Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the upcoming retirement of Kobe Bryant, which will occur at the end of this NBA season:

Kobe Bryant will retire at end of season

Kobe Bryant, maybe the greatest Laker in the organization’s history, announced his plans to retire following the 2015-16 season Sunday.

The announcement came in a letter written for The Players’ Tribune.

“This season is all I have left to give,” Bryant wrote. “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”

Bryant is in the midst of his 20th season and struggingly like he’s never have before. Bryant is shooting a career-worst 31.5 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from 3-point range.

Adam Silver statement on Kobe Bryant retirement announcement

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement regarding Kobe Bryant’s announcement today that this will be his final season in the NBA:

“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.

“I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on the not-so-existent relationship between Lakers center Roy Hibbert and his former team, the Indiana Pacers:

Roy Hibbert has not kept in touch with the Pacers

Roy Hibbert’s past and present will collide on Sunday when the Lakers host the Pacers. He maintained he has “great memories” of his seven-year NBA career in Indiana. But his last season ended on a sour note amid a reduced role to accommodate a quicker and smaller lineup. The Pacers then traded Hibbert to the Lakers last summer for a second-round draft pick.

“I’m going to feel something,” said Hibbert, who will become a free agent next summer after making $15.5 million this season. “But I have to move on and try to get a win.”

Hibbert insisted he has no hard feelings, but admitted he has not kept in touch with anyone associated with the Pacers.

“I haven’t talked to them in a while,” Hibbert said. “I haven’t watched any of their games. No offense, but I don’t think many of them are on TV.”

The Lakers are struggling badly this season, as is the legendary Kobe Bryant. And each shot that Kobe takes is a shot that young players who represent the future of the franchise are not taking. But fans want to see Kobe, especially since this may be his final season. As for Kobe’s minutes, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

Kobe Bryant playing time remains a discussion point

Well before Kobe Bryant stepped on the court in his 20th and likely last NBA season, it appeared obvious the Lakers’ slate of 18 back-to-back games would represent a major factor in his workload.

But Lakers coach Byron Scott conceded uncertainty how will handle Bryant’s playing time when the Lakers (2-12) play the Portland Trail Blazers (6-10) on Saturday at Moda Center before hosting the Indiana Pacers (9-5) on Sunday at Staples Center.

“Tomorrow we’ll play him,” Scott said following Friday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “Then we’ll see how he looks for Sunday.”

Scott’s approach with Bryant changed through the Lakers’ first set of back-to-backs. Bryant wanted to play as many games as possible considering his admission this will likely mark his last NBA season. But Bryant missed games two weeks ago in Miami and Orlando because of back soreness. Last week, Scott played Bryant 36 minutes in a win over Detroit before deciding to sit him the next night in Phoenix.

Kobe unleashes brickfest vs Warriors

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Kobe Bryant, who may be playing his final season in the league and unleashed a brutal brickfest yesterday against the Golden State Warriors:

Kobe unleashes brickfest vs Warriors

A thin line separates confidence and delusion, and Kobe Bryant is straddling it. It’s the only objective conclusion one could reach after judging the Los Angeles Lakers star’s comments Tuesday after he tied the worst shooting performance of his career in any game in which he attempted at least five shots.

In a humiliating 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, Bryant shot 1-of-14 from the field, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range, and scored 4 points. He also shot 1-of-14 in a loss last season to the San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant is the first player this season with 4 or fewer points on 14 or more field goal attempts.

Many of his shots hit the front of the rim. Some 3-point attempts were air-balls. He blew one layup that should have been a dunk — and probably would have been years ago, before all his injuries. And one shot, perhaps the cruelest of all, became lodged where the rim and backboard meet. An opposing player had to help pry it loose.

Kobe Bryant plays season-high 37 minutes

The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-10 so far in what may turn out to be the final NBA season of Kobe Bryant’s career. And Kobe is struggling along with the entire team, scoring a team-high 16.1 ppg but on miserable 34.0% shooting. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

The concern made Kobe Bryant roll his eyes.

The Lakers’ 37-year-old star posted only 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting, five assists and four rebounds in the Lakers’ 102-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Staples Center. But the most glaring number involved his 37 minutes.

It marked the second consecutive game he played above last year’s season’s average of 34.5 minutes. It marked the second consecutive season Bryant became shrouded in controversy surrounding the minutes he played. So after lasting only 35 games last season before needing season-ending right shoulder surgery, what implications could Bryant’s heavier workload bring to his 37-year-old body?

“That’s the silliest question of the night,” Bryant said. “This is literally my second game where I played 35 minutes or more, so it’s premature to ask about it.”

