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Lakers News: Jerry West Speaks On Current NBA, 2014 Draft, and Kobe Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="143"] The Los Angeles Lakers have been fighting to contend all season long despite the unfortunate rash of injuries forcing several lineup [new_royalslider id="143"] The Los Angeles Lakers have been fighting to contend all season long despite the unfortunate rash of injuries forcing several lineup Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Jerry West Speaks On Current NBA, 2014 Draft, and Kobe

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been fighting to contend all season long despite the unfortunate rash of injuries forcing several lineup changes. With a record of 19-39, the Lakers currently hold a spot for a top five draft pick in this year’s NBA draft, with high hopes of luring a potential star in the making.

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Someone, however, thinks otherwise, and that other person is former Lakers great Jerry West. The former Lakers general manager voiced his opinion about the NBA today and the upcoming draftees this year on ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Rusillo:

Just look at the league, this is the weakest I’ve ever seen this league. We are depending on people who go to school for a year to come in and change the sports as a franchise, rarely does that ever happen. And everyone is talking about a great draft class this year, I think it’s just the opposite, I think it’s a poor one myself. These franchises have really struggled at one time you can get a branded name, these kids are not branded.

Everything wasn’t negative, however, as West also expressed confidence in the Lakers front office to rebuild the team back to championship level:

Who are they going to surround him with, you know they’ve had three first-round draft picks in 10 years, that’s not a good thing. But, I know the people up there, I know Mitch Kupchak, I know how hard he works and I know how diligent he works, I have confidence that he and his staff will be able to put a representative team out there.

It’s clear that West has differing opinions from most people in the current era of professional basketball. He wants Lakers fans to realize that he wants nothing but success for the purple and gold, but his opinionated remarks also explains how hard it will be to get back into championship contention.

West’s basketball knowledge has helped the Lakers win championships in the past. Hopefully, the Lakers can take Jerry West’s opinion into consideration as the dark times for the franchise continues.
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About The Author

Karlo Bacolod is an Intern for Lakers Nation as a writer/editor. He has a background on video games as a writer for Gaming Illustrated. Currently attending Long Beach State University, Karlo is pursuing a B.A. in creative writing. You can follow him on Twitter here: @KMAC_LA

  • Daryl Peek

    Preach West!!! This what’s next mess is for the BIRDS! The Logo has spoken!

    • Jim213

      “they’ve had three first-round draft picks in 10 years, that’s not a good thing. But… I have confidence that he and his staff will be able to put a representative team out there.”

      SMH, stop hitting the pipe DP! (DP) lol… The GREATEST GM has spoken and like I’ve said past bad moves have hurt the brand which goes for giving up draft picks for mediocre talent. smh

      But next off season will be important for the brand as even though the media always over hypes things (drafts) as this upcoming draft may give the franchise the best opportunity to find the next torch bearer for the brand while as they rid themselves of their lack of dexterity. C’mon @ me bro lol (pun)

      • Daryl Peek

        “I know the people up there, I know Mitch Kupchak, I know how hard he works and I know how diligent he works”

        You mad at the Logo now *looking*

        • Jim213

          smh… West knows what goes on inside the Lakers and we can only speculate but Kupcake IMO hasn’t done a good job of attracting top talent which goes in given up draft picks for so so talent which occurred under Dr. Buss’s time. That’s all..

          • Daryl Peek

            Who were they gonna draft with those 25th and up draft picks?

            Some of those picks were flipped for good players that just didn’t work out… Nash Howard & Sessions most recently. How many times did West have similar situations?

            The Logo spoke, nuff said!

          • Jim213

            Agree, “”they’ve had three first-round draft picks in 10 years, that’s not a good thing.” Don’t spin it DP! (pun)

          • Daryl Peek

            No Spin zone. Gasol was one of those late round picks… three finals trips and two CHIPS

          • Jim213

            Like West mentioned 3 first rounders in 10 years! So you disagree with West then…?

          • Daryl Peek

            No, I’m just showing how some were used. We both Know West was not a trade picks person all the time but as I’ve told you in the past, most of that work was done ring chasing for Phil. The culture of it started in 2000 after West when Phil got his wish to work more with the GM.

            Again, were paying the price for the Lake Show success. #TheCycle

          • Jim213

            Agree somewhat but my issue is that bad moves today will stagnate the rebuilding process further given the CBA as mentioned previously.

          • LakersHeatBeef

            I agree with you Jim.Rookie contracts are the way to go.Drafting players in this new CBA is crucial to building a winning team since those rookie contracts are cheap.

            Lets say for example the Lakers draft Andrew Wiggins and he turns out to be another Paul George or Scottie Pippen then he gets even better and approaches the Michael Jordan level okay that will all be done on a cheap rookie contract by the time he reaches his peak in 4 years he will up for a extension and the Lakers will have first dibs on him since he will be a restricted free agent in 4 years.

            My point being is drafting players with cheap rookie contracts is the way to go.Making smart trades is also the way to go.Adding cheap young talent is great as well.Lakers FO is willing to spend big money and that is a good thing,but spending on people that are healthy and productive is key.

          • Josh

            The current CBA has killed the Lakers in the short-term. For years, the Lakers traded all those picks for players who could come in and help. Then the new CBA was put in place that flipped the scales and made those picks so much more valuable–after the Lakers already traded them away. The rules got changed in the middle of the game, and the Lakers were the victims. Give them 2-3 years, and they’ll be right back at the top again. Sorry about #6, Kobe.

          • Kay Carter

            i agree…giving up draft picks for nash when we had sessions who was playing good ball, is the WORST MOVE EVER, out of all the other dumb moves they made, something i doubt West will ever do

          • Josh

            I’m pretty sure the Lakers acquired Nash after Sessions opted out of his contract.

          • Kay Carter

            im pretty sure Sessions opted out after hearing the rumor about us acquiring Nash thru FA, which would mean less playing time

          • DJ

            Sessions did opt out wanted more money and he said that he and Kobe didn’t really get along, though we all know if youre a pg playing with Kobe, you gotta bring it every night..

          • Kay Carter

            i don’t believe the Kobe thing, it’s true about the money thing, but he been quoted saying he wasn’t expecting to leave LA

          • DJ

            Okay, I must have gotten that wrong… its crazy Sessions ended up back where he tried his best to leave, with the Bucks…

          • Kay Carter

            yeah im surprised he Got traded to tha buccks again….he just wanted those players who dont wanna win

      • LAL918

        The thing is, they’ll likely treat the next season as the same as this one except that a new a coach, the player they drafted, and some of the guys coming back is likely what we’ll see.

        • Jim213

          Agree, what I expect is for them to at minimum make the playoffs next season even as a lower seed. While acquiring a some hard players bangers in the starting lineup (2014 FA).

          But like I’ve heard and yourself as well possbly the top teams always mention that they get along and especially praise their coach by fighting for him night in and out. Doesn’t sound like it here… IMO

          • LAL918

            Plus some moron on twitter wants Kryzewski to coach the Lakers. Yeah right, he denied a $40 million contract to coach in the NBA because he prefers to coach at a comfortable college basketball level.

          • Jim213

            It’d take a miracle to make that pitch but at best bring in a temp coach who can get everyone on the same page which goes for mentally preparedness too.

          • LAL918

            Agreed.

          • Jim213

            espn.go .com/espnradio/play?id =10521754&s=espn

            West mentions that building a contender is not as simple as it looks as he’s more DEFENSIVE MINDED (as opposed to the current status of the team). IMO, after hearing West it seems that it’ll take longer to build a contending team down the road given of the challenge.

      • Jim213

        Link= espn.go .com/espnradio/play?id =10521754&s=espn

        *************************************** merge link
        Aside of still
        rooting for the team, West believes that we should be “cautiously
        optimistic… as it’s not going to be an easy task as everyone
        thinks”…

        West gives a good example in comparing the NFL to the NBA. In NFL
        undrafted players still have the opportunity to make the All Pro Team as
        opposed to the NBA b/c there fewer players who can play the game at its
        highest level.

        As the NBA is reliant on ‘young prospects’ who go to school for a
        year or so to change the fortunes of the league while also stating it
        rarely takes place. As nba reams tell fans that these unbranded players
        (freshman/sophmore draftees) will help to turn things around while
        normally taking up to 3 years for these players to get going once
        they’ve joined the league.

        As opposed to branded players (seniors/4 yr players) who’ve had the
        chance to mature and have a bigger impact in the league upon their
        arrival. Aside of being well known once they come out of college thus
        stating the NBA lacks all around competitiveness as opposed to the NFL
        were any team can beat another any given night.
        *********************************

        Sounds like Jerry DEFENSIVE MINDED (as opposed to the current status
        of the team). IMO, after hearing West it seems that it’ll take longer to
        build a contending team down the road as aside of the challenge FO
        doesn’t seem in tune in there direction.

  • ra

    Well, that’s all that needs to be said! So, on Mount Rushmore, where is the Logo? The current crop don’t realize what a great player he was too. He could do things that Bird could only dream of. Yes Bird is great, but please don’t forget West.

    • Kay Carter

      West is a top 10 player in my book…..

  • Hank

    This class is weak?? Jerry West is horribly wrong.

    • Jim213

      Likely brought it up given to this year’s draft being over hyped like the many they’ve over hyped (media) but time will tell (3-4 years down the line).

      • daniel

        Most of the kids mentioned as a high draft picks, have had 1 year of college experience, or are high school kids, with many, many holes in their game. Kobe has been a rare exception to the rule. These kids should stay in school for another year at least not only to polish their game, but also to grow as a person. Otherwise see what happens with Bynum, a bone head that does not know what to do with his life.
        I agreed with JW, and I also agree with you guys regarding how the lakers have given away draft pick for mediocre players.
        Lakers seems to be approaching the strategy to build slow but with good players, I agree with that, let’s just hope the choose the right players.

  • dazfx2

    Sometimes the older generation just need to shut up and accept things are different now but still that’s no excuse to overlook the talent Thid draft will have if all the underclassmen come out to name a few parker randle wiggins embid (the tall guy at kansas) then you got Ennis, smart, Payne at Michigan state, Gordon if he decides to come out, then you got SRs in craft, CJ fair, Doug McD. I think those guys are SRs I know fair is. I know I am missing more but those 11 names are all I could think of at the moment.

  • TheTruthKills

    I wish he’d come back as the Lakers President of Basketball Operations. Lord knows we could use him.

  • tony sillona

    Lakers needs a man on the middle, Embiid or Cauley-Stein to fuel their Defence.

  • jim213

    Link= espn.go .com/espnradio/play?id =10521754&s=espn

    ***************************************************************** merge link
    Aside
    of still rooting for the team, West believes that we should be
    “cautiously optimistic… as it’s not going to be an easy task as
    everyone thinks”…

    West gives a good example in comparing the NFL to the NBA. As in the
    NFL undrafted players still have the opportunity to make the All Pro
    Team as opposed to the NBA b/c there are fewer players who can play the
    game at its highest level.

    Believing the NBA is reliant on ‘young prospects’ who go to school
    for a year or so to change the fortunes of the league while also stating
    it rarely takes place. While NBA teams tell fans that these unbranded
    players (freshman/sophmore draftees) will help to turn things around tho
    normally taking up to 3 years for these players to get going once
    they’ve joined the league.

    As opposed to branded players (seniors/4 yr players) who’ve had the
    chance to mature and have a bigger impact in the league upon their
    arrival. Aside of being well known once they come out of college thus
    the NBA lacks all around competitiveness as opposed to the NFL were any
    team can beat another any given night. *********************************

    Seems Jerry is more DEFENSIVE minded (as opposed to the team’s
    current status). IMO, after hearing West it seems it’ll take longer to
    build a contending team down the road as aside of the challenge FO
    doesn’t seem to be in tune with regards to their direction.

    IMO, too many bench players on the roster as some don’t have a good
    all around game on both sides of the court. But best to bring back
    players who can impact the game on both sides of the court.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Jerry West is well respected by many people and i respect West a lot.I think a Jerry West type of signing would be Jimmer he just got waived by the Kings.The Lakers should seriously waive either Sacre or Kaman and sign Jimmer.

    TBH Jimmer can be the new Steve Blake for us.Jimmer knocks down 3 pointers and he is a heady guard that plays hard and he is scrappy.

    Lakers need shooters if they plan on keeping this coach and Jimmer fits right in.Jimmer has potential to be like Jerry West ultra light lol.I disagree with Jerry West about the upcoming draft,IMO it’s a loaded top heavy draft with about 3 or 4 future hall of fame players in it.Wiiggins,Jabari,Exum,Embiid could be franchise players.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Thought of Jerry a lot and he is a true icon in sports.Great interview.

  • Daniel

    anybody know how long D’ Antoni contract is? everybody is saying to fire the coach and hire someone else. Whoi do you think should be the coach of the Lakers? and do not tell me Phil, that is not going to happen.

    • vdogg

      byron scott.

    • Devon Samuels²⁴

      Jerry Sloan or Byron Scott

      • DJ

        Jerry is 71 now and after seeing him getting his just due in Utah I don’t think he is capable of an 82 game season… Byron Scott I pray that he is hired this summer.

    • Josh

      I’ve been hoping for Kurt Rambis or Byron Scott since before Phil retired. The job was Kurt’s if he hadn’t left for Minnesota.

    • Shannon

      George Karl, Lionel Hollins. Anyone but D’Antoni.

  • Shannon

    What is he talking about? Rarely do newly drafted players come in and change everything, that’s not the point especially considering basketball is a team sport. You pair the drafted player with other great players and you start the rebuild.

    The Lakers won’t be much better next season save for a miracle, no matter who they draft because Mitch has made it clear they are gunning for the 2015/2016 free agency but if they draft a good talent this year for the rookie salary then pair him up with whatever FA’s they get next off-season then you get the ball rolling. Isn’t this what happened with Kobe? They got him, a young rookie then lured in Shaq, then got the ball rolling made some other moves and then came the titles. It won’t happen overnight but it’s a start. There is no telling right now how these guys will play in the NBA and what they’ll become so basically he’s speaking nonsense.

    • Josh

      What I gather from what he said is that the NBA is in a sad state when teams are tanking because they expect to become great by drafting one of these guys. These college kids might be good, but who knows until they go up against NBA talent. Build your team the right way, through player development, trades, free agent signings, and let the chips fall where they may in the draft.

      • Shannon

        But he said they aren’t branded when he has no clue whether that’s true or not, he can’t see into the future. It is sad but you have no other choice. A few teams are up the top now because they drafted well. OKC and the Pacers come to mind. There is no “right way” to build a team, as I said, drafting players is a stepping stone along with pairing those players with free agents, etc. That’s funny because most people say the way to build your team is through the draft, at least that’s what the Lakers haters tell us.

        • Josh

          I just did some quick research on the Thunder and Pacers. Of the Pacers top 8 players (MPG), only the first 2 were drafted by the Pacers. The next six guys were all acquired by some other means. The Thunder did indeed build their team through the draft, as five of their top eight are all their own picks. The problem I have with the Thunder’s model, however, is that they drafted in the lottery 3 times in 6 years to get those guys. If you count James Harden, they drafted in the lottery 4 times in 7 years and three years in a row. That is not acceptable for the Lakers franchise.

          Another team that comes to mind that built through the draft is the Spurs, but they didn’t suck year after year to get high picks. They “let the chips fall where they may” and drafted well by scouting overseas players and getting guys like Tony Parker (28th pick) and Manu Ginobili (57th pick).

          The draft is too uncertain to depend on it for the next centerpiece. That’s why the Lakers were always willing to trade picks for proven players before the new CBA destroyed them for it.

  • Thedude

    I want them to sign and trade the pick this year, get a stud whose ready to play with Kobe and then over the next four years just work whoever the star is in this years draft class to sign at the end of his contract.

  • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

    What West is saying really is that… FO has made huge mistakes in the last 4 years… and finds it difficult to bring in new talent… and this has got to stop… I think he is interviewing for the job, he wants to the lakers GM again… lol

    • LAL918

      Are you daft, bro? While I agree that the Lakers’ front office has done a massive fuck-up for the last 4 years, he is merely stating the fact that this league’s become so fixated on believing that these players could save their franchises.

      • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

        before you say anything… understand my comment… it was made in jest… hahahahahaha…. people

        • LAL918

          LMAO. Well, it’s just my opinion too. I know Jerry West probably wouldn’t wrestle Mitch for the job again.

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            all is good… we need to have a good laugh once in a while with this losing…. this is actually my first season being a Lakers fan, that I have seen such many loses…

          • LAL918

            I’ve been used to it since the 2005-2007 years, so I’m guessing you’ve recently watched the Lakers.

          • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

            I have been following Lakers since 1980 when Magic came… so I know a lot of what happens in 2005-2007… in fact it is 2004-2007… I have argued and defended my Lakers against a lot of so called fans during that dark times when our starting 5 included Kwame, smush, and Luke Walton… yeah… I know those days….

          • LAL918

            WELP.

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