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kambrothers
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As some of you may already know, today marks our last day at the Los Angeles Times.com. After more than four years spent running and growing Lakers Blog, this was not a decision taken lightly. In the end, though, we felt it best to pursue new opportunities. We're proud of the work we did at LAT.com and the site we leave behind. With that in mind, it would be wrong not to point out those who've played a key role assisting us. We'd like to thank the Los Angeles Times staff and editors (especially Tony Pierce, Barry Stavro, Mike James... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2009 at Lakers Now
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If you missed it yesterday, Marc Stein at ESPN.com posted an interesting piece breaking down the soon-to-end 2000's.Franchise of the decade, player of the decade, shot of the decade, reality show of the decade, small car of the decade, and so on (those last two may not actually be on the list...). Not surprisingly, the Lakers are all over those lists, including Kobe Bryant, Player of the Decade: "...You get dizzy just thinking about the various highs and lows on the Kobe Coaster over these past 10 years, from his 81-point game and last spring's championship breakthrough sans Shaqto the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2009 at Lakers Now
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We hit on it via Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld the other night, now the LAT's Mike Bresnahan confirms: Pau Gasol and the Lakers are ready to sign a three year extension that would keep him in purple and gold through the '13-'14 seasons, not coincidentally the same year a proposed extension for Kobe Bryant would also expire. Bres also reports that talks between Camp Lakers (outstanding archery and water sports) and Camp Kobe (sports focused, excellent arts and crafts) are again progressing. Amounts of money aren't really in question there- there's no position from management but, "Hi Kobe, here's the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2009 at Lakers Now
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The newest bit of ear pleasure, plus a tri-pronged Question of the Day. But first, I'll play deejay... Part I: We discuss items like Andrew Bynum's rebounding woes (a hot topic in our and other corners of the cyberspace universe), the Lakers' struggles while shooting from distance and Kobe Bryant's game-winning jumper against the Milwaukee Bucks, which he swished while sporting a honkin' split on his right index finger. Kobe says this is the most difficult injury he's ever played through. We speculate what would be even tougher. Perhaps his hands mutating into some kind of hideous flipper. (All apologies... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2009 at Lakers Now
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A pair of quickie items regarding Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum: -First, El Spaniard, who's reported by HoopsWorld as close to an extension with the Lakers. I must admit, this took me by surprise. Not that the purple and gold would want to remain in "the Gasol Business." That goes without saying. I actually wasn't even aware an extension could be formally worked out at this point during a season. The CBA, she is a lady often confusing and unpredictable, which is why the exact dollars Gasol would receive remain unknown to our buddy Eric Pincus, the HW scribe reporting... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2009 at Lakers Now
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It's always a good idea to check in with the opposition, and in this case not only did I find some solid information regarding tonight's game with the Bucks over at Brew Hoop, but this very cool highlight reel of Kobe Bryant as a rookie. It includes a lot of at-the-rim acrobatics, some nice Chick commentary, and glimpses both of a young D-Fish and the absolutely hideous uniforms worn by the Grizzlies when they were still in Vancouver. Can't beat that. When Kobe watches this sort of thing, he must feel exactly like I do cranking up the ol' VHS... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Remember when we've used lines like "Lakers ground Rockets," "Lakers cut down Nets," "Lakers 86 76ers," "Lakers dethrone Kings," "Lakers grind Pistons," "Lakers clear skies of Thunder," "Lakers stuff Bucks for display purposes, but respect the animal enough to use the meat," and "Lakers use effective rolls of 20-sided die to defeat Wizards?" This header is kinda like those. But really, after LA's 96-87 win over the Bulls Tuesday night in Chicago, it could/should just as easily read: "Kobe Bryant's finger won't keep him from scoring." After testing and re-testing a variety of splints to protect the avulsion fracture on... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2009 at Lakers Now
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The box score shows a win (that's good) and a spectacular night from Kobe Bryant, who poured in 42 points on 15-26 from the floor and 11-15 from the line (no complaints there, to say the least), but despite leaving Chicago with a nine point win, the Lakers will have plenty to work as they head up whatever highway takes them to Milwaukee ahead of Thursday night's tussle with the Bucks. My guess is that the coaching staff will start with the defensive glass. The Lakers held Chicago to under 39% from the floor, but thanks to a whopping 22... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2009 at Lakers Now
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We had a fun exchange with Gregg Popovich tonight at Staples ahead of San Antonio's tussle with the Clippers (yes, we do attend LAC games from time to time), when the subject of the Pau Gasol trade came up. "You mean the one where I fainted?" he asked with a smile. Pop, no surprise, still sees that deal as a watershed. "Pau Gasol changed the landscape of basketball in the NBA, as far as the west is concerned, and championship caliber basketball. He's a great player, perhaps the most versatile big man in the league right now, and it makes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Just like the amps used by Spinal Tap. But that's where the similarities end, since there are rarely laughs for fans when the Lakers need to begin a victory roll again from ground zero. For that matter, the 102-94 fall probably wasn't a barrel of monkeys for the players, either. Particularly Kobe Bryant, who was not only competing with a finger fractured the night before, but a stomach bug as well. So goofy turned Kobe's tummy that the standard Gatorade and orange slices were skipped for a serving of intravenous fluids. Playing with a body on the fritz has been... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Lots of sound to go with the commentary in this week's installment of the 710 ESPN.com Lakers PodKast, broken up into two halves equally convenient for those looking to pre-burn some holiday calories on the treadmill and those adding them by sitting around eating those killer brownies your wife made with pieces of Oreo cookie in them. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Part I: We talk defense, specifically the type of D that has made the Lakers arguably the league's best defensive team. Plus, a conversation about Andrew Bynum's rebounding, and how it relates to the rest of his development. All... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Like a tree falling to the ground after the lumberjack does his thang, so tumbled the Minnesota Timberwolves after a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before notching their eleventh win in consecutive fashion (104-92, for those keeping score), the Lakers took a moment to offer T-Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis some jewelry, along with some appreciation for his work securing last season's championship and time with the franchise. Lots of applause. Congrats from the Laker roster. And then, came "business as usual." The Lakers allowed the Wolves to hang around for the first half, but then pulled away via... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2009 at Lakers Now
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.... so goes the triangle from Tex Winter to Phil Jackson to Kurt Rambis. Tonight welcomes the Clark Kent-guided Minnesota Timberwolves into town, and with that arrival comes the unbroken chain of learning a successful system from a successful teacher. Rambis runs Minny's show, and considering his roots as a PJ protege, it's no surprise to learn he's running a triangular game plan, especially while gifted with the rare luxury of "time" while reviving a struggling franchise. Why not run with what's worked? Besides, as we learned in Star Wars, shining tried and true lessons from learned ones can lead... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2009 at Lakers Now
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As far as inspirational sports cliches go, "Defense wins championships" has enjoyed some quality legs over the years. Right up there with "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" and "We make a lot of money, but we spend a lot, too." It's a saying here to stay, and in Laker Land, preached by coach Phil Jackson and players alike. Over the past few seasons, the Lakers have worked hard to offer lock down as a calling card, a hat rack for their metaphorical chapeau. Well, last night's 101-77 win over the Utah Jazz saw the second half transform into... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Am I wrong, or does it look in that video like I somehow ate my own neck for dinner? Hopefully it's just a lighting issue. Breakdown below. BK Three Good -Defense: As mentioned in the video, the D done went gangbusters after Phil Jackson's timely third quarter interlude. After ripping off an 18-8 run to close out that frame, the Lakers proceeded to step on Utah's necks even more, limiting them to just 2-18 shooting and six measly points over the final dozen minutes. That kind of effectiveness makes it hard to narrow down the evening's singular defensive highlight: Do... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at Lakers Now
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One of the things that I enjoy about a Lakers/Jazz matchup is the meeting of two offenses that don't rely on the pick and roll to the same degree as the rest of the league. If both teams are executing well, there's no shortage of backscreens, cuts, ball movement, and other forms of attractive basketball (as I wrote last month, it's not that the P and R can't be appealing to watch, just not over and over again). The Lakers have more passers than your average NFL combine, while the Jazz lead the NBA in assist rate. Maybe it's the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at Lakers Now
A hybrid of music, exercise and, in this particular case, basketball flava... What reminded me of this fitness phenomenon? Well, after a sizable stretch matched against the NBA dregs, the Lakers are in the midst of a mini-tour of "quality-ish" to downright "playing quite well" opponents. First the Miami Heat. Then the Suns of Phoenix. And tonight, the Utah Jazz, who've taken down eight of their last ten foes. And now we've come full circle. Jazz. Jazzercise. Get it? Amused? Either way, I laughed. By the way, those ladies TOTALLY double dribbled. It's a matchup that's classic and old school... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Save physically and/or socially awkward science fiction types participating only because the gym teacher demands it, people do not generally wear pants to play basketball. Like a good Vegas stage show, some amount of leg is required. In fact, there's only one guy I can think of who has in recent memory taken his short pants all the way to the floor during a run on the hardwood: President Barack Obama (right). Until today, that is. Yes, no less than Kobe Bryant spent Tuesday's practice in a pair of gleaming white sweat pants. Last week(ish), I posted information about the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Jordan Farmar has enjoyed a recent stretch of quality efforts, performances that helped second and fourth quarters -when more reserves tend to play- build on strong starts from the first string. I talked with Jordan after yesterday's practice, and as he explained, some of that success is due to factors outside of his play. Being teamed consistently with Shannon Brown, which has resulted in familiarity breeding a steady backcourt rhythm. Ditto the familiarity with rotations in general, which allows everyone to better anticipate reactions and create a smoother product. Getting steadier, bigger minutes. And Pau Gasol's return has allowed Phil... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Lakers Now
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...that can only be cured not by cowbell but Tim Donaghy stories, here you go: Watch the 60 Minutes interview here. ESPN sits down with Donaghy here. Read excerpts from the book here. Two must reads from Kevin Arnovitz and Henry Abbott at TrueHoop here and here. For the record, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe the NBA actively uses its referees to manipulate the outcome of games. I don't find Donaghy terribly credible, but think some of what he's saying has some degree of plausibility, which is why his story is so compelling to people who want... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2009 at Lakers Now
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... is coming like a ghost town. Seriously, this is how bad it was at today's practice. I'm not linking the following song purely as a punchline. The tune actually popped into my head the moment media was allowed into the Laker gym, and it remained scorched into my brain the entire time I was at the facility. But hey, could be worse. This is at least a good song. It could have been Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" on a continual loop in my skull. Like it became the minute I mentioned the song. Ah, crap. In any event,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at Lakers Now
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19 games into the 2009-10 season, the Lakers are a robust 16-3. Life is good. All is well. 19 games into the 2008-09 season, the Lakers were 17-2. Life was good. All was well. And when all was said and done, the organization got to throw a big ol' parade. The general consensus coming into this season was that the league had improved around the Lakers, closing the gap between the champs and other viable contenders. While it hasn't quite worked that way in the Western Conference- Portland has struggled to find a rhythm, the Spurs are yet to get... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at Lakers Now
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In their own noble right, the Phoenix Suns have cobbled together a season worthy of back slaps and fist pounds. After all, they're sitting 15-6 in the standings during a campaign most pegged as a playoff long shot. At best. That clip represents an impressive start, both by league standards and preseason expectations. But there's "impressive," and then there's "dude, how the hell are we supposed to compete against that?" Last night, the Lakers' performance during a 108-88 shellacking of the Suns defined the latter, leaving Suns coach Alvin Gentry with little else to do besides express slackjawed admiration: "We’ve... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes the camera battery kicks it before a postgame video can be recorded. Sunday night at Staples, there was a little of all three. With a 108-88 victory, their ninth straight, the Lakers made losers out of the Suns, and as you can see, we ran out of talking picture juice. But honestly, had Andy and I recorded something, it would a) likely have forced us to miss games and head to Cannes to seal some sort of three picture deal, so good it would have been, and b) sounded a lot like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at Lakers Now
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Wrong footed, moving-left-but-shooting-right, over D-Wade, off glass, game winning three pointers tend not to simply fade into the ether, so it's no surprise that Kobe Bryant's game winner Friday night against the Heat- if you haven't seen it a) click here, b) welcome back to society, because apparently you've dropped off the grid since Friday night- was still a major source of conversation Saturday at practice in El Segundo. Lamar Odom, watching in the locker room after being ejected with about five minutes left in the fourth after picking up his second technical foul, knew Kobe had won it before... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2009 at Lakers Now
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