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! How's it going?
K Bros! How it goes?!Regarding the lockout: A meeting is scheduled for today between the union and NBA, I do not see this meeting being very productive regardless of how much closer we are to pre-season and regular season...do you guys think anything valuable will come of this today? Oh and please bring The Coach back on the triangle, love his over-exhuberant personality and over the top comments.
Brian Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
MRV-Honestly, I'm not optimistic anything is going to get done. It's good that they're meeting (certainly better than not meeting), but while I'm not on the inside of the negotiations, I've spoken to a number of people who are pretty well connected into them, and they're very pessimistic as well. I think that's the nature of this sort of thing, but it seems very ominous nonetheless. I wouldn't expect anything valuable from today's meeting, but hopefully it lays some ground work. Coach Miller will be on this week's editions of The Triangle. So check them out!
Mike (Ladera Ranch)
Hey guys- What is the latest with Kobe going overseas? Seems like that has lost some momentum. I'm hoping he stays local and rests the knee, finger etc.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:35 PM)
Mike: Obviously, these situations are fluid, but the latest news doesn't seem to favor him heading across the pond in a formal league. The Besiktas train has slowed down -- assuming you think it was actually rolling on the tracks, which I don't -- and China isn't an option as long as the Association maintains their stance of not allowing players to opt out. No way Kobe's making that move. Thus, my guess, as it's always been, is that Kobe won't play formally anywhere else, and I'm also on board with that, for the exact same reasons. Barnstorm China and pop by The Drew League. It's all good. But I'm very much against him playing overseas in competitive fashion.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we ever see a Female Coach in the NBA?
Andy Kamenetzky (1:36 PM)
Chris: I think there will be a female NBA coach someday. I don't think that day is in the very near future, but at some point, I think a chance will be given to someone with impeccable credentials. Probably from a team with nothing to lose.
Evan Jorgenson (Des Moines, IA)
Love reading your stuff, K. Bros. One question? What are the chances, if any, that kobe can break kareem's scoring record of 38,387 points?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:40 PM)
Hi Evan-Thanks for the nice words. We appreciate it. As far as the record goes, I actually looked at this last year, and while I don't have the numbers in front of me or committed to memory, I believe my conclusion was "possible, but unlikely." He'd need to average about 2200 points over the next five years or so, which is more than he's scored in the last couple seasons. It's hard to believe he'll start cranking it up more as he gets deeper into his 30's. So I'd say Kareem is pretty safe, and Kobe settles in above Jordan, and possibly Malone, but below Kobe.
matthew (los angeles, ca)
your guys thoughts on javaris crittenton? a guy who we thought had a bright future to now this.. what a shame.
Andy Kamenetzky (1:44 PM)
Matthew: The entire situation is beyond tragic, whether you're talking about the victim, the family she left behind, or for Crittenton. Obviously, the facts haven't all come into frame yet, and it's important to remember Javaris is innocent until proven guilty. But if these charges do stick, it's nothing short of shocking, from my perspective as someone who didn't get to know Javaris extremely well in L.A., but certainly chatted with him and got a vibe for his character. He always struck me as very polite, grounded and friendly, an impression media members and teammates (to the best of my knowledge/recollection) generally shared. He also was a very good student at G-Tech, and he came from a prestigious prep school. Not in a million years would have I have predicted this happening, even after the incident with Arenas. Then again, I would have never predicted "Pick 1" either, so it's hard to say how people might change in a different environment or under different circumstances. And who knows how his life has progressed upon falling out of the league? In any event, it's just an awful situation. For a great take on the matter, I recommend this piece from the Washington Post's Mike Wise. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/javaris-crittentons-arrest-casts-locker-room-incident-in-a-more-disturbing-light/2011/08/30/gIQApobcpJ_story.html
My question is, can Kobe revert to Kobe from 3 yrs ago and win another title with the core they have now? Assuming Bynum stays healthy and develops into an even better center
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Carlos-Honestly, the issue isn't really Kobe reverting back to form of three years ago-- I realize he looks healthy now, and hopefully he can sustain it, but to ask him to turn back the clock like that even on a healthier knee is a tall order. The improvement has to come from other guys. They need more reliable depth, an outside shooter, and so on. Pau Gasol has to be Pau in the playoffs. But yes, I absolutely believe this core is capable of winning another title. No question.
Lodge section (Staples Center)
Do you think this lockout will have an adverse affect with season ticket holders being reluctant to renew their seats since this there seems to be no progress?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:47 PM)
Lodge-With most teams, yes. With the Lakers, no, because people don't want to give them up completely. Plus, the types of people who have season tix at Staples (lower bowl at least) are often those who can afford to put down the deposit and have the Lakers hold their money until the games are canceled.In other cities, though, it'll have an impact.
Tyler (Binghamton, NY)
Lockout pending, are, my favorite team, the LAKERS, the favorites to win, yet another NBA Championship
Andy Kamenetzky (1:48 PM)
Tyler: No, I wouldn't consider the Lakers the favorite. Not after their terrible postseason showing on the heels of a very uninspired regular season, and with the needs on their roster. (Shooting, improved guard play, a legit backup C). Having said that, they're absolutely in the conversation. I anticipate this team, between the humiliating exit and the knowledge of their shrinking window with this core, to be extremely motivated. Plus, their big four remains pretty formidable.
Hi K Bros nice work with your blog keepin us busy even during the lockout! I have 2 questions. 1. You talked about Fish getting his jersey retired and I'm totally with you that the lakers should make an exception for him and retire his number. but do you think it's realistic that the lakers actually will do that? and would Jim Buss have to decide that? 2. when kobe played in the drew league i noticed that he didn't wear anything on his right index finger. do you have any information that would suggest, that kobes index is significantly better than last season? (technically 3 questions :) )
Brian Kamenetzky (1:51 PM)
Nidal-With the Fisher thing, you actually agree with Andy, and not me. I like what the Lakers have done, making HOF status a requirement to get into the rafters. It keeps some important and influential guys out, but adds a mystique I think is pretty cool. I suspect Fisher won't get into the rafters for the reason I just mentioned. I think they believe if they start making exceptions, it opens the floodgates for a ton of players, and while I don't like slippery slope arguments generally, in this case it could be right. Cooper, Byron Scott, Fisher, Jamaal Wilkes, etc. All guys who can make similar cases. With Kobe, I think the finger is what it is. When nothing is banging against it, it's fine. If he takes a solid shot, it's less fine. But he hasn't done anything to "fix" it, so to speak.
Did Kobe really adopt Dirk's knee hike fade away over the summer or is it just being pointed out right now? And how do we know if he modeled it after Dirk considering Paul Pierce has done that move for a long time?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:53 PM)
Never-I don't know if it's exactly the same shot, because Dirk uses his height differently and takes off from some absolutely bizarre angles, but overall I don't think it's something Kobe picked up specifically from Dirk anytime recently. He's used just about every kind of lift and release in the book over the last few years.
bryan (los angeles, ca)
is kobe's knee still bone on bone even with the knee procedure he had in germany?
Brian Kamenetzky (1:59 PM)
Hey Bryan--I'm not a doctor-- no seriously, I'm not-- but my understanding is that the procedure he had doesn't reverse anything like that. I don't think it's possible to regenerate that tissue. But like I said, there's a reason I'm doing this, as opposed to say, working in the orthopedics department at Cedars.
Neil L. (Arizona)
Is Walton actually making a good choice by going to coach instead of playing overseas? For his health, it seems like a good idea.
Andy Kamenetzky (2:01 PM)
Neil: Yeah, I think coaching is a much better option for Walton than playing overseas. For starters, it's a nice preparation for Luke in what I imagine will be his next career. But beyond that, Luke's recent track record suggests a high likelihood of getting injured if he plays overseas. Not to be a skeptic, but I gotta call it like I see it. He can stay in shape while in Memphis, and is bringing his shooting instructor with him. But it's not like he's missing out on a chance to tremendously improve his game. At this stage, Luke is who he is, and will likely maintain a bit role even if healthy.
John (Pomona, CA)
Does Ron Artest have an opt-out clause with Dancing With The Stars if the lockout ends? And what do you think his chances of are winning the whole thing? He doesn't seem to be the very nimble and graceful type.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:03 PM)
John-I don't think he'll win the whole thing, but he has a chance to go pretty far, just because people find him entertaining. But you're right, I don't associate Artest with light, fancy footwork. And I can't imagine he doesn't have an out if the season starts. That's a given.
Vai S. (Chesterfield)
If Pau plays well in the Eurobasket, can we assume he's back to normal? If he sucks, should we panic?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:06 PM)
Vai: No, and yes-adjacent. If Pau kills it overseas, that's obviously a great sign in light of his postseason flame out. But at the same time, one good tournament on a few months rest against quality-but-still-lesser competition isn't the same thing as being "all the way back." Pau's gotta return to the proverbial scene of the crime for redemption, on the court and psychologically. Plus, the cold hard fact is Pau's effectiveness is very much handcuffed to Bynum's health (or finding a legit 3rd strong C) and there's no real way around it. On the other hand, if he continues to flounder in Europe, I wouldn't sound the panic bell yet, but I'd at least use Google Maps to figure out the bell's location.
FritzOnSports (Long Beach)
What can we expect from Bynum if there is a season this year? He has had all summer to train and get that knee stronger.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:09 PM)
Fritz-I think he'll be very good as long as he's healthy. What we saw near the end of last season wasn't a mirage. The guy has incredible talent, and seems very set on using it. I have concerns about how he'll fit, and whether he'll chafe against the established pecking order of the team, but he'll be very solid if he's healthy.That, of course, is a massive if. But going into this offseason healthy should be a huge boost.
The Wizard (Gardena)
Shouldn't we be less worried about Artest dancing and more concerned that when he jumps, he actually goes down not up?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:11 PM)
The Wizard: That comment really puts in perspective his potential problems in both competitive formats, huh?
Bake (Upper Marlboro)
Do you guys think that if the owners are given a chance to hit the re-set button a little on the bad contract decisions they have made, that it will result in a Labor deal. Players take a small cut in salary (10%). Players do no more than 3-4 yr deals. Players keep guarantee and current salary cap configuration. Owners would get the chance to start over with chance to pick/choose players smarter but earning potential of players remains. Would this work in a nutshell??? This isn't football. You're not gonna be heavily profitable with a losing franchise. Look at little league football vs little league basketball. Totally different engines but also only 5% of the Country is 6 foot 3 and taller.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:15 PM)
Bake--I think it's a step in the right direction. I suspect contracts will get shorter. Even players seem to understand the need, and in point of fact it allows the guys who perform well to get paid, b/c money isn't tied up in as many bad deals. Salaries will go down, because the players have conceded on one level or another to that, as well. The real question is how the pie is divided up. If owners get the revenue split they want without a hard cap, they'll probably live with it. If they can get a hard cap but not the revenue split, that's no good. In the end, it's about the percentage, and what factors into it.
Roger W. (St. Louis)
How much do the Lakers suffer next year-- assuming there is one-- without Phil?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:16 PM)
Roger: I don't know if "suffer" is the word I'd use, but life without Phil is going to be quite an adjustment. New system. New communication style. New faith in a coach none of these players except Artest knows particularly well. New assistants. And likely a brand new vibe around the team. Obviously, that doesn't necessarily have to be a negative, and Brown beings a lot of enthusiasm and energy, which is always a plus. Frankly, I think Phil's was waning and it showed during what I think was a pretty mediocre season coaching on his part. However, he (or Brian Shaw) would have provided continuity, which is an important asset for a team with a closing window and a potential shortened season staring them in the face. Mike Brown's plate is certainly full.
Jake (North Hollywood, CA)
Is it a matter of time before Bynum calls out Kobe ? When I say "call out" I don't mean make subtle references. I mean "call out" by name like what Kobe did to Shaq back in the day.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:17 PM)
Hey Jake-Call out for what? In terms of not sharing the ball enough, or needing to step aside a little? Not totally sure what you mean, but like I said, I think there's a good chance Bynum starts to chafe against the pecking order, so to speak. He's not afraid to speak is mind, and if Kobe consistently makes a point of where Bynum "belongs," and I don't think he will unless Drew makes it an issue, I could see where Bynum would pop off.
Concerned for the future (Earth)
If a new CBA comes and there's a hard cap, would Kobe re-negotiate his contract to make it easier to sign players?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:18 PM)
Concerned: It depends on whether the new CBA would allow Kobe that option. It's not the NFL. As it stands, contracts can't be goosed to give teams cap flexibility. The Lakers may be outta luck on that count.
Rei (Miami, Fl)
First, i wanted to say that i love your chats. in your opinion, do you think that there ever will be another MJ or let alone another Kobe? if there is, what would that player have to do to supplant them both as the best ever?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:21 PM)
Rei-Thanks for stopping in, and the nice words. Great to have you in the chat. It's an interesting question, because Jordan has become such a transcendent figure that supplanting him is going to be tough. His is such a hard record to attack. His statistical output was stunning, he has the six titles (may have been more if not for baseball), never lost in the Finals, and so on. Plus, there's the mystique, one Kobe has been chasing for a while. But one thing that could change the argument is time. Kobe has more of it to add titles, and continue growing his statistical record. As people who grew up watching him instead of MJ get older, Kobe is likely to rise in the argument. I don't think he'll ever catch Jordan (and don't think he should, honestly), but his legend will grow, especially if he can pick up one more ring. But someone always comes along that captures people the way these guys have. He'll pile up rings, score, and so on. Think about how many great players the game has seen, you know?
Roy G. (Los Angeles)
You guys said the Thunder were the favorites in the West in the last Triangle. What do the Lakers have to do to fix that?
Andy Kamenetzky (2:23 PM)
Roy: First and foremost, the Lakers need to add a shooter or two (or one, and have Blake rediscover his form, whichever is easiest/most realistic). But for all the other issues facing this team (mediocre PG play, lack of depth at C to cover for Drew's inevitable injury, guys who can create for themselves), I don't think any one weakness affects the Lakers more adversely than a lack of outside shooting, because it actually detracts from their biggest strength (size, inside play). They simply have to add a dependable threat from deep.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:24 PM)
Concerned-Well, it would depend if that sort of thing is allowed. If the owners get into a hard cap, it wouldn't surprise me if that became kosher. It happens all the time in the NFL, and allows great teams to keep their stars and build around them.I think if Kobe knew he'd still get most of what was owed him and saw an opportunity to get another ring, he'd do it. Or I'd like to think so, at least, particularly as he gets older.
Ottis A. (New Jersey)
If you had to pick a position the Lakers were most likely to shore up, which would it be?
Brian Kamenetzky (2:28 PM)
Hey Ottis-I'm going with backup center. There are actually a wide variety of names to choose from, more perhaps than the market can support, and there are also a few guys (Jeff Foster types) who might take less to try and win a ring. The Lakers have an acute need to make sure what happened last season, when Gasol was forced to pile up huge minutes in Bynum's absence, doesn't happen again. The only way they get there is by making sure there are viable options as backups in the frontcourt.
Brian Kamenetzky (2:30 PM)
Thanks, everyone for stopping in. As always, if you didn't get your question answered, feel free to hit us up on Twitter at @espnlandolakers.See you next week!