Magic Johnson supportive of Steve Ballmer’s bid to purchase Clippers

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Microsoft is using a three-day conference this week to give people a peek into Windows 8.1, a free update that promises to address some of the gripes people have with the latest version of the company's flagship operating system. A preview version of Windows 8.1 was released Wednesday at the start of the Build conference for Microsoft partners and other technology developers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Microsoft is using a three-day conference this week to give people a peek into Windows 8.1, a free update that promises to address some of the gripes people have with the latest version of the company’s flagship operating system. A preview version of Windows 8.1 was released Wednesday at the start of the Build conference for Microsoft partners and other technology developers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The move denies Magic Johnson the chance to be a part of ownership group that would have overseen what could have marked the third Los Angeles-based sports franchise where he exerts influence. Yet, Johnson sounded as gracious on Twitter about former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making a $2 billion bid to purchase the Clippers as the former Lakers great shows with his infectious smile.

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Jeanie Buss, siblings, to offer feedback in Lakers’ coaching search

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers’ coaching search has become unpredictable.

The reasons go beyond the franchise working at a deliberate pace so they can both interview a flurry of candidates and finalize the search without feeling rushed. This search will not involve the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss. With his passing affecting the organization’s hierarchy, the Lakers will have added input from all of the six Buss siblings, including president Jeanie Buss, according to a person familiar with the team’s thought process.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss will still lead the coaching search through numerous phone and in-person interviews. The two have already met with a flurry of candidates, including Byron Scott (last week), Kurt Rambis (Tuesday) and Alvin Gentry (Wednesday). They also plan to meet with Lionel Hollins on Thursday. Former Clippers and Lakers coach also met last week with just Kupchak. But Jeanie Buss has and will receive updates on the search and provide feedback if she feels it is necessary.

“Does that mean they will decide who the coach is going to be? No,” said a person familiar with the Lakers’ coaching search process. “It’s not like there’s going to be seven people making that decision.”

Whenever the Lakers finalize on a candidate, a recommendation will then be presented to the other Buss siblings, including Joey Jesse and Johnny Buss as well as Janie Buss Drexel. The siblings will not hold a formal vote, but they can then ask questions or express any concerns. The Lakers anticipate such feedback will address logistical issues, such as the length and amount of a coaching contract, than providing feedback on the actual candidate. Both Kupchak and Jim Buss will still have sole influence on managing the basketball operations.

This development was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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Who has a worst first pitch: Nick Young or 50 Cent?

Nick Young entertains on the court with his flashy play, acrobatic shots and funny quotes. He also entertains by throwing a terrible first pitch last month at Dodger Stadium in which the ball sailed very high toward the backstop.

50 Center entertains with his rap albums, endless commercials and trash talking. He also entertains by throwing a terrible first pitch this week at Citi Field in which the ball went way outside and did not come close toward crossing home plate.

So which pitch is worst? Young’s throw that sailed high above the sky or 50 Cent’s left-handed throw that nearly hit a photographer? Vote in the poll below.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Donald Sterling cites Kobe Bryant’s homosexual slur in legal response to NBA

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA's attempt to oust him on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, arguing that there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded "during an inflamed lovers' quarrel in which he was clearly distraught." (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA’s attempt to oust him on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, arguing that there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded “during an inflamed lovers’ quarrel in which he was clearly distraught.” (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

It turns out Magic Johnson is not the only Laker that Donald Sterling has criticized.

The Clippers’ embattled owner also took issue with Kobe Bryant’s homosexual slur uttered four years ago during a regular-season game that earned him a $100,000 fine, an incident Sterling argues proves worse than the racially disparaging comments he made on an audio tape. That prompted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to issue a life-time ban and a $2.5 million fine. Sterling also argued his comments made to his companion V. Stiviano wer not racially charged and that they stemmed more from envy that she brought black friends to Clippers games.

“Sterling was engaged in a lovers’ tiff stemming from his jealous reaction to Ms. Stiviano’s statement that she was going to “bring four gorgeous black guys to the game,” Sterling’s lawyers wrote in their legal response to the NBA. “Mr. Sterling’s ego was obviously bruised by this remark suggesting that she was cavorting with younger, “gorgeous” men. It’s facially ludicrous that what Mr. Sterling said in these circumstances could produce the equivalent of a death penalty while Kobe Bryant called a referee a [homosexual slur] on national television sustaining only a modest $100,000 fine.”

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Lakers coaching search: Lakers interviewed Kurt Rambis about coaching job

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 13: Assistant coach Kurt Rambis of the Los Angeles Lakers directs Pau Gasol #16, Jordan Hill #27 and Jodie Meeks #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 13, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 111-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 13: Assistant coach Kurt Rambis of the Los Angeles Lakers directs Pau Gasol #16, Jordan Hill #27 and Jodie Meeks #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 13, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 111-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The imprint Kurt Rambis has left on the Lakers stems nearly everywhere.

He became the Lakers’ coveted reserve during the “Showtime Era.” Rambis once served as interim coach during a lock-out shortened season. He became a Lakers’ assistant with for head coaches that served as one of the franchise’s most popular (Phil Jackson) and most reviled (Mike D’Antoni). Rambis even had a role in the Lakers’ front office.

Rambis interviewed with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss on Tuesday regarding their vacant head coaching position, according to a league source familiar with the discussions, making it possible he could add yet another line on his purple-and-gold colored resume.

The Lakers have interviewed other candidates with past ties to the Lakers, including Mike Dunleavy and Byron Scott. The Lakers will also interview other veteran candidates, including Alvin Gentry on Wednesday and Lionel Hollins on Thursday, according to league sources familiar with the discussions. The Cleveland Cavaliers will also interview with Gentry on Friday and Hollins sometime next week.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the developments surrounding the Lakers’ interview with Rambis.
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Lakers to make seventh appearance in Las Vegas Summer League

The Lakers’ 2013-14 season elicited the same feelings that frequently happen on Las Vegas trips.

Dashed hopes. Regrettable nights. And one massive hangover.

But the Lakers have also built plenty of equity that compares to those fun nights in Vegas, their poker chips and calculated risk taking morphing into 16 NBA championships. And with the Lakers set to make their seventh appearance in the Las Vegas Summer League this July, there will be intrigue beyond that have nothing to do with high-stakes black jack or lounging by the pool.

The Lakers will have the seventh pick of the 2014 NBA draft, marking the first time they have held a first-round draft selection since 2007. Whoever the Lakers draft will likely play on the Summer League team, providing the first glimpse on to what degree they can make the purple and gold look glittery again.
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Steve Nash to narrate NBA TV’s documentary on 1984 NBA Draft

Steve Nash talks about the disappointing season and his future following his Lakers exit interview at their training facility in El Segundo, CA on Thursday, April 17, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Steve Nash talks about the disappointing season and his future following his Lakers exit interview at their training facility in El Segundo, CA on Thursday, April 17, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

After orchestrating so many dazzling plays on the court, Lakers guard Steve Nash will soon perform something that does not involve running the pick-and-roll. Nash will narrate the NBA TV’s upcoming documentary on the 1984 NBA Draft titled “The84Draft” during its airing on Monday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET.

Nash will host certain segments of the program, providing insight on his own talented 1996 draft class and perspective on some of the idols from the 84 class that he idolized, including Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton.

It will be interesting to hear what Nash has to say about Jordan after once sharing on the Dan Patrick Show that as a rookie he once asked Jordan to for his shoes mere hours the former Chicago Bulls star Nash up during a game. Nash would also have a unique take on Stockton, who remains the NBA’s all-time assists leader with 15,806. Nash rests in third place with 10,335 assists.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Pau Gasol beginning new initiative with UNICEF

Pau Gasol’s tone sounded serious. So did his facial expressions. So did his words.

The Lakers forward spoke up about something in the camera above far more consequential than his frustrations under Mike D’Antoni or his uncertain future donning the purple and gold.

“This is not my story. This is Michel’s story. His country was devastated by a typhoon,” Gasol said as part of the Voices of Children in Emergencies campaign led by UNICEF and the European Union. “Since his voice is not being heard, I’ll lend him mine.”
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Kobe Bryant stars in new Smart Car commercial

A new challenge emerged for Kobe Bryant.

It did not entail beating Father Time amid rehabbing a fractured left knee. Or discovering out how he will have to change his game once he expects to play next season. Or figuring out how he will work with whoever the Lakers hire as their next head coach.

No, this latest test for Bryant entailed something far more unusual than what he encounters on a basketball court. In his latest appearance in a new Smart Car commercial, Bryant tries to rescue a boy dressed as a peanut from being eaten by a hungry elephant. The elephant persistently follows Bryant wherever he goes. So Bryant relies on Smart Car’s mobility and GPS navigation features to escape.

The result entails a funny commercial that provides some comic relief for both Bryant and Lakers fans from the uncertainty ahead, part of which entails the on-court challenges Bryant that will soon await Bryant. Ones that may be more difficult than successfully driving away from an elephant.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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