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 (1:32 PM)
Hey all, ready to go?
Angelo Henry (Pasadena)
doesnt Drew qualify for a handicap placard by now?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
And so the zings begin... But seriously, there's no excuse for Drew parking in a handicapped spot. Period. There are few things that everyone agrees is outta bounds, and this makes the short list. I've always been a fan of Drew as a person, and still think he's a good guy, but I'm starting to grow concerned about a "I don't give a %$%#" attitude emerging. The handicapped parking. The fouls on Barea and Beasley. Even the unfiltered attitude with the media, which I fully cop to finding alternately amusing and refreshing. But I'm starting to wonder know if taken together, it all reflects a lack of concern for consequences or accountability. Or at the very least, there's a vibe of immaturity and entitlement.
Never (Los Angeles)
Most important matters need to be addressed first. Where is ESPNLA's coverage of the Lakers Girls Auditions?!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Never: We had a radio show that day. Can't be in two places at once. And the people of L.A. need our voices. We can't deprive them.
Will the end of the NFL lockout help bring an end quicker to the NBA lockout?
Bake (Upper Marlboro, MD)
Why is Jeannie's Buss so muted these days? The handling of Ronnie Lester, scouts, equipment people, and Brian Shaw does not seem like Jeannie's style. Why have we not heard from her?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Bake: I don't know for sure if Jeanie is upset about those recent events, but even if that's the case, I'm not surprised she's taking the high road. The franchise is going through a major period of transition right now, and the last thing we need is public front office infighting. We saw how much drama came as the result of Jeanie and Jim squabbling in 2007 during the Radio Tour days. These things are best left in house.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
4LifeLakerfan-I'd like to think so, but honestly I doubt one will have much impact on the other, outside of the obvious PR angle for the basketballers. The NFL staying on strike into their season would have provided nice cover for the NBA, because in the end while basketball is popular, nothing beats the NFL in this country. No NFL would have been the dominant story. Now that cover has disappeared.But fundamentally, the issues they're dealing with in the NBA are different than in the NFL, where nobody loses money. Argue about the numbers, but almost everyone agrees teams in the NBA are losing money (many, not all). It seems like people are really dug in on both sides, more than in the NFL.
So what percentile do you think we are at right now with having a season coming up of basketball?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Sharon-I think there will be a season, but expect to miss some games. Hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
Just ran into Scottie Pippen at Jamba Juice and all I really wanted to ask him was "do you have Kobe's number?" In all seriousness, I guess losing Phil Jackson didn't equate to us getting off the Christmas Day schedule. I like the Bulls match-up that day, thoughts?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Callie: How ironic is it that the Lakers and Bulls would play on X-Mas Day immediately upon PJ retiring? Should be a good game, but still, kinda random.
What up K- Bros, it seems like the NBA players have more leverage than any other sport due to the fact they can make a substantial income playing overseas. Does this have any effect on the lockout?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Alex--It helps, but ultimately I think there aren't enough high end jobs in the european and Asian leagues to really make a dent. Some guys will get nice deals, but for the majority of the rank and file, there's no better option than the NBA in terms of making the kind of money they want. And not everyone wants to leave their families and go overseas. It's a factor, but I don't see the players using overseas opportunities as a true lifeboat.
Kareem Scamahorn (LA)
When a season begins again, what channel will Laker games be on? Who do I buy cable from? No more KCAL9 or FSW I presume..
Brian Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Hey Kareem-Nothing new next year. Games will still be on KCAL and FSN. From there, though, any standard cable package will probably be fine. Time Warner is, according to the people I spoke to, planning on making their games available (for a price) to the other local carriers.
Chris 29Palms (Los Angeles)
Hi K Brothers,What is the word about Trey Johnson's future with the Lakers? I thought he played pretty well for the very short time he was with the team last season. Is he coming back next season and should he?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Chris29Palms: If I had to guess, Trey Johnson is a long shot to make the team, although he could get a long. He was the last in training camp among the cut players, and did acquit himself nicely in his brief Laker stint. But at the same time, limited minutes can be misleading and it's a brand new coaching staff. Maybe he gets another invite, but either way, he's a long shot.
Tyreke Evans (Sacramento (For Now))
Assuming the lockout is lifted and the Mayan calendar doomsday prediction does not come to fruition, what are the chances of me moving to the OC?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Hey Tyreke-Still pretty good, I think. I was chatting with a scribe from Sacramento this weekend, and he seemed to indicate the financing up in Sacto was still pretty spotty. I don't think the Kings are a lock to move at this point, but the reprieve they got up north may just be temporary. Anaheim remains a strong possibility, as far as I can tell.
