Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

I know you were all wondering about the status of Kareem Rush, so here’s the Los Angeles Times blog with an update:

Kareem Rush not retired from NBA just yet

According to the NBA Development League transactions page, former Lakers guard Kareem Rush retired last month.

In a recent phone interview with The Times, Rush said that’s not the case.

“I’ve retired from the D-League,” he said. “[I’m] not retired from basketball completely.”

Rush, 33, last played in the NBA for the Clippers on Nov. 17, 2009, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times blog reporting on the Lakers, who usually sell out their games. But this isn’t your average Laker season.

The most compelling number to watch in the Lakers’ box scores the rest of the season could be home attendance.

The Lakers failed to sell out a game Tuesday for the second time this season when they drew a season-low 18,209 against the Utah Jazz, ending a 17-game sellout streak dating to November. The previous non-sellout against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 12 ended a far more impressive streak of 270 consecutive regular-season games (and 320 including the playoffs) going back to December 2006.

The Lakers rank eighth in the NBA in home attendance, averaging 18,937 fans per game. The Clippers have sold out every game this season and rank seventh in league attendance, averaging 19,196 fans. The Chicago Bulls lead the league with an average of 21,639 fans.

The story of the Lakers season has been injuries, injuries, and some more injuries. At this point, it’s safe to assume that some part of veteran point guard Steve Nash will be bumped or bruised. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with more:

Steve Nash left the Lakers’ game Sunday against the Chicago Bulls mid-way through the third quarter because of nerve irritation in his left leg, according to the team.

Nash suffered the same damage last season when he fractured his left leg Oct. 31, 2012 against the Portland, an injury that sidelined him for 24 games. The subsequent nerve damage eventually affected his back and hamstrings, sidelining him for eight games, including two playoff appearances. He had just played in the past two games following a three-month rehab surrounding the nerve irritation in his back, which kept him out for all but six games. The Lakers plan to reevaluate Nash on Monday.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on center Chris Kaman, who hasn’t been used much by the Lakers this season, even with their imperfect roster and constant injuries:

Chris Kaman does not care if Lakers keep or trade him

After receiving consistent playing time in all three games of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2-1 trip, Chris Kaman admitted that it was the first time he had fun playing basketball in a long time.

But he also admitted that if he doesn’t make it past the upcoming Feb. 20 trade deadline and finish out the season as a Laker, it won’t faze him.

“I don’t care, I honestly don’t care,” Kaman said when asked if he has thought about the possibility of the Lakers trading him. “It’s not something that I want to do, but it’s not going to make me go to sleep at night and have to stay awake all night tossing and turning thinking about it. I don’t care. If they want to trade somebody, trade me, trade the next guy, it don’t bother me. It’s part of the business. The sooner that you realize it’s a part of the business, the better off you’re going to be. Just let it roll and let it happen. I’m not going to try to stop anything.”

Terrence Williams wins D-League Player of Month

Los Angeles D-Fenders guard/forward Terrence Williams was today named NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in January. The award is the first of Williams’ career.

Williams (6-6, 220, Louisville) averaged 21.5 points on 42 percent shooting from the floor to go with 6.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds in January, appearing in 12 of the team’s 13 games. For the month, the D-Fenders were an NBA D-League best 10-3.

Williams scored in double figures 10 times in January and set a D-Fenders record with a 50-point outing against the Idaho Stampede on Jan. 31.

For the season, Williams is averaging 21.8 points, good for seventh in the NBA D-League, along with 5.9 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 36.9 minutes in 13 games, 12 starts. His 50-point outing was the second-highest single-game point total this season.

Additional players considered for the award included Austin’s Josh Howard, Delaware’s Tiny Gallon, Idaho’s Pierre Jackson, Maine’s Frank Gaines, Rio Grande Valley’s Troy Daniels, Santa Cruz’s Cameron Jones, Sioux Falls’ Justin Hamilton and DeAndre Liggins, Springfield’s Darius Johnson-Odom, Texas’ PJ Hairston and Tulsa’s Reggie Williams.

