ESPN's award-winning primetime newsmagazine E:60 will feature an in-depth profile of Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers in the episode airing Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. ET.
Playing in the shadow of Kobe Bryant, Gasol is the NBA’s least known—but perhaps it’s most intriguing—superstar. As E:60 discovers, the Barcelona native, who has been called the best big man in the league, has talents and interests that extend far beyond the basketball court. He is a classical pianist and opera buff; and for a time he was a medical student, but passed up a career as a doctor in order to play pro basketball. On the court, despite his talents and two NBA championship rings, Gasol has battled to shed the label of being “soft”—a term he bristles at openly. Reporter Lisa Salters traveled with Gasol to Spain to see the influences that shaped him and to witness first-hand how he has become an icon in his home country. Bryant, coach Phil Jackson, Kevin Durant and close friend Rafael Nadal all weigh-in on what makes Gasol the NBA’s Renaissance Man.
Launched in October 2007, ESPN’s E:60 combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent meetings.
Here's your chance of a lifetime to own a Lakers championship ring! Like I've mentioned before in an earlier article, Artest is raffling off his only championship ring to benefit a mental health charity. Yes you heard it right RON ARTEST IS RAFFLING OFF HIS CHAMPIONSHIP RING!!! Winner will also get an all expense paid trip to L.A. to meet Ron himself and premium seats to a Lakers game! This is honestly too good to pass up. Just $10 bucks or more to enter!
The raffle opens tonight. A minimum of 5 tickets at just $2.00 each must be purchased to enter. Here is what you do.
Follow the online instructions and purchase as many raffle tickets as your wallet desires. When will you ever get another opportunity to participate in a raffle that might land your pretty little finger a very flossy bling bling from Ron Ron!
We all know that Artest is crazy but this latest episode warmed many hearts. This is for a great cause!
The day I'm sure the champs have been waiting for since their game 7 victory has finally arrived. Its ring time baby! Bring on those dazzling diamonds. It's time to floss and watch another championship banner go up.
Before tip-off of the 2010-11 regular season the entire Lakers staff will be getting their 2009-10 championship rings excluding those players who were traded this off season of course. They will get their rings when the Lakers play against them this season just like they did with Ariza and Rambis last year.
Sometimes I make fun of Ron's statements to the media but the following words touched my heart...
"You work so hard to get a ring, and now you have a chance to help more people than just yourself, instead of just satisfying yourself," "What's better than that? For me, this is very important."
Here's a video clip of how focused Artest is for tonight's game against Houston. He shrugs off the media's questions about the ring ceremony by strictly talking about the game rather than another celebration.
I'm with Artest. Lets get the ceremony over with and not lose focus on those pesky Rockets who still have enough flare to blast off. Even with Yao limited to short minutes the Lakers cannot take Kevin Martin and the ageless Battier too lightly. Look for Brad Miller to take full advantage of Yao's bench time too.
Let's go Lakers and lets start the 2010-11 regular season with a W!
The Los Angeles Lakers have requested waivers on guard Trey Johnson and center Andrew Naymick, it was announced today.
Johnson, a 6-6 guard out of Jackson State, has split time over the past three seasons with the NBA Development League's Bakersfield Jam and international teams in France, Italy and Serbia. A 2008-09 D-League All-Star and All-D-League Second Team member, in February of 2009, Johnson signed a 10-day NBA contract with Cleveland, appearing in four games for the Cavaliers (1.0 points, 0.3 rebounds, 3.5 minutes). Beginning last season with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque Grand Littoral in the French League, Johnson later re-signed with Bakersfield in March, averaging 21.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 13 games with the Jam. Johnson, who appeared in five preseason games with the Lakers, averaged 2.8 points and 1.2 assists in 8.8 minutes.
Naymick, a 6-10 center out of Michigan State, has played professionally the last two seasons in Europe as a member of SKK Kotwica Kolobrzeg in Poland and Caceres 2016 C.B. in Spain. In 38 games last season with Caceres 2016 C.B., Naymick averaged 8.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.89 blocks in 25.7 minutes. In two preseason games with the Lakers, Naymick pulled down two rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
The Lakers preseason roster now stands at 14.
This actually might be a good thing for the Lakers with having just 14 players on the roster now. NBA Commissioner David Stern is on a stern mission to avoid a possible lockout next summer by cutting between $750 million and $800 million out of all NBA players' future salaries. Ouch! Players, it's time to downgrade from your Bentley to a Sentry.
If there's ever a preseason game to go to it would be the annual Pre-Season Shootout hosted by the Staples Center. For the price of one admission you get two preseason games. The first game was Clippers vs. Utah Jazz (4:30PM) and the main event was of course the back-to-back champs vs. Denver Nuggets (7:30PM).
So my cousin and I decide to get there at around 4:00pm to walk around and absorb the Staples Center a little. We take photos outside. I couldn't resist taking one with Chicky Baby! What a beautiful statue commemorating his brilliance as the voice of the Lakers for over 35 years.
Then we walk into the new Nike Vault store located right outside the Staples Center entrance. As soon as I walk in my eyes are drawn to this massive art piece of Kobe. This was no ordinary art piece like those paintings you typically see capturing one of his dunks, no this art piece was different. I couldn't quite picture why it was so unique until I walked up to it to take a closer look. Up close was even more amazing! Each layer covered by cut-outs of different Kobe pictures.
Now its time to make our entrance into the Staples Center. We wanted to find our seats first before we venture into the outskirts of the arena. Our seats are great, located behind the right-side basket mid lower level. Perfect spot as our backs were against the wall which really means no annoying kicks to the backs of our seats. So now that we've found our seats we stepped out to wander. Please keep in mind that I like to make the most of my Staples Center visits as they don't happen as much as I would like. Soon enough I find yet another photo op. This time in front of the Lakers press conference curtains. I think I was more excited about the exhibition lines to every thing! I loved that there was no long waits. I was like a kid in a candy store! Next stop, Lakers locker room. Yeah right!
I make my Staples Center ritual which is walk around the entire arena. This time for some strange reason my round was so much faster. Maybe because we got there early for the Clipper game? Man I tell ya, Clippers fans were nowhere to be found. The place was empty. Blake Griffin was playing for crying out loud! Anyhow, we grab some grub and walk back to our seats to watch the Clippers game. Again, a complete ghost town. I would say only a quarter of the Staples Center was in attendance. Blake started off slow but heated up late in the game. My luck, as I look down to grab my drink the crowd erupts with a giant roar. Apparently Blake decided to make the dunk of the night the very second I looked away. Dang it! He had caught an alley-oop one handed for a monstrous dunk! Blake had several of these. He's back people, and he's back to piss defenders off this season. I look up to maybe catch the replay but no luck. But wait, something looks different up there. Are those high-definition screens that I'm looking at? Woa! The Staples Center purchased a new HD scorebaord. Damn, when did this happen? I'm suppose to know everything about the Lakers! Wow, the new scoreboard is amazing. I took a quick video of it from my iPhone but it really doesn't give it justice. Here a good article that I found on the web: New Staples Center HD Scoreboard
There were several familiar faces I saw last night. One was good old Raja Bell in a Utah jersey. Remember his antics this past post season? He stood up Kobe's helicopter ride to their scheduled business dinner engagement. Kobe was actually interested in Bell becoming a Laker even after their sketchy past. As we all know, Bell signed with Utah for more money and more playing time.
The other was Brian Cook. Remember Cook Lakers fans? Well, I didn't know he was back in town playing for the Clippers. That was cool to see because it sucked to see him traded to Orlando 4 years ago.
Okay now to the main event, Lakers and Nuggets. This time around the arena was jam-packed! The crowd erupts when the champs make their entrance to the Staples Center since game 7. It was awesome to see Blake out there warming up as a Laker. It was weird though to see Barnes help Kobe with his pregame rituals. This will definitely get some getting use to. The aura did not feel like an exhibition game, it felt like the playoffs all over again. Before tip-off Matt Barnes was given the mic to welcome us but more importantly to welcome his Staples Center debut. You could tell he was nervous becasue he wasn't sure how the fans would accept him. To no avail, the crowd cheered him on and welcomed him with open arms. Mine were closed of course. I'm no cued puppet, he will have to earn my respect like Artest did.
Shockingly my preseason expectations were not met. Starters were given more PT than I had thought. Players ran up and down the court with high energy and played great as if their numbers mattered that night. The champs were pumped up. They played great together as a team. Brown was sinking his jays, Barnes and Ratliff played great defensively, Artest made his 3's, Blake orchestrated the ball well, Odom was not indecisive with the rock, Kobe drilled his fade away shots and made his defenders pay with easy free-throws. Kobe's whistle cry to the officials was mute though. I'm sure it will awaken once the regular season starts.Ariza, oops I mean Ebanks played with high energy too. Phil's eyes were glued to his players the entire game and the Laker girls were hotter than ever! All of this is a great sign for the upcoming season.
Last but certainly not least I want to thank Rob Allsup for these awesome tickets! Thank you for your generosity Rob! You're the best! We had a blast!
Please take the time to visit his accounting firm Mead, Allsup & Lim located in Anaheim, California.
Well fans, this is going to be another hell of a ride. Buckle up!
I'm as die-hard of a Kobe fan as the next but to be honest with you I hate that he's so often compared to the greatest ever. I mean even when Kobe passes Jordans ring collection (MJ 6, KB 5) he still is no Michael Jordan. Yes KB is only one championship season from tieing Jordan but to even fathom the thought of the Black Mamba being the next Jordan blows my mind. Maybe Kobe's subliminal jersey number screams noticing as it's just one higher than Jordans. Who knows. One thing is for for certain, since the media resorts to total number of individual player rings into deciding who's the best, let us resort to good old fashion facts. Let us compare NBA resumes and you be the judge. IS Kobe the next MJ?
6× NBA Champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
5× NBA Most Valuable Player (1988, 1991–1992, 1996, 1998)
14× NBA All-Star (1985–1993, 1996–1998, 2002–2003)
6× NBA Finals MVP (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988)
10× All-NBA First Team (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
All-NBA Second Team (1985)
9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1988–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1985)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1985)
3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
2× NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner (1987–1988)
2× Gold Medal Winner in the Olympics (1984, 1992)
5× NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
2× NBA Finals MVP (2009–2010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
12× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2010)
2× NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)
8× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2010)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)
2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
8× All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2010)
Here is the official NBA 2K11 game review from IGN. Only two times has the NBA 2K Sports franchise scored in the 9.0's. In its debut year in 2000 and 2004 (9.2). Scoring a 9.5 is BIG news for loyal NBA 2K Sports fans. With the very anticipated return of Jordan in the basketball gaming industry, this proves once again that M.J. still has the Midas touch. One of NBA 2K11's biggest feature is where you're able to reenact Micheal's greatest games and moments. This feature alone may be the reason why NBA 2K Sports now holds their highest score ever. I guess everybody still does wanna be like Mike.
Here are the past IGN game review ratings based on the XBOX 360, XBOX and Dreamcast consoles according to the year of development:
NBA 2K10 - 8.5
NBA 2K9 - 8.5
NBA 2K8 - 7.9
NBA 2K7 - 8.8
NBA 2K6 - 8.0
NBA 2K5 - 8.1
ESPN 2K4 - 9.2
NBA 2K3 - 8.9
NBA 2K2 - 8.8
NBA 2K1 - 8.8
NBA 2K - 9.2
I found this video on TheLakersNation.com. It's pretty hilarious. After all the heat (no pun intended) LeBron is getting for his one hour decision making T.V. special and the building pressure of him winning his 1st championship, LeBron was a great sport for helping make this commercial.
After practice, the Lakers announced the release of guard Anthony Roberson and center Russell Hicks, trimming the training camp roster down to 16 total spots, including the 14 players signed for the season as well as camp signees Drew Naymick and Trey Johnson, both of whom will join the team on the trip to Europe.