Archive for the ‘ Los Angeles Lakers Blog ’ Category

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.”

There’s drama in Los Angeles. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog on an interesting Lakers situation:

pau gasol

Pau Gasol still doesn’t like how he’s featured in D’Antoni’s offense. He didn’t speak to reporters following morning shootaround Friday here at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but the Lakers’ forward in recent days has attributed his 14.4 points per game average on a career-low 41.7 percent shooting toward D’Antoni’s system not featuring him enough in the post.

D’Antoni’s response?

“It’s also a nice excuse not to play hard,” D’Antoni said. “That’s a classic, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Well, you don’t have trouble getting up to the paystub line. You know what you need to do to get your check. You know what to do. They will. They’ll figure it out.”

“That’s one thing. They don’t want to do it that way. I understand that. That’s when you have to accept it or not. But there’s no reason not to play hard.”

Lakers guard Steve Blake injured, out at least six weeks

Lakers guard Steve Blake had an MRI and was examined today by team doctor Steve Lombardo and Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Blake was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

Blake suffered the injury in the second half of the Lakers @ Washington game on November 26. In 21 games this season (21 starts), Blake is averaging 9.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 31.8 minutes.

Kobe Bryant is back in action for the Los Angeles Lakers. And even if he isn’t quite  himself yet, the basketball world (well, most of it) is happy to see him back on the court. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles on Kobe’s return:

Kobe Bryant critical of his play upon return

Kobe Bryant said he was “pleased” with the way his body responded Sunday, playing in his first NBA game in nearly eight months since tearing the Achilles tendon in his left leg, but the warm and fuzzy feelings ended there.

Bryant was his biggest critic after the Los Angeles Lakers’ 106-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

“I’m just insanely critical,” Bryant said after finishing with nine points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and eight turnovers in 28 minutes. “There was a bunch of things that I completely messed up on.”

When asked to grade his performance, Bryant gave himself an “F.” And when asked whether he had been “reborn in a new form,” he quipped, “Right now my form is a horse’s a– form.” Bryant was particularly down on himself for being responsible for a hefty portion of the Lakers’ 19 turnovers, which led to 22 points for Toronto.

“I failed miserably at that,” Bryant said after revealing that his personal expectation for his debut was to avoid turnovers. “That was really the biggest thing for me, just trying to take care of the basketball, because I know I’m going to be in charge of making some decisions out there. … Basketballwise, I’m not happy.”

Kobe Bryant will make his return for the Lakers this Sunday in Los Angeles, where they will face the Toronto Raptors.

The Lakers are off to a better-than-expected start this season, putting up a 9-9 record. They’ve shown good team chemistry and have been fun to watch.

It’ll be interesting to see how good Kobe Bryant still is. Coming back from serious injury, it’s safe to assume he’ll have lost some athletic ability. He should look rusty, right? Maybe play limited minutes? That’s the smart assumption. But, this is Kobe we’re talking about. In which case, until there’s evidence to the contrary, the sky is still the limit.

Jordan Farmar

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, who was injured in the first quarter of last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, had an ultrasound test and was examined this morning by Dr. Luga Podesta. Farmar was diagnosed with a tear of his left hamstring. It is expected that he will be out approximately four weeks.

Farmar is currently averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 19 minutes in 18 games this season.

Also, Lakers forward/center Pau Gasol had an MRI exam this morning, which confirmed he has a mild sprain of his right ankle.

Los Angeles D-Fenders forward Ryan Kelly has been recalled by the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today.

The Duke University alum has posted averages of 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals in three games this season for the D-Fenders. Last night, Kelly tallied a career-high 30 points in a 131-96 victory over the Bakersfield Jam. Kelly is currently ranked fifth in the D-league in scoring average, and tied for seventh in minutes per game.

Kelly has appeared twice this season for the Lakers.

Steve Nash set to return for Lakers

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles on old,  banged-up Steve Nash and his expected return to action for the Lakers:

steve nash

Sunday marked the 10th straight game that Steve Nash missed because of nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings, but Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he expected to have him back when the team returns to practice Tuesday after an off day.

Nash spent last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, working out with his longtime personal trainer, Rick Celebrini, while the Lakers were on a three-game trip through Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit.

“I think he made some improvements, but we’ll see,” D’Antoni said of Nash.

Nash, 39, is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists this season while shooting 26.1 percent from the field.

Lakers waive forward Elias Harris

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Elias Harris, it was announced today.

Harris appeared in two games for the Lakers this season, tallying a rebound, an assist and a steal in 11 minutes. The two-time All-West Coast Conference Team selection out of Gonzaga University started all five games for the Lakers’ 2013 Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.0 minutes.

The Lakers roster now stands at 14 players.

Lakers sign Kobe Bryant to two-year contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant really like each other. And want to stick together. And have put it in writing.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the Lakers have signed Bryant to a two-year contract extension. According to ESPN reporter Chris Broussard, the deal will pay Bryant $23.5 million in the 2014-15 season, and $25 million in the 2015-16.

“This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” said Kupchak. “We’ve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come.”

Bryant, a five-time NBA Champion, has earned numerous accolades over the span of his 17-year career, including being selected as the NBA MVP in 2007-08 and winning the NBA Finals MVP award in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The 15-time NBA All-Star has also led the United States to gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. Bryant has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last 15 seasons and has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team 12 times.

The Lakers have appeared in postseason play in all but one season (2004-05) of Bryant’s 17 campaigns with the team, and have reached the NBA Finals seven times, winning championships in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010. The 6’6” guard scored a career-high 81 points (55 in the 2nd half) on January 22, 2006, the second highest game and half point totals in NBA history.

Originally acquired by the Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac on July 11, 1996 after being selected by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant is the Lakers all-time leading scorer and currently ranks 4th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

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