Friday, December 19, 2014
Blog Page 142

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Photo by Christian Petersen I Getty Images

This is a very odd decision by the league. You may remember the altercation between Derek Fisher and Chris Kaman from last week in which Kaman set a hard screen on Fisher and Fisher didn’t take very kindly to it. The two ended up staring down each other including Kaman challenging Fish to “meet him outside” WWE style.

The league announced today that Fisher’s foul has been upgraded to a flagrant 2; although no suspension will be coming per Mike Bresnahan:

Derek Fisher’s “incident” last week with Chris Kaman was retroactively upgraded by the NBA to a Flagrant Foul, Type 2. No suspension, tho.

Do you guys feel this is warranted? Let’s hear your thoughts, Lakers Nation.

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Photo by Harry How I Getty Images

…or, well, night. With the Hornets’ David West out, along with his 18.9 ppg, 7.60 rpg and 2.3 apg, New Orleans needed to dig deep to win this game and found they stood in shallow waters compared to the Lakers’ ocean.

Andrew Bynum, the team’s superstar since the All-Star break, found himself in foul trouble, but despite his absence for the majority of the game, the Lakers were still more than okay. Even after getting called for his fifth foul on a terrible Aaron Gray flop (and “flop” doesn’t begin to describe what that delayed dive was), Bynum soldiered on and scored 7 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, and managed to collect five rebounds and a block.

Pau Gasol, adding this game to his relief efforts for the victim’s of the Japan earthquake, had a 23 point, 16 rebound, 4 block type of evening. That’s an additional $23,000 (not to mention’s Magic Johnson’s promise to match Gasol’s contribution) to the $26,000 he offered from Friday’s game. Gasol channeled his inner Bynum tonight, working the glass and keeping watch of the paint. Chris Paul, who shot just 4-10 for his 10 points, was not as aggressive on offense as he usually is; hardly penetrating to the hoop as he often does, and maybe it had something to do with the seven-footer guarding the inside. Gasol was no slouch on the other end of the court, with 12 of his 16 boards coming on the defensive end. He challenged shots and managed to block four of them. And 9-14 from the field? Calling Gasol efficient will never get tired. That is what this player is.

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Kobe Bryant joined The Mo’Nique Show earlier this week, on B.E.T.

Bryant discussed how Michael Jordan, and Gary Payton taught him to talk trash, if his daughters want to play basketball when they get older, and does he have plans on having a baby boy to possibly follow in his footsteps?

Check out the video below:

Thanks to @Jose3030 for the edited interview!

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Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The (52-20) Los Angeles Lakers will be in their Sunday white jersey’s hosting the (42-31) New Orleans Hornets. The Lakers are seeking a season sweep of the Hornets after winning the three previous games. Lakers won last year’s season series 2-1. They’re 8-2 in their last 10 games against Hornets, and winners of six of their last seven overall. Also, they’re 7-3 in their last 10 home games against them and are 13-4 all-time at the Staples Center.

The Hornets, 7-3 in their last 10 games are on a two-game winning streak and fighting for their playoff lives without the services of All-Star David West. West was lost for the season when his left knee buckled late against the Utah Jazz. They’re in the bottom half of the playoff bracket, currently the seventh seed amidst four teams separated by four games in the loss column. They’ve replaced David West in the lineup with a familiar nemesis; Carl Landry.

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Photo by Jeff Gross I Getty Images

Ron Artest may have found a cure to his sometimes erratic play.

Abstaining from Alcohol.

According to Artest, it was a key to losing weight, and becoming a defensive force in the 2010 playoffs. As he helped the Lakers win the 2010 championship.

Back in 2009, a December issue of Sporting News magazine came out. In an interview with Artest, he discussed how he used to drink alcohol when he was with the Chicago Bulls:

“I used to drink Hennessy … at halftime,” Artest said in the 2009 interview, “I [kept it] in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store and get it.”

Ron pledged that starting this season he would abstain from alcohol. He claimed that he couldn’t stomach liquor anymore, and vowed to stop drinking at the end of July, prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.

It wasn’t so much his weight, and mobility, as it was his focus in the early going of the season. Struggling more times then not, on both ends of the floor.

However, since the all-star break he has turned a corner. Artest looks much more comfortable on offense, and is locked in defensively. All that being said, Ron-Ron tweeted this on Sunday morning:

The key To hard work for me is no alcohol. Floyd Mayweather can party hard , have fun and not drink!! My body and mind has been good since!!

It’s not certain if Artest has had any alcohol since July.

Since the break, he is averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals per game.

