Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Howard

Kobe the Mav?

August, 22, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
Between the recent back-to-back championships and a newly reloaded roster, the Kobe Bryant "radio tour" summer, featuring emphatic trade requests and an ill-fated parking lot rant, now feels a million years removed. Barring a bizarre turn of events, Kobe is a lock to end his career as a Laker lifer, just as it should be. But five years ago this summer, Kobe's future with the organization felt tenuous at best. And during a recent interview, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shared how close The Mamba came to relocating.

Per ESPN Dallas' Jeff Caplan:
"When I was doing 'Dancing with the Stars,' I was taking breaks because I was talking to Kobe’s agent because Kobe wanted to get traded," Cuban said during Tuesday's appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben & Skin Show. "Literally, in between 'Dancing with the Stars' practices I thought we had traded at one time for Kobe Bryant. I even talked to their owner [Jerry Buss], I thought we were going to have a done deal and then [Lakers general manager] Mitch Kupchak changed [Kobe’s] mind and brought him back."

After confirming the exchange didn't involve Dirk Nowitzki, Cuban shared how the Lakers eventually backed away from the bargaining table.
"Yeah, but they [the Lakers] were smart and didn't let it happen," Cuban said. "But Kobe was upset and he wanted out -- and this was all public, I don't think this is anything new -- and the owner was resigned to that fact. I talked to the owner, and then I went back and practiced my Rumba."

Obviously, the devil is in the details, and how close this deal really was may differ in the mind of Cuban vs. Buss. But since Cuban broached the topic, it's intriguing to ponder the purple-and-gold return. I absolutely believe Cuban that Dirk was off the table, if for no other reason that Kobe's no-trade clause essentially made him a third general manager, since his approval was needed to consummate any trade. Safe to assume Kobe wouldn't have signed up to join a Dallas squad minus the big German. So who might the Mavs have offered?

Bear in mind, this is pure speculation on my part. But looking at the 2008 roster, the three best players beyond Nowitzki, based on talent and age, were Jason Terry, Josh Howard and Devin Harris (before he was moved mid-season to New Jersey for Jason Kidd). Even more interesting, those three made just shy of $22 million combined, which isn't much more than the $19.5 million owed Kobe. A smaller-salaried Laker might have been needed to even the numbers, but I could picture that being the basic framework.

And what's crazy is, at the time, that might not have seemed like a horrible deal for the Lakers.

(Read full post)

New ESPN Los Angeles Kamenetzky Brothers Lakers Podkast

January, 13, 2010
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
Andy and Brian preview Wednesday's game against the Mavericks with The Two Man Game's Rob Mahoney, plus health updates, Andrew Bynum trade rumors and a deep inside look at Kobe's threshold for pain. Podcast Listen

Ear candy for all our friends!!! A particularly exciting show, as our producer CJ Newton's absurdly swollen schedule forced us to make a choice: either run the board ourselves or risk no show being recorded. Some people with zero experience pushing buttons and turning dials (or a clue what the hell said buttons or dials do) would back off. We call those wimps podcasters. PodKasters, however, laugh in the face of danger, especially if failure to rise means a deprived Laker Nation. Frankly, that's just not a world we're prepared to see exist. Thus, the Kamenetzky Brothers soldiered forward.

How many mistakes were made as a result of our bumbling incompetence? You'll never know unless you listen.

-(2:37 mark): A purple and gold health update (recorded, mind you, before last night's injury-a-palooza). Ron Artest. Pau Gasol. Luke Walton. Plus, of course, Kobe Bryant, who's playing with a fractured right index finger clearly affecting his shot and handle. While Brian and I are concerned by an unwillingness to dial back his aggressiveness (or just refrain from cranking it up), we do admire The Mamba's threshold for pain, revealed even further during a secretly recorded conversation with the Land O' Lakers hidden mics.

-(15:31 mark): Andrew Bynum-Chris Bosh trade rumors in The New York Post got everyone in a tizzy, despite quite literally nothing mentioned to suggest a swap is being formally discussed, much less on the verge of happening. We replay Bynum's unintentionally amusing response to the chatter and break down why the transaction might strike someone as necessary or smart (although neither of us think it'll happen).

-With the Texas Two Step underway (and unfortunately, set for no better than a split with even more injury issues), we get some perspective on the Dallas Mavericks from Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game and Hardwood Paroxysm. Topics include the first and second showdowns between these teams, the effect of Erick Dampier's presence and a comparison between Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki. (If you want to just hear the interview itself, click here.)

-Email us at ESPNlandolakers@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter at ESPNLandoLakers.

Lakers vs. Mavericks: Five things to watch, plus one larger issue

January, 3, 2010
By Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
The Lakers will be counting on Lamar Odom, among others, to keep Shawn Marion from doing this.

Five Items Of Note:
  • Lamar Odom, by and large, has outplayed Shawn Marion in numerous battles over the years, particularly while forcing The Matrix to guard him. Dallas' small forward is no slouch when it comes to slowing even elite scorers, but Odom's combination of length, size and southpaw action has consistently neutralized Marion's skills.

  • Of course, it's easy to wonder if Odom will neutralize himself. In recent victories over Golden State and Sacramento, Lamar rode out very quiet first halves before exploding in the third quarter. He'll tell you it's a matter of keeping with the game's flow and not forcing the action, but between the matchup and the Lakers' shorthanded state, it'd be a pretty big bonus if Odom made his presence felt right off the bat.

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Kobe Bryant
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.1
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.5
BlocksE. Davis 1.1