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Official 2009-2010 WORLD CHAMPION LA Lakers Thread

Originally posted by GameOver:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
LMAO. Kobe had CJ Watson on him from about 21 feet out, caught the ball above his head in a post up position, kept the ball above his head as he faced up, and shot a 50's style set shot over Watson...swish. It looked like a dad playing ball with his kid.

i...need...visual evidence! video preferred...

This s**t's hilarious. Watch Sasha's reaction on the bench.

Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Originally posted by GameOver:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
LMAO. Kobe had CJ Watson on him from about 21 feet out, caught the ball above his head in a post up position, kept the ball above his head as he faced up, and shot a 50's style set shot over Watson...swish. It looked like a dad playing ball with his kid.

i...need...visual evidence! video preferred...

This s**t's hilarious. Watch Sasha's reaction on the bench.


nice description, it's like how I tower over 12 year olds...except Kobes doing it to another professional basketball player...Jesus Christ this cat is
1st Half Laker Highlights

2nd Half Laker Highlights

Kobe Highlights

Bynum Highlights

Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you guys that are outside of Socal.
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you bandwagon fans.

Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you guys that are outside of Socal.

Oh thank Jesus, good s**t, thanks Pete for the notification, I can finally see some games
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you bandwagon fans.


Says the kings fan NOT from Sacramento.
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you bandwagon fans.


Says the kings fan NOT from Sacramento.

Where do you think I'm from genius?
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Originally posted by 9erReign:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
Tonight's game is on TNT, and tomorrow's is on ESPN, for all of you bandwagon fans.


Says the kings fan NOT from Sacramento.

Where do you think I'm from genius?

You will, and forever shall be, from Fremont. Genius.
I have to admit, Bill Simmons is my favorite Laker hater. (sorry, Reign) He's usually wrong about the Lakers (like Reign), but at least he's funny about it. (unlike Reign)

From his article on the most intriguing people in basketball...

14. Andrew Bynum
I am 65 percent certain that this exact conversation happened within the past four weeks.

(Kobe enters Phil Jackson's office. Brian Shaw is sitting to Phil's right.)

Phil: Kobe, thanks for stopping by.

Kobe: No problem. I got five minutes. Artest is taking me to Hollywood Boulevard; he wants to introduce me to the guys dressed up like Superman and Batman. He thinks they're the actual superheroes. I haven't had the heart to tell him they're homeless guys.

Phil: Well, don't tell him differently. Let him think that.

Kobe: I will.

Phil: Look, I really want to get Bynum more involved in our offense in November and December. It's a good thing, Kobe. Just trust me. We run everything through him for 42 minutes. You take over for the last six.

Kobe: C'mon, we did this last season. Then he got hurt, I took over and our team took off. Why go through the charade again?

Phil: Because you're still two titles behind MJ?

Kobe: That's your big motivational move with me now, huh?

Phil: Hey, he told me himself -- "Tell Kobe to call me when he gets to six."

Kobe (eyes narrowing): He said that?

Phil: Yup. He said he can't even take you seriously until you win two more.

Kobe: Really?

Phil: Yup. That's why we need Bynum right now. The Pechonkamappadosa tribe has a phrase for this called, "Kakaboomaka." It means, "To share the credit without giving up credit with those who matter." I just want to build his confidence up and save your legs. We put a ton of miles on those babies these past two years -- 208 games. This is good for you.

Kobe: Lemme think about it.

(Kobe leaves. Phil turns to Shaw.)

Phil: This is too easy.
[ Edited by LA9erFan on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:57 PM ]

An opposing team's scout sizes up the Lakers

History tells you that at some point this season Ron Artest is going to be a problem for the Lakers, that he's going to be a distraction by doing something screwed up. Young teams can't handle that kind of influence, but this team -- as the defending champion and being in the NBA Finals the past two years -- has dealt with difficult situations before, whether it's incorporating Lamar Odom as sixth man or overcoming Andrew Bynum's injuries. So this might be one team that can handle Artest. The one thing I do know is that something is going to happen.

