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  • Jamie Sweet

    Jamie Sweet 1:55 AM on April 17, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Over, finished, gone, done, out. 

    See ya.

    A worthy quote for this season from my favorite thrash metal band, Anthrax.

    Not a whole heck of a lot to come out of this 82 game span. We saw the best and worst out of a lot of NBA players, young and old. From the moment the banners went up #asking Dwight to stay it has been one long discordant note. What started promisingly when we were sitting at .500 and Kobe came back ended Hindenburg-like with the worst season in Los Angeles Laker history. All the camaraderie and team spirit that saw us fight and grit our way to .500 had vanished by the All Star break.

    You can blame all sorts of things. Dwight didn’t sign with us. Kobe only played 6 games, Nash only 15. Our entire team lost over 300 total games to player injury, It was pretty much a whole new team that had never played together with a ton of guys on one year deals. Jim. Jeannie. Mike. Phil (or a lack thereof). Pau. Luke Walton, somehow, some way, Luke Walton. Time.

    The recent blood moon floating by planet Earth recently got me-a-thinking, always a long-winded and ebullient prospect, and I came up with a stumper of a query: how terrible was this season? During training camp we all hedged our bets, a lot of us here tossed around the notion that we were almost guaranteed a losing season and ought to embrace the Apocalypse, if you will. Hug the fiery blast of the nuclear 82 game implosion and go all in on getting a young super star in a sure fire hit draft in the off-season. DJKB24, FWTBT were advocates of this pretty early on and have been quite consistently.

    A lot of us started with a very positive outlook, Michael H, LakerTom, tate are a few that come to mind, that we’d hold the fort until Kobe’s return, maybe Nash could give us half a season (or limited production that equated to as much) and we could squeak into the playoffs and then who knows. The hope was that the one year deals would create chemistry in a bottle, we’re all in this together and if we light a fire under Laker Nation there will be money and a role somewhere, if not here.

    In the end, the weight of all of it proved too much. the failure to re-sign Dwight, which I was not a fan of re-signing D12 to a max deal and don’t want to come off as revisionist, the one year deals for so many young guys, the injuries, Kobe’s shadow all dragged this squad down like an albatross. Mike D’Antoni was powerless to stop it, slick system and all. And so it ends. Finale.

    It’s a little early, but I’d like to toast and raise a glass to a few coach’s assistants and players. I think Mike stays but Kurt Rambis might be looking at that Time Warner Cable pre/post game seat, again, after his stint as defensive coach. Certainly the Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Mike D’Antoni System bears some of the blame but there never looked like there was much of a cohesive defensive philosophy displayed on the court. Rambis will go and they’ll bring in someone else. It might help if they draft a defensive minded player.

    Chris Duhon’s salary comes off the books although we still owe Mike Brown $5.5 mil for coaching in Cleveland (it would be $8 mil but Cleveland re-signed him to coach for them…again!) Chris Kaman is as close to a guarantee to leave as it is to be sunny most days round these parts. MarShon Brooks may have played his way out of the NBA after not being able to bust into the rotation on a team with nothing to lose. He’s certainly played his way off the Lakers.

    Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol has a low probability of sticking around as a Laker, however, I’ll bet he has a better chance of winning a title next year than Kobe does. I’ve been a fan of Pau since he came into the league. Besides Lamar Odom, Pau has been my favorite Laker for the last 6 years. If he sticks around it’ll be for less money and a reduced role as it’s obvious he’s no longer a 35 mpg player, but he’ll find a home somewhere and I’ll wish him well wherever he lands.

    We can all blame whatever elements of this season that we want. The truth is, there was no small amount of decision making and choice into assembling this particular team. There is a lot about this squad we just didn’t get a chance to see. However, there was also a lot of stubbornness and lunk headed behavior that contributed to the disaster we just bore witness to. From top to bottom. To ignore or deny this, or that this season has been a long time coming because of desperate moves that just didn’t work out, is a folly equal to pointing the passionate finger of blame at one individual or another within the Laker hierarchy.

    Winning defines the Laker franchise. To fail at the level we did this year would be rough in any decade, fortunately we live in an era of instant world wide opinionating 24/7/365! Any nimrod with a keyboard and an internet connection can spew whatever fleeting thought flitters into his mental periphery. Thus we will see the most public and un-flitered of Laker opinionating EVER. Regardless of whether anyone think it earned or not, it will come. This team means too much to so many people, there will be a mourning.

    But then, so too must we begin again.

    It starts May 20th with the Falling of the Ping Pong Balls. This will be the first in a series of many steps the front office takes to start rebuilding this team into a winner. Regardless of where it falls within the first 10 picks the potential for them to find a guy that can contribute at a significant level is high, at least on one end of the court or another. The earlier we pick, the more kinetic energy that pick will possess, both to do good or to destroy. A bad pick, someone that pretty much bombs next year and draws the wrath of Laker Nation and Kobe, will be devastating. Likewise, someone that locks it down defensively or scores in the clutch and leads to wins will be a resounding victory. That’s how it is in Laker Land, there are no small, incremental steps.

    It continues in the training room. Getting Kobe healthy, getting Nash healthy enough to contribute at a Derek Fisher-esque level, if they re-sign any of these guys get the right. The only way it makes good sense not to waive and stretch Nash is if they think that, with a whole summer of him re-training his body, maybe doing some acupuncture and see if he can get his body calmed down to play 10-15 mpg. Marshall and Sacre should play in the summer league.

    Come July 1st they’ll need to show us what the plan is. We only have a few weeks before guys can opt out of their deals, I believe they have up to two weeks to do so. Maybe less, didn’t look all that hard to find out. If they’re moving forward with at least one more season of D’Antoni, possibly two (team holds the option for 2015-16), they’ll need to find some players that fit a lot better than many of these guys. We could use an upgrade at every single position in the starting line up, especially defensively.

    It’s going to be hard with the current CBA. We only get the first rounder this year and only have one second rounder next season in regards to the draft. We re-signed Kobe to a large 2 year deal (I think it was as good a move that could’ve been made, there was no Jeter Situation to further divide the ranks) that hampers our flexibility. We have to pay Nash, sooner or later. As regaled as the upcoming draft has been, the free agent pool has been equally dissed. Cobbling together a playoff team won’t be easy.

    Now that we’re done with these 82 games it’s time to look forward. Choices yet to be made will be the topics of conversation of the summer. Lying dormant, hibernating, waiting for the spark that sets them off and gets us a chattering. Until then, I think I’d like to see either Golden State or Portland go all the way with the Wizards as my east coast dark horse candidate.

    You’ve all been tremendous and highly entertaining. Quite a petri dish of opinion and thought we have here and I hope you’ve all had as much fun as I have. Whether you agree with me or I agree with you isn’t the point. For me, it’s that we can share ideas, see the game and team from different vantage points and hopefully get some laughs in. You all get top marks in my book and I hope next year makes us all forget this long hard slog ever happened. Here’s to all of you. Thanks.

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  • DJ2KB24

    DJ2KB24 9:58 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Yea! We are the 6th in line, can’t get any better than that! Well it could have, but winning the last 2 game and beating those Celts did us in. What a sad way to end this season! Say goodbye to Emblid, Wiggins, Exum (the next Kobe I hear). Say goodbye to Hill, Gasol, Young, Meeks (unless we overpay the last two). Can’t wait to see who’s coming in! Let’s see, LBJ or Bosh or Melo or, oh I know, we get to overpay Bledsoe and Stephenson. Add those 2 to Kobe, Nash and Bobbysox and ya got a winner folks! I still say trade Kobe for Amare and sign Marion and run, run, shoot, shoot and….

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    • keen observer

      keen observer says... 10:10 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Big deal. It’s a crapshoot anyway and we could still easily end up with one of the top 3 picks. Even if we don’t, there’s plenty of talent where we’ll be picking. I’m glad we won the last 2 games. It tells me these guys care.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 says... 10:17 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        They should care. but still hurts us.

        • keen observer

          keen observer says... 10:24 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Maybe, maybe not. You can’t say because you have no idea who’s going to get lucky. Besides, our draft pick might wind up as the best player anyway. Look at Damian Lillard.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 11:12 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Isaiah Thomas was a second rounder, the 60th overall player taken in the 2011 draft. We’ll get a good player. You can believe that Ryan is really bending his dad’s ear for advice.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 8:03 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    As for the Lakers, the real season begins now.
    This season was nothing but 82 meaningless games that had to be played in order to clear salaries and finally get in line with the new CBA. Now comes the important phase of spending the cap space wisely, drafting the right player, and making a decision on the head coach. We’ve already wasted between 7-10 mill by overpaying Kobe…hope we do better going forward.

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    • Bay to LA

      Bay to LA says... 10:16 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I can’t believe the “practice season” is over already. I haven’t been active with posting but I did watch at least 77 of the 82 Lakers games as well as a bunch of the other games around the league. It seriously feels like this season just started :wacko:

      It will be definitely be interesting to see how this summer plays out. I don’t think they can turn things around overnight like a lot of fans seem to be hoping. Even with a high draft pick and a new coach, it’s going to be a process.

