News 'n Views - Mar 2016: D'Angelo Russell affair just the latest sign the Lakers are losing their identity
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject:

Ziggy wrote:
I wonder if Mitch asked Kobe to watch these prospects to get his opinion or if he's just doing it on his own out of curiosity.


Kobe said Evan turner was the best player from his draft if I remember correctly. I doubt Kobe has any opinion other than maybe bringing him for 1v1 workouts after he retires.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject:

Julius Randle Makes History, Youngest Lakers Since Magic to Post Triple-Double

Lakers forward Julius Randle made history with his triple-double in the loss to Denver

Things were strange for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night as they took the floor at STAPLES Center against the Denver Nuggets. Not only is the atmosphere strange every time out as the end of Kobe Bryant’s career rapidly approaches, but there were numerous things that happened that made things even stranger as the night went on. Even still, second-year forward Julius Randle made history in the process.

On a night where rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell suffered a nasty sprained ankle in the first half and where the Nuggets essentially ran over the Lakers as a whole for most of the night, Randle served as the brightest star in LA. The second-year forward/pseudo-rookie put up 13 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists on the night, good for the first triple-double of his career.

If posting his first triple-double of his young career wasn’t good enough for the 21-year-old, he also made a bit of Lakers history with his stat-line as well. At 21 years old, Randle became the youngest Lakers player to post a triple-double since some guy named Magic Johnson did so back before he led the way to a few titles and historic seasons in Los Angeles:

21-year-old Julius Randle is the youngest Laker to record a triple-double since Magic Johnson.

Anytime that you’re joining Magic Johnson for a place in Lakers history, you might be doing something right.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: March 27, 2011
by nba.com

In a preview of that year’s Western Conference first round, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers treated New Orleans to look at what was to come.

Bryant scored 30 points to lead Los Angeles’ 102-84 victory over the team that it would defeat in six games a month later.

Bryant scored 19 in the first half alone, pushing the Lakers out to a 57-41 advantage at intermission.

Though the Hornets cut their deficit to 78-72 early in the fourth quarter, L.A. responded with a 12-4 run to pull away for good, sealing the sweep over New Orleans.

In addition to Bryant’s big night, Pau Gasol went off for 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, as the Lakers won for the seventh straight time.

With leading scorer David West out for the season, New Orleans shot just 40.2 percent from the field, relying on Carl Landry’s 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in games played for the purple and gold with 1,094.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:47 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant isn't sure if the Lakers' next franchise player is on their roster yet
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The retiring face of the franchise doesn't want to just give that title away.

As the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers changed in relative peace following the team's 101-88 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday night, the scrum of reporters around Kobe Bryant's empty locker grew bigger and bigger. The gravitational pull Bryant's presence was large enough that it was sucking in more and more media before he even showed up, allowing the rest of the team to escape the locker room without having to chat with more than a handful or members of the press, if any at all.

The scene was a perfect example of how despite his declining game, Bryant is still the biggest star in the solar system as far as the Lakers and the media that covers them are concerned. With only nine games left in his legendary career as of Sunday night, however, the team is on the hunt for his successor. Does Bryant think that anyone on the Lakers has earned that role yet?

"No."

Not 2014 lottery pick Julius Randle? Or second-round steal and sophomore stud Jordan Clarkson? What about the Lakers' second overall pick from a year ago, D'Angelo Russell?

"If you have to ask that question, the answer is already there," proclaimed Kobe.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:48 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant: 'Torches' earned, never passed
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

Kobe Bryant wanted to make something quite clear when asked Sunday night about the "torch being passed" from Michael Jordan.

"He didn't pass the torch," the Los Angeles Lakers icon said of his idol Sunday following the Lakers' 101-88 loss to the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. "Torches never get passed. You've got to earn that."

Bryant said he does not believe anyone on the Lakers' roster has earned the right to carry a torch that Bryant would relinquish after he retires this summer, ending his 20-season career.

"No," Bryant said. "If you have to ask that question, the answer is already there. Those are things you don't have to ask. Those things just happen."

