Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Matt Barnes launches his official website

Matt Barnes recently launched his official website MATTBARNES9.com worldwide. In addition to live updates and current photos and videos of Barnes, the website will keep fans up to date on Matt’s Foundation, Athletes vs. Cancer, and his clothing line, Love The Truth.  Opportunities to meet Barnes and chances to win pieces from Matt’s clothing line will take place throughout the summer of 2012.
Barnes has also launched his Foundation Website AthletesVsCancer.org.  AthletesVsCancer.org will feature updated news and video feed on everything Matt has going on with his Foundation, his annual golf tournament and Gala, and his athletes and celebrity friends who take part in his Foundation events.  Facts about prevention and ways to donate to help Matt and his foundation continue to fight cancer are available on the website.

Monday, May 28, 2012

LMD releases 24 Special Edition Prints: LMDxMamba

Land Mind Design, LMD is proud to release 24 Special Edition Prints: LMDxMamba.

In honor of the efforts made by the Los Angeles Lakers and one of L.A.'s finest athletes, Kobe Bryant, LMD created 24 Special Edition Prints featuring the Black Mamba. The print details a digital composition of a heroic shot of Bryant surrounded by a threatening Black Mamba. An eclectic arrangement of typography was used as a background texture for the graphic, and it is available in two colors, gold and purple. The design has been printed 11"x17" on HD Digital Print, 80 lb Bright Brilliant, F.C.S paper. The print has been signed by the LMD artists and numbered.

Top see images of the special edition LMDxMamba Print simply click on the photos above or click on the lnk below:

About Land Mind Design, LMD

LMD is a growing L.A. based graphic design firm, spearheaded by Leslie De Leon Tzic and Mauricio A. Urquilla. Since 2007, the LMD team has been driven to provide design services such as logo identity, brand re-design, strategic visual marketing, social media and web design.

LMD believes "Art makes a valuable impression" which is why they strive to create sucessful visual communication.

Visit LMD via facebook, twitter, website, email

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Point guard options for the Lakers

Despite the Lakers organization making the bold mid season move to ditch Fisher for essentially a quicker point guard, the playoffs showed a much different side of Sessions that has left the familiar void at the one for off season targeting.

Will Mitch look to trade for a stronger point guard to better compliment his team or will he just pick up Session's $4.5 million option and hope for the best?

I think the main consensus for Laker fans is that the Lakers look to fill the point guard position rather than bulking up the frontcourt. 

Here is a list of all available point guards that will either be restricted/unrestricted free agents or have options in the off season (bullets for top 15):
  1. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets - Player Option $17.8 million
  2. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns – Unrestricted Free Agent
  3. Aaron Brooks, Phoenix Suns – Restricted Free Agent $3.0 million Qualifying Offer
    • From the past two off seasons Brooks has been favored by many Laker fans 
  4. Raymond Felton, Portland Trail Blazers – Unrestricted Free Agent
  5. Kirk Hinrich, Atlanta Hawks – Unrestricted Free Agent
  6. Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks – Unrestricted Free Agent
  7. Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets – Unrestricted Free Agent
  8. Chauncey Billups, L.A. Clippers – Unrestricted Free Agent
    • Even with the successful Achilles tendon surgery, is Billups injury prone now?
  9. Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic – Player Option $7.8 million
  10. D.J. Augustin, Charlotte Bobcats – Restricted Free Agent $4.4 million Qualifying Offer
  11. Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks – Unrestricted Free Agent
    • Terry hates the Lakers so he'll never be one (personal opinion)
  12. George Hill, Indiana Pacers – Restricted Free Agent $3.1 million Qualifying Offer
    • Providing the fact that Hill grew up in Indiana and loves it there, he will most likely stay a Pacer
  13. Jordan Farmar, Brooklyn Nets – Player Option $4.3 million
    • Ain't going to happen. Farmar was already a Laker and he's not looking back. Now as for Lamar? That's a different story
  14. Leandro Barbosa, Indiana Pacers – Unrestricted Free Agent
    • Two off season's ago perhaps but certainly not now
  15. Goran Dragic, Houston Rockets – Unrestricted Free Agent

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Trade Bynum – USA Basketball Olympic Hopes

Kupchak is going to have a busy summer. He will need to convince Jim Buss to let go of Baby Bynum who only plays well when he feels like it.  When the filter-less Andrew Bynum stated that “I’ll play anywhere” during the locker room interview after game 5, it proved that Bynum is indifferent towards the Lakers and the fans. He needs to just pause for a second or two before answering questions irrationally.   

Jim Buss will likely compel Kupchak to keep Bynum even though he cannot be trained or motivated. We know that Bynum can play well; in game 1 of the 1st round, Bynum had 10 blocks, 10 points and 13 rebounds - an NBA record. We also know that Bynum cannot play well consistently; he dropped off the map after game 1. Bynum was aloof during some of the team huddles by sitting on the bench staring into space.   

One may assume that Bynum’s knee prevents him from playing well every night. If he were to play well every night, I believe that his knee would be over-taxed. The Lakers obviously have access to Bynum’s medical records – especially relating to his knees. According to ESPN news, Bynum will be receiving knee treatment in Germany in September (similar to Kobe’s successful treatment). Bynum still needs to be traded. The Lakers do not need another Yao Ming. 

One can observe from previous Lakers games that Bynum’s knee is far from 100%. During games, he would fall on the right side as to avoid aggravating his knee.   

Bynum lacks respect. You do not blow off a meeting with Management (Mitch Kupchack) when you are requested to attend. In most occupations, when you miss a meeting with management, you are cited for insubordination.

I will leave you with this Bynum quote: "I'll definitely entertain the conversation, but I'm not seeking it." Bynum also said, "I'm not reaching out." – In regards to a contract extension. 

2012 USA – Basketball Team
Laker fans need not wait too long to see Kobe in action. Olympic basketball starts on July 29 – USA against France.

The preliminary roster can be viewed here:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Lakers Exit Interviews

Photo courtesy of Whittier Daily News
Source: Lakers.com

Following the season, each Laker meets with the GM and Coach to discuss future aspirations. They then meet with the media for their exit interview.

Click below to view and read about each players' exit interview:

2012 Lakers Exit Interviews Central - Courtesy of Lakers.com

LMD is bringing you 24 Special Edition Mamba Prints - 05/28

The folks over at Land Mind Design - better known as LMD - have designed 24 Special Edition Mamba Prints dedicated to the great city of Los Angeles, and the die-hard Laker fans.

Despite the Lakers recent playoff series loss to OKC, the design team of LMD want to bring recognition to their efforts by designing their winning series of prints.

Rather than sit and mope, let's celebrate the Lakers season and Kobe's gallant performance in game 5.

Expect the prints to be unveiled May 28th.

Follow LMD: facebook, twitter, website  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The fat lady singing is imminent

Lets just face the music Laker fans, the fat lady will be singing tomorrow night and it'll come to the tune of thousands of OKC fans chanting "Beat L.A."

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here, I am a die-hard fan like everyone else but I have to be levelheaded. Let's just say for whatever reason the Lakers miraculously win three straight to advance to the conference finals, L.A. will most likely be facing a perfect San Antonio team who's yet to lose in the playoffs. Lakers beating the Spurs is not going to happen. This season belongs to someone else. 

It's okay though because after having to painfully watch the Lakers gift wrap yet another game to OKC, the reality of the opponent simply being the better team heavily sunk in and accepted. Many fans will have difficulty accepting such a reality as they seek perfection, a silly expectation created by past rosters. Unfortunately the current roster isn't made up of 17th banner material.

We all knew that the Lakers were the underdogs coming into the series so anything given to fans outside of the predetermined is just tortuous hope. The inevitable outcome will only leave new fans in outrage and old fans expecting to see their team fully exposed and blown up in the off season...again.

Pau Gasol has been the usual suspect in trade talks for several seasons now and given how he's performed in these playoffs look for his name to be advertised for a possible two-for deal. The Spaniard didn't help his case either. So far in the playoffs, he's exceeded his 17.4 PPG regular season average just once. The teams usually effective 1-2 punch in Kobe/Pau has been reduced to exhausting jabs by Kobe. Luckily for the Lakers Denver had a weak chin. OKC does not.

Ramon Sessions will most likely opt out of his contract leaving the Lakers organization with the all too familiar void at the one spot. Sessions played great for the Lakers when they acquired him mid season but has shown clear weakness in comparison to a much quicker gunslinging Russell Westbrook. Westbrook's 25-point series average has debunked Sessions who is averaging a mere 6.5 PPG.

With Andrew Bynum's career season high look for Kupchak to pick up his $16.5 million option in the Summer. Things will get really dicey after next season though since both Bynum and Howard can potentially be free agents. Until then, we'll have to deal with Bynum's immaturity and separation from the team.

So the big off season question still remains, will the organization keep Sessions as their #1 option or will they focus on picking up someone else that can help orchestrate and put together this championship caliber team? Kobe offense, whether forced or not, will not lead this team to another championship title. It's no wonder why point distribution is an ongoing issue.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lakers predicted to beat OKC in six

Only a few brave NBA analysts have come out to not only predict the Lakers to beat the Thunder to advance to the western conference finals but to beat them in six games.

ESPN's Israel Gutierrez and Yahoo! Sports Mark Hawkins have made such bold predictions.

While these two analysts bet on the Lakers to advance past the semis, others have taken the safe route in predicting favored OKC to Thunder over the underdog Lakers. Its strange to even say that the Lakers are underdogs.

Ben Oliver from CBSSports.com is predicting OKC to win in six

The Guardian Sports Blog is picking OKC in seven

Brian Kamenetzky from ESPN Land O' Lakers is picking the Thunder in six

SportsNation PollCenter (128,000 total votes as of 5/14/2012 6:28PM PST) has OKC winning 71% to 29%

Shaquille O'Neal even favors OKC to win over his former team

Charley Rosen from NBA.com favors OKC to beat L.A.

L.A. Times sports writers Mark Medina, Mike Bresnahan, and Ben Bolch all predict that OKC will take the Lakers

Kevin Ding from O.C. Register.com has predicted the Thunder to pass the Lakers in six

Peter Emerick from BleacherReport.com has OKC winning

Its easy to say at least for myself and I'm sure I speak on behalf of every Laker fan out there that the Lakers are winning the western conference semifinals. I personally have the Lakers winning in seven.

I can only think of one line that will sum up the series quite perfectly. It's a quote from The Avengers movie with a small modification:

Thunder: "We have an army"

Lakers: "We have a Metta [Hulk]"

The difference maker in game seven of the first round was Metta World Peace. His tenacious defense was missed throughout the series and it certainly will be welcomed back in this one. Look for him to put some lock down D on KD. 

Some are saying that Denver has done OKC a big favor by exhausting the Lakers in a seven-game series but others think that the Lakers are carrying in fresh momentum versus a little too well rested OKC team.

Game 1 is tonight at OKC.
Time: 6:30PM PST

Top image credit: Getty Images