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Category: Derrick Caracter

Derrick Caracter gets posterized in summer league game

Players whose future seems uncertain spend that off-season seriously working on their game and then letting the general public know about it.

Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter fits that profile. His future with the Lakers hinges on whether the team will exercise its $788,872 option in retaining him. There's plenty of reasons to think there's a good chance he might not come back, what with his raw and inconsistent play and getting arrested at a local IHop in New Orleans during the playoffs. But nothing is set in stone until the NBA reaches a new collective bargaining agreement. So with that, Caracter, based on his various tweets, has kept himself active by working out with IMG for a second consecutive summer. 

But Caracter clearly has plenty of work to do. In the video above, Caracter gets absolutely posterized by Rockets forward Terrence Williams in a charity game in Louisville this past weekend. To rub salt in the wound, Williams pumps up the already electrified crowd by taking off his jersey and throwing it to the ground. Should Caracter have felt embarrassed, well he deserved it. He responded on his defensive rotation about two seconds too late and didn't use his size one bit to intimidate Williams from driving into the lane. 

That's hardly the lasting impression Caracter wants to give the Lakers and the general public, an image that's probably incomplete. But that's why players with shaky futures position themselves so they don't end up going viral for all the wrong reasons.

RELATED:

Lakers Report Cards: Derrick Caracter

--Mark Medina

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

NBA lockout: Sizing up the Lakers on the football field

Cincinnati Bengals

Whether it's an attention grab or just a sign of desperation, NBA players aren't just talking about playing basketball overseas. They're talking about playing other sports.

First, Minnesota forward Kevin Love declared that he would compete in this month's Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament Aug. 25-28. Now, Oklahoma City guard Nate Robinson has tweeted Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll about giving him a roster spot and even attended a Seahawks practice. Sure, he was only a spectator and not a participant, and it's unlikely anything substantive will actually happen.

But just as Love's announcement about playing beach volleyball sparked my curiosity on how Laker players would do on the sand, Robinson's flirtation with the NFL made me wonder how the Lakers would fare on the gridiron. 

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NBA lockout: Looking at how the players plan to spend their off-season

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If a week felt like an eternity, try six months or maybe even a year.

It's unclear how long this NBA lockout is going to last. But it's safe to go on that vacation or run that errand without worrying about what team acquired who during free agency. But that doesn't mean things aren't busy. There's plenty of discussion brewing already on whether NBA players, including Kobe Bryant, should take their talents overseas during a possibly prolonged lockout. As detailed below, it's obvious many of the Lakers have plenty to occupy their time during a long off-season.

Kobe Bryant: It seems like every single day he’s in the news. Of course, that’s understandable given he’s Kobe Bryant. But it’s also a reflection of how busy his off-season has already become. The Times’ Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner reported that Bryant underwent a derivation of platelet rich plasma therapy (PSP), a controversial procedure that entails centrifuging the patient's blood to isolate platelets and growth factors and then then injected them into an injured area to accelerate healing. Bryant announced an initiative with his foundation to fight homelessness. And Bryant, as reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, remains open to playing overseas this summer. The possibilities entail joining a barnstorming tour where some of Rob Pelinka’s clients play exhibition games in China, while Turkish club, Besiktas, hopes Bryant will follow Deron Williams’ lead and join the team.

Pau Gasol: He’s spending his off-season in his native Spain where he spent the first portion of the off-season resting and mentally removing himself from a frustrating 2011 playoff performance. But he’s not going to spend the off-season resting like he did last year. Gasol plans to play in the European Championships in Lithuania from Aug. 31 to Sept. 18, partly to immediately rectify the poor playoff showing.

Andrew Bynum: For once, Bynum can enjoy a summer being completely injury-free. So after a short week of vacation in England where he enjoyed the Manchester United-Barcelona Champions league game, Bynum immediately began training in hopes to improve his footwork and reading double teams. Part of that effort has entailed taking boxing lessons to improve his agility and quickness. 

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Assigning Buddhism-related names to Lakers roster

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In nearly two months, Lakers forward Ron Artest will officially find out whether he can legally change his name to Metta World Peace.

