Lakers podcast: Magic’s back and what it means in franchise history

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers Nearly 40 years ago, Magic Johnson was given the reigns of the Los Angeles Lakers at the team’s point guard. The franchise once again has handed him the reigns, only this time as President of Basketball Operations as he attempts to restore the Lakers to their former glory.Mark Medina and Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group examine the early returns on Magic, including his decision not to break up the Lakers’ young core of players. Hear from Magic, Lakers head coach Luke Walton, and two of the young stars, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram.Listen to the podcast Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Lakers waive Tarik Black before contract becomes guaranteed

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers liked liked Black’s offensive and defensive hustle as well as leadership qualities. The 25-year-old Black also averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent in 16.3 minutes through 67 games in the 2016-17 seasons. But the Lakers had concerns over how Black would fit in a loaded frontcourt that also featured Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Luol Deng and rookie Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers also have to evaluate reserve forward Thomas Robinson, who became an unrestricted free agent and could be a less expensive option than Black.By waiving Black, the Lakers currently have nine players under contract for next season not accounting for deals they will soon sign for their draft picks in Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant and Kuzma. That puts the roster number at 13, giving the Lakers two players short of the NBA maximum 15-man regular-season roster.On Friday, the NBA released the salary cap at $99.093 million. With the minimum salary set at $89.184 million, the Lakers have about $17 million to spend on the rest of their roster. The Lakers are mainly prioritizing acquiring a shooter and defender, preferably at the backup point guard spot.Meeting of the mindsWill the “Swaggy P era” come close to its conclusion with the Lakers? The Lakers spent the second day of free agency reducing a bloated frontcourt, even if it came at the expense of a player they respected for his hustle and positive locker room presence.The Lakers waived reserve forward Tarik Black on Saturday, three days before his $6.6 million contract would have become guaranteed for the 2017-18 season. Any NBA team can claim Black once he clears waivers within the next 48 hours. If not, the fourth-year NBA forward will become an unrestricted free agent.After averaging a combined 5.5 points on 54.3 percent shooting and 5.1 rebounds through 2 ½ seasons with the Lakers, Black expressed gratitude to the Lakers in a post on his Instagram account.“It’s been absolutely amazing and invigorating,” Black wrote. “I would like to thank the Lakers for an amazing ride and being there for me. From the staff, the team, and the fans I am indescribably grateful. You all opened the doors for me to live a dream to play for such an organization. I love you all and the Lakers are forever in my heart.”center_img Nick Young fielded interest from the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans after free agency began at 9:01 pm PT on Friday, according to league sources familiar with the situation.Though the Lakers also contacted Young’s representatives during that time period, both the Lakers and Young have conflicting agendas that suggest the end of their four-year tenure together.After Young opted out of his $5.7 million player option last week to become an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers immediately prepared for his departure. While the 32-year-old Young hopes to maximize his earnings on a multi-year contract for a playoff team, the Lakers want to sign players to one-year deals to save cap space for the 2018 offseason when LeBron James, Paul George and Russell Westbrook might be available.last_img read more

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With Lakers, Lonzo set to face Knicks, Big Baller meets Big Apple

