Forum Blue & Gold was founded a little over a decade ago with the intention of being a place where fans could discuss, and the writing would focus on, “on-the-court Laker analysis and information, not the off the court soap opera that dominates the local and national media.”
I’ve no clue if our old buddy Kurt Helin — you might know him from this other little thing he runs now — thought his “hobby”, as he would often call it, would last this long nor that he would, eventually, pass the reigns on to some random guy who started leaving his thoughts in the comments section of the wonderful space he’d created and cultivated. Yet, here we are.
For a little over five years I have run this site, writing about and talking Lakers with a community of smart, passionate fans who want the best out of the team. We don’t always agree, but that’s part of the fun; part of what makes this site one that I am proud of. The names of the people who visit every day and whose time and effort drives the conversation have changed over that time, but I think the spirit of the venture Kurt started so long ago remains.
And so, today, I do what Kurt did to me nearly seven years ago to me — I am reaching out and asking if you would like to contribute to FB&G.
Maybe you’re a master narrator who can compose a recap for the ages for even the most lopsided blowout. Or you might be a breakdown artist who loves dissecting the X’s & O’s. Or are you a stat geek who wants to take the deep dive into advanced analytics to figure out what’s ailing the Lakers’ offense? Maybe you’re a college hoops junkie who wants to keep us up to speed on the latest prospects? A humorist who can tackle the issues facing the team with gallows humor? Or you could be someone who just wants to add thoughtful observations to our community.
If any of these things sound like you, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with whatever it is you think I need to see (writing samples, links, proposals, references, etc). We hope to bring on multiple people who can add to this place and keep it going for, maybe, another 10 years.
The winner of the Spurs and Clippers series hinges on which teams starters are productive. Chris Paul shot 33% with 15 assists, and Kawhi Leonard went 3/15. Kawhi’s scoring is mandatory for the Spur’s to win. Unless Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker turn-in a game for the ages. What a quandary, I’m not sure which team I’d like to see advance to lose to the Rockets.
Manu Ginobili is done he’s playing that old man game making mental errors, playing 15 minutes and detracting from the playing time of Marco Belinelli. I see the Clippers advancing, although the notion sickens me. Neither team has enough offense to get past Houston unless Howard and Harden choke which I doubt.
I chose GSW to reach the finals, and if David Lee contributes anything, I don’t see that changing. GSW is the most entertaining team in the playoffs.
Lakers get a top three pick in the draft!
Mr. Soriano, I hope your intentions are merely to step back and not step away from Forum Blue & Gold.
Thomas Rickard says
I wish I had the writing skills to contribute, I certainly don’t always agree with you, but I enjoy reading you, and knowing that you often answer me. Thank you
Darius – You do a great job here, but I understand the need for help. A ship not only needs a captain, but also a capable crew. Hopefully you get the volunteers you are looking for. I already mentioned some names in a prior thread and, hopefully, these individuals will reach out to you soon.
In the meantime, lets hope for a Goldenstate v Chicago final.
As I would enjoy the glass half filled post, my hopes are that RR, Robert, Purple or Sid step up as some of my fav contributors ????. Also JC if you put away the poker chips!
I would nominate rr, he tends to be a level headed commentator who occasionally throws in some stats. Of course I have no idea if he would want to. =)
bryan S. says
Darius, I started a response and then it disappeared. So this will be more brief. To whit, I would encourage you to re-imagine how you might write the thread intros differently. As good as they are, a more abbreviated, impressionistic approach utilizing the deft humor and insight you show on your twitter feed will be entertaining and enough to spark conversation. This is a smart group and doesn’t need education. Save the heavy lifting for guys who are paid to do this ( a tiny handful, and you are as good as any of them). Write the beautiful piece when you feel like it–just don’t be a prisoner to that ideal. Let some things go and you will get more back than you imagined.
I agree: rr, Robert, Purple, and Sid are all astute students of the game. I’ve always enjoyed their posts. (Yours, too.) I would also add Renato Aphonso. His knowledge of the game comes from being a player and a coach in Europe at a very high level. I’m always fascinated by his insights.
Renato, if you’re reading this — and if you have the time and are inclined to do so — I would encourage you to sign up as an occasional, guest commentor. I think you’d be great at it.
Agreed Mid I didn’t include him due to the foreign money exchange issues.
bryan S. says
Holy Bear Scat! My long suffering Cal Bears kick aye:
“top five recruiting class”
Another thought: rr and Robert, perhaps the two of you could team up on an extended post or two — our version of the Kamenetsky brothers.
