Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 115

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There are some things you just shouldn’t do. For example: Pouring champagne on the heads of handicapped New York Giants fans. Not a good idea, but hey, Lady Gaga is certifiably from Neptune, so the rules don’t apply to… him/her/it.

In Laker-land, there has long been the assumed understanding that Laker Nation does not support LeBron James under any circumstance. Is this ridiculous? Of course it is, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Sports fandom as a whole – vehemently rooting for people you have absolutely no personal ties to whatsoever – is ridiculous in itself, but that certainly hasn’t stopped any one of us from wishing unspeakable things on the entire city of Boston.

Even so, this guy (or girl) is the leading candidate for either the worst Laker fan ever, or the worst LeBron fan ever. Whatever the case, we can only assume they either lost a bet, a succession of bets, or my personal theory, this is a picture of Bill Simmons car, and this is his way of taunting Laker fans. I mean, there’s no way this is one of you guys out there in Laker Nation, right? …

Photo Credit | DeadSpin.com

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Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

Logic be damned, we live in a culture where having money seems to come with the obligation of spending it all, which explains why wealthier-than-average athletes are likely to face some financial challenges in the wake of an extended lockout.

According to an L.A. Times interview with Executive Director Billy Hunter, Kobe Bryant is willing and prepared to lend some cash to his fellow NBA’ers if the need is there.

“I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary.”

While Hunter was speaking with the Times, Kobe was busy conducting a youth basketball camp in Singapore. When asked, he left the door wide open on playing abroad if the lockout were to extend into November:

“I could. I’m playing abroad right now.”

This comment comes on the heels of news that Virtus Bologna (yes, that’s an Italian basketball club) owner Caludio Sabatini has been aggressively pursuing Bryant (and Spurs guard Manu Ginobili) for some time.

“If the best player of the world (Bryant) will arrive for the month of October, and Ginobili arrives for two more months, everyone has to admit that Bologna is a basketball city. For the best player of the world, I am studying a new solution to pay his insurance game-by-game.”

It’s hard to say where Bryant will be come November 1, but if there’s one thing we know for sure, wherever that ends up being, he’ll still be the best player in the world.

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Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

Hot off the press (well, almost) enshrined Laker-legend Jerry West has penned somewhat of a tell-all autobiography, West by West, set to release sometime in the next couple of months. Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami got his hands on an advanced copy and dropped some quite revealing information about what we’ll find inside.

While the book is said to offer a brutally honest and enlightening account of The Logo, that could be lost in the undertow of insight surrounding the Lakers organization, Jerry Buss, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and more. Here are just a few excerpts that were noted:

On Phil Jackson:

”So one of the problems I had with Phil was this. His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello. He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ’a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.”

“Phil and I had no relationship. None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me–of that, I have no doubt.”

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Neilson Barnard | Getty Images

Tuesday (which happened to be day 74 of the NBA lockout) began with optimism, but after several meetings in New York over the past couple weeks, the NBPA and owners remain on opposite sides of what has becomes a nearly impassable financial rift. With training camps scheduled to begin in just 19 days, things continue to look gloomy in the foreseeable NBA future.

Union president Derek Fisher suggested that he would be reaching out to the players with the unfortunate news. D-Fish also added:

“We can’t find a place with the league and our owners where we can reach a deal sooner rather than later.”

Union executive director Billy Hunter was disappointed to find the owners unwilling to negotiate from their initial positions, summing up the entire two weeks of meetings with one telling statement:

“We’re a bit pessimistic and discouraged at one, the ability to start on time, and we’re not so sure that there may not be further damages or delay trying to get the season started. The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they’ve anchored themselves.”

NBA commissioner David Stern echoed much of Hunter’s discontent, but finished by saying what he has been saying for months:

“All of the owners were completely unified in the view that we needed a system that at the end of the day allowed 30 teams to compete.”

Well, Mr. Commissioner, at this rate, zero teams will be competing for anything come November.

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Last week, TMZ interviewed Dancing with the Stars partners Peta Murgatroyd and Ron Artest.

According to PureDWTS.com, Peta said at the time that they’ve had about three rehearsals so far and Ron was doing “very well”.

She is very happy with his progress so far. They talk of their height differences for where she’s 5’7″ and Ron is 6’7″. She plans to wear 3″ heels for their dances. Currently, the two are working on the Cha Cha Cha for week 1 and the Quickstep for week 2. They discuss the new moving stage which Ron didn’t know about. The look on his face is a ‘look of fear’ while Peta calms him down. They also talk on the NBA lockout, but, Ron thinks it will all work out somehow where he can still dance if the lockout ends.

The video below shows Ron Artest, and Peta Murgatroyd leaving practice. Ron has a bit of fun with the media and decides to eat an orange without peeling the skin. After he finishes it he says, “Warrior!”.

Is it just me or was Peta looking for a kiss when Ron gave her a hug goodbye?

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Photo by Valerie Macon | Getty Images

It’s not like Kobe Bryant to quit.

But, that’s exactly what he and/or his team did on Wednesday when his Twitter account was created (@KobeBryant), and then hours later was shut down.

His first tweet…”Can you hear me now!?!?,”.

The account wasn’t a fluke or a fake because Kobe’s Official Facebook account had a status update that read, “Welcome Kobe to Twitter!

Kobe gained 35,000+ followers in about three hours, and then the account was deleted:

Well, it was Bryant’s account, but a source told Yahoo! Sports the release was premature and a decision was made to pull back the account. Nevertheless, it will return in the near future and Bryant will start back on his way toward the 2,465,000-plus followers of @KingJames.

Kobe has been asked about having a twitter multiple times, and has quickly dismissed the idea.

However, with how huge twitter has become to promote products, and get important messages out, it seems he and has team understand the importance.

Bryant, whether he likes it or not, looks like he will be a part of the social media giant sooner rather than later.

 

 

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Photo by | Getty Images

With all the drama and negativity regarding the NBA lockout any small step towards a resolution has to be considered big news.

According to the New York Times, negotiators for the league and players spent five and a half hours in bargaining talks in Manhattan on Wednesday, which followed a six-hour session last week.

No proposal has been put on the table, but both sides agree that they will keep the details of their proposals private. Unfortunately, it will be hard for anyone to know where they stand without any updates. However, the NFL agreed to the same silence, and it led them to a deal eventually that saved the entire season.

“All I can tell you is that we’re negotiating,” Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players union, said Wednesday afternoon.

Current Laker and Players Association President Derek Fisher did not say much. But, at the very least it seems that the two sides are working towards an agreement:

Derek Fisher, the president of the players union, said that no new proposals were on the table, but that “there are a lot of ideas flying around the room.”

According to the AP, The sides resumed talks Thursday for another 5.5 hours. League and union leaders plan to inform their constituencies next Thursday of how talks are progressing, leaving about two weeks to achieve a deal to conduct next month’s run-up to the season as scheduled.

According to the New York Times, the reason for the sudden sense of urgency is training camps are scheduled to open on Oct. 3, with preseason games starting the next week. Commissioner David Stern reiterated that there was ample time to avoid postponing camps or canceling games.

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Lamar Odom recently announced on his official Facebook that he is a spokesperson for Life insurance Awareness Month.

In the PSA, Odom talks about his mom who died of colon cancer when she was just 35:

It was a very difficult time for me because we were so close. Thankfully my grandmother was there for me. If it wasn’t for her and the fact that we had financial stability because of my mom’s life insurance, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today. Too many Americans think it won’t happen to them and haven’t done the kind of planning my mom did. Unfortunately, they’re leaving their family’s financial future to chance. I hope that by sharing my story more people will take steps to protect themselves and their families with life insurance.

To read more about Lamar’s partnership with the LIFE Foundation go to their official website. Also check out the interview with Lamar where they ask him about his past, and how his mom’s life insurance helped him continue his path to a successful NBA career.

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Photo by | Getty Images

Remember ScoreBig? Last season, they gave away a pair of Laker playoff tickets, and they’re back today with another great giveaway prize: an Authentic Lakers Jersey of the winner’s choice (a $300 value).

There are two ways to get it on this giveaway:

(1) If you’re not a ScoreBig member, simply sign-up for their free membership (it takes about 20 seconds).
(2) If you are already a ScoreBig member (or just want to earn more entries), log-in and invite your friends. For every friend that joins, you’ll get another entry to win that jersey.

ScoreBig is the place for fans in L.A. to get sports, concert and theater tickets for less. Every single ticket listed on ScoreBig is priced below retail, and the best part of all, they never charge additional fees on purchases.

Right now, ScoreBig is an invite-only membership site, but LakerNation members have an open invitation to join. You can also find ScoreBig on Facebook and Twitter. Good luck, Laker Nation!

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Photo by Joe Klamara | Getty Images

The lockout activities for the Lakers’ starting five this year appears to be set. Derek Fisher will be negotiating, Kobe will stay stateside, Artest-World Peace will be dancing, Bynum will be boxing and Pau Gasol, it appears, may be playing in Spain, at least according to the Spanish press:

If there is evidence of a lockout for a year, I wont go back to Europe. Barcelona would be my first choice, but for now, everything is in the air,” Gasol said to the XL ‘Weekly’, which goes on sale this weekend and that includes Europe Press.

Gasol is a regular visitor of his native Spain, as he currently is competing in the European Championships alongside his brother Marc Gasol.

Having been born and raised in Barcelona, and having played his first three years professionally for FC Barcelona, the hometown hero Gasol has spent much of his time during the NBA offseasons competing for Spain in the European Championships, winning four medals over the last 10 years.

We’ll post an update if anything changes with Gasol in regard to this recent news.

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Noah Graham | Getty Images

Ron Artest is a busy man. He does comedy tours. He changes his name. He dances with the stars. He would be playing basketball too, either internationally or with the NBA, if not for insurance issues and the lockout.

In a whirlwind of a summer for dancer/comedian/basketball player Artest-World Peace, it was only a matter of time before he sat down with someone to address one of the more memorable three-month periods in athlete personality history.

Last night, Artest-World Peace took the time to talk with ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, where they spoke about Ron-Ron’s name change, the Lakers, the NBA lockout and his new dancing career.

On the parking tickets that postponed his name change to Metta World Peace, and why Artest chose that name (via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne):

“It comes down to the parking tickets. I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life,” Artest said.

“There’s so much fine print,” Artest continued. “I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”

When Smith asked if that’s the explanation he would give to the judge at his next court date, Artest said, “I have to. I want to change my name and get it over with already.”

On the Lakers’ chances next season to win the 2012 NBA Championship:

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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.