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July 30, 2014 Updates

“I was extremely excited,” Lin told Basketball Insiders in a phone interview. “I thought it was great for me to have a new opportunity and a new situation, and I thought that would be an awesome start. I thought it would be cool, obviously, going to L.A. since I’m from California and I have a lot of friends and family out there. I thought it would be a great opportunity playing-wise too, so I was really excited and ready to get out there. “I mean, it’s by far the most prestigious organization I’ve ever been a part of, obviously with all of the championships and just the level that it’s traditionally been known to be at. I think it’s a challenge for us to get the team back to where it was before and I think we have an opportunity to really surprise people this year. I think people aren’t expecting too much from us, and maybe they shouldn’t, but we’re hoping that we obviously do a lot better than anticipated.” Basketball Insiders

Now, Lin seems to block out critics and not worry about what they think. When asked if he feels he has proven that he’s a starting-caliber point guard in the NBA, Lin’s answer is somewhat surprising. “You know what, that’s a good question; I don’t know and I don’t think I actually care anymore, and I think that’s just where I’m at in my life,” Lin said. “I don’t care to figure out what the answer to that question is anymore. Before I [had] kind of like a chip on my shoulder, things to prove, people to prove wrong. Now, I’m just like when I get out there I’m going to play and everyone’s going to formulate their own opinion and it’s going to change every single day. I don’t think my own opinion of myself has ever changed. I still believe I am capable of that. But that’s just me, that’s if you ask me. I’m not really worried about what everyone else is thinking anymore.” Basketball Insiders

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson also said he tried to convince Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks in an hourlong phone conversation. Johnson noted that he spoke at length with Pau Gasol, who chose to leave for the Chicago Bulls instead of staying with the Lakers. "We had a great conversation but I think the way he was treated last season, kind of hurt him," said Johnson. "Here's a guy 18 [points] and 10 [rebounds], shooting over 50% and you want to bench him? You want to mess with this guy? He could never get over that." Los Angeles Times

Magic Johnson was on hand on Monday when the Lakers welcomed his former teammate, Byron Scott, as the Lakers' next head coach. Had Scott not taken the Cleveland Cavaliers job in 2010, he might have been hired by then-owner Jerry Buss after Phil Jackson retired after the 2010-11 season. "Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil didn't know what he was going to do" in 2010, said Johnson. "Byron took the Cleveland job, and he took it too early. I called and said: 'B., you took the job too early. Dr. Buss wanted you to be the coach." Los Angeles Times

For the first time since 1996, the Lakers this summer went under the salary cap, using their spending power to acquire Jeremy Lin in trade from the Houston Rockets and sign Nick Young to a four-year, $21.3-million contract. Once the team climbed back over the cap ($63.1 million for the 2014-15 season), they gained a $2.732 million "room exception," of which $1.65 million went to re-sign power forward Ryan Kelly -- leaving a remainder of $1.082 million. On Friday, the Lakers re-signed Xavier Henry on what was originally believed to be a one-year deal at a minimum salary of $980,431. Instead, Henry received an additional $101,569 -- the $1.082-million sliver available from the Lakers' room exception. Los Angeles Times

July 29, 2014 Updates

Johnson said Dr. Jerry Buss, late owner of the Lakers, wanted to hire Scott. “We were in a suite,’’ Johnson said Tuesday. “(Buss) called me up there and he said, ‘Ervin, you know, I would love, I think, for Byron to coach this team one day.’ And Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil (Jackson) didn’t know what he was going to do.’’ But Scott took the head coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I called him and said, ‘B, you took that job too early!” Magic recalled. “‘Dr. Buss wanted you to be the coach.'” For The Win

As he has labored tirelessly through back pain for the last two years, Steve Nash all but confirmed the obvious when looking ahead on what the last year of his $9.7 million with the Lakers will mean for his NBA future. “I think this is my last season,” said the 40-year-old Nash in a video posted by Sport TV. But I still love to play, practice and work on my game. I’m going to spend hopefully many many years living this life without basketball. It’ll be nice to play one more year.” Los Angeles Daily News

 

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