Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Los Angeles Lakers

What Is a Foul in the NBA? It’s Always Evolving

Sports
For much of the 20th century, basketball favored the tallest players, who did most of their scoring in the paint. Defenders were allowed to hand-check — to use their hands to slow driving opponents. That put guards, who were typically the shortest players, at a disadvantage. But the 1990s Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on the perimeter, changed the calculations for the N.B.A.By 1994, Jordan and Pippen had won three championships together, but Jordan had retired and the league was looking for of a new perimeter star to fill the void. The N.B.A. instructed officials to begin calling fouls for most types of hand-checking on the perimeter, which would make it easier for guards to score.“Offensively, it will be great,” Pippen said at the time. “But on the defensive end,...

New Filings Suggest Kobe Bryant Crash Photos Spread Widely Among Workers

Sports
A fire department officer flashed the disturbing photos to a group of people during cocktail hour before a gala. A sheriff’s deputy shared the images with a bartender, who grimaced and made a slashing gesture over his neck. Another deputy, who could not believe how gruesome the pictures were, forwarded them to a colleague while playing online video games with his friends.Photos of the bodies of the Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others who died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles in January 2020 were shared on at least 28 devices owned by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel and by at least a dozen Los Angeles County firefighters, according to the latest legal filings submitted by the legal team for Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow.T...
Win Or Lose, the Knicks and Lakers Are Worth Billions

Win Or Lose, the Knicks and Lakers Are Worth Billions

Sports
How are the valuations derived?Much like house valuations on online real estate sites, they are based on several factors, including location, who owns the arena the team plays in, and the team's local television deals. James L. Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, also owns Madison Square Garden, whereas the Lakers lease the space at Staples Center, which will become known as Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day.“If you have two teams, let’s say one owns the building and the other leases it, what I’m valuing is the economics,” said Mike Ozanian, a managing editor at Forbes who compiles its valuations. “In other words, what are the revenues that the team generates at the building versus its expenses?”Assets related to the team don’t necessarily factor in, at least not completely. In the case of the...
Westbrook Always Plays With Stars. But Will They Align on the Lakers?

Westbrook Always Plays With Stars. But Will They Align on the Lakers?

Sports
Russell Westbrook is coming off one of his best seasons, having posted a career high in rebounds and another in assists that was enough to lead the N.B.A. And for the fourth time in five seasons, he averaged the vaunted triple-double, typically defined as reaching double-digit numbers in points, rebounds and assists. Before Westbrook, it seemed almost impossible to average a triple-double once, much less multiple times.But those numbers weren’t good enough to land him on the All-Star team last season, the first time the 32-year-old hadn’t been selected since 2014. It was in part because his Washington Wizards were not very good. But the Wizards’ barely making the playoffs was a perfect microcosm of the general debate about Westbrook’s legacy: It’s not a sure thing that Westbrook’s style of...
N.B.A. All-Stars Set a Painful Record for Missing Playoff Games

N.B.A. All-Stars Set a Painful Record for Missing Playoff Games

Sports
Sprained knees. Strained hamstrings. Twisted ankles. Shattered hopes.The N.B.A. playoffs have turned into a battle of attrition as the league grapples with a growing list of injuries to many of its biggest stars. No less an eminence than LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers made a hasty first-round exit after his All-Star teammate Anthony Davis injured his knee (and then his groin), weighed in on Wednesday, blaming the league’s compressed schedule. Regular-season games began in December after an abridged off-season.“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season,” James wrote on Twitter. “I knew exactly what would happen.”It is worth noting that the league and its players’ union agreed on the schedule.But injuries were a problem for many N.B.A. teams even before the sta...
Even LeBron James Isn’t Eternal

Even LeBron James Isn’t Eternal

Sports
His season was not finished — not yet, anyway — when LeBron James grabbed a seat at the far end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ bench on Tuesday night in Phoenix. He would occasionally approach a teammate or an assistant so that he could lean in close for a one-sided conversation. But he otherwise seemed resigned to the reality of the situation.The Lakers were getting routed by the Suns in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series, and James — such an indomitable force throughout his 18-year-old career, but now facing an early summer — was oddly powerless to stop it.Perhaps there was hope, in some distant corner of Lakerland, that he could muster more of his familiar magic to help the team avoid elimination two days later in Los Angeles. Instead, the Lakers were bound for more of the same: mor...
Lakers Eliminated from Playoffs With Game 6 Loss to Suns

Lakers Eliminated from Playoffs With Game 6 Loss to Suns

Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers’ brief reign is over.The Phoenix Suns eliminated the Lakers from the N.B.A. playoffs on Thursday night with a 113-100 victory in Game 6 of their first-round series, ending LeBron James’s hopes of hauling the Lakers to back-to-back championships.It is the first time that James, 36, has exited the playoffs in the first round — and it was a young, up-and-coming team that hastened his departure.The second-seeded Suns, who are making their first postseason appearance since 2010, leaned on the inside-outside combination of Devin Booker, 24, and Deandre Ayton, 22, throughout the series.“I just know they wanted to be in these types of games,” Monty Williams, the Suns’ coach, said before Thursday’s game. “And I think they haven’t run from the moment, run from situations.”Both...
N.B.A. Playoffs: Anthony Davis Leads Lakers Past the Suns

N.B.A. Playoffs: Anthony Davis Leads Lakers Past the Suns

Sports
LOS ANGELES — It was not an especially pleasant night of basketball for Anthony Davis. Productive? Yes. Pleasant? No.The Lakers on Thursday were playing in front of a home playoff crowd for the first time since 2013, and Davis christened the festivities by picking up his first foul 15 seconds into the game. A few minutes later, his face got in the way of one of Deandre Ayton’s elbows.In the second quarter, Davis sprinted the length of the court to chase down Devin Booker and swat away his layup — only to wrench his left knee. Davis would later describe it as “hyperextended.” Whatever the official diagnosis, he used a heat wrap at halftime and then removed it so that he could continue with his now-familiar business of torching the Phoenix Suns.Davis, the Lakers’ All-Star power forward, has ...
The Lakers Weren’t Ready for the Moment. Devin Booker Was.

The Lakers Weren’t Ready for the Moment. Devin Booker Was.

Sports
The roots of everything that the Suns are now — a winning team, a franchise with championship hopes — date to 2015, when Phoenix made Devin Booker the 13th overall pick of the N.B.A. draft. For his first couple of seasons in Phoenix, he played in relative anonymity. The Suns were a terrible team. The closest Booker got to the playoffs was watching other players celebrate big wins on television.Still, he kept refining his craft as change swirled around him. The franchise kept tinkering and building. By the start of last season, none of the teammates he had as a rookie remained on the roster. He made his first All-Star team, then helped the Suns close out their season a few months later with eight straight wins in the bubble environment at Walt Disney World — a run that cemented their identi...
These N.B.A. Playoffs Burst 2020’s Bubble

These N.B.A. Playoffs Burst 2020’s Bubble

Sports
And this time, they played against the league’s youngest team, the Memphis Grizzlies, with everything on the line. The winner would advance to the playoffs. The loser, to vacation.Curry claims to be 33. Maybe he’s fooling us. Coming off an M.V.P.-caliber regular season in which he led a hobbled, patchwork team to the league’s most improved record, he barely took a breather. True, there were signs of fatigue. His slow walk during breaks in action. The occasional slump of his shoulders. The slight hint of bewilderment in his face as he endured another night of battering from swarming defenders.And yet he scored 39 points and willed his team from a 17-point deficit to force an overtime.The narrative, so said almost every pundit, would belong to Curry and the Warriors in the end. Ja Morant had...