You could exchange ideas on a number of topics such as the following:
1) Which FAs should the Lakers pursue? And why?
2) What must the Lakers do to return to relevance?
3) How long, realistically, might that take? And why?
4) Are the Lakers in the process of successfully building a young, winning core for the future? They currently have Clarkson, Tarik Black, and Julius Randle. They hope to have another draft pick or two this summer that will hopefully make contributions. What else do they need? What positions should they target for improvement (realizing that they need help everywhere)?
And so forth.
You could probably think other (and better) topics. In any event, I think that a tag-team contribution from the two of you would be fun to read.
It’s just a thought.
Thanks to Mid-W, Vasheed, and others for the compliments. That is very nice of you. I will give it some consideration over the next couple of days and then perhaps contact Darius as he suggests above.
And it is awesome being comped to the KBros.
I may also just give my .02 on those questions in a comment in the next day or so.
Can we have a post where Aaron interviews himself?
I wouldn’t have a choice as I doubt I could find anyone else worth interviewing. On a side note my preseason prediction was GSW over the Cavs. I then changed to Cavs after all the trades they made although I don’t think I posted the change on here. Well… I just switched back to the Warriors after the Love injury.
… Only because I doubt Blatt will manage his rotations properly against the Warriors. They should start big (like Pop and Phil) each half and then play the majority of the minutes small. Mozgov and Thompson shouldn’t play many minutes together. It’s funny calling it playing small when LBJ is the same size and Love and guards PFs better.
Game 7: If the Spurs win – they win the title. If the Clips win – GS wins the title.
Ko/Mid: Thanks for the props. I think I will stick to posting : )
Mid: I think your idea to have one on one debates about pertinent topics in the article section is an excellent one.
Even if the spurs advance, i dont see them winning over gsw…parker is clearly not 100% and ginobili looks done to me….on the other side, i cant see anyone bur leonard being able to defend steph, which would create some matchup problems with the other starters, especially if parker/mills would have to guard klay…..he has developed a reliable turn around from the post and would eat those small points alive down there…
Same here…when the cavs caught fire during the regular season, i thought it was a done deal…whoever would come out of the west would be too banged up to compete with the cavs, who basically only have 1 hard series against the bulls….i dont think lebron would have any problems in a 7 game matchup against the hawks….but i think replacing love with thompson would be a huge mistake, they want to space the floor to create lanes for lbj/irving….i think blatt should put lebron at the 4 right from the start
Renato Afonso says
Mid, thank you for your comments but i didn’t play at a very high level in Europe because the overall level of basketball in my country is low when compared to The major european leagues. Also, i don’t believe that my command of the english language would allow me to be a regular contributo. Maybe the occasional x’s and o’s analysis but not much else. And since we’re at it, why not you? You’re very articulate and your posta are easy to read and understand…
Got to admit this clip game is a lifetime classic.
Chris Paul is a bad man.
Yep. I texted “Thank you David Stern” to a buddy.
Paul vs Howard in the semis.
Baylor Fan says
Congrats to the Clippers. That was an insane first round match up for both teams.
Warren Wee Lim says
I have always loved FB&G and called it home. Lately, technological changes into the blogging world have shifted to the mindless, instant-messaging site called Twitter. You gotta admit, people interact there with great regularity.
I would be willing to be a partial contributor to the site, pertaining to CBA/cap matters. I am in no position to know better than the next guy and I know nothing more than what the plain eye can see on the CBA but I have interacted with Coon and Pincus for these matters as a personal hobby. It is also my passion being a math-guy with wild fantasies.
Maybe the site needs to evolve a bit? Maybe we need to move to a forum-style blog where people can interact even on old topics and still be seen by new posters. Just a suggestion.
Also, the presence of trolls really make the experience annoying for me, so I hope we can do something about that too.
Craig W. says
Welcome back Warren.
It would be interesting to hear from two different viewpoints in the same article. It might lead to more discussion and fewer pronouncements. None of us has all the answers, nor do we know what the Laker FO is planning most of the time.
the other Stephen says
@rr @ Robert,
lol the R bros
Warren Wee Lim says
I can still smell the trolls are still here Craig so don’t bet on me being a regular like before.
