Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Lakers recall Jordan Clarkson from D-League

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Jordan Clarkson has been recalled by the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today.

In four games with the D-Fenders, Clarkson has posted averages of 19.5 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.0 minutes per game. In tonight’s win, Clarkson tallied a team-high 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Clarkson shot 8-of-11 from the field in the second half, totaling 19 points on the half.

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting fun futuristic dreaming type stuff:

Plenty of time awaits before the 2016 offseason strikes. Plenty of circumstances could determine how the free agency sweepstakes play out.

But with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant becoming a free agent in 2016, consider him as the Lakers’ top player they will pursue.

“That’s safe to say,” said a league source familiar with the Lakers’ thought process.

So with the Lakers having their sights on Durant in 2016, has Kobe Bryant made an early free agency pitch?

“No, I think we know each other pretty well,” Bryant said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t think it’s a discussion that you have in terms of coming here. But I think it’s more of an understanding how to play with each other.”

Julius Randle already off crutches

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with an update on injured Lakers rookie Julius Randle:

Julius Randle already off crutches

It appeared like a normal exercise as Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle performed a leg press during Wednesday’s practice. But in Randle’s case, it marked one of many progressions he has made since suffering a season-ending injury to his right leg in the Lakers’ season opener just under two months ago.

Since then, Randle has healed enough to get around without any crutches in the past week.

“Honestly I’m not supposed to be off crutches,” Randle said, with a chuckle. “The doctor said to go at your own pace. My pace was to get rid of them immediately.”

Randle still has a long way to go.

Dirk Nowitzki raves about Kobe Bryant

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting Dirk Nowitzki’s comments on Kobe Bryant. And as you’d expect from one legend discussing another, they’re quite positive:

Dirk Nowitzki raves about Kobe Bryant

“He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. I don’t think there will ever be another MJ, but he’s definitely as close as it gets that we’ll ever see.”

Los Angeles D-Fenders add Ater Majok

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired forward/center Ater Majok, it was announced today by General Manger Nick Mazzella.

Drafted out of UCONN in the second round (58th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Majok appeared in three Summer League games with the Lakers before signing with BK SPU Nitra of Slovakia. The 6’10” forward/center averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists in 41 games for Nitra in 2011-12. In 113 games internationally between 2011 and 2014, Majok tallied 9.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Kobe Bryant, point guard? Maybe.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who are 6-16 this season:

Kobe Bryant, point guard? Maybe.

It is no surprise to see Kobe Bryant with the ball in his hands at the end of games.

But late in Tuesday’s 98-95 win over the Sacramento Kings, it was by design.

Coach Byron Scott opted to eschew a traditional backcourt, playing Bryant at point guard for all but the final 34 seconds of the fourth quarter.

It worked, as the Lakers star scored or assisted on each of the Lakers’ final five field goals.

Shifting Bryant to point guard at critical junctures is something Scott said he had been thinking about, and he said he has gone so far as to contemplate starting the 36-year-old at the position.

“I even talked to him about it,” Scott said. “I said, ‘I’m thinking about it, but I’m not there yet.’ So yeah I have thought about it.”

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin, who like most of his teammates is still adjusting to what should be a tough run all season long:

What label to use for Lin from night to night has pinballed: efficient, inefficient, spotty, reliable, aggressive, facilitator. In Wednesday’s loss to Washington, he was just bad, missing all 10 of his shots, including six 3-pointers, which Coach Byron Scott chalked up to an off night. It was the second time he has been held scoreless this season.

But there are issues, bigger issues. Namely, Lin still isn’t particularly comfortable in the Lakers’ offense.

However, it was not entirely unexpected that this marriage between the offensively minded Lin and the Lakers, whose new offense features a two-guard front, would take some work.

“Houston was the ideal system for me,” Lin said earlier this week, “personally as a player in terms of spreading the floor, running and making plays and having guys with a lot of space, stretch fours. That’s the ideal system, but that’s not what we have here.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-assigned Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.

Clarkson and Henry will make their second appearance of the season with the D-Fenders, after having previously played with the team on November 15th against the Texas Legends. Clarkson shot 8-of-20 from the field and tallied 28 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Legends. Henry scored a game-high 33 points, connecting on 12-of-20 field goal attempts, while also grabbing four rebounds for the D-Fenders.

