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Category: Chris Paul

Andrew Bynum says he believes the Lakers won't trade him

The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz talks with Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who says he believes he'll remain a Laker after the March 15 trading deadline--The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz talks with Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who says he believes he'll remain a Laker after the March 15 trading deadline. Schmitz also reports a rumor involving the Magic and the Lakers: The Lakers trade Bynum and Pau Gasol to the Magic for Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson. 

--The Times' John Cherwa looks at how Lakers and the Clippers are strongly represented on this year's Western Conference all-star team. 

--The Times' Ben Bolch looks at the Clippers' improved popularity in Los Angeles. 

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore and the Orange County Register's Janis Carr examine West all-stars Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Bynum. Bonsignore explains how Bryant uses All-Star weekend to rest

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky hands out midterm grades to the Lakers. 

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe wonders how much Bryant wants a fifth All-Star MVP award. 

--Fox Sports West's Joe McDonnell reflects on Magic Johnson's performance in the 1992 NBA All-Star game.

--Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan details how NBA Commissioner David Stern remained unanswerable in whether he thought it was appropriate to stop Paul from going to the Lakers. 

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reports that Howard is ready to finish this season with Orlando. 

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker argues that Lakers would be a much better team had Paul been allowed to stay with the team. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano reflects on Bryant's first NBA All-Star game. 

Tweet of the Day: "Hardest thing for Lakers fans today will be seeing Kobe, CP3 & Bynum in the starting lineup knowing that could've been their nightly lineup." -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "We need youth, a point guard, offense and leadership.
So Jim Buss gets us an old, retired, defensive-minded power forward, that holds records for technical fouls. BRILLIANT!" - Neil Garces

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Andrew Bynum finishes off a dunk against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Feb. 23. Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Pau Gasol downplays skirmish with Chris Paul

The Lakers and Clippers say they don't have a rivalry. 

But they sure do act like it.

The Lakers' 96-91 victory Wednesday over the Clippers ended with one image that defines the heightened animosity. After Clippers forward Blake Griffin fouled Lakers forward Pau Gasol with 1.1 seconds left, Clippers guard Chris Paul attempted to swipe the ball from Gasol's hands while the two sniped at each other. Kobe Bryant also stepped in, jawing continuously at the Clippers guard, as Gasol walked to the free-throw line. 

Gasol then put his hand on top of Paul's hand, which prompted the Clippers guard to shove Gasol's hand away and tap him on his head. 

"I got a son of my own," Paul said. "I don't know if Pau got kids, but don't touch the top of my head like I'm one of your kids. I don't know what his intentions were, and it doesn't matter. I don't know if he's got kids, but I'm not one of them."

Gasol appeared amused that Paul took offense at the incident. 

"I'm sorry he felt that way," Gasol said. "I do that all the time with my teammates. It's OK. If I touch your shoulder or back, there's nothing mean about it. It is what it is." 

And what is that exactly? From a neutral perspective, Paul acted pretty immature for trying to swipe the ball away. Gasol acted pretty immature for rubbing his head. 

"Chris is chippy," Bryant said. "I'm extremely chippy and that DNA spreads to the rest of the team. That's how it is."

And how it is with Gasol and Paul went beyond just the overall contentiousness the Lakers and Clippers displayed in a game that featured six technicals, one flagrant foul and one ejection. When the Lakers played the Clippers in two preseason games, Gasol admitted his refusal to acknowledge Paul. The Lakers initially acquired Paul in a trade that would've resulted in Gasol going to Houston, but the NBA rejected the deal. 

Instead, they find themselves on both sides of a brewing L.A. rivalry. 

"I'm not much of a talker on the floor," Gasol said. "I play hard and try to do my best to help my team. Obviously a couple guys are talking. So I'll talk back."

And rub his opponents' head too.

