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Old 08-02-2006, 01:41 AM   #46
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Well if you're lookin' anything like this lately, you may want to have someone proof read your posts...

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Old 08-02-2006, 01:51 AM   #47
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Wow...he must have season tickets to the Lakers. That's the only thing that I can think of to explain THAT condition.
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by trayhezy
I agree that it is not viable to think this team would contend in year 1 or 2. But it is the Los Angeles FREAKING Lakers!!! I have come to expect them to do "something" to put them back on a level to contend and we have not seen it. When Kareem retired they did not rebuild they retooled and were back in the title hunt in two years. Magic retiring was sudden and sent them into a tailspin for 4 or 5 years but in what was it 96 or 97 they got Kobe AND Shaq and headed right back for the top.

Now it is different. I posted earlier in this thread how that Western conference is a Minefield and that it is "possible" that the Lakers not get back to a championship level for several years. The Clippers were 1 win away from the west finals and they are a young team that will only get better. The Lakers on the other hand don't have much upside to their current roster. Also I personally have no belief that Mitch Cupcake can find a way to make this work. And because of what I see as a lack of prestige for the organization I wonder if they can woo the big time free agent with all the young guys taking over. Example, if you are a big time free agent next summer and you had the chance to play next to Kobe in LA, it used to be a no-brainer that you pack your bags for Hollywood. Now there is also the thought of playing with Lebron in Cleveland, or Wade in Miami. If you are a big man you could go play with the Nets and be the final piece of the Championship puzzle. Where LA was once always the first choice now it is one of many choices. Where they once got to pick and choose now they have to fight other franchises for the up and coming stars.

It is quite possible that they could be up there three years from now with the right moves but Kobe cannot continue to carry the load that he has for the past couple of years. They need to get him some help quick.........even a Ferrari will break down from overuse.
I understand that it seems very odd that the Los Angeles Lakers are not in contention every single season (similar to the New York Yankees from 1989 through 1992 when they finished below .500 each of those years), and I agree that it is certainly plausible for the Lakers to not return to championship level for a long-time.

But again, nobody has convinced me that the situation would have been any different for the organization had Shaquille O'Neal stayed and Kobe Bryant left.

And that is the real issue.

So in the end, why was the decision to keep Kobe Bryant over Shaquille O'Neal the wrong move?

If everyone was aware of the fact that following the 2003-2004 NBA season that one of the best players in the league was going to leave the Lakers and the team was going to have to flounder and rebuild because of it, how can anyone say "the circle is complete?"
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:40 PM   #49
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This is not a Kobe vs. Shaq thread, this is a what Buck expects out of the Lakers thread.

Because in no way do I expect keeping Shaq over Kobe is instant contendership, which Buck expects. While Kobe goes next door the Clippers and make them an instant contender with a line up of Cassell(trade Jaric for Cassell), Maggette at the two, Kobe at the three, Brand, and Kaman with Livingston, Wilcox, Ross, and such as back ups. Convince me that lineup doesn't equal instant contendership. And yes, Kobe would be a good fit. He does pass the ball, shown in a games when his teammate is hot. Phoenix series, early Kobe-Shaq days, games in which Odom, Smush, and Cook are hot, etc.

Imagine Kobe like that for every game when he wanted to.

Then imagine Shaq in LA signed for 30+ Million with the same guys you are bashing like crazy. Shaq in LA all of a sudden makes Mitch a competent GM or Buss willing to spend money for imcompetent players like Walker? Please.

Because if that were to happen, I'm pretty sure someone will make a "The Circle is Complete: Letting Kobe go was the wrong thing to do." Because if this is about rings, Kobe would have been easily a contender with the Clippers. Because the Clippers were contenders pre Maggette injury. Kobe might keep Maggette healthy since Maggette would get less touches meaning less falls, maybe not. But it sure as hell makes it easier to swallow.

If you're convincing people that Odom+Butler+Grant+Farmar doesn't equal Shaq, duh.

If you convincing people West>Phil and Mitch at scouting and general GM duties, that is a no brainer.

Convince people the Lakers hasn't gotten the right guys i.e athletic two way defenders around Kobe? No one is argueing that.

But some how convince people that Shaq in LA is instant contendership within 5 years DESPITE bashing Buss and Mitch? Or that Shaq is leading Walton, Payton, MLE, and such to a ring within 5 years? Because Lakers would have very little trade bait like Shaq did in Miami to get help, and very little cap space as Buss, the guy you're all bashing, is very hesitant in giving a max contract to a non superstar, and somehow, Shaq in LA is instant or 5 year contendership, I don't see it.

