Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any worse for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained left ankle in the final seconds of Wednesday’s 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and is out indefinitely.
It’s been quite the emotional week for the Los Angeles Lakers family following the death of owner Dr. Jerry Buss.
Returning to the court for the first time since his death on Monday, the Lakers paid tribute to Buss prior to Wednesday’s game vs. the Boston Celtics.
The NBA scheduling Gods delivered as the Lakers-Celtics game was on ESPN, which meant Magic Johnson was able to reflect throughout the night on the impact Buss had on his life in the 30-plus years since he was drafted from Michigan State.
To Johnson, Buss was not just an owner. He was a friend and mentor who Johnson would routinely call for advice. You can truly get the sense how important Buss was to Johnson by his reaction following Kobe Bryant‘s speech to the crowd.
“I blame the media,” World Peace said. “Let’s talk. I blame you guys. First off, you have low expectations for us. You’re trying to get a great quote.”
He then stands up mocking his a reporter’s voice. “Your defense was GREAT TONIGHT!!”
“Ok? It’s supposed to be against five rookies that don’t know how to play the game,” World Peace said. “They see Kobe and they’re just excited to be in Staples Center. They partied last night. And we’re supposed to win.”
“I blame you guys for the low expectations,” World Peace continued. “Then I blame you guys for not promoting the team. Too many times, you talk about great players and then a team comes in here and beats us because you don’t promote team.”
The media wouldn’t have such low expectations if the Lakers actually lived up to the expectations that Kobe and Co. set when the team acquired Dwight Howard in the offseason.
Something tells me World Peace’s tone won’t be as jovial if the Lakers are still under .500 a month from now.
With Jim Mora Jr. preparing for UCLA’s bowl game, Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers took his act on the road and was in the face of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni following their 100-94 loss on Tuesday to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.
Simers questioned D’Antoni about the team’s defensive work, and well, that didn’t sit to well with the man leading a Lakers team that looks absolutely dreadful.
Fair question at this point in the season when a team filled with superstars is 9-13 and are slowly sliding in the Western Conference standings.
If Simers traveled to wonderful Cleveland, you have to imagine he will be making the trip to New York when the Knicks host the Lakers on Thursday night.
For D’Antoni’s sake, I hope they find a way to pull off the upset.
Blake Griffin, the other big man in town, continues to find new ways to make me laugh.
We’ve seen him attempt to dunk over a Kia Optima and take a stroll on Sesame Street.
Now the Los Angeles Clippers forward is going back to 1995 in his latest Kia commercial, which dropped days before the 2012-13 NBA season got underway. Griffin is turning into a shining star with each national TV spot.
Plus, you have to love a player that’s not afraid to poke fun at his own flaws on the court.
But in all seriousness, I really hope Blake worked on his free throws over the summer – - just brutal at the line his first two seasons.
It might be time to start making alternative plans to watch the Los Angeles Lakers next week if you don’t have Time Warner Cable.
The cable provider fired a shot on Wednesday as to why they’ve been unable to reach a deal with their competition after rejecting a proposal from Cox Cable:
“With the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering tremendous value for Southern California sports fans. Any assertion that we are the highest priced regional sports outlet in the country is simply untrue; as a significant buyer of regional sports across the country, we know that there are higher priced regional sports networks, including Root Sports that we buy from DirecTV. Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier — that would be unprecedented. If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season.”
Nash and Howard are on the cover of the Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue, which hits newsstands on Wednesday.
In the issue, Howard tellsLee Jenkins about the first time he had an alcoholic beverage:
On the night of Aug. 10, when Howard was dealt to the Lakers, he went to dinner at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills, and a large group of strangers invited him to their private room. “They said, ‘Dwight, we want to welcome you to L.A. and make a toast to you and your new journey here,’ ” Howard recalls. “I told them, ‘Thank you, but I don’t drink, I’ve never had a drink before.’ And then I thought about it, and I was like, You know what, I think this deserves a drink.” He clinked glasses and lifted one to his lips.
That is likely the first of many toasts in honor of Howard if the Lakers can bring home another NBA championship.