Rick Adelman [Artest's former coach at Houston and Sacramento] was the best at not having rabbit ears and really not giving a crap if Artest practiced, or if he showed up an hour before the game in boxer shorts or whatever it might have been. With Adelman, it all came down to needing Artest to win the game tonight. If you are consumed with having him live by the same rules as everybody else, you're setting yourself up for a lot of sleepless nights.

I didn't like the move to get Artest. I thought they'd be much better off re-signing Trevor Ariza because of his youth, the way he emerged at the end of the year, his length and the way he fit in with that team. Ariza is a fit-in guy, whereas Artest demands that everybody else has to change to accept him and adapt to him.

The upside is that Artest is an incredible player. The Lakers were always considered a finesse team, but now he gives them their first tough guy since Kurt Rambis -- that's going a long way back -- although with less reliability. I have no doubt that Artest can do anything he sets out to do because he's the Floyd Mayweather of basketball. He's probably in the gym shooting at 2 or 3 a.m. He does it differently. He could say I'm going to score only eight points but average double-digit rebounds and hold my opponent to 12 points a game -- and he could do that. Defensively, he's such a physical force with quick hands. He can hold his ground even as he's pestering you with those quick hands. You can't overpower him, and at the same time his feet are still quick enough to cut off the angles. He's just plain intimidating, and it's going to make for a big difference from the defensive style of Ariza, whose length caught people off guard. He had those deflections that helped secure playoff wins by playing the passing lanes and moving quickly without people noticing him. This year it's going to be completely different. In the playoffs, Manu Ginobili or Paul Pierce is going to know he's going to have to battle Artest for seven games, and psychologically alone that can wear on you.

Kobe Bryant is going to have to manage Artest. Kobe might relish it, especially if Artest is responding. But I can also envision a day when Artest isn't responding and Kobe says, I'm done with him, he won't listen to me. Kobe will like having some toughness behind him so that he won't have to be the tough guy all of the time. On the one hand, he's probably relishing that; on the other hand, he may be dreading the drama and the work he'll have to do off the court to keep Artest in line.

Is Kobe the best player in the NBA? If I had to start a team for the long haul, I'd take LeBron James. But if I had to win today, I'd take Kobe. He's proved it. Once LeBron wins a championship, he'll probably win repeatedly. Kobe has already reached that peak and he's starting to come down the other side just a little bit, but I'd still take the experience of winning that you get with Kobe. The talent has improved around Kobe, but he also has grown up. It seems from everything you hear and read that he accepts his role and trusts his teammates more than he used to, and of course that was the same progression that Michael Jordan went through. Early in Jordan's career, his teammates didn't like him either.

The feeling I get about Phil Jackson is that there is no real formula. People talk about him as the Zen Master and all of that, but what really goes into it is that he's won a lot of games and people believe in him. He's a smart guy and he knows how to play mind games with people, and he can do it his way and his players have confidence and belief that he knows what he's doing. What other coaches can get away with the stuff he does, like the talk [early in the offseason] that he was going to have Rambis coach the away games [Rambis, a longtime Lakers assistant, was hired as the Timberwolves' head coach in August]? He has the aura, the mystique, and that's a big part of being a success in this league. He gives the players the belief that if they do what he says, it's all going to work out. That kind of belief takes on a life of its own.

They're going to miss Rambis because he was a worker for that team. You'd see him out on the floor working with the players, and he also ran the defense for Phil. Brian Shaw is going to have to step up into the role this year, which is not to say he can't do it.

I didn't see dramatic changes in Pau Gasol last year. People talked about the new toughness he showed in the Finals against Dwight Howard, but I have a hard time believing that a guy of Pau's age is all of a sudden going to get tougher and have a backbone. Some of it was the coincidence of going against a young kid in Howard who didn't know what to do the first time he was in the Finals, whereas Pau has been there before. He was also on a more complementary team with a role that was good for him. In Memphis, they said they didn't believe Pau could lead them because he is not a leader, not a No. 1 option. On this team, he is slotted perfectly as a second and sometimes third option. He is a very good player who is in the perfect role with the right team.

