Lack of depth and role player support on 2000-02 title teams
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:47 pm    Post subject:

j-dawg wrote:
madsen35 wrote:


Why don't you like Fox? I love the guy. Always took on the role of the gritty sh*t stirrer. It was hilarious. Here's this pretty boy who would get in the face of other team's stars. It drove them crazy.

He took less money and a smaller to come to LA. He was a team player. He was kind of the go-between when it came to serving as an intermediary between the coaching staff and players.

He actually had a huge game 7 against the Kings in 2002. Almost had a triple double. He was also instrumental in the 2001 playoffs, possibly our third or fourth best player.

He was a frustrating player to live with. When people look back at those 3 peat teams, they tend to think about the good things with Fox, which are valid because he always came through in the clutch. Even in big regular season games, I remember him coming through more often than not. That’s not a knock on him as a player at all and it’s easy to remember the good things in part because of that.

But he would go on for long droughts during the regular season shooting 20-something to low 30-something percent from the field. It killed us in the regular season because lack of contributions from players like Fox were the reason why we had to rely so much on Shaq/Kobe. And I am specifically picking on him because even though (in hindsight) he was out of his prime, he wasn’t a scrub or even a limited role player; he was capable of doing much more than he did. If we are talking about pure talent and skill alone, Fox was always #3-6 behind Shaq/Kobe (depending upon whichever ring chaser or washed up veterans we had in different years). Definitely had more talent and less limitations than a guy like Derek Fisher.

He took a pay cut to come here and he was solid in the mid to late 90’s. But his inconsistency was frustrating on a game to game basis. The passage of time doesn’t make me forget about the F-Troop


I don't think there was ever a season where I would call Fox the #3 or #4 player on the team. He was just one of a bunch of veteran role players -- along with Ron Harper, Brian Shaw, Robert Horry, AC Greene, Horace Grant, Lindsey Hunter -- who rounded out the team after Shaq, Kobe.

Personally, I wouldn't rank any of these guys above each other. Fox wasn't a great shooter by any stretch, but I don't think he was any more inconsistent than the other guys on the team.
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j-dawg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:53 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
j-dawg wrote:
madsen35 wrote:


Why don't you like Fox? I love the guy. Always took on the role of the gritty sh*t stirrer. It was hilarious. Here's this pretty boy who would get in the face of other team's stars. It drove them crazy.

He took less money and a smaller to come to LA. He was a team player. He was kind of the go-between when it came to serving as an intermediary between the coaching staff and players.

He actually had a huge game 7 against the Kings in 2002. Almost had a triple double. He was also instrumental in the 2001 playoffs, possibly our third or fourth best player.

He was a frustrating player to live with. When people look back at those 3 peat teams, they tend to think about the good things with Fox, which are valid because he always came through in the clutch. Even in big regular season games, I remember him coming through more often than not. That’s not a knock on him as a player at all and it’s easy to remember the good things in part because of that.

But he would go on for long droughts during the regular season shooting 20-something to low 30-something percent from the field. It killed us in the regular season because lack of contributions from players like Fox were the reason why we had to rely so much on Shaq/Kobe. And I am specifically picking on him because even though (in hindsight) he was out of his prime, he wasn’t a scrub or even a limited role player; he was capable of doing much more than he did. If we are talking about pure talent and skill alone, Fox was always #3-6 behind Shaq/Kobe (depending upon whichever ring chaser or washed up veterans we had in different years). Definitely had more talent and less limitations than a guy like Derek Fisher.

He took a pay cut to come here and he was solid in the mid to late 90’s. But his inconsistency was frustrating on a game to game basis. The passage of time doesn’t make me forget about the F-Troop


I don't think there was ever a season where I would call Fox the #3 or #4 player on the team. He was just one of a bunch of veteran role players -- along with Ron Harper, Brian Shaw, Robert Horry, AC Greene, Horace Grant, Lindsey Hunter -- who rounded out the team after Shaq, Kobe.

Personally, I wouldn't rank any of these guys above each other. Fox wasn't a great shooter by any stretch, but I don't think he was any more inconsistent than the other guys on the team.

