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Category: Lakers

Clippers: With Chris Paul, have fast hands or get hit in the head

Chris3
DeAndre Jordan said that since the Clippers have acquired four-time all-star point guard Chris Paul, he hasn't paid attention to the whispers that his team could be as good -- or better -- than the Lakers. He's not phased by the "Lob city" T-shirts selling around town. And he doesn't care about the hype.

In fact, Jordan said that around Clippertown, only one thing has changed.

"I do the same thing but make sure I have my hands up so I don't get hit in the head with the ball," Jordan said.

So far, he said he has been lucky. As for his teammates, he laughed while acknowledging that some of them have gotten popped.

The Lakers and Clippers are about to take the court for their first exhibition after an extended lockout and Jordan and his teammates are not the only men in Staples Center preparing to make some serious adjustments now that Paul has arrived in town.

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Lakers vs. Clippers: Monday's exhibition could answer questions

Lakers-clippers_600
Are the Clippers better than the Lakers?

It's a question that seemed preposterous before the Clippers acquired Chris Paul, one of the best point guards in the NBA, to complement slam dunk machine Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billips.

While the Clippers upgraded it seems the Lakers faded.

The 16-time NBA champions lost sixth man of the year Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown without greatly replenishing their aging roster. And the team that remains in El Segundo seems a bit out of sorts -- Derek Fisher has spent more time in a suit than on the court during the offseason, Kobe Bryant is in the midst of a divorce, and Pau Gasol feels tentative about his place on the team after almost being dealt to Houston.

For the first time in history, there may be a rivalry brewing at Staples Center.

L.A.'s little brother franchise has hit the weight room while its longtime prized child has atrophied.

The teams will play an exhibition Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center. While exhibitions in the past have not been much more than glorified scrimmages, this one could be an exception.

The Lakers do not want the buzz surrounding the Clippers to grow any louder, while the Clippers want to finally prove their relevance.

Even though Monday's game has no meaning, it could have a lot of significance.

-- Melissa Rohlin

Left photo: Blake Griffin, left, and Chris Paul of the Clippers. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Right photo: Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant of the Lakers. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

With Baron Davis off the market, focus shifts to Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas would like to join the Lakers.

With Baron Davis apparently on his way to the New York Knicks, NBA teams still in the market for a point guard might shift their focus to free agent Gilbert Arenas, who was waived by the Orlando Magic earlier this month.

Conveniently, Arenas is said to have provided a wish list of places he would like to land. At the top of that list? The Lakers, who are the hometown team for the Van Nuys Grant High product.

The other team's on Arenas' list are the Miami Heat, the Knicks (this was before the Davis news broke) and whatever team lands Dwight Howard (which is redundant since we all know Howard will end up wearing purple and gold ... right???).

LAKERS BLOG: Gilbert Arenas a bad fit for the Lakers

No idea where Arenas stands on the Lakers' wish list, but they did recently try to upgrade at point guard by attempting to trade for Chris Paul, who eventually went to the Clippers. While Arenas is no Paul, he could be an improvement over the aging Derek Fisher -- at least on the court.

But while Fisher is known for his leadership abilities and positive influence among his teammates, Arenas is known for bringing firearms into the locker room, an incident that led to a suspension and his eventual trade from the Washington Wizards to the Magic.

And to help the Lakers -- or any team -- Arenas would have to return to the form he displayed several years ago, when he averaged more than 25 points for three straight seasons (2004-07) before injuries kept him off the floor for much of the next two seasons.

Arenas was on his way to a solid comeback in 2009-10, averaging more than 22 points in 32 games before his suspension. Last year, he averaged just 10.8 points in 70 games with the Wizards and Magic.

Davis is expected to sign with the Knicks on Monday after being waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has missed the preseason with a bulging disk in his back and the timetable for his return to the floor is unknown.

ALSO:

The mixed messages of Metta World Peace

Pau Gasol, once a king with the Lakers, now just a pawn

Lakers look to Jason Kapono and Troy Murphy for outside help

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Gilbert Arenas. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 8: Lakers finally beat Celtics

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 8: Lakers finally defeat the Celtics
We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.

No. 8: Lakers defeat Celtics in 1985 NBA Finals (3,141 points)

The championship trophy in hand, owner Jerry Buss made a statement Lakers fans had waited a lifetime to hear.

"This has removed the most odious sentence in the English language," Buss told a national television audience at the conclusion of the 1985 championship series with Boston. "It can never again be said that the Lakers have never beaten the Celtics."

