Thursday, July 24, 2008

The rookies impact in the WNBA too much for the vets?

This is the FIRST true season of the WNBA that there has been a plethora of rookies that come into the league in the same season and make a GREAT IMPACT. With all of the commotion b/w LA and Detroit, Minnesota rookie Candice "got into" a lil bit with sue bird and swin cash...and i'm not saying it was a big deal. Yet I am wondering is there "some' animosity towards these young players coming in? The majority of them are in the starting line-ups for their perspective teams, taking out some of the veteran players. This is not like previous years when you had maybe 1 or 2 impact players coming in. So this doesn't surprise me to have a "melee" as they called it to take place...because the vets need to be worried...or better yet taking the time to see the league truly GROW with more versatile talent, marketability, and SKILL! I say the 1st true season because when leslie them came in it was the beginning of the league.

It's Got to be hard being the face

of ANY franchise, and Candace Parker is now TRULY finding that out from her peers. After this incident b/w the 2 teams (la/detroit) I can only imagine the headaches she has endured. Headaches of making sure you "smile", say the right things, be open to people, interview after interview, commercial(s) (i'm sure gatorade will start those), promos and so on. People who know NOTHING about wbb, know who Candace Parker is and she is only 22. So who sat her down and told her what to do if you get "stole" on in a game, or approached in a certain manner. She has heard that she is a "target" but in college that just meant..getting you in foul trouble or being doubled or tripled team, but NOW there is 'money' involved, players egos, cities, and ex-NBA players bringing in the "thrill of a rivalry", and here is Parker in the span of 24/hrs transitioning into this world, and taking it by STORM, and some don't LIKE it! Even when Tina Thompson became the 1st number 1 pick she was never "targeted" not even after winning 4 championships in a row. Latoya Thomas, Monique Currie, Lauren Jackson (though) everyone realizes she is one of the best things going in the game right now. She gets everyone best game...yet she has not had to truly carry the "wnba banner". And maybe that's because she is an international player. Who knows! I just pray for this entire CLASS, because they are going to need it. Because those who opened up this league in 1997 are getting ready to bow out gracefully (i guess but with nancy lieberman playing) who knows...lol!

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via FoxyTunes

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The 2008-2009 Lakers

The way I see this upcoming season is another winner. Those close games we lost last season will be won by the Lakers. Having Andrew Bynum back in this line up, period, will CHANGE the way the Lakers play defense, and it will make them Boston-Like. Acutally with that interior defense bulking up...the guards defense will not look so vulnerable...until foul trouble comes into play.
But there is NO doubt that as long Ariza is healthy that he can be a viable back up at the SF position on both ends of the floor. For a 2nd rd pick, (43rd) overall, we have a "gem" in this guy. He has to just make that jumper consistently...and for the most part, for the time he got after coming back in WCF, it (the jumper) looks a lot better. To me that makes Walton very expendable.
I am definitely for the trade of Odom for Artest, and at the same time, if NOTHING happens I won't be disappointed, mainly because, when Lamar does not have to BECOME a scorer...meaning when he can just go out and play his game...doing the intangibles, he is at his best. When Pau Gasol was having good scoring games, Lamar was close to triple doubles in those game, but if Pau struggles that put Lamar back into that position of Robin to Batman, and he struggles there. That should NOT be considered a weakness, because every player can't be KOBE (the ability to adjust on the fly and be great)...lol. However for the money he makes...we need every FACET of his game to be successful.
Farmar has GOT to bulk up some more. He is getting pounded by the likes of Williams and Paul, and though Fisher is still a decent defender, he has to keep that jumper on point. We also have to have a pg who can deliver on point lobs into the lane, because I see a lot of dunks next season. If you go back and look at that youtube video I posted (incredible bynum) there was a dunk on there that bynum arm (the middle of his forearm) was above the rim, CRAZY! So someone besides Kobe has to continue to toss that thing up there.
Kobe, nuff said!

