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Any winners here?

July 04, 2009

The Lakers saved Trevor Ariza's nowhere career and gave him an NBA life and a ring, not to mention a very generous offer to stay with his "home" team.

In seemingly a quick decision on both sides, we get Ron Artest, who's coming to his fifth team in about 10 seasons, and Ariza goes to a team with many uncertainties.

The Lakers' dream season was built around talent, hard work and chemistry, and they just messed up the last one for next season.

Then I read Trevor's agent quoted in the paper saying that it's not about the money and that Trevor wants to go somewhere where he's appreciated. Maybe you should review the game films on that one.

My early review of this reality show is that it stinks and it further proves that these overpaid prima donnas just don't get it.

Steve LaRochelle, Chatsworth

It could be that Trevor Ariza will not continue to improve as a player, but his learning curve has been so steep that I am sure he will continue to blossom. It could be that Ron Artest will be on such good behavior that his teammates and the city will embrace him, but this is highly unlikely. Artest has been out of control and abrasive for his entire career, and Trevor has been a pleasure to watch both on and off the court.

Ariza, five years younger than Artest, could have been one of the Lakers' franchise cornerstones after Kobe Bryant retires. But Mitch Kupchak gave the future away. After all the accolades heaped on the Lakers' general manager, I never saw this chemistry-shattering negotiations breakdown coming. Plaschke got it right.

Bob Walter

Altadena

::

So, Bill Plaschke thinks the Lakers made a mistake grabbing Ron Artest instead of Trevor Ariza. Let's review:

Plaschke: Frequently silly, impulsive, wildly inconsistent articles. All over the map on most sports topics.

Mitch Kupchak: Slow, steady building of a championship team with a bright future. A mistake or two in the early years, with a lot of brilliant moves ever since.

I think I'll put my money on Kupchak.

Josh Clark

San Gabriel

::

(An open letter from Trevor Ariza to his agent, David Lee)

Dear David,

Thank God you got me out of L.A., for Houston. I hate parades and jewelry. Now, I'll never have to worry about either one again.

You're my man.

Best, Trevor

Jerry Roberts

Guam

::

Really? Ron Artest over the younger, better adjusted and equally skilled Trevor Ariza?

Ron Artest is a meltdown waiting to happen. This knucklehead asked for time off in the middle of the season to go promote a record.

He went after Kobe in the playoffs. He makes Dennis Rodman look like Shane Battier. This is worse than when we had Karl Malone.

Clearly I don't get it. I think Mitch Kupchak is the most underrated general manager in the league. He built this championship team, so I guess I'll run with him, but it's a leap of faith to be sure.

Maybe that's the point. Forget organized religion. Let's all, in times of doubt and strain, ask ourselves: What Would Mitch Do?

Perhaps he is our salvation.

Amen,

Adam Ritz

Sherman Oaks

::

As compared to Mitch Kupchak's second-best move of Brian Cook and Mo Evans for Ariza -- getting Pau Gasol for next to nothing being his best -- failing to retain Trevor Ariza probably will be the worst failure of the Lakers' organization in recent history. A temperamental and inconsistent Ron Artest is no substitute for a rising star of Ariza's caliber. Swapping an A+ for an A- is simply an F.

Bruce Manson

Redlands

::

Poor Trevor. Offended by $5.6 million. Wonder what the offer would have been had he sat on the bench in Orlando all year.

Maybe he should call Ronny Turiaf to see how much a seat on that bus down Figueroa would have been worth to him.

Bruce A McClanahan

Pismo Beach

::

I had a boss once who gave me pretty good advice: "Separate the emotion from the decision making." We should introduce him to David Lee, who needs his help. Lee, who embarrassed himself in his whiny public negotiations for an unproven Andrew Bynum, better keep his present clients because he won't be getting any new ones.

Rick Van Kirk

Irvine

::

Did Ariza need more money to increase his point total for Pauley Pavilion?

Howard Mationg

Gardena

::

Et tu, Isaiah Rider?

Danny King

Los Angeles

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