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Magic Johnson defends Clippers for covering Lakers’ banners

Magic Johnson Nate Robinson PredictionMagic Johnson on Thursday defended the Los Angeles Clippers’ decision to begin covering up the Lakers’ championship banners and retired jerseys inside Staples Center when they host games.

News emerged last week that the Clippers would begin covering the Lakers (and Kings) banners inside Staples Center for their home games in order to make it more of a home atmosphere. New Clippers coach Doc Rivers is the one who came up with the idea.

Magic, whose jersey is retired by the Lakers and hanging in Staples Center, said on Twitter Thursday that he has no problem with what the Clippers are doing.

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Nick Young: Clippers would be ‘disrespectful’ to cover up Lakers’ banners

Nick-Young-Wizards-Not-Top-10Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young may be new to the team, but he is already publicly displaying his Laker pride. Doc Rivers recently revealed that he intends to cover up the Lakers’ banners inside the Staples Center on nights when the Clippers have a home game there. Young doesn’t think he should be allowed to do that.

Young, a former Clipper, apparently doesn’t care that Rivers noted that he isn’t try to be disrespectful toward the Lakers. Instead, Doc said he wants to have more banners of his own players hanging from the rafters on game nights. Young is against it.

“We got to talk to Doc,” Young told reporters on Sunday, via Inside the Lakers. “He can’t have that. We have to do something about that .That’s a lot of pull ya’ll are giving Doc. He shouldn’t come and have that much pull. He should come and earn his keep.”

While Rivers has earned respect as an NBA head coach for his title run with the Boston Celtics in 2008, Young feels he is asking an awful lot for a coach who has yet to win anything in LA.

“But he didn’t win no title in L.A,” Young added. “That’s where it’s at. Look at all these banners in here. You can’t shadow those up.”

In Doc’s defense, Young’s opinion is not one that is shared among his teammates. Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and even Mike D’Antoni all said they felt Rivers should be able to do what he wants with the arena on nights where the Clippers are the home team. They even admitted that they would not want to look at another team’s accomplishments during their games, either.

Personally, I don’t feel that it’s disrespectful at all. Fans who go to see the Clippers play probably don’t want to look at Lakers championship banners. They deserve some true home games, as do the Lakers. If it’s something that’s doable, it should be done.

Clippers to cover Lakers banners at Staples Center

Clippers banners

The Los Angeles Clippers are finally looking like the best basketball team in the city, and now they’re taking extra steps to cement their identity.

According to Orange County Register reporter Dan Woike, the Clippers will be covering Lakers banners inside Staples Center this season in an effort to give the arena more of a Clippers feel during home games.

As Woike and others photographed, there will be huge banners of the Clippers’ star players covering the banners that recognized the Lakers’ historical achievements, including championships won and retired jerseys. They’re also covering the Los Angeles Kings banners.

“I look at it as putting our guys up…this is our arena when we play … No disrespect to them,” new head coach Doc Rivers said, per Woike.

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Pau Gasol would ‘probably not’ take a pay cut to stay with Los Angeles Lakers

kevin-love-pau-gasolPau Gasol is entering the final season of his three-year, $60 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. If he hits free agency following the 2013-2014 season, he will be doing so as a 34-year-old veteran who has recently battled knee problems. If Gasol and Kobe Bryant — whose contract is also set to expire after the upcoming season — agree to return to LA at a team-friendly price, the Lakers would have salary cap space to work with and could reload for one final championship run.

Don’t expect it to be that easy. Bryant has already stated that he will not take a pay cut just to finish his career with the Lakers. During a recent interview with Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Gasol said the same.

“If I perform well, am reliable and put up a great season, then I’m sure the Lakers will have interest in extending me maybe before the season is over,” Gasol said. “We’ll see if there’s interest or not. Then we’ll go from there.”

Gasol was then specifically asked if he would consider taking less to remain in LA.

“Probably not,” he said. “You have to explore your options, but I would like to continue to play for the Lakers and maybe finish my career here. But you have to see the cards on the table.”

Even if Gasol was willing to take a pay cut, admitting it now would only weaken his position. It is worth noting, however, that Gasol was not shy about expressing his displeasure with coming off the bench last season. He was also the center of a number of trade rumors, which may have made him feel that the Lakers do not value him as much as they used to.

Kobe has previously stated that Gasol will remain a Laker as long as Bryant does. While that’s a nice thing of him to say, Kobe won’t be making that final call. Unless, of course, they both leave. Is that a possibility? Naaah.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie

Lakers reportedly offer Lamar Odom roster spot if he goes to rehab

Lamar OdomThe Los Angeles Lakers are so concerned about Lamar Odom’s well being they reportedly have offered him a roster spot if he goes to rehab to beat his drug problem.

Radar Online says Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak made the offer to Odom because “the organization and the Buss family are extremely concerned about” Odom. The team reportedly told Odom that if he goes and completes treatment, there will be a roster spot waiting for him.

The Lakers and Clippers were thought to be the teams interested in signing the veteran forward. The Clippers backed off bringing Odom back for the second straight year after reports about Odom’s drug problems were revealed.

In addition to prescription drugs OxyContin and Ambien, Odom is said to be abusing crack.

Radar Online says the NBA took at least six samples from Odom last season and that many showed he was using OxyContin. However, he was exempt from punishment because he had a prescription for the painkiller. The detail that Odom was tested six times also could indicate that he’s in the league’s drug program; as far as we know, players are only tested four times a season.

Odom resisted rehab despite wife Khloe Kardashian’s urging and reportedly believes he can beat the drug problem on his own. He also supposedly does not want to go to rehab because he does not want to miss training camp, which begins next month.

Odom played seven season for the Lakers from 2004-2010 and won two championships with the team.

Dwight Howard reportedly wanted Mike D’Antoni fired, Kobe released or muzzled

Dwight Howard Kobe BryantDwight Howard had two conditions he wanted the Los Angeles Lakers to meet in order to remain with the team, according to a report.

NBA reporter Ric Bucher says the current Houston Rockets center wanted the Lakers to fire Mike D’Antoni as coach, and to either amnesty or at least “muzzle” Kobe Bryant. Neither condition should come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed the situation.

It was previously reported that Howard was frustrated with the way D’Antoni used him last season, and that he disliked D’Antoni’s system. Another report from July said Howard wanted the Lakers to move past the Kobe Bryant era. Howard even admitted that the “timing” wasn’t right for him to stay with the Lakers.

The Lakers made the difficult — and in many cases unpopular — decision to make Kobe their franchise cornerstone in 2004 and trade Shaq to the Miami Heat. Though Shaq was the more dominant player at the time — he won a title in his second season with the Heat — Bryant was the better long-term investment for the franchise. The Lakers were in the same situation now but, instead of taking the better long-term play, they opted to keep the franchise in the hands of Kobe. I think it was a bad decision.

Charles Barkley rips Lakers ‘they stink’ (Video)

I post this video not necessarily because of the content, but mostly because of the delivery.

Charles BarkleyDuring an interview with ESPN on Friday, Charles Barkley discussed some of the offseason moves around the NBA. He defended Dwight Howard for going to Houston, saying the Rockets are a good basketball fit for the center. He said the Boston Celtics will do better than most people think. He thinks the Eastern Conference will be competitive and fun to watch. And then he got to the Los Angeles Lakers. While Barkley thinks Kobe Bryant will return from his Achilles injury and do fine, he’s less optimistic about the Lakers. In fact, Barkley thinks the Lakers “stink.”

When ESPN interviewer Cole Wright brought up the notion that the Lakers’ “championship window” was closing, Barkley interjected.

“Window closing? It’s boarded up. Let me tell you something … the windows ain’t closed, the window’s boarded up like a hurricane’s coming. The Lakers are gone.”

Wright then began to bring up that Kobe is expected to return early from his injury, and Barkley humorously interrupted again.

“IT DON’T EVEN MATTER. IT DON’T EVEN MATTER,” Barkley said when talk about Bryant returning earlier than expected came up. “I love Kobe Bryant. He’s going to come back and probably play pretty good, but the Lakers are gonna stink, bro. The Lakers stink.

“The Lakers … they’re finished for next year.”

Most people agree, which is why they’re already talking about what moves the Lakers will make in 2014 rather than now. Man, Barkley is just the best.