The progress of Clarkson, Jabari´s contribution, Davis´ solid rebounding & the promise of Randle notwithstanding, i´m breathing a sigh of relief that this thing is history today.
Here´s to the chips falling our way, & to the team´s decision makers applying whatever savvy they may have so as to put us back on the right track –
Go Lakers! always
P. Ami says
Took my daughter to her first game last night. Rode the Expo line from Culver City. Tried one scalper, didn’t get the price I wanted. Changed corners to haggle with another group across from LA Live. Everybody had tickets in the 100s and were waiting out to see if they could sell off the seats at something closer to the $225 showing on the ducket. The scalpers used the old “car salesman” trick of keeping us “on the lot”. While I was trying to get two seats in the 102 section for $120 some guy walked up to us and just handed us his two extras seats. So, my six year old and I got in line, circles STAPLES to the 109 section and watched the game.
She wanted to know about the banners and the jerseys up on the wall. She asked what a personal foul was. She laughed at how silly the Laker Girls dressed. She wanted Kettle Corn and Coke. She had to settle for just the sweet pop corn. She slapped her thunder-sticks and talked with our fellow fans. Honestly, I didn’t care who won. I enjoyed seeing Jordan Hill try his out of rhythm attempts at the Dirk, one-legged fade-away in the post. It was truly emotional seeing the Boozer era end in Lakerland. Okay, not truly.
These past two seasons have been challenging. Our team is garbage. The guy who has fronted our team for two decades is phasing out. We have little to no trust in ownership. Our coach is horrible. There is every reason to think the FO is going to sign guys who fit a system that do not match the rules, athletes nor analytical observations of today’s game. Yet, a nearly full house came to say good-bye to the season and if we are lucky our ping-pong ball comes out with the top pick. Maybe we get a franchise changer. Maybe he and Randal develop a chemistry and we attract an impact free agent or two. Maybe my daughter gets to know these players as she grows and sometime in her late teens we are back at STAPLES for a retirement ceremony instead of a wake. I’d pay full ticket price for that.
-For those Laker fans that can’t beyond their hate of the Clips and Spurs, sorry. You’re gonna miss what appears to be the best 1st round match up.
– Hearing comparisons of Karl Anthony Townsend to an Andrew Boget/Vlade Divac combo and Jahil Okafor to an Al Jefferson. If these comparisons are spot on and both are available for our Lakers, which would you prefer?
– Likewise Mudiay draws comparisons of John Wall and Russell of a Brandon Roy/Ginobili combo. Preference?
-Darius, thanks for a nice regular season and allowing me to post most of my Lakers thoughts. Looking forward to continuing in the post season and beyond.
What an utter catastrophe that last game was for the Spurs. They went from having HCA for the first 2 rounds, to being on the road for the entire playoffs (except, incredibly, for the finals if the Hawks get knocked out).
lil pau says
thanks for a great season everyone. well, actually not a great season, or even a good one, not even a marginally poor one to be honest, but one has to endure a little smush to make the rings that much sweeter.
thanks to all here for helping to preserve my sanity. if anyone is looking for a 25% share in season tickets next year (10 games), let me know. until then, see you around lottery time!
Scottie Brooks may be looking for greener pastures. Thibbs may also be. Meanwhile, BScott’s rep is dropping by the second. If Brooks and Thibbs are indeed available, expect the Lakers to go hard for them and expect BScott to be the sacrificial lamb.
BS has done a pretty good job with the mess he was handed. Why bring in yet another coach at this point? It would only reinforce the image of cluelessness the FO is promoting. See: Oakland Raiders.
Big City Sid:
• I think Towns is the real deal and think he fits the Lakers like a glove, a true defensive center with emerging offensive skills. My concern with Okafor is that he’s closer to 6’9” and if we pair him and Randle we’d have a pretty short frontline.
• I know very little about Mudiay or Russell other than that they have enough size to guard NBA SGs which gives the Lakers the flexability to pair either of them with Clarkson should they turn out not to be PGs at the next level.
• I think the Lakers will keep Scott for at least one more year. They are still paying MB and MDA adding unemployment checks to Scott may be a bit much.
• Plus, I don’t think the Lakers have enough talent to warrant a change in coach. My only caveat would be if they go in the direction of a young emerging superstar coach like Brad Stevens or Steve Kerr. They seem to preach basketball themes that are roster agnostic and are young enough to deal with 2 – 3 more years of roster development (which is what the Lakers will need). At present, the Lakers don’t know what kind of a team they have so it makes no sense to pick a coach that may be a square peg in a round hole (like MDA). Byron signed up for a lot a L’s and he’ll get more than his fair share with the Lakers.
• Make no mistake the Lakers will need to get a new coach once they reach critical mass talent wise – they just aren’t there yet.
• My impressions: Scottie Brooks is not an elite coach – just in the right place at the right time with OKC. Thibbs is elite but his approach only works with a contender and more specifically, one that has defensive anchors on the roster. He’s not a good fit with these Lakers, IMHO.
Well, that’s over. I think Jabari Brown can play in this league, good offense off the bench.
Hopefully the ping pong balls will cooperate, and KAT will be a Laker next year. Someone in the post besides Sacre!
I’ve been pushing Ryan Kelly as a stretch 4 most of the year, but he looked awful the last couple of weeks. May be wrong on that one.
Still hoping for Tobias Harris, and a future point at the 28 spot. It can happen. Please no Rondo, if we’re going to be mediocre, let’s not have a chemistry wrecker on board as well.
So just as I thought. The NBA announces HGH testing starting next year. Which as I said would probably happen since so many NBA players seemed to get off HGH this season. i for one am very upset with this decision. It is in nobody’s best interests. The fans want the better product. The owners and players want more fans so they can get more money. Bad news all around.
Mike TrudellVerified account
Jordan Clarkson on Byron Scott: “I feel like he’s been a big part of my process growing as a player and a person. I just want to thank him.”
The only reason for the Lakers to bring in Brooks is if they think it would help recruit Durant and/or Westbrook (leaving the questions about those guys’ bodies and odometers for another day). If OKC lets Brooks go, I could see Washington hiring him.
Thibodeau is a good coach, but I think he is the kind of guy you want if you have a veteran team with a short window and/or you have a 45-win team that you want to get to 55.
Brooks is an awful coach and Thibs is a defensive coordinator.
Byron on this season: “I didn’t think we’d be a playoff team, but I thought we’d be pretty close.”
Baylor Fan says
Read the article about the Orlando dynasty that never was on Grantland:
Blue Chips: An oral history of Shaq, Penny, and the Orlando Magic’s lost NBA dynasty
Other coaches have had outstanding players and not been able to get them over the hump. Phil paid his coaching dues in the CBA and Puerto Rico. Yes, he lucked into a great young Bulls team but he still had to get Jordan to buy into his system. The same with the Lakers and Shaq and Kobe. You could also point out that Shaq only won with Phil and Riley, and Kobe and Jordan, only with Phil. Despite his sometimes stoic demeanor, Phil is a very intense competitor and had no problem throwing Jerry West out of the locker room following a game. His reliance on non-western religions is interesting but it does not mean that he is clueless about the events around him. I share your appreciation of what Phil did for the Lakers.
Hey guys –
I read every day but post little. I just want to take the time to say thanks to Darius and everyone (especially the regular posters like Aaron, rr, Robert, lil pau, etc) for entertainment and insights throughout this brutal, dismal season. Let’s hope for a good drop of the ping pong balls!
@P Ami: that is one darn nice piece of writing. It reminds me of my first trip with my father to see the Rams, back when they played in the coliseum. I was only six, but it remains a vivid memory: the crowd, the green field, emerging through the dark tunnel to the open sapce. I bet your daughter will remember this game, too; you’ve given her a great gift!
Kupchak said Julius lost about 18lbs. That puts him around at around 230lbs. That would make him about Draymond Green’s size.
Phil: The only place is greatness is debated is amongst Laker fans. Fans who think Kobe and Shaq would have won with Del Harris are delusional. They did not and they won with Phil in his first year. Ditto for MJ with Doug Collins. 11 titles with completely 3 completely different teams and people still have doubts.
rr: “Byron on this season: “I didn’t think we’d be a playoff team, but I thought we’d be pretty close.” – Well that puts him very much in line with this board for last year (and this coming year). Feisty, surprising, better than expected all come to mind.
Todd: ” I think the Lakers will keep Scott for at least one more year” I agree. However part of me wants to give the Byron piranhas what they want. Let’s have our 4th coach since Phil left. At some point people will see the common link between all the failed coaches.
Byron: So now we all like the way he handled Clarkson. So which player did he mishandle, that matters at all to the future of the franchise?
Chibi: Kupchak said Julius lost about 18lbs. That puts him around at around 230lbs. That would make him about Draymond Green’s size.
I suspected that an in shape Randle would be about 225/230 lbs. That might make him perfect for a small ball Four but a tad light for a traditional set. I am one that would like to see if Randle can guard a Three and spread the floor enough to play SF. To me that opens up a lot of possibilities for the Lakers. Maybe this is what Mitch wants to see as well.
Another added plus is that less weight puts less strain on Randle’s legs and feet.
bryan S. says
Kupchak said Julius lost about 18lbs. That puts him around at around 230lbs. That would make him about Draymond Green’s size.
That would make him a perfect ‘power’ 3 (see Lebron). (Darius’ comments notwithstanding.) Draymond is 6’6″, Julius is 6’83/4″. Don’t be surprised when he and R. Kelley start together!
Baylor Fan says
No lineup the Lakers put out would surprise me. It is very good to hear that Randle is down a few pounds just to help take the stress off his legs. He is working on his outside shot and could make an impact as a stretch 4. It would also give the Lakers another player who can attack the basket off the dribble.
J C says
Yes most fans aren’t even aware of Phil’s odyssey in the Puerto Rico league etc.
He had to wrestle with the possibility of working outside of coaching. His first job as assistant coach of the Bulls was the fateful doorway that led to his ultimate success.
He really does represent the adage, the harder I work, the luckier I get!
However, since Jerry West was my childhood hero, I didn’t like that Phil was probably integral to West’s departure from the Lakers. I’m not crazy about that aspect of Phil’s personality. He doesn’t always play well with others. See his exits: Bulls, Lakers.
P. Ami says
If Randal keeps his weight down, works on his shot and tightens his handle I would be ecstatic to see him as a big 3. He’d be a great rebounder for the position and could work people in the post. I see less of a comparison to LeBron and more of one to Paul Pierce. The key with him is foot speed. I always liked Randal’s quickness and maybe dropping a few lbs lets him stay in front of SFs. His strength should help too.
bryan S. says
P Ami: Randall has the lateral quickness to stay in front of 3s. But @ 250lbs., he can’t sustain it. Dropping 18 lbs. might give him the stamina to do so. It’s going to be great watching pull down boards and lead the break.
JC : West was my childhood idol as well. He had the courage to bring Phil to the Lakers knowing he was a great coach but a backstabbing tool off the court. It ended up costing him his job. For all of the great things Dr Buss has done letting Jerry West go was simply an awful mistake. I think it took Dr Buss awhile to realize how manipulative Phil really was during his time with the Lakers. We are still paying the price, as the tension between Jeanie and Jim is due to Phil.
Baylor Fan says
I would add sleeping with the owner’s daughter to your list. Chasing West away from the Lakers started the downfall of the Buss dynasty. It was Jerry’s team that Phil was coaching and he did not give Jerry the credit he deserved. It also remains to be seen if Phil can produce a winner without Tex Winter. Tex was resonsible for adapting the triangle offense to the different players Phil coached. The triangle offense has only worked when Tex was on the staff. I agree that Phil does not walk on water.
Also worth noting that the team West works for and has a small ownership stake in just went 67-15.
Don Ford says
I’m with commenter Stats: totally appreciative of this site, of course Darius above all, but also all the regular posters. hours and hours and hours of infotainment for me, my strongest connection to the Lakers, especially this year when the team sucked and I also cut my cable.
and switching topics, I had a Jerry West poster on my wall as a kid in the seventies, and I’m reading the Lazenby book about him right now. So, yeah, really glad Phil won us those rings, but Jerry West!? Yeah…
At least we can rest easy at night knowing Mitch is on the Aaron plan…
“We’re not going to use cap room just to use cap room and maybe improve,” Kupchak said. “I can use the expression 20 games because we won so few games this year. We don’t want to end up using our cap room and winning 40 games. That doesn’t get you in the playoffs. Oklahoma City won 45 games, and they still didn’t make it in the playoffs.
“You work hard to create a future, whether it’s draft picks or an opportunity to make a trade or free-agent dollars, and you don’t want to give it away just because you have it.”
Craig W. says
Jerry West note: My following the Lakers started with them drafting him. He and Jerry Buss were not on the best of terms when Phil got here, but Phil certainly held the door open and invited Jerry to leave.
Life and basketball is more complex than we would like them to be. Jim Buss is neither as stupid nor as incompetent as some posters apparently assume. Mitch is firmly in a position, both organizationally and politically, to direct our rebuild. I see no reason not to be somewhat optimistic. Now we are in the hands of Lady Luck, a fickle mistress indeed, if recent injury history is to be believed. It is about time the worm turned.
Does anyone have any more phrases they would like to add?
For all of the great things Dr Buss has done letting Jerry West go was simply an awful mistake.
Absolutely, the day it was announced it hit me like a ton of bricks, knew it was an error. But you know as well as I no one is perfect; Dr. Buss did what he felt he had to do, having been `persuaded´ or not – still, at the time it just seemed unfathomable, right?