Austin (Cheeseburger West Side)
If you were the Lakers would you trade Kobe for Kevin Durant and then trade Kevin Durant to the Timberwolves for Darko?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Austin, I might stop at the first part of that trade deal. Plus, would you give up Darko for Durant? That seems steep. :)
I'm not buying the Odom at the point talk, he can't guard Westbrook, A. Brooks types. Can Blake and old man Fisher improve upon last years performance? Can the rookie guards make the team?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Austin: Of course I would, but since David Kahn would never flip Darko for the likes of Kevin Durant, it's a moot point.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Coop-I don't think Odom is a real option as a long term fix at the point, but could be an interesting play from time to time. He's got many of the skills, and has been used as a point forward in the past. Obviously it creates defensive matchup problems for the Lakers, but it also creates them at the other end. That's the trade off. I think Fisher statistically last season did about what you'd expect. Blake, on the other hand, was a disappointemnt. If you're looking for one of those guys to improve substantially this year, I'd focus on Blake. As for the rooks, I'd be shocked if Morris didn't make the team. Goudelock is less of (no pun intended) a lock. I think they're interested, but he'll be impacted by the number of roster spots available, which is dependent on what moves they make this offseason.
Bake (Upper Marlboro, MD)
Brand and Holiday for Gasol. Do you think the Lakers would be interested?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
I don't have the particulars of EB's deal in front of me, but I think that could be the dealbreaker there. I'm sure the Lakers would love a crack at Holiday (local lad!), but not to take on Brand. He was better last season with Philly, but still not close to the amount of money he's making.
after the point guard profile (nice job btw) can you do a cover of available shooting guards that fit what the lakers need? maybe in a t-mac mold?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
RZ-Thanks!Nice of you to say. And as a matter of fact, our SG overview goes up today. Andy wrote it, but I'm sure he mentioned T-Mac (unless we're saving him for the SF post...). There are some options out there. A guy wh ocan score a little would be nice. Young, with some athleticism. I think a player like Willie Green could be the template.
why is there still so much talk about PG position? is there no faith in our draft picks?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Good SirLaker-I think they like Morris, for sure, a guy who had he stayed another year probably would have been a first round pick, and perhaps even a lottery selection. But to expect him to come in and make a real impact this season on a team with championship aspirations is a stretch. The hope is he shows the ability to be a solid NBA player, but he's a year or two at least from making real contributions. Goudelock, interestingly enough, could have a better chance to make a quick impact if he makes the team, because shooting is one thing that can translate to the pros quickly, even with the learning curve. Catch. Shoot. Repeat. I don't expect much from either, but Goudelock's skill set could make it possible.
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
Brand only has about 2 left on that bad deal. He also looks like the exact hungry veteran that Dallas used to win a TITLE. On another note, any chance Jeannie can win control of the team as the girl and not the boy. She's shown way more lifetime Laker love of all the BUSS kids. I'm all for Girl Power in this case
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Bake-Hmmmm... Thanks for the info on Brand's deal. Obviously if you think last year's productivity is more indicative of what he'll be going forward (as opposed to the two seasons previous) it makes the deal more appealing. EB was better on the glass and raised his efficiency last season, for sure. The key is obviously how good you think Holiday will get. I like him, and think he has a lot of talent, but still don't think this will make the Lakers better next season. More of a rebuilding type deal. I'd hold off for sure. As for Jeannie, I think the split of workload is how it's going to be. She runs the business, Jim runs the team.
shannon brown (los angeles)
why should i stay?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
You probably shouldn't.
Eric (Sac, CA)
You guys keep saying that you don't like Kobe at the point because he needs to work in ways that lessen the defensive pressure on him (off the ball), but wouldn't adding the consistent threat of passing redeuce the defensive pressure as well? IMO the games the Lakers have looked their best the last few seasons are when Kobe is flirting with the 10 assits mark. In early 2008 when Kobe started dishing to Drew for those easy dunks under the hoop it almost seemed like the defense froze, they couldn't decide wheter to challenge or stay with their man.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Eric-I understand your point, and love the idea of putting Kobe in positions to pass more, but the rigors of being the point I do think will take a toll. He'll have the ball in his hands plenty and can play that role often, without actually making it the design of the offense. But I love when Kobe works off ball. I think it makes his offense better, freeing him from double teams and forcing the opposition to account for him at all times. that helps everyone else. Plus, working away from the ball at the top of possessions will help Kobe gain better position in the mid- and low posts, which is increasingly his bread and butter. He's obviously talented enough to do it (though his handle is a little wonky these days, thanks to the finger damage) but I don't like the idea.