I do have an interesting take on the matter of “Summer 2015” for the Lakers and how this could be historical. Silly me for thinking that the Lakers can get better quick and “safe” but I actually do have a plan.
The cavs dont have enough wings or another PF capable of stretching the floor to avoid starting Thompson the first and second halves.
Craig W. says
I believe you have my email. If you want to discuss your idea outside of this forum, please do so.
I also, think the Lakers have a possibility to get much better this summer, but it does depend on a bit of luck, starting with keeping their pick. It would be best if the the Lakers got either the #1 or #2 pick, but I will settle for finishing in the top 5.
We obviously need to sign free agent starters, but think we have a good bench, if we can retain some of our players from this year. IMO, Clarkson should be given the chance to become a starter and, with Kobe, forms our starting backcourt. If things go as I hope Randle should start ideally at the 3. This means we have to sign a PF starter and/or center as a free agent. If we retain Davis he could back up at PF and Black back up at Center, otherwise Kelly as backup PF. Young backs up at 2/3 along with Johnson. Brown and even Blue could backup at PG/SG.
Hopefully, we are able to draft a big player and a wing that stick. That will fill out our roster and provide us some insurance and flexibility.
The key is signing someone who can guard the paint and someone who can guard the perimeter. We need some semblance of defense for the other players to work off of. IMO, we don’t need superstars – although I would take one if they were available – but we do need at least a couple of solid starters. With the increase in the salary cap in a year, I would be willing to overpay a bit this summer to lock in a couple of good contributors to build on.
Like to hear your plan Warren.
If GSW has to rely on Festus Ezeli as their only healthy big their chances advancing are diminished. Forget chasing Durant in free agency GSW needs Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, or DeMarcus Cousins to accumulate several championships. Their big’s can’t stay on the floor, it might be time to relegate Bogut to a 2nd tiered center.
Is anyone else suspicious of Chris Paul’s bogus hamstring injury? Doesn’t it seem eerily similar to Paul Pierce’s wheelchair incident in Boston? The same coach is at the helm of both teams. I admit I didn’t watch the series. I’m just saying, it’s a theory.
Another ramification of the monopoly the NBA has was on display last night. How in the world is the home team allowed to employ the clock operator? There is so much that could be fixed so quickly if the NBA was a competent organization including not allowing teams to foul to stop fast breaks. Is there anything more exciting in the game than the best athletes in the world flying up the court for acrobatic finishes in the blink of an eye? But instead the defense is rewarded with the offense just taking the ball out of bounds.
Thought about it and have to say I have to agree with you as long as they are playing the bulls….they would give up to much size right from the beginning, which could cost them a game or two in this series with gasol and noah down low (especially the way pau is playing: top5 in rebounds during the first round! Not bad for a so called washed up and soft guy)….
but i like whom they have on the wings once jr comes back(against gsw/hawks): smith, shump, marion, miller, jones…..still enough depth to me to start shump/smith, make lebron my 4 (to me, this is the position he played his best ball in miami) and bring those old guys off the bench for 10-15mins each….of course, if you dont trust miller or/and jones (which i do) you have to start thompson
GREAT POINT about the fouling issue regarding the fast break…reward the opposing team with 2 free throws and the next posession so this problem can be fixed quickly! In soccer, you get ejected for stuff like that!
I dont think cp3 would be questionable if he simulated that injury….i have always thought of him as a though player!
To your point about golden state: agree with you 100%, but i dont see them getting anyone of those guys…i cant see marc leaving memphis, and deandre will happily take the max to play alongside 2 superstars in paul and griffin (who played great against the spurs)….the only guy whom i could see leaving is cousins because i think he will force his way out if sacramento wont improve next season…to me, he is the best big not wearing a pelicans uniform in the league right now and deserves to be on a better team
Warren, I also want to read about your summer 2015 plan.
Renato Afonso says
Thank you for your words but, while I have played semi-pro and coach, I didn’t play at a very high level (my country actually sucks at basketball due to a sheer lack of big men so we don’t go very far…). I may be able to contribute with the occasional X’s and O’s analysis but I’m afraid that my command of the english language won’t be enough to become a regular contributor. And your posts are always easy to read and understand. Why don’t you apply as a contributor as well?
Renato Afonso says
I’m having trouble posting a reply here…
– I thank all who find my viewpoints on the Lakers…interesting :-). I’ve been a fan of this team and the NBA since 1965 (13 years old). As much as I would like, I wouldn’t be able to fulfill this duty if asked. I’m the sole owner of a small real estate business. I love your pieces Darius. You have a unique gift, and I thank you for sharing it. Your dedication is appreciated.
