Monthly Archives: December 2011

Lakers Forever

Oh my…if this isn’t enough to get the juices flowing I don’t know what is!


The NBA is baaaaack!

And we finally have an NBA season. Thank God. You can only watch so much NBL, and whilst I love the Sydney Kings, nothing beats the thrill and excitement of the Lakers. And it all starts on Xmas day with the Lakers taking on the Bulls.

It’s going to be an interesting year for the Lakers. Some experts are saying the Lakers can make one last gasp run whilst Kobe is still in his prime, whilst others are saying that the Lakers need to plan for the future with the changes to the luxury tax only 2 years away and a huge tax bill looming.

If $70 million is the cap before luxury taxes hit, GM Mitch Kupchak has a lot of work to do in managing the Laker’s payroll and attract quality players over the next few years. Check out for a breakdown of the Laker’s salary situation. At $91 million for the 2011-12 season, that’s about $20 million in taxes that Lakers are up for this year – and that’s with no new rookies or free agents signed. When the new luxury tax scale comes in for 2013-14, the tax bill gets hefty. According to Larry Coon:

“the Lakers’ tax bill in 2011 (when the tax was dollar-for-dollar) was about $19.9 million. Under the new system, being that far over the tax line would cost them $44.68 million. If they were a repeat offender (paying tax at least four of the previous five years) they would owe $64.58 million!”

That’s a LOT of tax to be paying! But with the Lakers new local TV deal with TNT, starting in 2012-13, worth $200 million a year ($5 billion over 25 years), maybe the Buss family won’t be too worried about the tax.

The biggest elephant in the room as we start the 2011-12 season is what happens with Dwight Howard. Will he command a trade to the bright lights and big city of LA, following in the steps of Shaquille O’Neal15 years ago? Regardless of what team he wants to be traded to, a trade is bound to happen. As Chris Sheridan of points out, there are $30 million reasons why Howard will be pushing for it to happen sooner rather than later!

Now wouldn’t it be good if this came true? =)

The Lakers would be set for the future and continue on their tradition of dominating Centers. No doubt they would have to give up a lot to get Howard including some combination of Bynum/Odom/Gasol plus maybe even take back a bad contract like Turkoglu. Short term pain but you have someone that can play with Kobe and carry the torch when Kobe leaves the game. Whatever happens, it makes for some exciting viewing over the next few months! NBA…Where Amazing Happens…

Building Effective Teams

Read this interesting post the other day on Building Effective Teams – An interesting piece that got me thinking about my experiences in People Management and Team Management. This is one of my most favourite parts of my job. It’s not so much that you get to “order people around” or have “power” because you can. For me, it’s all about being able to understand a person, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and help them work towards advancing their career. It’s a push and pull relationship. I learn as much about myself and how I work as my team does from me.

As people move up the Corporate ladder or as a small start-up gets bigger in size and expands, the concept of People Management and Coaching becomes ever so important. As a leader, you’re only as good as those that choose to follow you. So that means working with each individual member of your team – making sure you “listen” and have time for them. Yes, you might think that it’s additional work but that’s how you start to build effective relationships, especially for those that follow you.

I can’t prescribe one way or another what is best. For me, the secret sauce is developing your own style. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great people I have followed in the past. Taking bits and pieces from each person and becoming myself and developing my own style.