Blog Entry

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

Posted on: May 9, 2011 2:16 pm
Mitch Kupchak says not to worry too much about Magic's "blow it up" comments. But if not a complete self-destruction, is a major remodeling on the way,and how does a new coach fit into this?
Posted by Matt Moore

Sure, you were just swept out of the playoffs in what should have been the culmination of so much work, effort, and money spent in order to achieve a three-peat and send your expensive Hall of Fame coach out in style. Sure, your roster was relatively exposed as lackadaisical, lacking in focus, determination, heart, and eventually class. And yes, the idea has always been to reload when the shots don't quite hit their target, which is always championship gold. 

But the Lakers? They're not looking to follow Magic Johnson's advice and blow it up. Not yet, anyway. And not completely. 

From Sports Illustrated: 
(Lakers GM Mitch) Kupchak cautioned against the idea that Johnson's recent comments on ABC were an early indication of things to come. The Lakers' legend had all but written his favorite team off during his television analysis, then recommended Kupchak "blow it up" by trading one of his frontcourt players for Orlando's Dwight Howard as a means to keeping the dynasty intact.

Jackson called the comment "unnecessary" before tip-off, while Kupchak largely dismissed the notion raised by some fans that it was an in-house sentiment being shared publicly. Howard is believed to be eyeing the Lakers as a possible landing spot when he becomes a free agent in 2012, however, meaning this storyline won't be going away anytime soon.

"I thought Earvin was trying to motivate our players," Kupchak said. "He's great at cheering for us, and a lot of times saying stuff like he said can motivate a player to play harder. That's how I took it.

"I talk to Earvin from time to time, and I think Dr. Buss [owner Jerry Buss] does from time to time, and this moves too quickly for him to be intimately involved in what's going on day to day, so I would hesitate to think that was the case."
via Lakers fall apart against Mavericks in Phil Jackson's farewell - Sam Amick -

Not surprising that Magic isn't plugged into the day to day ops, especially having sold his stake, despite retaining a front office position. But the question is whether the Lakers are correct in this train of thought. One issue that isn't being talked about here is pretty obvious. This roster was constructed to play for Phil Jackson. 

And that definitely won't be the case next season. 

From ESPN:
Jackson might've played coy in what was likely his final postgame press conference, joking "I haven't answered that, have I?" when pressed for a definitive statement on whether he'd coached his final NBA game Sunday. But Kupchack says he believes Jackson's decision to retire is final this time.

"I think this is it," Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles after the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks 122-86 on Sunday. "We'll sit down and talk, but I've gotten no indication that he won't retire.

"We just talked briefly and I thanked him for what he's done for the organization. It was a pleasure to work with him. Everybody who is a coach in this league works endless hours. I'm not going to say he works harder than any other coach in this league. He certainly works as hard as any of them.

"But he's different. He's got a feel that I think a lot of coaches don't have."
via Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak senses Phil Jackson set to retire - ESPN Los Angeles.

With Jackson gone, Brian Shaw is the favorite to get the Lakers' head coaching job. But after the abject meltdown that occured on a chemistry level, the job will probably be open to several applicants. ESPN also reports the job is "wide open" and with candidates like Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, and Larry Brown on the market, you have to think ownership will take a long look at its options. And if there is a change in the coaching line, the new coach will want players to fit his personnel. 

The question of Dwight Howard will come back around again and again this summer once the CBA is resolved (if it's resolved). In case you missed it in the fall of Rome, here's Ken Berger of on Howard and the Lakers: 
Everybody knows that Dwight Howard wants to be a Laker," said a person familiar with the All-Star centers plans. "Theyre going to lose Dwight Howard for nothing. Hes not staying there. Dwight Howard is going to be in the same mode as LeBron James."

So would the Magic, facing the reality of losing their franchise cornerstone and getting nothing in return, accept Gasol and Odom, Bynum and Odom, or even Bynum and Gasol as the centerpiece of a Howard trade?"Probably," said a high-profile agent with a hand in past maneuverings for both teams.
via Fast-approaching offseason critical for Lakers - NBA - Basketball.

Landing Howard would automatically put the Lakers back at the top of the contenders list, though they may be there anyway, even with the Dallas Meltdown. But it comes with its own set of issues, including giving the reins of a veteran club to a younger player. How's Kobe Bryant going to react to being the No.2 for the first time since the first W. Bush term in his final ride into the sunset? Will the Magic really want Andrew Bynum after he embarrassed himself, his family, and his organization with (another) needless foul that could have resulted in injury and will definitely result in his suspension for multiple games next year, along with his injury issues on a long contract? 

