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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:35 PM
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Default The ups and downs of the Los Angeles Lakers: '00 and beyond



INTRODUCTION


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says basketball?

Maybe it's the Boston Celtics, the famous dynasty that lasted for the entire 1960's. With Bill Russell and Red Auerbach at the helm, their legacies were created, and with that, a number of players saw their own legacies grow in the city of green as Boston amassed a total of 8 straight NBA championships, and 11 total from 1957 to 1969. Sam and KC Jones, Tom Sanders, John Havlicek and Tom Heinsohn are all legends, and they owe that to their time as Celtics. They went on to win 5 more Larry O'Brien's as the years went on, owing 3 of them to Larry Bird and his Big 4 companions, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson, forming a dominant force of their own in the 1980's. And with all that, they are the team with the most championships in the league and have a rich history of playoff runs.



But we aren't talking about them. In fact, [CENSOR] the Celtics.

Maybe it's the New York Knicks, the mainstream attraction, the center of attention of the mecca of basketball itself, the big apple. The raucous crowd of the Madison Square Garden has been hungry for a Knicks dynasty since the NBA's inception, and even though legends such as Walt ''Clyde'' Frazier, Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing have been a part of Knicks history, New York has only seen two titles come to their possession. But the fans will not be detoured, as their hunger for the Knicks to rise is apparent. Ewing's career is reaching its twilight, with the can't miss prospect from the 1985 draft having been unable to fulfill his destiny to bring a third championship to the Knicks, despite many legendary moments in the mecca. Even with the fans' backing, the future of the franchise is bleak, and the Front Office will have to act accordingly to their hopes of a return to the glory days.



But we aren't talking about them either.

Maybe it's even the Chicago Bulls, the newest powerhouse in the NBA. They changed their identity several times in the past before settling with ''Bulls'' and have had two separate three-peats this past decade. Michael Jordan, the ''greatest basketball player of all-time'' led the Bulls to all 6 of their championships, along with defensive mastermind Scottie Pippen and several other players, including Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, Bill Cartwright, and the swiss army knife himself, ''The Worm'' Dennis Rodman. The Bulls were at the top of the East for most of the 90's, dethroning the aforementioned Knicks, the Pistons and the Magic, among others, and they were undefeated in the NBA Finals with the Jordan-Pippen core. Their demise was Jordan's second retirement a year ago, after doing so for a season and a half between the two three-peats after the death of his father. This meant that the entire championship roster would be pillaged the following season, and the United Center in Chicago would be emptied with hopes of a new champion to lead them to their seventh trophy.



But no, we are not talking about them either.



No, instead, we travel to southern California, where the new Staples Center holds two NBA teams as its tenants. The Los Angeles Cli...wait a minute.

We don't talk about the Clippers. They suck.

They are the L.A. B-Team. The scum of the NBA. They can go back to Buffalo for what I know. They talk a big deal about wanting to claim supremacy in the NBA's L.A. turf wars, but doing that with their reputation for a bad medical team, bad drafting and with as huge of a shadow as the one they walk on? Good luck with that.

No, we aren't talking about any one of those teams. They aren't the major reference people look at when they think basketball. They can win as many titles as they want, they can be in any worldwide famous arena that they want, they can try and attract a fanbase as much as they want, but they all bend the knee to one team, one that anyone and their grandmother have heard about. We are talking about the grandeur of the NBA, the place where stars come to play, where legends are born, where champions reign supreme, where ''magic'' occurs, the royalty and beauty of the league.

The Los Angeles Lakers.



Last edited by Smasher1311 : 07-22-2017 at 09:42 PM.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:36 PM
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Reserved for Lakers' history.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:37 PM
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TEAM ROSTER & INFORMATION
2001-02 NBA SEASON

COACH: Phil Jackson


Starting Lineup:







Bench:










Quote:
DLG: Brian Scalabrine

Last edited by Smasher1311 : 07-22-2017 at 11:33 PM.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:38 PM
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Reserved for league info.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:38 PM
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And one more reservation, just in case.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 06:50 PM
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OOC: This diary has been in my mind for quite some time now, along with an OKC origins idea that I discarded because I really just prefer to tell a story about the team that I've always loved, the L.A. Lakers. The save began with the '99-00 season, when the Lakers kicked off their second three-peat in real life. My thought process is to have this start with the Lakers at the height of their power, so when politics and madness and everything else arises, we can see how I would handle everything, and how the NBA would revolve around all that.

