Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 125

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Harry How | Getty Images

Let the Lakers, Timberwolves trade rumors continue…

In what has been a week filled with sources (and more sources), the latest comes via tweet from SI.com columnist Sam Amick

“As Minnesota continues search for high-level player in exchange for No. 2 pick, source says T-Wolves made offer for Lakers C Andrew Bynum.”

Rumors insist that Minnesota GM David Kahn remains resolute in his unwillingness to part with both Kevin Love and the number 2 pick in any deal. Neither the Lakers, nor the Timberwolves, have officially released any statements confirming any of the much-talked-about trade proposals floating around the internet this week.

Even so, as our own Kevin Figgers like to say, where there’s smoke, there’s usually a fire…

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During the long, Laker-less summer months, we try to do as many free giveaways for you guys as we can. For this one, we have teamed up with Perfumania, the exclusive retailer for Unbreakable, to give away an autographed bottle of Lamar and Khloe’s Unbreakable fragrance!

The bottle has been signed by both Lamar and Khloe, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s been flying off the shelves! It takes less than 30 seconds to enter! All you have to do is…

Like Perfumania on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter:

Yep, it’s really that simple!

Later this week, one lucky Facebook or Twitter follower will be picked as the winner. Stay tuned and good luck!

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

The question that still has yet to be answered is what does Kobe Bryant think of new head coach Mike Brown?

Reports have said the two have had face to face meetings, and phone conversations, even saying Brown has won over Bryant.

Yet, Bryant has yet to come out publicly with his thoughts of the Lakers new head coach.

Bryant is not the only Laker who has yet to make a statement on Mike Brown, and some of his teammates that have commented have simply used the “politically correct” answer.

However, players like Ron Artest and Matt Barnes have gave great reviews, and talked about their excitement to play under Brown.

So we have compiled every Laker player who is currently on the roster, and their thoughts, or lack of thoughts, on Mike Brown:

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Ethan Miller | Getty Images

It has been another rumor-swirling day here in Laker-land, and we’re not quite done yet. According to several sources, head coach Mike Brown will add ex-University of Utah coach Jim Boylen to his staff. The two reportedly met this afternoon in Los Angeles.

Boylen, who was fired last year after four seasons at the University of Utah, spent more than a decade as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets. He also had brief stints as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.

Barring any last minute changes, current holdover Chuck Person and former Pistons coach John Kuester are the most likely candidates to fill out the remaining spots left on Brown’s bench.

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Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

Have the Lakers and Timberwolves had a few conversations in the past week? Yep. Has it necessarily been about the rumored swap of Pau Gasol for Kevin Love and a #2? Maybe not…

According to sources (and this tweet from @Probballdraft), the Lakers and T-Wolves discussions have been about the possible acquisition of point guard Johnny Flynn.

At first glance, Flynn could potentially help address the Lakers obvious concerns at the point guard position. For the Timberwolves, this rumor makes a lot of sense, as their primary focus next season will be to develop soon-to-be rookie point guard Ricky Rubio.

During Flynn’s rookie season, he showed some flashes of promise, averaging 13.5 points to go with 4.4 assists per game. Last season, he had a difficult time recovering from a labral tear in his left hip. He was sidelined for close to 30 games before returning, where he was admittedly unable to perform at 100%.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for the latest trade and rumors information.

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According to the New York Daily News, the Lakers may be shifting their focus from Dwight Howard to an all-star point guard:

Don’t be surprised if the Lakers shift their sights from Dwight Howard to Chris Paul or Deron Williams. New coach Mike Brown is expected to ditch Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and there’s some sentiment within the organization to find a star play maker who can turn the corner

With an aging Derek Fisher, and a disappointing season from Steve Blake, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that finding a starting point guard has to be one of the Lakers top priorities.

Chris Paul is due to make 16.4 million dollars in the 2011-12 season and has a player option in 12-13. That puts the Hornets in the same situation the Orlando Magic are in, possibly willing to trade their superstar before that player leaves the team for nothing.

Deron Williams is also due to make 16.4 million this up coming season, and has a player option in 12-13. However, after recently trading with the Utah Jazz to acquire Williams, the Nets are probably more likely to do whatever possible to hold on to Williams and entice him to stay and sign a long-term contract.

