Thursday, July 30, 2009

General Non-Laker Fan Consenus to Odom Returning: NOOOOOO!

Here's a compilation I gathered from the Lakers' main rivals this next season. I like to call them...The Fantastic Four. Sounds like such a pansy name, doesn't it?

Celtics Fans' Reactions (prosportsdaily.com):

It's ok, Pierce. This time I understand. I'd fake injuries too if I knew I wasn't a Laker.

- crud...oh well, pretty much expected

- Damn it- good deal for the Lakers as well...

- Whatever.... Bring 'em on.

- Kobe, Odom, Gaysol, Artest vs Paul, Ray, Kg, Sheed, Rondo...we are still better...i guess homecourt will probably be the difference maker...

- Who cares! The Celtics beat them with Odom once, and they can do it again.

- Our hope right now is that Artest flakes out; but even without Artest they're still similar to the '08 finalists. In '08, we were clearly better, even though the finals were a bit closer than we like to admit. This year, in the regular season the Lakers looked like they improved - but in the playoffs they looked worse than they did in '08. We would likely have lost to the regular season quality Lakers in the Finals, but we probably beat the team that got taken to 7 games by Houston. Even without Posey or anyone to guard Kobe. I think both teams regressed in '08, the Lakers by less, and '08 would have been closer than '07.

Now with Artest, on paper the Lakers are definitely the best team in the NBA, unfortunately. Without Odom they might not be, but it doesn't look like that is the case. We upgraded from last year with Rasheed, but the Lakers outdid us getting Artest and keeping Odom. We should still have a shot, but if Artest keeps his head on straight it will be tough.

- Get Marquis Daniels and resign Marbury and you can say the CELTICS are STACKED..LA is where it has always been..they jus traded Ariza for Artest...nobody knows how that will work out for them..I still think Ariza was the better fit, and safer bet...

- This is why I hate the LA Lakers. Douchebag drama like the Odom signing. He plays around for at least a month, pathetically waiting for LA to give him an acceptable offer. Buss goes back on his "principles" after pulling the initial offer yet ends up working something out. And people wonder why the Lakers get so much hate. Sure, there are plenty of reasons but unnecessary narcissistic drama like the Odom negotiations is high on the list.

- Lakers just got better this Season not worse. Ariza is a up and coming player but Artest will give Kobe rest. This will be the difference. Artest will keep the Defense's Honest. Artest will lock on Pierce. Even Battle but Pierce is older and I think Ron will get 3 or more good games at the end of the season on an older PP. Kobe will lock Allen. Kobe wins.


Cavs fans' reactions (RealCavsFans.com, CavsFanatic.com):

Don't worry, little guy. Bigger men than you have cried harder before.

Like this Guy...

Wah wah, how come Kobe gets to play with the best toys and I don't???

- With Lamar Odom reportedly set to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, there might be a rash of signings in the forward market as there was a bit of a delay to see where Odom would go. I think we should try our very best to sigh Hakim Warrick. he could be another guy to throw at the lamar odom's and rashard lewis'. FYI Lewis and Odom both averaged lower than their reg. season averages against Memphis, what a coincidence huh?

- Alright we need David West more than anything now.

- Odom just isn't a quick 4, he's big. Odom kills a small, quick 4 on the boards.

- re signed Odom...tough for any team to beat them...Man if they win two straight..ughhh. Dont we all just feel like we just wasted time thinking and hoping "I hope odom leaves," He was always going to go back

-i know man.......that just devastated us.......ok mr ferry.....we need one more genius move. WE'RE TOO CLOSE TO LOSE IT NOW!!!!

- i assumed we were gonna kill the rest of the league this year, except for the elites, but the only person the lakers lost is ariza and gained artest, they just got better, alot better, its a little bit of a scary team. fan or not you gotta see the facts. we have faith but we're not stupid, with odom in there we don't match up anymore. now we just need that "better than average" stretch 4.......(omg im so mad sheed didn't sign with us.)

-The Lakers are gonna be stacked this season and very versatile. But just cause a team looks good on paper doesnt mean they cant be beat. In the end you have to play the games out.

-Sometimes I think people forget Shaquille 'O freaking Neal is on our team now...

-Newsflash: The Lakers didn't get that much better. They basically made a slight improvement signing Artest and getting rid of Ariza. They are a slightly better team. Their bench is a little iffy. We are a much better team. We now have a perenial all-star at center and more size at the wing. Should be an even matchup. Don't forget, ya'll--there's still a long long season to play. Injuries will factor in (hopefully in our favor). Stop freaking out, we can speculate in June if we meet them in the Finals.

- Wow, the Cavs got better this offseason. We get that. Our offseason was better than the Lakers was. We all get that. But don't you get that they were already much better than us to begin with? Don't even bring up our regular season record. Beating up on all the scrub East teams doesn't mean anything.

- Man, I hate to say this but I just don't think there's any way the Cavs beat that team, assuming the Lakers make it to the finals. (which they will.) Cleveland just can't catch a goddamn break.


Magic Fans' Reactions (orlandomagiczone.com):

Dwight - 'kissing' up early. Superman didn't even suit up for the game...or to save the world.

- Hopefully the Magic have improved enough to beat the Lakers in the finals this year, because it looks like a re-match may be in order (stating if both teams stay healthy). Ugh, I really wanted him to sign with the Heat too because then I think we would certainly be the favorites in the NBA. The Lakers length is what beat us this year, and we haven't gotten bigger under the basket. I think Bass should help us out on the boards, but he still can't match up with Odom, Gasol or Bynum. This news angers me.

- Ok they have Odom, Gasol and Bynum right. We have Lewis, Bass, Howard and Gortat so how are they much bigger under the basket. Our frontcourt can match theirs. Bynum gets in foul trouble quick. Gasol and Odom is the key.

- Right we are the same down low. We had Shard, Gortat and Dwight. We also had Battie. Shard and Battie got dominated by Gasol and the only person who guarded him with any consistency was Dwight. I don't think Bass is going to help us with our matchup against the Lakers. I think Sheed would have been a bigger impact in those games actually because of his length and versatility. I like the signing of Bass, but he was my 2nd pick to Sheed. I understand Sheed got the full MLE from Boston, and we split ours up for Barnes and Bass, but I'm nervous with Odom coming back to LA that we're going to have the same problem with them in the post!

- Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Paul Gasol are better than every player in the paint in our front line except Dwight.

- At least it's a better win being underdogs.

- i think artest will realize he is just a piece to that team and will thrive in it.....he is smarter,a better passer,a better shooter, a better defender than ariza is.....not to mention artest can play s/g s/f or even p/f if needed for spurts.....this is my opinion and i hope i'm wrong

- Artest is better all around player than Ariza is. You cant be serious thinking hes not. Artest still is a 20ppg player that gives you lockdown defense and assist and rebounds. Ariza dont give you all that. This is not even an argument really.

- And at 250 pounds he is not a slow top and Bass is not one of those kind of players who you want to get in his way. The Lakers are worried about us not the other way around.

- idk I'm pretty worried about the Lakes. At least we don't have to worry about them until the Finals.

- Odom, Artest, Gasol, Bynum and Bryant? is that even fair


Spurs Fans' Reactions (spurstalk.com):

The Spurs should follow Richard Jefferson's lead - get cold feet and check out early. Sorry, wifey.

-Spurs are much improved. If we have a healthy Timmy and Manu come playoff time with the new additions, they can beat the Lakers even with Odom..

- Dang. The only reason I don't like it is because the Lakers didn't need to get stronger than last season. They were already ahead of the pack as it was. With Odom and Artest...they arguably did. Time to play the games, fellas. Bring it on.

- Great news. The Lakers are clearly the team to beat now, puts pressure off the Spurs as all the pressure is on the Lakers now to repeat with that stacked lineup. If healthy the Spurs can give them a huge fight in the playoffs.

- Unlike the Spurs the Lakers have never had issues repeating. Hell they've already made back to back Finals appearances with the same team.

- A realistic appraisal of our chances are small sorry, for the same reasons we lost this season. Being a true fan and Knowing what your team inefficiencies are and calling them out does not make you less than a fan.

- L.A is better also, I don't see the Spurs winning over L.A in the playoffs, the Spurs don't have enough quality big men. Boston is the only team that stands a chance next year.

- When Odom was guarding Parker, TP became almost useless on the court.

- Portland is the Lakers kryptonite. They are just as big, young, and fast as L.A. If they meet up in the playoffs early, L.A. wont get to the WFC. It'll be Denver and S.A.

- Maybe not the best news as a Spur fan, but as a basketball fan this is fantastic news. Can't wait to see the games between these two next year!

- Come on Lakers, give the Spurs your best shot. They'll be waiting.

- Ginobili will be waiting in a suit in the crowd behind the team bench.


Collective Reaction Around the League:

Darth Vader - mad at the Lakers for trumping his Death Star...with 5 of their own.
In summary, fans of the remaining Power Four in the league (you may want to include Portland too, but we can wait.) - Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, and San Antonio - all seem to be dejected...As if somebody just stole their candy away from them...I am so clever.

Their fear is even more apparent by the facadic fronts of confidence they put up. For Boston, it's Rasheed, health, and their 'deep' bench that shall be their savior. For the Cavs, it's Shaq, anti-fat and lazy medicine, and their 'deep' bench. For the Magic, it's Carter, Bass, Barnes, and Pinnochio - I mean, Gortat. And for the Spurs, it's health, prenuptial agreements, a hot desperate housewife and...the Portland Trailblazers.

Lakers
Fans' Collective Reaction:

Just dance - gonna be ok! ...Winners are so annoying.

Not one to be too overconfident, but...Expect to be annoyed, NBA.

People hate the Purple&Gold Fridge,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Odom Makes A 360 Degree Turn Around...w/ the Lakers

This Candy Land game is finally over. And both the Lakers and Lamar Odom have won. The Losers: everyone else.


Lakers Accelerate. Credit goes to Silo360 for accelerating the 09/010 Lakers hype.


Per ESPN:

Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to an NBA source.