Buss could be forgiven for repeating a negative, because until the 1984-85 season, little the Lakers had experienced against the Celtics was positive.

They had played Boston eight times in the finals and had lost every time. They lost once as the Minneapolis Lakers and seven times as the L.A. Lakers. Four times they lost in Game 7, including the 1984 series, when the Lakers blew two games in which they had the lead and the ball in the final minute of regulation.

The Lakers finally found redemption 12 months later, although the finals started with as bad a loss as any Lakers fan could have imagined. The Celtics won the opener at the Boston Garden, 148-114, in a game known as the Memorial Day Massacre.

But just when it appeared that Boston had L.A.'s number again, the Lakers showed their championship mettle. They won Game 2 in Boston, 109-102, behind an inspired performance by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Looking much older than his 38 years, Abdul-Jabbar scored only 12 points and had three rebounds in Game 1 and was badly outplayed by Robert Parish. In Game 2, the Lakers' captain scored 30 points and had 17 rebounds.

The series shifted to the Forum for three games, the Lakers winning Game 3 in a rout (136-111), the Celtics taking Game 4 on a shot at the buzzer by Dennis Johnson (107-105) and the Lakers grabbing the series edge in Game 5 (120-111).

Back in Boston, the Lakers were determined to end the series in Game 6 and not face another seventh game. So on a Sunday afternoon before a shocked sellout crowd, the Lakers said goodbye to more than a quarter of a century of frustration.

With Abdul-Jabbar scoring 29 points and Magic Johnson adding a triple-double (14 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists), the Lakers beat the Celtics, 111-100, to win the NBA title. Abdul-Jabbar, who averaged 25.7 points and nine rebounds a game, was the series' most valuable player.

"We got the monkey off our backs at last," said forward James Worthy, who averaged 23.7 points in the finals. "The hurt is gone."

RELATED:

No. 9: Fernandomania

No. 10: Magic scores 42 in Game 6 of 1980 NBA Finals

No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A.

No. 12: Dodgers first game in L.A.

No. 13: Marcus Allen's Super Bowl run

No. 14: Lakers win 33 in a row

No. 15: Robert Horry's game-winner

No. 16: Honoring Roy Campanella

No. 17: Miracle on Manchester

No. 18: Lakers three-peat

No. 19: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 20: Kobe to Shaq alley-oop

-- Hans Tesselaar

Photo: The Lakers celebrate after defeating Boston in the 1985 NBA Finals. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Kwame Brown's new contract with Warriors really takes the cake

Kwame Brown has agreed to a one-year, $7-million contract with the Golden State WarriorsKwame Brown is going to make $7 million this season. That's how much the Golden State Warriors have agreed to pay the free-agent center in a one-year contract announced Tuesday.

Lakers fans might want to let that sink in for a minute. Fans of the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons might have some trouble digesting the news as well.

But fans of the Charlotte Bobcats, Brown's most recent employer, may a little less aghast at the hefty sum the Warriors were willing to pay for the services of the former No. 1 overall draft pick who never seemed to live up to his potential.

Acquired by the Lakers in a four-player trade with the Wizards in August 2005, Brown spent nearly three seasons in L.A., mainly as a reserve. Although he played well during a first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns that season, most of his tenure with the Lakers was marred by injuries and overall disappointing play.

(Of course, his time in L.A. might be best remembered for the infamous birthday cake incident.)

Brown was traded to Memphis in February 2008 -- part of the deal that sent Pau Gasol to the Lakers -- and he continued to underwhelm there and in Detroit before signing last season with the Bobcats, reportedly for the league-veteran minimum salary of $1.3 million.

He looked to have revived his career in Charlotte, where he averaged 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 66 games (50 starts). Those aren't superstar numbers, but they were Brown's best in years -- and they were enough to persuade the Warriors to give him another big payday going into his 11th NBA season.

So congratulations, Kwame. You've got a great new contract, and that warrants a celebration ... let's just hope there's no cake involved.

[For the record: An earlier version of this report Incorrectly said Brown is a 13-year veteran. That error has been corrected.]

ALSO:

Pau Gasol drawing energy from trade speculation

Lamar Odom would've gotten over initial trade shock

Bill Plaschke: David Stern tramples L.A. hopes when he should've walked away

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Kwame Brown with the Lakers in 2006. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Read Dan Gilbert's email to David Stern on the Chris Paul trade

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who knows a thing or two about teams taking the best players from other franchises and building their own super team, was apparently extremely unhappy about the Chris Paul trade.

