Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Deseret News reporting on Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker, who was ejected after smacking Los Angeles Lakers center Roy Hibbert in the face. The Jazz won the game 117-114 in overtime.

Trevor Booker ejected

Booker, who started for [Derrick] Favors, was ejected early in the third quarter after picking up two technical fouls.

The first technical came after Booker bumped Lakers forward Julius Randle after a hard foul.

The second technical happened after Roy Hibbert approached Booker following that previous incident. Hibbert, who got under the Jazz forward’s skin in Sunday’s game, bumped into Booker’s chest and Utah’s feisty big man smacked the Laker center in the head with an open left hand.

Booker was then tossed and Hibbert was assessed a technical foul.

Many Lakers banged up in training camp

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting from the virtual hospital waiting room that is Lakers training camp:

The ice bag stayed firmly wrapped on Anthony Brown’s right shoulder. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti stood nearby finalizing plans for Brown to receive an MRI at a nearby hospital after the Lakers’ rookie small forward bumped his shoulder through a hard screen.

“It’s not horrible,” Anthony said in an interview with Los Angeles News Group. “I want to take precaution. So I sat out. But it’s not horrible.” …

Lakers guard Jabari Brown will receive x-rays on Monday after feeling pain in his right hand. Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas missed the team’s preseason loss to Utah on Sunday because of a strained right hamstring, as did Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. with back spasms. The Lakers also nursed ailments considered to be minor, including point guard D’Angelo Russell (bone bruise in right foot), forward Metta World Peace (strained left calf) and forward Nick Young (back spasms).

Jordan Clarkson and D`Angelo Russell developing chemistry

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with an early look at chemistry development between key members of the Lakers’ future:

Part of the reason the two players seem to mesh well is that they believe their skill sets complement each other more than they overlap.

“His mentality is more [to] score,” Russell said. “I’m looking to pass, and he’s in a position to score most of the time.”

Said Clarkson: “We’re two totally different players. He’s an excellent passer and I’m real aggressive and it just kind of comes together.”

The players also come together outside of basketball.

“We hang [out] a lot off the court,” Clarkson said, “so it kind of makes it easy on the court.”

“We just relate to each other,” Russell said. “He’s not one of those real serious vets that you can’t crack a smile around. He’s a young dude, second year, still learning, still growing. Me, the same way. I’m a goofy guy, he’s a goofy guy. So we kind of complement each other.”

D’Angelo Russell nursing minor bruise in foot

There are always lots of very minor semi-injuries in NBA training camp and preseason. Most won’t mean anything. And here’s one setback that hopefully is gone and forgotten very quickly, reported by the Los Angeles Daily News blog:

D`Angelo Russell nursing minor bruise in foot

The Lakers absorbed their first injury of the 2015-16 season, with rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell missing the end of Thursday’s two hour morning session at Stan Sheriff Center because of a bone bruise in his right foot. Russell does not know how the injury happened, but he downplayed the severity of the injury. Russell also expressed optimism he will play in the evening scheduled later for Thursday.

“I feel fine, I’m doing the proper icing and taking care of it,” Russell said. “It’s just a little bruise.

Still, Russell conducted his post-practice interview sitting on a chair.

The Lakers transitional period continues

The game has changed in Los Angeles these days. Perhaps it’s temporary. But in recent seasons, including this upcoming one, the Clippers are the big contender while the Lakers are in transition and far closer to the bottom of the Western conference than the top. For Laker fans, it’s an adjustment. Here’s the Orange County Register with more:

The rules of being a Lakers fan used to be so easy. You would watch as wins accumulated, cheer for superstars and, if the season didn’t result in an NBA championship, find comfort in the knowledge they would be in the hunt next year.

But supporting the Lakers has become a more nuanced affair the past three years, as Kobe Bryant’s career has slowly, but certainly, neared its end. For example, it was fair to wonder last season whether it was better for the Lakers to win, or enhance their lottery hopes by losing.

The last superstar has scarcely been on the court. So maybe you’ve had to learn what else is on TV on Sunday nights, a window previously reserved only for the 16-time champions.

The biggest change now is that supporting the Lakers requires patience, a virtue that will become even tougher this week when Bryant takes the floor for his 20th, and perhaps final, Lakers training camp.

Lakers hire James Worthy


Former Lakers player James Worthy has been hired by the team to work with the coaching staff it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In his position, Worthy will work with head coach Byron Scott and his staff, focusing his attention on working with the Lakers big men. He will accompany the team to Hawaii for training camp and will continue to work with Lakers players throughout the season. Worthy will also continue his role on Time Warner Cable SportsNet as an analyst for the network’s Lakers coverage.

“James was one of the best forwards to ever play the game,” said Kupchak. “We feel he will be a valuable addition to the coaching staff and will do an excellent job teaching our group of big men. We are pleased and fortunate to welcome him back to the organization.”

An NBA Hall of Famer, Worthy played all twelve of his NBA seasons (1982-1994) with Los Angeles. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he concluded his career with the Lakers ranked sixth all-time in scoring (16,320), seventh all-time in team field goal percentage (.521) and third all-time in team steals (1,041). His accolades include three NBA Championships (1985, 1987 and 1988); NBA Finals MVP (1988); 2-time All-NBA Third team (1990 and 1991), 7-time All-Star (1986-1992) and All-Rookie First Team (1983).

Kobe Bryant minutes-per-game should decrease this season

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on the Lakers, who must decide how much to use Kobe Bryant this season. The squad is mostly about the future. But Kobe’s still on the roster. And despite being close to the end of his career, he’s is still a big draw. Fans want to see him be Kobe. Which will only happen if he stays healthy.

Kobe Bryant minutes-per-game should decrease this season

[Lakers general manager Mitch] Kupchak maintained “there hasn’t been any formal discussions” with Lakers coach Byron Scott, trainer Gary Vitti, Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Bryant himself on a number of things surrounding Bryant’s workload. Kupchak said the Lakers have not decided Bryant’s minute and practice limitations as well as if he will sit in any of the team’s 17 sets of back-to-back games. Kupchak only sounded certain that Bryant would sit out in portions of any of the Lakers’ two-a-day sessions in training camp beginning next Tuesday in Hawaii.

Kupchak sounded aware that Bryant played only 41 games in the past three years amid season-ending injuries to his left Achilles tendon (April 2013), left knee (Dec. 2013) and right shoulder (Jan. 2015).

“It’s important for us to keep that in mind and see how he progresses and how he responds to training camp,” Kupchak said. “I would imagine he would not practice twice a day every day. He’s earned the right to really progress in training camp at a certain pace that works for him and works for us.”

Still, Scott has said he hopes to play Bryant in the mid 20-minute range and rest him on back-to-back games, a contrast to last season when he averaged 22.3 points on a career-low 37.3 percent shooting in 36.4 minutes.

Lakers have interesting mix of players

Built around Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams, Julius Randle, Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert, the Los Angeles Lakers should be far more interesting this season than last. Making the playoffs in an extremely difficult Western conference is a very tough goal to achieve, but this squad has young talent worth watching. As for expectations? Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:


The Los Angeles Lakers strive to win championships, and any season that doesn’t end with champagne is considered a failure. Such is their success.

But after missing the playoffs for two straight seasons and coming off a franchise-worst 21-61 mark last season, expectations are different entering the 2015-16 campaign.

“There’s always going to be pressure to win a championship — and every year that’s going to be our goal,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said at the team’s facility here Thursday, a few days before the Lakers head to Hawaii to open training camp next week.

“But we’re realistic in who we are and we do feel we do have an interesting mix of older players and younger players and we think we can win a bunch of games and hopefully be in the mix somewhere down the line.”

Lakers sign Metta World Peace

Lakers sign Metta World Peace

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Metta World Peace, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

According to the Orange County Register, “the contract essentially confirms the endorsement Coach Byron Scott gave World Peace last week, when he trumpeted the former champion’s virtues in an interview with the Register. “We know what type of defender he is,” Scott said. “He’s a guy who’s going to get on you. “He’s strong, he’s physical, he’s tough. He’s made Julius work, which I think is great. Then when the game is over he’s always talking to Julius about certain things that he feels Julius can do better.”

