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LeBron James: 'I've Always Loved Kyrie'

Feb 17, 2019 5:10 PM

LeBron James stated his appreciation for Kyrie Irving's growth and maturity during an All-Star weekend media event.

"I think I've always loved Kyrie, from before I met him, until when I became his teammate, to even now. So the phone call, more than for me, I think just to see his growth...it takes a real man and a real person -- and a real person to understand who they are -- to be able to call or to do anything and be able to see their wrongdoings or believe they have some wrongdoings and then be able to come to grips with that and then be able to either apologize or say that, 'At that point and time, I thought I was ready for something, but I really wasn't,'" said James. 

James, who gave Irving advice on how to lead a young Celtics team, also praised how Irving handled the media speculation around the trade deadline earlier this month.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

LeBron James On Owning NBA Team One Day: I Got A Ton More Years To Play This Game

Feb 17, 2019 1:59 PM

LeBron James tempered his comments saying that he was going to own an NBA team in the future.

"I was asked a question...I answered it how I felt at that point in time I believe if I wanted to, I could own a team or be part of a basketball team. I know I got so much knowledge of the game that I don't want to, once I stop playing, I just [do not] want to get away from the game...it would have to be the right fit. It'd have to be the right city. It'd have to be the right situation. It's not like it's a dream of mine. It's more of an aspiration," said James.

James, who Forbes recently reported has a net worth of $450 million, added that he still has years left to play.

"I got a lot more game to play. I got a lot. A ton more years to play this game and suit up and be in a Lakers uniform. Once we get to that point, we'll cross that path. Hopefully I can sit up here and answer questions as a player for a long time."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

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

Kyle Kuzma: I'd Rather Be Talked About Bad In L.A. Than Ignored In Other Markets

Feb 16, 2019 6:50 PM

Kyle Kuzma said he welcomes the scrutiny of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want people to talk about me, good or bad. Because if they’re not, you’re not doing something right. I’d rather be talked about bad in L.A. than play in Orlando and not get talked about," said Kuzma.

Kuzma was recently named the MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge. 

Dan Feldman/NBC Sports

Tags: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Lakers No Longer Favored To Make Playoffs At Vegas Sportsbook

Feb 16, 2019 1:36 PM

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook reopened their odds on a prop bet that the Los Angeles Lakers would make the playoffs this season. Odds on "yes" and "no" were set at an equal -110.

"With the trade deadline having passed and the length of the break over the next week due to the All-Star Game, this prop is polarizing. It's at the forefront of interest considering the Lakers' record at this point of the season," said Jeff Sherman, the vice president of risk at The SuperBook.

Before the season started, odds that the Lakers would make the playoffs closed at -600 at The SuperBook. 59% of bettors thought James would miss the playoffs, while 83% of the money was on yes. 

Ben Fawkes/ESPN

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

Kyle Kuzma Wins Rising Stars MVP, Admits Bonus Provided Motivation

Feb 16, 2019 10:44 AM

Kyle Kuzma won Rising Stars Challenge MVP and admitted he was motivated by the $25,000 bonus.

"Facts," Kuzma said. "I think it was the second timeout, and I broke the huddle by saying, 'Bonus-1-2-3.' So there you go."

Kuzma scored 35 points in Team USA's 161-144 win over Team World.

"I played last year and was lackadaisical," Kuzma said, "so I didn't want to do that again.

"There was a lot of great players out there, All-Stars, we're all young rising stars in this league. Obviously it's an exhibition, but it's always better to have bragging rights whenever you can."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA All-Star

D'Angelo Russell Reached Out To LeBron James For Advice Last Summer

Feb 14, 2019 1:50 AM

D'Angelo Russell reached out to LeBron James over the offseason, looking for advice on how to become a more consistent player.

Russell said that James told him to be "prepared mentally to go out and dominate every game, and then [Russell's teammates] will follow that".  

Russell then implemented a strict routine for each day throughout the season.

Russell added that he sympathized with former Lakers teammates Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, saying he was happy to leave behind the constant speculation that surrounded the team.

“I can’t imagine what they’re trying to block out...if [the Lakers] didn’t let me go then, they were gonna let me go now, and I’d be going through what they’re going through. Best thing that happened in my career," said Russell.

Leo Sepkowitz/Bleacher Report

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Isaiah Thomas May Return Wednesday Versus Kings

Feb 13, 2019 12:02 AM

Isaiah Thomas could make his Denver Nuggets debut on Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings.

Thomas was upgraded to questionable after participating in 5-on-5 drills in practice.

The Nuggets will determine Thomas' availability early on Wednesday.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury

NBA Rules Magic Johnson Didn't Commit Tampering On Ben Simmons

Feb 12, 2019 6:53 PM

The NBA has ruled that Magic Johnson did not break any tampering rules when he spoke about meeting with Ben Simmons.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the NBA said: "We have concluded that Magic Johnson’s statements regarding Ben Simmons do not constitute a tampering violation. The Philadelphia 76ers initiated the contact with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons. Both organizations ultimately concluded that such a meeting did not make sense at this time but in that context, Johnson’s response to a media inquiry regarding Simmons does not run afoul of league rules."

