Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 239

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All I have to say is I feel really bad to be a fan of the Knicks tonight…

Yahoo! Sports: They are pals only in sneaker commercial puppet ads, so Kobe Bryant(notes) had no use for one of those congratulatory star-to-star half-hug mid-court meetings. The game was over, he was gone. As LeBron James(notes) preened to a screaming, celebratory sellout, Bryant turned his back, marched through the tunnel seething, scowling and promising hell to pay for the Los Angeles Lakers. These were old times for Bryant: Angry, sullen and promising pure misery.

”They know I’m pissed off,” Bryant sniffed in the losing locker room. ”I don’t need to say anything right now.”

Only Bryant did, and he will again and again. Bryant is never happier than when he’s miserable, than when he has a boogeyman threatening the championship fabric of this burgeoning dynasty.

All around him, Bryant has reasons to be livid Thursday night: Pau Gasol missed two free throws in the final seconds. The frontline had been outmuscled everywhere. James toyed with Ron Artest for his 37 points, owning this night on a yo-yo. Phil Jackson left Bryant on the bench for all but five minutes of the fourth quarter, the coach refusing to treat these Cavs as anything more than another back-to-back when Bryant’s body needed to be protected for the long run.

All angered Bryant, and all promises to make for a most unpleasant Kobe over the next seven games of this trip.

Nevertheless, he should’ve delivered some self-loathe for his part in a 93-87 loss to the Cavaliers. He tried too hard Thursday night – needing 31 shots for his 31 points. No, Bryant didn’t want to lose that season series to the Cavaliers, but there was something bigger happening here and assuredly it wasn’t lost on Kobe Bryant. However flimsy the possibility, Bryant lost his chance to be the MVP again.

When everyone dissects these two candidacies come April, it will keep coming back to this: LeBron swept the Lakers and Kobe, beat them in Staples Center on Christmas and again with Mo Williams(notes) out for a month with a shoulder injury. Once more, James will be praised for doing more with less, and Bryant will be partially penalized in the MVP voting for something that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird never were in the 1980s: Playing with too much talent.

With LeBron’s second straight MVP close to secured, Bryant must return his mind to what’s still most available to him: Another NBA Finals MVP.

Continue reading ‘Cavs, teammates put Kobe in grumpy mood’

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Pau definetely had a rough game, but he wasn’t the sole problem (ie: defending LeBron’s iso’s 1on1 was mistake):

NBC: Phil Jackson didn’t try to protect Pau Gasol.

Gasol faltered down the stretch Thursday night in the Lakers’ 93-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and his coach said about the Lakers blowing a fourth-quarter lead for the first time in 33 such situations this season: “Pau had a hand in a lot of that.”

Gasol had 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting (35.7 percent) and missed two free throws with the Lakers down by two points and 24.1 seconds left. Just before, Gasol had missed twice under the basket.

“A couple of times, I could’ve delivered,” Gasol said.

LeBron James, who blocked one of Gasol’s final shots, led all players with 37 points and nine assists. Kobe Bryant had 19 of the Lakers’ first 40 points to become the NBA’s youngest player to reach the 25,000-point plateau. But Bryant made just 3 of 9 shots in the third quarter, when the Lakers let Cleveland move ahead.

Bryant finished with 31 points on 12-of-31 shooting, and the Lakers began their season-long eight-game trip with their second loss in as many tries against Cleveland.

Continue reading ‘Lakers coach points finger at Gasol after loss’

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As the Lakers begin to rack up the frequent flyer miles, L.W.O. Radio returns to get you ready for the Grammy Road trip.

L.W.O. Radio delivers another EXCLUSIVE interview, as *Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times joins G-Small to talk Lakers basketball.

As LeBron ‘Backs out of the dunk contest’ James gets to claim the season sweep over the Lakers, should Kobe’s injuries and recent lackluster play from the Big’s be a concern?

Chris Manning (LD2K) also drops in to give his analysis on the team, and Kobe becoming the all-time leading scorer.

Tune into the the #1 place for strictly Lakers talk, L.W.O. Radio!

Audio
The Fugees – Fu-gee-la_(refugee_camp_remix)
The Small’s – Jam Sessions
G-Small – Illusions

Special Thanks to Broderick Turner for appearing courtesy of the L.A. Times.

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Download Link: Lakers World Order Radio – Episode #6

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L.A. Times: This was not how the Lakers wanted to start an eight-game, 13-day trip, and it was a game the Lakers didn’t want to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But the Lakers failed to get it done in the clutch when the game hung in the balance and now have lost the two-game season series to Cleveland.

In the process, the Lakers (32-10) and Cavaliers (34-11) are basically tied for the best record in the NBA.

If the Lakers and Cavaliers finish the season tied with the best record and meet in the NBA Finals, Cleveland would have home-court advantage.

The Cavaliers won this game behind the play of LeBron James, who had 12 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter. James also had nine assists and five rebounds.

Kobe Bryant had 31 points, but just four in the fourth quarter. Bryant was 12-for-31 shooting from the field.

Having seen enough, having seen James score consecutive baskets, including a three-pointer, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson called a timeout with 5:23 left and put Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol back into the game.

The Cavaliers had opened a three-point lead that was stretched to 85-80 after James scored again. When James scored again, the Cavaliers had an 87-80 lead.

Continue reading ‘Cavaliers sweep season series over Lakers with victory’

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Kobe Bryant is torching the Cavs in the first half. He’s also torched a lot of players and teams in his career as he becomes the youngest to ever reach the 25,000 points milestone He is also just the 15th player in NBA history to score, 25,000 points. It came on the first of two free throws at the 3:00 mark of the second quarter against the Cavs.

Though exciting for the Kobe Bryant fans around the world, it is an indifferent milestone for the Mamba reaching the 25,000-point plateau.

“No,” Bryant said when asked if the milestone means anything to him. “It’s not something I think about at all.”

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Lakers BasketBlog: Kobe Bryant, a three time All-Star MVP, will make his 12th All-Star game appearance alongside Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan and Amare Stoudemire for the Western Conference at the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas.

The reserves for each conference will be announced next Thursday on TNT. Here’s how the selection process for the reserves works:

In selecting the reserves, the 30 NBA head coaches must vote for seven players within their conference, including two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. Coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their team. After the coaches select the reserves, if a player is unable to participate in the All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern will select a replacement. Reserves will be announced Jan. 28, on TNT.

The East and West All-Star coaches and coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Jan. 31. Last year’s East and West coaches – Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy and the L.A. Lakers’ Phil Jackson — are not eligible to coach this year’s All-Star Game.

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Kobe laughed off Shaq’s suggestion that he enters the dunk contest.

ESPN: Kobe Bryant is taking a pass on the slam dunk contest, no matter what Shaquille O’Neal has in mind.

Bryant nearly burst out laughing Thursday when asked about O’Neal’s idea that the Lakers superstar should appear in next month’s All-Star weekend dunk event with LeBron James and Vince Carter.

O’Neal suggested the star-studded field as a way of luring James, who is skipping the dunkathon after initially saying he was in.

Bryant won the dunking crown when he was a rookie. He says players should not feel a responsibility toward entering the contest as a way of giving back to the league. James has been criticized for backing out. Bryant would like to see the MVP take part.

“Responsibility? No,” Bryant said following the Lakers’ shootaround. “People want to see it, so it’s good to do it at least one time in your career. It’s fun.”

The contest is Feb. 13 in Dallas, and Bryant has been giving tips to Los Angeles teammate Shannon Brown. Does Bryant think James would win?

“I think he would come in a close second behind Shannon Brown,” he said.

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Interesting tidbit suggests the Lakers have tried to move Luke Walton.

ESPN: The Lakers are unlikely to make a major move before the deadline, but they will try to move Sasha Vujacic and his $5.5 million salary in 2010-11, although they surely know that Adam Morrison’s $5.3 million expiring contract is the one teams prefer. The club’s attempts to deal Luke Walton (who has nearly $17 million over three years left on his contract after this season) have led nowhere.

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The (32-9) Los Angeles Lakers are in Cleveland to face the (32-11) Cavaliers.

The Lakers league best record has been aided by playing several games at home. Los Angeles has embarked on their longest road trip of the season a 13-day eight-game road trip that includes two sets of back-to-back games.

Some have called this game an NBA Finals Preview, others have labeled this a battle of two of the league’s best from each Conference, and to the Lakers Nation there is only one way to describe this game; ‘revenge’.

The Lakers are on a three-game winning streak and need to remember that as the defending Champion, they’re the hunted as opposed to the hunter and need to match the intensity of their opponents and force their will on them.

When faced with a long road trip, a team will bond together, set a goal of having a winning record on said trip, and most importantly focus on each game individually, but for tonight’s game there’s no need for the coaching staff to provide a motivating pep talk or for the Lakers fans to wonder if the team will be up for this game.

After the beating the Lakers took on Christmas day, this game has been circled on the calendar. Consider the Lakers re-gifting the unwanted present they received from the Cavaliers or simply them giving it back to them labeled, return to sender.

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Fisher couldn’t miss. 3-pointers landed through the hoop hitting absolutely nothing but net. Bynum spun around and over Dwight Howard, a welcome sight from his lesser role in last season’s Finals. A large lead over the Magic arrived quickly and it appeared that this Finals rematch would end as it did the last time these two teams played — in victorious and dominating fashion.

Unfortunately, the execution by the home team occurred in the first 8 minutes of the game. 40 more awaited.

Fisher’s scoring run hit a brick wall (as did others’) and a lack of ball movement produced nothing but Orlando points. Bynum and Gasol were playing with two fouls apiece, unable to contain Howard and his 18-point first half. And Kobe, oh Kobe, grabbed his hand after an attempted pass to Gasol went awry, his fractured index finger suffering the blow that eventually resulted in a daunting, very un-Mamba like inaccuracy.

The Lakers had once led by thirteen, but after a long, and very difficult to watch, offensive lull, it was suddenly the 3rd quarter, Orlando had found their shooting touch, and the home team lead had turned into an 11-point deficit.

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Looks like Ron is ready to D-up and lead us, defensively, to victory!

L.A. Times: Ron Artest will receive the defensive assignments of LeBron James and Paul Pierce on the Lakers’ eight-game road trip.

Artest was asked if he thinks of guarding those players as a challenge.

“Not really, because I had those assignments since I was first in the NBA,” he said. “That’s a normal day of work. It’s nothing new, nothing new to get excited about. I get excited for everything.

“Me and Paul, we’ve had tons of battles over there in the East when I was on Indiana [Pacers] — even me and LeBron when I was on Indiana. When I left for the West Coast, I kind of think both of those guys were kind of happy to see me go.”

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This is a loss for the Cavs. Mo destroyed the Lakers on Christmas and will, unfortunately, miss tonights game.

USA Today: Cavaliers starting point guard Mo Williams will miss Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with a sprained left shoulder. “It’s tough,” Brown said. “But I like the guys in this locker room and I’m confident other guys will step up. It’s part of the business. You hope he gets better soon but you have to keep going forward.”

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The Zen Master recently assigned reading to his players. Jeanie Buss tweeted which books he sent out!

O.C. Register: So here’s a lineup of books Phil Jackson handed out to the players to read while on their two-week trip.

1) Kobe Bryant: “Montana 1948″ by Larry Watson

  • 2) Derek Fisher: “Soul on Ice” by Eldridge Cleaver
    3) Pau Gasol: “2666″ by Roberto Bolano
    4) Lamar Odom: “The Right Mistake” by Walter Mosley (one of Jackson’s favorite authors, says Buss)
    5) Ron Artest: “Sacred Hoops” by Phil Jackson* (Buss noted that Jackson likes his new players to become more familiar with his philosophies as laid out in his book)
    6) Andrew Bynum: “Six Easy Pieces” by Walter Mosley
    7) Jordan Farmar: “Makes Me Wanna Holler” by Nahan McCall
    8) Shannon Brown: “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama
    9) Luke Walton: “The Monkey Wrench Gang” by Edward Abbey
    10) Josh Powell: “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois
    11) Sasha Vujacic: “Reservation Blues” by Sherman Alexie
    12) D.J. Mbenga: “Monster: the Autobiography of an LA Gang Member” by Sanyika Shakur (Author), Monster Kody Scott (Contributor)
    13) Adam Morrison: “Che” – Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon – a Graphic Biography of Che Guevara

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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.