Saturday, November 22, 2014
Blog Page 116

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It may have taken a couple extra days, but we have our first (of two) Mophie iPhone Juice Pack winner: Alicia Valdez. Congrats, Alicia!

We have one more Juice Pack (purple or yellow) to give away, and there’s still time for you to get it on the contest. All you have to do is tell us in the comments below why you need it. Easy enough, right?

While you’re at it, be sure to ‘Like’ Mophie and Laker Nation on Facebook. We’ve made it really simple for you right here:

If you’re just now hearing about this awesome product, the Juice Pack Plus is a rechargeable external battery and protective, shock-resistant case for the iPhone 4, all rolled into one. You can see all of their amazing products by visiting them online at www.mophie.com, or following them on Twitter, @mophie

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Photo Courtesy Brandon Jennings Twitter

Now that the NBA lockout is seemingly here to stay, NBA stars lighting up the Drew League on YouTube are our only form of entertainment for the time being.

After Kobe’s 45-point performance during his last exhibition with the Drew League (which included the game-winning shot over Oklahoma City’s James Harden), there are a good number of Angelenos looking forward to the September 10th game pitting the Drew League versus the Goodman League that is still in the tentative planning stages.

One Angeleno, though, has made it clear that in the event of a Drew/Goodman matchup, Kobe should not be allowed to suit up. That Angeleno is Compton-native and Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, via ESPN’s Chris Palmer:

“He wasn’t born and raised in LA. You gotta be from LA to play for Drew. Show me a birth certificate.”

As many Laker fans may already know, while Kobe’s 15 years with the Lakers make him seem like a native son, Bryant was born in Philadelphia before moving with his family to Italy when his father played in the European leagues. While Jennings’ comment may seem harsh, his words referred specifically to a Drew League rule that only Los Angeles-born players may play for the official Drew League team.

Jennings went on to address his Twitter followers further after receiving considerable criticism:

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Photo by Ned Dishman | Getty Images

As new information beings to trickle in every few hours, the tale of Javaris Crittenton’s involvement in the Aug. 19 Atlanta shooting death of Jullian Jones has reached a level rivaling a TV crime drama.

After being detained and arrested last night in a Southern California airport on his way back to Atlanta, it has become apparent that Crittenton’s actions came as a retaliation for a robbery that cost Crittenton over $50,000 in stolen jewelry. Via the Associated Press:

Crittenton told police he and a friend were leaving a barbershop around 10:50 p.m. April 21 when two teenagers surprised them as they returned to their car, according to a police report released to The Associated Press.

One teenager held Crittenton at gunpoint and ordered him to “give me what you got,” he told police. He said he handed over a $25,000 black diamond necklace, a $30,000 black diamond watch, an iPhone and $25 cash, according to the report.

Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four, was outside her house with 18-year-old Trontavious Stephens when a black Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid pulled up and opened fire. Authorities have said they don’t believe Jones was the intended target, but they haven’t said who they think the gunman was after.

Stephens told The Associated Press he had never met Crittenton and wasn’t involved in the robbery.

Crittenton’s defense team is currently pleading their client’s innocence, stating that Crittenton was not in the car that fired shots at Jones.

According to the LA Times and tweetscenter.com, Crittenton posted the following Friday to his now-deleted Twitter account: “This is crazy. Trouble seems to follow me for some reason.”

Crittenton’s team has repeatedly stated that they expect Crittenton to be fully exonerated, and that his failed return flight to Atlanta was his attempt at turning himself over to authorities. More details will be forthcoming as this story progresses.

 

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Getty Images / LakerNation.com

There is a battle going on for the heart and mind of Ronald William Artest, Jr. and unfortunately, not even one of the league’s premier defenders over the past 12 years can stop Metta World Peace.  Ron Artest, the Hennessy-drinking, fan-punching, former world champion, professional basketball player of yore, is being buried under a pile of shameless and egregious self-promotion so high, we may never see Ron Ron again.

Move over Dr. Jekyll.  You too Mr. Hyde.  Fight Club’s got nothing on this brand new script out of Hollywood.  It’s a drama, and a comedy.  It’s Ron Artest versus Metta World Peace, and make no mistake, World Peace kills Artest in this film.

