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NBA 2016-2017 Season Thread - Page 329

post #4921 of 27825
Originally Posted by deveandepot1 View Post

Any news on the Pau trade?
A google search gives nothing.

What Pau trade?
post #4922 of 27825
Thread Starter 
Lakers picked up Troy Murphy, eh, not bad I guess. If he can just get back to the way he was playing a couple of seasons back. Dude was a sleeper in fantasy league back when he was with the Pacers. Can shoot the 3's, was a 13/10 guy, has length. Good back-up with McRoberts in the frontcourt, makes for good depth with the bigs in case someone gets hurt.
post #4923 of 27825
that's an interesting pick-up. he's a guy whose always hurt the lakers. at a certain point, maybe (just maybe) three superstars on a team is enough and what you need is role players who can do the basic things ... defend the pick and roll, offensive rebound, hit the open jump shot.. damn i wish we had a point guard, though.
post #4924 of 27825
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

that's an interesting pick-up. he's a guy whose always hurt the lakers. at a certain point, maybe (just maybe) three superstars on a team is enough and what you need is role players who can do the basic things ... defend the pick and roll, offensive rebound, hit the open jump shot.. damn i wish we had a point guard, though.

It is a pretty good pick-up, if he gets back into form. I still wish Odom hadn't babied up and was still on the team. I still think he's worth all those other guys they've signed combined. I also wish they could have kept Shannon Brown.

We really do need another PG, but I hope it isn't Baron Davis.

Right now, I would guess these 14 + 1 other guy will form the Lakers' roster, barring other trades.
But with only 12 allowed to be active, are they going to pay Luke $5.7M this year, not to sit on bench but to sit in the stands all year???
This team is looking pretty thin.

PG: Derek Fisher; Steve Blake
SG: Kobe Bryant; Gerald Green
SF: Matt Barnes; Metta World Peace; Devin Ebanks; Jason Kapono; Luke Walton
PF: Pau Gasol; Josh McRoberts; Troy Murphy; Derrick Caracter
C: Andrew Bynum; Pau Gasol; Troy Murphy; Josh McRoberts

The only unrestricted FA PGs are Carlos Arroyo, Marcus Banks, Earl Boykins, Antonio Daniels, Baron Davis, Pooh Jeter, Ronnie Price, Ben Uzoh....pretty slim pickings.
post #4925 of 27825
Thread Starter 
You forgot Arenas.

And Kapono can play SG too.
post #4926 of 27825
Completely forgot Arenas. I don't think he'd be good on the Lakers though. It looks like Phoenix signed Ronnie Price, so the PG list is even shorter.

The Timberwolves are looking pretty good.
post #4927 of 27825
Originally Posted by foodguy View Post

that's an interesting pick-up. he's a guy whose always hurt the lakers. at a certain point, maybe (just maybe) three superstars on a team is enough and what you need is role players who can do the basic things ... defend the pick and roll, offensive rebound, hit the open jump shot.. damn i wish we had a point guard, though.

Uh- are you counting Bynum amongst the superstars?
post #4928 of 27825
well you Kobe fanatics have a silver lining from this divorce that she's taking all his money he'll have to prolong his career to earn it back happy.gif
post #4929 of 27825
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post

well you Kobe fanatics have a silver lining from this divorce that she's taking all his money he'll have to prolong his career to earn it back happy.gif

I dunno. Tiger hasn't done too well.
post #4930 of 27825
Thread Starter 
CP3-to-Clippers: The inside story of a rare mega-deal

It was a trade seven months in the making, and one that died three times on the operating table before being resuscitated. Before Chris Paul showed up on a podium at the Clippers' practice facility last week, he was a Knick in waiting, and a Laker for a minute, and up until Saturday, when Neil Olshey got the final e-mail confirming that the trade was final, Paul still wasn't completely sure where he was going.

Olshey was around in 2008 when the Clippers traded Cuttino Mobley to the Knicks, only to see New York counter that the heart condition Mobley had played with for years gave them pause -- unless L.A. wanted to sweeten the deal. (They finally waived Mobley's physical, though he never played for New York and sued the Knicks last month, claiming New York's doctors were inclined not to let him play.)

Moral: You never know. Especially if you're the Clippers.

