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View Full Version : Bigger loss to LA: Shaq or West?



JasonJohnHorn
08-15-2015, 10:44 PM
A lot of people argue that Kobe drove Shaq out of LA and that despite the fact they were able to pull out two more rings without Shaq, by choosing to go with Kobe, LA is not in as good a position as it would have been had Kobe not driven Shaq out. Assuming that all this is true (which it may or may not be), the Lakers faced an even bigger loss a couple of seasons before that: Jerry West.

Just as many people view the Shaq departure as being spurred by Kobe, many view Phil Jackson's arrival as being the impetus of West leaving.

Looking back at West's drafting recording (James Worthy, AC Green, VLade Divac, Elden Campbell, George Lynch, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, Derrick Fisher, Kobe Bryant, and Byron Scott) he is easily the best in league history when considering where he was picking from in most instances (there might be a couple who are as good, but none who were better). He was also great at recruiting players (Shaq most notably).

Given that the Lakers have seemed to be unable to build through the draft, and that they have been unable to bring in the right free agents, and seeing how the teams he has since worked with (Grizzlies and Warriors) have seen success with him, was the loss of West really the impetus that led the Lakers to their first back-to-back lottery seasons since the 70's?


Which exit has carried a deeper impact on the Lakers organization? The loss of Shaq, or the loss of West?

lakerfan85
08-16-2015, 12:02 AM
Jerry West..

Scoots
08-16-2015, 01:00 AM
In West's drafts as "head talent consultant" with the Warriors they picked up Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, and Festus Ezeli ... and the Warriors only had 6 TOTAL draft picks since he joined the team and the 6th one is Kevon Looney and we have no idea what he will become (the only "failure" is Charles Johnson with a mid-2nd round pick in 2011). It's a small sample size but KILLING it on 4 of 5 draft picks and winning a title is pretty good. It would appear he still has "it".

slashsnake
08-16-2015, 03:59 AM
West... I think maybe they get another ring with Shaq over the next few years (if he could have learned to defer to Kobe more like he did to Wade later)...

But then would they have been set up to rebuild where Kobe got his last two rings? Or would they have been having a declining Shaq making 20+ mil a year on contract keeping them from adding Pau and Odom.


I kinda lean to the second one. I think another year or two with Shaq was all they really would have been elite competitive with. And would Phil have stayed with those two or seen the writing on the wall and left for good?

JasonJohnHorn
08-16-2015, 08:22 AM
West... I think maybe they get another ring with Shaq over the next few years (if he could have learned to defer to Kobe more like he did to Wade later)...

But then would they have been set up to rebuild where Kobe got his last two rings? Or would they have been having a declining Shaq making 20+ mil a year on contract keeping them from adding Pau and Odom.


I kinda lean to the second one. I think another year or two with Shaq was all they really would have been elite competitive with. And would Phil have stayed with those two or seen the writing on the wall and left for good?

Shaq didn't have a problem deferring to Kobe; Kobe was taking more shots than Shaq his last three or four seasons there. And in their last finals together, Shaq was the best player on the court the entire time, so if anything, Kobe should have been playing a little more into Shaq at the time. Don't get me wrong; Kobe was amazing, but Shaq was pretty dominant in that last playoff series. The following season he would have had to start deferring, but he'd never had a problem in deferring after he won his last ring with Kobe.

But I think you are right; without West being able to reload through the draft and convince free agents to come on board, it would have been hard to get much more than one more ring out of Shaq/Kobe.

Gander13SM
08-16-2015, 11:22 AM
In West's drafts as "head talent consultant" with the Warriors they picked up Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, and Festus Ezeli ... and the Warriors only had 6 TOTAL draft picks since he joined the team and the 6th one is Kevon Looney and we have no idea what he will become (the only "failure" is Charles Johnson with a mid-2nd round pick in 2011). It's a small sample size but KILLING it on 4 of 5 draft picks and winning a title is pretty good. It would appear he still has "it".

Was about to say this. West has done a great job of drafting with the Warriors organisation.

Tony_Starks
08-16-2015, 11:35 AM
West easily. Anyone that tells you different doesn't know the Laker history.

ManningToTyree
08-16-2015, 12:45 PM
West. They still won twice after shaq left. I don't know that they would've won more then that with him staying (probably win the same two years). Wests Impact had a much broader scope

Scoots
08-16-2015, 01:06 PM
FWIW, West came to the Warriors with some stipulations ... he doesn't have to live near the team, and they GAVE him part ownership along with his salary. It's pretty clear the Warriors valued West a LOT.

PurpleLynch
08-16-2015, 03:25 PM
West,because he was/is the mastermind behind at least three successful teams:LA Lakers('80 and early '00) and Golden State(right now).
His stint with the Grizzlies was interesting as well,he turned Memphis in a nice playoff team.

Shlumpledink
08-16-2015, 03:50 PM
Shaq's weight was ballooning towards the end of his laker's career, and his health was declining. After being traded Shaq lost a bunch of weight to stick it to the Lakers, if he stays on the Lakers then he gets less and less effective while the Lakers are paying him a ton of cash to keep him on, which is what he wanted from management (what all players want it seems)

FlashBolt
08-17-2015, 12:29 AM
Shaq's career ended fairly soon after his departure from LAL. Don't think they would've won more rings at that point anyways.

Tony_Starks
08-17-2015, 09:48 AM
Shaq's weight was ballooning towards the end of his laker's career, and his health was declining. After being traded Shaq lost a bunch of weight to stick it to the Lakers, if he stays on the Lakers then he gets less and less effective while the Lakers are paying him a ton of cash to keep him on, which is what he wanted from management (what all players want it seems)

Man say this again in all caps for the uneducated. People try to re-write history about Shaqs departure and forget he played his way out of LA. Got increasingly out of shape and disgruntled, ripped Dr Buss publicly, and basically forced the Lakers to choose between a lazy fat poor work ethic Shaq and a Kobe who hadn't even peaked yet.

Let some people tell it he left still at his pinnacle but he actually went to Miami and immediately got his act together out of spite. Even then the honeymoon there didn't last long before he was up to the old shenanigans again.....

jerellh528
08-17-2015, 10:44 AM
Man say this again in all caps for the uneducated. People try to re-write history about Shaqs departure and forget he played his way out of LA. Got increasingly out of shape and disgruntled, ripped Dr Buss publicly, and basically forced the Lakers to choose between a lazy fat poor work ethic Shaq and a Kobe who hadn't even peaked yet.

Let some people tell it he left still at his pinnacle but he actually went to Miami and immediately got his act together out of spite. Even then the honeymoon there didn't last long before he was up to the old shenanigans again.....

No, you're wrong. Evil Kobe forced him outta town because Kobe sucks and Shaquille was the bestest. Kobe couldn't take it so he made the lakers trade shaq. Dey wud win so many more ringz if dey shipped out kobe instead of shaq, cuz Kobe sukz n hiz ego wuz too bad.

Scoots
08-17-2015, 10:51 AM
No, you're wrong. Evil Kobe forced him outta town because Kobe sucks and Shaquille was the bestest. Kobe couldn't take it so he made the lakers trade shaq. Dey wud win so many more ringz if dey shipped out kobe instead of shaq, cuz Kobe sukz n hiz ego wuz too bad.

Anybody who thinks Kobe, Shaq, MJ, or almost any top competitor in sports isn't broken in some way has not been paying attention. No doubt Shaq has a huge ego and LA was done with him and he was done with LA. Likewise Kobe is a pushy arrogant ***. MJ is a mean abusive person if he sees you as competition. These things often go with the obsessive nature of them, along with elite physical skills and the constant adulation making their ego get outsized.

It's never one sided either for or against ... and anybody arguing that doesn't understand the reality of top level athletes in the big pro sports.

Tony_Starks
08-17-2015, 11:02 AM
Man say this again in all caps for the uneducated. People try to re-write history about Shaqs departure and forget he played his way out of LA. Got increasingly out of shape and disgruntled, ripped Dr Buss publicly, and basically forced the Lakers to choose between a lazy fat poor work ethic Shaq and a Kobe who hadn't even peaked yet.