Johnson revealed over the weekend that Simmons expressed a desire to meet, through an intermediary.


Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

Elton Brand Apologizes To Magic Johnson For Ben Simmons Story

Feb 12, 2019 10:49 AM

Elton Brand called Magic Johnson to apologize for insinuating the Los Angeles Lakers called unprompted to receive permission for Johnson to speak with Ben Simmons.

In the interview with 97.5 The Fanatic on Monday morning, Brand said, "[Lakers GM] Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season; Magic was on the list. He asked for authorization ... I said no."

Brand didn't mention that someone from the 76ers contacted Pelinka first at the urging of one of Simmons' brothers.

The Lakers issued a statement later Monday that read: "To clarify, last November the 76ers sent an email to the Lakers asking if Ben Simmons would be able to speak with Magic Johnson about his Hall of Fame playing career. After receiving the email request from the 76ers, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka contacted 76ers General Manager Elton Brand and informed him that Magic could only do so if the 76ers gave him pre-written approval. That was the end of the matter."

Brand told ESPN earlier Monday that Simmons simply wanted the Sixers to help him facilitate "chatting with some of the game's all-time greats."

"No issue," Brand told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "I have a great relationship with Ben and [his agent] Rich [Paul] and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time. He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game's all-time greats and we're supportive.

"I had brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka, who I've known for a long time, but nothing is planned. Our collective focus is on making a postseason push. Again, we're not sweating this -- end of story."

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Ben Simmons, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Josh Hart Out Through All-Star Break After Receiving PRP Injection

Feb 12, 2019 1:02 AM

Josh Hart received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma therapy) injection to treat tendinitis in his knee and will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break.

Hart is averaging 8.5 points and 3.9 rebounds on the season. Hart shot just 22.7% from the 3-point line in January.

Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen And Roll

Tags: Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury

Markieff Morris Cleared To Play, Receives Interest From Rockets, Lakers
Markieff Morris has been sidelined since Dec. 26 after being diagnosed with transient cervical neurapraxia.

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Ben Simmons Would Like To Receive Mentorship From Magic Johnson
Ben Simmons has often been compared to Magic Johnson due to his size and passing ability.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Magic Johnson Believes Pelicans Didn't Negotiate Anthony Davis Trade In Good Faith
The Lakers pursued Anthony Davis aggressively before the deadline.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Magic Johnson On Free Agency Plans For Summer: 'We Just Want To Get One Of Them'
Johnson added that he doesn't think the Pelicans front office acted in good faith during Anthony Davis trade negotiations.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Magic Johnson To Hug Lakers Players, Ready To Focus On Playoff Push
Magic added that the goal of their team is to make the playoffs.


Rob Pelinka Compares Lakers' Season To The New England Patriots
Pelinka compared LeBron James to Tom Brady, and Mike Muscala and Reggie Bullock with Julian Edelman.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Magic Johnson To Address Lakers Following Anthony Davis Trade Rumors
Magic Johnson will listen to every player who wants to speak.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

LeBron James: East Teams Think They Can Get To Finals Because They Ain't Gotta Go Through Me
LeBron James made eight straight Finals coming out of the Eastern Conference.

Joe Vardon/The Athletic

Windhorst: Agents, Other Teams, NBA Officials Mocked Anthony Davis, Rich Paul For Failed Strategy
Anthony Davis and Klutch Sports were unsuccessful in trying to force a trade to the Lakers by the 2019 trade deadline.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Woj: Pelicans Likely Always Intended To Wait Until Offseason For Anthony Davis Trade
The Pelicans and Lakers never were close to an Anthony Davis trade.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Lakers To Seriously Consider Signing Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony hasn't played since November.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Lakers Acquire Mike Muscala From Clippers For Michael Beasley, Ivica Zubac
Mike Muscala gives the Lakers a floor spacing big.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Anthony Davis Has Knicks On Same Level As Lakers On Wish List
The Knicks' ability to pursue two superstar free agents has resonated with Anthony Davis.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Trevor Ariza Looking To Re-Sign With Wizards
The Wizards got under the luxury tax threshold by trading Otto Porter and Markieff Morris.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Windhorst: Pelicans Had 'Method To Madness' Negotiating With Lakers
The trade reports involving virtually every member of the Lakers' young core has destabilized the team.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Lakers 'Running Low On Hope' On Anthony Davis Trade By Deadline
Dell Demps had no communication with Magic Johnson on Wednesday.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Kevin Durant Expected To Be Viewed As NBA's Best Player After Beating LeBron In 2017
Kevin Durant voiced how he was "tired of being second" all the way back in 2013.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss/The Athletic

LaVar Ball: Lakers Gave Lonzo A 'Losing Attitude'
Ball said his son is being wrongly used as a 3-and-D type of player.

Ron Gutterman/Lakers Nation

Lakers Acquire Reggie Bullock From Pistons For Svi Mykhailiuk
The Lakers were previously linked to Reggie Bullock to improve their perimeter shooting.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Lakers Renew Interest In Trading For Trevor Ariza
The Lakers attempted to trade for Trevor Ariza earlier in the season.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN