News 'n Views - Apr 2016: Luke Walton gives Lakers fans someone to believe in
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.    LakersGround.net Forum Index -> Lakers In the News This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak plans to have “informal meetings” with Byron Scott
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

It usually seems like a foregone conclusion the Lakers make changes anytime their season does not end in a championship parade. Therefore, it seems inevitable a shakeup will happen after the Lakers finished the 2015-16 campaign with a franchise-worst 17-65 record.

Yet, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak argued that coach Byron Scott “has done an excellent job under the circumstances that he’s had to deal with the last two years.” As Scott finished with a combined 38-126 through two years, the Lakers became mindful of a few things.

After playing only 35 games in the 2014-15 season because of season-ending right shoulder surgery, Kobe Bryant’s presence in his 20th and final season brought challenges with both his health and the hoopla surround his farewell tour. The Lakers also fielded a roster this season filled with talented albeit inexperienced players in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown.

Scott and Kupchak spent most of Thursday completing exit meetings with players on Thursday. Kupchak shared he also spoke with Scott on Friday for about 45 minutes. But Kupchak did not articulate Scott’s job status other than saying he’s “under contract” entering the third season of a four-year deal worth $17 million. Kupchak added he plans to meet with Scott and Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss in “an informal lunch at some point in the next week or two.”

“Anything is possible,” Kupchak said. “All I anticipate is some informal meetings and moving on from there.”

Scott previously expressed optimism he would coach in the 2016-17 season and that he did not sense any need to feel concerned about his job status. Scott also believed “we’re all still on the same page.”

And yet..

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject:

Lakers’ young core say they are accepting high expectations from Kobe Bryant, Byron Scott
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

Once the buzzer sounded, Kobe Bryant hugged D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson at center court with the same emotion as if he had just won another NBA championship. In the locker room, Bryant’s teammates soon showered him with a champagne bath suggesting the same thing.

Eventually, the euphoria died surrounding Bryant’s 60-point performance in his final game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday at Staples Center. Then, Bryant offered one parting message after drilling countless other ones both on the court and in the locker room.

“The most important thing during this offseason is for them to work together. It’s easy sometimes for them to break apart,” Bryant said before offering perspective on his 20-year NBA career. “ ‘It will go by fast. If you don’t give it your all, you will regret it. You’re absolutely going to regret it. Don’t be that guy. Get yourself in the gym. Work as hard as you possibly can.’ And hopefully they got the message.”

A day later, it sounded as if they heard it.

Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown plan to play in Summer League for the second consecutive year. Clarkson only expressed uncertainty because of his uncertain offseason as a restricted free agent. Randle remained noncommittal simply because he wanted to unwind.

“With this organization, I feel like failure is not an option,” Russell said. “You can be replaced just like that”

Just as the Lakers want to establish continuity with their young core, looming changes might arise. The Lakers could receive a top-three pick in the NBA draft lottery next month. The Lakers will have about $55 million to spend on free agents this offseason when accounting for expiring contracts to Bryant ($25 million) and Roy Hibbert ($15.5 million).

And the Lakers (17-65) will have to reach clarity on coach Byron Scott, who enters the third year of a $17 million contract overseeing the worst record in franchise history for two consecutive years.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:02 pm    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak struggled to erase Kobe Bryant's name from roster board
by Ananth Pandian - cbssports.com

Kobe Bryant has been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers since 1996. Bryant, who retired after 20 years with the Lakers, is the only player in NBA history to play that long for just one franchise.

Bryant went out with a bang, scoring 60 points on 50 shots while leading the Lakers to victory. Kobe created his own ending for his storybook career, going out on his terms. That performance essentially wrapped up Bryant's mark on the game, a legacy that has influenced countless players including ones that are currently playing in the league.

Bryant's mark on the Lakers is also everlasting as GM Mitch Kupchak found out when he tried to take Kobe off the white board he uses to map out the team's roster.

From Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News:

There is a white board inside the office of Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, on which the Lakers' current roster is written in custom marker. In the natural course of sports business, players come and players go. And when they leave the Lakers, Kupchak takes out an eraser and wipes their names away.

For the last 20 years, the one constant on Kupchak's board was Kobe Bryant. He was the foundation piece the Lakers constructed two separate championship eras around that yielded five championships, and a lighthouse that helped navigate them out of danger.

