Tag:Derek Fisher
Posted on: January 20, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 9:34 am

NBA labor talks will be held at All-Star Weekend

Posted by Matt Moore

It would appear cooler heads have prevailed. After yesterday's report from NBA FanHouse regarding a refusal of owners to meet with the players' union, it would appear that report was inaccurate and the two sides will meet during NBA All-Star Weekend. NBA FanHouse reports the same, but also says the players are not kidding around about the seriousness of this meeting, and what the owners' tactics signal to them: 

"If they don't want to meet, then they don't want to meet," he said. "But we'll still be out there. We're still going to have our meeting, to update players and do our due diligence. But I think those guys, the owners, are really miscalculating and getting bad advice. Whoever is advising them is giving really poor advice. If you had heads and CEOs of these Fortune 500 companies, I don't think they would ever run one of those companies like that."
via Notebook: Labor Issues, Tyreke Evans Foot Update, Dunk Contest News -- NBA FanHouse.

So the two will talk, and try and make some progress. But the players continue to freak out throughout these negotiations, showing their inexperience. The stunning thing about all this is that the players could have a lot of leverage were they to play things differently. Instead, they freak out and walk around stomping the ground like they did at All-Star Weekend, and with quotes like the one above. That only affords the owners the ability to further entrench themselves, rather than getting out on open ground. 

Open ground means the owners are talking, negotiating, and gives the players a better chance of causing dissension among the ranks of the owners between the small and big market guys over issues like player movement and revenue sharing. With Ken Berger's report of a possible compromise on all fronts that would make for a significant push towards a deal, the players have a shot at getting more than the scraps if they can get the owners out on the table with some level of dignity. But so far, the players seem content to play softball with their initiatives, then react with stomps and spits when the owners play hardball. 

They're losing on two fronts, but at least the talks will be held. 
Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:17 pm

Kobe must stop shooting, but Lakers will be fine

Kobe Bryant must curtail his shooting as his percentage dips with the Lakers struggling, but come playoffs? They'll be fine. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Lakers are 7-8 this year when Kobe Bryant shoots more than 20 times. The defending NBA champions who are 21-10 overall, have a losing record when Kobe Bryant shoots more than 20 times. On the season, Bryant is shooting 44% and 33% from the perimeter. In those 15 games where he's shot 20 attempts or more, he's shooting just 41% and 30% from the arc. 

So, in all honesty, Kobe's got to stop shooting. 

Don't count on it. 

Before the season started, there were discussions with the Lakers training staff and coaches about Bryant's role in the offense, and the hope that he would come to accept a decreased role in the offense. Instead, Bryant seems more intent on shooting his way out of the hole the Lakers have found themselves in.  He has responded to the Lakers' struggles by yelling at teammates, demanding improvement, and then going out and not letting the most talented team in the league be the most talented team in the league. 

This is the worst part of Bryant's offensive kamikaze failures. The Lakers' offense features the personnel, talent, and system to allow them to overcome any individual challenge. Is the defense denying Pau Gasol the entry pass (while he's once again failing to establish position)?  Lamar Odom off the cut should pull the defense apart to allow Gasol better angles. Has the defense compacted to shut down on interior movement?  Shannon Brown, Ron Artest, Steve Blake, and Derek Fisher will make them pay from the perimeter. 

Bryant's refusal manage his game when it's not falling (or when his pinky is bothering him) has to concern Lakers fans not only about this season, but about how the rest of his career will shape up as his skills continue to deteriorate. But at the end of this, after three losses of double digits by the Lakers, are they in trouble?

Come on. It's December. 

This Lakers team had troubles in the 2009 playoffs. They slacked off in the regular season last year. And while this stretch of games feels considerably worse than their issues last year which were all coasting, Phil Jackson has five months to get the team right. This has never been a team to sprint to the finish. Or the middle. Or really at all.  For a team driven by such an obsessive as Kobe Bryant, the Lakers haven't held an all-out attitude.  But they still have two rings to show for it. Trying all the time and remaining focused hasn't been their path. But being taller, more talented, and more experienced has gotten them where they want to go, regardless of how they perform in the winter months. Spring is what matters for this team. 

The questions are about whether they'll have home court advantage. But with the experience this team has, it may not need it. There's not a dominant home court advantage for a contending team, unless you consider Oklahoma City such a team. The Lakers just need to get a top four seed, not the top seed. As long as they're ready for May, that's what they care about. 

That said, the Lakers danced with Bryant shooting them out of games in the playoffs last season, but managed to survive it. (Go check out his numbers from Game 7 of the Finals.) This year, with an improved Eastern Conference and now the West making a strong show, at some point, something's got to give. The coaching staff is going to have to get Bryant to buy into trusting his teammates in a way he never has before. In the past, he's relied on them to fill in the gaps of his game. Now, he may need to rely on them to carry him for stretches. Something tells me that's going to be an awkward conversation for the Mamba. 
Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:05 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 11:32 am

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

King James steps away from contraction talk, claiming he didn't know what it meant, and that eliminating teams isn't what he meant when he said things which explicitly outline contraction. 
Posted by Matt Moore

When LeBron James stuck his foot in his mouth the other day about contraction, it wasn't just small market advocates like myself who wound up tweaked. NBA Union President Derek Fisher wasn't too happy about a player, the biggest player, breaking ranks on the Union's stance regarding contraction. That's enough to get the backtrack started. And oh, has it, with James immediately running full speed away from the subject under quite possibly the most idiotic of excuses. He didn't know what the word meant. From ESPN:  
"Thats crazy, because I had no idea what the word contraction meant before I saw it on the Internet," James said after the Miami Heats practice Monday. "I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the 80s and how it could be good again. I never said, Lets take some of the teams out. "
via LeBron James: I never said I advocated contraction - ESPN.
James had more words regarding the word he didn't know the meaning of. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“I’m with the players, and the players know that,” he said. “I’ve been with the players. It’s not about getting guys out of the league or knocking teams out. I didn’t mean to upset nobody. I didn’t tell Avery Johnson to leave either.

“I didn’t say, ‘Let’s abandon the Nets, and not let them move to Brooklyn,’ or, ‘Let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota.’ I never said that.”
 via The South Florida Sun-Sentinel-Ira Winderman.

So he was not talking about contraction, which he didn't know the meaning of, when he said that players should be taken from their teams and put on other teams and not great teams should go away. Got it. This is a guy who had a television special built around his free agency decision, who has his own brand, has a team of handlers, and is the face of the NBA. You'd think he'd be able to avoid the seemingly daily blunders he finds himself in. There will be some, like CBSSports.com's own Ken Berger, who thinks that James is on point about contraction being good for the league, and that is should hearken back to the vaunted 80's. 

Of course, it turns out that quite as stacked as we may remember them. In fact, during the vaunted 80's, you really only had two stacked teams (Lakers, Celtics naturally) and two pretty great teams (Detroit, Philadelphia for a single season). Houston could be considered if you want to start dipping into the bottom of the superstar barrel. So not only did LeBron not know the word of what he was talking about, but he was still wrong about the reason for implementing that concept that he didn't know the name of. 
For a guy who looked phenomenal taking down the Lakers this weekend, he's not exactly on his game in the PR world. 
Posted on: December 13, 2010 5:38 pm

Lakers write veterans letters at President visit

Lakers visit President Obama at Boys and Girls Club of Washington, D.C., write letters to veterans overseas.Posted by Matt Moore

The Lakers visited the White House today for their (seemingly) annual trip to the White House in honor of their NBA championship. But since Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and Derek Fisher have been there enough to know which rooms have cable and which don't (as noted by the President himself ), the White House decided to do something different today.

Instead of the typical photo-op in the Rose garden, laugh and greet business, the Lakers joined the Boys and Girls club of Washington, D.C. and wrote letters to veterans overseas.

Pause to let the dust in here settle.

Here's a photo of the kids and Lakers mingling (courtesy of Mike Trudell's Twitter account ):

The Lakers did pose with the President later, and the President joked with Phil Jackson, reminding him he still had one more ring with the Bulls.

Kobe's response?

"Not for long ."
Posted on: December 9, 2010 4:28 pm

This turned out to be a pretty important call

Posted by Royce Young

In case you missed it, the Lakers beat the Clippers by a point last night on a last-second Derek Fisher layup. A lot of things contributed to that, including rookie Eric Bledsoe not stopping the ball at all and completely relying on a help defender to bail him out.

But what if Fisher's layup was just to tie the game instead? Well, there was that possibility. Instead, because of a call in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Lakers were gifted with an extra point. Watch:

Now of course I'm not so dense to think that things couldn't have changed throughout the game. But it's not like the call swung momentum or anything. Basically, it was a simple, free point gifted to the Lakers. It was the second delay of game call against the Clips, which is an automatic technical. Shannon Brown walked to the other end, hit the free throw and the Lakers led 75-73 instead of 74-73. And of course, the Clippers lost 86-85.

Griffin was guilty too. By the rule, he's supposed to give it right back to the official. He didn't. He chucked up another free throw. Phil Jackson in all his Phil Jackson-ness complained, and got the call. (Watch him pop right up off the bench and start hollering at the official for the call. The official thinks for a moment and then whistles Griffin. Interesting how influential coaches can be.)

But how many times could delay of game be called throughout a typical NBA game? Ten times? Fifteen? Fifty? Kevin Garnett made goaltending a jumper after the whistle famous, but the guy that took the jumper should be nailed with a delay, right? Isn't that basically what Griffin did?

Again, no denying what it was. Griffin should know better. Chalk it up to a rookie mistake if you want, but really, every player does it. I've seen guys pull exactly what Griffin did a hundred times with no whistle. Most times they don't go all the way through and throw the ball back at the iron though. I guess the credit goes to Phil Jackson for making the officials aware that he was aware.

In the end, that point was costly. Maybe Fisher's layup sends the game into overtime instead of the Lakers to victory without it. Maybe not. But regardless, I'm sure this was a nice little lesson for Griffin. And one that the master, Phil Jackson, taught him.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:27 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 1:32 pm

Game Changer 12.9.10: Gone Fish-ing

Wade's doing work on the left, Derek Fisher is a hero, and Vinny Del Negro's something else, all in today's Game Changer. 

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.


While Miami's reserves were finally earning their keep last night, Dwyane Wade was taking care of business, as usual. After some early season slump shooting, Wade has started to catch fire. The moves that you associate with Wade are coming back, like the pump fake drifting baseline J he drained last night for an and-one late in the game. Lost in all the LeBron James hoopa (and hatred) is the fact that Dwyane Wade really is an elite player in this league, and his 28 points on 14 shots last night was an excellent example. Twice in the second half, the Jazz backed off of Wade trying to contain his teammates and keep him in front of them. Wade calmly nailed a step-in three in the fourth quarter to put the game out of Utah's reach, killing the crowd.

The interesting thing about it? Wade was a little left-heavy last night. Here, take a look at his shot chart from our Game Tracker:

That's quite a bit of left-side shooting, there Wade. The Jazz defense constantly shaded right, and the result was this. It wasn't just Wade, though. Of LeBron James' 20 field goals, only 3 shots came from the right side outside of the paint. 


The Lakers couldn't be bothered to put any effort in for most of this game, and the Clippers played their hearts out, leading by seven in the fourth quarter. But, sadly, they discovered a disheartening fact. They're the Clippers.



Andrea Bargnani : 41 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists


Zach Randolph:
34 points, 17 rebounds


Derrick Rose's ability to take over games continues, as in a game that should not have been as close as it was, Rose finished the Cavaliers in a snow storm. On a crucial possession he slipped by his defender, got to the middle paint (which is his sweet spot), and hit an up-and-under dandy and-one to ice it for Chicago. Cleveland's final possessions were terribly managed by Byron Scott. 


Speaking of terrible game management, how about Vinny Del Negro calling timeout late when his Clippers have the lead and momentum with an opportunity to ice the game against a completely winded Lakers team? The Lakers were primarily losing because of effort, but the fact that they were so short-handed on a back-to-back had a lot to do with it as well. They were completely gassed, but Vinny Del Negro let them off the hook with a timeout. So bad.

Lamar Odom wanted nothing to do with Blake Griffin by the end of last night's game. Griffin completely overwhelmed Odom on several possessions in the fourth quarter. Credit Phil Jackson with switching to Ron Artest late which caused two turnovers to help the Lakers close it out.

The announced attendance last night was just over 10,000 in New Orleans, well short of the 14,000 they need to average to avoid the opt-out free of penalty with the arena in case new ownership decides to move on. Not a good sign.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:10 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Shootaround 12.09.10: Rocking out with Rony

Former NBA player turns club DJ, questions about Tyreke Evans' foot, Derek Fisher drops the Clippers, the Blazers fret about a lockout, Antoine Walker airballs a free throw, and a bunch more. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Former Miami Heat center Rony Seikaly is now a party DJ playing in clubs across the globe, the New York Times reports. “I’m not doing this to be a celebrity,” Seikaly said. “I’m not doing this to become famous. I’m doing this just to share the love, and to share the music.”
  • Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, "could miss the rest of the season with a right toe injury," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:07 am
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