News 'n Views - Feb 2016: Lakers believe they can meld new offensive set with Kobe’s presence
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:27 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell thriving again in starting role
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

D'Angelo Russell faced the same questions for months.

Don’t you want to start again? Don’t you think being on the bench stifles your growth, particularly late in games when the score is close?

The Lakers rookie point guard and No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft was adamant that he didn’t really care, despite the outside noise from Lakers fans clamoring for him to get more playing time .

Russell maintained that he was more focused on playing the right way and learning the NBA game, especially with Lakers coach Byron Scott harshly criticizing Russell almost every day.

But when Russell was moved back into the starting lineup -- where he spent the season's first 20 games -- before his team played the Bulls in Chicago on Sunday, he said he had one fairly simple goal in mind: prove that he deserves to remain there.

“I don’t want anybody to take it the wrong way, but you feel like your best players are your starters,” Russell said then. “And I feel like I’m going to keep the confidence and say that I’m one of the best players, so I feel like I just want to keep proving that I deserve to start, deserve to be out there and play crunch time minutes.

“With these last few games, I want to show that I have to be out there, like build that trust with my coach that he has to put me on the floor.”

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:29 am    Post subject:

Lakers Practice Videos - Feb. 25, 2016
by lakersnation.com

Has D'Angelo Russell 'Earned' The Lakers Starting Spot?

Can D'Angelo Russell & Jordan Clarkson Coexist?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:30 am    Post subject:

Lakers looking forward to a month full of home games
by Lindsey Thiry - latimes.com

After spending most of February on the road the Lakers return to Staples Center for 13 of their next 16 games, starting with a game Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Playing at home for nearly the entire month of March could be a blessing, or a curse, Coach Byron Scott said Thursday at practice.

"Any time you are at home you can get into a routine," Scott said. "It depends on if it's going to be a good rhythm and routine or bad rhythm and routine because the one thing about being home is that you also have more distractions than you do on the road. You have to be able to balance the two."

For Scott, the distractions seem to be a real concern as he plans to make the most of the upcoming month with additional practices to continue the development of his young players.

"I want them to take this very serious, about coming to work, getting ready and being prepared instead of being home and thinking let's have some fun," he said. "You have fun when you are going out there and competing."

The Lakers' 11-48 record, including a 128-119 loss at Memphis on Wednesday, suggests a good routine of fun and competition has been hard to come by all season.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject:

Nike Releasing Yet Another Bruce Lee X Kobe Bryant Sneaker
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Nike, back at it again with the Kobe Bryant-Bruce Lee collaboration sneakers

Starting circa 2008 with the release of the Bruce Lee Kobe V, Kobe Bryant has shared a deep relationship with the teachings of the late martial artist.

Even before the collaboration, the Kobe V was already a revolutionary, dynamic low top shoe but paired with the Bruce Lee theme resulted in this shoe becoming an instant classic among sneakerheads.

Paying homage to his classic jump suit worn in Game of Death (1979), the shoe featured a yellow and black upper, and flashy red accents to top it off and the Kobe XI will follow suit.

Although, Nike has released a multitude of sneakers resembling the Bruce Lee edition in recent years, none of them have actually warranted the “Bruce Lee” tag.

However, with Kobe Bryant’s final season under way, Nike has decided that now’s the time to bring out the big guns.

Per SneakerNews, “That combination of details was a nod to Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death, a film that Kobe himself calls a personal favorite,” and are scheduled to release on March 19.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:16 pm    Post subject:

Byron Scott says D'Angelo Russell is getting better every month
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The Lakers head coach had some praise for his rookie starter.

D'Angelo Russell was removed from the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup in an early December game against the Toronto Raptors, and other than a brief stint starting in place of an injured Jordan Clarkson, Russell was a reserve ever since. Until this week that is, when Russell was reinserted into the starting lineup on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks and again when the Lakers took on the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Russell has averaged 15.5 points, 6 assists, and 4.5 rebounds on 45.8 percent shooting in his two starts so far, and Lakers head coach Byron Scott has is among those impressed despite the team's two losses. Scott has already said Russell will start for the rest of the season, and at the team's practice on Thursday he explained to reporters why he believes his rookie point guard had earned a role on the first team (as captured by Shahan Ahmed of NBC LA):

"Every month, he gets better," Scott said about the no. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. "I think the game is slowing down for him. He's playing harder. He's playing much (more) under control. I think his game is not so much reliant on his three-point shooting now. He's getting to the basket more. He's taking the mid-range, so he's mixing it up more on that end of the floor."
Scott added about Russell, "You just see strides in him every month, which is a great sign."


