Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 127

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Photo by Gregory Shamus | Getty Images

Since Mike Brown has become head coach of the Lakers, a lot of former players, and colleagues have come out and voiced their support.

However, critics still question Brown’s ability to handle the egos in the Lakers locker room, particularly with superstar Kobe Bryant.

Former NBA veteran Eric Snow, who played for Mike Brown in Cleveland, joined David Brickley, Jason Riley, and Kevin Figgers on the Voice of the Nation Tuesday night, and explained why Mike Brown will be able to handle any situation:

If [Mike Brown] can handle the Lebron James situation, then he can handle any situation.” Snow said on the Voice of the Nation. “It wasn’t just Lebron James it was the whole circus of everything that comes with Lebron James…It was more of him being arguably the most hyped player to ever come into this league. Then there was the whole thing with free agency, and staying in Cleveland, and basically being catered to with ownership, and you have to fight through that…many coaches don’t deal with it from that standpoint.”

Snow also made a good point about why you hear some criticism of the Mike Brown hire, “At the end of the day it’s the Lakers, and its following Phil Jackson, so that was going to be a tough road for anyone.” Snow said. “But I think he has done enough, and proved enough that he’s worthy to get an opportunity.”

Eric Snow played for coach Mike Brown as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons (2005-2008)

To listen to the entire interview with Eric Snow download Voice of the Nation – Episode #141

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Having yet to make a public statement on the hiring of new head coach Mike Brown, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant continued to duck the question Tuesday during the promotion of his new foundation aiming to reduce childrens’ homelessness across Los Angeles, saying he would, “Address that at the right time and place”. Taking initial questions from reporters and the LA Times, Bryant preferred to focus on the foundation rather than his team’s hire:

“I understand and will address that at the right time and place,” Bryant said. “But this is neither the time nor the place. Right now we’re focusing on bigger issues, greater issues, and that’s these kids that are here in the back. It’s not fair to them. When the time comes, I’ll address it. But now is not the time.”

When asked a second time about the Lakers’ new coach, Bryant followed up his previous statement with the repeated “Now is not the time.” From there, Bryant took questions solely relating to his foundation at My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit resource center offering services to over 1,600 homeless youths a year.

Bryant, understandably wanting the day’s focus on the promotion of the new foundation, has been curiously quiet about the hiring of Mike Brown, despite Brown’s assertion that the two had spoken for an extended period about family and basketball.

While Bryant publicly supported Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the head coaching position, earlier reports stated that Bryant felt “Surprised” by the Mike Brown hire.

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Photo by Jed Jacobsohn | 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, from the Fox Sports Radio studios in Burbank, CA. Tonight, Vic ‘The Brick’ Jacobs and Eric Snow will join the guys as they examine the NBA Finals and take a look at all the recent happenings in Laker-Land.

Rundown

  • Poll: Do Lakers win more championships if Kobe and Shaq co-exist?
  • We hear from Shaq as he speaks on Kobe, Phil and a possible statue at Staples
  • Interview: AM570 KLAC’s Vic the Brick joins the show LIVE in studio
  • Can Derek Fisher be the Lakers’ starting point guard again next year?
  • Interview: Eric Snow – 13 year NBA veteran
  • NBA Finals analysis: Is Lebron the 2nd best player on his own team?
  • Poll: Is Ron Artest Reality Show a good idea?
  • Could the Big 3 in Miami be broken up next year?
  • What world famous southern California rapper approves of the Mike Brown hire?

Additonal Audio

  • NBA TV
  • BenMaller.com
  • TMZ.com

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #141

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Kobe Bryant made an appearance at the E3 Sony presentation during the NBA 2k12 showcasing. Enjoy this video of Bryant showing off the latest edition, which includes the new “NBA on the go” feature with the PSMove, as well as some funny remarks regarding the “virtual” Miami Heat he faces off against.

Bryant was recently on the cover of NBA 2K10 just a year ago.

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Photo by Jeff Gross | Getty Images

With presumably one or two years left in Phil Jackson’s career, longtime Lakers player and assistant coach Kurt Rambis passed on waiting around for a head coaching job, and decided to take his coaching talents to Minnesota, where he has led the Timberwolves to 32 wins in two seasons amidst roster upheaval and questionable draft picks.

