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March 2, 2015 Updates
March 1, 2015 Updates
February 28, 2015 Updates

The Lakers lamented Johnson’s inconsistency last season when he played both at small forward and power forward in Mike D’Antoni’s small-ball system. But the Lakers still re-signed him to a one-year deal for around $1 million after he posted previous career-highs in points (9.1), shooting percentage (42.5) and rebounds (4.4) Johnson has appreciated Kobe Bryant’s mentorship and playing strictly at small forward under Scott. “I want to definitely stay here,” said Johnson about his pending free agency. “I like coach Scott and the whole coaching staff. I love it here. I definitely want to be a part of when they get back.” Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers could buy out contracts to clear up roster space either to acquire a free agent or through the Development League. But Scott said he has not had any discussions with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. It also seems unlikely the Lakers will do that, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Los Angeles Daily News

Directed by Gotham Chopra, the 83-minute film contains a wealth of rarely seen footage that reaches back to Bryant's early childhood in Italy. By turns charming, cocky, remorseful and emotional, the celebrated and divisive superstar probes his past in the film with an openness and candor rarely seen during his 18-year pro basketball career. "I didn't want to write a book — I don't have the patience to do that," Bryant said in a phone interview. "We wanted to create something really different, very truthful. Cinematically, we wanted to do something that would be different from the ways documentaries are shot. This was about doing something that was fun, but also honest." Los Angeles Times

At the core of the project is Bryant's all-consuming passion for basketball, a double-edged sword that drove him to greatness but also often alienated him from teammates, friends and family. Since skipping college and entering the NBA at 18, he had a solitary goal — to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. "This was my life," he declares in the documentary, looking straight at the camera. "You can't possibly become better than me because you're not spending the time on it that I am. Even if you wanted to spend the time, you can't, because you have other things, other responsibilities taking you away from it. So I already won." Los Angeles Times

February 27, 2015 Updates

Our sources say Davis -- the #3 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft -- has been speaking with several squads who feel he could be a good backup for a young point guard. We're told the Clippers and the Cavs are among the playoff contenders interested in Davis ... with the Lakers also in the conversation. We're told so far ... there is NOT a deal in place, but that could change very soon. TMZ.com

Tadas Bulotas, Mantas Kalnietis' agent, told Lithuanian television Sport1 that his client has received interest from 3 NBA teams. New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have already showed interest for Kalnietis and Pacers could be the most likely destination for him, his agent told. Sportando

Jeremy Lin remembers the packet. The Houston Rockets distributed it at season's end, an ocean of personalized data slimmed down to a few pages. It showed that the point guard was one of the NBA's best at driving and making plays at the rim, but that he also struggled shooting from the left wing and 3-pointers off the dribble. "Things like that, I didn't know," Lin said. It helped shape his offseason training regimen. Lin is savvy on the subject, one he has been interested in dating back to his playing days at Harvard. He said his agent even doubles as a personal analytics assistant. "I'm not going to overreact to some numbers," Lin said. "I want to know what they are, though." The franchise catered to Lin's interests well. ESPN.com

"If you ask the analytics people who work in the NBA, 'Who does work for the Lakers?' Nobody knows," said Ben Alamar, director of production analytics at ESPN and a former analytics official for multiple NBA teams, including the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers. "It could be that they're being really secretive and that they're really good at being secretive. But they haven't hired anybody that anybody has respect for in the analytics community." ESPN.com

Lakers assistant coach Mark Madsen acts as a liaison between the coaches and analytics crew. When asked how the Lakers' analytics operation compares to others from around the league, a smile spreads across his face. "All I can say is this operation here is second to none," Madsen said. ESPN.com

Despite Madsen's enthusiasm for the numbers, one analytics official familiar with the Lakers' operation said that Madsen's work is "not well-received" by Scott and the other coaches, and that any advanced stats the Lakers are using are "really, really basic." For instance, although Scott cited how analytics revealed that Bryant's performance suffered after reaching a certain minute mark, he noted it only after Bryant was so fatigued that he had started to miss games. It wasn't long until Bryant was lost for the season to a shoulder injury. ESPN.com

February 26, 2015 Updates

Kobe Bryant: But the facts are facts. The salary cap is the salary cap. Players aren't going to leave millions and millions of dollars on the table twice to come here and play. It's just not realistic. Wanting LeBron (James) to come here and take a massive pay cut again (last summer), after taking a big one to go to Miami, is not realistic. Melo (Carmelo Anthony) leaving $15-20 (million) on the table to come here is not realistic. So we have certain restrictions, but we'll figure it out. USA Today Sports

Q: You and I talked earlier this season about that concept, the fact that so many people kept assuming you'd want out at some point because of how bad things had gotten (with the present-day Lakers). A: That's not what I do, man. I've got to take the good times with the bad, man. You can't ask to be the leader of the franchise, and then when the franchise hits rough times, you say, "All right, thank you. Peace." USA Today Sports

Kobe Bryant: I tried teaching Dwight. I tried showing him. But the reality is that when you have a perception of what it is to win a championship — and most perceptions of what it's like to win are a very outgoing, very gregarious locker room where you pick each other up and you're friends all the time. That's the perception. And I think that's what his perception was of what the idea is. But when he saw the reality of it, it made him uncomfortable. And it's very tough to be able to fight through that, to deal with that challenge. And I don't think he was willing to deal with that uncomfortable and combative nature. USA Today Sports

Another out-of-left-field one for ya, but have you talked to Lamar Odom lately? Kobe: I have. Q: How is he? Kobe: He's doing good. He's doing good, man. I've talked to him during some of the low times for him, and I think during those moments it's funny how sports can be really impactful because I used what we did as a team, and the toughness and the mental fortitude and shared some stories to kind of remind him of that journey, right? And to take him back to that place, to hopefully get him to find that place again and get himself out of this thing. USA Today Sports

 

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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