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  • 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.

     
  • John M.

    John M. 1:52 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink  

    Derek Fisher suspected of DUI after vehicle flips on California highway
    12:38 PM PT
    ESPN.com news services

    SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — Former Los Angeles Lakers player and ex-New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was arrested Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving after he flipped his vehicle on a California highway, authorities said.

    Neither Fisher nor his passenger, former “Basketball Wives” star Gloria Govan, were injured in the crash early Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said.

    Fisher was driving on U.S. 101 in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles when his 2015 Cadillac veered onto the right shoulder while approaching an interchange. The car hit the shoulder’s concrete curb and guardrail, overturned and came to a rest on its roof, blocking two lanes of the highway, Highway Patrol said.

    Officers discovered that Fisher had been drinking and arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after a DUI test, authorities said.

    Highway Patrol officials said they didn’t know if Fisher had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

    Govan’s ex-husband is Golden State Warriors forward Matt Barnes. Fisher and Barnes feuded in 2015 in part because of Fisher’s relationship with Govan.

    When reached by ESPN, Barnes said he would have no comment.

    The Highway Patrol says officers discovered that Derek Fisher had been drinking and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Jesse D. Garrabran/Getty Images
    After his playing career ended, Fisher was hired in June 2014 to be the first coach for Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, under whom Fisher won five championships with the Lakers.

    The first season was the worst in franchise history with a 17-65 record, but the team played better early in the second season before Jackson fired Fisher last February with the Knicks in a 1-9 tailspin.

    Fisher has been working as an analyst for TNT as well as for Spectrum SportsNet’s Lakers coverage this season.

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 1:57 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Another disappointing incident for a man whom the players in the league once voted as most likely to become a great head coach and who wrote a book called “Character Driven. Seems to be a sad tale of the power of a femme fatale?

      • Magicman (Editor)

        Magicman (Editor) 2:40 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If it’s proven he was intoxicated, the great news is no one, including Derek were killed.

        • tate793

          tate793 2:51 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Who knows? Maybe Matt Barnes was chasing them!!!

          • Magicman (Editor)

            Magicman (Editor) 2:57 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Since no one was hurt, we can make light! Lol

            25 Mil can buy you a personal driver. A retired Cop or a driving service like Uber. No excuses anymore for anyone. None.

            And yet both our Criminal Justice systems are flawed in altered state enforcement while driving. Pitiful.

          • GDUBinDC

            GDUBinDC 7:47 AM on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Cut it out, tate. : )

        • LakerTom (Publisher) 2:53 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          So true, Sean. That was may more important than the gossip value.

        • GDUBinDC

          GDUBinDC 7:47 AM on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Tru dat, Sean.

      • Seely_Iggy (Director)

        Seely_Iggy (Director) 5:24 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Could’ve been tragic so I’m glad no one was hurt. But that was kinda funny, Tate…. Matt Barnes chasing them. I’d run like hell too, that guy is unstable.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 5:06 PM on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Young pu-zy has been the downfall of many a man..lol

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 7:50 AM on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yup … bet the former Mrs.Fisher had a wry smile on her face once she learned he was ok.

      • tate793

        tate793 10:24 PM on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Even middle-aged pu-zy has been known to be the undoing of guys.

    • tate793

      tate793 10:51 PM on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We ought to hire him as a defensive assistant. Doesn’t seem like Metta wants to retire, quite yet.

  • John M.

    John M. 12:34 PM on May 27, 2017 Permalink  

    Former UCLA Bruins guard Lonzo Ball is widely expected to be a top-five pick in next month’s NBA draft. It’s also no secret that his outspoken father, LaVar, is seemingly steering the ship when it comes to Lonzo’s brand and destination at the next level.

    Ball’s camp has already publicly expressed a desire for Lonzo to land with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, owners of the No. 2 overall pick, and even declined a workout invitation from the Boston Celtics, who will be selecting first on June 22.

    Despite LaVar’s antics and controversial statements in recent months, the team that ultimately chooses Lonzo can take solace in the fact that LaVar apparently did not insert himself into basketball affairs during his son’s lone season at UCLA.

