Thursday, November 27, 2014
Blog Page 230

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In one of the most dissapointing losses of the year, team Texas beats team Los Angeles.

Dirk hit a halfcourt shot to seal it at 34 seconds.

The home team from Texas includes the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, the team’s all-time leading scorer, who was selected to his ninth All-Star Game, which will be played Feb. 14, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington; 2009 WNBA All-Star and All-WNBA First Team member Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars; and TNT analyst Kenny Smith, a two-time NBA champion with the Houston Rockets (1994, 1995).

Team Los Angeles, which won the inaugural All-Star Shooting Stars competition in 2004, is comprised of Pau Gasol, who will be making his third NBA All-Star Game appearance in 2010; Marie Ferdinand-Harris of the Los Angeles Sparks, who is a three-time WNBA All-Star; and NBA TV analyst Brent Barry, winner of the 1996 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest as a member of the Clippers.

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Lakers Basketblog spoke with Spud Webb on Shannon Brown!

Lakers BasketBlog: In 1986, Spud Webb – all 5′7” of him – put on a ridiculous performance to win the Slam Dunk Contest.

Twenty-four years later, Spud will be judging the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest, featuring Lakers guard (and air traffic control violator) Shannon Brown.

“I haven’t gotten to see him all that much, but from what I hear, he jumps out of the gym,” said Spud. “Everybody I talk to says, ‘That’s my favorite, that’s my favorite, that’s my favorite.

“He gets up high and he’ll hopefully be creative in his dunks. I just want to see a new winner, so hopefully he can come up.”

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Before Shannon dunks tonight…

O.C. Register: There was the broken hoop in the front yard and the busted rim in the back of the modest Maywood, Ill. home. Not to mention the bent Nerf hoops that landed in the garbage bin on a monthly basis.

Then there was the 10-speed bicycle poking through the bottom of the screen door, and the TV stand that eventually had to be replaced because the cabinet door was ripped from its hinges.

The damage done to Sandra and Chris Brown’s home over the years by their son cost them plenty in repair bills, but it’s a price they gladly say was worth every penny. That’s because the reward has been watching their middle child turn into one of the most exciting NBA players currently in the league.

“With Shannon, it was always something with speed and jumping when he was growing up” Sandra Brown said.

Shannon Brown, Lakers guard and leaper extraordinaire, is taking his best qualities to Dallas’ American Airlines Center, where he will show off his skills against two-time champion Nate Robinson, Gerald Wallace, and either DeMar DeRozan or Eric Gordon in an attempt to become the NBA Slam Dunk champion.

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. and televised on TNT.

Brown said it’s an honor to have been selected to participate in the contest won by some of the game’s biggest stars, including teammate Kobe Bryant (1997), who will aid him in the competition Saturday.

Brown said many people view him simply as a “dunker” but he tries to bring his all-around game out nightly when he comes off the bench.

“But when it’s time to dunk, I don’t hold back,” said Brown, who is just the fourth Lakers player to compete in the dunk contest, joining Michael Cooper, Antonio Harvey and Bryant.

And when he gets running, don’t look away.

Continue reading ‘Can Shannon fly as high?

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Check out Kobe’s answers from the media session at All-Star Dallas!

Lakers Basketblog: On his ankle:
Bryant: It’s doing OK. It’s still sore, obviously. Just gotta treat it and get it ready.

On missing the All-Star Game:
Bryant: Weird. Especially here. This is a historical All-Star Game being played at Cowboy Stadium, so it’s a shame that I have to miss this one.

On Shannon Brown keeping it “Old School” in the Dunk Contest:
Bryant: What I mean by that is to kind of take it back to the way the Dunk Contest used to be and just showcase your god-given ability, just go up there and fly. Like he can. Not get too fancy, just get up there and do what he does.

On his rehabilitation:
Bryant: I’m doing therapy non-stop, around the clock until it’s ready to go. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later … The back’s fine, the finger I can’t do anything about – it’s broken. It is what it is. The finger is going to have to be taped probably as long as I continue to play.

Continue reading ‘Kobe Bryant Media Session’

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Here is the schedule for the All-Star media session #1…

Lakers BasketBlog: Between 12-12:30 p.m. at the player’s hotel in Dallas, Shannon Brown will get his first taste of Slam Dunk mass attention during the All-Star Saturday Night participant media availability.

While Brown has previously pledged not to reveal any of his ideas (meaning he’ll be covering much of the same questions he’s gotten in L.A. for the past few weeks), we’ll be on hand to see what he has to offer (”I can fly” would be a good generic quote, right?).

Also going through the All-Star Saturday media tour will be Pau Gasol, who’s scheduled to participate in the “Shooting Stars” competition, so we’ll check in with the Spaniard as well.

Then between 12:30-1:15 p.m., the Western Conference All-Stars will address collected press members, meaning more Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant’s first session.

Stay tuned.

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This is great news and Tex is so long overdue it’s not even arguable…

ESPN: The complete list of finalists includes: From the North American Screening Committee: players Dennis Johnson, Bernard King, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Bob Hurley, Don Nelson and Tex Winter; contributor Jerry Buss and the two USA Olympic teams.

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Now THAT would be dynamite:

ESPN: Mbenga’s high-flying teammate Brown has been hush-hush about his slam dunk plans for Saturday night other than revealing that Bryant will be involved as a passer on one of his attempts, but Mbenga said on Wednesday that he’ll be on the court for another one of Brown’s throwdowns. “It’s going to be a lot of jumping around,” Brown said. It had better be if he hopes to clear the 7-foot Mbenga.

