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dwight-howard-headband-metta-world-peace

Here is a tricky situation: when you have a publicly-stated and very strict “Don’t care about Dwight Howard” policy for this summer, but Metta World Peace starts saying Metta World Peace things about Dwight’s free agency, what do you do? Or essentially — does Metta World Peace’s silliness make up for Dwight Howard’s insufferability?

In this scenario, the answer is yes. From CSNHouston.com:

When asked about the Lakers center who is about to be a free agent, World Peace said, “Well, he’s not going to Houston, I tell you that.

“You know how those horses have those little things, ties in a bullfight, you tie those things to their b—- and they go crazy? I’ve got two of those tied to Dwight Howard’s t——–, so he can’t move.”

After massive laughter, Sportsradio 610′s Mike Meltser asked, “So you think Dwight is definitely staying in LA?”

“He can’t move,” World Peace answered. “If he does, it’ll be painful. So he can’t go nowhere.”

See? I think that was worth it. And because Googling “strap around horse testicles” or any variation of that phrase is asking for trouble, I’m not going to worry about deciding if MWP is talking about a flank strap or elastration, and just charge it to the game. Though if I were to venture a guess, I’d go flank strap. #TeamFlankStrap

And while I think we’d all like to think about this mental image as little as we can, when you really do think about it, Metta World Peace’s ball strap analogy seem pretty risky. If you go the “tied to” route, well, there was no team Dwight was more tied to than the Orlando Magic, for whom Dwig played his first eight seasons. But if you go the “too painful” route, well, Dwight did panic and re-up with the Magic for half a season because he was sad that everyone kept being mad at him. So maybe Metta does have a point, pain-wise.

That being said, I still don’t think Metta World Peace should have tied a rope around Dwight Howard’s balls. Common courtesy.

(via PBT)

kevin-hart-and-dwight-howard

From the people who brought you Allen Iverson standing next to Yao Ming comes the blockbuster sequel, Kevin Hart standing next to Dwight Howard. Personally, I love this franchise and would love to see it continue forever, a la the Fast and Furious adventures. I mean, there are so many possibilities. Christina Aguilera next to Roy Hibbert, Danny DeVito hanging out with Hasheem Thabeet, Tom Cruise next to anyone in the NBA — the list goes on and on.

(via Questlove)

no-dwight-1

Since the Lakers couldn’t figure out how to squeeze a single playoff win out of the league’s highest payroll, they’re technically in the offseason, even though we still have a few weeks worth of ball to enjoy. And being as it’s their offseason, that means it’s Dwight Howard’s offseason, which means it’s the absolute perfect time to start saying things that will undoubtedly get people upset.

So please, do not be surprised when I tell you that Dwight Howard has said some things that will make people upset. The things are, from the Los Angeles Times, NOT STOPPING LIVING HIS LIFE:

We all met at UCLA, Howard was as friendly as always and relaxed after fishing trips to Lake Tahoe and Aspen.

He posted Twitter pictures of the fish that had jumped in his boat or the ones he claimed he had caught. But they were the wrong kind of trophies for some Lakers fans.

“You just can’t please people,” Howard said. “I catch fish and it’s a problem. People were upset I was out having fun; they thought I should be sitting in a room all upset because we lost.

“I am upset, but I’m not going to stop living life.”

And also HE IS SERIOUSLY UPSET ABOUT THE LOSING:

“I couldn’t watch the playoffs I was so ticked. Everywhere I went I saw a Tim Duncan jersey, and you know how much I hated that.”

Oh plus SHAQ JOKES:

We also chatted about his desire to make movies.

“Maybe ‘Kazaam II’,” he joked in reference to Shaq’s bomb. “Actually I’m working right now on some stuff with Disney.”

“Do they have a Disney studio in Houston?” I asked.

“Time to shoot free throws,” said Howard.

And he is GOING TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK:

They moved to three-point territory for a game of “around the world,” advancing from spot to spot after making a three-pointer.

Kelzer quickly left Howard behind, yelling to him, “How’s your world doing?”

It was all good, Howard singing and rolling with every trash jab, although admitting he no longer intends to be a people-pleaser.

“I can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I can’t please everybody.”

Also he will EXPLORE HIS OPTIONS:

Between missed shots, I asked why he hasn’t committed to the Lakers.

“It’s free agency and I have the opportunity to choose where I’m going to play,” he said. “God opens doors, and I’m relying on my faith to direct me.

“I don’t think it’s fair I get criticized for waiting on such an opportunity.”

And he WON’T SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT MIKE D’ANTONI:

So what do you think of D’Antoni?

“I love him,” he said. “He’s a great person.”

Is he a great coach?

“He’s a great person and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be together,” said Howard, which some will undoubtedly interpret as goodbye.

Those are the things that Dwight Howard said, and those things are going to serve as the baseline for every silly, stupid, untimely, graceless thing Dwight Howard says in the offseason. Everything that happens will be some iteration of one of these things, perhaps taken to its most illogical extreme, because that is what happens with Dwight Howard. It will just be the same stuff over and over until it is so bonkers that you can’t stop hoping he’ll sign a 50-year contract for smiling with any team in the league just so you don’t have to go through another free agency period.

And that is exactly why I am proposing the “Don’t Care About Dwight Howard” movement, wherein we don’t really care about Dwight Howard. You can follow along with all the storylines if you want, but it’s not worth trying to figure out what he is going to do, because that will drive you insane. He’ll sign somewhere eventually, we’ll know what team he’s going to be playing for and then we can get interested in him again. It’s not going to be worth trying to ascertain what he’s thinking or where he wants to go or if he’s trying to get a coach fired or if he inevitably puts his foot in his mouth again, so just don’t worry about it. Treat the whole thing like “The Big Bang Theory” — know it exists and that some people are interested in it, but just ignore it. It’s going to feel great.

Or don’t. Get really in to it. It’s your life and Dwight Howard would want you to live it no matter what anyone said. Your call.

mettas-bedtime-stories

Here’s something that happened that I’m not going to even try to explain, courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News:

[It’s] hardly surprising that World Peace just released a children’s book titled “Metta’s Bedtime Stories.” The back of the book’s cover reveals the bedtime stories include the following titles, “Tomorrow,” “Reach for the Sky,” “One Wish,” “Mud in My Bed,” and “I’m Afraid of the Dark.”

But this 34-page illustration book geared for 4 to 10 year olds go beyond World Peace making silly jokes. The book, available, available online here and on Amazon for $12.95 for soft cover and $14.95 for hard cover, will have a portion of those proceeds benefitting World Peace’s foundation, Xcel University which primarily raises funds and supports various mental health charities and programs. Some of the proceeds will also help the foundation run by World Peace’s father, the Artest foundation, which supports inner city youth geared toward promoting non-violence.

Yes, this is true. The Amazon listing, for your perusal.

Metta’s Bedtime Stories is dedicated to ALL Children, Families, and Educators. Metta’s Bedtime Stories was written to help children think about daily events in a positive light. These stories will show everyone that you can always have a better day tomorrow, if you have a hopeful heart and keep positive thoughts. Five stories are featured in this book: I’m Afraid of the Dark, Mud in My Bed, One wish, Reach for the sky, and Tomorrow.

It’s 2013 now. Ron Artest is Metta World Peace, Metta World Peace is an award-winning mental health advocate and Metta World Peace wrote a book for kids. This is only surprising if you haven’t noticed that basically any player who wants to write a children’s book can if they want to. This is just how things work. At this point, having a kids book is like having a super-verified Twitter account.

