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Tag:Los Angeles Lakers
Posted on: October 15, 2010 12:44 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 12:53 pm
 

Ron Artest gives us his two best players

Posted by Royce Young

Don't ask Ron Artest to count to five. Or even three. Because he can't. Well, at least he can't when he's naming the best players in the NBA and he may or may not be trying to slight LeBron James on purpose.

Since Artest is known as one of the league's most talented bulldog defenders, he's a good source to go to in terms of finding out who the best players in the game are. Whoever he has the most trouble defending, that means they're probably pretty good.

So Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles
asked Artest what he thought the biggest offseason signing was and Artest didn't go where you thought he would. He picked Kevin Durant signing an extension with Oklahoma City, as opposed to the taker of talents to South Beach. As to why? "He's the second best player in the NBA," Artest said.

Well do elaborate, Ron.

"Kobe's got five rings, six game winners [last season], 23-straight points in [Game 5 of the Finals] off mostly jump shots," Artest said. "[He's] the biggest shot maker, big shot maker. So, that said, Durant's the second best player in the NBA."

What you did there, I see it. Durant's two, because Kobe's one. Of course that begged the question: Where's LeBron?

"I only count to two," Artest said. "I've been out of school 15 years, so I only count to two."

Only Artest. Somehow, despite some pretty horrible moments for him over the years, his transformation from bad guy into an endearing player is almost complete. But the story here is the subtle smack talk Artest just gave LeBron and the Heat. The two teams will meet Christmas Day and Artest will be guarding LeBron. I'm sure LeBron took mental notes on Artest's statement so you can be sure James will play like he has something to prove.

And that might be Artest's point. He's trying to get into LeBron's head early and talk him into playing one-on-one instead of playing his game. It's a very Phil Jackson-ish move. I guess Artest has been reading Jackson's books after all. He can't count, but I guess he can still read.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 9:55 am
 

Shootaround 10.15.10: Good and bad places

Dwight Howard thinks the new rule has its place, Monta Ellis' wife is keeping him in the right place, Andre Blatche needs a new place, and Al Jefferson is getting into a good place, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

So while the Union's suing and the Celtics are freaking out, Dwight Howard has come out and said that in regards to the new tech rules, "They want us to cut down on talking to the refs, as hard as that may be. We've adjusted to everything else that's put out there. So we'll adjust." That's right. The guy that watches cartoons, does funny voices, and is pretty much known as a big kid, he's the one who's being grown up about this. The world's gone mad. Dwight Howard is in a place where he can have perspective and Kevin Garnett is not. What is happening?

Marvel Comics is teaming up with ESPN and the NBA for a series of promotional spots . Does it bother anyone else how much the league is marketing towards the storyline of LeBron leaving Cleveland? Don't get me wrong, I've been softer on James than others because if you asked me if I wanted to go work somewhere nicer with two of my friends with a greater chance of success, I'd probably do it too. But rubbing Cleveland's nose in it constantly for marketing purposes and playing into their spurned response seems exploitive.

Monta Ellis is in a much better place emotionally and mentally. Why? Dude got married and his wife, a lady cop, has him in line. I can understand where Ellis is coming from, as I'm sure a lot of men can. You have your wilder 20's, jacking up shots and riding mopeds, and then you get married and that stuff gets thrown out. This would be better if she were a segway cop or something. Still, it's good to see Ellis in a better place.

Mike Wells of the Indy Star reports that both Dahntay Jones and Solomon Jones are on the block as the Pacers try and move for a big man.

TruthAboutIt.Net's Kyle Weidie is more concerned with Andre Blatche at the moment than Gilbert Arenas. Blatche boosted his stock immensely last year with some solid play on the blown-up Wizards. But he thinks of himself as a primary scoring threat, not as a complimentary piece, and has big chemistry issues. If they can get him on the market and get a good player to put next to Wall for him, they should move, and quickly.

