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.

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What is Vince Carter going to do for the Magic?

Vince Carter was recently traded from the New Jersey Nets to the Orlando Magic along with Ryan AndersoNets Magic Trade Basketballn for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee. This is a brilliant move on the part of Orlando. Phil Jackson and the Lakers exploited the weakness of Orlando a few weeks ago in the NBA finals by showing the world that 1) Dwight Howard can’t make free throws and 2) that the team is still lacking a court leader (and maybe a head coach). The first problem Dwight will figure out. He just needs to sing Soulja Boy in his head to relax himself at the line but the second problem needed to be solved with a trade.

Vince Carter works as an answer to the second issue. He is a fiery individual on the court and he will make his voice heard when it counts at the end of playoff games. He might say something to his teammates along the lines of, “Remember, contest all three point shots or foul them while they are on the floor. We got this game by three right now and can’t afford them an open trey.”

Best of all the Magic didn’t have to give up much to acquire Vince. I love Skip to my Lou, a.k.a. Rafer Alston but  he still hasn’t figured out his three point shot with all that practice and free rebounding from coaches and for some reason still refuses to bench the bar in the weight room. I can’t figure that out. Jameer Nelson will come back in as starting point guard this next season for the Magic with his shot on que and with enough bulk to gain a loose ball rebound at least. In regards to losing Courtney Lee, that is definately good for both the Magic and Courtney. I heard the Magic owners and committee members were so upset that Lee missed that lay up tip-in from an out of bounds pass in game 2 of the NBA finals that they went down to the court after the game and after the arena cleared out to try that move themselves. Once a committee member with grey hair and tux on made that play that Courtney couldn’t, they decided they just had to let him go… so out with Alston and Courtney and welcome home Vince.

What does this Lakers Championship really mean?

An article by David Peterson.

I have heard it over a hundred times…”Kobe can’t win a championship without Shaq“. ESPN made sure to tagline this past finals series between the Lakers and Magic as Kobe’s quest for a ring of his own. But can the Lake87746142AB051_LAKERS_NUGGETSrs recent title be watered down to simply acknowledging that Kobe led the re-built Lakers back to the top of the NBA world? I would like to argue otherwise.

There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant was dominating in the playoffs and deserved finals MVP honors. However, without the addition of Trevor Ariza, the stronger play of Lamar Odom, and a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Lakers would have been in the same spot as last year, when they walked out of TD Banknorth Garden with green and white confetti falling to the court. The fact is this: Kobe is Kobe, a dominant, consistent, top 5 player in NBA history. However, he alone cannot win an NBA title. Jordan had Pippen, Rodman, Harper, and Kukoc. Kobe now has Pau Gasol, whom Magic Johnson calls “the second best skinny big man in the NBA behind Kevin Garnett“, as well as Trevor Ariza, who is the most athletic player on the team and who came up with some of the biggest steals in playoff history. Throw in strong play from Lamar Odom and an emerging star in Andrew Bynum, and you have a team with no visible weakness or flaws.

This Lakers team, and this championship season, is much more than Kobe getting the Shaq monkey off his back, it’s the beginning of another Lakers dynasty. This team is built to win two more titles within the next three years. Now it’s just up to Mitch Kupchak to keep the team together and Phil Jackson to somehow find another finger for his next ring. Parting words of wisdom: WARNING-don’t ever leave Fisher open for a crucial 3, you will get burned!