Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers [Print without images]

Saturday, February 12, 2011
Podcast: On "Black Swan," happy road trips, and a fibbing Sasha

By Brian Kamenetzky

It's time for fresh audio!

In the newest installment of the show, Andy and I hit the studio Friday morning in the wake of L.A.'s big win Thursday night against the Celtics in Boston. It was an important evening, building on two other solid efforts kicking off the trip (and made even better with Friday's dusting of the Knicks at the Garden). Does finally getting that "signature victory" this season end all the trade talk? Should it? We dive into all the reasons the Lakers might have to make a deal, and sort the good from the bad.

PODCAST
Andy and Brian talk about the Lakers' improved play, blockbuster trade philosophies and Pau Gasol's black swan transformation. Oh, and Sasha says he can put up 20-30 points a night easily, but he's just not interested.

Podcast Listen
One thing is certain: Fear of a starless future after Kobe eventually declines is a horrible reason to make a potentially franchise altering move right now. The expiration date on 24, as evidenced by Bryant's performance last night, is still far enough away to allow a little flexibility.

From there, it's on to improvement from Pau Gasol in the wake of Kobe's "black swan" pep talk, now playing much more like the November edition of himself, the one some considered an MVP candidate. In six games this month, Pau is shooting over 62 percent, scoring 22 points, hauling down nearly 10 boards, and delivering 1.5 blocks a night. He's not the team's best player, but often it's the second and third guys in a team's hierarchy determining who wins in June. This is the Gasol the Lakers need going forward.

From there (around the 18 minute mark), Andy and I get into the quote of the year, from former Laker Sasha Vujacic, who set a career high this week with 25 points as the Nets beat New Orleans 103-101. To say the least, his performance left him feeling... emboldened: “I know I can score 20 or 30 points anytime I want," Vujacic said to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “But I’m not that kind of a guy. I want to win. I want to play the right way. Some games I’m going to get 10 shots, some games 15 shots; sometimes, especially coming off the bench, you’re going to feel cold, and you need time to get in the rhythm. But right now, what I care the most is for us to become a better team. And we are really capable of doing that."

We're both happy Sasha has found success with the Nets, but really, dude? Really? The amount of places upon which a person could call horsepucky regarding that statement is nearly infinite. 20 or 30 anytime you want? Slow down, Sasha.

Finally, we cap it with a few thoughts on Jerry Sloan's departure from Utah.