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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 9:30 am  |  31 responses

Chris Kaman Hopes to Play at All-Star Level Again With the Lakers


No one expects much out of Chris Kaman now that he’s been brought in by the Los Angeles Lakers to replace Dwight Howard. Well, no one but Kaman, that is. The big fella hopes to regain his All-Star form next season. Per the LA Times: “Kaman, 31, will evoke laughs from reporters and fans next season after signing a one-year, $3.2-million deal to join the Lakers. But can the former Clipper still play? He was decent two years ago for New Orleans, averaging 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, but fell statistically last season with Dallas, averaging 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds. Kaman battled injuries, including a 10-game absence because of a concussion, and came off the Mavericks’ bench for 52 of 66 games. He made his only All-Star team in 2010, averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds that season for the Clippers, and hopes to climb back to that statistical altitude. ‘I feel confident that I can be at that level,’ Kaman said. ‘Whether I’m an All-Star or not, I can’t say.’ After spending so many years in the same city as Kobe Bryant (eight seasons with the Clippers), Kaman is curious about him. ‘You always hear a lot about how hard he works,’ Kaman said. ‘Watching Dirk [Nowitzki] this last year was impressive to me, what he goes through and the things he does. I want to see what the big deal is. His mentality is much different than most players and that’s why he’s where he’s at.’ Kaman represents the Lakers’ entire ‘mini’ mid-level exception, their lone free-agent signing impact after Howard bolted for Houston. ‘We think he’s going to fit in,’ Kupchak said. ‘We’re very pleased to have him.’”

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  • LLC#12

    What’s the ceiling for this Laker team? If Kaman can average 12-9, Pau can get more involved offensively and get close to 18-10, Kobe put up 20, Nash 10-10, and whoever the 5th starter is can defend and knock down a shot, the 5th seed isn’t too unreasonable. That’s a lot of if’s though!

  • Dev

    5th seed? They’ll be lucky to make the playoffs period next year. Anybody notice how NOBODY ever wanted to play besides Kobe other than a krazy azz Ron Artest? lol

  • LLC#12

    Yeah, 5th seed is their ceiling, best case scenario kinda thing. If they’re healthy the playoffs is quite likely I think. Haha, have you seen that video of Nelly and Stephen A Smith where Nelly is saying the same thing? The only guy who wanted to play with Kobe and they got rid of him..http://ballislife.com/nelly-goes-off-on-kobe/

  • bike

    His mind has never been the same after Evans grabbed his nuts.

  • Dev

    Yeah I saw it. I been sayin alot of that stuff for years. I agreed with his premise but it coulda been argued better

  • Mike Gilbert

    Kobe only put up 20 points? what is this 1998?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I do find that funny that the one guy who wanted to play with Kobe damn near tried to rip his head off in the 09 playoffs. As far as your predicted ceiling for this team I’d have to say the 6th seed just because I can’t see them beating out SAS, OCK, LAC, HOU, or MEM for the top 5 seeds.

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Not to mention Golden State.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    Who remembers him from whatever AllStar Game he was voted in by some coaches like however many years ago?? not me. Then again, Big Z was an AllStar, Wally Szcerbiak, Anthony Mason, Juwan Howard, Van Excel, Ratliff… even Brad Miller.
    So yeah, whatever. I do hope LAL do somehow keep it kind competitive.
    Not sure if it’s gonna happen but.

  • imanueldavid

    So Nelly (the same dude who puts a band-aid on his face for swag) is our guru for all things Lakers and Kobe now? GTFO. Buddy is from St. Louis too! Not LA. Lots of players want to play with Kobe. Don’t believe the hype.

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    He and Pau are probably the best passing bigs in the league who are teammates. Buuuuuut they suck defensively. As a whole. Heck, the entire team does.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Ahh forgot them as well thank you for the reminder.

  • imanueldavid

    Offensively they should be improved and more fluid (if healthy). Which means more balance on the floor, improving our transition defence, and cutting down on run outs from the opposing teams which is what killed us last year.

  • LLC#12

    Come on, I wasn’t saying he was right, I was just asking Dev if he’d seen it. Of course Nelly’s opinion means nothing, it’s just a funny video.

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Offensive rebounding solves both problems you stated. Pau is pretty good at the offensive boards and Kaman can board too, as evidenced by his averages. But again, the Lakers’ problem starts on the other end of the court, where offenses will just have a field day.

