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Kings, baby, Kings...

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Lakers punked. 4+ ft. of freshies...all is right in Norcal.
post #2 of 45
finally, a decent jab.
post #3 of 45
from New York Times...

Lakers Seem to Thrive Despite Clashing Egos

Published: March 1, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 29 — Rick Fox said at the start of the season that the Los Angeles Lakers wanted egos clashing, controversy swirling and a locker room full of disgruntled teammates.

Who needs peace and harmony when you have a 340-pound dunking machine in the middle, the next best thing to Michael Jordan in his prime on the wing, and one of the greatest point guards running the offense?

The Nets can have their love-in now that Byron Scott is gone. Other teams can have players who lob softballs at one another through the news media, exchange gifts at Christmas, share milk and cookies on the road.

The Lakers know this: The N.B.A. is about talent and ability, and they have plenty. It does not appear that bickering and infighting will halt their march toward a fourth championship in the last five seasons.

As far as they are concerned, team harmony is overrated.

"When I'm done practicing, I don't call nobody, I don't worry about what they're doing, I don't care what they're doing," Shaquille O'Neal said after the Lakers' 100-83 victory over the Nets on Sunday. "Just as long as when you come to work, you pass the ball to the open man, play good defense, play together."

As for harmony, O'Neal said: "I think it is overrated, because I know you guys don't like your editors, you don't like your printers, you don't like the delivery people, so I think it is overrated."

If the Lakers do not win it all this season, it will not be because O'Neal and Kobe Bryant repulse each other off the court, or because management broke off discussions with Coach Phil Jackson last month about extending his contract, or because Gary Payton has issues with the triangle offense and what he says is a lack of playing time.

Only injuries will keep the Lakers from celebrating with Champagne and confetti in mid-June, perhaps on the same court they embarrassed the Nets on Sunday night.

Just a few months after O'Neal and Bryant ridiculed each other publicly, a few weeks after Bryant said he did not like Jackson as a person, and a few days after Payton complained about his playing time and his limited role in the offense, the Lakers dunked and frolicked while putting the Nets in a 28-point hole.

The whole Shaq-Kobe feud has become irrelevant. On the court, they flow together like bosom buddies. On Sunday, several of Bryant's 10 assists ended with O'Neal dunks, one of which was thrown down ferociously in the chest of Nets center Jason Collins.

"People don't understand — they're like brothers," Jackson said of O'Neal and Bryant. "They're like Cain and Abel. They're just squabbling over the blood and the fruit. Who's going to have which sacrifice that means the most to God. So they have their little disagreements, but they are very attached in each other's mind in their team way, too.

"I think both of them have been together long enough to have adopted each other's plight and their cares. Sometimes their concern does get personal, but those are normal things you have in a family."

Los Angeles has a 7-1 record since the All-Star Game break, and Bryant has been on a tear. Bryant, who played below his usual standards in the first half of the season, entered Sunday's game averaging 32.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.0 assists in his previous seven games, and he was shooting 54.6 percent.

The explanation for his outburst is simple: Bryant is finally healthy.

"In the off-season, people don't really understand that I had two surgeries," Bryant said. "My first day of working out was the first day of training camp. So it takes a minute to kind of build myself back into physical condition. It's tough to come back from two surgeries."

Payton, the only one of the Lakers' four superstars to play in every game this season, injected himself into the team's soap opera by complaining about his playing time and offensive role over the past few days. After being the focal point of the offense for the better part of his 13 seasons in Seattle, Payton is having trouble adjusting to the triangle offense.

He gets no post-up plays and often does not see the ball after throwing the entry pass to start the Lakers' halfcourt offense. Payton and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, said that he would consider opting out of his contract at the end of this season if things did not change.

Jackson was not worried in the least bit.

"I don't think this affects us at all," he said before the game. "We just go about our business and do what we do."

Payton went about his business as well, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter to make the controversy go away quickly. After the game, he said he was glad he got his feelings off his chest and that while playing in the triangle was tough, he would make do.

Karl Malone, who has been out since late December with a knee injury, will be back within the next week or two. Then the Lakers will be whole, free to fuss and fight all the way to the title.
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
Weber back for first game in over 10 mos...26 pts. 12 reb., 6 asst. Meanwhile, Lakers lose to Atlanta.
post #5 of 45
Shoulda sent the Queens

Can you say whoop-ass?
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
No kidding. That was just butt ugly. Kings better sack up or they won't make it past the first round.

BTW....whats w/ the new name?
post #7 of 45
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 
I'm afarid catlittersplatboy is right...the Kings have, reluctantly...I'm callling the season. Lakers win. There is now no reason to sit through the interminable playoff games with their exciting half court mugging offenses and defenses and games of 75 to 68.

Would someone please notify David Stern?

It could be worse.

I could be a Red Sox fan.

Or a snowblader.
post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 
Maybe I spoke too soon. Shaq's knee is bothering him and the lakes have dropped two in a row at home.

Post season may be interesting after all. Look out for the Spurs....but GO KINGS.
post #10 of 45
post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Kings blow past the Mavs and take the first game in Minnesota.

post #12 of 45
watching the fourth quarter of the first game of the lakers/spurs series, one begins to have serious doubts about the team from los angeles. not only did tony parker highlight (again) an aging gary payton (who has no idea where to find himself in the lakers' offense) and a generally questionable LA defense, but that last quarter was one of the better examples of cluelessness i've seen where a plan for offense is considered. very playground, with kobe doing the kobe thing.
he puts the lakers in a difficult position, exhibiting enough heroics with that unfathomable talent but then, in the all too familiar next time, he shows again that he doesn't quite get the team concept. when a guy gets the ball with a decent look, he's amazed the ball's in his hands, rather than kobe's, and has no recollection of what to do with it.
and kobe still calls for the ball EVERY DAMN TIME down. the talent is unbelievable, but he really shows why the duncans and garnetts win the mvp awards. they get the game.

thing is, he might go out and drop in 50 any given night, remember to play the D, and even give a feed here and there.

ya just never know.
post #13 of 45
At least my Blazers didn't go down in flames in the first round as usual.

As for LA, with all the distractions Phil is not able to balance the egos on the team & they are falling apart. Payton checked out a while ago, Malone shines when he gets to be the only hero & the Shaq/Kobe feud is festering badly.

The good news is the Kings/Spurs series might be very entertaining.
post #14 of 45
The Lakers going, going .......... [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #15 of 45
going, going, what?
post #16 of 45
Still going
post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 
post #18 of 45
Queenies get a jump-start on the off-season.
And again.
And again...
post #19 of 45
post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ryan
Are you asking about the next seat on the bandwagon?
post #21 of 45
"lakers punked," "cheaters," "bandwagon," etc., yakkity yak yak yak.

all i got for you, rul, is a bigass yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn.
post #22 of 45
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ryan
...all i got for you, rul, is a bigass...
Thanks for thinking of me Ryan, but I don't like men in that way.
post #23 of 45
detroit sweeps. heh. heh heh. bwah.
post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Did you also see my "Yankees take the division, then the AL, then the series..."?

Remember, you heard it here first (and often).
post #25 of 45
Ah man, I follow you ALL OVER cyberspace, doooooood.
post #26 of 45
Thread Starter 
My very first stalker. I'm touched.
post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hey, Ryan may be right...

Originally Posted by ryan
detroit sweeps. heh. heh heh. bwah.
...for once.
post #28 of 45
Ya know, I have all the respect for Gary Payton but...but...uh...dude's lost out there.
post #29 of 45
The Lunkers going, going, ........ and in disarray. It's going to take all of Jackson's voodoo to save this group. Bench Payton and Malone.
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
Was that sad or what? Lakers look like they might make a run right at the end and they lose their composure. I'm so disappointed.

I think maybe its time to put a lid on those Kobe/MJ comparisons.
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