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!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
Hey everyone. Just me today, but I'll be around for a while to answer all of your Lakers/NBA/CBA questions. Let's get going!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we see NBA Basketball at all in 2011-2012 or will the season be cancelled due to a Labor Dispute?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:33 PM)
Hi Chris. I'd still be surprised if there's no basketball at all. They seem to be close enough on the revenue split to not scuttle the whole season. Games will be missed, but not the whole thing.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Good Morning K Bros- I would think that once this thing is finally settled, DFish is going to be exhausted, mentally and physically from spearheading this negotiation, traveling back and forth etc. Then he is going to rush to training camp to learn a brand new system and try to guard guys 12+ years younger than him? I have a feeling this is not going to bode well for the Lakers PG situation.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Mike, that's a great point. This has been a serious grind for Fisher, and while I know he's still working out, there's absolutely no way this whole process hasn't disrupted his very meticulous training schedule. And yeah, anything you do placing obstacles in front of Fish at this point in his career is troublesome. It'll be a challenge, for sure. But then again, it was going to be a challenge, anyway. HOpefully, if his minutes are manageable, it'll be fine. He's not a guy who gets by on quicks and pop anyway, but strength and smarts. And a lot of this has to do with the play of Steve Blake, too. If he's strong, the pressure on Fisher is mitigated.
Rashard Lewis (Washington)
Why are the owners blaming the players for the bad contracts (like the one they gave me and my trade buddy Gilbert Arenas, and let's not forget Detroit's Charlie and Gordon wonderful contracts) when they're the ones giving them out? They're also saying lower market teams aren't competitive when teams like OKC and Dallas are coming in strong.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Rashard, you're absolutely making the argument the NBPA makes. They believe much of the NBA's problems can be due to a lack of quality revenue sharing, combined with smarter management, solves many of the problems owners claim to be facing. Your point about smaller market teams is a good one, but Dallas doesn't qualify a) because it's a pretty big market, and b) Mark Cuban spends regardless. But the obstacles for a team like OKC are strong. Once their guys graduate into the open market, they'll be forced to either pay a major payroll and (probably, given the market) lose the chance to profit, or let guy go in the name of the bottom line. Ultimately, I think there are certain structural problems- the length of contracts being the biggest- that need to be changed, and players probably should give back revenue to make the system work better. But the owners have to give as well.
Jen (Palo Alto)
Does Shannon Brown look like he is going to come back for another year? And would that be a good thing?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
Hi Jen-I suspect not, though the wild card is the new administration in charge. If PJ was returning, I'd say there was almost no chance the Lakers would keep Shannon. I still think it's a very low probability, but given how fast free agency is going to go this year, nothing would surprise me. As far as it being a good thing, under the old system, I'd say no. But perhaps the new regime would find a way to mine some of Shannon's positives, while minimizing the negative. Ultimately, though, he's probably not a good enough ball handler to help run a P and R offense, nor is his shooting consistent enough to be that designated gunner.
Jay Kang and Bill Simmons proposed an alternate player-owned league, and they had players be co-captains (Kobe and LeBron were co-captains on one team) and have a draft. Guess who the first two players picked in the draft were? Pau and Drew.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Even in pretend basketball leagues, everyone loves size.
Tommy (Fairfax, VA)
Would you trade LeGarrette Blount for Hakeen Nicks? Top RB's are currently Chris Johnon, Fred Jackson, Felix Jones and LeGarrette Blount Top WR's are currently Brandon Marshall, Santonio Holmes
Brian Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Absolutely. Given the depth you have at RB, you'll be fine. But Holmes isn't very reliable, and neither is Marshall. Plus, Chad Henne just got hurt. Pull the trigger.
Derek Fisher (NYC)
Why does every1 think we need a new PG. We made 3 strate finals with me, while beating, Dwill,CP,Rondo,Westbrook...Steve and I are more then capable.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:45 PM)
D-Fish, I think you make a great point. No question, the Lakers were extremely weak at PG last year, but as you point out, the Lakers were weak EVERY year they went to the Finals. An upgrade at the point would be great, but it probably isn't coming, at least not via free agency (whenever that happens) or a trade in the near term. But if they can shore up other deficiencies, namely frontcourt depth behind Bynum, a shooter, maybe another reliable wing scorer, they can get by with the Fisher/Blake tandem. No team is perfectly constructed, all teams have holes. The Lakers have too many of them right now, but there's no reason they must fill PG, as opposed to some of the others.
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
After the Players having at least 53% of the BRI for 34 years including the last 6 at 57%, why would the players agree to less when it appears that a 50% or under BRI would include a lot of hard cap disguised components like luxury tax penalties and roll backs of salary.?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Well, they're trying not to. I think there's clearly a generalized understanding that some form of a giveback is coming, and frankly isn't not undeserved. But they'll say what you're saying- that it's not fair to put the entire weight of fixing the league's economic model purely on the backs of players.
Does a shorten regular season beneft the lakers, since their aging?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Hi Steven-Well, it depends on your perspective. In some ways, I do believe the shorter season helps. Yes, in a 50 game season there are more back to backs, and in 98-99 there were even back to back to backs, but in reality the season was played a little under 20 percent faster, which isn't insignificant but isn't completely daunting, either, especially when balanced against a smaller number of games. It would help a team like the Lakers, who have championship experience but a fair amount of mileage, get to the good part faster. Fewer games also mean extra focus, which can't hurt. On the other hand, a shorter season leaves them more exposed to complications arising out of injury, and of course gives them far less time to fully learn and implement everything the new coaching staff wants to do. So there are trade offs. They're a versatile and veteran group, and I don't think it'll be too hard for them to pick up what Mike Brown wants to do, but still, practice helps.
oscar (haverford, pa)
some nba observers say that the ball is at the 3 yard line. can and will the league and union score a collective 80 million dollar touchdown by monday?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Oscar, I hope so. I do think, reading last night about where things seem to stand, it's not totally out of the question that things could move reasonably quickly. Not fast enough to save the start of the season-- there are still a zillion things on the agenda that need to be decided even if they come to an agreement on BRI, all of which will take time-- but if they're really only 80 mil per season apart, I can't imagine they'll lose the whole year. So not by Monday, but it's reasonable to believe there will be a season.
Well, at least we have NBA 2k12 now to fill our empty NBA void. I don't know about the real NBA, but my 2012 virtual season started yesterday...Btw, updates on Kobe are spectacular.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Thanks, Dee. Appreciate it. Congrats on the start of another season. It's the most exciting part of the year, full of potential. I hope the terrestrial season catches up to your virtual one ASAP.
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
If there are no Amnesty cuts, player salary rollbacks, or ridiculously high luxury tax penalties, can the Lakers keep a large core of their talent and have a chance to reload when the POST KOBE era begins?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Bake, what you're getting at is a huge factor when it comes to the CBA and the Lakers. While excellent management, aggressive ownership, and a little bit of luck has fueled L.A.'s success over the years (and the level of success is legitimately remarkable), there's no question the ability to spend like they do has helped as well. Not so much in paying free agent stars to come to LA, but in keeping the ones they have. Most teams, for example, wouldn't have had the luxury of signing Lamar Odom to the money they did to be a sixth man, or keep Andrew Bynum AND Pau Gasol. Take that away, and the Lakers do still have built in advantages by virtue of playing in LA, being the premiere franchise in the league, and so on, but they'll still lose some advantages, no question.
Will (San Diego)
I just wanted to thank you guys for doing such a great job. You've found a way to make the lockout/summer bearable. Kudos
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
matthew (los angeles)
do you think the owners and players can agree to a 52-48 BRI? and another question.. who's side are you on? the owners or the players?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Matthew-I think in the end, it'll be something around 50/50, though as the saying goes, God is in the details. I'm not so much on a side as I am frustrated with the process generally. There are issues where I actually am sympathetic to the league, and others where I think the players are being asked to give back too much. In the end, it's hard for me to get too sympathetic with either side, given what the general public is going through economically. I realize that sounds a little preachy and sanctimonious, but it's true.
Charlie Day (Pennsylvania)
Should Metta World Peace attend these labor negotiations and loudly proclaim, "WILDCARD B@$#HES!"
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Yes. Yes he should.
David (San Diego)
Will Coach Brown play more of the younger players ala Ebanks, Caracter, Morris, Goudelock, or will he stay with the veterans like what PJ did?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
Well, I'm not sure Goudelock and Caracter will actually make the team, but assuming they do, I wouldn't expect significant minutes for either without injuries opening up floor time. Remember, Goudelock is a second round pick, and would be unlikely to play much on any team he'd make. Ebanks could be in line for more PT, particularly if he has a strong camp. He does provide them with wing athleticism and a dynamic other guys on the roster can't. Morris... unlikely to play much. Again, rookie second rounder at a vitally important position. On any team, particularly a contending one, PT might be tough to come by.
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
If the Lakers can not get some favorable framework of a somewhat soft cap out of this deal coupled with the new CABLE money forthcoming, the Laker front office will be extremely pressured to choose the right player components in the near future. Mistakes will be more costly. Could the Lakers demand 2yr deals out of all Players as an organization counter based on the privilege of being a LAKER???
Brian Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
They can, but most players will choose the security of whatever length they can get in a contract. Especially if the per year money is comparable. So for the Lakers, they can (particularly with older vets) play the cache card, but generally speaking it's not a way to build a team.
paul (notre dame)
Who's the most realistic acquisition for the Lakers this year?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
It's hard to say specifically without knowing what the rules will look like, but the important thing is scale. Don't expect some sort of massive, splashy move. The core guys- Bynum, Kobe, Pau, Odom- will all be in uniform next year, and the supporting cast is likely to be similar, supplemented with role players. A guy like Jeff Foster, for example, to back up Bynum, or a wing like Shane Battier to help add depth on the wing and the bench. They'll be playing around the margins of the trade and FA market, not going for the big names.
If Lebron had Kobe's teammates during those past two championship runs, would he have won a couple rings? I say no. Lakers might have won a few more regular season games with Lebron at the helm but they would have been bounced in the playoffs knowing how Lebron collapses in the 4th even with Wade and Bosh as teammates.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
I don't know if that's fair, Never. Obviously he was bad in the fourth against the Mavs, but he absolutely torched teams along the way, too. Overall, his playoff performance leading to the Finals was very strong. Would it have been enough for him to win a title or two? I have no idea, really. The guy has questions to answer (some that Kobe clearly doesn't at this point in his career) but I think the choker label isn't necessarily fair with him, either.
Chris (Studio City)
What's up, K-Bros! What odds do you place on some 11th-hour Hail Mary scenario happening before Monday which will allow a season to be played?? Or are we doomed to a full year of Metta all over reality TV?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Hey Chris-I think there could definitely be movement leading into Monday, but there are still so many issues that haven't yet been discussed, stuff that may not be quite as significant as the BRI question, but still will take time to work through. With that in mind, saving the start of the season (at least as scheduled) seems almost impossible. Games are going to get canceled, but there is reason to believe there will, at some point, be basketball.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:13 PM)
Hey folks, time for one or two more...
Does Kobe eventually make his way to Italy? If so, are you cool with it?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
I think he will, assuming no miracle comes, and assuming he can secure the necessary insurance to protect himself and the remaining 83 million or so on his Lakers deal. But if that all gets done, yeah, I think he'll go.As far as being cool with it, yeah, I think it's fine. My biggest concern is the aesthetics of it. Does it look good for Kobe to go off and make money while the European market dries up for more rank and file members of the union? It's a legit question, but the structure of Kobe's deal in Italy doesn't appear to be a giant cash grab. I suspect he's seen better offers throughout the summer than what he'll eventually make with Virtus. The injury question doesn't really bother me, Daniel Hackett's comments notwithstanding. He's going to play somewhere, and the Serie A is a serious, structured league, not some crazy hoops backwater. I don't feel he's really in any more danger there than he would be playing almost anywhere else. The way he talks about Italy, it almost reminds me of a guy who wants to play for his country in the offseason. It's hard to begrudge the opportunity.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Ok, everyone. That's all we have for today. If I didn't get to your question, hit me up on Twitter (@espnlandolakers) and I'll get back to you. See you next week!