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LOS ANGELES LAKERS VIDEOS

January 19, 2015 Updates

Looking ahead was “part of the process,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott acknowledged Monday, mentioning team executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. “Obviously, that’s what I’m trying to do and I know Mitch and Jim and everybody, they’re all on board with that as well. We knew this was going to be a tough year, but we also wanted some answers and the answer, especially with Kobe, is he obviously could still play at a very high level.” The goal with Bryant this season, Scott said, now is to get “as much out of him as possible but also to get him to the point where next year he can also play at that high level again and not spend everything he has this year. Because if he plays every game, that’s what he’s going to do — he’s going to go out and play the hardest that he can possibly play and then probably have to take the whole summer to try to recuperate. And that’s just not him either. He wants to continue to work to get better.” Los Angeles Times

Detroit Pistons forward-center Greg Monroe planned for unrestricted free agency so he could choose his next team, and that remains the case. Whether Monroe gets a true max or not, he's going to receive a lucrative deal, and the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are among the possible suitors. USA Today Sports

Shortly before July 1, Dragic will opt out of his $7.5 million player option with the Suns to become an unrestricted free agent. Then, Dragic will learn how much his third-team All-NBA honor, 2014 Most Improved Player award and crafty playmaking will attract on the open market, something he said will force him to make “the toughest decision in my life.” “I’m really happy here in Phoenix and they have given me everything I have ever dreamed,” Dragic said in an interview with Los Angeles Newspaper Group. “I feel like I’m at home here. But I’ll explore my options.” Los Angeles Daily News

Would one of those options include the Lakers? “It’s not just L.A. I think it’s everybody,” Dragic said. “Back in Europe, there are bad teams financially and teams that aren’t organized. But every team in the NBA is a good organization.” Los Angeles Daily News

But not every team has Kobe Bryant, who currently plans to play the final year of his contract for the 2015-16 season. “Any player that is one of the best players in the league would be cool to play with. Kobe is a legend,” Dragic said “I know how awesome it is to be around those superstars. If you’re patient enough and you listen, you learn a lot.” Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he's not surprised that Kobe Bryant has thought about retiring after this season even though he has one year remaining on his contract. "I'm sure it's probably crossed his mind more than once, but we haven't talked about that one bit," Scott said after the Lakers' practice at their facility here Sunday. "It's just game by game -- that's how we're going to approach it and then go from there. I think he'll probably tackle that issue once this season is all said and done." ESPN.com

If Charles Barkley is serious about leaving sports broadcasting when his current contract with Turner Sports expires in 2016 (the prediction in this space is that he will ultimately end up extending his stay with Turner) the network needs to think about a succession plan. The truth is no one can replace Barkley, the most impactful and valuable studio analyst on sports television today. But there is a name out there who could have a Barkley-like impact on an NBA studio show or remote broadcast if he has interest in broadcasting as a post-NBA career. His name is Kobe Bryant. Sports Illustrated

"If he chose to do it he'd be incredible," said ESPN Los Angeles senior writer Ramona Shelburne, who has covered the Lakers since 2003. "He's sarcastic, smart, insightful, fearless. Think the player version of Jeff Van Gundy. I'm not sure he's fun enough for the typical NBA pre and postgame show. The guys that thrive there are the ones who always sat around in a locker room after a game, BS-ing with other players and reporters or coaches. I've seen Kobe do that from time to time, but only when he's soaking his feet in an ice bucket. The rest of the time, he's all business … He is singularly focused on basketball." Sports Illustrated

ESPN NBA host Sage Steele sees the fit. "He's got the resume, the look, he's got the ability to properly articulate his thoughts, and so much more," Steele said. "But most of all, he isn't afraid to give his opinion. So many broadcasters in every sport have awesome insight and strong opinions but once that red light turns on, they are too worried about what their peers who are still in the game will think if they hear it. Will Kobe want to work hard enough to be a genuinely good television analyst? It isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work to stay up on every aspect of the game. So could he be great? Absolutely." Sports Illustrated

Bryant has not discussed any post-career plans publicly and on Sunday he declined comment to SI for this piece via a Lakers spokesperson. But those close to him say he is far more likely to head into business rather than broadcasting or the business of basketball. Sports Illustrated

"[ESPN colleague] J.A. Adande and I were just talking about this the other day. It used to be you had to try to pull Kobe aside after a game to get great quotes or his best insights. He'd grant the 'walk-off' interviews to the reporters he had a relationship with and trusted -- Bill Plashcke, JA, me, Adrian Wojnarowski, Sam Amick, Ken Berger, Howard Beck. But a few years ago, he just started saying everything in front of everybody. He didn't save the best stuff for the walk-off anymore. He just said it in the general press conference with all the cameras. I think this shift happened about the same time he joined Facebook and Twitter and instantly became one of the most interesting athletes to follow." Sports Illustrated

January 18, 2015 Updates
January 16, 2015 Updates
 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN LAKERS HISTORY

Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson headline a fantastic list that includes up to 33 NBA champions.

   

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