August 10, 2012 |
For over a year, the Lakers couldn't get themselves out of what appeared to be a little batting slump. They clearly hit the ball out of the park by landing Chris Paul. But the umpire (NBA Commissioner David Stern) ruled it a foul ball. It then appeared the Lakers whiffed when they traded away Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher. Then they repeatedly hit balls that landed foul. They acquired a promising point guard in Ramon Sessions, but he couldn't handle the playoff pressure. A bloated payroll made Deron Williams skeptical of wearing purple and gold.
August 7, 2012 |
The closer no longer carries the team late in the game. The scorer no longer takes a bulk of the load. His shot looks off the mark. And regardless of whether he's just pacing himself for next season, Kobe Bryant looks remarkably slow in the 2012 London Olympics. There's very little to like about Bryant's play through five games in group play. Before Team USA's Wednesday's quarterfinal match with Australia, Bryant has averaged 9.4 points on 38.9% shooting. He ranks sixth on Team USA in scoring behind Kevin Durant (18.6 points)
July 25, 2012 |
This is the 16th post in a series focusing on this year's free-agent class. Player: Roger Mason Jr. Former team: Washington Wizards Type of free agent: Unrestricted Positives: Mason Jr.'s stint last season with the Wizards shows he can thrive as a role player if given the opportunity. He almost had two separate seasons, one that featured him stuck deep in the Wizards' depth chart and one proving he's a worthy option. After averaging only 1.9 points in 21 of the Wizards' first 31 games, Mason Jr. found an increased role when Randy Witman replaced Flip Saunders as head coach and after the Wizards sent guard Nick Young to the Clippers.
July 20, 2012 |
Steve Nash logged his first assist as a Laker more than three months before the season opener. His presence was among the primary factors that lured Jordan Hill back to the Lakers on Friday as the reserve power forward agreed to a two-year contract for almost $8 million. "Jordan was excited about the fact that Steve Nash decided to join the Lakers and the prospect of winning a championship in L.A.," said Kevin Bradbury, Hill's agent. Hill will further fortify the Lakers' bench after forward Antawn Jamison agreed this week to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.
July 14, 2012
The Lakers acquire a very talented but 38-year-old point guard and Lakers fans barrage The Times with letters declaring an off-season championship. I give full credit to Jim Buss: He's lowered expectations so much that he's taken the Lakers from best franchise in the NBA to the pro hoops equivalent of UCLA football. Mark Backstrom Inglewood :: We all knew Mitch Kupchak gave up a ton to acquire Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns, we just didn't know he threw in all the Lakers' water as well.
July 13, 2012 |
Steve Nash's arrival added some much-needed tranquillity for the Lakers. But it remains to be seen whether that settled feeling will just become the calm before the storm. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak expressed doubts the front office could hit another "home run," but he made it clear "our roster is not complete. " For Pau Gasol, that means he won't know if he's returning to L.A. until perhaps training camp starts. "We all know by now that there are no guarantees in this business," Gasol said in an email to The Times.
July 13, 2012 |
The moment Kobe Bryant connected on the phone with Steve Nash, the past evaporated. Bryant moved past Phoenix eliminating the Lakers in the first round of the 2006 and 2007 NBA playoffs. Nash moved past the Lakers beating the Suns in the 2010 Western Conference Finals. The two both moved past the animosity that stemmed from such competition. Instead, the two embraced the differences for the sake of winning a championship. The two want to make this work as they know the window's closing on their careers.
July 11, 2012 |
The Lakers appear to be only a few quick dribbles away from Showtime after acquiring Steve Nash. The team's championship fortunes substantially improved after turning the point guard position into one of its biggest weaknesses to one of its biggest strengths. The excitement stemming from last week's sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns will continue at noon Wednesday when Nash is officially introduced as a Laker before a news conference at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.