Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

What can Boozer bring to the Lakers?

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LAKERS

Finally, After several weeks of misery since the 2013 – 2014 season ended, the Los Angeles Lakers can see a positive turnaround in their offseason performance. The Lakers claimed the 32 – year old Carlos Boozer off waivers and he will now join Kobe in LA. Boozer was just recently waived by the Chicago Bulls, who brought in the former Laker Pau Gasol. The former All-Star was in the books for $16.8 million for the Bulls. But what can Lakers fans expect from Boozer next season? Will he manage to fill in for Gasol and even reach a star level?

First of all, Boozer was a starter a few years ago. In fact, when he signed with the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2010, he was projected to be the next big thing in Chicago. His game did have some limitations but in overall, he was considered as one of the top power forwards in the league.

His performance gradually dipped in Chicago and last season, with no Derrick Rose around, he averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 45.6 percent shooting from the floor. Those are no superstar numbers of course and considering the fact that Boozer even lost his main contributor role in Chicago’s frontcourt from Joakim Noah, it becomes obvious that he was a star in decline up to last season. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau ended up benching Boozer in favor of Taj Gibson, who gave more energy to the team when he stepped foot on the court.

Now, however, in LA, he will have a unique chance to revamp his career. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin, in a team which desperately needs some star power, Boozer will be able to prove that he has some basketball left in his tank. He will instantly take over as a starter for the Lakers and he will most probably see much playing time.

The Los Angeles Lakers now already have three power forwards, Boozer, Ed Davis and the rookie Julius Randle. Jordan Hill was also re-signed and he will definitely eat up some minutes from the other big men. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers will handle the playing time of each player of their front lone, as they will have to balance the minutes of both the younger guys and the veterans.

In overall, Boozer’s addition is a great one for the Lakers. LA didn’t manage to land a superstar like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony this summer. And with no trade chips to initiate a trade for Kevin Love, the Lakers had to turn their interest into other players and of course, take some risks. That’s what they did when they agreed to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets and that’s what they did now in the case of Boozer. The 32 – year forward will hopefully play better than the previous season and hopefully provide much help to the Lakers next season. The puzzle is gradually taking shape in LA. Chris M.

Gasol Leaves For Greener Pastures

Pau Gasol

GASOL

The domino effect out of LeBron’s Decision 2.0 has already started and affected several teams around the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those teams which saw their ambitions getting demolished, as both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony turned down the possibility of joining forces with Kobe in the City of Angels. After the two superstars took their respective decisions, lots of other significant players were moved. Pau Gasol turned down two consecutive offers from the Lakers and decided to head to the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers took advantage of the Houston Rockets’ urgent need to trade away Jeremy Lin and received him along with his huge contract.

Gasol’s departure in combination with the acquisition of Lin and the fact that the Lakers failed to land a megastar this summer brings LA in a brand new era, a strange one. The Lakers will now have to depend mainly on Kobe Bryant, who will turn 36 before the start of the new season. On top of that, there will be no second star, no second pillar alongside him. With Gasol gone, there will be no pillar to support Kobe on the offensive end for the Lakers, unless Mitch Kupchak manages to make a surprising move this summer.

Pau Gasol Trade

GASOL


The Los Angeles Lakers were aiming to return to a championship contending course in 2014 – 2015. Apparently, this won’t happen. All the Lakers will be able to do now is to try and make the playoffs next season and hope they can chase another superstar, like Kevin Love, next summer. The certain fact is that the window is gradually closing for Kobe and if the Lakers really want to stand a chance to win another championship while he is still active, they will have to act smart and quickly.

This new era will be a very strange one for the Lakers. After years of success LA struggled over the last couple of seasons. It was made clear that Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system just didn’t fit well with the philosophy of the Lakers, or at least the group of players the Lakers had on board. This new era will also find Kobe in a different situation than the ones he was used to up to now. Kobe had a capable, star big man on his side almost throughout the last decade and that’s how he managed to lead the Lakers to success. At first it was Shaquille O’Neal and then it was Pau Gasol, when the Spaniard center was in his prime. Now, Kobe will have to try and carry the team on his own.

Lakers fans may feel disappointed with the evolution’s of free agency up to now. The major change, the upgrade or the superstar addition everyone in LA expected did not come. Now, the Lakers will have to cook up a new plan for their near future.