  • MongoSlade

    MongoSlade 7:52 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Crazy final night of the regular season with so many teams jockeying for playoff position. The Nets clearly wanted no part of the Bulls in the 1st round and did a proper tank job by getting blown out their final 2 games vs the Knicks & Cavs. I thought OKC might be trying to drop to the 3 seed to face GSW without Bogut instead of the Grizz or Mavs who are both playing well. But they pulled it out. Would have been interesting to see what the Clipps would have done had OKC lost. Doubt they wanted to see the Grizz again in the 1st round…

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    • arliepro

      arliepro says... 8:01 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      The Grizz just beat the Mavs in OT, so lucky OKC gets the Grizz in the first round.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC says... 8:02 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Yeah, it has been a wild final night of the season. As an Ls fan it couldn’t have ended sooner, but despite our team’s woes, I’ll be glad to get the postseason started.

      • arliepro

        arliepro says... 8:04 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        And with the C’s loss to the Wiz tonight, our Ls have the 6th spot from the bottom locked up.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade says... 8:08 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Looks like our pick might be Marcus Smart or Aaron Gordon.
          Not too shabby.
          Those guys would be in the top 3 most years.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 8:11 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      That Clipper/Warrior series will be fun to watch.
      But losing Bogut is a big blow to their defense.

      • tate793

        tate793 says... 9:14 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Will be a relaxed viewing, this post season, sans the stress of winning/losing.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC says... 8:25 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Yeah, MS … I, too, am lookin’ forward to that series, but u’re right, Bogut is a big loss for GSW.

  • tate793

    tate793 6:56 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    New Target 

    The train has run it’s course. Finally made it into the station.

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  • p ang

    p ang 5:30 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    For Jim Buss to be hailed as a guy whose time has come he just needs to hire a good coach. Player personnel will always be blamed/accredited to Mitch.

    For MDA to be considered a previously unappreciated genius he just needs to get to the Finals. To do that he has to coach superstars. Get them to come play for him. Ow, shucks. That’s never going to happen.

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    • 63Footer

      63Footer says... 6:18 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Without commenting on the conclusion (only because I always say “never say never”), you are absolutely right. There are no “if’s,” “and’s” or “but’s” about it: “Just win baby!”

      And it is a good point about Mitch getting credit…but I think Jim will get blame (as he does now).

      But a good coach will take the heat off Jimmy, and D’Antoni needs to at least get to the Finals (I think he needs to win, myself) to be considered more than an “interesting idea” and “the guy who coached Steve Nash during his MVP years.”

      And, yeah, coaching superstars IS the name of the game at the moment. Until the non-Rose-Bulls or the Pacers win one (and with the Pacers, maybe it even needs to be two in the next five years), it’s about who your superstars are and can you get them to play beyond their potential with everyone else involved.

      And SOMEONE has to play D if ya wanna win the Finals.

  • LakerTom (admin) 4:13 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Can Lakers make the spinning stop? 

    BY RAMONA SHELBURNE FOR ESPNLA

    Los Angeles Lakers

    Pau Gasol has been in a bad way for the past few weeks. Vertigo might seem like a fancy word for dizzy, but anyone who has ever suffered from it knows the truth.

    It’s scary. Up is sideways. Down is backward. After an hour, all you want is to make the spinning stop.

    “It feels like you’re seasick,” Gasol said on his walk out of Staples Center after a recent game, “like you’re floating in a cloud.”

    His eyes were glassy. Staying upright wasn’t easy. A security guard walked with him, just to make sure.

    There is a clarity that forms in desperate moments like this, a distillation of what matters and what doesn’t. After the worst season in Los Angeles Lakers history, one that’s left everyone in the franchise and the city feeling as dizzy as Gasol, this feels like one of those moments.

    The Lakers have missed the playoffs just three times in the past 30 years, but they’ve never bottomed out with as little to build back up with as this season.

    “Things didn’t work out,” Gasol said as he stopped for a moment to steady himself. “It’s not just about talent sometimes. It’s about getting your pieces to work together in one direction and having good chemistry, and obviously it didn’t happen.

    “I’m not big on thinking on what if. Things happen, and then you just move on.”

    How the Lakers do that, how they move on and use this moment, will set the course of their future for years to come.

    Do they make a coaching change? Do they make a run at a superstar via free agency or trade this summer? Do have the stomach to wait until 2015, when there will be a deeper, more talented free-agent class? Is the answer as simple as drafting the right player in the lottery or getting Kobe Bryant back healthy next season?

    This is either as bad as it’s ever going to get for the Lakers or the start of a long, slow decline. The end of a miserable season or the beginning of a new era.

    Challenging as those questions are, they are easier to answer than the existential ones.

    How will the franchise evolve after the passing of legendary owner Dr. Jerry Buss last February? His children learned from him, but will that be enough? Is replication really the right play?

    Contrary to popular belief, many of the recent events happened on Buss’ watch. He was involved in every major decision through the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as coach, and even the ones — like Bryant’s contract extension — that came after his death he had discussed at length with either his daughter, Lakers president Jeanie Buss, or son, Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss.

    In many ways, his presence still guides Lakers decision-making, as if everyone at some point asks, “What would Jerry do?”

    That should be a comforting thought. It certainly seems like a great compass. Yet sometimes genius loses something when you try to replicate it.

    The programmers and designers who worked with Steve Jobs at Apple during the company’s ascension to the top of the computing world came to understand his vision — that design matters, that every element of a device should be lovingly developed to its most perfect, user-friendly state and that the only way to be different than the competition is to “think different.” But understanding and believing in a vision is different than having your own. Apple has learned to do that in the wake of Jobs’ death in 2011.

    The challenge is the same for the six Buss children. They understand that they need to find their own voice and make their mark on the future of the organization. But when do you start? And for whoever goes first, whenever that happens, won’t that upset the equilibrium their father established?

    There was an opportunity a few months ago to punt on it all and hand things over to Phil Jackson before he left for the Knicks. But Jerry Buss had wanted his children to stand on their own. That day has come.

    The decision on D’Antoni is the first one they will have to make. Even if the head coach might deserve another chance, considering all the injuries and lack of talent on this season’s team, it will be difficult to give it to him. He has become the symbol for Lakers fans of all that’s gone wrong these past two years, and the mob wants vengeance.

    But D’Antoni is not just a victim of circumstance or bad luck on injuries. He also struggled to control or connect with the outsized egos on his team. In Phoenix, when he had a strong leader like Steve Nash who was intimately involved in both the creation and execution of the team’s vision, those issues sorted themselves out. He never had to cajole anyone into seeing the world as he did.

    Bryant and Gasol have won titles playing a very different way. Dwight Howard had little appetite for stepping outside of his comfort zone on the court. D’Antoni never figured out how to persuade them to do things his way, which ultimately was part of the job.

    At heart, he is nonconfrontational. He believes deeply that once players see the benefits of his style of play and experience how “the ball finds energy” when it is shared, they will become true believers. It is a beautiful vision, one that has been borrowed and copied all over the NBA since his glory days with Nash in Phoenix. But nobody has run it quite like those “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns did.

    Still, the Lakers plan to take their time making a decision on D’Antoni’s future. A few weeks, perhaps even a month. There are those in the organization who support him and believe he can do better with a healthier, more talented roster. He’s also popular with some of the superstars the Lakers have eyes for in the future, from his time as the offensive coordinator with USA Basketball.

    Then there is the question of whom they could get to replace him, should they choose to. There are some credible names available at the moment. But the best, most exciting choices are either busy coaching in the NBA playoffs or happy in a top collegiate job. It’s also tough to know which free agents will actually be available this summer. And it will be another month before the Lakers know just how good their lottery pick will be, before choosing whether to keep it or dangle it in trades.

    With so many dominoes still to fall and so much information to weigh, the Lakers are inclined to take some time before making a final decision on D’Antoni. At that point, the question becomes whether he is OK with that scenario. When you preside over the worst season in franchise history, you lose quite a bit of leverage. The man has considerable pride, and it’s obvious this has been a miserable experience. It’s hard to imagine D’Antoni leaving with $4 million remaining on his contract, but it’s also hard to imagine his coming back under similar circumstances next season. Why would anyone sign up for another season like this one?

    The Lakers already made the big decision on Bryant in November when they signed him to a two-year, $48.5 million extension. They could have waited to see how he came back from his ruptured Achilles before offering him a new contract. They could have asked him to take a huge pay cut to make it easier for them to fill out the roster with higher-priced talent this summer and next. They could have let him become a free agent.

    But it was important to the Buss family that Bryant have the opportunity to retire as a Laker and be rewarded for all the contributions he’s made to the franchise in his 18-year career. This had been discussed with Dr. Buss before his death. Jeanie Buss was the first to argue for it publicly, in a radio interview with ESPNLA 710 in July. Jim Buss concurred but asked her to let him find the right way to structure the contract that would work for both the team and Bryant.

    Yes, they gave him more than he would have got anywhere else as a free agent. But the Lakers felt comfortable with it for two reasons: 1) They still had enough salary-cap space to pursue a superstar player via free agency or trade in each of the next two seasons; and 2) In a league where the maximum salary is the essentially the same for all players, a contract like the one they gave Bryant is a signal to superstars that the Lakers will keep finding ways to honor their iconic players, just as Dr. Buss did with Magic Johnson in the 1990s.

    Keeping Bryant and keeping him happy are two different things, however. It’s no secret he’s been miserable this season. He’s rarely been seen in public since the All-Star break, preferring to watch games from inside the Lakers locker room or training room.

    A few weeks ago, Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak went to Bryant’s office in West Los Angeles to meet with him. They wanted his input and thoughts on the future. But mostly they wanted him to feel heard.

    Bryant’s question was the same as everyone else’s: How does this get fixed?

    For years, the Lakers have positioned themselves to be exactly where they are now — with the flexibility to go in whatever direction they need to, as quickly and nimbly as necessary.

    Now they just have to do it. Or do something. Anything to make the spinning stop.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10790507/los-angeles-lakers-make-spinning-stop

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    • keen observer

      keen observer says... 4:51 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Good read. I like Ramona Shelburne.

      “For years, the Lakers have positioned themselves to be exactly where they are now — with the flexibility to go in whatever direction they need to, as quickly and nimbly as necessary.”

      That’s the best line of the article and one that die hard Lakers fans who have watched this decline unfold should understand. Sure, valiant attempts were made to keep us on top, but they didn’t work out, but the FO positioned themselves for this flexibility for a long time.

      • yellofever

        yellofever says... 5:58 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        and that exactly what yellofever been tryin preach around here.. so he hired a few coaching stiffs (or maybe it was dad), so Dwight didn’t work out (fkk him he’s a pansy diva anyways), so he gave Kobe the max (financially still underpayed and a smart decision) and so he has to wear that silly cap everywhere he goes (I’m no fashion critic) …. at the end of the day or this wreckage of a season jim buss has still prepared the lakers for the new CBA and cleared mad cap space putting the team in a prime position next 2 years to make a big splash on FA… so best to reserve judgement in a few more years.

        that said yes he has to nail the nxt draft pick and land a supernova FA

    • LakerTom says... 9:46 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Outstanding article by Ramona. Her take is unique in that she contends Dr. Buss was really still making all the major decisions. Her point about her kids and people in the Lakers organization probably always asking themselves “what would Dr. Buss have done” was spot on. The ghost of Dr. Buss is still running the Lakers for better or worse. Frankly, I think Jim has done exactly what his dad would have done so far. Now he needs to ace the Finals to get back to the Finals.

  • justanothermambafan

    justanothermambafan 3:31 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Hi everyone!

    So…. tonight a broke-down season comes to an end. Mercifully and finally. I never thought I’d be happy to see a Laker season finish up, but this year it feels like a blessing. It was just so hard to watch. And honestly, this is also the first year I didn’t watch every game, or even every game all the way through. Just too painful… (Jeeze am I spoiled Laker fan or what?)

    *sigh*

    Oh well – here’s to next year then! It’s gotta get better. Right? RIGHT???

    GO LAKERS!

    PS – nice to see wesjoejulio back in LA! Hopefully it’s all good…?

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    • 63Footer

      63Footer says... 3:32 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      JUSTA!!!!!

    • mclyne32 says... 5:06 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Well, it’s about time!
      Where ya been???

    • p ang

      p ang says... 5:20 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      :exactly:

      Can’t believe we are celebrating the end of a season.

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC says... 7:58 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Hey Stranger … longtime no … well u know the rest. :) Good to see u post again, hope all has been well with u. Let’s hope Jim B and Mitch can right the ship some this offseason.

  • tate793

    tate793 2:42 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    LA Lakers Management Can't Let Recent History Repeat Itself 

    By David Murphy , Featured Columnist Apr 16, 2014

    The Los Angeles Lakers’ doomed season is almost over, and it’s a cautionary tale that didn’t happen overnight. The warning signs have been in plain sight for the past few years.

    Now, however, they’re flashing a brilliant red with accompanying sirens. Lakers management cannot afford to let recent history repeat itself.

    Recently, Rob Asghar for Forbes wrote about the decline of the Lakers organization, noting that this season’s sudden collapse followed years of inner deterioration, as well as management’s neglect of an aging roster. Asghar also pointed the finger at nepotism:

    “Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died in 2013, was the most successful owner in pro sports history, with 10 NBA championship rings and another six appearances in the finals. But he botched his most important move: the team’s succession plan. He gave effective control to his enigmatic and unproven son, Jim. Elite organizations don’t do that; so the minute the elder Buss did this, the Lakers effectively renounced their status as an elite organization.”

    The Lakers’ view from the top isn’t apt to change any time soon. Dr. Buss left his children in charge through a complicated family trust that essentially binds them together. It was noble in its intent—that a family business would indeed remain that way, something of a rarity during an era in which vertical integration and the consolidation of corporate parent companies has become the norm.

    These are not easy times for sports franchises in general. As for the NBA, the collective bargaining agreement negotiations of 2011 revealed profound differences between the various owners, with small-market teams managing to influence a stricter salary cap, while also obtaining larger slices of the revenue-sharing pie.

    Meanwhile, the mega-market Lakers with their rich Time Warner Cable deal, are free falling into irrelevance. They’ll end their season Wednesday night with a visit to the San Antonio Spurs, who, win or lose, will move on to the playoffs with the best record in the Western Conference.

    The Spurs are proof positive that successful team management isn’t predicated on market shares.

    This quintessential under-the-radar organization operates within the confines of one of the more meager television markets in the country (No. 36 in the most recent Nielsen estimates), yet it consistently offers up an overachieving team under the guidance of owner Peter Holt, general manager R.C. Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich.

    And they do it the old-fashioned way—hard work, dedicated players, a forward-thinking international scouting program, austere budgets, strong cross-promotion through regional giants like the HEB supermarket chain and most of all, the longevity of one of the all-time coaching greats—Pop is now in his 18th season.

    Back in Laker Land, the coaching wheel of fortune seems likely to get another spin, and a team roster will be built from the rubble of the worst loss record in franchise history.

    Plus there’s the question of sibling rivalry.

    Jim Buss is the one who’s been calling the basketball shots, but his sister Jeanie, the team president and head of business operations, recently went on the Mason and Ireland show on ESPNLA 710 radio and said (h/t Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles): “Ultimately I am the one voice. I am that person. I’m at the top of the food chain.”

    It’s easy to parse interviews and pick out singular lines. But the larger picture does seem to reveal an odd and unseemly snarl of family dynamics, while at the same time, team progress backs up like a SIG alert during rush-hour traffic.

    In February, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak spoke to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, making the case for patience with the team’s rebuild, saying: “We have a plan. I can’t guarantee you can execute a plan in six months, 12 months or 18 months.”

    That kind of measured response is typical of Kupchak, one of the leagues’ longest-tenured and most successful managers. But it’s missing a part. It’s like the straight man who delivers a setup and waits for his comic genius partner to bring it home.

    It’s like a lob pass waiting to be dunked. But there’s no one there to finish it off.

    The success of the Lakers franchise was built on bold strokes by the guy at the top for so many years. Dr. Buss had no problem leaving the nuts and bolts to others, but it was his signature splashy moves that shaped the larger picture—that of a winning culture.

    Buss was the vision behind Showtime and the one who signed off on later pivotal moves, like spending big on Shaquille O’Neal and hiring Phil Jackson. There’s a void in leadership now that he’s gone, even if some of that is simply appearances. Because, perception matters. Splashy moves matter. Big statements matter. Not only to the fans, but to free agents.

    That larger-than-life panache seems to have fled the building. The good doctor was a Barnum & Bailey showman, a real estate tycoon, a poker player who knew when to up the ante and go for the jugular.

    He talked softly but people listened. He had a purple Rolls Royce and a bevy of girlfriends that were ridiculously young. He knew how to swing hard and he swung for the fences.

    Jerry’s kids will never be him and perhaps it’s unfair to expect that they would. They may not all get along but they do, after all, seem to love the game.

    There is hope for the organization—the gutting of a roster and the failed Mike D’Antoni experiment gives an opportunity for renewal. It’s also time for damage control and some positive marketing.

    We get that Kupchak puts forth a careful face. But there has to be a yin to the yang in Hollywood. The GM talks about assets and patience, but where’s the counterpoint that boosts public confidence?

    At a media session in early March, a frustrated Kobe Bryant addressed being ruled out for the remainder of the season due to the slow healing process for his fractured knee. Per Lakers.com, he didn’t hold back when asked if he had the patience to wait another year to improve the roster:

    “No, nope, not one lick. Let’s just play next year and suck again. No, absolutely not, absolutely not. It’s my job to go out there on the court and perform. No excuses for it. You have to get things done. Same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court, the same expectations I have for them up there. You have to be able to figure out a way to do both.”

    Bryant shouldn’t have to be the one to make motivational speeches to management. It shouldn’t take him calling out the Buss siblings in order to get a sit-down with Jim.

    Yes, perception matters. Yes, big statements matter. And as Dr. Jerry Buss showed, you don’t have to have the gift of powerful oratory to get your point across.

    His son—the one chosen to run basketball operations—avoids the white-hot spotlight of the media like a vampire about to sizzle and melt. But every once in a while, leadership means having to step forward and deliver the news.

    And sometimes take the blows.

    The sun hasn’t yet set. Players will still gravitate west in search of big dreams and banners. But Lakers management cannot afford to be seen as complacent and they can’t let the team’s most recent history repeat itself.

    Because another season like this one would be unforgivable.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2030937-la-lakers-management-cant-let-recent-history-repeat-itself?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=los-angeles-lakers

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    • keen observer

      keen observer says... 2:55 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      So sick of this. More negativity. It was one bad season with nothing but injuries. Give it a rest. How average.

    • 63Footer

      63Footer says... 3:04 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Yeah, I read this over on Bleacher Report. And to think Dave is also a fine guitarist (granted, I saw him back-in-the-day).

