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  • John M.

    John M. 5:49 PM on July 30, 2018 Permalink  

    LeBron speaks about his new team and his decision to come to LA:

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/24236249/lebron-james-discusses-signing-los-angeles-lakers-new-teammates

     
  • John M.

    John M. 1:52 PM on July 26, 2018 Permalink  

    Lamar Odom is reportedly coming out of retirement to play in China:

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/07/26/controversial-former-nba-star-announces-hes-coming-out-of-retirement/23490309/

     
  • John M.

    John M. 12:24 PM on July 14, 2018 Permalink  

    Magic Johnson: Lakers to consult with LeBron James on moves
    play

    Magic Johnson says LeBron James’ arrival has taken the Los Angeles Lakers’ three-year rebuilding plan to “a whole ‘nother level” and that the team plans to remain disciplined and maintain salary-cap space to pursue another max free agent next summer.

    The Lakers president of basketball operations said the team’s rebuilding timetable remains on track to take another significant step next season.

    “If we feel there’s somebody out there or a deal to be made to make our team better, then we’ll do it as long as it’s a great deal for us,” Johnson said during a conference call Friday. “If it’s not, we have our team and we’ll go to battle, go to war with this team. We feel really good about this team.

    “Then we’ll have enough room for next summer to give another player a max deal. [General manager] Rob [Pelinka] and I, we already put the strategy together. LeBron, of course, changed some of that, but we’re still going to stay disciplined and hope we’ll be a team that can have a championship run for a long time.”

    Calling him the “greatest player” and “greatest leader in sports,” Johnson said the Lakers will lean on James and consult with him when contemplating new additions.

    “It’s not about influence. It’s about sitting down with the world’s greatest player and picking his brain and saying, ‘You’re playing in the game today,'” Johnson said. “Just like when I was playing, [late owner] Dr. [Jerry] Buss and [former Lakers GM] Jerry West would come to me when we were thinking about making moves. … It’s gonna be the same way here. We’re gonna go to LeBron and say if there’s a deal to be made for guys available, we’ll say to him, ‘What do you think about this guy? You know him. You play against him. You know the backstory and everything about the guy.’

    “That’s why you have guys that are superstars in this league. You want to have a line of communication and want to know what they’re thinking. LeBron, we’ve done that with the guys we brought in. He’s done an excellent job of giving us great feedback. We will continue to do that. The ultimate decision-maker on the team and who we bring in is me. I take that to [Lakers president] Jeanie [Buss] and see what she says and whether she signs off or not.”

    While Johnson is confident about the pieces added around James, he did say it could take “probably closer to two months” for James, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee to learn how to play alongside Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — a core that went 35-47 last season.

    “I think one thing that we have to, and the fans have to be patient about, is the chemistry on the court,” Johnson said. “Because we’re putting together, basically all these guys will be new to each other, playing with each other, right? So it’s probably going to take us at least a month or two, probably closer to two months, to really understand how to play with each other and how to feed each other, all those things.

    “We saw that LeBron and Miami struggled for the first two months or so when he was in Miami, then they finally got together and they were a championship-caliber team. And I’m sure when he went back to Cleveland in the beginning, they struggled until they got to know each other and then they were a championship-caliber team. It will be no different here. We’ll struggle to understand how to play with each other and where everybody likes the ball and those types of things, but eventually we’ll get it together and I feel we’ll be one of the best teams in the West.”

    Johnson said he studied film of James at every significant stage of his career — from his early Cleveland days to the Miami championships and back to Cleveland — to help him prepare for his July 1 meeting with James, understand where his game is currently and figure out how to best design the Lakers’ roster around the star.

    He also watched how Houston and Boston had success in the postseason. Johnson said he and James were in agreement that adding multiple playmakers and defenders with playoff experience was a way to combat Golden State.

    “We have to remember the game is not the same anymore,” Johnson said. “There’s no team in basketball that can duplicate Golden State. But what you can do is try to make sure — Houston, they really gave Golden State problems because they had guys, multiple guys, that can break the defense down. Not only shoot but also create off the dribble. And on the defensive end they were right there.

    “When you think of some of the teams that had great shooting besides Golden State, all those teams really got beat. But then you look at a team like Boston who had, again, multiple ball handlers, guys that can put it down on the ground and get their own shot, they advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference finals.

    “I watched every series and had to say, ‘OK, the game is played different.’ Then I talked to him — he felt the same way, so now let’s get guys that can handle the basketball, get their own shots, also are tough on defense, tough-minded. And that’s how Rob and I decided to build the roster. So we’re really happy with the additions that we have, and LeBron is really happy.”

    After James committed, the Lakers agreed to deals with Rondo, Stephenson and McGee while re-signing Caldwell-Pope, looking to add basketball IQ, playmakers, defenders and playoff experience. Even though the Lakers averaged just 34.5 percent from 3-point range — second to last in the NBA last season — management feels the team has enough 3-point shooting with Hart (39.6 percent), Ingram (39), Caldwell-Pope (38.3), James (36.7) and Kuzma (36.6).

    The Lakers added veteran leadership and championship experience but also injected the locker room with some strong-willed personalities such as James and Rondo and even quirky characters such as Stephenson and McGee to go with quiet and reserved young players such as Ingram and Ball.

    Johnson had no doubts about the different personalities meshing well and forming a unified locker room.

    “It’s easy; we’re bringing in championship-caliber players,” Johnson said. “They understand chemistry. They understand there’s going to be the ultimate leader in the locker room of LeBron. And then we have a second guy who will be a great leader in Rondo. They will take care of the locker room. … Leaders take care of the locker room. I have no problem. I don’t see us never having no problem with that. LeBron is the greatest leader in sports. So I think that’s going to be easy.

    “When you think about Lonzo … I’ve told everybody when we drafted him, the one thing that was missing was a mentor,” Johnson added. “We really didn’t have a mentor for him to really teach him and help him how to play the point guard position. And now we have one in Rondo that can really take him through how to read defenses, how to play and defend certain guys in the league at the position.”

    “So this is really going to be an important year for Lonzo, and I think Rondo will really help him out a lot.”

    As for James, Johnson sees someone who is much like himself, who has followed a similar path out of the Midwest to win championships playing team basketball and who has had success off the court as well.

    “It was so funny. I think we both felt we were probably talking to ourselves,” Johnson said. “We’re looking at each other, and we were mirrors of each other when it comes to basketball mindset, championship DNA, playing the game the right way and also being a great teammate.”

     
  • John M.

    John M. 11:35 AM on June 29, 2018 Permalink  

    Reality check (please excuse my use of the source):

    Asked about how Boston’s collection of desirable assets invariably leads to the Celtics being lumped into a bevy of trade rumors, regardless of how serious Boston’s interest is, Ainge did lament having to then mend fences with players whose feelings are hurt by the suggestion they might be moved.

    “I think that most of [the rumors are] false. Especially the details of it,” Ainge said. “And what I don’t like about it is I don’t like how names are just thrown around [in media reports]. [Reporters] probably don’t care about the names, and that’s your job is to make good stories and have things to talk about on the air. Most of it’s not true, but there’s sometimes bits and pieces of it that are true. So it’s not total lies but — I can’t call it fake news — but it’s complex.

    “These are complex situations and I think that, just like [reporters] don’t like answering or having to respond to rumors, even though it does give you good programming, I don’t like it any more, having to deal with the players that are calling me and the agents that are calling me when their name is in a rumor that’s like just totally made up.”

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:39 AM on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, John. Ironically, there is no colder hearted and pragmatic general manager in the league than Danny Ainge. Isaiah Thomas found out. Kyrie Irving may find out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ainge trades Hayward before he even plays a full game for the Celtics after signing with them. Can never forget it’s a business. Of course the hypocrisy is Danny, like all GM’s, uses the media to shape opinions all the time.

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 12:58 PM on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree. Look at what he did to Paul Pierce. I mean, I really hate Paul Pierce yet felt sympathetic when that happened to him. I cannot imagine Lakers doing that to Kobe (trade him at the end of his career to a perennial loser). Even though Ainge made amends later, still, that came across as real cold. Then there’s Isaiah Thomas. Nuff said. Yup, if I were a star, I’d take Ainge’s nature into consideration. Good from the business perspective, but not necessarily for the individual players.

    • mud

      mud 12:17 PM on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      most of the rumors ARE false. lets call them what they are, fantasies and lies.

      let’s face it, from tv, news, radio and internet, reporters are irresponsible rumor-mongers who delight in, and prefer controversy and tittilation over the people involved and truly informed fanbases.

      • mud

        mud 12:23 PM on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        when one can point to anonymous “sources” instead of actual people, then there is no reason to avoid lies and exaggerations and other untruths.

        a perfect example is Stephen A’s old assertions about KD, which when KD calls him on his bogusness, he responds with threats against KD. almost ALL the rumors are made up.
        https://youtu.be/a-4vE4427Dc

        it seems Stephen was lying again about the LeBron text. both LeBron and KD have called that rumor bogus.

  • John M.

    John M. 11:51 AM on June 15, 2018 Permalink  

    Ben Fawkes
    ESPN Staff Writer
    No, it’s not a typo: The Los Angeles Lakers are now 6-1 to win the 2018-19 NBA title at Westgate. They opened 20-1.

     
    • keen observer

      keen observer 12:44 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sucker bet.

    • Michael H (Editor)

      Michael H (Editor) 12:49 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yep. I have a very hard time believing that the Spurs send Kawhi to the Lakers.

    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:51 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I actually think Brandon Ingram is the key here. He’s the perfect replacement for Kawhi. The Lakers should be able to make a deal around Ingram. No other player other than Tatum would be as good a piece around which to build a deal.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 12:55 PM on June 15, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        No? How about Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward + Jaylen Brown? How about the Clippers’ #12 & 13 picks and Tobias Harris? How about Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and the #10 pick? I would put the odds of Kawhi coming here at about 20-1.

  • John M.

    John M. 11:35 AM on June 9, 2018 Permalink  

    Love him or hate him, Swaggy’s always good for a quote:

    Golden State Warriors shooting guard Nick Young referenced his Iggy Azalea cheating scandal while with the Los Angeles Lakers after winning his first championship with the Dubs on Friday night.

    Young, who signed with the Warriors last July, joked about the 2016 incident involving his former fiancee following the team’s 108-85 win to sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    “I went from getting snitched on to putting a ring on,” he told reporters.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 11:45 AM on June 3, 2018 Permalink  

    Interesting read on officiating: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/23680154/crucial-calls-nba-refs-make-biggest-stage

     
  • John M.

    John M. 2:21 PM on April 13, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: Gonna be a long 2 1/2 months...   

    Ohm Youngmisuk
    ESPN Staff Writer
    When a reporter started to ask Magic Johnson if the Lakers might consider trading one of their young prospects like a Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram if an opportunity arises to make a big move this offseason, Johnson quickly cut off the question. “We are not going to talk about that,” Johnson said. “We are not going to talk about that.”

    Fully aware of past failures in previous free agency forays, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka say they’re serious about maintaining cap flexibility even if it means coming up empty-handed and not making a splash this July. Pelinka said July 2018 will not be a “litmus test of success” and that it is not this summer or bust. “We are not going to give money away just to say we signed somebody,” Johnson said. “We are not going to do that.”

     
  • John M.

    John M. 12:04 PM on March 5, 2018 Permalink  

    Ohm Youngmisuk
    ESPN Staff Writer
    Brandon Ingram’s MRI revealed a left groin strain and will re-evaluated in approximately a week. Looks like he will miss at least the next three games

     
  • John M.

    John M. 4:46 PM on February 1, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: Trade Randle for a Benchwarmer!   

    “Today’s NBA it is more of a challenge,” Walton said. “Julius is very good at that small-ball switching, which a lot of games turn into in the final five minutes. Larry has been really good this month, as well, with that stuff. So it is not that Brook can’t do it. … But in fourth quarters, Julius is the No. 1-rated defensive big man in the league for however they keep that switching stat and keeping guys in front of him and not letting him score.”

     
  • John M.

    John M. 11:17 AM on January 12, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: More Gold from Gregg   

    Popovich also revealed that Aldridge requested a trade last summer after a rough season. The coach talked the star big man out of his feelings after a few dinners and meetings. “I was very candid with him,” Popovich said. “I told him, `I’d be happy to trade you. You get me a talent like Kevin Durant, and I’ll drive you to the airport. I’ll pack your bags. And I will drive you there, get you on the plane and get you seated.’ He laughed, (and) I said, `But short of that, I’m your best buddy, because you’re here for another year, and you ain’t going nowhere. Because we’re not going to get for you talent-wise what we would want, so let’s figure this thing out.’ And we did.”

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 11:20 AM on January 12, 2018 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That was a great story, John. Pops said he never had a player tell him he wanted a trade before and that took him back. Never too old to learn and improve … even if you’re already a great one like Pops.

  • 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.

     
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