Lakers

After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of February 2-8, over their 66-year history.

February 2, 2002

Phil Jackson became just the 13th coach in NBA history to notch 700 career wins in a 100-85 Lakers’ victory over Memphis. In his 12th season as a head coach, Jackson improved his record to 700-246. Jackson retired from coaching in 2011 with a record of 1155-485 and a winning percentage of .704, which is currently the highest winning percentage of any coach in NBA history.

February 2, 1996

The Lakers and Bulls set a then-record for the highest-rated NBA game ever on cable television, when Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson faced off on the hardwood for the first time since the 1991 NBA Finals. Jordan notched 17 points for Chicago, while Johnson scored 15 points off the bench for Los Angeles, in a 99-84 Bulls’ win in Los Angeles. The game, which aired on TNT, was viewed by 4.75 million homes and earned a 7.1 rating and 13.1 share. This record lasted for just three months before it was broken during a playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.

Bernstein/Getty Images

Bernstein/Getty Images

February 2, 2009

Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 61 points in a 126-117 victory over the Knicks in New York. Bryant went 19 for 31 from the field and 20 for 20 from the free throw line. He broke Michael Jordan’s opponent record at the Garden of 55 points, as well as Bernard King’s overall record of 60 for most ever points scored at the Mecca. Carmelo Anthony broke Bryant’s Garden record when he scored 62 points against the Bobcats just last month.

February 4, 1987

The Lakers held the reeling Sacramento Kings to just four points in the first quarter, marking the fewest points scored in the first quarter of an NBA game since the establishment of the shot clock in 1954. In a balanced effort, Los Angeles went on to rout Sacramento 128-92, as seven Lakers scored in double figures.

February 7, 2001

Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning 15-foot jump shot over Shawn Marion with 2.7 seconds left in regulation to lift the Lakers over the Phoenix Suns 85-83 at STAPLES Center. With 23 points in the second half, Bryant scored a game-high 32 points, while collecting eight rebounds and notching nine assists in the final game before the All-Star break.

The Zen Master has spoken.

Former Laker Hall-of-Fame coach Phil Jackson sat down with former Laker and current NBA TV Analyst Rick Fox to discuss memories from his 11 NBA championships as a coach, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and also his basketball coaching future.

Jackson made some pretty optimistic comments on whether or not Bryant could come back to become dominant after recovering from his recent injury.

“Kobe’s minutes he’s played, the time he’s been on the court, the duress, the way he’s played, has taken a toll obviously, his injury has been a part of chain of events because of what’s happened to his Achilles tendons,” Jackson said. “I think he’ll be back, and I think he’ll still be a scorer. … Kobe can still post up, be a good screen and roll player, hit shots, and hit some three pointer.”

He also responded to Fox’s question on whether or not he personally would have re-signed Bryant to a 2-year extension.

“Yeah, I would’ve. They paid him more than I would’ve gone for, But what he’s given to the organization, what he gives back, he brings a sense that ‘we are going to win,’” said Jackson. “We have to have a guy on our team doesn’t settle for 2nd. That’s one of the area where the value of Kobe, even at his age, is terrific.”

Former Lakers C Dwight Howard clearly had a dysfunctional stint with current head coach Mike D’Antoni that caused him to leave the Lakers. When Fox asked Jackson whether or not he would have stayed if the Lakers had chosen to hire him over D’Antoni, Jackson responded:

“There’s a true chance that would’ve [stayed]. Dwight gave up a little early on the Lakers, but maybe it wasn’t for him. Maybe he didn’t find the culture exactly what he needed to blossom and benefit from the game, but it cost the Lakers a lot, it cost them a draft pick.”

The Lakers currently sit at a dismal 16-30 record, good for second-to-last place, slightly ahead of the Sacrament Kings. Many fans want D’Antoni fired to let Jackson coach one last time.

When Fox asked Jackson about his coaching future, he was very candid in his response.

“I have no intention of coaching again…physically, I have to reconcile a fact that I’m in a position after 5 operations in 3, 4 years, [and] at my age it takes a little bit more to recover from it,” Jackson stated.

He then left a small room of hope for Lakers fans who want him back.

“But who knows, maybe I will have a regenerative tissue that will get me back at it.”

Will Phil Jackson ever coach the Lakers again and help Kobe get his sixth NBA Championship?

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Kobe Bryant will miss at least three more weeks as he recovers from his left knee injury, the Lakers announced Tuesday. Bryant was evaluated by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and still has pain and swelling in his left knee.

Bryant will continue with a program of non-weight bearing exercise, consisting mostly of working out on a stationary bike. He will be examined again in approximately three weeks..

It is a tough blow for the Lakers, as they were hopeful that Bryant would return before the All-Star break. Bryant will certainly miss the All-Star game and could miss the rest of February.

It is important to remember that it is at least three weeks until he is re-evaluated.  If cleared after three weeks, he would still need another two or three weeks of conditioning before he steps back onto the court. 

 

 

Since Mike D’Antoni joined the Lakers last season, legend Magic Johnson has made his feelings known regarding the head coach, while blasting the front office and Jim Buss every chance he gets.

It was no different recently as Johnson went on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno and ripped the Lakers coach.  Here is one of the most telling quotes of the interview:

“We’re the Lakers, we got to have a championship coach,” Johnson said.  ”We made a critical mistake in not bringing Phil Jackson back.”

The video is below:

Do you agree with Johnson’s criticism of D’Antoni? Sound off Nation!

EL SEGUNDO - The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Manny Harris to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. 

In five games with the Lakers this season, Harris is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.9 minutes.

Before signing his first 10-Day contract with the Lakers on January 16th, Harris was most recently a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate, and was the D-League’s leading scorer at 30.6 points per game. Overall, in 13 games with the D-Fenders (13 starts) this season, Harris averaged 30.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 48.5% from the field. On January 13, Harris was named the NBA D-League Performer of the Week for the second consecutive time, and fourth time in his career.

 In his previous 80 career NBA games (20 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, the Detroit, Michigan native averaged 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.

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Not a surprising move by the Lakers to keep Manny Harris for another 10 days. The injured guards situation looks like it could be improving over the next couple of weeks but at the moment, Kendall Marshall remains the only healthy point guard on the roster.

Harris has done a nice job in the time he has been given, but would most likely need to show a lot more if the Lakers decide to keep him through the rest of the season.

After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of January 26-February 1, over their 66-year history.

January 29, 1980

Norm Nixon set a then-NBA record for most minutes played in a single game with 64, when the Lakers fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 154-153 in quadruple overtime. Nixon’s record was tied in 1987 by Sleepy Floyd of the Golden State Warriors, and later broken by Dale Ellis of the Seattle SuperSonics in 1989, when he played for 69 minutes in a five-overtime game against Milwaukee.

January 30, 1996

Magic Johnson shocked the NBA with his return to the league after having been retired from playing basketball since he announced that he had contracted HIV in 1992. In his first game back on the floor with the Lakers, Johnson scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out 10 assists to help the Lakers defeat the Golden State Warriors 128-118 at the Great Western Forum. At 36 years old, Johnson played the final 32 games of the 1995-96 season, while averaging 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists during that stretch. Johnson was an assistant coach with the Lakers in 1994 before returning to the hardwood. He retired from playing for good in 1996.

Dick Raphael /NBAE/Getty Images

Dick Raphael /NBAE/Getty Images

January 31, 2010

Kobe Bryant hit a game-winning shot over Ray Allen with 7.3 seconds left in regulation to lift the Lakers over the Boston Celtics 90-89 at the TD Garden. This victory marked Los Angeles’ fourth consecutive win, and third straight against Boston. Despite trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers rallied behind Bryant and their big men down low, outscoring Boston 18-0 on points in the paint in the fourth quarter. Bryant finished the game with 19 points, while Andrew Bynum also dropped 19 points and collected 11 rebounds. Pau Gasol added 11 points and 11 rebounds. With his 19 points, Kobe Bryant moved within 28 points of Jerry West’s all-time Lakers’ record of 25,192, for most points scored in franchise history.