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Photo by Jeff Gross I Getty Images
As well as the Lakers have played since the All-Star break (14-1), head coach Phil Jackson is not pleased with the way his bench is playing.

“They have to play defense a lot better and not turn the ball over…its a problem right now” – Phil Jackson as told to Brad Turner of the LA Times

The bench unit (which primarlity consists of Lamar Odom and the “killer bees”), themselves admit that they are in a bit of a funk right now.

“I think we’re all a bit frustrated. We’re just not getting stops the way we believe that we can. Its mentally affecting our offense a little bit” – Steve Blake

The Lakers have given up sizeable double digit leads in their last 2 victories over the Clippers and the Suns and much of the blame has been attributed to the 2nd unit. As great of an edge that the Lakers have with their starting lineup, Phil Jackson believes the bench needs to be more consistent in order for the team to get where it wants to go.

“Even though it’s (the 2nd unit) a team that can speed up the tempo of the game, theyre playing too fast…And defensively we havent made stops”

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Photo by Ezra Shaw I Getty Images

The Lakers were leading the Clippers 110-104 on Friday night, with about 31 seconds to play, when Derek Fisher and Chris Kaman got tangled up.

Kaman came to set a screen around 20 feet away from the basket, and Fisher decided to run through it, oppose to around it, and that rubbed Kaman the wrong way.

They would both get technical fouls for the altercation, but Kaman was ejected when he continued to mouth off towards Fisher, reportedly yelling, “I’ll meet you outside!

Kobe responded to Kaman’s threat:

“Whats he gonna do? Shoot him with one of his bow and arrows?” Kobe said sarcastically, “Come on man, give me a break, everybody talks tough in this league nobody’s a fighter.”

Fisher was asked after the game if he knows that he annoys some players:

“I guess so, I mean some people feel fondly of me, and some people don’t”…”if big guys are setting screens on little guys, to not expect any contact…is unrealistic, this is a competition, as much as you are trying to tear my head off, I’m trying to tear your head off too.”

Mo Williams, Kaman’s Clipper teammate voiced off on his twitter saying…

“If yall didn’t know, D Fish is the Hines Ward of the NBA. I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not. But don’t let that nice guy fool u”

According to reports, Kaman was asked about the incident after the game but did not respond.

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Photo by Lucy Nicholoson I AFP/Getty Images

John Calipari, head coach at Kentucky, recently reflected back on the 1996 NBA draft when he was the head coach of the New Jersey Nets.

Arn Tellem, Kobe’s agent at that time, had Kobe working out for New Jersey, who had the 8th overall pick

“I worked him out three times and I thought I was losing my mind. Obviously I wasn’t. He was really good. I’d brought him in a third time because I just said, ‘I’ve got to see this kid again because this is ridiculous.” Calipari said.

However, Bryant also got a chance to work out for the Lakers. As it is commonly known, Lakers GM at the time, Jerry West was completely blown away. However, West knew that Kobe would not fall to the 24th pick, so he begin talking with other teams to trade up in the draft.

According to the Yahoo Sports article, Kobe’s agent was (more) interested in the Lakers, “Better franchise, bigger market, and more Adidas flying off the shelves

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Photo by Jamie Squire I Getty Images

Michael Jordan recently caught up with his alma mater, the North Carolina Tarheels, as they compete for a National Championship.

Jordan spotted UNC star, Harrison Barnes, wearing Kobe Bryant’s new Nike shoe, instead of the Nike Jordan 11’s, which are not sold in stores, being made specifically for the Tarheels.

“Hey Dude! Next time I see you in those Kobe Bryant’s i’m going to cut you right off”, Jordan said playfully, “I don’t care if your feet kill you; you’re going to wear those – Jordan’s!”

Jordan, would add that if the Tarheels get to the final four, they can have whatever they want.

Jordan’s last championship was in 1998, which will be 13 years ago this June.

You can check out the video of the conversation between Jordan, and the Tarheels, after the jump

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Photo by Harry How I Getty Images

They may play in the same arena, and they may have an exciting new young star who can dunk up a storm, but when it comes to ruling Staples Center and the city of Los Angeles, the young Clippers are no Championship Lakers team.

Blake Griffin (22 points on 9-16, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) may be able to throw down impressive dunks, but he’s no Pau Gasol, who hit his first four field goals today with nothing but relative ease. With the extra incentive to score to raise money for tsunami relief in Japan, Gasol scored 26 points on an efficient 10-15, adding in 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. He scored on jumpers beyond the paint, received passes for uncontested hoops (including a very Showtime-like over the shoulder, no-look pass from Lamar Odom), and didn’t give up the ball once, despite the Lakers committing 14 turnovers in the game. The only thing Gasol gave away tonight was $26,000 to help Japan recover from their recent disaster.

