News 'n Views - July 2016: What’s Brandon Ingram’s Ceiling?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:34 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton On His Goals For This Season - ‘Start Something Special’
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The future of the Los Angeles Lakers is looking brighter. A number of young Lakers impressed during the team’s Summer League run and with new head coach Luke Walton taking over, the new era of Lakers basketball is certainly promising.

Of course the Lakers are still in the infant stages of their climb back to the NBA’s elite and this is not something that is lost on Walton.

In his interview on AM 570 Sports’ LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden, Walton had a very simple goal for this upcoming season:

“To start something. Start something special. I think that the front office and them have done a very good job of building this young talent over the last couple of years and now we’ve added some nice vets to help win games, but also to show the young guys what it’s like to be a professional in this league and what it takes to win in this league.”

Walton added that he believes the wins will come as long as the foundation is set right:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:35 pm    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak Senses ‘Excitement’ From Lakers Fans This Summer
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers failed to bring in any of the big names that they had been linked to this summer, there has still been plenty of optimism surrounding the team thanks to the plethora of young talent on the roster. That has not gone unnoticed to GM Mitch Kupchak.

Much of that talent was on display during Summer League as D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac all showed signs of their great potential.

According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, Kupchak feels the optimism amongst fans:

“I sense some excitement among the fans, which hopefully will carry over,” Kupchak said before the Lakers closed out summer league play with a 92-88 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday. “Some of our best players are not here — Julius [Randle], Jordan [Clarkson] and, of course, the veterans, some of which we had last year and some of which we signed — Luol [Deng] and [Timofey] Mozgov.”

Kupchak also noted that he likes the mixture of young and old players the Lakers have, but added that it will take time for those young players to really come together:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:36 pm    Post subject:

Realistic expectations for Lakers’ young core
by Kelly Scaletta - todaysfastbreak.com

The last time the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t have a representative in the All-Star Game was 1995-96. It was only the fourth time in their history they failed to have one. Will this year be the fifth?

They have a young core of high draft picks in D’Angelo Russell (2), Brandon Ingram (2) and Julius Randle (7). They also have a pair of players who are outperforming their draft status in Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

They are now under the guidance of their young head coach, Luke Walton, who helmed the Golden State Warriors during their historic start to last year’s season in Steve Kerr’s absence.

While the change in the coach can certainly help, expecting the Lakers to run like last year’s Warriors is naive. They still need time to develop and grow, and even then, they may never pan out.

According to Basketball-Reference.com, while Clarkson, Randle and Russell were all in the top 10 among rookies and sophomores in minutes last year, none finished in the top 15 first- and second-year players in Player Efficiency Rating:

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Last edited by lakersfreak on Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject:

Jose Calderon Ready For ‘Different Role’ As Reserve For Lakers
by Trevor Lane - lakersnation.com

With cap space to spare and free agency winding down, the Los Angeles Lakers made a smart move and acquired a pair of second-round picks from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for absorbing the contract of veteran point guard Jose Calderon. Fortunately, the 34-year-old Calderon can still fill a role for the Lakers as a backup for D’Angelo Russell.

Calderon has spent most of his NBA career as a starter, but he frustrated New York Knicks fans for the past two seasons with his sub-par defense. However, in an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Calderon admitted that he is ready to come off the bench, and probably should have been in that role for the past few seasons:

“I was ready for a different role and I was ready for a different role the last couple of years. Maybe there wasn’t the player to put ahead of me. I always said I wasn’t the one putting me in the starting role or playing me 35 minutes.”

For the Lakers, Calderon’s desire to move to the bench shows that he is realistic about where he is currently as a player, which is crucial whenever a veteran is removed from the starting lineup. He also sounded excited about joining the Lakers, and believes that a reduced role on the team will help extend his career:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:39 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton Sees Brandon Ingram Playing ‘Multiple Positions’ For Lakers
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers made Brandon Ingram the second overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, and the early returns after Summer League seem promising.

Though he struggled at times with the physicality, Ingram showed flashes of his smooth jumper, ball handling, and defensive capabilities. He ended the Summer on a high note notching 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the Lakers’ finale against the Utah Jazz.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton sees a lot of potential in Ingram and in an interview on LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden, Walton said that he believes Ingram has All-Star potential:

He has a very unique skill set that will allow him to possibly be an All-Star caliber player in this league. Obviously you never know how things work out, but I think he has a bright future.

Walton also spoke about Ingram’s versatility and believes he will be able to play a number of positions for the Lakers:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:40 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton Impressed With Larry Nance Jr’s Development
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

Last year, the Los Angeles Lakers chose to select Larry Nance Jr. in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft after bringing in D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick. The pick had a lot of Lakers fans scratching their heads until Nance started to show his potential during his rookie campaign.

After exceeding expectations in his first season with the Lakers, Nance put on quite a show during Summer League in Las Vegas. The Wyoming product showed an improved skill set on both ends of the floor and had some talking about whether Julius Randle’s role as the starting power forward is in jeopardy.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton was also impressed with Nance in Summer League play. Walton recently made an appearance on LA Today with Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden:

The little things he does on a basketball court are just, they’re everything that help make a team win games. Then you add on the fact that he has the skill and he’s starting to knock down jump shots out to the three-point line, and the athleticism to be special […] the overall picture of what he’s done so far has been incredible.

With Nance showing improvement, the outlook for the Lakers is that much more promising. Nance seems to have improved his stock considerably with Walton clearly happy about the 23-year-old’s progression. The second-year forward may end up playing a significant role in Walton’s system while Randle could see a decreased role if unable to develop a consistent jumper.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:41 pm    Post subject:

Tarik Black Thinks Lakers Fans Should Be ‘Excited’ For The Future In L.A.
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into a new era. The NBA is changing with the evolution of offenses using the three-point shot as a primary weapon while the storied franchise moves on from the recently retired Kobe Bryant.

Although it has been a rough few years for the Lakers, with three consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the 16-time NBA champions have been able to bring in some promising young talent. D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Tarik Black, Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac make up a talented young core that might be able to lead this team into a bright future.

In an interview with Dan Duangdao, Black talked about the team’s potentially bright future. Black believes Lakers fans should be excited about what Luke Walton and company are putting together in Los Angeles:

"Be excited about the new era. Give us an opportunity to make this new era our era" – @TarikBlack25's message to #Lakers fans.

— Dan Duangdao (@DanDuangdao) July 18, 2016


Black also talked about rookies Ingram and Zubac. The recently re-signed forward/center was impressed by the performances of the two rookies, via Duangdao:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:42 pm    Post subject:

Russell, Ingram, Randle Show Skills in Team USA Scrimmages (Videos)
by Honi Ahmadian - lakersoutsiders.com

With Summer League now over for the Lakers, a trio of their young core is focused on a different challenge. D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle are all members of the Team USA Select Team, designated practice partners for the squad that will be facing off against the rest of the world in Rio.

On Monday, the three young Lakers joined the rest of the Team USA members for the first practice of the season. Fortunately, plenty of media members were around to give us a glimpse at the Purple and Gold’s future donning the Red, White, and Blue.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:43 pm    Post subject:

Interview: Julius Randle Talks Luke Walton, Brandon Ingram, Team USA
by Serena Williams - lakersnation.com

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle joined D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram in Las Vegas on Monday as members of the USA Select Team for day one of training camp for USA Basketball. Randle sat down with LakersNation.com to chat about a variety of topics ranging from his summer workout regimen to his excitement about new head coach Luke Walton and his coaching style. Plus, Randle gives his first impressions of Coach Popovich (head coach of the USA Select Team), training with Brandon Ingram and the added chemistry he’s been able to build with Russell. Watch it in our video above or check out our transcription below.

Serena Winters: What has this experience of being on the USA Select Team and training with USA Basketball been like for you here on Day 1?

Julius Randle: It’s been great. You know we’re learning a lot of different things, learning like how the other teams play and scrimmaging against obviously our team, so its been a great experience so far.

Q: Coach Popovich has been the coach out here for the USA Select Team, what has it been like learning from him even though its been one day?

Randle: Yeah, its been great. He has a great demeanor about him. A style of play, how he wants guys to play and how he expects guys to play and you know we’re all just trying to do the right thing, play the right way and just get better.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:45 pm    Post subject:

Kevin Durant: Lakers are 'couple years away from where I wanted to be'
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

The Lakers chased another star. Once again, that star ran away.

This time, the reasons had nothing to do with personality conflicts with teammates, salary or a poor sales pitch in a meeting. Kevin Durant did not grant the Lakers a meeting at all namely because he figured it would be a waste of time.

“Nothing against the Lakers, but I already had my mind set on who I wanted to talk to,” Durant said after a practice with the U.S. Olympic team Monday at UNLV. “I really respect their team. I just thought they were a couple years away from where I wanted to be.”

The free-agent forward left the Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State, a move that could make the Warriors seemingly unstoppable. They already had two sharpshooters (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson), versatile forwards who excel on defense (Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala) and an innovative coach (Steve Kerr).

Meanwhile, the Lakers have a promising young roster headlined by D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Yet, skepticism remains on how quickly the Lakers can rebuild considering the team’s youth and finishing the past two seasons with the worst records in franchise history.

Nonetheless, Durant’s apathy toward the Lakers arguably validates his contention that Kobe Bryant received unfair criticism about his presence deterring free agents. Concerns were raised about the size of Bryant’s contract (two years, $48 million), his durability (three season-ending injuries in recent years) and personality.

Yet, Bryant played a factor in the Lakers landing a meeting with Carmelo Anthony and nearly convincing Pau Gasol to stay. LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly found Bryant’s talk one of the few positives out of a Lakers meeting he believed centered too much on business opportunities instead of basketball. Although Dwight Howard clashed with Bryant during their lone season together in 2012-13, Howard also left partly because of the team’s rebuilding direction and philosophical differences with former coach Mike D’Antoni.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject:

Duke's Coach K thinks Lakers' Brandon Ingram is already on fast track to success
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

The smile on Mike Krzyzewski’s face mimicked the satisfaction a proud father feels about a son’s accomplishments.

The subject was Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram and how he left a lasting impression during his lone season at Duke.

“I love that kid,” said Krzyzewski, the coach for the Blue Devils and the U.S. men’s Olympic team. “He’s going to be very special.”

So special, Krzyzewski said, that the 18-year-old Ingram is playing with the U.S. Men’s select team at an early age just as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson did. Indeed, Krzyzewski believes Ingram is on a fast track to success. He thinks the ACC Freshman of the Year’s skills will translate well in the NBA, dismissing concerns about how Ingram will handle the more physical play with his listed 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame.

“He’s strong-minded,” Krzyzewski said. “And he’s stronger physically than people would think.”

Krzyzewski’s affection for Ingram helped reveal another of the rookie’s qualities, too.

“It gives me motivation. I like compliments,” Ingram said. “But if you settle right now and not be the player you’re supposed to be, it’s going to get real ugly.”

Ingram did not paint a pretty picture when he failed to score in double figures last year against Kentucky, VCU and Georgetown. Krzyzewski then pulled him from the starting lineup.

In what Krzyzewski considered a turning point, Ingram then scored 24 points against Indiana in an early December game. When senior forward Amile Jefferson suffered a season-ending foot injury that month, Ingram took on larger roles as a scorer and defender. Ingram listened to Krzyzewski’s season-long advice “just to be himself and to be instinctive.”

“Playing one year under Coach K feels like three years,” Ingram said. “I learned so much from him.”

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:13 am    Post subject:

USA Team Training: Day 2, Lakers Highlights (Randle, Ingram, Russell)(Video)
by lakersnation.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram Embracing Opportunity To Learn From NBA’s Elite With USA Select Team
by Ryan Ward - lakersnation.com

With NBA Summer League now officially in the books for the Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell, and rookie Brandon Ingram now must embrace another valuable learning experience in Las Vegas. Both players join teammate Julius Randle on the USA Select Team and will have the opportunity to soak up the knowledge from some of the best and brightest the NBA has to offer while being coached by Gregg Popovich.

Following the first day of practice, Ingram talked about the experience and learning from some of the league’s elite players, via Lakers reporter Joey Ramirez:

“I’m just here with the greatest players in the league right now,” Ingram said. “I think it’s a great start to start of my career here and try to learn from these guys and see what they do well.”

Ingram also had high praise for Randle. The Duke product talked about Randle’s leadership on the basketball floor, via Ramirez:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:16 am    Post subject:

Kevin Durant compares himself to Brandon Ingram
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

High praise from one skinny, long forward to another.

In the lead-up to the 2016 NBA Draft, it was nearly impossible to find a player comparison for Ben Simmons. The presumptive first overall pick’s game was unique enough to defy previous archetypes.

Such comparisons were less difficult for the eventual second overall pick, Brandon Ingram. The skinny, 6’9 Duke product’s physical and stylistic similarities to Kevin Durant were consistently touted as positive features on his resume, and apparently the subject of those comparisons agrees.

“[He is the] first person I can say, that I can look at him and feel like I’m looking in the mirror,” Durant told Serena Winters of Lakers Nation of Ingram, who impressed him by being “even farther along than [Durant] was at that age.”

Ingram had an up-and-down time at Las Vegas Summer League, but that’s to be expected from an 18-year old prospect playing against professionals for the first time.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:17 am    Post subject:

Krzyzewski Recalls Kobe's Impact On USA Basketball
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Mike Krzyzewski has five national championships and 970 victories — the most in NCAA history.

But he says that if it weren’t for Kobe Bryant, he wouldn’t be able to add two Olympic gold medals (and possibly a third next month) to his resume.

“In London, he was also an integral part of what we were doing and a key guy,” Krzyzewski said at USA Basketball training camp on Tuesday. “But if we lose in Beijing, you’re not interviewing me right now. So I recognize that.”

That run at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 holds particular meaning for Krzyzewski, who recalled how the legendary Laker saved his team in the gold medal game against Spain.

In the fourth quarter, Bryant turned a one-possession game into a 118-107 victory by orchestrating one of the many clutch performances in his career. He scored 13 points with two assists in the final period, leading the “Redeem Team” to gold after the 2004 team came home from Athens with only bronze to show.

“With less than nine minutes to go, we’re up by two against Spain — there’s a lot of pressure on him,” Krzyzewski said. “He comes out and he was the Mamba.”

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:18 am    Post subject:

Kyrie Irving Discusses Kobe Bryant Being A Mentor Of His
by Corey Hansford - lakersnation.com

The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first ever NBA Championship in 2016 and the man who hit the game-winning shot was point guard Kyrie Irving. It will go down as one of the biggest shots in NBA history and once Kyrie got to the locker room, he FaceTimed one of his mentors, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Kobe and Kyrie first came together in 2012 with the USA Men’s Basketball program as Kobe was on the Olympic team and Kyrie was on the Select Team. Irving made news when he challenged Kobe to a game of one-on-one, and the video went viral.

Despite that, however, Irving considers Kobe a mentor and talked with Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk about admiring Kobe’s mental approach to the game of basketball:

“In terms of a mental approach, as well as some technical stuff about the game, I’ll always go to Kobe, because he’s as polished as they come […] If you’re talking about a who literally just physically imposed himself on the game every single day, and that mindset, oh I definitely going to talk Kobe.”

Irving also reminisced about watching Kobe from afar, and specifically studying his footwork:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:04 am    Post subject:

Gregg Popovich speaks on Randle, Ingram, Russell at Team USA camp
by lakersoutsiders.com

With Team USA camp in full swing and Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle apart of the Select Team, various coaches have been impressed by what they’ve seen of the trio.

After Ingram drew lofty praise from Coach K and Kevin Durant on Tuesday, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Poppovich talked with Lakers Nation’s Serena Winters about the Laker trio.

On Julius Randle:

I didn’t know him at all until I got here and what I found is he’s got a great sense of humor, first of all. He’s a fun guy to joke with and he’ll joke back. And he’s worked very hard. He’s very coachable. He listens. He takes direction. So he’s been very enjoyable so far.

On Brandon Ingram and the comparisons to Kevin Durant:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:07 am    Post subject:

Kevin Durant, Coach K praise Brandon Ingram at Team USA camp
by Honi Ahmadian - lakersoutsiders.com

Brandon Ingram’s tenure as a Los Angeles Laker has been busy so far. The second overall pick donned a jersey for the team in Summer League. While he had expected struggles, Ingram managed to have a mostly successful tournament.

Immediately after Summer League, Ingram turned his focus on the next bit of important basketball. Along with teammates D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, Ingram is a part of the Select Team in Las Vegas helping Team USA prepare for the Rio Olympics.

There has been plenty of cell phone footage of Ingram and the other Lakers playing well against elite competition in a practice setting. But more importantly, Ingram is receiving praise from some of the key members of the team.

The first sweeping praise came from Mike Krzyzewski, coach of Team USA for the last time this summer. Krzyzewski, who coached Ingram at Duke for his lone season, spoke about his young protege and the potential that he has.

Most prominently, Coach K spoke about Ingram’s willingness to get better, which should make every Lakers fan swoon (via Lakers.com):

“Brandon is very smart about people, about the game, and he’s a willing learner. I’m telling you, he’s a no-maintenance guy. I love that kid. I think he’s going to be very special (in) some time.”

Everyone talks about him being thin. He’s strong: strong-minded and strong-willed. And he’s stronger physically than people think”


Coach K also talked about the opportunity that Ingram has as a rookie on the Select Team and what it could do for his career:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject:

USA Team Training: Day 3, Lakers Highlights (Randle, Russell, Ingram)(Video)
by lakersnation.com
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:09 am    Post subject:

Randle and Co. Focus on Competitiveness, Growth at USA Camp
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Before this week, Julius Randle and Gregg Popovich hadn’t really crossed paths.

But in three days at USA Basketball training camp, Popovich — the head coach of Randle and the rest of the USA Select Team — has been pleased with the way the 21-year-old carries himself.

“I didn’t know him at all until he got here, and what I found out is he’s got a great sense of humor first of all,” Popovich said on Wednesday. “He’s a fun guy to joke with and he’ll joke back. And he’s worked very hard. He’s very coachable. He listens. He takes direction. So he’s been very enjoyable so far.”

Popovich and Randle share a common source of pride when it comes to representing USA Basketball.

The young Laker led the U.S. U18 team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas championship in 2012, while San Antonio’s five-time champion will succeed Mike Krzyzewski as head coach of the U.S. National Team after next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s just an honor to wear the USA across your chest,” Randle said. “It’s just a high standard, high accountability when it comes to this. Just an honor overall.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject:

Julius Randle details his offseason workout routine
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Las Vegas Summer League gave die-hard fans of the Los Angeles Lakers an extended look at what most of the team’s young core has been working on throughout the offseason.

D’Angelo Russell has been developing into a talented and consistent scorer, while Larry Nance, Jr. has been working on his playmaking and continued to improve as a defender.

Anthony Brown revealed his main goal is to fix his jumper, and Brandon Ingram basically just needs to keep physically and mentally maturing heading into his rookie year.

Jordan Clarkson has kept fans up to date on his near-daily workouts with his various social media accounts, but his fellow 2014 draft pick (who also did not play in summer league) has been a little more quiet. Other than making it very clear he wanted people to know he hasn’t been taking it easy this summer, Julius Randle has been relatively mum on his offseason routine.

Well, mum until today, that is. In an interview with Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Randle revealed the details of his summer workouts:

He spent most of May and June in the Lakers’ practice facility completing two-a-day workouts. That began with weight training and basketball drills in the morning and more basketball at night. To add more strength and conditioning to his listed 6-foot-9, 250-pound frame, Randle occasionally has completed running drills on a sand pit. He also has continued his year-long quest to improve his jump shot, while making slight unspecified tweaks to his regimen.

The sand pit part we knew about from Randle’s Twitter account, but the idea of the already burly power forward adding more muscle has to be a terrifying prospect for the defenders whose chests he’s about to spend the season crashing into on drives.

Randle continuing to work on his jumper isn’t exactly surprising, but the results of that work (or at least the ones we’ve gotten to see) certainly look promising:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:40 am    Post subject:

Luke Walton's Burden - Restore confidence in the Lakers
by Daman Rangoola - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles' new head coach has a tall task.

While the offseason is by no means over despite it feeling like the NBA world has ended, the Lakers have for all intents and purposes finalized their roster heading into the 2016-2017 NBA Season. The discussion about the Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng deals will be carry on for the life of their contracts, the narrative around the team's free agency "failures" will continue, the Buss Family dynamic will be endlessly analyzed, but at the end of the day none of it will matter.

The beauty and ugly side of sports is the same: short memories. Steph Curry wins unanimous MVP and the collective NBA narrative anointed him the best player in the league, but when he followed it up with a poor Finals series just a few months later, that mantle was handed back to LeBron James.

In April, Kevin Durant can be somebody who is known to ignore all the outside noise, while by July he's being accused of deciding to change teams because he is concerned about that very outside noise.

Similarly, and stop me if you've heard this before, the Lakers were the same organization that put together a back-to-back champion in 2009 and 2010, brought in two Hall of Famers to the team in 2012, and are supposedly a complete train-wreck three years later?

The VP of Basketball Operations who was "more than some case study in nepotism" in 2012 is just "a boy just wanting to play with his toy" in 2016?

This is not to deny that there are issues within the organization. I am sure that things are not exactly peachy keen between the Buss siblings, and that the sometimes delusional aspirations of the basketball operations department can create artificial expectations that contribute to the rift. The reason these specific rifts exist in just about every billion dollar entity get magnified is because there's really been nothing else to talk about when it comes to the Lakers.

However, the simple fact is that the rebuilding of this franchise will occur at the same place that provided it's greatest moments: on the basketball court. The negativity surrounding the Lakers franchise has been put into basketball form on the court over the past few years, and the only thing that will turn it around is the revival of competent, competitive basketball.

The burden is on Luke Walton and the young core, starting with D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, to change the narrative.

The burden is on Luke Walton to properly use and integrate veterans like Deng and Mozgov into the culture he and his coaching are looking to create.

The burden is on this roster to go out and compete every night and show that the franchise is headed in the right direction.

Continued....
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lakersfreak
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:41 am    Post subject:

Mitch Kupchak pleased with Lakers’ performances in Summer League, Team USA Camp
by Honi Ahmadian - lakersoutsiders.com

It has been a busy offseason to say the least for the Los Angeles Lakers. From firing one coach and hiring another to the draft and free agency, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has had plenty on his plate.

Despite the busy schedule, Kupchak has found some time to watch some of the young Lakers in action. He has been in Las Vegas where several of the team’s players have participated in Summer League and the Team USA camp.

Kupchak spoke to Lakers.com about what he has seen from his young Lakers and what to expect from them moving forward.

On the opportunity that D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and rookie Brandon Ingram have had in being on the Select Team, Kupchak had the following to say:

“Well it’s a great experience. For young players, it’s an honor to be selected. They get to play against each other, and then three of the days, they get to play against the Olympic team, which is obviously a step up in talent. Very competitive, yesterday was and today’s practice was good.”


Kupchak spoke more specifically about the opportunity to learn under one of the greatest coaches in NBA history in Gregg Popovich, who has had great things to say about the young Lakers:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:43 am    Post subject:

USA Select Team Videos
by lakersnation.com

Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, Irving Talk D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle

D’Angelo Russell On Input From Carmelo Anthony, Gregg Popovich

Brandon Ingram On Kevin Durant, Coach Popovich & Team USA
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:45 am    Post subject:

The inside story: How the Magic let the Lakers steal Shaquille O'Neal
by Joel Corry - cbssports.com

Our Joel Corry was in the meetings, and he still can't believe Orlando let it happen

Twenty years ago this month, Shaquille O'Neal, 24 years old and already poised to become one of the most dominant forces in NBA history, left the Orlando Magic to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Looking back, it was perhaps the most significant free agent signing ever. In any sport. Never before, and at no time since, has a single free agent's decision so definitely destroyed one potential dynasty while, at once, birthing another, and even that fails to capture the full impact of this move. The day Shaq went to L.A., the entire NBA landscape shifted in a way that is still being felt today.

And I still can't believe it happened.

Back in 1996, I was working as a consultant with Shaq's agent, Leonard Armato, who was my former boss before I went on my own to help form another agency. This consultant position gave me a front-row seat for probably the most botched negotiation on the part of an NBA team that I can recall in my 16-year career in the athlete representation business. There is no way Orlando should've lost O'Neal. Everything was stacked in its favor to keep him.

Well, everything except for one very specific, very unexpected change to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was all the opening the Lakers needed to ultimately lure Shaq by way of probably the single-most brilliant salary-cutting measure the NBA has ever seen. We'll get to that.

For now, let's focus on the Magic, because this was their negotiation to lose, and man did they lose in a big way. I was there through the whole thing. In the meetings. On the calls. I still have many of my files. And I still shake my head when I look at them.

Continued....
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