It's going to be very important for Andrew Bynum to play a full season and regain the confidence he lost after having knee injuries the past two years. He looked like a lost pup in the playoffs, like he couldn't get anything done. He's young enough that he can still develop some toughness, but this is a big year for him. If he has another tough, floundering year, it will mess with him mentally. He can be really good as long as he feels confident in his durability, and I really like the prospect of Bynum and Gasol as their frontcourt. Pau is so good at stepping out, spacing the floor and hitting shots from the baseline elbow, which is where he'd rather be. Bynum was developing a good low-post game before he got hurt, and defensively that's very intimidating looking up at two 7-footers protecting the basket together. You've got to be a cocky, arrogant guy to take the ball inside against those two. Most guys will be looking to kick it back out.

Re-signing Odom was a big victory for them, as important as he is to the Lakers as their No. 2 or 3 guy. You don't quite know what you're going to get from him; he was so bad in the Finals against Boston two years ago, but then so good against Orlando last year. But when you're putting together your scouting report for the head coach, he causes big problems. You go down the list -- Bryant, Gasol, Bynum, Odom -- and it's like, How many guys are they going to throw at us? They have so much talent and ability. Who do we concentrate on? And it's natural that sometimes you'll forget about Odom because there are just so many people to defend on that team, and sometimes he'll make you pay for that.

Derek Fisher changed the Finals with the big shots he hit. At 35, his minutes are going to be down, and they're going to try to pace him through the regular season to have him ready to go for the playoffs. He struggled with his shot last year. It was like he gave a sigh of relief when he made that big three against Orlando. Defensively, he has so much trouble defending speed because of his age, and they've tried to become a better help team around him. But he is in the game for them because he knows what he's doing, he makes good decisions and he spaces the floor with his shooting. He's another in a long line of Jackson's non-traditional point guards.

Sasha Vujacic was a disappointment after they re-signed him. When his shot is falling, everything is OK. But he was unreliable from the perimeter last year. He went from being a consistent catch-and-shoot guy to trying to develop his game off the dribble, and that threw everything off for him. I give him credit for trying to evolve, but he needs to return to his base as a dangerous catch-and-shoot guy. He is a pesky defender but not a great defender.

Jordan Farmar had a tough time last season. This might be his make-or-break year. I can imagine them trading him.

They tweak the triangle offense every year, though it remains their bread and butter. Artest could be very dangerous in that offense because the theory is that any of the five players can fill any of the five spots. He could be a terrific release valve for them. They pass it over to him and all of a sudden he's one-on-one on the weak side at the elbow against a defender who is a second late getting over to him. Now, will Artest be disciplined enough to run it?

Read more:

can you paraphrase that?
That is one of the worst scouting write ups I've ever read. I can get the Artest-is-gonna-screw-up-the-locker-room or Phil-Jackson-has-a-mystique garbage anywhere. You're a goddamn scout. Talk about the on the court crap.

"Vujacic struggled with his shot last year?" Holy jumpin' Jack in the Box tacos...fantastic observation!!!
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
I have to admit, Bill Simmons is my favorite Laker hater. (sorry, Reign) He's usually wrong about the Lakers (like Reign), but at least he's funny about it. (unlike Reign)

GREAT article about Kobe. He's unusually candid here...

Kobe Bryant's world is again lit up by the most brilliant of suns, the gold ball that sits atop the championship trophy the Lakers won again last June. What's more, there isn't a cloud in this sky, quite a shift for someone who has fronted as many storms as he has.

He is the 2008 NBA MVP and 2009 NBA Finals MVP, and his No. 24 jersey leads all others in worldwide sales. He is at the zenith of his power and popularity. That much is seen by the stir he caused at Dodger Stadium just making his way to his seat for Game 2 of the NLCS.