A 15-year NBA veteran who spent four seasons in Los Angeles between 2009-13, World Peace holds career averages of 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.8 steals in 33.0 minutes per game over 931 contests (833 starts) with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Rockets, Knicks, and Lakers. Born Ron Artest before changing his name during the 2011 offseason, World Peace was an integral member of the Lakers’ 2010 NBA Championship team, starting all 23 playoff games and averaging 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals in 36.5 minutes per game during the postseason.

Selected with the 16th pick of the 1999 NBA Draft by Chicago, the 35-year-old was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2003-04 in addition to being chosen as an All-Star and member of the All-NBA Third Team that same year. He has also garnered four NBA All-Defensive Team selections and made the postseason nine times (including all four of his seasons in L.A.) with four different franchises.

His most recent NBA action came during the 2013-14 season when he appeared in 29 games for the New York Knicks, and has since played in the Chinese Basketball Association and Lega Basket Serie A, Italy’s top division.

World Peace was honored with the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2011, and is actively involved in mental health awareness initiatives.

Will Roy Hibbert and Lakers mesh?

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News discussing Lakers center Roy Hibbert, who is in an interesting situation because he’s joining a roster of players that aren’t a team quite yet. Chemistry must be developed. Kobe Bryant is returning from injury, but to what? The Lakers have some interesting pieces. Still, little is expected. But that gives Hibbert a chance to shine more than he recently has. Anyway:

Will Roy Hibbert and Lakers mesh?

It may have seemed head-scratching from afar that the Pacers had no interest in retaining a player who once attracted a four-year, $58 million max contract offer so he could not sign with the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet, Hibbert averaged only 25.3 minutes per game, his lowest since his second year in the NBA, because the Pacers had the personnel and intent to play at a faster style. No one will mistake the current Lakers with the Showtime Era. But can Hibbert adjust his accelerator?

On one hand, the Lakers want Hibbert to play at a methodical pace because of factors involving Kobe Bryant’s durability and the team’s aforementioned defensive issues. But the Lakers also have a young core, including point guard D’Angelo Russell, combo guard Jordan Clarkson and power forward Julius Randle. It would be in the Lakers’ interest to tap into that speed to generate easy baskets.

Numerous reports say Hibbert has lost a significant chunk of weight this offseason, which should help the conditioning required from a Scott training camp. But that might just mark one of many steps Hibbert will have to take to keep up with everyone else.

Roy Hibbert slims down for Lakers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on new Lakers center Roy Hibbert, who may be a bit quicker this upcoming season after reportedly dropping some pounds:

He is more of a practical solution than hailed savior, the latter tag almost certainly bestowed upon LaMarcus Aldridge had he signed with the Lakers in July (it wasn’t close).

Hibbert will try to fix what continually ailed the Lakers last season, an appallingly bad defense that ranked 29th out of 30 in defensive efficiency.

If you tell Hibbert the NBA is phasing out 7-foot centers in favor of 24-foot shooters, he’ll remind you that the Golden State Warriors needed shot-blocker Andrew Bogut to get to the NBA Finals.

On the other hand, Hibbert consulted a nutritionist a few months ago and lost 14 pounds, getting down to 268.

Lakers sign Robert Upshaw

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Robert Upshaw to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “only $35,000 of Upshaw’s $525,093 is guaranteed for the 2015-16 season, according to a person with access to the NBA’s salary database. The second year of his contract, worth $874,636, is non-guaranteed.”

In five games for the Lakers’ entry in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Upshaw averaged 1.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 11.5 minutes per game, highlighted by three blocks in just 12 minutes in his debut on July 10th against Minnesota.

Undrafted as an early entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft after his sophomore season at Washington, Upshaw led the nation with 4.5 blocks per game in just 24.9 minutes in 19 appearances in 2014-15. In addition, the 7-0 center averaged 10.9 points on 59.3% shooting and 8.2 rebounds for the Huskies in his final collegiate campaign, to go along with six double-doubles.

Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that Jesse Buss has been promoted to assistant general manager/director of scouting, Ryan West to director of player personnel, and Clay Moser to assistant coach/director of basketball strategy.

