Metta World Peace to speak at free mental health event in El Monte

Metta World Peace will speak at a mental health event on May 21 in El Monte, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Metta World Peace will speak at a mental health event on May 21 in El Monte, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Fans will have a chance to meet and hear Metta World Peace speak, and the issues will prove far more important than his stint with the Lakers that included a significant role in winning the 2010 NBA Finals.

World Peace plans to speak about mental health issues at an event open to the public for free at El Monte airport on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

“I’m very happy to participate in this mental health awareness event, because events like this one help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health,” World Peace said in a statement. “It is vital that we educate our communities and let people know there is nothing wrong with seeking out help when you need it. It is especially important for our youth to understand that it is actually ‘cool’ to take care of yourself, and to direct them to the free resources available within their communities.”

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NBA draft lottery: Kiki Vandeweghe does not sense any “imminent” changes to lottery system

Kiki Vandeweghe, the the NBA’s senior vice president of basketball operations, does not "see anything imminent" when it comes to NBA draft lottery reform. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Kiki Vandeweghe, the the NBA’s senior vice president of basketball operations, does not “see anything imminent” when it comes to NBA draft lottery reform. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Below is an edited Q&A with Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA’s senior vice president of basketball operations, on the league’s current NBA draft lottery system and why does not sense any “imminent” changes. This interview was part of a larger story capturing the various sentiments around the league on the NBA’s draft lottery system.

What do you think of the current NBA lottery system?

Vandeweghe: “The first thing is, the lottery is not supposed to incentivize losing. In theory, it’s supposed to help the teams with the worst record. That’s the whole purpose behind it. It’s been constructed in different ways and changed a variety of times over the course and adjusted as needed. But those are the two tenets to keep in mind.”

Have there been any recent league proposals to change it?

Vandeweghe:: “Nothing recently. I don’t think I see anything imminent. A year and a half ago, there was a lot of momentum for change. We brought some thoughts to the Board of Governors. The majority of the owners were in favor of change. But a change really takes a super majority. So we barely missed that. I don’t know what has happened in between that. We’ve focused on different areas. I would assume it hasn’t really changed that much.”

[Editor’s note: A super majority would require 23 out of 30 NBA teams to vote in favor of any rule changes].

What were the concerns against any changes?

Vandeweghe: “I think the people who were really focused on not wanting change were focused on what the upcoming salary cap bump can do. The salary cap is going to go to 90 [million] plus. We’ll have a lot more money in the system. How will that change behavior? How will that change team building? The draft is only one aspect of team building. You have trades and free agency. They all work together. They work together well.

We have an influx of a lot more money. We don’t know how that’s going to change the dynamic. People wanted to pause and wait and see how that affected the system. That makes sense. That’s really what’s going on. We’ll see how this works. I’m not sure anyone expected this much of a bump initially. But it’s going to be a big bump, so we’ll see.”

Were there concerns expressed about any lottery reform hurting small market teams more than large market teams? Some expressed the idea that for small markets, it’s more imperative they’re able to rebuild through the draft.

Vandeweghe: “I think the important thing to keep in mind, no matter what we’re doing with any of our rules, we always want a fair playing field as much as possible. So the cool thing that you’re noticing today, players don’t see a real difference in small markets or big markets as far as free agency goes or winning percentage. Adam [Silver] has really done a tremendous job as far as ensuring equality in the whole league. The talent is spread out. You have great teams from big markets and small markets. If you look at all of our studies, you have some of the best free agents that have chosen to stay in what would be traditionally smaller markets.”
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Lakers to stay local in 2016 preseason

The Lakers will play the 2016 preseason at local venues, including Staples Center. Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

The Lakers will play the 2016 preseason at local venues, including Staples Center. Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

The Lakers may enter training camp in the fall of 2016 with a much more cheerful note than the past two seasons that featured endless. That sunny outlook, however, will not coincide with the Lakers staying at a poolside hotel and saying “Aloha” to fans.

After spending the majority of training camp last season in Hawaii, the Lakers will spend most of their preseason in the comfortable confines of their practice facility in El Segundo. The Lakers will also primarily play in the Southern California area.

They will begin and end exhibition play at the Anaheim’s Honda Center, including their preseason opener on Oct. 4 against the Sacramento Kings and their preseason finale against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers will host two games at Staples Center, including the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 7 and against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 11. The Lakers will also visit Ontario’s Citizen Business Bank Arena (vs. Denver on Oct. 9).

The unique quirks to their schedule will include two games in Las Vegas, including against Sacramento on Oct 13 and Golden State on Oct 15 at T-Mobile Arena. Although they play in Las Vegas every year in preseason play, the Lakers have not hosted two exhibition games there since the 2006-07 season. The Lakers will also play in San Diego against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19 at Valley View Casino Center. That could became a game of intrigue considering Lakers coach Luke Walton’s connections.

