Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

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Pau Gasol on NBC’s The Tonight Show

Pau Gasol appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Friday, June 18.

Gasol talked to Leno about his concern after trailing at the end of the first half, the Celtics/Lakers rivalry and going into a game seven.

Watch the videos below.



Gasol to Guest on Friday’s “The Tonight Show”

gasolleno_1On Thursday evening, Lakers forward Pau Gasol scored 19 points with 18 rebounds as L.A. beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 in the title-clinching Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

On Friday evening, Gasol will appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” set to air at 11:35 p.m., to chat about it.

Gasol averaged 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during the 2010 playoffs,

Kobe Plays Pop-a-Shot

The most skilled basketball player in the world vs. a busboy in a Pop-a-Shot contest…

Whom are you taking?

Well, as you can see in the above video, even though Bryant barely missed a shot (with either his right or left hand) when recording the segment last week for Jimmy Kimmel Live, he was no match for perhaps the best Pop-a-Shot player in history, Ricardo the Busboy.

At least Bryant beat the scores of Charles Barkley and LeBron James, who were also annihilated by the brilliant Ricardo.

Bryant named to 10th All-NBA Defensive Team

60355875The NBA announced on Wednesday morning that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the 8th time in his career and for the fifth straight season.

Bryant, voted to the first team in 2000, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09 by the NBA’s head coaches, was also named to the second team twice (2001 and ’02) for a total of 10 times in his 14 seasons.

Despite a terrific individual season on D, L.A. forward and defensive specialist Ron Artest didn’t receive enough points* to make the second team, earning 13 points, one fewer than Oklahoma City’s Thabo Sefolosha (14) for the final spot on the Second Team.
*Two points were given for a first team vote, one for a second team vote.

Lamar Odom received one first team vote, Pau Gasol one second team vote and Bryant 13 first team and eight second team votes (34 points) to round out the total margin for L.A.

To read the full release, CLICK HERE to head over to Lakers.com.

Craig Calloway Nails Mirage Half Court Shot

60223715Craig Calloway, a 29-year-old transportation electrician from Compton, California, stepped up and buried the biggest shot of his life, from half court, on Tuesday night before the fourth quarter of L.A.’s win over Oklahoma City.

(CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO)

Just like that, Calloway was the Mirage Big Shot Jackpot Winner, taking home a clean $235,000 for just a few seconds of work (insert Marv Albert’s “Yesss!!!!”).

We caught up with Calloway during the fourth quarter of the contest:

MT: First of all, congratulations. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Craig Calloway: I’m from Compton, California, I’m 29 years of age. I played basketball, actually. I went to Long Beach Jordan High School, and California State Northridge after that. I’m a transportation electrician, local union 11, IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). Intersections, street lights.

60223702MT: Great. Take us through your halfcourt shot. Nice form, by the way…
Calloway: Man, I’ll tell you the honest to god truth: we’re in the gym, we shoot, we start making them in close and like everyone else you start gradually getting further and further away. Everybody knows, the half court shot is the thing to shoot (Editor’s note: Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar certainly agree). So you just sit there and shoot them. I just shot it the same way I do in the gym. That’s all I know how to do, just shoot.

MT: How does this change your life?
Calloway: Man, to be honest, the same thing. I’m going to keep doing the same things I’ve been doing. It’s been working for me, I’ve made some changes in my life. Thanks to Mirage.

MT: Is this the kind of thing where you can take care of some things that have been hanging over your head? I know we all have bills to pay…
Calloway: That’s exactly what I plan on doing, and not just mine, I want to take care of some of my family’s as well.

MT: Some people would immediately take this money and think about what they could buy, but you seem focused on taking care of things and living your life the same way.
Calloway: Exactly. That’s exactly right, all I want to do is clear my credit and help out some other family members, but I won’t be high profile with it. I won’t do it.

MT: I’m guessing you’re a big Lakers fan, and as we do this interview, Kobe just hit back-to-back jumpers in the fourth quarter. That works, right?
Calloway: The atmosphere is unbelievable. The Lakers are playing a tough game and these young Thunder boys are playing tough. But I know you all can’t hear me since Kobe hit an and-1!

MT: Back to the shot itself, you had a solid approach, I have to say. Kept the walk up short, went from the chest … and then swish.
Calloway: To be honest, I thought it was short. I knew it was straight, but thought it was short … but when I saw it, it seemed like something pushed it up and then it went straight through.

MT: What was your first thought when it went through?
Calloway: (pauses) I told you so. Ha. No, but I have so much confidence in myself, I relished the opportunity like this. You can only make or miss it, and I said, ‘I’m gonna hit it!’ I’m not going to tell myself, ‘I might,’ I’m gonna say that I can. And it happened.

MT: Congrats once again, awesome stuff Craig.
Calloway: Thanks to everyone, man.

Chick Hearn’s Statue Unveiled

blog_100420chickhearnstatuePrior to L.A.’s Game 2 contest against Oklahoma City on Tuesday afternoon outside of STAPLES Center, a touching ceremony took place to unveil a 16′, 5,000 lb. bronze and steel sculpture of Hall of Fame Broadcaster Chick Hearn, the legendary voice of the Lakers from 1961-2002.

Before the statue, created by renowned sculptor and artist Omri Amrany, was revealed, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak was among those who addressed the assembled crowd.

“People who listened to Chick can walk by, touch the statue and remember Chick and his contributions to the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Kupchak. “It’s also fitting that generations to come can walk by and although they might not know who Chick is, hopefully they’re with somebody – it could be a mother or a father – and they touch the statue and they say, ‘Dad, who was this,’ and the father says, ‘Son sit down, let me tell you about the greatest broadcaster ever.”

Kicking off and closing the ceremony was Hearn’s longtime partner and current Lakers’ analyst Stu Lantz, who shared memories of his time with Chick and honored Hearn’s wife, Marge. And while Marge Hearn was the guest of honor, several Laker legends were in attendance, including Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Rick Fox and Norm Nixon.

When the drape was dropped, a touching moment occurred as Marge Hearn was the first to sit alongside her husband’s likeness. She then expressed her pleasure at how great the statue looked, while making sure to point out the impact of Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss.

“She’s not getting enough credit, but Jeanie Buss – at least six or seven years ago when we were having lunch – said, ‘You know we should have a statue of Chick.’,” explained Hearn. “She’s the one who started it, she’s the one who did it with Linda Rambis’s help. They’re a great team.”

While on the podium, Big Game James detailed how much Chick Hearn helped create cohesivness within Los Angeles with his distinct call; now L.A. can collectively celebrate alongside Hearn’s likeness just by heading down to STAPLES Center.

Oklahoma City, Portland or San Antonio?

D071348029.JPGQ: Which 49-31 team will be L.A.’s first round opponent:
A) Oklahoma City
B) Portland
C) San Antonio

Well … we don’t know yet. But we could after Monday night’s games. Here are the respective remaining schedules of OKC, POR and S.A., which take place on Monday and Wednesday:

Thunder: at Portland, Memphis
Blazers: Oklahoma City, Golden State
Spurs: Minnesota, at Dallas

As if turns out, if Portland can beat Oklahoma City at home tonight without Brandon Roy and the Spurs take care of Minnesota at home, L.A. would play the Thunder in Round 1.

That’s the most simple answer.

Such would be the case in part due to tiebreakers, since San Antonio already holds that advantage over the Thunder, and Portland would as well with a victory. In other words, if that Monday scenario holds up, the Blazers and Spurs could both lose their final game even if OKC beat Memphis and steer clear of the Lakers.

However, if the Thunder happen to beat Portland, throw all that out of the window, because the Lakers won’t know whom they’ll play until the last day of the regular season on Wednesday.

Any of the three teams that wins its final two games will of course be safe from No. 8, but not all three could lose their final two since Portland and OKC go head-to-head. Here’s a look at some other options:

60000698How the Thunder would be No. 8
- Lose at Portland with San Antonio winning one of two games.

How the Blazers would be No. 8
- Lose vs. OKC and win against Golden State if San Antonio wins both of its games.

How the Spurs would be No. 8
- Beat Minnesota but lose at Dallas (who could be fighting for the No. 2 seed) with OKC beating Portland and Memphis (Portland has the tiebreaker over San Antonio so they’d only need to win one of two games should San Antonio drop one of two games).

In other words: who knows. We’ll just have to wait until the OKC – MEM, POR – G.S. and S.A. – DAL games shake out, then take a look at the tiebreak rules below.

NBA.COM TIEBREAK RULES
If all three teams split their two remaining games to finish at 50-32, the below rules would come into play:

a. Two Teams Tied b. More Than Two Teams Tied
(1) Better winning percentage in games against each other. (1) Better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams.
(2) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if tied teams are in same division). (2) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if all tied teams are in the same division).
(3) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference. (3) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
(4) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position). (4) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
(5) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position). (5) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).
(6) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).

Spero Dedes on NCAA’s

59129266On the final day of L.A.’s 8-day, 5-game trip, we caught up with Lakers play-by-play radio voice Spero Dedes to discuss his experience calling NCAA Tournament games for CBS.

Here’s what Dedes had to say about calling the Murray State buzzer beater, why Butler’s in the Final Four and the difference between college and pro calls:

Fan Jam Sold Out for Sunday

PrintDue to the overwhelming support of our fans, the second day of Lakers Fan Jam is sold out. There will be no walk-up tickets sold at the Convention Center on Sunday.

“We had an amazing turnout from the best fans in sports today,” said Lakers Spokesman John Black. “We’re thankful to have so much support from the Lakers community.”

For those possessing tickets we look forward to seeing you for another fun-filled day of Lakers Fan Jam.

Thank you to everyone for making this event such a success.

Artest Goes Rodman for Orlando

Taking a page out of former Phil Jackson forward Dennis Rodman’s book, Lakers defensive stopper Ron Artest got a little work done on his hair.

The night before the Lakers take on the Magic on Sunday at Amway Arena in Orlando, Artest explained on his Twitter page that he had the word “defense” worked into his newly-died hair in three different languages (Hindi, Japanese and Hebrew), and in Purple and Gold.

Below are the pictures he posted:

artest_2

artesthair

Follow Mike Trudell on Twitter: @LakersReporter