Blog Entry

The Laker Manifesto

Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:19 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2010 7:23 pm
This is the way your season ends. This is the way your season ends. This is the way your season ends. Not with a burn, but in gold. Posted by Matt Moore

You see that?

That's theirs. It was theirs last year. It's theirs this year -- tomorrow night, actually . And unless Boston figures a way to play better and stay healthy, or the Triad is actually as good as advertised , then it'll be theirs again this year. They are that good. They are that strong, that experienced, that focused and that deep. But most of all? They're that good.

And here's how it will happen.

This locker room, from all indications, is not unlike your typical successful business office. It's not a monkey bars meet-up like Oklahoma City, nor is it some sort of Reservoir Dogs luncheon like what I experienced in the Heat locker room. It's just like a succesful office. Guys hang around the water cooler, yucking it up about Monday Night Football or the obnoxious dude down the hall. There's a comfortable familiarity, everyone knows each other and Christmas parties are a blast. Everyone gets along, outside of the Slovenian dude who keeps blasting Drake at high volume on Fridays and can't figure out how to work the printer. Someone brings doughnuts, the kitchen's usually pretty clean, everyone pulls their weight, and the chatter about Glee is both in-depth and hilarious.

And everyone's afraid for their jobs except the two guys with corner offices.

There's a level of excellence demanded of this team, and it starts and stops with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. That mindset -- the professional, hyper-achieving without sacrificing the mind concept -- is what permeates. It makes the team disciplined and proficient, and it makes most of its players terrified of the day when they slip up in front of the bosses. You will not fail, because Bryant and Jackson will not allow you to fail.

The Triangle really isn't the right fit for most of this team. That's not only pretty certain, it's painfully obvious. Shannon Brown, when released from the shackles, looks like a dynamic, powerful, well-intentioned guard. Within its confines, he's like an ADD kid trying to sit through The English Patient . Lamar Odom? Everything he does is largely outside of the triangular box, filling in the gaps and playing loose within the margins. The only players that really benefit from the system are Kobe, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher. Phil Jackson does too, of course. Because Jackson doesn't have to spend the time running out variation upon variation. It exists upon itself and all he has to do is teach it right. This isn't because he's lazy, far from it. It allows him to work on what is most important. Getting their minds and souls in the best place to compete. Sometimes that means kicking the dog down the stairs and to New Jersey to play backup point guard. And sometimes that means questioning the player in the press in order to get him to have the best run of his career, like Ron Artest. It's a balance that allows for focus.

Are there questions? Sure.

Starting and ending with Bryant's knee. It's not 100%, not close to it. But the man won a title with nine fingers and 1.5 knees. So I wouldn't let your breath out when he has the ball, kiddos. If there's one thing Bryant's shown, it's that he adapts. Constantly. Growing a post-game, grinding out the mid-range jumper, bombing from downtown. He'll do what the team needs, what he needs. There's no quit in Mamba, but there is a gigantic set of fangs.

Also, this team coasts. For days and weeks. Long stretches when they simply could not care less. Lazy passes, weak defense, a lack of hustle that would put Jerome James to shame. They know they don't have to care, and they don't. To the point where it's entirely possible they won't have the top seed in the West, depending on whether the team stays healthy. But they'll be there, and that's all they need.

The team relies on an absurd level of talent. While people scoff, cough and vomit towards the Triad in Miami, the Lakers employ two Hall-of-Famers, three quality starters (at least for the two weeks Fisher is awesome per year), a talented, if oft-injured, legitimate center in a league that doesn't feature many. Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, starters on other teams, are the seventh and eighth men on this one. It's a team loaded for any opportunity and its personnel fits its needs. Blake can spot up and run the offense (to the degree the Triangle needs running from the point). Barnes plays defense and will basically be a poor man's Odom. And the starting unit is so loaded, it doesn't matter.

Gasol may shoulder more of the load this year, and that's fine, since many considered him the best big in the league last year. That fadeaway touch jumper from the mid-block? You can't stop it. Usually, the only thing keeping Gasol from posting huge numbers is his comrade in arms taking jumpers.

And Kobe will shoot. That's who he is and his ego won't let him do anything else. He'll fire until there are no more bullets left. Then he'll throw the gun. No other player so often garners condemnation for his shot selection, then completely backs it up by nailing the game winner. He'll put his team in a position to lose by firing off-balance J after off-balance J, then hit the running game winner and come off smelling like roses. He played horribly in Game 7 of the Finals and still came off the hero. Because for all the misses, he's still the guy you want shooting and still the guy that can drop 50 if things go his way.

Fisher is a massive liability at both ends of the floor ... until he's not. Bynum is a half-player that cannot be relied on to make the tough play ... until he does. And no player better symbolizes the kind of transformation wearing the yellow and purple can have on you more than Ron Artest. From Crazy Pills to mental health spokesman, gunner without a conscience to brilliant complementary player, from loose cannon to lovable winner. This is what L.A. can do for you, what Staples Center and Lawrence Tanter can do for you, what the gold of a championship team can do for you.

And it will do it again.

Get excited about Miami's superstar power. Get riled up about Boston's defense, or the seemingly endless wave of up-and-comers. But know this.

Tomorrow night, the reigning champions will receive their rings, the second of three they intend to get. They have the pieces, they have the board, they have the plan, they have the manifesto, they have the leaders.

Now all they need is the game.


Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: October 27, 2010 1:29 pm

The Laker Manifesto

A Very true article but he missed one aspect that is important.....LAKER GIRRRRLLLLSS!!! LOL

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2010 10:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2010 10:07 pm

The Laker Manifesto

Apparently we all have forgotten that along with Kobe, D-Fish will be getting his fifth ring also, all from playing for the Lakers.

I would love to see the Lakers 3peat as NBA champions thus giving Bryant his 6th ring tying him with Michael Jordan for 6th on the all time list.

The top man will probably be there forever and a day as I don’t think anyone will ever surpass 11 that Bill Russell of the Celtics have as a player.

There are only two players that have 5 rings or more still playing and those two are Kobe and D-Fish. So these two could wind up with 6 a piece before leaving the game.

Kobe might have another 2-3 seasons left, I am not sure about D-Fish



Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2010 8:01 pm

The Laker Manifesto

This is only the team that has no weakness other than health problems. Miami will be good, but may not make it out the East. Lebron will be their only real post player, but wait a minute you can't throw the ball into the post if you're dribbling the ball all the time.

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2010 5:38 pm

The Laker Manifesto

Anybody know if Kobe is getting his fifth ring fitted for his thumb or his he beginning on his other hand.  Looking forward to another downtown parade next June with Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Derek, Phil, and of course Ron "Kobe Passed me the ball" Artest.

Since: Sep 12, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2010 4:42 pm

The Laker Manifesto

Great article, VERY TRUE!!   The good thing is when I see or hear those Lebron or Miami Heat fans running there mouths because of the trio of James/Wade/Bosh--that I don't have to listen and sweep it under the carpet.  Because even those three admit the team to beat is the Lakers.   They haven't shown me nothing yet until they win a championship.   That is a lot easier said than done.  And what the Lakers did it two times in a row now?   In fact this decade, they have 1 three-peat, and they are going for a second.   In fact it the Heat win the Championship this year, I still won't be impressed until they win a few.    Good Luck with that.   We know nothing about their chemisty which is everything in basketball.  Who's going to be their go to guy?  Who is going to take the last shot when the game is tied?  How will Wade handle it if Lebron starts "taking over" the team?  How will James handle it if the go to guy is Wade everytime?   They have a lot of underlying problems that have to be worked out by puting this trio together which time will tell.  What they have on paper doesn't say anything.   Ask the Cowboys.........

Since: Sep 25, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:31 pm

The Laker Manifesto

It's the LAKESHOW baby lets get phil his 4th 3pete and Kobe his 6th ring.... ONLY KINGS HAVE RINGS!!!

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2010 9:02 am

The Laker Manifesto

All true.  Good article!  GO LLLLLAKERRRRRS!!!!!

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