The Phoenix Suns weren’t supposed to be good this season. Or so most people thought. But with a 29-18 record, good offense, decent defense, an excellent young coach and a fun, versatile roster, the Suns have been the surprise of the league this season. And now they can aim higher. Lakers forward Pau Gasol’s best days are behind him, but if used properly he can still make a team like phoenix better. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on a Pau Gasol trade rumor:

pau gasol

The Phoenix Suns have emerged as a potential trade suitor for Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns, among the options being weighed as part of their well-chronicled desire to acquire an established player as they make an unexpected playoff push this season, have been exploring the feasibility of trading for the Lakers’ four-time All-Star.

One option for the Suns, by virtue of their $5.6 million in available salary-cap space, is swapping the expiring contract of injured big man Emeka Okafor for Gasol, even though Okafor’s $14.5 million salary this season falls well shy of Gasol’s $19.3 million.

The Lakers engaged in similar trade discussions in late December and early January with Cleveland in a proposed deal that would have sent Gasol to the Cavaliers for the partially guaranteed contract of ex-Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who then would have been waived to help L.A. save roughly $20 million in salary and luxury-tax obligations.

pau gasol

Lakers forward/center Pau Gasol, who had been dealing with a sore right groin, had an MRI today which revealed a strained right groin. Gasol will be out a minimum of a week and will be re-evaluated next weekend when the team returns from its three-game road trip.

Additionally, Lakers backup center Chris Kaman, who has a sore right knee, also had an MRI. Results of the MRI were negative and he is cleared to play.

Los Angeles D-Fenders sign Shawne Williams

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired former Los Angeles Lakers forward Shawne Williams, by way of a successful waiver claim, it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella.

Williams (6’9” / 230) was selected in the first round (17th selection) of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. Most recently, he spent 32 games (11 starts) with the Lakers this season, posting averages of 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 20.2 minutes. The Memphis native has appeared in 247 career NBA games (34 starts) with the Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and Lakers. Williams has also played for Guangzhou Liu Sui, of the Chinese National Basketball League.

An alumnus of the University of Memphis, Williams averaged 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in his lone season with the Tigers (2005-06). Williams led Memphis to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament, along with Conference-USA regular season and tournament championships in 2006. The Laurinburg Institute graduate also earned Conference-USA Freshman of the year, All-Conference-USA third team and Conference-USA Tournament MVP honors.

Photo: Melo and Kobe talking in New York

Sunday in New York the Knicks hosted the Los Angeles Lakers. With Kobe Bryant and several other Lakers out injured, the Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 35 points, came away with a 110-103 win.

Will Melo someday bolt New York and join up with Bryant and the Lakers? For now, that’s just baseless speculation, and there’s no concrete reason to believe it’ll happen. While you ponder this, enjoy this photo of Melo and Kobe saying hello after the game:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Manny Harris to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In five games with the Lakers this season, Harris is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.9 minutes.

Before signing his first 10-Day contract with the Lakers on January 16th, Harris was most recently a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate, and was the D-League’s leading scorer at 30.6 points per game. Overall, in 13 games with the D-Fenders (13 starts) this season, Harris averaged 30.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 48.5% from the field. On January 13, Harris was named the NBA D-League Performer of the Week for the second consecutive time, and fourth time in his career.

In his previous 80 career NBA games (20 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, the Detroit, Michigan native averaged 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.

Lakers add Many Harris, for 10 days

With Nick Young being suspended for a game due to tossing a punch where a Phoenix Suns player was standing, the Lakers have added a guard who has been dropping serious buckets in the D-League lately.

Here’s more info on who Harris is:

Full item: Lakers sign Manny Harris to 10-day contract

Nick Young is nicknamed “Swaggy P.” Swag flies through the air anytime Young does anything. You can never have enough swag, as Young is well aware.

