My First Laker Memory

I think I knew about the Lakers sometime 1987 (I was about 12 years old).  I saw them on a much delayed telecast on TV (there was no cable TV then!).  After seeing Magic Johnson and James Worthy, I was hooked.  (Kareem was already on the decline around that time, so I really didn’t appreciate what he brought to the team.  Of course, I was wrong as Kareem was still a very solid player, just not the same when he was at his peak, obviously)

The starting five then, as I knew it, was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Byron Scott and AC Green.  The sixth man, as I remember it, is Michael Cooper.  Mychal Thompson spelled Kareem at center while Kurt Rambis played power forward from time to time.  A very solid and pesky player, Kurt Rambis is. Read More

Will opponents bring the pain to Kobe?

Bryant’s injured finger would have had a bull’s eye on it in years past, but that kind of ‘old-school’ approach is less prevalent today.

By Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times

NEW ORLEANS — Having played the first 2 minutes 47 seconds of the All-Star game and escaped unscathed, Kobe Bryant now turns his focus back to the Lakers’ season, where his appearance will be more than ceremonial.

Once, opposing players would have actually attacked an injured player, and it remains to be seen how today’s players will approach Bryant, who has a torn ligament in his right pinkie finger.

“Well, we had a little rule,” said Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, “if you put something on your hand or on your body, that was a bull’s eye.

“I don’t know if that goes on anymore. We actually talk about that. I don’t think anyone wants to hurt anyone, but if you’re going to go out and play injured, we’re not going to let you beat us injured. That was the old-school thought. I think that’s still prevalent today, but not as much.”

Said New Orleans Hornets Coach Byron Scott, another old-school player and once Bryant’s teammate and mentor with the Lakers:

“I don’t think they do it now. In our day they would have done it every game until he couldn’t probably play, especially if you have an injury like Kobe has, where you have to wear some type of protection; guys would take shots at that all the time.

“But it’s a different league now. I don’t think it’s as physical or as rough, which is probably a good thing as well.”

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