first_imgNEW YORK — Professional basketball has been played at a building called Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan since 1925, when a barnstorming team called the Original Celtics defeated the Washington Palace Five, a D.C.-based outfit sponsored by a chain of laundries 35-31.Since then, virtually every star of every generation has played at The Garden, which moved to its current four-block parcel atop Pennsylvania Station in 1968.Cousy, Wilt, Dr. J, Magic, Mike, LeBron, and, for the first time on Tuesday when the Lakers (10-15) face the Knicks, a rookie point guard named Lonzo Ball.“I think every kid dreams about playing there,” Ball said Monday following the Lakers’ practice at Baruch College, “just because of all the history there and all the battles that go on there.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersBall singled out performances by former Knick Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Then he added, with a tone of reverence, that the history “goes all the way back to Jordan.”He might be no historian, but Ball is starting to understand the venerated relationship between New York City and the game of basketball, especially at Madison Square Garden.“There’s just an energy in that building,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “The history, the games, the Knicks being the organization that they are. For whatever reason, probably different for each person, anytime you go in there and play …  it’s just a special feeling going in there.”This week marks only the second time the 20-year-old Ball has set foot in the Big Apple, and the first since June’s draft and the week that led up to the Lakers selecting him with the No. 2 overall pick.But the celebrity he and his family have cultivated is a remarkably ubiquitous presence in short order. It has only been two years since he first heard the word “brand” affixed to his dad’s longtime nickname, “Big Baller.” On Sunday, Ball looked out across a line of people gathered outside a pop-up shop for the family’s apparel company. Those assembled chanted the “Big Baller Brand!” and yelled things like, “LaVar’s my hero.”“I didn’t count them,” Lonzo Ball said, “but it was a lot (of people). I got out of the car and I was like, ‘Wow, it’s cold out here, I wouldn’t stand out here.’ They definitely did it.”Ball’s fan base banded together well before he debuted for the Lakers, with the week of the draft serving as a turning point.Before the time he spent in the city in June, the attention he received was big, he acknowledged, but “not that big.”“I think the draft kind of definitely boosted it up a lot,” he said.Then in August, the family took a vacation to Hawaii and Ball started to understand the reach he seemed to have.“I didn’t know it was going to reach all the way to Hawaii,” Ball said. “So when we took that trip out there and everybody knew us and had the gear on and stuff. That’s kind of when my eyes finally opened, so I was looking forward to coming to New York and seeing everybody.”SCHEDULE OF STRENGTHWhen the NBA released the schedule in August, it took only a quick glance at the Lakers’ itinerary to know that the middle of December could torpedo their playoff hopes.After facing the Knicks on Tuesday, the Lakers will travel to Cleveland to take on James and the Cavaliers on Thursday. Their next three games will be at home against the Warriors at Staples Center, at Houston and at Golden State.They play the Rockets a second time on New Year’s Eve.It’s an intimidating run, but not for Brandon Ingram. The second-year forward said the Lakers are “excited for these games” and “to go against some of the top players in the world.”Entertaining thoughts of dread or fear topples confidence and sinks teams.“When you come with that mindset, you stick with that mindset,” Ingram said, “and it kind of sets you back in the game. … You’re giving them too much respect.”The Lakers are already off to a better start in December than many anticipated. They are 2-2 after winning road games at Philadelphia and Charlotte to start their current trip.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade enjoy their final battle as Lakers edge Heat