I see a similar route in keeping Shaq over Kobe as Kobe over Shaq. One goes a team with an established or up and coming star. Possible rings, Lakers look bad. Because is what the discussion is really about right? Kobe vs. Shaq straight up and what would happen if they kept one over the other. Not the bridge burned earlier.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:44 PM   #50
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I stopped reading your thread when you said the Clippers were contenders pre Maggette injury. I had to change my underwear.
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Old 08-02-2006, 10:51 PM   #51
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Maybe we should define contender: : con·tend·er
Function: noun
: one that contends; especially : a competitor for a championship or high honor
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:01 PM   #52
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They don't understand the final step tray. Going from 20 to 50 wins as well as making it to the Conference Finals is a walk in the park compared to going from the Conference Finals to winning an NBA title.

Contention is a mindset...one that requires pain and suffering beyond comprehension in comparison to playing the Hawks in Febuary.

Knowing the Lakers lost their premiere status in this league by keeping Kobe over Shaq is a mindset issue too. You can't teach it or see it in the box score. You just know it when you see it.

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Old 08-02-2006, 11:40 PM   #53
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Clippers were one win away from Conference Finals.

Kings were in the Conference Finals and were considered Finals.

I may have been stretching it a little, but that one game from the Conference title could have been won without Kobe. With Kobe, Clippers could have beat the Mavericks. Potentially.

As for "mindset", your saying Lakers should have kept Shaq because of your vision of the Lakers and Shaq. Shaq changes mindsets...

Now I know why you changed your underwear...
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:47 AM   #54
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Clippers, Kings, and Mavs are NBA teams?

I thought there were only 3: Spurs, Pistons, and Heat? Anyway...

Actually Slinky, your point of Cupcake being vastly inferior to West is refreshing. I couldn't get Shawn to admit that when he was in here. That's progress. There may be hope for you yet...LOL. But where the hope goes out the window is your failure to acknowledge Buss as the impetus of all this. Buss pissed West off. West is God. Buss is nothing. (PLEASE...PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP...DON'T ARGUE THIS POINT...IT WILL CAUSE CATASTROPHIC DIASASTERS AROUND THE GLOBE). I had to argue over this with toby in regards to Riley v Van Gundy. Even before this title, Riley had clout and established himself as one who understood winning. Van Gundy wasn't a human being....PERIOD. Just the way the world works.

You have to go back in time and realize the actions of Buss put this team in the position where it HAD A HORRIBLE GM. With Shaq and everyone BUT Kobe on there now...this team is still hobbled by the fact that Buss and Kupcake are runnin' the show...true. But the team still has SOME semblence of the glory that is the Laker pedigree if Shaq remains. Even if they win less games with Shaq and another roster...it still is better than a Kobe-led team because both teams aren't contenders...ON PAPER...but with Shaq they are contenders in a mental state. With Shaq an image is maintained. Again, this is where we go into mindsets, which is something I'm not sure you and toby see here.

Look, the Lakers have gone from the best franchise in all of sports to the worst in a matter of 3 years. I hope you understand that. But keeping Shaq means there is SOME hope. Stranger things have happened. And this is where you (and esp. toby based off of older convos) don't understand that money,markets, and stats don't win championships...certain people do. That's because there is a difference between winning and winning it all...mentally. People like Pat Riley, Jerry West, and Joe Dumars know this. This dynasty didn't die when Shaq left. It didn't even die when Riley left (ONLY because West was still there). It died when West left. But some pieces were still there to give the image that things could return to glory. That is no more. Understanding that the Lakers are no longer a premiere franchise is where the championship begins and ends.

You don't understand that had West still been in L.A., this PROBABLY would have never happened (Kobe-Shaq feud to the extent of breakup). You also don't understand (as evident by the constant ramblings of Shaq's weight and contract demands) that Shaq would have been in better shape and would have also played for FAR LESS money than $27 million a year. Shaq reacted pretty predictably when he saw this franchise no longer had class and valued a player with less seniority over him in every way possible. Again, focusing on the faults of Shaq while not even mentioning Mr. Bryant is the goal of the deflectors. Kobe's faults and demands were masked by backroom deals and standard behavior (in regards to contracts and the such). You are doing the same thing with the Kupchak v West scenario. You want to make it Kupchak v West when in reality it is Buss v West. It's funny too. In all reality...it's Buss v the Laker pedigree. Buss won. Game over. Once you start picking points to start from instead of seeing who is ACCOUNTABLE (that special word) for the entire downfall, you'll be able to talk your way out of anything.
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:50 AM   #55
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Not to jump on the young guys too much but Kobe going to the Clippers means that other players would have to get along with him. The whole premise of the thread is that some people believe that Kobe is great enough to eventually get the jobs done while us "old heads" don't think it is that easy.

To Slinky's earlier point, it is easier for me to believe that it is easier to build a team around a dominant big man than a dominant guard. In the league last year there were 11 guards in the league that averaged 20+ points in shot over 44% beside Kobe. There were seven more who averaged 16+ points and shot right at 43%. It is a fact that a big guy who commands a double team in the post and can pass out makes FG% go up so any of these guards can pick up SOME of what you lose without Kobe. On the other hand, How many post players (not big men, but true post players) automatically command a double? In my opinion two: Shaq and Duncan maybe Yao down the road but that is it.

Some guys think that just because the Bulls built around MJ could do it then you could do it again but he had particular pieces around him that are in rare supply now. Scottie Pippen was a great defender and facilitated the offense well. They had good "dirty work" guys in Ho Grant, and Rodman. They always had big body centers who could defend in the paint in Cartwright, Longley, Perdue. They also had extraordinary outside shooters who could spread the floor and open driving lanes for MJ in Kerr, Paxson, Armstrong, Hodges. It is not easy to find those types of guys now a days without having to break the bank and overpay them. Taking that into account with the Lakers cap situation, and the firepower out west, I think the Lakers are a lot further away than most do.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:14 AM   #56
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Wanna know how hard it is to win a title? Let's talk about Jesus Christ...aka...Jerry West.

The Grizzlies won 19 games per year before West arrived. They win 44 games per year since acquiring West. That's a +25 game improvement...not over one season...but on average!!!!! And he's doin' it in Memphis Tennessee. Do they even have electricity there (I know they do because Tray lives there...LOL...you get my point here)?

And now they've hit a wall...with Jerry West in charge!!! He's done a great job but here we go again with the one thing you can't show in the box score and with salary caps: mentality. West can only take them to the water, but he can't make them drink (man, I'm on tonight...LOL). In order to win, you gotta do your own bleedin', sweatin', and cryin' at some point in time...and to top it off...you have to do that and be able to overcome and actually win in the end. He can only take them so far on his own. And that's why West wants to get more physical and establish a tougher mentality.

And for the love of God tray don't go thru a whole paragraph about building around MJ in comparison to building around Kobe. Technically you're right, but all you do is say Jordan and Mr. Bryant leaves the conversation. Just like the Riley v Van Gundy debate. Once you say Riley, Van Gundy is the Easter Bunny...PERIOD.
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:57 AM   #57
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I think it was a bit of an exaggeration to call the Lakers the worst franchise in sports. The Hawks and Knicks would trounce LA in that category.

Anyway, about the mentality/mindset thing. Kobe was on POWER 106 (hip-hop radio station) a couple days ago. The DJ said something to the effect that Lakers were proud of how much progress the team had made. Anyway, Kobe said he was happy with the improvements as well. WTF? The Los Angeles Lakers finished freakin' 7th in the conference and melted down in their final three games. How on earth 1) could Lakers fans DEMAND anything less than a title every year? And more importantly, 2) why the hell is Kobe not boiling over the fact that his team is average? He should on a ****in' rampage. The Lakers cannot accept 3-year or 5-year plans; championship or ****in' bust. I guess they don't understand that now.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:30 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyefan78
Knowing the Lakers lost their premiere status in this league by keeping Kobe over Shaq is a mindset issue too. You can't teach it or see it in the box score. You just know it when you see it.

the team still has SOME semblence of the glory that is the Laker pedigree if Shaq remains. Even if they win less games with Shaq and another roster...it still is better than a Kobe-led team because both teams aren't contenders...ON PAPER...but with Shaq they are contenders in a mental state. With Shaq an image is maintained. Again, this is where we go into mindsets, which is something I'm not sure you and toby see here.
Explain it to me then, because you couldn't be more vague when trying to trounce my stance.

And when you explain it, I don't want to see you mention Pat Riley. I don't want to see you mention Jerry West (I understand your stance on both of these men, and I am not arguing with you over it).

I want you to specifically address the results of the trade that came after the 2003-2004 NBA Season and how you can determine that the circle is complete and it was the wrong thing to do.

Don't just tell me that the Lakers lost their premiere status in the league when they lost Shaq. Explain to me why the Lakers have lost their premiere statuts in the league when they lost Shaq.

