Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 104

0
(Photo: Getty Images)

Lost in the controversy surrounding all of the Chris Paul and Dwight Howard trade rumors was the fact that the Lakers were actually practicing and preparing for the 2011-12 season. Mike Brown is entering his first year as the head coach of the Lakers after five seasons as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has undoubtedly dived head first into the year-around soap opera that is the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brown has attempted to keep a level head as he tries to prepare his team for the start of the season on Christmas Day, while also having to navigate through constant speculation surrounding who may and may not be on his roster when that day arrives:

The thing about the NBA, any sport really, and life in general is you have to anticipate that there are going to be changes because nothing is forever and ever. As a coach that’s part of the reason why I get paid, its part of my job description is to be able to make adjustments if need be, and right now we haven’t had to so we’ll just take it one day and one practice at a time.”

There definitely have been changes. Lamar Odom has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first round pick and a trade exception. Kobe Bryant was very opinionated with his displeasure of the move. Brown was asked if all of the trade speculation has been a distraction for the team:

I don’t think it has. You’d have to ask the players if its been a distraction for them. If it has, then they’ve done a nice job of hiding it because when we’re on this court these guys get after it and that’s all I can say. I don’t even think about it when I’m on the court and I’m sure they don’t either, at least I cant tell if they don’t.”

Speaking of practice, Brown took a break from all of the trade speculation and did actually talk basketball. With a new offensive and defensive system in place it can be hard for players (particularly veteran players) to get rid of old habits that become second nature when you play in one system for a prolonged period of time. However, Brown says he’s seen very little of that thus far:

8
Photo by Getty Images

When you lose a teammate of seven years in a trade, it’s always tough.

For Bryant, it may have been easier to swallow if the trade got the Lakers something tangible. A player that could help the teams chances of winning a title.

As it stands, that is not the case. When Kobe walked around on media day he didn’t see what the Lakers got in exchange for his long time friend.

The Los Angeles Lakers traded a 2012 2nd round draft pick, and Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. In exchange, they received a 2012 first round draft pick, and an $8.9 million trade exception.

Kobe talked about losing Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks:

“Especially to them. We were supposed to come back and get them back. It’s tough.”

Do I think we got too little? Who did we get? I don’t think Mark Cuban is protesting this trade.”

Bryant would then expand on his displeasure of the trade:

“To be honest with you, I don’t like it,” Bryant said. “It’s tough to lose Lamar. Pau is still here, and we’re all thankful for that. It’s hard when you’ve been through so many battles with players to just see them go somewhere else. It’s tough.”

In Kobe’s eyes the Lakers received nothing tangible in return so it has hit him harder. However, he still puts trust in the Lakers front office:

You got to let Mitch [Kupchak] do his job. Mitch has proven himself over the course of the years that he has been able to build a great team here. We have to all trust that he is going to do that.”

The trade of Lamar Odom could be seen as simply a salary dump to cut the Lakers a break on the luxury tax. It’s pretty clear that would not satisfy Bryant.

For Laker fans, and Bryant, the hope is the trade of Lamar Odom sets the Lakers up to be able to make a deal to increase their chances of winning a title.

11
Jeff Gross | Getty Images

On the heels of a wild few days in the NBA, the Lakers opened their doors in El Segundo this morning for Media Day. It was a day that Laker Nation hoped would bring some clarity to the confusing speculation being circulated, but instead, left most of us still scratching our heads, wondering what exactly would come next for the Lakers.

The most discussed rumors have suggested the Lakers package Andrew Bynum and their newly acquired $8.9m trade exception to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard. When asked, ‘Drew acknowledged the possibility of being included in a trade for Howard:

“If they were able to pull a move like that off, it would be great for the organization, and I’d be in Orlando, you know, hoopin’.”

Hardly the portrait of stress, Bynum later clarified his somewhat passive stance on the situation:

“You don’t let it affect you. It just really doesn’t bother me because I know, wherever I am, I’m going to be happy and playing basketball.”

While it remains to be seen if Andrew Bynum will still be a Laker on Christmas Day, what we do know is that Lamar Odom will not. Most of the Laker players expressed confusion and disappointment with the surprising news, and ‘Drew was part of that group:

“For the team, it’s going to affect chemistry. It’s definitely a blow. (Lamar) is a friend of mine, and he’s always been able to keep things light around here. A lot of laughs come from his direction, so it’s definitely going to be a different feel inside the locker room.”

I think I speak for all of us when I say it will definitely be a different feel outside the locker room, also.

20
Photo by Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have traded a 2012 2nd round draft pick, and Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks.

In exchange, they receive a 2012 first round draft pick, and an $8.9 million trade exception.

The Lakers have released this official statement:

Lamar was a fine player for us in his seven years with the Lakers and was a key to helping us win two championships,” said Kupchak.  “In addition, he always conducted himself with class and professionalism and we wish him well in the remainder of his career.”

A 12-year NBA veteran, Odom has averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 829 career games over 12 NBA seasons.  In 519 games (382 starts) with the Lakers, Odom posted career averages of 13.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

According to Kevin Ding from the O.C. Register, Lamar Odom requested a trade Friday: “Odom requested a trade Friday, feeling unwanted. Lakers didn’t want disgruntled Odom at his salary.”

Lamar Odom, who earlier stated that he was in “disbelief” from what transpired late Thursday night, showed up 90-minutes late to Friday’s practice, met with Mitch Kupchak for about 15 minutes, then left without speaking to the media. Shortly after, he told the L.A. Times that “it’s better to stay away” from the Lakers facility.

Odom was clearly upset that the Lakers agreed to trade him to New Orleans. An emotional Lamar Odom was heard in an interview on Thursday night explaining his initial thoughts.

He ends his Lakers career with 519 games which ranks 18th in Lakers franchise history.

 

5
Photo: Getty Images

You can sit back, take a deep breath and piece the following bit of logic together:

The Odom to Dallas deal was just a precursor to a bigger, better trade (I.e. Howard). I mean, it had to be, right? Why else would the Lakers trade one of their glue guys with a bargain contract to a team that swept them out of the playoffs last year? Why else would an $8.9m trade exception (plus a ’12 first rounder) be something worth acquiring at such a steep price? Why else would Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak risk evoking ill-feelings from their superstar, Kobe Bryant?

I mean, this couldn’t actually be a salary-dump move by the Lakers, could it? Not during the closing act of Bryant’s career? Not when a championship is still realistically within grasp? Not less than two weeks before the NBA season starts?

Right!?

The problem with using simple reason and logic to comprehend what happened yesterday is that nothing about the NBA over the last 6 months has been logical or reasonable at all. Not to be forgotten, the NBA owners and players bitterly fought for more than five months primarily over a few hundred million dollars, a figure equal to the amount they both lost while they fought over it.

Because that makes sense.

The most obvious illustration of illogical behavior was Commissioner Stern making the unprecedented decision to reject the 3-team deal that would have (a) rid the Hornets of a disgruntled superstar (Paul) who had vowed to leave anyway, (b) cleared up a ton of cap space to improve down the line and (c) given them the reigning sixth man of the year on a bargain contract.

(Oh yeah, then he rejected a modified version of the deal a second time)

0

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 11, 1987
LA LAKERS 115 – BOSTON CELTICS 114

MAGIC’S BANK SHOT WINS IT FOR LAKERS AS TIME EXPIRES

Let’s set the scene: Following a pair of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar free throws, the defending champion Lakers trailed the Celtics by one at the Boston Garden with less than a minute to play. When the Celtics would go ahead with three seconds left in regulation, Magic Johnson, at that point in the game with 16 points and 17 assists, would catch an inbounds pass and turn around for a desperation shot at the buzzer.

10

If you’re still trying to take in everything that happened in Laker Nation (and around the NBA) yesterday, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In what can be described as both perfect and terrible timing, today is Lakers Media Day at their facility in El Segundo.

We’ll be posting all of our updates, pictures and quotes right here in this post as they happen. For the fastest updates, be sure to also follow @LakerNation on Twitter.

QUOTES:

Fisher on Odom: “Obviously, I would never agree with anything that would have Lamar leaving our team for anybody. That’s how much he’s meant to us. I would assume that the trade is not being made just for exercise purposes, but maybe I’m wrong in assuming.”” (via Ramona Shelburne)

Bynum on trade rumors: “Mitch [Kupchak] has said nothing to me or my agent, so I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.”

Bynum on the potential Dwight Howard trade: “If that happened that’s great for the organization, and I guess I’d be hoopin in Orlando.”

Pau: “This is not personal. It’s a business. Franchise is doing what is best for team.”

Fisher on Magic’s  blow up the team comments: “Magic blew himself up when he left. He is no longer a part of the organization.”

Kobe on Odom: “I don’t understand the criticism of [the] reality shows. I don’t get it. He had his best season last year. It clearly wasn’t a distraction. He played his ass off. I don’t get where that comes from.” (via Mark Medina)

Kobe on Odom Trade: “I don’t like it. He’s great at bringing guys together. I trust management knows what they’re doing.” (via Mike Bresnahan)

Kobe: “I got a nickname for everybody at ESPN. You guys are all starship troopers over on the mothership.”

Barnes on Lamar to Dallas: “It’s weird, but the defending champs just got better.”

Kobe on Lamar: “I doubt Mark Cuban protests this trade.”

Kobe on Pau: “We’re all thankful that Pau is still here. I was hoping we would have same core.”

Mike Brown: “I gave Kobe and Fish the opportunity to talk to the team about whatever they want.”

PHOTOS:

113
Photo: Getty Images

UPDATE: We have confirmed that tonight’s whirlwind of events was initiated when David Stern rejected the second proposed deal between the Lakers, Rockets and Hornets. Via Yahoo! Sports:

In his desire to keep the All-Star point guard on the roster to maximize the league’s selling price of the team to potential owners, Stern has shot down two deals to send Paul to the Lakers.

A recent report from Ken Berger cited that the Hornets front office was in ‘collective shock’ when they were informed of Stern’s decision. Additionally, sources have told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that the Magic will ask for both Bynum and Gasol in exchange for Howard. We will continue to update this story as new information comes out.

———-

It’s been a wild 48 hours for Laker fans, and things may just be getting started. Before David Stern could pass down a decision on the proposed deal that would have landed Chris Paul in the purple and gold, according to ESPN, the Lakers have now backed out of the deal.

Instead, multiple sources are reporting that Lamar Odom will be packing his bags for the defending Champion Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the rather large ($8.9 million) trade exception the Mavericks just received when Tyson Chandler signed with the New York Knicks. Additionally, the Lakers are expected to receive the Mavs’ first-round pick in 2012, and possibly a second-rounder as well.

The trade exception essentially gives the Lakers $8.9 million in “trade money” that can be used in a future deal. The most obvious use of this exception would be for the Lakers to sweeten a potential trade by taking on a large contract another team was looking to shed from their books.

While the obvious speculation here is that the Lakers may be closer to getting Dwight Howard than reports have suggested, details are still coming out and nothing has been confirmed. We will continue to monitor this story and keep you up to date as information is made available.

Be sure to follow @LakerNation on Twitter for the latest, real-time updates.

2
Jonathan Daniel | Allsport

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 10, 1996
LA LAKERS 92 – SACRAMENTO KINGS 90

ROOKIE DEREK FISHER GUIDES LAKERS TO WIN AFTER VAN EXEL’S EJECTION

Nick Van Exel, in the truest sense of the NBA Jam phrase, was on fire. The quick-scoring guard, who had scored 17  and 10 in the first quarter of the previous two games, had shot 6-for-7 from the field for 15 points. So the only thing that could stop Nick the Quick was…well, himself.

When Elden Campbell would be called for an offensive foul with 50 seconds left in the half, Van Exel would say something to official Ronnie Nunn. earning him a quick technical foul from the referee. Van Exel would immediately say something else to Nunn, earning another technical and an automatic ejection. Van Exel turned back to face Nunn, but would never get a chance to say another word, as Laker coach Del Harris would grab Van Exel by the arm and send him to the locker room.

11
Photo by Getty Images

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dwight Howard has told the team he will not re-sign and wants to be traded:

Dwight Howard has told the Orlando Magic that he wants to be traded, Magic General Manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel Saturday afternoon.

Smith said Howard has made the request twice in separate conversations since Monday.

As earlier reports indicated, the Magic gave Howard’s agent permission to talk with the Nets, Lakers, and Mavericks.