I was talking about from a talent/skill standpoint, not their roles on the team. How many players on that team can handle/shoot/pass/defend? In that sense, Fox is definitely talented compared to other players on the team that also play different “roles”
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:01 pm    Post subject:

Palin wrote:
Turning point was 2002 summer imo. We wanted to keep George but we didn't have his bird rights somehow (not sure how that happens, maybe Larry can explain) so we spend our MLE on George to keep him rather than signing Billups which would be an amazing deal.

Billups was a perfect fit for us. He is a big PG which Phil likes and he can shoot and doesnt demand ball much which makes him great fit next to Kobe and Shaq. Also he would fill the need for 3rd scoring option.

Why did we have to keep Devean George? He was a waste of talent. Just sign Billups and use the veteran minimum on a backup SF behind Fox, and also play Kobe some at the 3.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject:

George didn’t look like he had much of a future in the NBA when his option was declined. He performed well enough in his contract year that the Lakers thought they couldn’t lose him. In hindsight, it’s the typical NBA story of a guy showing up for his contract year.

Lakers were starved for talent and felt they couldn’t lose him. Rick Fox was aging and who did we have at the 3 anyway? Keep in mind this was an aging veteran team that needed to get younger and more athletic, although it’s debatable if that was necessarily a priority for Phil and Co.

And also, I don’t think anyone really anticipated Billups to become who he eventually became. He had bounced around a couple of teams and was looking like a question mark himself. There were some that called for his signing, and it would’ve been great if we did. But I think he would’ve been a much hotter commodity if people had known that he would become a late booming PG

But then again, there was no way of knowing if we actually would’ve pursued him. Our Front Office didn’t exactly inspire confidence back then with some of the choices that were made.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:21 pm    Post subject:

Hypothetical Scenario:

The 2002-03 Lakers team is headed into training camp. These are the players on the team

Shaquille O’Neal / Mark Madsen / Soumaila Samake
Samaki Walker / Robert Horry / Slava Medvedenko
Rick Fox / Devean George / Tracy Murray
Kobe Bryant / Kareem Rush
Derek Fisher / Brian Shaw / Janerro Pargo

Suddenly, a group of players show up and try out for the team. The players happen to be the Lakers bench from 2008-09. Those players are as follows:


DJ Mbenga
Chris Mihm
Lamar Odom
Josh Powell
Vladimir Radmanovic
Luke Walton
Adam Morrison
Sasha Vujacic
Shannon Brown
Jordan Farmar
Sun Yue


Based on where each of the players from the former list were at in 2002-03 in their respective careers, and based on where the latter list of players were at in 2008-09., Who makes the final 12 man roster (and 3 man IR list) of this team?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:50 pm    Post subject:

j-dawg wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

The 2002-03 Lakers team is headed into training camp. These are the players on the team

Shaquille O’Neal / Mark Madsen / Soumaila Samake
Samaki Walker / Robert Horry / Slava Medvedenko
Rick Fox / Devean George / Tracy Murray
Kobe Bryant / Kareem Rush
Derek Fisher / Brian Shaw / Janerro Pargo

Suddenly, a group of players show up and try out for the team. The players happen to be the Lakers bench from 2008-09. Those players are as follows:


DJ Mbenga
Chris Mihm
Lamar Odom
Josh Powell
Vladimir Radmanovic
Luke Walton
Adam Morrison
Sasha Vujacic
Shannon Brown
Jordan Farmar
Sun Yue

Based on where each of the players from the former list were at in 2002-03 in their respective careers, and based on where the latter list of players were at in 2008-09., Who makes the final 12 man roster (and 3 man IR list) of this team?


Farmar, Brown, Vlad, Walton, Odom, Mihm, Mbenga >>>>>>×Samake, Samaki, Pargo, Murray, Rush

Much more talented role players on the 2008-09 team. A guy like Farmar alone would have been huge to have off the bench in 2002. His energy and athleticism alone would have gone a long way.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:24 pm    Post subject:

j-dawg wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

The 2002-03 Lakers team is headed into training camp. These are the players on the team

Shaquille O’Neal / Mark Madsen / Soumaila Samake
Samaki Walker / Robert Horry / Slava Medvedenko
Rick Fox / Devean George / Tracy Murray
Kobe Bryant / Kareem Rush
Derek Fisher / Brian Shaw / Janerro Pargo

Suddenly, a group of players show up and try out for the team. The players happen to be the Lakers bench from 2008-09. Those players are as follows:


DJ Mbenga
Chris Mihm
Lamar Odom
Josh Powell
Vladimir Radmanovic
Luke Walton
Adam Morrison
Sasha Vujacic
Shannon Brown
Jordan Farmar
Sun Yue


Based on where each of the players from the former list were at in 2002-03 in their respective careers, and based on where the latter list of players were at in 2008-09., Who makes the final 12 man roster (and 3 man IR list) of this team?


Shaq
Odom
Fox
Kobe
Fisher

Mihm
Powell
Horry
Murray
Walton
George
Brown
Farmer
Shaw
Vujacich
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:44 am    Post subject:

Trying to put myself in 2002-03 mindset here, particularly with regards to our front office, coaching staff, and Shaq’s preferences..


Shaquille O’Neal / Slava Medvedenko
Lamar Odom / Robert Horry / Josh Powell
Vladimir Radmanovic / Rick Fox / Devean George
Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujacic
Derek Fisher / Jordan Farmar

IR:

Shannon Brown
DJ MBenga
Kareem Rush



Who made the cut?

Center

  • Shaquille O’Neal - obvious

  • Slava Medvedenko - wanted to put MBenga here, but Slava had that new car smell in 2003. He was scouted by Magic and I think we were high on him as a project player


Power Forward

  • Odom - at this point in his career, he was a 4 more than a 3 and the advanced stats proved it. Either way, he would’ve instantly been that 3rd guy on this team, without question. Could easily slide to the 3 as well on this team, but we have a lot of bodies at that position

  • Horry - limping along. 2002 was when he hit the game winner against the Kings, but 2003 would be his infamous 0-39 from 3 year. Would have a mini-resurgence on the Spurs after this. He was just burnt out at this point, and makes the team easily, partly based on reputation

  • Josh Powell - would’ve started at the 4 if not for Odom. Shaq would’ve appreciated him similar to how he appreciated Udonis Haslam. And he was a poor poor man’s Haslam. He’d still get eaten up by the great PF’s of the time (Duncan/Garnett/Webber/Wallace) but his jumper would keep the defense more honest than a Samaki Walker ever could. He also had enough hustle in him to make a meaningful impact despite shortcomings. One of a few guys that would have made an impact if he were on the 03 team, but rode the bench in 09


Small Forward

  • Vladimir Radmanovic - Shaq has always asked for Snipers around him. Radman plays no defense, but he will still be one of the better Snipers that Shaq has had in his time on the Lakers. Based on fit and pure need, he starts on this team.

  • Rick Fox - Although coming off of a good playoff run, he was literally on his last legs. Would get traded the next year. I think Phil fights to keep him in the rotation and gets his wish. Besides, we are not too deep at the 3 and he makes it on reputation.

  • Devean George - He has been disappointing thus far in his NBA career, BUT he was coming off of a good showing in the Finals against the Nets. Although his option wasn’t picked up, he was still young and has that prototypical 3-and-D frame and game that didn’t grow on trees back then. He stays.


Shooting Guard

  • Kobe Bryant

  • Sasha Vujacic - Shaq would’ve loved playing with him. We were hyping up UPS drivers like Mike Penberthy, so of course Sasha would make this team and thrive. Hesitated putting Shannon Brown here, but just like with Radmanovic, he would be a better fit with Shaq (on offense). At least that is what I could see being justified by the coaching staff


Point Guard

  • Derek Fisher - What choice do we have? Although I will say I would wish to substitute 2009 Fisher in here as well. He was coming off of giving Mike Bibby a career contract. He would go on to make Troy Hudson look like an All Star later as well.

  • Jordan Farmar - Farmar was still well regarded in 2009 and I think we would’ve freaked out at the thought of having someone like him on this team. Some were freaking out with Jannero Pargo, so it you actually add in NBA talent into the mix with Farmar, and you have a player that would make a much bigger impact on this team than he ever would’ve on that ‘09 team. He would’ve looked like a 6’1” Kobe with 2003 Derek Fisher guarding him in practice


IR

  • Shannon Brown - should be in the rotation IMO, but I put him here because I believe the coaching staff will favor Vujacic over him because of spacing, which I disagree with because Shannon brings a lot to both sides of the floor for this team, in more ways than our coaching staff would acknowledge (such as energy and) playing him at the 1, which would’ve been worth a shot after seeing Fisher hand Mike Bibby the contract of his life in 2002

  • DJ MBenga - would’ve been the 2nd best backup Shaq ever had on the Lakers behind Elden Campbell. Sean Rooks may have been more polished, but he wished he had MBenga’s motor. In fact, he can arguably be switched with Medvedenko.

  • Kareem Rush - the Lakers (back then) just traded up 7 spots in the draft for him and passed up on Tayshaun Prince. With that price alone, they better keep Rush, a player whom they never even worked out in the pre-draft. Like Devean George, Rush had his moments but ultimately was never anything remarkable. To be fair, some mock drafts that year had him barely out of the lotto range.



Cuts from 2003 team

  • Brian Shaw = too old, although PJax (and Shaq) would’ve tried to keep him

  • Tracy Murray = Radmanovic eats his lunch and puts him out of a job (even though Shaq fought to bring him aboard)

  • Samaki Walker - bigger and more physical than Josh Powell, but much less talented

  • Mark Madsen - Questionable NBA talent (no offense to the OP, madsen35)

  • Jannero Pargo - Questionable NBA talent

  • Soumaila Samake - Questionable NBA talent


Cuts from 2009

  • Luke Walton - Phil would never cut him, but if he makes the team over Devean George, the team literally is dead on defense at the 3. In fact we are still quite weak at the 3. If we look on the IR, I don’t think the team could justify getting rid of Rush after trading to get him. They wouldn’t waive MBenga because we never had Shaq alone and always had at least one stiff backing him up (if not two). Powell and Horry don’t have the size for the 5, and we were intrigued enough with Medvedenko to keep him. I think PJax may push to waive Shannon Brown though, based on what our mindset was in 2002

  • Chris Mihm - this is 2009, post ankle injury. There’s no question he makes the team pre-ankle injury. Might even start at the 4, moving Odom to the 3 if it was pre-injury

  • Adam Morrison - Was already on his way out of the league by 2009, but too deep at the 3. I will say that he wouldn’t be the worse player if he were on the 2002-03 team. There’s be at least 2 players worse than him. I included him anyway, even though he and Radmanovic were not here at the same time in 08-09

  • Sun Yue - just like with Morrison, he may not even be the worse player on the 2003 team if he were on it. Also questionable NBA talent.


All in all, out of the 11 players from 2009 that tried out for the 2003 team in this scenario, I have 7 players easily making the team., with one that arguably makes the team as well (Walton).

Out of 14 players listed for the 2003 Roster, I have 6 that won’t make the final roster. All of them are easy cuts.

This really demonstrates the lack of depth in the 3 peat years and highlights how great of a duo Shaq/Kobe was.

2003 was also the year that Kobe bulked up over the summer. Wouldn’t be surprised (under this scenario) that he ends up playing at the 3 more often. In fact, the final playoff roster and rotation might be

O’Neal / MBenga
Odom / Horry / Powell
Bryant / Fox / Radmanovic / George
Vujacic / Brown / Bryant
Fisher / Farmar
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:51 am    Post subject:

j-dawg wrote:


IR:

Shannon Brown
DJ MBenga
Kareem Rush


Just as an FYI, there is no such thing as IR in the NBA.

Teams have 15 players on the roster, and can suit up any 12 of them for any game.

So you don't really need to pick three to be the permanent inactive guys. That can change from game to game.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:21 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
j-dawg wrote:


IR:

Shannon Brown
DJ MBenga
Kareem Rush


Just as an FYI, there is no such thing as IR in the NBA.

Teams have 15 players on the roster, and can suit up any 12 of them for any game.

So you don't really need to pick three to be the permanent inactive guys. That can change from game to game.

