Will Lamar Odom Reunite With Lakers?

Over the last week it has been reported that former Laker, Lamar Odom wants to come back to Los Angeles.

And apparently the feeling is mutual. Head Coach Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant have both expressed interest in Odom’s return. All is well in Laker Land.

Well. Maybe not.

There are only two ways for Odom to get back into the Purple and Gold.

1. The Dallas Mavericks have to trade him to the Lakers. Odom is still under contract with the Mavs. So they have a decision to make. They can trade him or buy out his contract and make him a free agent.

2. Odom becomes a free agent and then waits until December 11th. That’s right, he will have to sit out part of the season. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player cannot return to a team he was traded from for one full year. It seems very doubtful that Lamar would sit out. But you never know. He’s a different breed of cat.

So, really, the only scenario for Lamar Odom to return to the Lakers would be via a trade. And would the Mavs, and Mark Cuban, be willing to make that trade? Doubtful.

So there is a way for Odom to come back home to the Lakers but it will be a strange and winding one. Luckily, Lamar is used to those type of trips.

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Are the Lakers Better WITHOUT Kobe?

How dare I even ask that question, right?  Of course the Lakers aren’t better without Kobe Bryant. But they are winning without him. And beating good teams, too. They have won their last four games, three of them against playoff teams.

Since Kobe has been on the bench Andrew Bynum has been a monster on the court.  He followed a 30 rebound game against the Spurs with a 30 point game against the Nuggets. Can those numbers hold up once Bryant comes back into the lineup? Some people think they can’t.

This reminds me of when Linsanity hit the New York Knicks. With Carmelo Anthony out, Jeremy Lin energized the team and led them on a great run. The fear in every Knicks fan’s mind was that Melo was going to come back and screw everything up.

That is the fear some Lakers fans have right now.

Can Kobe Bryant come back and be a complementary player to this team? Would anyone even suggest this? I seriously doubt that Mike Brown would approach Kobe with this suggestion.

But if the Lakers are going to contend for a 17th championship that’s exactly what Kobe is going to have to do.

He’s going to have to become a more efficient player. The days of jacking up 30 shots a game are gone.  He’s going to have to make due with 18-20 shots per game. He’s needs to pick his spots.

Kobe desperately wants to win that sixth championship ring and the window for him to do that is rapidly closing. His ego is going to have to take a back seat when he comes back. If he truly wants that sixth ring, he’s going to have to let the rest of the team win it for him. He will have to trust them to win it for him.

Right now this Lakers team is giving him every reason to trust them. Let’s just hope he does.

Andrew Bynum: The Ego Has Landed!

Why, Andrew? Why do you do this to me? Why do you make me look bad? I have been a huge fan of Andrew Bynum since he first signed with the Lakers. I defended him when Kobe wanted to “ship his ass out.” I was in his corner through every injury-shortened season. When everyone wanted to trade him I was the one saying he is going to be an All-Star and soon to be best center in the game.

But all that is now in jeopardy after his antics last night against the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mike Brown benched Bynum after he took a very ill-advised three pointer in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. That’s right; the dominating, 7-foot center was taking three pointers instead of posting up on the block and throwing down dunks.

To make matters worse, when Andrew came back in he played a few listless, uninspired minutes and found himself back on the bench. This time for good.

While on the bench he mugged for the cameras and refused to get up to join team huddles. He was the only one.  When asked why he did this he replied, “He (Brown) took me out of the game. So I just sat where he put me.” Its smart-ass answers like that that make you look stupid and lose fan support.

I think Andrew has been feeling himself a little too much lately. It’s like the success he has experienced this season has gone straight to his head. He is beginning to think he can do whatever he wants and it’s going to be all good.

I would like to think that the benching would have straightened Andrew out, made him see the error of his ways. However, after listening to his presser after that game all I saw was a petulant little child who is only looking forward to the next time he can shoot another three.

Andrew Bynum needs to understand that Lakers fans have endured quite a few seasons of his underachievement but have still stuck by him. Now that he has finally lived up to his potential he needs to understand that he is not bigger than the team.

How “BAD” Are The Lakers?

It’s been a tough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. First, they have their blockbuster Chris Paul trade vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern, only to watch Paul get traded to the Clippers. Then they lose two straight pre-season games against the same Clippers.  They then traded Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom to conference rival Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception and some magic beans.

Laker Nation has been in turmoil ever since.