Kobe Bryant dealing with sore back

This is probably Kobe Bryant’s final season in the NBA, and if so, every chance to see him play is special. But according to the Los Angeles Daily News blog, fans won’t see him in action tonight vs. the Magic:

Kobe Bryant dealing with sore back

Kobe Bryant will sit out when the Lakers (1-5) play the Orlando Magic (3-5) on Wednesday at Amway Center because of back soreness. This marks the second game in consecutive games the Lakers’ 37-year-old star will miss after reporting his back tightening up.

Bryant said on Tuesday night that he hurt his back during training camp through normal “wear and tear” of a 20-year NBA career. But he reported minimal issues up until Tuesday.

Here’s ESPN.com with the latest on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who may be playing his final season in the league:

Perhaps Kobe Bryant may sit some back-to-back games

Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant recently sat down to discuss how they will approach back-to-back games this season — if Bryant will play in some, rest in others, etc. But Bryant, in his 20th season, made it known he doesn’t want to miss any games.

“Coach, this might be my last year, so, if possible, I would like to try to play every game,” the 37-year-old Bryant said, according to Scott.

Initially, Scott said he was on board with the plan. But now, entering the Lakers’ first of 17 back-to-back sets this season — the Lakers play in Miami on Tuesday and then in Orlando on Wednesday — Scott appears to be having some second thoughts.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned forward Jordan Mickey and guard/forward James Young to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.

Mickey, a 6’8” forward, played in seven preseason contests with the Celtics this year and averaged 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 9.8 minutes per game. He was selected with the 33rd overall pick by the Celtics in the 2015 NBA Draft and in two regular season appearances with the team has recorded a total of five points, three rebounds, one assist and one block in five minutes of action.

Young, who is in his second NBA season, appeared in seven preseason matchups for the Celtics this year and averaged 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game over that span. He played in 17 contests for the Red Claws last season and averaged 21.5 points, including shooting 44.2 percent from beyond the arc, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.9 minutes per game.

The Brooklyn Nets, playing at home, had their best chance of the new season to break their losing streak and enjoy victory. They were up against the Los Angeles lakers who entered the game 0-4. But as three-pointers continued to clank, the Nets lost 104-98 and fell to 0-6 for the season.

In the win for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant (5-of-16) had 18 points, D’Angelo Russell (6-of-9) and Jordan Clarkson (6-of-12) each had 16 points, and Julius Randle (5-of-9) had 14 points with seven rebounds. Roy Hibbert blocked three shots.

In the loss for the Nets, Brook Lopez (8-of-19) had 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, Joe Johnson (8-of-16) had 22 points, Jarrett Jack (8-of-22) had 18 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists, and Thaddeus Young (7-of-15) scored 14. But the Nets as a team shot just 3-of-19 from three-point range.

GAME NOTES

The Nets held the Lakers to 18 points in the first quarter, marking the fewest points the Nets have allowed in a first quarter this season.

Brook Lopez has moved past Richard Jefferson into third place in Nets NBA history in field goals made (2,943), trailing only Vince Carter (3,216) and Buck Williams (3,981).

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson started the first game of his NBA career tonight, and he grabbed an impressive 11 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Lakers waive Jabari Brown

Lakers waive Jabari Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Jabari Brown, General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today.

Which means, unless the team makes another change, Metta World Peace has made the roster.

Brown appeared in six games for the Lakers this preseason, averaging 6.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 14.3 minutes per game. In 19 games (five starts) for the Lakers last season, Brown, who was signed to a multi-year contract on April 1, averaged 11.9 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per contest.

The Lakers roster now stands at 15.

Lakers waive Jonathan Holmes

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Jonathan Holmes, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Holmes, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Texas, was originally signed by the Lakers on August 13. He appeared in two preseason games for Los Angeles, averaging 2.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.50 steals and 0.50 blocks in 7.5 minutes.

The Lakers roster now stands at 16.

Jordan Clarkson injures shoulder

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on a key young Lakers guard:

Jordan Clarkson injures shoulder

Los Angeles Lakers starting guard Jordan Clarkson suffered a shoulder injury during his team’s 136-97 preseason loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, placing his status for next week’s regular-season opener in question.

“Obviously [the injury] puts a damper on the way we want to start the season,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It might be without [Clarkson], next Wednesday, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

The Lakers open their season Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Michael Frazier II and center Robert Upshaw, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Frazier II, an undrafted rookie from Florida, was originally signed by the Lakers on August 25. He appeared in four preseason games for Los Angeles, averaging 2.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 13.5 minutes per game.

