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Los Angeles Lakers news gathered from around the net.

DA Steps Into Background

The lead prosecutor in the sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant said he will not take a prominent role in the NBA star's trial.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said he would provide general oversight while Gregg Crittenden, and prosecutors Dana Easter and Ingrid Bakke will handle most of the trial duties.

Hurlbert said in a statement that he would be neglecting other duties to take a major role in the Bryant trial.

"I have a duty to every citizen in the 5th Judicial District -- Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties," Hurlbert said.

Via ESPN

Shaq's Wife Wants to Go to Dallas

Shaquille O'Neal's wife, Shaunie, has told the entertainment magazine show "Extra" that a trade to Dallas Mavericks is fine by her.

"Right now, I'd love to go to Dallas," she said during an interview that will air Thursday night. "Love to go! ... Hint, hint, so [Mavericks owner] Mark [Cuban], if you're listening ...."

Shaunie O'Neal was giving a TV tour of the family's 18-bedroom Los Angeles mansion, which is now on the market for $7.5 million.

Selling the mansion was planned whether Shaq remained with the Lakers or not.  

"Now it just seems more dramatic than it is, but whatever works. ... If this means business, then hey, we mean business!" Shaunie O'Neal said.

"We'll have to take a look at [a trade for Shaq]," Cuban told the Star-Telegram. "But it just depends on which players [are involved].  Anything is possible, but we really like the group of guys that we have now. We've got a young nucleus and an experienced nucleus, and that's a great combination."

"It's a different world financially right now, but there's only one Shaq, and there's only one Tracy McGrady, and there's only one Dirk," Cuban said.  "Those are very, very special top-five, top-tier players."

On paying O'Neal's bulky remaining contract dollar amount:  "I'm willing to accept the salary. It's not going to be cheap in either case, but those are the type of players that I said that I'm willing to pay for."

Via ESPN

Nash Keen on Hollywood

Steve Nash's agent has indicated that his client would welcome a deal that would send him to the Lakers.  With the Mavericks selection of Devin Harris, it has been clear that any Shaquille O'Neal trade to the Mavericks would send Nash to L.A.

Via FoxSports.com

Bryant Drawing Interest Regardless of Possible Immorality

It looks like the trial isn't marring teams interest in superstar Kobe Bryant. The Phoenix Suns will attempt to woo Bryant, and Atlanta, Denver and San Antonio may also try. Bryant might even join the Lakers' next-door neighbors, the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He's universally looked at as one of best players in the league," Rod Thorn, president of the Nets, said. "Other than this instance, he's never had any scandal attached to him at all in the course of his life. This is certainly a sad thing, but he's a terrific player that kid."

Every N.B.A. contract includes a morals clause, which gives teams the right to terminate a player's contract under certain circumstances.

One of the provisions states that a team may terminate a contract if a player "at any time fails, refuses or neglects to conform his personal conduct to standards of good citizenship, good moral character (defined here to mean not engaging in acts of moral turpitude, whether or not such acts would constitute a crime), and good sportsmanship, to keep himself in first-class physical condition, or to obey the team's training rules."

In Bryant's case, a team will know before signing him that he may have violated the morals clause. "In this case, you know this going in," Thorn said. "This is not a case where a team signs a guy and then he does something. Everybody knows what's going on with him before they sign him. It's kind of like when we signed Alonzo Mourning. Everybody knew he had a kidney condition. And when that condition sidelined him, after the fact, it was like, 'That's your tough luck.' "

Via NY Times

Shaq Deal Won't Happen

The more it looks like Dirk is to be involved in any Shaq trade, the more it looks like the Mavs will pull out of the sweepstakes.

On June 18, O'Neal demanded a trade from the Lakers. About the same time, McGrady talked about wanting to get traded to the Mavericks. That prompted Cuban to call both the Lakers and the Magic.

"We said, 'Hey, we're interested, and if there's something that you think will work, give us a call,' " Cuban said. "And our phone's not ringing."

Apparently Cuban has let it be known Dirk Nowitzki is not going anywhere.

"We'll have to take a look at it," Cuban said. "But it just depends on which players [are involved]."

"We think we've got the Big Three, which is a great nucleus for now," Cuban said. "And we think we've got the next Big Three with Josh and Marquis and Devin.

"Anything is possible, but we really like the group of guys that we have now. We've got a young nucleus and an experienced nucleus, and that's a great combination."

Via Star Telegram

Kobe Commitment Must Come First

There is one obstacle that many are overlooking when it comes to the Lakers' ability to trade Shaquille O'Neal.

That obstacle is Kobe Bryant.  That the free-agent is staying in Los Angeles is not a certainty, and it is something the Lakers must know before they decide to let go of the game's most dominant big man.

The Lakers need a commitment from Kobe but in fact, this may be difficult to obtain.  The leverage Bryant now enjoys would disappear.

The Lakers' off-season mess is further compounded by this dilemma.

Via ESPN

Webber for Shaq

"A source from one superstar's entourage said Chris Webber has hinted to Kings management he'd go to Los Angeles."

"They've discussed Webber and former Laker Vlade Divac for Shaq. But any deal with Sacramento should include Mike Bibby, just as any deal with Dallas -- the odds-on favorite -- should include Dirk Nowitzki."

The Shaq sweepstakes has included many teams; and Sacramento is one of the teams he has said he would like to play for.

He has already shot down the LA Clippers.

Via Newsday

For Sale

Saying that "everyone knows" where he wants to play next year, Shaquille O'Neal once again repeated his desire to leave the Lakers by way of a trade.  

O'Neal was not more specific when talking about his preferred destination and he passed on an opportunity to divulge a team wish list.

O'Neal demanded a trade after the Lakers lost the NBA Finals and has now placed his house near Beverly Hills on the market.  

His asking price is $7.5 million.  

If indeed, as it appears, the Lakers are forced to move him, what will the Lakers' asking price be on this Diesel?  Good condition, lots of miles, probably plenty of good ones still left in the tank.  Probably ... and probably still a vehicle that can be driven down the title road for some lucky buyer.

Offers have begun to roll in and Laker general manager Mitch Kupchak is listening but also hoping that O'Neal will still change his mind and stay in Los Angeles.

O'Neal made these latest comments after attending his first meeting as an officer of the National Basketball Players' Association

One of the first orders of business for the players' union O'Neal now represents is to try to do away with the escrow tax.  

But, it may be a fair observation that Shaq is a bit more concerned about what jersey he'll be wearing for the remainder of his career.

Via SportsLine.com

Shaq Serious, Puts House Up For Sale

The newest union VP, Shaq repeated what he said yesterday and has also put up his Beverly Hills house up for sale.

"What I said in L.A., I wasn't (messing) around," O'Neal said after attending his first meeting as an officer of the players' union.

When asked where he wants to go to, Shaq replied, "I can't get into that."

Via ESPN

Change is All Around

Shaq, T-Mac and Ray Allen.  Where will they go?

The Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers.  How will these two teams revamp their rosters?

These are some of the big questions of the coming months in the NBA, an off-season that is rich with free agents and promises to be rife with intrigue and player movement.

The article also discusses the impending labor discussions.  With indicators of popularity and revenues on the rise again, the NBA owners still want to roll back player salaries.  But one official is confident that no obstacle will be too big this time around:  "This isn't the NHL," said one league source. "I still think we'll get it done."

The two sides will talk throughout the month of July.

Via New York Daily News

Los Angeles Lakers Archives

Shaq Digs In, Wants Out

Shaq Desires Warm Weather, Snubs Pacers

Shaq Too Pricey for Kings

Kobe Case to Begin August 27th

Despite Superman Status, Shaq Won't Change Uniforms in a Flash

Shaq Could Be Traded by July 1; Spurs Dust off Silver Carpet for Kobe

Stan Van Gundy Extension Close

Will Harris Learn Under Nash or Replace Him?

Wiz & Mavs Kick Off Deal-Making as Draft Day Arrives

Can Cuban?s Charm Woo Shaq?

Riley Discusses Lakers' Coaching Job

Nets Talk to Cavs, Blazers and Ponder Shaq

Mavs offer Nash+Dirk for Shaq...Suns offer Marion, JJ+ #7 for T-Mac

Shaq to Los Angeles? The Clippers.

The Glove Remains With Lakers

Mavs Must Get Shaq at All Costs

Change in the Air: T-Mac & Yao Show; Knicks Want Walker; Pacers Active

Could Shaq Leave Lakers But Stay in Cali?

The Shaq that Launched a Thousand Trade Rumors

Shaq & T-Mac Happy Together in Dallas?

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