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Shaquille O'Neal Apologizes To Kobe Bryant For Breaking Up 2000s Lakers

Feb 18, 2018 10:07 AM

Shaquille O'Neal apologized to Kobe Bryant for how their partnership fell apart in 2004 after they had won three titles together.

O'Neal had a moment of realization on his part after they were named co-MVPs of the 2009 All-Star Game.

“You told me to take the trophy home and I took it home and gave it to (my son) Shareef. And I realized I may have messed something up,” O’Neal said. “A lot of times that our beef was going on, you know me. I’m the master marketer. I would just say it to keep it going. But when you did that when you didn’t have to do that, I said to myself, ‘Luckily, I won three out of four with this guy. But I was an [expletive] to this guy.’

“So, I owe you an apology. I’m going to give you an apology, but we don’t need to be doing all of that crying like Magic [Johnson] and Isiah [Thomas]. But thank you for that moment. Shareef loved that moment. I was going through a lot at the time. He loves you for it, and I love you for that moment. So thank you.”

O'Neal sought an extension from the Lakers in 2004 as Bryant approached free agency. Bryant was preparing to sign with the Bulls if O'Neal signed an extension, but the Lakers traded O'Neal.

Sam Cooper/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Paul George Receives 'We Want Paul' Chant From L.A. Fans

Feb 17, 2018 7:12 PM

Paul George received "We want Paul! We want Paul!" chants from the crowd in Los Angeles when he took the podium for All-Star media day.

George has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers as he enters free agency this offseason.

"It makes you feel great,'' George said. "I love it. It's not to say that I don't. I felt the energy. I know where the love is.''

George grew up approximately 65 miles from Staples Center.

"It feels good to be welcome. I think anybody would want to be wanted and be welcomed,'' he said.

ESPN

Tags: Paul George, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Channing Frye Undergoes Appendectomy

Feb 17, 2018 7:09 PM

Channing Frye underwent an appendectomy on Friday.

The Lakers say Frye will be re-evaluated after he returns to Los Angeles next weekend.

Frye is averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game this season. He has appeared in one game for the Lakers.

ESPN

Tags: Channing Frye, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Kobe Bryant: It Takes Special Person To Want To Play For Lakers

Feb 16, 2018 3:26 PM

Kobe Bryant spoke about his view of the exceptionalism of the Los Angeles Lakers when asked if he might help the front office recruit free agents this offseason.

"You know, the thing about this franchise is that you shouldn't need recruiting to come in it," Bryant said. "It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise, and take the pressure that comes along with playing for this franchise. The pressure of following Magic [Johnson]'s footsteps, myself and the dynasty that we've had, it takes a special person to do that.

"And if I need to convince you come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain't the one to be it."

The Lakers have won 16 titles as a franchise with Bryant contributing five of them. Magic Johnson won five additional titles during his playing career.

"When you're here, the most important thing is winning championships. I don't care about anything else. It's winning championships," Bryant said. "You don't have to like each other, but you will show up to practice every day and play hard, you will focus and commit to winning, and you know, if that's the case, then you'll be just fine."

Bryant was asked what would happen if a player is not up to that standard.

"Then you can go play someplace else," Bryant said. "That's fine, too. I mean, it's a certain personality that comes along with it. It's a brand thing. I mean, the Lakers stand for excellence. They stand for winning. We don't hang division banners. You know what I'm saying? We don't do that. We don't retire everyone's jerseys. We retire Hall of Fame jerseys.

"... The people that are here need to be able to lift that standard and hold themselves to that standard. Which in turn gives you the ability to hold everybody else to that standard. If you can't do that, you can't be here."

Jalen Rose/ESPN

Tags: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Adam Silver To Execs On Tampering: Stop Talking About Players On Other Teams

Feb 16, 2018 9:24 AM

Adam Silver explained the NBA's reason for fining Magic Johnson $50,000 for tampering with his seemingly innocuous comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

"Context is everything, and there had been a prior issue with the Lakers early this season," Silver said on The Jump. "And the message is -- not just to Magic but to all the executives in the league is -- stop talking about players on other teams."

Silver admitted it is a balancing act for former greats like Johnson to talk about players when they are also serving in front office roles.

"We'd love to hear players like Magic Johnson talk about how great young players are in the league," Silver said. "But there's enough commentary out there. And I think, when on balance, just asking them to refrain from that one aspect of talking about other players, isn't that big a deal."

Silver said "we love having all these legends involved in the game."

"But the other teams seem to be able to follow those rules, and this is, don't talk about players on other teams," Silver added. "I mean incidentally, we could change that rule, but I don't think it's a good idea."

Rachel Nichols/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Magic Johnson Has 'Special Relationship' With LaVar Ball

Feb 15, 2018 11:30 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers have wanted to be supportive of LaVar Ball's business ambitions. Their original plan was to let LaVar market his family but his criticism of Luke Walton has been difficult for the team to deal with.

