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Category: Chick Hearn

NBA Lockout: Things to do during the work stoppage


Barely a week has gone by for NBA fans who have been left twiddling their thumbs wondering if there's going to be a 2011-2012 season.

Aside from the exercise becoming quickly monotonous, basketball fans should expect that nothing will happen for a fairly significant time. The Times' Mark Heisler recently noted there's not going to be much urgency to reach a new collective bargaining agreement until the NFL lockout ends and the work stoppage ultimately affects the schedule and paychecks. So there are things fans can do to pass the time, hopefully not at the expense of suddenly becoming disinterested in the NBA. The ideas go beyond just finally going on vacation and not worrying about the upcoming season. 

The ideas below the jump will help you keep your basketball fix while providing some distraction toward what might be a long lockout.

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NBA lockout: Fan 'planks' Jerry West statue outside Staples Center

X2_700a172-1We've already seen the first sign of the craziness we'll be seeing however long the NBA lockout ensues.

It's not going to reach the epic proportions that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis recently predicted regarding the ramifications of an NFL lockout: "Do this research if we don't have a season -- watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up if you take away our game."

But it can at least lead to fans  finding creative ways to interact with the Laker statues outside Staples Center.

CNBC business reporter Darren Rovell first showcased a fan who goes by the Twitter handle @jpra42 "planking" Jerry West's statue as well as the broadcasting table of the late Chick Hearn. The fan indicated he pulled these stunts in the middle of  the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz press conference last week across the street at L.A. So in fairness, this isn't a product so much of boredom during the NBA lockout since this happened before the league's collective bargaining agreement officially expired, but I wouldn't be surprised if it provided further inspiration for fans to pull off more stunts involving the Lakers statues, including West, Hearn or Magic Johnson.


Snapshots from Jerry West's statue unveiling

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why he feels slighted the Lakers have yet to honor him with a statue.

Chick Hearn statue unveiled at Staples Center

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: A fan apparently found good use in the Jerry West statue outside Staples Center. Credit: CNBC's Darren Rovell via Twitter.

Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West statue inductions filled with emotion and humility

Magic-statue_350 Here is the ironic part about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's frustration over not having a statue: Magic Johnson tweeted Abdul-Jabbar deserved one "before me," Jerry West expressed embarrassment during his statue unveiling and argued others, including Abdul-Jabbar, were more deserving and the Lakers had long maintained Abdul-Jabbar soon would have one.

I can't properly describe the setting to Johnson's statue ceremony during All-Star weekend in 2004 because I wasn't there, but his public sentiments before and after reflected a much more thankful and humble outlook than Abdul-Jabbar's sentiments that his delayed statue induction symbolized one of many examples of what he called a "fractured" relationship with the Lakers.

A humble, reflective and appreciative atmosphere took place at both statue unveilings for the late legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn and Jerry West, the former Laker who brought the organization's first NBA championship in 1972 and later seven more as a general manager. One can only imagine what Hearn would've said about his own statue unveiling April 19, 2010, hours before a Lakers' playoff game at Staples Center, but there were plenty -- including his wife, Marge, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, former Lakers James Worthy and Byron Scott, Lakers broadcaster Stu Lantz and Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller -- who filled in the details by offering endless stories about how Hearn's telecasts united the Lakers organization and fans.

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Caught in the Web: Reaction to Matt Barnes' signing


--The Times' Broderick Turner and Mike Bresnahan report that Matt Barnes accepted a two-year deal with a player option his second year with the Lakers for, at most, $1.77 million next season. Turner and Bresnahan also report the Lakers agreed with Theo Ratliff to a one-year, $1.35 million contract.

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the story on Barnes' agreement with the Lakers.'s David Aldridge analyzes what the Lakers' moves will do to the team.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues that Barnes will bolster the Lakers' bench. Ding also has a slideshow of Barnes' infamous altercations. Ding also likes the Ratliff acquisition.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky raises some concerns on what Barnes would bring to the Lakers.

--The Baltimore Sun's Don Markus delves into Steve Blake's history as a player and reports that Kobe Bryant texted Blake welcoming him to the team.'s John Schuhmann predicts Lakers forward Lamar Odom will play at center for Team USA

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford points out the Lakers' acquisitions make them older and more experienced.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen explains how the Lakers still dominate the league.

--AOL Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson highlights Odom's contention that he's in "horrible shape" during Team USA's training camp. Before Laker fans get angry at L.O., Team USA Coach Mike Krzyzewski thinks Odom looks fine.'s Mike Trudell talks with ESPN's Doris Burke about various Lakers topics.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore argues the Lakers' bench is already better than last season's.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Phillip gives some quick-hit thoughts on the off-season.

Tweet of the Day: "Its official I AM A LOS ANGLES LAKER. I wanna thank u for all ur patients and understanding. This is a dream come true!!! Good lookn Kobe" -- matt_barnes22 (Lakers forward Matt Barnes)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I thought of reminding new Lakers that coming to the Southland is not just to get rings. It comes with it hard work, responsibility and contributions to the team. Artest paid his dues and earned something from his persistence. Gasol became a changed man when he became a Laker. That is what we expect from Blake, Barnes and Ratliff. They may be veterans, old in the business, used to do the same old things all over again, well they should change that paradigm as role players. When they are called to play they should contribute in so many ways may it be rebounds, defense, free throws. Their Laker tenure is not just a passing time to get to the next contract but perhaps a place where they would finish their career. A career that they can be proud of to tell their children and grandchildren that "I was formerly a Laker with so and so and this is how we played the game etc.etc. Every time I dribble at Staples, I'm having goose bumps as though I'm being watched by the golden voice, Chick Hearn chuckling at hot dog plays or the late Mikan & Wilt nodding their heads and Jerry West telling me how to execute a jump shot. The legends are still alive in the rafters, all present cheering for me." -- Edwin Gueco

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: In this television screen capture from a regular season game between the Lakers and Orlando Magic, Matt Barnes pretends to throw an inbounds pass at Kobe Bryant’s face. Credit: ABC/ESPN.



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