It also helps me in two different ways. This is a great way for me to pass the time, writing about a sport I love and the team I love in its biggest stage. This is also an experiment. I've been known as a slacker writing TEW diaries, and that is a correct assumption. The majority of snafus in the past have been caused by issues with my writing sources, such as that cool website for diary writeups (Forgive me for forgetting its name) crashing, my laptop falling from the couch, its cooling fan exploding, its hard drive malfunctioning, all in different situations in which I was writing different diaries, and also the lack of time for me to kick back and actually think about everything I wanted to do and write everything the way I envisioned, thanks to high school commitments. With that in mind, some mishaps have been the result of laziness, and as such, I need to start from the bottom. There is no pressure with a basketball diary because I don't control anything inside the court. It's easier to write. I've had a major TEW project in mind for years now and if this goes well, that project may come to fruition with 16. But that's a story for another time. For now, let's experience the story of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Will I keep Shaq when the time comes? Will he remain an MVP-caliber player unlike in real life? How will Kobe develop? Will another Western powerhouse rise and knock us down a few pegs? The downs will inevitably come. They always do. But the Lakers always find a way to get back to the top. Two seasons have passed since then in-game, as I'm currently in the '01-02 season, so the '00 and '01 seasons will be recapped in a different style from the full seasons. I hope you can enjoy this diary, as ''unfair'' as it is compared to ones that feature rebuilding companies, but you will come to experience my idea with this eventually.

Last edited by Smasher1311 : 07-22-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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Unread 07-22-2017, 08:11 PM
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What an excellent start! Having just watched the epic 30 for 30 on the Lakers/Celtics history (truly a must watch!) I am really psyched about this diary and what you do with it! I hope it's a lot of fun for you to play, because I think it's going to be fun to watch!
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Unread 07-23-2017, 10:12 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Another diary to join the fold! You picked a great period of Lakers basketball to explore. I look forward to seeing how the 2000-01 Lakers fare.
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Unread 07-24-2017, 04:25 PM
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Excited for this- Don't let Shaq leave this time!
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Unread 07-24-2017, 07:29 PM
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THE 1999-00 SEASON RECAP (PART 1)
PLAYOFF SEEDING


The Lakers kicked off the season with a bang, winning 9 straight games and finishing November with a 10-1 record. With Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant showing their beautiful basketball skills as a duo, Los Angeles finished with the top seed in the league, winning 60 games in the tough Western Conference.


Behind them were the Dallas Mavericks with 53 wins, led by Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. In a surprising climb from the previous season, Dallas fans were no doubt delighted with their first winning season since the 89-90 season, as the Mavericks emerged with a vengeance, with their gritty roster ready to fight for supremacy in the West. Dennis Rodman proved to be a valuable asset in his final season, as he looked to win his 6th ring in Dallas.


The Golden State Warriors surprised many by winning 50 games, with youngsters Antawn Jamison, Larry Hughes and Erick Dampier forming a formidable big 3. The Warriors' fast paced offense captivated the Oakland fans, as a team that looked to be in the bottom of the barrel suddenly took flight.


Quote:
The remainder of the Western playoff bracket would be comprised by the Sacramento Kings, the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns. The Suns made the playoffs at .500, edging out the Portland Trail Blazers by one win.

Out in the East, we were treated to the biggest surprise season, that being the one by the uprising Chicago Bulls, led by the #1 pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Rookie of the Year Elton Brand, who won 53 games en route to the 1st seed in the East. Brand clicked with fellow rookies Ron Artest and Dedric Willoughby, turning the Bulls into Eastern contenders once again in the blink of an eye after one of the worst seasons in franchise history.


The Philadelphia 76ers, despite being 2 games behind the 3rd seeded Indiana Pacers, were named the 2nd seed as a result of the division winners rule. Allen Iverson was masterful all season long, Theo Ratliff showed tremendous defensive prowess, and Aaron McKie just missed out on the 6th Man of the Year award. The Sixers won 50 games and looked ready to go to the NBA Finals.


The Pacers, who won 52 games, were led by three-point specialist Reggie Miller, Jalen Rose and Dale Davis. With veteran expertise all over the roster, the Pacers were poised to gun for their first ever NBA Finals, and perhaps their first taste of championship gold.

Quote:
The rest of the Eastern playoff bracket would be comprised by the New Jersey Nets, the Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets tied with the 9th seeded Orlando Magic at 38-44, but owned the tiebreaker over Orlando, thus qualifying for the playoffs.


