New PodKast: Shannon Brown, Shaq, retired numbers

It may be the offseason, but that'll never stop us from yammering. For that matter, we actually found a fair amount of substance to yammer about during our latest session at the mic. Among the talking points:

- (3:50): After firmly establishing what kind of brothers we are, Brian and I discuss the implications of Shannon Brown resigning with the Lakers. From where we sit, it's a nice deal for both sides. Shannon gets a small raise, plus the flexibility to opt out again next summer if he prefers. He's got a solidified role with room for expansion. He gets to stay in a winning environment and purse a place in purple and gold history. The Lakers get a steadily improving backup for Kobe Bryant at a reasonable price, a dynamic change of pace, silly athleticism, familiarity with their system and an upgrade over the likeliest alternative (Sasha Vujacic). Everybody wins.

- (9:50): With Shannon in the fold, the Laker roster is basically set, save the expected inking of Derek Caracter and Devin Ebanks, or an unexpected trade. So, how was the Lakers' summer? Pretty flippin' good. Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, and Brown were retained. Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff constitute an upgrade over the players they respectively replaced (Jordan Farmar, a hobbled Luke Walton, D.J. Mbenga). Caracter and Ebanks appear to be exceptional value at their draft spots. And none broke the bank. It would be hard to come up with a realistic criticism of how the Lakers could have fared better.

- (15:30): We figure out the details of the ultimate "we're just trading for financial relief and don't care what we get in return" deal for the Lakers: Sasha for the K Bros, who are immediately waived. How far does this swap go? Does Sasha take over the PodKast? Do I end up with Maria Sharapova, and how do I explain this to my wife? ("Honey, it's in my contract. My hands are tied!")

- (17:10): Shaquille O'Neal is now a Celtic, the latest chapter for an ex-Laker who has increasingly alienated purple and gold loyalists. Should playing for the hated green prevent the Lakers from eventually retiring his number? We don't think so, but I personally get why some fans wouldn't. Not necessarily because The Big Aristotle is now The Big ShamRoq (dude had few options for employment at this point), but because he has a well-documented history of antagonizing the organization. Should a player's respect towards the franchise overshadow his production while playing for them?

- (26:06): Speaking of retired numbers, would a guy like Derek Fisher, who's never been a star but has nonetheless played a critical role in five titles and has a special place in Laker history, ever qualify for the Staples Center rafters? For that matter, should truly exceptional, unique role players have a place in the Hall of Fame? Brian says no, because he's a close-minded little man with no imagination and an irrational fear of running out of numbers. I'm open to the concept, because I have a visionary, enlightened mindset, love our mother more and don't care if a player eventually wears "%" or "&diams" on his back.

Also, drop by L.A. Live on Saturday, August 7 at 3 pm to check out the Nike Slam Dunk Contest, featuring judges Andy and Brian Kamenetzky. Who better to cast judgment upon gifted athletes than two guys with a combined eight-inch vertical leap?