Thursday, December 18, 2014
Blog Page 260

6

Phil likes the idea, as does LeBron, of retiring #23.

Picture 1NBA.COM: Phil Jackson likes LeBron James’ idea of NBA players giving up No. 23 to honor Michael Jordan.

The Los Angeles Lakers coach who won six titles with Jordan in Chicago compared the idea to the NHL’s retirement of No. 99 to honor hockey great Wayne Gretzky in 2000.

Jackson said Jordan changed the NBA much as Gretzky did hockey.

Asked about the issue before his Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, Jackson said the only potential pitfall he sees with retiring No. 23 league-wide is it might be “a little step on the toes for a guy like Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird.”

4

The following is translated. Very cool to hear him talk about Kobe and the other guys. Battier is a competitor!

76075385NB007_LAKERS_ROCKETS 1_ROCKETS_KNICKSBattierBlog: People always ask me who my favorite players in the NBA are. Every NBA player is also a fan of the great players in the league. Here is a short list of some the players I respect and why I respect them.

Kobe Bryant-I think Kobe is the best player in the league because he is relentless. He never gives in to illness or fatigue. He is the ultimate competitor and he has my utmost respect.

LeBron James-I respect LeBron because he had unbelievably high expectations coming out of high school and he has lived up to every last one. The he may have had the highest expectations ever of a young player coming into the league. He continues to improve and has a desire to get better and win. I respect that.

Steve Nash-I just love the way he plays. He plays the game the way the game should be played, free and fast. He always tries to get his teammates involved. Much respect.

Dirk Nowitkzi-The guy is just a machine, he goes to the gym every night if he does not have a game and practices shooting. Unbelievable. No one does that.

Brandon Roy-My favorite young player. He just plays the right way, always under control. He is going to be an all-star for many years to come.

Grant Hill-Growing up, I wanted to be Grant Hill. He is 100% class. He is still my idol. I want to grow up to be Grant Hill.

Michael Dunleavy Jr.-My best friend in the world, he’s like a brother to me. My roommate at Duke, we always want to beat each other, but off the court, we’ve never had boring time.

Those are probably my 7 favorite players in the NBA. I like to watch all of these guys on TV.

Talk to you soon,

shane

0

The Lakers players are enjoying life outside of basketball.

7019_808882840201_6018131_45503020_541164_nO.C. Register: Someone sent this out via Twitter on Thursday, shouting all the relevant info in all caps, apparently so excited that the words tumbled out in the wrong order: “RON ARTEST BIRTHDAY PARTY ADDRESS NOVEMBER 14TH: CLUB EMPIRE 1716 N. CAHUENGA BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA 90028.”

Who did it? Artest, himself.

Artest is insanely interactive with fans via Twitter and wants to meet them in person, too. Mere minutes after Artest finishes talking to the media in the postgame locker room, he is communicating with his “Tweoples” and offering more details.

Or he will express lament that a fan didn’t pick up the tickets he left. Or he will ask for suggestions for his birthday party theme: “What would be cool theme? Something sexy for women!”

Artest’s social life is just one building block of the lively Lakers landscape today. They are a championship-caliber team, yet they are also crossover stars — and we’re not just talking about Kobe Bryant.

Pau Gasol sells more jerseys in Europe than LeBron James, and Gasol has a legitimate non-basketball acting role with multiple scenes in the episode of “CSI: Miami” airing Monday night. Odom married reality TV personality Khloe Kardashian and thus had much of his life story told last Sunday night on E! network’s coverage of their wedding.

Continue reading ‘Lakers flexing their star power’

14

90040824NG049_Suns_Lakrs

First off all, Allah bless you Kareem; you know all of the Lakers Nation are pulling for you.

So here we are nine games into the season and let’s face it: the games have been a little closer than we would probably like.

They’ve also included two absolutely abysmal games. (The Dallas Debacle and The Denver Turd Omelette).

Of course the blow outs of New Orleans and Phoenix — sans Pau and Drew for the Hornets game, and still without Pau for the Phoenix game — was a refreshing reminder of how good we really are when we’re as focused as we should be.

And even though — unless we go on some mind boggling win streak — we probably won’t be winning 72 games, we know the ultimate goal is the ring, and we have to play somebody in June right?

The only question is who…

65

Lakers Nuggets BasketballThis was just a dismal performance by the Lakers in the second half. I don’t think I have ever seen this team look so flat, tired, and flat out bad.

The Nuggets absolutely embarrassed the starting unit in the third, outscoring the Lakers 29 to 8.

The Lakers first half wasn’t bad. They moved the ball well and played solid defense, but the second half was completely different. They took terrible shots which led to continuous fast break points for the Nuggets, especially Carmelo.

The Lakers shot under 40% for the game and had almost as many turnovers as assists — never a good sign.

No Laker hit 20 points tonight for the first time in quite awhile. The Lakers also struggled from behind the arc hitting only 7 of 23 attempts. It really was just a bad second half to watch.

I guess it could have been worse, the Clippers were up 22 in the first half and ended up losing by 15.

Now, the bests of the day…

29

drewnuggsThe Los Angeles Lakers are in Denver tonight to play a back-to-back game against the Nuggets. The Lakers responded well to the challenge of facing the red hot Suns and by destroying them, they showed that they had the answer to the question on  how do you slow down Phoenix.

The Lakers won their sixth straight game by playing great defense, sharing the ball and pounding the interior of the Suns defense. They used their experience, and size advantage to pound the Suns on the inside and everyone contributed to the biggest win of the young season.

Kobe Bryant’s 29 point night & Andrew Bynum’s 26 points led the way as a two-man wrecking crew as the team put up 59 points in the paint by halftime. The duo is averaging 33 points in the paint. Reminiscent of a boxer throwing body blows to his opponent the Suns on the receiving end had no answer for the onslaught. If it was actually a prize fight the referees would’ve stopped the contest early in the third quarter.

Andrew Bynum in his first game back, after being out with an elbow injury, looked sharp scoring 26 points and pulling down an amazing 15 rebounds as well as blocking 3 shots for his third 20-point, 10-board game of the season.

The best thing about the game was seeing the Lakers show a great deal of focus, control, maturity and discipline in dispatching the Suns like a weekly chore.

8

We can file this one under the “what am I watching?” category. Looks like Pau has dedicated his unexpected free time to vocal lessons and he’s putting them to good use. Well, at least it’s better than this.


27

Shannon Brown flaunts his dunking ability again! The Cannon Brown show continues. When asked about the NBA Dunk Contest, Shannon answered “If that’s what everybody wants, I’m not opposed to it.”

25

90040824NG012_SUNS_LAKRSThe Lakers continued to play great basketball Thursday night at Staples. Everyone played great on both ends of the court and the Suns just didn’t look like they belonged in the same building as the Lakers.

The Lakers shot well over 50% the entire night and had 35 assists for the game. The ball was just moving great all night, especially inside the paint, as Bynum was the beneficiary for most of the passes. They really blew this game open in the third, and the game got even better when the bench came in to provide an added spark.

Powell and Brown had an amazing night to compliment Kobe and Bynum in the starting unit. I’m sure Bynum wishes he could play Phoenix every night as they haven’t found an answer for him since he joined the league.

The Suns leading scorer only had 13, mainly due to the Lakers stifling defense.

Bynum had three blocks inside, and the Lakers were getting their hands on many passes. It also helped that Phoenix shot only 37% from the field. But they didn’t shoot poor enough to get taco’s for the fans at Staples tonight.

Now, the bests of the day…

8

sunskobeThe Lakers return to the court after winning five games in seven days. They’re in for an interesting test by closing the week with back-to-back games against the (7-1) red hot Phoenix Suns & the second best team in the Western Conference last year the (5-2) Denver Nuggets.

Kobe Bryant is on fire and doing damage in the post with great efficiency and I don’t see an end in sight. Jason Richardson will have problems an could be in foul trouble early.

The Lakers will continue to play without their All-Star forward, Pau Gasol, whose rehab has recently been speculated to last until Christmas. The rehab has been frustrating for Gasol and the Lakers but there’s no need to rush him back at this time of the year. He needs to come back when the injury heals and he is healthy to ensure that there will be no relapse or any re-injury later.

The Lakers have suffered on the defensive boards as well as playing without a force in the middle that provides a nightly double-double and is a match up nightmare for several opponents. The Lakers will have Andrew Bynum back, who will hold down the fort with D.J. Mbenga until Gasol returns. The extended minutes will be a huge benefit to the team in the long run.

The Suns are back in their element so to speak, relying on their speed, playing the way they played four or five years ago. The return of the fast pace style has brought back some early success. Their success has come with a healthy Steve Nash, Grant Hill, wing players that can rebound and sharp shooting big men.

20

We’ll have to hold the fort down, without Pau, at least for a while…

Lakers Spurs BasketballESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers are cruising without their gimpy big man, and they might have to limp along longer than expected.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said that Pau Gasol, who is trying to rehabilitate a sore hamstring, might not return until Christmas, the Los Angeles Daily News reported on Wednesday.

“I find that hard to believe, that it’s gone backwards. … Right now, he’s capable of doing only so much and nothing else,” Jackson said, according to the newspaper. “But it is mysterious, no doubt about it.”

The defending champion Lakers are 6-1, and Gasol is expected to miss his eighth straight game when Los Angeles hosts Phoenix on Thursday.

Asked if he knew when Gasol would practice or if he had a target date for his return, Jackson said: “No. We’re starting to look toward Christmas, though. Some time out there.”

The Spanish forward missed just one regular-season game last year and was the Lakers’ second-leading scorer while averaging 18.9 points, a team-leading 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Jackson was asked why Gasol’s injury is mysterious.

“Yeah, because with most hamstrings you see bleeding or bruises or holes in the hamstring,” the coach said. “His has been one of those things wasn’t a big concern to us, but has turned into a month-long injury.”

39

90040781NG034_GRIZZ_LAKERS

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Or in the Lakers case, the better they are, the more opponents, pundits and haters want them to fall into the fiery pit of defeat.

It’s no secret — the Lakers are good. Championship good. And for every prediction (see: Bill Simmons’ every hope) that the Ron Ar-Test will be the demise of a new Lakers dynasty, there is an even greater prophecy come true in the oracle that is Kobe Bryant (see: Bill Simmons’ hate). Though it’s true that this Lakers team begins, goes through and ends with #24, basketball is, after all, a team sport and as skilled and menacing as he is on the court, Kobe did not earn that fourth ring alone.

Lakers depth — that was what analysts last season claimed was the team’s greatest strength. At Kobe’s side were a cast of teammates with various levels of experience who, like him, simply played (or had the opportunities to play) their part through the victorious end, and play it to the maximum of their physical and, most importantly, mental strength.

Last year’s playoff performance for the younger “cast members,” however, left a lot to be desired and the previously heralded “BenchMob” (minus Lamar, who basically played starter’s minutes last season when Andrew Bynum was in foul trouble), fell under much, and well deserved, scrutiny for its relative lack of production in the title run.

Social

Latest

5
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.