  • imanueldavid

    Yes clearly we’re not going to one of the better defensive teams in the L. But what I was getting at is that our defensive problems stemmed from our inability to be efficient and get floor balance on the OFFENSIVE side which led to teams getting easy run outs because we were in bad positions for transition defence.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    As long as D’Antoni is our coach we will continue to be at the bottom of the list when it comes to transition defense. Long shots that result in long misses result to easy buckets for the other team. It’s almost like he knows that already but is willing to give that up in exchange for a higher tempo offense.

  • imanueldavid

    Fair enough than. Its just irritating when cats these days say NOBODY wants to play with Kobe. Off the dome, I’ll throw 3 names out there that would love to play with Kobe: Kyrie Irving. Paul George. Carmelo Anthony. (The list can go on….)

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    The tempo causes that. D’Antoni runs an offense that relies on broken plays, three-point shooting and pick-and-rolls. Not much else.

  • LLC#12

    Yeah, just the other day when Nick Young signed he was saying it was a dream to get to play with Kobe or something like that. Most NBA players could learn a lot from Kobe. I’m sure hes a tough team-mate but, he just wants to win

  • imanueldavid

    Sounds a lot like what EVERYONE else in the L is doing don’t it? Miami won back to backs on “broken plays, three point shooting, and pick and rolls”. The difference is: (obviously Lebron is a huge one, but lets leave him out of this argument because he’s a “cheat code” and no on else has a “cheat code”) we weren’t running pick and rolls that much, and getting fluid/in-rhythm shots because we were at war with ourselves last year. Dwight wanted the ball inside. Didn’t want to get into the pick and roll game with Nash. Nash said it himself. He had no idea why Dwight didn’t want to get into screen actions with him every time down the floor. With Pau/Kaman willing to set screens and get our offence into a groove, those outside shots are going down more often than they were last year. If we score, there’s no need to worry about how bad we will be on in transition.

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Yeah, and having D’Antoni as a coach solves the problem of having to defend a team’s “7 seconds or less” offense

  • Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Oh, and Dwight’s an idiot. A dominant player, but an absolute idiot. Look at his Twitter!

  • spit hot fiyah

    van exel was a legit all star. jamal magloire on the other hand…

  • LakeShow

    At least we have shooters now…

  • LakeShow

    All those players were borderline All Stars at their peaks, so it’s not surprising they made All Star teams…

  • danpowers

    van exel, mason and howard (back then) were all legit all stars and dont really belong into the list of all star accidents. you forgot magloire tho

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Yea that’s the one bright spot that I’m banking on.

  • Conor

    When Gasol plays aggressively, he’s actually one of the best post defenders in the game. His ability to anticipate shot trajectories actually consistently allows him to be in position to block or force a shot wayward. Watch him on close-outs.

    As for low-post defense, well… he either has it or he doesn’t. He had it from 2009-2011, but that ability seems to have withered to sporadic efforts.

    The team is now built for fast breaks, threes, occasional post isos, and zone defense. Rambis’ Zone-Man hybrid that he invented in 2009 actually helped LA become one of the best defensive units in basketball. His coördination may not make this team a Top Ten defense (no Bynum as an anchor), but it will work more consistently than last season’s abomination which, may I add, was anchored by Dwight Howard who, while limited, apparently withheld effort on defensive rotations to spite the team (according to Woj, from Yahoo! Sports). So now that that bs isn’t a rampant issue, I believe the Lakers will actually be competitive next season. Perhaps not championship-level, but this team is no worse on paper than the second half of 2008.

    Nash/Farmar/Blake v. Fisher/Farmar

    Old Prime Bryant/Meeks v. Prime Kobe/Vujacic

    Young/Johnson v. Walton/Radmanovich (lmao)/Injured Ariza

    Playing-for-a-contract-Gasol/_____ v. Skinny Gasol/Odom/Turiaf

    Kaman/Hill/Sacre v. Injured Bynum/Mihm

    Main difference, obviously, is Seven-Man Rotation D’Antoni and Jackson.

    The 2013-2014 Lakers will surprise people.

  • Conor

    Other than Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Matt Barnes, Ron Artest, Steve Nash, & a couple of others, you’re completely right. Bravo.

  • Dev

    But how many guys have actually done it tho, thats all Im saying. Anybody that plays with Mr Bean had to defer to him like 250% and its always their fault if they lose, its ridiculous

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