Mike Penberthy Rumors
Mike Penberthy: Caruso, LeBron and A.D. always want him in the game because they know he can handle the ball. They know he can shoot the three. They know he’ll guard. They know he won’t make stupid mistakes. They know he likes to push the ball in transition. He fits alongside those two guys’ strengths as well, so that’s a big part of why Alex Caruso is so coveted around the NBA as well. Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso. He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league. I think his basketball I.Q. is really high. His NBA skill set is very high. He’s an above-average athlete and he’s an excellent defender. That’s what makes him so good.
RW: Do you think the title with the Lakers puts LeBron over the top in the G.O.A.T. debate? Mike Penberthy: I don’t know if it’s possible to compare eras. As a player, the NBA calls the game differently from a referee standpoint and the gameplay is played differently in all the eras. What rules are you comparing these guys in? I think [Michael] Jordan was the greatest in his era. I think Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird were the best in their era. I think Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], who doesn’t get any love, I’ve always thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth because of what he did from the time he was 15 until the time he was 40.
RW: You won a championship playing with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal and now you’ve coached LeBron and Anthony Davis to a title. What are the differences in those Lakers superstar duos? Mike Penberthy: All four of them are different players. Shaq is a true center. A.D. is a freak hybrid. LeBron is one of the most dominant forces in transition and with his basketball I.Q. and ability to pass, dribble and make big shots. And then Kobe was one of the greatest scorers and greatest talents in NBA history, so all of them were different in their own ways. Shaq had the ability to make other people better. LeBron made other people better. A.D. and Kobe were more of the assassins of the group. They’re looking to score and looking to get the ball. Not that they couldn’t make other people better, but they were more valuable to the team scoring.
Mike Penberthy: The differences are really that they were all different players, but here’s the unique thing that’s similar. Shaq and Kobe were better when they played together with each in pick-and-rolls and in post-ups and kick-outs. LeBron and A.D. got better when they played together. When they shared the ball and utilized each other’s strengths. They’re much better together than they were apart individually. I think Shaq and Kobe came together to bring home championships and I think it’s the same for LeBron and A.D.
Lakers Daily spoke with Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy, who revealed that the Lakers have gotten numerous inquiries about Caruso. “Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso,” he told Lakers Daily. “He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league.”
O’Neal, according to a former Laker guard named Mike Penberthy, was the equivalent of having “a big brother with a huge bank account.” When Penberthy arrived for his 2001 Laker debut wearing a suit jacket from Banana Republic, O’Neal pulled him aside. “You don’t have any suits, do you?” he said quietly, so as not to embarrass the rookie. “No,” Penberthy said. The following morning, the center from LSU picked up the guard from Master’s College and brought him to his personal tailor. He paid for six suits. “When my father died, Shaq offered to pay for the funeral,” Penberthy said. “He’s that type of guy.”