Russell has played well, but Scott's assertion that it's because he is taking less threes is slightly off base. Since the All-Star break Russell is still taking 4 three-pointers per game as compared to 4.6 before. Russell is however, shooting 50 percent on threes since the break, while he was shooting 33.2 percent before. Scott is right that the decrease in those threes has been redistributed to the rim, where Russell is now taking 31 percent of his shots (24.1 percent pre All-Star).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:17 pm    Post subject:

Despite Byron Scott's emphasis, Lakers' defense remains deficient
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

Less than 12 hours after arriving back in Los Angeles early Thursday morning, the Lakers were in the film room at the team’s practice facility being challenged by Coach Byron Scott.

“Do you look at that tape and think that you’re helping each other on the defensive end?” Scott asked.

The players knew better than to disagree with Scott, who later said he told his team, “If you say yeah, then something’s really wrong.”

A night earlier the Lakers (11-47) allowed the Memphis Grizzlies to score a season-high 128 points. It was the second-highest output by a Lakers opponent this season and, for L.A., the seventh straight loss.

The Lakers have allowed an average 112.8 points per game in that span and their defensive efficiency has dropped to 109.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Somehow, the league’s worst defense is getting worse.

Scott, unflappable despite constant chatter that his days as Lakers coach are numbered, has not responded by shaking up Lakers practices or delving into unconventional methods to draw maximum effort from his team on the defensive end.

“I just keep demanding it, to be honest with you,” Scott said.

Much of that has to do with the inexperience of Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. While that trio has soared when given opportunities on the offensive end, they remain unsure of how to progress on defense.

“Our young guys, they’re learning, they’re trying,” Scott said. “But again, they got such bad habits when the ball is not in their man’s hands that they’re not involved in the game.”

Clarkson, the most experienced of the three young stars, said the Lakers have figured out how to play as a team offensively, on “defense we’ve got to flip that switch somehow.”

He said the issue isn’t with Scott’s approach.

“If you all could sit in on our whole practice,” he said, “it’s all defense. … He’s drilling the heck out of us, trying to create new ways so we can figure it out. But it’s on us. We’ve got to figure it out.”

That might be extra true for Clarkson and Russell, who have been specifically called out by Scott in recent days.

“Your defense starts with your guards,” Scott said, “and our guys got to do a better job of keeping people in front of them.”

That’s one area where Scott wants to see if Russell and Clarkson can “coexist,” saying he believes “that relationship is going to be pretty special.”

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject:

Kevin Garnett Still Sore About Losing to LA in the 2010 Finals
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Some wounds never heal, as is the case with Kevin Garnett and losing to the Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals

Let’s be honest, the only real rivalry that actually exists in the NBA is Los Angeles Lakers versus Boston Celtics.

Accounting for a ridiculous 33 of the 69 total NBA Championships, 16 and 17 respectively, despite their current circumstances, these two organizations are men among boys.

That said, just as it is certain that Kobe Bryant‘s two NBA Finals defeats haunt him — Detroit Pistons in 2004 and the Celtics in 2008 — it’s nice to know that he’s also inflicted his fair share of pain on those who’ve attempted to challenge his reign.

Recently, KG’s Minnesota Timberwolves teammate, Gorgui Dieng dropped the ball on the unspoken, “What happens in the locker room, stays in locker room,” mantra revealing that The Big Ticket still “frequently brings up his time with the Celtics, particularly the one season that got away.”

“He always talks about the [2010] Finals they lost,” Dieng said.

“I think he can’t swallow that pill. He always talks about it. You can see how angry he is when he talks about that Finals.”

In 2010, the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers before dropping the final two games in Los Angeles. Dieng said it is clear how that series still grates at Garnett.

“They were great and they were going to win it,” Dieng said, “and he still doesn’t understand why they lost.”


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:18 pm    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 26, 2006
by nba.com

Though this one didn’t end in the Lakers’ favor, it was nonetheless a classic duel between Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce.

Bryant poured in 40 points — one more than Pierce — but the Celtic hit a game-winning free throw to push his team to victory.

