From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: The 131-character dispatch arrived mournfully within two hours of sunrise May 4, at 7:58 a.m. to be exact. “When u give Give GIVE and they take Take TAKE at wat point do u draw a line in the sand?” Kobe Bryant wrote on his Twitter feed, adding the hashtags “hurt beyond measure,” “gave me no warning,” and finally, “love?” Bryant’s career with the Lakers has often been pushed aside by internal family matters, the recent court battle over his memorabilia the latest in a string of cheerless events. Bryant and his mother, Pamela, are contesting in court whether she has the right to give a New Jersey-based auction house dozens of his basketball mementos from high school and his early Lakers career.
From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: It’s well documented that the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have much to offer in the way of contracts during free agency. There are pipe dream players out there like Jose Calderon or Kyle Korver whom we’ve discussed already. There’s something in the realm of a five percent chance either player would accept the small tender L.A. can offer. Realistically, the Lakers are going to need to dig deep to fill out their needs. Depth-wise, the biggest issue through 2012-2013 was the small forward position. With that in mind, there’s no reason to believe there won’t be a new small forward in the rotation next season. There’s also no reason to believe it will be a “sexy” name with eye-popping stats, or that it needs to be. The Lakers best route would be to target a younger player who has yet to prove himself worth a big contract, which brings us here: Wesley Johnson is an ideal target for the Lakers this Summer.
From Mark Willard, ESPN LA: At a certain point, a Band Aid is not sufficient. Sometimes surgery is required in order to fix the bigger problem. The Lakers have applied a series of Band Aids since their title run in 2010. In 2013-14, they can only do more of the same. But 2014-15 is different. Most Lakers fans are thinking in terms of bouncing back from this season and its disappointments next year. But they should be thinking about the promise of the year-after-next. The word patience doesn’t usually go over well in LA. and the Lakers will never ask for it publicly, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it from their fans right now.
From Andrew Ungvari, Lakers Nation: I can’t get mad at the average fan for not knowing the finer points of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement (CBA). It isn’t the easiest thing to digest, and besides, who needs rules when it comes to fantasizing about ways in which the Lakers can get better, right? As soon as it seemed as if people finally got a grasp on the old CBA, the league’s owners decided to lock the players out and many of the major issues in the old CBA were either tweaked, repealed, or replaced. And while I can’t be mad at fans who don’t know about the changes, I have every right to be angry at respected members of the media who should have done their homework by now. I only have so much time with which to answer the questions people send me on Twitter or let those aforementioned writers know that they incorrectly reported something that will most likely be read by hundreds of thousands of people. Instead, I figured I’d use this space to educate you in the simplest way I can on some of the more common fallacies as they pertain to the Lakers and what they can or cannot do this off-season to improve their roster.
From Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford is interviewing with the Milwaukee Bucks for their head-coaching job on Monday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Milwaukee has interviewed Nate McMillan and Houston Rockets assistants Kelvin Sampson and J.B. Bickerstaff for its head-coaching job. When Hammond reached out to gauge Stan Van Gundy’s interest in the job, Van Gundy declined but delivered a strong recommendation for Clifford, league sources said. Clifford spent five years on Van Gundy’s Orlando Magic staff before joining the Lakers in the summer of 2012. Clifford fits the profile of the kind of hands-on, defensive-minded candidate that Hammond has been seeking to replace interim coach Jim Boylan. Clifford will also interview with the Charlotte Bobcats in the near future.