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March 31, 2015 Updates
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 29, 2015 Updates

Lakers guard Jeremy Lin will sit out of today’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclasy Center because of an upper respiratory infection that has worsened in recent days. Lin went through all of Saturday’s practice and maintained he could play despite looking visibly distraught. Lin’s voice also sounded soft. Yet, Lin has averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 assists in the past four games since nursing the illness. Lakers guard Wayne Ellington will start in Lin’s place, while starting point guard Jordan Clarkson and backup guard Jabari Brown will see more playing time. As for Lin, Scott believes he will recover in time to play on Monday in Philadelphia. Los Angeles Daily News

“You have a lot of free agents out there who would love to play for us. They’ve been making it pretty clear,” Scott said. “You have guys during the games come by the bench saying, ‘Hey Coach, I would love to be in L.A. next year.’ That makes you feel good there are players out there that want to be here. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re taking it in a different direction. They know this organization and the history of the organization is going to be back.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 28, 2015 Updates

The Lakers could not sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony last summer. Both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol also left in consecutive offseasons without the Lakers receiving anything in return. But Scott called those developments the “past” and exuded optimism beyond the Lakers’ usual talking points about their 16 NBA championships. “You have a lot of free agents out there who would love to play for us. They’ve been making it pretty clear,” Scott said. “You have guys during the games come by the bench saying, ‘Hey Coach, I would love to be in L.A. next year.’ That makes you feel good there are players out there that want to be here. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re taking it in a different direction. They know this organization and the history of the organization is going to be back.” Los Angeles Daily News

“The turnaround can be just as quickly here as it was in New Jersey,” Scott said. “But obviously you have to hit a home run in the free agent market and with your draft pick. We have the capability of doing that.” The Lakers could have as many as four draft picks, both in the first and second round. The Lakers will also have enough cap space to sign one marquee free agent at a max-level contract, possible candidates including Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Miami’s Goran Dragic and Dallas’ Rajon Rondo. Los Angeles Daily News

March 27, 2015 Updates

But the Wizards have an almost uniquely sad regional map. There are more Wizards Twitter followers than for any other team in just three areas: Montgomery County in Maryland, Fairfax County in Virginia, and Alexandria. What does that leave out? Well, the District of Columbia, where the Lakers lead the way. Also Prince George’s County, the team’s former home, where the Wizards finish third in Twitter followers, behind the Lakers and Heat. Also Arlington, where the Wizards are behind the Lakers, Bulls and Heat. That’s three teams! Washington Post

Little did they know that Byron Scott spent a whole week coaching while privately grieving his mother, Dorothy, who died March 15 at the age of 72. Lakers forward Ed Davis learned about Scott’s mother dying on Twitter. Lakers guard Wayne Ellington found out shortly before the Lakers left for their seven-day, five-game trip. Lakers assistant Paul Pressey briefly took over head-coaching duties. Scott will return when the Lakers (19-51) visit the Toronto Raptors (42-30) on Friday at Air Canada Centre after missing contests in Oklahoma City and Minnesota this week to attend his mother’s funeral services. Los Angeles Daily News

“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

 

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