Monday, December 22, 2014
Blog Page 130

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A changing of the guard, so to speak, is taking place in the NBA.

Older teams such as the Spurs, Celtics and Lakers are struggling decidedly to compete with youth & athleticism.  Teams with considerably younger talent are having their way and their athleticism is shining through in this years playoffs.

The outcome of this season quickly went from bleak, to on life support, to over for the two-time defending champions. Their historical pursuit of an unprecedented fourth trip to the NBA Finals went unsuccessful.

Former Lakers great Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson made the argument recently that the team has played together too long and needed to be blown up.

This current Lakers core is worn-down. Kobe Bryant is in need of a younger more consistent supporting cast, but a complete overhaul is unnecessary.

The core players Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher are in their 30’s. The changes the Lakers need to make start with adding more youth, athleticism and versatility.

In short the Lakers need more athletes.

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Now that the dust has settled and the masses have calmed down (for the most part), much of the focus on the disappointment of the Lakers four game series loss to the Mavericks has shifted to intrigue in the search for the next head coach for the Purple and Gold.

There has been much speculation over potential candidates to replace Phil Jackson next season, ranging from battle tested veteran head coaches like Jeff Van Gundy, to men with no head coaching experience at any level like current Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.

But which way should the Lakers go?

An argument can be made for both scenarios. Proponents of current assistant, Brian Shaw, say that its an advantage that he already has received an endorsement from veteran players like Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Since Shaw grew up as both a player and coach in the triangle offense, he would make an easy and seamless transition to the Lakers head coaching position.

Then there is the argument on the other side, with the belief that the Lakers need to make a hire from the outside. Many are of the opinion that the four game sweep of the Lakers at the hands of the Mavericks is a glaring indicator that a change needs to made and that promoting Brian Shaw would simply be sticking with the status quo.

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Shannon Brown tweeted on Saturday night the following:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ShannonBrown/status/69607653327904768″]

The RUMOR originally started on May 13th, on a gossip website entitled, Black Sports Online, in which the author claimed that Shannon Brown, who is married to R&B singer Monica, slept with Gasol’s wife and caused a rift in the locker room, and Gasol’s poor play in the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant was asked about the original rumor in his exit interview that Gasol and Bryant had issues off the court, and he discussed why these rumors seem to keep creeping up.

“People will reach for absolutely anything, when we struggle. They’ll pull for any crap, any B.S. that they possibly can, and invent things, and it was ridiculous” Bryant said.

The above quote from Bryant still rings true on this latest rumor. Shannon Brown addressing the rumor publically on twitter probably makes it a bigger rumor then it actually was. However, its almost certain that Brown got so many questions, that it was therapeutic for him to take to twitter to silence the rumors.

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There has been much debate on who should succeed Phil Jackson as the Lakers next head coach.

Brian Shaw seems like the front runner, but according to sources the Lakers are “Very Interested” in Rick Adelman, and have contacted Mike Dunleavy. At this stage in the process it is hard to gauge on who the Lakers will hire as the replacement.

So put your owner’s hat on and vote!

Who do you want to be the Lakers next Head Coach?

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Add another name to the very short list of candidates to replace Phil Jackson as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN LA, Dunleavy was contacted by the team this week and is said to be on the team’s current “short list” to succeed Jackson, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Dunleavy last manned the sidelines as the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers from 2003-10.

There is a bit of history between Dunleavy and the Lakers. Dunleavy replaced Pat Riley as the head coach of the Lakers before the 1990-91 season, a year in which he led the team to an NBA Finals appearance against the Chicago Bulls. Dunleavy has maintained a solid relationship with Dr. Jerry Buss over the years, and is considered by many to be one of the frontrunners to succeed Phil Jackson.

In his 17 year head coaching career, Dunleavy has a record of 613-716 (.461), having made head coaching stops in LA with both the Lakers and Clippers, as well as with the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trailblazers.

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NBA coaching sources on Thursday described the Lakers as “very interested” in Rick Adelman as a candidate for the position.

SI.com also talked about the Lakers interest and spoke with Adelman’s longtime assistant, Elston Turner, who thinks Adelman would be a good fit for the Lakers.

“He has experienced everything that L.A. the city and L.A. the team has to offer,” Turner said by phone on Tuesday. “He’s been groomed for a job like that. I’ve been with him 10 years, so I think I can say that much. He’s qualified to get any job in this league. He’s pretty damned good at it.”

Adelman has a 945-616 career record, good enough for eighth in all-time wins. Adelman has had stops in Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and Houston.

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Kobe Bryant was named to the All-NBA First Team, for the sixth straight season, and ninth time in his career.

