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Los Angeles Lakers news gathered from around the net.

West, Magic To Present Riley For Induction

Jerry West and Magic Johnson will present legendary Coach Pat Riley for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame next week, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Johnson helped guide Riley's Lakers to four NBA championships while West paved the way for Pat to serve on the bench in Los Angeles.

By rule, only a member of the Hall of Fame can introduce a member for enshrinement.

Via South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Lakers Impressed By Bynum's Recovery

Lakers' center Andrew Bynum is reportedly looking bigger and stronger than ever, and, more importantly, is showing no ill effects from the knee injury which ended his season in January of this year, according to a report by Marty Burns of Sports Illustrated.

"He looks to be in great shape. He looks ready to go," Kupchak said in a phone interview Thursday. "There's no reason to believe he won't be 100 percent for training camp."

Alhough Bynum did not play five-on-five basketball during a two-day visit by Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak, Kupchak said he watched the 7-foot, 280-pounder go through a strenuous workout that included running, jumping, and various agility drills.

"That's the reason I went there," Kupchak said. "I wanted to see him run unencumbered, go through agility drills, jumping drills, the things players do... You hope they don't limp or favor a leg. He did not. That was number one."

"On top of that, I was impressed by what he did with his body to get in shape and get stronger. It was obvious to me he had been in the weight room."

Via Sports Illustrated

Lakers Sign Joe Crawford

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Joe Crawford, announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Selected by the Lakers with the 58th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Crawford, a 22 year-old native of Detroit, Michigan, played four seasons at the University of Kentucky, averaging 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 127 games (76 starts).

Via Press Release

Jackson Credits Madonna For Rodman's Antics

Lakers' Coach Phil Jackson has credited Madonna for helping the former NBA rebounding king Dennis Rodman come out of his shell, according to Orange County Register.

Jackson claims that before Rodman met the singer he had a "shy" personality.

"Madonna saw what was in there and wanted him . . . to do what she does: be outrageous and kind of talked him into opening up his character," Jackson said. "And Dennis didn?t know how many ways he could open up his character."

Via Orange County Register

Mbenga Has Minimum-Offer From Lakers, Hoping For More From Miami

DJ Mbenga, who worked out in Miami on Monday, has a minimum-level offer to return to the Lakers but hopes for a bigger offer from the Heat.

RealGM Note: In 42 games last season, Mbenga had a per 40 FIC of 8.9 and 'deserved' $800,000.

Via Miami Herald

Lakers Waiting Word On Kobe's Pinky Surgery

Training camp for the Los Angeles Lakers begins on September 30th and the club is awaiting word for when Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery to repair his damaged left pinky finger.

Bryant suffered the injury during a February 5th game against the New Jersey Nets.

Via Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers Officially Sign Sun Yue

The Lakers finally officially signed Sun Yue on Monday.

"He's really looking forward to it (joining the Lakers)," said Charles Bonsignore, Sun's agent. "The Olympics gave him kind of a boost."

Via Los Angeles Daily News

Sun: 'I Want To Show Myself To The World'

Sun Yue helped make a name for himself while leading China in this year's Olympics and hopes to show himself to the world in the NBA.

Yue was selected with the fortieth overall pick in this June's NBA Draft by the Lakers, and the team has reportedly agreed to terms with the point guard on a deal.

"I want to show myself to the world," said Sun. "I tried to do my best and play my part on the court. For me, every second counts at the Olympics, so I want to take the chance to let people know me."

Sun played against his future teammate Kobe Bryant, during China's opening round loss to the United States.

"I met Kobe and told him I'd like to play with him next season, he said 'OK', and 'see you in training camp'," Sun added.

The league's MVP appears to be impressed with his newest teammate, as well.

"I think he's very talented, actually," said Bryant. "I was very impressed by him. I think he has great size, great length, good shooting touch, good ball handler, good vision, good pace."

"I was surprised at his size right off the top. He was able to handle the ball. I tried to test him a little bit, see if he could go left, go right, that sort of thing. So I like him."

Via China Daily

Spain Hangs Tough, But USA Claims Gold

The United States may have taken home the gold, but the Spaniards did not simply hand the hardware across to the Redeem Team like most expected.

The United States survived their tightest encounter of the Olympic tournament in the gold medal game, never really shaking a determined Spain team despite not having Raptors' point guard Jose Calderon on the floor.

The Americans had to put on a shooting clinic, finishing the game 13 of 28 (46%) from three-point range and an amazing 71% (13/28) from inside the arc, which in the end proved to be pivotal with Team USA winning the game by only 11 points, 118-107, but the margin was much closer than this for the majority of the game.

Dwyane Wade led the way with 27 points in the game, most of them coming in the first half while Kobe Bryant had 20 to go with 6 assists.

Bryant was particularly excellent in the 4th quarter when the game was tight, including a four-point play that sent Rudy Fernandez to the bench with his fifth and final foul.

For Spain, Juan Carlos Navarro (18 points) was effective, connecting on an array of teardrops inside the key to keep Spain close when the pressure was on while Pau Gasol (21 points, 6 rebounds) and Fernandez (22 points) were again are the forefront for the Spanish.

Spain trailed by only four points, 108-104, with 2:28 remaining in the game, giving the Americans their first real challenge in the fourth quarter of the Olympics.

Via RealGM

Dr. Phil? North Dakota Giving Jackson An Honorary Doctorate

The University of North Dakota is bestowing Phil Jackson with an honorary doctorate.

A 1967 graduate of UND, with emphasis in religion, philosophy and psychology, Jackson will receive his doctorate from the school's College of Arts and Sciences.

"It's an honor to receive this doctorate,'' Jackson said, in a prepared statement. "We have put this on hold for a few years and this year works out just right. UND had hoped it would be at a commencement, but a convocation for orientation seems like the right thing.'

Via Orange County Register

Los Angeles Lakers Archives

Mbenga Deciding Between Lakers And Heat

Free agent center D.J. Mbenga had a workout in Miami earlier this week, and it appears as though he's considering both the Heat and Lakers.

Kobe: 'I Feel Younger Than Ever'

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant feels great, even after an extended season involving a trip to the NBA Finals and an appearance at the Olympics.

Shaun Livingston Continues To Progress

Shaun Livingston, one of the few free agent point guards left on the market, continues to workout in an attempt to draw suitors prior to the season.

Team USA Sends Australia Home

Australia was able to keep things close in the first half, but Kobe Bryant took over in the second half to give America a 31-point win.

Spain Defeats Croatia To Advance

Spain, led by Pau Gasol, were able to overpower the youthful Croatians 72-59 to advance to the next round in the Olympics.

Kobe: We Shouldn't Have Traded Marc Gasol

Kobe Bryant doesn't think the Lakers should have given up Marc Gasol in the trade that brought his brother Pau to Los Angeles.

Lakers Sign Josh Powell

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent Josh Powell; it was announced today.

Kobe's Jersey The Top Seller In China

For the second consecutive season, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers had the top selling NBA jersey in China.

Gasol Leads Spain To Huge Comeback Win Over China

The Chinese led Spain all game but could not hold on, eventually going down by 10 in overtime.

Bryant: I'd Go To Italy For $50M

Kobe Bryant claims that he would consider playing in Italy for $50 million a year when he becomes a free agent next season.

Kobe Touched By Opening Ceremony

As one of the most talented athletes in the world, Kobe Bryant is rarely in awe of his surroundings.

Kobe Would Take Super Deal In Italy?

Kobe Bryant was asked on Friday if he would consider a super-lucrative deal from a team in Italy when he becomes a free agent next summer.

Kobe: Nothing Less Than Gold Will Do

Kobe Bryant made it very clear on Friday that the U.S. basketball team will only be satisfied with taking home the gold medal in Beijing this month.

Lakers Sign Point Guard Sun Yue

The Lakers and point guard Sun Yue have agreed to terms on a two-year deal.

Pierce: I Am The Best Player In The NBA

Paul Pierce has maintained what he told a Spanish newspaper recently - he believes he is the best player in the NBA today.

Kobe Would Play In Russia For Right Price

Kobe Bryant admitted over the weekend that he would consider leaving the NBA for Russia if a sizable contract could be arranged.

U.S. Tops Russia

The U.S. National Team was able to defeat Russia 89-68 on Sunday morning US time, but things were not as easy as they have been in the past.

Lakers Sign Dwayne Mitchell

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Dwayne Mitchell.
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