Unfortunately, yesterday during a Lakers vs Suns game, Young’s swag emerged in the form of a punch, and that’s no bueno. The NBA suspended him one game as a result, and fined a pair of Suns players as well.

Full details here: Nick Young suspended for punch

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with an update on the banged-up Lakers:

Kobe, Nash will be re-evaluated January 27

With 10 of the team’s 15 games coming on the road, January figures to be difficult for the Los Angeles Lakers. But there might be a silver lining at the end of the month in the form of a future Hall of Fame backcourt returning to the fold.

Coach Mike D’Antoni said after shootaround in preparation for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers that Kobe Bryant (fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee) and Steve Nash (nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings) will be re-evaluated Jan. 27, when the Lakers return to L.A. after an upcoming 12-day, seven-game trip.

If they are cleared, the veteran guards could play shortly thereafter. Nash has been out since Nov. 10, and Bryant has been sidelined since Dec. 17.

D’Antoni recently joked that a bus will show up at the team’s practice facility in February and drop off the five currently injured Lakers players, all healthy and ready to contribute. But it turns out the players’ returns will be staggered.

Los Angeles Lakers waive Shawne Williams

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Shawne Williams, it was announced today.

Williams, originally selected by the Indiana Pacers in the first round (17th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, signed with the Lakers on September 3, 2013. In 32 games (11 starts) this season, the 6’9” forward out of Memphis University averaged 5.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 20.2 minutes.

He is considered a shooter, but was hitting just 37.7% of his shots, and just 32.7% from three-point range.

The Lakers roster now stands at 14 players. The team has a 14-20 record this season and are in a state of limbo, waiting for Kobe Bryant to return, yet are clearly not a championship contender even with a healthy roster. Major changes are needed, but is unclear if those changes will occur anytime soon.

Manny Harris of the Los Angeles D-Fenders was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Dec. 30 – Sunday, Jan. 5.

Harris, a 6-5, 185 pound guard from Michigan, led Los Angeles to a 3-0 record last week and averaged 29.3 points, leading his team in scoring all three games. On Jan. 4, he recorded a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 107-94 victory over Bakersfield. He followed that up scoring 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 99-95 win at Reno.

This is the first Performer of the Week honors for Harris this season and the third of his career. He is second in the NBA D-League in scoring with 27.9 ppg. Harris has tallied at least 21 points in all nine of his games for Los Angeles this season.

Other top performers considered include Idaho’s Pierre Jackson, Maine’s MarShon Brooks, Santa Cruz’s Dewayne Dedmon, Sioux Falls’ DeAndre Liggins and Springfield’s Darius Johnson-Odom.

Pau Gasol remains a key Laker

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles on the Lakers, who need the services of Pau Gasol if their aim is to win basketball games:

Pau Gasol remains a key Laker

Granted, there’s no way of knowing if Pau Gasol would have made any difference in the Los Angeles Lakers’ past two losses, to the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers, two decidedly sub-.500 teams that L.A. fell to by a combined nine points.

Even if Gasol fought through his upper respiratory infection and came close to his 14.7-point and 9.4-rebound averages, L.A. might have still lost with the way it missed 16 of the 23 3-pointers it took against the Jazz and turned the ball over 22 times against the 76ers.

But here is the unwavering truth that makes the outcomes of the games almost irrelevant when considering Gasol’s lost contributions, no matter how strong or how meager they would have been: He could have played.

It was Gasol’s decision to sit out as his team extended its season-high losing streak to five with a 111-104 defeat to Philly. It’s not like he has been bedridden or completely unable to exert himself physically. According to a team source, Gasol still showed up to Lakers shootaround to lift weights Sunday, and when he told longtime trainer Gary Vitti he wanted more time to get over the infection and was not going to play against the Sixers, Vitti said to not even bother showing up to the game.

Lakers sign guard Kendall Marshall

Lakers sign guard Kendall Marshall

The 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers have had a relatively successful season so far, when taking their roster and injuries into account. And today they added to their backcourt, which has been in desperate need of some healthy talent.

The Lakers signed guard Kendall Marshall to a multi-year contract, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Marshall, a 6’4” point guard out of North Carolina, was originally selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 48 career NBA games with the Suns, Marshall, who was traded to Washington in 2013, has averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 assists, and 0.9 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. A McDonald’s All-American in 2010, Marshall earned several honors while playing for the Tar Heels, including the Bob Cousy Award (2012) as the top college point guard, Second Team All-ACC (2012), Third Team All-ACC (2011) and All-ACC Freshman Team (2011). Additionally, the Dumfries, Virginia native set an ACC single-season record as a sophomore with 351 assists (4th most in NCAA history) and finished his career with 581 assists in 73 games (7.96 APG; highest average in UNC history).

Most recently, Marshall played for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, averaging 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.6 assists in seven games. In 16 career NBA D-League games with the 87ers and Bakersfield Jam, Marshall averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 8.4 assists.

The basketball world had Kobe Bryant back, but now he’s out again. Here’s the Associated Press with more:

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard.

An MRI exam on Thursday revealed Bryant has a fracture in his lateral tibial plateau - the top of his shinbone near his knee.

Bryant made his season debut with the Lakers Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. He apparently was hurt again Tuesday night in Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.

After playing six games in 10 days, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history is out again until February or longer - and the Lakers’ already miserable run of injuries got even uglier.

“You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after practice Thursday. “He’s worked so hard to get back, but he’ll be back. He’ll be back in six weeks. We’ve just got to weather the storm until he gets back.”

With an 11-13 win-loss record, the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t a championship contender. Simply making the playoffs would be a solid accomplishment for them this season. But don’t tell that to Kobe Bryant, who continues to work his way back into form in his return from injury. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with more:

Kobe Bryant still working his way back into form for Lakers

Bryant had showed some slow albeit steady progression in each game that he had played in the past week. He graded himself an F in his debut in the Lakers’ loss last Sunday to Toronto where he posted nine points on 2 of 9 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers. But Bryant expressed feeling a sense of accomplishment that he had returned to the court. Bryant graded himself a B in the Lakers’ loss last Tuesday to Phoenix after posting 20 points on 6 of 11 shooting. He showed there he could score and set screens for others.

Bryant’s performance dipped in the Lakers’ loss Friday to Oklahoma City where he posted four points on two of six shooting, 13 assists and seven turnovers. But with injuries to Steve Nash (nerve issues in back), Steve Blake (torn ligament in right elbow) and Jordan Farmar (strained left hamstring), Bryant offered some encouragement he could man the point guard position once he sheds enough rustiness to reduce his turnovers. Bryant then showed off his scoring touch and clutch play by posting 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting in 32 minutes and hitting two free throws to seal the Lakers’ win Saturday over Charlotte. Though he still posted seven turnovers, Bryant’s improved lift in his shot and his eight assists suggested the two-man tandem between Bryant and Pau Gasol could become a winning formula in the same way that secured them two NBA championships.

“So far it’s been successful,” Gasol said. “He hasn’t gotten hurt or rehurt. That’s a positive.”

Remember Chris Kaman? He’s on the Los Angeles Lakers, in case you forgot. And the big guy isn’t too happy about barely getting off the bench this season. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with more:

Chris Kaman getting little run with Lakers

Chris Kaman has stopped trying to figure out how he fell so far out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation.

The veteran center says he joined the team as a free agent this summer because he saw opportunity to play significant minutes and re-establish his value after a couple of up-and-down seasons with New Orleans and Dallas.

Instead he’s found himself at the end of the Lakers’ bench.

“It’s absolutely not what I was looking for,” Kaman told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday morning after the Lakers’ shootaround. “It’s not really in my control. I just try to keep working hard and be ready if the time comes. And if it doesn’t, then it just wasn’t meant to be.”

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