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. Thanks for coming by. We'll be here for the next hour or so to answer all your questions. Fire away!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
Hey all. Ready to go?
David g. Sherman oaks california [via mobile]
How long does kobe have left bfor he passes the torch? And to who will he pass it to?
You brothers are BOOORRRINNNGGG!!!!Get a life dummies!!!
Brian Kamenetzky (1:34 PM)
Hi David. First things first... Kobe will not pass the torch. Someone will have to come along and wrench it from his hands, and it won't be easy. He has absolutely no interest in passing any torch. But my thought is Kobe basically has two or three years left where he is very much the Kobe Bryant that we know. Obviously his game will change and continue to evolve, but he will remain an elite level player. From there... it's just so hard to say. The mileage will start to add up. I don't see a steep drop off, but at some point the curve bends lower.
ben (los angeles)
Bros K, the lakes have a starting team showed they were tired either of each other or of to many games my guess is the former. If that is the case, the new system that the new coach puts in place should only hilight this deficiency. so my question is, will this team implode and if so how long into the season do you think it will take?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Solid advice from a guy who bothers to leave a question in a chat room of brothers he finds boring.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:37 PM)
Ben-I don't think they were tired of each other because of fundamental personality conflicts, but just the natural wear coming with playing so deep into seasons with so much pressure. Eventually, little things just start to build. The chemistry gets a little bit wonky. It takes an enormous amount of mental energy to sustain three title runs, and they just ran out. So I'm not looking at the team like they'll implode. I think they'll be fine. A new challenge, the idea they can't win anymore, can't win without Phil, etc. It's all stuff that will focus and motivate them.
Will (San Diego)
I've been hearing talk about Allen Iverson trying to make it back to the league. 1.) Do you think the Lakers will be able to afford him?2.)If they can, will he be able to give the team what they need?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Will: Assuming there's a veteran's minimum in the new CBA, I absolutely think the Lakers could afford Allen Iverson, since I'd be stunned if he commanded more. As for how he'd fit in, I'm guessing the answer is "poorly." I'm a big A.I. fan, but if he's proven one thing over the years, it's that he is who he is. Iverson is incapable of changing his style to be a complimentary player off the bench, which is what the Lakers would really need from him. I don't think he'd act out, but I also don't think he'd work out.
What's up Kbros! hope you're all having a good day.What a sad day for NBA fans like me with the recent news about no progress in the lockout negotiations. Do you think that decertification is the only way to save the season now?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
Hey Rei-Doing great, thanks for asking. It's disappointing what seemed like progress appeared to go by the wayside, but on the other hand, if you read reports from some of the people covering the negotiations closely, there has been some movement. Just not enough. The rhetoric is going to be heated, no question, and sorting through it will be tough. My guess is still that games will be missed, but I'm hopeful it won't be the whole season. I don't think de-certification is a good thing, though, at least from a timeline standpoint. It would throw things into the courts, which only serves to slow things down.
Jay (Santa Monica)
Brothers Kamenetzky! Putting in the hours in the offseason! Thanks for your hard work. Question: Michael Redd - how do you think he would fit? You don't usually lose the ability to shoot as you get older. Maybe Coach Brown can teach him defense..
Andy Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
Jay: Redd is an intriguing option, dirt cheap price assumed. Assuming he's still got a stroke, he does provide the ability to spread the floor and a presence that can't be left open. The guy can really shoot. However, he was hardly an athletic freak in his peak, and between the injuries and accumulated rust, it's hard to imagine him as anything other than a one-dimensional threat who could often be a liability. He's definitely worth a look, and maybe even a roster spot, but expectations should be grounded.
Chris (Studio City)
Hey K-Bros! It seems that the longer the lockout, the less likely any of the Lakers' Big 4 are broken up, or is that wishful thinking? Seriously, who do you think is the likeliest Laker to be on a different team by the time real basketball is played again?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
Hi Chris. I don't think they'd be broken up anyway, unless someone like Dwight Howard came on the market, which he won't (not yet, at least). Kobe is obviously staying put, as is Gasol. Maybe Odom moves b/c his contract is the friendliest, but he's so hard to replace it's more likely he'd stay, lockout or not.But you're right-- the longer this goes, it becomes far less likely they'll make radical change.
Pastor Astor (Encino, CA)
If we do miss some games, does the NBA come up with an entirely new schedule for the year, or do they simply start from when the lockout ends?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Pastor-I believe they re-jigger the whole thing to add preserve division and conference games. I'd have to look it up, though. But they definitely don't pick it up from the first date on the calendar, so to speak.
Gasol is having a very good FIBAEurobasket he had 19 and 16 today but did not have a good FG%. If there is basketball will Pau benefit from playing basketball this summer?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Tim: I doubt Euro play will hurt Pau next season. While I'm generally a proponent of guys resting in the offseason, particularly someone like Pau who looked fried during the postseason, Gasol needed to rediscover a flow. Unfortunately, as I've written before, I don't think success this offseason necessarily correlates to a 2012 bounce back. Between the heightened competition, the potential psychological elements in play and the effect of a seemingly Andrew Bynum injury on Pau's stamina, he basically starts from scratch. I happen to think he'll have a good season, but because I think he'll earn it, not because he's doing well for Spain.
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey guys- There seems to be an inevitability to the owners raking the players over the coals and getting what they want. I am guessing the offers are only going to get worse for the union. How long do you see them holding out? Lets not forget the players make a lot of money but they spend a lot of money also...
Brian Kamenetzky (1:50 PM)
Hi Mike-It does seem like they're trying. But reports are pretty interesting on the process. It does seem like the sides are making some progress in terms of the straight economics, but the hard cap issue is a tough one. I'm a little torn, because I see both sides. Competitively, though, a properly constructed hard cap system (be it flex, or otherwise) probably would add more parity to the league, which is probably a healthy thing. Markets are important, for sure-- it's good when the Lakers and Knicks are relevant, for example-- but so do stars. It's a star driven league, which was why ratings could be strong even with LeBron in Cleveland. It's probably a better situation for more teams to have a chance to be good, to hold on to great players, and so on. Is a hard cap the only way to do that? Probably not, but it's one. If the ceiling is high enough, I don't fundamentally have a problem with it.
Gentleman, just stopped by to say keep up the great work. Cheers.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Thank you sir!
Brian Frederick (Bridgewater, MA)
Kobe likes to operate out of the post more frequently in recent years. How can he get enough touches in the Post if Bynum and Gasol need to operate there to be effective?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Brian Frederick: That's a very tricky question. It's hard to say for certain without really seeing what Mike Brown plans to implement, but it could require either Pau to operate even more in the higher post (or beyond) or Kobe to take ownership of that area more when LO is in for Pau or Drew. Who knows? But either way, like a lot of issues involving the offense, the bigs and Kobe next season, I'm extremely curious.
NBA Fans (Everywhere)
What is the point of chatting about anything? Seriously depressed after yesterday guys, starting to feel like its time the players pick two minor issues to fight for and eat the rest. It seems too many owner would rather not have a season then let the old system continue. Talk me off the ledge guys, any hope on the horizon?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
NBA Fans-I'd love to talk you totally off the ledge, but I'm not sure I can. I still maintain games will be lost (Andy is more optimistic) but don't think the entire season will be scuttled. And there is still a chance the season will start, more or less, on time. There is still a little window to work with, because the preseason can be shortened, and training camps abridged. In his post from Vegas yesterday, JA Adande made the point that fans shouldn't get wrapped up in the daily ebb and flow of the rhetoric. It's too emotional, and at this point will only continue to rise. There's a lot of posturing going on for sure... but that said there's also a lot of reasons to believe the sides remain far apart on fundamental issues, and that games will be lost.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What happens if NBA Players tests positive for steroids or HGH when they play overseas while the NBA Lockout is in effect?
More likely to happen first, Kobe going full time on twitter or the NBA season starting?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:54 PM)
Never: If by "Kobe going full time," you mean "various members of Team Kobe," then it's the Twitter option. If you mean Kobe in honest-to-goodness "Ron-Ron" Twitter mode, then I'll take the season starting on time. I don't care what monumental issues are bogging down a new CBA. Kobe ain't about to start trolling on Twitter. This is not someone who wants the world knowing what's on his mind 24/7.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Honestly, Chris, I have absolutely no idea. Whether it's that or other things that could have gotten a player in trouble with the league under normal circumstances, I suspect the answer will be nothing. That seems to be the template the NFL is working with, but again, I'm just guessing.
Peta (Los Angeles)
Did I get paired with the eventual winner of Dancing with the Stars? Is there a better Laker I should have demanded?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Well... based on Ron's on-court footwork offensively last season, Peta, you've got your work cut out for you. I'd have chosen Kobe. Dude's got the best feet in the NBA.
Paul (Branson, Mo)
What are the chances Steve Blake could start next season?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Hey Paul-Reasonable, though I doubt the first thing Mike Brown wants to do, particularly if camp is compressed and the season is squeezed, is go through the drama of sending Fisher to the bench. Particularly when, from a practical standpoint, it doesn't really matter. He can still allow Fisher the ceremonial respect of starting, and play Blake more minutes. This year, I think Fisher probably starts. Next year, it's more open season.
Who's the most likely player to bounce back from a bad 2011 season? Whose play do you think could slip most?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Mary-I'd point to Blake. He was so far below his recent norms, all he really has to do is get back to his averages to make a big improvement. Granted, Steve Blake back to his (recent) career norms doesn't mean the Lakers suddenly have Tiny Archibald on the roster, but it would be a nice step in the right direction. I think Barnes will look like he did before the injury, which will help. From there, it's a question of Ron Artest. He's the real wild card, here. His defense last year was, generally speaking, fine. Fewer of those truly memorable moments of dominance he had in his first season, but still the numbers were positive. But he was a train wreck on the other end.Maybe getting out of the Triangle will help him, but it's a question mark for sure.
Is Phil Jackson ever gonna coach again?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:05 PM)
My guess is no, but I wouldn't be shocked. It won't be for a year or two, though. In then end, I just don't think he wants to go through the grind anymore, and there aren't the sort of ready made teams available it would make sense for him to coach at this point in his life.
Rick (Hollywood, CA)
What do you picture Kobe doing after basketball finally ends?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:07 PM)
Rick-Charity? Business? Brand building? Probably all of those, but from there, it's a completely fascinating question. He's so competitive, he'll need some sort of outlet, but I don't know what that is. He'd make a bad coach, I think (as most elite players do). Does he have the patience to be a GM? I could see him going the Jordan route and buying interest in a team.
ben (los angeles)
bros K, let me rephrase the question: the lakes were forced to play many minutes with the starters because of a crappy bench. since the cap most likely will keep them from improving substanialy the starters will again be playing long minutes.....more of the same as the last three years. hence my question about imploding? Sorry I couldn't make it a bit more clear the first time.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:10 PM)
Well, in those terms, you're absolutely right. They need far, far more depth. They have to find a credible backup to Andrew Bynum, so Pau Gasol doesn't serve that role. They could use some help on the wing, and obviously the guard play isn't exactly sterling. But no question, the Ratliff injury sucked huge life from Gasol, which hurt them as the season progressed. That's one place to start.
Do you think I could use my Zen powers to get the owners and players in agreement? #JediMindTricks
Brian Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
I'm willing to let you try, that's for sure.
John (Compton, CA)
If the Lakers missed an entire season due to the lockout, is it worth trying to blow the whole thing up? Even move Kobe to just start over as soon as possible?
Ernie (Winter Park)
I can't remember. Does Luke Walton's contract run another 7 years or 8?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
John--Kobe still isn't moveable without his permission, and I don't think they'll be getting it. Plus, he's actually pretty hard to trade. The guy makes buckets of money, is getting older, and so on. Obviously he's still a great draw, but it's not like teams would offer great value for him. In the end, I suspect the Lakers would likely get one or two decent young plyaers, and cap relief. Not enough to trade Kobe Bryant.
Larry (Culver City, CA)
Which Laker would benefit most from a lockout? Which would be hurt the most?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Kobe benefits most. He's always in shape, is always motivated, and doesn't need training camp. While a compressed schedule hurts him a little (less rest) overall, the fewer games he plays, the better. I think guys hurt the most could be Odom. He's never been a guy who has been known for showing up to camp in tip top shape. Last year was a great example of how LO benefits from structure, which he hasn't had this offseason. He was with Team USA, showed up in great shape (especially relative to his standards) and produced a great season. He's who I'd worry about the most. Aside from the rookies, who really get dinged.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
OK, everyone. Thanks for the questions this week. Some really great ones. Hopefully next week will bring a little more optimism. As always, if we didn't get to your question, Tweet us @espnlandolakers...Thanks!