Let some people tell it he left still at his pinnacle but he actually went to Miami and immediately got his act together out of spite. Even then the honeymoon there didn't last long before he was up to the old shenanigans again.....

No, you're wrong. Evil Kobe forced him outta town because Kobe sucks and Shaquille was the bestest. Kobe couldn't take it so he made the lakers trade shaq. Dey wud win so many more ringz if dey shipped out kobe instead of shaq, cuz Kobe sukz n hiz ego wuz too bad.

If they had any other superstar besides Kobe alongside Shaq the Lakers would've won 6 straight championships instead of a measly 3 out of 4. Kobe da cancer limited them to just a threepeat.

Stinkyoutsider
08-17-2015, 11:29 AM
Jerry West was the bigger loss. Top talent evaluators are extremely difficult to find...

Vinylman
08-17-2015, 12:25 PM
Neither

West had been gone since 2002 and Shaq leaving was probably 2 years early but he was definitely starting his decline...

West deserves a lot of credit for getting both Shaq and Kobe but the reality is that it took Phil coaching and implementing the triangle by bringing in ALL the ex-Chicago guys that gave them the base to run the offense that made the difference... West and Phil were basically at odds on how to win with Kobe and Shaq but once phil got his guys they won...

the guy missed most is Dr. Buss... primarily because they can't control his idiot son now and the fact that he would always be the key guy selling FA's to come to LA.

PowerHouse
08-17-2015, 03:12 PM
Neither. The Lakers went on to win multiple titles after those two left. The Laker decline really started when Phil retired. Then it got worse when Dr. buss passed.

lol, please
08-17-2015, 04:09 PM
Obviously West. He's the reason I am a Warriors fan today. I got excited when it was just a rumor, the same with Harbaugh and the 49ers. Two cases in my life as a fan where, "I just knew", as cliche as it sounds. Harbaughs impact was proven that same season in 2011, and Wests impact wasn't as obvious to non fans, but now it's undisputable worldwide.

Scoots
08-17-2015, 06:00 PM
Obviously West. He's the reason I am a Warriors fan today. I got excited when it was just a rumor, the same with Harbaugh and the 49ers. Two cases in my life as a fan where, "I just knew", as cliche as it sounds. Harbaughs impact was proven that same season in 2011, and Wests impact wasn't as obvious to non fans, but now it's undisputable worldwide.

indisputable

Of course West flamed out in Memphis and Harbaugh did in SF. As always it takes a team at all levels (owner, GM, scouts, coaches, players, training) to win.

The Lakers lost West, Shaq, Dr. Buss, and Phil and in so doing lost some of the steadying character they could rely on to drive the team to greatness.

andy2518
08-17-2015, 07:58 PM
My bad double post.

andy2518
08-17-2015, 07:59 PM
How is this even a debate? What West did for the Lakers as a GM over the span of nearly three decades was immensely more valuable than the three rings Shaq helped LA win in his nine years in LA. Not to mention that as Shaq ages, what he can do for an organization diminishes contrary to West who can pretty much give you a much greater value for a much longer span. After 2005 Shaq's value to a team was shrunken significantly while West's was still the best the league had to offer in a much more important role in putting the team together which in my opinion is the most important roll to a franchise. It all starts at the top and having a good GM can literally make or break your organization unless you get extremely lucky in terms of picks and franchise players falling in your lap which is not very likely. Let's just put it this way, if not for West, there is no Shaq.

andy2518
08-17-2015, 08:01 PM
Also, I might mention why this is not in the Lakers forum.

JasonJohnHorn
08-18-2015, 01:08 PM
Neither

West had been gone since 2002 and Shaq leaving was probably 2 years early but he was definitely starting his decline...

West deserves a lot of credit for getting both Shaq and Kobe but the reality is that it took Phil coaching and implementing the triangle by bringing in ALL the ex-Chicago guys that gave them the base to run the offense that made the difference... West and Phil were basically at odds on how to win with Kobe and Shaq but once phil got his guys they won...

the guy missed most is Dr. Buss... primarily because they can't control his idiot son now and the fact that he would always be the key guy selling FA's to come to LA.

It was because West got Shaq and Kobe, and had talent like Van Exel and Jones that Phil came to LAL in the first place; without West putting that team together, Jackson does show up. West built up LAL as a place to win. Jackson was HUGE; you are right. But he was only there because of what West did. And the players followed Phil not because it was Phil, but be cause it was Phil, and Shaq, and Kobe, ad Rice,and Fox, and Horry, and Green.

As for Dr. Buss... they've been missing him for a LONG time. The old Dr. Buss would not have brought 'Antoni in over P-Jax. That was his son... Dr. Buss let his loyalty to his son cloud his judgement at the end.

But he did a lot for that organization leading up to the time when his son started taking over; no doubt.

Vinylman
08-18-2015, 01:35 PM
It was because West got Shaq and Kobe, and had talent like Van Exel and Jones that Phil came to LAL in the first place; without West putting that team together, Jackson does show up. West built up LAL as a place to win. Jackson was HUGE; you are right. But he was only there because of what West did. And the players followed Phil not because it was Phil, but be cause it was Phil, and Shaq, and Kobe, ad Rice,and Fox, and Horry, and Green.

As for Dr. Buss... they've been missing him for a LONG time. The old Dr. Buss would not have brought 'Antoni in over P-Jax. That was his son... Dr. Buss let his loyalty to his son cloud his judgement at the end.

But he did a lot for that organization leading up to the time when his son started taking over; no doubt.

ok...

Like I said in my original post... West deserves a lot of credit for bringing in shaq and kobe but you are not really recognizing the important guys that were brought in to run the triangle...

Sally, Harper, Grant, Shaw, etc...

All those other guys were there already and were falling flat on their faces in the playoffs...

The Lakers started winning when it mattered once the triangle guys got there which West wasn't always on board on bringing in...

As for Dr. Buss... I agree he would not have brought dandummy in instead of Phil and the fact that his idiot son says his dying father laying in a hospital bed drugged up "approved" the move is laughable...

If Phil Jackson was brought back there is no way that D12 leaves the Lakers and they never fall off the cliff like they have. I didn't like D12 but with Phil there the relationship between kobe and him would have been totally different.

The Lakers miss Dr. Buss and Phil a lot more now than West or Shaq

Andrew32
08-18-2015, 03:54 PM
Probably West.
He was brilliant and he could have kept contributing for many years unlike Shaq who after 2-3+ years started really becoming a shell of himself.

I also don't agree that Shaq kept coming into camp in worse & worse shape.
He was out of shape in 2003 due to the toe surgery but in 2004 he was in very good shape and was still a Top 3 player in the league with KG & Duncan.
Certainly his future looked much brighter then Kobe's at the end of the 2013 season when they gave him his big money (albeit shorter) extension.

Regarding the LAL decision to go with Kobe over Shaq.
Yeah it turned out to be the smart decision but only because of some luck.
Boston came really, really close to beating LAL in 2010 (lost by a hairs width) and had Perkins not gotten injured they probably would have won.
So that would mean the Lakers would have only gotten one Ring with Kobe and I think Shaq + Kobe could have potentially won one Ring from 05-06.

Also had KG not gotten injured in 09 Boston might have 3peated from 08-10 and the post-Shaq Lakers might still be ringless making their decision to let Shaq go (or Kobe in some ways forcing him out) look much, much worse.

They also failed to get KG from Minnesota and had they failed to get Gasol in what was an absolute robbery they might not have been able to bring in enough talent or the right kind of talent for Kobe to win titles from 08-10 and after that the window basically closed.
So yeah thats another big piece of luck to take into consideration.

Kobe also did play a big part in Shaq leaving.
He forced the hands of the organization to basically tell Shaq they wanted him out because he was going to sign with the Clippers or another organization if Shaq wasn't traded.
*I am pretty certain Kobe would not have resigned with LAL in 2004 had Shaq & Phil not clearly been on the way out.

I generally disliked the way he handled the whole situation especially calling out Shaq after 03 despite the fact that Shaq was insanely dominant that year and badly outplayed Kobe in the playoffs.
I mean how are you gonna talk trash about your teammate when he badly outplayed you and was still posting a 30+ PER in the playoffs despite being overweight.
Had Shaq been overweight and playing poorly then yeah I might have understood it more but it wasn't like that at all. He was still performing like the best player in the league. But I guess that doesn't matter because his abs weren't tight enough for Kobe's liking.

Chronz
08-19-2015, 02:16 PM
Shaq's weight was ballooning towards the end of his laker's career, and his health was declining. After being traded Shaq lost a bunch of weight to stick it to the Lakers, if he stays on the Lakers then he gets less and less effective while the Lakers are paying him a ton of cash to keep him on, which is what he wanted from management (what all players want it seems)

He actually lost weight his final year in LA, the reason he was out of shape in 02-03 was because of his toe injury. He was around 345 during the 3peat, around 380 in 02-03 then down to 355 or so in 04 and he took it to the extreme his first year with Miami dropping to 325. After that he fluctuated some more, with various results.

Chronz
08-19-2015, 02:30 PM
No, you're wrong. Evil Kobe forced him outta town because Kobe sucks and Shaquille was the bestest. Kobe couldn't take it so he made the lakers trade shaq. Dey wud win so many more ringz if dey shipped out kobe instead of shaq, cuz Kobe sukz n hiz ego wuz too bad.

Kobe knew his position of power, he didn't force Shaq+Phil out but he didn't do them any favors. He could've done more but I dont blame him for not caring. He wasted some of his peak years IMO but its his career to play out. I just remember laughing for him thinking the Lakers werent going to enter a rebuild phase after that horrible trade.

JasonJohnHorn
08-19-2015, 03:26 PM
ok...

Like I said in my original post... West deserves a lot of credit for bringing in shaq and kobe but you are not really recognizing the important guys that were brought in to run the triangle...

Sally, Harper, Grant, Shaw, etc...

Shaw, who ran the most plays of those guys, had never played with Phil Jackson before.

Harper, was important and had played in the triangle. Point taken.

Grant was brought in after they'd already won in order to replace AC Green, and only played the one year where they won. He was there for his rebounding and ability to hit open jumpers, giving Shaq some space. He was very important the year he was there (04 he was a non factor in his return to LA), but they won it the year before without him, and the year after without him He was a plus, for sure, but he was there more for rebounding than the triangle.

Sally averaged 4 minutes a game in the playoffs, and less than seven in the regular season, and only played about half the season. He was a veteran man who was a big body for when Shaq was in foul trouble or needed a rest. He wasn't running plays, and that aside, he only played in Chi-town one season.

Dr. Buss was great, and Phil was great, but Dr. Buss and the Lakers didn't really start getting the show on the road until West took over. He kept Magic and Kareem stocked up with supporting talent, and he brought in great coaches (Riley and Jackson, and to a lesser extend Mike Dunleavy and Del Harris; two of whom won COY honours while coaching roster put together by West).

Phil was a great coach... AMAZING, especially at managing egos, but his legacy as GOAT coach to solidified by his tenure with the Lakers. West had his pick of the litter, and though Bus was instrumental in bringing Jackson on board, it was West who set the table.

It's hard to differentiate Bus for and West, because they essentially ran the team together thirty years. West was a player then coach before Bus arrived, then worked as a scout and GM. Bus had the good sense to let West do his thing (which is 90% of the job, and is the part a lot of owners don't get right). And even the success the Lakers have had since West left can be attributed to West, since Shaq gave them the trade pieces required to pick up Gasol and Odom, and Kobe and Fisher were players West had drafted (though the Lakers had to bring Fisher back since Mitch let him go).

Phil was blessed to be handed the reigns to a team with arguably the leagues to best players, but if Phil hadn't come in, West would have gotten a coach that would have gotten the job done. It would take an awful coach to not win with that roster.