Lakers expect to see plenty of game from first-round draft pick Moe Wagner

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers expect a great deal of their first-round draft pick.Maybe not during the just-completed California Classic in Sacramento, when the Lakers went 0-3 against the Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors, or in the NBA Summer League, which began with a game Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas.But soon.After all, Wagner might be counted on as a rotation player next season after centers Julius Randle and Brook Lopez opted to test free agency. Randle signed a two-season, $18 million contract last week with the New Orleans Pelicans; Lopez is as yet unsigned.What the Lakers saw from Wagner during his first three professional games ran the gamut from good to bad. He was very good at times, his footwork as graceful as his jumper. He was pretty bad at times, his uncertainty debilitating now and then, especially when under pressure. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed He looked like a rookie trying to find his way in a whole new ballgame.Above all, Wagner, a 6-foot-11 center who was the 25th overall pick after a standout career at Michigan, showed signs of what he could become in the NBA after a little tutoring and a lot of experience. He will take the next steps with his summer league teammates.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img PreviousLos Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner stuffs during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, left, defends Lakers center Moe Wagner during the first half of Tuesday’s California Classic summer league game in Sacramento. The Heat won 89-74. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsPresident of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner hangs on the rim after stuffing against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)T.C.Greene, media relations coordinator, prepares for an introductory news conference for two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Head coach Luke Walton addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, General Manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton address the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news conference with two of their three draft picks, Michigan big man Moritz Wagner and Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)Lakers rookie center Moritz Wagner, left, shoots against Sacramento Kings rookie forward Marvin Bagley III, right, during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game Monday, July 2, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 98-93. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Sacramento Kings forward Devin Williams, right, battles for the rebound against Los Angeles Lakers’ Moritz Wagner, left, and Johnathan Williams during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 98-93. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner, left, tries to stop Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Tuesday, July 3, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner, left, blocks the shot of Golden State Warriors forward J.P Tokoto during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner, right, shoots over Golden State Warriors forward Abudurexiti Abudushalamu during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner, left, and Golden State Warriors forward Marcus Derrickson scramble for the ball during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner stuffs during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)NextShow Caption1 of 26Moritz Wagner, one of three draft picks, addresses the media as the Lakers hold an introductory news at the UCLA Lakers Training Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)ExpandLAS VEGAS — Moe Wagner missed a dunk, pinning the ball on the front of the rim after a drive to the basket.To be fair, he did get fouled after getting a step on his opponent.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Then he missed a jump shot. Then he got called for traveling. Then he got dunked on.Welcome to the NBA, big guy. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Wagner’s best all-around game of the three he played in Sacramento came during a 77-71 loss Thursday to the Warriors, when he scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He made 5 of 10 shots, including 2 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also barked at a referee when a call didn’t go his way.“I’m not going to change,” Wagner said. “I’m a confident guy. I’m just going to be myself. I’m going to be smiling the whole time. That’s the fun of it. You always want to evolve as a competitive basketball player. If you don’t enjoy development and evolving you won’t make it far. That’s part of it.”So far, Wagner is in the earliest stages of his development. He’s taken a few giant strides to reach this point, going from his native Germany to Michigan to the NBA in only a few short years. He has much to learn, as do all his summer league teammates.“Right now, they’re deer in the headlights,” said Lakers guard Josh Hart said, smilingly broadly when asked about relating his own experiences last year with the summer league team to those Wagner and the other rookies will be taking this season.“They have no idea what the NBA game is. That’s what every rookie is. That’s how I was last year. Right now they haven’t played a minute in the NBA yet, so they have no idea. There’s going to be a lot of teachable moments this year. But right now they’re picking it up fast.”Wagner seems well-suited to the Lakers’ up-tempo and free-wheeling style of play.He who hesitates finds himself on the bench.None of that is likely to change with the signing of LeBron James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract. If the past is any guide, James’ game should enhance Wagner’s play. James beats double-and triple-teaming defenses by passing to open teammates for jump shots.Wagner is at his best while on the perimeter. It’s where he excelled at Michigan and it’s why the Lakers’ management team of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka drafted him. He is not a traditional back-to-the-basket center in the mold of Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain.Don’t think of the in-the-paint moves made famous by the three legendary centers.Imagine a fresh-faced Vlade Divac. No beard, but plenty of game.Wagner even flopped in order to try to draw a foul in the game against Golden State.The referee didn’t fall for it. There was no whistle.“He’s one of the most versatile guys we have,” said Lakers assistant Miles Simon, who is serving as the summer league team’s head coach. “He can play inside and out. He’s not just a pick-and-pop guy. He’s an excellent passer. The system they ran at Michigan, the ball was in his hands a lot, so he feels comfortable having it in his hands. (But) just learning some of the nuances defensively is going to be one of the more difficult things for him.”No question, there will be plenty of teaching in the days ahead.Summer school has started.“For us, we’re using this as a springboard to our season,” Simon said when asked specifically about the summer league team’s objectives. “We’re implementing things we’re going to use in camp. We have guys who are going to be on our roster, so we’re doing a lot of teaching. All that is going into it. We have a goal. We want to have team success and team success can breed individual success.”last_img read more