James (Riverside, CA)
Is Gary Vitti the longest tenured Laker in franchise history? I've always seen that dude on the bench since I can remember watching Laker games. Talk about job security.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Widely considered one of the best in the business, for sure.
Hank (West Covina, CA)
Good job on the B. Shaw interview, guys. I'm not surprised B. Shaw thought he didn't get the Lakers gig because of his association with Phil. I am surprised, however, he thought he didn't get any coaching positions because of the same relationship. Is there something about being under the tutelage of the greatest NBA coach in history that just irks owners and GMs?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Hank: Thanks so much for the nice words. I don't know for sure what has prevented Phil from developing a coaching tree, but I have a few theories. 1) These guys have only coached the triangle, and that's a very impractical system for most teams looking for a new coach. Typically, those are bad teams and the triangle takes time to learn. Bad teams don't have the luxury of time. Not that a PJ assistant would insist on running the triangle, but there's no other template to judge them on. 2) Some may feel either Phil's success is due entirely to the players he's had or his own genius, but either way, the assistants have purely been along for the ride. 3) It's no secret Phil is not a terribly well-liked guy around the league, so perhaps other teams don't want to deal with someone they could envision as a disciple of that personality. 4) Phil's approach has always been cerebral and ethereal, because he can get away with it. That trait could be less desirable in a protege. Prospective employers want someone more traditional. 5) Phil, by his own admission, isn't an X's and O's guys and his strength is managing personalities. So you wonder how much basketball IQ his assistant coaches have gained. There could be other reasons, but those are some that come to mind.
dirk novitski (dallas)
see kobe cant do it on his own like me!
With the drafting of Brandon Knight the Pistons have an excess of scoring PGs. Could you see the Lakers going after Stuckey if he is made available?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:14 PM)
Hi Nick-I realize there's a bit of a position glut, but a) I don't see the pistons letting Stuckey go, since he's probably their best player, is very young still, and at 6'5" is probably better suited to play the 2 (though he's not a good shooter). B) The Lakers can't afford him. I don't think Stuckey will be available for what the Lakers can offer. Between other offer sheets teams will put out for him and Detroit's ability to match, it's just not a realistic option.
what do you think about me comsidering leaving you guys to go play with my boy deron williams?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
First, I'll believe it when I see it. There's a lot of difference between theoretically expressing a desire to play if they back up the giant EuroBrinks truck to your door, and actually going to do it. In the last report from Marc Stein, it seemed like you wanted double what Besiktas was offering (assuming the offers were real). That's a big gap. Who's to say your ask won't go up? The question is how much it costs to insure the 85 million left on your contract. Without a large enough offer to offset that cost, plus something to make it worth your while, I don't see it happening.
Jose (Los Angeles)
Should the Lakers trade Gasol or Bynum and should they consider signing Tracy Mcgrady?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Jose: Depends on who the Lakers are trading either guy for, but I'm more inclined to trade Drew, if one had to go. I trust Pau's track record and health more, and Bynum will likely fetch a better return. As for T-Mac, I think he's worth a cheap flier. He reinvented himself nicely as a PG in Detroit, and even though he's far from the superstar days, he could help the second unit and the Lakers need another guy capable of creating for himself. His D can be spotty, but you get what you pay for, you know?
Never (Los Angeles)
It hasn't been a good PR campaign for Bynum during these past few months. Should Laker fans be concerned?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Yeah, I think it's reasonable to be a little concerned. Taken as a whole, you can question where Bynum is, or is going, mentally. The edge to his game can be good, but too much is not, especially if it bleeds to his off-court life.
K-Bro's: Well done, always....Question: Don't you think Andrew's entitlement issue has something to do with the fact that everyone keeps suggesting to him that he COULD be the most dominant Center in the league right now (save for perhaps D-How, and I'm reluctant to admit that)? I think we (media, teammates, management, fans) have turned him into less of the good kid we saw a few years ago and more into the guy who should literally get every rebound...Are we partially to blame?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Jordan: No doubt, the royal "we" played a role in creating an entitled attitude, if that's what's happening with Drew. At the same time, he's ultimately responsible for his own actions and ego. Hopefully, others around him provide reality checks, but if he doesn't care about staying grounded, doesn't really matter.
