Below are some Lakers related links and after the break are some links dedicated to leaguewide news. Enjoy.
From Rey Moralde, The No Look Pass: It was eight years ago today (August 5, 2002) that the legendary late, great play-by-play announcer of the Los Angeles Lakers, Chick Hearn, passed away. In many ways, Chick Hearn was the Los Angeles Lakers. For a long time, it was him that completed your Laker games and he was the constant for many years of that franchise. If you weren’t at the Great Western Forum or the Staples Center, Chick made you feel like you were there yourself. His non-stop play-by-play is incredible. He can describe what’s going on during a game, whether it’s television or radio, and never made you feel lost. And he does it in remarkable rapid-fire delivery that only he can. Chick Hearn never seemed to run out of ways to describe a current situation and, even at his advanced age, you wonder how he did it. He was the best at describing what was going on in a ballgame with his endless basketball jargon. (Listen to his awesome play-by-play over here.)
From Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub: As I contemplated the reality that the Celtics had signed Shaquille O’Neal to a two-year deal, I started thinking about how Shaq immediately becomes the greatest player ever to have suited up for both of the league’s two historic powers. That got me thinking that it would be a fun waste of time thought exercise to try and build an actual basketball team composed only of players who have played for both the Lakers and Celtics. It’s a smaller group than you think—around two dozen—but we can build a pretty damn good team from this group. Two rules: 1) We are going to imagine each of these players in their prime. Gary Payton was obviously a shell of himself during his seasons in Boston and LA, but Gary Payton in his prime is indisputably the starting point guard of this all-time team. It’s just more fun—and a bit simpler—to do things this way. 2) No Minneapolis Lakers. Apologies to Clyde Lovellette, a Hall of Famer who won multiple titles with both the Minneapolis Lakers and the C’s.
From Vincent Goodwill, The Detroit News: Somewhere, Kobe Bryant is rocking a broad smile. Bryant, who used to own the title of “most compelling offseason NBA figure,” has ceded the spotlight in recent years. From being charged with sexual assault in Colorado (later dismissed) to his beef with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal to his on-again, off-again trade demands, Bryant is used to holding court in the offseason. Now, going on 32, he seemingly has left the drama to LeBron James. Bryant is the forgotten man in the NBA’s summer of hype, which should scare the living daylights out of his closest competitors. If there’s one way in which Bryant is most like Michael Jordan, it’s how he takes perceived slights. In Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech, he told everyone how his psyche worked. Whether it was Isiah Thomas, Pat Riley or Bryon Russell, anything Jordan could used as fuel to his fire, he did.
From Marc Berman, The New York Post: The Knicks’ chances of landing free-agent shooting guard Shannon Brown are just about over. Mark Bartelstein, Brown’s agent, told The Post the Lakers guard is “leaning” toward returning to the Lakers to go for a “three-peat.” Brown is expected to make his final decision today. The Knicks, according to a source, offered Brown just a one-year contract as they moved to protect their 2011 salary cap for a run at Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks offered him the full $2.7 million that they are under the cap. The Lakers have offered the fourth-year guard less per season, but multiple years.
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: As the NBA’s offseason months roll on, we dialed up ESPN’s Ric Bucher to chat about covering the Finals, Kobe Bryant’s “unquenchable thirst” (not to mention his tussling of Bucher’s hair), the additions of Steve Blake and Matt Barnes to L.A., Bucher’s questions about LeBron James going to Miami and more. Bucher also offered up his most underrated NBA city, favorite road meal and stated why he thinks the Lakers should consider moving a major piece at some point of the season.
From Dan Wolken, The Commercial Appeal: Lorenzen Wright was remembered Wednesday not only as a local basketball star but as a devoted family man with a deep affection for his community as thousands gathered inside FedExForum to mourn a life taken too soon. The memorial service for Wright, who was found dead last week in Southeast Memphis from gunshot wounds, lasted nearly three hours and included speeches from his siblings, local dignitaries and members of the basketball community tracing his journey from Booker T. Washington High to the University of Memphis and the Memphis Grizzlies. “He was a young man who never forgot who he was, where he came from, the values that shaped him and the people who encouraged him along the way,” Mayor AC Wharton said. “Lorenzen’s story was one of those special Memphis stories where a man is able to transcend his roots even while he represents those roots proudly.”
From George Diaz, The Orlando Sentinel: There were about 50 foster kids in the auditorium Wednesday afternoon. David Vaughn’s story did not resonate with all of them, but hopefully a handful of faces in the crowd heard every word, and found strength in his journey sprinkled with desperation and determination. Vaughn told them about his highs as a first-round draft pick of the Orlando Magic in 1995, the $1.8 million contract, the cars and all the other extravagant toys; his lows of depression and violence, and how he ended up as a wayward husband, homeless and destitute. “It’s a great experience to share my story,” Vaughn said. David Vaughn’s comeback likely won’t be documented in Sports Illustrated or ESPN, but it is worth telling because it reflects a tenacity not often seen on the competitive fields of play.
From Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse: There goes another big man. Team USA has lost New Jersey’s Brook Lopez, the sixth significant post player to have departed in the past three weeks. Lopez dropped off the team due to his bout with mono and was replaced Wednesday by Washington center JaVale McGee as Team USA prepares for the World Championship, Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Turkey. McGee had been with the team for a July 20-24 Las Vegas training camp and was cut last Wednesday when the roster was reduced from 19 to 15 for a training camp next week in New York. However, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo had said at the time of the cuts that McGee could be invited back. That’s what happened after Lopez bowed out. Lopez got mono last spring and lost 25 pounds, although he has gained most of it back. However, he got out of shape and played poorly in Las Vegas.
From Matt Hubert, D-Leauge Digest: Dating back to the 2005-06 season, each D-League franchise has one (or more) NBA affiliate each season. Although there are exceptions, most of the affiliations are renewed each year, allowing the corresponding D-League and NBA franchises to build a relationship over time. During the NBA season, every NBA team has the option to assign any of its first- and second-year players to their D-League affiliate. The NBA team retains the player’s rights and has the right to recall him to the NBA at any time. When an assigned player is recalled, that ends the assignment. A player can be assigned up to three times during a season, and there is no cap on how long an individual assignment can last. There are two common misconceptions regarding NBA affiliations in the D-League.