    • Jolly Rancher

      Jolly Rancher says... 3:07 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      The best damage control AND the best way to rid LA of all the negativity will be to have a good off season that shows progress toward returning to the winning tradition. Anything else that gets printed or blogged that deals with 2013/2014 at this point is white noise.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 3:25 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      The article reiterates my favorite axiom about this league…you have to be solid in 3 areas: ownership, GM, & head coach. If you have that, you’ll assemble the right players…regardless of market size or location. If you don’t, you won’t. For years, we had the best in all 3 slots Dr Buss, West/Kupchak, Riles/Phil. We still have Mitch, but not an elite coach and a question mark in the owner’s box. We can get the right coach but Jimmy won’t be abdicating the throne any time soon so he’s either got to show he’s got what it takes or we’re gonna struggle. Like it or not, we gotta ride or die with this dude. People in power don’t give it up easily or often.

      • 63Footer

        63Footer says... 3:31 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        As much as I rag on the Jimster…I think he can turn it around in a number of ways:

        1. He could learn and grow with the position. Nothing says he can’t become a vastly better owner than he is now. Totally could happen (especially with the rest of the Buss family putting pressure on him).

        2. He could step farther back as owner and hire the right people, taking himself out of the equation (basically becoming more of a monied-silent partner). There are a number of owners like this: quiet, hire well, leave well-enough alone. This is an offshoot of #1 in that he may not be able to learn enough to be a driving force, but realizes that and becomes a more subtle vision for the team.

        3. If the Lakers truly suck for X amount of years going forward, I think the pressure of the fans, the ticket holders and the rest of the Buss family will become too great to endure (and I’ve hung with Jim a few times back-in-the-day: he’s not a Cuban/Al Davis kind of guy to long for the spotlight) and he’ll find a way to abdicate the position, or simply become a figurehead. Unless you have the right DNA, having thousands and thousands of people truly hate on you (in the media as well as on the street) is NOT a fun way to live. Not everyone’s cut out for that.

      • MongoSlade

        MongoSlade says... 3:48 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        I can’t make too many predictions on what Jimmy will do in the future (my Magic 8 Ball is till at the cleaners). All I can do is look at past events. The 1 thing about him that’s different from most owners (except Al Davis) is that he spent time in the areas of evaluating, acquiring, and developing players. I wonder how easily or quickly or willingly he’ll step away from that. Dr Buss knew this wasn’t his strong suit, so he hired the best and let them do their job. But Jimmy believes that this IS his area of expertise….so it makes me wonder.

        • 63Footer

          63Footer says... 4:41 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Mongo -- he MAY believe that, or it may just be him trying to find his “legs” in a very difficult situation (dad dies; he’s handed the reins). For a bit, he may try to “prove” himself. If it works, or he finds a way to make it work with input…great! But, he may fail. I don’t think he’ll fly too much in the face of failure for too long. He’s never struck me as that type of guy. And I’ve been close to “superstars” (both athletic and otherwise) who have made choices and had to live with the hate, the boos and the death threats. It is NOT an easy thing to do. The people I knew did not have to deal with it too long a term. Jim Buss, if he fails, will have to deal with it for years. That is VERY difficult, and I don’t see Jim being the type to stand up to that for so long (you really have to have a lot of A-Rod or Lance Armstrong in you). He’ll retreat. Could be a good retreat or a bad one, but he’ll retreat if the failure is too great, or too long-term. At least that’s my call.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 6:12 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            He could also be so determined to succeed that he doesn’t take into consideration all of the possible scenarios that he might encounter along the way.

            In theory, some of his moves were sound, but, the failure to make adjustments continually hindered him.

            Going forward, I think he’ll get some sisterly advice regarding that issue. We paid Mike Brown to sit at home. We even paid Chris Duhon to sit at home. Paying Steve Nash and D’Antoni to go away might not be such a bad idea.

            Ultimately, they should hire a basketball mind (try to recruit Jerry West to return, Larry Brown, Jerry Sloan, to do the job Jim’s trying to do, and, Jim could work with his sister on the business end of things.

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 7:20 PM on April 16, 2014

              He works very closely with a basketball mind. His name is Mitch Kupchak. Jim’s been in the Lakers front office since 1998 and has been VP of Basketball Operations since 2005. Do you think he just sits there and goes “duh” all day? You obviously still see him as a loser even though he’s been in the front office during championships. Ultimately, he might surprise you and when he does, I hope you admit that you were wrong about all your bashing.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 1:17 AM on April 17, 2014

              If you’re gonna read and quote Wikipedia, then read the whole thing and quote the whole thing. Don’t cherry pick like some prima dona diva.

  • LakerTom (admin) 12:49 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Will Mike Stay or Go? 

    BY LAKERTOM FOR LAKERHOLICS.NET

    To me, the decision whether the Lakers fire Mike D’Antoni or keep him for at least another year depends on whether Jim Buss has the strength of character to resist caving in to the relentless media and fan pressure to make his coach the scapegoat for an unprecedented plague of injuries that doomed the last two seasons. That’s what the decision is really about.  Do the Lakers throw Mike D’Antoni to the wolves to ease the lust for blood from Lakers fans and media enraged that the Lakers did not opt to bring Phil Jackson back for another round? Or do they ignore the raving from their fan base and do the right thing and give Mike the shot he deserves?  Capitulating would make him look weak and open Pandora’s box.

    Considering the injuries and numbing losses, I still see a well coached, exciting team where the guys play hard and never quit. I also see a coach who has done a great job developing young players. The defense is obviously terrible but some of the blame for that has to go to the front office and circumstances.  The Lakers do not have a roster with the speed, length, and athleticism to play sound defense, especially considering the two key defensive positions – point guard and center – are manned by inept defenders.  You cannot play good team defense when the point guard defending the other team’s primary ball handler cannot stay in front of his man and the center defending the rim never even jumps to block a shot.

    While I am not convinced that Mike is the right coach for the Lakers for the future, I think it would be foolish to make a change right now unless the Lakers had a specific replacement like UConn’s Kevin Ollie locked up and ready and willing to go.  With the Lakers likely saving most of their open cap space for Kevin Love and the summer of 2015, it is extremely unlikely that the Lakers are going to seriously contend for another championship next year anyway so why make a coaching change right now.  Why not save $4M and give Mike D’Antoni a chance to show what a team with a healthy Kobe Bryant, a free agent like Eric Bledsoe or Lance Stephenson, and a bench comprised of promising returnees from this year’s squad could do. We’ve seen inklings of the kind of exciting basketball that a Mike D’Antoni team could play several times this year. I would even venture some of those who want Mike fired do so because they are worried about his small ball system winning and the team performing well next year with a healthy improved roster.

    It’s on Jim Buss right now to either be a man or a mouse and run the franchise or let the fans run it.  I’m hoping Jim understands his legacy as an owner is on the line right now.  Time to put on his big boy pants.

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    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 says... 1:10 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Hey LT! Ya think Tonaka could play PG for us? Pitched GREAT today, just might be the REAL DEAL!

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 says... 1:14 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        One big key to me on Dani, is after the season and the Draft and Free Agency opens and we know if LBJ opts out and such, who will or won’t play for him (will that be any factor for any Freebies out there)? We know that Melo wouldn’t, want him or not. So is that going to be a concern? I dunno?

    • yellofever

      yellofever says... 1:30 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      go go shoot scram beat it..

    • mclyne32 says... 1:47 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      It’s not about the injuries, it’s what he did and did not do with the players he had.
      The injury excuse is so old and boring now.
      We’ve seen two years of ineptitude and would rather see this Franchise moving towards winning basketball.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever says... 2:03 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      .

      • mclyne32 says... 2:07 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Well said, NBA, and I agree 100%.

    • keen observer

      keen observer says... 2:11 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I don’t think it’s about whether Jim has balls at all. I agree with your premise, which is that D’Antoni has gotten a raw deal from the fanbase as soon as it was announced that he wasn’t Phil Jackson, but the Lakers are more or less a public trust and his sister has all but come out and agreed with that. Even if the popular opinion that he is the worst head coach on the planet is 100% incorrect, sadly that popular opinion must be taken into acount in making the decision to keep him or letting him go. Other than the 4 mil, why the hell would he want to stay anyway? There is no question that the injuries alone crippled any chance he had to be successful both seasons and that this season, we didn’t have a healthy point guard who could defend or a big who could man the paint defensively, not that MDA would use that kind of big properly anyway. It’s about the future. I’m sure the Lakers will bring back some of the guys from this roster, so there will be a bit of continuity, but I believe that a young, smart head coach should be hired for the future. Because we won’t contend again next season is even more reason to let him go because we want the players to grow with a new coach much like OKC has grown with Scott Brooks and the Heat have grown with Eric Spoelstra. I have no ill will toward MDA. He got the sh*t end of the stick and has had to suffer with fans such as the one who posted directly above me. He’s just not the right fit for this team, this city and these fans.

      • tate793

        tate793 says... 2:30 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Obviously, you didn’t keenly observe Muck-it-Up Mike’s career. Great team in PHO but he couldn’t get out of the WCF. No injuries there, to speak of, great pieces, great point guard, but he makes the brilliant decision to chuck it all for the bright lights of Broadway. Get’s on the big stage there, and, whadaya know? He spanks the monkey again and quits on his 2nd team -- a loser, again. Then, his mental IQ doppleganger calls him up and offers him $4M to bring his bum hip here. Now, just what the hell would make you expect anything short of the illustrious f*ckups you saw in PHO and NY? Oh, I know, you’re a keen observer!

        • keen observer

          keen observer says... 3:04 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          That’s just your negative spin on him.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 5:19 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            He spun his own tale. Even tried to blame it on his “drugs”. But, there’s one thing, for sure -- he certainly kicked the milk bucket over in our barn. To me, one would have to really spin MDA’s coaching career to come up with an optimistic outlook. He’s had 6 season above .500 and 6 seasons below .500. He coached the Lakers to the worst season in LA history. He coached the Lakers to the worst defeat in the history in LA history. This is a team that prided itself in the “big man” based offenses. Knowing all of that to be true -- combined with the fact that he has one of the worse post season records in NBA coaching history, there leaves a lot to be desired in the basketball acumen of the person that hired him. And contrary to the vitriol verbiage you spew, it wasn’t a joint collaboration -- it was a unilateral decision on the part of the Buss Boy.

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 7:27 PM on April 16, 2014

              As in taking lesser talent and making them winners in Phoenix with an innovative, exciting offense that has become the standard in the NBA, only no one has ever copied it? As in being asked by Coach K to be an assistant on USA Basketball teams? As in being the force behind Linsanity? As in not having any continuity with the Knicks because they busted up the team to acquire Carmelo and even less continuity with the Lakers? You just take the simple approach which is that because he never won a championship, he’s a lousy coach. He’s had some very bad luck, including Amare and Diaw being suspended vs. the Spurs to wreck his chances in that series. You hate him because he’s not Phil Jackson and that’s pretty much it, Pal.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 5:41 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            And, if you say that’s just my “negative spin” then why don’t you set the record straight and explain what really happened, Sport?

        • yellofever

          yellofever says... 3:18 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          ok let’s just settle this who really is an idiot discussion

          coach mike- psychobabble motor mouth who says idiot things every time he opens his mouth to the press, alienates players, stubborn unwilling to adjust his system, gives up all time worst one game loss to clips in laker history AND worst all time record in laker history… verdict: IDIOT

          jim- not the best dressed, not best public speaker, questionable coaching hires (arguably not his but dads), new CBA fkkd him, stern fkkd him.. still deserves a fair shake and more time until we can judge. verdict- TBD

          • 63Footer

            63Footer says... 3:25 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            In this particular debate, there is hope for Jimmy Jam. D’Antoni is what he is and always will be forever and forever.

            The TRUE debate is who is more truly responsible for what’s happened: D’Antoni, or D’Antoni’s mustache?

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever says... 2:31 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        I actually agree with 99% of what keen posted except MDA isn’t totally blameless because of the injuries he’s done plenty wrong to earn his scorn than many have documented over and over in here.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 says... 2:37 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Hey, maybe we could trade Kobe to NY for Amare? Salaries about the same (might have to give Amare an extra year). Is Shawn Marion a Free Agent this year? Yeah, I know I’m a SA, lol!

    • LRob

      LRob says... 2:52 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      The one thing I agree with in LT’s plea on behalf of MDA is that it makes no sense to fire him without having a replacement in place.

  • LakerTom (admin) 8:09 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    The Lakers: Who’s staying? Who’s going? 

    BY MARK MEDINA FOR THE LA DAILY NEWS

    The Lakers will soon embark on a long-term project that seems just as arduous as fixing a home in need of hefty repairs.

    Wednesday’s season finale between the Lakers (26-55) and San Antonio Spurs (62-19) at AT&T Center precedes many questions about a campaign in which they missed the playoffs and posted the franchise’s worst record since moving to Los Angeles 54 years ago.

    The issues go beyond Mike D’Antoni’s coaching future, Kobe Bryant’s health and a first-round draft pick.

    With Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre the lone players under contract for the 2014-15 season, which of the 12 pending free agents on the Lakers will stay? Below is a look at how those players fit into the team’s future:

     

    Kent Bazemore, small forward — averaged 13.1 points and 3.1 assists in 28 minutes through 23 games after arriving two months ago via trade from Golden State.

    Pluses: The Lakers love Bazemore’s endless defensive and fast-break energy, and eagerness to learn.

    Minuses: He remains an undeveloped project, with weaknesses including shot selection and erratic playmaking.

    Outlook: The Lakers will likely extend Bazemore’s $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. They believe his work ethic and athleticism will spark improvement.

     

    MarShon Brooks, small forward — averaged 6.4 points in 12.9 minutes through 17 games after arriving two months ago via trade from the Warriors

    Pluses: Brooks showed an occasional scoring touch, a skill stemmed from creating his own shot and having the courage to take them.

    Minuses: Brooks quickly fell out of the rotation because of high-volume shooting and inconsistent defense.

    Outlook: Brooks will be left trying to attract what would mark his sixth NBA team in the past four years.

     

    Jordan Farmar, point guard — averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists in 22.3 minutes through 40 games.

    Pluses: Despite limitations due to injuries, Farmar provided an immediate impact with both scoring and playmaking. The Lakers like how he matured since his first stint with the purple and gold (2006-2010).

    Minuses: He missed a combined 31 games because of two separately torn hamstrings and a strained right groin, which Farmar attributes to a shifting pelvis.

    Outlook: The Lakers want to re-sign Farmar, mindful he would be necessary insurance for Nash, who is expected to stay so his $9.8 million salary gets off the Lakers’ books for the 2015 offseason. Farmar would love to have a long-term future here.

     

    Pau Gasol, center — averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds through 31.4 minutes in 60 games.

    Pluses: Gasol thrived as the Lakers’ offensive focal point despite his reservations about D’Antoni’s fast-paced system.

    Minuses: Concerns persist about Gasol’s long-term health and poor defense.

    Outlook: The Lakers and Gasol are both lukewarm about reuniting. The Lakers will not pay Gasol near the $19.3 million he made this season. Despite Gasol’s versatility, the Lakers also believe his best years are behind him. Gasol will not return if he fields offers from championship-caliber teams and/or D’Antoni is retained. Still, Bryant’s support and Gasol’s affection for this franchise could ensure he has not expended his nine lives with the Lakers.

     

    Xavier Henry, small forward — averaged 10 points in 21.1 minutes through 43 games.

    Pluses: Henry quickly made an impression with his athleticism, aggressiveness and pain threshold.

    Minuses: The Lakers are concerned with occasionally wreckless play on his drives to the basket, which partly led to injuries to his left wrist and right knee.

    Outlook: Assuming Henry stays healthy, the Lakers believe he can develop steadily at a pretty decent price tag.

     

    Jordan Hill, power forward — averaged 9.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 20.7 minutes through 70 games.

    Pluses: Hill provided energy in rebounding, putbacks and defense.

    Minuses: Hill never became the mid-range shooter D’Antoni envisioned, and his energy waned when he logged heavy minutes.

    Outlook: The Lakers like Hill, but he will leave if D’Antoni is retained. Hill prefers to play in a system that puts a higher premium on big men.

     

    Wesley Johnson, small forward/power forward — averaged nine points and 4.3 rebounds in 28.3 minutes through 78 games.

    Pluses: Johnson occassionally defended well at both the small and power forwards with athleticism.

    Minuses: Johnson lacked consistency with shooting and court awareness.

    Outlook: The Lakers are iffy about Johnson. They like his speed, but question his work ethic.

     

    Chris Kaman, center — averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds through 18.9 minutes in 30 games.

    Pluses: Despite falling out of D’Antoni’s rotation, Kaman filled in seamlessly anytime Gasol missed games because of injuries.

    Minuses: Kaman provided little on defense and ruffled feathers when he lamented his lack of playing time.

    Outlook: The Lakers and Kaman are expected to part ways by mutual agreement.

     

    Ryan Kelly, small forward/power forward — averaged 7.9 points in 22 minutes through 58 games.

    Pluses: Kelly showed a nice outside shooting touch and improved athleticism.

    Minuses: Kelly needs to add more bulk so he can better withstand the physical rigors of the NBA.

    Outlook: The Lakers are expected to re-sign Kelly because of his shooting and basketball IQ. It helps that he made $490,180 this season and would likely only need a slight raise to keep him as a restricted free agent.

     

    Kendall Marshall, point guard — averaged 7.8 points and 8.8 assists through 29 minutes in 53 games.

    Pluses: Marshall became a pleasant surprise with his passing and outside shooting, despite nursing an unorthodox stroke.

    Minuses: Marshall played inconsistenly after the Lakers traded Steve Blake two months ago to Golden State partly to give Marshall more minutes to develop.

    Outlook: The Lakers will likely exercise their team option on Marshall despite his weaknesses. It helps that Marshall’s non-guaranteed contract will cost a $915,242, far from the NBA’s average salary of $5.5 million.

     

    Jodie Meeks, shooting guard — averaged 15.7 points in a team-leading 33.2 minutes through 76 games.

    Pluses: Meeks becamse the Lakers’ most improved player with his shooting, driving and defense.

    Minuses: Meeks seemed uncomfortable with handling the ball when the Lakers’ flurry of point guards sat out with numerous injuries.

    Outlook: The Lakers love Meeks’ skillset and attitude. They are mindful, however, that Meeks could attract strong interest elsewhere.

     

    Nick Young, small forward — averaged a team-leading 17.9 points in 28.3 minutes through 63 games.

    Pluses: Young entertained the Lakers with his dramatic scoring and playful personality.

    Minuses: The Lakers pull out their hair out when Young plays too much one-on-one and treats defense as an afterthought.

