Hey Guys,

We’re counting down the days till the start of the new season, and it’s about time for everyone to be making predictions. This year, instead of just doing one prediction, I decided to go out and interview one blogger for every NBA team.

The bloggers whose opinions we will be graced with over the next few weeks are the best of the best, as all of them have featured in Yahoos Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog’s Blog Association, where Kelly Dwyer has been profiling the best team-centric NBA blogs out there. If you have any inclination of increasing your knowledge about the NBA, these are the blogs you need to read and subscribe to. (I know I will be!)

Today, we are honored to interview Ryan from Hornets247, one of the top-notch Hornets blog out there. Ryan was was gracious enough to give up some of his time to answer some questions regarding the Lakers and the Hornets.

Jonny: Out on a limb, although backing it up with solid reasoning would be cool too, what do you think the ball park for the Hornet’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and do you think it will be enough to make the playoffs in the East?

Ryan: I’m picking the Hornets to win 59 games and be 2nd in the West.  They hit 56 wins last season, and I believe they have upgraded over the summer by bringing in Posey and Devin Brown, letting Pargo walk, and having Paul and Julian Wright get one more year of experience under their belt.  I don’t actually think the Hornets will have the crazy run of health they had last year(losing only 22 games from their starters) but I think they have gotten better and they’ve gotten deeper and will be more equipped to handle injuries.

Jonny: Again, out on the said limb, what do you think the ball park for the Laker’s 08-09 regular season record will be, and how do you feel they will place in the Pacific/West?

Ryan: I’ve got the Lakers winning 62 games and being the top team in the West.  There isn’t any reason to think they’ll be worse by adding Bynum back to the lineup full time – but I don’t think you’ll see an insane explosion in efficiency and wins by the team.  Bynum will be soaking up minutes from the already effective Odom, Gasol and departed Turiaf(who was fairly effective in his limited minutes).

Jonny: How do you feel the Hornets match up with the Lakers over a 7-game series?

Ryan: Right now, I think the Lakers would win in seven if everyone was healthy.  Bynum and Kobe would get theirs, Peja and Paul would get theirs, Gasol and West would duel to a draw, and unless the Hornet’s bench improves over the season, I think the difference is there in the Lakers favor.

Jonny: Lakers fans are split down the middle on Odom; some love his versatility, others hate his inconsistency. As an opposing fan, how do you rate Odom?

Ryan: I think Lakers fans should stop expecting a scoring machine out of Odom and accept what he is:  A third option on a good team.  Does anyone seriously think that 14 points and 10 rebounds a game on 50% shooting coupled with solid defense is bad as a third option?  I’d also like to point out that there is no player in the league who gives David West more trouble than when Odom is guarding him.

Jonny: What do you think of Kobe’s decisions to put-off surgery on his injured pinky?

Ryan: Irrelevant.  Seriously.  Boo-hoo about his lame pinky.  Players play with injuries.

Jonny: What is your perception on Bynum? Lakers fans have him pegged as the next *insert hall-of-fame center*, yet the rest of the league doesn’t seem to hold him in such a high regard.

Ryan: Bynum averaged 13.1 points and 10.2 Rebounds over 35 games.  There isn’t a team in the game who wouldn’t love to have a 20-year old player capable of that, especially in the limited minutes he was playing when he produced it.  Still, there’s also no reason to declare someone a superstar before they’ve proven they are one.  In Tyson Chandler’s first year with the Hornets, he averaged 15.2 points and 14.8 rebounds over 30 games in the middle of the season.  It happens – but I’ve got to see it happen for longer.

Jonny: Kobe won the MVP last year, with Chris Paul coming in 2nd. Do you feel CP3 was robbed? Do you think Chris Paul will win the MVP this year?

Ryan: I have a hard time feeling CP3 was robbed.  Was he deserving of an honor like that?  Sure, I felt the arguments for Paul were pretty compelling.  I never thought he’d win it though – he had 2 games on National TV all regular season.  It’s kinda hard for someone to get votes from people who follow specific teams when they never get a chance to see you except the two or three times you come to visit.

However – do I think Kobe should have won it?  No.  I feel he got rewarded for his teammates getting better and he being the same player as always.  There were players that were more vital to the success of their team than Kobe Bryant.

