The Fundamentals

» September 10, 2008 7:09 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Lakers Blog:  “I get why Kobe doesn’t want to miss any camp and I actually think it’s terrific that he values so deeply that time on and off the court.  But from a purely practical standpoint that recognizes an uncertain future, I’d much rather him be “on the sidelines,” as he puts it, during October basketball than a stretch when the games actually count towards the 2008-2009 season.  It’s certainly not a stretch to worry that Kobe could take a hit to the finger that forces him to go under the knife.   I voted for Kobe to have the operation back in February and as it turned out, my fears along these lines weren’t realized.  But I still think there’s only so far you can go trying to push this particular brand of luck.”

Art Thompson III of The Orange County Register:  “Although Bryant said he made the decision not to have surgery, as planned prior to the opening of training camp, after consulting with numerous hand specialists, the root of his decision is linked to the return of  Andrew Bynum. Bryant believes that the Lakers need to establish early team chemistry and cohesiveness when the regular season starts, with Bynum in the lineup, because the Lakers played much of the second half of the 2007-2008 season and the entire playoffs without their injured 21-year old center.”

Mike Kahn of  “And perhaps this may very well be the biggest difference of all when comparing Bryant and O’Neal, his former teammate. All anybody has to do is think back to the Lakers’ run of titles from 2000-02, and consider that in the summer of 2002, O’Neal waited three months before he had surgery on his toe. When asked about it, he said he needed three opinions. He never explained why it required three months to get three opinions other than he didn’t want to spoil his vacation. O’Neal missed all of training camp and a month of the regular season, Bryant had to carry the load, developed tendinitis in his knee, and the Lakers didn’t make it back to the Finals that season. So as history continues to re-write itself in Lakers lore regarding who was responsible for the demise of the three-peat team from 2000-02, and whether it was really Bryant or O’Neal at the heart of the selfish tug-of-war for the most credit, this week’s revelation of Bryant’s priorities may very well close the book.”

Forum Blue and Gold:  Breaks down Kobe’s pre-injury and post-injury numbers from last season

Howard Beck of The New York Times:  “According to the report, the only sticking point was whether the Knicks would agree to pay some of the deferred salary in Randolph’s contract. He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons. However, others involved in the talks said there was more to the deal than had been reported. “It was a conversation I had with these guys a month ago,” Walsh said. “We haven’t talked recently. For some reason, it was in the Memphis press and everyone in New York acts like it’s imminent.” Asked if a deal with Memphis was still possible, Walsh said, “I can’t say anything is over,” but he said there was no active proposal on the table. “They’re dormant,” he said of the talks.”

And One:  LeBron James talks about the documentary featuring him and his high school teammates [Video]

Rafer Alston as reported by Jason Friedman of  “The good thing is I learned from an early age how to pass the ball and how to make a post entry pass, so these guys know that I can get them the basketball.  They also know that if they’re double-teamed and in trouble, I can give them a helping hand by knocking down some open threes to help punish the defense. It should be an exciting year.  Just adding Artest and Barry, and getting a healthy Yao and Tracy, it should be exciting.  I’ve always dreamed about leading the league in assists (laughs) and I should have a real opportunity to do so.  Obviously it depends on minutes and how the games are going, but I look forward to it.”

Chris Perkins of The Palm Beach Post:  With a very unconventional Eastern Conference preview [Boston isn't ranked in the top two]

Roland Laird of  “For the past few months I’ve been giving Sixers’ GM Ed Stefanski, high praise. Well he made his first legitimately bad move-extending Maurice Cheeks. Granted, it’s not a god awful move, but it is a move that weakens the Sixers. Last season Cheeks was a lame duck that had to prove himself. Stefanski had all the leverage and was able to force Cheeks to do some things against his nature. I’m sure Cheeks is an honorable man, but now Stefanski holds little leverage over Cheeks, and Cheeks will run the team exactly as he sees fit. If Cheeks learned somethings from last season then Kool and The Gang, the extended extension is all good. If he’s still the same old Cheeks, then mediocrity here we come again.”

Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports:  Bob Lanier plays one-on-one against Jo Jo White as part of the 1972 All-Star festivities [Video]

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:  “Stoudemire is equally sure about the Suns front office’s decisions to hire Porter as head coach and pick up Robin Lopez, Matt Barnes and Goran Dragic. “I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the decision,” Stoudemire said of the Porter hire. “He’s very organized. He knows what it takes to win. He wants to be the champion. That falls into the category of the Stoudemire brand and also the Phoenix Suns brand. We want to be champions, whatever it takes to do it.” It will take more defense from Stoudemire, for starters. “I want to be Ron Artest,” Stoudemire said, explaining the focus of his recent work on defense, along with efficiency in his offensive moves. “I want to be that guy you fear when you see him guarding you.”"

Jerry Brown of The East Valley Tribune:  “Stoudemire said he has no second thoughts about his decision not to play with Team USA this summer, saying it was important for him to rest after the long season and get his knees back to 100 percent moving forward. Two years ago, he was a first-team All-NBA center. Last year, he was sixth in the Most Valuable Player voting — and never really felt 100 percent in either case. Now? “I’m at 2 percent body fat and 245 pounds and my (knees) … I feel like I can do anything I want on the court again,” he said. “That’s a great feeling, and if I needed to make the decision for the long-term goal of having a long career, the Olympics will hopefully be there down the road.””

WarriorsWorld:  “I think the Monta situation is being blown out of proportion. Ever since his draft day, we’ve been hearing concerns about his character and this latest incident has people wondering whether or not it was a good decision to make this kid the face of the franchise. And that’s all it really boils down to – he’s a kid. We know he didn’t grow up in the best area with the best people around him and that he didn’t get to experience the kind of growth that many people do in college. He made a mistake, lied about it to save himself, and got caught. While that obviously doesn’t bode well, I honestly think Monta just didn’t know better. When he makes a poor decision on the court we tell ourselves that it’s ok because he’s still young and he’s learning how to play in the NBA. Why should we think any different when it comes to him learning things off the court?”

William Pack of The San Antonio Express-News:  “Marketing for the San Antonio Spurs and its affiliated professional teams appears headed toward a more Web-oriented, interactive future. That’s one of the changes identified by both the head of business operations for Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the president of the advertising firm that Spurs Sports has hired for market research and advertising. How the specific marketing messages will change under the direction of The Atkins Group was unclear Tuesday. But Steve Atkins, president of the San Antonio-based marketing firm, said the approach is likely to include more online tools because of how popular and efficient they have become. “One signature element of our team is in the area of Web-based, interactive and nontraditional media,” Atkins said. Traditional newspaper, TV and radio advertising is not going to be abandoned for the Spurs and the three other professional teams owned by Spurs Sports, he said. But a one-size-fits-all message is likely to give way to a multipronged media blitz that includes targeted approaches to the public through Web sites, blogs and social networking sites.”

2 Responses to “The Fundamentals”

  1. Basketballogy Says:

    I can certainly understand why Kobe isn’t having the surgery, but it is the wrong decision.

    At the latest, Kobe would come back to the NBA just before Christmas.

    The Lakers will still be in the playoff hunt, and learning to win without Kobe would be FANTASTIC for them.

    And it’s not like this is a knee injury. Kobe could come back fully in shape, and with a left hand that shoots as well as his right almost.

    Plus his body will not have been hammered and banged up for a third of the season, and be fairly fresh come playoff time.

    Meanwhile, the finger won’t get better and Kobe will be turn over prone, protective of it, and less accurate as a shooter.

    This isn’t a good idea, Kobe.

  2. Henry Says:

    Totally agree with you man basketballogy,
    It is very tempting to go out and play games with injuries, after all thats where the action are!

    But by not paying attention to his little pinkie now, he might risk a longer injury…man what is kobe thinking about?


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