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BY: Chris M.

Was the Kobe contract worth it?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Sports fans love to play the “what if” game. The latest “what if” in Los Angeles is what if the Lakers didn’t decide to extend Kobe Bryant for 2 years and $48 million? Or what if the Lakers superstar, like Tim Duncan, decided to assist the Lakers in their quest to attract another high paid superstar and took less money? With the big three in Miami opting out of their contracts and potentially taking less money to play together, like they did four years ago, Kobe Bryant now takes up a third of the Lakers salary cap. The massive contract that Jim Buss and the Lakers organization gave Bryant was based on what he’s accomplished as a Lakers player. As one of the greatest players off all time and a five-time NBA champion Bryant was certainly due loyalty from the Lakers organization. Whether that loyalty owed Bryant the biggest contract in the NBA is another argument. When Bryant signed the contract it was immediately questioned. Now, with the Lakers struggling to attract a top free agent, the massive contract is being questioned even more. With the Lakers unlikely to re-sign Pau Gasol, or sign Carmelo Anthony, the franchise is due for another difficult season. In the midst of another potential tough upcoming season is the fact that Bryant’s contract gives the team less flexibility. Which leads to the question: what if the Lakers didn’t re-sign Bryant?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Before they inked Kobe to the two year deal the Lakers had the option to amnesty their superstar. If the Lakers decided to part ways with Bryant they would have had just one contract on the books for this coming season, Steve Nash. With millions of dollars to spend the Lakers could have been major players for one or two top free agents, and a host of second tier players to fill out the roster. It would have been a grand experiment, but similar to what Pat Riley accomplished in Miami four off-seasons ago. The Lakers mystique could have made them a major player for Lebron and Carmelo, or both. With Julius Randle acquired in the draft, the Lakers had a real opportunity to attract top tier free agents.

Of course it’s an interesting “what if”, but the idea of letting Bryant go would have been an impossible decision to sell to the fan base. Bryant’s loyalty to the organization and incredible accomplishments made the idea of amnesty impossible. He deserves to play his entire career with one franchise, like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Was Kobes contract worth it

KOBE

While using the amnesty clause on Bryant was a non-starter, signing him to such a massive deal is a questionable decision. Bryant has made a remarkable amount of money in salary and endorsements over his career. The decision to reward Bryant for his career accomplishments and keep him as the highest player in the league may be out of loyalty, but it’s arguably wasn’t necessary at this point in his career.

You can’t fault Bryant for taking the money, but the example of Duncan’s decision to accept a $10 million deal is interesting. In order to allow the San Antonio Spurs to keep their championship roster in tact Duncan took a pay cut, for the good of the team. If Bryant would have taken a similar deal the Lakers would have had the ability to sign two max free agents to team with Bryant.

Is the Kobe contract worth it

KOBE

Heading into next season the Lakers have no idea what Bryant they’ll have back. Since he entered the league at 18 Bryant has a tremendous amount of miles on his legs, not to mention a torn Achilles. If he struggles with injuries like he did last season the Lakers will likely struggle as well. With two years and $48 million on the contract he signed, the Lakers need a healthy Bryant.

Time will tell if the Bryant contract is an albatross. At the very worst it could set the teams re-build back a couple of seasons. If Bryant, who’s known for his incredible work ethic and competitiveness, can return and prove the doubters wrong the contract could turn out to be a positive.

It all depends on what roster the Lakers build around Bryant, starting with a head coach. If Carmelo Anthony decides to jump from New York and join Bryant the massive deal may turn out to be a positive. If not, the Lakers might be in for another tough season.

Kobe

LA LAKERS KOBE BRYANT “What I do, I do”

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BY: Chris M.

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Can the Heats Failure Help The Lakers?

Spurs

SPURS WIN

The San Antonio Spurs redeemed themselves by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat after five games in the NBA Finals. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich can now celebrate their success while the on the other hand, a period of skepticism and uncertainty begins in Miami. Each of the Big Three holds an option to terminate his contract for next season and on top of that, it was clearly exposed that the Big Three are no longer invincible. This crystal clear loss to the Spurs might open to LeBron’s free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers have to take advantage of the opportunity.

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Kobe

The Lakers are looking for a way to not just turn things around and do better next season but also for a way to solidify their future for the years to come. Kobe Bryant is 35 and he will have two or three years more ahead before he starts to seriously considering retirement. The Lakers have three players under contract for the upcoming season, Kobe, the 40 – year old Steve Nash and Robert Sacre. This seems to be the ideal time for Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers to make a strong push for LeBron. And as a matter of fact, they do stand good chances to land him.

Lebron to Lakers

KING JAMES

LeBron now knows that his chances to win more rings in Miami are getting thinner. The Big Three did what they could do together, they reached the NBA Finals in each of the seasons since they were formed and they also won two championships. However, in order for LeBron to continue winning while at the same time being a member of a big organization, living in an environment like Miami, LeBron might have to head elsewhere.

And the Los Angeles Lakers are a very appealing destination.

Of course, the Lakers will have to cook up a very clever plan for their future, one in which LeBron and Kobe can co-exist alongside a capable supporting cast. Mitch Kupchak has not even found the next head coach of the team. And LBJ will have to see a well-designed plan for success before he jumps in.

Could Lebron Come to Lakers

KOBE & LEBRON

For sure the Lakers can offer LeBron a maximum contract. However, a Kobe-LeBron duo will not be enough for the Lakers to win the championship and James will have that in mind when deciding about his next destination. The Lakers will have to carefully study all the possible scenarios and try to ensure that they will be able to not just bring LeBron in LA but ensure long-time success for him and the team
.
Miami’s loss to the Spurs opened the window for the deformation of the Big Three and it instantly increased the Lakers’ chances to land King James. Of course, there will be several other teams willing to lure LeBron this summer. And ultimately, LeBron will be the one to choose which uniform he wants to wear next season. Nevertheless, the Lakers are certainly one of the top destinations for the best basketball player in the world.

You can follow Chris Cabrera on G+ or Twitter for tiny bits of wisdom.

Five things the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season

Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

LAKERS

At the moment, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a transitional period. They will enter the 2014 – 2015 campaign with a new head coach and most probably with several new faces in the roster. In fact Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre are the only three players with guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. So what should the Lakers do in order to at least make it to the postseason in 2014 – 2015? Let’s break down five things Kobe Bryant and the Lakers should do to make the playoffs next season.

1) Kobe should adjust his game

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

LAKERS

The Black Mamba is coming off a series of injuries and although he showed some promising signs during the few games he played last season, he is not getting any younger. In fact, act the age of 36 and following an extended period out of action, Kobe will have to slightly alter his game to help his team win. Kobe will most probably never fully rehab from his injuries and in fact, the Lakers will have to preserve the most valuable piece of their puzzle. Fewer minutes, less drives to the basket and more passes will have to become a habit for Bryant next season. After all, he has proven that he can be a great distributor and that he can alter his game when his team needs him to.

2) Kobe should handle the ball

We all know that Kobe is a deadly scorer. In fact he is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen. However, with Steve Nash turning 41 midway through the next season, Kobe and with the point guard situation still unsolved, Kobe will have to step up and handle the ball more. He will have to set up the team on offense and help the Lakers run their plays. In fact, the Black Mamba did that with success during the 2012 – 2013 season and when almost any of the Lakers’ point guards faced injury issues.

3) Make the best use of their No.7 pick

Whether that means trading it on draft night or finding the right prospect, the Lakers have to make the most out of their seventh pick in the upcoming draft. There will certainly be able to add some talent but if a team is willing to offer them a better fit in exchange for their pick, they should go for it.

4) Find affordable role players

The Lakers are one of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world and they are one of the biggest spenders when it comes to salaries. They were the fourth most expensive team last season and prior to Dwight Howard’s departure they were the most expensive one. However, money doesn’t guarantee more victories. That was made crystal clear last season. What the Lakers should do is try and find affordable role players to surround Kobe and another star they might sign.

5) Pau Gasol’s case

Lakers Paul Gasol at Staples Center

PAU

I am not going to vote pro bringing back Pau Gasol. He will be 34 next season and his performance is declining. Nonetheless, the Lakers might not have many better options at their front line, especially if the Spaniard center takes a pay cut to stay in LA. But even if Gasol decides to get on the move, the Lakers should try and benefit from his departure, by agreeing on a sign and trade with another team. They should get something in return instead of watching their former superstar walking away.

The Lakers tip off the Las Vegas summer league play on July 11th Vs the Raptors, July 13th against the New Orleans Pelicans followed by July 14th Vs the Golden State Warriors at the Cox Arena. You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all Summer League Games as well as all games at the LA Staples Center.

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Chris M.

Rip City Is For Real

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

The 2013-2014 season has been a roller coaster ride for Rip City. After reaching the top of the tough Western Conference early in the season, the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the fifth spot and they also saw their chances to make it to the top reducing. The Blazers entered the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs as the underdogs in their matchups against the Houston Rockets but they managed to eliminate them after six games. Now, they are being dominated by the veteran group of the San Antonio Spurs and their playoff trip might soon reach its end.

However, despite the failure to top the San Antonio Spurs, a task that is of course very difficult for any team around the league, the Blazers’ course during the 2013-2014 campaign is anything but bad. In fact, even if Rip City exits the playoffs in the second round, the entire city should feel proud about this team. After everything the Blazers have gone through and after all those top-player severe injuries, Portland has found a way to turn things around.

In addition, the future looks really bright for this team, given that it has now found the Big Three around which it can build. Damian Lillard showcased his leadership skills not just during the playoffs but even throughout the regular season. The versatile point guard has already reached a superstar level and he is just 23 years old. He and LaMarcus Aldridge are under contract for the next season, with the Blazers holding a team option, which will most probably exercise for the season after and also a qualifying offer for the 2015 – 2016 season. Nicolas Batum is also under contract till the end of the 2015 – 2016 season but what is even more important is the fact that something seems to be changing in Rip City.

The Blazers are finally starting to find their way to success and whilst they still haven’t formed an elite team, they are certainly on the right track. Portland has found its new franchise face, in Damian Lillard and also a truly capable star veteran, in LaMarcus Aldridge, who might just be the perfect fit alongside Lillard. Nicolas Batum is the third wheel of the Blazers’ engine and several analysts compare them to the San Antonio Spurs, stating that the Blazers are a younger version of San Antonio. I couldn’t agree more with this statement and I would go a step further, stating that Damian Lillard will soon have the same essence to Rip City like Kobe Bryant has to the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he is that good.

So, summing up, there is absolutely no reason for Blazers fans to feel disappointed with their favorite team this year. The Blazers did what they had to do. They went as far as they could. Now, the fun part begins, as the team will try to further improve during the postseason. We should all expect the Blazers to stay in the forefront of the NBA for the next seasons.

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You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all games at the Staples Center with No Service Fees or Handling Charges. Barry’s Tickets has been serving Los Angeles and Lakers Fans since 1985.

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
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Knicks or Lakers Who Has A Brighter Future?

Los Angeles Lakers Tickets

LAKERS

Two of the most legendary teams in the NBA, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling badly this season. For the Lakers, the season ended much time ago, with the start of the tanking being back during Kobe Bryant’s re-injury. The Knicks, on the other hand, were supposed to be chasing the title but instead they will have to battle hard to clinch a playoff ticket, if they ever manage to.

The two teams met just days ago, where the injury-struck Lakers set a new franchise record for most points in a single quarter, while the Knicks set a negative franchise record for most points allowed. On top of that, the discussions involving these two teams have piled up as of lately due to the Knicks’ acquisition of the former long-time Head Coach of the Lakers, Phil Jackson. Both the Lakers and the Knicks are projected to undergo deep changes during the next year or years. But which one will have a better future?
Well, it depends.

The Garden

MSG

If the Knicks manage to keep Carmelo Anthony, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, then they do have the advantage. That’s because, although the Lakers expect Kobe to return at his 100 percent next season, that doesn’t mean he will be the dominant Black Mamba we all knew. Kobe will turn 36 next year and it’s still unknown if he will be completely healthy. On top of that, he has lots of miles on his body and he is will be on the fall of his career. On the contrary, Melo, who will be 30 next season, will be right in the middle of his prime. Any GM would pick Melo over Bryant at this stage of their respective careers.

Another key issue that gives the upper hand to the Knicks is that they do have some quality players in their roster. Of course, they also have some burden-contracts, like the amazingly big one of Amar’e Stoudemire ($23.4 million). However, at the summer of 2015, all these big fat contracts will have expired. By then Phil Jackson should have already cooked up a nice plan and should have already performed some correcting moves in New York. The Knicks will then be able to chase another superstar to pair with Melo, who will hopefully still be in NYC.

Staples Center

STAPLES

On the other hand, the Lakers have already committed $48.5 million to Kobe over the next two seasons and Steve Nash is under contract for the next season, in the books for $9.7 million. In addition, the Lakers don’t have the young players, the financial flexibility or the draft picks to hope that they can make the difference next season or the one after. They will, too have to wait for the summer of 2015 to hope to make something happen, like an addition of a star like Kevin Love. But even that doesn’t seem much probable at the moment. The Lakers are deep in a whole they have dug themselves and nobody knows how they’ll manage to get out. Chris

Dont Fire D’Antoni … Yet

D’Antoni

D’Antoni

After the worst loss in franchise history, a 48 point drubbing at the hands of the Clippers, one of the worst regular seasons in Los Angeles Lakers history got even worse, leaving many Lakers fans calling for the firing of embattled Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. The Clippers, firmly established as the best team in LA, have now beaten the Lakers by a combined 84 points over the past two meetings. Times are tough for the Lakers fan base and based on the upcoming free agent class assistance won’t be coming until after the next offseason. A high draft choice in a deep draft may provide some excitement, but an immediate re-build like in the past likely isn’t in the cards.

D’Antoni

Wish It Was 1987

With the Lakers at 21-42 the pressure is firmly on Mike D’Antoni. The former Suns and Knicks coach clearly hasn’t worked out in Los Angeles and is not the long-term answer. The amazing amount of injuries, especially in the backcourt, hasn’t helped the situation but the problems that have plagued D’Antoni in Phoenix and New York are present once again in Los Angeles. Successful NBA teams play effective defense and D’Antoni has never shown the ability to lead an effective defensive team during his time in the NBA. In the past three games, which included the drubbing at the hands of the Clippers, the Lakers gave up 132, 144, and 134 points, totals that the NBA hasn’t seen since the days of Paul Westhead using his Loyola Marymount system in Denver. High scoring games can be exciting for those watching, provided you’re not on the losing end, and the Lakers have been on the losing end in all three games.

D'antoni

Lame Duck?

So with D’Antoni a lame duck should the Lakers let him go? The simple answer is no. The upcoming draft is a big one and a high draft position can give the Lakers a building block for the future. Firing D’Antoni and bringing in a replacement, in the hopes that the Lakers win a handful more games, will only lessen their chance to finish high in the lottery. With the Philadelphia 76ers completely tanking, along with the Milwaukee Bucks, it benefits the Lakers to continue their slide. For a proud franchise that fact is hard to accept, but the Lakers need to maximize their ping pong balls to finish high in the draft. A top three pick may yield potential elite talents like Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Jabari Parker of Duke. Combine an elite lottery talent with the potential to attract a talent like Kevin Love after the next offseason and the Lakers could potentially rebuild in a hurry.

Mike D’Antoni Lame Duck?

I’ll Be Back

D’Antoni is clearly a lame duck who won’t be back next season, and shouldn’t be back. His time as an NBA coach is likely over. With D’Antoni on his way out the Lakers will have an interesting decision on their hands in selecting the next head coach of the franchise. The name that popped up this past week, inevitably, was Phil Jackson who stated that he’s ready to get back into leading an organization. Jackson’s comments indicated that he’s interested in coaching again, but also the ability to build an organization ala Pat Riley in Miami. Rumors currently circulating indicate that Jackson is mulling a front office position in New York, which may make speculation moot of a potential return to LA. At 68 it’s hard to imagine Jackson wanting to take over the reins of the Lakers with another tough season potentially on the way. Other veteran names include George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, and Stan Van Gundy. All three are proven commodities, but also at a stage in their careers that they may not want to entertain a rebuild. Perhaps the proper route for the Lakers would be hiring a young college coach, like the Celtics did with Brad Stevens, or a low profile but capable NBA assistant like Charlotte did with Steve Clifford, who happened to be a Lakers assistant last season.

D’Antoni

D’Antoni & Kobe

The Lakers franchise has decades of goodwill in Los Angeles but another tough season is in the offing, never good for any franchise. A decent draft pick combined with a healthy Kobe Bryant and a head coach that puts a team on the floor that can compete at both ends could give the Lakers some momentum into the next off season. Even with a potential tough season coming up next year a good transition hire can go a long way toward building momentum into the 2015-2016 season. Chris Michaels