(h/t to youbeenblinded.com for the picture of Pau Gasol jumping over this kid in India.)
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Matt Barnes is saying he was the victim of the domestic violence in his home Wednesday night. The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department has charged him with a felony for being the primary aggressor. This is Barnes’ first headline as a Los Angeles Laker, and it’s not quite ideal to go straight from the lifting-up-your-brand-new-jersey photo to the police mug shot. The thing is, you would’ve been shocked if you heard there was this kind of trouble for either of the other new Lakers, Steve Blake or Theo Ratliff. When you hear it’s Barnes, well, it might be a shake of your head … or a nod of your head.
From Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Ron Artest is promoting mental-health awareness. That’s it. There is no punch line. No big finish, no rim shot, no laugh track. Just the starting small forward of the two-time defending champions visiting a middle school Thursday in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello to call for passage of federal legislation and encourage students to reach out to a health-care worker if they need. Artest is telling others to get help. Yeah, he knows. He knows he’s asking for it. He knows every Internet comedian will jump on this with some crack, mostly behind the anonymity of a screen-name handle, of course. But he doesn’t care because shining a light on an urgent topic is more important to him.
From Land O’ Lakers: Soriano: I have the Lakers winning 62 games this year. While I understand how the Lakers’ ability to win the title with a lesser win total last season could create a coasting mentality this year, I also think the team understands three key factors: 1). Home court in the Finals is a major advantage. 2) Last season the Lakers were a bit lucky in that they avoided facing a team (Orlando, Cleveland) in the Finals that would have had [home court advantage] over them. 3) The combination of Phil’s last season and Miami’s “super team” formation will give the Lakers that extra motivation that may have been lacking at times last year. So, I think a big push for a higher win total and the Lakers clearing that 60 win mark.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Forget about wondering how the Lakers will turn out this season. Forget predictions on how each player will perform. And forget about scouring websites, television shows, magazines and newspapers so that you know every single morsel about every single Laker. OK, I was just kidding about the last part. I still want you to visit the L.A. Times Lakers blog so I have company and so the bosses are happy. But because there’s plenty of time for me to seriously dive into what’s in store for the 2010-11 season, I thought it’d be good to mix it up a bit. I hoped to talk to a numerologist so he or she can share readings on the Lakers, but that’s apparently something that doesn’t come for free. Since it’s policy from The Times and pretty much any reputable outlet not to pay for interviews, I figured I’d do the next best thing. Find a website that gives free numerology readings, proving that all the pre-season speculation is really just a waste of time – except of course when it comes from The L.A. Times Lakers blog.
From Lakers.com: In what may have been the best all-around performance by the Lakers throughout the season, Shannon Brown put the proverbial icing on the cake with an absurdly athletic one-handed hammer dunk off Pau Gasol’s alley-oop in Game 6 of the Finals against Boston. The slam put L.A. up 20 halfway through the third quarter in what ended up as an 89-67 blowout win. It was all working for L.A. in victory featuring 26 points and 11 rebounds from Kobe Bryant and a near triple-double from Pau Gasol (17 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists). The Lakers grabbed 17 more rebounds in a stat that defined the series, and their bench – thanks in part to Brown – scored 24 points before Boston’s had scored even one.
Slightly off-topic but did anybody see the Spain v Slovenia game? Especially the fact that Pau decided to make an appearance and the loss resulted in the most sadstruck face I have seen from the most skilled 7+ ft ball player in the world today.