Jim Buss: Give us until May 22

Jim Buss gave a great interview on AM 570 the other day. His message: I’m as frustrated as you guys, but hang tight until after the Lottery is done on May 22.

“May 22 is a big date. A lot of teams will make trades after that date,” he said. “ Before that, to analyze what the Lakers are doing is premature … after that, yes, we should be making some decisions.

“You just have to wait for certian dates to come. I’m impatient. I don’t know what to do with myself up until the times that teams are willing to make deals, but teams aren’t willing to make deals until they find out where they are going to draft.”

Buss also tried to clear up a few issues.

1. His relationship with Jerry West and whether his increasing power within the organization precipitated West’s departure: “There’s no way we had a problem of my authority increasing. … it had nothing to do it. …I can’t tell you how comfortable Jerry and I were working together.” He later added that, “If Jerry decides he wants to come back, I’m sure my father, myself and Mitch (Kupchak) would have to consider that.”

2. Andrew Bynum’s status on the protected list: “I don’t know where the idea that Bynum was protected by me came from. When you’re talking about adding another all-star, another MVP of the league and I’m going protect bynum for that, there’s no way. …We’ll use an example of kevin garnett. If that’s a deal breaker (for Minnesota), then we did a great job of drafting him at 10, didn’t we.”

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  • Michael Teniente

    Great interview with Jim Buss. I hope they don’t do something too big. In my opinion what we need is a 1 and 3. If we drop Odom to the 3 spot then we could get a power forward. I can’t stress this enough:

    THERE’S NO WAY WE CAN GO WITH LUKE WALTON AS THE STARTING SMALL FORWARD. WE CANNOT PLAY LUKE WALTON 30 MINUTES A GAME. NO WAY WE WIN IF WALTON IS GIVEN SUCH A BIG ROLE.

    mike

  • Michael Teniente

    THE FULL REPORT:

    THE JACKSON JOURNAL: The Final Report: Part I
    By Michael C. Teniente

    Our problems are the same problems we had to end the 2005-2006 season. We lost to the Suns in a seven game series but we came away with a sense that there was hope in our immediate future. It became clear that the Lakers needed a point guard if we were going to compete with the elite of the Western Conference. More to the point: Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

    It was also clear to me that the Lakers needed a small forward, too. The Lakers, obviously, must have thinking along the same lines because the first thing they did was to go out and sign a small forward in Vladimir Radmanovic. Then they tried to address the point guard situation by signing Shammond Williams and drafting Jordan Farmar. Outside of these three transactions there wasnt any real changes with the ball club. Nobody really gave the Lakers a chance but the Lakers started out fast and were a surprise.

    Everything was looking and feeling pretty good until injuries took their toll. But even with a healthy squad there were still problems. The problems were the same ones that Lakers management tried to address in the off-season. The Lakers basically addressed their problem in theory but did not execute that plan during the season. What does that mean? It means that the Lakers went with the same line-up that lost to Phoenix to end the 2005-2006 season. What does that mean? It means that the Lakers still had Smush Parker and Luke Walton in the starting line-up.

    What was the whole purpose of signing Radmanovic if the Lakers didnt know they were weak at the 3 spot? But what did PJ do? He played Luke Walton as the starter and was giving him more than 30 minutes a game. The second thing PJ did was ride Smush Parker for 30 minutes a game. These are the two spots the Lakers addressed in the off-season but PJ dismissed these transactions and played these two players as if the concerns in these two positions were a just a figment of our imaginations.

    I have to believe that from the beginning of the season until towards the end of the season there had to be a power struggle going on between Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson. From what I see, Phil Jackson is trying to pull a mini Larry Brown/New York Knicks scenario. In that scenario Larry Brown tried to undermine Isiah Thomas authority by not playing players that Larry Brown had signed off on. Then Larry Brown tried to get a meeting with the Knicks owner to push his agenda. James Dolan wasnt having any part of it because Larry Brown was in the wrong. In the end Larry Brown got fired for trying to manipulate the scene in New York.

    PJ basically dismissed Shammond Williams to the end of the bench until it was too late to really expect meaningful production from what we might have anticipated from Williams. PJ continued to play Smush Parker even though everyone knew he was a defensive liability. But what was so shocking was how PJ abruptly pulls the plug on Parker on the 81st game of the season. I remember Paul Westphal saying: What took him so long. It was painfully obvious that Parker isnt a starter in this league.

    To pull a player in the 81st game is absolutely absurd. The problem was well known from the end of the 2005-2006 season. For Smush Parker to even make the team didnt make any sense whatsoever. But to start him for 80 games just to pull him from the starting line-up in the 81st game is mind-boggling.

    Then there was Radmanovic. PJ dismissed this signing by insisting on making Luke Walton the starter at the 3 spot. This lasted the whole season. What good is beating a dead horse? The bottom line is this: The Lakers are exactly where they were at the end of the 2005-2006 season.

    If they do not ride Radmanovic then they need to improve the 1 and 3 spots because its the same problem they tried to address in the off-season of 2006. Nothing changed! The Lakers knew they had a problem with Luke Walton and Smush Parker starting at the 1 and 3 spots. Thats why they went out and tried to address it. But when push came to shove PJ rode Walton to the end and got burned for it. And PJ rode Smush until the 81st game and got burned for it.

    Now here we are talking about trading LO, Kwame, and Bynum because PJ didnt execute managements plan for the 2006-2007 season? Even if Radmanovic, Williams, and Farmar arent the answers it just goes to show you that the problems are still at the 1 and the 3 spots.

    You dont go out and sign a small forward, a point guard, and draft another point guard because youre unaware of the problem. No, by getting these players management acknowledged these problems. But PJ stuck with Walton and Parker and so, basically, nothing changed. And if nothing changed then the problem is at the 1 and 3 spots as it was to end the 2005-2006 season. And now that its obvious that it didnt work out, for whatever reason, you dont then say: We need a power forward or a center.

    The Final Report: Part II

    The need to upgrade at the 1 and 3 spots is a just a reality that needs to be addressed. If the Lakers still have confidence in Radmanovic then its the 1 spot that needs to be addressed. This isnt going to change. It needs to be addressed.

    But now lets break down even a greater problem. Kobe Bryants shooting! Thats a problem. But we have to give Kobe the benefit of the doubt because, before the injuries, Kobe was, in fact, playing team ball. He was involving his teammates. The crash came when Lamar Odom and Luke Walton were injured at the same time.

    It was during this time that the Lakers put Brian Cook into the line-up and made him the 2nd option. We lost all our games until Odom and Walton returned. There was a fundamental problem right here. The idea of bringing a guy like Cook from off the bench and making him the 2nd option is a sign that there is dysfunction on how the offense was operating. Why wasnt Kwame Brown given more responsibility? The answer is simple. Its because Kwame Brown was unreliable in that role.

    Why was Kwame unreliable? That answer is simple, too. Its because both Kwame and Andrew Bynum were only getting about 4 or 5 shots a game up until that point. The only time Kwame was getting the ball was on a dish off. Andrew, on the other hand, was receiving entry passes into the post to operate the offense accordingly. But even that was minimal. Still, no matter what, these two guys were only getting 4 to 5 shots per game. That is dysfunction!
    When you have a couple of players who only take 4 to 5 shots per contest during the regular season you dont ask them to become forces in the middle in the playoffs. That is unrealistic and a receipt for disaster. This I put the blame on Kobe Bryant. Because even when the team was doing wellKwame Brown and Andrew Bynum were still only getting 4 to 5 shots per contest. Sometime it was as low as 1 to 3 shots per contest.

    Lets examine Kobe Bryant to see what the root of this dysfunction is all about.

    A PERSONAL STORY

    Years ago, I dont remember the exact time; I was visiting my mothers house. The television was on. I remember seeing Kobe Bryant on the screen. It wasnt a game because I would have been sitting and watching it if it was. But I remember standing behind the recliner, that sits in the living room of my mothers house, and commenting to my sister-in-law about Kobe Bryant: Thats the next Michael Jordan, I said to her. She responded by saying: Youre brother says the same thing. Now that was interesting, to me, because this was before anyone was comparing Kobe to Jordan. It was also interesting, to me, because my brother and I, both huge Laker fans, never spoke about it to each other. It was just a passing comment my sister-in-law and I had and nothing more.