Explain to me why the Lakers don't have some semblence of the glory that is the Laker pedigree with Kobe Bryant as the leader of the team.

Why would they be contenders in a mental state with Shaq? Why wouldn't they be with Kobe?

Don't make outlandish claims like the Lakers are the worst franchise in all of sports, and then tell me I won't understand because I am young.

Explain to me your stance, but address the results of the team following 2003-2004 (and only address the results following that season; don't go back to addressing the demise of the Lakers because they let go of West because that is not what I am looking for and I already fully understand your stance on that) had they kept Shaquille O'Neal instead of Kobe Bryant.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:42 PM   #59
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Great points, Buckeye & Tray, but I'm afraid it's fallin' on deaf ears....

I would have thought the history lesson coupled with Bryant's complete disdain for what it means to be a Laker thru the years would make this easier but alas...

Good layout on the Bulls & MJ, Tray, but I'm with Buck as far as using it as a template for building around Kobe...uttered in the same breath & it's blasphemy....
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:25 PM   #60
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Quote:
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Great points, Buckeye & Tray, but I'm afraid it's fallin' on deaf ears....

I would have thought the history lesson coupled with Bryant's complete disdain for what it means to be a Laker thru the years would make this easier but alas...

Good layout on the Bulls & MJ, Tray, but I'm with Buck as far as using it as a template for building around Kobe...uttered in the same breath & it's blasphemy....
But you see Tark, tray has to try and use examples that slinky and toby can relate to, not someone who understands that when you say the word Michael Jordan...Kobe Bryant becomes the Easter Bunny. We know that...hell I do and I hate Jordan :lol:. Where people who have seen the glory days can speak in terms based on certain assumptions (Bird is God, Magic is God, Jordan is God), we constantly have to try and relate the mindset of winning and what that takes to the new generation. That's because the new generation gets things given to them prematurely without rings on their fingers or over those with seniority. We know it's wrong, but they don't.

Just like Ken's example. Kobe Bryant has 3 rings. How can you live life without anything less? That's because he was given things he didn't earn so he has no desire and understanding anymore. Magic was a champion and clearly the better first option on the Lakers by the time 1985 rolled around. That didn't mean he killed Jabbar and dumped his body in Santa Monica Bay. He had to wait for Jabbar to give him the team. If the Lakers had to suffer due to that (which they did...losing in 86 when Jabbar was dominated by the Twin Towers), so be it. Jabbar earned that right. So did Shaq. Eventually Riley (oh sh** I said his name) leaned on Jabbar to give it up. This is called hierachy. Only people who have earned more can tell those with less what to do or advise them.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: 1992 Dream Team bus in Barcelona. Barkley's talkin' sh**. Jordan stands up and says something along the lines "there are only 3 guys on this bus with rings (him, Magic, and Bird) so sit down and shut the F*** up." What was Barkley going to do? Spout stats or something? Yea, right.

toby...

Look, I'm not even going thru the trouble of doing the roster after the 04 meltdown. I'm perfectly willing to admit that the Lakers would have not won the NBA title in 05 and probably not in 06. Again, you want me to cite roster moves and specific salary cap issues. If I'm being too vague it's because I'm conveying a mindset, that's all. With Shaq in and Kobe out of L.A. that means a few things would have happened:

1. He would have been respected properly by Buss and would have PROBABLY taken a paycut within a year or two.

2. His weight/health issues would have been taken care of by Phil (rejuvenated with no punk kid in need of a babysitter...which would be Mr. Bryant).

3. The Lakers would have showed the league that they value people who have won and put their time in over relative upstarts. In essence, the Laker name would have been preserved.

Preservation for the future. Patience is tough, but losing the ability to look in the mirror is tougher. The "Kobe situation" rattled Shaq, who isn't the most dependable person in the world to begin with. I could give you more points here if it hadn't rattled Phil to the point of complete exhaustion. This guy made a Buddhist lose his mind. I'm willing to bet that had Buss chose Shaq and Phil over Kobe and conveyed confidence in them as well as allowing them to play a more active role in the franchise the team would have been better off for future success. I don't think it...I take that back...I KNOW it.

But the thing is you can't just disqualify Bryant as a nothing. I know that too. Obviously Phil sees it as a challenge and came back. Shaq's anger and mindset suffered because he knew of the potential. West knew it too...as he got between the two and worked things out when he was there.

But that's what Phil, Shaq, and West believe. And since they say so...IT IS SO. THAT'S how it works.
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