Now that No. 15 is in the books and the Parade is over, we will gradually get back in the groove of linking more non Lakers related NBA content. Here are today's Lakers Links.
All of the Los Angeles Times Links
Forum Blue And Gold " Deconstructing Kobe
There is no doubt that this title meant as much to Kobe, and to the public’s perception of his legacy, than perhaps any title has meant to any player in recent memory. In that spirit, we have been showered with stories praising Kobe, dissecting his relief, evaluating his transformation, figuring his place in history, analyzing his relationship with Phil and his teammates, etc., etc., ad nauseam. This has been fun, even if much of it is puffy, revisionist, or based on somewhat distorted generalizations about the facts (both statistical and otherwise).
But we’ve also seen something of a Kobe backlash....
...The goal of the Kobe hater is clear: undermine, undermine, undermine. Now, as a Laker blog we are duty bound to defend our shining knight. More significantly, we are a blog devoted to reason, evidence, and substantive discussion. We despise fluff and all of its corollaries. As this recent wave of Kobe attacks are based on shallow and/or false interpretations of the factual record (or no facts at all), they will be addressed in turn.
There is no doubt that this title meant as much to Kobe, and to the public’s perception of his legacy, than perhaps any title has meant to any player in recent memory. In that spirit, we have been showered with stories praising Kobe, dissecting his relief, evaluating his transformation, figuring his place in history, analyzing his relationship with Phil and his teammates, etc., etc., ad nauseam. This has been fun, even if much of it is puffy, revisionist, or based on somewhat distorted generalizations about the facts (both statistical and otherwise). But we’ve also seen something of a Kobe backlash.... ...The goal of the Kobe hater is clear: undermine, undermine, undermine. Now, as a Laker blog we are duty bound to defend our shining knight. More significantly, we are a blog devoted to reason, evidence, and substantive discussion. We despise fluff and all of its corollaries. As this recent wave of Kobe attacks are based on shallow and/or false interpretations of the factual record (or no facts at all), they will be addressed in turn.
(This was a respnse to Bandwagon Billy Simmons irresponsible Kobe article. We linked this yesterday, but we will link it again for those who may have missed it while you were celebrating the Parade.)
Hardwood Paroxysm " Blog Archive " Respect
However, the one thing I am most grateful for today is, in so few words, hope. I hope that this title, this vindication of Kobe, this dominating performance throughout will finally turn the tide on the Laker chatter throughout the blogosphere and in the MSM. Sure, winning it all isn’t going to make Kobe haters less angry. Far from it. But, what it can do, and what I hope it actually does, is turn the Lakerrati away from always being on the defensive, always up in arms about Kobe and the rest and turns that passion into peace.
(In a perfect world, the Corndogg would be correct, but unfortunately, I see things only getting worse, because now the irrational Kobe haters will only dig for more absurd reasons to discredit Kobe and the Lakers, as Bandwagon Billy proved.)
Lakers parade was about one thing: Joy - OCRegister.com
When Derek Fisher looks back at the footage of the Lakers’ championship parade, he’ll see himself and think the same thing he already thought upon first seeing replays of himself the night the championship was won. "I can see it in my own face," Fisher said. "I’m just really happy." It’s really an interesting way to put it. Our joy comes from within, but the expression of it is far more telling than the feeling itself. That’s what parade day Wednesday was about: the expression of joy. Yes, Phil Jackson is absolutely right when he says it’s about the journey. Each moment exists as its own slice of life. Nevertheless, rarely does any moment reach as elevated a natural high as this one.
More Links after the Jump...
