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August 17, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with the Kamenetzky Brothers

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:32 PM)

Hey everyone! Welcome to another week of chattiness. We're here for a bit to answer all of your Lakers/NBA questions. If you have life questions, we can try to address those, too.Fire away!

Alex (Long Beach)

OK, so D-Stern doesn't make $23 million? Still, judging from his interview with Bill Simmons, it doesn't sound like he's in a hurry to cave to the player's demands. We're not getting a season are we?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:35 PM)

Alex-Yeah, I think the owners are pretty dug in, for sure, as are the players. The hard cap issue is a major impediment, as is the path to revenue sharing. They really do seem like they're very, very far apart, here. The big issue is that fundamentally, the owners want to change the system. In the NFL, they were tweaking what already existed, which is why in the end it was easier to come to an agreement. The NBA owners want something different in their sport, that frankly looks a lot more like football's system (at least in terms of caps). Talking to a couple people who are well connected to this last week, they seemed to indicate the general consensus among the people they talk to is that we'd be lucky to have a season.Ugh.

KL (PA)

I don't like you Brothers.......I get sic to the stomach reading your chats.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:36 PM)

Might want to run that past a copy editor...

Danny Angel (La)

Who do u think is better Kobe or Lebron?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:37 PM)

On a day in, day out, 82 games a season basis, it's LeBron. He's far more productive. You can argue about which player you'd want playing for you in one big game, and obviously LeBron's fourth quarters in the Finals hurt him a great deal, but overall he's a better, more productive player than Kobe, and has been for a few seasons.

MRV1216 (ANAHEIM)

How it goes K-Bros! There has been a recent article about Kobe involving taking a cell phone from a dude because he thought the guy was taking pictures of him while Kobe was praying for a season this year. Doesn't it amaze you at how many people there are out there that are quick to judge and bring up the Colorado incident immediately? Man, people need to get over things!

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:38 PM)

MRV: Obviously, there are details which need to come out regarding Kobe and the church before we can truly make judgment. Based off what we know, the accuser may have been taking pics of Kobe in church, which I absolutely think crosses the line, even for a public figure like Kobe in this day and age. Churches and any place of worship are out of bounds. Having said that, it appears there may have been no pics snapped, meaning Kobe might have jumped to conclusions in haste. And if he put his hands on this guy, bad way to handle it, even if I understand the impulse. From Kobe's perspective, it's just not worth the blowback.Either way, I haven't personally heard any media bring up Colorado, but that's clearly irrelevant and petty. The incident happened eight years ago and has no bearing on whatever happened in San Diego.

Never (LA)

You know when I think about it, Luke Walton's contract is an ingenious way for the Lakers to attract superstar free agents. It's like management is saying, "We gave Luke Walton this exuberant amount of money. Just imagine what we would pay you!" Clever, don't you agree?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:39 PM)

If the Lakers offer Eddy Curry the entire mid-level, we'll know Never is onto something.

Rahul (CA)

What did you take from Kobe's 43 points, game winner at Drew League?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

Rahul-It was very cool to see, and I think for fans in the building it must have been a ton of fun to watch, but overall it doesn't have all that much meaning, other than it indicates Kobe is healthy enough to be running and playing at this point in the offseason, which is a good sign. He apparently wasn't wearing anything on the knee, either, which is also a good sign.But in terms of dropping points or hitting hte game winner, it's what you'd expect of him in a Drew League game. It's what NBA players routinely do there. I'd be more worried if he struggled to play productively there.No downside whatsoever to his good performance and it's certainly an encouraging sign, but trying to use it to project how things will hold up through a (hopefully) 82 game regular season is a mistake.