What was their plan when they let Jordan Farmar go? I thought he would've evolved to the starting PG for the Lakers. But now, they're left with aging Fisher and inconsistent Blake.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Hey Tommy-The plan was Steve Blake, to be honest. Jordan didn't want to be in LA anymore, where he couldn't play the type of role in the type of system he wanted. Granted, he didn't exactly find Nirvana from that standpoint in New Jersey, but at least he got paid, more than the Lakers were willing to go.I supported the exchange at the time, and still do. You can't have guys around who don't want to buy in. Blake was a good choice, he just played horribly last season. I suspect he'll be better going forward. Perhaps nt to the level people want, but better than last year.
J.L (Los Angeles)
Who has a higher chance of being traded, Walton, Bynum, Pau, or Odom?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
J.L. I'd rank them as follows:1)Odom2)Bynum3)Gasol4)Walton, who's basically untradeable unless part of a package or is getting flipped for an equally bad deal I don't know why the Lakers would want.
Paul Sharpe (Denver)
Just read your point guard article and am wondering how the Lakers will adjust / improve if the PG position is primarily the same. Will Mike Brown's offense / rotations work to address this?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Hi Paul-Like I write, I don't think there are solid options available on the FA market to deal with the PG shortcomings. Rather than put money towards an inferior "solution," I think they'll try to bolster other parts of the roster and see what happens. A trade is possible, but there the options, at least in terms of really high end players, are limited as well. The Lakers don't have all that many chips. Their high end players are too good (you need a very strong return for any of Odom, Bynum, Kobe, or Gasol) and their lesser guys aren't appealing, b/c of performance and finances.Offensively, Brown will likely add a little more P and R, which should serve Blake well. Fisher is a more open question, because his primary function was organizing an offense they're no longer running. It remains to be seen what sort of system they'll end up running, though. Tough question to answer right now. I suspect Kobe and Odom will have a fair share of ball handling duties as well.
laker fan (milwaukee)
do u think that if no trades are made that they still can win the championship?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:27 PM)
Yes, if they bolster the team with some solid free agent additions to improve the depth.
Rommelpppp (Portland, Or)
I was wondering after this season, if you order the NBA package for out of market games, will the Laker games still be available through the package, because of the switch to Time Warner?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
The switch doesn't come until 2012-13, but I suspect whatever the setup is now for the NBA package will be the same once the Lakers jump to TW.
exhelo (San Diego)
How are Fiber and Oatmeal, the Roughage Boys, doing today?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
Ex, Oatmeal is doing fine, and has also decided to start addressing himself in the third person. If you don't like Oatmeal acting that way, Oatmeal doesn't give a moof.
Pau and Odom rarely play defense, could the Lakers trade them for CP3 and Ariza? Lakers would lose size but they could sign someone like Arron Gray
Brian Kamenetzky (2:32 PM)
First of all, I disagree with your premise. Odom is an active and versatile defender, and Gasol is much better than people give credit. Whether they'd make that deal for CP3 is a bit of a moot point, because the Hornets won't put him on the market this summer. Plus, where does Trevor play in your deal?
Jacob (San Luis Obispo, CA)
If the lockout extends the whole year, do you see NBA players participating in the '12 Olympics?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:33 PM)
Interesting question I hadn't thought of. But yeah, I think they will.
K-Dog (The 'Vine)
Is it true that some assistant coaches are passing on the Lakers because of how the team has been treating their coaches/executives recently? Or does it just seem that way?
Luuuuke Walton (L.A.)
Am I done? Can I rise from the scrap heap and pull a Brian Cardinal and make a small impact at some point?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:34 PM)
Luuuuuuuke: Never say never, but I'm not counting on much from you next season. Artest, Barnes, Odom, and maybe even Ebanks are all ahead of you in the pecking order. And beyond the inability to stay healthy, those recurring injuries have robbed you of some athleticism you couldn't really afford to lose. Maybe if camp began unusually healthy and productive, you could surprise your way into a spot. But I wouldn't bet the farm. Sorry.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:36 PM)
K-Dog: Honestly, I don't know. My guess is it has more to to with money than anything you're talking about, but it's a reasonable question. But I don't have the inside pipeline on each of those guys (Boylen, Malone, etc.) to know for sure. But from what I've heard, I would point first to money, and then to where they'd land on each staff's pecking order. Malone, for example, is going to be M. Jackson's lead assistant in GS, whereas he'd have been behind Kuester in LA. That matters.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:36 PM)
Okay, people, gotta run. Thanks for dropping by. Don't forget to block out time for Friday's midday "Lakers Late Night," and we'll be continuing our free agency series. Next up, shooting guards!