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Friday, August 31, 2007

Quick Laker Updates

While Kobe Bryant has been playing for Team USA in the FIBA Americas Tournament, Kobe has kept his Laker business and Team USA business separate. Mitch Kupchak was in attendance in Las Vegas for the USA vs. Uruguay game, but Kobe said he "hadn't really had a chance to speak to [him]." Hopefully this is not a bad sign.

And a quick note on the official Lakers website. Lakers.com will be relaunched in October with a new look. From the sneak peak that can be seen, looks like it will have a cleaner, more streamlined look to it, which looks nice.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Fallback Plan?

With the plans that the Lakers had of getting at least another star player to play beside Kobe Bryant close to being shut or shut down already, the Lakers possibly have another plan to fall back on. A trade with the Milwaukee Bucks would send Yi Jianlian, who doesn't want to report to the Bucks, and Bobby Simmons to the Lakers in return for Kwame Brown, Jordan Farmar, and a future first round pick with Sasha Vujacic or Maurice Evans being thrown in the deal if needed.

Normally, I don't think the Bucks would take the deal, but if Yi still refuses to play for them, they might be forced to take the deal if they get no other deals that fit what they are looking for. Still, the Bucks would get a nice up and coming point guard in Farmar, a decent post defender in Brown, and a first round pick to help in the future. The Lakers get someone who has been said to have a lot of potential in Yi (the Lakers were one of the few teams to work out with Yi, and were said to be impressed), and get a good defender in Simmons, which the Lakers definitely can use any defenders that they can get. Everything depends on what Yi ends up deciding to do.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kobe Changes Up His Shooting Technique

When watching Kobe in the Team USA games recently, I have noticed that Kobe's shot has looked a little different than I had seen before. Turns out, he did change his method of shooting.

"I went from more of a stiff release to more of a looser one. Just because I fractured my hand some years ago, and just the rotation of the ball after that has been a little different. So, I had to change it up a little bit."

Also, even though that Kobe is the best player in the NBA today, he still constantly has to prove that fact. CBS Sportsline does a nice job of illustrating that situation.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Former Lakers Coach Butch van Breda Kolff Dies

From Yahoo:

"Butch van Breda Kolff, who twice guided the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals, has died. He was 84. A longtime collegiate and pro coach, van Breda Kolff passed away in Spokane on Wednesday."

"'Although it was many years ago, and before my ownership of the team, Butch van Breda Kolff was an important part of the Lakers' success during our early years in Los Angeles,' Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss said. 'We're sorry to hear of his passing and would like to send our condolences to his family and friends.'"

"'Butch was a real basketball purist who believed in a team-oriented game, and I enjoyed playing for him very much,' Hall of Famer Jerry West said. 'Not only did I have two of the best seasons of my career while he was our coach, but our team enjoyed a high level of success as well, even though we unfortunately lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals both years. I'm saddened to hear that he's passed away and send my deepest sympathies to his family.'"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lakers Sign Larry Turner

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent center Larry Turner, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Turner, a 6-11 center from Tennessee State, averaged 5.8 points and 6.1 rebounds as a senior. Turner played for the Lakers 2007 Summer-Pro League team, averaging 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in five games.

Quiet, Maybe Too Quiet For The Lakers

It's been pretty quiet in Laker Land. Kobe Bryant hasn't said much lately. Sure, some think that Kobe will push for a trade after playing with Jason Kidd for the Olympic basketball qualifiers, but that's just talk at this point. Kobe did have a short talk with Rachel Nichols of ESPN though:

"Nichols: You said one day you wanted to be traded, you said you wanted to be a Laker for Life. There were different phone calls back and forth.

Bryant: I think a lot of people misinterpreted it. But that's water under the bridge to me, because going forward, we're handling our situation between ourselves, meaning the Lakers organization and myself. If things, if things were to be different, we both would have handled the situation a little differently.

Nichols: When you look back on that, are you thinking ... Oh God, what was I doing then?

Bryant: Yeah, sure, it was just frustration. Frustration gets the best of everybody."

Also from ESPN, J.A. Adande answered a few Laker questions in a chat session, most of them having to with Kobe:

"Lakeshow, Burbank: Is Bynum really looking "that good" this off season? Does he have the makings of the future of a franchise?

J.A. Adande: We heard Bynum was looking good last summer...from no less than Kobe Bryant. And we saw how that worked out. The thing is, 7-footers picked outside of the top 5 in the draft don't turn into franchise guys. There's a reason they were still available in the double-digit range. A notable exception in recent years was a guy who turned into an all-star...Jermaine O'Neal

CMo Detroit, MI: Do you see Kobe in training camp this year?

J.A. Adande: I think Kobe has to show up for his image's sake. The one thing he's always had going for him is his work ethic. He's always on the court, giving his all. If he's sitting at home in Newport Beach, it gets tough for even his most ardent supporters to have his back

malik (tucson): J.A., we have constantly been brainwashed into thinking Kobe had Shaq shipped out of L.A. Dr. Buss spoke publicly against this and yet the coverage has been the same as before...slighted. When will you and the media give this FACT as much run as you gave for the lies?

J.A. Adande: Here's the thing: I don't think Kobe marched into Buss' office and ordered Shaq shipped out. On the other hand, I think it was obvious that he was intrigued by the idea of doing this on his own. And the main thing is, he didn't exactly try to keep Buss from getting rid of Shaq. If he really wanted to play with Shaq, Buss would have kept him. He would have washed Kobe's cars that summer if it would have kept him in Lakerland

Matt (Reno, Nevada): Can the Lakers Acquire Jermaine O'Neal without having to give up Lamar Odom?

J.A. Adande: I think Odom would have to be a part of the deal to get it done. If for no other reason than for salary match purposes. But also, he's the only one of the tradeable assets (Kwame, Bynum) that has proven he can get it done in the league

Brad(NM): Being from L.A. I would guess you're in tune with the Lakers and the Kobe situation right? How do you think that situation plays out, especially now that they've made no moves other than Fisher? By the way, how does one get into the lounge?

J.A. Adande: I still think Kobe plays at least one more season in L.A. I wouldn't make a comparison to the KG situation because Minnesota was already out of the playoffs and attendance had slipped, so the T-Wolves had nothing to lose. The Lakers at least made the playoffs, and Kobe still pulls folks into Staples Center, so the Lakers can't part with him. And to get on the Lounge List, try e-mailing me."

And Hoopsworld sums up the Kobe summer experience.

As a side note, Team USA has its first game tonight in the Olympic qualifiers at 8 pm Pacific time against Venezuela. It will be interesting to see Kobe playing after the end of the last season.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Trade Between Co-tenants?

With the injury to Elton Brand, the Clippers lost a major player from their team for at least part of the season. They will need someone to step up at the power forward position, or trade for a power forward. It has been suggested that the Clippers trade Corey Maggette and filler (to make salaries match) to the Lakers for Kwame Brown. This trade gives the Clippers a short term fix for the power forward position, giving them a decent post defender who is on the last year of his contract, and gives the Lakers another scorer to go along with Kobe Bryant.

Question is, would both teams want this deal? For Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, absolutely! He would be out of his mind not to take this deal if it was offered. The Lakers would be getting a very good player and getting rid of someone who is not very good at all. For Clippers GM Elgin Baylor, I would highly doubt that he would take this deal, even with the Elton Brand injury. Kwame has a horrible time even catching the ball, let alone scoring, and would not help the Clippers very much. So even though Laker fans would definitely want this deal to go down, unfortunately, there's no way that this deal happens.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jermaine O'Neal Trade Commentary And Suggestion

Jermaine O'Neal recently said that his top two destinations are to the Los Angeles Lakers or to the New Jersey Nets, with the Lakers getting the nod over the Nets. Indiana has said that they want Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum for O'Neal. That is too much talent to give up, so the Lakers have not made that deal.

Larry Bird knows that the Lakers are desperate to get Kobe help, and that this is the Lakers' best opportunity available since Kevin Garnett is unavailable after going to Boston. With that said, Bird wants both the multi-faceted talent of Odom and the potential upside of Bynum if he is going to give up his star player.

What Bird needs to look at is the fact that O'Neal may start losing value as time goes on. O'Neal may be a star, but it takes one injury to significantly lower his value, causing any chance of trading away O'Neal to be pulled of the table. Then what? O'Neal walks away at the end of his contract with the Pacers not getting anything in return. It doesn't even have to be during the season that O'Neal gets hurt. We just recently heard about Elton Brand rupturing his Achilles tendon during a routine workout. If a similar injury happens to O'Neal, the Pacers are left with nothing.

The Lakers won't budge on giving up both Odom and Bynum. The Pacers will have to recognize that fact, and take what they can get. What do I suggest for a trade that is fair for both sides? The Pacers get Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Jordan Farmar for Jermaine O'Neal. With this deal, the Pacers still get Bynum that they wanted, an expiring contract with Brown, a good shooter in Radmanovic who will definitely do a lot better this season than last season since he was injured, and a nice young point guard in Farmar.

Are the Lakers giving up a lot? Yes, but in the end, it's worth it to get a great player like O'Neal, plus being able to keep Odom. A trio of Kobe, Odom, and O'Neal would be a very solid team, and would definitely help the Lakers get a higher seed in the tough Western Conference than they have in the past few years, maybe even getting the Lakers to the NBA Finals, and getting the Lakers and Kobe the next championship that they have been waiting for.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The On Again, Off Again O'Neal Story

We keep hearing about Jermaine O'Neal first wanting to be traded to the Lakers, then saying that he didn't say that. Whatever it is, at least two people think that it will actually happen. From Hoopsworld:

"Right now Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer. However any decent general manager knows you don't want guys on your team who want to be traded. Simple as that. I expect him to go to the Lakers when he's moved. One reason is Kobe Bryant has yet to see the Lakes make a move to better the team now. New Jersey is a long shot. He's in the same conference as the Nets. Can't see that happening. They don't want to lose to the Nets in the playoffs with O'Neal killing them on the inside. He'd have to go out West."

Also, Fox Sports gives its take on the whole situation.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lakers Schedule

The NBA posted the 2007-08 schedule today for all 30 teams. The full Lakers schedule is at the end of this post, and some of the important games include:

  • Oct. 30, Lakers vs. Houston - This is the opening night of the season, which will mark the debut of Javaris Crittenton, the return of Derek Fisher in a Laker jersey, and Kobe Bryant's first game back after asking to be traded.
  • Nov. 2, Lakers @ Phoenix - The Lakers' first away game, this is also the first time that the Lakers will play the Suns since losing 4-1 in last season's playoffs to Phoenix.
  • Nov. 13, Lakers @ San Antonio - The Lakers actually won the season series against the Spurs last season 2-1, with the only loss coming from a Michael Finley three pointer that was the game winner in overtime on Jan. 28. It will interesting to see if the Lakers will still match up as well as they did last season against the Spurs.
  • Nov. 27, Lakers vs. Seattle - Kevin Durant plays in his first game against Kobe. This will definitely be interesting to watch.
  • Jan. 25, Lakers @ Dallas - This is an intriguing game, as Dallas and the Lakers playing each other almost always makes for an entertaining matchup.
  • Feb. 26, Lakers vs. Portland - We have to wait quite a while to see Greg Oden. I really am looking forward to see Andrew Bynum match up with Oden.

I have a few other thoughts about the schedule. About the Christmas game, finally not a Christmas matchup of Lakers vs. Heat! Three times in a row was not cool. Instead, we get an interesting and entertaining game between the Suns and Lakers.

Has anyone noticed that we have played the Sacramento Kings towards the end of the season for quite a while now? We play the Kings the last game this coming season, and we played the Kings on the last game this past season, and the seasons before that I can always remember playing the Kings in the last games of the season. Or at least it seems like it.

Our schedule seems balanced for the most part as far as clusters of home and away games. We do have a big 9 game road trip this year starting Jan. 31 in Detroit, and ending Feb. 13 in Minnesota. Luckily, the majority of the teams that they will play aren't too hard to win. Our longest homestand is 5 games, which we have a couple sets of. We are at home for 5 games from Christmas to Jan. 6, and also from Mar. 26 to Apr. 4. We also end the season with 3 games at home, so looks pretty good, which always helps. Let's hope that it gets us a higher seed in the playoffs this year!


Tue 30 vs Houston 7:30pm


Fri 2 @ Phoenix 7:30pm

Sun 4 vs Utah 6:30pm

Tue 6 vs New Orleans 7:30pm

Fri 9 vs Minnesota 7:30pm

Tue 13 @ San Antonio 5:30pm

Wed 14 @ Houston 6:00pm

Fri 16 vs Detroit 7:30pm

Sun 18 vs Chicago 6:30pm

Tue 20 @ Indiana 4:00pm

Wed 21 @ Milwaukee 5:00pm

Fri 23 @ Boston 4:30pm

Sun 25 vs New Jersey 6:30pm

Tue 27 vs Seattle 7:30pm

Thu 29 vs Denver 7:30pm

Fri 30 @ Utah 6:00pm


Sun 2 vs Orlando 6:30pm

Tue 4 @ Minnesota 5:00pm

Wed 5 @ Denver 6:00pm

Sun 9 vs Golden State 6:30pm

Thu 13 vs San Antonio 7:30pm

Fri 14 @ Golden State 7:30pm

Sun 16 vs LA Clippers 6:30pm

Tue 18 @ Chicago 5:30pm

Thu 20 @ Cleveland 5:00pm

Fri 21 @ Philadelphia 4:00pm

Sun 23 @ New York 9:00am

Tue 25 vs Phoenix 2:00pm

Fri 28 vs Utah 7:30pm

Sun 30 vs Boston 6:30pm


Fri 4 vs Philadelphia 7:30pm

Sun 6 vs Indiana 6:30pm

Tue 8 @ Memphis 5:00pm

Wed 9 @ New Orleans 5:00pm

Fri 11 vs Milwaukee 7:30pm

Sun 13 vs Memphis 6:30pm

Mon 14 @ Seattle 7:00pm

Thu 17 vs Phoenix 7:30pm

Mon 21 vs Denver 7:30pm

Wed 23 @ San Antonio 6:00pm

Fri 25 @ Dallas 5:30pm

Sun 27 vs Cleveland 12:30pm

Tue 29 vs New York 7:30pm

Thu 31 @ Detroit 4:30pm


Fri 1 @ Toronto 4:00pm

Sun 3 @ Washington 9:00am

Tue 5 @ New Jersey 4:30pm

Wed 6 @ Atlanta 4:00pm

Fri 8 @ Orlando 4:00pm

Sun 10 @ Miami 12:30pm

Mon 11 @ Charlotte 4:00pm

Wed 13 @ Minnesota 5:00pm

Tue 19 vs Atlanta 7:30pm

Wed 20 @ Phoenix 6:00pm

Sat 23 @ LA Clippers 7:30pm

Sun 24 @ Seattle 6:00pm

Tue 26 vs Portland 7:30pm

Thu 28 vs Miami 7:30pm

Fri 29 @ Portland 7:30pm


Sun 2 vs Dallas 12:30pm

Tue 4 @ Sacramento 7:00pm

Fri 7 vs LA Clippers 7:30pm

Sun 9 vs Sacramento 6:30pm

Tue 11 vs Toronto 7:30pm

Fri 14 @ New Orleans 5:00pm

Sun 16 @ Houston 4:00pm

Tue 18 @ Dallas 5:30pm

Thu 20 @ Utah 7:30pm

Fri 21 vs Seattle 7:30pm

Sun 23 vs Golden State 6:30pm

Mon 24 @ Golden State 7:30pm

Wed 26 vs Charlotte 7:30pm

Fri 28 vs Memphis 7:30pm

Sun 30 vs Washington 6:30pm


Wed 2 vs Portland 7:30pm

Fri 4 vs Dallas 7:30pm

Sun 6 @ Sacramento 6:00pm

Tue 8 @ Portland 7:00pm

Thu 10 @ LA Clippers 7:30pm

Fri 11 vs New Orleans 7:30pm

Sun 13 vs San Antonio 12:30pm

Tue 15 vs Sacramento 7:30pm