However, as the Associated Press has been reporting, Rambis has been vocal about not hearing from the Timberwolves organization concerning whether or not he would return for his third year with the club.

“Everybody has reasons for why they conduct the business in the way they want to conduct their business,” Rambis said in his first public remarks about the situation since the season ended April 13. “If you’re asking me if that’s what I would do, no, that’s not how I would handle things. But everybody’s different.”

According to reports, Rambis has twice been seen in Minnesota, working with veteran free agents and draft prospects despite his shaky status. The appearances have been a bit awkward, with the coach-in-limbo going about his business despite the very real possibility that he will not be back next season.

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Photo by Valerie Macon | Getty Image

According to TMZ, yet another Laker will star in his own reality TV show.

Ron Artest will star in “Last Second Shot”, a 44 Blue Production, in which Artest will mentor a group of parolees to give them a second shot at life.

According to reports, Artest will work with a team of mental health experts and life coaches to help the parolees take control of their lives.

“We’re gonna put them through an intensive experience,” Artest said. Adding, “Give them hope and confidence to change their lives.”

TMZ is reporting that 44 Blue Productions has yet to pitch the show to any TV networks but networks are “very high on it.”

Watch the Trailer of “Last Second Shot” after the jump

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Photo by Nike

Mike Brown has brought in a Messina to aid him in his coaching staff Eric Pincus reports:

Italian Coach Ettore Messina has agreed to work for the L.A. Lakers on Coach Mike Brown’s staff. According to Zeno Pisani of Rivista Ufficiale NBA, Italy, a deal was agreed to on Friday.  Pisani notes Messina will serve as “consultant to the head coach” in a full-time position. It would seem Messina will help Brown in a similar capacity that Tex Winter served former Laker Coach Phil Jackson.

Another candidate which Brown is pursuing is former Pistons head coach John Kuester. Kuester was on Brown’s staff in Cleveland as an assistant from 2007 to 2009. Kuester was named head coach of the Pistons in 2009 and was just recently let go from Detroit. Keep an eye out as it was reported Brown wants Kuester on his staff, as well.

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Photo by Lucy Nicholson | Getty Images

It’s hard to pinpoint a specific memory to define Shaquille O’Neal. The fact that most basketball fans can remember him in the context of their own lives should prove to be a testiment of his legacy as a player.

Whether you were watching him tear down backboards like no one before or since, or sat glued to your grainy, pre-HD television as Kobe lobbed a thunderous alley-oop to cement their first trip to the NBA Finals, Shaq’s “larger than life” persona on and off the court was one that we will probably never see again.

Many will look to that same persona as the same one that caused the rift between him and Kobe Bryant that halted their title run at three. For years after the Laker-Heat trade that sent the embittered Shaq to Miami, the two rarely positively acknowledged one another, only clearing the air in the last few years as the two shared Co-MVP honors during the 2009 All-Star Game.

Still though, Shaq contended in an interview with J.A. Adande  that the premature departure from Los Angeles left a lot of champioships on the table:

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Photo by Lee Celano | Getty Images

The Lakers were known for being inconsistent, and not getting motivated for every game.

However, they still were the faviortes to come out of the West, and contend for another NBA Championship. Instead, that chance for a three-peat was cut short by  a second-round sweep from the Dallas Mavericks.

While the loss took many by surprise, internally, coaches began to see signs of the unraveling of a potential NBA dynasty early.

In a piece for Sporting News
, Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons discussed the splintering that cut this year’s playoff run short:

“It’s quite a revelation to live through something like that and you can see it happening in front of your very eyes and you can’t do anything about it…You’re helpless to change the course of destiny. You know an ass-kicking is coming, but you have to just sit there and accept that ass-kicking.”

Cleamons also mentioned the idea that the Lakers had, as a team, broken away from everything that they had built themselves to be over the few years and that his warnings often fell upon deaf ears.

“You want to tell them what’s getting ready to happen, but the group of young men you’re teaching right now, the lights are on but nobody’s home.”