RELATED:

Pau Gasol says nothing to Chris Paul

Mark Medina and Melissa Rohlin preview the Lakers-Clippers game

Five things to take from the Lakers' 96-91 victory over the Clippers

--Mark Medina 

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Times correspondent Melissa Rohlin contributed to this report

Five things to watch in Lakers-Clippers game

Kobe Bryant

Some things to keep an eye on when the Lakers (10-8) host the Clippers (9-5) Wednesday at Staples Center:

1. There will be chippiness. Whether the Lakers and Clippers want to acknowledge a rivalry or not, it's indisputable that the animosity heightens when these two teams meet. So expect there to be plenty of hard fouls, technicals, elbows and animosity thrown all around. The key for the Lakers involves channeling that properly. If they get too consumed with it, it could result in too many Clipper free-throws and overall distract their focus. If they play physical for the sake of sharpening their defense and energy, that approach will give the Lakers an edge.

2. The Lakers meet challenges at point guard regardless of Chris Paul. The Times' Broderick Turner mentions it's likely Paul will play against the Lakers after missing the last five games because of a strained left hamstring. But it's not guaranteed. Surely Paul's presence even in limited form will give the Lakers fits. They frankly don't have the speed to keep up with him. With Steve Blake still sidelined because of a fracture of the cartilage connecting his rib and sternum, the Lakers don't have the depth, either. But the Lakers' problems at matching up with the Clippers at point guard hardly confines to Paul.

Clippers guard Mo Williams has averaged 25.66 points per game in the last three coming off the bench in Paul's absence, while Clippers guard Chauncey Billups nailed a game-winner against Dallas. While Derek Fisher matched Billups with a game winner against Dallas, rookie guard Darius Morris can hardly match Williams' play. Morris remains unpredictable with his excessive dribbling and decision-making. He has potential, but it's hardly a good thing at this point that he's playing more minutes during Blake's absence.

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Pau Gasol takes Clippers 'very seriously' (Web links)

 

The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously"

 

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner explain why Lakers forward Pau Gasol takes the Clippers "very seriously."

--The Times' Turner reports it's possible Clippers guard Chris Paul will play Wednesday against the Lakers.

--The Times' Melissa Rohlin reports Blake Griffin's contention that he doesn't flop.

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott looks at the rare times the Lakers have functioned well on offense.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr focuses on Gasol's unhappiness with his role.

--Fox Sports ranks the Lakers at No. 15.

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth breaks down the differences between rooting for the Lakers and for the Clippers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues that Dwight Howard wouldn't fit in well with the Clippers.

--Fox Sports West's Michael Martinez notes that the Clippers don't view their match-up with the Lakers as a rivalry.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains why Lakers Coach Mike Brown is "still searching" with his team.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky dissects how Gasol can balance scoring and facilitating.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe argues that the Lakers' main problem on offense has to deal with their lack of shooters.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if the Lakers could win the title without acquiring Howard.

--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson ranks the Lakers at No. 15, saying it's partly because they are squandering Gasol's skills.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Stephen A. Smith argues that the Lakers should keep the current roster intact and wait to sign Kevin Garnett via free agency this summer.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell compares and contrasts the low-post touches that Gasol and Andrew Bynum receive.

--The Orange County Register's Dan Woike notices that the Clippers are refusing to engage in any trash talk with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman wonders why the Lakers remain horrible from three-point range.

--Clips Nation's Steve Perrin argues that the Clippers shouldn't have a hard time defending the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Pau Gasol said today that the Clippers needed to be taken "very seriously." A year ago, people would have laughed at him. Not any more." -- Mike_Bresnahan (L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan) 

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The team has an identity and its a winning one: 3 Finals, 2 Rings, 4 Playoffs. Its Brown and his coaching staff who don't know what they are. They're not teaching old dogs new tricks, they're telling the bulldogs they're now suppose to be greyhounds. Good luck with that." -- Pi Ang

RELATED:

The Kobe System stresses adaptation

Little clarity provided about Pau Gasol's role

Mike Brown: NBA reassesses Blake Griffin's push on Darius Morris

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Pau Gasol battles the Clippers' Blake Griffin on Jan. 14. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Mike Brown compares Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

 

The Times' Ben Bolch notes Mike Brown's belief that Kobe Bryant is more "serious-minded" than LeBron James

--The Times' Ben Bolch notes Mike Brown's belief that Kobe Bryant is more "serious-minded" than LeBron James.

--The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer talks to Brown about how he's adjusting to the Lakers. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr says she believes that Andrew Bynum has a strong chance to make the All-Star team.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer says he loves the story lines surrounding Bryant and James. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky explains why Steve Blake's rib injury severely hurts the Lakers at point guard.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford argues that the Lakers' next three games against Cleveland, the Clippers and Dallas could be emotional. Brown used to coach the Cavs, the Lakers nearly landed Clippers guard Chris Paul and former Laker Lamar Odom was traded to the Mavericks.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell does some number-crunching regarding Bryant's scoring.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark argues that the Lakers need Dwight Howard's teammates more than they need Howard.

Tweet of the Day: "The Lakers have just 5 home games in the next 32 days." -- ESPNChrisPalmer (Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine NBA writer)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The Lakers need to get themselves a pointguard someone who's going to put the bigs in a better position to score. Kobe contolling the ball takes the effectiveness away from Pau and Bynum. It's great Kobe is scoring lots of points but Kobe is not playing team ball. He's more concern about trying to catch Shaq." -- Ronald A. Mitchell 

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers Coach Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Lakers, Clippers display chippiness

One shove, one flop and one near-fight.

The moment Clippers forward Blake Griffin received the ball in the lane symbolized just how intense the Lakers-Clippers rivalry has become. And this was just a preseason game. Once Griffin received the entry pass, Lakers forward Matt Barnes pushed him to the floor. It caused Griffin to flop, both teams to nearly erupt in a fight and the 19,060 at Staples Center to yell.

The Lakers' 108-103 preseason loss Wednesday to the Clippers hardly matters, except, of course, to some of the fans who already see this as evidence the Mike Brown-era is doomed. But the atmosphere suggested otherwise.

"We're just trying to compete and I think we're upset they were flopping a little too much," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. "I dont know if he flopped a couple more times than others. But it was just one specific play." 

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Pau Gasol says nothing to Chris Paul

66882840Once Pau Gasol took center court, he literally saw what could've taken him away from the Lakers.

Chris Paul.

Only two weeks ago the Lakers tried shipping Gasol in a three-team trade that would've sent Gasol to the Houston Rockets and Paul to the Lakers. But after NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the trade for "basketball reasons," Gasol remained on the Lakers and Paul soon joined the Clippers. And in the Lakers' 114-95 preseason loss Monday to the Clippers, Gasol faced the player who nearly took his job away.

PHOTOS: Clippers-Lakers

Surely, that crept through Gasol's mind as he took center court, particularly with many in the crowd of 18,643 at Staples Center giving him a standing ovation. But Gasol didn't feel inclined even to talk to Paul. For basketball reasons, of course.

"There were no words exchanged. I really have nothing to say to him. We just played," said Gasol. “Obviously this [Clippers] trade went through; I guess that’s what he kind of wanted. I don’t know if he had a preference."

Gasol sure did. As soon as the NBA blocked the trade, Gasol talked with General Manager Mitch Kupchak to stress his hope to remain with the Lakers. He has reiterated that point in various ways since then. Gasol's done so with action by arriving to training camp and impressing coaches and teammates alike for his hustle. He's done so with words, talking to the media at length every day and repeating his want to wear purple and gold. And on Monday, he did so with his play by posting 16 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes.

"It’s always great to put on a Laker uniform and play here and play as hard as you can," Gasol said. "I look forward to this season. It’s a big challenge, it’s a lot to take in, but I’m a professional, I’m a good player and I’m going to do my best to help this team be the best that it can be."

Still, with the Lakers looking very sluggish with both their offense and conditioning, fans couldn't help but wonder what could've been had Paul worn a Lakers uniform, particularly after seeing him drop 17 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals. But that's not what Gasol said he thought about, instead relishing the fact he still remains on the Lakers.

“He does his job," Gasol said of Paul. "I’ll try to do my job the best way I can so I can be a very valuable piece for this team."

RELATED:

Kobe Bryant appears sharp in loss to Clippers

Dwyre: Clippers steal showtime from Lakers with win

Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks have a lot at stake with the Lakers

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, and teammate Chris Paul, center, try to beat Lakers forward Pau Gasol to a loose ball during the second quarter of Monday's exhibition game at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Chris Paul trade: Derek Fisher kept hands-off approach

The differing and sometimes conflicting allegiances made Derek Fisher's role as the players union president rather dicey.

Once the NBA nixed a three-team trade that would've sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, the NBA Players Association kept open the possibility it could file lawsuits against the league. After all, it had spent the past five months negotiating a new labor deal, partly that centered on a player's mobility in the open market. And the NBA, which owns the Hornets franchise, put itself in a compromising situation when it blocked the trade, citing "basketball reasons," despite numerous claims the Hornets' front office would always maintain independence.

Everything settled with the Clippers acquiring Paul in a trade that sent Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Faroug Aminu and a first-round pick originally acquired from Minnesota. But throughout the process, Fisher maintained a minimal role, and the reasons have nothing to do with the Lakers guard worrying Paul could steal his starting spot. Delegating to executive director Billy Hunter had everyhing to avoiding the perception Fisher was working on behalf of the Lakers. 

"I'm obviously up to breast on all of the situations," Fisher said. "But I try to in a sense remove myself from the details of a lot of individual player transacitons and situations."

Paul initially threatened to file a lawsuit against the NBA last week when it blocked the trade that would've sent him to the Lakers, Lamar Odom, Luis Scola and Kevin Martin to New Orleans and Pau Gasol to Houston. But Fisher said that Paul told the union to hold off on filing any lawsuits to avoid a lengthy litigation fight.

"It was really Chris' call to hold off to see if there was a solution that can be found," Fisher said. "I haven't spoken to Chris since the trade went down with the Clippers. But I'm assuming that he's okay with it and hopefully we will be able to move on."

RELATED:

Mike Brown to start Derek Fisher -- but not Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace arrives to training camp out of shape

Derek Fisher admits possible Chris Paul trade reduces playing time

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

David Stern's heavy-handedness already costing the Lakers dearly

David Stern

If only the NBA listened to Phil Jackson.

The Zen Master saw such a doomdsay scenario coming. The NBA owns the New Orleans Hornets and could find itself in a compromising situation should guard Chris Paul demand a trade, he said. But instead of working to ensure the front office had complete independence, the NBA ignored Jackson. As perhaps a way to say thank you, ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reported the NBA then slapped Jackson with a fine.

Perhaps the league should return that fine money to the Lakers, a small concession for all the mess it has created in the past week. The NBA nixed last week's trade that would've sent Paul to the Lakers, Lamar Odom to the Hornets and Pau Gasol to the Rockets. And the Lakers remain in shambles in more ways beyond losing to the Clippers in their pursuit toward Paul

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Dwight Howard is no longer on trading block

Howard_640

The Lakers won't be getting Dwight Howard any time soon.

The Orlando Magic will no longer accept trade offers for the perennial All-Star center, according to a league source who was not authorized to speak publicly.

"Their goal is to keep him in a Magic uniform," said the source. "They don't feel like there's any decision they have to make right now."

The Lakers had been involved in trade talks with Orlando via Howard's agent for the better part of two weeks.

The Lakers continue to have talks with New Orleans despite having a trade vetoed by the NBA for the Hornets' All-Star guard last week.

Paul did not appear for interviews Wednesday at the team's annual media day.

News of Orlando's decision was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

RELATED:

Nets closing in on deal for Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard's relationship with Magic thaws slightly

Lakers make minor move, while staying in play for big deal

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Dwight Howard. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

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