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|Mar-21-12|| ||unferth: I should add that by missing the playoffs that year, they ended up with a high enough pick to land Andrew Bynum. Given a choice between a first-round loss & the chance to draft an all-star, I'll take option B every time ...|
|Mar-21-12|| ||HeMateMe: It's not just Kobe v. Shaq. Kobe sits alone on the team bus, usually doesn't talk to the others. Sports Illustrated did a story about him, how aloof he is. I just think he has always thought he was Michael Jordan, but he doesn't have all of the Michael Jordan parts.|
At the time of the Shaq trade no one could have predicted that a gem in the rough like Pao Gasol would have ended up in Los Angeles. Basically, the lakers got a slightly better than average forward/center, Bynum, for a hall of famer, Shaq, who was still one of the better Centers in the league, despite nagging injuries and being overweight.
I think that's the key point. He was *still* one of the better centers in the league. If you want to win an NBA title, it is a LOT easier if you have one of the better Centers in the league.
Dick Motta, the long time Chicago Bulls coach, who won around 900 games, said something like "I'm most prould of the fact that I coached all these wins without ever once having a Center I could throw the ball into for an easy basket."
Motta had centers like Dennis Awtrey in Chicago, Mel Turpin in Cleveland, and so on. Most NBA coaches would divorce their wife for a top drawer center. Kobe had one on his team, and helped run the guy out of town.
|Mar-21-12|| ||Jim Bartle: HeMateMe: You're right, Shaq did win a title in Miami, and I guess he played pretty well. But there was no question at all that Dwyane Wade was the star of that team. He scored some ridiculous number of points in the finals, though "The Book of Basketball" claims he was the beneficiary of extremely friendly officiating. He took almost 100 free throws in six games!|
But I doubt Shaq would have accepted th same role with the Lakers, letting Kobe become "Wade." Not taking Kobe's side, though.
Now certainly if the Lakers had signed Malone as a free agent five years earlier they would hardly have lost a game. But that was impossible as long as Malone was a major force. Remember he took a salary of $1 million or so for 2004, far below his market value.
I'm ambivalent about Kobe in general. He definitely wants to be a major star, maybe the majorest, and chafed being Shaq's "caddy." On the other hand, he was justified in being upset that Shaq didn't work to stay in shape or work to develop his game year by year.
|Mar-21-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Motta's comment probably refers mainly to his time with Chicago in the first half of the 70s. He had Love and Walker at forward, van Lier and Sloan at guard, about as good a group you could hope to find. But his centers were Boerwinkle and then Clifford Ray, and they couldn't handle LA or Milwaukee. |
Then in 1974 they thought they'd filled the hole with all-time great Nate Thurmond. But it turned out Nate was too far on the downside, and they lost in the playoffs to the Warriors, and their starting center, Clifford Ray. (A great series, by the way, high drama.)
|Mar-21-12|| ||Jim Bartle: "Most NBA coaches would divorce their wife for a top drawer center."|
Then they'd run out and buy a kingsize bed.
|Mar-21-12|| ||unferth: Andrew Bynum's a heckuva lot more than a "slightly better than average forward/center" (actually, he's never been a forward at all).|
|Mar-21-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Someone suggested the Lakers got a high draft pick so they could draft future star Andrew Bynum.|
In truth, taking Bynum at #9 was considered a real gutsy move by the Lakers, as they were taking a real risk by selecting such a raw high school center (and not a sure thing like Dwight Howard).
|Mar-21-12|| ||HeMateMe: Well, it will be interesting to see what sort of heroics Kobe can produce in the upcoming playoffs. I'll have to admit, he is VERY good for his age, around 35. One report I read was that he mostly has to skip practices now, at least he can't full scrimage. Kobe has no cartilege left in his knees. Age and surgical procedures have just about finished his knees. I suppose he does conditioning work on his own (pool work, swimming, is a terrific idea for athletes with beat up knees) and just does the walk through stuff at work.|
He must be a miserable person at home. His high school sweetheart divorced him recently. I think they were married when Kobe was in his early 20s. It just seems kind of sad. Maybe he is obsessed with his career and has no time for wife and kids. Or, maybe he's out chasing poon like Tiger Woods was. They kept that hushed up pretty good, till his wife Elin Nordegren tried to lower her handicap by practicing her swing, on Tiger's head.
I'd kind of like to see the Bulls and the OK Thunder in the finals, two young teams with a lot of energy. I'm a bit tired of the Lakers and the Heat. I suppose the Heat/Bulls will be a very good Eastern Finals, maybe a seven gamer.
|Mar-24-12|| ||HeMateMe: <Jim Bartle> Pretty funny story here about your '75 Golden State Warriors. They made bad decisions, but were truly unlucky as well, over the years:|
|Mar-24-12|| ||King Death: < HeMateMe: ...I just see too many headlines that say "Kobe scored 38!" Then, you look at the stat line a little closer and see that he shot 1/3 of his team's posessions to get 38, and the Lakers lost...>|
You'll like this article:
|Mar-24-12|| ||Jim Bartle: That's an amazing indictment of the Warriors. And pretty much spot on. Hard to understand how they constantly give up draft picks and young players for veterans who were once OK but are definitely on the way down.|
Amazing how much Simmons knows about the NBA. I can see knowing that much about your own team, but about every team in the league?
The Warriors really have been dull ever since they traded Webber in the mid-90s, nothing vaguely exciting except for that brief period with Baron Davis running the team.
I would only disagree in the story:
1. The W's picked up Bernard King off the garbage heap in 1980 and he played absolutely brilliantly for two years and all the fans loved him. Sure, he signed with the Knicks after that, but he didn't play any better for them than for the Warriors. He just got more attention for it.
2. The Warriors traded Mullin largely as a favor to him after many years of great play for the team. He was on the way down, the W's were not going anywhere, so they traded him to Indiana where he had a chance for a championship.
The Warriors need to return to San Francisco, play in a smaller arena, built up an identity. That's the way back to relevance.
|Mar-24-12|| ||Marmot PFL: probably the same situation as Cleveland, not enough cash to hang onto their stars.|
|Mar-24-12|| ||HeMateMe: Bernard King was truly a force, during his time at the Knicks. The first player since Wilt to have back to back 50 point games. For 2-3 years he was the best small forward on 'O' in the NBA.|
I especially liked the "All Rehab Team" that the Warriors had/have, including Michael Ray Richardson, et. al.
And--the all-star team that the Warriors could have drafted: Bird, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, T-Mac, Gary Payton, and Kevin McHale coming off the bench!
I enjoyed the "Run TMC" Warriors, with Mullin. When the Warriors drafted Chris Mullin, the Knicks tried to steal the local hero by offering Al Attles a draft choice and a barrell of cash. This was before the huge TV money had arrived in the NBA, and the cheap Warriors were always looking to save a buck. Al Attles made a smart move, and wouldn't give Mully away.
|Mar-24-12|| ||HeMateMe: <K-Death> certainly an informative article. When Bryant wants to pass, the offense improves. I was kind of surprised that young point guard, the really good one that the Clippers got, wanted to play for the Lakers, where he would be Bryant's caddy. I can only think that the young fellow signed with the Lakers because 1) Los Angeles is a fun place to play and 2) 35 year old Bryant wouldn't be around all that much longer. Anyway, Stern killed that deal and the Clippers got the point guard.|
|Mar-24-12|| ||Jim Bartle: "And--the all-star team that the Warriors could have drafted: Bird, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, T-Mac, Gary Payton, and Kevin McHale coming off the bench!"|
In truth you could do that with every single team, including the Celts. Remember Bryant was taken 13th, that high-schoolers were not usually taken high when Garnett was a #5. They didn't take Bird #5, but he had another year of eligibility and there was no guarantee they could have signed him.
Then again, the Parish/McHale trade was one of the worst all-time. And giving away high draft choices (which become Paytons) for average-to-good players is a prescription for long-term disaster.
As I remember it, the Lakers got Magic Johnson with the #1 pick which they'd gotten for another team, and hadn't given up a really good player to do it. It was part of a deal for the Jazz to sign 14-year-vet Gail Goodrich.
|Mar-24-12|| ||Jim Bartle: If the Lakers had gotten Chris Paul to form one of the best backcourts ever, I think it would have weakened the team. They would have given up Gasol and Odom, and would have been left with no size or strength in the front court, except for Bynum, who is good but not great. I don't see a team like that winning.|
|Mar-24-12|| ||HeMateMe: I hadn't realized that the Lakers would have had to give up Gasol for Chris Paul--are you sure about that? I thought Paul signed with the Lakers as an unrestricted free agent, and Stern killed the deal.|
Re: missing great players in the draft--yes, many teams have passed on the great ones. It's just part of the Warriors long string of bad luck. I thought GS had turned it around a few years ago when Baron Davis went nutts and eliminated the Mavs in the playoffs.
