Los Angeles Lakers: players

The Forum: Still confident about a 2012 season?

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
10:50
AM PT
By The Kamenetzky brothers
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Wednesday's marathon CBA meetings ended without a deal. Thursday afternoon will feature more back-and-forth. As the clock ticks, we, along with Dave McMenamin, share our confidence at the prospect of a 2012 season.

The Forum: Will fans abandon a locked out NBA?

October, 20, 2011
10/20/11
8:04
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
After three days of marathon negotiations between players and owners, talks have broken off without any resolution. Needless to say, that ain't good. In the meantime, a recent ESPNLA.com poll showed that 42 percent of fans are so fed up by the lockout, were the 2012 season canceled, they're "done with the NBA." As in, "washing their hands of the league for good."

How surprising is this strong reaction? How seriously should it be taken? How can the league win back the disgruntled masses?

Dave McMenamin, Dave Miller and I chop it up.

Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter, Mo Evans and others at the players meeting (video)

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
11:23
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Here are the talkies from Friday's players meeting at the Beverly Hilton. I'm going to post some additional thoughts later, but for the time being, here is a quick rundown.

Washington Wizards big man JaVale McGee left the meeting early for unspecified reasons, but spoke with the media while waiting for his car to be delivered. Asked if the players were standing strong, McGee admitted not everyone is automatically inclined to fight to the bitterest of ends:

"There's definitely some guys in there saying that they're ready to fold. But the majority are ready to stand strong."

Predictably, McGee's words created a stir, and he later took to Twitter denying he made the statement. (As you'll plainly see, he did.) Although truth be told, what McGee said is neither surprising nor even particularly revealing. It's actually to be expected, since not every player has equal skin in this game. Some can afford -- whether monetarily, through stature, or because of superior talent -- to miss more games than others. This reality is something Derek Fisher didn't even attempt to deny. Considering there are only 30 owners, and they can't even agree on what they want, it would be exceptionally naive to presume all 400+ NBA players in mental lockstep.

What seemed to bother Fisher, Mo Evans and others wasn't so much McGee's opinion, but rather that he said it publicly and out of school. As Fisher dryly noted, "The person that spent the least amount of time in the room has no ability to make that statement." At the end of the day, "Fold-Gate" wasn't so much an indictment of the union's solidarity, but rather a reminder of how much both sides value staying on message during this public negotiation. Say what you will about David Stern, but the man is a master at such a task. Even if you think he's lying through his teeth, the man stays in his thematic lane like a man with his hands firmly at 10 and 2.

(Read full post)

Monday meeting between players and league canceled

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
6:27
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Considering Monday was also the deadline for a deal before the opening two weeks of the schedule are toast, this development ain't good news.

ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard is reporting a sitdown was floated for Monday, but that idea went south after the owners reportedly demanded the players accept their proposed 50/50 BRI split ahead of time. Predictably, the players didn't take kindly to such demands, and quite frankly, I don't blame them. It's one thing to remain unwilling to move below 50/50, but asking the players to sign off as a prerequisite to sit at the table isn't just a stalemate waiting to happen. It's insulting and antagonistic.

If the owners want to continue productive talks in earnest, this approach was clearly doomed to fail. But even if the master plan is ultimately canceled games, which theoretically forces the players' hands via a hit to the wallet, they need to be careful about alienating fans more informed than ever about the business of the NBA. Professional basketball players may sometimes be perceived as overpaid and spoiled, but I've nonetheless never met anybody with a Robert Sarver Fathead. I'm of the opinion most fans don't really care who "wins" or what really constitutes a "fair" deal, since both sides will remain very rich no matter how things shakes out. They just want basketball ASAP.

With that in mind, a hardball tactic guaranteed to create a standstill tastes like a glass of sour milk.

At the end of the day, owners and players thrive as a result of fans who are beyond-sick of this saga. The more either side looks indifferent to the contingent ultimately making them rich, the greater the risk for fallout even after hardwood action has resumed.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5