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Old 10-12-2004, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Lakers: Still the only story in the league

NBA pre-season is upon us and, still, the only story in the league is the Lakers. It's ridiculous. No other team or player in the league is worth talking about, apparently. All we hear, months after Shaq's trade and Phil Jackson's departure, are a slew of incessant barbs being traded between the afforementioned pair and the now dubious Kobe Bryant in the press. Shaq says Kobe is a clown, Kobe says Shaq has paid women to keep quiet, Jackson says he was forced out of LA by Kobe, yada yada yada... It's all getting to be white noise. And still its all any NBA buffs can talk about. What the Lakers used to be, what this trio has to air to the papers now that they're all in different cities. We all knew it as a sideshow even when they were winning championships. But as long as you win, no one cares about who hates who. Now, a report comes out that Phil Jackson had intentions of trading Kobe back in 1999. Would've been an incredible deal, too. Kobe Bryant to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion. If a deal like that comes my way, I'd say adios to Kobe in a heartbeat. Alas, this never came to pass.

Now, Kobe stands alone in LA whilst the other two have departed and you have to wonder if this team is going to sink like a stone now that Shaq is gone (most say yes). Is Kobe going to wedge an even greater divide between himself and the rest of the team? Then you remember the coach they hired to replace the Zen Master:
Rudy T.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:58 PM   #2
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I'm also sick of this saga, but it's mostly fueled off stories from past seasons. Once the season nears, other stories will ... hopefully ... give us a break from this.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:01 AM   #3
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hey I agree... too much focus on the Lakers' drama.
Anyone got anything else to talk about, please feel free to post it up!
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:11 AM   #4
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However, in the vein of this thread, here's a more complete excerpt from the LA Times. I gather a greater understanding of the drama that took place. Although I am a Kobe fan, I am not blind to his egotistic and narcissistic tendencies. Also on the other end of things, Jackson admits that he may have had a tendency to find fault with Bryant.

Quote:

October 12, 2004 E-mail story Print


Throwing the Book at Bryant
In new diary, Jackson paints Laker star as key figure in last season's tumult, says he wanted to trade him.



By J.A. Adande, Times Staff Writer


The "unavoidable" conflict between coach Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant led Jackson to ask the Lakers to trade Bryant in January and hampered the team's shot at the 2004 championship, Jackson wrote in a soon-to-be-released diary of the season.

A 5,500-word excerpt of "The Last Season" will appear in the November issue of Los Angeles magazine, which will hit newsstands Monday. The book, published by Penguin Press, will come out this month. A copy of the magazine excerpt was made available to The Times on Monday.







Although the book is Jackson's personal look at the tumultuous year, Bryant emerges as the central figure.

"I do know that there were many occasions this year when I felt like there was a psychological war going on between us," Jackson wrote. "Amazingly, we came to a truce, even to a higher level of trust. Ultimately, though, I don't believe we developed enough trust between us to win a championship."

Jackson details their deteriorating relationship, marked by Bryant's defiance and Jackson's own budding prejudice against him.

The coach had a January "tirade" about Bryant in front of General Manager Mitch Kupchak in which Jackson demanded the team trade Bryant and said, "I won't coach this team next year if he is still here. He won't listen to anyone. I've had it with this kid."

Jackson also revealed that he wanted to trade Bryant to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion during the 1999-2000 season, Jackson's first with the Lakers, but that Jerry West, then the team's general manager, told him owner Jerry Buss would never trade Bryant. Jackson wrote that Kupchak told him the same thing last season.

Jackson suspected that the organization's public announcement in February that it had suspended contract negotiations with him was a means of appealing to Bryant, who became a free agent at the end of the season.

In their final meeting, days after the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, he asked Bryant whether Jackson's return would influence his decision to re-sign with the Lakers, "He said I should make up my mind about my future independently of his decision," Jackson wrote.

Jackson told him he was going to retire.

"Really?" Bryant asked, his eyebrows rising.

Then Jackson asked whether Shaquille O'Neal's presence on the team would affect Bryant's decision.

"Yes, it does," Bryant said, according to Jackson.

Jackson told them they could play together, to which Bryant responded, according to Jackson: "There's no doubt about that. I've done that for eight years with him, but I'm tired of being a sidekick."

(Buss said over the summer that his decision to trade O'Neal he eventually was dealt to Miami for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler was made independently of Bryant. Bryant said he had no role in either Jackson's or O'Neal's departures.)

Bryant's relationship with O'Neal which slid from chilly to frozen was an unavoidable topic for Jackson as well.

In Jackson's first meeting with Bryant before the season, Bryant said he would hold his ground in the public war of words with O'Neal.

"If he starts saying things in the press, I'll fire back," Bryant said. "I'm not afraid to go up against him. I've had it."

Jackson wrote that after O'Neal and Bryant exchanged shots in the media two days before the start of the season, O'Neal was frustrated at what he perceived as an organizational favoritism toward Bryant and said: "I'd like to pound the chump."

When O'Neal missed practice the day after the All-Star game, Bryant told Jackson: "That just shows you what kind of leader he is."

"He was angry about the allowances the Lakers afford Shaq, failing to note the hypocrisy in his accusation," Jackson wrote. "Nobody this year, or in any year I've coached, has received more 'allowances' than Kobe Bryant. At times the pettiness between the two of them can be unbelievably juvenile."

Jackson and O'Neal had their own squabbles, but Jackson called coaching O'Neal "an experience I will cherish forever."

He didn't use those words for Bryant.

Among the "allowances" the organization made for Bryant was to pay part of the expense of Bryant's taking private jets to and from Colorado for hearings in his sexual assault case. Jackson wrote, "Kobe was unhappy with the type of plane that was selected; he wanted one with higher status. He should feel fortunate that he's not footing the bill himself."

