Smack / Jun 16, 2009 / 12:50 am

Day 1 of the offseason, Kobe is still the headliner

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

As expected, you couldn’t get away from Kobe Bryant yesterday. In fact, if you have any Orlando Magic fans in your life, you might wanna have them stay away from the Internet or any sports TV/radio stations for the rest of the week. The fallout from Kobe’s first “solo” NBA championship has so far revolved around two questions: What is Kobe’s place in history? and What’s next for Kobe and the Lakers? As for the first question, it’s almost impossible to discuss Kobe right now without talking about Michael Jordan, but one of our writers thinks Mamba’s fourth ring puts him more in company with Derek Jeter … And what’s next for the Lakers? Predictions for the 2010 Finals are already rolling in, and majority opinion seems to be this L.A. squad can definitely repeat if they re-sign Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza. But that may only be realistic if Kobe opts out of his $23 million contract and takes less money to make room under the cap. And this is where the fat Andrew Bynum extension does that Chinese Water Torture thing on the temple of every Lakers fan. Any chance Kobe takes a pay cut to keep a championship team intact? … Then there’s Phil Jackson. We suggested a few days ago that Phil might retire after getting his 10th ring, and Charles Barkley repeated it after Game 5, that he doesn’t think Phil is coming back. One thing Phil said in the post-championship press conference that stood out to us was that he doesn’t have the same energy to motivate guys players that he did 10 years ago, and that he’d put it on the Lakers to largely motivate themselves. That sounds like a guy who’s very near the end of the road. And with a very good claim to “Best Coach Ever” status now, who would blame Phil for walking away and making a ton of money writing books and doing corporate speaking? … Hedo Turkoglu probably isn’t coming back to Orlando; his agent confirmed that he’s opting out and testing the market. Hedo’s an interesting case. He’s not a #1 and doesn’t even fit the traditional #2 mold, but he’s been the guy running Orlando’s offense in crunch time and has plenty of clutch shots under his belt to show for it. Will Hedo get more offers of decent money from the contenders, or All-Star money from some Lottery teams? … Bill Laimbeer is looking for an NBA coaching gig. He resigned as head coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock yesterday — less than two weeks into their regular season — saying he couldn’t totally focus on the job because his eye was wandering toward the NBA. Laimbeer won three WNBA titles in six years, and will be replaced by Rick Mahorn on the Shock bench. As for his NBA prospects, any chance Laimbeer fits the “must be a former head coach” requirement that Minnesota supposedly put on Kevin McHale‘s search for a top assistant? How long before Timberwolves practices and film sessions would be interrupted by fights between McHale and Laimbeer? … Monday was the deadline for NBA Draft early entrants to pull their names out of the hat. Georgia Tech PF Gani Lawal, Maryland PG Greivis Vasquez and Notre Dame PF Luke Harangody are among those headed back to school, while Wake Forest PG Jeff Teague, St. Mary’s PG Patrick Mills and Kentucky SG Jodie Meeks are staying in. Texas A&M forward Chinemelu Elonu is also staying in, but he might as well start converting his U.S. dollars into Lithuanian litas right now. Check out the entire list here … And don’t look now, but Tyler Hansbrough is moving up the draft board. Widely projected to go in the back-end of the first round, Hansbrough has apparently impressed the Nets, who have the 11th pick, and the Bobcats, who pick 12th … After calling Ricky Rubio “all hype” last week, Brandon Jennings pulled back in an interview yesterday. “I think I got a little carried away with it,” Jennings said after a workout with the Knicks. “He’s not all hype. The kid has more experience than everybody in this draft, he’s been playing [pro ball] since he was 14. He’s a great player.” … We’re out like basketball for a few months. You stay classy, Los Angeles

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  • http://n/a Heaven is a Playground

    First. Let the off-season hype began.

  • http://n/a Heaven is a Playground

    I meant to say begin.

  • Sambuu

    sure was a nice store…

  • ponky_alolor

    A very interesting off-season for the lakers. Which coach will replace Phil Jax if he retires? those are huge shoes to fill. Gotta be someone Kobe respects.

    Looks like Mamba, LO, and Trevor gotta to sit in one room and do their numbers in order to make this all work.

    What’s the max offer that Magic could give Hedo? I’m not familiar with the actual digits.

  • K Dizzle (sometimes you gotta move up outta the hood)

    Don’t let the actions of a couple dozen fools represent millions that celebrated with common sense, Dime.
    It’s an embarrassment to most of us. Those fools aren’t even Laker fans, just clowns waitin on the ish.
    Watchin game 5 of the ’99 Finals tween the Knicks and Spurs. Duncan was a beast in just his second year; thank God for NBAtv.

  • BRUCE

    Let Kobe enjoy this moment, the monkey just got off his back!

  • BRUCE

    Didn’t Zo said the same thing about The Zen Master. Phil is just there, Kobe is doing all the coaching!

  • BRUCE

    Is it possible for Kobe to opt-out of his current contract and sign a long term contract? I think Shaq did something along the lines but I am not too sure.

    Just hope Kobe does not pull a Carlos Boozer! LA fans will hound him to his grave! Yikes!

  • K Dizzle (sometimes you gotta move up outta the hood)

    “Just hope Kobe does not pull a Carlos Boozer”

    WTF does that even mean? What does Booz leavin Cleveland for more money in Utah have to do with Kobe when LA can offer the most by a mile?

    Damn. Dime, y’all really need to start checkin comments and deletin em before they get on the page…

  • Rafa23

    @ k dizzle
    you surprised?
    we talking bout a guy who asked if kobe can opt out and sign another long term contract when people have talked about that for days…

  • AZ

    KOBE FOR PLAYER/COACH? ANYBODY?
    lol

  • AZ

    IAN…what about GREG POP….since TD is already on the decline…

  • springz

    Off season!?!? What the f*** am i supposed to watch now?

  • ponky_alolor

    K Dizzle, yep TD was downright nasty early in his career. He hasn’t showed the whole array of moves in the post recently but watching him in NBA Tv is a treat. He is that fundamentally sound & effective. Dwight should get a tape and watch it over the summer.

  • Josh Tha roc

    I heard kenny smith talkin about 4 laker chips’ in the next 6 yrs. Is there really any chance of it happening?

  • Kobe sucks

    Kobe sucks
    i hate this N******! Its All about Hype. He is not better than the other best guards of the NBA. He just were in the best team inthis past 10 years. We know how it is when there is no shaq or no Gasol. He is not like mike. No He isn’t.

    Kobe sucks!

  • AZ

    ………is this ian?

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    @ ponky
    I was thinking the same thing dawg LOL !!How about rent Hakeem for the off seasson since Yao’s not using him.Can you imagine dwight with the dreams moves.Sinful

    @11
    as a laker fan i do not want Kobe coaching the Lakers.He’s not at a place where he can surrender control of anything.Ron Jeremy,i mean SVG still struggling with it.Have you seen him on the sidelines.

    @16
    that’s why we have numbers.
    “he is not better than the other best guards of the NBA”
    I think money’s better,think magic’s better but I’m glad you at least accept him as among the best guards.No shaq or gasol.How bout no fisher,ariza,or bynum.Has it hit you that nothing could please you ??

  • AZ

    I kid, i kid… Numba 11

  • http://www.CalmYoSelf.com Kermit the Washington

    Tyler Hansbrough will end up with the Bobcats, simply because MJ is trying his hardest to have an all-TarHeels team.

    Aurrgh

  • Dennis Castro

    Is Kobe taking a pay cut to keep Ariza/Odom? Like Mos, Freeway, and Kanye…2 Words: HELL NO.

    The interesting piece is what they’re going to do with their starting PG next year. Fisher is obviously done as a starting PG, so who steps into that role?

    If anyone should be taking a paycut it should be Bynum after that performance in the playoffs. They could have played DJ Mbenga in the Finals, gotten pretty much the same production, at 1/15 of the price.

  • fallinup

    Ariza stays. No way he goes, they should bend over backwards to keep him. I’d be surprised as hell if Kobe takes a pay cut to keep everyone. More than likely, and I think they should sign then trade Odom. His stock will never be as high as it is right now. And I don’t care how he all of a sudden showed up for the playoffs…but i still think he’s inconsistent and can’t be trusted.

    For all the Bynum flip floppers. Drew will redeem himself and be healthy for next year. I love how he’s been thrown under the bus by the same people that were screaming…”Wait until next year when we get Bynum back!!!” last season….totally laughable.

    Will he be the beast that he was in that half of a season??? Who knows??? But goddamn, give the guy an offseason to get 100% and get healthy before you turn on him. Sheeesh.

  • karizmatic

    I can’t really see Kobe taking a pay cut for the lakers to keep Ariza and Odom, but if he wants to win another ring he better do that, because without those two the Lakers become eminently beatable. Odom said he would take less pay to play for the Lakers anyway, so maybe something can be worked out. As far as Phil. I think he comes back one more year just to see if he can get an 11th coaching ring and retires at the end of next season regardless of the outcome.

  • Kudabeen

    Opt out for a 7 year deal $120 million with no trade clause. Salary has to be structured abnormally:

    $15 million 2009-2010
    16
    18
    20
    20
    18
    13 – 2015-2016

    Takes him to 38. I know he could get more money, but I think he’d rather be the “winningest” Laker ever. Keeping his guys for a good three year run could produce two more chips to top Magic’s 5. Also Kobe’s knowledge and skill level will keep him in the game regardless of age. His strength training sans bulk is elite athlete decision making. Protecting his knees and ankles for the pounding.

    One of the young guys will have to emerge in the next two years though or they are going to have to think free agent big pay. Bynum, Shannon, Farmar, or this years polished rookie pick needs to act like they want it next year or LA trims the fat.

    Of Course Kobe’s no trade clause gives him complete control over his situation and for this long term of a deal I’m not sure every team will be willing to lock him in or talk him down money-wise like the Lakers would be.

    my two cents.

  • K Dizzle (sometimes you gotta move up outta the hood)

    @ ponky

    It’s amazin hearin Dwight say college wouldn’t have helped him. Tim had more post moves comin out of high school than Dwight has now and he STILL STAYED 4 years. Hopefully, the Finals was a reality check and he’ll expand on that one shimmy and jumphook he showed in game 5. College woulda definitely helped him. Shoot, even Greg Oden got a couple moves that he picked up at OSU. Sure, Dwight didn’t NEED to go to school, but it woulda helped

    @ dennis, fallinup and karizmatic – I think Kobe bein able to opt out actually benefits the Lakers. Basically, he can restructure the contract to allow Kupchuk to get LO or Ariza or both. So for example, instead of extendin for 5 years and 100mil, he could extend the years and take maybe 7 yrs at 15-18 per. It just depends how much of a hometown discount all 3 guys wanna give and how badly they wanna win.
    Not to bring Mike into this, but his last Bull’s contract was for 1 yr and 30 mil, while Scottie was feedin on scraps, which helped end that dynasty

  • Kudabeen

    As I’ve been saying. Hansborough despite the hate will find a place with a smart coach and good system and be a winning piece. Can’t coach hustle and drive. Also as he and Larry Brown have stated the dude has a skill as well as far as shooting touch and footwork goes. He isn’t small and will be head and shoulders better than anything Sean May ever would have produced.

    Jodi Meeks is a curious case to me. I thought he had a legit display of being able to get buckets any way you need them. He shot good percentages all years with a high volume of shots on a team where he was a clear defensice focal point. He plays strong D. He is more athletic than given credit. No he isn’t a point, but he has better handle than he is given credit. I think he has a chance.
    I like his game and his J is proven at a legit 6’4″
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMTU-CU5BZ0

    Bulls at 26? Don’t really know if Ben Gordon is coming back, but you have a rotation or Kirk, Rose, Meeks, Salmons at the 2 over Sefolosha with Deng and Andres Nocioni at the 3 isn’t bad at all. They still have the 16th pick to take or trade for a chance to get a front court player.

  • jzsmoove

    Dime got it right, Kobe won his “First Solo Championship”. How the damn hell do you compare him to Jordan who has SIX SOLO CHAMPIONSHIPS. He doesnt even scrape Timmy’s blings, he got 4. He aint even the best Laker, Magic has got 5 as the main focal point of a great Lakers dynasty. So his standing place in history has got to stop. It shouldnt be that high if spoken in terms of Solo championships.

  • http://www.realgm.com Rare Air

    If it truly is about the rings and that is the only way that LA keeps both LO and Trev then Kobe has to opt our and take a cut. I think Ariza would stay for less because he is an LA guy and has really hit his stride there. Odom as well has said how much he likes being there and Id imagine hed like at least one more ring as well. As for Phil he is the wild card of the bunch, there is NOTHING left to prove, and if he doesnt have the same motivation than you have to say when. Yet as far as Kobe has come, is it a stretch to say that Phil can now take a step back and let Kobe be the motivator and leader? Its going to be an interesting offseason. In the meantime Ill enjoy the Lakers win, lets have a fun and safe parade tomorrow.

  • LakeShow84

    @ JZsmoove

    “Jordan who has SIX SOLO CHAMPIONSHIPS”

    With Scottie Pippen??

    Bird with McHale & DJ??

    Magic with Kareem and Worthy??

    So do Magic & Bird even have solo chips??

    I think you were part of that idiotic critisism Kobe addressed post game..

  • LakeShow84

    ANYHOO

    Bynum will be back next year and even though his numbers didnt pop out at anyone.. and his PT was atrocious with foul trouble the kid held the paint down and didnt allow to many easy points.. hes still barely allowed to drink so give him time.. Honestly if he works on his passing with Gasol ITS A WRAP..

    LO said he would take less money but i think Vujacic is the odd man out in all this.. Hopefully we can move him cuz right now and then sign Ariza and maybe sign and trade Odom.. or keep Odom if he takes 3-4 option money..

    Even though Odom’s J was lookin sweet in these playoffs.. if the man has a J he is practically unguardable.. of course his ass would show it off now though and create a head scratcher.. all last year it was his weak drives away from the hoop..

  • Kudabeen

    Draft Question:

    Thunder upgrade?

    Anyone keeping tabs on Serge Ibaka?

    Sonics/Thunder other 1st round pick last year. He was projected as a Shawn Kemp type talent. Already had a decent face up J on top of an NBA body and above average athleticism. I figure he could be coming to the team this year. I hope he is available for summer league play.

    dude at 17-18:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMP7pn6VNYQ&feature=fvsr
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr_XfChleWI&feature=related

    Guys have been drafted a lot higher showing a lot less. I am checking for this dude this summer. Major upgrade if he filled out and polished his floor game over the year. Great unspoken piece for the Thunder. Haven’t seen much press on him.

  • Tbest

    Has anybody been reading Bill Simmons this post season? Did Kobe sleep with the guys wife or something?

  • JayTea

    Odom, has been to hell already. I don’t think he wants to back. Unless a true contender steps up with real money, he stays.

    Ariza has got to be a priority hoping they can work something out to keep him.

    Bynum is a great example of why all sports contracts should be incentive based.

  • K Dizzle (sometimes you gotta move up outta the hood)

    @ Lakeshow

    damn, dude. Stop hatin on LO. In all fairness, you only as good as your last game and dude played like an all-star in the biggest game of his life. Props due.

    @ jzsmoove – what is a solo championship? NOBODY wins on their own. To keep it real, only Chauncey’s Pistons, Hakeem’s Houston squad w/o Clyde, last year’s Celtics (if you don’t say KG and P-Double and RayRay are top 50), this year’s Lakers and Tim’s last 3 chips(if Tony don’t crack the top 50 by the time he’s done) have been won without at least 2 Top 50 ballers in recent times so please stall with that solo bs. Mike ain’t winnin without Scottie so try to remember that when you decide that there’s such a thing as “solo championships”

  • E$

    Just don’t want to see people like Bynum, Sasha, Luke, & Brown grinning like they were factor’s in the championship

  • that’s whats up

    props to BJ for suckin’ it up then spittin’ respect back to Rubio

    those little homos need to get along

  • doc

    They gonna keep Ariza first.Kobe not taking no less nothing.LO gonna have to give LA a discount or he the odd man out.Bynum gonna be a beast he was playing on a fucked up leg he gonna get hot next year.

  • Kudabeen

    E$:

    Shannon didn’t get in Chauncey’s shirt where Fish was getting ate up?

    Bynum didn’t clog the paint and set the tone for physicality for the Lakers against the Nuggets and Magic?

    Luke as much as I don’t care for him he was aggressive in the post and moving the ball as the coaching staff desires…

    It is a team game. We really lose that too often.

    Now Adam Morrison in the locker room shooting Campaign around jumping was hilarious. I don’t know if they are keeping him next year, but He will probably replace Sasha as the designated spot up guy. Shannon will probably see his role increase as well. Summer league battles to come.

  • Mrbball

    @Kudabeen,

    Man where u been? Bulls traded Nocioni and Sefolosha last season at the trade deadline. How u think they got Salmons?

    Noce & Drew Gooden went to Sac-town for Salmons & Miller. Then they dumped Thabo onto The Thunder probably for a draft pick. They also dumped Larry Hughes onto NY for Tim Thomas(free agent this year I belive) and Jerome James(Injured prolly retire, Insurance Pays salary)

    Plus I have heard nothing about the bulls taking Meeks.

  • Kudabeen

    Mrbball:

    Man I haven’t been in Chicago for sure. LOL. I slipped on that one.

    I was going off of memory and didn’t even look at the bulls roster, but I still feel like those players are not a factor and Meeks would be a good pick up / insurance in case Gordon skips town for a better deal. Tim is an 2010 expiring contract and Jerome has an opt out option that we all know he won’t exercise because he shouldn’t be no an NBA roster…

    26 is a little high if dude is really going to fall as far as 47th (crazy imo), but outside of real low post threat that 26th wouldn’t be wasted.

  • Kudabeen

    Also Meeks is a projected 2nd rounder. I haven’t heard anyone saying they want him or really heard negative press on him. That is just my opinion that he is a solid pick up with a proven J and better overall skill than he is getting credit for.

  • JuiceMode

    Bynum will totally redeem himself next year. Just not sure about the SECOND half of the season though…

  • http://www.hot1047fm.com Steve Gomez 10a-2p on Hot 104.7 Modesto, CA

    “Kevin McHale’s search for a top assistant? How long before Timberwolves practices and film sessions would be interrupted by fights between McHale and Laimbeer?”

    LMAO!!!! I have NO doubt these two would still throw blows!

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BERN BROGDEN aka BINO BROWN STR8 UP N DOWN

    @32 TBEST – yeah, it was a really negative article…wasn’t feelin’ the vibe at all. He did praise him for his achievements — well if not praise — he definitely documented his string of successes…but the ‘read’ had a gloomy feel to it. I didn’t like that piece AT ALL. And usually I like Simmons stuff.

  • E$

    E$:

    Shannon didn’t get in Chauncey’s shirt where Fish was getting ate up?
    ________________________________________________________
    Yeah, that was all Brown & not Billiups taking bad shots. (Nice choice of picking billiups, because I was thinking how Aaron Brooks ate up the entire backcourt of the Lakers)

    Bynum didn’t clog the paint and set the tone for physicality for the Lakers against the Nuggets and Magic?
    ____________________________________________________
    LMAO!!! Bynum, clog yes…set the tone….HELL NO!

    Luke as much as I don’t care for him he was aggressive in the post and moving the ball as the coaching staff
    desires…
    _________________________________________________
    Whatever, his bags are packed as I type this

    It is a team game. We really lose that too often.
    _____________________________________________________
    You need to watch past championship teams & see how real teams look

  • LakeShow84

    LOL @ E$

    Dude we won the chip.. does anything u say really make sense right now??

    If we took everything you said into account we wouldnt have made it past the second round.. shit we aint even a real team right?? coulda fooled me!

    DIP.. LMAO @ cat’s like you.. just make sure you watch the parade tomorrow ok pumpkin??

  • K Dizzle

    E$ with the hate once again.
    You even got a team, dude?
    Brown did get up in Chauncey’s shirt. When dude was killin CP, he was the best point guard in the world, but when Shannon started makin him work on d, he didn’t have the energy to put up 30/game like he put on New Orleans.
    And if bynum was playin in the 90’s, none of those weakass calls against him get called. The reffin was terrible and EVERYBODY on EVERY TEAM could see that.
    But you keep on hatin, dude. You make it more fun when the lakers win it all and you still reachin for venom. “Real teams?” lol Straight comedy, kid. Keep it up lol

    @ doc – if Lamar leaves, that’s a big loss cuz dude is the difference between bein a really good team and a championship squad

    @ Kudabeen – when i watch Meeks, I see Alondo Tucker…..so that’s not good for his future if I’m even close on that one

  • Kudabeen

    E$

    They are all teams.

    Shannon didn’t really get a chance to play until the Denver series…really. So you are saying Chauncey is a bad shot taker by nature? Because he was balling all playoffs, but Phil took Fish out of that equation and Shannon started getting minutes and made a difference. People can’t pump Billiups up all year as a leader, big shot maker, and even keeled clutch player, then just say for a series he just was taking bad shots… pretty lame…

    Obviously Bynum wasn’t needed to drop 20 and 10 on the Magic. All he was there to do is help in making Dwight work for position and not let him get into the game. He did that. He didn’t do much else, but they didn’t need him to do that. I’ll defer to coach Jackson…

    Luke having his bags packed has nothing to do with the fact that he was productive in his limited playing time. He did what he was supposed to do and helped more than hurt the team.

    Championships are awarded to Teams…It was that way on those “real team” of the past you say I need to watch and it is the same on these I guess fake teams of the present…

    They are all “real teams”. How many fake teams won an NBA Championship?

  • Frank

    Just read a small note on Dwight Howard’s blog:
    ‘kobe congrats. u inspired me.’

    ===
    Small note to Mr. James in Cleveland: that’s how real MEN handle disappointment…

  • Kudabeen

    K dizzle:

    I hear you but Tucker wasn’t the shooter Meeks is. Although Tucker is a bigger guard and better defensively.

    I just think the NBA year in year out shows us it puts a premium on shooting and Meeks proved that he is a shot maker all over the floor. I think he is closer to a young Ben Gordon. Body Type and all. All he needs is the polish, because Gordon played at a higher level longer at Uconn.

  • BRUCE

    Kobe opts out of his current deal. Mark Cuban offers a percentage of the franchise after his playing days then what do you do? Get the max contract from the Lakers or be a part-time owner.

  • http://www.pinpointbranding.net PJ310

    All I’m saying is The Lakers are a problem for the rest of the league, they can Beat you “small”, they can beat you “big”, they can beat you “quick”, and now they even have some grit and toughness.

  • QQ

    What’s good KDizzle??

    This fucking Imposter is killing me. Dude just won’t give it a rest. Magic4Life!!

    LakeShow, You’re a fucking MORON, Fair Weather FAN! I FUCKING HATE FAGGOTS LIKE YOU!

    BURN THE IMPOSTER!

  • ponky_alolor

    @ laker fans what do u think are fair numbers for odom and ariza?

  • QQ

    Funny seeing the bitch play it out like he’s two person, using the BURN THE IMPOSTOR! I’ve been saying.

    One little detail you forgot though: You’ve been using ‘IMPOSTER’. All my posts talking bout you is ‘IMPOSTOR’. It’s an ‘O’.

    Got ya, bitch. HAHAHA.

  • QQ

    And as a reminder;

    If it’s gay, if it’s rude, if it’s calling guys like LakeShow MORONS, etc. It’s the impostor. It’s easy to see guys.

  • Soda

    Good on Jennings for being smart and retracting his Rubio comment. Even if he feels that way, just keep it to yourself. Won’t help his stock if he’s known as a hot head.
    Raptors should take a real long look at Hedo. Could be a real nice fit in the T-dot.

  • jzsmoove

    i didnt invent this solo championship crap, everybody’s sucking on Kobe’s dick this HIS first chip as the Man. Dime’s words, scroll up, Kobe’s First solo championship.

    And aint you can identify with 80’s Lakers more than Magic. Celtics = Bird, not Mchale or DJ or Parrish. Pistons = Isiah, so on so forth. They had support, all them had support, My words are MAIn Focal Point. Dumbasses.

  • K Dizzle

    Notice how Dime had “solo” in hypotheses…Do you understand what that means?

    And who cares who you identify with? NOBODY wins on their own. Magic’s Lakers but Worthy got a Finals mVP, Isiah’s Pistons but Joe D got a Finals MVP, Tim’s Spurs but Tony got a finals MVP. Most players don’t even get the first chip “as the man” so please stop with this weak excuse for hatin