News 'n Views - Apr 2016: Luke Walton gives Lakers fans someone to believe in
Goto page 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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:28 am    Post subject: News 'n Views - Apr 2016: Luke Walton gives Lakers fans someone to believe in

What’s Next for the Lakers’ Core?
by Jabari Davis - basketballinsiders.com

Whether the Los Angeles Lakers organization or fans of the franchise wanted to fully admit it when the process of transitioning away from being dependent on the exploits of Kobe Bryant began, these current struggles and difficulties should have always been at least somewhat expected. Growing pains with a young core are not a surprise, especially when you have such a long-term franchise player moving on, but even more so given the special circumstances surrounding this 2015-16 Lakers group.

Even throughout the obvious struggles, this is still an organization that would never openly acknowledge being in the midst of a full-on “tank-mode” stretch, but this bit of reality has become painstakingly evident to even the most casual outside observer over the past two-to-three seasons. Although conventional wisdom may have favored embracing the youth movement a bit more from the start, the front office and coaching staff made it obvious this season would be about Bryant’s farewell tour, first and foremost. To a certain degree, that’s both honorable (considering what Bryant has meant to the organization, city and game) and understandable from a business perspective given the team’s financial investment – especially over the past few seasons.

Put simply, while it is completely understandable for a franchise to want to maximize one of its most profitable assets in history before he’s gone, the rest of the roster and overall progress moving forward has clearly been in a holding pattern throughout the final chapter of Bryant’s illustrious career. The idea that the next leader or “face of the franchise” should have already been identified from this young group is about as preposterous as anyone expected this team to somehow compete for upwards of 30-35+ wins this season.

Following a recent drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz, coach Byron Scott offered these sentiments to the media regarding the young players: “You have to show that you deserve to be here and you understand what wearing the ‘purple and gold’ is about. I don’t think a lot of guys in that locker room understand that right now… I don’t look at any of those guys as being our next ‘Kobe.’”

Bryant, himself, has reiterated as much during recent media sessions.

Quite frankly, that’s precisely what we were all sold on this current regime of staff and veterans being able to do. We were convinced Scott’s staff would not only assist in smoothly transitioning from the Bryant era, but also find a way to reestablish a certain culture and organizational pride that seemed to dissipate over the past few years. Whether it was ultimately a bit of a fool’s task, this is what was promised and that simply has not taken place. In fact, if established players and veterans have struggled to wrestle team control and on-court influence away from Bryant even down the injury-riddled final stretch of his career, then essentially indicting a group of 19-to-24-year-olds for not being able to hit the ground running and snatch the ball from his hands is a bit silly – especially when those players are still attempting to get adjusted to simply playing at this level, let alone figuring out how to turn their individual results into overall team success.

Continued....


Last edited by lakersfreak on Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:12 am; edited 46 times in total
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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:29 am    Post subject:

TDIKH: April 1, 2012
by nba.com

After missing his first 15 shots in his previous game, Kobe Bryant made sure to come out firing against Golden State.

He provided 13 points in the first quarter alone and finished with 40 to power the Lakers’ 120-112 victory.

“Once we started the game and he knocked down his first three or four shots, I knew it was going to be another aggressive night for him,” Pau Gasol told reporters.

While Bryant shot 16-of-28 from the field, Los Angeles’ entire offense was clicking. Gasol added 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Ramon Sessions did his part with 23 points and nine assists.

As a team, the Lakers shot 53.7 percent and outrebounded the Warriors, 50-29.

The Lakers pulled away ahead by 13 after a 32-22 third quarter that saw Bryant pour in another dozen points, but the game wasn’t over yet.

The Warriors eventually trimmed L.A.’s lead to 97-96, but the Lakers responded with nine unanswered points, capped by a jumper from Bryant.

Behind David Lee (27 points, six rebounds, seven assists), Golden State made one more push to cut its deficit to 112-109, but Bryant answered with a 3-pointer in front of the visitors’ bench.

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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject:

D-Fenders Looking to Hit Stride After Playoff Berth
by Shereen Rayan - lakeshowlife.com

While the Lakers are busy tanking, the D-Fenders are preparing for the D-League Playoffs


With a win against the Bakersfield Jam on March 15, the 26-20 Los Angeles D-Fenders clinched a playoff berth. The team couldn’t be happier.

However, the D-Fenders haven’t been performing up to their potential as of late. They were on a nine-game winning streak, but have since gone downhill losing their last five. On a high note, they have consistently scored over 100 points and averaged 110.8 points per game over the last eight games.

As they look to gear up for the D-League Playoffs by getting back to winning, the D-Fenders Roster resembles kids playing on a merry-go-round with players jumping on and off the ride.

Justin Harper, who had been playing in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons, was just sent back to the D-Fenders. While his team is happy he’s back, they are bummed he couldn’t play out the rest of the season in the NBA.

The D-Fenders also acquired former Arizona State Sun Devils forward Jeff Ayres on March 4 from the Idaho Stampede, giving up a 2016 first round draft pick to make the deal. Twelve days later, the Los Angeles Clippers signed Ayres for the remainder of the season, so now he too is gone. The D-Fenders acquired Xavier Henry on February 27 and Jabari Brown on March 2.

We caught up with the Defenders after their disappointing loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. Knowing no one wanted to talk about the loss that night, we turned our attention to the upcoming playoffs.

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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:32 am    Post subject:

Lakers release final Kobe bobblehead, and it still doesn't look like him
by Nunzio Ingrassia - foxsports.com

Kobe Bryant has spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, yet for some reason the franchise just can't get his bobblehead right.

The team released his final bobblehead Wednesday against the Heat and it still doesn't totally capture the Black Mamba.

Fans and media also agreed that this final recreation of Kobe missed the mark.

Why does this bobblehead look like every player except for Kobe?

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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:34 am    Post subject:

The Kobe Files part 1 - How Kobe Bryant eased the pain of one family's tragedy
by Steve Springer - usatoday.com

PHOENIX — Beyond the “Black Mamba,” past the gritted teeth, behind the steely gaze, out of earshot of the trash talking, there is another Kobe Bryant.

This one prefers to stay in the background, generally unseen and unknown by the public. The Kobe Bryant loved or hated by fans is demanding of teammates and vicious with opponents, a tough and unyielding figure in search of another shot, another win, another ring.

The lesser-known Bryant is much different — kind and considerate and with a big smile. That’s the Bryant that Linda and Joe Heredero will never forget.

The couple from Lake Havasu, Ariz., had three children, daughters Rhiannon and Desiree, and a son, Joey.

In 2009, Joey, then 21, was diagnosed with an aggressive, high-grade form of bone cancer.

In February of 2010, his left leg had to be amputated when the cancer spread. A month later, the cancer had entered Joey’s lungs. In May, with fluid filling his lungs, Joey was airlifted to a Los Angeles-area hospital.

Through it all, Joey continued to follow his beloved Lakers and Bryant, his favorite player. It was Joey’s refuge from reality.

“How cool would it be if I actually got to meet Kobe,” Joey told his family. They knew that would be the ultimate boost for his sometimes sagging spirits.

While keeping a low profile, Bryant has been heavily involved in charity work over the years, but he usually cut back during the playoffs, determined to keep his focus sharp. When the request to see Joey was made, Bryant’s Lakers were beginning the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, Joey’s hometown team. Still, Bryant agreed to talk to Joey.

On May 17, 2010, two days before the planning meeting, Joey’s temperature shot up to 106 degrees.

“Can I still go?” he asked his oncologist, William Tap, according to family.

“If I said no, would you listen?” Tap replied.

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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:03 pm    Post subject:

Kobe was young once, too, but none of Lakers’ kids is him
by Mark Heisler - dailynews.com

Happily for the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell didn’t destroy his entire career.

All he could have destroyed was the Lakers’ season but that was already destroyed.

If the media live day to day, obliging everyone to regard everything as the best or worst ever, memories aren’t that long.

Teams live season to season and it’s about performance, not principle or even feelings, however angry they may be at the moment.

Next fall Russell will return to a new Laker team with new hopes and a need to re-invest in each other. Dumb as what D’Angelo did was, he’ll have as much a chance to live it down as Blake Griffin.

