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Category: James Worthy

James Worthy says the Lakers need to come together fast

 Lakers legend James Worthy said that in order for the team to be successful they need to "gel again."

"New coach, some unknown trade rumors and things like that that didn't go through, one player gone to Dallas," he said. "They have to mix everything up like a salad, and toss it up, and get it mixing real well, and they don't have a lot of time to do that."

That's a tall task considering the team is still fuming over Lamar Odom being sent to Dallas in exchange for a 2012 first-round pick.

According to General Manager Mitch Kupchak, Odom demanded to be traded after he heard that the team was planning to deal him to the Hornets in part of a three-team deal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers.

Even if Odom had requested the trade, Kobe Bryant made it clear that he didn't support the Lakers decision to honor it. 

"They sure didn't listen to me when I asked," he told reporters Monday.

Worthy acknowledged that the catalyst to all of the unrest in Lakerland, the Paul trade, would have benefited the Lakers, but was quick to point out that "sometimes we forget that this is like Wall Street here, it's like a business."

The NBA kaboshed the Paul trade Friday for "basketball reasons," according to a league spokesman.

When asked how he would define that term, Worthy said, "These negotiations are very complex. A lot of times it's more than just the trade itself."


Magic Johnson: Bad decision by NBA, Stern

Mitch Kupchak defends Odom trade to Dallas

Mitch Kupchak: Lakers 'pursuing big deals right now'

--Melissa Rohlin

Highlighting James Worthy's memorable moments at North Carolina

With the NBA lockout persisting, there have been at least a few things to satisfy our hoops fix.

NBA TV has replayed classic playoff games. ESPN this week broadcast 24 consecutive hours of college basketball games. And this Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., former Lakers forward James Worthy will be among those  being inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Below is a look at some of his memorable moments during his storied three-year career at North Carolina (1979-1982).

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James Worthy still laments poor pass in 1984 NBA Finals

Throw away the three NBA championships, one Finals MVP and seven All-Star appearances that validated James Worthy's "Big Game" nickname.

What remains fresh in Worthy's mind points less to those accomplishments and more toward one mistake that cost the Lakers Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. In the waning seconds, Worthy stood trapped in the backcourt and then threw a cross-court pass that Celtics guard Gerald Henderson intercepted. His layup tied the game, forced overtime and eventually propelled Boston to a Game 2 victory. Worthy, in an interview with NBA TV's Ahmad Rashad, argued that his pass could've prevented the Lakers from going on to lose the series in seven games. 

"I still see that replay all the time and I have to learn to live with it," Worthy said in NBA TV's half-hour special "Big Game James: The James Worthy Story" that aired Monday. "It never goes away."

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James Worthy to appear in NBA TV special (Web links)

*We're going to have a live chat at 3 p.m. today. Bring your questions!

NBA TV will focus on James Worthy's storied Lakers career in a 30-minute piece titled "Big Game James: The James Worthy Story," airing Monday at 4 p.m. and  narrated by Ahmad Rashad.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that it's "far from certain" if Kobe Bryant will accept a $6.7-million offer to play with Italian pro team Virtus Bologna.

--The Times' Helene Elliott rates David Stern the top commissioner of the major American sports.'s David Aldridge praises Derek Fisher's efforts in negotiating, but argues that star players need to speak out more at the bargaining table. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr features Bryant's signature Smart car, which was just released in China.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding gets to know Lakers Coach Mike Brown over lunch.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer believes it might be a good idea for Bryant to play in Italy. 

--Bryant recently filmed a public service announcement promoting Nov. 19 United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ HomeWalk 2011 in the video below.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky and ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard discuss the latest on the NBA lockout

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky says Bryant shouldn't play overseas in Italy.'s Andy Katz talks to Luke Walton about the NBA lockout and his assistant coaching role with the Memphis Tigers. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano weighs whether Bryant should play overseas. 

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark asks readers what it would take during the NBA lockout for fans to stop caring. 

Tweet of the Day: "Carmelo just thanked me for coming. Nobody has done that after a #lockout meeting this summer." -- briancmahoney (Associated Press' Brian C. Mahoney)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "If this is all some elaborate act, he deserves an Emmy. I, however, think that Ron Ar...uh...Metta World Peace has undergone a serious transformation over the last few years. He went from an immature, self-serving thug known for "the Brawl" to a team-first, unselfish contributor on a championship team, as well as an advocate for mental health issues. I'm glad to see he's changed his ways (for the most part), and I think more athletes should get involved in their communities more often." -- Ryan Hopkins

-- Mark Medina

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NBA lockout: Kobe Bryant still to play in 2012 Olympics

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony

*We will have a live chat today at 4 p.m.'s David Aldridge reports that Kobe Bryant will play in the 2012 London Olympics regardless of what happens with the NBA lockout.

--CBS Sports' Ben Golliver compares and contrasts Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer rips Michael Beasley and Matt Barnes for their on-court altercations in summer league games. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky talk to Lakers forward Matt Barnes about his rehab on his surgically repaired right knee.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller describes Arvydis Sabonis as Shaquille O'Neal's sidekick.

--The Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz argues Lakers center Andrew Bynum proves to be the league's "most intriguing and powerful trade chip."'s Mike Trudell reports trainer Gary Vitti will be honored Sept. 10 by Team HEAL (Helping Enrich Athlete's Lives).

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NBA TV to air memorable Lakers playoff games

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird With nearly a month gone by since the NBA began its lockout, it appears the general public has nearly completed phase one of its reaction to the work stoppage.

That's the hand-wringing about who's to blame for this situation, the billionaire owners, the millionaire players or both. It's involved discussing whether NBA players will eventually take their talents overseas and if that's a necessary negotiating move or a needlessly risky gamble with their bodies. And it's included, at least in this corner of the blogosphere, going over nearly every story line entering the 2011-2012 season, assuming there is one.

Now we've entered phase two, in which the lack of summer-league play and the possibility of a lost season have spurred many to watch old NBA games.

Many this weekend clamored to find video featuring the likes of Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose balling in an exhibition game. Others are headed to Washington Park each week to check out the Drew League, which sparked a surprise appearance last weekend by LeBron James. Others of us are watching and rewatch classic NBA games, hoping this will somehow make us forget that the current season is on hiatus. 

Tuesday marks one of those days, as NBA TV will air Game 6 of the Lakers-Sixers 1980 NBA Finals series at 9 a.m., Game 4 of the Lakers-Celtics 1987 NBA Finals series at 10:30 a.m. and Game 5 of the Lakers-Warriors Western Conference semifinal series at 12:30 p.m. Below is a look at some of the memorable moments surrounding those games.

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Looking back at the Lakers' Memorial Day performances

61877727 It's surely a weird feeling for Laker fans today, firing up their grills, hitting the beach and honoring the veterans that make our country safe.

That's because for the first time in three years, the Lakers aren't still playing basketball and competing for an NBA championship. Surely, Laker fans will still have plenty to talk about, such as the hiring of Mike Brown, who will have an introductory press conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo. But there won't be the prospect of being able to watch a Laker playoff game on television like in years past.

It's always a good thing for Laker fans if their team is still playing through Memorial Day, but a look back at some of the Lakers' performances on that holiday doesn't always spark a lot of good memories. Below the jump are a look at the Lakers' 2-2 record in Memorial Day playoff games. 

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Caught in the Web: Lakers plan to pay next coach half of Phil Jacksons' salary

Photo: Whoever becomes the next Lakers coach probably will be making less than half of what Phil Jackson was being paid in salary. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / February 3, 2010. --The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports the new Lakers coach can expect an annual salary of $3 million to $5 million, a dropoff to the salary of Phil Jackson, whom Bresnahan reported made $12 million during the 2009-10 season before taking a paycut down to $10 million.

--We're also going to have a live chat today at 10:30 a.m. Bring your questions!

-Lakers owner Jerry Buss will talk to Sirius/XM Radio on channel 102 from 1 1-3 p.m. today. It'll be interesting to hear how much he's willing to reveal about the coaching search, the impending lockout and the Lakers' disappointing playoff finish. 

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr talks to former Laker James Worthy about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's recent gripes about not having a statue.'s Alana Glass argues the Lakers should treat Abdul-Jabbar with more respect.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky provides a report card for Jackson.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky criticizes the NBA's decision for its explanation on why it fined Kobe Bryant more than Joakim Noah for uttering an anti-gay slur.

--Fox Sports West's Matt "Money" Smith argues the Lakers should look for a coach that's defensive-minded.

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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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Amare Stoudemire's criticisms on the Lakers have the opposite effect

This isn't going to be a post decrying Amare Stoudemire for making such an easy stereotype by proclaiming Pau Gasol "soft."

This also isn't going to lead into a nuanced analysis that Gasol has evolved to be more than just a European punching bag and into a player more capable of absorbing physical contact, maintains his skillset as a finesse mid-range jumpshooter and occasionally falls into lapses where he could toughen up a bit.

As tired as it is hearing this regurgitating talking point, it's tiring enough having to respond to it. I've already addressed it in detail during the 2010 NBA Finals, during certain moments of last season and when some players, such as Kendrick Perkins, cling to this wide-held belief. So there's no use plowing old ground. Lakers center Andrew Bynum already took care of that via Twitter: "The NBA is a weird place! How can a man that plays 0 defense call a 2 time champion soft?"

But here's one thing that will surely comfort Laker fans about Stoudemire besides Bynum's assessment. Whenever Stoudemire opines about a Lakers subject, it seems to have an opposite effect. That doesn't mean his take is always wrong. But Stoudemire's commentary often paints the issue as black and white.

Here's a brief rundown.

Stoudemire calls Gasol soft: At a Foot Locker event, Stoudemire recently shared this about Gasol: "He's still soft. He's a good player, but he also has help with Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and those seven-footers down there. He has a supportive cast." Well, duh. But that's not a knock on Gasol. The Lakers are a pretty talented bunch. Gasol followed that up with 16 points on seven-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds against Denver, but his early play surely featured him settling for too many jumpers despite the Nuggets giving him the space in the lane to drive. But after Nuggets center Nene committed a hard foul on Gasol in the third quarter, he returned to the game after a brief trip to the locker room. After receiving an MRI Monday that showed a bone bruise in his right knee, Gasol still pledged he's healthy enough to play Tuesday against Utah.

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