    Outlook: His future appears uncertain since he will opt out of his $1.2 million player option in hopes of securing a longer and more lucrative deal here. Young is willing to take a reduced salary compared to what he could attract elsewhere so he can stay.

    http://www.dailynews.com/article/LA/20140415/SPORTS/140419511

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    • yellofever

      yellofever says... 8:56 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      it is absolutely incomprehensible to me why anyone would want to even entertain the thought of pau returning for even a lower contract. people like MM need to face up to the fact his relationship in LA has completely run it’s course. no ands ifs or buts

      the thought of pau returning in a laker uniform is just repulsive and should make everyone cringe

      • NBA4ever

        NBA4ever says... 11:46 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Why has his relationship in LA run it’s course? Regardless of price name a better big man free agent available? I don’t care one way or another if he comes back to the Lakers but to make that sort of comment you have to back it up with logic and at this point you have none because we don’t know what his price will be vs the available big men in free agency. His last two years are not any indication of how he would play the next three because there are too many factors.

        • yellofever

          yellofever says... 3:03 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          dude u want logic killin me right now.. I don’t want no d**n pansy quitters on this team. hope that logical enough for you

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 says... 10:26 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Wheee! Can’t wait to pick and choose from these guys! On a serious note, kinda like to keep Meeksie and Nikky. LT you do a great job on this Blog! May not always agree with, but you do a great service!

      • LakerTom says... 12:02 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Thanks, DJ. Hope our Yankees can help get us through the summer.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 says... 12:06 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Surely better than our Lakers, lol, sigh…. We get CC and Nova pitching better and we look pretty good, I think.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 12:05 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I’m just hoping that Jimmy, Mitch, & Pat Haden are waiting on the LAX tarmac tonight when the team plane gets in from Texas. Get rid of this dude Kiffin style. Then we can move on to a new coach and figure out who to keep or let go. Bad part is that we have to wait until the GSW/Mark Jackson thing plays out. Uptempo offense while placing an importance on defense…we should be camped out just outside of the GSW campus to snag him as soon as he walks out.

    • NBA4ever

      NBA4ever says... 12:24 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Keen no one on this blog is an “average Lakers fan” so please don’t disrespect anyone or this blog. This is graduate school for Laker fans….No Kyra Sedgwicks posting in here only some Jack and Denzel types.

      • mclyne32 says... 1:48 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        That’s what “Keen” is all about- disrespecting Laker Fans.
        It’s best just to ignore him/her.

      • keen observer

        keen observer says... 2:32 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        The attitudes are no different than the ones you hear on the radio. In fact, in some cases, they are worse. 90% of this blog is about how horrible MDA is, how incompetent Jim Buss is and stupid ping pong balls for the right to pick a crapshoot. That’s about as “average” as it gets in my book. Tom is about the only fan in here with a reasonable perspective.

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever says... 2:39 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Yea because no one elaborates on those points? I think we have been very specific why those issues matter to us with specific data, excerpts, and rational as to why we don’t like MDA, why Jimmy worries us, and why wouldn’t you want the best odds possible in the draft in a wasted year with not one single thing to build on moving forward. Besides you come in here at the lowest point, not much to get into but those three sad themes.

          • keen observer

            keen observer says... 2:48 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Some bloggers discuss it intelligently, but most don’t. Rarely is it discussed from a cyclical standpoint with an understanding that times like this just happen. All I read is blaming, which gets real old. The reasons why Jim worries you is 90% guesswork. Where’s the credit when he deserves it? Sure, it’s posted occasionally, but it is by far the minority viewpoint. Average is exactly the attitude and it’s the same on talk radio with the same reasoning.

      • AK27

        AK27 says... 2:35 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Hey, the rest of you might not be “average” Laker fans but I am wayyyyy below average, thus dragging y’all down ! :D

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever says... 2:41 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Amit you are an integral part of the blog putting logic into perspective or whatever the hell your talking about that is beyond me sometimes. :huh:

          • AK27

            AK27 says... 2:44 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            LOL, thanks man ..I am just aware of my level of knowledge relative to the rest of you guys..nothing that worries me, just a fact..and more for me to learn :)

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 5:48 PM on April 16, 2014

            • 63Footer

              63Footer says... 6:23 PM on April 16, 2014

              Drugs? Who has drugs?

  • LakerTom (admin) 8:08 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Lakers Front Office Is in Good Hands 

    wwq

    BY LAKERTOM FOR LAKERHOLICS.NET

    I find it incredibly naïve and ignorant when bloggers complain about the Lakers front office’s ability to make the right personnel picks when it comes to the draft, trades, and free agency.  These worrywarts and whiners babble on about Jimmy replacing all the team’s scouts with Chaz the bartender and point to the team’s recent trades for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash as proof of the front office’s incompetency, ignoring  the fact most of them had nothing but high fives and praise when the trades were announced.

    There is no question neither the Dwight Howard or Steve Nash trades have worked out for the Lakers but the truth is both trades were calculated gambles with huge upsides in the form of NBA championships which could well have worked out had it not been for a plague of injuries nobody could have predicted.  While there were a few doubters who viewed Dwight as a clown and Steve as one injury from retirement, the general view and universal opinion was that the Lakers had pulled off another championship coup.

    The other major trade by the Lakers front office that didn’t work out well was the ill-fated CP3 trade, which ended up costing the Lakers power forward Lamar Odom.  Had David Stern not voided this trade for “basketball reasons,” the Lakers might very well already have won their 17th NBA championship.  While that’s all moot now, the Chris Paul trade stands out as indisputable proof Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak know what they’re doing.

    While the last three big trade gambles didn’t work out, Lakers fans only need to look back to the Pau Gasol trade that produced the Lakers last two NBA championships to realize how good the Lakers front office really is.  Or how about the trade that stole Jordan Hill from the Rockets?  Or the recent trade that netted Kent Bazemore from the Warriors.  The idea Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak don’t know what they’re doing or the Lakers don’t have good scouting or can’t make smart personnel moves is ridiculous.

    Bloggers who complain about the Lakers draft picks should remember what they did with the only other lottery pick they had in the last 25 years, when they drafted Andrew Bynum #10 pick in the 2005 draft. Drew was an important part of the Lakers winning back-to-back championships. His selection showed Jim Buss was not afraid to make a bold move and had excellent instincts as Drew was an All-Star starter and considered to be the #2 center in the NBA before injuries and motivational issues derailed him.

    The Lakers free agent decisions also confirm that the front office knows how to pick the right players.  The roster Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak put together this year was one of the best ever done on a shoe string budget in my opinion.  Many of these players may not be starters on a championship team but they could also be the best bench in the league.  Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson, Kendall Marshall, and Jordan Farmar are further proof the Lakers front office knows what they’re doing.

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    • keen observer

      keen observer says... 8:41 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      How can you say that, Tom? We’re about to go 26-56. There’s all the proof you need! I’m kidding. Sadly, your post is refreshing. Posts like this should be the norm.

    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 says... 8:46 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Time will tell my friend, time will tell. I agree the Bench was really special, now if only we can find 5 quality starters.

      • LakerTom says... 8:51 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        This summer -- a Top 6 draft pick and cap space for 3 max players the next three summers will get us 4 starters.

        • keen observer

          keen observer says... 9:52 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Very few people in here will be satisfied with anything short of contending for a championship, so you shouldn’t be talking about the next three summers.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 1:08 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            That’s what the LakeShow is all about. Contending for a championship. If you can’t understand that, then maybe you’re misplaced.

            .

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 6:50 AM on April 16, 2014

              Obviously you don’t understand that there have actually been periods of time in between championships.

            • mclyne32 says... 8:39 AM on April 16, 2014

              @Tate:
              :thanku:

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 9:34 AM on April 16, 2014

              Gee, how shocking to see that you don’t get it either.

            • mclyne32 says... 1:51 PM on April 16, 2014

              Oh I do get it.
              I get it that you think that your opinion is the only one that matters and that you always know what you are talking about.

              You are a joke of a blogger and not even worthy of being labeled a troll.

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 2:40 PM on April 16, 2014

              Sorry you feel that way, mclyne. Maybe if everything you posted wasn’t the exact same crap, I wouldn’t be this way. By the way, everyone who posts an opinion thinks he’s right. So I’m not alone.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 10:27 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Know something, Mr Keen, I’ve seen more basketball than you’ve got brain cells. From the Minneapolis Auditorium -- I saw Elgin Baylor’s first game as a rookie, to, Pau Gasol’s chagrined expression on the scoreboard the other night. So, you telling me what I obviously don’t understand anything Laker (with exception, of course, how you somehow pass yourself off as a fan), is as absurd as the apparent lack of family planning wherever it is some people come from.

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 says... 10:29 AM on April 16, 2014

              Now, now, now, let’s play nice boyz or I am gonna have to sit between you, lol!

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 11:23 AM on April 16, 2014

              Yet you expect championships every year Mr. Tate? It seems like someone who has seen as much basketball as you have would understand that the Lakers have had down times. You just embarrass yourself when you say stuff like that.

            • NBA4ever

              NBA4ever says... 11:55 AM on April 16, 2014

              Tate expected a championship this season and stuck to it till it was more than obvious because of injuries we were not going even make the playoffs let alone compete. So how old you are and how much basketball you’ve seen is irrelevant when you have irrational expectations just because that is what the Lakers are all about which I agree with but you have to be reasonable and patient because there will always be rebuilding years.

        • DJ2KB24

          DJ2KB24 says... 10:30 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Let’s hope!

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 says... 10:32 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            We can get a good pick and several Superstar and Star players sooner than later.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 10:39 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

        • NBA4ever

          NBA4ever says... 11:50 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          I’m with Tom on this one. It’s going to take the next three years and I have no doubt that we will be in contention with a great team. I’m not a Jimmy fan but he isn’t Al Davis picking the players and signing them and the Lakers are not the Raiders as players will want to come to the Lakers.

          • LakerTom says... 12:03 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Right on, Sean.

          • NBA4ever

            NBA4ever says... 12:19 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            The same people who call themselves “patriots” speak of the doom and gloom of the United States because they don’t like the president, yet in relation to the rest of the world we are humming along. It’s the same with the Lakers, I don’t like Jimmy but I believe in the Lakers and I understand it’s a process, our problems only seem so big because we rarely have down times. I’m looking forward to the next run, every single other non-playoff team wishes they had our problems.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 1:44 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            @ Sean

            True, how old I am is irrelevant. But, how many games I’ve seen isn’t because there was always the effort and always the desire to compete. While rebuilding years do occur, these last two years were not definitive rebuilding years so much as they were a two man cluster f*ck. The resources were in place to compete. But, from the hiring of Mike Brown, the CP3 fiasco (and yes, the timing was a rookie mistake that could have been avoided), the spurning of Phil Jackson, the hiring of D’Antoni, the misuse of Dwight, Pau and Jordan Hill, letting Dwight walk without getting anything in return, mismanagement of the roster, alienation of the fans, asinine media comments, NO F*CKING DEFENSE, Kobe’s extension, inability to tank properly, failure to obtain a mediocre draft pick for Pau at the trade deadline -- is not how one judiciously embarks upon a championship quest. I say again, this wasn’t a rebuild year, it was a f*ck up year! Led by the two biggest idiots to ever say the word basketball.

            • NBA4ever

              NBA4ever says... 2:12 PM on April 16, 2014

              I don’t think realistically the last two years had the pieces in place to compete for a ring. Last year we had a good team and started clicking at the end but in no way were they going to compete. This season was a rebuilding year no matter the injuries or not. Coaching decisions are not easy or definitive if they are give me 3 coaches available right now that you know for sure would get this team to compete? Kobe’s extension was dumb in some ways but in the big picture it may not be as we are rebuilding anyways. You don’t know their plans with Pau or why they did or didn’t trade him as if that was purely their choice. It was a throw away year as will be next season as well.

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 4:38 PM on April 16, 2014

              I wouldn’t even say we were “clicking” at the end despite the 28-12 record. Most of those wins were dog fights and a lot of them were against mediocre teams. The record itself was good at the end, but no way were we going deep in the playoffs.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 1:34 AM on April 17, 2014

              Funny -- I seriously doubt that the FO, the players or the fans thought it was a “rebuilding” year with the starting lineup that included Dwight, Pau, Kobe, Nash and Metta. Bringing in Nash’s old coach after flirting with Phil, in what universe does that spell “rebuilding” year? You’re just singing the GHE “Oh Woe Is Me” theme song..

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 9:05 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I loved the trade for Dwight.
      Didn’t love the decision to bring in a coach who couldn’t properly utilize 2 of the best big men in the league.
      Didn’t love that it cost us Dwight.
      Didn’t love that we couldn’t even muster a draft pick out of the whole fiasco.

      Loved the trade for Jordan Hill.
      Don’t love that once again, the coach has no clue on how to utilize him.
      Don’t love that he’ll probably walk too because of it.

      Loved the CP3 trade.
      Don’t love the role that both Jimmy & Jeanie admit he played in screwing it up.

      Don’t love the needless over-payment for Kobe’s final 2 years that will prevent us from adding a good role player or 2.

      The black uniforms are cool…I guess…

      • mclyne32 says... 8:38 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        :exactly: :exactly: :exactly:

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 says... 10:29 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        MS, am on board with ya.

      • keen observer

        keen observer says... 11:37 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Dwight never wanted to come here. To say that MDA cost us Dwight is not only speculation, but it is probably more likely that he would have walked anyway.

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade says... 11:52 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Dwight listed Dantoni and his “system” as one of his reasons for leaving. Eliminate that part of the equation and add in the extra year & $30mill….I’m guessing that increases the probability of him staying. But whatever the case, our front office didn’t do what it took to hold on to one of the top players in the league. Anyway you wanna look at it…it was a failure.

          • LakerTom says... 12:05 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            The way I look at it, we dodged a silver bullet.
            Dwight was never what we expected.
            He is not a good successor to Kobe.
            And Kobe was the main reason why he left.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade says... 12:08 PM on April 16, 2014

              You can feel like we dodged a bullet.
              But the fact of the matter is that the FO wanted to keep him.
              And they failed in that endeavor.

              If you want to look at from your perspective, then they failed by trading for him in the first place.

              Either way, it wasn’t good.

            • LakerTom says... 12:10 PM on April 16, 2014

              I always said he was not a good fit for the Lakers.
              I agree it was a mistake by the front office to trade for him.
              The only positive was possibly avoiding giving Drew a max contract.

            • MongoSlade

              MongoSlade says... 12:14 PM on April 16, 2014

              The premise of this thread was to extol all the positive things that FO has accomplished recently. YOU listed the Howard deal as one of those accomplishments. But anyway you wanna look at it, it was a failure.

        • LakerTom says... 12:08 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

          The ultimate irony is that Dwight chose to go to Houston to play in almost the exact same spread pick-and-roll system -- with a star shooting guard who plays terrible defense. It wasn’t the system. It was Kobe Bryant that he couldn’t handle. Goofus!

          • NBA4ever

            NBA4ever says... 12:10 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Dwight is an idiot who was going to leave no matter what because he couldn’t handle the intensity of the Lakers and Kobe. He just wants to be a clown and have “fun”, that is ok. I don’t blame anyone for Dwight leaving not even Dwight, it is what it is and it doesn’t matter moving forward.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 1:53 PM on April 16, 2014

              No, the idiot is Jim Buss and Mike D’Antoni. If we’re gonna call names, lets get them accurate. Dwight is going to the playoffs. Plus, if Dwight playing in the exact same system is the ultimate irony, what does that tell you about the system here? Houston is going to the playoffs in a #4 seeded slot. We’ve lost more games than they’ve won and just finished the worst season in Los Angeles Laker history.

              Dwight’s not the clown here. He has no problem handling intensity, that’s just some idiotic rationalization of the ineptness of the FO to keep him. Silver bullet, my a*s, open your eyes and look around. Dwight’s the one that dodged the silver bullet.

          • tate793

            tate793 says... 1:57 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            It wasn’t Kobe Bryant he couldn’t handle, it was Mike D’Antoni. Besides, bottom line, Dwight’s team will still be playing next week, we’ll be sitting at home.

            • NBA4ever

              NBA4ever says... 2:04 PM on April 16, 2014

              Houston being the #4 slot has more to do with the rest of the team and the coaching than Dwight. I do think Dwight made the right choice for himself, but you can’t say he “has no problem handling intensity” that is not true at all. He wasn’t staying no matter what the front office did. They could have fired MDA on the spot but the Laker lore and Kobe scarred him away. I’d blame Kobe more than MDA or Jimmy. Dwight isn’t Laker material period. Dwight made the best short term decision and decision for his own personality and desires but unlike Cleveland the Lakers have a realistic chance to win a ring before Dwight does.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 1:27 AM on April 17, 2014

              So, I guess you think if you played Asik all year and not Dwight, they would still be the 4th seed?

  • keen observer

    keen observer 5:12 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Nick Young appeared on ESPN LA 710 this morning and when asked by Mark Willard whether D’Antoni deserves another chance, he defended his coach:

    “Yeah, I think he got dealt a short hand. At the beginning of the year we started off well and you could see as time went past everybody started getting hurt and we even started playing with seven guys. But I’m not the GM, I’m not Kobe, I can’t give that say so but I believe coach is a good coach.”

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    • p ang

      p ang says... 5:36 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Between Young and Gasol, who would you believe when they say the coach is good?

      • keen observer

        keen observer says... 7:50 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Are you asking who has a better opinion? It seems like everyone in here except Tom is “right” about Jim Buss and Mike D’Antoni. Would you believe you guys or Kevin Ding?

        • p ang

          p ang says... 9:41 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Better? Just more credible. A guy who has credentials as a winner or a journeyman who still finding out how that works.

          Silly question since you are part of the “you guys” so your opinions too are not to be believed and ignored just because you’re not KDing? Tom’s opinion is just one more of the guys. Even his calling people “naive and ignorant” (see above). Hey its his blog, even the blog nazi can’t ban him for his contentious defense of his unpopular stand.

          • keen observer

            keen observer says... 9:50 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

            Unpopular, but objective. His opinions carry a lot more weight with me than the opinions of average Laker fans you can listen to or read anywhere. Tom’s opinions are more credible because he looks at the entire picture and doesn’t simply assess blame for things going wrong. In terms of Nick’s vs. Pau’s opinions, at least Swaggy P’s opinions take into account that which the entire anti-MDA faction refuses to acknowledge as being the main reason for this horrible season and last season as well, which are all the injuries. In that sense, Nick’s opinions are much more credible than Pau’s.

            • p ang

              p ang says... 10:45 PM on April 15, 2014

              The “anti-MDA” are not that because of the injuries. Nobody here is that naive and ignorant. We are that because of the way he coaches- variable starting 5, erratic substitution, strange DNP-CD, moronic statements (i.e. cheer for another team), out of position players, undying love for injured Nash, unknowing of his team’s standing, small ball game, all offense no defense gameplan, etc. Blaming injuries on a coach is not what the average blogger here does.