Unhappily for the Lakers, there’s just about everything else.

They’re not running a nursery school. Their kids aren’t that far along.

It’s more like a playpen with Russell recording Nick Young’s confessions , Nick and Jordan Clarkson acting obnoxiously enough to be accused of sexual harrassment and Julius Randle getting fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture after hitting a game-winning shot.

Before all this happened, Laker officials regarded Clarkson as a fabulous young guy.

Randle was regarded as solid, if attitudinal, but getting over it.

The word they used for Russell was “young,” as in “immature,” or, as they subsequently learned, “infantile.”

I was there before a recent game when D’Angelo went past, quacking like a duck.

Every Laker staffer in the area looked at every other staffer, rolling their eyes as in, “See what we’re dealing with?”

In the real bad news, none of the young Lakers looks like the next Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson or James Worthy, whether they mature or not.

Great teams are built on superstars. The Lakers don’t have their next one yet.

Continued....


Last edited by lakersfreak on Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject:

Lakers Need To Get Rid Of Nick Young After Recent Events Involving Russell, Clarkson
by Keith Rivas - lasportshub.com

Given recent events, the Lakers shouldn’t have a problem parting ways with Nick Young.

Looking at the way the blame all somehow shifted only on D’Angelo Russell following a leaked video of Nick Young admitting to being unfaithful, it’s time for both sides of the fiasco to own up to their wrongdoing.

Since addressing the media before Los Angeles took on the Miami Heat on Wednesday, Russell seemed sincere about wanting to put the whole thing behind him.

Recently describing Russell as a “cornerstone” of what the Lakers have to look forward to down the road, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports insists that this whole incident will haunt Russell for a while.

Wojnarowski also says that “the larger issue remains how his teammates — current and future — will accept him.”

It’s important to note how Russell continues to approach the aftermath of an avoidable situation, but when looking at Nick Young’s side of things, it’s hard to come up with any good excuses.

Just last week, Young was also the center of an investigation into alleged sexual harassment by both him and fellow teammate Jordan Clarkson while at an intersection in Hollywood.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Young and Clarkson allegedly made inappropriate gestures to women in a car next to theirs. After further investigation, the Lakers couldn’t find evidence to further look into the incident, with the Los Angeles Times noting the investigation as “inconclusive.”

Young’s decline isn’t just off the court, though, as his production and contribution to the team continues to become less and less noticeable.

Strikingly, Young’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2013-14 season wasn’t bad at all.

Playing in a bench role, Young was still able to play 28 minutes per game while dropping a stat line average of 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

Following that season, a year that had Young only starting in nine games for the Lakers, he fell off the map.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
K28
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 10038

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject:

Nick was doing fine under D'Antoni, he had a career year under him. He fell off the map with Byron.

I still like Nick, but it's probably time for him to move on.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
tox
Franchise Player
Franchise Player


Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Posts: 11756

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:43 am    Post subject:

lakersfreak wrote:
Kobe was young once, too, but none of Lakers’ kids is him
by Mark Heisler - latimes.com

Happily for the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell didn’t destroy his entire career.

All he could have destroyed was the Lakers’ season but that was already destroyed.

If the media live day to day, obliging everyone to regard everything as the best or worst ever, memories aren’t that long.

Teams live season to season and it’s about performance, not principle or even feelings, however angry they may be at the moment.

Next fall Russell will return to a new Laker team with new hopes and a need to re-invest in each other. Dumb as what D’Angelo did was, he’ll have as much a chance to live it down as Blake Griffin.

Unhappily for the Lakers, there’s just about everything else.

They’re not running a nursery school. Their kids aren’t that far along.

It’s more like a playpen with Russell recording Nick Young’s confessions , Nick and Jordan Clarkson acting obnoxiously enough to be accused of sexual harrassment and Julius Randle getting fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture after hitting a game-winning shot.

Before all this happened, Laker officials regarded Clarkson as a fabulous young guy.

Randle was regarded as solid, if attitudinal, but getting over it.

The word they used for Russell was “young,” as in “immature,” or, as they subsequently learned, “infantile.”

I was there before a recent game when D’Angelo went past, quacking like a duck.

Every Laker staffer in the area looked at every other staffer, rolling their eyes as in, “See what we’re dealing with?”

In the real bad news, none of the young Lakers looks like the next Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson or James Worthy, whether they mature or not.

Great teams are built on superstars. The Lakers don’t have their next one yet.

Continued....


What the hell is this? Awful article, and it's not LA Times.
_________________
https://j.gifs.com/Rnqnbk.gif
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: Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:55 pm    Post subject:

tox wrote:
What the hell is this? Awful article, and it's not LA Times.


Fixed, thx.


Last edited by lakersfreak on Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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: Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject:

Lakers will be best served by drafting first or second
by Eric Pincus - latimes.com

Two-player draft?

Although the Clippers have clinched a playoff berth, the Lakers were long-ago eliminated. On May 17, the Lakers will learn their fate in the lottery for June's NBA draft. Barring a late-season win streak, the Lakers will have 19.9% odds for the first overall pick, 18.8% for second and 17.1% for third. To complete the ill-fated Steve Nash trade, the Lakers will send their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers if it drops to fourth or fifth in the lottery, a combined 44.2% chance.

The Lakers would be best served at first or second, where they'd have the opportunity to select either Ben Simmons from Louisiana State or Brandon Ingram from Duke. Simmons has been widely touted as the top overall prospect, but his late-season play and the Tigers' underwhelming season may have hurt his stock slightly. As a playmaking forward, Simmons may prove to be more of a Lamar Odom than a LeBron James. Both were champions, but like Odom, Simmons may need a few years to mature and learn how to shoot. Meanwhile, Ingram is a strong shooter with great length, but his body still needs to fill out. The small forward may stand at 6 feet 9, but he has yet to crack 200 pounds.

Third unclear


The decision would be more of a challenge for the Lakers at the third pick, where the next best player becomes far more subjective. General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently traveled to Israel to see forward Dragan Bender play, perhaps hoping to find the next Kristaps Porzingis. Bender is likely to need more time than the New York Knicks forward to become a productive rotation player.

Another interesting option could be Oklahoma's Buddy Hield. The shooting guard has been the standout performer through the NCAA tournament. Others include Providence point guard Kris Dunn, California small forward Jaylen Brown, Kentucky guard Jamal Murray and Utah center Jakob Poeltl. The field at third could grow as the Lakers hold draft workouts after the season — assuming they don't drop out of the first round altogether.

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: Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:58 pm    Post subject:

Julius Randle, the Lakers Other Alpha Lottery Pick
by Darius Soriano - forumblueandgold.com

It has been widely discussed that one reason the Lakers fell in love with rookie D’Angelo Russell is that his combination of skill and confidence reinforce the idea he can one day be the type of alpha leader who carries the Lakers’ franchise forward post-Kobe Bryant. What is not talked about enough, though, is Julius Randle — the Lakers’ first lottery pick of their rebuild — also has some of these same traits.

Randle isn’t viewed as having the same skill level as Russell. His bully-ball style lacks the polish and smoothness that Russell’s game does. But do not let the raw physicality of Randle’s approach overshadow the skill level he does possess — especially for a 6’9″, 250 pound man.

His off the dribble work and open court prowess have been on display all season — be it on coast to coast takes or on moves like this one versus the Cavs:

That’s your starting PF beating a point guard off the dribble and then yamming it on the rim protector’s head. Not many 4’s in the league have this in their tool kit. Randle is one of them, though.

What Randle also has is the confidence and moxie to want the ball in the big moments. It’s been overlooked in a mostly dreary Lakers’ season, but Randle — though in limited opportunities — has been an efficient scorer in the clutch. In the final 5 minutes of games that have a margin of 5 points or less, Randle is shooting 50% on the year. In the last 3 minutes with margins of 5 points or less, that percentage jumps to 63.6%.

This was on full display against the Heat on Wednesday night when, with the game tied and a nearly full shot clock to work with, it was Randle — and not Russell or Clarkson — who brought the ball up, held for the final shot, isolated on the wing, and buried the bucket to win the game.

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: Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject:

TDIKH: April 2, 2013
by nba.com

On a night when former teammate Shaquille O’Neal had his jersey retired by the Lakers, Kobe Bryant still managed to soak up much of the spotlight.

Bryant racked up 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Lakers’ 101-81 beatdown of Dallas.

“I wish I could (have seen the jersey ceremony), but this is a huge game for us,” Bryant told the media. “I had to stay back here and get ready for the second half. We talked when I came in at halftime. We stopped and chopped it up for a couple of minutes.”

Bryant sat just one minute during the 19th triple-double of his career, still finding time to tally four steals and a pair of blocks.

With Steven Nash and Metta World Peace sitting due to injuries, the team relied heavily on its bigs, who delivered.

Dwight Howard (24 points, 12 rebounds), Earl Clark (17 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) and Pau Gasol (14 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) all tallied double-doubles to complement Bryant’s stat-stuffing.

Meanwhile, no Maverick scored 15 points. The Lakers also dominated the glass, pulling down 19 offensive rebounds to key a 57-37 disparity on the boards.

Dallas trailed for most of the game and chipped the Lakers’ lead to 85-76 with four minutes left. But it was all over from there, as L.A. ended on a 16-5 run.

Continued....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Reply with quote
Batguano
Starting Rotation
Starting Rotation


Joined: 19 Mar 2015
Posts: 885

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject:

AlphaDAWG888 wrote:
Mark Heisler is actually a decent writer & realist when it comes to the Lakers, we don't need any Pro-Laker people trying to defend our situation, because even the diehard fans know this is not a fixable mess.


Why isn't it fixable?

We have a nice young core (DLo, Randle, Clarkson Nance Jr.) with the potential to add another Top 3 pick and we haven't made any Knick-like signings that will handicap us cap-wise for years to come. If anything we've done the opposite (maintained ultimate flexibility).

Just firing B. Scott and bringing in a legitimate coach (Thibs, Walton) will do wonders.
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 03, 2016 5:55 am    Post subject:

Trainer Gary Vitti, almost literally the glue that held Lakers together at times, is about to join Kobe Bryant in retirement
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

The table in the Lakers' locker room is filled with two dozen glazed offerings from an iconic nearby doughnut shop.

Gary Vitti knows the rookies have been sent by the veterans to buy them, a battle he can't win, so he puts up an adjacent sign that says "cardiac risk," an almost daily reminder that doughnuts probably aren't the healthiest things.

It is 1984, Vitti's first year as the Lakers' athletic trainer. Times are a little different back then.

Thirty-two years later, he's ready to retire. He'll be honored during Sunday's game against Boston, an apropos opponent if ever there was one.

Vitti, 61, came to fame as the mustachioed man near the front of the bench in the Lakers' "Showtime" era. He still wears his 1987 championship ring (it came against the Celtics) and talks reverently of the 1985 title (also against the Celtics).

I got us through the Dark Ages but now somebody's got to take over. There will be a rebirth. This franchise will come back.

He was part of eight NBA championships and 12 NBA Finals, quite a run for any employee of any team.

A devout student of ancient history, he says simply, "It's the right time" to retire, cognizant of the franchise's rough three-year run.

"If you look at the Lakers as the Roman Empire, that's what we were," he said in an interview. "After the fall of the Roman Empire were the Dark Ages. That's where we've been."

After that came the Renaissance, Vitti continued, followed by the Age of Enlightenment.

"That's where we're going," he said. "I got us through the Dark Ages but now somebody's got to take over. There will be a rebirth. This franchise will come back."

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 03, 2016 5:57 am    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.”

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 03, 2016 5:59 am    Post subject:

Lakers trainer Vitti, who will retire at season's end, has had front row seat since 1984
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

As a trainer with the Utah Jazz for two years in the early 1980s, Gary Vitti had certainly seen the Lakers before.

But never like that first day of training camp in 1984 when Vitti walked into a gym at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert.

He had bumped into players individually over the summer, but now they were all there, an impressive collection of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper, James Worthy and Byron Scott, running the court like greyhounds and thoroughbreds, he thought. On a perfect fast break, the ball never touched the court. The magician in the middle was Earvin Johnson.

They sure didn’t play like that in Utah.

“Watching that type of basketball,” Vitti said, “having been with the Jazz for a couple of years and college basketball, all of a sudden, these guys. It was awesome.”

He was hooked.

Since that first day, Vitti has had a front row seat to the greatest moments in Lakers history, winning eight NBA championships, from the first in 1985 with Johnson and Pat Riley, to the most recent, in 2010, with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

In 32 years, he’s been to the Finals 12 times.

Bryant’s departure from the game, and the accompanying farewell tour, has shadowed that of Vitti, who, like Bryant, will retire after the Lakers’ last game on April 13.

If anyone thinks Bryant has been around a long time, Vitti’s tenure should be cause for a double take. Bryant, who grew up watching videotapes of old NBA games, said he once found an instructional video Vitti made about training and therapy.

When Bryant was drafted in 1996, Vitti “was already a legend in my eyes.”

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 03, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell greeted by Lakers fans willing to forgive
by Jovan Buha - espn.go.com

Hundreds of Los Angeles Lakers fans stretched along the walls outside the Community Chevrolet dealership Saturday afternoon, all of them eagerly waiting to meet rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell.

At Russell's side: a Lakers security guard, a representative from Creative Artists Agency (which represents him), and his two older brothers, Antonio and LeShawn.

Chevrolet also provided two additional security guards in case any issues arose considering the heated fallout after a leaked video Russell secretly recorded of teammate Nick Young discussing women other than his fiancée, Iggy Azalea, went public recently.

ESPN first reported this week that some of Russell's teammates were isolating him since the video was posted, and on Wednesday at Staples Center against the Miami Heat, Lakers fans roundly booed Russell during player introductions and any time he touched the ball early in the game.

But the extra security never had to act at the dealership Saturday. An estimated 600 to 800 fans turned out -- Bob Frutos, the mayor of Burbank, also was in attendance -- and the reaction was wholly positive as Russell signed more than 400 autographs and took more than 600 pictures for over an hour in the dealership's foyer.

Russell, who owns a Corvette, reached out to Chevrolet to schedule the meet-and-greet months ago, but the event came at an awkward moment when his reputation has taken a serious, perhaps career-altering hit.

But after the darkest and more traumatic week in his basketball career, Russell was greeted by hundreds of fans who were wearing his jersey and carried pictures, posters and basketball cards of him. They shared with Russell how beloved he is by the fan base and how excited they are for the franchise's future with him as its point guard.

"You're here to stay, man," one fan yelled to Russell.

"We want you," another said.

A father holding his infant daughter pointed at Russell and whispered to her, "He's going to win us a championship."

As Russell heard the constant stream of positive feedback and reinforcement, the stern look on his face when he entered the building began to fade. The normally affable 20-year-old began to open up and joke with fans, though he was not made available to reporters for comment.

"Take the torch," a fan told him. "Take over. Byron Scott won't be there!"

The last sentence elicited a laugh and a big smile from Russell. He simply responded with a "thank you," but his body language said it all.

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 03, 2016 6:03 am    Post subject:

Deadpool was the Lakers' secret weapon to beat the Warriors
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

A comic book character best known for breaking the fourth wall may be the reason Golden State hit a wall in Los Angeles last month.

The Los Angeles Lakers unexpected victory over the Golden State Warriors on March 6th was probably the high-point of the former team's season while simultaneously serving as a low-point for the latter. It was the biggest upset in NBA history according to the numbers, as no team with a winning percentage as high as the Warriors' had ever lost to a team with one as low as the Lakers'.

Warriors' forward Draymond Green recently called the Lakers one of "three teams [that] really beat us," but did the purple and gold actually get some unexpected help from Deadpool? (Hang on, I'll explain.)

One of the main reasons the Lakers were able to pull off the shocker was the uncharacteristic struggles of presumptive MVP Stephen Curry. The Warriors' superstar only made one of his ten three-pointers against Los Angeles, the second lowest percentage he has shot from behind the arc this year. Making matters worse, his 6-20 shooting overall was the third worst percentage he has shot from the field this season. The Warriors had three full days off before playing the Lakers, so no one could chalk it up to fatigue from a back-to-back, but it turns out Curry may have been tired for another reason.

According to the Warriors, the team arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, the day before they were scheduled to take on the Lakers. That little piece of trivia wouldn't be notable, if not for this small nugget contained in Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated's excellent profile of Warrior's manager of security Ralph Walker:

When the Warriors arrived in Los Angeles to play the Lakers earlier this month, over 100 fans waited outside the hotel. After helping players navigate the entrance, Walker accompanied Curry to a shoot for Under Armour in the evening, then fielded a call from Steph after the team dinner. He wanted to go see Deadpool. At midnight. So Walker chaperoned Curry, along with friends and family, to the 12:30 a.m. showing at a local theater, returning to the hotel by 3 a.m.

The Warriors played against the Lakers at 12:30 p.m. later that day, and Curry's pregame shooting routine begins anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes before games begin, meaning he had to be at Staples Center around 11 a.m. That doesn't exactly leave him a ton of time for sleep if he didn't get back to his hotel by 3 a.m.

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 03, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject:

Lakers honor another retiring legend in Gary Vitti
by Baxter Holmes - espn.go.com

Throughout his farewell tour this season, Kobe Bryant has received many lavish gifts. The Golden State Warriors presented him a five-star Napa Valley vacation package, the Boston Celtics a framed piece of TD Garden's parquet floor from the 2010 Finals, and Michael Jordan a full set of every Air Jordan sneaker (I through XXX) during All-Star Weekend.

But just as Bryant has made final stops in road arenas, so too has longtime Los Angeles Lakers head athletic trainer Gary Vitti, who, like Bryant, is retiring this summer. And Vitti, who has been in his role for 32 seasons, has also received his share of farewell gifts this season -- mostly wine (including a case of Napa Valley wine from the Sacramento Kings) and cards with messages that have touched him.

"I'll drink the wine but cherish the cards forever," Vitti wrote in a recent email to ESPN.

Vitti, who will remain with the Lakers as a consultant for the next two years after retiring from his full-time role, was honored after the first quarter in Sunday's 107-100 loss to the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.

While a tribute video played and fans stood on their feet and applauded, Vitti was presented with a framed Lakers jersey that had a purple and gold medical cross instead of a number. The Lakers also gave Vitti two first-class tickets to Italy, where he keeps an offseason home about 90 miles outside Rome that he has visited every offseason since 1984, save for one.

"I'm a Laker," Vitti said in the video that played on the scoreboard. "That's what I am. It doesn't get any better than that."

Before the ceremony began, though, Bryant rose to his feet, a smile on his face, and began applauding. Bryant continued, then raising his hands above his head, still applauding, still smiling, and when Vitti left the floor, the first person he hugged was Bryant. The two shared a long embrace on the sideline, shared a few words, smiled, laughed and Bryant wrapped an arm around Vitti and pulled him close.

"To have had this relationship with him for all these years and to be going out at the same time is pretty sweet," Bryant said.

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 03, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject:

Gary Vitti is honored by the Lakers
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti goes to Italy every summer to spend a few weeks at his vacation home, an unpretentious family heirloom 90 minutes east of Rome.

He'll fly there for free this summer.

The Lakers honored Vitti's 32 years of service with them — he's retiring after this season — by giving him two first-class tickets to Italy. They also presented him with a large framed Lakers jersey with his name on the back and purple-and-gold medical cross instead of a number.

The Lakers were so wrapped up in Sunday's on-court presentation, which happened after the first quarter against the Boston Celtics, that they didn't discuss game strategy and took a timeout 12 seconds into the second quarter.

Vitti, 61, received a standing ovation after a brief video on the Staples Center scoreboard. He was part of eight NBA championships and 12 NBA Finals trips.

"I watched Kobe [Bryant] grow up and he watched me grow old," Vitti said.

Vitti was just as important to the franchise as Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson, Lakers Coach Byron Scott said.

"Gary's on that list as one of the greatest that's ever been around this organization. He's never put a uniform on but he's been just as important to all the championships that have been won here since he's been here," Scott said.

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 03, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject:

TDIKH: April 3, 2009
by nba.com

Kobe Bryant set the tone in the beginning and then iced the game at the end.

Bryant was one of three players to received a technical foul in the first quarter of the Lakers’ gritty 93-81 win over Houston, then hit consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth to seal victory.

“They’re a tough team, and we’ve had our problems with them in the past and during the regular season,” Bryant told reporters. “I wanted to send a message to my teammates and to the referees that we’re here to play. We’re not going to be out her just kind of going through the motions.”

Bryant finished the night with 20 points, 7 assists and two steals to lead Los Angeles to a 60-16 record.

Pau Gasol (20 points, seven assists) and Derek Fisher (15 points, five steals) also came up big for a team that shot just 39.5 percent but forced 18 turnovers.

Though the Lakers led for much of the second half, they couldn’t seem to bury Houston, led by strong nights from future Laker Ron Artest (21 points, nine rebounds) and Yao Ming (16 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks).

The Rockets brought L.A.’s lead down to 81-76 with 4:41 remaining, but Bryant responded with classic composure. He hit back-to-back triples for the Lakers to open up a double-digit lead that they would never surrender.

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 03, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject:

Video Montage - Kobe vs Celtics
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: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:24 pm    Post subject:

Lakers have been trying to trade Nick Young for two seasons
by Matt Moore - cbssports.com

What happened in Los Angeles with the Lakers over the past two weeks was, to be frank, messed up. It's been a mess of celebrity gossip and featured D'Angelo Russell breaking one of the cardinal rules of NBA life: you never let out a teammate's private business. Secretly taping a conversation with Nick Young in which Young seemingly revealed that he cheated on his fiance Iggy Azalea would indeed qualify as breaking that locker room code. The reaction has been swift and severe with many former and current NBA players saying they don't feel they could trust or be teammates with Russell.

Russell bears the responsibility for what happened. He apologized, and knows it's going to be a long road back for him to earn back the trust of his teammates and those around the league. But the Lakers as a whole continue to be a disaster, with almost no leadership other than Kobe Bryant, whose closing days in the NBA are of course being overshadowed by this nonsense.

Say what you want, but this type of stuff doesn't happen in other organizations. At least not the good ones. Perhaps because they don't employ 30-year-old players who prank around with rookies. Russell has revealed that he and Young were jokingly making videos of one another, as they have for much of the season, and that's how he accidentally posted the video of Young's apparent indiscretions. That it ended up getting out might only have exposed the real problem.

Nobody would ever confuse Young with a team leader, but this is juvenile behavior all the way around, and if it ends up really setting back Russell's ability to develop in this league, the Lakers will have to live with the fact that it happened from interactions with a player in Young that they never should've re-signed in the first place.

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 04, 2016 7:58 am    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell wants to continue the Lakers' rivalry with Celtics
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

The team's future says what the fans want to hear

Jerry West and Elgin Baylor vs. Bill Russell and John Havlicek. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom vs. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo. All of these battles are legendary ones in the history of the longstanding rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

If rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell has his way, basketball historians will be adding his name to that list before his career is over.

"I want to keep the rivalry going, and get some wins out of it," Russell told the media after the Lakers 107-100 loss to the Celtics (via Lakers Nation).

While Russell sounded like he respected the rivalry, Lakers head coach (himself a former "Showtime" era shooting guard who has now been a part of the rivalry as both a player and a coach) Byron Scott was less than impressed with his young players' grasp of the history between the two teams.

Byron on his young players viewing Lakers/Celtics: "I don’t think they understand the magnitude of this rivalry."

Whether it had anything to do with his understanding of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry is (technically) a matter of debate, but Russell didn't have his strongest night of the season against Boston. The rookie struggled against he Celtics aggressive defense, scoring just eight points on 4-14 shooting and committing six turnovers.

However, much like Kobe did in the Lakers' pivotal game seven against the Celtics in 2010, Russell was able to find a way to contribute despite his poor shooting, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing six assists. The Lakers still have a long way to go before playing in a game of that magnitude, but Russell finding other ways to help the team when he struggles to score is an important skill to develop.

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 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Page 1 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