A Beverly Hills auction house will be awarded over $500,000 after a Superior Court Judge ruled against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s lawsuit over the auction’s efforts to sell his sports memorabilia (Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer)
Julien’s Auctions will be awarded $543,961 in “significant damages” after Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz dismissed a lawsuit former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar filed that disputes the company’s right to sell his sports memorabilia, the Beverly Hills auction house announced on Thursday.
“Julien’s Auctions was forced to file the action against Mr. Abdul-Jabbar’s company when Mr. Jabbar entered into a valid and enforceable written consignment agreement with Julien’s Auctions, agreed to sell his one-of-a-kind and unprecedented memorabilia collection with Julien’s Auctions, and, after receiving $300,000 in advances from Julien’s Auctions, refused to go forward with the auction and refused to refund the advance,” the auction house said in a statement. Continue reading →
“The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA.
Below is the fourth in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers forward Carlos Boozer.
1. Boozer will likely enter this season with something to prove. It wasn’t too long ago that Boozer played on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, made two All-Star appearances and became a regular fixture among the Lakers’ playoff opponents. The Lakers are excited for picking up such a player off waivers for only $3.25 million. But the Chicago Bulls parted ways with Boozer via the amnesty provision to accommodate Pau Gasol’s arrival and a season after Boozer mostly sat out of the second and fourth quarters because of Taj Gibson’s emergence.
That should give Boozer plenty of fuel when he plays for the Lakers, who are already motivated enough after fielding skepticism about their rebuilding after finishing last season with the worst record in L.A. franchise history. Boozer will have to address some question marks noted below, but he has a resume that suggests he could bounce back from a season in which he averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, his lowest mark of his 12-year NBA career since his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2002-03).
Boozer still finished second in scoring and in rebounding through his four seasons with Chicago, and should instantly provide the Lakers with that void stemmed from Gasol’s departure. Boozer, whom Lakers coach Byron Scott tentatively has penciled in as a starting power forward, could buy the Lakers time in case rookie Julius Randle experiences any hiccups adapting to the NBA. And Boozer can fill this job description with plenty of motivation, with each basket, rebound and hustle play as a retort to those who cast him as damaged goods. Continue reading →
The Lakers’ Jordan Hill smiles after securing a rebound before a timeout and the lead against the Celtics, Friday, February 21, 2014, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)
Below is the third in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers center Jordan Hill.
1. Will Jordan Hill feel more comfortable under Lakers coach Byron Scott? For all the career highs Jordan Hill posted in points (9.7), shooting percentage (54.9 percent), rebounds (7.4) and minutes (20.8) last season, he never seemed to enjoy playing for former coach Mike D’Antoni. The reasons included Hill’s fluctuating minutes and feeling underutilized in a system that puts a strong emphasis on floor spacing and outside shooting. There was a sense Hill believed that D’Antoni’s fast-paced system came at the expense of the team’s defense.
Hill won’t have D’Antoni as a crutch to blame for any struggles this season. Scott has already penciled Hill in as his tentative starting center. Scott has raved about Hill’s paint presence and has said he will put a high emphasis on defense. Scott’s offensive system does not put the same demands as D’Antoni does in having shooters to can outside jumpers and space the floor. So on paper, it appears Hill will have more of a comfortable working relationship with Scott than D’Antoni. But Hill will have to play the games first. Continue reading →
New Lakers head coach Byron Scott at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)
The Lakers completely rounded out Byron Scott’s coaching staff in exactly 13 days before training camp begins.
The new revelations, which the Lakers announced on Tuesday, entailed Clay Moser will become one of Scott’s assistants while video coordinator Tom Bialaszewski and video coordinator/player development coach J.J. Outlaw will stay on staff. The basketball operations department also promoted Rondre Jackson to the team’s director of player development after overseeing Club Lakers, while hiring Jordan Wilkes as a basketball operations assistant. Wilkes starred at the University of California (2005-2009) and is the son of Jamaal Wilkes, who played on the Showtime Lakers.
It was already reported in this outlet that the rest of Scott’s staff would include assistants Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen as well as assistant/player development coaches Larry Lewis and Thomas Scott, who is Byron’s son.
“I’m excited to have completed my staff with a group of individuals who each possess unique skills, but all share my vision for the future of this team,” Scott said in a statement. “Paul is a great basketball mind with vast experience and someone with whom I have worked before, while Jim returns to the Laker family with a proven track record and a tremendous amount of respect around the league. Thomas has worked very hard through the ranks of the video department, player development and the NBA Development League to earn this position. I’m delighted to retain Mark, Clay, Larry, Tom and J.J., who are all highly qualified and have worked tirelessly with our players throughout the summer to prepare for next season. I can say with certainty that our staff is dedicated to upholding the winning culture and tradition of the Los Angeles Lakers.” Continue reading →
Can Lakers guard Steve Nash avoid suffering a major injury in the 2014-15 season? David Crane–Staff Photographer
Below is the second in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers guard Steve Nash.
1. Can Steve Nash stay healthy during the 2014-15 season? Only two years ago, the Lakers believed they secured their best point guard since Magic Johnson once graced the hardwood. But instead of frustrating opponents with dazzling no-look passes, Nash has frustrated a restless fan base with persisting injuries. No one can blame Nash for countless ailments that entailed a fractured left leg two years ago that sidelined him for 24 games only the second game into the season. Or the continuous nerve irritation in his hamstrings and back last season that kept him out for all but 15 games. Yet, the 40-year-old Nash has not offered the Lakers much hope that he can step on the floor without experiencing more setbacks.
So why should Nash feel any more encouraged entering his final year on his contract with the Lakers? Well, he progressed through his rehab relatively faster than last season just by virtue that he could barely run during the 2013 offseason and that he entered training camp pretty rusty. Nash also spent this offseason actually training instead of mostly rehabbing. This has not convinced the Lakers enough that Nash will stay healthy. Hence, why they acquired Jeremy Lin. But Nash could show more flashes of rare brilliance, such as a 19-point effort on his 40th birthday against Philadelphia or other countless sequences where he set up teammates beautifully. This will not necessarily translate into Nash replicating one of his two MVP-caliber seasons. But should he manage to stay on the court, Nash could offer some feel-good moments on a team that will need plenty of them.
Beyond his health, the only other question mark for Nash entails how he will run Byron Scott’s offense. Point guards, such as Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, thrived under Scott. But his system will also face some elements of the Princeton offense, something that clearly put Nash out of his comfort zone when former Lakers coach Mike Brown tried to run it two seasons ago. Scott stressed in a recent interview that his system will be different and show more similarities to Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. Still, there will have to be some give-and-take given Nash has shown he thrives most when he runspick-and-roll sets in a faster-paced offense. Continue reading →
Memphis Grizzlies’ Tony Allen (9) defends Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Below is the first in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
1. How will Bryant play following two major injuries? Whether they continue their fall toward mediocrity or quickly climb back to championship prominence, the Lakers’ 2014-15 season will still become a must-see event for partly one significant reason. Seeing how Bryant charts his comeback will become intriguing regardless of what scenario happens. If he becomes the elite player that once won five NBA championships and climbed up to fourth place on the league’s all-time scoring list, Bryant will further cement his legacy in overcoming injuries and finding ways to innovate his game. If he become a shell of himself, frustration could emerge out of Bryant’s inability to figure things out as strongly as he once could.
So what scenario will play out? A huge variable, of course, depends on if Bryant can still healthy. But the other variable also hinges on how well Bryant adjusts his game. The overriding consensus suggests Bryant’s strong fundamentals with his footwork and post play can offset any diminished athleticism, enough for Lakers coach Byron Scott to believe Bryant will average 20-something points per game. Yet, to what degree will that be enough in ensuring Bryant stays an elite player?
Even though Bryant has had a full 10 months thus far to recover from a knee injury, how much time of on-court play will he need to shed off any rust? Though Bryant has other tools in his offensive repertoire, how much will any diminished athleticism reduce his threat against a defender? Even if he has taken his time healing his left Achilles and left knee and traveled to Germany for another innovative procedure, how much more vulnerable will Bryant become in his 36-year-old body further breaking down? To make things more complicated, how will this all play out through a grinding 82-game NBA season?
No one truly knows the answer. Hence, why Bryant’s comeback season will remain compelling to watch. Continue reading →
“Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks about the upcoming NBA season at the Lakers training faciltiy in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) “
Amid the shrieking whistles, swishing nets and perhaps profanity-laced trashtalk, another sound might emerge that provides the soundtrack to capture the beginning of Lakers’ training camp.
Players puking in trash cans.
To anticipate that possibility, Lakers coach Byron Scott will place four trash bins on each corner of the court for a simple reason. “I don’t want guys throwing up on my floor,” Scott said. He reported four undisclosed players needed to hunch over during his stints with the New Jersey Nets (2000-2004), New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013), using a series of demanding conditioning and defensive oriented drills to expose immediately any of his players’ weaknesses.
“The first day is going to be tough,” Scott said Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “I want to see which guys are ready and prepared, who’s in shape and who’s not. I’ll find out on the first day.”
Yet, before the Lakers even reach that point three weeks from now, Scott already has a tentative depth chart that currently favors the team’s veterans. Kobe Bryant is an obvious no-brainer, his Hall of Fame credentials vastly outweighing playing only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left knee injuries. Scott reported favoring Steve Nash over Jeremy Lin at point guard, Carlos Boozer over Julius Randle at power forward and Jordan Hill over Robert Sacre at center, a product Scott feeling currently more comfortable with experienced veterans over young, developing players.
“That’s how I look at it right now,” Scott said. “But when the ball is thrown up September 30th, if the next guy can beat the guy in front of them, so be it.”
The smile widened as Byron Scott talked about Kobe Bryant. Scott’s eyes lit up as he recalled mentoring Bryant his rookie year during the 1996-97 season, sensing then that Bryant was already “something special” with his strongly developed game, unmatched work ethic and inquisitive curiosity about NBA history. Scott gushed about Bryant organizing informal workouts this summer with a handful of teammates.
Underneath all of those positive vibes revealed Scott’s unrelenting optimism on how Bryant will actually perform in the 2013-14 season. Scott chuckled at all the doubt surrounding Bryant, who lasted only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left ankle injuries.
“I see a guy who’s going to average 20 something points a game, will have a great year and have a lot of people eating crow,” Scott said Tuesday in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “I’m glad people are saying [otherwise]. Keep adding it. It motivates him that much more. It makes my job easier.”
Yet, Scott’s job as the Lakers coach will hardly be easy. He will oversee a team that finished last season with the worst record in L.A. franchise history. Scott will have to bolster a defense that 29th in points allowed (109.2), 24th in defensive field goal percentage (46.8) and 30th in fast-break points allowed (16.7). And Scott will also have to put his strong relationship with Bryant to good use, finding the right balance in leaning on Bryant’s expertise and skillset without overly taxing his 36-year-old body.
Scott reported Bryant as fully healthy from his left knee injury and looked impressed with his offseason workouts. Yet, Scott said he will have to limit Bryant. He will probably sit out in the second practice of the three two-a-day sessions Scott tentatively has scheduled once training camp begins in three weeks. Bryant will likely skip select regular-season practices so he can receive additional rest and treatment. Scott also conceded the possibility that Bryant will either miss the second night of back-to-back games, or face reduced minutes the first game so he can play the following night.
“The key is our communication,” Scott said. “Kobe knows me pretty well and I know him pretty well. I know how stubborn he is. He knows how stubborn I am. There’s going to be times we’re butting heads. But it’s all because we want to win. But I also don’t want to play a guy like Kobe in game 58 just to get that win and then risk his health for game 82 when we have a chance to go into the playoffs. I have to be real smart that I stick to my guns as far as minutes are concerned even if it costs us a game or two.” Continue reading →
Fans eagerly sat or stood by what they considered Jeremy Lin’s wax figure at the Madame Tussauds in San Francisco, posing for pictures to make it appear they actually rubbed elbows with the Lakers’ newly acquired point guard.
Those fans soon realized they actually were. Lin either moved or spoke, scaring, surprising and amusing fans who fell for his still movements that suggested he was the wax figure.
Question marks remain on whether Lin can restore “Linsanity” to the Lakers, or at least become a pretty consistent back-up or starter to complement a possibly ailing Steve Nash. But Lin has made it abundantly clear he loves to pull pranks on people. Lin recorded a dunk cam that showed up posterizing on random fans and his mom. Lin surprised his mother on her birthday by drenching her with cake. And his latest prank where he pretended to pose as his wax figure even surprised other family members.