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Damian Lillard: D'Angelo Russell 'Poked The Bear'

Jan 11, 2017 1:15 PM

D'Angelo Russell engaged Damian Lillard in a war of words and had to be separated. Lillard had shot 3 of 14 from the field and the Portland Trail Blazers held just a one-point lead over the Los Angeles Lakers. Lillard responded by scoring 13 points, including 11 in a row.

"[Russell] poked the bear and you seen what happened the rest of the game," Lillard said.

Lillard said that confrontation with Russell "absolutely" ignited his strong play.

"As far as that situation, since last game, he's been doing little slick elbows," Lillard said of Russell. "And I play the game clean. I'm from Oakland. I ain't with that extra stuff and nobody can just do what they want to me.

"I got called for a foul to start the third quarter for reaching in, but when I reached in the only reason there was contact is because his elbow came up again. After he blocked my shot, I was walking to my spot, and I felt like he went out of his way to get that elbow in there again. And I told him, 'That ain't gonna fly.' And I wasn't interested in anything else that was said after that. We ain't going to do it on the court so we'll be in the back and whatever happens, happens."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Luke Walton: Lamar Odom 'Would Be Great' In Coaching Role

Jan 11, 2017 11:29 AM

Lamar Odom reached out to Luke Walton to express interest in joining his staff with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Odom has been in and out of rehab after facing a near-death experience at a Las Vegas brothel in 2015. 

Odom and Walton were teammates on the Lakers from 2004 until 2011.

“Lamar would be great,” said Walton. “Anyone who knows Lamar, when he’s right, he is one of the most likeable people they’ve been around. He has a great knowledge of the game and has a great way of communicating with people.”

Odom originally shared his interest with joining Walton’s staff in an interview on Monday with TMZ. The possibility of Odom joining the Lakers at this point doesn't seem realistic. 

Walton currently has an associate head coach (Brian Shaw), four assistants (Jesse Mermuys, Brian Keefe, Mark Madsen, Theo Robertson), an advanced professional scout (Casey Owens) and director of basketball strategy (Clay Moser).

Mark Medina/Orange County Register

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Lakers Unlikely To Make Trade Despite Not Having Any 'Untouchable' Players

Jan 6, 2017 4:46 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to be active in trade talks leading to the deadline.

"It’s actually a little active now and I know you read about it," said Mitch Kupchak. "You’ll see some names of players. You haven’t seen names of our players. We’re not actively trying to do something. I would guess that we would not end up doing anything.

"But you have seven weeks to walk it through and we’ll know more about our team certainly within seven weeks. We’ll know more about our team within the next two or three weeks. I mentioned earlier we’re not out of the playoff hunt."

Kupchak was asked if anyone on the current roster is untouchable.

"I don’t think anyone is untouchable. We had a player for 20 years who I guess would be untouchable, you know, Kobe Bryant. But we don’t have a Kobe Bryant right now. We’re hopeful some of those guys can have careers that approach what Kobe’s done, but we don’t know that right now."

Anthony Irwin/Silver Screen & Roll

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Donatas Motiejunas Agrees To Deal With Pelicans After Meeting With Lakers, Wolves

Jan 2, 2017 12:10 PM

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed upon a one-year deal with Donatas Motiejunas.

Motiejunas will sign for the veteran's minimum after his four-year deal with the Houston Rockets dissolved. Motiejunas had agreed to a four-year, $35 million deal with the Rockets after months of negotiations Motiejunas also visited with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Pelicans have stated a desire to add more spacing on the floor and Motiejunas will help in that regard.

Motiejunas was examined by Nets doctors earlier this season and Brooklyn was comfortable signing him to an offer sheet.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Donatas Motiejunas, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Lakers Bring In Donatas Motiejunas For Workout

Dec 28, 2016 1:49 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers brought Donatas Motiejunas in for a workout following the injury to Larry Nance Jr., but they didn't immediately sign him.

Motiejunas is an unrestricted free agent after a prolonged contract stalemate with the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers have Timofey Mozgov, Julius Randle, Thomas Robinson, Tariq Black and Ivica Zubac on their depth chart at the big positions.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Donatas Motiejunas, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss End Four-Year Engagement

Dec 28, 2016 10:56 AM

Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss have ended their four-year engagement.

Jackson posted a joint statement to Twitter on Tuesday night.

"With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement," the statement began. "With the nature of our professional obligations and the geographic distance between us, sustaining the relationship has been difficult. We have shared many wonderful moments through the years, and we expect to remain supportive of each other."

Buss later tweeted from her account: "Nothing but love and respect for this man."

In a follow-up tweet, Buss wrote, "The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It's not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention."

Jackson and Buss began dating in 1999.

An NBA official acknowledged in March 2014 that the league had put parameters in place to make sure the high-profile relationship didn't create any issues.

"The Knicks' hiring of Phil Jackson is subject to the league's conflict of interest rules," NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN.com at the time. "To avoid even the appearance of a conflict, we have addressed the issue with the Knicks and Lakers to ensure that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson will not affect how the teams operate."


Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, NBA

Larry Nance Jr. Out Four Weeks With Bone Bruise

Dec 25, 2016 11:05 PM

Larry Nance Jr. will miss the next four weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Nance suffered the injury on Dec. 20th at Charlotte.

Nance is averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds off the bench this season for the Lakers.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Larry Nance, Jr., Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury

Jim Buss Doesn't Foresee Regime Change In Lakers' Front Office

Dec 25, 2016 10:49 AM

It has been almost three years since Jim Buss pledged in an interview to step down from his role in basketball operations with the Los Angeles in “three or four years” if they were not “contending for a championship.”  

