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  • John M.

    John M. 10:41 AM on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: Julius!, Please Don't Read The News   

    “I pulled him out. Every time I pull him out he gets p********f,” Walton said of sitting Randle midway through the fourth. “I pulled him out for a quick minute, put him back in and he uses that anger. He used that anger pretty well. I just hope he never catches on to it.”

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:50 AM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LOL. I’m just glad Luke put Julius back in and played him 30 minutes. I thought Randle’s defense against Embiid was excellent and proved he could be capable of being a starting NBA center and not just a small ball center. Next step is for Luke to give Julius a chance to start.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 11:43 AM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha Tom,

      I hope so. Of the 3 guys that guarded Embid he was the only one who held his own. He’s shown the ability to stay in front of Wall and Curry. He’s been able to make it tough on KD and Embid. I thought it was fortunate that Lopez got that 5th foul because Randle out played Embid on both sides of the ball down the stretch. Not a lot of guys not named Draymond that can do what Randle has been doing.

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 1:37 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He’s our enforcer which is why I hate the thought of packaging him in a deal to get Deng shipped out.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:20 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aloha, Michael,

      I’m all in on Julius right now because of his defense. He can be as impactful as Draymond Green. I think he could be a big part of the Lakers’ future and hope that we don’t trade him midseason just to clear cap space. There are very few trades I would be willing to make involving Julius at this point. Maybe straight up for Nerlens Noel or for Paul George but before we do that, we need to see if he can be a starter, even if it’s along side Lopez as a 4 to start. Lakers’ starters need Randle or Kuzma at the 4 offensively. Going to be interesting to see how this all plays out but I would love to see a Lonzo, KCP, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle starting lineup at some point this season.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 12:34 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Tom, are you aware European Team Owners can withhold paycheques to its players?

        If LaVar continues to be bombastic, teams can withhold payment to players like Gelo.

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:45 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Good point, Sean. There are lots of variables on their playing in Europe. I just think the anti-Ball contingent in the media are downplaying Gelo’s and Melo’s skill sets and the power of the Big Baller Brand as a marketing tool. Gelo may not be an NBA quality prospect but Melo definitely is. What also is interesting is the decision was made as a family decision with everybody having input. I understand how LaVar can alienate fans but I personally think he loves his kids and is doing what he thinks is best for them. They can make millions of dollars and help promote BBB and that could be better route for them than 1 year of college. Let’s see how this plays out before condemning LaVar.

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 12:55 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I don’t like it, either, Tom. Those euro owners are real busters.

            I hope they land in China or Israel.

            • Seely_Iggy (Director)

              Seely_Iggy (Director) 1:39 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink

              Seriously? You think China will let Gelo back in lol.

            • Magicman (Editor)

              Magicman (Editor) 1:51 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink

              Qualified it with a hope. :)

      • tate793

        tate793 12:35 PM on December 8, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aloha Michael and Tom

        JuJu had a great game, last night. Great team game, where everything (but the free throw shooting) clicked. Seeing the team accept the challenge down ths stretch -- and overcome it (in a hostile setting) was huge.

        I’d also like to see a Lonzo, Clarkson, Ingram, Kuzma and Randle starting line up this season.

  • John M.

    John M. 12:20 PM on October 14, 2017 Permalink  

    Quick cup of coffee for Travis:

    Ohm Youngmisuk
    ESPN Staff Writer

    The Lakers waived Vander Blue, Travis Wear and Briante Weber to get roster down to 16.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 9:29 AM on October 3, 2017 Permalink  

    Best of luck to Tom, DJ, and any other Yanks fans in here. I’d love to see an LA-NY Series!

     
  • John M.

    John M. 1:25 PM on September 30, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: R I P   

    Lakers Statement on Passing of Frank Hamblen

    Posted: Sep 30, 2017

    El SEGUNDO – Frank Hamblen, former head coach and assistant coach for the Lakers, passed away this morning in Del Mar, California.

    Hamblen, who was a member of the Lakers coaching staff from 1999-2011, served as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson from 1999-2004 and again from 2005-2011, helping lead the team to five NBA championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010). During the 2004-05 season, Hamblen was the top assistant to Lakers head coach Rudy Tomjanovich and assumed the position of head coach in February of 2005 after Tomjanovich stepped down from the role. Prior to his stint with the Lakers, Hamblen spent three seasons (1996-1999) as an assistant coach with the Bulls where he helped lead the team to two NBA Championships (1997, 1998).

    “Frank Hamblen was a great coach and a good friend,” said Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton. “He was not only beloved by everyone in the Lakers organization but by those in the NBA community as well. Frank coached me as a rookie and in addition to all I learned from him on the court, he also emphasized how important it was to enjoy life off the court as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to Frank’s family. ”

    During his 42-year career as a coach in the NBA and ABA, Hamblen was a top assistant on the Bucks for nine seasons (1987-1996) and worked as assistant coach for the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings (1977-1987), Denver Rockets (1972-1977) and the San Diego/Houston Rockets (1969-72).

    Born in Terre Haute, Indiana on April 16, 1947, Hamblen attended Garfield High School where he was recognized as one of the top 12 high school players in Indiana before attending Syracuse University. In 2007 he was inducted into the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 4:36 PM on September 28, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: Love this kid!   

    Ingram says he has been working out since May 15, so much so that the Lakers said they have had to tell him and some of the other young players not to come into the gym on some nights and take it easy.

    “Sometimes I snuck in,” Ingram said with a chuckle.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 12:12 PM on September 7, 2017 Permalink  

    Clips create ‘Star’ seating with hefty price tag

    The best seats at the Staples Center are getting even better for LA Clippers fans who are ready to open in their wallets.

    The team has broken up its long scorers table, which has created eight new seats, called “Star Courtside” seats on the floor on the side of the players’ benches.

    “It’s extremely rare to have space like this open in any arena” Clippers president Gillian Zucker said. “What we did here was create new beachfront property.”

    The new seats won’t come cheap.

    The Clippers aren’t publicly disclosing the price, but a league source says they’re asking for $175,000 a seat. The price includes access to the team’s all-inclusive clubs, in-seat waiter service and valet parking with access to a VIP entrance.

    With 43 games on the schedule, including preseason, the seats come out to $4,070 a game, which isn’t the highest in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks have tickets which are more expensive.

    Zucker said current courtside ticket holders will have the first shot on getting the seats before the team opens it to the general marketplace.

    The potential buyer?

    “The seats can be seen on television, so it can be for someone who wants to be seen. It is, after all, Hollywood,” Zucker said. “Companies, agencies or just a hardcore fan who wants to get closer.”

    Ten years ago, the Clippers’ seats went for roughly half the price of Lakers’ tickets. The balance of power has shifted with the Clippers’ rise and the Lakers’ fall.

    The atmosphere at the game has also changed, thanks in part to the change in ownership from Donald Sterling to Steve Ballmer, who bought the team for $2 billion three years ago.

    This offseason, the Clippers re-signed Blake Griffin to a five-year, $175 million max contract.

     
    • mclyne32 (Director) 2:11 PM on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      With CP3 gone, the Clipps are not even on the radar anymore and won’t be again until they can get someone to run that squad.

      • John M.

        John M. 2:27 PM on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Apparently the idea is since there will be no stars on the court, maybe they can persuade a few more to watch the futility. Gotta pump them ratings somehow…

  • John M.

    John M. 12:03 PM on September 7, 2017 Permalink  

    Laker Nation lists the start of camp as TBD. Seems as though they’d know by now.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 3:43 PM on July 27, 2017 Permalink  

    Rumor Mill… 

    According to ESPN, the Suns would consider trading guard Eric Bledsoe, this year’s first-round draft pick Josh Jackson, and a future pick in exchange for Irving.

    Adding Bledsoe and Jackson to a roster would make a lot of sense for the Cavs.

    Bledsoe could either start alone, start alongside newly acquired guard Derrick Rose or come off the bench while Jackson would have James as a mentor at the wing position.

    Eric Bledsoe is one of the most explosive athletes in the league who at 27 years-old is still under contract for the next two seasons making a very modest $14.5 and $15 million over each of the next two seasons. The knock on Bledsoe is that he, like Rose, is also injury-prone. In 66 games last season, Bledsoe dropped 21 points, dished out 6 dimes, and grabbed 5 boards a game. It’s also important to note that Bledsoe and LeBron are close friends.

    Now to sound like an infomercial. “But that’s not all.”

    In the proposed deal, the Cavaliers would be getting potentially the best player in this year’s loaded draft, Josh Jackson, AND a future draft pick. The details of the draft pick are unknown according to this report, but if it’s a future first-round draft pick, the Cavaliers would have even more options for the 2017-18 season and beyond.

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 3:45 PM on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      For Kyrie, I would do that in a split second if I were the Suns. That backcourt would rival the Warriors.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:30 PM on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That’s the thing about rumors…I read yesterday that Jackson was “untouchable”..

  • John M.

    John M. 5:13 PM on July 20, 2017 Permalink  

    ESPN Sources: Derrick Rose completed approximate 3-hour meeting with Los Angeles Lakers. Both sides felt good about it. Deliberation time.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 2:44 PM on July 10, 2017 Permalink  

    Kuzma and Hart are out too.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 10:46 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink  

    Good piece from Ramona:

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/presents-19753943/los-angeles-lakers-looking-new-face-franchise-lonzo-ball

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 10:59 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      LOS ANGELES — For months before the draft, Magic Johnson had been 80 percent sure the Los Angeles Lakers were going to select Lonzo Ball. In his gut, Johnson felt like Ball was special — that he had the “it” factor needed to revitalize his hometown team, which was in the lottery for a fourth consecutive year. A big point guard himself, Johnson saw similarities in the 6-foot-6 Ball and his stylish, unselfish approach to the game.

      But Johnson also knew that his own reputation — and the Lakers’ hopes of a rebuild that would put them back in the conversation as a destination for elite free agents the following summer — were riding on making the correct call with Lonzo. He knew he had to meet Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar, and decide whether all the hoopla and hysteria Lavar brought was really worth dealing with.

      So on the Friday before last month’s NBA draft, Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka drove the hour and a half from Los Angeles to Chino Hills to see Lonzo — and LaVar — in their element.

      For years, LaVar had waited for the Lakers to come calling about his eldest son. “I always felt it, that’s why my name is LaVar, LA-Var,” he says with a hearty laugh, delighting in the line he has just come up with. “It’s not ridiculous, it’s Ballicious!”

      He laughs again. These lines, they just come to him now. He has been telling people Lonzo will be a Laker for 15 years, “speaking it into existence,” as he likes to say, and now it was about to come true.

      “A lot of people don’t believe it because they’re like, ‘Man, how can LaVar have been so right all the time? It’s not fair,'” he says.

      He’ll talk a big game (now that Lonzo is a Laker, he’s getting “I Told You So” T-shirts printed; they’ll soon be sold on the Big Baller Brand website). But when the Lakers came to his house, LaVar broke character — or caricature — and said the one thing professional hype masters never reveal.

      “He just said it’s marketing,” Johnson says. “That’s what he had to do to market not only his son but the brand. Before I met him I had already thought that. I already knew what he was doing.”

      But hearing it straight from LaVar’s mouth helped put Johnson and Pelinka at ease.

      As Johnson recalls, “He said, ‘Earvin, look, I’m not following my son. I’m not going to be hanging out in L.A. I’m going to be training these young kids [his other sons].'”

      “‘As far as training my boy, this is as far as I can take him,'” LaVar says he told Johnson. “‘I’ll leave it up to you to take him further. You can get him better with the film time and the coaching. You can take him to another level.'”

      “I trust you with my boy. I just got a great feeling that you guys are going to take Zo to a whole other level.'”

      It was the closing sales pitch the Lakers needed to hear. Less than a week later, they chose Lonzo No. 2 overall.

      SO MUCH OF Lakers lore, the good part of it anyway, is about a kind of luck and the poetic license to call it “magic.”

      The down years, the valleys between dynasties, are forgotten quickly once a new torchbearer comes along to light the way.

      If Lonzo becomes that next face of the franchise, if he lives up to what his father has said he is, and what Johnson hopes he is, the next chapter of that Lakers lore will write itself.

      If he doesn’t, they’ll have to tear it up and try again.

      In so many ways, this is a story about faith — a father’s faith in himself and his sons and Johnson’s faith in his gut instinct on Lonzo, who will make his debut Friday afternoon at the Las Vegas Summer League. But most importantly, it’s about the Lakers’ renewed faith in their own exceptionalism.

      The franchise has always had a special quality, with Hall of Famers such as Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor among their alumni. Then in 1979, the year Dr. Jerry Buss bought the team from Jack Kent Cooke, the Lakers won a coin flip to be in position to draft Johnson, a sophomore from Michigan State, No. 1 overall.

      So many things had to line up for the Lakers to end up with the No. 1 pick in a year when a transcendent talent and showman like Johnson was available. First, they had to acquire that pick from New Orleans three years earlier, as payment for an aging Gail Goodrich. Then, Johnson had to stay in school an extra year to compete against Larry Bird of Indiana State in the NCAA tournament. New Orleans had to have a bad season and earn a high draft pick. Then, the Lakers had to win that coin flip with Chicago, the other last-place team.

      And, of course, none of that would have even mattered had Magic not created a decade of winning for the Lakers, and a signature style — Showtime — that has defined the franchise and the city of Los Angeles ever since.

      It was a remarkable series of events. As remarkable, if not more so, than the series of events that led Lonzo to be a Laker.

      The question now is whether it will be as impactful.

      The Lakers are back to dreaming big again — about Lonzo’s future, and about that of their franchise.

      “You got a good young core [of players], who all are great,” Johnson says. “I think Lonzo will help to make them guys better. It’s going to be a fun team to watch. I think Laker fans will be happy.”

      While the Lakers have been relatively quiet this offseason, Johnson says they’re just biding their time — and trying to position themselves as a destination for superstars again.

      Next summer, L.A. natives Russell Westbrook and Paul George could both be free agents. Then there’s offseason L.A. resident LeBron James, who could be looking for a third act to his legacy. Of course, the Lakers’ previous regime had similarly grand designs, but Johnson seems confident he’ll have more magic to his pitch. “I think what’s really important, is that now free agents will say, ‘They got enough firepower now.’ I think that’s the key. We’re talented enough that free agents will say, ‘They got it going now.'”

      If that sounds a little like speaking it into existence, well, so be it. Johnson’s future — and his legacy as an executive — is tied directly to Lonzo. This was his pick, in his first year leading the Lakers. And he was following his gut. So maybe it’s better to believe there was a little magic behind it.

      “It’s just amazing that it has all happened, the way it happened,” Johnson says. “For [LaVar] to talk it into fruition. For him to even think it was a possibility. … And now the fact that I’m in my first year? It’s just amazing.”

      LONZO BALL WAS born in 1997, one year after Magic played his final game. What he knows of the Showtime era comes mostly from his dad and watching ESPN’s recent 30 for 30 documentary on the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.

      Those teams are mostly remembered for their exciting style of play and flashy lifestyle off the court. They were Hollywood and hedonism, with unstoppable no-look passes and skyhooks in between. History tends to ignore that those Showtime Lakers teams also played lockdown defense and were in incredible physical shape. Behind all that effortless Lakers cool was a fair amount of elbow grease.

      But you sort of have to believe in the magic for it to happen — or at least appear to happen. Skepticism ruins the trick and wastes a lot of energy.

      Lonzo learned that early, listening to his father’s belief in his ability to speak his destiny into existence. “When you live with someone that positive and that energetic, they can pitch you anything,” he says.

      And frankly, when you live with someone as relentless as LaVar, it’s just not worth it to argue with him.

      “Yeah,” Lonzo says with a laugh. “You’re not going to win, so you might as well go along.” Over the years Lonzo has developed a way of dealing with his father’s forceful personality. He’ll turn his music up and escape into his own universe. He’ll goof off with his younger brothers or friends who come over to the house to train. He’ll go over to his girlfriend’s house and hang out with her.

      You get the sense he’s amused by all this, not resentful.

      “It’s funny, especially how the media reacts,” Lonzo says. “I know what he’s going to say before he even says it. I could see it. Plus, we talk all the time, so I kind of get a good feel of what’s about to happen the next time a microphone goes in his face. I already know.”

      After Lonzo was drafted, LaVar stole the headlines by guaranteeing the Lakers would make the playoffs in his first season, then tossing his purple and gold Big Baller hat into the crowd as he exited the Barclay’s Center to a chorus of boos.

