Monday, November 24, 2014
Blog Page 169

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The quicker his knee heals the better. But with a new and improved team, he doesn’t need to log heavy minutes like he did last season.

Yahoo! Sports: “I don’t anticipate he’s going to be playing heavy-minute games to start this season,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “So, we’ll have to find a pattern out there so he has the greatest influence in the amount of minutes he gets.”

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Great news! I’m glad he made a speedy recovery, lets hope his confidence did too.

O.C. Register: Sasha Vujacic rejoined Lakers practice Wednesday and will play Thursday in San Diego — and play a significant amount if Kobe Bryant sits out to rest — after suffering a concussion a week ago.

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This is a definite improvement over last season’s Shannon. Shannon has matured and with that came the commitment to his team. This is great news for the bench mob.

L.A. Times: Shannon Brown is tired of being just a highlight show. So tired that he subjected himself to “The Hotbox” this summer, logging hour after hour at the stifling Proviso East High gym in his home state of Illinois, where the air conditioning was an afterthought at best on sweltering July and August days.

“I want to definitely let the world, let everybody see that I’m more than just a dunker,” Brown said. “It’s what I’m known for, but I definitely have a lot more aspects to my game.”

He worked on his ball-handling skills and his outside touch, necessary improvements if he hoped to surpass the 8.1 points and 20.7 minutes a game he averaged last season.

Continue reading ‘Shannon put the heat on himself’

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Some much needed rest will do him a lot of good. Kobe should sit the last 2 games of the preseason, it all beings on opening night.

ESPN: The good news is Kobe Bryant’s preseason shooting percentage, a dreary 27.3 percent (18 for 66), likely won’t dip any lower Thursday when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Golden State Warriors in San Diego.

The bad news is the reason his percentage will stay stagnant is because Bryant is unlikely to play.

“I think that Thursday’s very possible he would not play,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

The 15-year veteran is officially listed as questionable, according to the team. Bryant has played sparingly through six preseason games thus far, averaging just 19.5 minutes as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee, his third procedure on the knee since 2003.

Once the regular season tips off Tuesday against the Houston Rockets, Bryant’s minutes will not suddenly increase dramatically.

“I don’t anticipate he’s going to be playing heavy-minute games to start this season,” Jackson said. “So, we’ll have to find a pattern out there so he has the greatest influence in the amount of minutes he gets.”

Continue reading ‘Kobe likely to sit vs. GS Warriors’

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Philly.com: For years, Philadelphia has struggled with its feelings about native son Kobe Bryant.

Awed by his skills, fans here have also disowned him, even booed him.

For sporting a Dodgers hat at a Phillies playoff game. For vowing to “cut their hearts out” when his Los Angeles Lakers beat the 76ers for the NBA crown in 2001. For acting like the superstar celebrity he is.

Over at Lower Merion High School, they know another Kobe. The alumnus who visits regularly, who chats with students and athletes, and who quietly donates his time and money.

On Monday, the Lower Merion School District cheered that superstar by agreeing to name Lower Merion High’s new gymnasium after arguably its most famous graduate. The decision follows Bryant’s latest donation – $411,000, the largest gift in district history.

“He’s a real role model for being a loyal alumni to a public school,” School Board President David Ebby said.

Continue reading ‘Lower Merion School gym to be named after Kobe’

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At least it’s only the pre-season.

In their sixth game before opening night, the Lakers shot 5-19 for 26.3% in the first quarter when they only managed to score 14 points to Utah’s 24. Misses came from behind the 3-point line, from mid-range as well as mere inches from the hoop. The defending champions might’ve left their offense in Los Angeles County because they couldn’t find the hoop tonight if they’d been standing in it.

The starters couldn’t get, well, started quickly enough. Pau Gasol, one of the team’s (heck, one of the league’s) most efficient scorers, didn’t get his first shot in until a minute left in the first quarter. He managed 11 points on 5-13 shooting, eight rebounds and two steals for the night. With Kobe Bryant still clearly trying to work through his conditioning, strength and timing on the floor, Gasol is offensive option #2 for the team. The only silver lining in his performance in tonight’s game is that his struggles in scoring are a rare sighting.

Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant shot no better than Gasol. They suffered early and throughout the game. Fisher was scoreless, going 0-6 and Bryant managed just seven points.

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FOX Sports: Magic Johnson sold his small ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong on Monday, possibly clearing the way for the Hall of Famer to own a bigger portion of another NBA team in the future.

Johnson bought shares representing about 4.5 percent of the Lakers in June 1994 for a reported $10 million. Johnson said the sale was strictly a ”bittersweet business decision,” but the five-time league champion has long been interested in taking a larger ownership role in an NBA franchise.