The game opened up in Bryant’s advantage, as he scored 26 points in the first half alone. But Pierce countered by tallying 15 in the third quarter.

Though Bryant shot 11-of-23 from the field and 15-of-17 at the foul line, while also collecting eight rebounds and six assists, the final period was unkind to him.

He scored just three points in the fourth, as the Lakers trailed by seven with 3:30 left. Though they used a 10-3 run to tie the game at 111, victory was just out of reach.

Bryant fouled Pierce in the final seconds, and the latter went 1-of-2 at the free throw line, which was all he needed, as Bryant’s buzzer-beater was off the mark.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:51 am    Post subject:

Lakers’ experience change in leadership, offense in loss to Grizzlies
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The sequences seemed so monotonous as the Lakers hosted an open layup line and 3-point shooting contest anytime the Memphis Grizzlies wanted. The anxiety reached fever pitch with scattered boos, an audible expletive a fan yelled near press row and an exasperated Mitch Kupchak overseeing the wreckage.

All of which looked awfully familiar as the Lakers suffered a 122-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center. The Lakers (11-49) lost their eighth straight game and became two defeats away from setting the franchise record once again for consecutive losses (10), something they already set in the 1993-94 season and tied in January.

But there marked two distinguishable differences.

The first change became apparent before the game even started. Kobe Bryant sat out for the first time in 11 games because of increased soreness in his right shoulder, creating what Lakers coach Byron Scott described as “a lack of leadership.”

“Everybody is holding their head down when things aren’t going right,” Scott said. “Most of it is when we’re missing shots.When we miss shots we let that affect us on the other end.”

The second change came to light in the locker room. Scott installed a new offensive scheme during Thursday’s practice, a tactic that became surprising for two reasons. The Lakers had exactly one day to master new concepts. The changes happened with 22 games remaining.

“Coach was demanding we run it. It was tough,” Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell said. “We didn’t run it against a defense. We talked about it and then played with it. I feel like it’s a great offense, but it was thrown at us late.”

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject:

After Game Videos - Grizzlies at Lakers
by lakersnation.com

Without Kobe Bryant, Who Steps Up In Leadership Role? D'Angelo Russell?

Larry Nance Jr: 'I Do Think Leadership Is Something We Lack'

Lakers Losing Frustrations Piling Up For Julius Randle

Kobe Bryant Surprises Young Girl, Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Lakers really need to talk about defense
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

It has been revisited a few times, that one fateful day Byron Scott sat down for his introductory news conference as the coach of the Lakers.

He pledged they would "come ready to defend every single night," and that was probably one he'd like to have back.

The Lakers continued to be sieves on defense, letting another NBA team rip past the 100-point barrier Friday in a 112-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

See the most-read stories in Sports this hour>>

Scott acknowledged some shortcomings as his team entered Friday's game with the NBA's third-worst defense (107.1 points a game).

"I thought we could have been better than we are," he said. "I knew with all the youth that we had it was going to take time. You've also got to be patient and understand what you're dealing with. You're dealing with 19- and 20-year-olds."

More on that, please.

"Young guys are just not real used to talking to each other on the defensive end and that's a habit that we're trying to break," Scott said. "The other thing is they're not used to when their man doesn't have the ball, being a help defender, making sure that their teammate doesn't get embarrassed if they're in the post against a mismatch.

"Sometimes we have a tendency to stand there and watch instead of going and help. They're just not used to it."

The Grizzlies were not known as a high-scoring team, but they scored 128 points Wednesday against the Lakers and had 67 in the first half Friday. This was especially bad for the Lakers because Memphis was without center Marc Gasol, done for the season because of a broken foot.

There was more lamenting from Scott even before Friday's tipoff.

"I thought that our guards would do a little better job of keeping guys in front of them. We haven't done a very good job of that and they know that," he said. "Our back-line defense still has to do a better job of reacting. It's not one thing. It's five or six things."

He thought there would be a better effort Friday than two days earlier against the same team. There wasn't.

"Watching [Wednesday's game] on tape, I think guys even felt more disappointed because they could see it. Tape doesn't lie," he said. "It tells you when you're playing hard and when you're not and our guys, I didn't think, put up much of a fight, especially on the defensive end."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Vince Carter Motivated Kobe Bryant During High School
by Dan Duangdao - lakersnation.com

After Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls in 1998, the NBA was looking for the next face to carry the league. While Vince Carter was among the players that challenged him, Kobe Bryant eventually separated himself from the pack with his individual and team accomplishments.

As Bryant finishes his 20th and final season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Lower Merion High coach Gregg Downer shares how Carter motivated the five-time champion in high school according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

“Of all the things that Kobe could remember, he remembers me poking fun at him and saying that Vince Carter was better than him,” Downer said. “He encapsulates all that stuff in his mind. He wanted to be the best. All these years later, you can’t compare to what Kobe’s done to what Carter’s done.”

When Carter was informed he was a source of motivation for Bryant, he said the following according to Medina:

“It’s pretty cool, especially since I didn’t know that,” Carter told the Los Angeles News Group. “Any information he can get for the good of himself to better him, he’s going to use. It doesn’t surprise me.”

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:02 pm    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 27, 2000
by nba.com

You don’t get to 11 wins in a row without a few superstars. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were willing to fit that bill in leading the Lakers’ 101-85 win over Houston.

Bryant poured in 31 points while shooting a deadly 13-of-18, and O’Neal provided a plethora of everything. The big man finished his night with 24 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks.

The duo immediately let its visitors know they were in for a long night, as they pushed the Lakers to a 30-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Though Houston’s Cuttino Mobley countered with 29 points off the bench, the Lakers’ offense was miles ahead.

Though Los Angeles took four fewer shots, it still made a dozen more than the Rockets, who hit just 35.8 percent of their attempts.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:49 pm    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Lakers’ experience change in leadership, offense in loss to Grizzlies
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The sequences seemed so monotonous as the Lakers hosted an open layup line and 3-point shooting contest anytime the Memphis Grizzlies wanted. The anxiety reached fever pitch with scattered boos, an audible expletive a fan yelled near press row and an exasperated Mitch Kupchak overseeing the wreckage.

All of which looked awfully familiar as the Lakers suffered a 122-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center. The Lakers (11-49) lost their eighth straight game and became two defeats away from setting the franchise record once again for consecutive losses (10), something they already set in the 1993-94 season and tied in January.

But there marked two distinguishable differences.

The first change became apparent before the game even started. Kobe Bryant sat out for the first time in 11 games because of increased soreness in his right shoulder, creating what Lakers coach Byron Scott described as “a lack of leadership.”

“Everybody is holding their head down when things aren’t going right,” Scott said. “Most of it is when we’re missing shots.When we miss shots we let that affect us on the other end.”

The second change came to light in the locker room. Scott installed a new offensive scheme during Thursday’s practice, a tactic that became surprising for two reasons. The Lakers had exactly one day to master new concepts. The changes happened with 22 games remaining.

“Coach was demanding we run it. It was tough,” Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell said. “We didn’t run it against a defense. We talked about it and then played with it. I feel like it’s a great offense, but it was thrown at us late.”

Continued....

Thanks but what a let down. Was hoping "change in leadership" = "Byron fired."
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject:

Unable to rebuild with Chris Paul, the Lakers crumbled
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

"Baketball reasons."

Few other phrases irk Lakers fans like that one.

"Paul Pierce wheelchair" might come close, along with "Deee-troit basss-ket-balll" and, for the slightly older generation, "sweltering Boston Garden."

But the two words uttered by then NBA Commissioner David Stern, through a league spokesman, bother Lakers followers more than any in these free-fallin' days of history-making.

They were the reason supplied for vetoing the Lakers' trade for All-Star point guard Chris Paul in December 2011, the one that sent Lamar Odom into a tailspin, Pau Gasol into continual glance-over-shoulder mode and the franchise into a slow, steady, shocking decline.

How did this happen, the Lakers as league laughingstocks next to the Philadelphia 76ers? First, a quick trip to happier times.

If ever there was a picture suitable for framing, a pose ready-made for bronzing outside Staples Center, it was Kobe Bryant after the Lakers won the 2010 NBA Finals.

He hopped onto the scorer's table amid a purple-and-gold confetti storm, cradled the basketball in his left arm and screamed uncontrollably for several euphoric seconds.

The Lakers had just beaten the hated Boston Celtics in Game 7 at Staples Center, moving within one championship of the 17 already claimed by the Celtics. On a more individual note — and a personal one too, because everything was personal for Bryant back then — he moved within one championship of the six owned by Michael Jordan.

What wasn't to like about the Lakers? They were back-to-back NBA champions with the best coach of all time, Phil Jackson. Bryant was a still-spry 31 years old and Gasol seemingly had plenty of miles to spare on his odometer. Odom was a smooth and versatile sixth man, Metta World Peace a top defender and young Andrew Bynum a shot-blocking, rebounding force when healthy.

Slowly and sadly for one of L.A.'s sports treasures, the corrosion began to appear not long after the trophy was handed out and champagne sprayed on that June night.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:34 am    Post subject:

With offensive adjustment, Byron Scott shows Lakers are ready to move on from Kobe Bryant era
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

Just what was Byron Scott thinking, reversing course and installing a major offensive scheme with just 22 games remaining?
He was looking toward the future.

In the surest sign yet that Scott has moved on from fretting about the outgoing Kobe Bryant and refocused on the Lakers young core, Scott gave his team a crash course in motion offense on Thursday. They had one practice to absorb the strategy, which promotes ball movement over isolation, before putting it to work in Friday’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The new offensive strategy promotes ball movement over the one-on-one that has become such a staple in this 11-49 campaign.

“It’s something that I think will help us in the long run,” Scott said Saturday morning. “I was going to wait until next year to do it, but then I said why wait?”
Scott, who has no guarantee that he will even be back as the Lakers coach next season, stressed he merely instituted a new “offensive set” rather than “a whole new offense” as D’Angelo Russell said a night earlier, after the Lakers lost their eighth straight game, 112-95 to Memphis.

The set is catered to the skill sets of players like Russell and Jordan Clarkson, and seems to mark a phasing out of Bryant that, depending on your perspective, is either premature or long overdue.

“I feel like for players that are very ‘iso’ oriented, I feel like they won’t really play their best in this type of set,” Russell said.
Scott downplayed the significance of the new set, saying, “We got about 30 offensive sets, so I made it 31.”
This, however, seems to be the one the Lakers are rolling with. On Friday, Roy Hibbert said the scheme was similar to what the San Antonio Spurs run, and Scott said about 10 NBA teams consistently run the same system.

“I told them (the players) today we’re going to do it for the rest of the season,” Scott said.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott has players learning a new set
by Abbey Mastracco - dailynews.com

The post-Kobe era has begun. Well, sort of.

Following the Lakers’ 112-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at Staples Center — their eighth loss in a row — it was revealed that coach Byron Scott installed a new offense at Thursday’s practice. On Saturday, Scott said it’s not as drastic as it sounds: It’s a new offensive set, not a system, one of many that they already run.

“I installed a new set,” Scott said. “We’ve got about 30 different sets. Now we have 31.”

But why now, with a lost season and only 22 games remaining? So they get familiar with it now, Scott said, because he plans on using it a lot next season.

“It’s just something that I thought was needed to get the ball moving from side-to-side, to get more guys involved and also have better spacing,” Scott said. “It’s something that I think will help us in the long run. It’s something that I was going to do next season, but why wait now? Let’s do it now, let’s implement it now, it’s something that we’ll continue to do this summer. And the more that we can do it right now, the more comfortable that these guys will get.”

But there’s still a question as to what exactly characterizes this new set. Scott says it helps with lateral ball movement and spacing, yet point guard D’Angelo Russell, tasked with running this set on the floor, said it crowds the floor and prevents one-on-one play from developing. Russell also said it’s forcing players outside of their comfort zone.

“I think it’s a great set,” Russell said. “I like it, I just feel like it’s kind of new. It forces you to make basketball plays and some of us aren’t really good at making basketball plays when it matters. The new one isn’t a replacement for the other one, we’ve still got it, but it forces you to be (moving). You can’t just stand and make those basketball plays because everyone is in position to do one specific thing.”

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:36 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant feels fan pressure to play in every game
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

His left Achilles just tore. That did not stop Kobe Bryant from making a pair of free throws. His left knee just fractured. That did not prevent Bryant from playing an entire second half on one leg.

His rotator cuff in his right shoulder just ripped. That did not inhibit Bryant from shooting left-handed.

The Lakers’ 37-year-old star revealed his toughness in various ways after suffering eventual season-ending injuries in recent years. Yet, one moment became so painful during the 2015-16 campaign that Bryant stayed in bed for almost the whole day. Bryant nursed the stomach flu that left himself so weak that Lakers coach Byron Scott uttered a few words he rarely says.