Thanks again to Ryan for his time and Insights.. Please DO NOT troll Hornets247, even if you think his ideas are totally off base (which you shouldn’t). Remember, on the Internet, you and I represent Lakers fans everywhere. Lets try to give ourselves a good name.

  • Chinua

    This was a good read. Bout time someone said something right. Except for when he said Kobe should have not won the MVP Award.

  • Freshh


  • kb24mvpsquared

    the team did get better alot better, but take out kobe and tell they would do significantly well or even make it to the playoffs? i honestly dont think so!

  • John Shellenberg

    this is guy is biased and seems to know nothing about basketball

  • http://jamieinsider.celebuzz.com Jamie Spears Insider

    Aside from his last point, I think he makes a terrific point regarding Lamar Odom. Lakers fans (in general) are too spoiled. I think LO is amazing for a 3rd or 4th option. No other team in the NBA has such a good 3rd or 4th option. The only thing that troubles me is how Lakers are going to extend his contract (b/c all the salary cap and luxury tax cap).


  • lalball81

    Kobe deserved MVP this season more than any other year. Not sure what this guy is talking about.

  • Moses

    Kobe got rewarded for his team mates getting better huh? Well the only reason CP3 was in the debate was because his team got better, and the Hornets had the coach of the year and another all-star in David West, whereas Kobe was the Lakers only all-star, so let’s be real, Kobe has made his team mates better by believing in them and encouraging them and becoming a true leader to them, that’s an MVP boy.

    Think the Hornets might struggle to cope with higher expectations this year.

  • http://jamieinsider.celebuzz.com Jamie Spears Insider

    Well Pau and LO are both all-star caliber players. However, so is David and Chandler. Not to mention they also have Peja (one of the deadliest shooters). IMO, it’s impossible to say who got robbed because Kobe’s a SG and Paul’s a PG. They play different positions. Kobe’s primary role is to score. Paul’s primary role is to get people involved (you can also argue that he hogs the ball too much or scores too much for a PG). At the same time, Paul’s not criticized because he gets people involved with efficient?

    …Blah I hate these discussions…(there’s no end..)


  • Zen Master

    I think we can appreciate much from Ryan’s interview. It was shorter than the other ones but he tried to be balanced. He is not biased, although there are topics that he obviously made mistakes trying to talk about.

    Kobe did deserve the award. He did change as a player. He was pissed as hell when he came in to last season. He changed by shutting up and accepting the team for the way it was last season. Whether his mentality towards the team changed in his mind or not, I don’t care because at least he stopped talking trash when it was game time! Plus you can’t change people. The Hornets also got much better, so the argument that the Lakers got better for Kobe just doesn’t make sense. Kobe was the lone all-star and had 2 that could become all-stars (LO and Drew) and 1 that was an all-star. Wait was Pau ever one?

    I liked the way he discussed about LO. He was a 3rd option. He will now be the 4th, or the 6th depending on whether he starts or not. Odom is pretty good for a 3rd, 4th, or 6th option. However he is ridiculously EXPENSIVE for those roles!

    What is it with bloggers and fans overrating their teams’ benches so much? It’s like every team that ever got interviewed thinks their bench/role players make up the best bench in the world. They watch their fav teams too much and pay little attention to other teams’ benches. Annoying.

    LA will be #1 if all things go well. No doubt.

  • http://jamieinsider.celebuzz.com Jamie Spears Insider

    I would also like to clarify that LO7 is making ~11 mil this upcoming season. Previous reports (including video games) have listed his salary at ~14 mil and beyond / season. That was actually a mistake over the past few years. What happened was he had to waive a policy on his contract when he came over from Miami. By waiving off the policy, he was guaranteed a large sum of money that the Lakers paid initially. It was not added onto his annual income but rather a one-time fee.


  • kobean
  • http://www.hornets247.com Ryan Schwan

    Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Justin. Looking forward to a good season!

    I knew saying Kobe shouldn’t have won the MVP would get some people grumpy at me.

  • Lakers 24 7

    [Comment ID #51741 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Yes, Pau was a ONE time all-star

    …and to Ryan, Kobe didn’t just get “rewarded” for MVP, he spent time with his team on and off the court, he talked to them and helped them, he got more than half of his techs for defending his teammates and arguing calls for them. That shows he’s a leader, and how mature he got.

    M.J. has even said Kobe should have gotten at least 3 MVP’s already.