I don’t know what to tell you — I’m just not surprised that Metta World Peace would come out with a children’s book. Considering the Lakers have nothing better to do, he might as well get some of his writings out there. Not to mention, since it’s releasing in the offseason, Metta won’t have to ask for time off to promote the book, unlike when his first record came out. As long as he didn’t include his classic story of a friend getting killed by a table leg to the chest, full steam ahead on this book boat.

Oh, let’s also make sure that the “Mud in My Bed” is really just mud. Frank Reynolds knows what I’m talking about.

kobe-and-garnett-guarding-each-other

On July 31, 2007, something happened that set the course for the next half-decade of American professional basketball: the Boston Celtics traded five players and two draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett. Then about six months later, the team’s age-old rival from across the country, the Los Angeles Lakers, responded by upping the ante, trading three players and two draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for Pau Gasol. The two trades, and the ensuing personnel moves they helped make possible, would fortify the two teams into perennial powerhouses, in the process reviving a feud that had once (twice, even) defined the NBA, and would result in the teams combining to win the next three championships — two of which even featured the clubs squaring off against each other, as they did six times in the ’60s, and three times in the ’80s.

That’s all over now. If one more nail in the coffin of Lakers-Celtics, Mk. III was needed, it was certainly provided in this year’s postseason, when for the first time since the Pau and KG trades, both teams have lost in the first round, in series that neither were expected to win. Both teams are in a state of personnel-related turmoil that they largely managed to avoid over the first five seasons of their resurgence; now, of the many players who have defined the two franchises, it’s unclear if any of them will be back and healthy at the start of next season. The Lakers and Celtics will almost certainly be really good again, possibly at the same time, and possibly even soon, but it won’t be with this same cast of characters, or anything close. It’s time to move on.

Still, upon the death of this latest incarnation of the NBA’s oldest and greatest rivalry, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the significance that Lakers-Celtics III played in re-shaping the NBA over its half-decade of prominence, how it helped revive the league from one of its deeper lulls, and how it now leaves the league in a much better place than where it found it. Not to mention, the many memories it provided, the careers it validated, and the mythology it helped re-perpetuate.

Consider what the league was like just before the Kevin Garnett trade. The reigning powers in the West and East were the Spurs (who won three championships in five seasons) and Pistons (who made five straight conference finals, soon to be six), seemingly because no other franchise had come along that was talented and consistent enough to totally dethrone them. The Pacers once appeared to be building a championship-caliber team, but they were derailed by the Malice at the Palace, and gutted by the ensuing suspensions and trade demands. The Heat and Mavericks both made the Finals in 2006, but fell apart shortly afterwards, neither team winning a single playoff series for another three years. The Suns tried to prove you could do it without defense, and very well might have if not for the basketball gods (and/or the Spurs, and/or David Stern, and/or their own cheapskate owner) constantly getting in their way. And whether or not he was personally ready, it’d take the Cavs another couple of years to realize LeBron James needed more than Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden as “help” to win his first title, though he did manage to drag Cleveland to their first and only Finals appearance in franchise history, anyway.

It might not have been a state of chaos in the NBA, exactly, but it had precious little in the way of order or narrative. Average NBA fans found it tough to muster excitement for history-devoid Finals matchups like Heat-Mavericks or Spurs-Cavaliers, and not even diehard NBA fans could make a whole lot out of the resulting games from the latter, four low-scoring games all won by San Antonio, which produced the lowest ratings in NBA Finals history. Though teams like the Seven Seconds or Less Suns and the We Believe Warriors gained well-deserved followings, there was no big market, powerhouse team to really capture the nation’s imagination the way the Jordan Bulls or Shaq Lakers had — and that’s exactly what the NBA suddenly needed to distract fans from the Tim Donaghy scandal, which broke just about a week before the KG trade and threatened to undermine the integrity of the entire sport. (“After the most damaging NBA season in three decades … we reached the tipping point with Tim Donaghy,” wrote a noted Lakers-Celtics anthologist for ESPN. “Guilty or innocent, we will never watch an NBA game the same way.”)

While all this was going on, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant were toiling away on subpar Celtics and Lakers teams, either just scraping their way into the playoffs and losing in the first round, or missing the postseason entirely, as Kobe did in ’05 and Pierce did in ’06 and ’07. By summer ’07, both franchise players were growing impatient and gritting their teeth through their team’s lean years. Adrian Wojnarowski reported in June of that year that Paul Pierce would request a trade shortly after draft night were he not paired with “a talented veteran co-star,” and Kobe actually did request a trade, very nearly being sent to Detroit. But both stars were talked off the ledge, with Pierce particularly assuaged by the Celtics’ draft night deal for perennial All-Star Ray Allen, and Bryant eventually comforted by the improvement of big man prospect Andrew Bynum in his third season, a player who Kobe had previously insisted the Lakers deal for veteran help. Soon, of course, both players would get the blockbuster deal to validate their hard-earned patience.

Read the rest of this entry »

andrew-goudelock-darius-morris

If you watched last night’s Lakers-Spurs game or today’s episode of The Fix, then you already know that both Steves, Nash and Blake, got hurt in Los Angeles’ loss. And if you watched Game 1, then you know Jodie Meeks got hurt in that loss. And if you like basketball, you already know that Kobe Bryant is out with a torn Achilles tendon. And if you know how teams work, you know this news from the Lakers Twitter feed is really bad.

INJURY UPDATE: @SteveBlake5 had an ultrasound today, confirmed a moderate strain of his right hamstring. He’s out indefinitely.

INJURY UPDATE: @Jmeeks20 will have an MRI test this afternoon on his sprained left ankle. His status for tomorrow’s game is doubtful.

INJURY UPDATE: @SteveNash recieved 2 epidural injections in his back today & a cortisone shot in his right hip. He is doubtful for tomorrow.

Fun tweets, to be sure, but this means now is probably a good time to take a quick inventory of which Lakers guards that exist might actually be healthy enough to play on Friday. After scouring every piece of available information, I’ve determined that these are the noteworthy Lakers’ guard options for Game 3.

  • Chris Duhon, point guard
  • Andrew Goudelock, shooting guard
  • Darius Morris, point guard
  • Magic Johnson, point guard who would probably come back in a second if the Lakers weren’t joking
  • Ted Vagina, security guard
  • Nick Van Exel, combo guard/Hawks coach
  • Jerry West logo on jerseys, old guard/thread
  • Byron Scott, unemployed shooting guard/head coach
  • Brian Shaw, shooting guard/Pacers coach
  • Adrian Dantley, crossing guard

As you can see, there are not a lot of options here. It’s pretty much sucky current players, a coach for another team, an old guy or Will Ferrell. Considering Will’s like 6-foot-3, he might be the best choice. Let’s hear your ideas in the comments.

tim-duncan-metta-world-peace-at-rim

Old people talking about Twitter — is it the best or the worst?

While you’re considering that very important question, I’ll offer you two pieces of information regarding Twitter from a couple of NBA old guys. The first is Tim Duncan, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears:

On why he isn’t on social media, Spurs Tim Duncan says: “Because I have no desire to tell you what I’m doing.”

The second is Metta World Peace, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

Metta on if Kobe’s tweeting is a distraction: “Absolutely not … I’m a distraction.”

If you were ever looking for the perfect definition of the difference betwixt Tim Duncan and Metta World Peace, you’d be hard pressed to find something more fitting than these two statements. On one hand, you have Tim Duncan completely ducking the spotlight because he doesn’t want anyone to know what he’s doing. On the other hand, you have Metta World Peace volunteering that even he knows he’s a distraction. This is two sentences about a microblogging service, but they are totally indicative of everything about these two guys.

Oh, and don’t be too salty about not getting to know what Tim Duncan is up to all the time. Us humans would have a hard time deciphering the robot noises his operating system would automatically publish to Twitter anyways, so it’s not a big deal.