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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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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.

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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.

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

Lakers Face Durant and Howard This Week

Lakers Tickets Courtside

Lakers Bulls

With Steve Nash and Steve Blake in the fold things might be looking up, at least a little bit, for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash and Blake returned to the Lakers lineup on Tuesday night in Minnesota, with Nash making his season debut. The depleted Lakers ended up losing Tuesday night at the hands of the Timberwolves, but then went on to win two in a row on the road before losing at home Sunday versus the Chicago Bulls.

Week Recap: Even with the return of Nash and Blake the Lakers continue to be the most snake bit team in the NBA when it comes to losing players. The return of their two point guards coincided with the loss of Nick Young and Jodie Meeks to injury. Wednesday’s night win in Cleveland saw Robert Sacre of the Lakers stay in the game after fouling out, a rarely seen NBA rule, due to the fact the Lakers had just five players left. After already losing Nick Young to injury and Jordan Farmar to leg cramps the Lakers were down to five players after Chris Kaman fouled out. Even with a depleted roster the Lakers hit a season-high 18 three-point shots to defeat the Cavaliers and former Head Coach Mike Brown. Los Angeles continued their winning ways Friday night with a fourteen point defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers behind 19 points from Steve Nash on his 40th birthday. Steve Blake contributed 14 points and 8 assists in the victory. Even without Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol the return of Nash and Blake is a welcome sight for Lakers fans. The Lakers returned home Sunday to face a competitive Chicago Bulls team, losing a tough one, 92-86. Chicago ran out to a nineteen point lead and the Lakers rallied back but couldn’t close the gap in the end, losing despite a season-high 27 points from Chris Kaman. Unfortunately for the Lakers they may have lost Steve Nash again for a short period of time. Nash knocked knees with Kirk Hinrich in the third quarter, causing his knee to flare up once again. He’ll be evaluated and may miss a couple of games.

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Staples Center

The Week Ahead: The Lakers have a big home stretch coming up with five games at STAPLES Center over the next two weeks, including two with key Western Conference contenders. Los Angeles kicks off the week Tuesday night when they host the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are coming off of an impressive home victory over the Miami Heat. Thursday night Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder make a visit to STAPLES Center, giving Lakers fans a chance to see the NBA’s leading MVP candidate in action. Following the All Star Break the Lakers return home next week when they face off versus the Houston Rockets in a game that many Lakers fans have had circled on the calendar since last summer. Wednesday will mark the return of former Lakers center Dwight Howard to STAPLES Center. The gifted big man, who had an up and down season in LA last year, has teamed with James Harden to put the Rockets in the fourth playoff position in the west. Lakers Vs Rockets tickets start at just $48 per ticket. The Lakers wrap up the following week by hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday and the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. With five games including four playoff contenders it will be a big ten days of basketball for Lakers fans. Chris Michaels.

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Should The Lakers Keep Kobe Bryant Out For The Season

Kobe Bryant Lakers

Kobe

The latest news about Kobe Bryant and his knee injury state that the Black Mamba will remain sidelined for three more weeks. He will also miss the 2014 All Star Game. Multiple sources point out that Bryant feels internal swelling pain in his knees and that’s why he will have to extend his rehabilitation period. Now the Los Angeles Lakers face a significant question: Should they just keep Kobe out for the remainder of the 2013-2014 campaign?

The Lakers can almost be considered as done for the season. The team currently stands in the second spot of the bottom in the Western Conference, holding a 16-30 record. Due to very high level of competiveness within the conference, it will be almost impossible for the Lakers to overcome the 10-game deficit they have from the eighth-seeded team, which currently is the Dallas Mavericks. But even if they manage to get the ticket for the postseason they won’t go far. If the Lakers finish eighth, they will face the first-seeded team in the West, which will be either the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trail Blazers or the San Antonio Spurs. And it’s easy for every fan of the team to imagine what the outcome of such a series would be.

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant

As a matter of fact, if Bryant comes back this season the Lakers won’t see a big difference in their final ranking. Even the Black Mamba’s contribution might not be enough for Mike D’Antoni’s team to bounce back. In addition, the Lakers would also risk Kobe’s health if he is rushed back. The 35-year old Bryant certainly needs some time to fully rehab now that he has the chance.

Allowing Kobe to fully rest for the season seems to be the most rational choice for the Lakers at the moment. The main focus of the team should be the near future, the upcoming season. That’s why they should take their attention off Kobe and start planning their next moves to strengthen their roster, either through trades or significant moves. The Lakers will also have to focus on the upcoming, star-loaded NBA Draft. Then they will have a great opportunity to land potential superstar.

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Kobe

Certainly, Kobe Bryant is always a hot topic in LA. Every fan of the team wants to see him dressed up and ready to play when the Lakers are playing in the Staples Center. In fact, Bryant is one of the main reasons many fans support the team. Bryant is a big part of the Lakers franchise at the moment. Nevertheless, if the Lakers think rationally, they will realize that due to the bad situation the team is in at the moment, they will have to find the best way to bounce back quickly.

The team has to undergo significant changes soon. Steve Nash obviously can’t contribute, Pau Gasol is unhappy with the team and the Lakers neither several draft picks nor assets to trade away. Thankfully, as of lately, some young players, like Manny Harris and Kendall Marshall, have started to show promising sings. Now that Kobe is out, they will have a chance to see more playing time, gain experience and be on his side for the next season. Chris Michaels

Should Steve Nash Call It A Career?

Should Steve Nash Retire

Steve Nash

Steve Nash will have to eventually face reality. The Canadian point guard is currently the oldest player in the league. He is turning 40 in February and his overall production has been going south the last couple of seasons. In fact, he never was able to play as he used to since he joined forces with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard in the City of Angels. Due to a series of injuries Nash wasn’t really able to be the dominant player he once was during this Phoenix Suns era. Now, after all the drama the Lakers and Nash have gone through, it might be the right time for him to consider retirement.

After appearing in just six games into the season, Nash went down with an injury on November 10, in game where the Lakers played against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ever since, Nash has been struggling to find his health and return on the courts. Due to a series of setbacks still remains sidelined and he is expected to be out for about one more month. The next time Nash will be re-evaluated and maybe gets the clearance to return to action is somewhere around February. Nonetheless, maybe it’s not wise for him to wait that long. He should consider taking the decision to retire sooner than later.

Nash’s production has fallen significantly over the course of the last couple of seasons. The Canadian point guard is a career 49.0 percent shooter from the field and also 42.8 percent from three-point territory. In his 17-year career he averaged 14.3 point per contest, 8.5 assists and 3.0 boards.

Should Steve Nash retire

Retire?

Last season, he appeared in just 50 games and he put up 12.7 points to go along with 6.7 dimes and also 2.8 boards per game. Except for the change in his production, Mike D’Antoni assigned Nash with a role he wasn’t accustomed to play. He didn’t have many ball-handling responsibilities. He didn’t setup the team.

Kobe was the main facilitator of the team, while Nash became spot up shooter.
As Steve Nash recently stated, his target currently is to get back healthy and help his team move forward. He wants to be able to contribute. Nonetheless, is this the best decision he has to take?

Of course, it would be great for both Nash and the Lakers if he somehow managed to get his game back to the All-Star level he retained a few years back. Nonetheless, this doesn’t seem likely. So the best option for him at the moment seems to be to call it a career, hang his shoes and go on with his off-NBA life.
It’s much better for him if all the fans remembered him as one of the best point guards to ever play in the league. Nash certainly ranks amongst the top 10 point guards of all time. But at present, the only thing he does is he damages his fame, the way NBA fans remember of him.

All things come to an end. Nash’s career has obviously reached its dawn. It’s time for him to acknowledge it and take action.By:Chris Michaels.

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Lakers 2013-2014 NBA Season Playoff Chances

Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers

What a difference a season makes. Just twelve months ago the Los Angeles Lakers were seen by many as potential NBA title favorites. In a classic Lakers move the franchise added superstar center Dwight Howard to a lineup that already included three veteran superstars, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The Lakers were so confident that former swingman Metta World Peace predicted 73 wins. The rest of the NBA was shaking their heads at another classic Lakers instant rebuild. Flash forward a year later and the team is in potential disarray with an unknown future. Dwight Howard is a member of the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant is recovering from a potential career ending injury. Steve Nash is going on forty and coming off an injury filled season. Metta World Peace is now a member of the New York Knicks.

So what’s in store for the Los Angeles Lakers this season? What will the team look like a year from now? Here are five stories to follow as the Lakers kick off the 2013-2014 season next Tuesday night versus the Clippers. You can get special Discount Codes for Battle For LA Lakers Vs Clippers Tickets now.

Kobe Bryant’s Health: In a season full of injuries and inconsistency Kobe Bryant put together a tremendous, MVP-like regular season. Although his game was diminished on the defensive end, Bryant was as effective as ever offensively. Typically when a player goes out with an Achilles injury it’s safe to write them off for nearly a year—not Kobe Bryant of course. The Lakers expect their star back much sooner than expected, perhaps even this calendar year. How quickly and effectively Bryant returns is the most significant factor for the Lakers this season. A healthy and effective Bryant can lead them to the playoffs. If he’s not the same player the Lakers have to think about the future.