So how is it he can also be somewhat of an afterthought?

The Lakers' Web site put out a 950-word report on Coach Phil Jackson's meeting with reporters just before training camp, looking ahead to this possible repeat championship season. Amazingly, not one of those words was "Kobe."

That's because he is winning again, but without new controversy. Bryant is no longer a man of mystery. He is neither misanthrope (to his haters) nor misguided angel (to his believers).

He simply became respectable, in every sense of the word.

Leading up to his 14th Lakers season, the Newport Coast resident sat down for an exclusive interview with the Register to explain that he has been more repaired than reformed.

"Circumstances," Bryant said. "I really haven't changed much."

But Bryant did acknowledge one thing has turned around completely. Upon sharing it, he tried to add dismissively that it's "just something personal for me."

He has come to care more what others think of him.

"I'm more in tune with it. I pay more attention to it. I have a greater sense of responsibility for it," he said. "It's all a part of how you are going to be remembered as a basketball player when it's all said and done. I care about it significantly more now than I did in the past."


If Bryant cares more about the rest of us now, it then makes sense that we can more readily connect with him. Moreover, we connect far better with a guy having to scale a mountain for a fourth NBA championship than someone seemingly waltzing to those first three titles in 2000-02.

"I've been through so much," Bryant said. "We didn't make the playoffs (in 2005); we went through down-and-out times. I think me having the intestinal fortitude to try to get us back to the top – and having to fight through so many different things – makes it a different kind of emotion as opposed to me being 20 years old, just coming in here and winning a championship."

If it's possible for something in Bryant's highly public life to have gone underreported, he'd say it's the underdog angle.

As a youngster, he had to crack the American blacktop courts with a game made in Italy. As a high school freshman, his team went 4-20 – but rose up to become state champs his senior year. He was the skinny kid who turned pro at a time no high-school guards had dared challenge the NBA's Goliaths. He overcame epic rookie-year humiliation in the form of all those air balls in the playoffs to forge a surefire Hall of Fame career by age 31.

"Emotionally, I'll always feel like the underdog – just because I've been that way my whole life," Bryant said. "So it's just something that has become a part of me – that mentality that just stays."

Asked how he could possibly still feel like the underdog now, Bryant recalls some whispers back in 2000 about the Lakers benefiting in their first title run from San Antonio missing injured Tim Duncan. Bryant narrows his eyes now to lock in on anyone who might remember Boston lost Kevin Garnett to injury and soon its title defense last spring.

"So it's time to prove ourselves all over again," Bryant said.


That's just how the overdriven Bryant mind works: more, more, more.

More 6 a.m. personal training, more ice both in front of and behind the knee just to make sure, and more payoff: "I feel better now than I've felt since I was 26 or 27," he said.

More 1-on-1 time with 3-year-old daughter Gianna, who deserves as much solo attention as 6-year-old Natalia got (the very reason the Bryants haven't yet had a third child, Kobe hinted).

More championships, obviously.

Bryant is asked if he is "satisfied" with his career to this point. His answer: "I'm very thankful and I feel very fortunate for winning four championships thus far. 'Satisfied' is a strong word. I'm very happy and pleased with where I've come."

Asked how he'd feel if he'd managed 10 championships in these first 13 seasons, he said: "Ten out of 13 is fantastic. But there are still three years …"

This success addiction was at the root of Bryant's last controversy: his 2007 trade demand.

"The only thing I regret was how public it had to become," he said. "It was something that I'd been dealing with internally for quite some time and me wanting them to make moves, as was said to me (upon re-signing in 2004). Those things were not happening, it felt like I was just out there showcasing and doing my individual thing, and they had no aspirations to spend money to try to bring a championship here.