Who would you rather have Chris Paul/Deron Williams, or Dwight Howard? Vote Below!

Where should the Lakers focus be this Off-season?

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Photo by Valerie Macon | Getty Images

According to Mark Heisler, from the Los Angeles Times, Kobe Bryant is just fine with the Mike Brown hire.

Heisler reports of two meetings Bryant and Brown have had:

Their first was May 31 at Bryant’s home in Newport Beach, on Brown’s way to his news conference in downtown Los Angeles . . . more or less.

Apparently, the meeting went well. The second was 10 days later at the El Segundo practice facility, where they went through plays on the court

 So why the silence from Kobe Bryant?

Unhappy at having been left out of the loop on the hiring, he’s letting his silence speak for him, as he did in after his days or rage in 2007, leaving the Lakers to spend three months wondering if he would report for training camp until he showed up that morning.” Says Heisler

For more in-depth coverage of the lack of public acknowledgement from Bryant, take a listen to Matt “Money” Smith who joined the Voice of the Nation #142  on Wednesday night. Smith spoke about the lack of relationship between Jim Buss, and Kobe Bryant and why he thinks Kobe continues to remain silent on the hire.  (Listen Here)

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Photo by Ronald Martinez | Getty Images

In two months, Kobe Bryant will be 33 years old. Mortality is a lesson that all NBA players learn at one point as their bodies begin to betray them after years of pounding the hardwood and running countless lengths of the court. Bryant has already begun to confront the twilight of his NBA career, as his playing style has shifted from the high-flying, afro-sporting youngster to the smarter, cunning outside shooter that now goes by the name “Black Mamba”.

Having not heard from Kobe Bryant publicly since a press conference to launch his foundation to fight homelessness the Los Angeles Times sat down with Kobe’s father Joe Bryant for an quick chat this past Friday to talk about his son’s attitudes towards basketball, dealing with injuries, and just how many years the 15-year NBA veteran has left.

On whether Kobe will be playing for the next three to five years:

The issue is going to be when the media talks, he can’t get 30 [points] anymore, but he’s averaging 25 [points] and five [assists]. The expectations they’ll put on him or say he can’t do anymore, that’s going to be the biggest challenge, dealing with it. The important thing is as long as he’s enjoying the game and enjoying the challenge and still in the race to vie for a championship. That’s motivation enough.”

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Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

I know, and I get it…

The LeBron James column writing party (indirectly sponsored by Dan Gilbert) ended 72 hours ago.

Fortunately for me, this is L.A., where 6pm means tomorrow afternoon and I’ll touch base with you next week means I’ll most likely never call you again.

To be honest with you, I never wanted to write this column for two reasons:

(1) How much can you write about LeBron James that hasn’t already been written, re-written, recycled, re-recycled and re-tweeted 683,000 times? It’s like trying to make a joke about Anthony Weiner. We get it…

(2) See reason #1.

The only problem? When it comes to the striking mystery of LeBron James, I don’t think we really get it at all…

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There are a few things I think we can all agree on:

We love the Lakers.
We love to eat.
We love to be served.

Thanks to Ron Artest, all three of these things will be happening simultaneously, and you can be a part of it.

Tomorrow (Saturday, 6/18), Ron will be serving lunch from 12pm – 3pm at the grand opening of Saladish in Pasadena. Check out the details below:

When: Saturday, June 18th, 12pm – 3pm
Where: Saladish
Address: 12 W. Colorado Blvd | Pasadena, CA | 91105
More Info: www.saladish.com | 626.304.3100

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Getty Images

With the arrival of Spanish PG Ricky Rubio to the Minnesota Timberwolves, rumors are flying that the Wolves may be interested in trading for his Spanish national team running mate, Pau Gasol.

Our friend Eric Pincus at Hoopsworld.com wrote a very interesting article regarding the Los Angeles Lakers and the possibility that they could trade Pau Gasol for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Forward, Kevin Love. In the article, Pincus proposes two scenarios in which the Lakers would trade Pau Gasol to Minnesota.

One proposal would send Gasol to Minnesota, with the Lakers recieving the 2nd overall pick in next Thursdays draft, along with a host of players in return (PG Johnny Flynn, SG Martell Webster, F Anthony Tolliver, F Anthony Randolph, and C Darko Milicic).

The 2nd proposal would send Gasol to the T-Wolves in exchange for Kevin Love, Flynn, Webster, F Lazar Hayward and C Nikola Peckovic.

The question is, Laker Nation, which trade would you make?

Which trade would you make if you were the Lakers?

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Photo by Victor Decolongon | Getty Images

On Wednesday evening, a Poll question was asked by David Brickley and Kevin Figgers on the #1 Lakers radio show, “Voice of the Nation”.

Listeners were asked “Were you specifically rooting for LeBron and the Heat to lose the NBA Finals?”

By the end of the two hour show, which included guest appearances by Fox Sports Radio’s Matt “Money” Smith, and NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, 90% of Laker fans said they were specifically rooting against LeBron and the Miami Heat.

That number seems somewhat high considering the Miami Heat’s opponent the Dallas Mavericks just swept the Lakers in the 2nd round.

Conclusion? LeBron James and the Miami Heat are hated nationwide not just in Cleveland.

Didn’t get a chance to listen to the show? Listen Here

Didn’t get a chance to vote? Vote Below!

Were you specifically rooting for LeBron and the Heat to lose the NBA Finals?

View Results

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By James Cypert – Los Angeles

With the NBA offseason now in full effect, basketball fans everywhere now turn to the developments of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that maintains the critical balance between players, owners and teams and threatens a lockout of the 2011-12 season.

One of the main points of the new proposed CBA would be the installation of a hard cap, limiting all teams to a fixed amount of player salaries that they are allowed to give.

The switch from a soft cap to a hard cap would lead to a drastic effect in the competitiveness of the NBA. Similar to in hockey and pro football where we see rotating champions year after year, the NBA would become less dynasty based. NBA teams that had paid extra luxury taxes annually to stay competitive would no longer be able to hold to this system, as small-market teams would be able to spend just as much as their big-city brethren.

Furthermore, the installation of a hard cap has led to speculation that “super teams” like the Miami Heat would have to dissolve under the financial limitations of the cap.

In reference to the league’s previous CBA in 2005, an “amnesty clause” was added to the cap considerations, which allowed each team to waive one player in order to wipe his contract from consideration towards the salary cap. The clause was a result of too many inflated, guaranteed contracts that had been given out to risky and overperforming players who had hamstrung front offices around the NBA.

For this year’s CBA, owners and the league are considering a similar proposal that would act as a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” to teams who had given out faulty or foolish contracts.

What would this amnesty clause mean for the Lakers? For one, let’s examine a few of the potential players for whom the Lakers could apply the clause.

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Photo by Jay Westcott | Getty Images

Former Laker Shaquille O’Neal was at the center of an investigation over the beating and kidnapping of a man who had claimed to have a sex tape of the 15-time NBA All Star, according to reports by the Associated Press earlier this morning.

Sheriff’s department records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times showed investigators probed allegations that O’Neal was connected to the attack, but O’Neal denied any involvement and has not been charged, the newspaper reported Wednesday. Also, O’Neal is not named in the criminal complaint.

Robert Ross reported in 2008 to being beaten and kidnapped at gunpoint by members of the Main Street Crips gang, who Ross claimed acted on behalf of O’Neal because of a “business deal gone bad and because O’Neal believed [Ross] had the tape”.

The tape in question allegedly features O’Neal and a woman other than his wife. Prosecutors said they do not have evidence as to whether the tape exists and that Ross had been “bluffing” about the tape before the beating and kidnapping.

The reports are only just coming to light as preliminary hearings have begun with Ross testifying against the seven members of the Main Street Crips, including alleged leader Ladell Rowles.

Ross said the gang members beat him, stole $15,000 in cash and some jewelry…Ross also said Rowles demanded the purported videotape of O’Neal having sex with a woman other than his wife and $100,000, according to the sheriff’s investigative report.

While detectives reported phone records of a “flurry of calls” between Rowles and O’Neal’s business partner Mark Stevens around the time of the 2008 beating, both O’Neal and Stevens denied involvement during their interviews with investigators in 2008.

As for now, the former Laker can concentrate on life after basketball, having retired earlier this month after 19 seasons in the NBA.

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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.