Department of Corrections

Wanted to amend something I had in a column last week. I misunderstood the contract situations of Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga for next year, but the inimitable salary-cap guru Larry Coon thankfully set me straight, and the Lakers PR staff confirmed it for me, so we can correct it for the record.

The Lakers have a team option on Mbenga and Powell for next season, each for $959,111. However both players’ salaries are unguaranteed if waived by June 30 (Mbenga) or July 1 (Powell). They can be free agents if the Lakers choose to waive them.

Shannon Brown sued

Lakers guard Shannon Brown was served papers in a civil case filed against him in Denver before the team’s Game 6 win over the Nuggets Friday, Brown’s agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Brown is being sued in civil court for an alleged sex-related incident a Denver woman claims took place in late January, while Brown was still a member of the Charlotte Bobcats. He was traded to the Lakers on February 7.

Bartelstein said that Denver prosecutors investigated the incident but it “was dismissed very quickly.”

“We did our own investigation and came to the same conclusion,” Bartelstein said. “I find it sad that now when he’s having success, someone is going to come after him with a civil charge.

“The authorities looked at it and found no basis. I just think it’s kind of sad what goes on in our society. These guys have some success and now someone is going to come after him in civil court. That’s why I want to get out there and publicly make sure people know what the situation is.”

Brown will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He has been a surprising star during the Lakers playoff run, coming off the bench as a defensive stopper and making highlight-reel dunks that have endeared him to fans. He is averaging 5.7 points in the playoffs.

“Right now he’s enjoying every moment of being a Laker,” Bartelstein said. “His entire focus is on trying to win a championship. He’s hoping to have a long career with the Lakers.”

Finals facts and figures

Here are a few statistics on the Lakers and the NBA Finals, as unearthed by the crack statistical researchers in the league office:

The Lakers have reached the Finals for the 30th time, the most in NBA history. The Boston Celtics are second with 20 appearances. The Lakers are in search of their 15th league championship, which would bring them within two of Boston’s NBA best of 17. … The Lakers have advanced to the Finals six times in this decade, winning in 2000, ’01 and ’02 and losing in ’04 and ’08. … They have made the Finals in consecutive seasons 10 times.

NBA Finals schedule (updated)

Here are the dates, sites and times (all games on Channel 7 and KSPN-710 radio):

Game 1: Thursday at Staples Center, 6 p.m. PDT.
Game 2: Sunday at Staples Center, 5 p.m.
Game 3: June 9 at Orlando, 6 p.m.
Game 4: June 11 at Orlando, 6 p.m.
Game 5: June 14 at Orlando, 5 p.m. (if necessary).
Game 6: June 16 at Staples Center, 6 p.m. (if necessary).
Game 7: June 18 at Staples Center, 6 p.m. (if necessary).

Inside the locker room

DENVER — Fairly subdued postgame atmosphere inside the Lakers’ locker room after they defeated the Denver Nuggets tonight and advanced to the NBA Finals for the 30th time in franchise history. The general consensus was: “That’s nice. Now let’s win the title.”

Kobe Bryant on the journey back to the Finals:
“Much, much tougher. Much more physical. Mentally challenging for us. But we gained valuable experience, went through a roller coaster of emotions. You win one, lose one at home, then dealing with that day, the travel and then to come up in a hostile environment and try to win Game 3. Those are things that make you tougher.”

Pau Gasol on the hurt of losing to Boston last June:
“You don’t really think about the loss of last year. But we think about how hard we have been working all year long to get this far and to have the opportunity to win the championship. I think that’s what went through my mind a couple of times when I thought I was a little too tired or a little fatigued here or there. I’m, like, ‘Look, you’ve got to toughen up, gotta dig deep and get whatever you have out there because that’s what my team needs.'”

Coach Phil Jackson on the Lakers’ play in Game 6:
“We saved our best game for last here, or maybe we caught our opponent a little off stride in tonight’s game. But we had the momentum almost from the beginning of the game on. A lot of precise work tonight, even though there was 11 turnovers in the first half. I thought we moved the ball the right way and got the ball in the places we could operate. Defensively, still one of those things were the coach is never totally happy with the defense, but we were able to shut them down from running, and that’s a big part of their game.”

Post game reaction to Lakers 119-92 win


“This is very, very big. this is one of the best team’s we’ve played against. This year, last year, whenever, and to come on their home court where the last few months of the season and the playoffs they were pretty much unbeatable, to put a whole 48 minutes together and have the lead from start to finish is impressive and i think it shows a lot about our team. ”

Lakers 53, Nuggets 40 at the half

GAME 6 box
Trevor Ariza gets the Lakers off to a hot start, scoring 10 points in the quarter including two, 3-pointers and a highlight-reel reverse dunk. Andrew Bynum gets into foul trouble early again.


J.R. Smith sparks the Nuggets with eight of his 13 first-half points in the second quarter, earning them their first lead of the game with a 10-foot jumper to make it 31-30. The Lakers then got on a 22-10 run to close out the half, capped by Kobe Bryant’s 3-pointer as time expires.


Jordan Farmar charity golf event

It’s a month away and there’s still quite a bit of basketball to be played before then, but I thought I’d pass along some information on Jordan Farmar’s charity golf event this summer. For $100 you can tee off with the Lakers point guard or check out some of Lamar Odom’s clothing line at the accompanying fashion show.

Pretty decent foundation Jordan has got going… check out the rest of the release below:

Los Angeles Lakers star Jordan Farmar and friends are coming together for two days this summer for the inaugural Jordan Farmar Celebrity Golf Classic and Gala benefiting The Jordan Farmar Foundation. A few of the projects in which the foundation is involved include Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Seeds of Peace Camp, Peres Peace Center Basketball Clinics, and more.

The Gala will be held on Sunday, July 19, 2009 at TenTen Wilshire in downtown L.A. and the Golf Classic will be held on Monday, July 20, 2009 at the prestigious Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.

With the help of partners that include adidas, Venom Energy Drinks, Chipotle, Core Performance, Golden Bird, Ed Hardy Eyewear, Visa Black Card, Ecover, Los Angeles Lakers, and many more, the Jordan Farmar Foundation plans to donate the funds to a few specially selected charitable organizations and projects.

An array of celebrities and athletes have been invited to lend their time and golf skills to raise awareness and funds, including comedian/actor George Lopez, musician/actor Justin Timberlake, actors Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Rob Morrow, soccer icon Mia Hamm, musician Flea, MLB greats Kenny Lofton, Royce Clayton and Darryl Strawberry, UCLA coach Ben Howland, Lakers’ teammates Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, Trevor Ariza, Derek Fisher, and others.

The Golf Classic and Gala also invites the general public to give back by purchasing a spot or foursome in the golf tournament and/or purchasing tickets to the Gala featuring a live music performance by a special guest, a fashion show featuring Lamar Odom’s clothing line Astor and Black, Elevee Clothing, Lrg, and more. A limited number of tickets, both VIP and general, are now on sale for the Gala and a limited number of single and foursome golf spots are available now.

“I’ve been given a great opportunity to give back to the community I grew up in,” said Farmar, a Taft High School standout, UCLA star and now, Lakers point guard. “With the help of my friends, sponsors, community leaders, and fellow Angelenos, we can all work together to create goodwill and raise awareness and funds to give the less fortunate more in this world.”

General admission tickets for the Gala are $100 with VIP tickets at $125 and are on sale now as well as golf tournament single spots and foursomes. To participate in the Gala and/or Golf Tournament, please visit Jordan’s website ( HYPERLINK “” or call 310.473.5445. All tax-deductible proceeds will benefit The Jordan Farmar Foundation.

About The Jordan Farmar Foundation
The Jordan Farmar Foundation was established in 2008 in order to make a positive impact on the community that Jordan grew up in. The Jordan Farmar Foundation supports charitable programs that build value, develop character, create opportunities, and foster positive attitudes, with an emphasis on youth programs in Southern California.

A few of the projects in which the foundation is involved in include Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Seeds of Peace Camp, Peres Peace Center Basketball Clinics, and more.