Special thanks to Faith for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to TheLakersNation.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at articles@TheLakersNation.com.

Preseason starts sooner than you think…

And here we stand with all 15 spots of our roster taken, no “big name” help for Kobe, and a bunch of injury rehabbing group of players. Yet we hear nothing?

Yes it’s the off-season but if you ask me, the whole purpose of the early hoopla was to motivate our players, light a fire under our front office. Yet here we are today, with Mitch Kupchak on vacation, Jerry Buss off somewhere exotic (I don’t really blame cause he’s always done that, you know left basketball operations in capable basketball hands… unfortunately today’s basketball hands are not so capable :) ), and Jim Buss scarily quiet.

Of course, earlier we did hear that Andrew Bynum is just impressing in his El Segundo workouts and the last news we heard was that Kobe is going to show up to camp. Which is undoubtedly good news, but not exactly mind blowing. But hey, it’s slow in Lakerland. Until of course, you realize why it shouldn’t be, why there should be no break for the bumbling, why phones must still be constantly be dialed.

We have not improved (much). Yes a year under the belt of our many young guys would be great, yes, the addition of Derek Fisher will be instrumental in stabilizing the guard position, and yes, Javaris Crittenton and Chris Mihm can help us. But we’re still pathetically slow, we’re still pathetically nonathletic, and our biggest kryptonite last season (defense) is left unmet.

These are things combined with disintegrating health, served to bury us little by little until Kobe went on a 50-point rampage last season. And yet in the new upcoming season, we have once again overlooked them.

I’m not asking for a miracle. I’m not even asking for specific players (I’ll leave that to the pundits) but I do ask that they keep working. Keep looking, keep analyzing, and keep the phones ringing*.

Instead we have a GM who is satisfied, and is going on vacation. Are you satisfied? I’m not.

*To be fair I have no personal knowledge that they’re not ringing the phones even though Mitch K is on vacation, though the silence is deafening. :)

  • MILO

    Well next year everybodie should be healthy so the Lakers will be alright!I guess

  • MILO

    Well mostly everybody, but im not to shure about Mhim!!!

  • MILO

    Ha ha i gues i need to go back to school i keep spelling everything wrong i gues this is what happens when you try to type and eat at the same time.Wow im becoming such a pig i need to take a break from this!!!

  • double

    Hopefully, Bynum starts the season with a tear. He’ll either have more value for a trade or become untouchable once again. Either way, I’ll be happy so long as we have a real presence inside.

    I think Mitch did the right thing by saying he’s satisfied (whether he is or isn’t). Was he supposed to say the Lakers are desperate for a big trade? That type of stance would weaken our leverage even more. Taylor said he wanted Garnett to be a Timberwolf next season… a week later, a trade went down. They’re all playing poker.

  • BEC

    Although I know this team isnt quite close to being contenders, I like the stance that Mitch is making because at this point I dont see anyone they can acquire, who is available, to make a trade and more importantly make this team better. Lets all be realistic because we all want that amazing/miracle move that will instantly make us better but thats not happening this offseason. Although Mitch hasnt done much, there wasnt much he could do anyways. We tried for Garnett and that didnt happen. We’re trying for JO, but the way that looks at the moment, that wont happen. We have no other options to look at and just settling for JO by giving Bynum and LO is a big mistake. I dont like Mitch and our FO but from the way it seems, this one time they are playing it right, there are just not any good opportunities for us at this moment.

  • fatty

    Faith

    We made one BIG improvement on D. No more Smush.

    If you build the castle and leave the door open, no matter how high the walls, or how thick they are, the castle will be lost during a siege. Smush was our open door.

    Add to Smush, a bunch of injuries, then we could never get any continuity in our defense.

    Now add Fish, who has good smarts. An extra year with Farmar, and maybe some help with Critt and we are looking better at the pt, much better.

    Kobe and MO can do there job nicely. Kobe has been working hard on his D in the off season.

    Odom and Ronny will be good. They have nice ability.

    Kwame can play the pic if both ankles are good. Now that Mihm is back, Kwame can play more aggressively and not worry as much about fouling.

    With the new NBA special treatment of penetrating pt guards, it will take a real team effort to clog the middle. No one can guard these “Tony Parkers of the world” with such special treatment they get from the NBA.

    The Lakers D is generated by the offense. If the O is working and Kobe is not taking 35 shots a game, then he can contribute more on D.

    Like I said Faith, Smush was the first domino to fall and they all fell down. Fish will get beat sometimes, but when we get to the 3rd quarter, our team D will step up and close the middle.

    Our #3 position is the weakest. But Vlad is so long, he can close nicely to the outside shooter.

    Just give these guys time to figure it out and hopefully few injuries and we will be alright.

    Thanks for the thought provoking article.

  • keep24

    A special reminder to Kwame and Bynum.

    Since the two of you are not motivated by the concept of winning and playing hard, I’ll put it to you this way:

    IT’S CONTRACT YEAR!!!!!

    THAT MEANS MORE MONEY!!!! MONEY!!!!! MONEY!!!!!!

  • cyrus

    Another great piece Faith, it’s voicing a very valid concern. I have a feeling that we may step into the season with what we have, and as you said in one of your previous comments; it would be difficult to make major roster changes in a triangle system middle of season.

    Kupchak’s is satisfied? He represents the shameless and ignoring attitude of the owners. One other disturbing fact is that our local newspaper, the Los Angles times, so called voice of people, has nothing better to do to unleash their sensationalist and stupid reporters to harass Kobe Bryant. They could use their powers to be critical of this ever ignorant management.

    Yes, the silence is deafening and lack of action is frustrating.

  • Faith

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Like I said, I’m not looking for specific players, or for that matter for anyone to be brought in necessarily…though a smart move like Mo would be welcome…just that we keep at it. While saying you’re out of the race may work to some advantage, it certainly doesn’t appease Kobe’s and some fans (mine lol) displeasure.

    Fatty, you do have a point on Smush. And really I think that’s where I put the emphasis on my “much.” But as a team, and I’m definitely with you that it takes a team now a days…I still question our capacity. Offensively I think we’ll be better than last year. For several reasons, one Vlad would hopefully be healthier, Mihm can provide some consistent scoring here and there, and Ronny can use that sweet stroke on the 4 instead of the 5. Not to mention da Fish can stroke it as well. And yes the offense can help with the defense, but just like last year, it’s imperative we go about it wisely. No crazy 3 pointers where it hits the 20 mark in a game, no unwise early shots (unless your name is Kobe Bryant and you make them lol). Our defensive breakdowns must be counteracted with smart coverage, and less amount of points possible. Because sadly we don’t have a lot of leeway to make mistakes…though I’ll support and cheer for this team through thick and thin lol.

  • fatty

    It would be nice to have picked up a defensive stopper. Someone like a Bowen. Can anyone say Artest?

    But you know me. I’ve always been on the GHF team. I’ve got to psych my self up for the season with the current roster.

    We can do it. We can do it. We can! We can! hahaha

  • fatty

    OK Cyrus, your next. We want another piece from you by tomorrow. lol

  • cyrus

    Fatty,

    I wouldn’t count on Vlad as much as you do; LO, AB and Kwame are under pressure of expiring contract and trade rumors. They must perform. Vlad has a $25-mil salary guarantied for the next 4 seasons, judging him by his snowboarding adventure and lying about it, we know he is not a very responsible person. I just don’t see Vlad being so caring as he could be.

    It will take determination, sense of responsibility and dedicated work ethics from each single player to succeed including Radman.

  • cyrus

    Fatty,

    Actually, I have something; it isn’t an article exactly. It’s a contest for the members. I will email it to you and Faith later for your opinions.

  • fatty

    cyrus,

    Many of these guys are just big kids. Vladimir is just a Big Kid in his heart. He reminds me of Shaq. I’m really curious to see how he responds to this adversity. The guy must have some pride in himself to do better. He embarrassed himself to his friends and family as well as the Lakers.

    I got into trouble with the Law once when a kid, and can still remember the policeman telling me I have two roads in front of me story. Maybe this is what it takes for Vladimir to grow up?

    He is a very capable player. PJ wanted him. I’m hoping he grew up over the summer and will come to work, not to play.

  • Tim-4-Show

    Fatty,

    Getting Artest was crucial, and we failed to do it. Sure, subtracting Smush was a huge benefit, but I fear that our management isn’t capable of seizing the opportunity to win with the greatest player of this era. Very sad.

    Let’s face it, we have our entire franchise resting on the shoulders of Socks. If he shows up and plays at an all-star level, then we’re right where we want to be. If he doesn’t, then we’re one foot in the grave.

    I also think there may be more wheeling and dealing before the trade deadline, but hopefully by then it won’t be too late.

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    Three-Team-Trade

    If the Lakers can get Golden State to agree, they could get J.O’neal without giving up Odom. Indiana gets Bynum/Farmar from the Lakers and Al Harrington/Stephen Jackson from Golden State; Golden State gets Kwame Brown and Vladimir Radmanovic; Lakers get Jermaine O’neal.

  • foxxy

    We have believe our team will do very well this season.Im looking forward to the up coming season…I think kobe will be MVP…this team may have great surprises in store…Im trying to stay positive…do we have a choice????

  • MacBSlick

    Faith

    Nice Piece. The silence all summer considering the Kobe rant has been a bit nerveracking to say the least. Im puzzled over the mediocrity we seem to have settled into. What they see in this Team considering the West is stacked is beyond my 30 years of watching LakerBasketball I guess. All I can say is Ill support these Guys and hope for the best. Lol, I mean what else can we do.

  • Faith

    When they got you, they got you haha.

  • D. Imhoff

    In this comming offense is not the problem. We have scorers. It comes down to defense. I have heard Magic, Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Michal Thompson all say that defense is effort. We have the athletes, but will we have the effort. I like the fact that so many of our team members will have something to prove. Whether that incentive comes from it being a contract year or the fact that the was looking to trade them, or last year was lost due to injury. Lets see if Mitch is right and the team as it is presently constituted can compete with the elite teams in the West.

  • D. Imhoff

    [quote comment=”12102″]In this comming year offense is not the problem. We have scorers. It comes down to defense. I have heard Magic,

    Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Michal Thompson all say that defense is effort. We have the athletes, but will we have the effort. I like the fact that so many of our team members will have something to prove. Whether that incentive comes from it being a contract year or the fact that the was looking to trade them, or last year was lost due to injury. Lets see if Mitch is right and the team as it is presently constituted can compete with the elite teams in the West.[/quote]

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    kobe is the best player in the motherfucking world everybody else in the nba is over-rated i dont give a fuck what anybody says no one is better or will ever be better than kobe he is a laker for life and it will stay that way forever fuck everyone who thinks otherwise fuck lebron fuck wade amd fuck shaq for talking shit about kobe