For now, Cleamons has found himself out of a job, having been involved with the Lakers for their last five championships but now out the door with the retirement of Phil Jackson.

Cleamons contends that he is open to “any coaching job”, a surprising fall from grace given his nine championship rings with the Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.

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Lucy Nicholson | AFP | Getty Images

After 19 seasons in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal has decided to hang it up for good.

Mark Madsen who was Shaq’s teammate in Los Angeles, decided to share some Shaq moments on his personal blog. “When I think of Shaquille I think about so many things and I wanted to share my top ten Shaq Stories from everything I know about him.” Madsen said.

In the top ten list Madsen goes on to tell stories about wrestling with Shaq in the locker room before a game, Shaq comparing himself to the Pythagorean Theorem, Shaq buying every player on the training camp roster a new Rolex watch, and many other fun stories that give fans a inside look of who O’Neal was as a teammate and a person.

Madsen finishes his blog saying, “Shaquille O’Neal gave the league, players, teammates and fans 19 years of great memories.”

To read Madsen’s Top 10 List go to MarkMadsen.com

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Photo by Streeter Lecka | Getty Images

According to the Spanish basketball federation website, Pau Gasol will play for his Spanish team this summer

“This year, my intention is to be available for the Spanish team if the coach feels he can count on me,” Gasol said in Spanish in a report on the team’s website. “I would like to help Spain win another European Championship.”

Gasol, averaged career lows in the 2011 playoffs, only averaging 13.1 points, and 7.8 rebounds per game. Those averages pale in comparison to his regular season averages of 18.8 points, and 10.2 rebounds per game.

This is indeed a different off-season than Gasol is accustomed to. He has admitted to having unfortunate “personal issues”, and even said, “I collapsed” in the playoffs.

Gasol has played with Spain in the summer in the past and gone on to win Championships with the Lakers. However, Mark Medina from the LA Times brings up something to remember, “He also broke his left index finger in the 2009 off-season while practicing with the Spanish national team and suffered strained left and right hamstrings that sidelined him for a combined 17 games with the Lakers during the 2009-2010 campaign.”

Considering Pau Gasol’s poor play in the postseason do you think playing for his national team will be a good thing, or bad thing?  Vote Below!

Do you think Pau Gasol Should Participate in the European Championships?

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

The following statement was issued today by Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss on behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers organization:

“Shaq had a long and amazing career, with a huge impact both on and off the court. His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams.”

According to the LA Times, the Lakers will retire O’Neal’s jersey, “There is no timetable and there is no plan other than yes, we definitely plan at some point to retire his jersey,” Lakers spokesman John Black said.

Shaquille O’Neal signed as a free agent in 1996, and played 8 seasons with the Lakers.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

According to the Orlando Sentinel, WKMG sports anchor David Pingatore said last Sunday that Dwight Howard would sign a two-year contract extension with the Orlando Magic.

Howard, who was helping tornado victims in Birmingham, Alabama said “There’s no truth to that.”

In order to sign an extension with the Orlando Magic, Howard would have to sign before the collective bargaining agreement that ends on July 1st.

Howard made it clear that he wants to be in Orlando, but he will not sign a extension.

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David Brickley, Kevin Figgers, and Jason Riley come to you live in studio as they discuss new Lakers head coach Mike Brown’s introductory press conference. LA Times writer Mark Medina attended the conference and joins the show to talk about Brown’s hiring, his relationship with Kobe Bryant, and the Lakers 3-progned heiarchy of Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss and Jerry Buss.

Rundown

  • Poll: Has your opinion on the Mike Brown hire changed?
  • Mike Brown’s Press conference highlights
  • How does Jason feel about Mike Brown’s hiring?
  • CALLS: Do you feel more confident after Mike Brown’s conference
  • Interview: Mark Medina – LA Times Lakers writer
  • Around the NBA
  • How much power does Jim Buss have over basketball decisions?
  • Shaquille O’Neal Retires: How will you remember Shaq?
  • Why Scottie Pippen is a moron
  • Which Laker was involved in a nightclub fight?

Additonal Audio

  • NBA TV
  • Lakers.com
  • TMZ.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 #140

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Podcast Home: LakersPodcast.com

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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.