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 everyone. Brian will be here in a few. But until then, let's get 'er jumping.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
If there is a silver lining to the probable cancellation of the 2011-12 season, it's that we are a year closer to Luke Waltons contract expiring, right?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:31 PM)
Boom!!! A zinger right out of the gate!!!
Any chance Dallas will get Dwight Howard in the near future?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Ronald: Near future? No. Beyond the lockout currently making a trade of any kind impossible, I would be stunned if the Magic traded Howard before the season began. It's much more believable they'll make one more push to build around him before really considering a swap. He's not just the entire franchise. He's not just the best center in the league, hands down. He's the best player they've ever had not named "Shaquille" or "O'Neal," and by a long shot. You exhaust all efforts before moving a player like that.
WILL DEAN (LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA)
DO YOU THINK DEREK FISHER IS STILL THE STARTING PG BECAUSE OF WHAT HE'S ALREADY DONE OR IS IT THE "POTENTIAL" MIKE BROWN MAY SEE IN HIM.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:42 PM)
Will Dean: It wouldn't shock me if Fish started, but I think it's going to be a much more of a legitimately open competition than in years past. Phil Jackson's long-standing trust in Fisher certainly created an inherent advantage. My guess is there will be a clean slate with Mike Brown, which will even the playing field for Blake, if nothing else.
why is pau gasol still on the lakers? can they please trade the soft boy
Andy Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
redmamba: Um, probably because he played a key role in two title runs. I realize he's coming off a very bad postseason and it's certainly not unthinkable they'd deal Pau, but it's pretty unlikely. And the guy is hardly dead weight. Let's slow down a smidge before having a "fuego" sale with Pau. #BadSpanishPuns
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Why is the NBA trying to emulate the NHL with a hard cap? It's obvious star driven teams rule pro basketball. Are they trying to get back playing "team" basketball?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Hey Ryan-It's not that complicated. No attempt to change style, but to save money and earn back some degree of influence over the direction of player movement. But even then, it's more the former than the latter. The owners feel without a hard cap, it's too difficult for smaller market teams especially to be both competitive and profitable. They want the sort of cost certainty a hard cap would bring.
Mike (Long Beach)
Given that the roster stays exactly the same between now and the start of next season (hopefully), what is your gut feeling on who Mike Brown will start at PG? AND who do you think plays the final minutes of the 4th quarter at PG?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Hi Mike-Fisher starts. As for the end of games, I think that will be more based on who is playing well at any given point, and on matchups. I suspect Brown won't have the same type of loyalty to Fisher as PJ, in part because he doesn't need someone to key the offense in quite as specific a way. If Blake plays well enough, he'll definitely eat into Fisher's PT.
Al Pal (Los Angeles)
what kind of impact do you think Devin Ebanks makes this year?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Al Pal: Fingers crossed, a decent one. I know the previous coaching staff was high on Devin and had earmarked him as more of a SG than a SF. He was specifically told to work on his guard skills. Of course, the rules of the game changed with a brand new regime. Plus, he's very inexperienced and a summer where he can't contact the coaching staff definitely hurts him. But both PJ and Mike Brown talked about the need for easier baskets and Ebanks is as good in the open floor as anyone on this team. I'm hoping he can carve out a role of maybe 10-12 minutes, but he'll have to work very hard, especially on a team with a glut of wings.