The Lakers are filled with several young players who have had up-and-down seasons while trying to establish themselves amid a 15-58 season, not to mention Bryant's farewell tour, which has overshadowed the Lakers' woes.

Bryant, a five-time champion and the third all-time leading scorer in NBA history, was asked about the internal motivations required for NBA greatness.

"It's tough, because everybody is different," Bryant said. "Everybody is different. It manifests itself in different ways. I think at the core of us all, though, it's that kind of competitive drive and the obsession about the game."

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:51 am    Post subject:

After Game Videos - Mar. 27, 2016
by lakersnation.com

Lakers Lose To Wizards, D'Angelo Russell Trying To Gain Credibility

Kobe Bryant: 'I'm Still An A**hole'

Kobe Bryant On Oklahoma State's Buddy Hield
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant gives his last locker-front interview
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

As Kobe Bryant's career nears its end, there will be a number of instances when the Los Angeles Lakers star experiences something one last time.

One such instances occurred Sunday after the Lakers' 101-88 loss to the Washington Wizards at Staples Center, when Bryant conducted what Lakers spokesman John Black said would be the final interview in front of Bryant's locker.

In his remaining nine games, Bryant, who is retiring this summer after a 20-season NBA career, is expected to conduct all his postgame media sessions in a news conference setting.

Of course, it's not as though Bryant's last postgame interview in front of his locker was a momentous occasion. It passed without any sort of fanfare.

Still, it marked an end of sorts.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:46 am    Post subject:

Previewing the NBA Draft Lottery
by Ben Stram - todaysfastbreak.com

The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered in recent years, with three straight losing seasons and the losses mounting every season.

Since the NBA instituted an 82-game schedule, the Lakers have never been eliminated from playoff contention as early as this year. It’s been a tough three-year run for Los Angeles, but the future is bright with young talent throughout the roster and Kobe Bryant set for retirement.

It’s possible other changes to the roster could be made as well, with the uncertainty behind coach Byron Scott and other potential free agency acquisitions this offseason looming, the Lakers could be an entirely new team next season. How will the upcoming draft help shape their future? What are the needs for this team to take another step building a young, talented nucleus ready to compete for championships? Here’s a look at the Lakers’ draft picks this summer:

First round:
Top-three protected, 76ers get pick if outside.

Second round:
Own pick

DRAFT NEEDS: Two-way SG/SF, Center

The Lakers future will be in limbo on Tuesday, May 19th as the 2016 NBA Draft lottery decides the selection order of the draft. Los Angeles is in good standing to keep their top-three protected first round pick, owning the league’s second-worst record by a decent margin over the Phoenix Suns, which will give them a 19.9 percent chance to win the lottery.

If things go the Lakers’ way, they will be set for the foreseeable future with a young core capable of building around. Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell provide a variety of skills as a young backcourt, and power forward Julius Randle has proved to be a force during his first full season in the NBA. The Lakers only have about 23.1 million on next year’s payroll, and with the cap boom coming this summer, should have a number of options during free agency.

But the draft lottery is where their future hangs in the balance, and if they end up with a top three pick, combo forward Ben Simmons and swingman Brandon Ingram will the on their very-short list of potential draftees. Honestly, Ingram might be the perfect fit with their current roster — a 6-9 swingman with endless length and a pure jump shot. Ingram’s slight frame is a cause for concerns from scouts, but the fact that he’s over a year younger than Simmons should help his cause for potential growth.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject:

Buddy Hield Should Be The Next Draft Pick For The Los Angeles Lakers
by Keith Rivas - lasportshub.com

Buddy Hield has shown that he can live up to the hype — that’s something Los Angeles cannot afford to ignore.

The Oklahoma Sooners are headed to this year’s Final Four thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Buddy Hield.

Hield has found a way to put the Sooners on his back, including his most recent performance against Oregon where he dropped 37 of the team’s 80 points.

Oklahoma’s dream season has only echoed through March Madness, and their big wins against Texas A&M and Oregon in their last two outings speak for themselves.

They handled CSU Bakersfield easily in the first round before fighting off a high-powered and up-tempo team like VCU in the Round of 32.

Texas A&M came into their match up in the Sweet 16 with about as much momentum as a team can carry, with the reason being their double-digit comeback against UNI with just over 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

Buddy Hield had no sympathy for them, and he shouldn’t have.

Hield’s weakest game was against the Aggies, scoring just 17 points but making up for it with ten rebounds.

Aside from the 37 points dropped on Oregon, Hield also scored 36 in Oklahoma’s 85-81 escape from VCU — all the evidence you need that he is a scoring machine.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant ‘Blown Away’ By Buddy Hield’s Performance Vs. Oregon
by Dan Duangdao - lakersnation.com

After never attending March Madness, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has attended two games this past week to watch Duke’s Brandon Ingram and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield.

In the Elite 8 against Oregon at the Honda Center, Hield exploded for 37 points and converted on eight of his 13 three-point attempts. After the 80-68 win, the senior told fans to ‘blame it on Kobe’ for his performance as he knew the five-time champion was watching him from the stands.

Following the game, Bryant was ‘blown away’ by Hield’s performance according to Jason King of Bleacher Report:

“Blown away,” Bryant told Bleacher Report. “Blown away.”

In addition, Bryant shared he loves the senior’s intangibles, via King:

“I just love his motor,” Bryant told B/R. “I love his passion and his energy. He puts everything he has into the game. Lots of guys go hard out there, but with him, it’s a on a different level. You can see it on his face. He truly loves every minute that he’s out there.”

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: March 28, 2003
by nba.com

In his final game against his childhood hero, Kobe Bryant gave Michael Jordan a retirement gift for the ages.

The superstar Laker erupted for 55 points, leading his team to a 108-94 victory over Washington.

“That was an incredible demonstration,” head coach Phil Jackson told the media. “It came to a point where there was that curiosity factor: Was he going to hit 80? I’m sure it went through his head.”

The Wizards took a quick 22-15 lead in the opening frame, but Bryant elevated to a new level from there.

He scored all of the Lakers’ next 23 points while hitting nine shots in a row.

“He was hot,” Jordan said. “We tried to keep him on the perimeter. We went out on him and he was still hot.”

By the end of the first half, Bryant had racked up 43 points with eight 3-pointers.

From there, Shaquille O’Neal took over, scoring 21 of his 26 points in the second half. He also hauled in 13 rebounds.

Bryant ended the night 15-of-29 from the field, including 9-of-13 on triples. He also hit 16-of-18 free throws, while managing to pick up five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

It initially looked like it would be Jordan’s night, as the six-time champion hit his first four shots. Though he led the Wizards with 23 points, it was clearly Bryant in charge.

“Normally, I would try to control the offense,” Bryant said. “But this morning Phil gave me the green light offensively for tonight.”

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:37 am    Post subject:

This is what Byron Scott had to say after the Lakers' worst loss of the season
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

It was (shockingly) not glowing praise.

The Los Angeles Laker lost to the Utah Jazz 123-75 on Monday night in a game where they were never really close after the opening buzzer. The 48-point margin of defeat was tied for the worst loss in the history of the franchise, tying the team's loss to the Clippers on March 6th, 2014, according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.

All things considered, the game was a pretty crappy birthday gift for Lakers head coach Byron Scott, who turned 55 on Monday. According to Basketball Reference, the loss broke Scott's tie with Kevin Loughery for most games under .500 by an NBA head coach, meaning Scott now stands alone at the bottom of the head coaching record books.

A night after admitting he might sound like a broken record, Scott proceeded to play his "greatest hits" once again. His newest and most inauspicious record did not stop the head coach from questioning everything about his team, from their effort to if they have what it takes to call themselves Lakers:

Byron: "I hope they do a little soul searching & think about what happened. Sometimes it just comes down to having some pride.” (on TWCSN)

The problem with these criticisms is that in addition to the inauspicious records above (and barring an unforeseen win streak), Scott will have now sat at the helm of a Lakers team setting a new low for worst record in franchise history for the second consecutive year.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:40 am    Post subject:

Magic Johnson says Lakers are having worst season ever, is not wrong
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Magic will next investigate the color of the sky.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost for the 59th time in 74 games on Monday night, falling to the Utah Jazz 123-75. The 48 point margin of defeat was tied for their largest margin of defeat in franchise history. It was not a great night for the purple and gold.

The season hasn't been much better. As has been noted over-and-over on this blog and elsewhere, the Lakers rank last in the league in defensive efficiency, giving up 109.6 points per 100 possessions. The team is almost as bad offensively, their 99 points per 100 possessions ranking second to last in the league for the year.

Legendary former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson has taken notice of his former outfit's struggles. Johnson, always a master of pointing out the obvious on Twitter, has apparently run the numbers and came away with a simple conclusion: that this is the worst season in the Lakers' long history:

I thought last season was bad because it was the worst in Lakers history. It looks like this season will be the worst in Lakers history.

Johnson isn't wrong. If the Lakers don't win six of their last eight games, they will finish with the worst win-loss record in franchise history for a third consecutive season. Despite this futility, Magic was able to come up with one positive for Lakers fans:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject:

Lakers face of the franchise, Kobe Bryant, is leaving leaving fate of the franchise up in the air
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

When Kobe Bryant retires, the Lakers obviously need a new franchise player.

Is the next Bryant already on their roster? Byron Scott doesn't think so.

“When you look at our young corps, I don't look at none of those guys as being that next Kobe,” the Lakers coach said Monday before the Lakers got crushed by the Utah Jazz, 123-75. “I think they could be a piece of it, a part of it, but not to get to that level he's gotten to.

“If there is one that can do that, it's going to take a whole hell of a lot of work to get there, a lot of dedication to be able to get to that pinnacle as far as basketball is concerned.”

Bryant is the third-leading scorer in NBA history. He has won five NBA championships. There are few, if any Kobe Bryants on any NBA roster, period.

But Scott's point was loud and clear: D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have a ton of ground to cover if they want to be considered one of the best to ever play the game.

“All three of those guys have talent, no doubt about it,” Scott said. “All three of those guys are athletic. They all can do some things with that basketball, but they've got to spend a whole lot of time this summer on that end of the floor [and] a whole lot of time in the film room and on the court on the defensive end of the floor.”

That's a long list.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject:

TDIKH: March 29, 2002
by nba.com

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal matched each other beat-for-beat, as each poured in 34 points in the Lakers’ 91-79 win over Portland.

Bryant caught fire early for 17 points in the first, then O’Neal provided 11 in the second. Bryant heated back up for 14 in the third, while O’Neal closed out with a dozen fourth-quarter points.

While the remaining Lakers combined for 23 points, Bryant also added seven rebounds and six assists with zero turnovers. O’Neal shot 13-of-19 with 14 rebounds.

The Trail Blazers brought the Lakers’ lead down to 73-71 early in the final period, but Los Angeles responded with a 12-2 run.

Portland shot just 32.6 percent from the field (30-of-92), while tallying only 10 assists.

Led by O’Neal, the purple and gold outscored their guests in the fourth, 20-11.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:11 pm    Post subject:

NBA players turn into fans in hunt for Kobe's autographed shoes
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood torched the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, scoring 30 points -- all in the first half -- as his team rolled to a 48-point win.

But when the lopsided beatdown ended, Hood joined dozens of others, including the governor of Utah, outside the Lakers' locker room at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

They were all waiting on Kobe Bryant.

Holding a pair of sneakers, Hood patiently waited while Bryant made the rounds, meeting with numerous friends, friends of friends, family members of those friends and numerous others, such as retired Jazz star Andrei Kirilenko.

Finally, after Bryant posed for countless pictures, signed endless autographs and shook more hands than a politician, it was Hood's turn to have a moment with the Lakers icon who's retiring this summer after 20 seasons in the NBA.

"Ooooooh boy!" Bryant shouted at Hood. "Cooking with gasoline tonight!"

The two embraced, and Bryant took out a marker and signed the sneakers Hood held, carrying on a popular postgame tradition at both home and road games during Bryant's farewell tour, where as soon as the fourth-quarter buzzer sounds, opposing players transform from professional athletes into giddy, autograph-seeking fans.

These players' ultimate goal? Coming away with sneakers signed by Bryant -- either a fresh pair, the ones he wore that night, or whatever's available.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:33 pm    Post subject:

Does Roy Hibbert Have A Future With Lakers?
by Trevor Lane - lakersnation.com

Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers entered free agency in search of a post player. Key bigs Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, and Carlos Boozer were all unlikely to return and the team had just passed on center Jahlil Okafor in the draft.

They pitched LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, and Greg Monroe, but couldn’t get any of them to take their money. The Lakers then dueled with the New York Knicks over Robin Lopez, but ultimately lost out. Finally, just when it appeared that the Lakers would be left high and dry, GM Mitch Kupchak swung a trade with the Indiana Pacers to land former All-Star, Roy Hibbert.

Lakers fans, who were in a panic over the team’s lack of a center, could finally exhale.

Hibbert appeared to be a solid fit for Los Angeles. He had worn out his welcome with the Pacers, but was still considered one of the top rim protectors in the league. On a Lakers team with plenty of scoring but few lockdown defenders, a center with Roy’s skill set was a must.

In an ideal world, the 7’2” Hibbert would focus almost entirely on the defensive end of the court, using his length to deter attackers who had slipped past an aging Kobe Bryant and the very green trio of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell.

Expectations heading into the season were high. After all, Hibbert was the backbone of a Pacers team that was considered to have the best chance at preventing LeBron James from super-friending his way into the Finals. Hibbert had nearly single-handedly created the verticality revolution, allowing centers to remain somewhat relevant in spite of rule changes catering towards guards.

Hibbert’s expiring deal also pays him nearly $16 million, which means that top-notch production was needed in order for him to live up to his paycheck.

Unfortunately, Hibbert’s lone season in Los Angeles has proven that the Pacers were correct in their conclusion that the new, pace-and-space NBA had lessened the impact of slow, plodding players.

Quite simply, the league had passed him by in just a few short years.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:34 pm    Post subject:

Lakers hope Larry Nance Jr. is answer at small forward
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

The instinct immediately kicks in for Larry Nance Jr. to run to a comfortable place.

There, he has thrown down multiple jaw-dropping dunks. He has made endless energy plays. He has forged a dependable role on the Lakers’ roster.

“My tendency when I don’t have the ball is to go to the rim,” Nance said. “That’s where I’m supposed to be.”

Not anymore.

The Lakers (15-59) enter Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat (43-30) at Staples Center with Nance in a new role where he has to move to a different place on the court. Instead of Nance offering energy as a bruising power forward, the Lakers hope Nance can become a perimeter threat at small forward.

“I have to stretch the floor and create spacing for guys,” said Nance, whom the Lakers selected 27th overall from the University of Wyoming in June’s NBA Draft. “It’s fighting little tendencies that I have for playing big.”

Lakers coach Byron Scott admitted he expects Nance “to struggle” with mentally changing how he approaches the game.

Nance had never played the position. He also has attempted only nine 3-pointers all season and has made only one.

“Defensively, I’m not worried about transitioning because that’s a challenge that I want,” Nance said. “Offensively is where it’s going to be a little bit of a struggle. Clearly, offensively I’m not yet groomed to be there.”

Yet, the Lakers have forged on this position change with as much force as one of Nance’s gravity-defying leaps for a few simple reasons.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:47 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott keeps sabotaging Lakers youth
byTaylor Smith - todaysfastbreak.com

The Los Angeles Lakers’ humiliating 123-75 loss Monday night in Utah marked a new low in a season full of them. The Jazz classily honored Kobe Bryant ahead of his final game in Salt Lake City and then proceeded to smoke the lowly Lakers in incredible fashion.

A Jordan Clarkson bucket got the scoring started, but the Jazz then went on to score 17 consecutive points, essentially icing the game less than halfway through the first quarter. Rodney Hood canned eight three-pointers and scored a game-high 30 points—all in the first half.

You just knew that Byron Scott would have a plenty to say following what was tied for the worst loss in franchise history, and he didn’t disappoint. Courtesy of ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, here are a few of his thoughts on the 48-point demolition:

Every game that you play in, there’s something to play for – and pride might be the biggest thing. You’ve got to show this organization that you deserve to be here, that you understand what wearing that purple and gold is all about. I don’t think a lot of guys in that locker room understand that right now.

Scott feels as though his players didn’t compete in this game, and that’s not where he’s wrong. Sure the Lakers are horrendous this season (15-59 qualifies as horrendous), but they’re not so devoid of talent that they should be losing to any team by 48. The players just didn’t come into the game ready to play.

Plenty of the blame lies with the players, but it also reflects incredibly poorly on the coach. One of the head coach’s responsibilities is to put his players in positions to succeed and make sure everyone is ready to play. All season long, though, Scott has repeatedly tried to skirt any blame whatsoever for the Lakers’ shortcomings, instead opting to deride (for the most part) the young players. For some reason, he was even doing this BEFORE last night’s embarrassment of a game (via Mark Medina):

Byron reiterated Kobe’s belief that no one on the Lakers team currently has what it takes to lead the franchise.

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 28, 2016

Byron on if he believes the Lakers’ next franchise player will more likely be free agent than young player. Byron: “That would be nice.”

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 28, 2016

Byron on young core: “I don’t look at any of those guys as being our next Kobe anyway. They can be a piece of it.”

— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 29, 2016


Byron was asked whether he thinks any of the players on the current roster has the potential to become the centerpiece of the franchise, and he said no. There’s certainly nothing wrong with him thinking that, but what good is he doing by saying so publicly? Both D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have repeatedly dealt with confidence issues all season long, and dopey quotes like these from their own coach are largely culpable.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:48 am    Post subject:

Byron Scott Continues To Use Handcuffs
by Damon Taylor - lasportshub.com

Byron Scott continued placing the blame of poor team performance on the young players — enough is enough.

At this point, with eight games left in the 2015-16 NBA season, Byron Scott is continuing to handcuff the young players and it upsets me.

Honestly, I like that Scott has inserted D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle back into the starting lineup, but what baffles me is that these guys aren’t playing enough minutes.

They play about 30 minutes per game, and experience in the best teacher for a team 44 games under .500.

Scott still insists on playing Marcelo Huertas at least 15 minutes per game and that takes away time for Russell.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Huertas, but he deserves to be on a team that’s in playoff contention –same thing goes for Brandon Bass.

Those guys are indirectly hurting the progression due to Scott’s incompetence.

Lets be honest here, Scott isn’t a good coach when it comes to developing talent, but he might do a decent job with veteran-established teams.

Sorry to say, but coach Scott isn’t the right coach for this team going forward.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:50 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant will try to treat last game like any other one
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The moment will attract a passionate crowd and media contingent usually reserved for Lakers playoff games. Every play could become emotional. Every second that passes will only spark reminders of the finality of it all.

Yet, Kobe Bryant insisted he will not step on the floor for his final game against the Utah Jazz on April 13 at Staples Center seeing his basketball life flash before his very eyes.

“I’ll embrace it and take it just like I’ve taken every single game I’ve played in,” Bryant said on Tuesday at an American Express event moderated by NBA Inside Stuff host Kristen Ledlow at the Conga Room in L.A. Live. “That’s the real beauty, not try to make it more than what it is because it’s the last game. It’s appreciating the last game and approaching it and playing it just like I’ve played all the other ones. As I sit here now, that’s how I’ll be emotionally.”


When Bryant sits on the bench before starting lineup introductions, will he feel the same way?

It seems hard to say. Bryant repeated he has kept “waiting for that moment where it hits me.” Despite waxing nostalgia and sharing emotional exchanges with opponents during his last games at opposing arenas, Bryant insisted it has not fully registered with him the end of his 20-year NBA career has inched closer and closer.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: March 30, 2013
by nba.com

Ironically enough, one of Kobe Bryant’s worst shooting performances of the season provided the backdrop for one of his greatest career accomplishments.

The 34-year-old passed Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, while helping the Lakers to a 103-98 win in Sacramento.

“What a journey,” Bryant told the media. “It’s been a very, very long journey. I’m certainly extremely appreciative of all the support of the Laker faithful.”

Bothered by a sore foot, Bryant shot just 5-of-18 from the field. However, he did reach 19 points by going 9-of-11 on free throws, while pitching out a season-high 14 assists and missing a triple-double by just one rebound.

Bryant played all but 23 seconds, but was held scoreless in the first, as Los Angeles dropped to a 37-25 deficit.

The Lakers eventually worked their way back and, led by Bryant, closed the third quarter on a 14-1 run to take a seven-point lead into the final frame.

When Sacramento brought this lead back down to 100-98 with a minute left, Bryant closed the door by going 3-of-4 at the foul line, while the Kings couldn’t add another point.

Bryant helped the Lakers hold themselves to a season-low seven turnovers.

He was aided by huge nights from his big men, as Dwight Howard racked up 24 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, while Pau Gasol added 12 points and 10 assists.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:53 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant's all-around game makes him the greatest of all Lakers
by Steve Fryer - ocregister.com

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here:

• As Kobe Bryant falls away into the sunset, people are trying to figure out where he ranks among the NBA’s greatest players. First, though … where does he rank among the Lakers’ greatest players?

• Bryant is the greatest player in Lakers history. You want an explanation, so here it is …

• He has many of the franchise’s records like most points, games played and field goals made. Those numbers support the assertion. Beyond the numbers, what makes Bryant the best Lakers player is his incomparable combination of offensive and defensive prowess.

• Let’s put him up against the other two best guards in Lakers history, Magic Johnson and Jerry West. Defensively, Bryant would have made it very difficult for West to get off his pull-up jump shot or execute the dribble drive (people forget that West was very good at the latter). Offensively, Bryant was too physically skilled and too versatile for West defensively to handle him.

• Magic could have muscled up with Bryant fairly well. Offensively, Bryant’s first-step quickness coupled with his killer fallaway jumper would have perplexed Magic. Defensively, Bryant is one of the smarter players who would have successfully anticipated Magic’s offensive creativity.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:54 am    Post subject:

LeBron James, Jamal Crawford and fans: Everyone wants one last piece of Kobe Bryant
by Dan Woike - ocregister.com

Metta World Peace has known Kobe Bryant for a long time, and when Bryant walks away from the NBA following the 2015-16 season, he’ll have a library of memories.

But he needed something more tangible.

On Nov. 30, World Peace sat at his locker in the corner of the Lakers’ locker room, reading Bryant’s retirement letter. As his eyes worked their way down the page, he sounded like someone attending a revival.

“Ah.” “Oh.” “Yes he did.” “Yes sir.”

The entire time, he nodded his head in agreement, while plotting his next move.

World Peace got up from his chair and went to find Bryant in the back.

Minutes later he emerged, proudly showing off Bryant’s signature on the letter.

And with that, the race to get one last piece of Bryant before he goes away began.

With Bryant calling it quits after 20 years in the NBA, a side economy of profit and pride has emerged with players and fans making the most of their last chances with Bryant.

The types of players who get bestowed merchandise tend to fall in one of three categories. Either it’s one of the guys Bryant is “handing the league over to,” someone he battled alongside or with for years or one of the league’s young talents.

Bryant’s estimated that he’s signed around 30 pairs of sneakers this season.

“Generally, guys that got the cojones to ask, I give it to them,” Bryant said. “I got plenty of them back there so I’m not going to run out. It's all good.”

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:55 am    Post subject:

Watch D’Angelo Russell’s Rookie Season Highlight Reel (Video)
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Watch a compilation of Lakers’ rookie, D’Angelo Russell’s, best highlights from the 2015-2016 season

The 2015-2016 NBA campaign is quickly coming to a close and for NBA fans everywhere that signals a few things: the playoffs, the draft, and end of the season highlight videos.

This time around YouTube user, The Basketball Society, came in strong doing the lord’s work, compiling a nearly eight minute video of D’Angelo Russell‘s rookie highlights.

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