Possible Trade SAC/Laker

The other Lakers-Kings trade that would work
Posted by Scott Howard-Cooper
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This is the potential compromise. Kenny Thomas out, Shelden Williams and Quincy Douby in. No difference to the Kings in lineup impact, big difference to the Lakers in money.

It's still Ron Artest for Lamar Odom at the bottom line, except the salary-cap ballast has changed and the Lakers, in this version that will undoubtedly be discussed between the teams, if it hasn't been already, get away from Thomas and his $17.3375 million due the next two seasons. For a team paying the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax, as L.A. is, that's actually a $34.675-million hit for Thomas. You can see the hesitation.

Williams is on the books for $3.4 million in 2008-09 and Douby for $1.43, along with Artest's $7.4 to match up under the cap rules to Odom's $14.15 million. Nearly 5 mil combined for a power forward that never plays and a guard that never plays is a bad thing. But Williams and Douby have guaranteed money next season only while Thomas is down for two more and, specifically, $8.775 million in the second one. That's the key.

Taking Artest, Williams and Douby, the Lakers are bringing on $12.23 million ($24.46 including the luxury tax) for 2008-09 and nothing after. Total commitment: $24.46 million.

Taking Artest and Thomas, the Lakers are bringing on $16 million ($32 mil) for 2008-09 and $8.775 ($17.55 mil). Total commitment: $49.55.

Obviously a massive difference.

The numbers change if the Lakers negotiate a buyout that saves a few million or if they trade Williams or Douby with the appeal of expiring deals, but these are the numbers of the moment that will be factored into a Artest-Odom deal. The same goes for the Kings, of course. If they don't trade Thomas, they can attempt a buyout, though nothing says he will be willing to give back money to become a free agent and go somewhere with a chance of playing. And, the Kings can move Williams and / or Douby as expiring contracts.

The point being, compromise deals are available.

Why the Kings would like this: Same as before. They get away from Artest and return to dealing with people of this planet. They get a season with Odom, a gifted, versatile offensive player who would replace Artest as the starting small forward and be able to play power forward. If it becomes a good fit, they have the lead on a new contract when he becomes a free agent next summer. If not, the money comes off the books, just as it would have with Williams, Douby and (perhaps) Artest. No harm done.

Why the Lakers would like this: They get the toughness of Artest without having to take Thomas. They also get a season with Williams and Douby before the pair becomes free agents in 2009. There isn't much to test drive, but those are the No. 5 (Williams) and No. 19 (Douby) picks in 2006, so maybe something's there. One of the L.A. unknowns is whether it would rather have Williams as unproductive youth or the experience of Thomas at power forward. Tough call.

Why the Kings would not like this: It solves the Artest problem, but leaves the Thomas issue unresolved. He may not take a buyout, and it will be much harder to trade him in the future. K9 with Artest works because Artest has a very manageable contract and because teams see Artest as a potential final piece to a long playoff run. Thomas with John Salmons or Francisco Garcia or Mikki Moore doesn't have the same heat, and Thomas with Brad Miller is too much money.

Why the Lakers would not like this: No reason. If they want Artest and have decided on a willingness to part with Odom to get it done, Williams / Douby instead of Thomas is the best possible outcome.

There's a good chance it turns into a stare contest. The Lakers want Artest but draw the line at taking Thomas. The Kings want Odom but insist on Thomas being part of the deal.

Does either side blink?

Goodbye Turiaf...sad!!

Lakers let Turiaf go to Warriors, will look to Bynum in middle

ESPN.com news services

Updated: July 19, 2008, 12:22 AM ET

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LOS ANGELES -- With great reluctance, the Los Angeles Lakers decided at Friday's deadline they wouldn't match Golden State's offer for Ronny Turiaf, meaning the former second-round draft choice will move up the California coast to play for the Warriors.

ESPN.com's J.A. Andande first reported the Lakers would not match the offer.

"There are emotional ties with Ronny that go beyond basketball," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on a conference call. "I think that makes it difficult. I think organizations that draft players who turn out to be good players, it's hard for them to let go of those players. And if you know Ronny, you know he's a special kid."

The Warriors signed Turiaf, a restricted free agent, to a four-year, $17 million offer sheet last week. By rule, the Lakers had seven days to decide whether to match it. The three-year veteran from Gonzaga averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 78 games with the Western Conference champions last season, making 21 starts.

The Lakers played much of last season without starting center Andrew Bynum, giving Turiaf the opportunity for more playing time than he would have had otherwise. But, Kupchak said, Bynum is expected to be healthy when training camp begins in early October, and Turiaf's opportunities figured to be diminished significantly.

Kupchak said Bynum has been in New York and underwent physical therapy in 19 of the last 21 days and has been cleared to work out and play.

"He's basically on his own to begin conditioning and basketball activity, starting today," Kupchak said. "It's a process. Based on what he did last year, I would expect him to come in in mid-September basically in great shape. I know that's his goal. He's coming back this weekend, we're going to meet with him Monday. He will go to Atlanta late next week to begin his training for the upcoming season."

With frontcourt players like Bynum, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Vladimir Radmanovic, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza and Chris Mihm on the roster, that wouldn't appear to leave much playing time for Turiaf. Kupchak said he believes that Mihm, who missed most of the last two seasons with ankle problems, will also be fully healthy at the start of training camp.

"We will miss Ronny, we will miss his contributions on and off the court, the emotion and the energy he brought, whether he's playing or not," Kupchak said.

Kupchak said he met with Turiaf for about an hour Thursday.

"It was a very emotional meeting because he loves the city, he loves the organization, there are certain bonds here," Kupchak said. "He feels it's in his best interests to move on. The last thing you want is a young player like Ronny no matter what he's being paid is being on the bench at 25 years old and not playing.

"We discussed it yesterday, he wants to play, and sees an opportunity to play in Golden State at least twofold what he can play here."

The Warriors certainly have a much greater need for big men than the Lakers.

Kupchak said the Lakers will now focus on re-signing guard Sasha Vujacic, another restricted free agent.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Incredible Bynum

This season is going to be GOOOOOOD!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Did the Lakers even offer Odom for Artest?

The Ron Artest Chronicles - Day 432

OK, maybe 432 is a slight exaggeration, but since we're doomed to talk about Artest for the foreseeable future, let's get this thing done.

A source who would know shared some scenario with HOOPSWORLD today, basically saying there is a lot of interest in Artest.

The Dallas Mavericks are offering basically the same thing they did last year - Brandon Bass and Jerry Stackhouse for Ron-Ron. Rick Carlisle would love to have Ron back in his locker room, but he's not willing to part with Josh Howard to get it done. That likely means the Mavs don't have a deal. Stackhouse is a great locker room guy and probably a future coach, but his health is a huge concern. Brandon Bass has huge upside and was an important part of the Mavs' success last season, especially before the Kidd trade. But is he worth Artest? Maybe not.

The Lakers are, indeed, interested in Artest, but contrary to widespread rumors they have not yet made an offer. Not Lamar Odom, not anyone. They're waiting to see what happens with Ronny Turiaf, after which we could see some movement on the LA front.

The Boston Celtics offered up a James Posey sign-and-trade to land Artest, but obviously that's not going to happen. As HOOPSWORLD's Jessica Camerato broke earlier today, Posey is now a New Orleans Hornet.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Artest A Laker?

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3485534

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Candace Parker 40/16/6/5/2

Before there was Lisa Leslie, there was Tina Thompson. Not in chronological terms, but in the early development of Candace Parker.

For the first time as professionals, the mentor faced off against her prized pupil Wednesday at Staples Center, giving Parker the opportunity to display a few of the moves she gleaned from Thompson during her college days at Tennessee.



* Parker's night
Parker's night

In the end, it was Parker who schooled Thompson and the Houston Comets. Parker scored a season-high 40 points to push her team into overtime, and Marie Ferdinand-Harris and Lisa Leslie took over from there, lifting the Sparks to an 82-74 victory at Staples Center.

"She is a big sister to me and I've idolized her since I can remember," Parker said of Thompson. "It was just coming out and I got going early."

Parker, a rookie who also totaled 16 rebounds, six assists and five blocks, came within a point of the franchise record of 41 set by Leslie in 2006, and finished three points shy of the league's rookie record.

She had a chance to tie the franchise record but missed the first of two free throws with 1.6 seconds left in regulation. She made the second, however, sending the Sparks (12-6) into their fifth overtime game this season, which ties a franchise record.

Leslie, who briefly played with Thompson at Inglewood Morningside High and USC, scored on the first possession of overtime and Ferdinand-Harris then made consecutive three-point baskets to give the Sparks a 76-69 lead.

Thompson, who will play on the Olympic team with Parker and Leslie next month in Beijing, appeared headed for a big game after scoring 10 points in the first 5:10 to help the Comets to a 17-4 lead.

However, Thompson committed three fouls in less than a minute of the first quarter while attempting to guard Leslie, and she finished with 21 points.

"I knew the double team was coming," Leslie said. "Houston has always been the team that wants to make sure I don't beat them."

The Sparks then chipped away behind Parker, who scored 14 of her 19 first-half points in the second quarter to close the gap to eight points. She scored 10 more points in the third quarter as the Sparks cut the deficit to two, then produced 11 in the fourth quarter.

It was her first 40-point game since high school, said Parker, who in the last two games has totaled 71 points on 27 of 41 from the field.

Ronny Turiaf signs offer sheet with Golden St.

OAKLAND, California (AFP) - Golden State signed Los Angeles Lakers forward and restricted free agent Ronny Turiaf to a National Basketball Association offer sheet on Thursday.
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The Warriors offered a four-year, 17 million dollar contract to Turiaf, who averaged career highs in points (6.6), rebounds (3.9) and minutes (18.7) last season, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The offer comes on the same day the Warriors signed former Los Angeles Clippers swingman Corey Maggette to a reported five-year contract.

The Lakers have seven days to match the offer to Turiaf.

I don't expect the lakers to match this offer. It is a great offer for Ronny, but it really would be an overpayment for him on the Lakers team. He may start for Golden St., which I doubt, but the Lakers made a "bad" contract with Vladimir Radmonivich, and Luke Walton, I don't expect this to be the next one.
Thank you Ronny for the good times...all of your cheerleading from the bench, and energy in the game. Good Luck

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kwame Brown

How Tough is he really!!!???

Angie Bjorklund has knee surgery

SEC freshman of year has surgery to repair torn meniscus

Associated Press

Updated: July 8, 2008, 1:56 PM ET

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee shooting guard Angie Bjorklund underwent surgery Monday on her right knee to repair a torn meniscus.

The rising sophomore, a 6-foot native of Spokane Valley, Wash., says the injury came from "tweaking her knee" recently.

Lady Volunteers sports medicine director Jenny Moshak says Bjorklund will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to fully recover in four to six weeks.

As a freshman, she played in all 38 games of Tennessee's national title season and started in 30, earning The Associated Press' Southeastern Conference freshman of the year award along the way.

She averaged 8.6 points per game and 3.2 rebounds and tied the school record for 3-pointers made in a single game with seven on three occasions.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4, 2008
It's not who you start, it's how you finish.

The Sparks went with a new look Thursday night against the Minnesota Lynx, starting Shannon Bobbitt and Raffaella Masciadri in the backcourt for the first time this season, but their fourth-quarter problems continued in an 88-70 loss at Staples Center, their third in a row and fourth in the last six games.



* Up and away
Up and away

Unlike the previous two games, when the Sparks (10-6) blew double-digit leads down the stretch, they trailed by one point to start the fourth quarter. But that's when the Sparks appeared to gasp, getting outscored, 15-0, during the first four minutes. Leading scorers Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker didn't get off a shot during that stretch.

"We were right in the game and just gave the game away," said Penny Toler, the Sparks general manager who huddled with owners Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson for several minutes afterward. "The bottom line is, no one is to blame, we're all in this together, we just have to try to figure this out, and we will figure it out."

Leslie had a season-high 26 points and 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double this season. Parker played through foul trouble and finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Bobbitt, a teammate of Parker's at Tennessee last season, didn't suit up the previous two games but made the first start of her career. She finished with three points, four assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes. The Sparks committed 14 turnovers but only one by their point guards.

During the fourth quarter, fans were calling for Bobbitt to replace Kiesha Brown, but by the time she did, the Sparks were already down by 11 points. Masciadri made her first start of the season and second of her career, getting the nod over Marie Ferdinand-Harris, but she struggled from the field, missing all five of her attempts to go scoreless. Her replacement, Sidney Spencer, didn't fare much better, making two of eight shots and scoring six points.

"We had a lot of wide-open looks, and they just didn't go down," said Coach Michael Cooper. "It's going to be tough to win when your shooters aren't hitting."

For the second straight game, the Sparks had trouble guarding the other team's best scorer.

Seimone Augustus had a season-high 29 points. Candace Wiggins, chosen second overall in the draft behind Parker, finished with 19.

"You have to give them credit, they're young, they're real feisty, they don't know any other way than to play hard," forward DeLisha Milton-Jones said of the Lynx. "We should take a page out of their book."

LIKE I WAS SAYING BEFORE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SPARKS LOSS, SHANNON BOBBITT IS SURELY ONE ANSWER TO THE GUARD SITUATION, NOW PUT HARRIS IN WITH HER AND SEE HOW THAT WORKS.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lakers Big Deal

Lakers' big deal: expected return of Bynum
By Elliott Teaford, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 06/20/2008 11:18:50 PM PDT

The Lakers don't need to make a blockbuster trade to be a title contender again next season. They don't need to make a jaw-dropping free agent signing to ignite another deep playoff run. They don't need to revamp their roster.

What they need is a healthy 7-foot center back in their starting lineup. What they need is all the rebounding, shot-blocking and defensive skills that 20-year-old Andrew Bynum can give them next season.

So said general manager Mitch Kupchak, three days after the Lakers suffered a humiliating 39-point loss to the Boston Celtics in the decisive Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

"I don't think it solves everything, but if I had a player to add that's the player I would like to add," Kupchak said after he and Coach Phil Jackson concluded their season-ending meetings with their players Friday.

Bynum sat out of the final three months of the regular season plus all of the playoffs because of a partially dislocated left kneecap. He underwent surgery last month, but said Friday he would resume his customary offseason workouts next month. Bynum was in the midst of a breakout season, averaging 13.1points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots, when he was hurt Jan. 13.

If Bynum returns as anticipated next season, then he would join with fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol and 6-10 forward Lamar Odom to form one of the biggest and most formidable front lines in the NBA. Bynum would play center, with Gasol shifting to power forward
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from center and Odom moving to small forward from power forward.

It's also possible league MVP Kobe Bryant could play small forward, with the playmaking Odom moving to a guard spot alongside Derek Fisher.

"I think Phil will be challenged to get really creative because it is a team that would be very talented and versatile and I think training camp would be a very important time for him to test out what he's decided to do over the summer," Kupchak said. "The possibilities are endless."

Kupchak said he would discuss a contract extension for Bynum with team owner Jerry Buss within the next few days. Kupchak indicated he doesn't believe Bynum's injury would prevent the team from giving him a new deal.

"The injury is not a career- altering injury," Kupchak said.

In addition, the Lakers intend to re-sign restricted free agents Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf once the signing period begins July 1. Kupchak said it was unlikely that he would pursue other team's free agents because of salary cap concerns.

"If we did nothing and brought back the players who are existing free agents, just by virtue of this team aging one more year and getting Trevor (Ariza) and Andrew back (from injuries), I think we're right back in the hunt," he said.

Ariza exercised his option Friday and will return to the Lakers next season.

Meanwhile, Jackson's message to his players was straightforward.

"How can you get better to help this team next year?" Jackson said. "They have to put together a summer that brings them back here that makes them better basketball players. ... We're not about looking back at what we did wrong. We're about looking forwards and seeing if we can do it again."