...

Kupchak found himself staring at that white board on Friday before meeting with reporters. As he did his eyes eventually locked in on Kobe Bryant. As he sat there looking at it, it dawned on Kupchak what needed to be done. After all, the Lakers season had been over for two days now, and as hard as it was to contemplate, so too was the illustrious career of one of the greatest Lakers of them all.

Welp, Kupchak thought to himself, now is as good a time as any.

So he whipped out his eraser, placed it to one side of the name Kobe Bryant just as he'd done so many others over the years, and swiped in the opposite direction.

“When I lifted the eraser, the name was still there,” Kupchak said, shaking his head.


Kupchak eventually used some cleanser and a rag, but he was finally able to completely erase Kobe Bryant from the board.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject:

Top 2016 Offseason Priorities for the Los Angeles Lakers
by David Murphy - bleacherreport.com

The Los Angeles Lakers closed out a miserable season on a high note as Kobe Bryant capped his extraordinary career with a 60-point night. Not only was his performance against the Utah Jazz remarkable, but the Lakers also defeated the Western Conference foe 101-96, which brought their final record to 17-65.

It was a historic night in the team’s historically bad season.

And now it’s time to look ahead to L.A.’s top offseason priorities.

There will be a top-three draft pick to choose, should the Lakers survive the bouncing lottery balls. The team also has boatloads of cash to spend in free agency.

And then there’s the question of what to do about Byron Scott, a stubborn old-school head coach whose 38-126 record during his two-year tenure doesn’t serve as any kind of guiding light for a better tomorrow.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak says video scandal involving D'Angelo Russell won't hurt Lakers in free agency
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

Los Angles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said he doesn't believe a video scandal involving D'Angelo Russell will hurt the team in free agency, quelling concerns about trust issues other players around the league might have with Russell after the rookie point guard secretly recorded teammate Nick Young discussing women other than his fiancé.

In Kupchak’s first comments about the incident since ESPN first reported in late March that Lakers players were isolating Russell after the video first surfaced on social media, Kupchak, speaking Friday at exit interviews at the Lakers’ practice facility, said, “Every day that goes by, it becomes less and less of a story.

“Both players did the right thing in terms of addressing it and, when necessary, making amends or making an apology acknowledging a mistake.

“We’ve dealt with players in this organization, on this team, that have made mistakes over the years, and we’ve gotten through it and had great teams and won championships,” Kupchak said.

The video shows Russell recording a private conversation with Young in which Russell asks Young leading questions about being with women other than his fiancé, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea.

While it’s unclear how the video became public, sources told ESPN that some teammates’ trust in Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, began eroding after it did, resulting in noticeable tension in the locker room.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject:

NBA salary cap expected to jump from $70 million to $92 million this summer, per report
by Jesus Gomez - sbnation.com

Teams will have even more money to spend in free agency than anticipated

The NBA salary cap for the 2016-17 season is projected by the league to be set at $92 million, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. Earlier projections had it going from $70 million in 2015-16 to $90 million for the next season, but now that number is expected to be even higher.

The reason for the projected jump is the new television deal the league signed, which is worth $24 billion in total. Since the cap is tied to the basketball-generated income the league produces, the new infusion of money was expected to cause a serious rise in the cap. It appears it could be bigger than previously anticipated. We won't know for sure until the league completes its audit just before free agency at the beginning of July.

A higher cap will mean teams will have more money to spend in free agency next offseason. Franchises that already had planned to have room to offer big contracts, like the Lakers and Knicks, will now have a little more wiggle room. Maximum contracts are tied to the cap, so they will rise as well. That will make players under deals signed before the jump huge bargains, while young players on rookie contracts will be even more valuable.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:44 am    Post subject:

Luke Walton not interested in Knicks job; Lakers in play?
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

As of right now, the Los Angeles Lakers have a head coach under contract in Byron Scott. But after two seasons that have seen the Lakers set a franchise worst record in each of them, it is safe to say that he is on the hot seat.

Scott’s contract still has one more year on it before the front office would have to make a decision on a team option for the fourth and final season, but he could obviously be terminated as head coach at any time.

If it was up to the fans, he would be gone yesterday. The Lakers front office, however, has not yet made its decision. The offseason is less than a week old for Los Angeles, but fans are already looking forward to the possible outcomes that this summer could hold. One of those could potentially be a coaching change, which has some candidates’ names being linked to the team if the job becomes available.

Of those possible candidates, Golden State Warriors assistant coach and former Laker player Luke Walton will be sought after by a number of teams. Walton held down the fort while Steve Kerr recovered from back surgery to start the year, helping lead the defending champions to a 24-0 start.

The New York Knicks are in a similar situation as the Lakers, and it appears that Phil Jackson has reached out to his former player for the team’s head coaching job. Unfortunately for the Zen Master, it sounds like he didn’t get the answer he wants.

Luke Walton, according to NBA source, told P Jackson that as of right now he's not interested in NYK job. Unclear if/when they'll talk again

The Knicks have Carmelo Anthony in place and made progress from a year ago, but apparently it still is not enough to appeal to Walton. At least, not yet.

That would likely rule out the Lakers then, right? Not so fast.

Isola continued with this tweet.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject:

Kobe Bryant's Final Game: Our Favorite Moments (Video)
by lakersnation.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject:

Can the Lakers use Kobe Bryant’s final game as a free agency pitch?
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

It has been two days since Kobe Bryant’s unforgettable career finale that saw him score 60 points, willing the Los Angeles Lakers to one last victory over the Utah Jazz.

While fans obviously never want the euphoria of that moment to end, the front office knows it has an uphill battle staring them in the face. With Bryant no longer in the picture, the rationale of catering to his farewell tour can no longer be used as an excuse as they prepare for an absolutely crucial offseason.

The past two summers have seen the Lakers enter with enough money to offer a maximum level contract to free agents, yet the team was unable to land a cornerstone to help jumpstart the rebuilding process.

This year could prove to be different, though. With a number of contracts expiring, including Bryant’s $25 million dollar salary, the Lakers will have enough money to offer two max contracts, with some money still left over. Unlike last year — with an injured Julius Randle and really only Jordan Clarkson as a building block — Los Angeles at least has something to sell to free agents with a core group of Randle, Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr. and D’Angelo Russell. Not to mention a potential top-three pick, if the ping pong balls bounce the Lakers’ way again.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject:

Lakers move to first starless offseason in decades
byJoseph Nardone - todaysfastbreak.com

With Kobe Bryant hanging up his sneakers in favor of whatever it is he plans to do next with his life, the Los Angeles Lakers are moving into the franchise’s first offseason without having a legitimate star on its roster in two decades.

In the grand scheme of building a winner for the future, that isn’t entirely important.

What is, however, is the fact that NBA fans will get its first glimpse of the organization attempting to rebuild without a star under a different sort of Buss regime.

The long, popular and mostly factual theory has always been that the Lakers can rebound from disappointing seasons simply because they’re the Lakers. While that was true for a large portion of the organization’s history, things are a bit different now. Most notably in the area of who’s running the team in comparison to who’s run the team in seasons prior.

We’re talking straight from the top, too. Not Mitch Kupchak, but the man in charge of it all, Jim Buss.

His father, Jerry Buss, had a long track record of making everything work. He’d bring in the right front-office people, who in turn helped to bring in the right coaches and the right players. No such evidence is yet available to showcase if Jim Buss can do that.

In fact, more people would rather crush the younger Buss for everything he’s not. At the same time, that’s while we often avoid using some context and nuance when discussing him in terms relative to the position he was put in.

Basically, Jim Buss inherited the Lakers as the franchise was in its free fall stage. As importantly, a business decision had to be made. Considering the team would likely be an abomination regardless, would the franchise be best served going about the “rebuild” while paying Kobe Bryant an insane amount of money.

Make no bones about it, either. The decision to keep Bryant around, especially at the price he was tagged with, was a business decision. It was not a basketball one.

Unlike many other NBA owners, the Lakers are a glorified “mom and pop” business. There’s zero outside resources to help supplement the Buss family income. So, naturally, when it came time to decide between being an abomination, but one with a star that would still fill the seats, or going through a more traditional rebuild via being young and bad, Jim Buss decided the loot was more important than actually trying to rebuild for the future.

