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Category: Adam Morrison

Caught in the Web: Lakers training camp begins in two days

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--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr put together a slide show of Paul Pierce's jersey retirement at Inglewood High earlier this week.

--ESPN.com's Larry Coon has all the details on what you need to know regarding a possible lockout in 2011.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding reports that Staples Center will get a $10-million scoreboard.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia credits Phil Jackson for poking the Miami Heat.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky host another round-table discussion, in which they ask writers, including myself, whether Kobe Bryant will win the MVP. BK also puts together a solid list of things to look for during training camp.

--The New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence reports that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar considered going to St. John's.

--Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby thinks Adam Morrison could help the Wizards. Kerby also highlights the new NBA uniforms.

--Lakers.com's Ty Nowell has details on the death of former Lakers trainer Frank O'Neill.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford looks at the possibility that Andrew Bynum may miss the season opener.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark looks at some of the story lines surrounding the Lakers' season.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano previews the Lakers' 2010-2011 season.

--Lakers of Fire's Garrett Wilson profiles Luke Walton.

Tweet of the Day: "we wont see jupiter for another 500 hundred years when will we see venus? who said jupiter is a star. i thought just pluto was going thru drama now jupiter oh no!!!!" -- RONARTESTCOM (Lakers forward Ron Artest)

Reader Comment of the Day:"We have gone through 3 years of rehab and injury timetables with AB that have never been on schedule, so I ask this.... 1. What workout, strength and cardio activities has he been doing? 2. Is he using the Alter G or running on his own? Lakers are saying they are "hopeful" he will be ready at start of regular season. He's got a month to be "game" ready. So, by mid-October, if he's not cleared for "basketball activities or contact", IMO, he is recovering slowly again and can't possibly be ready for opening night. I will be respectful as I don't want to start another blog rumble but that's a bummer. I will just hope for the best which is to be out there for the opening tip on 10/26." -- PsychedLakerGirl

-- Mark Medina
Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant poses for a picture during last year's Media Day. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Lakers training camp starts in three days

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains how Lakers forward Pau Gasol has made a positive impact on the international scene. Ding also highlights Ron Artest's suggestion that San Diego should trade the Chargers to L.A. for the Clippers.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk with Artest. Among the main highlights: Artest has given himself the nickname "Jockstrap Ron." Listen to find out why.

-- The Washington Post's Michael Lee reports that former Laker Adam Morrison has accepted the Wizards' training-camp invitation on a make-good contract.

-- Sign on San Diego's Mark Zeigler explains why Artest is upset that Pluto is no longer a planet.

-- Lakers.com lists the top moment of 2009-10. Feel free to guess what it is.

-- Hooped Up showcases Rick Fox's performance on "Dancing With the Stars" in the video below.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark is excited about the season starting.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano looks at the NBA's past super teams.

-- Lakers of Fire's Garrett Wilson profiles Derrick Caracter.

Tweet of the Day: "On my way to workout with @RobKardashian. Training camp starts on Saturday. No breaks! Life is good." -- RealLamarOdom (Lakers forward Lamar Odom)

Reader Comment of the Day: "On the one hand as some have pointed out, Bynum being out in the preseason will give some of the young guns more playing time and a chance to prove they belong on the team. On the other hand, we know that basketball shape is acquired playing basketball. Also, the new additions need to play with 'the starters' to develop a sense of chemistry and basketball rapport that only comes with playing with each other. Phil mentioned it, teamwork! You can not develop teamwork with the rest of your teammates if you are not on the court. Phil looks for certain lineups that give him a particular advantage during a game. It will be hard to figure out how Drew will fit with Blake, Barnes, and even Caracter playing together unless.... yup, they play together. Let's also not forget that they will be learning the triangle offense in the process, and Bynum needs to be a part of that puzzle. It will happen, but you want that to happen sooner rather than later." -- Laker J

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and the team begin training camp in four days. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Preseason question of the day: Will the Lakers manage to rest their starters enough this season for the playoffs?

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Whenever I hear the tired argument that Phil Jackson has won 11 championship rings simply because he's coached some of the league's best players, I offer a litany of responses.

Jackson knows how to manage egos: he properly assesses which players need their space, which players need positive reinforcement and which players respond well to criticism. Jackson knows how to keep his team relaxed: he properly assesses when to keep an even keel, when to express anger and when to maintain his sense of humor. And most importantly, Jackson knows how to get his team looking its best once the postseason begins: He properly assesses how to pace the team through the regular-season grind, when to dial the intensity down and when to raise the level up.

Surprisingly enough, the Lakers actually entered the 2010 postseason looking far from their best. Kobe Bryant (sprained right knee), Andrew Bynum (strained left Achilles tendon) and Sasha Vujacic (sprained left ankle) entered the postseason with significant injuries. The team had limped into the playoffs with a 4-7 mark in the last 11 regular season games. And because of the bench's inconsistency, it was unclear whether the Lakers would really have the depth to absorb injuries during the postseason.

Fortunately for the Lakers, everything turned out all right. They won the 2010 championship and the Lakers proved healthy enough to slog through June. It can't be stressed enough how instrumental the weeklong rest between the West semifinals (Utah) and the West finals (Phoenix) became in the Lakers' title run. After getting his knee drained following Game 5 of the first-round series against Oklahoma City, Bryant sat out practices entirely for the rest of the postseason. So  did Bynum, who had torn cartilage in his right knee and eventually drained his knee twice during the playoffs. And everyone else on the roster at least enjoyed catching their breath and recovering from the numerous dings they absorbed throughout the season.

It's a good thing they rested then because the Lakers didn't have the same luxury during the regular season. Although the team overcame that challenge, it's something they would much rather avoid doing. That's without a doubt one of the biggest preseason questions: how much rest will the Lakers starters receive during the regular season so they're at their full strength  during the playoffs?

 

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Former Laker Adam Morrison working out for the Boston Celtics

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After acquiring Shaquille O'Neal during the offseason, the Boston Celtics could also be signing another former Laker. Adam Morrison, let go by the Lakers in the offseason, has worked out this week for the Celtics' front office and coaching staff and plans to work out again Wednesday, reported Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports!.

The report, however, says the Celtics aren't close to assessing whether they'd offer Morrison a contract for training camp. Morrison has battled plenty of frustrations in the NBA after a storied career with Gonzaga that included being a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden awards and being considered one of the nation's top college basketball players, along with Duke's J.J. Redick.

After the Charlotte Bobcats selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2006 NBA draft, Morrison displayed some defensive liabilities, suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2007 and became part of a trade package that sent him and Shannon Brown to the Lakers in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic.

Morrison collected two championship rings while he was in L.A., but he experienced limited playing time and became the subject of jokes on late-night talk shows. Nonetheless, teammates credited him for his sense of humor, hard work in practice and positive attitude.

After the Lakers let him go this offseason, Morrison worked out for several NBA teams prior to the draft, but none offered him a deal.

-- Mark Medina
Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Former Laker Adam Morrison. Credit: Alex Gallardo/Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Catching up with Lakers' stories

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-- The Times' Lisa Dillman takes a look at the Lakers' schedule.

-- The Times' Patrick McGreevy reports that various lawmakers received Lakers playoff tickets from a stadium developer.

-- NBA.com's Steve Aschburner argues Kobe Bryant is the favorite to win the 2011-12 regular season MVP award.

-- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper reports that the Lakers don't plan to shed costs next season.

-- Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin isn't surprised Buss isn't cutting player's salaries.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky focuses in depth on Adam Morrison's NBA career. The Kamenetzky brothers also have a podcast on Shannon Brown's re-signing and the Lakers' entire off-season movement.

-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller isn't surprised one bit that the Lakers are playing the Heat on Christmas Day.

-- Fox Sports West's Matt Smith argues the Shaq-Kobe rivalry still exists.

-- Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks to Lakers shooting coach Chuck Person. Trudell also has an extensive photo gallery of the Laker Girls tryouts.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark has a report card on Lakers center Andrew Bynum. Meanwhile, Silver Screen and Roll's wondahbap has a report card on Lakers forward Ron Artest.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Jeff Skibiski misses Nick Van Exel.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano shares his take on Browns' re-signing.

Tweet of the Day: "Another crazy nite in DC, time 2 get serious wit bball now. 2 wrkouts 2day" -- DevinEbanks3 (Lakers forward Devin Ebanks)

Reader Comment of the Day: "It's great having a place to stop and get a Laker fix, even when nothing at all is going on." -- Mamba24

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant enjoys himself at the championship parade. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Lakers pursuing Raja Bell

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-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that free-agent guard Raja Bell will decide sometime next week whether he will play with the Lakers.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding asks readers whether Derek Fisher or Steve Blake will prove more valuable to the Lakers next season.

-- Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin predicts that Bryant will be very persuasive during his meeting with Bell.

-- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper says the Lakers have gotten better this off-season.

-- The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde writes that the Lakers are pursuing Bell because of the Heat's size on the perimeter.

-- ESPN Los Angeles Brian Kamenetzky talks to Byron Scott about coaching Cleveland without LeBron James, Derek Fisher staying with the Lakers and the Showtime Era.

-- Ball Don't Lie's Trey Kerby highlights the various teams taking a look at Adam Morrison.

-- The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds highlights Dwyane Wade's belief that the Lakers are favored to win the 2011 NBA title.

-- Fox Sports' Charley Rosen predicts that Blake will have a significant impact on the Lakers.

-- Dime Magazine talks to former Laker Trevor Ariza in the video below about his off-season workouts.

-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford predicts that Shannon Brown will no longer be with the Lakers if Bell joins the team.

-- Lakers.com's Mike Trudell explains that the team's main goal in summer league entails making sure that players know the triangle offense.

-- The Miami Herald's Michael Wallace reports that Scott remains on good terms with Pat Riley, the Heat president and former Lakers coach, despite the team recently acquiring James.

-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius looks at what's next on the Lakers' off-season itinerary.

-- Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore writes on SB Nation about how James' move to Miami will affect the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Rick Fox just compared Derrick Caracter to Trevor Ariza on NBA TV. Whoops." -- mcten (ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I’m not sure I approve of how Kobe researches free agent talent. First Ron Artest and now Raja Bell, two guys that he has had altercations with in the past. I’m afraid next year someone might decide they would like to impress Kobe and play with the Lakers, and they’ll just hit him over the head with a two by four." -- phred

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell have a contentious history together, but that won't stop Bryant from visiting Bell on Wednesday in an effort to persuade him to join the Lakers. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Looking ahead to rest of Lakers' free-agency movement

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There's no such thing as a Lakers off-season, but there have been very few things that have caused the organization to stress out during the dog days of summer. Sure, there was the uncertainty on whether Phil Jackson would return, but he decided a week after considering retirement to stay for one more year. There were also a few questions on whether Derek Fisher would remain or join the super-team that is the Miami Heat. Other than that, it's all been clear skies.

Lakers fans have sneered at LeBron James and "The Decision," a move that makes the Heat a legitimate contender against the Lakers. But I believe the defending champs still remain the favorite for the 2010-11 season. Lakers fans have enjoyed some summer league action, with rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter proving to be some of the top players thus far. And surely, Lakers fans have taken a break from basketball and enjoyed normal summer enjoyments such as the beach, sleeping in and doing nothing. For the sake of the blog's Web traffic numbers, I hope that's not the case. For the sake of everyone having a balanced life, I hope it's so.

The Lakers have their main corps intact, but that doesn't mean General Manager Mitch Kupchak can take vacation just yet. Among the items on the agenda

1. What to do with Shannon Brown

Brown opted out of his contract, but that was done with the hope that he could either get a long-term deal with the Lakers or see if his market value would give him a better financial deal than the $2.1 million he was going to make this season. Though The Times' Broderick Turner reported Brown has attracted interest from the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz, there's been little indication that he's been heavily sought. Nonetheless, the Lakers have considered keeping Brown as long as it's financially feasible because they like his upside and attitude. Nonetheless, The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Turner report the Lakers lately are considering letting him go.

2. Will Lakers pick up more free agents?

With the Lakers signing former Clipper guard Steve Blake to a four-year, $16-million deal and agreeing with Fisher to a three-year deal worth about $10.5 million, The Times reports that the Lakers have a total payroll worth $89.09 million. The NBA salary cap for the 2010-11 season will be at $58.04 million, while a dollar-for-dollary luxury tax threshold will kick in at $70.31 million. The Lakers also have $1.77 million left on their mid-level exception. With the Lakers needing to fill four more names to their roster, it's unclear how they'll do moving forward with the money constraints.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported that Bryant will meet Wednesday with free agent guard Raja Bell, adding more intrigue to their relationship, given the contentiousness they had in the 2006 playoffs, which serves as an integral reason why Bryant wants him. Acquiring Bell would instantly add a defensive presence to the backcourt, a variable the Lakers sorely lacked last season. Bresnahan and Turner have also indicated Shaun Livingston is an option, though he's had incredibly bad luck with injuries. Some Laker fans have wondered if Tracy McGrady is an option, but as McGrady indicated on his Twitter account the Lakers' front office hasn't contacted him. Tweeted McGrady: "laker nation is coming hard for me... no talks with front office yet tho."

3. What about Adam Morrison , D.J. Mbenga and Josh Powell?

Nothing new has been reported since, but it's been indicated that the Lakers don't expect to keep Morrison, Mbenga or Powell. Each brought great attitude and work ethic to practice, but didn't receive much playing time. Nonetheless, the Lakers haven't made any decisions.

4. How about the rookies?

Kupchak stressed after the NBA draft that he wouldn't just keep his draft picks because it'd save him money. They also had to be good. With Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter headlining summer league, Kupchak surely can count on them to help balance his checkbook. If the Lakers keep Ebanks and Caracter after training camp, The Times reports they could make $473,604 as rookie forwards.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak still has a busy off-season. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times.

Adam Morrison doesn't expect the Lakers to keep him but appreciates teammates' support

Many members of the Lakers gathered around the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," basking in the glow of their championship. But Kimmel wanted to crack a joke at one of their teammates' expense.

"Where is Adam Morrison because he was in a suit pretty much the whole time," Kimmel cracked. "I thought it'd be funny if he came out in a uniform for once."

The Lakers on set -- Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic, D.J. Mbenga and Josh Powell -- partly played along, laughing to Kimmel's joke that Morrison looks like a 70s'  porn star and appeared engaged with watching a clip highlighting Morrison's contributions in the Finals. The reel consisted of various zoom-in shots of him sitting on the bench, high-fiving a teammate or jumping up and down on the sideline after a huge play. The Lakers' reaction could've been a lot stronger and the insults would've been largely welcomed since Kimmel wanted to generate laughs. Even though Bryant acknowledged the clip was "funny as hell," he used the opportunity to share how much Morrison  meant to the team.

"That's a testament to our team, honestly, because Adam can really play," Bryant said. "He can really,  really go. For him to take a step back and to do things like that really helped us get to that championship level."

Morrison appeared in only 31 games, averaging 2.4 points on 37.6% shooting in 7.8 minutes. Morrison also acknowledged he doesn't think the Lakers will keep him once he becomes a free agent Thursday, saying, "I didn't play so I don't know why they'd want to bring me back." But Bryant's public support made Morrison feel appreciated.

"It was tough not playing as much, at all, really," he said. "But being part of the team was fun and being with the group of guys that we have is cool."

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Poll questions surrounding the Lakers' off-season

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There's no such thing as an NBA off-season, especially when the Lakers' title run immediately follows with a championship parade in downtown L.A., exit interviews, the NBA draft and soon enough, free agency. The Lakers' likely won't produce another memorable off-season, such as Kobe Bryant's radio tour or Lamar Odom's prolonged negotiations. And it likely won't catch the nation's attention, as say, where LeBron James ends up. Still, there are plenty of things the team must deal with once free agency begins Thursday.

The first order of business involves Coach Phil Jackson, who said during his exit interview that he's leaning toward retirement, a sentiment he reiterated in Montana on Sunday after giving the keynote speech at the Western Governors' Assn. annual meeting. Still, he's not expected to officially make a decision until later in the week after he receives results from the medical tests he took last week that caused him to miss the championship parade. 

Although the Lakers' core -- Bryant, Odom, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest -- are locked into long-term deals, they have several free-agents, including guard Derek Fisher. It appears the team unanimously wants Fisher back. Lakers guard Shannon Brown recently opted out of his contract, though the Lakers own his "early-bird" rights. Guard Jordan Farmar made it abundantly clear he wants out of L.A. And if it were up to D.J. Mbenga, Adam Morrison and Josh Powell, they'd remain Lakers, though The Times' Broderick Turner recently talked to an NBA executive who said the team doesn't plan to keep any of those three players. There's the interesting revelation, as reported by The Times' Mark Heisler, that said the Lakers are considering dumping Odom's salary a season after re-signing him to a four-year deal worth $34 million with a player option in the final season. And there's the contention from General Manager Mitch Kupchak that the team's most urgent need involves the backcourt.

The Lakers will answer at least some of these questions this week, but in the meantime, it's best to hear what fans of the L.A. Times' Lakers blog think will happen. After all, they live and breathe this team. And they'll be the first to attest that there is no such thing as a Lakers' off-season. Based on the poll results below, I'll then follow up with an analysis piece assessing how Lakers fans think everything will transpire once free agency begins.

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Audio of Adam Morrison's exit interview

Highlights from Adam Morrison's exit interview

-- He showed up late and had actually left the Lakers' facilities before a team official tracked him down

-- Morrison believes the team isn't going to re-sign him since he hadn't played much

-- Morrison isn't thrilled with "being the butt of jokes," as he calls it, for his lack of playing time, but has come to accept it, including the skit from "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

-- Morrison wore a "Rage Against the Machine" T-shirt to his interview with the media, leading one reporter to jokingly ask if he's angry with Sasha Vujacic. Morrison awkwardly didn't play along.

-- He appreciated the support he felt from his teammates. Though many of them have labeled Morrison the funniest player on the team, he declined to share any stories, saying none of them were appropriate for publication.

Adam Morrison interview

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

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