Friday, December 19, 2014
Blog Page 119

1
Photo by Noel Vasquez | Getty Images

The preemptive strikes have already begun during the current NBA lockout, as the NBA filed two legal claims yesterday against the National Basketball Players Association, citing “unfair labor practice” and the claim that the NBA’s lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws.

The two claims, filed before the National Labor Relations Board and a federal court, respectively, are acting as a preliminary measure to protect the NBA from a possible antitrust lawsuit that the NBPA may file in the pattern following the NFL lockout and NFLPA just months ago. According to the NBA press release from earlier on Tuesday:

The unfair labor practice charge asserts that the Players Association has failed to bargain in good faith by virtue of its unlawful threats to commence a sham “decertification”…

The federal lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday looks to establish that the NBA lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws, allowing the NBA to void all existing player contracts if the Players Association’s decertification was to be found lawful:

2
Photo by Jay Directo | Getty Images

After weeks of speculation, it appears that all the talk of Kobe and the Turkish basketball club Besiktas is finally going to result in actual action, with multiple Turkish sources reporting that the two sides will meet Thursday in Los Angeles. (via Pro Basketball Talk)

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ismailsenol/status/98741856204111873″]

As one of the top five most identifiable stars in the NBA, having Kobe go overseas would put a sizable amount of pressure on league sources (and the Buss family) to pursue an end to the lockout.

However, Laker fans can’t be too happy with the idea of a 32-year-old Bryant putting a substantial amount of travel and another year of play on his Steve Austin-esque knee.

15
Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

It was a rivalry that was, well… never really a rivalry to begin with. Even so, that hasn’t kept Kobe Bryant and LeBron James from sharing the same headline this week. During Bryant’s sit-down with ESPN on Sunday, he went on the defensive for the much-maligned King James.

“I think people need to lay off that kid, that’s what I think. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well playing on the Olympic team, and I think they just need to back up off him and just let him play and let him live his life. Let him make his decisions, let him mature as a player.”

While James has quickly become the NBA’s resident villain, not so long ago, that title belonged to Bryant.

Battling through multiple PR-disasters during his career – including a dismissed sexual assault charge in ’03 – Bryant has been able to rebuild his reputation and elude much of the ire from the general public.

Kobe seemed to call on those memories in his defense of LeBron.

“It’s tough to be under a microscope like that all the time. So I would like everyone to just back off him and let him play.”

As Bryant’s career has shown, the most important ingredient in PR-rehab is winning, something that Kobe has mastered, and LeBron has been mastered by.

3

After this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, former Laker coach Phil Jackson may wish to add speech writing to his resume. While already tabbed to deliver the induction speech for his longtime assistant Tex Winter, it appears that he has been locked down to induct All-World rebounder Dennis Rodman as well — via Pistons writer Keith Langlois:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/Keith_Langlois/status/97003500894027776″]

Jackson coached Rodman for three years and three Bulls titles during the second half of the 1990s, and has referred to Rodman as the “greatest pure athlete he ever coached“:

“He could probably play a 48-minute game and play the 48th minute stronger than the first minute of the game.”

Rodman also spent the strike-shorted 1998-99 NBA season with the Kurt Rambis-coached Lakers, who went 17-6 with Rodman before releasing him at the end of the season.

0
$100 Visa Gift Card

So you didn’t win USA Light’s Kobe VI Shoes Giveaway last week (this guy did). Nothing a $100 Visa Gift Card can’t solve, right? … Good, because that’s exactly what we’re giving away today!

Here’s the deal: If you entered last weeks contest, you’re already entered to win! If you didn’t, here’s your chance to get in on this giveaway. It takes less than 30 seconds to enter:

(1) Head over to USA Light’s Laker Nation Page.
(2) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter by simply clicking the Like and Follow buttons.

Yep, it’s really that simple. You’ve got between now and 7pm PT tomorrow (Tuesday, 2/2) to enter. We’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow night! Good luck, Laker Nation.

 

Make any purchase from USALight.com and receive 10% off by using the code LAKERS at checkout!

12
Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

A former Laker, who won a championship with the team back in 2002 has got into some trouble.

WTOV9.com reports that Samaki Walker was pulled over in his 2002 Mercedes-Benz in Kingman, Arizona. Walker had illegal drugs in his vehicle, so he attempted to eat eight grams of marijuana before he was arrested.

According to reports officials seized approximately 10 grams of marijuana, in addition to some prescription drugs and eight bottles of liquid steroids.

Walker plays professional basketball in Syria for Al-Jalla Aleppo, where he claims steroids are legal.

In the 2002 championship year with the Lakers, Walker shot 51% from the field while averaging 6.7 points, and 7.0 rebounds in 24 minutes per game.

He averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. Walker last played for the Indiana Pacers in the 2005-2006 season. He has played overseas since then, most recently in Korea and Syria.

One fun fact that you may have forgot about Walker is he was selected 9th overall in the 1996 NBA draft, four picks ahead of Kobe Bryant. Walker also received a black-eye courtesy Bryant back in 2002.

24
Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Bryant recently held a a news conference in conjunction with the Manchester United/Barcelona soccer game in Washington D.C.

After the news conference, Bryant sat down with George Smith on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” for a Sunday sit-down conversation.

Bryant was asked about new head coach Mike Brown and the level of communication the two have had:

We’ve talked. We’ve met, we’ve talked several times, met several times. We have been in dialogue there has been an open dialogue.”

George Smith then asked Kobe’s thoughts on Brown as the Lakers new Head Coach:

He just seems like the type of coach that buttons everything up, so I think as players we’ll all be happy.”

Although he did not go into detail, this is the first time Bryant has said anything about Coach Mike Brown. Opting to say “No Comment” or not answer questions in previous attempts by the media.

7
Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

If you even casually follow the NBA, there’s a good chance you saw the playground show Kobe put on in front of a spellbound crowd in Manilla last weekend (and reportedly raked in $400k in the process).

While I watched him humiliate this guy, I couldn’t stop wondering…

“How is that knee holding up?”

According to teammate Derek Fisher, Bryant told him that his knee is the best it’s been in a long time, which is great news for Laker Nation… and not so great news for the other 29 NBA teams.

Fisher, who says he initially blew off Bryant’s claims, quickly changed his mind.

“I saw it a little bit in Manila, so I believe now.”

For now, we’ll just have to take Fish’s word for it.

3

USA Light was kind enough to give back to the Laker Nation community and gave everybody a chance to win a pair of the new Kobe Zoom VI’s.

One lucky winner was chosen!

Congratulations to Danny Wacker, who simply followed USA Light on Facebook and Twitter and now will be sportin some of the coolest kicks a Laker fan could ever ask for.

Thank you so much USALight.com for the Zoom Kobe’s!!!!!!! Thanks to you, I will be able to light it up on the basketball courts. I am truly honored to be a fan of yours as well as LakerNation.com. When I first found out that I had won the shoes, I literally jumped out of my seat and ran back and forth across my house screaming about how I won and how excited I was. It was quite a shock to me, because I was studying hard for the final exam of a summer school class. I will most certainly use the shoes to play basketball at the gym, and I will also use them to show my Lakers pride. I consider myself a die-hard fan, and having these shoes can only help me represent the Lakers wherever I go! Winning these shoes is a great feeling and hopefully, i’ll start playing like a black mamba wearing them. Once again, thanks USALight.com for making this happen and thanks for supporting the best Lakers blog out there – LakerNation.com! – Danny Wacker

That’s right! It was that easy.

Those of you that entered. Stay Tuned! There will be a special runner up prize, so continue to check LakerNation.com daily!

0
Getty Images

David Brickley, Jason Riley and Kevin Figgers bring to you the “Best Of” show including interviews with Vic the Brick Jacobs and NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry.

Rundown

VOTN Rewind:

  • First Thoughts on the Mike Brown Hire
  • Vick the Brick Jacobs (In Studio) on all the off-season Laker topics
  • Interview: Rick Barry – NBA Hall of Famer

Additional Audio

Lakers.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #148

Like Us: Facebook

Podcast Home: LakersPodcast.com

0

It looks like the Mamba is going to slither his way onto a soccer field for a charity event, as well!

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/SoccerInsider/status/96257317963710464″]

6
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Image

There have been many rumors that Kobe Bryant may be headed to Turkey to play baskebtall, in one recent report, it appears to be a 50% chance. A report from Asksam.com – translated by Slam – features a quote from Besiktas official Seref Yalcin who feels confident a deal can be reached with Kobe. The two sides will meet on the 30th to discuss a potential deal.

Yalcin says: “At the moment there’s a 50 [percent] chance that Kobe may come to Turkey. Everything will be clearer after the meeting on the 30th. We have not talked about money, as reported. We only talked about the possibility of Kobe playing in Turkey. We asked FIBA for approval and Kobe wants some time to think about it. We believe that his reponse is going to be positive. Money will not be a problem. Turkish Airlines, M-Oil and Milan Petrol will sponsor the deal.”

Now, with no immediate NBA appearing on the horizon, if the intensive is right, it might happen. The real question, however, is what TV network will pick this up if it happens. We need our Kobe fix, LakerNation!

1
Photo by Jason Merritt | Getty Images

According to TMZ, Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace is seriously thinking about competing in ABC’s hit T.V. show “Dancing with the Stars”

Reports say that Artest and “Dancing” producers have been in touch to reach a possible deal, yet nothings official.

The one issue Artest may run into if he decides to get his ‘dance on’ is “Dancing with the Stars” ends in November and if the lockout was ended on time the NBA would begin in October.

Former and current athletes have had a lot of success in past seasons. Emmitt Smith, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson and Hines Ward have all won in the past.

This would add to the busy off-season Artest has had. He has hosted a comedy tour, is currently looking to get a reality show picked up by a network, and of course in late August he will officially change his name to Metta World Peace.

9
Tiffany Rose | Getty Images

During an NBA lockout, Ron Artest is a journalist’s dream. If Artest wasn’t a member of the purple and gold, half of this offseason’s Laker news content would most likely be lost.

This summer Artest has filled with a name change, launched a comedy tour, and reports had him possibly playing somewhere in Europe this fall.

Reports now come via TMZ that Artest and his wife quietly divorced back in 2009:

We found out Ron quietly got divorced from Kimsha [Artest] on June 30, 2009.  The couple shares joint custody of their 3 kids and their relationship is extremely amicable — we’re told they get along better than when they were married.

For a man who talks and tweets with the regularity of Artest, it’s fascinating that in his two years with the Lakers, his marriage never once became the topic of conversation. As for Artest’s ex-wife Kimsha, she will be one of the cast members of this fall’s Basketball Wives LA, alongside Gloria Govan, fiancée of Laker teammate Matt Barnes.

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.