Must have been fun for coach Nelson--having been fired by Mavs owner Mark Cuban, here he was coaching the undermanned Warriors to an easy series win over Dallas.
I remember following the Goodrich to Jazz trade (Gail Goodrich, while still playing well was 36) for the No. 1 pick of the Jazz. I strongly feel that Jerry West and the Lakers were tippped in advance that Magic Johnson would leave Michigan after two years and enter the NBA draft. Of course, Johnson would be the number one pick, and the Lakers just happened to have gotten themselves a number one pick, of a weak team...coincidence? Jazz, just incompetent, giving up a No. 1 for a 36 year old player.
|Mar-24-12|| ||King Death: <HMM> One minor point that Simmons mentioned is piling it on a little. When Bird was drafted in 78 he didn't come out that year so in a sense the Warriors didn't miss out on him. The rest of the article is like something out of a bad science fiction novel.|
|Mar-24-12|| ||Jim Bartle: No, Paul was going to come as part of a multi-team deal, and the Lakers were definitely giving up Gasol. Not positive about Odom. The deal was nixed because Stern thought New Orleans wasn't getting any established players, just young guys and draft picks.|
Goodrich for any old #1 pick wouldn't have been so bad, but it became the #1 overall. They wanted a backcourt of Maravich and Goodrich.
But taking Magic #1 wasn't so automatic. He rose to the top in his sophomore year, and of course won the NCAAs. But a lot of people thought he couldn't shoot and wouldn't be a great pro.
|Mar-24-12|| ||King Death: <HMM> What <Jim Bartle> says about Gasol going in the proposed trade was true. Getting Paul would've helped the Lakers a lot at PG but it would've left them with nothing up front. Double up on Bynum and let Kobe shoot all day.|
Maybe serving as Bryant's caddy in LA was better for Sessions than playing on a team going nowhere in basketball nowhere. Who knows how many more years Bryant has anyhow, with those creaky knees? The will power to play to 100 is there but his body won't take it.
|Mar-24-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I'll bet once Kobe begins to decline, that people can see it, he'll retire. I don't see his pride letting him play if he's not at his best. He won't play if he's like Garnett today, for example.|
|Mar-25-12|| ||HeMateMe: I was surprised the Lakers would have traded Pao Gasol for a point guard. I realize D. Fischer is just about done, but I thought Gasol's improvement was the reason the Lakers beat the Celtics in the finals, a couple of years ago. Rare to trade a good big man for a good small man. Good bigs are harder to find.|
Speaking about good bigs, anyone following this Baylor gal, Britney Griner? Holy smokes! 6-8 and very well coordinated. Her Baylor Bears are 34-0 this year, and advancing deep into the women's NCAA tournament. She blocks shots like the men do, averages 23 ppg, great stats, tough D. She's a junior.
Has anyone had worse luck than Portland? Bill Walton's body fell apart, in his prime.
Sam Bowie, Kentucky all star center, had a broken leg every year he played in the NBA, and retired young. He's the guy they drafted ahead of Michael Jordan, who fell to the Bulls at No. 2.
Sadly, Greg Oden has been released by the Jail Blazers. He's the center who was thought to be the next Tim Duncan. His knees are too shaky to play pro ball. He never completed a full season for Portland. The Blazers truly have had bad luck drafting centers.
|Mar-25-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I think Portland has had more than bad luck, they've had stupidity. Bowie had missed two years with leg injuries in college, and everybody knew Jordan was going to be great. Oden had a history of injuries as well, had leg problems, and there was Kevin Durant waiting to be taken instead.|
Bobby Knight was the Olympics coach in 1984, and the Portland GM was a friend of his. He kept telling the guy, you've got to take Jordan, he's absolutely great.
The Portland guy said, "But we need a center," to which Knight reportedly replied, "Then play Jordan at center!"
|Mar-25-12|| ||HeMateMe: Did coach Knight also work out the boys at chair-throwing, see how far across the gym they could toss a fold-up?|
|Mar-25-12|| ||Jim Bartle: If he did, I'll bet Jordan practiced so he could win the competition.|
Looking back, the makeup of that 1984 Olympic team was pretty strange. (Knight didn't select the players; it was a committee.) Players like Jon Koncak and Joe Klein made the team while Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and other future stars were left off.
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