Jim Buss said last week he “wasn’t referring to a certain playoff position” and that the deadline “really wasn’t as clear as people say it is.”

“This was quotes from three or four years ago,” he said. “Those were what the path was supposed to be.”

Jim Buss said injuries and the farewell tour of Kobe Bryant detailed Jeanie Buss' otherwise reasonable expectations. Buss runs the front office with Mitch Kupchak.

“If I feel that the strides have been made,” Jim Buss said, “and the team is going in a very positive – not just a positive direction – a very positive direction, I don’t see a switch happening.”

Jeanie Buss said as recently as February that anything less than the second round of the playoffs would be falling short.

“We’re like every other team that we will play a season and we will assess that season when it’s over,” Jeanie Buss said. “No reason to speculate on any possible changes. It’s a waste of time to speculate.”

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Larry Nance Jr. Out Indefinitely With Bone Bruise In Knee

Dec 22, 2016 10:56 AM

Larry Nance Jr. will be out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Further results of the exam were inconclusive due to swelling in the knee, so Nance will be re-examined Sunday in Los Angeles by team physician Dr. David McAllister of UCLA Health.

Nance is averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds off the bench this season for the Lakers.

Nance was a first round pick by the Lakers in 2015.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Larry Nance, Jr., Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury

Luke Walton: You Control Your Own Destiny Growing From Within

Dec 22, 2016 10:47 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers are rebuilding around a young core of D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.

The path came into fruition after being near the top of the draft for several seasons and striking out in free agency.

"If you grow from within, you control your own destiny," Luke Walton said. "That's the game plan. We want to see what this group can do. We don't want to rely on anything else -- on free agency, or trades."

Walton was an assistant coach previously with the Warriors, who built their core through the draft before signing Kevin Durant in free agency.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Lakers Tapping Into Brandon Ingram's Experience At Point Guard
Brandon Ingram has started three games at point guard and also plays the role on the Lakers' second unit.

Tania Ganguli/Los Angeles Times

Lakers Challenged Kristaps Porzingis' Physicality During Pre-Draft Workout
Byron Scott kidded Lakers' staffers that he better get an extension on his contract if the Lakers decided to draft Kristaps Porzingis and wait for him to grow.

Kevin Ding/Bleacher Report

D'Angelo Russell, Nick Young Return To Lakers' Lineup
D'Angelo Russell missed 11 straight games with a sore left knee while Nick Young was out for seven with a strained calf.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

David Stern: There Was Never A Chris Paul To Lakers Trade To 'Void'
David Stern was asked about the proposed trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers that was canceled by him when the NBA were assuming control of New Orleans.

Sports Business Radio (via Ben Golliver/Sports Illustrated)

Jose Calderon Out 2-4 Weeks With Strained Right Hamstring
Jose Calderon is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

RealGM Staff Report

Nick Young Out 2-4 Weeks With Strained Right Calf
Nick Young picked up the injury on Tuesday.

RealGM Staff Report

D'Angelo Russell Won't Return Until 100 Percent
D'Angleo Russell said the left knee had been bothering him off and on since the start of the season.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Durant, Westbrook See Similarities To Young Thunder In Lakers
The Thunder won just 20 games in Kevin Durant's second season which was when Russell Westbrook was a rookie.

Mark Medina/Orange County Register

D'Angelo Russell Receives PRP Injection In Left Knee
D'Angelo Russell is expected to be out a minimum of two weeks, and will be re-evaluated in one week.

RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Nearly Picked Russ Smith Over Jordan Clarkson In 2014
The Lakers bought the 46th pick from the Wizards and they were tempted to pick Russ Smith over Jordan Clarkson.

Kevin Ding/Bleacher Report

Lakers Want D'Angelo Russell To Be Himself Or Sit To Rest Knee
D'Angelo Russell had only eight points in the Lakers' loss on Sunday to the Bulls as he relied mostly on jumpers.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News

D'Angelo Russell Cites Manu Ginobili As Most Influential Upon His Game
D'Angelo Russell grew up idolizing Manu Ginobili.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Lakers Assign Ivica Zubac To D-League
Ivica Zubac has appeared in three games for the team this season.

RealGM Staff Report

Phil Jackson Insists Opt-Out In Deal Was For Lockout, Not Lakers
Phil Jackson says being president of the Knicks has been "a process of sticking to my beliefs and being able to say, 'Whatever.'"

Jackie MacMullan/ESPN

Nick Young Was Humbled By Lakers Nearly Parting Ways With Him
Luke Walton and Mitch Kupchak stayed in contact with Mark Bartelstein in the offseason and said that Young needed to eliminate distractions to remain with the Lakers.

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Luke Walton 'Couldn't Say No To Opportunity' To Coach Lakers
The Lakers won 27, 21 and 17 games in the past three seasons but have started strong this season under Luke Walton.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Julius Randle Called 'A Monster' By Luke Walton
Julius Randle had 20 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers' 117-97 win over the Warriors.

Joey Ramirez/Lakers.com

Metta World Peace Can't Forgive Himself For End Of Pacers' Tenure
Metta World Peace made what will likely be his final trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to play the Pacers on Tuesday.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Kobe Bryant Not Missing Playing 'Even A Little Bit'
Kobe Bryant has thrown himself into business ventures during his first six months of retirement.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Brandon Ingram Leaves Game With Soreness In Right Knee
Brandon Ingram felt soreness in the first half when he tried to run but later said it is "nothing really serious."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN