Category — Ron Artest
These definitely aren’t Mike Brown’s Lakers.
They scored 40 points in the 1st quarter and 119 for the game. I don’t even have to look to know the Lakers never scored 119 in regulation during Brown’s short tenure. But that’s what they produced in a 119-108 over the Rockets on Sunday night at Staples.
That’s what Mike D’Antoni brings to the dance. His system has been roundly criticized, but like we said before, D’Antoni hasn’t had a club stacked like these Lakers.
“We’re playing free,” reserve guard Darius Morris said, an obvious knock on Brown and his overbearing coaching style. Morris, who barely saw the time of day with Brown, is benefitting from his departure and injuries to Steve Nash and Steve Blake.
Now if D’Antoni were a magician, he would find a way to hide that weak-ass bench. Chris Duhon? Are you kidding me? He’s D-League material at best. How he has a job in the NBA is beyond us.
Still, it’s much too early to grasp how good the Lakers will be when push comes to shove. So far, though, we like what we see. The up-tempo game fits this club.
Mike Brown might not agree, but what does he know?
November 18, 2012 No Comments
The Clip Joint is smoking out of the gate. With a strong lineup, and unlike the Lakers, a productive bench, they are off to a 6-2 start and lead the Pacific Division. Led by the pickup of the year, Jamal Crawford, who finished with 22 points on 7 of 11 shooting to beat the Heat Wednesday night, they have instant offense and a significant up-tempo attack.
LeBron went for 30 against the Clippers, but D-Wade, who is hurting again, managed just 6 points on 2 of 10 attempts and ate some leather when Eric Bledsoe rejected a layup.
Five Clippers scored in double figures, including Blake Griffin, who had 20, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks.
It’s early, but we like what we see from 2nd city.
November 15, 2012 No Comments
At least we’re in good company.
From the Facebook page of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Mike D’Antoni will prove to be an excellent choice to coach the Lakers. Mike has proven his ability to get the most from players with differing talent levels, blending them into an effective unit. The Lakers may even try an up-tempo approach on offense. That would be just what many Laker fans have been waiting for.”
November 13, 2012 No Comments
Despite our disgust with the juvenile behavior of Jim Buss and our desire for a Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw hire, we actually like the Mike D’Antoni addition. Credit Mitch Kupchak and the old man for that though. Jerry Buss has had a hard-on for the return of Showtime about as long a time as he has yearned for young honeys. Jim Buss? He fantasizes about the horribly dressed Mike Dunleavy.
The Lakers’ roster fits well with D’Antoni’s system. Granted, he doesn’t have 11 rings, and there will be questions about how some of the old legs, notably Kobe and Metta World Peace, will hold up over the long haul. But I don’t think it will be a problem.
Further, the Lakers need an up-tempo attack to compete and cover some of their deficiencies. Without it, Steve Nash becomes more of a liability as a defender.
Also keep in mind D’Antoni has never had as many good defenders as he has with the Lakers. In addition to Kobe and World Peace, he’s got Dwight Howard to clean up Nash’s mess and some of the rest.
The Lakers’ weakness, though, is their bench. It eventually will lead to their downfall. Their refusal to sign Leonardo Barbosa, particularly now with the hiring of D’Antoni, was a huge mistake.
But that’s what happens when front-office types like Jim Buss fall in love with players like Steve Blake.
Still, I can’t wait to watch the Lakers go up and down, particularly with the Thunder. Their 1st meeting will be Dec. 7 in OKC.
November 12, 2012 No Comments
It’s too bad all the goodwill and excellence Jerry Buss built as 1 of the best owners in sports has been quickly ruined by his punk-ass son Jim. The latter has made a mockery of the Lakers and his arrogance knows no limits. His disrespect for Phil Jackson is incredible (that’s putting it mildly) and particularly galling coming from a spoiled brat who has accomplished little with the Lakers. Unfortunately, Jim’s dad handed him the keys to the castle. Now he should be taking his privileges away.
This is the same guy who interviewed Mike Dunleavy for the Laker job. Think about that. Mike Dunleavy gets an interview and Brian Shaw and Nate McMillian don’t?
In the last year alone, Jim Buss has shown his disregard and lack of respect for many good people. Off the top of my head: Brian Shaw, Jim Cleamons, Tex Winter and all of the Laker assistants attached to Jackson and were shown the door; a slew of scouts, most notable Ronnie Lester, who ran the department before Buss ran him off before the Mike Brown fiasco; Derek Fisher; Brown; the fans; and now Jackson.
Jackson, who was ambushed with news the Lakers had hired Mike D’Antoni late Sunday night, released this statement today, via the L.A. Times.
“Saturday morning, Jim Buss called to ask if he could come and visit. I didn’t solicit or ask for the opportunity but I welcomed both him and Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as head coach,” Jackson said.
“We talked for over an hour and a half. No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a handshake and an understanding that I would have until Monday [today] to come back to them with my decision. I did convey to them that I did have the confidence that I could do the job. I was awakened at midnight Sunday by a phone call from Mitch Kupchak. He told me that the Lakers had signed Mike D’Antoni to a three-year agreement and that they felt he was the best coach for the team. The decision is of course theirs to make. I am gratified by the groundswell of support from the Laker fans who encouraged my return and it is the principal reason why I considered the possibility.”
November 12, 2012 No Comments
November 9, 2012 No Comments
Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at Phil Jackson’s crib today?
It never should have come to this, but Jim Buss made the misguided decision to hire Mike Brown last year. Brown was in over his head from start to finish and never grasped the urgency to produce. He kept stressing patience, oblivious to the fact that patience isn’t 1 of the virtues of being the Lakers’ head coach.
But the Lakers could rectify this immediately and hire Brian Shaw. Shaw, who is currently an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers, was the pick of many, including Kobe Bryant, when Jackson stepped down. But Jim Buss didn’t want him.
It isn’t like an upheaval of this nature hasn’t happened before. When Magic Johnson had Paul Westhead fired back in the ’80s, a rookie coach named Pat Riley led them to the promise land. We all know the rest of the story.
November 9, 2012 1 Comment
Mitch Kupchak said during his press conference today that no player had any input on the firing of Mike Brown. Of course there has been plenty of speculation about Bryant’s “death stare,” replayed over and over, during the Lakers’ loss to Utah 2 nights ago as having much to do with Brown’s demise. Surely that wasn’t the only reason, but it probably was the last straw among many that broke Brown’s back.
Regarding Kobe, here’s his statement about Brown’s dismissal via his Facebook page: “Tough day. I’ve seen coaches as well as friends come and go. No matter how many years I’ve been playing, it’s still hard to deal with. I had a good relationship with Mike and I will continue to have one. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I spoke with him today and thanked him for all of his hard work and sacrifice.
As a team, we must focus our energy on tonight’s game. We must block out the weight of today’s news and simply do our jobs to the best of our ability.
I’m not sure what direction we are heading in next. All I can do is focus on the here and now.
November 9, 2012 1 Comment
It’s only a rumor, but a wild 1 at that. Would the Lakers seriously consider hiring Jerry Sloan and firing Mike Brown? Stranger things have happened. Like Karl Malone wearing a Laker uniform. That reminds us of our favorite Malone moment, when he responded 1 night to Vanessa Bryant’s tease of “What ya hunting Cowboy?” with “Little Mexican girls.” That classic resulted in Kobe threatening to do the Mailman bodily hard. Difficult to imagine that though.
Anyway, back to the matter in our best Snoop Dogg imitation. I understand how an abundance of pick-and-rolls by Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would appeal to Lakers brass and how Sloan might be the right coach to implement it. But why won’t the Lakers admit they made a mistake and bring back Brian Shaw?
Without Jim Buss’ idiotic decision to wipe the walls clean of anything or anybody related to Phil Jackson, with the exception of those championship tropies, Shaw would have guided the Lakers to much smoother sailing and without all the drama and lack of offense Brown brings. Rick Adelman would have been a better hire.
Brown is definitely on the hot seat and he knows it. We’ll give him until the All-Star break.
The Hoop Doctors
November 7, 2012 No Comments
A tip of the cap to my late Uncle Mo. Besides missing him dearly, I can still hear him calling me or someone else the above with a few choice descriptions mixed in.
My kids always laugh when I say the best thing about Orange County is seeing it in my rearview mirror. Despite being a former resident, and despite the OC being the place of birth of my 3 wonderful kids, they understand why I have some hard feelings for the place. But that’s a conversation for a raining day. I’ve got a better story.
Thankfully, I live in the LBC. Been here about 13 years or so since moving from Orange County. Despite my beautiful surroundings, my day didn’t start off as I would have liked. But after a 15-minute pity party I occasionally hold before moving on and telling myself “sucking it up, asshole,” I falsely believed things would pick up.
Out of the blue, I get an email from Amber Broeckel, from some outfit called Red Sky Public Relations, asking if I’d like an “all-access pass” to the upcoming DIRECTV Classic hoop tournament this month in Anaheim, where Cal, Drake, Drexel, Georgia Tech, Pacific, Rice, Saint Mary’s and Xavier will be playing Nov. 22, 23 and 25. I’ve seen better teams at the Boley High gym. But this was a freebe. Another chance to get out of the house.
Amber also said she would throw in some tickets to raffle off to some of our lucky readers. That’s when I started reading it twice, 3 times, thinking what’s the catch here. But it was so genuine. Or so it seemed.
Great, where do I sign? And what made you so desperate to reach out to us?
“We have a team of researchers that work on behalf of ESPN who identify influential sports bloggers, and that is how we found you,” she wrote.
Oh. Wait til I tell Player Hobe.
An hour later she changed her tune.
“Unfortunately after reviewing the rest of your blog more thoroughly, our executive team has decided that your brand is a bit more provocative than originally perceived. Due to our partnership with non-profits and K-8 schools in Orange County, we need to be cognoscente with who we promote the tournament to. I hope you understand why the DIRECTV Classic can’t be promoted on your blog.”
Provocative? What’s that mean? I’d bet Mo 3′s paycheck that executive team will turn out to be our most frequent visitors.
Besides, didn’t an hour before she told us we were among the “influential sports bloggers?” It had to be true. ESPN said so. So how could we go from “influential” to “provocative?” And what’s the difference between the 2?
Anyway, I might watch the DIRECTV Classic if I get bored around the Thanksgiving holidays since there are tons of better hoops playing around the dial. Like I said, I’ve seen better ball played in Boley.
And I guess by mentioning all of this nonsense, I’ve become 1 of the tournament’s biggest promoters. But we’re all about doing whatever it takes to benefit kids, particularly those spending Thanksgiving playing in Disneyland and suffering in the OC.
Just don’t tell Amber. She says it “can’t be promoted” on a scumbag blog like this. Probably be a sellout now.
October 31, 2012 2 Comments