He filled out papers Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court requesting the name change, citing "personal reasons." It remains uncertain if Laker fans would throw away Artest jerseys in favor of a "World Peace" one. In addition to the ongoing question of what name Artest will actually choose to have on the back of his jersey, the L.A. County Superior Court has to approve the name change, which Artest won't know until Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. 

Metta, a Buddhist term, is defined as a "strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others," which certainly jives with Artest's advocacy for mental health charities. Should other teammates feel compelled to follow suit and request Buddhist-inspired names (probably not), there's no need to brainstorm ideas. I already consulted this website and did it for them. Below the jump are the results and a possible explanation for each name. 

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Lakers stay busy during the offseason

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan analyzes the chances of each current Laker returning next season.

--The Times' Chris Dufresne details how the Lakers became the marquee Los Angeles sports franchise over the Dodgers. Dufresne also ranks the L.A. sports teams, with the Lakers, of course, finishing first.

--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick gives the Lakers a "B" for their draft picks. 

--ESPN.com's Viv Bernstein believes Ron Artest wants to legally change his name to promote his upcoming reality show.

--The Journal Register News' David Borges explains what interested the Lakers in Ater Majok.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding looks at 10 things Derek Fisher could've done better to ensure a Lakers' three-peat.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer hopes the Los Angeles Superior Court will approve Artest's request to have his name changed to "Metta World Peace." Dwyer also gives the Lakers a "B" for their draft picks. 

--Fox Sports gives the Lakers an "A-" for their draft picks. 

--The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth muses about Artest's name change.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as Dave McMenamin talk about the Lakers' draft picks and Artest's name change.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears argues Darius Morris left University of Michigan too early. 

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell sums up the Lakers' 2011 NBA draft. 

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman lists a few other sports figures who should change their names. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore provides details on the Lakers' future second-round pick they acquired by trading Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Denver Nuggets. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano looks at what Morris might provide for the Lakers. 

--Lakers Nation's Elizabeth Benson lists five things Shannon Brown needs to improve on to help the Lakers. 

Tweet of the Day: "I'll be the king of LA one day" -- RebuildCaracter (Lakers backup center Derrick Caracter obviously having a delusional moment)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Did anyone besides me see this guy shooting 3's in the NIT championship? I've never seen a player spot up from 5 ft over half court and drain shots like that! His range as a shooter is crazy. If players have to defend him from there it opens the court for Kobe! Good pick!" -- Victor Jesus on the Lakers selecting Andrew Goudelock.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers veterans Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant  and Pau Gasol  won two NBA championships together but could not pull off the three-peat this last season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

NBA mock drafts rarely highlight Lakers' picks

6a00d8341c506253ef015432ed85f6970c-320wiNBA mock drafts are a yearly ritual. But the only buzz you hear surrounding this year's draft are crickets, giving everyone more reason to mock the draft than actually make one (unless we're talking about Jimmer Fredette). 

Talk surrounding the NBA primarily centers on a collective bargaining agreement that expires in nine days. The uncertainty surrounding the 2011-2012 season prompted 41 players to withdraw their names from the draft. And in the case of the Lakers, any chance of the front office "blowing up this team" has a probability of nearly zero considering that their four second-round picks at Nos. 41, 46, 56 and 58 (unless of course the Lakers fall into David Kahn's trap in trading Pau Gasol to Minnesota, but plenty of reports indicate that would require them being held at gunpoint).

The Lakers' past draft history indicates, however, that the players they select at least have some chance to stay on the team's roster. Six of the 13 players the Lakers selected in the second round since 2003 currently played in the NBA last season. Below is a look at how those draft picks fared.

Luke Walton (drafted No. 32 in 2003 from University of Arizona)

The mere mention of his name creates mob-like hysteria for one very simple reason. Walton's 11.4 points per game on 47.4% shooting in the 2006-07 season truly indicated an average player playing with an average team. But it somehow convinced General Manager Mitch Kupchak to sign Walton to a six-year, $30-million contract.

The long-term deal has hurt the Lakers because Walton's extensive injury history kept him sidelined for 17 games in the 2008-09 season and all but 29 games in the 2009-10 season. Even with Walton at full strength, however, his value in understanding the triangle and being a good teammate nowhere near compensated for his lack of athleticism, poor shooting percentage and below-par defense. 