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers In the final tally, with 31 games between them, James came out with a 16-15 edge, thanks to the rubber match Monday night.“We’ve got great writers here in Hollywood,” he said, “and I don’t even know if they’d be able to write this one.”The result of the latest Lakers game was completely overshadowed by the storyline of James and Wade, two of the greatest players of their generation who won two championships together. Though they have often been foes on the court, they’ve been friends since meeting before the 2003 draft in which they were both top-five picks.As James remains in his prime, showcasing his ability at 34 with 28 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in the win (including a fourth-quarter dunk that James emphasized with a flex), Wade (15 points, 10 assists, five rebounds) has acknowledged that this will be his final season.They left each other with a souvenir, swapping their signed game jerseys in the eye of a hurricane of cameras and media. But they wanted to make the game itself memorable, too.“It hit me right away, once the buzzer sounded,” Wade said. “When we got the opportunity on the court just to look at each other and be like, this has been fun, this has been one hell of a ride and we’ve enjoyed it together.”A three-time champion with the Heat, Wade became famous for his wide library of moves. Even in the Lakers locker room, everyone has a favorite: For Kyle Kuzma, who had a dazzling game himself with 33 points, it was Wade’s Eurostep. Lance Stephenson marveled at his head fakes, and when the Heat played Stephenson’s Indiana teams, he always fell for the feign. Josh Hart came away with arguably the greatest prize – a pair of signed shoes from Wade, which had “ONE LAST DANCE” written on the side.Against the Lakers (17-10), he played the more finesse-driven game of his older years. He ran pick-and-rolls in the first half, almost always passing the ball off. It took until the third quarter for Wade to score, when he threw up a pair of floaters, the second of which twirled along the rim’s edge before tilting in. He heated up in the second half, hitting five of his first six shots after starting the game 0 for 5.He did this coming off the bench – a role that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says he’s taken to well as any former star could.“It takes someone who has great emotional intelligence and great emotional stability to see the big picture and to find purpose and joy in that and that’s what makes Dwyane so special,” he said. “He’s extremely unique. Been around a lot of players and there’s not many like him in this league who have that kind of serving heart.”That heart is what’s meant the most to James, who came to South Beach in 2010 in part because of the opportunity to play with Wade. James was already a star then, and he had been to the Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But he hadn’t won a championship.Wade, he said after the game, showed him how to do that. And even further, Wade opened the doors for James to live outside his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he had spent his entire life to that point.“For me to move down to a place that was foreign to me and my family and for him to open up that franchise,” James said, “him to open up that city for me and my family, and make it so seamless when he’s been there. He’s the staple. It’s Wade County.”For Wade, there was a celebrity reception that was as much for him as the Lakers on Monday: His wife, film star Gabrielle Union, sat near midcourt next to actress Jessica Alba. Actors Will Ferrell and Kate Beckinsale and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were also on hand. At halftime, he was received by actor Denzel Washington, who was captured by a camera crew telling Wade: “You did it with class.”That sense of appreciation extended to a video that played on the jumbotron: a minute-long tribute that featured crossovers and dunks and championship trophy hoisting. It also had no fewer than five clips of him and James slapping fives or embracing.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWade shot a 27-foot, off-balance 3-pointer with seven seconds left, but it’s a testament to the 36-year-old’s career as a 12-time All-Star that still, even in his final year, he can still inspire that pang of fear in an opponent’s heart.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“I had a bad feeling it was going to go in,” Walton said, “just because of how it set up like that.”“I did, too,” Lakers center Tyson Chandler admitted.But Wade’s last shot against James was off-target, and a follow-up attempt by Justise Winslow couldn’t hit either, and James’ Lakers walked away as the winners in a 108-105 nail-biter.Well, “walked away” figuratively: The first thing James did was barrel into Wade from behind, hugging him and laughing over their final moment as competitors. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img PreviousThe Lakers’ LeBron James is defended by the Heat’s Dwyane Wade, his longtime friend and former teammate, on Monday night in Wade’s last regular-season game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)The Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma soars to the basket for a breakaway dunk over Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, left, during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. Kuzma scored a game-high 33 points in a 108-105 victory. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) dribbles next to Miami Heat’s Kelly Olynyk during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks in front of Tyson Chandler #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks in front of Tyson Chandler #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. (5) dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)The Lakers’ Svi Mykhailiuk intercepts a pass to Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat in front of Josh Hart #3 at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat grabs a rebound away from Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)The Lakers’ Tyson Chandler dunks over the Heat’s Rodney McGruder during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr., top left, blocks a shot from Los Angeles Lakers’ Lance Stephenson (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat scores on a layup past JaVale McGee #7 and Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts to his floater over Lance Stephenson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during his last game at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) blocks a shot form Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots against the Miami Heat during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lance Stephenson, center, is defended by Miami Heat’s Kelly Olynyk (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) claps after scoring against the Miami Heat during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat laughs during warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat acknowledges the applause of the crowd after a video tribute during his final game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) hugs ex teammate and current Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat’s Justice Winslow, center, drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers’ Tyson Chandler, left, and Kyle Kuzma (0) defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, right, is defended by Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh Hart during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is guarded by Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in Wade’s last regular season game at Staples Center, during a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat chases LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers around the pick of Tyson Chandler #5, in Wade’s last regular season game at Staples Center, at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches the clock as he is grabbed by Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat on the final play of the game, in Wade’s last regular season visit to Staples Center, at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a fade away jumper in front of Derrick Jones Jr. #5 and Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat during a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket on Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat during a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat react after a James’ free throw to take a 108-105 lead at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) defends on Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) is defended by Miami Heat’s James Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff watch an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) passes next to Los Angeles Lakers’ Lance Stephenson (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lance Stephenson (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, left, defends on Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) makes a 3-point basket against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Actresses Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union chat before an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 and Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers react after a James basket calling for a foul during a 108-105 win over the Miami Heat at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, smiles at Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, is hugged by Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, shakes hands with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, shakes hands with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers laughs with Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat, in Wade’s last regular season game visit to Staples Center, after a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers hugs Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat, in Wade’s last regular season game visit to Staples Center, after a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys, as Wade plans to retire at the end of the season, after a 108-105 Laker win at Staples Center on December 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)The Lakers’ LeBron James is defended by the Heat’s Dwyane Wade, his longtime friend and former teammate, on Monday night in Wade’s last regular-season game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 50The Lakers’ LeBron James is defended by the Heat’s Dwyane Wade, his longtime friend and former teammate, on Monday night in Wade’s last regular-season game at Staples Center. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)ExpandLOS ANGELES — It was the ending that the two men wanted: LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade guarding each other. One last time.Judging by the Staples Center crowd, standing at once and roaring for the moment, it’s what they wanted, too.James switched onto Wade, his former teammate and one of his closest friends. Later, Lakers coach Luke Walton would gamely assert it happened in the flow of the game, which could have added a ring of authenticity. But it never would’ve happened any other way.James had a three-point lead to protect for the Lakers. After 16 years of playing Wade, and four of those years as daily practice partners in Miami, he knew the Heat guard would want to go left, so he cut him off. Later, Wade playfully jabbed back at him for taking away his best moves, the creative dribble-drives that made him a star. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs As the video concluded, the two men met on court and hugged once more.James soldiers on as part of a shrinking draft class of 2003: Still-playing members include Wade, Kyle Korver and Zaza Pachulia. His own coach, Walton, was drafted in that year.Wade stays he stills sees the same hunger in James from their Miami years.“He understands that God gave him a humbling ability and he wants to make sure he exhausts it all,” Wade said. “He’s a special, special player. I’m gonna be retired so long while he’s (still) playing people are gonna forget that we were drafted in the same draft, that’s how long he’s been doing it.”James won’t forget. Not by a long shot. He expressed enthusiasm that Wade will spend more time in Los Angeles in retirement, and that he’s welcome to come to the Lakers’ practice facility to work out whenever he wants.That very night, James was lighting out of Staples Center to dinner with Wade and Union – trying to steal all the moments he can get.“This is what we’ve been able to do,” James said. “This is what we’ve wanted to do our whole lives, and I know he has more games. But that’s the last one for us.”last_img read more

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Heisler: Lakers need their young players to finish growing up already

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Suddenly the pressure was on all involved, starting with Walton, Jeanie Buss’ fave or not.The season became a finger-pointing exercise to figure out who they wanted to keep, who had to be traded, who fit with LeBron.Of course, actual bad stuff that wasn’t self-inflicted was sure to come … like James’ groin injury that saw the Lakers, who had gone 18-9 since the 2-5 start, lose five of their first six without him.At that point, with the compression of all nervous systems in Lakerdom, Walton said of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, “We need more passion. We need more fight,” noting they were “trying but they’re young.”If Luke meant to sound supportive, under the dire circumstances it was like telling everyone to smile while staring into a cannon.Passion in a player, young or old, isn’t something you ask for as coaches have long known, with the maxim, “I don’t coach effort.”Players have what they have. Some play hard all the time and max out what they can do.Others think they’re working hard when they’re not (or complain they don’t know their roles or the coach has it in for them) and are limited, or, more often, gone.Intangibles rule at this level where everyone is talented. Walton is on the floor with Ingram and Ball so nobody knows what they have inside better than he does.Nevertheless, I also see the young guys’ problems as consequences not only of their issues but the Lakers’ unique situation.The slight Ingram is a flamingo among water buffalos. Despite the progress he has made, it can’t be a surprise that he’s one of the guys who will take time to grow into his game.His challenge – aside from not pounding the ball when LeBron, who is far more efficient, could be doing that – is to make more 3-pointers. Ingram is now trying just 1.8 per game, despite making an impressive 39 percent last season.Flamingos need all the edge they can get. If Ingram figures out he needs to bring defenders out and starts knocking down 3-pointers, the game will get a lot easier.Ball’s issue, aside from his suddenly plummeting free-throw shooting, is aggressiveness. He’s used to making plays for others but not forcing anything, which is not the way to stardom.Zo turns it up sometimes, showing he can do it. Other times, he doesn’t, showing there’s a confidence level he has yet to reach.It’s not good that he kept alternating nothingburgers with great games with LeBron and Rajon Rondo out. Making the most of opportunities is key for young players, the more so with these Lakers who need them to make the most of their opportunities … fast.Not that any of them has yet become a stand-alone star, not even Kyle Kuzma after showing how much potential he has when he scored 41 points in three quarters against Detroit on Wednesday.In the three games before that with LeBron and Rondo out, Kuzma shot 4 for 20, 1 for 4 and 5 for 17.What young players need most is time. In Lakerdom, they have until July 1.If Anthony Davis asks the Pelicans to trade him to the Lakers, two or three young Lakers would have to go to New Orleans.As things stand, Ingram is likely to be one.Whether Ball would be another will depend in part on whether the Pelicans want him. They have an ace point guard, Jrue Holiday, but reached their zenith last season starting two, with Rondo in the same backcourt.A trade for A.D. would require moving almost as much salary as the Lakers would take on, preserving their maximum salary slot.Klay Thompson, a deadeye shooter, would be a perfect fit. Nevertheless, he’s a loyalist type who might well re-up in Golden State.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersA year ago the Lakers were a rebuilding team with their promising players forgiven everything because they were young.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Now they have LeBron James and the expectations that come with him … even with nine players 23 or younger, now forgiven nothing.Ideally, they would have approached the season as Magic Johnson said he would, noting he told Coach Luke Walton, “Don’t worry about if we get out to a bad start. We have seen that with LeBron going to Miami and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts.”The way Magic actually approached it was to air out Luke two weeks later after a 2-5 start.In the really bad news for the Lakers, it wasn’t between the two of them behind closed doors. It got out almost as soon as Johnson spoke the words, then was all but confirmed by Magic’s grudging reassurance that Luke, with three years on his deal, would “finish this season unless something drastic happens.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img Hurry up and grow up, can you, guys?Now the latest calamity in Lakerdom: Waiting for their young players to dial up the passion, already.If 29 or so NBA teams would love the Lakers’ problems, there’s a trick to managing a season leading up to their hoped-for arrival of another superstar or two to join the one on hand.The problem is the confusion inherent in trying to win games while planning for a future in which they turn over half the roster. That would leave the Lakers looking at secondary options such as Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris … or elite ones such as Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.In any case, last season’s young, rebuilding roster is all but guaranteed to turn into a vastly upgraded, veteran-stocked one. If Magic mishandled this season, he’s also the one who put the franchise in position to pull off next season’s coup.The pressure it takes to turn coal into diamonds is on Walton and his young players.To see the toll it takes, we have only to watch Zo making a grisly 41 percent of his free throws, after making 67 percent at UCLA.It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you. Welcome to the Lakers’ 2018-19 season. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed last_img read more

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Joe Staley signs contract extension with 49ers, gets chance to finish career with San Francisco

first_imgJoe Staley wants to play his entire NFL career with the 49ers, and the longtime tackle will get that opportunity after signing a two-year contract extension with the club.The team announced Staley’s new deal during a State of the Franchise event Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed. Staley acknowledged that he was concerned he may not get to finish his career with the franchise that drafted him in the first round in 2007 out of Central Michigan.49ERS DEPTH CHART: Upgrades at skill positions “Obviously I never wanted to play for another franchise and it was just kind of hoping and . . . hoping that they would want to do a deal and get a deal done,” Staley told reporters, per NBC Sports Bay Area. Staley also had to decide that he wanted to keep playing beyond 2019.”Once I made a decision that for sure I was going to play more after this year, then it was like, ‘I’ll only play for the Niners,’ so, try to get a deal done,” he said.”WE GOT IT DONE!” @jstaley74 is a Niner for Life. pic.twitter.com/5p39sKYwzH— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) June 6, 2019 Staley, 34, has played in 174 games (all starts) and was a mainstay on the San Francisco teams that reached the playoffs in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He started Super Bowl 47 vs. the Ravens. Staley has also been named to six Pro Bowls.last_img read more

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Belmont results: Who won the 2019 Belmont Stakes? Full order, highlights from the race

first_imgA surging Sir Winston took the final turn wide at Belmont Park, but his closing speed was good enough as he moved closer to the rail in deep stretch ahead of Joevia and held off the favorite, Tacitus, at the finish to win the 151st Belmont Stakes on Saturday.Joevia utilized his No. 1 post position to near perfection, leading nearly wire to wire before ultimately finishing third. Tacitus operated in the middle of the pack for much of the race until his final charge. Sir Winston’s trainer, Mark Casse, probably figured he’d be celebrating Saturday night in the winner’s circle, but with his other horse in the race, War of Will. War of Will won the Preakness winner three weeks earlier but finished ninth among 10 horses Saturday. Casse recorded his first Belmont win and jockey Joel Rosario claimed his second.MORE: When sex doesn’t follow for a champion racehorseExcelling at Belmont Park was nothing new for Sir Winston. The 3-year-old finished second on the track May 11 in the Peter Pan Stakes.The Belmont Stakes marked the close of the 2019 quest for a Triple Crown — a unique one at that, with disqualifactions and jockeyless horses. The next big horse race for casual fans is the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.Sporting News tracked live updates and highlights from the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes. Follow the entries below for the winner and complete results.Belmont Stakes results: Who won the 2019 race?FinishHorse1.Sir Winston2.Tacitus3.Joevia4.Tax5.Master Fencer6.Spinoff7.Everfast8.Intrepid Heart9.War of Will10. Bourbon WarBelmont 2019 live updates, highlights(All times Eastern.)6:42 p.m.: Sir Winston takes the final turn wide, but chases down Joevia in the stretch to win!6:39 p.m.: They’re loaded, and they’re off! 6:32 p.m.: The horses have begun the post parade.6:30 p.m.: A little Frank Sinatra welcomes fans and jockeys.6:27 p.m.: The horses are out of the stalls.last_img read more

