Sunday, December 21, 2014
Blog Page 240

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Who would you give up if you were Mitch? Shannon? Vujacic? Morrison? Sound-off…

Silver Screen & Roll: This from ESPN’s Ric Bucher on his podcast today. No further details from Ric about when this inquiry incurred or what, if anything specific, the Lakers offered to give up. No handicapping from him, either, on the odds of a deal, so just throw it on the rumor pile.

For what it’s worth, a trade for Devin Harris would be pretty easy to get done under the salary cap. He makes a relatively modest $8.4 million this year and has three years (after this one) left on this contract.

A combination of Adam Morrison and either Jordan Farmar or Shannon Brown would satisfy salary-matching rules and free up money for New Jersey to make their offseason free-agent push.

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Bill Simmons wrote a huge article on why LeBron James is the best player on the planet. He even claims the argument is over. Check it off, sound-off.

ESPN: “Know this: The Kobe-LeBron argument is dead. It’s over,” Simmons writes. “LeBron James is the best basketball player alive.”

5

Kobe dominates the jersey sales, once again!

KobeL.A. Times: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant maintained his top spot for the most popular jersey in the NBA, according to a report today by the NBA.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol was ranked 10th in the NBA.

Cleveland forward LeBron James, whose Cavaliers team will host the Lakers on Thursday night, had the second-most-popular jersey in the league.

The Lakers were the most popular team in the NBA, one spot ahead of the Boston Celtics.

The rankings are based on sales at the NBA Store in New York and NBAStore.com since the start of this season.

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Shaq says there is no competition for LeBron… Shannon Brown will have something to say about that. Hey LeBron, grow some and enter…

Sports Illustrated: Shaquille O’Neal has a plan to save the NBA’s All-Star dunk contest: Bring back the superstars and do it for devastated Haiti.

Following Tuesday night’s win over Toronto, O’Neal was asked if he would like to see teammate LeBron James participate in this year’s event. That’s when he offered his idea. He would like to see former dunk champion Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and others take part along with James.

“As his manager, I will only allow ‘Bron to do the dunk contest if Vince Carter comes back out,” O’Neal said. “If Kobe comes back out and if another big name comes back out. If we could get a big prize and have half of the money go to the people of Haiti and the other half to the winner.

“The guys that are in it, no disrespect to them, but there won’t really be any competition for LeBron. I want to see Kobe. I want to see Vince and I will allow my client to enter.”

Could he make it happen?

“I’m saying it now,” O’Neal said. “So tweet it. Facebook it. E-mail it and hopefully it gets out. Vince, we’re calling you out. Kobe, we’re calling you out. We’re calling everybody out. If those guys step up in the dunk contest, then I will allow my client to step up.”

James has decided to skip next month’s event in Dallas after originally saying he would participate.

5

Congrats to big Pau!

ESPN: Laker Pau Gasol will receive the 2009 sportsman of the year award at the L.A. Sports Awards on Feb. 19 at L.A. Live.

The award, given by the Los Angeles Sports Council, honors “the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year.” The council will also name a sportswoman, coach, and sports executive of the year.

Previous L.A. sportsmen of the year are: USC’s Matt Leinart (200); Clipper Elton Brand (2006); the Galaxy’s David Beckham (2007); and Laker Kobe Bryant (2008).

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A small tidbit from Sports Illustrated suggests the Lakers are interested in trade talks to improve the bench.

SI: Even with a commanding five-game lead in the conference standings, the Lakers aren’t content to stand pat. League sources say L.A. has been active in trade talks as it looks to upgrade its bench before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. Meanwhile, after Monday’s game against visiting Orlando, the Lakers will play eight in a row on the road.

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Out of Bounds with Jason Riley

I can be a superstitious person, but only when it comes to sports. I remember one specific occasion where I forced my self-absorption on the other ill-fated members of my family. During a game against the Mavericks back in 2002, I insisted they all wear Lakers’ gear before joining me in the living room to watch the game. By the end of the third quarter, I realized exactly why the Lakers’ were getting Snookied by the Mavs on National TV. My Mom was wearing a Lakers’ Van Exel jersey… and Nick the Quick was busy carving up the Lakers defense for the Mavs.

How could I have made such an unforgivable mistake? I sprinted to my room, grabbed a Magic Johnson throwback and demanded that she change immediately. My confused (and noticeably annoyed) Mom reluctantly agreed to swap jerseys. When she finally returned to the living room rocking the #32, the whole game had changed. In the end, the Lakers had mounted a 27-point rally in the fourth quarter to beat Dallas – the second greatest comeback in NBA history.

True story.

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ESPN: Shannon Brown scored a career-high 22 points, Pau Gasol had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter Monday night for a 98-92 victory over the Orlando Magic in the first rematch of last season’s NBA finals.

Kobe Bryant scored just 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting, but his teammates carried the Lakers to their 18th win in 19 home games in a remarkable fourth-quarter rally led almost entirely by reserves.

Brown scored nine points in the fourth, while Lamar Odom and Jordan Farmar combined for 13 straight points while Los Angeles roared away in the opening minutes of the final period.

Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, who wrapped up a four-game road trip with their third straight loss and seventh in nine games. The way Orlando lost was even more disconcerting, with a wildly up-and-down performance that bottomed out in the fourth, when the Magic didn’t manage a field goal for nearly six minutes.

Farmar scored 11 points and Odom had nine points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who reached the halfway point of their regular-season schedule with another win over the Magic, who fell to Los Angeles in five games in the finals last summer.

Continue reading ‘Lakers pull away from Magic in Finals rematch’

23

This is considered “impossible” by many, however, let’s discuss it anyways. Afterall, impossible is something that is not in Kobe Bryant’s definition vocabulary and would it REALLY surprise us if he reached this sacred milestone when it’s all said and done? Some already call Kobe the best offensive finisher, ever. He’s already closing in on 25,000 points (30 away) and the all time record is held by Kareem (38,387).

Could he do it? Sound off. Also, here is what Kobe himself said about it:

I don’t know how long I’ll play. I don’t know.

8

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the entire Lakers Nation.

The (31-9) Lakers are hosting the (26-14) Orlando Magic in the highly anticipated NBA Finals rematch. The Lakers aren’t a completely healthy team, but are well enough to defend their Championship title.

The defending Eastern Conference Champions have gone four and six in their last 10 games losing they’re last two games coming into this match up. The team isn’t playing like this will actually be a rematch from the Finals last year but merely another game on the schedule.

The Magic are 12-10 on the road and with the extra added motivation of attempting to exact some measure of revenge against the Lakers’ means that this game will be played with a high level of intensity.

There were some who mistakenly thought that Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol couldn’t play together, as if the painted area wasn’t big enough for both of them. After a series of solid performances posted by Andrew Bynum and a combined 40 points by the duo in a 40-point blowout of the Clippers should put a lot of those conversations to rest.

The interesting thing is that ironically it is the Magic that are fielding questions about Rashard Lewis & Vince Carter co-existing.

The fact that the Lakers record is where it is considering that they’ve played 17 games without Pau Gasol is great. The Magic have All-Stars Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter on their team but unfortunately for them, they aren’t playing like All-Stars.

1

A great article from the always insightful, Roland Lazenby.

Laker Noise: It seems these are the days to fathom big numbers in pro basketball, with the NBA’s big guns, first the Celtics and then the Lakers, winning titles in recent years.

Beyond Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s success, there’s another set of numbers to ponder in L.A. — the stunning points that 75-year-old Lakers owner Jerry Buss has put on the board with his serial dating of 18-year-old girls… No, just kidding, and jumping ahead of the story there. Well, sort of.

This season marks the 30th anniversary of the self-made Buss acquiring the Lakers and the Great Western Forum from Jack Kent Cooke in a deal so stunning that Sports Illustrated hired accountants to investigate how Buss arranged the financing. After scratching their heads for weeks, the accountants conceded defeat. They never did figure out his fancy tricks.

Buss immediately recognized that he better listen to then-Lakers GM Bill Sharman, who advised that Cooke’s organization draft an unorthodox guard named Magic Johnson.

Magic propelled the Lakers to the league championship in the first season of ownership by Buss, who promptly told the television audience that he had worked so long and hard to win the championship. It sounded ludicrous, but Buss was talking about his years amassing the wealth and know-how to acquire the team.

He always said he bought the club just because he couldn’t get the tickets he wanted. Buss immediately understood that he should listen to Sharman, a Hall of Famer as both a player and a coach.

To this day, the low-key Sharman’s influence within the Lakers remains a key factor, despite the fact that he’s well into his 80s. Each season he writes a report on the team and its personnel that is to be read only by Buss.

Continue reading ‘Buss Has Put Up Some Numbers By Roland Lazenby’

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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.