      “When he threw his hat, they were going crazy,” Lonzo says.

      It was straight out of a WWE show. (“Speaking of that,” Lonzo says the day after the draft, when the comparison is made. “Wink wink. Stay tuned.” Sure enough, three days later, LaVar was at Staples Center at WWE’s “Monday Night Raw,” ripping off his shirt, staring down The Miz and working the microphone like he was a regular cast member. The Lakers watched, laughed and cringed all the way through, knowing this is how it’s going to be.) Told that it seems like his dad is kind of enjoying this spotlight, Lonzo smiles and says, “Kinda? He definitely is.”

      If there’s any question as to whether Lonzo is aware of how well his father has been the tail wagging the dog this past year, it was answered in a memorable Foot Locker commercial poking fun at his father’s domineering ways, which was released right before the draft.

      Lonzo says he never consulted with his father before shooting the ad, which featured several draft picks honoring their dads for Father’s Day. He read the script, thought it was funny and later sat with his father as he watched it live for the first time.

      “My dad saw it when it aired,” Lonzo says. “He saw it and just started laughing. He was like, ‘Well, you didn’t lie.'”

      The day after the draft, Lonzo Ball did an introductory news conference and threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN

      ULTIMATELY, THOUGH, THIS isn’t about magic or marketing. It’s about whether Lonzo can play.

      If Lonzo lives up to the faith the Lakers have shown in him — a tough proposition for any rookie, let alone a 19-year-old area native in his big-time hometown market — everything else they’re dreaming of is possible — the superstars next summer, the return of Showtime, all of it.

      If he doesn’t, a lot more than their faith in him and Lakers exceptionalism will erode.

      Lonzo seems fully aware of what’s riding on him.

      “That’s what it comes with. When you’re that high of a pick, they’re invested in you,” he says. “If you don’t want to have a lot of stuff put on you, I guess don’t be a high pick.”

      The Lakers will get their first glimpse of him on the court this week in Vegas, and while it’s far from the type of spotlight and stage he’ll experience once the real games begin, it’s going to be one of the most anticipated summer league debuts in years. Lonzo says he can’t wait.

      “I just want to play,” he says on the day after the draft. “I haven’t played in a long time. I think I’m in shape. If there’s a game tomorrow, I’ll play.”

      Off the court, he has handled everything the NBA and the Lakers could throw at him. Lonzo moved through the endless media responsibilities of his first days as a Laker with little wasted motion, giving short answers that convey confidence but little else.

      He arrived at his introductory media conference on barely more than 45 minutes of sleep, having stayed up until 4 a.m. after the draft because his younger brother LaMelo kept him up on their flight back to LA. But he seemed energetic and accommodating to question after question.

      “I’m fine,” he joked during a lull in the action. “Just need to keep eating sugar.”

      Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss handed him a bag of Sour Patch Kids during their visit. He found some cherry gummy snacks in the green room at Spectrum SportsNet, where he taped a special interview with the Lakers’ TV network. At the Dodgers game, where he was throwing out the first pitch, he found some Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the clubhouse.

      “I’ve stayed up a couple days, but not like this,” he says. The closest he has come was a weekend at UCLA when he binge-watched the MTV series, “Teen Wolf.”

      “I had to catch up on my episodes,” he says. “And we had the weekend off from practice, so I just stayed up.”

      AFTER THE DRAFT, LaVar Ball didn’t go to the Dodgers game to continue basking in Los Angeles’ hopes and dreams for Lonzo and the Lakers. After the introductory media conference, he did what he told the Lakers he would do: He stepped out of the spotlight.

      LaVar drove back home to Chino Hills to take care of his wife, Tina Ball. She still has a long ways to go in her recovery from a stroke this spring. But she’s home now, and LaVar says she was doing well, recovering from another surgery while Lonzo and his dad and brothers were in New York for the draft.

      “They put that last little cranial part back in her head so she doesn’t have that dent now,” LaVar says. “It’s not scary. It’s going to get done. She knows what’s going on. All I got to do is smile and wink at her and she knows.”

      Lonzo says his mother knows he has been drafted by the Lakers but can’t talk or communicate yet.

      Her fingernails are painted purple and gold — and have been even since before he left for the draft in New York.

      It’s not something any of them talk about publicly, even though her condition is always on their minds. Johnson and Pelinka got to meet her when they visited the family house, and they both said it was touching to see how they cared for her.

      “Anybody would do the same for their family,” LaVar says.

      But it’s still hard to process what’s happening with Tina compared with the rest of her family. She was in the hospital recovering from surgery on her skull the same night her eldest son was being drafted No. 2 overall by the Lakers?

      It’s incredible how everything has come together just as LaVar said it would, but it’s hard to forget that Tina wasn’t there to enjoy it. Pain and joy, fear and hope, all in the same moment.
      Lonzo Ball exists in two worlds right now.

      So much joy at a dream fulfilled. So much real-life sadness and pain to deal with.

      So many hopes riding on him. So much faith already bestowed upon him.

      “That’s how it’s supposed to be,” he says.

    • John M.

      John M. 11:02 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the heavy lifting, Tom :).

      • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:03 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I somehow missed this and thought it was worth posting. Great article. Thanks, John.

        • John M.

          John M. 11:14 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Agreed. I especially liked the part when La Var passed the baton to Magic & Co. I applaud Dad’s brashness, and how can you fault a guy for believing in his kids?

          • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:20 AM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I highlighted that section for the same reasons. Says worlds about LaVar and what kind of person he is. I really admire and respect what he has done. Now it’s up to Lonzo to deliver on the court. I’m as excited for tonight’s game as any Lakers game I can remember. Just hoping we play great and nobody gets hurt.

      • mud

        mud 12:16 PM on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        yes, thanks John M and Tom.

        this is fun.

  • John M.

    John M. 4:24 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink  

    You gotta see this (might want to rethink LeBron in purple):

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/23/us/crying-lebron-tattoo-trnd/?iid=ob_homepage_deskrecommended_pool

     
  • John M.

    John M. 12:16 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink
    Tags: Trade is looking good so far...   

    D’Angelo Russell makes first appearance at Barclays Center, gets booed

    Welcome to New York, D’Angelo Russell.

    The Brooklyn Nets made a smart gamble before the draft and traded Brook Lopez (and his expiring contract) to the Lakers for the bloated contract of Timofey Mozgov and the promise of Russell. It’s a smart move to see if coach Kenny Atkinson can lift up the young point guard who shows promise but is inconsistent.

    Nets fans don’t seem so thrilled. Russell showed up for the Big3 games at Barclays Center, and he did not feel the love, reports Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.

    These are New York fans, they would boo George Washington.

    It’s simple for Russell, he just has to win them over. He gets a fresh start in Brooklyn and the baggage the Lakers saw him carrying is gone. It’s his chance to win a city over and be part of the future — but he will have to earn it.

    Otherwise, it won’t be long or he will hear those boos again.

     
    • Magicman (Editor)

      Magicman (Editor) 12:47 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wish him well.

      Brooklyn will always be 2nd in NYC. Happened with the Dodgers competing with the Giants and Yankees.

      And the Nets will be 2nd fiddle to Knicks.

      He’s obviously hurt still, fresh wound. Best thing that could’ve happened to him, no pressure in Brooklyn.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:55 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lol..nothing wrong with being #2 in NYC.

      Hope DAR can reload and make a difference for the Nets. But the NY media is 10 times more harsh than LA..better develop a thicker skin REAL quick. That moody emo shyte will get him evicerated there.

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 12:59 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I never said it was wrong. Lol.

        He can walk down Queens Boulevard and go unnoticed. He stays outta page 6, he’ll be alright. Agreed.

    • Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well)

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 2:03 PM on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Good luck to both.

  • John M.

    John M. 5:46 PM on June 23, 2017 Permalink  

    Magic Johnson says Lonzo Ball ‘has greatness written all over him’

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers wasted no time heaping sky-high expectations upon Lonzo Ball, whom they drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

    When the organization introduced Ball on Friday at the team’s practice facility, Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson called him “the new face of the Lakers, the guy who I think will lead us back to where we want to get to.”

    EDITOR’S PICKS

    Fans should remember son Lonzo Ball is no LaVar
    While LaVar Ball boasts that his son is better than Magic Johnson, Lonzo Ball — a pass-first, shoot-second guard — hopes to be “half” the player his new Lakers boss was back in the day.

