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Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  62 responses

Jerry West Doesn’t Think Lakers ‘Will Be Good for Much Longer’

The former Laker great doesn’t like the kind of defense L.A. is playing — something Phil Jackson agrees with — and sounds like he’d put his money on Boston winning it all this year (which Phil may not necessarily be in agreement with.) From the LA Times: “If there’s a loose ball now, how often do they get it?’ West asked as the keynote speaker Thursday during the annual Orange County Automobile Dealers Assn. luncheon. ‘The reason you ‘can’t play defense’ is because you can’t!’ ‘He’s right,’ Jackson said with a smile after Sunday’s practice when West’s comments were relayed to him. ‘We have to do a lot of things right to play defense the way we want to. Most of it is about controlling the tempo of the game. Some of it is about speed and outright speed. We’re not the fastest team on the boards. We can do it if we control things the right way.’ And West had more concerns about the Lakers than just their defense. He believes the team’s mileage and age will soon catch up to it: ‘I don’t think the Lakers will be good for much longer. You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. You can’t change a player’s tires.’ He also shared his belief that the Boston Celtics have a good chance to win the NBA title: ‘I think Boston is a very dangerous team,’ he said. ‘I would not want to play them every other night.’”

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  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Jerome.

  • tomtom

    The logo’s annual dumbass quote. Remember the “Lebron has surpassed Kobe” fiasco, two rings later and you still look senile.

  • namik

    Phil is probably retiring next year, Kobe is not getting any younger and they’ve only gotten older over the past three years (as far as trades and signings go). I don’t think this is a brilliant insight as much as a statement of fact. Boston and Miami are both pretty damn good though, and depending on injuries, it could go either way in the East. Lakers can still take the West if they shape up their act.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^Useful…

  • connor

    lakers need to make a move for stephen curry pau would give warriors a greater inside pressence

  • MikeC.

    I wonder why Phil is equating solid rebounding with speed. Oh yeah, that’s right, Kevin Love is super fast and has the highest vertical leap in the league.

  • robb

    Mind games…

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Yeah, the three best players on the Celtics’ team are Spring Chickens compared to Kobe, Lamar and Pau…

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    If Phil Jackson really does leave after this season I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers drop-off from the elite very quickly. People underestimate how important he is to their success in managing their current roster. Not any old coach can manage such a stacked team. Lakers might be capable of beating Boston/Miami this year, but Miami next year without Phil? Unlikely.

  • Josh

    Phil is a good manager of ego, but I think the assistant coaches do more of the actual x’s and o’s. I think they also have Kobe, Derek and Pau’s respect so they will be fine if Phil leaves. If they go with an outside hire, it could be different.

  • Jer-Dawg

    Jerry West does have great insight, but he’s a Laker. His words hold weight and this will only serve as motivation until after all star break to return back into form. Losing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Phil can sit at home and forget about attempting to organize the all star festivities this weekend. It would be good to have Pau not be on all star team, Lamar not be on team and Kobe not be on the team. It’s another work day for Lakers. Screw that! Lose until after players and coaches get announced then turn it on after.

  • http://www.slamonline.com THE REAL RIGGS

    he did not just say spring chickens…

  • Jake

    Is it just me, or does anyone realize that the Celtics are OLDER than the Lakers and everyone is still talking about the Lakers age?

  • T-Money

    tomtom: how was that a fiasco? LeBron IS better than Kobe RIGHT NOW. Why do people always mix up current production and career accomplishments?

  • T-Money

    Jake: I see you. The difference though is Rondo (and even Nate as a back up). He is Boston’s motor and is always looking to push the tempo and force the issue. Boston plays relatively fast.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @T-money…Don’t get more athletic and explosive mixed up with better. Kobe is still the best where lebron is just more explosive. When LBJ gets his fundamentals grasped then holla at me.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Sergio

    Two years ago Jerry West said that Lebron was better than Kobe. Then, the lakers won two championships in a row. Now he says that the Lakers are old and that the Celtics are better. IMO it’s just motivation.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    T-money, your opinion on Bron doesn’t mean much, which is a shame because you obviously know his game.

  • Dagger

    I was not aware that people still think Kobe is better than Lebron when every scrap of evidence besides championships points to the contrary – and I think this year has shown just how bad Lebron’s supporting cast always was. West was right about Lebron and Kobe and he’s probably right about the Lakers now. Kobe has a lot of miles on him and Gasol has played through many a summer. Both are coping with injuries this year, and when they’re through being an elite players in a couple years, the Lakers could kind themselves leaning on the likes of Bynum and Brown.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    That last comment by me was a big contradiction, what I meant to say was, T-money your biased.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Bynum could definitely be an elite player. He was beasting one of the better C’s in the L (Nene).

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @Dagger…To the Cavaliers credit Mo Williams, Jamison, Parker, Varejao, and Gibson have missed tons of games. It is not all Lebrons fault for how bad they are. And yes Kobe is still better and Lebron.

  • Dagger

    *find

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    To me, Kobe is better until Bron can beat him in the post season (or advance further than LA).
    Kobe is a more complete player, and this season he is not slowing down, he is more athletic now than he was last season.

