Monthly Archive for April, 2014

D’Antoni Resigns


Full Press Release

First Pitch at Dodger Stadium

L.A.’s favorite backcourt duo traded in their silver and black for Dodger Blue Wednesday night. The two San Fernando Valley natives visited Chavez Ravine to throw out the first pitch before the Dodgers took on the Philadelphia Phillies.

They sign us up for a 10 day contract lol me and @jrfarmar

@swaggyp1 and Farmar in #Dodgers dugout

Continue reading ‘First Pitch at Dodger Stadium’

Jordan Farmar, Nick Young Attend Kings Game

Goal!!! Kings score!!!! And my dog Bailey came thru to celebrate…

LA Kings Game Lets Go!! PlayOff … Feel honor they gave me my on Jersey, now put me out there coach #SwaggyKnows

About to storm the ice #swaggyonice lol

I’m bangin on the glass… @swaggyp1 on the ice… 2 LA kids just livin that life!!!

Xavier Henry: 2014 Exit Interview

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento KingsXavier Henry appeared in 43 games (five starts) towards averages of 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals on 41.7 percent field goals and 34.1 percent on three-pointers. Of the injuries he dealt with, Henry missed nearly two months with a bone bruise and an abnormality of the lateral meniscus and tore a ligament in his left wrist. He was officially shut down for the season on Apr. 4. Henry underwent successful surgeries on his knee and wrist on Apr. 11 and is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

*There is no accompanying video for Henry because his meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike D’Antoni came prior to the typical day of exit interviews.

- On what he saw from Henry this year:
Mike D’Antoni: “I’d never seen him play that much. He hadn’t played anywhere, so I think mostly he just got a chance to show what he had, and whether it’s an improvement or not, it’s just getting a chance to showcase it a little bit. The biggest thing he needs to make an improvement going forward is understanding when to drive, when not to drive. When to draw the defense and when to kick. That comes with experience and I think he improved at it, especially when he went to point guard. He showed signs of he’s getting better at it. But again, being young and being that this is the first time he’s played (extensively), he’s pretty good.”
*quote courtesy of ESPN Los’s Dave McMenamin

- On what he felt he was able to do this season:
“I just showed I can compete, just showed I can play in this league and help my team win. Contribute, be an impact player. That’s what I tried to do.”
*quote courtesy of ESPN Los’s Dave McMenamin

- On trying to play through his injuries to finish the year:
“(I’m) obviously not 100 percent, but I am going to push the most out of it I can for these last games and try to help the team win. All I can do is try my best and that’s all I am going to do. I wasn’t going to quit on my guys. I love playing in this system with his team and with our coaches. I’m going to try and make it last as long as I can. I’m having fun and I’m going to continue to have fun.”

- On the number of setbacks with his knee that delayed his return:
“When you get a lot of swelling, it forces other things to happen in whatever joint it is. And they didn’t want anything else to get hurt while my knee was swollen up, so we’d have to hold off, let the swelling get out and try it again.”

- On first receiving news that he had a torn ligament in his wrist:
“I was going to play anyway. The good news is it’s (torn). I feel like with that mindset, I can’t do too much worse to it, so now it’s just go out there and be myself.”

- On his two assignment games with the L.A. D-Fenders:
“I just wanted to get out there and play really. I wanted to make it through a game without my knee swelling up, without it getting really stiff, stuff like that.”

Kent Bazemore: 2014 Exit Interview

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles LakersAcquired in a trade from Golden State on Feb. 19 for Steve Blake, Kent Bazemore appeared in 23 games (15 starts) towards averages of 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals on 45.1 percent field goals and 37.1 percent on three-pointers. Bazemore missed the final five games of the year due to a torn peroneus longus tendon in his right foot suffered at the Clippers on Apr. 6. He underwent successful surgery to repair the tendon on Apr. 16 and is expected to make a full recovery for the 2014-15 season.

*There is no accompanying video for Bazemore because his meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Mike D’Antoni came prior to the typical day of exit interviews.

- On what he thinks happened to his foot:
“I (heard) a little pop in it. I had a fracture going into my senior year of college, so the pop was pretty familiar. I can walk on it. We just took precautionary (measures) not to go back out there … I went to turn the corner and it popped. With the combination of what happened to my left foot (in college) … I’ve been having problems with (my right foot) getting worked on, and it just went to the brain and it was a shock: ‘Oh no, here we go again.’”

- On his experience in L.A. thus far:
“It’s been good being able to play and showcase some of my talent and being able to see the hard work I’ve put in to get here actually pay off. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been an adjustment. Once you’re on the scouting report, it’s a whole different game. That’s another battle within itself, but I’m still figuring it out. It’s encouraging cause I’ve really felt I’ve held my own.”

- On Bazemore as a player:
Mike D’Antoni: “Physically, he’s a talent. Defensively, he’s very active and very smart. There are things you can’t teach he has and the things he doesn’t have you can teach. It’s a matter of giving him more playing time and experience and staying true to himself and staying honed in.”

- On what areas of the game Bazemore can improve upon moving forward:
D’Antoni: “What we’re trying to get him to do is make the right plays consistently. He needs to be able to attack the basket and make the right play. That’s what we’re showing him on film and different things. If he improves his shot and his foul shot and (is) able to make that play, he can be a really significant player in our league.”

Seventh Inning Stretch with Kendall Marshall

gimme some peanuts and apple jacks! lmaooo 1st game, so fun! #Dodgers

Jodie Meeks at the Dodgers Game

Me and Magic at Dodgers stadium! #legendary

Mitch Kupchak: 2014 Exit Interview


- Opening statement:
“At some point in the near future, I will sit down with Mike (D’Antoni) and probably Jim Buss and review the season, which is what we do every year at some point at the conclusion of the season.”

- On Kobe Bryant leaving town before the regular season ended:
“First of all, I did not know he was leaving town. Second of all, it’s a bigger story to you guys than it is to us. We had a tough year and Kobe (Bryant) has had a two tough years and two career threatening injuries. He’s had to live through this season that we had to live through together. I haven’t spoken to him in the last day or two but I understand (with him) leaving town, he will see his medical consultant in Europe. All things considered, to me, it’s not that big a deal.”

- On if D’Antoni will be the head coach next season:
“Mike is under contract for two more years. If anything happens, we’ll let you know.”

- On if he gives D’Antoni some leeway with all the injuries that hit the team:
“Under the circumstances, I’m not sure anybody could have done a better job (than) he did.”

- On if his view or approach on free agency has shifted knowing that the team’s pick this year will be high and the way the contracts are structured currently:
“Well, we didn’t expect to have a good pick and it looks like we’re going to have a good pick. Hopefully on May 20th, it becomes a much better pick, but there’s also a chance it becomes a less attractive pick, which is the nature of the lottery. We haven’t had a pick this high since I’ve been here, which is quite some time*. That’s exciting. We’ve been doing a lot of canvassing the country like everybody else watching games and watching the players. It’s a good group this year. We’re confident the asset will be a good asset for us going into the draft. Regarding the other part of the question, cap strategy and financial flexibility is a huge part, particularly with the new collective bargaining agreement. It’s really the main tool you have to work with to improve your team. Fortunately we’re in a market where that gives us advantages to pursue players. We do feel having the draft pick is an asset and having the financial flexibility going forward is as good a position as we can be in. Like I said, there is a degree of patience here. We have to make sure we use it wisely. If we can use it wisely right away, we will. If we have to use part of it and then wait a year to use the other part of it, we’ll do that. Just creating an environment where you have that flexibility sometimes takes teams six to eight years to do and we just have to be wise about our choices.”
*This pick will be L.A.’s highest since 1982, when they took James Worthy at No. 1 overall.

- On approaching the players on one-year deals on the current team:
“Despite the season and despite the criticism for having players with one-year deals, I thought we had a pretty good look at a lot of guys that are pretty talented. I would speculate that there’s a good possibility that we pursue some of them to come back.”

- On the utilization of cap space:
“We don’t want to predetermine that we’re going to spend or use our flexibility today. A lot of it is going to depend on the marketplace and our draft choice. There are a lot of guys on our team I like a lot, but we don’t know what the marketplace is going to dictate their contracts are going forward. You just don’t know.”

- On looking at the top of this year’s draft class and where he sees potential draft picks making an impact:
“They’re varying in degrees based on the player you’re talking about. Under normal circumstances you have to wait a year or two for a young player (to develop). A lot of times, the kids that come out are freshman. It’s rare, although we’ve seen it. Typically, based on maturity and position, it’s going to take a year or two. I think there are some players that are a little bit older in the draft that aren’t just freshmen and may be able to make a contribution quicker. But once again, we’ll have to see where we’re drafting. The list is still incomplete in terms of early entry candidates, so we’ll have to wait on that as well.”

- On Mike D’Antoni’s comments on how the game has changed and where he sees the game today and how it’s evolved:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt it’s changed. He’s 100 percent correct, and if you look at college, it’s how they play in college. If you look at those NCAA games several weeks ago, they were pushing the ball up the court and guys were taking 3-point shots before there’s a rebounder near the basket. That’s just how they play today. It is fun to watch. I thought at the beginning of the season this year, we were fun to watch, it was exciting and we were relatively healthy. The way the rules are today, it promotes that style of play. There are actually coaches today that tell their team we’re going to score in one of three ways: it’s going to be a free throw, it’s going to be a layup or it’s going to be a three-point shot. The idea of a two-point shot doesn’t even come up into a conversation with some coaches. That’s just the way it is today. Now is it going to be that way five years from now or 10 years from now? I don’t know. It is entertaining, it’s fun to watch and players love to play that way. I think it’s here to stay. Our challenge is – where teams that have a more mature and older roster – having to incorporate the talents of certain players on a team into a style of play if that’s how you want to play. But I think that’s the way the game is played today.”

- On if re-signing Pau Gasol is a priority in the offseason:
“Absolutely he’s a priority. If you look at the free agent board or the guys that may be a free agent, there’s probably not a player as good as Pau on the board. He’s waited a bunch of years to become a free agent. He’s going to get phone calls, so we’ll do our best to stay on top of it. I think Pau has a good relationship with this organization and I know he loves this city. We’ll have to see what the market dictates.”

- On if this was one of the more difficult years he’s experienced:
“No, actually it wasn’t. I know it was difficult for our fans and I thank them for their support and patience. Early on, when the injury bug hit, there was really nothing we could do. We had players under contract because they were getting paid so little and on one-year deals, we couldn’t trade them and get anything back in return that was better. Certain things are out of your control. I think Mike (D’Antoni) understood it and we understood it. It wasn’t easy for our fans with the year we had, but quite frankly, there was nothing we could do about it. There wasn’t a trade that we could do and bring somebody else on board. We had a feel going into the season how we wanted to end the season in terms of our flexibility. I think we did the best we could. It was a stressful year for our fans. I don’t think they questioned our direction, but we have passionate, loyal fans. They don’t want to see us lose.”

- On if he feels pressured to put together a contender in the time frame Kobe Bryant is under contract for the next two seasons:
“We want the same thing. Everybody in this room knows Kobe. He’s not the most patient person in the world and that’s not going to change. We’ve won five championships because of the package he brings to this franchise. We want to win and win as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get into a position we’re in now where we have options going forward financially and we have to use wise decisions with that (cap) space.”

- On Steve Nash’s injury woes:
“When we signed Steve, nobody anticipated in the second game, he’d break his leg. Not unexpectedly because he is an older player, but when that happens later in your career, one thing leads to another. A lot of times it doesn’t, but in his case it did. Nobody has worked harder and has been more frustrated than he’s been. He wants to play next year. From an organization standpoint, it’s hard to say from the point guard position: ‘We can bank on this guy.’ We can’t do that. We have to make sure that that position is covered. I know Steve will be in here every day, he’ll be in Vancouver working with his trainer, he’ll be in this gym working with our people. We’ll know more as the (summer) goes along.”

- On if signing a starting caliber point guard is a priority this offseason:
“We’ll see. We’ll see what the draft holds and we’ll see who is available in free agency. We have a nice young ballhandling guard who had an opportunity to play and who I thought from time to time really showed he could play in this league. Is he ready to lead a team through the playoffs? That remains to be seen. But we are optimistic on Kendall Marshall going forward.”

- On if he would have approached getting under the luxury tax around the trade deadline knowing how this season ended:
“No. This organization rarely, if ever, has made a strategic decision just to save money. I’m not exactly sure – there’s a lot of rumor – what deal we could have done but there was a lot of activity. The bottom line was we didn’t feel making a financial deal and not getting an asset back was the right message to send from this organization. The luxury tax is going to be important but that won’t prevent us from fielding a team that we feel can contend for a championship. We’re certainly not in a position where we were a couple seasons ago where we were locked into the tax.”

Mike D’Antoni: 2014 Exit Interview


- On his thoughts on this season:
“We’ve talked about it almost every day for the last couple months. A lot of the injuries were odd injuries that don’t usually occur on a basketball team. It happened and we dealt with it as best we could. Nobody is happy how the season went. It was tough from the very beginning. Some things had to break right and they didn’t break right. We could never get that full array of guys healthy at the same time.”

- On if it angers him or frustrates him that he’s being criticized:
“No, I think every NBA coach coming off a year that goes sideways, (they) should be under scrutiny. It’s part of the job. I think as coaches, we hold ourselves under scrutiny. We see what we could have done better, should have done this better, should have done that. There will come a day where I sit down with management and see where they want to go, and try to get on the same page.”

- On if it’s fair fans are criticizing him or blaming him despite all the injuries (L.A. missed a league-leading 319 games due to injury/illness):
“I think so. There’s always things we could have done better. I think that’s normal. Our job is to: ‘What could we have done better?’ It’s easier in hindsight to say we should have done this or should have done that. For the most part, our guys were competitive and we developed some guys. There were some silver linings in there, but as a whole, the season was very disappointing for everybody.”

- On if the pace the team plays at contributed to or played a factor in all the injuries this season:
“To me, it’s ludicrous. To me, the pace you play and the way you spread the floor leads to less injuries just because you don’t pound and hit. To me, that leads to less (injuries). I don’t believe in that.”

- On his relationship with Kobe Bryant now:
Professional. He’s a big time competitor and he’s going to do anything to win. I’m competitive and I’m going to try and do anything to win. Sometimes that does butt heads a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary.”

- On if the last two seasons have been diluted at all:
“A little bit. But we didn’t get the best of anything because of injuries. When that happens you don’t get a traction or consistency in the play. That happens. It’s a byproduct of losing or struggling and you can’t get over the hump but quite can’t get there for whatever reason.”

- On how the game has changed over the years from when he first implemented his system in Phoenix until now, where he sees the game going in the future and how it’s played:
“I do think the game is changing and it has changed. Some of the hard part of coaching is to be able to drag people over to the next side. People are comfortable with doing business a certain way. When that business kind of shifts to get people to change, it’s not easy. It’s a process. I do think the league is going to a more open style and a faster style. Analytics not only are gut feelings from people and coaches, but analytics have also proven certain things. Again, the problem comes when they start debating this is that you get into black and whites. It’s not that. There’s always a grey area and you always tweak it. One team is a little faster than the other, one spreads it a little bit more than someone else. I hear all the time: ‘The two-point shot is going away.’ No, it’s never going away. It’s always going to be there. It might – and I’m making numbers up – go from 50 times to 43, but those other seven times are more three’s. That could happen and it will happen and it has happened. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place for a post up player or no place for a mid-range game. There is a place. It’s just not what is dominant today and will be. Unless the NBA changes the rules again, like the three-point line and the no hand checking, then basketball is going a certain way. The problem is most people commenting on it played a different way and now you’re shaping opinion a different way. That’s not where it’s going to go. As soon as they embrace it a little bit more, I think they’re better off. But basketball has changed, and it’s not the same basketball that your father played. It’s just not it. The teams that adapt to it quicker are going to be more successful quicker.”

- On if the Lakers have adopted that philosophy:
“I think it’s been a process and will be a process. That’s probably the most challenging part is changing opinions. You need everything to go the right way and it didn’t. So opinions out there that say that doesn’t work are not convinced of it. That’s the challenging part of the league.”

- On how he wins over the fanbase and changes public opinion whether his style of play is effective:
“Winning. That’s the only way you can do it. They have the right to feel the way they feel because we didn’t have a great year. That comes with being a fan. Opinion is shaped by the record. You have a hard time explaining this works when you lose 10 in a row.”

- On how he managed to keep the guys positive under the circumstances:
“I think it starts with the coaching staff that comes every day with a positive attitude trying to get better. I think the players feed off that. If they know you’re genuinely in it for them, and you’ll take as much criticism or more for them than they are, they’ll buy in unless they’re bad guys. And we didn’t have bad guys. We had great guys. I think that the coaching staff did a great job of never letting down one day. Never had those days. Players didn’t have those days. They were dealt an unbelievably bad hand coming in here. Things had to break right and it didn’t. It broke the worst way possible, but they hung in there and did their job exceedingly well for the hand they were dealt without a lot of support for them. I’m proud of them for their character.”

- On Pau Gasol’s play the last two seasons playing in his system:
“In his mind, he’d like to play a little differently. He had success in different ways. But I think his stats and his play showed he can be effective in any system. It doesn’t matter. Again, I think that at the end of both years, he had really good (games). He started off slow both years and that’s where we kind of got in trouble. His play the first three or four months wasn’t the Pau Gasol, and he turned into it. At the end, we might have a little different philosophy, but at the same time, I feel he played really well.”

- On his optimism Steve Nash will be able to play next season without any nagging injuries:
“I’m optimistic he’ll give everything he’s got to play. He loves to play basketball, he loves to be a great teammate, he loves to win, he’s an unbelievable competitor in his own way. That I am optimistic. Can he do it? I don’t know with his injuries. I’m not a doctor. I know the reservations. He’s 40 years old. Everybody has those. He has them, but he will battle and try to be effective at whatever role he has. I know for sure he’ll give everything he’s got to get there.”

- On how much faith has that L.A. will be able to turn it around to get back on the right track:
“One-hundred percent. There’s no doubt. L.A. is a great destination for anybody. You don’t have all those banners for nothing. Jim (Buss) Mitch (Kupchak) do an unbelievable job at maximizing the possibilities. But it does take time. There are (rules) in place. It takes a little bit of luck and tweaking, but there’s no doubt they’ll get it done.”

MarShon Brooks: 2014 Exit Interview

IMG_0627Acquired from Golden State on Feb. 19, MarShon Brooks appeared in 18 games with the Lakers towards averages of 6.4 points, 1.7 assists and 1.2 assists on 48.9 percent field goals and 57.9 percent on three-pointers.

- On his time here in L.A.
“I don’t feel like I played bad. I thought I played pretty well but guys started coming back and I was the odd man out in terms of minutes. I started to lose a little confidence not knowing my role or not knowing when I’d get in the game.”

- On if it was frustrating for him being in that situation:
“It’s the NBA. All you can do is work hard and control what you can control. You’re only as good as your opportunity.”

- On the feedback he received from Mike D’Antoni:
“He knew I was talented. Just have to find a way to play within the system instead of being just a talented one-on-one player.”

- On the past year playing for three different teams (Celtics, Warriors, Lakers):
“I’m at a crossroads. I just have to go earn a spot, which I don’t mind at all.”

- On what he needs to do to improve as a player:
“Just be more efficient with the ball. Just continue to work on my body and get stronger, become a better shooter and make things happen faster.”