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From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: This past week, Gary Payton was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. The one-time Laker averaged 16.3 points and 6.7 assists in his career and was the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year. Payton made three Finals appearances, where he eventually won his one and only championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. Another former Laker is also eligible for the Hall of Fame, and there is much debate about Robert Horry’s chances. While he didn’t put All-Star numbers like Chris Webber, Alonzo Mourning, Anfernee Hardaway, or Eddie Jones, Horry is considered one of the greatest clutch performers in the game. He wasn’t any ordinary role player as he has the fourth most championships in NBA History with seven and is one of only two players to win with three different teams.

From Marc Stein, ESPN:After two seasons in Turkey, former Lakers and Nets guard Sasha Vujacic is determined to force his way back into the NBA. Sources briefed on the Slovenian’s thinking told that Vujacic is working out feverishly in L.A. in hopes of landing an NBA roster spot following his stint with Anadolu Efes that began during the 2011-12 lockout. Word is Vujacic, now 29, has been playing well in L.A. pickup games and plans to stay stateside in pursuit of an NBA deal as opposed to returning to Europe. “He’s in the best shape of his life,” one source offered, “which is saying something because Sasha has always taken care of himself.” Vujacic last played in the NBA with New Jersey in 2010-11.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: When you talk about the guy whose game opened the door for Dr. J and eventually Michael Jordan and all that followed, it was Elgin Baylor. He would get the ball out at the top of the key and could blow by his defender to dunk going either way, or if you pulled back to stop the drive he would knock down the jumper. He was a gifted passer and one of the best rebounders at the three the position has seen. You want numbers? Baylor finished his career averaging 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds a game. He was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, 10 time All NBA First Team, and an 11 time All Star. He is in the Hall of Fame (plus went on to coach for four years and be the Clippers GM for 22 years, but that didn’t go as well as his career). Happy birthday to Baylor, who turns 79 today. Here is a look back at his game.

From Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated: Kobe Bryant’s 2012-13 season ended in gruesome fashion when he tore his left Achilles tendon during an April game against the Warriors. Well, it actually ended after the Lakers’ All-Star guard walked back onto the court after a timeout to take two free throws following the initial injury.That decision to keep playing rather than head immediately to the locker room — not to mention the fact that he made both shots — will always have a place in Kobe lore. While speaking with Nike employees at the apparel manufacturer’s Oregon headquarters on Friday, Bryant explained what exactly was going through his mind at the time of the injury, which occurred as he attempted to drive to his left past Harrison Barnes.“When I first did it, right there, I was trying to feel if the tendon is there or if it’s gone,” Bryant recalled, in comments recorded by Nike. “I realized it wasn’t there. I was literally trying to pull the tendon up so hopefully I could walk and kind of hobble through the last two and a half minutes and try to play.” It’s safe to say that the free throws were just the beginning of his plan.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Jim Buss has become a caricature to many Lakers fans — the media shy, hard-partying son of a legendary owner who stays in the shadows, doesn’t get the tradition and doesn’t get how to run a franchise like his father. Nepotism at its worst. But like most caricatures that is a two-dimensional representation that distorts the truth. Ask people around the league and they speak of Buss as smart and measured. Listen to him speak — or read an in-depth interview with him such as the one Ramona Shelburne did at — and you get the sense of a guy who gets the incredible shadow he is living in, the near impossibility of living up to his father’s successes, and a how much he wants to do the job right. That includes owning up to the disappointment of last season.

From Ryan Ward, Lakers Nation: The 2013-14 NBA season is rapidly approaching with only 48 days left before the Los Angeles Lakers square off against their division rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, at Staples Center. With the first game of the season right around the corner, the speculation continues about when Kobe Bryant will be ready to return to the floor for the Lakers. Although there’s been multiple reports that Kobe will be ready to take on the Clippers on Oct. 29, no timetable has been set for his return. On Wednesday, a report surfaced that Kobe is still unsure if he’ll be ready for the season opener. Obviously, with Kobe’s track record for bouncing back quickly from injuries, many have shrugged this off believing that there’s no way the five-time NBA champion will miss the matchup against Chris Paul and company.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: Because basketball is not the only sport in the world, and because the long and lonely months from June (or sometimes *gulp* April) to October can get awful boring otherwise, there are other sports teams that I root for. One of those teams, for no other reason than geographical proximity to my childhood, is the San Diego Chargers. I don’t want to waste your time with too much NFL talk, but the Chargers are … not very good. Even, as often happened in the last 5 or so years, when they were very good, they were still, somehow, not very good. And this Monday, in their first game of a new season, under a new head coach, and with lots of new players, they lost in the most Chargers way possible, building up a huge lead in the first half and then looking woefully incompetent in letting the Houston Texans score the final 24 points of the game, including a game winning field goal as time expired. What was my response to such a gut punch of a game? A smirk, a chuckle and a quiet whisper in my mind: Never change, Chargers. Never change.

From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA:It’s hard to say why we save the things we save when someone dies. Why a particular shirt feels meaningful or why it’s hard to delete certain voicemails. The list of things a loved one leaves in a will might be long. It’s often what they didn’t have to include in the will that sticks with you. Among other things, Jim Buss saved a voicemail from his father from Jan. 20, less than a month before the Lakers’ Hall of Fame owner, Jerry Buss, died after an 18-month battle with cancer. He has replayed it so many times he knows it by heart.” ‘Hey Jim, it’s your dad,’ ” Buss says, mimicking his father’s squeaky voice. ” ‘What an incredible waste of talent. Oh well. The experiment didn’t work.’ ”


From Phillip Barnett, Lakers Nation: Earlier on Monday, OC Register reporter Janis Carr was at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo and spotted a few Lakers in the building, including Kobe Bryant. Some of the players were working out with ex-Laker Mike Penberthy, and even Derek Fisher showed up to get in a light workout. There hasn’t been any information as to what the workouts consisted of, or whether or not Bryant engaged in any physical activity, but it’s good to see that the team is starting to get back together. The team begins training camp on September 28.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: On March 18 of last season, Darius Morris didn’t get into the game until the last three minutes of the Los Angeles Lakers’ blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns. Coach Mike D’Antoni stuck to a seven-man rotation on the second night of a back-to-back, and Morris didn’t figure into his plans. Two days before that, Andrew Goudelock was playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and picking apart the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders, with 33 points and 12 assists in a 15-point win. Five weeks later, Morris and Goudelock made up the Lakers’ starting backcourt for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. They put up an admirable effort — Goudelock finished with 20 points and three steals, Morris had 24 points and six assists — but the Spurs still embarrassed the Lakers, winning by 31 points on the Lakers’ home floor.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Former Lakers guard Shannon Brown and his wife, singer Monica, have welcomed their first child together. Daughter Laiyah Brown was born on Sept 3. Brown, currently with the Phoenix Suns, spent nearly three years with the Lakers after a midseason trade from the Charlotte Bobcats in 2009.  The athletic guard won two titles with the team in 2009 and 2010. His wife won the 1999 Grammy for best performance by a duo or group with vocals for the song “The Boy is Mine,” a collaboration with Brandy Norwood. The couple wed in November 2010. Monica also has two children with rapper Rodney “Rocko” Hill, Jr. — Rodney III (born 2005) and Romelo (born 2008). Vanessa Bryant, wife of Lakers’ all-star guard Kobe Bryant, sent out a message on Instagram a few days after the birth.

From Jacob Rude, Lake Show Life: The signing of Nick Young by the Lakers this summer was quizzical to say the least. With needs far more obvious and glaring elsewhere, most notably at small forward, Young filled none of those needs. Last season, Young spent just 3% of the total 76ers minutes at small forward. Despite spending more time at the small forward position in past seasons, it’s not his natural position. With Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake, and Steve Nash already at the guards positions, bringing in Young seemed to make little sense.

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Jordan Farmar was a member of two championship teams in four seasons during his first tour of duty with the Lakers, albeit in a reserve role. He clashed with Phil Jackson at times, and felt constrained by what he was expected to do within the Triangle offense. Farmar always felt like he was capable of contributing so much more, and he should get that opportunity under Mike D’Antoni this time around. In fact, the chance to play for the Lakers’ current head coach was one of the reasons Farmar chose to make his NBA return at this time.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee made its choice for the 2020 Olympic Games. The final three cities were Istanbul; Madrid, Spain; and Tokyo. Lakers center-forward Pau Gasol had been helping Spain’s bid committee and made the trip to Buenos Aires for the International Olympic Committee’s vote. The winner was made known via Twitter.

From Phillip Barnett, Laker Nation: The NFL kicked off its season on Thursday night, and it saw Peyton Manning explode for seven touchdown passes — tying an NFL record. Kobe Bryant was watching the game, and tweeted about his Vino Club after watching Manning completely pick apart the Ravens defense. The Vino Club is a bit interesting as it’s tough to pin point what, exactly, is the criteria for being invited. Manning is a 37-year-old quarterback, Floyd Mayweather is a 36-year old boxer and Justin Timberlake is a performer. Of course, the triumvirate, along with Kobe, are some of the best in their respective professions, but still, the selection is still a little confusing.

From Royce Young, CBS Sports:Tracy McGrady has retired, which means he now heads into the phase where he gets to say things. There’s no arguing that in his prime — and when healthy — McGrady was as good a pure scorer as the game has ever seen. His combination of size, speed, athleticism and perimeter touch made him maybe the toughest cover in the league. And during an interview with Fox Sports Radio, via Larry Brown Sports, McGrady seemed to suggest he was every bit an equal with Kobe Bryant, going as far to say he and Shaquille O’Neal would’ve gotten along better.


From Corey Hansford, Lakers Nation: Buzzer beaters are some of the most amazing, heart-wrenching shots in the NBA. When those clutch shots take place in the NBA Finals, when all the pressure is on and the bright lights are everywhere, it shows who the brightest stars in the world truly are. When that shot comes from 60-feet away to send the game into overtime, the shot goes down in history as one of the most amazing moments in the history of the NBA. In Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals, the Lakers were tied with the New York Knicks. With three seconds left, Dave DuBusschere hit a clutch jumper to give the Knicks a two point lead, setting the stage for ‘Mr. Clutch.’

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Michael Beasley was waived by the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, putting the talented, yet troubled, 6-10, 235-pound former No. 2 pick on the market. With the Los Angeles Lakers lacking a proven small forward on their roster after using the amnesty clause on Metta World Peace, it’s only natural to wonder if Beasley might be a good fit in purple and gold. Here are four questions to consider before that can happen: Beasley was owed $6 million by Phoenix in 2013-14 and $6.25 million in 2014-15, but only $3 million of his ’14-15 deal was guaranteed. Beasley agreed to a $7 million buyout with the Suns, according to Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix. If any team out there chooses to claim the remaining $7 million on his contract, they’ll retain Beasley’s rights. That’s unlikely to happen.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Driving in Los Angeles today I heard the broadcasters on the Lakers flagship station talking themselves into Michael Beasley. They gave it a lot of caveats — if he would take the league minimum (he’s going to have to) and if he plays within the system (he hasn’t anywhere else, don’t think this will be different Lakers’ fans) — however they said if all that came together he could be a good pickup. Personally, I would say it wouldn’t come together and the Lakers could do better. However, the Lakers do have reported interest in a young forward who played his college ball in the state of Kansas… just not Beasley.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J.” Erving listed his picks as the top five NBA players of all time on Fox Sports Live on Tuesday, and he included three former Lakers. “I decided on my five when I was about 15 years old — that was Wilt [Chamberlain], Bill [Russell], [Elgin] Baylor, [Jerry] West and Oscar Robertson,” Erving said. “That’s my five.” Oddly, Erving didn’t include Lakers’ center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but in the same breath called him the “best who ever played in the NBA.” Erving was joined in the interview by Gary Payton, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend, and Charissa Thompson.

From Phillip Barnett, Lakers Nation: In a time when the culture of NBA philosophies began moving away from highly specialized role players to ball players with more unique skill sets who can fill multiple roles, Mike D’Antoni was on the forefront of an offensive revolution that saw teams — and more specifically — his Phoenix Suns try to win games by speeding up the pace of the game to manufacture high percentage shots in as many possessions as possible. What wasn’t specific to D’Antoni’s offense, however, was the utilization of basketball players who can fill multiple roles on the offensive end and defend multiple positions on the defensive end. Despite their contrasting styles of play, this changing of the guard is a reason that the Lakers and Suns met in the 2010 Western Conference Finals. They weren’t just the two best teams in the Western Conference that season, but they were the two teams in the Western Conference with the most interchangeable parts.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Kobe Bryant has an obstacle in front of him, and that is when he is at his best. That is when he is most driven. Kobe at age 35 is working on a comeback from a ruptured Achilles that might have ended the career of lesser players. But Kobe was not going to let the image of him limping off the court be the last one of his career. He is fighting to get back in the game. He is fighting for that sixth right. And former teammate Antawn Jamison said count him out at your own risk during a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles (as transcribed by Ramona Shelburne at

From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: With the Lakers at their usual self-imposed 14-man roster limit, it’s time for us here at Silver Screen & Roundtable to take a look at the docket and discuss….wait, did I write “docket”? I meant “damage report”. It’s been a summer like few others in franchise history, as the Lakers primary offseason goal was torpedoed in gloriously public fashion. A seven-time All-Star left Southern California for Texas, and with him a clear view of where the franchise was headed in the immediate future. However, as big as his departure was, change wasn’t just confined to the center position.

From Jimmy Goldstein, I moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s as a graduate student at UCLA and immediately began to attend all the Lakers games and sit courtside (back then, courtside seats cost $15 per game). I had come from Milwaukee, where I had worked as a statistician for what was then the Milwaukee Hawks (now known as the Atlanta Hawks). I was a teenager, and I became hooked on the NBA at an early age to begin a lifetime involvement. When I arrived in Los Angeles and began to attend Lakers games, I was still a big fan of the Hawks, even though the Hawks had left Milwaukee. The Hawks and Lakers were rivals, and I wasn’t about to abandon my loyalty to the Hawks just because I was a student in Los Angeles. Thus was the origin of my becoming an “anti-Lakers” fan. I hoped that the Lakers would lose because it would help the Hawks. And so I quietly pulled for the opposition, clapping when they scored a basket. Not all the fans around me appreciated my behavior. One fan, a well-known attorney, met with the Lakers’ general manager and demanded that my floor seat be taken away from me. He was told that I had the right to root for whomever I wanted.


