Lakers’ Tarik Black sprains right ankle in 115-100 loss to Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX — Lakers forward Tarik Black slowly walked out of the trainer’s room, the crutches in his hand and the rolled tape on his right ankle suggesting a serious injury.

Still, x-rays turned out negative after Black sprained his right ankle that caused him to leave with five minutes remaining of the Lakers’ 115-100 loss on Monday to the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. But could Black return quickly enough to play in Wednesday’s game in New Orleans?

“I can’t comment on that one,” said Black, who posted six points on two-of-three shooting and three rebounds in 21 minutes. “I don’t know. But miracles can happen. I rolled it pretty good, though.”

How Black rolled his ankle appears unclear. It seemed as if he fell on a teammates’ foot, believed to be Nick Young. But the Lakers’ eccentric forward vehemently denied that when Black asked him after a reporter suggested the incident happened.

Young scoffed, “I wasn’t even in the vicinity.” A playful Black then answered, “You got beef, homey? We can go get it.” Young countered, “Think about it, I was shooting the ball in the corner.”

Young then repeatedly referred Black to John Coffey from The Green Mile and suggested he could heal quickly with special powers.

“Stop talking to me bro,” Black said, playfully. “Or we’re going to get into it.”

Still, this incident already sours a Lakers’ roster reeling with injuries. Kobe Bryant sat the eighth of the past 15 games to rest his 36-year-old body. He will complete light shooting drills in Tuesday’s practice in Phoenix with hopes to play on Wednesday in New Orleans. The playing status also remains unclear for Lakers guard Ronnie Price, who missed the past two games with persistent soreness in his right elbow.

As for Black, this sours a promising start where he has averaged eight points on 66.7 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds in 17.7 minutes through six games. The Lakers picked up off of waivers after the Houston Rockets parted ways with the rookie center to make room for Josh Smith.

“I don’t put pressure on myself,” Black said. “It happened. It is what it is. I can’t take it back. No point of worrying about it. I got to heal up, get better and get out there. My biggest thing is helping the team win.”

Black will nurse crutches to alleviate the pressure on his right ankle and prevent it from swelling. Black also downplayed the pain level. And he also expressed optimism in the Lakers’ training staff.

“It just hurt bad when it happened,” Black said. “But as far as the injury goes, I’ll be back soon. It’s just a matter of keeping the swelling down.”


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Phoenix’s Goran Dragic on free agency, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash

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’ Kobe Bryant, Ronnie Price to sit against Phoenix

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Los Angeles. Several athletes have worn "I Can't Breathe" shirts during warm ups in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Los Angeles. Several athletes have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm ups in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PHOENIX –Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Ronnie Price will sit out for the second consecutive game when the Lakers (12-29) visit the Phoenix Suns (24-18) on Monday at U.S. Airways Center.

Bryant will have missed eight of the past 15 games amid the Lakers’ recent quest to “preserve” the team’s 36-year-old star. He only played last week against Miami and Cleveland.

“Just trying to get his body to be not as sore and hurting,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “Like he said the other day, ‘it aches everywhere.’ It won’t be the point to where three or four or five days of rest means he will come back and feel great. But he feels good enough to come out and play against Cleveland. It’s about trying to preserve him as much as possible.”
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Phoenix’s Goran Dragic on free agency, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash

Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) is expected to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Could the Lakers be a possible landing destination for the Slovenian? (File photo/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) is expected to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Could the Lakers be a possible landing destination for the Slovenian? (File photo/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Below is a recent interview with Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, who talked with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group about his upcoming free agency, whether he’d consider the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and what he learned playing with Steve Nash. The Suns (24-18) host the Lakers (12-29) on Monday at U.S. Airways Center.

When this summer approaches and you become a free agent, what will influence your decision?


Dragic:
“It’s going to be an interesting summer. I’m going to make one of the toughest decisions in my life. I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and I’ll look at all the options. But I’m really happy here in Phoenix and they have given me everything that I have dreamed of, and this is obviously my first place when I came to the NBA. I feel like at home. But I’ll explore my options. It’s too soon to say something more because I want to be focused on this season.”

Even with the Lakers struggling, do you see them as an option considering their history and their cap flexibility?

Dragic: “It’s not just L.A. I think everybody. Any team in the league. I’m rare in this position. I’ve been working hard and I can explore my options. Back in Europe, there are bad teams financially and teams that aren’t organized. But every team in the NBA is a good organization. It’s going to be tough. But I won’t think about that until after the season.”

What would you think about playing with Kobe Bryant?


Dragic:
Any player that is one of the best players in the league would be cool. Kobe, of course, he’s a legend. LeBron James. I played with Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Amare Stoudemire, and I know how awesome it is to be around those superstars. If you’re patient enough and you listen, you learn a lot. Of course, Kobe is one of those stars.

You’ve been quoted as dismissing the idea that free agents don’t want to play with Kobe is false. What’s your take on that?

Dragic: “I don’t read the media. But maybe some players had bad experience because they didn’t play well with the Lakers. But I don’t think that is the case.”
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Byron Scott offers reaction to Kobe’s retirement comment; Bryant scheduled to travel but unsure if playing

Lakers head coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant have not talked about shutting Bryant down for the season, but it continues to be a game-by-game approach to limit the superstar's minutes. Friday, January 2, 2015.  The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 109-106. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

Lakers head coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant have not talked about shutting Bryant down for the season, but it continues to be a game-by-game approach to limit the superstar’s minutes. Friday, January 2, 2015. The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 109-106. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

Kobe Bryant got the attention of the sports world with his recent comments to columnist Bill Plaschke on Sunday when discussing the topic of retirement.

I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t crossed my mind,” Bryant was quoted as saying.”Right now I doubt it…but anything’s possible.”

Bryant was at the Lakers practice facility on Sunday morning, but did not speak to media, leaving his head coach Byron Scott to provided reaction to the comments.

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Ronnie Price listed as doubtful for Monday; Byron Scott leaning towards resting guard

"Lakers#0 Nick Young, Ronnie Price Robert Sacre celebrate in the 4th quarter.  and The Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 115-105 in a game played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. December 23, 2014. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)"

“Lakers#0 Nick Young, Ronnie Price Robert Sacre celebrate in the 4th quarter. and The Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors 115-105 in a game played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. December 23, 2014. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News)”

Ronnie Price missed Friday’s game against the Jazz, held out for an aggravated right elbow and his availability for Monday against Phoenix is looking slim.

“He came in today and got his treatment. We will see how he feels tomorrow, but to be honest with you I’m thinking of sitting Ronnie down one more game and seeing how it reacts,” said Scott. “He hasn’t shot a ball basketball…I want to give him another day if I can.”

Price is averaging 5.5 points per game and 3.8 assists with the Lakers in 38 games this season, averaging 23.3 minutes. Price is listed as doubtful.

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Lakers extends contract for TWC SportsNet’s Bill Macdonald

SALT LAKE CITY — The Lakers still have over five months to wait before they revamp their roster with a coveted draft pick or a free agency acquisition.

But the franchise has already made moves to ensure continuity on their flagship cable station, Time Warner Cable Access SportsNet. The Lakers signed the team’s television play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald to a three-year extension, according to league sources familiar with the situation. The Lakers also anticipate finalizing an extension soon with television color analyst Stu Lantz.

Bleacher Report first reported this development.

Macdonald is in his fourth season as the Lakers’ television play-by-play announcer, his arrival at TWC Access SportsNet preceding his various radio and television broadcast duties both with play-by-play and pre and post-game shows with the Lakers, Angels and Ducks on Fox Sports West. The four-time local EMMY winner had called play-by-play for UCLA men’s basketball and football and the Los Angeles Avenders. Macdonald also called Kobe Bryant’s career-high 81-point game performance on Jan. 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors on Staples Center.

Lantz is in his 28th season with the Lakers, 15 of those years working with noted former Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. The Southern California Sports Broadcaster’s Association voted Lantz as the best radio color commentator in Southern California six times and the best television color commentator seven times. He also won seven local EMMY awards in the Best Live Sports Telecast category.


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Kobe can only do so much against LeBron as Lakers lose to Cavaliers

Lakers sticking to plan, not thinking about shutting down Kobe Bryant

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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Kevin Love on Kobe Bryant’s relentlessness: “You’ve got to show a guy like that respect”

Kevin Love said Kobe Bryant does not take no for an answer and that "you have to show a guy like that respect." (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Kevin Love said Kobe Bryant does not take no for an answer and that “you have to show respect for someone like that.” (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

By Tony Ciniglio
Los Angeles Daily News

Former UCLA star Kevin Love found himself right at home during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ morning shootaround at UCLA at the Student Activities Center.

“It’s always fun to be back here, though I guess I don’t have enough pull to be at Pauley Pavilion,” Love said, laughing.

Love said after six years with the relatively low-key Minnesota Timberwolves, he is adjusting to being part of one of the NBA’s most scrutinized franchises with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.

And of course a stop in L.A. wouldn’t be complete without being asked about Kobe Bryant and what the Lakers superstar is going through this season.

“It’s pretty unbelievable for him, at his age, to come back from an Achilles injury and how a lot of resolve,” Love said. “He’s got a big heart. He’s Continue reading

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LeBron James said Kobe Bryant’s struggles are making him think

LeBron James, right, said watching Kobe Bryant, left, recently has made him think about his longevity. "Absolutely," James said. (Alan Diaz/The Associated Press)

LeBron James, right, said watching Kobe Bryant, left, recently has made him think about his longevity. “Absolutely,” James said. (Alan Diaz/The Associated Press)

By Tony Ciniglio
Los Angeles Daily News

LeBron James held court for the L.A. media at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ morning shootaround Thursday.

Of course James was asked about his own team’s chemistry. But maybe one of the more interesting takes was his response to a question about whether the end of Kobe Bryant’s career makes him take pause.

“Absolutely. Absolutely,” James said. “You just live Continue reading

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Lakers gear up for LeBron’s Cavs; Jordan Hill, Ronnie Price probable

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are set to square off on Thursday. The Lakers should also be getting reinforcements with Jordan Hill (knee) and Ronnie Price (elbow) listed as probable for game./GETTY IMAGES

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are set to square off on Thursday. The Lakers should also be getting reinforcements with Jordan Hill (knee) and Ronnie Price (elbow) listed as probable for game./GETTY IMAGES

By Tony Ciniglio
Los Angeles Daily News

So Kobe Bryant is expected to play against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, preserving the Kobe Bryant-LeBron James showdown.

The Lakers are also expecting to have other reinforcements.

Lakers forward Jordan Hill, Continue reading

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