“There’s no way you should play tonight,” Scott said.

But before the Lakers visited the Detroit Pistons two months ago in his final stop in Auburn Hills, Mich., Bryant protested. He raised a significant variable that has driven him during his 20th and final NBA season, including when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at Staples Center.

“ ‘Coach, I got to play,’ ” Scott recalled Bryant saying. “ ‘People paid their money. I have to play.’ ”

Bryant received his wish.

The Lakers still lost. He shot only 2 of 15 from the field. And he sat out the fourth quarter so he could receive treatment. But had he sat out, Bryant would have felt something far worse than his illness.

“I always feel terrible when I can’t get out there and play. I feel disappointment for the fans when I can’t,” Bryant said. “If I feel like I can try and give it a go, I think the fans deserve that effort from me.”

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:37 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: February 28, 2004
by nba.com

Kobe Bryant may not have been the night’s leading scorer, but he was certainly the most dangerous weapon on the floor.

While Shaquille O’Neal scored 29 points to counter 35 from Washington’s Gilbert Arenas, Bryant stitched together his ninth career triple-double to lead the Lakers to a 122-110 win in D.C.

Bryant finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and it was clear that he was going to be a major threat from the beginning.

He tallied 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter alone, as the Lakers maintained a comfortable lead through most of the contest.

However, that changed when the Wizards trimmed Los Angeles’ lead down to one midway through the fourth quarter.

But L.A. had a furious response, immediately jumping out to a 20-4 run to bury its hosts.

Led by Bryant, the Lakers handed out 37 assists — their most in six years — while also shooting 55.6 percent.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject:

Robert Upshaw Tapping Into Massive Potential
by Brian Rzeppa - ridiculousupside.com

Seen as one of the more intriguing prospects in the D-League headed into the season, Robert Upshaw is starting to put it all together for Los Angeles.

Though this has been the season of Kobe in Los Angeles, Bryant hasn't been the only #24 to excite the Lakers fanbase throughout the year. Robert Upshaw, the 7'0, 250 pound center for the Los Angeles D-Fenders has intrigued fans even before the season kicked off and his recent play has ignited that even further.

After going undrafted this past year, Upshaw was a hot commodity on the undrafted free agent market. His combination of size, defensive talent and a foundation to work from on the offensive side was appealing to many teams around the league, but Los Angeles was lucky enough to be able to grab him.

Despite the hype, he started off this season a bit rocky with the D-Fenders. Shooting less than 36% throughout the eight games of November, Upshaw saw that jump to 44.6% in December and 50% in January. His improvement has continued on throughout the month of February and it seems as if he's really getting acclimated to the quick pace that many teams play at, as well as the overall level of skill in the D-League.

Throughout February, he's been taking the most shots per game that he has in any month (9.7), but he's also scoring more efficiently than ever (55.2% from the field). This increased role in the offense has served as a confidence builder for him and with Justin Harper signing a ten-day contract with the Detroit Pistons, he could wind up taking on even more responsibility.

A player with his size is typically expected to be a classic back-to-the-basket big man, Upshaw has been able to showcase a workable jump shot that could help ease his transition to the next level. During the month of February, he's been hitting 40% of his jumpers and appears to be growing more comfortable with stepping out of the post.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject:

Watch As D’Angelo Russell Hilariously Fakes Out Jordan Clarkson (Video)
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Watch as Lakers’ guard D’Angelo Russell fakes out Jordan Clarkson with the playground move

This past draft, the Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick under the assumption that he, and budding second round star, Jordan Clarkson, would be able to compliment each other in the back court.

Though their playing time together has been limited, largely due in part to Byron Scott‘s silly, bush league, rotations, the tandem have just around 20 games left to show the world what they can do.

One positive sign, based on reports and simply by keeping track of the two players’ social media accounts, is that the back court mates have formed a well documented bromance.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject:

Magic Johnson says Jim Buss needs to bring Kevin Durant to the Lakers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Magic is tweaking Jim Buss again.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their 49th game of the season on Friday night as they careen towards a third consecutive season with a new worst record in franchise history. The team ranks second to last in the league in offensive efficiency and last in defensive efficiency, and things are so bad that head coach Byron Scott recently decided to scrap the entire offense and start from scratch.

Fans of the franchise with the second most championships in league history have grown to expect more, which has led many to criticize Lakers vice president of basketball operations and part owner Jim Buss. Buss' sister, Jeanie Buss, recently reiterated that she would hold her brother to his commitment to build the team into a contender by the summer of 2017 or step down, and she is not the only high profile member of the Lakers' family whose comments are leading to public pressure against her brother.

Legendary Lakers point guard Magic Johnson has also never been afraid to tweak Jim Buss publicly, and his latest volley came in the form of a tweet on Saturday night after watching (or at least looking at the box score of) potentially the best game of the year between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder:

Kevin Durant scored 37pts against the Warriors tonight! I hope the Lakers' Jim Buss was watching, because that's who we need next season.

Magic is certainly right that Kevin Durant would help the Lakers next season, but somehow I don't think Jim Buss was on the fence about that revelation before Durant's performance against the Warriors on Saturday.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject:

Byron Scott Says D’Angelo Russell ‘Getting More Comfortable In His Role’
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

Head coach Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers has taken an unexpected approach with his young players this season. Scott has been reluctant to give rookie D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle a starting role on his team until just recently and has received a fair amount of criticism for waiting this long to do so.

After recently reinserting Russell back into the starting lineup, Scott appears to be content with his decision. Although Russell starting has resulted in the team improving as a whole as of yet, the rookie point guard has shown some individual progress.

Russell clearly appears more comfortable with his new role and recently said he feels that Scott has loosened the leash. Following the team’s practice on Sunday, Scott was asked about Russell’s comments via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Byron on D'Angelo thinking he's playing w/ longer leash: "I don't think I've loosened it up. He’s just getting more comfortable in his role"

Russell will have the opportunity to continue to prove his worth for the rest of his rookie campaign. Scott has made the Ohio State product a starter in the Lakers backcourt for the remainder of the season and will also continue to have Randle starting at power forward as well.

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deal
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:50 pm    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Magic Johnson says Jim Buss needs to bring Kevin Durant to the Lakers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Magic is tweaking Jim Buss again.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their 49th game of the season on Friday night as they careen towards a third consecutive season with a new worst record in franchise history. The team ranks second to last in the league in offensive efficiency and last in defensive efficiency, and things are so bad that head coach Byron Scott recently decided to scrap the entire offense and start from scratch.

Fans of the franchise with the second most championships in league history have grown to expect more, which has led many to criticize Lakers vice president of basketball operations and part owner Jim Buss. Buss' sister, Jeanie Buss, recently reiterated that she would hold her brother to his commitment to build the team into a contender by the summer of 2017 or step down, and she is not the only high profile member of the Lakers' family whose comments are leading to public pressure against her brother.

Legendary Lakers point guard Magic Johnson has also never been afraid to tweak Jim Buss publicly, and his latest volley came in the form of a tweet on Saturday night after watching (or at least looking at the box score of) potentially the best game of the year between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder:

Kevin Durant scored 37pts against the Warriors tonight! I hope the Lakers' Jim Buss was watching, because that's who we need next season.

Magic is certainly right that Kevin Durant would help the Lakers next season, but somehow I don't think Jim Buss was on the fence about that revelation before Durant's performance against the Warriors on Saturday.

Continued....



Yep, then ther are two things Magic; get Kevin and get ride of Scott..
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:12 pm    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Byron Scott Says D’Angelo Russell ‘Getting More Comfortable In His Role’
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

Head coach Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers has taken an unexpected approach with his young players this season. Scott has been reluctant to give rookie D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle a starting role on his team until just recently and has received a fair amount of criticism for waiting this long to do so.

After recently reinserting Russell back into the starting lineup, Scott appears to be content with his decision. Although Russell starting has resulted in the team improving as a whole as of yet, the rookie point guard has shown some individual progress.

Russell clearly appears more comfortable with his new role and recently said he feels that Scott has loosened the leash. Following the team’s practice on Sunday, Scott was asked about Russell’s comments via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Byron on D'Angelo thinking he's playing w/ longer leash: "I don't think I've loosened it up. He’s just getting more comfortable in his role"

Russell will have the opportunity to continue to prove his worth for the rest of his rookie campaign. Scott has made the Ohio State product a starter in the Lakers backcourt for the remainder of the season and will also continue to have Randle starting at power forward as well.

Continued....


How do we get a free agent as big as Durant when Magic continues to bash the front office in the public? Magic talks as if pursuing big names is something foreign to the Lakers
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