Friday, December 19, 2014
Blog Page 123

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Photo by Jeff Gross | Getty Images

Lakers.com has officially announced Shannon Brown opting out of his contract:

 

Lakers guard Shannon Brown has informed the team that he has elected not to exercise his option to extend his contract for the 2011-12 season, it was announced today. Brown, therefore, has become an unrestricted free agent.

Brown, who had a player option, could of signed back with the team for approximately $2.4 million next season.

According to ESPN LA, Brown did not rule out the possibility of returning to the Lakers with a new deal, but did not sound optimistic about that occurring. Brown mentioned that the Lakers picked two guards in the draft so he wasn’t sure about the possibility of coming back to the Lakers during free agency.

Playing 19 minutes per game in the 2010-11 season Brown posted a career-high 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

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Photo by Patrick Lin | Getty Images

After much speculation and discussions, the NBA has officially commenced the lockout of its players. The following is the statement the NBA has released regarding the lockout:

“The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. “We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable.”

“We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting $2 billion annually as the players’ share — an average of approximately $5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth,” said Silver. “Elements of our proposal would also better align players’ pay with performance. We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game.”

What does this mean for the players, teams, league?

  • Players will not receive their salaries
  • Teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts
  • Players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose
  • Teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings.

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Photo by Scott Olson | Getty Images

NBAPA President, and Lakers guard Derek Fisher confirmed the lockout:

“They told us they have the votes to lock us out,” NBPA president and Lakers guard Derek Fisher said.

According to the AOL Sporting News, The main issue, still, is the form that the league’s salary cap will take. Currently, the NBA has one of the softest caps in sports, set at about $53 million but easily surpassed, but the owners are seeking a “flex cap” with a hard ceiling. The players want to keep something approximating the status quo.

The last time the league was locked out was back in 1998. The season did not start until January of 99′ which forced the league to miss all-star weekend, and more importantly limited the season to just 50 games.

Stay tuned to Laker Nation for updates!

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Pictured: Darius Morris - Photo by Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

Darius Morris joined the Voice of the Nation on Wednesday night, and talked about being selected by the Lakers. Below is the entire transcript of the interview:

David Brickley: What is Mike Brown and Mitch Kupchak telling you? As far as your chances to make the team, what they are envisioning, and what the best-case scenario is for you?

“There is definitely opportunity for me [to play with the Lakers]. They need help in the backcourt. The guys that are there right now are getting up in age so they are looking for good young talent in the backcourt that can come in and help out. [The Lakers] said I have a very good chance of doing that. I just got to work hard and keep on getting better.”

Kevin Figgers: What was your level of excitement when you got your name called and the Lakers picked you? I’m sure you were happy your hometown Lakers selected you.

“I didn’t know the order of the 2nd round after Miami, and I looked at it and thought the Lakers would be a perfect fit. It was just great to hear my name called by them. I am thankful and feel blessed that they picked me and just really excited to return home to L.A. I left L.A. on my journey to make the NBA, and now I’m back starting it here. Its just awesome [to be with] a championship program like the Lakers.”

Jason Riley: Can you talk a little bit about the influence that your family played in your life and getting you where you are today.

“They’re responsible for a lot, on and off the court. Just their support, I’m blessed to have that strong family support. Not everybody has that in their life. My brother played [professional basketball] overseas and I got to see some of the mistakes that he made, and the things that he did well. He has been able to mentor me, and he is my biggest fan and also my biggest critic. Just like my mom and dad they are really proud of me but at the same time they tell me the truth and just keep getting me better as a person, and a basketball player. Definitely blessed to have that.”

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New Laker Darius Morris (Right) joins the Voice of the Nation - Photo by Streeter Lecka | Getty Images

The Lakers season may have ended, but Voice of the Nation is rolling on. David Brickley, Kevin Figgers and Jason Riley are, once again, broadcasting from the Fox Sports Radio studios in Burbank, CA.

Lakers 2nd round pick Darius Morris, comes on to talk about being drafted by his hometiown team and what his expectations are coming into his rookie season. The guys are also joined by Sekou Smith from NBA.com and NBA TV to talk about the pending NBA lockout!

