Archive for the 'Lakers.com News' Category

Jeanie Buss on Access SportsNet

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles LakersLakers President and Governor Jeanie Buss sat down with television voice of the Lakers, Bill Macdonald, for an interview on Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Tuesday evening. Below is a transcription of the conversation:

Q: On how she’s handling this season:
Jeanie Buss: I think it’s been extremely frustrating. I understand why the fans are frustrated. A lot of injuries that weren’t expected and certainly we were all looking forward to the return of Kobe Bryant from his injury, and he came back successfully, but it was short-lived. I don’t think I can remember a season like this in all the years I’ve worked with the Lakers, and the good thing is that there’s going to be a next season and we’ll have an opportunity to get things back on track.

Q: On why Phil Jackson is now working for the New York Knicks and not with the Lakers:
Buss: I think it was clear that Phil wanted to go back to work. He had been talking to different organizations, and for me personally, I like having Phil around, but there was no role for him with the Lakers. He’s too good of a basketball mind to just sit at home in a rocking chair playing Solitaire. He decided, and I feel comfortable with that, and he knows my commitment is here with the Lakers. The Lakers are my life. For him, the Knicks will be a job that will have a beginning and hopefully for him, success. Not over the Lakers, but in the Eastern Conference, and it’ll someday come to an end because he’s a hired person. But the Lakers are my life and it’s a family business. This is going to be my family forever.

Q: On if Phil Jackson was ever offered a job in any capacity, and if not, why:
Buss: He was not offered any official position. Fans will recall seeing him when we retired Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey, for example. He came and he was part of that ceremony. There were a lot of Laker functions that Phil was with me because he was there to support me, in no official capacity. There is no role in the front office for him for what he could contribute. Maybe I could have him sell sponsorships or do something like that, work security, but I don’t think that would be something that would give Phil the kind of challenge he is looking for that would fulfill him. Everybody that knows when you’re involved in a relationship, if your significant other isn’t happy or satisfied with what you’re doing, it’s not fun. Everybody has to find what their passion is and for Phil, basketball is his passion and he’s good at it. I wish him well. Again, the Knicks can do well, but I want the Lakers to be number one. If we meet in the playoffs, that means we’ll both be in the Finals. I welcome that opportunity because I know the best team will win.

Q: On if having a relationship with someone in another organization will be a conflict of interest:
Buss: There has been that discussion with the league and I had dinner with Commissioner Adam Silver last night. There is an understanding that, all trades are approved by the NBA, and I don’t anticipate any problem because I don’t make the basketball decisions on behalf of the Lakers. I don’t really (know) where there’d be a conflict.

Q: On if she is as dedicated to the Lakers franchise as she’s ever been despite not showing up regularly to home games:
Buss: I’m as devoted as I’ve ever been. I understand because I haven’t been at a lot of games the last two years. I hope people understand that I was being selfish with my time. Two years (ago), I wanted to spend as much time with my father as I could. In the last year, I’ve spent that time with Phil because people have to remember when he was coaching, he was gone half the time on the road. I missed that time with him. Just in this last year, if I worked all day, came home and then went to the game, I’d only see him for an hour every day. It was nice to be able to stay home with him and watch the Laker games on television like so many other fans. So I understand that people may have wondered where I was, but I was just as much in love with the Lakers as I’ve always been. Again, the Lakers are my life. This is the family business and the family is going to own the team as long as the family is together. If I think now that my fiancée is going to have something to occupy his time, that’s going to free me up to go to games.

Q: On how their relationship will work with the two on different coasts:
Buss: With Phil, I wanted him to know that if there was no role for him with the Lakers, he should be free to pursue other interests. I didn’t know if it’d be an NBA team, I didn’t know if was going to a third-world country to volunteer with helping them set up basketball camps. I didn’t know what it was, but I wanted him to pursue something that would fulfill him. Certainly, the decision was his to make and I support him whatever he wants to do. Now I find myself like so many other couples that make the bi-coastal lifestyle. It’s been done before, it’s been done successfully before, I’m not concerned about what it’ll mean with our relationship. Will I miss him? Yes, but now I have an opportunity to spend more time with my friends at games, socializing and connecting in other ways.

Q: On if she and the rest of the family are on the same page in regards to making decisions with the franchise:
Buss: It’s very important the way my father left things was for us to operate the team as a family. There are six of us siblings and we meet on major issues. Where I have influence, it’s important to me to have teamwork, to build consensus and to have everybody on the same page and even if there is disagreement, to get an understanding of why and try to work through those things. That’s my style of dealing with things. I would say that, by and large, we are all on the same page.

Q: On if there is a plan going forward for the organization:
Buss: We’re in the third year of a new collective bargaining agreement that has changed from the last one and as you go along, there are new rules and there’s new ways you have to operate by in order to put a team together. I just think it’s evolving and I don’t know specifics on a plan, but they are confident and have assured me that next year we’ll be better measurably by more wins. And we’ll continue to build from there.

Q: On who is the voice of the Lakers right now:
Buss: I think, ultimately, the buck stops with me. I am president and governor of the team and I have empowered the basketball operations and the front office to put together a basketball team based on working within the confines of the collective bargaining agreement and putting together the best team they possibly can. But ultimately, I feel the fans, I feel like I’m an advocate for the fans, I love when they reach out to me and I understand their frustration and I feel the same way they do. I don’t like this season. I don’t like being eliminated from playoff contention already.

Q: On Kobe Bryant’s comments last week about the front office:
Buss: Some people had said that if Kobe can come back and play, it’s almost been a year since his injury, he had a chance to come back for six games, but it didn’t last unfortunately. He’s such a competitor and I can only imagine what he’s going through right now because he has no outlet for that. I lived with it. I lived with Phil Jackson and I know how competitive he is. If that competitiveness is not fed or does not have an outlet, it can drive you crazy. So I understand his frustration and I will talk to him and I will commiserate with him because I know how he feels.

Q: On any regrets about giving Bryant his contract extension:
Buss: Absolutely not. First of all, I’m confident he’ll come back. People had told me it’d take a year before he would be able to play. He tried to come back maybe what I felt was a little too soon, but only he could really decide whether he was ready or not, so I won’t fault him for trying to come back when he was wanting to help his team. But I do believe he’ll contribute at the same level Kobe has always contributed to the success of the Lakers. The second thing I want to point out about that is on the marketing side of things, we never got an opportunity to do the farewell tour for Magic Johnson. We had lost in the Finals in 1991 to the Chicago Bulls and it was the beginning of the Magic-Michael (Jordan) rivalry. Everyone was so eager to see the rematch, let’s see what the Lakers come back with and see if we can get back the title. Unfortunately he had to retire that November and we never got that opportunity. Sure, Earvin ended up coming back later but it was never the same. We didn’t get a chance to finish his career the way it should have been. Kobe, by signing that deal, will have played 20 years for one organization, and I guarantee you that won’t happen again just because he was drafted when he was 17. We don’t draft players at 17 anymore. To have the kind of longevity he’s had makes it extremely special and I think Laker fans understand that. I think too much is being paid attention to salary cap and all that kind of stuff, which is important and that’s the rules we have to operate in. But can’t we just talk about the players and the team and how a basketball team comes together and not focus on (lottery) slotting and cap space? I don’t wear a hat and a t-shirt with cap space on it. I’m more interested in the players and how the players fit together and how the players come together and creating something than just the sum of their parts.

Q: On Kobe being a Laker for life (Dr. Buss wanted that) and if that resonated with her when making the decision to re-sign him:
Buss: All Laker fans are Lakers for life. To have Kobe retire as a Laker, that to me is really important and I’m thrilled.

Q: On what Laker fans can hang their hat on and trust that there will better times ahead for this franchise:
Buss: I have complete confidence in Jim and Mitch Kupchak to put together the kind of team Laker fans are used to. I want Laker fans to watch the NCAA tournament and watch the players that have this great platform and see who they like, who they think should be worthy of wearing a Lakers jersey because that’s where you start to see the personality. That’s the part I like. I like to see the leadership on the court, who fits that Laker profile and that’s what’s fun. Even though we’re eliminated from having an opportunity to be in the playoffs this year, there are things to look forward to such as we will be a team that will participate in the lottery. As the tournament unfolds, hopefully we’ll see something just like my dad saw something special about Magic Johnson and why he ended up drafting him that year. These are kind of exciting moments to think about the future. We still have to finish this season and it’s been tough, but I, like so many fans, fell in love with Nick Young and his swagger on the court and his love for the game, the way he plays and there’s been highlights this season – great victories – starting with opening night with the Clippers.

Summer Podcast: Adrian Garcia Marquez


Lakers spanish play-by-play man Adrian Garcia Marquez joins Mike Trudell to talk about the new Time Warner Cable Deportes station that launches on October 1st and the new look 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers.

Listen below in english and spanish.

Opening Night Traffic Advisory

Staples CenterLA Live is hosting a movie premier at 6pm on Tuesday, 10/27 and the movie theatre at LA Live is having its grand opening later in the evening. Increased traffic and congestion around STAPLES Center is expected from 3-11pm.

For those attending, STAPLES Center doors will open at 5:30pm. Please be in your seat by 7pm as we will be having our ring ceremony and raising of the championship banner to celebrate the 15th NBA Championship in Lakers franchise history.

Please arrive early to allow adequate time to get to STAPLES Center, find parking and enter the arena.

Lakers vs Nuggets Scouting Report – 10/23/2009

Pre-Season Game #8
10/23/09

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (a reference for those of you still enjoying vinyl), we know that the first major threat from the Nuggets is their transition game. They do such a great job of looking up-court once they get possession of the ball. This thrust creates mismatches and puts defensive communication to the test. In the game last night there was a clear example of how they hurt us in this fashion last night. In the play, the Nuggets get the rebound and immediately get the ball to their quarterback, Chauncey Billups. Whether the first pass is up the floor or in this case after Billups takes one dribble, they always look to pass the ball up the floor to create an early scoring opportunity. In this case they got the ball to Carmelo in a scoring position and on the weakside of our defense we had a breakdown in communication. This leads to an easy dunk for Denver. We must do a better job of limiting these types of baskets.

We also saw in the game a good example of a basic sequence within our triangle offense. One of Lamar Odom’s special skills is that he can rebound the ball on the defensive end and initiate the transition. In this example he gets us into our offense with a dribble entry. One of the principles of our offense is to simply pass the ball to the first open man you see. As Lamar pulls the ball to the wing to set up the strong side triangle he sees Derek Fisher open at the top as his man has decided to play off him in order to help clog the paint. Fish gets the ball and immediately passes to Artest at the position we call “pinch post”. The fact that Fish makes a hard cut also helps keep our offense flowing effectively. On the weakside, the defender guarding Kobe gets caught “playing the play”. What that means is that he knows that Kobe is supposed to pop up off the screens and the defender anticipates this and changes his positioning. Kobe correctly reads and reacts to this mistake and cuts hard to the basket opening the passing lane for the unselfish Ron Artest to make the assist on Kobe’s reverse lay-up. This play is a good example of how some simple basketball fundamentals executed within our offense can create an easy scoring opportunity.

Lakers-Nuggets Scouting Report

Here’s a brief breakdown of tonight’s matchup against the Denver Nuggets:

We will see a familiar foe tonight in Anaheim and tomorrow night in San Diego. The Denver Nuggets have championship aspirations after taking us to six games in the western conference finals last spring. Their nucleus is back and they have a few new faces to replace Linas Kleiza and Dahntay Jones. This team bought into Coach George Karl’s challenge of playing team defense. We know we need to protect the ball or it will turn into a Nugget Dunk-fest. Chauncey Billups drives the squad and he usually starts games trying to get others involved but if he feels the team struggling to score he can and will kick his offensive game into a more scoring minded approach.

Some teams will slice and dice you with the execution of a number of playsets. While Denver has some plays that we will need to be aware of, they really want to get steals and get out and run. Billups and Anthony will look to probe the defense. There will be a lot of random screen and rolls set in order to free them and create an advantage. It is the secondary offensive thrust that we must be ready to defend. Getting back on defense in order to take away easy dunks is step one and that requires a physical effort. In order to take away their secondary or early offense we will need to communicate because there will be situations where we are not in our normal match-ups.

With two games left in the exhibition season it is time to gear up our intensity and this is a good opponent in order to do that.

Check Lakers Courtside Connection during the regular season for more extensive previews including video breakdowns.

Lakers on Twitter

With the advent of Twitter, people around the world can communicate through a short messaging service in seconds, and the Los Angeles Lakers are on board. By following the Lakers on Twitter, you can hear directly from players and management, receive real time news updates and Lakers.com content links, view behind-the-scenes photos, enter contests and more.

Here’s our current Lakers Twitter Roster, featuring Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic, Jeanie Buss, Mike Trudell and the Lakers master account, all of whom you can follow on your personal Twitter page.

Click here for the full Lakers Twitter Roster

Proviso East High Backboards

During a coming-soon podcast we did with Shannon Brown’s father Chris, we learned that during Shannon’s freshman year, his father received a call from Proviso East High School asking him to come on down to the Maywood, Ill., location.

When Chris, a police sergeant, showed up, he saw that his son had smashed one of the school’s backboards with a dunk. Yeah, he was a bit concerned about the prospect of paying for it, but he couldn’t deny a bit of pride crept in.

As it were, Proviso East – home of Michael Finley, Doc Rivers, Reggie Jordan, Brown’s teammate Dee Brown and others – saw a 6-foot something freshman, not a visiting monster like Dwight Howard, smash the glass.

Apparently a 44.5 inch vertical helps?

Stay tuned later this week for the podcast.

Parade Photo Gallery

Lakers TeamMiss out on the Lakers 2009 Championship Parade?

Don’t fret … The NBA Photos crew was on hand to snap up some of the finer moments.

CLICK HERE to view the gallery put together by Lakers.com.’s Ty Nowell.

Exit Interview Central

09_interviews_central_top500If you’re reading this blog entry then you’re probably aware of the 16 previous post that deal with the team’s exit interviews and post-season pressers. Along with that we’ve got video of every player, along with Mitch Kupchak & Phil Jackson, talking about the season that was and the upcoming off-season. Check it all out at Lakers.com’s Exit Interview Central.

Game 6 Scouting Report

090529denauto1

In games this late in a series a coach will dust off a play here or there to use to try and get a quick/easy bucket and turn momentum in their favor. While the core of the Denver offense is still screen and rolls with Billups and post/isolations with Carmelo, they used some high post actions on occasion to try and catch us off guard. The generic term for this type of offense is “ucla” and Denver calls it “Auto”.

To read the full Scouting Report go to Lakers Courtside Connection.