Walton served as an assistant coach for Golden State the previous two seasons. Walton grew up in San Diego and starred at the University of San Diego High School. Officials also called the Lakers-Warriors game early last year because of frequent wet spots on the floor.

Tickets for games in Anaheim, Ontario, Las Vegasn and San Diego go on sale at at 10 a.m. PST on May 16. Meanwhile, tickets for the games at Staples Center will go on sale at a later date.

Fans can buy tickets for the games at Honda Center through www.ticketmaster.com and or through phone at 1-800-4-NBA-TIX. Tickets are priced at $27, $44, $79 and $129. Group seats of 15 or more are available for purchase by calling 1-714-940-2859 or visiting www.hondacenter.com.

Tickets for games in Ontario, Las Vegas and San Diego are available through www.axs.com or by phone at 1-888-9-AXS-TIX (1-888-929-7849). Tickets for the games in Las Vegas will also be available at the T-Mobile Arena Box office.

Tickets ordered for the Ontario game are priced at $25, $45, $70, $95 and $136. Tickets ordered for the Las Vegas game have various price ranges at $25, $42.50, $55, $80, $105 and $155. Tickets in San Diego are priced at $30, $45, $75 and $105. Group seats of 15 or more for the San Diego game are available for purchase by calling 1-619-363-5330 or emailing Jen@JDCgroupMarketing.com.

Tickets for the games in Anaheim have cost ranges from $27, $44, $79 and $129. Group seats of 15 or more are available for purchase by calling 1-714-940-2859 or visiting www.hondacenter.com.

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Lakers believe Luke Walton will relate to young players well

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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Kobe Bryant to partner with Sports Illustrated on animated film

Kobe Bryant enters Staples Center before he played his final game as a Los Angeles Laker during home game against the Utah Jazz. April 13, 2016. Los Angeles, CA.  (Photo by John McCoy/Southern California News Group)

Kobe Bryant enters Staples Center before he played his final game as a Los Angeles Laker during home game against the Utah Jazz. April 13, 2016. Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by John McCoy/Southern California News Group)

For a player who devoted countless hours on the hardwood, it did not take long for Kobe Bryant to find his other calling.

After sharing during his 20th and final NBA season that he loves storytelling, Bryant made a significant leap toward tackling that craft. Bryant’s production company, “Kobe Studios,” partnered with Sports Illustrated Group & Believe Entertainment Group to produce various multi-platform video projects.

That will include the premier of “Dear Basketball,” an animated short film on SI.com for a fall release that expands upon Bryant’s retirement poem he published for “The Players Tribune” website on Nov. 29, 2015. SI Films will also release mini documentaries that shows behind-the-scenes footage of the animation process.

Bryant will narrate the short film that Glen Keane will animate and John Williams will compose with a musical score. Keane worked on various Disney films, such as Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan and Tangled. Williams has won five Academy Awards for his film scores for Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and Schindler’s List. Williams is also well know for his music compositions for Superman, the Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park and the Harry Potter films.

“Dear Basketball is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long,” Bryant said in a statement released through Sports Illustrated. “Glen and John are two legends in their industries, so to partner with them on the creative process is a dream come true. Working with Sports Illustrated on this special project is an amazing opportunity to hopefully inspire fans all over the world.”
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Byron Scott “little blindsided” by firing, but still maintains affection for Lakers

Another loss added to Byron Scott’s resume nearly any time he coached a game.

So much that the Lakers finished with their worst record in franchise history for two consecutive years. So much that Scott’s combined 38-126 record finished just above George Mikan for the franchise’s worst all-time winning percentage among its 20 coaches. So much that the newly hired Luke Walton compiled more wins as Golden State’s interim head coach (39-4) this season than Scott collected through two years.

Yet, Scott hardly could rely on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to splash opponents with three-pointers. Nor could he plug in Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala to fill any needed role. Hence, Scott appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Monday and reported feeling “a little blindsided” when the Lakers fired him last week even if he described the last two years as “very rough.”

“That’s what I expected. When I took the job, when we sat down, Mitch [Kupchak] and I and Jim [Buss], that was the whole premise of the conversation,” Scott said, referring to his job interviews he had with the Lakers’ general manager and executive vice president of players personnel. “These next two or three years are going to be pretty tough. Can I handle the situation. I said, I can handle it. I’ll get the team to come to work every single day with a smile on my face and be very positive. It’s my nature to keep working. That’s what I continued to do.”

That sentiment changed last week after Scott went to the Lakers’ practice facility on last Sunday evening.

“Mitch Kupchak called me to come to the office and told me they weren’t going to extend my contract,” said Scott, who had team options for his third and fourth seasons. “That’s basically how it played out.”

Scott stressed, “I don’t have any ill will feelings toward the organization.” After spending 11 of his 14 NBA seasons with the Lakers and winning three league championships during the beloved “Showtime Era.” Hence, Scott maintained, “I still love the Lakers organization. I wish them all the best.”
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Lakers agree to deal with Luke Walton to become head coach

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton instructs his team during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton instructs his team during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

After once helping the Lakers to back-to-back NBA championships with his superior passing, Luke Walton will try to hand out an assist to his former team in another way.

Walton and the Lakers agreed to a multi-year deal to become their head coach. The 36-year-old Walton replaced Byron Scott, who was not retained after finishing with a combined 38-126 record in the past two seasons. Walton will still serve as one of the Golden State Warriors’ assistant coaches until their playoff run ends.

“We’re excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he’s going to start an outstanding coaching career,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “He’s one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game and we feel fortunate that he’ll be leading the on-court future of our team.”
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Metta World Peace sheds light on mental health issues in Chamique Holdsclaw’s upcoming documentary

The memories still seem vivid in Metta World Peace’s mind as he recalled toiling in physical matchups with Chamique Holdsclaw on the playground hardwood around the projects in Queensbridge, N.Y. It would not mark the first time World Peace felt like he could relate to his childhood friend.

Both World Peace and Holdsclaw became living examples on how mental health issues can both take a toll on their lives, while also becoming outspoken on the topic to inspire others.

After once becoming infamous for his role with the Palace Brawl in 2004, World Peace dealt with issues stemmed from alcohol abuse and anger issues. World Peace created a new reputation for his help with mental health charities that won him the 2010-11 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

As she rose and fell as a WNBA star, Holdsclaw struggled with having a bipolar disorder that led to depression, a near overdose and an arrest in 2013 for assaulting her girlfriend, Jennifer Lacy. Holdsclaw has since spoken at college campuses, written a book and has participated in a documentary that will air on May 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the LOGO network titled “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.”

Both Holdsclaw and World Peace plan to speak at UCLA on May 18 about the documentary, with hope that their stories could inspire others that also deal with mental health issues. World Peace also spoke those topics with Southern California News Group in a Q&A below.

MIndGame UCLA May 18 2016
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Bill Walton believes Luke Walton should not accept Lakers’ coaching job

The lure of Luke Walton coaching the Lakers seems poetic given his close connection to the franchise. So does remaining part of the Golden State Warriors’ coaching staff as they aim to defend their NBA championship after setting a record for most regular-season wins in league history.

Before Walton likely interviews for the Lakers’ head-coaching vacancy soon, his father provided honest commentary that for once does not follow with a laugh track.

“Stay where he is. Head-coaching jobs are open for a reason,” Walton told Tim Ring, the sports director of KTVK, in a recent interview. “What he has right now, it doesn’t get any better than that. Money cannot buy what they have on the Warriors right now.”

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Lakers receive permission from Golden State to interview Luke Walton

The Golden State Warriors granted permission to the Lakers to interview assistant coach Luke Walton . (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

The Golden State Warriors granted permission to the Lakers to interview assistant coach Luke Walton . (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

The Lakers are completing the beginning steps of their coaching search by pursuing someone both familiar by name and intriguing by potential.

The Golden State Warriors have granted the Lakers permission to interview assistant Luke Walton once their first-round series ends against the Houston Rockets.

Walton’s schedule could become relatively more flexible if the Warriors eliminate the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of their first-round series in Oakland on Wednesday.
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Kobe Bryant tells doctor he has sweating problem in Ellen DeGeneres prank

Kobe Bryant became an open book in recent years. But who knew that would entail sharing one of his most private and embarrassing secrets?

The former Lakers’ star became known as the Black Mamba for punishing his prey with a high lethal dosage of buckets. But who knew Bryan’s teammates also called him, “Sweat Midler?”

In a moment that became even more uncomfortable than having to guard him, Bryant told an esthetician that he sweats profusely. It happens when he plays. It happens when he stands up and jumps. It happens so much that his teammates constantly made fun of him.

Through nearly six minutes of awkwardness, Bryant then revealed another secret of his. This all served as a prank for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” All of which revealed that Bryant does not have a sweating problem. He is just really really good in acting.

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Lakers coaching search: Lakers keeping an open mind on next candidate

Byron Scott out as Lakers coach after two seasons

Lakers to hold auction and raffle to own pieces of Kobe Bryant’s last game

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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