Rundown

  • Poll: Are you satisfied with the Lakers not making any big moves on Draft Day?
  • Discussion about the Lakers 2011 draft picks
  • Could the pending lockout affect the Lakers positively?
  • JJ Barea interested in signing with the Lakers?
  • Interview: PG Darius Morris – Lakers 2nd round draft pick
  • Mitch Kupchak expects Shannon Brown to opt out
  • Poll: Do you have a problem with Ron Artest changing his name to World Peace?
  • Will Ron Artest play overseas?
  • Interview: Sekou Smith – NBA.com
  • Around the NBA
  • Dirk Nowitzki goes on a drinking binge
  • 3 for 3

Additional Audio

  • LA Times.com

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #144

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Podcast Home: LakersPodcast.com

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Photo by Harry How | Getty Images

UPDATE: Ron Artest’s agent has denied reports that Ron Artest is going to play in Finland. Courtesy Mark Medina and the LA Times.

Days before we will find out whether or not the NBA will indeed begin a lockout, reports are saying that the ever-enigmatic Ron “Metta World Peace” Artest will be playing in Finland this fall for the LoKoKo Loimaa, via BallinEurope

Finland’s top league Korisliiga will witness some serious NBA talent in September 2011, when Los Angeles Lakers forward/multipersonality Ron Artest will join league newcomer LoKoKo Loimaa.

The 31-year old Artest has three years left in his Lakers contract, but that doesn’t seem to bother LoKoKo sports director Aleksi Valavuori, who backs up the rumor in Tuesday’s Ilta-Sanomat newspaper.

“We have sorted things out and I can happily confirm that Artest will arrive in Finland,” Valavuori states in the Ilta-Sanomat interview.

With an NBA lockout very likely, Artest would not be limited to his contract with the Lakers, where he has three years remaining on his deal.

Finland has seen its fair share of defensive talent from the NBA in the last few years, with Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippin both playing games for the league in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

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Photo by Elsa | Getty Images

New Lakers head coach Mike Brown has been busy the last month assembling his group of assistants for the upcoming season. To keep you caught up on the assistants that Brown has brought on thus far, we’ve compiled information on the five new Lakers assistants who will sit on the sideline for the next few years.

Ettore Messina
Brown brought former Euroleague head coach Ettore Messina on to his staff in an advisory role similar to what Phil Jackson had with Tex Winter. Messina spent the last two seasons with Real Madrid after coaching CSKA Moscow to two Euroleague titles in 2006 and 2008. Messina had picked up numerous awards in his time in the Euroleague, winning two Coach of the Year titles.

In addition, Messina was a five time Italian Coach of the Year and spent time coaching the Italian national team. Messina resigned from his position to gain NBA experience as an assistant, with reports indicating that Messina looks to become an NBA coach down the road.

The Cavaliers under Mike Brown’s tenure recruited Messina, who was then with CSKA Moscow, to “partake in all team functions”, including giving Brown pointers on running his offense. Brown would visit Messina for two-to-three week intervals to pick his brain, with Messina helped set up Brown’s offense in Cleveland.

Messina has been noted to often call his team’s plays and has developed post players well in his time in Europe.

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Here is the official highlight reel of Andrew Goudelock courtesy the College of Charleston:

Per College of Charleston:

Goudelock is the Cougars leading all-time scorer, the third all-time scorer in the SoCon. He was the first-ever Cougar to earn the SoCon Athlete of the Year Award and was named 2011 SoCon Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and earned All-America honorable mention honors from The Associated Press. Goudelock led the Cougars to a 26-11 overall record under SoCon Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins, a regular-season championship title with a 14-4 league mark and an appearance in the NIT Quarterfinals. He averaged a conference-leading 23.7 points per game which also ranked fourth nationally among NCAA Division I scoring leaders.

Goudelock was selected by the Lakers with the 46th pick in the 2nd round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

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Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld | Getty Images

Glen Davis of the Celtics has hired a sports psychologist. It’s not strange for Lakers fans considering that Ron Artest, um, World Peace, personally thanked his sports psychologist after winning the 2010 NBA Championship on national TV. However, there is one funny note in the article when Davis talks about certain players; including the Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant:

When asked who he thought the best player was in the NBA, Davis said he’s a biased person and that while he likes both James and Kobe Bryant, he doesn’t like some of the things they do on the court. Davis also noted that Bryant gets under his skin because of his charisma and the way he’s so poised.

To be completely honest though, we can’t blame Davis as Lakers fans, can we?