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Rams coach Sean McVay engaged to girlfriend Veronika Khomyn

first_img Colts owner Jim Irsay spends record $3.975M on Pink Floyd guitar “Can’t wait to call him my husband,” Khomyn wrote on her Instagram story as McVay smooched his bride-to-be. Related News View this post on Instagram Baker Mayfield pays off bet to Saquon Barkley Vacation mode- On World- Off 🏖🍹A post shared by Veronika K. (@veronika.khomyn) on Jun 21, 2019 at 7:38am PDTThe pair are rumored to have started their relationship in 2011, when McVay served as tight ends coach for the Redskins and Khomyn was a student at George Mason University in Virginia. Sean McVay may have missed out on a Super Bowl ring, but he’ll get a more significant one soon enough.The Rams coach recently proposed to Ukrainian model girlfriend Veronika Khomyn while the couple was vacationing in France. Khomyn confirmed the two were engaged Saturday as she showed off her new bling on social media after McVay popped the question. Congrats to @RamsNFL head coach Sean McVay who got engaged to his girlfriend Veronika Khomyn! pic.twitter.com/6Dtyto6lIR— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 23, 2019 Drew Brees awarded more than $6M in diamond-fraud lawsuitlast_img read more

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Jozy Altidore makes his case with winner to help USMNT top Gold Cup group

first_imgThen there was Omar Gonzalez, who was handed the captain’s armband but moved around like the armband was a 50-pound weight. He looked a step slow for much of the night, and while his veteran savvy helped him to limit the number of times he was exposed, we saw enough of those scary moments to dread what would happen if Gonzalez was on the field against a team with good forwards, like Mexico or Costa Rica.  Gregg Berhalter gave 11 new players a chance Wednesday to state their case to crack the U.S. national team first-choice lineup, and the player who made the strongest argument was the one who was already the closest to being a starter. Jozy Altidore scored an acrobatic game-winner, delivering some much-needed quality on a night where wholesale lineup changes by both the USMNT and Panama led to the inevitable disjoined affair you would expect from a group stage finale between teams that had already secured their places in the quarterfinals.  Jamie Squire https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/bc/5e/jordan-morris-marcos-sanchez-panama-usa-usmnt-gold-cup-2019_1tzlc7tucisru1mo2g3r5boukr.jpg?t=-1764832397&w=500&quality=80 Aside from that, the rest of the USMNT reserves left plenty to be desired.  Jonathan Lewis was wasteful and lacked sharpness on the left wing. Wil Trapp and Cristian Roldan failed to take hold of a game on which they should have been able to make more of an impact. Reggie Cannon showed solid defensive work but lacked the attacking quality needed to threaten current starter Nick Lima. Daniel Lovitz held up decently on the defensive side, but was once again completely ineffective in the attack, making him far from a threat to unseat current starting left back Tim Ream.  Jamie Squire https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/ae/b6/omar-gonzalezomar-browne-usa-panama-gold-cup-2019_icd575xz8i51qhy5qtr9wsx0.jpg?t=-1765344397&w=500&quality=80 Realistically, of the 11 Americans on the field to start the match, Altidore had to know he was the one with the most to gain from a strong performance, and knowing that may have contributed to some missed early chances. Altidore sent one promising shot just wide in the 16th minute, then another right at the Panama goalkeeper. MORE: Takeaways from USMNT’s victory over PanamaThat Altidore even found those chances was impressive on a night when the U.S. attack was disjointed and lacked sharpness. Altidore did his part, holding up the ball well and putting himself in good positions. That work paid off in the second half, when he scored on an overhead kick for his first USMNT goal since October of 2017. “It’s been a rough time waiting,” Altidore said after the match. “I’m just trying to earn an opportunity again, so to get out there, to score in these colors again, it means everything to me.” The 2019 Gold Cup means more for Altidore for a multitude of reasons. Consider the fact Wednesday marked his first USMNT start since the nightmare loss to Trinidad and Tobago that cost the United States a place at the 2018 World Cup.Altidore spent 20 months having to wait for his chance to reclaim his place as the national team’s lead striker, and while his performance Wednesday wasn’t necessarily enough to help him unseat current starter Gyasi Zardes, it was clearly a step forward for the veteran striker. Altidore was one of the few bright spots on a night when we saw just what sort of talent gap there is between the U.S. team’s first-choice players and the options available to replace them. Jordan Morris had a solid night but not enough to truly threaten current wingers Tyler Boyd and Paul Arriola. Matt Miazga put in a steady shift in central defense to make an argument for unseating Walker Zimmerman as Aaron Long’s partner on the back line.  As lackluster as the U.S. team’s overall performance was, Berhalter had to leave Children’s Mercy Park, home of MLS side Sporting Kansas City, extremely happy. His team secured another shutout victory, he was able to rest his starters and the striker he needs to get back into top form delivered a memorable winner. Throw in the fact the squad came through the group stage healthy and without any players drawing suspensions and the USMNT finds itself sitting in much better shape than most would have envisioned after the team lost both of its two pre-Gold Cup friendlies. With the group stage now over, Berhalter will have his first-choice squad rested and ready for the knockout rounds, a potential stretch of three matches in eight days which begins Sunday in Philadelphia against Curacao. The Americans will be highly favored against the Caribbean upstarts, but tougher challenges are looming in the semifinals and final. Those are the matches where the USMNT will want a fully fit and in-form Altidore in the lineup, and while he may not yet have unseated Zardes as the USMNT’s lead striker, he sent a clear message Wednesday that he’s working his way back. And the United States will be a more dangerous team if he can finish the comeback the way he finished the game-winning bicycle kick on Wednesday.last_img read more

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British Open 2019: Jon Rahm feels at home at Royal Portrush

first_img“The first year I didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect the support. And I think Spanish people have a lot of pride about the country of Spain, and being Basque, Basque people have a lot of pride in being Basque, and especially in my city. I think Northern Irish people are really proud of their country and to be where they’re from. I feel that’s a similarity and have a similar feel.”When I’m walking around my hometown in Spain, for the most part of the year we get similar weather. Summer is a little bit better. We’re right on the coast, fishing villages. It’s just a very similar feel to what I had growing up. So, it’s a lot of home feel, too, without being at home.” Rory McIlroy: 2019 British Open in Northern Ireland ‘is bigger than me’ Rahm comes from Barrika, a town in the Basque Country in northern Spain, and enjoys a strong feeling of familiarity in Northern Ireland for the 148th Open Championship this week.  “I just like it. Ever since the first time I played here, in Portstewart two years ago, the Irish crowd is treating me very, very specially,” he said. “I’ve had a great support. And it’s the closest I’ll ever feel to playing at home, without being at home, really. That’s what I think makes it so special. Related News PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Playing at Royal Portrush this week will have a home-away-from-home feeling for Jon Rahm, who hopes his previous successes at The Irish Open can lead to a major breakthrough.The Spaniard claimed his first Irish Open victory at Portstewart two years ago and earned a confidence-boosting triumph in Lahinch at the start of this month.center_img British Open betting tips: Odds favor Rory McIlroy, but Royal Portrush field is wide-open Irish Open Champion at Lahinch #TheOpen Champion at Royal Portrush?  pic.twitter.com/D8hnB2s6AW— The Open (@TheOpen) July 17, 2019Rahm is taking plenty of confidence from his previous moments of glory on Irish soil and links golf courses as he aims to win his first major.”There are definitely a lot of positives to take from it,” he said. “If I ever have doubt, which I shouldn’t, I can always remind myself that I’ve been able to win twice here. That’s the reason why I can get it done.”There’s a lot of positive in that sense. A lot of confidence in knowing that I’m more than capable to win an Open Championship, to win on a links golf course.”last_img read more

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