Odom will sign a four-year contract, with the fourth year at the Lakers' option.

One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final year of the contract.

Hi, my name is Lamar. I like candy. And championships.

And candy championships.

Details of the final negotiation process (what we know so far):

* The current deal as constructed will offer Odom about $8 mill a year for the first 3 years - a guaranteed $25mill. If the Lakers choose to excercise Odom's 4th year option, they will pay him about $8 mill extra. If they choose not to retain him, they will have to pay him a $2mill buy-out.

* Contrary to popular belief that Odom was merely using Miami as leverage to get a better deal, Odom was actually very, very close to signing with the Heat. A lot of 'Heat'-ed emotion was involved in his final decision making process - emotion and pride that he admirably doused in order to remain loyal to the organization that never once traded him during its tumultuous years in the past - an organization that he now has the best chance of winning another ring with.

* As Korean dramatic as Dwayne Wade got on Twitter, neither he nor Pat Riley nor any shady candy trucks met with Lamar Odom at all.

* The Portland Trail Blazers stepped in at the last minute on Tuesday night and supposedly offered L.O. a 5 yr/$40 million contract. Odom, however, had no interest whatsoever to blaze any trails up in Portland. [Update:] ESPN is revising this story and pulling Portland completely out of the picture. Portland didn't even blaze any trails for Lamar...

* Ron Artest was the biggest reason Lamar Odom kept pushing to stay (He wanted to win one for Ron):

"But to now get an opportunity to play with Ron Artest, a guy I've known 16 years, it means a lot. I told Ron Ron a few weeks ago I couldn't walk away. I still had to fight. Everytime negotiations didn't go the way I thought, I just took a step back, like them pulling the offer off the table, I just knew I had to fight."

Makes you wonder if Odom would have been as torn if it was Trevor Ariza and not his old-time buddy Ron in the purple and gold instead. In this case, the decision to sign Ron Artest over Trevor Ariza, if there were any doubts before, now looks like the best executive choice that could have been made at the time because of its two-fold implications in keeping 'sugar in the cupboard'- so to speak.

* Jeff Schwartz did not disrespect the Lakers organization or ignore them. In fact, he advised Odom to take a look at the previous deals being offered. And after the Lakers pulled the offers from the table, it was Schwartz who told Odom to take his time and not pull a knee-jerk reaction by immediately signing with the Heat. In the end, everyone has their fair share of the blame and innocence when it comes to who pushed who's buttons.

* Jerry Buss did not pull his original offers of 4/$36mill and 3/$10mill purely because he felt disrespected, but because the NBA's salary cap had lowered and because he was merely playing a shrewd card in further negotiations. Lamar Odom seems to have come to this understanding as well, refusing to take things too personally.

* Dr. Buss got cold feet about the luxury tax he'll pay, told Mitch to explore other options. Phil, back from Montana, warmed them up to the notion of the Lakers becoming UNSTOPPABLE with Odom. Rest is history. Via Ric Bucher's Twitter.

* The Lakers, injuries barred, look like an NBA Dynasty that's primed to move past the Celtics' title count.

*
“Riding off Kobe’s coattail ain’t bad,” Odom said, laughing. “He’s got something special going around. I’ve got to be around. I’ve got to be one of the apostles. There was no way I was going to pass up playing with Kobe, Pau, Andrew and Ron-Ron.”

WTF? Kobe's pissed he only has 4 all-stars on his team.

Odom's 360 degree turn-around dunk...er, deal:



We're going to have a 360 degree turn-around this year. I'm just happy to be a...Laker.

I just had to take a jab at LO's awkwardly-cute spaciness. This interview was taken during his Clipper days. I think he meant to say "180 degree turnaround" because a full 360 turn-around leads you right back to where you were in the first place - which for the Clippers at that time (and many a time) led straight back to Suckville. This summer, however, Odom's 360 degree turnaround tendencies factor out just perfectly for the Lakers and their future plans.

At long last, we can all finally breathe a large sigh of relief and bust out those red vines and Hi-chews in sugar-rushed celebration (though it's probably best for Odom to stay away from any candy that has the word 'Hi'/'High' in it).
At this point, I don't know whether to strangle him or to hug him. All I know is - I'm smiling. A smiling strangle should do. FRICKEN' ODOM!! WELCOME BACK!

Now, a deep, profound statement from Lamar:

I'm BAAAAAACK!!!!
- via Twitter/RealLamarOdom

Count the number of A's he put into his 'Back' and that should give you a good estimate of how many championships he expects to win with the Lakers in the near future. Back that thing up.

The Fridge is stacked with sugar-foods,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gobstopper Affair: Web Reactions to Lamar Odom's Dilly-Dallying

One day, he's ready to pledge his allegiance to all things purple and gold and commit himself to dynastic championship lore. The next day, he's in Heat like a dog, anxiously ready to exchange Kobe and LA for Wade and Miam-ay.

Willy Wonka holding an ever-lasting Gobstopper. The way things have been going lately, he looks a lot closer to wearing the purple and gold than Lamar is.