Jackson thought Bryant was disrespectful during the season, whether mocking him or flat-out defying orders. An incident when Bryant told Jackson he would do some running, then didn't follow through, set off Jackson's January trade demand.

But another incident showed Jackson how much of the battle was his own doing. In March, Bryant was late for a bus to the airport, by Jackson's reckoning. Bryant insisted he was on time and Jackson should "get with the rest of the world" and synchronize his watch. Jackson later checked with a trainer and discovered that Bryant was right; Jackson's watch was three minutes fast.

"The incident illustrated to me how conditioned I am to find fault with this kid, after everything I've gone through with him," Jackson wrote. "I suppose the anger is deeper than I imagined."

Jackson had reached the conclusion before the season that "a major confrontation between the two of us seems unavoidable."

It prompted Jackson to hire a therapist "who has dealt with narcissistic behavior in the Los Angeles public school system" to consult during the season.

Jackson wrote that he knew he would be out of a job after he took the me-or-him stance with Bryant, and deep down inside it was what he wanted after the usual rigors of the NBA season and the unusual drama on "this dysfunctional team." That decision was confirmed in his final meeting with Buss, when he was told the team wanted to scale back and would go in a direction that didn't involve Jackson as coach.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:13 PM   #5
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I caught that article, too. As a Laker fan, I'm obviously rooting for Kobe to perform well on the court. However, I tend to side with Jackson in this fued given that he's dealt with bigger stars who have shown far less resistance to him and bought into the team. *cough -- MJ -- cough -- Shaq*

I'm actually hard-pressed to come up with any other NBA storylines. Possible list:

- Detroit repeat?
- Shaq in Miami
- T-Mac and Yao together
- umm...
- will realignment matter?
- How good is Denver, now?
- How bad will New Jersey be?
- Grant Hill and Dwight Howard in Orlando?
- playoff race in the west

See? Those are all relatively weak. Save for perhaps Shaq and McGrady. This season will be yet another heaping dose of Lakers Lakers Lakers.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shawndo
Although I am a Kobe fan, I am not blind to his egotistic and narcissistic tendencies. Bryant.
Shawn

I know that everyone can see the ego of "Mr ME" but I never thought I would see you acknowledge it. Props to you.

What bothers me most is that the team that made Kobe look like an average ball player in route to a championship, which also has most of it's core players back to make another run, has been overlooked because of all the attention to soap opera in LA. If I want a soap I'll tune into the Young & the Restless. I want to hear about good basketball teams, and IMO as of right now the Lakers don't fall into that category.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:55 PM   #7
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Dysfunction, like sex, sells, Tray, & with the Lakers & Bryant, you have both....

The Pistons are a blue collar team that won't get respect unless they run the board again this year. We'll keep hearing about the Lakers till the season starts cuz nothing else is going on.

Besides, the hostile takeover of a team by a narcisistic player fresh out of a possible rape trial is waaay too juicy for most to let go of. Welcome to the advent of "As The NBA World Turns", the new hit Reality TV show....
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:51 PM   #8
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Shaq is getting some big news, and Carter and Peja demanding trade.

Trayhezy, how is the Lakers not a good basketball team? Talentwise? Chemistry? Or you just don't like them? No one knows if they will be good this year, but they have some talent. The story will remain Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, especially this offseason with Payton, Malone, and Shaq departed, and Phil's book.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by trayhezy
Shawn

I know that everyone can see the ego of "Mr ME" but I never thought I would see you acknowledge it. Props to you.

What bothers me most is that the team that made Kobe look like an average ball player in route to a championship, which also has most of it's core players back to make another run, has been overlooked because of all the attention to soap opera in LA. If I want a soap I'll tune into the Young & the Restless. I want to hear about good basketball teams, and IMO as of right now the Lakers don't fall into that category.
Yeah, I generally just try and stick up for Kobe... everyone else beats him up enough but I see his faults and his features.

As far as the Pistons being overlooked.. as far as the media goes there's really nothing sensational happening with them so they aren't the subject of as many articles.
However we did have a quite long-running thread about the Pistons right here. Please feel free to comment as much as you like about them: https://www.sports-central.org/commu...threadid=10552
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:41 AM   #10
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The league will get tired of the Lakers when they start losing.

Hmm...which will start when the Lakers first game is finished.
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Old 10-14-2004, 01:58 AM   #11
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I doubt that. The Lakers are Hollywood, man... win or lose, they'll be in the news... (yes that was a tight rhyme! )
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tarkus
Dysfunction, like sex, sells, Tray, & with the Lakers & Bryant, you have both....

The Pistons are a blue collar team that won't get respect unless they run the board again this year. We'll keep hearing about the Lakers till the season starts cuz nothing else is going on.

Besides, the hostile takeover of a team by a narcisistic player fresh out of a possible rape trial is waaay too juicy for most to let go of. Welcome to the advent of "As The NBA World Turns", the new hit Reality TV show....
Tarkus,

I really like your style..........lol!

But please no more reality shows, I cant stand the ones there are...........wait a minute I dont watch them or anything but sports, so.........

Carry on!

Fight On!
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:12 PM   #13
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I agree with 47.... network programming is wayyy too overclogged with reality shows.
I even saw an advertisement last night for an upcoming ANIMATED reality show...... and I'm thinking hey wait a second! :lol:
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Old 10-14-2004, 02:18 PM   #14
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An upcoming ANIMATED reality show??????

Unbelievable! People in TV must be bored, really bored!

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Old 10-14-2004, 02:22 PM   #15
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yeah seriously! it's called "Drawn Together" check it out:
http://www.comedycentral.com/tv_shows/drawntogether/
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