Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 179

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He is a really good player off the bench. If he can control his off court actions, why not?

Player Press: The Los Angeles Lakers might end up getting the man they were hoping for in the first place.

The Lakers had been trying to trade Sasha Vujacic with a first round pick in order to get his salary off the books. They had attempted to make the trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Delonte West.

That did not work out and on Tuesday the Cavaliers traded West to the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, the Timberwolves will “almost certainly” buy West out of the remaining $4.6 million on his contract for $500,000, making him a free agent.

If the Lakers can move Vujacic, sources say that they are going to add Delonte West to the roster.

This move would certainly give the Lakers a way to match up with the Miami Heat and stop LeBron in the case that the two teams do actually end up meeting in the Finals next season.

Continue reading ‘Lakers close to signing Delonte West’

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Anyone who is crazy enough to mess with Kobe Bryant is good enough to be a Los Angeles Laker, and Matt Barnes is the latest addition to the Championship puzzle.

Voice of the Nation hosts Gregory Small and David Brickley land an EXCLUSIVE interview with Matt Barnes, and discusses the famous incident with Kobe, why he decided to take less money to come back to Los Angeles, and much more.

Hear one of Matt Barnes‘ first interviews as a Laker right here on Voice of the Nation!

Follow Matt Barnes, as well as G-Small & D-Bricks on Twitter.

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Great news from the big guy. Have a speedy recovery ‘Drew!

L.A. Times: Lakers center Andrew Bynum had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday to repair the meniscus. Bynum’s brother, Corey Thomas, said Bynum will rehabilitate his knee for six to eight weeks. The Lakers start training camp Sept. 25, which is earlier than usual because they will play exhibition games in London and Barcelona in early October. The procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Thomas said the doctor “found nothing surprising.” “He was in good spirits,” Thomas said. “He’ll be ready to go when the season starts.”

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It seems this is a financial move.

Twitter: Sources said Lakers are trying to trade Sasha Vujacic wfirst round pick to get his salary off books. They tried to do it for Delonte West.

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As you probably know, the Lakers 2010 Championship DVD is available today! Now half of you reading are probably rushing to your local stores, or iTunes to pick it up… yeah, we understand. Fortunately, we have our hands on a few copies of the DVD’s and since this website can’t function without you all, we’re sharing.

How do you enter? It’s always pretty simple with us — all you need to do is comment below with your favorite moment of the 2009-2010 Lakers season to enter. We’re not judging by best answer.

Deadline to enter is by 8PM tomorrow (7/28/10).

If you absolutely must get this DVD today (we don’t judge), you can purchase the DVD at the NBA Store or Amazon.

So get ready to sit back with a bag of popcorn — maybe Sour Patch Kids, pop that DVD in, and watch the Lakers beat the Celtics in 7 Games. Over… and over… and over… and over again…

More about the Lakers 2010 Championship DVD + more bonus footage after the jump!

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Lamar is getting love from everyone. Good for him, he deserves it!

ESPN: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher might be the guys dominating the huddles for the purple and gold, but Odom has shown another side of himself for the red, white and blue. “He has [embraced it],” [Chauncey] Billups said. “He really has, man. He’s come and he’s taken the challenge of being one of the leaders of this team.”… “It’s been easy to talk to [Odom],” [Kevin] Durant said. “For a guy who’s won two championships in a row, he might come in and think he’s better than everybody else here, but that’s not the case with Lamar. He’s totally the opposite. He’s been a great, great teammate so far, always encouraging the young guys and telling young guys what we need to do and it’s going to be good to have him over there in Turkey.”

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The time has come, the Voice of the Nation is set to produce the highly anticipated 100th episode.

A podcast that started in 2008 in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, has turned into not only the #1 Lakers related podcast on the internet, but among the very top NBA podcasts on iTunes!

Some of you have been listening, and contributing since Episode #1, maybe some of you just found out about our podcast during the Live shows during the NBA FInals, regardless we want to hear from YOU.

Whether its congratulating the fellas, telling us your favorite VOTN moment, or why the heck you download each and every episode. Give us something, and we will play it during the show.

The Voice of the Nation, is just that THE VOICE, and you are a big part of it, so give the voicemail a call…

1-866-520-4037, and lay down some VOTN love!

Don’t like your voice? Feel free to drop the show a line VOTN@thelakersnation.com

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Remember in 2008, where the bench (then known as the “Minute Men” per Phil Jackson) carried the team to the NBA Finals. They packed the punch of our starting 5, they hustled for rebounds, diving for loose balls because every possession mattered. Sadly, the Lakers didn’t end up making it far in the Finals, falling short to the Boston Celtics in Game 6.

As the new season began, there were high expectations that the team would be much better than the previous year because of the return of a healthy Andrew Bynum, whom was a missing piece in the 2008 Finals, and a hungry Kobe, ready to win his first without Shaq. But something was missing. Everything was there… but the bench.

The bench had lost its energy, its hunger to win. Farmar broke down, “The Machine” was out of batteries, and the rest of the bench just didn’t seem to care. The Lakers went through the season with no bench, as they would tend to blow every lead the starting 5 would have, the most irritating being the double-digit “we got this” lead. The starting 5 would pack on more minutes to right the wrongs the bench did.

The bench didn’t play a factor in the season but surprisingly, the Lakers still managed to win the Championship. The happiness of winning the championship trumped the fact that they had no bench, thinking we had time to fix the problem ensuing the Finals. But the only addition was signing free agent Ron Artest, after letting go of Trevor Ariza.

