And The Oscar For Best Drama, Best (Lead) Actor & Best Supporting Actor Goes To ……
By tophatal ……….
It’s beginning to get mightily disturbing in Lakers’ Nation with Kobe Bryant now voicing his disapproval about the lack of movement in terms of the personnel decisions now being made by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss , son of team owner Dr Jerry Buss . Far be it for me to suggest but the rush to judgment in the hiring of Mike Brown doesn’t appear to have been a decision that sat well with Bryant and a number of his teammates . Then add in the fact that former Sixth Man of the Year … Lamar Odom was traded to the Dallas Mavericks . And the deal itself was handled so haphazardly it now begs the question who the hell just happens to be now making the decisions within the front office of the organization ? I mean it’s not as if Kupchak is said to have sought the player’s input as to who should succeed Phil Jackson , after the famed coach formally announced his retirement from the Lakers and professional basketball altogether . Jackson rides off into the sunset with his legacy firmly set and without a doubt the most successful coach in North American professional sports’ history .
Slide show for your perusal .
Mike Brown for his part knew that the job would mark a turning point in his career after his successful tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers . A part of this whole drama as it plays itself might just be down to the fact that the Los Angeles Clippers instead of the Los Angeles Lakers , are now are the “biggest show “ in La-La Land by far. And for the first time in recent history it would appear to be the Clippers , themselves , who are actually the biggest draw at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California , the venue shared by both franchises as their home-court arena . Also playing a part in the discontent amongst Bryant and the Lakers’ players , was the mere fact that with David Stern pulling the plug on what was meant to be a multi-player blockbuster trade that would have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers from the New Orleans Hornets . It simply placed the franchise in a predicament from which they simply were unable to extricate themselves from .
Courtesy of the LA Times
Kobe Bryant lashed out at Lakers management after Sunday’s loss to Phoenix, saying that the constant trade rumors involving Pau Gasol since before the season started are taking their toll on the team.
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss who will come out on top in this latest perceived battle between the Lakers star and General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion with a comment of your own.
Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times
It’s no contest, really. Did Mitch Kupchak listen when Kobe Bryant wanted out of Los Angeles a few summers back? Did Kupchak hear that Bryant wanted Jason Kidd and subsequently ship out Andrew Bynum? Did Kupchak call the Dallas Mavericks and request that they send back Lamar Odom upon learning that Bryant was upset with the deal?
Bryant whines and Kupchak wins in the battle between superstar player and his GM. And that’s the way it should be, unless the Lakers want to give Bryant a dual role of making the baskets and calling the shots. He’s having enough trouble with the former task as it is.
Ultimately, Kupchak will decide whether he can improve the Lakers by dealing Pau Gasol before the March 15 trade deadline and Bryant will be left telling us how he feels about the move but powerless to do anything about it.
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Forgive Mitch Kupchak if he yawns. Of course, yawning can cause one to close his or her eyes, and the Lakers’ general manager certainly isn’t going to blink during this latest installment of “Days of Our Kobe ” .
Look, Kobe and Kupchak are far more similar than different, wired to win at all costs. Kupchak may do so in a far more behind-the-scenes, and less expletive-filled, manner. But both bleed purple and gold and victories. So Kupchak, as usual, will win in this latest mini-personnel pull. Remember when Kobe demanded to be traded in the summer of 2007? That was how many NBA Finals appearances ago?
The Lakers no longer are among the NBA’s elite. But no matter what Kobe demands regarding resolution for Pau Gasol, expect Kupchak to make the best move to try to put the Lakers back in position to be elite again. That’s what Kupchak’s impressive track record has proven through the various chatter of Kobe, Shaq, even World Peace.
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With Paul now linking up with Blake Griffin and providing an offensive one-two punch that seems to be working for Vinny Del-Negro and his players . While the Clippers’ star is on the rise the Lakers’ seems to be on the decline with the inconsistent play coming from a number of players on this team . Never mind the fact that the point guard play from Steve Blake and Derek Fisher has been anything but productive .
Now as productive as Bryant has been he simply cannot do it all by himself and that is giving due credit to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum when that particular duo sees fit to string together consecutive games where their productivity enhances the play of the team . So far it has been one of highs and lows for the center and power forward over the course of this season .
I can understand that the hierarchy within the Los Angeles Lakers wanted to move on in the aftermath of Phil Jackson’s retirement but to my mind Buss and Kupchak erred in having Mike Brown succeed Phil Jackson , as I felt that they had a ready-made replacement in Brian Shaw , who at the time was Jackson’s assistant on his coaching staff. Shaw , himself a former Lakers’ player had success with the franchise during his professional career before stepping down and becoming an assistant to his mentor.
Sunday , the Los Angeles Lakers were the guests of the Phoenix Suns in a game that has in many ways mirrored the inconsistency of the team this season. Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry had his players playing at a high level and with seasoned veterans such as Steve Nash and Grant Hill simply defying age as they made the younger players on the Lakers’ roster seem like novices . It’s crazy but not so long ago but I felt that the Suns were down and out and but a trade away from imploding altogether . Instead it would appear that Gentry has the players believing in themselves and the message that he is imploring them with may well be finally sinking in. And although of late their they’re on a losing streak a number of those games have hard-fought battles that could have gone either way .
In 2010 the claims were being made that the Lakers had the most well-balanced team in the league with its bench being the very best in the NBA . Well as we all know that was sheer bunkum , with that team simply being outplayed when it mattered most , during the postseason . This season it’s hard to see how a roster where the bench players are Luke Walton , Matt Barnes , Josh McRoberts , Troy Murphy , Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris . Not exactly the names that would tend to send shivers down an opponent’s spine , you’d think .
Monday night the Lakers play hosts to the Portland Trailblazers (17-15) in a game that will tell us a great deal about the directions that both teams are said to be heading in. The Northwest Division has the high-flying the Oklahoma City Thunder leading the division and conference and now are clearly bound to be the #1 seed for the Western Conference given the playoff picture at present.
Mike Brown needs to get his players focussed but more so, he needs to his players buying into a strategy that has them playing with a great deal of resolve . As for Mitch Kupchak , he now knows that something now has to be done in terms of bolstering the roster . A competent and productive point guard is needed if they are to have any chance of going deep into the NBA postseason . And while there are wild speculations that Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge may well seek to shop Rajon Rondo given the fact that the Celtics’ …. season now appears to be spiraling out of control . Were such a trade to take place with the point guard joining the Lakers , perhaps in exchange for a starter and a bench player , then one would have to view Rondo’s addition as an added advantage . This is a dilemma that I for one don’t believe that the Celtics’ front office might have contemplated but senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck now may well have to consider and do what’s best for the franchise . From my own standpoint , to trade Rondo would be a boon to the franchise , albeit that the front office may well feel that is in their best interests to do so. But with an aging core of Allen , Garnett and Pierce , I feel that Doc Rivers and Ainge should have set about rebuilding this roster with a view to the future at least two years ago !
As the 2012 All Star Weekend approaches there are bound to a number of transactions being worked out by the general managers , coaches and owners as they seek how best to bolster their standings with a view to gaining a playoff berth . The moves that are liable to be made may well give us a much clearer indication as to the ambitions of a number of teams around the league . We will most certainly see the contenders simply looking to separate themselves from the so-called “pretenders” within the NBA in terms of the overall play this season .
Coming into this season I felt that the Los Angeles Lakers would be challenging within the Eastern Conference but in reality I knew that this team had its frailties ! A new coach , brought in to succeed a legend creates a handicap right from the outset and the fact that the choice in terms of that coach’s successor wasn’t one that was welcomed by everyone with open arms would suggest that sooner or later a great deal of turmoil would erupt and come to the fore . That has clearly been the case with the extraordinary outburst from Kobe Bryant that was essentially an expletive filled volley aimed squarely at the Lakers’ management and coaching staff . If that wasn’t enough of performance given the player’s own exploits on the court this season . Then I for one don’t know what is ! Someone is going to be , and should be held accountable for the unyielding drama that is now taking place in LA and specifically within the inner sanctum of the Los Angeles Lakers ! Any ideas as to where the finger-pointing should begin and be directed towards ? Chime in with your thoughts . The Lakers’ cause also , hasn’t been helped by the Clippers’ success this season and the very fact that they’re now the talk of the town in ” Tinseltown” , where a court-side seat and night out at an NBA game usually meant watching the Los Angeles Lakers . Not so much now , but when you now have the Los Clippers holding away amongst the fans in the City of Angels , it begs the question who deserves the nod for the Best Drama , Best (Lead) Actor and Best Supporting Actor ? This is one particular weekend , wherein , the Oscars could well be upstaged by the drama now unfolding within the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
Where do you believe that the fault may well ultimately lay with regard to the drama now unfolding concerning the Los Angeles Lakers ? And do you believe that the team in its present guise is capable of winning another NBA title ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this and other topic you believe to be relevant as it regards the NBA . And as usual thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers is presented with the Western Conference Player of the Week award from General Manager Mitch Kupchak before a game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center on February 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NBAE Getty Images / Evan Gole ……
(2) Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum , right, is guarded by Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the second half on an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 103-92 . AP Photo/Bret Hartman ……..
(3) Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher, right, works his way around Portland Trail Blazers forward Gerald Wallace during the second half on an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 103-92 . AP Photo/Bret Hartman …….
(4) Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant , left, and Lakers forward Pau Gasol share a laugh after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers during an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Bret Hartman ……
(5) Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to play against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 103-92 . Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..
(6) LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 20: Wesley Matthews (2) of the Portland Trail Blazers has his shot blocked by Andrew Goudelock (0) of the Los Angeles Lakers forcing a jump ball during the second half at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 103-92. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ….
(7) Raymond Felton (5) of the Portland Trail Blazers loses the ball as he falls in front of Steve Blake (5) and Troy Murphy (14) of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on February 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..
(8) Jim Buss, son of owner Jerry Buss is seen here with his father at a Lakers game last season . The son , along with his sister Jeanie Buss are senior executives within Los Angeles Lakers organization . It was at the recommendation of Jim Buss in consultation with GM Mitch Kupchak that Mike Brown was hired to succeed Phil Jackson , with final approval coming from Jerry Buss . AP Photo/ Chris Dickson …..
Don’t spill any of the goodies on my account baby !