We're still waiting on LO to wake up and smell the Pacific Ocean breeze. No news yet, but the prevailing thought is the the longer the negotiations take, LO will eventually sign with the Lakers, since it's best for him. I disagree. The longer this process last, the less the Lakers will want him.
Not only would they save $18-20 million depending on which offer is still on the table (if it is), but remember last summer. The Lakers were supposedly exploring trading Lamar for....you guessed it, Ron Artest. Well, guess what? We have Artest. On the cheap. But here's the thing, if the Lakerswere willing to trade LO for Artest last year, even before Trevor Ariza became Trevor Ariza, then were willing to let Ariza walk, because they could sign Artest this summer, doesn't it mean they got what they wanted all along. For nothing. Word was they didn't take the Kings deal because of Kenny Thomas' contract was in the deal as well. Not only did they get the player they wanted for the past 3 years, but the very player they were going to trade him for may save them $18-$20 million by his stubbornness to take the best deal. A player who can take us to another level, but let's face it, was asleep for half of the Playoff games in 2009. (I don't say that to knock Lamar at all, but the FO has to be considering this when Odom stalls for more money.) It's a win/win situation for the Lakers FO, and I fear that they did lower the offer, hoping he passes, while we wait and debate what is going on. No news is bad news, and I'm officially preparing myself for Lamar Odom's departure.
Here are today's Links:
News and notes as the waiting continues | Lakers Blog | Los Angeles Times
One thing I do like is the borderline radio silence coming out of both camps. It's frustrating for people on the outside, but the less this gets played out in the media the more likely Lakers fans get the outcome they want (assuming said outcome is a return to the Lakers for Odom).
Lamar Odom gives Miami a look - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
There's a distinct possibility Lamar Odom(notes) could be a member of the Miami Heat soon enough, and I can't help but feel a tinge of sadness at that thought. There is certainly nothing wrong with Odom heading to the Heat as a free agent. It's just that, as basketball fans, the whole mess that led to Odom rocking off to South Beach feels like an incredible disappointment. Like the couple that everyone deems the cutest, splitting up after a row regarding what name to give the new dog.
Heat Playing Waiting Game with Odom - Bethlehem Shoals - The Baseline - Sporting News
How important is Lamar Odom to the Heat? Ask Dwyane Wade's Twitter, and the parade might as well have started already. The Odom parade, that is. Check it: "I'm in LA to bring odom bac to miami with me lol lol lol. LA fans dnt get mad at me.." [sic x1000]. But over at The Sun-Sentinel, Ira Winderman paints a far more complicated picture. One where Riley is trying to wait out Lakers on one hand, yet also exercise patience when it comes to other free agents like, say, Allen Iverson. Odom is the equilibrium upon which rests the entire universe.
Odom to Miami? Don’t bet on it - Lakers blog - OCRegister.com
The talk (at this moment) is Lamar Odom is "leading strongly toward accepting" a 5-year, $34 million deal from Miami. From conversations I’ve had, I’m convinced that those reports are nothing more than agent posturing. Even the fact Pat Riley flew to Los Angeles this weekend still doesn’t change the fact Odom wants to remain with the Lakers. (The Heat president owns a house in L.A.) Ramona Shelburne of the L.A. Daily News said that "theories and facts change from day to day." But the belief among those who know say Odom will remain in Los Angeles and will make it official soon.
More Lakers and NBA related Links after the Jump. Click on through...
20 Second Timeout: When Did Kobe Bryant Really Become a Team Player?
I just read an interesting article about Kobe Bryant; the tag line declares in part, "Kobe Bryant has grown into a consummate team player." The writer adds, "Not only does he score, but he also initiates the Lakers' attack and has developed into a fierce defensive stopper" and he quotes Larry Brown, who calls Bryant "a model" of what an NBA player should be. One of Bryant's teammates says of Bryant, "He doesn't make his game a personal game anymore. You don't see him doing the things on the floor that used to get him in trouble and get us in trouble." That teammate also asserts that Bryant made a greater effort to mingle with his teammates away from the court but Bryant disagrees with that: "If you ask me, I acted the same way my first few years, but for some reason the perception is different this year. If I'm doing something that makes them feel more comfortable around me, then I'm happy about that." This is all stuff that you have heard before, right? You bet you have heard it before--nine years before to be exact! Those quotes did not come from an article about the Lakers' 2009 championship; they come from a Sports Illustrated article that Phil Taylor wrote in April 2000, a few months before Bryant won the first of his four NBA championships! That is why it is so funny--and yet so sad
(That SI article is linked below.)
Erstwhile teen hot dog Kobe Bryant has grown into a - 04.24.00 - SI Vault
(Here's that article Friedman referred to.)
NBA Champion Shannon Brown: Will the Real Chris Brown Please Stand Up? -- NBA FanHouse
Besides his basketball skills, Shannon gets a lot of attention, especially from his teammates, because of his resemblance to singer Chris Brown. In this FanHouse exclusive we hear from Shannon, Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic as they all tell us about the Shannon Brown - Chris Brown saga.
NBA.com: Relive Jackson's 10 championship-clinchers on NBA TV
With a 4-1 series win over the Orlando Magic in the 2008 NBA Finals, Phil Jackson became the NBA's greatest championship coach. Jackson, who now ranks first all-time with 10 championships, surpassed Celtics legend Red Auerbach for the top spot in NBA annals. Now you can catch all 10 of Jackson's Finals-clinching victories. Watch NBA TV on Monday starting at noon ET for a look back on all of Jackson's biggest victories. It starts with Game 5 of the 1991 Finals between Jackson's Chicago Bulls and the Lakers, which tipped off the first of two separate three-peats by the Bulls. It's only available on the 24/7 home for hoops -- NBA TV.
(Phil's Lakers games come on Tuesday.)
Resurgent U.S. Team Attracts Young Stars - NYTimes.com
Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of USA Basketball, beamed as he looked around a high school gym at a collection of America’s top young basketball players. With Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Greg Oden racing up and down the court, Colangelo said, "I feel like a proud papa."Krzyzewski said, "We’re way ahead of where a USA Basketball team has ever been, and we need to capitalize on that." Krzyzewski said subtle culture changes would take place. In the past, players would not try out for USA Basketball because they were afraid of the hit to their ego and image that being cut or being named an alternate would bring them. "If you develop this and we bring in 15 and 18 guys, it would be an honor to be an alternate," Krzyzewski said.
- NBA.com: Ten players who helped their stock at Team USA mini-camp
- Many Called, Few Will Be Chosen For Team USA - Sean Deveney - The Baseline - Sporting News
Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose try to make splash with USA Basketball - Chris Mannix - SI.com
LAS VEGAS -- There was a time, a time not too long ago, when the prospect of playing for the United States national team was considered a chore. Beginning in 2002 with the U.S.'s undignified sixth-place finish at the world championships and continuing in 2004 with their only slightly more acceptable bronze medal at the Olympics -- the first time Team USA had not won gold since professionals began playing in 1992 -- playing for the red, white and blue had lost its luster. Instead of embracing the opportunity to play for their country, American players began to fear it. One by one the NBA's heavy hitters balked at the chance to play. Antonio Davis, a member of the ill-fated 2002 team, called the U.S. jersey "the heaviest I have ever worn." Players publicly spoke of the enormous pressure they faced to win.
- Bulls Block Luol Deng's British Play -- NBA FanHouse
SLAM ONLINE | " Nets for Sale, BK in Doubt
Every time we link to another story on the Nets planned move to Brooklyn, I try to chime in with a negative comment, chiding the Nets’ owner for his land-grab of a move, and stating the increasingly obvious, that the Nets should leave the run-down Meadowlands Arena in the shadow of Xanadu, and move to Newark… I’ve never taken the time to do my own column on the topic, however. Thankfully, Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger did. A day after his colleague, Dave D’Alessandro, wrote the news story about how Ratner is trying to find investors (from Russia) to become part (majority?) owners of the team and then still shepherd them to a borough that doesn’t need them and much of which doesn’t want them, Politi let loose in Saturday’s paper with a calm and reasonable destruction of the Nets’ shady owner, who bought a basketball team for real estate purposes and is watching that investment crumble.
Politi: NJ Nets owner Bruce Ratner knows damage, not damage control - New Jersey Nets Basketball - NJ.com
(Here's the article Slam referred to.)
Marbury's career becoming world-wide waste - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Stephon Marbury's marathon video chat showed the former All-Star guard as a broken, lonely man.
(I couldn't help but think the same thing. If you saw it, you would wonder how any competent GM could sign this man.)
- Has Allen Iverson Been Blacklisted? - Bethlehem Shoals - The Baseline - Sporting News
- We never really thought that Iverson would be jobless next season, right? I mean, even Marbury got a deal last year—with the Celtics, no less. And now, one of the most talented (if not most tractable) and defining players of his era could be out of a job. At least that's the way it's really, truly looking, as Yahoo! reports that the Grizz have lost interest and the Clippers are strongly leaning that way:
(They are putting this dog down, and he helped load the gun by complaining last season about coming off the bench, then "being" hurt for the reminder of the season. He didn't read between the lines, and most teams have a legitimate reason why they do not need an AI on their team, so he will have to learn his lesson. The man is still very talented, but he didn't bite the bullet, and politics are his problem now. The NBA wants a clean image. Iverson is/was the poster boy for the image problems the NBA suffered, and they want to wash their hands of him.)