Steve Nash One on One conversation with Marc Stein of ESPN
Brian Kamenetzky provides 10 Rapid Reactions concerning the Lakers, and the newly acquired Steve Nash. Including:
4. Acquiring Nash obviously raises the same ”How does Kobe work with an elite point guard?” questions prompted by last season’s vetoed Chris Paul trade. Devastating a shooter as Nash is, he’s someone who needs the ball in his hands a ton to be at his most effective. How exactly it’ll look on the floor is tough to say right now, but just as he does Paul, Kobe has incredible respect for Nash. I don’t anticipate problems with the two of them coexisting, beyond a normal adjustment period. Not only are the Lakers in better shape to help Kobe get his sixth title, his presence could easily add a couple more productive years to Kobe’s career, just because of all the work he won’t have to do generating offense. Conversely, the presence of Bryant and the bigs will take a lot of pressure off Nash, and increase the odds of him staying at this level through the three years. Between Bryant, Nash and Gasol, the Lakers have three of the highest basketball IQs the game has ever seen. If things click, the results should be beautiful.
7. This ends the Ramon Sessions era in Los Angeles, as a source told ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne the team is no longer pursuing the free-agent guard.
On Friday, “First Take” debated Kobe Bryant calling out his teammates after a Game 6 loss. Skip Bayless found that his comments were a selfish shot at his teammates and wholly unnecessary, while Stephen A. Smith thinks Kobe’s shots were a justified way of motivating his teammates to play better. What’s your take?
ESPN analysts always confuse me and/or make me laugh. Besides Pardon The Interruption, I can’t think of two more people with credible opinions.
How’re you even going to trade a player who wants to retire a Laker AND is the only player in the NBA who has a no-trade clause? But then again, Jim Buss may be dumb enough to actually try to do this.
Official trailer for ESPN Films’ “The Announcement,” airing March 11 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
A lot of us were probably too young to remember Magic coming out with the news that he had HIV, but it was huge. Beyond huge. After bringing attention to the disease that around that time was mostly associated with the lower class and homosexuals, Magic became the spokesperson for the fight against it. It was no long longer a disease for drug addicts, but something real, that anyone could get. Even the best NBA player in the world at that time. The awareness that he’s brought to HIV/AIDS is immense.
And it picks up a little steam …
Kobe Bryant talks with Mike Wilbon about his wrist, the Clippers and Mike Brown’s system.
Lakers roster: What do they need?
New piece on ESPN: Los Angeles answering the top 5 Lakers’ roster concerns. Click the pic to read.
1. For which Lakers player is the 2011-12 season most important?
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Lamar Odom. He and Andrew Bynum both have team options on their contracts in 2012, but Bynum is (A) a 7-footer and (B) a favorite of freshly empowered Jim Buss, son of the Lakers’ owner. If the Lakers can win another championship, it makes it harder for them to let Odom go.
Andy Kamenetzky, ESPN LA: Bynum. It’s put up or shut up time for a guy who wants a larger role but hasn’t proved himself physically or mentally capable of increased responsibilities over a full season. The Lakers need to figure out if Bynum is worth a long-term commitment under Mike Brown. Otherwise, the clock is ticking to flip their best trade chip.
Brian Kamenetzky, ESPN LA: You can point to Odom or Bynum, either of whom could be playing his last season in L.A., or Pau Gasol, who badly needs redemption after last season’s playoff failure. But in the end, it’s Kobe Bryant. His championship window is closing, and futuristic therapies notwithstanding, those knees aren’t getting younger.
Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Surprisingly enough, I won’t go with Kobe, who is the Lakers’ most important employee in just about every aspect, or Gasol, who will spend the entire season trying to wipe lingering egg remnants off his face from his poor playoff performance. I’m going to say Bynum. The Lakers have a $16.5 million decision to make on him in 2012-13. Bynum’s health and productivity in Mike Brown’s new system will be heavily scrutinized by Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss & Co.
Darius Soriano, Forum Blue And Gold: Kobe is the logical answer with his closing championship window and aging legs, but I’d give the edge to Gasol. Because while Kobe’s Hall of Fame legacy is set, Gasol’s postseason regression means for the second time in his Lakers tenure he’s in the unenviable position of having to prove his championship mettle.
And it gets better.
Lamar + Khloe.