Lakers sign radio announcers Ireland and Thompson to contract extensions

The Lakers announced Monday they signed radio play-by-play announcer John Ireland and color analyst Mychal Thompson to multi-year contract extensions. Ireland just completed his first season at the mic after serving as a TV sideline reporter for many seasons. Thompson, who played on the Lakers’ NBA championship teams in 1987 and ’88, will begin his 10th season as a radio analyst in 2012-13.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers final grades: small forward Metta World Peace

Today’s report card …

Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace, but didn’t start playing like his former self until shedding weight and solving a back ailment late in the season. He became a useful player again. However, he didn’t do himself any favors by getting suspended for seven games for crashing an elbow into James Harden’s head. He averaged a career-low 7.7 points overall, but increased it to 14.1 in 13 games in April, the season’s final month.

Grade: C

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers final grades: point guard Ramon Sessions

Today’s report card …

Ramon Sessions gave the Lakers the speed and athleticism they lacked before acquiring him March 15 from Cleveland. It’ll be interesting to see how much more he can give them after participating in a training camp and learning more about his teammates. His first playoff experience wasn’t what the Lakers hoped for when they acquired him. He seemed tentative until the fourth and fifth games of their second-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and wasn’t finishing games. Backup Steve Blake was the finisher.

Grade: Incomplete

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers final grades: power forward Pau Gasol

Today’s report card …

Pau Gasol shifted from the Lakers’ second offensive option to their third as center Andrew Bynum’s role grew and his diminished noticeably under new coach Mike Brown. Gasol’s average dipped to 17.4 points from 18.8 in 2010-11. He became more of a passer than a shooter. It was a difficult transition, one made all the tougher by near-constant rumors he would be traded after the Lakers tried and failed to deal him in December. Conventional wisdom suggests he will be traded this summer as the Lakers try to overhaul their roster.

Grade: B

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers final grades: center Andrew Bynum

Today’s report card …

Andrew Bynum made the All-Star team for the first time and set career bests by averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. Best of all for the Lakers, he avoided any significant knee injuries. However, he also acted out at times, getting benched for taking an ill-advised 3-point shot and fined for blowing off a meeting with GM Mitch Kupchak. The Lakers have backed Bynum, 24, despite his many head-scratching moments. Maybe it’s because they believe anybody who can grab 30 rebounds in a single game, as he did during a victory over the San Antonio Spurs, is worth keeping around for the long haul.

Grade: A

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email