Congrats to the GREAT Jerry West for what he´s accomplished up north.
the other Stephen says
@ P. Ami,
Awesome, thanks for sharing that story. Bad game or not, it must have been a great experience to share with your little girl!
Playoffs start in 24 hours…what’s the conversation?
Its going to be an interesting summer. This season they learned that they managed to get a pretty good PG with their 2nd pick Clarkson. They have talented role playing big men in Davis, Hill, and Black. I feel that Black’s team friendly contract next year makes him a lock for next year while the log jam the Lakers had at PF means that at least a few guys will not get offers next year. I lean towards Randle being a SF and not a PF but it remains to be seen on the court. Much the same as this year we saw that Kelly can make a decent stretch PF but is completely ineffective trying to play as a SF where he was forced to play due to the log jam at PF for much of the season. I believe the year after year plan of signing a big name could feasibly work out this year. The F.O. can reasonably make a pitch of hey we will have these young talented players, Kobe this year, cap room the following year, and we will still have money to add a key piece or 2 this year. The question is who would be worth spending the money on? I can’t wait to start thinking about roster moves after the ping pong balls.
david h says
hey darius: I can’t believe it’s 82 games already. time also flies even when we’re not having fun. as you mention, we are for the most part, laker fans first and we agree there were nuances to this season that made for interesting thought. putting it another way, we have a child (present day lakers) that only a mother (and father) can love. through the thickness and the thinness, you were there and you are here; sustaining each blow by blow; taking it to and for the team. great work and fortitude once again.
Which brings me to today’s thought of the upcoming nba lottery pick next month:
If anyone needs to turn their fortune around, it is the formidable president of basketball operations. representing the los angeles lakers next month should be jim buss and only jim buss. and if by some freak luck he’s able to pull off the number one pick, I for one will give him the benefit of the remainder of his self imposed purgatory 2 or is it 3 year pre-emptive period. If in fact, when we choose the KAT guy from Kentucky U in the upcoming draft I would not mind thinking back to lottery ping pong ball day that it was jim buss that kick re-started the turnaround that is laker nation as we’ve grown to love and die for pretty much year in, year out since the glory years. or whenever you and I personally latched on to the stars known as our los angeles lakers forever and a day. this year that day will be: May 19th 2015.
Fanatics to the end: 11.9% is 12.0% to me
Go Lakers !!
Joe A says
In case anyone missed this:
The Art of Footwork
bryan S. says
George @ 10:23: You nailed it. Every sentence. The truth. I despise PJ for his machinations and those here who pine for and lament Jackson’s departure are clueless. Jeanie is too dumb to see through it–sadly. But Jerry Buss did, as do his sons. That’s why Jim Buss over zealously scrubbed the organization clean of everything associated with Jackson.
Craig W @ 6:51: Well stated. Jerry West isn’t the easiest guy to be around; wound tight and a half-empty glass perspective, as Jerry Buss noted. But he loved and still loves the Lakers. He wasn’t “let go” as others stated. He quit. But yes, Phil made that happen.
I don’t know how many times I read the back of the Wheaties box at breakfast that recounted Jerry West’s life and exploits as a kid. It never got old.
Thanks for the link on footwork, Joe A. I’m a proponent of footwork as it requires all of the elements of basketball on offense: Ball handling, footwork, body control, and the ability to score the basket are all in effect. Without the basket, it’s the adage, “Million dollar move and 10 cents finish.”
Speaking strictly personally, the playoffs are not as intriguing IMO as I thought they would be. I think either GS or SA is going to take it. I am interested in seeing if Chicago can do anything, and I think the Washington-Toronto and Houston-Dallas series will be fun in terms competitiveness/trashtalk.
But I personally would find the post-season more interesting with a healthy OKC team in.
The question was asked which player did scott mishandle … lin all the way and he sucked all the life out of young. Yes they will give scott 1 more yr because of kobe. What free agents are going to play for that depressive speaking and constant scorn on his face. Again thanks darius for this forum
The question was actually what players did Scott mishandle that matter at all to the future of the franchise. Young and Lin are not good answers to that question, although I do like Lin.
Scott should not have been playing Kelly at the 3; that was obvious. I will put a mark against Scott if Ed Davis walks for less or equal money and bags on Scott on the way out. Davis has a lot of limitations, but he worth keeping around.
Heard from 2 different sources that the Captain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, underwent quadruple bypass surgery yesterday. The surgery was successful and he is expected to make a complete recovery. Let’s all keep him in our thoughts and prayers.
So is “RR” a big bro to “rr” or just a typo?