    Well, over the years, I watched young Kobe develop. It was scary to watch and think of the possibilities. But through it all there was always a nagging thought deep within about a potential problem. That problem was this: How was Kobe Bryant going to be the next Michael Jordan as long as he was playing with Shaq? As long as they played togetherrealistically, it wasnt going to happen. I didnt want to think or talk about that because I liked Shaq as much as I liked Kobe and I didnt want to think of the possibility of the Lakers splitting those two.

    A couple of years later I remember reading about the rift between Kobe and Shaq in the newspapers. It was early 2000. That I remember clearly. I remember reading how Shaq challenged the reporters to watch the game and to report what they see. It was a simple challenge. It was clear that Kobe Bryant wasnt playing within the offense. I remember seeing Shaq set a pic for Kobe and then roll to the basket and, I remember, seeing Kobe just ignore Shaq and go freelance. I remember arguing it with some other fans because they were so in love with Bryant. Shaq was right! Kobe Bryant wasnt playing any type of team ball back then. Anyone who followed the team back then knows this is true.

    I attribute this to Kobes need to establish his greatness because despite what he was doing outside of the context of the offensehe was spectacular. That was plain to see.

    Im not going to rehash the Shaq trade. Its irrelevant at this point. The point is Kobes need to establish his greatness. That greatness was repressed by playing with Shaq for eight years. Think about it! Eight years is a lot of time. If Kobe had played on any other team for those eight years who knows what greatness he would have manifested in that time. Anyway, the itch to branch out on his own was too great and if he had to face the possibility of playing with Shaq for one more yearthere was no way he was coming back. You see, up until the trade of Shaq, Kobe Bryant had scaled his game back in a major way.

    Theres only one player, in all my years, which Ive seen that actually scaled his game back for the benefit of the team and the organization. And that player is James Worthy. James Worthy had major, major game coming into the league. But he came into the league with a team that already had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Norm Nixon, Jamal Wilks, and Bob McAdoo to boot.

    Throughout Worthys career he always had to scale his game back. Even when he won the MVP for the finals against Detroitthat was after everyone else was already slowing down. Wow! Now thats a sacrifice.

    Kobe Bryant is nowhere near as dedicated to the game as James Worthy. Kobe Bryant is dedicated to himself and his legacy. I can understand that because if you watch it from an individual viewpointits amazing to watch and we get caught up into it. Thats powerful! But its hurting the TEAM. This is the real root to the Lakers problems.

    Let me put it this way: Kobe Bryant, in his first year after the Shaq trade, got hurt and missed a number of games. Kobe wasnt able to show his greatness in that year so the need to establish his greatness remained. The 2nd year Kobe started to show what he wanted to show all along, his great ability to score at will. He scored 60 and 81 points in a couple of games. He also won a scoring title, plus the Lakers started to show promise towards the end of the season so it was looking good and Kobe was able to maintain his outlook.

    This year Kobe really did try to become a team player to the point where he wasnt being aggressive enough at times. But then the injuries hit and it was back to the old Kobe. No one can really complain because it was in the context of lifting the team when the team needed it. Kobe won another scoring title, too.

    Lost in translation is the fact that the 5 spot on the Lakers, either Kwame Brown or Andrew Bynum, was never getting the proper amount of touches in the offense. It is totally illogical for the Lakers expect to get to the next level without Kwame Brown or Andrew Bynum getting at least 10-12 shots per game.

    We saw what Lamar Odom can do in the Phoenix series. The question is why he hasnt done this earlier? To me its simple. In order: the first year he was injured. The second year he was still learning the triangle. The third year hes injured again. And even with injury he was dominant in the Phoenix series.

    If Lamar Odom continues to play like that theres no need to bring in anyone else at that position, especially if you drop Odom to the 3 spot. What doesnt get addressed is the need for Kwame Brown to be involved in the offense. Say what you will about Kwame Brown but a big part of the problem with Brown is the total lack of offensive involvement, which brings lack luster efforts.

    If you watched the offense over the last two years you can plainly see that the Lakers werent running the triangle. They were running the Kobe Bryant offense and players, even Lamar Odom, were just standing around and watching. That is the plain and hard truth that Kobe Bryant has to come to terms with.

    You dont do that then ask player to step up in the playoffs. If you want players to step up in the playoffs you have to involve them in the offense from game one of the regular season. You give the center at least 10-12 shots per game from game one of the regular season and by the time the playoffs come around you wont have to ask the Kwame Browns to step up and be a force in the middle. To ask Kwame to step up and be a force in the middle when Kobe Bryant basically ignored him all season long is just stupid.

    I mean, think about it. Both Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum got just over 5 shots per game. They both shot over 500 from the field, which isnt saying much with only 5 shots per game. You dont ignore both Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum in the offense all season long and then turn around and complain that theres no production in the middle when the playoffs come around.

    Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum arent the problems. The Kobe Bryant offense is the problem. Its been three years since Shaq got traded and the time has come for Kobe Bryant to scale his game back for the benefit of the team and the organization.

    Is that possible? I dont know because when James Worthy scaled his game back, in the 80s, I know that had a lot to do with Jerry West convincing James it was the right thing to do. This is part of the problem, too. Mitch Kupchak doesnt have a strong enough of a basketball personality to convince Kobe that its in the best interest of the team and his career to scale his game back. Jerry West does.

    Im not saying we need to replace Mitch but I would seriously consider bringing Jerry West back as a consultant specifically for addressing this Kobe Bryant issue.

    The Final Report: Part III

    Now to Phil Jackson. OK, what can we say about a coach who signed off on Radmanovic but started Luke Walton and played him for 32 minutes a game? What do we say about a coach who refused to pull Smush Parker in last years playoffs against the Suns but when this season started; not only was Smush still on the team but was still the starting point guard to begin the season?

    If this wasnt a problem then why is Smush Parker not going to be on the team when camp starts in Oct of this year? But lets leave all that alone. I already covered that in part 1. Were now on part 3.

    Yeah, I kept the Jackson Journal because PJ refused to pull Smush Parker against Phoenix last year. So this year I wanted to keep track of how much games, if any, PJs stubbornness would cost us. Everyone knew about PJs strange substitution patterns but I wanted to record it to see how it affected the season.

    Before we do that lets check out how injuries affected us. We lost 40 games this season. Of those 40 games how much of those game can be attributed to the combined games missed by Odom, Brown, and Walton is undetermined. But lets try to see if we can give an estimation of what might have been.

    THE INJURY BUG TAKES ITS TOLL

    (3 losses)
    Oct 31 – Nov 10: Kwame Brown misses 7 games. We were 4-3. Lamar and Luke played in these games.

    (5 losses)
    Dec 13 Dec 31: Lamar Odom misses 10 games. We were 5-5. Kwame and Luke played in these games but Kwame was injured on the Dec 31st game.

    (4 losses)
    Jan 4 Jan 22: Both Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown miss 11 games. We were 7-4. Only Walton played in these games.

    (1 loss)
    Jan 26: Kwame Brown misses this game. Lamar and Walton played but Walton was injured in this game.

    (9 losses)
    Jan 28 Feb 26: Kwame Brown and Luke Walton miss 15 games. We were 6-9. Lamar Odom played in these games.

    (1 loss)
    Mar 2: Luke Walton misses this game. Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown play in this game.

    (5 losses)
    Mar 4 Mar 11: Lamar Odom and Luke Walton miss 5 games. We were 0-5. Kwame Brown played these games.

    (1 loss)
    Mar 16: Luke Walton misses this game. Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown play in this game.

    (1 loss)
    Mar 27: Kwame Brown misses this game. Lamar Odom and Luke Walton play in this game.

    (5 losses)
    April 4 April 13: Kwame Brown misses 6 games. We were 1-5. Lamar Odom and Luke Walton played in these games.

    In games where Lamar Odom was out of the line-up by himself the Lakers were 5-5.

    In games where Kwame Brown was out of the line-up by himself the Lakers were 5-10.

    In games where Luke Walton was out of the line-up by himself the Lakers were 0-2.

    In games where Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown were out the Lakers were 7-4.

    In games where Kwame Brown and Luke Walton were out the Lakers were 6-9.

    In games where Lamar Odom and Luke Walton were out the Lakers were 0-5.

    Thats a combined 23-35 with the injuries being a factor one-way or another.

    A couple of these games Luke Walton and Kwame Brown got hurt but started the games. Thats why the total here is 33 games and the total in the other data of injury-induced losses is 35.

    WHEN LAMAR, KWAME, AND WALTON WERE HEALTHY

    Nov 12 Dec 12, 2006:
    In the first 14 games that Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 11-3.