”I thank Dr. (Jerry) Buss from the deepest part of my heart and soul for allowing me such an incredible opportunity,” Johnson said in a statement. ”I will continue to work alongside Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and (general manager) Mitch Kupchak in their efforts to continually build and maintain the best NBA franchise in the league.”

Johnson spent his entire 13-year playing career with Los Angeles, including a 32-game comeback in 1996 nearly five years after his retirement. He has been a successful businessman since leaving the sport, excelling in commercial real estate ventures including movie theaters, restaurants and health clubs.

”The sale of Earvin’s share of the team is a business decision which will not change our relationship,” Buss said. ”Our friendship goes well beyond business. Patrick is a longtime and passionate Lakers fan, and we are delighted to have him as a partner.”

Continue reading ‘Magic sells ownership stake in Lakers’

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Great article in the Denver Post. Not EVERYONE is sold on the Super Team just yet.

“People talk about what’s hot at the moment,” Nuggets all-star forward Carmelo Anthony said. “Miami is hot at the moment.”

How soon folks forget that four months ago the Lakers won their second consecutive championship.

While the world fawns over “Miami Thrice” — which, incidentally, is a perfectly awful nickname — in L.A., the Lakers are calmly and confidently preparing for another title quest.

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I think every Lakers fan knows Christmas will bring a lot more intensity this year. We see and hear you, Heat fans…

ProBasketballTalk: At an open scrimmage the Heat hosted Sunday fans started a “Beat L.A.” chant, according to a tweet from Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

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Excellent article on Kobe’s drive, passion and intensity!

Yahoo! Sports: Kobe Bryant is pursuing his sixth NBA championship, a benchmark that would match Michael Jordan’s career total and immediately launch a debate about how the Los Angeles Lakers star measures up to the league’s greatest player ever.

Jordan, however, doesn’t sound quite ready to allow Bryant to stand toe to toe with him.

“He is always going to be within the conversations of some of the greatest players who’ve played, by the time he is finished,” Jordan recently told USA Today about Bryant. “Where does he rank among those, if you are talking about positions? If you are talking about guards, I would say he has got to be in the top 10.”

Not top five. And certainly not top two.

Top 10.

Bryant didn’t take Jordan’s comments as an insult.

“It’s an accurate statement,” Bryant said. “I’m definitely one of the top 10 guards. It could mean two, it could mean one, it could mean four or five. I’m definitely one of the top thousand. Look, I know how he feels about me.

“There have been a lot of great guards to play the game. For me to sit here and say, ‘He should have said top five,’ that’s disrespectful to the other guards that I’ve watched.”

When asked whether Jordan’s words were motivating, Bryant said: “That stuff doesn’t get to me. You can’t motivate me or take me to a place that I’m not already at.”

Continue reading ‘For Bryant, it’s all about the chase’

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The camera focused in on Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher in the first quarter, side by side on the bench and looking on. Bryant sat stone-faced and Fisher sat…scrunch-faced, both surely bewildered at the team they were watching: fumbled passes, missed lay ups, missed jumpers, missed everything. And that was just the first quarter.

The Lakers were 0-6 from the field until the 9:12 mark of the first quarter. To say the home team was not sharp to begin would be an understatement, but they managed to stay in the game in large part to Ron Artest, who led all scores in the first half with 17 on 6-9 shooting.

Artest has been a different player since the pre-season began. His recognition on the floor is much quicker, allowing him various offensive options, like passing the ball inside to Pau Gasol and then cutting to receive the ball back for an easy lay up; or waiting for an opening to bury a three-pointer which he did today…twice..

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Ron Artest slapped the ball from under Ty Lawson’s arm, Steve Blake grabbed it, passed it to Artest, who passed it to a sprinting Shannon Brown – dunk.

With 4.3 seconds left in the first half, Kobe stood by the Denver bench and heaved a one-handed pass to a running Lamar Odom, who caught then tossed the ball against the backboard – goal.

Pau Gasol was trapped in the corner. He passed out to an open Kobe Bryant, who threw a no-look pass to Ron Artest standing under the basket, who passed it to an open Lamar Odom – dunk.

At one point in the game, the Lakers were shooting 61% and they shot 50% for the night. They weren’t getting lucky shooting from every which way. They were just getting higher percentage shots. There were passes that led to wide open looks; passes that led to other passes; passes that led to passes that led to assists. Out of 38 made field goals, the Lakers handed out 29 assists, which means that 76% of their makes weren’t lucky – they were created.

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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.