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Category: Former Laker News

Shaq wins over Harvard Yard

Shaqceltics Ex-Magic, ex-Laker, ex-Heat, ex-Sun, ex-Cavalier and new Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal worked the crowds in Harvard Yard over the weekend, and literally stopped traffic just about everywhere, according to the Boston Globe.

"I'm much older now," said O'Neal, 38, who signed a two-year, $2.8-million deal with the Celtics this summer. "This [Celtics] team is good with or without me. Sometimes, in order to win, you have to sacrifice. I don't mind sacrificing. At the end of the day, it's all about winning.

"I'm going to do what I'm told to do. Whatever they need me to do. I'm not in a position to cause trouble or cause a ruckus. The reason why younger in my career I acted a fool is because they made me the CEO. If I'm the CEO and I'm getting all the blame, we're going to start doing it my way."

The Lakers will play the Celtics at Staples Center on Jan. 30, and in Boston on Feb. 10. I wonder how high the ticket-scalping prices go?

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal meets reporters after signing with the Boston Celtics. Credit: Brian Snyder /Reuters

Roland Lazenby discusses his new book on Lakers legend Jerry West


The never-ending theme in the newly released "Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon" centers on how West became both the beneficiary and victim of his own perfectionism. Roland Lazenby, keeper of the Lakernoise website, tackles West's persona by delving into West's family history and revisiting his career at West Virginia and with the Lakers as a player (1960-74), coach (1976-79) and general manager (1982-2002).

Below is a Q&A with Lazenby on selected portions of the book.

On what initially interested him on writing a book on Jerry West:

"It runs pretty deep for me. My father was one of these two-handed set shooters from out of the West Virginia hills in the 1930s. When I was a little kid, obviously Jerry West was his favorite player. He idolized the guy. All the tales and stories that come with adulation, he gave to me. He took me to some Southern Conference games when I was a little fella, 6 years old and too young to really comprehend. He even took me to some Converse shoe exhibitions by "Hot Rod" Hundley. And so it's long been his love of basketball was a huge factor in my life. That's part of why I do what I do. I had a chance over the years to interview Jerry West. My father died in 1981 of brain cancer. Several years later, when I started to get the opportunity to do NBA work and then I remember one of the first interviews I got to do with Jerry, it was a very intense three-hour interview in Dallas back in the '80s. I remember finishing that interview and all I could think was, 'Boy I wish I could call my old man and tell him about this.'"

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James Worthy and Bill Walton appear on 'The Price Is Right'

After collecting three NBA championships during the Showtime Era, former Lakers great James Worthy demonstrates his big game with sharp analysis on KCAL-9's Lakers post-game shows. Former UCLA great Bill Walton followed somewhat of a similar path. Years after winning two championships, one with Portland and one with Boston, he's also provided -- what should we say -- interesting comments over the years as a commentator and studio analyst.

The two appeared Thursday on CBS' "The Price Is Right," and though the video below doesn't reveal the ending, I'll play the spoiler. A basketball hoop, NBA jerseys, a sports boat and a three-night stay and round-trip fare to Dallas for the NBA All-Star game was estimated a little too high.

--Mark Medina

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Caught in the Web: Lakers inspired by trip to the White House

Kobe Bryant #5

Entering Tuesday's game against the Washington Wizards having lost two of their last three road games, the Lakers shared many reasons why their eight-game trip didn't get off to the best of starts.

The Riverside Press Enterprise's Jeff Eisenberg noted that "Kobe Bryant called it a malaise. Lamar Odom blamed it on cockiness. Phil Jackson attributed it to a lack of intensity." For all the reasons that contributed to the Lakers' poor start, there only seemed to be one reason why the Lakers responded with a 115-103 victory Tuesday over the Washington Wizards.

The Lakers played as if inspired after their White House visit Monday with President Obama, who honored the team's 2009 NBA championship season. In addition to giving players a chance to hobnob with the president, the ceremony was a nice way to break up the trip and stirred nostalgia for their championship season. That championship required teamwork, something Jackson also thought was key in Tuesday's victory.

The Lakers' opponents also deserve some credit for their Tuesday win. The Wizards (15-29) are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and are facing all types of drama this season. It's gotten to the point, says the Washington Post's Michael Wilbon, that fans show up at Verizon Center not to see the Wizards but whoever the Wizards are playing. 

Nonetheless, Silver Screen and Roll gives the Lakers credit for at least playing inspired basketball and providing a good blueprint in team balance, with solid production by Bryant, Pau Gasol and the bench.