Bryant averaged 25.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game this season. Bryant is tied with Tim Duncan for most First Team selections by active players.

Another Laker was honored as Pau Gasol was named to the All- NBA Second team. Gasol averaged 18.8 points 10.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. (Andrew Bynum also received 9 votes).

Check out the results below courtesy Lakers.com:

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A surprising statement came out in Wednesday’s exit interview with Phil Jackson.

Phil Jackson was asked if he has a stronger sense of attachment with the Lakers front office (other then Jeanie Buss), then he did with the Bulls:

“There are people in the organization that I have an attachment to. But, I haven’t spoken to Jimmy Buss this year. Jerry, I see occasionally and we confer, Mitch and I have our chances to be together, and have a good relationship. Those are people in that department that I have a relationship. But, as far as management, if you want to call it, there’s really not a relationship in that aspect of that.”

Jerry Buss said in August of last year that 80% of Lakers basketball decisions are in the hands of his son, Jim Buss. Jerry claimed that he will simply throw in his two cents here and there.

It seems very odd that the head coach of the Lakers, did not speak once to Jim Buss who is the majority head of all Lakers basketball decisions.  You wonder if that working relationship, or lack there of, was one of the reasons Jackson has decided to retire.

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According to the New York Post, Ron Artest will bring the “Ron Artest – The Ultimate Comedy Tour” to New York for July 15th and 16th.

Here is the blurb from the Post:

Now that the Dallas Mavericks have swept away the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship dreams, Ron Artest is ready to elbow his way into the hearts of NYC comedy fans. The outspoken NBA small forward will bring his “Ron Artest — The Ultimate Comedy Tour” to the Big Apple this summer. The Queensbridge native and St. John’s hoops legend will host four shows at Carolines on Broadway on July 15 and 16. Among those in Artest’s starting comedy lineup will be Hot 97 morning man Cipha Sounds.

Click here to get tickets and info about the tour. (The “tour” only has one stop thus far).

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Kobe Bryant was asked on Wednesday what he thinks about in the offseason, and if he gets philosophical about how much time he has left in his career:

“No…No…I don’t think about that at all. What I think about is shutting up those Mo Fo’s that think I’m done…that’s what I think about!” Bryant said.

In 10 games this postseason Bryant averaged 22.8 points per game, which was his lowest since the 98-99 playoff run.

His rebounds and assist marked his lowest since 97-98. However, it is worth mentioning that Kobe also played the least amount of minutes this postseason then he has since 97-98 (2nd year in league).

Bryant is far from done, as he moved into 6th place for all-time in scoring during the regular season, and passed Shaq this postseason for 3rd in all-time playoff scoring

He also recently tied the all time record for most selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. He is now tied with Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, and Kevin Garnett as the only players to be named to the All-Defensive First Team nine times.

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One of the topics that came up in Kobe Bryant’s exit interview was  the rumors that surrounded Gasol and Bryant. Some gossip sites even saying that the two weren’t talking to each other, and that Kobe’s wife broke up Gasol and his girlfriend. Kobe did his best to silence the gossip, and was asked if it angered him.

“It didn’t anger me, so much as it made me laugh. People will reach for absolutely anything, when we struggle. They’ll pull for any crap, any B.S. that they possibly can, and invent things, and it was ridiculous” Bryant said.

Kobe was asked to respond to some comments that Pau Gasol made in his exit interview. Regarding the team not seeming to know each other at the end, and over the next few days the team needed to reflect on why that was.

“Oh we knew each other, we knew we stunk! We knew that!” Bryant said with a laugh. “Pau is a very emotional guy and I think when things go bad for him, then things really go bad for him, in his eyes. It’s not like we didn’t know each other, we weren’t playing well together, we weren’t executing together, but I don’t think it was something where it was ‘Gosh I don’t know what this guy is doing’ like we needed a Dr.Phil moment or something like that, it wasn’t like that at all. We just weren’t playing well.”

Gasol also touched on the rumors during his exit interview and made it clear that all the reports were absolutely false.

“It’s not just unfair to me, whatever has been said, which I have tried to stay away from … but obviously, I’ve heard a lot from people around me that care about me: my family, my friends, employees, and my girlfriend, apparently, who has been taking hits that are absolutely false, all those stories. Gasol explained. “But nowadays, you start a story on Facebook, on Twitter, on one of the social networks, it becomes true. It just takes enough people to comment about it. But I can’t get into that, I can’t waste my time on that.”Gasol said.

Both Bryant and Gasol have now officially silenced the rumors. So until further notice there is no validity to any of the gossip sites reports that have been running rapid around the internet.

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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.