– On a previous post someone mentioned the possibility of an ESPN style 5 on 5 write off on certain topics. I support that idea as a change of pace on FB&G (once a week or so) and would be interested in being a rotation writer in that format.
– Congrats to the Clips. Has to be one of the best 1st round game 7’s I’ve ever seen.
– I think Brook Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge have played their last games for their 2014-2015 teams…wonder where they’re going?
Warren Wee Lim says
I’ve been toying around with the idea that the Lakers can pull off a coup, like what the Heat did in 2010. This time, the Lakers strike back to the league for stealing away Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant on one team. Maybe the Kobe Achilles injury would never have happened, maybe we wouldn’t be owning Julius Randle and the projected 4th right now. Nonetheless, here we are and here is where we need to start.
I have various formulas to get my numbers, but for purposes of shortening this post, lets use these:
2015 Salary Cap – 67M
2016 Salary Cap – 108M
2015 Lakers Payroll – 37.7M for 7 players
2015 Lakers draftee salary – 6.3M for 3 picks (1, 27, 34)
2015 Clean Cap: 23M
First, the Lakers have to be lucky and get a top 2 pick. Chad Ford have us picking Towns, Russell, Okafor, Mudiay, Winslow as our priority and I agree. Except I am intrigued by Willie Cauley-Stein better than Mudiay and Winslow. Towns is the consensus #1 pick. Cauley-Stein has the defensive prowess that we can use right away.
We trade Nick Young and the 27th pick to Memphis in exchange for a TPE.
We trade Ryan Kelly to Cleveland for a TPE.
Second, the Lakers decline Jordan Hill, renounce the rights to Boozer and Lin. Goes without saying, we also renounce the TPEs we got during draft day.
With 32M to spend, the Lakers start shopping. The part that goes unmentioned here is by how much the Lakers can spend in 2016. Kobe goes off the books and if we spend all 32M this year and next, we’d still have 67 million large to spend.
How to spend the 32M will require guile. We don’t need to sign the alpha guys THIS year. We can sign it in 2016 where a real alpha can become a free agent.
I would recommend we sign: Millsap (11M) Carroll (6M) Green (6M) Asik (9M)
Basically we sign a starting frontcourt and a great shooter with size beside Kobe. Next season when Kobe retires or signs for less, we’re primed to welcome 2 stars.
Warren Wee Lim says
The site also filters everything.
Nice to see Warren back!
As to new contributors:
Most of you have already metioned my favorites (in no particular order): Mid, rr, Renato, Warren, Robert KO´s hilarious quips, Craig W, Big City, Bleed, & some whom I haven´t mentioned-all deserve a nod.
But I´d say rr is my main man, so if he´s got the time….
As always, thanks to Darius; & i hope you take heed of CHearn´s final sentence on her first post!
Don´t want see either the Clips or the Rockets win the title, so I¨m with those who have GSW as their candidate. Would like to see them against Rose, Pau & the Bulls in the Finals (longshot, i know).
Nice to see Warren´s back!
So many of you make for fine posts; in no particular order: Mid, Robert, rr, Craig W, BigCity, CHearn, KO´s hilarious quips, & others whom I¨ve not mentioned all deserve a nod.
But if pressed I´d say rr is my main man, so if he´s got the time….
Definitely don´t want to see either the Clips or the Rockets win the title, so I´ll join those who´ve stuck with GSW as their candidate; it´d be good to see the Dubs against Rose, Pau & the Bulls in the Finals (a longshot, yes).
As always, thanks to Darius –
@Purple blood, I agree really don’t want the Clips/Rockets to win. I think the chances are very slim for the Clips, despite them beating the Spurs. GSW definitly look like they will take the West, barring injuries of course.
I actually still think Cavs have a good shot of making the finals and losing this year. Kyrie Irving has been showing the ability to play like a superstar, far more often than a handful of good games from Rose. Lebron still owns Jimmy Butler or Gibson. Cavs will have to win on the back of those two guys, but they have mr. X factor JR–at least for game 3 🙂
Warren those would be wonderful additions but I think carrol and green would command over 10 mil each.
Almost every one of those guys will be making more money next year than what we can sign them at.
I’m guessing that’s Danny green, not Draymond green. 15 days until the lottery!
