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Blame is the name of this game

May 05, 2007

In April 2005, Mitch Kupchak said to his season-ticket holders: "If you make the decision on one season, you're making a big mistake."

Two years later, it has only gotten worse and the only one still making big mistakes is Mitch Kupchak.

DANNY SANCHEZ

\o7Westminster

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Before Kupchak and the rest of the Lakers' front office spend their summer trying to "do something" for King Kobe, I would like to remind them that not long ago, he did have help and the Lakers won championships. But Kobe proved that he does not like sharing -- either the ball or the spotlight. He whined and succeeded in chasing away every decent teammate he has had. Now the chickens have come home to roost and the Lakers stink -- precisely because Bryant has done everything in his power to ensure that they are no longer a team.

I just hope that Jerry Buss looks carefully at the situation. He can go out and get help for Kobe -- a couple of great players who will end up completely alienated in a year or two by Kobe's all-encompassing ego, or he can bite the bullet and get rid of his selfish, whiny, demanding guard and allow the Lakers become a team again.

To quote Kobe -- "Do it now."

ED BROWN

Pasadena

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After trading for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant, Mitch Kupchak told Lakers fans not to judge the trade right away, but to judge it in three years.

The sad truth is that the trade capped out the Lakers, preventing them from surrounding the team's core of Kobe Bryant, Odom and Butler with decent teammates. Kupchak compounded the team's problem by trading the promising Butler for the underachieving Kwame Brown, extending the contract of useless Brian Cook, and adding no-defense, no-rebounding Vladimir Radmanovic as a free agent.

Well, three years is just about over, and the trade doesn't look any better now than it did back then.

RICHARD RAFFALOW

Valley Glen

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It was amazing to watch Golden State upset Dallas in the first round. I guess it goes to show you what a team with only two star players running a modern offense and good coaching can do. I wonder if Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak were watching.

MIKE GAMBOA

Buena Park

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Everyone's blaming the Lakers' poor showing on the lack of support for Kobe Bryant, but who can deny that if the Suns and Lakers swap their superstars, that it would be the Lakers wiping the floor with the Suns.

Unlike Kobe, Steve Nash gets everyone involved in every play. He feeds the ball to the open man, something Kobe does only when he's in the mood.

Sure, Kobe is the most talented player in the NBA, but he's a ball hog. And just as John Wooden once said about Pete Maravich, that he'll never be on a championship team, the same can now be said about Bryant (unless he has a center named Shaq).

SKIP USEN

Santa Monica

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The Lakers' season ended Wednesday. Unfortunately, they stopped playing three months ago.

Looking to the future, Kupchak says that he is aware of Kobe's "window." Maybe Dr. Buss should make Mitch aware of his door. You know, that big one that Shaq walked out of a couple of years ago.

JOHN THOMPSON

Chino

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Everyone (Plaschke?) is now calling for a retooling of the Lakers' roster. Whatever happened to developing a team? Doesn't anyone think that if you let Kobe, Lamar, Luke, Farmar, Bynum and Turiaf play together for a while, and they stay healthy, they will be a force? Has everyone forgotten Chris Mihm is coming back?

Please, can someone on your staff have a little vision? At least Adande, not really known as an iconoclast, proposed a change in style, not roster. He looks like he might be developing into a thoughtful observer after years of youthful promise and herd following.

Let's give the Lakers the same chance, huh?

ADAM RITZ

Studio City

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When the Suns are run-and-gun and the Lakers have a preferred style of slow tempo, that says it all. A few years ago, this L.A. squad was one of the youngest rosters in the league; it's not like they have an aging center hobbling them. With all of this youthful talent, the "we're No. 7!" Lakers favor the slow-down game?

Showtime, R.I.P.

HALE ANTICO

Santa Clarita

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I see that Kobe has once again been named to the NBA's all-defensive team. Amazing! I've seen this guy actually hold an entire team from scoring. OK, so it was the Lakers, but hey, whatever it takes.

PAUL FEINSINGER

Agoura Hills

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The fact is Lamar Odom just isn't that great. I've never seen anyone miss so many free throws and layups, blow so many defensive assignments and be guilty of so many "lack of effort" plays in my 25 years of NBA viewing.

And the leadership just isn't there. Yeah, he had a 33-point game Wednesday and had a triple-double this season, but they are too few and far between. The Laker fix is easy. Lamar, Kwame and Smush for either Garnett or Jermaine O'Neal, and somehow get Derek Fisher back.

CHRIS LUTHER

Kailua, Hawaii

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