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Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

Posted on: June 17, 2010 7:32 pm
 

LOS ANGELES – Among the subplots swirling around Game 7 of the NBA Finals is what happens next for both teams. Regardless of the outcome, big changes could be on the way for the Lakers and Celtics.

Boston’s Big Three aren’t getting any younger, and Doc Rivers hasn’t tipped his hand about whether he’ll step away from coaching next season to spend more time with his family. The Lakers’ roster is far less fragile than it was when they lost to the Pistons in the 2004 Finals, but the key figure who holds everything together, Phil Jackson, has the power to blow it all apart.

“There’s a lot of questions in terms of what Phil’s going to do,” said Derek Fisher, the Lakers’ only core player who isn’t under contract for next season. “He’s probably the biggest thing that turns the trifle in terms of how the future looks, as far as whether he’s back or not.”

When the Lakers have experienced playoff failures in the past – the poor showing in the ’04 Finals, the back-to-back first-round losses to Phoenix – the threat of major changes has never been far behind. The ’04 team was a different story, given the way it was patched together with future Hall of Famers Gary Payton and Karl Malone. After the 2007 loss to the Suns, Kobe Bryant went on the infamous offseason rampage when he issued, then rescinded a trade demand.

“You talk about franchises where there’s tradition to win championships, that’s what you expect,” Lamar Odom said. “This is the type of pressure that we live for. This is what makes us. This is what makes being a sportsman, playing for an organization that’s established like this: the Cowboys, the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the L..A. Lakers. That’s just the way it is.”

The key figure who could prevent all hell from breaking lose in Laker Land, Jackson, hasn’t tipped his hand – not even to his players and coaches.

“Although it appears that I’m a lot closer to it, I’m actually in the same seat that you are,” said assistant coach Brian Shaw, one of those who would be in line to replace Jackson if he retired. “He hasn’t let us know or given us an indication one way or the other. So we have to just sit and play it by ear just like everybody else.”

Said Fisher: “I have no clue to be honest. I don’t think he does either. He tries to teach us in terms of just embracing the now and the moment and being here in the present and not really worrying about what’s coming down the line. I think it’s the same way for him. I think he’ll gage where he is emotionally and physically. Obviously, the result [of Game 7] could play a part in it.”

Same goes for the Celtics, who face the prospect of losing Rivers and seeing that trigger major roster changes. Ray Allen will be an unrestricted free agent, Paul Pierce can opt out of his contract and become one, and Kevin Garnett – though under contract for two more years – clearly is in decline.

"It’s one of the toughest things, which Boston will face here probably pretty shortly,” said Shaw, a former Celtic and Laker. “KG is getting up there, plus Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rasheed [Wallace]. I know the Boston team that I played on in the late 80s, they had [Kevin] McHale, [Robert] Parrish, DJ [Dennis Johnson], [Larry] Bird – these guys all kind of got older at the same time. Do you show loyalty and keep everybody until the wheels fall off and then have to start over? Look how long it took Boston to get back to where they are now. Or do you say, ‘Some guys are getting kind of towards the end,’ and try to infuse some youth?’”

Critical decisions that both teams will be facing, days or even hours after one of them is crowned champion.
Comments

Since: Oct 8, 2008
Posted on: June 19, 2010 4:05 pm
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

i was thinking the same thing when i read it dude. i'm sure lewis wont get the money he thinks he is worth when we dont even know who he is. lmao



Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2010 12:06 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

You're an idiot.  Disgrunted 'fans' with their conspiracy theories when things don't go your way just need to shut up.  No one is interested in your theories or opinions.  Watch the games or don't, no one cares what you think.



Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Done with the NBA

First off let me start by saying that I'm neither a Lakers nor a Celtics fan, just a former fan of the sport. If this series didn't prove to the world that the NBA is fixed then nothing will. It was totally evident in Game 7 when the Refs allowed the players to play without calling all of the little tick tack fouls they did in the first 6 games for almost 3 straight quarters which made the game very exciting and entertaining. Then came the all of those horrible foul calls that Refs/NBA used to control the outcome of this series and it was disgusting! The Celtics obviously dominated the Lakers physically, therefore they dominated the game until they're ability to play physically was taken away from them which then allowed Pau Gasol (aka Gumby) & Kobe (aka Cry Baby) to run their game of ballet. The truth will come out someday and the NBA will have to apologize to the World for trying to make the sport more dramatic by controlling the outcome of the series. Unfortunately for the NBA they are not that sneaky, my 8 year old daughter asked my why the guys in black & white are making the game boring. We will all watch the Lakers rescind their rings and the Championship sooner rather than later. Once this conspiracy is revealed the sport can get back to what it once was, a game where talent & determination wins Championships not the Zebras running up and down the court.  




Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2010 3:03 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

Couldn't have said it better.  Good job!



Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2010 2:22 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

ken berger: solid writer, solid reporter, doosh



Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2010 2:20 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

if only david stern had as lofty intentions for his league as the UFC's dana white sitting 2 seats from the lakers does.  "donald sterns," you would be the worst commisioner in sports today with your covering up of referee's biaism if bud selig wasn't ruining the MLB (with the help of the players'union).



Since: Apr 21, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2010 2:14 am
 

Bitter Interruption

Kenny, you were so bitter when some guy yelling to 3X8 interupted your press conference question to KB24 that you made some condescending comment afterwards to not only a man who won an NBA title that night, but to one of the best who ever has won a title.  So on behalf of anyone who has ever rooted for a person or a team that won a championship, "Fuck you for thinking your more important than a man whos only doing a press conference to keep your (and my) dying career of journalism alive while he could easily be dowsing himself in champaign."



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2010 2:03 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

Sorry...that was for "the truth's" post...i guess im just as handicapped...i cant post where it should belong.



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2010 2:02 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

     There is no one on the Celtics' team named Lewis, retard, save for Reggie (rip), which in that case makes you sound like a insensitive prick windbag with no research or basis...I'm sure Reggie needs a contract extension in the afterlife...but AWESOME super huge fonts...wow, good for you...he that writes boldest and largest is heard first? I doubt it...I love when idiots post first...it's almost laughingly sad...and I'm a Celtics fan. I'm just bitter...and think this lump is confusing Ray Lewis with Ray Allen...wrong sport, winner.




Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2010 1:59 am
 

Summer of change looming for Lakers, Celtics

    There is no one on the Celtics' team named Lewis, retard, save for Reggie (rip), which in that case makes you sound like a insensitive prick windbag with no research or basis...I'm sure Reggie needs a contract extension in the afterlife...but AWESOME super huge fonts...wow, good for you...he that writes boldest and largest is heard first? I doubt it...I love when idiots post first...it's almost laughingly sad...and I'm a Celtics fan. I'm just bitter...and think this lump is confusing Ray Lewis with Ray Allen...wrong sport, winner.



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