    .
    Soon after, Johnson told Ball, 19, to look at a nearby wall, where several retired jerseys of Lakers icons are displayed.

    “We expect a Ball jersey hanging up there one day,” Johnson told Ball.

    When asked about Johnson’s comment, Ball replied, “I think it’s a good goal to set. I’ll definitely be chasing that.”

    Why the high expectations on Ball?

    “He has greatness written all over him,” Johnson said. “Now he just has to go out and push him, and we will, too. And [Lakers coach] Luke [Walton] and the coaching staff will do the same thing and it’s OK, because he receives all that well.

    “We’re fine. We want expectations. We want to win championships here. We’ve got to get the right people in place to do that, but we’re building every step. I’m not crazy. I know it’s going to take time to build and we’re building, but when we get the right people in here, we’re going to win.”

    Johnson even referenced the 1980s Showtime Lakers — a team he led — when talking about the ball movement that he hopes Ball will bring to the Lakers.

    “We want to start building a successful team, and you have to have a great leader,” Johnson said, “and somebody that can make their teammates better, somebody who has incredible basketball IQ — his IQ is off the charts — and somebody who can get their teammates to follow them and want to get out on that wing like James Worthy and Byron Scott and Michael Cooper used to do back in the day. We feel like we have that person right here in Lonzo Ball.”

    Magic Johnson called No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball the “great leader” the Lakers will need as he attempts to build a title contender in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
    It was pointed out that the Lakers are putting as much pressure on Ball as they have perhaps placed on any rookie.

    “Well, the support here is great, so it’s not just me,” Ball said. “I’m playing the game of basketball, which I’ve been playing all of my life. It’s fun to me and I know it’s going to be fun here. I’m not really worried about all that.”

    Johnson chimed in, saying, “I think the main thing here is Lonzo, all he needs to do is play his game. He doesn’t need to change. I think we have great young weapons around him. … I think everybody understands playing with somebody with Lonzo’s talent will make them better and also get them easier baskets. He just needs to play his game. He doesn’t need to change; just play his game.”

    Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka again praised Ball’s court vision.

    “We feel like Lonzo is a transcendent talent, and Magic and I knew the moment we scouted his game, the type of player he was and how he was raised,” Pelinka said. “I think when this really came into focus for us was, we knew the talent was transcendent. The way he passes the ball, you look at quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, that just have a gift. It’s clearly a gift, with what he’s been blessed with.”

    Added Johnson, “Guys want to get out on that break and run hard because they know Lonzo will find them and not just give them a pass, but a scoring pass. See, some people can pass, but very few people can lead to a scoring pass. And that’s what type of passer he is. He’s unbelievable. He has a great feel for the game. He understands angles. That’s also difficult. That’s what we saw watching so much tape of him. You see yourself. You see Jason Kidd.”

    Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar, sat front and center at Friday’s news conference, watching his son raise a crisp No. 2 Lakers jersey. After Thursday’s draft, LaVar proclaimed, “Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year.”

    On Friday, LaVar was asked about his remark.

    “I don’t think the Lakers are going to make the playoffs,” he said. “I know they’re going to make the playoffs.”

    The Lakers have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons, their longest postseason drought in franchise history, and are coming off a 26-56 season, the third-worst record in the NBA.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 6:21 PM on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Come on, Magic. Can we at least wait until the guy actually puts on a uniform and plays? And why can’t we just let Lonzo earn the role as the team’s leader before we hand it to him. And really, declaring him as a face on the Lakers Mount Rushmore before he makes a single basket? So much hyperbole! Horse before the cart! Sheesh. ( :-) )

    • Magic Phil

      Magic Phil 12:38 AM on June 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have a bad feeling about all this… Let’s just wait and see

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 8:30 AM on June 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, ain’t like we got much choice. I said a while back I wouldn’t be disappointed if they chose Lonzo, but I think it might be wise to temper some of the enthusiasm til we see just how he performs in games that actually count.

  • John M.

    John M. 4:03 PM on June 22, 2017 Permalink  

    I’m signing off until I watch the recording–will be at work until 6.

     
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