"I got a special relationship with LaVar," Johnson said. "I think he understands ... I just want the best for him. For his son. I told him, 'I've been down this road that your son is about to go down, so you got the best person sitting here. So what I need you to do is just worry about the business side. Let me take care of the basketball side.'"

When LaVar Ball criticized Walton from Lithuania, sources say Johnson called an associate of the patriarch to admonish him. But the Lakers said nothing publicly.

"Look, we had lost nine in a row and you didn't hear nothing from me, right? I was supporting Luke through all nine in a row," Johnson says. "So now, LaVar comes out and says something, and everybody asks, 'Why didn't you say nothing?'

"I'm not gonna respond to people saying different things. [Walton] already had my vote of confidence. There's never been a question about his job security here. But everybody else was trying to make a big deal out of it. I was good with Luke, I was good with Jeanie. So I said we should do nothing because if we react to this, now any time somebody says something about the Lakers, we gotta react.

"We know what we have, we know who we are. And the team responded, and we're better. So I'm happy we just didn't jump out there."

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Thomas Ejected As Video Tribute Controversy Lingers

Feb 15, 2018 9:27 AM

Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas were ejected from Wednesday's win by the Pelicans over the Lakers.

Rondo aggressively hounded Thomas' every move, even during stoppage in play late in the first quarter, before the two had to be separated and were tossed with 33.3 seconds left.

Thomas claimed Rondo brought up the video tribue the Celtics had planned for him earlier this season, which coincided with Paul Pierce's jersey retirement.

Rondo spoke publicly about his displeasure with the Celtics honoring Thomas.

"What has he done?" Rondo told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in January. When told that Thomas led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals last season, Rondo said, "Oh, that's what we celebrate around here?"

"This is the Boston Celtics," Rondo said. "This isn't the Phoenix Suns. No disrespect to any other organization, but you don't hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?"

"Whatever reason, he's an upset guy about me," Thomas said after Wednesday's game. "I don't know what it is, but it's fine. He kept bringing the tribute up, when I was the one that shut the tribute down. I'm far past that. ... For me to be ejected was uncalled for."

Thomas said he didn't know whether there was any other history with Rondo.

"I mean, my team beat his team in the playoffs last year," Thomas said, referring to the Celtics beating the Chicago Bulls 4-2 in the first round last postseason. "Maybe that is what's wrong. I don't know. There's nothing. Nothing should've made that escalate like it did. He already had his agenda written down right when I checked into the game. It was obvious. He picked me up full court, trying to be physical.

"I don't know what was going on with him. I don't know why I got thrown out. I don't want to comment too much on it. ... It was obvious what was going on. He was being too aggressive for whatever reason, and he also hit me in the face three times. At some point, as a human, if no one is going to protect me, I got to protect myself, and that is when I spoke up and got upset. I hope the NBA figures something out with that, because it was wrong for me to be ejected."


 

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

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LaVar Ball Suggests Lonzo Ball Will Leave Lakers If Team Doesn't Sign Brothers

Feb 12, 2018 5:03 PM

LaVar Ball said Lonzo Ball will attempt to leave the Lakers if the franchise doesn't sign LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball.

Lonzo Ball's two younger brothers are currently playing in Lithuania. Lonzo Ball would be unable to leave as an unrestricted free agent until the 22-23 season.

"I want all my three boys to play for the Lakers," said LaVar Ball. "But if that does not happen, I'm telling you the story that's gonna happen first. If they don't take Gelo this year, I (will) bring Gelo here (Prienai) to play with Melo for two years. Lonzo will be on his third year and I want to let let every NBA team know that Lonzo is not going to re-sign with the Lakers but will go to any team that will take all of my three boys. That's my plan.

"Lonzo plays best when is with his brother. Why wouldn't - he is hell of a shooter. They don't play the same position. You see how successful he was when he was with his brother?

"Why wouldn't you be smart and say: so, you want your brother? Come on, let's complete the Royal Flush and get the other brother.

"We don't have to go to any draft, just him in free agency. You don't have to give Gelo $15 million. Give my million for three years, we'll take it. Cause they make so much money off the court.

"So now you win championship after championship on the fact that my boys will never leave. That's what I mean: championship, championship, championship. You got to keep the team together for a long time, but you can't because more money is offered, that's why guys jumping between the teams.

"But what's better than three Ball boys together? The Big Three. The original Big Three.

Donatas Urbonas

Tags: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Isaiah Thomas: I Got My Powers Back With Lakers

Feb 11, 2018 10:15 AM

Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and six assist in his first game with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I wanted to bring something to the table," Thomas said. "I felt like I got my powers back playing on this team."

Thomas was dealt by the Cavaliers to the Lakers at the deadline. Thomas struggled in 15 games with Cleveland.

"I was shocked," Thomas said of the trade. "It was a surprise, but at the same time, I am happy to have a new start, I am happy to be here with the Lakers, happy to be with a young team that is exciting, that likes to get up and down. That's my style of play. I am here to help in any way possible. It's a fresh start for me. I am excited.

