Lakers’ Ryan Kelly listed as questionable to play Sunday vs. Charlotte

The Lakers are facing uncertainty beyond when they will actually win a game. They also wonder when they will have a healthy roster.

That issue became more unpredictable after Lakers forward Ryan Kelly sat out of practice on Friday for the second consecutive day because of a right hamstring that coach Byron Scott said “tightened up.” The Lakers (0-5) are listing Kelly questionable for Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets (2-3) at Staples Center.

Scott said it’s a “good sign” that Kelly’s latest condition does not suggest that he reinjured his right hamstring, an injury coupled with a previously left hamstring strain that kept him out until the Lakers’ loss on Tuesday to Phoenix. But Kelly only played seven minutes and posted two points on 1 of 2 shooting.

“If it feels better tomorrow, we’ll make a step more to make it on the practice court for some length of time and then see how he responds on Sunday,” Scott said. “It’s been something a lot slower than we expected. We don’t want to risk the fact that if we throw him out there, he ruptures or and tears it, then he’s done for a long time. We might have to be little more patient and wait a few more days or weeks.”

Kelly averaged eight points on 33.8 percent shooting his rookie season with the Lakers.

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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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Charles Barkley says he will go on hunger strike until Lakers win

Forget rigorous exercising. Forget a revamped diet that puts a high premium on nutrition.

What will help TNT analyst Charles Barkley shed down those extra pounds directly ties into the Lakers’ fortunes, namely their lack thereof.

“I’m not going to eat again until the Lakers win a game,” Barkley said Thursday on the TNT telecast.
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant dismisses parallels to Michael Jordan’s stint in Washington

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, looks over at Washington Wizards' Michael Jordan during the second half, Tuesday night, Feb. 12, 2002, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 103-94. (AP Photo/E.J. Flynn)

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, left, looks over at Washington Wizards’ Michael Jordan during the second half, Tuesday night, Feb. 12, 2002, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 103-94. (AP Photo/E.J. Flynn)

The comparisons to Michael Jordan continuously overshadowed Kobe Bryant throughout his career. Would Bryant become Jordan’s heir apparent? Will Bryant ever match or eclipse Jordan’s sixth NBA championships? Bryant enters the Lakers’ (0-5) game on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets (2-3) at Staples Center only 454 points of surpassing Jordan for third-place on the all-time scoring list.

But Bryant found little interest in speaking in great detail on any parallels he sees between his current stage of his 19-year career and when Jordan spent his last two NBA seasons over a decade ago with the Washington Wizards after spending most of his career with the Chicago Bulls.

The 36-year-old Bryant first laughed when asked if there were similarities.

“No. Not really,” Bryant said. “Well maybe. I guess.”

How so?

He wasn’t in Chicago, playing for the same organization for all those years. It’s a little different. I’m still younger than he was,” Bryant said. “I can see where you guys are thinking there’s similarities there. I also think it’s probably reachable content at this point. I get it. So, yeah, there’s similarities. Then there are differences. Just have at it.”
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Lakers’ Jeremy Lin featured in NBA’s “Gear Up” promo

For once, Kobe Bryant does not represent the face of the Lakers. In the NBA’s “Gear Up” campaign that promotes the league’s merchandise apparel, Jeremy Lin is the one that dons the Lakers’ cap instead.

Of course, both Bryant and Lin have attracted a broad fanbase for different reasons. Bryant has cemented both the Lakers’ brand and his own worldwide both for his basketball resume (five NBA titles, fourth on league’s all-time scoring list), multicultural background (growing up in Italy) and establishing an overseas marketing presence, particularly in Asia. Lin has attracted buzz as the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent. His breakout season dubbed “Linsanity” three years ago with the New York Knicks only heightened that appeal.

On the court, Bryant has publicly and privately pushed Lin to become more aggressive. Lin has sounded publicly receptive to the message. But the two are still figuring out how to perfect that dynamic. Bryant has taken a vast majority of the Lakers’ shots, while Lin has adjusted playing off-the-ball.

But for what it’s worth, Lin’s presence here has at least reduced some of Bryant’s workload with off-the-court promotions. At least enough where Lin appears on the NBA’s latest promotional spot representing the Lakers.


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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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Lakers’ Steve Nash posts video of himself hitting golf ball

Almost fell over. Glad my cheerleader was on hand.

A video posted by stephennash (@stephennash) on

The claps and cheers became louder after Steve Nash hit a golfball at an undisclosed driving range, a scene that was posted this week on his Instagram account.

With the 40-year-old Nash ruled out for the season two weeks ago because of recurring back problems, the general public’s reaction hardly provided as positive of a reception.

Among the comments suitable for print included, “I’ve hurt my back before and there’s no way I would have been able to swing like that.”
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Ryan Kelly spent part of offseason in MMA training

As he stayed sidelined to heal his hamstrings, Ryan Kelly hoped he could add some punch to the Lakers that go beyond his outside shooting.

He trained in mixed martial-arts during part of the offseason in hopes the 6-foot-11, 230-pound Kelly could absorb some punches from bulkier defenders.

“I’m just glad I didn’t get knocked out,” Kelly said, laughing. “I didn’t crush anybody. I don’t think those punches were knocking anybody out.”

Kelly returned to the Lakers’ lineup Tuesday against Phoenix at Staples Center, his first appearance since suffering overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly posted only two points on 1-of-2 shooting in seven minutes. But the Lakers badly missed his presence after spending his rookie season averaging eight points on 33.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Lakers entered their game against the Suns going only 31.6 percent from three-point range.

“He brings a different element as far as the fact that he can stretch the floor,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “He has picked the offense up pretty fast for somebody who hasn’t been able to do the offense a lot.”

That explains why Kelly signed a two-year, $3.4 million this offseason with the Lakers. But both the Lakers and Kelly hope he can better withstand the physical demands of the NBA.

“I don’t know the MMA will make that big of a difference,” Kelly said. “This summer I wanted to work on my body and take those hits. I’ll guess we’ll find out.”

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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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Kobe Bryant: “Just get a damn win”

For a player who has pleaded patience throughout a difficult process, it appears Kobe Bryant has already started to lose his.

Bryant sounded calm following a double-digit loss last week to Phoenix. He even reported feeling pleased when the Lakers nearly upset the Clippers only four days ago. But following the Lakers’ 112-106 loss on Tuesday to the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center, Bryant struck a different tone both in demeanor and words.

“Just get a damn win,” Bryant insisted his team needed to do.
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Lakers’ Ryan Kelly to play Tuesday vs. Phoenix

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly will play tonight against the Phoenix Suns after staying sidelined for the past month with overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings.

“I feel good. I’ll give it a go,” Kelly said following Tuesday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “Conditioning wise, I don’t know. We’ll find out I guess. Health wise I feel great. I’m ready to roll.”

Kelly participated in Tuesday’s shootaround and practiced for an hour of Monday’s practice that consisted of three-man weave and conditioning drills as well as games of three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five. Kelly sat out of the Lakers’ scrimmage that was open to the media toward the tail end of Monday’s practice.

This has marked a frustrating start for Kelly, who opened training camp with a strained left hamstring. He then injured his right hamstring during a morning shootaround drill two weeks ago.

Kelly’s return would likely enhance the team’s three-point shooting, which currently ranks 16th out of 30 NBA teams with a 31.6 percent clip. Kelly averaged eight points on 33.8 percent shooting his rookie season with the Lakers, his floor spacing as a so-called stretch forward proving a good fit under former coach Mike D’Antoni.

Against the Suns last week, the Lakers went only 4-of-13 from three-point range, while the Suns shot 16-of-32 from shots beyond the arc.

“He brings a different element as far as the fact that he can stretch the floor,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We’ll have to wait and see. I’m anxious to see him play. I know how smart he is. He’ll be in the right places at the right time. That’s the one thing I like about it. He has picked the offense up pretty fast for somebody who hasn’t been able to do the offense a lot.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott wants more from Carlos Boozer on defense

"Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) drives to the hoop against Los Angeles Lakers' Carlos Boozer (5) in the first quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) "

“Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) drives to the hoop against Los Angeles Lakers’ Carlos Boozer (5) in the first quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) “

The Lakers represented a new beginning for Carlos Boozer where he believed he could reestablish his All-Star credentials. But as the Lakers opened the 2014-15 season losing their first four consecutive games for the first time in 57 years, Boozer has become the poster child for the Lakers’ league-worst defense.

“He knows he can play better and I expect him to play better,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said Monday at the Lakers’ practice in El Segundo. “To me, it starts on the defensive end. He has to do a better job against pick and roll defense and has to do a better job on guys who are trying to post him off the dribble.”
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Lakers’ Ryan Kelly could play Tuesday vs. Phoenix

Amid their worst start in 57 years, the Lakers finally received a rare dose of good news.

Lakers forward Ryan Kelly could play Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center after staying sidelined since training camp with overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly practiced for about an hour on Monday, which he said consisted of three-man weave and running drills as well as games of three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five. Kelly did not play during the Lakers’ scrimmage that was open to the media that was open toward the tail end of Monday’s practice.

“I had to get the wind back a little bit and it’ll take some time,” Kelly said. “I’ll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”

The Lakers could use all the help they can get after opening the 2014-15 season with a league-worst four consecutive losses, including to the Suns (2-1).

Kelly’s return would likely enhance the team’s three-point shooting, which currently ranks 16th out of 30 NBA teams with a 31.6 percent clip. Kelly averaged eight points on 33.8 percent shooting his rookie season with the Lakers, his floor spacing as a so-called stretch forward proving a good fit under former coach Mike D’Antoni.

“I think that’s something I can do in spreading the floor,” Kelly said. “I can be helpful there. I’m unique in that way.”

Kelly stayed sidelined for mostly all of the Lakers’ training camp after injuring his left hamstring on the first practice. Two weeks ago, Kelly then injured his right hamstring in morning shootaround just when he believed he would return the lineup.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said Kelly “looked okay,” noting that he missed out on the team’s full contact scrimmage that was open to the media.

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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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