Can the Lakers Build a Culture That's More Than Just "Superstars?"
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focus
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 6:56 am    Post subject:

Stephen Curry draws parallels between Golden State Warriors, young Memphis Grizzlies

"Two years ago, the Grizzlies were just another team in the NBA, finishing ninth in Western Conference before COVID-19 suspended the season. Last season, they were the eighth seed and edged out the Warriors in the play-in game before falling to the Utah Jazz in five games. This season, they finished with the second-best record in the league.

'They've built a foundation over the last few years through player development, through really smart drafting, investment, and they are really well coached,' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

'If you paid attention, you could see what was happening through their player development. Ja, right away was great, but has gotten a lot better. Most Improved Player this year. You get guys like [Dillon] Brooks and [Brandon] Clarke who are young players who have grown by leaps and bounds. I just really admire what Memphis has done, organizationally.'"

Well, the smart drafting part is there, but the rest...sort of a contrast, huh?


Last edited by focus on Tue May 03, 2022 7:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 6:58 am    Post subject:

Star power didn’t go away and never will.

What you can’t do is completely cheap out or disregard team building and legit basketball ops.

We have the perfect example in this market. Dodgers and Angels for the past decade. The Dodgers have stars but don’t cut corners or ignore key departments in baseball ops. They have an embarrassment of riches and that’s why they keep winning and sustain.

The Angels are the Jeanie model. Spend big $$ on the stars and ignore other areas. We see the results. Moreno is the Jeanie of baseball.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:03 am    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
Star power didn’t go away and never will.

What you can’t do is completely cheap out or disregard team building and legit basketball ops.

We have the perfect example in this market. Dodgers and Angels for the past decade. The Dodgers have stars but don’t cut corners or ignore key departments in baseball ops. They have an embarrassment of riches and that’s why they keep winning and sustain.

The Angels are the Jeanie model. Spend big $$ on the stars and ignore other areas. We see the results. Moreno is the Jeanie of baseball.

there has to be some expectation on a "star's" leadership responsibilities. Had someone ( he shall remain nameless) pulled the squad together early on, when it was clear we were having issues maybe we fight for a play in game.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:10 am    Post subject:

problem with Jeannie Buss is SHE NEVERS GOES ALL IN. spending $$$ on stars are commendable, but cutting corners on other area (bench players, medical staff, coaching staff, GM) would just offset the big $$$ she spent on stars.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:38 am    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
LakerSD wrote:
Star power didn’t go away and never will.

What you can’t do is completely cheap out or disregard team building and legit basketball ops.

We have the perfect example in this market. Dodgers and Angels for the past decade. The Dodgers have stars but don’t cut corners or ignore key departments in baseball ops. They have an embarrassment of riches and that’s why they keep winning and sustain.

The Angels are the Jeanie model. Spend big $$ on the stars and ignore other areas. We see the results. Moreno is the Jeanie of baseball.

there has to be some expectation on a "star's" leadership responsibilities. Had someone ( he shall remain nameless) pulled the squad together early on, when it was clear we were having issues maybe we fight for a play in game.


Oh for sure. I’m just saying it puts you at a severe disadvantage when you just sign name players or coaches to excite your fanbase but then ignore all the other key areas. It’s like having that mansion with a yard sale coffee table and ripped up couches. All for show, nasty behind the curtain, door, etc.

As far as star responsibility, you are correct. In this particular case, the one who remains nameless heavily contributed to the blatant disregard of building the team/roster + asset management.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:48 am    Post subject:

I was totally fine with the LBJ/AD duo concept surrounded by elite role players.

Looking back, man we had it good. Look at our role players: Green/KCP/Kuz/AC/Rondo/THT/Dwight/Jav/Kieff. Good lord.

Even last year's "terrible" season, we had as role players: KCP/Kuz/AC/THT/Dennis/Trezz/Kieff, etc.

It's when we keep on going for a 3rd "superstar" that it goes downhill, especially when you have that be Russ, who is no superstar, or an all star anymore.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 7:51 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
I was totally fine with the LBJ/AD duo concept surrounded by elite role players.

Looking back, man we had it good. Look at our role players: Green/KCP/Kuz/AC/Rondo/THT/Dwight/Jav/Kieff. Good lord.

Even last year's "terrible" season, we had as role players: KCP/Kuz/AC/THT/Dennis/Trezz/Kieff, etc.

It's when we keep on going for a 3rd "superstar" that it goes downhill, especially when you have that be Russ, who is no superstar, or an all star anymore.


Having those role players was never the plan, it happened accidentally when the 3 star plan failed. Getting 3 stars was always the plan and I don’t see that changing.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 8:18 am    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
I was totally fine with the LBJ/AD duo concept surrounded by elite role players.

Looking back, man we had it good. Look at our role players: Green/KCP/Kuz/AC/Rondo/THT/Dwight/Jav/Kieff. Good lord.

Even last year's "terrible" season, we had as role players: KCP/Kuz/AC/THT/Dennis/Trezz/Kieff, etc.

It's when we keep on going for a 3rd "superstar" that it goes downhill, especially when you have that be Russ, who is no superstar, or an all star anymore.


Having those role players was never the plan, it happened accidentally when the 3 star plan failed. Getting 3 stars was always the plan and I don’t see that changing.


Yeah. And I wish we didn't b/c we should have devoted time getting more elite role players around LBJ/AD instead of tossing them all aside to get Russ of all players.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 8:19 am    Post subject:

We had a great culture. I have to repeat this. Because it was actually real.

KCP
Caruso
Kuzma
Danny Green
etc.

Role guys that played with character and hard work, and games that blended around your stars.

A head coach who believed in smash mouth basketball, defensive culture, running off stops and rebounds and in team work.

Then we decided we needed to add more "names".

One theory is that 2019 was luck. That Pelinka failed at the big 3 that offseason so he settled for what end up being a championship level balanced team with a great culture. I dunno. I wasn't in on the meetings. All I know is they did have the right culture, they just went away from it.

Think of the NBA Finals we won.

Miami's best guys were Jimmy, Bam, Herro, Robinson, culture/character guys like Haslem etc.

They made some changes, even after losing to us, and they've been a contender again this year by basically replacing Dragic and some pieces with Lowry. They had some stability in other areas of the team and tried to upgrade with Lowry.

We to our credit also tried for Lowry (But refused to give up THT, doh) and then end up going for a big name and a host of names. We dismantled the entire team aside from AD/Bron.

Easily we could have done what Miami did, but chose not to. We let Dudley go. We let Rondo go. We traded away KCP/Caruso/Kuzma. We didn't make small marginal changes. We made massive changes and then scapegoated the coach. It's not just about going for "names". I think we have a FO that didn't realize what they had, until it was gone. People say Phil influences Jeanie, I have a hard time believing Phil would convince Jeanie to break up a ring team when he himself was so tough on making changes after team chemistry and a championship was established. Roster contuinity was Phil's staple as a coach. Like I said, I'm not present in these brain trust meetings in the FO, but they clearly had it when it came to the culture, and tossed it away.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 8:27 am    Post subject:

I think the concept of just adding as many star players as you can is kinda dead in todays game. Get yourself your Batman and if you're lucky Robin. Then build your team around that so you can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. When you gut yourself for a 3rd "star" you essentially say these are our three players and you are scrounging for anyone to come and help. In most situations a 3rd star is going to "rise" because when you built a system to maximize your stars talents and everything is clicking there is that one player that glues everything together. Big 3 off names is a 2010 thing, you gotta hope that 3rd player is someone who isn't breaking the bank these days.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 8:42 am    Post subject:

LakesGnrLake wrote:
I think the concept of just adding as many star players as you can is kinda dead in todays game. Get yourself your Batman and if you're lucky Robin. Then build your team around that so you can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. When you gut yourself for a 3rd "star" you essentially say these are our three players and you are scrounging for anyone to come and help. In most situations a 3rd star is going to "rise" because when you built a system to maximize your stars talents and everything is clicking there is that one player that glues everything together. Big 3 off names is a 2010 thing, you gotta hope that 3rd player is someone who isn't breaking the bank these days.


There is also the whole sacrifice thing. Chris Bosh and Kevin Love were willing to do it, Russ not so much.

Durant got so sick of the GS fan base/Steph stans discrediting him that he said F it and left.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 9:05 am    Post subject:

LakesGnrLake wrote:
I think the concept of just adding as many star players as you can is kinda dead in todays game. Get yourself your Batman and if you're lucky Robin. Then build your team around that so you can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. When you gut yourself for a 3rd "star" you essentially say these are our three players and you are scrounging for anyone to come and help. In most situations a 3rd star is going to "rise" because when you built a system to maximize your stars talents and everything is clicking there is that one player that glues everything together. Big 3 off names is a 2010 thing, you gotta hope that 3rd player is someone who isn't breaking the bank these days.


exactly on point. but this ownership is always 10 years behind rest of the league. during the 2010s when other teams are teaming up superstars, Lakers were Kobe, Kobe and Kobe. and now then super team is getting outdated, they traded for Russ to form one.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 9:11 am    Post subject:

Westbrook is paid like a superstar but doesn't play like one and also has a horrible effect on team culture, so we got the worst of both worlds.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 10:13 am    Post subject:

SGV-Laker fan wrote:
LakesGnrLake wrote:
I think the concept of just adding as many star players as you can is kinda dead in todays game. Get yourself your Batman and if you're lucky Robin. Then build your team around that so you can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. When you gut yourself for a 3rd "star" you essentially say these are our three players and you are scrounging for anyone to come and help. In most situations a 3rd star is going to "rise" because when you built a system to maximize your stars talents and everything is clicking there is that one player that glues everything together. Big 3 off names is a 2010 thing, you gotta hope that 3rd player is someone who isn't breaking the bank these days.


exactly on point. but this ownership is always 10 years behind rest of the league. during the 2010s when other teams are teaming up superstars, Lakers were Kobe, Kobe and Kobe. and now then super team is getting outdated, they traded for Russ to form one.


Not merely outdated, but the talent discrepancy between teams is less than what it used to be. I remember people talking about how the parity in the league was a big problem, and how the league needed to do step in and do something. The new influx of talent and draft picks during these last 5-10 years have changed that dynamic. One just has to look at how international players are coming in and dominating the MVP landscape (Giannis, Jokic, Luka, Embiid, etc).

Theoretically, a team with 2 superstars or even 1 should fare better than a team with 3 superstars, simply because the 3pt shot is the ultimate equalizer. A team can be good on paper but absolute trash on the court if the chemistry and shooting are not there. A team with a lot of depth and shooting is pretty much trumping a team that's top heavy. The Nets gigantic collapse is an example of that. The Clippers also blew a 3-1 lead when they had Kawhi and PG13. 2-3 superstars taking turns ISOing all day is an an inefficient brand of basketball, although it's something that would have worked 10-15 years ago.

Contending teams that draft well have less diminishing returns. In the modern era, you can get guys in the late 1st / early 2nd round who can give you the same production as stars. Don't believe me? Look at Bane and Poole carrying Ja Morant and Stephen Curry. People say Curry and Klay are getting old, but it's crazy how the Warriors are back in contention after dominating a good portion of last decade. These cats were in the finals 7 years ago.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 10:21 am    Post subject:

KindCrippler2000 wrote:
Contending teams that draft well have less diminishing returns. In the modern era, you can get guys in the late 1st / early 2nd round who can give you the same production as stars. Don't believe me? Look at Bane and Poole carrying Ja Morant and Stephen Curry. People say Curry and Klay are getting old, but it's crazy how the Warriors are back in contention after dominating a good portion of last decade. These cats were in the finals 7 years ago.


That's not something new. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili jump to mind. There are always some guys who get drafted in the late first or second round who become stars. I picked a random year from the past: 1988. Vernon Maxwell and Steve Kerr got picked at the end of the second round. You'd find a lot of years like that. But after the top 3-5 picks, the odds of anyone turning into a star diminish.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 11:35 am    Post subject:

You guys are funny. Tell me all those "non-superstar" lead teams that have won a championship during YOUR lifetime (assuming 80% of the posters here are under 50)

2004 - PISTONS
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 12:08 pm    Post subject:

AD23 wrote:
You guys are funny. Tell me all those "non-superstar" lead teams that have won a championship during YOUR lifetime (assuming 80% of the posters here are under 50)

2004 - PISTONS


Is that really the question, though? You need a superstar (defined broadly), but when you add a second and third superstar, you are going to sacrifice depth and you are going to get diminishing returns. We're really talking about the three-superstar model.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 12:12 pm    Post subject:

And the Lakers "got it" when it came to this.

Shaq/Kobe + lots of elite role players = 3 championships
Kobe/Pau + lots of elite role players = 2 championships

Most recently, AD/LBJ + lots of elite role players = 2020 championship.

Then they deconstructed this roster and inexplicably went after Russ and gave up so much to get him when he's not an all star, let alone superstar player.

I know we tried to do this with going after Kawhi, and thankfully that failed. But why does this team think that going after 3 "superstars" is the way to go when history over the past nearly 25 years (6 championships) have shown a dynamic duo + elite role players works out exceedingly well for the Lakers?
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 12:23 pm    Post subject:

AD23 wrote:
You guys are funny. Tell me all those "non-superstar" lead teams that have won a championship during YOUR lifetime (assuming 80% of the posters here are under 50)

2004 - PISTONS


I don't think anyone is saying don't get stars. We are saying the days of trying to stack your team with stars or former big name players are over. Team building is more important than ever and having a team with one star and 4 players that just fit a system is almost better than having three big names and minimums surrounding them.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 12:32 pm    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
And the Lakers "got it" when it came to this.

Shaq/Kobe + lots of elite role players = 3 championships
Kobe/Pau + lots of elite role players = 2 championships

Most recently, AD/LBJ + lots of elite role players = 2020 championship.

Then they deconstructed this roster and inexplicably went after Russ and gave up so much to get him when he's not an all star, let alone superstar player.

I know we tried to do this with going after Kawhi, and thankfully that failed. But why does this team think that going after 3 "superstars" is the way to go when history over the past nearly 25 years (6 championships) have shown a dynamic duo + elite role players works out exceedingly well for the Lakers?


Both Buss kids who have been in charge don't have a clue about building a team, that's why. The only thing they took away from their late, great father was the superficial BS about LA and stars and home run moves being the end all, be all. The same black-and-white BS that they've been peddling for years. It's been the downfall of this franchise for the last decade. Dr. Buss knew that you needed stars to win - that part has always been true - but he also hired shrewd basketball minds and let them do the rest of the work to build out multiple championship rosters that were long-lasting.

It's been echoed on LG many times in recent years, but the current FO (and any iteration of it since 2011/2012) has completely failed at building around the fringes and has had no consistent, long-term plan or vision for the franchise that they could stick to for more than a year. They should be thanking their lucky stars that they lucked into Lebron, otherwise the team would be an even bigger laughingstock than it already is. The sad thing is that building around Lebron/AD should never have been rocket science and they somehow got it right the first year, only to dismantle the roster TWICE after a championship. Just makes no sense, and as a fan, I have zero faith that they can get anything right at this point, least of all with the Westbrook contract and complete lack of any meaningful assets now weighing us down.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 12:43 pm    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
Star power didn’t go away and never will.

What you can’t do is completely cheap out or disregard team building and legit basketball ops.

We have the perfect example in this market. Dodgers and Angels for the past decade. The Dodgers have stars but don’t cut corners or ignore key departments in baseball ops. They have an embarrassment of riches and that’s why they keep winning and sustain.

The Angels are the Jeanie model. Spend big $$ on the stars and ignore other areas. We see the results. Moreno is the Jeanie of baseball.


It's why people were up in arms that we probably gave up two more picks than we had to in the AD deal...then giving up drafted potential like Zu, Thomas Bryant, Svi, Wagner, etc. for nothing...letting Lopez, Randle, Schroder, Caruso, etc. walk for nothing...not signing THT, Reaves, etc. to longer first deals. In a vacuum, each move doesn't stand out as particularly damaging, but when you look at the totality of it all, it's been devastating. Smart teams just don't do that, and there are more savvy front offices in the league now than there have ever been, so that's who we're competing with.

We could've had that same embarrassment of riches with better asset management, yet here we are with nothing to show for it. So incredibly frustrating. And we'll probably give up another future 1st rounder this summer on top of it to dump Westbrook, so more fun times ahead.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 1:45 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
That's a good podcast episode. For those of you who didn't take the time to watch it (you should), here are some of the points that jumped out (my words and spin, not theirs):

1. If you're going to build a super team, you need for one of the stars to have a genuine connection to the organization. If you just bring in mercenaries, then no one has any emotional attachment to the team. This is true for the Lakers, Clippers, and Nets. Compare this to Milwaukee, where Giannis and Middleton have a deeper connection to the team and the fans.

2. Team culture is hard to define, but it means something. The work environment in Miami is different from the work environment in San Antonio, and they are both different from Los Angeles.

3. Given that Lebron is the longest tenured Laker and that everyone who was on the roster when we signed him is now gone, what kind of culture could we possibly have?

4. The bubble team developed strong chemistry, but there were galvanizing events (Kobe's death, the pandemic, the bubble itself). Furthermore, Lebron and Davis had expended a lot of personal capital to get Davis on the team, and they were motivated to show what they could do as teammates. Once they won the title and left the bubble, this motivation receded.

5. Some executives around the league are questioning whether signing big money mercenaries is really the way to go. Does someone like Kyrie Irving really add value to a team? Sure, superstars win titles, but is that true when the superstar(s) are just mercenaries with no emotional connection to the team or the fans?
Such a great post.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 1:49 pm    Post subject:

nothing wrong with a 3 star system with bunch of scrubs as supporting cast. but not these kind of stars:

1. 38 year old LeBron
2. Day to Davis
3. 33 year old Russ

what an odd ball group of stars. they don't complement each other at all, and that's if no. 2 is healthy enough to play.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 3:02 pm    Post subject:

SGV-Laker fan wrote:
nothing wrong with a 3 star system with bunch of scrubs as supporting cast. but not these kind of stars:

1. 38 year old LeBron
2. Day to Davis
3. 33 year old Russ

what an odd ball group of stars. they don't complement each other at all, and that's if no. 2 is healthy enough to play.


Nets still lost when they had Joe Harris, Bruce Brown, Shamet, Griffin next to Irving, Durant, Harden. Clippers with a healthy Kawhi and PG13 blew a 3-1 lead to a Nuggets team that got hot from the 3pt line. You obviously need stars, but the formula isn't the same. The volatility of the 3pt shot makes the game way more unpredictable than it used to be. It's no longer superstar x + superstar y = instant ring. It's more complex than that. You have to account for injuries, depth, 3pt shooting, coaching, culture, chemistry, etc. You just give your team a better chance by having an acceptable level of culture and chemistry on the squad.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 3:05 pm    Post subject:

Wait what team won without at least 1 superstar?
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