Buss most recently served as the Lakers’ director of scouting for the past three seasons, overseeing all scouting operations in preparation for the NBA Draft, in addition to his own scouting responsibilities. In his new role, Buss will continue to contribute to personnel decisions under Kupchak, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Jim Buss, and Assistant General Manager Glenn Carraro, and will also continue to assist the Lakers’ NBA D-League team, the D-Fenders, with their draft and scouting. Originally joining the organization in 2006, Jesse spent two seasons as a basketball operations assistant before serving as a scout from 2008-11, and as scouting coordinator for the 2011-12 season.

West begins his new role after serving as assistant director of scouting for the past three seasons, where he was an integral part of the player evaluation process and had input in all drafting and scouting decisions. In addition to expanding his existing roles in the organization, West will maintain his extensive in-person scouting schedule. West originally joined the Lakers as a scout in the summer of 2009, and prior to joining the Lakers, spent eight seasons as a scout with the Memphis Grizzlies.

This will be Moser’s fifth season with the Lakers organization, originally coming to Los Angeles as associate head coach of the D-Fenders for the 2011-12 campaign, before being promoted to the parent club in December of that year. He served as the head advance NBA scout for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and added assistant coaching duties to his responsibilities last season. The Wisconsin-LaCrosse graduate brings over 25 years of professional basketball management and coaching experience to the newly-created position, where he will work directly with the coaching and analytics staffs to integrate ideas and information between the departments. Moser will work closely with Director of Analytics Yuju Lee and Associate Director of Analytics Aaron Danielson.

Lee brings a wealth of statistical and computer science knowledge to his position, holding MS degrees in each discipline from UCLA, while working closely with the basketball operations, coaching, and training staffs to incorporate statistical analysis into the day-to-day operation of each department. Lee was originally hired as a consultant by the Lakers for the 2012-13 season, contributing to a variety of analytics projects.

Danielson’s role includes designing and implementing statistical analysis for the basketball operations department, while also assessing league trends and developing new analytic content for the coaching and training staffs. Currently finishing his PhD in statistics at UCLA, Danielson previously earned master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Chicago and in economics from NYU. He began working with the Lakers two seasons ago in a consultant role.

Lakers sign Marcelo Huertas

Lakers sign Marcelo Huertas

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Marcelo Huertas, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Huertas to Lakers training camp.

The Brazilian native began his professional playing career in his home country for three seasons (2001-2004) before signing with Joventut of the Spanish ACB League, where he played three seasons (2004-2007), winning the 2006 FIBA Euro Cup. He remained in the ACB League for the 2007-08 season, which saw him garner an All-ACB Team selection with Bilbao Basket, before joining Fortitudo Bologna in Italy’s top domestic league for the 2008-09 campaign. “Marcelinho” returned to the ACB League with Saski Baskonia from 2009-11, where he won the 2009-10 Spanish National Championship, and in 2010-11 won the Euroleague’s weekly MVP award two times and led the ACB with 5.9 assists per game en route to a second All-ACB Team selection.

Before joining the Lakers, Huertas spent the previous four seasons (2011-15) with Spanish power FC Barcelona, where he was a key piece on their 2011-12 and 2013-14 Spanish National Championship and 2013 Spanish National Cup-winning teams.

The 6’3’’ point guard has played in Euroleague competition seven times, including the last six straight years, amassing 165 games played, and averages of 8.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per contest. He led the Euroleague in free throw shooting at 97.2% during the 2012-13 season, and was the 2013-14 Euroleague Top 16 Round 2 MVP.

Additionally, the 32-year-old has extensive international experience, notably as a member of the Brazilian national team for the 2012 Olympics in London, where he led the squad with 6.0 assists per game in addition to 11.3 points, good for second-best on the roster. He has also appeared on three consecutive FIBA World Championship (renamed FIBA Basketball World Cup) teams in 2006, 2010, and 2014. His decorated international resume includes gold medals from the 2006 South American Championship (where he was named MVP of the tournament after averaging a team-leading 16.8 points to go with 4.0 assists) and 2007 Pan American Games, in addition to three medals from the FIBA Americas Championship: 2005 and 2009 (gold), and 2011 (silver).

