Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, we'll have ESPNLosAngeles.com Los Angeles Lakers bloggers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky stopping by for their weekly chat.
Before joining ESPNLosAngeles.com, Brian and Andy hosted Lakers Blog for the Los Angeles Times from 2005-09. They host the ESPN Kamenetzky Brothers Lakers PodKast and frequently appear on ESPN Radio 710. As contributors for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, they have written about virtually every sport known to mankind.
Send your questions now and join the Brothers Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:31 PM)
Hey all. About to get 'er jumping.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
When franchises move I think they need to leave their names behind. Dave Dameshek has long advocated that the Clippers should change their name to the Hollywood Stars or Hollywood Knights. I say use both, change the Lakers to the Hollywood Stars and the Clippers to the Los Angeles Knights. What are your thoughts on the name changes?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Cheesenut: I like Dameshek. Dameshek is a good dude. And you seem like a perfectly nice person, too. But that is a horrible idea. The Lakers have achieved perfection as the Lakers. And in the meantime, the Clippers' have created perfect imperfection. Almost iconic in it's own right. The formula is working. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
to the good (pomona)
I heard that darius morris was suppose to go in first round according to some mock drafts. Do you think he will make the team?
who are u guys
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
to the good-In some mocks, he was a late first rounder, but most had him sliding into the second. The broad consensus, though, was that if he'd waited another year to come out of Michigan, he could have absolutely been a first rounder, perhaps a lottery pick. A lot of people think he had one of the biggest jumps from an improvement standpoint between his freshman and sophomore years. I'd be absolutely shocked if he didn't make the team. Not so much to help them this year, but to hopefully groom a potential rotation point guard down the road. They need some prospects.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Best... question... ever.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Lakers bloggers. Who are you?
adam (los angeles)
do you think with the looming lockout and the recent surgery kobe has taken, that he plans on playing in china to keep himself in shape for when the nba does come back?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
Adam: I think the barnstorming tour is a little bit about staying in some form of basketball shape/maintaining some form of basketball rhythm, a little bit about reminding the owners of alternative ways to make a buck in a lockout, and LOTTA bit about marketing. Kobe is HUGE in China. Massive. Like, Yao-sized. Thus, he's capitalizing on that fame under very unusual circumstances. And as I wrote yesterday, I have no problem with it. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/20816/no-worries-over-kobe-and-barnstorming
did you guys wish pau a happy birthday today?
Are you guys concerned about the procedure Kobe underwent in Germany? Should we expect Kobe to be Kobe, or could this be beginning his decline?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
Hi, Laura-I'm not worried in the sense that it will cause him any damage. By all accounts, it's a no harm, no foul type procedure. There's no downside, only some questions as to how much benefit he'll gain. But assuming he doesn't mind footing the bill for medical work done overseas- I suppose he can afford it- there's nothing wrong with giving it a shot. In terms of it reflecting on any decline, I think it's just indicative of the battle he has in front of him with his body. Nobody takes better care of himself than he does. Nobody is more willing to go the extra mile to find beneficial things. Still, the damage is there, and it's more a question of trying to stem the tide rather than actually get whole again.He takes good enough care of himself and has so much ability, plus the willingness to adapt aspects of his game. So I don't expect him to fall off quickly, but in some ways he's already in decline. It's just a matter of how fast. Right now, it's pretty slow.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Nope, but now I and every other Laker fan can.
what sense did shannon brown opting out make for him?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Hey Joe-I think more than anything, Brown is looking for security, more than he'd get from the Lakers. There's a good chance someone will give him a multi-year at a reasonable price. That's not something he'd likely get in L.A. even with a good season next year. I think his time has more or less run its course here. I don't think he's expecting a big payday, just hoping someone will give him a chance to put down at least something in the neighborhood of roots.
would you make the trade of lamar odom for chris paul (assuming it would work cap wise of course)
Brian Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
I would, but I don't think the Hornets would. Not nearly the return they'd want for CP3.
SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)
Is Kobe's surgery going to cost him any time during the season if there's no lockout?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
SteveFitz: First, it should be clarified this wasn't surgery. Kobe underwent a procedure, but it wasn't surgical as traditionally defined. As for the recovery time, it's said to be relatively short, so my guess is it won't bleed into the regular season even if it began on time. Whether the PRP treatment actually works is another story and remains to be seen.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Oh, and for those who wanna wish Pau happy birthday in his native tongue: Feliz cumpleanos
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear BrianIs there a coaches union in the NBA?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Chioke-I know there's a coaches association, but I don't believe they have a formal union.
some have suggested that there was a chemistry problem with the Lakers by the time they reached the playoffs . . . one writer went so far as to say that it looked like the guys were sick of being around each other. What's your take? If it's true do you think the lockout will provide a little more mental rest for the team so chemistry can improve . . . or does there need to be a shake up of the team so they can move forward with new energy?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
busman-I think a lot of it is a question of semantics. Yes, I do think they had a clear on-court chemistry problem, in which their trust and coordination with each other broke down and couldn't be put back together. I do think, too, there was some fatigue, natural stuff coming from being around each other for so long, and so many long playoff runs. So in that sense, they were a little sick of each other. Not consciously, but certainly enough to impact their play. What I don't believe, though, is there's some sort of deep rooted chemistry problem that would keep them from playing together effectively going forward. To use the old baseball expression with the (I believe) old Oakland A's of the 70s, it's not 15 players, 15 cabs. They get along fine. What they really needed to shake things up more than anything was what happened to them-- getting spanked in the playoffs, and re-generating the momentum, energy, and motivation helping propel them to titles in the first place.
robshaffer487 (san diego )
If you guys had to guess, who do you think the Lakers would like to bring in to help out the backcourt?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Robshaffer: Chris Paul or Deron Williams. But unfortunately, those guys probably aren't realistic (not right away, at the very least), and the Lakers may have few options and resources when it comes to adding new bodies. Particularly if the new CBA either lowers the cap or eliminates the mid-level exception. Save the unforeseen trade, in the most extreme case, they'll be to limited to free agents who make the veteran's minimum. Best case, they have a few mil to throw at someone. As for the player, think Roger Mason, that level of player.
Barea... What are the chances for the P/G? I think Cuban will do whatever he can to keep him with the Mavs...
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Roy: I'm pretty sure you answered your own question.
Freddy (Riverside, CA)
Everyone as of late is constantly saying that the Lakers should make some drastic moves, What are your thoughts on what they should to in order to return to the NBA Finals? I personally think they should improve in the PG position and leave the Gasol and Bynum.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Hi Freddy-I don't think they need huge changes. It's very difficult to take their core players- Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom- and improve on any one of them in a trade. Ship out Gasol, and the chances are you get a lesser player. Same with Bynum. They need help with their depth, could use fortification at SF and certainly PG, but radical changes aren't my prescription. More than anything, what they need was to be on the wrong end of a playoff run. They needed motivation, focus, and something to get that edge back. Getting swept by Dallas should end any questions of complacency.
What happens (contract/team/$$) when an NBA player plays overseas during an NBA lockout and suffers a bad injury that could keep him out even after the lockout is lifted? This is my biggest fear that if Kobe or Gasol (major stars) play in China/Spain/etc. that they could jeopardize their status for the NBA season.....
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Val-That's actually something that will have to be determined. Free agents are obviously just that- free. They can go where they want. But for players under contract, whether they can play in other leagues during a lockout is a question I haven't heard a firm answer to. Kobe's barnstorming thing is a different animal, because those are exhibitions. But whatever happens, any significant NBA players are almost certain to have an escape clause if they sign with overseas teams before it's determined the season is done for good.
Lord (Marina Del Rey)
John Ireland talked about Lamar playing point guard. Why not try to go with Kobe at the point and get a defensive stopper like Tony Allen to check the PG on defensive. I thought Kobe was at his best when he was the facilitator in that Orlando 2009 Finals. Can Kobe play the Lebron PG role Mike Brown had in Cleveland?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
In theory, I like your plan. I agree the Lakers typically work best with Kobe in facilitating mode (which inevitably includes a lot of scoring anyway) and this shift would extend his shelf life as an effective player. Unfortunately, the acquisition of that defensive stopper could be tough with the Lakers' limited resources and cap inflexibility. But if there's a way to put Kobe in that role, even with Fisher on the floor alongside him, I'd still take it.
germie (dallas, texas)
should I believe the stuff about the lockout possibly lasting till january and the season being shortened to 50 games?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
germie-Absolutely. It's exactly what happened last time, and could very well happen again. To me, the more interesting question is, if you had to choose only between the season starting on time or not happening at all, which is more likely. I worry it's the latter, though want to believe it's the former. But I believe there will be games missed, for sure.
Steve Brown (Savannah, Ga)
I think the lakers got the steal of the draft in Andrew Goudelock. He will be a perfect replacement for Derek Fisher either this year or next. I know Morris is good but Goudelock is a tremendous shooter with incredible range. Just what the Lakers need. Just google him and you shall see! What do you guys think?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
I like the pick, Steve, but have no idea if he'll prove a steal, or even make the team. He's definitely undersized, and having seen him without a jersey on, absolutely needs to get stronger to succeed at the NBA level. Dude needs to hit the weights HARD this summer. But you're right- he can absolutely shoot. From anywhere. Off the catch, and particularly off the dribble. This is an incredibly marketable skill in the NBA, one that never goes out of fashion. I think it's the skill set of shooting that gives him the biggest chance to make the team, even if he's a little deficient in other spots. It's one skill that a rookie, even a second rounder, can come on the floor and do. Catch ball, shoot ball. He's chances are very dependent on where the Lakers go in the offseason to fill depth, what trades they make, and so on, but if there's the roster spot to keep him and he plays well in camp, he's got a shot.
never (Los Angeles)
Is Pau Gasol getting back on the horse too fast competing in the Euro championships or does it really matter with the lockout in effect?
I'm ready to come to L.A. Who's L.A. going to trade for me?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Never: I understand any concerns over Pau competing overseas after his obvious exhaustion all season and especially the playoffs. But at the same time, I also understand why he'd be inclined to compete. There's an ASAP opportunity to get the bad taste of the playoffs out of his mouth, while reestablishing rhythm and confidence. I see the appeal. Plus, as this season proved, Pau can start the year totally rested, but if Drew is shelved, it doesn't really matter. TO a large degree, Pau's energy is tied to Drew's health. Period.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
I still think the only viable deal starts with Andrew Bynum, and goes from there. The big question is whether or not Otis Smith will require other teams to take on his bad contracts. Gilbert, Hedo, etc. in any deal to get you. He'll certainly try, that's for sure.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that there will be a NBA Season this year with now the lockout take affect?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Chris: Yes. I not only think there will be a season, I'm not even convinced we'll miss many, if any, games. Particularly if the NFL gets their stuff together and preserves a season. That puts tremendous public pressure on the NBA not to look like the greedy incompetents.
Any idea what happens with next years draft order if the NBA is locked out for the whole year? How do they decide that? Would there be a lottery? Maybe throw all 30 teams into it with the same odds?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Chris--Honestly, I have no idea. I'm not sure what the contingency plan on that one is. But it's a great question, for sure.
mike (portland or)
Any under the radar players the lakers might be looking at in trades or as a free agent.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Mike: I can't speak at all to the likelihood of happening or even any interest on the Lakers' part, but the name frequently popping up among Land O' Lakers readers is Sasha. The lack of playoff shooting and grit seems to have created an "absence makes the heart grow fonder" affect for Vujacic. Truthfully, it's also a bit of selective nostalgia, as fans are remembering Sasha as more of knockdown shooter and effective defender than he actually was. When he was out of the rotation, fans typically saw him as an overpaid expiring contract in need of trading. But either way, a reunion would be interesting, if not necessarily inevitable.
Michael Sanchez (Philippines)
Hello Kamenetzky Bros! I visit Land O' Lakers every day, love your blog and keep up the good work! :) One question. Don't know if you've been asked this before but, the Lakers have arguably the best starting 5 in the NBA - even with DFish at the 1. But our bench isn't probably in the upper half of the league when it comes to talent or productivity. My question is, how would your "dream"/ideal bench look like? What moves should we do to get those players? Do we trade one of our starting 5's to help form a relatively competitive bench? Thank you for your time guys and more power! :)
Brian Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Michael-Thanks for the nice words. Very much appreciated. Agreed that positionally, the Lakers had serious problems at point guard. Fish and Blake were the least productive tandem in the league, by a fair margin. I believe Blake is a good candidate to bounce back reasonably strong next season- he was well, well below many of his recent norms- but there's still a lot room for improvement. Big picture, I think they need real depth in the frontcourt. A viable backup center in the Aaron Gray mold. A guy who won't complain much if he doesn't play, but can give you real minutes without scuttling the season if need be. And with Bynum, the Lakers always have to have a Plan B in place, so if he gets hurt Gasol isn't overly taxed. From there, I think the Lakers also need a more viable option at PF than Caracter gave them last year. It would do a couple things- first, more depth to hedge against a Bynum injury, but it also allows Mike Brown to move Odom more freely around the floor, if he so chooses.The Artest/Barnes combo is something of a weak spot, as well. I'm not so much concerned about positions they fix, but skill sets. They need size, they need some speed/quickness, they definitely need shooting. If they address some of those but still have Blake and Fisher, I think that can still work.
jeff (las vegas, nevada)
I have started warming up to the idea of trading lamar for andre iguadola because i think having someone to defend a lebron, d-wade, kd, melo, is maybe more valuable than all the great things lamar does for us. also the athleticism is needed but i wish he had better offense i will admit what do you think?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Hey Jeff-When those rumors were flying around, as much as I love Odom, my initial instinct was to do the deal. Iggy is very similar to LO in the sense he fills a lot of gaps on a team. Good rebounder, good passer, good scorer, willing defender (Iggy is better in that regard than Odom, who is good himself). The Lakers would get younger, add some much needed athleticism on the wings, and so on. The negatives are pretty daunting, though. If they got Iguodala, Artest has to move, which is no easy task. Trading Lamar means a backup PF would absolutely have to be found, and a better one than they could use anyway. It would become an essential, not a luxury. It would also ratchet up the need to find a high quality backup C. Basically, losing LO means replacing him with two players on the roster. Plus, Iguodala makes a lot of money, so financially it's a big risk going into a new CBA.But there are a lot of things to like about it.
Hey Kbros was wondering why all the hoop lah about the lakers getting a superstar when it's most likely not going to happen for a bunch of reasons. I'd really consider picking up Baron Davis he still has a good 3 point stroke and when he's committed can be a good defender.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Turner: I'm gonna have to strongly disagree with that idea. For starters, you may the only person on the planet (besides Baron, of course) who thinks he has a good three-point stroke. He's a career 32 percenter from distance, and save a brief surge in Cleveland, has never shot even 36 percent on a season. He's both unreliable from three and far too fond of the shot. As for his defensive ability, you used the phrase "when committed," which should never be a caveat for a player making $14-15 mil. I don't trust Baron to stay motivated, especially in a city with such easy access to the entertainment industry and old friends. He's not a terrible player, obviously, but he's also not worth the trouble.
Will we ever see a Frank McCourt in the NBA? ; )
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey Guys- With the NBA on the shelf and the Dodgers in the tank, I have turned my interest to this Farmers Field project. I heard that if it gets approval by July 31, we could have a team by next year to start playing in the Rose Bowl or Coliseum. Thoughts?
Why do you guys feel so strong that the core should be kept in tact? Artest/Gasol/Odom have all displayed complaicency and behind the scenes drama that have caused them to lose focus on basketball (especially during the playoffs). Wouldn't moving one of them and getting someone (All Star calibur) in return would ingnite this Laker squad because of the hunger and motivation to get back to championship calibur.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Kris-I think the complacency issues are solved by losing to Dallas last year, adding fresh motivation, and putting that chip squarely back on the team's collective shoulder. Kobe said it himself at his exit interview- it's all low hanging fruit. People think they're too old, can't win without PJ, and so on. That eliminates the complacency problem, I believe. The core (again, I'm talking Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Bynum- I wouldn't include Artest in that) is very difficult to improve on in a trade. Bad as he was in the playoffs, there just aren't very many players better than Gasol, and few if any are available. Same with Bynum, and even Odom, given how hard he is to replace.If that All Star you talk about becomes available, you consider it for sure. I'd trade Bynum for Dwight Howard. If Williams or CP3 were available this summer, you look at it. But none of those guys will be on the market this fast. In terms of offseason moves with a realistic chance of happening, I don't think there are many ways to improve the Lakers by trading any of those four guys.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Mike (Ladera): Any plan that brings the NFL to L.A. and leaves taxpayers relatively off the hook (as AEG is presenting matters, if nothing else), I'm all for. I think it would be fun and beneficial for the city.
Ian Mahinmi (Dallas, TX)
I don't understand all this love for Kobe? He's more arrogant than Lebron. What he has he done to back up his arrogance besides win 5 rings and 2 Finals MVP accolades?!
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
I love that Ian Mahinmi's opinions have actually created a ripple of attention. It really pays to get a ring, huh?
With Kyrie Irving likely to back up Baron in Cleveland, wouldn't going after Ramon Sessions be a smart move? He was almost getting triple doubles last season while Mo Williams was out...and with a terrible team (trying landing double digit assists with that crew)! What would it take to land a guy like Sessions?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Hey Lucas-I'd be surprised if Sessions wasn't on their radar, for sure. But he'll be on just about everyone's radar, which could complicate matters. He's not good enough to give up someone like Odom, but I wonder if the Lakers could put together an attractive package out of their other pieces to get Sessions back. I mentioned this in last week's Triangle: Their good players are too good, their lesser players are too lesser. It's probably the biggest flaw of the Lakers' roster in terms of trades.
Any chance that the Lakers can put Bynum in a package to get CP3 and David West?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Nick: Paul or West? Maybe. Both, I doubt it, plus, it leaves the Lakers without a center, unless New Orleans would trade those guys for Bynum and LO (instead of Pau), which feels pretty light for a haul of All-Star caliber players, even taking into the account the financial obligations involved with paying Paul and West long term.
jim (los angelos, california)
is it possible with the lakers financial situation to get a j.r smith or arron aflalo or any of the denver rotation players? and i actually did like sasha and would definately like to see him and his shooting again.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Hey Jim-The Nuggets will almost certainly hold on to Afflalo, so he's not really a viable option. They love him there (with good cause). JR Smith... Can't say I'm a fan. Great scorer, for sure, but has a ten cent basketball brain, and is to me more trouble than he's worth. I think there's a reason a guy like him, with so much skill, isn't particularly wanted by his team.
bob kamenetzky (orange county, california)
shouldn't the lakers involve ron artest in the offense more by posting him up. i think at least occasionally they should run a play to take advantage of him in the post to utilize his strength offensively.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Bob Kamenetzky (no relation, mostly because I'm pretty sure this is a fake name): Yes and no. I agree Ron can operate well out of the post. He drives left very effectively and is able to muscle even bigger defenders. He's also a borderline underrated passer. Unfortunately, the rub is working down low also means sometimes going all the way to the rim, which is basically a blocked layup waiting to happen. At this stage of his career, Ron has just slightly more life than Luke Walton. So it's also an imperfect approach. But either way, I do think Ron tends to succeed more if he's involved, the sporadic "dribble-dribble" episodes notwithstanding.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
And with that response to my non-family member, that's a wrap. Thanks for dropping by, everyone! Same time next week, and be sure to swing by the blog on Friday for Lakers Late Night in the afternoon.