Sources tell Y! Sports that the trade request is for the Nets. Magic GM Otis Smith responded to Howard’s preferred destinations:

He can have his list of teams that he would like to go to, and we’ve probably got a few on our list of teams that we would like. But at the end of the day, we want him here and we want him in a Magic uniform for his career. With that said, we’re going to make the best possible deal that we can make if we have to trade him.”

The Sentinel also is reporting that Howard is participating today in the Magic’s second training-camp practice, which started at 4 p.m ET

Stay tuned to LakerNation.com and follow @LakerNation on Twitter for updates!

36
(Photo: Getty Images)

It’s hard to describe the last 48 hours in Laker Nation. First, the Lakers acquired Chris Paul, then after a historical, precedent setting veto by David Stern, the three teams were forced to go back to work to find a way to rework the deal to Stern’s pleasing.

We have just received confirmation that a newly restructured offer has been officially agreed on between the Lakers, Hornets and Rockets. While the exact details of the proposed deal haven’t been released, we can confirm that Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol are the main pieces the Lakers will part with, if approved.

In the pre-December 8th, 2011 NBA, this would mean the deal is done (barring a failed physical, of course). However, in the new NBA that now exists, any trade involving New Orleans must pass the David Stern test. As we have so many times over the last 5+ months, we will wait on Stern to make a decision…

Stay tuned to Laker Nation on Twitter for all of our latest updates!

6

Voice of the Nation hosts, David Brickley, Jason Riley, and Kevin Figgers kicked around the trade rumors earlier this week before all the drama went down on Thursday night.

Rundown

  • Who Should the Lakers trade for Chris Paul or Dwight Howard
  • Better fit fot the Lakers: Chris Paul or Dwight Howard?
  • Can Lakers land both Chris Paul AND Dwight Howard?

Question of the Show: Who’s a better fit Chris Paul or Dwight Howard?

Check it out below, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

22
Getty Images

UPDATE: SI.com has confirmed that Dwight Howard has been given permission to speak with the Lakers, Mavs and Nets regarding a potential trade. This news, along with a potential deal for Chris Paul in the works, could make tomorrow a big day in Laker Nation history. Stay tuned!

In a day already crammed with NBA news, free agent signings and the media backlash of David Stern’s decision to veto the Chris Paul trade, Mr.  NBA news himself (Adrian Wojnarowski) has reported via Twitter:

(1/2) The agent for Dwight Howard, Dan Fegan, tells Y! Sports that Orlando has given Howard permission to talk to three teams. (2/2) The Nets are one of three teams that Howard has permission to speak, but Fegan says Howard did not attend a meeting with Nets officials.

According to ESPN’s Ric Bucher, the Lakers (along with either the Clippers or Mavericks) are most likely one of those three teams Howard has been given permission to speak with.

While any suggestion that Howard is headed to Hollywood would be premature and pure speculation, it appears that Dwight Howard won’t be in Orlando much longer.

We will continue to keep you posted on this story as updates are made available.

4
Image Credit | Getty Images

It’s been an unprecedented and generally awkward 24 hours for the NBA. I still find it miraculous that David Stern managed to make the utter absurdity of the NBA lockout the second dumbest thing he’s been a part of in the last six months.

Despite the confused state of the NBA world, training camp opened in El Segundo this afternoon. Here are some of the things worth mentioning:

Lamar Odom showed up late, spent about 15 minutes with Mitch Kupchak, then left without speaking to the media.

Pau Gasol (who has shown nothing but class since the news broke yesterday) found himself in the training room, treating an apparent right hamstring strain. He later tweeted:

(1/2) It was good to see my teammates today. I couldn’t practice because of a strained right quad but I hope tomorrow I can do more drills. (2/2) No matter what ends up happening, I’ll always be the person and the player that I am. Everything will work itself out. #AlwaysPositive

Kobe Bryant attended, and by all reports, looked fantastic. When asked about his knee, he gave a sly smirk and said, “You’ll see”. Bryant generally dismissed the outrage over the Chris Paul situation, saying “Stern can do whatever the hell he wants to” and he “expected everyone to do their job”. Classic media-savvy Kobe.

Social

Latest

5
With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.