Neither. Just had caps lock on and thought people could figure it out.
Davis Luv says
I would really like to read Pelton’s “The Perfect Offseason Plan For Lakers” on espn.com but dont have an “in” account. Anyone find any realistic content in there?
rr: After the recent rash of Robert and Ko imposters, I thought you would be next.
I am not cool enough to inspire imitators.
“Jim Buss over zealously scrubbed the organization clean of everything associated with Jackson” Indeed. Including wins and rings
That’s why Jim Buss over zealously scrubbed the organization clean of…Jackson.
Including winning, it would seem.
West getting forced out was certainly very bad news for the org, and based on what I know, a lot of that was on Phil. But it would be just as easy to read the whole sequence of events since then, as many people have, as Jim getting back at Phil based on Jim’s own grudges, weaknesses, and insecurities. The reality is probably that both guys–Phil and Jim–wanted to be in charge and only one could be. That and the Logo/Phil stuff were sort of Shaq/Kobe things for old white guys.
So, that part of your post is mostly just pro-FO spin. Also, I think the people who are still hacked off about the Phil thing mostly just wanted him to be the coach instead of D’Antoni. I haven’t seen many people clamoring for Phil to return to be President of the Lakers.
With that in mind, Phil and Jim are, as I have said, on a collision course of sorts. Both of them are running horrible teams in huge markets, both of them face very serious talent shortages, both of them still owe draft picks to other organizations, and both of them have talked publicly about rebuilding through free agency. One difference is that Phil has only been on the job a year, and another is that Phil went with a coach with no track record, although Fisher was apparently Phil’s second choice behind Steve Kerr. In any case, what happens in NY with the Knicks is another thing for Jim Buss FO defenders to keep an eye on.
the other Stephen says
We’re gonna have to come up with a better alias for you!
Darius Soriano says
The question about whether Scott mishandled any of the players associated with the future of franchise seems like a silly question to ask on a team with only two players (Kelly and Young) who have a contract guaranteed beyond next season.
always a triangle fan says
jerry west threatened to leave the lakers at least 5 times, according to peter vecsey. read into that what you will, but those types of things are a little more complicated than phil or dr buss showing him the door.
especially since one the scouts reporting to kupchak is west’s son.
wish the same could be said of the current owner and his comically poor judgement. the best thing he has done is stay in the shadows.
the warriors need to put a statue of west in front of their new stadium since he fought mightily against any trade of klay harrison.
As for West/ Phil. Surprised no one has mentioned the yelling match at practice that was beginning of the end. Phil barring Jerry from future practice which ended with his leaving. I spoke to Jerry in La Jolla 2- weeks before the announcement. He was at my friend Italian Restaurant meeting with a group courting him for a proposed bid to move a team to SD and give him a piece. I got to spend 10 minutes with him. I asked him why( he was with Bill Birtha) his only response was ( nothing lasts for ever). True, like building a winning team. The man could see 3 years ahead while current management is lucky to see 2-weeks at a time.
Jerry West was my hero as a player and simply the greatest talent evaluator of all time. I bet he would leave GS and come back to his love the Lakers for a piece and safe this franchise from itself.
That’s my dream’
bryan S. says
“Jim Buss over zealously scrubbed the organization clean of everything associated with Jackson”
“Indeed. Including wins and rings.” –Roberto
Nope, not even. That would be the normal cycle of teams: their rise and fall. It’s a hard concept to grasp seemingly, but teams get old. The Lakers tried to jump the cycle with some inspired but flawed trades, but the league would have none of that. This has been pointed out by many, many times by others here as well. But that won’t stop ya! 🙂
Abdul-Jabbar underwent the surgery after being admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center earlier in the week. From a UCLA spokesman:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this week with cardiovascular disease, and he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery on April 16. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Shemin, UCLA’s chief of cardiac surgery.
Shemin said the surgery was successful and he expects Abdul-Jabbar to make a full recovery.
At this time, Abdul-Jabbar would like to thank his surgical team and the medical staff at UCLA, his alma mater, for the excellent care he has received. He is looking forward to getting back to his normal activities soon.
He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and live each day to its fullest.
For those wanting to send well wishes, he thanks you in advance and asks that you support those in your own community who may be suffering from various health issues.
J C says
Thanks for sharing your positive thoughts about Jerry West. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one old enough (!) to appreciate and remember him.
Golden State’s recent rise is probably due to many factors, but the timing of West’s inclusion on their management team is awfully coincidental 🙂
Craig W. says
It is not hard to look on Jerry West with reverence. One of his evaluations was to have Mitch Kupchak as his chief lieutenant. Mitch is still here, and is a reason Jerry wouldn’t return to usurp Mitch’s authority.
