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 all. How's it going?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:32 PM)
FYI, Brian is on vacation, so it's just me this week, meaning responses could come a little slower than normal.
Zach (Las Vegas)
With the Heat building an allstar team, are the lakers still the favorite next year to get the 3peat??
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Zach (Las Vegas): I'm not ready to crown the Heat as favorites yet at all. A) We've yet to see them even play a game, and creating chemistry for a team totally reconstructed 1-12 ain't a walk in the park. B) The Lakers could very well be better next season, and more importantly, match up very well against Miami, in my opinion. Better than Miami matches up against them. For the time being, I have the Lakers three-peating until I have a reason to think otherwise. They've earned the benefit of the doubt.
What's up Guys? Forget about the Miami Heat for a second I'm trying to figure out who is going to the be the biggest challenger to the Lakers in the West this season. Who's your pick?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:39 PM)
Anthony (FL): Should the Thunder's rapid improvement remain steady, they're obviously capable of challenging the Lakers. The first round of the playoffs made it hard to argue otherwise. Should Houston stay healthy, I think they could be a very good team. And San Antonio, if Splitter is the real deal and Hill/Blair continue to progress, could maybe have one last hurrah. But if healthy, I think Portland represents the biggest threat to the Lakers. They match up well against the Lakers'size (LAL's biggest strength), have a couple of defenders capable of making Kobe work, have two very different but very effective point guards, and Roy is a top-10 caliber player. If everyone is present and accounted for, they're a dangerous team.Still, I expect the Lakers to win the West again. "Threat" is relative.
Robert (Huntington Beach)
Shannon Brown said he was working on "skills" in the offseason. I believe we're going to see a big improvement from last season. Do you think it's possible for him to improve his role and maybe even become a starter in the next few seasons?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:41 PM)
Robert (Huntington): As long as Kobe remains anywhere close to this level, he's the starter. Period. But Shannon could gradually eat into Kobe's minutes, which would thrill the coaching staff. I'm optimistic about what Shannon can do next season. He was progressing nicely before that right thumb injury, which very obviously affected him. Health assume, he should be able to maintain a steady path of improvement.
This isn't a question but a statement. I'm sick of Baseball this year. The Dodgers and Angels suck and October 26th seems really long from now.
Exhelo (San Diego)
ANy word on Lamar's shoulder? is it completely healed from last season?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:43 PM)
Ex,I don't know about LO's shoulder being completely healed, but if he can get through the TEAM USA stint without incident, that's certainly a positive sign, no?
How much more does Pau Gasol have to accomplish before he solidifies hiimself for the Hall of Fame?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:46 PM)
Daniel (Covina): I would think Gasol is certainly making an HOF case. Another title and another All-Star bid or two could do it, particularly when you factor in his credentials as an international player, which are impeccable and borderline impossible to criticize. Should this pace maintain, I'm guessing Gasol gets inducted.
I know Theo Ratliff was a great shot blocker back in the day but do you really see him getting good minutes this season or is he going to have a DJ Mbenga role?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:49 PM)
Brian (Cali): The roles will be pretty similar. I could see Ratliff's role being a little bigger than D.J.'s, since he's a more accomplished and seasoned player (especially on the defensive end. But all things being equal, "bigger" won't mean "in the rotation." If Bynum, Gasol and Odom all stay healthy, Ratliff's minutes will likely be pretty sparse.
With D-Fish on the roster for at least the next two years, what roles will he take in mentoring and coaching the younger backcourt? Can we expect to see him follow the footsteps of Brian Shaw and end up on the end of the Lakers bench in a coaching role?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:52 PM)
Bryan: Yes and no. Yes, I could very easily see Fisher coaching one day. Brian Shaw felt like a coach in the making as a player. Ditto Fish. But assuming Fisher can play effectively, he won't transition into that role while an active member of the roster. He'll certainly advise younger players, because that's just who Fisher is. But the guy has yet to concede his starting gig, much less a very limited role, ala Shaw in his final season in L.A.
I just got back from Philly and I saw Elton Brand on the plane. I always liked him but what is he doing riding coach? Is that normal for bball players that have max type deals?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
E.B. is a man of the people!!!
If the lakers are healthy going into the postseason could they run the table in the western confrence?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:55 PM)
Eric (L.A.): By "run the table," you mean go undefeated, no? If so, never say never, but that's a pretty tall order. It's certainly not impossible, as the 2001 team showed. But were I a betting man (and I am), I'd never take that action.
Sam (Los Angeles)
Did Theo Ratliff win any champshionship?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:56 PM)
Sam (Los Angeles): Nope, Ratliff doesn't have a ring. And he's very excited at the prospect of possibly getting one.
Do you think the Lakers will be able to trade Vujacic at all this season? If so, would it be to unload or to get something, if possible, in return?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:58 PM)
Maloney (and others asking the question): I'd rate Sasha's odds of getting traded at about 50/50, probably a little lower. I don't think it'll happen until closer to the deadline, when most of his salary is paid off. And if he's moved, it'll be as a pure dump. I'd be stunned if they took a player in return, unless they managed to somehow get a really good player in the swap.
Btw, I also saw Don Rickles and even that guy was riding first class!
Andy Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Younger: Was Rickles heckling the flight attendants? Please tell me he was.
I was really hoping that your last chat would be our first McGrady free chat of the offseason, but NO you had to go ahead and ruin it. I am so angry at you.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:00 PM)
Morris (NoHo): That may be the winner for biggest "I have no idea what you're talking about" comment. Kudos and congrats, good sir!!!
Robert (HB, California)
What can we do collectively as a group to get Pau Gasol to shave his neck beard?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Robert (HB, California): Have you ever seen the TV show, "Intervention?"Pau, if you don't accept this gift of an electric shaver...
Al Jefferson (Utah)
Don't I play well against the Lakers?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:04 PM)
Al Jefferson, according to your career splits against the Lakers, you score and rebound fine, but not spectacular. You don't, however, defend well against them. Then again, you don't really defend well against anybody, so...http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jeffeal01/splits/
Matt (Spokane, WA)
I saw that Kevin Sorbo guy from TV's Hercules flying Southwest. That can't be a good sign for his career.
Brian (Bay Area)
Do expect Magic to leave the Lakers within the next 5 years. Recent article pointed to the likelihood.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Brian (Bay Area): It certainly seems like Magic is interested in a larger ownership role than the one he can realistically have with the Lakers.
Thanks AK! Before he got signed by Detroit all the clueless fans were asking to sign McGrady. Once he was off the market I thought sanity would return ... until you mentioned you'd have liked to see him on the Laker bench.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Morris: Gotcha. I remember. Although I only said I found the notion of T-Mac in a bench role for the Lakers somewhat intriguing. It's not like I chewed out the organization for letting him slip through their fingers. It was a pretty evenhanded comment. You must really hate Mr. McGrady.
Exhelo (San Diego)
Speaking of Hercules, can you get Xena, Warrior Princess to guest host the blog sometime?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
Ex,Absolutel not. If Lucy Lawless turns out to be a good writer, my butt gets Wally Pipp-ed. And even with my theater B.A. from USC and unbelievably ripped body, I doubt I'd get cast in a reverse-gender remake of Xena. I have too much to lose and not enough to gain.
With all this talk of LeBron's twitter and his "taking names" and "does he have the Jordan-esque anger" I haven't seen much talk of Kobe's personal vendetta's he makes on the court...would that talk be warranted and/or needed?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:12 PM)
John (NJ): I prefer Kobe's methodology. Don't talk about it. Just do it.
I really hate Mr. McGrady (as a player), yes, but not as much as I hate fans who ask whether Luke Walton would be willing to retire and walk away from $17 million for absolutely no good reason. Who are these people?
What's the deal with melo? Knicks uniform before or after season?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:19 PM)
Dan (work): First of all, good to see you asking this question on company time. That's how you stick it to the man. As for the actual Q, I'm really not sure. If the Nugs can get a suitable partner and offer, I'm of the opinion the earlier proposals typically end up better than the ones coming later, when you're running out of time with a player under contract. And with K-Mart and Smith in their last years, Chauncey getting older, and Karl's unfortunate situation, the Nugs could be on the verge of a facelift that could necessitate moving Melo anyway. It depends on how convinced they are he wants to leave. Leaving 65 mil on the table is certainly a strong sign.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:20 PM)
In any event, I'm not expecting him in Denver next season.
Robert (HB, California)
Do Ebanks and Caracter have ANY future with the Lakers? Obviously that's what we're going to find out this next season, but I didn't get to see much out of Ebanks. Caracter is a good defensive pressence in Summer League, but summer league is like the WNBA. What can we expect out of these two?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
Robert (HB, Cali): It's WAY too early to predict the future of Ebanks and Caracter. Beyond not having the evidence on court in an actual game, we haven't been able to see how they handle the rigors of a season, their attitude, the health/productivity of the current players ahead of them, etc. I can't even answer that intelligently. For the time being, they remain guys with nice potential and potential steals. It's a good start.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:22 PM)
A few more, then I gotta roll!
Exhelo (San Diego)
So Walton + Vujacic Ratliff will get Anthony?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Ex,That's way too much for the Lakers to give up. 3 dudes for only 1 in exchange? Mitch ain't no sucker. He'd tell them to call back when Ty Lawson gets added to the mix.
Sam (Los Angeles)
What is the status on Luke Walton health?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:25 PM)
Sam: I haven't gotten any current updates on Walton, but the company line of uncertainty hasn't changed. To the best of my knowledge, they're entering the season expecting limited availability at best, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
did anyone else think Pippen's HOF speech was long and boring?!! Jeez! Congrats to him and the others though....
With a much more seasoned (and proven) second squad now on the roster, and hopefully a healthy go of things, how many minutes do you see Fish and Kobe playing?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:29 PM)
Chris (Tustin): In a perfect world, the Lakers always want to reduce Kobe's and Fish's minutes. Kobe's can be tougher, between his productivity and will. He'll remain in the 30's but hopefully closer to 35 than 40. But I'm predicting this is the year we start seeing Fish's scaled back. Steve Blake is decided upgrade over Jordan Farmar, and has proven capable of playing big chunks. Unless he just can't pick up the triangle, I'm expecting he and Fish to split the minutes more or less evenly, with Blake potentially playing a few more.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
And with that, gotta run. Thanks everyone for dropping by! See you next week!