Saturday, July 31, 2010

The MBENGA FOUNDATION

Not many people really know how great of a heart D.J. MBenga has for the children in his native home of The Democratic Republic of the Congo, a state located in Central Africa. The Laker reserve center, whose player salary is the lowest of the team, makes great use of his hard earned money by being the operating founder of The MBENGA FOUNDATION.

What is his foundation all about?

The Mbenga Foundation believes that together we can advance the cause of humanity with appropriate knowledge. We need to improve tolerance and communication. For this reason we need to start a grassroots operation, such as providing children with basic needs in education. With the exception of the main cities, most school children share the same classes; overpopulated in one classroom. This happens sometimes from the age of 6, to the age of 18 or 19. No desks, no books, no pens or pencils and no benches to sit on.

Issues facing children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Source: UNICEF
  • Rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality are staggering. One in five children dies before reaching the age of five. Mothers die in childbirth in 13 out of every 1,000 deliveries.
  • Nearly one third of children are underweight. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are responsible for nearly half of deaths among children under age five.
  • Vaccination rates for the most common childhood diseases are approximately 65 per cent.
  • Less than half the population has access to a safe source of clean drinking water. Less than one third has access to adequate sanitation facilities

If you would like to make a monetary contribution and help the efforts of D.J. MBenga's foundation click below:

LakerLiker has no affiliation with this ad nor intends to make money from sales. Promotional intent only.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Enough Said

I knew Kobe had no say in this!

Sasha Go Away, Shannon You Stay

Info source: RotoWorld.com

The latest Lakers off season rumor is that the organization is looking to trade Sasha and ultimately get rid of his $5.4 million dollar salary to hopefully reel Shannon back into the lineup from his recent fishing trips.

Finally, an off season move that actually makes sense here. Bringing back Fisher obviously made my Summer, losing Farmar and Josh sucked, grabbing Blake was needed for PG longevity, gaining Ratliff made defensive sense, Barnes (no comment), and freeing up Sasha's over-paid salary to help keep Shannon makes PERFECT sense. Don't get me wrong, losing any Laker in the off season, despite unfavoring stats, is still hard to see but it is the NBA where players travel more than, well, players. (cue Corey Maggette video)


The team organization knows that Shannon can easily make much more cheese with a different team, so I hope this rumor is true. We need Brown to help shelf Kobe's franchise future but more importantly we need Brown's energy for more massive highlight dunks!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Town's Newest Player - Josh Powell

tlanta Hawks have just gotten stronger. Today they signed Laker F/C Josh Powell. Terms of the contract were not released. Currently Josh highlights The Official Site of the Altanta Hawks. The probability of losing a reserve big man was high since the add-on of Ratliff. Powell had this to say about joining the Hawks...

“I look forward to joining a franchise I’m very familiar with. The Hawks have done some great things over the past few years, and I think it’s great to come back home and play here. They’ve enjoyed success in the East, and while they have room to improve and grow, the nucleus is here to make that next step. Obviously, I followed the Hawks quite a bit growing up, and the excitement during the Dominique (Wilkins) years was a great thing to watch. We have to continue to get better and hopefully I can bring a little bit of what I’ve learned from my days with Lakers to the team.”

Click here to read more of the official News Release

Even though Josh Powell's minutes were very limited as a Laker reserve, he brought plenty of excitement on the court. Lets remember that he has a very sweet looking jump shot for a big man. Let's hope he gets to show it off a lot more as the newest Atlanta Hawk. Thanks JP for your contribution on and off the court these past two championship seasons. Hey, at least we will always have your first ever NBA 3-pointer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SLAM Magazine No. 141 - L.A. KINGS


Click HERE for gallery of Lakers SLAM covers
SLAM Magazine has done it again! These guys know how to make a cover. We here at LakerLiker have always been a BIG fan of their Lakers covers and No. 141 has raised the bar.

Get your copy today at SLAM ONLINE.com.

Do you want a subscription to SLAM Magazine? Get this, you can get 10 issues for just $12.97!

Click here to order: Subscribe to SLAM Magazine





LakerLiker has no affiliation with this ad nor intends to make money from sales. Promotional intent only.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Early Footage of 2010 NBA Champions DVD - Release Date 7/27/2010




The 2010 NBA Champions DVD comes out this Tuesday, July 27th. Here is the first footage featuring yours truly as they defeated the Boston Celtics for their 16th NBA title and second championship in a row.

Don't forget to be among the first to get your copy at NBA Store.com

LakerLiker has no affiliation with this ad nor intends to make money from sales. Promotional intent only. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Newest Lakers - Theo Ratliff and Matt Barnes?

Theo Ratliff signs a 1-year contract for $1.35 million and Matt Barnes agrees to a 2-year $3.6 million dollar contract. Okay, Ratliff's defensive role I could easily see but adding Matt Barnes to the team? Is this really happening? It's deja vu all over again. First Artest (a great move after-all), then the possibility of Raja Bell and now a definite in Matt Barnes? What's going on here? Somebody please pinch me.

I know I entertained the thought of Kobe chasing Barnes recently but to think it's actually going to happen? I guess Barnes can't bitch about Kobe's elbows anymore. Please tell me Kobe had no say in this.

In this era of social media in which we all rely on as a credible source for info, Barnes tweeted this earlier today, "Its official I AM A LOS ANGLES LAKER. I wanna thank u for all ur patients and understanding. This is a dream come true!!!"

I want to vomit now. First of all, I never knew Barnes had a doctorate in medicine with all of his "patients", and secondly uh no, a dream come true? Really Matt? I want to vomit again, this time through my nose. I speak on behalf of ALL Lakers fans here by saying we don't like you. We don't like your failed mental games and your fake inbound passes to players faces, specifically Kobe's. We don't like your short fused defeated game where you try to overcompensate with mediocre defense. Keep your annoying ejection teasing fouls to yourself.

You've had this heated battle with our boy Kobe since your heyday in Phoenix. Why? Is it because you can't beat the best so now you're joining them? You and Raja formed an alliance to double-team against Kobe. I'm sure you two love birds double-teamed each other at one point now that I think about it. Wow your 8th NBA team will now be with the team you despised the most. And how will the adversary thank you? By giving you a free pass to your first championship ring. What a shame.

Seeing Ron Artest in a Lakers jersey was really tough for me (now very easy) but to have to see you in purple and gold will make me bulimic.

All that being said, we (forcefully) welcome you aboard to the greatest team you'll ever play for.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Funniest Kobe Fan Ever


I don't care if this is a fake KCAL 9 Sports broadcast, this video is still hilarious!

2010 NBA Champions DVD

Bombo Sports & Entertainment and NBA Entertainment would like to announce the release of the 2010 NBA Champions DVD that chronicles the Lakers’ complete playoff run.  The DVD will be available on July 27, 2010 at NBAStore.com and other retail outlets. Be among one of the first to get your copy!

Here is the DVD summary:

During the 2010 season, one challenger after another tried to knock the Los Angeles Lakers off their NBA throne. But in the end, the Lakers reigned supreme once again, winning their 16th NBA championship in a drive that culminated with an NBA Finals triumph over the arch-rival Boston Celtics, led by Finals MVP Kobe Bryant.

From the start of the season, the Lakers focused on repeating as champions. With Bryant’s string of game-winning shots, the emergence of All-Star big man Gasol, the steady hand of Fisher, and a strong supporting cast, the Lakers finished with the best record in the West.

In the playoffs, L.A. survived a challenge from the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder, swept past theUtah Jazz, and held off the Phoenix Suns to set up a rematch with the Boston Celtics, the team that defeated them in The Finals in 2008. In the latest chapter of the league’s greatest rivalry, Artest took a star turn as the Lakers earned redemption in a thrilling seven-game series against Boston. Fisher and Bryant each won their fifth championship rings, while Phil Jackson earned his record 11th as head coach.

Fans can relive the Lakers’ stirring run to repeat glory on this action-packed DVD. Get the inside story of the NBA champions with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, along with fantastic highlights of their championship season and exciting bonus features.


LakerLiker has no affiliation with this ad nor intends to make money from sales. Promotional intent only.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video Rewind: 1997 NBA Dunk Contest - Rookie Kobe Bryant


Do you remember watching the 1997 NBA Dunk Contest that showcased a very young (now veteran) lineup? A "confident" rookie by the name of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers surprised the crowd and took the trophy. Get this, no other Laker has ever won the NBA Dunk Contest.

Here were the dunkers that year:

FIRST ROUND - Name & Score
Chris Carr 44
Michael Finley 39
Kobe Bryant 37
Ray Allen 35
Bob Sura 35
Darvin Ham 30

FINAL ROUND
Kobe Bryant 49
Chris Carr 45
Michael Finley 33

FINAL PLACINGS
1. Kobe Bryant
2. Chris Carr
3. Michael Finley
4. Ray Allen
T5.Bob Sura
T5.Darvin Ham

Click here to see all NBA Dunk Contest results courtesy of NBA.com

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hey Kobe, Barnes is still available

Just a late night thought here but why hasn't Kobe shown any interest in picking up another known nemesis in Matt Barnes? Kobe and Artest are BFF's now that they've shared a championship season together and as we've all already read Kobe tried to arrange a failed business meeting recently with Raja Bell. Phoning Matt Barnes would only make complete sense now.

The Orlando Magic SF who averaged 8.8 ppg last season is still an unrestricted free agent. I'm sure Barnes would love the opportunity to explore Kobe's head...again. Rewind to the March game where Barnes tried so hard (but was unsuccessful) to get into Kobe's membrane. Do we need to revisit the infamous ball fake to Kobe's face? Remember the stone face, no flinch reaction from Kobe?

Barnes said this about Kobe after that game...

"Best player in the world, Kobe is a killer. He’s got that killer instinct. You see him last night, if his foot wasn’t on the line, it could’ve been a different game. I was on him both those threes. He’s got that killer instinct. He’s got four (now five) rings. He’s the best player. I wasn’t trying to get in his head at all. Just you’re not going to throw elbows at me."


Certainly Barnes has respect for the "best player in the world" so why not try to elbow him into Kobe's off season schedule book?

Unrestricted vs Restricted Free Agents

We here at LLU would like to educate you on the meaning of unrestricted and restricted free agents. Today the question was asked and the sudden brain fart hazed my memory. There is no need to text anyone for the answer, we have the explanation below thanks to my friend Wikipedia.

There are two types of free agency under the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement: Unrestricted and Restricted. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any team, but a restricted free agent is subject to his current team's Right of First Refusal, meaning that the player can be signed to an offer sheet by another team, but his current club reserves the right to match the offer and keep the player. An offer sheet is a contract offer of at least 1 year made to a restricted free agent. The player's current club has 7 days to match the offer or loses the player to the new team. For 1st-round draft picks, restricted free agency is only allowed after a team exercises its option for a fourth year, and the team makes a Qualifying Offer at the Rookie-scale amount after the fourth year is completed. For any other player to be a restricted free agent, he must be at most a three-year NBA veteran, and his team must have made a Qualifying Offer for either 125% of his previous season's salary or the minimum salary plus $175,000, whichever offer is higher.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raja Bell Laughs at Kobe's $1.8 Mill Offer

Source: ESPN.com

According to Marc Stein over at ESPN.com, Raja bell has declined to meet up with Kobe tonight. Why would Raja choose to play in L.A. for 1 year at $1.8 mill when he can play for Utah with a 3-year $10 million dollar contract? The "kid" clotheslined underlined his displeasure by canceling his dinner engagement with Kobe tonight. The scheduled chopper pick up was not to be. The Utah offer was just too good to enjoy a free helicopter ride to a free meal with an old buddy.

I mean, do you blame him? Would you let down $8.2 million for a pretty good chance to win a championship ring? That's a tough decision.

The Steve Blake Inaugural

Source: Lakers.com

With L.A. General Manager Mitch Kupchak to his left, newly-signed Laker Steve Blake addressed the Los Angeles media for the first time today

Below is a summary of the Q&A interchange:


Mitch Kupchak Opening Statement: "Everybody knows that last week we signed Steve Blake to a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. We watched Steve play at the University of Maryland, winning a National Title. We've known him since we brought him in to work out prior to the (2003) Draft, and his numbers were very impressive. In fact, he may have tested out as one of the best players we've ever had in terms of physical ability. Of course we've followed him throughout his NBA career, and this is not the first time we've talked about acquiring Steve. After all these years we're happy to welcome him on board."

 

Steve Blake Opening Statement:
"I want to say that I'm extremely excited to be coming here with the Lakers as a player who wants to win. (I've) won championships at every level except the NBA, and I think (L.A.) is the best place to be. As a point guard, (I'm excited about) being able to play with the best player in the world in Kobe Bryant and other players like Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest ... and to play for the best coach, Phil Jackson. I'm extremely excited. There couldn't be any better opportunity for me out there than to come here. I'm extremely happy that Mitch wanted me here and I look forward to playing my role to the best of my ability."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Final LD2K Video - "Phil's Last Stand"


This video is too good not to share. It seems that Chris Manning, the brain behind LD2K Video Productions has decided to stop making his masterpiece video productions. I could only assume that there's something much bigger for him in the horizon.

Thank you for the entertainment throughout the years. You always had me drawn in and your videos never failed to hype me up! Your theatrical background music meshed perfectly to each video transition. I just wanted to sit back and munch on some popcorn each and every time.

Click here to see his archived videos

Yo Quiero Raja Bell

ESPN reports that Kobe will be meeting with Raja Bell tomorrow to try and convince the closeliner to join the Lakers. Raja Bell will be in town to see the ESPY's in Los Angeles and Kobe wants to make the most of his visit. Bell acknowledged and confirmed that he has received several phone calls from Kobe in a phone interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin.

Everyone knows that Bell and Bryant have had their differences on court (see video below) but obviously they've made amends. Adding Raja will follow suit to the last off season move of adding Artest, another known Kobe (ex)nemesis.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nothing But Nets - Jordan Farmar is Jersey bound

Look who made headline on the official New Jersey Nets website? Jordan Farmar is a Laker no more. The Nets have reached an agreement with Farmar but no terms have been released. Team President Rod Thorn said this, "Jordan will be an excellent complement to Devin in the backcourt”, “He comes to the Nets with championship pedigree, which will prove to be invaluable to his teammates.”

And they had to use the photo taken from his nasty dunk on KG! Jordan will be missed and we wish him the very best in New Jersey!

Derek Fisher will remain a Laker

Derek Fisher is back! The missing piece is found and now the 3-peat puzzle is complete! This is the statement Fisher left on his site DerekFisher2.com:

My free agency was a time for me to reevaluate my position in the league, reflect on my accomplishments individually and as a teammate, and determine what new goals I want to achieve in the future. Many reports were completely false. Numbers reported were guesses and true "sources" were few and far between.

I took time to consider all my options, many not reported in the media. I listened to every coach, every general manager, even potential teammates in order to make the right decision and I thank every one of them. At the end of the day, there's one person I could not turn away from. Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together.

I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles. While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off season, it is the most valuable.

I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fisher meets with Miami Heat Organization

TMZ Sports reports that Derek Fisher is currently meeting with Miami Heat team president Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison to discuss the possibility of signing with the Heat ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Fish is meeting with Riley and Arison at the Mandarian Oriental Hotel in Miami. The meeting began around 12:30 PM ET.

Riley has already made the biggest splash in NBA free agency, signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh while re-signing Dwyane Wade. Signing Fisher -- a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers -- would be a huge step towards filling out the rest of the roster.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2010/07/10/derek-fisher-miami-heat-pat-riley-lebron-james-dwyane-wade/#ixzz0tJ3Dw3AW

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Heartless and Soulless Lakers

If Derek Fisher is the heart and soul of this championship team why in the hell is he only offered a 1-year contract worth 2.5 million? D. Fish is the only player on the team that Kobe will listen to. Derek is clutch and has proven that time and again when it mattered the most. Derek is the team speaker and motivator when they're down. He's the one, when everyone else has given up, who pulls his teammates aside to guide them from a true veterans perspective. Derek is Mr. Iron Man and truly deserves much more than this measly offer.

Its a huge disrespect for the co-captain and I don't blame Fisher for turning the offer down and making himself available for other teams to value his worth. This sudden Blake move and talks that Sasha will play more at the 1 spot is making me cringe at the belief that the heart and soul of the team will be no more.

I mean lets face the music here, Blake who is as green of a Laker as can be is offered 4 million a year for the next 4 years and Sasha making $5.5 million for one year (WTF!) and here we have Derek who was only offered 2.5 million? I know Fisher isn't about the money as he left several million on the table in Utah to come back to L.A. but come on, the Lakers organization needs to show greater gratitude for the one man who has always been there for them.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Steve Blake - The Newest Laker

It's pretty much official now, Jordan Farmar will most likely be leaving the team now that the organization has offered Steve Blake a 4-year contract worth 16 million which he agreed on signing on the 8th. Steve will take over as back up PG for Fisher.

D. Fish on the other hand has yet to make any announcement that he'll be coming back. It freaks me out that I still see his face as an available free agent. What's taking the final missing piece to our 3-peat puzzle so long to make a decision? I guess the best things happen to those who wait.

For Blake, I hope his Laker debut is as awesome as his Clipper departure. In the last regular season game this past season Blake had a triple double, scoring 23 points, dishing out 11 assists and pulling down 10 boards.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

2010 Free Agency - How Will It Affect The Champs?

Ah the 1st of the month, a day of unwanted bills and a quick anticipation for the 15th. But wait! What is this? The 1st of this month has actually put a smile on my face, my frown has, yes, yes, gone upside down folks! THE day has arrived and the day is beautiful. Nothing beats waking up the smell of NBA free agency. Let the games begin!

This morning (9:00pm last night for some) greeted us with the launching of this years off season free agency hoopla. My mind started to ponder the usual "what ifs". Yeah, what if the champs went fishing and reeled in a Boxfish Bosh or a Wahoo Wade, or maybe even a Jewelfish James! Why not? I mean it couldn't hurt to have a cup of joe among those who are interested in a ring rather than cha-ching. Let's face it, that mentality is the only way the Lakers are going to benefit from these festivities. Even I could sniff the Benjamins in the air today. Money will steer and decide the fate of this free agency.

This off season will showcase a wide array of the leagues most talented free agents for the taking, a gold mine for those with fat, wait let me rephrase, VERY VERY FAT wallets. Joe Johnson certainly may benefit from his wandering eyes if he signs his very generous maximum 6-year contract to remain a Hawk worth $119 million. We will definitely see cementing on the 8th when free agents can start splattering the ink.

Realistically, how will the free agency affect the back to back champs? Phil announced today that he will return for one more season, which by the way reminded me of his tell-all book after THAT season. This time around is so much sweeter. But what about Jordan Farmar? His welcome mat is faded now and the exit sign is illuminating even brighter nowadays. The team chose not to tender an offer and this is what Farmar said last week, “I love L.A., [but] I think it’s good for somebody to get away sometimes.” This is not good for his fans and for bowling fans in general as his presence at the local Lucky Strike Lanes might...split (self chuckle).

There's actually one player who may fly under the radar because of Miami's Dream Team manifestation. Mitch should try snagging Brad Miller. Andrew is injury prone and Miller can fit in perfectly. He missed 0 games this past season and is in great health. Yes he had his worst season yet but that's because of Noah hogging the minutes. We all know Bynum is great when healthy but lacks passing skills (Gasol makes up for this) and Miller can definitely pass the rock for a big man. I don't know, am I crazy for thinking this?

To keep track of this years free agency results click on the SI.COM's tracker below:
2010 NBA Free Agent Tracker - SI.COM