July 10, 2003

And then there were four.: Malone joins the Lakers, making four sure fire hall of famers. The starting five for the boys in purple & gold will have between them nine championship rings (three each for Kobe/Shaq/Rick), three MVPs (two for Malone, one for Shaq), three Finals MVPs (Shaq), the league's soon to be all time leader in points scored, the most dominant center in Shaq, the arguably the best all around player regardless of position in Kobe. Should they even have a season next year, or just give the award ceremony and move on?

posted by jonson to basketball at 04:12 PM - 21 comments

Oh, god yes. It's going to be a fun season to watch. Kidd's going to San Antonio, no question. Alonzo probably winds up in Dallas if he has any interest in winning a championship. Juwan Howard could still wind up with the Timberwolves. There are going to be plenty of sharp teams in the West; the Lakers aren't gonna coast into anything. Specifically, they have to blend two new superstars into an offense already subject to tilting back and forth between Kobe and Shaq. Payton's put 'em on notice: "I think all four of us can score 20 points a game." So he clearly wants his. Plus Phil Jackson hasn't resigned yet. This is going to be really interesting to watch.

posted by Bryant at 04:48 PM on July 10, 2003

Believe it or not, I would much prefer that. I still long for the days of the 80's NBA where the Celtics & Lakers battled it out evenly matched with 4 or 5 all stars on each team, while the second place teams merely had players like Jordan, Isaih, Hakeem, Ewing, Barkley, etc on them. A wealth of talent concentrated among four or five teams will be fun to watch... unless you're in the East Coast, where you'll probably get real tired of watching the Cavs & the Magic pretty quick.

posted by jonson at 05:04 PM on July 10, 2003

What fricking sell-outs. The Lakers are Utah and Seattle's arch-rival. How do you battle the Lakers for your whole career and then join them to try and win a championship as the third or fourth fiddle. It'd be like Biggie joining Death Row Records or 2pac signing with Bad Boy. What's wrong with the world.

posted by Mike McD at 05:17 PM on July 10, 2003

McD, the world changes, regardless of how much you protest. Sorry dude.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:06 PM on July 10, 2003

I love Payton but hate Malone. I am pissed the lakers got him, he's a jerk and was a great rival for a long time, it just isn't right to put a big, hated rival on your squad, especially when it seems like some sort of 1993 All-Star team. I don't know, maybe I'm just drunk but I'm not into this Lakers team, and I am a life-long Laker lover. Anyway I guess the bottom line was that they got 2 amazing players for the price of 1/2 of one amazing player, so you can't knock that. It's going to be an exciting seasons, regardless.

posted by chaz at 06:13 PM on July 10, 2003

Dear Mr Stern. The Timberwolves are desperately trying to get out of the first round of the playoffs. Without advancing this year, we will probably lose KG and basketball will be lost in Minnesota for ever. Could we please move into the Eastern Conference? It would really mean a lot. I've even heard that Milwaukee wants to be in the West this year. :) Thanks for your time.

posted by emoeby at 08:41 PM on July 10, 2003

Malone is old, Payton ain't what he used to be, and they all like to shoot, I see a big mess on the horizon, and Phil Jackson will be a raving drunk by the all star break. BTW, I see Kidd, and Mourning in New Jersey, Mourning will have a great influence over Martin, and the Nets surprise the NBA fans, and win the championship next year.

posted by jbou at 01:46 AM on July 11, 2003

Nuggets vs Warriors in West finals, Warriors win 4-3 on a buzzer-beater floater by Earl Boykins. Cavs vs Wizards in East finals, Cavs win 4-3 on a 3-pt barage by DuJuan Wagner. you heard it here first

posted by crux at 07:20 AM on July 11, 2003

If Malone can be happy as an opportunity player on offense (and on the offensive glass) and working his tail off on defense, he'll be a real asset. But there are so many things about the whole situation that could make Malone unhappy -- living in L.A., being the fourth option on offense (probably getting half the touches he's used to), having to tolerate the other egos in the locker room and on the court -- that it seems like that would be a miracle. It's easier to imagine him frustrated and watching from the bench than contributing enough on defense to keep him on the court when it matters.

posted by mattpfeff at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2003

Since we've got a lively discussion here, I don't really see the need to start a new thread, but ESPN has got Zo going to the Nets and saying that with Zo going to NJ, "Kidd will stay". This has been one of the best free agent Summers in quite a while.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2003

Kidd's going to San Antonio, no question. I don't know about that.

posted by Luke at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2003

Kidd's going to San Antonio, no question. I don't know about that. And now it's official. As a Spurs fan, I am actually relieved. I am not convinced that the many-star approach is the best one. They won last year with castoffs that played well with one another and may be able to do the same. If Brand signs a one-year deal with the Clips and becomes an unrestricted free agent next year, then that's the player the Spurs need.

posted by avogadro at 03:47 PM on July 11, 2003

Hey, this has probably been discussed before, but is wagering an option on Sportsfilter? Cause I do love me some wagering, and I think in my friendly rival avogadro I might have a potential co-wagerer for a Western Conf. champs bet...

posted by jonson at 04:32 PM on July 11, 2003

I could do a small, friendly wager, Mr. Jonson. Though I am a man of modest means, in my Spurs I Trust. Let me know what you are thinking.

posted by avogadro at 05:06 PM on July 11, 2003

I too would keep the dollar amount low, as high dollar wagers tend to make quick enemies... How bout this: as it stands now, regardless of what happens in the future (let's say Tim Duncan blows out a knee over the summer, or more likely Kobe gets sentenced to prison time), i'll put $20 on the Lakers to go farther in the post season than the Spurs do. If they both are eliminated in the same round, it's a push, otherwise, I will mail you or pay pal you or whatever, the amount at the end of next season, and likewise you shall do the same for me should the Lakers outlast the Spurs. Deal?

posted by jonson at 05:31 PM on July 11, 2003

jonson/avogadro: I propose you wager over something interesting to all of us but embarassing to the loser. Sadly, no useful idea springs to mind. I mean, what good is $20 to either of you compared to causing longlasting or even permanent emotion scarring?

posted by billsaysthis at 06:36 PM on July 11, 2003

billsaysthis is wise. Any suggestions? Anyone? Some sort of public embarassing, with the forum being this website?

posted by jonson at 09:19 PM on July 11, 2003

I am not so much about the public embarassment (first of all, because I don't know any of you from Adam, thus negating most of the effects of embarassment, and secondly, because public disgracing is not my idea of a good time, even someone else's shame), nor do I take money from bets. I do the "Long Bets" style of wagering (where the charity of the winner's choice gets the earnings). I'm good for the $20 to the charity of jonson's choice, etc. But, this is probably something best left to email.

posted by avogadro at 10:11 PM on July 11, 2003

Fair enough avogadro. If I might, how about Special Olympics or some other sports-related charity?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:55 AM on July 12, 2003

Email has been sent!

posted by jonson at 10:56 PM on July 12, 2003

Good NY Times article on going to Plan B for free agents.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:47 PM on July 13, 2003

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