NBA AM: ‘Everything’s Cool’ With The Lakers?
Everything Is Cool?: If the NBA playoffs started today, not only would the 1-4 Los Angeles Lakers miss the postseason, they’d have the third-worst record in the NBA despite having the highest payroll in basketball. In the court of public opinion, Lakers head coach Mike Brown’s seat couldn’t be any hotter. However, Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss says that Brown’s job isn’t in jeopardy, at least not yet.
“You don’t start 0-3 for the first time since we’ve owned the franchise without being on top of it,” Buss told Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “No matter what, you have to be aware. That doesn’t mean change is coming. That just means you have to be aware.
“I have no problems with Mike Brown at all. He just works too hard and he’s too knowledgeable for this to be happening.
“So either the system is flawed or something’s going on. Or, like the Triangle, it’s very hard to pick up and understand. I’m not a basketball mind like he is or the players are, and the players are fine with it, so I just have to be patient.”
Buss said he is being more active in evaluating the situation.
“Kobe [Bryant] and I have a relationship where he can just look at me and say, ‘Everything’s cool,’” Buss said. “So yesterday during practice, I gave Kobe a quick glance, and everything was cool.”
Buss’ message was one of patience. He admitted there would come a time when things might need to change, but five games into the season isn’t the time to panic.
“You have to give it time to understand [what's going on],” Buss said. “I don’t know if there’s an actual game total that would make me impatient. I know if we’re 1-15, I don’t think that would be very good. I’m sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I’m fine with what’s going on. It’s a learning process for the players. As long as everybody is on the same page, I think we’re fine.”
The Lakers have an off-day today and then have nine days at home starting with the Golden State Warriors on Friday at Staples Center. The good news for Lakers fans is that of the next 11 games the Lakers will play, only four are against teams with a record at or above .500, so their 1-4 start could be forgotten rather quickly, especially given the teams they see in the remaining days of November.
Quincy Is Looking For His Opportunity: Nuggets rookie Quincy Miller was viewed as a steal in the draft, sliding to Denver in the second round mainly due to concerns about his knee. Miller hasn’t logged any minutes for the Nuggets yet, but he tells HOOPSWORLD he’s ready for the opportunity.
Week 1 of HOOPSWORLD’s Weekly Pick’em Game is complete, and there were six winners [check the winners here]. A weekly winner gets a cool Adidias HOOPSWORLD T-Shirt. Week 2 of the Pick’em Game is now open, so click here to log your picks.
Rehab in LA?: The New Orleans Hornets and guard Eric Gordon have been trying to defuse the idea that Gordon doesn’t want to be with the Hornets. They say that his knee is legitimately injured and that he is not staging some kind of protest in order to force a trade.
Gordon signed an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns as a free agent, only to have it matched by the Hornets. All sides of this profess that everything is fine and that getting Gordon healthy is all that matters.
Yesterday, the Hornets announced that Gordon would continue to rehab his knee. However, he would be doing it in Los Angeles under the watch of specialists.
The club, along with the Hornets medical staff and Eric have arranged for a more personalized and intensive rehab regimen that will take place in Los Angeles beginning this week and allow him to work with specialists and provide a more focused attention on rehabbing his injured right knee. The prognosis is still in the 4-6 week range for his return to the court.
For all the effort that the team has put into trying to defuse the “Eric wants out” story, it’s hard not to see this move as throwing another log on the fire.
The Hornets did “match” a restricted free agent offer sheet which means they cannot trade Eric Gordon for the first year of his deal without his consent. Gordon becomes eligible to be traded on December 15, which coincidentally is in roughly five weeks.
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