    When asked by the Los Angeles Times about LaVar’s influence on the Bruins, head coach Steve Alford might have assuaged any potential doubts that NBA teams might have about separating father from son when it comes to basketball decisions.

    Was LaVar Ball around the team much?

    “Zero,” Alford told the newspaper.

    Was he ever at practice?

    “Never at practice,” Alford said. “Never at practice; never called me.”

    Did he ever try to meddle in your coaching?

    “Never,” Alford said.

    Several members of the Lakers’ brass, including new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, told the newspaper that they don’t believe LaVar is going to influence whether Los Angeles selects Lonzo next month.

    Ball, currently the No. 2 prospectInsider on Chad Ford’s latest Big Board, helped lead UCLA to a 31-5 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 a year after the Bruins went 15-17.

    — Nick Ostiller

     
    • LakerTom (Publisher) 12:55 PM on May 27, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, John. While Lonzo was the catalyst, there were other important factors in the Bruins turnaround, including fellow freshman TJ Leaf giving the Bruins the stretch 4 they needed to spread the floor and former point guard Bryce Alford turning into a great 3-point threat as shooting guard. Additionally, the Bruins had several talented young players like Aaron Holiday and Isaac Hamilton who enjoyed break out seasons playing with Lonzo Ball.

      My point is that, other than a proven stretch 4 (unless we draft one at #28), the Lakers roster contains all of the elements that were important in Lonzo Ball’s transformation of the Bruins to a national contender -- namely, a talented point guard who could take over and become a dynamic catch-and-shoot threat from deep, a talented group of shooters and slashers like Ingram and Clarkson that just need to get the ball in the right situations, and a promising young center who can finish both pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops.

  • John M.

    John M. 9:01 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink  

    Byron Scott ‘felt betrayed, lied to and deceived’ by Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss
    

    PUBLISHED: May 24, 2017 at 7:00 am | UPDATED: May 24, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Byron Scott and Luke Walton had an unexpected meeting a few months ago, crossing paths at a restaurant after one of the Lakers’ late-season games. After exchanging pleasantries, their conversation shifted to Walton’s first season as the Lakers’ head coach.

    “I told him he’s doing a good job and to keep it up,” Scott said of Walton, whose team finished 26-56 as the organization made its fourth consecutive trip to the NBA draft lottery. “He told me a little bit about his frustrations, which I understood. But I thought he did a good job under the circumstances. If they give him a couple of those pieces that I’m sure they will, he’ll be much better next year.”

    The Lakers’ brass has offered Walton unequivocal support. Everyone from controlling owner Jeanie Buss to president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka praises his performance and the culture he is creating.

    Scott remembers a far different environment when he was the head coach with a different front office. His teams went a combined 38-126 during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons as he tried to juggle managing the final injury-plagued seasons of Kobe Bryant’s career while trying to develop a young roster. He was fired, replaced quickly by Walton, then a Golden State assistant coach.

    Scott said he “felt betrayed, lied to and deceived” by former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and former executive Jim Buss. Though he had only two guaranteed years on his four-year contract, Scott contends that Kupchak and Jim Buss previously promised him they would exercise the team option for his third year. Scott also believes the Lakers used him to manage Bryant during his final seasons and farewell tour before making the coach a scapegoat for the franchise’s struggles.

    “If I asked him to do certain things, Kobe would do it because of his respect for me,” said Scott, who mentored Bryant during his rookie season in 1996-97. “Basically, you just wanted me there to help you guys get through the next two years, so Kobe doesn’t go crazy on you guys. I would be the one that can handle it. They know me. I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be intimidated by anybody.”

    Scott considers his experience as Lakers coach a “hard lesson learned,” which he addressed in a new book titled, “Slam-Dunk Success: Leading from Every Position on Life’s Court.” The title is a nod to both his time with the 1980s “Showtime” Lakers, when he helped them win three NBA titles and his time as the coach who oversaw the franchise’s two worst seasons.

    Hence, Scott stressed “this is not one of those books that is a feel-great book.” The book, co-authored by business executive and close friend Charlie Norris, blends success stories and failures from Scott’s 14-year playing career and head-coaching stints in New Jersey (2000-2004), New Orleans (2004-2009), Cleveland (2010-13) and the Lakers (2014-16). The book also offered insight on Norris’ various businesses.

    “We took risks and weren’t afraid to step out and try new things. When we failed at those things, we were able to forget about them,” Scott said. “You think about them and reflect on them. But you also have to have the mindset of moving on. You also have to learn from them.”

    Scott maintains he has moved on from his Lakers head-coaching stint. He spent the past year working on his book and appearing as an NBA analyst on ESPN’s “The Jump.” During that self-reflection, however, Scott said he has no regrets about how he handled his time as Lakers coach.

    “Given that opportunity again,” Scott said, “I wouldn’t change anything, especially my approach.”

    In other words, Scott does not want a mulligan for yanking starting spots away from lottery picks D’Angelo Russell and forward Julius Randle only 20 games into the 2015-16 season. The duo later reclaimed their positions shortly after the NBA All-Star break.

    “I would do the same thing. I still felt like the job was given to them,” Scott said. “I don’t have a problem with young guys growing, understanding and developing in that (starting) role, but I do have a problem when they don’t cherish it, when they don’t hold it to a higher standard, when they don’t come ready to work.”

    Scott also dismissed criticism from inside and outside the Lakers of his stern approach, which affected his relationships with Russell and Nick Young. Scott mused “this old-school stuff people keep talking about, if old school and hard work is winning, I guess I’m old school.” He also contended, “I relate with players extremely well.”

    “There’s not a player in this league I had that I can’t communicate with or had some good relationships with,” Scott said. “Are there players that played for me that can’t stand me and vice versa? Yeah. I’m sure there are. But most of the players that I coached, when I come into contact with them, it’s nothing but mutual respect.”

    Despite his strong convictions, Scott said he once asked Norris for advice on getting through to Russell, Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Norris suggested Scott ask them two questions. The first: “what is blocking them from being great?” The second: “how can I help you become great?”

    Scott liked how Randle answered those questions. Scott said Randle blamed himself and pleaded with him “to stay on me, push me and make me accountable for everything I do.” Though Walton never took away Randle’s starting spot last season, he also found himself prodding the forward.

    “I’m still a big fan of Julius Randle,” Scott said. “He is a terrific young man and is really mature for his age. I think he wants to be great.”

    Scott has different feelings about Russell. He said the then-rookie’s demotion was partly because he frequently arrived to the Lakers’ facility only minutes before practice started. So, Scott eventually required his young players to complete individual workouts 30 minutes before and after practice.

    Though Walton has given Russell positive reinforcement regarding his play and has seen him participate in offseason workouts, he often mentioned Russell’s ongoing process in establishing a routine. Despite Russell averaging 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals during his second season, Johnson and Pelinka instructed him to focus on improving his consistency, conditioning and leadership.

    “I don’t know if his work ethic has gotten any better. Some of the people I’ve talked to in the organization said that it hasn’t,” Scott said of Russell. “I just wish him all the best. The maturity level will catch up to him sooner or later when he realizes it’s an honor and a privilege to be in the NBA and be in the position that he’s in. He has to take full advantage of it.”

    Scott believes Clarkson took full advantage of his time, morphing from a seldom-used rookie into a definitive starter in 2014-15. A fan of Clarkson’s work ethic, Scott did say he found him “pressing in trying to score more and do more” during his second season because of his pending free agency. The Lakers ultimately re-signed Clarkson to a four-year, $50 million deal last summer.

    “I wanted him to be himself. But I didn’t want him to go out there and try to make things happen,” Scott said of Clarkson. “When you do that and think a little selfishly, it can come back and bite you in the butt because you can play even worse. He understood where I was coming from. I want all these guys to do well on the court because obviously financially it helps them and their family. He’s one of the guys I have a lot of respect for.”

    Therefore, Scott downplayed any potential awkward feelings Randle, Clarkson and Tarik Black might have felt when Scott was seated with them earlier this offseason at a Los Angeles Urban League event where Johnson was being honored.

    “It wasn’t like it was uncomfortable whatsoever,” Scott said. “We all had a really good time. Nothing but mutual respect for those guys.”

    As former Lakers teammates, Scott and Johnson share a mutual respect. Johnson wrote the foreword to Scott’s book, and Scott predicts the Lakers will be “back to championship-caliber basketball” in three to four years partly because of Johnson’s new role.

