Lakers legend Magic Johnson takes the rein as new President of Basketball operations, hopes to restore Lakers back to respectability:
Via LA Times:
On one of the most dramatic days in the history of the Lakers, the woman at the center of it all made drastic changes Tuesday aiming to help resuscitate the team.
Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ governor and president, fired her brother, Jim Buss, the head of basketball operations.
She fired general manager Mitch Kupchak, who has been a Laker for more than 35 years.
She fired John Black, the team’s spokesman for more than two decades.
She handed the reins of the franchise to a man she has known since she was 17 years old, one who calls her a sister. Magic Johnson, perhaps the best to ever play for the Lakers, is now the team’s president of basketball operations. Read the rest of this entry
NBA: Retiring Kobe Bryant has a game for the ages in his final NBA game after 20 seasons; scores 60pts in his Lakers finale:
Via The Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 60 incredible points. He carried a miserable Los Angeles Lakers team to an improbable comeback victory.
And with sweat and confetti all over his gold uniform for the final time, he expressed humble thanks to his fans and family for their loving support over two decades.”What else can I say?” Bryant asked. “Mamba out.” Now that’s a Hollywood ending to a remarkable career. Bryant utterly dominated his final game Wednesday night, wrapping up 20 NBA seasons with one last offensive showcase in the Lakers’ 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz. He scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, posting his first 50-point game since February 2009 and rallying the Lakers from a 15-point deficit to win the final game of the worst season in franchise history.
(Video) preview of Showtime’s upcoming fall 2014 documentary; “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, directed by Gotham Chopra:
ESPN Los Angeles on the latest news that Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant is Out again with left knee fracture:
Kobe Bryant is expected to miss six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday.
Bryant suffered the injury Tuesday night during the visiting Lakers’ 96-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. An MRI exam Thursday revealed that Bryant played for a half against the Grizzlies with the break.
The news is an undeniable blow to the Lakers, who in late November signed Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension before the 35-year-old had made it back onto the court from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered last April.
“It’s too bad,” coach Mike D’Antoni said at the team’s practice Thursday. Read the rest of this entry
CBS Sports NBA writer Ken Berger on the aftermath of the Kobe Bryant Achilles injury and its implications during his recovery:
Kobe Bryant emerged from the Lakers’ locker room at 10:55 p.m. Pacific Time with his family. He climbed into the back seat of a golf cart, his left foot in a walking boot, dangling off the side.
Someone said, “You’ll get through this, man,” and Bryant replied, “Yessir.” And he was off, driven to the loading dock at Staples Center after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon — in the 3,013th minute of the 78th game of his 17th season of this remarkable career.
“I made a move that I’ve made a million times,” Bryant had said at his locker earlier Friday night, “and it just popped.”
And so much popped with it. The pursuit of a playoff berth that Bryant had so heroically –and now, tragically — fueled was rendered pointless in the wake of this vapid, 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors. These 48-minute nights, this stubborn battle to push past limits of pain and exhaustion that should’ve long ago conquered him –- over.
Michael Wilbon looks at Team USA’s dominance at Olympic Basketball after being forced to regroup with top NBA stars:
LONDON — You see the back-to-back Olympic gold medals, the 50 straight Team USA victories in international play the past six years. You see the return to dominance of the United States in men’s basketball and it’s easy to forget how depressingly far down the program was in 2004, when the Americans lost three times in the Athens Olympics, and in 2006, when the U.S. lost to Greece.
LeBron James didn’t forget. He was on those teams that lost, that were humiliated. But Jerry Colangelo and then Mike Krzyzewski told LeBron that Team USA needed him to be part of the country’s effort to reclaim international basketball. “It was the lowest point, 2004 … a long road,” LeBron said Sunday, eight years — and basketball light-years — later. “I’m happy to be able to say I was a part of us being able to get back on top.” Read the rest of this entry
Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s new Sports Illustrated feature as NBA Playoffs resume:
“It is 1981, and Kobe Bryant is 3 years old. He runs to his room, grabs his Clippers jersey and yanks it over his head. Then he steps into a pair of shorts, grabs a mini-basketball and heads to the living room to watch the Clippers game on TV. When Joe Bryant steps onto the court, Kobe mimics his father’s every move. When Joe shoots a jumper, Kobe fires one at his plastic Dr. J basket. When Joe uses his guile to get to the hoop, Kobe slides by imaginary defenders, faking out the couch and the lamp. Kobe takes a seat when Joe does, grabs a towel when Joe does and, afterward, takes a shower just like Joe. Though still a toddler, Kobe already knows what he wants in life: to be just like his father. Just like his father. It is 30 years later, and we all know what became of the son.