There's time for all this, and the Lakers will take it. They are unlikely to "blow it up" and more likely to simply try and pick their favorite from the NBA's buffet as in year's past. But deals like the Pau Gasol trade don't come along twice in a four-year span, and with the franchise tag a possibility to come out of the CBA, life may be significantly different for L.A. after the seconds ticked off the Phil Jackson era in Dallas. 

Things aren't as simple as pushing the "self-destruct" button and starting over. Even Athens fell, and an immediate return to glory isn't always guaranteed for those blessed by the Gods for so long. 

But I wouldn't bet against them.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2011 11:28 pm

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

The lakers don't need howard. Andrew Bynum is great enough. The only thing Howard has over Bynum is Shot Blocking and to dig deeper it's only really Bynums timing that needs work. On the Offensive end Howard has nothing on Drew. Honestly I feel if La ran the ball through bynum we would still be in the series with The Dallas Mavericks. What the Lakers need to do is trade Pau Gasol. Pau has been losing my respect every year now he's been on my team. Gasol is far too soft and doesn't play with any kind of heart. Second the Lakers need to trade Ron Artest. I still believe we messed up when we let Trevor Ariza go. Ron is a good defender but is a liability on the offensive end. The trianlge is a offensive that needs shooters and shooters are what we lack. Third let Derek Fisher retire, he's been good for the team past but he also is a liability. Fish is only good when his shot is falling other than that bench him. Fourth The Bench. I for one was sad to see Sasha go, he would of been a blessing this series.  Steve Blake was a bust, and so was Matt Barnes. Luke Walton well I dont understand why he's still in the nba. One flaw I can say about Lakers management is that they like to hold on to players, they need to learn to let go.

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: May 10, 2011 9:22 pm

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

Until Howard has a ring the 5 Kobe has makes him the top man for LA. That won't change until he retires.  I think go get Howard but come on having him doesn't mean Lakers win another ring. What they need more then new front like is new point guard and some faster players. They need Chris Paul more then Howard. Then add more bench players that are good. Dallas showed it's not about who has best starting 5. It's about who has bench to ensure winning the 4th quarter. Lakers bench lost that series along with Paul G just not being himself in playoffs. He sucked vs' hornets to. Whatever was going on with him it was not same guy when Lakers went 16 and 1 or like last few years.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: May 10, 2011 6:50 pm

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

One thing for sure the Lakers need to address in the offseason is bench play and athleticism.  I for one took Dallas lightly and thought we would be them easily in 5 games; I was actually afraid to play Portland because of how athletic they are and we don't match up well against them.  Plus, playing in the Rose Garden has been murderous for us over the last several years.  The Lakers issues are easily fixable but some roster changes and identity has to change. 

As mentioned before I'd love to have Byron Scott as a coach but Kobe will never sign off on that considering Scott's brashness and how tight of a ship he runs.  Believe me, if Byron becomes the head coach Kobe's freelancing days away from the offensive set will be over.  Shaw will be a very good replacement.  He knows the system, the players respect him, and he knows the hustle of playing and pressure on winning in LA.

But on to the much of a Bynum supporter I have been in the past, I'm ready to package him up and ship him out.  Send Bynum, Odom, Artest, and Walton to Orlando for Dwight Howard and Arenas.  Kobe is past his prime but will retire as a Laker.  The depth of the Western Conference rest on playing excellent defense.  Remember when Shaq came to LA?  The balance of power shifted.  Look at all the big guys sitting on the bench in Miami, Chicago, and Boston because they all figured they would have to match LAs length in the paint.  Next, for the love of God, please do something about the PG position.  Fisher is done.  He can't defend and I'm tired of watching him run on top of screen rolls and giving up dribble penetration to our bigs.  Anybody in the league would be an upgrade.  Get rid of Walton.  What has he done?  Nothing.  Phil Jackson said he was an excellent passer, duh, the game is bigger than a chest or bounce pass.  You have to run, shoot, and defend and he does neither of the three.  As far as Odom is concerned, he's a great player off the bench but I'd rather package him for a big name and have a consistent 20 ppg and 10 rpg every night for a star than his on one night and off for three we've been seeing from him the past few seasons.  Kobe's official "window" is starting to close.  He has maybe 2 good seasons left in him.  With him, Pau, and another big time scorer we can get another ring.  Two great players and one good player should be enough to win in the West.

Heck, it's working in Miami so far.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: May 10, 2011 4:57 pm

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

The Lakers had a remarkable run, but like everything must come to an end. I was once that thought the Lakers would easily defeat the Mavs in 5-6 games. The Mavs had a bit too much fire power and might have been taken too lightly by the Lakers.

 I think they will take a look at the situation and find an immediate cure. There are teams that find ways of continual immediate success as oppose to a long drawn out rebuilding process.

I don’t think the Lakers will be blown up as the Magic Man suggest. He know and the Laker management don’t do things that way. Mitch and Jerry Buss along with the others that manage the team will sit down, and tweak the team as necessary to put themselves into the NBA finals once again, but a wholesale house cleaning, not this after this season.

These are the same players that won tow NBA championships back to back.

I am at a loss about the fans of the Lakers as well as others that don’t like the team. When the Lakers beat Boston last season for the NBA Championship all were talking about how the bench should be strengthen and would need an overhaul.

This was the same bench that helped with winning two NBA championships.

Well the Lakers went out and redid the bench, I am surprised the fans as well as others are now saying the Lakers need a better bench. I guess some are never satisfied.

The coaching position is a little different. I would be pleased to have either Brian Shaw or Byron Scott as the next coach of the Lakers.

Even though the Lakers have had great success with the triangle and with Phil Jackson as the head coach. The man most prepared to continue the triangle would be Brian Shaw. Brian Shaw has the blessing of Kobe which is a good thing.

I think Jerry Buss was more happy with the “Showtime” era of the Lakers, with the dunks, behind the back and no look passes and fast breaks. The one guy that fit that bill to bring those days back would be Byron Scott a proven coach who led t he Nets to the NBA finals two years in a row and the Hornets to the playoffs each year he was the coach. He also played on those glory teams before being traded and returned to the Lakers a couple of years later. Kobe could accept Byron as head coach. He would also thrive in a system such as the one Byron would bring to the Lakers

There are others that have surfaced as possible coaches, one is Larry Brown. Larry is more of a teacher as oppose to a coach. The Lakers are a veteran team and might not be acceptable to Brown. Therefore I don’t think he would be acceptable. 




Since: Jun 26, 2009
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:59 pm

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

I've read somewhere that Derek fisher is a problem, but it can't be as he won 5 rings...

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: May 10, 2011 11:43 am

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

Bynum is young but he needs his head checked and a anger management class.  I don't want this guy on my team if he folds under playoff pressure like he did with such a cheap shot flagrant foul sunday.  The greats ones, even the good ones don't melt down like he did.  Jordan, Magic, Bird, Isiah never cheap shotted anybody I can recall.  They just played hard.  Good luck unloading Bynum for a Howard or Griffin and draft picks.  The Lakers are old and it shows and Bynum lacks maturity.  Orlando and the Clippers are not going to give away their superstars for a problem child...especially Orlando with its clean living ownership.  Kobe, Gasol and Odom have enough in the tank for 1 more but thats all.  And who's going to coach....a bigger problem than the younger talent they need infused.  With a lockout looming do you really think the aging stars of the Lakers will be better a year older?  Big problems in LA and Orlando and the Clippers can sit back and take a really good deal for 2 of the leagues best big men playing now.  Don't get me started on the Laker bench...pathetic.  LA doesn't have to blow the whole thing up just half of it.....then blow the whole thing up after Kobe is gone.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2011 7:08 am

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

The Cavs needs:

1.Lebron James back

2.Quality SG

3.Shaq in his prime at center

4.Two more lottery picks in this years draft

If all is done they will be champs for the first time.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2011 4:46 am

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

No Reason to blow Team Up, just make Needed changes that should have been made years Ago - The Lakers Needs, 1. Head Coach (No More Jackson please) 2. A Quality PG (They have been in need of a PG for awhile) 3. Bench (Youth up and coming NBA Stars) 4. Trade Artest for Deeper Scorer and Defender If All is done they will be Champs again.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2011 4:45 am

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

No Reason to blow Team Up, just make Needed changes that should have been made years Ago - The Lakers Needs, 1. Head Coach (No More Jackson please) 2. A Quality PG (They have been in need of a PG for awhile) 3. Bench (Youth up and coming NBA Stars) 4. Trade Artest for Deeper Scorer and Defender If All is done they will be Champs again.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: May 10, 2011 2:21 am

Lakers backing gently off "blow up" talk

Clippers would be a suitable trade partner, ship Griffin, Kaman, Bledsoe, Aminu and your 1st rounder for Howard



 I would rather keep Griffin than Howard and no way in hell the Clippers do all that for Howard. Orlando should send a 1st rounder and Howard for Griffin. Howard is so overrated.

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