purp n gold wrote:Like many of you I'm very fond of the 95-99 era Lakers... Eddie was one of my favorites out of that bunch. Remember that 97 team?
That was a fun squad to watch.
Man I loved watching Eddie work! Shoulda fired Del freakin Harris first before making that trade. That was championship team, but I guess like someone said, had to give Kobe some room to improve. Still think Phil could have made it work though. Who knows...
Actually the odd part of that one was that they HAD already fired Del Harris. The trade of Campbell and Jones came the next season when Rambis was coaching. The lame part of the timing of that trade was that the Lakers had just won 10 games in a row, and they had just beaten the Utah Jazz in their house. The Jazz was the team that kept taking them out in the playoffs, and you know they used to never lose at home. So the move was very ill-timed. Rice was in fact still kind of recovering from his elbow injury and the other guy that came (J.R. Reid, IIRC) was pretty weak.
They had Rodman on board and he was actually playing great with those guys. After the trade happened he lost interest and tanked. The team didn't have any chemistry after the trade at all.
They were in first place at least in the Pacific (not sure if they were the very top in the west or not, but were up there for sure) and had just won those ten games in a row. They were kicking butt. And then the trade just de-railed them completely. They ended up getting schooled by San Antonio in the playoffs and that was when Shaq started making noise about Kobe being a ball hog.
All of it had the Shaq flavor to it. He threw Nicky V under the bus for being sarcastic, when Nicky was a powerhouse competitor who was sick of Del Harris' horrid coaching and was the only one calling him out. Shaq always hated Elden Campbell and had been calling him out since the day he got here. On top of it, he was always pushing for us to trade Eddie Jones. "I need a shooter. Gimme a shooter." And then as soon as those guys were gone (Nick, Eddie, Elden) he started right in on Kobe in that San Antonio series. That's exactly when Shaq started the feuding with Kobe.
He got his shooter in Rice but Rice was pretty useless for that season and it wrecked our chemistry. The one thing Shaq was right about and I'll give him credit for, was that we needed a world class coach. He did push for Phil and that was the smartest thing he's done. Otherwise I'm not sure we ever would have gotten over the hump.