From D.J. Foster, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers are a team on the rebound. The recovery process after Dwight Howard’s departure may not be brief, and it probably won’t be painless. Time will likely heal all wounds, but it’s hard to imagine the Lakers will be better off in the short-term. But what holds true for the team doesn’t necessarily apply to the individual. Even though they occasionally flirted with great chemistry as a pair, Pau Gasol might actually be better off without Dwight Howard this season. Part of that has to do with Gasol likely being better off, period. Last year, Gasol languished through 49 injury-riddled games, averaging career lows in points per game (13.7), field goal percentage (46.6), and PER (16.7). If he’s healthy, you’d assume there would be some return to the mean.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: New Lakers guard Nick Young is happy to be back home in Los Angeles — and a regular this off-season at the team’s practice facility. On Wednesday, Young will be at Robertson Park at 4 p.m. to help support education with a school supply giveaway. Young held a similar event last September, before joining the Philadelphia 76ers for a season after spending a few months with the Clippers (following a March 2012 trade). The Lakers signed Young as a free agent in July on a two-year deal at the veteran’s minimum. Young will make $1.1 million this coming season. He has a player option on his second year for $1.2 million. Young went to Cleveland High School in Reseda. He spent three years at USC before getting selected with the 16th overall pick by the Washington Wizards in the 2007 NBA draft.

From Ryan Cole, Lakers Nation: On April 29, 1970, ‘Mr. Clutch’ delivered another classic moment in the NBA Finals. With one second left to tie the score against the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, West made a 63-foot heave from beyond half-court to send the game into overtime. Despite the fact that the Knicks would end up winning in overtime and eventually be crowned NBA champions later in the series, this moment stands out as one of the greatest memories in the NBA Finals history for the Lakers franchise.

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Pau Gasol is one of the few NBA players who might be just as closely associated with his national team as he is with playing for one of the league’s most iconic franchises. Gasol has been playing for the Spanish team in international play essentially since the moment he was eligible, and along with tennis star Rafael Nadal, he may be his country’s most recognizable athlete. All of that is a good place to start if you’re wondering why Madrid has appointed Gasol as one if its spokesmen in order to try to win a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: Kobe Bryant was voted “favorite player in the league” by 36 rookies in a survey for, according to John Schuhmann. Bryant topped the list with 21.2% of the votes. LeBron James came in second (15.2%), followed by a third-place tie between Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki (12.1% apiece). Steve Nash also received at least one vote. Rookies weren’t permitted to vote for “themselves, college teammates or NBA teammates,” Schuhmann wrote.

From Dan Feldman, Pro Basketball Talk: It’s early in the 2027-28 season, and the Lakers have struggled to a 1-4 start. The year before, an aging Kyrie Irving helped lead the Lakers to the North American Conference Finals, but they ran out of gas and were swept by Seattle. Still, the Lakers brought back their core, including Coach Monty Williams, who led the Lakers to championships in 2023 and 2024. Suddenly, the Lakers look old, and fans are calling for Williams to be fired. Who’s their preferred replacement? 82-year-old Phil Jackson. At least that’s whom Mike D’Antoni believes Lakers fans would want in that scenario. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: During this off-season, much of the discussion has centered around Kobe Bryant’s return from Achilles surgery and if he’ll be able to play at a high-level once again. Despite the fact that Bryant is ahead of schedule in his recovery and some are optimistic that he’ll be returning for opening night against the Los Angeles Clippers, others think the injury is too difficult to come back from at this stage of his career. In an interview with, an anonymous Western Conference scout was optimistic and believes that Bryant will be back at an All-Star level: “I would not be surprised for him to be back at an All-Star level. I don’t know if it’s going to be next season, it could be, but I could definitely see him being back as an All-Star because that’s just in his DNA.” While Bryant will likely lose some athleticism from this injury, his smarts and experience will enable him to conquer this challenge, similarly to Michael Jordan.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: The Los Angeles Lakers are not interested in signing free agent Lamar Odom, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. The Lakers had reached out to Odom shortly after the 2013 free agency period began, but there were no reports of talks advancing beyond an exploratory phase.The Lakers had “some interest” in acquiring Odom and had talks with him in early July, but the team no longer has any interest in acquiring him, according to a league source familiar with the discussions. A source close to Odom informed Jared Zwerling of ESPN that he was interested in returning to the Lakers.