I have no idea what the ‘ping pong balls’ will bring, but – yes – I do have faith in Mitch. As bad as this season was, we did discover Clarkson, Black, and Davis – along with Brown. We do have Randle and a decent bench. That is not nothing. Yes, we need a closer, but so do many NBA teams – and we have Kobe for one more year. The cubbard isn’t bare for any sales pitch to a free agent. I just don’t know of anyone I really want for our long term needs – that’s what I want to discuss on this blog; not the ineptness of the front office. We definitely need a rim protector as our first priority, then a wing who can play defense. We need to stop people in ‘crunch time’.
The rim protection is why I don’t really favor going all in on Greg Monroe for 4-5 years.
West: At least we all seem to agree with regard to JW’s greatness (best GM of all time). I still can’t figure out why 1/2 the board wants to tear down the legacies of both Phil and Riles.
Darius: Since we only have 2 under long term contract, and our roster is very bad, does this not indicate that coaching at this point is not all that important? Would you really want to bring another coach into this mess now?
Karen: You are correct about attracting FA. If Scott needs to be ousted to attract someone good, I am all for that. This was one of the main reasons I did not like MD, because no big FA wanted to play for him (DH + PG)
rr: bryan seems to be ignoring you and giving me all the credit (which on this topic I will gladly accept). Could you explain this again so everyone can “grasp the concept”?
Entitlement: Thinking that the Lakers were skillful and adept for 62 years and then have simply been unlucky for the last 5 years is about the most entitled point of view I can come up with. It is also a view that would be laughed at in every basketball city in the NBA.
We do have Randle and a decent bench. That is not nothing
Only three teams had worse records than the Lakers, and two of them have more talent than the Lakers do–Minnesota has a lot more, actually. Philadelphia has Noel and Embiid. Randle is dealt with by a lot of people here as if the only question about him is whether he will be an All-Star or just a very good starter, and I hope that is the case, but he is an unknown and has not shown he can physically play an NBA season yet.
If you want to have a productive discussion on what the Lakers should do in FA, then you should familiarize yourself with the actual players available, rather than simply saying that the Lakers need a rim protector, because the Lakers need everything. People are talking about Monroe because he is young, he is pretty good, he is big, and he is an UFA. This is a list if FAs by team and UFA/RFA:
As has been discussed, most of the guys who are young enough and good enough to make sense are RFAs.
Ineptness of the FO always refer to your favorite, Jim Buss that is the reason why it keeps on being discussed throughout the season. If you are going to ask Mitch, do you think he would dismiss Ronnie Lester and all the scouts he and JW had established? Would he go with Kobe’s contract without any negotiation? Would he go with Brownie or Dantoni without vetting other candidates? Would he allow the Lakers follow the schedule of Lebron, Melo, 7th pick without a new coach or Byron as the case was decided, on his side? Would he not chase a starting Center, a bona fide PG which basically what is lacking in the Laker roster during Dantoni’s time? (Perhaps, what I am alluding at, would he release Kaman without a replacement?)
I think Mitch knows his fundamental needs and the market, he would not put the Lakers in jeopardy at the mercy or “excuse” of CBA rules. He would spend in order to be competitive in West. He would always consider the LA market who are always hungry for excellence among their local teams whether Galaxy, Kings, Ducks, Dodgers, Angels and Clippers – all of these teams are Lakers competitor. The least we expect from the Lakers is a playoff berth not a professional tanker to engage in beauty contest of NCAA rookies. This team should be the destination of rookies when they mature not when they’re getting orientation.
Lastly, Lakers are not the Lazers. The failed football indoor franchise managed by Jim Buss. This team has its own character where legends started and retired; that this team has a following worldwide; that it is worth billions on its net worth; that it is the darling of media because of its million of fans in Southern California, Las Vegas and for that matter where ever they go. Therefore, the ineptness factor becomes big when we talk of the future. People worry about the head of the snake! It lacks Mamba talent lol! If the decision maker is inept, the products will be poor and miserable. Well, Steve Ballmer is not piece of cake as a competitor of the LA market, Buss Family cannot rest their laurels on the past achievement of their late father and fleecing gullible fans. Somehow. everyone wants achievement, accountability and replacement, we are not the 2nd biggest city in USA for nothing.
Craig W. says
I am not in love with Jim Buss. I just don’t think he is an uninformed imbecile. You two may be basketball ‘minds’, but you also are not always correct. Occasionally, other bloggers on this site actually have good information to add, that doesn’t agree with your perspectives.
I have long opined that the ‘talking heads’ have a vested interest in stirring up controversy and stretching the truth in order to bring attention to themselves. They are not reporters in any traditionally true (Edward Morrow) sense of the word. The Lakers are the most prominent franchise in all of sports, never mind the NBA. Pushing people’s buttons and stirring up conflict around the Lakers is the easiest way to make a name for yourself. This doesn’t mean there aren’t issues with the Lakers, but it does mean those issues will be endlessly stretched and regurgitated.
I don’t believe Jim Buss is the same individual who took over after Jerry Buss died – yes, after he died. I also believe in Mitch K. Therefore, I choose not to approach this summer with a ‘the sky is falling’ attitude. That doesn’t mean I am not concerned, just not panicked.
Get well soon, GOAT! Kareem Abdul Jabbar!
– Continue to hear “the NBA is a guard’s league”. Yet the top three players, the best three players, the three most desired players are all frontcourt guys: LeBron, Durant, & A. D. Apparently people prefer quanitity over quality.
– Peace & Blessings to The Cap, speedy recovery.
– Jerry West’s on court and front office work speaks for itself. L. A., Memphis, and now Golden State. Amazing. Truly deserving of the NBA logo.
– Paul Pierce backed up his talk, A. D. had a nice post season introduction, but the Warriors are who we thought they would be. Rose & Butler, nice one, two punch. Harden managed to get to the line and D-12 very active on “D” w/ five blocks. Enjoyable 1st day of the post season.
Baylor Fan says
Not to dis Edward Morrow, but I pine for the days of Jim Healy.
Craig W. says
Yup! I was referencing impartial facts reporting over ‘fan’ or ‘mudslinging’ reporting, but Jim Healy certainly qualifies, as does Jim Murray – for insight and alliteration.
The Celtics are in the playoffs and have multiple 1st round draft choices the next 3 years.
Lakers had 2 worst seasons in history, are on vacation and have one to 5 draft choice the next 3 years.
Never thought I would see the day that Danny Ainge looks like a genius next to the really dumb Lakers management.
Who’s brand is on the up swing and who’s looks like fools?
BJ Rassam says
If the Lakers were smart, they’d try and get as high a draft pick as possible – they know what they have in terms of current talent, and approximately how much they can spend in free agents, now it’s all about trying to get as high a draft pick as possible by losing as many of these remaining meaningless games as possible.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t care. I like what the Celtics are doing. The players I like, Crowder, Thomas, Smart, Olynyk, Turner, and Sallinger, are playing unperturbed.
Baylor Fan says
From the Grantland article on the Orlando Magic:
Jerry West: “Shaquille, one of the things I tried to talk to him about — we won a lot of championships here and we’ve had really great teams and great players. I insisted to him that maybe we could do it better than Orlando. I felt we had players here who would give him a better chance to win.”
I do not see the Lakers being able to make a similar statement today.
If we want to focus on facts:
Still owe two first-rounders to other orgs.
Still owe Kobe 25M
Kobe has suffered three consecutive season-ending injuries and will be 37 when camp opens
Less talent than any roster in the conference
17% chance of losing this year’s pick
Pick shifts to minimal Top 3 protection if retained
Lottery pick last year missed entire season and is coming off severe leg injury
Three consecutive questionable re-tread coaching hires
Big trade blew up
Two All-Star centers walked away in FA with no compensation coming back to the Lakers
So, the explaining/contextualizing/spinning/rationalizing/mudslinging is, actually, mostly done by anybody, fans or media types, trying to make the FO’s recent work and/or the Lakers’ situation look better than it is The facts are very much against that side of the argument.
The defense of the FO is simply Veto+short-term strategies implemented for Dr. Buss/Kobe+presumption of faith in Lakers brand/history/market. The rest is the proverbial smoke and mirrors.
Darius Soriano says
Discussion of a situation or variables affecting that situation always requires context. Without that, the view becomes increasingly black/white and I’ve learned that few explanations really are best explained on the margins.
Sure, and IMO the context is mostly the Veto and the fact that from the Ariza/Artest exchange until Howard walked, and at times even before that with the selling off of draft picks etc. the Lakers made a series of short-horizon moves/gambles designed to get Dr. Buss #17 and Kobe #6. I don’t blame Jim, or even Mitch, for a lot of that, since I get why they were doing it, and that is one reason why I am not totally ready to quit on the Jim Buss FO.
