While the result of the Lakers 2nd preseason game was a loss, the bigger news wasn’t the final score, but instead the health status of several players. At today’s media availability, Luke Walton provided everyone with Lakers injury updates not only from the game itself, but of players who’d been sitting out of practices recently.
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While most outsiders (and some inside the organization) expressed their opinions, it should be no surprise that the Mitch Kupchak firing has not inspired any comments from the man who was actually let go. Mitch has always been someone who said only as much as he’s needed to (and sometimes even less than that), preferring to keep his private life private. Further, Kupchak’s reputation as a fiercely loyal executive who stays above the fray by always remaining classy with comments is well earned.
So, in some ways, Kupchak discussing his firing from the Lakers on the latest podcast from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is a bit of a surprise. Going on the record with anything more than some filtered comments about the organization he spent over three and a half decades is even less expected. However, that’s exactly what Kupchak did, offering up some of the expected platitudes, but also going in on what he thought contributed to him (and Jim Buss) being let go:
ESPN’s Darren Rovell is reporting that the Lakers have agreed to a jersey sponsorship deal with the e-commerce company Wish. The deal will reportedly pay the Lakers $12-14 million a year over the next 3 years. The Sports Business Journal has more information on Wish and details about the agreement with the Lakers:
Wish, founded in ’11, is a “digital mall” that sells discounted merchandise through an e-commerce platform. According to the company’s website, it is the sixth largest e-commerce company in the world. Lakers President of Business Operations Tim Harris said other elements of the Wish deal include a founding sponsorship in team’s training center, along with signage and hospitality in Staples Center. The Wish logo will also be on the team’s G-League South Bay Lakers franchise.
The NBA moved into the world of selling ads on their uniforms for this upcoming season and the reactions have been somewhat mixed. For many, any disruption to the classic and clean look of the uniforms was going to be a problem — especially when talking about franchises with historically (mostly) unchanged unis like the Lakers or the Celtics.
Just when you thought there were no more deals to be made, that free agency was dead and buried, the Lakers front offices sticks their hand out the gave like Beatrix Kiddo and make another move by signing former Warrior (and Maverick and, most recently, Cavalier) Andrew Bogut.
Free agent center Andrew Bogut has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, agent David Bauman of ISE tells The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2017
The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jordan Wilkes to Director of Player Development, the team announced today. Wilkes, the son of Lakers great Jamaal Wilkes, has been with the organization since the 2013-14 season as a Basketball Operations Assistant. The responsibilities of his new role will include assisting Rob Pelinka in day-to-day operations, as well as providing Lakers players with resources, guidance, and life skills as a part of their off court development.
And here I thought Brandon Ingram spent his summer working on his jumpshot. Turns out, though, he might have just been listening to Skee Lo and then having his wishes get granted. Or, at least, that’s the implication from his sit-down with Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell — who himself thinks Ingram has grown an inch or two over the summer:
I speculated that maybe Ingram gained an inch or two, but the Lakers maintain his current listing at 6’9’’. Here’s how Ingram answered my question about him gaining either weight or height:
INGRAM: I’m not sure. We actually haven’t done any of that. When I came back from my little break, a lot of people were saying I gained a little bit of weight, but I’m not sure.
KEEFE: He looks bigger. He looks stronger. He feels stronger, he plays stronger. And height? I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s possible.
Over the past couple of weeks there were rumors of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball working out with an all-time great at the position (and former Laker) Steve Nash. While Lonzo’s father made some bombastic comments regarding what Nash could teach his son — in the process, dismissing the supposed workout entirely — Lonzo has now gone on record confirming the session took place.
Beyond that, Lonzo provided real insight into what he and Nash worked on and how valuable he found the former MVP’s tutelage. Via Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk: