Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Lakers’

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

Were he still an active competitor in the NBA, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant knows exactly how he’d act during the playing of the national anthem at a time when athletes are using the occasion to protest social issues.

Bryant said during a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast that he’d take a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

He was then asked what he would convey to President Donald Trump if he had the opportunity to speak with him one on one.

“Focus on serving, not leading,” said Bryant.

When Trump made waves after uninviting Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry to the White House, Bryant joined a number of other basketball stars in openly criticizing the POTUS.

Months earlier, Bryant mentioned he’d probably pay the White House a visit, as it’s less about the administration and more about teammates, love for the country, and the children who look up to professional athletes.

This year’s Lakers squad intends to lock arms during the anthem throughout the upcoming regular season, with head coach Luke Walton saying it will display unity within the organization, while also showing respect for the country.

The league has strict rules in place prohibiting kneeling, reminding players and coaches that they’re required to stand in a recent memo.

Advertisements

lamar-odom-obit-pic

Lamar Odom is doing well these days, and on Wednesday he appeared on an episode of Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” to discuss everything under the sun.

When it came to the Los Angeles Lakers‘ off-court fiasco from two seasons ago when D’Angelo Russell surreptitiously recorded and broadcast video of Nick Young talking about a woman who wasn’t his girlfriend, he said Young didn’t go far enough in administering punishment.

“If I was Nick Young, I would’ve put my hands on him,” Odom said. “And I was expecting motherfuckers on the team to put their hands on him. That would’ve showed camaraderie.”

These were the Bryon Scott-coached 2015-16 Lakers of Kobe Bryant’s swan song, youthful pieces like Russell, and jokester journeymen like Young. They finished 17-65, the worst record in franchise history.

“Maybe they would have won a couple more games,” Odom added.

When asked about another Lakers scandal, Odom said Shaquille O’Neal also should’ve roughed up Bryant after he reportedly discussed O’Neal’s alleged extramarital activities during his 2003 sexual assault case.

Odom was traded by the Miami Heat to the Lakers for O’Neal in 2004, and played seven seasons with Bryant. Russell and Young no longer play for the Lakers.

The 37-year-old Odom, who is approaching the second anniversary of nearly dying from a drug overdose, said he wishes nothing but the best to ex-wife Khloe Kardashian – now reportedly pregnant with the child of Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson.

“From a distance I wish her well,” he said. “Still got love for her.”

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

For the first time in NBA history, a franchise will be raising two different numbers to the rafters for one player, with Kobe Bryant having his Nos. 8 and 24 immortalized by the Los Angeles Lakers.

“As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them,” said Bryant in an official statement. “The Lakers have bestowed a huge honor on me and I’m grateful for the fans’ enthusiasm around this game.”

The Black Mamba becomes the 10th Lakers player to have his number(s) retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Shaquille O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44), and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

“This honor is very well deserved,” Lakers president of basketball operations Johnson said. “Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all time and he’s definitely on my Mount Rushmore. I look forward to seeing both of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family.”

Bryant donned No. 8 until 2006 when he made the switch to No. 24, which was his original number competing at Lower Merion High School. He then wore No. 33 prior to entering the league, but since No. 33 had already been retired, and No. 24 was taken by a teammate, Bryant decided to wear No. 8.

During his legendary 20-year stint in purple and gold, Bryant won five championships with a pair of Finals MVPs, was an 18-time All-Star, and earned a spot on 11 All-NBA First Teams. He’s also the Lakers’ all-time leading scorer with 33,643 points, which is the third-highest point total of any player ever.

Bryant’s numbers will be officially retired in a ceremony at halftime on Dec. 18 when the Lakers host the visiting Golden State Warriors.

shaq-finals

Shaquille O’Neal is calling out LaVar Ball again – this time, in the form of a diss track.

TMZ Sports premiered the track Thursday, on which O’Neal mocks Ball’s basketball career (“I been doing this a long time / When you was averaging two points, riding the pine”) and addresses Ball’s claims that he’d beat him and Michael Jordan one-one-one (“First you can beat Mike, then you can beat me / Wake that ass up, you havin’ a dream”).

Earlier this week, O’Neal shared an Instagram photo of himself in a vintage Los Angeles Lakers jersey and declared himself the “Original Big Baller.”

rs_1024x667-151013224645-1024-lamar-odom-reflecting-ms-101315

Warning: Story contains coarse language

Lamar Odom is trying to put the past behind him.

The former NBA champion opened up about his rampant cocaine use in an article for the Players’ Tribune, saying that he used the drug every day prior to his nearly fatal overdose in 2015.

“I think of all the sneaky shit I tried to get away with,” he wrote. “All the times I did wrong. All the stuff I tried to hide. If it’s not in the public light, it’s in God’s light.

“I was laying there in that bed, hooked up to all these machines, people all around me crying, and there was no running from it anymore. It was like God was telling me, ‘Whatever the fuck you think you’re doing, you need to slow down. Or it’s gonna be worse than this.'”

While Odom is now sober, he says that his urge to relapse is still strong, but a promise to his daughter Destiny to seek treatment has motivated him over the past couple of years.

“I’m sober now. But it’s an everyday struggle,” he wrote. “I have an addiction. I’ll always have an addiction. It never goes away. I mean, I want to get high right now. But I know that I can’t if I want to be here for my children.

“I shook hands with death. But you know what? Ain’t no coming back from that. Even though my funeral would probably be a good funeral, and there’d probably be a lot of people who hadn’t seen each other in a long time. But it ain’t time for that yet.”

a79a39b8d34d3de772fdb58ac7a787e2

How excited is Rob Pelinka about the potential of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2017 draft class that he saw in summer league?

“It’s kind of like if you go on YouTube and you think about Taylor Swift when she was 16 years old (playing) her first song,” the general manager explained on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday. “It’s her guitar, it’s her in a little studio, and you watch it and you listen to it and you say, ‘Wow, this is going to be a special thing to follow and a really cool narrative to unfold.'”

Pelinka sees some of that early T-Swift magic in this year’s No. 2 pick, Lonzo Ball, as well as No. 27 pick Kyle Kuzma and No. 30 pick Josh Hart. If the Lakers’ young core, including previous blue-chip prospects Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, can combine for as many All-Star appearances as Grammys Swift’s won since breaking onto the scene a decade ago – 10 – Pelinka will be a happy man.

“I think it’s going to be a really cool phenomenon to watch unfold, much like the trajectory of a young artist that develops,” Pelinka said.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

LeBron James‘ future as a Cleveland Cavalier has garnered much speculation over recent weeks as the organization undergoes a tumultuous offseason.

Considering LeBron has a 2018 player option, talk of The King bolting west has gained some traction with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers being mentioned as potential landing spots.

However, ESPN’s Mike Wise appeared on the “Freddie and Fritz” show and said the latter franchise should be ruled out entirely.

“I got from a very good authority – a very good authority. I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows,” Wise stated. “He’s never going to be a Clipper. I’m just telling people right now, for your edification.”

Considering Wise didn’t offer concrete details on why James is so against the notion, his certainty is surprising.

But since the claim projects far into the future – and an array of NBA offseason moves have yet to be made – LeBron fans may want to scratch the Clippers off the list in pencil, rather than pen.