Around The World (Wide Web): Magic, Metta, Lakers Expectations,

Ryan Cole —  September 19, 2013

From Corey Hansford, Lakers Nation: Everyone in America remembers where they were on November 7, 1991. On that day, Magic Johnson announced to the world that he had contracted the HIV virus and would have to immediately retire from the NBA, ending one of the most illustrious careers in the history of the league. Despite announcing his retirement, Johnson’s name was already on the All-Star ballots that had been sent out to all NBA arenas, leading to Johnson being voted as a starter for the Western Conference despite never stepping on the court. Many people were against Johnson playing, most notably Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone and even Johnson’s former Laker teammates Byron Scott and A.C. Green, as they were unsure whether or not they could contract the HIV virus if Johnson were to suffer an open wound while playing.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: This is why there is drug testing in the NBA. Not that Metta World Peace is on drugs or needs them to say something outrageous. Never has and never will. He was certainly excessively boastful of what the Lakers could and would do when he was a member of that team. This summer the Lakers decided to amnesty him but that doesn’t mean he’s given up the over-the-top Lakers predictions — he made another one to ESPNNewYork.com. “I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals,” World Peace said during a signing for his children’s book “Metta’s Bedtime Stories” in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday.”

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Veteran point guard Steve Blake says he believes that the Lakers will exceed expectations this season. “I’m still a little bit surprised about how negative people are on us right now,” Blake told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com on Tuesday. “If you speak to most of the players, we’re all pretty optimistic,” Blake said. “I think the fact that people don’t believe in us this year might give us an advantage somehow.” Blake has joined nearly the entire roster in informal workouts at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. Two still out are Kobe Bryant, recovering from an Achilles injury, and Pau Gasol who is in Europe (primarily Spain) while rehabbing his knees. It’s unclear if either will be ready by opening night on Oct. 29.

From Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report: The first words Kobe Bryant ever said to me came with a sideways smile. “I look forward to reading your criticisms.”Bryant was 20, nearing the end of his third NBA season with stardom and backlash already his reality show. He stood, spoke and soon laughed in front of his locker at The Forum, the Lakers’ old home, in 1999. Already cocksure then, still cocksure now. Today he’s 35, and we’ve been together every step of that way…with an awful lot transpiring in what has to be considered one of the most interesting lives you’ll ever see play out. And in all honesty, there are not many people in my life I understand better than him.

Ryan Cole

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7 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Magic, Metta, Lakers Expectations,

  1. No one can predict how this team will pan out…..If Gasol,Nash and Kobe can play even close to their past..The Lakers will surprise people.Their bench is stronger…the players fit the system better.It all depends on the Big 3 ….Playing under the rader is also huge !!!! Looking forward to this year but for different reasons !!!

  2. We’re the Lakers so we can never be out of radar range. We may be underestimated but never outside the radar zone.

    Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash – 103 years of age pooled together in 3 bodies. We may be realistically incapacitated on D, thats where Hill and Johnson would help, but we don’t lack anything on O.

  3. “Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash – 103 years of age .. ”
    —–
    And there lies the problem .. With all 3 of them heading into this season coming off of serious (in Kobe’s case, major) injuries to their lower extremities. Never a good sign for aging athletes.

    While I like (and support) the moves that Mitch has pulled off this summer, particularly the signing of Farmar and W. Johnson and the drafting of Kelly (hope he gets healthy and makes the team), I’m still of the belief that this is going to be a looooong season for us.

  4. Hoping that Kobe rehabs till January. What’s the point? But I know that he wants to prove that the team will be better without Dwight. This whole Dwightmare has driven him even more for that 6th ring. BUT, we have to protect Kobe from himself. The smartest play is keep him out till January, that’s 9 months. Bring him back. The lakers will be out of playoffs and we ll get a higher draft pick, he ll be recovered better and next year sign someone like Deng Lowry and wait till 2015 for a Lamarcus or Love and make a run for the 6th. This is a 2 year rebuild.

  5. Ahhhh good ol’ Ron Artesr

  6. ” The Lakers are going to the Finals” now that is a Metta Bedtime Story lol. Could not resist. If healthy this team hopefully will make the playoffs and make some noise thats about it.

  7. Kevin Ding´s article for Bleacher Report is truly heartfelt, enjoyed it thoroughly; in addition, it´s got some fine anecdotes on our Lakers.
    Robert, hope you take a look at it, it´s pure Kobe!
    As for Nov. 7th, `91, I was sitting there stunned and in tears…Thank heavens Magic is still around and that he has never, ever lost that smile! Love you Buck!!!