Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

The Los Angeles Lakers need a new head coach. And veteran star Kobe Bryant wants his opinion to be heard as the team figures out who to hire. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to consult him on head coach hire

Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring their next coach.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

Taking over for a legend like Phil Jackson is never easy, of course. Bryant said he still speaks to Jackson “often” and expects the 11-time championship winning coach to transfer those results to his front-office role with the New York Knicks.

“I think he’ll do fantastic,” Bryant said. “Especially the more people say that he won’t be successful.”

Bryant had similar faith in the Lakers’ brass, endorsing the efforts by Jackson’s fiancée and Lakers president, Jeanie Buss, as well as her brother and Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, in steering the franchise in the right direction.

“Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Bryant said.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Steve Kerr:

Steve Kerr has multiple coaching job options

Steve Kerr is now the top candidate for three high-profile jobs, with the Golden State Warriors joining the Lakers as formidable competition for Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

According to a league source, Warriors owner Joe Lacob wants to hire Kerr to replace Mark Jackson, who was fired on Tuesday following three successful seasons as Golden State’s head coach. In fact, the Warriors wasted no time reaching out to Kerr, contacting him less than three hours after Jackson was dismissed. And a source maintains that the Warriors’ job is Kerr’s if he wants it.

The Knicks are still in play, but it is telling that Kerr — who met with Jackson 11 days ago in New York — has not made a decision, and that by delaying, two attractive jobs have become available.

Turning down Jackson in New York to coach Jackson’s former club in Los Angeles would be a stunning turn of events. The Warriors seem more logical since Kerr has several connections to the organization. He knows Lacob well and has a relationship with Lacob’s son Kirk, who works in Golden State’s front office. Kerr also worked with Warriors president Rick Welts in Phoenix.

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday, following scrutiny of his plan to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

Leon Jenkins was to present Sterling with a “lifetime achievement award” later this month. Jenkins rescinded that offer Monday after a recording surfaced over the weekend on which Sterling disparaged black men.

In a letter to the national leader of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, Jenkins wrote, “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”

– Associated Press

Mike D’Antoni has resigned as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Although no timetable has been established, the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

D’Antoni, who was hired by the Lakers to replace Mike Brown on November 12, 2012, had a 67-87 record in his two seasons with the team. He previously was head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, and has a career record of 455-426.

“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” said Kupchak. “On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jim Perzik to Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs/Secretary, and have hired Dan Grigsby as General Counsel, replacing Perzik, it was announced today by team President Jeanie Buss. Grigsby joins the Lakers from the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, where he was Partner and Chairman of the National Sports Law Group since 2004. He has worked as outside legal counsel for the Lakers at the firm, as well as when he previously worked at Arnold & Porter (2001-04), Blanc Williams Johnston & Kronstadt (1997-2001), Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott (1991-97) and Fine, Perzik & Friedman (1981-91). Grigsby graduated from UCLA in 1977 with a degree in political science, and received his law degree in 1981, graduating from the Whittier College School of Law. He passed the California State Bar Exam in May of 1981.

Perzik, who represented former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss for 45 years, was intimately involved in the complicated acquisition of the team by Dr. Buss in 1979 when he purchased the Lakers, the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and related properties from previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. In his new position, Perzik will continue to oversee the Lakers’ legal issues, including the development of the team’s new training facility and offices. In January 2015, he will decrease his office workload, but will continue to work with the team in a consulting capacity.

“Having worked with Dan as our outside legal representative for over 30 years, we’re very familiar and comfortable with him, and have the highest regard for him as both an attorney and person,” said Buss. “Jim has been a part of our Lakers family as well as an important member of our organization for many years,” continued Buss. “His contributions to our company and our success have been invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on veteran Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who maintains his competitive fire and is still being paid like a team-carrying superstar:

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant began an intense six-month training program with an early-morning workout Monday, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Bryant has been cleared for running and shooting as he returns from a broken bone in his left lateral tibial plateau that caused him to miss all but six games this season. He has been ramping up his activity level the last few weeks and was confident about pushing harder after receiving positive feedback during a consultation last week with the doctors in Germany who previously performed the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his knees.

Bryant visited the doctors while he was in Europe on a short trip with his family last week, sources said.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Los Angeles Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak, and aging veteran star Kobe Bryant:

Kobe Bryant looks to be having an excellent anniversary trip in Paris, judging by the photos posted on his wife’s Instagram account, but on the off chance he happened to be watching Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak’s 45-minute news conference Friday to close the worst season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, there was something Kupchak really wanted him to understand.

“I’ve already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I’m sure he’s saying, ‘Why is Mitch using the word patience?’” Kupchak said. “He’s not the most patient person in the world. And that’s never going to change.

“Because of that, we’ve been to the Finals a bunch of times and we’ve won five championships. So, it’s hard to criticize him.

“We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we’re in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don’t make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don’t want to do that.”

Lakers have big roster decisions to make

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the Lakers, who didn’t even come close to making the NBA playoffs this season, and face a challenging future:

The chants started midway through the fourth quarter, near the end of a rare Lakers blowout victory.

“Keep Gasol!” a motley group of a dozen or so out-of-place Lakers fans repeated rambunctiously Monday at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Twenty rows down from the purple-and-gold revelers on the visitors’ bench, Pau Gasol sat in a trim brown suit. The pending free agent looked up, smiled and offered his Utah-based fan club a thumbs up.

A two-time champion, Gasol will be the face of the Lakers’ tough offseason decisions, but he is only the most high-profile of the Lakers who will find himself on the open market after the season concludes here Wednesday.

It’s likely that a majority of the players on the floor for the Lakers at the AT&T Center will be in their last game. So embrace it now: Nick Young’s celebrations after 3-pointers; Jodie Meeks’ calm and even play; Jordan Hill’s work on the offensive boards.

Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre have guaranteed contracts beyond this season.

xavier henry surgeries

Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent successful surgeries today to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and the cartilage abnormality in his right knee. The wrist surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Shin and the knee surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo, both at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

In 43 games (five starts) this season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Lakers:

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a multiyear extension with general manager Mitch Kupchak.

The Lakers, in response to an ESPN.com report earlier Tuesday night, confirmed the new deal for Kupchak to reporters late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Kupchak has presided over four NBA championships since succeeding Jerry West as the Lakers general manager in 2000. He has been with the organization since retiring as a player in 1986.

Details of Kupchak’s current contract have never been released, but he had at least another year on his current deal.

Here’s Lakers point guard Steve Nash dishing a pass that became the assist moving Nash above Mark Jackson into 3rd place on the NBA’s all-time total assists list:

Enjoy video highlights of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 30 years ago, hitting a skyhook to become the NBA all-time leading scorer:

Lakers buy land for new training center

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that they have entered into an agreement with CDC Mar Campus, LLC for the purchase of an approximately five acre undeveloped portion of the development known as Elevon at Campus El Segundo located in El Segundo, CA.

The site is at the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and Douglas Street.

The site is intended to be the future home of a brand new training center for the Lakers and its Development League team, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

The facility will also house the business operations offices for both teams.

The completion of the purchase is subject to various conditions, including the approval by the City of El Segundo of the proposed use of the property by the Lakers.

Watch some up-close video of Tim Hardaway Jr (Knicks) and Jodie Meeks (Lakers) from Tuesday in Los Angeles:

Xavier Henry scored 22 points, Nick Young hit five 3-pointers while scoring 20 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers dropped a franchise-record 51 points in the third quarter of their 127-96 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

Kent Bazemore scored 18 points as the Lakers won consecutive games for the first time in more than three weeks with a phenomenal offensive effort against the Knicks, who have lost two straight after an eight-game winning streak.

Knicks President Phil Jackson watched his new team and his former club from a luxury suite high above the court.

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for the Knicks, who couldn’t stop the Lakers’ patchwork roster from hitting 18 3-pointers in the opener of New York’s five-game West Coast road trip.

Young hit five 3-pointers, and Jodie Meeks added four as Los Angeles finished one 3-pointer shy of the single-game club record.

– Associated Press

The Knicks had talked about needing to go 5-0 on this West Coast trip to put themselves in good position but instead they look like a team destined to go 0-5. It gave Jackson ammunition to blow up this thing after the season. They face the Kings in Sacramento Wednesday.

The 51 points was a franchise record for futility for most points allowed in a single quarter. Mike D’Antoni’s Lakers (24-46) could set their worst record since moving to Los Angeles in 1960, but the Knicks made them look like the Showtime Lakers.