Patrick (Los Angeles )
Why is David Stern to think we are dumb enough to believe all these teams are really losing money when that powerhouse team the Golden State Warriors sold for $450 million last year?? Is anyone gonna really invest taht much in a failing business?? Come on quit the creative accounting, get this mess sorted out and lets play ball. The owners can only blame themselves for giving max contracts to the likes of Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay and big $$ contracts to Charlie Vilebueva and Ben Gordon
Brian Kamenetzky (1:57 PM)
Patrick-Actually, that's part of the problem. It used to be the value of franchises could be counted on to be a buffer for owners and profit margins. Guys like Abe Poilan or Jerry Buss bought their teams for such a small amount, relative to current franchise values, it's impossible for them not to be profitable in the big picture. Now, a newer breed of owner is buying in at far higher prices, carry far more debt, and so on. It's much harder to have the business be profitable, or at least neutral, and guys want their investment to grow.One of the big things the league is worried about is coming up with a system that will make franchise purchases attractive to people. There are only so many people rich enough to do this in the first place, and if too many people believe fundamentally the economic model doesn't work, the buying and selling of teams doesn't work. I'm not saying you're wrong about the owners causing many of their own problems, because they have. But at the same time, there are things about the current system that do make teams enter into deals they know aren't good, but are the only way to try and stay competitive. There are definitely things about the expired CBA that are unhealthy.
Ben (los angeles)
Bros K, any silver lining if the season is cancelled?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
No, not really. This isn't a team that benefits from sitting around. Yes, kobe would have a year off, but he'd also get a year older, which matters. The window for this team is basically now. Losing any part of now isn't good.
Harry (Carson, CA)
Of the Lakers' three main big men, who is the most likely to get traded? And who is least likely?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:02 PM)
Hey Harry.Likely would be Odom, because he has the most cap friendly deal. At near nine mil this year, he's a very reasonable addition, and he has a very manageable buyout next season if a team doesn't want to keep him. And as a reigning Sixth Man of the Year, he certainly has value. Least-- Gasol. For almost the exact opposite reasons. Has the longer contract, is coming off a playoff disappointment, and isn't super young anymore. At the same time, he'd still demand another high end star in return. That makes it a tough match.
Benjamin (North Hayworth, CA)
Who has a better chance of making the team next year? Derrick Caracter or Andrew Goudelock.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
Benjamin: I would say Goudelock, although both have a challenging road ahead of them. But the Lakers are in desperate need Goudelock's skill set (shooting). The kid has legitimately deep range, and with so few reliable shooters on the roster, that could give Drew an edge. In the meantime, PF is by far the Lakers' strongest position, and Caracter, while certainly not without potential, didn't endear himself to the brass with his conditioning or arrest in New Orleans the night before a playoff game. If I had to bet money, Goudelock makes the team before Caracter.
I ain't playin here just recrutin my boy D-Will to solve our pg need after he finishes his contract here in turkey cause we all know this cba isn't lookin good for basketball this season
Andy Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
You're like that sister in the old "Connect Four" commercials, Kobe... Pretty Sneaky!
Rico Gasol (Bompton)
Why lakers make a move for tj ford, that sounds horrific.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:08 PM)
Rico-I'm not sure they will. In theory, he'd be a cheap way to at least try to address the PG situation, and it wasn't all that long ago he was a pretty productive point guard. But like a lot of those vet minimum (or near that) types, my concern with Ford is that he'd actually muddle the PG picture more than clarify it. What the Lakers need is someone who clearly represents an upgrade over the Fisher/Blake tandem, who would be the obvious starter and eater of minutes. Doesn't have to be a star, but someone in the neighborhood of Ramon Sessions would certainly qualify. Whoever the name is, they need a certain level of player for it to have a real impact.
George (Hollywood, CA)
For years fans have been complaining about guys getting ridiculous ammounts of money and now that the owners are seeing the same way why are some fans complaining about the owners. If I'm an owner of a big business i would think i better make money or there's something wrong and i better make the most money of any of my employees.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Anyone want to go work for George? I kid. Yeah, a lot of owners would agree with you. Ultimately, they have the most valuable asset, but certainly not the guarantee of income. But don't lose sleep for those guys, either. Owners are not a needy group.
Rico Gasol (Bompton)
What if the lakers snag eric bledsoe, before he becomes a quality guard in a year or two. Something like ty lawson.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
What if? Heck of an idea, but I challenge you to find a deal for Bledsoe the Lakers can make that the Clippers would accept.
