HoopsHype Wayne Ellington rumors

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March 30, 2015 Updates

When Lakers guard Wayne Ellington returns to his hometown of Philadelphia to play the 76ers on Monday, it will mark the first time in his six-year NBA career that his father won't be in the Wells Fargo Center's stands, a proud dad flanked by fellow supporters, bellowing the mantra he shared with his son: “Go to work!” An arena full of thousands of people will feel empty. “It's going to be tough having all my family there and he won't be there with us,” said Ellington. “It will be tough. He enjoyed that.” Orange County Register

It's the time away from the game that worries Ellington. The pending months that separate the end of one season from the beginning of the next are a void in which he fears the weight of loss will finally catch up to him. “I'm kind of nervous for the offseason,” he said. “I don't have a routine, I don't have things to do that I need to be doing every day. I think it probably would be smart to figure some things out.” Orange County Register

One way he plans to busy himself this summer is by starting a foundation in his father's memory. As a model, he points to the work Chicago Bulls stars Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose have done to raise awareness of gun violence. Orange County Register

March 27, 2015 Updates

“Coach is a tough guy,” Ellington said of Scott. “He checks the personal things at the door. At the same time, it’s something that is very hard to do.” Ellington would know. He took an 11-day leave of absence after his father was shot and killed earlier this season. Although Ellington said basketball served as a refuge, he admitted his mind often wandered to his dad. Through the first week of his mother’s passing, Scott’s friendly and honest demeanor with reporters went unchanged, too. Shortly after the Lakers announced his mom’s death, Scott teared up while reflecting on her before politely ending a pregame news conference. Los Angeles Daily News

March 21, 2015 Updates

Scott said the Lakers will “absolutely” consider re-signing Ellington this offseason after gushing about his improvement as a shooter and defender. But the Lakers will prioritize the NBA draft and marquee free agents. “He made himself a valuable part of this team,” Scott said. “We don’t know what next year holds. But he has shown 30 teams he knows how to play the game.” Los Angeles Daily News

But after Wayne Robert Ellington Sr. was murdered on Nov. 9, 2014 at the age of 57 in downtown Philadelphia, his son’s pre-game ritual has taken on a new twist. Ellington inscribed another phrase that says “RIP POPS.” Ellington’s tributes to his father on his shoes serve as painful inspiration as the Lakers guard has handled both grief over his loss and anger over an unspeakable crime. “There are some days I wish I didn’t do it. I get a little emotional,” Ellington said in an interview with Los Angeles News Group. “But it helps me out a lot. It gives me extra strength and extra motivation.” Los Angeles Daily News

“It’s been tough, but basketball has really been keeping me afloat,” said Ellington, who has averaged 12.3 points at as the Lakers’ starting shooting guard for 33 games amid Kobe Bryant’s season-ending right shoulder injury. “It helps me stay locked in on something instead of having my mind wander a lot of times.” Los Angeles Daily News

Moments later, Altschuler delivered the devastating news to Ellington as he stood outside an arena hallway. His father died from a gunshot wound to the left side of his head while sitting in his 2001 Oldsmobile in downtown Philadelphia, according to city police. “I didn’t want to believe it. I lost it, got weak and I fell to the floor. I didn’t know what to do,” Ellington said. “I was at a loss for words and emotions.” Los Angeles Daily News

That support partly explained why Ellington still watched Lakers games during his absence and eventually missed only six games. But how can anyone jump back into a normal routine as if nothing changed? “He was quieter,” Scott said of Ellington. “You could tell there were times in practice his mind would wander and his thoughts would go back to his dad.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 11, 2015 Updates

“Guys are motivated to play,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “The one thing I haven’t seen is the selfishness that comes with guys having only one year on their contract and wanting to get paid.” Player accounts generally agree with Scott’s assessment that the Lakers’ players have not used games to pad their box scores. But some players concede their uncertain future still affects them mentally. “You’re talking about people’s careers. Everybody is aware of what’s going on,” Wayne Ellington said. “But at the same time, you don’t want to do anything detrimental. You want to play the right way and not force things. You don’t want to be selfish. It seems like guys have done that well.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 9, 2015 Updates

Whiteside then got a tryout with the Lakers, but didn't get an invite to training camp. "They picked Wayne Ellington over me," he says. Then came an invite to go to the Grizzlies' camp. He played in five preseason games before getting cut -- again, no surprise, given Memphis's roster, with Marc Gasol an All-Star incumbent at center, Zach Randolph newly extended and Kosta Koufos set as the backup big man. "Chris Wallace (the Grizzlies' GM) told me to just go down and dominate the D-League, and I thought I could, too," Whiteside said. "They had a lot of bigs. Gasol was playing really well. Maybe they didn't need me. I found my own path." NBA.com

February 19, 2015 Updates
February 4, 2015 Updates

Elaine Ellington, the victim's wife, who traveled to Philadelphia from her North Carolina home, said: "It's just taking a toll on my family. This is not a relief. It's a long time. We're just managing." Family members said that Ellington had lived both in West Mount Airy and in North Carolina. They said Wayne Ellington Jr. was not able to come to Philadelphia for the hearing. Philadelphia Inquirer

January 7, 2015 Updates

The Lakers have until 2 p.m. PST on Wednesday to decide on the contracts of Wayne Ellington, Ronnie Price and Tarik Black. All NBA players on nonguaranteed contracts become locked in if not placed on waivers by the Wednesday deadline. Ellington is under contract for $1.1 million, of which $581,692 is guaranteed. Price's contract is $1.3 million, with $658,405 guaranteed. Black, who was claimed off waivers from the Houston Rockets in late December, is earning a nonguaranteed rookie minimum of $507,336. He's also under contract next season, at a nonguaranteed $845,059. Los Angeles Times

December 23, 2014 Updates
December 11, 2014 Updates

The elementary-school kids emulating that batch of "next Jordans" now are in their 20s, filling up NBA rosters. Debates of Bryant, Carter (now with the Memphis Grizzlies) and McGrady (retired but discussing a comeback) now are tinged with nostalgia. "For sure, there's no question; he definitely won that debate," said Lakers shooting guard Wayne Ellington, 27. "I grew up really watching Kobe a lot. ... I've always just loved his game, ever since him coming out of high school. I watched him close." Wade insists Jordan will forever be the measuring stick for shooting guards. But he also acknowledges his sons (the oldest is 12) know Jordan "probably more so because of his sneakers," he said. USA Today Sports

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