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Category: Cedric Ceballos

ESPYS: Cedric Ceballos explains why he rented a houseboat during Lakers' season

Cedric Ceballos entered the Lakers proving to be a critical piece to the team's rebuilding process, but he left the team on what appeared to be bad terms.

But that's not how Ceballos characterized his three-year career with the Lakers (1994-97) Wednesday at the 2011 ESPY's. He conceded the team's initial struggles in team chemistry and mixing in young talent together, even charging that former Lakers Coach Del Harris "couldn't control us." But Ceballos offered a different take on why he missed two games, two practices and a morning shootaround in 1996 that cost him nearly $55,000 in salary, a move some thought was in response to Magic Johnson taking his playing time.

The Times' Mark Heisler, who's well connected with the team, noted in his book "Madmen's Ball" that Ceballos was absent because he took his family to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and rented a houseboat at the London Bridge Inn & Resort, a trip Heisler said "would tear things between Ceballos and teammates, terminate his usefulness to the Lakers and mark the turning point in a career that was now headed down the drain.

Ceballos painted a vaguely different picture.

"It was some situation with me and my family," said Ceballos, who was soon traded with Rumeal Robinson to the Phoenix Suns for Robert Horry and Joe Kleine. "We were taking care of business. I did the best thing I could do for it. A lot of people either approved or disapproved with it, but the Lakers organization was fine with it and were happy with it. Once they knew what the reasons were, they had no problem at all?

When asked what the reasons were, Ceballos said, "No, it's still private."

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All Thing Lakers: Cedric Ceballos

--Mark Medina

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ESPYS: Robert Horry, Cedric Ceballos, Lisa Leslie & Bonnie-Jill Laflin all argue Lakers need to upgrade at point guard

The overriding theme on what led to the Lakers' early playoff exit in 2011 pointed to their numerous fatigue and injuries accumulated from three consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The overriding theme on how to solve that issue pointed to rest and upgrading the point guard spot.

Of course, this is something that Laker fans have longly debated, but it's telling that former Lakers Robert Horry and Cedric Ceballos, former scout Bonnie-Jill Laflin and former Sparks center Lisa Leslie were so open about it moments before the 2011 ESPY Awards.

It's comforting for the Lakers that they believe a possible lockout-shortened season will do wonders in helping an aging roster recover from fatigue. Said Horry: "They have more time off to rest. If they don't mess with the team and do nothing ridiculous like blowing it up, they'll be fine."

It's comforting for Lakers center Andrew Bynum and forward Pau Gasol to hear Ceballos' spirited defense on why the Lakers shouldn't trade them, even if it could help the Lakers land Magic center Dwight Howard. Said Ceballos: "Dwight, I love the guy. He's unbelievable ... but those guys won championships. You have to go with the guys who won rings for you."

And it's comforting for the Lakers to hear Leslie's argument that "hard work" will help restore the Lakers to another title and Laflin's belief that Kobe Bryant can help lead the Lakers again. 

But this is also discomforting for Derek Fisher. Even close friends in Horry and Leslie conceded the Lakers sorely need to address the point guard situation.

"No disrespect to Derek Fisher. Derek is alone. I've been there, done that. They need a point guard who can distribute the ball, get everyone in order and not be afraid to tell Kobe no," Horry said. "You can't outrun age. I think age has caught up to him. There's some things he can do, but there are some things he can't do."

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at



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