Yes that’s true. However, I used 2002-03 roster rules that were slightly different than the ones today and applied them for that specific situation. But anyway, it’s just hypothetical


Last edited by j-dawg on Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:24 am    Post subject:

Hypothetical scenario #2

Andrew Bynum / DJ MBenga / Chris Mihm
Pau Gasol / Lamar Odom / Josh Powell
Trevor Ariza / Luke Walton/ Adam Morrison
Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujacic / Shannon Brown
Derek Fisher / Jordan Farmar / Sun Yue

A group of players show up and try out for the team. The players happen to be the Lakers bench from 2002-03. Those players are as follows:

Soumaila Samake
Mark Madsen
Slava Medvedenko
Robert Horry
Devean George
Tracy Murray
Kareem Rush
Brian Shaw
Jannero Pargo


Based on where each of the players from the former list were at in 2008-09 in their respective careers, and based on where the latter list of players were at in 2002-03, who makes the final team (15 man roster)?

After you think about this one, it will really be obvious with regards to the talent differences of 2003 and 2009

Who actually makes the 2009 team from 2003?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:41 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
CandyCanes wrote:
We could have signed Billups for the MLE and drafted Tayshaun Prince 2002. Five championships in a row.


eh.

Tayshaun Prince was drafted before our picks in 2002, so we would have traded up to get him.

If you want to be an all-knowing oracle, we could have drafted Rashard Lewis, Carlos Boozer, Josh Howard, and a bunch of other guys at that level. But every team can say that.


Yeah. For years I grumbled about the Lakers passing on Larry Nance Sr. A whole 'nother greyhound to the Showtime rotation. I finally let it go after 5 titles.

But still...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:50 pm    Post subject:

j-dawg wrote:
activeverb wrote:
j-dawg wrote:
madsen35 wrote:


Why don't you like Fox? I love the guy. Always took on the role of the gritty sh*t stirrer. It was hilarious. Here's this pretty boy who would get in the face of other team's stars. It drove them crazy.

He took less money and a smaller to come to LA. He was a team player. He was kind of the go-between when it came to serving as an intermediary between the coaching staff and players.

He actually had a huge game 7 against the Kings in 2002. Almost had a triple double. He was also instrumental in the 2001 playoffs, possibly our third or fourth best player.

He was a frustrating player to live with. When people look back at those 3 peat teams, they tend to think about the good things with Fox, which are valid because he always came through in the clutch. Even in big regular season games, I remember him coming through more often than not. That’s not a knock on him as a player at all and it’s easy to remember the good things in part because of that.

But he would go on for long droughts during the regular season shooting 20-something to low 30-something percent from the field. It killed us in the regular season because lack of contributions from players like Fox were the reason why we had to rely so much on Shaq/Kobe. And I am specifically picking on him because even though (in hindsight) he was out of his prime, he wasn’t a scrub or even a limited role player; he was capable of doing much more than he did. If we are talking about pure talent and skill alone, Fox was always #3-6 behind Shaq/Kobe (depending upon whichever ring chaser or washed up veterans we had in different years). Definitely had more talent and less limitations than a guy like Derek Fisher.

He took a pay cut to come here and he was solid in the mid to late 90’s. But his inconsistency was frustrating on a game to game basis. The passage of time doesn’t make me forget about the F-Troop


I don't think there was ever a season where I would call Fox the #3 or #4 player on the team. He was just one of a bunch of veteran role players -- along with Ron Harper, Brian Shaw, Robert Horry, AC Greene, Horace Grant, Lindsey Hunter -- who rounded out the team after Shaq, Kobe.

Personally, I wouldn't rank any of these guys above each other. Fox wasn't a great shooter by any stretch, but I don't think he was any more inconsistent than the other guys on the team.

I was talking about from a talent/skill standpoint, not their roles on the team. How many players on that team can handle/shoot/pass/defend? In that sense, Fox is definitely talented compared to other players on the team that also play different “roles”



I don't think that Fox at that point was any more talented or skilled than those others guys. But talent/skill is such a vague, "eye of the beholder" thing it's virtually impossible to talk about in a meaningful way.

Productivity is a more concrete thing, and his productivity was any better than those other guys.
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