No FIBA Asia play for Jordan Clarkson

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting on Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, who will be more rested coming into the upcoming NBA season, as explained below:

No FIBA Asia play for Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson had wanted to play for the Philippine national team. The team wanted Clarkson to play, too.

But amid concerns that his participation would conflict with his responsibilities to the Lakers, Clarkson will not play during for the Gilas Pilipinas during this month’s FIBA Asia championships, the Philippine Basketball Assn. announced on Tuesday on their website.

The statement added that Philippine national team executives Ricky Vergas and Patrick Gregorio met recently with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and president Jeanie Buss about Clarkson’s participation.

L.A. D-Fenders announce coaching staff

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have hired Paul Woolpert, Brian Walsh and Jermaine Byrd as assistant coaches and have promoted Will Scott to assistant coach/video coordinator, it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella.

“I am pleased to have Paul Woolpert, Brian Walsh, Jermaine Byrd and Will Scott join us as assistant coaches for this upcoming season,” D-Fenders head coach Casey Owens said. “Paul and Brian are veteran coaches who have won multiple championships throughout their careers. Both have been head coaches in the past, and their experience, leadership, and expertise will be invaluable to the organization as we begin this new challenge. Jermaine and Will are D-League veterans, rising young coaches, and have worked extensively with Team USA and the Lakers, respectively. It’s a dynamic staff, and all of us are focused on bringing championship level basketball to El Segundo.”

Woolpert adds nearly 30 years of professional experience to the D-Fenders staff. Woolpert spent the 2014-15 season as lead assistant coach for the Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League in Australia, after spending the three seasons prior as the head coach of the Townsville Crocodiles. Woolpert served as head coach of the Tulsa 66ers in 2008-09, after spending the previous four seasons as head coach of the Yakima Sun Kings in the Continental Basketball Association. Yakima enjoyed continued success with Woolpert at the helm, winning the CBA Championship in 2006 and 2007, while setting a CBA record for winning percentage, finishing the 2007-08 season with a 43-5 record (.895). Woolpert got his start as a scout and video coordinator for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1986, remaining in the role until 1994. From 1995-2004, Woolpert served as a Continental Basketball Association scout for the Portland Trail Blazers. Woolpert would also coach in other capacities while maintaining those responsibilities, spending time as an assistant coach with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the Yakima Sun Kings. Woolpert was promoted to head coach of the Sun Kings prior to the 1998 season, winning his first CBA Championship in 2000.

Walsh joins the D-Fenders staff after spending the 2014-15 season as assistant coach at Albuquerque High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Walsh spent the 2012-13 season alongside D-Fenders head coach Casey Owens as an assistant coach for Guaiqueries in Venezuela, after serving as an assistant coach in Belarus, China and Vietnam. In 2006, Walsh got his first head coaching experience with Gambusinos De Fresnillo in Mexico, before joining the Colorado 14ers staff. Walsh spent the 2007-08 season as associate head coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, closing out the season as interim head coach. Prior to the 2009-10 season, Walsh took over as head coach of Al Ahli Professional Sports Club, winning the SBL U19 Championship, while reaching the semi-finals of the Arab Nations Cup. Walsh got his start at the professional level with the New Mexico Slam as head coach/director of player personnel, before joining the Baylor University staff as an assistant coach and lead scout. Prior to the 2004-05 season, Walsh joined the Dakota Wizards staff as assistant coach under head coach Casey Owens. The Wizards would finish the season with a league-best record of 32-16. Walsh would then serve as head coach of the Nebraska Cranes of the USBL in 2006, winning the USBL championship. After the season, Walsh joined the Colorado 14ers as an assistant coach. The 14ers reached the D-League Finals in 2007, with Walsh responsible for all scouting and player development responsibilities.