Hans (West Covina, CA)

Who's a better commissioner right now? David Stern or Dino Smiley?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:40 PM)

Hans: Well, Dino's league has been up and running for decades without a hitch and the pros have no complaints. Right now, it's advantage South L.A.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:45 PM)

(Question from "Adam"): Do you think all of this talk of players playing overseas is all posturing, delusional pride or lack of common math skills? I mean all of these players seem ready to go play overseas for 25% or less of their current contracts instead of accepting a pay cut that may pay them 80% of what they currently get paid. Doesn?t make a lot of sense on the surface financially does it? Adam: No doubt, there is a certain leap in logic, particularly when you take into account an injury overseas could put current and bigger contracts at risk. I guess from the players' perspective, it's a matter of the larger picture, principle and yes, posturing. Still, if playing overseas at a discount isn't quite hypocrisy, it's kinda ironic.

eben t. aguirre (florida)

I wonder how the two guard picks of the Lakers are doing this summer? Is there a way where you can give us some info about their activities and how they are improving themselves? Is there a valid chance for them to make the team?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:46 PM)

Hey Eben. My understanding is both are working out, Morris in LA, Goudelock back in the southeast. In terms of their chances of making the team, I'd be absolutely shocked if Morris isn't on the squad. They drafted him to keep him, for sure. Goudelock is in a tougher position, for sure, especially given the labor situation. He's someone who would have benefited from the opportunity to be in LA this summer, in the facility, and working with coaches. Instead, he'll only have what will likely be an abbreviated training camp to prove himself. His spot really comes down to a numbers thing. If there's space and he plays well, he could stick. But if the Lakers dip into the free agency pool and roster slots are tough to come by, Goudelock could get squeezed.It's worth noting though, that Goudelock has passed on a couple European opportunities, so he at least feels like he's got a chance to stick with the Lakers.

SK (Columbia, SC)

Am I the only one who doesnt think the Lakers weakness at the small forward position is not as bad as ppl claim it is? Barnes Played great until he was hurt and was never the same and after they got Artest to stop working out so much he played really well for 2nd half of season and for most of playoffs. Seems like with healthy Barnes and Artest not overdoing the workouts Lakers should be fine right??....right?????.......RIGHT?????

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:49 PM)

SK-Well, you might be. I agree that Barnes was playing well before the injury, but it's important to keep in mind what that means. He's a role player, not someone who elevates a team, necessarily. Crashes the glass, puts forth a defensive effort, can hit an outside shot, but if he's your best SF, you're a little thin there. But I do expect him to bounce back and play well now that he's healthier.I disagree with your evaluation of Artest, though. He was better, but still not all that good in the second half, and was extremely inconsistent on both ends of the floor. He was strong against the Hornets, but a non-factor too often against Dallas. Including the game where he was literally a non-factor, because he wasn't available. It's hard for me to say with confidence he'll get better, but in one form or another the Lakers need much more production from that position.

Hugo Morales (Fullerton Ca. )

do you guys think that Jim Buss is going to tun this organization into the ground? at least for the next few years. It seems to me that he lets his ego get in the way of doing the best for the team....thanks

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:53 PM)

Hugo: I'd be lying if I claimed not to be nervous about Jim Buss' ego getting in the way. At the very least, he's giving off the appearance of a desire to announce his presence, and thus far, the results haven't been promising. Between the desire to cut ties with everything "Phil Jackson," to missing the importance of at least keeping Kobe in the loop about Mike Brown to the general lack of communication, I haven't liked what I've seen. The jury is still out, for sure.

AmAzo (NYC)

Why are most writers & people in the basketball world willing just to send Andrew Bynum packing when Pau Gasol was the one to have the horrible post season? What do you guys think about letting go of Gasol

Brian Kamenetzky
  (1:56 PM)

Amazo-I don't really agree with your premise. Writers and people aren't willing "just to send" Andrew Bynum packing for anyone they can get, but for Dwight Howard, clearly the dominant force in the post across the league. If they could make that trade, they should. But it's not like people are pushing to ship Bynum out for a bag of chips. As for the question of Bynum vs. Gasol, first, there were a lot of people in this space pushing for Gasol to be dealt following the playoffs. I didn't agree, but the big reason you hear more about Bynum is because he has more value. He's younger, and isn't owed as much money long term as Pau. Plus, he's a true post center, which is extremely rare these days. Personally, I think they're fine holding on to both, and unless they're bowled over by a deal, should be.

tommythecomicguy (Murray, KY)

This Drew League stuff is fun. Great for the NBA. They have so much momentum as a league and a sport. I say the way the economy is there is no way they hold out for the whole season. They can't be that stupid. Also PJ looked ready to coach at the HOF inductions. I got a cheeseburger that says he coaches again.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (1:59 PM)

Tommy: I'd like to think you're right on several counts. It's horrible PR for players and the league if the entire season gets canceled over money in this current climate. I also think those owners rumored to be losing money and willing to sacrifice a season for a year without operating costs are being very shortsighted. Any team with trouble filling seats now will have even more trouble after a year where citizens truly realize how much they don't care. If that's the plan, those owners need to go. Period. They're not right for the league. As for Jax, I think he's done for good, but my opinion is also undoubtedly shaped by my closeup look at his obvious weariness throughout the 2011 season. Who knows what could happen after a break? Still, I think he stays retired.

Brian Frederick (Bridgewater, MA)

If Kobe is option number 1 in the offense should Bynum overtake Pau Gasol for option number 2?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:03 PM)

Hey Brian-Talking to Mike Brown pre-lockout, he said this sort of thing isn't pre-ordained. Whomever is in better shape to get points and looks in the context of the offense will get the touches on any given night. Gasol said he's fine about giving up some shots to Andrew, assuming he's still functionally involved in the office in terms of touches (which, honestly, has always been his issue- not shots). Kobe obviously explained it at his exit interview as he eats first, Pau second, then Drew and Lamar and all that, and how Bynum has to "fall in line," and so on. But I don't think it will, or needs, to be that cut and dried. They have to use their advantage inside, whether it's Pau or Bynum. It doesn't need to devolve into something as simple as counting shot opps for either guy game to game.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:03 PM)

It's important to remember that Gasol is still a remarkably skilled player offensively, and must be an integral part of the offense. A bad postseason doesn't change that.

Chris (Studio City)

Hey K-Bros! Watching how Jorge Posada's last season plays out makes me think of Derek Fisher. How long before the new coaching staff force D-Fish to the bench, for his and the team's own good?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:05 PM)

Hey Chris-You're touching on a very, very interesting plot point for the Lakers, and how it resolves itself is very much dependent on the attitude Fisher chooses to take. Being marginalized (to whatever degree) is a very difficult thing for most athletes to deal with, and Fisher is a very prideful guy who has pushed back against the contention he's incapable of playing at the required level for a while now. They absolutely need to figure out a way to reduce his minutes and upgrade the overall skill level at the position, but big picture how Mike Brown is able to handle this situation over the next couple of seasons will be a major factor in the harmony of the locker room.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:06 PM)

Hopefully, Fisher handles it well and nothing comes of it, but you never know.

Amazo (NYC )

If the Lakers could get Dwight Howard (D12) and thats a big IF, should they pair him with Gasol or my preference Andrew Bynum. Think about it for 2 seconds 2 big man under 26yrs in a new defensive system D12 playing PF & Bynum playing C, D12 has someone to finally rebound with him

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:07 PM)

Bynum and Howard can't play together. If you make that deal, it has to be Bynum-for-Howard. Plus, the Magic would never take Gasol for DH, so the other scenario is basically moot.

Joey (Reno)

Which three Lakers do you think would make the best coaches and why?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:10 PM)

Joey: 1) Derek Fisher, because he's smart, a terrific communicator and is one of those people who instantly garners respect. Luke Walton, because he really understands the game well and is easy to get along with. And Matt Barnes, because of his energy, intensity and overall B-Ball intelligence. He also relays his thoughts very well.

NasserChams (Canada)

hey kamenetzky, i recently saw a video of kobe bryant making a game winner at a school gym , due to kobe's injurys and increase of age is this a good idea for kobe or a bad idea?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:11 PM)

Nasser-It's always a good idea to hit a game winner, but if you're asking about the wisdom of him playing period, it's always going to be a matter of debate. The first thing to remember is that these guys, whether Kobe or anyone else, are going to play. Somewhere. This is what they do, and they should because ultimately sitting around isn't good for their skills. But obviously the worries about injuries are legitimate, and something to consider.That's the big concern with him going to play overseas, for example. In the end, you want guys playing in as controlled a situation as possible, with the lowest likelihood of something weird happening. Drew League is pretty well established, very structured, and there are no concerns about anyone getting aggro and taking a run at Kobe's knee. I don't mind him playing there, assuming he feels healthy enough to do it safely, which he obviously does. If not there, Kobe would be playing somewhere else.

Ben (los angeles)

Bros K, this is an economic question: Kobe makes $30 Mil a year and LeBron and Wade make individually make less. so from a strictly money view, it looks like Kobe is overpriced. any thoughts?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:15 PM)

Ben-Yes, if you compare him to other players around the league and the production level he has, Kobe is dollar for dollar "overpaid." And he's going to continue to be so, as his salary increases and his play, at least in theory, slowly drops. That said, he's still very, very good, and in a lot of ways earned that salary with what he'd done to that point in his career. It can be argued he was underpaid relative to the value he brought the Lakers as a franchise, on and off the court. That there could be some dead money on the table was something the Lakers fully understood when they extended his contract. But it had to be done, and there wasn't any alternative. Kobe was going to make what he was eligible to make, unless he decided to leave substantial money on the table. So yeah, in the most technical sense Kobe is overpaid, but he makes that money back for the team so there's no real impact in terms of how they spend. Not yet, at least. In a hard cap era, that changes.

SOHAIL (NEW YORK)

KOBE BRYANT IS THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME, BETTER THAN JORDAN

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:15 PM)

I think a lot of people would disagree with you.

Annie (Jamaica)

Who is a better backup PF for the Lakers next season? Jeff Foster or Josh McRoberts? And what are the chances of getting either?Btw, loved the podcast with Matt Barnes. How about one with Kobe?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:16 PM)

Hey Annie. Of those two, assuming he's healthy I like Foster. I think he'll fit better into what the Lakers would need-- more content to play less-- plus he's still a better defender than McRoberts, who is fairly useless on that end. Thanks for the note about Barnes. We'd love to get Kobe, but he's not exactly the easiest guy to track down come summertime... But we'll try!

Nick R (Chicago, IL)

K Bros,Last week Andy mentioned in the chat that "Kobe's Lakers have too many Finals losses and playoff wipeouts to place him at Jordan's level." However, he also added that this isn't necessarily your opinion (but rather general public opinion) and that he finds the debate to be tedious and a wasteful. But what is your opinion of Kobe in terms of GOAT rankings? Admittedly, I'm a biased Lakers fan. But I've seen so many intangibles to Kobe's game that don't necessarily show up on a stat sheet, and I consider things like my firm belief that the NBA today is more difficult than in the 1990's and that (despite Phil Jackson saying that the 2011 Lakers were the deepest team he ever coached) the personnel on Jordan's Bulls were better. I know it's a touchy, and often moot, subject but if you have an answer I'd like to hear it.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:17 PM)

Nick R: Off the top of my head without giving it a ton of thought, I think Kobe is somewhere between top 5-7 at the high end (For the time being, to place him ABSOLUTELY ahead of Jordan, Magic, Wilt, Kareem and maybe Russell or Bird) and maybe 12-15 at the LOWEST. When it's all said and done, I'm guessing he'll be considered an undisputed top 10, if he's not already there now.

Erick (Denver, CO)

Hey K Bros! If the lockout ends and we do get a 2011-12 season, what would be the best trade scenario for the Lakers now that still puts them in a good position to nab Dwight Howard or Chris Paul/D-Will next year?

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:19 PM)

Erick-Well... I really don't think there is one, not without drastically overpaying. If you offer Bynum and Gasol for Howard and are willing to take on Orlando's dead weight, sure you can get a deal done, but you're not a better team at that point.Bynum is the best available trade option they have for an elite player (the only one, really), but the guys you're talking about won't be available this summer, so getting them before the start of the season is a non-starter.

Bob (atlanta, ga)

Is there anyway Lakers can talk Luke Walton into retiring or taking a coaching position or something...he real Keith Van Horn ish right now....I mean we could use that roster spot and money a lil bit dont you think

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:21 PM)

Bob: The Lakers could definitely use both the dough and roster space and truth serum injected, I'm sure they'd admit Walton retiring wouldn't make them cry uncontrollably. But from Luke's perspective, however, there's not much incentive. He really loves the game, loves being a Laker and doesn't want his career to end early on such a low note. And, quite frankly, I'm sure he doesn't want to part with the money. Thus, the Lakers are quite likely to see him in uni next season, assuming there is one.

robshaffer487 (sd)

Hey, can I take a picture of you guys with my camera phone?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:23 PM)

Rob: Even your camera phone would be like, "Really dude? The K Bros? Weak."

Ben (los angeles)

Bros K, so continuing the economic trend for just a minute: If the cap is around $80 mil which I've heard and Kobe is at $30Mil then how are you going to attract other quality, and the emphasis is quality players to put around him? or, will the Lakes at some point just realize that he is to expensive to keep? thanks

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:25 PM)

Well, there's a good chance existing salaries will take a haircut (the owners are asking for that, at least), so it's very possible Kobe's salary won't be 30 mil, but the point is the same-- either way, he'll take up a very big portion of a now-limited salary pie.But the important thing to remember is that whatever system the league imposes won't instantly take effect. More than likely, teams will have 2-3 offseasons to prepare themselves, and start getting down to whatever the cap figure is. And there could be those salary rollbacks, plus an amnesty provision, and so on. But I suspect the only potentially tricky season will be 2013-14, the last year of Kobe's existing deal, and it's possible even that season won't be subject to the new cap rules, at least not fully.No doubt the Lakers will have some tough choices to make, but they might be able to kick the can down the road a little, and focus on winning now with the core they have. It'll be interesting to see what happens if Kobe is still playing pretty well after his existing deal expires, how much he wants, and if the Lakers are willing to pay for anything long term, but that's a problem years away.

Bob (atlanta, ga)

................any chance that trade happens where we send Walton and someone else to the Clippers for a backup pf and sg????.....

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:26 PM)

Bob- Is that someone else a valuable player? Because if not, no.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When do you think that we will see NBA Basketball?

Omar Briseno (Los Angeles, CA)

Do you think the Lakers are going to make any key moves after the lockout ends? Maybe, a Pau Gasol or Odom trade?

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:26 PM)

Omar: I think LO is likelier to move than Pau, in that his contract is cap friendlier. However, LO is hard to move from the Lakers' perspective. Between his skills, locker room presence and importance while covering for the inevitable Andrew Bynum injury, he's hardly expendable. Personally, I think Drew could be the one moved, since he's likeliest to fetch a superstar in return, but my guess is that wouldn't happen until mid-season or so.

Brian Kamenetzky
  (2:27 PM)

Hey Chris-Talking to people who follow this every day, plus others who know, I'm getting extremely pessimistic about there being a season this year. Certainly not an 82 game version, at least. I hope there are games, but there's a very good chance the season could be lost. If that happens, everyone loses, because it's not like missing the season leaves anyone any closer to actually getting back on the floor, you know?

Vince (Colorado)

Until we get a top point guard in the league we will not win another championship.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:28 PM)

Vince: Well, I hope you're wrong, because I doubt they're getting a top PG this season. At least not right away.

Andy Kamenetzky
  (2:31 PM)

We gotta roll kids. Thanks to everyone for dropping by. Same bat time, same bat channel next week. See y'all soon!