  • Pugz

    Jerry West is a complete idiot. and steph for pau would be awesome. get steph and dorrell wright for pau and shannon please

  • JTaylor21

    So now you have to beat someone in the postseason to be considered the better player?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    JT, no, that’s just a personal thing to me regarding those two. I’m biased as well, so I shouldn’t really call out T-money. I prefer Kobe.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Dagger, Lebron and Co. had fantastic regular seasons as Cavaliers, too. Kobe is a better shooter, better scorer, better on-ball defender. Lebron has Kobe in rebounding and finishing, but cat is younger. more explosive and 6-foot8. So athletically, yes, Lebron is killing Kobe. As a basketball player…Lebron better call Doc because he needs a Delorean to get where Kobe’s been.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I like how all these ridiculously biased people think the most unrelated things substantiate some crazy belief they have. Its not even close as to “who is better” between LeBron and Kobe, and it hasn’t been for a couple years. Just because the Lakers win titles does not mean Kobe is the best player on the planet, it means the Lakers are the best TEAM. Kobe Bryant can’t bend or straighten one of his knees, hasn’t had to play defense on a premiere player in years, and is grossly inefficient. He is still one of the best 5 players in the world, but this notion that he is still to dog should have left everyone but Kobe’s mind in 2009. I’m not arguing with anyone about this, if you don’t see it, you don’t know what your looking at. And the Lakers reign on top is obviously over, Kobe has never won a thing without Phil Jackson, nothing. Miami & NYK are only going to be getting better for the next 5 years. Reason over Bias

  • Towelie

    Take it as a motivation thing.
    Don’t put too much thought into.
    Even if Phil does leave this year, I think Lakers will still be capable of winning another chip as long as they keep their rosters stacked with Kobe, Lamar and Pau.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Hmmm, nbk, I think I admitted it was bias. Using the fact that Kobe has never won anything without Phil Jackson is like me saying, Bron has never won a ring, ever. Therefore he never will.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No it isn’t, Kobe is a very very old 32. LeBron just turned 26

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Your not neutral here either, btw. ‘As much as I loathe seeing the Lakers win games’, is what you said the other day.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Now you throw that in, when that isn’t what you initially said. Bron has played 7 years, no rings, so he never will. It’s easy to turn things into ‘facts’.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    yeah I loathe watching the Lakers win, that doesn’t change my opinion of them. I think this is their last year where they are legitimate title favorites. Them or Boston for that matter. I have them losing in the finals, my opinion won’t change. Its not a bias, and Kobe Bryant has always been one of my favorite players (i named my dog Kobe for instance), infact I get a soft spot for anyone with that type of competitive drive, but that doesn’t change my opinion of what would happen, i am not biased.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    throw what in? Saying Kobe won’t win a title without Phil because he has never even come close to doing it, and is passed his prime is wholly different then saying LeBron still can because he is only 26. lol i don’t understand at all what your trying to say

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    If you have a screen name here, you are some type of biased. That’s all of us.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Michael Jordan never won a title without Scottie, and we saw what happened when he tried. The Washington Wizards were terrible…See how this argument is ridiculous?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Sorry, I should be clear.
    You initially said Kobe has never won without Phil, then added that he is a very very old 32. You didn’t say that initially.
    Apart from Kobe’s first 3 seasons, Phil has been his coach for 10 of his 11 years. Essentially, during Kobe’s prime he has had one season where Phil wasn’t his coach. That is not much of an opportunity to win a title without him. His roster during the one year hiatus (where Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen split time as his coach) : Kobe, Caron Butler, Lamar, Chucky Atkins, Chris Mihm, Jumaine Jones, Devean George, Brian Cook, Luke Walton & Sasha were his rotation player (10 mpg or more).
    He was supposed to win a ring with that group?
    Give Kobe a championship caliber roster, without Phil Jackson, and we don’t know what will happen, he has never had that chance.
    So saying he has never won without Phil as if it means he cant, is useless.
    It’s like saying LeBron can’t make the play-offs without Mike Brown. He hasn’t done it yet, so surely he cant.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    A Championship and the Playoffs are so totally different. Phil Jackson is underrated as far as I’m concerned. People passing off these Laker Championships as if Kobe was the catalyst to all of them. He has been without a doubt the best player in the finals ONCE. I think it makes more sense for me to say the Lakers have less of a chance winning without Phil then saying anything else about the Lakers chances next season. and Kobe isn’t getting any younger, sorry i didn’t mention that in my original comment, i figured those reading that would respond would be intelligent enough to just understand that.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Phil Jackson hasn’t won a ring while coaching a roster without the best sg of the decade in which he won.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    if you want to do that you could just say the best sg in the league has never won a title in the history of the league without Phil Jackson or Wilt Chamberlain.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    There different, but neither of those two statements has occured yet, so using your initial logic, neither can.
    Phil is not under rated to me, he’s a master at using the regular season as what is essentially is, a tune up for the post season. Kobe was the best player in the Finals last year, 28/8/4/2 on 40% or 18/11/4/2 on 48%. Kobe had a higher PER also. If you don’t think he was, and your claiming to be neutral, then your evidently not.
    Yeah, that does make more sense.
    Why add that insult at the end? I asked you about what you actually wrote, I didn’t know that I was to assume anything else, as it’s text I took it literal.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    nbk…That’s what I’m saying. They aren’t exclusive. Greatness makes everyone look great. Who would remember Toni Kukoc if it weren’t for him being in the right place at the right time. We all know who Luc Longley is but how many people remember Loren Meyer? I’m not disagreeing with what you have said, but to say that Kobe can’t do it without Phil is reaching, and not because Phil isn’t a huge key to the success, but because Kobe played without Phil in one rebuilding year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    its common knowledge bryant is old, frequently injured, and getting less athletic by the year. didn’t mean to insult you, wasn’t doing that, just explaining my comment. and about the finals thing, i’ll show you in just a second