But the deal went through, though many around the league are furious with the way the league, which owns the Hornets, injected itself into the trade talks, rejecting what appeared to be a done deal that would have made Paul a Laker. Forgive the Clippers if they can't work up a few tears that their crosstown-and NBA-royalty neighbors are ticked off they didn't get what they want. For once, the breaks went their way, and the conspiracy theorists can go pound salt.

No matter the machinations, at the end of the day, Olshey -- the Clippers' second-year vice president of basketball operations and general manager -- and Dell Demps, his second-year counterpart in New Orleans, had to figure out how to make a deal with one another. And they did.

The art of the NBA deal is a never-ending series of phone calls, texts, proposals and counterproposals. It's hard enough to get two teams to make a trade. Now, throw in the commissioner of the NBA acting as one team's general manager -- while trying to find a buyer for said team, with all of the contradictory issues that produces -- a glamour franchise desperate to get younger and continue winning championships also trying to make a deal, high-profile agents with their own agendas, getting up to speed on new rules that had a direct impact on the talks and a Twitterverse that creates conventional wisdom in a matter of seconds, allowing fans to create their own echo chamber, and the machinations of this particular deal became the stuff of novels.

But -- maybe for different reasons -- Olshey and Demps persevered. And the Clippers not only wound up with Paul, but with Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups to go with DeAndre Jordan and Mo Williams and, of course, Bad Blake.

"What I learned about Dell is he's no pushover," Olshey said Saturday night. "He's a pretty creative thinker. He had all kinds of deals going ... if you're going to go do a deal with him, make sure you know what it is you're exactly after. Because he's going to do it all the way through."

There have been numerous reports that Demps was neutered by the league at the last, cast aside as Stern, league president of basketball operations Joel Litvin and vice president of operations Stu Jackson took control of the negotiations. Demps and Stern have denied this, and both have cited a "miscommunciation" between the Hornets and the league that led New Orleans to initially believe the Lakers deal would get done. The Lakers, and Rockets, see it differently, of course, with each team making its feelings known through anonymous sources to its respective local media in the last week.

There are legit reasons to criticize how the NBA handled the deal and, regardless of the league's role, the public perception that Demps was powerless. It's also hard not to see why Demps may well have liked the initial deal that would have brought veterans like Luis Scola and Lamar Odom to New Orleans; altruism is fine and all, but Demps wouldn't be faulted if he wanted to try and hold onto his job, and those players would certainly have a better chance of getting the Hornets to the playoffs than the young players and picks for whom the NBA was pushing.

"He's got to sell this asset (the team) and get value," a source involved in the discussions said last week. "In the short term, people may say he's shooting himself in the foot and not improving the value of the asset."

Demps didn't want to talk about any of that this weekend, though he would say that he and Olshey started talking at the pre-Draft camp in Chicago in June.

"We were friendly," Olshey said. "I wouldn't say we're friends. When Dell got into player personnel we'd give each a ride to a game or sit next to each other at dinner. Dell was pro personnel before. He used to do a lot of the games. He was somebody you started seeing consistently on the road the last five years. I had never talked about a deal (with him) before. We're both neophyte GMs."

While other teams tried to convince the Hornets to send Paul their way, Olshey had to convince his owner, Donald Sterling.

For decades, Sterling has made money and fired people, all the way through Mike Dunleavy, the Clippers' former GM that Olshey replaced in 2010. And under Sterling's stewardship -- there were, of course, the sexual and housing discrimination lawsuits, the dismissals of employees like Bill Fitch and Dunleavy and the refusal to pay them until they went to court -- the Clippers remained a national joke. But ever since Olshey got the job, Sterling has given him the green light to make moves. He let Olshey trade Baron Davis and the Draft pick that wound up going first overall in June for Williams, clearing crucial cap space. But there was a lot more work to do. In early July, Olshey began composing a 20-page presentation for Sterling in which he laid out scenarios for three superstars -- Dwight Howard, Deron Williams or Paul -- and what it would take to get each one of them from their respective teams.

In doing so, Olshey was putting into practice what he'd learned in L.A.'s front office. He'd started in basketball coaching the camp circuits, then as a workout guy for agent Arn Tellem, helping develop players before the Draft. He worked his way up the food chain for the Clippers, from director of player personnel in 2003, to assistant coach to assistant general manager. Watching then-GM Elgin Baylor and, then, Dunleavy, work with their boss, Olshey learned a valuable lesson: always make sure Sterling is in the loop. He might say yes, he might say no, but what he didn't like was to be surprised. If you believed in a deal and could recommend it, he'd listen. Sterling gave the go-ahead to keep pursuing all three, but quickly, it became apparent that the best target was Paul.

As the lockout continued, Olshey and Demps kept talking to one another. The Hornets had given Paul and his agent, Leon Rose, permission to make deals with other teams, but there were really only three teams for whom Paul wanted to play -- the Knicks, Lakers or Clippers. (That didn't stop the Warriors from trying to get involved, and there were talks between Golden State and New Orleans, but Paul never made a commitment to staying in Golden State after the 2011-12 season.) It quickly became evident, though, that New York didn't have nearly enough valuable pieces to make a serious run at Paul; most of the Knicks' good assets went to Denver last season in the Carmelo Anthony deal. And even though the Knicks, according to a source involved in the discussions, would have dealt anyone other than Anthony for Paul -- including Amare Stoudemire, if need be -- the Hornets weren't interested. Nor was Paul interested in going to New York if it meant Stoudemire would pass him in the night down to New Orleans.

So, the Lakers and Clippers.

But, was Paul really serious about playing for the Clippers? Was he just using them as a stalking horse to make sure the Lakers paid up? The Clippers had been down this road before; they genuinely believed Kobe Bryant was coming their way in 2004 as a free agent, only to see him re-up with Jerry Buss' crew. They wanted assurances that he'd be around for at least two years, requiring him to "opt in" for the final year of his contract in 2012-13.

"We had talked early in the process," Olshey said. "I said to Dell, we can take this as far as we can take it. But I can't take Package A and rent him for 66 games. Package B is, he's coming, he's extending. I said I need to hear it from Chris. I'm not hearing it from Leon; I'm not hearing it from you; I'm not hearing it from Rich Paul (part of LRMR Marketing, which reps LeBron James, among others, along with Paul). We got on the phone and talked for two hours. There's no way a guy knows that much about our roster and what we were doing if he wasn't invested. Chris got off the phone saying, 'That's where I want to be.' "

Olshey had his own issues outside of the Paul talks, all centering on how to avoid exactly what Demps was now going through with Paul. Griffin, was entering his third season in Los Angeles, and in this new NBA era, that meant the Clippers were already on the clock. His options for 2012 and 2013 had already been picked up, but if Olshey didn't start surrounding him with more talent, Griffin would surely start looking around and the recruiting pitches would get harder to fight off. The Clippers needed a small forward that teams would defend more stoutly than they had last year's incumbent at the position, Ryan Gomes. The Clippers had three primary targets -- Tayshaun Prince, Grant Hill and Caron Butler -- and dealing Davis to Cleveland had created enough cap room to make a strong run at one of them.

Olshey knew someone would give an offer sheet to his young, improving center, DeAndre Jordan; he'd budgeted between $8 and $8.5 million per year for Jordan, but suspected the actual price would be higher, so a decision would have to be made on whether to match if the sheet came in higher. (He couldn't give Jordan a frontloaded deal like the Thunder had done with Nick Collison and Washington had with Andray Blatche, because that would have used up his cap room.) And the Clips would need a shooting guard if it had to put its own starter, Eric Gordon, in the deal for Paul.

When the lockout finally ended on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the talks intensified. The Clippers' president, Andy Roeser, was in discussions with the league. The Rockets were available as a conduit, but they wanted a quality big man coming back, and Olshey certainly wasn't going to give them Griffin or Paul, and they weren't much interested in starting center Chris Kaman as the centerpiece of a deal. So Houston went to the Lakers, who were willing to move Pau Gasol if it brought them Paul. Demps spoke with or e-mailed his team president Hugh Weber four or five times a day, and was in constant communication with coach Monty Williams. It was a tricky, complicated dance for Demps; he not only was juggling three or four different deals, he had to gauge the trade value of the players he might get in the deal in case the Hornets decided to flip them for additional assets. And he had to communicate with the league office. Some days, the Hornets were ready to deal with the Clippers; other days, they leaned toward the Lakers.

The Lakers worked relentlessly toward a deal, and Demps told Olshey what he would need to send Paul to the Clippers -- Kaman, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu, Gordon, second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe and both of the Clippers' 2012 first-round picks, their own and Minnesota's, which was unprotected and a huge chip. Olshey said no; he wouldn't have much of a chance to entice Paul to stay past the season or make Griffin happy with a bunch of second-round picks. In addition, the Clippers still needed a three; Hill had narrowed his choices to San Antonio, New York or staying in Phoenix. And on Dec. 8, the Clippers were stunned when Prince decided to go back to Detroit; L.A. thought Prince would be able to handle being a third option, given his history playing off of Billups and Rip Hamilton in Detroit. L.A. had to move; Butler was the only three left on their board. They went above what they expected to get him -- three years for $24 million -- but they couldn't take the chance that he'd sign in New Jersey or Chicago or San Antonio.

On Dec. 8, the Board of Governors was meeting in New York to finalize the passage of the new collective bargaining agreement. The three-team deal between the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets was in place. Demps called Olshey, and told him: This is the last shot. This is what it's going to take. The "ask" was the same: all the Clippers' young players and picks. L.A. passed. Demps said he had another deal in place that he had to take -- the Lakers-Rockets deal, that would send Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Houston's 2012 first-rounder for New York to New Orleans.

"I said 'I'm happy for you,' " Olshey recalled.

The Hornets had to move; they couldn't, in the words of one official involved in the talks, let Paul leave "and then the team goes to crap." The franchise had gotten commitments for 10,000 season tickets from the fan base -- a base that knew Paul wasn't likely to be around after this season. So the team had to put a representative product on the floor; a true rebuild would take three or four years. The bond between the team and the city is real; many of the team's employees lived through Hurricane Katrina like the rest of the city, and there is a genuine empathy for the people of the city and what they've endured.

But the league, while sympathetic, was evidently looking at a bigger picture; namely, would the Hornets be viable in three years with an aging and expensive core of Odom, Scola and Martin? And it would be naive to think the potential sale of the franchise wouldn't be positively affected -- that is, the team would go for a higher price -- if the roster were younger and cheaper? Stern stepped in. According to another source who was briefed on the talks, the parties waited for a call from the league on the night of Dec. 8 to finalize things, a call that never came. (This would jibe with the claim Stern made in his news conference last week that, while the Hornets thought a deal was imminent, there never was an "official" trade call between the parties and that a trade was never officially submitted. ) The source claims that Stern simply told the Hornets, "we're not doing that deal."

Stern insisted during his media availability last week that pressure from owners, including Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his now-infamous e-mail, who didn't want the Lakers to acquire Paul, did not factor in his decision to veto the initial trade.

"I assure all that, first, my decision was made long before I received that e-mail, and, second, I wouldn't have acted upon it even if I had received it, because my goal here was to determine what improved the Hornets," Stern said. "There's been some speculation that there was a reason why we didn't want -- I did not want to have Chris go to a team in a large market, because that somehow would have some impact on life under the collective bargaining agreement. All I can say there is that's not the responsiblity that I undertook as the person responsible for ultimately making decisions on transactions like this on behalf of the New Orleans Hornets."

The next day, Dec. 9, the league informed the Lakers and Hornets that in order to approve the deal, the NBA wanted different, young pieces coming from Los Angeles than the 32-year-old Odom -- the only significant piece that fit that bill would have been center Andrew Bynum -- and at least one more first-round pick to go with the first-rounder that Houston had already committed. The Lakers tried to piece the deal together again, but wouldn't include Bynum, who had to be held back in case the Lakers could, down the road, make a deal with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard. The league insisted. (In addition, a source says the sides couldn't agree on financial considerations.) On the 10th, the Lakers pulled out of the talks with the Hornets for Paul and sent Odom to the Mavericks for Dallas' 2012 first-rounder.

Suddenly, the Clippers were all alone in their pursuit of Paul. The rag-tag, vagabond Clippers had no serious opponents for one of the NBA's true superstars. That was crucial, because Rose, the powerful CAA agent, was determined to get his client where he wanted. And the only one of the three teams left was the Clippers. Rose became an important ally for Olshey and the Clippers, determined not to let the deal die.

The Clippers and Hornets re-engaged in discussions Dec. 9 and on Dec. 10, the talks got very, very serious. The Clippers thought they had a deal. So did the Hornets. The problem was, they were talking about different deals.

L.A. thought it had agreed to a deal for Kaman, Aminu, Gordon and the pick. The Hornets thought they agreed to a deal for those four players, as well as the Clippers' other first-rounder and Bledsoe. That's the risk when a half-dozen people are involved and they're all talking to each other; the league kept holding out for more. The problem was, the Clippers had already told Sterling they had a deal for the four pieces, not six. But the Hornets were now saying it was six. The deal died again.

But this time, they left the talks a little more encouraged. If the NBA was going to insist on young players for Paul, there were only a couple of teams, like Oklahoma City and Minnesota, that had the requisite number of pieces. And Paul wasn't interested in a long-term deal with either team, even the up-and-coming Thunder, and even though he had enjoyed his two years in Oklahoma City when the Hornets were relocated there after Katrina.

First, though, the Clippers had to deal with Jordan.

He signed a four-year, $43 million offer sheet from the Warriors on Dec. 10. Olshey's wife had arranged a party at their house that afternoon at 5 p.m.. At 4:20 p.m., a messenger delivered Jordan's offer sheet. Olshey went back to the office. And here, the Clippers caught a huge break.

They knew the Warriors were planning to sign Jordan to a sheet, and there was never any doubt they would match -- Jordan is close with Griffin and his explosive talents at both ends of the court were too valuable to ever consider letting him go. But Golden State waited a couple of days -- a couple of important days -- before officially conveying the offer.

If the Warriors had given Jordan the offer sheet on the first day they were allowed (Dec. the Clippers would have matched the sheet. But in doing so, they would have used up all of their available cap room. The Warriors waited because they were still hopeful they could make a deal for free-agent center Tyson Chandler, but Chandler wound up agreeing to terms with the Knicks that weekend on a four-year, $60 million deal. But that deal couldn't be made official until New York amnestied Billups -- which happened on Sunday.

Billups and his agent, Andy Miller, had made it clear they didn't want anybody to claim him out of the amnesty pool once he was cut by the Knicks. If Billups cleared waivers he'd be free to go wherever he wanted, and everyone in the NBA universe knew he wanted to go to the Heat. But Olshey saw an opportunity. He still had cap room -- he didn't have to match the sheet on Jordan until Wednesday. He would need a guard if Gordon was going to be in the deal for Paul. But if he got Paul, it would be easier to convince Billups that it was worth his while to come to L.A.

"The one positive in all of this is it's not like it's your father's Oldsmobile," Olshey said. "It's not like it's three years ago and we were hijacking a guy to a 19-win team. If we were the team from a year ago, I might have given in. But you can't tell me, coming in to play with the roster we have, and being a starter, and Chauncey can now play the ball more with the ball out of his hands, we might extend his career two or three years. It was not comfortable, sitting with Chauncey. It was not a comfortable thing. Moving Eric Gordon, our second best player, the confidence we could move him to get Chris had a lot to do with Chauncey being here."

Billups would clear waivers at 3 p.m. Los Angeles time. At 2:53, the Clippers claimed him with a winning bid of $2,000,032. (The 32, signfiying Griffin's uniform number, was Roeser's idea.)

On Tuesday afternoon, the Clippers gathered their players in the film room at the team's practice facility in Playa Del Rey. Management told them the team was moving on from Paul. They had to try, he told them; Paul was a Hall of Fame-caliber player. But the deal was dead. You are, he told them, the guys we're going to war with.

But Tuesday night, the Hornets (on behalf of themselves, or with the league's prompting; we'll probably never know) called back. They wanted to take one more pass at it. Roeser contnued talks with Litvin, but the Clippers made it clear: one first-round pick, not both, and either Gordon or Bledsoe, not both. They would have one opportunity to convince Sterling that this was worth doing; Sterling isn't interested in process. When they went to Sterling, it would be to set up a trade call, not to continue haggling. There couldn't be any more negotiating. If the Clippers had to start the season with Billups and Gordon in the backcourt, and Butler, Griffin and Kaman up front, with Williams and Jordan coming off the bench, they could live with that. And they could sell that to their fans.

It was yes or no time.

On Wednesday, New Orleans, with the league concurring, said yes.

The Clippers would send Gordon, Aminu, Kaman and Minnesota's number one to the Hornets for Paul and two second-round picks. In five days, Los Angeles had signed Butler, claimed Billups, matched Jordan's offer sheet and traded for Paul. It was a transformation, but proof positive that, again, if you draft the right guys (Jordan was a second-round pick in 2008), trade for the right guys and trade the right guys away (remember the Clippers cleared all that room by dealing Zach Randolph to Memphis in 2009. Now, that was done to clear room to try and sign James in 2010, but nonetheless, the room was there), sign the right guys and pay everyone the right amount of money, you can build a contending team.

Making a final judgment on this trade before we know what the Minnesota pick turns into, or what Aminu becomes, or whether the Hornets will keep all those assets or flip them for more assets, would be ridiculous.

The Hornets can sell their future to their fans and a streamlined payroll to an owner who will keep the team in New Orleans, and if stinking on the court for a couple of years is the price to ensure there will be games in New Orleans Arena a decade from now, the league obviously thought that was worth doing. (You hope that when and if the Hornets are sold, the Commish makes it clear he wants the current management and coaching staffs in New Orleans to be retained as a condition of sale.)

Even though the Clippers are just about sold out of season tickets after this glorious spasm of activity, and even though Williams vows he'll be Sixth Man of the Year, there is no guarantee that things will work out, at least immediately, for the Clippers the way they seem clear on paper. Paul does have knees that are a concern for others around the league, and he's only made a commitment through the 2012-13 season. And Butler's less than a year removed from a ruptured right patellar tendon. And Jordan is now a starter, expected to be consistent every night. And Billups is only under contract for this season. And ...

"Blake has an extension (available) six months from now," Olshey said Saturday, his new world, officially, seconds old. "And I'd like him to sign it."
post #4931 of 27825
Thread Starter 
Kobe Bryant Q&A: Laker for life?

Kobe Bryant is beginning his 16th season with the Los Angeles Lakers and seeks his sixth NBA championship, a distinction that would equal Michael Jordan’s six titles. This season also could become one of Bryant’s tougher challenges. Swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round last season, the Lakers and Bryant return with a new coach and questions about the strength of their roster.

After the Lakers had their trade for Chris Paul blocked by NBA commissioner David Stern, they sent Lamar Odom to the Mavericks and watched Paul end up with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers remain interested in acquiring Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, which means Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should continue to hear their names in trade talks.

Bryant, 33, discussed a number of issues in an interview with Yahoo! Sports: his offseason knee surgery; new coach Mike Brown; the Paul and Odom trades; Howard; and whether he might seek his own trade. The one subject Bryant wouldn’t address: his pending divorce.
Q: Do you see yourself retiring with the Lakers? There’s been speculation you might want a change.

Bryant: “I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever.”

Q: So you definitely want to stay a Laker?

Bryant: “Of course. No question. Why not? I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?”

Q: Do you want to be one of those rare stars that played in only one place during a long NBA career?

Bryant: “Oh yeah. That would be special. It’s rare to see that nowadays. It’s almost nearly impossible.”

Q: Why do you believe the Lakers can win a title this season?

Bryant: “We have a good roster here. People look at our roster and it doesn’t have the sexy names people want to see nowadays with the super teams. But I believe it’s good enough to get it done.”

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about the Lakers trying to trade for Dwight Howard. What do you think of the chance he comes to L.A.?

Bryant: “I try not to. I have to lead my guys. If management changes the personnel then I will have to lead that roster when that time comes.”

Q: After getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round last season, what is the chip on your shoulder like now?

Bryant: “No different. It’s the same as it’s always been.”

Q: Did you dwell on that Dallas series long after it ended?

Bryant: “No, no. I went and got healthy and got back to work.”

Q: How did you vote on the new collective bargaining agreement?

Bryant: “I didn’t vote at all. I got it too late. I really didn’t feel like doing it. I felt everyone was going to pass it anyway, so I didn’t vote at all. But I would have voted yes.”

Q: What was the worst thing about the lockout for you?

Bryant: “It was a waste of time to end up where we ended up. We could’ve figured it out a long time ago.”

Q: You looked at options to play in Turkey, Italy or China during the lockout. Were you close to playing overseas?

Bryant: “Yeah, but not because we were just waiting to see what was going to happen with the season. I didn’t want to go overseas without knowing whether or not the season was going to be canceled. If the season was going to be canceled, yeah.”

Q: What do you think Chris Paul brings to the Los Angeles Clippers?

Bryant: “Energy. Expected success, which is what they haven’t had in the past. Now they’re expected to be successful. In the past, the Clippers have never had that energy about their team.”

Q: Seven years ago you chose to remain with the Lakers over going to the Clippers. Did you really seriously consider the Clippers back then?

Bryant: “I did. I absolutely did. [The Lakers] traded Shaq and I had the space here. I’ve been with this organization. I like being here. I like playing for the purple and gold. This is where I want to finish up.”

Q: Do you ever reflect on what it would have been like if you were a Clipper?

Bryant: “No. Once I made my decision that was it.”

Q: Does Paul change the Clippers’ culture?

Bryant: “It’s changed already. They’re expected to be successful. They’ve never had those expectations before, but now they do. It changes things.”

Q: What were your emotions when Lamar Odom was traded to Dallas?

Bryant: “[Expletive]. It’s tough because I didn’t know what was going on or why he got traded. Did he ask for a trade? Was it something we kind of facilitated? I didn’t know. It sucked.”

Q: Have you talked to Odom since the trade. And if so, what did you say to him?

Bryant: “Yeah. I just wished him the best. I told him to just do your thing and make us proud, except when you are playing against us.”

Q: Do you have any say in personnel moves?

Bryant: “No. That’s how they feel most comfortable handling their business, which is fine by me. I don’t take it personal. I just let them do their thing and trust that they’re trying to win right now. It’s not something where they are just tearing apart and starting from scratch.”

Q: How would you describe your relationship with new Lakers head coach Mike Brown?

Bryant: “He’s very good. He’s a workaholic. He has an attention to detail. When you come to practice, he has a practice planned. He is prepared. Boom, boom, boom. He’s right at it. I’m learning new things every day. He doesn’t let anything slide. You’re learning right then and there. When you’re doing something wrong, he’s not going to sugarcoat it. He’s going to tell you how it is and I can respect that.”

Q: You guys had two meetings before the lockout started. What do you remember about your first meeting at the golf course clubhouse in Orange County?

Bryant: “My first impression was that he was very meticulous, which shows me he is going to work as hard as I’m willing to work – or more – to make sure we are very well prepared mentally and physically.”

Q: It looks like you guys are adding Troy Murphy. Obviously, you lost Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown. How do you feel about the roster now?

Bryant: “I still don’t know what other moves we are going to make or are we going to try to do anything. I really don’t know. I’m just trying to work every day with the guys and trying to be as sharp as can be with the guys here and then see where we end up.”

Q: Can you talk about the surgical procedure you underwent on your right knee in Germany this summer and why you had it there?

Bryant: “I’m not a big medicine, techie guy. But I know my knee feels 90 percent better. My understanding was that the guy who invented it … [Germany] is where he’s from and where his home base is. So I didn’t want to go someplace else where he had to move his equipment. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right and do it in the place where he is most comfortable doing it.”

Q: What can you do physically with that knee that you couldn’t do at the end of last season?

Bryant: “Anything I want. I can run. I can jump. I can run the track. I can lift weights the way I want to lift weights. I can practice every day. Those are things I couldn’t do last year.”
post #4932 of 27825
^thanks for that
post #4933 of 27825
that was a good article about the CP3 trade. if it's true, it depresses me that Chauncey was this close to being on the Heat. he would have been perfect.
post #4934 of 27825
Baron Davis signs with Knicks and the Lakers might pick up Gilbert Arenas:

He might be worth a gamble for the veteran's minimum.
post #4935 of 27825
Originally Posted by deveandepot1 View Post

Lakers might pick up Gilbert Arenas:
He might be worth a gamble for the veteran's minimum.

Bring guns
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