Monthly Archive for July, 2009

Lakers Waive Sun Yue

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Sun Yue, it was announced today.

“With the talent level and depth of our roster, the situation simply doesn’t provide an opportunity for Sun Yue to get the chance to play that he deserves,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We feel it is in Sun’s best interests to be able to go to a team where he can get the minutes to play and showcase his considerable talents. We appreciate Sun’s contributions to last season’s championship team, and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE ON LAKERS.COM.

Lamar Odom Is Back

The Lakers and free agent forward Lamar Odom have reached a verbal agreement on a multi-year contract, according to Odom’s agent Jeff Schwartz. Lakers spokesman John Black confirmed that the two sides have reached an agreement and hope to have a signed contract in the next few days.

TO READ THE FULL STORY AND VIEW AN ODOM PHOTO GALLERY, CLICK HERE.

Artest Runs Through China

Ron ArtestIf you’ve been following new Laker Ron Artest on Twitter (@96TruwarierQB), you already know a bit about his journey through China, thanks to tweets about his rap concerts (“Just did another show in Shenyang, China”) and shoe appearances (“Stay tuned to my Ron Artest shoe coming soon”).

Thinking that a more detailed description of his trip would be of interest, we contacted Team Artest to get the rundown:

- Artest was scheduled to leave the country of roughly 1.3 billion people on July 29, but is having such a great time that he extended his stay until August 8 so he can visit more cities.

- L.A.’s new forward performed at Vic’s nightclub in Beijing, an event that was attended by Jason Kidd, Dikembe Mutombo and Donell Jackson and can be seen on YouTube.

- At Shenyang’s (in Northern China) Happy Family Mall, a four-floor open-air mall that had roughly 20,000 people in attendance, Artest and Jackson had a shooting contest on stage with two fans, spoke to the crowd and then Artest performed his “Champions” song.

- On Tuesday (July 28), Artest and his people were in Quanzhou, where the PEAK shoe company headquarters are located (Artest’s Lakers teammate Sasha Vujacic shares the same company, and the Slovenian was in China as well). Artest toured the factory and facilities, and then played hoops with two local teams at an arena. Prior to greeting some kids, Artest was presented with a certificate of “Master Teacher” to “acknowledge his years of basketball skills and mastery” (Anytime you can be called a “Master Teacher,” it’s probably a good day).

- The trip will continue to Hong Kong for a press conference for Artest and Kidd, after which Artest plans on going back to Beijing, Shanghai and a couple more cities to do more promotional tours.

Team Artest has photos from the trip, including pics of Artest wearing traditional Chinese clothing, that we’ll get upon the trek’s conclusion.

Jackson 4th on All-Time Coaching List

Sporting News used “118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts” to compile a list of the top 50 coaches in sports history.

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, who boasts more championships (10) than any other coach in the NBA, came in fourth on the list:

1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football

Notable:
30. Pat Riley, NBA

Camp Lakers Fun For All

Jim CleamonsShort and sweet was the verbiage on the cover of the 2009 Camp Lakers program, which detailed what the organization had to offer for its 10th season on the campus of the University of California-Santa Barbara:

16 Hall of Famers
15 NBA Championships
1 Camp

With two early-July sessions, Camp Lakers featured appearances by five different Lakers players – Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, D.J. Mbenga, Josh Powell and Sasha Vujacic – as young hoopsters went through basketball activities for five days and four nights.

“Camp Lakers was started to provide a unique experience for aspiring basketball players between the ages of 10-18,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “In addition to many of the Laker coaches, staff and players that appear at the camp many of the nation’s top high school coaches work the camp’s two sessions every year.”

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

Fisher Places Triples in Perspective

Derek FisherAs Derek Fisher explained to us the other day, he has already begun to put his historical three-point shots from Game 4 of the NBA Finals into perspective, and he is extremely appreciative for the fans to whom those bombs mean so much.

Yet in that appreciation, Fisher doesn’t want to let a solid basketball lesson fall by the wayside, which he explained after being asked how many of the youngsters attending his late-July basketball camp were jacking up threes in honor of the left-handed pain he inflicted upon the Magic. Fitting that such a student of the game doesn’t necessarily want kids putting up three after three until they’ve established a solid shooting form close to the basket, right?

In fact, Fish quipped that he’s probably heard about his shot over Jameer Nelson (sending Game 4 to overtime) too much (like that’s possible) from kids.

“It’s good and bad, but signifies how big our game is, that the kids truly try and emulate what we do,” explained the four-time NBA champion. “They see you hit a three-pointer, they want to come out behind the three-point line and throw shots up even though that’s probably not the best thing for them to be doing.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with catching the ball just in front of midcourt, taking a few quick dribbles, pretending to stare down Jameer Nelson and pulling up from 26-feet. Sure, it may take five … 10 … OK 50 attempts for most kids, but that’s fun. Just go ahead and shoot from the elbow afterwards, OK?

Fisher certainly practices what he preaches, since trying to count the amount of two-point shots he’s attempted while working on his game throughout his life would be like counting sales of Michael Jackson songs on iTunes in the last three weeks. It’s not that Fisher can’t remember one of the biggest shots in Lakers history as an isolated, great event; he just recognizes that 26 feet is a bit far out there.

See, Fisher can even take a question about kids putting up too many triples and turn it into a larger life lesson.

“We players have to continue to recognize that kids truly watch what we do, our movements, the decisions we make, the shoes we wear, the clothes we wear, the way we wear our hair,” L.A.’s point guard continued. “Even if we don’t necessarily actively choose to, involuntarily we still have a responsibility to do things a certain way or at least try to. I think these kids appreciate when we try to live in a way that they can look up to.”

Some well-developed perspective, right?

Lakers Add Preseason Game at Forum

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that an additional game has been added to their preseason schedule. The Lakers will host the Golden State Warriors at 7:00pm on October 9 at the Forum in Inglewood, CA.

As part of the Lakers 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles, fans will get an opportunity to see the 2009 NBA Champions play in the arena which was home to the Lakers for over 30 years (1967-1999) and was the site of six NBA Championships (1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988).

Tickets for the game will go on sale at 10:00 am on Wednesday, August 12. Tickets will be sold at Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, and available by phone at 1-800-4-NBA-TIXS. Tickets are priced at $13, $24, $34, $40, $58, $85.50, $103 and $133.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL 2009 PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

Watch Phil’s 10 Championship Clinchers

Phil JacksonNo coach in basketball has more championships than Lakers head man Phil Jackson, a feat he cemented with L.A.’s 4-1 series win over the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals.

As such, Jackson surpassed Celtics legend Red Auerbach for the top spot in NBA annals after winning six times with the Chicago Bulls and four times with the Lakers.

To honor Jackson’s accomplishment, NBA TV will be airing all of Jackson’s biggest victories, starting with Game 5 of the 1991 Finals between the Bulls and Lakers.

Here’s the NBA TV schedule for July 27 and 28:

MONDAY, JULY 27
12:00 p.m. – Bulls vs. Lakers, Game 5 — 1991 Finals
2 p.m. – Blazers vs. Bulls, Game 6 — 1992 Finals
4 p.m. – Bulls vs. Suns, Game 6 — 1993 Finals
6 p.m. – Sonics vs. Bulls, Game 6 — 1996 Finals
8 p.m. – Jazz vs. Bulls, Game 6 — 1997 Finals
10:30 p.m. – Bulls vs. Jazz, Game 6 — 1998 Finals

TUESDAY, JULY 28
12:30 a.m. – Pacers vs. Lakers, Game 6 — 2000 Finals
2:30 a.m. – Lakers vs. Sixers, Game 5 — 2001 Finals
4:30 a.m. – Lakers vs. Nets, Game 5 — 2002 Finals
6:30 a.m. – Lakers vs. Magic, Game 5 — 2008 Finals
9 a.m. – Bulls vs. Suns, Game 6 — 1993 Finals
11 a.m. – Bulls vs. Jazz, Game 6 — 1998 Finals
1 p.m. – Pacers vs. Lakers, Game 6 — 2001 Finals
3 p.m. – Lakers vs. Sixers, Game 5 — 2001 Finals
5 p.m. – Lakers vs. Nets, Game 4 — 2002 Finals

Laker Girl Finals Photo Gallery

LG FinalsA week after the always-highly-attended Laker Girl Auditions, the Finalists returned to El Segundo to take their shot at cracking the final roster.

CLICK HERE to view the photo gallery from the finals.

Fisher Checks In

Derek FisherOn June 11, Derek Fisher’s three-point bomb over Jameer Nelson in Game 4 of the NBA Finals sent L.A. into overtime, where the Lakers’ point guard nailed another dagger to seal a 99-91 victory.

On July 16, during his exit interview, Fisher had yet to put the shots in perspective.

“No it really hasn’t (sunk in),” he said. “I had to pinch myself yesterday … Thinking about my life and what I’ve been through… It’s just hard to put into perspective for a guy from Little Rock, Arkansas.”

It’s now been 44 days since his fateful bombs, and Fisher’s finally had some time to process the moment. He shared a few thoughts with us while taking a break from conducting his basketball camp:

I have a growing appreciation for the experiences that I’ve had in my career overall, and for this year in particular, with what the 2009 championship means to us and to the city and our fans. It continues to mold my appreciation for the history of the NBA and the Lakers, and what all the moments mean. It motivates me to work even harder this summer to try and be in a position to do it again next year, because it’s just crazy to think about those moments and how they will live on forever. I think I’m just starting to realize that. A lot of these kids that are here and a lot of these parents that have been Lakers fans for 10, 15, 20 years, those moments signify a lot of great memories in their life. For my name and things that I’ve done to be a part of that is a little bit trippy, pretty humbling, but exciting and motivating as well.