June 18, 2004

Phil Jackson steps down as Lakers coach: Somewhere Kobe is jumping for joy.

posted by justgary to basketball at 09:16 PM - 19 comments

On top of that, we all know Kobe's testing the free agency waters. What wasn't known is if Shaq'll request a trade, but it appears Shaq is indeed requesting a trade. Plus, you got Malone and his gimpy knee where nobody knows if he's playing next year. Ah, to think The Glove might be the only Star left on the team. Fun times, indeed.

posted by jmd82 at 09:59 PM on June 18, 2004

Mr. Kupchak, you're no Jerry West. I expected Phil Jackson to leave, but the Lakers should trade Kobe, not Shaq (with a sign and trade). SGs are a lot easier to find than dominant centers. I'm sure TMac wouldn't mind playing with a center again.

posted by dusted at 10:17 PM on June 18, 2004

Here are Kupchak's remards. From Daddy to Caddy. That must hurt. Personally, I hope Shaq stays in LA. Watching him eat sh!t from Kobe would be priceless.

posted by Mike McD at 10:43 PM on June 18, 2004

"He can dominate this game for years to come still," Kupchak said. "But that's something he has to decide to do. As you do age, it becomes harder and harder to do that. That's probably a big question he has to address."

posted by Mike McD at 10:47 PM on June 18, 2004

What the hell is this mess? Kobe running the show? The same Kobe who loafed and refused to take shots in an important game? The same Kobe who may or may not be going to jail next year? It's a madhouse. A MADHOUSE! Kobe's a star, no doubt about it. But I would think you'd want to build your team around a player who actually understands the meaning of the concept. And make sure he isn't doing 3-5 for sexual assault. That would also be important.

posted by molafson at 11:22 PM on June 18, 2004

Here's a pretty good take on the situation. It looks like Buss, the Lakers' owner, has made his choice: Kobe stays, the other Hall of Famers go. In other words, he is not averse to trading Shaq and is willing to build his franchise around a narcissist who's on trial for rape, doesn't make his teammates better and is in denial over all of it.

posted by dusted at 11:49 PM on June 18, 2004

Here's a pretty good take on the situation. More from that piece: "In the short term, he'll at least offer Kobe a quasi-general manager job, meaning Kobe can help pick the new coach, and, ostensibly, Shaq's replacement." Excuse me while I vomit... This is a bad thing for the Lakers, and it's a bad thing for Kobe.

posted by molafson at 12:32 AM on June 19, 2004

Nice link, dusted. I personally love the Big Aristotle living up to his nickname: [on a possible Kobe-Shaq showdown] "It wouldn't be a real rivalry [...] Like, Napoleon wouldn't have had a rival with a guy that had one sheep and one cow and no army. You know? I don't care how much they say, 'Hey, this guy with one sheep and one cow and his brother that's 50 years old, he's a cold cat. And he's gonna take out Napoleon and that whole army by himself.' So Kobe on the Clippers, that wouldn't be no rivalry.

posted by jmd82 at 12:42 AM on June 19, 2004

Interesting. I had forgotten about this. So Shaq was on the wrong side of two of the biggest upsets in NBA history. Lingering questions after the biggest NBA Finals upset in nine years ... Q: Wait a second ... nine years? Wasn't it 30 years? A: Nope. For whatever reason, everyone keeps overlooking Houston's sweep of Orlando nine years ago, since it sounds more impressive to say things like "The biggest NBA Finals upset in 30 years!" Hakeem and the Rockets were something like 4-to-1 underdogs heading into that series. Believe me. I wagered on them. You don't forget things like that.

posted by Mike McD at 10:35 AM on June 19, 2004

Some comments on Friend's article. They should appreciate the fact that he didn't rip Kobe's head off this year. 1. Think about it. Bryant called Shaq "fat" before the season. He said that Shaq begs out of games with mysterious injuries and that if he leaves the franchise, it'll be because of the big fella. Friend conveniently forgot that Shaq started the feud with these comments. “Yeah, everybody knows that," Shaq said. "And you guys may give [the team] to him [Kobe], just like you've been giving him everything else in his whole lifetime. As long as it's my team, then I'll voice my opinion, Just ask Karl and Gary why they came here. One person, not two. One. Period. If you ain't right [physically], don't be trying to go out there and get right on our expense. Use the people out there, then when you get right you [can] do what you do. If you don't like it, then you can opt out next year.” Doesn’t sound like Shaq thought that he was on the way out at the end of the year. Then; Kobe's style of play drives him batty. No question, he admires Kobe's skills, but everything Shaq's stepfather said in San Antonio -- that Kobe essentially plays with blinders on -- Shaq agrees with. "John Wooden told me when I was 18, 19 years old, the sign of a great player is not how many points you score, but how you make your other guys play with you," Shaq said. "That's a great player. A lot of these guys now think if you score points and if you do all that sh-- around the basket, you're a great player. And that's not true basketball, and that's not the type of basketball I know how to play. If you've got a guy open, hit him. I may miss a guy once or twice, but I'm not gonna miss you three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times. "I could score 40 every night. If I shot the mother------ all the time. But you've got to keep Rick Fox involved, because you're gonna need Rick. You've got to keep D-Fish [Derek Fisher] warm. You've got to keep all these guys warm." And this is what drives me batty. Shaq really thinks he makes his teamates better. Well, I'll give him that ... at one point he made his teamates better ... but not in the way he thinks. He made his teamates better because he was such a dominant one-on-one player that it distorted the way defenses played the Lakers. And he sure would miss open men ten times in a row.

posted by Mike McD at 11:40 AM on June 19, 2004

Finally. Do we get to sorely abuse all the soon to be ex-Laker fans (ya know the type - bandwagoneers who've had an extended 3 year stay "well fellas, I really have to be going.... Now.") like we did with the Bulls? God that's a good time. I think Shaq goes somewhere silly (if he even goes) like San Antonio. Or Dallas. 3 final thoughts: Kobe played the worst ball I've seen him play in years this finals - he can hurt his own team pretty badly at times. Shaq is a better player than I thought, and he had more heart in the finals than ANY other Laker. Ballers are such assholes - the best players in the L are all fucking assholes except for TD. All of em.... Dirk's not bad.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:22 PM on June 19, 2004

I think the NBA Finals are easier to understand when you realize that the Lakers were just looking for a hole to die in. Not to take anything away from the Pistons, even though I probably just took something away from them, but I didn't realize the Lakers were so dysfunctional they would part company less than a week after the season.

posted by rcade at 01:42 PM on June 19, 2004

This is great for the Lakers - and better for Charlotte. Kupchak, Buss and Kobe can look over this list, and pick any amount of players that have contracts adding up to 27.1 million dollars, and it's a trade. How about Eddie Jones, Antonio Davis, and Antoine Walker to the Lakers, and Shaq to Charlotte?

posted by djacobs at 03:09 PM on June 19, 2004

Finally. Do we get to sorely abuse all the soon to be ex-Laker fans (ya know the type - bandwagoneers who've had an extended 3 year stay "well fellas, I really have to be going.... Now.") like we did with the Bulls? God that's a good time. Yep, I'm outta here :) Just kidding, but I am really concerned about the direction the Lakers are going by pursuing Kobe and shutting out Shaq. I don't have any confidence in Kupchak. If we can get Tomjanovich, I'd feel a lot better about the team's administration.

posted by dusted at 05:23 PM on June 19, 2004

djacobs, good to see a comment from you. If you are a Springsteen fan and free this coming Friday afternoon to meet up in Newark, email me at bill at my SpoFi name.com.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:17 PM on June 19, 2004


posted by jmd82 at 12:17 AM on June 20, 2004

Was Mark Cuban right or what? I expect, however, that when the NBA season opens this November both Shaq and Kobe are in the Lakers starting lineup.

posted by cg1001a at 12:30 PM on June 20, 2004

I won't buy any of it till Shaq is out of town and Kobe is under contract.

posted by lilnemo at 04:08 PM on June 22, 2004

I don't think Kobe and Shaq will be on the same team next season. If I had my way, Shaq would stay and Kobe would go, but regardless, I think one of them will leave town. That's not necessarily a bad thing from the Lakers' perspective, since neither player is going to leave without the Lakers getting someone in return.

posted by dusted at 05:54 PM on June 22, 2004

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