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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Great NBA Twitter Accounts

Since everybody and their mom is on Twitter, I thought that I would go ahead and list some of those NBA players who have also joined the bandwagon. Now not all of the following players actually tweet every message themselves… some players have ghost tweeters or people that tweet messages for them. However all the following accounts are real and do represent the players themselves.The following list is composed of those accounts which I enjoy following and those which tweet often. A more comprehensive list can be found at Blogs with Balls.nba-twit1

Shaq sings Akon’s Over the Edge…

This is awesome. Shaq is just hilarious. Here’s a guy who truly embraces life and has fun with everything he does. No wonder he has a $21 million a year contract. How can you hate him? Kobe?

Just a side note, BasketballwithDinoGomez is proud to be one of the first blogs if not the first blog to post this video. Thanks to Andrew Slavec for the shout.

Lebron James and Shaquille O’neal are Teammates

It was discussed a ton last night and has become official today, Shaquille O’neal is now a Cavalier alongside Lebron James. This deal happens just hours before this year’s NBA draft and mainly because Shaq wanted it to happen.  Really though as forementioned in an earlier post, most hall of fame players tend to just chill when a trade takes place but this trade marks O’neal’s fifth team in his career. That is a lot of moving around for the caliber of such a player. Its obvious  O’neal can’t stand to sit still for a moment if his team is not winning and the Phoenix Suns are definately not winning, so he’s gone. The details of the trade are as follows: the Cleveland Cavaliers recieve the Big Diesel with his $21 million a year contract and give the Phoenix Suns Ben Wallace, Sasha Pablovic, the 46th pick in the NBA draft tonight, and $500,000. As a Phoenix fan I’m bummed with Shaq’s departure but I recognize Wallace and Pablovic give us a better chance at completing the puzzle. A parting gift for Big Shaq comes in the form of a highlight reel when he was at LSU.

Richard Jefferson Traded to Spurs!

Richard Jefferson was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the San Antonio Spurs today in what I will immediately call a Blockbuster trade. With Jefferson at the small forward position on a previously contending Spurs team, all of a sudden they are youthful again. Well they are more youthful because they recieved Jefferson and dished out Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. Jefferson was the only other player in the league besides Kobe Bryant to play in every game the last two seasons and average over 20 points a game. He is not only good but durable. The addition of Jefferson makes the Spurs the best team on paper positions 1-4. The starting line up next year will have Tony Parker at Point Guard. Manu Ginobli or rising star Rodger Mason at shooting guard. Richard Jefferson at small forward and Tim Duncan at Power forward. The only whole in the starting lineup will come at the center postion where Drew Gooden and Matt Bonner will have to do work.  Just imagine how amazing the NBA playoffs will be next year with the Nuggets, Lakers, and Spurs choosing dominance in the Western Conference and possibly Shaquille O’neal and Lebron representing the East.

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!

Kazaam!!! Lebron and Shaq Together in Cleveland

kazaam-shaq-shaquille-oneal-sunsWow what a story this will be if a trade between Phoenix and Cleveland puts Shaquille O’neal in a Cavaliers uniform next to his buddy Lebron James next year. My immediate thoughts tell me Shaq loves the spot light and values his reputation as one of the most dominant big men to play the game. It seems he will do anything to further his career. After all if this trade works out, Cleveland will make the fifth city that The Big Diesel has played for in his career. Normally the league’s best players stand still during trades but Shaq makes it clear through his 7 foot 300 plus pound frame and booming voice that he gets what he wants and he doesn’t want to play for losing teams. He would rather pack his bags for the Eastern Conference, provide impressive interior play for the Cavaliers next year, take a back seat to the King himself (a.k.a Lebron James), make it to the NBA Finals to face his old team The Lakers, and rage on skinny Pao Gasol and youngin’ Andrew Bynum in the post on national television for a series to ultimately make Kobe Bryant admit he is still the most dominant big man in the league today. Based on history I’m guessing this trade is much more imminent that ESPN reporters explain. All Shaq has to say to make it happen is: Kazaam.