Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Los Angeles Lakers (12-26) legend Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 34.8 minutes per game this season, on just 37.5% shooting. And just 29.3% from three-point range. Lately, he’s needed a rest. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant has sat out three of the Los Angeles Lakers’ past four games and six of their past 11 — all in the name of rest after playing far too many minutes earlier this season.

Lakers coach Byron Scott admits Bryant’s heavy work load was his fault, but he’s trying not to dwell on the mistake.

“You try to move away from it and forget about it,” Scott said Monday. “But it’s hard to do when you have a guy you care about so much and you think you kind of messed up. I think I played him too much early.

“If I would’ve stuck to the 32 minutes or 33 at the most, he might have been able to play a little bit more of these games that he’s missed. But you know what, I realize it. You have to move on from it, learn from your mistakes and go forward.”

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard Jabari Brown was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 11. The award is the first of Brown’s career.

Brown (6-4, 202, Missouri) led Los Angeles to a 2-1 record last week, scoring an NBA D-League season high 50 points on 15-of-22 shooting in a 124-99 win in Sioux Falls over the Skyforce on Jan. 10. Earlier in the week, Brown scored a then-career high 35 points in a 133-121 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. For the week, he averaged 32.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

For the season, Brown is averaging 21.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 21 games, seven as a starter.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Jonathan Simmons, Bakersfield’s Joe Jackson, Oklahoma City’s Semaj Christon, Rio Grande Valley’s Chris Johnson and Reno’s Quincy Miller.

Julius Randle will have foot surgery Tuesday

Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to replace the screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Thordarson of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center.

It was previously declared that Randle would miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season after suffering a fractured tibia of his right leg in the season opener on October 28.

Wesley Johnson suffers strained right hip flexor

Los Angeles Lakers forward Wesley Johnson sustained a strained right hip flexor in tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers and will not return. Additionally, Johnson will not accompany the team to Portland for tomorrow night’s game.

Johnson will have an MRI in Los Angeles tomorrow and an update on his status will be given at that time.

Late Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers recalled center Tarik Black and guard Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League).

In his first appearance with the D-Fenders, Black recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Clarkson netted a game-high 35 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed six rebounds in 44 minutes for Los Angeles. In five games with the D-Fenders this season, Clarkson is averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired center Jarvis Varnado and a third round pick in the 2015 NBA Development League Draft from the Iowa Energy, in exchange for the D-Fenders’ first and second round picks, it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella.

Varnado was drafted out of Mississippi State in the second round (41st overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, before signing with Carmatic Pistoia of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A, where he averaged 15.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. The 6’9” center split the 2012-13 season with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. From 2012-2014, Varnado appeared in 45 NBA D-League games for Sioux Falls and Iowa, making 44 starts and averaging 14.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game. Varnado was selected as an NBA D-League All-Star in 2014, before earning an NBA Call-Up from the Philadelphia 76ers, where he appeared in 23 games with averages of 4.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

As a junior at Mississippi State, Varnado set the SEC single-season blocks record, passing Shaquille O’Neal with 170 blocks in 2008-09. Varnado was named SEC Defensive Player of the year in 3 consecutive seasons (2008, 2009, 2010), becoming the first player to do so. Finishing his career with 561 blocks, Varnado holds the record for most career blocks in NCAA Division 1 history. Varnado joins David Robinson as the only two players in NCAA history to tally 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 blocks in a career. In his senior season at Mississippi State, Varnado averaged 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in 31.5 minutes per game.

Los Angeles Lakers add Tarik Black, waive Xavier Henry

The Los Angeles Lakers have been awarded center Tarik Black on a waiver claim, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. To make room on the roster for Black, the Lakers have waived Xavier Henry.

Black, an undrafted rookie from Kansas, appeared in 25 games (12 starts) for the Houston Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 54.2% from the field in 15.7 minutes per game. The 23-year-old Black was waived by Houston on December 26.

Henry appeared in nine games this season for the Lakers before suffering a ruptured left Achilles tendon in practice on November 24 that is expected to keep him out the remainder of the season. In his two seasons with Los Angeles, Henry averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists over 52 games (five starts).

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.

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