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    NBA Finals 2010 – Kobe Bryant in wins, 27PPG on 37% shooting. In Losses, 30PPG on 44% shooting. Pau Gasol on the other hand, 18PPG, 13.75RPG,5 APG in wins for LA. IMO the MVP of a series should be the best player in your teams wins, not losses. As I’ve stated many times on this website, IMO there is not most valuable loser. Gasol led the lakers in rebounds in all 4 of their finals victories, and in assists in 3 of them. The only thing bryant did better then Gasol in the entire series is scoring buckets less efficiently

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    @Nicolas I didn’t say Kobe couldn’t have won a title without Phil at any point in his career. i am only talking about from this point moving forward. Seriously when ever has a team won a title when their best player is a past his prime wing, without phil jackson as the coach? I’m sorry but I don’t see LA winning the title this year if they run into a healthy boston, and they aren’t getting younger. If they lose Phil Jackson this summer then I can’t see a way in the world they can be considered favorites. Unless they sign Dwight in 2 years

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    I sure hope that Gasol would get more Boards than KB24. That being said, in four games a 15% shooting average in one game can bring that avg. down quickly. Regardless, if you take Kobe away from the Lakers they don’t make it out of the 1st round.

  • MUBWAR

    Last time Kobe could be a little compared to James was ’07. Fast forward to 2011 and Lebron is light years ahead of Kobe in Every Category: points, assists, rebounds, efficiency and FG %. Let’s drop the non sense people.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nicholas
    Kobe wasn’t the best shooting guard when the Lakers did their first three peat.
    He became that player, but he wasn’t when they won.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    How does Bill Russel get ranked as the top center ever by many although his numbers weren’t nearly what Wilt’s were Olajuwan’s were? Hell, Shaq murdered him in “stats” but Russell is by far the best center ever. No comparison. Stats in the L are deceiving. For players like Kobe, the only stat that matters starts with a W, and W’s lead to Rings and Rings lead to GOAT’s.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Those stats make sense nbk, and you can make an argument that Pau played the best during the finals, although I don’t think he did.
    There is no doubt though, that Kobe was the best player in the finals. He has been the best player in the finals 3 straight years, and in 2 of those 3 he played the best too, thats my opinion.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    Allen, I’m aware. I was just saying of the decade to hide that fact.

  • http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Russell_vs._Wilt nbk

    they didn’t keep stats for a good portion of Russel’s career, he won 11 titles, one as a coach and player. He coached himself to a championship!!. His career averages for the stats they have, 15PPG, 22RPG, 4APG. ANd Blocks were not kept, I heard he could have averaged as many as 8BPG in a couple seasons. Regardless the stats they do have, are more then comparable and better in some cases then Shaq, & Hakeem. (I don’t consider him the best center in terms of basketball skill, be he sure is the best winner of all time) For info on the Russell v Wilt rivalry you can click my name

  • http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Russell_vs._Wilt nbk

    I respect that AllBall, i will forever stand by my most valuable in wins is more important then the total or average of the series but i respect that. I got a game in just a bit so i’m out till late tonight or tomorrow, have a good one fellas

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^Likewise.

  • http://www.redraidersports.com Nicolas Fleming

    I’ve read the book of basketball. Maybe Simmons’ argument has made me biased toward Bill.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Thanks Phil as long as our squad gets this W I will haha

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nicholas
    Make the argument for Bill Russell over Hakeem.
    The only thing is the championships, and honestly, Bill Russell also had the best teammates and coaching in the league when he got all those championships. Not to take anything away from Bill, but everything he did well, Hakeem did well, and Hakeem was like three times the scorer. Period.

  • flipnoyce

    To put this argument to test about who is better without the rings.Lebron or Kobe? Take Kobe now and put him in the Cavs uniform and see if he even makes the second round of post season. Take Lebron and put him on the Laker squad, we’ll all know that its a straight slaughter in the league. Kobe fans, sometimes you guys makes me laugh.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Lakers are a slow team, so is boston, but not as bad. ….. Why do you think pop sped up the spurs? He says its because him and the otther coaches gott bored. But I dont think its that simple. Pop is a genius. ……..

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    This is hilarious, sounds like Dan Gilbert’s thoughts in Jerry West’s body.

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