Alvin Gentry is telling his team that if they want to be succesful this year, they're going to have to be a "GREAT" defensive team . This for a team that had a worse defensive rating than any of Mike D'Antoni's years. Even if you think Amar'e was the problem (and he wasn't), good luck with that, coach.

Sasha Vujacic suffered a concussion in practice and is out indefinitely. Perhaps he was confused on what being "unconscious" from the arc meant.

In case you missed it last night , you need to see John Wall destroying the Bucks in 40 secons. For real.

Mike D'Antoni called Anthony Randolph a "stat magnet. " If only that magnet wasn't similarly charged to that of a "high basketball IQ magnet" because Randolph seems to repel that idea. Many, Knicks fans especailly, hope this is the season that changes. He can be an absolute game-changer when his head's in the right place.

And finally, just a small basketball note. If you caught last night's Jazz game you saw this, but if you didn't, Al Jefferson looked really good. Even with an out-of-shape Deron Williams working with him, Jefferson was hitting from all over the floor and attacking the glass on both sides of the ball. Defensively he's still figuring the system out, but things are looking tremendously good for Utah's new acquisition.


Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2010 7:35 pm
 

Heat Stroke: Kobe's initial reaction

 Posted by Royce Young

Via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times on Twitter, Kobe Bryant said today that he really doesn't like talk about LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade's new adventure in Miami.

But he did share his initial reaction upon hearing LeBron and Bosh would join Wade.

"How did Pat Riley pull that [expletive] off?"

How did Pat Riley pull that expletive off indeed, Kobe. It's something a lot of people thought initially post "Decision." In fact, I think a lot of people are wondering it still now. But in reality, it probably had very little to do with Pat Riley and whole lot more with the three main players involved. I'm sure if the three of them were dying to play together in Minnesota, David Kahn would make it happen. Well, that's probably stretching it, but you get my point.

Kobe shared another thought about the Miami Triad, saying simply, "I've got to get my knee healthy." If I understand Kobe here - and I think that I do - he's implying that his team, the Lakers, might meet LeBron and Bosh's new team, the Heat, at some future time. The NBA Finals perhaps?

Though not to cause a panic that that might not happen, but Kobe may not exactly have that knee healthy. He's previously said it was at about 60 percent and he's kind of sort of playing like it. So far in preseason, Kobe is shooting just 14.3 percent from the floor. That's 4-28 from the field and he's 0-10 from 3. So if he intends on seeing LeBron and Friends at a later date, he needs to work on that knee a little more.

Posted on: October 14, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2010 2:10 pm
 

Matt Barnes and Carl Landry crush a Laker Girl

Posted by Royce Young

It always fascinates me how with so many people close to the action in both basketball and football, that more people don't get horrifically injured. Like in football when a receiver is knocked out of bounds and goes flying into a cameraman, everyone always seems to pop up just fine. (Except for Joe Paterno, that one time.)

And in basketball, when there's a hard foul on a fast break and Luke Walton (why did I pick Luke Walton? I don't know) falls hard onto the baseline cameraman for TNT, all that ever happens is we get an awesome shot of Walton's face coming a hundred miles an hour at the lens before the camera goes crazy.

In the NBA, pretty much the only people in the danger zone (the baseline) is photographers and camerapersons. Unlike college, the cheerleaders and dancers don't sit anywhere near the action. But when the NBA takes preseason on the road to various locales, one being a college arena, the cheerleaders are stuck right in the middle of ground zero.

For instance, Ashley the Laker Girl found out exactly this thing.



Lakers reporter Mike Trudell says Ashley is doing fine and isn't seriously injured, but dang, that didn't look awesome. Especially the part where two huge men fell on top of her.

Last year, Chris Paul re-injured his knee falling into a baseline photographer and it's amazing not only more photogs and camera types don't get hurt, but the players as well. Not to make a whimsical post serious, but having people that close is just dangerous. I get that having people as close to the action whether they're working or just watching is the thing now, but still, it's sort of scary.

I know I wouldn't want Matt Barnes falling on me. Not even if the job required it.

Via BDL
Posted on: October 13, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 5:26 pm
 

The seven teams you should pick for LP Broadband

Posted by Royce Young



If you could pick only seven TV shows to watch , what would they be? Like seven shows, period. Once you picked them, that's what you're watching for the next season of programming. Wouldn't be easy, huh?

Would you go with your favorites? Would go with what's fun to watch ? Or would you go with something informational or important? Questions all that help determine the criteria on your selection.

It's a question die-hard NBA fans have to ask themselves every year when it comes to getting NBA League Pass Broadband. For a little less, you don't get the whole league. Just unfiltered access to seven teams. But the hard part - and kind of the fun part - is figuring out what seven squads you want to have any time you want them. 

Who would I pick? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's my seven choices:

1. Miami Heat - In my crude rating system that I just made up as I was typing this sentence, the Heat pretty much score high in everything. Watchibility . Interesting-ness . Talent on the floor. Importance to the league. And of course the fact they're one of the league's three or four absolutely legit contenders.

I mean, how could you not include the Heat? Even if you hate everything about them down to their weird looking mascot, this is the most intriguing NBA roster well, since I can remember. Because of what's going on in South Beach, the NBA offseason took precedent of Major League Baseball and NFL training camps. Yeah, so it's kind of a big deal.

And how could even think about missing any of it this year? Yes, they will be on national TV a lot. But you're not guaranteed to get every big performance there. What if the biggest Heat story of the year happens some random February night against the Raptors where Dwyane Wade and LeBron both explode for 40? Or in late March, there's a little argument on the bench between LeBron and Bosh? How could you be willing to miss that?

2. Los Angeles Lakers
- Every game the Lakers play, it's an event. Kobe Bryant doesn't have that many games left and how could you give up the chance to watch one of the greatest ever try and win a sixth ring?

What makes the Lakers interesting? It's all in what they are. First, they're the Lakers . They're Hollywood basketball. They're Jack Nicholson sitting courtside , Phil Jackson running the show, Kobe hitting big shots. And Ron Artest doing potentially who knows what night-to-night. It's can't-miss stuff.

Plus, for a lot of teams, playing the Lakers is the biggest game of the month. It's just a little more important and a little bit more meaningful to both the team and its fans if the game's not in L.A. So you can expect packed houses, fired up crowds, pumped up teams and good basketball.

3. Milwaukee Bucks
- You know who I had here originally? The Celtics. And why did I take them off? I don't really know, honestly. Because the Celtics are definitely a good team to have. But I guess I just don't find them all that interesting. They're old, potentially washing up and they're going to have 50 percent of their games on TV anyway.

So instead, I'm going with an upstart team featuring a fun scorer in Brandon Jennings, an emerging center in Andrew Bogut , an underrated forward in Ersan Ilyasova and a dark horse contender in the East.

4. Washington Wizards
- I for one, am fascinated by this team. First, Gilbert Arenas. He's the league's most interesting personality. He makes up stories about being hurt. Like Jerry in the Seinfeld episode George asked him to not be funny, Arenas is touching his dark side and trying to be serious. And like Jerry, he can't not be funny. With that beard, it's impossible to take Arenas completely serious (though he's shaving it off soon).

More than that though, this team is coming off a season full of incredible turmoil, plus it has some of the most erratic personalities in the league. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee and extremely talented but borderline on the headcase chart. Josh Howard never minces words. Al Thornton is already a little perturbed about his role. And then of course there's John Wall who is supposed to now be the face of the team. Put it all on the court together and you've got an intriguing team to watch .

Plus, any time you can get a good look at one of the future talents in the league as a rookie, it's a must. Don't you wish you could go back and watch LeBron James for 82 games as a rookie? Or Dwyane Wade? Or Kevin Durant? John Wall is almost a guarantee to be great and here's your chance to watch him get started. Here's your chance to watch him evolve and grow. I wouldn't want to miss it.

5. Oklahoma City Thunder - In terms of pure excitement, there probably isn't a more fun team to watch in the league. They're got exceptional athletes. They've got exciting young players. They've got talent. And best of all, they're actually good.

Watching Kevin Durant score is like a Sunday afternoon nap. You're never unsatisfied with what you get. Durant scores in the most boring exciting way possible. It'll be the third quarter and a graphic will flash at the bottom and you'll see a line of 27 points on 10-16 shooting and you'll only remember three of his baskets.

And while Durant scores in the quiet, efficient way, Westbrook scores in the loud, look-over-here way. This team is something you can't miss. Nobody knows how good they can really be and what makes them so fun to watch is that they never take a play off and truly love each other. They play hard and they play together. Nobody is more refreshing.

6. Los Angeles Clippers - Just look at that starting five. It looks pretty good, right? Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Ryan Gomes , Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman - looks nice.

But what makes the Clippers a team I wouldn't want to miss is Griffin. From the small pieces we've gotten in preseason, he's going to provide at least one "WHOA!" moment a night. Whether it's a block, an oop or just a stuff over three defenders, Griffin is always going all out.

Add in the fact that when Davis is locked in, he's as good as any guard out there and the evident emergence of Eric Gordon as a scoring guard and you've got a team that could maybe make some noise. Griffin and Kaman on the inside is as good a looking interior one-two you'll find and the fact they don't get much spotlight in a city that has lights to spare makes them just a little more cool to watch .

The problem with picking the Clippers though is that a month in when two key players are hurt, Baron Davis is already putting on weight and taking quarters off and you realize Vinny Del Negro is the coach, you'll really regret picking them. But it's almost becoming an NBA tradition to be interested in the Clippers in October. The talent is there and they should be fun.

7. Chicago Bulls - The new Bulls era is off to a bit of a rough start with Carlos Boozer breaking his hand because of a gym bag. But this is a team transitioning in a weird way. They're combining their exciting young talent with quality veterans. The Baby Bulls of a few years ago fell apart, but this group is set up to actually compete.

But forget that. Derrick Rose is the only reason you actually need. End to end, he's just about as exciting a player as you're going to get. He just moves differently than other guys. Even a simple thing like a driving layup has another kind of flash, another kind style with Rose.

He may not be there in terms of stepping into the truly elite, but he's a can't-miss player. And with him on a team that's going to be good with players that are also talented, exciting and interesting, the Bulls are definitely a must-watch .

Obviously the two toss-ups on my list are the Clippers and Wizards. Those could be HUGE mistakes come January. Substitute in the Celtics and Magic and you've got a guaranteed solid seven. Or the Spurs and Mavericks. Or the Blazers and Hawks. Or the Jazz and Nuggets.

Or just say screw it and buy the whole League Pass and watch on TV. That's probably a better call. This season is going to just be that good.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:38 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 4:44 pm
 

So that's how Andrew Bynum keeps hurting his knee

Posted by Royce Young

In a video posted on the car website Jalopnik , Andrew Bynum shows off his favorite car, a BMW M6. It's a car that goes up to 200 miles per hour, has custom wheels, a G-power twin-turbo setup (no idea what that means) that's good for 820 horsepower. So it's a nice car.

But it's also small. In fact, very small for a 7-foot, 275-pound man like Bynum. And in order to even get in the car, Bynum has to use a little trick. (It's at the 5-minute mark if you want to fastforward.)



You can see how Bynum has to grab his foot and crank his right leg awkwardly to get in the tiny car. And of course the one he's grabbing is the one he has tape all over because he had offseason surgery on it. If you recall, Bynum said he probably won't be ready until December because his knee isn't healing as fast as was expected. AND THIS MUST BE WHY.

(Now I'm not actually serious about this being a reason Bynum's knee is hurt. I feel the need to add this in, just in case.)