THE BOTTOM


Karl Malone and John Stockton were unable to lead the Utah Jazz to the playoffs for the first time since they started playing together in Salt Lake City, as they were at the bottom of the West with 29 wins. Age certainly was a factor, as the veterans were unable to keep up with faster offenses from Western powerhouses. They hoped to get a high pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, and take someone that would lead them back to the prominence land along with their two aging superstars.


Talking about aging superstars, Patrick Ewing's Knicks were the only team to finish worse than the Jazz, as they only amassed 22 wins in the season. Allan Houston's injury in late 1999 spelled disaster from the very start, and New York's chemistry fell considerably without their main source of offense. Ewing proved that he wasn't capable of leading the team on his own anymore, as the Knicks' hopes for better days relied on ping pong balls and their luck, for better or worse.


AROUND THE LEAGUE


Allen Iverson (76ers) and Vince Carter (Raptors) both scored 64 points in separate games, an impressive season high in points.


Phoenix's Jason Kidd emerged as a budding superstar, leading the Suns to a winning streak at the end of the season. His assist numbers were monstrous, averaging 10.2 assists per game, with an additional 2.2 steals per game, showing an easy lead over the league in both these categories.


Vancouver's Shareef Abdur-Rahim entered the NBA's top 5 in scoring, and even though Vancouver was one of the worst teams in the league again, hopes of better days for the Grizzlies were certainly higher. All they needed was a complementary player for 'Reef, with preference for another scorer, and they hoped to get that player in the Draft.


Quote:
1999-00 STANDINGS

Eastern Conference:

1st: Chicago Bulls (53-29)
2nd: Philadelphia 76ers (50-32)
3rd: Indiana Pacers (52-30)
4th: New Jersey Nets (47-35)
5th: Miami Heat (42-40)
6th: Detroit Pistons (41-41)
7th: Boston Celtics (39-43)
8th: Charlotte Hornets (38-44)
---------------------------------------
9th: Orlando Magic (38-44)
10th: Toronto Raptors (37-45)
11th: Milwaukee Bucks (35-47)
12th: Atlanta Hawks (34-48)
13th: Washington Wizards (33-49)
14th: Cleveland Cavaliers (32-50)
15th: New York Knicks (22-60)

Western Conference:

1st: Los Angeles Lakers (60-22)
2nd: Dallas Mavericks (53-29)
3rd: Golden State Warriors (50-32)
4th: Sacramento Kings (48-34)
5th: Houston Rockets (48-34)
6th: San Antonio Spurs (45-37)
7th: Denver Nuggets (43-39)
8th: Phoenix Suns (41-41)
---------------------------------------
9th: Portland Trail Blazers (40-42)
10th: Los Angeles Clippers (37-45)
11th: Minnesota Timberwolves (36-46)
12th: Vancouver Grizzlies (33-49)
13th: Seattle SuperSonics (33-49)
14th: Utah Jazz (29-53)
Quote:
TRADES

11/07 - To Chicago: Ervin Johnson
To Milwaukee: John Starks

11/24 - To Detroit: Kendall Gill
To New Jersey: Christian Laettner

12/07 - To Denver: Cuttino Mobley
To Houston: Raef LaFrentz

02/07 - To Houston: Ron Mercer
To Orlando: Kelvin Cato

Last edited by Smasher1311 : 07-25-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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Unread 07-25-2017, 01:13 AM
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THE 1999-00 SEASON RECAP (PART 2)
THE AWARDS


The 2000 NBA Most Valuable Player award was given to the L.A. Lakers' Center Shaquille O'Neal, who averaged 28.9 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game. Shaq led the Lakers in each of these categories, was third in the league in scoring behind Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan, second in rebounding behind Duncan and third in blocks behind Alonzo Mourning and Theo Ratliff (Both tied at 2.7 BPG) and Raef LaFrentz. An excellent season could only get better if capped off by the NBA Championship, and he looked to lead the 60-22 Lakers to that, as he pointed out during his acceptance speech.


The 2000 NBA Rookie of the Year award went to the Bulls' Elton Brand, who had an easy lead in voting over the rest of his class, averaging 28.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Brand took the league by storm when he led Chicago to the 1st seed in the East, and while they certainly weren't runaway favorites to become Eastern Conference champions, their homecourt advantage would be valuable. Brand made the rest of the team better, including fellow rookies Ron Artest and Dedric Willoughby, showed tremendous prowess in each area of the game, looking like a future MVP candidate in the process. This season, Brand gave promises of a long, successful career, and Bulls fans certainly hoped that this career would be spent entirely in Chicago.