But I haven’t liked much of what they have done since Howard walked because the moves since then have mostly seemed designed to tread water, score cheap PR points with certain segments of the fanbase, and avoid bottoming out. They appear to have bottomed out anyway, since you can’t get much lower than 21-61 with Jordan Clarkson as (arguably) your best player. But next year’s team certainly could be as bad this year’s was, unless some stuff starts going right.
Finally, I used “contextualizing” on my list of verbs, precisely because, yes: it is the optimism/defense side that requires it.
I don’t feel bad at all about the Ariza/Artest exchange, it seems to me it was made to help Lakers match up against LBJ/Pierce and guess what Ron was pretty darn effective against Pierce in the Finals wasn’t he? Short term move? Damn straight it was.
I never said Ariza/Artest didn’t work–obviously, it did. Nor was I criticizing the FO for it. I was just pointing out that it was the start of the pattern, and given that Ariza is still starting on a playoff team, while Metta is out of the league, we are now at the long horizon point.
Ron Artest was brought in for Kobe’s championship window. There were several great SFs in the Lakers way (Melo/Pierce/LBJ). Ariza could guard PGs and SGs. With Ariza it wasn’t nearly as good of a fit.
It seemed to me from the start since the Kobe injury a few years ago the FO has had one main goal… To lose/tank/rebuild so when they had young first, second, and third year players they could attract two or three star free agents or even use the young players to poach a Anthony Davis like superstar via a trade. Okay… I mean exactly Anthony Davis.
Artest/Ariza: This occurred in 2009. Six years ago, when Jerry Buss was still in charge. It is a good example of how you can benefit in the short run (a title in 2010) and pay the price in the long run (a price that was worth it). Moves we have made since have been bad both in the short run and we still have the long term price to be paid (Nash, DH, Coaches, etc).
Results vs. Context: The FO could be idiots and they could be unlucky geniuses. As results come in it indicates which one is more likely correct. Although we could be horrendous for the next 20 years and it still could be claimed we are unlucky geniuses. As I have said before, I know a number of self proclaimed “great poker players” who have simply been unlucky for 20 years.
No exit interviews post?
Darius Soriano says
All points need context. Positive points need to be placed in context, just as negative ones. Not sure it’s that complicated.
Craig W. says
When Howard walked the Lakers rebuilding fate was sealed – IMO. It was best for Pau that he seek a playoff team elsewhere and I hold no grudges for that. It would have been better to have gotten something for him, but we really don’t know what went on at the trade deadline, so commenting about front office ineptness because they got nothing is really idle speculation.
That is what urks me about comments that imply statistics or conjecture actually prove something – they don’t, they only add color. If you believe the front office is inept, then that is proof enough for you. I don’t happen to believe that fact so I am still hopeful we can start an upward trend this summer.
No one read the news like Chevy Chase. No one.
Speedy recovery Skyhook33
rr: nice post @ 1:28. Good summary of where we are.
Good thing Jim is a part owner. That kind of a resume wouldn’t offer much job security otherwise.
Baylor Fan says
The Lakers wanted to keep Ariza at a certain salary. He wanted more money and a bigger role in the offense. He got those in Houston and the offense part did not work out. Now he is back in Houston and has accepted his role as a 3 and D. It would have been great if the Lakers could have kept him but Ariza needed to find out by trying if he could be the focus of the offense. The Lakers got a huge break when Artest was available and willing to accept a reduced offensive role.
Yeah right, Howard walked away because he sensed Lakers would not go far in the playoffs with Dantoni as his coach, no post plays. One of the reasons why Centers got pissed like Pau, Kaman, Hill they were being asked to be stretched four and five i.e. shoot in the perimeter. On top of that half of the team are injured. Well, those are history, no need to defend incompetence everybody in LA knew the story.
What a contrast of owners, Steve Ballmer was enthusiastic with his team while ours remained a member of the cast, Frozen owner.
What do the Buss Family do during these playoffs? Laugh and count their blessings – “well they can fool some of the people all the time.”
Hale – “No one read the news like Chevy Chase. No one.”
Worthy of a laugh out loud!
BTW, the Clippers could make it to the WCF and finally hang a banner in our Staples Center (I only pay for tickets). I am sickened and saddened.
– Hoping you guys are enjoying the post season between all this crying over spilled milk. Clips had the Staple Center rocking last night w/ the victory over the Spurs last night. Grizz made their game look easy. If a player decides to leave LeBron to play elsewhere, I’d have to question his motive(s). Love & Kyrie looking good in their 1st playoff game. Lopez has to average at least 25 and 12 for the Nets to avoid getting swept.
– Until I see a difference in the way the Laker front office does business, I’ll continue to hope for the best while expecting the same. A lousy product on the court and big paydays for the Buss family and Kobe.