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Winner Tony Kamel

Back on Tuesday you were given the opportunity to enter a contest to win an autographed bottle of “Unbreakable” signed by Lakers star Lamar Odom and wife Khloe Kardashian.

All you had to do was follow Perfumania on Facebook and Twitter.

Tony Kamel is the lucky winner chosen and will receive the autographed prize; here is what Tony had to say when he found out that he won:

“Thanks, Perfumania! I’m really excited about winning, especially since Lamar is one of my favorite players. I was really surprised when I first read that I won; my friends around me couldn’t believe it was real. I can’t wait to start using it. Thanks again, Perfumania!”

That’s right! It was that easy.

Stay tuned to Laker Nation, and be on the look out for more giveaways in the following weeks. You too could become a lucky winner like Tony!

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Mike Brown’s coaching staff continues to grow, as Lakers assistant Chuck Person has been brought back to continue implementing the change in defense that he began in the second half of the 2010-11 season, according to SI.com’s Sam Amick via Twitter:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/sam_amick/status/84784005018427392″]

Person played in the NBA for 13 years before becoming an assistant with Cleveland, Indiana and Sacramento before his last two years as an assistant with the Lakers. Known for his outside shooting, Person won the 1987 Rookie of the Year and went by the nickname “The Rifleman”.

Person will be reunited with Mike Brown, as the two served as assistants for the Indiana Pacers under then head coach Rick Carlisle.

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Spero Dedes (Left) interviews Isiah Thomas. Photo by Ezra Shaw| Getty Images

By David Brickley

As Laker fans know Paul Sunderland followed Chick Hearn on T.V in the 2002-03 season, and Joel Meyers was the Lakers radio play-by-play man.

In 2005, Sunderland was fired. The Lakers promoted Meyers up to T.V. and hired 26 year-old Spero Dedes to take over radio.

Dedes was a man that understood the legacy of Chick Hearn, calling Chick the gold standard for not only Lakers broadcasts, but in all of sports broadcasting.

He realized the legacy of the job, and never forgot the man that once called 3,338 consecutive Laker games.

In 2009, we talked about following the legend of Chick Hearn, “Sitting in that chair, believe me there is not a night when I walk into Staples Center, and I don’t try to kind of pause, and realize where I am, and where I’m at, to be able to sit in that chair.” Dedes said.

Anybody that heard Dedes on the radio as they were driving home from work or going out to grab a bite during a Laker game understands his talent.

A true professional that painted the game beautifully, Dedes allowed drivers across Southern California to visualize the game as it was happening.

You always knew where the ball was, what the score was, how much time was left and what the atmosphere was like at the stadium.

Dedes brought you into the arena with him.

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers had four picks in the 2011 NBA draft, all in the 2nd round. Here is a complete recap of what went down on Thursday night!

Darius Morris – Round 2 – Pick 41

Hailing from Winward High School in west Los Angeles, Darius Morris attended Michigan University, where he broke the UM single-season record for assists with 235. Morris recorded just the third triple-double in UM history against Iowa on Jan. 30 with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Morris scored 15 points per game this past season for the Wolverines, leading the conference in assists with almost seven assists per game. While his three-point shooting has been an issue (shooting only 25% this last year), his pass-first mentality should be a welcome addition to a Lakers team loaded with stars.

At times, Morris was projected to be a mid-first round talent, whose draft stock fluctuated in the final days leading up to the draft.

The LA Times reports that the Lakers felt they got a steal by getting Morris at 41:

“According to my agent, [the Lakers] didn’t think I was going to be around” to be picked 41st, said Morris. “But that’s how things fall and I’m very excited to capitalize on the opportunity.”

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak on Darius Morris:

“We think and we’re hoping that they both can make the team,” Kupchak said. “We’re hoping at the least one of the players can make the team.”

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Pictured: Ater Majok | Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have traded their 56th pick.

The much criticized pick of Chukwudiebere Maduabum, who averaged all of 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League, has been traded to the Denver Nuggets for a future 2nd round pick.

Two picks later with the 58th overall pick in the draft, the Lakers selected former UConn Husky forward, Ater Majok. Majok left Connecticut in September of 2010 and played professionally in Instanbul and Australia before declaring for the 2011 NBA Draft.

At his post-draft press conference, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said that one of their final two draft picks would continue to play overseas for the immediate future.  That statement now clearly applies to the 6-11, 230 lb Majok


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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.