What the Oklahoma City Thunder have accomplished in a matter of years is outstanding.
They have two perennial all-stars in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Need I say more?
They took their talents to South Beach and back, eventually dropping the ball in the Finals. It wasn’t for nothing, though. The Thunder made a hard statement that was somewhat lost on them in playoff series in the years before, regardless of soft showing in the final four games against the Heat. They made their presence known in the Western conference as they swam past the undefeated Spurs. While San Antonio held the torch in skill and experience, they couldn’t keep up with the much younger, quicker, and more explosive team.
With a new season urging forward and only a few weeks away, one wouldn’t be completely false to say that the Thunder were sharing the reins with the Spurs in the West. They may not be farther from number 1 in the West then the ladder, but not by much. The speed is great, but they’re young. Inexperience has its faults. Russell Westbrook looked less of point guard and more of ball hog in the Finals series, and it seemed like Durant was often left open on the wing, arms flailing, but not asserting himself for possession when that was truly what the team needed. Skill and experience comes hand-in-hand with the age of the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a simple fact; they’ve done better for longer. no comments
Yes, they have Chris Paul running the court in the Staples Center painted red, white and blue. And yes, they have the always entertaining and high-flying Blake Griffin. But are those two players along with a talented to decent entourage of role players and back-ups enough to force the purple and gold out of L.A.? Still, probably not.
Let’s face it; the Clippers are no stranger to losing seasons and being outshined. While the Clippers have boosted their skill, athleticism, and fan base with more explosive play due to their recent acquisitions, the Lakers are a well-seasoned dynasty. So they will have to have a lot to challenge the Lakers for the title of best in L.A.
So what exactly do the Clippers have that will pose a serious problem to Kobe and his new Laker team? They’ve lost a lot of upper hands in the course of one off season. The point guard position and the bench position had easily been the weakest aspect of the Los Angeles Lakers in past years. With the acquisition of Steve Nash, the offensive side of the point guard position has been satisfied. With players like Chris Duhon, Antawn Jamison, and the newly signed rookie Darius Johnson-Odom, they have plugged up a few of the holes that weakened their bench squad. no comments
Last Season: 41-25. 1st in Pacific Divsion. 3rd seed in Western Conference. Lost to Oklahoma City 4-1 in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Who's Gone: Andrew Bynum (traded to Philadelphia); Derek Fisher (traded to Houston mid-season); Ramon Sessions (FA – signed by Charlotte); Matt Barnes (FA – signed by Clippers); Josh McRoberts (traded to Orlando); Luke Walton (traded to Cleveland mid-season); Troy Murphy (unsigned – FA); Jason Kapono (traded to Cleveland mid-season); and Christian Eyenga (traded to Orlando).
Who's New: Players: Steve Nash (sign-and-trade with Phoenix); Dwight Howard (acquired from Orlando); Jordan Hill (acquired from Houston last season); Antawn Jamison (signed – FA); Jodie Meeks (signed – FA); Chris Duhon (acquired from Orlando); Earl Clark (acquired from Orlando); Robert Sacre (rookie) and Darius Johnson-Odom (rookie).
Coaches: Eddie Jordan (Assistant – Philadelphia); Steve Clifford (Assistant – Orlando); and Bernie Bickerstaff (Assistant – Portland).
Regardless of your feelings towards Metta World Peace, there's one thing we can all agree — he's never boring.
Tonight, Metta will host "Comedy Slam Dunk, a fundraiser for his on-going support for mental health at Hollywood's famed Laugh Factory from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Tom Arnold, Alex Scott, Malik S and Chris D'Elia are part of the line-up that will have Metta as the quasi featured performer as he plans on throwing in a few of his own jokes in-between each act. According to Metta, his material was inspired during his private visits to his bathroom and are aimed to offend everyone – including himself.
Tickets can be purchased for $30 per person at the Laugh Factory or at his website ronartest.com.
The upcoming 2012-2013 season is going to be one of the most highly-anticipated seasons in the history of the Lakers.
With the a new and exciting core and an improved bench, expectations are high for the Lakers but ticket availability for non-season ticket holders (or true fans) will be scarce at best. If you've tried purchasing a pre-season ticket lately, you know what I'm talking about.
But if you want to try your luck, Ticketmaster (not Staples Center, oddly enough) will be selling individual tickets on Saturday, Sept. 22nd starting at 10 a.m.
If you haven't purchased a ticket prior to pre-season before, I highly suggest contacting your nearest Ticketmaster outlet now and ask if they'll be selling tickets on site. Never assume they will just because they're an official Ticketmaster retail location.
If your preferred location is selling tickets on site, I can't emphasize enough to plan ahead of time (and expect a huge crowd) as these tickets will be gone in a matter of a few minutes whether you're buying in person or online.
There will be a limit of 4 tickets max. per person, per game.
Since the acquisition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, the average Lakers season ticket cost increased from $1 to $38 on 26 home games and around $242 to $247 in general — including $450 on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks.
When the Lakers traded away Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks a year ago, part of the deal involved the rights to a 2012 2nd round pick. The Lakers used that pick to get themselves, well, another Odom.
This past Friday, Darius Johnson-Odom signed a non-guaranteed contract with the team capping, at least for now, an amazing summer for Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss.
The addition of the 55th overall pick out of Marquette comes exactly a week after the inking of another 2nd-round pick Robert Sacre from Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound shooting guard averaged 3.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists coming off the bench during the summer league in Las Vegas. As a Golden Eagle, Johnson-Odom tallied 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his entire collegiate career. His best game came when he scored 19 points against Washington in a first-round NCAA tournament game. no comments
Not exactly something Laker fans would like to hear but it looks like Dwight Howard's debut in purple and gold will have to wait until some time during the regular season.
Thursday afternoon, the Lakers released an injury update on Howard on their official website. In the 4-paragraph report, it stated that the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will not be ready for training camp and will not play any pre-season games starting on Oct. 7th against the Golden State Warriors in Fresno, California.
It also mentioned that there is no timetable on his return.
Reuters' Lisa Richwine recently talked with the suits of Time Warner Cable, Inc. and other cable and dish providers in Southern California to get an update on the dealings to have every paid television provider carry the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and the all-Spanish Time Warner Cable Deportes.
And for us Laker fans who don't have Time Warner Cable, this is probably our biggest concern right now when it comes to finally watching the reloaded Lakers outside of Staples Center.
Time Warner Cable's regional sports network senior vice president and general manager Mark Shuken insists that the company is working diligently to reach an agreement with other local carriers in time for the October 1st launch of the new channels — or before the Lakers' first pre-season game on October 7th against the Golden State Warriors.
Could it be that the Lakers aren't done bolstering their bench? Probably.
According to SportingNews' Sean Deveney, 9-year veteran Leandro Barbosa could end up with the already revamped Lakers. In the article, Barbosa expresses his patience in his decision due to his desire to be "in the right place" rather than his salary dictates the city he'll end up playing for.
As of now, only the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns are interested in adding the speedy guard from Brazil. The Brooklyn Nets were part of the equation at one point but decided any further pursuit would be to no avail.
Another NBA season is approaching, which means the new installment of 2K Sports' insanely popular franchise, NBA 2K13, is upon us — October 2nd to be exact.
And as usual, 2K Sports has released the first official trailer for NBA 2K13.
Last year, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan grazed the cover and the ability to play as some of the NBA's best teams in history were the highlights of NBA 2K12.
This time around, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose are the cover boys and the 1992 Dream Team is the featured new addition to the playable teams. (Hmmm...maybe that debate on whether or not the 2012 Olympic Men's Basketball Team can beat the original Dream Team can now be settled.)