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He has been impressive! He could be a force off the bench.

ESPN: Derrick Caracter is used to being the biggest and baddest person in the room for quite some time.

Ever since he was a 6-8 eighth grader, when he was proclaimed a basketball prodigy by The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) — a regular “Boy Wonder,” the headline read — Caracter approached life like it owed something to him. Like his behemoth size was a guarantee he would achieve even bigger things.

That all changed in the last couple years of his 22-year-old life. His fast track came to a screeching halt at age 19 when, after two tumultuous years at Louisville with Rick Pitino, he left school as an overweight disappointment.

He fled the spotlight in Louisville that the Big East provided for the relative anonymity of Conference USA at the University of Texas El Paso, lucky that any program would take a chance on him after so thoroughly soiling his reputation that came from being ranked the No. 1 prospect in his high school class.

“It was pretty much starting all over from scratch and going out there like I was in seventh grade again,” Caracter said at the Lakers practice facility last month, specifically pointing to a time before he was bestowed with the fame that made him a household name in basketball circles for nearly the last half of his life.

His transfer to UTEP came at a time when his first name Derrick was being replaced by “Has No” or “Lacks” by critics, and his last name Caracter was being followed by an additional surname of “Issues.

“I know there was a lot of character issues people were concerned with, as far as off the court, but I’m going to show them that’s not a problem,” said Caracter, uttering the homonym that’s caused him so much grief.

Continue reading ‘Derrick Caracter could make the team’

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He has truly earned our respect.

ESPN: Mitch Kupchak always seems to be in the right place at the right time. At least that’s the common misconception about the Los Angeles Lakers general manager who never gets credit for not only maintaining a championship team for three years but for rebuilding a new one three years later.

Kupchak is the quiet, unassuming player at the poker table — never getting too aggressive or taking big risks yet always seems to end up with all the chips in the end.

When he traded for Pau Gasol two years ago, he was called a thief. When he drafted 17-year-old Andrew Bynum five years ago, he was called crazy and, after Bynum slowly developed into one of the best centers in the NBA, he was called lucky. When he replaced fan-favoriteTrevor Ariza with Ron Artest last year, he was called foolish and, when Artest proved to be the hero in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, he was called fortunate.

Call him whatever you want but Kupchak, more often than not, has been right since taking over for Jerry West a decade ago.

While general managers around the NBA throw $120 million contracts at the likes of Joe Johnson, Kupchak quietly re-signed Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions this past season. Both moves, by the way, were announced via nondescript afternoon press releases as opposed to a prime-time special.

Few front office executives know the NBA landscape as well as Kupchak, who played for the Washington Bullets and the Lakers from 1976-1986 and joined the Lakers’ front office upon retirement in 1986. You’ll never see Kupchak overpay for a player or bid against himself for a player. He knows the market too well. He knows how much a player can get and knows what it will take to get him.

Try to bluff Kupchak all you want but chances are he’ll call you out and make you pay in the end.

Continue reading ‘Mitch Kupchak deserves more credit’

24

From Mike Miller, to Tracy McGrady, to Raja Bell, to Jeremy Lin, to Jeremy Lin’s mother, Nancy (I don’t know if this is her name, but it sounds right, Nancy Lin), never has Laker Land quite experienced such a frenetic, all-over-the-place  kind of summer regarding free agency speculation as it has in this one — particularly after just winning another NBA championship.

It almost feels as if we didn’t win one, but that’s the beauty about being part of a legendary, winning Laker organization — you naturally become greedy; never content with settling for ‘good’. Chalk the craziness up to it being the much hyped Summer of Super Star Orgies. Or the fact that there were about 100-odd free agents out there looking for work — 100 players who were all Lakers at some point this summer… in Photoshop. Or simply chalk it up to the fact that the Lakers had 4 roster spots available for upgrades due to the expiring contracts of several of their inconsistent bench players (Farmar, Mbenga, Powell, and Morrison) — the point of the matter is, this summer definitely left (and still leaves) A LOT of room for speculation.

Probably too much speculation, given the limited amount of resources we realistically had at our disposal this summer (a mid-level exception and a slew of minimum contracts). But if Laker fans have learned anything from the past, it’s that Mitch Kupchak certainly knows how to turn ‘limited resources’ into ‘unlimited possibilities’, using the skillful art of inception on other General Managers  and forcing them to collude with the Laker State of Mind (see Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol). And while he wasn’t anywhere near as desperate to resorting to such an over-the-top tactic this off-season, he still definitely made the most out of what he had to work with.

I know everybody’s read a billion opinions already about our off-season acquisitions (and probably from more credible sources than myself), but, regardless, here is my opinionated breakdown of our very productive new additions…

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Definitely not good news, good thing we signed Barnes.

Whittier Daily News: Adding depth at small forward was one reason why the Lakers signed Barnes, a former UCLA standout who played last season with the Orlando Magic. The Lakers are concerned Luke Walton could miss the season because of a back injury, Kupchak said.

“We feel we have to have some insurance there,” he said.

Walton was limited to 29 games last season, undergoing surgery to relieve the pain from a pinched nerve. Kobe Bryant shifted frequently from shooting guard to small forward in order to serve as Ron Artest’s backup in 2009- 10.

“It’s a possibility,” Kupchak said when asked if he was worried Walton would be sidelined for all of 2010-11.

Continue reading ‘Could Luke miss 2010-2011 season?

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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.