Now that Kobe is gone the way of the dinosaurs, we will truly get out first looks at Buss as an owner. To put it simply: Is he competent or not?

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject:

The Lakers' three rebuilding scenarios
by silverscreenandroll.com

There are three possible courses for the franchise this offseason

After the worst season in franchise history and three consecutive seasons without a playoff berth, the Los Angeles Lakers head into yet another important offseason for the team. The Lakers have a top-3 protected pick and $62.1 million in cap space heading into the summer. Here are three scenarios for LA's offseason.

1. The Dream Scenario

This is your pipe dream scenario. The Lakers strike lottery gold and get the top pick, which turns into Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Los Angeles then signs Jordan Clarkson to a long-term, team-friendly contract (between $7-8 million per year) to maintain cap flexibility. The Lakers land Kevin Durant and Al Horford with its two max contract slots, solidifying the starting lineup with star power.

Then, the Lakers sign role players to play on the second unit with Lou Williams and Simmons/Ingram. D'Angelo Russell, Clarkson and Julius Randle emerge as above-average starters and the Lakers become contenders in the Western Conference. Jim Buss would be relieved.This scenario probably also involves a coaching change. If Durant and Horford were to make the decision before the Lakers hired a new coach, Tom Thibodeau would be in the mix. Luke Walton is probably the pipe dream answer here though. Walton leads a loaded Lakers team that finally hits in free agency.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject:

Buss Family Thanks Kobe With Retirement Rings (Pics)
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

What do you give the man responsible for bringing five championship rings to your franchise?

How about more rings?

Before Kobe Bryant's final game on April 13, Lakers Owner and President Jeanie Buss presented him with a special retirement ring in a private ceremony with his wife, Vanessa — who received a matching ring — and daughters, Gianna and Natalia.

“You changed history," Buss told Bryant in a segment captured by Time Warner Cable SportsNet. "There is no going back and comparing you to anybody, because nobody’s ever been like you. And we’re so fortunate that you were part of our franchise and part of our history.”

In between his first and last names on the front of the ring was a bed of 20 diamonds for every season he spent with the Lakers. On top of them were a depiction of the Larry O'Brien championship trophy and five larger diamonds for each title he won.

On one side, "TWENTY YEARS" sat above a No. 8 Lakers jersey along with the years 1996 and 2005, which was the timeframe that he wore the number.

Likewise, the other side featured a No. 24 jersey and the years 2006 and 2016. Above that were the words "Black Mamba."

Keeping in the theme of Bryant's nickname, the inside of the ring — designed by Jason of Beverley Hills — featured a circle of black snakeskin.

"Wow, are you kidding me?" Bryant asked when he opened the box that it came in.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject:

Kobe's Farewell Tour, in his own words
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

One of the best parts of Kobe Bryant's final season with the Los Angeles Lakers was his postgame media availability. Kobe had good games, and he had bad games, but one thing that fans could consistently count on was that Bryant would say something quotable after nearly every game he played in.

Kobe Bryant didn't officially announce that he was retiring until releasing a poem on the Player's Tribune addressed to the game of basketball on November 29th, but it was easy to tell this would be his last season by observing his lovable "old man Kobe" persona and how open he was with the media.

Compiled here is a sort-of oral history of Bryant's last season, featuring some of the best and most memorable quotes from after each game. Lakers fans and the NBA will miss Kobe most for his what he did on the floor, but there will never be another athlete to speak his mind in the same sort of "Kobe-isms" either:

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject:

04.13.2016 (photo gallery)
by theplayerstribune.com

Kobe Bryant played his final NBA game Wednesday night, and photographer Andy Bernstein had exclusive access to Kobe as he put on his No. 24 Lakers jersey one final time. These are the images from that night, accompanied by words from Kobe and others’ post-game press conference.


It’s hard for me to believe that it happened this way, it really is. Just the outpouring of support all night long — former teammates, fans and family. There were a lot of points there where I started to get emotional.

When we first ran out of the tunnel, I caught myself. I put on my jersey and I go, “O.K. This is the last time I’m going to put on a jersey.” Then, it’s the last time I’ll run out of the tunnel.

When those moments happen, you catch yourself getting really emotional.

Then you say, “O.K. You have to block that out because none of that makes a difference.” That’s when you go out there and completely lay an egg — completely mess up the situation. So you have to concentrate and focus.

You can be nostalgic all you want later.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
oldschool32
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 19703

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:42 am    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Lakers move to first starless offseason in decades
...[/url]


I was going to mention this a couple of months ago. Damn, when was the last time the Lakers have been without a star player to sell. Yes, they've been there before, but it's been a while.
_________________
"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."-The Greatest
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
Wino
Star Player
Star Player


Joined: 07 Jun 2002
Posts: 8877
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:21 am    Post subject:

I can only think of two teams without a star player. After Jerry West retired it was a year or two before we got Kareem, then the NVE years, we had some pretty good players but no superstars.
_________________
I support Magic and Rob!!

Never argue with stupid people! They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience!! - Twain

And Vecsey is the most stupid of them all!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
Thugnomoe
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 14272
Location: unfortunately not Los Angeles anymore

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject:

wait..Nick Young isn't a star?!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Reply with quote
yinoma2001
Retired Number
Retired Number


Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Posts: 81673

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:21 am    Post subject:

oldschool32 wrote:
lakersfreak wrote:
Lakers move to first starless offseason in decades
...[/url]


I was going to mention this a couple of months ago. Damn, when was the last time the Lakers have been without a star player to sell. Yes, they've been there before, but it's been a while.


Yeah, I think people underestimate the FO's trepidation of having no "star" next year. 19-22 year olds learning the game won't cut it.
_________________
"You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it."

-Kobe to G.Hayward
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
SweetP
Star Player
Star Player


Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 3926
Location: My own little piece of reality

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:56 am    Post subject:

Thugnomoe wrote:
wait..Nick Young isn't a star?!!

No, but I have it on good (obsessed?) authority that JC will be a superstar without Kobe, Nick, Lou and Byron to hold him back.
_________________
There are certain truths that are not alternative, they are self evident.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:52 pm    Post subject:

5 Best Moments From the 2015-2016 Season
by Eric Yee - lakeshowlife.com

Despite undergoing their worst season in franchise history, the Lakers still had some great moments along the journey

In the eyes of a fair weather fan, the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers’ season was a complete disaster.

Apart from undergoing their worst season in franchise history, the Lakers failed to send off Kobe Bryant with one last chance to make magic happen in the playoffs, D’Angelo Russell took baby steps forward followed by huge leaps backwards, and the Lakers still aren’t even guaranteed to keep their draft pick.

However, the thing that makes true, die hard Lakers fans so great is their, often delusional, sense of optimism in regards their team.

In the eyes of a fan who bleeds Purple and Gold, the season was as productive as ever: Kobe Bryant got sent off perfectly, the young guns got a chance to develop and a 55.8 percent chance of keeping the pick is basically a shoo in.

Armed with both exciting young players in Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr. and seasoned veterans, mainly named Kobe Bryant, the boys in Purple and Gold showed signs of a possible rebirth of Showtime on various occasions.

So before we send off the Black Mamba and some bandwagon fans for good, let’s take a look back at the top five best moments from the 2015-16 campaign.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:56 pm    Post subject:

2015-16 Season Roster Grades: D’Angelo Russell
by Advith Sarikonda - lakeshowlife.com

Grading D’Angelo Russell’s rookie year with the Lakers for the 2015-16 NBA season

Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell has had an interesting season, to say the very least. From initial miscues, to in-season improvement, then to off-court drama, Russell has experienced a season unlike that of any other rookie in the NBA.

To start, D’Angelo had a poor beginning to the season—his vaunted vision and his silky jumpshot were nowhere to be seen. Struggling to dictate the game on both ends of the floor, Russell looked lost and confused.

Though his rookie year hasn’t been as impressive as that of Karl-Anthony Towns or Kristaps Porzingis, several extenuating circumstances have to be taken into consideration when evaluating Russell’s rookie year.

For one, the prolonged Kobe Bryant farewell tour, which resulted in Bryant being granted carte blanche control of the offense, stunted the youngster’s growth. In a season originally intended to serve as a developmental year, Bryant’s sudden announcement of his retirement changed the focus of the entire season. As a result, Kobe began chucking up many shots that, in retrospect, should have been in the hands of Russell and the rest of the Lakers’ young players.