Walton's long-term deal also has hurt the Lakers because it significantly sapped them from making  moves that could've bolstered the roster. Walton's defense may be suspect, but his contract easily swatted down potential moves, such as the Lakers acquiring a backup center to help Pau Gasol absorb Andrew Bynum's injury last season, the team trading away Sasha Vujacic to the New Jersey Nets for Joe Smithand a $4-million cash profit, and the team's tightening finances in the 2010 off-season to the likes of Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes

The damage is far from over, with Walton still with two years remaining on his $11.48-million contract. But lost in this hysteria involves this reality: It's not Walton's fault the Lakers signed him to the deal. Point that finger at the front office. 

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D-Fenders to rejoin Development League and play home games at Lakers' practice facility

After taking a one-year hiatus, the Lakers' minor-league affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, will return to the NBA Development League, albeit with a change of venue.

The team will play its home games at the Lakers' practice facility, the Toyota Sports Center, in El Segundo, a switch from the previous routine of playing at Staples Center four hours before Lakers regular-season games.

The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported last year that D-Fenders games didn't generate any revenue from ticket sales because only people who had bought Lakers tickets were allowed to attend the games. Bresnahan also noted that the games often took place in front of no more than 100 people, though Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak frequently was in attendance.

During the 2010-2011 season, the Lakers used the Bakersfield Jam as their minor-league affiliate, sending rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter there on separate stints and recalling Trey Johnson before the last game of the regular season. But the Jam also was an affiliate of the Clippers. With the D-Fenders' return, the D-League now features seven teams with lone NBA affiliates.

"We're thrilled to welcome the Los Angeles D-Fenders back to the NBA Development League," NBA D-League President Dan Reed said in a statement. "The Lakers have been an outstanding partner with the NBA D-League for years, and their return further reinforces our growing significance to the NBA -– especially considering they are now one of seven NBA teams with a 'one-to-one' affiliation. We're excited about the terrific fan experience they plan to provide at Toyota Sports Center."

-- Mark Medina

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

Lakers Report Cards: Derrick Caracter

56841880This is the seventh edition of Lakers Report Cards, focusing today on rookie forward/center Derrick Caracter.

Grade: D-

The weight continues to hold him back. The off-the-court issues continue to plague him. And his commitment level continues to be questioned.

Derrick Caracter's rookie year was supposed to be another benchmark in the long progression he's made since transferring from Louisville to Texas-El Paso for perceived off-the-court issues. After losing 28 pounds since leaving the Miners, this season was supposed to mark another step in slimming down. And after pledging he'd take advantage of the few opportunities a veteran and front-line-heavy team would afford a 58th pick out of the NBA draft, Caracter failed to take the proper steps.

"I need to work and be ready for the next year," Caracter summed up of his exit interview.

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Exit Interviews: Phil Jackson, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Luke Walton, Joe Smith, Devin Ebanks, Derrick Caracter and Trey Johnson

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

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Lakers decline comment on Derrick Caracter's arrest

Derrick-caracter_250 Lakers rookie forward Derrick Caracter walked past a couple of reporters following practice Monday and declined to address his arrest early Sunday morning in New Orleans that involved him allegedly striking a cashier at a restaurant. Nonetheless, Caracter tweeted, "The truth will come out.. Believe me."

"We're looking into the situation," said Lakers spokesman John Black, who addded Caracter's status on the team hasn't changed. "It's inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Caracter was detained and booked under several charges: one count of battery for hitting the employee, one count of public intoxication and one for resisting arrest. He was later released from jail after bond was posted. Caracter, 22, reportedly grabbed and shoved a cashier at an IHOP restaurant on Canal Street, according to New Orleans police.

The account, issued in a police news release Monday morning, said the Lakers rookie forward had been refused service at the IHOP because he was "obviously drunk, unruly." A police officer was summoned to try to defuse the situation. Backup arrived after Caracter would not cooperate.

Caracter has played a limited role with the Lakers, appearing in 41 games and averaging two points on 48.5% shooting in 5.2 minutes a game. He also had two stints with the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Derrick Caracter. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

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