What to do with Pau Gasol: Dwight Howard has come and gone while Pau Gasol remains. The veteran Spaniard remains one of the best big men in basketball. Without Howard clogging up the middle Gasol will be the number one option in the post. He’s an effective scorer, passer and all around efficient offensive force. If the team stays healthy and Kobe Bryant returns ahead of schedule they may have the veteran core to challenge for the playoffs. If last season’s frustrations are repeated the Lakers have a trade-able asset in Gasol. Gasol is in a contract year and resigning him will eliminate some of the cap space they have for next year’s free agent push. Trading him will also put the club under the luxury threshold, a tempting proposition, especially if the Lakers are under .500.

Improved Bench? The Lakers had very little depth last season. An aging team that only went eight deep was an issue. With limited cap space Mitch Kupchak did his best to rebuild the bench. Chris Kaman will provide capable size, defense and hustle in the post. Nick Young and Wesley Johnson are athletic wings who can hit the three point shot. It’s not a lot to work with but there is more quickness and youth than last season. Many are predicting a breakout year from Young as a wing off the bench. If the veteran starters stay healthy it’s a perfectly respectable bench. If the Lakers suffer injuries to the top rotation and the bench is thrust into regular duty like last season the Lakers will struggle.

Mike D’Antoni: The decision to go with D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown wasn’t a popular one. The perception was that D’Antoni’s system wasn’t conducive to the Lakers roster and the fact he isn’t a defensive minded coach were valid points. Howard clearly didn’t work out in the D’Antoni system, and he’s moved on as a result. The Lakers lack of youth will remain and issue, especially on the defensive end of the court. A second year in the D’Antoni system, combined with an offseason to mold the team in his favor, should benefit the club. Still if the Lakers get off to a weak start and struggle D’Antoni may not be long for the sidelines.

Next Year’s Draft: Next June’s draft is considered one of the deepest drafts in years with several prospective “can’t miss” prospects. Players such as Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison are seen as potential NBA All-Stars. If Kobe Bryant doesn’t return as soon or as effective as the Lakers would like the franchise may make the logical decision to trade Pau Gasol and build for the future. With only Robert Sacre and Nick Young on the books after next season the Lakers could very well re-sign Bryant, earn a high lottery pick, and then have the choice to sign two potential max-players—such as Lebron James.

Prediction: Too much of the Lakers success is based on the giant question mark surrounding the return of Kobe Bryant. He Lakers star has continually proved people wrong over the years and has an incredible work ethic. Expect Bryant to return earlier than expected and to put together a solid season. The Lakers will be better than many predict and will fight for one of the final playoff spots in the west.

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By:Chris Michaels

Will The Lakers Make The 2014 NBA Playoffs?

Can the Lakers make the playoffs?

Los Angeles Lakers

LA Lakers

With Kobe Bryant returning from an Achilles injury and Dwight Howard now a member of the Houston Rockets many have written off the Los Angeles Lakers as a legitimate playoff contender. With the NBA’s Western Conference as deep as ever and many of the contenders making improvements to their roster the Lakers will have a tough challenge ahead of them. Here are five factors that will impact whether or not the Lakers will make the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant’s Health: The Lakers superstar has been such an iron man during his NBA career that the sight of the injury he suffered late last season was a shock to NBA and Lakers fans alike. The injury served as a reminder that Bryant has accumulated a lot of miles on his legs during his sixteen year NBA career. With Howard now a member of the Rockets and an aging cast around Bryant the Lakers will rely on their superstar more than ever. The big question is how quickly can he come back? The injury is an opportunity for Bryant to tap into his famed work ethic and shock the establishment by making a quicker return than normal. The Lakers need their superstar back and how quickly and effectively he can return will greatly shape the upcoming season. Bryant has proven people wrong time and time again in his career and it wouldn’t surprise anyone around the Lakers if Bryant came back and put together an All Star caliber season.

Can They Stay Healthy? Beyond the chemistry issues of incorporating Dwight Howard into the lineup the Lakers early struggles last season was health related. With injuries to Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Steve Nash and Howard the Lakers very rarely had the starting five they envisioned going into the season on the floor at the same time. The Lakers had big expectations from the two-time former MVP Nash, but the forty-year-old point guard just couldn’t stay healthy. All indications this season is that Nash is healthier than he was in the last couple of seasons. If he can regain some of the form he showed the past handful of seasons in Phoenix the Lakers may be in good hands. In regards to Gasol the veteran big man will be motivated to re-assert himself as the leader of the Lakers frontline and should form a nice veteran inside combo with Chris Kaman. The former Clippers big man had a difficult season last year in Dallas but is a capable inside player who should provide quality minutes.