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly injured, out at least six weeks with hamstring tear

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly injured, out at least six weeks

Los Angeles Lakers forward Ryan Kelly, who suffered an injury to his right hamstring in the second quarter of last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, had an ultrasound test and was examined this morning by Dr. Luga Podesta of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Results of the test show that Kelly has a tear of his right hamstring. He is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

Kelly has appeared in three games this season, averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 0.33 steals in 8.2 minutes.

Jordan Clarkson and Xavier Henry have been assigned to the Los Angeles
D-Fenders from the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today.

Clarkson, a second round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, has appeared in eight games for the Lakers this season, averaging 4.3 points and 1.4 rebounds in 11.4 minutes. Clarkson played two seasons at the University of Tulsa, before transferring to Missouri where he appeared in 35 games and averaged 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.9 minutes.

Henry has appeared in seven games this season for the Lakers, scoring 1.3 points per contest. A product of Kansas University, Henry appeared in 43 games for the Lakers in 2013-14, averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes per game.

Wayne Ellington’s father shot, killed

Wayne Ellington’s father shot, killed in Philadelphia

Wayne Ellington's father shot, killed

The following statement was released today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak regarding the death of guard Wayne Ellington’s father, who was shot and killed Sunday night in Philadelphia:

“Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy. Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers.”

Ellington has been granted an indefinite leave of absence and it is unknown at this time when he will rejoin the team.

STATEMENT FROM WAYNE ELLINGTON

“My family and I are devastated by the news of my father’s murder on Sunday night in Philadelphia,” said Ellington. “We appreciate everyone’s support and ask that you respect the privacy of our family during this very difficult time.”

Lakers get first win of season

Lakers get first win of season

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting on the Lakers, who won their first game of the 2014-15 NBA season yesterday and are now 1-5:

The streamers dropped from the Staples Center rafters. Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” blared over the loudspeakers. Fans giddily cheered over both receiving free tacos and witnessing a rare Lakers’ win.

But inside the Lakers’ locker room, the reaction over a 107-92 victory Sunday over the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center hardly showed a team excited over ending their five-game losing streak.

Kobe Bryant offered clipped answers with a stoic demeanor. Jeremy Lin seemed more relieved when his press conference ended, which always attracts a crush of overseas reporters. Carlos Boozer didn’t even bother emerging at his locker room to bask in the win. Lakers coach Byron Scott sounded as businesslike in his first victory as the team’s head coach as he did when the team had its worst start in franchise history in 57 years.

“Nobody was overjoyed in there,” Scott said. “From a standpoint of being [ticked] off and wanting to get a win because of what our record is, it was nice. But other than that, it’s no more than any other win.”

Julius Randle Injury Update: Out For Season After Surgery

Julius Randle injury update: out for season after surgery

The Los Angeles Lakers 2014-15 regular season already didn’t look on paper like many wins should be expected, but the situation is now even bleaker after a tragic injury in the team’s season-opener last night.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will likely miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season. He suffered a fractured tibia of his right leg in Tuesday night’s game in Staples Center against the Houston Rockets, and today underwent surgery to fix the fracture. The recovery time suggests we won’t see Randle on an NBA court again this season.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Wiss at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The Lakers expect that Randle, the team’s prized rookie, will make a full recovery.

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words in regular season opener

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday night, featuring three games, the last of which was a Rockets win over the Lakers that unfortunately included LAL rookie Julius Randle breaking his leg. But there was also some fun in the form of former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchanging some less-than-pleasant words.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with more:

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words

The Lakers’ season opener was supposed to be about the return of Kobe Bryant. After missing all but six games last year, the All-Star was to be back on the court to save the Lakers from another postseasonless season.

Part of that comeback would include running into Rockets center Dwight Howard, who Bryant has a rocky history with.

While both players have said since before the start of the 2013-14 season that their drama was in the past, it became the present on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, when the two shared some words in the fourth quarter.

After Howard elbowed Bryant in the face after a rebound, the two started talking. Video shows Howard saying, “I know you, dog,” and Bryant saying, “Try me” and calling Howard “soft” as he approached the Lakers bench.

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia suffered on NBA opening night

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia

The Los Angeles Lakers season has begun in dramatically bad fashion, with the brightest young talent on the roster suffering what has been diagnosed as a major injury. This on opening night for the 2014-15 NBA regular season.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle left Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter with an injury to his right leg. The initial diagnosis by team doctors at the arena is a fractured tibia.

Randle will undergo further evaluation tomorrow, and an update on his status will be given at that time.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News blog, “Randle was taken off the court in a stretcher before being taken to a nearby hospital. The Lakers will have more information likely by Wednesday, including when Randle will presumably have surgery. But given that it appears Randle broke his leg, the Lakers sounded well aware of the devastating implications. Lakers coach Byron Scott also reported players told him they heard a “pop” when Randle fell to the floor.”

The Rockets won 108-90, but the results of the game, which took place in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, takes a back seat to news of this injury.

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins tonight! Basketball is back.

There are two 8pm ET games: Pelicans/Magic and Spurs/Mavericks. And at 10:30pm ET the Lakers face the Rockets. Nobody expects much of the Lakers this season, but as long as Kobe Bryant is healthy and can lace up his sneakers they are going to be of interest. And they did add Carlos Boozer, and rookie Julius Randle. So there’s that.

Here’s the Orange County Register with more on the Lakers/Rockets:

Maybe the 2012-13 feud between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard feels like ancient history.

But the two former teammates will hit a different kind of milestone Tuesday on the opening night of the NBA’s regular season: It will mark the first time the two have played against each other since Howard spurned the Lakers to sign with the Rockets.

It’s true. While Howard played four games against the Lakers last season, Bryant missed each contest because of injuries.

Howard and Bryant openly bickered in their one season together and after Howard signed with the Rockets, Bryant delivered the ultimate insult imaginable in this tech age.

He unfollowed Howard on Twitter.

lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that the team has waived guard Jabari Brown and forward Roscoe Smith, according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, a rookie from Missouri, appeared in four preseason games for Los Angeles, tallying five points, two rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes.

Smith, a rookie from UNLV, saw action in seven of the Lakers’ eight preseason contests, averaging 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 45.0% (9-20) from the field.

Both players were originally signed to the Lakers training camp roster on September 23.

The Lakers roster now stands at 15.

Steve Nash out for season

Steve Nash out for season

Due to a recurring back injury, Lakers point guard Steve Nash will be out for the season, it was announced today. After consultations with Lakers medical staff, both Nash and the organization believe it is best to focus on rest and rehabilitation at this time.

“Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now,” said Nash. “I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health.”

This could wind up being the end of Nash’s fantastic NBA career. The 2014-15 season was possibly going to be his last, but lingering health problems could push Nash into making it official.

“As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try to get his body right for the rigors of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time. Steve has been a consummate professional, and we greatly appreciate his efforts.”

According to the Associated Press, “Nash has battled numerous injuries since joining the Lakers in July of 2012, appearing in just 65 of a possible 164 regular season games. The future Hall of Famer was limited to 15 games and 10 starts last season due to nerve damage from a leg injury he suffered the season before.”

Jeremy Lin may be Lakers starting PG

Who should start at point guard for the Lakers, old Steve Nash or unspectacular Jeremy Lin? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Maybe they should split time fairly equally, assuming Nash is physically able and actually worthy of minutes.

It seems like Lin may be the better option, especially if Nash is hobbling around. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Entering what is probably his final NBA season, two-time MVP Steve Nash faces the very real prospect of spending it in a new role: as a backup.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said Jeremy Lin could become the team’s starting point guard because of Nash’s nagging health issues.

“That is something I’m definitely thinking about it,” Scott said after the team’s practice Tuesday. “Is it in our best interest to start Jeremy or Ronnie [Price] or do we wait day by day, game by game? We’ll play these last five preseason games out. We’ll figure it out from there.”

In a Warriors vs Lakers preseason game today, Lakers guard Ronnie Price lost his shoe, then threw it towards Andre Iguodala in an apparent attempt to stop a Warrior fast break. Yes, it’s preseason.

The Warriors were up 39-13 after the first quarter and with 2:24 left in the first half lead 59-28.

Credit Price for being… innovative!

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