At this point, trying to predict the end-time for all things Lamar Odom-related and which way he might be leaning towards at any particularly given hour is like trying to predict the end-time of an everlasting Gobstopper and what specific colors it'll change to as it melts in your mouth at any particularly given minute. The only real givens are that it'll take a really long time, there will be lots of varying colors involved (just like Lamar's fashion), and Lamar Odom still likes sweets. And you may end up just biting something or someone before waiting for it all to unfold.

Following these negotiations, with its conflicting reports and flip-flopping sandal tendencies, has become so wearisome that I find it to be purely comical now. For all us Laker fans alike, it's literally time to stop hitting ourselves over the heads agonizing over whether or not we should finally pull out our sweet-tooth towards everyone's favorite 6'10 chocolate candy bar (I love taking these L.O.-candy analogies to really strange, far-off places.). At this point, it's time to just relax and have fun.

Regardless of whether or not Lamar Odom returns, the Lakers will survive. Us fans will survive. And Adam Morrison will survive, resurrect his career, and take over the league. Take that, Odom.

Lamar Odom is amused. We haven't been.


Clearly, all of these negotiations involving Buss, Odom, the Laker front office, and now, D-Wade the Desperate and Pat Riley the Parrot have made us all a little crazy. But if we just take a step back from all the mayhem and coolly regain some of our previous World-Championship-like composure (an oxymoron, I'm sure), we'll be able to see just how ridiculously serious, dramatic, and worked up we were over such a hilarious stand-up comedy show! Let's not miss out on all the fun anymore. Here are just a few of the funny web-reactions towards the L.O. dealings by a couple of familiar faces :

1. D-Wade's Bird-Call of Love:

This is for Lamar Odom...come back to where it started for the both of us..the franchise u helped build back up wants u to End it all here - dwadeofficial

Wade's funny. What is this? A Korean drama? ..I recommend Autumn In My Heart.

2. Keri Hilson's Song-Dedication for Lamar:




Yes, Keri Hilson's song "Energy", is in fact about Lamar Odom. Take a look at some of the lyrics...

Chances fadin' now,
Patience runnin' out,
This ain't how it's supposed to be.

I'm havin' nightmares from sleepin' with the enemy, (enemy) (no no)
How do we reverse the chemistry? (chemistry)
I don't want us to be the end of me
This love is takin' all of my energy, (energy)
Energy, (energy)
My energy, (energy)
Takin' all of my energy, (energy)
Energy, (energy)
My energy, (energy)
Takin' all of (my energy).

Keri Hilson seems to be a bit tired...

3. Stephon Marbury Crying At the Thought of Lamar Leaving the Lakers:




Yes, he's that big of a Laker fan. Level up, Marbs. I mean...suck it up.

...

Anyway, just thought it was time to take a different approach on handling all these L.O.-blow shenanigans by totally smashing on it. Here's to hoping these stalled negotiations NEVER END. That's right, I hope they LAST FOREVER, like a fricken' everlasting Gobstopper.

Who am I kidding, end this already. Like Hoopsworld/Laker analyst Eric Pincus stated so cleverly earlier today on his twitter:

L.A. is on the left coast, Miami on the right - do what comes natural L.O. and go left.
(paraphrased...that's right, we're paraphrasing twitter quotes now)


Don't stop till you get enough...

The Fridge is still waiting,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Under the Buss Negotiations: L.O.- Lakers Deal Appears Imminent?

Apparently there's an end to this game after all...

In observing the recent ebb and flow of all things Lamar Odom-related , it appears likely that an Odom-Lakers deal is imminent. According to AM830 Roger Lodge, Lamar Odom met with Dr. Buss in a room (as opposed to a hot tub) and will stay with the Lakers for 4 years/$40M. This isn't official, but news and opinions from around the league seem to coincide with this same likelihood. [Update] As recently as Wednesday, July 22, L.A. Times has confirmed that Buss and Odom have reopened negotiations and that things are looking very productive.

Furthermore, Luke Walton gave this assurance to people at a public tournament (for curly hair) he attended this past weekend:

LO will be a Laker. Trust me.

It's Luuke. You'd be wise to trust. Or he'll make you trust...with his Jedi mind tricks.

To recap all the tension and strife between these back-and-forth negotiations with Lamar Odom and Jerry Buss, here's a parody video that gives us an in-depth look at just how fiery things got:



Best Quote:

"Maybe if we wait it out, Odom will finally come down off this sugar high and quit being such a douche cake."

Fortunately for everyone, this game of Candy Land is finally drawing to a conclusion, and here in L.A., it's never too out of the question for everyone to get his equal share of the cake. Minus the douche.

The Fridge Is Cooling Tensions,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Monday, July 20, 2009

He's Back: Ex-Laker Mark Madsen Crip Walks His Way Back To LA...As A Clipper

Move over Blake Griffin. Mark Madsen is the newest face of the Clippers franchise.

Poor Q-Rich. Just when he thought he'd be able to bring back the head bumps to Staples...

It is Mark Madsen who will instead be bringing back his awkward, white dancing prowess to the streets of Los Angeles. Add Madsen to the ever-growing list of players who have experienced a dual time-share with both the Lakers and Clippers.


According to ESPN:
The Los Angeles Clippers agreed to trade Quentin Richardson to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Sebastian Telfair, Mark Madsen and Craig Smith on Monday.

The Clippers get a solid, if not erratic, back-up point guard in Sebastian Telfair who can distribute the ball fairly well and knock down the open j, and another capable big man in Craig Smith who can score and play multiple positions just in case anyone gets injured.

More importantly, they get Mark "Mad-dog" Madsen, who's 'off-beat' play and invaluable championship dancing experience should prove absolutely useless for the rising Los Angeles Clippers.

Chris Kaman, meet your new mentor.



Mark Madsen's Jello Is Jigglin',
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Happens In Vegas: Analyzing Blake Griffin's NBA debut & the Clipper Youth Revival

Blake Griffin listening in during some pregame talks to Kim Hughes on the left.

This is completely unlike the excitement of 2006.


As great as it was to be one "Raja Bell over Daniel Ewing" three pointer away from reaching the Western Conference Finals, Clipper Fans knew "Sam I Am" was not going to lead them back to such a euphoric state at 37, 38, and 39 years of age over the next few years. And with Shaun Livingston still a major question mark at the time, we all knew that the window of success was closing in much much faster than Daniel's close-out on Raja.







But this week in Las Vegas, the Clippers are showcasing three (maybe four) highly promising 20-something studs on their Summer League Roster with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Mike Taylor running the show. I was lucky enough to witness and experience this newfound excitement in Clipperland.



I believe in Mike. My name is also Mike. And you may also believe in me after watching me sing this familiar Clipper Nation tune. Or not.


The First Three Possessions


From the very first possession of their Summer League campaign, the Clipper fans were presented with what will likely become the bread and butter play of many 4th quarter sets to come.


Gordon and Griffin set up on the wing for a pick and roll. Driving hard off the pick, Gordon drew the offense and dropped a dime to Griffin for a beautiful lay-up.


The very next offensive possession, Blake showed off his nice touch around the basket, removing the remorse of any (if any) Zach Randolph spokespersons within Clipper Nation. Blake got the rock drove to the basket, absorbed contact, and hit a touch shot off glass while fading away.


On the third offensive possession, Blake once again removed the memory of Z-bo from my mind by hitting an open three pointer at the top of the key. At this myself and the few clipper fans around me went high-fiving and jumping up and down like we just got rich in Vegas.


I want to talk for a minute about each of the four signed players playing in the League (Blake, Eric, DeAndre, and Mike)




Blake Griffin

Blake would go on to showcase much more than his scoring prowess. I am certain many would call me over-the-top for this statement, but after watching Blake in person, I think his best NBA comparison is not in Tim Duncan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, or any other classic Power Forward Superstar in the League. Instead, Blake better resembles Lebron James than anyone else I've seen.


Please. Don't yell just yet.


Rebounding and scoring were already in Blake's resume before coming to the League. What most people have overlooked are his more-than-average handles, high basketball IQ, smart decision making and excellent court vision.


Blake ran the break a number of times throughout Monday's game. He would pull down a rebound and take off, showing off his handles before either dropping a dime, or going up to get fouled. His handles are far superior than your traditional 4 man. When he has the ball you don't get the feeling you get when Z Bo or Kaman are dimwittedly dribbling around, you feel the excitement of a Nash or a LeBron, waiting to see what he'll do with it. Blake had a number of great passes, most of which ended with a basket or a foul and freethrows. As far as passing and handles go, Blake is far greater than Elton Brand, Zach Randolph, and anyone else who played the power forward spot for the Clippers, ever. Blake followed up his night by dropping 5 assists on the Hornets on Tuesday.


Returning to my LBJ comparison, I take it that Blake was used at the power forward spot in OU and throughout his career because of his height and efficiency on the block. Because he was so dominate playing the 4, he didn't have to step out away from the basket much.


Lebron on the other hand was used mainly as a point guard throughout his career. However, Blake and Lebron are just about the same in terms of height, weight, and freakish athleticism. They were just advertised differently coming into the League. Lebron easily could've been an effective 4 if he playe

d it throughout his career.


Their similarities really are across the board if you ask me: (Rebounding, scoring, ball-handling, passing, court vision, leadership, and attitude).




Eric Gordon

Gordon and Griffin are great founding blocks for the Clippers. As they grow into leadership roles, their best asset to the organization will be their work ethic and professional demeanor. Hopefully they will establish a winning culture, much like Cassell and Mobley started to do their first year with the team.


EJ was EJ, reminding us all that he isn't one dimensional (which is precisely what Adam Morrison continued to show us in Monday's game). What makes Eric so good is that aside from his wet jumper, he has a strong body and is fearless when attacking the basket. And being that he still isn't allowed to do grown up things in vegas until December, his future is only looking up right now.


Maybe he'll grow 6 inches by October and become an instant hall of famer.


DeAndre Jordan


Seeing DeAndre up close is an experience unto itself. He has a gorrilla's wingspan and is 7". He threw down a number of sweet alley-oops Monday night and will continue to do so throughout summer league and his career.


Dunleavy has said he drafted DeAndre and Mike Taylor, thinking that they were three years away from being real contributors to the team. DeAndre might be much more ahead of the curve.


Defensively, he looked much more confident with his assignments (granted he had zero competition in the lakers' summer league squad). His timing on coming from the weak side was great, and he altered many looks with his presence in the middle.


Offensively, he shocked me and the rest of the clipper section. He showed off some nice moves in the post, with spin moves and little hook shots on the block.


If the Chris Kaman experiment is done for, the Clippers will be just fine moving on with Camby and DeAndre playing the middle.


Mike Taylor

Of the 4 players, Mike had the roughest night, throwing the ball away numerous times, and possibly being outplayed by his Summer League back up: Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney. Mike showed that his quickness is on par with the fastest in the league, and his athleticism is to be noted, as he dunk against the Grizzlies last year got in NBA TV's top 3 dunks of the year.






He has the tools, but currently he lacks the decision making, and leadership skills needed to run an NBA team. I, for one, am hopeful for Mike and he continues to be my favorite player on the team. He will hopefully play much better throughout the week.


Moment of the Night

I would not have thought this to be cool if anyone else did it but DeAndre showed off his sensitive side Monday night in Vegas.


Mike Taylor, being frustrated with his performance, got in a yelling match with Kim Hughes and the other assistant coaches on the clipper bench. After a time out and a personal conversation with some of the coaches, Mike went off to sit at the end of the bench.



A few plays later, DeAndre got a breather and chose to sit next to his buddy Mike. Sitting directly behind them, I saw DeAndre hear Mike complain for a few minutes. DeAndre then seemed to speak some words of encouragement to Mike and capped it off with a brief side hug that (would've usually lost points in my book, but in this case) showed me a new side to his character that is missed despite his candid blog and vlog updates.







Conclusion:

All in all, Clipper Youth Movement is looking very good. Oh yeah, and there was also an alien sighting:


Alien jokes aside - Sam Cassell is one of my all time favorite NBA Aliens - I mean players.

Law's Been Laid,
Mike Whang
(Lawler's Bingo Card)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not So Sweet Goodbye: Lakers LOw On Sugar?

Was this really the team that just won the championship? I hope this isn't the start of some really bad snowballs rolling our way. Too up and down a Summer for me, and I think I might throw up soon.

Recap of events in the last month and a half:

Trevor Ariza leaves. Sad turn of events for the L.A. native.

Ron Artest signs for a relatively cheap contract by his standards. Repeat here we come!

Sasha Vujacic is still a Laker. And still getting paid $5 mill a year. "Why?" - some child in Africa.

Shannon Brown turns down a more lucrative contract with the Indiana Pacers to resign with the Lakers. Heart of a champion!

Lamar Odom and his agent turn down a $9 mill a year for 3 years deal after the Lakers raised their offer from $7 mill a year. Odom's been chewing on those sour patches a little too much. Sucks like a month-old lollipop Odom forgot under his bed.

Adam Morrison seems fully healthy and ready to revive his career, avg 20 pts through his first 4 games in the Vegas Summer League. Resurgence of the Bird Apparent!

And in recent developments, the Lakers front office has seemingly pulled the offer from the table, obviously frustrated with how negotiations with Odom's agent have gone. Don't play hard-ball with the front office. EFF!

[Update: Odom was offered $30 mill/3 years OR $36mill/4 years...Odom's camp rejected both. Odom led the Lakers with 1.3 rejections last season. He's good at rejections. Buss? Even better. Offer officially withdrawn.]

Sour, I know.
...

Well, fans who have clamored for a Lamar Odom trade almost every summer that he's been a Laker will finally get their wish - although this summer, it's probably their biggest dread. There will be no sugar rush in L.A. next year, but there will still be rush hour...

What was shaping up to be a Summer of Greater Expectations for the 2009 World Champion Lakers has quickly turned into a Summer of Absolute Discontent. How could feelings of champagne bliss switch to grievances of contract piss so quickly? But really, after the unfortunate mishandling of Trevor Ariza's contract (who still desperately wants to be a Laker despite symbolically stepping into T-Mac's #1 jersey), and the recent signings of Shannon Brown and Ron Artest (who both turned down more money to play for the Lakers) - how has it come to this?

The Lakers aren't betraying their players, the players aren't betraying their teams - it's the agents who are betraying their own common sense (if they were ever once not clogged by dollar signs).

I'm not sure what to make of this recent speculation that the Lakers have withdrawn their offer from Odom's camp, but I do know that it will be a very sad day in L.A. when Lamar Odom officially leaves and signs with another team - regardless of who we may think is in the wrong. Unfortunately, it is pride and greed that have made their presence known more than anything else this past summer when it comes to the arena of cordial diplomacy and contractual business - and that's never been a recipe for anything sweet.

Click here for the source of sourness.

Expect the worst. Be surprised by the best.

[More on this as it develops...]

The Fridge Is Almost Closed Lamar,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Amanda Bynes Plays 'Lock'-Down D On Kobe Bryant - 'All That' 1998 Appearance

Remember Nickelodeon's 'All That'? Kenan and Kel, Orange Soda, Good Burger, Amanda Bynes, Whateverrr...It was like the PG, kids' version of SNL. Although, after watching this clip, maybe it wasn't too far off from SNL material after all. What's up with the weird moaning from girl #2 when Kobe takes his shirt off? Questionable. Anyway, here's an afroriffic Kobe Bryant in 1998 joining a very pre-pubescent Amanda Bynes on All That.



skip to 3:24 -"We have things to dooo!" - *points to Kobe Bryant*

Wait, this was a kids' show? Regardless, this is a surprisingly hilarious, albeit annoying, retro clip from Kobe's vintage days in the NBA and Amanda Bynes' vintage days stuck in 10 year-old insanity (good to know she's improved her acting[?]). Needless to say, this is the best defense I've seen on Kobe Bryant since...ever (3:24 on the video). Great box-in-one, cage defense. Clearly a flagrant foul on Bynes though for jumping on Kobe in such an aggressive manner. Fricken' refs.

Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier - move aside. Who knew prepubescent girls were the real Kobe stoppers all along? It's summer, clearly.

Waiting for Fridge to re-open in October,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Video-'Tame' James: The Greatest Steal of His Career (Don't Confiscate, Lebron)

Cue scene:

Game 7. NBA Finals. Cavs Vs. Lakers. Lakers up by 1. Laker Posession. 4 seconds.

Lamar Odom is the inbounder.
No, he doesn't dribble the ball in-bounds himself to receive a violation.



Or throw it to Sasha Vujacic who's sitting on the opposite side of the court on the Lakers bench - open for three.



No, he does none of these things. He's focused. His eyes shift back and forth, carrying the ball high above his head with his long, lanky arms. He's looking for Kobe, of course.

Kobe quickly wraps around three Cavs defenders (including Lebron) to get better position. As he races to the top of the key, seemingly unguarded, Odom throws the ball inbounds -

BUT WAIT! Lebron James turns on his accelerator and steals the inbounds pass from Kobe. He quickly races to his basket on the opposite end as the clock reads 3. Kobe races down with him to prevent the score. 2 seconds.

Lebron just passes the free throw line and takes off. Kobe, right behind him, takes off as well with his left arm ready for the swipe-in from behind.

BANG! DENGGGGGG (not luol, the buzzer)! Lebron throws in a VICIOUS WINDMILL DUNK at the horn RIGHT OVER KOBE AND HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARMS! LEBRON AND THE CAVS ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS OF ------------------------

Oh wait, what? That's not the steal we were talking about? Oh ok...then what steal were we talking about?

................................................

Let's reset the scenario. It's even better than the one above.

Jordan Crawford has the ball. Who? Yeah, Jordan Crawford. He's on that great NBA team...uh, Xavier.

It's the first half. Of a pick-up game. In the summer. The only person in attendance of any real consequence would be...your mom.

It's as intense in there as it would be in a press conference room where Chris Kaman is yelling, "He grabbed my balls!" during post-game interviews.

Reggie Evans has his eyes set on a different...ball.

Lebron's eyeing Jordan
(ironically not Michael, but Crawford) on defense.

As Crawford drives to the baseline, Lebron quickly leaves his man and goes in to help.

Crawford rises. Lebron rises. Probably one of those crazy Lebron swats from the weak side that we've all grown accustomed to, huh? Not quite.

SLAM! Ooh...that was awkward. Checkmate on the king.

Lebron gets posterized
in front of his entire camp by JORDAN CRAWFORD OF THE XAVIER...Xaviers?..uh...MUSKETEERS! All for One and One big Slam Over Lebron for All!


Play's not done yet though. Nope.

Lebron counters with the best defensive play of his career.

It's later on in the day but Lebron hasn't forgotten the baptismal ceremony done unto him earlier.

It's a dead ball. Lebron glides effortlessly over to a Nike offical.

And just like a future Defensive Player of the Year, he cuffs his hands delicately over his mouth in order to muffle his words, simultaneously leaning his head over to the Nike official to point out the fact that two attendees had been ILLEGALLY videotaping the event throughout the course of the entire day.

In order to BLOCK them from uploading his demise at the hands of Crawford the Musketeer, Lebron proposes a STEAL and gets the Nike official to apply full 'PR' court pressure on the two videographers.

What the King wants, the King gets. And at this Burger King, you can't have it your way. What? Yeah, that didn't make any sense.

Soon after, the Nike official begins to gingerly stroll over to the two men in a Sports Center-highlight-of-the-night kind of... stroll. With arms extended, he opens his palms and curls his fingers towards himself, motioning for the two videographers to hand over the tapes to him. Not allowed.

Confused and disappointed, the two videographers hand over the tapes containing one improbable, King-sized posterization that shall now forever be immortalized in NBA summer camp lore.

As the tapes are confiscated, Lebron James can be seen on the court grinning (and wiping some sweat off his forehead in relief). And although this stat will never be recorded into the NBA history books, there is no doubt that Lebron shall forever stand satisfied with the greatest steal of his career.

...

Meanwhile, in Kobe Bryant's Summer camp...
(This is actually true. Click Here.)

Kid: "If you go to Lebron's camp - game over."

Kobe: "What does that even mean? I'll tell you one thing - You're not dunking on me in my camp. God bless ya'll! "



What does that even mean?? What does that even mean?!

Ironically, this small jab by Kobe towards Lebron is probably about the best action we'll get to see this summer from the two superstars after hopes of a Kobe-Lebron (and puppet friends) Finals matchup fell through in June...thanks to Lebron. And like always, Kobe wins. As for Lebron? Well, he can still take solace in the fact that he sure can steal better than Kobe can on the court. 'Check his stats.'

The door is closed, The lights are out, The butter's getting hard, and The jello'ssss jigglin,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No Homo: Ron Artest Press Conference Recap

I didn't mean to walk in the shower with him. Yeah, I walked in the shower. I'm not a homosexual, but Kobe - he had no clothes on.

On a day when many reporters were asking him how much he's truly changed from his Indiana days of punching people in the stands, Ron Artest calmly countered and jabbed back with many new punch-lines for everyone to mull over. To say the least, it was very entertaining. It may not have been as extravagant as most of Shaq's previous press conferences, but the constant stream of random one-liners that flowed from the jovial and upbeat Artest sure made it seem like the newest Laker had taken some comedic lessons from the Big...Whatever.

Make no mistake about it, coming from a guy that Lakers fans had once always hated and been wary about for so long because of his bad boy image, past history, and annoying bouts of showboating - it's hard to decipher Ron Artest during such celebratory, formal speaking engagements such as this when he's seemingly always on his best behavior, ready to put his best face forward. Here are some paraphrased quotable highlights (I divided them up between the good, the funny, and the...strange):



What You Want to Hear As a Laker Fan (The Good Ron Artest):

  • On winning his teammates and coaching staff over: "I gotta win myself over first. Make sure I work on myself this summer - be the best player I can be and come back in tip top condition. He's right. It's not a given that just because you add me to a team, we're the number 1 team."
  • "Last couple years, Kobe's really been devoted to defense. And I respect him even more now. He's not gambling as much. He's more focused on stand-still defense."
  • "They're a tough team. I thought they were tougher than Boston. I'm a Laker fan. When they were struggling against Boston, I felt bad."
  • "My priorities are straight now - play ball first. And then everything comes second."
  • "Losing always got me in trouble. I hated losing. Before, I'd always rip jerseys, throw chairs, throw gatorade bottles, throw parties (jk, I added that one, not Artest) - I was so frustrated. Winning 13-15 games with the Bulls. But I've learned that it's ok, and you need to have fun as well."
  • On having doubters and the pressure that comes with being a Laker - "That's great pressure to have. I want people to come down on me. That's why I like having Kobe, he likes the pressure. I like to prove the doubters who think I can't fit in wrong."
  • "They love their team. The fans are so confident. The fans are tellin' me, "are you ready to get your ring?" They know they're going to win. That's a great feeling."
Ron Ron's Comedy Time (The Strange-er-Funny Ron Artest):

  • "Is TMZ here? Oh, they're not. That's good."
  • "Hopefully my clothes make it to LA, if they don't - they can just stay in Houston."
  • On hoodalizing the Lakers: "I hoodalized ESPN. I didn't say I hoodalized the Lakers. Noo, I was just playing. It was a joke. I was just off the top of the head at ESPN. You gotta have fun. It's summer time. That comment has nothing to do with the season."
  • "Once again I'm vastly underpaid. But it's ok. At the end of the day, if you can't live with $33 million...you can't live."
  • How he's changed since the brawl: "I don't lay on tables no more."
  • "Following Kobe Bryant - that's a no brainer and I didn't even finish school, you know?"
  • Regarding what he'll do with his hair: "I'll do something interesting the first time...something nice and fun for the kids..."
  • Bringing out his jersey: "That's not Bynum's jersey is it? Oh, ok. I saw the 7 and was like..17?"
  • "Throw Phil Jackson in the 'Mitch'...I mean...in the 'mix'."
The No-Homo Ron Artest:

  • "I didn't mean to walk in the shower with him. Yeah, I walked in the shower. I'm not a homosexual, but Kobe - he had no clothes on."


Hi, I'm Ron. This is my straight, no-homo smile.

You've got to hand it to the guy - he was real, down to earth, and at many points, quite hilarious. He was poised and very sincere at times, too real to the point of awkward hilarity at other times, and just plain Ron, the attention grabbing media whore for most of the times. Sometimes his rough play, ridiculous antics on and off court, and his thug-like image can overshadow just how striking and down-to-earth this guy truly is. I'm not sure if he gets some PR help when it comes to his speaking engagements, but...he sure said all the right things to help alleviate the doubts of many skeptic Laker fans out there...and then he said some other things that let us know that we'd all be in for one fun, bi-polar Laker ride this season. And Kobe? He had no clothes on.

Welcome to L.A. Ron-Ron,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)