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Our condolences goes to his family as we lost a member of the Lakers family.

L.A. Times: Fred Schaus, the Lakers’ first head coach in Los Angeles, has died at age 84.  Schaus’ Laker squads featuring Elgin Baylor and Jerry West went to 4 NBA Finals, losing each time to the Boston Celtics. Schaus had also been West’s college coach at West Virigina University. Following his coaching days, he spent 5 seasons as Lakers GM, and was in that role for the 1972 championship team.

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While the fans WILL miss him, the rest is the best thing for his body. After all, he deserves it!

SLAMOnline: On the Western front, a banged up Kobe Bryant will be replaced by Jason Kidd. This will be the first All-Star game since 1996-97, their rookie seasons, where neither Bryant nor Iverson will participate in the Sunday night spectacle.

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Seems like an interesting experiment.

O.C. Register: Even after Andrew Bynum gets healthy again, Lamar Odom might supplant him in the Lakers’ starting lineup going forward.

That, however, would be one risky shakeup for a team already on track to win it all.

Phil Jackson acknowledged late Wednesday night that his trusted assistants are already lobbying him to make the change to start Odom over Bynum – and he’s going to contemplate it when the Lakers reconvene after the All-Star break.

“My coaches are kind of pushing me in that direction, but I’m not ready yet to do that,” Jackson said. “We won last year with Andrew when he came back at the end of the season, going out there and playing the first quarter and starting the games. Even though he wasn’t 100 percent when came back off his injury last year, he still gave us a lot; he gives us a big front. So I have to measure that and see what’s going to happen with this team in the next couple weeks.”

That revelation is yet another flare in the air for young Bynum to understand that his progress needs to be more consistent, particularly on defense. It is also a testament to Odom’s clear progress as one of Jackson’s most challenging long-term player-development projects, even if Odom never will become the Scottie Pippen of everyone’s dreams.

See, the way things shake out in Jackson’s brilliant-Zenmaster or mumbo-jumbo world is that when you stop sweating individual glory, it winds up finding you.

And a year and a half since Jackson pushed a reluctant, unhappy Odom into a reserve role, Odom no longer cares about that individual status. He even has a sound, stock summation regarding the demotion last season: “I won my first championship coming off the bench.”

So it’s only appropriate in Jackson’s world that the starting job might fall back into Odom’s lap now that he doesn’t necessarily want it.

Continue reading ‘Lakers to explore starting Odom, not Bynum’

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The amount of shots Pau is getting now should ease him down about not getting enough touches.

ESPN: If you were to rank the current Lakers team, few would argue against Pau Gasol ranking No. 2 behind Kobe Bryant as the team’s best player in terms of skills on the court.

But now that we’ve seen how the team would look with Gasol as No. 1 and Bryant out of the lineup the last three games, how would you rank their leadership styles?

The Gasol-led Lakers enter the All-Star break on an impressive three-game winning streak against three teams primed to be Western Conference playoff teams in Portland, San Antonio and Utah.

While Bryant sat in the locker room receiving treatment on his sprained left ankle, Gasol carried the team on the court on Wednesday, racking up 22 points, 19 rebounds, four assists and five blocks, helping the Lakers to a 15-point win in Utah against a Jazz team that was riding a nine-game winning streak.

It followed a game against San Antonio, when his 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks signified a stat line that only five players in the history of the NBA have achieved — Bob McAdoo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parish, Charles Barkeley and Shaquille O’Neal — and L.A. won by 12.

The game before that, the Lakers’ first without Bryant, Gasol had 13 points and eight rebounds, and L.A. won by 17 to snap a nine-game losing streak at the Rose Garden.

Gasol ball is working for the Lakers.

“I tried to step up and understood how we needed to play,” Gasol said.

Continue reading ‘Lakers lean on Pau in Kobe’s absence’

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For the third game in a row, John Ireland asked the Laker chosen for his post-game interview if this game just played was the best team win they’ve had all season. Either 1) John is finally running out of questions or 2) Teamwork has been so prominent in every win that John can’t help but ask.

Unless our eyes have deceived us these last few days, the reason for these dominating wins is owed, in large part, to efficient TEAM WORK.

Teamwork on defense — staying active and alert, helping on double teams and then recovering quickly back to your man.

In his post-game interview, Jordan Farmar cited their greater attention to detail on both sides of the court as a source of their recent success. The Lakers will never have a problem scoring. The entire roster is full of scorers, but it was forcing eight Utah turnovers and grabbing seven steals that got them that 15-point lead in the first half, not just their 48% FG. And as far as the Lakers’ inability to defend quick point guards, like Deron Williams, who was held to 3-9 shooting tonight? What team finds it easy to defend Chris Paul, Steve Nash or Deron Williams one-on-one? Good job on D-Will this evening.

Teamwork on offense — less isolation and more ball movement. With 19 assists, but 17 turnovers for the night, it wasn’t the Lakers’ cleanest game. The 19 assists, however, were distributed by eight different players (Brown, Gasol and Vujacic each led with four), a glaring comparison to a Jazz team who thrives on Deron Williams’ direction (he alone had 10 dimes).

A small reason for the Lakers’ recent wins without Kobe Bryant in the line-up, is the spread of ball-handling responsibilities. In the triangle offense, there is no need for a pure point guard, which is why it’s always so baffling when “experts” cite this position as the Lakers’ greatest weakness when it’s not a position that their offense necessitates.

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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.