More Lakers links (after the jump)

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A Tribute to the Lakers Blog Icon: Von Wafer

It only feels right to pay homage to a K Brothers' fave, considering his monstrous- and mohawked!- performance against theVon_2_2 team that drafted him (and since the Lakers won anyway, why not?)  10-14 from the field for 23 points, highlighted by a trio of triples and a few sweet trips to the rack.  Two steals.  That slightly sideways-tilted gait as he sprints about.  It all came to a head in one heck of a performance.  So for that, we take a trip down memory lane to some of the blog's past thoughts on Mr. Wafer. 

His rookie midseason report card in 2006

Von Wafer-

BK- Love him.  I wish he played more.  Why?  Because he makes the game fun.  The guy will shoot from anywhere.  That big dunk against Memphis (it was Memphis, right?) was one for the season ending highlight tape.  Sure he's shooting under 20% from the field, but hey, we're all human.  D+/Inc.

AK- Very few things in life shock me. Von's 16.7% from the field? That shocks me. If he had been manning the grassy knoll, JFK would still be alive. That being said, kid's got balls and ain't afraid to chuck. And being one of the only athletic looking guys on this squad, I could see his time coming. Just not this season. D/Inc.

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Ever wondered what's Chinese for "Smush?"

Well, the world may soon learn, since Smush Parker has bolted the states (and his NBDL Rio Grande Valley Vipers) for a stint in the Chinese Basketball Association.  The team now employing William Henry is believed to be the Guangdong. In related news, Yao Ming is not losing sleep over threatened status as the country's most popular player.  But at least if Smush isn't communicating with this particular set of teammates, a language barrier can theoretically be cited as an excuse.

It's also interesting to hear perspective from the Viper play-by-play man Alex Del Barrio about Parker's time with the squad.

Its no secret that Smush didn't really gel with this Viper squad. He was lackadaisical with the ball, (leading the league in turnovers) had spurts where he didn't get his team mates involved, rarely passed the ball into the low post, and took horrible shots. Some games he was great but to sum it up the only thing he was ever consistent in, was being inconsistent. His NBA shot may not have passed him by, he is still a great athlete, but for this season Smush has to focus on why he is struggling and fix that. He will have a chance to do that in China now.

The parts about inconsistency and needing to take an honest look at the causes for struggle have a certain "deja vu all over again" feeling.  All jokes about the guy aside, it is kinda sad to see a guy rob himself of an NBA opportunity because of a continual failure to "get it." 


Ex-Laker Corie Blount busted with an awful lot of marijuana

Blount The pronunciation of Corie Blount's last name is now hilariously ironic.  Unless, of course, you happen to be Corie Blount, caught picking up 11 pounds of weed.  You know, to go along with the 11 pounds you have at home.

Then the "Blunt" punchline isn't nearly as funny. 

I'd try the "hella glaucoma" defense.


If I'm the Denver Nuggets

And I'm staring down our upcoming season, one where the roster's powder keg personality is even more likely to erupt now that perennial peace maker Marcus Camby was jettisoned to the Clips for a collection of sandwiches and old Betamax movies (If you don't believe me, ask Camby), this dude is exactly the ray of sunshine I'd debate adding to the mix.  I guess they're figuring, "the more, the (rarely if ever) merrier." 

When it comes to second chances, never let it be said that the NBA isn't often the equivalent of a bottomless cup of coffee.


Motown bakeries, be on alert!

As Kwame Brown just became the newest member of the Detroit Pistons.  Two years, $8 million, with a player option for the second season.  In theory, this is the perfect team for the former Laker. The Pistons barely score, often cruise the court at a glacial pace, play ugly Eastern conference ball and have enough good players to possibly cover Brown's weaknesses (to put it kindly). Most important, he isn't expected to be a star, nor is it remotely a given that he'll start (which I doubt he'd mind).  Frankly, his playing time could come along the lines of a situational lefty in baseball or an NFL third down back.  At any rate, I think it's safe to say that if the Artist Formerly Known as "54"- Jason Maxiell already has the number, so a switch may be in order- can't find success in this situation, it isn't happening anywhere. 

At any rate, Kwame's a good dude, so I wish him the best (except against one team, obviously).  I'd be lying if I claimed confidence his career will turn around in Day-twah, but hey, stranger things have happened.  After all, the Clippers just put Ricky Davis on the same Mike Dunleavy-coached team as Tim Thomas


In related news, I plan on vomiting for the 13th time

We get it. You're devoted to each other in the way normal human beings couldn't possibly understand.  Move on.

By the way, what's the gift protocol if you've been invited more than once?




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