"It kind of reminds me of the same situation when I got traded to Boston. It was a young team that was thinking rebuild, but we had some different thoughts than that, and we made a push to the playoffs. That is my job: to come to this team and bring that spirit, that fire, that killer's mentality and just understand that we can take advantage of this opportunity that we have [the rest of] the season. It's about winning, and it is about winning right now."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Cavs, Clippers Held Advanced Trade Talks On DeAndre Jordan

Feb 9, 2018 1:06 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers held advanced trade discussions on DeAndre Jordan on deadline day. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement and the Cavaliers pivoted to a pair of deals involving the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz.

"There were people in the league who thought there was traction towards the Cavs making a deal with the Clippers yesterday morning," said Brian Windhorst on The Lowe Post. "The reason people thought that was because there were other teams who were engaged in trade talks with pieces that would have spun off from that trade.

"So it got to the point where the Cavs and Clippers felt like they were close enough to some sort of agreement with each other that they could begin looking to bring in third teams and that's why I know about it. 

"The Cavs and Clippers got some distance down the road with DeAndre Jordan. At a certain point, the Cavs elected not to make the deal with the Clippers and instead made the deal with the Lakers. Maybe that was for a hundred different reasons we'll never know. Maybe it was because in addition to negotiating with the Clippers, they had to negotiate with DeAndre Jordan, because he has a contract situation and if he was traded, he would have wanted to get an extension alongside of it.

"The Cavs were also talking with the Hornets. I just didn't see a deal path there unless they were willing to take on a huge sum of money, or willing to include the Brooklyn pick.

"They ended up making deals with four teams (at the deadline) and they were talking to at least six, and probably a lot more."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Magic Johnson Confident Of Free Agency Plans Following Deadline
The Lakers have interest in pursuing LeBron James and Paul George this offseason, or members of the 2019 class in the following summer.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Lakers Trade Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance To Cavs For Isaiah Thomas, Frye, FRP
The Cavaliers have helped the Lakers create cap space.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Forbes Values Average NBA Franchise At $1.65 Billion
Every NBA team is valued at $1 billion or more for the first time in league history.

Forbes

Lakers Fined $50,000 For Magic Johnson's Comments On Giannis Antetokounmpo
Magic Johnson made comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo in a recent media interview.

RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Listening To Trade Offers On Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle
None of the proposed deals would lead to the Lakers saving significant cap space.

Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Lakers Shift Free Agency Focus To 2019 Class
The 2019 class could include Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler.

Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Warriors, Spurs, Heat Atop LeBron James' List, Won't Rule Out Lakers, Rockets, Cavs
LeBron James reportedly has the most respect for the Warriors, Spurs and Heat.

Chris Haynes/ESPN (via Jorge Sedeno)

Magic Johnson Reportedly Frustrated With Rob Pelinka
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka were hired to run the front office of the Lakers approximately one year ago.

Dan Le Batard/ESPN (via Lakers Outsiders)

Lakers Weren't Interested In Trading For Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin had been linked to the Lakers heading into his free agency, but he quickly re-signed with the Clippers.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Celtics Wanted To Draft Larry Nance Jr. In 2015
Larry Nance Jr. was selected one pick ahead of Boston.

Kevin O'Connor/The Ringer

Lakers Remaining Cautious With Lonzo Ball's MCL Sprain
Lonzo Ball was hurt in a game on Jan. 13th and has missed six straight games.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Jeanie Buss Confirms Luke Walton Will Remain Lakers' Head Coach In 18-19
Luke Walton's future has been in doubt amongst comments from LaVar Ball and speculation centered upon David Fizdale.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Smith Jr. Commit To Dunk Contest
Larry Nance Jr. is a strong candidate to be the fourth contestant.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Kobe Bryant's 'Dear Basketball' Nominated For Academy Award
Kobe Bryant's film is based on a letter he wrote in The Players' Tribune in 2015.

Dave McNary/Variety

Lakers To Sign Nigel Hayes To 10-Day Contract
Nigel Hayes is averaging 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 30 games this season in the G League for Westchester.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Pelicans Main Competition For DeMarcus Cousins Expected To Be Mavs, Lakers
DeMarcus Cousins is likely to have a limited market of teams that can offer a max contract.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Lakers To Sign Gary Payton II To Two-Way Contract
Gary Payton II was waived by the Bucks on Dec. 18th when they signed Sean Kilpatrick.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson Voice Support For Luke Walton
The Lakers became concerned about the situation when David Fizdale rumors surfaced.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Kobe Bryant To Host Basketball Analysis Show On ESPN
Kobe Bryant will offer observations as if he were one of the players features in an ESPN game played the day before.

RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Could Have Interest In David Fizdale
The Lakers' front office did not voice their support for Luke Walton following the comments by LaVar Ball.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN