From Corey Hansford, Lakers Nation: This past season, LeBron James became just the second player in NBA history to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Twenty-five years ago, James Worthy became the first when he put up 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Lakers 108-105 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Worthy would be named NBA Finals MVP because of the performance. Worthy’s performance in the 1988 NBA Finals cemented his status as ‘Big Game James.’ Star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was no longer the dominant force he was earlier in the decade, and it was up to Worthy to pick up some of the slack. He was more than up to the task.
From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: The Los Angeles Lakers have re-tooled their roster after the departure of Dwight Howard, and while the offense may not suffer much, their defense could be in the bottom five of the league. The Lakers ranked 20th in defensive rating last season (106.6 points allowed per 100 possessions) with the hobbled three time Defensive Player of the year anchoring the unit. The Lakers and they have not added a defensive big man to account for this loss, instead signing Chris Kaman. Kaman is a clear fit on the offensive side of the ball with his ability to pick-and-pop and spread the floor, but the pairing of Kaman and Pau Gasol on defense could be disastrous.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Kobe Bryant spent Tuesday night atDodger Stadium and the morning with Yasiel Puig at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. Bryant sat with Johnson, one of theDodgers’ owners, watching the home team fall 3-0 to the New York Yankees. Puig used his Instagram account to post a number of pictures from his tour of the Lakers’ facility including a pair with Bryant. The Dodgers have made a remarkable run to take the lead in the National League West Division, sparked by the emergence of the rookie Puig. Puig also took photos with nine of the Lakers’ championship trophies and the team’s general manager, Mitch Kupchak.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: It has been an interesting offseason for the remaining active members of the famed NBA draft class of 1996. Marcus Camby, the No. 2 pick that year, was traded from New York to Toronto — the team that selected him way back when — and was summarily waived when he made it clear he had no desire to bookend his career with another run with the Raptors. The Houston Rockets snatched the 39-year-old Camby up on a one-year deal once he was available. Ray Allen, the No. 5 pick, is still basking in the glow of his championship run with the Miami Heat, made possible thanks in large part to his already legendary corner 3-pointer late in Game 6 of the Finals. Jermaine O’Neal, the No. 17 pick, signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors. Derek Fisher, the No. 24 pick, signed a one-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a source close to the five-time champion told ESPNLA.com that Fisher plans to retire after the season. And speaking of retirement, what about that Los Angeles Lakers backcourt full of 96ers?