Lakers With Artest Could be Great or Terrible

The Los Angeles Lakers are only a few months past this most recent NBA championship. Of Course they took the title for a fourth time in the last decade and did so by way of a Hall of Fame coach and arguably the best 2-guard in the league.

However the Lakers had other key players that more than contributed to their 2008-2009 title. Pao Gasol did major work for them in the post while Lamar Odom provided the versatility that all teams desire from a power-forward. Lets not forget Trevor Ariza who was an amazing defensive stopper for L.A. and who came up with a few big time steals in the playoffs to seal victories for the team.ron-artest-lead

So the question begs if the Lakers had such a great chemistry on their team and perfect fit players at every position, why did they let Ariza go and bring in Ron Artest? Of course Artest may be an upgrade on the court but Ariza for this specific team is more valuable. You don’t have to worry about Trevor causing problems off the court, in the locker room, or with the media. With Artest you definitely do. Ariza also made all the plays you would have wanted him to make without taking away from Kobe’s brilliance.

Here is why Artest is probably the worst off-season acquisition the Lakers could have made. Bringing in a fellow all-star who desires and expects attention and setting him next to Kobe is simply a bad idea. It was different bringing in Gasol who is humble and isn’t a media whore. But Artest is going to want interviews and the spot light and photographs and I bet he will do what is necessary to make sure he gets all of that.

Championship caliber teams are always about chemistry and not simply about talent. Remember when the Lakers had Shaq, Kobe, Malone, and Payton all on the same starting roster. That did not work out for them. Surprising as it is you need a balance of players that compliment each other and that are not just individually talented.  The lakers had that last year and by getting rid of Ariza for Artest they may have lost it all. It will be exciting to see.

Follow me on Twitter: @DinoGomez.

Advertisements

Tribute to Lute Olson

It was amazing to speak with Randy Brown about his days coaching alongside Lute Olson.  The way Randy spoke about Lute told you just how much he learned from him and how much he admired the person he is. Randy didn’t simply say Lute was an amazing coach, he said Lute is an amazing person.OlsonGraphic

I met Lute once when I was 13.  I attended his basketball camp in Tucson, Arizona about 9 years back. It was a week long camp which included a personal photo opp with the coach. I’ll never forget that camp simply because the demonstrations from current and past Arizona players were spectacular. It was every kids dream to attend Lute’s camp and you know the man himself wasn’t just trying to make an extra buck by hosting a summer camp. Lute was there to help kids learn basketball correctly and build an audience for the university in which he represented. That is why Lute is awesome and why he is loved by everyone in the basketball community.

On August 8th, 2009 coach Lute Olson is to be recognized for his amazing Hall of Fame Career at the University of Arizona at which he coached. In his tenure with the University he contributed to 11 Pac-10 titles, 23 consecutive NCAA appearances, 4 final fours, and a national championship in 1997. The ceremony will last from 11Am until 12:30 Pm at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson. The event will include presentations from NBA players that Lute coached as well as a highlight reel of bits and pieces of those 23 seasons in which he led the Wildcats to the Big dance and beyond. The ceremony is free to the public and is sure to be amazing so be sure to stop by with a friend. Thanks again for everything Lute! Arizona fans will never forget you.