Though Bryant’s farewell melodrama is certainly not an excuse for all of Russell’s poor play, the youngster’s freedom on the court was certainly inhibited to a degree by Bryant’s frequent outbursts of ill-advised shots.

Similarly, Russell’s gratuitous minute fluctuations played a role in his poor start to the season. The culprit, head coach Byron Scott, often inexplicably benched Russell in late game situations in favor of veterans such as Lou Williams or older rookies like Marcelo Huertas. Not only did this lessen D’Angelo’s exposure to close fourth quarter games, but it also resulted in him playing timid while he was on the court, afraid of making mistakes that could lead to late-game benchings.

Due to his reluctance to play his prized rookie valuable minutes and his infamous decision to bench Russell thereafter, Scott became the recipient of much blame, and deservedly so. Thankfully for Lakers fans, D’Angelo began to play much better as his minutes and his role began to increase. With roughly two-thirds of the season gone, Scott decided to start Russell again, and the results spoke for themselves.

The eventual progression of Russell’s play was manifest, culminating in a 39-point performance in which he showed his potential as a volume scorer and as a possible star. Though his season has been tumultuous, Russell showed signs of development each and every month. As general manager Mitch Kupchak noted, Russell was a completely different player by the end of his rookie season than he was during his brief stint in the Summer League.

Now let’s see how his rookie year graded out.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:44 am    Post subject:

Julius Randle to train this offseason to become “great”
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

The message seemed direct and simple. The feedback Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott provided to Julius Randle also captured the second-year forward’s current crossroads.

“It’s up to me on how good I want to be,” Randle said.

Randle already seemed good enough in the Lakers’ 2015-16 season en route to a league-leading 34 double-doubles. He represented one of only nine NBA players to average such numbers both in points (11.3) and rebounds (10.2). Randle also set a wide mark between himself and his competition in that category, including Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel (16 double-doubles), Orlando’s Elfrid Payton (14), Orlandos’s Aaron Gordon (12) and Houston’s Clint Capela (10).

Yet, Randle insisted he wants to be “great.” Clearly, neither Randle nor the Lakers see a finished product that could entail pairing with rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. on the team’s frontcourt.

“I’ll come back better than I can imagine next year,” Randle said. “There’s a lot of areas in my game I can work on. I’ll leave it up to myself to get better in those areas this summer.”

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject:

Brandon Bass to opt out of his contract with Lakers
by Gary Kester - lakersoutsiders.com

While fans nervously await the front office’s decision on head coach Byron Scott, some developments are still taking shape for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Much like the previous two seasons, the roster this year was filled with expiring contracts in an effort to hit the free agent market with an abundance of salary cap space. Only six players are under contract for the 2016-17 season, with another four becoming restricted free agents this summer if the Lakers extend qualifying offers to each player. This essentially gives the team control on whether they want Jordan Clarkson, Marcelo Huertas, Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly back on the roster next season.

One contract they do not have control over was that of Brandon Bass. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has a $3.1 million player option on his deal this summer, meaning he can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in July. According to Chris Haynes from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that’s exactly what Bass intends to do.

Lakers F Brandon Bass to decline 2016-17 player option, become unrestricted free agent this summer, league source informs

Bass’ decision is not surprising in the very least. Power forward is a position that the Lakers appear to be set at for a very long time with Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. showing a lot of promise. Additionally, the salary cap is expected to increase by about $22 million this summer, which will allow players to make more money if they are on the market for a new contract.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:06 pm    Post subject:

Gary Vitti offered more to franchise than just treating players
by Mark Medina - dailynews.com

The longtime Laker will hear his name announced on the loudspeaker. He will soak in the gratitude the Lakers will express about his endless contributions toward a franchise obsessed with NBA championships.

This will all take place when the Lakers (16-59) host the Boston Celtics (44-32) on Sunday at Staples Center, a fitting moment since he played a large part in adding purple and gold spice into the NBA’s most heated rivalry.

Kobe Bryant will hear all those platitudes as part of his season-long farewell tour, of course. So will the man who has healed nearly every part of Bryant’s body.

“It means the world that people appreciate the tenure,” said longtime Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti, who also will leave his current job once the 2015-16 season ends in just over a week. “I don’t shy away from attention. But to be at the center of it is difficult.”

Bryant usually takes care of that part. Yet for all the talk about Bryant’s longevity, Vitti actually represents a deeper reach into the Lakers’ glorious past.

Vitti has corrected the bodies of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Bryant so they could remain Hall of Fame players. He also worked for two Hall of Fame coaches in Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, easing their anxiety both with delivering them healthy rosters and overseeing the team’s travel.

Yet, Vitti maintains he had “zero” influence in the Lakers winning eight NBA championships in 12 Finals appearances since taking over the trainer’s room 32 years ago. The Lakers respectfully disagree about the organization’s longest tenured athletic trainer in franchise history.

“He’s competitive and is cut out of the same cloth as we were. The only difference is he didn’t have a uniform on,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott, who also knew Vitti through the Showtime Era. “He hated losing and loved coming to work. He was great with us as far as being honest when we played well and didn’t.”

Scott has tried to persuade Vitti to stay and even offer part of his paycheck. Too bad Vitti has often joked “he hasn’t been paid high enough.” Instead, Vitti will become a special consultant for the Lakers for two more years, which means he will have both a lighter workload and no longer travel. Vitti also will release a book titled, “32 Years of Titles and Tears from the Best Seat in the House.”

With that, Vitti gained enough perspective to offer a spirited defense amid the mounting criticism Scott has received for the Lakers remaining on pace to have their worst record in franchise history for the second consecutive year.

“When I hear this stuff about ‘old school’ and ‘tough love,’ I don’t believe that at all,” Vitti said. “All I believe he’s doing is setting the standard of excellence, professionalism and discipline.”

Vitti has also seen enough to become a curator for the Lakers’ franchise, leaving him with plenty of stories that could make up his own tribute video.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
lakersfreak
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 11 Apr 2001
Posts: 12389
Location: Riverside Rescue

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:07 pm    Post subject:

An Inside View at Kobe the Competitor (Video)
by Mike Trudell - nba.com

It was Thanksgiving of 2013. The Lakers were on a road trip in Detroit, and I found myself squared up against Kobe Bryant.

Fortunately for me, it was on a ping-pong table, not a basketball court.

You see, Kobe had heard that the team wasn’t doing anything for Turkey Day, so he decided to rent out a ball room, purchase a huge spread of food and invite his teammates, coaches and the rest of us on the Lakers traveling staff. There were televisions around the hotel ballroom with football on, as well as a ping-pong table.

Kobe was looking on while I played two games against forward Shawne Williams, a great guy who wasn’t terrific with a paddle, and yet wasn’t thrilled to be losing. Bryant took the opportunity to trash talk Williams, which resulted in Shawne’s frustration, and my saying this:

“Do you want some too, Kobe?”

I grew up with a ping-pong table. My father was excellent, and never let me win, but I figured Bryant was a stud at most sporting endeavors. My intonation was mostly facetious, and I didn’t think he’d want to play.

Instead, Kobe grabbed a paddle.

It didn’t take more than two rallies for me to realize that I was better. Kobe – if pretty decent – hadn’t played much pong. Yet, being Kobe Bryant, he had the quick reflexes and dexterity to be fully respected.

I won the first game rather handily.

Bryant let out several choice words throughout the game, mostly to himself when he made mistakes, and occasionally at me, but it was less trash talk than matter-of-fact, like, “Nice shot, bleep-hole,” or a word that rhymes with fit.

What jumped out: Kobe was adjusting to the game by the shot. I was overplaying his main weakness, his backhand, until he shifted over to the left side of the table and used his length to chase shots to his forehand. His eyes rarely left the table, and he seemed to be observing my service angles and my shot placement.

The way these things usually work: winner stays and whomever called next steps in. But Kobe wanted a rematch, and, obviously, nobody tried to argue with him.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.    LakersGround.net Forum Index -> Lakers In the News All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Page 6 of 10
Jump to:  

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum






Graphics by uberzev
© 1995-2010 LakersGround.net. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Terms of Use.
LakersGround is an unofficial news source serving the fan community since 1995.
We are in no way associated with the Los Angeles Lakers or the National Basketball Association.


Powered by phpBB