"So I felt like something had to be said so we could get the ball rolling here. Get people to start talking about it, and the city becomes a little more impatient with the situation, and hopefully we'll get something done. And to their credit, they made a great acquisition in Pau (Gasol) and another great acquisition in Trevor (Ariza). They went out this summer and spent the money to get Ron (Artest) and locked in Lamar (Odom). To their credit, they did the right things."


Bryant calls himself "naïve" for not hiring his own team of people earlier so he could play zone instead of man-to-man in defending his reputation.

"I kind of used to just roll with it," he said. "Whatever they said about me, they said about me. I know it's not true, so I just let it be. Instead, having people around you who care about that and that's their job, they protect you. There's no sense in going out there and just taking gunfire."

Shaquille O'Neal's itchy trigger finger did cost Bryant dearly, he is certain.

"That fractured people who supported me and people who didn't support me," Bryant said, "because it was like, 'Well, you can't support Shaq and support Kobe at the same time.' "

Since the sexual-assault charge against him was dropped in 2004, Bryant has gradually regained ground as a pitchman. He's back as a prime-timer, matching up against the sport's other transcendent star, LeBron James, in fun-filled Nike and VitaminWater ads.

His latest mainstream gig has him endorsing NBA 2K10, the best-selling basketball video game out there.

On the cover of the game box, Bryant is proudly pulling on the front of his gold Lakers jersey. There in the lower left corner is a big "E" to convey the recommendation made by the Entertainment Software Rating Board to the masses about Bryant's game: "EVERYONE."

There's irony in that stamp of approval. If there has been one constant with Bryant over the long haul, it's that he has not been meant for everyone.


If there's any doubt that Bryant's edge remains sharp – and bear in mind that his personal Nike logo is a knife holder, which makes getting the symbolism easy – consider his comments about the perception that he's a better teammate now:

"It's funny to me when people talk about the notion of making other players better, and they talk about just passing them the ball. It's just the most ignorant comment I've ever heard in my life. No, there are other things that have to come into play besides getting assists.

"It's helping them get the championship mentality and attitude and work ethic and drive and persistence. All that goes into it. It's not just passing somebody the ball, and wow, he hit a shot; I made him better.

"If the effort is there, I can respect that, I can understand that, and it helps me be more patient, because I know that they're trying. When guys aren't trying or guys are just out there (screwing) up and not giving the effort, I feel like killing 'em. Same as always.

"If you don't give the effort, I'm done with you. You might as well go play someplace else."

The polarizing figure has not sold out to become a teddy bear.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was asked a few years ago about the oft-criticized Bryant being a modern-day Howard Roark, Cuban's fictitious idol from Ayn Rand's 1943 novel, "The Fountainhead." Roark's unwavering commitment to individual integrity and righteous production challenged society's established standards, and his life was not so easy.

"Such a comparison might not be out of line," Cuban said.

Yet by the end of book, Roark manages to explain to society just what he is all about, reversing long-held misunderstandings: His drive to lift himself to unforeseen heights? It is meant to be proof of what all mankind can do.

Kobe Bryant is a thankful, fortunate, happy, pleased and unsatisfied 31-year-old man who does not want to be like everyone. He would love for everyone to understand him – and understand why he is going to keep playing and producing and winning much longer than seems imaginable.

Yes, he really did just drop a reference to John Stockton, who didn't retire until age 41.

"It's fascinating to me," Bryant said. "All the years of being here in Los Angeles with the fans and everything, and some think, 'Aw, he's getting older and the clock's ticking and blah-blah-blah-blah.' I've been playing for all these years, and you guys still don't know what I'm about."

He leaned forward and clapped his hands for emphasis as he spoke. He also laughed before continuing.

"It's fascinating to me. Understand that you have a player here who is going to do – by any means necessary – whatever it takes to help us get back to that level. No matter what."

There have been enough misunderstood artists over the course of history, toiling away for self-fulfillment and not connecting with those around them.

Bryant's museum is now open to the public.

[ Edited by LA9erFan on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM ]
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