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Base Line Guy
12-12-2002, 02:41 PM
Thursday, December 12

Lakers respond to O'Neal's verbal attacks

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ESPN.com news services


With the Lakers' struggles spilling over into mid-December, in the last week Shaquille O'Neal hasn't hidden the fact that he's fed up with some of his teammates' play.

According to reports Thursday, some Lakers are now openly wondering why O'Neal is deriding others' play when he has said nothing to them directly, and whether he feels any responsibility himself for the Lakers' 9-14 record or the nine losses they suffered when he wasn't on the court

Responding to O'Neal's criticism, guard Derek Fisher told the Los Angeles Times, "He's our leader, he can have his opinion. But he has to be careful not to pass the blame on other guys. When you struggle, that's when you really need to stick together."

After the Lakers' 106-102 loss at Golden State on Tuesday, O'Neal told reporters, "Talk to the (expletives) that ain't doing nothing. Don't talk to me."

A week earlier, O'Neal said he wanted "eight guys out there with me who want to play."

He said none of this in the locker room or on the team plane, however, leaving teammates to wonder why he's resorted to public finger-pointing. A few weeks ago, they were absorbing similar barbs from Kobe Bryant.

"That's the easy way out," guard Brian Shaw told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I mean, at least 10 of the guys on this team were on the team last year, and probably six from the year before and the same six from the year before that. So these are the same guys that have gone to war with Kobe and with Shaq for the last three years when we won the championship.

"And to say that now we're not doing our part or whatever, I don't think that's right. But they have a right to voice their opinion. And when we win and (O'Neal) is holding up his MVP trophy, and they're saying, 'Kobe's the best all-around player in the league,' everything is fine."

"When we lose, we all lose as a team as well," Shaw said.

O'Neal's teammates could point to the fact the losing began while O'Neal was recovering from foot surgery he delayed until Sept. 11. Or they could point to his lack of conditioning and his lack of mobility on defense, which cost them on several plays late in Tuesday's loss to the Warriors.

For now, they simply would prefer he keep his criticism behind closed doors.

"He's man enough. He can come to whoever he's directing it at and say it to their face," Shaw told the Daily News.

Robert Horry said the Lakers' superstars are just as culpable as their teammates.

"At certain moments, they ain't been (good)," Horry said. "And if the two big dogs want some fresh meat around, that's their prerogative. But the rest of us, we're going to do what we need to do to make the team better."

"Hell, if it was up to me, I'd trade both of them. Send one to Memphis and one to Utah," Horry said with a laugh.

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This might be a little joke for Horry, but it still won't sit well with the big 2.......

BLG

FilthyFinMavs
12-12-2002, 04:53 PM
I Wonder was that a joke by Horry though it says it was in the article. The NBA is crazy. We beat Golden State we lose to Lakers and we beat Golden State again.

Base Line Guy
12-12-2002, 04:59 PM
No, it was in the article. I was saying that he might have said it tongue in cheek but it was said and it will not sit well with Big Daddy.

BLG

MFFL
12-12-2002, 11:12 PM
Think about how much closer to implosion the Lakers would have been if we had beat them by 30+ on their home court.

It boggles the imagination.

Super Slow Mo
12-12-2002, 11:52 PM
I think Horry is a guy who can say comments like that and niether Shaq or Kobe would have a problem with it. I remember a few weeks ago when Kobe was saying this same stuff Shaq is, and he said he is not worried about Rob Ho cause he knows that Horry is going to bring it, especially come playoff time like he always do. Horry is a good player, a vet who his teammates respect greatly.

Chiwas
12-13-2002, 10:10 AM
<< Think about how much closer to implosion the Lakers would have been if we had beat them by 30+ on their home court.

It boggles the imagination. >>


It does, indeed. The paranoid part of my brain is starting to do its job; sometimes it brings funny or weird thoughts. What had it happened if Mavs, as you said, had won this game, and worse, with a 30 or 40 points lead?

Mavs just unplugged the chip in the 4th quarter, just so-so? Could the &quot;shocking&quot; stuff be a fake?

If lakers had lost this one, the implosion effect had harmed half of the NBA which is hung around the lakers, for better or worse, and being happened before the planned transition towards the kings, the damagge had been worse yet($). (Hope mavericks can interrupt the planned transition)

Crazy thoughts.

(I remembered the supposed trip-to-the-moon-fake)

WayOutWest
12-13-2002, 10:45 AM
BFD.

This same type of drama has been going on over the two previous seasons, it was worse in 2001 and pretty tame in 2002. This year falls in between.

Shaw touched on the truth the best. The core players, Shaq, Kobe, Horry, Shaw, Fox and Fish have been through alot and will do there part when it counts. Not to mention that type of history allows for some &quot;family&quot; type of criticisms and scoldings. The only time I've seen this type of fueding really threaten the Lakers future is when it was between Kobe and the Lakers and Kobe and Shaq. They where talking about trading Kobe for Grant Hill because Kobe wasn't enough of a team player. Then when Shaq and Kobe started fueding Shaq had to lay down the law to Kobe and to his credit Kobe swalled his pride and saw the truth.

I think most of the frustration is really caused by the horrible play of George, Slava, Samaki and Rush. With the exception of Rush these guys have been there long enough to know what they are doing. Slava, George and Rush look lost at times almost EVERY game and Samaki is absolutely useless. At this point a one-legged Horace Grant is better.

TripleDipping
12-13-2002, 11:19 AM
I think the Lakers' soap opera this year is different because obviously NO ONE in the team deserves to complain except Bryant. He's the only one in the team who busts his butt playing hard every game and he showed up to training camp in better condition than ever... but he was criticized for calling out his teammates when O'Neal was still out. O'Neal, on the other hand, postponed his surgery until about one month before the season opened and had to miss so many games. It is excusable because O'Neal was concern about the surgery might end his career if he had made the wrong choice. But what's unexcusable is the fact that during his rehab period, O'Neal didn't even bother to lose weight and shape up to put less pressure on his repaired toe. And when O'Neal finally returns but the Lakers keep losing and O'Neal called out his teammates for not playing hard, he was praised for 'taking the leadership role'... WTF???!!! How are you taking all this BS if you were Bryant? I'm tired of seeing Bryant playing second fiddle to O'Neal just because Shaq is the 'Last Center Left', the 'Big Aristotle' and the Big Fat Mouth.

WayOutWest
12-13-2002, 02:17 PM
<< I think the Lakers' soap opera this year is different because obviously NO ONE in the team deserves to complain except Bryant. He's the only one in the team who busts his butt playing hard every game and he showed up to training camp in better condition than ever... but he was criticized for calling out his teammates when O'Neal was still out. O'Neal, on the other hand, postponed his surgery until about one month before the season opened and had to miss so many games. It is excusable because O'Neal was concern about the surgery might end his career if he had made the wrong choice. But what's unexcusable is the fact that during his rehab period, O'Neal didn't even bother to lose weight and shape up to put less pressure on his repaired toe. And when O'Neal finally returns but the Lakers keep losing and O'Neal called out his teammates for not playing hard, he was praised for 'taking the leadership role'... WTF???!!! How are you taking all this BS if you were Bryant? I'm tired of seeing Bryant playing second fiddle to O'Neal just because Shaq is the 'Last Center Left', the 'Big Aristotle' and the Big Fat Mouth. >>



It's worse than that.

Shaq: actually lost weight, over 20 lbs, durring the offseason BUT he gained it all back plus more AFTER the surgery.

Kobe: challenged the entire team to an offseason workout regime BUT only Fox and Fisher showed up. Devean made a couple of appearances though.

I agree, so far it's only been Kobe that shows up with any fire on a consistant basis.

AdamAMMP
12-13-2002, 02:56 PM
I've heard from my friend who's dad works with the NBA.com website that the Lakers are in talks with the bucks to get Sam Cassell for Derek Fisher and Rick Fox. The trade doesn't make much sense, but the Bucks did trade Big Dog for Toni.

WayOutWest
12-13-2002, 03:14 PM
<< I've heard from my friend who's dad works with the NBA.com website that the Lakers are in talks with the bucks to get Sam Cassell for Derek Fisher and Rick Fox. The trade doesn't make much sense, but the Bucks did trade Big Dog for Toni. >>



Mitch would be hung from the Hollywood sign if he made a trade that stupid.

MavsFanFinley
12-13-2002, 11:43 PM
Lakers lose big at home against the Hornets tonight.

Pisses me off to see teams like the Warriors and Hornets beat the Lakers and we blow a 30 point lead.

Super Slow Mo
12-14-2002, 03:01 AM
ummmm wayoutwest, the lakers would be clearly winning in that deal, if you ask me. who wouldnt trade fox and fisher for sam cassel?

Just211
12-15-2002, 08:59 PM
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid37/p739f92754307e3d729b43059bdd34372/fd19ab0b.gif

CAssell couldn't take a uppercut like this though http://www.dallas-mavs.com/forums/i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif

Dooby
12-16-2002, 09:25 AM
Lakers at the magical record of 10-15. At some point it becomes interesting to watch their record.

Assuming it will take a minimum of 44 wins to make the playoffs in the west, the Lake show must go 34-23. That is obviously doable, but the Lake show can't afford to rest Shaq. The longer the Lake show keeps playing .500 ball, the harder it gets. The Lakers' schedule isn't particulary difficult: they don't have an inordinate amount of back-to-backs; about even number of road and home games; they actually &quot;owe&quot; the east a few games at this point.

Odds are they make the playoffs, but if Shaq gets hurt again...

Dooby
12-16-2002, 10:26 AM
<< ummmm wayoutwest, the lakers would be clearly winning in that deal, if you ask me. who wouldnt trade fox and fisher for sam cassel? >>



Lakers would need another player in that deal, but overall it is a good trade. Lakers can't afford to trade 2 players for one; they are short on playable bodies as it is. But in general terms, I would take Casell for Fox and Fisher.

WayOutWest
12-16-2002, 11:15 AM
<<

<< ummmm wayoutwest, the lakers would be clearly winning in that deal, if you ask me. who wouldnt trade fox and fisher for sam cassel? >>



Lakers would need another player in that deal, but overall it is a good trade. Lakers can't afford to trade 2 players for one; they are short on playable bodies as it is. But in general terms, I would take Casell for Fox and Fisher. >>



With Casells scorer mentality he wouldn't fit in well with the Lakers. I could just see the Nick Van Excel vs. Kobe syndrome all over again. Fox is a critical piece to the Laker puzzle. Just as critical as Horry but not as obvious. Fox usually takes the tougher defensive assignment for most of the game to keep Kobe out of foul trouble and Fox is one of the few players on the Lakers that has a brain big enough to understand the Laker &quot;system&quot;. Only knock against Fox is that he's too unselfish, but he steps up when you need him to.

While on paper Casell looks good the Lakers don't need a traditional point gaurd. The triangle is not designed for one particular player or position to dominate the ball. The type of ball control that a player like Casell brings is what causes most of the Lakers problems on offense. The Lakers need a defensive guard that's a good spot up shooter not a scoring point guard ala Casell and Stodomier, they used to have that in Fisher but Fish has been having problems on both ends of the court.

Not to mention the Lakers should not even be considering a trade in the backcourt. The problem with the Lakers is at the 4 spot. They need more rebounding at that position, something that Samaki and Slava have failed miserably at this season. The Lakers cannot count on Shaq making up for the 4 spot this year again, he's not in shape to do it and they are risking losing him to injury or fatigue come playoff time.