Record: 16-26 (13th in Western Conference)

Pacific Division Record: 4-6; Conference Record: 9-18

Home: 8-11; Road: 8-15

FRONT COURT: C

One of the biggest issues regarding the front court is the lack of time for bigs in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system (Kaman 16.7 mpg, Hill 19.7 mpg, and Sacre 14.0 mpg). As a result, the performance of the front court has been average at best. Tied for 19th in rebounding and playing terrible defense in the paint, what used to be strengths of the Lakers are now weaknesses. The bright spot has certainly been Pau Gasol (16.4 points & 10.0 rebounds per game) and while his defense in the paint is not elite by any means, he is ranked 13th in blocked shots amongst centers.  Has Gasol’s recent stellar play done enough to save him from the trade deadline next month?  We’ll see.  Another player who has earned himself recognition and playing time is that of rookie Ryan Kelly. The second round pick out of Duke, Kelly has averaged 14.7 points a game over his last four games (34.2 minutes per game) and looks like a player who could be with the Lakers for some time. 

BACK COURT: B

You cannot talk about the Lakers backcourt without mentioning injuries and unfortunately there have been plenty of them (Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry). The biggest name on the injury list is that of Kobe Bryant. After returning from an Achilles injury after nearly eight months, Kobe was thrown right into the thick of things (29.5 minutes per game) and taking over point guard duties due to injuries. Did any of that have a direct result on Kobe and his fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his knee? Some say yes and some will disagree with that. When will the Lakers see any type of relief on the injury front? February seems like the best bet, but at the current moment, it looks like it may be too late to save the season.

OFFENSE: B+

Ranked 16th in the league with 100.6 points a game, the remaining Lakers have definitely done their part despite the rash of injuries plaguing the team. One of the biggest additions to the team has been Kendall Marshall (10.1 points and 9.1 assists per game) who helped stabilize the point guard position, well somewhat since he is the only healthy point guard. The biggest concern with the offense is they seem to live and die by the three point shot. It is a great thing to watch when they are hitting over 50% from beyond the arc but when they struggle, we’ve seen some of the worst Lakers performances in recent memory.

DEFENSE: F

Where do we start? Allowing 105.8 points per game (2nd worst in the league), this has been the biggest issue this season for the Lakers. Yes, injuries have played a part in it, but truth be told, this roster is not a defensive juggernaut when healthy. Pace on offense (third in the league) directly affects the defense, tired legs leading to bad transition defense for example. Interior defense has been horrible but the ironic thing is the Lakers are tied for 6th in the league in blocked shots. Worst stat on defense? Out of the 26 losses, 17 of those have seen the Lakers allow 110 or more points.

BENCH: A

Did you really think I was going to forget Swaggy P? Nick Young has been the life of the Lakers this season and has definitely shown he loves to wear the purple and gold. Despite coming off the bench, he leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points a game and has his name in the sixth man of the year conversation. The bench has been excellent this season, averaging 42.4 points a game, which ranks 2nd in the league. That is a huge improvement after the Lakers bench was ranked 28th in scoring last season.  Another thing to note, the bench players can all be brought back for cheap which will help as the Lakers move forward.

COACHING: D

No coach would do well with the amount of injures D’Antoni’s squad has suffered. The one thing that has been constant about D’Antoni is his ability to get role players to play at a high level due to his system not being restrictive. Although, there are many concerns regarding the second year Lakers coach such as upsetting veterans like Chris Kaman with lack of playing time, not utilizing his roster to the best of their ability, and of course the defense. After clashing with Dwight Howard last season which certainly played a factor in his departure, can D’Antoni’s team play well enough to save his job heading into a crucial offseason where the Lakers could acquire some big name players?  We are about to find out.

OVERALL: C

Lakers come up short to the Chicago Bulls in overtime, and lose 102-100. Taj Gibson scored the game-winning layup at the buzzer.

Pau Gasol with a strong double-double performance of 20 points, 19 rebounds and 5 blocks. Nick Young also chipped in 31 points off the bench for LAL.

Lakers drop to 2-2 on the Grammy road trip and head to Miami to play the Heat on Thursday at 5:00PM (PST).

BOX SCORE

After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of January 19-25, over their 66-year history.

January 19, 1998

Legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn broadcasted his 3,000th consecutive game, as the Lakers bested the Orlando Magic 92-89 in Los Angeles. His unprecedented streak ended on December 16, 2001 at 3,338 games. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers from 1961 until the end of the 2002 season.

January 20, 1952

George Mikan scored a career-high 61 points to lead the Minneapolis Lakers over the Rochester Royals 91-81 in double overtime. Mikan is known as the NBA’s first superstar, as he was a five-time BAA/NBA champion, four-time NBA All-Star, six-time All-BAA/NBA First Team honoree, and three-time NBA scoring champion.

January 22, 2006

Kobe Bryant had the best scoring performance of his career, as he dropped 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in a 122-104 Lakers win at the Staples Center. Bryant recorded the second highest single-game point total in NBA history with his 81 points, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1962. Kobe scored 55 points in the second half alone, and finished the game having shot 28 for 46 from the floor, while going 7 for 13 from beyond the arc and 18 for 20 from the charity stripe. With his 81 points, Bryant set a Lakers franchise record for points in a single game, surpassing Elgin Baylor’s 71 points against the Knicks in 1960.

Getty Images

Getty Images

January 23, 1959

Elgin Baylor won the MVP award at the ninth ever NBA All-Star Game, held in Detroit. Baylor shared the award with Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks, as they collectively led the West team to a 124-108 victory over the East squad. Baylor scored 24 points and collected 11 rebounds, while Pettit had 25 and 16, respectively.

January 24, 1990

Pat Riley recorded his 500th career NBA victory, as his Lakers defeated the Pacers 120-111 in Indiana. As the 13th head coach in NBA history to achieve this milestone, Riley reached the 500-win mark faster than any other coach had done previously. Riley reached 500 wins in his 684th game as a head coach, surpassing Don Nelson, who reached 500 wins in 817 games.

January 25, 1998

At just 19 years old, Kobe Bryant was announced as a member of the 1998 NBA All-Star team. In his first ever All-Star Game, Bryant became the youngest All-Star Game starter in NBA history. When the game was played in February, he scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Western Conference squad at Madison Square Garden.

A couple days after Nick Young’s ejection and criticism of fellow Laker teammates, all seems well as the team prepares to face the rival Boston Celtics.

According to LA Daily News reporter Mark Medina, the Lakers held a team meeting after Young’s post-game comments which implied his teammates did not have his back as multiple Suns’ players surrounded him after Young shoved Suns’ center Alex Len due to a hard foul.  Young was suspended without pay for Friday’s game versus Boston.

“We just talked. We’re all on the same page now. It’s just a misunderstanding,” Young said after the Lakers’ morning shootaround at TD Garden. “We all know what to do now in situations like that. Once we talked we air everything out, we’re all good.”

The teammate at the center of the controversy was guard Kendall Marshall, who responded to Young’s comments by saying that Young “wanted to see what he wanted to see” at the time.  After pictures were posted on Twitter and Instagram (which Young “liked” then “unliked” showing Marshall standing at the three point line while the altercation was occurring, he took blame for his non-actions and comments.

“I take full blame being that I was on the court and being a point guard, I should’ve been the first one over there to pull him out there with what was going on, regardless of what I thought was happening,” Marshall said. “He had every right to get upset. It’s our job as teammates to be there for each other. I went up to him, squashed it and told him it will never happen again.”

With the situation seemingly behind them, the Lakers are focused on moving forward and say they know how to handle any future situations like the one in Phoenix.

“You have to get in. You don’t have to fight,” Young said. “You just have to step in between. Nobody wants to fight. Nobody wants to get beat up on national TV.”

Meanwhile, Marshall threw in some humor about what would happen if Young were to get into a scuffle again.

“We’ll run over there, have 15 guys pick up Nick and carry him away.”

At 14-25 (second worst in the Western Conference), the Lakers desperately need to get back on track.  Boston (14-26) have had struggles of their own and both teams are far different than when the two teams met in the Finals a few seasons ago.  Despite that, the team continues to shed positive light on the team’s current state.

“When you’ve lost 12 of 13, if you don’t have a little adversity, something is wrong,” Marshall said. “I think it’s good for [Young] to get upset with us over that and show some passion. Maybe it will light a fire under all of us and we can build on it.”

To help with their depleted roster, the Lakers have signed Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Manny Harris to a 10-day contract.

In 13 games with the D-Fenders, the 6’5″ guard has averaged 30.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. In his last three games, Harris averaged 43.0 points on 60 percent shooting.

Just a few days ago, Harris was named the NBA Development League Performer of the Week. On January 10th, Harris set a D-Fenders single game scoring mark, scoring 49 points to go with six rebounds and three assists, in a 133-124 victory over the Idaho Stampede. It was his second consecutive Performer of the Week award and the fourth of his career.

Harris entered the 2010 NBA Draft after forgoing his senior season at the University of Michigan, but went undrafted before signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has played in 80 NBA games over two seasons, averaging 6.2 points a game.

Harris will wear #3 for the Lakers and join the team in Boston.

You can follow Manny Harris on Twitter @313MannyHarris.

UpdateNick Young has been suspended one game due to the punch he threw at Suns G Goran Dragic. As a result, Young will miss the Lakers’ game at the Boston Celtics on Friday.

The Lakers dropped their sixth straight game, falling to the Phoenix Suns 121-114, but the story of the night was the ejection of Nick Young and his comments following the game–calling out his teammates for the lack of the support during the scuffle that led to his ejection.

Here is the video of the altercation:

“What I was mad about is it was one-on-five,” said Young, who has posted nine points on 4-of-8 shooting before his ejection. “If somebody had gotten in the middle, it wouldn’t have escalated that much.”

It is pretty evident in the video that his teammates did nothing to come to his defense as he was immediately surrounded by five Suns’ players.

While rookie Ryan Kelly attempted to help, it was not until assistant coach Dan D’Antoni came and pulled Young away from the situation that things started to calm down.

The Lakers (14-25) chemistry has been praised since training camp, but frustrations seem to be boiling over after losing 12 out of their last 13 games.  The locker room seemed divided over the issue as Kendall Marshall disagreed with Young’s comments.

“I understand where Nick is coming from. He did get fouled hard. It wasn’t a basketball play by any means,” said Marshall, who had 10 points on only 4-of-16 shooting and 13 assists. “But at the same time, we have to understand you have to win some and lose some. I don’t know if that was the smartest play at the time.”

That same sentiment was shared by coach Mike D’Antoni.

“You don’t fight in this league,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “It wouldn’t help us to lose two or three more guys. I hate that Nick feels that way, but I’m sure at the moment he’s just talking.”

Meanwhile, Pau Gasol, who finished the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, backed Young’s comments.  It should be noted that Gasol was on the bench at the time and any player not in the game would be suspended if they stepped on the court.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get a guy in between Nick and the three or four guys going at him,” said Lakers forward Pau Gasol, who posted 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting. “That was a first mistake or slow reaction on our part. We should’ve protected Nick there.”

Will this situation carry over past tonight? It’s hard to say.  While everyone will have an opinion on this, Young’s teammates on the court could have come and pulled him away which did not happen.

Having a teammate’s back does not mean that you have to throw punches, but it would have been good to see players attempt to help “Swaggy P”, instead new issues have poked their ugly head as the Lakers’ continue to free fall in the standings.

With a more than likely suspension looming for Nick Young and possibly Jordan Hill, who stepped onto the court slightly during the chaos, the Lakers could suit up just seven players Friday versus the Boston Celtics.

For more comments on tonight’s situation, here is Mark Medina’s article on tonight’s game.

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