So unhappy, in fact, that he sent an email to NBA Commissioner David Stern urging him to block the trade. The NBA says the email had no effect on its decision to block the trade.

Below is Gilbert's entire email. What do you think? Does he make some valid points?

Commissioner,

It would be a travesty to allow the Lakers to acquire Chris Paul in the apparent trade being discussed.

This trade should go to a vote of the 29 owners of the Hornets.

Over the next three seasons this deal would save the Lakers approximately $20 million in salaries and approximately $21 million in luxury taxes. That $21 million goes to non-taxpaying teams and to fund revenue sharing.

I cannot remember ever seeing a trade where a team got by far the best player in the trade and saved over $40 million in the process. And it doesn't appear that they would give up any draft picks, which might allow to later make a trade for Dwight Howard. (They would also get a large trade exception that would help them improve their team and/or eventually trade for Howard.) When the Lakers got Pau Gasol (at the time considered an extremely lopsided trade) they took on tens of millions in additional salary and luxury tax and they gave up a number of prospects (one in Marc Gasol who may become a max-salary player).

I just don't see how we can allow this trade to happen.

I know the vast majority of owners feel the same way that I do.

When will we just change the name of 25 of the 30 teams to the Washington Generals?

Please advise...

Dan G.

 

ALSO:

League blocks Chris Paul trade

Dodgers can hold early sale of TV rights, judge rules

Angels take it from the top with Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Credit: Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Chris Paul not coming to the Lakers: The Twitter reaction

Paul
It was a done deal. Chris Paul was headed to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Lamar Odom to the New Orleans Hornets in a three-team trade. In turn, Houston would send Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and draft picks to the Hornets.

Then the NBA intervened, putting the kabosh on the trade "for basketball reasons."

Paul tweeted: "Wow."

Odom tweeted: "When a team trades u and it doesn't go down? Now what?."

Gasol, the eternal optimist, tweeted: "Good night everyone! It's been a crazy day but as always I'm going to be & stay positive. Thanks everyone for your appreciation and support."

Gasol and Odom must now return to a team that was ready to dish them out, leaving the Lakers with a gaping emotional wound.

The fans seem pretty upset, too.

@DJD tweeted: "Chris Paul to the Lakers was the Kris Humphries' marriage of NBA trades."

@TasMelas tweeted: "Chris Paul tried to tweet his objection to Stern's ruling, but @NBA blocked it. #CP3jokes."

@jemelehill tweeted: "Chris Paul has wanted to leave for 2 yrs. If the owners were that concerned abt a conflict of interest, this should have been addressed."

@Ian_OConnor tweeted: "David Stern's colossal error in judgment on a dark day for the NBA."

Odom's wife, however, seemed unfazed by the news.

Khloe Kardashian tweeted: "I can survive anywhere... People are acting cra[z]y! LOL New Orleans is a great place. As long as I'm with Lam I'm good #bible."

MORE:

Pau Gasol insists trade speculation doesn't affect him

NBA's veto of Chris Paul trade spurs plenty of consequences

Lamar Odom in 'disbelief' after nearly being traded to Hornets

-- Melissa Rohiln

Photo: Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 10: Magic's Game 6 in '80 Finals

 

We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.

No. 10: Magic Johnson scores 42 points in Game 6 of 1980 NBA Finals (28 first-place votes, 2,945 points)

Readers are voting on the greatest sports moments in L.A. history: No. 10: Magic Johnson scores 42 points in Game 6 of 1980 NBA FinalsWith legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sitting out Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers because of a sprained ankle, most experts predicted a win by the 76ers to force a decisive seventh game. Most experts were wrong.

Lakers rookie Magic Johnson lined up at center to start the game, then went on a rampage, scoring 42 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and finishing with seven assists in a 123-107 Lakers victory.

"I don't even know if Kareem could have done things Magic did tonight," Julius Erving of the 76ers said after the game.

"Magic is no rookie," said teammate Jamaal Wilkes, who scored 37. "He's a winner, a champion, something very, very special."

For his efforts, Johnson was named Finals MVP.

RELATED:

No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A.

No. 12: Dodgers first game in L.A.

No. 13: Marcus Allen's Super Bowl run

No. 14: Lakers win 33 in a row

No. 15: Robert Horry's game-winner

No. 16: Honoring Roy Campanella

No. 17: Miracle on Manchester

No. 18: Lakers three-peat

No. 19: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 20: Kobe to Shaq alley-oop

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Magic Johnson is guarded by Julius Erving during the 1980 NBA Finals. Credit: Los Angeles Times

 

 

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A.

