Posts Tagged ‘John Ireland’

Fisher: No Time Wasted

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — For those of you that think negotiating up until the lockout deadline was some sort of wasted effort on the part of the NBA and the NBPA, Derek Fisher says otherwise.

Fisher, the NBPA president, spoke out about that and much more in an interview with John Ireland and Mark Willard from 710 ESPN and ESPNLosAngeles.com (Fisher comes on at the 18:00 mark of the interview).

Fisher’s answers to several pointed questions regarding the lockout provides some quality insight into the thinking on at least one side of the divide as we head into the thick of the summer:

Even though the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement, was the time spent the last month or so used wisely and are you optimistic going ahead?:

FISHER: “Yeah of course. When you’re trying to solve as big of a problem as we’re trying to solve, the more time you spend at it the better. Even if you don’t make considerable amounts of progress or measurable progress, there’s still a lot that happens in our meetings that I think has laid the groundwork for the continuation of the process. That’s what we’ll focus on, still trying to get a fair deal done over the course of the summer.”

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The Talk Of The Town

LOS ANGELES — I knew Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers would be the talk of this town all weekend, but now it’s for all the wrong reasons.

A small group of us stood in the doorway of a downtown hotel sports bar to watch the final seconds of the Lakers’ stunning loss in Cleveland Wednesday night wondering if this was the final dagger for a team that’s taking a beating from all directions for their recent struggles.

“It’s a good thing it’s All-Star Weekend,” one hotel employee muttered as the crowd dispersed, “because these guys [Lakers] need the break.”

They are in need of something. And perhaps something more than what a few days of rest can provide. There have been some disturbing signs for Phil Jackson‘s crew through the pre-All-Star run, including this latest skid (three straight losses and a .500 mark in their last 10 games).

Instead of celebrating the weekend with the league’s ultimate star-driven showcase, there will be plenty of debate here about whether or not the Lakers are capable of defending their title for a third straight year as presently constituted. The Feb. 24 trade deadline is starting to look more and more like a drop dead date for the Lakers, who limped off the floor in Cleveland last night with a much uglier shiner than the 55-point beating they administered on the Cavs last month.

Rumblings that they might not be able to fend off challenges from the Spurs and Mavericks in the Western Conference and from either the Celtics or Heat in the NBA Finals are growing louder by the second.

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