Lakers’ Brandon Ingram suspended four games by NBA, Rajon Rondo three for fight with Houston Rockets

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAfter Chris Paul accused Rondo of spitting in his face before the guards traded blows, high-resolution images started spreading online Sunday morning that appeared to confirm Paul’s account, provoking Paul to jab a finger in Rondo’s face. The NBA eventually sided with Paul’s contention in an official statement, citing him for “spitting and throwing multiple punches at” Paul. “Obviously Rajon has his own view of what happened,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “I think we had a clear view, however you want to interpret it, that there was a spitting in Chris Paul’s direction. I think I’m going to leave it at that.” How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Ingram’s infractions – including getting into the face of official Jason Phillips and charging from halfcourt and taking a swing after the fight broke out – merited a stiffer suspension, particularly since he re-entered the conflict after being separated by teammates Lance Stephenson and Lonzo Ball. VanDeWeghe said the league viewed Ingram’s actions as “extremely aggressive” and much more dangerous.“He was pushed away, taken away, and when things started up again, he came back in extremely aggressively, and threw an extremely aggressive punch to someone that wasn’t looking [Paul],” he said. “We made it clear in the strongest terms that that was a dangerous play and completely unacceptable.”Both Ingram and Rondo will miss the Lakers’ next three games at home against the Spurs on Monday, at the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and back at Staples Center against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Rondo will be able to return Saturday when the Lakers play at the Spurs. Ingram could come back in the next game of the road trip on Monday at the Minnesota Timberwolves.In the relatively small sample size of recent NBA fist fights, the Rockets-Lakers brawl was not quite as dire as fights like the Malice in the Palace, which sprawled into the stands and had fans involved. But that didn’t mean the NBA didn’t take it as seriously.“With this, the multiple game suspensions are pretty severe to both their teams and financially to the players,” VanDeWeghe said. “So I do feel it sends the right message and tone to protect the safety of our players.”While Walton tried to move on from the fight on Sunday, focusing on the team’s practice and improving for Monday’s game with the San Antonio Spurs, the shadow of looming suspensions hung over the scene.“We’re expecting to have them out obviously,” Ball said. “And hopefully they get back sooner than later.”Walton revealed that the team had a morning meeting in the film room, in which he spoke and then opened the floor to the team. He didn’t say if Ingram or Rondo spoke to the group, but said the Lakers have “learned from the experience.”When asked if he thought Rondo spit on Paul, Walton said “no.”“Everyone learns something differently, but we brought it up, we talked about it, the message was delivered,” Walton said. “And now it’s about next man up, moving forward, and keep positive, keep getting better.”The Lakers did not lay out their plan of action for the suspensions (practice took place before they were officially doled out) but Ball is a logical candidate to start for Rondo after starting 50 games last year. While he’s been on a minutes restriction for the first two games of the season, Ball said it could be potentially overturned by the training staff and that he felt “100 percent.” Kyle Kuzma would be an reasonable replacement for Ingram in the starting lineup.It’s a setback for the growing chemistry of a new team: Rondo and Ingram have both been critical pieces in the Lakers’ first two games, both losses, as Walton continues to define which lineups and rotations work.“It’s going to hurt,” Ball said. “We’re going to miss them. They’re key guys for the team.”Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions It was all the more disappointing for Walton, who watched footage of the game instead of the fight itself. He took away that the Lakers were competing well with the Rockets, last year’s top seed in the West, and was disappointed the fracas threw off the final four minutes of the game.He was pleased with the points in the paint (70) the low turnovers (11) and the pacing (22 fast break points). He thought the Lakers could do better with perimeter defense on both James Harden and Paul, who combined for 64 points, and fouling less.He was most frustrated that all those facets of the game were completely eclipsed by the fight. At one point as a reporter tried to clarify a question about the brawl, Walton retorted.“No, no, no, we’re moving on the fist fight,” he said. “We’re about how to get better today.” EL SEGUNDO – The afternoon after both players were ejected from the Lakers’ loss to the Houston Rockets, both Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram ran through team practice as usual.When the media was ushered into the training facility, Rondo could be seen talking to coach Luke Walton and other staff members in the corner of the gym near the weight room, while Ingram practiced his free throw shooting.Taken out of context, it could’ve seemed like a very normal day. But the Lakers were already bracing to lose both to suspensions as the NBA investigated the fist fight that boiled over on Saturday night in Staples Center.Only a few hours later, the NBA had rendered the penalties: Brandon Ingram will be suspended the next four games for the Lakers, while Rondo will miss three. Chris Paul, who threw punches in the fracas, received a two-game suspension starting in the Rockets’ Sunday night matchup with the Clippers.last_img read more

Whicker: Julius Randle also tamper-worthy in New Orleans

first_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “It’s against the rules,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, “But that’s just me. I’ve only been in the league 31 years.”Last week, Gentry said Davis wouldn’t be traded “for anyone inside or outside the league, including Beyonce.” Last year, when Davis-to-Boston rumors emerged, Gentry said the Pelicans would only consider it if they got “the New England Patriots and the two planes they just bought.”Davis belongs to the Pelicans this year and next. He has an option to leave before the 2020-21 season. But next summer he can sign a five-year, $230 million extension with New Orleans because he made All-NBA in two of three seasons and has remained with the Pelicans throughout. No other team can match it.Of course, Lakers fans have postulated that every great player on every other team was destined to become a Laker eventually: Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, etc.The NBA fined Lakers president Magic Johnson $500,000 for coveting Paul George and $50,000 more for merely praising Antetokounmpo. But James has personally recruited Chris Bosh and Kevin Love to join him, and several Warriors reached out to Kevin Durant before the dotted line was signed, and those actions and many others went unsanctioned.The Pelicans feel this is clearly different because Rich Paul, James’ agent, has added Davis to his cast.Gentry was objecting to the fact he was having to talk about this in the first place, and that it might become a distraction to Davis and his team. But NBA players understand the business and generally know when rumor becomes fact.The problem is so many people have been conditioned to think the NBA season starts in mid-June and ends whenever the most glamorous free agent makes his decision. Randle and his young Laker mates were trying to figure out themselves, figure out the league, and get inured to the inevitable losing over the past three years. But LeBron’s intercontinental shadow hovered over each game. Is he coming? If he does, who’s going?“I wouldn’t say it was tiresome,” Randle said. “The biggest thing I learned is that I couldn’t control narratives. I could only go out and get better.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I knew what it was,” Randle said at the Pelicans’ Friday morning shootaround. “New guys come in and they want to put their imprint on things. I totally understood it. I just didn’t know how things would play out.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Randle signed for two years and $18 million, but the second year is up to him. He can opt out and again become a free agent next summer. He will be a popular item in that bazaar. He is averaging 19.3 points and 9.5 rebounds in just under 28 minutes per game. That’s 5.1 points above his average in his three full years with the Lakers.The only 20-point, 10-rebound guys in the league right now are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis, Randle’s teammate and the subject of league-wide desire.What about Davis on the Lakers? “That would be amazing, duh,” James said the other day. “That would be incredible.”That would also be tampering, according to the Pelicans. LOS ANGELES — Triage has been kind to Julius Randle.When LeBron James came to the Lakers, somebody had to go. NBA players, no matter how young, see such things coming.Randle, the Lakers’ prized lottery pick in 2014, became a reliable horse down low, a fervent rebounder and a magnet for the defense, which in turn helped the guys outside.Amid the local jubilation over James’ commitment to the Lakers in late June, Randle knew he would be calling the movers. He landed in New Orleans, which came to Staples Center on Friday night. How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I was playing for my teammates. I wasn’t playing for the front office or for other teams. I love you guys (media), but I wasn’t playing for you either. The only thing you can focus on is you. I’m just trying to be a better and more complete player, on both ends.”Randle smiled and shook his head when asked if he’d been visited by nostalgia when he walked into Staples Center.“I do remember the energy, the juice,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that. I see the young guys on the Lakers getting better. They’re very versatile on the offensive end. Guys like (Kyle) Kuzma, JHart (Jason Hart), BI (Brandon Ingram), they’re all maturing. I can see the growth from week to week.”He can see it in the mirror, too. As the weeks become months, and if the rules remain lax, someone might be tampering with Julius Randle.last_img read more

NBA teams given 6-hour earlier jump on free agency

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“It’s one of those things that everybody looks at each other and says, ‘Why has it always been that way?’” he said. “It’s unclear. It’s just always been at midnight. But putting aside the impact on the working media, I think there is so much interest in it. Clearly, if it were happening at a more reasonable time, it would be better for coverage.”Technically, teams aren’t able to contact players about potential deals until free agency begins under NBA rules (though some would argue teams find ways to curtail these limitations through various means). Direct contact before this deadline constitutes tampering.This has led to some dramatic moments, such as then-team president Magic Johnson waiting in his car last year in front of LeBron James’ Brentwood home until 9:01 p.m.Moving free agency earlier allows those moments to happen in the light of day – and under the spotlight of daytime media coverage. News of instances such as Paul George’s midnight party with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City won’t require fans to stay up late to learn what’s become of the most coveted free agents.Teams will be allowed to contact free agents 24 hours in advance of the start time, on July 29, to set up meetings. Free agency, the NBA’s annual scramble for unsigned talent, has had the same dramatic starting line for years – one minute after midnight July 1 on the East Coast.It’s good for drama. Not so good for would-be sleepers.As of Friday morning, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed to move the start of free agency to 3 p.m. PST June 30, giving an earlier start to the jockeying for contracts.The six-hour shift represents a chance for the league to drive up coverage and interest in what is always a circled day on the NBA calendar. Last year at Las Vegas Summer League, Commissioner Adam Silver said he wasn’t sure why free agency’s start time was in place to begin with. Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed center_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years The Lakers are expected to be one of the most active teams in free agency this summer, with enough salary-cap space to accommodate another max contract. Nine players from last year’s roster enter either restricted or unrestricted free agency.LAKERS HIRE SPORTS PERFORMANCE DIRECTORThe Lakers have brought back Dr. Judy Seto to oversee the team’s medical care and training needs, they announced Friday morning.Seto was the Lakers’ head athletic trainer from 2011 to 2016, and she has worked with the Dodgers in a previous role.The franchise is looking for answers after a season that saw their players struggle with injuries, including season-ending injuries for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. James missed the most games in his career with a groin tear during the past season, after which the Lakers dismissed top training official and longtime employee Marco Nunez. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img read more

Lakers hope to show growth in Sunday game against Clippers

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The Lakers believe they’ve only gotten better since December. The team’s net rating has improved every month since then, up from plus-4.6 in a tough December schedule to plus-10.4 in their three March games so far. The template for making it tough on a star defensively was on display on Friday — though Giannis Antetokounmpo was close to his season average production, he was required to work hard to get there.Frank Vogel acknowledged that the Bucks and Clippers have found very different paths to success this year, but he hoped the Lakers would bring the same defensive attention to detail Sunday that they had against Milwaukee.“(The Clippers) make things very difficult with the fire power that they have,” he said. “So we’ve just got to be really dialed into the execution of our coverages and then make sure that we’re executing offensively so we can share the basketball and get great shot quality from that side of the floor.”Related Articles EL SEGUNDO — After mounting the Bucks on their wall, the Lakers already had started peering ahead.There’s not many regular season wins that get bigger than beating the No. 1 team in the NBA, which boasts the reigning MVP. But another crack at the Clippers might just be it.As Kyle Kuzma reflected on the Friday night win over Milwaukee, which he called “huge,” he still saw it as a buildup to arguably the weekend’s main event.“It sets the table for Sunday,” he said. “We got our eyes on it. We’ve been waiting for this game.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSunday afternoon will see the third meeting between the L.A.-based titans, currently standing at No. 1 and 2 in the Western Conference. There are believers in the Lakers as the true threat to the title, and there are believers in the Clippers. But one thing even the purple and gold faithful can’t argue with: 0-2.In the two meetings so far, the Lakers haven’t been able to measure up. And on a tour that’s recently included evening up season series with Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee as teams that topped them in the first meeting, the Lakers (48-13) are keenly aware of just how much getting one of these regular season games with the Clippers would mean.“We never want to lose to a team all the time, especially throughout the course of a season,” Anthony Davis said. “So this game Sunday is another kind of like revenge game. We feel like we had ‘em both games and let it slip late in the game, especially on Christmas Day. It’s gonna be another battle and test, and we’re gonna be ready for it.”That Christmas Day game, a 111-106 comeback victory by the Clippers, highlighted some of the Lakers’ biggest flaws. Their 3-point shooting, which has been surprisingly pedestrian despite a free agency geared at adding shooters, was a virtual non-factor. They struggled to move the ball up the floor against the Clippers’ pressure.Perhaps the most glaring problem is that the Lakers haven’t had any way of guarding Kawhi Leonard, who has scored a combined 65 points in the two meetings. He’s hit from up close, and from deep, or gotten to the free throw line each time he’s faced the Lakers, who he once entertained joining during free agency. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img The teams’ new personnel could likely play a role: The Clippers got Marcus Morris in a trade with the Knicks; the Lakers got Markieff Morris on the buyout market. Both brothers have become regular rotation players since climbing aboard midseason. The Clippers have also gotten solid play out of Reggie Jackson; the Lakers signed Dion Waiters this week, but are unlikely to play him until his conditioning improves (he’s missed most of the season so far).While the teams have one more meeting in a rescheduled game on April 9, in all likelihood, this is the last meaningful regular season game between the two. The fourth installment, which was postponed after the death of Kobe Bryant, will be on the third game in three nights for the Lakers, who are likely to have locked up playoff seeding with just three games to play afterward. The same could be true of the Clippers, who have exercised caution all season on player injuries.The Lakers have varying views on how much it matters to beat the Clippers in the regular season. While the Lakers badly want to win the game Sunday, Vogel said he wouldn’t be concerned if the Lakers entered the postseason without having beaten the Clippers. Danny Green said their 0-2 record “sinks in with us a little bit,” but said the regular season match-ups don’t lend themselves necessarily to dictating postseason match-ups.But then again, the one thing all the Lakers agree on is that they’re trying to constantly grow, even as they make the push toward the playoffs. And beating the Clippers, the only team in the West they’ve yet to beat, would be the ultimate sign of how far they’ve come.“We have an opportunity to get better on Sunday, because we know how well they’ve been playing as of late,” LeBron James said. “They’re at full strength. We’re at full strength. And we look forward to the challenge to see how we can match up with them again.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

MLB: Rays can explore Tampa Bay-Montreal two-city plan, report says

first_imgMontreal last was home to a major-league team in 2004 before the Expos — who had played 22 homes games in Puerto Rico in 2003 — moved to Washington and became the Nationals before the 2005 season.Under the plan, described to be in its “nascent stages” and still facing significant hurdles, the Rays would play in new stadiums in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, according to ESPN’s sources. Related News Cubs’ Joe Maddon: ‘Extraterrestrial’ balls, celestial season of home runs MLB’s executive council at Wednesday and Thursday’s owners meetings gave the Rays permission to explore the dual-city possibility.“My priority remains the same, I am committed to keeping baseball in Tampa Bay for generations to come. I believe this concept is worthy of exploration,” Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg — a member of the executive council — said in a statement from the team in reaction to ESPN’s report.By playing only its early-season games in Florida, the team could avoid the necessity — and added expense — of any new Florida stadium being a dome.The Rays’ current lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg runs through 2027. The timetable for any two-city plan likely would hinge on striking a deal in the Tampa Bay area for a new stadium and finding a site. Rich Hill injury update: Dodgers lefty (forearm) hopes to return this seasoncenter_img MLB has given the Rays permission to explore a plan in which they would continue to play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area but then play the latter part of their home schedule in Montreal, ESPN reported Thursday, citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation.The Rays have embraced the two-city solution as “the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area” after years of lagging attendance and failed attempts to build a new stadium in the Tampa-St. Petersburg region, according to the report. The Rays are averaging 14,546 fans per game, second-lowest in MLB in 2019 despite a 43-31 record. Their Opening Day payroll of approximately $65 million also was among the lowest in the majors.A variety of factors — relatively small local revenue and a comparatively bad local-TV deal among them — has prevented the Rays, who’ve needed taxpayer support, to secure a new stadium. If they can’t get a domed stadium or make work the two-city plan that would inject much-needed revenue, then the Rays likely would become more of a target for relocation by other cities seeking an MLB team, Montreal likely among them.Speculation about MLB’s return to Montreal has percolated for years and reportedly has significant support among power-brokers in the city, including wealthy private-equity investor Stephen Bronfman, whose billionaire father, Charles, was the Expos’ original owner.last_img read more

Avery Bradley explains decision to sign with Lakers

first_img Lakers free agency rumors: Los Angeles has attended workouts of Lance Stephenson, Marreese Speights Avery Bradley is happy he ended up with the Lakers.The 28-year-old guard was waived by the Grizzlies in early July before signing a two-year, $9.7 million contract with Los Angeles. Bradley said he was excited for a fresh start with a new team. “I’m feeling extremely great right now, I’m healthy, I’m in shape,” Bradley told reporters this weekend, via the Orange County Register. “And my role, I would expect it to be … being a guy that’s out there to compete on the defensive end, make open shots and play off our key players. That’s making cuts or just finding other ways to get guys open by my cutting ability.”Bradley spent the first seven years of his career with the Celtics but has bounced around the league and played for three teams since 2017-18. He averaged 9.9 points and 2.4 assists while shooting 35.1% from 3-point range in 63 total games with the Clippers and Memphis last season. Related News Rob Pelinka on expectation for Lakers next season: ‘Anything short of a championship is not success’ LeBron James reportedly lobbied Lakers to sign Quinn Cook “My goal is to come (to the Lakers) and give myself a chance to show what I can do,” Bradley said. “I feel like it’s been a rough couple of years for me obviously with trades, (never) being in one place a long period of time and then going through that.“It’s been hard on me and my family, but I feel like this is going to give me some stability and give me the opportunity to go out there and really show what I can do on both sides of the floor.”The Lakers revamped their roster this offseason when they acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans to pair with LeBron James. They also inked Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso to deals.Bradley and Rondo shared a backcourt while they were with Boston. “I knew if I had an opportunity to play with one of those guys, I would definitely think about it,” Bradley said. “Now that the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t hesitate. Everything was aligned.”Los Angeles has also reportedly attended the workouts of veterans Lance Stephenson, Marreese Speights, Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis.last_img read more

Clippers, Steve Ballmer unveil plan for potential multi-billion dollar, privately funded arena

first_imgWhile Leonard was briefed on the possibility of a new arena — which Ballmer said will be entirely privately funded — it wasn’t something meant to convince the 2019 Finals MVP to choose the Clippers. For Ballmer, it was more about showing the All-Star that he is committed to improving the franchise.”I want it to be beautiful,” Ballmer told ESPN. “But I want it to be about basketball. I want it to be comfortable. But I want it to be about basketball.” Related News Thunder’s Sam Presti disagrees with Paul George’s claim that trade to Clippers was ‘mutual’ NBA trade rumors: Clippers inquired about these stars before dealing for Paul George He continued: “Being in L.A., the free-agency thing will always be a little more important to us. That means we’ve got to invest in the player’s experience.”The building does face opposition from Madison Square Garden, which owns The Forum, which sits less than a mile away from the proposed site for the new arena in Inglewood, California.The litigation surrounding the proposition could take a while to figure out, but Ballmer sounds confident the plans will come to fruition.”This is really going to happen,” Ballmer said he told Leonard. “Obviously we have to go through the process… the lawsuits that Madison Square Garden has brought, but we are feeling confident that we can build our stadium in Inglewood.”Ballmer wants the building to hearken back to college basketball, with large sections devoted to rows and rows of stands completely absent of suites and boxes.He wants to have a portion of the seats behind one basket from the floor to the top row dedicated to fans, and above all else — noise.”I want it to be a noisy building,” Ballmer said of the section he dubbed “The Wall of Sound.” “I really want that kind of energy; think Oracle has been that way, Utah, Portland has got good energy. I think our Clipper fan base is a little more tenacious. They’re people (who have) decided they’re sticking with us, and now I think we will get new kinds of fans with Paul and Kawhi joining us but I think it is a hardcore fan base. I think that we can get real noise, real energy in the building.” Three takeaways from Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Clippers press conference Clippers owner Steve Ballmer certainly aims high.The former CEO of Microsoft and majority owner of the Clippers unveiled plans Thursday for a new multi-billion dollar, state-of-the-art facility, one day after the team officially announced the acquisitions of All-NBA players Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Ballmer said he’s aiming for the stadium to be ready by 2024. Leonard and George might not ever play there, as both could be free agents after the 2021-22 season.But Ballmer was clear, while this was something to show off to the team’s new star players, this is about more than them. It’s about the Clippers’ brand.”I don’t want to say it was a major milestone in the meeting but we did share because it is another statement that we are really committed,” Ballmer said. “I don’t know how it’s humanly possible but I still occasionally get a question about it; will your team move to Seattle? We are building our billion-dollar-plus house here in Inglewood, California.”last_img read more

B&H ice skaters Bašić and Omeragić traveled to Slovak Republic

first_imgNihad Bašić and Tarik Omeragić, B&H representatives in speed skating have traveled to the Slovak Republic where they will attend the International Competition within the Danubia series. The competition will be held from the 20th till 23rd December.From the Institute of Ice skating sports in B&H they expect that Tarik Omeragić will score enough points in order to perform at the junior European Cup in Italy. Omeragić already secured himself a place in the world junior championship that will be held in Poland, in February 2013.Nikad Bašić will use this international competition as a good training session for the European senior championship in Sweden, that will be held in mid- January 2013. It is important to stress that this B&H representative in ice skating has already fulfilled all requirements for participation at the biggest European championship in speed skating.last_img read more

26th round of BiH Premier league finished

first_imgThis Saturday, the 26th round of BiH Premier league was played.In Mostar, Velež defeated Borac with 1:0, while in Sarajevo, football club ‘Sarajevo’ defeated Zvijezda with 4:1.GOŠK defeated Široki Brijeg with 3:2, and in Trebinje, Leotar lost to Travnik 1:3, while Rudar defeated Zrinjski with 4:1.In Sarajevo, Željezničar defeated Olimpic with 2:1.Gradina and Slavija played a match without goals while Čelik and Radnik played 2:2.Željezničar is the first ranked team with 61 points, followed by Sarajevo with 52 points, Borac with 44, Olimpic with 44, Čelikwith 41, Slavija with 40, Široki Brijeg with 39, Leotar with 35, Zrinjski with 33, Velež with 32, Radnik with 31, Zvijezda with 29, Travnik with 27, GOŠK with 26 and Gradina with 6 points.Next, 27th round, will be played on 8 May.(D.J.)last_img read more