The 2000 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award went to Miami Heat Center, Alonzo Mourning, who averaged 20.4 points per game, 9.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game to lead the league by a margin of 0.9 blocks over MVP Shaquille O'Neal (tied with Theo Ratliff). The higher usage rate over Ratliff's gave 'Zo the edge for receiving the award, as Mourning and Jamal Mashburn took the Heat to the 5th seed, though with a less than stellar 42-40 record. Mourning was certainly at his best, leading Pat Riley to receive several offers for him. Even though none were accepted, the Heat's fate in the offseason could determine Mourning's own, as Riley considers to try and take some assets for his DPOY to build a more consistent team.


The 2000 NBA 6th Man of the Year award went to Chicago's Hersey Hawkins, to put the cherry on top of incredible rookie seasons from Brand, Artest and Willoughby. With averages of 11.9 points and 1.8 steals per game leading his statlines, Hawkins showed that he is still a major scorer off the bench, and the 33 year old will have many more years with major minutes to come in the league should he remain at this high level for a bench player.


The 2000 NBA Most Improved Player award was the biggest surprise; It was given to the San Antonio Spurs' superstar, Tim Duncan. The third-year Power Forward was already a big name in the league before this award, leading the Spurs to the 1999 NBA Championship. However, he proved to be the only logical choice for this one, as he improved his scoring averages by nearly 9.0, going from 21.7 to 30.3 points per game. Duncan's terrific year was not enough to help the defending champions Spurs have more than a subpar season as a whole, however, as they finished it with only 45 wins and the 6th seed in a competitive Western Conference. They would still look to get past the first round against the Warriors, but either way, Duncan's growth was something for Spurs' fans to smile about.


Quote:
ALL-NBA TEAMS

All-NBA First Team:
Allen Iverson (PHI)
Paul Pierce (BOS)
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (VAN)
Tim Duncan (SAS)
Shaquille O'Neal (LAL)

All-NBA Second Team:
Stephon Marbury (NJN)
Kobe Bryant (LAL)
Antawn Jamison (GSW)
Elton Brand (CHI)
Alonzo Mourning (MIA)

All-NBA Third Team:
Jason Kidd (PHX)
Steve Francis (HOU)
Jerry Stackhouse (DET)
Ray Allen (MIL)
Kevin Garnett (MIN)

All-Defensive First Team:
Jason Kidd (PHX)
Paul Pierce (BOS)
Shawn Marion (PHX)
Tim Duncan (SAS)
Alonzo Mourning (MIA)

All-Defensive Second Team:
Bonzi Wells (POR)
Kerry Kittles (NJN)
Lamar Odom (LAC)
Raef LaFrentz (DEN/HOU)
Theo Ratliff (PHI)

All-Rookie First Team:
Jason Terry (ATL)
Steve Francis (HOU)
Lamar Odom (LAC)
Shawn Marion (PHX)
Elton Brand (CHI)

All-Rookie Second Team:
Andre Miller (POR)
Dedric Willoughby (CHI)
Richard Hamilton (WAS)
Ron Artest (CHI)
Jeff Foster (IND)
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Unread 07-28-2017, 01:32 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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Really looking forward to the playoffs, should be some fun series with the way the season played out!!
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Unread 08-06-2017, 04:40 AM
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Love the backstory and the format, I like how you kept things simple and easy to read. The pictures help a lot

Can Elton Brand lead the Bulls back? It's insane to recall how good Jason Kidd was back in the day. That hair, though... Looking forward to seeing how the playoffs go!
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Unread 08-15-2019, 01:37 AM
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Smasher1311 Smasher1311 is offline
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So, now that I have a new laptop and nothing stands on my way and will cause me to slack or for the save to die as it did in this case, I'm ready to kick off a new FPBP project, and I'll also be resurrecting another unrelated one...

I don't know if it'll be written or in videos, but I have a few ideas for the base. OKC origins is still an option, and so is restarting this, but I've felt compelled to do a Mavericks dynasty, be it right after the Nash trade, after the '06 finals, after the '07 upset, or right after their championship to try and keep retooling better than they did in real life; it just feels like a really interesting team to work on. Either way, I'll be back with an update soon.
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