Los Angeles Lakers: Mason and Ireland

Jordan Hill on 710 ESPN

May, 7, 2012
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
This morning, I wrote about the performance of L.A.'s "wild cards" through the first four games of the postseason. The most consistent and impactful has been forward Jordan Hill, who has three 10-plus rebound games, and two double-doubles.

Sunday, he was critical to the Lakers' winning effort in Game 4, hauling down seven offensive rebounds (11 overall), and scoring 12 points. He joined 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland Show this afternoon, talking among other things about...
  • His late entry into the rotation: "I definitely know I can produce every time I’m on the floor. It’s just, coming in, almost at the end of the season and playoffs coming up, it’s definitely going to be hard to just come in and start playing right away. I got to learn the system. The team chemistry was already formed. So, it was just me just keep working and when my number was called just go out there and do what I had to do."
  • His learning curve after arriving in Los Angeles in the deadline deal sending Derek Fisher to Houston: "Definitely offense [was harder to learn]. We have a lot of plays. We definitely have a lot of plays and we definitely have a lot of options on every play. So, for me, I had to learn the 4 and the 5 spot, so that was definitely a hard transition coming in. But, you know, I just tried to stay after every practice and shootaround, watch film on our plays. Go up and down the floor learning the plays with the players. Just doing the things that will help me keep the plays embedded in my head when I’m out on the floor."
  • The art of reading ball flight in effective glass work: "I try to use my legs most of the time, but also I got a good eye on if a ball is going to come out of the rim and where it’s going to land if it comes off the rim. I just try to stay patient and try to move my guy, try to box him out and move him under the rim as much as possible. But, like I said, I got a good eye of how and where the ball is going to go."
Click here to hear the interview.

710 ESPN Interviews with Jeanie and Jim Buss

April, 27, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
Two siblings for the price of one! Jeanie and Jim Buss appeared respectively on 710 ESPN's Max and Marcellus and Mason and Ireland today, hitting on a wide variety of topics. Because Laker fans can't get enough of their Buss kids, we're passing along the audio to the LO'L faithful. The shows can be heard by clicking on the links below and there are some talking points from each show listed below.


- People have wondered why Jeanie hasn't attended as many games at Staples Center this season. It's because she's taking the opportunity to watch then with her main squeeze Phil Jackson, who's also recovering from knee replacement surgery. "He's doing really well," raves Jeanie. "I honestly think he's two inches taller, because his knee was so painful, it was kind of bow-legged, and now he looks great and he's feeling good.

- Is PJ feeling good enough to coach, and specifically for the Knicks as rumored? Jeanie says it's not worth discussing the Knicks because they have a coach (Mike Woodson), and nobody from New York or any other team has made an offer to begin with. Either way, if PJ comes out of retirement, it'll be because he wants to, rather than money.

- Jeanie is fine with the new CBA's goal of leveling the playing field between bigger and smaller market yeams. However, it's impossible to "revenue share" what the Lakers have in prestige and fans, so in that sense, they'll always have an ace in the hole.

- Phil still follows the NBA pretty regularly and in particular keeps tabs on all of his former players. (Even Vlad Rad!!!) He also hasn't made a prediction as to who will win it all, but thinks OKC-Dal is the most interesting first round matchup.


- Dr. Jerry Buss is feeling healthier by the day. In fact, he's about 80-90 percent back, by his son's estimation.

- Like many Lakers fans, he couldn't believe Mike Brown had the huevos to keep Jordan Hill on the floor down the stretch of the double OT win over OKC last Sunday. "I was saying, ‘Get Bynum in there! Get Bynum in there!," recalls Jim. "But we kept playing well and of course Jordan Hill had just a tremendous game, so, as usual I’m wrong and he was right and we won the game."

- Also like many Lakers fans, he places some of the blame on the Metta World Peace-James Harden altercation on the Thunder sixth man. But he also thought the seven-game suspension itself was a fair punishment.

"I know Metta and I know how hard he’s trying," says Jim. "If it was two other players and there was no history, which of course you have to take into consideration, but if there was no history I thought it looked like Harden came into him a little bit, maybe instigated something. Of course the blow as tremendous and awful and doesn’t belong in this game, so I think seven is just absolutely the perfect number … Any less I think it discounts it, any more I think it’s excessive."

Kobe Bryant: Jim Buss is "a great guy," and other interesting nuggets

March, 22, 2012
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
Late this afternoon, Kobe Bryant (shooting guard, Los Angeles Lakers, used to wear a mask) appeared on 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland Show -- click here for the full interview -- and covered a lot of ground over about 12 minutes. He called the Lakers contenders, commented on his relationship with Mike Brown and the coaching staff, weighed in on the question of whether Ramon Sessions should start, and why the Lakers have struggled on the road.

The nugget likely to get the most attention came at the end, when he was asked about Jim Buss:
"We have a good relationship. People misunderstand that relationship. We’ve had good times. We’ve had dinner together, things like that. He’s a great guy. He wants to do the right thing, he wants to help us win a championship. The biggest thing is, the same with his father who he’s learned from, he’s not going to make rushed decisions. He’s going to be patient, he’s going to take his time, and the one thing I will say about the Lakers organization is that this is one of those franchises that always seems to land on it’s feet. Always seems to make the right choices, always seems to make the right decisions. Even the tough ones. He’s a great guy.”

Not that you'd expect Bryant to go Category 5 and blow up his boss on the radio, but his answer is still a lot nicer than many would guess, even if he's not being completely forthright. It doesn't make some of those things ticking Kobe off in recent months less real, but as a money quote could quell some of the whispers about major fractures in his relationship with the team. That's no small thing at a time where the Lakers are at a very uncertain place, caught between winning now and trying to prep for the future.

Among the other topics covered (arranged chronologically for your convenience)...
  • His thoughts on Brown and his staff. "We have coaches on staff who are very smart and understand the temp of the game. [Ettore] Messina in particular, who has a great deal of experience in coaching overseas and brings more of a European style of play, that’s more fun to watch and involves more movement and things of that nature. Our coaching staff as a whole is very unselfish, and they don’t mind other coaches sharing ideas and players sharing concepts."
  • How he can go shoot a combined 13-of-47 against Utah and Houston, then go 11-for-18 vs. Dallas.
  • On starting Sessions. "I don't really see it as a major issue or a big deal."
  • Why they struggle on the road, and how Sessions can help them improve.
  • Lamar Odom's struggles in Dallas. It's not just lingering disappointment from the trade, but his role as well. "“You have to feature him. He was a playmaker for us. He was a point forward for us. We ran our offense through him and allowed him to make decisions. It’s tough to do that in Dallas, because they already have their structure.”
  • His belief that this is a team capable of winning a title.

Finally, he was asked -- jokingly, of course -- if he and Derek Fisher would go easy on each other when the Thunder come to town next Thursday. "“The most disrespectful thing we could do to each other is take it easy on each other. That’s not what we’re about.”

There will, he said, be elbows thrown and bruises inflicted.

Yes, Luke Walton is aware of what you say about him

August, 29, 2011
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
After taking a gig this week as an assistant coach with the Memphis Tigers for former Arizona teammate Josh Pastner -- ESPNLA's Dave McMenamin has a great story on it here -- Lakers forward Luke Walton made the rounds on L.A. sports radio. As he explained to 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland, working with the Tigers allows him get a real taste for coaching, and decide if it's something he truly wants to do once his playing days are over. Second, with the Tigers, he'll have access to their training and medical facilities, a step up from what's available locally during the lockout. "Here, it's me and eight other NBA guys at Mira Costa High School [in Manhattan Beach]," he said, "and they've already told us once school starts they're kicking us out."

As I wrote earlier, the whole arrangement makes a ton of sense for both parties. And assuming he enjoys the daily grind of coaching, I suspect Walton will be very good at it.

Lakers fans, though, will likely find an exchange from a different interview with Fox Sports Radio (via Sports Radio Interviews, H/T to Pro Basketball Talk) equally interesting. Walton was asked if it bothers him to hear his name used in the argument for how some players earn far more money than they should:
“It obviously bothers me. I haven’t really noticed it because I kind of stay out of the media during the offseason. But obviously it bothers you as a player. You want to feel your worth. Obviously I’m getting paid a salary that was for a much larger role back when we agreed upon the deal. I was a playmaker, I was playing 30 minutes a game and I was able to do a lot of things for a team. And I had offers from other teams to do the same thing. … For the most part, fans have been great out here. Then, all of the sudden you bring in Pau Gasol and other players of that caliber and my role kind of gets smaller and smaller. I can still play the game … then all of the sudden my back goes bad on me and mentally I’m frustrated. … The role that I was paid that money to do kind of got taken away in a sense.”

Walton's answer jibes with every conversation I've had with him in the neighborhood of this topic as the six-year, $30 million contract he signed in 2007 has grown increasingly albatrossian (more in perception than reality -- Walton is not Eddy Curry -- but that's another discussion). He knows what his role was when the deal was offered, why it "got taken away," and has never claimed any injustice. While the Lakers added better players to the rotation, his body broke down. In those moments of PT afforded him, Walton hasn't played well.

(Read full post)

Lakers radio magic

January, 26, 2010
We'll have the newest Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers PodKast up soon- this week, we break down the season's first half- but in the meantime edify yourself on the state of the Lakers with these handy bits of radio magic:



Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0