    Jan 26, 2007:
    In this game when Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 0-1.
    (In this game Luke Walton was injured.)

    Mar 15, 2007:
    In this game when Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 0-1.
    (This was the first game back for Lamar Odom and Luke Walton after missing games. The rhythm wasnt there.)

    Mar 18 Mar 25, 2007:
    In these 4 games that Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 4-0.

    Mar 30, 2007:
    In the next game that Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 0-1.
    (This is the game where Kobe Bryant fouled Tracy McGrady for a 3-point play and traveled with the ball to end the game. But it was also the game where Kobe made a spectacular 3-pointer to send the game into overtime.)

    April 1, 2007:
    In this game where Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 1-0.

    April 3, 2007:
    In the next game that Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 0-1.
    (This game Kwame Brown went down with injury.)

    April 15 April 18:
    In the final 2 games that Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton played together the Lakers were 2-0.

    Thats a combined 18-7.

    Of the 35 injury-induced losses, if the Lakers would have won 50 percent of those games thats an additional 17 wins. We won 42 games this season. Add 17 games to that and it totals 59 wins. Thats what could have been. And that was operating with a dysfunctional offense (a testament to Kobe greatness) and a weakness at the 1 and 3 spots. I think thats an elite team. But I dont think that it could have won the championship because of the 1 spot, at least. We still need an upgrade at the 1 and 3 spots to push us towards a dominant championship caliber type team.

    In the playoffs team will focus on Kobe and expose the Lakers dysfunctional offense. Kobes dominance works in the regular season but it wont work in the playoffs. Its better to suffer a few losses and invest into involving Kwame Brown on the offensive end than to have him totally undeveloped and unprepared when the playoffs come.

    If Kobe Bryant wants to be a true leader he has to acknowledge these things and cooperate with developing his teammates. If Kobe wants to show his maturity he has to know when to develop and when to dominate a game. Up to this point its either one or the other. Either hes being passive or hes over bearing on the offensive end. He has to find the middle ground and embrace it. This is the only way hes going to win more championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. And I still expect 30-35 points a game.

    NOW THE SUBSTITUTION PATTERNS

    This section has to do with the thumbs down I gave PJ for games where his coaching actually cost us the game. I was very conservative in giving PJ a thumbs down. The thumbs down were based on substitution patterns through out the game that had a direct affect on the outcome of the game.

    Here are the links to the thumbs down games. Youll have to scroll down if you want to read them.

    1) November 5, 2006 the Seattle Supersonics game. (This is the beginning of the rotation patterns.)

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2006/11/extra_extra_116.html#comments

    2) November 29, 2006 the Milwaukee Bucks game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2006/11/extra_extra_112_9.html#comments

    3) December 13, 2006 the Dallas Mavericks game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2006/12/extra_extra_121_5.html#comments

    4) December 17, 2006 the Washington Wizards game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2006/12/extra_extra_121_9.html#comments

    5) January 21, 2007 the New Orleans Hornets game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/01/extra_extra_121.html#comments
    6) February 11, 2007 the Cleveland Cavaliers game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/02/extra_extra_212.html#comments

    7) April 4, 2007 the Los Angeles Clippers game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/04/thus_coaches_re.html#comments

    8) April 12, 2007 the Los Angeles Clippers game.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2007/04/oh_my.html#comments

    As for how this affects my view on PJ: This is what I think.

    First: PJ doesnt cut Smush Parker after he got burned in last years Phoenix series. Then he makes him the starter to begin the season. Then he pulls him on the 81st game of the season. This is described in part 1 of my final report.

    Second: He plays Luke Walton as a starter and plays him for over 30 minutes a game. This is described in part 1 of my final report.

    Third: He literally cost us 8 games with his substitution patterns. You would think that something like that would happen, maybe, 2 or 3 times a season. But not with this guy! This guy does these strange things in a major way and it cost us. Even with all the injuries and our little 42 wins the guy cost us an easy 6th seed and a match against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. With the additional 8 wins that PJ cost us, with his strange substitution patterns, we would have won 50 games despite the injuries.

    Then, if the idea of PJs substitution patterns in the regular season arent convincing enough, in the playoffs he goes with an 11 and 12 man rotation for the whole series. Then turns around and says to management: We need help! Nobody ever plays an 11 and 12 man rotation in the playoffs.

    My message is this:

    To Kobe Bryant:

    I dont know, specifically, want Kobe wants the Lakers to do, but if its not addressing the issues at the 1 and 3 spotshes wrong. If hes specifically referring to the 1 and 3 spots that need an upgradehe is absolutely correct.

    But Kobe has to understand that you dont control the ball the way you did all season long and then cry for help when you get eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. Lamar Odom needs to be allowed to shoot the ball 15-20 times per game. Kwame Brown needs to shoot the ball 10-12 times per game. And that has to happen from the outset of the season. This is described in part 2 of my final report.

    To Phil Jackson:

    You dont manipulate the rotations and cause us to lose 8 games and then turn around and say to management: See? I dont have the players to get the job done.

    You dont say: Is it worth it to pay me so much money with this roster? Thats the whole point of giving you 10 million dollars. What good is giving you 10 million dollars and a roster full of all-stars, too? Are you so delusional to think that the only way you can coach a team is with a roster of all-stars? If thats the case, then why not accept 4 million dollars a year and a roster full of all-stars. Dont you know how stupid that sounds? If I had a roster full of all-stars then you would see me bring success to the team at 10 million dollars a year.

    You dont say: We need more production from the 5 spot when, by design, youre not involving the 5 spot in the flow of the offense to begin with. You dont watch your centers average 5.9 and 5.4 shots a game and complain that we need more from this spot. Just to show you how stupidly extreme that is, this is how it works out:

    For every game that Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum took 7 and 8 shots there was the same amount of games where they took only 2 and 3 shots. Thats how an average 5.9 and 5.4 shots per game is achieved. You dont watch that happen all season long and then when you dont get production in the playoffs from the 5 spotYou dont complain: I need help!

    To Management:

    If you dont consider these things as part of reason why the Lakers didnt do well this year then youre really not qualified to run a basketball team. DO NOT GIVE PJ AND KOBE WHAT THEY WANT. Make PJ use reasonable rotation patterns and Kobe Bryant play within a team concept. If they continue to insist on doing things their own way then you should get rid of both of them and build this team around Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Andrew Bynum. Let Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown play team ball and watch how good these guys really are. They rely on team ball to be productive.

    IN CONCLUSION

    1) Im willing to concede that we could be a championship caliber team with Luke Walton but it must be as a 6th man. But signing him has to be for a reasonable amount of money. Im thinking 4 million a year since signing him wont affect the salary cap. But no way if PJ insists on playing him as a starter and for 30 minutes a game.

    2) Like PJ waited until the 81st game to pull Smush Parker, management is going to wait until its too late to deal with PJ. The difference between what PJ did with Smush and what management is doing with Kobe is this:

    Were in the 3rd quarter of Kobe Bryants career. Right now were between the 9th and 6th minute of that quarter. If management doesnt deal with PJs strange substitution patterns and Kobe doesnt incorporate a team ball approach were going to go into the 4th quarter of Kobes career totally unprepared to meet that time frame. And just like what we saw with this Lakers team this year, its what were going to see for the rest of Kobes career as a Laker. Before that happens Kobe Bryant will ask to be traded by the end of next year. And that will be because of PJ substitution patterns and Kobe Bryants need to control the ball. It wont because he doesnt have talent at the 4 and 5 spots.

    I know Im hard on both PJ and Kobe Bryant but thats because Im using an ancient principle to do my evaluations.

    The first principle is this:
    To whom much is given, much is required.

    PJ is working with a 10 million dollar a year contract (thats much).
    Kobe Bryant will be making over 19 million dollars next season and hes working with a lot of individual talent (thats much, too.)

    Ill paraphrase the second principle:
    Judgment doesnt start at the bottom of the ladderit starts at the top of the ladder. In this case, from what I observed from the team and in the context of the roster we have, that points directly to Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.

    I love Kobe Bryant but were not going to win if he plays the way he played in the 2nd half of the season and in the playoffs.

    mike

  • jason

    i can’t believe it. you actually get it. i keep hearing they are going to pay walton 30 million for six years and it makes me want to pull my hair out.

  • CP

    You would have some good points if you actually were paying attention to the season. Need I remind you that the “Space Cadet” was hurt most of the year ans was lost on the court when healthy. That is why Luke was the starter. Also, Smush was the starter because if you do not remember Farmar was a rookie and Williams was a bad shot away from a backup in the Euro leagues. Also, I almost passed out when you stated Kwame “no hands” Brown should get more shots. Half the pass that go to him he drops which ergo cuts into his shot atempts. Bynum is solid but 19 and you can only ask so much of the young fella plus he gets no calls being a young player, so you can only go to him so much anyway. The season is a total waste to grade with all of the injuries. Even when all of the players were back they were not 100%. Bottom line they need a top notch poing guard and fast. Kidd would be nice, but not for Bynum.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what the N.Y. Post got from the interview:

    “Buss also acknowledged he doesn’t like it when Phil Jackson puts down his players in the press (he plans to talk to him about it) and claimed the Zen Hen had a say with the team’s makeup in the last few years. Last summer in an organizational meeting, Buss revealed Jackson signed off on the team and said he could go far with that roster.

    “For Phil to make comments about being frustrated about the personnel is a copout,” Buss said.”

    mike

  • jp

    Gee Mike…

    Like to hear yourself talk, don’t you?

    And your report… a lot of blah, blah looking to support your predisposition. I kept looking for the sentence where you say “the consensus of scientist is…” Nice try Mike but too bad youve put so much time and effort in to such fundamentally flawed logic.

    Every assumption you make, every position you take, I found not a single one that referenced defense. In fact in your entire diatribe you didnt even mention the word defense. Did you not notice that the team gave up 103.41 points a game?

    If Bryant had scaled his game back like James Worth, you think current PG of your choice, SF of your choice, Odom and C of your choice on this years Laker roster would have stepped up to the level of Magic, Scott, PF of your choice and Kareem even if half of this years team had been healthy? Silly comparison.

    Fact, Radmanovic started the season with a damaged shooting hand, had the lowest Roland Rating of any player on the Lakers Roster and then he went snowboarding. How do you ride Radmanovic? Did you not notice that he wasnt even productive when he was healthy. The other new SF, Mo Evans who showed promise early but then he had to play the second half of the season with a bad knee missing several games as a result and is certainly not a threat to break in to the All-Star game no matter how many times Kobe passes him the ball.

    Shammond Williams started the season with a torn ab and did not and still does not know the offense.

    Farmar is a rookie. I still would have liked to have seen him play through some of his mistakes because I am no Parker fan. I would have also liked to see Vujacic get more time but then he also started the season injured.

    Brown was unreliable because he didnt shoot enough? You have got to be kidding. If you listed the top ten possible reasons for Brown not being reliable, that has got to be 11. Lets start with injuries and then maybe hands and then maybe slow to rotate on defense (darn, there is that defense word again) and then And which of these is Bryants fault? What have you been smoking?

    So when Odom, Walton, Brown, Mihm, Radmanovic and Evans are all hurt at the same time and Bynum is playing like a 19 year old, who do you suppose is left to take shots? Lakers Roland rating have Kobe on top with a +12.4 and SECOND is Odom with +1.5. Talk about not getting any help. Your heroes, Odom, Brown and Bynum combined where a -4.3. Now there is a recipe for winning a championship.

    Oh yeah, in 2000, who lead the Lakers in assist? Who lead the Lakers in assists to The Big Donut even though The Big Donut would get fouled half the time while shoot a whapping 51% from the line? The rift in the pro-ONeil press was over sharing the offense. The real problem was The Big Donut was fat and had to be pulled out at the end of tight games because he could not score nor shoot free throws. Riley said so. Jackson said so.

    Now this one really is bizzar: Of the 35 injury-induced losses, if the Lakers would have won 50 percent of those games thats an additional 17 wins. We won 42 games this season. Add 17 games to that and it totals 59 wins. Why on earth would you expect a team missing one or more starters (usually more) to win 50% of their games when if they had all been healthy the whole season youd have been thrilled if they won 60%? Maybe what you meant to say was if they had no injuries for the season they would have won 59 games. That would have been awesome but lacks any sense of reality. Healthy they were projected to be at best 55 games. They were hoping for 50. Kobe carried them (once again) to the playoffs. Even by your silly logic, Kobe carried them to no less than 4 additional wins all by himself. Kobes 45 carried them to their only playoff win this year.

    Not that he has not, but if Bryant ever wants to be a true leader he has to acknowledge these things and cooperate with developing his teammates will Brown suddenly start catching passes? Will Bynum suddenly stop fouling (deserved or not)? Would Farmar have be the first rookie I can think of not to hit the rookie wall? Would the rest of the Lakers suddenly realize that they have to step up to meet Bryants work ethic and win or die attitude? Only other player on the team that comes close is Turiaf. Odom did the first and the last game of the season but where was he for most of the rest of the year? Injured. And OK, Sasha tried hard too.

    So you are they guy the Lakers need to turn to to figure out substitution patterns? So no Smush. Lets go with a rookie and a guy that last played in Europe? So no Walton, lets go with an injured Radmanovic or undrafted and injured Evans who are both new to the triangle? Brilliant. Laker management are fools not to replace Jackson with you. Even after stating that Odom needed three years to learn the triangle, you somehow come to the conclusion that these two positions (PG and SF) which are far more complicated in the triangle could be picked up no less than three times faster that Odom did?

    And how many times did we hear Jackson say that he wishes he could bring Walton in off the bench? Do you think he was just kidding when he said that, over and over? I dont recall hearing anyone laugh.

    Probably the smartest thing you wrote was that Jackson and Bryant should be replaced with Odom, Brown and Bynum. You have got to be kidding. Lets see, which of these is in the hall of fame or is about to be? Which one is an NBA All-Star? Which has ever been an All-Star? Which one has been NBA All-Defensive Team? All-NBA First Team? All-NBA Any Team? Which one has ever won a playoff series? Which one has ever won a championship? Man I just dont see how the Lakers could possibly win another game without you.

    Hey, remind me how many titles you have?

    Seriously, what have you been smoking?

  • LA_Eagle786

    I’m down with Luke coming back. He’s got good ball handling skills and was putting up solid numbers before his injury

  • tom

    great analysis, you make excellent points to all angles of this team. maybe steve blake would make a difference here at the one. maybe we’ll get lucky and this squad will be healthy next year and surprise us.

  • tayzer

    I hate it when people bring up stats. Stats are decieving. I don’t mind Kobe taking all those shots because his teamates can make theirs. Brown and Bynum has a .50 shooting percentage because their shots are clear dunks from Kobe’s asist. Now, if you want them to take 10-12 more shots, u best believe they would have to create their own shots, which they are very inconsistant. That would deffenately bring their shooting percentage down to .30 percent because Kwame is a big choker that can’t dunk and Bynum is a immature kid. In fact, Luke has been missing a bunch of layup in the playoffs. There are many games when Kobe passes the ball, but they usually lose and it proves that his teammates can’t step up, so I really don’t mind him taking all those shots because the lakers would lose anyways. It not Kobe’s job to distribute the ball, eventhough he has the most asist on the team. Mangement needs to bring in a real pg to distribute the ball correctly and a center that does not have butterfigures.

  • anthony

    you know let me make this clear /1 no basketball can make another basketball player each and every player has to make hisself better you should have game when you touch the floor it is not kobe job to make his team mates better it his job to help them win games it’s because of kobe bryant that we have the televison time we have and it because of kobe that the los angeles lakers are not the worst team in the nba and they have a chance to win more nba championships /i feel that we need better players / jermaine o’neal/ron artest/ and grant hill / and jamal majorie / jamal majorie center/jermaine o’neal pf/ ron artest sf/kobe bryant sg/ jordan famar pg / grant hill sf/ ronny T/ center/ m.evans sg/fa pg and we would be fine 9 players can get us a championship

  • Archon

    I really like your analysis of the Lakers issues. I do think Kobe is to blame for some of the problems. I think he has showed the potential to make teammates better, however he loses confidence in them to quickly. He is going to has to change the way he plays to be a truly effective team player. My only real problem with your argument is your analysis of Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown. First with Odom I think he’s at the point of his career where he’s not gonna get any better. Does anyone really believe that he’s working dilligently on his game in the off-season. Where’s the consistent shot, the right hand in traffic. He should have those skills already, but the truth is, he never will. With Kwame Brown, let me ask you a question who was the last low-post player to be effective with poor hands. Waiting…Waiting…The answer is no NBA player has ever been effective with hands as poor as Kwame’s. Kwame is not the answer, he’s a poor mans Elden Campbell, and that’s not a compliment.