Reader picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history: No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A.
We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.

No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A. (25 first-place votes, 2,877 points)

So many times they had been so close to the ultimate victory, only to suffer the most bitter of defeats.

In their first 11 seasons in Los Angeles, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals seven times, only to lose every time. The Boston Celtics beat them six times, the New York Knicks once. Three times the Lakers lost in the seventh game.

The 1971-72 season, finally, turned out to be the Lakers' time as they won their first championship in L.A.

With the backcourt of Gail Goodrich (25.9 points a game) and Jerry West (25.8) taking care of most of the offense, and Wilt Chamberlain doing his part on defense (averaging a league-leading 19.2 rebounds a game), the Lakers established themselves as the team to beat early in the season.

After a 6-3 start, they won an NBA-record 33 games in a row. They finished the season at 69-13, another league mark.

Once the playoffs started, the Lakers continued to dominate, sweeping the Chicago Bulls in four games in the first round.

The second round, the Western Conference finals, proved to be much more difficult. The Milwaukee Bucks, the defending champions, beat the Lakers, 93-72, in the opening game at the Forum. The Lakers won two straight thrillers (135-134 and 108-105) before the Bucks responded with a 114-88 victory in Game 4. The Lakers enjoyed their own rout in Game 5, a 115-90 win at the Forum. Fittingly, the Lakers closed out the series with a 104-100 win on the same court in Milwaukee where their record winning streak had ended.

"We’ve beaten the best team we had to beat," Lakers Coach Bill Sharman said. "But I'm scared to death of a letdown now and the last team to beat could be tough."

The Lakers faced the Knicks in the Finals, the same team that had beaten them in seven games in 1970. But without injured center Willis Reed, New York could put up only minimal resistance.

After a shocking 114-92 loss in the first game at the Forum, the Lakers played like champions, winning the next four. They won Game 4 in overtime in New York, then closed out the series with a 114-100 victory at the Forum on May 7. Chamberlain, playing with injured wrists, had 24 points and 29 rebounds in the clincher. He was voted the series’ most valuable player.

West, the only Laker to be a part of all seven of the losses in the Finals, scored 23.

"It's an unbelievable feeling ... something I've always wanted to experience," West said. "Now I know what it feels like to be a champion."

RELATED:

No. 12: Dodgers first game in L.A.

No. 13: Marcus Allen's Super Bowl run

No. 14: Lakers win 33 in a row

No. 15: Robert Horry's game-winner

No. 16: Honoring Roy Campanella

No. 17: Miracle on Manchester

No. 18: Lakers three-peat

No. 19: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 20: Kobe to Shaq alley-oop

-- Hans Tesselaar

Photo: Walt Frazier of the Knicks is stopped by Wilt Chamberlain as Jerry West drives around them for a basket during a 1972 NBA Finals game. Credit: Associated Press

Shaquille O'Neal's 5-foot-2 girlfriend carries him [Video]

How much manpower does it take to lift 7-foot-1, 325-pound Shaquille O'Neal?

None.

Before you think that was a trick question and the answer is a fork lift, watch the video above in which O'Neal's 5-foot-2 girlfriend, Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander, carries the behemoth across Jimmy Kimmel's stage while wearing what appears to be four-inch high heels.

She hobbles about six steps, looking like a tick carrying an elephant, then she topples over.

Considering that many huge NBA players weren't able move O'Neal out of the key, it's pretty remarkable that this tiny woman was able to transport him as far as she did.

ALSO:

Matt Barnes working out with mixed success

Shaq says Kobe is among the greatest players of all time [Video]

Should Lakers pursue Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams?

-- Melissa Rohlin

Lakers and Clippers to face off in two exhibition games

Lakers-clippers_600
The abbreviated NBA regular season also means a shortened pre-season, with teams playing only two exhibitions before the real season begins.

The Clippers announced Friday morning that they will play the Lakers in two exhibition games at Staples Center: on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

The Clippers are the home team for the Dec. 21 game, and tickets for that contest will go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at Staples Center and through Ticketmaster and other ticket outlets.

Both teams are scheduled to play when the NBA opens its regular season on Christmas Day. The Lakers are to host the Chicago Bulls at 2 p.m., and the Clippers are scheduled to play the Golden State Warriors in Oakland at 7:30 p.m.

ALSO:

Lakers don't exactly storm the gates

Luke Walton isn't planning on early retirement

Clippers open training facility, will play on Christmas

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Blake Griffin of the Clippers is guarded by Metta World Peace of the Lakers in December 2010. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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