Mike D’Antoni has funny retort to conversation had by Nick Young and Pau Gasol

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, prior to Sunday’s game against the visiting Orlando Magic, was told of a recent conversation that took place between Nick Young and Pau Gasol, who apparently want to do everything they can to avoid being the worst Lakers team since it moved to Los Angeles for the 1960-61 season.

The 1974-75 Lakers went 30-52. These Lakers are 22-46 and would have to go 9-5 over their last 14 games in order to accomplish what Gasol and Young want. That would make them 31-51.

“They probably should have had that conversation a little earlier, first off,” D’Antoni said, drawing a large round of laughter from assembled reporters. “But you know, hey, great, whatever we try to do is good.”

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Kendall Marshall says he’s not thinking about what will happen when others return

Kendall Marshall has done a good job at point guard since the Lakers signed him out of the D-League in December. He’s averaging 10.5 points and 9.3 assists in 17 games – 13 as the starter.

But with the news Monday that three other point guards – Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar – are close to returning from their respective injuries, one has to wonder what will happen to Marshall when they do.

Marshall on Monday insisted he is not thinking about it.

“Not at all, not at all,” he said after practice. “The only thing I’m focused on is the next game and trying to win that game. There are way too many variables in this league to try to
predict the future, so I just try to take it one day at a time.”

Marshall, out of North Carolina, is shooting 44.4 percent from the field overall, 47.9 percent (34 of 71) from 3-point range.

Marshall and the rest of the Lakers tonight play host to the Indiana Pacers, who at 34-9 have the league’s best record.

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Mike D’Antoni: GM Mitch Kupchak will do all he can to improve the Lakers

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was fielding questions from reporters following practice Thursday in El Segundo. Since the Lakers are just 13-19 and losers of six consecutive games, it wasn’t surprising that possible trades were part of the discussion.

One that has been talked about is post Pau Gasol going to Cleveland for former Lakers post Andrew Bynum. There is no evidence that deal is even close to being done. But the Lakers’ situation does beg the question – does this team need to make a major trade of shake-up proportions to give it a chance to make the playoffs and do well in them.

D’Antoni replied to just such an inquiry.

“I’m not sure, that’s Mitch’s job,” D’Antoni said, referring to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. “He’s going to look at everything possible and try to make us as good as possible. But there’s no magic dust out there. You just can hope and wish and I’m sure he’ll look at everything.”

In spite of all the injuries to Lakers guards – including Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and Xavier Henry – D’Antoni insists there remains enough talent on the team to be successful.

“… We have enough to win,” he said.


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Kobe Bryant responds to Jim Brown’s comments made on Arsenio Hall Show

NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown had some not-so-flattering things to say about Kobe Bryant during an interview on the Arsenio Hall Show on Tuesday night. For one thing, he said, Bryant “threw Shaq under the bus,” referring to former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal. The worst was yet to come.

Here is more of the dialogue of that interview.

“He is somewhat confused about culture because he was brought up in another country, so it doesn’t quite fit with what’s happening in America,” Brown said of Bryant, who lived in Italy for several years as a youth, but played high school ball in Philadelphia. Brown referred to Bryant as “an unbelievable athlete,” but also said, “In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call. So if I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. And Kobe would be one of them.”

Bryant’s first response was via twitter: A “Global” African American is an inferior shade to “American” African Americans?? .. that doesn’t sound very or sir.

Bryant on Thursday was asked about the whole thing. The first thing he did was admit to being somewhat astonished by Brown’s comments.

“Well, I mean, it surprised me because it just came out of left field,” Bryant said after practice. “I’ve never even met him, so it came out of left field. But I do think it’s a great opportunity to have these conversations and this discussion. No matter where you come from, whether you come from Italy, whether you come from  Inglewood , whether you come from London, it doesnt matter. Ultimately, the conversation is it doesnt matter what color skin you are to begin with.

“But I think its a good place to start and have a good conversation and try to educate one another and try to improve as a society from it.”

Bryant was asked if he would like to have that discussion with Brown.

“No, there’s nothing to talk about,” he said. “We have different perceptions, different views on it, clearly. So the thing that I try to do is always, what I’ve been trying to do, is try to educate our youth going forward, no matter what color skin you are – African American, white or whatever the case may be.

“Just try to talk about having a bright future and how to help the kids going forward, progress as a society as a whole. So he and I, there’s no reason for us to have a conversation because we’re on opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog, so he’s probably a lot more set in his ways than I am.”

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