But like most professional athletes with lots of money, Bynum likes his toys. This BMW is just one of a couple cars he has including a Challenger in purple and gold, a Bumblebee Camaro, a custom F-150 a modified Nissan GT-R. I assume those cars fit a large human slightly better than this car.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 4:22 pm
 

Kobe may not be ready for season opener

Phil Jackson says Lakers star may not be ready for season opener.
Posted by Matt Moore


So far, the talk about Kobe Bryant's knee, still recovering from knee surgery, has been very academic. Sure, he has surgery on it. Yeah, he's only about 60% on it right now. But the discussions haven't actually involved games that count, games that matter. But Phil Jackson is aware that the regular season is only two weeks away. And in dealing with that information has lead him to start wondering if the Finals MVP is going to be ready to go. The LA Times reports that Jackson is "unsure" of how ready Bryant will be when the season starts. This is in addition to the fact that there's no way Andrew  Bynum will be good to go. Bynum has said it may be December before he's back.

Bryant is the obvious more crucial component in all this. The Lakers are a stunningly talented team (which makes you wonder why everyone's so upset with all the talent on the Heat considering Lamar Odom is the Lakers' freaking sixth man), but they're also driven by a very hard iron glove from Bryant offensively. He is the start and end of most Lakers possessions. Without him, the triangle has to evolve into something different, even with Pau Gasol as the low corner and a multitude of wings available to take the third wing's spot. This team should be good enough to roll teams without Bryant, and did so last year. But there's still a level of adjustment, and an even greater one when Bryant returns.

All of this is moot because it's October. Bryant can miss the entire first month of the season, or more, and still have time for the Lakers to get back and claim the top spot in the West. It's really just a matter of how much time they'll have to coast at the end of the year. And with all the injuries and Lamar Odom having played for Team USA in FIBA this summer, Jackson may elect to simply let go of the top spot in the West and simply make the playoffs, then assert themselves. Winning every regular season game is the farthest thing from Jackson's mind. Fifty or better and they should be in, and with Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Odom, Derek Fisher, new additions Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, that number's doable in Jackson's sleep.

The only fear in Jackson's mind has to be if eventually Bryant's body which has been stunningly durable over the past two years will give out. And that's not something Jackson even wants to begin to think about, let alone Kobe. Then again, why worry when Bryant's shown he's willing to work harder, fight harder, do whatever is necessary to succeed?



Posted on: October 12, 2010 12:34 pm
 

Ron Artest is slimmer, sober-er and against pot

Posted by Royce Young

He talks, I write. Seriously, when is Ron Artest not saying something interesting?

But in a column for the Orange County Register, Kevin Ding mentions how Artest said he's done drinking. And done with something else too.
Artest said he stopped drinking alcohol in January to focus on the season — and then ceased his championship celebrations, alcohol-wise, at the end of July. Artest said he “didn’t even have the stomach for it anymore” while celebrating, which included him consuming his infamous Hennessy scotch before the Lakers’ 11 a.m. championship parade .

“That’s something that paid off so much,” he said. “I’ve been drinking alcohol since I was 17 years old, 15 years old.”

Gotta love Ron’s openness, huh?

Artest also volunteered something along those lines at the end of his chat with reporters Saturday: “Even if they legalize marijuana, I won’t be smoking marijuana.”

Artest has come a long way. His NBA journey has certainly been a strange one, but one thing that Artest has never lacked is honesty. Drinking since he was 15? Does that explain anything for you?

As for Artest smoking weed, I guess he didn't officially say that he did smoke and has given it up. But I think that much was implied by the last comment.

The actual angle of Ding's piece was to talk about how Artest has slimmed down and was as light at 249 over the summer. Artest said he prefers to start the year at 260 and whittle down to 245 by the playoffs. No munchies, less boozing? Yep, I'd say that's a pretty good weight loss program.

Artest also mentioned how the drop in weight could help him against Kevin Durant but then acknowledged unsolicited that the cut in size could hurt him against the power of LeBron James in the 2011 Finals. So yeah, Artest is already thinking about that next victory parade.
 
 
 
 
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