No real news yet and the "The Summer of Lamar" continues. Here are today's Links:
Bryant 'optimistic' Odom will re-sign with Lakers - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is optimistic the NBA champions will re-sign key free agent Lamar Odom. "I'm optimistic that he'll be back," Bryant said Wednesday at a news conference in Singapore as part of a six-country Asian tour. "He makes us a much, much stronger team." Negotiations broke down last week and the Lakers retracted a contract offer to Odom. - National Basketball Association news
Odom Basking in Changed Reputation -- NBA FanHouse
When you win a championship, everyone looks good. Odom is the same player, but he just has better players around him now. Odom always has had these wonderfully versatile skills, but too often he was known more for being overpaid and underachieving. He was too laid back, too unselfish with the ball. His admitted pot smoking didn't help his reputation, either. With Bryant and Gasol in front of him, and even center Andrew Bynum getting more attention, Odom was much happier and more appreciated. During the regular season, he was the Lakers fourth-leading scorer behind those other three, focusing more on doing the little things a team needs to win. Late in the season, he dropped out of the starting lineup, losing his spot to Ariza. With the leadership provided by point guard Derek Fisher, a case could be made that Odom was only the sixth most important player on the roster in the playoffs. With Ron Artest now replacing Ariza, Odom will remain very much in the background if he returns to the Lakers. Not many team are willing to pay $9 million annually for a sixth man, but that's how much the Lakers want him back. That's what a championship does for a team. Odom is no leader by any stretch, but he is a classic example of how NBA careers can change if you find yourself in the right situation.
- Derek Fisher takes a shot at keeping Lamar Odom as a Lakers teammate - Los Angeles Times
Forum Blue And Gold " Back To The Future With NBA Finances
Chris J. sent me a very interesting email about how the financial landscape of the NBA in this economy is a little like turning back the clock. It’s well worth the read for the history and the comparisons to what is happening this summer and for the next few NBA seasons. Enjoy...
Kitten! | Lakers Blog | Los Angeles Times
Nobody I spoke with, from coaches to agents to other members of the media, expects Odom to leave the Lakers, though one Western Conference GM said with a laugh that a lot of his brethren wish he would.
Ron Artest acquisition shows Lakers ability to adapt - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two years ago, Kobe Bryant was demanding to be traded. Much has changed for the Lakers in that short time to convert his doubts into a potential new dynasty.
Lakers need to hold on to Lamar Odom, Clippers need to not grab Allen Iverson - Los Angeles Times
(Casa Bobblehead resident Captain Obvious [AKA Bill Plaschke] telling us what we already know. Again.)7
- 7 Reasons Los Angeles is Better than Miami | Lakers Nation
More links after the Jump. Plus, the video of LeBron getting dunked on. Click on through.
Lakers pursuing Stefano Mancinelli? | The Lakers Nation
BallinEurope.com: At least three NBA teams are currently pursuing Italian star Stefano Mancinelli: the Toronto Raptors, who are seemingly interested in every European player that comes down the pike; the Los Angeles Lakers, especially with Lamar Odom still in free-agency limbo; and perhaps his most likely destination, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Nike Zoom Kobe 4 Finals Home Edition Release | Lakers Nation
So you want to be like Kobe. Here's your chance. This Saturday, July 25th the Footlocker House of Hoops in the Beverly Center will be releasing the Home edition of the Zoom Kobe 4 finals in limited quantities. Only a few stores in the US will carry these including the Footlocker House of Hoops in Chicago and New York.
Smush Parker Wants to Dunk on Artest -- NBA FanHouse
(Smush. You have to be on an NBA roster to dunk on Artest. Plus, why are you so angry with the
Lakers. They propped you up and had you starting on a playoff team for 2 years. Was it any coincidence that we got off to a great start before the Pau trade with the same roster minus you, plus Fish? You're making me forget about this.)
Mike Krzyzewski to coach U.S. basketball team in 2012 Olympics - ESPN
USA Basketball announced that Mike Krzyzewski will return to lead the United States in next summer's world championships and when it defends its gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.
Ranking the NBA's nine best unrestricted free agents - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
(Guess who's #1.)
On extending Steve Nash - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
It's a day later, and I'm having a hard time getting upset at Steve Nash's(notes) contract extension. I know I've preached fiscal responsibility all summer. I know that Steve Nash probably won't be worth $11 million in 2011-12. I'm not even sure if he'll be worth that next season, when he'll make around $13.5 million.... ...There's nothing wrong with paying good money for an exciting team that should fill the stadium, even if it falls short of the playoffs again. Nothing wrong with holding serve until you see how Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) plays upon his return from eye surgery. Nothing wrong with keeping Nash, the man who spearheaded your 2004-05 turnaround, in the fold until retirement age.
- The Evolution of Cleveland’s Roster Since 2007 : Cleveland Cavaliers News
- LeBron getting dunked on
- Update: Here's a better view Ball Don't Lie posted
Magic, Matt Barnes Agree on 2-Year Deal -- NBA FanHouse
(The Magic sure are spending some money.)
Sour economy squeezing fun out of NBA's free agent class of 2010 - Steve Aschburner - SI.com
Tracking changes in the NBA salary-cap and luxury-tax thresholds can start to feel as abstract as counting widgets for a Harvard business school case study, what with all those zeroes and commas and, where most folks would be thrilled to stick the dollar sign, a decimal point instead. ...The so-called Summer of LeBron wasn't supposed to be anchored in Cleveland, any more than Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson and other marquee names necessarily were expected to stay put in their respective cities. That might happen now...
(The Summer of Lamar is the prelude to the Summer of LeBron. 2010 will still be a better Off Season than this year. The biggest stories are Lamar, Trevor, and Paul Millsap. I love my Lakers, but....Yawn.)
NBA defends age minimum to Congress - FOX Sports on MSN
The NBA defended its minimum age requirement to Congress, but a critical lawmaker was unmoved and is asking to meet with top league officials to discuss it, according to letters obtained Monday by The Associated Press. The rule, which is part of the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players union, requires that players be at least 19 years old and a year out of high school before entering the league. Last month, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., urged the league and union to scrap the requirement in the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it unfair.
NBA Age Limit Rule Should Be Raised, Not Eliminated -- NBA FanHouse - Tim Potvak
Don't you just love it when the politicians put their noses where they don't belong, knowing they'll probably screw up things? The NBA has been defending its age-requirement rule -- a good rule that would be even better if another year was added -- after Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) strongly urged the league to scrap it.
NBA Age Limit Isn't Fair, Doesn't Work -- NBA FanHouse - Tom Ziller
On Tuesday, my FanHouse colleague Tim Povtak argued that the NBA's age minimum is good for everyone and should be raised to 20 years old. He chastised Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee for raising concerns with the NBA, and recanted the league's rationale on the issue. Plenty of discussion points in there ... ... but, in my opinion, a real lack of nuance and compassion. The NBA age limit helps two groups, and two groups only: NBA executives and the NCAA oligarchy. Supporters of the age limit may claim some greater interest in the sanctity of basketball as a key tenet, but come on. This is about money. Not education, not better basketball, not the salvation of misguided youth. It's about money, the elimination of some small slice of financial risk for NBA owners and the enrichment of the high-powered athletic programs of American college sports. And who bears the burden of this policy? Kids like DeMar DeRozan.
It's time for NBA to ditch one-and-done rule - FOX Sports on MSN
For years, I've argued that teenagers with NBA-caliber talent should be allowed to enter the draft right out of high school — and not just because preps-to-pros happens in other sports, or because you can go to war at the same age or because ruling against it often inspires a worthy race-related debate. I'm also against making NBA-level prospects attend college for at least one year because doing so takes away a few scholarships from kids who actually may want an education. I'm against it because — oh, my high-school coaching peers will just love this — the best place to prepare for playing in the NBA is the NBA. Believe it.
The age limit is bogus. How many top baseball draft picks turn out to be busts? Even after they are "developed" in the minor leagues. How many #1 picks are busts in the NFL? They have a rule where you can't enter the Draft until 3 years after your high school class graduated! Right now, most top draft picks make Top 5 in their position money before taking a snap. How dumb is that? There are more JaMarcus Russells and Ryan Leafs than there are Peyton Mannings. In the NBA? There are more Kobe Bryants and Kevin Garnetts than there are Kwame Browns.
Yet some people feel high schoolers were ruining the game? No. Teams that drafted the wrong kid, and not developing them correctly was wrong. What's worse is making these kids go to college for a year and putting on this farce that it's about the iegrity of education and basketball development. It's about the money as Ziller says.
I get why the rule was put in place. It was for 2 reasons. The NBA was suffering through an image crisis following the Iverson Era of tats, braids, practice, and the Pacers/Pistons Brawl. It was a PR move. Plus, having these kids in college for a year makes them ready made stars. The NCAA is happy to get the blue chippers in their Tournement. Then the Draft means something again, and will mean more when we can learn more about the foreign prospects like we did with Rubio.
Ziller and Randy Hill got it right. Tim Potvak is way off.