Everyone has been complaining about head coach Mike Brown and his system, Kobe Bryant and his shot selection, Andrew Bynum and inconsistency, the bench and their inability to hold a lead, and a plethora of other issues.

The most troubling fact this season is the Lakers sorry road record, which stands at 7-14. When the Lakers were winning championships they had one of the best road records in the league. Championship caliber teams can win on the road.

But are the Lakers really a “bad” team? Or are have Lakers fans just been spoiled the last few years? Take a quick look at their record. Currently, Lakers are 24-16 (60% win rate), tied for first in the Pacific Division and are the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Not bad for a team that has had so much drama and road woes this season.

But Lakers fans aren’t looking for Division titles, they are looking for Championships. Titles are all that count. Anything less is a failure.

By any other standard, the Lakers are having a successful season; they have a good shot at winning their division and will make the playoffs. Any other team and their fans would be happy with that. Just look how delirious Clippers fans are.

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and maybe the Lakers front office can pull out a trade that will send the Lakers to the NBA Finals. That is the only way the fans will consider this a “winning” season.

Is It Time To Blow Up The Lakers (2012 edition)?

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in a state of emergency. After two embarrassing loses to the lowly Detroit Pistons and the even lowlier Washington Wizards on successive nights the Lakers look like a team that is ready to implode.

Both losses came after the Lakers blew huge leads and looked like they didn’t put forth any effort. They are looking like the Bored Lakers of old. You know, the teams that just didn’t seem to care and thought they could “flip the switch” whenever they wanted.

And now there are reports that the players want to “mutiny” against head coach Mike Brown’s offense and go back to the triangle. The problem is not with the offensive system but with the execution of that offense. When the Lakers execute Brown’s offense, that is pound the ball down low to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Lakers win. Unfortunately, the Lakers can’t seem to do that for one complete game. They will do it for one half and then forget about it. The second half of both recent losses devolved into Kobe Bryant jacking up shot after shot and the rest of the team just standing around watching.

It’s sad that the players are putting up more of a fight against Brown than they are against their road opponents where they have a pathetic 6-14 record.

If this unrest and lack of effort continues then it’s time to make some major changes and start trading people. Ric Bucher has floated the idea that the Lakers should trade Kobe. While I don’t think the situation is that dire, it is time to trade for a point guard.

After the Chris Paul trade debacle earlier this year I thought the Lakers shouldn’t make any trade that involved Gasol or Bynum. I felt that they would be giving up too much for what they would receive. Now I’m not so sure. As much as I would hate to see either big man go, it may be time to make a trade. Right now any point guard is better than Derek Fisher and Steve Blake is too inconsistent to be trusted running the offense.

This season is about to be lost and Kobe is about to have another “wasted year” of his life, unless the Lakers make a trade to make the team better.

In the mean time, the players (including Kobe) need to buy into Mike Brown’s offense. That is the only chance they have if they want to contend for a title.

Mike Brown Named Lakers’ New Head Coach!

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have signed Mike Brown as their new Head Coach.

I first heard rumblings of this late last night and at first I was not too happy with the news. And neither were Laker Fans. The Twitterverse was filled with shock and angst.  And I supplied my fair share of both.

But after a good night’s sleep (and several drinks) I have a new perspective on the hire. This could very well work out to be a good hire for the Lakers. Brown is a very good defense-minded coach and the Lakers need a serious overhaul on their defense. They had a hard time defending Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets and were completely exposed by the Dallas Mavericks.

So this may be exactly what the Lakers need. As long as he gets a little help on the offensive side. The Lakers have enough talent on offense that not even Mike Brown can screw it up. It’s like he has been handed the keys to a Maybach, all he has to do is not crash it.

And I don’t think he will crash it.

A quick look at his career will tell you that he is a capable coach. He may not be Phil Jackson, but who is? And to be honest, ANY coach is going to look like a step compared to Jackson.

Brown went 272-138 in five seasons with the Cavaliers, taking the team to the Eastern Conference finals twice and one trip to the NBA Finals in 2007. He was also named Coach of the Year in 2009. So the guy can coach. And he certainly has a better group of players in the Lakers than he did with the Cavs.

Of course we all know he was fired after LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent last summer despite going 127-37 in his final two regular seasons with the Cavs.

So I say, let’s give Mike Brown a chance. It will be interesting to see if Brown can bring some intensity back to the Lakers’ defense.

The only question that remains is; What does Kobe think?