– New York Post

Los Angeles D-Fenders forward Brandon Costner and Springfield Armor forward Willie Reed were today named NBA Development League Co-Performers of the Week for games played Monday, March 17- Sunday, March 23. The award is the first for both players this season.

Costner (6-9, 235, North Carolina State) led the D-Fenders to a 2-1 week, including wins over the Austin Toros and Santa Cruz Warriors. For the week, Costner averaged 27.0 points on 59 percent shooting from the floor to go with 11.3 rebounds. He recorded a season-high 38 points and 14 rebounds in the team’s 140-121 win over the Warriors on March 22. For the season, he is averaging 14.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 26.7 minutes.

Reed (6-10, 220, St. Louis) helped the Armor record a 2-2 week, securing wins against the Erie BayHawks and Canton Charge while averaging 18.3 points on 56 percent shooting, to go with 19.3 rebounds, including 7.5 offensive rebounds. His 24 rebounds against the BayHawks on March 17 tied the Armor’s franchise record. On the year, Reed is averaging 14.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 31.8 minutes.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Flip Murray, Iowa’s Moses Ehambe and Othyus Jeffers, Maine’s Frank Gaines, Santa Cruz’s Cameron Jones and Sioux Falls’ Tre Kelley.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times Blog reporting on the Lakers, who helped the Orlando Magic maintain their losing ways:

Jordan Hill had a career-high 28 points to help the Lakers end their four-game losing streak with a 103-94 victory over the Orlando Magic.

In an outcome that likely ended any hope the Lakers had for the third lottery position of the 2014 NBA draft, the Lakers gave Orlando their ninth straight loss.

Playing on the second night of back-to-back games, the Magic got a double-double from rookie Victor Oladipo (21 points, 10 assists). Orlando owned a 46-34 rebounding advantage but couldn’t overcome 20 turnovers.

Pau Gasol sat out the second half because of dizziness and nausea after scoring six points and getting two rebounds in 18 minutes in the first half.

Nick Young helped carry the offensive load for the Lakers. He finished with 26 points off the bench. Hill had 13 rebounds. Jodie Meeks also scored in double figures with 13 points and he had six steals.

Nick Young set to return for Lakers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times blog with some good news for the Lakers:

Nick Young set to return for Lakers

Nick Young said he expects to play Friday night when the Lakers (22-45) host the Washington Wizards (35-22).

“I’m feeling good,” Nick Young said. “Ain’t too much Swaggy can’t do out there.”

Young, who gave himself the nickname “Swaggy P,” fractured his left patella (kneecap) on Feb. 5 in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After returning Feb. 23, playing 19½ minutes against the Brooklyn Nets, Young went back to the sideline after feeling discomfort in the knee.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that the NBA wants to make sure that no funny-business happens between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks:

phil jackson

An NBA official has acknowledged that the league has put parameters in place to make sure that the high-profile relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson doesn’t create any issues.

“The Knicks’ hiring of Phil Jackson is subject to the league’s conflict of interest rules,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN.com. “To avoid even the appearance of a conflict, we have addressed the issue with the Knicks and Lakers to ensure that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson will not affect how the teams operate.”

Buss, the Lakers’ president and representative at board of governors meetings, and Jackson, who was named the Knicks’ president on Tuesday, got engaged in December 2012. They’ve been dating since 1999.

Since the engagement, sources say the league has gotten more serious about the two being on the up and up.

Los Angeles D-Fenders forward Shawne Williams was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 10 – Sunday, March 16. The award is the first for Williams, who becomes the third Los Angeles player to be honored as Performer of the Week this season, joining Manny Harris and Terrence Williams.

Williams (6-9, 225, Memphis) led the D-Fenders to a 3-0 week, including road wins over the Tulsa 66ers and Canton Charge. For the week, Williams averaged 26.3 points on 49 percent shooting from the floor and 46 percent shooting from three-point territory to go with 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. His 34-point performance on March 15 at Canton was his NBA D-League career high.

A six-year NBA veteran who played in 36 games for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Williams is averaging 19.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 30.6 minutes in 13 games for the D-Fenders.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Austin Daye, on assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, Idaho’s Kevin Murphy, Maine’s Frank Gaines, Rio Grande Valley’s Tony Bishop, Santa Cruz’s Cameron Jones, Sioux Falls’ Henry Walker, and Springfield’s Khalif Wyatt.

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