              Objective? Tom? You don’t know him then, His passion of the game colors his view to an extent few match. Thats why we all like him. He’s one of us.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 4:19 AM on April 16, 2014

              “0″.

              Do you know what that is Mr Observer? That’s the number of rodent;s rectums a Laker fan (average, or otherwise), could give about how much weight the average Laker fan’s opinion carries with you.

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 8:22 AM on April 16, 2014

              The truth hurts with you 2, doesn’t it. If ignorance and naivete doesn’t play into it, then you haven’t been reading the anti-MDA posts all season. Tom’s passion simply looks at the positives as well as the negatives. Because 90% of Lakers fans are so negative, or as you call it “popular opinons,” perhaps he has to over compensate sometimes to make his points because nobod else is giving anyone credit when its due.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 2:14 PM on April 16, 2014

              I repeat: “0″.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 5:59 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I don’t blame Nick for saying it.
      The hillbilly saved his career…he owes him alot.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 says... 6:00 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        What do you suppose Nikky will get $$ from us or other?

        • mclyne32 says... 6:05 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          It all depends upon which FAs we sign this summer first.
          I am guessing $5 a year from us and maybe $8 from someone else.

          • keen observer

            keen observer says... 6:06 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

            $8 mil from someone else. LOL!!!! I see you understand the new CBA real well.

            • mclyne32 says... 6:07 PM on April 15, 2014

              I see you are still infatuated with me.
              There are MANY dumb GMs who overpay players every single year.

            • mclyne32 says... 6:08 PM on April 15, 2014

              I bet you look like one of these girls:

            • mclyne32 says... 6:20 PM on April 15, 2014

            • mclyne32 says... 6:31 PM on April 15, 2014

              Upon further thought, along with Keen’s brilliant reasoning, it will probably be more like $3 mil from us and $5 mil from someone else.

        • keen observer

          keen observer says... 6:05 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          Why would you even want him after he defended MDA?

          • yellofever

            yellofever says... 8:59 AM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

            haha yeh now I’m having second thoughts. anybody that defends MDA deserves serious consideration to be fired next.. if he was smart he would stay out of the line of fire.

            first he jacks up 40 pts and beats Utah then he celebrates now he’s backing up MDA

            WTF man. now he’s really p*****g me off. get him outta here!!

        • MongoSlade

          MongoSlade says... 6:08 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          It’s hard to say what he’ll get.
          Depends on who else is on the market.
          For us, I think the years are more crucial than the dollars.

    • Jamie Sweet

      Jamie Sweet says... 6:26 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Hey Keen, you dude Aaron Gordon declared for the draft. You’re right, he does look like Blake Griffin but more like old school Marvel Harry Osborne with rippled red look.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/draft2014/story/_/id/10787404/arizona-wildcats-aaron-gordon-nick-johnson-entering-nba-draft

      • keen observer

        keen observer says... 7:48 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        He’s athletic like Griffin, but doesn’t look as strong and has a bigger wingspan. He’s very young though.

  • DJ2KB24

    DJ2KB24 9:53 AM on April 15, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Face it fans, Utah won, we lost. Think of that soon in June when we get plain and others get Wiggins, Exum, Eblid (sp), etc. Oh, but we beat the Celtics twice, yea! That will also mean alot in June! As you can tell, I’m not THE happy camper!

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    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade says... 11:35 AM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      I’ll bet money that at least one player taken between 6 -20 will turn out to be better than one of the guys taken in the top 5. The problem is finding those guys. Helps if you have a top notch scouting dept…like the one we fired during the lockout. Also an area not limited by the salary cap. Oh well….

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 says... 11:45 AM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        Very true on both counts!

      • keen observer

        keen observer says... 4:34 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

        What makes you think the Lakers’ scouts don’t know what they are doing?

        • NuggetsCountry

          NuggetsCountry says... 4:47 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          :cheers: :basketball:

        • Jamie Sweet

          Jamie Sweet says... 6:20 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

          This from the fellah who was just a week ago de-valued scouting a la supporting Jimbo’s moves in firing our championship team building scouting department? Weren’t you haranguing everyone about how scouting is overrated?

          To your point, though, I’d still say that, given the quality of picks we’ve had over the last 5 years the picks have still be pretty lousy not to mention all late second rounders, not a lot to work with. Here is what we’ve done since the lockout when the

          2013 -- Ryan Kelly @ 48: the best yet
          2012 -- Robert Sacre @ 60: the fact that he plays says enough, always pick a big from Gonzaga if there’s one on the board.
          2011 -- Ater Majok @ 58, Andrew Goudelock @ 46 (mini-Mamba!!!! not) AND Darrius Morris @ 41. A trifecta of useless.

          I would say that the upcoming selection will either be the coming our party for the scouting department or another shape in the pattern of mediocrity, depending on where on the board our pick falls. By that I mean the earlier it falls, the “easier” the choice becomes.

          If Wiggins and Embiid are both available I think we’ll learn more about the identity and philosophy of the Laker brain trust than about the scouting dept. Finding an impactful player in the first round isn’t a guarantee, but finding one in the second round is a feather in the cap for your scouts. A similar 3 year stretch with our previous department:

          2003 -- Luke Walton @ 35: Helped that team to the NBA Finals his rookie year, 2 time NBA champion. First round pick that year @ 24: Brian Cook.
          2004 -- Marcus Douhtit @ 56: Who? First round pick @ 27: Sasha Vujacic. Hilarious 3 point “specialist” whose greatest asset was his covert warfare he engaged in every second he was on the floor. Boy do I miss the Machine’s defense.
          2005 -- 2 second rounders Ronny Turiaf @ 37 and Von Wafer @ 39. Gonzaga bigs, pick ‘em if they’re there.

          But Marc Gasol at 48 was the crowning achievement of the Laker scouting department. In three years we’ve gotten Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre. I’m not saying that there’s a Marc Gasol in every draft, but the odds of finding one seem to have gone down, so far. The draft in 2016, when we only have a second rounder, might truly be the next shot the scouting department gets to shine.

          • mclyne32 says... 6:23 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

            TRUTH.
            He will probably come back with,”you don’t know what you are talking about because you want The Hillybilly gone.”
            :yahoo: :yahoo:

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 7:44 PM on April 15, 2014

              How old are you? 14?

          • keen observer

            keen observer says... 7:38 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

            How many teams regularly pick mid to late second rounders who make it in the NBA? You guys go out of your way to trash Jim Buss for whatever ridiculous reason. So original.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 1:13 AM on April 16, 2014

              Are you constipated, or something?

            • keen observer

              keen observer says... 11:25 AM on April 16, 2014

              Obviously you can’t answer my question because the answer is no one.

            • tate793

              tate793 says... 2:10 PM on April 16, 2014

              Don’t know what your point is, Mr Keen, but you question is a clear indication of your lack of astuteness. Not many teams regularly pick mid to late second rounders, period.

              If you’re touting Jim Buss as a draft guru because of Ryan Kelly, then I suggest you consider the fact that he was proffered to be a deadly 3 pt shooter (how’d that work out for ya?) or, the much bally-hood stretch 4.

              If you saying that mid to late second rounders don’t pan out in the NBA, I suggest you take a look at the accomplishments of players like Paul Milsap, Amir Johnson, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic, Chandler Parsons, Marc Gasol, Lance Stepenson, Mota Ellis, Isiah Thomas and Nikola Pekovic before you continue to embarras yourself.

            • Jamie Sweet

              Jamie Sweet says... 5:34 PM on April 16, 2014

              For the last 14 years, the Los Angeles Lakers.

              Sorry it took awhile to answer, been a-working.

              Here’s an informative link:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Los_Angeles_Lakers_first_and_second_round_draft_picks

              Since the year 2000 we have pick 8 players in the first round. In that same time period we have also picked 17 players in the second round. So, especially when we were winning (and had the old scouting regime) we pick in the second over double from the first.

              See, man, I can be open-minded and I don’t get personal or insulting like a few other folk around here. Bit I absolutely reserve the right to make what I feel are informed decisions about the team. It’s not going out of the way to find out what the truth is. And the truth in this instance informs us that the Lakers picked contributing second round picks at a decent clip, until recently…after the scouting department was fired…which is my only point.

              Jim has been involved with several great draft picks, but they consistently picked better with the old scouts given the info we currently have. :hello:

            • 63Footer

              63Footer says... 8:23 PM on April 16, 2014

              You were working Jamie? Shame on you!!! Go get a drink, ya anti-slacker! And get off my lawn!

            • Jamie Sweet

              Jamie Sweet says... 9:27 PM on April 16, 2014

              63 I hope you enjoyed your flaming bag of dookie I left on your lawn ;)

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC says... 8:17 PM on April 16, 2014 Log in to Reply

      But we still don’t know exactly where we’ll end up in the draft, we could even end up drawing the top pick in the lottery for all we know. Anything’s possible.

  • wesjoenixon

    wesjoenixon 9:47 AM on April 15, 2014 Log in to leave a Comment

    Has anyone else noticed that Elvira Mistress of the Dark isn’t aging? I saw her on “Counting Cars” and she looks as young as she was 30 years ago when I was in middleschool. She just might really be undead. https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1.0-9/10157318_806259076052930_6940024563851711620_n.jpg

    ||||| 0 I Like It! |||||
     
    • mclyne32 says... 1:44 PM on April 15, 2014 Log in to Reply

      Yes I have!
      If I were into really glowy chicks, she would be at the top of the list!

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