Byrd hails from Houston, Texas and returns to the D-Fenders after serving as an assistant coach for the 2014-15 season. Byrd played a key role in player development, helping Jabari Brown, Vander Blue and Jamaal Franklin earn GATORADE Call-Ups. Prior to joining the D-Fenders staff, Byrd spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach with the Sioux Falls SkyForce. Byrd worked his way up within the Tulsa 66ers organization before joining the SkyForce. He served as an assistant coach for the 66ers during the 2011-12 season and was the team’s video coordinator the two seasons prior. In 2011, Byrd served as an assistant coach on the USA Men’s Basketball team during the Pan American Games, helping the team to a bronze medal. Byrd played collegiately at the University of Sioux Falls and led the team to its first NAIA Final Four appearance in school history.

Scott begins his fifth season with the D-Fenders and will continue in his role as video coordinator, while also serving as an assistant coach. Scott’s primary responsibilities include video editing, scouting upcoming opponents and assisting in on-court player development. Scott also assists the Lakers in the video room, and in the summer months he joins the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, serving as their video coordinator and actively participating in practices, having done so each of the past two seasons. While on campus at Indiana University, Scott worked as a student manager and acted as an assistant to the coaching staff. His duties included video editing, supporting practice drills and aiding with in-game operations.

Nina Hsieh returns for her seventh season as head athletic trainer for the D-Fenders. Hsieh monitors the health of the team and is responsible for injury prevention and treatment of the players. Hsieh also assists the Lakers training staff, joining the team for training camp, as well as traveling annually with the team to the NBA Summer League. Hsieh has functioned as athletic trainer for the UC Santa Barbara men’s soccer team (2010-11), along with the women’s basketball team (2004-08).

Lakers sign Michael Frazier

Lakers sign Michael Frazier

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Michael Frazier to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

The 21-year-old Frazier, a 6’4’’ shooting guard, most recently played for the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 4.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 15.8 minutes per game over six contests (all starts).

In his three collegiate seasons at the University of Florida (2012-15), Frazier averaged 9.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 25.7 minutes per game while shooting 44.3% from the field and 43.2% from beyond-the-arc. As a sophomore in 2013-14, Frazier made 118 three-pointers (a Florida single-season record) on an impressive 44.5% clip from deep, while averaging 12.4 points and 30.5 minutes per game, playing a key role in Florida’s run to the 2014 Final Four. That season, Frazier was both an All-SEC Tournament and All-NCAA Tournament South Regional team selection, in addition to his SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades. The Tampa, FL native went undrafted as an early entry in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Will Kobe Bryant be on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team? Probably not. But that it’s even a distinct possibility is a fascinating discussion topic. So, don’t expect it, but at the same time, here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Will Kobe Bryant be on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team?

Could the lasting image to cap Kobe Bryant’s basketball career be of him donning a gold medal at the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics?

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo revealed Thursday at the conclusion of Team USA’s minicamp that he’s had a conversation with the Los Angeles Lakers guard about that very scenario and has not ruled out Bryant for the 12-man roster next summer.

“I was quoted on Kobe,” Colangelo said after USA Basketball’s intrasquad scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center. “In response to a question about him, I said it would be a great story if he did [play in Rio].

“And so, he also mentioned to me in a private conversation that if he had his druthers, he would love to ride off into the sunset playing one more time and winning the gold medal. And that would be the end. But he was very quick to say, ‘But, I don’t want a spot. I need to earn the spot. I need to be capable of playing at that level to be considered.’ And I said, ‘You got that. That’s always there for you, Kobe.’”

Lakers sign Jonathan Holmes

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Jonathan Holmes to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In five games for the Celtics’ entry in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Holmes averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in 21.8 minutes per game, while shooting 55.6% from the field. The 6’9’’ Holmes also appeared in three games for Boston in the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, and in his eight games (seven starts) between the two competitions, shot a perfect 15-15 from the free throw line, and 13-28 (46.4%) from beyond-the-arc.

Undrafted after spending four seasons at the University of Texas (2011-15), Holmes averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game over 127 contests with the Longhorns. The San Antonio native was named All-Big 12 Second Team and team MVP as a junior after averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on 50.5% shooting, and was an All-Big 12 Honorable mention as a senior with averages of 10.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game, while hitting 1.3 three-pointers per contest.

Enjoy these video highlights of Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell from 2015 summer league:

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