A lot of respect for the Black Mamba from Avery. It’s well deserved.
Pro Basketball Talk: “[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he’ll be 2,” the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. “He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they’ll be flipped.
“Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they’re looking like the same player.”
They don’t like to make it easy on themselves, do they? The Lakers, after losing in Chicago and coming into Newark to face the lowly 7-game losing streak New Jersey Nets, could’ve played with a lot more conviction than they have been lately. Maybe being these were the New Jersey Nets, however, they figured they could come in, play with just enough energy and flair, and walk out with a win. The Lakers have done that often this season and it hasn’t turned in their favor. They got lucky today.
They got lucky because Pau Gasol played almost 42 minutes but could only muster up 15 points on 6-19 – 32%! When was the last time Gasol shot 32%?! Mr. Consistency has been anything but lately. Yes, he’s overworked and he, in simple terms, is tired. Gasol is tired from filling in for Andrew Bynum. That explanation has gotten so cliché the last month that pity for Gasol is waning. Lamar Odom hasn’t stopped playing since the Lakers began their 2008-2009 season and he’s playing as great as he’s ever played before. Wasn’t the point of Gasol’s summer off to rest his body in order to prepare for this season? Have the benefits of that “rest” reached their quota?
Kobe will not step down for anyone, love it. This is the mentality of a warrior.
Chicago Breaking Sports: When the Lakers beat the Bulls in Los Angeles last month, Kobe Bryant had a private conversation with Derrick Rose afterward.
Asked if that conversation might have any symbolic passing of the torch undertones to it, Bryant flashed his legendary competitiveness.
“Oh, sure, but I ain’t passing (expletive),” Bryant said.
Asked if Rose has to come take the torch from Bryant, the Lakers’ superstar smiled.
“He can certainly try,” Bryant said.
Otherwise, Bryant lauded Rose’s development and noted his developing killer instinct.
“I just told him to stay healthy and continue the job he’s doing,” Bryant said of their November postgame talk. “I don’t think you can develop (a killer instinct). You either have it or you don’t. He’s had it since he was in high school.
“That quality separates players I think. With players of equal ability, it’s about the engine you have inside. It certainly gives him an edge.”
What could be worse than the Bulls scoring just 12 points in the first quarter? How about the Lakers scoring just 10 in the second? After an inspiring 12 minutes of lock-down defense and ball movement galore, the Lakers shot just 4-15 and committed seven turnovers in the second quarter. They just absolutely kill you, don’t they?
The visitors seemed poised to have another great game after their harrowing win against the Clippers, and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol were determined to make up for their lackluster performance on Wednesday night. Odom (18 points on 7-12, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks) and Gasol (21 points on 9-15, eight rebounds, four assists, four blocks) owned 18 of the Lakers’ 22 first quarter points. If only they’d continue such aggressive effort throughout.
After scoring 14 straight points in that first quarter, and forcing the Bulls to miss nine shots in a row, not only was the Lakers’ offense clicking; their defense was as well. It appeared a safe assumption that they would duplicate such production throughout the course of the game. IT APPEARED that way anyhow. But as we’ve done often this season, we judged the Lakers by their first quarter cover, and then dismissed the confusing and annoying parts, waiting for the story to get good and exciting. Instead we get to the last few pages and seconds, and just when we think the hero will make an appearance to save the day, we’re instead left scratching our heads and wondering, “What just happened?”
The (16-6) Lakers embark on a six-game road trip; their first stop and probably their toughest against the (12-8) Chicago Bulls. The Lakers start this road trip with the momentum of a three-game winning streak.
Head Coach Phil Jackson and the majority of his staff will be hit with a bit of nostalgia playing in Chicago at the United Center and coming out of the visiting locker room.
The Lakers outlasted the Clippers on a spectacular buzzer beater by the Lakers new iron man, Derek Fisher. It was great to see him add another buzzer beater to his legacy, show everyone that he’s still got it and give the best closer in the game the night off.
This is the kindest thing Ronanyone has ever done. No one can top this kind act. Hats off to you, RonRon.
ESPN: For 99.9 percent of the players in the NBA, July 1, 2011 is circled on their calendars as the start of a potential lockout if the player’s union and the league’s owners can’t come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires on June 30.
For Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest, July 1 marks the day he will announce just how much of his 2011-12 salary he will donate to charities to benefit mental health awareness.
It takes a dedicated 0.1 percentile-type of person to consider giving away a large percentage of the $6.79 million he is contracted to make next season.
“Either all or some,” Artest said about his donation plans prior to the Lakers’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. “You’ll know July 1.”
The 12-year veteran, who has made more than $52 million in salary through his first 11 seasons, refrained from providing much further detail, wishing to focus on the season and saying that he has already received enough publicity for raffling off his 2010 NBA championship ring on his personal website for charity.
As of last week, the raffle had already raised $464,525, according to Artest’s manager. The winner will be selected on Christmas Day when the Lakers host the Miami Heat.
Artest said his wife and family are behind him with his decision.
“We lost $7 million before,” Artest said, alluding to the money he lost while he was suspended for 73 regular-season games and 13 playoff games following the incident when he went into the stands in Detroit. “At least [this time] it’s going to something good.”
In August of 1965, a civil unrest erupted when a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer arrested Marquette Frye in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In April of 1992, four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted after videotape showed them beating motorist Rodney King. Thousands rioted soon afterwords for almost a week tallying property damage of almost $1 Billion.
The Holidays are here! Take advantage of this great offer from the NBA Store: FREE Shipping on every order, now through 12am ET, today (12/9) only. Just use the promo code “HANGTIME” when you check out. In honor of D-Fish’s game winner last night, here are a few of our favorite Fisher items, or you can just go straight to the Lakers shop:
So, the Lakers beat the Clippers last night for the 874,593rd time in franchise history. Add Charlie Sheen + Hooker in there somewhere and we’ll have the least surprising story of the decade.
In a game of familiar headlines (Kobe hitting big shots, the Clippers playing the Lakers tough, Artest shooting sub-25% from the floor), none were more customary than the final one penned by our own Anna Gonda:
John Ireland was interviewing Derek Fisher after the game as an excited group of teammates lingered behind him. Assistant coach, Brian Shaw, stood in the background with the biggest smile on his face and his arms in the air. Steve Blake, on his way off the court, couldn’t help but stop to place a hand on either side of Fisher’s shoulders, giving him a little shake before he continued on his way. Matt Barnes walked by next, but not before he placed both hands over Fisher’s ears and kissed the back of his captain’s head. On Fisher’s way to the locker room, Kobe Bryant got up from his seat, wearing headphones and talking into a mic, to give his most trusted confidante a quick handshake and embrace. Fisher had done it…again.
The Lakers attacked early in this game, getting to an 8-0 start with a quickness, but the Clippers woke up with 9:16 left in the first and ended the quarter just two points shy of tying, 20-18. Other than the Lakers’ sputtering offense, the team faced yet another unfortunate circumstance when Kobe Bryant fell on Derrick Caracter and the rookie reportedly turned his ankle. He had to sit out the rest of the game which meant the Lakers were yet another center down.
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.