Speaking of disaster, how about the Clippers’ Eric Gordon (7 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists) shooting just 3-14 from the field? The Clippers’ scoring talent didn’t hit his first field goal until six and a half minutes into the fourth and final quarter. The cause? Ron Artest and, indirectly, Kobe Bryant. As if it wasn’t enough to be smothered by Artest all evening, Gordon was also on Kobe Watch – both producing one exhausting game for the young guard.

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Photo by Christian Petersen I Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal didn’t necessarily just go after Andrew Bynum, but he did comment on the possibility of facing two of the best big men in the league, in this years NBA playoffs.

O’Neal was asked by ESPN’s Marc Stein, if he was looking forward to going up against guys like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum in the playoffs.

O’Neal: Excuse me? Don’t ask me a question like that.

Marc Stein: But that’s what people want to know. Those guys are playing so well and everyone wants to see if you can match up with them one-on-one.

O’Neal: First of all, they won’t dare play me one-on-one, even at the tender age of 39. And you know what? Playin’ those teams, it ain’t gonna be about the [center] matchup, so I don’t really worry about that.

Shaq turned 39 years old in March, and has only appeared in 36 games this season for the Celtics. According to a team source, Shaq is scheduled to return April 1st, in time to be ready for the playoffs.

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Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

It has been announced that Pau Gasol will donate $1,000 per point, for tonight’s game against the Clippers. The amount Gasol earns will go to help the relief efforts in Japan.

19 other players, including Pau’s brother Marc Gasol, have decided to donate to Direct Relief International, which “supports the immediate health needs of people by working with local authorities best situated to assess, respond and prepare for the long-term recovery,” according to the nonprofit’s website.

Gasol, shared his thoughts with Lakers.com on Thursday:

“When natural disaster like that occurs, I think it affects us all. You never know where it’s going to happen next, or if it’s going to happen to somebody close to you, related to you or yourself. The world has to team up and get together and help and support, and that’s why I knew I was going to do something. It was just a matter of how and when, and when I learned about the Direct Relief International and what they were doing, supplying medical supplies and financial support right away and making a difference, I thought it was the right fit. That’s why I’m going to donate $1,000 for each point I score in tomorrow’s game, and I’m proud to join a few other NBA players that are also part of this initiative.”

The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has exceeded 10,000 people, with even more missing.

Gasol is no stranger to donating to a good cause. Last year Pau also donated $1,000 per point, in a game against the Knicks, to help the relief efforts in Haiti. Gasol scored 20 points in that game going 7/10 from the field.

NOTE: Magic Johnson tweeted on Friday afternoon: “I will match the $1,000 per point Gasol scores tonight to donate to Japan relief.”

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Getty Images | Photo By Stephen Dunn

The (51-20) Los Angeles Lakers host the (28-44) Los Angeles Clippers in the Hallway Finale.

The Lakers lead the season series two games to one. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games overall against the Clippers. There will come a day that this match up will be considered a battle for bragging rights. However, today is not that day. The city of Los Angeles has seen some outstanding performances at the Staples Center, but the recent string of games have impressed.

The Lakers won in triple-overtime against the Phoenix Suns, the Clippers beat the Washington Wizards in double-overtime and the Kings recorded two wins in shootouts. That is 25 extra minutes of basketball; 94 points, six goals after regulation for those counting at home.

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Harry How / Getty Images

Two Thirds of the “Killer Bees” have big decisions to make at the end of this season, and it seems one of them may be more likely to stay then the other.

Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown have player options next season for the Lakers. Barnes, has a $1.91 million player option next season, and Shannon Brown has a $2.37-million option.

Matt Barnes, according to the LA Times, has said he is comfortable exercising his option.

“At this point, I want to win,” Barnes said. “Unless it’s something where people say, ‘You’re dumb for turning that down,’ I don’t really see myself making a move.”

Shannon Brown has yet to commit either way

“I don’t know, man,” Brown said Tuesday. “There’s a lot that weighs in while thinking about this process.” [testing free agency would be] “the best scenario, I guess. But unlike last year, when I was thinking about it and thinking about it, this year it really hasn’t been on my mind as much because there’s a lot of history that can be made this year. That really honestly has been my focus

Shannon Brown in 19.4 minutes per game, is averaging 9.1 points, 1.2 assist, and shooting 36% from three point range. While, Matt Barnes, in 19.9 minutes a game, is averaging 7.2 points, 1.5 assist, and shooting 34% from three point range.

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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.