Nice to see you! I’d be fairly happy with one or 2 of your free agent signings but although I wanted Asik last year I’m down on him this year. There was an article basically showing that he was a net negative. The Pelicans are not exactly over enthusiastic to bring him back. He could plug the hole defensively at center but I would bid a lot lower than 9 million. Probably more like 5 or 6.
I’m also not a fan of trading away Kelly or the 27th pick. Kelly is an effective floor spacer on a budget friendly contract that is suited for situational use. The 27th pick I currently would slot to bring in Robert Upshaw whom I consider a gamble worth taking. If he can get past his personal issues he could very well be the key to protecting the rim. Point being the Lakers I believe can get quality with all 3 of their picks. I would be willing to trade them but not for shedding salary. Young I think should be traded but, I would focus more on bringing back a player for him.
Warren Wee Lim: I would recommend we sign: Millsap (11M) Carroll (6M) Green (6M) Asik (9M)
I would recommend the following:
1) If we draft Towns or Okafor — we sign: Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris
2) If we draft Mudiay – we sign: Greg Monroe, Middleton and Harris
3) If we draft Russell or WInslow (both SGs) – we sign: Monroe, Knight and Harris
Note: I am advocating signing Brandon Knight knowing it pushes Clarkson to the first guard off the bench role. I have no problem with Clarkson being the thrid guard on a very good team – he’s still see the floor 30 minutes a game filling in for both backcourt positions.
I am not as high on Cauley-Stein as you. I don’t know this first hand but I heard on a talk show that he isn’t passionate about the game. While I loathe the game of ‘telephone’ as it applies to young athletes, however, if the statement is true then it is concerning. We just went through this ‘issue’ with Bynum — someone who is physically gifted but held back by not enjoying being on the floor. Bynum peaked early and lacked the resolve to stay in shape and improve. If we get a pick in this draft we can’t mess it up.
I have long proposed that the FO spend cap space this summer when there are not many teams that can do so. Please note that I am only advocating signing younger players that have upside and long windows to compete. I don’t want a Rondo or any other veteran that is 30 or above. Even getting Towns, who is a future star, the Lakers will be two/three years away from competing.
I can’t see where those that are proposing tanking next year. In my mind it’s a stretch that a Laker team that misses out in the pick would be bad enough to tank. Philly was trying really hard to lose and there were still two teams that lost more than they did.
But if pressed I´d say rr is my main man, so if he´s got the time….
Thanks very much–I appreciate that.
One minor suggestion: To piggyback off an earlier comment, maybe a weekly column where 5 questions are posted to 5 contributors for short answers. Maybe if we keep things focused on on topics that are of a nature that can be answered in short bursts. For example, things along the lines of: who needs to be shopped around, who needs to be re-signed, top free agent targets for the team based on long term need, etc. Ideally, we would exclude topics that are best left for long analytical posts (i.e., what needs to change in FO, what is realistic and why, etc.)
I would also love to see an in depth analysis over the physical health of the team over the last 8-10 years. rr has brought up Vitti’s performance in the past, and the more I read about our health woes the more I wonder what it could mean. Is it that our training dept is not adequately addressing problem areas for players? Is if the FO is signing/drafting players with known physical issues (Nash comes to mind)? Would analytics help? Is it just time to switch gears and look at another guy to head our training dept? Is it all of them plus more?
Purple: Thank you for the mention, however as I stated earlier, I m sticking to posting. If I wrote an article, it would turn into a series of comparisons and links to poker and rock n roll……then again that could be a good thing : ) In small doses (posts).
Renato: “I’m having trouble posting a reply here…” Not the first who has said this. So to encourage someone to volunteer, as an incentive, you could mod your own posts! That alone might be worth the time of writing for the site !
Spurs: Me and a few others here (Rogers, Hale and KenOak to name a few) are especially glad that the Spurs no longer “play” the right way. However I do not get the fact that others are most focused on Rocket hate. Yet somehow everyone pays the media homage to the Celtics. So if this were USC in football, we would ignore our rivalries with Notre Dame and UCLA (the Spurs), we would pay homage to a historical rivalry with Harvard and Yale (they beat us in the last century (literally), and we would in turn hate the school who stole our recruit (the Rockets or the Bulls). Problem is that they did not steal them (we gave them away). In any case, the Spurs are out !!
it would turn into a series of comparisons and links to poker and rock n roll…
hahahaha, no doubt!