Ok realistically...if the Lakers were to get to the point where they could get Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum...does baby boy buss say Bynum is untouchable? Can the Lakers afford to say no?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Steven: I'd like to think no matter how much Jim Buss believes in Bynum (and by the way, lest we forget, the kid is pretty darn kid), if Dwight Howard is legitimately ripe for the taking, he's in purple and gold. I have my concerns about Jim Buss working OT to establish his presence and authority, which sometimes leads to making bad decisions simply because you have the power to do so. Or because you're not secure with the fact that you're actually in charge. But with in mind, I do think there are limits. Or at the very least, I hope so.
Devean George (Somewhere)
The Lakers will never three-peat without me!!!
Prince (The waters of Lake Minnetonka)
Who wins in a game of one-on-one? Me or Luke Walton?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
I'm going Walton, strictly on based on height (he's got you there) and age (he's got you there, too).Although if you bring the Revolution, maybe that changes?
patrick (chico st)
What am suppose to do if there is no basketball just get drunk and go down town and yell beligerently about how the lakers could be the best team lets get a deal done or i won't have anything to rub in my nor cal giant/warrior loving roommates cause the dodgers don't give a man much to talk about. Sell the team Mcourt
Andy Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Patrick: Best... comment... ever!
If they had a chance to go back in time, do you think the Lakers would still sign Ron Artest? Not asking him vs. Ariza, but in general.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Hi Abraham-Knowing how fast his apparent decline would come, maybe not. I'm pretty sure the Lakers figured they'd have some dead money at the end of that deal, but had to figure Ron would be more productive in the second year of his deal than he was last season. Still, they did win a title with him, and without knowing who the better alternatives would have been, it's hard to argue the wisdom of the signing. I realize you aren't asking specifically about Trevor, but obviously he's turned out to be an imperfect player himself. Most guys out there in that price range are. But if I could inject Mitch with truth serum, it would be among the first questions I'd ask, at least relative to this team.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Hey Steven-I'm not among those who thinks Bynum is so untouchabe, they wouldn't move him for Howard. They would. Bynum and ______? Maybe not. Depends on who the other guy is. But straight up? They would. I believe that.
Lisa (Palm Springs, CA)
If the Lakers win it all next season, do you think Odom, Fisher and/or Gasol have a shot at getting their numbers retired?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
Lisa: Another ring for Pau and I imagine he's in. He'll have been the #2 option on 3 different championship squads and, at the very least, a three-time All-Star with the Lakers. Plus, the standing criteria with the Lakers' for number retirement is a Hall of Fame induction. With another championship, I think Pau could make it, between his NBA and overseas career. LO is a HOF long shot at best, so he'll have a very difficult time, despite his importance to the franchise and the length of his time here. Fisher also has no chance at the Hall, but were he to be a part of 6 titles, I think the Lakers should make an exception for him. Between that track record and everything he's meant to the organization, his case should be treated as exceptional and unique.
Is Jim Buss ruining the image and respect of the Lakers organization that Jerry has built?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
George-Well, he's not helping. Some of it is his fault-- Jim Buss is horrible at communicating with the Lakers public, and doesn't have the same cache as his father, who isn't all that publicly chatty either but has years of equity built with fans. Plus, he has the rep to overcome of a guy who really doesn't know what he's doing, in terms of player evaluations, and so on and so forth. Unlike his father, Jim Buss sees himself as a player personnel person, which is a very dangerous spot for a guy who is, more or less, an owner too. His biggest problem is the standard his dad has set. It's almost impossible for him to meet it, but that's what people expect, and how he'll be judged.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Brian Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Hey folks. We gotta run. Looks like we'll be doing Lakers Late Night tomorrow (Thursday), so hope to see you there. In the meantime, if we didn't get to your question, hit us up at @espnlandolakers on Twitter. Thanks!