Upshaw saw action in four of the Lakers’ seven preseason contests, averaging 2.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.75 blocks in 14.1 minutes per game. The undrafted rookie out of Washington was originally signed on September 14.

The Lakers roster now stands at 17.

Lamar Odom prognosis is not good

Here’s TMZ Sports with the latest on former NBA star Lamar Odom, who is fighting for his life in a hospital right now, and is reportedly in very bad condition:

Lamar Odom prognosis is not good

Lamar Odom has not gotten any better, and sources familiar with his treatment say even if he survives he has virtually no chance of ever leading a normal life.

Our sources say doctors continue to put Lamar’s chances of survival at 50/50. We’re told he showed “absolutely no improvement” Thursday from the condition he was in when he was admitted to the hospital Tuesday. As one person put it, “He’s in dire straits.”

Lakers hire Tracy Murray as shooting coach

Former Lakers player Tracy Murray has been hired by the team as a shooting coach, it was announced yesterday by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In his position, Murray will work with head coach Byron Scott and his staff, focusing on improving the players shooting form and technique.

“I’ve known Tracy a long time, and he was one of the purest shooters I’ve ever seen,” said Scott. “I think he’ll be a benefit to our players, especially our young guys, and I look forward to working with him as a member of our staff.”

Most recently, the Los Angeles native spent eight seasons as a radio color analyst for the UCLA Bruins men’s and women’s basketball teams. During this time, Murray also spent three seasons (2007-09) as a player mentor and assistant coach for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League and one season (2011) as an assistant coach for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.

Originally selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 18th overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft, Murray played for six teams (Portland, Houston, Toronto, Washington, Denver and Los Angeles) over his 12-year NBA career posting averages of 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 659 games. In 1995, Murray earned an NBA championship as a member of the Houston Rockets and on February 10, 1998 he recorded a career- high 50 points while playing for the Washington Wizards. Following the NBA, Murray played overseas with stints in Greece (Panathinaikos, 2004-05 and P.A.O.K., 2005-06) and France (Elan Chalon, 2006-07).

An alumnus of UCLA, Murray played for the Bruins from 1989-92 and was named to the Pac-10 All-Conference First Team during his sophomore and junior seasons. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 18.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 98 career games and finished his career ranked fifth on UCLA’s All-Time Scoring list (1792).

Lakers exercise contract option on Julius Randle

The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their team option for the 2016-17 season on forward Julius Randle, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

This was a widely-expected move, as the team hopes Randle will emerge as a serious building block for the future.

Randle, the seventh overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, only appeared in one game as a rookie, scoring two points in his professional debut on October 28th against Houston before suffering a fractured tibia in his right leg. The second-year player out of Kentucky has started in all five Lakers preseason contests in 2015, averaging 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.20 steals in 24.5 minutes.

Lakers player cuts coming soon

Like all NBA teams, the Lakers must soon say goodbye to players they won’t be keeping for their regular season roster. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

[Lakers head coach Byron] Scott said this week he’ll soon begin trimming the Lakers roster to eventually get down to the league’s 15-player maximum.

That means Tuesday’s game against the Kings could be the last night for some members of the 19-man roster.

The team’s decisions could offer some insight into whether the organization truly views this season as a development year, or if it believes it still has a slim chance at the postseason.

Players such as World Peace, Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Robert Sacre offer more immediate help on the court. But would the Lakers be better off investing in Robert Upshaw and Jabari Brown to see what they become?

“I’m looking for the 15 guys that best fit the team,” Scott said.

Lakers beat Maccabi Haifa 126-83

Here’s the OC Register reporting on a Lakers preseason win:

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points in 19 minutes and six of his teammates scored in double figures as the Lakers rolled to a 126-83 win over Israel’s Maccabi Haifa on Sunday at Staples Center.

Bryant shot an efficient 6-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Roy Hibbert tallied 16 rebounds to go with 8 points and 5 assists.

It was a breakout night for many, and especially appreciated after the Lakers lost their first three preseason games.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on a key member of the Lakers youth movement:

Julius Randle showing off handles in preseason

This summer, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott came to Julius Randle with an order.

“I told him every time he gets a defensive rebound, I want him to push it,” Scott said Sunday following his team’s 126-83 preseason win over Maccabi Haifa at Staples Center here.

It’s not typical for a 6-foot-9, 250-pound power forward to have the green light to initiate fast breaks all by himself.

“True,” Scott said with a smile.

But that’s precisely what Randle has done on numerous possessions throughout this preseason, and his agility, athleticism and ball-handling skills have been one of the biggest highlights — and biggest surprises — for the Lakers, continually impressing his teammates, coaches and fans alike.

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