    “Earvin is a guy who isn’t going to take a bunch of crap,” Scott said. “He is a guy who is going to tell it to guys like it is. If he wants you gone, he’s going to get rid of you. If he doesn’t think you’re worthy of wearing that purple and gold and made of the right stuff, which is about winning, then he will find somebody else who is.”

    Scott isn’t sure if he’ll ever coach again, but after a year of self-reflection, he believes he would fare better coaching in college instead of the NBA.

    “They give you more time and you have a little bit more security,” Scott said. “There are too many teams in the NBA where owners and general managers say one thing and then the next year do another. I just don’t like the disloyalty and the politics that are going on a lot in the NBA. If I coach again, the collegiate level would be the better fit for me.”

    Why?

    “I get a chance to meet some of these guys when they’re 17 and 18 years old and hopefully make an impact on them before they make it to the NBA,” Scott said. “We still have too many guys who played AAU ball who still don’t have a clue on how to play the game of basketball. They still don’t know how to run a three-man fast break. There’s so many little things. I think I can have a much better impact on that level than I can on the NBA level.”

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

      Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:30 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve always admired coach Scott for his blunt honesty. It certainly rubs some folks around here the wrong way but not me. The things he says generally match up with what I see on the court. How that plays out behind the scenes…well, if one of y’all rad the book perhaps you can illuminate the rest of us?

      At any rate, sounds like he’s learned a good lesson: perhaps the NBA isn’t his forte’. Especially the modern NBA. Rock those fundamentals in a college program and see what happens. Best of luck, to all the ex-Lakers, really.

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

        Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:30 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the post John M!

        • John M.

          John M. 9:38 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          :). It came from Mark Medina today on the OC Register. I’ve always liked Byron too. Hard work and discipline never go out of style.

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

            Jamie Sweet (Local Ne'er-Do-Well) 9:42 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Dude just values basic fundamental basketball and how it makes your overall game better at the professional level. All these kids trying to play Mile’s Davis style jazz scales and they ain’t mastered basic pentatonic scales or mixolydian scales. Learn those basics, kids, makes your game strong from the ground up. Then add in razzle-dazzle.

      • GDUBinDC

        GDUBinDC 1:07 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with both u and Jamie, JM.

    • mclyne32 (Director) 10:25 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hmmmm, sounds like Russell is an entitled little brat who doesn’t want to work.
      Great news that Randle actually wanted Byron to get on him. What a huge difference in attitude.
      This is why Russell should be the first to be traded.

      • keen observer

        keen observer 12:19 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I hope the Lakers never trade him just to spite you and your idiotic, impatient, short sighted opinions.

        • Magicman (Editor)

          Magicman (Editor) 12:48 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Take it easy Kenny. Kick your feet up, swallow a couple of Asprin tabs and a big drink of water.

          If you have an aneurysm we won’t read your gems anymore. :)

        • mclyne32 (Director) 2:41 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Awwwww, Kenny.
          So sorry you can’t handle the facts.
          Maybe you should start smoking, or vaping weed so you can handle reality.
          Time to go back in your hole.

    • mud

      mud 10:34 AM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      i thought Byron got a raw deal, but i thought it was from fans more than the Lakers.

      it’s clear he wasn’t the right guy long term, though.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 12:09 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      B.Scott was brought in to handle a rough piece of business (Kobe’s exit) and take the bullets for Jimmy & Mitch during what everybody knew was gonna be a miserable coupla seasons. Shoulda held out for that guaranteed 3rd year though. .. Shyte happens. Losing alotta respect for Mitch as more n more of these stories begin to surface…

    • GDUBinDC

      GDUBinDC 1:06 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thx for sharing, JM. Like Jamie, I appreciate Coach Scott’s honesty. I still hope D’Lo pans out, but if he doesn’t, he’s gotta go. Still wouldn’t hesitate to include him in a trade package for PG13 tho.

      • mclyne32 (Director) 2:43 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        He should be in the trade package for PG.
        If he’s nott, and gets his head screwed on right, then good for him, and us as Laker fans.

    • p ang

      p ang 5:04 PM on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Scott said he has no regrets about how he handled his time as Lakers coach.

      “Given that opportunity again,” Scott said, “I wouldn’t change anything, especially my approach.”

      Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      Insane and stupid. Worst coach in Laker history.

  • John M.

    John M. 4:37 PM on April 13, 2017 Permalink  

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall…

    Baxter Holmes
    ESPN Staff Writer

    Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson on the team’s young core: “We all think we’re going to be here, so we’re going to work with each other until then and try to get this thing going.” He also praised the Lakers’ new leadership group. “It’s just that, you just feel so open to them,” Clarkson said. “I don’t what it is — if it’s their personalities.” He added, “It just makes you excited about what’s going on. They want to help us.”

    Lakers forward Julius Randle said he came out of his exit interview with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, head coach Luke Walton and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson believing the team has “a clear vision of where we want to go and what we want to do.” For himself, Randle said, “The biggest focus for me this summer is going to be coming back in incredible shape.”

     
  • John M.

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

    LAVAR BALL SAYS UCLA DIDN’T WIN TITLE BECAUSE WHITE PLAYERS ARE TOO SLOW

    Rob Goldberg
    Featured Columnist
    April 6, 2017

    Although LaVar Ball’s outrageous comments had been relatively harmless over the course of the college basketball season, his latest accusation will likely be much more controversial.

    “Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” Ball said, per Clay Fowler of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “I told Lonzo—’One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite Eight, they’re right there.”

    The father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball likely was referring to Bryce Alford, TJ Leaf and Thomas Welsh, three white starters for the Bruins.

    UCLA fell to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 by a score of 86-75.

    While Ball might have wanted his son to score 30 points, Lonzo ended with just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, including a 1-of-6 effort from three-point range. Meanwhile, his counterpart, De’Aaron Fox, scored 39 points for Kentucky.

    As for his teammates, Leaf has declared for the NBA draft and is expected to be a first-round pick, according to DraftExpress. Meanwhile, Alford finished his career with 1,922 points, which is one of the best totals in UCLA history.

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

      He’s right about the speed of Lonzo’s teammates but should have left off the racial element.
      You start to wonder whether LaVar is going to turn the Lakers off from drafting Lonzo.
      Lonzo himself seems to be very mature for his age. Interesting situation.

    • CSTracy10

      CSTracy10 12:18 PM on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oldest brother with a crazy dad, he probably had to mature quickly.

    • MongoSlade

      MongoSlade 1:28 PM on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Lotta people were thinking it.
      Just not dumb enough to say it in mixed company.
      lol

  • John M.

    John M. 2:52 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink  

    I know this is supposed to be Lakers Only but I couldn’t resist copying this from Yahoo:

    @Dingleberry_J_Trump tweeted: Hillary conspired with Alec Baldwin and the ghost of John McCain to defeat my healthcare plan. Sick! I never read it but Hannity assured me that it was the greatest plan ever and would have given us free ice cream on Tuesdays. Also, there was a little girl with a cat website. Mean! I never want to date this girl. She’s a 6 at most. Her parents should be ashamed. By her age, Ivanka was already a 10. #ikissedseanhannityandilikedit

     
  • John M.

    John M. 2:11 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink  

    Just found this mock draft–Fox at #4, and other interesting predictions.

    http://www.nbadraft.net/2017mock_draft

     
    • DJ2KB24

      DJ2KB24 2:25 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yep. Any of those top 5 can play. You all know more about Ball than me. Just seems to have such a funky shot that might just get blocked at the next level.

      • DJ2KB24

        DJ2KB24 2:32 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We won last nite partially because Luke played most our better kids major minutes. We ain’t good, but we ain’t that bad if we play the right guys the more minutes. Luke better be careful on how many games we win, lol! Might play ourselves outta a Pick!

        • John M.

          John M. 2:38 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Luke also credited the defense of the 2nd unit, and Brewer did a great job too.

          I’d say we’re safe to finish no worse than 3rd, giving us at least a 46% chance of keeping our pick.

          • DJ2KB24

            DJ2KB24 2:49 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Yep, gotta root for Suns’s wins, ha, ha!

            • DJ2KB24

              DJ2KB24 2:49 PM on March 25, 2017 Permalink

              Where U B MM? You doing okay?

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