Have they gotten younger? Even though the Lakers will still rely heavily on the aging veteran trio of Bryant, Gasol and Nash they did make some moves to inject some younger and more athletic players into the rotation. Nick Young and Wesley Johnson have bounced around and both been labeled as disappointments in various stages throughout their careers. Johnson was a former high draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves who never really lived up to expectations, which included spending last season in Phoenix. The Lakers are hoping that the tutelage of Mike D’Antoni and the presence of Kobe Bryant can help Johnson elevate his game to the promise of a fourth overall draft pick. He can shoot the three ball, is extremely explosive in the open court and is a plus defender. Nick Young is a similar player to Johnson, rangy and athletic with the ability to hit the perimeter jumper. The big question is whether the duo will be an upgrade over veteran Metta World Peace.

The Head Coach Question: Much continues to be written regarding the Lakers decision to go with Mike D’Antoni as the head coach over Phil Jackson. The bottom line is that the Lakers roster as it was built last season just didn’t fit the style of play that D’Antoni utilizes. With an offseason to re-construct the roster and with Dwight Howard off in Houston , D’Antoni and the front office have added some younger more athletic shooters to help him achieve the style of play he wants. Of course the D’Antoni offense requires a healthy point guard, and the question is still out on whether Steve Nash can stay on the court the entire season. The Lakers Head Coach has the point guard who helped drive his offense during their year’s together in Phoenix. Like Bryant and several other members of the Lakers, Mike D’Antoni has something to prove this season.

Can they play defense? The Lakers were a poor defensive team last season and lost their top two defenders from a year ago in Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. At this point in his career Kobe Bryant is no longer the defensive force he used to be. In fact he often takes many possessions off on the defensive end. Both Nash and Gasol are outright liabilities on defense. Chris Kaman is solid but not the quality of Howard when the former Lakers big man is playing up to his capabilities. It’s likely the Lakers will have to outscore teams, which is possible in the D’Antoni system. They’ll compete well with the middle and bottom tier Western Conference teams, but will struggle against the elite Western Conference foes like Oklahoma City, Denver, San Antonio, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston, Memphis and Golden State. Whether or not the Lakers can find some semblance of cohesive team defense will be a key factor in whether or not they make the playoffs.

So, will they make the playoffs?

It’s going to be a challenge. There are seven teams (Oklahoma City, Denver, San Antonio, the Clippers, Houston, Memphis and Golden State) that have the look of potential fifty win teams. The Western Conference is as deep as ever. The Lakers very well could be competing for the final spot with a group of teams that includes Portland, Utah, Dallas, Minnesota and New Orleans. In that group the Trail Blazers have a young roster and have made some nice offseason moves. The Timberwolves have a healthy Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio and look to be much improved. Both Dallas and Utah have a veteran core. It all depends on how quickly and how effectively Bryant returns. If the Lakers star can make an early season return and be the player he has been the last several years the Lakers have a chance to start strong and be in playoff contention. If Bryant cannot make that return it may be a tall task to make the playoffs.

Lakers Tickets are at the lowest they have been in many years reflecting that the fans might not be supporting the Lakers organization and the moves they have made since Mr Buss passed away. By:Chris Michaels

Kobe stating that the media manufactured the Lakers drama

Media brought on Lakers Drama

Kobe Bryant & The Media Drama

When Kobe Bryant makes statements, press talks or tweets the world is watching. Are his statements always true and correct? That question is a little tricky. The latest news that Kobe gave us is that according to his point of view the media have actually manufactured the drama over the team.

We’ve seen many times Kobe making comments regarding his teammates and his team, trying to motivate them to play harder or even through pain and even making some suggestions. This time though, he tried to underplay the fact that the general picture the Lakers have shown us up to this point of the season is not convincing. Talking about the comments he made on Dwight Howard and about the need for urgency from his team, he said that his comments about Howard were misinterpreted. Additionally he said that he only tried to motivate his teammate and the rest of the story was in fact manufactured by the media.

Trying to push your teammates so that the team rolls up and finds its pace is one thing. However, to call the Lakers drama manufactured this season might be a little too much. It’s an awkward moment for the franchise and with if they don’t manage to enter the playoffs with this roster, then the drama would become real and for good. Surely this is the last thing the Lakers have to think about. Now it’s time for focus and hard work, so that the team gets some wins. However, handling the media and solving a problem internally is what great teams do. There’s no need to avoid looking failure in the eye and there’s also no need to put the blame on a single player or coach. Teams win as a whole and teams fail as a whole. That’s the way sports work and that’s how the NBA works, too.

The Lakers need Kobe to be the leader. He has to stand up for his team now that it’s a difficult time. It’s great to see him not giving up – that’s certainly not the way he is- and try to force his teammates and especially Howard, Gasol and Nash to show some urgency. That’s how Kobe has used to be during his 17 years in LA. However, finding the appropriate way to fire up the rest of the team is important. Controversies and mutual press statements are not the solution to the problem.

Dont miss the next “Battle For LA” When the Clippers and Lakers face off at the Staples Center on Feb 14th!


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