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Photo by Valerie Macon | Getty Images

It’s official Ron Artest will be on the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

After numerous denials, including a direct question from us recently, Artest has had a change of heart.

According to Mark Medina of the LA Times Ron has chosen to be a contestant because of his daughter:

She’s the only one who the Lakers forward said could convince him to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.”

“She said, ‘Daddy, you can do it,’ ” Artest recalled Monday in a phone interview. “It’s going to be fun.”

It wasn’t just a case of Artest being unable to say no to his daughter. At age 4 in 2007, Diamond was diagnosed with wilms tumor, Artest said, a kidney cancer that affects children. So in honor of his daughter successfully fighting the illness, Artest said he plans to donate the money he earns on “Dancing with the Stars” to the Cancer Research Foundation.

Artest joins Hope Solo as the two athletes that will be on this season’s show. He will also be competing against Rob Kardashian (Which puts Lamar Odom in a tough predicament). To see the full cast click here

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Photo by Chris Graythen | Getty Images

In one of the stranger and darker stories to come out of the NBA lockout is the current situation of ex-NBA player Javaris Crittenton, who had been wanted in the shooting murder of 22-year-old Jullian Jones. Now, it appears that the FBI has stepped in and obtained an arrest warrant for Crittenton. Via the Associated Press:

The FBI says the 23-year-old Crittenton, a former NBA first-round draft choice, is believed to be in the Los Angeles area. The FBI warrant is for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Atlanta police earlier obtained a murder warrant for Crittenton in the Aug. 19 shooting of Jullian Jones. Police say she was walking with two men when she was shot and they believe one of the men with her was the target.

Crittenton was picked by the Lakers with the 19th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, only to be dealt the following year in the trade that netted Pau Gasol.

While most famous for his gun altercations with former Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas, Crittenton most recently split time overseas playing in China and the NBA D-League Dakota Wizards.

We’ll keep you up to date with any updates regarding Crittenton.

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Photo by Mark Ralston | Getty Images

It’s hard to feel bad for Luke Walton. The man plays on one of the top teams in the NBA, has won two championships, has a hall-of-fame player as his dad, and his salary-to-work output ratio is about $170K per made basket during the regular season over the last two years.

But the old adage about money not buying happiness is all but incorrect for Luke, as he’s not too happy having become the premiere example for this year’s NBA lockout of what a bloated salary looks like.

Walton, who will be spending his time this fall as an assistant coach for the University of Memphis, spoke a bit with Petros and Money of Fox Sports Radio this last Friday about his status as a contract non grata:

It obviously bothers me. I haven’t really noticed it because I kind of stay out of the media during the offseason. But obviously it bothers you as a player. You want to feel your worth. Obviously I’m getting paid a salary that was for a much larger role back when we agree upon the deal. I was a playmaker, I was playing 30 minutes a game and I was able to do a lot of things for a team. And I had offers from other teams to do the same thing.

“For the most part, fans have been great out here. Then, all of the sudden you bring in Pau Gasol and other players of that caliber and my role kind of gets smaller and smaller. I can still play the game … then all of the sudden my back goes bad on me and mentally I’m frustrated. … The role that I was paid that money to do kind of got taken away in a sense.”

When Walton resigned with the Lakers in 2007, he was the third leading scorer per game, followed closely by Laker forgettables Smush Parker, Maurice Evans and Kwame Brown.

A contract that was perfectly fair, if even a bargain, back before the Pau Gasol trade and two championships now reflects poorly on Lakers management, but you can’t blame the organization for the move at the time. The roster in 2007 that had Walton as the third-best player pales in comparison to the 2011 roster, where Walton can barely crack the rotation amongst the likes of Gasol, Odom, Barnes and Artest.

Hear the entire Luke Walton interview courtesy our partners at Fox Sports Radio LA.

 

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Staying with the iPhone theme (since everyone apparently has one except for me), we have a Black Mamba iPhone case to give away TODAY, courtesy of our friends over at Luxmo.

To be entered, simply tell us about your favorite ‘Black Mamba’ moment in the comments section below. The deadline to enter is 10pm PT tonight (Sunday).

To see more cell phone products and accessories from Luxmo, you can visit them online, or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

(PS – If you’re wondering if we forgot about the Mophie giveaway, we haven’t! We expect to announce a winner very soon!)

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Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

Javaris Crittenton was drafted by the Lakers with the 19th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Crittenton would then be traded, as part of the Pau Gasol deal, to the Memphis Grizzles. He then spent some time with the Washington Wizards, and most recently with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Unfortunately his fame did not come on the basketball court after a successful college career at Georgia Tech. Crittenton is most known for a 2009 Christmas Eve locker room argument over a gambling debt with Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas.

In that argument the teammates drew guns on each other, and Crittenton was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge.

You always hope people learn from their mistakes, and that the aforementioned locker room incident was simply a lapse in judgement.

However, the latest on Crittenton can’t get any worse. According to the Wasington Post, Javaris Crittenton has been charged with murder.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos says police have secured a murder warrant for the arrest of Javaris Crittenton in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Jullian Jones on Aug. 19.

Police said that Jones was walking with a group of people on the city’s southwest side when she was shot.

Investigators say they don’t believe the woman was the intended target in the shooting. Campos said the motive appears to be retaliation for an earlier robbery in April 21, in which Crittendon was a victim.

Crittenton averaged 16 minutes, 5.3 points, and 1.5 assist per game in his NBA Career. Stay tuned to Laker Nation for updates on this story

 

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Photo by Eugene Gologursky | Getty Images

Today is August 26th. Normally, this date wouldn’t have any larger significance, but if you have been anxiously counting down the days until Lakers forward Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace, today is your Christmas. Except for the fact that Christmas has been cancelled, or at least delayed until September 16th. From a release by the Associated Press, it appears that Ronald William Artest Jr. will continue to sport his name for another few weeks:

A Los Angeles court commissioner delayed ruling on a name change petition by the Lakers forward until Sept. 16.

Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez says the court cited Artest’s outstanding traffic warrants as the reason for the delay. Additional information was not immediately available.

Artest did not come to court Friday and his attorney Jill Rubin declined to comment after hearing of the judge’s decision.

With the lockout in full swing, the loss of basketball and this recent news has left Lakers fans with little to be excited about.

All we can hope for now is that Ron’s outstanding traffic warrants do not put him in any other unfortunate situations.

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Getty Images

This day 33 years ago Kobe Bean Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the youngest of three children and the only son of former Philadelphia 76ers player and new Los Angeles Sparks head coach Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant.

Bryant is not over the hill just yet. If Kobe is still being compared to Michael Jordan then remember this fact: Jordan won his 4th championship at the age of 33 in 1996. Jordan would also win a championship at 34 and 35 years old (97-98).

Sure Kobe has played more games as he came into the league at the ripe age of 17 years old. But a good argument to use against those that say Kobe is “old”.

So what does Kobe have planned for his birthday? Well reports say he is set to meet with “The Drew League” today at 1pm. Courtesy LA Times

With hopes that an earlier meeting will expedite the process in organizing an exhibition game in Los Angeles on Sept. 10 between the Drew League and Goodman League, Drew League officials plan to meet with Kobe Bryant’s representatives at an undetermined location in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. Tuesday to discuss a possible appearance.

Happy Birthday Kobe! We here at Laker Nation hope you have a good one!

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Photo by Angela Weiss | Getty Images

Lakers forward Luke Walton has made 68 more field goals in the last two years than former coach Phil Jackson had. What makes this statistic more depressing for the Walton family is that Phil Jackson hasn’t competitively shot a basketball in over 30 years.

For the time being, Walton has spent the last two years on the bench at the bottom of a forward-heavy rotation for the Lakers consisting of Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Matt Barnes, Ron Artest…the list goes on and on.

However, it appears that Walton’s bench time has gained him a spot on another bench, as it has been reported that Walton will work as an assistant under John Pastner at the University of Memphis, according to the Washington Post:

Pastner announced the hiring Monday in a move that must be approved by university and Tennessee State Board of Regents. But the coach says the Tigers can learn a lot from Walton who has been coached by Phil Jackson and played with Kobe Bryant.

Walton’s deal with Memphis is structured in a way that if the NBA lockout ends at any point during Memphis’ season, he is allowed to walk and return to the Lakers. Walton, 31, currently has two years and almost $12 millon remaining on a six-year deal that he signed in 2007.

 

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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.