Pau Gasol is interviewed. The Los Angeles Lakers held a media day at their El Segundo practice facility. Players were photographed for team materials, and interviewed by the press. El Segundo, CA. 9/27/2013. photo by (John McCoy/Los An8eles Daily News)
Pau Gasol has seemingly showed he has nine lives with the Lakers, staying on the franchise he loves despite demoted roles and endless trade rumors.
But even if Gasol arrived to Lakers’ media day on Saturday full of good spirits in having a chance to complete his fifth season donning purple and gold, there remains yet another hurdle he will have to climb.
He reported at full health after having a procedures this offseason to treat the painful tendons in both of his knees, but Gasol has yet to complete basketball-related drills.
“I’m getting there,” Gasol said. “Now training camp is going to be important with how we manage practices and how the knee reacts to the load of work.”
Continue reading “Pau Gasol at full health, but will be limited in training camp” »
Kobe Bryant is interviewed.The Los Angeles Lakers held a media day at their El Segundo practice facility. Players were photographed for team materials, and interviewed by the press. El Segundo, CA. 9/27/2013. photo by (John McCoy/Los An8eles Daily News)
Kobe Bryant walked gingerly across the Lakers’ practice floor, a sign that he’s both progressing surrounding his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon and eager for the 2013-14 season to start.
It’s also a sign that, despite what a skeptical general public may think, Bryant remains optimistic about the Lakers’ championship prospects.
“Our expectations are always the same with every single season,” Bryant said. “That’s to improve every single day with the mindset to win a championship. That’s the goal we have to have. The only way you can do that is coming out every single day working, understanding each other and supporting each other.”
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When he’s not recording albums in the studio, Rapper Game has become a fixture at the Drew League, the Los Angeles-based pro-am league that features players from the NBA, college basketball, D-League, overseas as well as celebrities such as himself.
Jayceon Taylor, who grew up in Compton, seems to embody everything regarding Los Angeles, ranging from sporting an L.A. star tattoo on his face, routinely sporting a Dodgers cap and appearing courtside at Lakers games. He also personifies most Lakers fans on a myriad of issues.
He suggested good riddance to Dwight Howard leaving for the Houston Rockets.
“I didn’t really care. Once you’re not a Laker any more, we’re like [expletive] you,” said Game this week at the NBA2K14 launch party at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood. “That’s really how we feel. Los Angeles fans are like that.”
Continue reading “Rapper Game riffs on Lakers, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard & Nick Young” »
The Lakers continue to put the final touches on their training camp roster.
They officially added 10-year NBA center Dan Gadzuric to a one-year roster at the veteran’s minimum worth $1.4 million, though it’s not yet clear if any of his contract is guaranteed. The former UCLA product spent the 2012-13 season playing for Marinos de Anzoátegui in Venezuela, averaging 10.1 point and 6.3 rebounds in 19.4 minutes through 30 games.
After the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him 34th overall in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft, Gadczuric has had various stints with Milwaukee, Golden State, New Jersey (now Brooklyn), Toronto and New York. He averaged 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14.8 minutes through 527 NBA games.
The Lakers’ roster currently stands at 19 players, and it’s possible they will add another player before training camp starts Saturday. All NBA teams can hold a maximum of 15 players on their roster for the regular season.
Five things to watch in Lakers’ training camp
Kobe Bryant stresses fundamentals at basketball clinic in Abu Dhabi
Pau Gasol reports improvement in his knees
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kobe Bryant remains the top storyline heading into the Lakers’ training camp. Photo credit: Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer
Very few times do the Lakers head into a season without the general public expecting an NBA championship. But with the Lakers beginning training camp today, plenty of intriguing storylines remain. Below are a look at the main ones.
1. How will Kobe Bryant’s recovery go? The Lakers haven’t offered a definitive timetable on when Bryant will return to the court after spending the past five months healing his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. He’s still running on a weight-bearing treadmill and must progress toward basketball-related drills before taking the court.
Don’t expect Bryant to practice in training camp, or many of the Lakers’ eight preseason games. Knowing Bryant’s competitiviness, though, it’s possible he’ll return for the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center.
Continue reading “Five things to watch in Lakers’ training camp” »
He could’ve easily arrived just basking in his celebrity, but it appeared Kobe Bryant just wanted to get to work.
Lakers’ training camp begins Saturday, but Bryant spent Thursday in Abu Dhabi as part of his Health & Fitness Weekend aimed to address diabetic issues. But the National, a Dubai-based newspaper, put together a video produced by Paul O’Driscoll showing that the Lakers’ star hosted a basketball clinic at the GEMS American Academy stressing one specific thing.
“The easy thing is to get on the basketball court and do all these silly and fancy moves,” Bryant said as he dribbled behind his back and performed a few cross overs. “But the most important things are basic fundamentals.”
Continue reading “Kobe Bryant stresses fundamentals at basketball clinic in Abu Dhabi” »
Lakers forward Pau Gasol reported on Twitter that his knees have improved. Photo credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
Pau Gasol recently stepped foot in Los Angeles in high spirits for reasons including a new season and a likely increased role.
There’s another reason, too.
Gasol visited with Dr. Steve Yoon of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Thursday for an evaluation after rehabbing this offseason the tendinosis in both of his knees. Gasol then turned to Twitter to deliver a positive assessment in 140 characters.
Continue reading “Pau Gasol reports improvement in his knees” »
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant expressed optimism in an interview with The National, a website in Dubai. Photo credit: Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer
Forget worrying about the Lakers’ diminished championship prospects, or whether they can attract top-level free agents next offseason. The Lakers’ most intriguing question entering this season involves none other than Kobe Bryant.
After rehabbing his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon for the past five months, Bryant expressed his sharpest level of optimism that he will return for the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center.
“Now it’s about cutting the recovery time, I should be OK [for the start of the season],” Bryant said in an interview with The National, a website in Dubai.
Continue reading “Kobe Bryant aiming to play in season opener” »
The Lakers say Steve Nash has fully recovered from his back and hamstring injuries. But the Lakers plan to limit him both in training camp and regular season games. Photo credit: Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer
The refrain played in the Lakers’ head after nearly every loss and every botched pass.
“If only Steve Nash were healthy.”
The Lakers thought this plenty of times considering Nash sat out a combined 32 games, first because of a fractured left leg followed by hamstring and back issues. Without him, the Lakers’ offense hardly resembled the Mike D’Antoni system that Nash ran with perfection through four seasons with Phoenix.
The Lakers no longer are worried about Nash’s health. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak described Nash as “100 percent” and has participated in the Lakers’ informal practices and scrimmages for the past four to six weeks. That’s good news for a team that became so saddled with injuries that Lakers trainer Gary Vitti described last season as “the toughest year for me” in his 30 years with the organization. But now that Nash has overcome his injuries, can he become the elite point guard that earned him two league MVPS and brought D’Antoni’s offense to life?
“I do,” Kupchak said. “We’re not expecting 35 minutes a game for Steve. But he is completely healthy right now.”
Continue reading “Mitch Kupchak: Steve Nash fully healthy but will be limited in training camp” »
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on coach Mike D’Antoni: “we back him 100 percent.” Photo credit: Scott Varley, Los Angeles Newspaper Group
There’s not enough fingers to count the sources aimed toward Mike D’Antoni ever since he patrolled the Lakers sideline.
The restless fan base booed him, cursed him and constantly shared their preference for Phil Jackson becoming the head coach after overlapping injuries as well competing player and coach agendas contributed to first-round exit to the San Antonio Spurs. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol griped about not getting the ball enough in the post, while Antawn Jamison stewed about not playing. Even Lakers president Jeanie Buss updated her recent memoir to share how the Lakers passing on Jackson “practically destroyed” her both because they’e been longtime companions and Jackson won five of his 11 NBA championships with the purple and gold.
One party has remained incredibly consistent, however, in their support for D’Antoni. For better or worse, that involves the people determining D’Antoni’s future with the Lakers.
“He has to realize, and I’m sure he does, that we back him 100%,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.
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