Lakers, Magic face tough free agency decisions in NBA offseason - Chris Mannix - SI.com
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Standing on a hastily erected dais at center court in Amway Arena, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak sported a toothy grin that extended from ear-to-ear. The team that he meticulously assembled over the last few years had climbed the NBA mountaintop, and for the next few days he would reap the rewards in the form of congratulatory phone calls and text messages from his peers and a raucous parade through the streets of Los Angeles. Right around the time Kupchak was standing tall after Sunday's Game 5 clincher in the NBA Finals, Magic GM Otis Smith walked slowly through a winding hallway in the back of the arena. The feeling was less than sweet for Smith, who put together an unorthodox roster that shocked the basketball world with its march to the NBA Finals. In the next few weeks, however, the emotions of Kupchak and Smith will eventually come in sync. Kupchak's euphoria will subside; for Smith, the sting of Orlando's loss will ease. And then both men will find themselves with the same task: How do they do it again? Both teams have significant decisions to make this offseason that will affect their ability to get back to this stage. Let's examine both teams.
No reason to think Kobe won't win another title - FOX Sports on MSN
When Michael Jordan won his fourth NBA championship, at age 33, he held up four fingers to the United Center crowd. Then, with a playful grin, he held up five, six, seven. Jordan ended up winning six titles with the Bulls, and will go to his grave believing he would have won at least seven if the franchise had not imploded. Kobe Bryant is 30 years old. He now has four titles to his credit. And there is every reason to believe that before he retires, he will pick up at least one more. Why shouldn't the Lakers be favored next year? You can come up with reasons, but they will surely apply more to another contender.
Dwyane Wade: "Kobe Bryant Is Still The Best Player In The Game" | Dime Magazine (www.dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers
And now Dwyane Wade is making a statement of his own: Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the game today. "I believe that Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the game, his experience and his overall talent. It’s not taking away from LeBron, it’s not taking away from Carmelo, it’s not taking away from myself," Wade told ESPN Radio Chicago. "Kobe has been in the game longer than the rest of us, he’s older than us, he’s smart with the game. He’s the better player."
Phil Jackson | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
This quasi-mystical figure has more titles than any other NBA coach. Is he any good?
Lakers Set Champs Sale Record - Sports Biz with Darren Rovell - CNBC.com
Sales from the NBA Store in New York City and on NBAStore.com reveal that the Lakers obliterated the previous 48-hour record for championship merchandise sales. In fact, Lakers fans bought so much gear that league officials said that sales doubled the record that was previously held by last year's Boston Celtics.
(The Lakers matter like no other team in the NBA, and the fans love them and support them, but yet people over analyze our crowds.)
Epoch Times - Kobe’s Quest to Be the Best
With his fourth NBA championship wrapped up, Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant got a 7–1, 325-pound monkey off his back by winning his first title without the help of center Shaquille O’Neal.
Kobe versus Michael | Upon Further Review
Anything you might be saying around the water cooler or at your favorite watering hole might also end up here, in Over the Top of the Mornin'.
Scout's eye helped Bryant focus on title drive - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Hoping to solidify any cracks in his greatness, Kobe Bryant employed a personal scout who worked with him throughout the playoffs. - National Basketball Association news
Lakers forward Gasol's dilemma: For country, or give it a rest? - LA Daily News
Will Pau Gasol go for the gold or have anextra dulce de leche on a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona? The Lakers forward said Tuesday he hasn't decided whether he'll play for Spain in the European Basketball Championships scheduled for September in Warsaw, Poland. Like his Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, Gasol has played two long NBA seasons and in the Olympics over the past two seasons, making rest and relaxation during this offseason important. But Gasol said Tuesday, as he walked to his car after meeting with Lakers officials at the team's training center, that he'd really like to help Spain win a European championship. Asked if Lakers coach Phil Jackson or general manager Mitch Kupchak encouraged him to rest instead, Gasol said, "No. They understood."
(Just like his greatest fan, BandWagon Billy, Paul Pierce resumes his front-running.)
NBA Mock Draft - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
The champs face the luxury tax while trying to re-sign key free agents. They'll draft an international player and keep him off the payroll for now.
NBA Draft Predictions: Pacific Division -- NBA FanHouse
Over the next six days, we'll take a look at each team's needs heading into the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 25. First up, the NBA's Pacific Division: